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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Our Chattanooga Studio

Ira Weiss with The Startup Box Group and Stacey Crisp with Regus


Ira Weiss / The Startup Box Group Linkedin Twitter

Ira is a corporate executive with over thirty-five years of decisive and successful financial management experience. His extensive finance and operations expertise, audit and procedural accounting background, along with extensive information systems and analytical skills have enabled him to meet corporate goals and produce results on time and within budget. He is currently a co-founder and board member of BioDtech, Inc. a life science company located in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, Ira is a senior mentor for the Co.Lab and the Life Science TN mentoring program. He has recently mentored several GIGTANK program participants including The Ark Labs and 3D Ops Chattanooga, TN. He has also sat on numerous non- profit boards having initiated successful fund raising and corporate sponsorship programs. Ira and his business partners advise and consult with accelerators/incubators throughout the Southeast.

Stacey Crisp / Regus Linkedin Facebook



Erica Newman with The Speech and Hearing Center

CBRErica Newman / The Speech and Hearing Center Facebook

Erica Newman is a graduate of the University of Miami where she earned degrees in both Broadcast Journalism and English. She began her career in the television news industry and lived in California, Nevada, and Georgia before moving to Chattanooga for a reporting job with a local news affiliate. Her passion for helping people led her into the world of healthcare and non-profit work. She has extensive experience working with both non- and for-profit healthcare agencies, including OT/PT/Speech services, as well as serving on several boards for education resource groups, area Chambers of Commerce, and developing relationships with area physicians and medical institutions. Erica has a personal connection with the mission of the Center, as both her sister and brother-in-law were born deaf and communicate through text, email, FaceTime, and American Sign Language (ASL). Erica has always been passionate about helping those with hearing challenges and is fluent in ASL herself. She continues to be an active member of many deaf and hard of hearing groups in the Chattanooga area. Erica is originally from Boston but now lives in Chattanooga with her husband, and their family.



Lakweshia Ewing with Biz Boom Apps and Penny Hughey with AIM


Lakweshia Ewing / Biz Boom Apps Twitter Facebook

A native Memphian has resided in Chattanooga, TN for 9 years. Mrs. Ewing is a graduate of Austin Peay State University where she majored in Psychology with a minor in Africana Studies. She also holds a Masters in Education from Tennessee Tech University and is currently an Organizational Leadership Doctoral candidate. Mrs. Ewing served a as the District Family Engagement and Community Partnerships Director for Hamilton County Dept. of Education for the past 7 years.

Currently, she most recently served as the Deputy Executive Director of UnifiEd a community led public education advocacy organization. As a national facilitator, she has given presentations at educational conferences across the nation. She holds memberships in several educational, civic, social, and religious organizations such as the National School Reform Faculty, Black Alliance for Educational Options, Pi Lambda Theta Honor Society. She also has served the Chattanooga community for years as an active member of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga Board of Directors, OnPoint Board of Directors, Chattanooga Cares Board of Directors , Junior Achievement of Chattanooga Board of Directors and Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy Board of Directors.

Mrs. Ewing has received many notable awards such as The City of Memphis Award of Merit, Girls Incorporated Pioneers, Leaders, and Role Models Award, University of Pennsylvania Research Scholars Award, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville Ronald McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Award. Most recently Mrs. Ewing was selected as a Next City Vanguard 2014 Class member. This is a national Think Tank that selects 40 of the top 40 up and coming young leaders across the country. Mrs. Ewing is also the Co-owner of a national technology company Biz Boom Apps, LLC which has had such success and growth that it has received the Emerging Business of the Year Award for 2014 from the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. Lakweshia is a licensed Evangelist Missionary under the International Church of God in Christ Ministry. She is currently a member and Teen Leader at The New Holy Temple Cathedral Church of God in Christ in Chattanooga, TN under the TN Eastern 2nd Jurisdictional Prelate Bishop James Marion Scott, Sr. Mrs. Ewing also serves as the Jurisdictional COGIC Young Women of Excellence Coordinator a mentoring program for young ladies ages 13-25 in Chattanooga, Columbia, Knoxville, Nashville, Murfreesboro and Johnson City.

She is married to Mr. Julian Ewing, they have no kids of their own, but they have adopted her two half-brothers Fredrick age 15 and Emerson age 12 upon the death of their mother in 2010.

Penny Hughey / AIM Linkedin Twitter Facebook

Penny Posey Hughey was born and raised in Dalton, GA and has lived in the greater Chattanooga area most all of her life. She currently lives on the shores of the Tennessee River in the new Cameron Harbor development of Downtown Chattanooga and loves having the vibrant downtown area as her back yard. She has 2 daughters, AnnaKate who is 9 and a 4th grader at Battle Academy and Kinsey who is 16 and a Junior at Collegiate High at Chattanooga State. Penny attended Presbyterian College in Clinton SC where she obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a Minor in Music. Both Penny and her 2 daughters have a passion for music and all sing in their respective choirs at Christ United Methodist Church.

Penny began a career in the banking industry at 17 yrs old as a part time teller while in school and continued working for various banks for more than 25 years eventually earning the title of Vice President of Business Development. Throughout her banking career she won several sales and outstanding customer service awards and was awarded the Young Careerist Award by the National Association of Business and Professional Women. However, her career took a different turn in 2013 when she accepted a position as the Regional Relationship Manager for AIM Chattanooga. AIM is a nonprofit community organization whose primary purpose is talent development from early student interest – to linking them to careers – to ongoing career development. Penny was drawn to AIM because of their strong connection in giving back to the community and the availability that this job provides for her to help coach people, both students just graduating from school and adults who are going through the difficult time of being unemployed. Penny is a sought after public speaker on a variety of topics from effective networking to building a personal brand to making a lasting first impression and enjoys coaching students entering the workforce for the first time on workplace ethics and business professionalism. Through her work at AIM she is active in the local Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) group and the Talent Acquisition Network Search (TANS) group as well as the American Association of Training and Developers (ATD) group.

She loves working with students and serves as a volunteer and teacher for the local Junior Achievement Chapter as well as for several programs through the Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development area such as “Get A Job” and “Reality Check”. Penny is a very active volunteer for the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce serving as President Elect for the Ambassador program, Vice President of Membership for the East Brainerd Council and has helped organize the Chamber’s Annual Membership drive for the past 2 years. She is a graduate of the prestigious Leadership Chattanooga program sponsored by the Chamber. Not only is she active in the Chattanooga Chamber, but Penny is also active in both the Dalton and Catoosa GA Chambers as well, serving as a Diplomat for both of those groups and is a 2001 graduate of the Leadership Dalton program. She is also an active participant in the Chattanooga Technology Council and Women In Technology. She serves on the Information Technology Curriculum Advisory Committee for Chattanooga State Community College and as part of the Business Advisory Board for Virginia College.

She is a member of Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute and a graduate of the 2013 class of their Women’s Mentoring training program and currently serves as the Chair of the Women Mentoring Women Alumnae council. She is a founding member and current President of the Board of Directors for the local Women Mean Business networking group. She worked with the Catoosa County Chamber to form the Catoosa Women’s Network and serves as a speaker and on the advisory board. In 2013 she formed her own networking group called The 40th Hour Social Club as a place for business professionals to connect on a monthly basis in a casual relaxed environment.

After undergoing a bi-lateral mastectomy and total hysterectomy followed by 2 full years of chemotherapy at only 40 years old, Penny became an advocate for women’s health. She is an active volunteer with the local American Cancer Society as well as serves on the board for the Friends of Memorial council that focuses on raising money for the Mary Ellen Locher Breast Cancer Center and Memorial’s two indigent care community medical centers.



Special Edition: Spotlight on Oil Drop

Garren Parkins and David Rowland / Oil Drop Twitter Facebook
We are a third party booking agency for mobile oil changes. Through technology & a simple process, Oil Drop connects busy professionals and fleet managers to mobile oil change businesses in their area.
A Simple Fulfillment Process:

1. Book – Use our simple, online booking process to submit payment and the information our technicians need to locate and service your vehicle.

2. Exchange – A technician will call or text you upon arrival. Once they arrive, give them your vehicle key and they will return your key upon oil change completion.

3. Drive – All done! Once the technician has returned your keys, you will have your oil changed, tire pressure checked, and 15-point inspection check completed.

The Oil Drop team is comprised of James Chapman (CEO), David Rowland (COO), and Garren Parkins (CMO). We have been in the Chattanooga area for over a year under the name Change n Go, but are relaunching as Oil DropJanuary 1st.

Our website is, but a lot of the website is going to be hidden until Jan 1.

Jonathan Susman with Adagio Music and Paul Shriner with AudiencePoint


Jonathan Susman / Adagio Music Linkedin Twitter

Jonathan Susman, a musician and software developer based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, wanted a tool he could use to virtually practice with his band.

Adagio, the application he created, ended up being something more.

The cloud-based audio mixing application was originally designed for musicians like him, but when he met with representatives of the Mozilla Foundation, they encouraged him to consider the educational potential of the tool.

“We realized that education was way more important and more relevant,” Susman recalled. So we thought, ‘what if we could build a progressive learning curriculum around the technology itself?’”

The app, which Susman completed last August, was supported in part through a grant from the Gigabit Community Fund, a partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Mozilla that seeds the development of apps that are capable of using the ultra-high-speed networking testbeds developed by NSF.

Paul Shriner / AudiencePoint



Chloé Morrison with Nooga

image1 (2)Chloé Morrison / Nooga Twitter Facebook

Chloé Morrison joined in 2011 as staff writer, covering business in Chattanooga. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and has nearly 10 years of experience working as a professional journalist. She has worked at the Chattanooga Times Free Press and the Daily Times in Maryville, Tenn. She has covered crime, courts, education, agriculture and tourism. She covered the high-profile missing person case and murder investigation of Theresa Parker, which received national media attention. In 2009, Chloé received four Golden Press Card Awards from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists and in 2011 was named a finalist for a Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editor Award. She’s also been named “journalist of the year” two years in a row by organizers of Chattanooga’s Startup Awards. Chloé has also worked as an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the adviser of the university’s student newspaper, The Echo.



Lisa Nausley with Sandler Training and Linda Murray Bullard with LSMB Business Solutions

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Lisa Nausley / Sandler Training Linkedin Twitter Facebook

Lisa Nausley is the Owner & CEO of Sandler Training® in Chattanooga. She and her team only work with corporations and senior leaders who have an unconditional commitment to growth and continual improvement. Her firm is celebrating 8 award-winning years with Sandler; now operating in 32 countries it is the largest training organization in the world. She brings more than 25 years of management, sales, customer service and training experience to her clients. Some of Lisa’s key business strengths include executive coaching, hiring, motivating, and retaining effective teams; management and sales training; customer relations, interpersonal communications and team building. Successful in accelerating growth through strategic leadership, Lisa knows firsthand the value of ongoing skill development and reinforcement to remain competitive and engaged in business. Lisa’s strong belief and conviction is evident in all areas of her business including its successful training programs, executive coaching and consulting engagements.

Lisa focuses on bringing out the best in professionals at all levels. Her passion is helping clients to achieve the magic balance between success in and outside of work. Lisa loves helping others and believes that is why she was led to Sandler. The strategies they offer create measurable growth, increased self-esteem and performance in all areas. As a presenter Lisa uses unlimited energy and humor to bring to life the messages attendees are able to learn and apply for the entirety of their career.

Professional associations: Chattanooga Women’s Leadership Institute, Chattanooga & Bradley County Chambers of Commerce, SHRM, Women Business Enterprise National Council (WEBNC), and Women Mean Business. Lisa’s desire to give back to the community is evident by the significant time and leadership she lends to so many of nonprofits.

Linda Murray Bullard / LSMB Business Solutions Linkedin Twitter Facebook

I am the self-published author of “The Well Ran Dry: Memoirs of a Motherless Child.” It is my autobiography, which was accepted by the US Library of Congress in 2013 and won an award from GANSPA in Atlanta, GA as Best Autobiography for 2014.

In addition to being a contributory commentator on various business media outlets, including American Express’s OPEN Forum, I teach entrepreneurs and people interested in becoming entrepreneurs how to become and stay sustainable. I am currently contracted as a Business Development Facilitator with BrightBridge Women’s Business Center, who is a partner of the Small Business Administration. I am also studying with Steve Harvey’s Radical Success Institute team learning how to grow the professional speaking segment of my business on the topics of self-empowerment through exposure and education and small business development. I will graduate in the inaugural class in February 2016.

Also, I was recently selected to be a Tedx Chattanooga presenter in February 2016. I am a certified Professional Project Manager, and am currently attending UTC to pursue my MBA and plan to graduate in late 2016.

I have three grown sons, four granddaughters, a grandson, and expecting new grandchild in April. I also have a great grandson and a great granddaughter.