Business Briefs: Toastmasters International recognizes BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Business Briefs: Toastmasters International recognizes BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

December 20th, 2017 by Staff and Wire Reports in Business Around the Region

The Chattanooga headquarters of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is shown in an aerial view.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Toastmasters International recognizes BlueCross for two clubs

Toastmasters International has recognized BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee for its continuing support of the Toastmasters program. BlueCross sponsors two Toastmasters clubs where employees meet to develop and strengthen their communication and leadership skills in a supportive setting with their coworkers.

Lark Doley, president of Toastmasters International, said the Chattanooga-based health insurer "has done an amazing job using the program we offer to develop its employees in communication and leadership."

Toastmasters' communication and leadership teaches employees how to conduct effective meetings, practice time management, enhance listening skills, sharpen presentation skills and guide successful teams.

"Good communication and leadership skills are essential to the success of all the top performers within our company," said BlueCross vice president of human resources Gary Steele. "We appreciate how Toastmasters helps our employees build those skills in a way that promotes both personal and professional growth, and we are honored to receive this prestigious award."

Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization with more than 16,400 clubs in 141 countries.


Jack in the Box sells Qdoba for $305 million

Jack in the Box is selling the Qdoba restaurant chain to private equity firm Apollo Global Management for $305 million in cash.

The chain of Mexican restaurants, which closed its Chattanooga locations downtown and in Brainerd, has been a sore spot on Jack in the Box's overall business, posting same-store sales declines throughout the last year. The San Diego burger chain has been weighing its options with Qdoba for most of this year.

Chairman and CEO Lenny Comma said Tuesday the San Diego company decided that selling Qdoba was the best thing to do.

Jack in the Box Inc. has more than 2,200 restaurants, while Qdoba has more than 700 throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The deal is expected to close by April 2018.


Audi recalls cars for fuel line leak

Audi is recalling more than 52,000 luxury cars in the U.S. and Canada to fix fuel lines that can leak and increase the risk of a fire.

The recall covers certain A6 and A7 cars from the 2012 through 2014 model years.

The Volkswagen luxury brand said in government documents that the fuel lines have a compression point to make them easier to install. But over time, that point can weaken and may leak fuel. The documents posted Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say the cars were made between Jan. 25, 2011, and Sept. 13, 2013. Audi says no fires or injuries have been reported.

Owners will be notified starting Feb. 5. Dealers will replace the faulty fuel lines.


FedEx says record shipments on track

A record number of holiday packages is on track to arrive this year, and the package delivery companies appear to be handling the load well.

FedEx offered the latest update Tuesday on its busiest time of the year as it released its fiscal second quarter earnings report. FedEx said Tuesday that its second-quarter earnings grew 11 percent to $775 million, or $2.84 per share.


Hershey buys Amplify in $1.2 billion deal

Chocolate maker The Hershey Co. is acquiring Amplify Snack Brands for $1.2 billion as it ventures into the healthy snack aisle.

The boards of both companies have agreed on the deal in which Hershey will acquire all outstanding shares of Amplify for $12 per share in cash.


Penn buys Pinnacle in $2.8 billion deal

Pinnacle Entertainment is being snapped up by Penn National in a deal valued at $2.8 billion, and Boyd Gaming is taking over for of its properties.

Big players in the gaming industry are looking for ways to diversify while cutting costs. Penn said Monday that the combined company will have 41 properties in North America, not including those acquired by Boyd.