InfoSystems' Vice President of Operations Brent Hales, President and CEO Clay Hales and Vice President Scott Davis pose for a photo Wednesday Nov. 8, 2017, at InfoSystems in Chattanooga, Tenn.

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InfoSystems buys 50 percent stake in APSU

InfoSystems Inc., has secured a 50 percent stake in the cloud services company APSU Inc.

Clay Hales, InfoSystems' founder, president and CEO, said InfoSystems already houses APSU staff and facilities since the company expanded into the United States and the ownership position in APSU "will bring strong and consistent vision to both companies."

APSU sells its cloud services through channel partners or other information technology companies that work directly with businesses in supporting and managing their information technology investments, either on-site or in the cloud. InfoSystems is the exclusive channel partner for APSU in Tennessee.

"By increasing our investment, we're taking the final step in solidifying the people, processes and one-of-a-kind technology that will drive APSU's cloud business forward in the U.S. market," Hales said."One huge benefit will come from some dual leadership roles between our teams, which will bring strong and consistent vision to both companies."

APSU's services include cloud backup and recovery and remote monitoring and management of servers from their network operation center, added inside the InfoSystems headquarters in Chattanooga last year. These services are available around the clock, every day of the year.

"InfoSystems' investment opened a door for APSU to grow," said Steve Morris, president of APSU. "As equal partners, we see many opportunities to expand as we focus our efforts on providing even greater support for our current partners and on adding new partners and building those new relationships. By positioning the core of our team in Chattanooga, we've reduced cost and streamlined our sales efforts."

Pinnacle Bank adds 3 officers

Pinnacle has recruited Mike Matousek, Brandi Hamilton and Carrie Hill to its Broad Street office.

Matousek brings eight years of experience to his role of senior vice president and credit adviser for Pinnacle's credit administration group. Before joining Pinnacle, he spent eight years with Branch Banking and Trust as a commercial credit leader, portfolio manager and credit analyst. Matousek is a graduate of Clemson University.

Hamilton has nine years of experience and joins the firm as a financial adviser assistant. Before joining Pinnacle she was with First Volunteer Bank, where she was a loan operations specialist. Previously Hamilton was with CapitalMark Bank & Trust, where she was a document control specialist.

Hill, with 14 years of financial services experience, joins Pinnacle as a financial specialist. Previous roles were with SunTrust Bank, where she served as a personal banker and teller coordinator and Regions Bank, where she was a head teller and financial services representative. Hill is a graduate of Chattanooga State Technical Community College.

Pinnacle Financial Partners provides a full range of banking, investment, trust, mortgage and insurance products and services.

Spencer launches benefits brokerage

Long-time insurance producer DeForest "DeFo" Spencer has launched Spencer Benefits, a full-service employee and executive benefits brokerage firm.

The firm specializes in employee and executive benefits, life insurance, succession planning, advisory and individual insurance solutions. Affiliated with NFP and Partners Financial, clients have access to national resources through a local, independent and consultative team.

"We're here to provide critical guidance and support for businesses navigating the employee and executive benefits world," Spencer said.

Spencer is a third-generation insurance broker with over 30 years of experience. He was most recently with Brock Insurance Agency, where he designed and built their employee benefits agency — Brock & Spencer Benefits. He began his career with Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company as an advanced underwriter and marketing representative. He holds the CLU and LUTCF certifications.

Julie Higgins also joins Spencer Benefits as an executive account manager. She has over 20 years of experience in sales, enrollment and account management with various insurance companies, including New England Financial and Unum.

The firm is located in Chattanooga located at 407 E. 4th Street, along with Berz Financial Partners.

Bell to head HBAC in 2018

Jay Bell, owner of Bell Homebuilders, is the 2018 president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga.

Bell was installed as president at the group's annual meeting along with Vice President Gabe Thomas of Collier Construction, Treasurer Jordan Cornelison of P&C Construction, and Karl Sodergren of Sodergren Land Company and First Commerce. Other board members inclue immediate past president Mike Croxall of Croxall Construction and Association Council President Clay Cochran of Jody Millard Pest Control.

The Home Builders group also recognized as its "Rookie of the Year" Kelly Elmore of the Mark Hite Team, Keller Williams Realty, and Doc and Tracy Denton, of Better Homes & Gardens, Signature Brokers. The "Associate of the Year" was given to Karen Flores, SmartBank. The "Ralph Chumley Service Award" was given to Marty Hilliard, Home & Lawn Care Services. The "Builder of the Year" was Jay Bell and the "Developer of the Year" was Barry Payne, Barry Payne Development. The "President's Award" was given to Peaches Searles, American Rooter & Portables.

La Paz adds three to board of directors

La Paz Chattanooga has added Jay Elliott, Erwin Ovalle and Ronna-Renee Jackson to its board of directors.

Elliott is the vice president of legal at Kenco Group. He has been a board member for various nonprofits in Chattanooga over the years, including the Cherokee Area Council for the Boy Scouts of America, Junior Achievement of Chattanooga, the Truesdale Foundation and Normal Park Museum Magnet Education Fund Board, of which he was chairman.

Ovalle is an entrepreneur and owner of several local businesses including Ovalle's Catering, MCS Cleaning and Nerdwebs. Ovalle is a native of Guatemala and has been a Chattanooga resident since 2001. He was a recipient of the Chattanooga's Choice Award at the 2016 Latino Leadership Awards.

Jackson serves as a partner at Launch Point Leadership. Jackson is a certified professional coach and serves on numerous volunteer, community and management boards, including the Foundation Board for CHI Memorial Hospital, the Girl Scouts of Southern Appalachian Council and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. Jackson is a member of Chattanooga's Downtown Rotary Club. Among her many accolades is the designation as a 2016 Woman of Distinction.

La Paz Chattanooga is the leading Hispanic/Latino organization in the Southeast Tennessee region that guides, connects and strengthens the community. Since its inception in 2004, La Paz has worked to create opportunities and pathways of mutual understanding in order to create an inclusive environment in which cultural acceptance can thrive.

Vision Hospitality names Daum VP

Vision Hospitality Group Inc. has named Terry Daum vice president of revenue optimization. He will monitor transient and group business to maximize overall hotel revenue for Vision's 34 premium select and full-service hotels.

Daum joins Vision with a career of over 25 years in revenue optimization, which includes his most recent position as senior director of revenue management for Hilton Worldwide.

"Terry Daum is a game changer for Vision Hospitality Group in terms of raising the bar for our revenue optimization strategies and efforts," said Reggie Piercy, senior vice president of operations at Vision Hospitality Group.

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