Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce celebrates its 2023 small business award recipients

Photography by Yasmin Rubayo / Chattanooga Zoo staff, from left, Darde Long, Jaimon Lyons, Tammy Mixon, Emily Gregg, Chris Houser, Donna Deweese and Lisa Harris.

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce recently recognized four organizations during this year's Chamber Awards, presented by Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel P.C. The awards honored three small businesses of up to 300 employees and one nonprofit for their community contributions. This year's Chamber Awards committee reviewed the nominations, conducted site visits and selected the award recipients from the finalists. More than 120 businesses of varying sizes were nominated for these prestigious awards.

The nonprofit award goes to Chattanooga Zoo, a world-class attraction serving as an innovative hub of education and conservation. Since its founding in 1937, the zoo has grown to become one of Chattanooga's top regional attractions by showcasing the wonders of our natural world through exhibits including a recent $10 million African-wildlife expansion.

The zoo's steadfast commitment to preserving our natural world is exemplified through conservation programs including its Hiwassee Hellbender Research and Education Facility, which supports conservation efforts across Tennessee.

  photo  Photography courtesy of BNI / BNI Executive Director Elaine Zampos.

BNI Southeast Tennessee, the 1 to 20 employee category award recipient, provides its members the structure and systems to grow their businesses through qualified referrals, meaningful relationships, and quality training. Since Elaine Zambos took charge in late 2017, the company has experienced remarkable growth. Revenue has increased by 30%, and membership grew by 38%, contributing more than $33 million in member referral revenue to the local economy.

  photo  Photography courtesy of (Be)Caffeinated / (Be)Caffeinated co-owners Chris Wood and Douglas Lee at the Northshore location.

(Be) Caffeinated, recipient of the 21 to 50 employee category, is a drive-thru chain that cultivates kindness. The company partners with one local nonprofit every month and holds profit share nights to support the community.

Roasting its own coffee out of a Northshore location with sister company New Wave Coffee, (Be) Caffeinated offers a variety of specialty beverages, including signature drinks in partnership with Chattanooga Football Club and Chattanooga Lookouts. The company also offers pastries from local businesses like Poppyton's Patisserie and Cheiman Tea, along with pastries fresh from their own (Be) Caffeinated Bakery.

  photo  Photography by Yasmin Rubayo / Master Machine, Inc., staff, from left, Gary Boles, Cameron McGriff, Blake Nichols, Warren Brandon and Joe Edwards.

Master Machine, Inc., receiving the 51 to 300 employee category, has provided machining, fabrication and engineering services to support our nuclear, naval and aerospace industries for more than 30 years.

As a company that's committed to uplifting its high-quality standards, Master Machine holds to its golden rule that integrity is non-negotiable. By partnering with local companies like TVA, Southern Nuclear, and Tennessee Valley Robotics, Master Machine has established itself as a community partner set for continued growth.

Thank you to Chambliss, Bahner and Stophel P.C. for supporting this year's event and congratulations to all Chamber Award recipients for their hard work, dedication and commitment to making a difference in our community. Our Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce applauds and thanks these organizations for their outstanding contributions.


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