The Knoxville Chamber is pleased to announce its finalists for the 2018 Pinnacle Business Awards, presented by Regions Bank. This is the 14th year the Chamber has held the prestigious award ceremony acknowledging and celebrating regional business excellence.

“A Pinnacle Business Award is one of the highest honors a local business, entrepreneur or organization can receive,” said Mike Edwards, Chamber president and CEO. “We are proud to recognize businesses and businesspeople that positively impact our region by contributing to the local economy and quality of life.”

More than 200 companies were nominated in eight award categories recognizing outstanding local businesses and businesspeople.

Members of the Chamber’s board of directors are divided into committees and charged with vetting and scoring the applications. Selections are based on information submitted during the application process by the nominated companies and any information available to the general public. Final scoring of the applicants is completed independently by each member of the selection committees on a secure website. Scores are tallied by an independent agency and presented to the Chamber for awarding.

The finalists for the 2018 Pinnacle Business Awards are:

The Small Business Excellence Award honors an East Tennessee small business that has 50 employees or less company-wide. The winner demonstrates the ability to overcome obstacles and has a historical index of growth in revenues and workforce.


  • TAG Resources, LLC – A tech-based, Third Party Administrator (TPA) in the retirement industry, handling all back-office operations in the administration of a 401(k) or 403(b) retirement plan.
  • Pipe Wrench Plumbing, Heating & Cooling – A pluming and HVAC company offering services in Knoxville and surrounding areas.
  • Axle Logistics – A third-party logistics company with a focus on providing safe, reliable and advanced transportation services to a variety of clients throughout the continental U.S., Canada and Mexico.

The Business Excellence Awards are divided into a mid-sized category for businesses with 51-200 total employees, and a large category for companies with 201 or more employees. The Business Excellence Awards recognize East Tennessee businesses that have shown remarkable profitability, growth and stability. Companies must have a significant presence in East Tennessee and be nationally or internationally recognized in their respective sectors.

Finalists –  Mid-Sized Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Master Service Companies

  • Lloyd’s Electric Service, Inc.– A company providing high-quality commercial and industrial type electrical services throughout the Southeast, as well as HVAC/refrigeration, alternative energy solutions, back-up power and data and telecommunication products and services.
  • Michael Brady Inc. – An architecture and engineering firm offering a comprehensive range of services including architecture, structural engineering, land surveying and construction administration.
  • Rodefer Moss & Co, PLLC – A three-state accounting firm with eight offices in Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana that serves clients across a wide range of businesses, industries and non-profit entities and services.

Finalists – Large Business Excellence Award

  • Burleson Brands – The parent company operating 17 restaurants in the East Tennessee area including Aubrey’s, Sunspot, Barley’s, Stefano’s, Bistro by the Tracks, Drink, Fieldhouse Social and Crown & Goose.
  • DeRoyal Industries – A company specializing in global manufacturing and sales of medical devices in the following markets: surgical devices, unitized delivery systems, orthopedic supports and bracing and wound care dressings.
  • Covenant Health – A community-owned, not-for-profit health system comprised of ten hospitals providing comprehensive health services throughout Tennessee. 

The Woman-Owned Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Cannon & Cannon, is given to an outstanding woman-owned business in East Tennessee. Companies must be at least 51 percent owned by one or more women, and one or more women must control daily management operations.


  • The Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm, LLC – A premier event venue specializing in full-service event planning, design and low-stress events.
  • BGT Recruiting & Consulting, Inc. – A professional recruiting and HR consulting company providing services to clients locally and nationally, focusing mainly on accounting, finance, HR, administrative, marketing, operations and sales disciplines.
  • Knoxville Graphic House – An alternative marketing and branding agency employing local artists that develop out-of-the-box concepts for its clients and follow them through to production.

The Minority-Owned Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Covenant Health, recognizes companies that have achieved notable growth and are at least 51 percent owned by an ethnic minority. 


  • Compassionate Care Home Health – A company providing a comprehensive network of support services for people with intellectual, physical and developmental disabilities and individuals with mental health needs or substance use challenges.
  • Insurefit RM – A personal and commercial insurance agency that maximizes clients’ protection and provides tailor-made services while always keeping affordability in mind.
  • MBK Wellness of Knoxville – A group of licensed massage therapists providing comprehensive massage services that incorporate several techniques including its Ultimate Signature Massage, deep tissue, sports therapy, and Thai —tailored to each individual client’s

The Young Entrepreneur Award acknowledges the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit. This award recognizes young professionals, 40 years of age or younger as of May 4, 2018, who started or are at risk in ownership of a non-franchise business in East Tennessee. The winner will have overcome obstacles and moved their business from early growth to some maturity.


  • Andrew Randazzo, executive director of Prime Medical Training – Founded in 2013, the training company teaches life-saving skills to daycare workers, manufacturers, physicians, new parents and other local businesses.
  • Bradford Jones, CEO of Bradford Catered Events – Jones took over his father’s company in 2014 and rebranded it as Bradford Catered Events, a full-service, off-site catering company that services the East Tennessee area for weddings, social events, corporate events, parties and galas.
  • Will Tantum, CEO of Blount County Eye Center – After purchasing his father’s practice in 2014, Dr. Tantum has grown Blount County Eye Center into a successful company with five physicians offering comprehensive eye-care services to the people of Blount and surrounding counties.

The Impact Award, sponsored by Publix, is awarded to a non-charitable, East Tennessee business committed to making the region a better place to live through the development and support of a community project or program. The recipient should demonstrate the ability to improve community conditions that significantly impact the region. 


  • Blount County Eye Center – Through its Eye Love Project, Blount County Eye Center provides no-cost eye care and eyewear to individuals in the local community and around the world who have financial hardships or other barriers to care.
  • Master Service Companies – With a mission of using resources and profits to serve the community, each of Master Services Companies’ employees donates at least eight hours of community service hours per quarter – totaling 2,772.25 hours in 2017.
  • Strata-G, LLC – Strata-G’s outreach program focuses on four areas: food and shelter for its neighbors in greatest need, education investments to positively affect the life trajectories of youth, stewardship and conservation of the environment for present and future generations and grassroots causes dearest to the hearts of its employees.

The Innovator Award, sponsored by Cirrus Insight, is presented to an East Tennessee business that has developed a new technology, innovative product or service or has applied a business system or service in an innovative way.


  • GRIDSMART Technologies, Inc. – A company that develops, commercializes and sells efficient Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS), Internet of Everything (IoE) and services to municipal partners around the world.
  • 2:45Tech – A web and app development company that has created a sales and marketing CRM designed for small businesses called Pulsetracker.
  • Smart RIA– A software as a service company that has revolutionized regulatory compliance for wealth managers by creating a cloud-based, responsive web app that simplifies compliance for the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) industry.

In addition to the eight awards listed above, the Chamber honors one outstanding business leader each year as the recipient of the James A. Haslam II Chairman’s Leadership Award. The 2018 honoree of this award is Sharon Miller Pryse, CEO and founder of The Trust Company of Tennessee. This award is presented to a longtime Knoxville business leader that exhibits strength in character, resolve, commitment to the community and exemplary success in business.

The winners are announced during the Pinnacle Business Awards on May 4 at the Knoxville Convention Center. The black tie-optional gala features a silent auction and reception starting at 6 p.m., followed by a dinner and awards program. The program concludes with a champagne toast to the winners.

M&M Productions, Bandit Lights, All Occasions Party Rentals, Moser Visuals and Big Slate Media provide production assistance for the event.

Individual tickets can be purchased online at