Business Briefs:

Joseph Construction expands reconstruction division
Joseph Construction Company, Inc. has hired Ryan Mefford and Nick Nickles as Project Managers in their Reconstruction Division.

Mefford is a Knoxville native and graduated from Karns High School.

He previously was a Project Manager and Superintendent for construction in Tellico Village.

Nick is a Grainger County native and attended Walters State Community College and ETSU. He has 15 years experience with property reconstruction and prior to joining JOSEPH owned Service Master of Sevier County.

Joseph operates throughout East Tennessee from its Knoxville headquarters and a branch office in Sevierville, providing general construction services, property reconstruction and disaster cleaning and restoration. Notable projects include the Marriott National Shared Services Center, Clayton Homes Corporate Headquarters and various projects for DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee in Blount County; Music Road Inn and Convention Center and Louise Mandrell Theater in Sevier County; and multiple projects for JTEKT Automotive, OTICS USA, and Matsuo Automotive in Hamblen and Jefferson Counties, respectively.

BB&T relocates main Blount office to Foothills Mall Drive
As a result of the merger of BB&T and the former Home Bank of Tennessee, BB&T has relocated its Blount County administrative offices and commercial and private banking centers to the former Home Bank headquarters at 216 Foothills Mall Drive.

Some 20 employees at this time occupy the 14,000 square-foot building, said Mike Baker, head of BB&T Blount County operations. The expanded facilities are important to the bank’s future here, he said.

"This gives BB&T a visibly larger Blount County presence," Baker said. "That reflects both the growth we have experienced here up to now and the increase we see in the future."

The combined bank is nearing $200 million in deposits, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation deposit market share report.

With the expansion from five to seven offices and to 10 ATMs, BB&T has one of the largest networks of branches in Blount County, Baker said.

"It gives our clients easier and more convenient access to everything they want to do at their bank," he said.

BB&T’s former offices were on Washington Street across from the Blount County Chamber of Commerce.

"The Washington Street office remains a key commercial and retail branch for BB&T," Baker said. "A team of experienced commercial and retail bankers continues to anchor that office."

No Home Bank branches were closed in the merger so that Home Bank clients would feel more comfortable with the changeover, Baker said.

The building on Foothills Mall Drive, now called BB&T Blount County Main, has a branch, drive-through and exterior ATM on the ground floor, with administrative BB&T main office relocates - add one and commercial banking offices occupying the second floor.

"We have the space at Blount County Main to grow our staff as we grow our business here," Baker said. "BB&T is bullish on Blount County’s future. We’ve always had an exceptional team of people making local decisions for local people, and now we have the facilities to take the next steps in BB&T’s life in Blount County."

Ceramaspeed taps employment resources
Ceramaspeed, Inc. is tapping local, state and federal resources to help 180 employees find new jobs as it continues to downsize it’s Blount County manufacturing operations.

Kevin Roberts, Ceramaspeed president, told employees that the company is working with the Blount County Economic Development Board, the Tennessee Department of labor, the U.S. Department of Labor and a variety of Blount County agencies to develop a comprehensive support program.

"In the challenging business environment of 2006 and 2007, Ceramaspeed has a responsibility to many different groups of people," Roberts said. "These include employees, customers, the local community and suppliers to name a few. We always try very hard to keep these groups informed as to the on-going state of the business as well as major developments or changes in our business."

Roberts explained that Ceramaspeed has already transferred various manual operations to its production facility in Monterrey, Mexico. In 2007, plans call for transfer of it’s automated production, also.

Ceramaspeed are a leading global manufacturer and distributor of innovative, high temperature electric heating, insulating and electronic control systems. The company came to Blount County in 1991 and continues to play an integral role in Blount County business.

Roberts emphasized that the thermal limiter production at Maryville will continue. In the short term, the company will diversify production to support different limiter types for the company’s United Kingdom operations. Continuation of limiter production and maintaining North American headquarters at Maryville will mean 120 jobs will be retained at the plant.

"Blount County enjoys a robust economy, which should be good news for those affected by the changes as Ceramaspeed," said Bryan Daniels, vice president of the Blount County Economic Development Board. "We continue to recruit new companies and add more employment opportunities to our region. As local companies downsize, we are encouraged that there are new opportunities for displaced workers to find gainful employment."

Roberts noted that the schedule for all of the changes has not yet been finalized. The company will hold departmental meetings to keep employees informed.

Local picture framers place third in competition
Keith Elrod of K & M Gallery, LLC, Maryville, teamed up with Betty Newman of Newman Valley Studio, Kodak, to compete in a recent professional picture framing competition. Custom picture framers throughout Kentucky and Tennessee were given reproductions of the same art work to frame by the Professional Picture Framers Association, sponsor of the event. All participates were required to submit full documentation on materials and techniques used as well as details of the design concepts.

Elrod and Newman were awarded third place and a special "Judges Award" for design concepts among first -time participates in the competition, which is conducted annually by the PPFA.

Elrod, one of East Tennessee’s few Certified Picture Framers owns K & M Gallery, LLC, located at 705 Hoegridge Point, Maryville. The Gallery number is 865-977-9441. Newman owns Newman Valley Studio, located at 9228 Newman Lane, Kodak.

Joseph Construction receives safety award
Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development Commissioner James Neeley announced that Joseph Construction Co., Inc., in Knoxville was chosen to receive the Governor’s Award of Excellence for Workplace Safety for

"Joseph Construction has achieved a remarkable safety record in order to meet the evaluation standards this award requires," said John Winkler, administrator for the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration, who presented the Governor’s Award of Excellence to the company today at the House in the Woods retreat facility at Maryville College during their 2007 Annual Review and Forecasting Meeting. Winkler went on to say "It is clearly evident that Joseph Construction is strongly committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace."

The Governor’s Award honors Tennessee employers and employees who meet a required number of hours during a calendar year without workplace injuries serious enough to cause an employee to miss a day of work or restrict normal job activities. The number of hours required is based on the size of the company.

Joseph Construction is a general construction company employing 120 people in East Tennessee. The company has qualified for the Governor’s Award by working more than 477,380 man hours without either a lost time or restricted duty incident. This award recognizes Joseph’s recordable injury record from January 2005 to December 2006.

"In fact, Joseph has not had a lost time accidents since December 1995. It is a remarkable achievement that could not of been achieved without the tremendous effort of our field team members, Superintendents, General Superintendent, and Fortier Loss Control Consultants who help keep us informed and up to date. Without all of their steadfast commitment we would not have this fantastic record or this highly regarded award. " stated E.

Gerry Eastman - President of Joseph Construction.

For more information on the Governor’s Award and other TOSHA award programs contact TOSHA’s Consultative Services office at 800-325-9901.

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

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