PEAK Newsletter: 12/12/17

A quick update. Happy Tuesday!  Here’s a quick update on what’s new with PEAK.     Due to some technical issues at Hokie Smokie Grill, we moved the date of the Annual Membership Meeting / December PEAK Around Town to this Wednesday, December 13.  Please join us for a brief meeting, where we will discuss 2017 in review, the 2018 outlook, and present the 2018 Board of Directors.    Following the meeting, we will enjoy dinner and networking from Hokie Smokie Grill.  Hope to see you there!   It’s no secret that exercise is good for your body, but did you know that it’s also good for your mind?  Read all about it in Jeremiah Clark’s latest Professional Development post! PS – There’s now a page dedicated to all of Jeremiah’s articles.  Check it out here!   We are so excited to share that five of our members were recognized in the Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty Class of 2017!  Congratulations to Sam Booher (Founding Board Member), Dana Glenn (Vice President), Lindsay Powers (Events Chair), Matt Storey (President), and Tianna Storey (Events Committee).  We are so proud of you!   It’s not too late to join a PEAK committee for 2018!  Click here for a list of open positions.             Visit Kingsport has kicked off Porter’s Holiday Prize-A-Palooza.  Each day, they are partnering with a local merchant to give away an amazing prize.  Click here to visit their Facebook page and enter to win some awesome goodies! If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about drones, here is your chance!  Please contact STREAMWORKS Director Dennis...

Professional Development: Exercise the Brain

Exercise the Brain The first snowfall of the season has landed in Northeast Tennessee, suggesting that now is the best time to stay inside, bundle up, and binge through Netflix (season two of The Crown recently premiered, in case you missed it).  While regular R&R is a necessity of life, it is critical for your long-term health that you not only exercise your body, but also your mind. Chances are high that you can likely quote some of the many positive health benefits of physical exercise, but numerous studies have also highlighted the impact that physical exercise, and aerobic exercise in particular, has on our brains: A University of Georgia study found that even twenty minutes of exercise facilitates information processing and memory functions. UCLA research found that exercise makes it easier for the brain to grow new neural connections. A study from Stockholm demonstrated that running resulted in increased hippocampal growth (the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory). A study of elderly individuals found significant increases in brain volume after six months of aerobic fitness training. Increased attention spans were found in Dutch students following aerobic exercise. Aerobic and resistance exercise was found to be as effective as medication in treating depression or other psychological conditions. And even non-intensive physical activity has noticeable benefits: The simple act of walking can bolster creative thought and idea generation. Daily yoga and/or meditation has been shown to reduce stress, fear, and anxiety. Balance and coordination exercises have a noticeable impact on cognitive function. Of course, there are days when the weather is simply too harsh for outside exercise,...

PEAK Newsletter: 11/30/17

A quick update. Happy Thursday!  Here’s a quick update on what’s new with PEAK.     Our Annual Membership Meeting will take place Tuesday, December 5, 5:30 PM, at Hokie Smokie Grill in downtown Kingsport.  The meeting agenda is: 2017 Year in Review 2018 Outlook & Member Comments 2018 PEAK Board nominees presented and member comment Hokie Smokie will be staying open after the meeting so that attendees can stay for dinner.  Click here for full details.     It’s hard to believe that we are so far into 2017 that we just celebrated Thanksgiving!  In this week’s professional development post, Jeremiah Clark talks about the benefits of expressing gratitude.   Congratulations to Angie Marshall for completing the #PEAKFallBList challenge!   There are lots of exciting things on the horizon for 2018, but we can’t make them happen without your help.  If you’re interested in serving on a PEAK committee, click here to learn more about which committee seats are available.   Your Kingsport Chamber is having their annual State of the Kingsport Chamber Holiday Breakfast tomorrow morning!  Click here for full details and RSVP information.  (PEAK’s Chamber membership provides our members with the opportunity to attend Chamber breakfasts and other events for Chamber members.)     The Downtown Kingsport Master Plan’s visioning workshop final presentation will take place this evening from 6:30 to 8 PM at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education.  For more information on the Downtown Kingsport Master Plan, please click here. Looking for something fun to do this weekend?  Join our friends at the Wellmont Foundation for their annual Night of Holiday Miracles.  This event supports...

Call for Committee Members

2017 has been a great year for PEAK, and we have a lot of exciting plans for 2018!  However, there’s one group of people that we need to make it all happen – volunteers.  Volunteering for a PEAK committee is a great way to better the organization, the community, and yourself. We currently have seats available on the following committees: Civic Volunteerism Communications Diversity & Inclusion Events Fundraising Membership Marketing Professional Development Young Professionals Conference If you’re interested in joining or would like more details about what it’s like to be on a specific committee, please shoot us an email at info@ypkingsport.com  We can’t wait to hear from...

Professional Development: Gratitude

GRATITUDE In light of the Thanksgiving Holiday, now is the perfect time to discuss the subject of gratitude. Just as we recently examined how serving others produces a number of health benefits, the same is true for the expression of gratitude.  Studies performed by Professor Robert Emmons at U.C. Davis have found that expressing gratitude regularly aids in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, and also reduces anxiety and the risk of depression.  As Professor Emmons states, “Gratitude is our best weapon, an ally to counter… internal and external threats that rob us of sustainable joy” (negativity, entitlement, and resentfulness being a few specific threats cited).  A number of other studies have found that gratitude also induces relaxation and improves sleep quality, vitality, and energy.  On an interpersonal level, expressing gratitude strengthens relationships, building “social capital” with others while simultaneously improving one’s social-wellbeing. The numerous benefits of expressing gratitude are perhaps part of the reason why various entrepreneurs and other successful individuals argue that gratitude is a key component in experiencing success in life.  As Oprah Winfey has stated, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”  Additionally, the late leadership coach Zig Ziglar has stated that “Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions.  The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”  And from Inc.com contributing editor Goeffrey James, “People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what’s wonderful in their life.  Because they...

PEAK Newsletter: 11/15/17

A quick update. Happy Wednesday!  Here’s a quick update on what’s new with PEAK.     Our Annual Membership Meeting will take place Tuesday, December 5, 5:30 PM, at Hokie Smokie Grill in downtown Kingsport.  The meeting agenda is: 2017 Year in Review 2018 Outlook & Member Comments 2018 PEAK Board nominees presented and member comment Hokie Smokie will be staying open after the meeting so that attendees can stay for dinner.  Click here for full details.   This week’s professional development post is about leadership.  Click here to read the post.   We’re in the final stretch of checking off bucket list items!  Keep the entries coming!  Click here for details.   Interested in serving on the PEAK board or as a committee member?  Shoot us an email at info@ypkingsport.com   Looking for a unique volunteer opportunity?  Consider being a celebrity bagger to support United Way!  You’ll bag groceries at one of three Kingsport Food City locations.  Click here for full details.   Our friends at Friends in Need and Appalachian Miles for Smiles are hosting a fundraising event!  Click here for full details. Our friends at the Wellmont Foundation are hosting their annual Night of Holiday Miracles event.  Click here for full details.   Have a great week!    – The...

Professional Development: Lead Where You Are

LEAD WHERE YOU ARE   In a 2010 TED Talk presentation, leadership coach Drew Dudley argued that “as long as we keep making leadership something bigger than us, we are giving ourselves an excuse to not expect it from ourselves.”  In other words, as long as we keep placing leadership on a pedestal and viewing it as something largely unobtainable by the masses, we are giving ourselves permission to not lead where we are.  Sadly, many individuals possess this view on leadership, primarily because they equate leadership with a job or business role.  If they are not the boss, then they must not be a leader.  This overlooks several major aspects of what true leadership is, including: Leadership is about Influence. Sociologists have found that even the most shy individuals will influence over 10,000 people in their lifetime.  Every day interactions, even ones which we may not personally remember (as in the example from Dudley’s presentation), can significantly alter the direction of the lives of others.  Mother Teresa was never a Fortune 500 CEO, but no one would doubt that her impact on others is nearly unmatched in modern times.  She was an influencer, which means that she was a leader. Leadership is about Character. As General Normal Schwarzkopf once stated, “Leadership is a potent combination of character and strategy.  But if you must be without one, be without strategy.” Similarly, leadership expert John Maxwell argues that “the development of character is at the heart of our development as leaders.”  You must be able to lead yourself before you can lead others, and this requires character.  Then, the higher...

PEAK Newsletter: 11/1/17

A quick update.   Happy Wednesday!  Here’s a quick update on what’s new with PEAK.   PEAK Friendsgiving will take place next Thursday, November 9, at 7 PM.  Guests are invited to bring their favorite Thanksgiving dish and can sign up to do so on Signup Genuis.  In conjunction with this event, we are holding a clothing drive to support Mountain State Foundation’s Giving Tuesday mission. Full details are available on the PEAK Friendsgiving Facebook event.   This week’s professional development blog post highlights the positives of volunteering.  There are a few that may surprise you!   In case you missed it, we’ve been announcing PEAK Fall Bucket List winners at least once a week!  We’ve got some really cool prizes left, so keep those entries coming!   United Way of Kingsport recently launched their Volunteer Kingsport portal.  The purpose of this portal is to match organizations and volunteers looking for volunteer opportunities.   We are partnering with our friends at the Kiwanis Club of Kingsport for a day of service at Darrell’s Dream, a boundless playground for children of all abilities.  More for information or to sign up as a volunteer, please visit our Eventbrite page.   There is an urgent need for tnAchieves mentors in Sullivan County.  Being a mentor is a very simple way to make a profound impact on a student’s life.  To learn more about the program or to register as a mentor, please visit the tnAchieves mentor resource page. Have a great week!    – The...

Professional Development: Do Unto Others

DO UNTO OTHERS Some of the greatest minds to have lived have understood the value and benefits of serving others: “What is the essence of life?  To serve others…” – Aristotle “I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.” – Thomas Jefferson “The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” – Helen Keller “Only a life lived for others is worth living.” – Albert Einstein “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King Jr. Chances are high that you already volunteer your time to one or more causes.  After all, data compiled in a 2016 Huffington Post article found that 62.8 million Americans volunteered an average of 32.1 hours each in the previous year, for a collective total of almost 2 billion hours of service.  Meanwhile, Forbes found that financial contributions to charities and philanthropic causes exceed $143 billion dollars annually. The impact of this giving of time and dollars cannot be understated.  Volunteer efforts build and rebuild communities, provide for those in need, and showcase the triumph of human love.  In addition to helping those in need, science has found that giving also has a profound positive physical and psychological impact on those who are giving.  Studies have found that volunteering can lead to lower blood pressure and longer lifespans, while it also fights off conditions such as loneliness and depression.  MRI technology has also found that the act of giving stimulates pleasure sensors within our brain.  The giving of ourselves to others literally...

PEAK Newsletter: 10/17/17

A quick update. Happy Tuesday!  Here’s a quick update on what’s new with PEAK.     The November PEAK Around Town will be a Friendsgiving Event at The Nutty Java in Downtown Kingsport.  The event will take place on Thursday, November 9.  In conjunction with Friendsgiving, we will be hosting a clothing drive to support Mountain State Foundation’s Giving Tuesday.  Click here for full event details.   It’s never too late to reinvent yourself!  Read more in Jeremiah Clark’s most recent blog post.   Congratulations to PEAK member Dana Glenn!  Dana received a communications award from the Southern Economic Development Council.  Read more on page 33 of the Business Journal.   How’s your PEAK Fall Bucket List coming along?!  Last week, Angie Marshall won a set of passes to Cleek Farms by checking items off of her bucket list.  Our next drawing will be for Bays Mountain passes and will take place on October 20.  Click here for details.   The Downtown Kingsport Master Plan is the City of Kingsport’s plan to create a vision to reinforce and magnify Kingsport’s downtown role as the economic and cultural heart of the community.  The kick-off workshop will take place this Thursday, October 19, 7 PM, at the Kingsport Center for Higher Education.  Click here for more details.    Our friends at Kingsport recently launched the Kingsport Selfie Trail!  Click here to learn more about this fun initiative.   Have a great week!    – The...