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  • Meet the Leaders Carrying Middle Tennessee's Future

    by Alex Hughes | Jul 31, 2015
    This is the biggest week of the year for the Chamber's young professionals initiative, as we recognize the professional and personal accomplishments of the next generation of Middle Tennessee business leaders.

    Last night, we hosted the ninth annual Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs), a celebration of some of the most talented and dedicated young members of our workforce.

    This awards program has grown by leaps and bounds since we introduced it in 2007. We opened the application process in January, and received more than 500 nominations from across the Nashville region. Eighty-three Chamber members volunteered as judges to take on the difficult task of narrowing down our pool of applicants to 75 finalists, who were announced last month.

    Middle Tennessee owes its current growth trajectory to the vision of dedicated business leaders who built a strong foundation for prosperity. Every year, the NELAs event leaves me inspired and excited to know that the future of our region is in excellent hands. Please join us in congratulating this year’s outstanding group of leaders!

    2015 Nashville Emerging Leader Awards Winners

    Architecture, Engineering & Construction
    Ashley Smith
    Project Manager, Stantec Consulting Services Inc.
    In her role as project manager ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • Member Spotlight - Book'em

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jul 27, 2015

    Q: What is Book’em?
    A: Founded in 1989, Book’em is a local nonprofit children’s literacy organization whose mission is to create a more literate Nashville by helping economically disadvantaged children from birth through high school discover the joy and value of reading through book ownership and enthusiastic volunteers. We fulfill our mission by making children and teens proud owners of new books and bringing volunteer readers into the classrooms of at-risk preschool and elementary-aged children.  

    Our highest priority is serving Nashville’s disadvantaged children during their preschool and elementary school years. We believe that developing strong literacy skills from an early age is essential for academic and lifelong success. Book’em provides vital resources so that Nashville’s underprivileged children can build their literacy skills. Our programs include Books for Nashville Kids, Reading Is Fundamental and Ready for Reading. Book’em envisions a future in Nashville where all children own books and know firsthand the joy and value of reading. For more information, please visit 

    Q: Describe a recent challenge and how you addressed it.
    A: For a children's literacy nonprofit, a huge donation of new books is something you need to find a way to say "yes" to. Last spring, we received ...

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    Category: General
  • Updated Research Will Provide Insights Into Workforce Trends

    by Nancy Eisenbrandt | Jul 27, 2015

    In 2010, the Chamber published a comprehensive regional workforce study to identify major trends driving Middle Tennessee's job growth and prosperity. The information and analysis the study provided has helped shape the region’s talent initiatives over the last five years.

    On Friday, Aug. 21, the Chamber’s Research Center will release an updated workforce study. For the first time, the study will look at the joint metro region of Nashville and Clarksville. Strengthening the Middle Tennessee Region 2020: Building a Vital Workforce to Sustain Economic Growth and Expand Opportunity was made possible by a grant from JP Morgan Chase & Co. The report will provide valuable insights into the high-growth industries and occupations that will be the engine of our economy, and the growing importance and challenges we will face in filling middle-skill jobs. Business leaders, the public workforce system, and education and economic development officials will benefit from actionable data they can use to collaborate to align training and education with the skills and competencies needed by employers.

    Please register today and plan to join us for the presentation, and learn firsthand the data and analysis that guide a demand-driven workforce development system to benefit job seekers and employers and ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • Nashville Health Care Council Announces Additions to Board of Directors

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jul 23, 2015
    Courtesy of the Nashville Health Care Council

    The Nashville Health Care Council announces the appointment of new and renewing members to its 2015-2016 board of directors. William Gracey, president and CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, will serve as chairman of the board for a two-year term. Gracey, the board’s former vice chairman, succeeds William F. Carpenter III, chairman and CEO, LifePoint Health, who served as Council chairman from 2013 to 2015, and who remains on the board as a director. C. Wright Pinson, M.D., deputy vice chancellor, health affairs and CEO, Vanderbilt Health System, was selected to begin a two-year term as vice chairman of the board.

     Click here to view headshots of the new and renewing Council board members.

    Click here to view a list of the full Council board.

    “The Council’s role in supporting and enhancing Nashville’s health care industry is important now more than ever. I look forward to collaborating and working alongside other industry leaders to advance the organization’s mission and further establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s health care industry capital,” Gracey said.

    New and renewing at-large directors include Neil de Crescenzo, president and CEO, emdeon; Samuel N. Hazen, ...

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    Category: General
  • Pivotal Election Sets Metro's Course For Next Decade

    by Debby Dale Mason | Jul 20, 2015

    With forums, mailers, ads and door-to-door campaigning, we are all aware that we're in the midst of one of the most important election cycles in our city's recent history. We are poised for a major turnover in our city's elected leadership – Nashvillians will elect a new mayor and vice mayor, and nearly three-quarters of the 40-member Metro Council could be new members.

    Early voting is underway for the Aug. 6 election, the results of which will position Nashville for the next decade. We encourage our members to fully understand the community and business issues important to you, as well as the candidates who are running to represent your individual and business needs.

    Last week, the Chamber released our fourth annual Legislative Scorecard, which reports how the Metro Council (as a body and individually) voted in support of our board-adopted Metro legislative agenda. Our agenda issues include support for small business, planning and zoning process solutions that lessen barriers to investment, and fighting government regulation of private business, among others. Use the scorecard to help you make more informed decisions about candidates and issues important to you and the business community. You may also want to check the Nashville Business ...

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    Category: Legislative Issues
  • Member Spotlight - UpDesk

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jul 20, 2015
    Q: Tell me about UpDesk.
    A: Born in Nashville, UpDesk believes people's space shouldn't define them, but they should define their space. Our height-adjustable desks are designed by the minds that have created other ergonomic supplies for the health care industry for more than 40 years. Most importantly, we consider our customers family and strive for excellent service.

    Q: What is unique about UpDesk?
    A: Company culture, customer interactions, and how we listen to the marketplace are few ways that make the UpDesk brand unique. Not to mention, we offer a wide variety of ergonomic solutions to fit everyone's need and budget.

    Q: What's your biggest goal for UpDesk in the next year?
    A: UpDesk's primary goal is to become known as the "one-stop shop" for large and small companies as well as individuals to find a large selection of ergonomic solutions at the best possible price.

    Q: What has been the best part about having a location in Middle Tennessee?
    A: Nashville is home to some of the world's most influential companies, and UpDesk has already had the pleasure of doing business with several of them. We look forward to sustaining those business relationships and expanding our awareness even ...
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    Category: General
  • 2015 Legislative Scorecard Details Progress Toward Priorities

    by Adam Lister | Jul 15, 2015
    The Nashville Area Chamber is proud to release our fourth annual Legislative Scorecard, which reports how state legislators in the Nashville region and Metro Council members have supported the needs and priorities of the business community. A printed copy of the scorecard will be mailed to each member company.

    Throughout the year, our policy team works closely with elected officials and other leaders to advocate for an environment where businesses can thrive and the region can prosper. Each year, the Chamber develops a state and local legislative agenda based on feedback from our members in our annual policy survey.

    The 2015 Legislative Scorecard details the Chamber’s advocacy efforts to advance four specific community priorities:
    1. An environment where business can prosper;
    2. Talent development of the region’s workforce;
    3. Quality of life that attracts and retains residents and workers;
    4. Regional efforts to ensure economic prosperity.

    The 2015 legislative session was a mixed year for business in Tennessee. This year, the General Assembly passed legislation further eroding private property rights by creating a cause of action against employers who terminate employees who violate their policies on firearms on company property. Additionally, the failure to pass Insure Tennessee leaves businesses at risk of being hit ...
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    Category: Legislative Issues
  • Thanks To Our Sponsors

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jul 14, 2015
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    Category: General
  • What It Takes To Be a Leader

    by Alex Hughes | Jul 13, 2015
    Guest post by Stephanie Winn, manager of talent attraction and retention, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

    For the past year, we've been working on the planning and execution of the ninth annual Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs). This year's event will be held Thursday, July 30, at Lipscomb University's Collins Alumni Auditorium. It’s hard to believe all the hard work put in by our team at the Chamber is about to pay off!

    Full disclosure: It’s my first year managing this program, and I have learned many lessons along the way. Each year, we receive more than 500 nominations and 200 applications from YPs throughout Middle Tennessee vying to be named the top young professional leader in one of 15 industries. I read each application, and all I can say is, "WOW!" The level of young professional talent in our community is truly amazing and inspiring.


    In my totally unscientific method (read: reading many, many narratives and biographies about Nashville’s elite), I have summed up three steps to be the change you want to see in the world.

    1. Don’t wait for someone else to fix it.
    In many of their application essays, our NELAs finalists shared stories about ...

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    Category: Workforce
  • Organizations Urge Extension To Schools Director Search

    by Laura Moore | Jul 09, 2015

    Earlier today, a wide range of organizations representing the business, religious, ethnic and worker diversity in our community collectively sent a letter to the Metro Nashville Board of Education asking that the board extend the search for a new director of schools until after the election of Nashville’s new mayor.

    The school board has outlined a distinct set of criteria for the next director, and in the opinions of the organizations whose leaders signed the letter, the slate of four candidates submitted to the board by its search firm, with a couple of exceptions, doesn’t meet that standard.

    With a new director of schools, a new mayor and a significant number of new members of Metro Council, the decision regarding who will lead our school system comes at a pivotal time. Nashville is a city experiencing tremendous growth and progress. For that progress to continue will require significant skill, experience and  leadership on the part of the schools director and a search process that enjoys the confidence and support of the broader community.

    Extending the search until after the mayor’s election would allow the new mayor to assist the board in recruiting the additional high-caliber candidates to fill out the ...

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    Category: Education