BY: JESSICA KARSTEN

The nine 2017 Pinnacle Business Award recipients were invited to the Knoxville Chamber on May 25 to join CEO Mike Edwards and Senior Vice President Mark Field for an exclusive luncheon.

The event served as an opportunity for this year’s winners to network, mind-share, discuss the business climate in Knoxville, and express how the Chamber can help their companies continue to succeed.

Attendees included Pam Fansler of First Tennessee Bank; Courtney Herda of Smarter Searches; Sandra Spencer and Shirley Herbert of Sandra G’s Alterations; Roy Leslie and Annie LaLonde of Shoney’s of Knoxville; John Thaller of House of Thaller; Michael Hollander and Kevin Fillers of Innovative Design, Inc.; and Dr. Randal Dabbs and Dr. Lynn Massingale of TeamHealth.

The group discussed business advice and philosophies with a focus on talent recruitment, community involvement, leadership, and competing in the marketplace. They also expressed what it means to be recognized by the Chamber’s board of directors as Pinnacle Award winners.

“For us, it felt like it put us on the map,” said Roy Leslie, president and CEO of Impact Award winner Shoney’s of Knoxville. “To be recognized is very nice, and I’ve heard a lot of comments from employees and customers saying that we deserved it.”

Similarly, Sandra Spencer, founder of Sandra G’s Alterations and winner of the Minority-Owned Business Excellence Award said, “I got feedback from my customers, too. They were really happy for me.”

She continued, “Some things that are done every day are taken for granted, and sew- ing is one of them. Being recognized like this has really opened my eyes to what I actually do, and I’m proud of who I am and what I’ve done. I’d love to continue to get better at it.”

Watch each of the award winners’ acceptance speeches from the 13th Annual Pinnacle Business Awards on the Chamber’s YouTube channel.