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Inaugural Regional Business Excellence Awards

By Dave Ongie You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone with as much faith in the future as Ballad Health Chief Experience Officer Tom Tull, who served as the keynote speaker of the inaugural Regional Business Excellence Awards luncheon at the Millennium Center. “I’ve never passed up on an opportunity to get excited about something,” said Tull. “It really is a brand new day for our region.” Neil Poland, chair of ...

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Anita’s breaks ground on 40,000-square-foot Kingsport plant expansion

Above: Ricardo Alvarez and Jim Street at the Anita’s groundbreaking March 29 When the building that currently houses Anita’s Snack Foods in Kingsport opened under the ownership of Pure Foods back in 2015, much was made of the fact that it was built to accommodate expansion easily. Today, Anita’s is putting that feature to good use. The company hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking March 29 to announce its plan ...

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Thirty-five businesses to offer IGNITE internships

Above: Travis Staton United Way of Southwest Virginia CEO Addressing the gap between the worlds of education and employment in Southwest Virginia, the United Way of Southwest Virginia is creating a talent pipeline that prepares the region’s emerging workforce for the jobs of tomorrow through the Ignite Program. Ignite connects area schools and students with local employers by deploying two simple strategies ...

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Bridging the gap from education to employment

BTES CEO Mike Browder welcomes teachers and employers to the March 25 event. More than 70 teachers from the Bristol Tennessee School System were paired with 21 local industries March 25 to learn the educational requirements for job positions in the community. The all-day event began with a breakfast where Bristol Tennessee Essential Services’ (BTES) CEO Dr. Mike Browder welcomed attendees. “Teacher Industry ...

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SWVA RISE leadership program prepares for launch

The University of Virginia at Wise is collaborating with several regional partners to launch a new leadership program in Southwest Virginia. SWVA Rise is designed to elevate leadership capacity in the region by strengthening the skillsets of new and emerging leaders in businesses, non-profits, education governmental agencies, local boards, councils and faith-based initiatives. The program will work to provi ...

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Ballad, Signature cut ribbon on assisted living

Above: (L-R) Signature HealthCARE CEO Joe Steier, Johnson City Vice Mayor Joe Wise and Ballad Health Chairman, President and CEO Alan Levine cut the ribbon at Princeton Transitional Care and Assisted Living. Photo by Bill Derby, publisher. The former Northside Hospital site in Johnson City is once again an active component of the region’s healthcare economy. An assisted living center owned and operated by a ...

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Tazewell County firm plans to add up to 28 jobs

Above: (L-R) Eric Young, Tazewell County administrator; Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel; Melanie Protti-Lawrence, Lawrence Brothers Inc. president; Fernando Protti. Lawrence Brothers Inc. chief executive officer; Maggie Asbury, Tazewell County board of supervisors and VCEDA board member; and Pam Warden, Tazewell County economic development manager. Lawrence Brothers, Inc., a manuf ...

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Agribusiness top of mind for region’s governors

Above: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee The governors of Tennessee and Virginia are both making the case for increased funding for agribusiness. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam last week announced GO Virginia funding in the amount of more than $310,000 for an effort in Lee, Scott and Wise counties is far Southwest Virginia. Under the auspices of the Smart Farming at the Center ...

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Costa shares $500 million goal at Eastman Leaders’ Breakfast

Photo courtesy Eastman by Scott Robertson Despite a challenging fourth quarter of 2018, Eastman Chairman and CEO Mark Costa has doubled down on a year-old statement that the company plans to have $500 million in new revenue growth from innovation in 2020. The 2018 figure was $360 million. “Three-hundred-sixty million dollars in new revenue growth from innovation for our portfolio is actually pretty good,” C ...

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