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Success Stories

Aerosol Recycling


Bells,Tenn--Cherry Rains is the CEO and owner of Recycle Aerosol and winner of the 2016 Tennessee SBA Rural Small Business Award. Recycle Aerosol’s facility in rural Bells, Tennessee was founded in 1990 in a trailer—a great contrast to the firm’s current facility comprising almost 40,000 square feet. Aerosol Recycling has made a successful business from reclaiming a variety of commercial and healthcare aerosol and non-aerosol products that are returned from manufacturers and retailers as either off-spec, out of date or seasonally-packaged. Ms. Rains’ firm was recognized for “large hazardous waste reduction” with the Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award in 1993. According to Aerosol Recycling’s website, supply chain professionals have given Rains’ very favorable testimonials: “It’s a 50% reduction in our hazardous waste cost. Hazardous waste is an expensive proposition. In addition to being environmentally friendly, it saves the company money... Read More

Alliant Corporation


Knoxville, Tenn. -The Tennessee SBA Small Business Person of the Year for 2016, Terence Douglas, has an inspiring story of small business success. While working for General Electric and Martin Marietta during the first part of his career, Terence Douglas developed a desire to one day start his own consulting firm that would be able to deliver tailored solutions to its clients in environmental management, occupational safety and health, and project management. In 2000 that consulting firm came to fruition when he and his business partner, Mr. Greg Galaher, founded Alliant Corporation.  Mr. Douglas and Mr. Galaher first met while working together for another small consulting firm in the Knoxville, TN area. It was during this period that the two eventual founders of Alliant discovered a mutual commitment to delivering service excellence to every client at every opportunity.


Alliant’s start was certainly austere – self-capitalized... Read More

Memphis, Tenn.—Dr. Ivory Taylor and Dr. Joyce Taylor are both successful small business owners of Taylor Apothecary, a Memphis-based pharmacy firm. Dr. Ivory Taylor is a retired U.S. Army master sergeant whose last tour of duty in the 1990s was running the Mississippi ROTC program.  Dr. Joyce Taylor was a pharmacist for over fifteen years with Walgreens before joining her husband and formulating plans for the first and second Taylor Apothecary locations.

In 2008, Taylor Apothecary participated in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s e200 program. “The goal of the SBA Emerging 200 initiative is to identify 200 inner-city businesses across the country that show a high potential for growth—and to provide them the network, resources and motivation required to build a sustainable business of size and scale. SBA is increasing outreach to areas historically challenged by high levels of unemployment and poverty,” according to Tennessee SBA District Director Walter Perry.  The... Read More

Famous Five Dining Inc. is the creation of four very successful restaurant operators, franchise owners of five successful Famous Dave’s restaurants in Tennessee.  They are the SBA 2012 Tennessee Small Business of the Year.  Owners Mike and Tamara Lister, and Doug and Laurel Renegar, have over eighty-five years of combined experience in the restaurant industry.  As life-long friends, they have shared experiences since school days, through marriage, children and forming and growing a business together.  Together Doug and Mike handle on-going operations and strategic growth for the company.  Laurel and Tamara focus on the business of running a business and are responsible for support functions as equal partners in Famous Five Dining, Inc.  Tennessee locations include the cities of Hermitage, Smyrna, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Franklin.  Famous Five Dining Inc. provides employment for over two hundred and fifty employees. In the Fall of 2001, the four entrepreneurs entered into a... Read More