Monday, December 28, 2009

Entrpreneur Classes to be Offered at CSCC-Lewisburg Campus. To learn more, come to CSCC-Lewisburg on January 19 at 6 p.m.
Updated Marshall County Happenings*4Lvg

Monday, December 21, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

TVA Working with Local Industries to Keep Jobs Here

Maintaining employment is not only important to local industries and local government, it is equally important to the Tennessee Valley Authority who recently unveiled a reward program to qualifying industries in several targeted sectors for keeping jobs right where they are now.
Within its seven-state region, TVA launched a $40 million campaign in October to encourage existing businesses to make investments and maintain production in the area. The TVA Valley Investment Initiative offers cash incentives for plant investments, even when they only maintain, rather than expand, overall employment. And in Lewisburg, that means there are 12 local industries who may qualify to save 4-12 percent on their utility bill thanks to their commitment to maintain or expand employment in their current facilities over the next five years.
To qualify for the program, industries must be existing TVA customers, use a minimum of 250kW peak monthly demand, have a minimum of 25 full-time employees, have no plans to reduce employment by 50 percent over the next five years and be financially sound. Some of the local industries who qualify for the VII include Smurfit Stone, Southern Carton, Cosmolab, Trison Coatings, Teledyne, Moon Products, Nichirin, ICP and Lewisburg Printing Company.
Deborah Cameron, TVA Economic Development Project Manager for the Middle Tennessee Region, came to Lewisburg on Tuesday to speak with some of those qualifying industries about the Valley Investment Initiative and how the program can benefit them.
“We are seeing a great deal of interest in the program,” Cameron said. “It is a very unique program you won’t see from other power utilities across the country.”
Cameron explained how TVA began discussing ways to assist economic development in their region with the current economic downturn approaching. Cameron said TVA realized most of the industries in areas such as Lewisburg were branch plants that faced possible consolidation and movement out of the region. So, TVA developed the TVA Valley Investment Initiative as a reward program for industries in the region who commit to keeping their doors open and their workers working. The program is also an argument against those parent companies that are looking to close and consolidate local industries and move them out of the TVA region.
“If they (local industries) need evidence on the program and the cost savings it will mean for their facility to show to their parent company, we can do that for them,” Cameron said. “It is my job to be their advocate.”
Industries that qualify and want to participate in the program in order to receive their power bill credits from TVA must fill out an application, undergo an evaluation by TVA and then see their savings on their monthly utility bills based on capital investment, jobs created or retained, wages paid, energy efficiency and load factor. The savings can be substantial averaging between 4 and 12 percent.
Local power distributors such as Lewisburg Electric System appreciate the program as well. LES President Richard Turner attended the Tuesday meeting to hear more from TVA about the program.
“TVA has tried to assist industries through rates and I think they have realized this is a better way,” Turner said. “I think it’s a good program and I am proud it’s out.”
The meeting Tuesday morning at Lewisburg City Hall was arranged by Lewisburg ECD Director Terry Wallace and ECD Specialist Lisa Jackson so that qualifying industries in Lewisburg could get a better understanding of the program and how to apply.
“We a very happy to see that TVA is developing ways to assist our local industries during this turbulent economic period,” Wallace said. “We need to utilize everything we can here in Marshall County to try and stabilize and eventually turn around our unemployment figures.”
Job creation remains a focal point for the Lewisburg ECD office; but across the country as well as here in Tennessee, more focus is being placed on job retention. The TVA Valley Investment Initiative is only one program to help local industries keep their workers working in Tennessee and Marshall County.

TVA Talks with Local Retailers about Improving Business

Using data, statistics and estimations, around 25 local business and community leaders came to the Lewisburg Recreation Center Tuesday night to discuss ways existing retailers can improve their customer base and increase their sales.
Chuck Marquis, Project Manager for Business Resources for the Tennessee Valley Authority, presented the data along with techniques for retailers looking to improve their bottom lines. Economic Development is part of what TVA does for its seven-state region and Marquis put together a program taken from other marketing gurus, such as Jon Schallert, and data collected by Claritas, a nationally recognized source of accurate, up-to-date demographic data and target marketing research information about the population, consumer behavior, consumer spending, market segments, households and businesses within any specific geographic target market area in the United States.
Marquis put together data from Claritas about Lewisburg using a drive-time of 16 miles that created a trade area for local retailers to examine and discuss. The trade area demonstrated the types of consumers that live within the region, their spending habits and their lifestyles. The information also showed the areas in which leakage, or money being spent on goods and services outside Marshall County, is occurring, as well as areas of surplus, or money being spent inside Marshall County from people who live outside the county.
For many people, pouring over data can be overwhelming and a perceived waste of time and energy. Marquis explained how such data can be important for not only those looking to start a business, but also for those already in business. By understanding the customers in a trade area, businesses can better develop strategies to market to those customers, from better marketing techniques to making changes in a stores appearance or items offered.
Looking at the data on Lewisburg’s trade area, a 16-mile radius around the intersection of Nashville Highway and Ellington Parkway, there is an estimated $169 million in potential retail sales not being realized. According to the Claritas data, there was an estimated $351 million in retail sales in the area in 2009 but there was a retail demand of $520 million. That means there is a great deal of money being spent by local residents shopping outside the county on items and services that are offered locally.
The top merchandise items in which retail leakage is occurring in Marshall County are cars, trucks and power transmissions, meals and snacks, groceries and other food, drugs, health and beauty aids, women’s juniors and misses’ wear, men’s wear and computer hardware/software supplies. Most if not all of the items in which leakage is occurring are offered by Lewisburg retailers and the items that are not offered create what is called a “retail gap.” Filling a retail gap means recruiting or encouraging businesses that offer goods or services not currently found in Lewisburg stores; but for those local businesses in which those goods and services are already offered, having leakage means figuring out why people are not buying locally and how to get them to start.
One area in which there is a surplus in Lewisburg is lawn/garden/farm equipment and supply. There is around $28 million in retail sales coming into Marshall County from outside the county and this in an area where Lewisburg may have found a niche on which to build more retail sales. By indentifying those out-of-county customers of lawn, garden and farm equipment supplies, a campaign to encourage them to shop for other items can be created. This idea is only one that came from the presentation Tuesday night.
The other idea came from a discussion on marketing and it is a buzzword called - networking. The internet and email marketing has proven an inexpensive and affective means of modern marketing. There are websites that offer free services to help market small businesses to a wider audience and sending out emails to consumers directly has also proven to be beneficial for many small businesses. The problem for most small business owners is time and a lack of knowledge on how to get it started. Marquis provided those local retailers at the meeting Tuesday night a few ideas on how to get such marketing campaigns up and running along with websites that can assist those less tech-savvy small business owners. By using the internet as a marketing tool, local small business owners can not only attract new customers, but they can also stay connected with existing customers, as well as other local businesses in the area. Trading ideas and information and collaborating on marketing can become a very valuable tool for small businesses looking to expand their customer base and annual sales.
If you would like to a copy of the presentation by Marquis, contact Greg Lowe at (931) 359-1544 and provide an email address. A copy of the power point presentation with data on the trade area in Lewisburg can be emailed to you.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Retail Target Marketing for Existing Businesses is a one and a half hour presentation that uses competitive marketing information to assist existing community retailers and other small businesses to gain a better understanding of their specific trade area market and how to reach their potential customer base. Information covered includes: key demographics, retail opportunity gaps, retail demand growth and household lifestyle segmentation data. Specific information will also be provided about technology-based marketing solutions.

Specific topics include:
• What is my trade area?
• What are the opportunities in my trade area?
• How does this information impact my product/service mix?
• Can this trade area really support my business?
• What are the largest lifestyle segments and how might I use that information?
• How do I market to the households in my trade area?

Who Should Attend: Existing Business Owners, Potential New Business Owners, Community Leaders, Economic Developers

Where: Lewisburg Recreation Center – Conference Room

When: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 – 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

RSVP: Contact Greg Lowe at or call (931) 359-1544

Contact (name) at (email address) or (phone) and provide the number and names of the people who will attend by November 30, 2009.
Best Little Christmas Ever
Beginning on Friday Dec. 4th and going through Saturday.

A live nativity at the First Presbyterian Church, with carolers. Have dinner in the Presbyterian Church by Jon Fineley of Starlight Cafe, and then catc the Dixie Christmas Performance.

Carriage rides will begin at 7:00 on the square where you can trot on up to A Victorian Melody's for their open house and refreshments.

Frosty and Rudolph will be making an appearance for all the children to enjoy.

On Saturday Dec. 5th, the children can enjoy Story Time with Frosty and Rudolph at 11:00 at A Victorian Meloday on the front porch, and then go have their picture made with Santa at the Chamber of Commerce building located just off the square. Just follow the reindeer hoof prints from the square.

The crowning of our festival Queen- Imogene Ledford, will be held in the Dixie at 1:00.

The Marshall County Art Guild will be set up in the Fellowship Hall of the Presbyterian Church showing and selling some of their fine artwork.

At 2:00 the parade will be coming through town and the activities will continue for the children on the square.

At 6:00, Tracy Hargrove will be performing his Christmas music from the porch of A Victorian Melody.

The carriage rides will begin again at 7:00 on the square.

And of course we predict SNOW, SNOW, SNOW!!!
Updated Marshall County Happenings*4Lvg

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Economic Perception
Rotary Christmas Parade to Celebrate “Christmas Memories”

One of the great traditions of the holiday season returns this year with the Lewisburg Rotary Club Christmas Parade.
This year’s theme for the Lewisburg Rotary Club Christmas Parade will be “Christmas Memories” and all entries will display their favorite variations on that theme to make for yet another wonderful Christmas parade.
“This is not a fundraiser for Rotary,” said Parade Chair Peggy Hubbard. “This is just one of the many public service events the Lewisburg Rotary Club provides to the community and it is certainly on the year’s favorites.”
The parade is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on December 5, 2009 starting at the usual parade route from Tiger Boulevard, East onto West Commerce toward the Lewisburg Square. A slight change in the parade route will take place on the square with wheeled vehicles continuing straight onto East Commerce and all floats turning onto 1st Avenue to wind up at Rock Creek Park where parents can pick up their children. Horse riders will follow the floats passed Rock Creek Park and end up behind the Lewisburg Gas Department.
The Lewisburg Rotary Club is expected another great turnout of floats, vehicles and horse riders for this year’s event. Participants are reminded that anyone operating a motorized vehicle, including ATV’s, must have a valid driver’s license. All entries in the parade must be decorated appropriately with the theme, “Christmas Memories” and the one and only Santa Claus will make his grand appearance once again.
Everyone is invited to take part in the parade or be part of the crowd ready to enjoy the Lewisburg Rotary Club “Christmas Memories” Christmas parade on December 5, 2009 at 2 p.m.
For more information on the Lewisburg Rotary Club Christmas Parade or to reserve a spot at no charge, contact Peggy Hubbard at 359-3998.

TOPIC: Jobs for Tennessee Graduates
We will be discussing the Jobs for Tennessee Graduates program at
Marshall County High School & other youth programs.


a monthly discussion of workforce topics by our own team of experts...
You and your guests!

Lively discussion topics over breakfast
Bring your ideas...
Bring a colleague...
Bring your morning appetite to...

Tennessee Career Center
980 S. Ellington Parkway
Lewisburg, Tennessee

8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m.
Wednesday, December 9th

RSVP to Patricia Lymon at 931.375.4201 or by December 7th

This format allows us to discuss topics that we just never seem to have the chance to fully discuss at Board meetings, and we plan to use this format to poll your thoughts as we develop strategy on a continuing basis!

Join us when you can...we'll be looking for topic suggestions and breakfast hosts as we take this on the road in coming months!

Encourage others in your community to take advantage of this great opportunity!

Hope to see you Wednesday morning the 9th for the
Breakfast Brainstorm!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Retail Target Marketing for Existing Businesses

Retail Target Marketing for Existing Businesses is a FREE one- to two-hour presentation that uses competitive marketing information to assist existing community retailers and other small businesses to gain a better understanding of their specific trade area market and how to reach their potential customer base. Information covered includes: key demographics, retail opportunity gaps, retail demand growth and household lifestyle segmentation data. Specific information will also be provided about technology-based marketing solutions. Specific topics include:What is my trade area? · What are the opportunities in my trade area?· How does this information impact my product/service mix?· Can this trade area really support my business?· What are the largest lifestyle segments and how might I use that information?· How do I market to the households in my trade area? Who Should Attend: Existing Business Owners, Potential New Business Owners, Community Leaders, Economic Developers

Where: Lewisburg Recreation Center – Conference Room

When: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 – 5 p.m.

RSVP: Contact Greg Lowe at or call (931) 359-1544

Contact (name) at (email address) or (phone) and provide the number and names of the people who will attend by November 30, 2009.


For more information about TVA Economic Development, please visit
Updated Marshall County Happenings Calendar of Events - Click Link

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Betsy Shelton Named Lewisburg Rotary Volunteer of the Year and Waverly Duning Named Lewisburg Rotary Citizen of the Year!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Update Marshall County Calendar of Events
Great Day on the Greenway at Rock Creek Park. Lots of people enjoying the sun, picnics and walking the greenway. What an Asset to Lewisburg!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Lewisburg Rotary Club just named MCHS Guidance Counselor Ginger Tepedino as the 2009 Expert in Her Field Recipient.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The City of Lewisburg is already making plans for another successfull Goats, Music and More Festival in 2010!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Meeting the Retailers and Developers at ICSC in Atlanta

(Photo- Greg Lowe and Mike Wiles at ICSC-Southeast in Atlanta)

The International Council of Shopping Centers Southeast Conference was held on Oct. 5-7 in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Convention Center and brought retailers, developers, brokers and economic and community development professionals from around the southeast and along the east coast to discuss the state of the economy, new retail expansion projects and possible future developments.
Marshall Co. JECDB Director Mike Wiles and Greg Lowe of the City of Lewisburg attended the conference for the second year to showcase available retail properties in Marshall County as well as discuss future retail projects with developers and retailers.
After working with Buxton Company to help determine retail gaps in Marshall County, the ICSC Southeast conference provided Wiles and Lowe the opportunity to seek out specific retailers that would benefit from starting operations in Marshall County. Contacts with developers and retailers have led to discussions about new retail coming to Marshall County; but as expected, the state of the current economy is playing a role in new retail development across the United States.
Still, several promising leads were contacted at the ICSC Southeast and continuing discussions hope to result in future retail development in Marshall County.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Goats, Music and More Survives the Weather

The 7th Annual Goats, Music and More Festival saw a little rain and a little chill; but with over 100 vendors and fantastic entertainment each night, the crowds came and enjoyed another great event at Rock Creek Park in Lewisburg.

The addition of the Nigerian Dwarf Goat show raised the number of goat shows at the festival to 8 running Friday through Sunday. Goat breeders and exhibitors from all across the country came out to compete for trophies and ribbons in the fainting goat, Boer goat, Mini Silky goat and Nigerian Dwarf goat shows.

Country music stars Shenandoah played up a storm Friday night at the festival following the conclusion of the Battle at Rock Creek battle of the bands competition. After twelve bands from across the mid-south competed in earlier rounds, it came down to Tyterope of Chapel Hill, TN and Nickajack from Dayton, TN. In the end, the boys from Chapel Hill, Tyterope, impressed the judges and took home the $2,500 in cash and the title of the best band in Southern Middle Tennessee.

Saturday was the big day with the 3rd Annual Lewisburg Rotary Club State Championship Barbecue Cook Off bringing in cookers from as far away as Arizona all competing for prizes in Pork, Brisquet, Chicken, Ribs and Goat. The Goatly Goblins contest and the Nannies and Kids Pageant rounded out the morning and led into the evening of entertainment beginning with local band, The Fossils.

The Fossils, Doug "Bubba" Fagan, Jerry Stoltz, Jeff Haislip and Eddie Fuller, warmed up the chilli crowd for the headliners of the evening, Motown Madness and Shawn Klush - The Closest Thing to the King.

Motown Madness is a band from Florida and has been named the number one celebrity impersonator act in the world. Showcasing the talents of Ray Charles, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner and The Blues Brothers, Al Morris of The Coasters, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, served as emcee and kept the crowd moving to the music.

Shawn Klush, the Closest Thing to the King, returned to the Goats, Music and More stage with one of the most dynamic and realistic Elvis acts performing today. Klush brought with him living legend D.J. Fontana who was the first drummer of Rock and Roll in the King's band.

From mechanical bull rides and train rides and slides to goat sandwiches, goat cheese and goat soap, the 7th Annual Goats, Music and More Festival had a little something for everyone. If you missed it this year, mark your calendar for next year, Oct. 8, 9 & 10, 2010 for the 8th Annual Goats, Music and More Festival.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rotary Barbecue Cook Off returns to Goats, Music and More

The 3rd Annual Lewisburg Rotary Club State Championship Barbecue Cook Off, sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, returns to the Goats, Music and More Festival on Saturday, Oct. 10.
Professional and Backyard/Shade Tree cookers from across the Southeast will be putting their best sauces and spices on the grill competing for up to $6,000 in cash prizes in 5 categories – Chicken, Pork Ribs, Pork, Brisket (Beef) and Goat with Anything But serving as the State Championship Goat Cook Off.
This year’s event is sponsored by First Farmers and Merchants Bank, First National Bank, Roberts & Lyons GM, A Plus Collision Center, Wal-Mart, Coble Furniture and Advanced Eye Care Clinic. It is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet along with the Goats, Music and More Festival itself.
The Goats, Music and More Festival is in its 7th year and the Rotary Barbecue Cook Off will host its third event. Both events continue to grow each year and helps to put Lewisburg on the map each second weekend of October. The Goats, Music and More Festival was recently selected as a Top 20 Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.
Spaces are still available to put your cooking team in the cook off for this year. If you would like a registration form, contact Angie Binkley at (931) 359-8770 or email her at

Friday, August 14, 2009

Downtown Lewisburg Will be Buzzing in August, September and October

The downtown of Lewisburg will be buzzing almost every weekend between now and the Goats, Music and More Festival that begins Oct. 8, 9, 10 and 11.

It all starts this Saturday, August 15, with the Cops for Kids fundraiser presented by the Lewisburg Police Department. A 5k run or walk will begin at 7 a.m. followed by kids games, a dunk tank, food and more at 9 a.m. Only a $5 admission will give kids unlimited games and a lunch. At 1 p.m., there will be a silent auction and a live auction with tons of sports memorablia, country music items, autographed items and much, much more.

This Saturday night, August 15, the Battle at Rock Creek kicks off at 7 p.m. with the first three bands competing for a chance at the $2,500 cash prize and an opening spot for Shenandoah who will be headlining the Oct. 9 night of the Goats, Music and More Festival. The Liz Runde Band, Nickajack and The Fraziers will take the stage this weekend with Peachman BBQ serving his special brand of BBQ at each Battle at Rock Creek. On August 29, Ronnie Lee Twist and the Future Cats, Chip Willmore and Overdrive will perform following by Tyterope, Rizin Downfall and Skyline Drive on September 12 and Three Shades of Grey, Uncle Tom and Ty Nelson & Common Ground performing on September 26. One winner from each of the four nights will compete at the Goats, Music and More Festival on Oct. 8 with the two finalists performing Friday night, Oct. 9, as the opening acts for Shenandoah.

The Lewisburg Cruise In has two more nights on the Lewisburg Square beginning August 29 from 5-8 p.m. The final Lewisburg Cruise In on the Square will be September 26 with the Nora Mills Band performing live, two grand prize drawings, the peoples' choice award, memorial award, door prizes and the 50/50 raffle.

On September 26, also on the square in the Dixie Theatre, the Marshall County Community Theatre Children's Division will perform Alice in Wonderland at 7:30 p.m.

And on October 3, the Lewisburg Lions Club Octoberfest will be held on the Lewisburg Square beginning with their famous pancake breakfast at 6 a.m.

All of this will be leading up to the big event, the 7th Annual Goats, Music and More Festival beginning Oct. 8, 9, 10 and 11 at Rock Creek Park. The activities begin Friday morning with a 5K Goat Gallop fun run along the greenway of Rock Creek Park. There will be 7 goat shows including the World Championship Fainting Goat Show, the John D. Taylor Memorial Boer Goat Show, the Southern Middle TN Boer Goat Show, the Myotonic Goat Registry Goat Show, the Mini-Silky Goat Show and the Southern Middle TN Nigerian Dwarf Goat Show. On Thursday night, Oct. 8, the final four Battle at Rock Creek bands will perform, all competing for a $2,500 cash prize and an opening for Shenandoah on Friday night. On Oct. 9, the final two bands will open for Shenandoah who will announce the winner of the Battle at Rock Creek competition following their performance.
Saturday, Oct. 10 will feature more goats shows, arts and crafts, kids games and the Lewisburg Rotary Club 3rd Annual State Championship Barbecue Cook Off, a Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned event.

On Saturday night, Oct. 10, Motown Madness takes the stage featuring impersonators for Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Little Richard, Michael Jackson and the Blues Brothers. Following Motown Madness, Shawn Klush- the Closest Thing to the King - returns to the Goats, Music and More stage bringing the Elvis experience back to Lewisburg.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Battle at Rock Creek joins Goats, Music and More Festival Events

Think you have the best unknown band in Southern Middle Tennessee? You can find out by competing in the Battle at Rock Creek.

The Battle at Rock Creek will bring together 16 bands from surrounding counties including Marshall County to compete for the title of Best Band in Southern Middle Tennessee. The first four bands will compete starting August 15 at Rock Creek Park in Lewisburg and the winner will advance to the next round. Dates of the initital competitions will be August 15, August 29, September 12 and September 26. The four winners from those dates will open the Goats, Music and More Festival on Thursday, October 8 and the finalists will open Friday night, October 10 at the Goats, Music and More Festival before country music sensation Shenandoah takes the stage. The boys from Shenandoah will announce the winner following their show Friday night.

The Battle at Rock Creek winner will receive a cash prize of $2,500.

To learn more or to register your band for this event, contact Greg Lowe at or call (931) 359-1544.

You can also log onto

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lewisburg Cruise In Roars into the Square

The first of five Lewisburg Cruise Ins on the Lewisburg Square was a big hit on May 30. Over 140 cars and trucks, plus several motorcycles, rolled in and drew a huge crowd. We expect an ever larger crowd at our next Cruise In on June 27 from 5 - 8 p.m. on the Lewisburg Square. If you missed the first one, don't miss the second one.

Thanks to everyone on the Cruise In Committee, the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce, the Joint Economic and Community Development Board, the Marshall County Courthouse, Bank of America, Enchanted Gardens, The Emporium, Stan McNabb Ford, K&D Auto, T&E Custom and Eady's Auto, Martin Motors, Leona Hill and Treasures of the Heart Photography, The Lewisburg Lions Club, the Lewisburg Kiwanis Club, the Relay for Life, the Lewisburg Parks and Recreation Department, the Lewisburg Public Works Department, the Lewisburg Police and Fire Departments, Lewisburg City Manager Eddie Fuller, the Marshall County EMS, Lynda Potts and the family of James Russell.

Remaining Cruise Ins will be held on June 27, July 25, August 29 and September 26.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marshall County Technology Fair A Success

The Marshall County Technology Fair on May 21, 2009 at Columbia State Community College in Lewisburg welcomed over 200 people who took part in the seminars offered and the booths of information on the latest in technology today. Congratulations to the Three-Star Technology Committee, the Joint Economic and Community Development Board for putting the fair together and thanks to all the exhibitors and seminar instructors for participating. (Photo - Tony Couch of CAM Commerce was one of the exhibitors at the Marshall County Technology Fair. CAM Commerce produces a retail software to help small business operate smarter and more efficiently.)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Software, Hardware, Gadgets Galore

Blackberry, Bluetooth, Linux and More

The Marshall County Technology Fair is coming to Columbia State Community College in Lewisburg and May 21 and promises to bring seminars and booths with lots of information on the latest in technology and how technology can help your home, office or business.
The Marshall County Joint Economic and Community Development Board is sponsoring the event through its Technology Committee. The committee has been working feverishly over the past several weeks to come up with vendors and instructors on technology and has come up with a great line up of technology information for the whole family, as well as entrepreneurs and local businesses.
“One of the main goals of the Technology Committee was to host a technology fair,” said Three-Star Technology Committee Chair Bruce Ramsey. “We believe this will be a great service to the people of Marshall County as we strive to become more tech savvy as a community.”
According to Ramsey, the key to the success of the Marshall County Technology Fair will be participation from the community. The more people that come out to see and learn what the latest in technology has to offer, the better chance more vendors with even more technological products will be willing to return next year and the year after.
“We have invited all the civic groups to hold their meetings at the technology fair and the Chamber of Commerce will hold a coffee,” Ramsey said. “What we want to do now is get the word out to all the people in Marshall County so that they can come and learn more about the amazing advances in the technological world.”
Some of the vendors who will be there on May 21 include Texas Instruments, CAM Commerce, AT&T, Verizon, The Tennessee Electronic Library, Connected Tennessee, Licentia Designs, Marshall County Internet Service, TnWeb, Hotshot, Radio Shack and MXN Corporation. The MXN Corp. will have its 32-foot technology bus at the fair for people to climb aboard and experience the latest in technology, computers and software.
Seminars will include Web Design for Small Business, Networking for Small Business, Basic Email and Outlook, Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point, Internet Safety for Parents, Using the Tennessee Electronic Library, Data Security and more.
And there will be some great door prizes including a Blackberry, Bluetooth headsets and an HP ProCurve Wireless Access Point. You must show up to be register for these and many more gifts and prizes.
“Technology is not just the wave of the future, it’s the wave of the present,” Ramsey said. “If you are not utilizing technology in your home or especially in your business, you are falling behind. We hope the Marshall County Technology Fair will help open that door to technology for many people in our community and get them caught up a little bit.”
The Marshall County Technology Fair will begin at 10 a.m. on May 21 and will run until 7 p.m. Seminars will be held throughout the day and booths will be open all day for anyone who needs to come before or after work. This event has been months in the planning and is shaping up to be a do-not-miss event.
“We invite everyone in Marshall County to come and see what is being done with technology today,” Ramsey said. “You will be amazed at what technology is making happen in your everyday world and how you can be a part of using technology to make a better world for yourself.”
The Marshall County Technology Fair comes to Columbia State Community College in Lewisburg on May 21, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Industrial Appreciation Dinner - May 12, 2009

The Lewisburg Industrial Development Board and the Lewisburg Economic and Community Development Office will be hosting an Industrial Appreciation Luncheon at the Lewisburg Recreation Center on May 12, 2009 at 12 p.m.

Industry leaders and their associates are invited to attend along with Industrial Development partners from TVA, the State of TN ECD Office, South Central Development and utilities.

To RSVP, contact Lisa Jackson at (931) 359-1544 or email

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ratchet Up Marshall County

Workforce Training Project begins in Marshall County

A skilled workforce is crucial to the efficiency and productivity of existing industries but it is also essential in recruitment of new industries. During this economic downturn, the City of Lewisburg got together with the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board to develop a worker training program in Marshall County that begins at the end of this month.
The program started with a Workforce Development Conference held at Columbia State Community College in Lewisburg. Representatives for existing industries in Marshall County met with representatives from the City of Lewisburg, Marshall County, the Marshall County School System as well as representatives from the state and the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board. At that conference, industries were allowed to relay issues in their workforce they felt most needed to be addressed. From this information, the Ratchet Up Marshall County Workforce Training Series was developed.
“We were very impressed at the turnout for the conference and was pleased to hear the feedback from our industry leaders on the issues in workforce skills and training,” said Lewisburg ECD Director Terry Wallace.
Some of the main issues raised by industry leaders were work ethic, process problem solving, computer skills, skills using hand tools and measurement comprehension as well as basic math skills. The City of Lewisburg ECD office and Marshall County JECDB Director Mike Wiles partnered with Jan McKeel of the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board to create a training program that would address these issues.
“We felt this was a perfect time to implement an incumbent worker training program for our existing industries,” said JECDB Director Mike Wiles. “We are very grateful to Jan McKeel and the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board for their partnership in making this project to become a reality so quickly.”
With funding and guidance from McKeel and the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board, the Ratchet Up Marshall County project was created to provide training to existing workers in the various industries in Marshall County. Instructors were arranged through Columbia State Community College and the Tennessee Career Center along with the Marshall County Adult Learning Center and the Marshall County School System. The instructors, including Phil Ross, a 30-year veteran of the automotive industry, Lyn Stacey, Career Technical Educator with the Marshall County School System and the Spot Lowe Technology Center and Sara Campbell, director of the Marshall County Adult Learning Center, were pulled together to create training course descriptions for each of the following courses – work ethic, process problem solving, math, Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point and the proper use of hand tools and measurement comprehension.
Once the courses and instructors were in place, Lewisburg ECD Director Terry Wallace, Lisa Jackson and Greg Lowe of the City of Lewisburg and JECDB Director Mike Wiles met with each industry in Marshall County to discuss the various training courses and arranged for their employees to register. Each industry agreed to pay their employees to take these training courses that counts as the required match for the funding of the project that is funded by the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board.
The courses will be held at Columbia State Community College beginning with a two 4-hour course on Math skills on April 21 and 24. The process problem solving course was immediately sought after by industries. CKNA of Lewisburg is offering three variations of the course to 600 of its employees and Teledyne is offering the most advanced variation to 35 of its top level employees beginning April 30. After those two industries complete the course, instructed by Phil Ross, the course will be opened up and offered to all the other industries in Marshall County at Columbia State Community College.
The month of May will see training courses offered in Microsoft Word, Excel and Power Point along with the proper use of hand tools and measurement comprehension followed by training in proper work ethic in June.
“We could not have been happier to work with Marshall County on this project,” said McKeel. “We have spread the word of Ratchet Up Marshall County to our other communities and we believe this will serve as the model for increasing the skill sets of our workforce throughout the region.”
The project is receiving high marks from representatives from the state and other communities and is expected to be just the beginning of future training series in Marshall County and the south central Tennessee region.
For more information on Ratchet Up Marshall County, contact Greg Lowe at the City of Lewisburg (931) 359-1544.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Re-Use Event Coming April 25

Everyone has stuff – in their home, their garage, that outbuilding around back – that they need to get rid of but just don’t for one reason or another.
Take a look around your house and think about items you would like to get rid of and mark your calendar for April 25, 2009. That is when the annual Hazardous Household Waste Day event will return to Marshall County; and this year, it will be joined by the Neighbors Helping Neighbors – a Re-Use Event.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors is an idea that came from the Lewisburg Rotary Club and has spread to include Goodwill and Marshall County Solid Waste. The idea is simple – allow people to get rid of items they no longer want or need but is still in good enough condition that it can be used by someone else. There are people right here in the community who need certain items to improve their quality of life and you might just have what they are looking for tucked away in the corner of your closet or garage taking up space.
If that is true, get those items together and get ready to bring them to the Goodwill parking lot in The Acres Shopping Center on April 24 from 2-6 p.m. or on April 25 from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Those items will be collected in the side parking lot at Goodwill and sorted for anyone who wants or needs them to come and get them, free of charge. This is not a yard sale. This is a Neighbors Helping Neighbors – Re-Use event.
And the beautiful part is that any items not taken by someone who needs them will be taken by Goodwill for use in their stores; and any items that cannot be accepted at the Neighbors Helping Neighbors event can either be taken to the Hazardous Household Waste event that will be held the same day in the parking lot behind Lewisburg Jewelry in The Acres Shopping Center. If you can’t get rid of your stuff there, then the Convenience Center in Belfast is less than two miles away. Think of it - a day in which all that clutter in your house or garage can be gone with just a short drive to The Acres Shopping Center. And better yet, you will know that your items will benefit someone who can really use it right now. It’s a win-win.
Let’s clean up Marshall County and be a good friend and neighbor in the process.

When: Saturday, April 25, 2009 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: The Acres Parking Lot next to Goodwill Store
What: Accepting items to be given away to those who can use them

RE-USE Items accepted:
Fri., April 24 2-6p.m. & Sat., April 25 8-10 a.m.
Free standing appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves) in good working order, small and portable appliances in good working order, Household furniture, including items for the bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen, kitchen utensils, silverware, dishes, cookware, Yard and garden tools; power tools in working order with all parts, sheets, towels, curtains, bathroom accessories, rugs, baby furniture and accessories, medical aids, etc. Transportation service for larger items may be available.
Items not accepted at the Re-Use Event may be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Event, Goodwill or one of the four Convenience Centers around Marshall County
For more information, Contact – Morgan Thomas (931) 359-0547
Sponsored by Lewisburg Rotary Club, Goodwill & Marshall Co. Solid Waste

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lewisburg Selected as one of Top Micropolitan Areas of 2008

Lewisburg was recently announced as tied for 65th of the Top Micropolitan Areas, according to the Conway Data New Plant Database, the official corporate facility tracking service of Site Selection magazine.
The ranking puts Lewisburg in the Top 100 out of nearly 700 micropolitan areas designated by the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the Bureau, a micro area is a largely rural economy that includes a city of at least 10,000 people but less than 50,000 and covers at least one county. Of the 3,141 counties in the U.S., 694 are classified as micro areas and account for about 10 percent of America's population.
Statesville-Mooresville, about a 40-minute drive north of Charlotte, North Carolina, has been ranked first or second by Site Selection every year but one since 1999 –an indication of the area's long-term economic strength. Tupelo, Miss., tied for second with Daphne-Fairhope, Ala., which each recorded 12 projects in 2008. Ottawa-Streator, Ill., and Batavia, N.Y., tied for fourth with 11 each, while Wooster, Ohio, finished sixth with 10.
Rounding out the top 10 micropolitans were last year's winner, Lexington-Thomasville, N.C., and Ashtabula, Ohio, which each tallied nine deals, followed by Wapakoneta, Ohio, with eight, and Adrian, Mich., and Lincolnton, N.C., with seven each.
Lewisburg’s projects with U.S. Tank and Cryogenics and Autom Church Supply tied it for 65th in the rankings along with Brownsville, TN. Columbia and Tullahoma tied for 41st each with 3 projects as Lawrenceburg and Dyersburg each tied for 26th with 4 projects.
Site Selection Online – The magazine of Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Area Economic Development.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Autom Celebrates Grand Opening in Lewisburg Business Park

Last week, the people of Autom Church Supply opened the doors to its beautiful new facility in the Lewisburg Business Park to welcome and to thank the state, county and local officials who worked hand-in-hand with the company to assist in the monumental task of moving it from Phoenix, AZ to Lewisburg, TN.
Autom has been in business for 60 years distributing church supplies to customers across the nation. The company had been operating in Phoenix, AZ until a couple of years ago when owners Paul and Thomas DiGiovanni, sons of founder Ignatius DiGiovanni, decided to bring their operations east and found Tennessee. After many negotiations with Tennessee Economic and Community Development officials, Marshall County and Lewisburg officials, and several agencies including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association, South Central Tennessee Development District and South Central Tennessee Workforce Board, the company chose their new home in the Lewisburg Business Park.
“In a project of this size and scope, so many have played in a role in making this possible,” said owner Paul DiGiovanni. “The sense I got from the people of Tennessee is that they wanted this and they moved mountains for us. I think Tennessee is the best kept secret in the United States.”
To celebrate this most successful partnership, Autom welcomed all the people involved in the move from Phoenix, AZ for a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 12. The celebration consisted of tours of the facility, prizes, food and fun for children; but the main goal of the event was to welcome Autom to the Lewisburg community and recognize all the people who helped to make it a success.
“It excites me every time I am asked to come to a ribbon cutting, especially when it is for such a first-rate operation as this,” said Marshall County Chamber of Commerce President Chad Fox. “Welcome.”
And with that, the ribbon was cut making official the opening of Autom as a new partner in the Lewisburg Business Park.
“This is truly a great day,” said City of Lewisburg ECD Director Terry Wallace. “I’ve made some new friends with a great bunch of folks. It’s been a pleasure.”
Along with the ribbon cutting, the City of Lewisburg unveiled a plaque placed at the entrance to the new facility in honor of Autom’s move to the Lewisburg Business Park.
“We are delighted Autom has settled here,” said Lewisburg Mayor Bob Phillips. “What they have built shows their desire to be a high-class facility and a flagship for our Lewisburg Business Park.”
The building Autom built with architect Richard Williams and John Chunn of Truette Construction is a beautiful 120,000 sq. ft. facility that neighbors the U.S. Tank and Cryogenics facility as the first two industries to call the Lewisburg Business Park home.
“Lewisburg is grateful,” said Lewisburg Industrial Development Board Chairman Eddie Wiles. “For the IDB, it’s been a great relationship and we are very pleased with the building.”
The facility is also a source of pride for Autom as well.
“We are obviously ecstatic with the building and we are very, very proud of it,” said Autom Operations Manager Monte Mertens. “This is the prettiest building I’ve seen for miles and you should be proud of it as well.”
Mertens and his family, including brother Marty, wife Beth and son, Aaron, have spent the past year in Lewisburg making sure that the move from Phoenix ran smoothly. Marty and his family have already set up a home in Lewisburg and their children are currently in elementary school in the Marshall County school system. Monte and his family are in the process of making Lewisburg their home as well.
“They are going to live here and be a big part of the community,” Wallace said.
“We are in love with Lewisburg and Tennessee,” Mertens said. “We cannot tell you how joyful it has been to work in this community and how we were welcomed.”
Autom has actually been up and running for a few months now bringing in their products and preparing them to be shipped out to their customers. Currently, Autom has 35 employees but is expected to add even more in the near future. Autom is planning on moving their Will & Baumer candle factory from Long Island, NY to the Lewisburg Business Park as well.
“We have been very pleased with the people who we’ve hired to work here during the transition,” Mertens said. “There was never a moment someone said ‘that’s not in my job description’. Thanks to all of you.”
Autom recognized all the following people and the agencies they represent for their efforts in making their new facility possible in the Lewisburg Business Park: Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber, Phillip Trauernicht, Jeff Bolton, Tommy Burns and Jerry Merriman of the State Department of Economic and Community Development, Deborah Cameron of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Sims Lance of the Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association, Doug Williams of the South Central Tennessee Development District, Dean Dickey, Tia Anderson and Nancy Tipper of the South Central Tennessee Workforce Board, Lewisburg Mayor Bob Phillips, Lewisburg City Administrator Eddie Fuller, City Treasurer/Recorder Connie Edde, Lewisburg City Council Members Quinn Brandon, Hershel Davis, Robin Minor, Phil Sanders and Odie Whitehead, Lewisburg ECD Director Terry Wallace, Lewisburg ECD Assistants Lisa Jackson and Greg Lowe, Industrial Development Board Chairman Eddie Wiles, Lewisburg Industrial Development Board Attorney Bob Binkley, Lewisburg Industrial Development Board Members Jackie Abernathy, Tommy Harris, Sam Kirby, William Gentry, Jim Weaver, Edward Tankersley, Lee Morrison, Steve Adams, Marshall County Mayor Joe Liggett, Joint Economic and Community Development Director Mike Wiles, Joint Economic and Community Development Board Chairman Edmund Roberts, Marshall County Chamber of Commerce Director Ritaanne Weaver, Marshall County Chamber of Commerce President Chad Fox, Lewisburg Electric System Director Richard Turner, Lewisburg Gas Department Manager Pat Morgan and Customer Services Representative Craig Blackwell, Lewisburg Water and Wastewater Director Kenneth Carr and Assistant Director Robert Biggers, John Chunn and Nick Steelman of Truette Construction, Richard Williams of Williams Architecture, Jim Brown of U.S. Tank and Cryogenics, and First Commerce Bank of Lewisburg.

Cutlines for Photos
Autom Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting Three
Autom cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of their new facility in the Lewisburg Business Park. Pictured are: Front Row L-R, Lewisburg ECD Director Terry Wallace, Autom Owner Thomas DiGiovanni, Lewisburg Mayor Bob Phillips, Autom Operations Manager Monte Mertens, Lewisburg IDB Chairman Eddie Wiles, John Chunn of Truette Construction and Autom Owner Paul DiGiovanni. – Photos by Greg Lowe

Autom Grand Opening Building Front
The Autom Church Supply facility in the Lewisburg Business Park.

Autom Grand Opening Plaque
The plaque presented to Autom by the City of Lewisburg.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Marshall County Technology Fair

We Invite You to the
Marshall County Technology Fair
May 21, 2009—10am-7pm
Columbia State Community College-
Lewisburg Campus Site
980 S. Ellington Parkway, Lewisburg, TN
There will be Vendors and Seminars to teach hardware, software, trends, applications and all aspects of new technology for the home, office and business
For More Information, Contact
Greg Lowe—(931) 359-1544 or

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Marshall County Workforce Conference A Success

The Marshall County Workforce Conference held at Columbia State Community College-Lewisburg on January 23 brought a great turnout of industry leaders, educational leaders and leaders from local, regional and state agencies involved in economic development. JECDB Director Mike Wiles and Lewisburg ECD Director Terry Wallace led the meeting with Jan McKeel of South Central Tennessee Workforce Board supplying valuable information on training opportunities for workers and available funding for additional training in the future. With imput during a roundtable discusson from industry leaders and educators, a plan is being developed to provide more training for Marshall County's workforce to help make the region an even stronger attraction to new industries and to help strengthen the workforce of existing industries in the area.
Within the new few weeks, more details of the workforce training plan will be released to everyone who attended the meeting; and then the plan will be put into practice to increase training and workforce development in Marshall County.

Results and Ranking of Issues from industrial leaders’ input

Rank Issue # of Votes
1 Work Ethics 11
2 Process Problem Solving 9
3 Math Refresher Course 6
4 Computer/Microsoft Programs/ 5
Paperless Transition and Usage
4 Leadership Classes 5
4 Safety 5
5 Manufacturing Principles 4
5 Proper Use of Hand Tools 4
5 First Line Supervision 4
5 Team Building 4
6 Engineering Skills 3
6 Career Readiness Certificates 3
7 Reading Comprehension 2
7 Statistical Process Control 2
7 Quality Improvement 2
7 Forklift Training 2
7 Maintenance Skills 2
7 Medical Equipment Repair 2
8 Graphs and Charts 1
8 Lean Manufacturing 1
8 Six Sigma (Green, Black) 1

Other Issues Raised

- Experienced Printing Pressman – no training available for pressman in the area
- Training for Graphic Artists
- Training for Inventory Control Specialist
- Strategies on How to Increase Sales
- Career Readiness Certificate – recommend be taken to junior and senior high school level
- Introduce soft skills/work habits/understanding benefits/understanding the importance of attendance, etc.
- Review possibility of bringing back basic math to high school level
- Expand training on Welding Skills (Certified Welders) B&B in Hohenwald – just hired 5 welders out of their program as an example
- Properly utilize measuring tools, tape measure, calipers, micrometers, etc.
- Read and understand engineering drawings
- Understand fractional and metric measurements, convert between the two
- Access to a Database of skilled workers in region for employers to use to find employees
- Training Lab Skills
- Teach/Encourage Flexibility for different shifts
- First Aid Training and CPR Training
- CNA or CNT program
- Medical equipment repair
- Voluntary Drug-Testing Certificate
- Electrical Engineering, Hydraulic, Pneumatic, Phlebotomy Training
- Basic Principles of Business and Manufacturing (The link Between success of employer and employee)
- High School Students Industrial Training (welding, mill, etc.) Co-Op with training facilities and colleges – Get their hands on industrial equipment early
- Consolidate Shipping between area industries and businesses
- Get into Bidding for Small Business Government Contracts
- Start ROTC program in High School
- Training for Floor Technicians Management
- How to use a Blackberry
- English Speaking Classes