miller_janet_colliers_bigDuring her time as chief development officer for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Janet Miller saw the creation of 93,000 new jobs and the recruitment of some 275 companies to Nashville.  Janet Miller is now the CEO and Nashville Market Leader for Colliers International.  She tells Brand Wise why Nashville is hot, and we are not talking chicken here!

1.  We have heard you say that Nashville is a powerful brand. Why do you think so?

I do think that Nashville is a powerful brand, and I think it is one of the few cities in the country that have such a powerful – and AUTHENTIC brand.  Where ever you go around the country, when you tell people that you are from Nashville, they break out into a smile.  People love this place.  And the Music City image is an amazing brand to have, and serves us well, even if we are ‘pitching’ the city for other things like business relocation.  Because people recognize that at the root of all things Nashville is creativity – companies and people crave creativity.  And Nashville has it in spades

2.  Do other powerful brand associations make our city brand stronger?  What are they?

There are literally hundreds of other powerful brands that call Nashville home that reinforce that authentic, creative, genuine spirit of Music City.  Brands as widely divergent from each other as Jack Daniels, Goo Goos, the Grand Ole Opry, Gibson Guitars, and the Bluebird.  And in recent years, you have enormous international brands like Nissan, Bridgestone, even Beretta who are calling Nashville home.  The common theme – authenticity, quality, not trying to be something that we aren’t.

3.  Tell us a little about the amazing growth that is going on in Nashville.

So Nashville has been a bit of a rocket ship for the past three or four years.  We have led the nation in job growth for three of the past four years; over 30,000 new people every year decide to pack up their lives and their dreams to move into this place.  And we continually rank in ‘top tens’ – no matter what the category.  Friendliest cities; best cities for careers; best travel destinations; best cities for young professionals; best cities for tech jobs; even “manliest cities in America”.  Not too sure about that one, but we’ll take it.  Oh – and best looking cities in America.  We just ranked in the top ten for that one too.

4.  What has made Nashville and Janet Miller such a good couple?  How has Nashville shaped your career?

I am a big believer that if you can find the intersection of what you are passionate about, what you are good at, and what you can make a living at – that your life will be successful.  And my life has exceeded my wildest dreams because I found a job for 21 years – heading up economic development for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce – that sat right in that sweet spot.  I moved 4 months ago to become CEO of Colliers International Nashville office – one of the largest commercial real estate brokerage firms in town and in the nation – and, shall I say………lightning has struck twice.  I cannot think of a more fun, challenging way to impact Nashville’s growth than being in the thick of the real estate development wave.

5.  Is Nashville a good place for working women?  

My belief is that if you are smart and work hard as a woman in Nashville, the sky is the limit.  My role here at Colliers is a pretty non-traditional role for a female.  In fact, a lot of media noise was made when I moved to this role because it really hadn’t been done in one of the large brokerage firms here before.  But this is a town that embraces hard work and creativity, and I can name 100 amazing women right now who are SHAPING this city.  It is super exciting to be in the midst of that.

6.  What excites you about your career at this stage?

Every day I am learning something new in this new position, and I get to be part of building an amazing culture.  I care about making Colliers the place in town that people are banging the doors down so that they can come to work here every day.  And that excites me.

7.  What makes a good vacation for Janet Miller?

Pure relaxation, the ability to get unchained from my “handheld device”, the companionship of my husband, a good bottle of wine, a great bed, and perhaps the sound of the ocean crashing outside the window.  I’m headed to Mexico soon, and plan on seeking out every single one of those items, and maybe even, a shot or two of good tequila.

D961F5F9-A144-46A3-A979-45A2AAC03CF2Have you listened to This American Life podcast hit “Serial”? Well, since “Serial” debuted in October 2014, the series has experienced some 40 million downloads and launched a new popularity in podcasts.  All of a sudden, podcasts are cool!

Our friend Dave Delaney knows a lot about podcasting.  He started podcasting back in 2005.   Now he’s hosting a weekly podcast about business networking and teaching others how to make podcasts part of their marketing arsenal.

We asked him to tell us a little about podcasting:


“Jamie kindly offered me a little place in her newsletter to talk to you about podcasting. If you haven’t downloaded an Internet radio show yet, you will soon. According to the Washington Post, podcast downloads passed the 1 billion mark last year and monthly podcast listeners reached 75 million per month.Around 20% of Americans listen to podcasts once a month. That may not sound like a lot, but consider traditional radio reaches 240 million people each week. As podcasting increases in popularity, the early adopters will reap the benefits.
I started podcasting back in 2005. I hosted one of the first parenting podcasts with my wife, Heather. We received coverage in an article on podcasting in USA Today and we were featured by iTunes and Yahoo, back when podcasting was in it’s infancy. Now, I host a weekly podcast about business networking called New Business Networking Radio, I’d love for you to give it a listen at Since 58% of Americans own a smartphone and Apple’s iPhone now comes with their native Podcasts app installed, you can bet that podcasting is only going to become more popular this year.
Jeff Brown from the Read to Lead Podcast and I have created a full day workshop to help you learn everything you need to know to launch a successful podcast. Visit to learn the details and use the code DAVE100 to save $100 on the workshop. I hope to see you there.”

UnknownGoo Goos are as much a part of the Nashville scene as the Grand Ole Opry and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.  In fact, Goo Goo Clusters just opened a new store in downtown Nashville.   Beth Sachan, director of marketing for Goo Goo Cluster, recently told us about the new popularity for one of Nashville’s oldest treats. In 2011, the iconic candy celebrated its 100th Anniversary, but don’t think of it as old.

Keith Urban and the Walking Dead don’t think so.  Recently Keith Urban made quite a stir wearing a “What a Cluster” Goo Goo t-shirt on American Idol, and of course, the t-shirts immediately sold out at Goo Goo.  A Goo Goo bar also had a cameo in the mid-season finale of the popular TV series Walking Dead.  Character Morgan Jones stops inside a church to pray, leaving a rabbit’s foot, a bullet and a Goo Goo Cluster on the alter. Beth said “It wasn’t completely a surprise, but it was somewhat a surprise in how it was used. I was a bit surprised it had such prominent placement. …That was pretty cool.”

It seems that the Goo Goo Cluster has become an iconic southern product. When a person visits Nashville, eating a Goo Goo is almost always on their ‘Must Do’ list.  These days Goo Goo Clusters can be found in retail stores across the United States as well as online.

Beth says the story of how the candy came to be named comes in many versions, but the true story is that Howell Campbell, the inventor of the Goo Goo Cluster, was announcing to fellow passengers on a streetcar his newborn son’s first words and a schoolteacher made the connection with the candy. She suggested Mr. Campbell name his treat Goo Goo! It is so good, people will ask for it from birth.

beth headshotBeth has been with Goo Goo since 2011.  In that time, Beth has overseen the marketing efforts behind the company’s 100 year anniversary celebration, coordinated sponsorships with the Nashville Sounds and Predators, launched successful retail campaigns at retailers like Walgreens and Kroger, and managed all PR and advertising for the newly opened Goo Goo Shop in downtown Nashville.

In addition to her role at Goo Goo, Beth is the creator of Eat. Drink. Smile., a successful food & drink blog, and a freelance writer that has contributed to The Tennessean, Nashville Lifestyles magazines, The Guardian and Expedia. Last year, Southern Living listed her personal Twitter account (@betheats) as “One of the Nine Southern Twitter Feeds You Should Be Following”.


ooey-gooey-goo-goo-barsEverywhere we go, we see an homage to the Goo Goo Cluster. Trendy Southern restaurants are serving everything from pies and brownies to ice cream using the famous Goo Goo as an ingredient. Beth Sachan shared this decadent, easy recipe for you lovers.  And who doesn’t like to say, “Oh, I just made a batch of  Ooey Gooey Goo Goo Bars!

Ooey Gooey Goo Goo Bars

Makes 16-20 bars.


1 18.25 oz box of yellow cake mix
3 eggs
6 Original Goo Goo Clusters, chopped
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
4 cups (1 lb) powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 300 and spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray. Mix cake mix, melted butter and one egg to a soft dough. Press into the bottom of the pan. Spread chopped Goo Goo Clusters evenly over the dough.

Mix powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and remaining two eggs until smooth, about 1-2 mins. Pour on top of Goo Goo Cluster pieces. Bake at 300 for 45-50 minutes until top is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.