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• The Farragut Chapter of Business Network International, a national business referral organization, meets 7:30 to 9 a.m. every Wednesday at Ruby Tuesday’s on Lovell Road.  For more information, call Aleex Conner at 865-691-6083.

• Bullock, Smith and Partners announced the hiring of intern architect Alena Adler. A recent graduate of The University of Tennessee, she is currently working on the Sevierville Events Center.

• University of Tennessee graduate Sharon J. Tanner, EdD, RN has been named the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission’s new executive director effective Sept. 18. The NLNAC, Inc. is responsible for the accreditation of post-secondary and higher degree nursing education schools and programs including practical nursing, diploma, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral programs.

• A team of bicycle riders, made up of donors, recipients, or both, will make a stop at the University of Tennessee Medical Center’s Boling Pavilion on Saturday, Sept. 30 to share their personal experiences about becoming a blood donor. The team of amateur cyclists is participating in the 5 Points of Life Ride, a bike ride that takes the team from Ottawa, Canada, to Miami, Fla., with stops along the way to encourage people to become donors. One such stop is at UT Medical Center. In addition to the transplant services staff at UT Medical Center’s Heart Lung Vascular Institute, representatives from MEDIC, Tennessee Donor Services, and the Cooperative Appalachian Marrow Program will participate in this educational event.

• Will Karnes recently joined First Tennessee-Knoxville as a vice president in the wealth management department. Karnes provides investment counsel, estate planning and insurance management advice to First Tennessee customers. Karnes has more than 13 years of experience in the insurance business and previously worked for SunTrust Bank where he was a vice president and investment consultant.

•Saratoga Technologies announced Dr. Breese Johnson as its new chairman.  Dr. Johnson takes over from Chris Gillespie who has led Saratoga since July 2003. Dr. Johnson currently practices at Abercrombie Radiology in Knoxville and has an undergraduate degree from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  His medical degree is from The University of Tennessee at Memphis, where he also trained as a radiologist.

• Gander Mountain, an outdoor retailer based in Saint Paul, Minn., will enter the Knoxville market with the grand-opening of a 66,000-square-foot store Sept. 29. The Gander Mountain store will deliver outdoor sporting equipment. The Gander Mountain store will be located at 11501 Parkside Drive in Knoxville.  The store will employ a sales staff of 85 people to provide service to area outdoor enthusiasts.  Customers will find services including a full-service gunsmith shop and a full-service archery pro shop, with a 20-yard archery lane available for archery leagues as well as for testing archery equipment. The store will sell ATVs and have a full-service shop for small-engine repair. Live bait and professional fishing line winding will be available for fishing enthusiasts as well as a host of other activities. 

• United Community Banks, Inc. announced a definitive agreement to acquire Southern Bancorp, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiary Southern National Bank with $329 million in assets. Southern National has banking offices in Canton and Marietta, located in Cherokee County and Cobb County, Ga., and had deposits of approximately $94 million and $199 million, respectively, as of June 30. The $66.5 million transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is subject to the approval of Southern Bancorp’s shareholders, regulatory agencies, and other customary conditions of closing. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2006 and will be slightly accretive to earnings in 2007.

• Effective fall 2007, Pellissippi State Technical Community College will combine four business-related programs into one as a way to increase job opportunities for graduates, benefit employers and make more efficient use of resources within the college. The new business administration program will have four concentrations: computer accounting, management, hospitality and marketing. All four are currently individual academic programs. Students in business administration will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree. The individual A.A.S. degree programs are accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs and the combined program will continue to be accredited. For more information on the college’s programs and different accreditations, visit

• The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the appointment of Kevin Westervelt of Knoxville to the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board.  ORSSAB is a federally chartered citizen’s panel of 20 members that provides recommendations to the DOE Oak Ridge environmental management program. Westervelt is the civil/structural engineering department manager at Mesa Associates in Knoxville.  He is a member of the Tennessee Structural Engineers Association and has 25 years of experience in civil/structural engineering.  He also has experience related to site environmental compliance and special project experience with The University of Tennessee relating to the remediation of the contaminated Coster Shop Rail Yard facility.

• Steven C. Bieritz with Knoxville Living Realty Group has been awarded the Accredited Buyer Representation designation by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council, Inc. of the National Association of Realtors.

• Earth Fare announced a partnership with Alison's Family Farms, a North Carolina farm located approximately 35 miles southeast of Charlotte in Marshville. Alison's chicken is all natural.

(no growth hormones or antibiotics, ever), free-range (allowed to roam outside in the fresh air), raised on an all-vegetable diet feed (no animal by-products), and "Certified Humane Raised and Handled" by the Humane Farm Animal Care Program. Alison's Family Farms chicken is Air-Chilled, a process by which each bird is individually chilled by air, not water, thereby producing a more flavorful bird since there is no water or by-products absorbed.


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