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VOL. 45 | NO. 10 | Friday, March 5, 2021

Pinnacle Awards winners celebrate ‘economic vitality’

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The Knoxville Chamber’s 17th annual Pinnacle Business Awards for 2021 have been announced with companies honored for being committed to driving regional economic prosperity and celebrates business excellence.

“The Pinnacle Business Awards recognize organizations and individuals whose success is having a positive impact on our region’s economic vitality and sustainability,” says Mike Odom, Knoxville Chamber president and CEO. “Their contributions and commitment enhance our quality of life and drive economic prosperity for everyone living in Knoxville and the surrounding counties.”

More than 300 companies were nominated in eight categories. Members of the chamber’s board of directors select the winners based on information submitted during the application process and any information available to the general public. Final scoring is completed independently and on a secure website. Scores are tallied by a third-party agency and presented to the Chamber.

The winners of the 2021 Pinnacle Business Awards are:

• Accenture, a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security, won the Impact Award honoring a business that displays a commitment to making East Tennessee a better place to live and work through the development and support of community projects or programs.

Accenture’s more than 540 local employees have volunteered over 1,000 hours to area nonprofits and raised $30,000 in monetary donations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employee resource groups serve organizations like Knox Area Rescue Ministries, Knox Area Urban League, Sarah Moore Greene Elementary, Broadway Towers, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Isaiah 117 House and the Knoxville Trans Empowerment Project.

Accenture is committed to improving the lives of people in their community by meeting immediate needs and paving pathways to self-sufficiency by building the skills needed to succeed.

• Integrity Laboratories, a Knoxville-based health care company, was given the Innovator Award which goes to a business that has developed a new technology, innovative product or service or applied a business system or service in an innovative way.

Integrity serves clients by providing comprehensive, state-of-the-art clinical laboratory testing with the highest standards of honesty, transparency and integrity.

In March 2020, Integrity Laboratories began focusing solely on COVID-19 testing, developing a rapid results solution that allowed health care providers to return results in days instead of weeks. At the forefront of real-time PCR testing, their proprietary Intercept PCRÔ platform provides rapid identification of modern-day infectious diseases with the goal of eventually being able to detect infectious diseases before symptoms are present.

• Big Slate Media was named winner of the Small Business Excellence Award that goes to a business with 50 or fewer employees that has consistently grown its workforce and revenue and overcome obstacles including access to capital, operational efficiency, control of expenses, customer loyalty and distribution.

As one of Knoxville’s top content creation agencies, the production company helps brands produce consistent, relevant content that makes a lasting impact. Since its founding in August 2015, the company has experienced exponential growth, constructing a combined office and studio space near downtown Knoxville, hiring additional full-time employees and expanding freelance contracts.

Owner Jonathan Halley and his team continue to innovate in service of their clients, capturing multi-purpose footage and creating accessible, customized content banks that allow companies to repackage existing assets in new, creative ways.

• Boston Government Services, LLC won the Minority-Owned Business Excellence Award that recognizes a minority-owned business that has produced outstanding business results and growth and overcome the obstacles of race or ethnicity.

The engineering, technology and security firm supports missions of national importance across the U.S., including research laboratories, security facilities, nuclear operations, environmental cleanup and government programs.

Founded by former senior Department of Energy executive and Oak Ridge National Laboratory research scientist Harry Boston in 2007, the firm’s steady growth is attributed to its highly-skilled talent pool and valuable support of critical government operations. Local success has allowed the company to expand, and it now operates four additional offices across the country and gaining recognition as a top 55 DOE contractor.

• Barre Skinny, LLC dba Neighborhood Barre claimed the Woman-Owned Business Excellence Award, given to an outstanding woman-owned business that is independently owned, operated and controlled by a female. The winner demonstrates the ability to compete in a non-diverse field.

Founder Katy Richardson launched the fitness studio concept in 2011, strategically choosing Knoxville as her initial location because the community had no barre brand awareness or existing brand loyalty. The studios specialize in providing inventive but approachable barre-based workouts for all fitness levels, and Richardson has expanded the offerings to include livestreaming, virtual, on-demand classes, fitness apparel and franchise opportunities. There are currently 15 brick-and-mortar studios across the Southeast with two more locations slated to open in 2021.

• The Trust Company of Tennessee was named winner of the Mid-Sized Business Excellence Award is, recognizing a company with 51-200 total employees.

Founded in 1987, The Trust Company of Tennessee currently has more than $3.5 billion under management and more than 75 employees. The firm helps individuals, families, business owners and nonprofits make better decisions with money through wealth management, corporate retirement and personal trust services.

Its highly personalized approach allows the company’s relationship managers and financial planners to intimately understand what success means for each client, building lifelong relationships that foster success.

Based in Knoxville, the firm also has offices in Chattanooga and the Tri-Cities.

• The Christman Company won this year’s Large Business Excellence Award, which recognizes a company with 201 or more employees. The firm, founded in 1894, has become one of the country’s leading non-residential construction management and general contractor service firms.

In conjunction with its affiliates, Christman Capital Development Company, Christman Mid-Atlantic Constructors, Christman Constructors, Inc. and Christman Millwork, the company’s award-winning services include construction management, general contracting, design/build and EPC (Engineer Procure Construct), real estate development, program management, facilities analysis and planning and self-performed skilled trades.

The company manages more than $4 billion in construction across a variety of construction markets and is ranked No. 88 in the Engineering News-Record ENR 400 list of top national contractors.

• Bobby Haines of Haines Structural Group was presented the Young Entrepreneur Award, given to a professional, 40 years of age or younger as of February, who lives and works in East Tennessee and has achieved success, while overcoming obstacles, to become one of tomorrow’s top leaders. The winner will have started or is at risk in ownership of his/her business and will have moved the company from early growth to some maturity.

As a child, Bobby Haines watched his father and grandfather operate an electrical contracting firm in Memphis. He developed a love for watching a construction project grow to completion and, after spending time as an electrician’s apprentice on commercial job sites, elected to study engineering at the University of Tennessee. After graduation, Haines earned a master’s degree from Georgia Tech, moving back to Knoxville in 2009 to lead the newest branch of a Memphis-based structural engineering firm.

In 2017, after building the local presence, he acquired the Knoxville office and ultimately rebranded as Haines Structural Group. Since his acquisition, the business has seen steady revenue growth.

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