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  • Pilot Regional Bus Line Announced

    by Debby Dale Mason | Apr 23, 2014
    Dickson-to-Nashville express route will gauge commuter interest

    As longtime supporters of regional transit, we were excited this week to learn that the Regional Transportation Authority has announced a two-week pilot route connecting Dickson and downtown Nashville.

    The Dickson Express Pilot Project, a free service from April 28 to May 9, seeks to gauge Dickson commuters' interest in this type of route. The program also hopes to showcase the advantages of using public transportation. Equipped with 56 seats, televisions, Wi-Fi and restrooms, the coach buses will ideally transition from a first-come, first-served trial basis into a permanent commuter line. If the project is successful, Dickson residents will likely see more transit services with varying bus schedules.

    According to a recent study by the Nashville MTA and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Nashville residents who ride public transit can save more than $9,000 per year, and the rising cost of fuel means we can expect this number to continue increasing. An additional APTA study found that a person who switches from driving a 20-mile round-trip commute to using public transportation will reduce his/her annual CO2 emissions by 4,800 pounds per year. This makes public transit use one of the most effective ...
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    Category: General
  • Member Spotlight - Girls on the Run

    by Lindsay Chambers | Apr 21, 2014
    Q: How does Girls on the Run incorporate lessons of healthy decision making, independence and inspiration into running a 5k?
    A: Girls on the Run is a physical-activity based positive youth development program designed to develop and enhance girls' social, psychological, and physical competencies to successfully navigate life experiences. We use a nationally developed 24-lesson curriculum that empowers girls with a greater sense of self-awareness, a sense of achievement, a foundation in team building and a commitment to enhancing their communities, all in order to help them become strong, content, healthy, confident women. Each session is led by trained coaches who guide and mentor girls. Through interactive activities such as running, playing games, and discussing important issues, participants in the 10-to-12-week program learn how to celebrate their unique and real selves.

    Q: In 2000, Girls on the Run International was born. What are your goals for the next five years in Nashville?
    A: Very simple: grow, grow, grow! Girls on the Run operates two curricula - one for elementary schools and one for middle schools. Currently we are in 13 sites in Nashville, but with more than 100 public elementary and middle schools in Nashville, there is so much opportunity ...
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  • Regional Summit Focuses on Redevelopment

    by Debby Dale Mason | Apr 18, 2014
    The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce understands the challenges and opportunities facing the growth of our communities, particularly when it comes to land use and development. That is why, in the spring of 2011, the Chamber convened a group of more than 50 public- and private-sector leaders to analyze barriers faced by commercial developers when investing in Davidson County. Working in partnership with Mayor Karl Dean’s office, a redevelopment task force was formed in the fall of that year and issued a report a year later that outlined steps to encourage Davidson County development and redevelopment.

    This year’s annual Power of Ten Regional Summit, co-hosted by Cumberland Region Tomorrow and the Nashville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, focuses on this same theme from a regional perspective: “Redeveloping Middle Tennessee Communities – Infill, Innovations, Investments.” The summit is Wednesday, April 30, from noon to 6 p.m. at TPAC's Polk Theater. The Chamber is a community partner in this event because the topics align with many of our key priorities.

    Agenda highlights include:
    • Keynote speaker TDOT Commissioner John Schroer will share experiences and lessons from TDOT’s efforts to connect transportation, land use planning, and infrastructure investments that are supporting successful community redevelopment and ...
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    Category: General
  • Member Spotlight - Fresh to Order

    by Lindsay Chambers | Apr 16, 2014
    Q: Why did Fresh To Order choose to expand into the Nashville community?
    A: Nashville is a bustling city with so much to offer, so it was a natural choice. We provide a niche that no other restaurant is currently filling. Fresh To Order offers a “fine fast” menu of chef-inspired, delicious flame-grilled entrees, paninis, soups and salads – all of which are freshly prepared on premise and served within 10 minutes, for about $10. We also offer beer and wine. We have it all: incredible food, an amazing staff, and a beautiful restaurant that fits into any lifestyle.

    Q: What is the most exciting or unique feature about Fresh To Order?
    A: Our fresh, high-quality, chef-inspired menu at a fast-casual price point. We want everything to be absolutely perfect from start to finish, and we will make sure that happens every time.

    Q: What is one item first-time visitors have to try?
    A: It is difficult to choose just one, but our smoky southwest chicken panini or our Asian salad with seared tuna are two great choices to start with. Our menu covers a wide range of flavors, so you can try something different every time!

    Q: How has ...
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  • Area Advisory Councils Help Chamber Members Get Involved

    by Olivia Leow | Apr 09, 2014
    Guest post by Olivia Leow, Chamber director of member relations

    With a 20-year history, the Nashville Chamber’s Area Advisory Councils have a rich past and a bright future. With the initial launch of Chamber South in 1994, we’ve since added councils for other specific geographical areas, most recently Chamber Midtown last month. Amid Nashville’s constant growth, the councils’ goal of involving Chamber members with area-specific issues at a grassroots level hasn’t swayed.

    Since their formation, the Area Advisory Councils have worked on many projects, such as economic redevelopment, area beautification, college-to-career fairs and more. Here’s what each council is working on now:

    Chamber East
    Following record attendance at its April Chamber East Monthly Networking Coffee, Chamber East is hosting a series of meeting with business owners for input on branding business districts in East Nashville, including Eastland Avenue – Porter Road corridor, West Cleveland & McFerrin intersection, and Fatherland & South 17th Street. You can help us make history by joining us at our future networking coffees.

    Chamber North

    Chamber North is partnering with John Early Museum Magnet Middle School on their G.E.A.R. Up grant, preparing middle schoolers for college and career readiness. Join us for the Chamber North Quarterly ...
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    Category: General
  • Member Spotlight - Linda's Hope

    by Lindsay Chambers | Apr 09, 2014
    Q: How did your company get started?
    A: In 2009, I moved to Nashville after the death of my mother, Linda, to pancreatic cancer. I tried to get involved in a local pancreatic cancer cause, and there wasn't one at the time. Immediately, I knew I had to change that. People who have been affected by this disease need support, and that's why I created Linda's Hope.

    Q: What has been your biggest challenge?
    A: The biggest challenge has been getting larger corporate sponsorship. Since we are local and small, a lot of companies would prefer the larger-name charities. Although we are small, pancreatic cancer is a cause that deserves more attention. It has a 6 percent survival rate after five years of diagnosis.

    Q: What is unique to your service?

    A: We are a grassroots nonprofit that keeps things local. We have partnered with Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center for patient support through The Caring Hearts Fund and for pancreatic cancer research. We have completed an endowment of $100,000 towards pancreatic cancer research and have committed to another $50,000 towards that endowment. Additionally, our biggest goal in the next year is to complete a $50,000 Discovery Grant at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, ...
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    Category: General
  • A Case for Bringing Your Own Device to the Workplace

    by Lindsay Chambers | Apr 01, 2014
    Guest post by Bob Deckard, vice president, Comcast Business

    Mobile technology first made its appearance in the business world through the use of company-provided laptops and cell phones, which were solely intended for professional purposes. Although maintenance of these devices was cumbersome and expensive, it gave IT departments complete control over which devices could access the company network. Now, with technology research firm IDC stating there are more than 200 million smartphones in North America, mobile technology has grown considerably among consumers and has led the way for the BYOD, or “bring-your-own-device,” trend in the workplace. In fact, based on a global survey of CIOs, research firm Gartner predicts that 38 percent of companies will completely stop providing devices to employees by 2017.

    This has benefited employees in many ways, but its main success has been for businesses. Allowing employees to use their own devices and apps helps businesses reduce capital expenditures for hardware and software, lowers training costs, and increases employee productivity. As a result, businesses have embraced the BYOD trend as a win-win situation for both employees and the business itself. Nevertheless, companies have realized that with these great benefits come risks, and they’ve had to evaluate the ...
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    Category: General
  • Women's Final Four to Spotlight Nashville

    by Lindsay Chambers | Mar 28, 2014
    In April, Nashville will welcome thousands of college basketball fans for the NCAA Women’s Final Four, one of America’s most prestigious women’s championship sporting events. Our city was awarded this opportunity because community leaders understand the importance of such an event and have been working toward this goal since 2008.

    For five event-filled, energy-packed days, the NCAA Women’s Final Four will come to Nashville and the Bridgestone Arena April 4-8.

    This high-profile sporting event will strengthen what we already love about Nashville – education outreach, economic vitality and a city to brag about.

    Through the Chamber’s support of the tournament, Metro Schools students will be involved in some of the tournament activities. The community can join in, too, in the many free events surrounding the games. Additionally, the Nashville Sports Council needs more than 1,000 volunteers to make the event a success. Click here to volunteer.

    Not only will you feel the love, so will our economy. While you already know of all the great restaurants, nightlife and hotels we have to offer, thousands of tourists are packing their bags to experience it all. Their tourism dollars will add a burst of economic vitality for our city.

    Not only will ...
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    Category: General
  • Move Your Market with TNTrade

    by Blewett McInteer | Mar 27, 2014
    Yesterday’s International Business Council meeting focused on the importance of Tennessee small to mid-sized companies boosting exports through TNTrade, an export initiative of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

    Commissioner Bill Hagerty spoke on the advantages of exporting from Tennessee and Nashville, citing its logistical strengths, such as air and cargo, rail and water and the interstate system. Josh Helton, assistant commissioner for the state of Tennessee, discussed the two components of exporting: education and services.

    Both of these components can be learned from TNTrade, which promotes education and services to business owners to increase their exports and sales to foreign markets. With free resources, such as access to Nashville-based export development representatives as well as state trade representatives with offices in overseas markets, you can gain the tools to expand your market in:
    • China
    • the European Union (based in Germany)
    • Mexico
    • the United Kingdom
    Swiftwick co-founder and CEO Mark Cleveland, who also spoke at the meeting, used Tennessee Trade to propel his Brentwood-based sock business internationally.

    To learn more about TNTrade, click here.

    For more details on the free classes TNTrade offers, such as Export 101 Academy, watch the video below.

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  • Member Spotlight - Monroe Harding

    by Lindsay Chambers | Mar 25, 2014
    Mark Pilkington, community relations coordinator

    Q: Monroe Harding was founded in 1893 in Nashville and has since helped more than 16,000 youth in the state’s custody in areas of education, relationship building, and health and wellness. What is one of the new programs or initiatives that you are most proud of?
    A: We have had the privilege and honor of being in Middle Tennessee for more than 120 years. Our programs have changed and evolved throughout the years but our mission to do for kids in foster care what a family would do remains the same. Most recently we shifted our model of care to be trauma and resiliency focused. A key tenet of our culture shift has been training all Monroe Harding staff (from the support services staff to the CEO) to understand the impact of past adverse experiences on youth development. We are moving toward a more cohesive and trauma-informed approach across the agency.

    Q: What are your goals for the next five years?
    Within the next five years, we want to be able to continue to provide a continuum of care for kids in foster care from birth through age 26. In addition, we are analyzing our ...
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    Category: General