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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
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Last Update on September 18, 2014 07:45 GMT
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Asian stock markets mostly fell today after the U.S. Federal Reserve increased its estimate for the level of the central bank's benchmark interest rate by the end of 2015, surprising investors who expected a slower pace of rate hikes.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.7 percent to 24,199.87 and South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.8 percent to 2,046.53.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.1 percent to 5,399.60.
Stocks in New Zealand and mainland China also fell but Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 percent to 16,099.30 as the yen weakened.
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- There are two government reports due out today.
The Labor Department will release data on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. For the previous week, slightly more Americans sought benefits, but the total number receiving aid remained at a seven-year low.
The Commerce Department reports on U.S. home construction in August. In July, construction rebounded to an eight-month high, offering hope that housing had regained momentum after two months of declines.
Also today, Freddie Mac will release average mortgage rates for this week. Last week, the average for the 30-year loan edged up to 4.12 percent from 4.10 percent the previous week. At 4.12 percent, the average rate is still down sharply from 4.53 percent at the start of the year.
`And Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will speak today on the importance of asset building for low- and middle-income households at a conference of the Corporation for Enterprise Development in Washington.
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan has logged a 948.5 billion yen ($8.8 million) trade deficit in August, the 26th straight month of red ink, as weak demand at home hit imports while exports also fell.
The Finance Ministry reported Thursday that exports fell 1.3 percent from a year earlier to 5.71 trillion yen ($53.3 billion) while imports dropped 1.5 percent to 6.65 trillion yen ($62.1 billion).
A weakening in the value of the Japanese yen has so far failed to spur a rebound in exports, despite nascent recoveries in the U.S. and Europe. Slower growth in China, Japan's biggest trading partner, has also hurt.
But consumer spending inside Japan has been lackluster since an April 1 sales tax, reducing demand for imports. Weaker oil prices have also cut costs for imported oil and gas.
BURNHAM, Maine (AP) -- Lincoln Logs, the popular toy created nearly a century ago by the son of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is coming home to the U.S.A.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage announced Wednesday the toy logs, created by John Lloyd Wright and used to create miniature toy buildings, will be made at Pride Manufacturing, a wood products company in Burnham.
The toy has been made in China. But Pride Manufacturing officials say that when production of the wooden pieces ramps up, possibly in November, 80 percent of the toy will be made at the plant in Maine.
Some plastic pieces will still be made in China.
Hatfield, Pennsylvania-based K'NEX currently holds the product license.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos plans to build a rocket engine that would eventually replace the Russian mainstay used in many American unmanned launches.
United Launch Alliance, a collaboration of two aerospace giants that launches unmanned rockets, announced Wednesday that it will pay Bezos' Blue Origin space firm to develop new rocket engines. In about four years, the launch alliance hopes to start using the new engines in Delta and Atlas rockets.
Some experts worry that tensions over Ukraine might interrupt the supply of Russian engines, but alliance chief Tory Bruno said that's not a problem.
Bezos said he will proceed with plans for his private human space capsule to launch later this decade. However, Bezos' firm wasn't picked Tuesday by NASA for its $6.8 billion private space taxi program.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Agriculture Department is approving the use of genetically modified corn and soybean seeds that are resistant to a popular weed killer.
However, farmers won't be able to take full advantage of the seeds until the Environmental Protection Agency issues a second ruling allowing the use of Enlist, a new version of the 2,4-D weed killer that's been around since the 1940s. The EPA has said it will rule this fall on Dow AgroSciences' application to market the chemical.
The agriculture industry has been anxiously awaiting the approvals, as many weeds have become resistant to glyphosate, an herbicide commonly used on corn and soybeans now.
Critics say they are concerned the increased use of 2,4-D could endanger public health and that more study on the chemical is needed.
NEW YORK (AP) -- A bug in Apple's new iOS 8 software for mobile devices is prompting the company to withhold apps that use a highly touted feature for keeping track of fitness and health data.
Apple says it hopes to have HealthKit apps restored to its app store by the end of the month. Affected apps include Carrot Fit, WebMD and AskMD. Apple didn't provide details on what went wrong.
The iOS 8 software became available Wednesday. HealthKit is supposed to create a central repository for health and fitness data, so that apps have a better picture of your overall wellness and can even recommend trips to the doctor.
Apple's new iPhones have sensors to monitor fitness activities, and its upcoming Apple Watch will have a heart-rate monitor.
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