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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 of the original Kingsport site for a reported $205,000, became the first general manager of the Tennessee Eastman Corp., and led the company through its historical role in World War II. Wilcox’s successor, James C. White was a hi ...

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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-Cities business community has passed away. Ernie Rumsby, founding president of the Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council died this week. His passing was announced by T-C MAC via the organization’s social media accounts. “I always apprec ...

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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 entirely Communist power to utilizing a mix of Communism and Capitalism, that nation’s economy has grown exponentially. Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn has made China policy a significant part of her work since taking office upon the ...

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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 protect the company’s cash reserves, at least for now. As the crisis began in March and April, Ballad Health received and utilized $200 million in advance payments on Medicare claims through the Medicare Accelerated and Advance Pay ...

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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 (ECD) knew they were going into a meeting with huge long-term implications for the regional economy when they sat down with Domtar executives shortly after the company announced it was temporarily closing down Kingsport operation ...

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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 Glade Spring – 326 layoffs. Scholle in Chilhowie – 128 layoffs. FLSmidth in Johnson City – 113 layoffs. Kennametal in Johnson City – 141 layoffs. Domtar in Kingsport – 308 layoffs (more on that on page 11). Cooper Standard in Surgo ...

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PlastiExports cuts ribbon at Erwin manufacturing facility

Above: Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development Bob Rolfe addresses a crowd of around 200 in Erwin prior to the PlastiExports ribbon-cutting A year ago, when Wisconsin-based Regal Beloit announced plans to shutter its Morrill Motors production facility in Erwin, Tenn., the news hit the community particularly hard. The impending loss of around 125 jobs was a blow to a town of under 6,000 ...

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LabConnect holds ribbon cutting for new Johnson City corporate HQ

Above: Tom Sellig, LabConnect CEO, addresses a socially distanced crowd of community and business leaders prior to the ribbon-cutting LabConnect has been conducting medical lab work and clinical trials in Johnson City since 2015, and announced it planned to move its corporate headquarters from Seattle to Johnson City in April, 2020. The COVID crisis, however, forced a delay in officially announcing the comp ...

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Harlan named ETSU AFG Industries Chair of Excellence in Business

Former Eastman Vice President Jim Harlan is the new chairholder of the AFG Industries Chair of Excellence in Business at East Tennessee State University. Harlan is a member of the ETSU College of Business & Technology Hall of Fame and has received the college’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Harlan has previously served as executive-in-residence at ETSU. Harlan retired from Eastman in 2015 as vice presiden ...

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