News From The Peak

DEMA Announces Association Expansion to Tennessee, Offers Additional Services for Members

Domestic Estate Management Association (DEMA), an international educational association for the private service community, is pleased to announce expansion of its member offerings worldwide with new office space in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The added space, with the support of existing DEMA offices in Michigan and Orlando, will open in early 2017. In partnership with local private occupational school Peak Technical Institute, DEMA will offer training workshops and program offerings in the hospitality and professional service industries, utilizing the magnificent Villa Collina mansion, the largest multimillion dollar home in the state of Tennessee.

DEMA is thrilled to have this opportunity to expand our support with this new DEMA location. With members throughout the U.S. and internationally, our new Knoxville office offers centrally-located support with new opportunities through the Villa Collina,” DE
MA President and Co-Founder Matthew Hack said.

The Villa Collina, constructed in the late 1990s, is a 36,720 square-foot mansion poised on 8 acres of rolling hills at the bank of the majestic Tennessee River in Knoxville, Tennessee. The beautiful Villa Collina features 50 rooms, including 8 bedrooms, 11 full bathrooms, indoor and outdoor pools and features a host of unique entertaining amenities, including a 2,600 square-foot wine cellar, sauna, dance floor, exercise room, tri-level library, home theatre and staff quarters.

DEMA will utilize the estate for a variety of DEMA functions, including conferences, workshops and member gatherings.

“2017 is going to be an exceptionally exciting year for DEMA,” Vice President and Co-Founder Michael Wright said. “The Villa Collina is a beautiful piece of Tennessee history that will greatly benefit DEMA and its members.”

Prided as the largest private service professional association, DEMA has expanded to over 50 states and 18 countries to raise industry standards.

Peak Technical Institute’s UXO Global Program Completes Successful Inaugural Year in Tennessee, Looks Forward to Expanded Growth

Peak Technical Institute’s UXO Global program successfully rounded out its first year in Tennessee with a full set of classes among other successful milestones in the program’s inaugural year in its new facility.

UXO, providing Unexploded Ordnance Technician I training since 2009, relocated from Loveland, Colo., to Peak’s global headquarters in Maryville, Tenn., in early 2016, congregating all of Peak’s programs under one educational training facility to offer a centrally located classroom and field work setting for its UXO Tech I students.

“By pooling our resources at Peak Technical Institute’s global headquarters, we are able to offer our UXO students the very best resources from caring, knowledgeable staff at a top-notch facility that is centrally located for our student demographic,” Peak Technical Institute President and CEO Dr. Eric W. Barton said.

“Many of our students come from all over the U.S., Canada and even Puerto Rico to be trained as UXO Tech Is, so this move definitely keeps our students our No. 1 priority,” UXO Global Lead Instructor Mike Brantley said.

Our longstanding, experienced instructors Mike Brantley and Phil Clark, with a combined 50 years of experience in explosive ordnance disposal, continue to lead instruction in Tennessee. Throughout our existence, UXO Global has consistently trained highly capable UXO Tech I’s, with several program managers and USACE Representatives noting UXO Global graduates as being “exceptionally well-trained and qualified.”

UXO Global’s Tech I program was developed following the guidelines outlined in the Department of Defense’s Explosive Safety Board Technical Paper 18 “Minimum Qualifications for Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Technicians and Personnel.”

UXO Global has graduated nearly 500 students and has taught 36 classes since its founding in 2009. Throughout the course of the challenging four-week program, students student objects such as safety, explosives, unexploded ordnance from around the world, firing systems, range clearance operations and more. UXO Global also offers certifications in a 40-hour Hazardous Waste Operator & Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) course in addition to their UXO Tech I certification.

To register for one of our 2017 courses, visit or contact our admissions officer at

Peak Technical Institute’s new Hospitality Programs prepare individuals for ‘exciting, rewarding’ careers, boost local economies

Maryville-based private occupational school Peak Technical Institute is pleased to announce the roll out of its newest hospitality and professional service courses Housekeeping Training and Food & Beverage Service starting in early 2017, preparing individuals for an exciting, rewarding career in a robust industry.

“Individuals can come here and change their careers and lives in just a matter of weeks in our hospitality programs,” Peak Technical Institute President and CEO Dr. Eric W. Barton said. “Imagine the impact we can make in Knoxville, Tennessee and the nation.”

Peak’s Housekeeping Training Program hones roles and responsibilities of a housekeeper/room attendant, reflecting high standards of work, customer service, personal hygiene/attributes, cleaning methods, rooms, housekeeping services, laundry, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and many more relevant topics. The Food & Beverage Service program prepares students in food and beverage service, hygienic food and beverage, resume writing 101, customer service and basic knowledge on understanding risks and preventative measures at work.

Both the Housekeeping and Food & Beverage Service programs are approved through the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Program Director and Instructor Jason King said the two newest hospitality courses under the Peak brand are “revolutionary” for the region’s industry.

“These types of trainings are new and revolutionary for the hospitality industry, offering students a well-rounded education for whenever they start their new careers,” King said. “Students in our Food & Beverage, housekeeping or hospitality programs will graduate better prepared for the industry and will be one step ahead of their competition, increasing their potential for future success in this robust industry.”

Peak will be collaborating with the Greater Knoxville Hospitality Association and area Chambers of Commerce in an effort to place graduating students in successful, rewarding job opportunities.

GKHA, a nonprofit membership organization for hotels/lodging, restaurants, venues, attractions, services and suppliers of hospitality and tourism sectors, encompasses more than 9,000 lodging and hotel rooms within the Knoxville region of Knox, Anderson, Blount, Roane and Loudon counties.

“The hospitality industry is the No. 2 industry in the state of Tennessee,” GKHA Executive Director Jill Thompson said. “With 225 hotels in just the Knoxville area alone, this new program will not only be pivotal for individuals looking for a new career with vast opportunities but will also be beneficial for our local economies.”

For more information or to sign up, visit or contact Peak at 855-399-7325.

Peak Technical Institute to host East Tennessee Children’s Hospital benefit.

On Saturday, September 24th, from 10am until 2pm, the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital will hold a Truck Show & Beard Contest at Peak Technical Institute in Maryville, TN.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Hospital. Registration is $20, and includes entry for the driver and up to 3 passengers. $10 entry fee per person at the gate, children under 10 are free.

Come out & help support the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Peak Technical Institute

235 South Old Glory Road

Maryville, TN 37801

Announcing renovated Professional Household Management & hospitality and professional service programs and seminars.

Peak Technical Institute is pleased to introduce its newly renovated Professional Household Management and extensive hospitality and professional service programs and seminars.

Though Peak has maintained its flagship Professional Household Management program, which provides graduates with a solid education the necessary experience to provide world-class service and management in modern estate households, the institute now offers numerous concise training programs and seminars in housekeeping, food & beverage and a range of training seminars to help college students excel in the classroom and their careers.

Our flagship program, PTI’s Professional Household Management molds individuals with the necessary skills and training to land quality jobs within a variety of sectors, including luxury travel, high-end cuisine, five-star hotels and resorts and estate management. From developing leadership skills to table setting and mixology, our PHM program is comprehensive and effective. The course provides graduates with a solid education and the necessary experience to provide world-class service and management.

In addition to its flagship PHM program, Peak Technical Institute now offers numerous short programs and seminars in hospitality and professional training, including housekeeping, food & beverage, communication skills in the workplace, dining for business and leadership building workshops. Another seminar includes The Art of Silver Service, which covers topics such as: setting a formal dining room table, proper silverware uses, the art of napkin folding, the different styles of service, cleaning and storage of silverware and how to serve with grace and style.

While we offer specialized programs and seminars, Peak Technical Institute can custom create a training program that is tailored to the skill level and schedule of your staff. Training can be offered in a classroom setting or on your property utilizing your own dining room, silverware and china. This offers the best training environment since we will be using all current household items that will be used in service.

PTI’s Professional Household Management and hospitality and professional service programs and seminars are now being featured on, which has become the “go to” resource for job seekers to connect with private employers and domestic employment and training agencies.

Vanquish Worldwide & Peak Technical Institute President and CEO Eric W. Barton makes Google Chromebook pledge for Mary Blount Elementary School: In conjunction with upcoming Leadership Blount pancake breakfast & St. Patrick’s Day fundraisers

Vanquish Worldwide President and CEO Eric W. Barton, along with the Leadership Blount Class of 2016, is hoping to raise much needed funds next month for Mary Blount Elementary School.

The class, which Barton is a member of, will be hosting a pancake breakfast from 8-10 a.m. Saturday, March 5th at Barley’s Taproom on West Broadway in Maryville in an effort to raise money for more technologically advanced, integral learning tools for the school – Google Chromebooks. In addition, Barton is pledging to match funds for the Leadership Blount’s fundraising goal for the devices.

Each Leadership Blount class looks to make a charitable community contribution through a class project. When the Class of 2016 learned that Mary Blount students were in need of new Google Chromebooks for the classroom, they were eager to help by organizing a fundraising event, Susan Williams, with The Trust Company and a 2016 LB Class member, said.

“Part of the (Leadership Blount) program is you go around and you look at the charitable services in the community and then you try to pick a project,” Williams, who is spearheading the Leadership Blount Class of 2016 pancake fundraiser event, said. “We visited that school and 75 percent (of students) are on free and reduced lunch, but technology is just part of all the schools’ programs these days.”

The breakfast will include a hearty helping of pancakes, eggs, bacon, juice and coffee. Local celebrity servers will be assisting in hopes of raising extra money through waiter tips for the breakfast.

Leadership Blount Class of 2016 is hoping to raise $7,000-$10,000 through the pancake breakfast, Williams said.

“I’m so honored and excited to be a part of this local fundraising effort. I believe we as leaders in our Blount County community have a duty to serve our community,” Barton said. “What better way to serve than to raise money for technology and educational tools in our children’s classrooms?”

Tickets are on sale for $10 and can be purchased from any Class of 2016 Leadership Blount member. Tips and donations will also be accepted for the Chromebooks.

“These Google Chromebooks have become an integral part of learning for today’s growing minds. This technology meets the needs of students in a way that is meaningful to them,” Barton said. “I am confident that these students will be more prepared than ever for their future dreams, hopes and careers with this added learning tool.”

In conjunction with the pancake breakfast, The Leadership Blount Class of 2016 will also host a St. Patrick’s Day Party fundraiser to raise money for Chromebooks. The St. Patrick’s Day Party will be held from 6-10 p.m. Thursday, March 17th at Smith Family Life Center. “The Dirty Dougs” will be performing during the event-filled evening and beer will be provided by Maryville’s The Casual Pint. St. Patrick’s Day Party tickets cost $25, which includes wine, beer, a dinner buffet provided by Calhoun’s, an auction and more!

“As a community, if we pull together we can help our neighbors, if you will,” Williams said of a life lesson she hopes her fellow LB Class members learn from organizing the charity event. “We are very fortunate that a lot of the corporations and businesses in the area are so charitable.”

The class is also looking for local corporate sponsorships to meet their $37,000 goal for the project. Eric W. Barton is pledging a $10,000 match for Mary Blount Elementary if initial funds are raised from the pancake breakfast and St. Patrick’s Day Party.

“As owner of a quality higher education institute, Peak Technical Institute, which is located here in Blount County, investing in education has always remained close to my heart. I truly believe that contributing to the benefit and growth of our community all begins in our local classrooms,” Barton said. “I look forward to witnessing the positive outcomes that are going to be generated from these fundraisers.”

Leadership Blount Pancake Breakfast Jan 15, 2016 copy

St  Patrick's Day Party Poster Jan 15 2016

Vanquish, BOBA & Peak Technical Institute – proud sponsors of the 2016 Smoky Mountain Airshow – on hand at lineup announcement

Pictured, from left to right: Eric Barton, CEO; Anna Love, CFO; Susan Lynch, Executive Assistant to the CEO.

Representatives from Vanquish Worldwide, Business Owners Benefits Association & Peak Technical Institute – all sponsors of the upcoming 2016 Smoky Mountain Airshow – were on hand yesterday as the remainder of acts joining the previously-announced Blue Angels were unveiled.

The full-line up of acts include:

• US Navy Blue Angels

• Greg Koontz

• Matt Younkin

• Jacquie Warda “Jacquie B” Airshows

• Commemorative Air Force Dixie Wing “Warbirds”

• Aeroshell Aerobatic Team

The 2016 Smoky Mountain Airshow will be held April 16-17 at McGhee Tyson Airport here in Knoxville, TN.  Admission is free, and parking passes are currently on sale at

“Vanquish is thrilled to support such a long-awaited aviation event that is sure to positively impact our region. However, as a veteran, I believe this air show has an even greater importance as it allows us to increase awareness and funding for HonorAir Knoxville, which honors those who have given so much for this great nation”, said CEO Eric Barton, during the initial announcement back in December.

In conjunction with the air show sponsorship, Vanquish and its sister companies will partner with air show personnel for marketing efforts leading up to the two-day event. Sponsor company names and logos will be included in all media advertising and on air show’s website home page. Premier supporting sponsorship also includes VIP and general parking passes and exhibit canopies during the event. Vanquish, BOBA and Peak plan to invite colleagues, employees and dignitaries to join them for the event.

CFO Anna Love named Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s 2016 ‘40 under 40’

Peak Technical Institute and Vanquish Worldwide is pleased to recognize Chief Financial Officer Anna Love (Tilley), who was recently named to the prestigious Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s 2016 40 under 40 awards. The honor recognizes 40 individuals younger than 40 who are leaving an imprint on the Knoxville area through their professional and philanthropic efforts.

Love along with the other honorees are profiled in the January 2016 issue of the Business Journal and will be honored today, Thursday, Jan. 14th at the publication’s annual Book of Lists reception at the Knoxville Convention Center.

2015 40 Under 40 Award Ad - Anna LoveMany of Love’s coworkers said they believe her philanthropic drive outside of the office in addition to her leadership as CFO prove that she is a positive role model to her coworkers.

“Anna effortlessly models the Vanquish Worldwide motto, ‘Delivering Excellence’ through her positive work attitude, exceptional skills in accounting and through her selfless philanthropic efforts, all of which consistently motivate her coworkers,” Vanquish President and CEO Eric W. Barton said. “I’m proud to call Anna our Chief Financial Officer for Vanquish Worldwide and our family of companies. Congratulations to Anna and her accomplishment.”

Besides developing annual budget processes for Vanquish Worldwide and all sister companies, which amount to more than 10 operating companies, Anna has proven instrumental in company financial success, including setting up accounting processes for newly created entities Vanquish Leasing and Vanquish Logistics in 2015, improving accounting policies and procedures, restructuring general ledger accounts and establishing sound financial reporting practices. She also recently guided her accounting team through implementation of many corporate acquisitions including PAC & CAP Trucking, Angel Capital Group and Business Owners Benefits Association LLC, BOBA Services and BOBA Agency and led her team through the implementation of new payroll and accounting software to provide more detailed analysis to those in daily decision making roles.

To stay ahead of the growing workload, Anna has had to double her staff and leads them in accomplishing multiple accounting closings each month, preparing financial statements and budget versus actual comparisons for the CEO and banks.

“Working for Eric Barton is a challenge I embrace every day. A positive attitude and a listening ear allow me to effectively and efficiently lead my team and support the operations across the board,” Love said.

As CFO of more than 10 operating businesses within the Vanquish family of companies, Anna serves as second in authority to the CEO, overseeing operational and business function; she is the primary decision maker when the CEO is away.

Besides proving her leadership strength at the office, Anna is a proud supporter of community activities and volunteers with several nonprofit organizations across the region through her time, labor and knowledge in accounting. Among nonprofits close to her heart is the United Way of Blount County, where she serves as a Loaned Executive, advising the organization’s assigned business accounts with its annual company donation programs. She served on the 2015 United Way of Blount County Ball Committee, assisting in the planning stages of the nonprofit’s major annual fundraiser.

Beginning this year, Anna also serves on the Board of Directors for United Way of Blount County and New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center.

Anna also serves as a board advisor for the Angels Over America Foundation, a nonprofit private foundation that distributes funds to charitable organizations, and on the board of The Gypsy Gift Foundation, a LexLin Gypsy Ranch donation program, which each year donates horses to PATH-accredited Equine Therapy Centers across the country. With the foundation’s creation, Anna and LexLin owner Eric Barton plan to develop a breeding center with a full training staff. She also regularly volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.

“I am honored to work for a company that supports and encourages my involvement in the community. Giving back truly has allowed me to continue to grow as an individual,” Love said.

Anna brings with her 15 years of financial and management experience in the government contracting, service and manufacturing industries, supporting both of Vanquish’s overseas and U.S. service lines.

Before becoming CFO of Vanquish in December 2014, she served as CFO for manufacturing company MillenniTEK. She has also held significant roles for government contractors including EOD Technology, Navarro Research & Engineering and NetGain. Love holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting from Eastern New Mexico University and an MBA from the University of Tennessee.

A large supporter of the U.S. military and extremely proud of her eldest son, who is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force, Anna embraces Vanquish’s veteran-owned small business status and has been a champion for the government contracting mission of supporting the war-fighter and likewise a champion for supporting other small businesses and local small business vendors.

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Smoky Mountain Air Show return takes flight with Vanquish Worldwide and sister company sponsorships

Vanquish Worldwide, along with sister companies Business Owners Benefits Association (BOBA) and Peak Technical Institute (Peak), are showing their support for the long-awaited Smoky Mountain Air Show’s return April 16-17 at McGhee Tyson Airport.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority Board Chairman Howard Vogel introduced Maryville-based Vanquish Worldwide as premier sponsor, along with BOBA and Peak as supporting sponsors. Together the three companies donated a substantial monetary gift in support of the air show, which is expected to bring in about 200,000 spectators.

Vanquish Worldwide President and CEO Eric W. Barton announces Tuesday, Oct. 20 that the company will be the premier sponsor of the Smoky Mountain Air Show April 16-17 at McGhee Tyson Airport.

While Vanquish provides logistics solutions and support to government and commercial clients worldwide, Vanquish President and CEO Eric W. Barton and employees of the Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business said the air show partnership would be the perfect fit in their ongoing community support.

“Our team knew immediately that we wanted to be a part of this exciting event,” Barton said.

Vanquish’s premier sponsorship will help the Smoky Mountain Air Show secure performers and cover expenses related to the air show. A portion of air show proceeds will also benefit HonorAir Knoxville, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sending World War II, Korean and Vietnam War veterans free of charge to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorials built in their honor.

“Vanquish is thrilled to support such a long-awaited aviation event that is sure to positively impact our region,” Barton said. “However, as a veteran, I believe this air show has an even greater importance as it allows us to increase awareness and funding for HonorAir Knoxville, which honors those who have given so much for this great nation.”

Among other aviation performing acts, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be performing as the signature military demonstration act for the air show. The Blue Angels, always a crowd pleaser, recently visited East Tennessee in preparation for their upcoming performance.

In conjunction with the air show sponsorship, Vanquish and its sister companies will partner with air show personnel for marketing efforts leading up to the two-day event. Sponsor company names and logos will be included in all media advertising and on air show’s website home page. Premier supporting sponsorship also includes VIP and general parking passes and exhibit canopies during the event. Vanquish, BOBA and Peak plan to invite colleagues, employees and dignitaries to join them for the event.

The two-day air show will be the first aviation event to grace our skies in more than a decade. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, military resources were redirected overseas, making it difficult for an air show to exist. Knoxville’s last air show in April 2000 brought in over 250,000 people. Dignitaries, including Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell, across the region have expressed excitement for the air show’s return.

“The economic effect this is going to have on this area is going to be tremendous,” Mitchell said.

Business Owners Benefits Association Co-Founder John Ballinger, Vanquish Worldwide President and CEO Eric W. Barton and Peak Technical Institute Executive Director Jim Stratton pose for a photo following a Smoky Mountain Air Show press conference.

“It’s going to be a huge opportunity to showcase everything East Tennessee has to offer,” Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett said during Vanquish’s announcement as premier sponsor. “Vanquish Worldwide is an outstanding and growing local business and continues to be a great community partner. Their investment in the Smoky Mountain Air Show will help ensure this is the best air show possible. … Thanks to partners like Vanquish, this air show will be an opportunity to make lifelong memories.”

While the air show is several months away, committee members are still searching for more than 600 event volunteers. A wide variety of volunteer options are available to fit anyone’s interest, including chalet hosts, set up and breakdown, parking attendance and ground clean-up.

“We are proud to support our military veterans, the 2016 Smoky Mountain Air Show and most importantly our community here in East Tennessee,” Barton said. “We are thankful to be a part of this air show and we always want to be there at the tip of the spear to support our veterans.”

Smoky Mountain Air Show organizers say they hope to announce other major aviation acts by the first of the year.