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Waterhouse PR adds Plecas as creative VP

Amanda Plecas, a veteran public relations specialist who headed communications and government relations at Wacker Chemie in Charleston, Tenn., for six years, has joined Waterhouse Public Relations as the vice president and chief creative officer.

Plecas is responsible for setting the vision and overall focus of the agency's strategic and creative services. In this role, she will oversee the development of public relations and marketing communications strategies for a variety of clients.

"As a globally recognized and accredited public relations professional, Amanda is a valuable asset to our team," said Albert Waterhouse, president and CEO of the agency. "Her track record of driving award-winning communications initiatives has shown her versatility, strategic thinking and public relations acumen."

With more than a decade of professional experience in public relations, Plecas has earned several awards for clients in the areas of brand management, education partnerships, media relations and strategic community relations. She was a top finalist for PR News' international award for 2016 Corporate PR Professional of the Year.

Plecas holds an accreditation in public relations from the Public Relations Society of America. She is a certified public information officer and is licensed in organizational compliance and ethics. She earned a master's degree in rhetoric and composition as well as an undergraduate degree in writing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Plecas is also a graduate of Leadership Chattanooga.

Plecas is a part-time faculty member at Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., where she teaches public relations writing and crisis communication courses.

Divine Goods now has online store

Adelaide Naumann, owner of Divine Goods LLC in Chattanooga, has launched an e-commerce store that specializes in high-end gift boxes and baskets.

Naumann said she has taken her many years of specialized retail experience while living in Austin, Texas, to create an online resource for customers seeking unique and hard-to-find offerings. Divine Goods carries gifts for all occasions, including birthdays, weddings, baby showers, care packages and Mother and Father's Day.

"Who doesn't like finding the perfect gift with the ease of online shopping?" Naumann said.

The new business, which derives the Divine title from Naumann's middle name, can be found at

Amazon gives $10,000 for local Food Bank

Amazon's Chattanooga and Charleston fulfillment centers recently gave the Chattanooga Area Food Bank (CAFB) $10,000 to support its mission to end hunger for every person in the region.

Since 2016, Amazon's local fulfillment centers have donated more than 187,000 pounds of food to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank, which equates to 156,000 meals provided to families in need. The donations are part of Amazon's ongoing commitment to give back in local communities where its employees work and live.

Breedlove is partner at HR Business Solutions

Lynn Breedlove is a new partner in HR Business Solutions LLC, joining company founder Lynn Talbott and Operations Vice President Darlene Baker as partners in the Chattanooga business. Breedlove has been with the company since 2013 and currently serves as vice president of customer care.

Talbott, who's been known as Chattanooga's "QuickBooks Lady" for 20-plus years, founded HR Biz in 2012. The business graduated from the INCubator in 2016 and is now located off Dayton Boulevard at the edge of Red Bank.

HR Business Solutions partners are advanced certified QBO ProAdvisors.

BrightBridge top lender for Community Advantage

The Tennessee District of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has recognized Chattanooga-based BrightBridge as the top dollar and loan volume provider for the Community Advantage and 504 loan programs during its previous fiscal year.

As the only Tennessee-based provider of SBA's Community Advantage loan program, BrightBridge provides loans to small businesses, including startups, which cannot obtain conventional financing. Mike Ohlman, BrightBridge president and CEO, said the not-for-profit economic development agency can make loans up to $250,000 and usually doesn't require as much collateral as other small business loans.

The award for top lender of the 504 loan program is the ninth consecutive year that BrightBridge has won honors in this category. The 504 allows BrightBridge to participate with commercial lenders on larger projects involving real estate, construction and heavy machinery. Recent projects include an upscale hotel, brewery and franchise restaurant.

BrightBridge provides SBA lending to small businesses throughout Tennessee, and offers some of its programs in North Alabama, North Georgia, and Western North Carolina.

Herring certified as clinical specialist

Physical therapist Beth Herring, director of rehabilitation for Alexian Brothers Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), has attained her certification as a geriatric clinical specialist by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties (ABPTS). The certification is a formal recognition for physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, competence and skills in geriatric practice.

Those holding geriatric board certifications at Alexian's PACE program include three physicians, a pharmacist and now a physical therapist. PACE is a health care plan designed to help frail older adults remain in their own homes with medical care, day care and the home support they need.

Chambliss law firm adds labor attorneys

Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. has hired Charles W. Gilbreath II and Catie Karczmarczyk to its labor and employment practice. Both Gilbreath and Karczmarczyk work on state and federal employment matters with employers of all sizes in a variety of industries including transportation, education, service and manufacturing.

- Gilbreath is a graduate the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where he received several awards and scholarships.

- Karczmarczyk joined the firm after working in Abingdon, Va. She graduated from George Washington University Law School after earning her bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee.

"Charles and Catie complement our strong team," said Rosemarie Hill, leader of the labor and employment section at Chambliss. "Charles has excellent experience in workers' compensation, and Catie understands clients' needs based on their business objectives and culture."

Newberry heads auxiliary programs at Baylor School

William Newberry, a long-time admission and summer program administrator at McCallie, has joined the staff at Baylor School as director of auxiliary programs.

In this new position, Newberry is responsible for the executive oversight of all campus activities that fall outside the normal school calendar, including summer programs and an expanding schedule of events designed to maximize the use of Baylor's 690-acre campus.

Newberry served for 25 years as the assistant director of summer programs and 22 years as the director of day admissions at McCallie. Most recently he has been working with the McCallie development office, in addition to his summer camp activities. He is a Chattanooga native and a graduate of McCallie and Middle Tennessee State University.

Baylor's summer camps attract approximately 1,000 young people to the campus each year.

Kim heads Bright Spark for Bridge Innovate

Bridge Innovate has named Mary Kim as director of Bright Spark, the organization's social impact initiative for students and educators. In addition to leading Bright Spark, Kim will oversee Innovation for Good, a new corporate responsibility program, as well as provide design advisory for Bridge Innovate clients.

Kim previously served as the associate director of the Collaborative Learning Center (CLC) at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Kim has a Master of Arts in Luxury and Fashion Management from SCAD and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin.

Faith, McVeagh elected to young lawyers group

Brittany Thomas Faith, of the law firm Grant, Konvalinka & Harrison P.C., and Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Alexander K. McVeagh were recently elected by lawyers throughout the state to serve on the board of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyer's Division.

- Faith was elected to serve as East Tennessee governor. Faith is also currently president of the Chattanooga Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and vice chairwoman of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Midsouth Chapter. Faith serves on the board of directors for La Paz of Chattanooga, the South-East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women and the Mid-South Immigration Advocates.

- McVeagh was re-elected by the TBA Young Lawyers Division as the Hamilton County (District 5) representative. Prior to being appointed as an interim General Sessions Judge by Gov. Bill Haslam, McVeagh practiced civil and criminal law in Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel's litigation and risk management section. McVeagh also previously worked for the Public Defenders Conference and with the state legislature as the Senate Judiciary Committee research analyst and law clerk.

Dr. Ponce joins CHI Memorial group

CHI Memorial Medical Group has added Jaime Ponce, M.D.

Dr. Ponce earned his medical degree at Escuela De Medicinia Ignacio a Santos, Instituto Tecnologico Y De Estudios Superiores De Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico. He completed his internship and residency in general surgery at East Tennessee State University.

Ponce is board certified in general surgery by the American Board of Surgery. He is bilingual with fluency in English and Spanish.

Ponce has been practicing bariatric surgery since 1998 and has extensive experience with gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, gastric sleeve procedures and endoscopic procedures such as intragastric balloon and revisional surgeries. He is medical director of CHI Memorial Weight Management Center.

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