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Front Page - Friday, March 24, 2023

Meet the finalists for the 2023 Chamber Awards

Each year, the Chattanooga Chamber recognizes several of the thousands of small businesses that form the backbone of the local economy.

These honorees will be celebrated during the Chamber Awards 2023 event, which is scheduled to take place May 17, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel is the presenting sponsor.

The categories and nominees include:

One to 20 employees

HandUp Gloves launched out of the mud and rush of cyclocross, a niche form of bicycle racing. Founded in 2014 by two sports enthusiasts, HandUp offers athleisure wear that has made it into the hands of Tour De France cyclists, Olympians, national champions and celebrities.

BNI Southeast Tennessee offers the structure and systems to grow member businesses through referrals, relationships and training, notes the Chamber in a news release.

Since Elaine Zambos took over BNI in 2017, revenues have increased 30% and membership has grown 38%, contributing more than $33 million in member referral revenue to the local economy.

LearningRX Chattanooga focuses on improving cognitive development for neurodiverse children in Chattanooga and Hamilton County. As Tennessee’s first board-certified cognitive training center, it encourages adaptive learning through individualized brain training programs.

LearningRX has experienecd a 60% increase in revenue over the past five years and a 50% increase in client count.

21-50 employees

Thorough Built is a metal fabricating company that offers engineering, design and manufacturing solutions to the automotive, hydropower and IT technologies industries. The company also offers specialty crane services and full-service structural steel solutions.

As metal fabricators, Thorough Built stands behind some of this region’s most notable structures, including Steam Logistics’ downtown roof and support for the Chattanooga Airport expansion.

Through its giveback program, (Be) Caffeinated partners with one local nonprofit every month and also holds profit share nights to support the community.

(Be) Caffeinated saw sales of more than $1.5 million in 2022 – a record for the company – and is poised to surpass that tally this year.

Roasting its own coffee out of a Northshore location with sister company New Wave Coffee, (Be) Caffeinated offers a variety of specialty beverages, including signature drinks in partnership with the Chattanooga Football Club and the Chattanooga Lookouts.

C. Mark Warren and John Mark Griffin founded the law firm of Warren & Griffin in 2002. The firm has experienced steady growth over the past 20 years, with a total of 10 attorneys across two offices in Chattanooga and Dalton.

Warren & Griffin recently hired its 11th attorney, who will start practicing following the July 2023 bar exam.

51-300 employees

Master Machine Inc. provides machining, fabrication and engineering services that support the nuclear, naval and aerospace industries.

Established in 1993, MMI partners with local companies like TVA, Southern Nuclear and Tennessee Valley Robotics.

The company has invested more than $4 million in new equipment, buildings and tooling over the last several years to support its expansion.

Headquartered in Chattanooga, Echelon Fitness connects a global network of members, athletes and celebrities through online classes and home workout equipment.

Launched in 2017 by founder Lou Lentine, Echelon supports healthy lifestyles through four main product lines: a space-saving treadmill and indoor bike, an interactive mirror for strength and conditioning classes and an rowing machine launched in 2022.

Through monthly memberships and community engagement, athletes are connected to a network of coaches and trainers.

Founded in 1975 by Dr. Hyman Kaplan, Chattanooga Allergy Clinic is the region’s first full-service clinic with board-certified physicians in allergy, asthma and immunology.

The practice has grown from five employees in one office to more than 100 employees in nine offices throughout the region, including satellite locations in Hixson, Jasper, Dayton and Ooltewah.

Chattanooga Allergy Clinic sponsors daily pollen counts on WRCB Channel 3 as well as air quality reports on WDEF Channel 12.

Nonprofit finalists

Founded in 1937 with two rhesus monkeys, The Chattanooga Zoo grew to become one of region’s top attractions. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 1998, the zoo has continued to expand its exhibit offerings, which include a recent $10 million African wildlife expansion.

In 2021, the zoo opened the Hiwassee Hellbender Research and Education Facility to conserve the Eastern Hellbender and continues to support conservation efforts across Tennessee.

Since 1995, the Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition has worked to assist individuals living in unsuitable conditions by providing housing and resources.

In 2022, the CRHC received $2.3 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to prevent and end youth homelessness. It is also participating in a racial equity cohort that’s aiming to improve housing outcomes for historically marginalized communities.

Over the last six decades, Big Brothers Big Sisters Greater Chattanooga has served over 20,000 poverty-stricken youth. The organziation offers a range of programs, including site and school-based programs, workplace mentoring, E-mentoring and scholarship programs.

Tickets to Chamber Awards 2023

Source: Chattanooga Chamber