Inaugural Rocky Top Business Awards Honor 40 Volunteer Companies

Category: News

The inaugural Rocky Top Business Awards were held Friday, May 5, in a celebration recognizing the fastest-growing University of Tennessee, Knoxville, alumni-owned or alumni-led businesses.

Duane Wiles, associate vice chancellor of alumni relations, spoke to award winners and guests assembled over lunch about the impact the university’s network of leaders and entrepreneurs have on the world of business.

“It is an honor and privilege to be with you today as we celebrate some of UT’s most outstanding alumni and their businesses accomplishments,” Wiles said. “I want to congratulate this group of outstanding Rocky Top businesses on their success and continued growth. We all look forward to what the future holds.”

When nominations opened for the award, anyone could nominate a Vol-owned or Vol-led business. Nominated companies could then choose to participate by submitting an application with their financial data, which was reviewed by Knoxville-based accounting firm and UT partner PYA.

This year the fastest-growing company proved to be Axle Logistics with a rate of 132 percent. Founded by Drew Johnson (’07) and Jon Clay (’09), Axle Logistics is a non-asset based, third-party logistics company. The company with the second-fastest growth rate was 128 percent at CB Design Group, a full-service architecture firm led by Wes Bridges (’96). Eddins Marketing Group founded by Holly Eddins (’91) followed in third place with 85 percent growth.

Nominations for the upcoming 2024 Rocky Top Business Awards will open July 15, 2023. The 40 Rocky Top Business Award winners for 2023 in ranked order are:
  1. Axle Logistics LLC
  2. CB Design Group Inc.
  3. Eddins Marketing Group LLC
  4. Brotallion
  5. Second Mile
  6. Independent Advisor Alliance
  7. Honors Real Estate Services
  8. Meyer Lucas Real Estate Team
  9. K Brew
  10. J&L Communications
  11. Ole Smoky Distillery Inc.
  12. FiberConNext
  13. Grandview Window and Door
  14. Paschal Solutions Inc.
  15. Stones River Consulting
  16. Oldham Hospitality 
  17. Earthadelic
  18. Teammate Basketball
  19. Yee-Haw Brewing Company
  20. Pro Italia Motors Inc.
  1. BioPet Laboratories Inc.- PooPrints
  2. Mountain Commerce Bank
  3. George Armour Ewart, Architect
  4. Melrose Title Company LLC
  5. East Tennessee Spine & Sport
  6. The Trust Company of Tennessee
  7. Fibreworks
  8. Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc.
  9. Loch & Key Productions
  10. Threds Inc.
  11. Mac’s LTC Pharmacy Solutions
  12. WorkSpace Interiors Inc.
  13. The Rabbit Hole VR
  14. Watauga Group
  15. Orange Flood Control LLC
  16. Strata-G Team and CEO, Elliott Barnett
  17. LEO Events
  18. HeartBound Ministries
  19. Sertoma
  20. Lonesome Dove Western Bistro Knoxville