Business Briefs:

FCDC applies for housing grant
Foothills Community Development Corporation, a non-profit affordable housing entity, is submitting a 2007 HOME grant application to request funding for home ownership in Blount County. This grant, if funded, will fund new construction and rehabilitation of homes for Foothills Community Development Corporation and their partner, Blount County Habitat for Humanity.

Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) administers the federally funded HOME program to promote the increase
of affordable homes in Blount County for housing for families with moderate to very low income.

This program provides funds for cities, counties, nonprofits and Community Development organizations such as Foothills CDC.

Grant applications must request a minimum of $100,000 in HOME funds with a maximum grant award of $500,000. Grant applications are due in mid March 2007 and THDA anticipates notification of successful applications by July 2007.

Foothills Community Development Corporation was awarded prior HOME grants in 2003 and 2005.

Hardy named East Tennessee sales specialist
Joseph Hardy was named the East Tennessee sales specialist for Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc. (MPLN) in Maryville and its subsidiary Ascendant Medical Laboratory in Knoxville.

"Joe knows our clients and the best way to meet their needs. His local roots, combined with his knowledge and experience, makes him and a perfect fit for this position," said Michael Toncray, national sales director.

For the past year, Hardy worked as the field service representative for MPLN and Ascendant Medical Laboratory, where he worked closely with clients and potential clients to build and develop new accounts and enhance connectivity to laboratory and diagnostic information.

Prior to joining MPLN, Hardy was the regional in-service consultant for a medical supplies company based in New Hampshire and the laboratory manager for Smoky Mountain Medical Clinic in Sevierville. He earned his applied science degree at Cumberland School of Medical Technology in Cookeville and is a licensed medical laboratory technician by the state of Tennessee.

MPLN, a privately held molecular diagnostic laboratory, offers a comprehensive selection of tests in molecular oncology, infectious diseases, molecular genetics and cytogenetics to hospitals, medical laboratories, pathology groups, clinics and private physician groups nationwide. Since its inception in 1989, MPLN has provided its clients with unparalleled excellence in diagnostic services. Through the utilization of contemporary and complementary technologies, MPLN rapidly delivers prognostic and diagnostic medical information to assist with the health management challenges of physicians and their patients.

MPLN is certified by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA), accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) and the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), and licensed by the states of Tennessee, New York and Maryland.

For more information, call 865-380-9746 or 800-932-2943.

Zimmer named VP of business development
Robin D. Zimmer, PhD, was named vice president of business development for Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc. (MPLN). Zimmer will focus on business development and assist in expanding MPLN’s clinical trials testing and research services business.

"Dr. Zimmer’s successful track record in licensing, developing and commercializing many advanced DNA technologies will help us grow our unique research and risk management initiatives," said Roger Hubbard, PhD, MPLN founder, president and chief executive officer. "His experience as a special consultant to the US Patent and Trade Office for computational DNA sequence analysis and intellectual property will also be an asset to MPLN."

Zimmer is the former president and owner of ApoCom Genomics, one of the largest commercial providers of DNA analysis software now used by pharmaceutical and biotech researchers worldwide. The company’s software proved to be a key tool in the identification of numerous disease related genes such as breast cancer genes - BRCA I and BRCA II.

A member of the board of directors for Epic Secure Solutions, Zimmer earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Lycoming
College, a master’s degree at Long Island University and a doctoral degree in environmental toxicology from Rutgers University.

He is a former director on the Board of the Tennessee Biotechnology Association and former member of the Governor’s Task Force on Biotechnology. Zimmer also served as director of strategic planning and business development for IT Corporation and focused on the strategic expansion and profitability of the firm’s 18 analytical laboratories.

For more information about our services, call MPLN at 865-380-9746 or 800-932-2943.

BankEast opens second branch in Maryville
BankEast recently opened its second branch in Maryville. The new branch is located at 826 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway.

"We are excited about our opportunities in Blount County," said Bob Sullivan, regional president for Blount County. "This new branch will allow us to reach more people and provide additional convenience for those who need to visit their nearest BankEast location."

Serving customers at the College Branch will be Richard Borden, vice president and branch manager; Carey Best, customer service representative; and Annette Holliman, teller. Borden has served as the branch manager for the Maryville Main Office since it opened in 2004.

"Our new location will really allow us to serve more of the community," said Richard Borden, vice president and branch manager. "We want our current customers to come by and see our new branch, and we welcome others from the community to stop by to experience ‘Banking The Way It Should Be’."

The two-story, traditional brick building contains 4,664 square feet and includes a drive-thru window, ATM and night depository. It is adjacent to the Blount County Justice Center.

The new office will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.
"We know it’s important to be convenient for our customers," said Borden.

"That’s why we provide 24-hour banking capability through a variety of methods for our business and consumer customers."

Maryville woman to head Knoxville Convention Center
Mary Bogert, who has 20 years of management experience in the hospitality industry, has been promoted to general manager of the SMG-managed Knoxville Convention Center.

Bogert replaces Craig Liston, who has been promoted to regional general manager for SMG in Columbus, Ohio. Liston will retain regional oversight over the Knoxville facility.

Kim Beets, senior catering and sales manager in Knoxville, will replace Bogert as director of food and beverage operations.
The announcements were made by Bob McClintock, vice president of convention centers for Philadelphia-based SMG, the
world leader in facility management.

Bogert said she looks forward to enhancing the convention center’s team approach of giving local visitors and convention guests the highest level of concern and attention.

"We represent the City of Knoxville," she said. "And we want to instill pride in Knoxville through the quality of service we provide."

Bogert was food and beverage director for the former Hyatt Regency Knoxville prior to joining the convention center staff at its opening almost five years ago. She developed the convention center’s food and beverage operation. She previously held management positions at Hyatt hotels in Houston and Atlanta. She is a graduate of the Atlanta College of Art.

Bogert lives in Maryville with her husband, Scott, and three-year-old daughter, Jaden Elise. They are expecting their second child in July.

Liston will move to Columbus, Ohio, where he will be responsible for the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, as well as having regional SMG responsibilities.

BankEast hires Burcham to lead BankEast elite
Cheryl Burcham has been hired by BankEast as Vice President and Director of its new BankEast Elite program. "BankEast Elite is a terrific program for customers who want more out of their banking experience," Burcham said. "Customers can expect to experience a whole new level of excitement with our Elite Banking product."

Elite Banking provides customers many benefits in addition to normal banking services. Participants will have the opportunity to be involved in monthly events including group travel, seminars and more. Many other frequently requested benefits are also included in Elite Banking, such as identity fraud insurance and free and discounted financial services.

"I’ve had the opportunity to work with groups for many years and organize both domestic and international trips such as Alaska, Hawaii, New York City, Italy, Greece, France, and Spain, just to name a few." Burcham said. "BankEast Elite customers will have the opportunity to experience some truly fantastic destinations. And, in addition to travel, we will offer educational and entertaining events. I think they will really enjoy being a part of this new banking opportunity." Burcham said.

While the 2007 calendar is still being planned, two trips are already available and open for reservations - a one day trip to Keeneland Farms (horse racing) in Lexington, Ky., April 12 and a 14-day trip to Scotland and Ireland, July 18-31.

For more information about BankEast Elite, Burcham can be reached at 286-3100. Information is also available at both BankEast locations in Blount County: 417 Foothills Mall Drive, phone, 865-980-2900, or the Bank’s new College Branch, 826 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy, phone 865-273-4410; or the Seymour Branch, 10304 Chapman Hwy, phone 865-684-2280.

Katie Wilkinson joins Tremont staff
The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont has added Katie Wilkinson to the staff at Tremont as Food Service manager.

"I came to Tremont because I love the park and the Tremont area," stated Wilkinson, "This job allows me to combine what I love to do in a place that I love to be."

Wilkinson, who resides in Walland, came to Tremont after three years as a line cook at Blackberry Farm. She has also worked for TomKat’s Catering in Nashville and at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

After earning a bachelor’s in Italian from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Wilkinson received her Associate of Applied
Science degree in culinary arts from the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago.

© 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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