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Written by Melissa Valerio
The 2019 East Tennessee Business Growth Conference was held on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 in Clinton, Tennessee. The event brought together some 147 small businesses. The conference began with opening remarks by Gene Patterson. LaTanya Channel, Small Business Administration (SBA) Tennessee District Director, provided us with SBA Trends in Government Contracting. Later during the day, Paul Middlebrooks, Tennessee Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) facilitated the first conference breakout session on “How to get on a GSA Schedule.”
Afterwards, we moved on to a panel discussion on “Best practices for growing your business through Joint Ventures and Mentor Protégé strategies” with Larry Nave (Jacob Engineering) as the moderator and Jimmie Strong (Baker Donelson), Todd R. Overman (Bass, Berry & Sims, PLC), and Mark Deathridge (ETMC) as the panelists. Jimmie Strong (Baker Donelson) facilitated our second conference breakout session on “Negotiating Subcontract Agreements.”
Sponsors included Baker Donelson, The Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Roane State Community College, Rocky Top Chamber of Commerce, Roane Chamber/ Roane Alliance, Anderson County Chamber of Commerce, Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee PTAC, TVA, National Contract Management Association East Tennessee, and SunTrust.
The conference also gave small businesses an opportunity to network with procurement opportunities with agencies and large prime contractors such as: AECOM, BAE systems, City of Knoxville, Hensel Phelps, Knox County, Knoxville Utilities Board, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, Nashville Airport, NAS Arnold Engineering Arnold Development Complex Tullahoma, Northwind TWPC, ORAU, ORNL, TDOT, TVA, UCOR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, University of Tennessee, Uranium Processing Facility (UPF), Volkswagen, and Y-12.