Lindsay Chambers' Blog

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  • Member Spotlight - Sprint

    by Lindsay Chambers | Oct 29, 2014

    Q: What's the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
    A: This area has a strong economy and very positive business environment which is attractive to new businesses, and an influx of talent, especially bold entrepreneurs. That is reflected in the broad range of interesting and diverse businesses you see here, most with their own unique niches but growing and trying something new. There is also a real ethic among businesspeople in Middle Tennessee toward doing the right thing for customers and peers. That really fosters strong loyalty among the customers, who appreciate that the businesses are loyal to them in return.

    Q: What's your best piece of advice for business owners?

    A: Keep learning. Have an open mind when you talk to your customers, fellow business owners and peers in the community; anyone can offer you new ideas and inspiration. Innovation is the only way to improve on operating your business more effectively and profitability. When it comes to technology, the greatest gains in revenue will come from how you use your information. The faster you can access information in real time, the greater impact you’re going to have on generating top-line revenue. The more analytics you can ...

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    Category: General
  • Chinese Television Spotlights Nashville's Growth

    by Lindsay Chambers | Oct 14, 2014
    Nashville Area Chamber President and CEO Ralph Schulz was one of several Nashvillians interviewed this week for a segment to be broadcast on CCTV-America, the American division of the English-language news channel run by China Central Television.

    CCTV is profiling Nashville, along with Chicago, St. Louis and Louisville, in advance of the November elections. In his conversation with Schulz, Sean Calebs, Washington correspondent for CCTV-America, focused on Nashville’s economic vibrancy and remarkable growth relative to similarly sized cities.

    “I think the essential secret is that we’ve got a lot of creative people in Nashville,” Schulz said. “A quarter of the businesses here are entrepreneurial in nature; the music community brings a lot of creative people here, [and] they’re all ‘idea makers;’ that’s part of the reason we’re so hot.”

    The CCTV crew spent several days in Nashville, interviewing a broad cross-section of music industry and business leaders, including local guitar dealer George Gruhn and banjo artist Abigail Washburn. An air date for the story will be announced once the crew returns to Washington and completes final edits.

    Chamber President & CEO Ralph Schulz discusses Nashville's economy with Sean Calebs, Washington correspondent for CCTV-America, the American division of a Chinese English-language ...
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    Category: General
  • Member Spotlight - Blackstone Restaurant & Brewery

    by Lindsay Chambers | Oct 13, 2014
    Q: What is unique about Blackstone Restaurant & Brewery?
    A: Blackstone Restaurant & Brewery opened in 1994 as a new concept full-service restaurant in Nashville, on the cusp of the emerging craft beer revolution. It was the first craft brewery in Tennessee, and is now the most award-winning. As a Nashville original, it has been family-owned and -operated for nearly 20 years, and we recently expanded into distribution of our beer throughout Tennessee. With more than 300 seats and ample free parking, Blackstone Restaurant is well-suited to large parties and corporate events in an intimate setting. Throw in brewery tours and “beer school,” and it’s one of a kind. Open for lunch, dinner and late night, seven days a week.

    Q: What's the best advice you ever received?
    A: Never go into the restaurant business!

    Q: What motivates you most about running your own business?
    A: Blackstone employs almost 100 full- and part-time employees, and we serve upwards of 4,000 guests a week. This is an awesome responsibility. When our founding business partner, Stephanie Weins, passed away earlier this year, we had a difficult choice to make. Our “silent” financial partner (and younger brother) moved to Nashville to manage the ...
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    Category: General
  • Member Spotlight - RCG

    by Lindsay Chambers | Oct 06, 2014

    Q: RCG has been in business for a decade. How has your company changed in the past 10 years?
    A: For one, our company has grown significantly since its inception. Our founder and CEO, Melinda Curran, started RCG in 2004 as a solo venture with only one client. Now, we have more than 400 clients and a full-time staff of 15 employees. (And yes, that one original client is still a client today.)

    But aside from the obvious, we’ve also had to adjust to changes in our clients’ needs and in the telecom industry in general over the past decade – technology rarely stays in one place for long. For example, as smartphones and tablets began to emerge into the mainstream, we began to notice that wireless solutions were demanding the same level of services that we had long provided for wireline. Because of that, we acquired NationLink Wireless in 2011 and can now offer custom voice, data and wireless solutions from multiple carriers for any kind of business.

    What’s the biggest goal for your company in the next year?

    A: We want to keep the momentum of this past decade moving forward, so we’re aiming for more growth ...

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    Category: General
  • Nashville Launches Office of New Americans

    by Lindsay Chambers | Oct 02, 2014

    On Oct. 2, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ralph Schulz participated in the inaugural panel discussion of Mayor Karl Dean’s newly created Office of New Americans. Only 14 cities nationally have created offices to address issues facing immigrants, and Nashville is the first city in the Southeast U.S. to take that step.

    The public panel, moderated by Tennessean columnist Frank Daniels, also included former U.S. Office of Civil Rights Commissioner Francis Guess; Renata Soto, executive director, Conexion Americas; Stephanie Teatro, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition; Mohamed-Shukri Hassan, member of the Mayor’s New Americans Advisory Council; and Shanna Hughey, appointed by Mayor Dean as director of the Office of New Americans.

    Several of the speakers praised the Chamber for its leading role in stopping the English-Only ballot measure during a referendum in 2009. Schulz pointed out that statistically, Nashville’s immigrant population has a higher rate of starting new businesses than the population as a whole. “New residents are creating jobs,” he said. “They’re an important part of our community.”

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  • Celebrating Nashville's 'Red-Hot' Year

    by Lindsay Chambers | Oct 01, 2014

    Nashville is on a roll, and our momentum is helping us create new jobs, grow our regional economy, and increase our reputation as one of the most dynamic cities in the country.

     From July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014, the Nashville region experienced tremendous economic success, with 121 announced relocations and expansions adding 19,525 new jobs, for a total of $2.5 billion in capital investment. In terms of job creation, the 2013-2014 fiscal year was the most successful in the history of our Partnership 2020 economic development initiative.

    In June, Nashville was named one of the best U.S. cities for job growth and one of the strongest economies in the nation. And in March, TIME magazine published a feature article naming Nashville the South’s “red-hot town” that has emerged from the Great Recession to achieve new heights of success.

    At our Annual Meeting on Oct. 1, we had the opportunity to share these successes with more than 500 Chamber members. We also heard from keynote speaker Jon Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of the TIME magazine feature about Nashville. Referring to the past few years as a "golden hour" for Nashville, Meacham said that our regional ...
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    Category: General
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning Author to Keynote Chamber & P2020 Annual Meeting

    by Lindsay Chambers | Sep 26, 2014
    jmeachamWe are proud to welcome bestselling author Jon Meacham as our keynote speaker for this year's Chamber and Partnership 2020 Annual Meeting, Wednesday, Oct. 1, at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for American Lion, his 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson. Executive editor and executive vice president of Random House, Meacham is also a contributing editor to TIME magazine. He and his family moved to Nashville from New York in 2012, and in March of this year, Meacham wrote an article for TIME titled "The South's Red-Hot Town," spotlighting Nashville's emergence from the Great Recession into new heights of economic prosperity. The article praises Nashville for its strong employment growth, low cost of living and thriving cultural scene.

    Please join us for a celebration of the accomplishments of the past year. Your support helps us fulfill our mission of creating prosperity throughout Middle Tennessee, and we want to share our successes with you. To register, click here.

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    Category: General
  • Member Spotlight - Sweet Southern Spirit

    by Lindsay Chambers | Sep 22, 2014
    Q: What's the best advice you ever received?
    A: The best advice I have ever received was grow your business slowly and do not overextend. Watch your cash flow statements.

    Q: What's your biggest goal for your company in the next year?

    A: Our biggest goal this year is to open a retail location in downtown Nashville. Although we have two retail locations and deliver into downtown Nashville each day, we want that presence in downtown.

    Q: What's the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
    A: The best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee is the customer base. Customers are easy to work with, and there are several larger cities in Middle Tennessee in close proximity, which makes covering a large territory more effective.

    Q: How do you define success?
    A: I define success as being able to work in a field that makes you happy and satisfies your personal and financial needs.

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    Category: General
  • 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
  • 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