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  • Back-to-School Is the Perfect Time to Get Involved

    by Whitney Weeks | Aug 01, 2014
    Next Wednesday, Aug. 6, marks the first day of school for Metro Nashville Public Schools students. For my household, the beginning of the school year means new notebooks, sharpened pencils, and graphing calculators. For students enrolled in the Academies of Nashville, it means career-focused field trips, college tours and ACT words-of-the-day. Whatever their age or grade, next week marks a new opportunity for all students to excel. This time of year is equally important, though, for those of us long past our primary and secondary education days. A successful public school system plays a vital role in our community, and it behooves us all to ensure students do well.

    Strong engagement from the business community is critical to the growth and improvement of our public schools. There are many ways businesses – large and small – can connect in a meaningful way. From providing school or classroom supplies to making it easy for staff to serve as volunteer mentors or tutors, hundreds of businesses in our community support MNPS every day. The Omni Hotel conducts a hotel-wide back to school supply drive. LP Building Products and Griffin Technology are just two of the Nashville companies that host summer externships for ...
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    Category: Education
  • Join the Transportation Conversation

    by Rita McDonald | Jul 24, 2014
    As Nashville grows, it's more important than ever that we, as a community, develop long-term solutions that help residents, workers and visitors access our city. The Chamber has made transit and mobility one of our top priorities because we know it is crucial to our region's continued prosperity.

    We encourage you to attend the NashvilleNext Community Conversation about transportation on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 4-6 p.m., at Municipal Auditorium, 417 Fourth Ave. N. The special guest speaker will be Gabe Klein of the Urban Land Institute, who has served as transportation chief for Chicago and Washington, D.C.

    The Nashville Area Chamber is a member of the NashvilleNext steering committee, a group leading a strategic planning process that will guide our city's growth through 2040. As city planners frame policies that will guide our growth for the next 25 years, it's essential for them to hear from local leaders like you. Please plan to participate in this meeting. You can RSVP for the event here, and explore different options to arrive at the event here.

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    Category: Transit
  • Member Spotlight - knapptimecreative

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jul 24, 2014
    Steven Knapp, knapptime creative

    Q: What is unique about your company or product/service?
    A: knapptimecreative’s main service is providing quick-turn multimedia storytelling for brands and businesses during events for use on social media. Our talent is going to your event, finding the stories that align with your brand, and presenting them to the world in a timely fashion, with a film-quality feel. While many businesses are content to let an intern post content with an iPhone, we take your branded social media content to the next level in terms of creativity, production value and speed. We’ve had great success with this model for some national brands like Roper Apparel, Stetson and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

    Q: How has Chamber membership benefited your company?
    A: knapptimecreative recently completed a 30-minute documentary about the Nashville in Harmony LGBT chorus; we are very thankful to have the Chamber’s support to help promote the screening Thursday, July 31, at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. More details are available here.

    Q: What has been the most valuable aspect of your Chamber membership?
    A: The Chamber has demonstrated their value by making some invaluable introductions. As a freelance visual artist, those personal relationships are key. Being ...
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    Category: General
  • Entrepreneurial Spotlight: Clint Smith

    by Stephanie Coleman | Jul 24, 2014
    With the application deadline approaching for the 2014 NEXT Awards, we asked Clint Smith, co-founder and CEO of Emma, to provide a glimpse into his company’s growth trajectory and share his insights on the importance of Nashville’s entrepreneurial environment. Clint won the NEXT Digital Media & Entertainment Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2011.

    Q: How has Emma grown since you started the company?
    A: When we started, there were just two of us working out of someone else's office in a pair of cubicles for which we'd bartered website design work. By the end of this year, we will likely have around 150 people on staff. So in sheer people terms, it's a much different place than it was years ago, and the team today is able to do so much more than we could as a small startup. And nowadays it seems like each person who joins Emma is even more impressive than the last one (just don't tell the last one!), so to think that we're growing in talent as we're growing in size is very exciting.

    Q: What has surprised you the most about starting and running your own company?
    A: Just how often things basically ...
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    Category: General
  • Who's Defining Nashville's Future?

    by Rebecca Leslie | Jul 22, 2014
    Guest post by Alex Hughes, manager of talent retention, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

    Young professionals are a critical component of our workforce, and also contribute greatly to our region's reputation as one of the best places in the country to live and work.

    Next Thursday, we will celebrate the accomplishments of 75 of Nashville's most outstanding young professionals at the eighth annual Nashville Emerging Leader Awards (NELAs).

    The NELAs began in 2006 and have since become one of the Chamber's signature annual programs, having recognized nearly 600 young professionals as finalists and award recipients in 15 industry categories. Our volunteer judging panels evaluate each applicant based on professional achievement, demonstrated leadership and community impact. This year's finalists were selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants. They range in age from 22 to 40, and they represent 10 counties in the Nashville MSA. They have not only achieved a high level of career success in 15 diverse industries, but they have also been active in volunteer roles throughout our region, supporting and leading more than 250 Middle Tennessee nonprofits.

    Each year during the NELAs, we also present the Impact Award, recognizing an individual who has mentored local young ...
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    Category: Workforce
  • SuccessPAC Endorses Candidates for the Metropolitan Board of Public Education

    by Marc Hill | Jul 21, 2014
    SuccessPAC, the political action committee created by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce for school board elections, has announced its support for four Metro school board candidates in the Aug. 7 election.

    As previously discussed on this blog, this year's school board elections are a pivotal moment for the future of Metro Nashville Public Schools. Because Director of Schools Dr. Jesse Register's contract expires June 30, 2015, chances are good that the school board convening after this August’s election will be responsible for selecting Dr. Register's replacement.

    Due to its status as a nonprofit membership organization, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce does not endorse candidates for political office. As a political action committee, SuccessPAC helps identify highly qualified candidates for the Metropolitan Board of Public Education. To determine its endorsements for this year, the SuccessPAC board conducted its most extensive vetting process to date. Board members interviewed all candidates who qualified for the ballot across the four districts up for election. In addition, all candidates completed a SuccessPAC questionnaire.

    The committee announced its endorsements following the four candidate forums sponsored by the Chamber, the Metropolitan Nashville Education Association and the Urban League of Middle Tennessee.

    SuccessPAC-endorsed candidates are:
    District ...
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    Category: Education
  • Forbes Ranks Nashville Third for Creativity

    by Janet Miller | Jul 17, 2014
    From Jack White's recent chart-topping album Lazaretto to Tandy Wilson's next James Beard-Award-nominated dish, something authentic, fresh and new is created in Nashville every day.

    This week, issued a new study that ranks Nashville as the third most creative city in America. Are we surprised? Certainly not. Yet we always welcome recognition of that special something that truly sets Nashville apart from every other city in America.

    The methodology Forbes used in their research was completely different than any we have seen before. To determine the ranking, Forbes and Sperling's Best Places partnered to find cities where people are actively engrossed in and financing creative projects, including websites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Bandcamp and ReverbNation - measuring the number of projects or artists per site as compared to the local population.

    According to our 2013 music industry study, Nashville's world-famous music and entertainment industry has a $9.6 billion impact on our economy. Just as important as that economic impact is the energy all those creators bring to our region. Creative, young entrepreneurs move to Nashville to make their dreams come true, and those people are leaving their mark on the city in the form of new businesses, restaurants, shops ...
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  • Chamber Announces Two New Hires, Staff Promotion

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jul 15, 2014
    The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has announced new hires on its membership and economic development teams, as well as a staff promotion.


    Lauren Gregg has been named the organization's new member relations coordinator. In this role, she will provide customer service outreach to Chamber members, particularly those who have recently joined. Gregg comes to the Chamber from the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation, where she provided Nashville tourists with information about hotels, restaurants and attractions. She also served as a communications and media relations intern for Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Gregg holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.

    Neal-MacDonald Neil MacDonald has joined the Chamber's staff as the director of business recruitment. He will work closely with companies that are considering doing business in Middle Tennessee to help bring new jobs and investments into the region. He comes to the Chamber from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, where he held the positions of legislative liaison and business development specialist. MacDonald has a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville.

    Corey-Davis Corey Davis has accepted the position of director of business growth initiatives for the Chamber. In this role, ...
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    Category: General
  • Act Now on Federal Immigration Reform

    by Debby Dale Mason | Jul 11, 2014
    This week, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce joined business leaders in more than 60 congressional districts and 25 states in a national day of action for immigration reform. The national effort was spearheaded by a coalition of leading business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Partnership for a New American Economy and the American Farm Bureau Federation, with the goal of asking federal representatives to act now on comprehensive federal immigration reform.

    Our Chamber has been a proponent for immigration reform for many years, listing it as a key item on our board-adopted legislative agendas. At the July 9 press conference, Chamber President/CEO Ralph Schulz was joined by Greg Adkins, president/CEO of the Tennessee Hospitality & Tourism Association, and Yuri Cunza, president/CEO of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, in asking federal leaders to act. The Partnership for a New American Economy also shared results of an opinion survey conducted in Tennessee and 28 other states that showed a majority of people support immigration reform.

    Chamber research projects a gap of 22,000 workers in Middle Tennessee over the next decade. Immigration reform that supports a high-skilled worker visa program tied directly to areas of employer shortages can us ...
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    Category: Legislative Issues
  • Member Spotlight - The Joint

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jul 10, 2014
    Q: What is unique about The Joint’s approach to chiropractic care?
    A: The Joint makes chiropractic care convenient and affordable. We treat all patients on a walk-in basis, which allows each individual to stop in for a 10-minute office visit at the time that is best for them. We have convenient hours, open on weekdays until 7 p.m. and on Saturdays, so our patients can receive the care they need outside of a standard work schedule. Memberships and packages are also available to further reduce the cost of each adjustment, making chiropractic care affordable for everyone.

    Q: Why did The Joint decide to expand into the Nashville community?

    A: Nashville is an entrepreneurial hub with phenomenal growth prospects. Every industry seems to be thriving in Nashville right now, and we saw a need for our philosophy and model of chiropractic maintenance. The city is also filled with lots of forward-thinking professionals who recognize the value of ongoing, wellness care.

    Q: How has the Nashville Area Chamber been a resource to you during your expansion?

    A: The Nashville Chamber was an excellent resource during the planning of our ribbon cutting, from social media promotion to their presence at the event. More ...
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