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Business Pulse 4-12-15
Optometrist Jennifer Elder is now running the day-to-day operations of the practice formerly owned by Dr. Glenn Davis at 220 N. Chancery Street. Dr. Davis retired March 31.

Do you ever get the eerie feeling during a church sermon the preacher is speaking directly to you? Never mind there are hundreds of other people in the church auditorium, the sermon appears as if it were written and delivered just for you, complete with regular eye contact.
Nah, this has never happened to me either. I’m talking hypothetically of course because this has certainly never happened to me. Ever.
But I get the odd feeling our company newsletter, now in its second month, is really nothing more than a personal note to me. I’m beginning to think it’s distributed to every employee in the office only as a clever ploy so as to avoid a direct confrontation with me.
This month’s newsletter is a lesson on developing patience and even asks the question on the opening page, “Are you insanely impatient?” In my case, the answer is absolutely yes.
I get impatient waiting for minute rice. What in the world did people do before microwaves when it took an hour to cook a baked potato in the oven?
Even though the elevator button is already lit, I push it two or three more times thinking it will make the elevator speed up. I find it aggravating if I have to come to a complete stop at a drive-thru window. My favorite type of karma is instant karma because I don’t want any delays in getting what’s coming to me.
I think you get the point. Yet this month’s newsletter was geared at getting folks like me to slow down just a little in the name of good health. As a result, our stress levels will decrease, or so the newsletter claims.
I say what’s the use of having less stress in life if I don’t get the satisfaction of blaring my horn at the slow driver in front of me? If I let the pizza cool to the point where it doesn’t burn my mouth, someone else will probably eat one more piece than me.
Stop and smell the roses if you like. I’m going to accelerate and smell the burning rubber.

I can see a new optometrist is here

Longtime local doctor Glenn Davis has handed over his eyechart and rode off into that great retirement sunset. In his place is optometrist Jennifer Elder, who is taking over the day-to-day duties at what is now Eye Centers of Tennessee.
“We wanted to come to a small town and we just love it here,” said Jennifer, who has been working at the of-fice at 220 N. Chancery Street since October. “I had another job offer in Nashville, but we decided we wanted to move here to a rural area instead.”
Dr. Davis sold his practice to Eye Centers of Tennessee in July. That company is owned by Dr. Larry Patterson and has other locations in Cookeville, Crossville, Kingston and Jamestown. Dr. Patterson is himself an eye doc-tor and performs cataract and laser surgery.
Dr. Davis had remained on board until March 31, which was his retirement date. Elder is now in charge of the facility which offers eye care for the entire family.
“I’ve seen patients from age 2 to 100,” said Jennifer. “Historically, this practice has had a lot of older patients and I’m looking to get younger patients too. I’ve seen two 5-year-olds already today. They’re really fun at that age. It’s hard to get much done, but they’re fun.”
Eye Centers of Tennessee has a full line of glasses and contacts to fit your needs. It can address ocular diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma. There are also treatments available for people who suffer from extremely dry eyes or have problems due to allergies.
Jennifer comes to McMinnville from West Tennessee. She’s a 2013 graduate of the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis. She and her husband have a 1-year-old son, Brennan.
Eye Centers of Tennessee is accepting new patients and takes most insurance. The phone number is 473-2487.
Also of note, an open house will be held Thursday, April 30 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. to welcome Jennifer and to give Glenn a warm sendoff into retirement. Refreshments will be served.
The editors of Business Pulse hope Jennifer has a great vision for her future in McMinnville. That’s just a little eye doctor play on words.

New soccer field coming

When people see a bulldozer moving dirt near the industrial park in Morrison, it’s easy to think a new business is on the way. It’s not a new business, but I think it’s fairly exciting Covenant Academy is building a new soccer complex on Manchester Highway near its intersection with Old Well Road.
“It’s going to be top notch, a really nice field,” said Covenant Academy headmaster Alan Smith. “They guy who redid the new field at Pistole Park is doing this one. It’s going to be sod with Bermuda grass and have an irrigation system. It will allow us to have tournaments and to play our soccer games there. We’ve been renting a field at Pistole Park.”
As someone who has traveled to basketball and baseball tournaments throughout the Midstate, I can tell you they can be a boost to the economy.
People, at the very minimum, are at least going to eat one meal while they’re in town.
Now I don’t know how much of an economic driver one soccer field will be, but it will be nice for Covenant to have its own complex. Lumber is already on site for building the pavilion and Alan says there will be ample room for parking on the 5-acre site.
“There’s been dirt moved this week and we hope to have it available this summer,” said Alan.
Go Lions!

New facility in the bank

It looked bleak for Bankpak when its facility in Morrison caught fire in November 2013 and was completely de-stroyed.
But the company showed amazing resiliency and was back up and running just days later at the old Morrison Tool & Fab plant. Now Bankpak is putting the finishing touches on remodeling its new office facility in Morrison at the old trucking hub on Manchester Highway.
Bankpak owner Scott Hard says he hopes the 30,000-square-foot facility is finished later this month.
“We’re shooting for April 24,” said Scott. “We’re excited about it. We’re building offices inside and we think it will be a real good location.”
Scott says the move should not be too difficult because, “We haven’t had time to accumulate a bunch of stuff over here.”
For those not familiar with Bankpak, it’s a company with a 31-year history that currently has 25 employees. Like its name suggests, the company caters to the banking and financial industry with a full line of products.
“If it’s anything you see in a bank, we do it,” said Scott. “That includes vaults, vault doors, safe deposit boxes, ATMs, alarms and cameras. We handle the physical and the electronic.”
I’ve always thought it would be nice to have a personal ATM inside my house where I could perpetually withdraw money. I wonder if Bankpak could arrange that type of machine?
Bankpak does have engineers on staff to design all their equipment on site and does business all around the region. This includes Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Kentucky.
Congratulations to Bankpak on its soon-to-be-complete facility. The business has overcome what could have been a potentially devastating fire and kept right on trucking. And now it’s in a former trucking station.
“Considering what happened, it has gone better than I ever thought,” said Scott on recovering from the fire.
For more information on the company, you can visit
When Bankpak does leave its current location, it will reopen the old Morrison Tool & Fab building as a potential landing spot for a new industry or an expanding industry.

Wilkes hammers out new business

James Wilkes has been in the construction and remodeling business for years. After working for other companies locally and in Nashville, he decided it was time to go into business for himself and started Wilkes Remodeling and Construction.
That was in February. Since then, he’s been busy with a number of jobs, most notably remodeling the 75 units at what used to be Green Acres Apartments, but is under new ownership and is now Vinewood Apartments.
“Just about anything that deals with construction I can do,” said James. “That includes interior and exterior painting, hanging sheetrock from start to finish, doing tile and vinyl flooring, countertops, vanities, showers. If it involves remodeling, I can do it.”
James has been busy working at Vinewood Apartments doing work to the doors, kitchens and bathrooms. He is replacing the faucets and commodes in every unit and the bathtubs as needed.
He said even though apartment remodeling is keeping him busy with steady work, he is still anxious for residential work and offers free estimates. He just recently finished building a deck and says he can work in most jobs in about a week under his current workload.
“I’m fair and I’m just trying to make an honest living,” said James. “I do quality work. Doing it any other way won’t get you very far.”
James said if the first two months are any indication, he’s glad to be out on his own. If you’d like to give him a call for your remodeling job, he can be reached at 743-0694. He said he works six days a week and takes off Sundays.

Chamber offers business support

If you’ve thought about opening your own business, but wanted a little support on how to proceed, the McMinnville-Warren County Chamber of Commerce has a program for you.
The Chamber has partnered with Biz Foundry to offer CO.STARTERS, a business model development program to help people starting a business or to assist smaller businesses as they hope to expand.
The program helps each entrepreneur work through the process based on input from hundreds of successful entrepreneurs.
Small businesses remain one of the fundamental economic drivers for local economies and job creation, Biz Foundry officials aptly point out, but sometimes support for these endeavors is challenging to find.
If you’re interested in learning more, the program lasts for nine weeks. It’s held one night a week and lasts for three hours each night.
If you think it’s something you’d like to try, the first class is Thursday, April 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Chamber of Commerce community room on Court Square. The cost is $150.
For more information on CO.STARTERS and registration, call (931) 210-5105, go to, or con-tact the Chamber at 473-6611.

That’s all folks

If this column didn’t capture all the business news that’s fit to print, give me a call at 473-2191 or send an email to