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TVFCU Announces Quarterfinalists in Regional Idea Leap Grant Competitions

January 20, 2023

TVFCU Announces Quarterfinalists in Regional Idea Leap Grant Competitions

Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU) is excited to announce that 53 quarterfinalists will move forward in the 6th Annual Idea Leap Grant Competition. This year, for the first time ever, the competition is split into three different regions, with 22 entrepreneurs moving forward in the Chattanooga area, 15 in the Cleveland area and 16 in the Northwest Georgia area.

“We received around 300 applications from a wide variety of small businesses throughout Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia, doubling the amount of applicants from last year,” said Tommy Nix, vice president of business and commercial services. “On behalf of the entire credit union, I’d like to thank every small business owner who applied and congratulate our quarterfinalists in each region. TVFCU is grateful for the opportunity to support entrepreneurs and stimulate our local economies as we look forward to awarding $75,000 in the Chattanooga area and $50,000 each in the Cleveland and Northwest Georgia areas.”

Now, quarterfinalists will create and submit five-minute videos explaining their business and detailing how they would like to use the grant funding to improve their business and benefit their community. Independent panels of volunteer judges from nonprofits and businesses in each region will review the videos and select semifinalists, which TVFCU will announce on February 24.

From there, TVFCU will publish the semifinalists’ videos and ask for members of the public to vote for the People’s Choice Award Finalist in each area. Judges will select the remaining finalists for a total of five finalists in the Chattanooga area and three each in the Cleveland and Northwest Georgia areas. Grant awards are as follows:

Chattanooga Area:

  • First Place - $30,000
  • Second Place - $15,000
  • Three Runners-Up - $10,000 Each

Cleveland Area:

  • First Place - $25,000
  • Second Place - $15,000
  • Third Place - $10,000

Northwest Georgia Area:

  • First Place - $25,000
  • Second Place - $15,000
  • Third Place - $10,000

For more information about the Idea Leap Grant, visit


Chattanooga Area Idea Leap Grant Quarterfinalists

Adventure Pediatric Dentistry

Latasha Garrett

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Alchemy Spice Company

Henry Oehmig

Chattanooga, Tenn.


Cleat Morris

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Chattanooga Holistic Medicine

Blake Storey

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Chef Express

Terence Locke

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Cocoa Asante

Ella Livingston

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Crafter’s Emporium & Book Exchange

Dorothy Dunegan

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Croxall Painting Company LLC

Bjorn Croxall

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Cypris Bodywork & Wellness

Cypris Birkel

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Embellish Collection

Ann Trammell-Newton

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Jacob Myers Deli

Kevin Sholl

Dayton, Tenn.

Poppytons Patisserie

Delaina Elmz

Chattanooga, Tenn.


Richard Carmack

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Simply Props

Shateria Smith

Chattanooga, Tenn.

Southern Soul Yoga

Jenna Wright

Chattanooga, Tenn.


Nick Rader

Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Flaming Rooster

Ed Wickley

Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Local Juicery

Luis Contreras

Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Professional Cleaning Solution

Sharon Green

Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Speech Language Reading Center

Rebecca Iwanczyk

Hixson, Tenn.

W Salon

Erica Wright

Chattanooga, Tenn.

We Clean Chattanooga

Romonda Walker-Word

Chattanooga, Tenn.


Cleveland Area Idea Leap Grant Quarterfinalists

Anistasis Wellness

James Vassell

Cleveland, Tenn.

Biskit NV

Natosha Versa

Cleveland, Tenn.

Burnside Insurance Group

Doran Burnside

Cleveland, Tenn.

Carroll Printing Company

Tasha Sullivan

Cleveland, Tenn.

Cartwright Farms

Brian Cartwright

Cleveland, Tenn.

Chota Outdoor Gear

Mark Brown

Charleston, Tenn.

Direct Primary Care Associates PLLC

Brian Fretwell

Cleveland, Tenn.

Grit & Grace Vintage Market

Brandon & Melody Miles

Cleveland, Tenn.

Happy Tails Grooming Salon

Bridgett Ogle

Cleveland, Tenn.

Heat N Eat

Renee Hunt

Cleveland, Tenn.

HIIT 10 Fitness

Kevin Young

Cleveland, Tenn.

Mayfield Farm Park

Michael Mayfield

Athens, Tenn.

Rod’s Rockin Rolls

Roderic Barredo

Ducktown, Tenn.

Silver Springs Vineyards

Georgios Gialelis

Riceville, Tenn.


Caleb Luzader

Charleston, Tenn.



Northwest Georgia Area Idea Leap Grant Quarterfinalists

A Fern and A Feather General Store

Babs Bell

Ringgold, Ga.

Ada’s Heritage Farm

Lauren LeFever

Wildwood, Ga.

Alarm City

AJ Jackson

Dalton, Ga.

Battlefield Outdoors

David Bridges

Ringgold, Ga.

Baxter Dean Studio

Andy Baxter

Calhoun, Ga.

Birria Broz

Eleazar Pacheco Jr.

Dalton, Ga.

Chattanooga Fiberglass

Dylan Bruce

Ringgold, Ga.

Cleary’s Sit and Sleep

Gregg Cleary

Chatsworth, Ga.

Cushion by Design

Charlie Hubbs

Dalton, Ga.

Dalton Brewing Company

Christopher Brown

Dalton, Ga.

DIRT Design & Décor

Heather Casey

Summerville, Ga.

Foundation Direct Family Care

Michelle Little; Kayla Dziuba

Dalton, Ga.

Gettin Piggy Wit It BBQ

Chelsea Snerling

Chatsworth, Ga.

Hillside Farm

Mitchell Manley

Tunnel Hill, Ga.

Inflated LLC

Eunice Miranda

Dalton, Ga.

Raspberry Row

Krista Long

Dalton, Ga.


About Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union

Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union (TVFCU), a not-for-profit financial cooperative, was established in 1936 when 57 Chattanooga TVA employees pooled $500 to create the member-owned credit union. Today, TVFCU serves more than 170,000 members who live, work, worship, volunteer or attend school throughout the 17-county service community. With more than $2.4 billion in assets and 23 branches throughout the area, TVFCU is the largest credit union in the region. For more information about TVFCU, please visit


About TVFCU’s Idea Leap Grant

The Idea Leap Grant Initiative is an extension of TVFCU’s Idea Leap Loan Initiative that was created in October 2016. The Idea Leap Loan fills a void in the community for loans up to $50,000 to emerging businesses. Through the Idea Leap Grant Initiative, TVFCU has awarded $283,000 in grants and $17,500 in scholarships to area small businesses.

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