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VOL. 41 | NO. 49 | Friday, December 08, 2017

New businesses find happiness on Gay Street

Updated 9:50AM
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Knoxville’s Gay Street continues to add new stores, hotels and more commercial development in the heart of downtown.

The new home for Bliss and Tori Mason Shoes, owned by Scott Schimmel and Lisa Sorensen, has opened at 445 S. Gay St., with an 8,000-square-foot retail space.

The thriving area will soon welcome two chocolate businesses, a Starbucks coffee shop and a 50,000-square-foot office building.

Three new hotels are in various stages of development in a four-block area of central downtown. They are: A Hyatt Place at 530 S. Gay St., an Embassy Suites at 507 S. Gay St., and a dual-branded Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn a block off Gay Street, at 210 Church.

Kilwins, a chocolatier that was founded in 1947 in Petoskey, Michigan, has 100 stores in more than 20 states. It will be opening soon at 408 S. Gay St. This is the location where Cruze Farm Milk Bar operated a pop-up temporary store last summer.

A block to the west, Knoxville Chocolate Co., will be opening by mid-December at 29 Market Square. It is relocating from the Candy Factory, and the new location will offer both the business’ kitchen and Knoxville, along with sweets-themed merchandise. Knoxville Chocolate also will open a location at 141 N. Peters Road.

The Tombras Group is finishing its headquarters in the former pea-green KUB building at Gay Street and Church Avenue that had stood vacant for more than 16 years.

The company’s $10 million restoration will soon be complete with more than 200 employees moving in – tentatively, sometime in January.

Gallaher invests $500M in leadership training

Alcoa-based Gallaher, a life safety and asset protection solutions provider, is investing $50,000 in employee leadership training by working with GiANT Worldwide’s Leadership Academy.

“We believe in helping our employees become the best people they possibly can be,” says Breck Ellison, COO at Gallaher. “Part of that process means training them to become better leaders. This investment will help our employees become leaders worth following, not only in the workplace, but in their personal and family lives as well.”

GiANT Worldwide’s Leadership Academy is a 12-month program that includes four quarterly retreats, monthly core groups, one-on-one coaching and access to a vault of online resources including videos, workbooks, presentations and tools.

“Our culture at Gallaher has always been about serving others with passion and humility,” Ellison says. “In addition, we are always looking to empower the work environment and encourage our employees to have a thirst for continuous improvement.

Thermocopy earns Ricohn award

Ricoh has honored Thermocopy, a business technology company in East Tennessee, as a 2018 “Circle of Excellence Certified Dealership.”

Fewer than 20 percent of Ricoh Family Group Dealers earned the “Circle of Excellence” award.

To be considered, a company must demonstrate a commitment to customer service and technical expertise following Ricoh’s strict guidelines.

Clayton Homes pushes charitable giving

Maryville-based Clayton, one of the largest home builders in America, has launched a social media and video campaign that highlights the importance of helping those in need.

The “Season of Giving” campaign shares stories from the experiences of Clayton team members giving back to their communities and fellow team members in need.

Clayton’s 40 home building facilities and nearly 350 home centers across the nation are encouraged to share their stories through social media channels in hopes to inspire others.

The storytelling campaign includes personal experiences from team members such as building a ramp for a team member’s wife, volunteering with a local school for autistic children and supporting a special needs football team.

ORNL recognized with 9 R&D awards

Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have received nine R&D 100 Awards in recognition of their significant advancements in science and technology.

The awards are sponsored by R&D Magazine.

The awards, known as the “Oscars of Invention,” honor innovative breakthroughs in materials science, biomedicine, consumer products and more from academia, industry and government-sponsored research agencies. This year’s nine honors bring ORNL’s total of R&D 100 awards to 210 since their inception in 1963.

ORNL researchers were recognized for the following innovations:

• ACMZ Cast Aluminum Alloys were developed by a team of researchers from ORNL with Fiat Chrysler Automobile U.S. and Nemak U.S.A.

• Additively Printed High Performance Magnets were developed by a team of researchers from ORNL and co-developed by Ames Laboratory Critical Materials Institute (CMI), Magnet Applications Incorporated, Tru-Design and Momentum Technologies.

• Filler Materials for welding and 3D Printing were developed by ORNL in collaboration with the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.

• Safe Impact Resistant Electrolyte (SAFIRE) was developed by a team of ORNL researchers and co-developed by the University of Rochester.

• The dropletProbe Surface Sampling System for Mass Spectrometry was developed by ORNL researchers in coordination with SepQuant.

• ACE: The Ageless Aluminum Revolution was submitted by the DOE’s Critical Materials Institute and was co-developed by ORNL, Eck Industries, Ames Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

• Dfnworks: A Computational Suite for Flow and Transport in Subsurface Fracture Networks was submitted by Los Alamos National Laboratory and co-developed with ORNL’s Scott Painter.

• Coating Solutions for Large-Format Additive Manufacturing was submitted by Tru-Design and co-developed with ORNL and Polynt Composites.

• Techmer engineered additive manufacturing materials (TEAMM) were submitted by Techmer PM and co-developed with ORNL and BASF.

Keep holidays green with recycling tips

With the holiday season just around the corner, Makenzie Read, Knoxville’s public service coordinator, reminds residents most wrapping paper and gift bags are recyclable even with transparent tape and staples still attached.

Ribbons and bows, however, and anything with Mylar (shiny metallic lining), aren’t recyclable, but they can be reused.

Other tips from the City include:

Working strands of Christmas lights can be donated to the charity of your choice. If they’re not in working condition, you can recycle them responsibly by taking them to the City’s Hazardous Household Waste facility, 1033 Elm Street, or by giving them directly to a Goodwill attendant at a City recycling drop-off center or County Convenience centers in Halls, Karns, John Sevier and Dutchtown.

Bubble wrap and deflated plastic air pillows can be recycled at grocery and retail stores with plastic film recycling containers. UPS Store locations accept Styrofoam peanuts for recycling.

Overflow recycling is always collected from residences with City recycling carts, as long as the extra recycling is not in plastic bags. Paper bags, cardboard boxes and other containers clearly marked as recycling are acceptable for overflow recycling.

• Avoid bringing home more packaging: Check your supply of reusable gift boxes, wrapping paper and bags at home before purchasing more or accepting additional ones at the store.

• Reduce packaging: Choose gifts with less packaging that will end up in your carts after Christmas morning.

• Pre-open and de-package gifts: Remove some or all of the packaging from gifts before wrapping to better spread out the recyclable packaging.

First Tennessee aids Maryville City Schools

First Tennessee Foundation has made a $5,000 contribution to the Maryville City Schools Foundation.

The grant will be used to help economically disadvantaged students in the district to reach their full potential to succeed in school by capitalizing on their strengths, learning new skills and connecting families with community resources in ways that support emotional, social and academic needs.

“First Tennessee Foundation’s Community Impact grant to Maryville City Schools Foundation shows they understand the importance of assisting students from low-to moderate income families,” says Barbara Jenkins, executive director of the Maryville City Schools Foundation.

“The $5,000 grant will allow us to expand the services and number of students impacted through our Children’s Fund partnership with the Maryville City Schools’ Family Resource Center. We are grateful and honored by First Tennessee Foundation’s commitment to our program.”

City named Community Wildlife Habitat

Knoxville’s newly renovated Forest Heights Pocket Park, 411 Highland Hills Road, was recently opened by Mayor Madeline Rogero.

During the ceremony, Rogero announced Knoxville has just been named the first city in the state to be certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a Community Wildlife Habitat.

The 0.8-acre park had been split into 32 parcels owned by the Forest Heights neighborhood residents. The park, adjacent to the City’s Bearden Village Greenway, was transferred to the City so that Public Works crews could upgrade its amenities to meet safety standards and maintain it on a regular basis.

The park features a paved walking loop, picnic tables and play equipment, including new swings and a natural playground installed by City crews.

NN announces repricing amendment

NN, Inc., a diversified industrial company headquartered in Johnson City, has completed the repricing of its existing senior secured credit facilities.

The amendment, which lowered the interest rate 0.50% or 50 basis points on both tranches, is effective immediately. There were no changes to the maturities or covenants under the credit facilities.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey acted as lead arranger on the transaction.

Richard D. Holder, president and CEO, says, “We have taken another important step as we continue to focus on prudent capital management with the goal of deleveraging our balance sheet and continuing to expand our free cash flow profile. This reduction in interest expense is another significant advancement toward the achievement of our strategic targets.”