Little bird embarks on a migration

Amanda Shell Jennings, right, with Becky Hancock of the Tennessee Theatre at The Underground at the Crown & Goose last week.

Amanda Shell Jennings, right, with Becky Hancock of the Tennessee Theatre at The Underground at the Crown & Goose last week.

Gosh, this week I feel like a mother bird whose little chick has all of a sudden flown out of the nest. The little chick is Amanda Shell Jennings who started working at Moxley Carmichael as an intern in 2009 when she was just a teenager.

After two internships, she came to work full time with us in 2011. We watched her mature into a beautiful, intelligent and poised young woman with more grit than a seasoned drill sergeant. We all went to her wedding in 2014  and welcomed her husband, Mark, into the Moxley Carmichael family. (He already was a friend, having dated Amanda for five years.) She mourned with us that year when a colleague of ours suddenly passed away. She went through grief counseling with us.

And we have been through scores of exciting work projects together. Some memorable times:

  • She and Alan Carmichael had to have a police escort to get out of the Jefferson County Courthouse one night after a particularly rowdy meeting about a proposed megasite. (The crowd was not in our corner!)
  • She and other staffers turned our office upside down one night looking for a $1 million bond check that had to be turned in with an RFP (request for proposal) response the next day. After hours of searching and panic, the check turned up in the client’s briefcase.
  • She pulled another all-nighter once putting the finishing touches on an RFP while the client sat in our conference room watching “Duck Dynasty.”
  • And then there was the Canstruction near disaster. With only a few hours before seven teams were set to build huge structures out of unopened cans at the Knoxville Convention Center, Amanda and other Moxley Carmichael team members noticed that the delivery of cans from Kroger’s warehouses was several thousand cans short. The crew divided up and drove like bats out of hell to various Kroger stores, some of which were not open 24 hours and were closing soon. Each had a list of what cans were needed. Amanda went to the Kroger on Cedar Bluff Road and threw all the Luck’s pinto beans they had into three shopping carts, racing to the checkout in the nick of time. (PR work is so glamorous!)
The food at The Underground was great! Here are some sliders.

The food at The Underground was great! Here are some sliders.

Amanda has been key to several very serious and important client projects for us. She helped Priority Ambulance make announcements as it expanded its footprint across the country. She helped Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation deliver its messages as it redeveloped neighborhoods and transitioned through two CEO changes. She helped U.S Nitrogen start up its Greene County plant despite significant activist opposition. (I guess that’s one way to meet actress Park Overall.) She helped SMG announce the great goings on at the Knoxville Convention Center, and then the Civic Auditorium and Coliseum and Chilhowee Park, as well. And she helped the Tennessee Theatre share its reams of good news over the years.

But now, one of those great clients has made Amanda an offer she couldn’t refuse. She has accepted a job as director of marketing and communications for Priority Ambulance. It’s a national job. Priority operates in eight states — and it’s continuing to expand. But, thankfully, Amanda’s office will be here in Knoxville. Moxley Carmichael will continue to work with Amanda, but in a different role — she will be our boss! We think Priority’s CEO Bryan Gibson has made a brilliant decision in hiring Amanda for this role, and she goes to Priority with our blessing.

We had a fun send-off for her last week. That’s where these photos were taken. Good luck, Amanda. We look forward to continuing to be involved in your life. But, at least for this week, the nest feels a little empty.

Amanda, right, poses with, from left, her brother, Kevin Shell, Alan Carmichael, and her mother, Linda Shell.

Amanda, right, poses with, from left, her brother, Kevin Shell; Alan Carmichael; and her mother, Linda Shell.

Amanda and Kevin with Covenant Health's Debby Saraceni, left.

Amanda and Kevin with Covenant Health’s Debby Saraceni, left.

From left, Carrie Tapp, a guest of John McCulley, and Moxley Carmichael folks: Jessica Ray, Pam Rhoades, John McCulley and Katrina Roberts.

From left, Carrie Tapp, a guest of John McCulley, and Moxley Carmichael folks: Jessica Ray, Pam Rhoades, John McCulley and Katrina Roberts.

Camp Arnett and Savanna Howie, who works at Moxley Carmichael.

Camp Arnett and Savanna Howie, who works at Moxley Carmichael.

From left, Lauren Miller, Maria Cornelius, Amy Barger, Savanna Howie, Shaun Fulco, John McCulley and Michelle Henry, all of Moxley Carmichael.

From left, Lauren Miller, Maria Cornelius, Amy Barger, Savanna Howie, Shaun Fulco, John McCulley and Michelle Henry, all of Moxley Carmichael.

Amanda with Lila Honaker of the Tennessee Theatre.

Amanda with Lila Honaker of the Tennessee Theatre.

Lauren grabs some grub.

Lauren grabs some grub. The eatery is designed to look like a stop on London’s famous Underground railway system.

Here are my favorite things on the buffet: delicate crab cakes.

Here are my favorite things on the buffet: delicate crab cakes.

Theresa Gross from Covenant Health with Amanda's father, Max Shell, the longtime senior vice president of marketing and community relations at Covenant Health.

Teresa Gross from Covenant Health with Amanda’s father, Max Shell, the longtime senior vice president of marketing and community relations at Covenant Health who is now retired.

At left, Charley Sexton of Moxley Carmichael with his wife, Linnie, and Moxley Carmichael's Scott Bird.

At left, Charley Sexton of Moxley Carmichael with his wife, Linnie, and Moxley Carmichael’s Scott Bird.

Michelle Henry of Moxley Carmichael with her husband, David.

Michelle Henry of Moxley Carmichael with her husband, David.

Pam Rhoades, left, and Maria Cornelius.

Pam Rhoades, left, and Maria Cornelius.

Alan made a few remarks while Pam captured the scene.

Alan made a few remarks while Pam captured the scene.

Jessica Ray and her husband, Greg Schell.

Jessica Ray and her husband, Greg Schell.

Hummus and deviled eggs. Yum, yum.

Hummus and deviled eggs. Yum, yum.

Delicious turkey sandwiches.

Delicious turkey sandwiches.

Scott and Pam.

Scott and Pam.

Amanda's brother, Kevin, left, with her husband, Mark Jennings.

Amanda’s brother, Kevin, left, with her husband, Mark Jennings.

Max and Debby had a lot to discuss.

Max and Debby had a lot to discuss.

Haha. We placed photos of Amanda throughout her years at Moxley Carmichael on each table and on the bar. This is the time she won a Statue of Liberty hat and a New York mug at an office trivia contest!

Haha. We placed photos of Amanda throughout her years at Moxley Carmichael on each table and on the bar. This is the time she won a Statue of Liberty hat and a New York mug at an office trivia contest! The pearls really set off that headdress!

Alan did a great job with his remarks.

Alan did a great job with his remarks.

Here's his favorite item on the buffet!

Here’s his favorite item on the buffet!

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