August 2017 Around Town 2

Hendersonville Area Chamber Awards and Directors

On Tuesday, June 6, the Hendersonville Area Chamber of Commerce held its annual awards luncheon celebration at Bluegrass Yacht & Country Club in Hendersonville. The award winners were:

2017 Ambassador of the Year award: Stephen Saunders with Liberty Mutual Insurance

2016 Volunteer of the Year award: Don Ames

2016-17 Small Business of the Year Award: Sean Patton of UFC Gym Hendersonville.

2016-17 Large Business of the Year award: STR INC.

As part of AT&T’s continuing efforts to drive economic development and investment in Tennessee, AT&T and representatives from the city of Hendersonville announced the Hendersonville Central Business District has been designated AT&T Fiber Ready.

The AT&T Fiber Ready designation helps economic development leaders more effectively position their communities for site selection by emphasizing the availability of high-speed, fiber-based services.

In today’s world, connectivity is vital to new employers and businesses of every type.

“Hendersonville is open for business, and we want to be sure that message is heard loud and clear. Along with our first-class workforce, we want to be sure that people know that we also have the latest technology,” Mayor Jamie Clary says. “This Fiber Ready designation helps our economic development leaders send that message clearly as they work to attract businesses and jobs to the Central Business District.”

“The AT&T Fiber Ready designation provides a clear stamp to tell the business community that we have the fiber-optic infrastructure in place to meet the needs of businesses,” Jimmy Johnston, President & CEO, Forward Sumner Economic Partnership Inc., says.  “I am grateful for the leadership of our elected officials here in the city and in our state legislature who have created a positive, pro-investment environment in Tennessee.”

“The announcement offers an opportunity to highlight AT&T’s fiber infrastructure in the Hendersonville Business District, infrastructure that is helping local businesses drive job creation,” Kathy Sager, regional director of external & legislative affairs, AT&T Tennessee, says. “Delivering the high-speed internet access that Tennesseans want and need, and the fiber optic connectivity that is available throughout the Hendersonville Business District is in place to meet the communications needs of businesses of all sizes.”

For more information on AT&T Fiber Ready in Tennessee, visit

Hendersonville Firefighter of the Year Award – Captain John Schoonmaker

Congratulations to Captain John Schoonmaker of the Hendersonville Fire Department for receiving the 2016-2017 American Legion’s Firefighter of the Year Award. This award is selected from all those who have received awards during the current year throughout the state of Tennessee.

Captain Schoonmaker received this award Saturday, June 24, at The American Legion Commander’s and President’s Banquet. Department Commander Nancy Harper presented the award.

“I would like to thank the American Legion, all the men and women of the military (past and present), and their families, for selecting me as Firefighter of the Year,” he says. “I thank Hendersonville’s Chief Scotty Bush and Division Chief George Edwards for nominating me. For 31 years, I have not lost the desire, compassion, nor honor to work for the Hendersonville Fire Department and to provide service to the citizens of this community.

“During my career, I have witnessed many men leave because the grass was greener on the other side. My father once told me that if it is greener on the other side, then I should take care of the side I’m on—fertilize it, work with it and take care of it. So, I attended many classes, obtained certifications, maintained them and shared the knowledge with my fellow brothers by teaching classes within the department to make the grass greener on my side of the fence.”

TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center Welcomes Mark Bolen, Assistant Administrator

The staff at TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center welcome new assistant administrator Mark Bolen. Bolen comes to Tristar Hendersonville from the Performance Improvement team within the Tristar Division. During his two years serving as a senior manager of labor, he worked diligently to provide support to the TriStar facilities through various projects, committees and training exercises.

Having been with Tristar for six years, Bolen began his career at TriStar Summit Medical Center and has excelled ever since. During his time at TriStar Summit, he worked his way up from an intern to productivity analyst and assistant chief staffing officer in nursing administration before coming to the division.

Bolen received his bachelor’s degree from Libscomb University and his MBA in healthcare management from Belmont University. Bolen also serves as a lieutenant in the US Navy Reserve Medical Service Corps.

He began his position at Tristar Hendersonville on July 1, and the staff is delighted to welcome him to the Tristar Hendersonville family.

Vol State Announces Educational Eclipse Event Activities for Families

The August 21 total solar eclipse will be a moment for families to share together. Volunteer State Community College has a free and educational eclipse watching event planned that day for kids and parents. Everyone is invited, but advance registration is required. The total eclipse will only be seen in a narrow path across the United States. Gallatin will be one of the best spots in the country to view the total eclipse, with totality lasting 2 minutes, 40 seconds.

Educational presentations at Vol State will include an examination of the eclipse event in human history and culture and how viewing the sun can cause eye damage if you’re not safe. There will be discussions with amateur astronomers who are traveling to Vol State from across North America to view the eclipse. Science activities for kids will include a scale model of the solar system, construction of pinhole cameras to view the eclipse, making a sun dial and constructing a solar hot dog cooker for a contest. There will even be astronomically themed face painting. A science instructor from Mississippi will be doing fun eclipse presentations for younger kids that will include music and demonstrations. There will be a live narration during the totality and free viewing glasses for attendees. The activities will be held both outside on the Thigpen Library lawn and in air-conditioned buildings.