2019 DBE Awards Ceremony

Purchasing Division

citypurchasing@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2070

400 Main St., Room 667
Knoxville, TN 37902

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The City of Knoxville’s Purchasing Department honored small, women- and minority-owned businesses who conduct business with the City of Knoxville at the fourth annual Diversity Business Enterprise (DBE) Awards ceremony on September 26, 2019.

The awards also recognized City departments and individuals for their commitment to reaching out to DBEs with procurement opportunities and contracts.

Every year, $50 million to $70 million is awarded in City contracts, and roughly 1 in 3 City dollars spent in competitively bid contracts went to small businesses in the last fiscal year.

“The City is intentional about working with DBE businesses,” said Deputy Finance Director Boyce Evans. “We recognize there is a lot of talent and leadership among our entrepreneurs and want to partner where it makes sense.”


2019 DBE Winners
Click here to view a Facebook photo gallery of the winners


The honorees are:

Borderland Tees, Rising Star Award

Borderland offers bulk-ordered t-shirts and characterizes itself as a “social enterprise” by hiring the homeless or other marginalized individuals, allowing them to work in a supportive environment.

Service One, Above and Beyond Award

Service One has “played an absolutely critical role” in making the transition of the City’s streetlight system to LEDs. “We truly could not keep the lights on without them!” according to Erin Gill, City Director of Sustainability and Chevelle Lewis with City Engineering.

Pioneer Builders, Inc., Minority-owned Business of the Year Award

Pioneer Builders displayed “excellent workmanship” as the contractor for the Fire Station #17 Roof Repair Project. Their commitment to finishing the job on time and to standard along with their knowledge and leadership positioned them for this award.

A-Z Office Resources, Inc., Woman-owned Business of the Year Award

A-Z Office Resources goes above and beyond to provide office supplies for the City. Given the wide range of projects across departments, A-Z has sought out specialty items when needed and consistently exceeds expectations.

Washing Equipment of Tennessee, Small Business of the Year Award

Washing Equipment of Tennessee assists Knoxville Area Transit with maintaining the appearance of about 100 vehicles ranging from 40 foot buses to vans. They do it all – from preventive maintenance to providing the means to deep clean nearly 65 bus shelters throughout the City.

Knoxville Spring Service, Impact Award

Knoxville Spring Service provides repair services on the suspension systems of the City Fleet’s heavy equipment. Their work is critical to keeping the Knoxville Fire Department emergency equipment active and on the road.

Siemens Mobility, Partnership Award

Seimens Mobility, Andrews Electric, and Edwards Supply Co. were recognized for their outstanding partnership between a large prime contractor and a DBE that teamed together for the City’s LED Streetlight Retrofit Project.

City Department Awards

Meanwhile, City Sustainability, Plans Review & Inspections / Codes Enforcement, and the 311 Center for Service Innovation were honored with Advocate Awards for their commitment to outreach to women- and minority-owned businesses.

Ben Buckner, Public Service’s Logistics and Supply Manager, was saluted with one of two Employee Advocate of the Year Awards for his work with minority- and women-owned businesses – over 50% of his department’s total spend went to DBE businesses.

Linda Blackburn, Senior Buyer in Finance, was also recognized as an Employee Advocate of the Year Award for her exceptional work over the years in assisting DBE businesses.