When you figure out how to turn garbage into gold, get other people to pay you to take their garbage

When you figure out how to turn garbage into gold, get other people to pay you to take their garbage

The phenomenon that is #2020 continues unabated. Massive unemployment. Trillions of dollars of new debt. A pandemic. Racial strife. Murder hornets. Fire tornadoes. Zoom meetings. Z ...

Q&A: Mark Costa, Eastman Board Chair and CEO

Q&A: Mark Costa, Eastman Board Chair and CEO

Over the course of a century, Eastman has been led by men whose focus ranged from visionary to operationally-focused on a granular level. Perley Wilcox, who negotiated the purchase ...

Ernie Rumsby, T-C MAC founder passes away

Ernie Rumsby, T-C MAC founder passes away

Above: Ernie Rumsby, right, during a 2018 presidential visit to Johnson City. The man who has, for most of the last decade, served as the face and voice of veterans in the Tri-Citi ...

The Business Journal Q&A

The Business Journal Q&A

Q&A: Senator Marsha Blackburn Much has been made of the United States’ debt to China, currently around $1.08 trillion. In the few decades since China went from being an entirel ...

Ballad using debt to protect cash reserves into autumn

Ballad using debt to protect cash reserves into autumn

by Scott Robertson The COVID-19 pandemic has played havoc with the revenue stream at Ballad Health, but administrators are using a pair of no- to low-interest debt instruments to p ...

Saving Jobs: Economic developers say “complex” Domtar deal took teamwork

Saving Jobs: Economic developers say “complex” Domtar deal took teamwork

by Scott Robertson Clay Walker, CEO of NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership and Lynn Tully, Northeast Tennessee director for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development ...

Tri-Cities economy shedding jobs

Tri-Cities economy shedding jobs

More worrying: Labor force participation on decline by Don Fenley WARN Act-mandated layoff notices are piling up in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. Utility Trailer in G ...

The State of Tennessee

By Scott Robertson Governor Bill Haslam delivered his annual State of the State address the evening of Feb. 1 in Nashville. It was an upbeat message with the theme, “unique opportunity.” Of more substance was the inclusion of details regarding the governor’s proposed budget. Conservatives love the fact that the governor is putting $100 million into the state’s Rainy Day Fund. That fund will end the fiscal y ...

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Regulators’ role in proposed merger ramping up

By Jeff Keeling The face of health care in the greater Tri-Cities is taking on a distinctively state-regulated appearance as Mountain States Health Alliance and Wellmont Health System draw closer to applying to Tennessee and Virginia for approval of their proposed merger. Activity is ramping up at both states’ departments of health and attorney generals’ offices in anticipation of an activist state role in ...

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Holston Medical Group staying patient

By Scott Robertson Holston Medical Group will be impacted greatly by whatever decision the states of Virginia and Tennessee make regarding the Mountain States-Wellmont proposed merger. To date, however, HMG has not spoken with either state formally, choosing to wait and see what the hospital groups will say in their COPA requests. That fact doesn’t mean HMG is unconcerned. “We have the same concerns I think ...

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How NETWORKS networks: It’s who they are and what they do

By Scott Robertson (Editor’s note: When Clay Walker, CEO of NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership met with The Business Journal for this article on Jan. 21, there was half a foot of snow on the ground outside the NETWORKS offices and Walker was, in his own words, “eating cough drops like candy.” Shortly thereafter, he entered the hospital, missing the Pure Foods grand opening he’d worked so hard to facilitate, Jan. ...

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The octogenarian on the assembly line: Charles Bowers is celebrating a quarter-century at BTL Industries at the age of 85

By Sarah Colson and Scott Robertson Charles Bowers rises at 3:58 every morning to make it to his manufacturing job by 5 a.m. He works four ten-hour shifts each week and loves his work. The same could be said of all his co-workers. But the difference between Bowers and his colleagues is Charles Bowers is 85 years old. Bowers could teach a master class in work ethic, if there were such a thing, and Greenevill ...

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Career Technical Education: Making a good thing better

By Jeff Keeling By the time some of his peers are receiving their bachelor’s degrees, Ethan Lyle is likely to be earning a pay packet in the mid-five figures – perhaps more if he’s willing to travel. Many of those who took the four-year (or five, or six) route will be starting to think about student loan debt coming due. Lyle may be starting to think about a starter home. I met Lyle late last month in Scien ...

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Sprint closing call center in Blountville Feb. 5 — 444 to lose jobs

By Jeff Keeling Since December, Sprint employees everywhere had known the mobile phone company was planning job cuts in the near future. Today, more than 400 workers at Sprint's Blountville call center learned they would be among the casualties. The center will close Feb. 5, Sprint spokeswoman Roni Singleton said in an emailed statement. Sprint leaders spoke in December of plans to take up to $2.5 billion o ...

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Legislators return to state capitals with shorter business-related agenda

By Scott Robertson The National Federation of Independent Business has a great line about the need for businesses to be well represented when state legislatures start to meet: “You are either at the table, or you are on the menu.” As rhetoric goes, it’s an appeal to fear, so it’s not quite as strong with business owners who are naturally confident, or with those who are already well-represented by their loc ...

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First Tennessee Development District a quiet force in regional economic development

By Scott Robertson Under Director Susan Reid the First Tennessee Development District (FTDD) hasn’t chased headlines. But behind the scenes the organization has been a regional economic development player for years. It’s not unusual for companies to issue press releases and hold ground-breakings or ribbon-cuttings when they make major hires or purchase a new facility. But what’s rarely said in the releases ...

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