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Weekend edition January 12, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

Leadership shifts, biofuels, and million dollar property transfers

The Weekend News Roundup features stories related to local business, technology, entrepreneurship, economy, events, and innovation.

Knoxville Museum of Art appoints new leader

The Knoxville Museum of Art (KMA) has appointed Steven Matijcio as its new executive director after a national search.

Matijcio previously served as the Director and Chief Curator at the  Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston. He is succeeding David Butler, who retired from KMA at the end of December.

Matijcio brings extensive curatorial and administrative experience, having worked in various galleries and museums globally. Taylor Wortham, chair of the KMA’s Board of Trustees, highlighted Matijcio’s impressive qualifications and passion for art.

“Steven’s experience and qualifications are very impressive, but what stood out to all of us during the hiring process was his passion for art and history, as well as his smart, enthusiastic, and outgoing personality,” Wortham said.

Matijcio plans to engage with the community and contribute to the museum’s growth once he starts his duties in late February.

LDA Engineering adds new leader

LDA Engineering has appointed Carlton Davis as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He will oversee LDA Engineering,  LDA Fiber, and LDA Services.

According to a company press release, Davis is a seasoned professional who plans to foster a culture of teamwork, communication, accountability, and customer service.

Jason Brooks, the Chief Executive Officer of LDA Engineering welcomed Davis by highlighting his dedication to process improvement and system building for the growing company.

“He will work closely with division leaders to review and improve processes while building systems for our growing company. We warmly welcome him to our team,” Brooks said.


Realty Trust Group up for an award

Realty Trust Group (RTG) has been selected as a finalist in the Healthcare Real Estate Insights (HREI) Insights Awards program. The recently completed 45,000-square-foot Northside Medical Center in Snellville, GA is a finalist in the “Best New Medical Office Buildings and Other Outpatient Facilities (25,000 to 49,999 square feet)” category.

RTG routinely ranks among Modern Healthcare’s Top Development Companies and has been ranked as one of the nation’s top developers in outpatient healthcare real estate in the Revista / HREI Outpatient Healthcare Real Estate Development Report. RTG’s team is comprised of more than 130 healthcare real estate professionals with backgrounds spanning healthcare strategy and operations, accounting, finance, brokerage, development, construction, property management, and compliance

Ethanol on the rise

Could domestically-produced biofuels be coming to a gasoline station near you? Maybe later. Iowa-based Casey’s General Store Inc., the third-largest convenience store company in the U.S., purchased 40 Pilot gas stations – not the Fuel Centers – from the Haslam family in December 2021.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the chain was receiving just shy of $5 million through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program to install 456 E15 dispensers at 111 fueling stations located in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota. The funding is expected to increase the amount of ethanol sold by 49,084,590 gallons annually. Casey’s received more than a fourth of the $19 million awarded.

Property transfer activity lower than normal

According to the Knox County Register of Deeds Office, in the first four-day work week of 2024, there were a total of 165 loans totaling $41.06 million. The first week of the year also saw 121 property transfers totaling $44.78 million.

The largest, and only commercial property transfer of the week was the 8.8 acre Oak Haven Mobile Home Park LLC, which sold for $1.4 million.

This graph, from the Register of Deeds office shows that there were fewer trust deeds from January 1-5 2024, totaling far less compared to the same week in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

On the flip side, warranty deeds increased in quantity and value from 2023 to 2024.

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