business briefs

• Nearly 15 years after opening his first Firehouse Subs restaurant in Knoxville, Firehouse Subs Franchisee James Blake has been presented with an Axe Award in the Mid-Atlantic Franchisee of the Year category by Firehouse of America. The Blake family’s franchise owns and operates Firehouse Subs restaurants in Farragut, Knoxville, Lenoir City, Oak Ridge, Maryville and Pigeon Forge.

• Pinnacle Financial Partners, which has a branch in Farragut, recently was listed in FORTUNE magazine and Great Place to Work as the nation’s fourth Best Workplace for Women for the way women associates view their experience in terms of fairness and equity.

• Knox County Juvenile Court Judge Tim Irwin of Knoxville recently was elected president of Tennessee Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges. In that role as president, he said in a press release he is eager to put his knowledge, skills and experience to work for others. Irwin has been Juvenile Court judge since 2005, when he was appointed and then elected to that office the following year.

• BarberMcMurry Architects of Knoxville recently was named an AIA Tennessee Outstanding Emerging Professional Friendly Firm. Emerging professionals are architecture students, architectural graduates and licensed architects with less than 10 years of experience. BMA employs 15 emerging professional architects and five emerging professional interior designers. The designation of “outstanding” is an honor BMA shared this year with only four other architecture firms across the state.

• Dr. Michael J. Blackwell, director of the Program for Pet Health Equity, College of Social Work at the University of Tennessee, recently received the Avanzino Leadership Award, Thanks to Maddie. It recognizes Blackwell for his “outstanding efforts and dedication to preserve the human-animal bond” His research led him to develop a new healthcare system, AlignCare.

• King University, with a branch in Hardin Valley, recently was named one of the best regional universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report, as part of the publication’s newly released 2021 Best College Rankings. The 2021 designation marks King’s 31st consecutive appearance in the annual publication.

• Jesse A. Lehn, executive vice president of operations at Mortgage Investors Group (MIG), has been selected to be a member of the key executive peer advisory board in Knoxville by Vistage Worldwide Inc. He joins more than 200 senior executives, business owners and CEOs across Tennessee who are Vistage members. Lehn joined MIG in 2007, lending his experience as a mortgage loan trader to the company’s secondary marketing efforts. Today, MIG benefits from the nearly two decades of industry experience he relies on to strengthen the company’s business practices at every level.