Knox Commerce

Knoxville Chamber Announces Finalists for 2018 Pinnacle Business Awards

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.


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

Finalists – Large Business Excellence Award

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 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. 


The Young Entrepreneur Award, sponsored by Rodefer Moss & CO, PLLC, 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.


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. 


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.


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, All Occasions Party Rentals, Moser Visuals and Big Slate Media provide production assistance for the event.

Individual tickets can be purchased online at