Moving Business Forward

About This Podcast:

Developed by PodTopics Chattanooga, Moving Business Forward was launched in the wake of the COVID pandemic and features in-depth discussions with business and civic leaders from across the Chattanooga area. Our interviews explore how they have met the challenge of adapting to the times, innovating and moving their businesses and organizations forward.

Episode 10: Spotlighting Chattanooga Whiskey

A few weeks prior to the company’s 10th anniversary event, Chattanooga Whiskey Founder and CEO Tim Piersant took Moving Business Forward on a walking tour of the company’s Riverfront Distillery in downtown Chattanooga. Along with taking our listeners through the inner workings of the company’s operation, Tim shares the history of how Chattanooga Whiskey has grown from its roots to become a recognized brand among craft whiskeys.

Episode 9: Spotlighting Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise

Founded in 1986, Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise is a nonprofit organization focused on helping families navigate the home-buying process and become successful, lifelong homeowners. In this edition of Moving Business Forward, we’ll be featuring our interview with Martina Guilfoil, the President & CEO of Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE). We’ll discuss the overall mission of CNE and the impact the organization has made in Chattanooga. We’ll also talk with Martina about the changes Martina has seen in the Chattanooga-area housing market since she began working at CNE in 2013 as well as what she sees on the road ahead.

Episode 8: An Interview With Christy Gillenwater

Recorded in February of 2022, Christy Gillenwater is our guest for this edition of Moving Business Forward. At the time, Christy was serving as the President and CEO of the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. As you hear, when Christy began her tenure leading the Chamber in the latter part of 2017, the business climate in the region was “humming,” as she notes in this PodTopics interview. The strong momentum continued until the global pandemic hit the U.S. in March of 2020. This episode of Moving Business Forward explores how the Chamber has evolved its programs to meet the challenges of the day. You’ll also hear Christy share her observations on the resiliency of the Chattanooga business community.

Episode 7: Spotlighting The Chattanooga Tourism Company

What was the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry in Chattanooga? How has an important part of the Chattanooga economy adapted and innovated within what has become the new normal? Moving Business Forward asked those questions and much more during our conversation with Barry White, the CEO and President of the Chattanooga Tourism Company. You’ll also hear about Barry’s background in the tourism industry, what brought him to Chattanooga and how he sees tourism in Chattanooga moving forward.

Episode 6: Spotlighting The Elliott Davis Firm

We visited the Chattanooga offices of Elliott Davis, a firm which has more than 100 years of history as a leading accounting, audit, tax and business advisory firm with offices across the Southeast. This episode of the podcast features an in-depth conversation with Sarah Denton and Alan Doak, two of the firm’s senior managers in the Chattanooga office. During the podcast, you’ll learn how Elliott Davis has evolved its broad scope of services since the COVID-19 pandemic and you’ll get some perspective on the firm’s commitment to community involvement in Chattanooga.

Episode 5: Spotlighting The Flying Squirrel And The Crash Pad

We took the podcast to Chattanooga’s South Side to spend some time with Max Poppel, the co-founder of the Crash Pad: An Uncommon Hostel and the Flying Squirrel Restaurant & Bar. More than a decade ago, an interest in rock climbing and other outdoor sports activities drew Max to the Chattanooga area. Max quickly developed a love for the area and what it had to offer for outdoor enthusiasts. As you’ll hear during our interview, Max and his business partner, Dan Rose, identified an opportunity to start what became The Crash Pad: An Uncommon Hostel in 2011. The development of Crash Pad served as part of the revitalization taking place within Chattanooga’s South Side. In 2013, Max and Dan took the leap to build the Flying Squirrel Restaurant & Bar, an addition to their overall business operation that is located just off of Main Street.

Episode 4: Spotlighting Network Transport

The Moving Business Forward Podcast visits the offices of Network Transport, a Chattanooga-based logistics company that, in 2021, earned a spot on Inc. Magazine’s prestigious Inc. 5000 List. We will be talking with Network Transport Co-founder David Ferguson during the first part of the podcast. Bob Poulos, the Chief Commercial Officer for Network Transport, will join us as well. You’ll hear how Network Transport used its strong roots within the logistics hotbed of Chattanooga to become recognized as one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.

Episode 3: Spotlighting Girls Inc. of Chattanooga

The third episode of our Moving Business Forward series takes us to Girls Inc. of Chattanooga. At the time, the organization was celebrating its 60th anniversary of service to the Chattanooga community. You’ll hear our wide-ranging conversation with Toccora Johnson-Petersen, the CEO of Girls, Inc. of Chattanooga. Joining the organization in 2009, Toccora shares her career path within Girls Inc. and you’ll also hear how her passion for service ultimately led Toccora to be selected by the organization’s Board of Directors as the CEO of Girls Inc. in February of 2021. Our discussion on the podcast includes a look back at the history of Girls, Inc. of Chattanooga and how the organization has evolved through the decades in the ongoing effort to meet the needs of girls and their families. In addition to offering a historical perspective and talking about what Girls, Inc. does today with its current programming, Toccora spends part of our discussion looking ahead to the future of the organization.

Episode 2: Spotlighting Co.Lab & Startup Week 2021

For our second episode of the series, we make a visit to Co.Lab just days before the official beginning of Chattanooga’s Startup Week 2021. During this podcast, we’ll be talking with Chloé Morrison and Lya Kimbrough. At that time, Chloé and Lya had recently joined the team at Co.Lab. Chloé served as the Director of Communications for the organization, and Lya was the Manager of Capital Access and Community Engagement.

Episode 1: Spotlighting The Chattanooga Theatre Centre

In the debut episode of the series, we talk in-depth with Rodney Van Valkenburg, the Executive Director of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. Rodney began his new leadership role with the Theatre Center in early August of 2020 – still in the pre-vaccine days of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Rodney tells us about the adjustments he and his team at Theatre Centre made during his first year at the helm and the teamwork involved to respond to the challenges of those times. As you’ll hear, Rodney explains how the entire Theatre Centre team has responded in the wake of the pandemic, becoming quite innovative with a number of new approaches to carrying out their mission in the community.