Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton, Jr. To Headline Diversify 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton, Jr. will deliver the keynote address at Diversify 2013, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural event showcasing business opportunities for minorities, women and other disadvantaged entrepreneurs.

This one-day summit will feature seminars, a luncheon, a Business Diversity Expo and meetings with purchasing officials from major firms. Throughout the event, top business leaders with expertise in diversity and inclusion will share their insights from the field and strategies for growing diverse enterprises.

Diversify 2013 will take place Oct. 2, from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Chattanooga Convention Center. All activities, except the luncheon, are free and open to the public. Advance registration for the luncheon is required by Sept. 25. Click here to reserve a spot.

“When it comes to doing business in Hamilton County, we are more than the sum of our parts,” said Ron Harr, president and CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber. “Coming together as businesspeople enhances the greater economic picture of our region. Diversify 2013 is a celebration of the business potential we share and must work together to achieve.”

The keynote address from Mayor Wharton will bring important perspective to those possibilities, said Mr. Harr.

“Mayor Wharton’s reputation for tackling tough challenges to create economic opportunity in Memphis is renowned throughout the state,” said Mr. Harr. “We’re delighted to offer Chattanooga business leaders the opportunity to learn from his successes and hear his insights into our own potential as a business community.”

Diversify 2013 is the culmination of the Chattanooga Chamber’s one-year effort to increase business connections, contracting opportunities and entrepreneurial support for diverse companies through its African American Business Development Program. Directed by Maria Noel, the program partners with other business organizations, major firms, governmental entities and nonprofit organizations to advance its goals.

“This inaugural summit is an opportunity to support job creation, initiate peer-to-peer networking and foster mentoring support for business owners who are minorities, women and service-disabled veterans, among other disadvantaged entrepreneurs,” said Ms. Noel. “We hope Diversify 2013 inspires new business connections and sustainable partnerships that open doors for diverse local companies and promote economic growth for our community.”

The Business Diversity Expo will be open to visitors continuously throughout the event. Local minority-owned businesses will showcase their products, services and items for sale at the expo. Other participants will include local purchasing officials and human resource contacts, as well as Chattanooga Chamber businesses that support diversity and minority-owned firms. Those interested in participating can still purchase an expo display table or booth. 

The free seminars will include: 

Securing the Contract – Panel Discussion // 9:10 – 10:10 a.m.

Purchasing officials weigh in on competing for corporate and governmental contracts. Panelists will include James McKissic, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs for the City of Chattanooga, Michael Jones, manager of the Minority & Women-Owned Business Department for EPB, and Ella L. Clark, manager of Supplier & Partner Initiatives for TVA. Ron Harris, director of diversity for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, will facilitate the discussion.

Executive Perspective from Andre Gist // 10:15 – 10:50 a.m.

Hear from the 12th largest business owner on the Black Enterprise BE100 list.

Open for Business // 10:55 – 11:25 a.m.

SBA’s top lender discusses how to pursue the dream of starting or expanding a business. 

Solving the Profit Puzzle // 1:20 – 1:50 p.m.

Diverse businesses learn how to crack the code on corporate contracts.

“Coopetition” // 1:55 – 2:25 p.m.

Coopetition: It’s the next level of teaming, joint ventures and partnering for growth.

Amplify Your Professional Development // 2:30 – 3 p.m.

Amplify Your Professional Development with these public speaking and networking tips.

For more information about Diversify 2013, email events@chattanoogachamber.com or call 423 763-4366. To learn more about the Chattanooga Chamber’s African American Business Development Program, contact Maria Noel at mnoel@chattanoogachamber.com or 423 763-4338.


Athens Utility Board Wins 2nd Consecutive Taud Regional Best Tasting Water Contest

Athens Utility Board was recently announced as the winner of the Region 10 Best Tasting Water Contest conducted by the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts.  The contest, held at Eastside Utility District on Wednesday, Feb. 25, marked the second year in a row that Athens Utility Board was named best in the region. Drinking water samples are judged on their clarity, bouquet ... (click for more)

Northwest Georgia Career Expo To Provide Recruitment Opportunities For Employers; Chances For Employment For Jobseekers

The Georgia Department of Labor and the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners will co-sponsor the Northwest Georgia Regional Career Expo on  April 2  in Ringgold. The expo will provide employers in the 15-county area with opportunities to recruit qualified and skilled employees. The expo will give jobseekers chances to meet reputable employers and expand their career ... (click for more)

2 Hit While Walking On Birmingham Highway; 1 Dies At The Hospital

Two pedestrians were struck by a single vehicle on Highway 11 (Birmingham Highway) in Lookout Valley on Tuesday night. One of those who was struck died after being taken to a local hospital. Police said the other person who was hit was responsive. The incident happened shortly after 7 p.m. at 261 Birmingham Hwy. which is in the area of the Lookout Valley Cracker ... (click for more)

Henry Hopes To Bring E-Filing To Clerk's Office This Year; Saving Almost $222,000 On Personnel

Circuit Court Clerk Larry Henry said he hopes to bring E-Filing of documents and other court papers to the clerk’s office this year.   He said at first it appeared it might take much longer, but that progress is being made to the online program. Mr. Henry told members of the Pachyderm Club that attorneys, litigants and members of the public would be able to go online to ... (click for more)

Tennessee Deserves Better Health Reform - And Response

Tennessee needs health care reform. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was not the best solution for Tennesseans. That is why the vast majority of Tennessee legislators never publicly supported the plan defeated in a special legislative session in February.   It is important to distinguish health care from health insurance. As one physician ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Happy Birthday, Mr. Berg

This past Monday we should have closed the Post Office, let kids out of school, and lowered our flags to half-mast. March 2 is the anniversary of Moe Berg’s birthday and the legendary Casey Stengel once said Moe was “the strangest man ever to play baseball.” Moe played major league baseball for 16 years, finishing with the Boston Red Sox in 1939 and a lifetime batting average of ... (click for more)