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Businessmen reach for something bigger F3 Nation builds muscles, community leadership

By Gary Kauffman At 5:30 on a 42-degree morning, with fog creeping in like a scene in a Stephen King novel, I stood in a parking lot at Riverview Park in North Augusta, preparing to exercise. That’s right, at 5:30. In the morning. I wasn’t alone. There were 11 other men standing in a rough circle. We were part of F3 Nation, a men’s fitness and social group that is rapidly gaining popularity, especially in the Southeast. The three F’s stand for Fitness, Fellowship and Faith. The goal is to invigorate men into active community leadership. Beginning a workout when it’s 42 degrees is certainly invigorating. But the men in this North Augusta group have been doing this for more than a year now, through heat and cold. While getting men to hop out of bed so early would seem to be a difficult task, F3 is catching on quickly in the CSRA. After the North Augusta group launched on Dec. 6, 2014, a group started in Evans in February and another in Augusta about a month ago. A new Aiken resident is hoping to start one there in the near future. The ultimate goal is to have groups within 30 minutes of anywhere you happen to be. That way, if you’re traveling, you can always find one nearby to join. “The idea is that any guy can go to any

Men from all walks of life participate in F3’s pre-dawn work out at Riverview Park in North Augusta. Photo by Gary Kauffman

workout anywhere and understand what’s going on,” said Charles “Crab Legs” Waters – one of the first things that happens when a person joins F3 is that they are given a nickname that they wear with a measure of pride. F3 has five core principles – it’s free, it’s open to all men, all workouts are held outdoors in any weather condition except lightning, it’s led on a rotating basis by your peers and it ends in a Circle of Trust.

They could also add Nike’s slogan of “Just do it” because they’re fond of shooting down all the excuses men use to not exercise on a regular basis. One of the biggest is the 5:30 a.m. starting time. Dewey “Pale Rider” Wilson, 57, tried the usual workout times but didn’t find anything that stuck until F3. “I tried lunch, immediately after work, when I first came home,” he said. “But

there’s nothing else happening between 5:30 and 6:15 in the morning.” The group is comprised of many occupations, including doctors, police officers, civil engineers and now, possibly, a journalist. “It’s part of our culture to be inclusive,” said Mike “Pontiff ” Pope. Age is also not considered a barrier. The See F3 NATION, page 6

Local centers fight the battle of the bulge Specialists help people lose weight, then keep it off

By Millie Huff With more than two-thirds of American adults being either overweight (BMI between 25.0-29.9) or obese (BMI over 30.0), the need for weight loss has never been greater. But the old adage of “eat less, move more” may not be a successful equation for everyone who wants to lose weight,

especially those with physical or psychological issues that make weight loss more challenging. For those looking for help to lose weight in the CSRA, more than 20 weight loss facilities and physician specialists are available locally. “January through March are our busiest months,” said Aubrie Patrick, a nurse practitioner at Bee Healthy Weight Loss Clinic in Evans. “People tend to gain weight during the holidays and become more serious about getting healthier after the New Year and in preparation for the summer. We provide services to help a patient who needs extra support and treatment in a physician-supervised program rather than trying diet and exercise on their own. ” At Bee Healthy, new patients begin by meeting with a nutritionist who helps set weight loss goals and teaches a

patient about healthier eating. While in the program, clients visit the office once a month to meet with a nurse practitioner, physician assistant or the nutritionist to help monitor progress and dispense weight-loss medications that are used in the program. The appetite suppressants and weight-loss medications commonly used are not necessary for everyone but are effective for many clients in combination with nutrition counseling and lifestyle modification. Bee Healthy anticipates about 150 new patients will join their program in the first quarter of the year and have expanded their services to include aesthetic treatments, like skin care and Botox treatments. “We have a very high success rate in our clients who reach See WEIGHT LOSS, page 2

Before and after pictures of one of the success stories that took place at Bee Healthy.

WEIGHT LOSS continued from page 1 their weight loss goals,” said Patrick. “Once someone reaches their goal, we help to develop a maintenance plan so that they keep off the weight. We can help anyone reach a healthier weight, whether the goal is 10 pounds or 110 pounds.” Weight loss is about more than looking good in a bathing suit; it is a matter of life and death for those fighting disease. Obesity contributes to more than 40 chronic medical issues, including life-threatening ones such as heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers. According to the CDC, the average annual medical cost for someone who is obese is $1,429 higher than that of someone at normal weight. The American Medical Association (AMA) categorized obesity as a disease in 2013. “A medically supervised weight-loss program takes into consideration all of the factors that have contributed to a patient’s weight issues,” said Dr. Maycie Elchoufi, Medical Director of the Medical Weight and Wellness Specialists in Augusta. “Psychological, behavioral and metabolic issues, hormones, genetics and environment all contribute to someone’s weight.” At Medical Weight and Wellness Specialists, Elchoufi meets with each new patient for a thorough evaluation which includes body composition, an EKG, lab work and a physical exam. Elchoufi, who formerly practiced as an internal medicine physician and a hospitalist, creates a treatment plan based on all of the information, which sometimes includes medications. She sees a patient once per month afterward. Once a patient has reached their weight loss goal, a maintenance plan is created to help ensure success in keeping the weight off. “It is important to keep a patient engaged

2 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

because there is a large behavioral modification component to a patient’s success,” said Elchoufi. “Even a modest weight loss can begin to reverse chronic health problems. You have to treat obesity just like you would any other chronic disease looking at longterm solutions. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for you. That’s why I create a tailored program based on all of the patient’s medical needs.” Elchoufi has a strong empathy for the patients she helps because of her personal struggle with being overweight, having gained even more weight during the stressful years of medical school. Twelve years ago, she lost 70 pounds through a variety of efforts and found that weight loss programs were not widely available. Her own weight loss experience and what she observed in treating patients motivated her to specialize in bariatric medicine and open Medical Weight and Wellness Specialists in 2014. “When I was working in internal medicine, I treated many patients struggling with chronic illnesses that could have been improved by addressing their obesity,” said Elchoufi. “As physicians, we offer somewhat vague advice on being healthier but must focus on the primary concern at the time. By being proactive in helping people achieve a healthy weight, we are curing and preventing other obesity-related health problems.” Most weight loss programs are not covered by health insurance but some do take payment from flex spending accounts, a dedicated savings account for medical expenses which some employers now offer. For more information on Bee Healthy Weight Loss Clinic, go to beehealthyclinics. com. For more about Medical Weight and Wellness Specialists, visit

Publisher’s Notes Neil Gordon

Healthy Outlook

Good physical health is worth striving for in the new year Thanks so much to our Buzz on Biz client, EDTS and their key executives, Charles Johnson and Will McGhee, for allowing us to use their corporate headquarters as our Holiday Client Party place! If it were not for clients like EDTS and readers like you, there would not be a Buzz on Biz.


Big picture-wise, if it were not for good physical or fiscal health, none of us would have businesses or employees. We’re so blessed to have so many wonderful doctors, medical professionals, hospitals and other health related businesses that call the CSRA home. In this issue, we spotlight dozens of great stories we hope will inspire you to both appreciate what we have and learn about some amazing work being done. Our cover stories focus on eating and exercising right – cudos to our Editor In Chief Gary Kauffman for experiencing the new F3 group in the CSRA. Should he have a few aches and pains, I have just what the doctor ordered – “take two aspirins and read Pages 39-53 of this publication.” The Health and Wellness section begins with the amazing full-circle journey our Businessperson Of The Month is going through. Fitness guru Ivan Trinidad offers lessons learned while he battles serious health issues. A local hotel, Candlewood Suites, is

going green inside and outside their property. Our Fierce Fitness duo is setting you up to succeed this year with reasonable goals. Carol Gignoux, an ADHD specialist, is giving someone like me hope. She says I fit into the category of being an “Innovator.” I’m glad, but now if I can only find that lost sales contract… “Ugggh.” Kellie Pugh and her awesome team at Morningside of Evans are helping CSRA’s elderly parents and grandparents enjoy life in their 80s and 90s, while their adult children and grandchildren can enjoy them and still focus on making a living in their careers and businesses. Pruitt Health serves the elderly and their families as well. I bet you didn’t know they also work with grieving children at Camp Cocoon in a rural area outside of Atlanta. Their foundation’s story is in our section. Many of us consider our pets to be just like our children. Don’t miss the profile of the Walton Way Veterinary Clinic. The health of our pets

Fun with Food................ 22 Health & Wellness.....39-53 New downtown restaurant creates an eclectic offering of foods.

affects us too! We also report on a medical billing company that is finally under one roof again in a new facility in North Augusta. Our counselor/writer Carolyn Ramp explores a simple way to look at life for the New Year. Be Happy! Terry Childers of Bradford Health wants you to have a happy and safe holiday season. Read about how to plan for all of the parties and then get home safely, thanks to a Bradford program. Our last article of the year is from our “funny girl” Nora Blithe, who entertains us with a situation we’ve probably all been in – stuck at a boring Christmas party! Happy Holidays and all the BLEST, Neil Neil Gordon is president of Buzz on Biz, LLC 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, the CSRA’s only monthly business publication.

Over the River................ 50 Health billing company finally under one roof in new North Augusta facility.

Business Openings...22-23

Downtown shopping....... 4 The North Augusta Chamber urges people to shop locally.

Buzz Bits....................12,13 Population growth........ 20

Businessperson of the Updated charm.............. 34 Month: Ivan Trinidad.... 40

New name and goals.... 58 President Brooks Keel talks about goals and expansion plans for the new Augusta University.

Georgia’s population growth will flavor topics for discussion at legislative session.

The Partridge Inn’s renovations are complete, combining 21st Century amenities with old Southern charm.

Lifelong dedication to fitness is helping fitness guru Ivan Trinidad battle a serious illness.

Social Buzz............... 65-71

Local entrepreneur’s new project will connect newcomers and businesses.

Entrepreneurs will spur the future growth of cities.

Cancer Center’s new technique helps in fight against breast cancer.

spendthrifts but they are careful about not running up debt.

Millennials......... 68 Newcomers Guide.......... 20 Way of the Future.......... 38 Seeds of Hope................ 48 Frugal Younger generation sometimes seen as

Columnists Kim Romaner: If you leave, will your business have any value?...............................................8 Mark Alison: How to get people to listen to your radio commercial................................... 10 Gary Kauffman: Adjusting prices can net important advertising funds............................. 14 Jeb Blount: Don’t let the season distract you from sales goals.............................................. 14 Charles Kelly: Despite options, there’s not substitute for a desktop................................... 16 Eddie Kennedy: Finishing strong sets you up for a better start to new year.................... 18 Mike Herrington: Tax brackets can affect your benefits planning........................................ 18 Christine Hall: Be aware of how tax changes could affect your business.......................... 19 Jame Geathers: Taking care of business now eases January paperwork........................... 20 Steve Swanson: New year offers time to reflect on past and future goals........................ 24 Kelsey Morrow: Past posts to social media may be valuable – or trash.............................. 26 Russell Head: Consider various factors when deciding on a health plan.......................... 28

Dagan Sharpe: Sharpening skills can help you work smarter, not harder......................... 28 Barry Paschal: Some common sayings could use 21st Century updates........................... 30 Bethany Roley/Blake Crewe: Keep fitness resolutions by setting manageable goals... 42 Carol Gignoux: ADHD can be advantageous with the right coaching............................... 44 Terry Childers: Planning ahead can help you say not to alcohol’s temptation................ 44 Carolyn Ramp: Changing to a happier state is a do-it-yourself project.............................. 46 Susan O’Keefe: Taking a chance on lunch is a good bet at Fat Man’s Cafe........................ 54 Brian Hendricks: GMC pairs with Augusta Tech to provide bachelor degree................... 60 Jonathan Karow: Disease claims loved ones but it doesn’t always win............................. 65 Ben Casella: North Carolina brewery catches writer’s taste buds......................................... 66 Samantha Taylor: Netflix movies create memories of Christmases past............................ 66 Nora Blithe: Writer can’t get out of husband’s Christmas party............................................. 70

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


N.A. Chamber urges shopping locally By Terra Carroll, North Augusta Chamber of Commerce President The North Augusta Chamber of Commerce will enter its 65th year in 2016. It started in 1951 with an innovative group of business leaders not only looking for solutions to basic business problems, but also seeking to improve their community. Chambers have always worked from a position grounded in grassroots reality. They help business leaders understand the processes involved on the many levels required for business growth – from city, state and national government to local permitting and building beneficial relationships. They are the collective voice representing business to government and providing the due diligence on legislation pertinent to their business community. They also give businesses an arena to find their niche in corporate social responsibility by consulting with them to find the right alignment between the community and their mission. Many chambers are their community’s primary visitor-serving organizations and many play support roles to destination management entities, but chambers will always be perceived as the one-stop place to call on for all types of business referrals. Communications and business information resources are other benefits of your local chamber. Finding economical educational workshops, seminars and conferences can be challenging for small businesses. In addition to educational events, chambers provide avenues for businesses to network, access influencers and gain critical exposure through sponsorship opportunities and marketing channels. Not only do they produce many of these events, they can tell you where else you can take advantage of similar resources. Influential business leaders know that participating in chamber activities means connecting with local leaders; creating business alliances, affecting public policy, improving local and regional communities, growing the value of your business and being engaged with the organization that is leading business in your community. Today’s chamber industry does a great job with all of the benefits it provides, but faces challenges in communicating exactly what it does, which can give a negative perception of chambers’ relevance. There’s a saying: “Chambers do the things that most people think just happen.” With businesses looking for quick, tangible results – jobs, more customers, and a return on investment in this fast-paced and global media world – it can be difficult to communicate the value of connecting, engaging, marketing, advocacy and sustainability. If the specific issue doesn’t touch a member business directly, they often don’t realize how the benefit that a particular position on legislation or influence at a planning commission meeting can help them. Gone are the days of chamber pancake breakfasts, festivals and parades. Gone is

The North Augusta Chamber urges people to shop local businesses, like Anything Goes on West Street. Photo by Gary Kauffman

the notion that you join the chamber because your grandfather did and it’s the right thing to do. Here are the days of tough economies, global impacts and instant communication. Chambers of commerce are relevant partners. Do your business a favor and talk to your chamber. Your success is your chamber’s business. The North Augusta Chamber invites you to Save the Date on Feb. 12 for our Annual Meeting & Gala 65th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. The North Augusta Chamber reminds you to shop local this holiday season! Along with participating in community traditions and celebrations, holiday shopping can be one of the most joyous parts of the holiday season. Shopping locally from small businesses can bring added joy: from walking along a sidewalk with the streets decorated in their holiday finest, to being greeted by someone likely to be the owner of the store, to finding gifts that are not massproduced. A great way to show holiday spirit is to do a portion of your shopping in some of the area’s locally owned stores. There is just something special about shopping in the heart of a town that is decked out for the season. Small businesses are a big part of any community. Their success depends on the quality of life the town possesses as a whole. Many times a small business owner pays attention to every detail in his or her business in a way that is otherwise unmatched. Small businesses face tough challenges right now. Competition from big box stores and online sellers can make the holidays difficult for those small local retailers. Local families will literally spend millions of

4 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

dollars to shop and exchange gifts during the next month, spending tens of millions of dol-

lars in a variety of places. Why not spend some of that money in your own community?

THE CSRA’S ONLY MONTHLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE 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. To order a 12-month subscription mailed to your home or office, please mail a check for $36 to cover postage to the address below. Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830

Photography Gary Kauffman, Melissa Gordon Writers Millie Huff, Kelsey Morrow

Sales Manager Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727

Calendar Coordinator Kelsey Morrow

Sales Janine Garropy/803-480-2800

Distribution Janine Garropy, Anne Marie Patterson, Samuel Esses

Design Gary Kauffman

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Opinions expressed by the writers herein are their own and their respective institutions. Neither Buzz on Biz LLC or its agents or employees take any responsibility for the accuracy of submitted information, which is presented for informational purposes only.

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Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


F3 NATION continued from page 1 North Augusta F3 group ranges in age from the early 20s to 64. “One guy is 64,” Pale Rider said. “You can’t tell me it’s not for everybody.”

So how do the three F’s work? Fitness For much of my adult life I’ve been involved in some type of physical exercise. I’ve had spurts where I was very serious about it and times, like the past few months, where I’ve slacked off. Still, I felt I was in reasonable shape and ready for exercise. I have never had my butt so thoroughly kicked by a workout as this one. Because the groups are peer-led on a rotating basis, you never know what you’re going to get on a particular morning, although many of the exercises are familiar albeit with different names: Jumping jacks, pushups, situps, burpees, lunges, squats, running. That doesn’t sound hard until you do them over and over, in succession, for 45 minutes. There are brief respites called “recovery” but sometimes the break is the running. That’s right, running is often considered the easiest part of the workout. But at no point did anyone make me feel bad for not being able to keep up. “We’re not going to embarrass you,” Crab Legs said. “We’ve all been there where we’ve been out of shape. Everything I say (as leader) is a suggestion, not an order. If I say do 10 burpees and you can only do four, then do four.” At the same time, the point is to push yourself to keep going, even if it is in much smaller increments. “As long as you’re doing something you’re getting better,” Pale Rider said. “It doesn’t get any easier, but you get better.” The workouts on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday involve the more “boot camp” style workouts, especially working the ancillary or core muscles. The Monday, Wednesday and Friday workouts involve others things, such as running or workouts with objects like tractor tires or cement blocks. While F3 often is compared to crossfit,

6 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

there are differences – such as doing everything outside. The accountability to others is a big factor in attending the workouts and in making them work. “The stuff we do, you wouldn’t do that by yourself,” Pale Rider said. “But whether it’s encouragement or peer pressure, when you’ve got other guys around you, you do it.” And I did, maybe not as much as I should have, but certainly more than I felt like doing. Fellowship After a workout, about half a dozen of us stopped at Gary’s Hamburgers for egg, cheese and bacon biscuits. A few other groups of men went to different places. In some ways, this is a more important part of F3 than the fitness. “Guys need friends,” Pale Rider said. “When we’re kids we don’t have any trouble making friends. But then we grow up and we get in a rut. We lose that ability to make friends.” It can also make a big difference when times are tough. “I’ve only been here a year and I’ve been going through a lot with the move,” said Tim “Moonshine” Keene. “It’d be real rough without this group.” Breakfasts together and Happy Hour gatherings on Thursday evenings, as well as the occasional backyard barbecue, help the men in F3 form deeper connections. “This is where fellowship gets built,” Crab Legs added. “It’s where friendships are solidified.” It is also a good way to actually know what your fitness partners look like. “At first I wouldn’t recognize anybody because it was always dark when I saw them,” Moonshine said. The conversations during these fellowship times frequently turn to needs and opportunities to help in the community, which leads to the third F. Faith Although F3 does have a spiritual component – the workouts end with a brief prayer – the F3 definition of faith is not about any-

F3 workouts have many components, like situps by a Christmas display.

Pushing each other to fitness

One of the best things about working out with other men in F3 Nation is how men can push each other to achieve more than they thought they could. One of the first workouts for the North Augusta F3 group was with an F3 group from Lexington. It included some grueling hill runs that left Charles “Crab Legs” Waters thinking he couldn’t do any more. But he found himself running beside a man with blue shoes – with his head down, panting up the hills, that’s all Crab Legs could see. He gritted his teeth and determined that he would keep going as long as Blue Shoes did. Not only did Blue Shoes finish all the hill climbs, he also finished all the other thing religious. “It’s the belief in something bigger than yourself,” Crab Legs said. “You quit thinking about yourself,” Pale Rider added. For the North Augusta group, that’s a program called Real Men Read. The members take turns visiting various elementary schools in the area to take 15 minutes to read a story to the kids. “It gives the kids a positive male role model,” Crab Legs said. Like the fitness portion, it also pushes the F3 members out of their comfort zones. “I wouldn’t do the Real Men Read thing if not for this group,” said Ricky “Big Bertha” Waters. They also become involved in other communitywide activities. An example of this happened in Columbia in early October. After the devastating floods, the F3 groups in that area mobilized to begin cleanup efforts before the Red Cross could get things going. After my workout, I joined the others in the Circle of Trust, a kind of closing ceremony next to a spade in the ground flying the American flag from its handle. Everyone in the group takes turns stating their name, age and group-given nickname. The names

workouts. And because he did, Crab Legs finished them all, too. After the workout, Crab Legs felt a hand on his shoulder. It was Blue Shoes. “Thanks for pushing me,” Blue Shoes said. Incredulous, Crab Legs asked, “What did I do?” In an ironic twist, Blue Shoes revealed his motivation to be the same as that of Crab Legs. Blue Shoes said, “I told myself that I would keep going as long as you kept going.” Because of that mutual motivation, both completed a workout that neither would have finished on their own. are repeated by everyone, a way of getting to know one another. For anyone over the age of 50, the word “respect” is added to the response. “The Circle of Trust is one of the biggest parts of F3,” Pale Rider said. Crab Legs added, “Sometimes guys will really open up there. Although you’re a little hesitant to open up to a bunch of sweaty guys. But there have been times where I really needed prayer or help from other people.” The Circle of Trust is also where people obtain their nicknames. Because I spent my first workout with this group taking pictures for this article, I earned the nickname “Shutterbug.” After a few announcements and prayer requests, we all bunched in a circle, hands on each other’s shoulders, to finish in prayer. I was out of breath, aching, sweating and cold at the same time, it was only 6:15 a.m., it was dark and foggy, but as I stood there with these men, I felt a sense of camaraderie, a feeling of being part of a team. And I realized then that a fourth F could easily be added to the group – Fun. For more information about F3, visit

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Business Leverage Kim Romaner

Me, Myself and I

If you leave, will your business have any value?

If you’re involved in the day-to-day operations of your company, particularly if you’re primarily responsible for sales, a smart buyer will want to know what will be left of the business after you leave, if anything. And they have some tricks to figure that out. How do they do it? First, every smart buyer will have a checklist of questions to ask to determine whether they want to buy your company. Questions such as: • When does your lease expire and what are the terms? • Do you have consistent, signed, up-to-date contracts with your customers and employees? • Are your ideas, products and processes protected by patent or trademark? • What kind of technology do you use, and are your software licenses up to date? • What are the loan covenants on your credit agreements? • How are your receivables? Do you have any late payers or deadbeat customers? • Does your business require a license to operate, and if so, is your paperwork in order? • Do you have any litigation pending? These are pretty standard, and there are more questions like them, depending on your industry. They also

use a few tests to find out how dependent the business and its customers are on you. Here’s how to pass those tests. Test #1: Seller availability. By asking to make a last-minute change to your meeting time, the buyer gets clues as to how involved you are personally in serving customers. If you can’t accommodate the change request, the buyer may probe to find out why and try to determine what part of the business is so dependent on you that you have to be there. Be flexible! Show up. Test #2: Checking to see if your business needs glasses. A buyer may ask you to explain your vision for the business, which is a question you should be well prepared to answer. However, he or she may ask the same question of your employees and key managers. If your staff members offer inconsistent answers, the acquirer may take it as a sign that the future of the business is in your head. Test #3: Asking your customers why they do business with you. A potential buyer may ask to talk to some of your customers. He or she will expect you to select your most passionate and loyal customers and, therefore, will expect to hear good things. However, the customers may be asked a question like “Why do you do business with these guys?” If your customers answer by describing the benefits of your product, service or company in general, that’s good. If they respond by explaining how much they like you personally, that’s bad. Test #4: Mystery shopping. Buyers often conduct their first bit of research in secret before you even know they are interested in buying your business. They may pose as a customer, visit your website or come into your company to

understand what it feels like to be one of your customers. Make sure the experience your company offers to a stranger is tight and consistent, and try to avoid personally being involved in finding or serving brand-new customers. If any potential buyers see you personally as the key to wooing new customers, they’ll be concerned business will dry up when you leave. If you and your company can well answer both the buyer’s objective and subjective questions about your business and its dependency on you, then a business sale at a good price is much

more likely to proceed. Tune in next month to learn how to scale and reduce your business’ dependency on you, the talented business owner. Kim Romaner is president of Transworld Business Advisors of Augusta, a business brokerage that helps people buy and sell businesses, and also enter into the franchise world. With over 100 locations in the U.S. and abroad, Transworld has sold many thousands of businesses. If you’d like to talk to Kim about selling your business, buying a franchise or turning your existing business into a franchise operation, please call 706-383-2994, x802, or email her at

Augusta EDA’s annual report receives national award The Augusta Economic Development Authority’s Annual Report and “Life in Manufacturing” Program were judged as two of the best economic development initiatives in the United States for 2015, according to the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards Program recognizes the world’s best economic development programs, partnerships and marketing materials. These awards honor organizations for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Recipients of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards demonstrate to an experienced panel of judges that they are at the forefront of the economic development profession. “The Life in Manufacturing Program and our Annual Report were created to enhance

8 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

our economic development efforts for Augusta,” Henry Ingram, Chairman of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, said. “Site selection consultants and project managers from across the country seek details on the progress of our community, and learn what we are doing once a company locates here. The IEDC Excellence in Economic Development awards are very high honors.” The Augusta Economic Development Authority changed the 2015 Annual Report to an electronic-only document. The Annual Report highlighted the Board of Directors and staff, the goals of the organization and the numerous successes in economic development that were accomplished during the year. The electronic Annual Report was emailed to site selection consultants, statewide project managers, local manufacturers, elected officials and community leaders. The Annual Report was also posted at Augus- The Augusta Economic Development Authority created the “Life in Manufacturing” project to assist local manufacturers in the recruitment of veterans. A group of potential employees, all veterans, were identified by the Augusta Economic Development Authority and the Augusta Warrior Project (AWP) who then visited five local

manufacturing companies. Working with the AWP and its mission, the group received presentations about the companies, learned about employment opportunities, and spent valuable one-on-one time with Human Resources directors and Plant Managers. As a result, all 24 veterans were hired by the five local Augusta manufacturing companies.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Business Marketing Mark Alison

Blowing Smoke

How to get people to listen to your radio commercials I am a sucker for great radio commercials. I remember one from years ago that was created to sell the power of radio. The announcer described a guy puffing on a cigar and filling the car with white aromatic smoke. It was written so well that I could not help but smell it, even though it existed only in my head. He stopped mid sentence, paused, and said, “If you can smell the cigar, you know the power of radio.” I thought, “That’s the kind of radio spots I want to write.” They say that radio is the theatre of the mind. I say it is the best medium to capture our imagination, even more so than TV. Great radio spots, like a good book, allow us to build the picture that suits us and make it very personal. How can radio capture us in 30 seconds? Consider how long it takes you to recognize the music of Debussy’s Clair de Lune or, for younger readers, the opening three seconds of the Star Wars theme. (Can you hear it in your head?) How long does it take to be captured by the unmistakable voice of Sam Elliott when he is promoting “Dodge Ram,” or James Earl Jones, whether or not he is voicing Darth Vader? The point is, the commercial presentation touches us before the content does. If we like the presentation, chances are we will listen to the message too. When Season 11 American Idol winner Phillip Phillips sang the song “Home,” starting with the line “Hold-on to me as we go,” with the memorable guitar riff written by Greg Holden and Drew Pearson, how many radio commercials did you hear soon after with a similar sounding guitar riff? Music/sound effects, voice, and presentation, either

together or independently make radio commercials work. It doesn’t require Sam Elliott’s voice or movie music but it does require the right voice and/or the right music working to fit the script. So with the right presentation we have ignited the imagination. Now it is up to the script to communicate the message. A great script is written much like a musical composition. Depending on the tone of the pitch there can be phrases, pauses and even a crescendo. It’s not that we don’t hear the screaming HURRY, HURRY, HURRY ads. We just don’t listen to them. When you are paying big bucks for radio time, you sure hope people listen to your commercials. Great radio commercials have a central theme and the message revolves around that theme like the second hand revolves around the center point of the clock face. Everything relates back to the central theme. Conversely, listing-type commercials that have the announcer reading a laundry list of things available in a store should be reserved for the newspaper. Who can remember past seven items anyway? That’s why a phone number has only seven digits. Here are five things to avoid when creating a radio commercial: The radio commercial with the old ‘60s style jingle package. The best message in the world is lost when the “old-timey” jingles open and close the spot using an “insert name here” jingle donut. Radio stations love to sell these, dare I call them, “music” packages. My advice: Nix the jingle. Rewrite the spot. Remember the presentation comes before the message. The “client” voice-over commercial. Of course people will tell you they heard you on the radio but no one will tell you how really bad you sounded next to the really well done commercial. Especially in the South. My advice: Leave the voice over to a pro. The commercial written and delivered in third person. This is the one that uses the term “They” for the client’s name. Example: “So give Joe’s Car

Center a call. They are helpful with all types of blah blah.” My advice: If you can’t endorse it first person, it is probably not worth endorsing. Do-over. The 60-second commercial that should have been 30 seconds. Radio stations often sell time in 60-second blocks so the client feels obligated to use the whole minute. I have actually heard one 30-second commercial repeated twice to fill the minute using the connecting copy line “as we said” to segue the same boring announcement. I couldn’t change stations fast enough. Note to self: Whatever spot came next was missed by me. My advice: If you must use the 60 seconds but have nothing to say, play music for 30 seconds…but not the jingle (see No. 1). The radio commercial featuring small children as the talent. Kids are

great on TV because they are so animated and their actions help convey the words they say. Not on radio. They are simply hard to understand. They sound like an untrained, diminutive voice that is neither cute nor convincing. My advice: Hire an adult child voice actor if you need a child voice or better yet, don’t do it. There are exceptions to these rules of course. The question is, when radio commercials are aired in blocks of three to five minutes at a time and yours is stuck in the middle of them, how memorable do you want it to be? 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

Small biz moves to Georgia help offset job growth slowdown Job growth in 2015 has not been on the fast pace it was in 2014, according to a Georgia economist. The year 2014 saw steady employment growth in the U.S. and in Georgia, but 2015 has seen a sharper deceleration of job growth in the Peach State than for the nation, according to Rajeev Dhawan of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Dhawan described the contrast in his quarterly “Forecast of Georgia and Atlanta,” released Nov. 18.

“In the first nine months of 2015, Georgia added only 46,500 new positions for a growth rate of 2.3 percent, compared to a gain of 103,900 and a growth rate of 3.1 percent in the same period last year,” Dhawan said. “Is Georgia the only state that has put on the brakes? Texas has, because of falling oil prices; but other leading GDP states, namely California and Florida, have not seen this kind of deceleration.” Job growth in manufacturing, a catalyst sector, has declined more than the national level. Some states, such as Michigan, have benefitted from the rocket rise of domestic

10 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

vehicle sales, but Georgia has suffered due to export-related business woes caused by a strong dollar and the stalled economies of Canada, the Eurozone and China, as evidenced by a slowdown of goods at the Port of Savannah. However, a multitude of announcements of small business headquarters moves in the technology and healthcare sectors will help counter economic hits taken because of a global malaise. Health care has added 11,400 new jobs in the first nine months of the year and is expected to maintain its momentum in coming years to bolster overall

job growth in the state. “The construction sector is beginning to close in on a saturation point not because of lack of demand but due to availability of viable lots,” Dhawan said. “Net-net: domestic positives are countering the negative global factors and that reality is evident in Georgia’s income tax revenue collections that have grown nicely by 8.8 percent in the last nine months even as job numbers were decelerating.” Dhawan forecasts a mild pickup in Atlanta housing permits despite the mixed signals on the job front.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Company to provide free taxi service for holiday partiers A local business is helping to keep the roads a little safer during the next few weeks by offering a free taxi ride for partygoers who have celebrated a bit too much. Bradford Health Services of Augusta is offering the free taxi ride home from Dec. 21-Jan 1 for adults 21 or older. Staff and patrons at local restaurants, bars and lounges may call for the free ride for anyone too impaired to drive. To schedule a ride home call 800-333-1865. Bradford Health Services has been treating alcoholism and drug addiction for adults and adolescents for nearly 40 years. Its mission is to bring hope to its patients and their families and lead them on a path of recovery.

Doctors wins award for fifth straight year For the fifth consecutive year, Doctors Hospital has been recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in the United States. To put that in perspective, fewer than 150 hospitals nationwide have achieved the Top Performer distinction for five years in a row. “Our physicians and team members deserve great credit for this achievement,” said Doctors Hospital President and CEO Doug Welch. “We take great pride in the care we offer the community. This recognition validates all the steps we take to ensure patient safety.” Doctors Hospital was recognized for its performance on accountability measure data for Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Pneumonia, Surgical Care, Stroke and Perinatal Care. “Delivering the right treatment in the right way at the right time is a cornerstone

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of high-quality health care. I commend the efforts of Doctors Hospital for their excellent performance on the use of evidence-based interventions,” said Mark Chassin, president and CEO, The Joint Commission. To earn this distinction Doctors had to meet accountability measures based on evidencebased practices. Examples include giving aspirin at arrival for heart attack patients or giving antibiotics one hour before surgery.

Aiken to put county office in North Augusta North Augusta residents will soon be able to take care of county business a little closer to home. Aiken County announced plans to open a satellite office in North Augusta in January. Under the plan, at least one staff member from the Treasurer’s Office and the Auditor’s Office will travel to North Augusta twice a week. This will allow North Augusta residents to conduct county business like paying tax bills and license fees without making the 20-mile drive to Aiken. Some non-routine business will still be required to be done at the county office in Aiken. The North Augusta satellite office will be housed in the finance office at the North Augusta Municipal Building. Because the office is provided and it will be staffed with existing employees, the startup costs to the county will be small. Aiken County is also looking for ways to expand its online capabilities for customer convenience.

Unemployment rate drops more than a point The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced recently that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in October was 5.7 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 5.8 percent in September.

12 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Evans company signs major government contract An Evans company recently landed a multi-million dollar government contract to help people file their taxes. TaxSlayer, based in Evans, won a five-year, $26 million contract from the IRS to provide software to help millions of low-income, disabled and elderly Americans who qualify for free tax-preparation assistance. TaxSlayer has 125 full-time employees but that swells to 225 during tax season. The new contract, which takes The rate was 6.8 percent in October 2014. “A strong over-the-month increase of 29,000 jobs helped push our unemployment rate to its lowest level in seven-anda-half years,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “This year’s September-to-October job growth is much stronger than the 16,600 job growth average for the same period over the last three years.” The number of jobs increased to 4,302,800, up by 0.7 percent, from September. Much of the job growth came in trade, transportation and warehousing, 6,800; professional and business services, 6,400; state and local government, 4,800; manufacturing, 3,100; leisure and hospitality, 2,800; financial activities, 2,700; education and health services, 1,100; information services, 800; construction, 600; and other services, such as repair, maintenance, personal and laundry services, 200.  “Over-the-year, our employers created 97,100 jobs, which is a 2.3 percent growth rate and stronger than the 2 percent national job growth rate,” said Butler. Most of the over-the-year job growth in Georgia came in trade, transportation and warehousing, 23,200; professional and business services, 20,500; leisure and hospitality, 17,200; education and health services, 16,100; local government, 10,100; manufacturing, 5,200; financial activities, 4,600; construction, 1,800; and information services, 400. 

effect in 2017, is expected to add about 75 seasonal employees. TaxSlayer grew out of the tax preparation firm RhodesMurphy & Co., which started in Augusta in the 1960s. This is their first government contract. The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance, a measure of new layoffs, rose by 2,701 or 10 percent, to 29,629 in October. Most of the rise in October was due to an increase in temporary claims filed in manufacturing, especially in textiles and transportation equipment. However, over the year, the number of claims was down by 3,270, or 9.9 percent, from 32,899 filed in October 2014. The decline came in a number of industries, including administrative and support services, wholesale and retail trade, accommodations and food services, health care and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services, and real estate, rental and leasing. In October, the state’s labor force increased by 7,396 to 4,736,342.

Radiothon raises funds for CHOG

The 15th annual Cares for Kids Radiothon, one of the largest fundraisers for the not-for-profit Children’s Hospital of Georgia, concluded on Dec. 5. The three-day event raised $205,079, which is $35,000 more than was raised last year.  Local iHeart radio stations and Cares for Kids partners 104.3 WBBQ, 96.3 Kiss FM, and G 105.7 began broadcasting early Thursday, asking listeners

to call in and become “miracle makers” for the area’s only children’s hospital. Also during the broadcast, patients, families and staff shared inspirational stories about the care they have received at Children’s Hospital of Georgia, one of the nation’s best for pediatric care. The Cares for Kids Radiothon is the largest single Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraiser for CHOG.

GRHealth presented award for patient care GRHealth was presented with the prestigious Harry Orme, M.D., Partnership Award for exemplary Patient- and FamilyCentered Care at the national PFCC Conference in October in California. The award was established in 2013 to recognize a patientfamily advisor and a professional health care team whose partnership has resulted in authentic patient- and familycentered care practice and culture. Orme, the founding medical director at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach, Calif., valued the contribution and engagement of the families of children he treated, setting the stage for respectful partnerships. He created a culture of respect, dignity and support and embodied the providerpatient partnership for which PFCC is intended. GRHealth has been developing and integrating PFCC principles for more than two decades and is recognized across the globe as a pioneer and leader in this proven health care philosophy. Last year, the Caregiver Action Network – one of the nation’s leading family caregiver organizations – named Georgia Regents Medical Center to its list of 25 of the Nation’s Best Practices in Patient and Family Engagement. Only nine U.S. hospital systems were recognized, and GRHealth was the only one in Georgia.

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Salvation Army has a record Kettle Kick-Off

The annual sports-themed Red Kettle Kick-off on Nov. 13 brought in a record amount of donations, totaling $18,250. Those raising donations were divided into teams, representing a college. The Georgia Bulldogs were once again crowned the Kettle Kick-Off Champions. The Georgia Southern Eagles grabbed second place, barely edging out the Augusta University Jaguars. Others in the Kettle Kick-Off competition were the Alabama Crimson Tide, University of South Carolina Gamecocks, Air Force Falcons and the U.S. Army. The total of $18,250 was more than $2,000 higher than last year and $5,500 ahead of 2013. The record kettle totals came at a good time following recordhigh shelter populations this summer, normally a slower time for the shelter. The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope homeless shelter was at 103 percent of capacity in June, 104 percent in July, 126 percent in August and 141 percent in September. Women and children made up the largest part of the increase. Volunteers are needed to ring the bell at red kettles. To volunteer contact Ali at 706-434-3185.

Economists say SC has bounced back from recession

The Great Recession is over in South Carolina. The Palmetto State’s economy is booming, in large part because of the pro-active approach the state has taken. Economists at the University of South Carolina said some of the recovery, which includes an unemployment rate at an eight-year low and a $1.2 billion surplus in tax revenue, can be attributed to a normal economic cycle upswing. But state officials were smart in promoting one of the state’s core advantages, manufacturing and industry.

Both manufacturing and industry are going strong, thanks to an influx of some large corporations, and construction is gaining ground. That has contributed to 200,000 people to South Carolina since 2010. Economists believe South Carolina’s economy will continue to grow, predicting an increase of nearly 3 percent in 2016. Health care, especially for seniors, will be an area of growth, according to the economists. Sixteen percent of the state’s residents are 65 and older. Tourism will be another area where South Carolina can boost economic growth. Improving the state’s infrastructure will be the key to continuing South Carolina’s growth into the future.

Terrorism fears shouldn’t stop shoppers, AU professor says As threats of homegrown terrorism grows, many Americans may wonder if it’s safe to go out on major holidays. An Augusta University professor believes Americans should not change their plans because of the threat. “ISIS has threatened to attack the United States,” said Dr. Craig Albert, assistant professor of political science at Augusta University. “They’ve threatened to attack U.S. soft targets. You literally can’t defend all soft targets. “For some individuals, this is going to prevent them from going out on major holidays or major shopping days. I think that’s a mistake because that’s literally giving in to terror. We have to go on with our daily lives. We have to encourage the lifestyle of a liberal democratic republic.” As a leading scholar in American politics and foreign affairs, Albert’s research focuses on Islamic extremism and the rise of ISIS, the fight between ISIS and the Kurds and the Russo-Chechen conflict. In a new video, he discusses why Americans should understand ISIS as a threat but not fear it.

Allgood Services wins prestigious award

Allgood Professional Services was presented the “2015 Business Partner of the Year” award by HomeTown Health, an organization of 70 rural hospitals in the Southeast, at HomeTown’s 16th Annual Fall Conference In October. “This coveted award is presented each year by HomeTown Health to one of 60 Business partners who exhibit extraordinary support and dedication to HomeTown Health hospitals, commitment to excellence, exceptional customer service, and for their tireless efforts in helping rural hospitals survive,” said HomeTown’s CEO Jimmy Lewis. Each year HomeTown Health member hospitals vote to nominate the partner that provides them with a “best “This is a risk that you take in an open society,” Albert said. Albert has appeared on national media broadcasts, including a live interview segment with Megyn Kelly for Fox News Channel about the Boston Marathon bombers.

SC adding sales tax to Amazon orders Ordering from Amazon will get a bit more expensive for residents of South Carolina, but will boost the money coming into the state’s budget. For the past 4-1/2 years, Amazon has not collected South Carolina sales tax as part of a deal that brought two Amazon distribution centers to the state. That deal expires at the end of the year, meaning that on Jan. 1, 2016, orders placed from South Carolina will be charged the appropriate sales tax. South Carolina was one of 26 states that had made such a deal with the internet sales giant, and is the last of those states to reinstate the sales tax. No one knows how much the sales tax will add to South Carolina’s budget but it is expected to be in the tens of millions of

practice” solution and a high level of customer service and support that positively influences the delivery of rural health care in Georgia and the hospital communities that they serve. “The rural healthcare industry needs “best practice” leaders who are dedicated to the survival of rural hospitals and Allgood demonstrates this commitment in the hospitals and communities they serve,” said Kathy Whitmire, Managing Director of HomeTown Health.

Allgood Professional Services was founded in Augusta in 2009. Dedicated to assisting hospitals with third party liability, commercial, and works compensation collections, Allgood Professional Services excels by combining extensive experience, unique processes, and most of all a commitment to creating relationships with our clients built on trust, transparency, and a completed dedication to performing at the highest levels of integrity.

dollars. Retailers in the state also believe it will be fairer to them since they have to pay the sales tax on all sales. A state cannot require a company to collect sales tax on purchases unless they have a physical presence in the state. Amazon has two South Carolina distribution centers, in Lexington and Spartanburg. One estimate shows South Carolina loses $250 million per year in uncollected tax on sales by businesses outside the state, mostly through internet sales.

proved a plan by Aiken Regional to expand within its existing facility by turning seven private rooms into semi-private rooms. This is the second strike against University expansion plans in the past year. Earlier in 2015, University’s bid to build a 100-bed hospital in Columbia County was denied in favor of a plan by Georgia Regents Medical Center.

University Hospital’s plan to build a small hospital in Aiken County has been denied. A year ago, University purchased 40 acres of land on the northwest side of Aiken a few miles from Aiken Regional Hospital with the plan of building a 50-bed hospital. That was in response to a 2012-13 study that found Aiken County needed 14 more hospital beds by 2018. But the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control turned down University’s plan and instead ap-

tive Technology Companies in Georgia. From the Top 40, 10 companies will be singled out for showing the highest degree of innovation, the broadest scope and financial impact of their innovations, and the greatest effect of such innovation in promoting Georgia’s technology industry throughout the U.S. and globally.   The application deadline is Jan. 29. For more information, contact Crystal Bradshaw at

TAG seeks most innovative University loses companies The Technology Association bid for Aiken of Georgia invites businesses in Augusta to apply for the hospital prestigious Top 40 Most Innova-

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Business Lessons Gary Kauffman

A Few Dollars More Adjusting prices can net important advertising funds

One day while making my rounds of clients, I stopped to see Scott, a woodworker. I was involved in promoting a furniture expo and thought Scott would be a good candidate for a booth there. Scott really wanted to buy a booth. He realized how much value the exposure would give him. But he just had no money for advertising. See, school had started and his kids needed some new shoes, and there was an issue at church that he donated some money too. And now he was

Business Sales Jeb Blount

Holiday Hangups

Don’t let the season distract you from your sales goals For the next month much of the western world will be in full holiday mode and salespeople will be met with this constant and frustrating refrain from prospects – “we’re just going to hold off on doing anything until after the holidays.” You’ll also be tugged away from sales activity by many pleasing distractions – the perfect excuse to let your guard down and slack off. From now until the first week in January everything in sales tends to get turned upside down. It’s critical for salespeople to properly manage holidays. Consider that in the U.S., when we include the period between Thanksgiving and New Years Day with Memorial Day, the 4th of July, Labor Day, and the handful of other national celebrations, roughly 20 percent of the year is impacted by holidays. That is a huge chunk of prime selling

14 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

financially strapped. In almost the next breath, Scott went on to tell me how he had just landed a job to build a kitchen in a beautiful new home. With glee he told me that his bid was $6,000 below the next lowest bid. How, he wondered, could others charge so much? I knew Scott’s work and felt sure it would outshine any of the other bidders’ efforts. The problem, I told him, wasn’t that they were charging too much for their work but he was charging too little. “Say you would have charged $5,000 more than you did for the kitchen,” I pointed out. “You would have still got the job at $1,000 less than anyone else but you would have had money to buy new shoes and give to the church, plus buy a booth at the furniture expo and still have money left over. And if you think that profit was too much, give the rest of it to the church to do good works.” After mulling that over for a few moments he said, “I see your point.” The point was, and one I frequently made to others besides Scott, is that businesses need to plan ahead for advertising. Whether it’s print media, ra-

Now is the time to begin thinking about what your advertising needs are dio, TV or hiring a guy to drag a banner behind an airplane, advertising is a necessity for a business to grow and stay viable. While there are ways to gain free publicity, the best and most effective methods cost money. If you haven’t already set up a budget for 2016, now is the time to begin thinking about what your advertising needs are and to research how much it might cost. (Effectiveness does not rely on price alone; effective advertising is advertising that gives you the best communication with your customers and potential customers.) Once you have an amount in mind (plus an extra slush fund for when unexpected advertising opportunities come along), think about how much extra you’ll have to charge to come up with those funds. It may not all come in one fell swoop like it would have for Scott. Depending on your sales volume, it may just be adding some small change to the sales price of each item,

or a few more dollars per billable hour. Yes, you might lose a customer or two by raising your rates, but people are used to the cost of living going up. Unless you increase by an exorbitant amount most people won’t even notice. Besides, the money you’re now spending on advertising should increase your business to more than offset losing a few customers. You might even find that, like Scott, even with the increase you’re still the lowest in town. But now you can advertise and even give a little extra the next time the offering plate passes down your row.

time that can only be ignored at your peril. It’s Harder to Sell During the Holidays When managed poorly, holidays wreck sales productivity. Customers are on vacation, some businesses shut down completely, prospects put off decisions and, in many cases, with all of the distractions, your head isn’t in the game. During the holidays, more than ever, you must have a concrete plan for sales activity. The brutal fact is it is harder to sell during the holidays and you basically have two choices: give up and give in or get focused. In sales, like it or not, activity is everything. If you are not prospecting, questioning, presenting, closing, and taking the actions that move deals through your pipeline you will fail no matter what time of year it is. The challenge you face during the holidays is there is a much higher probability that deals in your pipe will stall and die because your prospects have an easy excuse to procrastinate. Because of this you must be even more focused and on top of your sales pipeline. You’ve got to work harder to keep every deal moving forward. You also need to prospect even harder to ensure that your pipe is full of qualified opportunities going into January. Maintain Activity or Pay the Consequences

During the holidays it is so easy to allow your self-discipline to slip and relax. It’s easy to drift away from your daily sales routine. When you allow this to happen you face peril as your pipeline velocity slows, your closing ratio drops off a cliff, and many of your prospects disappear into a black hole. Failing to effectively manage your activity and routine during the holidays carries two consequences. In the short-term it hurts your income in December and January when you need those commission checks the most to pay off holiday bills. In the long-term it negatively impacts your sales pipeline during the first quarter of the new year – January, February and March. Going into the new year with an empty pipeline raises your stress level, depletes your confidence, lowers your future income, and can even get you fired if you’ve dug yourself too deep of a hole over the holidays and you fail to recover. Make a Plan Now to Outsell the Holidays To keep this from happening to you, it is critical to develop a plan for outselling the holidays right now. Start by ensuring that you have your calendar properly blocked for daily prospecting and lead generation, as new and follow up appointments. Take into account all of your holiday activities and build them into your calendar

so you avoid surprises. You may have to do some work-arounds to get everything in, but the key is getting your month planned out in advance. Develop the discipline to review your calendar every morning during the holidays and hold yourself accountable to staying on track. Next, set daily activity targets. Set prospecting targets, closing targets, revenue targets, and be sure you have a goal for the number of qualified prospects you will have in your pipeline the first week in January. Make a firm commitment to review your targets and progress each morning and afternoon – every day. This forward planning process is a powerful technique that will keep you on track and focused during the holidays. Most importantly by planning in advance and committing to daily activity targets, you will find that you feel less stress, keep the commission checks rolling in, set yourself up to win in the new year, and still have plenty of time to enjoy the holidays with your friends and family.

Gary Kauffman is Editor in Chief of Buzz on Biz and manages the content for print and web publications. A native of Indiana, he has made 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. You can reach him at

Jeb Blount is the founder of Sales Gravy in Thomson. He helps sales teams across the globe reach peak performance fast through keynote speeches, boot camps, seminars, and on-site and online training. Hire Jeb to speak at your next sales meeting or conference. Call at 1-888-360-2249 or visit for more information.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Business Tech Charles Kelly

Long Live the King Despite many options, there’s no substitute for a desktop

The national forecast for desktop (and laptop) sales are very good for 2016. As a business and computer owner, you can create your own forecast by making good decisions concerning replacement of aging systems and your IT infrastructure. This follows a banner year in 2014 for desktop computer sales as Microsoft discontinued support for Windows XP and customers replaced those machines to the tune of 82 million units in the United Sates. We were surprised, then, to see that for 2015 our rate of desktop sales remained solid and as we move into 2016 the predictions are for another wave of desktop replacement sales. As we all know, the market is fragmented, meaning that we use phones, tablets and convertibles to check mail, surf the web, purchase products and do many other things, but there is just no substitute for a desktop computer with a large screen or two and a printer. So, for the home computers that are older Vista or Windows 7 machines that would not comfortably upgrade to Windows 10, we suggest replacing those with a solid computer, designed to last for many years. (Laptops will also be replaced, but a slower rate than desktops and, just as with desktops, buying quality and choosing the correct operating system is key.) A couple of days before writing this, a customer walked in with a familiar-looking beige computer with one of our logos on it. At first we thought he was bringing it in to recycle, but that wasn’t the case. His computer was built by Computer Exchange in August 2001 and was still in perfect working order.

Now, we don’t recommend using Windows 98 as an operating system, but for this customer it was just fine. Because he had purchased very healthy hardware at the time, his computer will probably operate as long as he is happy with Windows 98. When you think about what kind of computer to purchase, you need to realize that if you purchase good hardware, something in the midrange, or higher, you can probably continue to operate the computer for as long as you can stand the operating system. As always, it boils down to, how much does it cost to own a good computer per year? A better-built computer will cost more, but will also result in a longer useable life and less down time and less time doing migrations.

So, if you are in the market for new computers for 2016, you should consider that Windows 10 is now the current recommended operating system for brand new computers, operating in a brand new environment, meaning that you don’t have any older specialty software or external devices that might not be compatible. On request, we can still build our new computers with Windows 7 or Windows 7 Professional and for many businesses (and some home users) Windows 7 will be the operating system of choice. Support for Vista ends this year, but support for Windows 7 will be available until at least 2021. Another frequent thing we are seeing is that customers accidentally or casually proceed with the free Win-

dows 10 upgrade and this often causes problems. We suggest backing up all of your data, uninstalling any anti-virus program and then proceeding with the upgrade. After the upgrade is complete, you can then reinstall the anti-virus program. Speaking of migrations, here is my quote on that: “A planned migration is always better than an unplanned migration.” Waiting for your computer to finally fail to boot up before replacing it is a universally bad idea. You could lose some or all of your data and these failures invariably seem to come just when a project, paper or payroll is due. Plan your upgrades and let a technician do the migration work for you. It’s safer, much less stressful and is not as expensive as you might think. For the home user purchasing a new computer from us, data transfers are free and delivery and setup packages are often on sale. Business owners can always check with us to see what operating system they should go with. There are really several factors that will affect this decision. If you are unsure, please get in touch with me or any of my team directly and we can discuss the details of your situation with no obligation. What will a new, rapid booting, fast computer with one or two monitors do for your company? It will improve productivity by around 35 percent or more, make you sleep better at night and be one less thing to worry about. So, what is your productivity forecast for 2016? Is it cloudy with a chance of data loss, and intermittent lockups, or are you looking at blue skies and a smooth, productive office? 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

AT&T plans to bring ultra-fast internet to Augusta Homeowners and businesses in the Augusta area will soon be able to surf the internet even faster than before. AT&T recently announced its plans to expand its GigaPower ultra-fast internet service into the Augusta metro area. GigaPower provides internet speeds up to 1 gigabit per second. “We’re excited to launch our ultra-high speed AT&T GigaPower service to local consumers and employers in the greater metropolitan Augusta area,” said Bill Leahy, president of AT&T Georgia and the Southeast Region. “The AT&T GigaPower network will help encourage a new wave of innovation through enhanced opportunities

for education, health, research and small business growth.” AT&T GigaPower gives customers some of the fastest online speeds available anywhere. As examples, AT&T said a person can download 25 songs in less than a second, a TV show in three seconds or an HD movie in less than 36 seconds. It will also improve connection to the cloud and videoconferencing capabilities. AT&T launched Gigapower two years ago in Austin, Texas. When that proved successful it continued to expand and, with the addition of Augusta, now serves 56 metro areas. It recently passed 1 million locations served and expects to soon reach 14 million

16 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

residential and commercial locations with its fiber network. “High-speed Internet has quickly become a preferred way to access information and communicate,” said Georgia State

Representative Barbara Sims. “It has woven itself into our everyday lives with the ability to enhance almost every task we perform. I applaud AT&T’s continuing investment in the Metro Augusta area, which is a key to our residents and local businesses staying connected better than ever before.” AT&T is working with local leaders within a 21-state service area who are interested in expanding the availability of the GigaPower network to consumers and small businesses.   For more information on where the AT&T GigaPower network is and will become available, visit

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Deeper Thinking Eddie Kennedy

Go For It

Finishing the year strong sets up a better start to new year “Finish Strong.” Every December I think about that statement from my pastor, Matt Judd of Good News Church in Augusta. Several years ago I had offered to oversee a year-long project at my local church working with volunteers. The project had started off with a bang, and there were early successes. The momentum had built and grown until the middle of the third quarter, when we “hit the wall.” Volunteers started dropping out of the project and finding reasons why to not participate any longer. It was beginning to look like I would not reach the goal and the project would fail. At a review meeting, which had quickly turned into my personal gripe session, Pastor Matt said, “Eddie, how you exit one year is how you enter the next. Finish strong.” His words resonated with me for days. I had started the project strong, and was doing well in the middle of the year, but somehow, somewhere, the job fell apart. He challenged me to get the project back on track and finish the year strong. So, I did. I brought the core group together, looked back at our successes early on, focused on our remaining priorities, and re-energized them to finish the task. We finished the year strong, went over goal, and as a result, I learned a

Business Advice Mike Herrington

Highs and Lows

Tax brackets can affect your benefits planning Tax brackets have an impact on funding insurance solutions to the needs of closely-held corporations and their shareholders.

18 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

valuable lesson that has helped me in business for the past 15 years. As the end of the year approaches, many times we as small business owners get distracted by all the dinners, parties and year-end decisions we have to make, like who gets a bonus, how much, or if you are going to take an extra few days off. So, finishing strong is not in your plans. But, along with those things, you must also review the business. Look at the numbers and determine: Did you reach your yearly goals? Did you stay within your budgets? Did you make a profit? Granted, these are numbers that you should be looking at all year, but many times owners wait until the end of the year to review them. Once you have looked at your numbers and see where you are for the year, make an appointment with your bookkeeper, CPA, or tax advisor. It’s vitally important that you review your business, profit or loss, with them before the end of the year. That way you can avoid unplanned tax issues or surprises. To “finish strong” also means you endeavor to complete the tasks that you or a member of your team have left unfinished at some point in the year. Identify the most important projects that need to be completed, focus on those and commit additional resources or time to them and make sure they get completed. Tie up as many loose ends as possible. Another way you “finish strong” is by meeting with members of your staff or leadership team to review both the successes and failures of the year. Every year, some of your business plans work and succeed, and some of them fail. During this review process, the team

looks to identify what made the projects winners or losers. The team asks questions like, “What worked and why?” and “What didn’t work and how could we have prevented the plan from failing?” The answers are studied and even debated, so that the team can learn what to do better in the future. This exercise provides clarity to be able to see what may work in the new year, and helps eliminate repeating the practices and plans that failed. Finally, “finish strong” means taking some time at the year end to thank and appreciate those who were a part of your team. Let them know how much

For example, a corporation in the 15 percent tax bracket gets to keep 85 cents of every taxable dollar it makes, while an individual in the 35 percent tax bracket gets to keep only 65 cents of every taxable dollar he or she makes. Since life insurance purchased to fund a buy-sell plan must be paid for with after-tax dollars, it may make more sense to pay the premiums with 85cent dollars as compared to 65-cent dollars. Conversely, the marginal tax brackets of the corporation and shareholder employees can have an impact on the total cost of a selective benefit plan. Benefits provided to corporate employees on a selective basis generally are either tax-deductible by the corporation or are not currently taxable to the employee, but not both. As a

result, the relative impact of tax brackets should be considered in selecting a selective executive benefit plan that produces the most advantageous overall tax results. Impact of Tax Brackets on Buy-Sell Planning: Lower bracket corporation – If the corporation is in a lower tax bracket than the shareholders, a stock redemption buy-sell plan can be funded with enhanced dollars, since premiums are paid by the corporation. Higher bracket corporation – If the corporation is in a higher tax bracket than the shareholders, a cross purchase buy-sell plan may be more cost effective since premiums are paid with enhanced dollars by each shareholder. Impact of Tax Brackets on Executive Benefit Planning: Lower bracket corporation – When the corporation

they meant to your successes. Getting everyone on board to celebrate the victories will help build momentum on the team that will carry over into the new year. When you “finish strong,” you end up starting the next year in a better position to take advantage of the opportunities and handle the challenges that the new year brings. So, I invite you to “Finish Strong!” 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 eddie@greatdealsaugusta.

is in a lower tax bracket, selective benefits that are non-deductible by the corporation and non-taxable to the shareholder-employee generally produce the better overall tax results. Higher bracket corporation – When the corporation is in a higher tax bracket, selective benefits that involve tax-deductible corporate payments are generally more advantageous, even if taxable to shareholder-employees. 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

Business Accounting Christine Hall

Changing Times

Be aware of how tax changes could affect your business Every tax year brings tax law changes and 2015 is no exception. From actual new laws to increases in thresholds, here are some of the changes that may affect you and your business. Long Term Capital Gains In 2015 taxpayers in the lower tax brackets (10 and 15 percent) pay zero percent on long-term capital gains. For taxpayers in the middle four tax brackets the rate is 15 percent and for taxpayers whose income is at or above $413,201 ($464,851 married filing jointly), the rate for both capital gains and dividends is capped

at 20 percent. Child and Dependent Care Credit The child and dependent care tax credit was permanently extended for taxable years starting in 2013. If you pay someone to take care of your dependent (defined as being under the age of 13 at the end of the tax year or incapable of self-care) in order to work or look for work, you may qualify for a credit of up to $1,050 or 35 percent of $3,000 of eligible expenses. For two or more qualifying dependents, you can claim up to 35 percent of $6,000 (or $2,100) of eligible expenses. For higher income earners the credit percentage is reduced, but not below 20 percent, regardless of the amount of adjusted gross income. Employer-Provided Educational Assistance In 2015, as an employee, you can exclude up to $5,250 of qualifying postsecondary and graduate education expenses that are reimbursed by your employer. Student Loan Interest In 2015 you can deduct up to $2,500 in student-loan interest as long as your modified adjusted gross income is less than $65,000 (single) or $130,000 (married filing jointly). The deduction is phased out at higher income levels. In

In 2015 you can deduct up to $2,500 in studentloan interest. addition, the deduction is claimed as an adjustment to income so you do not need to itemize your deductions. Standard Mileage Rates The standard mileage rates in 2015 are as follows: 57.5 cents per business mile driven, 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations. Health Care Tax Credit for Small Businesses Small business employers who pay at least half the premiums for single health insurance coverage for their employees may be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit as long as they employ fewer than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers and average annual wages do not exceed $51,600 (adjusted for inflation). The health insurance plan must have been purchased through the Small Business Health Options

Program (SHOP). In 2015 (as in 2014), the tax credit is worth up to 50 percent of your contribution toward employees’ premium costs (up to 35 percent for tax-exempt employers). For tax years 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit was 35 percent for small business employers and 25 percent for small tax-exempt employers such as charities. Section 179 Expensing In 2015 the maximum Section 179 expense deduction for equipment purchases is $25,000 of the first $200,000 of certain business property placed in service during the year. The bonus depreciation of 50 percent for qualified property that exceeds the threshold amount is no longer available. These are some of the changes that will potentially affect a larger percentage of taxpayers. The list is certainly not all inclusive. If you have any questions related to your 2015 income taxes, be sure to contact your tax preparer. 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 706-8557733 or email at

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Business Resources Jame Geathers

Dodging the Blitz

Taking care of business now eases January paperwork With the holiday season already in full swing and office parties, vacations and company shut-downs in progress (if you’re lucky), it can be easy to forget about the looming end-of-year requirements. But between closing out open enrollment and distributing employee tax documents, the month of January can

seem like a blitz of paperwork and confusion. There are a few things, though, that you can do now to make it easier on yourself. For starters, if you haven’t done so already, now is the time to close open enrollment. If you have employees that have yet to submit their selections, now is the time that the final reminder should be sent. Also, prior to Jan. 1 it is a good practice to confirm all employee selections have been submitted and insurance cards have gone out (or will soon). Now is also the best time to send out employee reminders related to benefit payroll deductions for the year ahead. Even if there is little or no change in the employee contribution, it’s best to let your team know what to expect beforehand. Next let’s talk about verifying data for end-of-year documents. Issuing employee form W-2 and contractor 1099s can be a huge headache if your records are not up to date. To ensure you have accurate information, have all employees/contractors verify their ad-

Now is the best time to send out employee reminders related to benefit payroll deductions for the year ahead. dresses and Social Security or tax identification numbers. During this process it’s also a good idea to have active employees confirm their tax withholdings, just in case a life change such as a birth, marriage or divorce has occurred. Finally, review your company handbook. This is, of course, taking for granted that your company has an employee handbook. If you do not, stop reading this and go get one. Any business with one or more employees should have an updated, relevant employee handbook. Having an employee handbook protects your business and provides your employees with the standards and expectations of your company. Year end is a great time to review your handbook for outdated poli-

cies, addendums that should be added and loopholes that need to be closed. While this time of year can be hectic, a little planning can go a long way. If you need additional assistance creating your employee handbook or other human resources matters, please contact me. 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, www. or call (706) 496-9691.

Population growth will fuel legislative issues By Gary Kauffman Population growth and how that affects small businesses, health care and education are expected to highlight the 2016 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly. David Ralston, speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, spoke at the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce PreLegislative Update Breakfast on Nov. 19, giving insights on what to expect from the next legislative session. He said small business issues, health care and education all have a common thread. “The common thread is called growth,” Ralston said. “Those are good issues to have because Georgia is growing. Since 2010, he said, Georgia has added 480,000 to its population. Part of that can be attributed to a business-friendly atmosphere that has many businesses relocating or starting in the state. “In Georgia we’ve adopted a business

model that serves us well for small businesses,” Ralston said. “We’ve eased the tax burden and eased the regulatory burden, when compared to other states. That’s why our job growth is so high.” Ralston expects easing the strain on the health care industry to be a major concern in the 2016 session, citing changes at the federal level that have boosted health care costs. “Hospitals and doctors, particularly in the rural area, are feeling the pain of caring for the indigent,” he said. “I expect this session we’ll work to ease the strain on the medical community and the strains small businesses are feeling because of rising health care costs.” Education will also be on the agenda, particularly the funding of the Hope Scholarship and addressing the rising cost of college tuition. “A growing, thriving state like Georgia must have great public schools,” he said.

Since 2010 Georgia has added 480,000 to its population. Ralston noted that the Augusta area was among the forward thinkers in planning for transportation, so it should expect a significant chunk of the new transportation money raised by a restructuring of the gas tax. He said the Transportation Funding Act, of which the gas tax is a part, will add $1 billion per year to the state’s coffers. He said while it was not a popular decision it was one the legislators made to be good stewards of the state’s resources. The Augusta region was just one of three regions in the state that prepared for future transportation needs through special taxes. “That put you years ahead of other ar-

eas of the state in transportation needs,” Ralston said. Because of that, Columbia and Richmond counties are projected to receive $450 million for transportation infrastructure projects. “That’s serious money for a region that is serious about its future,” Ralston said. “Transportation is one of those vital resources that keeps our state moving forward.” Ralston expects a balanced budget, which the 2015 General Assembly achieved in 38 days, to again be possible in 2016. He said Georgia’s government has trimmed the fat from the budget and now runs lean but efficiently. Job growth, addressing needs and running an efficient government mean Georgia is a winner. “Georgia is a place more and more people want to call home,” he said. “Georgia is a winner and Augusta is leading the way.”

An Augusta entrepreneur is launching a new publication that will help people new to Augusta acclimate better while also giving businesses a new way to reach potential customers. Stuart Rayburn of Explore the South has been producing maps for several years that help people new to an area find their way around. He has maps of downtown Augusta and Athens, and recently added Columbia, S.C. His newest venture is a booklet titled Move 2 Augusta. The 120-page glossy

booklet will feature a number of magazinelike articles designed to help people new to the area. “It helps newcomers acclimate to the area a little faster,” Rayburn said. “There’s nothing in town now that has copy in it that speaks to that.” The content will feature three sections –

Home, Family and Community. The Home section will be geared toward guiding people the best places for items for the home; the Family section will feature information on schools, parks and outdoor activities; and the Community section will cover things like restaurants and the arts. Like the maps, the book will have plenty of space for advertising. Rayburn estimates the book will be about 60 percent advertising. He believes it will be an especially effective advertising piece for home renovators, private schools and real estate

agencies. The book is expected to be published in January. Rayburn plans to distribute them directly to move-ins in seven counties, through real estate agents, the HR departments of large companies and through the internet. He will also continue producing his popular maps. His Athens map is now distributed to all new University of Georgia students. Rayburn is considering franchising his maps for use in other cities.

New book will help move-ins, businesses make connections

20 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Downtown restaurant has fun with food By Gary Kauffman One of downtown Augusta’s newest restaurants knows how to mix in a little fun with their food. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Füse co-owner and head chef Eric Draper said. “We are serious, but we also want to have some fun.” Take the name, Füse, for example. “We put the umlaut over the u to confuse people,” he said. “We’re quirky.” But while they’re having fun, the restaurant located at 1002 Broad St. is serving up some serious food dishes. In keeping with their quirkiness, it’s hard to exactly describe what Füse offers. “We have a little of everything,” Draper said. “It’s ever-changing and evolving.” There are pintxos, a tapas-type offering from Northern Spain, although what that consists of varies based on the chef ’s choice. There are small plates available but also fullsized entrees. “We’re not a tapas by any means,” he said. “We have a lot of shareable things, but I like the bigger, heartier plates as the weather gets colder.” Many of the offerings are farm-to-table meals. Although not everything is locally sourced, Füse is partnering with a growing number of local farmers. Draper often de-

cides how to cook an item once he receives it. “We just got in snappers from South Carolina that I hardly want to do anything to,” he said. “When something is already really great, you just put on salt, pepper, a little olive oil – what else would you want?” Other dishes require him to dig deeper into his culinary training that ranged from Hollywood, Calif., to Grand Rapids, Mich., to Seattle to turn something ordinary into the extraordinary. The bar has the same unique flair. Füse stocks just a few top-shelf basic liquors which the bartenders use as the base to create their own flavors and mixed drinks. It also eschews beers from any of the big brewers, preferring to stock all craft beers. On Dec. 8, Füse held its first beer pairing, an event it hopes will be a monthly event (the restaurant is closed for regular business on Tuesdays). The beer pairings will be fun events, with beers paired with various foods, or foods cooked in beer, or even some beer-wine combinations. “We’re really just messing around with fermented liquids in all their forms,” Draper said. Draper said people often mistake what he does as fusion, which connotes blending two styles into one dish, like AsianMexican. But Draper shies away from that description.


donors’ generosity by returning greater value of their used goods as revenue that fuels Goodwill’s mission of job training, education and career development services. To learn more about the Last Chance! Goodwill concept, go to goodwillworks. com/lastchance. Stanleo’s Augusta residents will soon get to experience a treat that has been popular in Huntsville, Ala., for the last 44 years. Stanleo’s subs will be opening an Augusta location by mid-February of this year at the corner of Walton Way and 11th Street. Jeff Whitehead, owner of the Augusta location and a family friend of Huntsville owner Connie Ward, has been working closely with the Huntsville location to learn how to replicate the popular sandwiches for the upcoming Augusta location. When Whitehead, a Lake Oconee resident, was looking at possible expansion locations in Georgia, he settled on Augusta due to its business-friendly climate. “I am excited about Augusta,” Whitehead said. “There is a lot of growth going on right now. It seems like a great place to open a business.” However, Whitehead will also be making a few changes to the original restaurant’s name and menu. The original Huntsville location, Stanlieo’s, was opened in 1971 by Ward’s father, Glenn Watson. Watson felt that the extra “i” gave the sub shop a more Italian feel. But it was easy to miss that small letter.

“This is more eclectic and inspired by the many restaurants I worked with,” he said. The name Füse, then, is not short for fusion. Instead, he describes his style more like a fuse that sparks something spontaneous and explosive. Draper and his partner, sister Karen Draper, opened the restaurant in July. Draper said it is steadily improving, both in service (he’s building a crew that is catching his

vision for the food) and in customer base. “We’re gaining regulars,” he said. “People who appreciate what we do really love us.” Füse doesn’t take reservations and has a seating capacity of 50, although Draper said it gets crowded at 40, creating a fun and intimate atmosphere. Füse is closed on Tuesday and opens every other day at 11 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. weekdays, midnight on Friday and Saturday and 9 p.m. Sunday.

“When people here spell the restaurant’s name, a lot of people tend to drop the ‘i’, so we gave Jeff permission to remove the ‘i’ for the Augusta location,” Ward said. In addition to the spelling change, Stanleo’s in Augusta will also add a few new items to the menu. Unlike the Huntsville location, the Augusta location will be offering breakfast sandwiches and blended coffee drinks. The Augusta location will have a drive-thru option as well. “The drive-thru will also be offering a few of our lunch sandwiches that are quicker to make, but not the full-blown menu,” Whitehead said. Stanleo’s is one of two new restaurants locating on that corner. Diablo’s Southwest Grill is next door in the same building.

and Walton Way. Integrity Medical occupies another spot in the building while a fourth is available for lease. Davis Beman, director of commercial real estate for Blanchard & Calhoun brokered the sale of the building. This will be the third location for Diablo’s. It also has a restaurant at 3668 Wheeler Road in Augusta and at 3553 Richland Ave., Aiken. Another location is planned in Grovetown. Diablo’s is a fast-casual restaurant owned by Augusta brothers Brandon and Brad Wall and Carl Wallace. The restaurant uses only fresh meat for its burritos, tacos, salads, chili and other dishes. It also has tofu and vegetarian options. The restaurant also offers catering options. K’s Buffalo Wings A new wings place is coming to downtown Augusta in January. The owners of K’s Buffalo Wings of Warrenton, Ga., told Buzz on Biz founder Neil Gordon that they plan to open a second restaurant at 828 Broad St., Augusta. The restaurant already is familiar to local patrons because of their food truck, which they bring to many local community events. Like their restaurant in Warrenton, K’s Wings will be serving chicken fingers, fried pork chops, fish, seafood and, of course, many flavors of wings.

Business openings, closings and moves

Last Chance! A new store from Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA sounds like a paradise for the thrifty. Goodwill officially launched its new concept store, Last Chance! at 10 a.m. Tuesday at 3946 Washington Road, Martinez, across from Reliable Rentals. Modeled after the Last Chance! Goodwill store operating with a significant following in Warner Robins, the Last Chance! Martinez store will be stocked each week with more than 10,000 fresh garments, with none priced higher than $1.25 each. The store will be open 10 a.m.  to  6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with the price dropping each day. The store then will be cleared and restocked for the following week. The Martinez Last Chance! Goodwill is the first of at least three Last Chance! stores opening in the CSRA in 2016, with others planned for Augusta and Aiken. An additional store also is planned for Macon. The stores are a thrifter’s paradise, offering tremendous bargains to shoppers while helping Goodwill serve as a good steward of

22 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Diablo’s People in the Medical District and Judicial Center will soon have two new food options. Diablo’s Southwest Grill and Stanleo’s Subs have located in a building at 11th Street

continued on page 23

Gaming company serves fun to wide market By Kelsey Morrow A local business is providing Augustaarea gamers with a new outlet for their passion. At XP Gaming Lounge, located on Washington Road by the Garlic Clove restaurant, players pay an hourly fee in exchange for access to a large number of popular video games and board games. “We wanted to create a social gaming atmosphere,” owner Hale Green said. The XP Gaming Lounge opened on Oct. 29. Green and his wife, Vivienne, have received a positive response from the local community. Currently the Lounge holds about 20 gaming systems, including popular systems such as Wii and Xbox, with both multi-player and single-player options. Players can also bring their own gaming systems and hook them up to the Lounge’s screens. Although they do not actually sell any gaming consoles in store, play time does allow players to test various systems to see which ones they like the best.

In addition to playing games, XP Gaming Lounge will also offer classes to teach attendees about graphics and other components of video game creation. “Our motto is Play. Create. Win,” Green said, “The large number of games that we have available is the play aspect; the create is the classes that we offer to teach players how to create their own games; and then players can have fun and win.” Although one may expect gaming to appeal largely to younger generations, XP Gaming Lounge has been enjoyed by quite a large demographic. “We’ve had groups of children as young as 6 years old all the way up to people in their 60s” Green said. “Our lounge appeals to a very wide range of people.” For Augusta’s youngest gamers, the XP Gaming Lounge is also hoping to offer summer camps as well as drop-off birthday parties with supervision from the Greens and their trained staff. For more information about pricing and hours of operation, visit

continued from page 22 Medical Associates Plus Medical Associates Plus (MAP) opened its new location in Keysville this week. This new medical facility is located at 480B Martin Luther King Jr. Road. MAP @ Keysville services includes primary care and pharmacy, prescription assistance. Medicaid, Medicare and all other forms of insurance are accepted. The center provides care to those without health insurance based on an income and family size sliding fee scale. A patient can be seen for as little as $25. For more information or to make an appointment, call (706) 790-4440. MAP hired Dr. Edmund Byne as the family physician for the new primary care site. “Dr. Byne joins the MAP team toward the end of another year of growth and success for the center,” said J.R. Richards, Chief Executive Officer of MAP. “MAP’s mission to provide quality comprehensive health care to the underserved continues to be the center’s premise of operations.” This year MAP was awarded a Federal grant of $650,000 annually to provide primary health care services to the Keysville area. This grant allows for MAP to serve patients that have limited access to a doctor’s office. Indigo Hall Senior Living The Columbia County planning commission recommended last week rezoning a portion of residential land on Furys Ferry Road so that a senior living community could be built there. The project, known as Indigo Hall, would be built on 40 acres of land at 308 Furys Ferry Road and include an assisted care facility and 360 independent living cottages. A Charles-

ton company, Bennett Hofford Construction, filed the plan with the planning commission. If approved, construction would begin in 2016. Closings

Business openings, closings and moves

Carefree Pools & Spas The death of an Evans businessman last spring has left his company in a serious financial situation. Carefree Pools & Spas owner Michael Eastergard died on March 30. A Writ of Possession notice on behalf of the owner of the property has been placed on the door of the business at 4467 Washington Road. The notice lists $35,000 in unpaid rent and indicates the business will be evicted within 48 hours of the notice. However, the notice was dated Oct. 30 and property can still be seen within the store. The notice lists the plaintiff in the complaint as Evans Shop Space, LLC. In addition to pools and spas, Carefree Pools & Spas sold patio furniture, fire pits and other outdoor accessories. Eastergard died unexpectedly at age 42. He had owned the business for at least 15 years.

Moves Bella Faccia Airbrush + Makeup An expanded skincare and beauty studio Bella Faccia Airbrush + Makeup hosted its grand opening at its new location on Dec. 10. The business is not entirely new although the facility and capabilities have been expanded. Bella Faccia opened in 2006 inside La Dolce Vita Salon & Spa in downtown Augusta. But Meredith Tompkins has now taken the business to the Summerville district at the intersection of McDowell Street and Monte Sano Avenue. The 1,200-sq.-ft. building includes several personal cosmetic counters, hair styling stations, a shampoo/wash station and a luxury medical spa room. Services provided by Bella Faccia include microdermabrasion, LED mask, collagen pads, body waxing and derma planning. Bella Faccia does airbrush makeup with faux lashes and offers makeup consultations. In addition, Bella Faccia carries hair care and makeup products for retail and professional use. Mergers and Acquisitions Modjeska Theatre property The Modjeska Theatre property at 8th and Broad streets in downtown Augusta may be back in business by its 100th birthday next year. Matt Aitken of Sherman and Hemstreet sold the former theater and nightclub to a buyer who works at Fort Gordon in the Cyber Command Center. According to one report, the buyer wants to utilize his past entertainment experience to create a casino of

sorts in the former theater. That will require approval of state lawmakers. The Modjeska Theatre opened on Thanksgiving Day 1916 and operated until 1977. Since then it had also operated as a nightclub. The theater was named for Helen Modjeska, a well-known Polish-born Shakespearean actress of the late 1800s. The theater was built by Roswell Lombard, father-in-law of baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb, following the devastating downtown fire of 1916. In addition to movies, it also occasionally hosted live appearances by film stars and singers from the Grand Ole Opry, like Ernest Tubb and Bill Monroe. Walton Way Veterinary Clinic A local veterinary clinic has a new owner. Walton Way Veterinary Clinic, which has been in operation for 41 years, is now owned by veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Vann. Vann, who has been practicing veterinary medicine for 11 years, officially took over the practice on Oct. 1. “We won’t be making any significant changes,” Vann said. “We will be maintaining our high-quality of care and our fullservice facility with a complete range of diagnostics.” The clinic treats dogs, cats, and “exotic” animals such as small mammals, reptiles and birds. One unique feature that they offer is a therapeutic laser treatment which, in certain cases, is a surgery-free, drug-free treatment option. For more information about the clinic and the services that they offer, visit

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Faith at Work Steve Swanson

Pause Button

New year offers time to reflect on past and future goals Instead of wrapping (or unwrapping) gifts, we’re now preparing to unwrap a brand New Year! (Can you smell that fresh “New Year” scent?) The beginning of a New Year offers a natural time to pause and give some thought to where we’ve been, where we’re at and where we’re headed. I’m hopeful that as you consider your priorities and direction for 2016 you take some time to think about what

it means to serve God with excellence in your work place. The physical surroundings we work in are not nearly as important as how we choose to participate in, and respond to the opportunities, expectations, and responsibilities we’re given. Do you choose to do the minimum required of you? Or are you determined to strive for excellence in all you do? God has a lot to say to us in regards to our work: Here are several Bible verses to consider about our work ethic. We are called to work with respect and honor to God and others: Genesis 2:15; 3:15; Proverbs 6:6-8; 10:4,5,26; 12:9; 13:4; 14:23; 18:9; 22:29; 31:11-31; Ecclesiastes 3:22; 5:12; Ephesians 4:28; 1 Timothy 5: 8. We are called to work with integrity: Proverbs 10:2; 15:27; Jeremiah 22: 13; Ephesians 4:28. We are warned about laziness: Exodus 20:9-11; 23:12; 34:21; Proverbs 16:27; 18:9; 19: 15; 22:13; 24:30-34; 1 Thessalonians 4: 11,12; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-15! We are called to honor just remuneration (compensation): Proverbs

3:27,28; 27:18; Luke 10:7; 1 Timothy 5: 18; James 5:1-5. During Thanksgiving week, I read an article originally written in 2003 by R. J. Krejcir. He shared some excellent questions I believe are worth considering. I hope you find them helpful. Question for your consideration: 1. What attitudes, desires, and habits do you have that need to be changed? 2. How can you be encouraged by God’s truths and encourage those who are in the workplace? 3. What warning is God giving you? 4. How can you lead a distinctive lifestyle in the workplace? 5. Have you considered the eternal results of a healthy work attitude, even in the face of strife and chaos? 6. How does a good worker reflect being a good witness for Christ and give Him glory? Why is Glorifying God so important? What would this mean to you in further practice? 7. What we think we deserve may not correspond to what we get. What does that mean? Have you experienced this? 8. What can you do to make sure that your prayers really and truly seek the Lord and are not just me based? How

would this help you be a good worker or boss? 9. How do we trust Him and accept His provisions even when we may not see them? 10. Christ is calling us to a faithfulness that looks to Him and not to what we think we want. How do our wants rob us of what is best and what is really prosperous? Here’s an action step for you: Do a word study on excellence by looking it up in a Bible concordance. These biblical principles affected not only the people in the Bible, but also should affect you. Then take those precepts and attitudes and ask yourself, How can I apply them in my workplace? I pray that 2016 will be a breakthrough year for you. One great way to get it started is to participate in our Inspired Faith and Fitness simulcast Jan. 9. Find details at 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.

10 locals complete economic development training Ten local people have a better grasp of the local and state economies, thanks to the Georgia Academy for Economic Development’s Region 7 Multi-Day Training Program. Class participants represented a number of professional and non-professional economic development fields, including elected officials, public servants, business leaders, educators, and social service providers from 12 counties in the Central Savannah River Area of Georgia. The Academy provided each of the graduates an opportunity to gain an understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional, and state levels. Columbia County graduates included Eric McIntyre, Rebecca Kruckow, Elizabeth Bilodeau, Mark Herbert and Hugh Hollar. Augusta-Richmond County graduates included Regina Pyles, Rick McMurtrey, Paula Owens, Nanette Barnes and Melisa Clark. “One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multicounty cooperation,” said Corinne Thornton, Director of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. “Many times the participants discover the issues facing their community are the same as those facing other communities in their region, and can then combine limited resources to address the issue.” The Academy’s multi-day program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, includes training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business re-

cruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development, planning, and other essentials for community success. In addition, the curriculum features specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development. Local elected officials may receive certification training credits through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association for completion of this program. Created in 1993, the Academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide this training in all twelve service delivery regions in Georgia. The Board of Directors of the Academy represent public and private economic development organizations and agencies from across Georgia. Since its organization, the Academy has provided training for thousands of professional and non-professional economic developers around the state, and since 1998 the Academy has been offered annually. Georgia EMC and Georgia Power provide facilitators for the program, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides staff support to this important program. The next Region 7 Georgia Academy for Economic Development will begin in August 2016. For more information on this, contact Tina Hutcheson at 478-278-9434 or by email at

24 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Columbia County graduates from the 2015 Region 7 Multi-Day Training Program are, from left, Eric McIntyre, Elizabeth Bilodeau, Mark Herbert, Rebecca Kruckow and Hugh Hollar.

Richmond County graduates from the 2015 Region 7 Multi-Day Training Program are, from left, Nanette Barnes, Paula Owens, Melisa Clark, Rick McMurtrey and Regina Pyles.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Social Media Kelsey Morrow

Trash or Treasure? Past posts to social media may be valuable – or trash

The end of the year is the time for new beginnings: New resolutions, new routines…and a new social media presence? When it comes to social media, most people tend to focus on what content to post on their page. However, determining what content to take off your page is equally important. When it comes to personal social media pages, this can be rather obvious. Even the strictest of privacy settings have their limits, so get in the mindset of imagining that all of your posts are public. Is there anything on your page that you wouldn’t want your boss to see? It’s got to go!

26 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

With company pages, though, this can get a little trickier. Here are two examples of when content removal may be necessary: Products If you have stayed in the same line of business over time, then you should definitely keep older posts. An example would be Buzz on Biz. We started as a news source, and we are still a news source, so all of our posts, regardless of year, have the same aim. If your business has also stayed in the same industry since your social media presence was created, I would suggest that you keep your posts. Unlike a website, social media sites are intended to store information regarding your whole history of usage. Facebook’s popular “On This Day” feature is a testament to this. Sharing old posts from previous years can be a fun way to celebrate how far your business has come. Just make sure to preface these posts with “#throwbackthursday” or similar verbiage so that readers instantly recognize that the content is meant to be dated. In addition to nostalgia, these older posts also convey that your business has an established history, and this can inspire confidence in potential customers. I might be biased due to my line of work, but I am always skeptical of

Unlike a website, social media sites are intended to store information regarding your history of usage. businesses that either don’t post often or have large gaps in their post history. However, let’s say you own a retail company. Perhaps when you started you advertised shoes and purses, but over time decided to focus solely on shoes. Your current product supply is no longer in line with your past product supply. If this sounds like your business, it is in your best interest to remove posts and promotions that no longer support your current product line. Yes, it is a part of your history, and you can write about it in your company’s “About” section. However, advertising products that you no longer carry can be confusing for potential customers, not to mention false advertising. Employees What happens if an employee featured on your social media page decides to leave? Let’s say that the employee in question wrote a blog for your company’s website that was linked to your social media page. If the topic that they dis-

cussed is still relevant to your industry (for example, an employee at a marketing firm writing about marketing tips), then I would recommend that you keep it. Although the actual writer of the blog no longer works for your company, they created that content for your company and it still provides value for your readers. However, what if it’s a post on your Facebook page discussing an employee’s new position within the company? If the employee has left that position, this is no longer relevant information and should be removed from your page or, ideally, replaced with whoever now holds that position. There’s no hard and fast rule for what content to keep and remove on social media pages. But when in doubt, there’s always the delete button. 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. You can contact her at

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Business Benefits Russell Head

Plan Pros and Cons

Consider various factors when deciding on a health plan

One of the hallmarks of recent healthcare reform is the requirement that individuals have minimum healthcare coverage or potentially face a penalty come tax time. Known as the Individual Mandate, this feature has sent many individuals not covered by an employer plan in search of individual coverage. While Federal and state marketplaces can be a great source of plan options, they sometimes fall short of fully explaining the options and helping individuals choose a plan that is a good fit for their budget and needs. Individuals who elect a plan before fully researching its details could end up with a policy that provides little to no practi-

cal coverage. Open enrollment in the Federal marketplace ended Dec. 15 if you’re considering a January 1, 2016 effective date. If you or someone you know is looking for a private individual policy through the Marketplace (on exchange) or outside of the Marketplace (off exchange), the following are specific areas to consider. Premium Cost While not the only factor, the monthly premium cost is a major consideration for most healthcare consumers. The Federal marketplace generally lists plans according to least cost to the consumer, taking into account any subsidies for which the individual may be eligible. As with many purchases, however, an extremely inexpensive price often reflects an insurance product that may not tell the whole story. A deeper dive into the details will uncover the actuarial metallic value for the plan and can prevent unpleasant surprises later on. Product/Plan design There are at least three key factors that should be considered closely when looking at plan design. The co-pay amount is the flat amount the consumer will pay out-of-pocket for a specific service, such as a professional exam charge for a diagnostic office visit. There may be a larger co-pay amount (such as a

Business Finances Dagan Sharpe

Honing a Fine Edge Sharpening skills can help you work smarter, not harder There is a story that tells of two lumberjacks in a race to cut down the most trees in a day. Both had the same style ax, the same amount of time and the same opportunity. However, they approached the work very differently. The first man never took a break. He chopped relentlessly all day. His opponent however took periodic breaks throughout the day. When the race was over, many were surprised by the winner. When asked how someone could possibly cut down more trees when they took so many breaks, the man simply responded that during his times of rest, he was sharpening his ax. The loser, who never took time

28 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

to sharpen his ax, had to work harder and cut less because his ax stayed dull. Thus, it’s not always working harder that’s smarter. Likewise, are we wise enough to invest the time necessary to our business to ensure it’s strategically protected and positioned to be as prosperous as possible? The following are four key principals to help ensure we’re working “sharper.” Goals Identified. One of the most powerful strategies any business can do to survive and thrive is establishing goals that are challenging and realistic. Additionally, the more specific we are with our goals, the more likely we are to engage proactive initiatives, rather than reactive ones. You may have your goals in your mind, but as a mentor once reminded me, “Amateurs try to remember things – professionals write things down so they can achieve things.” Risks Analyzed. We all face various degrees of risk, and the better we learn to manage these risks, the more effective we are in protecting, transferring and growing our overall wealth. However, in order to manage our risks, we must know what they are. For example, do you have a transition plan in place? Do you have little to no liquidity in case of emergencies? Do

primary care office visit vs. a specialty office visit), or no co-pay at all if you have selected a Qualified High Deductible Health Plan (QHDHP). The second factor to consider is the deductible amount. This is the amount the consumer must pay for covered medical charges (such as complex imaging, surgery or hospital visits) before the insurance company will begin paying a co-insurance. Once the deductible is met for the year, the insurance company typically pays coinsurance toward future covered medical expenses. Finally, your maximum out of pocket is perhaps the most important factor when considering your worst case scenario of personal covered healthcare expenses during a calendar year. Healthcare reform changed the definition of what is considered under the Max out of Pocket. It now includes copays, deductibles and coinsurance. For 2016, the new MOOP limit is $6,850 for in-network covered medical charges for an individual. Access to Providers Many plans attempt to contain costs by restricting the list of network physician and hospitals that are deemed preferred providers. Services from providers outside of the network are either paid at a much lower rate or not

at all. Consumers shopping for a health plan should study the list of approved network providers to be sure they will have access to their primary and specialty physicians as well as hospitals of choice. Remember, as a consumer in the individual health insurance market you can insist on choosing your choice of preferred providers. Pharmacy Formulary For many consumers, prescription medications represent a large percentage of their medical expenses. Insurance carriers and HMOs can vary widely in the amount they cover in the plan’s specific pharmacy formulary. Most carriers favor generics by either charging more (or not at all) for their name-brand counterparts. Some plans restrict where prescriptions can be filled. Consumers should check to see how or if regularly used prescription drugs are covered in the plan’s formulary. The co-payment, tiered drug level, prior authorization and step therapy will inevitably effect what you pay at the pharmacy. Russell T. Head is President with ACHS Insurance, Inc., Augusta’s largest risk management and employee benefits brokerage. He can be reached at 706-733-3459 or  Visit ACHS Insurance at

The more specific we are with our goals, the more likely we are to engage proactive initiatives. you have a will, or estate plan in place to protect your family and your business from litigation, taxation and creditors? Get to know your risks and then write them down, right alongside your goals. Options Reviewed. Wisdom is often gained from personal experiences and/or by studying the experiences of others. Therefore, once you have your specific goals and risks identified, seek a team of specialists to begin reviewing your options to best accomplish and address each of them. Often these specialists include your banker, attorney, CPA, investment and/or trust officer. Perhaps you don’t have all of these connections – then that’s a good place to start! Ask your friends and colleagues who they use, but don’t be surprised if they don’t know either. This remains one of the greatest opportunities for many – gaining experienced consultation from a comprehensive team of trusted advisors. Work It. For any plan to be effective,

it must be engaged. Therefore, after you have reviewed the options available to you and have determined they are supportive to your goals and managing your risks, don’t hesitate to take action. This is a vital step where many fail in their overall planning – execution. However, as we well know, in order to reap a harvest, we must first sow the seeds and that requires work. There may be moments when you feel like you simply don’t have the time to commit to all these initiatives. But don’t forget the lesson from our lumberjacks mentioned earlier. The time you invest to meet your objectives is time sharpening your ax – so that in the end, you win. 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. He is a deacon at Warren Baptists Church. Contact him at

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Business Observations Barry Paschal

Problem Proverbs Some common sayings could use 21st Century updates Many years of working with the English language has had two lasting effects on me. One, it has instilled a love for the nuances of words and phrases, especially when used cleverly and succinctly. Painters assuredly admire other artists’ brush-strokes and color choices in the same way that I find myself scrutinizing fellow writers’ contributions to prose. Two, and conversely, it annoys the ever-loving bleep out of me to see the language abused, especially at the hands of

people who should know better. (“It’s” is a contraction for “it is,” people!) Common proverbs are a ready source of aggravation. All of us use them, even though they are clichés, simply because the linguistic shorthand allows us to get a point across without having to bother to craft something original. For example, when you quote Proverbs by saying “Iron sharpens iron,” you expect an inspirational response based on the assertion that building character means contending with difficulties. In reality, though, you’re more likely to use a whetstone to sharpen iron. Except that now we use steel cutting tools, because iron is too soft and needs frequent sharpening. The real lesson of “iron sharpens iron,” then, might actually be that some people don’t learn from hardship and have to face it repeatedly – hardly inspirational. How about, instead, “Iron sharpens iron – but steel holds an edge.” Maybe it’ll catch on. But there are many other clichés we repeat with barely a thought for the details. A few examples:

It annoys the ever-loving bleep out of me to see the language abused. • “Great minds think alike.” No, they don’t. The greatest minds are unique, and think like no one else. That’s how we’re able to recognize their greatness. We typically use this saying when we want to congratulate ourselves for coming up with the same idea as someone else, but that just means you’ve both reached an obvious conclusion. Yay, collaboration. • “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” So, we’re supposed to put eggs in separate baskets? Why do they make egg cartons that hold a dozen, then? The idea here is understandable: We don’t want to put ourselves in a position of losing everything at once. That’s why financial advisers recommend spreading the risk by investing in mutual funds instead of individual stocks. • “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Quite a few soldiers who survived IEDs would probably disagree. One of our Helms College stu-

dents, an Army veteran, lives with shrapnel from a blast in Iraq and is easily fatigued. Thank God the mine didn’t kill her – but it certainly didn’t make her stronger. We use this cliché as a way to say surviving difficulties can build character, but that’s a little less pithy. • “It’s better to give than to receive.” That’s very sweet, but let’s face it – this is how you console your kids when they don’t get a goody bag at a birthday party. Perhaps non-profits could give that last one a helpful reworking: “It’s better to give to charity before the end of the year if you want to receive a tax deduction.” After all – a penny saved is a penny earned. 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

Study: Execs doing better in meeting cybersecurity needs Year after year, cyberattacks continue  to escalate in frequency, severity and impact. However, prevention, detection methods and cybersecurity innovation are on the rise as forward-leaning business leaders focus on solutions that reduce cybersecurity risks and improve business performance. The Global State of Information Security Survey 2016 released recently by PwC US in conjunction with CIO and CSO examines how executives are looking towards new innovations and frameworks to improve security and mitigate enterprise risk. As cyber-risks become increasingly prominent concerns in the C-suite and boardroom, business leaders are increasingly rethinking cybersecurity practices, focusing on a nexus of innovative technologies that can reduce enterprise risks and improve performance. The vast majority of organizations – 91 percent – have adopted a security framework, or more often, an amalgam of frameworks. These technologies are yielding considerable opportunities to improve cybersecurity and produce holistic, integrated safeguards against cyber-attacks. “We are seeing more of what we once saw as a risk, being turned into possible solutions,” said David Burg PwC’s Global and US Advisory Cybersecurity Leader. “For example, many organizations are embracing advanced authentication as a cloud service  in place of solely  password  based authentication.” The adapting of traditional cybersecurity

We are seeing more of what we once saw as a risk, being turned into possible solutions. measures to an increasingly cloud-based world is an example of this effort with considerable investments being made to develop new network infrastructure capabilities that enable improved intelligence gathering, threat modeling, defense against attacks and incident response. According to the report, 69 percent of respondents said they use cloud-based security services to help protect sensitive data and ensure privacy and the protection of consumer information. Connected to the emergence of cloudbased systems, Big Data and the Internet of Things are each ascendant technologies that present a host of cyber challenges and opportunities. In the case of Big Data, often considered a cyber liability, 59 percent of respondents are leveraging data-powered analytics to enhance security by shifting security away from perimeter-based defenses and enable organizations to put real-time information to use in ways that create real value. As the number of internet connected devices  continues to surge, the Internet of

30 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Things will inevitably increase the stakes for securing cloud-based networks. Investment intended to address these issues doubled in 2015, but at this point only 36 percent of survey respondents have a strategy specifically addressing the Internet of Things. “There is no one-size-fits-all model for effective cybersecurity. It’s a journey toward a future state that starts with the right mix of technologies, processes, and people skills,” added Burg. “With those components in place, cybersecurity potentially serves as an indispensable ongoing business enabler.” Over the past three years, the number of organizations that embrace external collaboration has steadily increased. Sixty-five percent of respondents report they are collaborating with others to improve security. As more businesses share more data with an expanding roster of partners and customers, it makes sense that they also would swap intelligence on cybersecurity threats and responses. “An advanced and enhanced information security program will not only enable companies to better defend against cyberthreats, it will also help create competitive advantages and foster trust among customers and business partners,” said Bob Bragdon, VP/ publisher of CSO. Additional notable findings this year include: • Information security spending increases:  Respondents boosted information security spending significantly, reversing

last year’s slight drop in security spending. This year respondents boosted their information security budgets by 24 percent in 2015. • Evolving Cybersecurity Roles: 54 percent of respondents have a CISO in charge of the security program. The most frequently cited reporting structure is the CEO, CIO, Board and CTO, in that order.  • Increasing Board Involvement: 45 percent of boards participate in the overall security strategy. This deepening of Board involvement has helped improve security practices in numerous ways. • Mobile Payments Going Mainstream: 57 percent of respondents have adopted mobile payments systems – but the ecosystem continues to rapidly evolve as new partnerships are formed among a constellation of technology, financial, retail and telecommunications firms. • Investing in Insurance: Technically adept adversaries will always find new ways to circumvent security safeguards. That’s why many businesses (59 percent) are purchasing cybersecurity insurance to help mitigate the financial impact of cybercrimes when they do occur. • Government Surveillance Impacting Buying Decisions: Purchases in certain countries are either under review (34 percent) or happening less frequently (22 percent) as a result of hearing about reports that the government is conducting surveillance on hardware, software and/or services from certain countries.

Small business owners urged to pay more attention to their online presence Newtek Business Services Corp., The Small Business Authority,  with a portfolio of over 100,000 business accounts, announced today the findings of its SB Authority Market Sentiment Survey. Based on a poll of over 1,000 respondents, the key finding from the August survey is 45 percent of business owners say web traffic from search engines is an important source of new opportunity for their business. Additionally, only 39 percent of business owners believe their website is optimized to meet its search engine traffic. Barry Sloane, Chairman, President and

CEO of The Small Business Authority, said, “It certainly appears that although business owners are utilizing websites as an important tool for marketing, usage still has not reached the  majority  of business owners and the growth of  Internet usage  may be faltering. In addition, with all the constant changes in algorithms that search engine players use, constant monitoring and adjusting of one’s site in look and feel, as well as marketing adjustments, may be warranted. We recommend that small business owners do some work here and pay more attention to their online presence.”

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


32 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Partridge Inn updates, but keeps old charm Hotel integrates 21st Century amenities with historic appeal

The P.I. Bar & Grill in the historic Partridge Inn has been entirely redesigned with up-to-date color schemes for a polished look and feel, completing one of the final pieces in the hotel’s total makeover. A highlight of the bar area is the bar itself, built from recycled barn wood with a white marble bar top. The bar also features illuminated liquor shelves, six taps, plenty of high top and communal seating, new bench seating and two big-screen televisions. The menu features small plates, unique entrees and rich desserts. The food is prepared by a new chef, Roger Plouffe. He comes from France and has helped open three Waldorf Astoria hotels. “We only understand half of what he says, but we eat everything he makes,” said Partridge Inn General Manager Lloyd Van Horn. The Sunday brunch will continue to be a staple of the P.I.’s offerings, although Van Horn said they will be continuing to modify it. The renovation of the P.I. Bar & Grill was part of a year-long, multi-million dollar renovation. All areas of the hotel are refinished and reopened. In addition to the new look, the hotel also has a new identity as part of the Curio – a Collection by Hilton brand. The original woodwork and ceiling tiles have remained completely intact. The Partridge Inn’s new design preserves the historic architectural features of the Inn while offering a sophisticated, contemporary interior. Areas that are sometimes overlooked at the Partridge Inn are the meeting rooms that can accommodate meetings in a range of sizes. “There are plenty of big places with big rooms,” Van Horn said. “We have a more diverse offering.” Van Horn said that Augusta’s growing business base requires many meetings, often needing the intimate settings the Partridge Inn can provide. For larger meetings,

The view of Augusta from the penthouse at the Partridge Inn. Photo by Gary Kauffman

there is the ballroom on the second floor. Because the Partridge Inn has high-speed internet access (100 mbps), presentations that rely on internet information can be easily accommodated. The rooms also have audio-visual screens and projectors. “They’ve got everything they need right at their fingertips,” he said. The hotel’s penthouse and rooftop lounge were also renovated. The 2,100-sq.-ft. penthouse offers stunning views of downtown Augusta and is available to rent for private events. On weekends when it is not booked, the space opens as a pop-up bar. The penthouse’s three exclusive guest rooms are available to book. A Cigar Bar was added on the first floor, which includes a lounge with captain’s chairs and sectional seating, as well as a fire pit on the patio. A few other highlights of the renovation: • All 144 guestrooms were completely renovated. That includes modern furniture

and lighting fixtures, and beds with 4-star designer linens and sheets. “We probably get the most comments about our beds,” Van Horn said. All rooms have bath robes and slippers, and 42-inch HD televisions with 100 channels. The vibrant color scheme consists of light, neutral walls accented by rich, dark décor. Each room is different, which Van Horn said creates a unique experience with each stay. It also adds to the learning curve of the staff. “Even if you’ve worked at a Hilton before it takes about 60 days to study the list (to learn each room’s unique layout),” he said. • Public areas were redesigned, including hotel hallways, a quarter-mile of verandahs that wrap around the exterior of the hotel, the lobby and the addition of a new lobby market, a state-of-the-art exercise room and the new covered  porte-cochère. The lobby area has changed from a dark, old-fashioned look to a bright modern appearance. 

• The hotel’s exterior was repainted to classic white for a fresh new façade. • Two Tesla Destination Charging stations  and one standard charging station for electric cars are available in the parking garage. That has put the Partridge Inn on a map Tesla provides its car owners of where to stop for recharging, giving the hotel wider publicity. “With these renovations, we have returned The Partridge Inn to its status as Augusta’s premier hotel,” Van Horn said. “Guests will be pleased to find modern conveniences integrated into a renovation that honors the memorable architecture and ambiance of the historic property. We are proud to reintroduce this iconic Augusta landmark to both the city and its visitors.” The hotel is managed by  NorthPointe Hospitality Management, which worked directly with Janus Associates Construction Management and Sims Patrick Studio during the renovation.

Contest gives small businesses chance to win funds for equipment The end of the year can be one of the busiest and most expensive times of the year for small businesses. CAN Capital, the market share leader in alternative small business finance, surveyed more than 1,000 small business owners about what they’d like to invest in to start 2016 off strong and found that new equipment/expanded inventory was the top pick, with 29 percent putting it first on their list. It was followed by improved technology systems (24 percent), expanded marketing efforts (18 percent) and business strategy/ consulting (17 percent). Managing inventory is also a top concern

for the holiday season, with more than half (53 percent) of small business owners citing it as their biggest worry. Competing with bigbox retailers was next (27 percent), followed by hiring seasonal employees (21 percent). To help ease small business owners’ stress and grant some holiday wishes, CAN Capital’s Take the Reins Giveaway will provide 15 small businesses the tools they need to have a more successful start to 2016. Small business owners can enter their business for a chance to win $5,000 toward essential items like equipment, merchandise, technology or a custom business plan from one of CAN Capital’s small business experts:

34 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Gene Marks, owner and operator of the Marks Group PC, or Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content creation company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. To enter to win these items through CAN Capital’s “Take the Reins” contest, small business owners just have to tell CAN Capital how the item they want will help their businesses grow in the New Year. CAN Capital will select the winners after the contest ends on Dec. 31. Ten small businesses will receive the essential item of their choice and another five will be selected for the custom business plan from a small business expert.

“CAN Capital helps small and mediumsized businesses take the reins every day of the year by providing fast, efficient access to working capital,” said Daniel DeMeo, CEO of CAN Capital. “We launched this contest near the holidays knowing the season is one of the toughest times for small businesses to manage cash flow while still investing in their own growth. By entering the contest and choosing either an essential item for their business or a custom business plan from an expert, small business owners can start the New Year strong.” For more information, visit

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


36 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Entrepreneurs are key to city economics Demographic trends show that by 2050, a majority of the world’s population will be concentrated in cities. This emerging trend means city leaders are going to have to start creating new strategies for their economic ecosystems – and fast. Gallup Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton says their data show that for cities to meet the growing economic needs of their rapidly expanding populations, local leaders have to focus now more than ever on using behavioral economics to create a culture of entrepreneurship. The entrepreneurship story in the United States presents a great case study. Local leadership is far more important than national leadership when it comes to creating economic growth and good jobs. Forget seeking answers from Washington, Clifton says – look instead to cities. This is largely because cities, like companies, exhibit wide variation in economic outcomes. There are examples of this variation all around the country. Austin and Albany are both capital cities in big American states. Neither city is located by a port or a natural tourist attraction with beaches or mountains. They’re pretty much alike, except that economically speaking, Austin wins big and Albany loses big. One city is a drain on America, and the other continues to save it. Sioux Falls is booming, while Sioux City is not. Clifton points to how different Detroit’s outcomes are from San Francisco’s. Detroit went from being one of the richest cities in the world to being one of the most spectacular failures. One could even make the argument that citizens in the San Francisco area saved the republic and national job cre-

ation by leading the tech-entrepreneurship boom. The difference, Clifton believes, is that cities such as Austin, Sioux Falls and San Francisco have deeply caring and highly engaged business, political and philanthropic leaders. Those leaders understand how to build a thriving, growing economy – one that welcomes business and entrepreneurship. Albany, Sioux City and Detroit have the opposite: Leaders with principles, policies, values and beliefs that discourage business and entrepreneurship, if not outright scare them away. The good news is that strong leadership teams are already in place within cities. A natural order is already present in the government and local business and philanthropic entities. Most cities have strong, caring leaders working on numerous committees and initiatives to fuel their local economic growth and to create good jobs. Those leaders should attract innovators, but they’ll fail if they don’t identify and develop entrepreneurs as well, Clifton says. Simply put, local leaders have to find out who in their town is a high-potential, bluechip entrepreneur with the God-given talent to build a big, booming business. A big part of this effort is getting local businesses involved as well as aligning the strategies and will of all the great local organizations. To find and develop blue-chip entrepreneurs, cities need all institutions and organizations involved. Ultimately, the war for jobs and sudden economic growth will be fought city by city around the world – San Francisco vs. Seoul, Brooklyn vs. Berlin, Cleveland vs. Cologne. Clifton says each city needs its own highly

individualized plan because each city has its own unique entrepreneurial talent – and each must find it, maximize it and retain it. Early identification of rare entrepreneurial talent will be the most significant turning point in recent human history, Clifton believes. And this talent is out there today, undiscovered. There are nearly 30 million students in U.S. middle and high schools right now. High talent is found in 2 percent of that group, or 600,000 kids. Kids with extraordinary talent – those with the potential to build large organizations – are 0.5 percent of the 30 million, or 150,000. City leaders should find them all and

Tips to protect businesses from cybercrime

Cybercriminals are targeting small businesses with increasingly sophisticated attacks. Criminals use spoofed emails, malicious software spread through infected attachments and online social networks to obtain login credentials to businesses’ accounts, transfer funds from the accounts and steal private information, a fraud referred to as “corporate account takeover.” “Small businesses remain in the crosshairs of cybercriminals,” said Joe Brannen, president and CEO of the Georgia Bankers Association. “You can shield your company from attack through a strong partnership with your financial institution.” Combating account takeover is a shared responsibility between businesses and financial institutions. Bankers can explain the safeguards small businesses need and the numerous programs available that help ensure fund transfers, payroll requests and withdrawals are legitimate, accurate and authorized. Companies should train employees about safe internet use and the warning signs of this fraud, because they are the first line of

defense. “We’re far more effective at combating account takeover when we combine resources than going at it alone. We can teach you about the tools your business can use to minimize this threat,” said Brannen. As part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the Georgia Bankers Association and American Bankers Association offer small businesses these tips to help prevent account takeover: • Educate your employees. You and your employees are the first line of defense against corporate account takeover. A strong security program paired with employee education about the warning signs, safe practices, and responses to a suspected takeover are essential to protecting your company and customers. • Protect your online environment. It is important to protect your cyber environment just as you would your cash and physical location. Do not use unprotected internet connections. Encrypt sensitive data and keep updated virus protections on your computer. Use complex passwords and change them periodically.

38 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

• Partner with your bank to prevent unauthorized transactions. Talk to your banker about programs that safeguard you from unauthorized transactions. Positive Pay and other services offer call backs, device authentication, multi-person approval processes and batch limits help protect you from fraud. • Pay attention to suspicious activity and react quickly. Look out for unexplained account or network activity, pop ups, and suspicious emails. If detected, immediately contact your financial institution, stop all online activity and remove any systems that may have been compromised. Keep records of what happened. • Understand your responsibilities and liabilities. The account agreement with your bank will detail what commercially reasonable security measures are required in your business. It is critical that you understand and implement the security safeguards in the agreement. If you don’t, you could be liable for losses resulting from a takeover. Talk to your banker if you have any questions about your responsibilities.

make their entrepreneurial growth as systematic and intentional as intellectual and athletic growth. Great business builders are like great scientists or great quarterbacks – they will respond and accelerate with highquality attention. Without it, their potential is at risk of being underdeveloped, or worse, never developed at all. Clifton says the potential of these individuals is unlimited in terms of the economic fortunes they can and will bring to a city. He adds that over the next 50 years, the playbook has to change. City leaders must place entrepreneurship at the heart of their economic and policy agenda. The old ways just won’t work.

ATM fees rise; Atlanta priciest

The average fee for using an out-ofnetwork ATM rose 4 percent over the past year to a record $4.52 per transaction, according to’s 18thannual checking survey. The fee has risen 21 percent over the past five years. Atlanta is the priciest city to make an out-of-network transaction ($5.15) and San Francisco is the cheapest ($3.85) All figures reflect both ATM fees combined: those charged by the ATM operator and those charged by the consumer’s own financial institution. The average overdraft fee also set a new record ($33.07) and is up 9 percent since 2010. Milwaukee has the nation’s highest average overdraft fee ($34.79) and San Francisco again has the lowest ($30.35). Thirty-seven percent of non-interest checking accounts  are completely free, the lowest percentage since began these annual surveys in 1998.

Ivan Trinidad’s gift of health...........................................40 Candlewood Suites goes green......................................41 Be real in setting fitness goals........................................42 Harness ADHD with coaching.........................................44 Resist the temptation of holiday alcohol......................44 Morningside of Evans keeps seniors healthy................45 You can change your outlook to happiness..................46

Cancer Center plants tiny seeds of hope.......................48 Keep safety in mind when buying Christmas toys........48 Pruitt Health’s Camp Cocoon helps grieving kids.........49 Health billing company relocates to North Augusta....50 Changes needed in mental health care.........................52 Hands-free technology still distracts drivers................52 Walton Way Veterinary Clinic promotes pet health......53

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Businessperson of the Month Ivan Trindad, Ivan’s Spin Gallery

The Gift of Health

Ivan Trinidad has touted the benefits of health for years; now it may save his life By Gary Kauffman Fitness guru Ivan Trinidad has for many years told his clients that fitness would lead to health benefits down the road. He just didn’t realize how much that would mean to his own health. In August the 45-year-old owner of Ivan’s Spin Gallery learned he had kidney cancer, a blow to the physically-fit personal trainer. On Sept. 2 he had the kidney removed. He was walking within two days and back to teaching in three weeks, a testament to his lifelong health regimen. “It’s one of the best gifts I gave to myself,” Trinidad said. “I’m seeing the benefit of taking care of my life for so long.” But recently he received some more bad news: The cancer had spread to his lungs. Because it is a non-aggressive form of cancer, his doctors at Emory University opted against chemotherapy and radiation, choosing to use Trinidad’s own body as part of the treatment. “They said since I was so healthy they weren’t going to make me sick,” he said. Instead, he is participating in some trials with non-chemo drugs to treat the cancer, while continuing his healthy nutrition and fitness. “I feel optimistic,” he said. “Health is one of the best things I promote and now I’m seeing it pay off for myself.” Health and fitness have been part of Trinidad’s life since he was a schoolboy in Puerto Rico. He began boxing at age 5 and began his passion for fitness training at age 12. He began developing a muscular physique, which garnered the attention of some high school boys. That began his career as a personal trainer. “My uncle made me a set of weights with concrete,” he recalled, “and the older kids would pay me a quarter to train them.” Trinidad fondly recalls the Christmas when he was 13 years old when his mother bought him a set of plasticcovered weights. “That set lasted me five or six years,” Trinidad said. “I took care of it like it was my baby.” When he turned 18, Trinidad began training with a man who won the Mr. Puerto Rico bodybuilding contest. Curious and not afraid to ask questions, Trinidad soon learned a lot about training without using any illegal drugs. He won one of the first bodybuilding contests he entered. That heightened his already acute desire for fitness and nutrition. He opened a 200-square-foot “gym,” but soon moved to Miami. For the next two years he worked as a trainer there before heading off to Notre Dame for college. Following college he earned master’s certifications in nutrition and rehabilitation. He began to study all body types. He returned to Miami and opened a 2,000-square-foot gym that in 2006 was voted the best gym in the city. He developed a unique spin class that included a full-body workout. His clientele grew to include professional athletes, musicians and TV personalities. Despite his success, Trinidad had a more pressing concern – he was raising his daughter by himself and he wanted her to grow up in a safer environment than south Flor-

40 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Ivan Trinidad prepares to lead one of his unique spin classes. Photo by Gary Kauffman

ida offered. His research for a safe place with good values to raise his daughter led him to Augusta. He arrived in the CSRA eight years ago and set up seven bikes in a 1,000-square-foot space. Soon he outgrew that and moved to new location and increased to 27 bikes. A few months ago he moved again, to a 5,000-square-foot facility located behind Southern Lighting Gallery on Bobby Jones Expressway. He now has almost 80 workout bikes and is teaching five classes a day. “I came in with a vision to bring what I’d created in Miami,” he said. “I never thought it would grow so big.” For Trinidad, the reason for his growth is simple. “I wasn’t thinking about making money,” he said. “I was thinking about changing people’s lives.” One of those he helped also helped give him a publicity boost. Amy from Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar, frustrated by other workouts, tried Trinidad’s spin class. She lost 18 inches in six weeks and began touting his workout. She also asked him to develop two healthychoice items for their menu, something Trinidad has since done for other local restaurants. Because of his years of personal fitness and studying the human body, Trinidad knows how to assess a client’s body and develop an individualized plan, even for those struggling with medical issues like diabetes or thyroid problems. He bases his nutrition plan on the types of foods his client likes, which increase the chances of sticking

to a meal plan. Trinidad virtually guarantees his nutrition and fitness plan will create the desired results – if the client is committed to it. “There’s no way you cannot see any results if you follow that plan,” he said. “I always find a way for that person to get to where they need to be to lose weight.” But he stressed the importance of clients’ personal ambition to creating success. “I do not do magic,” he said. “Everything is about commitment. There’s no easy out.” What are you passionate about in your business? I’m passionate about bringing my unique style to Augusta. I know that I’m doing this because I love what I’m doing. I’ve never had a day in my life when I said I didn’t want to go to work. What have you learned about yourself by running a business? I’ve learned a lot of stuff. Running a business is not easy. It can’t run by itself. My mother owned a beauty shop and my grandmother owned a bodega. What did you learn about running a business from your mother and grandmother? That you need to stay involved in your business for your business to grow. They showed me that every customer is treated the same, whether they a millionaire or the middle class. They’re all treated with the same respect. How do you unwind? I do a lot of car shows. I like to restore classic cars. I’ve done that all my life, too.

I go to the shows and talk to people. How do you give back to the community? I do a lot for the community, not because I want to be well known but because I was raised this way. We feed the homeless the week before Thanksgiving. We started eight years ago with five people helping us, this year there were 45. We fed 485 people in two weeks. We give out hats, coats and blankets so that when the cold weather comes they’re ready. We have a lot of other businesses helping us with donations. How has your illness helped you understand your clients better? It’s made a 100 percent change in my life in the way I see things. It woke me up in different ways that I needed to be woken up. I never thought I’d get sick, but you can be as healthy as you can be and when it’s your turn, it’s your turn. One thing I know for sure is that if I hadn’t been healthy I’d be in a very different place now. What would you tell people struggling with an illness? Never give up! Do not think about the illness and keep moving forward. God is in control. If you’re still healthy and can still function, keep pushing through it. What does the future hold for you and the spin gallery? I’m definitely going to give 100 percent, no matter what. I’ll make sure that even if I’m not around this will continue to grow. I have people I’ve trained. I think it will be a blessing for me to know that I have established something that will continue to grow.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Healthy Lifestyles Bethany Roley/Blake Crewe

Get Real

Maintain fitness resolutions by setting manageable goals The New Year is quickly approaching and with it comes a vast array of New Year’s Resolutions. Many of us choose this landmark time to decide to get healthier. This might include losing weight, losing body fat, eating clean, being more active, joining a fitness class…the list goes on and on. The problem most people face with fitness resolutions is that the goals they have set are difficult to maintain or they do not receive the correct guidance necessary to reach or obtain their goals. In fact, about one third of the New Year’s Resolutions made are to lose weight as their primary goal. So here are a few suggestions to help. Set manageable goals. The first thing to do is choose goals that are attainable. For example, set a time frame that within three months, you would like to lose 10 pounds. Losing 1 – 2 pounds per week is attainable and a healthy way to keep it off. Being realistic with your goals is also very important. If you are just starting to exercise, begin with 30 minutes two or three times per week, and gradually increase over time. If eating healthier is part of your resolution, start with small changes, such as eating one fruit per day. In time you become accustomed to eating it and creating a healthy dietary habit. Support. Your family and friends are a great support system to help you to reach your goals. They will sometimes join your healthier lifestyle endeavor which provides greater support and accountability. Changes can be made around your house to help. Try to eliminate the junk foods and also foods that you might have a weakness or crave for. Replace these foods with a healthier alternative.

Have fresh fruit and vegetables on hand instead of potato chips and cookies. Greek yogurt, for example, is great for snacks and provides a good source of protein. Plus, it makes you feel fuller longer. Of course, eating real food versus processed food is always a better choice. With our busy schedules, many of us have chosen to eat frozen meals instead of preparing our own home cooked meal. One thing to consider is meal prepping: Choose one day to make your meals for several days or the entire week. Your time spent on the one day of prepping saves countless hours in the kitchen each day. Gradually build into an exercise program. We all have a starting point when it comes to our fitness level. From there, your goal should be to get started, then gradually adding to your exercise program. Some try to dive in head first and do too much which may result in soreness or injuries. If you first start out exercising three days a week, you can add some active rest on the days in which you are not following your program. For example, if you were to do some form of training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, then Tuesday and Thursday would be your active rest days. Active rest means being active but not pushing like you should be during your training. So take your family and pet for a walk, go for a bike ride, or something else that involves you getting up and moving. Then you can work on adding an additional day or two to your training program. Becoming fit needs to be a priority. This is perhaps one of the most difficult things for us to accomplish due to our hectic work and family schedules. How can we fit a healthy lifestyle around going to work, taking kids to lessons or practices, coming home to cook and do household chores? If your fitness is a priority, you will make time for it. After all, you only have one body, so you should take care of it the best you can.

One thing that might help is planning a menu for each week so you will know what to purchase at the grocery store. This will also help prevent eating out or ordering take-out. Also, choose healthier options for your meals, even if you are at a restaurant. How do you find time for your exercise training? Exercising before your children get up for school is an option. It is difficult at first to get accustomed to but soon becomes a habit like all other things and gets easier as time goes on. This also leaves you with the rest of your day to do your regular daily activities. Include your family in your training. This also will teach your children the importance of staying healthy and you are being a role model for them. Just do it. You must start somewhere. Don’t try to put too much on

your plate (literally). Don’t be frustrated with yourself if you slip every once and a while. The key is to start again. Don’t give up on yourself because you are worth fighting for. Once a routine has been established, you create healthy habits, which lead you towards your fitness goals. When goals have been reached, reward yourself, and then set new goals to attain. Blake Crewe and Bethany Roley are the coowners of Fierce Fitness Training, a women and youth only fitness training facility. Blake is the Lead Programmer of Fierce Fitness Youth, CF-L1, CF Kids certified, Ed. S. Bethany is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, health coach, and online health and fitness coach. She is the creator of Bethany’s Bikini Fit Camp and Breaking Free, a women’s selfempowerment program. Contact Bethany at

Local surgeon writes kids books about the human body Dr. Cargill H. Alleyne Jr. has a passion for science and medicine, and the distinguished neurosurgeon at Georgia Regents Medical Center hopes to interest future generations in these disciplines with his second children’s book. “‘Bart’s Heart’ is the next in a series that I am writing to get kids excited about the human body,” said Alleyne, professor and Marshall Allen Distinguished Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.   It’s this fascination with anatomy – specifically with vascular diseases and tumors of the brain and spinal cord – that

propels the Yale alum. “You’re going to work hard whatever you do, so work hard doing something you love,” Alleyne told  Augusta Magazine  in 2012, when he was interviewed for the Best Doctors issue.   As the director of the neurosurgery residency program at MCG, he spends quite a bit of his time instructing young doctors to hone their skills and become specialized in the field.  “Many of them are following in someone’s footsteps,” Alleyne said, “but if your parents aren’t in medicine or science, you may not be exposed to this.”  He wants those children to take a closer

42 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

look, and he’s providing that opportunity through catchy rhymes and colorful illustrations in his educational books. His first book, “Ned’s Head,” published in July 2012, is a light-hearted book of limericks that examines what’s inside a little boy’s head. A real “brain teaser” in the book is that one of the illustrators, Michael Jensen, who is now an assistant professor in the Department of Medical Illustration at GRU, concealed small hidden brains in each of the pictures for readers to find. Likewise, Colby Polonsky, a medical illustrator in the GRU Neurosurgery Department, has concealed a small heart in every illustration she created for “Bart’s Heart.”

In addition to the sing-song facts throughout each book’s pages, there is a glossary at the end that provides definitions and pronunciations of the medical terms associated with the brain and heart. Designing the books to be interactive is something Alleyne hopes will make the publications attractive to readers in the 7 to 13 age range. Alleyne plans to publish books on Joan’s Bones, Nelly’s Belly and Malachi’s Eye next. He said he may even continue the series after that. “I want to encourage young kids to think about science, and this is a fun, unique way to do it,” Alleyne said.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Business Counseling People labeled with Attention Deficit Carol Gignoux Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are the true innovators among us.

Brain Breakthrough ADHD can be advantageous with the right coaching By now most of us know about ADHD. We either have the diagnosis ourselves or know someone who does: our child, our husband or wife, our coworker, friend, boss, neighbor. We take medication, we go to therapy, we feel shame and believe ourselves to be irrevocably incompetent. Some of us have anxiety disorder and depression. For these reasons and more, it is popular to think of ADHD as a curse. But is it really? I have found it to be just the opposite. With the advantage of 40 years of research and hands-on work with people who have this brain type, from preschool to old age, I believe I have come up with a more accurate description and explanation for ADHD. This will forever correct this misunderstanding and free people from a false and dam-

aging label. Despite difficulty with staying focused, keeping organized and managing behavior, people labeled with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are the true innovators among us. ADHD is the Innovator Brain type. And we need innovators! Many and even most of the important advancements in science, medicine, the arts and technology came about through the accomplishments of people with ADHD. Whether we are talking about Einstein, Edison, Mozart, the Wright Brothers, Kennedy, Jobs or Gates, and hundreds of famous and not so famous others, more likely than not an innovator brain was responsible for the advancement. I think we would all agree that our world today is in great need of innovative solutions to national and global problems. Yet, if we don’t stop pathologizing an entire segment of the popu-

lation, we run the risk of killing off potential cures to diseases like cancers and multiple sclerosis. We could miss out on discovering innovative diplomatic solutions to terrorism and wars of aggression. Or we could stop leading the world in technology and lose our quest to secure cyberspace. The challenges of having an innovator brain are not inconsiderable. To live successfully in society, one needs to be reliable in the work place and at home. That means showing up on time, doing the work you were asked to do, hand it in on time and communicating effectively. While at their best creatively finding solutions to problems big and small, people with an innovator brain can also be procrastinators, bad communicators, time wasters, poor listeners and at times lost in their own world. However, we now know that these issues can be vastly improved through the coordinated efforts of a professional ADHD (Innovator Brain) coach.

Knowing that there is something beyond diagnosis, medication and therapy has been the largest breakthrough in treating ADHD in decades. Professional coaches help teens and adults learn to manage their behavior in all kinds of situations whether at school, at home or in the workplace. Staying focused and on task, planning and preparing and scheduling and keeping deadlines, are all necessary skills for a successful personal and work life and are accomplished through professional coaching. There is no longer a need to suffer and struggle alone. Every day around the globe, professional coaches are transforming the lives of innovator brain types (ADHD) from all walks of life, young and old, from suffering and struggling to empowered and confident. You can be one of those people. Carol Gignoux is a coach, trainer and motivational expert in the world of achievement and productivity with a 40-year background in educating and training people of all ages. She is well established as an expert in ADHD Coaching with more than 16 years of experience. For the past decade she has engaged in extensive research and developed powerful insights into how dynamic relationships between individual people and their organizational environments are created. Contact her at 706-955-9063 or

Business Health Terry Childers

Right to Refusal

Planning ahead can help you say no to alcohol’s temptation The holiday season means a time of both joy and stress. Those who are already dealing with a drug or alcohol problem can find this time of the year overwhelming. From Thanksgiving through the New Year, all the family gatherings, company parties and other festivities result in increased drug and alcohol abuse. Studies show that drunk driving incidents, suicide attempts, domestic violence, loneliness and depression all increase during the holiday period as holiday stressors peak. In a 2006 Centers for Disease Control study, suicide victims frequently tested positive for alcohol and or

44 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

illicit drugs: 33 percent tested positive for alcohol; 16 percent tested positive for opiates (including prescription opiods); 9 percent for cocaine and 8 percent for marijuana. Listed are tips everyone can use during the holidays whether or not you consume alcohol or drugs: • Drink alcohol alternatives – Nonalcoholic drinks made with fruit juice or cider and sparkling water; fruit smoothies; a favorite non-alcoholic drink complete with a garnish. • Eat sweets – Hard candy or small cookies can help suppress alcohol cravings. • Make a back-up plan – Take along supportive friends or family who can be there for support and create a plan to leave a get-together if you’re feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed. And, of course, appoint a designated driver. • Get plenty of exercise and rest – Music, meditation, massage, quiet time, yoga and walking all work to relieve the stress that leads to alcohol or drug use. For those who become addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are usually three possible outcomes: They get cleaned up, locked up or covered up. If you have a friend or family member who has a

substance abuse issue, seek help. It can mean the difference between life and death. Institutions like Bradford Health Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for free and confidential consultations. Guiding someone to a path of recovery would be the best gift you could ever give a loved one. Yes, recovery can and does start in the midst of the holidays! Bradford Health Services is again offering free taxi rides home from area bars, lounges and restaurants from Dec.

21 through Jan. 1. Call 800-333-1865 to schedule the ride home and help keep the roads safer this Holiday Season. Terry Childers has been with Bradford Health Services for 6.5 years as the Community Representative. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1992 with a BS.Ed. in Educational Psychology and was the starting catcher for the 1990 National Championship baseball team . He also played professionally. Childers is available to talk to any group on a variety of substance abuse topics. Contact him at

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Business Counseling Carolyn Ramp

Many Happy Returns Changing to a happier state is a do-it-yourself project If you… Argue with your co-workers, Have problems getting along with people, Feel rejected by others, Feel lonely at work or home, Have resentments or self-pity, Are excessively moody, Feel depressed or overly anxious, or If you work with someone like this… Then read on! This is the first part of a series on Becoming Happier.

46 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Being happier or making change is a do-it-yourself project. These are some tips, though, to help you get started. These are not intended to replace counseling and may even be of benefit if you decide to go that route. Any DIY project requires a willingness to commit yourself to the process. You have the power to take action, improve your current situation, and make a change. You may just need some directions to follow. Be willing to follow through daily. Remember that change takes time – time to think things through, make a plan of action, and decide what it is you want to change. Just like you can’t remove a virus with one pill, a single isolated behavior will not change your unhappiness. Take responsibility for your actions. Use statements like “I choose to make this change” or “I want to achieve this change” or “I have the power to make this change” or “It is within my power to feel better about myself.” This means you can no longer blame your boss, co-worker, your spouse, the traffic or 100 other excuses we all use. There is no point in blaming yourself, either. Focus on how to fix the issue, not how it became an issue. Work hard. Anything worthwhile

You have power to take action, improve your situation, and make a change is worth an effort. Don’t worry about making mistakes. Steve Allen, the comedian, once said, “If you don’t make mistakes, you won’t make anything.” Hard work means doing a little better today than you did yesterday. It means being willing to look at your behavior and asking yourself, “What can I tweak today to make myself better?” Work hard, even when you don’t feel like it. Remember, there will be days when you feel miserable, don’t care anymore or are ready to give up. Even after you make progress, there will be times when you will revert to old behaviors and feelings. This is normal. Tell yourself to “Keep on Keeping On!!” Never Give up! Even though the process is slow – almost unacceptably slow – hang in there. Even when you feel you are failing, don’t give up. Willie Mays did not get a hit the first 26 times up

to the plate. Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he had no good ideas. Thomas Edison tried 10,000 experiments before he succeeded with the incandescent bulb. Abe Lincoln failed in business, was defeated for the legislature, for congress, for the senate, and for Vice President before he became President of the United States. All plans have some elements of success, even if they don’t completely work. The trick is to use what did work to create a new plan. Part of being human is to feel occasional pain or disappointment. But even a small change has a ripple effect. If you raised the temperature in your home by 5 degrees, would you notice the change? Even a change of 5 percent will be noticeable to you – and beneficial! Don’t expect miracles immediately. Give yourself time. It’s worth it. Carolyn A. Ramp has a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Augusta State University and a Specialist’s Degree in Counseling from Georgia Southern. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor, a Licensed Professional Counselor and an Approved Clinical Supervisor. She served as an Adjunct Professor at Augusta State University in the graduate counseling program. She is the owner of Resolution Counseling Professionals located in the Atrium on Wheeler Road. Contact her at 706-432-6866.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Cancer Center planting tiny seeds of hope New tool helps surgeons in the fight against breast cancer Tiny radioactive seeds are helping surgeons more precisely remove breast tumors and perform biopsies. Using a technique called radioactive seed localization, or RSL, non-palpable breast tumors or lesions targeted for biopsy are marked with a small pellet loaded with a miniscule amount of radioactive material. Later, when the patient is in the operating room, the breast surgeon uses a radiation detector to more accurately locate and remove the target lesion. “My goal is to make the incision as close to the target area as possible. The seed takes the guesswork out of locating that target area,” said Dr. M. Firdos Ziauddin, a breast surgeon at Georgia Regents University Cancer Center. “I prefer this method because the localization is more precise.” During a brief outpatient procedure, a radiologist uses a thin needle to inject a tiny seed into the abnormal tissue. “It only takes about five minutes to inject the seed and confirm its placement by ultrasound or mammogram,” said Dr. Karen Panzitta, breast radiologist and lead mammographer at the Breast Health Center at Georgia Regents Medical Center. “This approach is especially helpful for small, nonpalpable tumors that can only be detected during mammograms; tumors so small, they cannot be felt by touch during a breast exam.”

The seed – about the size of a sesame seed and the color of pencil lead, and containing an isotope of iodine – emits a very low-dose of radiation that acts as a beacon during surgery, helping Ziauddin accurately locate and remove the target lesion, the seed, and portions of surrounding breast tissue. The alternative to RSL, and still the most widely used approach, is wire localization. With this technique, the radiologist inserts a thin, hooked wire into the breast to help mark the location of the target lesion. While one end of the wire is lodged at or near the lesion, the other end protrudes from the patient’s breast. “It’s not very comfortable or convenient for a patient to have a wire sticking out of her breast,” Panzitta said, “especially if the patient has to wait for surgery for several hours or even overnight.” Ziauddin agrees. “From a patient’s perspective, there is a definite advantage with RSL in terms of convenience, because the seed can be placed a few days ahead of surgery. On the actual day of surgery, the patient can spend less time hungry and thirsty because she can go directly to surgery without having to spend the time having a wire placed. There is also less concern about the seed being dislodged than the wire being dislodged or removed,” he said.

Radioactive seed localization can allow for a better cosmetic outcome as well, experts say, because surgeons can find the least difficult and most direct approach to the area in question. “RSL has about a 95 to 98 percent success rate, so the likelihood of removing all suspect tissue has been significantly improved,” said Panzitta. “This helps us put our patients more at ease about the outcome.” Patients also need not be concerned about radiation exposure from the seed, she said, because its use is highly regulated. “The medical team works closely with the hospital’s radiation safety experts to protect patients, as well as the medical staff, from

unnecessary exposure,” Panzitta said. Experts liken the radiation dosage to be about the same amount that a person would be exposed to on a two-hour airplane ride. Furthermore, the seed is strictly used for tumor marking and does not replace radiation or chemotherapy for treating cancer. Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women. The American Cancer Society recommends an annual mammogram paired with a clinical breast exam for women 40 and older. The Breast Health Center is an American College of Radiology Breast Imaging Center of Excellence and the first and only center in the area using 3-D mammography.

Don’t play around with toy safety: Tips on shopping for kids Christmas is a magical season for children. Visions long ago may have included sugarplums. Today’s children are likely dreaming of toys, toys and more toys. “Childhood is one of the most important and exciting times of life. This is when young minds and bodies learn to move and interact and explore the world,” said Dr. Natalie Lane, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital of Georgia. “As parents and caregivers, we should do everything we can to provide an engaging and safe environment for kids to develop through play.” About 252,000 children were treated in emergency rooms last year for toy-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and 70 percent of those hurt were age 12 and younger. “That’s a large number of potentially avoidable injuries,” Lane said. “Children should be enjoying their time with toys, not be placed in jeopardy.” For the children on your Christmas list, Lane said that you can help reduce their risk for injury by following these basic guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics: Choose age-appropriate toys. Select toys to suit the child’s age, abilities, skills and interest level. Toys too advanced may pose

safety hazards for younger children. Most toys include age appropriate guidelines, so use them, said Lane. Read instructions carefully. Before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a toy received as a gift, read the instructions carefully. Protect their heads.  If children have their hearts set on a new bike, skateboard, scooter or other riding equipment, be sure to include a helmet to keep them safe while they’re having fun. Those added safety devices can be great gifts from grandparents or other family members. Avoid burn and shock hazards.  To prevent the possibility of both burns and electrical shocks, choose battery-operated toys for children under the age of 10 years. Children this young should not be plugging things into an electrical outlet. Beware of choking and strangulation hazards.  Children under the age of 8 years are at risk of choking on small parts contained in toys or games. They can also choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Tags, strings and ribbons can pose the risk of strangulation. Be sure to remove them from toys before giving them to young children. Also avoid pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches long.

48 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Be careful with button batteries and powerful magnets. Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death – after swallowing button batteries or magnets. In addition to toys, button batteries are often found in musical greeting cards, remote controls, hearing aids, and other small electronics. Small, powerful

magnets are present in many homes as part of building toy sets. Keep button batteries and magnets away from young children, and seek emergency medical help immediately if your child swallows one. Supervise play. You should always supervise your children at play. Minimize your distractions and take part in some of their fun. Store toys properly. Parents and caregivers should store toys in a designated location, such as on a shelf or in a toy box, and keep older children’s toys out of reach of young children. To prevent potential entrapment, use a toy box with no lid or a lightweight, non-locking lid and ventilation holes. “So  whether your children are working on a puzzle (remember those things?), or riding a bike, recognize the potential risk. Play smart!” Lane said. The 154-bed not-for-profit CHOG is the second-largest children’s hospital in the state, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care, as well as a wide range of general and complex health care for children. CHOG was recently ranked as the nation’s top performing hospital in pediatric quality and safety by the University HealthSystem Consortium of academic medical centers.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Health billing company moves across river By Millie Huff There’s a new neighbor in North Augusta, one in a shiny, state-of-the-art building with a three-story parking garage. Referred to by the locals as “that medical company” while under construction, the new Medac building is the home to more than 400 employees, providing service to its 8,000 nationwide customers. The employees began officially working out of the new building Nov. 1. As the company outgrew its previous location off of Bobby Jones Expressway in Augusta, the space limitations forced the company to expand to three different locations miles apart, a logistical challenge for the employees. The North Augusta building brings Medac’s employees under a single roof for the first time in years, while also providing additional room for future growth. “This new location creates a more efficient, more pleasant work day for us all,” said Jimmy Patrick, Vice President of Business Development for Medac. “Having everyone under one roof makes doing business easier for us all.” The location in North Augusta, located across the street from the North Augusta Municipal Center off of Georgia Avenue, has easy access to many amenities in the vicinity. It will be just up the hill from the future Project Jackson complex and the shopping and restaurants it will offer. “Medac has been blessed with tremendous growth as we provide business services to anesthesia providers in 40 states,” Patrick

The new building in North Augusta, next to the city building, puts all of Medac’s employees under one roof. Photo by Gary Kauffman

said. “This new building gives us room to grow. We hope to hire an additional 200 employees in the next few years.” The reception from North Augusta has been warm. “North Augusta has welcomed us with open arms, making the construction pro-

cess as smooth as possible so that we would have an ideal building to suit our needs,” said Patrick. “We are happy to be a new neighbor to North Augusta and are looking forward to being a part of the community for many years.” Medac, Inc., opened in 1992 by broth-

ers Bijon and Kam Memar, provides business management services and information products to anesthesia providers. By outsourcing billing and collection to a company such as Medac, physicians and hospitals are able to focus on providing quality medical services to their patients.

Health care workers confident about economy, job market In mid-year 2015, the Randstad Health Care Employee Confidence Index rose by 9.2 points to 64.8, up from 55.6 at year-end 2014. The online survey of 243 health care employees, including physicians, nurses, health care administrators and other health care professionals, was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Randstad Healthcare. According to the mid-year 2015 report, employees within the health care field are particularly confident in regards to the overall economy, as well as their personal employment prospects. According to the mid-year 2015 report, 29 percent of health care workers believe the economy is getting stronger, and 36 percent believe there are more jobs available. Although 66 percent of health care workers say they are confident in their ability to find a new job, only 32 percent say they are likely to look for new employment opportunities in the next 12 months. The Randstad Health care ECI mirrors strong job gains in the health care sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September 2015 Employment Situation Summary. Health care led the way in job creation, adding 34,000 new positions last month and approximately 38,000 jobs monthly over the past 12 months. Hospitals

gained nearly half (16,000) of the new jobs, while ambulatory care added 13,000 jobs. “The fact that health care workers indicated the highest confidence levels we’ve ever recorded is a sign the job market for these professionals is providing more opportunities, and the sector is experiencing the rapid growth many economists expected,” said Abigail Tremble, president of Randstad Health-

50 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

care. “We entered 2015 with historically lower-than-average unemployment rates for many health care occupations, so it’s no surprise we have already seen increased hiring activity for many key positions.” Tremble continued, “In fact, according to, health care job postings increased 27 percent year-over-year from June 2014 to June 2015, and the Bureau

of Labor Statistics indicates employment in health care has grown by an average of 38,000 new jobs per month over the past 12 months. With the number of uninsured Americans dropping to 11.9 percent in the first quarter of 2015, the lowest percentage since Gallup started tracking the figure in 2008, projected growth for the healthcare job market is quite high. “Additionally, as Baby Boomers age, the Labor Department projects that by 2022 health care and social assistance will absorb nearly 20 percent of consumer spending, double the share of manufactured goods. As a result, the profession is expected to employ more than 21 million workers, 5 million more than we have today.” These factors place added pressure on health care employers to maintain adequate staffing levels, and more facilities are partnering with flexible staffing firms to achieve their talent needs. A study published December 2014 in Journal of Nursing Care Quality  found the utilization of supplemental staff to alleviate hospital pain points, such as increased patient acuity, patient census fluctuations or temporary leave of permanent RNs, can actually improve a hospital’s bottom line and increase its flexibility.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Changes needed in mental health care Local doctors say education, integration with physical care will help ease stigma The stigma of having and treating mental health problems must give way to an integrated educational and health care model that embraces recovery, experts say. “There needs to be a mental health professional that is available to you,” said Dr. Alex Mabe, chief of psychology and director of psychology internship training at the Medical College of Georgia. Many don’t receive treatment Instead, in the United States where better than 18 percent of adults and 13 percent of children have mental health problems, 61 percent of adults don’t receive mental health services. Only half of children who are severely impaired by their disease get professional mental health care and 68 percent of those children don’t get adequate care. Without a significant strategy shift on many fronts, this scenario will worsen in the face of a growing population and shrinking mental-health-care pool, said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, psychiatrist, schizophrenia expert and dean of MCG, the state’s public medical school. Fewer mental health professionals As examples of worsening shortages, the number of psychologists, doctoral-level professionals who provide much of the psychotherapy in this country, will likely decline by 900 in the next decade while the country’s demand increases 10 percent, according to the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis. Fifty-five percent of

U.S. counties already do not have a practicing psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker. The workforce shortage results from a host of issues such as high burnout/turnover rates, an aging workforce and the stigma associated with mental health problems and professions. Shortfalls for patients result from issues such as not enough practitioners, maldistribution in terms of location and racial/ethnic diversity as well as the stigma and reality of the mental health care provided today. Integration of mental, physical health Solutions could include an all-hands-ondeck approach that eradicates lines between the host of professionals involved in physical and mental health care in hospitals, clinics, schools and elsewhere, they say. Erasing the stigma of providing or receiving mental health also starts with better education of these providers. “The people you are sending over here with mental problems have physical problems as well,” said Buckley. “In fact, there is increasing scientific evidence that many mental health problems are based on physical problems and vice versa. It’s a false dichotomy.” Patients with schizophrenia, for example, tend to die younger, have more infections and problems with diabetes, he said. While drug therapies contribute to some of these related physical issues, there is also increasing evidence that, as with Alzheimer’s and

heart disease, inflammation may play a big role in schizophrenia as well as its other presenting diseases, Buckley said. “There needs to be better integration in the way medicine is being practiced. Right now, most mental health care is being provided in silos,” said Mabe, referencing a system that matured in the 1800s and led to construction of the first state psychiatric hospitals. “We need to bring mental health into the interdisciplinary health care team.” Training for primary care physicians That includes further incorporating primary care physicians for adults and children into the mental health education and care model. Primary care physicians already are the only source of mental health services for one-third of patients and they prescribe about 40 percent of antidepressants. “Behavioral health issues need to be better promoted and trained at the medical school and residency level,” Mabe said. The limited number of psychiatrists and psychologists may need to extend their impact by serving as consultants and coaches to primary care providers, school counselors and other professionals, he added. That ultimately will mean health care reimbursement also needs adjusting to enable payment for this new strategy, Mabe said. Education needed for patients, families The most effective, efficient bottom line for education and delivery also has patients and families directly involved in both to ensure a focus on recovery, said Buckley, who helped establish the Project Great program that does just that at MCG. Project Great, which received the American College of Psychiatrists Award for Creativity in Psychiatric Education in 2012, is a peer-centric academic program in which

psychology and psychiatry residents train alongside people in recovery. As the lines between the provision of physical and mental care come down, so should the mental health stigma, said firstyear MCG psychiatry resident Dr. Aleiya Butler, a native of Albany, Ga. Butler grew up in a family that experienced the struggle of mental illness and with a father who is a mental health counselor. She says her own experience as well as objective studies have shown that minority groups may be particularly vulnerable. She recollects hearing patients’ family members state that they just expected them to ‘pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.’ She notes that often when people learn more about mental illness, they are more understanding of their loved ones who suffer with it. Erasing the stigma of mental health “They feel stigmatized by their culture and their family,” said Butler, who has plans to be a pediatric psychiatrist and is excited to help change these tunes. “If you had any other condition, you would get treatment for it,” she said. “You would not just continue to have high blood pressure and ruin you kidneys. Why would you continue to let this mental health condition continue without treatment?” “Many patients don’t seek care because they are worried about stigma,” said Mabe, who has been seeing patients for 30 years. “If they do want to go, they may not have access to care. When they do get service, they often are not satisfied with it and prefer to ‘do it themselves,.” He noted the paternalistic approach taken by some practitioners. “That is historically what the mental health system has provided for them,” Mabe said. “People want to have a sense of self-determination and choice.”

Study: Hands-free tech still distracts drivers Potentially unsafe mental distractions can persist for as long as 27 seconds after dialing, changing music or sending a text using voice commands, according to surprising new research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The results raise new and unexpected concerns regarding the use of phones and vehicle information systems while driving. This research represents the third phase of the Foundation’s comprehensive investigation into cognitive distraction, which shows that new hands-free technologies can mentally distract drivers even if their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel. “The lasting effects of mental distraction pose a hidden and pervasive danger that would likely come as a surprise to most drivers,” said Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The results indicate that motorists could miss stop signs, pedestrians and other vehicles while the mind is readjusting to the

task of driving.” Researchers found that potentially unsafe levels of mental distraction can last for as long as 27 seconds after completing a distracting task in the worst-performing systems studied. At the 25 MPH speed limit in the study, drivers traveled the length of nearly three football fields during this time. When using the least distracting systems, drivers remained impaired for more than 15 seconds after completing a task. “Drivers should use caution while using

52 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

voice-activated systems, even at seemingly safe moments when there is a lull in traffic or the car is stopped at an intersection,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s President and CEO. “The reality is that mental distractions persist and can affect driver attention even after the light turns green.” The researchers discovered the residual effects of mental distraction while comparing new hands-free technologies in ten 2015 vehicles and three types of smart phones. The analysis found that all systems studied increased mental distraction to potentially unsafe levels. The systems that performed best generally had fewer errors, required less time on task and were relatively easy to use. The researchers rated mental distraction on a five-point scale. Category one represents a mild level of distraction and category five represents the maximum. AAA considers a mental distraction rating of two and higher to be potentially dangerous while driving.

The best performing system was the Chevy Equinox with a cognitive distraction rating of 2.4, while the worst performing system was the Mazda 6 with a cognitive distraction rating of 4.6. Among phone systems, Google Now performed best with a distraction rating of 3.0, while Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana earned ratings of 3.4 and 3.8. Using the phones to send texts significantly increased the level of mental distraction. While sending voice-activated texts, Google Now rated as a category 3.3 distraction, while Apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana rated as category 3.7 and category 4.1 distractions. “The massive increase in voice-activated technologies in cars and phones represents a growing safety problem for drivers,” continued Doney. “We are concerned that these new systems may invite driver distraction, even as overwhelming scientific evidence concludes that hands-free is not risk free.”

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Business Lunch Review Fat Man’s Cafe Susan O’Keefe

Fat Chance

Taking a chance on lunch is a good bet at Fat Man’s Cafe With a booming business heritage that can be traced to the 1940s, Fat Man’s Café has a reputation to uphold. As a leader in the CSRA food and catering industry, this local eatery isn’t one to rest on its laurels. Located off Greene Street in the Enterprise Mill Courtyard, there is a strong sense of authenticity in the atmosphere. An American flag is painted on one of the mill’s original brick walls. A picture of an old railroad bridge adorns another wall. Half a dozen guitars find their home hanging on a third wall. The day’s special? Service, style and satisfaction. On the day of our visit, there were just enough customers to keep the place busy, but not so busy that we had to wait. It’s nice to be first in line every now and then. From the menu of wraps, deli sandwiches, soups and salads, I chose Brad’s turkey bistro, named for owner Brad Usry. The wrap was packed with slivers of local turkey, Swiss cheese, tomatoes, onions, peppers and mushrooms. It was subtly mixed with the café’s bistro sauce. I didn’t dare waste a delectable drip. Also on the menu and named for Brad’s son and business partner, is Havird’s Grilled

3 area restaurants named in website Top 12 listing Three Augusta-area restaurants made a list of 12 Georgia restaurants that are hard to get into but totally worth it. The list was compiled by the website Only in Your State. Frog Hollow Tavern and Craft & Vine from downtown and Cadwallader’s Café in Martinez made the list of restaurants that are either hard to get into or more pricey than a typical night out. Frog Hollow, 1282 Broad St., serves food on a seasonal basis, both small plates and large plates, complemented with more than 100 wines. Reservations are required. It is open Wednesday through Saturday for dinner. Craft & Vine, 1204B Broad St., is a mix of old and new, featuring carefully crafted old-fashioned drinks. Small plates and wood-fired pizza are specialties. It does not allow cell phone use in the restaurant. Craft & Vine does not take reservations and is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday. Cadwalladers, tucked away at 106 Davis Road, features seasonal American fare and fresh organic Georgia produce. They accept reservations and are open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.

54 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Fat Man’s Mill Café is located at 1450 Green Street, Suite 600 in the Enterprise Mill Courtyard in Augusta. #soulgood, Protein, a local, all-natural turkey ham, and provolone sandwich. For the meat and potato lovers, there’s the option to pick from the meats and sides categories. Fried chicken, pot roast, green beans and squash casserole are a few of the most popular selections. My colleague is a burger kind of guy and he went straight for the six-ounce handmade patty served with applewood bacon and American cheese, and a generous serving of shoestring fries. He described it as tasty. We also ordered Pearl’s homemade soup. It had a rich tomato taste with bite-sized pieces of beef. A small serving of mouthwatering cornbread accompanied the soup. The menu highlighted a few local food items served at Fat Man’s. Supporting local is always a business plus. Havird Usry has a strong commitment to the farm-to-table movement. With a Clemson degree plus a Helm’s Culinary Institute degree under his apron, Hav continues to preach and practice the local way. During the noon hour, several

patrons enjoyed lunch while catching up on the latest sports scores or headlines broadcast from a few of the televisions mounted in the corners. It was easy to have table conversation and hear one another as the TV sound was muted and the dining area is large enough to accommodate a few dozen guests. For catered parties and events, Fat Man’s teams up with the adjacent Enterprise Mill Event Center. We happened to see a friend who was nailing down details for an upcoming business luncheon at the mill. Another Fat Man’s option is the FAT mobile. It can bring the party, or at least the food, onsite at the customer’s request. From our perspective, there seemed to be a few casual business lunches taking place. One businesswoman brought

her work to lunch and had spreadsheets and sales slips strewn across her makeshift desk. There were other diners scattered among the contemporary wooden tables and metal chairs. A few solo eaters found plenty of elbow room at the long family style farm table. For late risers, Fat Man’s offers a breakfast of traditional southern foods starting at 8:30. Lunch is served until 3 p.m., when the restaurant closes. Open Monday through Friday, Fat Man’s is a well-oiled machine. For 10 bucks, customers can enjoy a delicious meal and feel good about contributing to local coffers in more ways than one. I believe that the daily special of service, style, and satisfaction is a mainstay at Fat Man’s and one that will be served for generations to come.

Know your rights before co-signing for loan What if you were asked to cosign a loan for a family member or friend? Would you do it? Before you give your answer, make sure you understand what cosigning involves. Under a Federal Trade Commission rule, creditors are required to give you a notice to help explain your obligations. The cosigner’s notice says: • You are being asked to guarantee a debt. If the borrower doesn’t pay the debt, you will have to. Be sure you can afford to pay if you have to, and that you want to accept the responsibility. • You may have to pay up to the full amount of the debt if the borrower does not pay. You may also have to pay late fees or collection costs. • The creditor can collect the debt from you without first trying to collect from the borrower. The creditor can use the same collection methods against you that can be used against the borrower, such as suing you, garnishing your wages, etc. If the debt is ever in default, that fact may become a part of your credit record. What are the chances that the borrower will default? Some studies of certain types of lenders show that as many as three out of four cosigners are asked to repay the loan. Despite the risks, there may be times when you decide to cosign.  Perhaps your son or daughter needs a first-time loan. The Better Business Bureau, along with the Federal

Trade Commission recommends that you consider the following before you cosign. • Be sure you can afford to pay the loan. If you are asked to pay and you cannot, you could be sued or your credit rating could be damaged. • Before you cosign a loan, consider that even if you are not asked to repay the debt, your liability for this loan may keep you from getting other credit you may want or need and it could also hurt your credit score. • Before you pledge property, such as your car or home, to secure the loan, make sure you understand the consequences. • Ask the lender to agree, in writing, to notify you if the borrower misses a payment. This will give you time to deal with the problem or make back payments. • Obtain copies of important papers, such as the loan contract, the Truth-in-Lending Disclosure Statement, and any warranties if you are cosigning for a purchase. The lender is not required to give you these papers; you may have to get copies from the borrower. • Once you become a cosigner on a loan, the likelihood that you can be removed from the loan at a later date is very remote and usually requires a new loan application. If you’re told that you can just ask to remove your name, don’t believe it.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Company to add high-speed lines, provide local jobs Tower Cloud announced a new contract with one of the top four mobile carriers to expand fiber network infrastructure and bring high-speed connectivity and capacity to Augusta and surrounding areas. The contract adds 25,350 fiber miles (or 236 route miles), bringing the total Tower Cloud route miles in the area to 375. This contract will be an economic driver for the region and contributes to a milestone year for Tower Cloud as one of the largest tower backhaul and high-speed networking providers in the Southeastern United States. This contract will provide jobs, revenue and connectivity for the greater Augusta area including Statesboro, Savannah and Macon. Tower Cloud, a southeast based Communications Infrastructure Specialist, builds high-capacity broadband transport networks providing the highest quality lit Ethernet backhaul services for mobile service providers, wholesale & enterprise customers and strategic dark fiber solutions throughout the Southeast. With this latest contract, Tower Cloud will expand to more than 8,000 route miles of fiber installed and will extend its fiber infrastructure by greater than 25 percent, covering hundreds of municipalities from Atlanta to Central Florida. “Tower Cloud’s growth is a reflection of

56 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

the expanding demand carriers are experiencing,” said Ron Mudry, Founder and CEO for Tower Cloud. “More robust fiber infrastructure and mobile expansion are critical for making connectivity reliable and accessible. This agreement in Augusta will provide a base of high speed fiber infrastructure in the area and include macro tower and small cell initiatives to serve urban and rural communities. Additionally it will bring a wealth of dark fiber and high bandwidth accessibility to areas such as surrounding military bases, hospitals, universities, business and financial institutions.” In addition to tower backhaul services for mobile carriers, Tower Cloud is expanding its private enterprise infrastructure support through the company’s new Ethernet Private Line Services. The new fiber network expansion will also include more connections to regional POPs and data centers, as well as backhaul support and more capacity for wireless towers. “Today’s announcement is just another touch point as we affirm our commitment in the wireless industry to provide the most reliable and innovative technology to communities across the Southeast,” said Mudry. “Our mission is limitless capacity for carriers and their customers.”

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Career & Education

Augusta U. has unique expansion plan Plan would put students in Medical District, allow moves on Summerville campus By Gary Kauffman Augusta University has plans to expand, but in a unique way. During a presentation to the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 3, new AU president Brooks Keel talked about the history of the 187-year-old college and his vision for its future. One of the plans include expanding the Summerville campus without adding anything. “Our plan is to not build anything more on the Summerville campus,” he said. “One reason is that every time you put a shovel in the ground there you turn up some war artifact. But we also want to maintain and protect the Summerville area.” So the plan is to move the College of Science and Mathematics to the Medical District, in the heart of the AU medical complex. That will accomplish two things. “Moving the College of Science and Medicine will allow us to expand and re-energize the existing (Summerville) campus,” Keel said. The other thing the move will create is more motivation for the medical and research students. “This will put the students right in the middle of all the white coats so they can see what they want to be,” he said. Keel said the merger three years ago of the undergraduate Augusta State University and the post-graduate Medical College

of Georgia created some unique challenges because they each have separate needs. “We’re a 187-year-old institution three years in the making,” Keel said. “But we’re looking out the windshield, not the rearview mirror.” One of those challenges was settling on a name. After spending two years as the widely unpopular Georgia Regents University, the college officially became Augusta University on Dec. 1. “I don’t think for a minute that we can flip the switch and go from one name to another,” Keel said. “But it’s a tremendous opportunity to rebrand it as Augusta University.” The name change, which was first announced at the beginning of the school year, put Keel in a unique position. “I was at the same time both the second president of GRU and the first president of Augusta University,” he said. Augusta University currently has about 8,300 students, with a $1.5 billion budget. Keel said the college contributes about $1.9 billion to the local economy. The medical college is the ninth oldest and 13th largest in the nation, and houses the only dental college in Georgia. AU now has an impact on other areas of the state. In 2014 it took over ownership of Roosevelt Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital, which was founded by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1927. AU also pro-

Georgia Southern’s online MBA ranked among the best Georgia Southern University Online MBA has been named among the best online MBA programs for 2015-2016 by in its third annual ranking for Best Online MBA programs. Ranked in the top 30, this online MBA ranking comes right behind the recent top five ranking by for the University’s online Master of Science in Applied Economics. The Georgia Southern Online MBA, offered through the College of Business, allows working professionals to advance their careers with little interruption to their professional and personal lives. The Online MBA, offered since 2001, provides an asynchronous, team-based

program that boasts national recognition for high student satisfaction and graduation rates. The 30-credit hour program is completed in five consecutive semesters, approximately 21 months. “The stigma surrounding online programs is fading in the job market, and more employers are hiring candidates with online MBA degrees,” said Dan Schuessler, CEO and founder of, “which means these institutions are preparing the next generation to be an integral part of our workforce.” is a leader for online learning and college affordability information.

58 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Augusta University president Brooks Keel speaking to the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 3. Photo by Gary Kauffman

vides all the health care for Georgia Department of Corrections, which includes about 60,000 prisoners. As part of his vision, Keel wants to make AU a top-tier university that is a destination for education. He also wants to make it a Top 50 medical school. But his vision extends beyond the university to the city of Augusta. Keel said AU provides a quality of life in the area that helps the business community grow. “When you’re trying to attract businesses, it’s not just about tax incentives but about the quality of life,” he said.

He also believes that the Army’s transition of Cyber Command to Fort Gordon by 2019 gives the college and the entire community a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on that. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – right now – to do something as a community,” Keel said. “We can create a cyber village. He have the chance to be the next Silicon Valley for cybersecurity.” But he warned that opportunities like that don’t last. “If we don’t start talking about these things, nothing gets done,” he said.

Flexible workforce is future “The ‘future of work’ is here,” says an Ardent Partners study underwritten in part by Fieldglass, Inc., a global cloud technology provider. Ardent Partners’ annual “State of Contingent Workforce Management” study, details the continuing evolution of the flexible workforce, explains how program needs and priorities have grown over time, presents the strategies that create best-in-class programs, and makes suggestions based on future trends and predictions. Highlights include: External workforces are critical yet growing without control The report found that 95 percent of organizations consider their contingent workforce to be vital to overall business success and growth, and nearly 70 percent expect to increase it. Only 51 percent of all external labor and services spend is formally accounted for in corporate planning, budgeting and forecasting.

Vendor Management Systems remain the top third-party platform “VMS solutions  are the true ‘nexus’ of contingent workforce management, helping to enable key intelligence capabilities, supplier and spend management processes, and supporting innovation via self-sourcing competencies,” the report states. Companies with “Best-in-Class” programs exhibit four basic characteristics They leverage data to achieve real-time visibility into their workforce; excel in core capabilities such as the standardization of day-to-day operations; use technology to adhere to strict compliance standards; and display a total talent vision, utilizing a holistic process to manage all workers. “As business cycles tighten, competition stiffens and globalization pressures increase, organizations must leverage talent as a critical differentiating factor,” said Rob Brimm, President, Fieldglass.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Career & Education Brian Hendricks The agreement

helps change the outcome for tech school graduates.

Buddy System

GMC pairs with Augusta Tech to provide bachelor degree Georgia Military College has signed an articulation agreement with Augusta Technical College. This is the first such agreement signed with a public college in the Augusta area, and mirrors an agreement recently signed with Southern Crescent Technical College. The articulation helps graduates of an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree or an Associate of Applied Technology (AAT) degree from Augusta Tech to qualify for our Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees in either Business or Supervision. This articulation agreement assists students in moving into the BAS much more smoothly.

60 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Often, students who transfer into a bachelor’s degree program straight out of technical school find their technical field credits do not transfer. This BAS degree and the articulation agreement helps change the outcome for technical school graduates. The articulation includes drawing on Augusta Tech faculty to participate with the Georgia Military College Registrar’s Office in evaluating degrees for transfer of credit, a key element of the new degrees. Students at Augusta Tech and those in the workforce holding qualified degrees from Augusta Technical College can improve their career options by using credits already earned to finish the four-year degree with its professional orientation. The BAS-Business Management degree is designed for those with an AAS in Business, Marketing, Accounting or a similar degree. The BAS-Supervision

and Management is for those with an AAS in another field, such as Culinary Arts, Cardiovascular Technology, Cosmetology and Nuclear Engineering Technology. The programs allow students to earn a degree demonstrating management, supervision, problemsolving and program management skills. It is unusual for a two-year college to be able to offer career-oriented fouryear degrees such as these as a service to the community. Georgia Military

College and Augusta Technical College are proud to make them available so our students can achieve long-term personal goals. G. Brian Hendricks represents Georgia Military College in the Education Center on post as the Fort Gordon Coordinator and Recruiter. He has also taught history classes for the college. For questions about how to enroll in Georgia Military College’s degree programs, call 706993-1123, email, or visit

Aiken County schools are producing students with diplomas at a better rate than most schools in South Carolina. In 2015, Aiken schools had a graduation rate of 85.2 percent for those completing high school in four years, nearly 5 percent better than the state average of 80.3 percent. For those taking five years to graduate, Aiken County was at 85. 4 percent while the state average

was 81.9 percent. That is a huge jump from just a few years ago. In 2012, Aiken County’s graduation rate was nearly 10 percent lower, at 75.6 percent. Superintendent Sean Alford said the quick growth in graduation rates is a result of focusing on the needs and learning styles of individual students.

Aiken County schools among best

Aiken Tech president plans to retire The president of Aiken Technical College has announced that she will retire on July 1, 2016. Dr. Susan Winsor has served as president for 16 years and worked in South Carolina’s technical college system for

nearly 30 years. During her time at Aiken Tech, 20 academic programs were developed and implemented. In addition, four new academic buildings were built and others renovated.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Georgia HS graduation rate keeps improving Georgia’s 2015 high school graduation rate rose significantly, from 72.5 percent in 2014 to 78.8 percent in 2015. This represents the fourth straight increase in the state’s graduation rate. “The 2015 graduation rate shows that our schools are working harder and smarter than ever to ensure our students receive their diploma, something that affords them the opportunity to move on to postsecondary education, the military, or directly into a meaningful career,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “I expect we will continue to see the graduation rate increase as we provide more personalized graduation plans with multiple paths to graduation.” “In today’s highly competitive workforce,

a high school diploma is necessary to succeed in a growing and changing economy,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “Our state benefits as more qualified Georgians graduate high school and have the opportunity to pursue post-secondary credentials and careers. While there is more work to be done, I am encouraged by our state’s progress as we continue to work together to provide Georgia’s students with a high-quality education.” This is the fifth year Georgia has calculated the graduation rate using the adjusted cohort rate, which is now required by the U.S. Department of Education. The fouryear adjusted cohort graduation rate defines the cohort based on when a student first becomes a freshman; it is calculated using the number of students who graduate with-

in four years and includes adjustments for student transfers. In contrast, Georgia’s former graduation rate calculation defined the cohort upon graduation, which may have included students who took more than four years to graduate. This is the first class not required to take the Georgia High School Graduation Test in order to receive a regular diploma, as Georgia moves away from a one-size-fits-all approach to graduation. There is evidence that focusing less on testing, and more on career education and personalized paths to graduation, opens up opportunities for students. The graduation rate for students who complete a Career Pathway is much higher – at 89 percent – than the rate for students who do not.

Moving forward, the GaDOE will continue to focus on personalized learning rather than a standardized approach – including Career, Technical and Agricultural Education and core credit flexibility, including the new flexibility that allows students to receive a math, science, or foreign language credit for a computer programming course. The agency is also working to improve the graduation rate for students with disabilities through a statewide systemic improvement plan which establishes a network of regional support to support local districts in implementing interventions provided by the National Dropout Prevention Center. All states now calculate the graduation rate using the same formula, but each state sets its own requirements to earn a diploma.

WorkSmart apprentice program launched in Georgia Georgia has launched Georgia WorkSmart, a work-based learning initiative, aimed at meeting employers’ workforce needs by developing and implementing customized training programs through apprenticeships, internships and cooperative education opportunites. “Building upon the High Demand Career Initiative, Georgia WorkSmart is another step in ensuring our current and future workforce is prepared to meet employer needs. This

program will help lead the way in establishing effective partnerships between businesses and educators to better prepare jobseekers for employment opportunities throughout the state,” said Gov. Nathan Deal. “This collaboration between the public and private sectors will continue making our state more attractive for businesses.” This initiative is a collaborative partnership between the Workforce Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development

62 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

(GDEcD), the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship, the Technical College System of Georgia and other state agencies. “We continue to hear from the business community about a need for more workbased learning opportunities to strengthen their current and future workforce,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Georgia WorkSmart allows businesses to customize training programs to meet their specific workforce needs.”

At the launch of Georgia WorkSmart, representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor announced an approximately $3 million American Apprenticeship Initiative Grant awarded to GDEcD. The grant will provide funding to create apprenticeship programs related to advanced manufacturing in Georgia. “Our goal is to supply employers with a workforce trained for today’s business climate,” said Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Gretchen Corbin.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


64 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

Music Insider Jonathan Karow

Cancer Combat

Disease claims loved ones but it doesn’t always win The Holidays are happy for some and can be depressing for others. I believe that you should always be nice to people because you never know what battles they may be fighting. You can’t see rheumatoid arthritis, or if someone is struggling with Asperger’s Syndrome, which leads to panic attacks or even heart attacks. AD is commonly misinterpreted and people tend to make speculations. I know this all too well, yet others are much worse off. (Suggested

Mike Scaccia

viewing: August Rush starring the late Robin Williams). My wife Jeanie, who has an immune disorder, and I commonly joke about the misconceptions people have of us as business owners – “”People must think that we get pedicures while fueling up our Learjet and winterizing our yacht.” This has been a particularly hard year for Jeanie and our family. Her only surviving sister, Libby, who was a Braille teacher for more than 30 years, is in Stage 4 cancer.  Cancer took the life of my father, Dr. Armand Karow, almost a decade ago, and numerous others since. This Halloween musician, comedian and my friend of 30 years, Edmond “Lurch” Kida, died from cancer. On March 22, 2012 Rock Bottom Music held one of many music clinics featuring legendary hard rock guitarist Mike Scaccia. Mike and I consistently communicated after the successful event.   During clinics we draw names for giveaways. I purchased a limited edition Transparent Blue, Quilted Maple Les Paul Tribute Model with Gibson USA pickups for the giveaway. I was very excited when the grandmother of one of our guitar students, Karen Newman Goff, won the guitar. (Karen’s granddaughter, Shauna Price, is starting her sixth year as a student of John Berret at Rock Bottom Music. Shauna has been honored with many awards since starting at age 6, including Guitar Student of the Month.) On December 23, 2012 Mike Scaccia was playing his best friend’s 50th birthday party at a club in Texas. His numerous requests to the lighting technician to quit using strobe lights were ignored. Mike had an epileptic seizure and died at age 47 from complications of heart

Lance Reynolds

disease. Mike’s daughter contacted me in dismay. I reassured her that “In every conversation I had with your dad, he would always mention you.” He said, “God, my daughter and playing guitar are all I live for.” Karen brought it to my attention last year that one of our young students, Lance Reynolds, was in the hospital with cancer in his spleen and bones. She asked me if it would be okay to give Lance the Les Paul guitar. It was a generous suggestion, I said, “Let’s make sure he has everything he needs to be able to play at the hospital.” Karen, John Berret and I put a com-

plete care package together for Lance, including the guitar. Lance said, “This is the best guitar I have ever played.” Karen and I commonly “share coffee” in the morning via Messenger. Recently she told me, “As of December 2015, Lance Reynolds’ diagnosis is free of cancer.” Jonathan Karow is the owner/founder of Rock Bottom Music in Augusta and an active musician. He has handled artist relations and concert promotions for internationally recognized musicians for more than two decades. He is also a consultant and product development designer for famous brand instrument manufacturers.

Georgia considers banning sports fantasy websites Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said his office is investigating whether daily fantasy sports violate state law after New York ordered two of the industry’s largest companies to stop accepting bets, saying the operations constituted illegal gambling. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a cease-and-desist order last month to FanDuel and DraftKings, two companies that let users assemble teams of professional athletes and win money based on their

statistical performances in real games. The companies argue that their contests require more skill than luck, and therefore aren’t gambling. They also cite an exemption for fantasy sports in a 2006 federal law. The state argues the exemption doesn’t supersede Georgia’s gambling law, which defines a bet as “an agreement dependent upon chance” in which “one stands to win or lose something of value,” even if some skill is involved, said Brent Holloway, a fan-

tasy sports writer in northeast Georgia. The exemptions to the law do not cover daily fantasy sports, Holloway said. One exemption includes the Georgia lottery, whose attorney issued a Sept. 23 letter to FanDuel and DraftKings telling companies that they appear to violate state law. Georgia state Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, said the Legislature has convened committees to study the gambling law, but he was uncertain whether the review in-

cluded daily fantasy sports. “On the legality of it, I really have not thought about whether we should take up the issue,” said Stone, a member of the Senate’s criminal and civil judiciary committees. “I’ll leave that to the folks who know more about it.” Holloway said if Georgia does ban daily fantasy sports, its effect will probably depend on what is happening elsewhere in the country.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Good Spirits Ben Casella

Chasing Squirrels North Carolina brewery catches writer’s taste buds

HAAAAVE YOURSELF A COFFEE PORTER, FA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!!!...or a nice IPA if you choose. I’ve chosen both for this Holiday Season to dovetail with family, friendship and a bunch of new college football bowls I’ve never heard of but will probably fall asleep watching anyway. The brews from this month were given to me by my friend, Spryng, who brought them with her from her homeland of North Carolina (or North Cackolackee, or North Crack-a-smackie, depending on where you’re from). Truly, some people just know how to give gifts! North Carolina is a place I love but just don’t get to visit

Screening Room Samantha Taylor

enough. Laura and I took in a David Grisman Quintet concert at the Orange Peel years ago and have been itching for Asheville ever since. It’s just far enough north of here to have those strange things we call seasons (and they even have that elusive one we used to call “Winter”). North Carolina also happens to have more good craft beer than you can shake a stick at. Here are two of my favorites for the season (one you’ve probably heard of and one you may not have had yet). Enjoy! Highland Thunderstruck Coffee Porter – Highland Brewing, known for their Gaelic Ale among others, always seems to impress me. I am particularly impressed with their brews that have the word “coffee”, “chocolate” or “oatmeal” in their names (hint, hint). Thunderstruck has the appearance and nose you’d expect with this craft of beer – an almost black pour with a cappuccino head and aroma to match. Coffee and roasted coffee beans dominate much of the mouthful from start to finish, with sweet and bitter competing throughout. This all culminates in a balance that’s both significant and delicate at the same time. I’ve found it goes swimmingly with pralines.

sister. She was obsessed and had every TMNT toy you could think of. One of our favorites was the van that shot out pizzas as weapons. It was the memory of shooting min-

Presents on the TV Netflix movies create memories of Christmases past I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been going through the motions for some time now. Somewhere along the line I got a little tired, a little worn-down by life. The holiday season, however, gives me pause, and I often find myself thinking about my family. We live many miles apart, and the distance strains our relationship. No matter the strain, however, our love runs deep and I think about them all the time. For this reason, my reviews this month are dedicated to films and series that remind me of my family. Jessica – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), PG-13 Some of my fondest childhood memories are of playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Jessica, my middle

66 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

iature pizzas at one another that forced me to stop and give this film a try. I’ll be honest, I fell asleep and didn’t finish it. I won’t either, because Netflix is no longer streaming this film, so it must be caught on television or Redbox it. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s not. I don’t really know. Great review, I know. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made me happy because it brought back a memory I hadn’t experienced in many

Squirrelly Eye PA – The Blind Squirrel Brewery of Plumtree, North Carolina (which is separated from Boone by Sugar Mountain), is new to me, and I have to say it made a good first impression with Squirrelly Eye PA. It pours a burnt golden color with mild haze and a nice light head. It smells like an autumn day in North Carolina, with all the crisp earth and pine aromas you’d expect in a quality IPA. The taste is equally crisp and definite with a pretty good bite from the hops. It finishes clean and doesn’t really linger all

years. Once upon a time, I was a little girl and my biggest concern was getting the toy I wanted before my sister did. We’d fight and argue, but we had tons of fun. Once upon a time, my first best friend was my sister. Kristin – One Tree Hill; Gossip Girl, TV-14 Kristin is the youngest of the three of us, and she has always enjoyed things that were a little over-the-top dramatic. A wild storyline unfolding will keep her binge-watching for days. (Seriously – she went through every season of Private Practice while she was here on an extended visit!) Admittedly, I never thought I was the kind of girl who would watch CW shows like One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl. I was wrong. Sure, they’re a little ridiculous, but it’s easy to lose a few hours watching the constant drama unfold. Plus, you don’t have to focus your attention on either show to know what’s going on. The plots may be predictably wild and wholly unrealistic, but I still watch them. You know why? They remind me of staying up late with my sister. Talking, laughing, eating snacks and all the good stuff. Bobbi – Big Trouble in Little China, PG-13 I think my mom has the coolest

that much. Basically, each sip gives you something nice to think about and then goes away with little trace – a quality I admire in an IPA. Try it with any preparation of ham. The saltiness of the meat will really complement the bolder aspects of this brew. Happy Holidays to you all, and I’ll touch base with you in 2016 with a new column about protein shakes instead of beer, as my New Year’s resolution is to give up beer entirely… Nah, I’m just kiddin’.

name in the world. I’m sure she disliked it at times, but Bobbi is bold and brave and unabashed. I think it’s pretty awesome. Just like this movie. My mom has always loved supernatural action thrillers. It’s her preferred genre. Big Trouble in Little China is just that. Kurt Russell, Chinese street gangs, 2,000 year-old curses, monsters and martial arts? Yes, please. This is one of my all-time favorite movies because it reminds me of my mom. The road is littered with strange obstacles and we all have to endure the journey. My mom is the reason I do more than simply endure the journey, however. She’s taught me the importance of loving the moments that you have right now and it’s been the most important lesson of my life. Thanks, Mom. Since I’ve written this month’s reviews in dedication to my family, it only makes sense to mail everyone a copy for their Christmas presents. I hope the folded up piece of newspaper that fell out of the envelope put a smile on your face. I love and miss you all. 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.

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Study: Millennials frugal in spending on gifts They’ve been called narcissistic and selfish and accused of being financially irresponsible and obsessed with instant gratification. The elusive Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are everyone’s obsession and a new survey by TaxSlayer is revealing everything we think we know about this generation’s views on savings may be wrong. The Evans-based online tax service provider and savings expert surveyed more than 500 Millennials about their holiday spending habits and plans, finding the majority of respondents are playing frugal Santa this holiday season. “The most wonderful time of the year usually means lots of spending, leading some to a New Year overflowing with debt – surprisingly, Millennials won’t risk overspending during the holidays,” said Steven Binder, CMO, TaxSlayer. “The ‘Me’ generation is all about giving, but within limits, opting for being smart and creative about how much they spend and who they gift.” When asked if they would risk going into debt during this holiday season, the respondents, often accused of being credit card happy and opening credit lines to afford luxury items, deflated that myth with an overwhelming 78 percent stating they would rather be considered a “Scrooge” than spend too much on holiday shopping. In fact, more than half of respondents

said budget was the factor most likely to influence their holiday spending this year, beating out advertising, special offers, family and holiday spirit. Millennials don’t want to be get stuck with debt from Christmas past, but when they are spending, TaxSlayer’s survey uncovered these key findings on how Millennials choose to gift: • The majority of Millennials are more savings savvy than you’d think. They’re also willing to sacrifice their own lifestyle to ensure loved ones are rewarded. Nearly 20 percent of respondents are willing to eat Ramen Noodles July through December to be sure they have the best gifts for everyone on their list. • When it comes to receiving gifts, Millennials are all about experiences. – with nearly 40 percent choosing an experience over luxurious or DIY gifts. Bungee jumping in New Zealand, anyone? • In terms of giving, respondents believe it’s better to give than to receive. While being budget-conscious is still important, Millennials are selfless in their gift giving. Nearly three fourths of respondents want to ensure what they buy for others, whether little luxuries or a cool DIY gift, is best of the best. • 66 percent of Millennials said they enjoy being able to get something nice for the people they love, but have a budget to stick to, with most respondents spending  $300  on

Georgia establishes film academy Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal earlier this year stated his intention to establish the Georgia Film Academy to meet the needs of the state’s growing film industry. The film academy is now a reality, one that will be located at Pinewood Atlanta Studios in Fayetteville. The new film academy will open its doors in January and, according to Executive Director Jeff Stepakoff, the intent is to offer for-credit courses in conjunction with the University System of Georgia (USG) and the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) along with continuing education course work. “There is tremendous support and interest in the film academy,” said Stepakoff, a professor of film and television writing at Kennesaw State University, who has been involved in producing, writing and content creation for both television and motion pictures. Stepakoff said industry partners, such as Pinewood Atlanta, are integral to the film academy’s goals and intent. “We’re very excited about the potential,” Stepakoff said. “We’re excited about putting Georgians to work on soundstages and on the set.” As for the film academy, Stepakoff said a letter on intent for the Georgia Film Academy shows approximately 10,000 sq. ft. in the Pinewood Production Centre, directly across Sandy Creek Road from the 288-acre

Pinewood Atlanta studio lot. Stepakoff said the potential exists for the construction of a 15,000 sq. ft. soundstage building. The location of the soundstage, whether on the production centre property or across the street on the studio lot, is not currently known. “We are in talks for that kind of facility. We do not have a start date. My understanding is that construction would take four to six months,” said Stepakoff. “We think of a facility like that as (similar to) a teaching hospital where people are trained to work in a real-world environment, and a quick-start model where people are trained to work with strategic partners.” With the opening of the film academy in Fayetteville, Pinewood Atlanta Studios will become the first industry partner in a joint venture between the Board of Regents, USG, TCSG and industry partners, Stepakoff said. “The intent is to have pilot classes with our academic partners (USG and TCSG) in January for the spring semester,” Stepakoff noted. “The intent is to offer courses for credit and those for continuing education.” Georgia Board of Regents Marketing and Communications Coordinator Sonja Roberts noted that the film academy is still a work in progress. The academy is looking to achieve a number of goals in spring 2016, she said. “This is a collaborative effort,” Stepakoff said of the arrangment, one that opens the Georgia Film Academy to all Georgians.

68 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

holiday gifting. Nearly 25 percent save for the holidays at least four months in advance, with half devoting at least two months to a holiday gifting fund. • 34 percent feel buying holiday gifts from the store is old school and instead believe that “spreading DIY cheer” by creating more personalized gifts makes a bigger

statement. Though they love being able to get nice gifts for everyone on their list, more and more Millennials are morphing into fiscally minded adults who realize they have a budget to stick to. For more information and ways to save, visit

Georgia Film Academy opens enrollment for January classes Georgians who want to get on the fast track to a career in professional filmmaking can now enroll  in pilot classes for the Georgia Film Academy’s inaugural semester. The Georgia Film Academy, a uniquein-the-nation, statewide effort to train Georgians for lucrative jobs in  the film industry, will begin offering  classes in  January, in partnership with the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia. “In response to the tremendous growth in the industry, Governor Nathan Deal and the State of Georgia have initiated an unprecedented, cooperative effort among all higher education institutions to deliver an industry-recognized, professional training program,” said Jeffrey Stepakoff, executive director, Georgia Film Academy. “On-set film workers are needed, but even entry-level jobs require a very specific set of skills. The Georgia Film Academy certification puts students on the fast track to gainful employment.” The pilot  certification program  is comprised of two courses designed to provide students with on-set film production skills. The first course combines classroom instruction and hands-on experience with industry standard equipment.

The second course is a semester on-set, where students learn and hone their craft while working on the crew of a professional production. “We’ve seen a great level of interest in the Georgia Film Academy from potential students and anticipate these classes will fill quickly,” said Matt Arthur, Deputy Commissioner for the Technical College System of Georgia. “The Georgia Film Academy gives us a collaborative framework to fill the needs of Georgia’s film industry, while training students for a productive, rewarding career.” The Georgia Film Academy pilot classes are available to current USG and TCSG students as well as non-students. Initially, these GFA courses will be offered on the campuses of Clayton State University, Columbus State University and Gwinnett Technical College. There are plans to expand the courses to additional campuses, as well as Pinewood Studios, in Fayetteville, in the near future. Space is limited for the the Spring 2016 semester, but there are plans to expand the program in the Fall. For more information on registration, or to learn more about the Georgia Film Academy, visit

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


Humor Nora Blithe

Escape Plan

Writer can’t get out of husband’s Christmas party I was trapped at my husband Brian’s work Christmas party with no obvious means of escape. I know because I’d spent the last 30 minutes trying to squeeze out through an undersized bathroom window. Brian busted me when I wasn’t back before snacks were served. It’s unlike me to miss snacks. He told me he figured I had either died or made a break for it, and that if I snuck out without him, I would die, rather literally, when he caught up to me. “Fine,” I snapped at him in a hushed whisper. “I’ll come back to the stupid ‘party,’ (I object to the use of that word) but you’re going to owe me.” “You’re missing snacks,” he tempted me. I rolled my eyes and climbed off the toilet.

70 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

“Here,” he said as he handed me my boots. I’d taken them off when I crawled onto the toilet to access the window because I was afraid their hard soles would make noise on the ceramic and my escape would be thwarted. Turns out the narrow window and my not-so-narrow hips prevented my escape anyway. I eat too many stupid snacks. I put my boots back on and followed him out of the bathroom. I made a genuine effort not to pout. I’m not sure I managed it, but I gave myself points for effort. The other guests were seated in my husband’s boss’ living room sipping “holiday punch” (fruit punch sans adult beverage) and munching slices of American cheese and Saltines. I shot Brian a nasty look. These were the snacks I’d traded my freedom for? Even my 5-year-old niece would know I’d gotten a bad deal. The guests munched like cows. No one dared move from their chair for fear they would draw attention to themselves. No one spoke, possibly for the same reason, or more likely it was that they had nothing meaningful to say. To pass the time, I nibbled a cracker and eyed each of Brian’s coworkers trying to decide who would snap from boredom first.

I was afraid it would be me. Why are actual work holiday parties nothing like the parties on TV? Just once in my life, I want to chug a bottle of champagne and dare a coworker to photocopy his bare bottom. Is that too much to ask? When our sentence ended and we were released from the party, Brian and I fled to our car. “You’re a free woman,” he teased. “Want to stop and buy a bottle of bourbon?” “Nope,” I replied. “Champagne.” “Really,” he asked surprised. I rarely

drink champagne. “Yup, really.” If I couldn’t chug the stuff at a party, I’d chug it after a “party.” Besides, Brian doesn’t drink champagne so I wouldn’t have to share it with him. To be fair, I did warn him that he would owe me. Nora Blithe is an Augusta native, an entrepreneur and a syndicated humor columnist. She lives in Greenville, S.C., with her husband, Brian, and their pets. Read more of her humorous insights online at or follow her on Twitter at

Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016 Buzz on Biz


72 Buzz on Biz Dec. 17, 2015–Jan. 20, 2016

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