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Pure Foods cuts the ribbon, and the calories: New world headquarters for manufacturer of healthy snacks opens

By Scott Robertson John Frostad, president and CEO of Pure Foods told the crowd at the Jan. 29 ribbon cutting for the company’s new world headquarters in Kingsport, “We’re going to make this the healthiest snack food company in North America.” It was not so long ago that the title of healthiest snack food company in North America would have been faint praise, along the lines of “the best hockey player in Ec ...

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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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