Chamber’s Virtual Business  Showcase ready to kickoff

The 2020 Virtual Chamber Business Showcase kicks off this week as the Citizen Tribune begins highlighting businesses this Tuesday in a series of features.

This year’s showcase will be an entirely virtual event, a first for the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce.

R. Michael Fishman, editor/publisher of the Citizen Tribune, said the media company and the chamber have been partners for years, so it is fitting for the partnership to continue in showcasing businesses in a virtual format.

“We are excited to help out the chamber with this unique event by offering our services on two different platforms,” Fishman said. “Not only will those showcased be in the print edition of the Citizen Tribune Tuesday through Friday, but they will also appear on our digital platforms. That allows them to be showcased through print, online at, our Facebook page and the Citizen Tribune app. That will give these businesses the opportunity to be showcased to thousands of people around the Lakeway Area.”

Sponsors for the event include the Citizen Tribune, the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce, HealthStar Physicians and South Marketing Group.

Debra Williams, general manager for the chamber, said she agrees that this will help showcase businesses even more in a new format.

“Although this has been a tough year for chamber events, we are excited about the creativity and enthusiasm our members have shown as we’ve come up with new ways of doing things,” Williams said. “The value of the Business Showcase has always been to help businesses get their name out to potential customers and clients. We believe by partnering with the Citizen Tribune as well as utilizing social media, the virtual showcase will still enable these goals to be achieved reaching even larger audiences.”

Pat Seaver, director of sales and marketing for the chamber, said the excitement is building as the first showcase is set to kick off Tuesday.

“The excitement is growing as registration for the Business Showcase are rolling in,” she said. “Single proprietor to major industrial organizations are taking advantage of this opportunity to expand the advertising reach for their products and services. Many see this as an opportunity to announce new products and services to potential clients reluctant to visit businesses during COVID restrictions. The Chamber appreciates our sponsors for enabling us to provide this event to the community.”

It takes a village to help and for the Business Showcase, it is no exception.

In addition to the Citizen Tribune and the Chamber, South Marketing Group and HealthStar have stepped up once again as major sponsors for the event.

South Marketing Group, formed by Leigh Sempkowski, is a full service, boutique marketing agency serving Morristown and surround areas.

It offers a holistic marketing strategy that includes social media management, public relations, graphic design, search engine marketing and optimization and videography.

“Everyone at SMG brings something unique to the company, but we share a common goal: To deliver data-driven and creative marketing strategies to our clients,” Sempkowski said.

She said she started the agency after seeing friends and colleagues outsourcing to agencies out of state and out of touch with the community.

She started the business in 2017.

“Getting measurable results with social media can be challenging if you’re not trained,” she said. “And Facebook’s most recent rules and restrictions can seem overwhelming. That’s why I’m glad to stay on top that of our clients’ behalf.”

Sempkowski will be bringing that same expertise to the latest Business Showcase, which she has been helping the Chamber with since 2017.

“With the challenges small businesses and local industry have faced this year, we want to make sure we were able to provide an innovative version of the event,” she said. “With careful planning and collaboration with the Citizen Tribune, we feel strongly we will be able to deliver a successful Virtual Business Showcase. We included a variety of digital elements allowing a broader reach for participants as well as safely driving traffic to their businesses.”

HealthStar Physicians, the last major sponsor, has been providing advanced level healthcare from birth to geriatrics for 25 years. From primary care to specialty medicine, the healthcare provider has the capability, technology and dedication to serve the entire family.

HealthStar has more than 100 providers located in five East Tennessee counties, including Hamblen, and offers 20 different specialties.

The health provider has also been a major sponsor for the Business Showcase the last three years.

“We live and work right here in East Tennessee, and we care about our communities,” said Dr. Eric Delay, HealthStar Physcicians board president. “We support our businesses and industries because they are the backbone of the local economy.”