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JUNE 18-JULY 15, 2015 • THE CSRA’S MONTHLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Work force tsunami

Heavenly Hot Sauce

Retiring workers leave job holes but area lacks skilled replacements

By Gary Kauffman The good news is that the CSRA could see 37,000 or more job openings in the next five years. The bad news is that the CSRA may not have a work force with the skills to fill those jobs. Two members of the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO) presented the findings of a work force study to the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce on June 4. The study was for the five counties it serves – Richmond and Columbia counties in Georgia and Aiken, Barnwell and Allendale counties in South Carolina. Rick McLeod, executive director of SRSCRO, said a large factor in the job openings is replacing jobs that will be lost to retirement. He noted that the average age of workers at the Savannah River Site, for example, is 54. “As a region, we have a high replacement job tsunami coming at us that we need to be prepared for,” he said. “The aging work force will be a challenge for this area.” Not surprisingly, about 80 percent of new jobs in the South Carolina counties will relate to the nuclear field, while about 80 percent in the Georgia counties will stem from See WORK FORCE, page 4

Mark Alison grills chicken glazed with his own brand of hot sauce called Help Me Jesus. Photo by Gary Kauffman

Local ad man markets his own hot sauce By Gary Kauffman Long before hot sauces were trendy, Mark Alison was brewing his own for his family’s use. It proved so popular among his friends that the president of The Alison Group marketing firm in Augusta is now marketing his own product under the label Help Me Jesus Hot Sauce. “My dad was from the West and he’d

make tacos for us,” Alison said. “I’ve always liked spicy foods.” Like grew into love when he studied at the Technological Institute of Monterrey, Mexico. “I fell in love with the serrano pepper,” he said. He got some seeds and for the past 30 See HELP ME, page 2


HELP ME

continued from page 1 years or more he’s been growing his own serrano peppers that he uses in a variety of dishes. More than the spice, he enjoyed the flavor of the serrano. “I decided I’d like to create a hot sauce using the serrano pepper,” he said. In addition to the serrano, he included three other peppers and a variety of spices to create a concoction he and his family enjoyed. “For about three years we kept it to ourselves,” Alison said. “I’d make it a gallon at a time. People would come over, really like the sauce and ask how they could get some.” Public demand That started the process of getting Help Me Jesus Hot Sauce out to the public. He has it made and packaged at a plant in Georgia so that it meets all FDA requirements. Alison visits the plant to ensure that each new batch of the sauce remains consistent. He also started making his own ketchup base for the sauce so that it no longer contains high fructose corn syrup. His marketing firm created the logo and labels. So far, it has proved to be a success. Restaurants like the Pot Smoker in North Augusta and stores like Fireside Grills in Augusta carry it. An internet marketer sells it as well and after tweaking the ketchup base, Whole Foods has expressed an interest. His latest shipment from the factory consisted of 1,500 5-oz. bottles. It even won a Best of Show award at a pepper show in Richmond, Va. “I never expected it to be this big of a hit,” Alison admitted. Part of the success may lie in the name Help Me Jesus. It’s a name that seemed to have divine inspiration. Divinely inspired name Alison has collected hot sauces with descriptive but not always wholesome names. He knew he wanted something Southern for his sauce and something that his grandchildren wouldn’t be embarrassed to read. One Sunday morning he stopped at Lowe’s and was standing in the electrical

section, absorbed in reading a product description. He had forgotten that he’d slipped his cell phone into his pocket and that it was on vibrate. The phone went off. “For a millisecond I thought I’d touched something and got electrocuted,” Alison said. He jumped back and uttered an exclamation. Standing next to him were two women dressed for church. When Alison jumped, they were startled and jumped too. “They started saying, ‘Lord, help me Jesus,’” Alison said. “I thought that was the perfect name for the hot sauce. It’s Southern, and it’s not going to hurt the kids to see it.” Mild for a variety of uses Although the name may conjure up images of people fanning their tongues and crying “Help me Jesus” after tasting the hot sauce, it is actually a mild sauce. The label proclaims that it is “A heavenly balance of flavor and heat.” “It’s supposed to enhance the flavor, not mask it,” Alison said. “It’s like a kicked-up A-1 sauce.” Alison has found that his customers have a variety of uses for it. It can be injected into pork butts, used as a base for hot mustard or combined with mayonnaise for a spicy dip. Some have mixed it with macaroni and cheese or eggs or even greens. Alison plans to eventually put recipes using his hot sauce on the website (helpmejesushotsauce.com) Marketing his own product wasn’t easy, even though he is a marketer. “You have to by necessity step back from being the principle in the product and put on your marketing hat,” he said. “It’s a little tough to do, but we’ve been able to do it successfully.” Alison plans to add products to his fledgling hot sauce business. Next up will be a 2X version that will be a truly hot sauce. “That’ll be very hot,” he said. “That’s what everybody is asking for.” A dry rub, a peach-flavored hot sauce and a barbecue sauce are all ideas for the future. He may even develop a kosher line of the hot sauce and market it under the name Help Me Moses.

Georgia loses top barbecue ranking, drops to fifth best Georgia lost its No. 1 ranking as the best state for barbecue, but still has the top spot in the nation for a restaurant to enjoy some barbecued ribs and pork. The annual list compiled by TripAdvisor ranked Georgia fifth and South Carolina seventh as the states with the best barbecue. A year ago, Georgia had ranked first and South Carolina sixth. Tennessee claimed the top spot this year, followed by Texas, Missouri and North Carolina. But Joe’s BBQ in Blue Ridge, Ga., ranked as the best spot for barbecue. Joe’s BBQ is a

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cabin-style restaurant nestled in the mountains just south of the Tennessee-North Carolina border. According to one reviewer, “The pork and ribs are the standouts. Both were tender and packed with flavor, and smoked perfectly.” The state rankings were given by the volume and quality of reviews on TripAdvisor, as well as the total number and percentage of restaurants in the state classified as barbecue. The individual restaurants were rated on the quality of reviews for restaurants with a minimum of 100 reviews. Chain restaurants with more than 10 stores were excluded.


Publisher’s Notes Neil Gordon

Food for Thought

Summer is a great time to read about - and enjoy - food I love food. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the snacks in between. My belly is growling and I’m salivating at the thought of reading our neat food features.

Features

I still remember a holiday party at Mark Alison’’s home about 20 years ago. He grilled the most tender and juiciest chicken breasts I had ever eaten. He used unique basting sauces as well. Fast forward to June of this year and history repeated itself! Our Editor In Chief Gary Kauffman and I joined his team at The Alison Group for a barbecue lunch – featuring chicken! This time it was basted with Mark’s new bottled hot sauce, creatively named Help Me Jesus – equally delicious. His love of food, spices and business are part of our cover story. Note to Mark: I’m getting hungry again. Please don’t wait 20 years for another invite! Like Mark, Larry Sconyers, Chuck Baldwin and Walter Clay know the importance of the right flavors to make a business successful. In honor of our “foodie issue,” Boss Hog Sconyers is our choice for Busi-

Baldwin to discuss their recipe for a business succession plan. Her profile of them is on page 24. Somewhere in Augusta has a special place in my heart as well. It’s where my son and I spent many nights watching our favorite teams on their big screen TVs. Our restaurant reviewer may have caught them having a “bad game.” Look for the story on page 42. Another of our new writers, Susan Keefe, got to mix coffee and art with her Social Buzz cover story from the Buona Caffe. It’s on page 53. Bon Appetit and Bon Reading! nessperson of the Month. This honor couldn’t have been bestowed on a nicer man. Read about him on page 28. Raes Coastal Cafe and French Market Grille are two of my favorite restaurants because they are uniquely Augusta. One of our new writers, Millie Huff, sat down with Walter Clay and Chuck

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.

Tapping into Augusta.... 22 Business Events............ 32

Cutting Edge ................ 46

New downtown growler bar, The Hive, is buzzing with beer choices.

Georgia Regents University, wanting to be known as the place for cyber, starts Cyber Institute.

Business Openings...22,23

Social Buzz............... 53-63

Arena Woes...................... 6 Coliseum Authority seeks new downtown arena, saying current arena has too many issues and will be too costly to continue.

Taxpayer Payback?........ 12 In North Augusta, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley said the state has a surplus of funds and wants to give it back to the taxpayers.

Buzz Bits....................14,15 Technology Boost.......... 20 TAG president tells how Augusta can boost its technology presence.

Columnists

Different Doctor............ 31 Changing Hands........... 24 Raes Coastal Cafe owner Walter Clay has bought the iconic French Market Grille from Chuck Baldwin.

Businessperson of Month: Larry Sconyers.............. 28

Dr. Rob Lamberts changed his business model to reduce health care costs while improving care.

N. Augusta Chamber.... 38 North Augusta Chamber President Terra Carroll reports about the chamber’s activities and opportunities.

Larry Sconyers still has a presence in fam- New Leadership............ 42 ily’s longtime barbecue restaurant. Partridge Inn hires a new general man-

Charles Kelly: What you need to know about Windows 10 before you upgrade...............8 Tim Dalton: Know the real value of your business..................................................................... 10 Larry Rudwick: Watch the numbers to keep your business profitable............................... 10 Jeb Blount: Words can have a powerful affect............................................................................. 16 Steve Swanson: Learning to leave can make all the difference............................................. 16 Gary Kauffman: Brief is better when running a business meeting....................................... 18 Marin Rose: How to deal with a messy boss................................................................................. 18 Donna Martin: It’s not either/or when it comes to marketing and advertising............... 26 Mike Herrington: Bad advice to avoid with your pension plan............................................. 26 Russell Head: FSAs offer a flexible health care alternative...................................................... 30 Christine Hall: Don’t panic if you have to file an amended return ....................................... 30 Kelsey Morrow: Dispelling myths about social media.............................................................. 40 Eddie Kennedy: Business Book Review, “The Pursuit of Wow”............................................... 40

Coffee Cup Art................ 53 Local artists create pictures using coffee as a medium to celebrate Buona Caffe’s second anniversary.

Barry Paschal: Job outlook good for recent grads...................................................................... 44 Samantha Shore: Colleges going to BYOD policies................................................................... 44 Alexandrea Daitch: Business Lunch Review, Somewhere in Augusta................................. 48 Ben Casella: Beers for summer sessions......................................................................................... 54 Samantha Taylor: An apocalyptic summer on Netflix............................................................... 54 Glenn Campbell: Kyle Busch returns for serious injury............................................................. 56 Jonathan Karow: Movie “Whiplash” renews interest in jazz.................................................... 57 Katie Silarek: The right words can keep you pumped up for your workouts.................... 58 Margaret Centers: Ireland has a wide variety of interests for travelers............................... 58 Kathy Crist: Keeping the brain stimulated results in longer independence..................... 60 Scott Patterson: When moving, should you sell or rent?......................................................... 60 Nora Blithe: Working at a coffee shop leads to a wandering imagination........................ 62 McKenna Hydrick: Watermelon Cooler is a refeshing summertime drink......................... 62

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WORK FORCE continued from page 1 the cyber area. Robbie Bennett, executive director of the Development Authority of Columbia County, noted that the 37,000 projected jobs over the next five years does not take into account any new companies that will be locating in the CSRA during that time, creating even more jobs. “Those numbers may be very conservative,” he said. “We’re on the brink of a renaissance period but the work force will be a key element in making this a success.” Bennett said that need isn’t just for future businesses. “In order to grow we need a strong work force to attract new business, but right now we need a strong work force for every business here right now,” he said. Education issues But there is a problem. McLeod said the current education system doesn’t mesh well with the requirements for those jobs. “Our children are not necessarily getting the skills to fill those jobs,” he said. Mindy Mets, programming director for the SRSCRO’s Nuclear Workforce Initiative, said many skills are needed. A 2009 study for the area’s nuclear work force found a need for about 10,000 workers with 57 skill levels. “Many people see the nuclear industry as mysterious,” she said. “They think you have to be a nuclear scientist. But there are many other jobs.” Those jobs, however, need a background in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Dr. Sandra Carraway, superintendent of Columbia County Schools, said in some ways local schools have done an outstanding job. Three county high schools were ranked in the top 12 percent in the nation for achievement, according to one survey.

But, she added, they have not been strong in preparing students for jobs in the local work force. But that is changing. She said all of the middle schools in the county are becoming STEM certified and are working toward producing students with strong STEM skills. Employers want more than just technical skills, though. McLeod said in employer surveys and round table discussions, among the needed skills that frequently were mentioned were things like showing up on time and getting along with others. Bennett said that in addition to educating students in STEM courses, they also need to be informed about the companies and available jobs in the area. Opportunities for students “Students need to know what opportunities are here,” he said. That may require a larger community strategy. McLeod said that larger cities often hold an allure to young people. “Young people don’t stay in the area,” he said. “They go to larger cities because we don’t have the things they want. We have some difficulty in recruiting them and keeping them here.” The SRSCRO has created a five-part strategy to prepare for the growing work force need: Collecting information and resources to support the work force; Convening with area leaders and educators to discuss work force topics; Connecting with a network of partners to be more responsive to the work force system; Informational activities to raise the awareness of opportunities in the area; and Marketing to help regional employers attract talent. Bennett believes that being proactive can keep the good news of more jobs as good news for the area. “We have a great opportunity to start today to be prepared for tomorrow,” he said.

Job fair, transition summit planned at Fort Gordon Making the transition from military life to civilian life is often frustrating for service members. To help with that transition, Fort Gordon has scheduled a twoday National Transition Summit June 24 and 25. This will help service members be aware of the many job opportunities in the CSRA. The event features key federal and state agencies, influential military leaders, innovators in business and local community leaders. The two-day Transition Summit will feature informative and interactive panel events, recruiter training and facilitated discussions focused on improving competitive employment for service members, veterans and spouses, in addition to a networking reception for employers, senior leaders, and job seekers. A job fair will be held the second day of the summit to showcase area employment

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Enterprise Mill listed for sale with Florida real estate agency Enterprise Mill is up for sale, with a price tag of $15.3 million. The sale was announced in a press release from Florida commercial realtor Avison Young. Enterprise Mill, along the Augusta Canal on Greene Street, contains apartments and office space, plus the Augusta Canal Museum. According to the press release, 97 percent of the 60 apartments are occupied, and 84 percent of the office space is leased.

THE CSRA’S ONLY MONTHLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE The Buzz on Biz mission is to act as an inspirational tool for those in the workplace and those who are entrepreneurs, and to provide useful, practical information to increase their companies’ bottom lines. To order a 12-month subscription mailed to your home or office, please mail a check for $36 to cover postage to the address below. Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830 Sales Manager Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727 Sales Janine Garropy/803-480-2800 Design Gary Kauffman

opportunities. Companies who would like to participate should register at uschamberfoundation.org/event/fort-gordon-transition-summit. For registration questions, contact hiringourheroes@uschamber.com or 202-4635807.

It is currently owned by Melaver, Inc., of Savannah. The Mill was built in 1848 and operated until 1983. In 1995 it was renovated and in 1998 opened for apartments and office space. It has received recognition as a “green” building for supplying 100 percent of its own power with its hydro-electric system.

Photography Gary Kauffman Melissa Gordon/sofiacolton.com

Writers Jennifer Reynolds Kelsey Morrow Millie Huff Susan O’Keefe Calendar Coordinator Kelsey Morrow Distribution Janine Garropy April Burckhalter Keefe Ken Brown Submit Information gkauffman@buzzon.biz

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.

For more information, visit us at buzzon.biz or like us on Facebook

3740 Executive Center Drive, #300, Martinez, GA 30907


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Coliseum Authority pushes for new arena James Brown Arena plagued by age, repairs, limited capacity

By Gary Kauffman Things are not feeling good at the James Brown Arena these days. The 35-year-old structure between 7th and 8th streets has multiple issues that need to be addressed, with funds that aren’t available. That situation has the Augusta Coliseum Authority investigating funding and downtown building sites to be the home of a new arena, which is gathering the support of local leaders. “The question is, do we continue to try to find money to keep up with a building that is not adequately built for today’s customers and concerts, or do we go with something more cost effective and efficient,” said Cedric Johnson, Coliseum Authority chairman. Johnson noted that several years ago about $5 million was spent on the arena, but all on needed repairs and OSHA compliance that did little to improve the visible aspects of the arena. Chris Bird of Global Spectrum, who serves as general manager for the Arena and the Bell Auditorium, said they are at the point where they are patching patches. Estimates show a $20-25 million cash outlay over the next five to 10 years just to keep the doors open. “There will be very high expenses just to maintain the status quo,” Bird said. “The current facility has outlived its life span.”

Arena space could be used for parking

If Augusta decides to build a new downtown coliseum, the question arises of what will happen to the current arena. Cedric Johnson, chairman of the Augusta Coliseum Authority, said ideally it would remain intact and be repurposed. “That would be the best thing,” he said. “But I’m not sure, based on the design, if that’s feasible.” One possibility is to demolish it and create parking for the municipal building and judicial center. Both are a block away and both need extra parking.

According to some, the 35-year-old James Brown Arena should be replaced by a new downtown coliseum. Photo by Gary Kauffman

One of the reasons, Bird said, is that the Arena wasn’t properly maintained through the 1980s and ‘90s. Global Spectrum took over management of the facility in 2009. Since then, it has increased the number and types of events, which it needed to do to boost the Arena’s flagging bottom line. But that has increased traffic in the arena, and exposed the inadequacies of the concourses and restrooms, and increased the wear and tear on the building. Johnson conceded that the original plan for the 8,500-seat Arena, designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei and opened in 1980, didn’t take into account today’s entertainment and customer needs. “It was probably not built at the size it should have been initially,” he said. “Designs have changed and we can’t adequately serve customers the way we should.” The Coliseum Authority commissioned Los Angeles architecture firm Aecom to study the situation and they recently completed their report on the need for a new coliseum. Based on the market size, they recommend a 250,000-square-foot, 10,000-seat coliseum that would include 14 luxury suites and 500 premium club seats. It would also include office space and 20,000 square feet of exhibition and meeting space. That would come with a price tag of $90-110 million.

After investigating possible locations, the Coliseum Authority believes it would be best for the city to keep the coliseum downtown. Bird said an ad hoc committee is investigating two undisclosed sites as possibilities. Johnson said the Authority is mindful of keeping the downtown growing. “Not just the downtown but all of Richmond County,” he said. “What other cities with a new arena have found it’s been a huge economic impact. People who come here have to have someplace to eat, someplace to stay, someplace to shop. There are a lot of different ways to see that a new arena will have an economic impact for this area.” Bird added, “If this building is not built downtown you would see a very large gap in everybody’s bottom line.” Bird said it would also have an economic impact on the operation of the coliseum itself. A bigger arena would open up the ability to draw more national entertainment and sports events. But it would also be more cost efficient, by incorporating things like natural lighting to reduce utility expenses. Beyond those factors, Bird said a new arena is needed to accommodate a growing and changing area population as people move from other areas of the country. “Our community is growing quickly, and

some of those people are used to a qualityof-life experience,” Bird said. “We don’t want them to have to go to Atlanta or Columbia to be satisfied.” A key to funding a new coliseum will be adding it as a project on the next SpecialPurpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). The Coliseum Authority has been talking to community leaders and elected officials about the need for the new arena. Bird said so far everyone has been supportive. “But we need to get from point A to point B,” he said. “We need to prioritize this.” Johnson said even if the project were suddenly approved today, it would still take at least two years to come to fruition. It would take at least a year to get the funding in place, make the land acquisition and approve building plans. “We’re still on the front end of this process,” he said. “We’re trying to be proactive and not wait until it’s about to fall down.” One source of funding for many coliseums has been naming rights, but Johnson and Bird both said James Brown’s name would remain in a new facility. “We would look at naming rights, but with the name James Brown in it,” Johnson said. “I think that’s very important because of the legacy of James Brown and what he’s done for the community.”

Project Jackson moves forward while waiting on Supreme Court North Augusta took another step forward in the drawn-out process of Project Jackson on May 21 by amending the city’s general development plan to include sports stadium as an acceptable use of land. In addition, it also modifies the plan to allow building heights of 90 feet, 15 feet

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more than the previous allowance. The modifications were made by the Planning Commission. The North Augusta City Council has 30 days to approve, deny or further modify the Planning Commission’s decision. At the meeting, the public was told that steps are being taken to preserve the Brick

Ponds, the natural environment with walking trails. The city is also working with the developers to create “green walls” in the construction that would plant greenery to grow on the exteriors of the buildings. North Augusta is awaiting the decision of the South Carolina Supreme Court about

whether it can move ahead with Project Jackson, which includes plans for a baseball stadium for the Augusta GreenJackets, a hotel and other retail stores. Earlier in May, the Supreme Court had voiced concerns that not all of the city’s decisions had been sufficiently available for public input.


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Business Solutions Charles Kelly

Perfect 10?

Windows 10 launches soon. Here’s what you should know Take a look at the lower right hand corner of your PC screen and most of you will notice a small, white Windows flag, signifying the start of the biggest operating system giveaway in the history of computing. A rolling upgrade of hundreds of millions of computers across the world will begin on June 29 and will last a full year. To be clear, you have an entire year to decide if you want the free Windows 10 OS. Microsoft stumbled with its last OS, and the sentiment of the public is clear and unshakeable. Windows 8 and 8.1 combined only hold 17 percent of OS market share, while 7, Vista and XP combined still hold 60 percent of what the world uses to run its computers. These numbers vary by country but the people have spoken and there just isn’t much love for any OS with the number 8 in it. So Microsoft will be supporting four of its own operating systems by July – Windows Vista, Windows 7 and 7 Pro, Windows 8 and 8.1 (Pro versions as well) and now Windows 10. That’s not counting Enterprise and Server versions. All of this complicates the landscape for business and consumers as well as the entire support team at Microsoft. Microsoft wants you on its new OS and they want hundreds of millions – and eventually billions – others as well. They want 10 to be as ubiquitous as XP was, they want everyone on it and they want it so bad they are giving it away, something they have never done. More about why later. Here is what you need to know For those with Windows 7, 7 Pro, 8.1 and 8.1 Pro there will be a white flag on your computer, and all you have to do is click on the flag, reserve your copy and wait until June 29. It will not auto install but when you reserve it, files will be downloaded to your computer, then starting on June 29 you’ll have the option to start the upgrade process. What you should do next is click on the triple bar icon within the “reserve my copy” page and check your

PC for compatibility. Everyone will lose something when you upgrade to 10, whether you used the features or not. Some things are going away and you will want to see if those are important to you, and you will want to make sure drivers for devices are available. You will want to make sure any printers or cutting devices or specialty items will still work. Do not begin an upgrade without doing a full backup of everything important to you and making sure that you have the ability to re-install any important programs. There will be a percentage of upgrades that simply fail and you could lose everything! The biggest thing you give up with 10 is the ability to control updates because now updates will be installed when released and you have no option to choose or decline. The next thing that goes away is Media Center, something I use every day, which means at least one of my PCs will be running Windows 7 until at least 2020 (support for 7 is guaranteed until at least then). For machines with 10 Pro and for Enterprise versions, you will still have the option to choose your updates and decline them one by one. This is something all businesses should consider, because as we all know, updates can cripple or kill an OS, and that usually happens right before payroll. You will want to retain that control, so if you want to go to 10, you will want the Professional version. My advice is for businesses to continue running Windows 7 and preferably 7 Pro, while evaluating this new OS for compatibility and stability. You have a year to decide, so check with your major software vendors and do an inventory of devices that might give you trouble, or call us and we will figure it out for you. You should also remember that support for Windows 7 will last at least five years and if history is any guide, much longer. The complicated thing is that starting in July, we will be technically offering three different operating systems on our new custom builds, but again, if you buy 7 or 8.1, you will have a year to upgrade to 10. In reality, we will still be selling mostly 7 and 7 Pro machines but early adopters and gamers will be snap-

ping up new rigs with 10 like piranha – which brings me to the real point. What’s the upside? Is this OS any good? I have told you what you lose, but what do you gain with Windows 10? We have been evaluating it for months now on new hardware and on old hardware. The newer your hardware, the greater your compatibility with 10 is. Older hardware may stumble and you may lose even more features. If you have 8.1, I would probably upgrade, because 10 is what 8 was supposed to be. It is fast, pretty intuitive and so far seems stable. The start button is back but better than ever with alphabetization of “all programs” and the tile system that was almost universally hated has been transformed by being made smaller, more intuitive and not so overwhelming. It is subtle and useful at once, and will work across the phone, tablet and touch screen world with ease and consistency. The best feature about 10 for me is the multiple screen function that finally makes working with multiple screens on one monitor like having dual monitors, especially if you have a large monitor to work with. It’s difficult to explain in words, but you should try it out, because true multiple screen operations can improve productivity. Microsoft may finally get it right I think this OS will be a hit and Microsoft finally got the price right – free is the best price of all. But nothing is really free and what Microsoft is after are legions of users across the world

that they can slowly integrate into the cloud and convert to more of a subscription-based model, something they are already doing with Microsoft Office. Yes, 10 is free, but expect incremental, then larger upgrades, and perhaps in the future significant upgrades will incur a cost or an annual fee. At the very least, they will want you to get a Microsoft Live account, further imbedding them in your digital life. Spartan is the new, streamlined flagship browser but Internet Explorer 11 will still be there for legacy support. Businesses that use dedicated portals should be especially careful when considering a switch to Windows 10. Microsoft had better have gotten this right, because this is a huge gamble for them, risking an “upgrade in place” strategy for rollout. Some will experience significant trouble with the upgrade, but we will not know how many until we are well into this bold gamble by Microsoft. Be careful, good luck and hang on because there is some turbulence ahead for us Windows users, because flying high means you have to go through rough air before you hit the smooth sleek blue. Our phones are ringing off the hook and we will be answering them as long as you have questions. Charles Kelly is co-owner 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 charles@computerexchange.com.

Economic Index down for first time in a year; may be temporary For the first time in a year, the Augusta Leading Economic Index decreased. The LEI had increased each month for a full year, starting in March 2014 and continuing through February of this year. But in March, the LEI decreased by 0.32 percent. Despite the minor decrease, the overall LEI growth in the past year is 5.7 percent, the second highest year-to-year growth rate since December 2013. Hayden Self, who compiled this month’s

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report, said that all five primary indicators contributed negatively to the March index, the first time that has happened since August 2011. He said while that may seem like a concern, the six months following the August 2011 decrease was a period of consistent growth with only one month of decreased LEI. Self said this raises doubt whether March’s decrease will have any meaningful significance for the foreseeable future and

may be coincidental rather than an indicator of negative economic activity. He added that growth seems more likely since lower motor fuel prices from a year ago should allow more discretionary spending. The lower cost of fuel also contributed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to continue a downward trend that started in February. Although the number of job openings in the South has decreased by 2.7 percent,

the employment rate for the Augusta metro area continued to increase by 0.78 percent. But March’s negative LEI may signal an upcoming decrease in that rate. Unemployment insurance claims rose by 9.1 percent in March, reversing a downward trend in previous months. Since unemployment claims can signal a change in the local employment rate, Self believes it is possible to see a minor increase in unemployment in the coming months.


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Business Leverage Tim Dalton

Truth in Value

Knowing the true value of your business saves heartaches “So what’s my business worth?” As a business broker, that is one of the first questions I get from prospective clients interested in selling their business, and rightly so. But on further discussions with the client, I am often surprised that many business owners have no idea of what their business is worth or what it might sell for in the market place. Often a business is an owner’s most valuable asset and with that, knowing the value would be important for retirement and estate planning, partnership buy/sell agreements, available capital for a new venture or other needs after a business sale. Having a general idea of the value of the business can save a lot of heartache down the road. This is probably not surprising, but many business owners overestimate the value of their business, which affects real world scenarios such as adequate funds for retirement. Having a business valuation should be part of every owner’s business plan and exit strategy. The valuation should be prepared by someone who is not vested in or

Business Advice Larry Rudwick

Fancy Figures

A successful business requires numbers that work out well The Bottom Line of a Successful Business is that the mathematics, or “numbers” consistently work out well. You may be wondering: What do I mean by “numbers?” And why is this subject so important?

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tied to the business, which will take the emotion out of the valuation process. Your accountant seems like a logical choice for a valuation, but it is human nature to want to provide good news. Have your accountant recommend another accountant or employ a professional valuation company or business broker to provide an unbiased valuation. There are typically two types of valuations: non-accredited and accredited. A non-accredited valuation is good for internal planning purposes and non-disputed values for a business and will generally cost less than $500. A business broker or accountant can provide these for a business owner. Instances where a business valuation might end up in court for reasons such as divorce, partnership disputes, or IRS matters require a valuation from an accredited company. Depending on the depth and support needed for the valuation, these can cost $3,500 and up. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what type of valuation you are paying for. Accredited valuation companies will have designations such as CBA, ASA/AM, CVA and ABV. Business valuation combines a bit of art, market experience and pricing formulas into the value. After all, a business is really only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it. Some will pay more, some won’t, so a valuation is a general range of the business’ value and not a dead-on price. I am going to provide a general down-and-dirty method for business valuation. Ultimately, the purpose of a business is to make money and because

Numbers all relate back to money. Even the common everyday expression “the bottom line” originally referred to numbers, specifically money. When we ask someone in general conversation: “What’s the bottom line of a particular situation?,” we simply want to know what is the most important fact of that situation. In business, the accounting term “the bottom line” indicates whether a business is earning a profit (making money) or creating a loss (losing money). That’s one of the two most important numbers to be aware of in business. Earning a profit indicates that the business is getting wealthier. Often the most important number to watch is called “cash flow.” Having cash in business is similar to a person requiring blood. A person always needs enough blood to stay alive, while a business needs cash to survive. If a business runs out of cash and can’t pay its bills, it may be forced to go bankrupt and close.

of this, the valuation is most often tied to the annual cash flow or discretionary earnings of the business. There are several definitions of cash flow, but for our purposes we will define it as the total of an owner’s salary, plus the profit from the business operations, plus the perks the business provides the owner. Businesses fall into five broad categories – manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, service, retail and foodservice. And for those categories the following general multiples of annual cash flow help us arrive at a value. Manufacturing – 4-6x cash flow. Wholesale/distribution – 3.5-5x cash flow. Service – 2.5-3.5x cash flow. Retail – 1.5-2x cash flow plus inventory at cost. Foodservice – 1.5-2x cash flow. So for example if you had a service business such as a plumbing, landscap-

ing or pool cleaning company and the owner’s cash flow was $100,000 a year, then using the average of 3x cash flow, a general value for the business would be $300,000. As mentioned, these are general guidelines and nothing replaces a business specific valuation where asset value, inventory and other factors are also taken into consideration. Be prepared. As a business owner you owe it to yourself to be proactive so you can plan for your and your family’s future after you sell your business. Tim Dalton is president of Integra Business Brokers and has over 17 years of experience in the Augusta area assisting business buyers and sellers. Additional services include targeted business acquisitions, business valuations and financing assistance. Tim can be reached at 706650-1100 or at tdalton@integrabrokers.com. Visit their website at www.integrabrokers.com.

Having cash in business is similar to a person requiring blood Doing periodic cash-flow projections predicts whether more cash will be coming in to a business than is required to be paid out (“positive cash flow”) over a period of time, while “negative cash flow” means the opposite. Businesses that are “tight” on cash (don’t have much cash on hand) should frequently do cash flow projections. This will help find out if cash is likely to become “tighter” and whether actions need to be taken to avert disaster. Can a profitable business run out of cash? Unfortunately, yes. A business that is earning a profit can run out of cash, and be forced to shut down! If cash is tied up in things/assets, such as inventory or accounts receivable (money that is owed to you), you may own things of great value, but do

not have the cash to pay the bills. It’s just like being “house poor;” you may own a fancy house but can’t afford to purchase (or perhaps pay for) the furniture you want. There’s a lot more math that’s necessary to operate a successful business well. It helps to not only know what to do, and what not to do, but when to take various steps to build a successful business. My next article will delve deeper into this subject. Larry Rudwick is a business and relationship coach. For more information, visit BusinessTune-Ups.com where you can sign up for a free newsletter or listen to podcasts. Contact him through the website or call him for a free consultation at 571-331-6102. He enjoys facing challenges.


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Haley seeks lower taxes for SC residents Talks about jobs, education, roads in visit to North Augusta

By Gary Kauffman The state of South Carolina is rolling in money and Gov. Nikki Haley would like to give it back to the taxpayers. But so far the state legislature is less eager to part with the funds. Haley spoke at the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce Power Luncheon on June 9, telling the packed house in the North Augusta city building about the state’s successes and challenges ahead. “We are on fire economically and that’s not going to slow,” she said. Haley noted that last year South Carolina had a surplus in funds of $900 million and already was $415 million ahead this year. “Do you know what that means?” she asked. “It means the government is making too much money. It means we need to give it back.” Neighboring states have made some changes to their tax codes, leaving South Carolina with the highest taxes in the Southeast. Haley has told the state legislature to reduce taxes by 2 percent over the next 10 years. At the same time, she wants to raise the gas tax by 10 cents a gallon, which she said would still keep the state’s costs below Georgia and North Carolina, and use the revenue from that for road repair and construction. “It would be the largest tax reduction in South Carolina history and the largest road project in South Carolina history,” Haley said. “It’s a win-win.” The legislature, however, has indicated that it not only wants to spend the surplus money but put in a tax increase, which Haley promised to veto. Haley said a tax reduction is necessary not only because it means South Carolinians are paying too much but to keep the state competitive in bringing business to the state – an accomplishment she points to proudly.

She listed some of the large companies like Boeing and Bridgestone that have already located in South Carolina, creating 68,000 new jobs in 45 of the state’s 46 counties. South Carolina has the fastest growing economy in the country, has been voted the friendliest state in the country and recently became the No. 2 state in the country that people are moving to. “Everyone wants what we’ve got,” she said. “Now we’ve got to work twice as hard to keep what we’ve got.” Education has been a big part of her focus. The state has changed how it funds schools to create more equality among districts, and is promoting technology in all schools in the state. It is also offering incentive programs to place and retain teachers in rural schools. “Now we’re starting to focus on small

Touchscreen menu kiosks. Custom-built burgers. Table service. Does that sound like a McDonald’s to you? The fast food titan, eager to reinvent itself, is bringing a bold experiment to the Graniteville area. A new location at exit 11 and Bettis Academy Road will be part of McDonald’s Create Your Taste pilot program, which amounts to a fast-casual makeover. “Everything about it is exciting,” said Janie Cravens, a McDonald’s franchisee who owns and operates 10 locations in the CSRA with

her husband, David. Graniteville will be the Cravens’ first to open in South Carolina. Cravens said their company, Cravco, was eager to try something new for its 11th restaurant. “This is a brand-new location with a brand-new lobby that’s very modern,” she said. “We’ve put much focus on drive-thru, but now we are evolving our dining rooms to appeal to the customer who has a little more time to come inside.” There are about 100 Create Your Taste pilots across the U.S.

Gov. Nikki Haley spoke and answered questions during her visit to North Augusta June 9. Photo by Gary Kauffman

businesses to make sure they get the work force they need,” she said. Roads are also a big concern, Haley said. She wants to make sure they’re safe and that they are keeping pace with the state’s growth. Not only does she want to direct more money toward them, she also wants to reform the Department of Transportation to make sure money designated for roads goes toward roads. One of Haley’s pet projects – ethics reform – has yet to gain a foothold, she said. She listed a number of elected officials in recent years who have faced a variety of ethics charges. “At some point something has to stop,” she said. On her wish list is for the state legislators to disclose their incomes and the sources so the public can see any conflicts of interest,

and for independent investigations into the affairs of the state house and senate members, rather than having those bodies police themselves. “You can’t oversee your friends,” she said. Haley said this past legislative session has been one of the hardest and most frustrating of her tenure as governor. “Instead of passing good things we’ve had to fight against bad things,” she said, adding that indications are that the legislature won’t approve a budget by the June 30 deadline for one of the few times in the state’s history. The hangup might be whether to place the state’s surplus funds into the general budget or to create a separate budget for those funds. But Haley remains optimistic. “They’re all good problems to have,” she said. “But it’s a reminder that we have to be responsible.”

State-of-the-art McDonald’s coming to Graniteville

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Diners at the new McDonald’s — which opened June 18 — will be able to order custom-made $5 burgers from touchscreen menus, and choose to pile them high with premium toppings at no additional charge (with the exception of extra patties, tomato or bacon). Fries will come in a wire basket instead of a paper sleeve. Servers will deliver meals to your table, or you can still order and pick up from the front counter. The Graniteville McDonald’s will employ 80 people and will be open 24 hours.


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Department of Labor plans career expo

The Georgia Department of Labor and the Greater Augusta Employer Committee will cosponsor a career expo 1-4 p.m., June 25 in the Christenberry Field House at Georgia Regents University, 3109 Wrightsboro Road. Staff from the Department of Labor will be available to assist job seekers and screen applicants for the employers. The expo will feature about 50 employers that will be hiring or discussing future employment opportunities, while other organizations will provide educational and other resources. Applicants should bring plenty of resumes and be prepared to fill out company applications and interview for available jobs. Attendees are encouraged to dress appropriately. Those expected to participate include: ABM, Accustaff, Acrux Staffing, Aflac, Amerigroup, Augusta Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Augusta Government, Augusta Warrior Project, Bankers Life & Casualty, Brenau University, Career Personnel, Department of Behavioral Health, Express Employment, Family YMCA of Greater Augusta, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), FPL Food, Georgia Department of Community Affairs, General Produce, Georgia Regents University Hospital, MAU Workforce Solutions, Miller-Motte College, Palmetto School of Career Development, Pruitt Health, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Schneider, Southern Wesleyan University, Spherion, Tele Performance and Virginia College. For more information about the expo, contact the GDOL’s Augusta Career Center at 706-7213131, or email Natasha Miranda at augusta_cc@gdol.ga.gov

New group to raise money for nonprofits The newest chapter of 100+ Women Who Care has been founded in the CSRA by Kim Kitts of Balanced Body Spa and

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Dena Thomas of Advanced Services Pest Control. The first chapter meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30 at West Lake Country Club. Kitts heard about the organization, and she and Thomas decided to start a chapter in the CSRA to raise money for area non-profits. “The idea is to raise $10,000 or more in one night for a deserving local non-profit,” Kitts said. “It is important to take care of your community. This is a way to make a really large impact locally.” Each group member may enter local charities into a drawing. At the quarterly meeting, three charities will be drawn and a member who entered the charity into the drawing will be able to speak for a few minutes about the organization. Then, members will vote on the charity they would like to win. Once votes are tallied and the winner is announced, each member writes a check for $100 to that charity. “We are excited to hold our first chapter meeting this month,” Thomas said. “We invite any woman who would like to be part of the organization and ask that you bring yourself and your checkbook!” There is no membership fee to be a part of the group, but members must commit to writing a check of $100 every quarter to the chosen charity. For more information on 100+ Women Who Care CSRA, visit their Facebook page.

New theater plans to open by Dec. 18

Owners of the new theater being constructed on Riverwatch Parkway apparently have a date in mind for the opening – Dec. 18. That is the day the newest chapter of the Star Wars saga opens, and the Georgia Theatre Co. would like to be open by then. The new state-of-the-art theater will feature 14 screens, including an 80-foot-wide, 40-foot-high Xtreme screen and restaurant inside one of the theaters for a dinner-and-a-movie concept. Each theater will have reclining seats.

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Augusta unemployment dips to seven-year low Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in seven years. The Georgia Department of Labor recently announced that Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate for April was 6.1 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 6.4 percent in March. This is the lowest the rate has been since May 2008 when it was 5.6 percent. The rate in April 2014 was 6.7 percent. The rate declined as employers added jobs, primarily because of activities surrounding the Master Golf Tournament. The number of jobs in Augusta increased by 4,100, or 1.8 percent, in April to 234,000, up from 229,900 in March. Most of the job gains came in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, retail trade, professional and business services, along with mining, logging and construction. Georgia Theatre Co. also owns Evans Stadium Cinemas 14 and Masters Value Cinemas 7.

Renovated Fairway Ford reopens

After more than a year of construction and working with Columbia County on permits, Fairway Ford of Evans held its grand re-opening ceremony in May at their Washington Road location. The renovation cost a little more than $2 million. Managing partner Mike Combs told Buzz founder Neil Gordon that improvements were made to the exterior and interior of the showroom, as well as the service center. Combs took over the dealership in 1997 and added two partners to help with the expansion. “We would not have been able to do as much as we did without the support of the Ford Motor Company,” added Combs in front of more than 100 well-wishers at the ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.

There was an over-theyear gain of 6,800 jobs, or 3.0 percent, from 227,200 in April 2014. Most of the job growth came in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and warehousing, along with the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing, construction, mining and logging. The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 99, or 9.9 percent, to 1,094 in April, up from 995 in

March. Most of the increase came in manufacturing, administrative and support services, accommodations and food services and health care and social assistance. However, over the year, claims were down by 472, or 30.1 percent, from 1,566 filed in April 2014. Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for April was 6.3 percent, unchanged from March. It was 7.3 percent in April 2014.

EDTS named Gold Partner

itability and productivity of their company,” said Charles Johnson, CEO of EDTS. “We are committed to helping every client achieve new levels of success, and expect that this elite level partnership with WatchGuard will help us deliver added value and expertise to our clients.”

EDTS, a managed IT services company headquartered in Augusta, has been named a WatchGuard One Gold Partner by WatchGuard Technologies, a global leader in multi-function firewalls. WatchGuard’s Gold level represents those few partners who deliver extremely high levels of security expertise and service to customers. “EDTS‘s achievement is a clear reflection of their commitment to training and certification,” said Alex Thurber, global vice president of sales for WatchGuard. “Getting network security right is critical for every organization, and well-trained and welleducated resellers have happier customers and end-users, with safer networks. We’re proud to name EDTS as a Gold partner.” WatchGuard Technologies, Inc. is a global leader of integrated, multi-function business security solutions. “The focus of EDTS is to deliver IT solutions that help secure our client’s data while allowing them to concentrate on the prof-

R.W. Allen wins IntelliSystems contest IntelliSystems CEO Kevin Wade announced that R.W. Allen, LLC won the IntelliSystems Extreme Phone Makeover Contest. The grand prize was an Avaya IP Office phone system, up to $10,000 retail value, for their business. A select panel of judges including Wade, Lindsay Clonts of Avaya, Bert Dean of Clarion South, Richard Rogers of WRDW News-12 and Rob Forbes of Moving Canvas Media, picked R.W. Allen’s entry as the winner. To view R.W. Allen’s entry and other entries to the Extreme Phone Makeover, visit intellisystems.com/youtube for a playlist of all video entries.


TranterGrey wins two Emmy awards TranterGrey Media Group of Augusta was nominated for four Emmy Awards and won two Emmy Awards on June 6 at the Southeast Emmy Awards Gala held in Atlanta. “TranterGrey Media Group is honored to receive these prestigious awards,” said Blaine Bailey, president of TranterGrey. “To receive two Emmy’s on our first nomination was amazing! I am so proud of our creative team and of our producers.” TranterGrey Media Group won an Emmy for the “Text & Drive” PSA in the Community/ Public Service (PSA)-Single Spot category. This PSA aired on broadcast television and was a campaign that 1 Hour Optical used to remind people to not text and drive. The commercial went viral on Facebook with 1,066,227 shares and reached more than 5,062,940 views on YouTube. The second Emmy was in the Community/Public Service (PSA)-Campaign category and was titled “Teen Driving PSAs.” This campaign consisted of the same anti-texting commercial listed above and an anti-teen drinking commercial. Advantage Behavioral Health System contracted with TranterGrey to create a dramatic video that they could use to help prevent underage drinking. Bailey accepted the awards along with Rhett Bailey, Vice President of Strategy & Innovation; Tyler Jackson, Director of Brand Development; and Justin Wheelon, Producer.

35th Leadership Augusta class graduates Leadership Augusta graduated its 35th adult class in May. Forty-six people participated in the 10-month training program, representing a wide variety of businesses and industries within the CSRA. Completing the 2015 class were:

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Koli Aniedobe, NEK and NEX Holdings; Phil Arnold, Signal Regimental NCO Academy; Katie Ashley, ADP Inc.; Nick Blume, Georgia Bank and Trust; Christen Carter, GRU; Leadra Collins, Paine College; Kayla Cooper, Augusta GA Law Dept; Lauren Dallas, EDS; Jonathan Davis, Augusta Economic Development Authority; Drew Dawson, WACG-FM; Kim Elle, Augusta Warrior Project; and Randy Frails, Frails & Wilson LLC. Also, Bobby Gagnon, American Family Insurance; Mariah Gardner, WAGT NBC26; Karen Gordon, Garden City Jazz; James Heffner, ADP; Iman Hill, Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau; Garnett Johnson, Augusta Office Solutions; Lynn Gladney, Richmond County Tax Commissioners Office; Scott Williams, Cranston Engineering Group; Steven Uhles, GRU; Jason Thornton, Augusta First Bank and Trust; Stephen Tatro, ADP; and Wendy Smith, First Bank of Georgia. Also, Laura Sherrouse, GRU; Lauren Roman, Augusta Metro Chamber; Michael Richardson, Georgia Power; James Reid, Augusta Youth Development Center; Lukmon Onigbanjo, RCCG Redemption Center; Dominick Nutter, Augusta Richmond County 911; Sam Nicholson, Nicholson Revell LLP; Ian Mercier, MCG Foundation; Beth McLeod, Fulcher Hagler LLP; Kimberly Maddox, Ansley at Town Center; Fasha Lewis, Richmond County Solicitor Office; and Janice Allen-Jackson, Augusta Richmond County. Also, Dave Brendza, ADP; Thomas Duke, JANUS Research Group; Fran Forehand, Georgia Power; Dr. Samir Khleif, GRU Cancer Center; Dr. Angela Pringle, Richmond County Schools; Sam Anderson, Fort Gordon; Roy Williams, Augusta Regional Airport; Mike Cleary, Virginia College in Augusta; Dr. Karla Leeper, GRU Health; Travis McNeal, Golden Harvest Food Bank. More than 1,000 individuals have completed the Leadership Augusta program in the past 35 years, acquiring the skills, knowledge and passion necessary to participate fully in the life of the community.

Barton, Rod Bayliss, Bailey Booth, David Brannon, Meghan Dixon, James Dorsey, Madelyn Echols, Jayda Felder, Isabel Flanagan, Pooja Gohel, Kenne Hillis, Nick Iseman, Diane Kelement, Jake Knight, Samantha Newman, Carly Pence, Karson Pennington, Olivia Pennoyer, Evan Read, Alex Schwan, Darasha Singleton, Jordan Smalley, Michael Sostre, Tiffany Ujjin, Justin VanEssendelft and Grace Welsh.

Chamber names Top 10 in 10 The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Augusta Magazine, has announced the 2015 Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch. These young professionals entered into a competitive nomination process in March and have emerged as this year’s most promising and rising stars. Nominations were reviewed by a selection committee consisting of Augusta business leaders. The following professionals have been named: Charles Goodman, Senior Pastor/Teacher, Tabernacle Baptist Church; Stacy Snyder, Executive Vice President, Ocozzio; Serah Tyler, HR and Recruiting Manager, Rural Sourcing, Inc.; Christopher Kenny, Labor Counselor and Attorney, Army Cyber Center of Excellence; Scott Poag, Project Manager, Augusta Economic Development Authority; Brandon Elijah, Managing Partner, Burroughs/ Elijah, LLC; Priscilla Gary, HR and Benefits Manager, ADP & Enhanced Career Services; Kaden Jacobs, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Augusta

Columbia County Leadership class graduates The largest Leadership Columbia County class finished its 10-month program. The Chamber’s Youth Leadership Program ended April 16 with a graduation ceremony. Leadership Columbia County Class of 2015 members are: Will Badger, Robbie Bennett, Dorothy Brandon, Lemuel Brooks, Tracy

Metro Chamber; Dr. LaShawnda Dennis, Associate Professor, Paine College Department of Education; and Thomas Sherrouse, Financial Analyst, MAU Workforce Solutions. “These recipients represent the outstanding young talent we have in our region,” said Sue Parr, Augusta Metro Chamber President. “The professional opportunities our region provides as well as the quality and cost of living make us a magnet for growth for this important demographic.” Each recipient is featured in the June/July issue of Augusta Magazine, receives a nomination to Georgia Trend’s “40 Under 40 Competition” and will be honored at the Chamber’s Member Economic Luncheon on June 19. Six of the past winners have gone on to win the Georgia Trend “40 under 40” award. The Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch was developed in 2009 by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce to annually highlight 10 young professionals (ages 25-35) in the Augusta Region. Bryant, Will Butler, Jessica Cain, Troy Clark, Bonnie Cox, Maria Darley, Linda Diebel, Margaret Doss, Dale Dye, Alyson Getchell, Michael Gilles, Brandon Harper, Nichole Hayes, Bo Horton, Brian King, Will Lanier, Leila Lawson, Kelly McCauley, Eric McIntyre, Brett Miller, Carey Miller, Jennifer Miller, Teri Mobley, Mitchell Murchison, Katie Newton, Daniel Pharr, Jonothan Powell, Ben Tankersley, Margaret Taylor and Jeremy Young. The members of the Youth Leadership Class of 2015 are: A.J. Allen, Casey Andrews, Cameron

Prompt Care opens in North Augusta University Prompt Care’s new office in North Augusta opened this week. Located in Jackson Square at 336 Georgia Ave., in the former Men’s Refinery location, the new center will be open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Prompt Care is designed for treatment of urgent but non-emergency health needs like minor cuts, sprains, sore throats, broken bones, intestinal complaints and other illnesses. A physician and nurses are on hand for examinations, and the facility also offers outpatient lab services and x-rays. Prompt Care also offers occupational health services for area businesses.

Apizza di Napoli wins Excellence award

Apizza di Napoli Authentic Neapolitan Wood-Fired Pizzeria recently received a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award. Now in its fifth year, the award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. “Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is a true source of pride for our entire team at Apizza di Napoli and we’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said owner Cliff Garzzillo.

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Business Sales Jeb Blount

Watch Your Mouth

Words have power to lift us or to bring us down This past week a friend called to ask how I was doing. As soon as I answered the phone I began complaining about how long I’d been out on the road traveling. Mostly it was just tongue in cheek jokes about planes, trains, automobiles and rude people, but the words coming out of my mouth were overwhelmingly negative. After hanging up the phone, my mind began dwelling on how tired I felt. How weary I was from the endless travel that is a constant part of my job as an author, speaker and consultant. I quickly got off track, drifting in a pool of self-pity as I dwelled on what was wrong rather than what was right in my life. And the forward momentum I’d had prior to that call suddenly slowed to a stand-still. Words are powerful. The subtle differences in the language and words we use are directly connected to how we feel, our attitude, and ultimately our success. When you use positive language, whether talking to others or, in

Faith at Work Steve Swanson

Learning to Leave

All work and no play create devastating consequences It could be that you just skimmed the title of this article. I am fairly certain many saw “Learning to Lead.” However the title is not a typo. Today I want to zero in on the amount of time you spend at work. (In full disclosure I have to admit that I do not have this all figured out or neatly packaged in an organized tidy place in my life.) Work is an incredible privilege. It provides a place to

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your own self-talk your outlook tends to become positive. And of course, as in my case, using negative words will have just the opposite effect. We often forget the impact our words have on the people around us as well. One negative statement by a leader or manager can impact the performance of an entire team. Negative words generate negative feelings in your family and friends. The ripple effect from a single negative conversation can bring you and everyone around you down. Words are powerful because they take feelings of anger, fear, insecurity, and doubt from inside of you and make those feelings tangible and real. On the other hand, positive words have the reverse effect. Positive words, said out loud, lift you and everyone around you up. Positive words quickly stamp out negative self-talk and change your poor attitude. In many ways the language we use is tied to the law of attraction which states that we tend to attract or experience that which we think about. In other words, one of the secrets of happiness and success is keeping your mind focused on what you want rather than what you don’t want. Likewise, talk about what you want, not what you don’t want. For example, if someone asks, “How are you doing?” You should respond, “I’m awesome or I feel great or I feel like a million bucks!” even if you feel terrible. Why? Because when you start saying positive words

out loud, you automatically shift your thoughts to what you really want – to feel good – and your mind begins to move you in that direction. This is why affirmations – positive statements that you repeat out loud to yourself – are so powerful. Saying what you want out loud has the immediate impact of changing your thoughts, emotions, and your physical direction. The brutal reality though is it is not easy to change your language. It takes work because you have to consciously decide to use positive words. It is easier to complain about what you don’t want, rather than to talk about what you want. It is easier to sit down in a big puddle of self-centered, self-pity and whine about how all the cards are stacked against you. It is so easy, but you can’t afford the luxury of negative conversations, words, and thoughts. The cost is just too high. As I found, it only takes a small lapse in self-discipline, to slide down that slippery slope. Clearly it would require superhuman self-discipline to be positive and say positive things all of the time. I know few people who have that ability. Be-

share our gifts and talents, teaches us to collaborate, and be productive. It can help us learn to appreciate the differences in people, and stretch us in to new areas of challenge and understanding. (It also yields a paycheck in order to pay the bills!) I’ve had the privilege of working for Christian organizations for decades of my working life. Churches, youth ministries and the zany world of Christian radio, with lots of talented, gifted, visionary people! Over the years, I’ve had very few “punch in-punch out” 40-hour-a-week jobs. I am still much more interested in productivity than how much time someone sits behind a desk. In the past I’ve averaged 60-65 hours a week (and more). Years ago, I heard a preacher say “It’s better to burn out than rust out.” The message was clear to me – live “all in” and serve God with everything you’ve got! To me, that meant work hard and work rapidly to be certain God is pleased with the effort. Unfortunately, I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impact this kind of thinking has had personally both in and

outside of a church setting. Marriages broken, children discarded, lives ruined – all in an elusive effort to obtain the corner office, the new car, the big paycheck or the prestigious title. I read this recently from a married couple addressing a group of military couples: “The choices you make today are going to determine where you’re going to be when you hang up your uniform for the last time. Are you going to have your partner beside you, or are you going to be standing by yourself?” Well said! We must “learn to leave” the office – the “work space” we live in so many of our waking hours if we’re to have any kind of balanced life. Lessons I’m learning: Don’t wait for someone else to help you “regulate” the amount of your life you give to your job. (In my experience, no one would tell me “You should call it a day” or “Go home.”) If it’s hard for you to work a reasonable amount of time, ask for help from a trusted friend or family member. Be accountable to someone. Work can easily become too important.

Words are powerful because they take feelings of anger, fear, insecurity, and doubt from inside of you and make those feelings tangible and real cause you are human you will, sooner or later, go negative. However, if you truly desire happiness and success you must invest in developing this habit so that your words and conversations are far more positive than negative. In time, you will learn how to catch yourself when your words turn negative, reverse course, and get back on track. All important journeys, however, begin with a single step. For the next week, no matter how bad you may feel on the inside, use positive, uplifting words on the outside. I guarantee that at the end of the week you will feel better, the people around you will be energized, and you will begin to attract the success, happiness, and contentment you desire and deserve. Jeb Blount is the founder of Sales Gravy in Thomson. He helps sales teams across the globe reach peak performance fast through keynote speeches, boot camps, seminars, and on-site and online training experiences. Hire Jeb to speak at your next sales meeting or conference. Call at 1-888-360-2249 or visit JebBlount.com for more information.

Remember, your worth is not found in your work! It shouldn’t be your identity. Life is meant as much more than the tasks and responsibilities that earn you a living. You’re more productive when you work a reasonable amount of hours each week. Overtime pay is not worth missing the “one-of-a-kind” moments in life with your kids, family and friends. When you’re home or on vacation, be there, be present, stay unplugged! It’s about balance. With God’s help and some good habits, you can give work it’s proper place in your life. Always be the best employee you can be. With God’s help you can learn to give work its proper place. Don’t always be in work mode – it’s really not worth it. Learn to leave. 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.


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Business Lessons Gary Kauffman

Brief is Better

Keeping meetings short makes them more efficient A pastor friend of mine once told me that a sermon length should be in direct proportion to the endurance level of the listeners’ behinds. That’s good advice in the pulpit and it’s good advice in business meetings. A person’s ability to concentrate is in direct proportion to his or her ability to sit still – and for many people that isn’t very long. Many years ago I had the privilege of being a charter member of the historical society in a small town in Indiana. Everett was the chair of the organization and at the beginning of our first meeting he made it clear that, in his opinion, any meeting that goes beyond an hour is a waste of time. We all nodded sagely, but were still surprised when after 60 minutes he cut someone off in mid-sentence and adjourned the meeting. We quickly realized that if we wanted to get our turn to speak on the agenda, we’d better do so concisely. And we got a lot accomplished. On the other end of the spectrum, I was a member of a church council for several years that routinely had threehour meetings, yet we left bleary-eyed and butt-numb at

Business Habits Marin Rose

Undercover Boss

How to stay organized (and sane) when your boss is a mess Working for a disorganized manager can be frustrating in several ways, especially for someone who is highly organized. The challenge, as always, when dealing with a difficult boss is to learn to manage your manager.

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10:30 p.m. feeling like little had been done. Meetings are both a necessity and a bane in today’s businesses. Done well, they can catapult a business forward. Done poorly, they can slow the pace of work and drag down morale. Here are a few things to consider. Everett’s Rule. A good first step is to remember Everett’s Rule – 60 minutes maximum. Not 61 or 62, that can creep into 65 or 70. Stick with one hour, even if you have to cut someone off in midsentence. Even if you’re having your annual planning day or budget discussions, break up the day into manageable one-hour topics. An exception would be a creative brainstorming session that is going strong at the onehour mark, which would benefit from a few extra minutes. Pass out a printed agenda. As much as possible, this should have the most important issues first and/or follow a logical order of discussion. This helps everyone stay on track and avoids having people bring up a topic prematurely. Monitor discussion. While you want to let people make their contributions to the topics, discussions can quickly begin to follow rabbit trails that accomplish nothing except lengthening the meeting. Gently but firmly bring the discussion back on topic. The exception is in brainstorming sessions; then people should be encouraged to throw out things without inhibition. Leave committee work to the committees. A major reason those church council meetings dragged out so long is that we would designate a committee to handle a situation, then spend the next 20

minutes discussing what the committee should discuss. Committees are designated so that the entire group doesn’t have to go through the process. If someone really has a strong opinion about something, put him or her on the committee. Refreshments. There are pros and cons to having refreshments – they can create a more convivial atmosphere or they can be a distraction. There should always be something to drink (no, not the hard stuff, although the longer the meeting goes, the more tempting that becomes). If you serve refreshments, remember to have healthy choices available for those who are watching weight, cholesterol or sugar intake. Acknowledgements. At the end of the meeting, sincerely thank everyone for coming and contributing. This may sound trivial, but everyone likes to feel appreciated.

Some advocate for confronting your boss to address the issue. Unless you have a very solid relationship with your manager, even gentle suggestions for changing organizing habits can create more problems than they solve. First, there’s the risk of offending or otherwise putting your boss on the defensive about his/her organizational shortcomings. Then there’s your inevitable offer to assist, which usually results in a full-time secretarial role for you, causing resentment on your part and further resentment by your boss regarding your superior skills. The safest and most effective approach is to clearly communicate with your boss about your mutually agreedupon role and responsibilities. Delineate tasks and responsibilities between the two of you in a written document. Present your organizational skills as an asset that you can bring to relieve

his/her workload and offer to be the keeper of important files. As needed, create duplicate copies of paper and electronic files so that you always have what you need – even if your boss loses track of it. Decide upon preferred methods of record keeping and communications. Request regular discussions about project priorities so that you both stay on track. Consider holding these meetings in your office space rather than your boss’. There will be fewer distractions for your boss and he/she will have a moment to view your job from your perspective. Summarize all of your agreements in writing and have your boss sign off each time. Be prompt and brief. Create a single, visible place where top priorities are written out, such as a whiteboard within view of your boss’ desk. Remember that there are different organizational styles. Your boss may

Reschedule. If any agenda items didn’t get discussed in the hour, and they need to be discussed, schedule another meeting in a day or two and then discuss just those items. Don’t bring in new ones or rehash the agenda items from the day before. Sticking to a few basic rules will help keep butts from getting numb and attention from wandering, plus create actual benefit from the meetings. And remember, it’s perfectly OK to cut someone off in mid-sent— Gary Kauffman is Editor in Chief of Buzz on Biz and manages the content for print and web publications. He moved from Indiana to the CSRA in December 2013. 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 gkauffman@buzzon.biz.

not be as complete a disaster as he/ she appears. But if he/she is, be proactive. Don’t sit and seethe, or martyr yourself until you’re ready to quit. Observe how your boss thinks and processes information, and apply that understanding to strategically present your ideas. A few key organizational tools – an oral and written communication plan, a visible priorities list and a regular schedule of meetings – that you manage may help keep you and your boss working efficiently. You’ll keep your sanity and, perhaps, inspire your manager to pick up some healthy new organizing habits. Professional Organizing Coach Marin Rose of Libra Organizing is celebrating five years organizing people’s spaces and lives to help them become happier and more productive – and less stressed. Contact Marin at libraorganizing.com to schedule a free organizing assessment in your home or office, or to hire her as a speaker.


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TAG report: Cyber key for Augusta’s future By Gary Kauffman An anchor technology company and a focus on cyber technology will be the key to Augusta growing in the technology field, Tino Mantella, president of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), told a group of businesspeople May 27. Mantella gave the 2015 State of Technology in Georgia report at the Columbia County Development Authority office. “Because you’re the home of Army Cyber Command, that’s starting to become a critical mass of activity,” Mantella said. “I don’t know where else in the state to have a cyber cluster than here.” The lack of a large anchor tech company is an issue, but Mantella urged to start building up smaller companies over the next three years in hopes of one of them growing. He also said an investor willing to provide some venture capital would be a welcome addition to the area. “If you can get an investor in here, then the sky’s the limit,” he said. Mantella also unveiled a map of the technology community in Augusta. TAG has prepared these maps for other areas of Georgia, but Augusta’s was the first to be unveiled. TAG has 28,000 members in the state, including 2,000 tech and tech-enabled companies. It sponsors more than 200 events per year. The Greater Augusta chapter of TAG has 460 members, companies and or-

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ganizations. TAG operates in five areas in advocating for technology statewide: Building, connecting, influencing, promoting and celebrating. TAG is considering a full-time staff member in the Augusta area, like it has in Savannah and Atlanta, to promote technology. But Mantella said it is a Catch-22 situation. “We’d love to have a person here full time, but we need to have enough activity to justify it,” he said. “But, can you get enough activity without a full-time person here?” Overall, technology is growing in Georgia. About 25,000 net new jobs have been added since 2010, bringing the total of technology jobs in the state to 272,400 in 2014. With the growing threat of cyber attacks, Mantella expects that by 2020 the state will need 35 percent more security analysts. TAG’s research shows that by 2020, the state will need 85,000 more workers with bachelor degrees and 44,000 with masters or higher degrees. The research also showed that 72 percent of companies said access to skilled labor is the biggest factor in helping Georgia’s innovation economy grow. But that skilled workforce isn’t always easy to find. “There are about 10,000 open jobs in the state in technology that are really difficult to fill,” Mantella said. “What will happen is they’ll fill them from overseas or from some other state. It’s really important to get this

TAG president Tino Mantella talks about the future of technology in Augusta.

workforce going.” When it comes to venture capital for technology companies in the state, there’s a good news-bad news scenario. “The good news is that the number of deals are up and definitely the money is up to the highest point it’s been since 2004,” Mantella said. “The bad news is that we get only about 1 percent of the venture capital in the U.S.” However, investment in Georgia companies is at its highest in more than a decade. “We don’t have any big funds here,” Mantella said. “They’re small amounts of money,

but it’s starting to happen.” Mantella also revealed the new Innovation Index that rates the innovation economy of states, counties and cities based on such things as age of the population, connectivity to the internet and the number of tech companies in the area. The United States sets the baseline at 100. Georgia lags slightly behind the U.S. average at 92.3, although five counties scored higher than 100. The Augusta area slips below the state average: Columbia County is 86.6, Augusta-Richmond County is 82.4, Aiken County is 76.0 and McDuffie County at 73.8.


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The Hive buzzes with beer

New downtown growler pub sports many kinds of craft beers, unique food

By Kelsey Morrow With a seemingly endless row of 73 taps and an old-fashioned beer engine pump, The Hive Growler Bar in downtown Augusta is a beer lover’s paradise. The Hive carries crafted beers from local breweries, many of which are exclusive to The Hive. There is even a live menu on their website updating the available amounts of each keg. “Beer has no boundaries,” owner Greg Kinlaw said. “Beer is what’s popular in Augusta right now, and the Hive takes it to another level.” The Hive is located next door to its sister restaurant, The Bee’s Knees, a downtown Augusta staple for 13 years, and both are owned by Kinlaw and his wife, Kristi. It opened mid-May of this year and is already receiving rave reviews for its unique craft beers. Kinlaw has had the idea to expand to a second restaurant for a few years, but was waiting for the right location and the right time. When the space next door to The Bee’s Knees opened in December, he knew it was finally the perfect fit.

“The two restaurants have a symbiotic relationship,” Kinlaw said. “They share a kitchen, ingredients, and staff. You can go to The Hive and have a drink while you are waiting for a table at The Bee’s Knees, and vice versa.” Only 53 of the taps are for craft beer. Ten dispense wine, five are for soda concoctions and five are for mixed cocktails. The Hive also serves cold press coffee from Buona Caffe, kombucha, and an innovative take on traditional pub food. The uniqueness of the Hive even extends beyond its menu to its décor. The interior of the restaurant came about from collaborations with local artists and revolves around the bar’s namesake, a beehive. The wooden hexagon pattern above the long row of bar taps is made of recycled wood that is more than 100 years old and represents the Bethlehem community and Eli Whitney’s workshop. All 73 ceramic taps were individually designed by Tire City Pottery across the street, the light fixtures are enclosed in beehive-shaped wire cages, and the restaurant’s tables were constructed from exotic live edge African sapelli wood. Kinlaw explained that he has seen a lot of change in the downtown area over the past few decades, and is hoping that The Hive will create an added draw. “We wanted to provide something cool for the city,” Kinlaw said, “and so far we’re off to a great start.”

Owner Greg Kinlaw with his many taps for craft beer.

Business openings, closings and moves Openings

Southbound Smokehouse Central Avenue will soon be home to a unique restaurant offering a Southern barbecue-Southwestern fusion, with a dash of Cheers atmosphere thrown in. Brian Brittingham is renovating the former Crums on Central Restaurant at 1855 Central Ave., across from Buona Caffe Artisan Coffee Roasters, into the unique restaurant called Southbound Smokehouse. “I’ve seen a similar concept work in the surrounding areas,” Brittingham said. “It’s filling a void here and it’s getting me back into what I love to do.” Brittingham ran the Red Lion Club from 1996-99. He said he chose the location Southbound Smokehouse because he was a friend of former owner Andrew Crumrine and because, being a native of the area, he had seen the location go through several incarnations. Crums closed just over a year ago so Crumrine could spend more time with his family. Chef J.R. Whitfield will be the man creating the new tastes at Southbound Smokehouse. He comes from a fine dining background. “But it’ll be iconic Southern comfort food

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with culinary applications,” Whitfield said. That means classic Southern barbecue, hash and rice and mac and cheese, but adding a Southwestern feel, like pulled pork tacos and nachos, along with frozen margaritas. Brittingham plans to create a floor plan with a large community table in the center with high tops surrounding it. “It’ll be a real casual, mix-friendly atmosphere,” he said. Whitfield said that is important with the type of cuisine they’ll serve. “With comfort food you need a comfortable atmosphere,” he said. “It may sound corny, but I envision this place as sort of the Cheers theme song, where everyone knows your name. It’ll be more of a destination, a good place to hangout, a place to ‘be.’” Both men want the restaurant to become more than just a business. They want it to be a vital part of the midtown community between the Medical District and Summerville. “This whole little area is up and coming,” Brittingham said. “We have several people investing in this area.” Whitfield added, “We want this place to be good for the area and for the growth of the neighborhood. We want to be one of those places that people can say ‘I’ve been going there for 10 years or 20 years.’” Brittingham is shooting for July 1 as an opening date for Southbound Smokehouse, in time for the Independence Day weekend. “I can’t think of a more barbecue holiday than July 4,” he said. Sportsman’s Southern Cooking Gary Gibson, owner of five Gary’s Hamburgers restaurants in the CSRA, recently opened the all-new Sportsman’s Southern

Cooking restaurant in Edgefield County at 2006 Martintown Road. It is located in the building that formerly housed Sportsmans BBQ, which closed in January 2014. “We’ve upgraded the facilities and, even though we have a few of the same menu items, it is not another Gary’s Hamburgers restaurant,” Gibson said. “We do promise the same attention to detail and dedication to quality food, fresh ingredients, and excellent customer service that we’ve delivered for over 30 years.” The new restaurant is open 11:30 a.m-8 p.m. daily. The lunch menu features barbecue pork, hash and rice, chicken strips, burgers and fries. The dinner menu begins at 4:30 p.m., serving fried chicken, fried pork loin, chicken strips and barbecue pork, plus side items like hash and rice, mac ‘n cheese and vegetables. Sporstman’s Southern Cooking is next door to Sportsman’s Corner, about seven miles north of Exit 1 on I-20 in North Augusta. Fitness Center Pre-sales and construction are underway for the second Planet Fitness health club in the CSRA. The company is retrofitting the closed Stevie B’s Restaurant on the Bobby Jones Expressway in front of the Lowe’s in Martinez. They are offering $1 sign ups until June 25 and $10 per month memberships. The first Planet Fitness opened in 2014 in South Augusta in a shopping center near Sconyer’s Restaurant and the Bobby Jones Expressway. Frozen Yogurt Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt is joining other food establishments like Jason’s Deli, Whole Foods, Bonefish Grill and Longhorn Res-

taurant in the Washington Crossing Shopping Center on Washington Road near 1-20 exit 199. The owner of Menchie’s was featured a few years ago on the TV show Undercover Boss and talked about a full-scale expansion across the United States. This is the first store in the CSRA. Zumiez Fans of some of the more extreme outdoor sports will enjoy a new store that opened in the Augusta Mall in May. Zumiez, which sells merchandise, clothing and other accessories for enthusiasts of surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, motocross and BMX, opened near Macy’s. The Seattle-based company has more than 600 stores. Cellular Sales Cellular Sales, the nation’s largest Verizon premium wireless retailer, opened a new store in Augusta Mall recently. The newest Cellular Sales location brings eight new jobs to Augusta. “We couldn’t ask for a better location for our newest store in Augusta,” Jason Myers, regional director at Cellular Sales, said. “Augusta Mall is a shopping hub for this area, and it provides a good place to set down our roots in this great city.” Founded in Knoxville, Tenn., more than 20 years ago, Cellular Sales has been named by Inc. Magazine as one of the nation’s fastest-growing privately owned companies for six of the past seven years. The company employs more than 4,500 people at its 545 stores across 28 states. Cellular Sales operates 30 stores in Georgia, and it has set up continued on page 23


Cunningham buys Chevrolet dealership By Gary Kauffman A new name is atop the Chevrolet dealership on Gordon Highway. Gordon Chevrolet closed a deal June 1 to sell its dealership to Malcolm Cunningham Automotive Group and the business will now be known as Malcolm Cunningham Chevrolet. “It’s bittersweet,” said Adam Logemann, co-owner with his father-in-law, Gordon Stewart, of Gordon Chevrolet. “I absolutely love working in this town. The Augusta market is an unbelievable place to do business.” Logemann said they weren’t looking to sell but couldn’t pass up the opportunity. “We had just the right offer from the right buyer,” he said. Cunningham is a fan of the store’s potential. “The upside potential for this store is incredible,” he said. “That made it more attractive.” Malcolm Cunningham Automotive Group also has a Hyundai dealership in Lilburn and a pre-owned dealership in Decatur. Logemann said Cunningham’s business philosophy of customer service and a team approach meshed with the Gordon

business model, which made the transition easier. “We’ll build on customer service,” Cunningham said. “That’s the key to making any business successful. That’s something I know we’re good at.” As part of that emphasis on customer service, Cunningham Chevrolet is hiring. It retained about 50 employees, but plans to add more in service and in sales. “The biggest thing people will notice is more assistance,” Cunningham said. The dealership will also undergo renovations to the cosmetics of the interior and exterior. “It’ll be a real nice facelift,” Cunningham said. Cunningham plans to expand the GM Certified program of quality used vehicles. “A lot of people can’t afford new cars so Certified is a good option for them,” he said. Cunningham is looking forward to being part of the Augusta community. He expects to spend 50 percent of his time here and 50 percent in Atlanta, and is looking for a residence here. Even though they sold the Chevrolet business, Gordon Stewart owns four other dealerships. Logemann said they are always

continued from page 22 storefronts in nearby Grovetown, Thomson and Waynesboro. “Augusta is the second-largest metro area in Georgia, and it just makes sense for us to be here,” Myers said. “This store adds to our growing list of locations in Richmond County and the surrounding areas.” Dollar House A new store in North Augusta is planning a customer appreciation day next week. Dollar House, located in Edgewood Plaza in North Augusta, will hold its 100-Day Celebration/Customer Appreciation Day at the store 11 a.m.-1 p.m. June 20. Dollar House advertises that all its items are for sale at a dollar each. They carry items ranging from everyday household supplies to cell phone accessories.

of lawyers and thousands of ticket goers to the James Brown Arena because of its proximity across the railroad tracks. Treasures For Your Home Treasures For Your Home, which for decades had a large showroom on Wylds Road behind the Augusta Mall. A few years ago the store downsized and relocated to a former Blockbuster building on Washington Road in Martinez.

looking for new opportunities. “Our eyes are open, looking for the next opportunity,” he said. “If it came in the Augusta market, it sure would be great.” In the meantime, Logemann will have more time to focus on the company’s classic

car business. They buy and sell everything from 1920s Model A’s to 1960s-70s muscle cars. “For the last several years it’s been a side focus,” he said. “This gives us an opportunity to focus more attention on it.”

shirts, apparel and promotional products. It has four employees. He noted that the move came during the company’s busy season but they had no choice because their lease ended at their building on Robert C. Daniel Parkway. Keen said the move may be an inconvenience for some customers initially but he expects it will help the company grow its business in the long run. “I’ve had some customers say we’re not convenient any more, but we’ll be more convenient to new people,” he said.

will also feature a lovely deck for outdoor seating under a beautiful live oak tree and garden-style landscaping.” The original La Dolcé Gourmet Bakery, Coffee and Tea Bar, the creation of MacVean and her daughter, Kirstie Wohlfeil, first opened its doors in 2012. Wohlfeil’s idea of opening a bakery was sparked from her training at the New England Culinary Institute and her work with five-star bakeries, restaurants and resorts. According to MacVean, the new setting will provide a tea experience representative of traditional teas in England. As in the downtown location, breakfast and lunch will be served all day and walk-up counter service will be available. Sales Arby’s Although all the stores will remain open, there will be a change in ownership of the local Arby’s franchises. The Trefz brothers are finalizing a deal to sell their more than two dozen franchises back to the Arby’s corporation. In a brief statement, vice president Paul Trefz said Arby’s offered them the best deal. Morris Communicaions Alpha Media of Portland, Ore., has agreed to buy 36 radio stations from Morris Communications of Augusta, according to Inside Radio. The stations are located in California, Washington, Alaska, Texas and Kansas, and cover eight market areas. Once the deal is completed, Alpha Media will own 135 stations.

Business openings, closings and moves

Closings Boots, Bridles and Britches Boots, Bridles and Britches, an equestrian supply company, will close its Grovetown and Aiken stores at the end of May. The family-owned business started in 2002 with the Grovetown store and opened the Aiken store in 2007. In addition to equestrian supplies, it also carries Western apparel, work wear and pet supplies. The decision to close was based on the volume of business at the stores. 6th at Watkins After 28 years, the owners of 6th at Watkins will serve their last meal at the iconic restaurant in downtown Augusta on June 26. Sisters Helen and Michelle May are retiring. The restaurant has served hundreds

Moves

Keen Signs A business has made the move from the Augusta Exchange to downtown. Keen Signs & Graphics opened at 1350 Reynolds St. June 1. The location more than quadruples the company’s work space, from 1,300 to 6,000 square feet. “We’ll be able to get the equipment we need but didn’t have room for,” owner Lane Keen said. “We’d outgrown the capacity for the equipment we have so it should make the work process easier.” Keen Signs, which has been in business for five years, creates all types of signs, except electrical, and also prints some T-

La Dolce Gourmet Bakery The owners of La Dolcé Gourmet Bakery, Coffee and Tea Bar announced that their downtown Aiken restaurant will move to a new location on Aiken’s Southside in September of this year. The newly named La Dolce Bakery.Café. Tea Bar will be more expansive in seating as well as in its gourmet bakery, tea service and menu offerings. Until then, La Dolcé will continue serving breakfast throughout the day along with lunch, freshly baked cakes, desserts and breads and specialty teas and coffees at their downtown Aiken location. Afternoon and High Teas and catering of special events such as weddings, receptions and corporate breakfasts and lunches will also continue. “We are extremely pleased with our new location,” said Kelly MacVean, co-owner of La Dolcé. “Our café will be housed in a lovely cottage with French doors, long windows and a separate tea room. The property

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Business sale aligns two Augusta favorites Owner of Raes Coastal Cafe buys French Market Grille By Millie Huff When asking long-time Augustans for their favorite local restaurants, more often than not, French Market Grille in Surrey Center is on the Top 3 list. With more than 30 years of business history, the French Market Grille has been the site of countless momentous occasions: first dates, marriage proposals, business deals and special occasion dinner parties. The restaurant is quintessentially Augusta for many out-of-town guests, particularly for Masters visitors. “We’ve watched families grow up in our restaurant, including my own,” said Chuck Baldwin, co-founder of the French Market Grille. “My wife, Gail, has worked alongside me and both of our sons worked here as teens and now have families and careers of their own. Gail has always and will continue to take care of the ‘business’ part of our restaurant business. ” As the French Market Grille transitions to new ownership under Walter Clay, owner of the popular Raes Coastal Café, guests can count on the same warm hospitality and delicious Louisiana-inspired cuisine that they have always enjoyed. The Baldwins will continue to be familiar faces as well. “I’m not ready to retire completely – we have a five-year transition plan,“ Baldwin said. “Having Walter here to make day-today decisions frees me up to do other things I’m passionate about, like mission work through my church and spending time with my three grandchildren. Gail and I will have our 40th wedding anniversary this year and now we can plan something fun to celebrate.” To Clay, assuming ownership of the French Market Grille is a tremendous honor.

“Chuck and Gail could have offered this opportunity to anyone, but they chose me,” said Clay. “I was blown away when I got the call from their accountant asking if I was interested. How could I not be? It’s the French Market Grille!” Clay splits his time every day between both French Market Grille and Raes Coastal Café. The daily responsibilities and decisions now fall to Clay, but he and Baldwin continue to collaborate on issues concerning employees. “We hold a management team meeting together on Mondays,” Clay said. “I lead the meeting and afterward Chuck gives me feedback and counsel. He knows our employees and understands how important it is for me to develop relationships with everyone. I’m still learning from Chuck’s leadership and expertise every day.” The mentoring relationship between Clay and Baldwin dates back more than 30 years. Clay began his restaurant career as a college student working as a waiter and cook at Calvert’s, also located in Surrey Center. When Baldwin made the decision to open French Market Grille at the other end of the complex, he recruited Clay to work for him, eventually making him manager of the restaurant. “With a strong manager like Walter in place, it allowed me to be away from the restaurant to attend sports events and special occasions with my wife and children,” Baldwin said. Clay and Baldwin partnered to open Raes Coastal Café in 1994, with Clay later buying out Baldwin’s portion of the restaurant. When asked how it will be running two popular restaurants, he said that Raes Coastal Cafe was his first child and French

Walter Clay, left, bought French Market Grille from long-time owner Chuck Baldwin.

Market Grille is his second. “You don’t love your second child any less, your capacity for love just expands,” he said. Customers at French Market Grille will see no perceptible changes in the service, ambiance and menu that they know and love. Subtle improvements, though, are the hallmark of a growing and thriving business. “We pride ourselves on being consistent in what we offer to our patrons,” Clay said. “The Masters tournament is revered for its traditions and consistent standards, but changes are made every year to enhance the overall experience. That is our approach, too. By Chuck and I combining our efforts, the restaurant will be even better.” Clay didn’t always aspire to the restaurant business. After graduating from Aquinas High School, he earned his Associates degree as an Engineering major at Middle Georgia College before transferring to Au-

gusta College to study math. He was uncertain about his future career but developed a passion for the restaurant industry while working at Calvert’s. “I was first attracted to working in a restaurant because it was an evening job and I’m not a morning person,” he said with a laugh. “My favorite part of my career now is that I get to watch the lives of my employees develop,” Clay said. “I enjoy listening to and learning from the young people I work with. The philosophy that I try to impart to my employees is that while our standards as humans should stay consistent, our standards as a business evolve. As a restaurant owner, I now spend less time in the kitchen and more time encouraging and mentoring those who help run the restaurant – everyone is critical in our business.” Both French Market Grille and Raes Coastal Café offer lunch and dinner service.

Barney’s ready to open newest location in old KFC building By Kelsey Morrow The eighth and newest location of Barney’s Pharmacy on Furys Ferry Road in the old KFC building near Helms College is tentatively scheduled to open July 1. The new location will be providing more of the great care and services which have become synonymous with Barney’s. “We offer a wide range of services from general retail to classes, support groups and clinical services, and we’re looking forward to bringing it to our new location,” Bobby Newsome, pharmacist-in-charge and part owner of the Furys Ferry location, said. “We appreciate anyone willing to give us a try.” In addition to these services, Barney’s also offers an internship program for pharmacy students to receive hands-on experience. Most of the participating students are from Helms College and other local schools, but the program has become so well-known that students from colleges as far away as

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New York have participated. “We accept pharmacy tech students to come in and train with us to get their externship hours,” Newsome said. “We like to give back to the community. The program with Helms College is a great recruiting tool

for us and it helps with our relationship with the colleges.” Although ironic that a business focused on health would replace a fast food restaurant, Newsome explained that the set-up of most fast food locations actually lend them-

selves to pharmacies quite well. The ordering counter and kitchen of a fast food restaurant are pretty similar to the set-up of a pharmacy counter. The Barney’s location in Wrens, for example, used to house a Wendy’s, and it required little transformation to accommodate the new business. With the former KFC building, however, they encountered two unique concerns: The high-pressure fire system and the pervasive smell of the fried chicken. The entire building had to be stripped down to the cinder block to get rid of the smell, including all new wiring, plumbing and insulation. Barney’s Pharmacy, owned by Barry Bryant, has been a fixture in the Augusta community for more than 30 years. Bryant graduated from the University of Georgia’s College of Pharmacy in 1981, and since has won numerous awards and opened several pharmacy locations throughout the CSRA.


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Business Publicity Donna Martin

Not Either/Or

Marketing and advertising both are important to success Advertising versus marketing. It should not be an either/or decision for businesses. Marketing is the big picture strategy of how to reach customers and get them to buy. Advertising is only one – but very important – component of marketing. Both are needed to keep your business in the public’s eye. If approached hand-in-hand, both are great for your business! Marketing is Big Picture Marketing involves taking a comprehensive, long-term look at your company and its products and services, then developing a plan on how the company will promote, distribute and price its products and services. Analysis of your business market size and potential as well as evaluation of products and services of your competition is necessary to develop a winning and revenue-producing strategy.

Business Advice Mike Herrington

Bad Advice

Here are some things you shouldn’t do with a pension If you are wondering what to do with money from a pension plan, like the University Hospital Retirement Income Plan, here a few things to not do. The Worst Decisions for Pension Income 1. Get a check from the company. Of course, this is just foolish. The company must withhold 20 percent from the payment, meaning a person with a $100,000 account will have $20,000 withheld, reducing your check to $80,000. In order to complete a tax-free rollover, a taxpayer would have to deposit that $80,000, plus $20,000 from their pocket to

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Planning should be divided into three-month phases that are manageable, measurable and focused. A marketing plan should also include public relations, sales and distribution strategies and specific promotions. In addition, a broad view of ways your product or services can be useful to the public should be included in your marketing strategy. Over the past several columns, we have discussed various marketing tactics including branding, PR and support of nonprofits as important in a marketing strategy. Let’s now look at how advertising can be used by your business to create a boom in sales. Advertising as a Marketing Tactic Developing an advertising campaign over a certain time frame to promote a product, service or an event is one effective way to use advertising. Sales cycles should also be evaluated to determine optimal times to advertise. Several ways of getting the word out that you have something exciting to offer are through print ads, commercials, billboards and digital media. The key here, however, is developing attentiongetting messaging that resonates with the public. Marketing companies are trained in branding/messaging and work with businesses to create ads that grab the public’s interest. Advertising to Create Awareness An ongoing advertising campaign

complete a tax-free $100,000 rollover. The taxpayer may eventually get the $20,000 withheld as a tax refund the following year, but that will not help their cash flow. They need to complete their IRA rollover within 60 days of receiving the check from their qualified plan. The bottom line is that people should never touch their qualified funds. The only sensible way to move funds is a direct transfer from the qualified plan to the IRA custodian, thus avoiding withholding. 2. Rollover company stock. Shares of employer stock get special treatment and, in many cases, it may be fine to ignore this special status and roll the shares into an IRA. This would be true when the amount of employers stock is small, or the basis of the shares is high relative to the current market values. However, in the case of large amounts of shares or low basis, it would be a costly mistake to use the Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA) Rules. If your company retirement account includes highly appreciated company stock, an option is to withdraw the stock, pay tax on it now and roll the balance of the plan assets to an IRA. This way you will pay no current tax on the

Advertising is only one – but very important – component of marketing is important in reminding your existing customers that your business is still around. Maintaining a strong presence through consistent advertising is good to maintain your brand. This strategy also serves to attract new customers who may not have been in need of your products or services when you first opened. Can Advertising be Affordable? It is important to set a budget to determine what percentage of your marketing funds should be spent on advertising. One or two print ads or radio spots are not enough to keep the public informed about your business or raise attention about a product promotion. Marketing companies will sift through advertising options to develop a productive and cost-effective marketing spend. Most marketing companies have a detailed analysis of media channels (including print, broadcast and digital) and their effectiveness and cost efficiency with regard to the target audience. A mix of advertising options is generally very effective for campaigns and the marketing company will develop a well-planned strategy for each business

as well as for specific campaigns. Advertising can be affordable, especially if you work with a marketing company to develop a campaign. Marketing companies maintain strong working relationships with the various advertising outlets and are continuously informed of advertising promotions and special rates that can be passed on to their clients. Bottom-line, while marketing is important for a business to stay in front of customers, advertising is a great way to create a super-sonic sales boom. For my next column, I would like to answer your questions about marketing. Please send questions to donna@ martinwilsonmarketing.com and I will do my very best to provide marketing insight to help your business increase revenue. Donna Martin is co-owner of Martin Wilson Marketing, a full-service CSRA marketing company created to help businesses and organizations grow and shine. She shares her 30-plus years of corporate marketing communications experience with entities seeking a higher tier of visibility and profitability. Contact her at dkmartin4109@gmail.com

The bottom line is that people should never touch their qualified funds NUA or the amount rolled into an IRA. If you withdraw the stock and are under 55 years old, you have to pay a 10 percent penalty on the amount that is taxable. IRA owners can then defer the tax on the NUA until they sell the stock. When you do sell, you will only pay tax at the current capital gains rate. To qualify for the tax deferral on NUA, the distribution must be a lump-sum distribution. 3. Rollover after-tax dollars. Sometimes qualified plan accounts contain after-tax dollars. At the time of rollover, it is preferable to remove these after-tax dollars and not roll them into an IRA. That way, if the account owner chooses to use the after-tax dollars, he will have total liquidity to do so. You can take out all of the after-tax contributions, tax free, before rolling the qualified plan dollars to an IRA. You also have the option to rollover pre-tax and after-tax funds and allow all the money to continue to grow taxdeferred.

The big question is, will you need the money soon? If so, it probably will not pay to rollover the after-tax money, because once you rollover the after-tax money to an IRA you can’t withdraw it tax free. The after-tax funds become part of the IRA, and any withdrawals from the IRA are subject to the Pro Rata Rule, which requires each distribution from an IRA to contain a proportionate amount of both the taxable and nontaxable amounts in the account. For more information about the right things to do with your pension distribution, contact me and I’ll help you find the best plan for you. Fiscal Fitness is a sponsored financial column. 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 mike@herringtonfinancialservices.com


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Businessperson of the Month Larry Sconyers, Sconyers Bar-B-Que

Passion Pit

Larry Sconyers continues his father’s passion for barbecue at his iconic restaurant By Gary Kauffman The last name Sconyers has been the first name in barbecue in Augusta for nearly 60 years, and even at age 73, Larry Sconyers is doing his best to keep it that way. Perched atop a hill on the city’s south side, just a short way off the Bobby Jones Expressway, Sconyers Bar-B-Que is in its third location since it started in 1956. Wearing his overalls and a warm smile, Sconyers is still the driving force behind the restaurant. His humility belies the fact that he’s served presidents, Congress and famous golfers. Barbecue has been a part of Saconyers for his entire life. He grew up on a typical Georgia farm of dairy cattle, pigs and chickens. But his father had another love. “My father had a passion for cooking barbecue,” Sconyers said. “Even when we were farmers, my father and I would go out and cook for people.” In 1956 his father decided to turn that passion into a way of life and opened a small barbecue restaurant on Highway 25. In 1969 they moved to a Quonset hut near where the Bobby Jones Expressway now runs, and upgraded that to a log cabin in 1978. Once the Expressway was built, Sconyers felt the restaurant lost some of its unique charm, so in 1988 he moved the log cabin to its present location on Sconyers Way, just off Richmond Hill Road. “It gives us the illusion of being way out in the country but we’re still in the middle of everything,” he said. When Sconyers returned from his stint in the military in 1966, he joined his father in running the restaurant. After his father passed away in 1973, he took over the business. Initially, Sconyers had a limited customer base. “It was mostly men because it was just a hole in the wall,” he said of that first restaurant. “But 99 percent of your better barbecue comes out of a hole in the wall.” That has changed. Now entire families come from a wide area to enjoy Sconyers’ unique barbecue. Recently a family brought their 1-year-old son to the restaurant, marking the fourth generation of that family to enjoy Sconyers. “We have a picture of him gnawing on his first rib,” Sconyers said. The restaurant is unique in being open only three days a week – Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It had been open five days a week, but Sconyers explained that 75 percent of the restaurant’s business has always come on Friday and Saturday, and 25 percent the other days of the week. Once they cut down to just three days, Friday and Saturday still carry 75 percent of the load, with Thursday accounting for 25 percent. That also helps him keep the prices down. “What we do is labor intensive,” he said. “It takes 24 hours to cook, so if we were open more it would cost more.” Sconyers makes everything it serves in-house, including all the side dishes. Everything is cooked fresh every day in smokers of Sconyers’ own design. They came from a failed experiment with trying to franchise his product.

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Larry Sconyers looks over a batch of meat that is nearly ready to serve in his restaurant. Photo by Gary Kauffman

He tried to recreate the original brick fire pit in stand-alone steel ovens. The result was something that worked even better than the original fire pit. Over the years, Sconyers Bar-B-Que has garnered not only local acclaim but some national recognition as well. In 1980 Sconyers was asked to bring his barbecue to the White House to feed President Jimmy Carter. In 1997 he fed President Bill Clinton aboard Air Force One. He’s also been to Washington, D.C. to serve his barbecue to Congress. Arnold Palmer regularly enjoys Sconyers, and Jack Nicklaus has been there too. Sconyers took his own turn at politics, serving as Augusta’s mayor from 1996-98, the first mayor under the consolidated government. “That was quite an experience,” he said. “I was glad to leave there with my good name intact.” It’s an experience he doesn’t care to repeat. He found that his approach to running government like a business didn’t play well in the political world. “Most of the time I was ‘politically wrong’ when I was trying to do the right thing,” he said. So Sconyers continues to do barbecue and do it well, sticking with his father’s advice. “My daddy’s theory was, if you’re good at one thing, stick with it,” he said. What are you passionate about in your business? The authenticity of what we do. I

want to make sure what we do is the same thing people used to do 100 years ago. My father instilled in me consistency. He said you can’t be good one time and bad the next time. People expect us to get it right every time. I’m very proud of what we do. It’s a dying art. I love to put out a product no one else does. If you couldn’t have this job, what would you do? I’ve always enjoyed farming. I still own a farm but I kind of do it as a hobby. I love the country life. What did you learn from your father about running a business? My father was a very big-hearted man and loved to give things to people. We still love to give back to the community. We give to a lot of organizations but we try do it anonymously as much as we can. I don’t seek any praise. How do you start your mornings? I get up and drink some coffee and we discuss what’s going to happen today. Then we get at it. Why do you still come to work at an age where most people are retired? This is not a job anymore. I love coming to work. I love to meet and mingle with people. I enjoy my customers – they’re like family. What is your most valuable asset? The most valuable asset we have is our staff. We have staff who have been here 30 years. How many restaurants can you go in and have the same person

serve you year after year? The guy who runs our pit operations has been with us for 35 years. How do you unwind? I spend time with my son, we ride around the farm a bit. And with my wife, we go up to the lake or to Hilton Head. We have a boat we carry back and forth. What is your best president story? When I was mayor I was out at Bush Field when President Clinton flew in. They had us all in one of the outbuildings, giving us the protocol. While one of the Secret Service agents was giving us the spiel, another agent was on the phone. He gave me a funny look and walked up to me. He said, “Do you own a barbecue place?” I said I did and he said, “I’ve got Air Force One on the line and they’d like some barbecue. Can you do that?” I said I could. That’s how we fed President Clinton on Air Force One. What does the future hold for you? I don’t plan to retire. What would I do? I like to hunt and fish, but you can only do so much hunting and fishing. A man’s got to have something to do. Coming here to the restaurant is just like coming home. A plaque provided by Cudos4u, Awards and Promotions, your hometown favorite for Awards and Promotional Products, (706) 7220010, will be given to Larry Sconyers on behalf of Buzz on Biz.


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Business Benefits Russell Head

Stay Flexible

Flexible Spending Account is a benefit that pays for itself Most employers are concerned about the rising cost of employee benefits. Between healthcare reform and a struggling economy, many of us have been forced to reconsider which benefits we will offer and the dollar amount we are willing to pay for the company’s portion. One budgetfriendly benefit that is sometimes overlooked, however, is a Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA). How It Works During open enrollment, the employee chooses a dollar amount to set aside for that plan year. (The maximum for 2015 is $2,550.) That amount is divided by the number of pay periods in the year, and then deducted from each paycheck before taxes. During the plan year, the employee submits claims for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses, and is reimbursed up to the total amount elected. In addition to the tax savings, employees also benefit from the Universal Coverage Rule, which allows access

to the maximum amount of reimbursement for the health FSA at any time during the plan year for covered expenses. For example, an employee might elect the maximum $2,550 to be withheld for a plan year beginning Jan. 1. On Jan. 15, he could submit a claim for qualified medical expenses incurred in January for the whole amount and be reimbursed even though the total funds have not yet been deducted from his paycheck. The deductions would continue as scheduled for the remainder of the year. For employees, this type of fund can help bridge the gap created by medical plans with higher out-of-pocket amounts, allowing the employee to plan responsibly for expected and unexpected expenses. Employers benefit from the pre-tax deductions by paying less in payroll taxes. However, there are a few cautions. Who is Eligible to Participate? Employers must have an underlying ACA-compliant group health insurance plan in order to offer a health FSA. Additionally, only individuals eligible for the employer-provided plan can enroll in a health FSA. However, there is no requirement that the employee be enrolled in the medical insurance plan to be eligible for the health FSA. What are Qualified Medical Expenses? As mentioned above, only qualified medical expenses can be reimbursed from a health FSA fund. Qualified expenses are generally defined under Section 213(d) of the Tax Code,

Business Accounting Christine Hall

Taxpayer Rerun

What you should know about filing an amended tax return What should you do if you already filed your federal tax return and then discover a mistake? First of all, don’t worry. In most cases, all you have to do is file an amended tax return. But before you do that, here is what you should be aware of when filing an amended tax return.

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Taxpayers should use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to file an amended (corrected) tax return. You must file the corrected tax return on paper. An amended return cannot be e-filed. If you need to file another schedule or form, don’t forget to attach it to the amended return. An amended tax return should only be filed to correct errors or make changes to your original tax return. For example, you should amend your return if you need to change your filing status, or correct your income, deductions or credits. You normally do not need to file an amended return to correct math errors because the IRS automatically makes those changes for you. Also, do not file an amended return because you forgot to attach tax forms, such as W-2s or schedules. The IRS normally will mail you a request asking for those. Eligible taxpayers who filed a 2014 tax return and claimed a premium tax credit using incorrect information from either the federally facilitated or

and include common out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays and deductibles for medical or dental plans (including prescriptions). However, other expenses qualify that may not be covered by medical insurance such as eye exams, glasses and contact lenses, orthodontia, in vitro fertilization and smoking cessation programs. A few items not on the list include over-thecounter medications (other than insulin) without a prescription, premiums for group or individual medical coverage and most elective cosmetic surgeries. An internet search for “FSA Qualified Expenses” may yield a more complete list. Qualified medical expenses may be incurred by the employee, their spouse and/or any tax dependents; however, the expense must be incurred within the covered period. Use It or Lose It? Funds remaining in an FSA account after the end of a plan year are generally forfeited by the employee. As a result, employees are urged not to put more in than they feel they can reasonably spend. However, there are a couple of ways the account can be designed to minimize this result. A “grace period” can be included of up to 2-1/2 months after the end of the plan year in which expenses can be incurred and submitted for reimbursement. Alternately, the plan may allow employees to “roll over” up to $500 of unused funds into the next plan year (in addition to the maximum for the

new plan year). However, these two options cannot be used together. Plan design features must be recorded (or updated) in the FSA plan document in order to be compliant with ERISA requirements. Other Issues As with some other employee benefits, non-discrimination testing is required for health FSAs to be sure they benefit all employees, and not just the highly compensated. For groups that choose to self-administer their plan, there are special HIPAA rules that must be considered. Groups that opt to use a third party to manage their plan will have administration fees that may not be completely offset by the tax savings. To help employers better understand Medical Flexible Spending Accounts, the IRS has provided Publication 969 (Health Savings Accounts and other Tax-Favored Health Plans) and Publication 502 (Medical and Dental Expenses), both of which can be found on their website. For further explanation of information outlined in this article, please refer to the following resources: irs.gov, healthcare.gov, oci.ga.gov and doi.sc.gov.

a state-based Health Insurance Marketplace, generally do not have to file an amended return regardless of the nature of the error, even if additional taxes would be owed. The IRS may contact you to ask for a copy of your corrected Form 1095-A to verify the information. Nonetheless, you may choose to file an amended return because some taxpayers may find that filing an amended return may reduce their tax owed or give them a larger refund. If you are filing an amended tax return to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original tax refund before filing Form 1040X. Amended returns take up to 16 weeks to process. You may cash your original refund check while waiting for the additional refund. If you owe additional taxes with Form 1040X, file it and pay the tax as soon as possible to minimize interest and penalties. You can use IRS Direct Pay to pay your tax directly from your checking or savings account. Generally, you must file Form 1040X

within three years from the date you filed your original tax return or within two years of the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. For example, the last day for most people to file a 2012 claim for a refund is April 15, 2016. You can track the status of your amended tax return for the current year three weeks after you file. You can also check the status of amended returns for up to three prior years. To use the “Where’s My Amended Return” tool on the IRS website, just enter your taxpayer identification number (usually your Social Security number), date of birth and zip code. If you have filed amended returns for more than one year, you can select each year individually to check the status of each.

Russell T. Head is President/Managing Partner with Group & Benefits Consultants, Inc., Augusta’s largest, privately held, locally owned employee benefits consulting firm. He can be reached at 706-733-3459 or rthead@gandbc. com. Visit Group & Benefits Consultants at www.groupandbenefits.com.

This is a sponsored employment article. Hall & Associates LLC is a full-service public accounting firm established in 1979. They have a staff of experienced professionals that stand ready to meet all of your accounting, tax and general business needs. For a complimentary consultation, call 706-855-7733 or visit hallassociatescpa.com.


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Upcoming Business Events

Friday, June 19

June Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce Member Economic Luncheon 2015 presented by Augusta Magazine, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Augusta Marriott Hotel and Suites (2 10th St, Augusta). Guest Speaker: John Collins, Vice President, Textron Specialized Vehicles. For more information, contact Butch Holley at (706) 821-1318. Augustametrochamber.com.

Monday, June 22 Chamber After Hours, 5-7 p.m. Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (1000 Business Park Ct, Evans). 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. Must be a Columbia County Chamber member. For more information, contact Cassidy Harris at (706) 651-0018. Columbiacountychamber.com

Tuesday, June 23 Ribbon Cutting: Miller-Motte Technical College- CDL Open House, 10:30 a.m., 621 NW Frontage Road, Augusta. Augustametrochamber.com Ribbon Cutting: Swank, 4 p.m., 403 Fury’s Ferry Road, in Martinez.

Wednesday, June 24

Hiring Our Heroes Event, Gordon’s Conference and Catering Facility (Gordon Club), Fort Gordon. 4 p.m. Interactive forums and panel discussions for employers and community leaders; 5:30 p.m. Networking Reception for Employers, Senior Leaders and Job Seekers. Join us for a free hiring fair and transition summit for service members, veterans, and military spouses. This event features key Federal and State agencies, influential military leaders, innovators in the business and employer community, and local community leaders. This summit features participation by speakers from Fort Gordon, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. De-

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partment of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, U.S. Army’s Installation Management Command and Soldier for Life Program, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Transition to Veterans Program Office, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Army Community Service, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes and local chambers of commerce. This two-day Transition Summit will feature informative and interactive panel events, recruiter training, and facilitated discussions focused on improving competitive employment for service members, veterans, and spouses in addition to a networking reception for employers, senior leaders, and job seekers. Both employers and job seekers must register at hiringourheroes.org. Registration is free. For registration questions, please contact hiringourheroes@ uschamber.com or call 202-463-5807. columbiacountychamber.com

Thursday, June 25 Hiring Our Heroes Event, Gordon’s Conference and Catering Facility (Gordon Club), Fort Gordon. 9 a.m. Workshop for Employers, 10 a.m. Employment Panels & Workshops for Job Seekers, 1 p.m. Hiring Fair and Career Forum. Join us for a free hiring fair and transition summit for service members, veterans, and military spouses. This event features key Federal and State agencies, influential military leaders, innovators in the business and employer community, and local community leaders. This summit features participation by speakers from Fort Gordon, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, U.S. Army’s Installation Management Command and Soldier for Life Program, the U.S. Department of Defense’s Transition to Veterans Program Office, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Army Community Service, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes and local chambers of commerce. This two-day Transition Summit will feature informative and interactive panel events, recruiter training, and facilitated discussions focused on improving competitive employment for service members, veterans, and spouses in addition to a networking reception for employers, senior leaders, and job seekers. Both employers and job seekers must

register at hiringourheroes.org. Registration is free. For registration questions, please contact hiringourheroes@ uschamber.com or call 202-463-5807. Columbiacountychamber.com

Tuesday, June 30

Georgia Chamber of Commerce Power Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Legends Club (2701 Washington Road, Augusta). Join fellow Georgia Chamber members and others from your region for a networking lunch to learn about key issues that matter to your business. The event will feature Georgia Chamber President and CEO Chris Clark and is an excellent opportunity to interact with business leaders, get timely information and learn what we can do together for a better state of business. Registration is required by June 23rd. Augustametrochamber.com. 100+ Women Who Care CSRA, first meeting, 6 p.m., West Lake Country Club, Augusta. The goal is to raise $10,000 for nonprofit groups. For more information, see 100+ Women Who Care CSRA on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 1 Membership101 Class, 8:30 a.m., Columbia County Chamber Office. Members Only Event. If you are a new Chamber member, new to your company, or just want a refresher course, plan to attend the Membership 101 Class. One-hour class on the Chamber website. Class will be held at the Chamber office. RSVP requested.

Thursday, July 2 Ribbon-Cutting: Chick-fil-A Peach Orchard Road, 9 a.m. 3130 Peach Orchard Road, Augusta. Augustametrochamber. com.

Tuesday, July 21 Chamber Before Hours, 8 a.m., Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (1000 Business Park Ct, Evans). No charge. Continental breakfast provided. Are you ready for the shift in liability for Fraudulent Credit Cards? Keynote speaker Robert de Leon talks about the changes coming to the use of credit cards within businesses beginning in October. At that time any payment card fraud that could have been avoided through the use of an EMV terminal will

become an expense to your business, rather than the credit card issuer. EMV stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa. EMV cards contain chips that validate credit and debit cards presented as a form of payment.

Saturday, July 25

Greenbrier Veterinary Anniversary Open House, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 5121 Washington Road, Suite 1, Evans, GA 30809. Meet the Greenbrier Veterinary Team and celebrate their first year serving the CSRA community! Everyone is invited, including pets and kids. There will be treats for everyone! Enter the raffle to win a gift basket full of pet supplies, take fun photos with your pet in our photo booth, and much more. Greenbriervetservices.com

Tuesday, July 28 Networking for Leads, 3-4 p.m. Chamber Office (1000 Business Boulevard, in Evans). “Networking for Leads” is 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. The goal of the program is to encourage businesses to give leads, create mutually beneficial relationships, and develop a netweaving experience where leads are received. The program will consist of a round table activity which will be followed up by an optional lunch connection, based on appropriate matching, to further enhance the leads experience. Columbiacountychamber.com

If your business or organization has a public non-sales event it would like to place in this calendar, please contact Kelsey at kelsey.morrow@buzzon.biz. Event listings are subject to approval by the editor.


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Doctor’s business model cuts health care costs Patients pay small monthly fee in lieu of insurance benefits By Jennifer Reynolds A new business model by one area doctor ditches insurance, but still offers patients a low-cost way to manage their healthcare. Dr. Rob Lamberts, a primary care physician of 21 years, loved being a doctor, but he didn’t like the traditional business structure of health care. And he was alarmed at the cost of health care. He set out to find a new way to practice so he could still do the work he loved, but in a way that he felt is better for the patient and himself. “I’m always trying to figure out a better way to do things,” he said. “I always thought, ‘Is there a better way to do primary care?’” After researching alternative business models, he settled on direct primary care: a business model where patients, not insurance companies, pay the doctor for treatment. In February 2013 he opened a new practice offering such care to Augusta residents. “I think it could actually make a huge change for the better for people and for the cost of health care. I think it really is a game changer,” he said. “I think it could change the health care system, as grandiose as that sounds.” Lamberts doesn’t take insurance. Instead, his patients pay a small monthly service fee that is determined based on a patient’s age. The service fee covers them for an unlimited number of visits and most in-office treatments, such as cholesterol testing, Pap smears and basic vision and hearing tests. For example, a patient between the ages of 30 and 49 pays $40 a month, and a family of five pays $150 a month. Lamberts said that determining what his monthly fee would be was a challenge in the beginning. One factor that influenced him when determining price was making health care affordable for those who didn’t have insurance. “I didn’t want to charge too much because one of the ideas was to reach out to folks who didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford insurance, so at the very least I needed to make it affordable to them,” he said.

Though Lamberts offers some services that require an additional fee, patients know upfront what costs will be. Because no insurance company is involved, there is no question of what a patient’s final cost will be. He said it’s important to him and his staff that they help make the cost of their patients’ health care more affordable. “Let’s say somebody doesn’t have insurance or they can’t afford this expensive drug,” he said. “Well, we’re motivated to go and seek out ways to get free drugs from the drug companies. One of my nurses really makes a concerted effort. We’re always looking for the cheapest place to buy every medicine.” Lamberts said that he and his staff negotiate lower prices with supply providers and laboratories, then pass the savings on to their patients by only charging cost. When he worked in a traditional doctor’s office, he was required by insurance companies to bring patients in frequently. “Just simply to get questions answered patients had to set up an appointment, give two hours or three hours of their life to me,” he said. “Now I don’t have to hold anything hostage for an office visit.” This allows him to see patients only when he, not the insurance company, feels an appointment is necessary. This approach has reduced the number of patients he sees in a day, but because the monthly fee covers the cost of running his business, he ensures that his practice has the funds it needs to continue. “I’m not an overly busy person [like he was at his former practice], this overly busy doctor who has very little time. Now, I have the freedom to give good care,” he said. He said at his former practice that patients couldn’t reach him so easily. Now, he corresponds with his patients through text and email. “I’m very much focused on using any means of communication, be it text messaging, be it secure messaging, be it email, to give good care,” he said. Lamberts said starting the new practice was tough in the beginning.

Dr. Rob Lamberts’ office and personality present a casual atmosphere for his patients.

“My income dropped dramatically because I started a new business and nobody was quite sure about it,” he said, “but I think that’s true of any entrepreneurial thing. You always have to go through that sweat equity.” Initially, he said his patients were mostly people who didn’t have insurance, but as the practice has grown, he’s now sees a wide diversity of patients. “This system that I’ve set up,” he said, “has my economic motivation in perfect harmony with what the patients’ economic motivation is, and that is to have as few medicines they’re taking as possible, to save as much money as possible, to avoid unnecessary care, to avoid emergency rooms, to handle problems early.” He and his staff like the change. “My two nurses and me, there’s no way in the world that we would want to go back to the old system. It’s so much better to be here in the office than it ever was in the old office. It’s so much better for us. Our patients are happy with us. The interaction is all

positive because we’re out of that adversarial mode of asking patients to do unreasonable things.” Dr. Lamberts said that it is surprising to many that the Affordable Care Act didn’t play a role in his decision-making. “It really had nothing to do with Obamacare and that was a hard thing for people to grasp because we launched the new practice right as that was passing,” he said. “The health care system has stunk for a long time, and it’s been getting progressively worse. For me the idea of giving coverage to more people did nothing to address the root problem, which is the cost of care. It’s not access to care. It’s that care is way too costly.” He hopes that Direct Primary Care will catch on and that more doctors will begin practicing in similar business models. He’s had good feedback from other doctors regarding direct primary care. He said, “The vast majority are rooting for me.”

University Hospital ranked among the best in country University Hospital ranked among the best in five categories in a recent US News & World Report evaluation. The new evaluation tool for consumers looked at how hospitals perform at five “Common Care” procedures and/or conditions. The magazine rated hospitals as “High Performing,” “Average” or “Below Average” relative to other rated hospitals in treating patients 65 and older. Of the 4,600 U.S. hospitals evaluated by the new tool, only 34 were ranked “High

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Performing” in all five procedures, including University Hospital – the only hospital in Georgia to achieve that. University Hospital ranked “High Performing” in the following Adult Procedures/Conditions: • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease • Heart bypass surgery • Heart failure • Hip replacement • Knee replacement In addition, University Hospital previ-

ously was ranked “High Performing” in the following Adult Specialties: • Cardiology & Heart Surgery • Diabetes & Endocrinology • Gastroenterology & GI Surgery • Geriatrics • Gynecology • Nephrology • Neurology & Neurosurgery • Orthopaedics • Pulmonology • Urology

Of all hospitals in the CSRA, University is the only one to be ranked “High Performing” in more than one specialty and/or procedure. US News & World Report also ranked University Hospital as the fifth-best hospital in Georgia. No other hospital in the CSRA ranked higher than 15th on the list. University Health Care System is anchored by the 581-bed University Hospital, and serves Augusta-Richmond County and the surrounding region.


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Fifth graders design health game app Fun battle game teaches kids about cystic fibrosis

If you are a fan of Fruit Ninja or Super Mario, the latest app developed by Georgia Regents University and local fifth-graders is a must-have. The new game, Battle Bacteria, is educational, fun and free to download.​   The main goal of the game is to bring awareness to cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder  that affects about 30,000 people in the United States and 70,000 more worldwide. Fifth-grade students at Chukker Creek Elementary in Aiken came up with the initial concept and design for the characters in the game, said Jeff Mastromonico, director of the instructional design and development department at GRU. “I developed the gameplay and design, getting regular feedback from the students as well as meeting with them on campus to discuss the game and answer any question they had about the process,” he said. In the  game, players become aware of what  cystic fibrosis is, what causes it and what the symptoms and treatments are. “The students were responsible for researching the cystic fibrosis facts and information that are supplied in the game,” Mastromonico said.

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The idea for the app The idea to create the game came from Alecia Kinard, whose daughter was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, Mastromonico said. Kinard wanted to educate children and parents about the disorder and wanted fifth graders at  Chukker Creek Elementary involved in the project. After seeing an app that GRU  helped  create  to teach children with diabetes about making good food choices, Kinard approached  Mastromonico with her idea. “This seemed a perfect fit with some of the work that we have been doing lately with the Children’s Hospital of Georgia developing games for them to utilize with patients,”  Mastromonico  said. “The added benefit of working with young students and educating them about careers in app, web and game development also felt like the perfect opportunity to make ourselves available as a resource to the community.” Cystic Fibrosis Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder caused by a defective, recessive gene. This gene makes body fluids such as mucus and digestive juices thicker and stickier. In turn, these fluids lose their lubricant properties, causing them  to accumulate  in the lungs and the digestive tract. This build-up may lead to serious lung infections and life-threatening damage to the

pancreas and other organs of the digestive system. ​There is no known cure for the disorder. Playing Battle Bacteria In this military-style  game, you are the antibiotic and your mission is to kill the different bacteria that are in the lungs and pancreas of a person with cystic fibrosis. In the first level, you have to slice and kill the bacteria in the lungs and be careful not to burst the oxygen bubbles  in the same way you would cut fruits in Fruit Ninja and avoid exploding bombs. The second level is similar to Super Mario in that you have to jump on the enemies to destroy them. Just be careful not to touch the enzymes, which could kill you. Battle Bacteria has had about 700 downloads since its launch in March. It is available for Android  and iOS  platforms, and you can download it for free on  Google Play or iTunes.

Aiken dentist gains national recognition

Dr. Talmadge Wilkins of Center for Dentistry in Aiken was chosen as the Incisal Edge’s “Top 40 Under 40.” The program is aimed at recognizing innovative and passionate young professionals in dentistry. The magazine chose the top 40 dentists across the United States under the age of 40. Whether they are renowned for their medical innovations, their volunteer work and philanthropy or simply their commitment to outstanding patient care, these 40 standouts — nominated by industry experts from around the country and vetted by an independent panel — represent the best of dentistry today, and the promise of even better dentistry tomorrow. Wilkins recently flew to New York to accept the award. “I was honored to receive this award” he said. “I strive to understand the cutting edge technology of the dental industry, and I am always looking to further my education.” The dental practice is located at 1391 Silver Bluff Road. For more information, see aikendental.com.


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Chamber assists North Augusta businesses

Offers advocacy, networking opportunities for businesses By Terra Carroll, North Augusta Chamber of Commerce President The North Augusta Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1951 and has been moving business forward in our community ever since. The North Augusta Chamber is a great place to educate, promote and grow an organization. We currently serve approximately 400 members, with five members that have been with the Chamber for more than 40 years. North Augusta is an extraordinarily beautiful city. As the “front door to South Carolina,” North Augusta provides instant access to nature’s treasures. It is understandable why our city attracts residents and visitors from around the world. The North Augusta Chamber takes pride in being the voice of business in our community. We represent large, mid-sized and small businesses alike. We serve as an advocate for commerce and industry; facilitate interaction among business, government, education, labor, and the greater community; and actively create innovative opportunities for business to advance within local and global economies. The Chamber is established as the primary resource for local and regional businesses. Membership in the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce provides business owners and their employees a wide variety of tangible opportunities to grow and develop their businesses, as well as their pro-

fessional skill sets. In addition, the Chamber continually works with units of local, state and national government on behalf of its members to foster and maintain a healthy economic environment that is conducive to doing business. While our members are busy serving their clients, we make sure their business needs are met. The North Augusta Chamber is run by a professional staff that includes Terra Carroll, President/CEO; Jessica Hanson, Director of Member Services; and Kyle Evans, Membership Investment Representative. It is led by a Board of Directors of the Chamber. Together, they provide leadership opportunities, volunteer programs and celebrate member achievements and milestones. The Chamber works diligently to connect business, political and community, helping to improve the economic vitality and quality of life for everyone. How do you make the most out of your Chamber membership? The most satisfied members seem to be those who attend meetings, join committees, participate in Chamber programs and who use the Chamber as a resource of information. We are here to help you with all your business needs. The Chambers offers a number of programs and activities for businesses to interact and to promote themselves. Among those programs are A.M. Connection, Women In Business, Business Power Lunch, the Business and Community Expo, our annual meeting, Hollywood Bowl, Business

Carol Johnson, President & CEO, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions; Rechelle Dallas, Chair, North Augusta Chamber Board of Directors; and Stan Johnson, Stan Johnson Jewelers, recipient of the 2014 Small Business of the Year award.

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Academy, Business After Hours, ribbon cuttings and Holiday Drop-In. To keep up with what’s happening in the business community we send out monthly event email blasts, Member 2 Member emails and press releases, as well as being featured in the Chamber Connection section of the North Augusta Star and the North Augusta Lifestyle Guide. Members also benefit from our advocacy in public policy, such as industry-specific focus groups, issue-driven surveys, nonpartisan political forums and public policy feedback. Education is also an important part of the Chamber. Members can learn about business-related topics, such as marketing, human resources and leadership, with free educational offerings taught by local business leaders. Some of the education opportunities we offer are Business Academy partnership with SCORE, Chamber 101 and one-on-one consultations. Advertising is also part of the Chamber’s activities. We help businesses reach their target audience through North Augusta relocation/visitor packets, email marketing opportunities, website marketing opportunities, the Chamber Connection, North Augusta Lifestyle Guide and the North Augusta map.

I would like to thank our members for investing in the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce. It is our pleasure to celebrate their milestones and achievements, as well as support new business ventures and opportunities. We are excited for new opportunities in 2015 for our organization and community. There has never been a more exciting time to do business in North Augusta. North Augusta’s economic prosperity and quality of life are the talk in the CSRA and across the state of South Carolina, and we continue to attract new companies, jobs and residents. All of our members have influence and the investment of their time and resources is valuable to us. Businesses and community leaders like them are helping sustain this momentum, and spreading the message that North Augusta is on the rise. The North Augusta Chamber of Commerce is an organization that proves every day that people working together can achieve great things. Not a member? Stop by our office and chat, our door is open, and remember – your business is our business! 406 West Ave., North Augusta, SC 29841 803-279-2323 northaugustachamber.org


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Social Media Kelsey Morrow

Myth Buster

Some things said about social media just aren’t true Like all new technologies, many myths have developed about social media since its creation. Let’s look at three of these myths and see how businesses can combat them in order to create their best social media presence. Myth No. 1: Social Media is only for young people In recent years there has been an increase in the amount of older people on social media. Facebook in particular has seen a large increase in users from older generations. According to the Pew Research Center’s latest social media update, 71 percent of American adults have Facebook accounts, and usage in the 65 and older age range has nearly doubled since 2012. As social media continues to become ingrained in our culture, a positive presence is

Deeper Thinking Eddie Kennedy

Wow Factor

Ideas that will help you push past the look-alikes In the book, The Pursuit of WOW!, Tom Peters, who also wrote the business classic, In Search of Excellence, shares more than 200 thoughts and ideas that can help you and your business in today’s unsettling business climate. “Wow” as defined by Peters is: stepping out (individuals at all levels in a firm) and standing out (corporations and other organizations) from the growing crowd of look-alikes. Here are just a few of the many practical tips that can be applied to your business today. #1. One-Minute Excellence. Peters begins with this basic thought, “You can become excellent in a nanosecond.” It starts with the decision to quit doing less-than-excel-

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sure to benefit any business, no matter what age they consider to be their target audience. Myth No. 2: Social Media is harmful to a business because it gives people a venue to complain The rise of the Internet gave average citizens a place to voice their opinions, and they are now voicing them over just about anything. Whether or not your company has a social media platform, if a customer is upset about something, there are plenty of places for them to voice this discontent. Refusing to create an account of your own does not make you immune to criticism. However, an active social media presence can actually help your company combat these negative comments by giving you an opportunity to respond. Say, for example, that a customer purchases a product from your company, is unhappy with the item, and voices this discontent on the internet. If your company does not have a social media presence that negative comment will be sitting out there unaddressed and potential customers who read this review may be swayed negatively. However, if your company has a social media presence, you can address the concern by commenting with potential solutions. Even if this

guest service recovery approach does not sway the actual commenter, it will still help your company’s image by publicly showing that your company cares about its customer base. Myth No. 3: Social Media requires too much of a time commitment While it is true that frequent posting is important, it doesn’t mean that you need to constantly be signed on to your company’s page. A lot of social media pages now allow you to write posts and schedule them in advance. For example, one of my responsibilities with Buzz on Biz is to keep our

Facebook page updated. With the exception of breaking news stories, I am usually able to schedule a week’s worth of content in one sitting. This creates a win-win situation in which our Facebook page is constantly updating with fresh material for our readers, but also increases my productivity for nonFacebook related activities.

lent work. He admits that you might struggle with mistakes and errors, but if you don’t decide to be excellent first, you will never achieve it. Peters says that the hardest part is not changing to be excellent; it’s maintaining the excellence after you decided to be it. #27. Getting Things Done. To get things done, you have to work with and through others. First, don’t forget to send people “Thank You” notes. It is hard to beat the power of a handwritten note. People love to get them, so make a habit of using them. Another tip is to share the credit of success with everyone who contributed to it. If someone helped you out, give them credit for the assistance. It costs you nothing and it will produce great rewards in the future with people helping out again. He also suggests that you have to be persistent. When times are tough or challenging, don’t just cut and run because you have a little setback. Do your homework, make certain you are on the correct path and then stay with it. One last tip is to solve problems before they become huge. Every big problem was tiny at one time. Almost always they were ignored until they become a giant problem. Solving problems when they are small requires discipline.

Most business owners will delay until the time is more convenient for them. But it’s best to make the call to the customer and find a solution that will make the problem go away while they are still small. #46. The Bumpinginto Strategy. Peters suggests one way to Tom Peters increase The Pursuit of WOW! customer370 pages service consciousness is to put reminders where the employees will bump into them. For instance, post customer-service statistics all over the place; put pictures of customers all over the walls; use customer-service stories as the lead story in company correspondence; reward acts of customer-service heroism on a regular basis. Make it impossible for employees to not trip over it several times a day. #94. Beat the Small Business Odds. Peters shares several things that he be-

lieves a thriving business must have to distinguish themselves from the losers: Distinction: it’s what makes your business different from the others in your industry. Soul: it’s what makes your customers say “wow.” Passion: it gives you the energy to make it through the long hard days of a startup. Details: it’s the little things that add up to the total experience. Good Books: it’s keeping up with the money as it comes in and goes out. Critical. Perseverance: staying with it, even when you make a mistake and learn things the hard way. Although “The Pursuit of WOW! was written in 1994, it is packed full of useful insights and enlightening conversations with business leaders and entrepreneurs. I’m sure you’ll find a gem or treasure for your business.

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 kelsey.morrow@buzzon.biz.

Eddie Kennedy is the owner of Great Deals on Furniture in Augusta and an avid reader of business books. Eddie believes every business owner should invest in themselves by reading, but if you can’t, then read his column every month to see what he learned. Have you read any great business books? Let Eddie know at eddie@greatdealsaugusta.com.


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Partridge Inn names local man as new GM The Partridge Inn announced the appointment of Lloyd Van Horn as their new general manager. Van Horn will capitalize on The Partridge Inn’s recent $6 million room renovation and will continue to oversee phase two of improvements to the hotel’s common spaces and P.I. Bar & Grill, which are scheduled to be complete at the end of August. Much as The Partridge Inn’s renovation symbolizes a rebirth for the community, Van Horn celebrates a homecoming as he’s called Evans home since 2006. Van Horn brings a wealth of experience managing award-winning luxury boutique hotels. Throughout his successful career, Van Horn spearheaded hotel and restaurant operations at Relais & Chateaux rated properties The Planters Inn and The Willcox in South Carolina, The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa in Florida, and The Point Resort in New York. “The Partridge Inn is an institution that needed to be resurrected,” said Van Horn. “The service and food are the heart and soul of the property. Coupled with the renovated rooms and space, the team will focus on providing the best experience in Augusta.” Van Horn’s accomplished hotelier career spans more than 15 years, and his properties have racked up national awards: Planters Inn was rated the number one city hotel by Travel & Leisure; The Point was rated top five in the world in service by  Condé

Nast; and Topnotch Resort and Spa in Vermont was awarded a top 10 resort and spa by Condé Nast as well as the number one ski resort in the Northeast. “The Partridge Inn team is thrilled to welcome a manager with the caliber of hotels that Van Horn has managed,” said Gregory Winey, President of Northpointe Hospitality Management, LLC. “He relaunched Montauk Yacht Club after renovations and that experience will be beneficial as he leads the team beyond The Partridge Inn’s rebirth.” With family in the area, Van Horn and his wife chose the town of Evans for his home base in 2008 as the perfect place to raise a family. His daughter was born at Augusta’s own University Hospital, and Van Horn spent time traveling back and forth between five-star hotels to help raise his daughter. Now he is pleased to make Evans his home  with his wife, Angela; daughter, Limasoleil; and son, Parker. “I love Augusta and wanted to be here. It’s an added benefit to manage a treasure like The Partridge Inn here in my own community,” said Van Horn. The historic hotel, which first opened in 1910, completed a $6 million overhaul to its 144 guest rooms in March. Phase two renovations are currently underway to restore the property to its status as Augusta’s Grand Dame of Hospitality.

Crowdfunding could help female entrepreneurs catch up Ventureneer recently released a report that reveals why women entrepreneurs are still significantly behind men when it comes to funding and growing their businesses – and identifies crowdfunding as the secret weapon they’re underutilizing that could change the status quo once and for all. Stand out in the Crowd: How Women (and Men) Benefit from Equity Crowdfunding offers an in-depth analysis of the current state of women’s entrepreneurship, including obstacles and opportunities for growth – such as the discovery that women tend to outperform men in crowdfunding, yet have not taken advantage of this hidden opportunity to more aggressively start and grow their businesses. Stengel’s research shows how equity crowdfunding has the potential to change the way women successfully fund the operation and growth of their businesses. The report found women who raise equity financing online through crowdfunding are achieving a higher success rate than those raising money offline: 24 percent for online compared to 19 percent for offline. In addition, success rates of men and women raising equity financing are currently the same. Women are also outperforming men on specific equity and rewards-based crowdfunding platforms. This

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is the first evidence that women outshine men when raising financing. “Today there are more women-owned and run businesses in the United States than ever before, yet these businesses are a third less likely to surpass $1 million in revenue compared to men,” said Geri Stengel, founder and President of Ventureneer. “Crowdfunding, specifically equity crowdfunding, is leveling the playing field for female founders with skills, ability and ambition.” While crowdfunding is currently showing promise to help solve the problem women founders are facing in getting funded, including discrimination, unconscious bias and a lack of knowledge as to which fundraising platform is the best for their business, Stengel also reports on the need for more men and women to invest in women. Currently, only 19 percent of angel investors are women, and research has proven they make better investors than men because of the time they research their investment choices, how long they hold onto their investments and the lower risk they’re willing to take. While men make up the majority of investors, unconscious bias toward women founders is likely one of the biggest issues ahead for male venture capitalists.

Partridge Inn now affiliated with Hilton’s Curio brand The Partridge Inn was officially affiliated with the Hilton hotel family on June 2. The Partridge Inn will be part of the Curio – A Collection by Hilton  portfolio following a $6 million renovation to the historic property. “We’re thrilled to see the Curio portfolio expanding to all parts of the country,” said Matt Wehling, senior vice president, development – North America, Hilton Worldwide. “The Partridge Inn brings historic charm to a collection that continues to evolve with impressive properties and authentic local experiences.” Hilton Curio is a collection of upscale, independent hotels hand-picked for their distinct character and personality, appealing to passionate travelers seeking local discovery. “Each hotel in the Curio collection is completely different from the next, and the addition of The Partridge Inn shows the diversity that inquisitive travelers can find with Curio,” said Dianna Vaughan, global head, Curio – A Collection by Hilton. “One thing The Partridge Inn does have in common with the rest of the collection is its au-

thentic, remarkable and independent spirit.” As members of the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, all Curio hotels, including The Partridge Inn, participate in Hilton HHonors, the only hotel loyalty program that allows members to earn both points and miles on the same stay, with no blackout dates on reward stays. In addition, HHonors members can use points to purchase unique experience rewards, premium merchandise, make charitable contributions and more. “The Partridge Inn has been a longstanding part of the community, and it will continue to be Augusta’s premier hotel when it reopens as part of the Curio collection,” said Greg Winey, president and principal, NorthPointe Hospitality Management. “Our mantra will always be to cater to the community and guests, and with Hilton Worldwide behind us we can continue to deliver the best to our Augusta visitors.” The Partridge Inn completed a $6 million renovation in April of the rooms and hallways. In the second phase, the hotel’s exterior, lobby, restaurant and other public spaces will be renovated.

Augusta attorney appointed to assist state attorney general Augusta attorney Robert Kerr was recently appointed to the position of special assistant to the Attorney General of the state of Georgia. In this position, Kerr will represent the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) in Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties during legal dependency proceedings. “This is a role that directly impacts the future of children at risk in our area and I consider it an honor to be entrusted to be special assistant to the attorney general,” Kerr said. “A dependency hearing is a court proceeding involving a juvenile, most often

in cases of abuse or neglect. I will be representing DFCS when state intervention is necessary to protect a child’s welfare.” Kerr is also a member of Glover, Blount & Kerr. Prior to his current practice and special assistant appointment, Kerr established Kerr Law, P.C., successfully representing hundreds of clients across the United States in state and federal court who suffered from disabling conditions such as fibromyalgia, lower back pain, neck pain, depression and anxiety. Kerr graduated Magna Cum Laude from St. Thomas University School of Law, Miami Gardens, Fla.


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Career and Education Barry Paschal

Three Cheers Employment prospects good for this year’s graduates Based on keen observation from years of attending graduation ceremonies, I have developed a theory regarding the level of celebration from spectators. It goes like this: The amount of cheering during commencement is inversely proportionate to the expected future level of achievement of the student. What’s that mean? The honor grad headed to MIT on an academic scholarship often gets a golf clap. The barely graduating C-minus student headed to work at the local car wash is greeted with earsplitting cheers and an airhorn fanfare worthy of the launch of a new battleship. Perhaps the families intuit that the honor student’s best days lie ahead. The cheerleaders for the skin-of-his-teeth grad are just happy he remembered to put on shoes. Of course, that’s all a gross oversimplification, but such absurdity makes a valid point – as does a recent dust-up after a high school graduation in Mississippi. At Senatobia High School, some families received warrants for their arrest shortly after their grad picked up a diploma. The superintendent, who’d grown weary of the raucous lack of deco-

rum at the annual ceremony, had asked families to hold their applause until after all the grads were announced. To perhaps no one’s amazement, several exuberant families ignored the request and greeted the announcement of their graduate’s name with the sort of cheering usually reserved for gamewinning touchdowns, only louder. A few days later, they were greeted by deputies delivering a summons for disturbing the peace. Filing charges for graduation celebrations might seem a bit extreme – though anyone whose ears are still ringing after having sat through a graduation ceremony next to the air-horn chorus might disagree. The good news is that even the recipient of that air-horn chorus might have better employment prospects this year. Michigan State University’s College Employment Research Institute says job opportunities for this year’s grads have improved considerably, in part because recent business growth is prompting many employers to replace workers laid off during the recession – and those replacements often are from among the younger ranks of new graduates. The Helms College Augusta Campus will hold its summer graduation July 16 at the Snelling Center, and most of its culinary graduates already will be employed in the booming hospitality industry. We’re hearing similar hopeful stories of success regarding graduates of career and technical education programs. Employment prospects seem to be highest for those who leave pro-

Career and Education Samantha Shore

Device Tag-alongs

Colleges move toward making students bring own computers Beginning in August, Georgia Military College Augusta, like many other colleges, will be adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy. BYOD is an emerging

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trend that was first introduced in 2009 and has been growing in popularity ever since. When a college adopts this policy it means that every student will be required to have their own internet ready device, and they will be required to have it with them while they are on campus. The campus is responsible for providing the students with access to wireless internet and other various electronic resources, but the actual device will be the responsibility of the student. BYOD is something that has taken off all across the country. Many colleges and universities have already successfully implemented the policy and it has been met with positive results. In order to provide our students with the most interactive, adaptable and technologically driven learning environment possible, our campus will be implementing this policy as well.

grams with work-ready certifications or demonstrable skills. Wherever those grads might be headed, it’s certainly worth cheering for those aiming for higher education or to employment in a chosen career field. Just don’t do it too loudly.

Barry L. Paschal is Senior Director of Marketing and Communication for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, parent organization of Helms College, helms.edu. Enrollment is underway for classes starting July 13 and Oct. 12.

Having technology at your fingertips allows for an interactive experience So why are we doing this? Bringing your own device will mean being able to effectively utilize the vast amount of electronic resources, like databases and e-books, without having to search for an open computer lab or standing in line for an open computer. Our campus has also prepared for this change by adding charging stations and student study spaces to our library. BYOD also has a large benefit in the classroom. Having technology at your fingertips allows for a more interactive experience. A professor may have a student take out their laptop in the middle of class to take a test or to complete an assignment. If a professor is working with a PowerPoint presentation or from a website, students can easily fol-

low along on their own computer and take notes. In order to make this transition as seamless as possible we are encouraging students to begin preparing now. Documents have been published with our various system specifications and requirements, which should make purchasing a suitable device easier if a student does not already have one. We are excited about all of the opportunities this will provide our students with and hope they are as well. Samantha Shore is the Student Resource Center Manager at Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus. For questions about Georgia Military College, call 706.993.1123 or visit our website at www.gmcaugusta.com.


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GRU stays on cutting Siemens gives $34 million edge with Cyber Institute grant to Augusta Tech Georgia Regents University is creating the GRU Cyber Institute to develop research, new curriculum and outreach opportunities in cybersecurity starting this summer. “We want to be known for cyber,” said Joanne Sexton, Director for GRU Cyber Security Educational Initiatives. “The Augusta area has been growing in this aspect, and we want to be a major player in that.” GRU has been working toward creating the Cyber Institute for a few years and has already established a cyber curriculum, said Gretchen Caughman, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. The news that Fort Gordon would become the new headquarters for the U.S. Army Cyber Command only accelerated the process. “We have made cybersecurity a major strategic priority,” Caughman said. “And the University System of Georgia endorsed that priority and provided new funding that will aid in launching the Cyber Institute. GRU is making a commitment as well.” The creation of the institute is also a step toward getting recognition as a Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense.

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“I congratulate GRU on this proactive step to enhance educational opportunities for its students and contribute to the Augusta community’s growing role in our nation’s cyber defense,” said U.S. Congressman Rick Allen. “I have heard firsthand from GRU faculty about their vision and commitment to building an excellent program that equips its students to excel in this increasingly important field. I look forward to seeing the great things accomplished by the GRU Cyber Institute.” The Cyber Institute will provide the framework for all things cyber at the university, in cooperation with several of GRU’s colleges, which currently offer cybersecurity courses and degrees. They include cybersecurity programs through the Hull College of Business, a medical informatics program focused on protection of health information through the College of Allied Health Sciences, and courses on cyberterrorism through the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. “We have the opportunity to collaborate across the university, to take advantage of the unique offerings of each of the colleges,” Sexton said. “That’s what the institute is in a unique position to do.”

Augusta Technical College has received an in-kind software grant from Siemens PLM (product lifecycle management) Software, with a commercial value of more than $34 million to benefit the College’s Engineering Technology Programs. The in-kind grant gives students access to the same technology that companies around the world depend on every day to develop innovative products in a wide variety of industries including automotive, aerospace, machinery, shipbuilding, high-tech electronics and many more. Graduates with this type of software training are highly-recruited candidates for advanced technology jobs. The in-kind grant was provided by the Siemens PLM Software’s academic program that delivers PLM software for schools at every academic level. Siemens PLM Software is a leading global PLM software and services provider. The in-kind grant for Augusta Technical College includes Siemens PLM Software’s Tecnomatix Manufacturing and Teamcenter Unified. The Teamcenter portfolio is the world’s most widely used digital lifecycle management soft-

ware and Tecnomatix portfolio is the industry-leading digital manufacturing software. “We are grateful to Siemens PLM Software for its commitment to advance educational opportunities for our students,” Augusta Technical College President Terry Elam said. “This grant is exceptionally valuable because it helps us train our students for tomorrow’s jobs using one of the best engineering design software solutions available. This partnership enables us to meet the needs of employers and prepare students for these significant high-paying STEM careers.” “Learning in the context of real-world projects helps students develop a stronger understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an applied manner. This grant enables Augusta Technical College to provide their students with real-world experience by employing the same software and technology used by leading manufacturers, preparing them for rewarding STEM careers” said Dora Smith, global director, Academic Partner Program for Siemens PLM software.


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Business Lunch Review Somewhere in Augusta Alexandrea Daitch

Somewhere Special Somewhere in Augusta offers lunch specials

This month I ate at Somewhere in Augusta – no, I didn’t forget the name of the restaurant. That is the name of the restaurant. It’s located on Washington Road. Although it serves lunch, Somewhere in Augusta seems designed more for the businessman or woman who is getting off work. It has a definite bar-and-grill atmosphere, with TVs at every booth and a fully equipped bar. Somewhere in Augusta always has events going on throughout the week, such as The Comedy Zone, Thirsty Thursdays, Poker Nights, Live Music and Trivia Nights. The variety on the menu was similar to any bar-andgrill joint in Augusta. The interesting thing about Somewhere in Augusta is that it offers different lunch specials every day. When my colleague and I arrived, he decided to get the Friday special at the time, which included buffalo chicken tenders and fries or chips for a reasonable $6.99.

Since he called dibs on the special, I ordered the chicken quesadilla, a large flour tortilla stuffed with grilled chicken breast, melted cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and zesty ranch. We started our meal with the artichoke-and-spinach dip. The description in the menu stated that it was a creamy blend of spinach, artichoke hearts, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, served hot with freshly cooked tortilla chips. To my disappointment, it came out lukewarm and lacking in artichokes. The tortilla chips, however, lived up to their expectations. The chicken fingers were breaded well and were accompanied by an ample amount of buffalo sauce. The chicken quesadilla was cooked to perfection and melted in my mouth. It could be considered a perk that upon entering for lunch we were immediately seated, but it turned out we had what seemed to be the entire restaurant to ourselves, with only a handful of other diners. I imagine that

Somewhere in Augusta comes alive later on for the dinner crowd. But it is an ideal spot for those seeking a bar-andgrill atmosphere to kill those mid-day blues, while still maintaining a quiet, professional atmosphere. Somewhere in Augusta also features private outdoor seating, suitable for wedding rehearsals and the like. All in all, Somewhere in Augusta will not wow you, but its consistency in average and impeccable atmosphere for those who love the more dimly-lit bar atmo-

sphere could easily make it a favorite spot for the right person. I don’t plan to rush back for lunch, but could certainly see Somewhere in Augusta being a top choice for a quick meal and excellent drink after a long day at work. The staff was very attentive and pleasant, my drink was never empty, and whatever Somewhere in Augusta lacks in “incredible” food, it makes up for with its laidback atmosphere, kitschy charm and plethora of enjoyable events!

Food tourism putting out-of-the-way places on the map The rise of food tourism has been spurred by travelers seeking out new ways of exploring local cultures through memorable eating and drinking experiences. To help travelers discover unique culinary destinations this summer, the experts at Hotels.com compiled a list of the most affordable stops along the country’s top food and beverage trails according to the latest Hotel Price Index. “By offering local and authentic culinary experiences to visitors, these destinations are able to share a piece of their culture,” said  Taylor Cole, Hotels.com travel expert. “Social media and mobile technology have also played an important part in the growth of this tourism trend as travelers can easily find affordable places and amusing ways to explore new cities this upcoming summer season.”  BBQ Trails While major cities like  Kansas City,  Memphis  and  St. Louis  are most-renowned for their barbecue offerings, the Carolinas are home to some of the best in the country. The North Carolina Barbecue Trail stretches from the eastern part of the state all the way to Tennessee  with 24 pits carefully selected by the North Carolina Barbecue Society.  South Carolina  – best known for

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its mustard-style barbecue – has 70 barbecue restaurants stretching from Greenville  through  Columbia  and all the way to the state’s popular coastal cities. Austin  is also often recognized for its famous barbecue restaurants, but travelers looking to find some great  Texas-style BBQ  off the beaten path can find it in nearby towns such as  Lexington,  Lockhart,  Luling  and Taylor.  Lockhart›s  four BBQ restaurants are enough to make the town known as the BBQ Capital of Texas. Where to stay under $100*: Winston-Salem, N.C. ($99); Greenville, S.C. ($97); Bastrop, Texas ($99) Whiskey Trails Whiskey tourism has gained popularity in recent years, with the most prominent destination being  Kentucky’s  Bourbon Trail. A record number of visitors flocked to the region in 2014 to get a firsthand look at the art and science of crafting Bourbon according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.  Tennessee has a long whiskey history and is home to two of the oldest distilleries in the country, but the state’s whiskey trail is relatively new. Thanks to a  change in legislation  in 2009, the number of  Tennessee  whiskey distilleries has grown from

three to more than 20. Another region that’s experienced a whiskey boom is Montana, with Bozeman at the center of the state’s rapidly growing distilling industry. Where to stay under  $110*:  Bardstown, Ky. ($104); Fayetteville, Tenn. ($101); Bozeman, Mont. ($109) Wine Trails While Napa may be the best-known wine region in the country, travelers can find a more casual and less crowded wine tasting experience in Sonoma County. Because Sonoma wineries occupy a larger area, visitors have more lodging options and can stay in more affordable destinations such as  Petaluma  and Oak Hurst. Further north,  Oregon’s  Willamette Valley also has been growing in popularity and visitors can take advantage of the  Oregon Wines Fly Free program. On the other side of the country,  New York’s Finger Lakes region is home to three wine trails and over 200 wineries, with the Seneca Lake Wine Trail being the largest and most active. The Rieslings found in the Finger Lakes have won many prestigious medals at national and international wine competitions, but the region is also becoming known for its pinot noir.   Where to stay under  $130*:  Petaluma,

Calif. ($126); Seneca Falls, N.Y. ($121); McMinnville, Ore. ($100) Chocolate Trails Chocolate tourism is popular in several European countries, but the United States also has its share of exciting sweet experiences in places like  Connecticut  and  Indiana. With a profusion of world-renowned chocolatiers and local chocolate artisans, the  Connecticut Chocolate Trail  stretches from Norwalk to the Hartford area. Visitors can make their own chocolate bars or visit a chocolate-themed cafe along the trail’s 12 decadent stops.  Midwest travelers can also feast on chocolate along stretches of Indiana and Illinois. The Richmond Chocolate Trail – an hour outside of  Indianapolis  – allows visitors to sample complimentary chocolates by obtaining a  Chocolate Trail Passport. Meanwhile, the Blackhawk Chocolate Trail, two hours outside of  Chicago, features more than 20 stops including chocolate-themed coffee shops, bars and wineries. Where to stay under  $110*:  Milford, Conn.  ($103);  Richmond, Ind.  ($83);  Dixon, Ill. ($90) *The actual prices paid per night by travelers during the full year of 2014, according to the Hotel Price Index.


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Coffee becomes paint at Buona Caffe art show By Susan O’Keefe Coffee is an important “fuel” to keep artists going. Recently, for a special event, they placed coffee on their palettes as well as in their cups. The event was the two-year anniversary of Buona Caffe Artisan Coffee Roasters’ coffee shop on Central Avenue on June 13. The artists created paintings using coffee as the medium that were placed on display in the coffee shop. The art will be displayed the rest of June and are available for purchase. In an attempt to include much of their clientele in the celebration, owners Pat and John Curry asked local artists to create with coffee. Nearly a dozen artists were given a blank canvas and told to let their creative juices flow freely. “A lot of artists are coffee fueled,” said local artist Jay Jacobs, who spearheaded the show and is a regular at Buona Caffe. When Jacobs and the Curry couple began talking about ways to mark Buona Caffe’s anniversary, the Augusta arts community stepped up to the easel. “We started talking about the anniversary and when you start to get the idea for a show, you start thinking about the people with a skill set, and who could perform in different parameters. I immediately started thinking about the artists I wanted to participate in something like that,” Jacobs said. Armed with ground coffee beans and then mixed minimally with water, vanilla, or other substances, local artists set to work. The thin coffee paint was applied to watercolor paper which is a heavy nap type of paper. Playing with colors was heavily promoted as what was anticipated and what happened were two very different things. “Some may use pencils to sketch,” Jacobs said. “They’ll get mostly brown tones and

might supplement ink but there’s a lot of richness with the coffee. A few acrylics may be incorporated but we’re trying to use coffee exclusively.” Buona Caffee provided a five-gallon bucket of espresso grounds to stain the 10x10 boxes that served as frames for the artists’ work. While painting with coffee isn’t a new idea, the displayed presentations were as unique as a coffee drinker’s perfect cup of joe. “We have a diverse and unique roster of artists,” Jacobs said. “There’s really a rich montage of styles and talents with diverse backgrounds. Some are even self-taught artists. One artist paints as if viewers are looking though heat. Another is very detail oriented. One guy created characters when he was a kid and expresses humor through his work.” From live music to kids’ games and drawings, there was a festive flair in the air when the coffee creations took center stage in honor of Buona Caffe’s continued success. Pat Curry said the business has added a lot in two years. “In the two years since we opened, we started serving lunch,” she said. “We provide fresh roasted coffee to several local restaurants including Craft and Vine and Frog Hollow. We make our own syrup for the espresso drinks, bake our own muffins, cookies and scones in house. There’s a lot to celebrate.” While the Buona Caffe environment jokes about being highly caffeinated, Jacobs encouraged artists to relax and refresh in this atypical assignment. “These are the fun shows!” he said. “Artists don’t take themselves too seriously! It needs to be fun. It is vital to have shows like this in the community. Artists can meet each other. It’s a little less threatening to all since everyone is on the same playing field.”

Charlie and Marilyn Garrick of North Augusta examine paintings created with coffee while several artists converse at Buona Caffe on June 13. The paintings ranged from the realistic to the fanciful to the abstract. Photo by Gary Kauffman

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Good Spirits Ben Casella

Session Suds

Watermelon-flavored brew a hit for summer days A sociology professor once told me that Schaefer Beer was “the beer to have when you’re having more than one.” At least he told me that was their slogan at one time. Well, day-drinking – whether that be at the beach, lake or bowling alley – certainly has a different feel to it, and the less potent brews certainly lend themselves to sessions (be they fishing or bowling or anything in between). With that being said, I can’t say I ever tried the Pabst alter-ego known as Schaefer. I almost bought a six-pack

Screening Room Samantha Taylor

Apocalyptic Summer Terminator saves the day for good Netflix viewing

Is it just me, or has Hollywood completely given up on coming up with new material? Recently, a colleague and I were going through the list of anticipated summer blockbusters and were shocked at the number of remakes scheduled for release. Mad Max, Avengers, Poltergeist, Mission Impossible, and Fantastic Four are just a few of the recycled films we have to look forward to this summer. At any rate, watching the trailers for all these remakes got me feeling a little nostalgic for the films I loved watching as a teenager. I decided on three films: Terminator, Mad Max and Jurassic Park. Unfortunately for me, Netflix doesn’t stream any of these films. It did, however, give suggestions of other films I could stream, so I decided to give them a try. The Colony (2013) Rated I Okay, I don’t know what the “I” rating means. It prob-

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of it at Five Points Bottle Shop when I was in college, but I chickened out and bought a fifth of El Toro tequila instead (yes, the plastic sombrero cap both salts the shot glass and strains the lime). I have, however, found a session brew I prefer more than most. I have also found a new(er) strong stout ale that’s just divine. I’ll let you decide which is which. 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon – I would dare compare this brew to the seasonal watermelon martini at Frog Hollow. Not by means of taste, of course, but rather by means of the fact that there is no discernible trace of artificial fruit flavoring – only the best hints of that strange sub-Saharan African summer vine. Rind is evident on the nose, as well as on the tongue along with hints of fresh malt and the mildest of hops. The malts make it sweet in all the right ways without making it thirst-inducing. The low alcohol content helps with that aspect as well. Try this remarkable session brew with a Farmhaus burger (and splurge on the bacon jam). Southbound Moonlight Drive – I

recently enjoyed this one at Stillwater while a nice Widespread Panic instrumental from the mid-‘90s was playing overhead. The nose points to a chocolatey tinge that stays all the way through a sweet aftertaste along with a hint of lactose throughout (it is a milk stout, anyway). At over 8% ABV, I wouldn’t call this a thirst quencher by any means, but I would call it a quality

Georgia brew that’s worth your while. I’d try it all by itself at first and likely keep it that way on subsequent encounters. These and more can be found Downtown this summer.

ably has something to do with the fact that it was made in Canada. I do, however, know this movie is absolutely gross and you shouldn’t watch it with your kids, while you’re eating, or pretty much ever. But that’s just my opinion. The Colony is set in bleak future. Most of the population has been killed off by a vicious strain of the flu, and the rest are struggling to survive in the harshest of climates. Although the film doesn’t go into much detail, the audience is led to believe that humans have caused irreparable damage to the environment. This has caused the Earth to freeze and people are forced to live in small underground colonies. At the start of this film, I was fairly bored. The plot was completely predictable and the acting was some of the worst I’ve seen in a while. (Sorry Laurence Fishburne!) Just as I decided to check my Facebook, however, The Colony secured my attention. Cannibals, zombies, or whatever you want to call them, were suddenly on screen and doing despicable things, and I wasn’t expecting it at all! Let me just say, I don’t care for movies of this kind. Blood and guts do not appeal to me and I am absolutely terrified of zombies (or anything resembling zombies, for that matter.) All I really wanted to do was skip through the gory scenes (or turn the movie off completely) but I stayed strong and finished it out. It was, perhaps, one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.

Some of you will love this film. If you enjoyed Saw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or anything of the sort, this movie is perfect for you. If you’re like me, however, watching The Colony will leave you wondering why Netflix would suggest it. I mean, I was searching for Jurassic Park, not evil zombie creatures! Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) R I had hoped to watch the original Terminator film, but Netflix wasn’t giving that up without an increase in payment or an act of Congress. Since neither of those things was about to happen, I settled on Terminator 2. I was not disappointed. I was too young to enjoy this film when it debuted in theaters. By the time I got old enough to appreciate it, Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t cool anymore. (I mean, he was in Kindergarten Cop, people!) This viewing was actually my first time seeing this film, and I loved every second of it! If you’ve never seen it or have forgotten, Terminator 2 is about time travel, the apocalypse and kick-ass machinery. I apologize for the language, but there is no other way to put it. Terminators are virtually unstoppable, and there are plenty of fight sequences to prove it. Sara Connor, our heroine, has lived through an attempted assassination by a terminator sent from the future. She survived, but is now housed in a mental hospital. Her son has been taken

from her and now lives with a foster family. Unfortunately for Sara, things are about to get crazy. Sara’s son, John, is the target of attempted assassination in Terminator 2, and she is doing everything in her power to save him. If that means breaking legs and threatening to kill people, well, so be it. John will be the one who saves the human race, Sara knows, and she has to protect him at all costs. Terminator 2 is a long film, over two hours, but it is entertaining the entire way through. There’s violence, but it isn’t gory. (We are talking about 1991 special effects here.) While I’m not quite ready to watch this film with my son (there’s a lot of foul language), the movie has a positive message: Forgive those who have trespassed against us. Also, always have an underground stockpile of weapons. That’s pretty important. I’m not sure how, but I ended up watching several post-apocalyptic films this time around. More than I have room for in this review, you can be sure of that. I only hope my movie choices aren’t representative of the kind of summer I’m going to have…

Ben Casella enjoyed El Toro tequila in college to the tune of $9 a fifth, which translates into today’s currency market to just about $475.

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.


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Sports and Leisure Glenn Campbell

Busch Whacked

Kyle Busch looking to return to winning form after crash When Kyle Busch crawled out of his crashed race care the day before the Daytona 500, many felt that his season was over before it started. After all, the man had a compound fracture on one leg and a broken foot on the other. However, Kyle Busch is not one to take adversity lying down. He was determined to be back in a race car before mid-year. “I know everybody has been anxious to know when I would return,” Busch said on his return at the All-Star Race in mid-May. “It would have been great back in February to say we were looking at the All-Star Race. But, truthfully, not a lot of people would have bet I could be

back by then.” Not only did Busch return, he contended for the win just like nothing ever happened. In the following races up to last weekend, Busch showed that he had not lost his competitive edge or his aggressive driving habits. “I’ve never lost any of my inhibitions of wanting to go back or be just as successful as I was before,” Busch said. “We’re going to go and run the rest of the year, see if the success can’t continue like it had before the crash, that we’re able to run consistent enough to get ourselves in the top 30 in points, maybe get a win in order to get ourselves Chase-eligible.” Speaking of being Chase eligible, NASCAR announced before his return that if Busch could finish in the top 30 in points and win a race, they would overlook the rule of attempting to start every race to be Chase eligible. “I’d love to race for a win and a spot in the Chase,” he said, referring to the NASCAR announcement. “I think the top-30 rule makes a lot of sense.” Judging from his success in the few weeks after his return, Busch could very well run for a championship at season’s end. A win is definitely possible for him but getting into the top 30 is another story. In fact, at the time of this writing,

Busch sits in 41st position in points. However, he is only 169 points out of the coveted 30th position. The question has come up regarding Kyle’s physical condition for such a long NASCAR season but the young driver doesn’t feel that is a problem. “I would say physically this is obviously the biggest challenge,” observed Busch on his training. “Even mentally, maybe in the beginning, it was a tough challenge to get myself back into raceable condition.  Obviously you want to be back as soon as you can be. Things will only happen so fast.”

So, what lies ahead of Busch is a season where he will have to race hard every weekend to get to the top 30. The questions that will need to be answered are whether he has the stamina to keep moving forward. If you want my opinion, this driver will definitely win a race or two before the season ends. I’m a little leery of him making it to the top 30 but if anyone can accomplish that, it’s Kyle Busch. Glenn Campbell is a syndicated columnist and radio and TV show host. For more information, visit www.victorylaneonfox.com.

CSRA’s indoor football Georgia company invents team opens season July 25 new pendulum putter

The CSRA will soon have a professional football team in its midst – arena football, that is. The CSRA Gladiators, based in Aiken, will play an exhibition game against the Georgia Firebirds on Saturday, July 25 at the USC Aiken Convocation Center. Tickets are on sale now at georgialinatix. com and at the USC Aiken Convocation Center Box Office. The CSRA Gladiators have signed on as a member of the North American Indoor Football (NAIF) professional league, National Pro-Indoor Football, for the 2016 season. The Gladiators will play as the charter members of the Southeast Division, of which co-owners Maurice White and Tony Geiger will serve as division directors. Augusta native Neely Lovett will serve as the inaugural head coach for the Gladiators. Lovett, a graduate of Butler High School, was a full scholarship student athlete at Savannah State University where he played football and ran track. Lovett is a veteran of the arena football league, competing with multiple leagues in the AFL, including the Albany Firebirds and the Augusta Stallions (signing as the first player). In 2007 he was named

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Coordinator for the World Champion Augusta Spartans. Lovett will lead a seasoned coaching staff that’s loaded with both playing and coaching experience from the high school, collegiate, professional indoor football and NFL levels. Augusta natives Bernard Harper, Marvin Stone, Derrick Reeves and Marvin Marshall make up the coaching staff. For more information, visit csragladiators.com or naifnation.com.

Pendulum Golf of Georgia has announced the release of The Pendulum Putter, as the golf industry continues to discover putters that allow golfers with less than perfect strokes to putt with more success and confidence. Designed for his son Bo, following four years of product design and research by 79-year-old Bob Chambers of Marietta, The Pendulum Putter possesses two patents for utility and design and conforms to the United States Golf Association (USGA) rules for tournament play worldwide by professional and amateur players alike. Proudly made in the USA, The Pendulum Putter’s unique design elements include a revolutionary “V” wing design with a putter face that features a 2 1/2” sweet spot, perfect balance point and a front face angle of -1 degree of loft that reduces “ball hop” off the putter face for a smoother, truer roll on the ball. The Pendulum Putter has a 431 stainless steel precision milled head weighing 340 grams and a standard 34” shaft designed to work in harmony with its “V’ wing design. Because of their study of Moment of Inertia (MOI) technology, The Pendulum Putter drastically reduces torque and twist when off center contact is made with the ball. This reduction of torque and twist is designed to

help amateur and professional golfers improve putting’s “game within a game.” “Every so often, an improvement in golf equipment comes along that actually has a basis in utility,” said Steve McCullough, Golf Performance Specialist. “Such a product is The Pendulum Putter. With the striking force spread significantly across the face, The Pendulum is one of the best balanced putters I have come across in my 20 years in the golf industry.” The Pendulum Putter will be marketed exclusively online versus golf stores and pro shops at www.pendulumgolfofgeorgia.com in order to provide direct feedback on the performance of The Pendulum Putter from buyers of the initial limited production and for future production models.


Rock n’ Roll Buzz Jonathan Karow

All That Jazz

Whiplash tells a strong story, renews interest in jazz I’m pretty jazzed up about Whiplash! I haven’t been this excited about a new music-related movie since the release of Get On Up, The James Brown Story. When I first saw the trailer for Whiplash, starring J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller, I was hesitant. I have talked to numerous non-musicians who absolutely loved Whiplash. I’ve also talked to numerous musicians who have not viewed it for the same hard-headed reasons I avoided it. We ultimately made a false assumption that it would be a “band camp nerd” movie with a cliché story line, especially being a major motion picture directed by Damien Chazelle. After viewing Whiplash my brief synopsis would be if you

were to put award winning movies Full Metal Jacket, Rocky and sprinkle Chariots of Fire on top with a “cool jazz cat” cast and a fresh storyline based around a modern college, that’s Whiplash. As a movie buff, I pay attention to the detail of the grip work in the background, such as making sure if it is a period piece before the 1970s that the wall sockets are single grounded. One bad example is the red guitar used in a scene in Back to the Future that didn’t come out until three years after the period portrayed. Whiplash was on it with their grip details, down to the college student on a budget having only one pair of drum sticks, jazz brushes and mallets in an unelaborate $8 stick bag. I also liked how the brass wind and woodwind section would open the spit valves of their instruments, splattering on their feet and the floor beneath. My only reservation is how one of the music instructors, played by J.K. Simmons, acts more like a drill sergeant than a typical college music professor. This behavior is highly uncommon but makes for a great life challenging story. That’s exactly what Whiplash is – an inspirational life story about a freshman-year college student striving to be the best no matter the situation. Literally portrayed are lots of blood, sweat and tears. The movie score – which isn’t ex-

clusively jazz – features two jazz standards, “Caravan” and “Whiplash.” Both of these songs have peaked on digital download media since the release of the movie. It’s as if breathing new life into an almost forgotten art. One moment illustrating the generation gap between jazz versus popular, computer generated music among today’s youth was a scene in which the jazz music student calls a young lady on the phone to invite her to the JVC Jazz Festival. She misunderstood and excitedly asks, “Jay-Z?”, thinking he meant the popular hip hop star. Ultimately, I give my highest recommendations to everyone over 18

to see Whiplash, as do most credible movie critics and those who have presented numerous awards to the people involved in the monumental work of movie acting and production. Comedian “Weird Al” Yankovic has already paid homage to the film with a hilarious parody on YouTube. Jonathan Karow is the owner/founder of Rock Bottom Music in Augusta and an active musician. He has handled artist relations and concert promotions for internationally recognized musicians for more than two decades. He is also a consultant and product development designer for famous brand instrument manufacturers.

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Health and Fitness Katie Silarek

Pumped Up Words Positive reinforcement from yourself helps achieve goals

Perseverance: steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. I stepped on stage for the first time in March 2012 with the dream to win my Pro Card and become a Pro Bikini Competitor. Although I placed 5th that day, I did not walk away with what I wanted. Over the last several years I have had extreme highs and extreme lows. But my goal was to walk off stage one day as a Pro. With continued dedication to my goal hard work and perseverance my dream came true on June 6! I returned home and reflected on some of my thoughts throughout the past several weeks of my prep for the show. These three days in my journal for May caught my attention and I hope these positive words will help you reach goals you’ve set for yourself. When we speak positive words to our self and others all we will get in return is positive.

Travel Margaret Centers

Emerald Isle

Ireland offers a little bit of everything for every taste Ireland is one of the globe’s most singular travel destinations, a feisty, twinkling country far more famous for the sum of its parts than for any specific sight or attraction. Its landscapes are raw and extraordinary. Its cities are animated and very much their own personalities. Its histories – both ancient and contemporary – are full of tales of adversity and resolve. Tying all this together is the Irish character, a mythologized combination of bright-eyed bonhomie and bar-

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May 13 Time commitment is one objection that I encounter on a daily basis. You say you don’t have time to work out or food prep? My answer to overcome that objection is, No. 1, get your mind right. No. 2, write it in your planner, put it in your phone, whatever helps you remember that’s what you’re going to do that day, and No. 3, don’t deviate from your plan. We all encounter hills and valleys in life. We all have something else we can always be doing. But if we don’t take care of the physical and mental body to do those things, then how are we to succeed in life? My career and my passion is to help each and every person in the world that I can to change their lives so they may live fit, healthy, prosperous and positive lives. May 14 I will work out even when I don’t feel like it! This definitely was true this morning. After working 17 hours yesterday and being up for 20, I went home and got four hours of sleep..... only for the alarm to go off at 4:40 a.m. to let me know it was time to rise and grind. Yes, I would have rather slept in till 7 but that would have left me no workout time today! What motivated me this morning was the drive to be better today than I was yesterday. It is the competitor standing next to me on stage on June 6, it is my clients who believe in me and support me, it is my daughters who look

up to their mommy, it is family who love me unconditionally and my gym partners who don’t let me quit! Find out what it is you are willing to sacrifice in order to become who you want to be! Is it that extra hour of sleep, the morning drive thru Starbucks to get your favorite Caramel Frappuccino or the designer hand bag that makes you feel good only during the swiping of your card aka retail therapy? Making an investment in your life, health and being fit will change you mentally, physically or emotionally! May 15 After an 18-hour day I was exhausted! And meal prep was the last thing I wanted to do when I got home at 10 p.m. So I turned my office into a food prep station at 5 this morning! We do what we have to do in order to reach the goals we have set for

room banter: There’s good reason why the planet’s full of Irish pubs. In some ways, in fact, the general allure can make it hard for visitors to know where to start. Lovable Dublin falls naturally as the most popular firsttime option, although for all the capital city’s stately architecture and riverside charm, it only partly hints at what the wider country has to offer. The real spirit of today’s nation might be up for debate – it’s as likely to be found in a Connemara village as a Cork street scene – but regardless, searching for it is rarely anything but hugely enjoyable. With all this in mind, it’s perhaps no surprise that Ireland caters for such a broad range of visitor interests. Those in search of windswept hikes, Celtic relics and fiddle-and-song pubs will be well sated, but so too will those looking for on-trend gastronomy, familyfriendly attractions or slick hotels. Ireland may be relatively small but its cultural impact worldwide continues to be enormous, and this is due to far more than just a romantic notion of how it used to be. Your must-see list should include

craggy peninsula vistas, pints of Guinness, spray-painted behinds of sheep, castles, village pubs, roads almost too narrow to be driven on, Ring of Kerry, Waterford, Blarney Castle – the list can go on and on. When our daughter was studying a year in England, Mr. Grumpy and I took her to Ireland for a one-week trip. We rented a car, stayed in different cities each

ourselves. Life will always throw curve balls but we have the choice to knock them out the park or strike out! Today I choose to knock it out the park. Yesterday is gone and today is a new day. Today I am blessed to open the doors for another day to change the lives of my clients and for future clients. I have faith my God is going to provide for Be Bella and my family. I will not let the negative thoughts of the enemy take control of my sanity. God has brought me too far and I believe He is going to Katie Silarek has been a personal trainer for four years and is the owner of Be Bella Fitness Boutique in Martinez. Her goal is to help people develop training plans and to live healthy lifestyles. She wants to inspire men and women who don’t know where to start, what to do or are scared to fail. For more information, call her at 706-589-4113.

night and had a simply grand time. The people are warm and friendly, the accents are amazing, the scenery fabulous – and have I mentioned the Guinness? Margaret Centers is the owner of Margaret’s Travel, www.margaret’stravel.com. She worked for Morris Travel for nearly 20 years and formed her own agency in 2010. For questions or bookings call 706-396-3769.


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Home Care Kathy Crist

Brawny Brain

Stimulating activities keep the aging brain sharp Medical researchers are finding that a fitness program just for your brain is loaded with healthful benefits. A regular cognitive workout can improve your concentration, comprehension and recall in everyday life, from remembering people’s names to driving across town. Memory, reasoning and speed of thought processing are

Real Estate Scott Patterson

Sell or Rent?

Renting your home may be a better option than selling So, you’ve been transferred — again. You have 30 days to get yourself, your family and your household to your new location. Should you sell your house or keep it and try to rent it? One problem with selling in housing markets like we’ve just experienced is the amount of time it can take to get your price. You could do a short sell, but you could stand to lose a good deal of money. While many people groan at the thought of becoming a landlord, renting your home can be a good investment. Rentals are good tax breaks and provide a somewhat passive stream of income. Property values tend to increase over time, so while you may incur a loss if you sell today, if you can hold out a little longer, the markets may improve, and you can net a good profit on a sale later. Some things to consider:

60 Buzz on Biz June18-July 15, 2015

known to slow with age, yet expanding cognitive neuroscience research shows great promise in stretching routine “muscle memory” with new challenges that stimulate brain chemistry and activate fresh cerebral circuits. The more you challenge your brain, the more cells and nerve connection pathways you form across your cerebral cortex. Cognitive stimulation builds helpful proteins, which support nerve cell growth and enhance communication between neurons. Instead of gray matter simply dying as you age, new cells can be activated to grow at any age. Protecting brain health is essential, especially for older adults who want to remain independent at home. Being lax with mental agility can lead to foggy thinking, impaired judgment, mood swings, anxiety and depression. In providing in-home care and assistance for seniors, we often find that those who work at keeping an active mind experience fewer difficulties in negotiating daily activities. A number of brain workout routines

are recommended to reduce mental slowing: Learn a new skill. Your brain kicks into action when you take up a new hobby or activity such as learning to cook different foods, speak a foreign language, or play an instrument or sport. Read and explore books, newspapers, magazine articles and other forms of written communication. Write as often as you can. Whether you keep a journal, write emails, jot down family history and memories, or create fictional stories – keep at it. Complete crossword puzzles and Sudoku. These brain builders are especially beneficial if you set a time limit and work quickly. Merriam-Webster online is a great resource for puzzles and word games. Play bridge, chess, or board and computer games. Expose yourself to the paces of mental strategy and focus. Sharpen your vocabulary through a daily words calendar or more challenging reading topics. Continue to socialize and ver-

balize. Talk with others about world events and issues important to you and your community. You don’t have to be a know-it-all – just stay open to interesting conversations without a need to argue. Right at Home adult home care services can provide older adults with companionship and help with activities and games that boost cognitive skills, or coordinate library trips to find brainteasers, language-learning audio sets and thought-provoking books. In addition to proactively engaging the mind, Right at Home recommends a holistic approach to better brain health by lowering stress, eating nutritiously, maintaining regular physical exercise, getting adequate sleep and staying socially engaged.

1. Are you likely to move back to the area? Many military families choose to retire to the Augusta area. Or, if you’re likely to move back to be close to family, you may consider renting the home. 2. Look at your neighborhood. Is it thriving or is it showing signs of decline? Renting in a thriving neighborhood is a good idea, at least until a buyer comes along. However, even renting in a neighborhood in decline can provide a hedge against losing lots of cash. Many neighborhoods recycle and experience a revival after a period of time. 3. Look at your finances. Can you afford two mortgages? Figure out exactly how much your current home costs per month. Include the mortgage, property taxes and any neighborhood fees, such as the homeowners’ association or amenities’ fees. Also, call your insurance agent to discuss the price of a rental policy on the home. 4. Research rental prices in your area. Can you get enough in rent to cover these items? Also, consider an emergency fund for the months it may remain vacant until it rents or is between renters. You will also need to put away some cash for routine repairs and maintenance. Plus, plan to pay to have the home thoroughly cleaned, painted and minor repairs completed after you move out. 5. Trying to perform landlord duties from another city is a nightmare. However, chances are the same realty

agency that sold you the home can also manage the property for you once you leave the area. With the number of corporate and military moves into and out of our area, the CSRA is a good market for rentals. This area has large and stable employers like hospitals, universities and government offices coupled with a variety of smaller employers that provide a steady supply of desirable tenants. One of the most important jobs in managing rental properties is properly choosing and dealing with tenants. This is where you may consider using a property management service. The management service will be familiar with local laws and regulations regarding landlord/tenant issues. These rules

will vary widely based on the jurisdiction. The management service will have procedures in place to run background checks on prospective tenants, which is an important step when choosing tenants. At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Executive Partners, we handle a multitude of rental properties on a daily basis. We are eager to answer any of your questions regarding property management.

Kathy Crist co-owns Right at Home of the CSRA. As a leading provider of in-home care and assistance, Right at Home supports family caregivers and is dedicated to improving the life of the elderly and disabled. Call 803-278-0250 or visit www.csra.rightathome.net.

Scott Patterson formerly served as the President of the Builders Association of Metro Augusta. He is the Property Management Director for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Executive Partners. He can be reached at spatterson@epaugusta.com or 706- 830-0580.


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Humor Nora Blithe

Imaginary Friends Coffee shop sojourn makes regulars feel like co-workers

In recent years, it’s become popular for business people to work on their laptops at restaurants and cafés. Because I work from home and work alone, the local

Healthy Eating McKenna Hydrick

Savory Summer

Watermelon cooler offers new, refreshing taste It’s the time of year we all yearn for – long summer nights, a slow-down in the schedule, sand between our toes, and community built around picnics and cookouts. It’s a nice break after how busy spring tends to be. There’s a reason why we long for the kind of peace only summer can bring. In our chaotic world, we actually crave

café offers me a change of scenery. I get more work done at home, but then my home doesn’t have coffee. Ok, it does have coffee, but I have to brew it myself, and it doesn’t have bagels, a key component to my creativity. When you’re a creative writer facing a deadline, you’ll do anything to enhance your creativity. Besides, working at home by myself can get lonely. There’s no one to swap stories with at the water cooler, so I’ve come to think of the other regulars at the café as my coworkers. There’s the college student who arrives with her laptop, textbooks, notebooks, highlighters, pens, pencils, protractor and abacus and takes over two and a half tables. She spends her whole day on Facebook. I’ve never seen her touch the protractor except when she takes it out of her bag or puts it away. There’s the guy who dresses in fancy

a chance to renew and refresh. Most often it is in our modern nature to push ourselves until almost to the breaking point, but it’s healthy for the mind, body and spirit to take time to relax. This summer, don’t let guilt keep you from taking a step back to enjoy a day at the lake, or from hosting a meal with family or friends. As you prepare for summer get-togethers, consider breaking out of the norm to offer some healthier vegetable options like a nice kale salad, grilled veggie skewers or raw vegetables and hummus. When attending cookouts or pot lucks, don’t forget about simple dishes like a colorful fruit salad or a juicy watermelon. You could even cut pizzalike slices of watermelon and top with a rainbow of fruits for a fun summer treat. For a healthier dessert option, put a half of a banana on a popsicle stick, dip in melted dark chocolate (above 70 percent dark), top with crushed almonds and pistachios, or coconut flakes, and freeze until hardened.

business suits and talks loudly on his cell phone. As far as I can tell, he isn’t actually employed because he never purchases food or coffee, but he certainly makes unemployment look good. There’s the young mothers group who meet and allow their 3-year-olds to fling breakfast cereal at strangers. Finally, there are the athletes who

come in after their run and sit dead center in the restaurant. If the odor is any indication, their runs are long and their commitment to health is sincere. It’s best to take a table far from these groups. In fact, I often find that I try to take a table in the farthest corner of the café, so I’m as far from people as possible. And I wonder why I work from home. Working from a café certainly has its advantages such as bagels, but the coworkers are just as annoying as they are in any office setting. But at least I don’t have to buy them birthday cards. Nora Blithe is an Augusta native, an entrepreneur and a syndicated humor columnist. She lives in Greenville, S.C., with her husband, Brian, and their pets. Read her syndicated humor column Life Face First in Verge, or find her online at doorinface.com.

I hope this summer is full of adventure, brand new things like a kayak down the river or a taste of a new fruit. Enjoy this recipe for a cool, refreshing, summer treat—Watermelon Coolers! Watermelon Cooler Recipe INGREDIENTS: 1 small seedless watermelon (around 5 pounds), cut in 2-inch pieces 2 T raw honey Juice of one lime Ice cubes for serving DIRECTIONS: Put all ingredients (except ice) in a blender and blend until smooth. Chill for at least an hour. Serve with ice and fresh mint. McKenna Hydrick is the Healthy Eating Educator for Whole Foods Market and the creator and writer for www.thrivetolive.com. She is passionate about spreading the message of a plant-strong, active, thriving lifestyle. When she’s not working, you will find her spending time with her husband and three boys, cooking, or singing and writing music.

Right at Home celebrates 10 years serving in the CSRA For the past 10 years, Kathy Crist and Celeste Hoffman have helped provide care in people’s homes through the aptly named Right at Home. “Our mission is to improve the quality of life for those we serve,” Crist said. “We want to keep people in their current living environment.” While most of their clientele is older, they serve adults as young as 18 who through accident or illness need home care. About 65 percent of their clients still live in their own

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homes, while others live in assisted living or other similar situations. Some need roundthe-clock care while others may only need a visit once a week. Right at Home is no small operation. Crist and Hoffman oversee a staff of around 100 certified nursing assistants and caregivers, an office and human resources staff and work with registered nurses who assess the clients to create custom caregiving plans. Crist said that their services are often what a family needs when a relative can no

longer fully care for themselves. “It’s gratifying to help a family when they need answers for what to do with a loved one,” she said. “They’re like a deer in the headlights and don’t know where to turn.” Hoffman said Right at Home carefully selects people to own local franchises, sometimes screening as many as 500 applicants before granting one. “It’s not about the money, but about the people who are out there taking care of the people,” Hoffman said. “They want quality

people to be franchise owners.” Both owners have attended many meetings and ongoing education in the past 10 years to stay current on techniques and procedures. Right at Home was recently chosen to participate in a Harvard University study on ways to reduce early hospital admissions that would help reduce health care costs. Right at Home recently suffered a loss. Their Augusta office was located in Marshall Square and was damaged in the June 2 fire. They are currently seeking new office space.


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