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When it comes to health care reform, we’re all frogs – and scorpions

By Jeff Keeling A recent news release from a lobbying group for health insurance companies regarding the proposed Mountain States Health Alliance-Wellmont Health System merger brought to my mind the fable of the frog and the scorpion. In the story, a scorpion and a frog encounter each other on a stream bank. The scorpion asks the frog to carry him across the stream on his back, since he can’t swim. The frog ...

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See our full December 2015 issue with 40 under Forty here

Click the cover photo below to read our entire December issue. It includes this year's class of 40 under Forty recipients, a talk with the financial folks at Wellmont Health System and Mountain States Health Alliance about their 2015 financials and the effects of health care reform, the top stories of 2015 and much more.  ...

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‘Soft landing’ speeds German springmaker’s transition to states

By Jeff Keeling It took FWG Special Springs roughly a quarter century to make its first foray into North America. Since the Grevenbroich, Germany manufacturer established a tiny beachhead in Johnson City two years ago, things have moved much more quickly – so much so that the company has bought a building and is preparing to manufacture stateside, ahead of schedule. In mid-2013, company founder Manfred Albr ...

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The Business Journal Q&A: Bart Hove, President & CEO, Wellmont Health System

The Business Journal: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. Let’s just begin with an overview of where Wellmont stands in the merger process at this point. Bart Hove: Since our April announcement, a lot of work has taken place. One of the first pieces of business associated with that was to form our joint board task force and our integration council, which you’ve heard a lot of the descriptions of th ...

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Keck: “Newco” to help coordinate community efforts

By Scott Robertson Speaking after the final scheduled community forum regarding the proposed merger of Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System, MSHA Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer Tony Keck said the newly formed company (dubbed Newco as a working title until the company name is formally announced) will try to work as a coordinator for other agencies and organizations. ...

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Johnson City’s downtown not yet at ‘critical mass’

By Jeff Keeling Walk around downtown Johnson City and it’s easy to see signs of growth, from new restaurants and a community college campus to a sizeable brewery, a public park and lots of new apartments. Ask Craig Torbett whether Johnson City’s downtown has reached a tipping point signaling smooth sailing ahead for growth and redevelopment, and the longtime Johnson City Development Authority commissioner d ...

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Leapin’ lizard: Crown Laboratories revenue jumping

By Jeff Keeling Crown Laboratories is on a roll. The Johnson City-based pharmaceutical manufacturer, best known for its Blue Lizard sunscreen, secured a $20 million credit facility last month that has CEO Jeff Bedard bullish on the future of a company that’s seen its peaks and valleys since its founding 15 years ago. Blue Lizard’s revenues are growing strongly, up 24 percent in the current fiscal year, whic ...

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TCRA projects offer short- and long-term benefits

The Business Journal Q&A Patrick Wilson, Executive Director, Tri-Cities Regional Airport   When one goes to an airport, one’s mind is generally on the skies. Tri-Cities Regional Airport officials, however, have had their minds very much down to earth for the last several months, a trend that will continue for many more months to come. The airport is moving a lot of dirt these days, in two separate ...

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Start me up: Roadside assistance call center tripling in size

By Jeff Keeling  Anthony Royer walked past rows of cubicles at the Borla Enterprises building south of Johnson City, where head-setted employees talked quietly with stranded motorists, technicians, tow operators and other players in the world of roadside assistance. Workers looked up and gave him quick smiles before hunkering back down to the momentary task at hand, and eventually Royer – the CEO of Allied ...

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