Meet Our 2022 Community Engagement Award Winners

Community Engagement Awards, part of our annual Chattanooga Chamber Awards, recognize organizations with up to 300 employees. Award recipients are nominated by members of our community for their work in education, diversity, family inclusion, sustainability and healthy business environments. Here are six organizations helping create a better tomorrow for all Chattanooga and Hamilton County residents:

Tennessee American Water – Business Education Investor

Tennesse American Water receives the 2022 Business Education Investor Award because of its commitment to serving and educating our community. As a long-standing supporter of local educators, Tennessee American Water contributes to our area schools through financial donations and over 1,000 employee volunteer hours a year.

They hope to inspire students from kindergarten through college to strive for more by instilling an appreciation for science, technology, engineering and math. Tennessee American Water also aids in building a strong employee environment by training and educating employees — ensuring that our students and workforce are better prepared for the future.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee – Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is committed to creating an inclusive, engaged workforce that understands and works to meet the needs of its diverse members and communities.

As part of these efforts, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee awards six $10,000 BlueCross Power of We Scholarships each year to minority Tennessee college students pursuing health care careers. The company also collaborates with local partners through Project SEARCH, offering internships to area high school students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“We believe that supporting workforce diversity fosters a stronger, healthier culture that ultimately helps us serve our members better,” says Ron Harris, vice president of diversity and inclusion, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. “We are proud of our commitment to our employees and our community.”

BlueCross has received top scores on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index and has been recognized by Forbes multiple times in recent years as a “Best Employer in Diversity” as well as one of the nation’s best employers for women. This year, the company earns the Chamber’s Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement Award.

Second Story Real Estate – Family Friendly Workplace

SVN | Second Story Real Estate Management knows that their most valuable assets are their people. A driving force behind the mission of SVN | Second Story is holding space for all team members to prosper professionally and thrive personally. From a flexible time-off policy to family-centered company functions, SVN | Second Story wants every employee to feel that they can excel in their careers without diminishing the importance of personal growth.

Their efforts to create an inviting workspace showcase their commitment to families, earning SVN | Second Story the 2022 Family Friendly Workplace Award.

“It’s a wonderful honor to receive this award because being a family-friendly business has always been a big part of our culture. It means so much to our leadership team that we have created an environment where team members feel comfortable juggling their work and family life in a way that creates a sense of balance,” says Tiffanie Robinson, president and CEO, SVN | Second Story.

Chattanooga Football Club Foundation – Healthy Business

Chattanooga Football Club Foundation instills valuable lessons in Chattanooga’s youth through “the beautiful game,” soccer. The foundation’s Chattanooga Sports Ministries and Operation Get Active programs offer students a safe place to grow while cultivating their love of soccer.

Focusing on physical and mental wellbeing, the Chattanooga Football Club Foundation supports kids in more ways than simply developing their soccer talent. They teach critical life skills like the importance of discipline, hard work, courage and teamwork.

“Since the beginning, Chattanooga Football Club Foundation has focused on a more whole, healthy, right and beautiful Chattanooga. We are honored to be included in this year’s Community Engagement Awards and encourage everyone to get out and play in places where they can make new relationships and further established ones,” says Krue Brock, director, Chattanooga Football Club Foundation.

Because of their extensive efforts to grow Chattanooga’s youth, Chattanooga Football Club Foundation receives the 2022 Healthy Business Award.

Tennessee River Gorge Trust – Sustainability Partner

Founded in 1981, Tennessee River Gorge Trust works diligently to protect Tennessee’s most pristine environments. They protect over 17,000 acres of the Tennessee River Gorge and offer programs that make the natural world accessible to all — from free campsites to rock-climbing and caving locations to ensuring public trail access.

A leader in sustainable actions, their innovative carbon off-set programs support our region by improving and sustaining our air and water quality.

Thanks to their volunteer and engagement opportunities, the Tennessee River Gorge Trust helps launch Tennessee toward a more sustainable future and rightfully earns the 2022 Sustainability Partner Award.

“The Tennessee River Gorge Trust is honored and humbled to receive the Chamber’s Sustainability Partner Award. We work daily to ensure the Gorge is protected for all Chattanoogans to enjoy,” says Rick Huffines, executive director, Tennessee River Gorge Trust.

The Regions Foundation – Velocity 2040 Community Collaborator

The Regions Foundation is committed to making a meaningful difference in Chattanooga, Hamilton County and beyond.

This Alabama-based nonprofit corporation, which is funded primarily by Regions Bank, recently donated $90,000 to support the Skill UP initiative — providing 45 people with six weeks of training in advanced manufacturing, customer service and information technology.

“Workforce readiness programs are worthy investments that pay countless dividends in our communities,” says Marta Self, executive director, Regions Foundation. “Skill Up has dramatically changed the jobs outlook for people in Hamilton County who now have the chance to learn skills and immediately put those skills to work.”

Championing Velocity 2040 and Chattanooga Climbs’ goal of providing quality jobs for the community, The Regions Foundation has received the 2022 Velocity 2040 Community Collaborator Award.

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