Pinnacle listed among best employers for women

Pinnacle Financial Partners, the Nashville-based parent company of Chattanooga's fourth-biggest bank, has been named among the Best Workplaces for Women by Fortune magazine and Great Place to Work for the third time.

Pinnacle Bank was recognized in this year's listing as the fourth-best workplace in America for women. Earlier this year, the same organizations named Pinnacle as the No. 4 Best Workplace for Millennials and one of 50 Companies That Care.

"The first women leaders at Pinnacle were among the architects of our culture, values and brand, all of which have remained constant for 20 years," said Sarae Janes Lewis, Pinnacle's director of associate and client experience. "That legacy of fairness, personal attention and doing the right thing makes our firm a great place to work for all people. "

Women make up 67% of Pinnacle's associates and half of all managers.


Mauldin & Jenkins acquires Sarasota firm

Mauldin & Jenkins, the Atlanta-based CPA firm that operates nine offices across the Southeast, announced Friday it has acquired an accounting and consulting firm in Sarasota, Florida.

Plush Smith P.A., which is managed by its founder Carla Plush Smith,is merging with M&J, effective Friday.

"In seeking a succession partner, we looked for a firm which would continue the level of client service Plush Smith became known for," Smith said. "Competency, empathy, and accessibility are among the qualities the Sarasota based Mauldin & Jenkins team will bring to our wonderful market."

Mauldin & Jenkins is a Top 100 Certified Public Accounting firm with over 330 employees at offices in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Mauldin & Jenkins entered the Chattanooga market in 2013 when it merged with Hazlett, Lewis & Bieter, LLC, a 70-year-old Chattanooga accounting firm started in 1943, and the company now has about 50 employees in Chattanooga.


SmileDirectClub adds 600 Tennessee jobs

SmileDirectClub, an oral care company and creator of the first medtech platform for teeth straightening, will invest $34 million and add another 600 jobs in Columbia, Tennessee.

The new Maury County facility will allow SmileDirectClub to extend its manufacturing capabilities for its clear aligners in support of its continued expansion and growth while also increasing organizational resilience and introducing innovations to its supply chain.

This project represents SmileDirectClub's third expansion in Tennessee in three years. In March 2019, the company announced it would invest $217 million and create more than 2,000 jobs across its Nashville headquarters and Middle Tennessee facilities.

Two years prior, SmileDirectClub pledged to invest $4.5 million to expand two Davidson County locations, which supported the creation of nearly 450 new jobs. SmileDirectClub has been headquartered in Nashville since 2016.

"In these unprecedented times, having a second facility located in Maury County allows our team the ability to safely travel between our manufacturing locations, and provides us the additional manufacturing capacity and strong talent pool we need as we continue our global expansion," said Dan Baker, Global Head of Supply Chain at SmileDirectClub.


New Jersey pushes environmental justice

Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law Friday a measure giving state regulators power to deny development permits to businesses whose operations pollute predominantly Black and other minority communities.

Murphy, a Democrat, cast the legislation in sweeping terms, calling it historic and saying it amounted to a"monumental reform" that puts New Jersey at the forefront nationally of what is known as environmental justice legislation. The new law in New Jersey aims to address years of businesses putting incinerators, refineries and other businesses that foul the air and water in cities and towns with mostly Black residents. The measure has been pending since 2008.

"We don't want to be canaries in the coal mine anymore," said Maria Lopez-Nunez, a deputy director at Newark's Ironbound Community Corporation.