Tonight: Partly cloudy with an overnight low in the upper 60s to near 70.
Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds. More humid along with some scattered t-showers through the afternoon and evening. An afternoon high in the upper 80s to near 90.
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BlueCross BlueShield CEO to keynote Chamber luncheon
Keynote speaker Vicky Gregg, chief executive officer of Chattanooga-based BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, will speak at the 2012 Mel Bedwell Small Business Person of the Year luncheon on Monday, May 7, at the Museum Center at 5ive Points at noon.
The annual event, sponsored by the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, honors an outstanding small businessperson in Cleveland and Bradley County for their success in six areas: staying power, growth in number of employees, increase in sales, innovativeness of product or service offered, response to adversity and evidence of contributions to the community.
“This is a time for us to acknowledge the economic contributions of small businesses in Cleveland and Bradley County,” Lois Egan, chairman of the Small Business Committee, said. “We also felt that addressing the healthcare industry would be an appropriate topic for this audience.”
Prior to becoming CEO of based BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the state’s largest health plan that serves more than 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country, Gregg occupied several senior leadership positions in the company, including president and chief operating officer, executive vice president, and chief executive officer of Volunteer State Health Plan, the company’s Medicaid HMO.
Before joining BlueCross, Gregg worked for a national, publicly traded health plan where, as market vice president, she oversaw operations, strategic development, acquisition and health plan service-area expansion. A nurse by education, Gregg has over 25 years of experience in diverse healthcare environments, including clinical care, hospital administration, long-term care and healthcare benefits and financing.
Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) appointed Gregg to the United States National Institutes of Health Commission on Systemic Interoperability in 2004, which worked to develop a strategy for building a nationwide electronic health records network. In 2006 Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed Gregg to the newly created E-Health Advisory Council, a 16-member panel created to make recommendations on how to establish an interoperable healthcare data exchange in Tennessee.
Gregg currently serves on several national boards, including the BlueCross BlueShield Association, the Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare and the Healthcare Leadership Council. She chairs the board of the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation. Additionally, Gregg serves on the board of directors for America’s Health Insurance Plans, where she previously served as chairperson.
She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including Modern Healthcare Top 25 Women in Healthcare, Health Ethics Fellow of the Trust, Vanderbilt School of Nursing Honorary Alumni Award and Business Tennessee’s Most Powerful list. Gregg was named the 2009 Tennessee Woman of Distinction.
She recently announced her retirement as CEO effective at the end of the year.
Gregg is married to Dr. Fred Gregg III, an ophthalmic surgeon, and has two children.
The Small Business Person of the Year award honors the memory of Mel Bedwell, who was known for his energy, determination, ingenuity, honesty, enthusiasm and loyalty, all traits necessary for a successful small business owner. Mel was an owner with Jack Smith of Cleveland Business Machines.
In addition to presentation of the Bedwell Award, a Business Showcase will highlight local businesses beginning at 11:30 a.m. Chamber members interested in participating in the tabletop exhibits should contact Bernadette Douglas, executive vice president, at 472-6587 or email@example.com.
Tickets to the event also are available by calling the Chamber office at 472-6587 or by registering online at www.clevelandchamber.com through the events calendar. Single tickets are $20, and corporate tables of eight are $175.
More Business News
Last Update on August 29, 2014 17:14 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer spending fell in July, with a drop in auto purchases accounting for most of the weakness. Income growth also slowed in July.
The Commerce Department says consumer spending edged down 0.1 percent last month after a 0.4 percent increase in June. It was the first decline in spending since January. Income growth slowed to a 0.2 percent rise in July, the weakest showing in seven months.
The fall in spending came primarily from a decline in auto sales, which took a breather in July after posting big gains in recent months, although spending in other areas was also weak.
Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, so it needs to recover for the economy to keep its momentum in the second half of the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer sentiment ticked up in August, driven by greater optimism about jobs, rising incomes, and increasing wealth. The increase largely occurred among higher-income groups.
The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 from 81.8 in July. Still, it has barely risen in the past year.
Consumers have sent mixed signals in recent months. The Michigan index has fluctuated between 80 and 82.5 since December. A measure of consumer confidence by the Conference Board rose this month to nearly a seven-year high. And yet Americans cut back their spending in July.
Nearly 60 percent of households in the top third of income earners say they are financially better off this month, the Michigan survey found, compared with only 36 percent in the bottom two-thirds.
DETROIT (AP) -- U.S. investors should soon be able to buy stock in Chrysler for the first time in seven years.
Italy's Fiat and Chrysler are merging to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Fiat says Friday that an ongoing tally of investors suggests there is not enough opposition to derail the deal.
Earlier this month, Fiat shareholders approved combining the companies. But Italian law gives dissenters the right to cash out. Fiat has said that if investors offered more than 500 million euros ($650 million) in shares, the merger would be off.
Fiat SpA will announce the final tally by Sept. 4. So far the maximum number of shares to be cashed is below the cap.
Shares of Chrysler haven't been publicly traded since 2007 when it was still combined with German automaker Daimler.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Federal regulators are putting Reynolds American Inc.'s planned $25 billion takeover of rival cigarette maker Lorillard Inc. under the microscope.
The nation's second-biggest tobacco company said Friday that the Federal Trade Commission has asked for additional information as part of an antitrust review of the deal.
In July, Reynolds announced the deal to combine two of the nation's oldest and biggest tobacco companies, creating a formidable No. 2 to rival Altria Group Inc., owner of Philip Morris USA.
Reynolds markets Camel, Pall Mall and Natural American Spirit cigarettes. Lorillard sells Newport, Maverick and Kent cigarettes.
The companies plan to sell the Kool, Salem, Winston, Maverick and blu eCig brands to Imperial Tobacco Group for $7.1 billion to ease regulatory concerns about competition.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-TAX FORMS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal agency that brought you the glitchy HealthCare.gov website has a massive new project.
If the Health and Human Services department has trouble this time, that could delay tax refunds for many people.
Complicated connections between the new health care law and income taxes will start to surface in 2015.
HHS has to send millions of people who got health insurance tax credits this year a new tax form that's like a W-2 for health care. It's called a 1095-A.
If they're delayed beyond Jan. 31, people who got coverage through the new insurance exchanges may have to wait to file their taxes -- and collect their refunds.
Some tax preparation companies are worried.
The Obama administration says it's on task, but won't provide much detail.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Inflation has fallen to an annual 0.3 percent in August for the 18 countries that use the euro, underlining the shakiness of the continent's economic recovery.
Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, says the figure is down from 0.4 percent in July, as expected by market analysts.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, sent a modestly brighter signal as it rose to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent.
The eurozone economy showed no growth in the second quarter as fears about the Ukrainian crisis weighed on consumers and investment decisions.
The European Central Bank has warned that inflation expectations are worsening and says it will add more stimulus if needed. Many analysts are predicting the bank will launch large-scale purchases of financial assets to pump more money into the economy.
SAO PAULO (AP) -- Brazil's government says the country's gross domestic product contracted 0.6 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, sending the country's economy into a recession.
The government's IBGE statistics bureau said Friday it was the second consecutive quarterly contraction of the economy.
In the first quarter of the year, GDP was reported as having grown 0.2 percent. But that figure was revised downward to minus 0.2 percent.
The IBGE says the country's GDP stands at 1.27 trillion reals ($567 billion).
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