2017 DBE Awards Ceremony

Purchasing Agent

Penny Owens
[email protected]
(865) 215-2070

400 Main St., Room 667
Knoxville, TN 37902

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The City of Knoxville’s Purchasing Department honored seven small, woman- and minority-owned businesses as leaders at the second annual Diversity Business Enterprise (DBE) Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

The awards also saluted City departments committed to reaching out to DBEs with procurement contracts.

Last fiscal year, 35.4 percent of the City’s total competitive expenditures – $28.3 million – went to small businesses. 

“There’s no question that small businesses help drive our local economy,” Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “It’s great to recognize some of the owners and entrepreneurs who are advancing the City’s core goals. These business leaders are creating jobs and serving the community.

“We also wanted to recognize the City departments that are setting the example by partnering with these small local companies.”

DBE 2017 Awards
Click here to view more photos from the Awards Ceremony

The honorees are:

Bentco Office Solutions, Rising Star Award

This award recognizes a company that has just recently started contracting with the City but has proven itself to be a strong, reliable partner. Bentco was represented at Wednesday’s ceremony by owner Ed Bentley and Marketing Director Thois Bentley.

Master Battery, Above and Beyond Award

Master Battery, represented by Will Cagley, Greg Bridges and Jamel Thompson, was saluted for outstanding customer service. Company representatives were praised for delivering batteries to service transit vehicles – sometimes in the middle of the night.

ExpoQuip, Minority-owned Business of the Year Award

Represented by Deana and Jorge Sanabria, ExpoQuip provides excellent support and service to both KAT and the City's Fleet Services Department. For example, ExpoQuip has consistently and aggressively worked to open new supply channels for replacement parts, which keeps City and KAT vehicles on the road.

National Auto Parts, Woman-owned Business of the Year Award

Nominated by the Fire Department and Knoxville Area Transit, National Auto Parts is a family-run repair and parts warehouse that has been in operation in Knoxville for 86 years. National Auto Parts also provides a clay absorbent that is a vital component needed for hazardous materials responses. Accepting the award for National Auto Parts was owner Pessa Brody, along with Marla and Bart Brody.

Southern Pump & Tank Co., Small Business of the Year Award

Accepting the award were Mike Hoard, Jody Sailors, Josh Thomas, Brandon Heaton and Carson Maples. Southern Pump & Tank was nominated by the Fleet Services Department, which praised the company’s trustworthiness, reliability and willingness to render after-hour assistance.

Southern Constructors Inc. and Superior Traffic Control, Partnership Award

This award recognizes an outstanding, successful partnership between a large prime contractor and a DBE subcontractor. In this case, the two companies partnered on key components of the two phases of the City’s $17 million Cumberland Avenue reconstruction. Southern Constructors, the prime contractor, was represented by Richard Huskey, Sue Caldwell, Wes Carpenter and Charlie Bowling, and Superior Traffic Control was represented by Jay Blumenstock and Tony Scarpati.

City Department Awards

Meanwhile, the City’s Engineering Department and Office of Special Events were honored with Advocate Awards for their contracting with DBEs. Engineering was recognized in the large department category ($1.8 million contracted with DBEs), and Special Events was recognized in the small department category ($52,000).

Similarly, the Parks and Recreation Department (19.1 percent) and the Communications Department (62.3 percent) were recognized for the highest percentage of contracting with DBEs by a large and a small department, respectively.

Karen Briggs, Administrative Supervisor in Parks and Recreation, was honored with the Employee Advocate of the Year Award.