New Future for The Enterprise Center in Motion
Tuesday morning, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, in partnership with Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, announced The Enterprise Center (TEC) will shift their mission and structure to focus on growing Chattanooga’s innovation economy and addressing issues like access to technology for all citizens.
The announcement follows a report sent to Mayor Berke last week from the Chattanooga Forward task force recommending the “creation of an entity to explore creative strategies to utilize the community’s technological assets such as the high speed gigabit infrastructure.”
“As Chattanooga is becoming a leader in the innovation century, we must capitalize on the momentum of the Gig and our city’s entrepreneurial spirit,” said Mayor Andy Berke. “The Enterprise Center has carried out its vision since 2002, building lasting partnerships with research and technology leaders throughout the region. With this refocus in mission and direction, TEC can now meld its strong history of collaboration with the future of technology and innovation in our community.”
“The Enterprise Center has executed great projects in our community in the past. This is a great opportunity for us to revisit the mission of the organization and form new partnerships to help small businesses leverage technology to grow jobs in Hamilton County,” said Mayor Jim Coppinger.
In 2002, The Enterprise Center was created to lead technology-based economic development initiatives and to identify opportunities to coordinate transfer technology with the region’s research and technology partners including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex.
“It has been my great pleasure to be a part of TEC’s great work,” said Wayne Cropp, President of The Enterprise Center, who will move into a transitional role over the next few months. “Now, the Center is positioned to take on a new role as the hub for connecting the gigabyte as an economic development catalyst. While this approach is more narrowly focused on leveraging our digital assets and building our entrepreneurial community, it builds on the accomplishments of the past decade.”
TEC programs related to Renewal Community programs between 2002 and 2009 resulted in hundreds of jobs and over $50 million in total monetary impact in the region. TEC efforts helped spur development in the Main Street, Northshore and South Broad Street areas.
“I am pleased that Mayor Berke sees TEC as the place to pull together the creative and innovative talent in our community to make the Gig come alive. It is a recognition of the mission of TEC to be a catalyst for change,” said Jim Sattler, Chairman of the Board for The Enterprise Center.
As part of their revitalization program, TEC developed extensive experience in brownfield initiatives aimed at remediation and reuse. Eight clean-up projects have been completed with over 100 acres being made available for redevelopment.
TEC also worked to facilitate the planning of potential high speed rail connecting Atlanta-Chattanooga-Nashville. Cropp will ensure that these projects are successfully completed or transitioned to other entities before new leadership is appointed in the coming weeks.
“As a past board chair of The Enterprise Center, the decision by Mayor Berke continues a critical partnership between the city and TEC. We were created to be a coordinator for technology and Mayor Berke’s approach to innovation rejuvenates our mission,” said Jim Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.
A team has been named to guide the transition of TEC over the coming months, including selecting new board members and a president for the organization. The transition group will work with stakeholders to review TEC bylaws, structure, strategic plan, and projects to ensure a smooth transition.
“We envision this will be a short process, so that a newly focused Enterprise Center can hit the ground running and capitalize on all the opportunity for the gig and the potential for Chattanooga in the innovation economy” said Sydney Crisp, Unum's Vice President for Global IT Infrastructure and Risk Management, who also serves as a member of TEC's transition team.
The TEC transition team includes:
-- Kristina Montague, The Jump Fund
-- Ted Alling, Lamp Post Group
-- Ken Hays, Kinsey, Probasco & Hays
-- David Belitz, Chattanooga Renaissance Fund
-- Sydney Crisp, Unum
-- Sarah Morgan, Benwood Foundation
More Business News
Last Update on January 30, 2015 18:13 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy slowed in the final three months of 2014 as a big burst in consumer spending was offset by weakness in other areas.
The Commerce Department says the overall economy grew at a 2.6 percent rate in the October-December period, down from sizzling gains of 4.6 percent in the second quarter and 5 percent in the third quarter.
Consumers did their part in the fourth quarter, pushing up spending by fastest rate in nearly nine years. But businesses investment, trade and government spending weakened.
For the year, the economy grew at a moderate rate of 2.4 percent. But economists believe 2015 could be a breakout year for growth, with consumer spending boosted by strong employment gains and falling gas prices. Many expect growth above 3 percent this year.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wages and benefits rose at the fastest pace in six years last year, a sign strong job gains could be forcing companies to pay a bit more for workers.
The Labor Department says the employment cost index, which measures pay and benefits, rose 2.2 percent in 2014, up from 2 percent the previous year. That's the biggest gain since 2008. It's also ahead of inflation, which rose 1.3 percent.
Yet the increase is still sluggish by historical standards. In a healthy economy, the index usually rises at about a 3.5 percent pace.
The Federal Reserve is closing watching wages as it considers when to raise the short-term interest rate it controls. Fed Chair Janet Yellen considers rising wages a key sign that the job market is nearing full health.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumers are more confident than they've been since January 2004.
The University of Michigan says that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 98.1 in January from 93.6 last month.
Consumers say the prospects for the U.S. economy are the strongest in a decade, and half of consumers expect the expansion to keep going another five years.
The Michigan survey was the latest evidence that strong job growth and tumbling oil prices have lifted consumers' spirits. The Conference Board on Tuesday reported that its consumer confidence index climbed to the highest level since August 2007. And the Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending rose from October through December at the fastest pace in nearly nine years.
DALLAS (AP) -- Pilots at American Airlines and US Airways have approved a single labor contract. That's a step toward combining workforces at the two carriers, which merged in December 2013.
The multiyear deal gives pilots a 23 percent pay raise retroactive to Dec. 2.
The pilots' union said Friday that the contract was approved 66 percent to 34 percent, with 95 percent of eligible pilots casting a vote.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A jury of six men and six women is continuing deliberations in a case alleging a 1996 Toyota Camry had a design defect that caused a fatal crash.
Jurors received the case late Wednesday afternoon and deliberated all day Thursday without reaching a verdict. They returned to a federal courthouse in Minneapolis on Friday to keep working.
The jurors must decide whether Toyota's design of the 1996 Camry had a defect that was unreasonably dangerous. If they find there was a defect, they must decide if it directly caused injuries to those hurt or killed when Koua Fong Lee crashed into another car in 2006.
Lee spent 2 1/2 years in prison before being released after reports suggested some Toyota cars had sudden acceleration problems.
BERLIN (AP) -- German automaker BMW says it has fixed a security flaw that made 2.2 million of its vehicles vulnerable to break-ins.
The company says the problem affected BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce models equipped with its ConnectedDrive technology, which allows drivers to access certain car functions with a smartphone.
German automobile club ADAC, which discovered the flaw last summer, says hackers could have used a fake cellphone base station to intercept network traffic from the car and lower the windows or open the doors. There are no reports such a break-in ever took place.
BMW spokeswoman Silke Brigl said Friday that hackers wouldn't have been able to start or stop the engine.
Brigl said the problem has been fixed with an automatic update and customers don't need to take any action.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal appeals court says many advertising claims for POM Wonderful juice were deceptive in asserting that it curbs the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction and is clinically proven to work.
In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds the conclusion that many of POM's ads made misleading or false claims. The conclusion was reached by the Federal Trade Commission.
The ads appeared in national publications, on Internet sites, bus stops, billboards, newsletters and on tags attached to the products.
POM Wonderful LLC produces a number of pomegranate-based products.
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia deputy sports minister Yuri Nagornykh says his country's economic crisis is forcing athletes to scale back their training plans for next year's Olympics in Brazil.
Training camps abroad can be crucial in acclimatizing athletes for Rio de Janeiro's tropical conditions, but they are rapidly becoming unaffordable after the ruble lost almost half of its value against the U.S. dollar in the last 12 months.
Nagornykh tells Russian agency R-Sport that, with the ruble's value low and the Sports Ministry's budget facing cuts, athletes should stay in Russia rather than train abroad "in order to spend less of the currency reserves."
Officials will select priority sports and athletes for scarce funding, Nagornykh said.
The measures affect athletes for the Rio Olympics, and the 2018 Winter Olympics, he added.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio State University is cashing in after the Buckeyes' national championship victory.
The Columbus Dispatch reports the university expects a $3 million increase this year in royalties from licensed merchandise sales as fans continue to buy national championship gear and keepsakes.
Retailers say the team's special story has helped boost sales. The Buckeyes, who defied naysayers in their 42-20 victory over the University of Oregon, earned the final playoff spot after losing two starting quarterbacks to injuries.
Licensing officials also attribute increased sales to the fact Ohio State hadn't won a championship since 2002.
More than half of each dollar that comes into the school's licensing office goes to academic affairs. The athletics department, alumni association and student life program also receive portions of the revenue.
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