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VOL. 41 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 11, 2017

Vikings owners join Nashville MLS effort

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NASHVILLE (AP) — The majority owners of the Minnesota Vikings are joining a group trying to bring a Major League Soccer team to Nashville.

Mark, Zygi and Leonard Wilf are minority owners in the Nashville project, according to Nashville Soccer Holdings CEO John R. Ingram. Terms of the Wilfs’ investment haven’t been disclosed.

The Wilf family bought the Vikings in 2005. Zygi Wilf is owner and chairman. Mark Wilf, Zygi’s younger brother, is owner and president. Leonard Wilf is their cousin.

Ingram stated the Wilfs bring “expertise in a number of areas like stadium development, fan experience, marketing, communications and ticket sales.”

Nashville is one of 12 cities competing for four expansion slots. The MLS is expected to announce two of its expansion sites later this year.

Gateway picks White House as headquarters

Gateway Packaging has announced it will move its official headquarters to White House and expand its manufacturing operations.

The manufacturer will invest $13.2 million and create 50 new jobs in Robertson County.

Gateway will also retain 100 jobs from a recently acquired White House company.

Gateway manufactures flexible paper and plastic packaging products focused on pet food and treats as well as for the specialty human food market.

“The Gateway Packaging White House facility represents the newest expansion for the company and incorporates the latest state of the art technology of printing and converting assets in the industry,” says Joe Italiano, Gateway CFO.

“In addition to manufacturing flexible packaging, the White House facility will become the new headquarters location for administrative functions of the company.

“Omar Abuaita, CEO of Gateway, and I are extremely thankful for the exceptional cooperation and support from the State of Tennessee and those involved in assisting the company in its expansion in Tennessee.”

New partnership to focus on at-risk families

The Tennessee Department of Human Services has partnered with United Way of Metropolitan Nashville to provide case management for families in poverty.

The pilot plan, Family Empowerment, is based on a two-year, $1.6 million grant.

The partnership illustrates the state’s 2G for Tennessee or two-generation approach focused on creating multi-generational progress for low-income families.

United Way will work with community partners such as Fannie Battle Day Home for Children and The McGruder Family Resource Center to implement its pilot program through July 2019. The program will use an intensive case management service model integrated into the community to engage, assess, and assist up to 140 families over the next two years.

“The two-generation approach ties together components essential for community impact: education, economic supports, health and well-being, and social capital. These components, paired with intentional case management will have a lasting, positive influence on participating families and the communities they are making stronger,” says Danielle W. Barnes, TDHS Commissioner.

Discussions about the partnership began in 2016, and the agencies have worked together to co-design a program with an intentional focus on education, upward economic mobility, health indicators, community engagement, workforce readiness, and financial literacy.

Lipscomb to add international center

Lipscomb University is partnering with Study Group, a global education firm, to establish an international study center on campus.

One of the top 200 universities in the U.S. according to U.S. News & World Report, Lipscomb provides attracts students from 47 nations. The university hopes to grow that number as part of its partnership with Study Group.

“Lipscomb provides tremendous opportunity to international students with innovative academics in a supportive collegic setting,” explains Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D. managing director for Study Group Higher Education North America. “We are honored to have been selected by Lipscomb University and to add this outstanding highly ranked university to our growing portfolio of North American partners.’’

Study Group will provide global marketing and recruitment along with admissions and student services to grow and support the international student population at Lipscomb.

“Study Group’s 24 years plus of expertise in international student preparation and English language training will help strengthen our existing intensive English program,” says L. Randolph Lowry, Lipscomb’s president. “This partnership will help us to expand our reach globally and create a more dynamic experience for students inside the classroom and throughout the community.”

Superior opens La Vergne distribution center

Superior Communications, a service provider in value-added wireless product distribution and supply chain services, is opening a new distribution center in La Vergne.

The 130,000 square-foot facility will be at 5301 Centre Pointe Drive and is ready to support customers.

The center features a fully automated inventory management system with RFID technology to manage high capacity demand.

“Expanding our distribution network helps support our continuing growth and that of our customers,” says Jeff Banks, CEO and president of Superior Communications.

“With the geographic proximity to key markets and access to a strong workforce, the Nashville region is an excellent location for our expansion.”

“The opening of our La Vergne Distribution Center creates a comprehensive network that delivers the agility, flexibility, and speed required to serve our customers in the most efficient manner and improve service levels,” says Mike Cost, Superior Communications’ COO.

Headquartered in California, the company currently operates three distribution centers in North America.

Ideal-Tridon Holidings sold to Snow-Phipps

Smyrna-based Ideal-Tridon Holdings Inc., has been acquired by the Snow Phipps Group.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Ideal-Tridon had been owned by Industrial Growth Partners.

Ideal-Tridon is a leading global engineering solutions designer and manufacturer of stainless steel worm gear and specialty clamps and couplings for industrial, heavy duty, plumbing, irrigation, marine and automotive applications.

“Ideal-Tridon is a market leading platform with a long-tenured management team that has a demonstrated ability to provide premium products to both OEM and distribution customers,” says John Pless, partner at Snow Phipps.

“We look forward to leveraging the Company’s stellar reputation and dominant market position to continue building the business through an attractive pipeline of new business opportunities and highly strategic acquisitions.”

Snow Phipps will partner with the existing Ideal-Tridon management team led by CEO Michael Reese.

Snow Phipps’ Jay Twombly, operating partner, will join Ideal-Tridon as the non-executive chairman of the board.

“Snow Phipps is bringing highly relevant experience to our business, which we believe can support us in driving outsized growth going forward. We have a fantastic group of employees who are eager to begin this new partnership to take our business to the next level,” Reese says.

TennCare picks Edifecs for payment reform

TennCare has chosen Edifecs, Inc., a global health information technology solutions company, to support the agency’s payment reform and clinical quality initiatives.

“TennCare is a leader in the move to value-based payment models,’’ says Fred Guthrie, associate vice president of Edifecs. “They are laser-focused on their goal to see a significant benefit to health care outcomes, while cutting the cost for the people of Tennessee.’’

One of the longest standing Medicaid managed care programs, TennCare provides healthcare for approximately 1.5 million Tennesseans, covering approximately 20 percent of the state’s population, 50 percent of the state’s births, and 50 percent of the state’s children.

As part of a larger effort to change the way healthcare is paid for in Tennessee – away from paying for volume and toward paying for value – Edifecs has partnered with the state Medicaid agency to help align its payment model with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ national payment reform initiatives.

Edifecs’ payment reform and value-based care solutions bring “scalability to TennCare’s initiatives by providing near-time quality calculations, ongoing visibility into performance, and the capability to apply non-claims based measurement data to performance goals.’’

Top features of the plan include:

-- Centralized and consolidated platform for all program quality data entry and submissions

-- Near real-time visibility of program metrics via role-specific dashboards, reports, and notifications

-- Flexible quality engine for calculation of program-specific customized clinical and outcomes based-measures

-- Ability to configure, group, monitor, and associate clinical quality values to all episodes in TennCare’s eight phase episode of care initiative

Vanderbilt Medical promotes diversity

The Vanderbilt School of Medicine is enhancing the diversity of its applicants.

The medical school is hosting four college sophomores this summer as part of its “short pipeline” program, designed to encourage underrepresented minorities and disadvantaged students to pursue a medical path.

The medical school established a formal agreement with Morehouse College and Spelman College in Atlanta, Fisk University, and Berea College in Kentucky, to provide opportunities for disadvantaged undergraduate students during summer, to prepare them to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and provide experience with research.

“We have a formal agreement in place that each of those students will come to Vanderbilt each summer for research and science enrichment and will be paired with medical students and faculty mentors who will be available for them not only when they are here, but when they are back at their home institutions to mentor them,” says program director Kimberly Vinson, M.D., assistant dean for Diversity Affairs.

“If they successfully participate and complete all program requirements each of the summers, maintain a certain GPA and receive a certain percentile score on the MCAT, they will automatically be admitted to VUSM after they graduate.”

The first cohort started this summer and met for a biology and chemistry enrichment class every morning for two hours. The remainder of their time is spent working with a mentor on a research project.