FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5:00 AM CT, December 13, 2016
NASHVILLE, TN – Nearly 200 Tennessee businesses and organizations have joined together to launch Tennessee Thrives, a coalition dedicated to promoting an attractive, prosperous and economically vibrant Tennessee.
Supported entirely by Tennessee businesses of all sizes and types, Tennessee Thrives was established to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining an open and inclusive Tennessee.
In recent years, Tennessee has experienced tremendous growth and investment:
- Tourism is skyrocketing, and brought in $18 billion in revenue in 2014 — up 6 percent from 2013.
- Tennessee leads the nation in private-sector job growth, with more than 2.5 million private-sector jobs across the state.
- More than 300 international companies representing 27 countries have chosen to locate operations in Tennessee, creating a total of 49,000 jobs for Tennesseans.
Business and community leaders across the state want to ensure the right policies remain in place to encourage continued success. Tennessee Thrives brings together businesses and organizations in support of a united and prosperous Tennessee.
Business leaders from across the state shared their reasons for joining the coalition:
CMT president Brian Philips: Viacom and CMT have a deep commitment to tolerance, diversity and inclusion and believe these values are vital to the success of our business. That’s why CMT is proud to stand with the Tennessee Thrives coalition as we all work together to support continued growth and prosperity in Tennessee.
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation CEO Curt Stevens: At LP, we are known by the quality of building products we produce. Our strength, though, is our diverse team of nearly 5,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and South America. We all have unique talents, special interests, speak different languages and come from multi-cultural backgrounds. We see this diversity and inclusion as a strength of LP and believe that is good for business, our employees and the communities in which we operate.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare CEO Gary Shorb: We know that when our state is welcoming to all people, our businesses and our communities win. At Methodist, we adhere strongly to principals of nondiscrimination as part of our commitment to improving the health of our patients and communities. The Tennessee Thrives coalition presents an opportunity for businesses large and small to unite in support of tolerance and equality for all people.
Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp president and CEO Butch Spyridon: The hospitality industry in Tennessee is a leading economic engine. Davidson County alone accounts for almost one-third of the visitor spending in the entire state. We saw firsthand the reaction to last year’s legislation, and we continue to watch the fallout from legislation in North Carolina and the enormous cost to that state.
Scripps Network Interactive chairman, president and CEO Ken Lowe: Discrimination against anyone on the basis of their gender, race or sexuality runs entirely contrary to the core values on which Scripps Networks Interactive was founded. We rely on a pool of talent with diverse perspectives, broad experiences and varied backgrounds in order to create the world-class lifestyle content our viewers enjoy across all our networks. The work of Tennessee Thrives not only complements our corporate values but also aligns with a shared desire to invest in and commit to a state that embraces a diverse community.
To learn more about Tennessee Thrives, visit http://tennesseethrives.org/.
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Tennessee Thrives is a nonprofit 501(c)6 coalition of businesses and community leaders committed to promoting an attractive, prosperous, and economically vibrant Tennessee. We believe that when our state is welcoming to all people — regardless of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity — our businesses and our communities win. More information on the coalition and its supporters is available at http://tennesseethrives.org/