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Award to help ACFCU extend services, lending

Photo Above: Fran Lutz, Interim CEO, Opportunity Finance Network; Allison Clark, Associate Director, Program Related Investments, MacArthur Foundation; Ron Scott, President & CEO, ACFCU; Mike Rizer, Executive Vice President and Director, Community Relations at Wells Fargo Bank; Tony Berkley, Vice President, Strategy & Impact, Prudential Financial, Inc.   By Jeff Keeling Appalachian Community Fe ...

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Corker bullish on bank regulation reform in 2017

By Scott Robertson The tide of banking regulation that swept over America after the Great Recession of 2008 may finally have reached crest stage. You’ll forgive small community bankers, though, if they’re not celebrating. The floodwaters aren’t rising anymore, but the house is still under water. When TriSummit Bancorp and HomeTrust Bancshares announced their merger Sept. 21 in Kingsport, TriSummit CEO Lynn ...

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Merger decision: It’s about real people, with real families, in real communities

By Jeff Keeling It took a self-effacing grandfather to convey the true import of a drama that’s been unfolding for more than two years now, the results of which could impact every person, community and business in the region for decades. By the time Dick Brownlee stepped to the podium inside a room at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center the evening of Oct. 27, that day’s chapter of the drama had ...

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The election is over. The question remains: Who should lead?

“You are 40 young men and women who are making a difference in your home and your workplace and in your community. You are 40 of the reasons we have a bright future as we look toward a tomorrow that is increasingly interconnected and globally competitive – and for the record, you are 40 people who would all make better presidential candidates than the two we have to choose from.” -  Dr. Bill Greer, Milligan ...

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Healthcare merger, antitrust landscape in flux as local decision nears

By Jeff Keeling Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance’s bid to become a single, $1.9 billion hospital system passed a critical juncture last month. The Sept. 15 Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) decision to deem the systems’ application for a Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) complete – granted seven months after the initial application was submitted – set the clock ticking towa ...

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Bank CEOs detail reasons for, and benefits of, Hometrust-TriSummit merger

TriSummit CEO Lynn Shipley, left and HomeTrust Chairman and CEO Dana Stonestreet pose in Shipley’s office the day the acquisition was announced. Photo by Scott Robertson By Scott Robertson Last Wednesday afternoon, after issuing a press release announcing the planned purchase of TriSummit Bancorp, Inc. by HomeTrust Bancshares, Inc., HomeTrust CEO Dana Stonestreet and TriSummit CEO Lynn Shipley sat down toge ...

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Pell grant pilot to help more high schoolers focus on career

By Jeff Keeling In late May, Northeast State Community College announced it was one of 44 higher education institutions selected for a U.S. Department of Education pilot program allowing income-eligible high school students to apply for Federal Pell grants to pay for certain dual enrollment courses. This fall, eligible students in area “career academies” who are gaining college credit at Northeast are filli ...

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New King University president promises balance

By Scott Robertson As Alexander Whitaker, King University’s newly minted president, strolls along the oval walkway around which the Bristol campus is built, he points out the newly laid brick and surrounding fresh green grass. Only two weeks before, landscapers had been laying brick and sod, with orange plastic temporary fencing everywhere. “Today it looks beautiful,” he says. All evidence of a sweaty summe ...

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Your IT security exposure is scarier than you think: But that may mean opportunities for Southwest Virginia

By Scott Robertson So one day you’re reading your email at the office when you notice a message at the bottom of the screen saying, “This account is active at another location.” The next screen shows an IP address, which you look up, only to find that someone in Lagos, Nigeria is sending messages from your account. First, change your password. That very second. Next, notify everyone you know that the email ...

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Power board’s, hospital systems’ major changes rooted in overall trends

By Jeff Keeling ‘Boy, this sounds familiar,’ I thought one recent Monday night as I listened to Johnson City Power Board (JCPB) leaders answer questions from Johnson City commissioners about JCPB’s request to be granted “authority” status. “We need to be able to adapt to changes in the marketplace.” “The core of our business is threatened by innovations in our industry and changing use patterns by consumers ...

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