– Calling All Innovators: Inside Memphis Business has been recognizing the top thinkers and doers in the city for several years. Our seventh annual IMB Innovation Awards issue is coming in September and we want your nominations for these people and organizations that are at the forefront of evolution — tinkerers, questioners, visionaries — who keep the machine of commerce oiled. Last year’s winners covered a range of areas, from medicine to music, education to civics. When you send us your nominations of the best and brightest candidates, please include any pertinent biographical or business information, and why the person, business, or organization should be recognized as a leader among innovators. Email your nomination to [email protected]com. Deadline for nominations is June 21, 2019.

– Sixty-seven percent of highway contractors report that motor vehicles had crashed into their construction work zones during the past year, according to a new highway work zone study conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America. The association has launched a radio and media campaign urging drivers to slow down and remain alert in highway work zones. Seventy percent of contractors reported work zone crashes on their projects in which motor vehicle operators or passengers were injured. In addition, 28 percent of those crashes involved a driver or passenger fatality. Highway work zone crashes also pose a significant risk for construction workers — 28 percent of work zone crashes injure workers and 8 percent of those crashes kill them.

– DeafConnect of the Mid-South, which serves the deaf and hard of hearing, is searching for its next leader. The new CEO will build a team and continue local services and programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing people and their families. The new executive will have strong leadership skills, the ability to develop and implement a strategic vision, development experience, policy and legislative advocacy, experience and the ability to communicate in American Sign Language or a willingness to learn the language. Anyone interested can send a letter of interest and a resume by Aug. 1 to [email protected]

– Puck Food Hall enters the ground floor of 409 South Main featuring ten locally owned food and beverage concepts with a full reveal on Thursday, May 30. “A food hall should be a destination in itself, full of options, diversity in people and product under one roof,” said Tiffany Iriana Hofscher, managing partner in Inconceivable, Inc., the management company of Puck Food Hall, and former manager of Porcellino’s in East Memphis. Interior enhancements include build-out and customized design elements of vendor booths and community seating.

– The Tennessee Medical Association assembled approximately 150 of its physician members in Franklin last weekend for the 184th annual business meeting of the TMA House of Delegates. The assembly overwhelmingly approved one emergency resolution calling for a ban on the sale of any flavored vaping products in Tennessee. Other policies backed by the association include: encouraging state officials to expand access to treatment options and other resources for mental health and substance abuse disorders; calling for truth in advertising for cannabidiol and other CBD products sold in Tennessee; advocating for more clarity in state law around remote patient monitoring, and for appropriate reimbursement for physicians who manage patients’ chronic conditions via telehealth services; addressing the gap that exists between the number of medical school graduates and the lack of available spots in U.S. residency training programs, working with the American Medical Association and other national organizations; and affirming TMA’s position on scope of practice for midlevel healthcare providers and advocacy for physician-led collaborative practice models.


Start Co., Epicenter, and ZeroTo510 announced the 10 companies that will be participating in their Summer of Acceleration program. The startups, based all over the country, will participate in a 100-day intensive program meant to quicken the company’s growth. The startups:

• Moment AI (Memphis), a Smart City tech company that focuses on increasing driving safety through detection of medical events by using machine learning and autonomous transportation to make roads and passengers safer.

• PAT (Memphis), an augmented reality cloud storage platform to help designers, animators and architects bring 3D models to life by converting models into holograms and sharing them through the web.

• Parka Solutions (Atlanta), a location-based marketing API that lets brands and retail stores send rewards, offers, and content to people as they travel through transportation apps.

• Health Note (Houston), an AI platform for improving patient encounters by gathering pre-visit information.

• Lawntap (Atlanta), an on-demand and automated service for lawn care maintenance that monitors lawn height, allowing homeowners and municipalities to cut costs and increase efficiency.

• Easymove (Chicago), a mobile app that connects local truck and van owners with clients who need reliable moving and delivery help.

• Winter Innovations (University of Tennessee in Knoxville), creates solutions for orthopedic surgery. 

• Oracle Health (Tampa, Florida), is developing a miniature implantable smart stethoscope to continuously monitor heart sounds in patients at high risk for heart failure.

• DiaTech Diabetes Technologies (Tallahassee, Florida/Florida State University), an infusion set for insulin pumps that provides real-time alerts for insulin delivery failure at injection sites.

• Azimuth Sleep Solutions (Memphis/UTHSC), simplifies use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines with a mask design that delivers air
precisely and comfortably into the upper airway during sleep.

For more information, contact Lauren Berry at Archer Malmo: [email protected]

Vaco Recruiting


– TV news in Memphis is in the midst of an unprecedented and abrupt shakeup: each of the city’s five TV news channels will be under new ownership before the start of 2020. Read Chris Davis’ extensive report in the Memphis Flyer here.

– On Saturday, the Graceland Exhibition Center opens with more than 200,000 square feet of entertainment, exhibition, and dining space. It’s a big, family friendly deal for Graceland, the neighborhood, and the city. Read Wayne Risher’s story in the Daily Memphian here.

– Upgrading Regional One is a priority for Shelby County, which is calling for a health services assessment and recommendations study. Read Jason Bolton’s story in the Memphis Business Journal here.

– Leadership Memphis is honoring 40 movers and shakers. Read The Commercial Appeal’s story here.



Wine Down for BizTown: Junior Achievement’s event tasks teams of participants to blind-taste-test various vintages to see which style of wine is the most popular among the crowd. Food and live music are also available at the event. Proceeds go toward Junior Achievement of Memphis. June 14, 6 to 9 p.m. Junior Achievement, 307 Madison Ave. $30/person. juniorachievement.org



Who’s getting promoted? Who’s closing big deals? Who’s getting awards? Inside Memphis Business magazine’s Hot Sheet has the latest on milestones in Memphis.

– Elise C. Denneny was named as president of the Tennessee Medical Association.

– Baker Donelson elected Jackie Prester to its board of directors.

– A team of investigators at UTHSC were awarded a $3.1 million grant to develop a unique model for nicotine addiction research. IMB Power Player Robert Williams will lead the team looking to explore mechanisms that contribute to the addiction-enhancing drug menthol.

– Moore Tech elected four representatives to its board of trustees: Farrar Schaefer Vaughan, Belinda Anderson, Pastor James E. Kirkwood, and Willis T. Yates. The board also elected Ben Wingfield (pictured) as chairman.

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Inside Memphis Business magazine publishes a list of local Power Players every year. These are the movers and shakers in more than 30 categories who get things done in their respective fields. IMB’s April issue has the complete list. We also publish individual categories in other issues throughout the year, and we feature individual Power Players in our weekly Tip Sheet.

This week’s Power Player is Nail Task, general manager, Big Cypress Lodge. In 2016, moved to Memphis from Chicago to oversee hotel as part of Bass Pro Shops Hospitality Division in the Memphis Pyramid. Graduated from the Swiss Hotel Management School in Switzerland and took several positions worldwide to assist in the opening and managing of new hotels. Previous positions include The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley and the Titanic Deluxe Resort in Turkey.

For the complete list of Inside Memphis Business Power Players, go here.



“The collapse of the news ecosystem creates an undue burden by assuming television is going to take over [the loss of coverage by newspapers]. It’s unrealistic for us to expect they can do that.”

– Penelope Muse Abernathy, author of The Expanding News Desert. She is quoted in the Memphis Flyer here.