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April 08, 2014 | Tom Ballard

Knoxville Chamber announces Pinnacle Awards finalists

Pinnacle 2013(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following news release was provided by the Knoxville Chamber.)

The Knoxville Chamber is pleased to announce 24 finalists for the 2014 Pinnacle Business Awards, presented by BB&T. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the awards, which recognize excellence in business.

This year, the Chamber received more than 220 nominations for the Pinnacle Awards. The Chamber’s board of directors were tasked with reviewing and scoring more than 100 applications to determine the finalists and eventual winners.

“We are proud that the Pinnacle Awards have had such a successful tenure in our business community,” said Mike Edwards, Chamber president and CEO. “From the beginning, the Chamber wanted the awards to shine the spotlight on the region’s most successful businesses and businesspeople. Not only have we been successful in doing that, the Pinnacle Awards are now one of the most prestigious honors a local business, entrepreneur, or organization can receive.”

Finalists for the 2014 Pinnacle Business Awards are:

Business Excellence Awards – Divided into a mid-sized category for businesses with 51-200 total employees, and a large category for those companies with 201 or more employees, the Business Excellence Awards recognize East Tennessee businesses that have shown remarkable profitability, growth, and stability. Companies must have a significant presence in East Tennessee and be nationally or internationally recognized in their respective sectors.

Finalists for the Mid-Sized Business Award are Coulter & Justus; Harper Auto Square; and Visionary Solution, LLC. Finalist for Large Business Excellence sponsored by ARG Financial Staffing are 21st Mortgage, Cornerstone of Recovery, and U.S. Cellular.

Impact Award – Awarded to an East Tennessee non-charitable business committed to making East Tennessee a better place to live through the development and support of a community project or program, the recipient should demonstrate the ability to improve community conditions that significantly impact our region. Finalists for this year’s award are Alcoa, Inc.; Copper Cellar Restaurants; and Gerdau.

Innovator Award sponsored by Sword & Shield – Presented to an East Tennessee business that has developed a new technology, innovative product or service, or applied a business system or service in an innovative way, nominees are asked to provide evidence of business growth resulting from their advancement. The 2014 finalists are ChoiceSpine, Functional Pathways, and Gigmark.

Minority-Owned Business Excellence Award sponsored by Covenant Health – Recognizing companies that have achieved notable growth and are at least 51 percent owned by an ethnic minority, the finalists for this year’s Minority-Owned Business Excellence Award are H&T Enterprises; Markets Demand More, LLC; and Security Walls.

Small Business Excellence Award sponsored by BB&T – Honoring an East Tennessee small business that has 50 employees or less company-wide, the winner will demonstrate the ability to overcome obstacles as well as a historical index of growth in revenues and workforce. The 2014 finalists are 3 Minute Magic Carwash of Knoxville; ExpoQuip, Inc.; and Master Dry Foundation and Waterproofing Specialist.

Woman-Owned Business Excellence Award sponsored by LBMC – This award is given to an outstanding East Tennessee woman-owned business. Companies must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more women and daily management operations must be controlled by one or more women. Finalists for the 2014 award are Cannon & Cannon, Inc.; Harmony Family Center; and KaTom Restaurant Supply, Inc.

Young Entrepreneur Award sponsored by UT-Battelle – Acknowledging the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit, this award recognizes young professionals, 40 years of age or younger as of May 2, 2014, who started or are at risk in ownership of a non-franchise business in East Tennessee. The winner will have overcome obstacles and moved their business from early to growth to some maturity. Finalists for this year’s award are Devin Driscoll, Next Level Training; John Sharpe, StaffSource; and Joseph Nother, Designsensory.

The winners will be announced on May 2 at the Knoxville Convention Center. The black tie-optional gala will feature a silent auction and reception starting at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner and awards program emceed by WBIR’s Robin Wilhoit. The evening will culminate in a champagne toast to the winners. Bandit Lites and Sound Ventures will provide production assistance for the event.

Tickets and table sponsorships can be purchased online at

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