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Weekend edition January 26, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

Coffee, leadership shifts and TNECD funding make up the Weekend News Roundup

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

K Brew to open location on the UTK Campus

Locally owned, Knoxville Brew (K Brew) announced the opening of a new location inside the Haslam College of Business on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK) campus. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder Pierce LaMacchia is a UTK alum and is excited to share his business on his former stomping grounds.

K Brew is celebrating this as a huge accomplishment. It is the first-ever alumni-owned business on the UTK campus.

Read our story in about the roots of the Knoxville-based company and how they celebrated a decade in business in October 2023.

Redefining Workforce Luncheon

There is one week left to sign up for the Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL) Annual Luncheon. The theme of this event: redefining workforce.

The Knoxville Area Urban League’s Annual Membership Luncheon is a signature event that showcases their commitment to community service and leadership. At this gathering, KAUL will present its Annual Report, highlight achievements, and share growth opportunities.

A significant part of the event is dedicated to recognizing the transition in the board of directors, welcoming new members, and expressing gratitude to department contributors. You can read more about Dr. Charles Lomax, the President of KAUL, and his thoughts on redefining the workforce in

Buy tickets to the luncheon here.

New leadership at Covenant Health

Chip Bryant has been named Covenant Health’s new Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer. He will start on February 12.

He will oversee the operations of Covenant Health’s five foundations, as well as planned giving, major gift campaigns, and special events. Patrick Birmingham previously held this role but has transitioned into the Vice President of Governmental Relations for Covenant Health.

“Chip brings a humble spirit and heart for service and his community, along with fundraising expertise and years of success in leading major giving campaigns and building donor relationships. He will be an asset to our not-for-profit organization,” said Jim VanderSteeg, Covenant Health’s President and CEO.

Read more about Bryant’s career here.

Workforce and Childcare

There is a nationwide crisis in childcare. There are not enough providers available at rates that are affordable to many middle and lower class families. This situation is especially true in Knoxville, Tennessee where ‘Day Care Deserts’ exist in several rural zones. Locally, working parents struggle to find suitable child care solutions outside of traditional school. The Knoxville Chamber is partnering with the United Way of Greater Knoxville to advocating for child care issues through a new educational event on Monday, February 13.

The event is intended for employers to gain a better understanding of the range of supports they can offer families. Expert panelists will explain how businesses can advocate at local and state levels for child care issues, support working parents, and hear from companies who have successfully implemented childcare solutions.

Find more information and register for the event here.

Movers and Shakers in Property Transfers

The Knox County register of deeds office recorded 255 documents last week. 38 of those were property sales totaling $14.67 million. The transfer of a commercial property on 2045 E Magnolia Avenue, currently leased to RT Clapp Automotive, was sold.  GTY Auto Service LLC bought the brick and mortar for $1.87 million.

The amount of property sales and trust deeds are still lagging behind the last few years on record. Check out this graphic from Nick McBride, the Knox County Register of Deeds.


12 New Site Development Grant Recipients Announced

Last week , Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Stuart C. McWhorter announced 12 new Site Development Grant recipients. The grants total approximately $17.9 million, are designed to help communities invest in infrastructure and engineering improvements to land economic development projects.

According to the press release, TNECD has awarded 174 Site Development Grants across the state since 2016. Those grants account for nearly $85 million in assistance to local communities and 6,595 new jobs for Tennesseans.

The recipients of this round of grants are spread across the state.

The grants awarded this round include:

  • Bristol Industrial Park, $2,000,000 – Property grading (Bristol)
  • Watson Property, $98,314 – Due diligence studies (Bolivar)
  • Henderson Industrial Park, $740,490 – Tree/property clearing (Henderson)
  • City Industrial Park, $50,000 – Due diligence studies (Livingston)
  • East Moon Property, $93,542 – Tree/property clearing (Franklin)
  • Snapps Ferry Property, $2,100,000 – Property grading (Greene County)
  • McDonald Farm, $3,000,000 – Water infrastructure (Hamilton County)
  • I-40 Advantage Industrial Park, $2,000,000 – Access road construction (Haywood County)
  • Commerce Park Interstate Site, $5,000,000 – Speculative building construction (Dyer County)
  • Bristol South Industrial Park, $100,000 – Due diligence studies (Sullivan County)
  • Greenfield-Pentecost Property, $1,970,091 – Access road construction, tree/property clearing, water and sewer infrastructure (Greenfield)
  • Horizon Center Industrial Park, Area 7, $797,597 – Access road construction, tree/property clearing, due diligence studies (Oak Ridge)


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