Knoxville to hold 13th annual Business Opportunities Breakfast and more area 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

City of Knoxville hosting two events

The City of Knoxville’s Small Business & Diversity Outreach Office is hosting a DBE Bonding and Insurance Workshop on June 14 and 15. The Tuesday session is in the evening while the Wednesday session will be in the morning. Each are an hour and a half long. The workshop will cover the City’s insurance and bonding requirements. Learn more and apply for the workshop here.

The City will also be hosting the 13th annual Business Opportunities Breakfast on June 22. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn more about planned business opportunities for the next 12-18 months. Several City departments will be in attendance. The breakfast is being held at the Chilhowee Park & Exhibition Center in the Jacob Building. Learn more and register here.

Bill Fox named Special Advisor to the Chancellor at University of Tennessee, Knoxville

One of the familiar names around the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) as well as Tennessee state government is Bill Fox. In an announcement on Thursday, UTK Chancellor Donde Plowman said that the 27-year Director of UTK’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research is taking on a new role for the institution.

Effective July 1, he will become Special Advisor to the Chancellor, providing economic analysis to her cabinet to inform the areas of budget and finance, workforce development, corporate engagement, and public policy for the campus. Boyd Center Associate Director Don Bruce will become the Boyd Center’s new Director.

“Dr. Fox’s deep institutional knowledge of the state’s economic landscape and his relationships with elected officials and decision-makers at all levels will be invaluable to our team,” Plowman said in an announcement to the campus community.

Doug Kothe named Associate Lab Director for Computing and Computational Sciences at ORNL

Kothe stepped into the role on June 6. Jeff Nichols, the current Associate Laboratory Director for Computing and Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is set to retire on July 1 after 13 years, according to a news release.

Kothe was formerly the Director of the Exascale Computing Project, a role he took in 2017. He has more than 37 years of experience in Department of Energy Labs.

“It’s truly an honor and a privilege. I can’t think of a better job to have and a better place to have it,” Kothe said. “I’m really excited to join the best computing organization in the world, and CCSD is the best thanks to Jeff Nichols who has had an incredible run in leading the directorate with vision, passion and commitment to be the best. And he has certainly delivered. Jeff is a friend, mentor and a role model for effective leadership with a can-do attitude.”

Ripley PR selected as RedTeam Software agency of record

RedTeam Software, a growing construction management software provider, made the announcement recently in a news release. Ripley, which is based in Maryville, specializes in B2B tech and construction.

“Our commitment to providing solutions based on the real-life experiences of contractors and their teams along with our recent acquisitions and partnerships are a success story that we want to share with potential partners and clients,” said Jim Atkinson, Chief Executive Officer of RedTeam. “Ripley PR’s unique ability to understand and navigate both the B2B tech and construction industries and communicate our accomplishments professionally gave us the confidence that this partnership will result in our continued growth. Contractors have to juggle everything from bids to budgets and need the tools that will prepare them for the future. We trust that Ripley PR is the right tool in our arsenal to show contractors how our technology will help them grow.”

Now Hiring

The Knoxville Chamber is hiring an Account Executive. The role sells investments and services of the Chamber to existing businesses in the area. Applications for the role close on June 15. Find the application here.

The Chamber also compiles a community job board through its interactive business directory, “I Know Knoxville.” You can find that here.

New Business

The owner of Riverside Tattoo Company is starting a second business to give other small business owners a boost. Local Collective will be located north of Old City and will offer small booths to businesses working in beauty or art, according to an article from Inside of Knoxville. The largest space has been reserved by a stylist, but other spaces are still available. Businesses can apply for a space here. Booths are expected to be built out by this summer with a potential opening in August. Read more here.

Five and Hoek coffee shop will be opening in the Mews II building. This is the second location for the business, with the first located in Illinois. According to an article from Inside of Knoxville, the owners are hoping to have it open by early September. Read more here.

New Hires

The Christman Company has hired Paul Leaf as a Senior Superintendent for its Knoxville location. His current focus is the new headquarters and manufacturing operations for Smith & Wesson, according to a news release. Leaf previously worked as a Senior Superintendent at Coastal Construction Group overseeing multi-family high-rise projects in Tampa and Miami.  

“With three decades of experience in ever-expanding superintendent roles, Paul will benefit our company and clients by utilizing his extensive construction leadership expertise to deliver projects within expectations,” said Marty Gibbs, Senior Vice President and General Manager for The Christman Company’s operations in Knoxville. “He is well equipped to plan and execute our most complex projects, coordinate our crews and trade contractor partners, and maintain safety as a top priority on our work sites, all while providing outstanding service to our clients.”

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