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.


State Supreme Court Adds Donation Option To Attorney Registrations

The  Tennessee Supreme Court will add a voluntary funding mechanism for attorneys to contribute to access to justice programs, but will not require attorneys to report pro bono hours under changes adopted today. In an order filed on Tuesday, the Court “ continues to encourage strongly voluntary reporting of pro bono participation.” Pro bono service refers to  attorneys ... (click for more)

Salon And Spa Joins Cambridge Square

Cambridge Square developers have announced the addition of Spalon Three to the community’s tenant family. Spalon Three, which is owned by Ooltewah resident Shawn Dunn, is a combined spa and salon concept that will occupy 2,500 feet on the community’s public square. Opening date is slated for late spring 2015.  Cambridge Square is a commercial, retail and residential development ... (click for more)

Haslam Adds K-12 Funds In Budget Amendment

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Tuesday unveiled additions to the FY 2015-2016 budget that will be considered by the General Assembly in the coming weeks, including added funding for K-12. The governor last week met with school superintendents from the largest systems in the state over the issue of state funding for K-12. The next day, the Hamilton County Schools joined ... (click for more)

City Detective Who Was Arrested Twice In 4 Months Is Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

A city detective who was arrested twice in four months has been fired by Police Chief Fred Fletcher. David Catchings had been charged with DUI last September and then with domestic assault at the end of the year. Police said, "After a complete review of both investigations – which included recommendations from Internal Affairs, the Administrative Review Committee and Officer ... (click for more)

Physicians Thank Their Patients On Doctor’s Day

March 30 has been set aside as National Doctors’ Day since 1933 as a time to recognize the contributions made by our physicians. While the recognition is appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from caring for our patients.  For 132 years, the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society has been the physicians’ voice as we worked together to improve health of our community. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye, Dr. Nassour

About 51 years ago, right after Jim Creel had graduated from the University of Texas and was in Guadalajara for medical school, he was surprised to find a complete stranger sitting on his battered and dusty Volkswagen. “He had seen my Longhorns sticker and was thrilled to find somebody else in Mexico who loved the University of Texas. “That’s when our friendship started and it ... (click for more)