Santa Train program to distribute in southwest Virginia, but without the train

Santa Train program to distribute in southwest Virginia, but without the train

For decades, business throughout southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee have supported the running of the Santa Train, in which Santa Claus rides from eastern Kentucky through ...

Pal Barger passes away: Founder of Pal’s Sudden Service was 90 years old

Pal Barger passes away: Founder of Pal’s Sudden Service was 90 years old

America’s first restaurateur to earn the nation’s highest honor for quality, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, died Oct. 29 at the age of 90. Barger worked in the restau ...

Northam conducts COVID roundtable with southwest Virginia business, government leaders

Northam conducts COVID roundtable with southwest Virginia business, government leaders

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam kicked off a listening tour of Virginia by taking part in a virtual roundtable with southwest Virginia business, education and local government lead ...

FTDD Foundation reconfiguration continues for potential economic development hub

FTDD Foundation reconfiguration continues for potential economic development hub

By Scott Robertson Legal recommendations have been presented to Mayors Richard Venable of Sullivan County and Joe Grandy regarding potential bylaw changes for the First Tennessee D ...

Food City CEO receives national Employer of the Year award

Food City CEO receives national Employer of the Year award

Steve Smith K-VA-T Food Stores President and CEO Steve Smith received the Employer of the Year award during the Oct. 23 opening ceremonies of the Council for Exceptional Children’s ...

Contura board faces challenge from activist investors

Contura board faces challenge from activist investors

Pictured above, David Stetson Activist investor group MG Capital, which owns 5.8 percent of Contura Energy Inc., is demanding the company replace half of its board of directors. In ...

NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership’s October surprise

NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership’s October surprise

Pictured above, Mitch Miller (left) and Clay Walker The economic development organization threw out a collaborative document a year in the making in favor of its own brand new plan ...

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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Alliance for Business and Technology assisting former CSX employees

Pierce’s empathy, experience benefit 300 who were laid off  By Sarah Colson When CSX Transportation announced it would close its Erwin, Tenn., operations, laying off around 300 employees, Kathy Pierce and the Alliance for Business and Technology (AB&T) began working to help those 300 individuals re-enter the workforce. Pierce, AB&T’s executive director, immediately oversaw the opening of a temporary ...

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Northeast State hits 50: Anniversary celebration to begin January 11

By Thomas Wilson   A U.S. education act long ago breathed life into Northeast State. The simple charge: provide “education for persons of substantially varying needs.” Through the years, there have been name changes, five presidents, several new buildings, and a thousand other transformations. But Northeast State has always lived up to that original mission of serving individuals with diverse needs. Wh ...

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Area farmer Aiken elected Tennessee Farm Bureau president

By Jeff Keeling Jeff Aiken stood outside a barn at his Bowmantown farm in the crisp December air, one of his most crucial tools in hand. Unlike many of the important implements in his agricultural career to date, this one won’t show its usefulness through a weathered combination of grease, dirt and feed. In fact, exposure to any of those ubiquitous elements of farm life would spell big trouble for Aiken’s s ...

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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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Answering the challenge: Bristol’s manufacturing workforce focus

By Scott Robertson When Bristol Compressors CEO Ed Gniewek told the Bristol Chamber of Commerce Board this summer that he perceived the qualified workforce in the region to be diminishing to the point where he would consider moving the company’s operations, the Chamber could have reacted in many different ways. Rather than choosing easy ways out like denial, blame-storming or hand-wringing, the Chamber’s re ...

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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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