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Jammin Butter having fun making money

Five years in, Internet marketer well past startup status By Jeff Keeling “Bargain hunters. The people who like to grab stuff off the impulsive section in the checkout line. Those are the customers that shop with us.” Vantha Chhoun, Jammin Butter co-owner  “We still maintain a little bit of goofiness. Every website you go to is, ‘here’s this, buy this, ok.’ We would go insane if we had to act like that all ...

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Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources discusses hospitals, free market

The Virginia question -- Could a Wellmont-MSHA merger happen with no COPA law? By Jeff Keeling “The two large systems in Southwest Virginia that are providing most of our care are Bristol and Johnson City-based. So it’s a big deal for us what happens here.”       Dr. Bill Hazel – Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Dr. Bill Hazel had some familiarity with the greater Tri-Cities before accepting ...

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Effort to influence Wellmont’s merger strategy spreading

"Hole in the wall gang" continues press for Wellmont-Mountain States merger talks By Jeff Keeling An Aug. 13 email from the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce titled “A Message from Our Mayor: Community Forum Concerning the Future of Local Hospitals” marked the beginning of a high-profile effort to influence Wellmont’s merger strategy. Since that day, and particularly following an Aug. 18 community forum in King ...

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Finally time to do more than pay lip service to regional economic development?

By Scott Robertson We are told the end of what Dennis Vonderfecht once referred to as the Friday night football mentality of economic development is growing near. But we have been told this before. We remember when private sector leaders came together to form a regional alliance for economic development to end the petty battles between Northeast Tennessee’s county economic developers. But we remember how ma ...

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A Closer Look at the Tennessee Promise

It’s a promise…but not a guarantee By Tammy Childress A statewide mentoring program modeled on a successful Knoxville-area effort will be a key component of Tennessee Promise, the new program providing two years of community college or a college of applied technology (TCAT) free of tuition and fees to graduating Tennessee high school seniors. Announced in February, Tennessee Promise is part of Gov. Bill Has ...

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And then there were three

Wellmont's leaders expound on search process By Jeff Keeling Wellmont Health System made it official Jan. 9: To prepare for a successful future in “the rapidly changing healthcare industry,” the not-for-profit provider would spend 2014 “evaluating strategic options,” including the possibility of aligning with another system. Under board of directors guidance and led by a strategic options committee, that pr ...

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MSHA, CIGNA reach new agreement that begins Oct. 1

Two sides "never stopped talking" after 2011 rift By Scott Robertson Photos by Scott Robertson Almost three years to the day after Mountain States Health Alliance and CIGNA announced they would no longer be doing business together, the two companies have reached agreement on a new deal that will once again allow Cigna customers to access Mountain States facilities and services at in-network rates. The three ...

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Big month for Bristol: Pinnacle names 13 new tenants, Falls gets contract relief

Retail picture brightening along state line By Scott Robertson, Tammy Childress and Jeff Keeling The retail picture in Bristol continues to brighten. The Pinnacle retail development in Bristol, Tennessee now has signed lease agreements with DICK’S Sporting Goods and Bed, Bath and Beyond to become its first Power Shop tenants, joining anchor tenants Bass Pro Shops and Belk. Steve Johnson, The Pinnacle’s deve ...

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Calling future corporate leaders: UT to conduct leadership development series in Kingsport

"Emerging leaders series" kicks off in August By Jeff Keeling So your company has checked off all the right boxes. Supply chain management, purchasing management, lean principles – pick a road to more effective operations, and you've taken it. Not so fast, say the folks at the Graduate and Executive Education Program in the University of Tennessee's College of Business Administration. The people you're rely ...

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NN Inc. purchases SunTrust building, plans to add up to 200 corporate positions in Johnson City

By Jeff Keeling Manufacturer NN Inc. will keep its headquarters in Johnson City as it expands home office headcount to around 200, officials announced this morning. “To support our aggressive global growth plan, we must expand our corporate infrastructure with people, systems and brick and mortar,” NN CEO Rich Holder said while standing in front of the five-story 60,000-square-foot former SunTrust building ...

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