Bolt Farm in Whitwell, Tennessee, uses overnight stays to fund tree plantings and other business news

Photo Contributed by Bolt Farm Treehouse / Looking for a way to recharge after regular tours with his Grammy-nominated Christian rock band Needtobreathe, Seth Bolt and wife Tori purchased 18 acres atop Whitwell Mountain in 2020 and added 37 more acres early this year.

Bolt Farm donates tree for every stay

Seth and Tori Bolt, who created Bolt Farm Treehouse in Whitwell, Tennessee, to provide travelers with luxurious, nature-immersive travel experiences, are joining with the worldwide nonprofit One Tree Planted to donate one tree per guest booking at the Bolt Farm Treehouse.

"This initiative fits perfectly with our mission to restore biodiversity here in the Appalachia region and elsewhere," Tori Bolt said in an Earth Day announcement of the tree-planting initiative. "We've always been cognizant of saving and replenishing every tree that's impacted by our accommodations. Now, One Tree Planted allows us to contribute in ways that go well beyond just Bolt Farm Treehouse."

Guests also have the option to give donations for additional plantings, each at a rate of $1.

Bolt Farm resides in areas affected by coal mining dating as far back as the 1700s.

10 Chattanooga leaders in Urban League program

The Urban League of Greater Chattanooga will include 10 leaders who are women or people of color in its 2023 Inclusion by Design Executive Leadership Program.

The 8-month training program includes those in a senior level role at their organization who are nominated by their bosses.

"Research continues to prove that diversity in leadership is a competitive strength," said Candy Johnson, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga. "For companies that understand and prioritize this, the Inclusion by Design Executive Leadership Program provides a local opportunity to invest in their high-potential leaders of color and women and create their company's in-house pipeline of diverse, highly skilled senior and executive-level talent."

The 2023 Inclusion by Design fellows include Alisha Moore of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Althea Jones of the Tennessee Valley Authority, Christina Gindi with U.S. Xpress, Courtney Cochran of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Diego Trujilo of Hamilton County Schools, Jeremy Mason of Pinnacle Bank, Larvizo Wright of Unum, Martina Harris of Chattanooga State Community College, Melanie Cross of TVA and Reggie Wilkerson of EPB.

"This year's cohort is an extremely promising group of professionals that will grow in their leadership skills exponentially over the next eight months," Johnson said.

Regions Bank profits below expectations

The parent company of Regions Bank boosted its first quarter earnings by 13% from 55 cents a share a year ago to 62 cents per share in the first three months of 2023.

But the results were still 6% below the consensus forecast for bank earnings by Regions of 66 cents per share in the first quarter. Bank revenues grew 22.15% from a year ago, but shares of the bank holding company still fell.

Regional Financial set aside $135 million as a provision for credit losses, compared to a benefit of $36 million in the previous year.

That offset gains from a 40% growth in net interest income, the difference between how much banks earn from loans and pay out on deposits.

Total deposits fell 3% from the end of last year to $129.04 billion, but remained stable from early March through the end of the quarter, Regions said.

Black & Decker adds Kentucky's biggest solar farm

Stanley Black & Decker, in partnership with Castillo Engineering and RPG Energy Group, unveiled a 4.3-megawatt solar farm in Hopkinsville, Kentucky on Friday.

The new 15-acre solar farm is Kentucky's largest privately funded on-site solar project and will produce enough clean energy to power Stanley Black & Decker's 280,000-square-foot production facility in Hopkinsville, while also providing excess energy back to the state. The project is estimated to deliver 5,500 metrics tons of carbon dioxide reductions and an annual energy savings of $400,000.

"As part of Stanley Black & Decker's global environmental, social and corporate governance initiatives, this project, which we are fittingly celebrating on Earth Day, represents an impactful milestone as the organization progresses toward its mission of carbon neutrality by 2030," said Rob Kirts, director of global energy and utilities at Stanley Black & Decker.

Investors sue FINMA for Credit Suisse losses

A group of Credit Suisse investors has sued Swiss financial regulators after a government-engineered takeover of the struggling bank by rival UBS left them with billions in losses.

The investors are contesting an order by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority that wiped out about $17.3 billion in higher-risk Credit Suisse bonds as part of an emergency rescue last month, lawyers said Friday.

The hastily arranged, $3.25 billion deal prevented the downfall of Switzerland's second-largest bank after its stock plunged and customers rushed to pull out their money amid fears about long-running troubles at Credit Suisse and upheaval in the global financial system after the collapse of two U.S. banks.

"FINMA's decision undermines international confidence in the legal certainty and reliability of the Swiss financial center," said Thomas Werlen, managing partner in Switzerland for global law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

The firm filed the lawsuit in Swiss federal court Wednesday on behalf of investors holding more than $5 billion in the higher-risk bonds. It's one of several complaints underway in Switzerland following the bond losses.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner