By Kailyn Lamb, Marketing Content Writer and Editor, PYA
Earlier this week, the Knoxville Chamber announced the winners of this year’s “Pinnacle Business Awards,” presented by UScellular. You can find the initial article, as well as links to previous coverage on “Pinnacle” winners from teknovation.biz here.
Below is more information on each of the winners, as well as a video link to interviews by the Chamber after the press event.
- “Small Business Excellence” – TN Fireplace & Chimney was founded in 2008 with two staff members working out of one truck. In 2017, the company looked for ways to innovate the market and was the first to offer video inspections and digitize operations. “Receiving this award is one of the proudest moments for us as a company,” said Joshua Cate, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TN Fireplace & Chimney. “Being associated with the history and prestige of such an honor is something that we will always celebrate and cherish. Being recognized for our great team and culture is truly one of the greatest accomplishments.” Find the video on TN Fireplace & Chimney here.
- “Mid-Sized Business Excellence” – Lirio uses an artificial intelligence platform to communicate with patients in a personalized way, to drive health consumers to perform a desired behavior. Communications include email, text, push notifications, and more. Lirio’s behavioral science team aims to understand the barriers that patients from engaging in their care. “Lirio is humbled and honored to be recognized by the Knoxville Chamber as the ‘Pinnacle Award winner for Mid-Sized Business Excellence,’” said Patrick Hunt, Chief Evangelist at Lirio. “Our traction is attributable to the talent, innovation, and purpose-driven commitment of our team. Knoxville has been a terrific community from which to launch our company’s national footprint.” Find the video on Lirio here.
- “Large Business Excellence” – After dealing with their own detrimental inventory issues, two Knoxville entrepreneurs came together to launch Red Stag Fulfillment. The company was built to fill a gap in the industry as a distributor that knew how to handle heavy, fragile, and high-value objects, and ship them safely. Since 2018, the number of packages shipped has grown more than 450 percent, and the number of employees has grown by more than 500 percent. “Red Stag has long been a scrappy, creative, entrepreneurial eCommerce fulfillment company, but now we’re growing up. We’ve seen massive growth these last 24 months, and we are determined to keep that momentum going,” said Dusty Holcomb, CEO of Red Stag. “We’re honored to be recognized along previous ‘Pinnacle Award’ winners and can’t wait to keep contributing, in our own small way, to making Knoxville an incredible place for people to work and businesses to thrive.” Find the video on Red Stag Fulfillment here.
- “Woman-Owned Business Excellence” – ICC International was founded in 1983 as a small manufacturer of commutators and slip rings. Commutators are a part found in motors used in applications that require torque and variable speed. The company fell on hard times in 2002. Laura Lyke took over as President and CEO the next year. Through her leadership, Lyke and a team of 25 others began improving relationships, products, service offerings, and the work environment at ICC. The company was recently named one of the “Fastest Growing Companies in America” on the “inc500” list. “I did not think I could be more honored to have been nominated for this award, but to have won is truly special,” Lyke said. “The people who have grown this company into a global player in the motor industry are dedicated, visionary, skilled, and have become my family. Being based in this supportive East Tennessee community has been key to our ability to thrive, and we are thankful to be able to be an active participant in the area’s growth.” Find the video on ICC International here.
- “Minority-Owned Business Excellence” – Hopewell Helping Hands was founded to help individuals in the Mend House program gain employment. The Mend House is a sober living community helping men that are making a transition back into society. Hopewell Helping Hands provides employment for these individuals as handymen for agencies or individuals in the Knoxville community. Hopewell was also recently announced as a member of Cohort 3 of “100Knoxville.” Read more in this teknovation.biz article. “From community liability to servant leader, Hopewell Helping Hands is giving our community HOPE and we do it WELL,” said Reico Hopewell, Founder of the organization. “My expectation for winning this award is to show the community that people can recover from substance abuse disorders. I want to encourage people to give others a chance.” Find the video on Hopewell Helping Hands here.
- “Impact Award” – Over the last four years, Grow, A Shane Archer Concept has generated more than $50,000 in donations and sponsorships in the Knoxville community. Through the “Grow Gives Back” program, the salon has provided support to local organizations, including the Office on Aging Senior Companions Program, the Butterfly Fund, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, The Wesley House Community Center, and Habitat for Humanity. “As a business owner, it is so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day tasks, but nothing feels better than giving back,” said Grow Owner Shane Archer. “It is humbling to be recognized in this category alongside previous award recipients. It reminds me I have the ability to push further and reach more people. Thank you from the bottom of my hear for this recognition. I am excited to see what our ‘Grow Gives Back’ program has in store for the future.” Find the video on Grow here.
- “Innovator Award” – Carbon Rivers started out of Found and CEO Bowie Benson’s basement in 2017. The small team of chemical and material scientists sought to commercialize global impacting-technologies, starting with proving the technology for glass fiber reclamation. Carbon Rivers second project was to develop a pristine graphene, which can be used either by itself or combined with other composite materials to make them better. “It is certainly rewarding to be the vanguard for two global technologies, but it is more satisfying to commercialize advanced technologies alongside some incredible team members who simply make life better,” Benson said. Find the video on Carbon Rivers here.
- “Young Entrepreneur Award” – Since Katy Richardson founded Neighborhood Barre in 2011, the business has grown to 22 locations and is now available to franchise. Neighborhood Barre pivoted to virtual classes during the pandemic. While the rest of the fitness industry was experiencing a loss during that time, Neighborhood Barre saw revenue growth. Richardson was last year’s “Pinnacle Award” winner for “Woman-Owned Business Excellence.” She has also previously worked with the Chamber as a panelist during a webinar on female business owners. Read more in this teknovation.biz article. “I am so honored to be recognized as this year’s winner of the ‘Young Entrepreneur Award.’ This business has taken me on some wild rides, but the past two years have challenged me beyond what I ever thought possible,” said Richardson. “Winning a ‘Pinnacle Award’ has always been a goal of mine, but to win two back-to-back? I still can’t believe it! I am absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude for the recognition and for this community.” Find the video on Neighborhood Barre here.
- “James A. Haslam, II Leadership Award” – Hallerin Hilton Hill is a motivational speaker and radio host at WOKI-FM. For the last three decades, he has worked to keep the community informed on business issues. He started as a reporter at WIVK. His television series, “Anything is Possible,” is in its 20th season. “I’m humbled. I’m amazed. I’m grateful,” Hill said. “Jim Haslam is a friend, mentor, and he was an early adopter. His launchpad ‘yes’ the first time we met transformed everything. Sometimes in life you are one ‘yes’ away from believing your possibility. The right yes, from the right person, in the right way, helps you realize that future ‘yeses’ are possible.” Find the video on Hill here.