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VOL. 44 | NO. 4 | Friday, January 24, 2020

Dirty Guv’nahs headline new May music festival

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Southern Skies Music Festival, coming to World’s Fair Park on May 16, will feature hometown favorites The Dirty Guv’nahs.

The one-day event will feature seven musical acts across two stages, food trucks, craft beer, wine, specialty cocktails, a maker market and more. In addition to The Dirty Guv’nahs, the music lineup includes Ben Rector, Elenowen, Sawyer, Electric Darling, Carly Bannister and one more surprise guest to be announced.

Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 a.m., but are available before then with the pre-sale code: DOGWOODMUSIC

Tickets, available at Eventbrite, start as low as $40 while supplies last. VIP tickets are $125 and include access to premium viewing area, hangout space with private bars and restrooms, festival merchandise and more.

Haslam MBAs see spike in starting salaries

The Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee reports its MBA graduates saw their average starting salary increase 27% between 2018 and 2019.

The 2019 MBA graduate starting average pay was $99,108, an increase from $77,995 in 2018, representing a record $21,113 increase.

Master of business analytics graduates took home an average of $83,034 this year, an increase of nearly 7%.

“The demand for our graduates in 2019 was phenomenal, and the salary offers were commensurate with the demand,” says Pedro Gonzalez, Haslam’s director of career management for graduate education. “Our programs attract students of high caliber, and our faculty do an outstanding job preparing them to enter the business world. It’s no surprise that our MBA and MSBA graduates are actively recruited by leading organizations for key positions.”

The salaries cited include base pay only. MBA graduates were awarded an average signing bonus of $13,163, while MSBA grads received an average of $7,000. Additionally, employment rates upon graduation were strong. Eighty-five percent of MBA graduates found employment within 90 days of graduation, while 97% of MSBA graduates were employed within six months of graduation.

The top employers of Haslam graduates in 2019 include several high-profile organizations, such as 3M, Dell, Eastman Chemical Company, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft and Pilot Flying J.

McClung receives $25,000 to study paleontology

The University of Tennessee’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture has received a $25,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to reach underserved audiences with standard-based learning around paleontology, evolution and deep time.

The McClung Museum is one of three Smithsonian affiliates nationwide receiving the funding as a part of the Lineage Outreach Opportunity program spearheaded by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and Twin Cities Public Television.

In addition to financial support, the grant investigates how families learn and engage with scientific concepts. In doing so, it utilizes virtual reality tools and other educational activities developed by NMNH and Twin Cities Public Television.

The first phase of the grant was a collaborative educational festival, Fossil Fest, which was hosted at Norwood Elementary School in Knoxville in November. Museum educators partnered with student volunteers from UT’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, scientists from the Gray Fossil Site, and Norwood faculty and staff. Families participated in virtual reality games, board games, mini excavations, fossil identification and other activities related to paleontology, geologic deep time and climate change.

ELFI reaches $1B funding milestone

Farragut-based Education Loan Finance, a division of SouthEast Bank, announces it has funded over $1 billion in student loan refinancing and consolidation loans.

More than 14,500 graduates, parents and cosigners have received the funding. ELFI customers have reported saving an average of $309 a month or $20,946 in total interest savings over the life of their loan.

“ELFI recognizes the challenges in navigating student loan debt that every college graduate with student loans faces,’’ says Barbara Thomas, executive vice president and jead of the Education Loan Finance Division. “This milestone, both in terms of the amount we’ve been able to refinance and the savings to our customers, is evidence that consumers who work with ELFI are taking a critical step toward financial wellness and have turned to ELFI to assist them through the refinancing process. “

The achievement is also a significant technology milestone for the ELFI Loan Origination Platform, which has simplified the loan application process as it is 100% digital and online.

Bush Brothers picks new lead agency

Bush Brothers & Company, the family-owned bean company based in Knoxville, has announced that Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch will serve as its new strategic lead agency, leading strategy and creative development for the full brand portfolio.

“We selected Carmichael Lynch after a competitive RFP process and we’re energized by the capabilities they can bring to the table as we continue to evolve the legacy of Bush Brothers & Company,” says Al Williams, CEO and president.

The move to Carmichael Lynch follows a successful long-term relationship between Bush Brothers & Company and Doner, during which time the agency helped the brand launch new products as well as evolve the Jay and Duke campaign.

Nisus shows off new brand, logo, website

Nisus Corporation, a manufacturer of sustainable wood preservatives and pest management products based in Rockford, has unveiled its new brand identity including a new logo, tagline and website.

The new materials are intended to more clearly represent the company’s commitment to innovation and new product development while honoring Nisus’ 30+ years in business.

The new website has been designed to offer the ultimate user-friendly experience. Its improved mobile and desktop navigation and functionality allow customers to see the full product portfolio Nisus offers along with easy access to specimen labels, SDSs, technical bulletins and other useful materials.

KUB: Help those in need this winter

The 2020 Project Help campaign is underway and runs through Feb. 5.

Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee administers the project, and Knoxville Utilities Board collects donations, and 100% of the funds go to CAC. The money goes directly toward the purchase of electricity, natural gas, propane, heating oil, wood, or coal for those in need.

Project Help of East Tennessee is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations are tax deductible.

“Project Help depends solely on community and individual contributions,” says Susan Edwards, senior vice president and chief administrative officer. “Thanks to generous donors, last year Project Help was able to help over 400 families in need stay safe and warm through the winter.”

Partnering with Food City, WVLT-TV, WIVK, the Knoxville News Sentinel and Home Federal Bank, KUB offers four easy ways to donate to Project Help:

• Purchase a donation coupon when shopping at Food City

• Make a donation at any Knoxville area Home Federal Bank location

• Send a check to Project Help, P.O. Box 59017, Knoxville, TN 37950.

• Check the donation box on their next KUB bill for a one-time donation or monthly pledge.

East TN agencies receive new state funding

The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has announced East Tennessee agencies have been selected to receive new funding to hire regional housing facilitators to increase housing opportunities for people recovering from substance use disorders.

The funding comes under the department’s new Creating Homes Initiative 2 program.

Frontier Health is the community-based agency serving Upper East Tennessee and the Helen Ross McNabb Center will serve Knoxville, the Cumberland Plateau and Southeast Tennessee.

The facilitators are an essential part of the model working with community-based groups to inventory assets, identify needs and create solutions.

CHI-2 looks to build off the department’s highly successful Creating Homes Initiative which has created more than 22,000 housing opportunities and leveraged more than $692 million in state, federal, local, grant, foundational and other sources for people living with mental illness.

Easement to protect French Broad River

Property owners Cathy Murphy and John Manuel have signed an easement, agreeing to permanently protect the shoreline of their riverfront property on Old French Road along the French Board River.

Legacy Parks Foundation announced the decision as part of its Natural Shores Project – a voluntary shoreline protection program – created to promote and preserve the health and natural beauty of the French Broad River from Seven Islands State Birding Park to the Head of the Tennessee River.

“Both John and I grew up on the shores of a river or lake. Seeing the wildlife that gathered there and being able to access the water for recreational purposes was one of the joys of our childhoods,” Murphy says. “We want to be a part of preserving the health and natural beauty of the French Broad River for everyone’s enjoyment.”

The French Broad River is more than 300 million years old and is often listed among the world’s oldest. It dissects the Appalachian Mountains, formed by the Alleghenian orogeny, 320–340 ma. The New, Susquehanna, French Broad are the only significant rivers that fully dissect the Appalachian core.

The Murphy farm has longstanding Knoxville and family ties. It was originally acquired in 1883 by George Rule, first cousin to former Knoxville mayor William Rule.

Credit Union opens scholarship applications

ORNL Federal Credit Union is now accepting applications for the B.A. Candler and John McKittrick scholarships to the University of Tennessee for the 2020-2021 school year.

The scholarships provide $1,000 toward the cost of tuition, books and other school-related expenses.

A minimum of two scholarships are awarded annually: one B.A. Candler Scholarship and one John McKittrick Scholarship. Only members of ORNL Federal Credit Union and members of their families who are pursuing a 4-year degree at UTK are eligible to compete for this scholarship.

Financial aid is a factor in selecting recipients. All applicants must complete and file the Free Application for Financial Student Aid coded for the University of Tennessee by Feb. 1. Members can find the application at

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