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Hume-Fogg leads pack as 3 TN high schools make national honor roll

Three of Tennessee’s top schools now have seats among the best 100 high schools in the nation, according to an annual ranking by U.S. News and World Report.

Leading the pack, as it has in past years, is Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet in downtown Nashville, which landed the No. 54 spot. While marked as the top school in the state, the ranking reflect a national drop from last year, when it was labeled No. 37.

Next up is Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet, which came in at No. 74. As the second Metro Nashville school on the chart, MLK jumped nearly 40 spots after sitting at No. 113 last year. Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville is a newcomer to the group and squeezed in at No. 92 this year, up from a ranking of No. 127 the year before.

Ravenwood High School in Brentwood is the only other Middle Tennessee institution to make the state’s top 10 list. The school ranked No. 392 nationally, but took the No. 4 spot statewide. Other schools making the state's top 10 include one each from Collierville, Kingsport, Knoxville, Johnson City, Memphis and Oak Ridge.

A rundown of the state’s evaluated schools can be found here, the national top 100 is here.

Apr 24, 2014 2:17 PM

Townhome project planned for Hillsboro Village area

Nashville-based Rigid Development Inc. plans to develop a 21-unit townhome project near Hillsboro Village, The Tennessean reports.

The company paid $2.1 million for two parcels (at 1911 and 2001 Convent Place), with two structures serving as rental properties to be razed for the redevelopment, according to the morning daily.

Apr 24, 2014 1:00 PM

Auto tech incubator hooks up with Clemson center

The backers of the autoXLR8R automotive technology boot camp have partnered with the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research to flesh out the program's offerings. Clemson officials will put together the curriculum for two weeks of the 13-week autoXLR8R summer program and host the companies being developed.

“Our experience with autoXLR8R last year left us wanting to be involved even more in 2014,” said Suzanne Dickerson, CU-ICAR’s Director of International Business Development. “The partnership will benefit both organizations, and we look forward to putting our stamp on the accelerator for two full weeks. I am confident that CU-ICAR will provide some unique insight and training for everyone involved in this year’s autoXLR8R.”

The tighter relationship builds on a tech tour visit autoXLR8R participants took last summer. Check out the parties' release here and the incubator's website here. This year's cohort of companies will be unveiled shortly and start next month.

Apr 24, 2014 11:52 AM

Gulch restaurant project Prima lands $2.5M permit

The owners of planned Gulch restaurant Prima have secured a permit related to work on the space.

To be located in the ground floor of mixed-used mid-rise Terrazzo, Prima will span about 8,800 square feet. The Prima address is 700 12th Ave. S., with the restaurant to front Division Street.

R.C. Mathews Contractors has the permit, valued at $2.5 million.

Local restaurateur Miranda Whitcomb Pontes (pictured) is teaming with chef Sal Avila, who has worked at City House and 360 Bistro, among others, to create Prima. Read more here.

Apr 24, 2014 10:48 AM

Benefits broker partners with Memphis peer

Hendersonville insurance and benefits broker Heritage Financial Group has joined forces with Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group of Memphis. Heritage's staff of nine will join Kemmons Wilson's 15-member group.

“Bringing together our companies combines the forces of property and casualty insurance with significant healthcare benefit solutions. Together, we have more than 100 years of experience, which translates now into one company able to provide a wide-range of customized healthcare benefits, insurance services, investment counseling and financial planning,” said Eddie Floyd, managing director, Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group.

Apr 24, 2014 10:16 AM

DSi brings on IT director

Litigation support services company DSi has hired Brian McGraw to be its director of information technology. McGraw comes to downtown-based DSi from Des Moines, Iowa, where he was IT director at Belin McCormick, a 30-attorney law firm. A graduate of Upper Iowa University, he also has served as the IT manager at Feed Energy/Riverhead Resources.

Apr 24, 2014 8:40 AM

Southern Land talks to would-be tenants of planned Green Hills tower

Southern Land Co. continues to target an early summer construction start on its Green Hills mixed-use project and has had discussions with prospective retail and office tenants this week — despite a last-minute neighborhood attempt to thwart the effort.

Michael McNally, Southern Land vice president of mixed-use development, said the company recently released marking and collateral materials targeting non-residential tenants.

“We already have had strong interest from [prospective] office, retail and restaurants tenants,” said McNally (pictured).

On Tuesday, officials with the Green Hills Neighborhood Association announced they had filed an appeal (read here) in Davidson County Chancery Court to contest the approval the Metro Planning Department and the Metro Planning Commission have given to Southern Land for the 16-story mixed-use development.

“We are aware of the lawsuit and will deal with that accordingly,” McNally told the Post Wednesday afternoon. “We are still proceeding with this project. We are very excited about it.”

McNally said recently initiated demolition work has gone smoothly.

“We’re going through the proper Metro channels for [additional] demo and abatement permitting,” he said. “And we’re working with Metro to secure grading permits with the hope of starting construction in early summer.”

Of note, Southern Land will have its offices in the building.

 


 

Apr 24, 2014 7:15 AM

Party Fowl, Union Common prep for openings

The team behind 360 Bistro will soon join multiple other new businesses locating within the southeastern section of The Gulch, with the group to open a bar and restaurant specializing in Southern fried chicken and Nashville-style hot chicken.

Party Fowl is expected to open in August in a building located at 719 Eighth Ave. S., at the northwest corner of the intersection of Eighth Avenue South and Division Street. (Read more here.)

And just west of The Gulch in Midtown, Union Common steakhouse will soon open in a H.G. Hill Realty Co.-owned building that was formerly home to The Great Escape and is being significantly retrofitted (see image below). Former Nashville chef Bobby Benjamin will be at the helm for the 125-seat restaurant (an image of the interior is seen below), which is owned by Louisville-based DC Management. (Read more here.)

 

 

Apr 24, 2014 7:00 AM

Nashville EO chapter adds 22 members

The Nashville chapter of Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) has announced the addition of 22 new members to its group of Middle Tennessee business owners.

The new members bring a combined approximately $209.4 million in annual sales and 1,023 full-time employees to the group’s ranks. Sixty-eight percent of the new member companies call Davidson County home, while 27 percent are located in Williamson County, according to an EO release.

“Through EO, local business leaders can learn from others’ successes and mistakes to grow their organizations,” said Joe Freedman, president of EO Nashville and co-owner of Music City Tents & Events. “Our members offer different perspectives and a sounding board to help develop our community’s business owners and entrepreneurs.”

The Nashville EO chapter, which has been recognized for the past three years as one of the fastest growing EO chapters in the world, now has 169 members (a 15 percent year-over-year growth rate). To join, an entrepreneur must be a founder, co-founder, owner or controlling shareholder of a company with gross annual sales exceeding $1 million.

The 22 new EO Nashville members are as follows:

• Joshua Boyd, president of Computer PROS, an information technology service provider.

• Shaun Carrigan, founder and president of NetContent, a technology developer specializing in news aggregation and large-scale email publishing services.

• Tony Darsinos, owner and partner of Astikon Development and Gondola House Restaurant LLC, a Hermitage-based restaurant.

• Jake Fagan, president and founder of Caddis Interactive, a digital agency.

• Curt Hahn, owner of Film House Inc., a film production company.

• Robert Hartline, partner and owner of Call Proof, a mobile application for field salespeople and staff.

• Tammy Hawes, founder and president of Virsys12, a technology consulting firm specializing in Salesforce implementation and integration services.

• David Hornsby, president of Executive Travel & Parking LLC, a business travel agency and airport valet parking service.

• Randi Lesnick, CEO and founder of Hospitality Consultants LLC, an event, design and management firm.

• Heather McCollum, owner of Fruition Salon, a Nashville-based hair salon.

• Jason McConnell, chef and owner of several area restaurants including Cork & Cow, 55 South and Red Pony. He also co-owns new restaurant Two Ten Jack with fellow EO member Patrick Burke.

• Dee Northcutt Jr., president and owner of Mid TN Dentistry, an implant and general dentistry.

• Josh Pittman, president of MediCore Medical Supply, a manufacturer and distributor of medical supplies.

• Angela Proffitt, co-founder of Angela Proffitt LLC, an event and wedding planner and business consultant.

• Greg Siskind, partner and founder of Siskind Susser PC, an immigration law group.

• Scott Smith, owner of Solerant LLC, an information technology service provider for churches, schools and ministries across the nation.

• Doug Stacey, co-owner and vice president of Landscape Services Inc., a landscape management company.

• Craig Stanley, co-founder and president of Tennessee Steel Haulers Inc., a national flatbed carrier.

• Eddie Stewart, co-founder of Stewart Transportation Solutions Inc., which provides hotel and convention shuttles and event transportation.

• Jeff Stockton, owner of ApexWorks, a restoration services and roofing repair company.

• Jim Thomas, president and CEO of Thomas & Thorngren Inc., a national provider of human resources and payroll services.

• Traylor Woodall, CFO and principal of Fivestone Studios, a video production firm.

Fagan, Proffitt and Stockton all join EO Nashville as alumnae of EO Nashville’s Catalyst program. Catalyst provides classes, peer-to-peer forum groups and mentorship and is designed to help entrepreneurs grow their companies past the key benchmark of $1 million in annual sales.

Founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneurs' Organization is a global business network of more than 9,500 business owners in 131 chapters and more than 40 countries.

Apr 24, 2014 6:45 AM

Jumpstart, Vanderbilt to partner on startup boost

Jumpstart Foundry announced today a new collaboration with Vanderbilt's Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization to boost Vanderbilt-based proposals into the Foundry's annual business accelerator.

Through the partnership, Jumpstart and CTTC will identify and evaluate select proposals from Vanderbilt faculty, staff and students, and CTTC will nominate select proposals for placement in Jumpstart's top 30 applicant pool. The accelerator will then rank the Vanderbilt group, and approximately the top dozen teams will be given an offer to participate in the business incubation program.

"This new engagement represents a dynamic extension of our growing relationship with Jumpstart Foundry that promises to create new and valuable opportunities for entrepreneurial-minded members of the Vanderbilt community," Alan Bentley, Vanderbilt's assistant vice chancellor of technology transfer and intellectual property protection, said in a release.

Vic Gatto, CEO of Jumpstart, said the accelerator is impressed with the potential at Vanderbilt. Last year the company selected Vanderbilt-based startup InvisionHeart, which was recently selected to pitch at Google Demo Day.

"The combination of Vanderbilt intellectual property and human talent with the Jumpstart Foundry curriculum and mentor network will create successful startups driving disrupting large industries and improving people's lives," Gatto said.

Apr 23, 2014 2:40 PM