The Benwood Blog

Highlighting the people and projects that are working to make Chattanooga great within Benwood’s four focus areas Place, Talent, Advantage and Culture.

Competitive Advantage

We Need Civic Action, not just Innovation

We Need Civic Action, not just Innovation

There’s something about our modern English language that likes to take a word and beat it to the point that it no longer retains its original meaning. Every time you turn around these days, you hear the word innovation being thrown around. I was recently asked to contribute to this blog in my role as owner of Chattanooga’s coworking space, Society of Work. Coworking spaces were started with the developing workforce in mind. The truth of the matter is this: it’s not just millennials who are looking for meaningful contributions, flexibility in their schedules, and freedom in their jobs. What does this mean for the future of work and innovation? As our workforce becomes increasingly mobile and we are able to contribute from nearly anywhere, more people are finding new and various ways to make their jobs work for them.


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Competitive Advantage Place

On Local Food: Education, Choices, & Change

On Local Food: Education, Choices, & Change

There are thousands of labels in a grocery store.  Most are confusing and skew the truth; not disclosing everything it took to put such a nice little package on the shelf for you. Companies take great care in diverting your attention toward specifically added vitamins and nutrients, branding their products so you feel better about buying it. “Organic.” “Transitional.” “Enriched.” After all, Cheese Puffs have cheese, which has calcium, which is good for you, right? (This was someone’s logic that I recently heard. My mouth dropped.) We are removed from the makings of real cheese. “Healthy” has become a moving target as marketers and magazines pitch their products and ideas. While labels contribute to this problem, lack of education does, too.


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Competitive Advantage Place

Their Soul Will See Mountains

To you Vanguards and to others here tonight, I’m humbled to be in front of you and awed by my task – to take only ten minutes to get you up to speed on what we’ve done here and how we’ve done it over the past 30 years.


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Competitive Advantage

Why Not Chattanooga?

Why Not Chattanooga?

Benwood is pleased to announce the election of Wade Hinton to our Board of Trustees. Along with our other five trustees, Wade will be tasked with overseeing the direction and investments that the foundation makes in the community. Given his strong commitment to Chattanooga, his leadership and his experience, we are excited to have him join Benwood’s team. You can read his thoughts on Chattanooga’s progress – today and tomorrow – below.


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Competitive Advantage

Servant Leaders Drive Civic Innovation

Servant Leaders Drive Civic Innovation

Civic innovation comes in many forms, and all of its forms are necessary for a growing, healthy community. Yet, innovation from a social science perspective is far more difficult when we consider all of the compounding factors people bring to the table. Over the course of time, events and outside factors force change upon us all. Each generation must adapt to its new world and in these moments, the seeds of civic innovation are planted. We are witnessing the impact of technology and the Internet on people’s abilities to communicate, organize, and, in many cases, change the world around them. Leaders grow from these moments and many times their ideas make our lives better. However, what happens when the moment passes? Who are the most important innovation leaders afterwards? In my experience, leaders and their innovative ideas can be found everywhere.


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Competitive Advantage Talent

For the People with Love: Poverty-Free Chattanooga

Everyday, some 170,000 of us Chattanoogans go about our daily routine. Some to work, others to look for work. Some in offices, others on construction sites. We work and go home, or some of us do. Some of us go to shelter beds, far too many of us go to the streets.


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Competitive Advantage Place

An Interview with Chattanooga's New Local Food Hub Director

An Interview with Chattanooga's New Local Food Hub Director

It's clear that Chattanooga is a special place. The amenities and opportunities in our community are a result of Chattanoogans working to lay the groundwork for positive development and growth in our region, leaving it in better shape than it was found. This year, our city made more movement in that direction by bringing Ray Rollison to town. He’s the director of the upcoming Harvested Here local food hub, and is working to get locally grown food to more people while providing farmers with an avenue to increase production. Ray was so kind to take a few minutes to talk with me about himself, the landscape of our local food shed, and how the Harvested Here food hub will help develop it. Chattanooga, (virtually) meet Ray Rollison!


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Competitive Advantage

What Makes A City Special?

What Makes A City Special?

What makes a city special? In Chattanooga, we talk a lot about our beautiful scenery, our super-connected “Gig City,” the waterfront development and the collaborative spirit that is driving the revitalization of our community. But when someone returns to their own hometown after visiting a vibrant, growing and unique city, what story do they use to communicate that message?


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Competitive Advantage Talent

The Power of Youth in Our City

I am writing this blog post on an airplane back from San Francisco, where I spent the weekend at the Thiel Summit surrounded by some of the brightest minds in our country, and very likely the world. Do you know what they all had in common? Not a single one of them was over the age of 20.


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Competitive Advantage

Creating More Free Time by Design for Civic Innovation

Kindred to Abraham Maslow’s famous “hierarchy of needs,” have you ever seen a visual model suggesting that, for civic innovation to reach its potential, having time we can spend at our discretion is at the foundation?


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  1. Ready....Set....2.0

    by Sarah Morgan

By Category

  1. Competitive Advantage
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On Our Minds

Words from Sarah Morgan

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