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News - Friday, February 12, 2021

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Diversity as tool for growth
New Chamber VP sees inclusion as more than social issue

One day in 2007, as part of an Emerging Leaders fellowship at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Lorne Steedley stood in the same Robben Island cell where political activist Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.

“The whole idea and premise behind this visit was to understand that leadership and transformation can occur anywhere, and how a person like Nelson Mandela used his ability, even in a confined and very restricted space, mentally, physically and psychologically, to be transformative, to bring South Africa out of this apartheid era and then elevate the country and do it in a very peaceful and inclusive manner,” says Steedley, who in November became vice president of diversity and inclusive growth at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.


CBA explores themes of stewardship, community
Annual meeting reflects on tough year, looks ahead to better times

As John Harrison spoke his final words as the president of the Chattanooga Bar Association during the organization’s annual meeting Feb. 3 at the Westin, he recalled the jovial nature of his induction one year ago.

“We told a lot of old lawyer jokes and had a great time,” he said to the camera that was transmitting his reflective smile to his colleagues over Zoom.


Online survey seeks data on stress in the legal profession

“Lawyers are always whining about their workload, but I’ve always worked 80-hour work weeks, and it never did me any harm,” says a balding, graying attorney to a visibly younger man in a comic on CartoonStock.com.

“But you’re only 25,” notes his youthful companion.


$573 million from a consulting firm? Holy smokes!

Last week’s news that consulting giant McKinsey & Company had reached a $573 million settlement with nearly 50 state governments brings a new player to the opioid settlement table – and it isn’t a manufacturer, distributor, dispenser or health care provider (i.e., a prescriber or a pharmacist). It’s a consulting firm.


District Court and federal bar announce essay contest on Constitution

High school students in 17 area counties are invited to participate in the annual essay contest sponsored by the U.S. District Court and Chattanooga Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

This year’s topic is “What does it mean to support and defend the Constitution?”


Gowin firm earns certification

The Law Office of Samuel Gowin has earned the green|light certification through green|spaces of Chattanooga. Green|light is an environmental sustainability certification for businesses that seek to minimize their environmental impact as well as boosting employee wellness. The certification process lasted several months and was led by firm employees Joe Boyd and Angel Pascual. The firm encourages other small firms to explore green|light certification.


Christian Beairsto: The Rapping Realtor

Christian Beairsto wants to make a name for himself in real estate. As an up-and-coming agent, his branding options are limitless, but don’t let his button-down look and welcoming smile lead you into thinking he’ll go with something conventional like Beairsto Homes or Picket Fence Properties.


Spring buyers: Be ready to move quickly

Housing inventory remains low, and it’s likely this spring will be another fiercely competitive one across the country.

With this in mind, Realtors and potential buyers should prepare for record low inventories and rapidly rising home prices.


Confidence in remodeling industry continues in 2021

A continued strong remodeling market is forecast in 2021 – even amid the ongoing pandemic. The NAHB’s Remodeling Market Index for the fourth quarter of 2020 posted a reading of 79, signaling residential remodelers’ strong confidence in their markets for projects of all sizes.


GCR endorses White in mayoral election

Greater Chattanooga Realtors this week announced its support of mayoral candidate Kim White.

“Our Chattanooga Realtors are invaluable assets to our community and allies in my mission to strengthen access to housing that meets our residents’ income levels,” White says.


Newsmakers: Girls Inc. names Johnson CEO

Girls Inc. begins its 60th anniversary year with a new CEO at the helm. The board of directors has appointed Toccora Johnson as the organization’s new leader. Johnson has been with the organization for more than a decade, serving as senior director of program operations and, most recently, interim CEO.


Author Hubbard to speak as part of Southern Lit series

Southern Lit Alliance will feature Chattanooga author Rita Lorraine Hubbard during the next installment of its South Bound Lecture series March 18 at 6 p.m. on Zoom.

Hubbard will discuss her craft and the variety of books she has written, including “African Americans in Chattanooga: A History of Unsung Heroes” and the children’s books “The Oldest Student” and “Hammering for Freedom.”


Hamilton County Schools partners for 15 eLabs

The Public Education Foundation has received a $1 million investment from an anonymous donor to open 15 eLabs in local public schools and to support the further development of Hamilton County Schools’ eLab network.

HCS eLabs provide students with learning opportunities in engineering, computing and environmental technology through hands-on activities with digital fabrication equipment, including 3D printing, microcomputing and robotics.


Local church works to fill gap for four local nonprofits

Across the United States, the twin crisis of the pandemic and economic downturn are depleting donations and could force as many as a third of nonprofits to close permanently.

But in Chattanooga, one church is filling a gap for four local nonprofits: The Bethlehem Center, The Chattanooga Community Kitchen, The Chattanooga Rescue Mission and Hope for the Inner City.


Chattanooga Sports Ministries accepting applications for summer coaching positions

Chattanooga Sports Ministries is accepting applications from anyone 18 or older who is interested in being a summer sports camp coach.

CSM’s summer sports camp are scheduled for May 23-Aug. 7. Soccer coaches will work between 25-30 hours weekly and have an opportunity to earn up to $4,000 during the 10-week summer program.


Wild Ones introduces free native garden design

Wild Ones Natural Landscapers is making a native garden plan for the Chattanooga ecoregion available for free to the public.

Landscape architect Caleb Melchior based the design on the premise that using native plants in landscaping can be beautiful, promote wildlife and be achievable for gardeners of all skillsets and budgets.


Financial Focus: Financial gifts for your valentine

For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic might be putting a hold on dinner at the charming local bistro, but the spirit of Valentine’s Day cannot be extinguished. This year, perhaps more so than in the past, you may want to make your Valentine’s Day gifts even more meaningful. So, for example, what can you give your loved ones to help them along on the road to financial security?


What gig workers need to know about keeping the IRS happy

If you became a gig worker during the pandemic, beware: Your taxes just got more complicated.

Gig work – Uber driving, Instacart shopping, Amazon Flex delivery and so on – is on-demand, freelance work that’s typically taxed as self-employment. Instead of having an employer withhold money from your paycheck, you’re an independent contractor who is expected to pay taxes on your gig income as you earn it. You’ll also owe a larger share of your pay to Social Security and Medicare taxes.


Local sock manufacturer donates to UTC nursing school

Sockwell began its Honor Our Heroes campaign in April as a way to recognize and support front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to awarding COVID-19 response “heroes” pairs of compression socks, the company donated $1 for every “Honor Our Heroes” sock sold to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing.


Behind the Wheel: Whatever happened to car subscription services?

Just a few years ago, car subscriptions looked like the next sure thing. Picking up on consumers’ comfort with paying monthly for the likes of streaming services or phones, many automakers introduced programs that allowed people to get a new car and a variety of perks for a monthly fee.


Career Corner: COVID’s impact on gender equality

January’s unemployment rate fell to 6.7%, with more than 49,000 jobs added in January. As in previous months during the last year, hospitality, retail and travel continue to struggle. And, sadly, the pandemic is having a disproportionately higher impact on the careers of women.