PBS travel show host Samantha Brown is keynote speaker at Chattanooga Tourism Summit and more business news

PBS travel host keynotes 2022 Chattanooga Tourism Summit

Samantha Brown, the Emmy-award-winning host and producer of Samantha Brown’s Places to Love on PBS, will be the keynote speaker for the 2022 Chattanooga Tourism Summit luncheon from 11 am to 2 pm Sept. 20 at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

The Chattanooga Tourism Co. recently hosted Brown to film a Chattanooga episode of the show that will air in 2023. Over the past 25 years, Brown hosted the popular Travel Channel shows including Great Vacation Homes, Girl Meets Hawaii, Great Hotels, Passport to Europe , Passport to Latin America, Great Weekends, Green Getaways, Passport to China, and Samantha Brown’s Asia.

This year’s tourism summit, the first in-person annual meeting for the Chattanooga Tourism Co., since 2019, will include a State of the Industry report by Chief Executive Officer Barry White along with an exhibitor showcase; live local entertainment; and post-summit professional development sessions. Nearly 1,000 people attend the event each year. Interested persons can find out more about the event at www.visitchattanooga.com/corporate/tourism-summit/.

Hamilton County hosts more than 15 million visitors each year who collectively spend $1.5 billion. On an average day, that’s 43,000 visitors spending $4.1 million; 15,000 of those visitors stay the night in our hotels.

Chattanooga Technology Council returns Scenic City Summit

The Chattanooga Technology Council is bringing back the Scenic City Summit, Chattanooga’s largest IT professional development conference, live and in-person for the first time since 2019.

The conference, which connects professionals across industries to share new methodologies, emerging technologies and practical knowledge on unique, engaging topics, is scheduled at the Chattanooga Convention Center on Friday, July 22, starting at 8 am More than 40 sessions are planned throughout the day .

“With presentations on an array of topics and presenters from all over the globe, we hope this year’s conference will create renewed momentum for Chattanooga’s technology ecosystem,” said Walton Robinson, executive director of ChaTech.

This year’s keynote speaker Michael Dowden will discuss topics such as serverless technology and how lean systems help maintain resiliency for your organization.

Learn more about ChaTech, Scenic City Summit, and ways you can get involved by calling 423.826.8700 or visiting www.chatech.org/scs

TennSMART expo all Tennessee EV leadership

Tennessee leaders will come together for a first-of-its-kind event that celebrates the state’s position as an automotive manufacturing giant and generator of smart mobility solutions from electric vehicle charging to open road test beds.

The inaugural Tennessee Smart Mobility Expo will be held August 4-6 at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville. Hosted by TennSMART, the three-day expo will be the first-ever public showcase of the latest transportation research, technologies, and solutions being developed, built, and deployed by corporations, institutions, and organizations located across Tennessee.

The expo will also spotlight the critical role Tennessee’s world-renowned research institutions are playing to advance smart state solutions, such as cutting back on EV charging times and helping to ensure Tennessee has a workforce ready to support OEMs for generations to come.

On the last day of the expo, a Ride + Drive event hosted by the Tennessee Valley Authority will take place outside the Music City Center that will include a range of electric vehicles for spectators to take for a spin.

“We believe Tennessee is a place where businesses can succeed in the transportation technology industry because of the rich, collaborative environment supported by organizations like TennSMART,” said Rich Davies, board president of TennSMART and director of the Sustainable Transportation Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory . “We’re excited to convene this event and feature the projects and initiatives that are driving innovation in Tennessee and beyond, and we thank our leading partners and other sponsors for helping to make this event a reality.”

Tickets for non-TennSMART members start at $300 and can be purchased online at TNSmartMobilityExpo.com. TennSMART member tickets start at $175.

Colonial Pipeline pays for 2020 gasoline spill

A North Carolina judge has signed off on a previously announced agreement between state environmental regulators and Colonial Pipeline for a 2020 gasoline spill in a nature reserve that turned out to be larger than the company initially described.

Under the agreement approved by Superior Court Judge Kimberly Best, Colonial Pipeline must carry out specific remedies related to the August 2020 spill in the Oehler Nature Preserve, as well as pay nearly $5 million in penalties and investigative costs.

The company initially reported the size of the spill, which occurred about 14 milesnorth of Charlotte, at 273,000 gallons but revised the estimate to 1.2 million gallons in January 2021. About 1.4 million gallons of product have been recovered at the site to date, the DEQ said in a news release.

The order stems from a lawsuit last fall in which DEQ called on Colonial to take a number of steps, including the removal, treatment or control any source of petroleum, polyfluoroalkyl — known as PFAS — or other contaminants that have the potential to contaminate groundwater.

Georgia-based Colonial Pipeline, which delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, said last week that it will “take every appropriate step at the site to remediate it consistent with all regulatory requirements.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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