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VOL. 45 | NO. 22 | Friday, May 28, 2021

Nashville family donates $2.5M to Fisk University

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Fisk University has received its single-largest gift since the school’s inception in 1866, the donation coming from a Nashville family.

The $2.5 million gift from Amy and Frank Garrison will be utilized for the establishment of an Endowed Chair in recognition of Diane Nash at Fisk’s John Lewis Center for Social Justice and as an endowed scholarship fund.

Nash, a former Fisk student, was a leader in the student wing of the Civil Rights Movement and played a prominent role in the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins. The Endowed Chair is for the director of the John Lewis Center and will be named The Diane Nash - Descendants of the Emancipation Chair.

“We could not be more excited about this extraordinarily generous gift and we are grateful that Dr. Nash has allowed the University to name this historic Chair in her honor,’’ says Fisk President Vann Newkirk.

According to Dr. Nash: “this is the first and only endowed chair with my name and I am so pleased to have it at my alma mater. This is such an honor and it belongs not only to me, but also to the thousands of people who participated in the freedom movement with me.”

“Fisk’s extraordinary contributions to the fabric of American life are well documented and today’s students are eager to continue in the footsteps of those legendary leaders, like Diane Nash and John Lewis, who helped shape a better future and set lasting examples of courage and purpose for all of us,’’ Frank Garrison says.

Hot Chicken Festival returning July 4

The 15th annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival, presented by Piedmont Natural Gas and benefiting Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms, will return to East Park, 700 Woodland Street Sunday, July 4, noon-4 p.m.

The Festival celebrated Nashville’s unique dish in 2020 mid-quarantine by shifting to a take-out festival, but will return as an in-person event this year.

A highlight of the event is the festival’s amateur hot chicken cooking contest, which will be held July 1 at 10 a.m.


Local physicians create new health care network

A group of Nashville area physicians say they will launch Synergy Clinically Integrated Network LLC (Synergy CIN), a new network of providers serving the greater Nashville region beginning in October.

The new affiliation is being created to improve patient health outcomes through enhanced care coordination between providers.

Synergy CIN, which is managed by CareAllies, will support local providers as they move into alternative payment models, such as pay-for-quality or shared savings. By helping manage the complexities of contracting, billing and reporting, Synergy CIN is setting up providers for long- term success by enabling providers to select which health plans they will participate in, while still accessing resources to improve patient outcomes.

The new CIN will also support providers with:

• Embedded care teams that will include nurses and pharmacists to ensure enhanced care coordination for patients

• An expanded network of providers, including specialists, to ensure high-quality outcomes

• A team to support administrative and management needs so providers can focus on clinical health outcomes for patients

Ascent to expand, invest in Portland

Ascent Buildings, LLC plans to establish new operations in Portland, where it is headquartered.

The company will invest more than $10 million and create more than 120 jobs over the next two years in Sumner County.

Founded in 2020, Ascent is a full service, pre-engineered steel building manufacturer. The company specializes in manufacturing structural systems, roof systems, wall panels and additional architectural and commercial grade products.

The company will host a job fair on Wednesday, June 2, 3-7 p.m. at 214 Fountainhead Road in Portland. Positions range from plant positions such as welders, fitters, machine operators and material handlers to maintenance and management positions.

Over the last five years, TNECD has supported more than 10 economic development projects in Sumner County, resulting in approximately 2,100 job commitments and $1 billion in capital investment.

Pivot Point included on best places to work list

Pivot Point Consulting, based in Brentwood, has been selected by Modern Healthcare as one of the 2021 Best Places to Work in Healthcare, marking the sixth year the firm has been included in the list.

“Being included in this list is a testament to our commitment to our employees’ health and happiness, especially during challenging times,” says Rachel Marano, Pivot Point Consulting co-founder and managing partner.

The award program identifies and recognizes outstanding employers in the health care industry nationwide. Modern Healthcare partners with the Best Companies Group on the assessment process, which includes an extensive employee survey. Pivot Point will find out its ranking on the Best Places list and be celebrated at the 2021 Best Places to Work in Healthcare awards gala taking place Sept. 16.

Wellview picked as a top well-being company

Startup City Magazine has named Nashville-based Wellview one of its Top Well-Being Companies of 2021.

Wellview is a digital health platform offering population care services to employers looking to reduce costs and improve clinical outcomes.

A magazine dedicated to following innovative early-stage companies, Startup City chose Wellview for its commitment to bringing more cost effective, holistic care to the employee health plans.

“It’s a true honor to be recognized for our company’s dedication to changing health care. We’re proud to be placed alongside these other innovative companies for this award,” says James Story, CEO and co-founder of Wellview.

Artist Evolution expands operations to Nashville

The Artist Evolution LLC, an award-winning marketing agency with locations in Atlanta, Georgia, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, has announced its expansion into Nashville following a partnership with local business leader John Taylor.

Since its inception in 2007, TAE has steadily grown to become a nationally recognized name in the marketing industry. On the cusp of their recent expansion into Atlanta, the rapidly growing agency set its sights on Nashville to widen its footprint and to help even more businesses thrive through digital marketing. TAE clients have described its high-touch service as “Madison Avenue quality meets Southern charm and trust.”

To make this expansion possible, Derek Champagne, founder and owner of The Artist Evolution, partnered with Taylor, owner of Minuteman Press and NashvillePrinting.com. As the president and co-founder of The Artist Evolution Nashville, Taylor will aim to use his years of experience in marketing to help businesses thrive in an increasingly digital consumer landscape.

Nashville’s flexible work space rates climb 14%

Cities that reportedly saw an influx of new workers during the COVID-19 pandemic also saw increases in flexible workstation rates in 2020 over 2019, The Instant Group’s U.S. Market Summary reports.

Nashville cost-per-desk rose 14%.

The study shows Phoenix rose 39%, Denver 11% and Austin 3%. Alternatively, the biggest dips in cost-per-desk were seen in New York City’s Midtown market (-29%), in Washington, DC (-23%), in Boston (-22%), and in Los Angeles (-18%).

Similarly, cities with rising workstation rates also saw increased demand. The second half of 2020 showed a 22% increase in demand in Denver and a 20% increase in Austin compared with the first half of the year. In San Francisco, demand dropped by 9% and by 8% in Chicago in the same time period.

Richards & Richards buys Clarksville company

Nashville-based Richards & Richards Secure Shredding has purchased Clarksville-based L&C Shredding. The acquisition expands the company’s footprint in the Clarksville and Hopkinsville, Kentucky, areas, more than doubling its service to the region.

With the purchase, Richards & Richards will serve L&C Shredding’s 100-plus clients and offer additional services, including destruction of computer hard drives, audio-visual media, uniforms and other logoed clothing, and other bulky items.

This is the second shredding company acquisition for Richards & Richards Secure Shredding, which purchased Top Secret Document Destruction in Tullahoma in 2017.

Cryoport buys Belgium company

Nashville-based Cryoport, Inc. is expanding its global supply chain network with the acquisition of F-Airgate, a provider of innovative temperature-controlled supply chain solutions, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

Cryoport provides innovative temperature-controlled supply chain solutions to the life sciences including clinical research, pharmaceutical and cell and gene therapy markets.

F-Airgate will join Cryoport’s CRYOPDP business unit and is expected to be accretive to earnings in FY 2021.

Cryoport supports 86 clinical trials in the EMEA region and has agreements to support the commercial launch of several therapies that have received marketing approval in Europe.

Claritass leads $6.2M funding for emocha

Nashville’s Claritass Health Ventures has led the closing of a $6.2 million Series A funding round for emocha Health, a digital health company which radically improves medication adherence amongst patients with chronic and infectious diseases.

Other participants included Healthworx, the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, Kapor Capital and PTX Capital. The investment will go toward strategic integrations and expanding emocha’s remote clinical team of nurses and pharmacists, further equipping emocha to respond to growing demand from health plans and transplant centers across the United States. Theresa Sexton, managing partner of Claritas Health Ventures, will join the company’s board of directors.

Over the last year, emocha has seen 300% growth in revenue in response to demand from health plans, health systems, life sciences organizations and employers.

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