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Weekend edition June 03, 2022 | Kailyn Lamb

Knoxville lawyer receives legal writing award from Tennessee Bar Association and more business news

(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

The Tennessee Bar Association awards Knoxville lawyer its highest legal writing award

Culver Schmid of Baker Donelson will be awarded the “Justice Joseph W. Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing” on June 17 during the Tennessee Bar Association’s (TBA) annual convention in Nashville. The award was established 40 years ago, according to a release from Baker Donelson, and is given to the lawyer who wrote the most outstanding article published by the Tennessee Bar Journal for the preceding year. Schmid’s winning article was published in the May/June 2021 issue and is titled “ Restoring Rights of Individuals Convicted of a Felony Crime: A Manual.” Read more in this news release.

Hash Hashemian reappointed Chair of ANA Honors and Awards Committee

H. M. (Hash) Hashemian, Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Analysis and Measurement Services Corporation (AMS), has been appointed Chair of the American Nuclear Society‘s Honors and Awards Committee. It will be his third time chairing the group.

New Hires

After nearly two years, the Chief Financial Officer of the City of Knoxville will be moving into a new role with the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority (MKAA). Susan Gennoe will start in her role as the Vice President of Finance with the MKAA on July 18. Her role with the city will end on July 15, and Deputy Chief Financial Officer Boyce Evans will step into the role until a replacement is hired.

“I am so grateful for everything Susan has accomplished at the City,” said Mayor Indya Kincannon. “She has seen us through a lot: the pandemic, the distribution of [American Rescue Plan Act] funds, a comprehensive compensation study, and a tough budget that included a tax increase. She will be missed, but I know she is leaving the Finance Department better than she found it.”

The Knoxville Area Association of Realtors (KAAR) has announced a promotion and two new hires. James Holden, formerly Director of Member Engagement, has been promoted to Chief Operations Officer. He is the first person to work in that role at KAAR. Lauri Figueroa has been hired as the Professional Development Director. She was formerly a Realtor and Adjunct Professor at the University of Phoenix. Catrin Lathim has been hired as a Governmental Affairs Specialist. She previously worked as a Clerk for the Tennessee General Assembly.

“As the association representing more than 5,500 real estate professionals, the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors® is committed to providing our members with the resources and support they need to succeed in an ever-changing market,” KAAR Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lyle Irish said. “With an experienced and dedicated team in place, we are poised for continued and progressing success in advancing our profession and helping our members thrive as they help East Tennesseans achieve the dream of home ownership.”

Roane State Community College recently announced a new Director for its Middle College program. Aaron Jones, a Morgan County native and former Principal of Wartburg Central High School, started in the role in May. Middle College is for high-achieving high school students who take both high school and college classes for two years and receive a high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time, according to a news release.

Business Changes

A new article from Inside of Knoxville announced that Knox Mason will be closing in early July. The restaurant is located in the Embassy Suites downtown. Knox Mason had moved to that location in November 2019, shortly before the start of the pandemic. Owner Matt Gallaher told Inside of Knoxville that staff turnover also impacted the restaurant. Read more here.

In the same article announcing Knox Mason’s closure, Inside of Knoxville reported that 214 Magnolia Gallery will be closing at the end of June. It also opened in November of 2019 and is located just north of downtown.

New Development

Plans have been submitted to the city to have the Walnut Building downtown converted into a Holiday Inn Express hotel. According to an article from Inside of Knoxville, Yassin’s Falafel House would keep its current space on the first floor. The project is slated to have 91 rooms on the top eight floors. Read more here.

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