Nashville Chamber Blog RSS feed

Sign up for our Monday Morning Report e-newsletter to receive a weekly email digest of Nashville Chamber blog posts.

  • 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 ...
    Go comment!
    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 ...
    Go comment!
    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 ...
    Go comment!
  • 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, ...
    Go comment!
    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 ...
    Go comment!
    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 ...
    Go comment!
  • 2014 Legislative Scorecard Details Chamber's Advocacy Efforts

    by Adam Lister | Jul 10, 2014
    The Nashville Area Chamber is proud to release our third annual Legislative Scorecard, which reports how elected officials in the Nashville region supported the needs and priorities of the business community. A printed copy of the scorecard will be mailed to each member company this week.

    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 2014 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 2014 legislative session was another good one for business in Tennessee. This year, the legislature took action supporting 83 percent of the Chamber’s agenda items. Key priorities in the second year of the 108th General Assembly included preserving the continued implementation of Tennessee’s Common Core State Standards, more equitable employer experience ratings for unemployment taxes, automatically closing failing charter schools, ...
    Go comment!
    Category: Policy
  • We Need Your Input To Help Nashville Grow

    by Janet Miller | Jul 08, 2014

    Without a doubt, it's an exciting time to live in Nashville. Our city is making headlines around the country as one of the strongest economies and one of the best cities for job growth. We're attracting new residents and businesses to Middle Tennessee, and we have many reasons to believe our future is bright.

    Middle Tennessee’s regional economic development initiative, Partnership 2020, is working to manage this growth and help our region remain competitive. As we work with our regional partners to develop a new five-year Partnership 2020 strategy, we need your input to ensure that we fully understand the region’s most pressing challenges and its most exciting opportunities.

    We have launched a brief online survey that is open to all current and former Middle Tennessee residents. Our goal is to shatter the record for a community’s response to this type of survey, and we need your help! After you take the survey, please share the link with your coworkers, friends and family.

    Please visit to complete our survey by Friday, July 25. Thank you for being part of our success!


    Go comment!
  • Chamber Communications Efforts Garner National Recognition

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jul 08, 2014
    This week, we were excited to learn that three of our communications pieces have received awards from American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), a national organization for chambers.

    ACCE's annual Awards for Communication Excellence recognize efforts in four categories: advertising, campaigns, electronic and publications. Each category is divided into two size classes: chambers with budgets exceeding $1 million and those with budgets below that amount.

    A judging panel of chamber professionals evaluated each of the 163 entries in this year's competition. The WorkIT Nashville technology recruitment campaign, led by the Chamber and our community partners, was recognized with a Grand Award in the campaigns category. Additionally, our 2013 Music Industry Study received a Grand Award in the publications category. Finally, the "Your Chamber Investment" membership benefits booklet received an Award of Excellence.

    These three award-winning communications pieces are just a small representation of our ongoing efforts to promote the Chamber's mission by providing relevant content and original research.

    We will receive our awards, along with recognition among our chamber peers, at ACCE's Centennial Convention in Cincinnati next month.
    Go comment!
    Category: General
  • How to Build a Wellness Culture That Works

    by Lindsay Chambers | Jul 07, 2014
    bcbstguestpostGuest post by Kasie Plekkenpol, director of health management product strategy, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

    It doesn’t matter if you have five or 5,000 employees; you can create a culture of wellness that increases job satisfaction and productivity.

    That may seem daunting, especially to smaller companies. After all, you’ve got a budget and business goals to worry about. But think about this: 66 percent of companies with successful wellness programs reported outperforming their top competitors, according to a Towers Watson study.

    We’ve certainly seen the link between well-being and productivity at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Take a walk around Cameron Hill and you’ll see employees who are focused and hard at work serving our 3 million members. Or you could see others managing stress by working out in the gym or taking a walk outside. The two go hand in hand.

    Over the last few years, we’ve held our claims costs to less than 1 percent annual growth rate while we’ve simultaneously boosted employee engagement. Our employees have become passionate advocates for the wellness program that is helping them lose weight, lower their blood pressure and cholesterol, and manage chronic conditions like diabetes.

    And before you say, “easy for you,” ...

    Go comment!
    Category: General