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Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
May 06, 2012 | Tom Ballard

Knoxville Chamber honors nine at “Pinnacle Awards” event

The Knoxville Chamber handed-out its annual “Pinnacle Awards” for business excellence on Friday night in a gala attended by hundreds at the Knoxville Convention Center.

The top recognition – the “James A. Haslam II Leadership Award” – was presented to Larry Martin, a long-time banker in the community who more recently served as a top deputy to two former city mayors.

Pershing Yoakley & Associates, host of, sponsored the “Innovator Award” that was given to Aqua-Chem, a company that moved to the city in 1989. Aqua-Chem produces water-purification equipment.

Other winners were:

  • “Young Entrepreneur Award” – Parker Frost, founder of local software company Gigmark whose client base includes Ford, NASCAR and General Motors.
  • “Small Business Excellence Award” – All Occasions Party Rentals, a company that supports a variety of events.
  • “Mid-Sized Business Excellence Award” – Consolidated Products, a company that provides services ranging from flexographic labels to Radio Frequency Identification.
  • “Large Business Excellence Award” – Cellular Sales that has becomes the nation’s largest Verizon premium wireless retailer in nine years.
  • “Impact Award” (companies supporting the community and its programs) – Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a recent addition to Knoxville, whose “Brewing a Better World” grant program has contributed $350,000 to local organizations.
  • “Minority-Owned Business Excellence Award” – Always Moore Janitorial, an Oak Ridge-based company that provides professional cleaning services.
  • “Woman-Owned Business Excellence Award” – The Trust Co., founded by Sharon Miller Pryse, and manager of about $1.6 billion in assets.

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