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Weekend edition December 17, 2021 | Kailyn Lamb

Tennessee named state of the year and airport updates in this week’s roundup

(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

Tennessee Named State of the Year as Best Dealmaker

Tennessee has been named 2021 State of the Year as Best Dealmaker State, according to Business Facilities. In addition to Tennessee, Virginia and Massachusetts were also named top states, making 2021 the first year Business Facilities has recognized three winners for the annual award. The Volunteer State was selected as the Best Dealmaker thanks to recent projects with Ford, Smith & Wesson, Chewy Inc. and Thermo Fisher Scientific, among others. In addition, the Global Business Alliance recently noted that Tennessee ranks #2 in the nation in terms of job growth from foreign-based employers, increasing by more than 33% over the last five years.

Updates from McGhee Tyson Airport

McGhee Tyson Airport recently announced on Twitter that its new 10,000-foot runway opened on Friday. In response to questions on the social media site, the airport said the longer runway means planes can carry more weight which allows for longer flights. The airport also put LED lighting along the runway and will be using a modernized taxi system. Earlier this month, Allegiant Air announced it would be adding two new direct flights to McGhee Tyson from Arizona and Minnesota. Read more here.

New Hires and Promotions

  • UScellular recently made three new promotion announcements. The employees were promoted from roles in the company’s Knoxville office into national roles. Thomas Catani has been named as Head of Broadband Opportunities and Policy, a newly created role. Nathan Waddell was promoted to Area Vice President and General Manager for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Thomas White was promoted to Director of Sales for East Tennessee and Western North Carolina.
  • The Trust Company of Tennessee has hired Catherine Carter as a Client Specialist, based in the firm’s Knoxville office. The firm has also hired Tracy Sherman as Client Service Associate in the firm’s Chattanooga office.
  • Wayne Cochran has been promoted to Senior Superintendent at The Christman Company at the contracting firm’s office in Knoxville.

Business Openings

  • Vid’l, a new plant-based restaurant, will open in Old City. Inside of Knoxville reported Jenna Baker, the Owner and Operator of Cook to Be Well, is the mind behind the new restaurant. Cook to Be Well is located in the lobby of the Glowing Body Yoga Studio. Vid’l will be an extension of Cook to Be Well, but in a full-size restaurant. Read more of the Inside of Knoxville article here.
  • The Ale’ Rae Grill opened in North Knoxville, hosting a grand opening earlier this month. Inside of Knoxville reported that the restaurant is operated by the Goldschmidt family—father David and daughters Allie and Rachel. The family started their food business journey with a food truck in 2017. The restaurant will also feature live music. Read more here.

Apartment Building Sale

Inside of Knoxville reported the JFG Building in Old City was recently sold. The building had been owned and operated by Dewhirst Properties since 2009, when the company renovated the historic building into apartment units. The building was built in 1924 and has 54 apartments and three commercial spaces. The new owners will continue to operate the building as an apartment complex. There will be units available for rental. Read the article from Inside of Knoxville here.

Knoxville Chamber Delegates Announced

The Knoxville Chamber recently announced eight volunteers in the local business community that will be Delegates to help communicate the organization’s mission and programs. Learn more here.

The Chamber also recently put together a video tutorial of its Small Business Resources webpage. You can watch that here.

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