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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Chattanooga Studio

Mel Tryon with Lions Club International and Mary Sedrick with BrightBridge

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Mel Tryon / Lions Club International

Mel Tryon, CPCU, LUTCF Founded Signal Mountain Insurance Agency in 1992, owned and operated the business until his retirement and sale of the business in 2014. Prior to starting this business he worked for Merastar Insurance Company in Chattanooga, TN and Travelers Insurance Company in Buffalo, NY, Manchester, NH, Worcester, MA, Salt Lake City, UT, and Hartford, CT. He has served as President of the Chattanooga Chapter of the Society of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters, an insurance professional and educational organization. He has served as President of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, NAIFA-Chattanooga. He has served as President of the Signal Mountain Lions Club. He has served as Lions Zone and Region Chairperson, 1st and 2nd Vice District Governor before becoming District Governor 2014-2015.

Mary Sedrick / BrightBridge Inc. Linkedin Facebook

Mary currently is Director of the Women’s Business Center at BrightBridge. Her experience lies in years of problem solving which stems from her engineering education. She also possesses a results-oriented customer caring background.



Cameron Doody with Bellhops, Amanda Jelks with Jelks Law Firm and Mical Traynor with Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute

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Cameron Doody / Bellhops Linkedin

Cam Doody is the co-founder and Chairman/President of Bellhops, a tech enabled platform for moving and delivery services. Bellhops has raised over $8m in venture capital, employs 60 full time employees locally in Chattanooga and empowers a workforce of more than 4,000 college students to provide affordable and simple moving experiences in over 90 cities.

Amanda Jelks / Jelks Law Firm Linkedin Facebook

Amanda Jelks is the owner of Jelks Law Firm located here in the Business Development Center. Amanda’s law practice focuses primarily on elder law, estate planning and probate matters.

Mical Traynor / Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute Linkedin Twitter Facebook



Debi Crabtree with Village Virtual, Teresa Le with Petite Nation and Kim White with River City Company


Debi Crabtree / Village Virtual LLC Linkedin Twitter Facebook

Village Virtual founder and CEO Debi Crabtree is a former middle school, high school and college teacher and 10-year veteran of developing and implementing virtual school programs, first for Hamilton County Department of Education and then as CEO of Village Virtual. The company has successfully implemented online learning programs or full-time virtual schools in several states, including Louisiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Kentucky, and Oregon. Debi is passionate about connecting 21st century students to 21st century learning experiences, believing that online learning is “learning the way we live.”

Teresa Le / Petite Nation Twitter Facebook

After earning my MBA in international business from the University of Denver, I concentrated my efforts on making hip clothes that complimented my petite size. It wasn’t until i was getting loads of compliments and requests from friends and strangers that I realized I had an untapped talent for designing clothes. And thus,in 2007 I debuted my first clothing line for the petite fashionista. My “cozy chic meets contemporary mod” essence takes cues from what’s currently on-trend and chic with strong nods to what’s hot on the runway.

As a pilates and yoga instructor it was only a natural transition for me to expand petite nation® to include petite activewear. Like many women, I found myself wearing yoga pants or leggings outside of the gym and studio environment to run errands or just kickin’ it with friends.

I’ve been practicing yoga since 1997, and have been teaching pilates and yoga since 2003 in both Denver, CO and Chattanooga, TN. I’ve always looked for activewear that wasn’t only functional and stylish, but also affordable and with a proper petite fit.

At 4’11″, I never found a yoga pant or legging that I didn’t have to shorten. The petite nation® Active pants are petite lengths so no alterations are needed.

We’re so busy juggling all facets of our life…job, family, school, planning events, or even just finding time to work out. We may not have time to shower or change after a workout or run because we have to be somewhere in 20 minutes. The crossover styling and breathable materials of petite nation® Active let you look sporty & stylish in whatever you do!

Petite nation® Active is activewear made exclusively for petites. Whether you lead an active lifestyle, want to look like you do, or just totally love wearing comfortable clothes that move with you in your exciting and on-the-go life, petite nation® Active is functional, fashionable, and fitting!

Kim White / River City Company Twitter Facebook

A Chattanooga native, who moved away for over 20 years, Kim will tell you she is amazed at how far the city has come since she left. What’s even more remarkable is the fact that for the past 6 years, she has gotten to put her passion into practice leading an organization responsible for so many of the positive changes in Downtown Chattanooga.

Before coming to River City Company in 2009, Kim served as president and CEO of the Corker Group as well as Luken Holdings, managing and leasing over 2 million square feet of real estate. Prior to returning to Chattanooga, she had a successful 16 year career with Fortune 500 Company, ALLTEL Communications.

Kim loves her alma mater, the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, where she has remained involved and active. In addition to being a past president of the UTC Alumni Board, she currently serves the university as Vice President of the UC Foundation and Chair’s its Real Estate Committee. She also is the current Chair of the Chancellor’s Roundtable. She is a board member of the Enterprise Center, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and Chattanooga Design Studio and a member of the Chattanooga Rotary Club.

Her many previous board appointments include serving on the Erlanger Hospital Authority. In 2015, Kim was the alumna recipient of UTC’s Outstanding Service Award.

Her community work, in addition to her career path, have helped shape her vision on how to best move our city forward.



Lee Walker with Code Journeymen, Jason Provonsha with LPG Labs Warble and Ongeleigh Underwood with Temperate Clothing

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Lee Walker / Code Journeymen Linkedin Twitter

Jason Provonsha / LPG Labs Warble Linkedin Twitter Facebook

Jason Provonsha is Co-Founder of Lamp Post Labs, a technology studio inside of Lamp Post Group, a VC incubator based in Chattanooga. Prior to launching LPG Labs, Jason spent the previous 15 years in leadership positions in industries as diverse as marketing, healthcare, and logistics.

Ongeleigh Underwood / Temperate Clothing Facebook

Ongeleigh Underwood is the designer behind Temperate Clothing, a womenswear line that focuses on easy, versatile styles that are made from natural fabrics. Underwood is a self taught designer with an eye towards what makes women look and feel beautiful from the inside out. All fabrics used in the line are responsibly sourced, meaning that ethical wages and environmentally sound agricultural practices are employed. Her educational background in Environmental Science and Sustainability frames her linear approach to sourcing and design. Her work in the creative field for many years rounds out her experience from being a large scale event producer to marketing at London Fashion Week.



Julie Parham-Bayer with Viamedia

image1Julie Parham-Bayer / Viamedia

Julie is the Local Sales Manager for Viamedia in the Chattanooga and is in charge of a team of four account executives selling television advertising for EPB, The Electric Power Board’s Fiber Optic overbuild. Julie and her team have been inserting local commercials on the fiber optic system since December 2011.



Lynn Talbott with HR Business Solutions, Sheldon Grizzle and Jonathan Bragdon with Spartan, Richard Carmack with RMJ Tactical and James Chapman with Causeway

Lynn Talbott / HR Business Solutions Linkedin Twitter

Lynn Talbott is a small business consultant helping business owners with Human Resources and bookkeeping solutions. She is a QuickBooks and XERO certified advisor, and a skilled trainer and coach. Her signature turnkey approach provides businesses with a solid foundation of bookkeeping and support, including proper set-up and training.

She is a Human Resources Professional (PHR), and a master with business start up assistance. She has over 25 years of experience assisting and advising small businesses.

Lynn is a Consultant with EBS Human Resources Consulting and can be your outsourced HR department. If you need an employee handbook, an HR Audit, job descriptions, interview training, sexual harassment training, or just need some guidance on any Human Resources practices, Lynn can be your Go-To HR representative.

Sheldon Grizzle and Jonathan Bragdon / Spartan Linkedin Twitter Facebook

Richard Carmack / RMJ Tactical

James Chapman / Causeway




Elizabeth Ruffner with Ruffner Appraisals and Consulting

CBRElizabeth Ruffner / Ruffner Appraisals & Consulting Linkedin

Elizabeth has more than 20 years experience in all aspects of the art world, including assisting in the Antiquities department at Christie’s and studying at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. She is a member of the International Society of Appraisers, one of only three appraisal associations recognized by the IRS. Her firm is offering appraisal, consulting and art brokerage services throughout the Greater Chattanooga and Southeast region. Appraisal reports certified by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). Specializing in fine art, paintings & sculptures, antiques & modern furniture, decorative art, digital art, ceramics, silver, crystal, fine china, art glass and oriental rugs.



Keith Campbell with 3D Ops, Michael Walton with GreenSpaces and Laura Hessler with The HR Shop


Keith Campbell / 3D Operations, Inc. Twitter Facebook

Keith Campbell is the President of 3D Ops. 3D Ops is a 3D printing company focused on healthcare. Their passion is to enhance patient outcomes with 3D printing patient-specific models for pre-surgical planning. With the patient’s model in their hands, the surgeon can hold, examine, plan, and even practice the surgery – all before going into the operating room.

Michael Walton / GreenSpaces Linkedin Twitter Facebook

As the executive director of green|spaces, and along with his all-star board and staff, Michael builds on over a decade of experience in architecture and business development to integrate sustainability into the way we live, work, and build in Chattanooga. Through Empower Chattanooga, green|light, the NextGen Homes, Membership Lunch and Learns, and Consulting among other programs andservices, green|spaces helps expand the benefits of environmental, economic, and social sustainability for all Chattanoogans including low-income families, businesses, building professionals, and homeowners. Michael serves on the Tennessee State Board of the US Green Building Council, the Advisory Board for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Interior Design Program and as a Regional Team Leader for the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment.

Laura Hessler / The HR Shop Linkedin Twitter

Laura has 18 years experience in people operations in the public, private and federal sector. She opened the HR Shop in 2014 to provide startups and small businesses the foundational principles for establishing good people practices that ensure compliance and contribute to building a strong corporate culture. As an executive coach, Laura has a great deal of passion around developing employees and managers alike and believes a high EQ is essential to the success of any business. Laura serves on the numerous committees including: Women Groundbreaker’s, Chamber of Commerce Small Business & Entrepreneur, Chattanooga Food Bank search committee, and volunteers with Cornerstones. She is also serving as Mentor for the fall 2015 Co.Lab accelerator class.



Timothy Capria with Patterson Intellectual Property, Monty Bruell with Rapid RMS and Kathryn Allison with Rangemark


Timothy Capria / Patterson Intellectual Property Linkedin Twitter 

Monty Bruell / Rapid RMS Linkedin Twitter Facebook

As an entrepreneur, marketing strategist, and investment advisor, I have more than 25 years experience across a broad spectrum of industries and market environments. I am highly regarded as a creator of innovative business development strategies that help early-stage companies overcome the inertia of customer acquisition and revenue generation.

I have founded companies in diverse business sectors ranging from capital markets to marketing consulting to magazine publishing to commercial construction. Additionally, I have been a successful manager with Fortune 500 organizations (including Coca-Cola, Marriott, Unum, and Morgan Stanley). I have had a wide array of professional experiences that have helped me to think critically and adapt smoothly to changing business environments and market conditions.

Kathryn Allison / Rangemark Twitter Facebook

Rangemark is a textile design studio that was born out of Kathryn Allison’s passion for pattern making and inspired by her great-grandfather’s coastal Maine painting studio of the same name. Each Rangemark piece is crafted in America by hand from organic linen; we invite and relish the slight variations within each piece which make it one-of-a-kind. After our fabric is screen printed in California it is brought to Chattanooga, TN where local women in Kathryn’s community sew it into the final product.We are dedicated to making products in a way that allows us not only to participate in our local community but to also have great control over the quality and craftsmanship with which our products are made. All of this points back to our mission to bring beauty into your home in a way that cultivates a warm, inviting space to live and entertain in.