Chamber Awards Virtually Honor Community Champions

By Natalia Perez

The Chattanooga Chamber virtually hosted the Chamber Awards to honor this year's Chamber Award winners and the 2020 Chattanooga Area Manager of the Year, as well as Small Business Award recipients postponed from spring due to COVID-19.

While this year's event looked different, it's still important to recognize local companies that have uniquely contributed to our community, leading in areas like sustainability, creating healthy workplaces and supporting diversity, inclusion and education:

Velocity 2040 Community Collaborators: Digital Divide Project

They’ve got the power to make a difference in our community. These partners show what makes Chattanooga special: the power of partnership.

The gang’s all here: EPB, Hamilton County Schools, the City of Chattanooga, Hamilton County, BlueCross BlueShield, Smart City Venture Fund, and The Enterprise Center.

They’re bridging the digital divide by giving more than 28,000 students free high-speed internet at home. That means opening virtual school options for oodles of kids in the wake of the pandemic and broadening horizons for entire families. So, hop on this magic school bus to digital equity as a bunch of smart Chattanoogans do what they do best, working together to accomplish big goals.

Healthy Business: North American Credit Services

When was the last time you got your heart pumping at work? And no, from stress doesn’t count.

At North American Credit Services, getting moving is all in a day’s work – and that’s pretty unique for call center culture. From standup work stations to five minute exercise sessions, employees at North American Credit Services are getting healthy one squat, mini cardio session and stretch at a time.

Remote work? No problem. During COVID-19, stretching and exercising went home too as employees made exercise sessions a family affair.

Making healthy strides and making a difference are all in a day’s work at North American Credit Services. Get your blood pumping by putting your hands together for another awesome Chattanooga champion.

Diversity & Inclusion Ally: Chattanooga Gas

Everyone is set up for success at Chattanooga Gas. Not only do they serve people with the natural gas they need to live well every day, but their intentional diversity, inclusion and engagement efforts fuel their success.

Chattanooga Gas knows you get better results when everyone is at the table, and taking smart chances can pay off in a big way. Chattanooga Gas posts all open positions internally to encourage professional development. Their employee resource groups and LEAD Council help employees level up and keep D&I at the forefront of everything they do.

Different perspectives and celebrating employees from diverse backgrounds and experiences keep Chattanooga Gas on the cutting edge. Let’s celebrate our gas company who gets it.

Family Friendly Workplace: Mike Collins & Associates (MCA)

It’s all in the family at Mike Collins & Associates.

Owner Mike Collins says MCA is its own Hotel California – once you check in, you never check out. And why would you want to at a special place like MCA?

Husband and wife team Mike and Karen founded their technology solutions company on the premise that business is about more than profitability. It’s also about fun, taking care of each other and celebrating achievements.

After more than 30 years of putting people first, the company has plenty of employees with tenures of 10, 20 and even 30 years. They reward 10-year anniversaries with a celebration cruise – and now they’ve cruised their way to some well-deserved recognition.

Let’s hear it for a company where family comes first, and industry excellence follows.

Business Education Investor: Barge Design Solutions

Barge Design Solutions is an engineering, architecture and landscape architecture firm whose work goes beyond buildings – they’re also building something perhaps more important young people’s career aspirations.

Company-wide, Barge makes it their business to promote and encourage the next generation of architects, engineers and scientists.

Mentoring students is a priority at Barge. That might be assisting local teams of high school students in developing design solutions for a local construction project. It might be employing college interns. The bottom line? Ensuring that students gain real-world experience.

Many of those students have become highly-valued Barge co-workers. Barge Design Solutions knows how to pay it forward. Yes, they build buildings, but they’re also building our future.

Sustainability Partner: Skytec

Skytec is a drone company that, well, doesn’t deal with your average drones. Skytec manages one of the most sophisticated drone fleets in the country, completing jobs that are not for the faint of heart, like satellite mapping for building projects. But flying massive drones is only part of what they do. Their powerful imaging technology integrates with geographic information systems to produce easy-to-understand data analysis.

Skytec leverages their technology to help clients boost sustainability. From erosion mitigation to reforestation efforts to natural disaster cleanup, Skytec's capabilities are making a difference near and far, contributing to a safer, cleaner planet.

Chattanooga Area Manager of the Year: Michael Mathis 

Michael Mathis is the executive vice president and Chattanooga market president for Regions Bank. 

Mathis served as campaign chairman for the United Way of Greater Chattanooga in 2018 and chairman of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Foundation in 2014. He also currently or has previously served on the boards of Siskin Rehabilitation Hospital, Brainerd Baptist School, UTC Chancellor’s Roundtable, UTC Finance Advisory Board, Chattanooga Area Swim League and the McCallie School Alumni Council. 

He is described my co-workers, peers and loved ones as transformative, an outstanding leader, and devoted to his community.

Small Business Awards 

1-20 Employees: Acumen Wealth

When it comes to financial decisions, you can’t afford to mess up. Luckily, Acumen Wealth exists to provide families with informed financial advice they can trust. 

As the business has grown, so has the Acumen team, dedicated to giving back to their clients and community. Time and time again, Acumen Wealth exhibits social responsibility through its volunteer efforts, charitable donations and community partnerships.

21-50 Employees: P&C Construction

Since 1993, P&C Construction has brought your vision of Chattanooga to life. From Main Street Meats to Southside Pizza, P&C Construction builds the places foodies love. They also build retail stores, universities and other places you call home.

As a family business, P&C Construction knows the value of relationships. They lay a safe foundation so you can build a community.

51-300 Employees: Chattanooga Lookouts

Each season, the Chattanooga Lookouts give us front row seats to history, inviting us to meet today’s community leaders and tomorrow’s baseball stars. From baseball legends like Babe Ruth to local heroes in their Most Improved Student program, they introduce us to people who aren’t afraid to dream.

Because of them, we’re inspired to make a difference, too.

Nonprofit: Siskin Children’s Institute

For Siskin Children’s Institute, a promise made is a promise kept. Since 1950, they’ve promised special needs kids a brighter future, while also promising parents a path forward.

Through free parent workshops, financial assistance, and community partnerships, Siskin believes in improving access to care so more kids can reach their full potential. That’s why they serve more kids and hire new employees everyday.

Siskin promises a better future for Chattanooga families.


We virtually celebrated these local companies for their accomplishments and contributions to our community - you can too by viewing the Chamber Awards here.