The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce hosted the 8th Annual Tribute to Business Dinner on Friday, June 14, 2019 on Market Street, Clinton. “The Market Place of Pearls” A Gatsby Themed Long Table Dinner, as a way of recognizing businesses in Anderson County and their accomplishments. This event has been held at multiple venues across Anderson County throughout the years, but the Chamber was excited to host it in Downtown Clinton.

The night is always filled with many joyful moments including dinner and dancing. However, the night’s most memorable moment came in honoring five businesses for their economic achievements throughout Anderson County and East Tennessee, as well as their dedication to Anderson County. The Chamber awarded 5 business awards during the Tribute which include Large, Medium, and Small Business of the Year awards as well as Woman Owned and Veteran Owned. This years recipients of the 5 business excellence awards are as follows:

Y-12 Federal Credit Union

Y-12 Federal Credit Union is a federally-chartered, member-owned, not for profit financial cooperative, dedicated to transforming the lives of their members and communities.  From a modest beginning in 1950 by a small group of employees at the Y-12 Plant, Y-12 Federal Credit Union now serves over 117,000 members as a full-service financial institution.  Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in their 8-county service area.

The Purpose Statement for Y-12 Federal Credit Union is to be an innovative financial partner, transforming the lives of their members and communities by developing lasting relationships while delivering WOW experiences.

Fox Toyota 

In 1944, Gene and Margaret Fox began Fox Motor Company.  Although they began in Lake City, nine years later they relocated to Clinton, Tennessee.  In 1966, they were asked to accept a Toyota franchise.  At the time, the only requirement to become a Toyota dealer was to buy a sign and $1,000 worth of parts.  It was then, that Fox Motor Company became Fox Toyota.  Years later, in 2008, the dealership moved again to their current location in Clinton, off I-75 Exit 122 along the interstate. Over the years, three generations of the Fox Family have proudly served the people of East Tennessee.  Their parents have since gone on to be with the Lord and were later joined in Heaven by their daughter, the late Patricia Fox Hogue.  Therefore, it is now owned and managed by the three remaining siblings, Stanley Fox, Sr., Ronnie Fox, and Becky Fox Grubb.  There have been many changes over the years, but their philosophy has remained the same – take care of their customers and treat people how they would want to be treated.  That’s the Fox Toyota Buying Experience!

The Courier News 

The Courier News is now in its 131st year of publishing. First published as the Anderson County News in 1887, and then later as the Clinton Courier News after a merger with the Clinton Courier. In November 1990, the newspaper name changed to The Courier-News and publishes under that same name today. In July 1999, The Courier News was purchased by locally owned Republic Newspapers, Inc. and is independently operated by Clinton Courier News, LLC. The Courier News employs six full-time employees and four part-time employees. Four of the full-time employees have been with the company for more than eighteen years.

The newspaper is a community news publication that is published every Wednesday. Each issue is full of news and features about Anderson County and its communities.  “Our goal each week is to provide Anderson County with news and photos that have impact on the communities at large,” said Tony Cox, publisher. “Our job is to tell the stories and news of our neighbors, schools, municipalities and communities nearby. We’re not trying to rehash regional and national news content; Our job is local, local, local.”

The Courier News is available by subscription for only $30 per year. Delivery of newspaper is handled by the United States Postal Service and locally contracted carriers. Newsstands prices are 0.75¢ each, and it is available at more than seventy rack and dealer locations throughout Anderson County.

Merle Norman Cosmetics – Michele’s Salon

Merle Norman was purchased July 1, 1989, by a mother-daughter team, Sharon Fox and Michele Collins. Michele was 15 years of age when she attended training along with Sharon. What began as a great cosmetics studio in 1989, has expanded to include nail, pedicure, hair and tanning salon. The studio also offers microblading and permanent cosmetics. Merle Norman has received “sales achievement” awards in 2012 and 2014 from Merle Norman corporate office. Only 3 studios per year in the United States are chosen to receive this award. The Shop also receives the certificate of excellence annually. Merle Norman products are proudly made in the U.S.A. The shop will celebrate 30 years in business this fall. Michele Collins is the owner of the studio while Sharon has retired… however, she remains active in the shop.

JD’s Auctions

JD’s Auctions began as a culminating project for Jason Deel’s MBA.  Hours of research was dedicated to that imaginary business that took a couple of years to take tangible shape.  Jason and Natalie took time to think what life would be like outside of the confines of the Army tradition–with looming deployments (because 10 between them wasn’t enough!), new assignments, and a multitude of opportunities to be away from their growing family — with joined hands, they stood at the edge of one chapter and took the step into the next.  In 2015 Jason and Natalie started JD’s Auctions after 28 years of services to the Army between them. Today, JD’s Auctions has made a few transformations from starting out in Knoxville in a warehouse with no AC on those muggy July days, to the old White Store across the tracks in Clinton, to hunkering down in the heart of the Antique District, ultimately upholding its goal of providing solutions to individual and family’s problems: I have stuff—so now what?  Relying on the military ideals of Respect, Selfless Service, Integrity, and Honor, Jason and Natalie use their military service and training as the foundation of JD’s Auctions where they have become proven, effective, leaders within their industry.  JD’s Auctions, along with Bear Stephenson, conduct 50+ benefit auctions annually.  Serving the Anderson and surrounding counties has been rewarding and JD’s Auctions is proud to provide that service.


The Long Table Dinner was the first of its kind in Anderson County. The Chamber goal was to honor the award recipients as well as the history of Market Street. The event was a huge success and one of the biggest events of the summer, bringing some glitz and glamour to historic downtown Clinton.

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