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Weekend edition July 22, 2022 | Kailyn Lamb

Covenant Health expands cancer treatment services and Pilot launches new tire monitoring technology top this week’s news roundup

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region. If you have some business news that you would like to be included in Teknovation Weekend, please email us at

Covenant Health Purchases Knoxville-based Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center

The purchase will bring a new treatment option to Covenant Health’s Thompson Cancer Survival Center, a robust oncology service line. The acquisition only impacts the Knoxville location of the Provision CARES Cancer Network and became effective July 19. The facility will be renamed the Thompson Proton Center.

Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy using beams of high-energy protons to treat various forms of cancer, according to a news release from Covenant. Using this therapy also helps protect nearby healthy tissues and vital organs from unnecessary radiation.

“This purchase aligns with the health system’s mission to improve the quality of life in our region through better health,” said Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). “Proton therapy is a valuable treatment option, and our investment will ensure that the service remains available to cancer patients in our region. Covenant Health has an ongoing commitment to investing in our communities, and to providing advanced treatment and support resources for the patients who trust us with their care.”

Learn more here.

Pilot Company will launch Knoxville-tested technology nationwide

Pilot Company announced a partnership with Bridgestone Americas earlier this week on an advanced tire monitoring and service network. The service will be available for commercial fleets at select travel center locations. A trial phase begins this summer with the tire monitoring technology at 200 Pilot and Flying J locations. The routers are being installed in fuel canopies at those locations and are connected to the Bridgestone tire pressure monitoring solution “IntelliTire.” It transmits real-time data in two minutes or less.

“With the safety of our customers in mind, we are leveraging our network of Pilot and Flying J travel centers to help deliver IntelliTire technology to the road—making it easy for fleets and drivers to maintain their trucks and minimize downtime during routine fuel stops,” said Shameek Konar, Pilot Company CEO. “This project is part of our larger focus to add new technologies and services to make road travel better, safer and more efficient for our guests.”

CNS Interim President and CEO announces retirement

Just two months after being named Interim President and CEO of Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC (CNS), managing contractor for the Y-12 National Security Complex, Bill Tindal has decided to retire.

He posted this note on his LinkedIn page: “For a variety of reasons, the last several years have been incredibly difficult for me. From serving as Y-12 Site Manager, to [Chief Operating Officer], to CEO, the level of stress has increased significantly. I’ve said yes to every opportunity for advancement, not thinking about the toll it would take on me and my family. I’m at the point of my life now where I know the road ahead is shorter than the one traveled. For my mental and physical health, it became clear to me that it was time to retire from CNS and take a different path on the road ahead. For the time being, I plan to stay in the Knoxville area and pursue other interests. I value every moment and every friendship and hope our paths will cross again soon.”

Tindal is the second CEO of a prime contractor in Oak Ridge to announce his retirement in less than two weeks. He joins Thomas Zacharia, who announced his retirement as Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory that will be effective at the end of 2022.

Gene Sievers is now the acting CEO.

PYA and its CEO honored twice in the past few weeks

Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville wrote a feature article for Haslam Magazine on Marty Brown, PYA’s President and CEO. Brown, an alum of the college, said the PYA accomplishments mentioned in this article are due to the teamwork and core values of hundreds of colleagues, past and present.

You can find the full article here.

PYA was also recognized by the Knoxville News Sentinel as a 2022 “Top Workplace.” PYA was the only CPA/consulting firm, as well as the only professional services firm that received the honor in the mid-sized business category. Brown was also presented the “Special Award for Leadership” by the News Sentinel in the mid-size company category.

Pigeon Forge to receive $4.1 million in American Rescue Plan Funds

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced earlier this week that the city of Pigeon Forge would be receiving the funds to support the recovery of the tourism sector. Of the funds, $3.3 million will go toward transportation infrastructure improvements in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and along U.S. 411 in Sevier County. This will allow for an increased capacity of visitors to the region. The funds will also go toward the development of a long-term tourism recovery plan, according to a news release from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The funds will be matched by $2 million in local funds.

The remaining funds ($774,600) will go toward the city of Pigeon Forge to develop a regional recovery strategy planning for resilience against future economic shocks. This funding will be matched by $1.5 million in local funds.

Learn more here.

Knoxville Chamber hiring for two positions

The Knoxville Chamber announced it is hiring a Program Manager and a Regional Enhancement Coordinator. The Chamber is accepting applications for both roles through July 31. More details on both positions, as well as information about applying, can be found here.

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