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Being new to the CSRA, Julie Swearingen, University Development Representative for Grand Canyon University, is seeking ways to connect with businesses in the area. She found that at the 1st annual B2B Expo and Conference. “There were a lot of types of businesses here, which inspires more creativity in who I reach out to,” Swearingen said. “And the speakers were amazing. They’ve inspired and energized me, and sparked a few new ideas.” Swearingen was one of more than 200 area business leaders who attended the all-day B2B Expo on Oct. 19 at The Foundry at Rae’s Creek. The Expo meshed more than 35 vendor booths with six educational and inspirational speakers and a panel discussion in a format that both attendees and vendors enjoyed. “People were in tune with the speakers,” said Tony Canell, co-owner of InkBoy. “They helped me a lot, to think about how to grow my business and to make some changes.” But Canell also was enthusiastic about the response he got from people who stopped at his vendor table. “We got a lot of leads and a lot of interest in our products and services,” he said. Neil Gordon, founder of Buzz on Biz, said that was exactly the kind of harmony between expo and conference that he and co-sponsor Chad Trollinger of Welcomemat were looking for. “We know that small businesses and See B2B EXPO, page 4

Business-to-business networking was one of the highlights of the 1st annual B2B Expo and Conference. Photo by Gary Kauffman


The 1st annual B2B Expo and Conference held on Oct. 19 at The Foundry at Rae’s Creek included presentations by six local speakers and a panel discussion interspersed with the typical networking with vendors. All but one of the presenters were local business leaders. “We wanted to add educational information for businesses at the event,” said Neil Gordon, founder of Buzz on Biz. “We also wanted to let people know that we have many great business minds locally.” Buzz on Biz and Chad Trollinger, local franchisee of Welcomemat, co-sponsored the event. The speakers were local business leaders who had expertise in a variety of fields. Former Brigadier General Jeff Foley served as

We hire only A players. We let B and C players go ruin the companies of our competitors. — Jeff Annis

the keynote speaker. Gordon and Trollinger had to scramble at the last minute when scheduled speaker Tony Robinson had to bow out because See LOCAL LEADERS, page 4


Former Fort Gordon leader Jeff Foley used a tug-of-war example to illustrate the need for an adequate business plan. Photo by Gary Kauffman

Jeff Foley has found his Holy Grail. And he is sharing it with others. Foley, former Army Brigadier General and former commander of Fort Gordon, now heads his own consulting firm, Loral Mountain. At the 1st annual B2B Expo and Conference Oct. 19, Foley spoke about his quest to find the perfect business plan to help his clients. “I have been in relentless pursuit of the best tool, the best way to help small businesses put a plan together,” he said. “I’m calling this the Best of Breed.” Foley said creating a business plan is a necessity for a business owner to gain control of the business’ future.

“You can’t build it if you can’t describe it,” he said. While holding a rope, Foley used the analogy of a game of tug-of-war. “You can only win at tug-of-war if everyone is aligned in the same direction,” he said. “If someone is off to the side or pulling in the wrong direction it’s not going to work. A plan can help you get aligned.” Yet, he said, most business leaders would rather visit the dentist for a root canal than develop a business plan. That, he believes, is because most business plans become too complex. That set him off on his quest to find a one-page business plan See BUSINESS PLAN, page 4

Although sometimes inconvenient, Columbia County officials say orange barrels are a sign of progress. Photo by Gary Kauffman


COLUMBIA COUNTY SEES MORE GROWTH IN FUTURE BY KELSEY MORROW Growth has been a recurring theme in Columbia County this year, and that does not seem to be changing anytime soon. “Our county is growing at a rate faster than almost any other county in the southeast,” Trey Allen, Vice Chair of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners, said at the State of the Community Address on Sept. 22. These sentiments were echoed by the other panel speakers as well. “In the past four years, over 3,900 new service members and civilians working on base have come to Fort Gordon,” Colonel Todd Turner, Fort Gordon Garrison Commander said. “They have also brought more than 5,100 family members with them to the area.” Turner emphasized that this number is expected to continue to grow over the next 10 years. The population increase has made an impact on the cities of Grovetown and Harlem, particularly regarding the amount of available funding for improvements. “This year we’ve had more money invested in our downtown and coming to our downtown than we ever had in the history of Harlem,” Mayor Bobby Culpepper said. This growth has extended to the school system as well. “Growth in our county has been tremendous and we are ready to take care of it,” Regina Buccafusco, Chairman of the Columbia County Board of Education, said. “The Columbia County School System currently has 26,757 students en-

rolled, up 740 from last year.” This growth in students has led to the construction of several new schools which will be opening over the next several years, and also to the hiring of an additional 215 teachers for this school year alone. A unique aspect of this growth is how it applies to keeping people in the county. While new people are moving to the area, more current residents are also choosing to stay. “Of the 215 additional teachers hired in the Columbia County school system this year, 36 were products of our school system,” Buccafusco said. The same trend is visible in military retirees choosing to remain in Columbia County after completing their service. Due to the local business community and job fairs, more than 900 service members leaving the military each year are kept in the area with civilian jobs. One downside to the increasing population is the impact on roads and infrastructure. However, Board Member Don Grantham said that the Georgia Department of Transportation has been proactive in easing roadway congestion. “Over 261 transportation projects started in the last three years have been completed or are about to be completed; 871 projects will be completed over a 10year period.” Although construction can be an inconvenience, Grantham urged Columbia County residents to view it positively. Instead of getting upset when you are stuck in traffic around construction sites, Grantham said, “Look at those orange barrels as a sign of progress.”

2 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016



Exhausting and exhilarating! Perhaps that is the way a bride and her mom feel once all of that planning yields a perfect wedding day or the way an athletic squad feels after going through all of those practices, resulting in a championship. It’s certainly how I feel after the months leading up to and completing our 1st B2B Conference and Expo on Oct. 19. In business, we often look at the numbers to determine whether or not a project is a success. As our Editor In Chief Gary Kauffman points out in our cover story, we had the numbers. What was so exhilarating to me was starting from an idea a few years ago to seeing the faces of happy attendees and vendors as they networked and listened to tremendous speakers on our big day. Several attendees and vendors shared that this was the best event they had ever been part of ! The biggest fear in planning a wedding or getting a team ready for the big day is that something will go wrong and that guests will feel let down. At 8 p.m. the night before the event, we learned one of our speakers could not attend, but the person who filled


in at the last minute, Amy Kilpatrick, pulled off a flawless performance. Our event wasn’t quite perfect – we’ll need to work on the parking situation – but it was as close to wedded bliss or a game-winning touchdown as you can get! Thanks to our co-host Chad Trollinger of Welcomemat Services for carrying out our vision and helping to organize the structure of our event and the great speakers. Thanks to a pair of former Buzz staffers, Tiffany Stone and Janine Garropy, for leading the charge at the beginning, and to Jessica Jones for grabbing the sales torch and running with it. She also lined up networking queen Amy Kilpatrick to “pinch-hit” for the speaker, who had an emergency. Thanks to “jack of all trades, master of many” Kelsey Morrow for stepping in just two months before the event and handling all of the finer details, like which vendors needed electricity or a table, and what guests were attending. She is growing in her craft and you’ll be hearing more about her role in this column next month. Thanks to my new family at Morris for making this event feel valued – from the

creative ideas of Chief Marketing Officer Heather Nagle to John Kane at Morrisowned City Spin Tickets to executives like Michael Romaner, Steve Gray, Mark Lane, Steve Wade and others for attending and providing great feedback. Chad joins me in thanking our wonderful speakers who poured into our attendees. I learned from one attendee who served under our keynote speaker, Former Brigadier General Jeff Foley, that Foley used to manage a nearly $3 billion budget at Fort Gordon! What our attendees learned about humble leadership from Foley was invaluable. Our conference also featured thought leaders from our community who have been in the trenches for years, like former CEO Jeff Annis of Advanced Services for Pest Control, CEO Eddie Kennedy of Great Deals on Furniture, Kim Romaner from Transworld Advisors, Kevin McCarthy from SCORE, and Atlanta-based Welcomemat CEO Brian Mattingly. Also, thanks to Robert Williams, the owner and executive chef of The Foundry at Rae’s Creek. His new facility at 250 Boy Scout Road was the perfect backdrop

Business Briefs..........22,23

Business Events............ 40

for the perfect day! Lastly, thanks to all of the vendors, sponsors and advertisers who helped support this event. A handful of them even took out additional ad space to support our coverage in this issue. Please support them! Of the many lessons learned at our Conference, a constant theme of training, leadership, teamwork and customer service resonated. Several of our regular columnists also address those areas of business, starting on page 8 with conference speaker Eddie Kennedy.

Neil Gordon oversees Buzz on Biz and produces a daily TV segment on News 12 This Morning, a daily radio show on WRDW 1630 AM, a daily website and a weekly email business newsletter in addition to Buzz on Biz. You can reach him at 706-589-6727 or

Picture Perfect................ 55 The biennial Augusta Photography Festival features several photography exhibits.

One Step Away............... 11 Project Jackson is nearly approved, and work could begin by early 2017.

Nonprofit Attractions.... 11

Nonprofits provide the amenities that draw businesses and people to the area.

To order a 12-month subscription mailed to your home or office, please mail a check for $49 (includes sales tax) to cover postage to the address below.

Return to Augusta......... 24 After a two-year absence, a favorite pecan business returns with a new name.

Holy Growth................... 34 Sending Hope................ 59

Local people can brighten a foreign child’s day through Operation Christmas Child.

Buzz Bits....................12,13

A local church is among the fastest-growing in the nation.

Putting Around............... 20

Offering Solutions......... 38

Great Outdoors.............. 62

Businessperson of the Month Mark Ross turned a fun day into a career.

Columbia County Chamber of Commerce takes part in the legislative process.

Augusta Canal celebrates the outdoors with the Find Your Park Festival.

Columnists Eddie Kennedy: Training employees takes work but pays off............................... 8 Steve Swanson: Reaching a business goal successfully takes teamwork.......10 Christine Hall: A second look at what new OT pay will mean for you..............10 Gary Kauffman: Good customer service could be your key advantage..........14 Jame Geathers: What to do when domestic violence comes to work.............16 Barry Paschal: Give a bit to charity without spending a penny more..............16 Russell Head: Rebate from ACA? Here’s what to do with that money..............18 Dagan Sharpe: Knowledge is power only when used with wisdom................18 Kim Romaner: Improve business value by hiring this person first....................26 Mike Herrington: Required minimum distributions raise many questions....26 Scott Chapman: New economy means developing new way of thinking.....28 Scott Thurmond: To meet print needs of some jobs, bigger is better..............28 Beth Pence: Like cooking, increasing sales requires right ingredients............30

The Buzz on Biz mission is to act as an inspirational tool for those in the workplace and those who are entrepreneurs, and to provide useful, practical information to increase their companies’ bottom lines.

Mark Alison: Follow these tips to survive a major trade show............................30 Kelsey Morrow: Businesses can learn from how celebs use social media......32 Charles Kelly: To reach people it’s often easier to use Facebook.......................34 Justin Anderson: Augusta has gold mine potential in real estate investing.. 36 Richard Brashear: Building effective online presence requires strategy.........36 Kurt Mueller: Retiring from your business means planning for future............37 Carol Gignoux: Practices for attaining life mastery and personal peace.........44 Missie Usry: Resources abound for students seeking financial aid...................46 Susan O’Keefe: New Farmhaus location offers same burgers, new view........54 Bob Johnson: Camaraderie reigned among bartenders ‘back in the day’......56 Ben Casella: ‘Halloween’ beer gives surprisingly enjoyable taste......................60 Samantha Taylor: Bout with laryngitis leads to new viewing habits................60

Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830 Sales Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727; Jessica Jones/762-218-0239 Design Gary Kauffman Photography Gary Kauffman, Melissa Gordon Writers Amanda King, Kelsey Morrow Calendar Coordinator Kelsey Morrow Distribution Jessica Jones, Kenneth Brown

Opinions expressed by the writers herein are their own and their respective institutions. Neither Morris Publishing Group or its agents or employees take any responsibility for the accuracy of submitted information, which is presented for informational purposes only. Like us on Facebook @ 604 Government Center Way Evans, GA 30809

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz


LOCAL LEADERS continued from page 1 of a business emergency. But Amy Kilpatrick, president and co-founder of Nspired Networking Enterprises, agreed to take hisspot the night before the Expo. “Using baseball terminology, she was a great pinch-hitter,” Gordon said. “And she knocked it out of the park.” Other speakers were Jeff Annis, Advanced Services for Pest Control; Eddie Kennedy, owner of Great Deals on Furniture; Brian Mattingly, founder of Welcomemat,from Atlanta; and Rick McMurtry, director of the University of Georgia’s local Small Business Development Center. The panel discussion consisted of Mattingly; Kim Romaner, president of Transworld Business Advisors; and Kevin McCarthy, director of SCORE-Aiken. “All of the speakers were very good,” said James Fennell of FedEx, who attended the event. “Jeff Annis was a very good way to start the day. You can tell he’s passionate.” Following is a synopsis of several speaker’s presentation. Jeff Annis, Advanced Services In more than 40 years of business, Annis said he has learned that if business owners are having trouble hiring and retaining quality employees, it’s their own fault. “Great employees leave bad employers,” he said. “The bad employees stay.” That’s because, he said, most companies have no hiring system, instead hiring anyone who is breathing, and then have no training program for new hires. The best leaders lead with great values: integrity, responsibility, forgiveness, compassion, loyalty, courage and fortitude. He said that core values are the standard of a good company. “Core values are 10 times more important than what you did yesterday,” he said. To hire good employees, he said a company must define why an applicant would want to part of their team. He said potential employees can be graded A, B and C. “We hire only A players,” he said. “We let the B and C players go ruin the companies of our competitors.” Amy Kilpatrick, Nspired Networking Kilpatrick explored networking at a deeper level than shaking hands and exchanging cards at a business mixer. She said developing a team of people who can refer people to your business is the key. It is a strategy that she said increases revenue and eliminates cold calling. “I am 16 years cold-call free,” she said. “I hate cold calls.” But developing a referral team requires some homework. First, the business owner or entrepreneur must decide who their ideal client is. “You’ve got to know before anyone else what you’re looking for,” she said. “You have a choice to ask for a client base or to ask for an ideal client base. It’s not about

having a Rolodex of clients but having a Rolodex of clients that make you money.” Once you are crystal clear on who you are looking for, the next step is to develop a team of eight or 10 referral partners. These partners know the basics of who you are looking for so that when they meet someone who might fit your ideal client base, they can make the referral. “I’m not asking my referral partner to be on my sales team,” she said. “In fact, I don’t want them to make sales for me. Their job is just to get me to the prospect.” This type of referral system leads to more opportunities with ideal clients, which leads to a higher close ratio and the opportunity to make more money. Brian Mattingly, Welcomemat All companies desire loyal customers, but Mattingly said the challenge is finding the ones who will be the heartbeat of your business. He said that while coupons and deep discounts can attract customers, and in some cases work well, there are longrange implications, such as customers who will never pay full price. “Their loyalty doesn’t lie with the business but with the deal,” he said. “Loyalty starts with finding the right consumer group.” One such group is comprised of people who move to a new area. Mattingly said they are five times more likely to become loyal to businesses – in fact, studies show that 40 percent of people who move even change their toothpaste brand. People who are going through other life changes such as marriage, divorce, births and job changes also often develop new brand loyalties. Rather than reaching them with coupons and discounts, Mattingly suggested gifts. “When someone is going through a life change, think how you can give them a gift with no strings attached,” he said. “It’s the power of reciprocity. Gifting builds brand loyalty.” He advised marketing across all media. “Don’t fall for the trap that there’s one magic bullet,” he said. “It all works together.” Eddie Kennedy, Great Deals on Furniture Entrepreneurs and small business owners are often resistant to change, but Kennedy said change is a fact of life. Using his own company’s experience, he spoke about the importance of adapting to those changes to continue to be successful. “You have an idea of what you want your business to be, but in reality it’s not going to stay that way,” he said. “If you’re not willing to move with it your opportunities may pass you by.” Because the world is full of copy cats, he said it is important to continue to adjust to maintain a difference from competitors. “You have to be relevant to the customer but you want to be different from everybody else,” he said.

4 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

Jeff Annis of Advanced Services spoke about the need to hire quality people at the B2B Expo on Oct. 19. Photo by Gary Kauffman


continued from page 1 entrepreneurs are constantly looking for products and services to do businesses better, but at the same time they also crave information about how to run their businesses more effectively,” Gordon said. “This format allowed both to occur in one day.” The day was broken into chunks of 45 minutes of networking, interspersed with speakers. Since it all took place in the same room, it gave vendors a chance to listen to the speakers as well. Pam Hanson, who had a vendor table for her Local Trade Group, said the format allowed for more interaction throughout the day. “I think it kept it interesting,” she said. “I talked to a lot of people I didn’t know but also a lot I do know, but you need to deepen those relationships, too. The

speakers were fantastic – I enjoyed every single one of them.” Caroline Turner, development officer for Golden Harvest Food Bank, also enjoyed the format. “It was a good blend of educational information and networking,” she said. Vendors represented a wide variety of companies that do business with other businesses. Most vendor tables were busy throughout the networking breaks. “I’ve got a whole stack of business cards to go through,” said Beth Pence, co-owner of Alphagraphics. She said it was good to be out where she could meet people face-to-face. “One gal said, ‘Now that I met you I’ll definitely consider doing business with you,’” Pence said. “Even if I just make one sale from this, it will make it worth it.”

that simplifies the process. It wasn’t an easy task, since he estimates there about 30,000 one-page business plans available. But he thinks he’s found the best one. “I have an option that is now part of my kit bag because I believe it can help,” he said. “I have my own company and use this plan. It’s helping me.” The plan boils down to answering five questions: • What are you building? • Why does your business exist? • What results will you measure? • How will you make it successful over time? • What is the work that needs to be done? Foley said the plan is both strategic and tactical, and it provides fill-in-the-blank templates. “One of the toughest things about writing a plan is a blank piece of paper,” he said. “Where do I start and what do I write on it?” But while the final product is a simple one-page plan, Foley said it takes homework to get to that place. That means

thinking seriously about business objectives and the future. And often it means listing things the business has to stop doing – the things that are keeping the company from meeting its objectives. “What you leave out of your plan may ultimately be more important than what you put in it,” Foley said. The goal of the business plan is not just to give direction for the leader, but guidance for the entire company. “A key question for leaders is, How well did you enable every member of your team to be successful?” Foley said, then added more questions. “How well did you communicate what the company is doing and how well do your team members know what their role is and what their share of the pie is?” His one-page business plan, he said, helps provide that focus that can help everyone in the company become aligned with the same goals. “It resonates with so many businesses, especially nonprofits,” he said. For more information about Foley and his company, visit

BUSINESS PLAN continued from page 1


October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz



6 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Training and developing employees into managers and team leaders is tough for the small business owner to do, along with everything else that has to be done to run a business. Managers hired from the outside often bring alternative ways of doing things into the business. It is important that the employee learns about the job and the vision, mission and culture of the business. One way you can on-board someone new is the “I do, You watch, We talk” method. When I was a teenager my neighbor was a retired cotton mill worker. He did Follow these basic guidelines to start your own training and development program. down the basic steps and 1 Write tasks of the job. resources that can 2 Assemble assist you in teaching and instructing a new employee. There are many articles, videos and other materials available online.

a checklist of what the 3 Create employee is being trained to do. using the “I do, You watch, 4 Train We talk” process. as you train, so you can see 5 Test what they comprehend and understand.

the checklist to know what’s 6 Use been covered or not. feedback on their 7 Provide progress. you have verified that the 8 After task can be done without you, allow them to do it multiple times to become proficient at it.

small engine repair at his home. One summer, I spent many days hanging out in his work shed watching him take lawn mower motors apart, fixing whatever was wrong and putting them back together. While he was working, I would ask hundreds of questions: “How did you know what was wrong?” or “Why did you do that?” I was interested in his hobby, so he began training me in the basics of small engine repair. After a few weeks, I was helping him do some of the repair work. Before the summer was over, I was able to do all the basic tasks in small engine repair without any help at all. The next summer, I worked at my parents’ furniture store. The training method was essentially the same. I was shown what to do, then I would help do the task. If I had questions – and I did – they would answer and explain what we were doing. When it came time for me to do it myself, they would help me. After I did the task a few times without a problem, they would back off and just watch me do it. In our business today, we still use the “I do, You watch, We talk” method to train a new employee or a new position. Here’s how it works. 1. I do, You watch, We talk: Demonstrate the job or task. Show them how it’s done. Talk about “what” is being done. 2. I do, You help, We talk: Get them involved. Have them help in doing the task. Talk about “how” the task is being done. 3. You do, I help, We talk: Closely assist them in the task. Help if they get stuck. Talk about “why” we do it. 4. You do, I watch, We talk: Stand back and observe them doing the task. Answer questions that arise. Give feedback as needed. Instill confidence. At every step, we ask and answer questions. We are not just demonstrating the process of the task; we are doing our best

8 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

at instilling the purpose for doing the task and the reason for doing it well. What we want to have is an employee who can do the task as well as we can, and understand some of the “why we do what we do” that makes our business unique in the marketplace. Creating a training and development program for your business does not have to be a difficult and laborious task. Realize that training is the path to improve your people. When you train your employees, they are growing. You are helping them become better. Developing your staff requires an investment of your time and effort, but when you have employees who can do the job the way that you want it done, it is worth it all. Just as growing never stops, training never stops. From your newest hire to the

employee who has been with you the longest, there is more to learn and more to do. As your employees and team improve, your business will also grow and improve. This is one of the hardest parts of being a small business owner, but it is also one of the most rewarding. When your team performs at a high level and delivers great service or products to your customer, it gives you great pride and joy.

Eddie Kennedy is the owner of Great Deals on Furniture in Augusta. Eddie will be sharing ideas and principles he learned in over 37 years of involvement and management in small business. Contact him at

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




I have seen wall art over the years with the statement “There is no ‘I’ in team.” Typically it’s accompanied by a photo of a team of athletes – often covered in mud, or playing in a heavy rainstorm. Teamwork is widely discussed but “results vary.” 88.3 WAFJ (the station I work for) is listener supported. Two times a year we set our regular programming aside and ask listeners to partner with us financially. This effort (as well as a few business underwriters) keeps us on the air 24/7. The funds we raise also allow us to offer programming on 88.7 Shine FM (a full-time modern worship format). We recently held our fall fundraiser – Sharathon. It’s a marathon for our small staff as we are at the station to receive calls and interact with listeners from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Long days? Yes, they are! Our biggest challenge (especially as we get tired) is to use words to paint a picture of what we do and who we are. It’s also essential for us to share stories of the lives impacted through the stations. During these four days, we have a multitude of opportunities to serve one another. I believe the lessons and reminders we experience during these days are practical

and transferable to you and your team. • Don’t let it be someone else’s responsibility. It’s “us!” If the soap needs to be refilled or the paper towel roll replaced, it’s the responsibility of whoever uses up the available supply. • We are challenged to be focused – singularly zeroed in on the message. Why we do what we do and reasons folks might consider in choosing to make a gift of support. • Encouragement needs to be liberally distributed. At various points everyone needs encouragement. • It is important that we meet briefly (even for just a couple of minutes) first thing in the morning to reset. We gather to remind one another of the overall mission we share. • Some hours fly by, and some feel much slower. We have to serve as cheerleaders for one another. • Yes, the team gets tired! It is essential that our schedule allows folks a bit of flexibility. Staff members should get out of the building at some point during the day for some fresh air, and a personal reset. Snacks (including healthy ones!) also serve as fuel and encouragement. • When the event is over, it’s essential

Encouragement needs to be liberally distributed. At various points everyone needs encouragement. to say thank you – often. Together we share in the celebration of God’s provision and faithfulness. • Expect the unexpected! The unknown will occur. How have you prepared? What are your backup plans when a tech issue takes place? What will you do when one of your key players calls in sick? I have been involved in dozens of onair fundraisers in my years as a broadcaster. Although the “frame and foundation” of the events is often similar, every single one is unique. I was reminded of that fact again during the final day of our event. Here’s what happened: We were scheduled to wrap up at 6 p.m. At around 3 p.m. we had reached only 70 percent of our overall goal; 30 percent still

remained be raised – in just three hours. Just then, in God’s plan and timing, we received an anonymous gift of $50,000! (We’ve never had a gift that large in our 22-year history.) The responses online and by phone quickly picked up and remained steady until we reached 100 percent of goal. Clearly that is not something we are able to orchestrate in any way, shape, or form. That is totally and completely a blessing from the Lord. When God shows up in such a powerful and vivid way, we are amazed and full of gratitude. I encourage you to invite Him in to your life and business. You will experience incredible things. Remember his “natural” is always supernatural!

Steve Swanson serves as the station manager for Family Friendly 88.3 WAFJ. He’s invested 30-plus years in the world of radio and was named the Christian Music Broadcasters Program Director of the Year in 2009 and 2011. He and his wife, Susie, live in North Augusta. For comments, email



In last month’s article I discussed the new minimum salary rules that can have a drastic effect on your business if you employ salaried workers. To recap, the new rule doubles the minimum salary threshold from $455 per week to $913 per week (which amounts to $23,660 annually to $46,476 annually). I also discussed the options that employers have to comply with this new law. There have been some questions surrounding these solutions and I would like to discuss those solutions in more detail this month. There are four methods of calculating overtime pay to comply with the new standards. We will address three of four here. All four methods can be viewed on the Department of Labor’s website. The first is to pay the employee just as if they were an hourly employee. This method works well if you have an employee that typically works 40 hours in a week and you pay them less than $46,476. To comply, you can do nothing and leave them at a lower salary. Essentially, this changes their status to a non-exempt

employee (hourly employee), which means if they do work overtime, you will have to pay them overtime. For instance, if you pay an employee $30,000 per year ($576.93 per week) for 40 hours per week and they work 42 hours in any given week, you will have to pay them overtime. The calculation would be to take their $576.93 per week salary, divide it by 40 hours per week (or $30,000 per year/2,080 hours) for an hourly rate of $14.43. The overtime rate will be $21.65 ($14.43 x 1 ½). Their total pay for that week will be $620.23. The second option is for an employee that consistently works the same number of hours per week and it is more than 40. Essentially, the overtime is built in. In this example, let’s assume that an employer and employee agree to $760 per week for a 45 hour work week. The agreement here is that the employee has agreed to work for $16 per hour regular pay plus $24 per hour overtime pay. This is figured by 40 hours per week x $16 per hour for a total of $640 regular pay plus 5 per week x $24 per hour for a total of $120 overtime pay. However, if the employee works more than 45 hours in any given week,

10 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

the hours over 45 must be paid at overtime rates ($24 per hour). The third option is much more complex and the option I related to in last month’s article. For clarification, this option is for those employees who work fluctuating hours (the guidance for this method of calculation is based on current law, Section 29 CFR 778.114, US Department of Labor). In this case, let’s assume that an employee is paid a salary of $600 per week ($31,200 per year) and over a four-week period the employee worked 40, 35, 46 and 50 hours. Their pay will be calculated as follows: Week 1: $600 Week 2: $600 Week 3: $600/46 hours = $13.05 per hour $13.05 x 1.5 for overtime pay = $19.58 per hour $19.58 per hour x 6 hours plus $600 = $717.48 Week 4: $600/50 = $12.00 per hour $12 x 1.5 for overtime pay = $18.00 per hour $18 per hour x 10 hours plus $600 = $780.00

The fluctuating workweek method of overtime payment may not be used unless the salary is sufficient enough to assure that the employee will make at least minimum wage. There also must be a clear understanding between the employee and employer if using this method. This new rule becomes effective Dec. 1; however, the House of Representatives has voted to extend the compliance date for six months to June 1, 2017. The extension is currently waiting for Senate approval. Our suggestion is to be prepared to implement these changes Dec. 1 to avoid the last-minute crunch!

Hall, Murphy & Schuyler, PC is a full-service public accounting firm. They have a staff of experienced professionals that stand ready to meet all of your accounting, tax and general business needs. For a complimentary consultation, call 706-855-7733 or email at cmh@



If you build it – finally! – they will come. Project Jackson, with its new baseball stadium for the GreenJackets, is one step away from becoming reality after the North Augusta City Council passed a second reading to approve moving forward with the project. The project will become official after a third reading, which at press time had not been scheduled. A video produced by master developers Greenstone Properties showed the scope of the entire project, which will become a nearly self-contained village with its own streets and landscaping. While much has been made about the stadium, which is the centerpiece of the project, it will be surrounded by a large hotel, retail buildings, office buildings and several large apartment buildings. If approved as expected, construction for the new stadium is scheduled to begin on March 1, 2017 and be ready to host the team by April 1, 2018. The 4,500-seat stadium will be based on the stadium the San Francisco Giants, the GreenJackets’ parent team, play in. In San Francisco, the right field stands run along the bay and long home runs can reach the water. Kayakers routinely paddle the waters hoping for a home run ball. In North Augusta, right field will run along the Savannah River, which can be reached with a long home run. A local outfitter plans to rent kayaks to fans who would like to recreate the San Francisco experience. The video shows stands with two decks behind home plate, a café-type eating area down the right field line and a grassy area along the left field line, which in other stadiums is a popular area for fans with young children who like to run around. There will standing room only

Screen capture from video showing the overview of Project Jackson in North Augusta.

areas in left and right fields. A 32-unit apartment building with fitness center butts up against the left field wall. Construction on the hotel, which will include a conference center, will also begin on March 1, with a completion date of Dec. 31, 2018. North Augusta already has a commitment from a hotel developer for the property, but that will not be made public until after the final reading. A 72,000-square-foot office building will be built across the street from the stadium. Construction of that building will not begin until Sept. 1, 2017, with a completion date of Dec. 31, 2018. The first part of Project Jackson to get underway will be the 270-unit apartment complex and 125-unit senior living building. The start date is scheduled for Jan. 16, 2017, with a completion date of Dec. 31, 2018. The video shows the complex with courtyards and parking nearest Hammonds Ferry and across from the Brick Ponds. In addition, there will be 24-unit residential flats in the “downtown” area of the project, where there will

also be 55,600 square feet of retail space. The downtown apartments and residential area will also begin construction on March 1. Half the retail space is scheduled to be open by the opening of the stadium. The apartments and the rest of the retail will be done by Dec. 31, 2018. Also part of the project are 12 single family homes facing the river, which will start construction on June 1, 2017 and be finished by Dec. 31, 2018. North Augusta has already built one parking garage next to the Medac building across from the Municipal Building. A second parking deck will be built near the stadium with 590 parking spaces. Work on it will begin March 1, with half of it to be completed by the stadium opening. The video overview also shows outdoor café-style seating outside the stadium, a small outdoor amphitheater at the river and walking trails along the river. The total cost for Project Jackson is projected to be $219 million, with $64.5 to be paid from the public coffers and the rest through private funding.


It turns out the nonprofit sector makes a pretty hefty profit. Karen Beavor, President and CEO of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, spoke at the 2016 Women in Business Signature Event on October 6 at the Augusta Marriott Hotel about the “Business of Giving.” Beavor explained the importance of nonprofits and how “community profit margins” benefit its stakeholders – the members of the community. “We live our lives in nonprofits, from the hospitals where we’re born to the daycare centers and colleges that educate us to the sports leagues and cultural institutions that entertain us,” Beavor said. “Whether you have ever given a damn, a dime or a minute of your time, your life has been affected by a nonprofit, I assure you.” Beavor began law school in the mid1980s but took a year off to see if she would be happy while practicing law. She became a paralegal advocate for the

homeless in Atlanta, and her claim to fame became that she had been to every homeless shelter in the city. It was while she was working as a paralegal, making Karen Beavor $13,000 per year, that she found her purpose. She did not return to law school and went to work at a growing nonprofit law firm, which she describes as a nonprofit consulting firm. Since then, Beavor has been named Georgia Trend Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Georgians in 2016, a top nonprofit leader by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and its “40 under 40” award. Beavor developed the Georgia Gives Day, which is held on November 17 this year. The initiative has raised more than $5.1 million for over 2,000 nonprofits since 2012.

While nonprofits and companies who believe in social issues have been regarded as groups of “hippies” in the past, Beavor noted that is not the case anymore. She said that millennial professionals are seeking companies with corporate social responsibility and want to volunteer as a part of their work culture. She added that consumers are also interested in social responsibility. A survey revealed that 89 percent of consumers believe that businesses should place weight on society’s interests as much as the business’s interests. “They praise and punish brands that do not address societal issues,” Beavor said. Beavor said the economic contribution of nonprofits is incredibly palpable, providing 6 percent to the nation’s GDP, or about $906 billion annually. She said the nonprofit involvement also dictates which businesses may or may not enter a community. “How many businesses would be at-

tracted to a community without affordable housing, with dilapidated parks, no quality childcare or youth programming like Girl Scouts, no entertainment like community theater or symphony orchestras? I submit, not many,” Beavor said. Unlike for-profit companies, nonprofits are not focused on trends or politics but by necessity, and as Beavor said, necessity is the mother of invention. She noted that community organizations like the Girl Scouts are teaching real-life skills that can be used in the future. Instead of simply going door-to-door to sell cookies, girls are learning to code and design their own websites to set up ecommerce for the national fundraiser, which already sells millions of boxes each year. Beavor encouraged business owners to work with nonprofits to grow the community profit margin. “The ability to work across businesses, across sectors, will be key for all of us in the future,” Beavor said.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz


THECLUBHOU.SE PLANS TO RAISE FUNDS FOR KITCHEN, a collaborative group for entrepreneurs in Augusta, is planning to install a commercial kitchen in its building for teaching and research. To raise funds, they are teaming up with Locally Grown for an event called Harvest Bites on Oct. 28 and 29. The weekend event includes a local farm-to-table dinner party, a Socratic conversation on “Hacking the Microbiome” and a 24-hour hackathon. Net proceeds from this event will go toward installing the kitchen. In line with the mission of, the kitchen will provide a space for food business start-ups to grow their businesses in a commerciallyapproved kitchen, as well as receive the business start-up support for which the Clubhou. se is known. Tickets and VIP tables are on sale now. Donations will also be accepted for a silent auction. For more information, vist

HOSPITALITY SECTOR SHOWS SLUGGISH GROWTH After nearly three years of almost continuous growth, the leisure and hospitality sector is slowing down. That explains some of why the Leading Economic Index for August from the James Hull College of Business remained unchanged in Augusta, and only went up by 0.2 percent from a year ago. In a news release, Simon Medcalfe, associate professor of finance at Augusta University’s Hull College, said that the second quarter of 2016 saw a return to strong growth in leisure and hospitality but that August had poor numbers. He added that the local economy has been struggling to add jobs for the last couple

buzz bits of years. In 2014, the economy created about 6,000 new jobs. In 2015 it was fewer than 2,000. To date this year, there have been about 2,500 new jobs created. A recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta mentioned a similar trend across the southeast. Hotel construction fell in the wake of the financial crisis but demand rebounded quickly, resulting in rising revenue per available room for hotels as well as high occupancy rates. Now, construction is catching up, which will dampen hotel revenues but may mean more jobs. The Fed report identifies nine planned hotel construction projects in Augusta.


Local dealership Master Buick GMC has received a national award sponsored by General Motors. For dealerships of their size, Master won first place throughout the United States in two categories. They were recognized for their year-over-year percentage growth in parts sales with a 256 percent increase. They were also recognized for their year-overyear dollar growth, with a $1.57 million increase in business sales with General Motors. Wholesale Parts Manager Scott Bolyard recently traveled to Quebec City, Quebec to attend the General Motors Wholesale Leadership Summit, where he accepted the award on behalf of the dealership. Master Buick GMC is a familyowned company that has been in business in the CSRA for nearly 80 years. The family also owns Master Chevrolet Cadillac in Aiken.

ROBOTIC SUMO LEAGUE IS TAG AWARD FINALIST An Augusta group that conducts robotic sumo wrestling competitions is one of seven extracurricular programs vying for a STEM Education Award from the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG).

12 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

AUGUSTA DOCTOR NAMED ULTIMATE HEALTH GUY Augusta University’s Dr. Jedidiah Ballard was named the 2016 Ultimate Men’s Health Guy by Men’s Health magazine during a live broadcast of the NBC Today show on Oct. 18. Editors were looking at a combination of overall health and fitness, as well as service to community and others, and Ballard rose to the top. The assistant professor of emergency medicine for the Medical College of Georgia will be featured on the cover of the November issue of Men’s Health, which goes on sale Tuesday. “It feels unreal,” Ballard said from his hotel room in New York, “The whole experience has been like a dream, and I feel like I need to pop back into reality any time.” Ballard said his phone has been “blowing up” with texts, Facebook posts, and calls of congratulations from many well-wishers. But he won’t have much time to celebrate, since he’s flying right back to Augusta for a full day on The Sumo Robot League, operated by HACK Augusta, is the only Augusta group represented among the award finalists. The Sumo Robot League helps students learn and understand the principles of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education through building and competing with robots. “We applaud each of this year’s finalists for their extraordinary efforts to bolster awareness about the importance of STEM and for their hard work to increase student participation in science, technology, engineering and math programs,” said Michael Robertson, director of TAG-Ed. “Georgia will need to fill some 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018, so we are pleased to showcase so many great schools, programs and organizations that are helping to develop a strong future workforce for our state.” For more information about the Sumo Robot League, visit

Friday, beginning with teaching MCG students in the afternoon and followed by a late shift in the ER. The Columbia Falls, Mont., native entered the contest on a whim, and made it through several elimination rounds, landing in the 100 quarterfinalists, the 10 semifinalists, and the final three. This year’s contest, presented by Isopure and Jockey, drew 700 entrants who embody selflessness, grit and triumph, according to Men’s Health magazine.

JOBS INCREASE SLIGHTLY Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percentage point in August, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. The August rate was 5.8 percent, compared to 6.1 in July. A year ago, the August rate was 6.5 percent. The rate fell as employers added more jobs and laid off fewer workers. The number of jobs increased by 1,200, or 0.5 percent, to 230,800. Most of the job gains came in professional and business services, along with state and local government as the public schools reopened for the year. Over the year, Augusta gained 3,100 jobs, a 1.4 percent growth rate, up from 227,700 in August 2015. Most of the job gains came in professional and business services, education and health services and trade.

PUTT-PUTT IN NATIONAL 10 BEST COURSES USA Today recently ranked the top 10 miniature golf courses in the country in an online article. Tenth on that list was Putt-Putt in Augusta. The local Putt-Putt was chosen because, unlike many other courses in the franchise, the Augusta location has more personality, with various levels of terrain and course decorations. The Augusta location is owned by Mark Ross. Another course locals may have played is the Hawaiian Rumble in Myrtle Beach. Other courses in the top 10 were in San Francisco; Canton, Conn.; Nashville, Tenn.; Lake George, N.Y.; Lincolnshire, Ill.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Madison, Wisc.; and Reno, Nev.


A push for a new arena in Augusta took a small step forward in early October. The Augusta Coliseum Authority voted on Tuesday to begin negotiations with a Denver sports architecture firm. The vote was only to begin the contract talks with Sink Combs Dethlefs of Denver, not an actual hiring of the firm. This was the first step in replacing the 36-year-old structure designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei. The original design didn’t take into account the need for today’s entertainment and customer needs, including the seating capacity of 8,500. The Authority would like to build a 250,000-square-foot, 10,000-seat coliseum that would include 14 luxury suites, 500 premium club seats, office space and a 20,000-square-foot exhibition space. The estimated cost for such a building is $110 million. The Authority would like to keep the arena in the downtown. Sink Combs Dethlefs would help the Authority find the best location.

DEESE NAMED TO GEORGIA 40 UNDER 40 A 2016 recipient of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s “Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch” award has received another prestigious honor. Carlton Deese, Associate Director and Nursing Home Administrator at Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home, Augusta University, has been chosen as one of Georgia Trend’s “40 Under 40.” Each year, Georgia Trend Magazine highlights 40 individuals under the age of 40 who make an impact on their professions, communities or state. Deese was nominated by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce after winning the area’s “Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch” competition. In submitting nominations on behalf of recipients, the Chamber’s goal is to expand recognition for Augusta’s young professional talent throughout the state of Georgia. As the Associate Director and Nursing Home Administrator, Deese is responsible for the care provided to Georgia’s elderly veteran population in addition to the administrative, financial and clinical operations of the facility. Prior to his current position, Deese was selected for an administrative fellowship at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center, where he also served as a health systems specialist in the director’s office. In addition, Deese volunteers for Augusta University, Georgia War Veterans, United Way, the American Heart Association and several veteran service organizations. Augusta’s Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch was developed in 2009 by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Augusta Magazine and the City of Augusta to annually highlight 10 young professionals (ages 25-35) in the Augusta Region. Recipients of the recognition receive a commemorative plaque presented by the City of Augusta and the Chamber, a profile in the annual

buzz bits

June issue of Augusta Magazine, a Chamber Member Luncheon in their honor and a complimentary nomination to the annual Georgia Trend 40 Under 40 competition.

AUGUSTA SEEKS WHAT WORKS CITIES STATUS Augusta could soon have something in common with such diverse cities as Anchorage, Alaska; New Orleans; Boston; Raleigh, N.C.; Gresham, Ore.; Denton, Texas, and Victorville, Calif. The City of Augusta applied to become one of the What Works Cities, a program launched by Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2015 to help 100 mid-sized cities to effectively use their existing data to improve services, inform local decision making and engage residents. What Works Cities has already chosen 39 cities for the program. Representatives from What Works Cities visited Augusta to see if they will include Augusta. So far, there are no other Georgia cities on the list. If chosen as a What Works Cities, Augusta will be able to tap into resources like Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab, the Johns Hopkins Center for Government Excellence, Results for America and the Sunlight Foundation. The program requires commitment, consistent review and taking action on data and other evidence from city leaders to improve the city.

JIM HUDSON DONATES TO FOOD BANK Jim Hudson Automotive Group presented a donation of $30,000 on Monday, Sept. 26, to the Golden Harvest Food Bank in Augusta as part of a combined gift of $200,000 to local food banks in the regions where the Jim Hudson Automotive Group serves. A matching grant from Lexus also contributed to this fund. “We believe that we have a

AUGUSTA CANAL RECEIVES STATE AWARD Governor Nathan Deal recently presented the Augusta Canal Authority with the Paul Nelson Award for Outdoor Recreation and Preservation during ceremonies concluding the annual Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference at the Georgia International Conference Center earlier this month. The Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau nominated the Canal Authority in honor of Augusta Canal’s 20th anniversary as a National Heritage Area. The Augusta Canal Authority was cited for it tireless work to transform the neglected canal into the award-winning, internationally recognized Augusta Canal National Heritage Area. It draws more than a quarter million users each year to its trails and waterway. Accepting the award from the governor on behalf of the Canal Authority was Rebecca Rogers, the organization’s director of marketing and responsibility to give back to the areas we serve,” Jim Hudson said. Golden Harvest is affiliated with the “Feeding America” national network, fighting to end the food insecurity which threatens children’s development. This is the fifth year in a row that the Jim Hudson Automotive Group has offered a gift to the food banks at this level, demonstrating an ongoing commitment to families in need.


Ever wonder why so many retirees have Georgia on their minds? The Peach State’s low tax climate may have something to do with it. Georgia ranked seventh in a Kiplinger’s report on the best

public affairs. “Tourism has become one of Georgia’s top economic generators, as the industry supports more than 439,000 jobs and surpassed $58.9 billion in economic impact last year,” Deal said. “In 2015 alone, a record 100 million visitors came to Georgia to explore our mountains, beaches, big cities and small towns. With a thriving tourism sector and new attractions coming across the state, I have no doubt that next year will follow the trend of exceeding our expectations.” The Paul Nelson Award for Outdoor Recreation and Preservation was established in 2013 to honor Paul Nelson. Nelson devoted his professional life to sustaining and improving the state’s parks and natural resources during his career with Georgia Department of Natural Resources, where he last served as assistant director of its parks, recreation, and historic sites division.

states for retirees. Social Security income is exempt from state taxes in Georgia, and so is as much as $35,000 of most types of retirement income for those ages 62 to 64. For those 65 and older, the exemption is $65,000 per taxpayer. Retirement income includes pensions and annuities, interest, dividends, net income from rental property, capital gains, royalties and the first $4,000 of earned income. Alaska ranked as the top state for retirees, based on financial impact.

HORROR MOVIE COULD BE SET IN AUGUSTA If you’re a fan of horror movies, you could have a chance to be part of one – at least in a

behind-the-scenes role. A movie company was in Augusta in early October checking out possible locations to shoot a horror movie, including the old Woolworth building on Broad Street. The company is working with the Augusta Film Office to find suitable locations and some people to help with the production. A final decision on the film’s location will be made in a few weeks. If Augusta is chosen, filming will begin later this year. No details about the film were released, but if it is filmed in Augusta, producers would need local help for the crew for such things set work, make up, running equipment, security, catering and other assistants. There could also be a chance for budding actors to appear as extras or body doubles.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Recently I ate lunch at Bojangles in Evans. Not being a native Southerner, my knowledge of Bojangles is still limited and I had a question about the two types of chicken tenders. The person behind the counter tried to explain it to me, which helped only marginally. Finally he said, “Just a minute,” and left. When he returned, he had one of each kind of chicken tender for me to try, which helped a lot (I got two of each kind). On another occasion recently, I went bowling with family members. On at least four occasions our bowling balls would not return and twice the pins wouldn’t reset. We had to hunt down an employee each time, and were made to feel by the employee that this was our fault (although I’ve never before had this problem even once, let alone that many times in one game). To top it off, our food choices were limited by another employee’s inability to make them. Which of those businesses do you think I’ll return to and recommend to others? Yes, customer service does still make a difference to me, and to most people I know. This is especially true in today’s world of Amazon and other online choices, big box stores and a general surliness in the world. As a small business owner, great customer service could be your one chance to compete successfully with the big boys. As a business owner and manager, you may have great people skills and provide excellent customer service, but often it is your employees who will have the first – and only – contact with customers. So training them is vital. Here are a few ways to improve customer service: Friendliness – A friendly smile and a

genuinely warm greeting go a long way toward making a visit to a business an enjoyable experience. There are many businesses in the CSRA that know this and get it right. But there are also, unfortunately, still some where the first employee I encounter has a frown and acts like I’m completely ruining their day by being there. Product knowledge – When I go to certain businesses, I know I’ll need some help. That’s especially true with technology. Several years ago, in another area of the country, I visited a computer store to buy a new printer. I knew basically what I was looking for and found that they had one on the shelf. After reading the information on the box, I asked a sales associate for more details. He read the information off the box

NOMINATIONS FOR TOURISM AWARD The Peggy Seigler Tourism Excellence Award is the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau’s (ACVB) highest honor. Seigler was a creative and innovative tourism professional with a passion for Augusta and its tourism industry. The award honors individuals and organizations that exhibit a passion for tourism and contribute to the tourism industry. The level of contribution to the tourism industry, such as a significant economic impact, multiple years of contributions, the outcome of the contribution and its opportunity for benefits to the tourism industry, will be considered. Also considered is the legacy of the nominee’s contribution – the passion, enthusiasm, drive, momentum and team-

building ability of the individual or organization as it relates to the tourism industry accomplishments. Applications should also consider what makes this nominee’s contribution significant and outstanding to the tourism industry when compared to other tourism industry individuals or organizations. The nomination form is available at and should include a supporting essay explaining how the individual or organization fits the criteria described. The deadline for submission is 5 p.m. Oct. 31. The recipient of the 2016 Peggy Seigler Tourism Excellence Award will be honored at the annual State of Tourism Luncheon in February 2017 (date to be determined).

14 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

out loud, slowly, as if my problem was illiteracy. When I persisted on asking more questions, he got his manager. The manager then said, “I don’t know if we carry that kind of printer,” and started searching the shelves until I pointed out that I was standing in front of the one they carried. I politely thanked them for their time, went home, did some research on the internet and bought the printer from a different store. Asking questions – On another occasion I needed a new vacuum cleaner and was faced with an array of choices. I asked a sales associate for help. She started asking questions – how big was my apartment, how often was I going to use it, was it for light or heavy duty cleaning, how much space did I have to store it when

not in use. After answering her questions, she chose two that she thought would best meet my needs, then proceeded to demonstrate the features of both. I bought the one she recommended, feeling fully satisfied that because of her efforts I had the best one for me. I still use that vacuum cleaner today. Be attentive but not pesky – My experience at some of the big box stores is that employees are hovering when I’m just browsing, then have gone into hibernation when I actually need help. After greeting a customer at your store, if they don’t have an immediate need, allow them to browse. But stay attentive so that when they do have a question, you’re there to help right away. Sometimes we as business owners or our employees can get so wrapped up in the product or service we’re selling, or even in managing the behind-the-scenes needs of the business, that we can grow lax on what really matters – taking care of customers and making sure they come back. But it may make the difference between them becoming a loyal customer or heading to a big box store.

Gary Kauffman is Editor in Chief of Buzz on Biz and manages the content for print, web, radio and TV segments of Buzz on Biz. A native of Indiana, he has made the CSRA home for more than two years. Prior to moving here, he ran his own graphic design/advertising business for 17 years where he worked with many small businesses. Contact him at

CHAMBER WILL HONOR ENTREPRENEUR The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year award. This award recognizes an entrepreneur who has distinguished themselves not only by their success in business, but also by their creativity, innovative spirit and community involvement. Nominations must meet these requirements: • Owner, partner or major shareholder of the business, and active in its dayto-day operations. • The business must be a member of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce at the time the award is presented. • The business must be financially

stable and operational for a minimum of 12 months. They will be judged on: • Use of unique and innovative business development practices/models • Business growth and performance • Community image, impact, involvement and contribution • Operational excellence The winner of the 2016 award will be recognized at the Chamber’s December Member Economic Luncheon and will be nominated for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Small Business of the Year Award. Applications are online at and are due by Nov. 4.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




October is National Domestic Violence Awareness month. While domestic violence is often dismissed as a private matter, it affects every part of our community, especially businesses. Based on a 2012 study conducted by The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, domestic violence costs companies $5.4 billion annually. As a small business owner you may be thinking, “that must be large corporations with thousands of employees, I needn’t bother with that.” Big mistake. As a small business owner, the risk of being held liable due to not having strong workplace violence policies or systems in place to assist or even identify an employee in a domestic violence situation could be devastating. On top of those two major factors, let’s factor in the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) general duty clause that states that each employer “shall furnish … a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” Translation – ignoring domestic violence could be a very costly mistake for your business. Now that I have your attention, let’s discuss how to create a safer workplace through policy and planning. As I’m sure

you know, having updated policies and procedures are of the upmost importance. This includes workplace and domestic violence policies. These should include explaining that if an employee is being threatened with violence at home or in the workplace they can report this to human resources or your designated employee. They should also outline the steps for reporting the violence, including the position of the person they will report it to. This information must be kept confidential and should not be used against the employee in any way. In addition to the policy for reporting, I recommend creating a confidential policy that is shared only with the person taking the complaint and members of management. This policy should include documenting all details provided, referrals to local agencies such as Safe Homes, contact information for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) line and notifying the management team, security and/or law enforcement if there is an imminent threat of violence. Now that you have your policies in place, how do you identify an employee who may need your help? Unfortunately, domestic violence does not discriminate. Victims can be any age, race, socioeconomic level, any education level, any gender and any sexual orientation. While it is virtually impossible to guess

Translation – ignoring domestic violence could be a costly mistake for your business. who will be a victim of domestic violence, a few telltale signs to look for are: Constant absenteeism or lateness, poor concentration and/or errors from a normally competent employee, injuries such as bruises or black eyes, sudden requests for time off to attend court, unusual isolation from co-workers, an excessive number of texts or phone calls during the work day, or unwelcome visits by the employee’s partner to the workplace, particularly if the employee appears visibly shaken or upset afterwards. This is by no means an exhaustive list but rather a few signs to look out for. Once you have created your policies, created your plan and kept your eyes open for employees who are in a domestic violence situation, there’s still one challenge – what if they are not ready to accept help? Victims of domestic violence have many reasons for staying in the relationship. Let the employee know that when they are ready, resources are available and be careful to avoid any action that could be misconstrued as retaliation against that employee. If you have an employee who is a vic-

tim of domestic violence and they are not ready to accept any assistance, you still have a responsibility to keep your workplace safe for that employee and the rest of your team. Be sure to notify managers and security of the situation so that they can be on the lookout for the abuser if the situation escalates. Additionally, it is also a good idea to practice emergency evacuations with your team to ensure that you are able to get you everyone out of harm’s way as quickly and orderly as possible. If you need assistance creating a workplace or domestic violence policy, please contact us.

Jame Geathers is a Human Resources and Operations Professional with more than 12 years of experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Jame has spent her career building and supporting HR infrastructures that have provided her employers and clients with the structure and policies that all start-ups need but owners may not have time to create and implement. For more information please visit the Jame Geathers Consulting website, or call (706) 496-9691.



The cooler air and college football have made it clear that fall is here. We spend more time enjoying outdoor dining opportunities, less time worrying about lawn maintenance and experience the annual joy of watching as God repaints the trees. And, of course, fall also brings the bracing exhilaration of annual budget planning. Personally, I’d rather take a beating than work on budgets, but I’ve never been in a career role where that was offered as an option. In the non-profit world, it’s also the time of year where we think about taxes – not in terms of paying them, but in how we can help our donors pay less taxes next year by donating more to charity before the current year ends. As a result, there is an annual uptick in donations at the end of the year, and it’s also why your mailbox fills up this time of year with donation appeals from non-profits.

We cannot overstate our gratitude for the trust our donors place in us to be good stewards of their generosity. Those appeals send the same basic message: We know you’re motivated to donate; we want to make sure you know we’re available to be the recipient. Success for the non-profit is when you agree, and in turn send money to support our mission. And believe me: We really, really appreciate that support. When I lead people on tours through our Goodwill and Helms College campuses (and I’d love to lead your group, or even individuals – just con-

16 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

tact me to schedule), I work hard to help them understand that our existence as an organization is largely dependent on the good graces of our donors, who of their own free will bring us clothing, household items, money and even vehicles with the expectation that we will put them to good use. We cannot overstate our gratitude for the trust our donors place in us to be good stewards of their generosity. What many people might not realize, though, is how easy it can be to support a local charity without spending an extra penny. Here are three ways: Amazon Smile: As the Christmas season approaches, many of us will use Amazon for shopping. With a couple of clicks, you can shop via Amazon Smile with your local charity of choice as a donation recipient. It doesn’t cost any more to shop, and your charity will receive .5 percent of each purchase. eBay: If you sell items on eBay, you can

designate specific charities to receive a portion of each purchase – again, at no cost to you or the buyer. Kroger: Just about everyone has a Kroger Plus card. Just link a local charity to your account, and Kroger will make a donation with each purchase. None of these methods, individually, send a huge amount of money to your charity. But we’re thankful for all donations, and every penny adds up. Just ask the people doing the budgets.

Barry L. Paschal is Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, parent organization of Helms College at

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) Rebates and What to Do With Them Employers and other group sponsors may not be used to receiving money from their health insurance carrier, but that may be the case this fall as a result of medical loss ratio (MLR) rules established by the Affordable Care Act. The MLR rules require health insurance issuers to spend 80-85 percent of premium dollars on medical care and health care quality improvement, rather than administrative costs. Issuers that do not meet these requirements must provide rebates to consumers. Rebates must be provided by Sept. 30, following the end of the MLR reporting year. How an employer should handle any MLR rebate it receives from an issuer depends on the type of group health plan (an ERISA plan, a non-federal governmental group health plan or a non-ERISA, nongovernmental plan) and whether the rebate is considered a plan asset. Is the Rebate a Plan Asset? Most, but not all, group health plans are governed by ERISA. Employers with ERISA plans should not assume that

they can simply retain an MLR rebate. In the absence of specific plan or policy language addressing these types of distributions, whether the rebate will constitute a plan asset depends, in part, on the identity of the policyholder and the source of premium payments. If the employer is the policyholder – as is most often the case – the portion of the rebate that must be treated as a plan asset depends on who paid the insurance premiums. For example: • If the employer paid 100 percent of the premiums, the rebate is not a plan asset and the employer can retain the entire rebate amount; • If participants paid 100 percent of the premiums, the entire rebate amount is a plan asset; and • If the employer and participants each paid a fixed percentage of the premiums, the percentage of the rebate equal to the percentage of the cost paid by participants is a plan asset. How Should the Rebate Be Used? Once an employer determines that all or a portion of an MLR rebate is a plan asset, it must decide how to use the rebate for the exclusive benefit of the plan’s par-

ticipants and beneficiaries. The following methods may be used for applying the rebates: • The rebate can be distributed to participants under a reasonable, fair and objective allocation method. If the employer finds that the cost of distributing shares of a rebate to former participants approximates the amount of the proceeds, the fiduciary may decide to limit rebates to current participants. • If distributing payments to participants is not cost-effective because the amounts are small or would cause tax consequences for the participants, the employer may utilize the rebate for other permissible plan purposes, such as applying the rebate toward future participant premium payments or benefit enhancements. If a plan provides benefits under multiple policies, the employer must be careful to allocate the rebate for a particular policy only to the participants who are covered by that policy. According to the DOL, using a rebate generated by one plan to benefit another plan’s participants would be a breach of fiduciary duty. Tax Treatment of Rebates If premiums were paid by employees on

an after-tax basis, the rebate will generally not be taxable income to employees and will not be subject to employment taxes. However, if premiums were paid by employees on a pre-tax basis under a cafeteria plan, the rebate will generally be taxable income to employees in the current year and will be subject to employment taxes. Is There a Time Limit for Using Rebates? For group health plans that pay premiums from the employer’s general assets (including employee payroll deductions), the DOL requires that premium rebates be distributed within three months of their receipt.

Russell T. Head is President with ACHS Insurance, Inc., Augusta’s largest risk management and employee benefits brokerage. He can be reached at 706-7333459 or  Visit ACHS Insurance at



We’ve always heard and been told that knowledge is power, but is this really true? We have also been told there are street smarts and book smarts. Is one better than the other? Clearly, knowledge is better than ignorance, but I submit that even those with the most knowledge aren’t very powerful until they begin to apply what they know. We see this all the time at New Year’s when resolutions are made. One of the top resolutions is always losing weight. Yet, inevitably, even though we know to lose weight we must eat better and exercise, momentum eventually slows and many resolutions are put off to yet another year. Unfortunately, this is also true with finances. Most of us know financial freedom doesn’t come from taking the easy road, and that’s why we innately don’t like what’s involved. Instead of being easy, it most often comes in the form of hard work and discipline in three key areas: Saving: It can be difficult to save and this challenge affects every income level. For example, I was recently in a meeting where several professionals shared just how little they have saved and are worried

about ever being able to retire, or make it if an emergency were to strike. Thankfully, there is hope and saving is possible, but only when we make it a priority. Therefore, the key is to place enough pain and motivation to the benefits of saving, and awareness to the dangers of not saving so that we no longer neglect doing it. So, let’s begin with the two vital areas of savings that are largely underfunded – emergency savings and retirement savings. Begin putting aside a set amount on a regular basis to both, and make it as automatic as possible so that you never see the money and tempt yourself to spend it elsewhere. In short, begin the habit of paying your savings before your splurges. Giving: Generosity is an important foundation in accomplishing our financial goals that is rarely talked about. However, if we never learn to be generous, we can quickly become greedy hoarders seeking to accumulate all we can. This happens when we get trapped by the adage that the one with the most toys wins, or even worse, money becomes our master. Not a good place to be for our overall well-being. Therefore, do not neglect giving to charities, tithing to the church you attend, and surprising others with gifts they

18 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

Generosity is an important foundation in accomplishing our financial goals that is rarely talked about. never know came from you. Generosity breeds rewards beyond anything money can ever buy. Living: Living beneath our means is probably one of the most neglected, yet powerful ways we can begin saving and giving. This is especially true in America where we have grown accustomed to faster is better and we find it difficult to wait. However, this is also where we can learn from Mother Nature. For example, I recently learned that mushrooms take six hours to grow and oak trees take 60 years. So, what do we want our financial future to look like – an oak or a mushroom? If we desire strong long-term financial foundations, living beneath our means is a vital part of the equation. So, is knowledge power? Only if it is applied – then it blossoms into wisdom. So, the next question is really simple: Are we willing to be wise enough to make the changes and sacrifices necessary to help

secure fruitful financial futures? If so, track where your money is going. Are there cuts to be made, luxuries to be sacrificed and lifestyle choices to be downsized? Again, knowing this information does no good unless it is applied, but it can be done. You can begin changing your financial future today – it’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. So, choose to commit and not to quit.

Dagan Sharpe is Senior Vice President of Queensborough National Bank & Trust. He previously served as National Director for Wells Fargo’s Wealth Management division. He is the author of a stewardship book, Bank On It. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Augusta. Contact him at

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




A day of inexpensive entertainment more than 40 years ago has turned into a long-term occupation for Mark Ross. Ross, owner of Putt-Putt at Martinez Boulevard and Baston Road in Martinez, has been the face of miniature golf in the CSRA since 1987. But he first came across the game as a high school student in Arizona in 1972. He’d never played miniature golf before but that Putt-Putt course offered all-day play for only a dollar. “I thought it was pretty neat,” Ross recalls. “It was good, inexpensive entertainment.” Soon he became a regular there, which

Mark Ross, Putt-Putt led to employment and eventually a career with Putt-Putt. It’s a bit of a departure from the career Ross had envisioned as a music promoter. “I didn’t expect to be in this business,” he said. “I always thought I’d be in promotions and the music business.” For a time, Ross did live that dream. In the late 1970s and early ‘80s he toured the country promoting such acts as REO Speedwagon, Head East and Chuck Berry’s daughter, Ingrid. “But stardom only lasts a little while,” he said. That left him with Putt-Putt to fall back on, and he played on the Putt-Putt professional tour for many years. Eventually he was one of the featured players on an ESPN special in which the players competed for $1,000 per hole on the Augusta course. “They filmed it all here,” Ross said. “I only made $1,000 but it was fun.” He admitted that it didn’t exactly make for riveting television viewing. “It’s not real exciting to watch,” he said. “Most people just want to play the hole.” The 36-hole Putt-Putt course in Martinez was built in 1987, the second in the area; a popular course on Gordon Highway had been in the area for about 20 years but has since closed. “As the population was growing in Columbia County, the founder of PuttPutt thought he should build another one here,” Ross said. Originally it was a corporate-owned course with Ross as the manager. Eventually he leased it from the corporation, then bought it. By the time it was constructed, PuttPutt had discovered that 36 holes was the perfect number to accommodate golfers, although Ross said that on some Satur-

days he wishes for 54 holes. About two years after the course was constructed, the arcade area was added and the batting cages came two years after that. About 10 years ago Ross added laser tag, and this year he added bumper cars and upgraded the batting cages. “I just try to keep it beautiful and playable,” he said. One big addition yet to come in 2016 is changing the ice cream concession to Rita’s Italian Ice. Putt-Putt has remained popular through the decades because virtually anyone can play and have a good time. “With Putt-Putt, everyone plays from little to old, whatever their makeup,” Ross said. “It doesn’t require any athleticism. Everyone is pretty much on an even scale.” He added that with Putt-Putt, a hole-inone is possible on every hole, unlike many miniature golf courses that have holes with various unique obstacles like windmills. “Those holes are fun but they’re not competitively fun,” he said. One thing Ross has observed is that good putters on the golf course are also competitive on the Putt-Putt course. “In the old days of Putt-Putt people would say, ‘Oh, that’s not golf,’ but now they realize that putting is putting,” he said. The Martinez course has even seen pro golfers, in town for the Masters, play a round or two. “We had a lot of the golfers in the ‘90s,” Ross said. “The young golfers would bring their families along. But then the money got so good the guys got more serious and no longer come here.”

20 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

What are you passionate about in your business? Providing good, clean, wholesome fun – that’d be it in a nutshell. Keeping the experience as consistent as possible, making sure they have a clean golf ball and a clean golf club and a clean hole to play on. It’s a place where families can come together and have good quality family time. They can talk while they’re having fun and bonding can be happening. Our saying is “it’s all about fun,” so if we’re practicing that mantra, we have to be all about fun. What have you learned about yourself as a business owner? This is not a get-rich-quick business – it’s not a get-rich business – but it provides a nice working environment. There was a point in my 20s and 30s where I thought I was going to be wealthy. But the goals I did set for myself – managing and then owning Putt-Putt – I did accomplish. Some people are meant for different things. I just enjoy the outdoors. The customer loyalty we have is welcome because I’m still doing this after 30 years. Did your years in music promotion help you build this business? Most definitely. In whatever business you’re in, promoting what you do best is important. Because Putt-Putt is so universally played and liked we have tried to get into all walks of life. That’s different than some businesses. If you’re talking music, you wouldn’t promote country to rock-and-rollers. How do you unwind? Playing golf (on local golf courses). I’m

not a big movie person, but that’s fun. My vacation every year is going to Orlando in November – it’s a working vacation. There’s a big industry show there. Would you recommend this type of business to other people? If they get into it at an early age. I’m pretty much aging out. I don’t enjoy the late nights like I used to and some areas of the business are not as fun as they used to be. But I do enjoy always being around people who are having a good time. Who are some of those people? We have a lady who is 95 years old who comes out with her 76-year-old daughter. They come about once a month to play. They’re so vivacious and excited. I think people can still find fun in their 60s and beyond instead of just doing the sameold, same-old. How do you give back to the community? Giving back to the community is a big, big part of this. We try to do it every day. We have a few churches we work with that we have a great relationship with, and almost every fundraiser we’re giving something. I was a member of the Columbia County Exchange Club for 10 years, the Jaycees, Kiwanis, different clubs that give back. What does the future hold for you and your business? The steps we’re taking now by updating things so they don’t show their age are to take the business into the next generation, whatever that might hold. I don’t want to be here then. I hope I’m at a point where if I continue to own it, it’ll be someone else’s legs running the steps.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz



One-on-one care and education will be the hallmark of a new pharmacy on Wheeler Road in Augusta. Pharmacist Neal Miller and his wife, Jean, opened Miller Drug on Oct. 1 at 3664 Wheeler Road. Neal has more than 15 years experience as a pharmacist and Jean has more than 25 years in in-home health care. Their daughter, Heather Sprouse, is helping with marketing. “My dad really has a heart for taking care of patients on a personal level,” Sprouse said. “Both of them are dedicated to patient care and wanted to team together.” While Miller Drug functions like other drug stores, with over-the-counter medicines and a drive-thru service, the personal care will be paramount. “It’s important for people to understand what will happen when they take their medicines,” Sprouse said. Miller Drug carries medical equip-

ment like canes and diabetic shoes, and has a home or business delivery service. It will also offer vaccinations and asthma care. In addition, it plans to offer free community education at schools and senior centers. Sprouse said the pharmacist will also act as an intercessor between doctors and

patients. She said doctors are sometimes unaware of what other medicines a patient is taking, and patients are unaware of how those medicines might interact. This can be especially true for diabetic patients and those seeing different specialists. “They can make an appointment and he’ll walk them through the medication,

what it will do and the possible side effects,” she said. Miller Drug will also be involved in medication therapy management, with a goal of helping reduce the number of medications some patients receive. The store has four employees and plans a grand opening sometime in the spring.


Rita’s Italian Ice People who have been driving to Columbia or even Hilton Head to enjoy Rita’s Italian Ice treats are in for a treat themselves – the Italian ice favorite is coming to Augusta. Mark Ross, owner of Putt-Putt, has announced that he will be adding Rita’s Italian Ice to his concession stand, replacing Dippin’ Dots and Blue Bell. “We already have a winning business,” Ross said. “We’re branding the two franchises together.” Rita’s is famous for its Italian ices, frozen custard and their Blendinis, a merging of Italian ice and frozen custard. “This allows us to enlarge the concession area without getting fully into the restaurant business,” Ross said. “It’s something unique. We’ll have a good many flavors of Italian ice and custard.” Ross said it also has the potential to increase his business beyond people who are coming to enjoy golf and the other games at Putt-Putt. He expects some people will stop simply to enjoy the frozen treats. Adding Rita’s to his business is no simple act. In addition to taking an online training course, Ross also has to complete 40 hours of hands-on training, plus another 40 hours working with another Rita’s dealer before he can open for business. He expects to have the Rita’s portion of the business open in November or December. Banjo Cold Brew Banjo Cold Brew Coffee has made its official debut in the Augusta area with their nitro on tap and bottles in area

stores. The Hive and The Bee’s Knees carry Banjo nitro on tap, as well as bottles, and Whole Foods Market of Augusta carries bottles of Banjo Sweetly Tuned and Pitch Black. Brewed and bottled locally, Banjo launched March 2015 at area farmers markets in Atlanta. Plans for expansion into additional markets, as well as, increasing product availability in stores, are currently underway. “Authenticity is the key ingredient to our success,” said Billy Atchison, brewmaster at Banjo Cold Brew. “I think people taste the difference from that first sip. You realize the difference in the beans and our brew styles – the flavors and the profile. Also, I’m from Alabama and literally have a banjo tattooed on my knee. So yeah, we’re pretty authentic.” “We’ve been pleasantly surprised at the positive momentum surrounding our launch,” added Chasidy Atchison, marketing rep and partner in Banjo. “Not only are customers thrilled with the taste, but they also want to support a company who does business locally, while keeping sustainability and social responsibility at the forefront. That’s our mission.” Banjo cold brew is made from artisanroasted, specialty-grade beans from exotic origins. They are brewed in cold water for 18-24 hours, producing a smooth flavor. It is 67 percent less acidic than hotbrewed coffee. Original and sweetened flavors are available in single-serve bottles and in 32-ounce howlers. For more information, visit

22 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

The Truck Stop Downtown North Augusta suddenly gained five “new restaurants” with an innovative idea. The Truck Stop at Jackson Square started on Sept. 30 with five local food trucks taking turns setting up at Jackson Square. The concept allows people to enjoy outdoor dining, and promotes live music during the week. The Truck debuted on Sept. 30 to a large crowd. The idea is to have The Truck Stop open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday. Several food trucks are slated to take part in the event, with the plan to have them appear on different days. Trucks currently listed as taking part in The Truck Stop are Hamilton Brothers (southern cuisine), K’s Buffalo Wings, The Pot Smoker BBQ, Riverside BBQ, Vic’s Grill (Authentic Mexican and Caribbean), and Stuffed Puppies (stuffed hush puppies). For more information, visit


Kmart The last Kmart in the CSRA will be closing its doors by the end of the year,

according to reports. The Kmart at 1647 Gordon Highway is set to close by mid-December. It is one of 64 Kmarts that are closing around the country. Liquidation sales are now underway. Employees have been offered severance packages and the opportunity to apply at area Sears stores. The Kmart store in North Augusta closed in late May and the building is now being renovated to bring in several new stores. Yo Pizza After 19 years as a local pizza favorite, Yo Pizza at 2803 Wrightsboro Road will be closing its doors on Nov. 18. Owner Deborah Rodriguez, in a Facebook post, said she will be working full-time as a home health nurse. She announced that she will still be making cheesecakes and plans on still catering, although not pizzas. In addition to pizza, Yo Pizza also served sandwiches and subs, Italian dinners and desserts. She added that the pizzas can be frozen and patrons can order up to 10 of them, but asks that they please not wait until the last day to order them. Evans Fitness A moving van was parked outside the former Omni Fitness Center on Evans to Locks Road on the morning of Sept. 27. An Evans Fitness Express banner covered the Omni sign, but after Tuesday, that location will be neither Omni or Evans Fitness. Continued on page 23

LOVE FOR PIZZA TURNS INTO UNIQUE MOBILE BUSINESS For years, pizza connoisseur Mark Hofilena struggled to find a pizza he liked in the CSRA. Now, not only has he found one, he bakes it. Better yet, he brings his oven to you. “I love pizza, I always have, but there was nowhere in Augusta to buy a decent pizza,” Hofilena said. Then in June, while on vacation in New York, he found the answer to his dilemma. He met a man with a portable brick oven that cooked pizzas with a wood fire. Back in Augusta, Hofilena – who is also co-owner of Credit Card Payment Systems in Evans – designed his own version of the portable oven, mounted on a large trailer, and is doing business as Hofilini’s Brick Oven Pizza (the name is a play on his name, something he had “fun with.”) “It’s a totally different taste,” Hofilena said of the wood-fired pizza. “It gives it a more traditional, authentic pizza taste.” Not only is the taste different, the 900-degree oven makes cooking time

blazingly fast. Once in the oven, the pizza cooks in 90 seconds. Even with stretching the dough (everything is handmade), a pizza can be done in five minutes or less. That’s important if he is set up at a party. The first big test of the mobile unit was setting up at the Oliver Hardy Festival the first weekend in October. “Everybody was oohing and ahhing,” he said. “They liked that they could see the pizza being made and cooking in a way that they didn’t have to wait.” Hofilena’s daughter, Ashlyn, helps him run the pizza business. “My daughter really runs this,” he said. “The idea to put this together was to help her through college.” Hofilena is so confident that people will like Hofilini’s Brick Oven Pizza that he has already ordered three more of the custom-made units that he expects to have in service in January or February. For more information about Hofilini’s Brick Oven Pizza, visit their Facebook page,


Continued from page 22 Evans Fitness Club owner Mike Montarbo said Sept. 27 was the last day for a workout at that location. Then all the equipment and furnishings was packed up and moved. Evans Fitness merged with Omni and gained the equipment as part of Omni’s bankruptcy proceedings. “All Omni memberships will be honored either at the Evans Fitness Express in Martinez or at the main location,” he said. “We’ve had a positive response from Omni members.” The Express Center is in West Town Shopping Center at Davis and Washington roads and the main Evans Fitness Club is at 3002 Allen Drive, between Evans Town Center and North Belair Roads. It opened in December 2012. According to a billboard, Gold’s Gym plans to fill the vacant Omni location. A Gold’s Gym truck has been parked in front of the building, apparently for advertising. The Garlic Clove A culinary favorite of many Augustans closed its doors Oct. 2. The Garlic Clove in Evans, which had earned the distinction of Best Italian Restaurant six times by readers of Columbia County Magazine, closed after nine years in business. It was also a favorite of pizza lovers.

“Our restaurant was a little hidden and that hurt,” Chef Jeff Freehof told Buzz on Biz founder Neil Gordon. Freehof was in the final year of a fiveyear lease at a strip plaza in Evans shared by Toki Restaurant and adjacent to the Ace Hardware building. The restaurant originally opened in 2007 in the plaza in front of the Evans Walmart. Prior to that, Freehof owned and eventually sold Cutie Pies in Evans. Around the turn of the century, Freehof moved his family from New England to be part of Columbia County and the school system. A year ago, Freehof and his family moved to the Harrisburg section of Augusta to help their church develop a ministry there. Freehof said he is grateful for the support over the years from his loyal customers. “We really enjoyed fundraising efforts to help many charities like the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Columbia County Cares and the Golden Harvest Food Bank,” he said. Freehof is a former instructor at Helms College in Augusta and a trained Executive Chef. He is a frequent contributor to Pizza Today and has been a speaker at the International Pizza Expo. He will remain in the CSRA in the hospitality industry and devote more time to helping his causes and consulting with other restaurateurs.


Twisted Burrito Just a little more than a year after opening their first Twisted Burrito location in Evans, Steve Fredericks and Jason Beall plan to open a second location by Fort Gordon’s Gate 1. The new location is expected to be open in January. Twisted Burrito opened in September 2015 in the shopping center across from Walmart on Washington Road. It creates handcrafted burritos with, as the name implies, a twist from the typical Mexican dish. The burrito offerings include jerk chicken and black beans, slow-cooked pork and Georgia fries, grilled chicken and Asian slaw and roasted squash and zucchini. In addition, it serves salads and craft beer and wine.


Bass Pro & Cabela’s Two of the nation’s top outdoor

sports stores have agreed to merge into one. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Incorporated announced in early October that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Bass Pro Shops will acquire Cabela’s for approximately $5.5 billion. Both Bass Pro and Cabela’s announced in 2013 that they would build stores in Augusta. Cabela’s opened a store next to Costco off River Watch Parkway, but Bass Pro Shops decided against building a store where it had planned on Flowing Wells Road. All Cabela’s CLUB points and Bass Pro Shops Outdoor Rewards points will be unaffected by the transactions and customers can continue to use their credit cards as they were prior to the transaction. A driving force behind this agreement is the highly complementary business philosophies, product offerings, expertise and geographic footprints of the two businesses. The essence of both Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s is a deep passion to serve outdoor enthusiasts and support conservation. The combination brings together three of the nation’s premier sporting brands: Cabela’s, a leader in hunting; Bass Pro Shops, a leader in fishing; and White River Marine Group, a worldwide leader in boating, which is part of Bass Pro Shops.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




An Augusta favorite is returning just in time to service the area’s holiday needs. Greene’s Fine Foods, formerly known as Pecans Unlimited, opened on October 25 at 1704 Central Ave., offering the CSRA fresh pecans, candy and gifts. “Our product is packed fresh instead of sitting around on the shelves for months, co-owner Phil Greene said. “Everything we do is fresh to order.”   Pecans Unlimited had been an Augusta favorite for more than 30 years until two years ago when Phil’s father, Hugh Greene, passed away. Hugh’s wife, Jane, decided to close the doors of Pecans Unlimited and move to Atlanta to be closer to her family, where she could assist with Greene’s Fine Foods. But their customers – and employees – didn’t forget. Jane stayed in contact with her employees, Nona Zimmerman and Anne Matson, who even went to Decatur to help during the store’s busy season. When Jane and Phil came to Augusta to deliver pecans to Nona this past spring, the former employee expressed interest in reopening the store, stating that she and Matson could manage it while the Greenes were in Atlanta. “So many people would love to be buying pecans from here,” Nona said. Jane and Phil had already been discussing reopening the Augusta store after Phil received requests from people on social media, so Anne and Nona’s willingness to help came at the right time. The store will still be a seasonal business – open from October to December, but online orders can always be fulfilled from their Decatur store. Jane and Phil were at the Augusta store on opening day to see old faces and show the community that they are still involved in the business. “We enjoy seeing all the people from Augusta that come in year after year,” Phil said. Hugh and Jane Greene began in the business in 1984 when they opened a franchise of Morrow’s Nut House in the Regency Mall. When ownership of Morrow’s changed several times, Jane said they really wanted to do

something different and chose to open their own store specializing in pecans. Pecans Unlimited was born and became a seasonal favorite to businesses and families in Augusta. After six years in the Regency Mall, the store moved to its current location on Central Avenue and was only open October through December, right after the pecan harvest. In 2008, Phil opened a year-round pecan store in downtown Decatur. He chose to use the name Greene’s Fine Foods, as his grandfather had owned a restaurant of the same name in Augusta, renowned for its fried shrimp. In addition to pecan treats, the store also has candy, fudge and toys for school aged children. That same year Nona began working at Pecans Un-

limited, taking orders over the phone and assisting in a number of roles at the store. Nona said she and fellow employees like Anne stayed “busy, busy, busy” from Thanksgiving to Christmas. They spent their days providing fresh, custom-ordered pecans for individuals and corporate gifts. “We would laugh and joke so it was a real good place to work. Everyone really got along,” Nona said. Nona is ready to reintroduce the Augusta area to a one-of-a-kind product. “I’m real excited because you cannot find what they had at any of these other places, and I know, because I looked,” Nona said. For more information on Greene’s Fine Foods or to place an order, visit

AREA’S OLDEST NISSAN DEALERSHIP CHANGES HANDS The oldest Nissan dealership east of the Mississippi River changed hands in September when the Watson family sold Sunbelt Nissan in Martinez to the Bob Richards Automotive Group. After more than 50 years as a successful Nissan retailer, Mike Waatson and family decided to retire and sell the family’s interest in Sunbelt Nissan. The Bob Richards Automotive Group currently owns and operates Nissan, Toyota, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram franchises in the Augusta area. “Yes, it is true. I have decided to retire,” said Mike Watson. “But I wanted to let you know that the Bob Richards Automotive Group is among the very finest, with a tradition of excellence for many, many years.”

The Bob Richards Automotive Group has operated a Nissan dealership in North Augusta “I have great respect for the Richards family and their organization, and I feel with utmost confidence that they will continue to take excellent care of you, and your Nissan automobile, for years to come,” Watson said. Watson has been the dealer principal of Sunbelt Nissan for more than 40 years and has earned the title of being the longest continually operating Nissan dealer east of the Mississippi River. In 1974, he took over dealership operations from his father, who had established Sunbelt Nissan 11 years prior. Watson’s father, Jim Watson, was an army veteran and a survivor of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

24 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

He began a Datsun store on a small lot in Augusta before the manufacturer changed its name to Nissan. “It’s been an amazing 50 years selling and servicing Nissan cars, trucks, vans and

SUVs in this community,” Watson said. “Let’s hope the next 50 years are just as much fun for The Bob Richards Automotive Group and the new Bob Richards Nissan of Augusta.”

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Currently I am representing a technology-centric business. It’s a great business, has great cash flow and it’s grown remarkably, especially considering that the owner is self-taught and has created all the growth personally. I’m impressed with what he has accompalished. However, the owner has stayed very close to the daily functioning of the company. In fact, there are certain parts of it that would not work if he was not there most of the time. And the business is a little niche-y, meaning that it has chosen a narrower market to operate in, so some buyers that are coming to see the business are afraid that they don’t know what the owner knows about the product line, and so they are too timid to make an offer. (I’ll talk about the massive roadblock to entrepreneurship that timidity poses in another article, but trust me, it’s the most common reason buyers do not move forward, sometimes ever.) Now, I know a lot about this particular business, and I’ve got a technology background. What my tech background tells me is that this business is not rocket science. The company buys inventory, sells it primarily online, ships it and collects money. It provides fast turnaround times and great customer service, as indicated by its online reviews. It has virtually no debt. There are plenty of opportunities for growth and expansion. I could run it myself, even though I’m not familiar with

the product line. And why is that? Because there aren’t a lot of technical questions regarding the product line. The people and businesses that buy from the company usually know what they want the products for and how to use them. When there is an occasional hiccup, the consumer emails the business, and the owner emails an answer: Try this, or send it back and I’ll send you a new one. If he doesn’t know the answer, he Googles it, and sends the link to the answer to the product buyer. Simple, right? Wrong. There is one really wrong word in the paragraph above: owner. The owner is the wrong person to be doing that job. The right person to be doing that job, along with many other duties, is a General Manager. That is the position any business owner should hire before adding anyone else to the management team.

And why is that? Because the business owner should be a thinker, not a doer. Do you think Richard Branson runs any of his businesses operationally? No, he doesn’t. He sits on the beach on one of his islands, or on the sumptuous grounds of one of his mansions, or rides in his helicopter or on his yacht, and he thinks. That’s Branson’s job. Branson writes a strategic plan, and he hires other smart people to execute on it. And yes, now he has plenty of money to start any new business venture he wants, but once upon a time his mother had to re-mortgage the family home to pay off a legal fine accrued by his first business. He was just like us – but perhaps just a bit more of a risk taker. The importance of working on your business versus in your business – thinking vs. doing – cannot be stressed highly enough. As Yankees’ legend Yogi Berra

once said, “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.” What’s your business’ destination? Do you know what it will look like when you’ve arrived? Have you really thought it through and planned how you will get there? Hiring a general manager can be expensive. It won’t always work out. You have to hand over a certain amount of trust. It’s a risky proposition. But doing so can more than double, triple or even quadruple the value of your business. And it’s something you need to start working on today. Not sure how to go about it? There’s a process that will help protect you and your business and get you free to be the CEO. Email me at kromaner@tworld. com, and I’ll send you our white paper on You-Proofing Your Business.

Kim Romaner is president of Transworld Business Advisors of Augusta, a business brokerage and franchise consulting firm, and a Multi-Million Dollar Member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB). To learn more about improving the value of your business, selling it, or finding the right business to buy, call Kim at 706-383-2994, x802, or email her at



The objective of the Required Minimum Distribution rule is to ensure that the entire value of a traditional IRA or employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan account will be distributed over the IRA owner’s/retired employee’s life expectancy. When Must Required Minimum Distributions Begin? In the case of traditional IRAs, Required Minimum Distributions must begin no later than April 1 of the year following the year in which you reach age 70-1/2 and must continue each year thereafter. In the case of employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans, Required Minimum Distributions must begin by April 1 of the year that follows the later of (1) the calendar year in which you reach age 70-1/2 or (2) the calendar year

in which you retire from employment with the employer maintaining the plan (unless the plan requires that you begin receiving distributions by April 1 of the year that follows the year in which you reach age 70-1/2). If you wait until the year following the year in which you reach age 70-1/2 or, in the case of a qualified retirement plan, retire from employment, you must receive a minimum distribution on behalf of the previous year by April 1 of the current year, and a minimum distribution on behalf of the current year by Dec. 31 of that year. How Are Required Minimum Distribution Amounts Calculated? IRS regulations regarding Required Minimum Distributions include a “Uniform Lifetime Table” with “Distribution Period Factors.” The appropriate Distribution Period Factor, based on your age

26 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

in the distribution year, is divided into your account balance as of the previous Dec. 31 in order to determine your required minimum distribution for the current tax year. What Happens If Minimum Distribution Requirements Aren’t Met? The difference between the Required Minimum Distribution you should have received and the lower amount you actually received is subject to a penalty tax of 50 percent – an outcome to be avoided! Financial institutions report IRA distributions to the IRS on Form 5498 and are required to indicate if the IRA is subject to Required Minimum Distributions. May I Withdraw More Than the Required Minimum Distribution? Yes, although minimizing qualified plan and IRA distributions may result in substantial tax savings. Consult your financial advisor for a more in-depth

analysis. Note: The above discussion does not apply to non-deductible Roth IRAs, which are not subject to minimum distribution requirements. Please contact my office if you would like additional information on required minimum distributions.

Mike Herrington is President of Herrington Financial Services, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisor. He is a Certified Financial Planner licensee(CFP), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a Certified Estate Planner(CEP). He has been serving clients in the CSRA since 1984. Contact him at 706-8688673 or

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




When I ask someone what Financial Freedom means to them, most people immediately say “being debt free.” Granted that is truly a big and important part of financial freedom, but stopping there can mean big problems for us in the future. If we truly desire to attain and keep real and true financial freedom ,we must develop a different mindset and a new way of thinking about our money and our financial future. For most of us, this means unlearning much of what we have been taught and told about our money. That means relearning some truth about things we really need to consider and actions that we need to take in order to remain financially free – no matter what happens in the political and financial realms in the future. How would you feel about having a personal financial system (your own personal economy, so to speak) that was immune to the effects of government, banking regulations and Wall Street? What could that do to help you and your family attain and remain financially free? Ask yourself the following questions: • Do you believe that the economy of today and the next 20 years is or will be

the same as the economy of the 30 years prior to the year 2000? • Who would you rather have in control of your money and your financial future, the government: the banking system, Wall Street or yourself ? • Do you believe income tax rates will go up or down in the future? • Do you believe that having access to capital is important when opportunities come along, rather than having your money locked away in the prison of some government-sponsored retirement plan where it is out of reach and out of your

control rather than it being free to help you become more financially free? If there was something that you were currently unknowingly doing in planning for your financial future that could potentially cause you problems in the future, when would you want to find out, before the problem occurred or after? There is no doubt that we are in a “new economy.” Baby-Boomers are turning 65 and retiring at the rate of approximately 10,000 per day, soon to increase to 11,000 per day. This means money is leaving the markets in unprecedented

amounts and not being replaced at the same rate. We are in a extended time of historically low interest rates with no end in sight, and we have entered into an increasing income tax environment. Yet most people are thinking and planning for their future in the same manner as the decades before with old products and solutions that may have worked in the past. But failing to think about what we are now doing, why we are doing it and what we need to be doing differently could be detrimental to the health and well-being of your financial future. One of the greatest investments that a person can make is to invest in themselves. At our upcoming Financial Freedom Bootcamp, you will have the opportunity to do just that and to learn more about these and other topics that will keep you financially free.

Scott Chapman is a financial planner who runs Financial Freedom Boot Camps that help people build a firm financial foundation. For more details, see his ad on page 15.



While the world may be going paperless, there are some people and some occupations not just holding onto paper, but oversized paper—over 11 “ x 17” in size. These are typically those in the construction industry, or artists, or in fact anyone who does not want to be hampered by the inconvenience of running, driving or mailing documents to another facility in order to outsource oversized printouts. Imagine the angst of a world famous stained glass creator, whose vendor could not get his lines to meet from page to page of designs he creates for giant windows in cathedrals or mansions. Think about his trying to implement his computer drawn designs without the convenience of being able to place specific colors of glass inside the lines beneath his glass working table. Imagine the thrill of a photographer whose studio is on the town’s busiest street, who can whisk a life-sized portrait from his computer to his window whether at midnight or in the middle of the afternoon. Capturing just the right look of well known community subjects

becomes the talk of the town, particularly since he can change pictures frequently at will. And he is able to strike while the fire of exhilaration is at its highest rather than delay gratification over capturing that perfect picture. Then, there is the construction industry – everything from grading to building a home or office park to landscaping. Although the designers and architects create with software on computers in the office, in the field it is another story. Deep in the woods one may be without a single bar of connectivity. Workers might not be as computer savvy as the designers. Paper and pen or pencil not only allows a large reference point, but changes can be made on site and scanned into computers at the office later. So, in these days of going paperless we have customers whose quantities of paper would floor a 2,000-square-foot home. We even have one who outputs a mile of paper each week. I have to admit that at first we thought the increase in sales of wide format printers was simply a cost issue. Instead, we learned that adding wide format printers

28 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

to a company was a convenience issue. Time was money, whether a small mom-and-pop business or a large enterprise. When one has to stop in the middle of the day and take your project elsewhere, that is time lost. Customers did not want to be bound by office hours and turnaround time of others, particularly when on time constraints. What are some of the decisions one needs to make before selecting a wide format printer? One important questions is whether or not you need color. Black and white might be perfectly acceptable to a welder, but an architect needs to have plumbing and electrical lines color coded. Just as when one is deciding on which copier is perfect for your business, one needs to have a good idea of the number pages you copy each month. Paper size is also important. Although the most common size for wide format printers is 36” x 24”, we have some customers who need our 44” paper. We even have a wide format printer that can print up to 60 inches wide. The type of paper you want to use is important as well. Although most cus-

tomers are satisfied with regular bond, some of our customers insist on art paper, which is primarily used for posters. Other questions you need answered pertain to how the paper copy integrates with your other operations. For example, are you paperless in other areas of your office and you need the ability to scan to files on specific computers? As with other purchases, you need to make certain you have the technical support for the wide format printer as well as its integration into other office software. If you think paper is a thing of the past, think again.

Scott Thurmond is CEO and Co-Owner of Duplicating Systems, Inc. (DSI), which provides multi-function copiers, software solutions and other technology. The company has been serving the CSRA for more than 30 years. For comments or questions, email sthurmond@ duplicatingsytstems. com

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




gradually but in a timely manner for the perfect relationship to your ingredients. Stirring in Your Ingedients (Steps to the Sale): Put your “touches” on the recipe. Step 1 – Sales Rep delivers first dimensional piece, a bag drop with general info about your services. Step 2 – Sales Rep delivers business card and other promotional pieces. Step 3- Sales Rep emails prospects they’ve touched in steps 1 and 2. Step 4 – Sales Rep calls for an appointment. Step 5 – Sales Rep delivers a gift or sample. Step 6 – Sales Rep calls on Prospect. Step 7 – Sales Rep closes the sale (puts the casserole in the oven). Step 8 – a perfect delivery of the perfect “casserole” (product) and your client is fully satisfied and hungry for more. Now get ready to repeat your “casserole recipe” for more hungry clients.


Many of us have our three best recipes that draw a crowd to our table. Well, you should also have three best sales recipes that draw a crowd to your business. Sometimes it’s “Gramma’s recipe” handed down or it’s the brand new recipe brought to the fair that wins the blue ribbon. Either way, it’s a prize-winning recipe that works and wins! So let’s start there. Your objective is to get new business, right? Look at the “recipe” here and get started! Research shows that nine out of 10 sales people don’t use any kind of “recipe” (sales process). I know what you’re thinking, I’ll stop reading now because this is just another how-to-increase-sales article. But hang in there with me for just a few more paragraphs and then if it doesn’t sound like a good recipe to you, stop reading and go to one of your old boring recipes out of the store-bought recipe book. Consistency is the key. Every good cook will tell you to use consistant utensils, habits, ingredients, heat, etc. There is no secret sauce in this recipe. Just like a good casserole, each cook adds their own touch and flavor. It’s okay to be the individual cook you are; some clients will love your flavoring best. Just be the cook who becomes the preferred chef to those who

love your recipe. While recipe directions (steps to the sale) matter immensly, they matter less than the frequency, amount and consistency with which they are applied to the recipe. Remember, you won’t win everyone over with your best casserole but the ones you do win over will frequent your “kitchen” more often than your competitors. In short, determine what your best recipe

is and use it regularly and consistently. Here’s a recipe to get you started. Ingredients (Prospecting and Profiling): One nice heaping bowl of lead generation, several cups from the prospects list, one cup of qualified and researched propective clients. Prep and Pre-Heat (Lead Nurturing & Relationship Development): Prep and pre-heat those prospects, do not cook on high or broil (yet). Let the oven heat up

Beth Pence and her son Phillip own Alphagraphics, located in Martinez, just across from the Martinez Post Office off of Martinez Blvd. on Commercial Ct. They offer full print, signs and design services. Reach them at 706-650-3177 or



Hats off – or should we say shoes off – to anyone who has walked a major trade show. While etiquette has loosened a bit and nice tennis shoes are now OK, it’s still quite a task to slog through aisle after aisle for several hours a day. Here are eight tips to make it easier. 1. Obviously, dress for comfort. If you’re not into tennis shoes, Rockford, Florsheim, Ecco and Mephisto now make shoes with a bit more bounce than the traditional wing tips or heels. 2. Forget the brief case. If you are presenting to prospects at the show it’s probably by appointment so you’ll know when to load up. But if you’re walking the show, hoping to catch someone in, put your presentation on a tablet. You can even offer to send the same materials to them and do it on the spot if you have wifi. And when you do, include your digital business card so they can add it to their contacts with just a click. (Bring printed cards too just in case) 3. Don’t load up with collateral material. You’ve seen the guy pulling the

Sounds crazy but it’s not the hotel beds that are so bad as much as it is the strange pillow.

wheeled case or the one with the show bag so loaded that it cuts off the circulation to his hand. Forget it. Use your phone camera to take photos of collateral material. In fact, you can use your tablet’s camera and you can imbed photos into any text you create using programs like Evernote. Further, most of what you might pick up at the show is usually available on the company website. 4. Lay out your planned stops. Many shows now have apps. You can load in the booth numbers you wish to visit and the app will actually plot your most direct route to cut down on the walking. You can do this without the app if you visit

30 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

the show website and locate the booths ahead of time. Show guides and maps are available at the front so review one before going in. 5. Plan your walking around rest and refreshment areas. Get your feet up and drink water several times a day. While seated lift your arms above your head so the blood can move away from extremities. Getting rest and drinking water for even a scant 10 minutes will make the remainder of the walking so much easier. 6. Don’t eat a heavy lunch and avoid carbohydrates. Carbs will make you sleepy. A heavy lunch will also slow you down. It’s best to eat a good breakfast and take a couple of protein bars with you instead of paying big bucks for a skimpy show sandwich. Eat the bars every 2-3 hours instead of just snacking at noon. Plan on a great supper. 7. Get a good night’s sleep. If possible, bring your pillow from home. Sounds crazy but it’s not the hotel beds that are so bad as much as it is the strange pillow. Sometimes it’s fiber, sometimes down, or

some combination. Either way they are not like home. And fit yours with a colored pillow case so you don’t forget it and the hotel staff doesn’t take it. 8. Rehydrate your eyes and nose. Trade show floors can be dusty and the miles of carpet can dry out sinuses and eyes because of the formaldehyde used in its manufacture. Take eye drops and a saline nose spray if you are bothered by these conditions. Try it and you’ll always pack it.

Mark Alison is President of The Alison Group (started in 1982) with offices in Augusta and Charlotte. TAG is a B2B Marketing and Communication Company with a rich history of creating new business growth. Contact Mark at

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




It’s exciting when you’re recognized for your tweets on Twitter, especially when it’s by someone as famous as Carrie Fisher (yes, AKA Princess Leia of Star Wars fame). I recently took a trip up to New York City to attend New York Comic Con. Pretty much any aspect of pop culture that you can think of was represented, but I was there for one reason: to see actress, novelist and screenwriter, Carrie Fisher. So, I waited in an extremely long line of people and when I finally reached Carrie, something surprising happened. In the middle of introducing myself (“Hi, I’m Kelsey…”) she suddenly stopped me and gave me a big hug. “Kels from Twitter?” she exclaimed. “I know who you are! I’m so glad I finally get to meet you!” Yes, she actually did know me, which may seem surprising, but even a small glance at Carrie’s social media accounts makes it clear that she pays a lot of attention to her fans (or “sass factories” as she calls them) in a way that you don’t normally see from celebrities. Her account is essentially retweets of fan art, pictures of her famous service dog, Gary, and lots of emojis. What you won’t find is blatant self-promotion or anything close to monotonous. “But isn’t this a business column?” you might be asking yourself. “Why are you talking about celebrities?” Even though businesses and public figures are quite different, there are still many tips that your company can learn from public figures who utilize social media well. As a business on social media, we know that the goal is always to gain followers, but how often do you actually take the time to interact with them? Certainly not with every follower because that’s not realistic, especially for companies that have follower counts up in the thousands. However, if you tend to notice the same people commenting and favoriting your posts, try to connect with them, like Carrie Fisher did with me. It’s a small gesture that can lead to a big sense of customer loyalty. Local celebrities can also serve as social

Buzz on Biz’s Kelsey Morrow with Carrie Fisher and Fisher’s dog, Gary, in New York City.

media inspiration. If you aren’t already following her, check out Meredith Anderson of WRDW Channel 12 on Twitter (@MeredithWRDW). One social media practice that Meredith executes especially well is that of transparency. In addition to breaking news topics, Meredith also posts entertaining behindthe-scenes pictures and videos from the television studio. These photos and videos are clearly unrehearsed and provide a realistic view of what life is really like for anchors of a television news program. An increasingly savvy audience wants to feel like they are seeing the real, unfiltered side of your business. By “unfiltered” I don’t mean unprofessional; rather the public wants to see what your company is actually like, and not some manufactured image. My personal favorite social media platform for business transparency is Snapchat. Snapchat only allows for live con-

tent, so as a viewer, you know that what you are seeing was recorded or captured live. However, although Snapchat’s user numbers are steadily growing, it does still tend to cater towards a younger audience. If Millennials are not your target audience, I would suggest looking into filming Periscope videos for your Twitter feed or doing a Facebook live post. Focus on being genuine and transparency can go a long way in gaining customer trust. The final topic is probably the most important: make your message entertaining. As a social media user, my pet peeve is seeing businesses post the same type of message over and over without any attempt to switch up the content. Yes, I understand that your ultimate goal is, for example, to drive people to shop on your website. But if every post is “go to our website…” and a link to your website, it will definitely start getting tuned out. The challenge is, how can

you get your point across, but still be entertaining enough to get the attention of potential customers? A celebrity example of utilizing entertaining posts well is George Takei. The former Star Trek actor has become arguably more well-known for his widely shared social media posts than his acting career. His posts, often contain memes, images, and humor, average around 50,000 likes and 30,000 shares – huge numbers in terms of social media interaction. So what can your business learn from George Takei’s approach to social media? First, focus on imagery. Keep in mind that social media users will engage with your post while scrolling down the newsfeed. A pure text post will likely not capture their attention and make them stop scrolling. However, an image or a video will attract more notice. Secondly, make your information relatable. George Takei’s memes tend to be about topics that most people relate to, whether that’s humor or a current event. This trend has also been executed by major brands such as Walmart and Target. Target, for example, advertised its new patio furniture line by creating a post asking viewers about their favorite summer memories. As long as the topic of the post somehow relates to the products or services that your company offers, it will have the same effect. Although these types of posts aren’t direct sales drivers, they do get potential customers to take notice of your business that leads to top-of-mind awareness, which can indirectly lead to more sales and business in the future. The next time that you stop to look at a celebrity’s social media post, think “What about this post got my attention?” and use it. Soon your company will be on its way to attracting fans of its own.

Kelsey Morrow is the Media Assistant at Buzz on Biz and handles its social media accounts. She has a Masters in Public Relations from the University of Georgia. Contact her at


Your business can help Santa fly this December. Augusta Regional Airport is planning its Second Annual Santa Fly-In on Dec. 17 for about 100 terminally ill children with the assistance of Children’s Hospital

of Georgia. At this party the children will have the opportunity to play games, make crafts and greet Santa when he flies in on his personal helicopter. The airport is asking local businesses to provide crafts, food,

32 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

games, promotional items or volunteers to assist with the event. All participating sponsors will be recognized in all press releases, media interviews, the airport’s website and social media, as well as at the event.

A video of last year’s Santa Fly-In is available on the airport’s YouTube channel at AGS Augusta. For more information, contact Lauren Smith, Communication Manager, at 706-849-3641 or

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Have you noticed that many companies, especially small businesses, have a Facebook page instead of a web page? Have you realized that now you might search Facebook first rather than Google to find exactly what you need? Have you started using Facebook instead of text messaging yet? It’s pretty convenient, as apparently people check Facebook a lot more often than they do email. On Facebook, and the internet in general, what once was an easy click now involves ads loading for several seconds, making your next click a moving target and if you miss... well, you just clicked on an advertisement and that was no accident. Welcome to the maturing of the internet, meaning the truly free is hard to find. There is still much freedom on the internet, but it is becoming clogged with advertisements and rabbit trails that take you to places you don’t want to go – some of those fall into the category of adware and then comes scareware and viruses. But back to Facebook…as I found myself reaching for my phone 20 times a day, I stopped to ask myself why. Instead, I often turned to Facebook. Facebook to boost a business post, Facebook to check in on my family, my friends, my acquaintances and all of their friends as well. I also found myself searching for businesses in my area or restaurant menus and joining a dozen “Yard Sale No Rules” “Augusta Barter Kings” and every variation thereof. I mixed in a text messaging app, so that now I use Facebook to text and message. Now if I am trying to find someone, I just check Facebook first. Facebook is the new Yellow Pages, the 8,000-pound gorilla in the market for eyeballs and eyes on ads. I was startled to hear an analyst men-

tion the possibility of breaking Facebook up because of the enormous power and market share it has, but that is very unlikely as this was tried with Microsoft 15 years ago and it never actually happened. The fact is, Facebook is an enormous force. It does have a near monopoly in some ways and is growing ever more powerful. They solved the “mobile ad” problem years ago. Everyone said, well, people mostly look at Facebook on their phones and that was true. Now phones are bigger, ads are faster and Facebook is just fine with it if you never go near your desktop. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Facebook has miscalculated “average duration of video viewed” time for the last two years. It seems like they did not count videos that were viewed for less than three seconds in their metrics, which seems like a trivial thing, but in this instance it significantly skewed one metric that advertisers used to make decisions. Facebook did reveal the error, albeit in the relatively small print of the ad users

LOCAL CHURCH AMONG FASTEST GROWING IN NATION One of the fastest-growing churches in the United States is in North Augusta. According to Outreach magazine, TrueNorth Church on Martintown Road in North Augusta ranked 42 among its Top 100 fastest-growing churches. It showed a growth of 458 people, or 26 percent. TrueNorth started in 2004 meeting in homes, and later spent a decade meeting at North Augusta High School before moving to its current home in April

2015. Steve Davis is the senior pastor. It typically draws more than 2,200 to its services. Two other South Carolina churches and three Georgia churches were listed in the top 50. The top five were Gateway Fellowship Church in San Antonio, Texas; Life Church, Green Bay, Wisc.; Tabernacle of Praise Church, McDonough, Ga.; Red Rocks Church, Littleton, Colo.; and Church of the Highlands, Birmingham, Ala.

34 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

metrics page, but the Wall Street Journal picked up on the small print and so did lot of other tech news companies. Facebook is the friendly giant so far. For many end users, it has become their home page – or even the internet to them in the same way that many found the internet through the AOL browser in the early 1990s. As of second quarter of this year, Facebook has around 1.7 billion active users. I guess many people find a compelling reason to be on Facebook and I doubt that we will see a tenfold drop in users over the next 15 years that AOL saw over the last 15 years. What might be in 15 years, by 2031? I have no idea, but Facebook could be the world leader then or hanging on to a dwindling few million users. Let’s hope they use their power and their vast attention of eyeballs in a meaningful and fair way for advertisers and consumers alike. Transparency for the advertisers and a reasonably navigable platform that is engaging, fun and safe for the users is the

tightrope they walk. If Facebook loses their balance they have a long, long way to fall and they should remember that people are very loyal to companies they love or are simply very comfortable and familiar with, like the 2.3 million people who still use AOL. People also take privacy, security and transparency very seriously, especially in the digital age when ad metrics should be based on factual and transparent data and freedom of speech is a founding principle of our nation. Facebook must be careful and we, the users and advertisers on Facebook, have a duty to hold them to task when they make mistakes or missteps. So far, so good for Facebook, as far as I can tell, or I wouldn’t be going straight to Facebook. I find that I am taking breaks from my phone for as long as two or three hours at a time (I make sure to get to a full-sized screen for anything important that might require typing instead of tapping). For the record, I do venture outside of Facebook for much of what I do even as I realize that I reach for my phone far too often when I am surrounded by computers. I have discovered the fantastic new full-screen Facebook with features I never knew existed! For my old friends that I am trying to look up, please get yourself a Facebook page. It’s the Yellow Pages of today.

Charles Kelly is President of Computer Exchange, with four locations in the CSRA: South Augusta, North Augusta, Martinez and Grovetown. Computer Exchange specializes in computer solutions for home and business. For answers to your computer questions, email him at

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




For many places in the country, the real estate market has shifted…and dramatically! Property prices are rising to levels where deals cannot cash flow, especially if you only put 20 percent down. If you try to buy with all cash in those same markets, the returns are so low that the deals make no sense for cash flow investors. The best way to own property in those markets is to have already owned it – the longer the better. Money magazine reported in their August 2016 issue that according to the National Association of Realtors, the price of properties bought to rent out soared 15.3 percent compared with a rise of only 6.8 percent for all existing homes in 2015. They also reported that the median price of an investment home in America reached $143,500 with an average rent of $1,290, up nearly 14 percent since 2013. In other words, they are telling us that in many markets the growth in investment property prices during 2015 swallowed all of the rental income gains realized in 2014 and 2015. That means

in some markets the game is ending (or has ended) for this cycle, and they are moving into an equilibrium market – or a Sellers Market Phase Two, where the market may be showing signs of nearing the top. But not in Augusta! We have the great benefit of living in this amazing investment environment where our average investment property prices are much lower than the national average, and our rents have risen as much, or more, than the 14 percent rental income growth quoted above. This has left a gap that allows investors to generate significant returns on their invested capital. Better, in fact, than in most real estate markets around the country. Ultimately that is a bunch of technical talk to say that now is the time to buy! Our real estate market here in Augusta is like your personal little gold mine. The deals are still out there. The rents are at record levels and still climbing. The money from other parts of the country has slowly started to find its way to our little gold mine, but not much. Yet. When investors from other parts of

The deals are still out there. The rents are at record levels and still climbing. The money from other parts of the country has slowly started to find its way to our little gold mine. the country start looking for markets with better returns than their own, the money will begin flowing into our little gold mine once again. Just like in the markets described at the beginning of this article, when the money finds its way here again, demand will drive pricing upwards and our buying cycle will come to a close. We will then enter a new phase of the

market cycle as we sit back enjoying the cash flows we are generating from making smart buying decisions today! Interested in more information about real estate investing? Join us at the next AORE Smart Session, where local successful investors share their stories of how they have built their successful real estate investment businesses right here in Augusta. Our next Smart Session will be on Nov. 19 at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion. The doors open at 8 a.m. for coffee and networking. The Smart Session will begin at 8:30 a.m. See you there!

Justin Anderson is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Georgia and Oklahoma, and has been a full time real estate investor for the past 18 years. He is the co-founder of AORE, a Real Estate Investment Training and Education Company with offices in Augusta, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. For more information, visit or email



Everybody is selling digital marketing these days. Digital agencies are providing social media for your company, marketing firms are handling your internet and search engine marketing, and your cousin Ned is still building your website in his basement. Over the past couple of years, we, as local businesses, have patched together our online strategy to try to keep up with the ever-changing digital ecosystem. And for the most part, this worked. But as the ecosystem has grown and become more complex, this piece-meal strategy is becoming much less effective. Today, you must look at your online strategy holistically. And that means looking at an online strategy that builds more presence, creates more audience, and drives more engagement. 3 Pillars of Online Marketing and What They Mean for Your Business Build More Presence. The bedrock of your digital marketing strategy is your website, which should be responsive and mobile-friendly. Your website should also be optimized for lead generation through online forms, click-to-call buttons and compelling call-to-actions. Remember, this is your “online store-

front” that complements your brick-andmortar store and is key to driving customers to your store. According to Google’s 2015 data, 50 percent of consumers who conduct local searches on their smartphone go to a store within 24 hours, and nearly 20 percent make a purchase within a day. Create More Audience. Once you have built your online presence, you need to work to get found online. There are a few key approaches to do this. First, get your website registered with Google and Bing. This makes them “official” with the two key search engines. Tied closely to this is working to opti-

36 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

mize your website to get more natural search engine traffic to your website. This helps to build your online presence network. Second, you can use internet advertising programs like search engine marketing (pay-per-click), display ads, retargeting or social media ads to begin driving visitors to your site. Mediapost reports that “total spending on Internet advertising is predicted to grow 12.9 percent next year. The Internet will become the largest medium for advertising in 2016 (ahead of TV).” Using each of these techniques in unison, you can help to expand your online audience cost-effectively over time. Engage Your Visitors. Once you have a solid online presence and have grown your audience, you can begin to communicate with these visitors through a variety of social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and the like. The key here is to make your posts and interactions compelling and useful to visitors. This is a challenge for many businesses. According to StreetFightMag. com, 31 percent of merchants who don’t use social media say they “don’t know how,” and 13 percent say they “don’t know

what to post.” So What Does It All Mean? The days of looking at online marketing as a secondary function to traditional offline marketing are gone. It is essential in today’s mobile-centric online world that your business has a presence that is complete, accurate and growing and can use that presence to both grow audience and engage customers. Don’t shy away from online marketing; rather, look at it as an essential part of your business’s strategy to reach people. Look to an expert firm to create an online strategy that takes into consideration each of the three pillars of online marketing: presence building, audience growth, and customer engagement.

Richard Brashear is General Manager for Main Street Digital, a local digital marketing agency that helps local businesses use digital marketing online. To learn more about using websites, social media or pay-per-click campaigns for generating leads online for your business, call Richard at 706-828-3948 or email him at Richard.



It’s a day most business owners both dream about and dread: retirement. To get to this major milestone, you’ve put in long hours. Sacrificed time with family and friends along the way. Dealt with customers who don’t pay and vendors who don’t deliver. Transitioning out of the business and into the next exciting phase of your life should be the easy part, right? Not always. When the deal closes, the biggest financial event of your life will happen in this one meeting. But will you be able to fulfill your dream of a satisfying, financially secure future when this happens? You’ll either have all the money from the sale (if your deal is all-cash), a good chunk of it with more to come (hopefully), or a down payment on the value of the business along with the promise of a stream of payments to come over time (usually the case in a sale to family members or select employees). If you’re like many business owners, you’re probably in one of two camps about what comes next: You’ll either want to prepare in advance, learning as much as possible about how to manage the cash you’ll be receiving; or you’ll deal with the issue when the cash actually comes.

Either way, the choices you make about your business proceeds will have a profound impact on your life in retirement. That’s why the watch word is, “take your time” before moving forward. Your business may represent your largest asset and the foundation for the money you will need in retirement. These taxable assets, along with whatever you’ve set aside in your qualified retirement plan and/or Individual Retirement Account(s) will need to generate sufficient income to last 20 to 40 years once you stop working. How will you ensure your money goes the distance? For starters, you need to understand what it will ultimately take to create the lifestyle you want for retirement. After years of focusing on wealth accumulation and the day-to-day cash flow needs of running a business, the challenge is to think in terms of drawing down those assets to provide a reliable stream of income that can last as long as you need it to. That’s why business experts suggest developing a plan that coordinates your business transition and retirement goals. Among other things, its goal is to determine a sustainable income that will help ensure financial security and the realization of your dreams for the future.

A comprehensive transition plan can also provide a timetable and strategies that may help you reduce the tax liability on the transferring of assets on the sale of your business. It can help make sure your income needs are met in the future by taking advantage of opportunities such as setting up a pension plan or other type of a retirement compensation agreement prior to the sale of the business – a move that may assist in reducing the corporate taxes and deferring personal taxes. It may also highlight opportunities to pre-pay future expenses, thus possibly reducing the amount of after-tax income you may need in retirement. Examples include paid-up life insurance and a special trust to pay for uninsured medical expenses incurred after retirement. Most business owners do not have a tremendous amount of investment cash at their disposal while they’re growing a business. The sale of a business may change that significantly. With your future financial security at stake, you may find yourself suddenly overwhelmed with the choices of how best to streamline your finances and preserve and protect your new cash. The thought of handling this by yourself may be intimidating. That’s why you

may want to consider working with a financial professional – someone who can show you how to maximize the proceeds from the sale of your business, based on hypothetical investment returns and withdrawal rates; explain various investments, so you can choose those that align with your long-term goals and risk tolerance; help you structure an asset allocation strategy for your portfolio, monitor your portfolio’s performance over time and help you make adjustments as your goals and needs change; and identify and fill gaps in your financial and estate planning. Consider working with a business transition expert who has the resources to answer more than just the investment management aspect of your wealth.

Kurtis W. Mueller is a Financial Advisor with Northwestern Mutual based in Augusta. To contact him, call 803-671-8792, e-mail him at kurt.mueller@ or visit his website at This information is not intended as legal or tax advice. Not all products mentioned in this article are offered through Northwestern Mutual.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Are you afraid of the governmental process? Be a part of the positive solution. When I first became the President/ CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce in 2010, I was very intimidated by the legislative process and the role of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee. Back then, our focus was on who would be our next keynote speaker for our Legislative Breakfast. I quickly learned the true focus of this organization was to be the collective voice and advocate on behalf of our membership and the business community. Previously, the Chamber has supported the Educational and County SPLOST votes and legislation that reinforces workforce and economic development. We have opposed bills like House Bill 8, which would almost double the minimum wage, as well as many others that could overburden businesses. So what is on the horizon for local businesses? Unfortunately, ready or not, on Dec. 1 many salaried American employees’ status will change from exempt to non-exempt. This could impact the overall economy. Earlier this year, the Columbia County Chamber signed on to a letter opposing the new changes to the Overtime Rule, also known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The original salary threshold was dropped from $50,444 to $47,476, and the Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive pay-

ments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level. Basically, if a small business has a full-time exempt employee making less than $47,476, this employee must now be paid overtime and will no longer be classified as exempt. Reclassifying employees will mean many employees will lose the ability to set their own hours, use electronic devices after hours, or use comp hours to justify not being paid overtime in a single pay period. Everything will now be based on a 40-hour work week and not a pay period. This will make a huge impact on the management of employees and be felt mainly by small businesses and non-profits. However, the Columbia County Chamber is still fighting this new rule through our U.S. Chamber of Commerce membership. A legal challenge has been filed by the U. S. Chamber contesting the administration’s Overtime Rule. The Columbia County Chamber’s Government Affairs sign ordinance subcommittee continues to meet with county officials to address the proposed changes to the new sign ordinance for Columbia County. Every four to five years, the Planning and Zoning Department revisits the regulations on the types of signs allowed in the county. This may sound easy; however, the ordinance includes signs on buildings, windows, sidewalks, streets signs, temporary signs, vehicles signs and much more. The regulations can also change based on the location of the business. In keeping with

our legislative agenda, we are seeking to maintain a fair marketplace for all businesses while finding the right balance for the aesthetics of our community. We will keep the business community informed on the final proposal. Lastly, the Columbia County Chamber Board of Directors has surveyed our membership on the County’s General Obligation Bond (GO Bond) to determine the Chamber’s position. The GO Bond, which will contain a list of county-wide capital improvements, will be voted on Nov. 8 during this year’s General Election. This bond represents an estimated $60 million dollar package to voters. If passed, property owners will see a 1 millage increase in property tax, which is equivalent to approximately $46 per $100,000 value. The project list recently approved by the Columbia County Board of Commissioners includes: Performing Arts Center, The Plaza – Traffic Improvements, The Plaza – Parking Deck, The Plaza – Passive Park/Parking, Tax Commissioner Software, Lakeside Park – Finish Project, Patriot’s Park Expansion, Euchee Creek Greenway Additions, Three Regional Parks, Grovetown Library, Harlem City Center Project, Fire Department Ladder Truck, Public Safety Training Center Improvements, Sheriff ’s Office Range Protection, Sheriff ’s Office Storage Facility, Gateway Boulevard Extension/Wrightsboro Road, and Transportation. The response from our membership is showing in favor for the passage of the GO Bond.

It will now be sent to the Chamber’s Board of Directors for a final position. As we approach the November election, educate yourself on all the ballot items in advance and stay in tune with legislative priorities for the future. The Chamber uses events as a way to communicate these items to our membership. The Chamber will host the annual PreLegislative Breakfast on Thursday, Nov. 3. This year’s keynote speaker will be Casey Cagle, Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, along with our local State delegation. Both the Pre- and Post-Legislative Breakfasts are offered by the Government Affairs Committee of the Columbia County Chamber. As always, the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is a memberdriven and business-focused organization advocating economic growth in the Greater Augusta area. If you are a business looking to gain a voice in what happens in government, considering joining us and see the difference we make.

Tammy Shepherd has served as president of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce for six years after a career that included working at DisneyWorld, hotel management, managing Savannah Rapids Pavilion and Columbia County Magazine.


1st place, A.M. Flight – Duckworth Development & Southeastern Development Associates.

38 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

1st place, P.M. Flight – Pruitt Health Hospice. Photos contributed

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz



Thursday, Oct. 27

Business After Hours presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Honda Cars of Aiken, 550 Jefferson Davis Highway, Warrenville, S.C. 5-7 p.m. A networking event that provides an opportunity for a company to introduce itself to the business community. This program allows the host/sponsor to showcase its business, services, and facilities to fellow Chamber members. It also offers members the chance to meet one another and network in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

Friday, Oct. 28

Drugs Don’t Work Seminar presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Boulevard, Evans. 3-4 p.m. Drug Free Workplace Training on the topic of “Marijuana Epidemic in Georgia” presented by Angela Feeser, LPC, Clinical Director of the Serenity Behavioral Health System. For more information, visit

Seminar presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Boulevard, Evans. 8-9 a.m. Free for chamber members. Keynote speaker Michael E. Perry, Catalyst Executive Advising and Development. Be at your best when it matters most. Great leaders and winning teams understand that top performance requires high levels of commitment, focus, and adaptability- especially under pressure. Learn how to prepare yourself and your team for high-pressure situations in order to consistently achieve great results. Ribbon-Cutting: Veterans United Home Loans, 205 Addison Square, Suite 3, Evans. 4:30-5:30 p.m. Score Seminar: How to Manager Your Business Reputation on Social Media, Southern Wesleyan University, Business Technology Center, 802 E. Martintown Rd, Suite 101, North Augusta. 9:30-11:30 a.m. No cost to attend. Topics covered will include: getting favorable customer reviews, how to respond to good and bad reviews, how to check out your online reputation, and how to get your website noticed. To register, visit https://events. tReg?oeidk=a07edbo1xvi5b0a544a&os eq=&c=&ch=

Thursday, Nov. 10

Thursday, Nov. 17

Power Lunch: There’s Magic in Meat Craft sponsored by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Palmetto Terrace, 100 Georgia Ave, North Augusta. 11:30a.m.-1p.m. Members: $30; Non-Members: $40. Speaker Jason C. Rollins APR will be discussing the topic “How Arby’s Has Leveraged PR to Get Back in the Conversation”. Preregistration is required.

AYP Third Thursday presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Aiken Ophthalmology, 110 Pepper Hill Way, Aiken. 5-7 p.m. An opportunity for individuals ages 22 to 39 to meet other young professionals in a relaxed atmosphere for networking. Members and first time guests are free. Registration is requested. Business After Hours presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Aiken Ophthalmology, 110 Pepper Hill Way, Aiken. 5-7 p.m. An excellent opportunity for a company to introduce itself to the business community. This program allows the host/sponsor to showcase its business, services, and facilities to fellow Chamber members. It also offers members the chance to meet one another and network in a casual, relaxed Networking for Leads presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Boulevard,

nez. 7:30-9 a.m. Free for members, $20 for non-members. Keynote Speaker: Casey Cagle, Lieutenant Governor of Georgia.

Friday, Nov. 4 First Friday Means Business presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St SW, Aiken. 7:30-9 a.m. the Greater Aiken Chamber’s informative monthly breakfast meeting. Held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Newberry Hall, this event features a keynote speaker who addresses issues of interest to the business community. First Friday Means Business includes City, County, Chamber and Sponsor talk. This monthly meeting also allows each attendee to stand up and introduce themselves and their firm to all the other attendees as a networking opportunity. aikenchamber. net

Monday, Nov. 7 Blastin’ for Business Clay Shoot presented by the Palmetto Shooting Complex, Palmetto Shooting Complex at the National Wild Turkey Federation, 535 Gary Hill Road, Edgefield. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. This Clay Shoot will be a fun and exciting day outdoors with good food, great networking and shooting clays! Straight shooters and novices of all skill levels who enjoy the fast pace of shooting sporting clays are welcome. For more information about sponsorships or participating, contact Emily Murphy at

Wednesday, Nov.2 Membership 101 presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Boulevard, Evans. 8:30-9:30 a.m. If you are a new Chamber member or just want a refresher course, plan to attend the Membership 101 class. Ribbon-Cutting: Griffin & Associates Management , LLC, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Boulevard, Evans. 4-5 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 3 Pre-Legislative Breakfast presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Marti-

Tuesday, Nov. 15 Women in Business Luncheon presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, The Legends Club, National Hills Shopping Center, 2701 Washington Road, Augusta. 11:30 a.m.-1p.m. $30 for Members; $40 for non-members. Guest speaker: Tom Clark, CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon. Advanced Registration Required.

Wednesday, Nov. 16 Performance Under Pressure

40 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

Evans. 3-4 p.m. Only one participant per company. A structured program designed to promote an environment which cultivates meaningful business relationships which not only promote one’s own business but identify the needs of other business owners as well. The program will consist of a round table activity which will be followed up by an optional lunch connection, based on appropriate matching, to further enhance the leads experience. Ribbon-Cutting: Gerald Jones Ford Lincoln, 3480 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta, across from the Augusta Mall. 4:30-5:30 p.m. columbiacountychamber. com Third Thursday Business Builder presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber, The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Augustametrochamber. com.

Friday, Nov. 18

Good Morning, North Augusta presented by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Palmetto Terrace, 100 Georgia Ave, North Augusta. Networking: 7:30 a.m.; Breakfast and Program: 8-9:30 a.m. Members: $15; Non-Members: $25. Keynote Speaker: Tom Clark, Executive Director for the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon. Goodwill Gala, Anderson Conference Center, 5171 Eisenhower Parkway, Macon. 7 p.m. Held annually in November at the Anderson Conference Center in Macon, Georgia, the evening will include dancing, savory culinary delights and other special events. Proceeds benefit Goodwill’s academic and career development programs, including the Polly Long Denton School of Hospitality. For sponsorship and ticket information, visit goodwillgala Ribbon-Cutting: S.D. Clifton Construction, 4324 Wheeler Road, Martinez. 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 19 Bark For Life presented by the American Cancer Society, Blanchard Woods Park, 4600 Blanchard Woods Drive, Evans. 7 a.m.- 12 p.m. A charity 5k/fun run with activities for dog lovers, dog owners, and families. For participation information, visit barkforlifeCSRAGA or contact Sydney Bromfield at sydney.bromfield@cancer. org.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz


42 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




ADHD or Innovator? Compensating Mechanism #5: Finding Personal Peace and Life Mastery When was the last time you could reliably fall sleep at night? How about feeling happy and satisfied with your current life and future possibilities? When was the last time you trusted that the outside world – the country – had your best interests at heart? How would you like to sleep soundly and peacefully again, waking up well rested? Suppose you could again put your truly marvelous life and future under your control, no matter what? What would be possible for you if you could completely trust yourself and your God-given ability to take good care of your own interests? We live in an outer world that is increasingly invading our inner world. Many people who would not ordinarily suffer and be completely capable of protecting themselves against outer world’s insults are not holding up under the strain. It is becoming increasingly clear that something else is needed if we are to protect our own mental and spiritual health and the mental and spiritual health of our family and friends. Over the course of 40 years in the field working with people from all walks of life, and based on a contemporary understanding of culture, the environment and politics, here are the top 3 practices that have been proven to provide a sense of

personal peace and life mastery for each and every one of us – regardless of job, age, wealth or religion: Meditation. When we meditate, we get in touch with our inner voice and true identity. Nothing outside of us can ever – ever – disturb or affect our true identity and true voice regardless of how it must feel at times. When we meditate, we are taking a break and vacation from the concerns and noise around us. We are giving ourselves a chance to both heal and keep an empowered perspective of who is really in control of our feelings, our actions and our lives – the answer which, of course, will always be, “We are!” In a world that is increas-

ingly at odds with kindness and peace, we can find our own peace. Volunteering in Our Communities and Helping Others. Part of my own practice for keeping a balanced perspective and an open heart is to help those in trouble or who have less than I do. This is my way of avoiding falling into the traps of negative thinking and victimization. I love the way I get both rewards – I’ve helped someone or something else and at the same time found happiness for myself. My clients will attest to how this same practice has helped move them into a positive frame of mind and from failure to success. Having Integrity and Being True to

Our Word. There is a special kind of personal power and happiness in being who we say we are and doing what we say we’ll do. It’s a kind of honesty that really works to elevate us in the eyes of others, makes us feel good about who we are and our value in the world, and increases dramatically our chances of success in the different domains of our lives like family, wealth, relationships, career and communities. The people we most respect have these qualities and the good news is that it costs nothing for us to gain them other than a decision and commitment to being our word and having integrity. And, by the way, there are no “sometimes yes” and “sometimes no” for either one of these qualities. We either have integrity or we don’t and we either are our word or we’re not. No approximations accepted. But no matter how hard it may seem to be all in or all out here, the payoffs again are all of the things mentioned above and having the life of our dreams!

Carol and her services are available at www. Carol is also the author of a book detailing what she learned from her 40-year journey as an ADHD coach working with hundreds of clients and includes her ground breaking discovery: “ Your Innovator Brain – The Truth About ADHD” available at, and many independent booksellers.

CEOS SEE INNOVATION AS KEY TO INCREASED GROWTH Though CEOs view innovation as a strategic priority, only 25 percent say innovation is embedded into everything they do. That information came to light in a 2016 U.S. CEO study by in KPMG. Another 36 percent say their organization’s approach to innovation is either ad hoc, reactive or occurs on a siloed basis. On a positive note, 80 percent of the CEOs expressed confidence in their management team’s ability to drive innovation, yet the vast majority (85 percent) indicated that they need more time to strategize about how to foster innovation and proactively address disruptive challenges. “Nearly all CEOs see emerging opportunities over the next five years that are detectable now, through signals like changing demographics, technology innovation and start-up activity,” said Mike

Nolan, vice chair, Innovation & Enterprise Solutions, KPMG. “However, it’s the forward- thinking CEOs that take a broad view of the areas where disruption is taking place, assess how these elements impact their business and operating models, and begin to reshape their company into an organization that turns disruption into innovation.” Innovation is key to increased growth The outlook for growth remains a top concern in the C-Suite, with 51 percent of CEOs expecting their top-line growth over the next three years to be 5 percent or less. Nolan believes that a stronger focus on innovation can increase both growth and shareholder confidence. “Five percent or less growth estimates don’t excite shareholders,” said Nolan. “To move the needle, successful CEOs are working hard to drive the right mix

44 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

of investments in new products and services, alliances, and acquisitions to open up new channels and attract new customers.” Nearly three-quarters of CEOs believe their organizations are capable or highly capable of making the right investments and obtaining the right resources to drive innovation initiatives. “This is where CEOs have to examine their strategy and determine whether they have the necessary data, talent, resources, and business models to put them on the right path to remain relevant and competitive,” said John Farrell, national managing partner, Innovation & Enterprise Solutions, KPMG. “It is also essential that CEOs develop a formalized approach to innovation that defines strategic objectives, generates buyin from leadership, and fosters a culture that encourages and rewards innovation

throughout the organization.” Employees are innovation evangelists Building the right culture is crucial to innovation, and most CEOs believe they have the right teams in place, with 80 percent stating that management’s innovation acumen was capable to highly capable, and a similar number indicating they have the skills and resources needed to address their innovation imperative. Sixty-eight percent of CEOs also indicated strong capabilities in creating a “safe to fail” environment. “There is a tremendous alignment between the priorities of CEOs and the employees that advance the business objectives,” said Nolan. “CEOs also strongly believe that the chance to innovate and work in an entrepreneurial or collaborative environment is a key factor in attracting top talent.”

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz



RESOURCES ABOUND FOR STUDENTS SEEKING FINANCIAL AID assist in planning for college. Students can use many tools on this website or can navigate to the Financial Planning portion of the site to apply for grants. Additional financial aid may be available through college or university financial aid offices, and through non-profit or private organizations in the community. There are many online search tools, such as,, and, which can help locate these additional forms of aid. High school guidance counselors are also a great resource for locating scholarship and grant opportunities.


For college students, the process of applying for financial aid can be confusing and overwhelming. How does one apply for financial aid? What are the different types of aid out there? What information does a student need to apply? Here are some tips, websites, and guidelines for successfully completing the financial aid application process. It is important to understand the types of financial aid available before completing an application. All forms of financial aid can be divided into two basic categories: Money that you will have to pay back, and money that you borrow. Federal and private loans fall under the first category, indicated by the use of the term “loan.” However, scholarships, federal and state grants and federal workstudy funds fall under the category of money that is awarded or earned based on certain criteria. As a student, it’s best to maximize the money you don’t have to pay back, or “free money,” and minimize the use of loans. This will allow you to graduate with the least amount of debt after earning your degree. Keep in mind that this means an investment of time to search for scholarships and to complete the necessary steps

AU OPENS NEW CYBER INSTITUTE Augusta University opened the doors to its new Cyber Institute on Monday, Sept 19. Located on the first floor of University Hall on the Summerville Campus, the almost 9,000-square-foot space has a state-of-the-art cyber lab, a study lounge for students, a cyber coffee bar area and 15 offices. “This new facility is a game-changer for our cyber faculty and students,” Cyber Institute director Joanne Sexton said. “As the only university in Georgia that has a cyber facility like this, we are proud to continue providing our students with excellence in education.” In the 1,600-square-foot cyber lab, students will train using software that can create realistic cyber threat simulations. The software also allows professors to easily create various scenarios, helping students develop different cyber skills. The Augusta University Cyber Institute was established in June 2015 to enable research and education for cyber security.

to apply for those scholarships. When completing the FAFSA (Federal Application for Federal Student Aid), keep in mind that students under the age of 24 are required to include their parents’ income information when applying for federal financial aid. This regulation applies to all students unless serving in the military, married or are living independently with a child. Be sure to have copies of W-2s and tax returns when completing the application. To apply for federal aid, students need

to complete the FAFSA, found online at The FAFSA is used to calculate your EFC, or Expected Family Contribution, which colleges will use to determine the amount of aid you are awarded. Applying for various State of Georgia grants, such as Hope Grant, Hope Scholarship, Zell Miller Scholarship, Hope GED Grant, and any other State of Georgia specific grants, to be used in a Georgia college, a student can apply at The website is designed to

Missie Usry is Enrollment Manager, holding an MBA in Marketing, and heads up Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus Admissions department. The Admissions department is responsible for enrollment, marketing, public relations, and recruiting activities. For questions about how to enroll in Georgia Military College’s degree programs, please call (706) 993-1123, email, or visit


Augusta Technical College and Valdosta State University have reached an agreement that will allow Augusta Tech students to transfer for a four-year degree. The Pathways Program partnership allows Augusta Technical College students with an Associate of Applied Science in one or more of the approved programs to use their credits in order to complete

either a Bachelor of Science in organizational leadership, a Bachelor of Applied Science in human capital performance, or a Bachelor of Science in office administration and technology in two years or less at Valdosta State University. In January, Augusta Tech had signed a similar agreement with Georgia Military College.

Augusta Technical College is committed to educating and graduating men and women who are ready for workforce success. It offers more than 100 associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs, as well as customized business and industry training, continuing education, economic development and adult education services.

TEXTRON, JACOBSEN TO MERGE, CREATE NEW JOBS Textron Specialized Vehicles and Jacobsen, both Textron Incorporated companies, will combine their operations in Augusta by the close of 2017 which will create about 150 new jobs in the area. The announcement was made by corporate officials last week. Jacobsen’s operation in Charlotte will relocate to the Textron Specialized Vehicles facilities in early 2017 with their first phase of manufacturing. The move is expected to optimize efficiencies and better serve the companies’ shared customers and distributors. “The combination of Textron Specialized Vehicles and Jacobsen will be nimble, optimally sized, and well equipped to meet the evolving needs of our customers,” said Kevin Holleran, presi-

46 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

dent and CEO of Textron Specialized Vehicles. “We are working carefully to ensure a seamless transition that is invisible to customers. We will maintain the level of support and service – before, during, and after the sale – that both Jacobsen and TSV customers expect and demand.” Henry Ingram, Chairman of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, said, “The relocation of the Jacobsen operation to Augusta is another prime example of an outstanding existing industry that is continuing to grow in our region. Textron is a leading corporate citizen of Augusta, and the Development Authority is proud to have worked with TSV on this expansion.” Jacobsen is a leading manufacturer of

professional turf-care equipment under the Jacobsen , Dixie Chopper and Ransomes brands. Textron Specialized Vehicles designs and manufactures several vehicle and equipment lines for commercial and consumer use, including E-ZGO golf cars and personal transportation vehicles, Cushman commercial vehicles, Bad Boy Off Road side-by-sides and ATVs, and TUG, Douglas, Premier and Safeaero ground support equipment to serve the aviation industry. The marriage of the two companies will allow them to better serve their shared customers in golf and other industries, and operate more efficiently through a common supply chain and efficiencies of scale in manufacturing and back-office operations.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz



SPACE PROVIDES HANDS-ON LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES After learning about makerspaces during a library conference a few years ago, Katie Miller began dreaming of having such a space at Aiken Technical College one day. “A makerspace is a place where students can come and make things,” said Miller, the director of ATC’s Learning Resources Center. “They can interact with technology outside of the classroom. It provides a space for those who are kinesthetic learners, hands-on learners.” Makerspaces can often be found in libraries because the missions are related, she added. “Libraries and makerspaces share similar missions – to provide people with a space to learn. Libraries have always been at the forefront of technology. We, as librarians, like to play with technol-

ogy and learn about new technologies,” she said. The ATC Library has opened its new S.T.E.A.M. Room, a makerspace that focuses on science, technology, engineering, art and math. The S.T.E.A.M. Room includes a computer with a variety of software, video camera, green screen, 3-D printer, electronic circuit kit, several Lego robotic kits, parts from a disassembled old computer, and art supplies. “I’m a kinesthetic learner so to me it’s the ultimate play space,” said Miller. “I’m excited to have a unique space for our students and our community to come in and explore their interests.” The ATC Library is open to the public Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Those interested in

AU STUDENTS CAN FURTHER EDUCATION IN CRYPTOLOGY Augusta University and the National Security Agency’s National Cryptologic School signed an articulation agreement Oct. 12 to increase educational opportunities for NCS students. “Augusta University continues to build a strong academic program in cybersecurity. We are excited to sign this agreement which will enhance the collaborative relationship we have with the NSA, ultimately benefitting students of both Augusta University and the NSA’s National Cryptologic School,” said Augusta University President Brooks A. Keel, Ph.D. “Our collaboration will provide an outstanding educational opportunity to our students, particularly our student veterans.” The NCS offers cryptology training,

leadership courses, professional development courses and education in more than 40 languages to NSA and Department of Defense employees. With this agreement, both NCS and Augusta University will commit to facilitating the enrollment of NCS students at Augusta, giving them an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree. “Part of the National Cryptologic School vision for the future is to ensure that our military and civilian students receive recognition and nationally recognized academic credit for the higher end learning that we provide. Articulation agreements like this are a part of the strategy to achieve that vision,” said NCS Commandant Dr. Leonard Reinsfelder.

Demonstration of an electric circuit at Aiken Tech’s new S.T.E.A.M. Room. Photo contributed

using the S.T.E.A.M. Room will need to sign-in at the front desk during each visit. Library staff are also available to

provide assistance. For more information about the ATC Library, visit


A department of Augusta University is hoping to inspire more health technology startups in the Augusta area with a Health Tech Startup Expo on Nov. 10. The Clinical and Digital Health Sciences department in the College of Allied Health Sciences at Augusta University will host the event, with support from the Greater Augusta Chapter of the Technology Association of Georgia. The Expo is aimed at innovative startups or IT companies in the health field, or for hospitals, clinics or practices that are using technology in new and exciting ways. The keynote speech will address the

topic of big picture opportunities in health technology. The day-long event will also include several panel discussions, and the presentation of the Health Startup Innovation Award. For more information about the Health Tech Startup Expo, visit http:// The TAG Greater Augusta Chapter includes more than 460 individual and organizational members. TAG strives to educate, unite, promote, and influence Georgia’s technology community in the Richmond, Burke, Columbia, McDuffie, and other surrounding counties that make up the greater Augusta area.

UNISYS PARTNERS WITH DOD TO EMPLOY MILITARY SPOUSES Unisys Corporation announced the company has officially joined the U.S. Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership – an employment and career initiative connecting military spouses with more than 335 partner employers that have committed to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers. “Unisys is honored to help further the great work of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership,” said Dale

Dye, regional site executive director, U.S. & Canada Service Desk, Unisys, which was recognized today at the initiative’s annual induction ceremony held at the United States Chamber of Commerce. “We are committed to hiring military spouses as well as veterans. We have found that they bring remarkable innovation, dedication and discipline to the workplace. We are proud to provide military spouses with employment opportunities that help them fulfill their

48 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

personal aspirations and strengthen their families.” Dye oversees Unisys’ client service centers in the United States and Canada. Unisys’ newest center, in Augusta, provides IT support services to a range of commercial and government clients, including major U.S. Department of Defense programs. Unisys works with the Fort Gordon, Georgia Cyber Center of Excellence and other state and local economic development authorities to recruit IT profes-

sionals for the client service center. Dr. Jill Biden launched the Military Spouse Employment Partnership on June 29, 2011 to serve spouses from all military services. The partnership is part of the Department of Defense’s broader Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program, which seeks to reduce the 23 percent unemployment rate experienced by military spouses and close the 25 percent wage gap currently experienced by military wives.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz


50 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz


52 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




The smell of newness mixed pleasantly with a smoky scent of burgers as my colleagues and I entered the newly opened Farmhaus Burger on Flowing Wells Road. Arriving at high noon, Farmhaus employees heartily greeted a steady rush of incoming customers. After perusing the specialty menu of mostly burgers, burgers, and more burgers, we took the hint that Farmhaus was serious about its burgers. An amusing sign served as an indicator of what to do next: 1. Order your food. 2. Find a seat. 3. Be awesome. It seemed simple enough, so we stood in line to place our order, found a table for four and proceeded to be awesome. Our order consisted of a variety of burgers including the haus burger, the buildyour-own burger, and the wild turkey burger. I sampled each of them and vowed to return and order my own. We also tried the haus salad which included a generous portion of leafy lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onions, cheddar cheese and a side of blue cheese dressing as a final topping. For our vegetarian friends, there is a wonderful garden burger made with organic Sea Island red peas. For our chicken sandwich

Farmhaus Burger

Farmhaus Burger has two locations; 1204 Broad Street in downtown Augusta and 466 Flowing Wells Road in Martinez. friends, a couple of yard bird entries are also on the menu. (Yard birds is Farmhaus language for chicken sandwiches.) We filled our own cups with water, iced tea and soda at a contemporary counter station which held an assortment of fountain tabs, condiments, napkins and such. Since it’s only been open for a few months, every inch of the restaurant sparkled with spic-n-span cleanliness. Ranging from booths, tables and a bar, to a spacious covered outdoor seating area, Farmhaus had room to meet every

54 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

seating need. There were wheelchair accessible areas as well as quieter areas of the dining room. The manager informed us that heaters would be added to the outdoor area once fall arrives in full force. While waiting for our food, we noticed several different groups of people dining at Farmhaus. There were professionals dressed in suits and scrubs. Three gal pals enjoyed a ladies’ lunch date. A few hardworking landscape laborers downed several cups of sweet tea as fast as they could refill their cups. A married couple gave me two thumbs up on the food, the atmosphere, and the location. Their seats were near the immense windows which add to the open, airy atmosphere at Farmhaus. A few black-and-white poster-sized pictures adorn the walls plus whimsical signs giving life advice are mounted around the dining area. Farmhaus is easily accessible from I-20 and Wheeler Road. For a business lunch or a celebratory office gathering, Farmhaus could certainly fit the bill. It offers the same food as the down-

town location on Broad Street, with a slightly more spectacular view, but is much quicker for lunch for businesses in Columbia County. It’s also fairly easy on the pocketbook. Ten bucks will buy customers a generous burger, chicken sandwich, or salad, with an order of fried pickles or tater tots plus refillable drinks. Staff T-shirts encouraged residents to keep local money in local coffers with the Farmhaus motto “Beef up your local economy.” From this vantage point, beefing up the local economy has never tasted better.

Susan O’Keefe has been reviewing restaurants for Buzz on Biz since August 2015. Her reviews are based with a business lunch in mind.

PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL, EXHIBITS RUN THROUGH OCTOBER Augusta’s 10-day long celebration of photography officially kicked off on Friday. Keynote speaker and Canon Explorer of Light photographer Eddie Tapp presented “Eye to Eye: A Creative Challenge.” A hallmark of the biennial festival is its array of photography workshops and guided photowalks. Topics range from beginning digital photography to advanced studio lighting. Photo walks to sites including King Mill, a horse farm, and Summerville Cemetery offer access to shooting locations not normally open to the public. More than 30 activities are offered over the 10-day festival, climaxing in the awards presentation for the APF photo competition on Sunday, Oct. 30. A full description and registration can be found at Several photo exhibitions are on display in conjunction with the biennial Augusta Photography Festival. The Augusta Photography Festival Competition Finalists Exhibition runs until Nov. 4 at the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta, 100 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta The 2016 Competition Finalist Exhibition features top images selected from over 750 entries in the Augusta Pho-

tography Festival’s signature competition. Categories include nature, people, architecture, inanimate objects and fine art photography. Prizes, including a $500 Best in Show Award, will be presented at the festival’s closing ceremony on Sunday, October 30. The Arts and Heritage Center is open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, and the second Sunday of each month from 2 to 4 pm. Admission is free. David Foster’s “Nature Essence” exhibit runs until Oct. 30 at the 600 Broad Building, 600 Broad Street. Foster is a nature photographer best known for images that convey the essence of his favorite subjects – water and botanicals. He has a special interest in the emerging focus on the healing power of nature and nature-based art/photography. He exhibits his artwork widely, having been part of over 70 regional, national and international exhibitions – solo, group and juried – in the past 10 years. The international juried exhibit Gardens in Focus at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia included David’s work three years in a row, 2012-2014. The Images of Historic Trinity CME Church exhibit runs through Oct. 31 at Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, 1116 Phillips Street, Augusta.

A photo of the historic Trinity Church by Andi Sinclair that is part of the photography exhibit on display at Lucy Craft Laney Museum. Photo contributed

After hearing that the Historic Trinity CME Church was slated for demolition, the Chicks that Click Photography Club began a mission: to obtain access to the structure to preserve its history through photographs. All leads were dead ends until, by chance, Mrs. Christine Betts, Executive Director of the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, learned of the quest. On Saturday, June 13, 2015, the

Chicks gathered in front of the church located at the corner of Walton Way and 8th Street, and after a prayer and the chorus of “Holy Ground,” they were allowed two hours inside the endangered structure. Their photographs will be on display during the month of October, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission fees apply.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




I was thinking about how things were when I was a bartender decades ago. The basic skills of bartending haven’t changed much over the years. Today there’s “flair” bartending, with about 13,000 drink recipes to remember and “bar chefs,” who supposedly add a sense of “creativity” to drink making (although it takes too long to make one of their multi-layered, multi ingredient drinks). There’s about the same amount of “ego” and “don’t tell me – I’ve been doing this for 17 years” among owners, managers, chefs and bartenders. It’s no one’s fault. There are no schools in the U.S. that teach Bar Management 101. Bartender schools are expensive ($500$800 for a two-week course). So I’ve enjoyed watching Jon Taffer of the Spike TV hit show Bar Rescue put a lot of owners and managers in their place. He’s exposed the varied weaknesses of an industry that still operates on ego instead of knowledge. Experience doesn’t count either – it’s what you know, not how long you’ve been doing it! Success in this industry comes from knowledge, attitude and performance – nothing else. But back in my day, bartenders were a different breed. Bartender values were different then. Bartenders cared more about their jobs and each other. There was camaraderie and a team/family spirit. For example, we would never turn over our bar to the next bartender unless it was perfectly clean and neatly arranged. We didn’t need a bar-back to do any of our work. If we closed the bar at 2 a.m.,

it would take about a half-hour to close out tabs, do the bookwork, and then get “checked out” by the manager in the office. And then we would go back to our bar and spend a couple of hours making sure everything was spotless. This was done on our time – it’s what we did for each other, as a matter of respect to our owners/managers and to the next bartender coming in. We never bothered our managers with schedule changes, either. We covered for each other. There was always something coming up at the last minute. Periodically one of our bartenders would call a fellow bartender and ask for help covering a shift. It was our responsibility to make sure the bar schedule was covered. Management never had to worry about someone not showing up for a shift. Back then, I always carried $100 in change (ones, fives, quarters, etc.), which I kept in the trunk of my car. It was amazing how many times the “house” would run short of change on a busy night, or the day manager couldn’t get to the bank because of deliveries, repair and maintenance or other issues. I also stocked extra packs of matches, flashlights, a first-aid kit, battery cables and phone numbers for any kind of emergency services. I believed in thinking ahead and tried to anticipate the unexpected. If I closed at night and noticed we had run out of something, I would call the next day’s opening bartender that night or early the next day and say, “Stop off at a grocery store on your way in.” To us it was a common courtesy, and it was the right thing to do. No bartender was left hanging or without the necessary items to

do their job. If I was the “outgoing” bartender at shift change time, I would put on a fresh pot of coffee, fill the ice bin to overflowing, make sure all the glasses were washed, change the sink water, cut more fruit if necessary, give “last call” and then close out all my open tabs. When the shift change bartender showed up, everything was done. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be! Back in my day, bartenders relied on each other. It’s what made our profession such a fraternal one. At one club I worked, our head bartender’s 7-year-old child, Suzie, was hit by a car in our parking lot and rushed to the hospital. Suzie’s mom didn’t have insurance. The eight of us chipped in $100 each to help cover the cost of Suzie’s emergency room treatment. Fortunately, Suzie wasn’t injured too badly.

I hope today’s bartenders get to experience what this profession is really all about – or at least, what it was about – back in my day.

Bob Johnson has more than 50 years’ experience in the food and beverage industry. After years of running a successful bar management business in San Diego, he and his wife, Lisa, moved to North Augusta. In addition to authoring books on bar management, he also teaches a mobile bartending school, a bar management workshop and a bartending school for military veterans. Contact him at or 800-447-4384.


Augusta will continue to support one of baseball’s oldest franchises after the GreenJackets and San Francisco Giants agreed to a two-year extension in their player development contract. The GreenJackets-Giants relationship dates back to 2005, and 2017 will mark the 13th season of the partnership.  Under the new agreement the GreenJackets will remain a Giants’ affiliate through the 2018 season. Throughout this partnership, the GreenJackets have played a vital role in the early development for many of the Giants’ stars on the big league club, including 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner and 2012 World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the Giants,” GreenJackets’

President Jeff Eiseman said. “They have been great partners and we have enjoyed great on-field success here in Augusta over the past 12 years. This is an exciting time in GreenJackets history and we look forward to celebrating many more years with the Giants to come.” During the partnership, the GreenJackets have qualified for the South Atlantic League playoffs in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2013.  In 2008, the ‘Jackets won their 4th  South Atlantic League Championship and in 2009 the GreenJackets had the best overall record in the SAL South.  The 2016 season kept the CSRA on edge as the GreenJackets battled all second half for a playoff spot. “The future is very bright for baseball in the CSRA and we are excited to continue to partner with the San Francisco Giants

56 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

who have consistently supplied both players and coaches that have represented the GreenJackets organization well on and off the field here in the CSRA,” said Tom Denlinger, General Manager. “We look forward to celebrating many milestones and successes with the Giants in the years to come.”

“We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Augusta and the front office staff for the GreenJackets,” said Giants Senior Vice President and General Manager Bobby Evans. “We have enjoyed our last 12 years in Augusta and sense the excitement about the player development opportunities ahead.”

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz


58 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016



When Autumn Hanline, regional manager for the Carolinas for Operation Christmas Child, got involved with the Samaritan’s Purse mission as a teenager, she learned that there was something she could do to help others, even at such a young age. Now Hanline travels South Carolina and western North Carolina, assisting churches and their leaders with the outreach that has given away more than 135 million shoeboxes filled with school supplies, toys, hygiene items and notes of encouragement to children in need in over 150 countries. “Those are big, big numbers but also when you think about 135 million, that doesn’t even equal the number of children that are in India today,” Hanline said. Operation Christmas Child began in 1993 as an outreach through evangelist Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse. The first year, 28,000 shoeboxes were collected for just a handful of countries. In 2015, Operation Christmas Child collected 8.7 million shoeboxes in the United

A Cambodian child reacts with delight at having received the perfect gift. Photo courtesy Samaritan’s Purse.

Children in Malawi with packages they received through Operation Christmas Child. Photo courtesy Samaritan’s Purse.

States. This year the organization’s goal is 9.5 million boxes. The Aiken region, which packed just under 15,000 shoeboxes last year, hopes to collect 16,000 boxes this year. Since Operation Christmas Child began, incredible stories have surfaced of children receiving the right gift at the right time from people who have no idea the meaningful item they are sending. One family had been praying for a radio to stay informed about what was going on around them. That year they received a radio in their child’s shoebox. Another child had been praying for snow and received a small snow globe in her box. “It is kind of impossible to describe what it looks like when a child who has never received a gift gets something put in their hands, gets told this is a free gift, this belongs to you and is sent with love and just to see them light up and have that excitement,” Hanline said.

National Collection Week for boxes is November 14-21, allowing ample time to deliver boxes around the world in time for Christmas. Prior to collection week, many churches place prewrapped boxes around their campuses, allowing members to pick up multiple boxes to pack. Sometimes groups of people will gather to pack dozens of boxes together and include their children in the packing process. The outreach is more than just placing gifts in a child’s hands, though. Children who receive boxes are given the opportunity to attend The Greatest Journey, a 12-week follow-up program to learn more about the Christian faith and get connected to a local church. “Do your part and pack a shoebox, and God will do His and put it in the right hands,” Hanline said. For more information on Operation Christmas Child, including appropriate items to pack and where to send donations, visit

It is kind of impossible to describe what it looks like when a child who has never received a gift gets something put in their hands, gets told this is a free gift, this belongs to you October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz




recommended that I try this American IPA as well, and I’m glad I did. I had it poured from a bottle, and it has an expected golden appearance with a healthy head which laces nicely. Let me be very clear: I really enjoyed this beer, but I also really enjoy spicy food. The aspects of a hot pepper (raw and not pickled) come through in all aspects of this brew, and I think it’s delicious. However, if you don’t like spicy food, then you won’t like spicy beer. Interestingly, the spicy savor seems to expand upon itself in an additive fashion that’s evident right down to the final sip, where there exists more heat than at the beginning. Very well done, Ballast Point. You continue to impress.


With the state of affairs pertaining to our current presidential election, I find it hard to believe that anything truly surprises me anymore. Well, wouldn’t you know it was a beer that did just that. On a tip from a friend, I went and got the latest version of Stone Enjoy By (the series of beers with dates to “enjoy by”). The Enjoy By 10/31/16 Tangerine IPA is very good. I really didn’t think I’d “enjoy” it like I have other selections from this series (mainly due to the fact that I don’t think I’ve ever knowingly said “Oh man, I’m hungry; does anyone have a tangerine lying around I could munch on?”), but I was wrong. I plan on “enjoying” this brew again before Halloween. Stone Enjoy By 10/31/16 Tangerine IPA – The ABV is over 9%. So take it home or get a ride. With that said, this IPA has a drinkability that matches any high-octane IPA I’ve tried in recent history. The tangerine really comes through as more of a generally citrusy tone to the hops with hints of zest but not really qualified any further. I guess that’s why I “enjoyed” it so much. The bite is present, but the decay is more definite than other high-octane

brews from the same craft (I’m thinking 2x IPA by Southern Tier for comparison). I honestly would have guessed a lower ABV by two or three percentage points, and I would have guessed a more pronounced linger on the tongue.

All in all, this Enjoy By is worth having (if you like IPAs). At the time of print, Hive Growler Bar on Tenth Street had some left. Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin – On an unrelated tip from my brother, it was

Ben Casella is aware that neither of these fine IPAs exude the flavor that brings with it hints of the Halloween season. So, at the risk of sounding annually like a broken record, Southern Tier Pumking is still his favorite pumpkin ale, and its evil twin, Warlock (an imperial stout pumpkin ale) isn’t far behind. Trick-or-treat?



It started with a tickle in my throat and an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion. I didn’t pay it much attention, though. I mean, what teacher isn’t exhausted by Thursday afternoon. And when you have to yell out buses, you’re sure to have a sore throat once in a while. By Friday evening my voice was gone. It was laryngitis. If you’ve never had laryngitis, you’re not missing out on anything. Sore throat, tired, and worst of all, no voice. It was a beautiful Saturday and I was stuck in the bed. I decided to make the best of a bad situation, so I turned off the phone and turned on Netflix. Crossing Jordan This show ran for six years and I never once watched it. I even remember having a good friend who loved the show and invited me to a few watching parties. I never attended. Once I found out I had laryngitis I figured I might as well give it a try. It started with one episode. Twelve hours later I was still watching.

Crossing Jordan is set in Boston and centers on Jordan Cavanuagh, a medical examiner with a passion for solving murders. When the show begins, Jordan is living in California, forced to complete an anger management program after being fired for stepping out of line one too many times. When her old boss calls her with an offer to rehire her, she jumps at the chance. I have to admit, I was impressed with this show. I always imagined it would be cheesy and predictable, but what I found was a fun, original storyline with a unique group of characters. Sure, there were times when I found an episode to be lacking in some area, but overall, this

60 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

show is a winner. Penny Dreadful Perhaps you’ll recall that I made a point to step outside of my comfort zone with last month’s reviews. With those shows still fresh on my mind and Halloween rapidly approaching, I decided to be a big girl and watch something a little scary. I was not disappointed. Long ago, penny dreadfuls were a popular form of cheap literary entertainment, akin to today’s tabloids. The series Penny Dreadful intertwines the stories of some of the most well-known characters from literary history: Dorian Gray, Dracula and Frankenstein, to name a few. The story begins when Sir Malcolm’s daughter goes missing, taken by a creature of the night. He and his assistant, Ms. Ives, enlist the help of a naïve sharp shooter, promising him nothing but adventure. Before I knew it, I was covering my eyes to hide from the creatures they were facing. If you like a good creature feature or you enjoy some classic literary horror, Penny Dreadful is right up your alley. Be

warned, though: This show is definitely for adults and there are quite a few scenes you do not want to have to explain. Nevertheless, Penny Dreadful is a fascinating show that will most certainly keep you entertained.

Samantha Taylor “Sam the Movie Chick” is on a mission to find the best movies and TV shows for you to stream from Netflix. She loves good flicks, good food and good friends. Her eclectic tastes are sure to give readers a wide range of viewing choices.

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz



MANY EVENTS PLANNED TO CELEBRATE AUGUSTA’S OUTDOORS The Augusta Canal launches its first Find Your Park Festival on Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s a celebration of all the things to enjoy outdoors in the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area – and it’s really three celebrations in one. It’s a salute to 100 years of the National Park Service, 20 years for Augusta Canal as a National Heritage Area, plus the grand opening of the canal’s new Mill Village Trail. Organizers plan a full day of runs, walks, rides, sport demonstrations, music, food, exhibits, prizes and much more. It’s a free, family-friendly event along the canal’s new Mill Village Trail. The Find Your Park Festival kicks off at 9 a.m. with 5K and 10K runs, followed by the official Mill Village Trail opening ceremony. Then it’s time to sample all the sports you’ve always wanted to try, from paddle boarding to yoga, disc golf to fly fishing. Grab a bite from the food trucks, and enjoy the live music at both ends of the trail. Stroll the trail and visit more than 40 exhibitors offering information on everything from pet adoption to fitness tips. Bring the kids by the Kroc Center’s Kids Playground for children’s activities. And be sure to buy tickets for the raffle

2:45 p.m............. Raffle Prize Drawings, Closing Ceremony The full schedule can be viewed at There will also be exhibits by many businesses and services.

prizes, like a beach bike or camping gear from festival presenting sponsor Gerald Jones Subaru. Events take place at several locations. A venue map is available at augustacanal. com/festival. Festival Headquarters: Mill Village Trailhead – 101 Eve Street (in back of Kroc Center). Lake Olmstead Trailhead – 1 Milledge Road, along Mill Village Trail, located between the two trailheads on the south bank of the canal. Chaffee Park – between Kroc Center and Canal. Lake Olmstead at Lake Olmstead Park – 2200 Broad Street. All events are free, although festival goers will be asked to register to participate in certain sports activities. Food

62 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

and beverage will be on sale from an array of food trucks and local vendors. Activity Highlights All day – Live music, Kroc Center Kids Playground activities, trailside exhibits 9 a.m.................. 5K and 10K runs organized by Augusta Chapter of Wear Blue Run to Remember 10 a.m................ Mill Village Trail Grand Opening Ceremony 10 a.m................ Sports demonstrations start – Fishing, Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Disc Golf 10:30 a.m........... Stroller Strut and Kids Fun Run Noon................. Waterside Yoga Birdwatching Walks begin 12:30 p.m........... Waterside Zumba 1:30 p.m............. Guided bike rides begin

Music and Entertainment Stage 1 – Mill Village Trailhead 7:30-9:45 a.m.....DJ Big Sexy 9:45-10:15 a.m... Willie Haugabook 10:15-10:30 a.m. Opening Ceremony 10:30-11:30 a.m. Bethany Davis & the Southside Boys 11:30- 12 p.m....Lamar Milledge Elementary 12-1 p.m............Double D 1-1:30 p.m.........Davidson Fine Arts Improv Group 1:30-2 p.m.........Davidson Fine Arts Jazz Band 2-2:45 p.m.........South Atlantic Band Stage 2 – Lake Olmstead Trailhead 10:15-11 a.m......Spencer Shadden 11-12 p.m.......... Rob Foster 12:30-1 p.m....... iDRUM2U 1-1:30 p.m.........Joyce Lynn Chandler 1:30- 2 p.m........ KSideKG 2-2:30 p.m.........Carey Murdock 2:30-3:15 p.m....Chris Hardy

October 27—November 16, 2016 Buzz on Biz


64 Buzz on Biz October 27—November 16, 2016

10 24 16 buzz on biz october november 64 pages  
10 24 16 buzz on biz october november 64 pages