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Weekend edition October 28, 2022 | Shannon Smith

News roundup | New UTK building and program, baseball stadium updates, and new KAUL leader and scholarship

By Shannon Smith, Teknovation Assistant Editor, PYA

Here’s your weekly roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region.

If you have any business news or updates you’d like to feature in Teknovation Weekend, please send us an email at

UT Knoxville getting new building, academic major, and school

The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees announced Friday morning several updates benefitting students on the UT Knoxville campus.

The board approved the construction of a new building for the Haslam College of Business. The new facility will accommodate the record growth of the college, whose enrollment has grown significantly in the past three years and is at an all-time high.

The board approved elevating the Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries to the School of Natural Resources. The board also voted to approve a new major in international business.

The board approved a request from Chancellor Donde Plowman to award former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who is also a former mayor of Knoxville, with an honorary doctoral degree for his outstanding achievements, civil leadership and commitment to education. Haslam will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree through the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences.

Knoxville Area Urban League announces new CEO

Charles F. Lomax, Jr.

Charles F. Lomax Jr. will be the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL), effective December 12, 2022.

Lomax currently serves as the City of Knoxville’s Director of Community Empowerment. He’s held that role for over three years. He’ll replace Phyllis Nichols, who led KAUL for over two decades.

“The board unanimously voted to select Charles as the next generation leader of the Knoxville Area Urban League,” said Jan Brown, KAUL Board Chair. “It was a clear decision, and we are fortunate to welcome his proven expertise in community leadership, strong vision, and passion for equality to the organization.”

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon said, “Charles has been an integral part of my team since day one, and he will be missed. The good news is he will be continuing to use his experience and skill set to benefit the people of Knoxville through the Urban League. The Knoxville Area Urban League is a great partner of our city, and I look forward to working together on projects in the future.”

KAUL launches $250,000 Phyllis Young Nichols Scholarship fund

In honor of former KAUL leader Phyllis Nichols, the nonprofit announced Thursday they are starting a scholarship fund in her name.

Inspired by Nichols’ education advocacy, a $250,000 endowment is the initial investment into the future of local students.

As the daughter of educators and an elementary school student who attended segregated schools, Nichols experienced educational disparities firsthand. She knows the value of learning equality and is committed to granting opportunities to all. The scholarship is an extension of that belief and will allow more local students to pursue secondary education.

You can donate to the scholarship fund here.

New renderings of Downtown Knoxville stadium released

Construction dates keep getting pushed back and the price keeps rising on the multi-use stadium project slated for Downtown Knoxville, but new renderings give a clearer picture of what the area next to the Old City will look like when construction is complete.

Sixteen new photos, which can be viewed in the gallery on the Sports Authority’s website, show mixed-use residential and retail buildings right next to the field, in many cases sharing a wall with parts of the stadium.

According to this article from Knox News, greenway routes connecting the stadium to East and South Knoxville are also in the works.

Credit: Knoxville-Knox County Sports Authority Board

Subcontractors wanted for Downtown Knoxville stadium

Are you interested in becoming a subcontractor for that stadium? Denark Construction is taking the lead on the massive construction project that’s expected to begin next year.

If you’re interested in working specifically with Denark on the Knoxville Multi-Use Stadium, you can read the details and apply here.

Final days for Pinnacle Business Awards nominations

Nominations for the 2023 Pinnacle Business Awards are open for only a few more days. Submit your nomination for a deserving company now through October 30.

The annual Pinnacle Awards celebrate regional business excellence, honoring outstanding professionals in several categories for their contributions to the greater Knoxville economy. Winners are selected by the Knoxville Chamber Board of Directors. Applicants are nominated by the regional business community and are not required to be Chamber investors.

KTech Pulse Technology Summit scheduled for next week

Find out what’s happening in the Knoxville tech industry and celebrate the innovative work of entrepreneurs & organizations in East Tennessee!

On November 3 at 3 p.m. at JTV, hear from engaging speakers at Knoxville-based organizations in a series of rapid-fire presentations highlighting the innovation & technology development in our region, and the impact it’s making around the world. Presenting companies include Accenture, Check Point, Comcast, Covenant Health, JTV, Patriot Talent Solutions, RDI Technologies, RegScale, and Slamdot.

Matt Sieger, OLCF-6 Project Director for the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), will be presenting on his work with Frontier, the world’s first exascale supercomputer and the fastest supercomputer in the world. Following the presentations, reconnect with familiar faces or make new connections at the networking happy hour.

The event is free and open to the public. If you’re not able to join in person, a virtual live stream will also be available. Register here.

Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo next week at UTK

The Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo is joined by the EV Momentum Summit for three days of sustainable transportation discussions from November 7-9 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Student Union. You can purchase tickets here.
On November 7, the Drive Electric Tennessee initiative will host the first DriveElectricTN Momentum Summit.
Then on November 8 and 9, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), and Tennessee Clean Fuels (TNCleanFuels) will hold the seventh annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo (STFE).

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