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 September 2015 Newsletter
Mission Statement:  "It's our home, we make it better." 
Welcome New Chamber Members!
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Blue Steel Tool & Die
2311 N. Fifth St.
Union City, TN 38261
Business Representative: Mark Coleman

Comprehensive Pain Specialists
700 Sherrill St. Suite B
Union City, TN 38261
Business Representative: Kristi Hogg

Jerry Ward Autoplex
524 E. Reelfoot Ave.
Union City, TN 38261
August Ribbon Cuttings!
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Obion County Fair Association
1711 E. Church St.
Union City, TN 38261
(731) 885-5361

Union City Forklift
2311 N. Fifth St.
Union City, TN 38261
(731) 885-6900
Chamber Board Member Spotlight

Board Member Name:  Lesley Anderson
Company Name: Williams Sausage Company, Inc.
Position:  VP Foodservice Sales
Work Phone: 731-886-1370
Areas of Expertise: Marketing, Foodservice Sales, Research & Development Safety
Other Interests:Website design, recipe development, social media

Why did you join the Chamber? 
"The Chamber is important for all businesses, big or small. It is integral in giving these businesses the support they need to grow and contribute in a positive manner to our local economy and the economy of our entire country. When the programs offered by the Chamber are utilized, they have the potential to impact the decisions made by our local business owners and help not only their own business but many other small businesses in our area as well."
Why do you serve on the Board of Directors? "All businesses start out small and I want to support anyone who is working hard to make our small town thrive. Locally owned and family businesses are so important to our economy and impact everyone in more ways than they know. Programs the Chamber offers help businesses use the resources of our community in the most effective manner and I want to be sure that everyone knows just how beneficial these programs are."
What is the Chamber's role in the business community? "The Chamber's role in the community is to help all businesses succeed. We are very fortunate to have many successful businesses right here in our backyard and the chamber has always played a key role in assisting these businesses with whatever needs arise. "
Chamber Ambassador Member Spotlight

Ambassador Name: Barbie Hardy 
Company Name: Thunderbolt Broadcasting
Position: Sales Manager
Work Phone: 731-885-0051
Areas of Expertise: Sales and Marketing-Certified Radio Marketing Specialist and Digital Marketing Specialist.

Other Interests: "I enjoy spending time with my family, watching my daughter cheer at UT Martin, walking painting and crafting. "

Why did you join the Ambassador Program? "I want to be involved and help the business in our area succeed with marketing and service."

What is the Chamber's role in the business community? "Assisting businesses in our area grow and encouraging community involvement." 

Name: Emily Hall
Company Name: John Miles, Attorney
Position: Legal Assistant
Work Phone: (731) 885-1234
Other Interests:
"I enjoy reading and spending time with my husband and 6 year old twin boys."
Why did you join the Chamber Ambassador Program?
"I think the Chamber is an important part of commerce in a community, and I was interested in being a part of helping all of our businesses, from industry to mom and pop shops, grow. Working for a small law firm, and my husband being a small business owner, I think it is important to be involved in the Chamber for networking opportunities. I did not grow up in Obion County, and this involvement helps me meet people and to build new relationships. I enjoy being involved in the growth of this amazing small town."
What is the Chamber's role in the business community?
"The Chamber's role, in my opinion, is to assist in growing a community and helping professionals connect. I have seen first-hand how the Chamber uses events, such as Business Matters and Business After-Hours, to assist in all businesses in our community being able to network. This is crucial for businesses, new, old, small, and large, in our area to grow and succeed."

AmeriClear Rx is a Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) company that handles the pharmacy portion of a company's benefits package. AmeriClear Rx was founded in 2010 by a group of Union City businessmen who recognized the need for more fiduciary responsibility when providing company employees with pharmacy benefits. The end result has been an average reduction in pharmacy expenditures by 10-15% for the AmeriClear Rx Book of Business during the last five years. The national overall drug trend spend has increased 27.4% during that same time frame.

The AmeriClear Rx business philosophy represents what PBMs originally intended to offer when the concept was first developed over thirty years ago. "Provide employers and their members with efficacious and cost efficient pharmaceuticals at the highest level of service possible." AmeriClear Rx is connected to over 64,000 pharmacies nationwide, and has clients operating in multiple states throughout the country. AmeriClear Rx has the capability to serve clients as large as 10,000+ employees, and as few as 30 employees. 

AmeriClear Rx can provide any level of pharmacy services required by an organization, including group health, worker's compensation, 340b, mail-order and specialty medications. AmeriClear Rx does not engage in or profit from any of the revenue streams that traditional PBMs incorporate into their business models, including, but not limited to spread pricing or selling data to manufacturers.

If the company that you work for or own is looking for a more cost effective and service oriented solution regarding the pharmacy benefits they provide, please contact AmeriClear Rx at 888-261-9710. We can also be reached through our website at  www.americlearrx.com or via e-mail at [email protected].
 My name is Trent Ams with Union City Carpet Center.   Today I would like to take a moment to call your attention to a few items regarding the Obion County Chamber of Commerce.

 Having worked at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company here in Union City for over 37 years, I can say without reservation that I have experience in the manufacturing environment.  I was fortunate in that I was able to retire from Goodyear, but was not really old enough to retire from working.  Union City Carpet Center has been a family owned business for more than 42 years, and my wife has owned and operated this retail and service business for the last 28 years.  Since Goodyear shut down, she has worked me into this business and I literally had to learn a new way of "work life".  Gone are the days of shift work, where I could leave work at the workplace, and somewhat "forgetaboutit".  Retail is so much different from factory work that, at times, it can be overwhelming.  I have found that "store hours" are merely guidelines for daily operations and you do whatever and whenever it takes to keep the doors open.  She and I both have met with potential customers at night, Sunday afternoons, holidays, etc.  I say all of this to say, it's tough for a small business in a small  community.  Everyone knows this, but I just thought I would remind you.  

Without a doubt, what has pulled our business out of the bad times and back into the somewhat good times, is the relationship we have built with other businesses.  All of the ribbon cuttings, new business openings, relocations, chamber breakfasts, after hours get-togethers, golf tournaments, and cruise-ins serve a great purpose.  We get together and talk, trade ideas, experiences, and just share with each other.  I have personally asked other longtime business owners about problems we were having and how they would handle the situation.  These problems included items such as advertising, store hours, store presence, displays, and yes, even debt collection!  Each business representative brings "something to the table" that can benefit some other business in some way.  Almost every chamber function I attend, I have someone tell me they are interested in new flooring in their house or business, or some problem area that we can address for them.  Everyone needs help at one time or another.  Today you may have the question, and other days you just might have the answer.  So you see, just by supporting other businesses, you ultimately support your own business.  Years ago, we called it "fellowship".  I think the new term now is "networking".  Whatever you call it, you need it and it needs you. Tune in next month to see HOW to get involved! My name is Trent Ams, and I support the Obion County Chamber of Commerce, and I approve this message.

Trent Ams, Union City Carpet Center
Chamber Board Member 2015-2016
Final Flight Accepts Award
Congratulations to Final Flight Outfitters for being awarded the Tennessee Family Owned Small Business of the Year! Jon Ed Powers, Tripp Powers and Kelley Powers

HealthQuest Celebrates 20 Years! 

Congratulations to HealthQuest on celebrating 20 years! The Obion County Chamber of Commerce wishes you many more years of success! 

Mayor's Rountable Meeting

Thank you to the city of Kenton for hosting this quarter's Mayor's Rountable! Also, to State Representative Bill Sanderson and White Squirrel Winery for providing us with our meal and venue!

Fincher Visits Tyson Foods 

Tyson Foods Complex Manager Keith (far right) gave Congressman Fincher (second from right) and his field staff a tour of the Obion County facility on August 24th.

Obion County and TN ECD Officials Visit Tyson Foods Headquarter Office

Obion County and TN ECD officials recently visited Tyson Foods corporate headquarters in the Springdale, Arkansas.  After meeting with company officials, the group toured the headquarter facility.  Tyson Foods has a McDonalds facility in Union City, employing approximately 1,100 team members from Northwest Tennessee and Southwest Kentucky.  Pictured left to right: Lindsay Frilling, CEO Obion County Joint Economic Development Council; Bedford Dunavant, Chairman Union City IDB; Janna Hellums, Business Consultant TN ECD; Art Sparks, Chairman Obion County Joint Economic Development Council. 

What does a new hire cost your industrial business?

The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry and its industrial division, the Tennessee Manufacturers Association, are always in search of tools that will most directly assist our manufacturing members.
To that end, I would like to introduce you to the Return on Investment Calculator, designed specifically for manufacturers at CostofAHire.com.
This free, web-based tool offers employers a structure to identify the cost of an open position and offers several ways to reduce costs. Key indicators include on-the-job training, turnover, and productivity loss.
Please see the link below for additional information and direct access.
We hope you'll find this tool of value.
Another valuable option the Tennessee Manufacturers Association offers to its members to directly resolve your talent pipeline issues, is a unique program called WorkAmerica.  We invite you to visit their website at: www.workamerica.co, and for directly contact, please reach out to their co-founder, Michael Colonesse at 770-616-8895.

 CONTACT: Cindy Dupree
 DATE: Aug. 18, 2015
 Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development
  Public Relations Director, [email protected]
 615-741-9010 o.    615-418-5752 c.
Tourism Revenues in Obion County Up 5.3%

NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Governor Bill Haslam and Commissioner Kevin Triplett, Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, today announced during a special event at the Ryman Auditorium that tourism's direct domestic and international travel expenditures reached $17.7 billion in 2014, up 6.3 percent, and an all-time high for the state. Tourism-generated jobs for Tennesseans reached 152,900, an increase of 2.8 percent. State and local sales tax revenue for the industry topped $1.5 billion, up 7 percent over 2013, and the ninth consecutive year tourism topped $1 billion, according to the latest statistics from the 2014 Economic Impact of Travel on Tennessee as reported by U.S. Travel Association.

For the first time in history, travel to Tennessee topped 100 million, achieving 101.3 million person stays, a 5.1 percent increase over 2013. International travel increased 8.4 percent, reaching $576.5 million in economic impact. All 95 counties in Tennessee had more than $1 million in direct travel expenditures, 19 counties saw more than $100 million, and three counties, Davidson, Shelby and Sevier, had more than $1 billion in economic impact. Knox and Hamilton Counties round out the Top 5 with nearly $1 billion in economic impact. Tennessee is ranked in the Top 10 destinations in the U.S. for total travel.

Tourists spent a total of $53.19 million in Obion County in 2014, an increase of 5.3% compared to 2013, generating a total of $3.04 million in state and $1.59 million in local tax revenues, increases of 6.3% and 5.4%, respectively. A total of 383 Obion Countians are employed in tourism-related fields.

"This increase in tourism across the board is a result of the strategic work of Tourist Development, the Tourism Committee, and the entire tourism and hospitality industry," Haslam said. "We want Tennessee to be a place people from all over the world want to visit. The data shows that's happening, and more jobs and $1.5 billion in sales tax revenue is good news for every Tennessean."

Tennessee's customer satisfaction landed at an impressive 8.5 out of 10. The satisfaction scores are greater than those of the average U.S. destination.

"Tourists are drawn to Tennessee for our world-renown music, outstanding attractions, stunning scenic beauty," Triplett said. "But, at the end of the day, people keep coming to Tennessee for our authenticity and exceptional, Southern hospitality. That is the 'made in Tennessee' brand delivered to our visitors every day by our communities and partners."

 The Tennessee Tourism Committee, appointed in 2011 by Gov. Bill Haslam, is made up of tourism leaders in both the public and private sectors. TTC is chaired by Colin Reed, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc., and co-chaired by Jack Soden, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and Sande Weiss, president of Music Road Resort.

For more information contact Cindy Dupree, director of public relations for the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, at 615-418-5752 or by email at [email protected].



NASHVILLE-Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced today the creation of a Rural Development Task Force that will bring resources together from a wide range of organizations to advance rural communities and economic development throughout Tennessee.

"Tennessee's rural communities are the heart of our state in so many ways, whether it's our main streets, longstanding companies or as world-class tourist attractions, and we want to continue helping them thrive and grow," Haslam said. "We're pleased to announce this Rural Development Task Force, which will build on the work we've already been doing to create a measured, thoughtful approach to supporting economic development in our rural communities."

"Tennessee is experiencing tremendous economic momentum, but unfortunately our success is not shared in many of our rural communities," Boyd said. "Many are still suffering and our state can only be great if all communities share in the success. At the Department of Economic and Community Development, we are doubling down on rural development efforts. However, to make a transformative difference, we need a holistic solution. It's not just about recruiting a new business. It is about increasing educational attainment, supporting rural entrepreneurship, creating and promoting tourism, and of course, agri-business. Also, rural broadband is critical. Our new Rural Development Task Force brings together all key departments in state government along with our legislative leaders and many other public and private partners. The challenge is great, but so are the combined resources of this team. Together, we can make a major impact."

The Rural Development Task Force will develop and adopt an initial three to four year strategic plan that will include a comprehensive vision for rural development. In order to do this, the task force will convene issues forums, identify and engage stakeholder groups and look to the successful ThreeStar program as a way to identify gaps, challenges and opportunities.

Ultimately, the task force will work to identify, design and implement highly effective programming to address key issues that impact rural life.

The Rural Development Task Force is comprised of:
Gov.'s Office: Will Cromer, Special Assistant for Strategy and Policy Director
Dolores Gresham: State Senator, Somerville
Ryan Williams: State Representative, Cookeville
Dept. of Agriculture: Commissioner Julius Johnson (Co-Chair)
Dept. of Tourist Development: Commissioner Kevin Triplett (Co-Chair)
Dept. of Economic & Community Development: Commissioner Randy Boyd (Co-Chair)
Dept. of Economic & Community Development: Amy New, Assistant Commissioner, Rural Development
Dept. of Transportation: Toks Omishakin, Deputy Commissioner
Dept. of Environment & Conservation: Dr. Shari Meghreblian, Deputy Commissioner
Dept. of Labor & Workforce Development: Commissioner Burns Phillips
Dept. of Education: Jayme Place, Chief of Staff
Dept. of Health: Commissioner John Dreyzehner
Dept. of Financial Institutions: Commissioner Greg Gonzales
USDA RD: Bobby Goode, State Director
TVA: John Bradley, Senior Vice President of Economic Development
Federal Grant Programs: Brooxie Carlton, TNECD Community Programs Director
University of Tennessee Public Service: Dr. Herb Byrd III, Interim Vice President
Farm Bureau: Lacy Upchurch, President
University of Tennessee Ag Extension: Dean Tim Cross
Tennessee Development District Association: Beth Jones, Treasurer/Secretary
The taskforce will conduct its first meeting in September 2015.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

Tennessee was named 2014 and 2013 "State of the Year" for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community.

Development's mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd.  Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.
In This Issue
Archived Obion County Chamber of Commerce Newsletters

Join Our Mailing List  


Annual Banquet

When: October 27, 2015

Where: Discovery Park of America



"West Tennessee Tourism"



Marty Marbry



September 15, 2015




Obion County Public Library


Sponsored By:

Red River Waste Solutions

TSBDC, Obion Co. Chamber and Regions Bank Host Lunch-N-Learn

The Tennessee Small Business Dev. Center (TSBDC) at the UT-Martin Reed Center in partnership with the Obion County Chamber and Regions Bank hosted a free seminar, "The New EMV Credit Card Chip-Is Your Business Ready". This new technology replaces debit cards' magnetic stripe with an embedded chip. Businesses must migrate their point-of-sale systems to accept EMV by October 2015 as magnetic stripe only terminals and cards are being phased out. 

Tennessee Career Center was our guest speaker and sponsor for August Business Matters.Tennessee Career Centers provide employers with everything you need to find quality employees-recruitment events, job postings, testing and assessments, labor market information and opportunities for training grants. Your Business Services Team can connect you to the right employee at the right time. Our local Tennessee Career Center is located at 204 S. Second St or can be contacted at 731-884-3868. 
ESRA to Host Regional Aerobatic Competition
Everett-Stewart Regional Airport to Host Regional Aerobatic Competition September 4-5, 2015.  Local officials recently met to discuss the economic impact of the competition and the possibility of hosting larger, national competitions in the future.  For more information, contact ESRA at 731-885-1221.
The Ten Organizational Myths of 
Chambers and Associations

Myth 1: I have been on the board of directors for four years, now it is "my turn" to be chairman of the board!

Reality: Leadership is earned, not awarded. Leaders are brought to a higher level by those they volunteer with. The board, as a unified team decides who can best represent the organization (not themselves, or their business) for the next 12 months. Getting the gavel in your hand at the Installation of Officers event does not include a crown or tiara.

Myth 2: Now that I joined the Chamber, I have not noticed an increase in business.

Reality: Joining your chamber is like joining a health club. You must participate to benefit.

Myth 3: I just got my business license, and I am now ready for my grand opening ribbon cutting.

Reality: Chamber/association membership is a privilege, not an obligation. This is a great opportunity to inform this new business person on the value and strength of the organization and membership. Ribbon cutting ceremonies are offered to chamber members, this is just one of countless benefits the chamber offers its members. Like the Auto Club, they only insure their members, we only promote our members.

Myth 4: I am not going to renew my membership this year, as I am going to "donate" to another charity this year.

Reality: This membership was not sold for the right reason a year ago. Renewal starts the day they join. Inform, involve, and ignite each member every chance you get.

Myth 5: So how long have you worked for the city and municipal government as the chamber president?

Reality: This is all about edifying the community on the distinct role of the chamber of commerce within a municipal government. This comment also opens up the conversation of who you are, your goals, your mission, and your organizations value to the community and its business success.

Myth 6: I have the perfect board of directors.

Reality: I have found that every board of directors has an "arsonist". If you have not had one in the past, or do not have one this year, chances are you will at some point have one board member who finds it more of a success to tear down instead of helping build the organization.

Myth 7: I know you spend a lot of time with the chamber of commerce, but what do you do for a living?

Reality: Chamber and association CEO's are among the top leaders of each community. We know this, but it is a well kept secret. Like large corporations, each require professional leadership, risk taking, and earned success. I always loved this question, and it usually ended up with a visit to their business, followed with a visit to the chamber office to see what we do first hand.

Myth 8: Business is so good; I don't need you anymore, so I will not be renewing my membership.

Reality: I am thrilled with your success, and I agree, you do not need us. The truth is, we need you more than you need us. Successful businesses and companies built this organization. Your continued membership will continue the tools other members need to succeed and reach the point of success you now enjoy. You are part of this community's growth responsibility. I hope you understand why we, the community, need you more now than ever. Chamber membership can and should be a lifetime privilege.

Myth 9: You are a nonprofit, you don't need to make any money.

Reality: Nonprofits are businesses with overhead, employee payroll, taxes to pay, insurance, office supplies, marketing and advertising expenses like every other business. Our nonprofit status is a tool that brings our services and products to build your business success, one business at a time.

Myth 10: Our Staff is paid; we don't have to thank them like we do our volunteers.

Reality: There are several ways to say thank you to staff members. Pizza lunch, car wash certificate, hire a (chamber member) massage therapist to come into the office for staff chair massages, close the office an hour early on a Friday. Chamber and association staff are the fuel of the organizational engine. We understand that, and need to pay attention to this more than anyone. Volunteers are also appreciated all year long, not just during their specific hours invested for the organization's growth. Find a way to say thanks to staff and volunteers. They deserve it, and your acknowledgement to them is priceless.

By: David Aaker, IOM, ACE
Faculty, Institute for Organization Management
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Thank you for your continued support be renewing your 
Chamber membership!

Universal Contractors


Law Office Baker Donelson

Masquerade Theatre

Ace Design Group

Golden Living Center

Shea Riley Appraisers

Bethel University


WestStar Leadership

UT Martin REED Center/TSBDC

Regions Bank

Union City JayCees

Goodwill Career Solutions

Union City Nursing & Rehab

Re/Max United

Sonshine Flowers & Gifts


Wood Communications

Ken-Tenn Wireless

Walmart Super Center

Barkley Construction

Pip Printing

Scarlett Rain

Atlantis Pools & Spas

Reelfoot Metal Building Supply

Conley Campbell

Hops & Barley

RC Mechanical

State Farm Agent Phyllis Edwards

Jackson's Lawn Service

Elam, Glasgow & Chism

Any Chamber member interested in receiving the hospital's cafeteria menu weekly may contact Emily Medley, food and nutrition services director, at [email protected]. 
Why should YOU get involved in Manufacturing Day 2015?

MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is - and what it isn't. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

Supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-producers, MFG DAY is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, MFG DAY empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive. find out more at http://www.mfgday.com/.

Obion County Featured in Goodwill Impact 

2014 Annual Report

"With Goodwill I don't think the economic recovery would have been possible in the short amount of time it occurred," Frilling said. "Goodwill has been a major player in the entities that have come together to try to reduce the unemployment rate." Click here to read the full article. 

The Workforce Board is pursuing Work Ready Community status for all 11 of the counties we serve, including Obion County. One of the goals is Employer Support. By completing the form, employers are simply stating they are in favor of the Work Ready Community initiative and see value in the NCRC assessment. In no way is an employer committing to do anything, buy anything, require the certification, or anything of that nature. The employer is stating support for the initiative. You can visit the website and see our progress at http://workreadycommunities.com/TN/13.

Attention Job Seekers and Employers!

The Tennessee Career Center at Union City is offering Resume Writing work shops on  Tuesday afternoons at 1 PM. Job seekers interested in attending a workshop will need to complete a resume' worksheet prior to attending a session. Space is limited, so registration is required. Register by  calling 731-884-3868 between 8-4:30 Monday - Friday.

List Your Available Commercial Property With Us


Let us help you spread the word about your available commercial property by listing it at www.obioncounty.org. If you have commercial property you would like to list, please contact Lindsay Frilling, Economic Development Director.

[email protected]

Interested in sponsoring Business Matters or Business After Hours?

Contact Lindsay Frilling at

 731-885-0211 or [email protected]