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  • 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
  • Middle Tennessee Chambers Support Tennessee Promise

    by Adam Lister | Mar 19, 2014
    How to help Tennessee become the first state in the country to offer free community college

    An educated workforce keeps Tennessee’s economy strong. By improving postsecondary education, employers ensure access to a highly educated and skilled workforce, and our region’s long-term economic vitality is positively impacted.

    That’s why the Nashville Area, Rutherford County, Robertson County and Hendersonville Area Chambers of Commerce support Gov. Haslam’s Tennessee Promise (SB 2471/HB 2491).

    The program, which passed in the Senate Education Committee today, would increase higher education completion and promote affordability across community colleges and two-year and four-year schools.

    If enacted, it would also make Tennessee the first state in the country to offer free community college to nearly every high school graduate. Currently, 41 percent of Tennessee high school graduates do not go on to postsecondary education.

    Tennessee Promise, sponsored by Sen. Mark Norris and Rep. Gerald McCormick, would decrease that number by providing funding for graduating Tennessee high school students to attend state community colleges or colleges of applied technology for free by covering the remaining balance of tuition after all other grants and scholarships are received. To learn more about Tennessee Promise and its funding, click here.

    By providing ...
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    Category: Legislative Issues
  • Nashville Area Chamber Statement on SB1266

    by Marc Hill | Mar 13, 2014
    Today, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted to adopt two amendments which delay further implementation of Tennessee’s Common Core State Standards and the corresponding PARCC assessment for two years. The amendments were added to an unrelated bill regarding the teaching of American history that had already passed the Tennessee Senate. SB1266, amended by the House, now goes back to the Senate for a decision on whether to agree to the House amendments. The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce urges its members to contact members of the Senate and ask them to “nonconcur,” or vote against, the House changes to the bill.


    Statement from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce:

    “Our businesses are doing their part to create jobs in Tennessee, but today many of our legislators took actions that will make it difficult, if not impossible, for our graduates to be prepared for those new jobs. Today’s vote on Common Core State Standards puts our recent progress in education at risk. We are asking members of the Senate to protect Tennessee’s recent academic gains and reject this reckless attempt to hijack unrelated legislation."

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    Category: Education
  • Haslam Says Economic Development, Education Are Priorities for Tennessee

    by Adam Lister | Mar 11, 2014
    This morning, the Chamber hosted our annual Governor's Address with Gov. Bill Haslam. Since many of Haslam's priorities as governor -- such as economic development and education -- mirror the Chamber's priorities, the governor's presentation is a good opportunity for our members to hear how our state is making progress.

    Managing a $31.5 billion budget, the Haslam administration is working to preserve Tennessee's fiscal integrity, and over the past three years, has doubled the state's rainy-day fund. Tennessee also has the lowest debt per capita of any state.

    Economic development is one of the governor's highest priorities. In January, Business Facilities magazine named Tennessee the 2013 “State of the Year” after evaluating the top five projects for the number of jobs created and amount of capital invested from October 1, 2012 through October 31, 2013. Tennessee’s top five economic development projects created a total of 6,900 jobs and $3.2 billion in capital investment, and included seven expansions and three new recruitments.

    Education is closely related to economic development because well-educated citizens are the backbone of a quality workforce. The governor's Drive to 55 initiative aims to increase the number of Tennesseans with a college degree or certificate to 55 percent ...
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    Category: Legislative Issues