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Maria Noel is New Chamber Director of Minority Business Assistance
The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has named Maria Noel as its new Director of Minority Business Assistance. Noel will be the first person to hold this position, which the Chattanooga Chamber has created to lead its newly established Minority Business Assistance Program.
According to Tom Edd Wilson, Chamber president and CEO, Noel’s economic development experience and excellent community connections are key factors that position her for success in launching this new initiative. “The Minority Business Assistance Program can only succeed if area business leaders come together in developing and adopting strategies to foster job creation and positive economic activity among minority-owned companies,” Wilson said. “Maria has a great track record for engaging volunteer leaders in a way that gets things done.”
“I am excited about joining the Chattanooga Chamber team, which has done so much to establish our community as a national player in economic development,” said Noel. “I look forward to working with both the staff and the business community with a goal of supporting Chattanooga’s minority-owned businesses in making our economy into a national model for diversity and business friendliness.”
Ron Harr, the Chamber’s in-coming president and CEO, stressed the importance of the Minority Business Assistance Program. “Our local economy cannot achieve its full potential until everyone in our community realizes his or her full economic potential,” Harr said. “Our Minority Business Assistance Program aims to assist emerging and existing minority business owners and entrepreneurs in maximizing their job and wealth creation in our city.”
According to Noel, her first step will be to engage minority business leaders in building out the plan for the initiative. “The Chamber has a variety of effective programs including one of the nation’s largest and most successful business incubators,” Noel said. “In addition to marketing and adapting these programs to maximize the engagement of minority business owners, we will launch new efforts based on the expressed needs and priorities of the minority business community.”
From 2003 to the present, Maria Noel has worked in economic development for The Enterprise Center where her duties allowed her to build strong connections among both businesspeople and residents in many urban communities. Her work included corporate recruitment, supporting existing industry expansion, communicating economic development incentives, business education, and leveraging public-private partnerships in support of community revitalization. The Renewal Community Program, which she managed, resulted in the construction or renovation of 75 buildings while supporting the creation of over 1,000 jobs. Noel’s business experience also includes more than 25 years in marketing, public relations, and communications. In addition, Noel serves on the Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise Board, where she is a member of the Executive, Finance and Governance Committees. She is also Vice President of Programs and Special Events for the Chattanooga Technology Council Board and has served on the Board of the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority.
A native of Chattanooga, Maria earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She is a 1988 graduate of Leadership Chattanooga
More Business News
Last Update on July 29, 2014 17:09 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumers are more confident about the economy than they have been in nearly seven years.
The Conference Board's confidence index rose to 90.9 in July from an upwardly revised 86.4 in June. The July reading is the highest since October 2007, two months before the Great Recession officially began.
It was the third straight increase in the index. Economists said that strong job growth has helped boost consumers' assessment of current conditions and also improved their outlook on jobs and the economy.
Conference Board economist Lynn Franco says that the improvements in consumers' confidence and expectations about the future indicate that the recent strengthening in overall economic growth should continue in the second half of the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. home prices rose in May from a year earlier, but at the weakest pace in 15 months.
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index increased 9.3 percent in May from 12 months earlier. That's down from 10.8 percent in the previous month and the smallest annual gain since February 2013.
Yearly price gains slowed in 18 of the 20 cities. They accelerated in Charlotte, N.C., and were flat in Tampa, Fla.
Existing home sales have picked up, rising to an eight-month high in June. But they are still 2.3 percent below last year's level. And an index of signed contracts dipped in June, suggesting sales will cool.
Home sales have been restrained by weak wage gains and tight credit, particularly for first time buyers.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Pfizer's second-quarter earnings plunged 79 percent from last year, when the world's second-largest drugmaker booked a business spinoff gain of more than $10 billion. The latest results still edged analyst expectations.
Pfizer says it earned $2.91 billion in the quarter. That compares with earnings of $14.1 billion last year.
Revenue slipped 2 percent to $12.77 billion, while analysts forecast $12.47 billion, on average.
Pfizer Inc. is best known for creating medicines for the masses, including the erectile dysfunction pill Viagra, the Prevnar vaccine against pneumonia and related infections and the now-generic cholesterol fighter Lipitor, which was once the world's best-selling drug.
UNDATED (AP) -- A big one-time gain and a tax benefit have helped drugmaker Merck more than double its second-quarter profit, raise the lower end of its profit forecast and easily top analysts' expectations.
The maker of popular Type 2 diabetes pill Januvia and cholesterol medicines Vytorin and Zetia says net income increased to $2 billion from $906 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
The world's fourth-biggest drugmaker reports revenue of $10.93 billion, down 1 percent from $11.01 billion a year ago.
Sales of Merck's prescription drugs totaled $9.09 billion, down 2 percent as cheaper generic competition cut into sales of some older medicines and sales of its hepatitis C drugs was hurt by new brand-name competition.
ATLANTA (AP) -- UPS is lowering its outlook for the year as it announces plans to spend more on technology and other enhancements to improve service during peak season.
UPS says it will spend $175 million on upgrades that include expanded operations on the day after Thanksgiving and sped-up deployment of software designed to help drivers find the quickest route to a destination.
During last year's holiday season, a big increase in online shopping and a crush of last-minute orders by shoppers who jumped on offers of free shipping caught UPS by surprise. The company was forced to hire extra workers to handle the rush, but some gifts still arrived late.
As a result of the boost to spending, UPS has lowered its full-year outlook for adjusted earnings to $4.90 to $5 a share. It previously expected to earn around $5.05 a share.
UPS also says second-quarter profit declined to $454 million from $1.07 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.
DETROIT (AP) -- Suzuki is recalling nearly 26,000 midsize cars in the U.S. because the daytime running light modules could overheat and cause a fire.
The recall covers the Verona from the 2004-2006 model years. It's an expansion of an earlier recall of the Forenza and Reno.
All the cars were made by General Motors in Korea. Suzuki says in documents filed today with government safety regulators that a transistor in the modules can overheat in the instrument panel. That could melt the module, which could cause a fire. Suzuki says there were no fires reported in Verona models.
Dealers will replace the modules for free. Owners will be notified later.
American Suzuki Motor Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November of 2012 and stopped selling automobiles in the U.S.
BEIJING (AP) -- China's anti-monopoly agency says it's investigating Microsoft, stepping up regulatory pressure on foreign technology companies.
The State Administration for Industry and Commerce says it opened a case in June after complaints Microsoft improperly failed to publish all documentation for its Windows operating system and Office software. It says investigators visited Microsoft's China headquarters in Beijing and branches in three other cities this week.
Foreign technology suppliers face growing pressure from Chinese regulators, who have launched anti-monopoly investigations and announced plans to examine products for security flaws.
Microsoft has not responded to a request for comment.
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Thirteen states have settled an investigation into improper lending with a court agreement that's expected to provide $92 million in debt relief for some 17,800 U.S. military personnel.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says deceptive practices by Rome Finance Co. included failing to accurately disclose charges and interest rates and helping retailers inflate prices, with repayments take from soldiers' paychecks.
Rome Finance has recently done business as Colfax Capital Corp. and Culver Capital LLC.
The states involved are Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont.
Authorities say military personnel will keep financed merchandise like computers and gaming systems with debt forgiven, including $2.2 million for more than 550 New York residents.
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