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VOL. 43 | NO. 36 | Friday, September 6, 2019

Legendary drummer Jimmy Otey dies

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 James “Jimmy” Otey Jr., 73, of Nashville, best-known as a drummer for the likes of Little Richard and Ray Charles, died Thursday.

Mr. Otey, a multi-instrumentalist and showman, was a product of the old Jefferson Street rhythm & blues scene and went on to perform around the world.

He considered himself a friend of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and the Jefferson Street stars like a young Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Church, Billy Cox and Bobby “Sunny” Hebb. He also performed with Aretha Franklin.

When he wasn’t drumming, he was a chemical engineer, a Metro bus driver and he was most proud of his role as family man. He had been battling a variety of illnesses for many months.

Arrangements are being handled by Terrell Broady Funeral Home, 3855 Clarksville Pike.

Ledger columnist Tim Ghianni spent a good bit of time with him last winter, not long after one of his hospital stints.

Bridgestone tire plants win award

Bridgestone Americas has announced that its Warren County and LaVergne truck and bus radial tire manufacturing facilities have been recognized by PACCAR with a 2018 Quality Achievement Award.

This award recognizes suppliers that meet or exceed PACCAR’s rigorous standard of 10 or fewer defective parts for every one million parts shipped to the original equipment manufacturer.

The Bridgestone Warren County and LaVergne plants have been suppliers of commercial TBR tires to PACCAR for more than 30 years.

PACCAR is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of medium and heavy-duty trucks under the Peterbilt, Kenworth and DAF brands.

The Warren County plant, which employs more than 1,000 people, is located in Morrison. In 2018, Bridgestone announced a $40 million investment in the plant to meet market demand and address emerging customer needs.

The LaVergne plant and its more than 1,000 employees have been recognized for several initiatives related to education and environmental conservation and preservation.

Craft Ventures boosts startup Soundstripe

Music production startup Soundstripe, based in Nashville, has received an additional $2 million in financing from Craft Ventures.

The investment comes a few months after the company raised $4 million in Series A Investment.

Craft Ventures, led by David Sacks, invests in outstanding teams that are creating market-defining products, including eSports favorite Cloud9, among many others.

The additional $2 million from Craft will allow Soundstripe to continue expanding its presence even further in the production music space, where its unique subscription model has resulted in over two million “micro-licenses” being issued in over 130 countries since its inception in 2016.

The funding will also enable the company to invest further in music acquisitions and partnerships, and expand their relationships in that space, especially with producers, songwriters and engineers.

Blink Fitness franchise coming to Nashville

Blink Fitness has signed a major franchise development agreement in three cities, including Nashville.

Blink Fitness, a premium-quality, affordable fitness concept that creates the Feel Good Experience, has reached deals for 40 units. These deals increase the brand’s franchise footprint by 50%.

Sacramento and Boston are the other cities.

“We’re growing strategically – and quickly – with experienced multi-unit operators across the country,” says Todd Magazine, CEO of Blink Fitness. “Our franchise opportunity is gaining widespread attention, especially with multi-unit groups who are seeking a low-labor concept to enter the booming health and wellness sector. The interest in our model among qualified investors is encouraging.”

In Nashville, Blink signed a development deal with entrepreneurs Antonio Compton and John Guarino to open at least six gyms across the Nashville area.

There are 90 company- and franchise-owned Blink locations open today and the brand has plans for more than 300 Blink gyms in the next three years.

Southern Living taps College Grove for showcase

College Grove in Williamson County has been chosen as the location of Southern Living’s Showcase Home.

The home will be built by Hatcliff Construction, a member of the Southern Living Custom Builder Program.

The house is a part of the 2019 James Hardie Building Products Parade of Homes hosted by The Grove, a scenic gated community. This annual event produced by the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee features new homes created by the industry’s top builders and designers.

Public tours will begin Oct. 12 and run through Oct. 27. The house will be featured in a print Spring issue of Southern Living Magazine as well as on SouthernLiving.com.

The Southern Living Custom Builder Program is a network of more than 85 of the South’s top custom home builders.

This Showcase Home project is a re-imagination of the historic Grassmere estate which is located on the grounds of the Nashville Zoo. The four-bedroom, three-story home is an example of grand Italianate-style architecture showcasing several features typical of the style and time period of the historic Grassmere house. The home also features a quaint guest house inspired by the cottage at the Grassmere estate

“This project was a wonderful challenge re-creating the masterpiece that is the Grassmere Estate while making it comfortable for today’s lifestyles,” says Mary Hatcliff of Hatcliff Construction. “We wanted to keep the integrity of the original but give our version a new, updated character.”

Thomas Nelson brand surpasses 30 million

The Jesus Calling brand has surpassed 30 million units sold since it was first published in October 2004 by publisher Thomas Nelson of Nashville.

Sarah Young’s work remains one of the most successful devotionals and includes children’s devotionals, Bible storybooks, journals, seasonal books, as well as other devotionals including ECPA book of the year “Jesus Always.’’ It has been 15 years since publication and sales continue to grow year-over-year. In 2018-2019, sales increased five percent.

On social media, the brand has more than 1.5 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Jesus Calling: Stories of Faith Podcast recently surpassed three million downloads.

Companies offer medication-free services

Nashville NeuroCare Therapy is partnering with ThriveLogic TMS + NeuroHealth to help patients suffering from depression, anxiety, ADHD and insomnia without the use of medications.

The deal leverages business synergies from both clinic locations in Green Hills and Franklin to maximize patient care access, expand clinical expertise and resources while combining leading technologies and treatment protocols to improve patient outcomes.

In a collaborative effort, Nashville NeuroCare Therapy and ThriveLogic strive to improve the awareness of and access to medication-free clinical services specializing in Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy and QEEG-informed Neurofeedback for the underserved mental health patient populations in Davidson and Williamson counties.

This new partnership now represents the largest provider of TMS Therapy clinical services in the state, according to a recent survey of providers by an industry expert, as well as sets the stage for future expansion into other key markets in the Nashville metropolitan area.

Clarksville apartment property sold

Sonoma Ridge, a 78-unit apartment property located in Clarksville, has been sold for $8.7 million.

Marcus & Millichap’s Nashville office had the exclusive listing to market the property on behalf of the seller.

David Stollenwerk, a senior investment advisor for Marcus & Millichap, procured the out-of-state buyer.

“Sonoma Ridge offers new ownership an outstanding opportunity for a value-add campaign that will further boost returns,’’ Stollenwerk says.

Belmont enrollment hits record 8,481 students

Belmont University welcomed a record-breaking 8,481 students for the new semester.

The number triples the 2,796 students enrolled in 2000 and marks a 57% increase in the last decade alone (enrollment in 2009 was 5,393).

This is Belmont’s 19th consecutive year of record enrollment.

Nearly 8,000 applications for freshman admissions resulted in an incoming class of 1,724 freshmen, the largest freshman class in the school’s history. Belmont continues to be among the top destinations for transfer students as 472 transfers joined the campus this semester.

The university’s graduate schools, which offer more than 25 master’s programs and five doctoral programs, attracted 681 new students for the 2019-20 academic year.

Quovant unveils LegalBill billing platform

Quovant, based in Nashville, has launched LegalBill, an eBilling and matter management platform.

The offering was created for small- to medium-sized corporate legal teams.

LegalBill eliminates the cost and complexity of traditional enterprise legal management software, while providing powerful tools for managing and monitoring matters, eBilling, legal bill review and performance analytics.

LegalBill centralizes all legal data for improved workflow, collaboration and communication with internal and external stakeholders. Its detailed reporting and dashboards are designed for organizations that are currently using rudimentary methods like paper, Excel and email to manage matters and invoices.

Tech company invests, expands in Tullahoma

TE Connectivity, a global technology company, is investing $15.7 million in Coffee County over the next three years.

Approximately 100 new jobs will be created.

TE Connectivity, headquartered in Switzerland, is a $14 billion global industrial technology leader that manufactures connectors and sensors.

TE employs 80,000 people at sites in 140 countries. The company has operated in Tullahoma since 1997.

With this expansion, TE Connectivity plans on updating its current facility in Tullahoma and adding new equipment to its operations. The site expansion will add approximately 100 new jobs, including assembly and molding operators, maintenance technicians, engineers and supervisors. The Tullahoma site produces connectors that empower heavy construction, mining and agriculture equipment, as well as commercial vehicles.

NSM, Pilgrimage team up for music celebration

The Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival has announced it will partner with Franklin-based National Seating & Mobility to make the event more accessible.

The Pilgrimage Festival, celebrating its fifth year, will be held Sept. 21-22 at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm in Franklin.

“This is an opportunity in our own backyard to provide a service that will not only help this festival become more accessible, but to also provide a welcoming environment allowing music lovers with special needs to rest up, recharge and fully enjoy the Pilgrimage experience,” says NSM CEO Bill Mixon.

“Our festival has always been sensitive to the needs of the ADA community,” says Brandt Wood, Pilgrimage Festival co-founder. “Thanks to NSM, we are able to take this to a new level in 2019. Their support makes our festival even more attractive to the special needs community and we are grateful to have them on board.”

As part of its sponsorship, NSM will have signage on the ADA platforms and the tent.

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