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• LeadershipPLENTY, a leadership program sponsored by the University of Tennessee, Knox County, and the city of Knoxville, will graduate its first class at noon Jan. 19 at a luncheon at the UT Conference Center, 600 Henley St. Designed to strengthen leadership in the Hispanic community, the program involved 30 civic leaders. The program was launched in September of 2005 and included a multi-module curriculum and presented practical tools for training future leaders by building on individual experience and adult education principles. The curriculum is designed to help organizations overcome language and cultural barriers and ultimately build a move inclusive, well-prepared citizenry. For more information on LeadershipPLENTY, contact Mike Arms at 865-215-2005.

• The Animal Rescue and Fostering Networks will host a free information and adoption seminar at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 24, in the board room of the Farragut Town Hall. For more information, call Ann LaGrow at 865-966-7057.

• The Farragut Leadership Initiative and the Farragut Education Foundation will host a Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce breakfast networking at 8 a.m., Feb. 17, 2006, at Farragut High School. The event will include a short presentation, tours around the high school and door prizes.

• Eric Bellah has been named Maryville College’s new director of annual giving. Bellah, as director of annual giving, is responsible for planning and implementing a variety of fundraising components, including direct mail, phonathon, community campaigns, the college’s faculty/staff campaign and the annual fund scholarship programs. His office is located in Willard House on the campus. “We are excited to have Eric join our team and believe that he has both the aptitude and attitude to continue to grow the Annual Fund,” said Jason McNeal, vice president for development. “With his past experiences in constituent relations, he brings a service-minded approach that will serve our college well.” The Knoxville native earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1994 and his Master of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, N.C., in 1999. Bellah has experience in service management for non-profit organizations, having worked for two YMCA branches, Young Life and the seminary where he was enrolled. Prior to coming to the college, he was member service director at the James J. Harris Family YMCA in Charlotte, a $9.5 million operation based in a 100,000 square-foot facility with more than 300 staff members. His responsibilities included leading the annual staff community outreach campaign; recruiting volunteers to assist in fund-raising efforts; directing the supervision and training of more than 40 front-line staff members; and coordinating corporate outreach efforts, including recruitment, retention and corporate member services. Under his leadership, the YMCA branch collected 100 percent of the department’s goal for staff and community gift divisions; celebrated 10,000 family-unit memberships and retained 80 percent of its membership in winter of 2004, surpassing national averages for the non-profit organization. He created a “Putting Mission into Motion” workshop for YMCA training seminars and organized the annual Good News Reviews event, a formal event attended by more than 200 people to recognize staff performance. Bellah is the recipient of two YMCA awards. These include the Rose Award, which recognizes service excellence; and the Mark Hollowell Award, given to the person who best exemplifies integrity in the workplace. He was twice nominated for the Harry Brace Spirit Award, which annually recognizes the person in each YMCA branch who best models Christian mission in the work environment.

• Knoxville-based Land Rover Knoxville has announced an expansion to its facilities located at 10215 Parkside Drive. According to General Manager John Hodges, the tremendous expansion of its parts department will increase Land Rover’s ability to service the Knoxville population. The $250,000 expansion is the first for the dealership, which was established in 1998. According to Hodges, the Land Rover Knoxville parts department has seen a 230 percent increase in business since its first year of operation. Land Rover Knoxville, the locally-owned family dealership, is located on Parkside Drive.

• Helping businesses locally and throughout the country comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is a prime factor in Rodefer Moss & Co, PLLC being cited for achieving the single highest net revenue increase last year among the 137 privately owned accounting firms participating in the national BDO Seidman Alliance. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in 2002 in the wake of highly publicized corporate financial scandals, set out new and stringent financial reporting and accounting requirements for publicly held companies. Jimmy Rodefer, the firm’s chief executive officer, was informed of the distinction at the recent BDO Seidman Alliance meeting held in Nashville. “Our firm’s net revenue has tripled in the last five years,” Rodefer said. “That’s a tribute to the ability and dedication of the people on our team.” BDO Seidman is America’s fifth largest accounting firm. The BDO Seidman Alliance is a national association under the BDO Seidman banner that enables participating firms — all of them independent — to expand services to clients through mutual cooperation and sharing of information and resources. Rodefer Moss has more than 100 employees, half of which are in Knoxville. The firm recently announced that it is building a 27,000 square-foot building off Pellissippi Parkway to accommodate growth in staff and clients.

 

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