Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero’s New Business Advisory Council

August 18, 2017

The new members of the Business Advisory Council, from left: Deputy to the Mayor Christi Branscom; Wade Esau; Mackey Brownlee; Lisa Cyr; Deidra Harper; Josh Smith; Mayor Madeline Rogero; Mary Ann Stackhouse; Tommy Smith; Phyllis Burns; Jody Collins; Business Liaison Patricia Robledo; Charles Houston; Raul Rangel; and Kira Frazier-Jones.

Deidra Harper, co-owner of B&B Lawn Services, hails from a family of business self-starters and entrepreneurs. So she was a natural fit to be appointed by Mayor Madeline Rogero to her Business Advisory Council.

“It’s exciting to see how the City and community can work together,” she said Thursday morning, as the new BAC members met for the first time with the Mayor, Deputy to the Mayor Christi Branscom and Business Liaison Patricia Robledo.

Mayor Rogero has appointed 12 new members of her Business Advisory Council, and those appointees reflect the wide diversity of entrepreneurs, professionals, retailers and service providers that make up Knoxville’s business community.

The members of the BAC serve in an advisory and partnership capacity to promote regular and open communication between City government and businesses. The council gives advice to the Office of Business Support, and it serves as a sounding board for evaluating proposals aimed at making it easier to do business in the city of Knoxville.

That’s appealing to Josh Smith of Master Service Companies LLC, who manages more than 100 employees.

“We see the different challenges,” he said. “Serving on this committee excites me. A good leader wants to put something like this together. … It’s an opportunity to listen and see opportunities to streamline the bureaucracy.”

There’s heavy private investment and energized entrepreneurship happening throughout Knoxville, leveraged in part by the City’s investments in public infrastructure. And while the city is a good place to start and grow businesses, City government is always looking for ways to help make running or expanding a business less complicated and time-consuming.

“When I was running for Mayor, one of things I kept hearing from the business community was that it was difficult to do business with the City,” Rogero said. “So one of the first things I did was create the Office of Business Support.”

Numerous common-sense upgrades have been put in place: For example, online options have been expanded, giving people a choice if they prefer not to make trips to City offices.

Another example: Since 2014, the City’s Plans Review and Inspections Department has been scheduling free, voluntary and informal monthly meetings with property owners, developers, architects, contractors and engineers who want to ask questions and iron out details about their property-improvement projects. It’s intended to be convenient one-stop shopping for anyone with questions about a building project.

Jorge Sanabria of Expoquip finished his BAC term Thursday. He encouraged his successors on the council to not miss a single meeting, because the discussions are so helpful and important.

“Serving was an incredible experience for me,” Sanabria said. “I learned a great deal about our city. I loved Knoxville before, but I love it even more now. We’ve got such a bright future.”

 


Why I Went Blonde And Why I Planted Tomatoes

June 7, 2017

I went to the dentist last week and he had not seen me since I went blonde.  I told him that I did it because I heard blonde’s have more fun. It brought back what I heard Dolly Parton once say when someone asked her if she minded being called a dumb blonde.  In typical Dolly fashion she responded “no because I am not dumb and I am not blonde”. When this picture was made for some promotional reasons,  my friend Bob Longmire a graphic artist and wonderful illustrator saw it and sent me an email. He said “I have worked on the color and softened it up some” hope you don’t mind. Not only did I not mind, I loved it and  I can use all the help that I can get.

On to the tomato story.  After last years drought, I said that I was not planting anything that had to be watered but what was I doing last weekend?  You guessed it, I was planting tomatoes.  A family friend, Chuck, grows the most tasty heirloom tomatoes. He plants hundreds of tomatoes just because he loves doing it.  Some times my sister will open her door and there will be a big tub of tomatoes sitting on her door step. Chuck had given my brother-in-law quite a few tomato plants.  When I was at my brother-in-laws house last weekend he said “don’t you want some of the heirloom tomato plants”? At first I said no and then I thought about bologna and home grown tomatoes out of the back yard and I relented. I planted 5 plants so I should have enough for family and friends. Hope to have bologna and tomato sandwiches in July.

 

 

 

 


A Bit Of History That I Bet You Did Not Know

February 21, 2017

One of my friends send me this information today and thought I would share it with you because it was something that I did not know
*HERE IS A BIT OF HISTORY I BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW…* *Hours after Pearl
Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, the Secret Service found themselves
in a bind. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was to give his Day of Infamy
speech to Congress on Tuesday, and although the trip from the White House
to Capitol Hill was short, agents weren’t sure how to transport him safe. *

*At the time, Federal Law prohibited buying any cars that cost more than
$750, so they would have to get clearance from Congress to do that, and
nobody had time for that. *

*One of the Secret Service members, however, discovered that the US
Treasury had seized the bulletproof car that mobster Al Capone owned when
he was sent to jail in 1931. They cleaned it, made sure it was running
perfectly and had it ready for the President the next day.*

*Al Capone’s 1928 Cadillac V-8 “Al Capone” Town Sedan*
*Became the President’s Limo December 1941*.

*Mechanics are said to have cleaned and checked each feature of the Caddy
well into the night of December 7th, to make sure that it would run
properly the next day for the Commander in Chief. And run properly it did.
It had been painted black and green to look identical to Chicago ‘s police
cars at the time. To top it off, the gangster’s 1928 Cadillac Town Sedan
had 3,000 pounds of armor and inch-thick bulletproof windows.*

*It also had a specially installed siren and flashing lights hidden behind
the grille, along with a police scanner radio.*

*Footnote: The car sold at auction in 2012 for $341,000.00.*


Hope You Noticed

January 10, 2017

spain2016

I hope that you noticed that I have not written a blog in several weeks.  That is because I was blessed to be able to go to Spain with my family.  We were in three cities Seville, Cordoba and Granada.  The history of it all just continues to amaze me.  I visited the palace of Queen Isabel and King Ferdinand and was actually standing in her bedroom and in their dining room. If you remember history, Isabel was the Queen who sent Christopher Columbus on the voyage that led him to discover America.  In Seville, where we were staying we visited the largest Gothic church in the world.  The U.S. is just a baby in comparison, but make no mistake I am oh so grateful to be living in the U.S. The folks here at work wanted to know what made the most impression on me and I would have to say it is the architect and the history of beautiful Spain.  We were able to travel easily on the train system that Spain has and it made me wish that we had a train system readily available to most cities here in the U.S.  However, we walked almost everywhere we went and some days logged 6-8 miles.  You would have thought that I would have lost weight but the wonderful gelato made up for all the walking. Net gain zero and net loss zero so I guess that is good.

My trip is over, the holidays are over so I am back to work with my great staff, who kept things moving smoothly, while I was gone.  Lets print and mail.

 


Making Memories

November 10, 2016

pb-in-belize

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love to travel.  It doesn’t matter where (as long as it is not dangerous) and I don’t usually pick the places that I visit because I go with my daughter and her family.  They say “do you want” and I say yes before they can finish telling me where we are going.  I love learning about the culture, the food and the people.  I usually have a travel book on the place I am going to visit and try to find out as much as I can about the region.  Usually our trips are adventurous as I have white water rafter in Costa Rica and cave tubed in Belize. I did draw a line at zip lining.

My granddaughter recently got married in Minneapolis and I had never been to MN.  One of the things I did not know was that MN is known for growing wild rice.  I discovered this when I had the wild rice and chicken soup that was served in every restaurant that we ate.  Just to make sure that I liked it as much as I first thought, I had it four times.  Yesterday I got on line and ordered some MN wild rice and got a recipe.  I am going to make some at home and see if I do as well as they do in MN.  Food is big on our agenda when traveling, because my daughter, Joy, is a foodie.  She researches restaurants and we eat at places where she knows the food will be great.  Our next big adventure will be to Seville Spain, which is famous for its flamenco dancers.  That is one adventure that I probably won’t be participating in but who knows.  I do love adventures.

 


A Wedding In Minneapolis

November 1, 2016

I just got back to work today from my granddaughter Sarah’s wedding.  Congratulations to Sarah and Dante DeSeranno. What a beautiful wedding.

I had never been to Minneapolis before and found it to be a very interesting place.  I loved the little local shops such as Candyland, where you can buy all kinds of popcorn.  My favorite is the carmel corn.  One thing that I did not know is that MN grows a lot of wild rice.  You can get wild rice and chicken soup in just about every restaurant, as it is a local favorite.  I had it at least four times while I was there, it is that good. I like the fact that there were not a lot of chains restaurants where we were staying.  There are restaurants that have been around for years such as the Hen House where you can get cinnamon rolls that are huge, fresh baked and smelling so good when you walk in the door. I loved that they have such a good transportation system such as the light rail and metro buses everywhere.  However, we walked almost everywhere we went.  We had to do a lot of walking just to get rid of the calories from the wild rice and chicken soup and the cinnamon rolls, not to mention the carmel corn.


Generation Gap And Uttered Sayings

October 25, 2016

Today has reminded me that there is a generation gap between me and my younger employees. Today in production meeting, I said “that someone was trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” and they did not know what I was talking about.  For you a lot younger than me,  it means to be unable to turn something ugly or inferior into something attractive or of value, such; no matter how expensive his clothes, he still looks sloppy – you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.  This expression was already a proverb in the mid-1500s.  Not wait a minute, I am not that old!

Another one today was “salting money down”.  Salting money down is an idiom that means to save something, especially money, for use at a later time.  Salting away money for retirement is a good example.

When I was a child my mother would have an expression that I would not understand.  I would ask her where does that come from and she would say it was an “old ettered saying”.  When I became an adult and my mother had passed away I googled ettered sayings and it was her Irish or East Tennessee way of saying uttered saying.  These are sayings that have been passed down from generation to generation. I am just doing my part and passing them to the younger generation.