Kevin Korman

Photo Gallery

Business Digest

Kevin Korman, executive chef of Whitebird and Whiskey Thief at The Edwin Hotel in Chattanooga, has been recognized with the "Celebrate the Chef" award given by Georgia-based poultry producer Springer Mountain Farm to a select handful of chefs who demonstrate culinary excellence, consistency in dining experience, and a commitment to the use of fresh and local ingredients.

Dale Faunce, marketing director for Springer Mountain Farms, said Korman's "local and regional focus with the menu at Whitebird is elevating the dining scene in Chattanooga."

Whitebird and The Edwin Hotel opened in the summer of 2018. Korman Korman has spent his last two decades in kitchens across the Southeast and mid-Atlantic and says he is committed to progressive Appalachian cooking that honors the indigenous bounty of the Tennessee River Valley with artful culinary creations that breathe new life into the traditional cuisine of the American South.

Korman graduated from Baltimore International College in 2002 where he studied classic French technique. He began his culinary career under Chef Rudolph Speckhamp, one of the very few certified master chefs in the United States. He later worked at the Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation in Eatonton, Georgia before moving back to Maryland to become an a instructor at the Lincoln Culinary Institute.


Emily Ahlquist O'Donnell joins Jelks Law firm

Jelk's Law, PLLC has added women's advocate and attorney Emily Ahlquist O'Donnell as the firm's fourth hire in as many years. O'Donnell joins the growing Chattanooga-based boutique firm as a part-time contract attorney, assisting clients with a variety of real estate, nonprofit, and business issues. She also will continue as executive director of the Women's Fund of Greater Chattanooga, the nonprofit advocacy organization she has led since 2017.

O'Donnell brings more than a decade of legal experience to the Jelks team. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science at The University of the South, and her law degree from Georgia State University. She worked for eight years as a staff attorney for Legal Aid of East Tennessee, and for two years as vice president of external affairs at the Public Education Foundation.


Barge Design Solutions add Wendy Creek for water services

Wendy Creek has joined Barge Design Solutions, Inc, as the new director of projects in the firm's Chattanooga office. In her new role, she will lead work closely with the Water Services Business Unit to support business development and strategic growth efforts.

Creek has nearly 20 years of experience with utility engineering, including water and wastewater treatment and conveyance and electrical infrastructure services. Creek graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering. She is a member of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals, the Kentucky-Tennessee Water Environment Association, and the Water Environment Federation. Creek is a Professional Engineer in Georgia and Tennessee. Prior to joining Barge, she worked as the Contract Manager for Gresham Smith's work with the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources.

Barge's footprint covers 15 offices across five states and in 2018, Barge was recognized as No. 182 on Engineering News-Record's Top 500 Design Firms list.


Pointe Property firms add five new managers

The Chattanooga-based Pointe Property Group and its affiliated contracting businesses have added five new managers.

Valerie Van Hassent has joined Pointe Property Group as lease administrator responsible for all aspects of tenant relations. Hassent relocated to Chattanooga from Parrish, Florida, where she previously worked for Allstate Realty Associates as property manager and lease administrator.

Beverly Potter has joined the Pointe Property Group in an accounting and financial management position. She has extensive accounting experience with a background in the manufacturing industry where she held the position of accounting supervisor.

Bruce Foster and Sandy Clevens have also joined Pointe General Contractors (PGC), a building arm of the Pointe Property Group, as construction managers. Kelly Rhodes joined PGC last summer as construction cost accountant.


Jeremey Auspitz joins Alimentari as executive chef

Alimentari Cucina e Bar [Alimentari] has hired Jeremey Auspitz as executive chef.

Chef Auspitz carries a decade of experience that includes previous work at Hennen's, Easy Bistro, St. John's Restaurant and his role as sous chef for Main Street Meats.

In his new role, Chef Auspitz will oversee the execution of a new Italian-inspired menu and pursue efforts to connect with local farms and dairies.

Auspitz is also active in Chattanooga's underground culinary scene, having made sold-out appearances with the Secret City Supper Club. In addition, he has lead numerous tasting events with local figure Tim Hinck.


SmartBank adds Greg McGuire to investment team

SmartBank has hired Greg McGuire as a financial advisor. McGuire graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in economics and a minor in business administration and has more than 25 years of experience in financial planning and investment management. He serves on the board of the Chambliss Center for Children and is an usher at Good Episcopal Church.

"We are excited to have Greg join our team," said Barry Watson, SmartBank's Chattanooga Regional President. "

Business News is published each Sunday. Information about new hires, promotions and business awards should be sent to