Award Categories & Past Winners
Small Business Excellence Award
This award is presented to an East Tennessee small business that has consistently grown its workforce and revenue. Nominees should not be a part of a regional, national or global franchise, should have started business in the Knoxville region, and have 50 employees or less company-wide. The winner will be able to demonstrate its ability to overcome obstacles including access to capital, operational efficiency, control of expenses, customer loyalty and distribution of products or services, and should provide a historical index of growth in revenues and workforce.
2005 – Construction Plus, Inc.
2006 – Impact Associates, Inc.
2007 – Dayton's Pest Control Services, Inc.
2008 – Studio Four Design, Inc.
2009 – AC Entertainment
2010 – Partners Development
2011 – Sword & Shield Enterprise Security
2012 – All Occasions Party Rentals
2013 – Design Innovation Architects
2014 – Master Dry Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
2015 – All Occasion Catering, LLC
2016 – Mac’s Pharmacy
Woman-Owned Business Excellence Award
This award is presented to an outstanding East Tennessee woman-owned business which is not part of a regional, national or global franchise, independently-owned and operated/controlled by a female or females. The enterprise must be at least 51-percent owned by one or more women and its management and daily business operations must be controlled by one or more women.
2010 – Knoxville Comprehensive Breast Center
2011 – The Tomato Head
2012 – The Trust Company
2013 – Management Solutions, LLC
2014 – KaTom Restaurant Supply, Inc.
2015 – Cannon & Cannon
2016 – Microbial Insights, Inc.
Minority-Owned Business Excellence Award
This award is presented to an outstanding East Tennessee minority-owned business which is not part of a regional, national or global franchise, is independently-owned and operated, and controlled by ethnic minority group members. Minority group members are defined by the Small Business Administration as United States citizens who are Asian Indian American, Asian Pacific American, Black American, Hispanic American, or Native American. Ownership by ethnic minority individuals means the business is at least 51-percent owned by such individuals and the management and daily operations are controlled by those minority group members.
2005 - Navarro Research and Engineering Inc.
2006 – Premiere Building Maintenance Corporation
2007 – NetGain Corporation
2008 – (tie) ES&H, Inc. and Visionary Solutions, LLC
2009 – Information International Associates, Inc.
2010 – G2 Management & Engineering
2011 – HME, Inc.
2012 – Always Moore Janitorial Service
2013 – ExpoQuip Inc.
2014 – Security Walls
2015 – Marc Nelson Denim
2016 – Spanish Language Solutions, Inc.
Business Excellence Awards
There are two awards in this category, one for “mid-sized” companies with 51-200 employees company-wide and another for “large” companies with 201+ employees company-wide.
Awarded to a non-franchisee company headquartered in East Tennessee or a company with a significant presence in East Tennessee, that has shown remarkable profitability, growth and stability. Nominees must be recognized regionally, nationally and/or internationally in their respective business sector, while demonstrating leadership in the sector as well. Nominated companies should have made significant investments in facilities and employees.
2008 – Merit Construction, Inc.
2009 – Prestige Cleaners
2010 – Analysis & Measurement Systems
2011 – Pershing Yoakley & Associates
2012 – Consolidated Products, Inc.
2013 – Aqua-Chem
2014 – Coulter & Justus
2015 – Harper Auto Square
2016 – Master Dry Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists
2007 – Scripps Networks
2008 – Pilot Travel Centers, LLC
2009 – Bandit Lites Inc.
2010 – Cherokee Distributing
2011 – Oak Ridge National Laboratory
2012 – Cellular Sales
2013 – Caris Healthcare
2014 – 21st Mortgage
2015 – Radio Systems Corporation
2016 – Weigel's
This award is presented to an East Tennessee non-charitable business that displays a commitment to making East Tennessee a better place to live through the development and support of a community project or program. The Impact Award winner should be able to demonstrate the ability to improve community conditions that make a significant contribution or impact on our region. Such contributions might include: improving education, improving healthcare, pursuing environmental excellence, performing community service, and influencing other organizations to partner for these purposes.
2005 – First Tennessee
2006 – Pilot Travel Centers LLC
2007 – Knoxville News Sentinel
2008 – Goody’s Family Clothing
2009 – Food City, K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc.
2010 – U.S. Cellular
2011 – Covenant Health
2012 – Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
2013 – Radio Systems Corporation
2014 – Copper Cellar Restaurants
2015 – Prestige Cleaners/Prestige Tuxedo
2016 – Gerdau
This award is given to an East Tennessee business that has developed a new technology, innovative product or service or applied a business system or service in an innovative way. The winner will be able to quantify its growth and provide a detailed explanation of the new product, service or system. Nominee should provide a description of implementing innovative solutions to achieve operational efficiency and business results.
2005 – CTI Molecular Imaging, Inc. (now Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.)
2006 – Radio Systems Corporation
2007 – Nucsafe Inc.
2008 – Molecular Pathology Laboratory Network, Inc.
2009 – UT-Battelle LLC
2010 – Schaad Companies
2011 – TrakLok Corporation
2012 – Aqua-Chem
2013 – Wampler's Farm Sausage Company
2014 – Gigmark
2015 – Proton Power
2016 – AMS Corporation
Young Entrepreneur Award
This award is presented to a young professional, 40 years of age or younger as of May 4, 2018, who lives and works in East Tennessee and has achieved success while overcoming obstacles, to become one of tomorrow’s top business leaders. The winner will have started or is at risk in ownership in their non-franchisee business. They will have taken their business practices and moved a company from early growth to some maturity.
2005 – John Tolsma, Knowledge Launch
2006 – Jimmy Rodefer, Rodefer Moss & Co, PLLC
2007 – Chuck Witkowski, Protein Discovery, Inc.
2008 – Chris VanBeke, Tennetic Ventures, LLC
2009 – Sean Christman, Slamdot
2010 – Sara Hedstrom, Hedstrom Design
2011 – Brian Winter, Pyxl, Inc.
2012 – Parker Frost, Gigmark
2013 – Matt Tunstall, Stall Talk
2014 – John Sharpe, StaffSource
2015 – Eric W. Barton, Vanquish Worldwide
2016 – Brandon Bruce, Cirruspath
James A. Haslam, II Leadership Award
This award is given to a longtime business leader that exhibits strength in character, resolve and a commitment to the community and exemplary success in the regional business community.
2005 – James A. Haslam, II, Pilot Travel Centers LLC
2006 – F. Rodney Lawler, Lawler-Wood, LLC
2007 – Bill Sansom, The H.T. Hackney Company
2008 – Pete DeBusk, DeRoyal
2009 – Mike Campbell, Regal Entertainment
2010 – Sam Furrow, Furrow Auctioneers
2011 – Jim Clayton, Clayton Bank
2012 – Larry Martin, State of Tennessee (Retired - First Tennessee Bank)
2013 – Raja Jubran, Denark Construction
2014 – Randy Boyd, Radio Systems Corporation
2015 – Dee Bagwell Haslam, RIVR Media
2016 – Ken Lowe, Scripps Networks Interactive
Lifetime Achievement Award
Established in 2011, this award is presented periodically by the Knoxville Chamber to an individual who has exhibited a history of distinguished service to the Chamber. Winners of this award have dedicated tireless hours to helping ensure the organization is serving the business community appropriately and effectively.
2011 - Blair Trimble, Gerdau
2014 – Dr. Joe Johnson, University of Tennessee