business briefs

• Matthew Bryan, principal of Bryan Insurance Group, has announced a new partnership agency called Tri-Star Senior Advisors Inc. to assist seniors with important decisions on Medicare plans and enrollment. This new agency is spearheaded by two healthcare professionals, Adam W. Sursa, former senior manager for Humana in East Tennessee, and Ryan Hall, former senior manager with Humana Tennessee and previous sales director for Aetna.

The focus of Tri-Star Senior Advisors is to help seniors figure out the confusing myriad of options and which Medicare choices are the best for them.

• Lesli Bales-Sherrod, public relations specialist for Pellissippi State Community College, has received the Rising Star award from National Council for Marketing and Public Relations.

She recently was celebrated at NCMPR’s regional conference in Savannah, Georgia.

The Rising Star award is presented in each of NCMPR’s seven districts to an innovative and progressive professional who has demonstrated special creativity and ability in marketing and public relations and shows evidence of a promising future in the field.

Bales-Sherrod has worked at Pellissippi State and been a member of NCMPR since August 2018. During her three years at Pellissippi State, she has managed two major crises.

• Three EXIT Real Estate Professionals Network team members — Rebecca McCoy and Colleen Reimer, sales representatives; and Greg Gilbert, associate broker — received bronze awards from EXIT Realty Corp. International for being innovative hard work champions.

• Morris Creative Group, a Knoxville-based marketing agency, recently hired Tanner McKamey as lead web developer/SEO specialist. A native of Caryville, McKamey will graduate in May 2022 from Pellissippi State Community College with a degree in computer programming. Additionally, he holds various certifications from SEMRush, HubSpot, SharpSpring and Google.

• Knoxville-based business The RATT recently partnered with FirstNet to create one of the fastest and most reliable communication platforms for use in surveillance, crisis and emergency situations.

“We feel this collaboration offers law enforcement and first responders a superior solution for surveillance, critical incidents, special events and natural disasters. The combination of our rapid deployment telescopic masts and the FirstNet® cellular network solely dedicated to public safety, creates a fast, secure and reliable eye-in-the-sky solution,” said Mark Dorn, owner of The RATT and its parent company, Critical Tech Solutions.

• Aaron Smith, associate professor/crop marketing specialist with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, recently received the Early Career Contributions to Public Policy Award by the Council on Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics. The award honors economists who generate science-based, policy-relevant knowledge and who actively seek to make that knowledge available in a form accessible to U.S. public policy decision-makers at the federal, state and local levels.