24/7 followers want to know…where have you been Mahurin? Well, to quote Dr. Seuss, I have been “here and there and everywhere”.

Avid Focus readers know I’ve been busy interviewing incredible people who are accomplishing truly great things. (For instance, check out this feature on the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley.) I also spent time in the sanctuary of one of Knoxville’s oldest churches- whose stunning architecture pales in comparison to the Christian love and hospitality they extend towards the community. (Find that article here.)

I apologize for the hiatus…tunnel vision is a bit of a character flaw. However, I thought I might share with you where I’ve been, where I’m going, and invite you to tag along if you’re so inclined.

I have been…in a boardroom at Pilot Headquarters while CEO Jimmy Haslam earnestly, resolutely, and, I believe sincerely, discussed the FBI investigation into his family’s company.  The air was tense, pregnant with both query and expectation.

I took to the airwaves on the Hubert Smith Radio Show with respected colleague and all around gal pal, Anita Lane, General Manager of Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown. I discussed South Knoxville, my book project, and attempted to keep discussion of the James White Parkway Extension to a minimum. Anita treated us to a breakfast casserole and discussed what else, but Knoxville’s hospitality industry. Good times.

Last week I found myself in a much smaller conference room across town preparing for the upcoming year with the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association at Marble Springs. It is my firm belief that each of has a civic duty to preserve the past for future generations, and I am thrilled to serve on their board of directors this upcoming year.

I’ve been on the phone with Michael Grider…sometimes before 8 am and occasionally after 9 pm…I must concur with Mike Donilla…the guy’s underpaid. At any rate, SouthFest was a remarkable accomplishment, and the Focus was thrilled to be a part of it. We partnered with Tennessee State Bank to bring Con Hunley (seen above) and Robinella to the Disc Exchange stage and remain committed to the success of small businesses in our area.

I was even on the golf course recently with Knox County Commission Chairman Tony Norman, Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis, John Mills, and Steve and Con Hunley, among others. The Focus was proud to sponsor Metropolitan Drug Commission’s second annual “Tee Off Against Drugs” Golf Tournament. Being able to lend support to such an important cause is definitely the best part of my job. Our publisher Steve Hunley- is, above all things, generous.

I also found myself at the Pinnacle Awards, which my colleague Dan Andrews jokingly referred to as the prom. In all sincerity- it is vitally important to the human experience that we take time to celebrate our accomplishments and the Knoxville Chamber hosted a smashing event.

This past weekend I stood next to Mayor Madeline Rogero at Vestival, who seemed wholly unaffected by the rain that fell intermittently throughout the outdoor event. I witnessed a gentleman approach her and thank her for her stance on social equality at last year’s PrideFest. It was a very sincere moment in which I saw each of their humanity in a new light…and I left a better person for it.

So that, my friends, is where I’ve been. Follow me here on 24/7, as I traverse this Big Little City. I’ll do my best to fill you in on “there and everywhere”. Expect a fair amount of Dr. Seuss references (I am a mother afterall.) and a healthy dose of “stuff-you-couldn’t-make-up-if-you-tried.”