January 15, 2021

Knoxville Chamber Announces 2021 Pinnacle Business Award Winners

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Callie Blackburn

The Knoxville Chamber is pleased to announce its winners for the 2021 Pinnacle Business Awards. The 17th annual celebration, scheduled for 11:45 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, honors companies committed to driving regional economic prosperity and celebrates business excellence.

“The Pinnacle Business Awards recognize organizations and individuals whose success is having a positive impact on our region’s economic vitality and sustainability,” said Mike Odom, Knoxville Chamber president and CEO. “Their contributions and commitment enhance our quality of life and drive economic prosperity for everyone living in Knoxville and the surrounding counties.” 

More than 300 companies were nominated in eight categories. Members of the Chamber’s board of directors select the winners based on information submitted during the application process and any information available to the general public. Final scoring is completed independently and on a secure website. Scores are tallied by a third-party agency and presented to the Chamber.

Click here to register for the 2021 event.

The winners of the 2021 Pinnacle Business Awards are:

The Impact Award honors a business that displays a commitment to making East Tennessee a better place to live and work through the development and support of community projects or programs.

This year’s winner is Accenture, a global professional services company with leading capabilities in digital, cloud and security. An embodiment of their company’s commitment to build a future of shared success and improving the way the world works, Accenture’s more than 540 local employees have volunteered over 1,000 hours to area non-profits and raised $30,000 in monetary donations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employee resource groups (ERGs) serve organizations like Knox Area Rescue Ministries, Knox Area Urban League, Sarah Moore Greene Elementary, Broadway Towers, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Isaiah 117 House and the Knoxville Trans Empowerment Project. Accenture is committed to improving the lives of people in their community by meeting immediate needs and paving pathways to self-sufficiency by building the skills needed to succeed.

The Innovator Award, sponsored by PureMagic Carwash, is given to a business that has developed a new technology, innovative product or service or applied a business system or service in an innovative way.

Integrity Laboratories is the 2021 honoree. The Knoxville-based healthcare company serves clients by providing comprehensive, state-of-the-art clinical laboratory testing with the highest standards of honesty, transparency and integrity. In March 2020, Integrity Laboratories began focusing solely on COVID-19 testing, developing a rapid results solution that allowed healthcare providers to return results in days instead of weeks. At the forefront of real-time PCR testing, their proprietary Intercept PCRÔ platform provides rapid identification of modern-day infectious diseases with the goal of eventually being able to detect infectious diseases before symptoms are present.

The Small Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Verizon Wireless, is presented to a business with 50 or fewer employees that has consistently grown its workforce and revenue and overcome obstacles including access to capital, operational efficiency, control of expenses, customer loyalty and distribution.

This year’s recipient is Big Slate Media. As one of Knoxville’s top content creation agencies, the production company helps brands produce consistent, relevant content that makes a lasting impact. Since its founding in August 2015 the company has experienced exponential growth, constructing a combined office and studio space near downtown Knoxville, hiring additional full-time employees and expanding freelance contracts. Owner Jonathan Halley and his team continue to innovate in service of their clients, capturing multi-purpose footage and creating accessible, customized content banks that allow companies to repackage existing assets in new, creative ways.

The Minority-Owned Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Accenture, recognizes a minority-owned business that has produced outstanding business results and growth and overcome the obstacles of race or ethnicity.

Boston Government Services, LLC received this year’s award. The engineering, technology and security firm supports missions of national importance across the U.S., including research laboratories, security facilities, nuclear operations, environmental cleanup and government programs. Founded by former senior Department of Energy (DOE) executive and Oak Ridge National Laboratory research scientist Harry Boston in 2007, the firm’s steady growth is attributed to its highly-skilled talent pool and valuable support of critical government operations. Local success has allowed the company to expand, and it now operates four additional offices across the country and gaining recognition as a top 55 DOE contractor.

The Woman-Owned Business Excellence Award, sponsored by LBMC, P.C., is given to an outstanding woman-owned business that is independently owned, operated and controlled by a female. The winner demonstrates the ability to compete in a non-diverse field.

This year’s winner is Barre Skinny, LLC dba Neighborhood Barre. Founder Katy Richardson launched the fitness studio concept in 2011, strategically choosing Knoxville as her initial location because the community had no barre brand awareness or existing brand loyalty. The studios specialize in providing inventive but approachable barre-based workouts for all fitness levels, and Richardson has expanded the offerings to include live streaming, virtual, on-demand classes, fitness apparel and franchise opportunities. There are currently 15 brick-and-mortar studios across the Southeast with two more locations slated to open in 2021.

The Business Excellence Award is divided into a mid-sized category for businesses with 51-200 total employees, and a large company category for those with 201 or more employees. These awards are presented to businesses headquartered in East Tennessee, or those with a significant presence in East Tennessee, that have shown remarkable profitability, growth and stability and are recognized regionally, nationally and/or internationally in their respective business sectors.

Winner of the Mid-Sized Business Excellence Award is The Trust Company of Tennessee.  

Founded in 1987, The Trust Company of Tennessee currently has more than $3.5 billion under management and more than 75 employees. The firm helps individuals, families, business owners and nonprofits make better decisions with money through wealth management, corporate retirement and personal trust services. Their highly-personalized approach allows the company’s relationship managers and financial planners to intimately understand what success means for each client, building lifelong relationships that foster success. Based in Knoxville, the firm also has offices in Chattanooga and the Tri-Cities and has been honored by the Knoxville News Sentinel as a Top Workplace since 2017.

This year’s Large Business Excellence Award winner is The Christman Company.

The Christman Company, founded in 1894, has become one of the country’s leading non-residential construction management and general contractor service firms. In conjunction with its affiliates, Christman Capital Development Company, Christman Mid-Atlantic Constructors, Christman Constructors, Inc. and Christman Millwork, the company’s award-winning services include construction management, general contracting, design/build and EPC (Engineer Procure Construct), real estate development, program management, facilities analysis and planning, and self-performed skilled trades. The company manages over $4 billion in construction across a variety of construction markets and is ranked No. 88 in the Engineering News-Record ENR 400 list of top national contractors.

The Young Entrepreneur Award, presented by Rodefer Moss & Co, PLLC, is awarded to a professional, 40 years of age or younger as of February 2021, who lives and works in East Tennessee and has achieved success, while overcoming obstacles, to become one of tomorrow’s top leaders. The winner will have started or is at risk in ownership of his/her business and will have moved the company from early growth to some maturity.

The 2021 recipient is Bobby Haines, Haines Structural Group. As a child, Bobby Haines watched his father and grandfather operate an electrical contracting firm in Memphis. He developed a love for watching a construction project grow to completion and, after spending time as an electrician’s apprentice on commercial job sites, elected to study engineering at the University of Tennessee. After graduation, Haines earned a master’s degree from Georgia Tech, moving back to Knoxville in 2009 to lead the newest branch of a Memphis-based structural engineering firm. In 2017, after building the local presence, he acquired the Knoxville office and ultimately rebranded as Haines Structural Group. Since his acquisition, the business has seen steady revenue growth which he contributes to a strategy of excellence, responsibility, flexibility and creativity for every client.

To join the Chamber’s Board of Directors in celebrating the winners of the Pinnacle Business Award, register for the virtual program at here. There is no charge for this year’s program.

The production of the 2021 Pinnacle Business Awards is made possible by assistance from M&M Productions USA and Big Slate Media. Media sponsors for the event included the Knoxville News Sentinel, knox.biz, and NewsTalk 98.7.

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