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• Nick Meals, CPA, has joined Coulter & Justus, P.C. as a manager in the tax department. Meals holds a Master’s degree in accounting and a Bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from The University of Tennessee.

• Aqua-Chem Inc., based in Knoxville, has designed, manufactured, and is in the process of installing a custom-built Seawater Reverse Osmosis plant for Far Eastern Russia, off the coast of Vladivostok. The Seawater Reverse Osmosis system will purify more than 2.6 million gallons of seawater per day to be used for drinking and process needs.

• Coulter & Justus, P.C. announces Josh Vehec, CPA, has joined the company as a senior in the audit department. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and business management from the University of Pittsburgh.

• Rather & Kittrell announces the addition of Jeff Hall as a partner. Hall has been a financial advisor with the firm since February 2002. Jeff Hall is a Certified Financial Planner professional.

• Rather & Kittrell announces Rus Hunt has been awarded the designation Certified Financial Planner, one of the industry’s most prestigious and demanding designations.

• Farrell A. Levy, of Farragut law firm McDonald, Levy and Taylor, has been named to the 2011 Mid-South Super Lawyers list as a top attorney in the Mid-South for the sixth consecutive year. Super Lawyers, a Thompson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

• Allegiant announces new low-cost, nonstop travel service between Knoxville and Las Vegas, Nev. Flights will operate twice weekly between McGhee Tyson Airport and McCarran International Airport, with service Monday and Friday.

•  Executive Women International Knoxville Chapter recently partnered with Weekend Academy and Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee to promote literacy through the EWI Reading Rally program. EWI Knoxville Chapter purchased copies of “A Friend Indeed” for each of the Weekend Academy students and provided lunch.

• FirstBank announces the addition of Matt Webster as relationship manager, serving customers out of the Knoxville office.

• Through Dec. 24, Kroger stores will host The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign to raise funds to provide toys for children, meals for the hungry, coats for the homeless and help for communities facing natural disasters throughout the New Year.

• Through Dec. 31, Sears Hometown Stores are holding food drives to benefit their community and charitable organizations. Customers who donate a non-perishable food item will receive $5 off a purchase of $75 or more.

• Mountain Commerce Bank announced Todd Jones, senior vice president/director of investments and financial planning, was named first recipient of annual Stuart E. Wood, Jr. Memorial Award. 

• Tennessee Department of Transportation commissioner John Schroer has named William B. Orellana as new aeronautics division director.

• Simon Property Group, Inc. has joined forces this holiday season with American Red Cross to send messages of thanks to service members, their families and veterans through the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. For every American Express Simon Candy Cane gift card purchased, $1 will go to American Red Cross through Dec. 31. 

• Kroger’s Atlanta Division customers and associates in Georgia, South Carolina, Northern Alabama and Eastern Tennessee donated more than $375,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and more than $251,000 to Kroger’s “Giving Hope a Hand” campaign, during October more than $626,000 in donations benefiting breast cancer awareness, treatment and research.

• Rainscapes has been named a winner in Irrigation Association’s Smart Marketing Contest for having one of the best 2011 Smart Irrigation Month campaigns in the nation.

• Amanda Shell, graduate of The University of Tennessee, recently joined Moxley Carmichael as a public relations specialist. Shell served two terms as a Moxley Carmichael intern. After she returned from her last semester abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she joined Moxley Carmichael full-time.

• Alcoa Inc. volunteers helped spread the word about aluminum can recycling before The University of Tennessee versus South Carolina college football game, Oct. 29. An estimated total of 25,000 pounds, or 12.5 tons, of materials were recycled.  

• Robyn J. Askew has joined Knoxville office of the law firm Lewis, King, Krieg and Waldrop, P.C. as special counsel. Askew brings more than 28 years of experience in the areas of commercial real estate, banking and business transactions, as an attorney and real estate developer.

• Blount County-based Foothills Community Development Corporation recently welcomed Tim S. Dimick as executive director, where he will oversee the non-profit affordable housing agency’s mission to provide safe, affordable and decent housing for qualified Blount County and surrounding area families. 

• Marketing and communications office of Pellissippi State Community College was recognized recently with four awards for excellence in public relations. Two of the awards were gold, one was silver and one was bronze.

• Tennessee Department of Transportation commissioner John Schroer has named Lyndsay Thurston Botts as chief of staff. Botts was director of communications and community relations for TDOT. 

• Todd Richesin and business partner Bobby Brown, co-owners of Upstairs, recently received an Orchid Award from Keep Knoxville Beautiful, in recognition of renovations at their building, the “historic ‘up and down’ gas station in Sequoyah Hills.

• Tennessee Department of Transportation commissioner John Schroer has named Juan J. Flores Jr. as new director of multimodal transportation resources, overseeing office of passenger transportation and office of rail and waterway freight transportation.

• Jim Dickerson and Bettye Jo Purda, both of financial services firm Edward Jones in Farragut, recently received the firm’s Client Service Excellence award for being the No. 1 client service provider in their region and in the top 25 percent of client service providers in the country.

• Tennessee Department of Transportation announced federal and state aeronautics grants totaling $10,154,989 have been approved for five Tennessee airports, including McGhee-Tyson.


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