“The Maker City Summit” 2021 brings week-long series of events to an end yesterday

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

A number of well-known Knoxvillians joined with a couple of speakers from other communities to share various perspectives and experiences during yesterday’s final day of Knoxville’s 2021 “The Maker City Summit.”

Organized by the Mayor’s Maker Council with support from the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center (KEC), Sunday’s sessions culminated a series of weeknight “Deep Dive” workshops focused on specific topics of interest to makers. The finale was a hybrid event – in-person at Jackson Terminal and also delivered by Zoom.

The Sunday morning sessions featured Booth Andrews of The Booth Andrews Company, Shannon Downey of Badass Cross Stitch, Catherine Porth of Let Her Speak as well as KEC’s recently named Director of Insights and Development, and Kandis Troutman of The Creative Architect. All but Downey are local residents.

“Everything (about this Summit) is building on each other,” Porth told attendees during her session that came Andrews had emphasized individual values and Downey talked about, in Porth’s words, using your “incredible values to build this incredible village. We’re all worthy of having an incredible village around us . . . and building it the way we want.”

Noting that she thought a few friends were all that she needed in her village, Porth said recovering from a bad personal relationship showed the importance of having personal friends in her village.  They should, however, be carefully selected.

Porth told the attendees to ask and answer several questions: Whom do you need in your village? Who do you have now? Who are those people that might not be helping?

From discussing an individual’s personal village, she shifted to focusing on a business village, identifying six key people that Porth said should be known. Three fall into what’s she characterized as the “not so fun parts of the business.” They are a lawyer, an accountant, and an insurance agent.

Porth described the other three as “warm fuzzy people” – an accountability person to make sure you do what you committed to doing, a cheerleader and emotional support person, and advisors and mentors.

Other people in an individual’s business village are those who address “those things you cannot stand to do.” In other words, tasks an individual can outsource.

The final speaker for the morning was Knoxvillian Kandis Troutman whose title is Chief Consulting Officer at the firm where the focus is on five simple steps to start a business. Over about 45 minutes, she provided concrete ideas that underscored the theme of her presentation titled “Process to Prosper.” In her opening comments, she emphasized, “How you define something is the way you deliver.”

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