February 23, 2021

Steve Poteet named outstanding Engineer of the Year and more business news

Steve Poteet named top Engineer of 2021 Steve Poteet, a mechanical engineer who has worked…

Steve Poteet named top Engineer of 2021

Steve Poteet, a mechanical engineer who has worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority and HDR for more than three decades, was awarded the highest honor Monday by the Chattanooga Engineers Club during the start of the club’s annual Engineer Week celebrations.

Poteet, who serves as the 2021 president of the Chattanooga Engineer Club, was presented the Outstanding Engineer of the Year award for this year

Poteet is a senior project manager at HDR where he has worked for over 11 years. Previously he has 30 years of hydro and fossil power experience with TVA.

Poteet graduated from UTC with a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering and has been a past chairman of ASME Chattanooga.

The Engineers Club also recognized Larry Stanley as its Technician of the Year, Denise Rice of Peak Performance as its People to People Award winner and Akram Saad, a UTC engineering student from Sudan, as its Young Engineer of the Year.

 

Kohl’s fights board changes by investors

Kohl’s is fighting back against an investor group’s efforts to take control of the department store chain’s board, arguing that it would derail its progress and momentum.

The response, issued Monday, comes after the investor group said it had nominated nine members for Kohl’s board of directors as it looks to boost the company’s stock and its financial performance. The group owns a 9.5% stake in Kohl’s.

In a letter to shareholders made public on Monday, the investor group said Kohl’s hasn’t kept up with the fast-changing retail landscape and needs to cut its inventory, fix its store label assortment, cut expenses and improve its app and website among other things.

The investor group is made up of Macellum Advisors, Ancora Holdings, Legion Partners Asset Management and 4010 Capital.

Kohl’s faced challenges even before the pandemic forced the chain and its peers to close temporarily last spring. The retailer was wrestling with increasing competition from online players like Amazon and discounters like Target and Walmart, both of which have been sprucing up their assortments.

But the pandemic has accelerated shoppers’ shift online and increased the dominance of stores like Walmart, which offer one-stop shopping. The department store chain has said that expects to report that its most-recent quarter saw another steep drop in sales at stores opened at least a year, a key measure of a retailer’s health.

The investor group said it believes that Kohl’s problems are fixable, but will require a high-powered board with relevant expertise and experience that “does not shy away from its oversight role and will hold management accountable.”

 

Jeep under pressure to drop Cherokee name

Is it time for Jeep to put a new name on its Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SUVs?

The principal chief of the Cherokee Nation thinks so.

“I’m sure this comes from a place that is well-intended, but it does not honor us by having our name plastered on the side of a car,” Chuck Hoskin Jr., principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, told Car and Driver.

Hoskin told the Free Press he responded on the topic after the magazine reached out to ask about it. He and his staff, he said, do not seek out examples of problematic caricatures and depictions of Native Americans, although there are many, but he will continue to comment on these issues if asked about it.

“Our proud name should not be a corporate marketing tool,” Hoskin said. “Our name dates back to before recorded history. It’s against all odds that we are even here. Our name is invaluable to us as part of our identity. … In 2021, it seems wholly inappropriate for a corporation to continue to make a profit off our identity.”

 

Microsoft, EU publishers want payment for news

Microsoft is teaming up with European publishers to push for a system to make big tech platforms pay for news.

The move raises the stakes in the brewing battle over whether Google and Facebook should pay for journalism. The U.S. tech giant and four big European Union news industry lobbying groups unveiled their plan Monday to work together to come up with a solution to “mandate payments” for use of news content from online “gatekeepers with dominant market power.”

They said they will “take inspiration” from proposed legislation in Australia to force tech platforms to share revenue with news companies and which includes an arbitration system to resolve disputes over a fair price for news.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner