MAY 19—JUNE 15, 2016 • THE CSRA’S MONTHLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Starting fresh with a dream and a legacy Job loss leads to changes for Beth Pence, her son and a company
By Gary Kauffman When Beth Pence lost her human resources job last fall, she decided to take a completely different career path – and along the way, created a legacy for her son and changed the culture of a company. Pence was working in the human resources department at Quad/Graphics in Evans last fall when the company announced it was closing the Evans plant. With 30 years of experience in HR, Pence soon had offers to join other companies. But she had different ideas – she bought a printing business. She is the majority owner of AlphaGraphics next to the Martinez Post Office. The minority owner is her son, Phillip. AlphaGraphics is a national chain of about 260 franchises based in Salt Lake City. College friends who own an AlphaGraphics franchise in Knoxville, Tenn., urged her to buy the franchise in Martinez. She took the
Phillip Pence and Beth Pence with their employees at AlphaGraphics, Lisa Davis, Debbie Cliatt and Mike Springstead. Photo by Gary Kauffman
plunge in February. “It wasn’t hard to make the decision to get out of HR,” Pence said. “It’s a different profession but I knew I’d have to relearn pro-
cesses and systems (at a new job), so why not do that in my own business?” Phillip was a key component of the plan from the beginning.
He graduated from Georgia Southern University in December with a degree in marketing. He had a job offer in Atlanta and had already made living arrangements there when his parents urged him to become a coowner in the business that offered a lifetime of employment. “It keeps me in line because I’m their retirement plan,” Phillip said. “Owning my own company right out of college isn’t a bad strategy.” Pence said AlphaGraphics encourages such “legacy” ownership deals because it creates continuity for them through generations, which is much better for the company than retraining new owners every 10 or 15 years. But Pence said they are unique as the only mother-son legacy owners. While the co-ownership and legacy were a good start, Pence realized there was another challenge to deal with – neither she nor Phillip had any experience in the printing world. But they had three employees who did. “AlphaGraphics braced us that we would lose all of our employees right away,” Pence said. But she realized the value of the employees’ experience and in her second week as owner, she called a meeting – to give everyone more money. See STARTING FRESH, page 4
Education to make dreams come true
Megiddo Dream Station turns the unemployable into the employable By Amanda King Kay Benitez has a simple dream – to take able-bodied people from dependence on government assistance to enjoying full-time work in local businesses. Through her work as Megiddo Dream Station’s executive director, Benitez is well on her way to accomplish her dream and help others achieve their own dreams. Megiddo Dream Station is an education program that takes people from unemployment to employment by teaching them the skills necessary to succeed at a job and in life. The average student is 35 years old with three children and has been out of work five or more years. Education among the students ranges from GED recipients to PhD honorees. Benitez said that 95 percent of graduates go on to obtain a job, a much higher success rate than other programs throughout the country. Many of the remaining five percent
attend school to obtain more job training before entering the work force. The dream begins Megiddo Dream Station began after Benitez wrote an article in a local newspaper on poverty and its impact on crime. At the time, Benitez was working for Golden Harvest Food Bank and was well versed in those statistics. The day that the article ran, Weldon Wyatt, a local businessman and visionary, contacted her and wanted to meet. He recognized a need for job and skills training among the community of Graniteville. Many of the local plants had closed in recent years, leaving many people without jobs and relying on government assistance. Wyatt wanted to fund the organization and wanted Benitez to run it. See EMPLOYABLE, page 2
Members of the Hospitality Class at Megiddo Dream Station. Photo contributed
EMPLOYABLE continued from page 1 After prayerful consideration, Benitez accepted the offer and began researching similar programs throughout the United States. What she found was not reassuring. Many of the similar programs that she read about had little success, with only 15 to 20 percent of participants able to obtain jobs after graduation. “I realized this was going to be a challenge,” Benitez said. “But every person that comes through that door, I want them to truly believe that they are going to have a job when they get through so I’m not going to be okay with 20 percent odds.” Something completely different She knew that to get different results, she was going to have to do something completely different from the programs she had researched. She began talking with employers to find out what they wanted from their employees. With the information she gathered and pieces from some of the more successful programs, Benitez and other volunteers designed a 16-week curriculum to teach students how to obtain and keep a job. “If you want to be a good employee, you’ve got to add value to that company,” Benitez said. The first class launched in October 2012 and graduated in January 2013. After many graduates began working, Benitez and the instructors followed up with their employers to find out what employees were excelling in and what skills still needed to be learned or tweaked. “It’s our desire to give you an employee and say, ‘That’s the best employee that’s ever walked through the door,” Benitez said. The program eventually became an eight-week course, holding classes four times per week. Classes focus on communication skills, how to prepare a resume and cover letter, goal setting and conflict management. Students take trips to local businesses for tours and are visited by successful business owners who have also gone through hard times with jobs and life. Some speakers share their personal stories of being laid off or not completing high school only to go on to own or manage large companies. “We bring those people in to show them that if you work hard, there’s hope, but no one here is saying this is easy,” Benitez said. “And we want them to understand that nothing they have done is bigger than God’s grace.” Practical education One day per week, the students participate in Bible study to teach them leadership and servanthood in the workplace and to illustrate how people with troubled pasts can move on to accomplish great things. Students also learn to set up a budget to help them manage their income after they obtain a job. With many of the students relying on government assistance for years, most have not had to budget their personal finances. Instructors also stress the importance of
2 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
Employers have been extremely pleased with the work ethic and drive of the workers from Megiddo. filing important documents such as social security cards and birth certificates. With many of the students frequently moving, some no longer have those documents which are required for employment. Each student is given an accordion folder to secure such documents. Megiddo operates on a point system for participation and attendance. Points are accrued if students are late, absent or fail to turn in an assignment. If they accumulate too many points, they cannot graduate. “We want it to mean something when someone graduates from here. We want our employers to know that when they hire someone, they will be dependable,” Benitez said. While the program is tuition-free, each participant is required to complete 20 hours of volunteer work with any non-profit, including Megiddo. Benitez said many students assist with cleaning the yard of the Megiddo station or other daily operations of the agency. “We want them to learn that nothing should be for free, that they shouldn’t be taking handouts,” she said. “They are perfectly capable of working, perfectly capable of doing something of value and therefore they should do that.” Megiddo has four transitional homes to help some students as they transition from government assistance to living off of their wages. Graduates also have the opportunity to take classes for more specific job training in care giving, construction, sewing and other skills. Happy employers Employers have been extremely pleased with the work ethic and drive of the more than 250 workers from Megiddo. Many want to know when each class graduates so they can hire from the program. There are currently Megiddo Dream Stations in Graniteville, North Augusta and Aiken and the non-profit is in the process of setting up locations in Evans and New Ellenton, and in Edgefield and Richmond counties. The agency runs on donations and various fundraisers throughout the year including the popular Diamonds and Denim silent auction. With so many students assisting Megiddo with volunteer hours, costs are very low for a non-profit with such an incredible impact. There is also a capital campaign to help launch more training classes. For more information on Megiddo, visit mdssc.org.
Publisher’s Notes Neil Gordon
Dreams Come True
We’re blessed to have fulfilling careers in the CSRA I am so thankful to all of the men and women of the military who give us entrepreneurs and employees the freedom to choose the way we feed our families each week. I’m hoping you’ll read a special eight-page insert called “Patriot Times.” It is underwritten by John Reeves of Bellevue Memorial Gardens and worked on by our team and his marketing firm, The Clarion Group, headed by Bert
Dean. Reeves invites all of our readers to his special Memorial Day event, which is highlighted in the special section along with some patriotic information and info about Bellevue. I was at last year’s ceremony and was really touched by the honor and peace bestowed that day – and by Reeves’ generosity as each attendee was given a surprise treat. Buzz on Biz also produced the second of two Women in Business issues with new features on one of the siblings who now runs Turner Keyboards and Jame Geathers of Geathers Consulting, plus we revisit features from our April 21 edition with Kellie Pugh of Morningside Assisted Living, Melissa Gordon of Melsharo Photography and Julie Lanham of Vacations To Remember. One of my favorite advertorials in the Women in Business section is about family attorney PJ Campanaro, a solo practitioner in Evans looking to grow her business and her charitable work. The writer for that feature is former Channel 6 News Anchor Chris Kane,
who met PJ while both worked on the LLS “Woman Of The Year” campaign. A pair of former QuadGraphics employees also grace the pages of this edition – our cover story is on Beth Pence taking over a printing business with her son and on page 23 we profile the efforts of Betty Kingdom as she lives out a lifelong dream of being in the baking biz! Speaking of dreams – take a few minutes and read Amanda King’s story on the Megiddo Dream Station on page 1 and how a wealthy businessman has changed the lives of hundreds of unemployed people in the CSRA. The old Sibley Mill is getting a facelift as Augusta Cyberworks, a hub for the many cyber activities in our area. They already have announced a new tenant, local IT security specialists EDTS. When former Atlanta Braves pitcher Matt Childers went as far as he could go in professional baseball (Japan) he decided to come home and inspire other young players to make it to “The Show.” Editor In Chief Gary Kauffman’s feature is the cover story on our Social
Buzz page. Sports and business really do mix – especially if it can bring employees to work better together on the team. On page 16 we look at how Putt-Putt, Adventure Crossing and the Palmetto Shooting Complex play a part in letting company leaders de-stress and bond as a work unit. You’ll also enjoy getting to know our Businessperson of the Month, Thomas Herlong of Herlong and Doran Financial Group. He has a long history of helping people, something he plans on doing for quite some time. And, of course, we have our usual stable of workhorse columnists bringing you their unique perspectives on the world of business. 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. You can reach him at Neil@buzzon.biz.
Features New Label......................... 4
Power Tools.................... 38
National Spotlight......... 55
A survey lists Augusta last among places to start a small business, but growth will change that in the near future.
The North Augusta Chamber of Commerce’s Power Luncheons offer valuable tools for businesses.
A North Augusta barbecue joint seeks a segment on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives TV show.
Business Events............ 40
Social Buzz............... 65-71
Women in Business...51-57
Former Major League pitcher Matt Childers is passing on his knowledge at his Platinum Sports complex.
Play Time........................ 16
Businesses are finding that fun team building events can improve employee morale and increase prductivity.
New Life for Old Mill........ 6 Businessperson of the The historic Sibley Mill will become a cy- Month: Thomas Herlong.20
Covering the Bases........ 67
ber center in the near future, and already has a new tenant.
Whether as a farmer or financial planner, Thomas Herlong has a passion for people.
Business Briefs............... 22
Changing of the Guard.. 14
Spring Cleaning.............. 30
Read about some of the CSRA’s leading women business owners.
A little cyber hygiene can keep your business safe online.
Special Section......... Insert
2016 Camp Guide........58-62
Bellevue Memorial Gardens plans a special Memorial Day event.
After 15 years of leading the Alliance for Fort Gordon, Thom Tuckey is retiring.
Columnists Mark Alison: A call response team helps net more potential clients......................................8 Kim Romaner: Simplify your exit strategy by thinking beyond yourself............................ 10 Kevin Wade: Hacker attacks are getting more clever by the minute................................... 10 Eddie Kennedy: Your attitude, not aptitude, determines your altitude............................. 14 Charles Kelly: Your computers should run as fast as you can think...................................... 18 Gary Kauffman: Quality, not price, determines a product’s real value................................ 18 Jeff Asselin: A quality blog can generate traffic to your website.......................................... 24 Christine Hall: Investment basis can be complex without good records........................... 24 Dagan Sharpe: Right strategies in pursuing life goals can help land the big one.......... 26 Mike Herrington: Disability, retirement health care require planning................................ 28 Barry Paschal: Inheritance can be messy if there is no will left behind.............................. 28 Kelsey Morrow: Social Media platforms allow scheduling posts in advance................... 30 Steve Swanson: Learning from failures can lead to ultimate success................................. 32
Justin Anderson: Keep looking until you know what is of real value.................................. 32 Doug Parker: When charged with a crime, a private investigator is a must...................... 36 Russell Head: What do you need to know about HIPAA audits?........................................... 42 Joseph Passarelli: Credit score has big impact on many areas of life.................................. 42 Carolyn Ramp: Healthy work relationships make jobs more enjoyable............................. 44 Carol Gignoux: Understanding how to use your mind leads to success............................ 44 Missie Usry: Homeschooled students can now apply for scholarships.............................. 46 Daphne Jones: Keep supervisors, employees aware of heat-related dangers................. 48 Jame Geathers: Evaluations put employees, employers on same page............................ 48 Susan O’Keefe: Ephesus serves up a variety of Mediterranean treasures.......................... 64 Ben Casella: Local brew among those that refresh during summer heat.......................... 68 Samantha Taylor: Good guys are a good choice for summer viewing................................ 68 Nora Blithe: Calendar creates calamity when planning a move............................................ 70
May 19—June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Augusta looks to change ‘bad for business’ label Survey lists Augusta in last, but positive changes on the horizon By Kelsey Morrow Augusta has been ranked the worst place to start a new business in a recent publication. However, this might not be true much longer, thanks to some major changes in the city’s small business environment. While the state of Georgia is often listed in the top three of states most favorable for entrepreneurs, the city of Augusta consistently does not even breach the list of top 10 cities in the state. In fact, in a recent survey in the American City Business Journal, Augusta came in dead last, 106 out of 106 cities on the list. Augusta fared slightly better in a survey by WalletHub, where it came in 64 out of 150 cities. Rebecca Kruckow, program coordinator
for the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC), said she wasn’t surprised by those rankings. But she’s a strong believer that those ratings will trend upward in the near future. “I think you’ll see a need for growth over the next 10 years,” Kruckow said. “The medical industry is rapidly expanding. In that industry alone there is expected to be growth approaching 20 percent over the next 10 years.” In addition to the medical industry, Fort Gordon has recently become the headquarters of the Army Cyber Command, which has already begun, and will continue, to expand Augusta’s cyber industry. Growth in these two main industries is predicted to put into place a chain reaction
More people are at work in Augusta than a year ago, according to the Georgia Department of Labor’s unemployment figures for March. According to the report, Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate for March was 5.9 percent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from 6 percent in February. The rate in March 2015 was 6.2 percent. The rate declined as employers created 1,800 more jobs, pushing the total to 229,000, up 0.8 percent, from 227,200 in February. Most of the increase came in leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and warehousing, professional and business services, financial activities, information services and other services, such as repair
and maintenance and personal services. Over the year, Augusta gained 1,300 jobs, a 0.6 percent growth rate, up from 227,700 in March 2015. Most of the job gains came in state and local government, retail trade, and financial activities, along with mining, logging and construction. The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 115, or 12.2 percent, to 1,060 in March. Most of the increase came in manufacturing and construction, accommodations and food services, and finance and insurance. And, over the year, claims were up by 65, or 6.5 percent, from 995 in March 2015. Also, Augusta’s labor force increased by 1,680 to a total work force of 257,839.
Augusta’s employment up
STARTING FRESH continued from page 1 “I gave them all an increase,” Pence said. “We decided we’d put our money where our mouth is.” Not only was there a salary increase, but Pence instituted a company-wide bonus program for increased sales. The three employees – manager Lisa Davis, graphic designer Mike Springstead and press operator Debbie Cliatt – have willing students in Pence and her son. “It’s fun for them to show me the business,” Pence said. “My mantra is, ‘I’ll pick up paper clips or do whatever you’re doing.’” Phillip, as sales manager, has also taken his turn at performing such tasks as collating a newsletter. Pence has also created a more relaxed and flexible work environment, something she learned from her years in human resources. “People are people and they have challenges,” Pence said. “It’s not always all about the work.” She also knows that having open conversation about the business with the employees, from income to expenses, creates a feeling of ownership and loyalty.
4 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
As she learns more about the business, Pence knows there will be some changes in systems and processes, but feels the knowledge she’s gaining from the employees will help her make decisions that will be good for everyone. So far she hasn’t seen any problems in working daily with her son. “We seem to really complement each other,” she said. “I’m the type of leader that I’m not going to treat him any different because he’s my son. The key is he’s an employee, I’m an employee, so we have to communicate like any other employees.” She is also looking forward to someday passing the business on to Phillip, something she said will be a gradual process rather than dumping it all on him at once when she retires. “Then he can take it where he wants to and put his own stamp on it,” she said. Although her career has taken a significant change, Pence said it’s been good for her, something even her husband has noticed. “It’s fun learning,” she said with a smile. “My husband told me I’m a happier camper.”
“I think you’ll see a need for growth over the next 10 years.” favorable for potential entrepreneurs. The larger companies in both the medical and cyber industries will have a need for small businesses to contract with, creating more opportunities for small businesses and business start-ups. In addition this new activity in the cyber and medical fields will result in a larger disposable income, which will create a climate favorable for new retail businesses to expand into the Augusta area as well. Essentially, expansion will breed more expansion. Augusta’s small business climate is also positively affected by the willingness of local financial institutions to provide capital for business start-ups. “We are fortunate that the financial institutions in our area are good at looking at solid business programs,” Kruckow said. Besides an idea and capital, a new business owner also needs a solid knowledge of business skills. For the Augusta community, this support is available through the SBDC.
“We have valuable programs available for those interested in starting their own business,” Kruckow said. The first of these programs entitled, appropriately, “Starting A Business.” It is a three-hour course held at least once a quarter. Participants in this class are exposed to the basics of entrepreneurship to see if it is the right decision for them. “Before you start a business, you need to decide if you are willing to take on the challenges and risks of owning your own business,” Kruckow said. “It’s not an 8-5 job. It’s a 24/7 job.” Once an entrepreneur decides they can handle the demands of running their own business, SBDC offers a program entitled StartSmart. The StartSmart program consists of eight three-hour courses designed to give participants the support and resources to make their business ideas a reality. StartSmart participants improve their knowledge of business fundamentals, introduce them to a network of business contacts, and develop a detailed business plan to make their dreams a reality. All of these resources combined should give Augusta the boost it needs to push their favorability for small businesses upward in the rankings – and help Georgia maintain its lofty status in the business world.
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 $49 to cover postage to the address below. Publisher Neil R. Gordon
Photography Gary Kauffman, Melissa Gordon
Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830
Writers Amanda King, Kelsey Morrow, Chris Kane
Sales Manager Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727 firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Janine Garropy/803-480-2800 email@example.com Tiffany Stone/803-640-0627 firstname.lastname@example.org Design Gary Kauffman
Calendar Coordinator Kelsey Morrow email@example.com Distribution Janine Garropy, Kenneth Brown, Tiffany Stone Submit Information firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
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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May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
The historic Sibley Mill, with its iconic chimney, has lain dormant for 10 years but will soon come back to life. Photo by Gary Kauffman
Sibley Mill gains new cyber life Historic building will become cyber campus The old Sibley Mill is gaining new life as a state-of-the-art cyber campus. The Augusta Canal Authority announced last month that it has leased the Sibley Mill property to Cape Augusta Digital Properties, LLC. Cape Augusta will be the master developer of the cyber campus, which stands to both galvanize Augusta’s growing status as one of the world’s cyber technology hubs and transform one of the most beautiful and historically significant properties in the region. The center will provide services that most people take for granted. “When you and I fire up our phones and pull things down from the cloud, that’s not really up in the sky,” Rebecca Rogers of the Augusta Canal Authority explained in a Buzz on Biz radio interview. “The cloud is a bank of high powered computers crunching away and sending it hither and yon 24/7. All over this world there are banks of computers that are doing that. Picture big white rooms full of computers.” The long-term lease was approved on April 25. The development, known as The Augusta Cyber Works, is envisioned as a cyber-technology park, anchored by a 10 Megawatt Tier 3 Data Center and complemented with a campus that supports a wide range of cyber-related employers and educational facilities. Tthe Canal Authority owns the adjacent King Mill and has granted Cape Augusta the rights to expand this initial development to include King Mill as Standard Textile brings
6 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
its operations to a close. “They will also sublease space to companies that go by the term ‘data aggregators,’ who pull things together,” Rogers said. “And other businesses as well, which could also mean that we’ll have room for software developers and other people that do the kinds of things that you and I as end users can appreciate, but don’t quite understand how they work.” Phase 1 ground breaking is planned within a matter of weeks. Cape Augusta will host a launch event at the historic mill site and unveil the Cyber Works development in more detail. The full build out of the facility may take up to five years. James Ainslie, Chief Executive Officer of Cape Augusta, indicated that the site would be a phenomenal asset to the city. “For Augusta to be a go-to destination in technology it must take bold steps to be competitive with the major technology markets,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that the Augusta Cyber Works development has all the components necessary to galvanize the research and development and commercial activity that are required to focus the incredible energy that we see in Augusta around cyber.” Rogers said that because Fort Gordon brought cyber to the top of the conversation in Augusta, it is possible that cyber security will be a component in the building’s use. “There have been conversations with a lot of the players that have been expressing interest in all things cyber in and around our
community, such as Fort Gordon, Augusta University, and other private companies,” she said. Ainslie added, “As has already been hinted by Augusta University President, Brooks Keel, our vision includes a robust partnership with Augusta University. They are an incredibly important stakeholder for our project and will be instrumental in shaping how we plan our development. Skills development and ‘Cyber Education’ are priorities to make Augusta attractive to our potential tenants, and we intend for this to be a major part of our facility and allow us to expand our net much more broadly than that associated with a conventional data center campus.” Sibley Mill sits on the site of the former Confederate Powder Works; its 153-foot chimney still dominates the property’s skyline. Constructed from bricks from the demolished Powder Works buildings, Sibley Mill ceased operation as a textile plant in 2006 after continuous operation since 1882. The Canal Authority purchased Sibley in 2010 and assumed operation of the mill’s hydropower plant after acquisition. The Authority will continue to operate the hydropower plant inside the mill and provide Cape Augusta electricity and water for cooling the data center’s computers. “The existing hydro generators in these mills offer a vital and unique opportunity for this facility to be more efficient and sustainable,” says Ainslie. “We expect our data center and campus to be a reference study for the implementation of green energy.”
EDTS first to move into Cyberworks It didn’t take long for a company to announce it would join the new Augusta Cyberworks in the Sibley Mill. IT services provider EDTS announced on Thursday that it would move its headquarters to the mill as the anchor tenant for Phase 1 of the project. EDTS signed a 10-year lease for 32,500 square feet of space. EDTS has more than 75 employees and currently has its headquarters in downtown Augusta. It also has offices in Greenville, S.C., and Columbia. “We see our new location at Augusta Cyberworks as the ideal next step in our mission of providing our clients with state-of-the-art security and information management services,” said Charles Johnson, CEO of EDTS. “At Augusta Cyberworks, EDTS will be at the front door of this eminent technology hub and working side by side with an array of leading companies in the technology space. This will be a major advantage for EDTS and for the clients we serve.” James Ainslie believes the mills and Harrisburg areas are on the brink of rebirth, and the plans for Augusta Cyberworks is already drawing interest from outside the area. “Following our announcement last week, we have already received numerous inquiries from major national cyber security consulting firms,” Ainslie said. “Clearly there is enormous demand for our product.”
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Business Marketing Mark Alison
A call response team helps net more potential clients I called an attorney’s office the other day around 3 p.m. to make an appointment for a consult. I had researched ahead of time to be sure they specialized in business law and asked my CPA for some referrals. All three firms looked equally good on-line. I chose the one who looked the most like me…bald. I hoped there might be some wisdom in there. The receptionist answered and I asked for the lawyer by name, explaining in brief the reason for my call. “He’s in a meeting right now but I can put you through to his voice mail,” she said politely. I left my message, name and repeated my number twice. By noon the next business day – no return call. So, I called another attorney. I’ll bet I’m not alone in this frustration. As a marketer it’s doubly disconcerting because we are paid to deliver motivated customers. When the first touch is lost before it begins, money and energy is wasted. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to be the case. When we created the first-ever marketing campaign for a joint replacement medical practice, we understood the consumer, the decision maker and the limitations of a medical practice. Neither a receptionist nor a nurse is a professional sales person. But we needed to capture the lead when they called and respond appropriately. We also needed a backup process to be sure the potential patient was well served and the lead was not lost. Basically we created a call response team. Here’s how it worked: 1. Lead generated through external marketing calls the practice. 2. Secretary assessed the nature of the call using a simple call response flow chart we developed. It was easy to follow. Minimal training necessary. 3. Packet of information sent to the lead. Observing
HIPAA regulations, the information was passed to a qualified caseworker for follow up and a due date assigned. The caseworker was held accountable by a senior member who met with them each week to assess progress on each assign. 4. The caseworker called at a time designated following the packet arrival and spoke with the responsible party. Following a similar call response flow chart he/she had the goal of setting an appointment. That’s the 30,000-foot view. Simply setting up a call response team and a process helped net potential patients that may otherwise have fallen through the cracks like my call did to the attorney. The external campaign we developed created calls. The internal marketing procedure we implemented turned them into business. Our capture rate with the joint replacement group was nearly 100 percent and the conversion to actual appointments within six months was over 60 percent. I spoke with a realtor last month who told me his sales were very good. “What do you attribute that to?” I asked. “I answer my phone,” was his reply. “Most realtors let the call go to voice mail and call back later. But the person on the other end won’t wait. They’ll call someone else.” Consumers are more impatient today. It was not that long ago when we waited 10 days or more to get a reply to a business query; typically by letter in the mail. A recent customer service study shows the amount of time people are willing to wait for a company response has gone down from 10 days to 10 minutes in just one generation. It’s simply too easy to dial another number or shoot out another e-mail. Back to my attorney call – his slow/ no response made me second-guess him. I figured he might be just as slow about handling my legal needs if I signed up with him. He made up my mind for me. When external tactical marketing is paired with well-designed internal execution, the ROI can be spectacular.
Most people are too close to the business to develop this “hand-in-glove” program. They don’t see the cracks and, eventually, the excuses why things slipped through become tiresome and the whole internal support process is abandoned. At the increasing cost of securing business, that simply cannot be tolerated. If one person is responsible for your lead capture and fails, I suggest re-education, motivation or termination. As Tom Peters admonishes, to build a great business, “Make sure you have the right people on the bus.” A well-designed program will work! It’s not just in the service sector either. Let’s suppose I need tires for my wife’s car. Response time is immediate on Amazon. I click – “tires.” Click – rating. Click – consumer comments. Click –comparative pricing. Click – selection. Click – bought. Why would I buy a set of tires online, for example, and not through a local dealer? Well, my call locally isn’t
handled timely and professionally so Click – I hang up. I figure it’s the same tires, same price. They ship them to my installer and he puts them on my car. I’d prefer to shop local but the local tire guy put me on hold and Amazon didn’t. Multiply that a few thousand times and you see the magnitude of the business lost. Marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. It has to be executed. Your phone and inbox are the place where the first hand shake takes place. Make it a good one. Our company, the Alison Group specializes in helping business happen at the hand-shake level. We’ll be happy to explain more when you call. By the way, that attorney has yet to call me back. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Georgia Power plans to lower its fuel rates by 15% Georgia Power has filed a plan with the Georgia Public Service Commission to reduce its fuel rates by an additional 15 percent. This new reduction, if approved by the PSC, is expected to lower the total monthly bill of the typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month by approximately $4.60, beginning June 1. The reduction in the company’s fuel rate is primarily driven by lower natural gas prices due in part to increased natural gas supplies. When combined with a previous
8 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
fuel rate reduction which went into effect in January, the same Georgia Power residential customer will pay nearly $10 less in fuel costs each month. In addition, last week, Georgia Power announced that its base electric rates will remain flat through 2019. This three-year base rate assurance for all of the company’s 2.5 million customers followed a vote by the Georgia PSC on an agreement connected to the pending merger of Southern Company (the parent company of Georgia Power) and
AGL Resources. Due to proactive planning and a continued commitment to developing a diverse and balanced fuel mix, Georgia Power is able to take advantage of lower natural gas prices and pass these savings along to customers. New natural gas generation in place serving customers today includes Plant McDonough-Atkinson and Plant Yates. Additionally, thousands of new solar panels are also being installed across Geor-
gia with carbon-free new nuclear generation at Plant Vogtle scheduled to come online beginning in 2019. Georgia Power consistently offers rates that are below the national average. Over the past 26 years, the company’s total retail rate has averaged more than 13 percent below the national average. The company’s total retail price of 9.22 cents per kilowatt-hour at the end of 2015 was more than 14 percent below the national average.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Business Leverage Kim Romaner
Simplify your exit strategy by thinking beyond yourself If you’ve been in the business world awhile, you’ve probably heard of “continuous improvement,” or “kaizen,” a Japanese word simply meaning change for the better. But today, it’s not enough to simply continuously improve, says Hitachi, the 40th largest company in the world. It’s about predicting where your company needs to be next (thanks, Wayne Gretzky), given a quickly changing digital economy that is now looking to big data analytics, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, drone deliveries of Amazon products (now being tested in countries around the world), virtual reality, and so on. Some of you may be reading those last lines and thinking, “…Oy! Who has the energy to absorb all of this?” If you are one of those people and a business owner, you might want to consider selling your business now.
I don’t say this lightly. Many business owners have gone on for years, even decades, by providing great customer service, getting referrals and owning their niche. But they also have built their businesses around themselves, rather than around a sustainable model that thrives without them. For some business owners, it’s a question of control. They can’t or won’t delegate responsibility because they don’t trust any of their employees to manage their customers, processes or money well. Granted, managing employees is often the hardest part of running any business enterprise, but without a team, the business’ value will be diminished. In fact, the number one driver of business value is the quality of its management team – after you leave. For other business owners, it’s the inability or lack of desire to absorb the changes that are going on in their industry, their local economy and the world. I know many business owners who “played the peak” of their business and industry, but then held on beyond the time where they could continue to add value to the business or its customer base. Note: Those millennials you’re hiring could add the value that you cannot, despite your possible disagreement with their work habits. And for yet other entrepreneurs, simplifying life rather than complicating it becomes the primary goal, which then stifles the growth of the business
Business Systems Kevin Wade
Protecting Your Data Hacker attacks are getting more clever by the minute With so many access points from cell phones to laptop and home computers, how can anyone hope to keep their network safe from hackers, viruses and other unintentional security breaches? The answer is not “one thing” but a series of things you have to implement and constantly be vigilant about, such as installing and constantly updating your firewall, antivirus, spam-filtering software and backups. It’s a full-time job for someone with specific expertise.
10 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
Want to know what every hacker hopes you believe? “We’re small…nobody wants to hack us.” This is the No. 1 reason why companies get hacked. They dismiss the importance of IT security because they’re only a “small business.” If you aren’t giving IT security the attention it deserves, how do you think your clients would feel about that? If for no other reason, you need to do it to protect your clients’ data, even if the only stored information is their e-mail address. If your system gets compromised, hackers will now have access to your client’s e-mail addresses and can use that for phishing scams and virusladen spam. I’m sure your clients want you to be a good steward of their information and privacy, so stop lying to yourself and get serious about putting essential security practices in place. The No. 1 threat to your security is… you! And your employees. We are our own worst enemies through the seemingly innocent actions taken every day online. In most cases, this is done without malicious intent – but if you as a manager or owner aren’t monitoring what web sites your employees are
on just about every dimension. There’s nothing wrong with simplification, per se. But if you have a desire to sell your business and pocket some cash, simplify your life after you sell it! For those business owners who are still energetically involved in their businesses, looking to create any advantage they can, and desiring to grow the value of their businesses for a significant exit, a good idea would be to have an outside business advisor review the various aspects of your company to determine where the opportunities lie. A quick story: We are being asked to represent a motorsports dealership for sale in the northeast. The seller has informed us that yes, they lost money in 2015 on $3.5 million in revenue, but it
was because their brand supplier had decided to open a competitive new dealership not too far from their store. However, a quick review of their financials shows that their expenses are up year over year $100K, and unless they spent the entire amount on marketing, they might just not be managing the business very well. Also, gross profit has been down a point every year for four years in a row, and significant “Other Income” seen in previous years was gone in 2015. Have they possibly lost focus on the most profitable products and services they offer? Our consulting engagement will tell. A predictive improvement mindset would have anticipated a competitor moving into the company’s geographic space and prepared for it, but there is no substitute for good business management. Make sure you and your team are watching the details and correcting often to stay on track in both good and difficult times, but also look to the future and incorporate as much of it as you can in your business operations and planning. Kim Romaner is president of Transworld Business Advisors of Augusta, a business brokerage and franchise consulting firm, and a MultiMillion Dollar Member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB). To learn more about improving the value of your business, selling it, or finding the right business to buy, call Kim at 706-383-2994, x802, or email her at email@example.com.
Stop lying to yourself and get serious about putting essential security practices in place visiting, what files they’re sending and receiving, and even what they’re sending in company e-mail, you could be opening yourself up to a world of hurt. One thing you can (and should) do is configure your firewall to document and monitor which web sites users are visiting. Almost all enterprise-level firewalls have this ability built in; you simply need to configure it and monitor the reports (something we can certainly help you with). Once that basic foundation is in place, the next most important thing you can do is create an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and train your employees on how to use company devices and other security protocols, such as never accessing company e-mail, data or applications with unprotected home PCs and other devices. Also, train them how to create good passwords, how to recognize a phishing e-mail, what web sites to never access and other simple
security tips. Never assume your employees know everything they need to know about IT security. Threats are ever-evolving and attacks are getting more sophisticated and clever by the minute. It’s up to you to set the rules, write it into an AUP, train employees on what is and isn’t acceptable and then get them to sign the AUP. Kevin Wade is President and CEO of IntelliSystems, a local IT management and telecommunication company with offices in Augusta, Aiken, and Columbia. In addition to meeting the technology needs of small and mediumsized companies, including sourcing computer and networking hardware and software, providing day-to-day IT support, installing cabling and wireless network systems, and design and installation of telephone systems, IntelliSystems works to help medical practices reach and maintain HIPAA compliance. He can be reached at 706-722-2024 or by emailing him at kevinw@ intellisystems.com.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Local economy doing better than last year
Augusta’s economy remains poised for growth. According Simon Medcalfe, associate professor of finance at the James M. Hull College of Business at Augusta University, the March Leading Economic Index edged up a tiny 0.2 percent from February. But that was an increase of 2.7 percent from March 2015. Components that positively affected the index were job openings and the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Job openings are at their highest level since last summer which bodes well for the labor market in the future. However, the Augusta Labor Market Index indicates an unchanged current situation from February. Other leading indexes are also showing small increases reflecting slow growth in the coming months.
buzz bits Arts in the Heart gains wider recognition The Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival is gaining recognition from outside the local area. Arts in the Heart is present on two important lists published by the tourism and arts industries: Southeast Tourism Society’s (STS) Top 20 list for September and Sunshine Artist Magazine’s Top 200 Festivals List. It has also been voted Best Local Festival by readers of both Augusta Magazine and Columbia County Magazine for several years. The STS Top 20 Festival and Event Awards have highlighted programs around the Southeast since 1985. Travel industry experts select 20 events per month, and STS publicizes them throughout the United States. “The Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Festival and
University rates high in patient Georgia ranks in top 10 as best safety Patient safety is paramount when you are in the hospital. for business Georgia is once again among the best in Chief Executive magazine’s annual list of the best states for business. The Peach State dropped three spots to No. 8 on the “2016 Best & Worst States For Business” list, which is based on CEOs’ rankings for every state’s tax and regulatory regime, the quality of the work force and the quality of the living environment. Here’s how Georgia scored: • No. 14 for taxation and regulation • No. 9 in workforce quality • No. 7 in living environment “Georgia is doing a good job of diversifying industries and its aggressive incentive program is working,” said Marshall Cooper, CEO of Chief Executive magazine. “Technology, entertainment, biotech and manufacturing are all growing in Georgia right now and the state should see strong benefits from their efforts in the years ahead.”
University Hospital is the only facility in the CSRA to receive an “A” rating in the Spring 2016 Hospital Safety Score, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from errors, injuries and infections. This is the fifth consecutive rating period that University has received this grade. The next closest grade in the CSRA was a “C”, and a number of facilities declined to submit their data to be included in the ratings. The Hospital Safety Score is compiled under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group, an independent industry watchdog. The first and only hospital safety rating to be peer-reviewed in the Journal of Patient Safety, the Score is free to the public and designed to give consumers information they can use to protect themselves and their families when facing a hospital stay.
12 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
Event list is an excellent guide for the Southeast’s visitors and residents,” said Bill Hardman, president and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society. “Events selected represent the best, and often most unique, activities in our region.” STS, founded in 1983 and headquartered in Atlanta, is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting tourism to and within 12 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. “Receiving the highest score possible on our ‘report card’ is a testament to University’s continued commitment to patient safety,” said University Health Care System President/ CEO Jim Davis. “Our mission, first and foremost, is to improve the health of those we serve and ensuring patient safety is a vital component of that mission.” The Hospital Safety Score uses 28 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single letter score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from preventable harm.
USC Aiken endows new professorship The University of South Carolina Aiken has a new endowed professorship, thanks to a contribution from Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. SRNS committed $550,000 to endow a professor for USC Aiken’s recently established Industrial Process Engineering bachelor’s degree program. Chancellor Sandra Jordan
Additionally, Arts in the Heart ranked No. 50 out of 200 on Sunshine Artist Magazine’s Top 200 Festivals List. Sunshine Artist is the country’s premier art and craft show magazine and has been in publication since 1972. It highlights topics and issues of interest to the professional artist/artisan, and it is widely respected in its field. Rankings are determined by confidential artist surveys. Arts in the Heart debuted on the Top 200 Festivals list at 76th place in 2013 and moved up to 67th in 2014. This year’s Festival dates are September 16-18, and the Festival will be located at the Augusta Common and Broad Street for the sixth year in a row. For more information, go to artsintheheart.com. said the gift will be a major asset in recruiting and retaining the best faculty for the program. The first students enrolled in the process engineering major will begin in the fall.
Economist says inflation figures may not be accurate
Simon Medcalfe, associate professor of finance at Augusta University Hull College of Business, believes that official inflation figures (currently 0.9 percent for March) may not fully capture changes in the general level of prices. The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects prices by personal visits or telephone calls each month in 87 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 retail establishments-department stores, supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other types of stores and service establishments. This approach clearly misses the increasing use of online shopping. A new “digital price
index” developed by Adobe covers three quarters of online shopping at America’s top 500 retailers and tracks 1.4 million goods. It shows, for example, that the online price of computers fell 13.1 percent relative to the 7.1 percent decline seen in the official inflation figures. Although the digital price index does not include spending in traditional outlets it does suggest that prices may not be rising as fast as official figures suggest.
Goodwill’s Boot Camp wins national award The Job Fair Boot Camp — a program offered by Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA — was recently named the 2016 Goodwill Volunteer Program of the Year by Goodwill Industries International. Each Job Fair Boot Camp is offered at least two days prior to a job fair and is free and open to the public. Volunteers teach classes with a set curriculum to address attire and appearance, what to bring and what not to bring to a job fair, how to approach a potential employer at a job fair, and, finally, how to follow up with a potential employer after the job fair is over. Attendees of the boot camp also get the chance to practice their introductions one on one with volunteers who role play as potential employers. In 2015, 29 volunteers helped 248 job seekers prepare for job fairs in Augusta, Aiken, Macon and Warner Robins. “The Job Fair Boot Camp is a perfect example of how Goodwill works with job seekers to meet specific needs in the community,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA should be proud of its work and the many lives changed by the special support they provide to job seekers.” The award will be presented during Goodwill’s annual Delegate Assembly in Omaha on Sunday, June 12.
North Augusta seeks ways to draw businesses
Attracting businesses to downtown North Augusta has been a goal for several years, but stringent codes about building appearances have turned some would-be businesses away. Last month city officials began taking a hard look at ways to modify the rules to make them more business-friendly. The officials started by expanding the area defined as the downtown. It now runs along Georgia Avenue from the municipal building to Jackson Avenue, just past First Baptist of North Augusta, and includes East and West streets on either side of Georgia. Also recommended was the lowering of the minimum building height from 24 feet to 18 feet, which would be friendlier to single-story establishments like restaurants. The requirement that a storefront be 50 percent window was also changed to requiring windows on all sides in keeping with the design and use of the building. All of the changes are just recommendations at this point and would become part of the building code only after going through the normal city council processes. The council and planning commission are still seeking input from the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce and others concerning ways to make the city more business friendly.
ments will be fraudulent. The study found that the implementation of chip and PIN services at point of sale locations in the United States is likely to be a key factor driving fraud activity online. It argued that the greater security afforded by chip cards would persuade fraudsters to switch their attention from the in-store environment to the Card Not Present, or online, space. The new study identified three hot areas for online fraud: eRetail (65 percent of fraud by value in 2020 - $16.6 billion) Banking (27 percent - $6.9 billion) Airline ticketing (6 percent $1.5 billion) The research highlighted two key areas for fraud within eRetail: “buy-online, pay in-store” and electronic gift cards. It argued that the continuing migration to online and mobile shopping, of both digital and physical goods (reaching over $1.7 trillion in 2015) will provide a further incentive for fraudsters to focus their attention on these channels. Meanwhile, the research claimed that although banks are able to counter online banking fraud by deploying new technologies such as 3D-Secure and device fingerprinting , these measures often only provide temporary respite as fraudsters quickly find new ways to defraud.
Public input sought on future of parks in Augusta The future of Augusta’s parks is in the hands of its citizens. The Augusta Commission, the staff of the Augusta Recreation, Parks and Facilities and their team of consultants has started developing a comprehensive master plan that will provide guidance and policy direction for Augusta Recreation, Parks and Facilities department. “To develop a comprehensive and community-driven 10 year outlook and plan (20162025), which we like to refer to as a health check-up of our low-wage areas. “Rural hospitals are the lifeline of their communities, but too many Georgia hospitals have been forced to close their doors in recent years,” Isakson said. “These hospitals serve some of the least economically developed areas in Georgia, and unfortunately, as a result, they receive some of the lowest Medicare payments in the country.” The Fair Medicare Hospital Payments Act would establish a national minimum “area wage index” of 0.874. The area wage index is based on the relative hospital wage level in the hospital’s geographic area compared to the national average. Over the past three decades, legislative and regulatory changes have combined with broader economic trends to create an uneven playing field that has resulted in hospitals losing out on millions of dollars in Medicare payments annually.
1.5 points higher than its sixmonth average of 57.9. New orders and production registered readings of 62.5 and 59.4 respectively. Employment increased 3 points to 62.5; with 31 percent of respondents reporting increased hiring. Employment’s apparent strength bodes well for manufacturing, as it remains strong regardless of new orders and production’s volatility. Commodity prices jumped 20.4 points to 65.6, 24.6 points above their six-month averages. The recent rise in crude oil prices may be somewhat responsible for this unusual jump. The strong drop off of new orders and production at first glance might be a concern, but April levels remain strong and employment’s upward trend suggests that respondents are fairly confident that current conditions are sustainable. In addition, 44 percent of respondents expect production to be higher in the next three to six months, according to Don Sabbarese, director emeritus of the Econometric Center and professor of economics at Kennesaw State University.
Georgia manufacturing’s new orders and production adjusted in April, after reaching unusually high levels, according to the Purchasing Managers Index released by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business. April’s PMI of 59.4 registered
Georgia has 10 billionaires
Senators seek fairness for Chip cards have rural hospitals U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., was among several senascammers tors who recently introduced Manufacturing turning to bipartisan, budget-neutral adjusts after legislation to ensure hospitals online fraud are fairly reimbursed for their high mark services by the federal governThe new emphasis on chip
credit cards may create greater security in stores, but may increase fraud online, according to a study by Juniper Research. The study projects that by 2020, online fraud will reach $25.6 billion, more than double what it was in 2015. This means that by the end of the decade, $4 in every $1,000 of online pay-
ment so they are able to remain open and functioning, especially in underserved and economically struggling regions. The Fair Medicare Hospital Payments Act of 2016 would correct a flawed formula that results in disproportionately low Medicare reimbursement payments to hospitals in rural and
parks and recreation system, we need your help,” said Ron Houck, interim director for the parks department in a letter on the city website. “As a community-driven plan which will shape the delivery of the Department’s provided leisure services in a
The United States has 540 billionaires, more than any other country in the world. Those who reside in Georgia are: • Cox Enterprises Chairman
manner that is consistent with Augusta’s sustainable goals and that meets the community’s level of service standards, we need to hear from you on what you expect from our park system, what amenities you would like to see, and how we can best serve your recreational needs.” Citizens can view the draft of the plan under the Technical Reports tab on the Recreation, Parks and Facilities website, planaugustaparks.com. The site will contain updates throughout the planning process. Jim Kennedy – net worth of $9.9 billion, No. 108 in the world and No. 42 in the United States • Chick-fil-A Inc. Senior Vice President Bubba Cathy – net worth of $3.4 billion, No. 495 (tie) in the world and No. 179 in the United States • Chick-fil-A Inc. Chairman and CEO Dan Cathy – net worth of $3.4 billion, No. 495 (tie) in the world and No. 179 in the United States • The Home Depot Inc. founder and philanthropist Bernie Marcus – net worth $3.5 billion, No. 495 (tie) in the world and No. 179 in the United States • The Home Depot Inc. and Atlanta Falcons owner founder Arthur Blank – net worth of $2.7 billion, No. 666 in the world and No. 240 in the United States • Rollins Inc. CEO Gary Rollins – net worth of $2.6 billion, No. 688 (tie) in the world and No. 248 in the United States • Rollins Inc. Chairman Randall Rollins – net worth of $2.6 billion, No. 688 (tie) in the world and No. 248 in the United States • Media mogul Ted Turner – net worth of $2.2 billion, No. 810 in the world and No. 288 in the United States • Mohawk Industries Inc. CEO Jeffrey Lorberbaum – net worth of $1.9 billion, No. 1,067 in the world and No. 372 in the United States • Spanx Inc. founder Sara Blakely – net worth of $1.19 billion, No. 1,577 in the world and No. 486 in the United States
May 19—June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Deeper Thinking Eddie Kennedy
Your attitude, not aptitude determines your altitude Business owners and entrepreneurs often face challenges and obstacles, but it is attitude, not skills, that will either help or hurt as you work through business problems. Your attitude can make the difference between your business succeeding or failing. Attitude is defined as a way of thinking that affects your behavior. When flying an airplane, attitude is the position of the aircraft in relationship to the horizon. It is the direction the aircraft is heading. Keeping the nose up and the power on will allow the aircraft to attain a higher altitude. A positive business attitude is having a can do, no matter what it takes or how long it takes outlook and determination to succeed. Successfully working through challenging times requires a positive attitude with the corresponding plans and actions to enable your business to power through whatever you are facing. Your positive attitude will help you see solutions or opportunities that will set you apart from other businesses. “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude towards what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” —Brian Tracy
In March 2005, as our family furniture business was finishing up a great first quarter, the City of Augusta closed Walton Way to begin construction on a bridge. The traffic to our store was almost completely blocked or detoured around our location. Our business went from great to nothing in a matter of days. Our staff started complaining about how long the road was scheduled to be closed and how this was going to affect our business. A few days later, I was telling my sister about the situation. She interrupted me and asked me to listen to what I was saying. I couldn’t believe what was coming out of my own mouth. I thought I had a good attitude. I didn’t realize that I had taken on a negative attitude, but my sister realized it and called me on it. If I kept my bad attitude, I would not be able to turn the business around and get it moving in a positive direction. I knew I needed to make a change. So, I spent the next few days changing my thinking, changing my speaking and changing my attitude. I began to focus on who we were, what we had and what we do that makes our business different. As I spent time thinking about those things, I began to believe that we could turn our situation around. I started spending time talking with our key employees about what I believed and they began to believe it also. We started a “Road Construction Sale” and invited people to drive through all the detours to save money. The event was very successful and we turned what could have been a bad summer into a really good one. “Whether you think you can...or you
think you can’t...you’re right.”—Henry Ford When you need to change your attitude, you have to first change your thinking. 1. Start by focusing on what you “can do” instead of what you “can’t do.” 2. Find people who have a positive attitude and spend time with them. 3. Review your business vision and mission and spend time thinking about what makes your business different from everyone else’s. 4. Re-frame the problem to find solutions. To keep your attitude moving in a positive direction, you have to change your speaking to match up to your new thinking. Put a guard on your mouth to be aware of what you are saying. Instead of speaking negative things about your business or situation, say something positive based on who you are and what you do. You might be surprised to learn
that you can talk yourself right into a positive attitude. Having a positive attitude will help you in your business by boosting your confidence, increasing your resiliency and giving you more energy and enthusiasm. Your persistence and tenacity will help you recover lost ground and improve your business. Your skills, talents and abilities work better with a positive attitude Before long, you will generate new ideas and plans plus have the boldness and courage to complete them. It is a cycle that will keep repeating itself as you continue to improve your attitude and your business. 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. com
Alliance for Fort Gordon leadership changes Relationships between the CSRA and Fort Gordon have been better the past 15 years, thanks to the efforts of Colonel Thom Tuckey, who worked tirelessly to help the community and businesses understand the needs at the Fort – and vice versa. Now Tuckey plans to retire from his position of Executive Director of The Alliance for Fort Gordon. The Alliance for Fort Gordon announced the retirement last week. Tuckey, U.S. Army retired, had served the community for nearly 15 years. “Our community, state and nation owe a great deal of gratitude to Thom for his tireless efforts in supporting Fort Gordon through BRAC and establishing a best-in-class relationship between Fort Gordon and the CSRA community,” said Stan Shepherd, Chairman of the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon. The new Executive Director is Command Sergeant Major Thomas Clark, U.S. Army, retired. Clark served the Army for
14 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
more than 32 years, culminating in his final assignment as the senior enlisted advisor to the Fort Gordon Commanding General. Since retiring in 2011, Clark has served as the Training Manager for General Dynamics Mission Systems at Fort Gordon. “Tom Clark has already demonstrated a commitment to the relationship between Fort Gordon and the Community while serving as Fort Gordon’s Command Sergeant Major,” Shepherd said. “He has maintained this commitment through volunteer activities since his military retirement.” Clark began with the Alliance May 10 to start a transition period alongside Thom Tuckey. “I am truly honored and humbled to be selected,” Clark said. “I love this region and can’t wait to get out in the community and make a difference.” With the change in Alliance leadership comes a revision of the Alliance mission. “The Alliance is in a unique position to
become the umbrella organization serving as the catalyst for the Fort Gordon Cyber District to become a nationally recognized
cyber center of excellence,” Ron Thigpen, Co-Chair of the Alliance’s Strategic Planning Committee, said. Through partnerships with economic development organizations, academia, cyberrelated businesses and non-profits the Alliance will promote the Fort Gordon Cyber District brand and inspire the building of a comprehensive cyber work force and high tech capabilities throughout the region and state. “Critical to this will be the promotion of increased investments in quality of life requirements for the region that will attract and retain a quality cyber work force,” said Committee Co-Chair Monty Osteen. The Alliance plans to maintain its focus on strengthening the partnership with Fort Gordon, knowing the importance of this military installation to the region, state and nation. By 2020, it believes the Fort Gordon Cyber District will have achieved national recognition as a destination for cyber work, life and play.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Sometimes business can be fun and games Team building events create better work place morale
By Gary Kauffman Forming teams to play laser tag. Racing in go-karts. Enjoying the outdoors and shooting clay pigeons. That doesn’t sound much like work, but a growing number of companies, from small business to large, are finding that scheduling a day away from the office for a little play time creates better morale, camaraderie and, ultimately, more productivity. “It’s about positive relationships with your co-workers,” Helen Bissell, event coordinator for Adventure Crossing in Evans, said. “When you’re away from the office or work place and having positive, enjoyable time with the people you work with, it’s a win-win. It’s good for morale, which is good for the company.” These events outside of work are often referred to as “team building.” Usually workers only cross paths at work, dealing with work issues, often in stressful situations. Not understanding a person’s personal life situation can create tensions between workers. That’s where a fun day away helps. “It’s a way to get to know people on a personal level,” said Grant Reagin, vice president of business development for Wesley Commons in Greenwood, S.C. “Everyone knows everyone else professionally, maybe too well. This way we find out who’s behind the briefcase.” Reagin brought a team of people to the Palmetto Shooting Complex in Edgefield recently to celebrate achieving a goal under stressful situations and to provide motivation for the next phase. Palmetto Shooting Complex is one of several area businesses that help companies organize team building events. Adventure Crossing in Evans and Putt-Putt golf in Martinez also organize fun getaways for businesses. Palmetto Shooting Complex Palmetto Shooting Complex opened in 2015 between North Augusta and Edgefield
A fun outing for a game of laser tag, miniature golf or skeet shooting can build camaraderie, morale and productivity. Photo contributed by Adventure Crossing.
under the auspices of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). Although it will eventually offer a complete shooting range, it currently operates trap, skeet and sporting clays areas. “For most groups that come out, it’s an eye-opening experience,” Pete Muller, public relations specialist with the NWTF, said. “It’s thinking outside the box.” With a 9,300-sq.-ft. open pavilion, a catering kitchen and a classroom, Palmetto Shooting Complex offers plenty of room for a corporate outing, even a large one. Muller said they can accommodate groups of 1,500 or more. Palmetto offers complete safety instructions for everyone before taking them to the range. It also supplies ammunition and even
has a few guns for people who don’t bring their own. Muller said the sporting clays – which simulate hunting experiences – are especially good for team building. “It gets people to focus beyond just their own goals,” he said. “It’s about building each other up.” Reagin was impressed with not only the facility, but in the way Palmetto catered to their needs. “It was nothing short of incredible,” he said. “We had one or two people who had never fired a weapon in their entire life and some very experienced shooters who hardly missed (a target). But I have a string of 50 emails going on and on about what a great experience it was. Some have even said this
may possibly be their new hobby.” Adventure Crossing Adventure Crossing offers shooting of a different kind – laser tag. It also has a small amusement park with rides, mini-golf and go-karts, as well as meeting space and a café. Bissell said one of the most popular team building venues is laser tag. It is the only multi-level laser tag facility in the southeast and provides printouts of total score, how many each shooter tagged and how many times they were tagged. “Laser tag is not just a kids’ game,” she said. “People tend to get very competitive with their work peers. They want to win. And it’s a good workout.” During the school year Adventure Crossing is open Thursday-Sunday, so businesses can rent the entire park on the off days. Bissell said a typical group is 20-50 people, but they can accommodate a range of 10-1,000. Bissell follows up with each group and has found an overwhelmingly positive response. “The groups get a lot accomplished in their meetings but they’re getting to insert fun into their work day,” she said. “It lets them be a kid again.” Putt-Putt Putt-Putt offers 36 holes of golf, plus batting cages, laser tag, bumper boats and, in a few weeks, bumper cars, as well as meeting rooms, an arcade and café. Owner Mark Ross said most businesses hold a meeting first to justify having some fun. “Fun is the selling point,” Ross said. “They’re getting to know the person outside of the work place, but it’s not just going someplace to eat.” Ross said a number of local businesses have used Putt-Putt to celebrate or reward employees, but a few dentist offices have even included patients in the fun. Creating teams for laser tag or even in the batting cages brings out the competitive nature of the employees, but in a fun way. “They earn the respect of their co-workers that way,” Ross said. “Some people have to be the winners, but we’re seeing a lot of laughs and smiles.” He added that the fact that some companies return repeatedly, or send other businesses their way shows him how important the team building concept is. “Crazy times are happening in the work place,” he said. “Putting a little fun in their lives is important.”
Survey: Richmond County last in nation in value for tax dollar An internet company called SmartAsset has ranked counties across the United States on who is getting the most bang from their buck for their property tax dollars. Coming in dead last among counties with a population of 50,000 or more was Richmond County. SmartAsset wanted to know who in the country is getting the best deal for their property taxes. To find that out it considered three questions: how good are the
16 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
schools, how safe is the area and how much are the property taxes. The effective tax rates were derived from national census data: The median amount of tax paid divided by the median home value in each county. To create the tax value index, the county school rankings have been divided by the total violent and property crime rates per 100,000 people in each county and then that
number is divided by the average property tax amount paid per person per year to obtain a number representing public service value per tax dollar. The number was then multiplied by 1,000,000 to form the tax value index. Basically, the greater the number, the more residents get for their tax dollars. According to that metric, Richmond County had a tax value index of 0.545, ranking it in last place. In comparison, the best
county in the nation, Floyd County, Ga., had a tax value index of 202.297. Richmond County, with a population of just over 200,000, has a tax per capita of $587 (almost $240 more than Floyd County), a violent crimes rate of 440 per 100,000, a property crimes rate of 5,812 per 100,000, and its schools rank near the bottom. Across the state line, Edgefield County was ranked as the best county in South Carolina.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Business Tech Charles Kelly
Speed of Thought Your computers should run as fast as you can think
You own a business and you use IT products and computers every single day. Many of the business owners I deal with make mistakes by thinking that speed doesn’t matter anymore. Buy a cheap computer or any brand with an i5 processor, 8GB of ram and an enormous hard drive and you are good to go, right? Well, not so much. Speed matters and it matters even more if your people are creating things or doing work with spreadsheets, videos, photographs or even text documents. A new computer, cluttered with advertisements and trial versions can run as slow as my kids run to mow our 5-acre lawn. I wrote last month about how solid state drives (SSDs) are making things faster, so I took some of my own advice and prepped a basic Bizz Box that sells for $599 and added an SSD to it. This machine is for our new intern who will help me digitize the thousands of photographs and papers
that I hold of my father’s life in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I was actually surprised at just how fast it booted and moved between programs. It operates more like a much higher-end computer that would sell for more than $1,000. So, this basic computer, with good cooling and power and a pretty decent processor with an SSD added boots in less than 10 seconds. I haven’t needed anything fast lately, but I can tell you that for our needs of scanning and processing the thousands of documents that this is the balanced computer we need. Salespeople will talk to you endlessly about how fast a computer is, how many megabytes it has and how much it will hold, but the fact is the sales staff in a big box store haven’t built computers so they are mostly spouting off random facts from a sales meeting. Your computer and every computer in your organization should run at the speed of your mind and the minds of your staff at their task. If you have to break your rhythm to wait for the computer to catch up, it’s too slow. If your video editor is tapping his or her fingers while the new edit renders, you are wasting time and breaking the concentration of a creative person. Most of the time a very good, very fast computer will cost you more up front, but will last longer, be up to the task of running at the speed of mind for your staff and will have less chance of breakdown. When or if it does break
Business Lessons Gary Kauffman
Quality, not price, determines a product’s real value “You get what you pay for” is one of those adages that prove true time after time. For example, a number of years ago when I was in the graphic design business I went to see a client of mine named Vernon. I’d done a brochure for his business and he’d indicated at the time that he’d like to update it annually. But when I asked Vernon about the update, he told me that he’d decided to use the services of one of my competitors. I naturally wanted to know if my work had
18 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
been unsatisfactory. No, Vernon assured me, the brochure I’d created was fine. But my competitor had offered to create a new brochure for him at a rate that was substantially lower than mine. As a small business owner, you always hate losing a client. So my initial reaction was to meet or possibly beat my competitor’s price. But I had also committed my business to producing high-quality products. A few moments’ thought made me realize I couldn’t possibly do the quality work I’d committed to for the price my competitor had quoted. I wished Vernon well and moved on. The following year I stopped to see Vernon about another matter. “By the way,” he said as I prepared to leave, “I’d like you to design a new brochure for me.” I naturally was curious about his change of heart. “It wasn’t quality work,” he said of my competitor’s efforts. “You do much better work.” I reminded him that I also charge more. “It’s worth it,” he said. As business owners, especially small
down, it will be worth the value of a repair and you won’t have the time and cost of a complete migration to deal with. In the long run, your cost per year is actually less than if you had purchased that cheap computer. Do yourself and your staff a favor and buy either a mid-range or higher-end computer and have an SSD installed as the boot drive. Even our basic Bizz Box with an SSD, depending on size, is only around $800. Want something faster? You might spend $1,200 to $1,500 but if you have a genius on your hands who is designing buildings and bridge spans, splurge a little and give that genius something fast and fantastic to
work with. Our computers are built by experts with the knowledge to choose, component by component, what you need. The SSD is a game changer as I mentioned last month, but to be in the game at the speed of your competitors, you need more than the cheapest box you can find. You need a solid, balanced computer with local sales and service.
Value and price are two very different things.
Before thinking solely on the effect on your bank account, it is wise to think about the overall benefit and long-range value of a product or service. Value and price are two very different things. Take my client Vernon, for example. He received far better value from paying me more to create a quality brochure that accurately displayed the quality of his product. Why? Because he was proud to distribute those brochures to his clients; he’d been ashamed to pass out my competitor-designed brochure. More distribution and a better display of his product meant increased sales – resulting in more “bang for his buck.” Quality will cost more upfront but in the long run, as Vernon learned, it’ll provide more value.
business owners, we’re used to watching our pennies. That is wise and frugal, but sometimes we fall for the fallacy that “cheapest” and “best” can somehow be equal. And that’s seldom the case. I’ve made that mistake myself. Once, when creating business cards for a client, I fell for a line from a printer who said he could do the same quality work for half the price of my regular printer. Thinking I could reduce my price to my client, making him happy, and make a little extra profit, making me happy, I agreed to give him the print job. Alas, the finished product was not only half the price, but half the quality. It was totally unacceptable to me and the client. I returned quickly to my regular printer. Not only did I not turn a bigger profit, I ended up being out some money since I obviously wasn’t going to pass along my cost for the cutrate printer to my client.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Businessperson of the Month Thomas Herlong, Herlong & Doran Financial Group
Passion for People
From farmer to financial planner, Thomas Herlong has a history of helping others By Gary Kauffman It doesn’t take a long conversation with Thomas Herlong to realize that altruism could have no better representative. Nearly everything the farmer-turned-financial guru says involves helping others in some way. “I’ve always had a passion to help people,” Herlong said. “If I’m making a good income it’s because I’m helping people.” At Herlong & Doran Financial Group, he and his partner, Andrew Doran, work to help people make the most of their money through investments and life insurance. Their “mother ship,” as Herlong calls it, is New York Life Securities and Insurance Co. It’s an association he’s pleased to have because it gives him access to a broad range of products that can help people, no matter their need. “Most financial agents do a good job and most insurance agents do a good job, but very seldom do they mix the strategies the way they should,” he said. “That’s what really separates us from the others.” Herlong has worked out of an office in Johnston, S.C., but opened a second office in Aiken because of the number of clients there. Herlong also has another avenue to help people. He is a member of The Nautilus Group, an elite 200-member affiliation of tax attorneys who do business planning for business owners and those with a high net worth. He is the only member in South Carolina. He said that while CPAs do a good job with yearly tax strategies, those in The Nautilus Group help develop tax strategies for a lifetime. “For some, over a lifetime, those strategies can make hundreds of thousands of dollars difference,” he said. Herlong still lives on the farm he grew up on, which he now leases out to raise peaches. He is married to former Miss South Carolina Jane Jenkins, a well-known motivational speaker and author who uses humor to combat negativity. “Most of the time I’m known as Jane’s husband,” he said. They’ve been married for 36 years after a whirlwind romance. They had a date one weekend, got engaged the following weekend and were married six months later. They have a daughter and a son. Herlong had expected to be a farmer after graduating from Clemson, but he also was looking beyond himself to see how he could help others. He became president of the Soybean Association of South Carolina. When a devastating drought hit in 1985, he formed the Fellowship of Christian Farmers, which later became a national organization. His activities on behalf of farmers – and his marriage to Miss South Carolina – caught the attention of Sen. Strom Thurmond. In 1990 Thurmond, under the auspices of President George H.W. Bush, had Herlong appointed as State Director of Agriculture for South Carolina, a federal post. In that capacity, Herlong implemented any federal issues that related to farmers. When Bush wasn’t re-elected, that appointment ended
20 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
and he was faced with a hard reality – farming as he knew it probably was no longer an option. By that time farming either had to be a large operation or had to be so small that it was a hobby, rather than a source of income. “We were in the middle,” Herlong said. “I saw the writing on the wall.” That’s when he was approached about an opportunity to be a financial agent through New York Life. “I knew nothing about financial institutions at the time,” he said. “It was a tremendous learning curve.” He feels fortunate that he became involved with New York Life because of the many resources they make available to him. “I don’t care how long I live or how much I know, I’ll never know it all,” he said. “That’s why it’s good to have all those resources.” Herlong sees a lot of his task as education. With so many varied opinions readily available on TV and the internet, clients often approach investment and insurance with confusion and even fear. “Our job is to educate them out of their fear because sometimes that fear is misplaced,” he said. “We take a very thorough education approach.” That’s why he says the most important thing he does is to get to know the person he’s working with. “It’s not always how much I know, but how much I know about them,” Herlong said. What are you passionate about in your business? When people work with us I truly feel we bring value to them. We can’t make them happy or unhappy, but for most people, when they have financial security they have a chance to be happy. I can’t replace a wife’s husband if he dies but if I’ve helped him with life insurance at least she’s not suffering emotionally and financially. If I do that for the parents, it helps their children; if I do it for a business owner, it helps their employees. What’s the biggest misconception people have about your business? One of the biggest misconceptions is if I say I’m a financial planner, they go with their experience and say, “Oh, he’s like so-and-so.” As soon as I say New York Life they automatically put me in a box as an insurance agent. What have you learned about yourself in your 23 years in business? Whatever area you work in, you have to be passionate and believe in what you’re doing, and I’m passionate. As much as I believe in helping people with their financial planning, life is so much more than money. It’s about people. Even though I can help them with their financial planning, I can’t help them have a good life if they don’t have
the right values. It’s caring about people before caring about your pocketbook. What did you learn from farm life that helps you now? The one thing the farm taught me is that no matter what business you’re in, there’s always something you can’t control. There are more things in my occupation now that I can control, but I can’t control the markets. The most important thing is controlling your mindset. It’s realizing what you do control and making the best decisions with what you’ve got. How do you unwind? I put on jeans and a T-shirt and pull weeds, cut the grass, or go down to the pond and fish. I love doing things outside. But I’m not a golfer – I grew up on the farm so when the weather was good, I had to work. If you could splurge on anything, with money no object, what would it be? If money were no object, I would do more to help causes that help people. I count my blessings. When I was 5 years old I remember taking a little sugar cube that was a polio vaccine. A few months later I caught polio. If not
for that vaccine, I’d be crippled for life. One of the things that breaks my heart is the decline in moral values in this country, the lack of manners and courtesy. They’re all character issues, of not thinking about the other person. I try to find a balance of who I am and what I can do, but what I do is about you, to help you. How do you give back to the community? I give my time and resources. I’m very involved in my church. We’re having a big building project. It’s the first time in my life that our church is in a growth mode. I’m helping with the shooter education program with the National Wild Turkey Federation. What does the future hold for you and your business? I don’t really plan to retire, just take more days off. Planning for the future is to have a younger partner (Andrew Doran) so there will be staff in place to take care of clients. I’m in Rotary, in the Chamber of Commerce, the National Wild Turkey Federation and involved in my church. If you’re part of those four things, you don’t have to look for anything to do.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Mother-daughter bring sweet treats to Evans
By Gary Kauffman The accidental discovery of a talent for cake decorating and the loss of a job have launched a new business in Evans. Mother and daughter duo Sheryl Hart and Amanda Anderson opened The Southern Sweet Shoppe in Evans Towne Center, near Tako Sushi, five weeks ago selling a wide array of baked goods. But the signature product of the bakery are the 3D sculpture cakes created by Anderson. “She accidentally figured out she could do this,” Hart said of her daughter. “She used to do sculpture as a kid with Play-Doh, so she’s always had that talent.” The self-taught cake decorator began creating the cakes several years ago, primarily selling through word of mouth and on Facebook. Then last fall things changed. “In October I lost my job,” Hart said. “I told her we’re going to (open a bakery). I love to bake.” The bakery opened selling brownies, cookies and cupcakes in addition to the cakes but has quickly expanded its offerings in the past
month. Cinnamon rolls, cookies, cookie bouquets and mini-cookies in a jar have already been a hit, and Hart is planning to add lemon bars and lime bars, plus possibly banana pudding, chocolate delight, strawberry pizza and miniature pies. In addition, The Southern Sweet Shoppe is also offering a limited lunch menu of chicken salad or pimiento sandwiches and chips, along with coffee, cappuccino and iced coffee. Hart expects the menu and baked items to continue to evolve. “We’re still getting our feet wet in having a business,” she said. One of the hardest lessons to learn is how much of a baked good to have on hand. If someone is picking up items for an office or a party, she said a call ahead of time could help them be prepared. She also said they would like to have at least a two-week notice for one of Anderson’s cake creations. Photos of some of Anderson’s cake creations are available on their Facebook page, facebook.com/TheSouthernSweetShoppe.
Openings Culver’s A favorite restaurant of northerners will soon be opening a location in the CSRA. Culver’s, a restaurant chain based in Wisconsin, featuring butter burgers and frozen custard, will be opening in the Gateway Plaza at Exit 190 of I-20 in Grovetown in the fall. It will be located across from Arby’s and Applebee’s. Kraig Tabor of East Troy, Wisc., and his son will own and operate the restaurant. They hope to close on the property on Friday and break ground for construction in about four weeks. If all goes as planned, they’ll open the 4,200-square-foot restaurant in October. They expect to hire about 90 employees. Tabor and his family have frequented Culver’s since the first restaurant opened in Sauk City, Wisc., in 1984. Tabor decided to open the restaurant in Grovetown at the urging of his son, a youth pastor in the Augusta area. “He’d been after me for about five years,” Tabor said. “I finally decided to make the career change at age 57.” Tabor said he has no experience in running a restaurant but has 30 years experience in running a business with Snap On Tools. Culver’s, though, has an intensive training process for franchisees that involves a 16week class, helping open two Culver franchises in other locations and training the staff at another Culver’s. “It’s pretty significant and specific,” Tabor said. “We’ll have over six months training before we open our restaurant.” Tabor plans to move several members of his family from Wisconsin to help in the store, including his youngest daughter, who will be one of the managers. He believes Culver’s products and busi-
ness philosophy will fit in well in the CSRA. “Culver’s is family-oriented and the products we sell are very high quality,” he said. It will be the second Culver’s in Georgia, the first opening in Dawsonville in March. Nationally, Culver’s has nearly 600 locations, about 75 percent of them in the upper Midwest. There are 36 in the Southeast, 24 of them in Florida. “We’ve done well in the Southeast, especially Florida,” said Paul Pitas, director of public relations and communications for Culver’s. “We started on the west coast of Florida where there were a lot of transplanted Midwesterners and snowbirds.” There are two other Culver’s planned for Georgia in the near future, and Tabor hopes to someday own three Culver’s franchises in the CSRA. The signature products of Culver’s are their butter burgers and frozen custard made fresh throughout the day so that it is always rich and creamy. It also sells a variety of other items, such as chicken sandwiches, fish, shrimp and beef pot roast, sides like Wisconsin cheese curds, crinkle-cut fries, mashed potatoes and green beans, salads and shakes. The frozen custard is available in dozens of flavors in cones, sundaes and their “Concrete Mixers.” Goodwill Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA opened its newest retail training store and donation drive-through at Grovetown’s Gateway Center May 13. The new store provides 17,000 square feet of retail, donation and processing space convenient to residents of the fast-growing Grovetown and Fort Gordon area. An additional 4,400 square feet of space in the building is reserved for construction of a career center, with satellite services pro-
Sheryl Hart and Amanda Anderson offer a variety of sweet treats and 3D sculpture cakes in their new store in Evans. Photo by Gary Kauffman
Business openings, closings and moves
22 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
vided by Helms College, planned for a 2017 opening as donations and retail store sales generate sufficient revenue to support completion of the facility. Grovetown’s Goodwill will be operated by 35 full- and part-time employees, all receiving Goodwill’s Retail and Customer Service training for National Retail Federation certification. Tractor Supply Company Tractor Supply Company opened its new store in North Augusta last week. The new 31,000 sq. ft. store is located in Edgewood Square Shopping Center on Edgefield Road, which is anchored by Bi-Lo. Tractor Supply Company (TSC) carries farm and ranch equipment and supplies, animal care products, lawn and garden supplies and clothing. TSC believes the North Augusta market is attractive because of the part-time and hobby farmers and horse owners in the area. The new TSC store has more than a dozen employees. Closings
South Augusta Grocery Stores South Augusta will soon be without two grocery stores. Food Lion on 4104 Windsor Spring Road in Hephzibah is already closed and the Kroger in South Augusta is not far behind. Buzz on Biz got word that Kroger’s Atlanta Division plans to close its 3128 Deans Bridge Road location on June 3. “The Kroger Co. has operated at Deans Bridge Road nearly 39 years,” said Glynn Jenkins, PR Director of Kroger’s Atlanta Division, in an email to Buzz on Biz strategic partner, News 12. “The store has experienced declining sales and negative profit
over an extended period of time, and its closure is necessary to make Kroger more competitive in the market. All 110 associates will be considered for reassignment to other Kroger locations. Food Lion closed its store in Hephzibah as a result of the lease ending at that location. The store closed the third week of April. All associates at this location were offered positions at other Food Lion stores in the area. Resolute Paper An Augusta paper manufacturer is shutting down part of its production, resulting in 95 lost jobs. Resolute Forest Products announced Thursday that it will shut down one of its two paper production machines. Resolute, based in Montreal, is the world’s largest producer of newsprint. The shut down is expected to take place on May 16. The plant employs about 250 people. According to a report in a Canadian paper, Resolute felt the Augusta plant has not been competitive because of the high U.S. dollar. Expansions Augusta Photography Studio Local photographer April Ranew expanded to a new studio and changed the name of her business. Formerly known as April Ranew Photography, Augusta Photography Studio (APS) not only offers luxury engagement and wedding photography, but also a wide variety of studio portraiture. The APS team specializes in maternity, newborn, family, children, and even boudoir portraits. Ranew has been a professional photographer for five years. She opened her first studio in March 2015 and has taken on this continued on page 23
Job loss leads to new gourmet baking career Losing her job helped Betty Kingdom fulfill a lifelong ambition. Kingdom worked for Quad/Graphics in Evans for 25 years but lost her job when the company closed its doors at the end of last year. Her dream had always been to do meal preparation and baking, but job promotions and the responsibilities of motherhood got in the way. Suddenly unemployed, Kingdom began pursuing her passion and in March she obtained her cottage food license, which allows her to bake in her Evans home. She named her business Gourmet Comforts. So far, most of her baking has been for family and friends, but she received an order for 600 pastries in April for Masters Week guests. “I was told my cinnamon rolls were the best,” she said. Kingdom also has a weekly order for baked goods for Grace Baptist Church in
Evans. But she has bigger goals. “My plan is to have a commercial kitchen in downtown Evans,” she said. She is a graduate of the Smart Start program at the Small Business Development Center and with their help has developed a five-year plan. Her heart is to help the elderly. She noticed an elderly family member had lost weight because she didn’t have the energy to cook. “Sometimes the elderly just don’t eat or don’t eat good foods,” she said. “I want to prepare and deliver healthy meals to those who cannot get out to the store or those who are recovering from illness.” For now, though, she’ll focus on making sweet treats until realizing her dream. She’ll be able to do catering through the use of an event space’s commercial kitchen. A full list of baked offerings can be found on her website at gourmetcomforts.com.
continued from page 22 recent studio expansion to accommodate the growth her business experienced. Crickets Dry Goods It didn’t take long for Crickets Dry Goods in Evans to double in size. The store, which features many locally and regionally made items, expanded a month ago into the space beside it at 4446 Washington Road. The expansion effectively doubled the size of the store to 2,000 square feet. “Our business was doing great and we needed more space,” owner Alison Smith said. “With the addition of Eli’s American Grill and Twisted Burrito (to our shopping center) our foot traffic has increased.” When the space next door became available, Smith took it. “It was a leap of faith but we’ve had a lot support from the community,” she said. Crickets, which opened in October 2014, sells a variety of dry goods and gift items not found in most other stores in the area. The expansion allows the store to expand its line of women’s apparel and shoes as well as add several lines of men’s clothing, including Mountain Khakis, Kuhl, and White Wing. “There aren’t a lot of places in this part of Evans for women and men to shop for apparel,” Smith said. “Our customers have enjoyed that and the word has spread.” The expansion also means Crickets can add to the locally and regionally made jewelry and gifts, as well as add items like Georgia honey. Smith said many customers, especially those new to the area, enjoy being able to purchase items that were made in the area. Crickets has hired three additional employees to keep up with the increased space and merchandise. Family Care Group The Family Care Group of Thomson has opened a new location on University Drive in Thomson, next to University Hospital
McDuffie. Family Care Group of Thomson is a group of Board Certified family practice, pediatric and internal medicine physicians. It is recognized by NCQA as a Patient Centered Medical Home and for excellence in quality care by a number of insurance carriers. Top Dog Pawn A local pawn is expanding to a second location. Top Dog Pawn, which has operated on Washington Road in Augusta for the past two years, is opening a second location on Martinez Boulevard in Martinez. They will also have a location at the Barnyard Flea Market. Top Dog Pawn works to create a familyfriendly environment. It does not deal in guns. The expansion is also creating employment opportunities. Hull Barrett Hull Barrett is ringing in its 100th year in Augusta through expansion. With three locations, Hull Barrett made the strategic move to increase space in Evans. The remodel and expansion is now complete, and Hull Barrett occupies the entire third floor of the Security Federal building on Evans Towne Center Boulevard. The new office makes it more convenient for Columbia County clients to meet with Hull Barrett. Hull Barrett has recently added to its associates and staff, increasing their staff by about 10 percent.
Business openings, closings and moves
Mergers and Acquisitions Walton Foundation for Independence The Walton Foundation for Independence and Champions Made From Adversity have recently merged. Champions Made From Adversity had been in existence for the past 10 years. They worked with transitioning returning
military with disabilities at Fort Gordon’s Eisenhower Medical Center through adaptive sports. When that unit at Eisenhower closed, Champions lost many of its program participants, and decided to reach out to the Walton Foundation. “It was just a win-win situation for us,” Vicki Green, Vice President of the Walton Foundation for Independence, said. “Our two organizations had already worked together very closely in the past.” The Walton Foundation did offer a few adaptive sporting events previously, but not to the extent of Champions Made From Adversity. Now that the equipment necessary for these events has been passed on to Walton, they expect to be able to offer more adaptive sporting events in the future, as well as continuing to provide quality of life services for people with disabilities. The first sporting event since the merger will be the “We Can Ski” event, taking place June 25 at Fort Gordon’s Points West. The event will provide kayaking, skiing, and tubing opportunities and is free to all children and adults with a physical and/or cognitive disability. Anniversaries
Mot’s BBQ For a few hours on May 20, Mot’s BBQ is going to party like it’s 1996. Mot’s opened on May 20, 1996, and on Friday, they will be rolling back their menu and prices to their original menu and prices when they opened. In addition, they’ll also be handing out free barbecue samples on their lawn that day. “We want everyone to try it,” owner Trisha Laughery said. Laughery and Lee Motlow opened the restaurant in 1996, and she bought his share seven years ago. However, Motlow plans to be present at the celebration since longtime
customers have asked about him. In addition to the food, Laughery is also giving the building a facelift with new paint and new tables and chairs. In the next few weeks, Mot’s will begin offering daily specials. It has already started Taco Tuesdays and catfish on Friday. Soon to be added are brisket, smoked chicken quarters and a “BBQ sundae” – barbecue and coleslaw served on a cornbread waffle. Laughery believes consistent quality has been the key to the restaurant’s longevity. “We make everything from scratch; nothing is pre-made,” she said. “We’ve got one person at a time making the food so you get consistency. We’ve only had three foodmakers in 20 years.” A signature of Mot’s is pork that is chopped to order in front of the customer. Laughery is excited about the birthday celebration and treating her customers. “I feel so blessed to be here for 20 years,” she said. “I want to give back to the people who got me where I am. I’m hoping the Lord blesses us with 20 more years.” Augusta Flooring Doug and Mona Edmondson started on the ground floor and have stayed there for a quarter century. The owners of Augusta Flooring celebrated their 25th year in business in Augusta last month. They started with an idea that led them from their home in Birmingham, Ala., in 1991 with money borrowed from parents to open a flooring business in Augusta. They moved into their current location on Bobby Jones expressway in 1996 and expanded to Aiken. They weathered the recession in 2008, which included selling their Aiken store, and have continued their successful business into 2016. Augusta Flooring carries a wide range of Mohawk Floors, including carpet, hardwood, laminate, luxury vinyl tile, tile and stone.
May 19—June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Business Online Jeff Asselin
The Write Stuff
A quality blog can generate traffic to your website I’m often asked “What is a blog?” and “Does my business need one?” First, let’s first talk about what a blog is. A blog (a truncation of the expression web log) is a discussion or informational website published on the web. Blogs are made up of entries, or “posts” and blogs are typically sorted by most recent posts first. Many blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and share messages with each other distinguishing blogs from other static websites. Blogging is, in a sense, a form of social networking. Blogs often provide discussion on a particular subject; some act as a more personal online diary, and others may serve to help promote the online brand of a particular individual or company. Blogs can combine text, images and links to other blog pages, websites or other media related to its topic.
Now that we know what a blog is, let’s talk about the top five reasons a business might want to consider blogging. 1. Generate Traffic 2. Reinforce Marketing Plan 3. Gain Professional Recognition – Building a Network 4. Show Your Knowledge 5. Engage Readers and Attract New Clients. Quality blog content can help generate traffic to your website. Blog posts can answer questions your readers might be asking. When their questions are answered they will often share your post across social media channels. Blogs are indexed (seen) by search engines as highly relevant and are a great search engine optimization (SEO) play. Blogging regularly shows your dedication to your company and reinforces your marketing plan (posts can help connect a business’ strategies). In the world of online marketing and advertising, blogs can offer a personal voice for your brand. Developing meaningful business relationships is key to gaining professional recognition. Sharing your own posts and actively reading other blogs will help your business build its own “authority.” Collaborating with your blog’s readers as well as other bloggers helps build a beneficial network designed to help grow your business. Consistent blogging gives you the opportunity to show mastery of your industry knowledge. People will look to you for answers. Be sure to keep di-
Business Accounting Christine Hall
Taming the Beast
Investment basis can be complex without good records Basis is a beast! If you have ever owned anything like stock in any kind of business, a personal or rental home or investment land or timber (just to name a few) then you have had basis in that investment. The proper definition of basis is “the justification for or reasoning behind something” and that definition holds true in the tax world as well.
24 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
It is difficult to understand for most and even more difficult to ascertain unless good records are kept. Here is an example of when basis comes into play and some suggestions on how to keep good records so you are prepared when it is time to file the dreaded tax return. Example Facts: An investor purchases a 10acre tract of land for $50,000. The land includes timber and a pond that is 1 acre in size. After owning the property for three years, the investor thins the timber by about 50 percent and receives proceeds of $30,000. The timber tax that is paid is $325. What is the basis in the timber that was cut? Answer: The purchase price of the land, $50,000, is the total basis of the land, pond and timber. This basis must be divided up between these three items. Typically an appraisal of the timber would be done to determine the value of the timber. In this case, let’s assume that was indeed done and the value of the timber is $35,000. The difference is allocated to the land and pond $15,000 ($50,000 - $35,000). The
versity in your blog topics in order to maintain your credibility with readers. A big benefit of blogging is the ability to attract new clients through your active community engagement and share your content across their social media channels. Your posts may inspire someone. Keep in mind, all readers are prospective clients. Bonus – When not to blog. Some businesses build their entire company website on blogging software with the best intentions of blogging regularly. If visitors see lack of recent blog activity on your website it could have a negative impact on their perception of your company. Websites developed using blogging software can often be limited in their functionality and may present programming and security is-
per acre basis on the land and pond is therefore $1,500. The per acre basis on the timber is $3,888.89 ($35,000/9 acres). The percentage of thinning needs to be taken into account. In the example above the timber was thinned by 50 percent, making the basis in the thinned timber $1,944.45 per acre ($3,888.89 times 0.50). Therefore, the basis in the timber that will be taken against the proceeds is $17,825. This is calculated by taking the per acre basis for the thinning of $1,944.45 times 9 acres plus $325 in timber tax. The long-term capital gain on this timber sale is $12,175 ($30,000 - $17,825). The remaining basis on the timber is $17,500 ($35,000 original timber value - $17,500 timber basis). Calculating the remaining basis for future years is very important so basis is not counted twice or not at all. As you can see from this example basis can be complex. Stock in a closely held S corporation has many factors that affect it and can be even more complex. To help your tax preparer compute and ensure that you are capturing
sues down the road. It is important for businesses to blog. Blogging is a creative exercise that can reinforce your company’s brand, improve your search engine rankings and display you as an industry expert. Combining a solid website and separate blog site strategy will help your business in the long run. Be consistent, dedicated and promote often! Jeff Asselin is Director of Sales and Marketing for Powerserve, a web development company that focuses on websites, custom business software, search engine optimization, graphic design and social media marketing. For more information, visit www.powerserve.net or his office at 961 Broad St., Augusta. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-691-7189 or 706-826-1506, ext 122.
the entire basis in your assets, be sure to keep track of the following: • Purchase dates of all assets. • The initial purchase price of all assets purchased. • If you inherit a home, stock or land, an appraisal will probably have to be done to ensure that you have received a “stepped-up” basis or value in the asset. • As assets are sold, be sure to keep the tax returns where those sales were reported, even if the typical seven-year timeframe passes when most taxpayers destroy their records. • Any spreadsheets or files you have can also help, especially if you move and have to change tax preparers. To state that “Basis is a beast” is not an exaggeration! If you are an investor, be diligent in your record keeping to help yourself get every dollar of basis you deserve! 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 cmh@HMandScpas.com.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Business Finances Dagan Sharpe
Fish Story Right strategies in pursuing life goals can help land the big one I recently took my kids fishing at the lake and almost immediately my son hooked a “big one.” Well, it was big enough for him to initially think it was pulling him in the water. However, with encouragement from me, he successfully reeled it in, and after we admired and celebrated his big catch, we let it go. Afterwards, I couldn’t help but think how this adventure could be used as a teaching and faith building moment for my children. What I realized was how similar most of us are to my son when it relates to pursuing our various goals in life. For those things we aspire to, or “go fishing” for, can often be elusive. We have to apply strategy to “catch” them and finally, if and when we do reel them in, we might initially be surprised, feel uncertain, undeserving and even insecure about being able to handle the challenge. This is why having encouragement and support is so important to achieving any goal we have – which can often be narrowed to three foundational aspirations: For Protection: One of the most basic needs and desires we all aspire to is safety. It’s also one of our greatest
privileges. Yet, as we cast our line in pursuit of financial, physical, emotional and/or relational protection, we often simultaneously jeopardize our success. For example, by not improving our financial IQs, we continue applying poor financial habits that keep our businesses, families and finances vulnerable to potential predators, creditors and litigations. Thus, like my son who was scrambling to reel his catch in due to not possessing the experience and knowledge on how to do so confidently, he almost lost it. Likewise, we must take proactive steps in gaining the experience and expertise necessary to protecting those things we care most about. For Provision: Possessing the abilities and opportunities to provide for ourselves and others is another grand catch we aspire to. This leads many to pursue advanced education, work long hours and/or hammer their gifts into polished skills that can be applied to provide. There is a great satisfaction in honest hard work, for we feel as though we accomplish something and make impact. However, there’s also great value in working smarter. My son for example had to tighten his line before he could reel in his prize because the fish was pulling away despite his effort to reel it in, largely because the line was loose. But as soon as we tightened it, the fish didn’t stand a chance. Similarly, what areas of our work can we tighten and stop spinning our wheels? Could it be in areas of spend-
ing, indulgence and/or distraction? Identifying these hindrances go a long way in aiding our provisions. For Preparation: We all innately know the value of planning ahead. If we are going fishing, it helps to bring along a tackle box with all the supplies you will need. Likewise, whatever goals we are pursuing, it’s helpful to have a plan. To set out blindly, without a budget, strategy and/ or resources is like casting our line in open water without bait. To grow in the various areas of our life, we must plan our time wisely. This goes for our finances, families, fitness and faith. As we set out in pursuit of our dreams and goals, it’s always helpful to know the why behind what we do. For example, the primary reason I take my kids fishing is to spend time with them.
The fishing is the catalyst to bring us together allowing time to talk, teach, bond and share. My goal is to build our relationship; the fishing is a gateway to help do that. Likewise, answering the “whys” for other goals is equally beneficial. For example, why do we want more money? Why do we want a certain career and why do we work at what we do? The more we understand why we do what we do, or want to do, the more likely we are to align our priorities to help them become a reality. 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 Baptist Church. Contact him at email@example.com.
Mobile banking is safe, but take steps to ensure security Mobile banking is an important service to Georgia consumers, according to a 2015 End-of-Year Survey conducted by Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. According to thefinancialbrand.com, there were 800 million mobile banking users worldwide in 2014 and the number of users globally is forecast to grow to 1.8 billion over the next three years. That would mean more than 25 percent of the world’s population will use mobile banking by 2019. Eighty-five percent of survey respondents said their financial institution offers mobile banking and 74 percent of respondents said they utilize it – or would if it was offered. The survey did reveal some skepticism from respondents about the safety of mobile banking. While 47 percent of respondents said they believe mobile banking is completely safe, 44 percent said they aren’t sure if mobile banking is safe. Eight percent of respondents said they don’t believe mobile banking is safe at all. With mobile banking usage – and concerns about its security on the rise – there are safety measures consumers can take to
26 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
protect themselves. According to www.usa. gov, consumers should protect their mobile banking app with a strong password, only access an account on a secure connection and take additional measures like utilizing GPS tracking apps to make sure their mobile device isn’t lost or stolen. “About 50 percent of our online banking users actively use our Mobile Suite,” said Associated Credit Union Senior Online Banking Coordinator Arbenita Tafolli. “Our Mobile Suite consists of our mobile app, mobile check deposits and receiving value alerts.” Associated Credit Union Vice President of Marketing Tom Maiellaro said he feels mobile banking is important because consumers have real-time access to their personal financial information. “It’s the baseline expectation among consumers these days,” he said. “In order to remain relevant and keep members, financial institutions need to grow their mobile banking product and service portfolios to keep up with the current and future expectations of their membership. Mobile banking is table-stakes for many consumers, and
most importantly for the Millennials.” Maiellaro said mobile banking is such a new concept, even the definition is still being determined. “We’re just at the infancy stage of mobile banking,” Maiellaro said. “Many consumers don’t know what they’ll demand in the future, so it’s time to start developing strategies and products that utilize these futuristic needs, such as the mobile wallet and robust mobile payments.” Maiellaro said mobile banking is a safe option, as financial institutions make data security a top priority. Additionally, there are steps consumers can take to ensure the security of their mobile transactions. Mobile Banking Safety Tips Password Protection. When creating a password, make sure to use a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. If available, utilize biometrics authentication such as fingerprint scanning, iris scanning or voice recognition. Protect your PIN. Your banking identity is more closely tied to your mobile device than your desktop or laptop. As such, only
a user can access that device with a unique four-digit PIN or password, adding a layer of security at the outset. Memorize your PIN rather than writing it down and make sure it’s a unique number and not something simple like 1-2-3-4. Safeguard Lost or Stolen Devices. By using Apple’s “Find My Device” or Android’s “Lookout,” users can recover missing mobile devices, as well as wipe them clean of all personal data before the information has been compromised. Certain features enable users to make their mobile devices ring, locate them on a map, lock them, or erase all of their personal and private data remotely from their browsers. Internet Safety. Only access sensitive information such as mobile banking services or online purchases when you’re on a secure/password-protected network. Track your phone with Geolocation. Global Positioning Satellite capabilities can track the whereabouts of a mobile device and alert both the consumer and their financial institution immediately of potential fraud, a service known as “Geolocation.”
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Business Advice Mike Herrington
Plan for the Worst
Disability, retirement health care require planning Disability and health care in retirement are two concerns of many business owners. Both require some planning. How will business operating expenses continue to be paid during your recovery from a disability? Here’s how business overhead expense protection could work for you and your business today: • The business owner is insured by a business overhead expense policy, which is owned by either the business or the business owner. Generally, a sole proprietor owns the policy personally, while in the case of partnerships and corporations, the policy is owned by the business. The taxdeductible premiums are then paid by the policy owner.
In the event the business owner is disabled, as defined in the policy, benefits are payable to the policy owner. Here’s how business overhead expense protection could work if the owner is disabled: • If the owner is disabled, the taxable business overhead expense benefits are paid to the policy owner. Benefits are generally payable for up to two years of disability, which gives the business owner time to either recover and return to work, or to arrange for an orderly sale or liquidation of the business. • Since business overhead expense protection premiums are tax deductible, the policy owner must report the business overhead expense benefits as income. However, due to the extent that deductible business expenses actually paid equal or exceed policy benefits, there will be no additional income tax payable. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the older population in the United States (age 65 and older) will more than double by the year 2030, to more than 71 million Americans. When coupled with increasing life expectancies, this “aging of America” has led to a rapidly growing variety of options available to
The older population in the U.S. will more than double by the year 2030 senior citizens who require medical and personal care services. By planning ahead, you can help assure that you receive the quality of care and the quality of life you desire should you need long-term care services in the future. Nursing Homes Residents in nursing homes are in need of more intensive medical and physical services. The goal of a nursing home (also known as a skilled nursing facility, extended care service or health care center) is to help residents meet their daily needs and to return them home whenever possible. Assisted Living Facilities The goal of an assisted living facility is to provide assistance and personal care services as needed, while maintaining maximum resident independence in a more home-like setting than that provided by a nursing home. Continuing Care Retirement Communities The goal of a continuing care or life care retirement community is to
provide a range of services, from independent living through full-time skilled nursing care that can be modified to respond to a resident’s changing needs. Home Health Care Services By providing a variety of medical and personal services through nurses, therapists and home care aides, the goal of home health care is to make it possible for senior citizens to retain a measure of independence while receiving care in the environment they most prefer – their own homes. If you would like assistance with planning to pay for health care needs in retirement, please contact my office.
What he didn’t have was a will. With added complications from IRS issues, his estate won’t be disbursed until the clock runs out on the taxman’s ability to change his mind and challenge the settlement. Meanwhile, the estate just sits in the hands of a court-appointed executor – who, by the way, is a lawyer who gets a cut of everything, just like the other lawyers and accountants involved. I don’t believe my father intended to leave a hefty portion of his estate to a bunch of lawyers. But because he didn’t
have a will, that’s exactly what will happen. Whether your estate is as vast as that of Prince, or as modest as my dad’s, spend a few bucks now to get a will. Leave your heirs an inheritance – not a headache. And remember to have someone delete that browser history.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Insights Barry Paschal
Will Power Inheritance can be messy if there is no will left behind The subject of web browser history is a frequent comedic topic. The joke is that when you die, your best friend’s job is to delete your computer’s browser history so no one finds anything embarrassing. What might be even more embarrassing, however, is to die without a will. Not embarrassing to you, of course; at that point you’re past worrying about earthly judgment. But if you die without a will, the folks left to deal with your mess will offer plenty of judgments about you – and they won’t be flattering. That was one of the biggest bits of news after the death of Prince: that he left no will. With an estate estimated in
28 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
the $300 million range and a vast music catalog, Prince leaves behind a lot of money, and a lot of confusion. To complicate things further, he has no children or spouse – just one sister and several half-siblings. Each of those siblings presumably will split his estate in equal shares, but because Prince died without a will, a huge share of his estate also will go to an army of attorneys. Think about it. He could have paid one attorney a relatively small amount for the typically uncomplicated task of completing a will and designating the future of his estate, including donations to the charity of his choosing. (I humbly recommend leaving a legacy gift to Goodwill.) Instead, his heirs will pay a significantly greater amount to a small army of lawyers to divide up that estate. The amount will only climb if any of them disagree – and because lawyers and emotions and money are involved, there will be disagreement. As Prince sang in the megahit “Kiss”: “You don’t have to be rich” to need a will. I speak from experience. My father passed away two years ago. While Prince’s estate measured in the millions of dollars, my dad’s estate was significantly more modest. But he had lots of stuff: Parcels of land, vehicles, equipment, junk – acres of junk.
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 www.helms.edu.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Social Media Kelsey Morrow
Into the Future
Social media platforms allow scheduling posts in advance “I know my business should have a social media presence, but I just don’t have the time to do all that posting.” Does this sound like your company? With all of the new social media applications popping up, it can be a bit overwhelming for businesses. How can you find time to share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more while still having enough time to run your business in the first place? Well, I have some good news for you. No, I can’t give you more hours in the day (don’t we all wish that was possible), but I do have some tips that will help make your social media life simpler. Facebook Facebook is the most user-friendly when it comes to saving time. If you plan your posts ahead of time, you
can sit down and schedule your posts for days, weeks or even months at one time, allowing you to spend less time logging into social media, and more time running your business. Anytime you post on a company page (a page designed for a business that allows you to have followers or fans), Facebook will allow you to schedule your post for a future date. As of the press date of this paper, scheduled posts cannot be done via the Facebook mobile app and are not allowed on personal pages (a normal Facebook page designed for an individual with connections called “friends”); however, there are rumors circulating through the social media world that these options may be available in the future. To create a scheduled post on your company’s Facebook page, simply create the post like you normally would (type up your text, attach your links or pictures, insert your tags, etc.) and select the arrow on the right side of the “Publish” button. A drop down menu will appear, and you will need to select “schedule.” A pop-up box will appear prompting you to select a date, enter a time, and specify a.m. or p.m. Then click the “schedule” button, and Facebook will automatically put that post on hold until the date and time that you selected. Once you have pending scheduled posts on your page, page moderators
(anyone who is allowed to post as your company) will see a box between the posting box and your timeline which will show you how many posts you have scheduled, when the next one is scheduled to be posted, and a link that gives you the option to edit your scheduled posts. The posting time of scheduled posts can be edited at any time up until it is actually posted. There are two things that you need to be aware of when scheduling posts. First, Facebook posts can only be scheduled a maximum of six months out. The calendar box will not allow you to select anything farther into the future. Secondly, the time function corresponds to whatever time zone you are posting from. For example, if your company is located on the East Coast, but you want to reach a West Coast audience, be sure to take the time difference into consideration. Hootsuite Hootsuite is a social media management application. It has several features which can be useful for managing your company’s social media presence, but arguably the most helpful is the scheduling tool. The scheduling tool on Hootsuite can be used to schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare and, as of a few months ago, Instagram. There are varying levels of Hootsuite available. I only have personal experi-
ence with the free version because it has all the functionality that a typical small business would need (the ability to schedule unlimited posts for up to three social media accounts). However, if you are particularly interested in social media marketing, there are paid options that allow you to make your company’s Hootsuite account as basic or as detailed as you want. To post via Hootsuite, you will need to connect your company’s social media accounts to your Hootsuite account. It sounds complicated, but it really just entails logging into your social media page through the application and giving it the authority to post on your behalf. Once you connect your accounts, the scheduling is very similar to Facebook’s scheduling tool, with the exception that you must also select which social media account you want to post to. Also, unlike the Facebook schedule feature, Hootsuite can be accessed via a mobile application for even more convenient posting. Now that you know how to schedule posts, the only thing left is deciding what to say. Good luck, and may the posts be with you. 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 email@example.com.
Spring cyber cleaning keeps computers secure By Kelsey Morrow It’s spring! Time for new beginnings, fresh starts, and spring cleaning. But this year, in addition to cleaning out the attic, why not consider cleaning up your internet presence as well. A little cyber hygiene can go a long way in terms of keeping you and your business safe online. Passwords We all know that obvious passwords, like “Password123” are not secure, but experts say it is still one of the most common passwords in existence. If you are using generic passwords, consider making them more complex or adding things like nonsequential numbers and special characters (*,#,$,%) to make them more secure. Use different passwords for different accounts. While it is easy to get in the habit of using the same password for all of your accounts, this plays right into hackers’ hands. When you use the same password, if one account gets hacked, you risk them all getting hacked. If you have a different password for each account, if one account gets hacked, at least it won’t lead to a total breach of security. When accounts urge you to change your password every so often, don’t just write it off as an annoyance. No matter how strong your password is, changing it on a regular
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basis makes it harder for a hacker to gain access. Even if your account doesn’t prompt you automatically to change your account, set yourself reminders to do this every few months for an extra piece of mind. For accounts that require security questions, make sure that your answers to these questions aren’t easily accessible through your social media sites. The most common security questions that people use are things like “Pet’s Name” or “Mother’s maiden name” which can be easily tracked down by looking up someone’s social media pages. Consider using more obscure questions that hackers will be less able to research. Website security Whether you are a business hosting a website or a casual user surfing the web, there are small steps that you can take to increase your security. Not all websites are created equal, so before you provide any confidential information over the internet, make sure that you are doing it securely. Appearances can be deceiving and just because a website looks reputable, it doesn’t mean that it is. “Anytime you are on a website that is asking you for personal or financial information, make sure that it is secure,” warned Jeff Asselin, head of marketing for Powerserve. The way that you can do this, Asselin
said, is by searching the URL of the website you are visiting. If the URL says “https” the website can be trusted. The “s” stands for secure, and lets you know that the site, and the information that you enter on the site, are safe. However, if the URL simply says “http” without the “s” the site is not secure and you should be wary of sharing any personal or financial information with that page. On the business side, be sure to install software updates as often as your site allows. “Many times, these updates are a security update,” Asselin said. Most websites, Asselin explained, are built on open source content management solutions. The open source allows anyone access to the code in order to create custom widgets or improvements. However, just as innovators can access this code, so can hackers. These updates give you the most up-to-date security features to help prevent hacking into your website. Social Media The final pieces of your web presence that can use some spring cleaning are your social media accounts. “It is a good practice to periodically log out of your social media channels,” Asselin said. “This allows you to see what is being searched about you.” If you are logged into your social media
account and search it on Google, the page that it takes you to will not give you an accurate idea of publicly available information. However, if you completely log out and then search, you will be seeing what an outsider to your account would be able to view. This will allow you to decide if you are sharing too much information with the public, and gives you the ability to delete information or adjust your privacy settings appropriately. Also, according to speakers at the recent Digital Marketing Bootcamp held by the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, completely logging out will also help you decrease the information available about you for retargeting ads. Banner ads on Facebook can now receive information from your browsing history in order to target ads directly towards your interests. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because this information will cause you to see ads for products that you are interested in. However, if you wish not to have this information available, you must log completely out of your social media accounts after using them. Opening another window in the search bar or exiting your smartphone app for another app are not enough. The next time you log on to the internet, keep these tips in mind to practice a little cyber hygiene.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Faith at Work Steve Swanson
Learning from failures can lead to ultimate success A number of years ago, I was working for a radio company that operated three stations from one building (a rare thing at that time). One of my jobs was creating commercials and duplicating them for one or more of those stations. There was a message posted on the wall of the production room (where I spent a great deal of time) that I saw every day: “Perfection is the goal, excellence will be tolerated.” I’ve never forgotten that message. It’s one I don’t agree with. If perfection is the goal, none of us can possibly
measure up. In the April 2016 edition of Fortune magazine an article caught my eye. It was called “The Unexpected Payoff of Failure” by Jennifer Alserver. The article focused on entrepreneurs who had started a company and failed. However, I believe the article’s message contains some broader application for us. Here are three benefits for falling down according to this article: You’ll learn more – A study in the Academy of Management Journal concluded that employees in the NASA’s space shuttle program not only learned more from failure than success but also retained the lessons longer. It Could Make you Happier – Research by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business found that the average entrepreneur, whether successful or not, reported higher career and work-life satisfaction than salaried peers. It Can Make you Marketable- Big companies like GE and Coca-Cola are seeking to nurture entrepreneurial cultures. Hiring managers may want people who failed and learned from mistakes. Says Jerod Funke an HR Vice President at Tyco International: “Turning failures into successes down the
road is something we view as an asset.” Those who are bold enough to strike out on their own with a “big idea” have a daunting challenge. They need to convince others that their idea has a place in the marketplace and is worth investing in. While not many of us will put ourselves in that place of risk, we will still face times of failure. The question then is “What next?” Will we learn from falling down? Or will we give up, quit, and tell ourselves that we were just not cut out for the position or responsibility? Have you been there? Have you failed? What did you learn? How has it shaped your attitude and perspective in your day to day work responsibilities? How does it affect your reaction to a co-worker who has failed to accomplish the task assigned to them? We’ve certainly heard the quote “Failure is not an option!” Do you know where it came from? Gene Krantz uttered those memorable words as mission control worked to bring the astronauts of Apollo 13 back safely after their spacecraft was crippled thousands of miles from the safety of earth. The story of Apollo 13 is an incredible example of a team of people working together – against all odds – to accomplish a task
that could not be done by an individual. Some quotes about succeeding through failure: Failure is a part of success. There is no such thing as a bed of roses all your life. But failure will never stand in the way of success if you learn from it.—Hank Aaron I never failed once. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.—Thomas A. Edison Failure is an event, never a person.— William D. Brown Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.—Henry Ford Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.—Winston S. Churchill I believe that God uses all of the events of our lives – including our failures – to mold and shape who we are. I encourage you to trust Him again today with every part of your life. When you do, you’ll see him do incredible things! 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.
Real Estate Investing Justin Anderson
Panning for Gold
Keep looking until you know what is of real value One of my good friends and most successful real estate investment buddies also happens to be a gold digger. Not the kind that lives in Hollywood…more the kind you would see on the Discovery Channel. Charles loves to go dig in the dirt and prospect for gold. After several years of relentlessly inviting me to go with him, I reluctantly agreed and took my then 13-year-old daughter and one of her friends. I thought this might get me out of actually digging into the mud. No such luck! When we showed up, the first thing my daughter wanted to know was “Where’s the gold?” Charles just laughed. He went on to tell us a story about when he first started prospecting for gold. He showed up early on a Saturday morning at a wooded creek similar to the one we were standing near. He was going to work with the lo-
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cal “Master Guru” Gold Prospector. Upon arrival, Charles walked straight up to the “Master Guru,” announced his presence holding up his new shiny tools, then promptly asked “So, where’s the gold?” The Master Guru asked Charles if he knew how to use that shiny new pan he was holding. Without waiting for an answer, Master Guru instructed Charles to get down in the creek and start working dirt in his pan. “Is that where the gold is?” asked Charles eagerly. “Don’t worry about where the gold is right now. Just learn how to work your pan,” the Master Guru said somberly. Reluctantly, Charles walked to the edge of the creek and started to swirl some dirt in his pan. Before long, Charles looked down in his pan and saw something shiny. Gold! He carefully lifted the fleck out of the bottom of the pan and ran up to Master Guru. “I think I found gold!” Without looking up, Master Guru responded, “It’s not gold. Go keep working your pan.” Charles lumbered back to the edge of the creek and continued working his pan. Pretty soon he found another fleck of what he thought was gold. “Master Guru! I think I found gold!” “It’s not gold. Keep working your pan,” grumbled Master Guru. “How do you know? You haven’t
even looked at what I found!” Charles said, exasperated. “Charles,” said Master Guru, “if you think it’s gold, it’s not. When you know it’s gold, it is!” Now what the heck kind of Master Guru mumbo jumbo was that? Charles thought to himself as he went back to panning at the creeks edge. Finally, after many hours of working his pan in the dirt over and over until the shine had worn off, Charles had nearly filled an entire vile full of flecks that he thought were gold. It was at that moment that it happened. As Charles looked down in his pan, in the bottom corner, he saw it for the first time. Gold! It was gold! There was no mistaking it. This time it was really gold and he knew it! How did he know it? The same way a real estate investor will know when they have found a golden deal. By looking at
enough rocks and dirt – a.k.a., houses that aren’t deals – it became completely evident when Charles actually found a real fleck of gold. Want to know where to find the golden real estate deals in Augusta? Join us at the next AORE Smart Session – where a local successful investor will share their story of how they have built their real estate investment business right here in Augusta. Our next Smart Session will be on June 11 at the Columbia County Library. The doors open at 8 a.m. for coffee and networking. The Smart Session will begin at 8:30 a.m. Justin Anderson is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Georgia and Oklahoma, and has been a full time real estate investor for the past 18 years. He is the co-founder of AORE, a Real Estate Investment Training and Education Company with offices in Augusta, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. For more information, visit AORE.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
34 Buzz on Biz May 19â€”June 15, 2016
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Business Security Doug Parker
On Your Side
When charged with a crime, a private investigator is a must It is a known fact that bad things can happen to good people. Being charged with a crime can be a life-changing experience, especially if you are not guilty. The accused may feel that they must prove themselves innocent. The criminal process however puts the burden of proof on the prosecution to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are charged with a crime it is important that you assemble a team to best represent you. Just like the prosecutor utilizes the law enforcement detectives to gather and process information for them, the defense council often can greatly benefit from the expertise and experience of a qualified private investigator. What is a Criminal Investigation? According to Wikipedia, a criminal investigation is an applied science that involves the study of facts, used to identify, locate and prove the guilt or innocence of an accused criminal. A complete criminal investigation can include searching, interviews, interrogations, evidence collection and preservation and various methods of investigation. Criminal investigations commonly employ many modern scientific techniques known collectively as forensic science. What Needs to be Investigated? Evidence is normally the starting point for any investi-
gation. What is the evidence that is being presented in order to bring charges against the accused? How was the evidence collected and how was it handled? Where was the evidence stored and who had access to the evidence? The handling of evidence is crucial in the processing of a crime scene and the ongoing investigation. Witnesses should be interviewed. During the interview investigation you will need to determine if the interviews were recorded by audio or video. Were there written statements taken? If so, these need to be analyzed and compared for consistency and truthfulness. A background check of the witness can help determine if there is influence on how they look at the situation. Was there an informant that was involved in the case? If so, how was the informant compensated for their statement? Were all contacts with the informant properly documented? How did law enforcement handle the processing of the case? Did the officer follow proper procedures regarding interviews, evidence handling and the filing of reports? Has the officer had the proper training to investigate a criminal case? The officer’s vehicle dash camera along with body camera need to be reviewed to ensure proper procedure and conduct were followed. What is the officer’s personal and professional background? Has the officer had any complaints made against him or her? Was a search warrant issued in the case? How did the officer obtain information for the search warrant and was the information verified? Was there any independent investigation done without the proper search warrant being issued?
When Do I Need a Private Investigator? • If law enforcement investigations produce little or no results. • When you need evidence gathered for criminal defense. • To gather impartial facts about a crime Why Do I Need a Private Investigator? Exclusively dedicated private investigators can be more persistent than law enforcement so they can provide better results. Private investigators operate within the law to collect evidence, but they are not limited by jurisdictions. What Does a Private Investigator Do? A private investigator reviews and makes recommendations on all paperwork, reports, videos and audio recordings of witnesses, victims and suspects, and determines what may be areas of deficiency in the police investigation. If necessary, he re-interviews witnesses, victims, additional suspects and officers involved in the case. The private investigator will assess crime scene photos and videos and col-
lect additional physical evidence. He will often revisit the scene and make assessments based on the information provided. A trained investigator can also perform additional DNA testing, do computer and cell phone forensics and conduct background checks on everyone involved in the case A private investigator can be a key player in your defense team. He or she will work side-by-side with your attorney, ensuring that no stone has been left unturned. Just like your attorney, you need to hire a private investigator that is qualified, experienced and knowledgeable in law enforcement and investigations. Your freedom may depend on this. Doug Parker has 30 years of law enforcement training and has worked undercover, on dignitary protection and high profile background investigations. He is licenses in Georgia and South Carolina. Contact him at 706-955-8069 or through his website, www.parkerpci.com.
Advice for protecting businesses from cyber crimes 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.
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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. 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 envi-
“You can shield your company from attack through a strong partnership with your financial institution.” ronment 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. • 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.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
N. Augusta Chamber Power Luncheons provide valuable tools for businesses
By Terra L. Carroll, President/CEO North Augusta Chamber of Commerce The world is forever changing. What we see, hear and feel influences our choices. To avoid the risk of becoming obsolete, we must engage in continual growth. Our region is experiencing tremendous growth and we have an opportunity and responsibility to channel a favorable outcome. The North Augusta Chamber of Commerce invites you to engage by attending our 2016 Power Luncheon Series. The Power Lunch provides an opportunity for members and visitors to learn about emerging issues that are relevant to our community. How can we partner to inspire our current and future leaders? How influential is your brand? What’s your power tool? These are just a few questions to ask yourself before, during and following our Power discussions on collaboration, leadership, inspiration through education and branding. Powerful Collaboration. To achieve your goals in this highly competitive market, mutually beneficial partnerships are required to leverage creativity, experience and resources. In April, Savannah River National Lab (SRNL) presented an opportunity to develop these effective partnerships. The Advanced Manufacturing Collaboration will create a more open environment for collaborative research and development in areas such as process intensification, smart manufacturing, cyber, virtual simulation and advanced robotics. “This space will allow SRNL to build a future of innovation. By thinking creatively, we can more effectively partner our talent with the industry and academia to address a multitude of technology needs,” said SRNL Laboratory Director Dr. Terry Michalske. For more information on SRNL and the AMC, call 803-725-3786. Keep your eyes open as SRNL sets a new course. Powerful Leadership. “An individual may exert power without being a leader, but an individual can’t be a leader without having power.”—Vidula Bal. Being a leader tomorrow starts by taking responsibility for your energy today! In June, Justin Patton (Bodylitics) will present Energy Trumps Everything, a program that chal-
lenges leaders to be more self-aware and accountable for their energy impact. Patton is an international speaker and communications coach. His high-energy will keep you entertained and his personal stories of both struggle and failure will challenge you to think differently about how you lead, work and love. Attendees will explore what makes a leader credible, examine the three core energy levels, and discuss how energy influences their ability to connect and engage others. Attendees will leave this program with a stronger self-awareness and skills to communicate with stronger impact. Powerful Inspiration through Education. Our September keynote speaker will be Dori Roberts, founder and CEO of Engineering for Kids. Roberts taught high school engineering for 11 years and saw a real void in quality STEM education for both girls and boys. The mother of two started an afterschool club that participated in various STEM-based competitions. After membership hit 180 students and the group won multiple state championships, she expanded the program and devoted 100 percent of her time to develop Engineering for Kids (EFK). Today, the company operates over 140 franchises in 32 states and 19 countries. Engineering is, after all, one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Inspiring the next generation of engineers, Roberts is encouraging children to build on their natural curiosity by teaching engineering concepts through hands-on learning. Engineering for Kids is a program that brings science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to kids ages 4-14 in a fun and challenging way through classes, camps, clubs and
parties. Powerful Brand. Branding Strategy is a long-term plan connecting your product or service to consumer needs, emotions and competitive environments. Marketing pro John Moore says “Passion fuels conversations that help your brand become transcendent…and you should sustain the passion conversation through story and strategy. If you know your story, you know your strategy.” In November, Jason Rollins of Arby’s Corporate Communications will share how Arby’s has leveraged PR to get back in the conversation. Arby’s has celebrated a series of PR and social media wins over the past few years that have put their brand back on the map among consumers. Beginning with Pharrell’s hat and the tweet heard ‘round the world at the 2013 Grammys, Arby’s has used creative PR and social content to drive buzz, awareness and traffic into the restaurants. From the now infamous feud with Jon Stewart to the Meat Mountain secret menu item, and the launch of a Vegetarian Support Hotline, Arby’s is back in conversation and the business has never been better. The brand recently celebrated 21 consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases along with significant transaction growth, proving their brand is successfully attracting new guests and also those who haven’t been to Arby’s in quite some time. If you would like to sharpen your power tools and join us for one (or more) of the upcoming Power Lunches, contact Jessica Hanson, Director of Member Services for the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, at 803-279-2323, or, register online at NorthAugustaChamber.org.
Aiken Mall sold, to be redeveloped into outdoor mall The Aiken Mall could soon become an outdoor mall similar to one in Hilton Head after a deal that was made today by Southeastern Development Associates. The announcement was made today by Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon, Ronnie Young, Chairman of the Aiken County Council; and Victor Mills, CEO, and Mark Senn, President of Southeastern Development Associates, LLC of Augusta. The company is working on a redevelopment plan under a public/private partnership with the City of Aiken and Aiken County. “Our company is excited to continue to expand our long term investment into the
38 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
Aiken community,” Mills said in a press release. “Southeastern developed the South Park Commons development across from Palmetto Golf Club in the mid-‘90s, including building the Colony Apartments. The company donated 12 acres to the old Odell Weeks Park so as to expand the park activities. Southeastern also spearheaded the development of the existing Kroger facility located at the corner of Whiskey and Pine Log roads. The company has earlier developed three other retail facilities in Aiken & Aiken County.” According to a report in the Aiken Standard, the plan is to redevelop the mall into an outdoor mall for both commercial and
retail use, with ample green space. It would be similar to Southeastern’s Shelter Cove development in Hilton Head. “The Aiken Mall’s 40 acres is well located with attractive neighborhoods, retail and restaurants,” Senn said. “Hopefully, we can make this a vibrant retail center and great community gathering place.We have worked in partnership with several cities to create such spaces.” Businesses in the Aiken Mall have been struggling to survive, with some major retailers leaving. Southeastern’s acquisition reportedly will be for 55 acres, which includes the mall, Dillard’s and Outback Steakhouse.
John Klimm, Aiken City Manager, confirmed that the developer and the city staff have been working to develop a financial strategy that would insure the long term success of the Aiken Mall property. “We are interested in a public/private partnership and want to explore options to help the development team move forward with this project,” he said. Redevelopment is not expected to begin until later this year, and take three to four years for full completion. Southeastern, formerly Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial, is one of the largest development companies in the Southeast.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Upcoming Business Events
Friday, May 20
Good Morning North Augusta presented by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Palmetto Terrace, 100 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta. Networking: 7:30 a.m.; Breakfast and Program: 8-9:30 a.m. Discover North Augusta: learn about all that North Augusta has to offer: from hiking trails, a riverfront perfect for kayaking or paddleboarding to venues like The Living History Park and Brick Pond Park. For more information and to register, visit Northaugustachamber.org Ribbon Cutting: Mott’s Pit Cooked Barbeque, 3963 Columbia Road, in Martinez (Located next door to Zaxby’s, just off Washington Road). Noon-1 p.m. columbiacountychamber.com
Monday, May 23 Chamber After Hours presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Gerald Jones Auto Group, 4022 Washington Road, Martinez. 5-7 p.m. An after hours event designed for members to meet and build relationships with other business people of small to large companies and organizations in the Columbia County area. Columbiacountychamber.com
Tuesday, May 24 Ribbon Cutting: Wellness Nail Spa, 414-2 Vaugh Road, in Martinez (Located on the same side as Publix Shopping Center, behind State Bank and Rite Aid). 11 a.m.-noon. Columbiacountychamber. com
Thursday, May 26 Business After Hours, Mellow Mushroom Pizza, 151 Bee Lane, Aiken. 5-7 p.m. Business After Hours provides an opportunity for a company to introduce itself to the business community.
40 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
This program allows the host/sponsor to showcase its business, services, and facilities to fellow Chamber members. For more information, visit Aikenchamber.net Networking Night at Pruitt Health, presented by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, 1200 Talisman Drive, North Augusta. 5-7 p.m. North Augusta Chamber Members: Free; NonMembers: $10. Professionals utilize Networking at Night as an opportunity to discuss and share ideas in a relaxed, social atmosphere while learning about the host member business and others. Attendees are urged to bring business cards. For more information, visit Northaugustachamber.org
Friday, May 27 SCORE: Financials for a Start Up Business, presented by the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Avenue, East Aiken. 9:30-11 a.m. Are you considering starting a business? Are you in business and considering expanding? If you answered yes to either question, you should plan to attend the next free seminar offered by the local SCORE office and the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce. Topics covered will include: determining which financials should be used to evaluate a proposed business project, understanding working and fixed capita, understanding pro forma income statements, and interpreting cash flow. For more information and to register, visit Aikenchamber.net
Wednesday, June 1 Membership 101 hosted by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Blvd, Evans. 1:30-2:30 p.m. If you are a new Chamber member or just want a refresher course, plan to
attend the Membership 101 Class. Each month there is a one hour class on the Chamber website. Columbiacountychamber.com Ribbon Cutting: TLQ at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina, 2821 Washington Road, Augusta, 11:30 a.m. Augustametrochamber.com
Friday, June 3 First Friday Means Business, presented by the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry Street, SW, Aiken. 7:30-9 a.m. $18 per person. This event features a keynote speaker who addresses issues of interest to the business community. First Friday Means Business includes City, County, Chamber and Sponsor talk. This monthly meeting also allows each attendee the opportunity to stand up and introduce themselves and their firm to all the other attendees and meet new business contacts. For more information and to register, visit Aikenchamber.net
Tuesday, June 7 Networking for Leads presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Blvd, Evans. 3-4 p.m. A structured program designed to promote an environment which cultivates meaningful business relationships which not only promotes one’s business, but identifies the needs of other business owners. Columbiacountychamber.com Power Lunch presented by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Palmetto Terrace, 100 Georgia Ave., North Augusta. 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Members: $25 for individuals, $200 for a table of eight; Non-Members: $35 for individuals, $280 for a table of eight. Pre-registration is required. To register,
Thursday, June 9 Augusta Metro Chamber Member Economic Luncheon, Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center, 2 Tenth Street, Augusta. 11:30 a.m. Members: $35; Non-members: $45. The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Augusta Magazine, will be showcasing 10 of Augusta’s most outstanding young professionals at the June Member Economic Luncheon. The keynote speaker will be Georgia Commissioner Camila Knowles from the Department of Community Affairs. To register, visit augustametrochamber. com
Tuesday, June 21 Chamber Before Hours presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Blvd, Evans. Breakfast and Networking: 7:45-8:15 a.m.; Program: 8:15-9 a.m. Free for members; $20 for first time visitors. The Chamber Before Hours Breakfast brings together members from all of Columbia County’s councils and programs to network and hear short updates from the city, county and the Chamber. For more information and to register, visit Columbiacountychamber.com Women in Business Luncheon presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, The Legends Club, 2701 Washington Rd, Augusta, GA 30909, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Members: $30; Non-Members: $40. “Engaging Communication: The Millennial Connection,” a presentation on communicating and mentoring young professionals. Keynote speaker: Beth Huggins of Augusta University. Reservations required. For more information, visit AugustaMetroChamber.com
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Business Benefits Russell Head
Audit Awareness What do you need to know about HIPAA audits?
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it has launched the second phase of its HIPAA audit program, which focuses on compliance with HIPAA’s Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules. The HIPAA Security Rule applies to covered entities and business associates. A covered entity is a health plan (including employer-sponsored plans), a health care clearinghouse or a health care provider that conducts certain transactions electronically. In general, a business associate is an entity that performs a function, activity or specific service for a covered entity that involves PHI. Background The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) established national standards for the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI), and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act established breach notification requirements to provide greater transparency for individuals whose information may be at risk.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for enforcing the HIPAA Rules. In 2011 and 2012, OCR implemented a pilot audit program to assess the controls and processes implemented by 115 covered entities to comply with HIPAA’s requirements. Starting in March 2016, OCR is now implementing the second phase of its HIPAA audit program. OCR has begun to obtain and verify contact information to identify covered entities and business associates of various types and determine which are appropriate to be included in potential auditee pools. Every covered entity and business associate is eligible for an audit. How Does the Audit Program Work? HHS’ Office for Civil Rights has already started sending emails to covered entities and business associates to verify their contact information. Next, OCR will send a pre-audit questionnaire to gather data about potential auditees. OCR will use this data to select covered entities and business associates for audits. OCR plans to conduct desk and onsite audits for both covered entities and their business associates. Desk Audits According to OCR, entities selected for a desk audit will be sent an email notification of their selection and will be asked to provide documents and other data in response to a document request letter. Audited entities will then submit documents online via a new secure audit portal on OCR’s website within 10 business days of the date on the information request. On-site Audits Covered entities and business as-
Credit Education Joseph Passarelli
Credit score has big impact on many areas of life We are all numbers, at least as far as business is concerned. What do you know about the number that represents you? This number impacts every aspect of your life whether you know it or not. It determines not only whether you
42 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
qualify for credit, but also how much you pay for almost everything. Your number can even affect your living situation and employability. By your “number,” of course, we are referring to your credit score, which is determined by the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion). Each may have a different evaluation of your credit-worthiness and, as a result, a different number. Do you know how they arrived at your number? Given the importance of establishing good credit, what you don’t know can and will hurt you. Even if you do not yet realize the value of your number, there are many others who do. Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America, according to the FBI, and one of the most difficult to prevent. Modern technology, for all of its conveniences, has made identity theft easier than ever before. To fight this growing concern, companies like CESA (Credit Education Services of America) provide full-cov-
sociates will also be notified via email of their selection for an on-site audit. The auditors will schedule an entrance conference and provide more information about the on-site audit process and expectations for the audit. Each on-site audit will be conducted over three to five days on site, depending on the size of the entity. On-site audits will be more comprehensive than desk audits and cover a wider range of requirements from the HIPAA Rules. Action Steps To prepare for a possible HIPAA audit, covered entities and business associates should review their compliance with HIPAA’s Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules now. A selfaudit should emphasize the following HIPAA standards: • Does the covered entity or business associate have the required HIPAA policies and procedures for privacy, security and breach notification in place?
• Have there been periodic updates to these policies and procedures? • Has the covered entity or business associate trained its workforce on HIPAA compliance, including any policy and procedure updates? • Has the entity performed a risk analysis to assess the potential risk and vulnerabilities for its electronic PHI (ePHI)? • If an entity has decided not to implement an “addressable” security standard, does it have documentation supporting its decision? Also, to prepare for a potential audit, an organization should confirm that its HIPAA documents (including its policies and procedures) are comprehensive, well-organized and easy to comprehend. 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 email@example.com. Visit ACHS Insurance at achsinsurance.com.
Even if you do not yet realize the value of your number, there are many others who do. erage identity theft protection, which includes restoration of your credit rating to its pre-theft status. Their services are designed to help you to organize and protect what are among your most valuable assets, your number and the numbers of your family members. The goal of these agencies is to educate, empower and help you to protect your “number.” They offer a wealth of important information that will benefit not only you, but also your spouse and children. They can shed light on how the business world evaluates you and why. Through an understanding of the scoring process banks and other institutions use, you can take back control of your number. In addition to your unique credit profile, you also have a
specific type of financial behavior. Understanding your financial behavior will literally save you thousands of dollars in the long-run. One of our helpful agents will be happy to assist you in getting your number protected today, or if you prefer, you may get started online at cesaontheweb.com. Our new local office is at 4569 Cox Road, Suite C in Evans. We look forward to protecting you! Joseph Passarelli is the Senior Operating Member of Credit Educational Services. A Brooklyn College graduate, he also served in the Marine Corps. With more than 250,000 policies established, Joseph has over 9 years of experience in credit restoration and identity theft protection Joseph can be reached at 706-723-5190.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Business Counseling Carolyn Ramp
Healthy work relationships make jobs more enjoyable It’s a fact that most of us work closely with the same people day in and day out. Because we do, it’s a good idea to develop healthy professional relationships. Research shows us that when we have healthy professional relationships at work, we become more invested in our jobs, work is more enjoyable, we are more likely to be achieving our goals, we are more successful and we are happier in our lives. Many companies organize team building activities and social events that foster these kinds of relationships in order to improve company morale, foster good communication and develop connections between employees. But how do we develop healthy professional relationships? Here are a few tips to help you get on the right foot at work: Take the Hit. Sometimes, whatever the issue and re-
gardless of who is actually at fault, some people step up and take the hit. They’re willing to accept the criticism because they know they can handle it – and maybe another person just can’t. Few acts are more selfless than taking the underserved hit. And few acts cement a relationship more. Step in Without Being Asked. It’s easy to help when you’re asked. Most of us will. Very few people offer help before they are asked, even though most of the time that is when a little help goes a long way. They offer not in general ways but in more specific ways like, “Why don’t I catch the phone while you work on those numbers?” That way they can just roll up their sleeves and make a difference. Know When to Dial it Back. Outgoing people are a lot of fun – until they aren’t. When a situation is stressful or the office gets really busy, some people can’t stop expressing their individuality. Know when to have fun and when to be serious, when to be over the top and when to be invisible, when to take charge and when to follow. Prove You Think of Others. People who build great relationships don’t just think about others – they act on those thoughts. One easy way is to give unexpected praise – just because! Take a little time every day to do something nice for someone you know, simply because you can. This improves relationships dramatically.
Business Counseling Carol Gignoux
Mind Games Understanding how to use your mind leads to success Understanding your mind and how to use it to the greatest advantage is key to life happiness, success and fulfillment. Feelings of incompetence as a result of being labeled ADHD can starve you of those gifts. Now we are beginning to see the truth about ADHD. This brain type is and always has been the exact same brain of important innovators throughout time. Some examples are Picasso, Mozart, Kennedy, Edison, Einstein, Churchill and the Wright Brothers. You can find a longer list on-
44 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
line. Labeling people ADHD is a fairly recent development and has not been helpful to the millions of children and adults who grew up feeling stigmatized. People with this brain type make up for their impulsivity and lack of focus by using their innate talents of super creativity, high energy, exceptional problem solving and insatiable curiosity. It is important to remember that impulsivity and poor planning can be managed with good habits and perhaps medication, but the natural talents mentioned above cannot be taught. And we never want people to lose those! There are five powerful cognitive strengths that belong to the innovator brain. They are your superpowers. In this article I will be sharing the first one of five. Look for the other four cognitive strengths in future articles. Cognitive Strength 1: Compensating The ability to compensate in different environments and situations is one of the great cognitive strengths of this brain type. Compensating in this case basically means making up for what one is not good at by using what one is good at.
Take a little time every day to do something nice for someone. Recognize When You Have Acted Poorly. Most of us apologize when our actions or words are called into question. Few of us apologize before we are asked to do so or even before anyone thinks we should. Responsibility is the key building block of a great relationship. People who take responsibility for the blame, who say they are sorry, who don’t try to push the blame on anyone else – these are the people we want in our lives. They can instantly turn a mistake into a bump in the road rather than a permanent roadblock. Give Consistently, Receive Occasionally. A great relationship is mutually beneficial. In the office, this means connecting with people who can be mentors, who can share information, who can help create other connections. But it all starts by thinking about what you can give. In time, this builds real friendships. Value the Message by Valuing the Messenger. We may listen when someone speaks from a position of authority or power – it’s tempting to place greater emphasis on their input. But the mail
Another way of saying this is that these people can use their inherent strengths to manage their weaknesses. This ability to compensate gets developed early on in life as a way to make up for difficulty with paying attention, being impulsive, lack of planning ahead, poor task and time management, and in general, many of the functions human beings engage in when they can motivate themselves. Typical compensating mechanisms that people with this brain type use include: • creating a successful outcome to a project through last-minute effort • using sharp intellect to make up for lack of attention and preparation • assimilating all components of a subject quickly and coming to a conclusion • knowing how and where to efficiently find answers to perplexing questions Sometimes the wonderful ability to compensate can suddenly become inadequate. This can happen in middle school, high school or college. Sometimes the problem is put off until there is trouble adjusting to the demands of a first job. But when it does happen, it
guy or the maintenance fella? Maybe we don’t listen to them so much. People who build great relationships never automatically discount the message simply because they discount the messenger. Every relationship, no matter how minor or fleeting, has value. Professional success is important to us all. Real success, the kind that exists on multiple levels, is impossible without building great relationships. Real success is impossible unless you treat other people with respect, kindness and regard. Although you are at work to do a job and earn a living, it will be much more pleasurable if you enjoy the company of the people on your team or in your department. That expression about only getting one chance to make a good impression is true. So make sure you put your best foot forward each and every time you have an opportunity to build new and better workplace relationships. 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.
can catch people by surprise and send them into a tailspin. People with the innovator brain type need to understand how this works so they will recognize it when it happens to them and get support in addressing it through ADHD coaching or mentoring. Compensating is a stroke of genius and a helpful mechanism, but like all strengths, it is not a one size fits all strategy. In the next article we will be talking about Cognitive Strength 2: Creating Structured Routines. You can find my just published book: Your Innovator Brain – The Truth About ADHD in online book sellers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 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 carol@liveADHDfree.com.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Career and Education Missie Usry
Right at Home
Homeschooled students can now apply for scholarships Governor Deal signed HB798, sponsored by State Senator Marty Harbin, into law on May 3, expanding the reach of Hope Scholarship and the Zell Miller Scholarship to
UGA impacts Georgia’s economy
The University System of Georgia’s (USG) economic impact on the state was $15.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 according to the most recent study conducted by the Selig Center for Economic Growth in the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. The University System’s economic impact grew $1.3 billion, an increase of 9 percent, from fiscal year 2014 to 2015. Student spending in communities where USG institutions operate was a primary driver in the increase with overall higher student enrollment in the University System creating significant impact. The economic impact of the USG is a measure of direct and indirect spending that contributes to the regions served by the System’s colleges and universities. Most of the $15.5 billion economic impact consists of initial spending by USG institutions for salaries and fringe benefits, operating expenses and other budgeted expenditures, as well as spending by the students who attended the institutions. Initial spending by USG institutions and students equaled $10.6 billion, or almost 69 percent of the total. The remaining $4.9 billion of the output impact was created by respending, which is the multiplier effect of the dollars that are spent again in the region. For every dollar of initial spending by a University System institution or its students, research found that, on average, an additional 46 cents was generated for the local economy.
46 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
homeschool students and lowering the standard requirements for SAT/ACT scores for all students. According to Georgia Home Education Association (GHEA), the prior standards in place made it impossible for entering freshman graduating from home study programs to be eligible for the state’s scholarships. In a memo found on GHEA website dated July 31, 2015, Georgia Student Finance Commission had been contacting homeschool program families and were being told their graduates were not eligible for HOPE based on a policy change that became effective on July 1, 2015. The passing of HB798 also helps break down some of the bias of yesteryear associated with homeschooling. Homeschooled students are not weirdo outcasts who are socially awkward and, despite what some may think, it is perfectly legal. Homeschooling families have the
freedom to reach into a variety of textbooks and curriculum methodologies, including online resources not necessarily afforded to teachers in school districts with regulations and tight budgets. There is also the flexibility to set their own schedule and teach basic concepts whenever they choose, based on the age, abilities and maturity level of the students. They also create socialization opportunities with other homeschooling families and are able to take advantage of free community activities during flexible time periods. Lives no longer revolve around school hours, homework, and the school calendar, so these families plan off-season vacations, visit parks and museums during the week and live their lives according to what works for them. According to GHEA, this new law makes HOPE/Zell Scholarships more accessible for students entering as college freshmen after completing a home
study program. The law provides Zell eligibility as freshmen for those with a minimum SAT or ACT score at the 93 percent nationally. The law also lowers the required SAT/ACT score for HOPE as a freshman to the 75 percent nationally (from 80 percent). Homeschooled graduates continue to have the option of qualifying for HOPE/Zell retroactively, following 30 hours of college credit after high school graduation (there has been no change to the retroactive eligibility option for HOPE or Zell). The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS SOC) accredits Georgia Military College, which means that credits earned at the institution are eligible for transfer to other accredited schools. Missie Usry is the Enrollment Manager at Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus. For questions about Georgia Military College, please call 706-993-1123 or visit our website at gmcaugusta.com.
Use caution in seeking jobs online A recent survey by CareerBuilder.com found that 84 percent of U.S. workers are not in their dream job, so people are increasingly turning to the internet as a key tool when searching for a new job. Estimates show that more than 85 percent of job seekers reported using online sources in their job search. Unfortunately, the search for a dream job can lead to becoming a victim of identity theft or other types of fraud. In 2015 alone, the Federal Trade Commission recorded more than 20,000 complaints about business opportunities including work-at-home scams, many of which were advertised online. The Better Business Bureau knows that the number of people who actually report being a victim of fraud when searching for a job is only the tip of the iceberg. With a tight job market forcing both businesses and job seekers to make difficult choices, the BBB expects that instances of online job search fraud will continue to remain steady. Following are seven red flags the BBB advises jobs hunters to be on the lookout for when using online resources: Red Flag: Employer e-mails are rife with grammatical and spelling errors Most online fraud is perpetrated by scammers located outside the United States. Their first language usually isn’t English and this is often evident in their poor grasp of the language which can include poor grammar and the misspelling of common words. Red Flag: E-mails purporting to be from job posting websites claiming there’s a problem with a job hunter’s account After creating a user account on sites like Monster.com, Careerbuilder.com and others, a job hunter might receive an e-mail
Instances of online job search fraud will continue to remain steady. saying there has been a problem with their account or they need to follow a hyperlink to install new software. Phishing e-mails like this are designed to convince readers to click a link within the message to fix the issue, but actually take them to a website that will install malware or viruses on their computer. Red Flag: An employer asks for extensive personal information such as social security or bank account numbers Some job seekers have been surprised to learn they’ve gotten a job without having to do a single interview. However, when the employer then asked for personal information in order to fill out the necessary paperwork, suspicions were raised – and rightly so. Regardless of the reason or excuse given by the employer, a job applicant should never give out his or her Social Security or bank account numbers over the phone or e-mail. Red Flag: An employer offers the opportunity to become rich without leaving home While there are legitimate businesses that allow employees to work from home, there are also a lot of scammers trying to take advantage of senior citizens, stay-at-home moms, students and injured or handicapped people looking to make money at home. Job hunters should use extreme caution when considering a work-at-home offer and always research the company with their BBB first at bbb.org. Red Flag: An employer asks for money upfront
Aside from paying for a uniform, it is rarely advisable for an applicant to pay upfront fees or make a required purchase to get a job. Recently, BBB staff uncovered a scam where job hunters were told they had to pay $64.50 for a background check before they could be considered for a cleaning job. Predictably, after paying for the background check, the job seeker never heard from the company again. Red Flag: The salary and benefits offered seem too-good-to-be-true The adage holds true for job offers: if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Phony employers might brag about exceptionally high salary potential and excellent benefits for little experience in order to lure unsuspecting job hunters into their scam. Red Flag: The job requires the employee to wire money through Western Union, MoneyGram or a prepaid debit card Many phony jobs require the prospective employee to cash a check sent by the company through the mail and then wire a portion of the money on to another entity. Reasons given for this requirement vary from scam to scam. Whatever the reason though, the check might clear the employee’s bank account but will eventually turn out to be a fake and the employee is out the money he or she wired back to the scammers. For more reliable advice on job searching and for what to do if a job hunter becomes a victim of ID theft or fraud related to a job opportunity, go to bbb.org.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Career & Education Daphne Jones
Keep supervisors, employees aware of heat-related dangers Summer has its own set of unique challenges for employers, like balancing employees’ vacation requests and enforcing the dress code despite the rising temperatures. But this time of year also presents a serious safety concern. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, thousands of workers across the country every year suffer from serious heat-related illnesses, which has killed – on average – more than 30 workers annually since 2003. These injuries and deaths represent more than just the
pain employees and their families suffer. They show that employers, just like you, face the cost of workers’ compensation, a drop in morale, bad publicity and lost productivity. In honor of National Safety Month, make sure you know how to keep your employees safe from the summertime heat. Taking a few simple steps to educate yourself and your workforce can protect your business, and possibly save someone’s life in the future. Know Who’s At Risk The worker who’s most at risk for heat-related injury is someone who works outside, but indoor workers can succumb to the heat as well. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) specifies that any employee who is working in hot or humid conditions, doing heavy or strenuous work, or wearing protective clothing or gear is at risk. Employees who are new to working in hot conditions are especially susceptible to the heat, and should be allowed four to five days to acclimate. Recognize the Signs Ensuring your supervisors and employees know the symptoms of heat stress will help heat victims receive
Business Resources Jame Geathers
Eye to Eye
Evaluations put employees, employers on same page If the phrase “annual employee evaluation” makes your heart rate speed up and your eyes roll, you’re not alone. With the possibility of a confrontation with a difficult employee and the looming expectation of salary increases that may not be in your budget, you may be tempted to avoid evaluations all together. Regardless of how uncomfortable they may be, evaluations are absolutely necessary to successfully manage your business and establish clear expectations for your team. In addition to helping you evaluate your employees, evaluations also provide valuable feedback that helps employees understand what they are doing well and what areas need improvement. If you’ve never conducted an employee evaluation or been the subject of one, let me explain how the process works.
48 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
To begin, you must have an evaluation form. The form should have three sections – one for the employee to complete prior to the meeting, one for the supervisor to complete prior to the meeting and the final section to be completed during the meeting. The employee and supervisor sections should contain identical evaluation fields. Each party should complete the form based strictly on that specific employee’s performance – not as a comparison of the employee to other team members. The employee and supervisor sections should include specific areas that can be rated on a scale from very satisfactory to very unsatisfactory, such as attendance and quality of work. Additionally, a performance goals area should be included to help the supervisor and the employee identify desired areas of growth. During the meeting take time to review both the employee and the supervisor’s evaluations. Be sure to point out the commonalities first in order to start the meeting on a positive note. Once you’ve covered the positives, move into the areas that require improvement. Depending on how receptive the employee is to feedback they may become defensive or even belligerent. Regardless, you must keep your cool, remain professional and document everything at all times.
Indoor workers can succumb to the heat as well. treatment quickly, before their condition becomes more serious. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are five types of heat stress: heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat syncope, heat cramps and heat rash. The most serious of these is heat stroke, because once the human body reaches this point it can no longer control its temperature. Heat stroke can result in permanent disability or death. The early signs can range from skin rash and muscle spasms, to a headache and dizziness. However, the most critical symptoms to watch for are dry skin, hallucinations, chills, slurred speech, rapid breathing and a weak pulse. Take Preventative Steps As an employer, it’s vital that you train employees to take preventative measures to protect themselves. “’Water, rest and shade’ are three words that can make the difference between life
and death,” says Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. “If employers take reasonable precautions, and look out for their workers, we can beat the heat.” OSHA recommends that employees working outdoors wear light-colored cotton clothing, apply sunscreen, wear a hat and watch out for their co-workers. If symptoms of heat illness appear, they should report them right away to prevent serious complications. During the summer, the lives of your employees and your business’ success are on the line. Being informed and empowering your employees with knowledge to beat the heat are the primary ways to keep everyone safe from the high temperatures. Daphne Jones is the Senior Staffing Consultant for Express Employment Professionals. Formerly Vice President of Finance and Administration for the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, she has been a HR professional for over 22 years and now provides staffing solutions for area businesses. She is a past president of SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), an alumnus of Leadership Augusta. Daphne can be reached at 706-364-4473 or daphne.jones@expresspros. com. Visit Express Employment Professionals at expresspros.com/augustaga.
Evaluations are absolutely necessary to successfully manage your business and establish clear expectations. During the conversation all feedback given to and received from the employee should be recorded in the comments area of the meeting section on the evaluation form. This ensures that all parties have a clear record of what was said and what were the expected outcomes. Once you have reviewed both evaluation sections and recorded the feedback, it’s time to document the goals and expectations going forward. These should be short but detailed, measureable and realistic. For example, if the employee is struggling with attendance, the goal could be being tardy no more than twice or having perfect attendance for a 60-day period. To ensure the goal is realistic, you may also want to ask questions to determine the cause of the problem. For example, if they struggle to make it to work at 8 a.m. because they cannot drop off their child until 8 a.m., the solution may be to modify their schedule, if the needs of the business allow for that flexibility. Once you have created the form, had the employee and supervisor com-
plete their sections, discussed it and recorded the feedback, both parties should sign the evaluation. Be sure to communicate with the employee that signing the document does not mean they agree with the feedback but rather an acknowledgement that they received the feedback. The original form should be filed in the employee’s personnel file and a copy (preferably electronic) should be given to the employee. Once you have completed your first round of employee evaluations it is a great business practice to make it an annual event. If you need assistance creating an employee evaluation, please contact us! Jame Geathers is a Human Resources and Operations Professional with more than 12 years of experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Jame has spent her career building and supporting HR infrastructures that have provided her employers and clients with the structure and policies that all start-ups need but owners may not have time to create and implement. For more information please visit the Jame Geathers Consulting website, www.jamegeathers.com or call (706) 496-9691.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Businesses struggle to find STEM talent The American Competitiveness Alliance, a coalition of organizations dedicated to advancing common-sense immigration policies, recently released a national survey highlighting the increasing challenges businesses face when recruiting STEM and IT professionals, including scarcity of talent, climbing administrative and regulatory costs, and constricting wage pressures. As a result of this scarcity, wages have steadily increased for high-paying, indemand positions in STEM fields, with three in four executives reporting higher salaries for their STEM workers than in the previous five years. Further, many of these jobs go unfilled for weeks or even months due to the limited pool of qualified candidates and increasing costs associated with recruitment and retention of skilled employees. Subsequent economic pressures decrease productivity and limit expansion, negatively impacting the marketplace and hampering job growth. The survey – conducted by the Benenson Strategy Group – analyzed responses from 400 hiring managers and executives from companies nationwide and found that: • 8 in 10 executives report their company is investing more in STEM recruiting as a result of IT hiring challenges; • 82 percent of business professionals report hiring a skilled foreign worker costs as much or more than hiring a U.S. worker; • 3 in 4 professionals say the costs associated with sponsoring and complying with
the H-1B visa program are already too high for most American companies. The recent doubling of H-1B visa fees for some employers is particularly troubling in light of these data. In December 2015, the U.S. Congress included a provision in the omnibus spending bill which increased the visa processing fee from $2,000 to $4,000 per application. Businesses without the resources to pay this and other increasing costs – typically, smaller, local businesses already struggling to compete against their larger rivals – will be hardest hit. Large businesses, meanwhile, may relocate operations outside the U.S., where a large base of skilled talent is readily available to ensure they remain globally competitive. “These data make clear that we need a multi-faceted approach to tackling America’s skills gap,” said Matthew Slaughter, Dean of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and Academic Advisor for the American Competitiveness Alliance. “While a robust investment in STEM education will help our economy in the long-run, we clearly need policies from Washington that support growth, not slow it.” A 2013 Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce report found that the U.S. is already on track to face a shortage of 5 million workers by the end of this decade, with nearly 80 percent of those positions requiring various levels of advanced education.
Atlanta still busiest airport Atlanta has done it again, holding off Beijing to retain its title as the world’s busiest passenger airport. More than 100 million passengers passed though Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International in 2015, a rise of 5.5 percent over 2014, according to preliminary traffic data released by Airports Council International. The report credits Atlanta’s strategic location as a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America for its continuing success, noting that it’s within a two-hour flight of 80 percent of the United States population. Though the Georgia airport has held the top spot for 18 years, it was expected to finally lose its crown to the Chinese capital. “While Beijing was poised to close the gap on Atlanta by 2015, it no longer benefits from the double-digit growth it enjoyed in previous years, and as such remains in second position,” said the report. The second busiest U.S. airport on the list is Chicago O’Hare, which moved from seventh to fourth position in 2015 thanks to growth of 9.8 percent. “After years of congestion, the airport is reaping the benefits of runway expansions
50 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
and other capacity developments,” said ACI. When it comes to aircraft movements, U.S. airports continue to dominate. Atlanta overtook last year’s leader, Chicago, with 882,497 total takeoffs and landings. Chicago had 875,136. “It’s impressive to witness the dynamic character of the aviation industry and its evolution over time,” said Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World, in a statement. “In certain markets, we see both airlines and airport operators expanding and optimizing their capacity in order to accommodate the growing demand for air transport.” When it comes to public perception, turns out being at the top of the busy list isn’t necessarily a good thing. In February, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport announced that it would rather people referred to it as “world’s most-traveled airport.” General Manager Miguel Southwell told local media that “some really smart marketing people” learned that the word “busy” has a negative connotation. “So it’s ‘world’s most-traveled,’” Southwell said. “Please note that we’re no longer using the term ‘the busiest airport.’”
Freelancing is a growing trend in U.S. work force
SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, has gathered statistics on the growing freelance economy. More than a third of work force 34 percent of the U.S. workforce (54 million people) now consists of freelance workers – also known as independent contractors, consultants or entrepreneurs – who earn at least some of their income through self-employment. Online talent marketplaces, mobile apps and coworking spaces allow for efficient virtual collaboration. 69 percent of freelancers feel the internet and social media have expanded networking opportunities. Freelance worker demographics The ages of freelance workers vary widely. Of the total freelance population: • 30 percent are Millennials (age 2134) • 33 percent are from Generation X (age 35-50) • 29 percent are Baby Boomers (age 51-68) • 8 percent are seniors (age 69+) Benefits of freelancing The reported benefits of independent employment revolve around freedom
and flexibility. Specifically, freelancers report that: • 61 percent like controlling their own schedules • 58 percent enjoy the flexibility • 54 percent like being their own boss • 48 percent like doing what they love • 38 percent appreciate the extra income Challenges of freelancing Freelancers typically face higher taxes than salaried employees, because they are taxed as both an employee and an employer. Other top challenges that freelancers report include: • Lack of steady income (50 percent) • Trouble finding work (47 percent) • Unpredictable payment schedule (31 percent) • Uncertainty about what skills are in demand (23 percent) • Trouble finding affordable benefits (21 percent) In the end, freelancers report an optimistic perspective on the field, with 65 percent believing that freelancing is more respected now than it was four years ago, and 77 percent believing that the best days of the freelance job market are still ahead.
AT&T commits to hiring vets Doubling its military hiring commitment, AT&T has announced it plans to hire an additional 10,000 veterans for a total of 20,000 by 2020. This commitment was announced at the White House Joining Forces event, along with more than 50 other companies dedicated to hiring and training veterans and military spouses. These companies recognize the immeasurable value of veterans’ skills and how well their expertise translates to businesses – and collectively pledged to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years. The hiring commitment from AT&T is one of the largest announced. In 2013, AT&T announced it would hire 10,000 veterans within the next five years, which was met at the end of 2015, well ahead of schedule. AT&T is doubling that commitment and pledged to hire an additional 10,000 veterans by 2020. “Military experience is great preparation for a successful career at AT&T. Veterans’ leadership, integrity and commitment to service make them outstanding employees,” said Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer, AT&T. “We’re proud to have added 10,000 of these men and women to our team since 2013, and we look forward to hiring another 10,000 by 2020.” AT&T actively focuses on recruiting veterans into career paths because the experience and skills gained through military service are an invaluable contribution to
the work force. “It is an honor to have so many men and women who have served in our nation’s Armed Forces working with AT&T in Georgia. We are thankful for their service to our country, and are certainly grateful that they are working as part of AT&T Georgia’s team to meet the modern communications needs of Georgia’s businesses and residents, turning our billions of dollars in investments in the state into the high-speed connections that help to drive our economy and keep our communities connected,” said Bill Leahy, president of AT&T Georgia. “The skills and experience that our veterans possess make them strong assets on our team, and our company benefits tremendously from their presence on our team.” “Our veterans have proven their tremendous skills and value in their sacrifice to our country, good for corporate America to not only honor that commitment - but also benefit from those same skills and dedication these men and women bring to the private sector,” said State Sen. Ed Harbison. Once veterans are hired, AT&T helps ensure they have the skills needed to grow their career and succeed as an employee in the every-evolving technology landscape. The AT&T veterans’ employee resource group also serves more than 9,000 members and creates an instant community for veterans. This includes mentoring and helping other veterans in their transition process.
Jame Geathers, Jame Geathers Consulting..........52
Lisa Maddox, Turnerâ€™s Keyboard..........................56
Kellie Pugh, Morningside of Evans......................53
Julie Lanham, Vacations to Remember................56
PJ Campanaro, Attorney at Law............................54
Melissa Gordon, Melsharo Studios........................57 May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Women-owned businesses growing quickly
Nearly a third of all Georgia businesses are owned by women This article previously appeared in the AprilMay 2015 edition of Buzz on Biz By Gary Kauffman There was a time, within the past generation, when a woman at the helm of a business was a bit of an oddity. But not anymore. According to a Forbes report, 31 percent of businesses in Georgia are either entirely or partially owned by women. In fact, since 1997 the number of businesses owned by women has increased by 118 percent in Georgia. That’s one of the highest rates in the nation. Although no one has an exact tally of the number of women-owned businesses in the CSRA, as our white board indicates, it’s a significant number. “I think one of the reasons why womenowned businesses have grown is that women are good at networking and helping one another,” said Susan Caldwell, former area director for the Small Business Development Center in Augusta. And success breeds success. “They’re seeing more women as role models,” Caldwell said. “They’re seeing more women who are successful, and that encourages them to see entrepreneurship as a career choice.” The recession also played a role, Caldwell said. Hardest hit during that time were male-dominated fields. That often left women as the main breadwinners, and they became comfortable with that role. Women who have enjoyed successful careers in the corporate world are also turning to owning their own businesses, taking the skills and experience they’ve acquired into running their own companies. Kathy Williams is one such example. She left a position as vice president of operations for La Quinta hotels to open a day care center, Cornerstone Academy. “I was tired of working that hard for someone else,” Williams said. “They were making decisions based on what was good for the shareholders and not necessarily for what was good for the business. It became less about people and more about profits.”
52 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
Owning her own business was a step toward being able to do things the way she felt was best. “I wanted to be in control where I make the decisions,” she said. Although running a day care was very different than her previous career, she capitalized on her experience with customer service, human resources and profit and loss statements. The hardest part was learning the day care business and building a brand from the ground up. It’s worked so far – she opened her first Cornerstone Academy in 2008 and a second in 2010. Traditionally, women-owned businesses had been in areas like day cares, hair salons and cleaning services. But that has changed radically, too. Business brokerages, construction and remodeling and truck sales – all once maleonly businesses – all have women as owners in the CSRA. Perhaps no one has strayed farther from the traditional female business path than Jan Bentley. Bentley owns Portable Services, a company that provides portable toilets to venues throughout the CSRA. Bentley worked for the company for five years, then became the primary owner in 2012 when the owner retired. “I always knew I was going to go into business for myself,” she said. “I just thought it’d be more in the health care field because that’s what I came out of. But I guess I’m still very much concerned with people’s health and their sanitary conditions.” The biggest obstacle for both Williams and Bentley was obtaining the necessary capital to get started. Caldwell said that is usually the biggest hurdle women face when starting a business. Because banks were often reluctant to extend loans to women going into business, they used personal savings, credit cards and loans from friends. Because of that, women tend toward service-oriented businesses that require less capital, and often run smaller businesses that don’t require a constant influx of new capital. But that is changing, too.
“Women are becoming more educated about getting funding,” Caldwell said. “And there are more resources out there.” Neither Williams or Bentley feel their gender has had any effect on how people view their businesses. “I’ve never felt I’ve run into any barriers because I’m a woman,” Williams said. “I don’t feel there are any opportunities I didn’t have because I’m a woman.” Even though she is one of the few women owners in the portable toilet business and has mostly male employees, Bentley said no one treats her differently because she’s a woman. “It should be about the service you’re giving the customer and the value they’re getting,” she said. However, Bentley admitted that as a woman, she does look at her portable toilets from a different perspective than most males would. “I know what I want a special events trailer to look like at a wedding,” she said. “I do think it does matter as a woman.” Often the women going into business for themselves have waited until kids were grown or until they’d established themselves in a career. But Caldwell said she is seeing younger people, both men and women, starting their own businesses. The reason,
she said, is technology. “Technology has lowered the barriers for everyone,” she said. “It doesn’t take as much capital and it makes it easier for them to go into business.” One of the biggest assets women owners have is, as Caldwell stated, a better understanding of the value of networking. Williams said that is her favorite part of her business. “It’s a great way to gain experience and to find that people are struggling with the same things,” she said. “They’ll have answers for what I don’t, and I’ll have answers that they don’t. I’ve probably learned more through networking than any other way.” One of the biggest concerns for many women, Caldwell added, is one that is sometimes self-imposed. “Men are often judged by the success of their careers while women are judged on the success of their business and at home,” she said. “I hear from many women entrepreneurs that they really struggle with the balance of home and business.” Funding also continues to be a challenge, although Caldwell calls it an “unintentional bias.” She said because most investors are male, and because investors like to place their money with like-minded people, more money tends to move toward male entrepreneurs.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
54 Buzz on Biz May 19â€”June 15, 2016
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
56 Buzz on Biz May 19â€”June 15, 2016
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Camp Guide 2016 Sports Camps Augusta Prep Football Camp, Rising K-12th grade. July 12-14. 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $180 after April 30. Football Camp at Augusta Prep is designed to give players a head start on the 2016 football season. Our day camps aim to teach the fundamentals of the game. This is an outstanding chance for young men who desire to play football to learn the game from the excellent pool of coaches at the camp. The Cavalier Pride Camp will include instruction in the fundamentals of football as well as strength and conditioning. Camp will be held on the Augusta Prep Football Field. Physicals are required for all Augusta Prep Sports Camps. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Boys Basketball Camp presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta,
58 Buzz on Biz May 19â€”June 15, 2016
Rising 1st-8th graders. June 6-10 from 9-11:30 a.m. $140. Want to really excel at basketball? Attend this five-day, action-packed camp that focuses on technical training and advanced game play strategies through drills and fun competitions. Participants will be divided by age into small groups so that coaches can provide more personal instruction. For more information, visit wsa.net Cheerleading Camp presented by Episcopal Day Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st-5th graders. June 20-24. 9 a.m.1 p.m. $120. For more information, visit edsaugusta.com Cheerleading Camp presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st-8th graders. June 13-17, 9 a.m.Noon $150. A week-long program that will teach athletes everything from Continued on page 59
Koda’s Kids camps will teach kids about football, cheerleading NFL linebacker Dekoda Watson will hold his annual Koda’s Kids Youth Football and Cheerleading Camp on Saturday, June 18 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The camp will be held at Watson’s alma mater, South Aiken High School, for boys and girls ages 7 through 18 and is free for all kids interested. Participants may choose football or cheerleading. “Boys and girls can choose whatever clinic they feel comfortable in,” Watson said. “Our first year, one of the best kids in our football clinic was a girl!” Volunteers, including Watson and other NFL players, will help teach the kids the fundamentals of football and cheerleading. While the camp is free, participants are en-
couraged to donate five canned goods per participant which will be given to Golden Harvest Food Bank. Registration for the camp has already begun, and spots are limited. In addition to the sports camp, registration is also available for the annual Koda’s Kids Gala and charity golf tournament, both held on June 17. Money raised through the gala and golf tournament will go back to Koda’s Kids Foundation which provides one scholarship for a student in each of the seven Aiken County high schools. For more information on the camp, charity gala, or charity golf tournament, and to register, visit kodaskids.org. Spots are limited, so interested participants should register soon.
continued from page 58 simple motions and chants to jumps, tumbling and even basic stunting skills. On Friday, June 17, there will be a 30-minute performance for friends and family that will begin at noon. For more information, visit wsa.net Football Camp presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st-8th graders. June 13-17. 9 a.m.-noon $150. Join us for a week of skill development, team building and gameplay. Players will learn the fundamentals of blocking, tackling, positional play and team offensive/defensive concepts in a safe and fun environment. For more information, visit wsa.net Garret Siler Basketball Camp presented by Episcopal Day Schools of Augusta, Ages 8-16. June 13-17. 9 a.m.4 p.m. $180. Lunch provided. For more information, visit edsaugusta.com Girls Basketball Camp presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st-8th graders. May 31-June 3. 12:30-3:30 p.m. $135. Players will focus on technical training and gameplay strategies and will be divided (by age) into small groups, allowing coaches to provide personal instruction. For more information, visit wsa.net Golf Camp presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 4th-7th graders. June 13-17 from 9 a.m.-Noon $150. Work on putting, chipping, and driving. The location for the camp is TBD. For more information, visit wsa.net Horse Camp presented by Tranquility Stables of Appling, Ages 6 and up. Weekly sessions May 30-July 25. MondayFriday from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. with awards shows every Friday. $255 per session. Call 813-714-2456 to reserve your spot Olympics Camp presented by Episcopal Day School of Augusta, Ages 3-12. August 1-5. Full Day: 9 a.m.-
3:30 p.m. ($180); Half Day: 9 a.m.-1 p .m. ($130). What better way to ring in the 2016 Summer Olympics than with an Olympics of our own! Campers will get to learn all about the sports and activities that make up the Summer Olympics and conclude the week with a Camp Olympics. For more information, visit edsaugusta.com Soccer Camp presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st5th graders. May 31-June 3. 9 a.m.-Noon. $135. Join Westminster state champion and head coach Mike Freace and staff for an exclusive camp that focuses on individual instruction, technical training and small-sided games to improve each player’s abilities and confidence. For more information, visit wsa.net Tennis Camp presented by Newman Tennis Center, Ages 5-7 and Ages 8-17. Weekly sessions from May 23-August 5. Ages 8-17: Full Day Camp: 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. ($200 per week); Half Day Camp: 9 a.m.-noon ($100 per week). Ages 5-7: Quick Start Camp TuesdayThursday from 8 a.m.-9:45 a.m. ($50 per week). For additional information, call 706-821-1600. Tennis Camp presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising PreK-4th Graders. June 6-10 from 9-10:30 a.m. $90. Tennis clinics will consist of an introduction of a stroke a day, stretching and conditioning exercises, fun drills, and games. The Quick Start program will also be taught to all grade levels to develop proper strokes in tennis. For more information, visit wsa.net
Educational Camps American Girl Camp presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising K-3rd graders: July 27-30 from 12:30Continued on page 60 May 19—June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
continued from page 59 3:30 p.m. $150; Rising 4th-5th graders: July 27-30 from 9 a.m.-Noon $150. Travel through time with your favorite American Girl dolls. Campers will focus on a different American Girl each day, exploring their history through crafts, snacks, toys, games and lessons. Bring your own American Girl to join in our adventures. For more information, visit wsa.net Board Game Club presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 7th-12th graders. June 6-10 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. $140. Come be immersed in a world of word games such as Quiddler and Upwords, resourcemanagement games such as Catan and 7 Wonders, collaborative games such as Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Island, board games such as Sequence and Clue Mysteries and card games such as Saboteur and Diamonds. For more information, visit wsa.net Bottle Rockets and Fantastic Science presented by Episcopal Day School of Augusta, Ages 3-12. June 20-24. Full day: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ($180); Half day: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ($130). In this STEM camp students will design and construct a rocket out of ordinary materials. They will construct parachutes for the rockets and see how long it
60 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
takes for the rocket to fall back to the ground after launch. EDS’s own Joe Kirstein will be heading up this camp that starts each day out at the Flowing Wells Campus. Students will return to the EDS main campus for lunch and afternoon activities. For more information, visit edsaugusta.com Camp Invention presented by Episcopal Day School of Augusta, Ages 3-12. June 27-July 1. Full day: 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ($250). Learn, create and explore in a world where there is no wrong answer! Science and building take over this week as campers participate in STEM activities. To register for Camp Invention, visit campinvention. org. For more information, visit edsaugusta.com College Entrance Exam Preparation Course presented by Augusta Christian, Dates: Tuesday, May 31-Friday, June 3, 9 am to 2 pm. This class includes instruction and practice for the reading, the writing and language, and math sections of the SAT. There will also be limited instruction on the essay for those who opt to take it. The class will end just before the June 4, 2016 SAT Exam. The course includes 18 hours of instruction, 3-4 full length practice exams, use of real College Board tests for practice and other College Board
materials and much more. Instruction by Shelia Stewart, a local and proven SAT tutor and instructor. Fee is $225 which includes textbook ($275 after May 15). For more information contact Shelia Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit augustachristian.org Computer Programming & Game Design Camp presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 4th-9th graders. June 13-17 and July 11-15, 1p.m.-4 p.m. $150. In this camp students will explore software design and programming. They will use Alice and Python programming languages to craft a variety of useful programs and amusing games. No experience is required, but intermediate users are welcome. Students will receive information packets for the topics covered and a flash drive with all of the software used in class. Camp will be held in Augusta Prep Middle School Computer Lab. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Crazy Characters camp presented by Episcopal Day School of Augusta, Ages 3-12. June 13-17. Full Day: 9 a.m.3:30 p.m. ($180); Half Day: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. ($130). Does your camper have a favorite book, movie or video character? We will explore all creative and crazy characters this week during camp. For more information, visit edsaugusta.com
Driver’s Ed presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Students with a driving permit. May 31-June 4. 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. $450. Join us for a week of classroom instruction, followed by six scheduled hours of behind-thewheel training completed between June 4 and Augusta 8. Students must have a valid driver’s permit to register for the course. For more information, visit wsa.net Foreign Language Prep presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 8th-9th graders. July 18-22 from 10 a.m.-noon $150. This academic class is designed specifically for students who need some extra help or review with grammatical concepts. This course helps to provide a grammatical foundation for all students who take Latin, French or Spanish. The class covers language structure, including pats of speech, parts of the sentence and verb conjugations. Please note that this class will involve homework. For more information, visit wsa.net Food and Farm Camp presented by Episcopal Day School of Augusta, Ages 3-12. July 11-15. Full Day: 9 a.m.3:30 p.m. ($180); Half day: 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. ($130). Students will learn about Continued from page 61
continued from page 60 the vegetables growing at the Flowing Wells Campus gardens. They will learn about how to take care of the existing plants, start seeds and transplant seedlings, and cook with the vegetables that are ready for harvest. EDSâ€™s own Joe Kirstein will be heading up this camp that starts each day out at the Flowing Wells Campus. Students will return to the EDS main campus for lunch and afternoon activities. For more information, visit edsaugusta.com Forensic Science Camp presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 4th-9th graders, June 13-17 and July 11-15 from 9am-noon. $150. The forensic science exploratory camp will introduce students to the science behind crime scene investigation. Participants will explore mock crime scenes, gather and process evidence, analyze data, and attempt to link evidence to the appropriate suspect. Students will receive information packets for the topics covered, a forensics kit, and certificate of completion. Camp will be held in Augusta Prep Morris Chemistry Lab #2. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Girls Lily Pad Programming presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 3rd-6th graders. July
18-22 from 9 a.m.-noon $150. This program will use Arduino robots to program wearable fashions that light up and blink. Items that can be made are hair clips, pins, jewelry and more. For more information, visit wsa.net Ideaventions Chemical Reactions Camp presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 1st-4th graders. July 18-22 from 1-4 p.m. $220. Join Spark Academy as you don your lab coats and grab a beaker. Campers are the chemists in this exploration of substances changing their chemical identities. We spend the week experimenting with a range of different chemical reactions. From simple kitchen chemistry, such as sugar crystals, to awe-inducing reactions like elephant toothpaste. Campers leave with an understanding of how chemistry and change make up the world around us. Camp will be held on the campus of Augusta Prep in the Lower School art room. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Ideaventions Jr. Robotics Camp Atlantis presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 1st-4th graders. July 18-22 from 9 a.m.-noon, $220. Join Spark Academy on an underwater quest to find the lost city of Atlantis! We are part of a deep sea salvage crew searching for the lost city so that we may uncover its
mysteries. We must defeat underwater guardians to retrieve three keys which open the portal to Atlantis. Along the way we must also design tools for our research vehicle. We will use robotic sensors, motors, the WeDo visual programming environment, and Legos
to solve these problems using creative thinking. Camp will be held on the campus of Augusta Prep in the Lower School Library. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Continued on page 62
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
continued from page 61 Ignite presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 4th-5th graders. July 11-15 from 9 a.m.-Noon $150. Students will ignite their love for reading, writing and math through exciting projects, lessons and games. For more information, visit wsa.net Introduction to Robotics presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 3rd-6th graders. June 20-24, 9 a.m.-noon. $150. In this camp students will be introduced to the world of robotics. This interactive camp experience led by Augusta Prep technology teacher Lauren Ivey will be held in the Middle School Computer Lab. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Organizational Skills presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 5th-12th graders. July 11-14 and July 18-21. 8-8:55 a.m. Monday-Thursday. $110 per session. Organization is a matter of routine. Have a place for everything and routinely put everything in its place! Things Discussed and Taught: Organization of the day, Organization of a locker, binders, notes, communications, Organization of study areas at home, Organization of school and personal calendar, Organization techniques for remembering homework, signed papers, etc., Nightly organization for the next day, A shopping list of school supplies is prepared and lessons on function versus cute or trendy discussed, and more! For more information, visit augustaprep.org Solar Quest Science Camp presented by Augusta Christian, Rising 1st6th graders. June 13-17, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The early bird camp fee is $150 through April 15. After April 15 the camp fee goes up to $175. Camp fee includes a t-shirt and a week of imagination, invention and creativity, all combined with science. Come harness the power of the sun! Discover the sun’s incredible capabilities. Design a solarpowered vehicle and race your roadster against other inventor’s creations. Build a powerful oven that needs no electricity using every-day objects and watch while the sun transforms your food. Join us and experiment with the sun’s mighty power and amazing abilities! For more information, visit augustachristian.org Spark presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st and 2nd graders. July 11-15 from 9 a.m.-Noon $150. This course will “spark” a love for reading, writing and math in our young students. Spark is a foundational course designed to give your child a jumpstart to the grade level he/she will be entering in the fall of 2016. Spark will expose
62 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
students to the classroom curriculum to ensure a smooth transition to the next grade level. For more information, visit wsa.net Study Skills presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 5th-12th graders. July 11-15 and July 18-22. 9-9:55 a.m MondayFriday. $110 per session. In this class you will learn different learning style strategies, how you best learn, your best study environment and how your personality effects your learning style. We will discuss communication strategies to include teacher pleasing behaviors, understanding teacher’s expectations, communicating with teachers and communicating with other students. You will learn about reading comprehension strategy understanding how to read, identifying reading signals including the three sweeps reading a textbook technique. We will cover note-taking, memorization, handling homework and stress management strategies in an effort to help you strive for academic excellence! Camp will be held for 5th-12th graders in Founders Hall. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Taste of Technology presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 3rd-6th graders. June 20-24 from 1-4 p.m. $150. In this camp students will explore different tools of technology including 3D printing, the Z-Space virtual reality machine and more. This interactive camp experience led by Augusta Prep technology teacher Lauren Ivey will be held in the Middle School Computer Lab. For more information, visit augustaprep.org
Art Camps Adventures in Art presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising Pre-K-4th graders, June 6-10 from 12:30-2:30 p.m.; Rising 5th-8th graders, June 13-17 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. $150 per session. Come learn how to create new and beautiful masterpieces with a variety of materials and mediums. Our junior Picassos will delight themselves and their families with their artistic creations. For more information, visit wsa.net Art Camp presented by Augusta Christian, Rising 3rd-8th graders. Dates: May 23-26 or July 25-28, 9:30 a.m.-noon. Camp fees: $15 registration/ supplies and $100 for the camp. Camp includes opportunity for creativity with clay, drawing, painting, mixed media and other. For more information, visit augustachristian.org Creative Writing Camp presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 5th-9th graders. August 1-5 from 9:30-11 a.m. $145. Do you like to scare your friends with
frightful tales? Enjoy writing poetry or plays? Do you have a great idea for a short story, but haven’t found the time to get your ideas on paper? If so, the creative writing camp is for you! Students who enroll in the camp will develop their skills as emerging writers through differentiated writing instruction, one-on-one writing support, and fun writing workshop sessions. With a focus on the creative process and personal expression, students write short stories, personal narratives, poems, or song lyrics and work collaboratively to improve their writing craft. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Hip Hop Dance Camp presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 1st-4th graders. June 27-July 1 from 9 a.m.-noon. $120. This camp back by popular demand will allow students to learn body movements that go with the beat and rhythm of hip hop music. Your child will learn moves that are dynamic and athletic incorporating jumps, breaks, and rotations in the movements. Hip hop dancing is considered great exercise and helps dancers improve flexibility, develop body balance, and coordination. Athletic hip hop dance classes are a great way to simply let go and dance without the limitations of classical dance techniques that are required in ballet and tap. Camp will be held on the campus of Augusta Prep in the Hull Fine Arts Center. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Mini Musical Theater Camp presented by Augusta Prep, Rising K-5th graders. July 11-15 from 9 a.m.- 3p.m., Monday-Friday. $230. Students will prepare and then perform a musical for their families on the last day of camp. Musicals will be introduced to students through story time, videos, puppet shows and much more. Students have the opportunity to paint and create backdrops, memorize speaking parts and sing songs. Students will also help make props, create costumes, learn basic music/theater vocabulary and play a variety of games to reinforce performance skills. This is the perfect opportunity for students to practice working as a team, share their true artistic abilities in front of an audience, and promote the value of self-expression. For more information, visit augustaprep. org Mixed Media Afternoon Arts presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 2nd-5th graders, June 6-10 from 12:30- 3:30 p.m. $140. This camp is for students looking to explore a variety of different artistic materials while learning about important techniques and artistic styles from around the world. Each child will
create several projects in sculpture, painting, and printmaking exploring both creative potential and textural relationships by synthesizing several different media within the projects. Camp will be held in the Augusta Prep Lower School Art Room with LS Art Teacher Chad Cole. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Media as Literature presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 9th-12th graders. June 13-24 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. $250. Instead of focusing on literature, this course focuses on the literary analysis and merits of alternative mediums of art with film and music being the primary focus. For more information, visit wsa.net Morning with the masters art camp presented by Augusta Prep, Rising 2nd-5th graders. June 6-10 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. $140. For students who are passionate about art history and improving their skills with drawing and painting. Each morning will be dedicated to learning about the artwork of a “Great Master” and the students will apply the techniques of these artists to an original work of art. Our studies will include “Starry Night,” “The Great Wave,” and “David.” All Supplies are included in the cost, and students will leave with completed pieces of art. Camp will be held in the Augusta Prep Lower School Art Room with LS Art Teacher Chad Cole. For more information, visit augustaprep.org Musical Fun Camp presented by Episcopal Day School of Augusta, Ages 3-12. June 6-10. Full day: 9 a.m.3:30 p.m. ($180); Half day: 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. ($130). Everyday is a new musical adventure during this week of camp. Special guests Tara and Kevin Scheyer will teach campers about a variety of musical instruments, and how to play them. Arts will be centered around creating our own musical instruments, and the week will end with all campers getting to participate in a camp performance. For more information, visit edsaugusta.com Paul Owen’s Drama Camp presented by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 3rd-7th graders. June 20-24 from 9 a.m.-noon, $170. Enter the exciting and unpredictable world of drama- where everyone is a star! Learn the basics of acting through dynamic theatre games, group activities, improve and pantomime. You will be learning from Westminster’s drama director alongside some of the students you’ve seen on the stage. The week ends with a hilarious performance from the entire group. For more information, visit wsa.net
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Business Lunch Review Ephesus Susan O’Keefe
Ephesus is located 3102 Washington Road in Augusta.
Ephesus serves up a variety of Mediterranean treasures In a typical American shopping center off Washington Road sits a Mediterranean treasure. Ephesus serves Greek and Turkish dishes and prides itself in authenticity. On a recent spring visit, I found the restaurant clean, airy and inviting. My colleagues and I were bound to add a little spice to a typical lunch meal. Once inside Ephesus, we were told by the server to seat
ourselves. Only a couple of tables were occupied so we had our pick of the place. We opted to sit beside the spacious windows which were plentiful. White tablecloths and cloth napkins added a certain crispness to the atmosphere. Our water glasses were quickly filled as we were greeted by a Greek gentleman who I assume was the owner and head chef. As we scanned the menu, we found ourselves dissecting and questioning each entry. What is shawarma or adana? Has anyone ever tried lule kebaps or doner? Within minutes, our server came to the rescue. She interpreted and explained until we decided on our selections. Having married into a Greek family, she had acquired a wealth of knowledge of Greek and Turkish menus, foods and preparations. Our table decided on the ever popular iskender kebap. It is described as a gyro meat served over bread croutons and a homemade tomato sauce with yogurt. We also chose hummus as an appetizer with which we were well acquainted. Hummus is mashed chickpeas with garlic, tahini, and herbs. Although the $6.25 appetizer price seemed steep, we were willing to pay
and eagerly awaited delivery. We also opted to try the eggplant salad which was prepared using smoked eggplant, grilled peppers, garlic, and olive oil. The restaurant was fairly quiet except for low playing music. Lyrics were in a language which may have been Greek. The music added to the restaurant’s cultural ambience. Brightly colored tassel lamp shades adorned ceiling lights. Pictures of the Mediterranean Seashore sprinkled the walls. With its comfortable classiness, Ephesus would make an ideal spot for a business celebration or gathering. The hummus appetizer arrived and did not disappoint. With a creamy texture next to the crisp taste of cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots, our plate was soon clean. We used the fresh warm pita bread slices to clean the hummus from the plate even further.
The eggplant dish carried a unique smoky flavor. My colleagues and I all enjoyed it and would rate it as a top notch item on the menu. Like the hummus, it was in the $6.50 range. Once the iskender kebap arrived, we were glad we had only ordered the lunch portion. There was enough meat to feed a small army! Iskender is fresh lamb thinly sliced and served over bread in a tomato and yogurt sauce. It carries a hefty $15 price tag but my colleague placed the remaining kebap in a to-go box and ended up with two meals from one order. Although time will tell, this little gem off Washington Road has the potential to be a shining star. It offers a distinctly different flavor and is confident in its service. For those eager to add a little spice to their dining experience, Ephesus is the place to go.
Local barbecue restaurant seeks spot on national food show By Gary Kauffman When Bobby Boggs, owner of The Pot Smoker BBQ in North Augusta, travels he likes to eat at restaurants recommended by the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Now he has launched a campaign to get his restaurant on the show so they can be among the recommended eateries. “It’d be a huge PR thing,” Boggs said. “Then when people are driving on the interstate, even if you don’t have a billboard there, they can still find you.” Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is hosted by Guy Fieri and features three restaurants per half-hour segment, usually with a theme like Burgers and Dogs or Family Legacies. Getting a segment on the show wasn’t originally Boggs’ idea. “We had people tell us they’d put us in for the show,” he said. “After three or four weeks of people telling us this, we decided to research how to get on the show.” The way to get on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is to be recommended by the restau-
64 Buzz on Biz May 19—June 15, 2016
rant’s patrons. How many recommendations it takes before the show’s producers will consider the restaurant is not revealed. To help his cause, Boggs created fliers for his customers that contain a QR scan code that takes them directly to the recommendation form for the show. Boggs said if enough patrons request The Pot Smoker, the show will research them and the region. One of Fieri’s main interests when featuring a barbecue restaurant is what makes the meat different than other restaurants. “We have a unique rub and a unique process that keeps the meat moist and tender,” Boggs said. “They say the best steaks don’t need any sauce and we thought, ‘Why can’t we do that with pork?’ That’s what we set out to do and that’s what we’ve done.” But for sauce lovers, The Pot Smoker has several unique blends that can be found not only at The Pot Smoker restaurant at 340 Edgefield Road in North Augusta but also in
area Bi-Lo stores and soon in Walmart as well. “Most barbecue sauces start with a base of vinegar to break down the acidity. We don’t. We use other spices to break up the acidity. It gives us a unique flavor profile.” If The Pot Smoker is selected, Fieri will film the behind-the-scenes process of pre-
paring the meat and sauces, as well as interacting with customers of the business. The Pot Smoker BBQ is open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. It also has a catering business. To recommend The Pot Smoker BBQ, visit www.guyfieri.com/suggest-a-hot-spot.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
66 Buzz on Biz May 19â€”June 15, 2016
Platinum Sports covers all the bases Former MLB pitcher passes his knowledge to local athletes
By Gary Kauffman When Matt Childers started coaching his son’s Little League team, he began to get a lot of questions from parents for his expert opinions. There was a good reason parents wanted his insights: Childers spent 14 years playing professional baseball, including brief stints in the Major Leagues in 2002 and 2005. So Childers decided to put his knowledge to use and started a coaching facility, Platinum Sports, four years ago. A few months ago he moved that to a larger facility on Washington Road near Bobby Jones Expressway that contains more space for batting cages, plus an additional facility with a gym for basketball and volleyball. Although he is the “expert,” Childers said baseball involves a lifetime of learning. “When you play professional baseball for five years you think you know it all; when you play professional baseball for 10 years you realize you don’t know anything,” he said. “I’m still learning.” Although his professional career was as a pitcher, Childers has an affinity for hitting. “My whole youth and in high school I was focused on hitting but I threw hard so they said I’d be a pitcher,” he said. “I feel I spent my whole career hitting until I got to the pros.” The focus of Platinum Sports is youth ages third grade through eighth grade, but there are also high school, college and even off-season professional players who utilize the facility. Parents, too, can enjoy some recreational time while their kids practice.
Matt Childers, right, keeps his eye on an athlete practicing a pitching drill at Platinum Sports in Martinez. Photo by Gary Kauffman
While batting cages for baseball and softball are a big part of Platinum Sports, there is much more to it. There are free weights and cardio machines for fitness, sports apparel and bats for sale, and an academic room where kids can study while waiting for practice time. The gym contains training for basketball and volleyball. It also is equipped with black lights for some cosmic fun parties. The facility is available for individuals and for teams, and individual lessons are offered. There is a day-use rate, but Childers said monthly memberships are growing in popularity. For an extra $20 a month, parents can also use the workout equipment. Platinum Sports also offers baseball and softball hitting camps during the summer. In addition to Childers, several other
former professional players help with the lessons. Parents can observe the drills from one of two observation rooms. Parents are also encouraged to listen to the instructions so they can work on drills and techniques with their children at home. The lessons can be for beginners to those seeking to fine tune skills, and involve more than just hitting. Training is also given in pitching and fielding positions. “We have drills that we do that at all ages and all levels can help players improve,” Childers said. With pitching, Childers said they are conscientious about protecting young arms with various stretches and exercises, and making sure they understand how much a player has pitched or plans to pitch that week.
“Personal communication is probably the most important thing we do,” Childers said. With hitters, Platinum Sports emphasizes a lot of work with hitting tees, even though youth players often find that less than glamorous. “We try to convince the kids that some of the best hitters work off a tee,” he said. “Each individual is unique and we don’t want them to be robots, but there are some standards we teach that give them the best chance to be successful.” Childers is excited about two additions coming to his facility in the near future – a pitching machine that simulates the ball coming from a pitcher’s hand, and a simulator similar to a golf simulator that allows players to “hit” in a variety of Major League stadiums.
Get a jump on summer with delicious Georgia food festivals
Although summer doesn’t officially start for a few more weeks, don’t let that technicality get in the way of eating your way through these delicious Georgia food festivals. East Atlanta Beer Fest, Atlanta, May 21 This year’s 13th annual East Atlanta Beer Festival will be held in Brownwood Park. Featuring over 200 craft beers, local music,
local food vendors and a souvenir glass, this festival promises to be the perfect way to welcome summer. Bavarianfest, Helen, May 28 Memorial Day weekend starts this celebration that parties well into the fall. A live Oompa band, dancing, and a festive Bavarian atmosphere in the Festhalle is the perfect
backdrop to enjoy imported beer, traditional wines, wursts, sauerkraut and other German favorites. Active military and veterans receive free admission. All other adults are only $7 each. Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Atlanta, June 2-5 Created in 2010, this multi-day food
festival includes cooking, cocktail, pairings, and technique classes; unlimited samples in their International Tasting Tents; and specialty dinners and events, like the Wine Lunch and Sunday Brunch. You can buy your festival tickets a la carte or purchase the premier three-day Connoisseur ticket.
May 19—June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Good Spirits Ben Casella
Beating the Heat
Local brew among those that refresh during summer heat Ok. Help me think here. I’m drawing a complete blank.... Oh, gosh! It’s on the tip of my cerebrum! You know?!?! That time of year we sometimes get down South that comes in between our long Spring and our even longer Fall... Oh yeah: Summer!!! When the low temperature for the day is above 80 degrees. When getting stuck at a red light on the way to work means an extra trip to the dry
Screening Room Samantha Taylor
Superhero Summer Good guys are a good choice for summer viewing I’ll be the first to admit that I’m kind of a nerd. I will spend hours watching the original Star Trek series and NPR is always on in my kitchen. Knowing these things, it should come as no surprise that I absolutely love superhero stories. The question is, why on earth wouldn’t a person love a good superhero? From humble and often tragic beginnings comes a hero, a righter of wrongs, and good always triumphs over evil. Yes, superhero stories are where it’s at. The Flash Barry Allen is 11 when he awakens in the middle of the night to an odd noise. Following the noise, he goes
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cleaners. When the shade no longer helps because the breeze is actually hot. When soaking your feet in cold water before bed cools your core long enough to fall asleep... And, lastly, when you really start to think about those beers that actually refresh your palate (no, not Natty or PBR - no offense). I’m thinking more along the lines of pale ale, craft lager or pilsner. Granted, these are not go-to’s for me personally, but I respect the thought process (and the comments) enough to include them when I feel it is seasonally correct to do so. Thus, we move on. River Watch Brewery’s 104 – We’re going to do an entire column on River Watch Brewery very soon, and we can’t wait! Until then, I will say I had this local (yes, actually from downtown Augusta!) with a burger not long ago and found it delightful. There’s a sweetness somewhere that I didn’t expect, but the decay of this pale ale allowed the savor to hold its own (as well as a pale ale can) all the while perfectly complementing every taste of my food.
downstairs to his family’s living room and is horrified to see his mother surrounded by a bright and viscous light. She is obviously in pain, and there is nothing he can do to help her. He somehow finds himself down the street and when he makes it back to the house he finds his father being arrested for his mother’s murder. It doesn’t get more tragic than this. The Flash is a fast-paced and exciting series. With a bright, urban setting, familiar actors and witty dialogue, it kept me easily entertained. Even my son, who was hesitant to watch the show, was begging to stay up “just a little later” so he could watch “just one more episode.” I relented. I wanted to watch another episode too. Gotham We all know Bruce Wayne as the multibillionaire CEO of Wayne Enterprises and, more importantly, Batman. But Bruce Wayne wasn’t always the daring man we are used to seeing. Once Bruce was a little boy, and Gotham is all about origins. Where The Flash was bright and light-hearted, Gotham is dark, gloomy and something similar to a film noir. Again, the series starts off with a tragic story, perhaps the most tragic story, with a young Bruce Wayne watching his parents get murdered in the street. (Yes, I wanted to cry.) In Gotham it always looks as if it’s about to rain, and the characters are always on the verge of an awful storm as well. Jim Gordon is new to town, and desires to clean up the corruption that
written or said about any pale ale – ever. Victory Prima Pils – To the best of my knowledge, I had my first Victory beer at a Village Tavern with my good buddy Patrick Blanchard before a Phish show. It was Victory Golden Monkey, which is still one of the best golden ales I’ve had to date. Prima Pils comes in at roughly half the ABV of Golden Monkey, but aspects I enjoy such as lacing and a subtly bitter edge are not sacrificed to the degree one would imagine. Floral notes are evident, as are malts and white toast, but any earthy aspects are gone with the decay just in time to wash down your next bite of chicken quesadilla or pizza.
I can’t wait to try some more from this local brewery. Until then, I will have River Watch 104 again soon, and I think that’s the single nicest thing I’ve ever
Ben Casella is especially excited about River Watch Brewery and hopes the government gets its act together in not hindering the attraction of craft beer tourism. Georgia is poised as the next big thing in craft beer, and brewers are succeeding in spite of antiquated laws regarding onpremise consumption. Let’s take it to the next level and be better than Colorado and Vermont combined!
from season one of course, and I was absolutely hooked. Buffy’s story isn’t all that tragic, but the town she lives in is. Sunnydale isn’t as happy as it sounds; it’s actually the Hellmouth and Buffy has been chosen to protect the world from all the vampires and creatures that emerge. Sure, Buffy the Vampire Slayer leaves a little to be desired in the way of graphics and costume design, but the
runs rampant in the police force. Having been one of the responding officers to the murder of Wayne’s parents, he also feels obligated to find the man who ruined this little boy’s life. It is the start of a friendship that will span for years. While Gotham is a little dark and much slower paced than The Flash, it’s still pretty entertaining. Having a little prior knowledge of the Batman stories helps tremendously, as we get to see the villains before they go bad. If you’re into character-development, this is most definitely the show for you. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Let me first admit that I used to make fun of people for watching this show. By season seven, when my mom and sisters began watching, Buffy had run out of steam. The story should have ended long before, but they just kept pumping out new episodes, most of which were lame. With all that said, the first few seasons of Buffy are awesome. A roommate convinced me to start watching,
show more than makes up for this with hilarious dialogue, unique characters, and an awesome soundtrack. You will binge-watch for sure. Just don’t go past season 5. 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.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
Humor Nora Blithe
On the Move
Calendar creates calamity when planning a move The horrible news struck us like a mascara wand to the eye: we were moving. We’d have rather had our legs waxed. We’d hoped to stay in our rental home for another year, but our landlord wanted to sell the house, and we had to get out. Since our lease was up, we were powerless to stop our landlord’s evil, nefarious, villainous, heinous scheme. Reluctantly, we began planning for our move. The most complicated arrangement wasn’t the packing, or finding a new place to live. The most difficult part was scheduling time off work. “I told the apartment company that we want to move in on the 17th,” I told my husband, Brian, over the phone.
“Did you put in to have that time off?” “I’m trying,” he replied. I could hear the sound of lab equipment running in the background. Brian makes eyeglasses for a living. “I asked one of my employees if he could cover for me, but he already wanted that time off.” I consulted a calendar. “We could reschedule our move to the 20th if that would help. Oh, wait no; we can’t do it that day because we’re supposed to be out by the 19th. What about the 18th?” I asked him. “I can’t do the 18th, because I’ll be the manager on duty,” he replied. “It’s got to be the 17th.” I had visions of an empty moving van and me with no one to help lift our washer, dryer and piano over the threshold. I gulped and wished I’d spent more time at the gym. A lot more time. “Here’s something that might work,” Brian went on. I brightened hopefully. “My employee wants those days off, but he can’t remember if he requested them off yet or not.” “Beat him to the calendar,” I interjected. “Don’t let him put in his requested days off before you! Pull rank! Kick him! Trip him if you have to!” Brian sighed.
Columbia County takes steps to become part of state’s film industry Columbia County moved a step closer to being in the movies in April as Film Columbia County became a member of the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI). This opens opportunities for Film Columbia County to connect with industry experts and bench mark with other film commissions in the United States and abroad. Benefits of membership include established credibility, professional development, and networking opportunities at events such as AFCI Global Finance & Locations Show and Cineposium. “This is an exciting next step for Film Columbia County,” said Robbie Bennett, Executive Director of the Development Authority of Columbia County. “As a new venture, the Film Columbia County team is dedicated to developing a customer service focused film office and building key relationships within the film industry. Being a member of AFCI will help ensure these efforts are maximized.” “Membership in AFCI will help create brand awareness for Film Columbia
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County,” added Randy DuTeau, Executive Director of the Columbia County CVB, “ultimately opening doors for new opportunities to connect with location managers and industry experts.” During fiscal year 2015, filming in Georgia represented a $6 billion economic impact for the State of Georgia. During that time, 248 feature films, television movies and series, commercials and music videos were shot across the state. Film Columbia County, a joint venture between the Development Authority of Columbia County, the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Columbia County Board of Commissioners, was formed in 2016. The Film Columbia County team is working to develop a film office to help attract and support film productions and other related businesses. The goal of Film Columbia County is to foster economic growth and development through film related projects. Film Columbia County is the one-stop shop for all film industry needs in Columbia County.
“I’m not going to kick or trip him,” he said. “Let me talk to him again. I’ll call you back.” While I waited on Brian to sort his schedule, I made a list of people who owe me favors, so I could call them in if my husband couldn’t get the time off. I couldn’t move all our stuff on my own. Unfortunately, none of the people on my list were Navy Seals or Army Rangers. Just my usual batch of friends who are as out of shape as I am. My phone rang. It was Brian. “I’ve got the time off,” he announced triumphantly. “I had to give up part of my summer vacation, agree to take the vacation in September instead of July
and skip all my lunch breaks for the next two weeks to make it work out, but we can move!” “Great,” I said flatly. The good news was I wouldn’t have to move all our belongings on my own. The bad news was that our summer vacation would be cut short. Oh well, I reasoned. I might not get to the beach as soon as I want, but when July rolls around, I’ll probably still be unpacking boxes anyway. 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. To read more of her work, get news and information, visitNoraBlithe.com
Africa, Civil War surgeon will be featured in Arts & Heritage Center exhibit The Arts and Heritage Center in North Augusta has two exhibits opening on June 10. The main gallery will feature the exhibit “Out of Africa,” which presents approximately 70 pieces of African art from a locally-owned collection. Included in the exhibit is an 8-foot Senufo Hornbill, masks, statues, furniture, musical instruments, weaponry, farm implements and brass figurines. The collection, owned by a group of local investors, includes items produced in more than 17 countries throughout the African continent, primarily during the early 1900s. The balcony gallery will feature the AHC’s summer heritage exhibit, “North Augusta City Government and Public Safety Through the Years.” This is the 110th anniversary of the incorporation of the city of North Augusta. The exhibit chronicles the expansion of both government and public safety and the major milestones that each has overseen throughout the development of North Augusta. On June 22, the AHC is hosting a “Lunch ‘n Learn” featuring local author Tom Robertson, from noon to 1 p.m. Robertson will be sharing tales from his recent book Resisting Sherman: A Confederate Surgeon’s Journal.
The book is based on the journal of his ancestor, surgeon Francis M. Robertson, who chronicled his experiences during the final weeks of the Civil War as he followed Confederate forces from Charleston through the Carolinas and southern Virginia. Following his talk, Robertson will be selling and signing copies of his book. If you are interested in attending the “Lunch ‘n Learn” please call the AHC at 803-441-4380 to register. Bring your lunch and the AHC provides drinks and desserts. The AHC is located inside the North Augusta Municipal Building at 100 Georgia Avenue, on the first floor. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the second Sunday of every month from 2 to 4 pm. There is no admission charge but donations are appreciated. For more information, contact the AHC at 803-441-4380 or visit our website at artsandheritagecenter.com.
May 19â€”June 15, 2016 Buzz on Biz
72 Buzz on Biz May 19â€”June 15, 2016