Lindsay Chambers' Blog

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  • Complete College Scholarship Winner Rises to the Challenge

    by Lindsay Chambers | May 25, 2016

    Courtesy of WGU Tennessee

    Miranda Goolsby was passed over for a job because she lacked the required educational qualifications. She wanted to change that, so she decided to return to school to pursue a master's degree in management and leadership from WGU Tennessee. Thanks to a scholarship program launched last year in conjunction with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, she’s on her way.

    Goolsby was named a 2015 recipient of the Complete College Scholarship, a WGU Tennessee scholarship program launched in conjunction with the Nashville Area Chamber to boost workforce development in Middle Tennessee. The program’s goal is to provide up $300,000 in scholarships to 100 new students who work for any of the 2,200 member businesses of the Nashville Chamber. She and the other recipients will each receive up to $3,000 in tuition funding for up to five six-month terms. (WGU Tennessee has just reopened this scholarship for 2016, and new or prospective students interested in applying can do so here.)

    After receiving an associate degree from Nashville State Community College in social services and social work, Goolsby started working as a roving cashier for Metro Nashville Public Schools. The Nashville native then earned a bachelor of ...

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    Category: Workforce
  • Member Spotlight - The Hermitage

    by Lindsay Chambers | May 09, 2016

    Howard J. Kittell, president & CEO, Andrew Jackson Foundation

    Q: What's your biggest goal for the Hermitage in the next year?
    A: My simplest and most direct answer is to meet or exceed our revenue goals for the coming year. However, my goal implies significantly more than money. Achieving our revenue goal will enable us to realize our mission-based goals outlined in our aspirational strategic plan. Importantly, the coming year is the 250th anniversary of Andrew Jackson’s birth. We are planning a series of programs and events to help the public better understand the impact Jackson had on the history of the United States, and raise national awareness of The Hermitage as a leading presidential museum.
     
    Q: What's the best advice you ever received?
    A: Actually, there are two pieces of advice that I regularly turn to:
    1. “Listen to your stomach, not your head.” Now, from time to time, my head needs to provide my stomach with background research, but my instincts tend to be spot-on.
    2. When starting a new initiative, you need to have the patience to allow for a “messy phase.”  I have a tendency to want things in neat boxes right away. However, letting things ebb ...
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    Category: General
  • ScaleUp Nashville Announces Second Cohort & Application Deadline for Third Cohort

    by Lindsay Chambers | May 09, 2016

    The Chamber is excited to announce that 18 local small businesses have been tapped to participate in the second cohort of ScaleUp Nashville, a competitive, 12-week business accelerator program funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

    As part of the training, participants work with a certified public accountant to complete a financial analysis of their businesses, meet with area-specific focus groups, and work with a mentor. Each business owner who completes the program will receive coaching focused on his or her particular area of need, such as developing a strategy for accessing capital or undergoing market research.

    Could your business benefit from this intensive training? We're accepting applications for the third cohort of ScaleUp Nashville Friday, May 20, through Friday, June 24. Visit scaleupnashville.com for an application and program details. Your company does not need to be a current Chamber member to apply; outreach will focus on bolstering underserved communities.

    Congratulations to the participants in ScaleUp Nashville's second cohort:

    Actual Food Nashville is a catering company and an eclectic event space. Owner/chef Daniel Forberg is dedicated to demonstrating freshness, quality of origin, high production standards, sustainability and flavor.

    Atlas Motorworks is a custom motorcycle shop and community garage focused ...

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  • Big Talk from Small Businesses for National Small Business Week

    by Lindsay Chambers | May 02, 2016
    Small businesses are the foundation of Nashville’s economy and the backbone of Chamber membership. Approximately 75 percent of Chamber-member businesses have 50 or fewer employees.

    May 1-7 is National Small Business Week, so there's no better time to recognize the unique small businesses in our membership. We reached out to a few of our small business members to ask them for their best tips and advice for fellow small business owners.  

    "Be good to your customers, and they'll be good to you!"
    Amber Greer, Kernels Gourmet Popcorn

    "Live your brand! It shows that you and your team are passionate about what you do. People want to be around, support and buy from people that carry that brand passion everywhere. For me, my license plate says 'MAC MAN' and I introduce myself as 'Dan the Mac Man' regularly."
    Dan "the Mac Man" Stephenson, Dan's Gourmet Mac & Cheese

    "Invest and elevate the people around you to be the best version of themselves. Great businesses are not built around lackluster talent and individualism."
    Ryan Carter, Parachute Media

    "As most businesses know, happy employees lead to happy clients. What we sometimes forget, however, is that it takes a special person to want ...
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    Category: General
  • Member Spotlight - C615

    by Lindsay Chambers | Apr 27, 2016
    Christian Paro, owner, C615

    Q: What's the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
    A: The people. I moved here from New York City 11 years ago and found it so easy to work with other businesses in the Middle Tennessee region. I felt the propensity for honesty and integrity immediately.

    Q: How do you define success?
    A: Between our members at Center 615, our clients at Studio 615, my residential tenants and my five staff members, I feel successful because I feel I’m supporting the growth and expansion of the middle class and making those around me stronger.

    Q: How has Chamber membership benefited your company?
    A: The Chamber has done what they can to increase awareness and exposure of our projects. Some parts of East Nashville are still considered by many to be a no man’s land, and the Chamber, especially the Chamber East Area Advisory Council, has helped combat that.

    Q: How would you describe your leadership style?
    A: Lead by example. I’m not afraid to do any job at my company, from unclogging a toilet to meeting with the mayor.


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    Category: General
  • Member Spotlight - Belle

    by Lindsay Chambers | Apr 20, 2016

    Q: Who is Belle, and what should people know about your services?
    A: Belle brings beauty and wellness services to our clients, hassle-free. Massage, hair, nails, makeup, skin care, fashion and fitness wherever they are, including their homes, offices and hotels. You name it. We’re there. All payments are digital and include tip, so every experience is simple and convenient.

    We are particularly excited about the recent launch of our corporate wellness offering, which allows businesses to bring a tailored menu of services directly to their employees, including massages, yoga, haircuts and more. It’s a powerful way to make employees feel appreciated while reducing stress.


    Q: How do you define success?

    A: Success is feeling fulfilled by what you do, every day. At Belle, we're passionate about building and furthering the success of professionals through self-employment and self-esteem. It's an incredible feeling to support others as they build and grow their businesses.

    Q: What's your biggest goal for your company in the next year?
    A: Our primary goal is to continue growing and sharing the joy of Belle’s services with our clients, while empowering local beauty and health professionals and becoming a larger part of the Nashville community.

    Q: What ...

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    Category: General
  • Member Spotlight - Baby + Company

    by Lindsay Chambers | Apr 14, 2016

    Q: What's the best thing about doing business in Middle Tennessee?
    A: Middle Tennessee is home to a vibrant health care industry, and offers residents a myriad of options for their health care needs, which is fantastic for providers, facilities and residents! Because of our fantastic medical schools, there is a strong focus on advances and evidence-based care. Additionally, due to Vanderbilt School of Midwifery’s excellent reputation and popularity, Nashville was perfectly poised for a birth center. Nashville moms and families like options, and we are honored to be a new option for maternity care and birth in the area. 

    Q: What's your biggest goal for your company in the next year?
    A: To have as many babies and serve as many families as possible! We have had more than 70 births at the center in the past eight months, and look forward to continued growth! With the vibrant growth in the Nashville region, Baby+Company feels at home and at the best place at the right time, fulfilling unique needs from personalized clinical care, labor and birth, education and wellness, to care products for parents and newborns. Our goal is to continue to create an unforgettable experience.

    Q: What ...

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  • Member Spotlight - c3/consulting

    by Lindsay Chambers | Mar 22, 2016
    Q: c3/consulting recently announced a headquarters move. What’s most exciting about your new facility?
    A: We are excited to expand our office for several reasons. The new office will enable us to have space for our growing consulting team, while also expanding our collaborative place for our current and new clients (in and outside of Nashville) to meet to align their teams, plan for the future, creatively solve problems, and drive complex change. This collaboration center, called the engine, is a creative space for teams to gather, dream, plan and grow. Located just south of downtown Nashville, the engine is a convenient facility for area businesses and community organizations. Our collaboration center is designed to accommodate groups from 10 to 100+ (the new space will accommodate 200+) in a professional, comfortable environment and is specifically configured for group decision-making. The space is equipped for strategic planning sessions, training, board meetings, creative problem-solving, ideation sessions and team receptions. There’s no other space like it in Nashville!

    Q: Describe a recent challenge and how you addressed it.

    A: We are always looking for the very best to join our team! As a result of our growth, we needed to redesign our recruiting ...
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    Category: General
  • Culture, Tapas and Barbary Macaques - Take the Trip of a Lifetime to Spain

    by Lindsay Chambers | Mar 17, 2016
    New for 2016, the Chamber has added group travel to our program offerings. Lori Odom, the Chamber's director of international business, answers questions about this year's trip and why group travel is a great way to make vacation memories.

    Q: The Chamber is partnering with Central Holidays this November to offer group travel to Spain's Costa del Sol. What are some advantages of group travel?
    A: We are very excited to offer members and future members the opportunity to experience a high-quality, affordably priced foreign excursion. Group travel is an easy, cost-effective way to see the world. All the details are taken care of for you. Just register, pay and show up! Flights, hotel transfers, tours and most of your meals are included. The trip is a great balance of planned activities and time to explore on your own. If you’ve always wanted to travel internationally, but were reluctant to take the leap, group travel can help you meet people with similar interests and create new friendships.

    Q: The geography of the Costa del Sol combines beaches and mountains, and the area is also known for its rich cultural heritage. What are some of the highlights of the trip's itinerary?...

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    Category: General
  • ScaleUp Nashville Announces Application Deadline

    by Lindsay Chambers | Mar 09, 2016

    The application window for the second cohort of the ScaleUp Nashville program will close on March 15. ScaleUp Nashville is a 12-week course of business training for entrepreneurs and small business owners seeking to develop a viable growth strategy. The program is funded through a contract with the U.S. Small Business Administration and is administered by the Nashville Area Chamber’s Business Studio initiative.

    Qualified candidates will: 

    • Own an established small business (or be self-employed) 
    • Have been in business at least two years
    • Be positioned to grow
    • Have annual revenues generally between $150,000 and $700,000
    • Make a serious commitment to the program over the next six months, and continue to be involved through participation, feedback and leadership for the following three years

    Selected participants, who are fully funded by the SBA, will take classes at Refinery Nashville, based on a proven curriculum developed by the Chamber and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center. Participants will also work with a CPA from Pathway Women's Business Center to complete a financial analysis of their businesses, meet with area-specific focus groups, and be connected with a mentor.

    Additionally, each business owner selected for ScaleUp Nashville will develop a plan for strategic growth and receive coaching focused ...

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