December 2018 Around Town 1

Eric W. Barton Makes $3.14 Million Gift to UT School of Music

The University of Tennessee School of Music has received a $3.14 million gift from Maryville entrepreneur Eric W. Barton, a former U.S. Marine who formed several businesses after serving in the armed forces in the Middle East.

The genesis of the gift was a meeting between Eric and Jeffrey L. Pappas, director of the School of Music.

Eric’s gift will support several initiatives, including an annual visiting artist residency, which will allow students to meet and learn from a world-renowned musician during a week of clinics and performances.

South College School of Pharmacy Selects New Dean

Dr. William M. Gentry, one of the inaugural faculty members of the South College School of Pharmacy, has been selected as the pharmacy school’s new dean.

Dr. Gentry, who most recently served as executive vice dean of the School of Pharmacy for four years, has been with South College for nearly eight years.

“Dr. Gentry has served in several capacities in Knoxville with increasing responsibilities in the School of Pharmacy,” said Steve South, chancellor of South College. “With every step, he has proven to be an excellent leader.”

The Swag Named among Conde Nast Top Resorts in South

The Swag, a luxury all-inclusive resort in the Smoky Mountains, has again been named among the “Top Resorts in the South” by Condé Nast Traveler, landing at No. 7 in the 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards.

Now in its 37th season, The Swag, located just outside Waynesville, North Carolina, offers unparalleled hospitality, natural beauty and tranquility at its mountaintop inn. Sitting on 250 acres, it delivers fine dining and award-winning accommodations. The Condé Nast Traveler review calls it  “a mountaintop getaway of logs, fieldstone, shake roofs and natural rock porches. At an elevation of 5,000 feet in the Great Smoky Mountains, the views can’t be beat.”

The Readers’ Choice Awards were created 30 years ago and now boast more than 300,000 participants voting on more than 7,300 different hotels and resorts around the world. The Swag earned a spot on the list based on a set of criteria for the hotel and resort category, which included ratings on rooms, service, location, food and dining, activities and facilities, design and value.

The Swag is owned by Knoxville entrepreneurs David and Annie Colquitt.

First Horizon Named One of the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces

First Horizon National Corp. has been named one the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. This marks the 10th consecutive time since the list was started 12 years ago. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption surveyed the nation’s employers in search of those with the best adoption benefits. In the survey, the Foundation compares financial reimbursement and paid leave given to new adoptive parents. 

“First Horizon is honored to have been recognized for our family-friendly culture,” said John Daniel, EVP and chief human resources Officer at First Horizon. “We work hard to provide the tools and benefits to help employees fulfill their personal and work responsibilities. Thank you to the Dave Thomas Foundation for continuing to recognize our efforts.”

First Horizon ranked 15th this year, jumping up 56 spots on the list from 2017. The company doubled its reimbursement for adoption expenses for a maximum of two children each year. Other company-provided adoption assistance benefits include family leave, paid parental leave and adoption referral resources.