Janet Miller's Blog

RSS feed

  • New TVA Platinum Designation Shows Nashville Leads the Way in Sustainability

    by Janet Miller | Dec 02, 2013
    sustainableMayor Karl Dean announced today that Nashville has earned a platinum rating in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s new Valley Sustainable Communities program.

    Nashville recently completed the program, which is sponsored by TVA and developed and administered by consultant Boyette Strategic Advisors (BSA). The platinum designation recognizes that our community has made a significant, comprehensive commitment to sustainability, and also has thoroughly integrated economic development into our sustainability efforts.

    Assets that helped Nashville achieve this designation include the Mayor's Workplace Challenge; the NashVitality mobile app; and a variety of "green" buildings and developments, including the Music City Center, which was built to LEED Silver certifications, and the Gulch, which is the first LEED-certified neighborhood in the Southeast.

    Sustainability will continue to be a cornerstone of Nashville's economic prosperity because it is directly linked to our quality of place. The platinum designation not only sets Nashville apart as a community that has set high environmental standards, but also will help us be more competitive as companies make decisions about where to relocate or expand their operations.

    Go comment!
  • Smart Strategy is Key to Economic Growth

    by Janet Miller | Nov 25, 2013
    I had the opportunity to speak at the CABLE organization’s 35th anniversary celebration earlier this month, and while researching for that assignment, I uncovered some really interesting facts about Nashville’s evolution in 35 years, as well as the role of women in business during that time period. Here are a few highlights:
    • Thirty-five years ago, the population of our region was 820,022. It has since ballooned to 1.72 million in a 14-county region. Just pause for a minute and consider that. We have added 1 million new residents in 35 years. And we're projected to add a million more in the next 20 years.
    • In 1978, 7.1 percent of the businesses in America were owned by women. Today, that percentage is 28.7 percent. And the top five women-owned businesses in Nashville generated a combined revenue of $681.8 million in 2012. Great strides – but there is always room to grow.
    • The CMA Awards for 1978 were led by the Oak Ridge Boys, Dolly Parton and Crystal Gayle, with the image of our music industry (and our city) largely set by the tone of Hee Haw. In 2013, Nashville's concentration of creatives is 156 percent of the national average. Nashville is ...
    Go comment!
  • Panelists Discuss Ways to Sustain Nashville's Momentum

    by Janet Miller | Nov 19, 2013
    Guest post by Courtney Ross, Chamber VP of existing business

    At this morning's Partnership 2020 meeting, we hosted a panel of local business leaders for a discussion about how the Nashville region can sustain our momentum as one of the best cities in the nation to live and do business.

    The Partnership initiative was created 23 years ago as a strategy to make Middle Tennessee more economically competitive. With support from business leaders throughout our 10-county region, Partnership 2020 has helped improve our quality of place and make the Nashville region a business destination, leading to exponential job growth.

    At the meeting, panelists Butch Spyridon, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation; Brian Reames, Highwoods Properties; John Eakin, Eakin Partners; and Dr. Mike Schatzlein, St. Thomas Health, explored Nashville's recent success in development and looked toward the future.

    The need for improved mass transit emerged as a major theme of the discussion, which was moderated by Laura Hollingsworth of TN Media. With a projected 1 million people moving to our region in the next 20 years, transit and mobility will increasingly need to be addressed as a quality-of-life issue.

    In addition, Nashville attracts more than 11 million visitors a year, and Spyridon ...
    Go comment!
  • String of Relocations & Expansions Creates Jobs in Middle Tennessee

    by Janet Miller | Oct 18, 2013
    Guest post by Courtney Ross, Chamber vice president of existing business

    This week has been another great one for growth in Middle Tennessee, with job announcements by two major companies.

    Nashville-based Asurion has announced that it will continue to expand in Davidson County, adding 800 support solutions technicians in a new Nashville facility. The new Premier Support Solutions Center in the Crossings area becomes the most recent addition to Asurion's growing Nashville presence, which began with the company relocating its global headquarters to Grassmere Park in 2003. With the new facility, Asurion will have five offices in Davidson County, occupying 557,473 square feet.

    Earlier this week, we also announced that South Korea-based Hankook Tires will locate their first North American facility in Clarksville -- an $800 million investment that represents 1,800 new jobs over the next five years.

    Asurion and Hankook Tires are just the most recent in a string of relocation and expansion announcements over the past 10 weeks, bringing our new jobs total to more than 5,900. Other recent announcements include UBS, Aramark, Transcore, GM and Calsonic. Our economic development team, in collaboration with our regional partners, is currently working on 69 active relocation and expansion projects.

    The ...
    Go comment!
  • Chamber Team Brings Home Economic Development Awards

    by Janet Miller | Oct 17, 2013
    IEDCGoldFor the second year in a row, the Chamber has received recognition as a top economic development organization from Atlas Advertising. At the International Economic Development Council’s (IEDC) annual conference earlier this month, our Partnership 2020 team received a silver medal in the High-Performance Economic Development category for economic development organizations, and also picked up a bronze medal in the Most Jobs Announced Overall category.

    The Chamber attained silver medal status by announcing the second-most jobs created for any organization of our size in 2012-2013. As part of Atlas Advertising’s High-Performance Economic Development Benchmarking Survey, we reported the creation of 12,000 jobs in the Nashville area over the past 12 months.

    Also at the IEDC conference, our WorkIT Nashville campaign received Gold Excellence in Economic Development awards in the categories of General Purpose Promotion for the overall campaign and Special Purpose Website for communities with populations greater than 500,000.

    WorkIT Nashville launched in February with a multifaceted approach to recruit information technology workers to Middle Tennessee. Campaign components include the website, workitnashville.com, as well as a robust national marketing strategy that relies on social media, blog posts, online advertising and direct-mail campaigns to tell the story of the thriving technology ...
    Go comment!
  • Nashville's Growth Shows No Signs of Slowing

    by Janet Miller | Oct 08, 2013
    Turn on your television on Wednesday nights, and you will see Nashville's glitz and glamour in the most dramatic form in ABC's hit show Nashville. The drama may be staged, but one thing is true: People are tuning in to Nashville in a whole new way.

    Our famed music and entertainment industry provides a $9.6 billion impact on the local economy, and gives Nashville a vibe few cities can duplicate. The constant stream of creativity coming in the form of talented artists and musicians and leaving as hit songs and recordings is a core piece of our foundation, making Middle Tennessee such a desirable place to both live and do business.

    As if the music and entertainment scene weren't enough to draw in millions of visitors each year, Nashville's new downtown convention center opened this summer, offering state-of-the-art meeting and convention space and amenities for convention-goers, and has added energy to Nashville's already vibrant downtown attractions.

    Nashville's other best-known industry – health care – contributes nearly $30 billion to the local economy and more than $62 billion globally. Home to health care giants Vanderbilt University Medical Center, HCA, St. Thomas Health Systems, Community Health Systems and more than 250 others, ...
    Go comment!
  • New Report Assesses Tennessee's Auto Industry

    by Janet Miller | Oct 07, 2013
    Three global automakers -- Nissan, General Motors and Volkswagen -- have major operations in Tennessee and employ 12,000 Tennesseans. Our state's extended network of suppliers accounts for an additional 82,000 jobs.

    Favorable cost structures, a central location and a strong transportation infrastructure have kept our state's auto industry competitive worldwide. However, disruptive forces in the global auto industry pose new competitive challenges for the Tennessee sector that must be addressed in order for the industry to continue to grow. The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings has recently released a new report that assesses the strengths and competitive challenges of our state's auto industry.

    Key findings from the report include:
    • Notwithstanding the Great Recession, Tennessee's automotive sector increased its share of North America's auto-production market. The industry also led our state's economic recovery, and has been responsible for more than 12 percent of all job creation in the state since the recession.
    • Nearly 650 businesses make up Tennessee’s automotive economy, and employ nearly 94,000 workers. In addition, majority-owned foreign businesses from 14 different countries employ 46 percent of Tennessee’s auto industry workforce. This confirms that Tennessee has emerged as one of the industry’s most important supplier hubs, both nationally and globally. ...
    Go comment!
  • New Program Promotes Sustainable Initiatives

    by Janet Miller | Jun 13, 2013
    Nashville’s growth and prosperity have positioned our city to be a leader across many industries. Recently, Nashville took a step toward becoming a leader in sustainability and environmental efficiency through the Valley Sustainable Communities Program. This partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Boyette Strategic Advisors (BSA) will allow Nashville to capitalize on environmental growth opportunities and sustainability practices.

    Started by TVA Economic Development, the Sustainable Communities Development Program is designed to assist cities in evaluating their current sustainability programs, cataloging their environmental assets and increasing commitments to sustainability. Throughout this program, TVA and BSA will be working closely with community leaders and organizations to promote sustainable growth. These groups will work to implement sustainable initiatives and increase awareness of existing environmental programs.

    Nashville is currently in the evaluation stage of the process. At the completion of the evaluation, scheduled for September 30, our city will receive either a Silver, Gold or Platinum rating based on our sustainability programs already in place and industry support for environmental awareness.

    After receiving our initial evaluation ranking, TVA and BSA will help implement environmentally sustainable programs. This new program will help increase Nashville's reputation as a progressive city, and differentiate us from ...
    Go comment!
  • Entrepreneur Center Creates Community Prosperity

    by Janet Miller | Jun 12, 2013
    June 20 promises to be a big day for economic development in Nashville. When the new Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) opens its doors that day, it will be the culmination of more than four years of work to create one of the leading ecosystems for entrepreneurs in America. And it is something every single person in Middle Tennessee should be proud of. We know that, for years, Nashville has had thriving health care and music industries, and a level of self-employed workers considerably higher than the national average. But we haven't always offered these innovative risk-takers the complete array of community support they need to truly rocket into the stratosphere.

    In 2009, I was so privileged to be part of the group that worked on the initial launch of Nashville's first-ever EC. The 75-member task force, an initiative of Partnership 2010 (now P2020), met for nine months to develop the foundation for the EC -- which, in its earliest days, was little more than a website featuring local entrepreneurial success stories and a set of online tools for entrepreneurs.

    Fast-forward to 2013. In the past year, Nashville has been named one of the best cities for young entrepreneurs, one of ...
    Go comment!
  • Music Industry Keeps Spotlight on Nashville

    by Janet Miller | Dec 10, 2012
    Last Wednesday night, all eyes across America were on Nashville as the Grammy nominations concert broadcast live from Bridgestone Arena. Earlier that day, we were honored to have our Partnership 2020 investors hear from George Flanigen, chair of the Recording Academy, and Randy Goodman, co-chair of the Music City Music Council, about how this show landed in our city – the first time it's been held outside of Los Angeles.

    The Music City Music Council was formed as a partnership among the Chamber, the Mayor's Office and the Convention and Visitors Bureau with the lofty mission of heightening the awareness and development of Nashville as the global Music City. As a person whose job is to sell Nashville and Middle Tennessee, I can tell you that our Music City brand is an enormous asset that provides this place with worldwide recognition most cities our size can only dream of.

    The Music Council is already making an impact. Council members, led by Goodman, Ken Levitan and Mayor Dean, have crisscrossed the country this year telling the Nashville business story to entertainment conglomerates on both coasts. Job creation, of course, is the end game. And the council’s first major initiative, “Music Makes ...
    Go comment!