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CONTENTS

12 8

16

FEATURES: 3 Up Front

Jack Criss

6 GJB Opinion

You Should Know

8 GJB Special

Brenda Hinson

10 Craig’s Corner

Jim Craig

12 COVER STORY

Lumpkins BBQ/ Creative Media

16 City Focus

Flowood (Part II)

28 Community Works

“Pippa” Jackson and A.R.F.

32 Business Health

2 - Greater Jackson Business

13

Murray L. Harbor

BUSINESS

Business News for Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties

Online Exclusive Content! Visit us online at greaterjacksonbusiness.com

UP

FRONT

BY JACK CRISS Publisher

Take this Job and Love It

I Volume 1 • Issue 5 Publisher/Editor Jack Criss Advertising Administrator Mindi Phillips Art Direction/Layout Pevey Creative gmpevey@bellsouth.net Columnists Jim Craig, Melia Dicker, Murray Harbor Contributing Writers Melia Dicker, Lynne Jeter, Mary Mack Jones, Tom Ramsey Photography Tom Beck, Jack Criss, Mary Mack Jones, Meredith Norwood, Jeff Sanders, Greg Pevey

Greater Jackson Business is published twelve times a year to promote Metro Jackson in an informative and positive manner. We welcome contributions of articles and photos; however, they will be subject to editing and availability of space and subject matter. Photographs, comments, questions, subscription requests and ad placement inquiries are invited! Return envelopes and postage must accompany all materials submitted if a return is requested. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Greater Jackson Business are those of the authors or columnists and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products or services herein. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement.

BUSINESS

Business News for Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties

P.O. Box 13665 • Jackson, MS 39236 Phone: 601-750-6587 email: jack@greaterjacksonbusiness.com www.greaterjacksonbusiness.com

s your job an extension of you, your personality, or do you consider your work a necessary evil? I know of too many people who, when pressed, would probably answer the latter. In today’s economy you certainly do what you have to do. And, in any job, there are aspects that may be less appealing and satisfying than others. Still, to literally loathe what you do for a living and to feel trapped is a situation that I think, increasingly, more people are finding themselves in these days. What to do? Let me first say that I get tired of the economic gurus with their constant advice to “follow your passion.” Be honest here: If you have a family, a mortgage, and the many bills that go along with both, you may not be able to quit your day job for dreams of becoming Eric Clapton. It’s just not realistic and it could very well be immoral and negligent. The ideal is to have a passion for the work you already find yourself doing or, at least, consider your current job a stepping stone to something better. But what if you don’t? I’m no Peter Drucker, but I would advise people in a work situation they are unhappy with to step back and examine why, specifically, they dislike what they do. Is there any redeeming quality in your job? Can you capitalize on that quality and see your work for what it really is? Yes, you may dislike your profession but does it give some benefit to your customers or clients? It probably does. That may not assuage your dislike but at least there’s some comfort to be taken from the fact that you’re doing something that benefits others. If you toil only for your paycheck and your favorite part of the job is vacation time, conduct a thought experiment and see if your work is really as bad as you think it is. Perhaps you’re just “burned” out as Coach Dick Vermeil was when he coined that phrase. Maybe you’re just going through a rough stretch that will soon straighten out. Ask yourself why you got in your current job in the first place and try to rekindle that commitment and excitement if it was there initially. If you’re young and starting

out in a low-level position that you don’t like, find out what opportunities might await you as you learn and progress: the ultimate rewards may be worth the hard work you put in now. Not to encourage martyrdom, but there is also something to be said about simply sticking it out. If other lives depend on what you do, hang in there – you have to. Look for the silver linings as I mentioned above and try to find something worthwhile in what you do. Obviously, if you are working now, somebody thinks enough of your service and skills to keep you around and partake of your product or creation. Try and be thankful for that. Of course, if you’re so adverse to your work that it’s giving you stomach ulcers, search the want ads. Go to the new “Job Board” on the Greater Jackson Business website at www. greaterjacksonbusiness.com and post your resume. Ask around to see if there is anything else out there you might want to do. Go back to school. Life is entirely too short to be miserable in what you do everyday. If you have enough saved up you might even consider joining the ranks of entrepreneur. It’s an up-anddown way of life but the rewards are great and plentiful when they hit. You could also consider what a number of individuals who don’t have the ideal day job are doing: They simply start on their second career when they get home at night. For these people, their “real” job finances what they really love to do and often there’s a second income involved, as well.  Think about it: could you turn that camera, paintbrush or guitar into a second, additional career? While “contentment” may not equal “passion,” there is something to be said for it in today’s economy. What’s really wrong with not being Tony Robbins, Jr. when you show up for work or to not burn constantly with creative energy at your desk? Who says you have to change the world everyday? I think it’s heroic enough to earn an honest living – whether by flipping burgers or chairing a corporation – and supporting your loved ones while providing a service. Hang in there. And let me know if I can help. - GJB

Greater Jackson Business - 3

4 - Greater Jackson Business

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Greater Jackson Business - 5

G J B

O P I N I O N

Democratic Education: Advancing Individuals, Businesses, and Communities  “We are currently preparing students for jobs and technologies that don’t yet exist in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.” – Karl Fisch age chose to leave school. Rates for black and Latino students nearly doubled those of white students. The report continues:

BY MELIA DICKER Contributing Writer

T

hink back to the time in your life right after you graduated from high school or college. Had school prepared you for making your own decisions and facing your own consequences? Had it prepared you to understand social issues and take action around the ones important to you?      My own answer is no. Even though I did everything that I was supposed to do in school, I found myself unprepared to be successful in my work life and personal life. In fact, I found that the habits that I’d developed to attain academic success – workaholism, perfectionism, and people-pleasing – made me unhappy once I left the academic bubble. I wish that my education had focused less on grades and scores and more on what really mattered: practical skills that I could use day to day, like financial management and networking, and the development of my autonomy. I wish my education had been more democratic — that is, that it had prepared me to be a citizen who could take the reigns of my own life and participate actively in the democratic society in which I live. The way I see it, I became a capable adult in spite of the education system, not because of it. I often ask myself, “Is the education system working for anyone?” Inarguably, the system is not working for students at the bottom of the heap. We’re all familiar with sobering statistics. The Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University found that in 2007 alone, 6.2 million students between 16 and 24 years of 6 - Greater Jackson Business

  Americans without a high school diploma have considerably lower earning power and job opportunities in today’s workforce. Due to their lower lifetime earnings and other sources of market incomes, dropouts will contribute far less in federal, state and local taxes than they will receive in cash benefits, in-kind transfers and correctional costs. Over their lifetimes, this will impose a net fiscal burden on the rest of society.” It might seem surprising, but the education system isn’t working for overachieving students, either. These so-called success story students are often stressed out, terrified of failure, and at a loss for meaning in their lives. Look at how many take medication for anxiety and depression, and how many are using layoffs as opportunities to finally pursue their passions. Employers aren’t benefiting from the current school system, either. A 2006 study by a consortium including the Society for Human Resource Management found that among the top qualities sought by employers are collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving, and work ethic. The report also found that fewer than 25 percent of young people recently hired are considered excellent in these areas.      Did you know that the American school system was developed in the 1800s during the Industrial Revolution, to train factory workers to the sound of bells and the commands of superiors? It’s scary, but it’s true. Now that our world is changing quickly and employees need to adapt and create, our factory-model education system is obsolete. It is in need of fundamental changes. In today’s schools, teachers and students alike are pressured to achieve high standardized test scores instead of fostering a love of learning and the self-determination to pursue it.

Employers say that the most important skills in the workplace include emotional intelligence, creative problem solving, and communication, which young people most certainly don’t develop by filling in bubbles with number 2 pencils. Why don’t we put away the Scantrons and let students gain skills they can actually use? If you think that I’m being idealistic, know that bright spots in American education already exist. For example, students in The Big Picture high schools around the country learn through apprenticeships in the community. In the K-12 Jefferson County Open School, students often take outdoor trips together and engage in peerto-peer teaching. The Fertile Grounds Project helps young people at risk of failing meet their graduation requirements through self-directed endeavors. Common threads of these schools are that they’re happening in public schools with socioeconomically diverse students, and that adults coach their students to develop the skills and confidence that help them thrive in the world – including the business world. Schools and programs in which young people feel valued and take meaningful leadership roles have shown higher graduation rates, academic performance, and a significant drop in youth violence. If we want to raise citizens who care about other people and work toward real democracy and sustainability, we must stop limiting education to the four walls of a classroom and build bridges with the community. This is the kind of education that I wish I’d had. Do you wish it for your children, and your grandchildren?   So what can you do? Be a student of democratic education yourself: Use your head Our country is supposed to be a democracy, based on participation and equal rights. Realize that a true democracy needs a thriving

Take responsibility      As community members, parents, and business people, we must all take responsibility for giving our children a real education—that is,

Melia Dicker is a co-founder and the Communications Director for IDEA, the Institute for Democratic Education in America (www. democraticeducation.org), a national nonprofit organization. An entrepreneur at heart, she is also the co-founder of Spark, a national apprenticeship program for middle school youth, and is the co-principal of Fresh Press Creative, a Jackson-based creative agency with a soul.

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Do your homework Learn more about methods of learning that go by names such as project-based or inquiry-based learning; they’re included in the term “democratic education” (www. democraticeducation.org). Make a point of knowing about local policies that affect the youth around you—and the community as a result—and stay current on national education policies if you can, because those affect local schools, too. A good introduction to 21st Century education is Dan Pink’s book Drive and Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talks online (www.ted. com/speakers/sir_ken_robinson.html), which discuss the need for creativity, critical thinking, and autonomy in the workplace and the connection to a more empowering educational experience.

a meaningful education. Do your part to bridge the disconnect between school and the working world, and between youth and adults. Talk with your own children about your work, and its relationship to what they’re learning in school. Host a field trip at your workplace, or mentor a young person through an apprenticeship (let community organizations like the Boys and Girls Club know that you’re available). Consider holding a Career Day event with members of your church or community business group, such as the Chamber of Commerce. In addition, get involved in change-making educational groups like the PTA at your local school, or organizations like Parents for Public Schools (www.parents4publicschools.com), that work to reform education policy and bring learning that matters into classrooms. At the very least, make a commitment to giving your children, and our community’s children, a more meaningful education than you had yourself. - GJB

Jo

education system that is accessible and free to all. Whether or not you choose to enroll your own children in public schools, it is important that public schools be places that are truly educating our population. Our communities are safer and healthier when all children are able to learn and thrive in the world.

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Greater Jackson Business - 7

GJB YOU SHOULD KNOW

Clinton artist demonstrates skill with a smile… Brenda Hinson brings out a contagious joy with her unique work

Brenda Hinson

BY JACK CRISS GJB Publisher

can make others feel the same way.” Mermaids, fish and elegant women make up the majority of Hinson’s subject matter and there’s a story behind every one of her paintings – you just have to ask. “The voluptuous women seen so often in my work represents my lifetime friend whom I name CeeGee, Carolina and others in various paintings…a composite,” Hinson explains. “She is very colorful, full of life’s excitement and is a great storyteller…any woman that I paint has that burst of color because that represents her personality,” Hinson says. She goes on to remark that she was first inspired to draw the “woman” because of being drawn to another painting of an equally colorful and glamorous female: “New Orleans Ladies” done by Kay Robinson. Hinson has the painting framed over her bed. “The lady in this particular piece of art by Kay, wearing a bright red hat, reminds me of our daughter, Stephenie,” Hinson says. It comes as a shock that Hinson was never

Y

ou won’t encounter an “Belle” artist’s ego when talking to Brenda Hinson. In fact, the Clinton native comes across as painfully shy when pressed to discuss her work. It’s almost incongruous, then, to actually view her art – primarily done in watercolor – and see the vivid colors and cheeky, playful subject matter that dominate her portfolio. Hinson’s work literally jumps off the canvas in rich, Impressionistic-styled tones: One can’t help but smile at her paintings and feel the sense of joy that she is trying to convey. That’s the point, Brenda Hinson says. “I do want to make people feel a sense of happiness when viewing my paintings,” the artist tells us, sitting amidst a slew of art supplies in her home studio, a sunroom overlooking the backyard of the house she shares with husband, Ron. “I’ve always described my work as whimsical,” Hinson goes on to say. “I paint what I like and what makes me happy and the hope is that it 8 - Greater Jackson Business

formally trained. She says, instead, that drawing and painting has just been a way of life for her from her earliest days. “I was four or five years old and I remember my father would  get me to sketch the old ‘artist ad,’ the one that used to run in magazines at the time, drawing a ladies head! I would do it for him and I was actually pretty good – I showed

some ability. My father would also get me to sketch biological specimens from the lab at UMC Department of Pharmacology where he worked,” Hinson recalls with a chuckle, “and I would gladly do it!” “In Jr. High School, I did take art class and really loved it,” Hinson adds, sharing that it “gave a sense of peace to my young life. My parents also sent me to the downtown YMCA, where the Old Capitol Inn is now, for Saturday painting classes and I remember going to Seabrook’s on North State for pottery wheel class.” About 10 years ago, Hinson says that she and a friend took a watercolor class at Millsaps which turned out to be a beneficial experience for her. “The class itself really involved more socializing than art,” she laughs, “but I really enjoyed taking it and it renewed my love of watercolor.” While comfortable working in several mediums, Hinson says that most of her paintings are done in watercolor. “It is what I do primarily but I have been using mixed medium and acrylics lately, as well,“ she says. “I paint almost every day and can’t stop some days once I get going, even drawing in bed before I go to sleep!” she laughs. “But when I get in those modes it may then be weeks before I start again. I try to run with my inspiration for as long as I can.” Hinson currently has her paintings on display at the Jackson Street Gallery in Ridgeland and will be the Artist of the Month at the Cups location in Flowood throughout June. Still, she remains incredibly modest about her work. “I consider myself a lighthearted artist trying to bring out the joy in my subjects,” she says unassumingly. While her approach might indeed be lighthearted, this lady’s art is anything but “light.” The name Brenda Hinson appears destined to rightfully join the ranks of great Mississippi artists and, in so doing, make those who view her work smile. What better gift – in today’s world – could an artist give? - GJB

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C R A I G ’ S C O R N E R

Do Unto Partners: The Golden Rule of Business Ownership

BY JIM CRAIG

Contributing Columnist

S

mall businesses are usually formed when people who know each other – as family, friends, acquaintances – decide to put their talents and savings together to pursue their dreams as a team. But what happens when the team spirit is lost? Consider these examples: CASE ONE: Paul and Rick are two mechanical engineers who grew up in Jackson. Their paths crossed in high school, but they got to know each other as friends in college. After graduation, they returned to Jackson and went to work for an established contractor. Five years later, they decided to strike out on their own. They formed a limited liability company and started bidding on jobs. Paul and Rick each used their trucks for the business; and now, with the business doing moderately well, they employ six others and also own a van and two other trucks. Sometimes, success is as difficult to deal with as failure. As Rick married and started a family, he worked just a bit less than he had before. At the same time, his financial needs escalated. The conflicting demands created resentments and disagreements: Paul felt that he was contributing more to the business, while Rick felt that he sacrificed more and needed a higher income. The solution seemed at hand when a general contractor met with the partners about a major project in Flowood. The three-year project would require more employees than the partners had on staff, but would provide a profit margin almost double their current rate. Paul and Rick spent long hours together working

10 - Greater Jackson Business

on their proposal for the Flowood project. But while the proposal was being drafted, Rick started to meet privately with the contractor, presenting a different plan: a new company owned solely by Rick would take on the Flowood project. Rick even formed the new corporation, and spoke to some of the employees about the prospect of higher pay and a small percentage of equity in the new company. After Memorial Day weekend, Paul went to the office to find two of the trucks and some of the equipment missing. Four employees were AWOL, and the others didn’t know what was going on. Repeated calls to Rick’s cell went unanswered. Later that day Rick e-mailed Paul, telling him that he was forming his own company and that they should go their separate ways. Only later did Paul learn that Rick’s new company would take on the Flowood project, to the exclusion of the former company. CASE TWO: Jack and Marie Smith have roots in Sharkey and Issaquena Counties and inherited land there on the banks of the Mississippi River. They were approached ten years ago by Tony Cicero, who claimed to be a developer of gaming ventures. Cicero told the Smiths that Ronald Frump, a fabulously wealthy real estate magnate with notoriously bad hair, was thinking about establishing a riverside casino north of Vicksburg. Cicero convinced the Smiths to join him in forming a corporation which would lease their land for a nominal amount and then sublease it to Frump. The Smiths would own 40% of the shares of the new corporation, and Cicero the remaining 60%. The rent on the sublease would be a percentage of the casino’s profits. The casino opened five years ago, but the Smiths have been paid less than $100,000 in dividends on their 40% share of the corporation. After months of wrangling and lawyer “nasty-grams,” the Smiths have learned that Frump has actually paid their corporation almost Three Million Dollars in rent. But, the corporation’s records claim that Cicero, as President and CEO, has spent $2,500,000 in alleged company “expenses.” These expenses include a box in the Superdome for the New Orleans Saints and scores of trips

on private jets. When confronted about this, Cicero claims that the expenses were necessary to develop new business interests for their corporation. Sweat the Small Stuff: Formalities Matter One problem in both of these cases is that the corporate formalities required by law have not been followed. Limited liability companies, like the one owned by Paul and Rick, can operate a bit more informally than a business corporation like the one owned by Cicero and the Smiths. But an “LLC” is required by Miss. Code Ann. § 79-29-107(1) to keep the following records: (a) a current list of the full name and last known street address of each member and manager; (b) a copy of the certificate of formation and all certificates of amendment and restatement thereof, together with executed copies of any powers of attorney pursuant to which any certificate has been executed; (c) copies of any then effective limited liability company agreement; and (d) unless contained in the certificate of formation or the limited liability company agreement, a writing setting out: (i) the amount of cash and a description and statement of the agreed value of the other property or services contributed by each member and which each member has agreed to contribute; (ii) the times at which or events on the happening of which any additional contributions agreed to be made by each member are to be made; and (iii) any events upon the happening of which the limited liability company is to be dissolved and its affairs wound up. If Rick and Paul had maintained such records, they would be in a position to know which assets were their individual property, and which had been contributed to the business. Our second case demonstrates even more pitfalls from lack of proper corporate documentation. There is no indication that Cicero and the Smiths have had any Board of Directors meetings to establish policies for the corporation, or to approve or ratify the transactions that Cicero claims are “ex-

penses” of the business. Nor is there any indication that Cicero, as President and CEO, has maintained accounting records. These documents are required by Miss. Code Ann. § 79-4-16.01: (a) A corporation shall keep as permanent records minutes of all meetings of its shareholders and board of directors, a record of all actions taken by the shareholders or board of directors without a meeting, and a record of all actions taken by a committee of the board of directors in place of the board of directors on behalf of the corporation. (b) A corporation shall maintain appropriate accounting records. It is often difficult, in a small business, to convince your partner(s) (or yourself) that you need to maintain the proper records required by law. When all is going well, and you are focused on providing the goods and services that put bread on your table, taking time out for “corporate meetings” or keeping “corporate records” just sounds like timewasting technicalities. But these records are essential to being able to resolve disputes and differences that may – no, WILL – come up along the way. Do Unto Your Partner(s): The Rule of Good Faith But having accurate and agreed-upon information is just the first step in resolving our cases. Mississippi law requires the managers of limited liability companies, and the officers and directors of business corporations, to act in “good faith” toward their

company. In the limited liability company case, if Rick is using the company’s property for purposes that are not in the company’s best interests, he may be subject to liability under Miss. Code Ann. § 79-29-402: (1) A manager shall discharge his duties as a manager: (a) In good faith; (b) With the care an ordinarily prudent person in a like position would exercise under similar circumstances; and (c) In a manner he reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the limited liability company. Similarly, Cicero is bound by Miss. Code Ann. §79-4-8.30, which requires: (a) Each member of the board of directors, when discharging the duties of a director, shall act: (1) In good faith, and (2) In a manner the director reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the corporation. Both of these statutes incorporate general principles which have long been part of Mississippi corporate law. Even though Rick owns 50% of the limited liability company, and Cicero owns 60% of the business corporation, they both have duties to the company itself and to their fellow owners. Although a limited liability company is distinct from a corporation, the two entities in our two cases are both close corporations, as defined by the Mississippi Supreme Court:

This case involves dissention among shareholders in a close corporation. A close corporation is a business entity with few shareholders, the shares of which are not publicly traded. The [Model Act supplement] defines it as a corporation having 50 or fewer members. Management typically operates in an informal manner, more akin to a partnership than a corporation. Fought v. Morris, 543 So. 2d 167, 169 (Miss. 1989). I am proud to say that the writer of this watershed opinion was Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson, who is one of my law partners at Phelps Dunbar. As usual, Justice Anderson cut through technicalities to find the most practical and equitable solution to disputes in small business organizations. As Justice Anderson explained, the owners of a close corporation, whether they be “members” of a limited liability company or “shareholders” of a business corporation, are essentially partners who must trust each other and rely on each other. In such a close, fiduciary relationship, a small business co-owner is held to a higher standard than would be the case of directors or shareholders in a publicly-held corporation: We recognize that often close corporations consist of friends or family members where the directors, officers and shareholders are synonymous. Each contributes his or her capital, skill, experience and labor to the company. Management and ownership are virtually identical. Each shareholder has an inside view of the company’s operations and maintains an element of trust and confidence in each other which is commonly lacking in a large or publicly-held corporation. Persons involved in a close corporation should act, therefore, at all times in good faith toward each other and the corporation in order to maintain this confidence. [T]herefore, in a close corporation where a majority stockholder stands to benefit as a controlling shareholder, the majority’s action must be “intrinsically fair” to the minority interest. Fought, 543 So. 2d at 171. These statutes and case law make our cases pretty simple. Whether partners in a partnership, members of a limited liability company, or shareholders in a corporation, the co-owners of a close corporation must apply the Golden Rule: do unto your partner(s) as you would have them do unto you. Rick, and Tony Cicero, are obligated to use their position to benefit their business partners – not just themselves. How hard is that to understand? - GJB Jim Craig is a partner in the Jackson office of Phelps Dunbar LLP, where he represents businesses in commercial and customer litigation at trial and on appeal. The views in his columns are his, not Phelps Dunbar’s. Jim can be reached at jim@greaterjacksonbusiness.com Greater Jackson Business - 11

C O V E R S T O R Y

Lumpkins BBQ: Bringing great food and business fellowship to Metro from South Jackson BY MELIA DICKER Contributing Columnist

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t’s close to noon on a Wednesday, and the lunchtime rush is in full swing. The crowd comes in groups, some in work shirts, others in office slacks, and moves toward a buffet that smells heavenly. This bustling restaurant isn’t in downtown Jackson, or Fondren. It’s in South Jackson, near the intersection of Highway 80 and I-20. Lumpkins BBQ may be off the beaten path for some, but the $8 allyou-can-eat buffet promises a satisfying midday meal. Freshly made Southern fare like fried chicken, cornbread dressing, and most of all, Lumpkins’ signature smoked beef brisket and barbecued ribs promise to leave even the hungriest diner contentedly full.   “Hey, what’s goin’ on?” Owners Monique and Melvin Davis call out to people walking in the door with a smile of recognition, bantering with them and sometimes even sitting down at the tables to chat. Enthusiastic and easy to laughter, the Davises seem to treat everyone like family. Transplants from Washington, D.C., Monique and Melvin have put down serious roots in South Jackson since they opened Lumpkins three years ago. Despite the challenges of opening a new restaurant in a new city, and in a part of town that is still developing, they have made a name for Lumpkins through the quality of their food and their extensive outreach to a diverse clientele. Through a spirit of partnership with other local businesses, they are committed to revitalizing South Jackson for the good of the city as a whole. Melvin and Monique Davis Building Networks in a New Town When Melvin took an early retirement from Verizon, he decided that he wanted to own a business, and a restaurant was the natural choice given the culinary expertise of Monique’s father, Benjamin Lumpkin (the inspiration behind the name and logo). Throughout his life, Benjamin had owned different restaurants around the country, all centered on barbecue, and had catered events for the Congressional Black Caucus and the White House. Seeking a slower pace of life than that of D.C., as well as cheaper real estate, the Davises decided to locate their restaurant in Jackson. They both had family from Mississippi, and Melvin had inherited a family farm in Hazlehurst. In South Jackson, they found a 6,000 square foot

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building where they could envision the restaurant. It was close to the Interstate, and the 1.39 acres that it was built on would provide room to expand in the future.   While still living in D.C., the Davises discovered that it wasn’t easy to open a restaurant in Jackson, especially from a distance. Even though they had a detailed business plan, $100K in cash, and good credit, they found that Southern banks didn’t loan money easily – particularly to strangers. On top of that, banks avoid loaning money to restaurants in general, Monique says, because of their low profit margins compared to other types of businesses. The Davises decided to mortgage some of their assets in D.C. in order to buy the building that would house Lumpkins. Once the Davises had succeeded in opening the restaurant, they used a variety of techniques to get the word out about their new restaurant – including advertisements in newspapers, radio, and television – and found that good old word of mouth was most effective, particularly in the South. “Relationships are so important in Jackson, and we didn’t have the relationships when we got here,” says Monique. But she and Melvin worked hard to build them, and to introduce their food to new people, by attending every community market and event possible. They became regulars at farmer’s markets, festivals, and fairs, and they donated their food or sold it at cost to community events such as HeARTS Against AIDS and Pickin’ and Paddlin’. “Most times we go to these events, we’re the only African Americans in the room,” says Melvin. “A lot don’t get invited or don’t accept the invitation.” From what they’ve heard from other business owners, some hesitate to give away their products, even for advertising purposes. Strategic giving and participation, however, have worked for Lumpkins. “I think what’s brought people in more than anything is our presence at these community events,” Monique says, “and Facebook.” One ongoing challenge has been getting people who don’t live or work in South Jackson to come there to eat. “Customer retention has never been our issue, because we have a really good product,” says Monique. “The issue has been to change people’s perceptions to get them to come in and try it.”  “Most people think that when you cross Highway 80, your head’s going to explode or something,” says Melvin, who says that the neighborhood See LUMPKINS - Page 14

C O V E R S T O R Y

Randy Tinney and Creative Media: Shooting from the hip for the Metro business community BY MARY MACK JONES Contributing Columnist

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ward winning videographer, producer, editor and writer, Randy Tinney knows his way around in the world of communications. Since his graduation from Auburn with a degree in communications and journalism, Tinney has run the gamut of experience in his chosen field. Having recently taken the plunge into the deep water of entrepreneurship with his new venture-Creative Media – Tinney is earning his sea legs and charting his course through new territory. No one is more prepared to take the risk inherent in a startup company than Tinney, whose resume attests to his skill and experience as a seasoned communications expert. His interest in broadcasting and video production began back in high school in Fort Walton Beach, Fl, where he dreamed of a career as a disc jockey. At Pensacola Junior College he gained some hands-on broadcasting experience while working as a production assistant for the campus television and radio station. Foregoing the fantasy of spinning the top forty, he set his sights on broadcasting and moved on to Auburn where he eventually graduated with a degree in communications and journalism.  After graduation he was hired by a Columbus Georgia  television station as a Reporter/ Morning Anchor  and worked his way up over the years to  producer and main news anchor in South Carolina – a career path that enhanced his skill at dealing with the realities of a fast-paced environment that often demanded quick decisions and responses. It was 1981 when Tinney made the move Randy Tinney to Mississippi and landed  at WJTV  in the Jackson area as Weekend News anchor/reporter. He accepted a position with Southern Farm Bureau Life in 1989 to create a video production department for the company. For 15 years he scripted and produced training and marketing videos and a quarterly News Program for use within the company. Honing his creative skills as a writer and learning the ropes of the business, he found that his presentations often focused on the human angle while training employees in the art of marketing an intangible product. The personal touch is the hallmark of much of Tinney’s gift for creating appealing material that resonates with his clients. In 2004 he began a new job at Mississippi Public Broadcasting as

executive producer managing the development of live programs.  “I did the first Conerly Football show – a live production for awarding top state collegiate athletes which I produced for three years. I also managed the live mobile production unit for offsite locations,” says Tinney. “I am not really a techie like so many others in that business. I like to point and shoot—a little more on the creative edge, I guess.” After 8 months in that spot, he was offered the position of Communications Director where he would oversee on air promotions, outreach,  the website and art department, as well as the traffic department and archives. For most creative people, the road to career satisfaction is never a straight line. More often than not the path follows twists and turns and is accompanied by coincidence and opportunity coming from unlikely places. When Facebook hit the internet several years ago, Tinney found the social networking site to be a gold mine for re-establishing relationships with former friends and business contacts. After months of networking, he was encouraged by the support of friends and business associates to make the leap of faith and do what he did best. Creative Media, his new company, was designed to offer quality video production in a professional mode to small business people at an affordable price. “There are lots of high-end video producers in the Jackson area, but they come with a price. I target the midrange market and can produce a creative, captivating and interesting product for the small business person,” remarks Tinney. “I have been pleased and gratified by the people who have told me that now is the right time for a business like mine.” One of his current projects is collaborating with Results Revolution, a marketing webcast focusing on promoting small business networking.  Owners Marianna and Andy Chapman host weekly interviews via internet webcast with local small business people to reveal their marketing success stories. The program encourages small business owners and offers advice on various marketing topics. Tinney provides the necessary video and editing equipment for the productions and finds that his efforts have introduced him to a host of contacts in the Greater Jackson business community. Capitalizing on this niche market, Tinney is having fun providing  his years of broadcasting and video production experience to other small business’s in the form of   training and marketing, programming, website clips, and other small business applications. “ I can’t really define what I do in tight terms,” he laughs. “I will shoot most anything—as long as it’s legal!” See CREATIVE - Page 14 Greater Jackson Business - 13

LUMPKINS - Continued from Page 12 is actually fairly quiet. Collaboration Over Competition Monique and Melvin have made a point of building close relationships not only with their clients, but also with other business owners. “I tell people, ‘You know, just because you’re in the food business doesn’t make you my competition,” says Melvin. “The more successful restaurants we can get in Jackson, the stronger (Jackson) is going to be.” The Davises prefer to collaborate, through cross promotions and partnerships, than to compete. For example, F. Jones Corner serves a Lumpkins pulled pork sandwich, and Lumpkins carries flyers for the restaurant; they are also happy to lend supplies to neighboring businesses should they find themselves short. As relatively new business owners, Monique and Melvin also seek guidance from seasoned professionals. They have found “foodie mentors” in Al Stamps and Jeff Good; Grady Griffin of the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association is also helping them fine-tune their buffet. A Vision for “SoJa” Monique has a vision for a thriving South Jackson, or “SoJa,” as she calls it. “This is the ideal ground for a new arts community, because there is so much cheap, empty space here,” Monique says, pounding the table for emphasis on each word. “I mean, that was the basis of SoHo – abandoned industrial facilities.”  “I’d love to see a bookstore there, or a coffee shop,” she says, pointing across the street from Lumpkins. Currently, Monique is collaborating with Neil Polen of Jackson Community Design Center to decide what to do with the old Coca-Cola plant behind Lumpkins. The Davises, who have had challenges finding good help to bolster their small staff, are also developing a program called YES Jackson: Young Entrepreneurs of South Jackson, to teach business skills to middle school students in the neighborhood. “I’m really committed to this area,” she says. She believes that the kind of renaissance that Fondren experienced must also happen in South Jackson. “Jackson won’t be whole until all of Jackson is whole,” she says.   Lumpkins BBQ is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday, and on Sunday. Find them online at www.lumpkinsbbq.com or at 601-373-7707. - GJB CREATIVE - Continued from Page 13 “The internet has changed the face of things. Everyone is going to need a video presence on the web to showcase ‘who they are’ and what they offer,” he adds. “That’s where I come in. I am amazed at the generosity of my fellow business owners and how enthusiastic they have been in promoting me. There are lots of good people in this community who are willing to invest in the success of fellow business people.” Creative Media is dedicated to providing quality video production at an affordable price on many media platforms. These include marketing, training, advertising, special events documentation, entertainment and web site media. Most importantly Creative Media is interested in developing relationships that promote community and local business. Contact Randy Tinney at (601) 622-4009 and visit Creative Media on Facebook. - GJB

Visit us online at www.greaterjacksonbusiness.com 14 - Greater Jackson Business

Greater Jackson Business - 15

FLOWOOD Taking Care of Business (Part II of a Two-Part City Focus) By Jack Criss Publisher

The campus of University of Phoenix which recently opened a branch in Flowod.

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t’s not hard getting a Flowood  businessman or woman to make a positive comment about the city they work in. You just simply have to ask. “I have enjoyed watching Flowood grow over the years with all its new developments that makes everything so convenient,” says Ty Robinson, Branch Manager for the Trustmark Bank location at Dogwood.  “Flowood has taken on the ’big’ city look, but still maintains that small town community feel. Seeing my customers at the local grocery stores, restaurants and community events has helped me build stronger business relationships. “In addition, most of the businesses in the area are active Chamber members and are always willing to show their support. I can remember when opening the branch just four short years ago, there was an overwhelming response of support from the local businesses in the area,” Robinson continues. Regarding the local Chamber, Robinson says, “The Flowood Chamber is a great organization that has grown tremendously over the years. It serves as an outstanding platform for various networking opportunities and allows you to promote your business through community service. I 16 - Greater Jackson Business

am an active Flowood Diplomat and currently serving as CoChair for the Promotions & Events committee.” Jim Sheble is the Vice President and General Manager of Nucor Steel, Jackson, which is located in Flowood. Sheble has been a visible and vocal supporter of the city since December of 2002 when the Nucor facility opened. “You have to start with Mayor Gary Rhoads,” Sheble says. “He’s really been a Godsend. When Nucor first came here he welcomed us with open arms and has been a pro-business and positive mayor in every aspect. Whenever we need help with an issue or have questions that need answering, Mayor Rhoads steps up to provide a solution.” Nucor Steel is a mini-mill that produces steel and is a world class producer of merchant bar and reinforcing bar products. The Nucor Jackson mill is also the largest scrap recycler in our area. The company employs some 254 workers with a majority that live in Rankin County, Sheble says. A Kansas City, Kansas native, Sheble started with Nucor in 1988 and worked his way up from sales and various other positions to General Manager in Flowood. While the sluggish economy has affected Nucor like every other business, Sheble says there has been some recovery so far

Ty Robinson standing, and Cassandra Ross Trustmark Bank

in 2010. “But Nucor has a ‘No layoff ’ policy,” Sheble says, “so while there have been some off periods in our business we will not fire anyone due to lack of business. There may be a cut-back in hours but, so far, even that has not happened here in Flowood.” Sheble says that part of the Nucor culture is to give back to the community where plants are located. “Our people participate in many fundraising and local events here in the Metro and it’s heartwarming for me to see,” Sheble says. “Our employees put into practice the community stewardship that Nucor has always stood for and promoted.”

now so I know the community well.” Jackson Prep is an independent, co-ed college preparatory school enrolling students in grades six through twelve. Located on a 74acre campus, Jackson Prep is also the largest independent secondary school in Mississippi currently enrolling 770 students. When asked about the significance of Jackson Prep being located in Flowood, Lindsay does not hide her enthusiasm. “I can’t tell you enough good things about being in Flowood,” she says. “This area has grown so much in the time we’ve been here. It still amazes me how far this city has come. Not only is the location great for our school but the support we receive from the Mayor and his staff is unparalleled. Response time from the City has always been impeccable and I don’t know what we would do without the strong relationship we share with City employees. It is a real partnership.” Jackson Prep also impacts Flowood, Lindsay says. “While we get tremendous support from the City, we also support them as well. It’s interesting to note how many of the people who have students here actually live in Flowood or are active in this community, whether it be through civic and business groups, but also economically: these people shop and eat here in Flowood. There is a definite economic impact from Prep on the city, as well, and we’re proud of that fact.” (For more information on Jackson Prep, please go to www.jacksonprep.net). Another educational jem located in Flowood is University Christian School. Pam Ulrich, who is the Headmaster of University Christian, gives credit to Jackson Prep for paving the way for helping to open the doors in Flowood for the soon-to-be twenty year old

Susan Lindsay Jackson Prepatory School

University Christian provides, starting early on and continuing along a hierarchy. But, it’s not all math, science, etc. It’s also about foreign languages, enrichment programs for all of our students, the fine arts, character and values; we provide all of these types of important educational opportunities. Plus, all of this is provided in a safe environment which is another aspect that we stress here.” As regards Flowood, Ulrich is especially pleased with the diligence of the City’s Police Department. “Officers visit our campus frequently just to check on us and see that everything is alright,” Ulrich says, “and that

It’s not hard getting a Flowood  businessman or woman to make a positive comment about the city they work in. You just simply have to ask. “We’re very proud to be a part of Flowood,” Sheble says. “The goal and hope is to possibly expand our operations here at some point and we’re looking at niches to explore. Whatever we come up with, there’s no doubt that the City of Flowood will support us.” (For more information, please go to www.nucorsteel. com) Susan Lindsay, Head of School at Jackson Preparatory School in Flowood, has been at Prep since the school’s founding 40 years ago, starting as a teacher. She became the Head of School five years ago and has witnessed tremendous growth at the esteemed private school. “I have a history with this school and I’m very proud of it,” Lindsay says. “I’ve even taught a lot of the parents of students who are here

school. Ulrich, who once had her own children enrolled in University Christian, has been with the school for 19 years, the last six of those as Headmaster. Chartered by a group of pastors, parents and business leaders, Ulrich says that the school’s explicit Christian foundation is University Christian School’s niche in the Metro education market. 95% of the school’s students are Rankin County residents, Ulrich says, and the school goes from ages three to 12th grade with total enrollment of 315 students. University Christian also boasts a strong athletic department. “Education-wise, we offer an extremely sound academic program,” Ulrich says. “All of our 12th graders go on to college which is due to the level and quality of knowledge

means the world to us. They know us all personally and that is a great connection for the faculty and students here. The Mayor and the City also help us promote our student leaders with banquets and awards ceremonies; that kind of recognition means so much to University Christian.” (For more information on University Christian School, please go to www. Universitychristianschool.org). The City of Flowood continues to thrive in many aspects and, according to all the various community leaders GJB surveyed, it is primarily due to a strong and committed City Government coupled with a positive environment for businesses to grow and prosper within. For more information on Flowood, please go to www.greaterjacksonbusiness.com and www.flowoodchamber.com - GJB Greater Jackson Business - 17

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Greater Jackson Business - 19

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F L O W O O D

Flowood: It’s the People...

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eople often ask me about Flowood.  Maybe it’s because I get to talk to hundreds of people who own businesses in Flowood, and I have gotten to know many of them quite well.  You see, I host a radio show on WLEZFM.COM called “ Focus on Flowood”, where guests come to the show and tell me all about their businesses and how they feel

about Flowood.  After 100+ interviews, my findings are in line with theirs.  I can say that Flowood is progressive.  It is welcoming.  It is resourceful.  It is engaging.  It is active and living.  You know why?  It is the people.   

BY BRYAN ADAMS Contributing Columnist

While an argument can be made that this should define any city of people, I can argue that it is exactly what sets Flowood apart from many other zipcodes I have visited.  The people of Flowood are just different.  I don’t mean THEY are different.  I mean that they have picked up on the vibe, the leadership, the “flow” of Flowood.  You know, that inherent beat that drives the music of a city.    New Orleans has that – you know, the beat.  Chicago has it;  Atlanta and Dallas too.  But Flowood?  Why?  After lots of thought, I can land on this.  The people and leadership have agreed on something: they are going to be part of something ‘great’.  Not ok.  Not mediocre.  Not surburbville.  No.  That is all over the United States.  I really think that Mayor Rhoads and his team have set the bar high.  The Chamber picked up on this and is progressive in driving visitors to work, stay, play and shop in Flowood.  Websites like www.visitFlowood.com are actively encouraging internet searchers to shop and visit there.  Radio and TV stations and print media like the Flowood Compass are constantly talking about it.    Sure, there are more than 1200 great businesses and eateries here.  Yes, there are some of the best doctors and practioners in the nation helping the hurting there.  Yes, it has one of the most beautiful golf courses around....but there is still the people.  They are charismatic.  They are magnetic.  They are sure that what they have is valuable.  They know it is special.  And, get one of the residents to talk about the schools, churches, or athletic groups well, you may as well sit somewhere comfortable.  They are about to start bragging.    Why?  I think they know.  Do you?  VisitFlowood.com or call the Flowood Chamber and get a visitors’ package.  Move there.  Fall in love.  Make a new friend.  Visit the library.  Talk to the Fire Chief or Chief of Police.  Get a cup of coffee and sit down.  Listen.  You hear it?  It is calling you.  Go once you’ll see what I mean.  Go twice you’ll take a friend.  See ya there!   Bryan Adams is the producer of, “Focus on Flowood”, a community radio program heard on WLEZ FM 100.1 and is owner of VisitFlowood.com

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IT’S ALLIN FLOWO OD! work! • play! • SHOP! • live!

ADCAMP, Inc. American Public Life Insurance AT&T Avanti Travel Back Yard Burgers BancorpSouth Bank of Yazoo BankFirst BankPlus Belk-Dogwood Festival Best Buy Best Western Inn & Suites Blaylock Fine Art Photography Cirlot Agency City of Flowood Comcast Spotlight Community Bank Corner Bakery Cafe Crossgates River Oaks Hospital CUPS

Dish One Dubois Dozer & Dirt El Potrillo Mexican Restaurant El Sombrero Mexican Grill Entergy Ergon Fernando’s Mexican Restaurant Global Sector ServicesIts Greater Jackson Business Magazine OnSaleFlowood.com JCPenney Lowe’s of Flowood M&F Bank MEA Medical Clinic-Castlewoods Mississippi College NUCOR Steel Jackson Papitos Mexican Restaurant Pennington & Trim Alarm Services Pickering Firm, Inc.

A Special “Thanks” To All Our Chamber Sponsors.

Players Audio Video Rankin First Foundation Rankin County Board of Supervisors Regions Bank Reservoir Investment Group Rick’s Pro Truck Tire & Wheel Supercenter River Oaks Hospital River Room Conference Center Schlotzsky’s Deli Service Printers, Inc. Solar Control of Jackson The Strength Center Physical Therapy The Winning Smile Trio Medi Spa & Salon Trustmark Bank Univerity Physicians, PLLC VisitFlowood.com WAPT Channel 16 Woman’s Hospital

601-932-8007

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Greater Jackson Business - 25

F L O W O O D

Rainey Scott and the Flowood Compass: Local Publisher Tracks City’s Progress An interview with GJB Publisher Jack Criss GJB: When and why did you start the Flowood Compass? Scott: We’re now in our fifth year of service to the Flowood community.  I started The Flowood Compass for several reasons - my wife and I moved to this area in 1981, and we saw Flowood grow up from a tiny town to a really vibrant community.  The media had only paid passing attention to Flowood, and I saw an opportunity to help the city build it’s identity and promote itself.  At the same time, we saw Flowood become the kind of place that we’d want to retire in someday, so we decided to make it our permanent home.  That gave us more incentive to help the community grow and improve. GJB: How many copies do you distribute throughout the Flowood area? Scott: We average about 10,000 copies per issue, and distribute them for free through about 250 local locations.  Going by national averages for free-press publications with our distribution methods, we estimate our readership to be around 200,000 annually, because each magazine is typically read by several people. 26 - Greater Jackson Business

GJB: As a local publisher, what are the main things that you think make this community unique? Scott: Flowood is successful because it’s leadership made a long-term plan for growth – and followed it.   It’s no accident that we’re a focus for healthcare, retail and service businesses.  Those industries were encouraged to get established here years ago as part of a long-term vision for growing the city’s infrastructure.  That investment made it easier for Flowood to provide excellent police and fire protection for our residents, and superior schools for our kids. GJB: What do you regard as the best part of your job? Scott: Without doubt, it’s the number of wonderful people that I’ve gotten to know.  Before The Compass, my career didn’t involve me with the public much, and our circle of friends was pretty small.  I remarked to my wife recently that 90% of the people we know we’ve met since the magazine started.  The Compass has really transformed our personal lives - we’re blessed with far more friends than we’d ever have known without it. - GJB

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C O M M U N I T Y W O R K S

A.R.F.: The Animals need your Help An interview with Elizabeth “Pippa” Jackson, Executive Director of A.R.F. GJB: What does A.R.F. stand for and what kind of organization is it? A non-profit? JACKSON: Animal Rescue Fund of Mississippi.  Yes we are a 501c3 non profit, which means all donations are tax deductible.  We survive on donations. We receive no governmental assistance, and grants are few and far between.  The monthly cost of running the shelter right now (excluding medical care) is approximately $15,000 per month. GJB: How did you come to start ARF and why? What was your background? JACKSON: I started ARF in 2005. I had been passively rescuing for years.  When I would come across a dog or cat needing help I would assist the animal. But then when I would call one of the two shelters then in existence, the answer would always be the same: the no-kill shelter was full, and the other shelter could not guarantee that the animal I had rescued from the throes of death would not then be killed.  I would subsequently go on the path looking for a safe home for the most recent rescue.  Then Hurricane Katrina hit and I worked at the shelter setting up at the State Fairgrounds for the animals affected by the storm. Many of the animals had family staying in one of the human shelters, but there was a collection that came from Waveland, Mississippi animal control and had no where to go after we shut down the facility.  I lobbied to have them turned over to ARF.   We had recently become a 501c3 and my work at that facility, along with the endorsement of various veterinarians, provided the State Vet the information he needed to have those animals placed in ARF care.   GJB: There are several Metro organizations devoted to rescuing animals. What is different about ARF? JACKSON: Yes, there are several in the Metro area, and I personally feel that there should be more.  Some disagree with me because we are all trying to raise funds from the same pool of people who care about animals enough to donate.  We all survive on donations.  However, rather than look at how we are different, I try to look at how we are alike.  We are all working 28 - Greater Jackson Business

to help the helpless. We may go about it in different ways, but our hearts are all in the same place. GJB: Why would an individual choose to adopt a pet from ARF? What is the difference? JACKSON: I have the best rescues!  (laughs) .  Actually anyone looking to add a pet to the family should always look to adopt rather than purchase.  As long as people purchase, the business of reproducing animals for profit will continue. And as long as there are animals in shelters, no one should purchase an animal. 

Animals die each day because of over population – we don’t have to be a society that allows animals to die because of others having them reproduce for profit.  Additionally, in Mississippi, we have no laws for license of breeders, therefore there are unscrupulous people out there misrepresenting what they are selling.  Don’t BUY – ADOPT – from any shelter! Oftentimes, if I don’t have the particular fit for a family, I refer them to the other organizations. GJB: Do you accept individual and corporate contributions? How would someone help ARF? JACKSON: Yes, we happily accept donations from corporations and individuals.  As I said earlier, it is quite costly to run this facility, and

we have tons of growth ahead of us. Improvements we need to make, medical needs to attend, and it all takes money.  We work to obtain grants, enter challenges for funding from animal welfare groups and have change buckets at various businesses. We look for support in every nook and cranny. GJB: How many animals do you currently have up for adoption? What is the usual number at any given time? JACKSON: Currently we have approximately 100 dogs/puppies and 20 cats.  Our cat numbers are low because we don’t currently have a cat facility. We have to find foster homes for cats and right now we only have about five such foster homes.  Do the math: that’s a lot of cats per household.  The number stays constant.  We can’t house more than that right now and as soon as one goes out, another is waiting to come in. We just this week took in a sweet bassett mix who had been waiting for over four months to come in.  Her rescuer agreed to house her until we had room. GJB: The job must be both rewarding, frustrating and sad at the same time… JACKSON: It is. There are so many sweet, heartwarming incidents during the day. Working with these dogs and cats provides one with instant gratification and unconditional love. I need lots of both.  The frustrating part comes from dealing with people.  People can be so very callous and ill-informed.  The most frustrating are the people who want us to take the puppies their female dog has had; we ask them if they are going to get her spayed and they say “Oh no, that costs too much.” However they expect us to take on the expense of the puppies that their irresponsibility has caused.  Or they respond that altering the dog will “change “ its’ personality.  The people frustrate me, not the animals.   But, just when you think that humanity has reached the bottom of the bucket, you come across some passionate/compassionate soul who also cares, does something remarkable and restores your faith in mankind once again. - GJB

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BY MURRAY L. HARBOR Contributing Columnist

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e hear about large companies offering wellness programs to their employees in the media and in industry publications. But what is available for the small business besides the programs offered by the insurance carrier? In this article, I will share some  free to low-cost strategies that any small business can use to promote health and wellness to its employees. Research suggests that worksites need to offer positive and supportive healthy workplaces. This is done through environmental and policy supports including offering a tobacco-free workplace, access to healthy foods, places to be physically active, and workspaces that are positive and supportive of employee growth and development. A tobacco-free workplace is one of the key strategies in reducing health-related costs now and in the future. Tobacco usage is linked to most of the leading causes of death in the United States. There are many free resources in Mississippi that small business can use to help employees and their families stop using tobacco including the Mississippi Quit-line and the ACT Center at UMMC. Access to healthy foods includes offering healthy choices in vending machines, having a healthy catering policy, and promoting local restaurants who offer healthier fare. Showing employees how to pack healthy lunches, prepare healthy recipes, and promoting farmers markets are simple and easy strategies. The Mississippi State Department of Health offers some great links to healthy foods and nutrition resources in the nutrition health tool kit atwww.healthyms.com.  Small employers can offer places to be physically active such as safe walking routes around the workplace and discounts to local health fitness facilities.The Downtown Jackson Partners has mapped out and marked safe routes for those working in Downtown Jackson.  Most of the health fitness providers in the Jackson area have corporate discounted rate programs. Partnering with these facilities is also a way to provide an offering for the employee’s families. Promoting local walks and running races is another way to promote family activity. For those interested in learning how to walk further or becoming a runner, Fleet Feet in Ridgeland offers a training program for everyone. When holding a company picnic have it in one of the many great local or state parks we have in the area. Managing stress in the workplace is a concern for businesses small and large. It comes down to creating a culture of health and wellness. Leaders such as owners, managers and supervisor are the key in fostering a positive attitude at work.  Ongoing training and development of leaders is a key part of preparing them to be a supportive leader. Having resources available for employees and their families to access during difficult times such as an Employee Assistance Program is a very cost-effective strategy. Kip Bowen, Director of Baptist Health System’s EAP states, “Companies that offer confidential counseling to their employees through an Employee Assistance Program do so for two reasons; 1) it is the right thing to do, and 2) to give employees a way to deal with a wide variety of issues including emotional and behavior disorders, family, marital, and parenting issues. The financial benefits as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor report that for every dollar invested in an EAP, a company will save from $5 to $16.” Small businesses can offer healthy areas for employees. Start by having a clutter free break room, places to relax, and healthy snacks. Be sure to promote the health-related benefits including health insurance, cafeteria plans, and employee discount. Use some of the resources mentioned in this article. Be creative and ask your employees what would make a healthier and supportive workplace for them. Communicating with employees and taking small simple steps can reap big rewards! - GJB

Greater Jackson Business - 33

If you can’t be there, we can. She’s one fastball away from victory, and when she lets it go, the crowd’s gonna go wild. But if you can’t be there cheering in the stands, you can still make sure that she knows you believe in her. Farm Bureau Insurance has a wide range of life insurance policies that can meet your family’s needs, so you can help her feel like a winner, no matter what happens.

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34 - Greater Jackson Business

Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS


Greater Jackson Business, Volume 1, Issue 5