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Making the transition to civilian jobs AWP helps vets use their military skills in civilian workforce


By Gary Kauffman onald Terrell knows what it feels to be shot at after four deployments to Iraq and Bosnia. But in May he found himself facing something even more terrifying – getting a civilian job after 23 years of military service. “Oh, man, I was terrified,” he said. “More than once I joked with my wife that I’d rather be shot at than go through the civilian job market.” Fortunately for Terrell and others like him in the Augusta area, they don’t have to face that transition alone. For the past several years, the Augusta Warrior Project has been, in Terrell’s words, “a guardian angel” for those making the transition from the military to the civilian workforce. The Augusta Warrior Project could be viewed as a translation service – but instead of translating words from one language to another, they are translating military work experience into civilian employee potential. “We as service members don’t do a good job of selling ourselves with our resumes,” said Kim Elle, executive director of the AWP. “It’s a different language. When you come out to the civilian community you almost feel like a foreigner.” The Augusta Warrior Project has been serving both the military and civilian employers since 2011. In addition to finding employment, AWP also helps veterans with housing and education needs. Unlike the Wounded Warrior Project, which works only with those wounded post 9-11, AWP works with anyone who has served in the military, whether wounded or not. Helping veterans take the next step In its employment role, AWP helps veterans prepare for the culture shock of the civilian world. Terrell, 43, ranked as a 1st Sgt., E8 when he began the tranSee AWP, page 2

Augusta Warrior Project employment coordinator Tracy Mitchell works with a veteran in making the transition from the military to a civilian job. Photo contributed

Jobs available but area talent pool is shallow By Gary Kauffman Even as unemployment numbers fall back toward pre-recession numbers, the CSRA may be facing another unemployment crisis of a different kind. “The current supply, the workforce, for skilled industry is very low,” said Isaac Kelly, business development/safety coordinator for Augusta Staffing Associates. Dale LaPorte, co-owner of Acrux Staffing agreed that the pickings are getting thin as unemployment numbers shrink. “The biggest disappointment is in education and training, especially in the skilled areas,” LaPorte said. “Another disappointing

Skilled positions are hard to fill because of lack of right education area is background checks and being able to find candidates who haven’t been naughty in the past.” STEM skills high on priority list When the staffing agencies talk about the education issue, they aren’t referring just to a lack of a degree. Increasingly, the work environment is evolving to need skills that haven’t been taught on a concentrated basis in the schools. Many companies need em-

ployees with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) skills but those people are in short supply. Kelly noted that local schools are beginning to emphasize STEM, but are starting at the middle school level. That means a minimum of four years and perhaps eight or more years before those students join the workforce. That isn’t good news, considering projec-

tions are that the CSRA will have at least 37,000 jobs to fill over the next five years. “We’re going to fall short of the major demand, but then we’ll catch up,” Kelly said. “We’ll see a lot of companies scrambling to pull people from the outside or out of retirement until then.” He’s already seeing more companies offering relocation packages as an enticement to job candidates from outside the area. Other skills lacking as well But more than just the hard skills are lacking. April Harris, also of Acrux Staffing, See JOBS, page 46


continued from page 1 sition process in January and quickly realized that 23 years in the military left him unprepared for the civilian world. “The personalities and behaviors aren’t the same,” he said. “In the military everyone is very direct and upfront, because they can’t fire you and you can’t quit, where in the civilian world people try to sugar coat things more.” AWP’s process also opens the eyes of the civilian world to the untapped employee potential available in those transitioning out of the military. That process usually starts by working with the service member in determining skill sets and seeing if more education or earning more certifications will help with job placement. Once that is determined, and resumes updated, AWP works with the business community to find the right employer-employee match. AWP averages placing about 30 veterans per month into jobs. In 2014, it helped 289 veterans find employment. Currently, it has a queue of about 200 people looking for jobs. Support through the process Terrell said he was unprepared for the waiting game of becoming employed in the civilian world. “I didn’t realize when I got out how lengthy the interview process could be,” he said, noting that several months passed between his interviews and job offers. “I didn’t realize looking for a job would become a full-time job.” AWP helped him through that process,

he said, providing feedback after job interviews and reassurances that a delay in receiving a job offer didn’t mean he’s done anything wrong. But it wasn’t just the AWP personnel who helped. Veterans going through the application process often formed impromptu support groups, sharing experiences of what worked and didn’t work in seeking civilian employment. The combination of feedback from AWP and other veterans adds a healthy dose of reality to the process. “A lot of people, when they get out of the military, have illusions of grandeur,” Terrell said. “It’s nice to have someone give you that reality check.” Elle said that the earlier they can get involved in the transition process, the easier it is to prepare military personnel for the civilian world. To that end, they have a unique agreement with Fort Gordon to have a presence on base, a first of its kind agreement in the country. That allows AWP to be proactive in working with service members as they make their transition to civilian life, such as an internship program that starts up to six months before leaving the military. The process worked well for Terrell. He received two job offers and chose to accept the one from RLN Communications, a contractor with Fort Gordon. It will allow him to use the skills he developed in the communications and information technology arena in the military. He started there earlier in July.

The Augusta Warrior Project works not only with those transitioning out of the military but with the employers who are looking to hire them. Kim Elle, AWP executive director, said the community is becoming increasingly eager to hire veterans. “More and more they’re reaching out to us,” she said. “The magic of Augusta is that employers allow us to work with them to find the right person.” The openness of the community to hiring veterans is a key to the success of AWP. “We’re successful because of this community,” Elle added. “We don’t do all of this work ourselves. We reach out and they reach out to us.” AWP works with businesses to see the skills that don’t usually make it onto a resume. “In some cases the employers don’t realize all the soft skills (a veteran) brings to the table,” Elle said. “Loyalty, commitment, dedication, timeliness, accountability, integrity – these are all things employers want but who includes that on a resume?” Employers feel a sense of confidence when hiring people through AWP because of the process AWP takes the veterans through. “What employers appreciate about us is that we already know the veteran,” Elle said. “We want you to have the best employee possible.”

As strong as the community connection already is, Elle sees the potential for an even deeper bond. She said there are several things businesses can do to strengthen that connection. • Getting to know AWP. “Employers can invite us out to some of their facilities,” Elle said. “Then we can provide more insight to those companies to connect with certain talents or skill sets.” • Make an in-kind donation. “They have skills sets we don’t have, like human resources or marketing,” she said. AWP currently only has two people working on the employment side of the organization. • Provide awareness of what jobs are available to those who served. • Make a connection with the veterans already employed by the company. “We want to know who their veterans are so we can tell the bigger story,” Elle said. “There are about 66,000 veterans in the CSRA. We currently know about 7,200 of them.” Elle, who served in the military, said the Augusta area is unique in its connection with the military. “Through the course of my life I’ve lived in 20-plus places and there’s something different here,” she said. “This community wants to give back. It gets behind any initiative tied to the military.”

Employers can give themselves a boost by working with AWP

2 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

Publisher’s Notes Neil Gordon

Boosting Buzz

Even the marketing people need to do some marketing In some ways, our team at Buzz on Biz has been like a group of remodelers, fixing everyone else’s house while neglecting our own. We are constantly looking


for ways to help clients with their marketing and promoting their businesses. Now it’s time do a little of that for ourselves! This summer we have made some major strides in the following areas: * Re-launched our website, buzzon. biz, with a cleaner look and more interactive design * Re-designed our e-newsletter that is e-mailed every Tuesday. * Placed an ad on a digital billboard at Belair Road and I-20 * Placed new branding on more outdoor and indoor newsstands * Created a promotional brochure * Developed major sponsorships with both the North Augusta and Columbia County Chambers of Commerce We’d love to hear your comments about some of our enhancements. Feel free to e-mail me at to begin your free e-newsletter subscription or to offer up any thoughts.

Friendly Finance............ 16 Metro Credit Union expands hands-on banking experience for its customers.

Business Openings...22,23

Enough about us! In this late summer edition, we are keeping our eye on the growing job market in the CSRA. Our Editor In Chief Gary Kauffman has several stories related to our economy and positive employment outlook. We’re also launching an enhanced Career and Education special section.

Columbia Co. Chamber.34

This month, we kick it off with some advertorials on the three key components to helping grow our economy – small business, staffing companies and higher education. Look for stories on La Dolce, Acrux Staffing and Georgia Military College. In the coming months, we’ll continue enhancing our editorial coverage of career and education, plus add a classified ad section to share many of the great job opportunities in the CSRA. April Keefe will be focusing on this section. If you’d like to discuss an ad, email april@ or call 706-550-4964. 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.

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

Columbia County Chamber of Commerce plans to host a State of the Community address in September.

Workforce Ed.................... 4 State Chamber of Commerce urges better education for state, local workforce.

Creative Company........... 6 Rising Tide society gives solo entrepreneurs in creative fields an outlet to talk about business, exchange ideas.

Businessperson of Month: Alex Chilton................... 28 Private investigator Alex Chilton is passionate about finding the facts.

Buzz Bits....................12,13 Business Events............ 32


Charles Kelly: The importance of keeping your computer cool...............................................8 Jeff Asselin: Different software programs help different companies.....................................8 Christine Hall: Managing your cash flow is key to your company’s success..................... 10 Larry Rudwick: Keeping track of your costs is important to survival................................... 10 Russell Head: End of July means more fees related to healthcare....................................... 14 Mike Herrington: The Law of Accumulation is important to retirement needs............... 14 Jeb Blount: Asking the questions that matter............................................................................. 16 Gary Kauffman: Advertising is no fairy tale.................................................................................. 18 Donna Martin: Find a way to tell your company’s story........................................................... 18 Tim Dalton: Tips for first-time business buyers............................................................................ 20 Eddie Kennedy: Book review of The Customer-Driven Company........................................... 20 Kelsey Morrow: A tutorial on the confusing world of social media..................................... 24 Marin Rose: Tips on staying organized when using different work spaces....................... 24

Career & Education. 45-52 A special advertising section that features companies in the staffing and education business, plus feature stories.

Big Movers..................... 46

One of future job trends will be logistics, the moving and warehousing of products.

Patching The Patch....... 53 One of Augusta’s oldest golf courses, Augusta Municipal, or The Patch, is getting some much-needed repairs.

Indoor Football ............ 56 The CSRA Gladiators, the area’s first arena football team since 2007, opens its exhibition season on July 25.

Pam Hanson: Trading for goods has a long history................................................................... 26 Barry Paschal: Supreme Court ruling opens new areas of business.................................... 26 Katie Silarek: The benefits of a wellness program at work...................................................... 30 Steve Swanson: We all have the opportunity to be the light at work................................. 30 Susan O’Keefe: A lunch review of Edgar’s Grille.......................................................................... 38 Missie Usry: Choosing the right major, being involved key to college success............... 46 Ben Casella: A review of Seattle beers in Seattle........................................................................ 54 Samantha Taylor: Cool shows to watch when it’s hot outside............................................... 54 Margaret Centers: Going nonstop in Key West............................................................................ 58 Kathy Crist: Ways to simplify traveling with seniors................................................................... 58 Jonathan Karow: An interview with Deep Purple guitarist Steve Morse........................... 60 Nora Blithe: Leading the pack in well-behaved dogs................................................................ 62 McKenna Hydrick: Choosing real food over processed............................................................ 62

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


State chamber reps urge education for workforce

Paul Bowers of Georgia Power makes a point during the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Power Lunch on June 30. Photo by Gary Kauffman

After court ruling, N. Augusta moves on with Project Jackson Two years later than expected, North Augusta and the GreenJackets will be getting their new baseball stadium. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in June that the North Augusta City Council had violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in some of its executive council sessions regarding Project Jackson, but that it didn’t break any laws in setting up the financing for the project. The ruling allows the city to push forward with its plans for the stadium. It is on schedule for the GreenJackets to play their first game there in 2017, two years later than expected. No schedule has been announced for the groundbreaking of the project. The court ruled that North Augusta had

violated the FOIA by not stating specifically what it was meeting about in its executive sessions. Law allows government bodies to convene a closed-door session to discuss such things as contracts. North Augusta contended it had done nothing different than other municipalities. The Supreme Court ruling may have repercussions on other government bodies throughout the state. Steve Donohue had filed a suit to stop Project Jackson, contending that the city was inappropriately using a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district to finance it. Lower courts had ruled in favor of the city, and he had appealed to the South Carolina Supreme Court. They heard arguments from the two sides on May 5.

Request for funds made for new coliseum A new coliseum for downtown Augusta took a small step forward in June when the Coliseum Authority agreed to request $15 million in the city’s next Special Project Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). The money would be used to buy land for a new coliseum at an undisclosed location. The Augusta commissioners will decide which projects to include in the next SPLOST, which will be around $200 million. The public will vote on the SPLOST during the Nov. 3 election. The Augusta Coliseum Authority is

4 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

moving toward a new coliseum to replace the James Brown Arena, which has been plagued by ongoing repairs and out-dated and inadequate space for many of the current events. A new 250,000-square-feet, 10,000-seat coliseum, with luxury suites and premium seating, would cost about $110 million. Repairs on the current building could total nearly a quarter of that in the next five years. The current structure, designed by worldrenowned architect I.M. Pei, opened in 1980.

By Gary Kauffman The importance of education for the future of the area’s workforce is summed up with a simple statistic from Paul Bowers, CEO of Georgia Power. “We hire 4,600 people a year,” he said. “We get thousands and thousands of applications. Fifty percent of those fail the application test.” Bowers spoke about the importance of education in the future at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Power Lunch held at the Legends Club in Augusta on June 30. “There is more digitization so we need kids who have STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, who understand how to connect things,” he said. The key to making that happen will be business leaders. “As business leaders you need to get engaged,” Bowers said. “There’s a void of leaders. Kids in the classrooms today are looking for someone to get engaged so they have a hope for the future.” Chris Clark, CEO of the Georgia Chamber, detailed some of the history of the state chamber, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, and Augusta’s involvement in it. Even as early as 1916, in the state cham-

ber’s one-year anniversary book, Augusta was touting its “golf links without parallel.” It also extolled its tourist hotels, hospitals and a new post office, and proclaimed that it was a winter resort like the Riviera. An advertisement in the century-old book proclaimed, “Why not Augusta for your branch plant or distribution warehouse?” which Clark joked is still the same ad used by Walter Sprouse of the Economic Development Authority. Clark also noted the historic importance Augusta has played in the state’s annual Red Carpet Tour designed to showcase Georgia to businesses considering relocation. The first four businesses to move to the state as a result of the Red Carpet Tour located in the Augusta area. Adding The Masters to the tour beginning in 1962 has been an important ingredient in the Red Carpet Tour’s success. “Not only is it attracting businesses to Augusta, but it’s attracting businesses to the state,” Clark said. Clark said the Georgia Chamber’s 100 years have been marked by consistency – in engagement of the right people working together, in the business community’s involvement in promoting growth and in the involvement of local leaders.

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

Writers Elisabeth Curry Kelsey Morrow Susan O’Keefe Calendar Coordinator Kelsey Morrow

Design Gary Kauffman

Distribution Janine Garropy April Burckhalter Keefe Ken Brown

Photography Gary Kauffman Melissa Gordon/

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July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Creative idea brings creatives together Solo entrepreneurs with a creative bent can exchange ideas


By Elisabeth Curry

hen Lauren Carnes moved to Augusta a year ago with her husband, Chip, she started her own photography business, Lauren Carnes Photography, shortly after her arrival. Launching a new business in a new city where she didn’t have any social connections, Carnes felt, in her own words, “that new entrepreneurship loneliness.” “Creatives crave community,” she said, something she didn’t have as the sole employee of her own business. Then she saw an Instagram post from Annapolis-based photographer Natalie Franke that changed everything. “Natalie posted on her Instagram that she was going to have this Tuesday meeting with some creatives in her community and wanted to see if anyone else was interested in hosting one in the same city,” Carnes said. Carnes reached out immediately. “I said, ‘You know what? This is what I’ve been praying for, this is what I’ve been hoping for, so why not? What’s the harm in reaching out?’ She doesn’t know me from the man on the moon, but I’ve followed her work for a while and I admire the way she leads her business. So I emailed her and told her I would love to host the Augusta location.” Carnes said that Franke couldn’t have been more excited. Twelve people jumped on board to host meetings in different cities in the beginning stage, and, Carnes explained, “thus was born the Rising Tide Society.” A movement is born The Rising Tide Society (designated on various forms of social media by the hashtag TuesdaysTogether) fosters community over competition. Named for a phrase commonly attributed to President John F. Kennedy – “A rising tide lifts all boats” – the Rising Tide Society aims to bring together small business owners in creative fields to network, collaborate and share knowledge born out of each participant’s in-

dividual experiences. The first Augusta Tuesdays Together meeting in May brought in 13 people. Two months later there are around 70 members of the TuesdaysTogether – Augusta, GA Facebook group, with about 30 attending the meetings. The industries represented in Augusta are diverse, though for now nearly all are in some way associated with the wedding industry. Photographers, stylists, florists, lifestyle and style bloggers gather together on the second Tuesday of every month to bounce ideas off of each other, share stories, refer clients, and offer advice gleaned from their years of experience. “For July, we’re doing something a little different,” Carnes said. “We’re doing our topic and our meeting, and then after, for anyone who would like to join, one of the florists in the group is going to lead a floral session. Seeing the effort that goes into someone’s work makes you appreciate what they do so much more. Karin gets to share her wisdom, and we get a chance to try our hand at florals, which directly applies to the work so many of us already do.” Karin Jeffcoat, owner of Cote Designs in Aiken, has been a floral and event designer for more than 25 years. The only floral designer in the Augusta chapter of the Rising Tide Society, Jeffcoat will guide group members through the components of creating a floral arrangement, as well as answer any questions her students may have. “If they have an appreciation of what we go through to get ready for a style shoot or a wedding, there’s a better understanding of the process when they’re starting to photograph arrangements or involve them in their events,” Jeffcoat said. “There are just a host of things that go into these styles.” Exchange of ideas and perspectives The exchange of ideas and generational perspective offered by the Rising Tide Society piqued Jeffcoat’s interest, and she hopes to be able to impart some of her business knowledge to the collaborative community.

“When I started, we didn’t have social media. We didn’t have Pinterest or anything like that, so I’m seeing their side of it – how they’re moving forward with all this technology,” Jeffcoat said. “From my side, a lot of them are concerned with how many ‘likes’ they have online, and to me that’s immaterial. If you’re doing your best, you’re making money, and you’re passionate about what you do, you’ve found success.” Jennifer Lewis, another strong advocate for the Augusta chapter of the Rising Tide Society, owns Pastel Makeup and Hair, a business she created four years ago focused on weddings and events. The connections and wisdom she’s gained from Tuesdays Together so far have added value for Lewis as she partners with Crystal Atkins in the next few months to create Cucumber & Mint, a skin and beauty studio located in the middle level of Surrey Center. In addition to spa services like facials, massage, and waxing, Lewis and Atkins will provide packages for brides offering skin services as they prepare for their wedding day. The collaboration and resources provided by the Rising Tide Society as she embarks on her new business venture will provide an immense support system. “Because most of us own our own businesses, we are all in this place of figuring out how to run a business well,” said Lewis. “Not only does it help grow our businesses through collaborating on events, photo shoots, and referring each other, but we get to have this amazing community where we can just share what is going on with our businesses and encourage one another.” Meetings open to all creatives Tuesdays Together is open to anyone involved in what could be a creative industry. All levels of expertise are welcomed, from hobbyists to industry experts, men and women, any and all ages. The group advocates for local businesses and, as a result, Carnes makes an active effort to schedule meetings at locations that will benefit from their business. “It’s our desire to support local business owners and also be a presence in the local business arena because we want people to join us,” Carnes said. “Part of supporting each other is supporting our local businesses. We support each other internally as well as referring each other out to other people. Ultimately, that allows us to grow our own businesses while also being interconnected with each other.”

Nonemployer businesses continue to grow in U.S.

Georgia experienced fourth-highest gain in solo businesses

There were 23 million businesses without paid employees, or nonemployer businesses, in the United States in 2013, up 4.4 million from 2003 and 269,705, or 1.2 percent, from 2012, according to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Georgia had the fourth-highest growth rate during that time, adding 18,956 nonemployer businesses. Nonemployer businesses pulled in $1.1 trillion in receipts in 2013, up $21.1 billion from the previous year. Gwinnett County in Georgia led all counties in the nation in percentage rate of growth in receipts. Most industry sectors with nonemployer businesses experienced growth in

6 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

the number of nonemployer establishments and receipts since 2012, according to Nonemployer Statistics: 2013, which includes data on businesses in nearly 450 industries located in metropolitan areas, counties, states and nationwide. “Nonemployer businesses run the gamut from old-fashioned family-run corner stores to home-based bloggers,” said William Bostic Jr., the Census Bureau’s associate director for economic programs. “In some cases, the business may be the owner’s primary source of income, such as with real estate agents and physicians, but in other instances, they may operate the business as a side job, such as with babysitting and tutoring.” Three sectors accounted for the majority of nonemployer businesses added to the economy between 2012 and 2013: Other services, except public administration, which added 60,864; real estate and rental

and leasing, gaining 58,376; and transportation and warehousing, up 43,215. Other services establishments are primarily engaged in activities such as equipment and machinery repairing; promoting or administering religious activities; grant making; advocacy; and providing personal care services, death care services, photofinishing services, temporary parking services and dating services. Other services also led all sectors in the total number of nonemployer businesses with 3.6 million, or 15.6 percent of all nonemployer businesses. The personal and laundry services subsector, which gained 62,292 establishments, propelled the increase in businesses in the sector as a whole. This subsector includes such disparate industries as barber shops and beauty salons, funeral homes and funeral services, coinoperated laundries and drycleaners, and pet care (except veterinary) services.

Real estate, rental and leasing topped the sectors in nonemployer receipts, with $237.2 billion, up $9.7 billion from 2012. The real estate subsector gained 59,541 businesses and drove the sector’s overall increase. Offices of real estate agents and brokers and residential property managers are two examples of industries found in this subsector. The gain in the transportation and warehousing sector was led by the taxi and limousine service industry, which added 21,494 establishments between 2012 and 2013 to reach 223,814. Among states, Florida had the largest increase in nonemployer businesses, with 63,259 added between 2012 and 2013, and more added in real estate and rental and leasing than in any other sector (13,615). Nevada outpaced all states in the percentage increase in nonemployer establishments.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Solutions Charles Kelly

Beat the Heat

Overheating a leading cause of computer malfunction It’s hot outside – really, really hot – and that’s a great reminder for us to think about how heat relates to our computers, both desktops and laptops. The days of needing 68-degree, filtered-air rooms to keep our computers running and cool are gone. Today’s

Business Online Jeff Asselin

The Softer Side

Software programs help companies in different ways Whether it’s trying to get a case of beverages to market, giving a stylish men’s haircut or selling a half a million dollar home, today’s businesses requires software! Companies big and small rely on software to run their daily operations. I’ve spoken to many businesses and have found a variety of software solutions. Some companies are using programs straight “off the shelf,” some software is built inhouse from the ground up and some have a combination of various programs working independently. This article will be one of several in a series which will highlight a variety of businesses and how they are using technology and software to make them successful. I spoke with a beverage distributor who runs the business on proprietary software unique to their industry. Their system assists in route accounting, order summaries, warehouse and inventory management as well as financial reporting. I was impressed to hear that this distributor’s warehouse

8 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

computers are more robust in terms of the environment they can operate in and in terms of overall reliability. But they are not indestructible and we do see some interesting heat-related failures among the 800 computers we service each month. The failures we do see quite often involve overheating components that fail due to dust and debris blocking cooling channels, or fans that have failed, causing the computer to overheat. The simple rule here is to keep your computer clean, inside and out, including the power supply unit on desktops and the cooling channel on laptops. A can of air only goes so far and you really need compressed air at the right psi to clean these components. The fix for this is pretty simple. For example, we can remove all of the dust and debris from your computer with compressed air, free of charge, in less than five minutes. Now for the controversy: Should you leave your computer on or turn it off

daily? Every time you turn your computer on, a burst of power and processes are initiated that bring some internal components from room temperature to as much as 120 degrees, resulting in a thermal shift of as much as 50 degrees. This constant thermal shift, which will cause small but significant expansion and contraction of the circuits in your computer, won’t cause any noticeable problem – until it does. One day your computer works and the next day it won’t boot. If it is the mainboard that has failed, its bad news. Motherboards that fail usually are a fatal event unless you really love that computer and are willing to spend hundreds of dollars repairing it. Why do servers run in place for decades? Well, for one thing, no one is playing World of Warcraft on them or checking their Facebook status every five minutes. The real key is that they are built with good hardware and their temperature is regulated. You can regulate your computer the same way – by leaving it on most of the time. Sure, power it

down if a storm is coming or if you are going on vacation (unless you are like me and want to log into it to do some work or check your camera system). But mostly, just leave your computer on. It will not destroy the earth with greenhouse gases since today’s computers are really pretty efficient at rest or at work. The consequence of a failed computer is much more significant to the environment than leaving it on. Now, don’t forget to power cycle your computer, probably once a week or if you notice a significant decline in performance. Keep it simple and keep it on, because thermal shift over time can be just as bad as an overheating incident.

management system included voice recognition to aid in keeping track of deliveries and maintain inventory levels. The sales team for this distributor is armed with tablets that record realtime stats about how local grocery store coolers are stocked with not only their products but their competition’s share of the cooler layout. Custom reporting allows the controller at this distributor to get seamless and almost real-time info. They continue to press technology and are currently looking into the benefits of Bluetooth technology and hand-held devices. I spoke with a men’s salon who told me that they are currently using a combination of “off the shelf ” software programs such as QuickBooks and spaspecific software that helps with their industry needs (like scheduling and gift certificates). The salon is going through a software change right now; the new system integrates better with QuickBooks and also offers easier reporting options. The new program is a monthly subscription model with no up-front software fees. The men’s salon owner told me that she was spending too many hours each day wrapped up in technology challenges. A business coach once asked her, “How much time are you spending in your business as well as on your business?” She saw that too much of the time she spent working on her business was being taken up with technology and software challenges – driving her to seek out a change. Running a real estate company can present significant software and tech-

nology challenges. One real estate company that I spoke with told me that they use multiple programs that tie into one main system. They use’s customer relations tool, DocuSign, for electronic signatures and a variety of email platforms, but all of the software programs must connect to one another. Each real estate agent has unique needs – some like to blog, others email and text and there are even some who choose to do as little as possible with technology. So whether you are distributing cases of beverages, giving men hair cuts and shaves or selling half million dollar homes, you will encounter software challenges unique to your business. It is a good idea to seek counsel from some-

one in the software field to help develop an action plan that makes sense for your business and for your comfort level with technology. It is important to remember that as you spend time in your business, and working on your business, technology should help enhance, not inhibit, your efforts.

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

Jeff Asselin is Director of Sales and Marketing for Powerserve, a web development company that focuses on websites, custom business software, search engine optimization, graphic design and social media marketing. For more information, visit or his office at 961 Broad St., Augusta. Contact him at or 706-691-7189 or 706-826-1506, ext 122.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Accounting Christine Hall

Flow Rate

Managing cash flow is the key to surviving in business Cash flow is the lifeblood of any small business. Cash flow, simply defined, is the movement of money in and out of your business; these movements are called inflow and outflow. Inflows for your business primarily come from the sale of goods or services to your customers, but keep in mind that inflow only occurs when you make a cash sale or collect on receivables. It is the cash that counts! Other examples of cash inflows are borrowed funds, income derived from sales of assets and investment income from interest. Outflows for your business are generally the result of paying expenses. Examples of cash outflows include pay-

Business Advice Larry Rudwick

Counting Costs

Knowledge of costs and profit margins boosts bottom line Last month’s article discussed the basic mathematics of business. The most important two numbers to watch and understand are “the bottom line” – whether the business is profitable or operating at a loss – and whether “cash-flow” is positive or negative. Ironically, a business can be profitable but cash-flow negative, unable to pay its obligations and be forced into bankruptcy. Caution Small Business Owners: In general, most small businesses don’t have all of the expertise in-house needed to simply stay in business, or certainly be as financially successful as they could be. The smaller the busi-

10 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

ing employee wages, purchasing inventory or raw materials, purchasing fixed assets, operating costs, paying back loans and paying taxes. While they might seem similar, profit and cash flow are two entirely different concepts, each with entirely different results. The concept of profit is somewhat broad and only looks at income and expenses over a certain period, say a fiscal quarter. Profit is a useful figure for calculating your taxes and reporting to the IRS. Cash flow, on the other hand, is a more dynamic tool focusing on the day-to-day operations of a business owner. It is concerned with the movement of money in and out of a business. But more important, it is concerned with the times at which the movement of the money takes place. The sooner you learn how to manage your cash flow, the better your chances for survival. Furthermore, you will be able to protect your company’s shortterm reputation as well as position it for long-term success. The first step toward taking control of your company’s cash flow is to analyze the components that affect the timing of your cash inflows and outflows. A thorough analysis of these components will reveal problem areas that lead to cash flow gaps in your business. Narrowing, or even closing

these gaps, is the key to cash flow management. Some of the more important components to examine are: Accounts receivable. Accounts receivable represent sales that have not yet been collected in the form of cash. An accounts receivable is created when you sell something to a customer in return for his or her promise to pay at a later date. The longer it takes for your customers to pay on their accounts, the more negative the effect on your cash flow. Inventory. Inventory describes the extra merchandise or supplies your business keeps on hand to meet the demands of customers. An excessive amount of inventory hurts your cash flow by using up money that could be used for other cash outflows. Too many

ness, the more likely this is the case, and the more important some outside help becomes. The following is a checklist of objective items (numbers: time and money) as well as subjective items (quality and perceived value) that should be carefully analyzed and re-analyzed routinely to learn how to improve the financial performance (profits and cash-flow) of the business. 1) Really know your costs! There are two basic types of costs: 1) Fixed costs stay the same each month regardless of sales revenues, and 2) Variable costs that go up as your sales go up and go down as sales go down. Fixed cost examples include rent, office utility bills for heating, cooling and lighting, equipment lease expenses, insurance and managers’ fixed salaries. Variable cost examples include costs to manufacture or purchase products sold to customers and salesmen’s commissions. 2) Know the Gross Profit Margins for all of your products and services: If you sell something for $100, which costs you $85 to obtain, you have a $15 gross profit margin (GPM). Dividing $15 by $100 yields a 15 percent GPM, which for most businesses is consid-

ered a low. If your direct cost for a $100 item is only $40, the GPM is a relatively high 60 percent. Most businesses operate at a 30 to 50 percent overall GPM. Good financial statements will indicate what the GPMs are for each product or product class that is offered. 3) Know your overhead: Overhead is another term for fixed costs. A business that has high fixed costs will likely have products and services that have high gross profit margins and significant sales. Substantial gross profit must be generated each month to pay for high overhead to break even, let alone make a net profit. 4) Know your sales revenue by product line or better yet, by product: This will let you know what products are helping to pay off the overhead each month and hopefully generate an overall net profit. 5) Know the quality and customer perception of each product. This helps determine the price you can charge. 6) After you fully understand what products and which customers are contributing to sales revenues (money coming in to the business) and all of your costs (money going out of the business), you should focus on how to improve the ratio of money coming in

The sooner you learn how to manage your cash flow, the better your chances for survival

business owners buy inventory based on hopes and dreams instead of what they can realistically sell. Keep your inventory as low as possible. Accounts payable and cash flow. Accounts payable are amounts you owe to your suppliers that are payable at some point in the near future – “near” meaning 30 to 90 days. Without payables and trade credit, you’d have to pay for all goods and services at the time you purchase them. For optimum cash flow management, examine your payables schedule. Monitoring and managing your cash flow is important for the vitality of your business. The first signs of financial woe appear in your cash flow statement, giving you time to recognize a forthcoming problem and plan a strategy to deal with it. Furthermore, with periodic cash flow analysis, you can head off those unpleasant financial glitches by recognizing which aspects of your business have the potential to cause cash flow gaps. 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

versus money going out. Some of the variables that can be changed are 1) Prices: The most common mistake new and small businesses make is setting prices too low. Raising prices increases the gross profit margins. But this should be carefully thought out and tested. 2) Product and Service Perceived Quality: When perceived quality and value is high, prices can usually be raised, often quite significantly. It is often better to produce a higher quality product at a higher cost and raise prices. 3) Processes: If the processes to provide a service become more efficient, this will lower cost and increase profit margins. 4) People and Management: Better trained and managed staff improves quality, costs and profit margins. When associates become happier at work, lots of things often improve, including the bottom line. If you have questions on this topic or some other business challenges you are facing, feel free to contact me. Larry Rudwick is a business and relationship coach. For more information, visit 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.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Efficiency webinar set for July 28 What if you could reach your customers with a multimedia video that you created in just minutes – on your phone? Or perhaps you’d like to schedule a staff meeting without having to send three dozen emails to find a suitable time for everyone. There are many little tasks that eat up time throughout the day that could be streamlined to make work more efficient. That’s what author Beth Ziesenis plans to demonstrate in a webinar hosted by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce at 9 a.m. on July 28. Ziesenis, who calls herself Your Nerdy Best Friend, will reveal how free and bargain technology tools can help you work more efficiently with your teams, create professional-level graphics and wow your colleagues. The webinar is free to Chamber members and $25 for nonmembers. Register at

Augusta’s ADP a top place to work in Georgia ADP in Augusta has been selected as one of the best places to work in Georgia by Georgia Trends magazine. ADP in Augusta is part of the international company that provides payroll and employee benefits services for local companies. ADP’s diverse benefits for its employees earned it the honor in the magazine. Benefits include an onsite gym, nursing stations for new mothers and a flexible work environment. In addition, ADP allows employees eight hours of paid leave each year to work in charitable events. The company also offers opportunities for training and career advancement.

Cybersecurity seminar planned at GRU Local and national cyber experts are developing ways to

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counteract the growing number of cyberattacks, and you could learn from them for free. The BSidesAugusta 2015 cybersecurity conference gathers experts from across the country to discuss the latest on cyberattack and cyberdefense strategies. The conference will take place on Sept. 12 at Georgia Regents University. There is no cost to attend the conference, but space is limited. Registration is required by Aug. 1 on the BSidesAugusta website. All participants will receive a free t-shirt and lunch at the event.

Marvin receives achievement award Blaire Marvin, Senior Director of Membership Development for the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, recently received a Lifetime Sales Achievement Award from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives . The Lifetime Achievement Awards are the ACCE’s Circle of Champions recognition program for career membership sales professionals. Marvin was recognized at the Gold level, certifying that she has achieved at least $500,000 during her professional chamber career. Marvin began her tenure at the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce in 2009, and has consistently ranked as one of the top 10 sales professionals for revenue and new member sales in the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives rankings for mid-sized chambers in the nation. She is also working towards certification by the Institute for Organizational Management (IOM) and is a graduate of the Leadership Augusta class of 2014.

Credit union merges with Peach State

Peach State Federal Credit Union and Richmond Community Federal Credit Union merged on July 1. Richmond Community members are now members of Peach State. The boards of both credit

12 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

Wells Fargo moves from downtown location The Wells Fargo building in downtown Augusta will soon have to be referred to in some other way. Wells Fargo announced on Thursday that it will be moving out of the building at 699 Broad Street in November and removing its signage from the building. In a press release, Wells Fargo said the move has to do with customer preference. “Wells Fargo remains committed to serving customers in Augusta and actively contributing in the community,” said Susan Hunnicutt, Wells unions’ boards and management felt it would make the credit unions stronger and to remain competitive in the financial marketplace. Richmond Community FCU was established in 1961 with a mission to serve the financial needs of the entire community. Since then, they have grown to serve approximately 3,000 members throughout Richmond County. “By combining our resources, we will be able to provide Richmond Community’s members with an enhanced selection of products and services,” said Peach State President/CEO, Marshall Boutwell. “Our goal is to help all of our members continue to build a financially strong and prosperous future.” “The Richmond Commu-

Fargo market president. “Our customers have shown a preference for visiting the Walton Way and Georgia Avenue stores so we will base our operations at those locations.” It will also continue to have a drive-through motor bank at 1102 Reynolds, as well as 18 locations in other areas of the CSRA. Wells Fargo is the No. 1 bank in Augusta by deposits according to the FDIC. To underscore its commitment to Augusta and especially to downtown, Wells Fargo also announced $50,000

in support for the Miller Theater to renovate the historic theater and its adjacent property at 710 Broad Street. The theater will become a new center for music, the performing arts and arts education downtown. “We are so appreciative of Wells Fargo’s support of the Miller Theater,” said Ansley Easterlin, director of development, Miller Theater Campaign. “Through generous gifts from Wells Fargo and the community, our vision of a permanent home for the Symphony is within reach.”

nity Team is excited about this partnership and the ability to provide our members with a vast array of additional products and services,” said Grace Helms, former president and CEO of Richmond County FCU. “This is an excellent growth opportunity for our credit union and our members.” In addition to enhanced products and services, Richmond Community’s members will be able to enjoy lower loan rates and fees as well as extended service hours at the Gracewood branch.

the Olympics and Paralympics, Taylor BMW in Evans is the place for you. On July 23, Taylor BMW will donate $10 to Team USA for every test drive between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Vehicles available to test drive are the BMW 3, 4, 5 and 6 series, the x4 and a few other favorite models. Test drivers will also have an incentive to keep driving a BMW. Each test driver will receive a $1000 credit allowance toward the purchase of their own BMW. To participate, you must register at or call 800-956-4BMW. For more information, visit bmwusa. com/secured/content/forms/ DFTUSA.aspx. Taylor Auto Group, located at 4180 Washington Road in Evans, has been in business for more than 30 years.

Test drives help fund Olympic teams

If you’ve ever had the goal of driving a BMW and supporting

Chambers honored for helping vets Both the Augusta Metro and Columbia County chambers of commerce were recently awarded the Hiring Our Heroes three-star Chamber of Valor award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for their work in promoting the hiring of military veterans in the CSRA. The three-star Chamber of Valor award is the highest ranking available. Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) is a nationwide initiative that helps veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses find meaningful employment. HOH accomplishes this goal by partnering with a large network of grassroots organizations throughout the country. The Chamber of Valor Program acknowledges the enormous contributions of state and local chambers, industry associations and business development organizations that support the HOH mission. Qualifications for receiving this distinguished award include engaging members and local businesses in committing to hire veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses; helping local employers develop and apply best practices for recruitment and retention; and working with HOH to plan and promote HOH hiring fairs and transition summits in local communities. “We are very honored to receive this award and the opportunity to partner with an organization like the US Chamber Foundation,” said Sue Parr, president and CEO of the Augusta Metro Chamber. “Together, we are making a difference in the lives of service members and their families.”

When Help Can’t Wait moves

When Help Can’t Wait, a nonprofit group that provides residents of nursing homes with much-needed personal items, has moved to a new location.

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The offices, including their popular Classy Closet Boutique, will now be located in the Broadmoor Place, suite 101, at 3843 Martinez Blvd. Many people in nursing homes are at or below poverty level and don’t have local family to help provide such basic needs as clothing, toothpaste and personal hygiene items that they must often supply themselves. When Help Can’t Wait provides these items to more than two dozen area nursing homes. One way the group raises funds is through sales from the Classy Closet Boutique. Many of the donated clothing items are high-end boutique-style items that are resold at a bargain price. The funds from those sales help with the purchase of items for When Help Can’t Wait’s mission. For more information about When Help Can’t Wait, call 706650-9467.

Kroger raises money for USO Kroger customers in the Atlanta Division contributed nearly $230,000 to the grocer’s annual “Round-Up” campaign benefitting the United Service Organization (USO). From June 21 to July 4, Kroger customers rounded up purchases to the nearest dollar with the difference benefitting the USO. Donations will be used to provide financial assistance to service men, women and their families. Recently, Kroger customers also contributed more than $70,000 to the USO through a separate initiative, “Honoring Our Heroes.” “We are extremely grateful for our customer’s generosity in showing their support for our military,” said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “The USO is a wonderful organization that benefits our military and their families who make sacrifices for our country.” Established in 1941, the USO – a nonprofit, congressionally chartered organization – supports American troops in combat, as well as military personnel on local bases.

Merger could help Food Lion

Chamber wins national award for night with Siri Siri has been popular on iPhones, and now she has helped the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce win an award. Last fall the Chamber held a Women in Business event called An Evening with Siri – the Woman Behind the Voice. Last week, that event won an Award for Communication Excellence from the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. The Metro chamber was one of only 39 chambers nationwide, and the only chamber in Georgia, to receive the award. The Awards for Communication Excellence is a competition to recognize excellence in all areas of communication. Campaigns were judged based on originality, design/visual impact, message clarity/effectiveness and results achieved. “We are very excited to be recognized, especially among so many chambers across the nation,” said Sue Parr, president and CEO of the Metro Chamber. “Our relationships with local members to produce and implement the campaign was really what drove this success and we cannot thank them enough for their support.” The multi-media presentation, program and other advertising components for An Evening with Siri were conceptualized and produced by Ocozzio, a local marketing and advertising agency. The campaign’s unique approach by integrating Siri platforms and the Siri voice on both radio and television advertisements heightened interest and drove record attendance for the event. Other media sponsors who contributed to the success of the event include The Augusta Chronicle, iHeart Media Augusta and WRDW News 12. Caroline Ashe served as chair for the 2014 Women in Business Committee chair.

Augusta real estate to be part of large auction The Augusta area will have 32 homes represented at a giant real estate auction Aug. 4-5 at the John Dixon & Associates headquarters in Marietta. The multi-state auction includes properties in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida. The auction is particularly important to investors who are looking for an investment property. “One of the biggest challeng-

es for any real estate investor is that of finding homes to lease, or perhaps to resell at a profit,” said John Dixon, president of the auction company. “So I think the event will be of interest to those who may be seeking to expand their business and holdings, especially in the Augusta area and in Birmingham.” Bidders may participate in the live auction at 200 Cobb Parkway North, Suite 120 in Marietta. The auction will also be streamed live for bidders who prefer to bid via the Internet. For more information, visit or call 800-4791763.

Food Lion grocery stores may soon be able to hold their own against Walmart, after a major merger in Europe. In recent years, several Food Lion stores have ceased operations in the CSRA after a Walmart Super Center moved into the neighborhood. But in June, Food Lion’s parent company, Belgium’s Delhaize Group, merged with its rival from The Netherlands, Royal Ahold, to form a super food chain called Ahold Delhaize. It will be the fourth-largest grocery chain in the United States. In addition to Food Lion, the new company owns U.S. chains Giant, Stop & Shop, Martin’s and Hannaford. It will own about 6,500 stores worldwide. The merger of the companies is expected to help its stores buy products more competitively, which will make stores like Food Lion better able to compete with Walmart.

Fifth Third to consolidate some branches

The use of mobile banking apps and ATMs is leading to changes for some major banks. Fifth Third Bancorp has announced it will consolidate about 100 of its branches, or about 7.7 percent of its total of 1,300. There are three Fifth Third branches in the CSRA. Although it has announced the consolidation plans, it has not indicated which branches will be closed. The bank is headquartered in Cincinnati and has about 10 percent of its branches in that area. Speculation is that it could make a significant cut in the local area, or they may decide to entirely eliminate their presence in some areas, like Augusta. Their branches in Georgia and Florida are the farthest from the home base. Bank officials said this is part of an ongoing change to meet customer preferences. It is also a cost-saving measure, expected to save Fifth Third about $60 million per year.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Benefits Russell Head

More Fees Ahead

Annual health insurance tax is due at end of July Heads up, benefits managers. Another important due date is quickly approaching on the healthcare reform compliance calendar: July 31. That’s when the annual tax on health insurance called PCORI fees is due. PCORI stands for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Institute is designed to help patients, clinicians, payers and the public make informed health decisions through targeted research. The Institute is funded, in part, by PCORI fees paid annually by health insurance issuers and sponsors of self-insured health plans. The PCORI fees apply for plan years ending on or after October 1, 2012 through October 31, 2019.

Business Advice Mike Herrington

Piling it Up

Law of Accumulation sum of thousands of little things One of the greatest success principles of all is called the Law of Accumulation. This law says that everything great and worthwhile in human life is an accumulation of hundreds and sometimes thousands of tiny efforts and sacrifices that nobody ever sees or appreciates. It says that everything accumulates over time. Learn what you need to know There are three areas where the law of accumulation is important. The first is in the area of knowledge. Your body of knowledge is a result of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of small pieces of information. Save your money

14 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

Who is responsible for paying PCORI fees? Nearly all insurance policies providing health coverage are subject to the fee, including fully-insured and self-insured plans, plans for retirees, policies issued under COBRA and even some HRAs and FSAs. However, for fully-insured plans, the issuer (i.e., the carrier) is required to pay the research fees. (Issuers may shift the fee cost to sponsors through a premium increase.) The plan sponsor (usually the employer) is responsible for paying the fees for self-funded plans. This requirement includes self-insured major medical insurance policies, as well as separate pharmacy and HRA plans that are self-funded. Special rules apply for sponsors offering multiple self-insured arrangements so that they are subject to a single fee. However, employers should check with their benefits advisor to determine how the fee should be calculated on your plans. How is the fee calculated? Once a plan sponsor has identified which plans are subject to the fee, the amount of the fee must be calculated. The fee is determined by the average number of lives covered during the plan year multiplied by the rate set annually by the IRS. Several alternatives for figuring the average number of lives covered are de-

tailed on the IRS website, including the actual count method and the snapshot method. However, all methods count covered employees and their enrolled dependents for health coverage, including those covered under COBRA and retiree plans. (Special rules apply for counting lives covered in affected HRA plans.) The PCORI rate used is determined by the month in which the plan year ended. For plan years ending in January through September 2014, the rate set by the IRS is $2 per life covered. For plan years ending October through December 2014, the rate is $2.08 per covered life. How are the PCORI fees reported and paid? Plan sponsors must report and pay the research fees annually by July 31 using the IRS Form 720 (Quarterly Excise Tax Return) which has been revised to include a section to report the PCORI fee. The form and fee are due no later than July 31 for plan years ending the previous year. Those who do not regu-

larly use this quarterly form need only submit for the second quarter. For those who use Form 740 each quarter to report other taxes, a second form is not needed as the PCORI fee can simply be added to the second quarter return. Although not required, PCORI fees can be paid via the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS). The fees are considered ordinary and necessary business expenses, and are deductible under section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code. For further explanation of information outlined in this article, please refer to the following resources:,,, and

The second area where the Law of accumulation works is with regard to money. Every large fortune is an accumulation of hundreds and thousands of small amounts of money, and the place to start is to take any amount of money that you can right now and begin to save it. Attract riches into your life Start to put savings aside and it starts to attract into your life and into your work all the money that you need to achieve your goals. The reason why most people retire poor is they never put the initial savings aside to start with. Get the experience you need The third area where the law of accumulation applies is in the area of experience. You’ll find that successful people in any field are those who have far more experience in that field than the average. And there is nothing that replaces experience. Everything counts But the fact is that until you move out of the comfort zone and get the experience from making the mistakes, it’s not possible for you to grow and become capable of earning the kind of money that you desire. Now here’s the key to the law of accumulation. It says that everything counts. Everything that you do counts.

Use your time well If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals. Nothing is neutral. Everything counts. When will you start? The secret to financial independence at retirement is to commit to a plan today, while you’re working and earning an income, a portion of which can be saved for your future financial security! Everything you do now accumulates to make your retirement more secure. The

accompanying chart shows how many people over 65 are truly financially independent.

The plan sponsor (usually the employer) is responsible for paying the fees for self-funded plans

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

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

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Sales Jeb Blount

Q&A that Matters

A trio of questions determine what happens to your future There are only three questions that really matter. Just three. Your answers to these three questions will determine what happens to you, your income, happiness, success, and ultimately what you become. Your answers will either create a world where you raise your hands in victory or are left sitting, with regret, on a big pile of shouldhave-dones. Fortunately the questions are simple: • What do you want? • How do you plan to get what you want? • How bad do you want it? Frankly, it is about honesty. It is about being true to yourself. It starts with defining what you want, building a plan, and writing it down. Not empty resolutions. Not fleeting wishes and hopes. Real goals that mean something for

your career and life. Most people won’t and don’t because defining what you want is difficult. It requires you to think. It requires you to take risk. It requires you to be accountable to the only person in your life to whom you are really accountable – you. So start here:  Define what you want and write it down. This means gathering up the discipline to stop what you are doing, sit down, and actually think about your future. Yogi Berra quipped that  “If you don’t know where you are going you might end up someplace else.”  I love this quote because it so succinctly describes how most sales people walk through life. No plan, no direction, no idea where they are going. Here is the brutal reality. If you don’t have a plan, you will become a part of someone else’s plan. You either take control of your life or someone else will use you to enhance theirs. It’s your choice. To reach any big goal requires you to move through a series of small steps. These steps to success must be defined, written down and measured against deadlines. So define what you want and then develop your plan. Then write it down.  Writing down your goals and plan makes you unstoppable. When you write down your goals – ink on paper – you tap

To reach any big goal requires you to move through a series of small steps into a powerful motivational force. A written plan forces action. Something inside begins to drive you forward, constantly pushing you towards your destination. Once written, it cannot be ignored until it has been accomplished. The most important question though is “How bad do you want it?” Desire is the singularity of all achievement. Desire is the only thing that trumps procrastination. All success is paid for in advance with hard work and sacrifice. More often than not, getting what you want is more about what you are willing to give up rather than what you are willing to do. Success is governed by the Law of Congruency which states simply that what you want and what you are willing to do to get what you want must be equal or congruent.  It doesn’t matter if you have a goal or a plan if you don’t want it bad enough to focus all of your will on achieving that thing. This is why New Year resolutions are almost never met. They are wishes born in hope and carried away on the wind as soon as the tiniest hint of adversity is met. You will face adversity.  This why

tapping into desire is so powerful. There will be hurdles, roadblocks, and disappointment. There will be temptations that distract you from your goal, causing you to forget your plans and go off course. There will always be something more pleasurable in the short-term than sacrificing for what you really want. This is how procrastination slowly creeps into your life. There will always be a mountain you’ll have to climb and an uphill battle you’ll have to fight. There will always be a temptation to slack off. There will always be an excuse for why you can’t do something. That is why the most important question you will have to answer on your quest for success is: How bad do you want it? 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 for more information.

Credit union expands unique customer service By Gary Kauffman A local credit union is expanding its innovative style of banking to one of its branches. Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union created a more personal, interactive way of doing banking seven years ago at its main office on Davis Road. Now it has expanded that to its Highway 56 branch, 4306 Mike Padgett Highway, on the city’s south side. Augusta Metro’s innovative concept does away with traditional teller lines and strict separation of service providers. Instead, it has a feel similar to that found at many cell phone and electronics stores. “The member deals with one person for anything, whether it’s a cash withdrawal or applying for a loan,” Kyle Amerman, marketing manager for Augusta Metro, said. The member is greeted by a concierge at the Davis Road branch or one of the member services representatives at the Highway 56 branch. An inquiry is made about the type of transactions the member would like to make and then he or she is escorted to one of the pods. In the pods are computers stations that allow the member and the banker to stand side by side so they can view the screen together. This allows them to complete the

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transaction together. If a more specialized service is needed, the banker escorts the member to the correct banking officer. This dialogue-style of banking creates a relationship, and helps the members understand better how their accounts and finances work. “I don’t know if it’s sped things up,” Amerman said, “but it’s certainly made it a more personal, more interactive process.” Of course, busy times mean waiting, but instead of making members stand in a line, Augusta Metro has a lobby with a coffee bar, TV and seating. Amerman admitted that there was a breaking-in period for members. “They were uncomfortable with it at first because it was different,” he said. But they have grown comfortable with the concept; the Davis Road branch is now the busiest of the four branches. Some members have even found favorite employees and are willing to wait until he or she is available to help with their transaction. The innovative concept also requires a little more training for the employees. They have to be more versatile than a traditional teller because they may be required to provide more services. Amerman said Augusta Metro is already

looking ahead to converting another branch to the interactive style of banking, but there is no timetable yet for when that might happen. Amerman thinks this more personal style of banking may eventually catch on at other banks.

“I haven’t seen it yet in Augusta, but we have four or five banking institutions every year who want to come and see how it works,” Amerman said. “It’s an old-school industry, so it’s hard to innovate.” The Highway 56 branch plans to hold an open house 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on July 8.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Lessons Gary Kauffman

No Fairy Tales

Advertising is a reality if you want people to know you There is an old fairy tale of a shoemaker who got behind in his work, so elves snuck into his workshop at night to help him make shoes. I once knew a shoe store owner who could have used the help of elves to place some advertising. This was many years ago when I was editor of a weekly newspaper in a small town. We regularly ran a half-page ad from a shoe store (which I’ll call the Acme Shoe Store for reference) in another town 15 miles away. So when a new shoe store opened in our town, only a block from our office, I expected the new owner to place ads to draw people away from Acme.

But the new owner told our advertising rep that he didn’t need to advertise because his quality products and prices would sell themselves. I talked to him myself, and he assured me that his presence on the town’s main street would draw all the attention he needed. There was no need to advertise. Eight months later, when he closed his store for lack of business, he still hadn’t advertised once. Another merchant in town lamented that the local people still drove 15 miles to buy from Acme instead of supporting the local shoe seller. “I know for a fact that he had a better selection and better prices than Acme,” the merchant said. I countered, “Yes, but who knew it.” A few days later I was telling the vice president of the Chamber of Commerce about my conversation with the merchant. “We have a shoe store in town?” the vice president asked, incredulous. “Not anymore,” I replied. Believe me, if the vice president of the Chamber of Commerce of a town of 4,000 doesn’t know about your business, you’ve got a visibility problem. The fact is, you can have a terrific product, sell at the best prices and offer impeccable service but it won’t mat-

Business Publicity Donna Martin

Tell Me a Story

Every business has a story that connects it to its customers There is nothing I love much more than reading a good book. A beautifully written work of prose with twists and turns artfully constructed into a great story completely absorbs me. It doesn’t have to be a novel. In fact, I prefer non-fiction – stories that are real, with real people and real situations, highlighting real ambitions and true-life outcomes. Telling your company’s story can be as intrinsically absorbing. Everyone has a story. If your goal is for consumers to want to learn more about your company and purchase your products or services, storytelling is a wonderful way to piece together messaging about your company’s inception, your brand,

18 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

your products and your services, while also sharing your plans to do more for your consumers. The secret is to keep your company’s story vivid in the consumers’ mind so that they want to follow you. No one likes to put down a good book. The Never-Ending Story In simple terms, marketing is a story continuously unfolding. It is a living, breathing entity, sometimes taking you back to an earlier chapter, and sometimes building suspense leading up to future chapters. I am not talking about a written story, per se. For example, writing and distribution of a press release that gives background about your company and announces a new milestone reached is only one chapter in your story. It is not the whole story. A skilled marketing consultant will develop a storytelling strategy that could involve such marketing tactics as rebranding and/or new messaging and taglines, print and broadcast advertising, social media marketing, PR and networking. Storytelling marketing is similar to the storyboard concept where blocks of illustrations or images are displayed in sequence to help the director visualize a movie or a play. A simplified example of creating a marketing strategy with storytelling would be to fill eight squares

Advertising can’t be an afterthought; it has to be the starting point of your business’ success ter a bit if no one knows your business exists. Advertising can’t be an afterthought; it has to be the starting point of your business’ success. Still a doubter? Look at McDonald’s. The Golden Arches are one of the most universally recognized symbols in America. Drive down any highway and you won’t pass many exits before you see the arches rising above the landscape. A company that is so easily recognized can probably cut back on its advertising, right? Wrong. Last year McDonald’s spent $1.37 billion (yes, that’s with a b) on advertising. That was more than any other fastfood chain. The reason is simple: McDonald’s never wants you to forget them. When you’re thinking lunch or dinner, they want to be one of the options. Obviously, you’re not going to spend $1.37 billion, but it also better not be $1.37. How much you should spend can vary – there are numerous averages and formulas, ranging from 2 percent

of gross sales to 10 to 12 percent of sales margins. Most people recommend that as a new business, the percentage be much higher, perhaps as much as 20 percent of gross sales. A meeting with your business advisor, accountant or advertising rep can help you figure out what the best amount is for your business’ bottom line. But the bottom line is that you need to advertise so people will know you exist and what you offer. Not needing to advertise is a fairy tale, and without advertising you won’t be successful, no matter how many elves you have helping you.

with a marketing tactic that will be used to communicate your story. But the storytelling strategy will not end when the eight squares have been accomplished. If you put value into marketing strategy, your company will have one sequel after another after another. Apple has done a splendid job in developing their storytelling marketing in real time by turning out sequels to their story. People stand in lines all night, even all weekend, to purchase each new Apple product. As Apple rolls out the products that consumers have come to expect with great excitement, revenue continues to roll in Apple’s pockets. Storytelling Creates an Experience By approaching marketing as storytelling, chances are interest and enthusiasm about your company will build. They will also be in-the-know about what’s coming next. Your customers become fully involved in “your story.” According to Leta Beam, “Storytelling is one of the most ancient and powerful ways of communicating and connecting with people… [Motivational speakers] did not simply tell a story; rather they created an experience that evoked emotions from the listener. They made an impression; changed a mood; transmitted values; inspired listeners to action; and catapulted groups

over significant challenges.” In my professional life, I am thrilled to the core when I see colleagues hit a marketing grand slam by capturing and cleverly translating a company’s story. When you get it right… you know it! And Now for the Rest of the Story I wholly agree with Bernadette Jiwa’s astute observation about marketing, “Good marketing tells the story. Great marketing is  the story.” Jiwa is a wellknown marketing consultant in Australia who is short with words but big on storytelling. One of the joys of my business is getting to know our clients on very personal levels. We learn about their beginnings, their desires and in every discussion, how they want to help others with the business they started. Hearing men and women, both young and old, tell their stories is the best part of every day. And you, too, have a story that needs to be told. I would love to help you tell yours.

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

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

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Leverage Tim Dalton

The First Time

Most businesses are purchased by first-timers in the market It may come as a surprise, but most individuals who purchase a business are first-time buyers. Selecting the best possible business by a buyer is imperative and there are several criteria a prospective purchaser should consider: Identifying the right business Let’s face it, owning a business requires a lot of hard work and time. Toiling away at a business that does not get you excited each day can be misery. Know your strengths and weaknesses and be honest with yourself. Do you like managing people? Do you prefer traditional

Deeper Thinking Eddie Kennedy

Customers First

Common bonds link the best customer-driven companies Considered by many to be the “bible of customer service,” The Customer Driven Company, written by Richard C. Whiteley, was based on a series of research projects conducted over a five-year period by the Forum Corporation, that sought to define and measure the successful practices that distinguish profitable, customer-driven companies from the less successful. The research done in 1988, discovered that nearly 50 percent of customers left businesses because of poor quality service. In today’s business environment, where the customer demands more and is less patient with underserving companies, that percentage would be higher. By applying several of the key points of this book, your company can deliver exceptional customer service and grow your business.

20 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

Monday-Friday business hours or is being open seven days a week acceptable? Look at the functions of the current owner, as they will most likely be your responsibilities as the new business owner. If the current owner is the main salesperson for the business and you are not comfortable in sales, then chances are that business might not be a good fit for you. Professional Help Once you think you’ve found something that might be a fit, evaluation or due diligence of the business is highly important. Be sure to use professionals. Again, if you’re a first-time buyer, use the expertise of professionals who have been through this process many times. A good accountant, attorney and business broker will help you evaluate the different financial, legal and operational aspects of the business to make sure it is sound and there are no skeletons in the closet. I have heard several stories from buyers that did not employ a business broker or other professional, and worked directly with a seller, ending up with a bad experience. Negotiating with the seller For some reason many buyers turn into Donald Trump and The Art of the

Deal when negotiating the purchase of a business. Both parties, the seller and purchaser, need to feel like they are getting an acceptable deal and being dealt with fairly. To low ball or become overbearing in your negotiations with a seller will most likely backfire. Sellers have little patience for low-ball offers. Plus, who do you think is going to work with you and train you once you buy the business? That’s right, the seller. Setting up a good working relationship during negotiations goes a long ways towards having the seller be a willing and active participant in the training and transition of the business. Financing the sale There are typically only three sources of funds for a business purchase: your money, a lender’s money, or the seller’s money. Sometimes it takes a combination of the three to get a deal financed. But here is the part to remember: the amount of money that a buyer has is the most important. When purchasing a business, if

you are coming to the deal with a 20 percent down payment and are looking for a lender to finance the other 80 percent, that lender is thinking, “I don’t have ownership in this business, I won’t be involved in the management or day-to-day operations, but I am taking the largest risk by financing 80 percent of the sale.” Same thing with the seller. If the down payment is not enough for them to feel comfortable that the buyer is fully vested in the purchase, many will not provide financing. So when evaluating a business purchase make sure you are realistic in the percentage of money you have for a down payment.

To become a customer-driven company, you will need to saturate your company with the voice of the customer. The key here is that everyone in the organization must measure every action against the customer’s needs, expectations and wants. If the action isn’t producing added value for the customer, it must be eliminated. First, you target who you want your customers to be. Then get your staff to know their needs and expectations as intimately as possible. Finally, inspire everyone to measure their actions to exceed those expectations. Researchers at Texas A&M University developed the acronym, RATER, to help identify customer’s experience with service quality. Reliability, the ability to provide what was promised; Assurance, the knowledge and courtesy of employees, and their ability to convey trust and confidence; Tangibles, the physical facilities and equipment, and the appearance of employees; Empathy, the degree of caring and the individual attention provided to customers; and Responsiveness, the willingness to help customers and provide prompt service. To become a customer-driven company you will need to go to school on the winners. First, find people who do an excellent job in performing the jobs involved in your business. Then, study those people, keeping your mind open and being teachable. Finally, never as-

sume you know enough or have found the best ways. Keep searching for better ways to improve. Whiteley suggests the following nine-step plan to help you with your schooling. 1. Identify your problems. Spend some time thinking about where you are getting beaten or need improvement. 2. Choose organizations that The Customer Driven are solving Company the probRichard C. Whiteley lems you 308 Pages face. If you visit companies in industries you know very little about, you’re more likely to appreciate the management systems, instead of the technical details. 3. Develop specific objectives before you visit. Prepare a list of questions you want answered. Let your host know what you want to learn. See if any topics or areas of their operation are off limits. 4. Make the visit. Take other leaders from your company with you. Ask

your questions. Don’t lose track of time. Listen carefully. Make notes, if possible. 5. Debrief. A quick team debriefing captures first impressions. A formal debriefing focuses on what was seen and learned. 6. Convert learning to action. Decide what you want to adopt, and create an action team to get the changes started. Set your goals and establish standards to measure your success. 7. Spread the learning throughout your organization. Package what you learned and make it accessible to everyone in the organization. 8. Show the winners how much good has been done. Tell the company that helped you what you learned. Keep in touch, and share the results of the changes you made. 9. Repeat the cycle. Don’t stop. Constantly seek improvement. This book is a great read and has self tests and tool kits for each chapter to help assist you with moving from talk to action.

Selecting the best possible business by a buyer is imperative

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 Visit their website at

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

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Cheeseburger Bobby’s plans store in Martinez By Gary Kauffman If you’ve ever wished you could go into a restaurant and create your own perfect hamburger, you’ll have the chance when Cheeseburger Bobby’s opens later this year. The burger franchise based in Kennesaw plans to open a store on Augusta’s west side at 212 Bobby Jones Expressway at the site of the former Stevie B’s Pizza. Plans are to raze the current building and build a new 6,500-square-foot strip for three tenants, including Cheeseburger Bobby’s. Owner Bob Stoll expects construction to start by Oct. 1 and the store to be open before the end of the year. Planet Fitness is currently occupying the Stevie B’s building while they erect a new facility behind it. Stoll had owned the Stevie B’s chain before selling it in 2008, so he knows the Augusta market. “It’s an established and up-and-coming market,” he said. “You’ve got the military, you’ve got the medical. It’s a good economy.” The Cheeseburger Bobby’s concept is

unique in that each burger is custom-made by the customer. “Everything is done fresh,” Stoll said. “Everything is cooked to order. If you want three pickles on it, you take three pickles. If you want two slices of tomato, you take two slices of tomato. You’re in charge of creating your masterpiece.” The limited menu includes fresh-cut fries and frozen custard. It is a fast-casual dining atmosphere, with a style between a fullservice restaurant and fast food. The new store on Bobby Jones Expressway will include the company’s new décor package, featuring dark wood and stainless steel. “It’s designed like a New York loft,” Stoll said. “It’s a timeless design.” Cheeseburger Bobby’s will employ 20 and be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Stoll said the initial store will be company owned but it may eventually be turned over to a franchisee. Stoll would also like to recruit some franchisees to open one or two more

Openings Fuse Restaurant Fuse, a creative cuisine and craft beer bar, located at the corner of 10th and Broad streets in Augusta, opened for business on July 11. The business’ motto is “ReFuse boring food. ReFuse bad booze.” It is a familyowned restaurant with 16 craft beers on tap and a variety of food items for lunch and dinner, ranging from Asian barbecue to lamb burgers to a Basque dish called Pintxo. Eric Draper is the head chef. He began his career in Hollywood, Calif., and has worked in Michigan, Seattle and Mexico. He has written recipes for Tabasco hot sauce’s website. Fuse opens each day at 11 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, at midnight on Friday and Saturday and 9 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit fuse-augusta. com. Better Homes and Gardens Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Executive Partners has expanded its sales office in North Augusta. The new office at 1069 Edgefield Road, #106 is under the leadership of industry veteran Carolyn McKinney as Broker in Charge. “Carolyn’s vision and her commitment to excellent customer service will continue to help grow this office to be a very influential operation in South Carolina,” said Tommy Stephenson, Broker and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Executive Partners, Georgia. “We are thrilled to expand our reach of the market working with Carolyn and team of successful agents to help guide Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Executive

Partners into the future.” McKinney has been in the real estate business for 19 years, including four years in property management and six years of selling residential and custom real estate in Las Vegas. She then transferred with the same company to enjoy five years of selling luxury/oceanfront real estate in Hawaii. McKinney lives in the Aiken-North Augusta community. Her background in new home construction and working with builders and agents in the surrounding markets during her experience with Better Homes &Gardens/Executive Partners will continue to help clients to find a home regardless if their need is a new home, resale or corporate relocation. “I look forward to leading a successful team of agents assigned to the North Augusta Office with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Executive Partners because the brand provides a fresh approach to real estate,” said McKinney. “The technologies and resources that are now available to our agents, along with the national brand recognition, are going to be key factors in continuing the growth of our corporate relocation and residential real estate business.”

Cheeseburger Bobby’s locations in the CSRA. Stoll and his brother Richard started Cheeseburger Bobby’s in 2007 and currently have nine stores, with another opening soon. Stoll has been in the restaurant business most of his life, a career that he has

relished since it began at Wendy’s in 1980. “I knew the minute I walked in the door (at Wendy’s) that this is what I wanted to do,” he said. For more information, visit

owns various dealerships in South Carolina and Georgia, said he is pleased what he was able to do with Dyer Kia in Evans. “I am pleased to have built a $5 million state-of-the-art dealership and service center in Evans, and I am proud to have worked with a great group of people since we opened in October 2013,” he said. The dealership has 30 employees. Dyer will be assisting with the transition during July.

made by Polaris and BRP, which makes popular brands such as Sea-doo and Canam, and Victory motorcycles. General manager Tom Calhoun said two things attracted the new owner to buy the business. “One, the products are great, they’re first class,” he said. “And the people here are outstanding. They all stayed. They care so much about what they’re doing with customers.” Although the sale was finalized a few weeks ago, Calhoun said the process started last fall. Customers will already see changes as the store undergoes renovations. “There’s no good time to do it so we figured we might as well jump in,” Calhoun said. The showroom will be larger, thanks to moving the parts department to a different part of the building. The interior will also be remodeled. Customers will also notice a larger product line on display. Calhoun said he has several large orders en route. Augusta Powersports plans to expand its on-road selection with Can-am’s Spyder and Polaris Slingshot three-wheeled vehicles. So far, the changeover has been successful. The store sold seven units in its first week of operation. “We’re very excited,” Calhoun said. “And the best thing is that the employees are excited.” First General Services A long-time CSRA property restoration company has been sold and will change its name. First General Services in Grovetown has been acquired by Response Team 1, a lead

Business openings, closings and moves

22 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

Sales Dyer Kia Dyer Kia in Evans has been sold. Owner Rob Dyer made the announcement on July 10. “I received an offer and accepted it,” Dyer said. “I am very happy about the buy/sell arrangement, and the new owner will be coming forward soon to make their announcement.” Dyer, who comes from a family who

Augusta Powersports A long-time motorsports dealership is operating under new ownership and a new name. Tomberlin Outdoor, which has operated at the corner of Washington Road and Beverly Heights Road for nearly 20 years, was sold in late June and is now operating as Augusta Powersports. The sale was brokered by Transworld Business Advisors of Augusta. It will continue to sell off-road products

continued on page 23

Pets are the stars in new North Augusta store By Kelsey Morrow It’s now even easier for North Augusta residents to pamper their pets. The Paw Above Pet Emporium, which opened in June, is owned by Carrie Carns and Laura Nichols. As pet owners themselves, Carns and Nichols recognized the need for a pet store in the North Augusta area. “North Augusta doesn’t have one,” Carns said. “Before pet owners would have to travel to Aiken or Augusta to get the supplies that they needed.” Paw Above carries all of the major dog and cat brands that you would expect to find at a large pet store chain including: Blue, Nutro, Natural Balance, Apex, Nylabone, Kong, and even a whole line of Harley Davidson products. Paw Above is a proud participant in Natural Balance’s and Blue Buffalo’s loyalty programs as well. In addition to these major name brands, one of Paw Above’s biggest sellers is a range of organic Wagatha treats. Wagatha treats are wheat, corn and soy free, baked in the United States and available in many flavors, such as Breakfast Blend, Pumpkin Pie and Tuscan Pizza. Besides great products, Paw Above pro-

vides something that you can’t always find at chain stores — a fun environment and friendly service. This environment is even reflected in their decision to name their business “Pet Emporium” rather than a more generic title like shop or store. “We chose the name emporium to encapsulate the fun, whimsical vibe,” Nichols said. Customers are encouraged to bring their pets with them while they shop. The inside of the store has a wall-of-fame style board where they place photos and stories about customer’s animals. “We love being able to provide one-onone attention for our customers and their pets,” Nichols said. “We are close to the Greeneway, and we are always ready to provide water and treats for pets stepping in from the heat.” Being local North Augustans, Carns and Nichols are involved in the community and do their best to give back in several ways. First, Paw Above provides discounts for the CSRA’s military population and first responders. Secondly, Paw Above partners with local rescues for pet adoptions. Their first on-site adoption event took place Saturday, July 11.

continued from page 22 ing national property restoration, disaster loss recovery and multifamily renovation company. First General will do business as Poole’s Restoration, a Response Team 1 company. First General, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary in the CSRA, provides fire and flood restoration and full-service clean up and reconstruction services. Response Team 1 is the nation’s second-largest property restoration company serving 34 states from 30 locations with high-quality residential and commercial property restoration and renovation services. “Response Team 1 offers us additional resources and expanded capabilities to better serve our customers, who include homeowners, business owners, property managers and insurance companies,” said Susan Jernigan, president of First General. “Our new partnership as a Response Team 1 company is an ideal strategic fit for our firm and provides us many opportunities to grow together.” Jernigan will remain with the company as the business development director. The rest of the First General staff will also remain. John Goense, chairman of Response Team 1, said the company will remain a leader in the CSRA. “The new entity as part of the Response Team 1 organization will retain its leadership and commitment to service that has positioned the company as a restoration leader in Augusta and in the Georgia and South Carolina markets,” he said. “This collaborative relationship will enhance the

firm’s ability to deliver high quality property restoration services to its customers.” With its resources and capabilities, Response Team 1 has the capacity and expertise to quickly restore any single family residence or large commercial building, or renovate any multifamily property in the markets it serves. Response Team 1 is an award-winning national leader in the property restoration, disaster loss recovery and multifamily renovation industries. The company is based in Wheeling, Ill.

Business openings, closings and moves

ComputerOne and 4T’s Computers Two computer stores are making changes. 4T’s Computers has closed its store in Daniel Village on Wrightsboro Road and will consolidate it into its store on Bobby Jones Expressway. The company, owned by Earl Thompkins, has operated in Augusta since 1996. It offers full information technology integration, networking maintenance contracts and offlease computer sales.

4T’s operates in two other locations, on Tobacco Road in Augusta and on Whiskey Road in Aiken. ComputerOne owner Jimmy Bennett has sold his business to one of his staff members, Lisa Hall. ComputerOne began in 1986 and Bennett joined the company in 1990. The present ComputerOne is the merging of six companies. The company was founded in 1986 as Comtel Trading Co., Inc., to import computer components from Taiwan. Because of a mix-up in customs and a delayed delivery, the owners found themselves stuck with a shipping container of computer parts. To dispose of those parts, they opened a small shop behind the Martinez Fire Department and started selling computers. The business has operated continuously since then, serving thousands of customers in the CSRA and beyond. Comtel expanded its business in 1988 by launching Augusta Computer Warehouse (ACW), a national mail order company with a powerful retail presence in Augusta. Present management purchased Computer Rentals & Sales in 1994 and changed the name to CompuQuest in early 1995. The company was renamed ComputerOne in 1996. Bennett purchased ACW  in 1997, acquired the assets of Intercomp Augusta in July 1998 and added the business and internet customers of Sylvan Computers in December 2003. The corporate name of the company is ComputerOne Technology, Inc. ComputerOne will move into the Metro Spirit building at 3124 Washington Road. Southfire, Bennett’s web development busi-

ness, has relocated to 921 Heard Ave. Hall will continue to build on the traditions ComputerOne established over the past 30 years. Moves

Bojangles The Bojangles restaurant on Augusta’s south side has moved less than a mile but the new location will mean 30 new jobs. The new store at 3705 Mike Padgett Highway opened July 7, less than a mile from the old location. The new store is larger, which means 30 new employees will be joining the 30 that transferred from the old store. “Our devoted, passionate customers are the reason why our business is thriving and why we are upgrading our restaurant,” owner Pat Landon said. “We can’t thank them enough for their business and look forward to serving them from a brand new Bojangles.” The restaurant is owned by Bojland Restaurant Group comprised of Pat, Sandra and Daniel Landon. This is their sixth location in the CSRA. They plan to open four more Bojangles in the coming months.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Social Media Kelsey Morrow

FaceTwitInstaSnap Trouble knowing one from another? Here’s a tutorial

Do you ever feel like there are so many social media platforms that you have a hard time keeping them straight? In this article I will go in-depth discussing the different social media platforms that are available, what they are used for, and how they could impact your business. When most people hear the term “Social Media,” Facebook is probably the platform that comes to mind. Facebook (and what many people consider to be its predecessor, MySpace) gives each user their own personal page. You can update that page however you like with pictures, links, text updates, etc., and can also connect with friends to see what they choose to post on their page. Businesses can also create pages that Facebook users can “follow.” Much has been written about how businesses should run these pages, how often they should post and what they should post. However, as Facebook becomes more and more mainstream across all generations, I have yet to come across a business that would not benefit from having a Facebook presence.

Business Habits Marin Rose

Lost in the Shuffle?

Keep track of your stuff in the commute between worksites

In this day and age many employees enjoy the benefits of flexible schedules and programs for remote work. Increasingly, people are becoming entrepreneurs who work from an office and a home office, or even from a “mobile office” (a.k.a., a car). The autonomy and flexibility of these

24 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

LinkedIn is essentially the business version of Facebook. Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn users have a page where they can post their resume, testimonials from supervisors, co-workers, or clients, and anything that makes them stand out in their field. LinkedIn users can connect with other users and ask for skill endorsements which are displayed in a special section on their page. LinkedIn also has a tab that shows users job postings based on the content from their page, a feature which can be extremely helpful for businesses looking to fill empty positions. Two platforms that are newer than Facebook but still quite mainstream include Twitter and Instagram. Twitter is essentially the same as the status update on Facebook, but with one important distinction. Tweets are limited to 140 characters. Yes, you heard me right, 140 characters, not words. While tweets can sometimes be difficult to craft due to the lack of space, the upside is that they force the writer to get straight to the point. From a business perspective, this can help draw more attention to your call to action because you have to be very specific about what you want your readers to know or do. How many times have you been scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed, seen a long text post, and thus completely skipped over it? Tweets, however, are short, easy to read and cater to our society’s ever shortening attention span. Instagram is a photo-sharing platform. You can upload your photo, edit it with special filters and effects, and

add keywords (known as hashtags) to direct relevant users to view your photos. Like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is an application that has seen increasing amounts of business participation. However, unlike the previous two, Instagram might not be useful for all businesses. Retail is an industry that has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success with Instagram. For example, Evans’ own The Ivy Boutique uses its Instagram page to advertise the arrival of new products, shop promotions and more, and has amassed more than 5,000 followers. Buzz on Biz also has an Instagram page to showcase some of the photography that goes along with the local business news that we cover. However, if your business is in an industry that isn’t so visually appealing, such as a pest control company or a funeral home, Instagram may not be the best choice for you.

arrangements are obvious attractions. The tricky part is managing the supplies and documents that must be transferred from place to place. How can we keep track of everything and avoid losing anything important in the shuffle? Keep your staples in place. First of all, ensure that both your home and work offices are always stocked with the basics. Keep a full supply of pens, paper, business cards, blank forms and any other “staples” in each location – and never remove them. This way you’ll never find yourself in a situation where you have multiple resources in one place and none on hand in the other. Moving parts are easier to track when there are just a few of them. Get a dedicated travel carrier. For the documents and supplies that must be transferred from one place to another, transport them in a single, dedicated folder, tote bag or other portable container. This way you’ll avoid losing your important items or getting them mixed

up among non-work-related stuff. Get yourself in the habit of taking your carrier with you each morning and evening, much like your kids do with their school backpacks. And designate a specific spot at home, at work and in the car where this carrier is always placed. Habits like these are the best insurance against loss and confusion. Lighten the load. How often have you dragged home a pile of work only to drag it right back to the office untouched? Be realistic about how much work you will actually do remotely before packing it up for transport. You’ll reduce the risk of clutter and loss and, more importantly, you’ll enjoy your time at home without the dread of that work leering at you from the corner. Reduce paper clutter and maximize your mobility using digital solutions. As an organizing coach, I spend most of my time driving from client to client. My digital calendar keeps all my appointments and contacts synched. Dropbox allows me to access up-to-

The final application that I will discuss is Snapchat. Snapchat is an app that allows the user to send photos and short video clips to their “snapchat friends.” The Snapchat user can then determine how many seconds they would like their photo to be viewable, ranging from one to 10 seconds, and is notified if anyone opened the photo or video or even if a screen shot was taken. In addition to sending “snaps” to other people, the user can also choose to add the image or video to their “story,” a public collection of their snapchat activity from the past 24 hours. Although originally used primarily by teenagers and young adults, Snapchat has recently been attempting to expand its relevancy. On the Snapchat story page, in addition to viewing the stories that their friends have posted, users can now also view snapchat stories from major companies and organizations. Recent examples include FIFA, MLB and ABC News. While Snapchat is not a common tool for businesses right now, I believe that it could be in the future. Perhaps eventually all businesses will be creating snapchat stories with ads or promotional materials and will be able to monitor success through view and screenshot statistics. 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

date versions of all my documents from any device, whether I’m at home or on the road. It’s a lot easier and more secure to drag an office-full of information around town when it’s digital and automatically synched, updated and backed up. Plus, you’ll always be prepared to address last-minute client requests or other business opportunities. Mark your calendar. Interested in getting organized among friends? Starting Sept. 1, Marin will offer a series of 8 workshop sessions Tuesdays 5:30 – 7 p.m. at Whole Foods Augusta. Topics will range from letting go of stuff to paper management and more. Drop in for $10 or register for all 8 at $65. 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 to schedule a free organizing assessment in your home or office, or to hire her as a speaker.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Interaction Pam Hanson

Bargaining Chip

Trading for goods has a long – and tasty – history Barter has been around since the dawn of man, but what is barter and what does it mean? Some think of barter as negotiation, as in bartering for a better deal or price. But what we’re talking about in this context is fair and equitable trade, based on the value of the goods or services. Bartering is trading goods and services with another person when there is no money involved. If as a child you ever swapped one of your toys with a friend in return for one of their toys, you have bartered. A barter system is an old method of exchange that has been used for centuries. Long before money was invented people traded goods and services for other goods and services in return. The history of bartering dates all the way back to 6000 B.C. Introduced by Mesopotamian tribes, bartering was adopted by Phoenicians. Phoenicians bartered goods to those located in various other cities across oceans. The

Babylonians also developed an improved bartering system. Goods were exchanged for food, tea, weapons, and spices. Bartering in days past has involved some interesting objects that today would not hold much value, like human skulls and salt (salt was so valuable that Roman soldiers’ salaries were paid with it). In the Middle Ages, Europeans traveled around the globe to barter crafts and furs in exchange for silks and perfumes. When money was invented, bartering did not end, it just become more organized. Today, bartering has made a comeback using techniques that are more sophisticated to aid in trading, like the Internet. Since the 1980s, when the internet entered onto the scene, barter has virtually exploded again, all over the United States and the world. Bartering for goods and services in your own neighborhood and also across the country became easy. Individuals trade, small- and medium-sized businesses trade and even huge multi-level international corporations trade. Let me give you one example of a very big trade that happened a long time ago, but made huge impact on both parties involved. In the late 1920s Ruth Wakefield and her husband, Kenneth, bought a tourist lodge called the Toll House Inn, near Boston, where she prepared recipes for meals that were served to guests. Ruth had graduated from Framingham State Normal School Department of House-

Business Opportunities Barry Paschal

Rainbow Connection Law change creates new clients for some businesses For some, wedding bells sound like a cash register The timing could not possibly have been better: The ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage was issued on the day of the festival starting Augusta Pride Week. That ramped up the celebrations, of course, but for businesses participating in the events as vendors, it also meant

26 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

huge opportunities for making money. Those waving rainbow-colored flags represented visions of green for businesses hoping to profit from the celebratory mood. All celebrations eventually fade, however, so for the long run the court’s decision has significant implications for those who sell products that previously weren’t available to everyone. Think about it: If you are in the wedding business, selling cakes or flowers or venues or photography, your services in many states weren’t available for everyone. You might be perfectly OK with providing flowers for a same-sex wedding, but because those ceremonies previously weren’t allowed in Georgia or South Carolina, your options for participation were limited. Now an entirely new market segment just opened. Set aside the moral, social or philosophical implications; that’s for others to argue about. From a business perspective, there’s work to be had. How much? The Pew Research Cen-

hold Arts. Yes, really. She was a dietitian. In 1930 she was making a batch of cookies for her guests when she discovered she was out of baker’s chocolate. She substituted broken pieces of a Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate bar. She expected the chocolate to melt and absorb into the dough so she could serve her guests chocolate cookies. It didn’t happen. But what did happen was what put Ruth Wakefield on the map as one of the most famous women inventors of the 20th century. She had just invented chocolate chip cookies. She called her new cookies Toll House Crunch Cookies. They became very popular locally and it wasn’t long before the Boston Globe published her recipe. Meanwhile, Nestle’s saw sales of its Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar jump dramatically.

Ruth and Nestle’s came together to barter, reaching an agreement that would allow Nestle’s to print the “Toll House Cookie” recipe on its packaging in exchange for supplying Ruth with all of the chocolate she could use for the rest of her life. Because of this trade, Toll House Cookies became the most popular cookie in America. Barter, or trade, is very alive and well today and growing rapidly. It’s just become more organized.

ter estimates that since same-sex marriages were legalized in 2004 in Massachusetts, there have been more than 71,000 such weddings in the United States. During that same period, there were more than 23 million traditional marriages in the U.S., according to the industry publication National Jeweler (they certainly ought to know). Part of the difference – other than the statistical fact that gays and lesbians are just a fraction of the overall population – is that the comparison is 50 states vs. the fewer than a dozen previously allowing same-sex marriage. With gay marriage now legal in all states, how much will that number rise? That’s where those who market their services for weddings can expect a boost, at least until the early wave of pent-up demand cycles through. One niche that without doubt has an opportunity for capitalizing on the change is non-traditional wedding venues. Let’s face it: Supreme Court ruling or not, most mainstream churches still aren’t going to allow

same-sex marriages, at least not anytime soon. That means gay couples will have fewer venues to choose from, and as a result non-church wedding venues have an opportunity to provide exemplary service to a previously unavailable market. That includes the Snelling Center, the hospitality venue operated as an experiential learning enterprise of Goodwill and Helms College. It includes all other similar non-church event facilities that now have an opportunity to cater (literally and figuratively) to an entirely untapped market. There’s also a flipside to this numerical boost in marriage: The National Center for Health Statistics also says there are about 1.1 million divorces annually. Attorneys, your turn is coming.

Pam Hanson is an owner of Local Trade Group, an organized barter group that brings its members new customers, helps them conserve cash by spending trade dollars, and liquidate excess, unused time and inventory. Members can trade locally and with thousands of members within the network for a wide range of products and services. Contact Pam at 706469-8357 or

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

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Businessperson of the Month Alex Chilton, Chilton Investigation Services

The Chilton Files

Private investigator Alex Chilton is passionate about finding the facts in his cases By Gary Kauffman Alex Chilton doesn’t wear a Sam Spade fedora or Thomas Magnum-style Hawaiian shirts or live in a trailer on the beach like Jim Rockford, but like those fictional characters, he does hold the title of private investigator. After more than a decade as a P.I., Chilton stepped away to run his own gun store, Savannah River Armory. Now, after two years of getting that store up and running, he is returning to the investigative work that he loves. “The Armory was taking on a life of its own and I had the right people in place to run it,” Chilton said. “I just felt it was time (to return to investigating). Call it an investigator’s intuition.” That Chilton made private investigation a way of life may not have been a big surprise to those who knew him as a child. “My aunt has a recording of me when I was like 5 years old saying I want to be like Dick Tracy, that I was going to be a private investigator,” Chilton said. But Chilton started his career in the public sector, serving as a law enforcement officer in a variety of capacities, including investigator. In August 1999, he decided to launch his own career. He passed the private investigator test on his first try and began networking for jobs. In the early days he investigated a lot of fraudulent insurance claims and allegations of infidelity. Many of those cases required surveillance and he became known for that. “That was my niche, gathering information surreptitiously,” Chilton said. But the hours involved were brutal. “At times when I was starting out I wouldn’t see my family for two or three days at a time,” he said. “After five years I figured I needed to do something else because of the hours. I had to redefine who I was as an investigator.” Chilton began pushing for cases that involved more fact gathering and interviews. That led him to work more for lawyers. “That required more interacting with people and understanding the human condition,” he said. He became extensively trained in interviews, statement analysis and investigating criminal deviant behavior. He had a staff of employees and enjoyed some golden years in the private investigator business. But a combination of a burn-out workload, the death of a key employee and another key staff person leaving for family reasons led Chilton to re-examine his career. He moved into a staff position as a legal investigator for attorney Vic Hawk for a year and a half, then decided to open his own business, Savannah River Armory. “Firearms have always been a passion in my life, so I thought, why not turn a hobby into a business,” he said. But during those two years he never quite left the private investigation business behind, still taking the occasional case. The gun store also brought him into contact with people with diverse backgrounds, which turned his thoughts back to private investigations.

28 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

Private investigator Alex Chilton in front of the Columbia County Courthouse. Photo by Gary Kauffman

“The Armory has given me the opportunity to meet some very talented people with backgrounds that are easily assembled into the investigative industry,” he said. These contacts have given Chilton access to other areas of the country and the world, allowing him to branch out from a regional investigative service to a multi-national service. “I’m still able to offer the same services, I just have a deeper reach,” he said. Chilton is also investing in the latest technology and broadening the scope of his services to include adoption fraud, which is a growing concern for legitimate adoption agencies and anxious parents. What are you passionate about in your business? Knowing the facts, because the facts truly have no agenda. The facts typically are irrefutable. That’s one of the reasons I’m passionate about being a fact investigator. I think that’s what’s made me successful in the long term. Is your business anything like what we see on TV? We don’t kick in doors and we don’t intimidate people. We don’t bug people’s homes and we don’t get into gun

fights and car chases. Do we get into dangerous situations? Yes, we do. Some private investigators carry guns and some don’t. We do have people in the industry who are like Magnum P.I., some who are more gregarious and outspoken. I’ve always liked being in the background. I feel I work best that way, and I’ve impressed that on my employees. How do you unwind? I don’t know that I ever unwind. In the past I’ve been fortunate to have enough work to keep me occupied. Even when I’m on vacation it’s ended up being a working vacation. But my wife, God bless her, forces me to unplug. Every two or three years we go someplace without electricity, usually where you can only get to it by boat. I have six kids and three grandchildren, so as I’m getting older I’m beginning to understand the necessity of unplugging. But I’m not saying that I do it very well. Who has been your biggest influence? As far as my work ethic, both my mother and my father. Both were driven people. Professionally, probably the

biggest influence has been the lawyers I work with. If your life had a theme song, what would it be? Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne. That’s my life story. What gives you the most satisfaction in your business? The exoneration of an accused person is the best reward. I’ve had several cases where accusations were made, a trial was held and the clients were found not guilty. That’s probably the most satisfying thing in this business. It’s the vindication of knowing that what you’ve worked for, a group of 12 people can see that the facts bear the truth. There’s no courtroom blustering. You just get up and state your case. It’s satisfying knowing that the information you put together had a part in that. What does the future hold for you? This is where I finish. Private investigations is something I’ve returned to to finish. For more information about Chilton Investigation Services, see their website at can contact Alex Chilton at or call him at 706-589-8788.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Health and Fitness Katie Silarek

Well at Work

Various ways to encourage fitness among your employees As a small business owner you may find it challenging to create a Wellness Program but yet you want to offer something to your employees to motivate them to live a healthy lifestyle. 7 Ways to Promote Wellness in the Workplace 1. Encourage exercise. Turn your office into an active campus. Implement and promote a lunch hour walking club and offer incentives for employees who participate. Encourage the entire office to use the stairs. And offer discounts or partially subsidize memberships to a local gym or exercise club. 2. Emphasize education. Get with local health club owners. Have nutrition specialists and fitness trainers come out for a Q & A session with employees. Brown bag luncheons or break-time seminars are prime opportunities for helping employees learn more about healthy habits. Recruit speakers

Faith at Work Steve Swanson

Let There Be Light You’ll be known at work by your words and actions

It was late. I was heading home after a long day at work. The signal turned red. I was stopped behind a small green pickup truck with a bumper sticker that said “Lord, save me from your followers.” To this day I wish I could ask the driver what he intended to communicate with those words! I’ve heard street preachers over the years shouting

30 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

to lead sessions on cooking healthy meals, staying healthy while travelling or quick stress management skills. If you have the space, consider bringing in yoga, tai chi, or aerobics instructors for lunchtime classes. Keep sessions entertaining but informative, and offer incentives for employees who attend. 3. Bring the doctor in. One of the most innovative trends in workplace wellness has been that of the business’ doctor’s office. On-site health clinics give employees the opportunity to schedule office visits for routine care without taking time off work. And they seem to be successful. 4. Invest in incentives. Employee incentive programs offer rewards – financial or otherwise – for employees who engage in healthy behavior. A growing trend is to cover an additional percentage of the cost of health insurance premiums for employees who pass certain biometric markers, such as having a healthy body mass index, blood pressure, or blood sugar reading. 5. Hone hunger options. Everyone knows when you’re hard at work it can be easy – or necessary – to quickly grab a bite from what’s at hand. Offer your employees healthy meal and snack options that help fuel their performance while also meeting their nutritional needs. Consider replacing sodas with water/sparkling water, and stocking snack machines with nuts, dried fruit and other

healthy options. If you can take it a step further, stock lunchrooms with fresh fruit baskets once a week, and be sure the office cafeteria has plenty of healthy meal options. If lunch is going to be provided for a work meeting be sure to have alternative healthy options. 6. Be mindful of mental health. Unmanaged stress has been linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, and sleep trouble. At the workplace, it can lead to inefficiency, job dissatisfaction and absence from work for related health conditions. Consider offering an employee assistance program for employees who have financial troubles, excess stress or depression symptoms. And encourage employees to take simple steps to reduce stress, like taking several breaks a day to go for a walk, chat with a co-worker or just get outside for a breath of fresh air.

7. Recommend behavioral resources. For some employees, a few workbased activities may not be enough to make lasting change. In these cases, coaching and disease management programs may be the way to go. These programs pair employees with online, phone-based, or face-to-face health professionals who can guide them through the steps of behavior change. Consider offering tobacco cessation, weight loss, or stress management programs to help empower your employees make lasting, noticeable change.

words of fire and condemnation to those walking by them. That does not seem to me to be an effective means of encouraging people, or in any way drawing them to faith in Christ. Jesus called his followers “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). He clearly said that our light must not be hidden. Many folks (myself included) understand our actions speak loudly. I love the quote, “Your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” So, how does this all translate to our places of work? We are to live our lives in such a way that those around us can see the difference Jesus makes. It’s amazing how practical this can be! We have the opportunity on a daily basis to speak kindly and serve others. Practically, this might mean cleaning up after we finish in the break room! How about replacing the empty toilet paper roll in the restroom too? Here are some other ideas: Look for reasons to speak encouraging words in every conversation. Be the bright light in someone’s day. Volunteer to serve on a committee. Offer to make the coffee run for your staff. Celebrate the success

of others- birthdays, work anniversaries and promotions. Offer the delivery person water when they drop off your packages. Learn the names of those you work with. People love knowing they are important enough for you to remember them by name. Here are two other words that apply: Be available! As you begin your day, ask the Lord what he wants you to accomplish. Often He will bring a specific coworker to mind. Pray for that person. Write them a note of encouragement. Tell them you’re praying for them! It’s just not enough to be a model employee. At some point you need to tell others about the God you know and serve. Often we anticipate rejection so we never “get around” to inviting coworkers to church, or a concert or special event, even though we’re sure they would benefit from it. I am not suggesting that you try and turn every conversation in to a spiritual one. I do, however, believe that God brings us frequent opportunities to speak up and contribute in positive ways. We can make a big difference with others just by making them a priority.

It’s easy to settle into our cubicles or offices and fly through our days without ever really interacting with people who are working just a few feet away from us. Being an excellent employee always makes a solid impression. It also earns you a platform to talk about what motivates you. In the same way, being mediocre at your work and lacking in productivity destroys opportunities to impact others in a positive way. It’s not natural for many of us to feel confident we have the right words to say when we need them. The early followers of Jesus felt the same way. Here are words that will encourage you: “For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” (Luke 12:12) Live consistently. Work hard. Speak up when given the opportunity. Be Light!

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.

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.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Upcoming Business Events

Tuesday, July 21

Business Before Hours, presented by Costco Wholesale, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (1000 Business Blvd, Evans) 8 a.m.-9:15 a.m. Free for members, $20 for first time visitors. Are you ready for the shift in liability for Fraudulent Credit Cards? Come and hear our keynote speaker, Robert de Leon, and learn about the changes coming to the use of credit cards within businesses beginning October 1, 2015. Beginning October 2015, 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. Columbiacountychamber. com

Saturday, July 25 Job Fair, hosted by Carey Hill Baptist Church at the Carey Hill Resource and Conference Center, 1591 Edgefield Road, North Augusta. The Job Fair is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be several workshops available for job seekers to attend during the fair, including how to write a resume and how to interview. Some of the companies participating in the Job Fair are: • Advance Auto Parts • SCANA (Spherion Staffing Services) • Sunshine House • SC Dept. of Corrections • McDonald’s/Crawford Industries • SRNS • Duraclean Systems • Aiken Regional Hospital Local employers are encouraged to participate in the job fair. For more information, contact Job Fair Coordinator Sharon Wells, 706-231-6365 or sdwoct8@ 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.

32 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

Tuesday, July 28 Networking for Leads, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (1000 Business Blvd, Evans) 3 p.m.- 4 p.m. “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 net-weaving experience where leads and business connections are made. The program can be followed up with a lunch connection for those who want to extent the connections made. Only 1 representative from a company can attend a session of Networking for Leads. Classes fill up quickly. If the class is full, contact the Chamber to be placed on a waiting list.

Wednesday, July 29 Small Business Workshop, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (1000 Business Blvd, Evans) 9 a.m.-noon. Grow Your Business with Email & Social Media. Simple marketing strategy for small business & nonprofits. Many small businesses and organizations find themselves seeking the right strategies, tools and tactics to make their marketing efforts as effective as possible. But between Facebook and Twitter, email and mobile deals, and whatever new social network is rolling out that month— there’s a lot to keep up with. And there are only so many hours in each day. The number of possibilities can feel overwhelming. This session will help make sense of the noise. Today we’re going to show you how to make the most of the combination of email and social media for your business. When the session is done you’ll have a greater understanding of marketing basics like goals and objectives. You’ll learn what a “campaign” is and what to write about and offer in that campaign. You’ll be

given some simple but powerful tips for how to get your messages opened and read, shared and socially visible. And you’ll see that there are some great tools you can use to help engage with your existing customers and supporters as well as expand your reach to new prospects. Throughout the session you’ll be given opportunities to capture your own ideas and build out the framework of your own “next great campaign.” So join us and start to build a plan that will help you grow your business by eliciting the responses you want from your customers or supporters. Attendees of this presentation will learn: how to set marketing goals,the different types of marketing campaigns,how to create mobile-friendly content, subject line best practices and when to send your campaigns, the importance of understanding of the connectivity between email and social media. We will also present a live, guided demonstration on the tools and features inside Constant Contact’s Email Plus system. In this time-efficient, highly practical session, you will learn the basics so you can get started with your own marketing. Join us and learn some great new strategies to help your email and social media efforts be more effective components of one of the core campaign types, newsletters and announcements.

Monday, August 10 Chamber After Hours, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. The Alzheimer’s Association (106 SRP Drive, Evans) 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Must be a Columbia County Chamber of Commerce member to attend. 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.

Tuesday, August 18 The GreenJackets, in conjunction with the Columbia County Chamber

of Commerce will host the 2nd Annual Columbia County Night 6-10 p.m. at Lake Olmstead Stadium. The GreenJackets have created a package that at a very minimal investment allows up to 15 businesses to reward clients, employees and the community at large with general admission tickets to a GreenJackets game! Set yourself apart in the community by tying in with this fun night!

Wednesday, August 19

Business Academy - Starting a Not for Profit Company presented by The North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Southern Wesleyan University, and your local Greater Aiken SCORE chapter. Southern Wesleyan University, Business Technology Center – Classroom #10 (802 East Martintown Road, Suite 101, North Augusta). 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Please join us for a free workshop to learn more about starting a non-profit company. Presenter: E.Ronald Garnett. Owner, Small Business Financial Solutions, Augusta, His firm works with clients to form non-profit corporations, and for-profit enterprises to write comprehensive business plans, determine capital needs and identify resources. Topics: Getting 501(c)3 tax exempt status from the IRS. What information is needed in the application for tax exempt status. Getting an EIN for a nonprofit. Non-profit by-laws. How much does it cost and how long does it take.

Thursday, August 20 Fort Gordon – CSRA Community Expo 2015, The Gordon Club at Fort Gordon (19th St # 18402, Fort Gordon) 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Free Event, open to all. “School. Business. Play. Make all the right connections!” Door prizes to be given away all day. Free Papa John’s pizza and Coca-Cola beverages. For more information, visit

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

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


State of the Community address planned

Columbia County Chamber talks traffic, jobs, receives award By Tammy Shepherd President/CEO, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce One of my favorite events each year is the State of the Community. It’s a more casual event that brings local elected officials together to update the community on what’s going on and what they anticipate for the future. We have a barbecue dinner from Shane’s at the Liberty Park Gym in Grovetown. We even get Grovetown High involved – the culinary students provide delicious desserts. This year’s State of the Community will be Sept. 22 from 5 to 8 p.m. In addition to the Chairman of the County Commission, the mayors of Grovetown and Harlem, the Chairwoman of the Board of Education and the Fort Gordon Garrison Commander, we’ve invited the Chairman of the State Transportation Board Don Grantham from Augusta. Traffic is certainly an issue across the region, so his insights will be a welcome addition to the panel. For more information about the State of the Community, visit our website at www. *** Developing a strong workforce for our region is a major initiative for the Chamber. I serve on the Board of Directors for the SRS Community Reuse Organization, which develops and implements comprehensive strategies to diversify the economy of a fivecounty region (Columbia, Richmond, Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties). SRSCRO recently released information from a detailed labor study we commissioned to help develop a regional workforce strategy. The study included the five CRO counties plus Lexington, Edgefield, McDuffie and Burke counties. The study concentrated on the region’s

Tammy Shepherd receives the Chamber of Valor award at the Fort Gordon Transition Summit.

key economic drivers: nuclear, manufacturing, cybersecurity/IT and healthcare. The findings include: The region is expected to average about 7,500 job openings each year between 2014 and 2019. 18 percent will be high-skilled and 33 percent will be middle-skilled. The post-secondary schools in the region produce about 7,000 graduates a year and most students in the region aren’t choosing programs for high-demand jobs. The K-12 schools have career programs and vocational training, but because there’s no regional inventory of the various programs, it’s difficult to determine how well the programs meet the actual industry needs. Employers rate the workforce as good or excellent, but entry-level, computer and math skills need improvement. Some employers say finding competent, reliable workers with basic skills is difficult. 25 percent of the workers in key occupations are 55 or older.

Chapter of 100+ Women Who Care formed in CSRA to aid nonprofits

A CSRA chapter of the non-profit organization 100+ Women Who Care was founded last month by a local female business owner. Kim Kitts, owner of Balanced Body Spa, heard about the organization, and she decided to start a chapter in the CSRA to raise money for area nonprofits. “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 a local charity into a drawing. At the quarterly meeting, three charities will be drawn and the member who entered the charity into the drawing will be able to speak for a few minutes about the organization.

34 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

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. The group meets quarterly and invites any woman who would like to be part of the organization to attend the event. Registration can be made online in advance, and the charity nominations should be made online in advance. There is no membership fee to be a part of the group, but members must commit to writing a check for $100 every quarter to the chosen charity. For more information on 100+ Women Who Care CSRA, visit 100WomenCSRA. com or find them on Facebook at

Recruiting talent from other areas can be difficult. Education and training providers say they need better information about employers’ needs. From these findings, a plan was formulated to address the needs. Key to the plan is the understanding that this is a regional issue that will take a collaborative effort to address. Information must be shared, a common vision for “a more demand-driven workforce system that supports the recruitment, retention and development of talent.” Meeting these challenges will take many partners working together to accomplish many goals. I’m proud to say that the Columbia County Chamber has been a leader in working to meet many of these challenges. Through our Teachers in Business program we’ve matched career teachers with businesses in areas related to what they teach. The businesses shared their needs from the workforce. With Students in Business, we take groups of students to businesses in areas they’ve studied to see first-hand the opportunities available and the needs these businesses have. The Chamber is a member of the Alliance for Cybersecurity Education (ACE), which is helping to develop cyber programs in the public schools, Georgia Regents University and Augusta Technical Institute that work together to train workers. These programs are a bridge between industry and educational institutions, bringing them together for a common goal. *** Another strategy of improving our workforce is partnering with the U.S. Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program. I’m also proud to share that the Columbia County Chamber was recognized as

a Three-Star Chamber of Valor by Hiring Our Heroes. The award was presented to the Chamber on June 24 during a ceremony during the Hiring Our Heroes Transition Summit at Fort Gordon. This is the highest recognition given by the program. It acknowledges the commitment of the Chamber to be engaged with military affairs, advocacy, community support and job transitions. Check out the Chamber’s website for local job postings and veteran job connection sites. *** Upcoming Chamber events Chamber Before Hours July 21 8-9:15 a.m. Chamber Office 1000 Business Blvd., Evans Networking for Leads July 28 3-4 p.m. Chamber office This is a structured program designed to cultivate meaningful business relationships. Chamber After Hours August 10 5-7 p.m. Alzheimer’s Association 106 SRP Drive, Evans Executive Luncheon Series Sept. 3 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Savannah Rapids Pavilion For more information on any of these programs or to register, visit the Chamber’s website at www.columbiacountychamber. com.

Area had job growth in past five years In April, the Hull College of Business Augusta Leading Economic Index (LEI) returned to positive growth after last month’s blip. The LEI increased 0.8 percent from March. The index has increased 6.1 percent from April 2014.     Simon Medcalfe, associate professor of finance at the Hull College of Business at Georgia Regents University, has been calculating the Augusta LEI for five years.

“In that time Augusta has seen some tremendous growth,” he said. “Total employment has grown by 8 percent, with three major sectors contributing to that growth (leisure and hospitality, transportation and utilities, and health and education services). Retail and business and professional services have also seen decent growth.” The following chart shows areas of growth in the past five years.

CSRA Job Growth Since 2010 Category April 2010 April 2015 Growth LEI 109.8 137.0 24.8% Employment 214,700 231,900 8.0% Leisure/hospitality employment 21,400 25,700 20.0% Transportation/utilities employment 6,200 7,300 17.7% Health/education employment 29,200 32,600 11.6% Retail employment 24,700 26,700 8.0% Business/professional services 30,700 33,000 7.5% Unemployment rate 9.0% 6.1% -32.2% Average weekly earnings $694.20 853.10 22.9%

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


10 local companies rewarded for keeping employees fit Ten CSRA companies have been recognized as a Fit-Friendly Worksites by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more. “All of these companies should be applauded for their efforts,” said Tony Wagner, Chief Financial Officer and 2016 CSRA Heart Walk Chair. “They have implemented changes in their corporate environment which are critical to our community’s overall health. At GRU/GRHealth, we have seen great changes and healthier employees, which is a win-win for the company and the employees.”  Fit-Friendly Companies reach Gold level status by implementing various activities and programs to encourage physical activity, nutrition and culture enhancements such as on-site walking routes, healthy food choices in cafeterias and vending machines, annual employee health risk assessments and online tracking tools. The following eight CSRA companies have been designated Gold-Level FitFriendly companies: ADP, Aiken Electric Cooperative, Aiken Regional Medical Centers, CB&I AREVA MOX Services, Centerra-SRS, Georgia Power, GRU/GRHealth and Textron Specialized Vehicles. Companies which achieve Platinum recognition — the highest tier — take the program a step further by measuring the outcomes of their wellness efforts. Savannah River Remediation and Savannah River Nuclear Solutions  have been designated Platinum Level Fit-Friendly companies. The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American

workforce by helping worksites make their employees’ health and well-being a priority. American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.  “The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers easy-to-implement ways for organizations to help employees eat better and move more, which will help improve their health – and their employer’s bottom line,” said Andi Van Airsdale, Senior Development Director for the American Heart Association. “Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.” For more information about the FitFriendly Worksites program and how it’s helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on the workplace, call 803-3419592 or visit

Doctors Hospital designated Level III Trauma Center

Doctors Hospital has been officially designated a Level III Trauma Center by the Georgia Department of Community Health, giving emergency responders access to a high-level of care for severely injured patients.   “We have been providing lifesaving trauma services to Columbia County and Augusta residents for nearly 20 years, and this now gives us formal designation as a Level III trauma center,” said Doctors Hospital’s President and CEO Doug Welch.  Home to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, the largest burn center in the country, Doctors Hospital was already part of the state’s

trauma network. “We are known, across the region, for the trauma care we provide to burn patients,” Welch said. “People expect a high level of care from us and the Level III designation expands the services we can offer.” Trauma designation is a rigorous, but voluntary process. Verified Level III trauma centers must meet, at a minimum, more than 230 different essential criteria established by the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons. All trauma designations require consultation and verification visits, education requirements, and a certification procedure.

Sports drinks, energy bars getting healthier PRNewswire – Helping to drive a robust functional foods market in 2015 is a nation still struggling to shed extra pounds and keep them off. Many consumers recognize the importance of engaging in regular physical activity to promote overall good health, and adults of all ages seek foods and beverages to help them maintain enough energy to support fast paced lives that less and less frequently involve food preparation and healthful, sit-down meals with family or friends. Among the most popular functional foods are sports drinks and nutrition bars. According to market research publisher Packaged Facts, 36 percent of all U.S. adults consume sports drinks. Meanwhile, dollar sales in the nutrition bar segment grew an impressive 8 percent last year to reach  $2 billion. Despite the popularity of both segments, several factors – including a shift away from sugary sports drinks to more natural formulations, as well as increased consumer demand for nutrition bars featuring savory rather than sweet ingredients – are ushering in a new era of sports nutrition.

36 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

These findings were published in the recent Packaged Facts report, Functional Foods: Key Trends by Product Categories and Benefits. Consumers have a growing interest for more natural food and beverage products, including those made without pesticides, artificial colors, flavors and other additives. That extends to sports drinks and points to a gap in the market that several small start-ups and, increasingly, not-so-small acquirers and new entrants, are actively attempting to fill.  Packaged Facts anticipates that this activity will continue as long as there is market share up for grabs, which reformulation and repo-

sitioning by current market leaders, to both address and avoid growing criticism, suggests. Many of these new products highlight the use of natural and organic ingredients, including greater use of natural sweeteners, both caloric, such as cane sugar and agave, and zero-calorie, stevia, monk fruit and erythritol.  Focus on added sugars is also resulting in more use of other zero-calorie sweeteners to help keep caloric content down, notably sucralose and acesulfame potassium. Vegan, Fair Trade and sustainability are just beginning to emerge as benefits associated with sports drinks. Packaged Facts expects focus on sugar to dominate in the year ahead with continued attention to these other important differentiators as this dynamic market evolves. Meanwhile, the future of energy and recovery foods designed for athletes and others who are physically active appears destined to be dominated by savory flavors and ingredients, including meat. Many athletes have long requested energy products that are less sweet than standard nutrition bars and drinks. Now that nation-

al attention has turned to reducing added sugar in the diet, a new wave of savory products, including bars, gels and meat jerky, are being introduced. Driven primarily by small entrepreneurs and regional companies, the United States is currently experiencing a major wave of new nutrition bar and related product introductions based on savory flavors and ingredients. Sweet potatoes, seeds, meat and fruits are frequently used ingredients.  Most notable is the creation of these products with natural and organic, nonGMO, gluten-free whole foods including grass-fed, humanely treated animals while addressing sustainability concerns along with taste, performance and nutrition, notes Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle. Nutrition bars in flavors such as Roasted Jalapeno, Honey Smoked BBQ and Pizza Marinara are becoming increasingly commonplace as are those based on meat and other non-sweet proteins that rival jerky, in the footprint of a bar. More professional athletes can be found backing meat snack brands.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Lunch Review Edgar’s Grille Susan O’Keefe

Goodwill Hunting

Edgar’s Grille offers win-win for Goodwill, hungry patrons It’s a win-win situation for patrons and the proprietors of Edgar’s Grille. Since its founding in 1902, Goodwill Industries has made great strides to hire, train and teach career skills in real life settings. Here in Augusta, that’s the scene at Edgar’s Grille, which flourishes in its unique partnership with Goodwill and bears the name of the organization’s founder, Edgar Helms. A portion of every dollar spent at Edgar’s Grille is used to support education programs such as culinary studies at Helms College. Students at Helms receive on the job training at the restaurant. On a hot summer day, my friends and I were warmly greeted at Edgar’s Grille. After being immediately seated, Clark introduced himself as our server. His informative yet brief delivery explaining the uniqueness of the restaurant was refreshing. After perusing a perfect variety of lunch items ranging from soups and salads to sandwiches and pizzas as well as surf and turf, my friends and I decided on three differ-

ent selections. Our goal was to sample as much as possible in an attempt to get a true taste for Edgar’s. While waiting for our food to be served, I noticed a couple of businessmen enter the restaurant. Both were carrying laptops and looked ready to get down to business. One asked a server if he might charge his battery. The server graciously assisted in finding an outlet. A large party of 14 was laughing and enjoying themselves. A couple of other tables were seated in parties of two. Other than that, patrons were noticeably sparse. As I chatted with my colleagues, we strained a bit to hear one another. Perhaps it’s my hearing or perhaps the music could be lowered in order to provide a more conducive environment for conversation. This could be particularly key for business banter. Within minutes, Clark delivered our order without error. From presentation to palate, the food was delectable. Comments from my colleagues were all positive. The massive juicy Edgar’s Burger,

Aiken restaurant changes name, looks An Aiken restaurant recently received a facelift and a new name. Up Your Alley Chop House re-opened on July 7 under the name Trio Bar & Kitchen. The restaurant offers many of the same items but with reduced prices to give it a more casual feel. New lighting and paint will give the interior a new look. The new décor will include

38 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

22 solid oak tables. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Saturday. Up Your Alley opened in September 2013 under the ownership of Dr. Phillip Jordan and Jeff Jordan. Bryan Mitchell has been added as a partner for the new venture. The restaurant is located at 222 The Alley, off of Laurens Street.

topped with pimiento cheese, was delicious although the thick bun made it a little difficult to fit into one’s mouth! The side serving of zesty slaw had a mouth-watering tanginess. Another colleague dined on the surf and turf special which was a small sirloin and a couple of grilled shrimp. She usually enjoys steak sauce for dipping, but the taste of this steak was perfectly succulent and sauce wasn’t needed. My she-crab soup tasted smooth and creamy. The garden fresh spring mix was topped with an ideal blend of port poached pears, sliced pecans, red onion and gorgonzola cheese. There was nary a crumb left on our plates.

Edgar’s Grille bills itself as “new American cuisine with a southern flair.” It certainly lived up to its billing. Although the crowd seemed scant on the day we dined there, it is worth adding to your list of places to host a business lunch. If your party needs extra space or privacy, consider the conference facilities next door in the Snelling Center. Edgar’s Grille is located at 3165 Washington Road in Augusta. It is part of the Vaughn Square Shopping Center. As a newcomer to Augusta, Edgar’s Grille made a fabulous first impression.

Chick-fil-A opens in South Augusta

Augusta’s newest stand-alone Chick-filA restaurant opened July 2, bringing new jobs to the South Augusta area. The new restaurant is located at 3130 Peach Orchard Road and is locally owned and operated by veteran Chick-fil-A Operator John Hughes. The opening of the Peach Orchard

Chick-fil-A restaurant will create 80 new jobs. Featuring the chain’s newest interior and kitchen design, the new location can seat 100 in the dining room with additional outside patio seating for 24. The restaurant includes dual drive-thru ordering lanes.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Georgia tops nation in new clean energy jobs Georgia topped the nation in clean energy and transportation jobs, according to a new report from the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). The report shows that more than 9,800 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced across the country the first three months of 2015. This is almost double the number E2 tracked the corresponding quarter a year ago. The top three states for the quarter were Georgia (2,870 jobs), California (1,885) and Texas (1,612). New Mexico, Michigan, Colorado, Virginia, Utah, Maryland and Indiana rounded out the top 10. “Nearly 10,000 new job announcements in one quarter shows just how fast clean energy is growing in America,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of E2.  “But building an economy increasingly fueled by clean, renewable energy like wind and solar doesn’t happen in just one quarter. Smart policies like the federal Clean Power Plan – which will reduce carbon pollution from existing power plants and increase clean energy – will help keep the job growth going.” Final Clean Power Plan standards will be announced later this summer. States will have one year to develop plans that take into

account their own unique energy mix. The Clean Power Plan will create more jobs nationwide by sending a strong, clear signal to the private sector, resulting in more investments in projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency, the report concluded. Nationally, solar was the top sector in the first quarter, with more than 6,600 jobs announced from nearly 20 projects in solar generation and solar manufacturing. The report attributed declining materials costs as a primary reason for the solar industry’s strong showing. In the wind energy sector, more than 1,400 jobs stemming from 11 projects were announced, while the biomass, energy storage, advanced vehicle and lighting efficiency sectors announced hundreds of jobs each. Georgia’s No. 1 ranking was its first since E2 began its clean energy job-tracking analysis in 2011. The vast majority of its jobs came in the solar sector. “I have always stated that expanding solar creates jobs,” said Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and founder of the Green Tea Coalition, which advocates for more solar energy and increased competition in several states. “I am very proud to see that Georgia is leading the way on solar job

Georgia Power launches solar service Georgia Power has launched a new solar sales and installation service for customers under the name Georgia Power Energy Services. Thanks to constructive regulation and a competitive marketplace, Georgia is leading the nation as one of the fastest growing solar states. “Georgia has one of the fastest growing and most competitive solar markets in the country,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of renewable development for Georgia Power. “Our new solar offering further delivers on our commitment to provide the energy choices our customers want and the world class service they expect.” Georgia Power’s process makes it easy for customers to determine if solar is right for them. The first step for residential cus-

tomers considering solar is to use the interactive tool at Solar. A Georgia Power Solar Energy Expert will then contact them to discuss potential solar installations and estimated energy savings. Customers who choose to move forward with installing solar can use an installer of their choice, including the option of Georgia Power’s unregulated Energy Services Team, which will manage the solar installation and work directly with the customer. If the customer decides not to move forward with installing solar, then Georgia Power can provide information about other customized energy solutions. To learn more about going solar with Georgia Power, visit Solar or call 866-446-7513.

creation thanks to the leadership of our conservative elected officials. The sun is shining brightly in Georgia, and it is creating jobs.” The report includes three case studies: a solar company that’s using the “community solar” model to create jobs in Maryland;

an energy efficiency company in Michigan that’s saving businesses like convenience stores and supermarkets money on electric bills; and a Virginia distillery that relies on a rooftop solar array to generate about 85 percent of its electricity.

TAG to honor companies who show best use of technology The Technology Association of Georgia, in collaboration with the Business and Technology Alliance of TAG, are now accepting applications and nominations for the 2015 Excalibur Awards. These annual awards recognize Georgia companies and organizations that demonstrate the best use of technology, typically provided by a third-party, to solve complex issues and processes in business and education. Tech-enabled companies that develop their own non-commercial technology solutions to enhance their organization are also encouraged to apply. Applications will be accepted until Sept. 11, after which semi-finalists will be se-

lected by the Excalibur Judging Committee. Companies selected as semi-finalists will then be required to meet with the judges for interviewing process. The winning companies will be recognized in one of five categories: • Small Companies • Mid-sized Companies • Large Companies • Educational Organizations • Most Creative Solution To apply visit forms/w19encte02b844u/ If you would like to nominate a company, visit

Homebuyers unprepared for cost of owning a home Homebuyers are unprepared for projects and expenses that come with homeownership, according to a recent survey and data from HomeAdvisor. Within the first year of owning a home, 57 percent of homeowners encountered unexpected home projects, 46 percent spent more money and 51 percent spent more time on the projects than originally anticipated. HomeAdvisor’s data reveals that homebuyers focus on home improvements that increase curb appeal in the first year of homeownership. In fact, homebuyers are almost two times as likely to hire a professional to install a sprinkler system and

40 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

landscaping compared to current homeowners. Other frequently completed outdoor projects include installing a wood fence, building a deck and hiring a lawn care professional. Homeowners spend an average of $12,850 on outdoor projects, according to HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide.  “Homebuyers prioritize projects that increase curb appeal; however, they are often taken by surprise by unexpected costs and expenses,”  Marianne Cusato, special housing advisor to HomeAdvisor, said. “The survey data revealed that more than three quarters of homeowners encountered a

home emergency in the first 12 months of homeownership.” The most frequent emergency projects reported by homebuyers include blocked

toilets and pipes, a clogged drain, a broken heating or cooling system and water leaks. These unexpected projects can cost homeowners anywhere from $199 to fix a clogged drain to $2,068 to repair water damage. “My recommendation for homeowners is to take a few simple precautions before moving into their home,” Cusato said. “Complete a sewer inspection, check that the insurance policy covers water damage, and set money aside for home emergency projects. Homeowners should plan on spending 1 percent of their home’s purchase price on repairs and emergencies each year.”  

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Study: Buyers want changes in car sales Changes wanted in test drives, online negotiations, expanded service contracts Autotrader’s Car Buyer of the Future study, which was released today, shows that only 17 out of 4002 people prefer the current car buying process, and the rest want significant changes, particularly in the test drive, deal structuring, financing paperwork and service phases. As a leader in the automotive retail space, Autotrader is sharing the findings of the study to aid in the industry’s understanding of consumer behavior and help dealers and manufacturers prepare to meet the needs of tomorrow’s car buyers. “While there is good work going on right now to adapt decades-old sales processes, consumers are telling us that we as an industry are not moving fast enough,” said Jared Rowe, president of Autotrader. “By recognizing—and embracing—the need for change, we have a tremendous opportunity to surprise and delight our consumers.” A multiphase study that included a quantitative survey among 4002 car shoppers and buyers, the Car Buyer of the Future study identifies which changes consumers desire, the underlying reasons behind those changes and the benefit to dealers and manufacturers adapting to tomorrow’s car buyers. In addition to identifying the changes that consumers do want, the study also dispels some commonly held beliefs about the future of car buying. Dispelling Myths about the Future Some commonly held beliefs about the future of car buying are that sales people will be less important in the future; consumers don’t want to negotiate; and that lowest price will always win. In fact, the study shows the opposite. Myth #1: Sales people will be less important in the future. In fact, the dealership and its sales people will continue to play a very important role in the car buying process. Eighty-four percent of consumers in the study indicate that they want to buy a car in person. Further, 43 percent see the dealership as a place to learn. At the deal-

42 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

ership, consumers want to validate information they found online and learn about the following: specials, offers, warranty and service.   Myth #2: Consumers don’t want to negotiate. Over half, 56 percent, of consumers prefer to negotiate, according to the study, and two of the most influential groups in car buying—Millennials and females—also prefer negotiating over flat rate pricing.  This is a result of the fact that consumers do not yet trust flat rate pricing, and they feel that they have to negotiate to get a fair price.  Myth #3: Lowest price will always win.  While price is important to consumers, the dealership experience can trump lowest price: 54 percent say that they would buy from a dealership that offered their preferred experience over lowest price. Additionally, 73 percent report that they are willing to drive farther for a great salesperson, versus 65 percent who are willing to drive to get the lowest price.  The Biggest Changes Need to Come in Four Main Areas: Test Drives: While 88 percent of consumers say they will not buy a car without test driving it first, the majority report that they do not prefer the way test drives are currently conducted (an accompanied test drive with a sales person). Instead, they want more convenience and less pressure while test driving, such as having the ability to test drive multiple vehicles across brands in a single place and taking a test drive with a product specialist instead of a sales person.  Deal Structuring: Negotiating will be a part of the car buying process for the foreseeable future, and consumers indicate that they would like to see a big change in the way they go about negotiating the deal structure. Of those who liked the idea of online deal building, over half, 56 percent, want the ability to start the negotiation on their own terms—preferably online—and 45 percent would like to remain anonymous

until they lock in the deal structure. Financing Paperwork: Nearly three fourths of consumers, 72 percent, want to complete the credit application and financing paperwork online. The key factors driving this desire are to save time at the dealership (reported by 72 percent of those who favor online paperwork) and to have less pressure while filling out paperwork (reported by 71 percent of those who favor online paperwork). A separate study conducted by Cox Automotive in 2014, showed that the time buyers spend in the F&I office averages at 61 minutes, more than two thirds the total amount of time they want to spend at the dealership (90 minutes). Moving paperwork online and enabling consumers to complete it on their own time would greatly enhance the in-dealership experience and cut down on the time they spend in the dealership on the day of purchase.  Service:  When it comes to servicing their vehicles, 83 percent of consumers indicate that they would like to have the ability to access a network of local service centers that honor service agreements. The key factor driving this desire is convenience. Of those who prefer local service networks, 76 percent want to go to a service center close by,

and 63 percent want to be able to service the vehicle anywhere. The Benefits for Dealers and Manufacturers who Adapt are Clear Dealers and manufacturers who focus on creating—and ultimately deliver—a better shopping and buying experience can reap significant benefits, according to the study: Nearly three fourths (72 percent) of consumers say they would visit dealerships more often if the buying process were improved.  Two thirds (66 percent) of consumers say that they would be much more likely to buy from a dealership that offers their preferred experience.  Over half (53 percent) of consumers would buy a vehicle more often if the buying process were improved.  “The sales environment is expected to remain strong across new, used and CPO cars over the next few years, and it is exciting to see that we have several ways to enhance the consumer experience for the benefit of all involved—buyers, manufacturers and retailers. At Autotrader, we will continue doing our part and working closely with our customers and partners to usher in that new reality,” Rowe continued.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


44 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Career and Education Missie Usry

Future World

Choosing right major, getting involved key to college success Often, students preparing for college are unsure of what the future holds or which career field is best. In such a whirlwind, high school seniors are enjoying senior week, off to prom, taking that senior trip, and marching down the aisle to Pomp and Circumstance. It’s a proud moment

with family watching as they cross the stage. Where did the time go? If you find yourself asking “what now?” there is no need to panic or sit out when your peers are heading off for their freshman year of college. Here are a few steps to plan for the future, even when it seems that time has flown by and you may not have given it a second thought. Choose the right major. Choosing a major is a difficult decision for college students, but it can also be exciting. Most importantly, choose something that really interests you. Do not choose a field like nursing just because it is what your parents want or because it is popular. Do not choose computer technology or pre-med just because of the high salary potential. Chances are if you are not genuinely interested in your major, you will not be successful in your classes. Choosing a field that hits your passion will reflect in your classwork and your grades. More importantly, your enthusiasm will carry over into your career after graduation and help you

46 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

about others and would be considerate of others in the workplace. Participating in student government develops leadership skills and great people skills. Working as a student ambassador or federal work-study student while maintaining a high GPA is an effective way to show you have strong organizational skills. Writing in the school newspaper demonstrates a student’s ability to write in a variety of styles and develops creativity that can carry over into a work environment. These activities can also help lock down a career path, so look for ways to get involved and highlight your talents. The Southern Association of Colleges accredits Georgia Military College and Schools, which means that all credit earned at the institution is transferable to other accredited schools. Missie Usry heads up the Admissions department and advises the Community Involvement Club at Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus. For questions about Georgia Military College, call 706.993.1123 or visit our website at www.

Logistics growing area of need in local job market


continued from page 1 said that many candidates lack the soft skills employers want. “This generation is not educated on work ethics or how to be dressed for an interview,” she said. “They’ll say, ‘No one ever told me.’ It seems to be getting worse.” Sometimes, she said, the candidate will have the necessary hard skills but is tough to place in a job because of the lack of work ethic. She added that while that is trending among the younger generation, there are good candidates that come out of that pool. Certifications and staying current on them will become increasingly important for employees. “We’ll see a certification boom,” Kelly said. “It won’t be enough to just have a degree anymore. You’ll need to have a certification and keep it up to date.” Companies will need new strategies But it isn’t only the job candidates who have to change their way of thinking. Kelly said many companies will also have to rethink how they treat employees as the younger generation, the Millennials, enters the workforce. “Another factor is the Millennial mindset,” Kelly said. “They are all about life balance.” That means companies will need to offer more amenities and be more flexible with work schedules. It also means the community will have to step up its offerings in the hospitality and entertainment areas to keep those skilled workers here instead of losing them to larger cities like Atlanta and Charlotte. The community and employers can also work to boost the image of industrial jobs.

be successful in the professional world. If you are not sure about what interests you, do not worry. As a college freshman, you still have some time to take general education courses in areas where you’ve never been exposed. You might also conduct job shadowing or use assessments found on the Georgia Department of Labor website. The college career center is also a good resource to determine the best fit for a student’s skillset. Get involved! Joining clubs, becoming a student ambassador, working on campus as a federal work study student, serving on your college’s Student Government Association, volunteering with a student group or writing for your school’s newspaper are all great activities that can give you experience and serve as resume builders. Being in a club, like a debate club, shows you know how to work on a team and manage your time well. Volunteering with a student group to clean up the river or serve homeless in your community indicates that you think

Many companies will also have to rethink how they treat Data processing, nursing also strong employees as the One area of job growth in the CSRA in the near future will be in logistics – moving younger generation, products from one place to another and the jobs that go with it, like truck driving, warethe Millennials, housing and shipping and receiving. “Logistics and warehousing seem to be enters the workforce areas with lots of growth,” Dale LaPorte of For many years, industrial has been seen as unskilled labor for those who couldn’t make it in college. Yet a college education often doesn’t prepare people for those types of jobs. Acrux Staffing specializes in filling industrial jobs, but Harris said that when a rare clerical position is listed they may have 500 applications for it. But industrial jobs often require the skills offered by those coming out of technical schools or even the mechanically-minded coming out of high school. “We’re not making it glamorous to be an employee of an industrial company, but there’s a lot of money to be made there,” Kelly said. Kelly would also like to see more apprenticeships, which once were a staple of business. Rather than be thrown into a job, an apprentice worked under the guidance of a mentor or trainer. That created an ongoing workforce. “We had succession plans 30 years ago,” Kelly said. “We don’t have that anymore.”

Acrux Staffing, said. “Along I-16 and I-85 they’re building mega-warehouses to get the materials out of the shipyards.” That will continue to grow, he said, as the Savannah harbor is expanded. Isaac Kelly of Augusta Staffing expects the CSRA and nearby areas to begin to see Amazon-style distribution centers. “They won’t be as grandiose but they’ll be more strategically located,” he said. Both LaPorte and Kelly also expect the medical field to continue to be a strong

growth area in Augusta. Some of that will be a continuing effort to fill nursing positions, but some will also come from an increase in data input and data manipulation needs. Data processing and “big data” – the manipulation of that data to create more specific action points – will continue to increase in importance outside the medical field as well. The area of cyber information and security will continue to grow in the area but may not be much of a factor for the civilian population. “My feeling is a lot of the cyber jobs will be filled by people coming out of the military,” Kelly said. “The good news is that we have those companies here so those in the military will stay here.” As the area continues to grow, there will be a continued need for employees in the hospitality industry, which has been an area of strong growth for Augusta for several years.

Carey Hill Church hosting job fair July 25 Carey Hill Baptist Church is hosting its first annual Job Fair on July 25 at the Carey Hill Resource and Conference Center, 1591 Edgefield Road, North Augusta. The Job Fair is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be several workshops available for job seekers to attend during the fair, including how to write a resume and how to interview. Some of the companies participating in the Job Fair are:

• Advance Auto Parts • SCANA (Spherion Staffing Services) • Sunshine House • SC Dept. of Corrections • McDonald’s/Crawford Industries • SRNS • Duraclean Systems • Aiken Regional Hospital Local employers are encouraged to participate in the job fair. For more information, contact Job Fair Coordinator Sharon Wells.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


UGA students will learn with hands and minds Experiential learning begins for all students in fall 2016

The University of Georgia has taken a significant step toward ensuring that all of its students engage in the kinds of hands-on experiences that enhance learning and position them for success after graduation. All undergraduate students will be required to engage in experiential learning—through opportunities that include undergraduate research, study abroad, service-learning, internships and other experiences—through a new graduation requirement approved by the institution’s University Council. With the experiential learning requirement, which will go into effect no sooner than fall 2016 for incoming first-year students, UGA will become one of the largest public universities in the nation to provide each of its students with high-impact, experiential learning opportunities that enhance academic performance and better prepare them for graduate school or careers. Each student will be able to select from a diverse slate of opportunities that reflect their individual interests and aspirations. “With a spirit of innovation and a deep commitment to student learning, faculty at the University of Georgia continue to push the boundaries of undergraduate education,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “Offering a tailored, hands-on experience to our undergraduate students not only will further enhance this institution’s world-class learning environment but also

will further distinguish them as graduates. Each of UGA’s 14 schools and colleges that offer undergraduate degrees will determine which courses and experiences will fulfill the experiential learning requirement, which will go into effect as soon as their implementation plans are approved by University Council. In the meantime, UGA will aggressively expand the hands-on learning opportunities that it offers to students. “Creating opportunities for each and every undergraduate student to engage in experiential learning is the kind of big, bold step that people have come to expect from the nation’s first state-chartered university,” said Pamela Whitten, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “The experiences that our students will have as a result of this requirement will help them stand out from the rest of the pack when they apply for graduate school or begin their careers.” Experiential learning is often defined simply as “learning by doing,” and Whitten noted that it has been shown to play an important

Improving resume boosts chances of landing new job If you are one of the many hoping to get a career boost this year, Julie Goley, Director of Career Services at Georgia Regents University, suggests the following makeover tips for your resume: Know your audience. Consider studying the work environment of your potential employer first to avoid having your resume completely rejected. Write about what you bring to the table that makes you the best candidate for that environment. So, while there is nothing wrong with having a creative resume, focus more on the content. Furthermore, many companies today prefer applicants to submit their resumes online, eliminating the need for special trends and tricks on a printed resume. Tell your story. No one can tell your story better than you, and the cover

48 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

letter is still the best place to share accomplishments that will show how you will add value to the company. Target the section reserved for your professional experience to not only list your work history, but add in a few sentences highlighting those roles that are unique to your skill set.   Be sure to also include buzzwords that your next employer values. This will help highlight the impact of your work. Never stop updating. As you reflect on your career accomplishments this year, be sure to add this new information to your resume. Even if you are not actively searching for a new position, keep your resume current. This will not only help you focus on the work that is getting you results, but it is a great way to keep track of your successes.

role in fostering engagement on campus, improving students’ ability to analyze and synthesize information, and helping students transition to graduate school or the workforce. The new requirement builds upon UGA’s strong history of leadership in providing experiential learning opportunities to students. UGA is consistently ranked among the nation’s top universities for study abroad participation, for example, and more than 7,300 UGA students participated in service-learning courses in the last academic year alone. UGA Student Government Association President Johnelle Simpson, who is pursuing a double major in risk management and insurance as well as political science, is planning on studying abroad in China next month through UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs. He said the credit hours he will earn will help him graduate on time, and the learning experiences that he will have will differentiate him from other applicants when he applies to law school. “It can open up doors for you when you

have those kinds of experiences,” Simpson said. “I’ve had friends who have published their research findings or have had internships that have led them to the careers that they’re in now.” The requirement approved by the University Council was conceptualized by a task force of deans and developed in consultation with the faculties of all 14 schools and colleges offering undergraduate degrees. The new requirement will not increase the number of credit hours required to earn a degree, and a number of experiential learning opportunities, such as undergraduate research, service-learning and internships, come with no additional cost. Linda Bachman, assistant dean in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the committee that was charged with drafting and facilitating discussion of the proposal, noted that faculty and students alike are enthusiastic about the positive impact of experiential learning for students—both during and after their studies.

Healthcare changes creates need for physician assistants PRNewswire – The increase in the number of insured patients due to the Affordable Care Act has left a sizable gap in the number of capable medical professionals available to handle the sudden influx of patients requiring care. Physician assistants (PAs) are filling the void and helping to alleviate the physician shortage by providing a greater proportion of primary care services. CPEP, The Center for Personalized Education for Physician’s Reentry to Clinical Practice program, is helping physician assistants who have left the practice of clinical medicine get back to the workforce. “Physician assistants are key to filling in the gaps in primary care,” said  Beth Korinek, chief executive officer for CPEP. “Unfortunately, there is a limited number of slots in PA schools. This is hindering the ability of schools to graduate enough PAs to keep up with demand. Our Reentry to Clin-

ical Practice program allows PAs to obtain supervised training, helping them get back to the job of caring for patients in a short period of time.” Physician assistants and other clinicians leave the clinical practice of medicine for many reasons, most often to raise their children or care for elderly parents. Returning to practice can be daunting due to specific state standards that must be met and the difficulty in finding clinical training sites. CPEP’s program helps overcome these challenges by providing personalized training and assistance in finding preceptorships. For more information on the Return to Clinical Practice program, visit cpepdoc. org/programs-courses/reentry  or call 303577-3232. Clinicians interested in reentry are encouraged to review The Roadmap to Reentry, a one-stop resource guide created by CPEP and its partner organizations.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


SWU offering graduate program in management and leadership Southern Wesleyan University is offering a new graduate program for current and aspiring business leaders to improve their management skills. The Master of Science in Management and Leadership (MSML) is offered online and at Wesleyan’s campuses, including North Augusta. The new degree curriculum focuses on key areas of management and best leadership practices. It offers a more focused study than a traditional MBA, and lessons and concepts can be applied immediately in

50 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

the work place. Like other programs offered at SWU, the MSML has a core of Christian values. The MSML program is designed for people already in or planning to be in senior management roles, public relations directors, customer service managers, risk managers and managers in health-related occupations. The online program begins Sunday, Sept. 13 and the on-campus classes in North Augusta begin on Thursday, Sept. 17. For more information, visit

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


52 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

The Patch makes a comeback in golf world New management has already made a visible difference By Susan O’Keefe After an initial 365-day face lift, The Patch is on its way to a return to golf glory. The Patch, as Augusta Municipal Golf Course has been affectionately – and sometimes unaffectionately – nicknamed, has been part of Augusta’s landscape for nearly 90 years, longer than Augusta National. After a period of falling prey to a general lack of maintenance, The Patch is on its way to returning to one of Augusta’s premier public courses. Just a year ago, Cypress Golf Management stepped in to aid the flagging facility. General Manager Ira Miller said restoring the course from tee to green is not an overnight project, but his group is committed for the long haul. “When we took it on, it wasn’t in the best shape and we can’t fix it overnight,” he said. “But a year of a good growing season, and the greens look great.” The plan is to work backwards from green to tee on the 18-hole course. There’s fertilization to be done, a certain dependence on Mother Nature, and an even greater dependence on public support, which Miller says has been phenomenal. “Business has improved greatly,” he said. “It’s nearly tripled. In the past, there was no need to call for a tee time. You could just walk up and play. Now, you have to call.” The course, although not as long as some For tee times: 706-731-9344 For facility rentals: 706-731-5886 Rates range from $10-$27 courses, can still be a challenge, especially with the old type of raised, or push-up, greens. Miller cautions golfers against missing the green or else facing the consequences of a big fall off and a daunting return chip. The changes have caught the attention of the players. Veteran club member William Dickerson, a local firefighter, is grateful for the course overhaul. “The course looks 100 percent better,” he said. “The whole place is cleaner. There are newer carts. Even the lounge area has been updated.” The lounge is housed in The Patch clubhouse, which is available for rent to host weddings, reunions and parties. That’s just one way the facility is trying to reach out and revive its name in the community. Another way is free golf lessons for ladies on Thursday evenings from 5:30 -7 p.m. The Patch will host its first CSRA junior tourney in August. Andre Lacey, who played at the Patch when he was a kid 20 years ago, is now employed there. For him, it’s been a dream come true to see the place receive necessary attention. See THE PATCH, page 56

The 18th green and clubhouse at The Patch. Photo by Gary Kauffman

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Good Spirits Ben Casella

Seattle Spirit

Trip to the Northwest brings return of ‘90s teen spirit No matter what genre of music a musician enjoys, there was likely some specific pivotal period when, at an early age, he or she fell in love with the auditory arts. For me (and most self-described musicians of my age and paradigm), that period was the Seattle grunge era of the early to mid-‘90s. I honestly can’t say whether or not I would have picked up a guitar had I not owned an album entitled Nevermind by the iconic band, Nirvana. So, with this in mind, Laura and I got to go with my parents to the epicenter of the grunge era a few weeks ago. Of course, I’m talking about Seattle. It was a business trip for me, but we did get to tour around a bit and, of course, eat and drink as they do in the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest. My lamb

burger at Matt’s was especially enjoyable (even as a butcher was carving up a whole pig just a few feet away). The pub we enjoyed most, however, was a small, two-room, brick dive dating back to the 1890s known as the Diller Room (within the old Diller Hotel). It was a speakeasy during the prohibition era, and it still manages to keep an understated vibe that hints at the roaring ‘20s. I enjoyed a couple of brews there with Laura, and, since good journalism doesn’t go on vacation, I chronicled them below. Crikey IPA – This American IPA from Reuben’s Brews in Seattle is truly outstanding. It pours an amber hue with the foamy head you’d expect from a hoppy brew (and I mean hoppy). At 6.8% ABV, however, the bitter and floral notes of the hops leave some room for a malty sweetness (just a hint) that finishes in a very clean fashion. Think about one of those really good IPAs that you had when you could look at the empty pint glass and count how many sips you’d taken by the lacing. It’s like the best one of those ever. Profanity Hill Porter – This American porter from Seattle’s Schooner Exact Brewing Company (home of Hoppy the Woodsman) pours a dark brown with a moderate tan head that laces

nicely as you sip. Dark fruit and cocoa are evident on the nose as well as the tongue, but these aspects leave room for a bitter tinge that makes me want to return to Seattle again when it’s colder and have another one of these brews. It’s not too carbonated (obviously), but it yields a finish that’s a tad cleaner than

been missing out. He began his career in food in the late ‘70s, working in various restaurant positions for more than 20 years, ultimately becoming an executive chef in Manhattan. He began writing about his kitchen experiences

in 2000 and television followed soon after. Parts Unknown has a premise much like Bourdain’s previous shows: He travels to a destination, eats the local food and gets to know the people who live there. This show has a different feel to it than the others, however. While his earlier work focused mainly on food, Parts Unknown places more emphasis on the history and culture of a place. From Ferris wheels powered by children in Myanmar to speaking openly about his former drug addictions while having coffee with activists in Columbia, Bourdain gives viewers a glimpse of life in each of these places, not some idealized version. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always worth watching. Portlandia My friends have been raving about this show for years. As usual, however, I decided to wait awhile before checking it out. Let me tell you, I’m glad I finally got around to it. Portlandia is a comedy set in Portland, where “the dream of the ‘90s is alive.” Grunge, flannel, piercings, tattoos, coffee shops, clown school – this is where “young people go to retire.” Everything you need to know about

Screening Room Samantha Taylor

Hot Time in the City Netflix offers plenty of cool shows for summer viewing

I’ve lived in the CSRA for more than two decades, and every year it’s the same thing. The sweltering heat descends upon us and everyone is taken by surprise. You’d think we didn’t know it was coming, the way we complain and retreat indoors. Now that summer is here and I’m cooped up inside, I decided to take some time to check out a few shows I’d been wanting to see. Netflix has a great selection of television shows, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself spending the entire day watching several seasons of a show. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown If you don’t know who Anthony Bourdain is, you’ve

54 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

Ben Casella on “assignment” in Seattle’s historic Diller Hotel.

most other brews of the same craft. Overall, a solid porter. Ben Casella mostly listens to improvisational jam bands and NPR now, but there was a time during which he did possess a flannel shirt, jeans with holes in them, and, yes, a pair of eight-eye oxblood red Doc Martins.

this show can be summed up in the music video that starts the first episode. Youtube it, you won’t regret it. The issues they satire are often serious, but Portlandia pokes fun at the lengths people sometimes go to in order to be considered socially conscious. Hipster bicyclists, restaurant patrons that want to know every detail of a chicken’s life before they agree to order it, and women’s bookstore owners who refuse to sell anything mainstream are just a few of the sketches this Portlandia has to offer. If you have a half hour to spare, why not spend it watching an episode of Portlandia? It’s well-written, smart, and will absolutely put a smile on your face. With plenty of series to choose from, Netflix makes it extremely easy to fill up those long, hot, summer days. If you need me anytime this summer, just look for me on my porch, laptop running and frosty beverage in hand. That’s the best vacation I can think of. 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.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Sports and Leisure

New arena football team ready to take field Gladiators promise plenty of scoring, fan interaction

By Gary Kauffman With a 50-yard field, walls that prevent anyone from going out of bounds and kickoffs that are caught with the receiver’s back to the field, indoor football is definitely not what fans of college or NFL football are accustomed to. But Neely Lovett, head coach of the new CSRA Gladiators arena football team, promises it will be an exciting event. “It’s great entertainment for adults and children,” he said. “It’s designed for highscoring games where the offense puts up as many points as it can. It’s very entertaining because you can score so quick.” The Gladiators will play three exhibition games this year, the first on Saturday, July 25, and then play a full season in 2016. They play their games in the Aiken Convention Center. Arena football isn’t exactly new to the area – the Augusta Spartans won the world championship in 2007 when Lovett was the offensive coordinator. But that was the last year indoor football was played in the area. When a group of investors decided to bring the sport back to the CSRA, they asked Lovett to serve as head coach. His coaching staff has plenty of arena football experience.


continued from page 53 “There wasn’t hardly any grass on the fairways a year ago,” he said. “And now, there’s a huge difference. We’re trying to build our clientele. We want this to be a family environment.” As part of the city’s wellness program, most employees can take part in the golf programs and events here, sometimes free of charge, sometimes at reduced rates. Kids from the Boys and Girls Clubs have also been introduced to Augusta’s favorite sport. Lacey thinks as the sport continues to grow, so will The Patch’s roster. “Golf is like a physical game of chess and one shot is all it takes to hook a player,” he said. “One shot will be perfect and immediately the player thinks ‘I want to do that again. I want to replicate that shot!’” The Patch’s goal is to serve a clientele from young to old. Miller wants an audience “from that little kid who can barely carry his clubs to the older guy who can barely make it 9 holes. We want to be family oriented. This is Augusta’s golf course.”

56 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

Defensive coordinator Derrick Reeves, offensive coordinator Marvin Stone and offensive line coach Voncellious Allen all have past arena football experience. Quarterback and receiver coach Marvin Marshall played and coached in the NFL, plus played arena football. “They’re the strength of all of this,” Lovett said. All of the team’s players come out of a college football background. Some of the colleges represented are Georgia Southern, West Georgia, East Carolina, Paine College and University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. “A lot of the guys have jobs so we work around their schedules,” Lovett said. “We’ve had our cuts so we’re down to 25 players, but every week we’re bringing in different athletes to compete for positions. In arena football, it always changes.” He said the players are working hard and making the sacrifices they need to. There are different levels of arena football, and their play in the CSRA could catch the eye of

someone in a higher league – perhaps even the NFL, a la Kurt Warner. Arena football is played with eight players to a side instead of 11, and the field is half the size of an NFL field. The width of the field is wall-to-wall, preventing any out of bounds plays. “The wall is the ninth man,” Lovett said. Although the football is the traditional size, it may be red, white and blue rather than the traditional brown. There are a few other differences from the NFL. There is always a player in “high motion” – a player who starts well behind the line of scrimmage and is at full speed when the ball is snapped. On kickoffs, the ball is kicked into a screen at the end of the field. The receiver has to turn his back to the players bearing down on him to catch the carom off the screen. The smaller size and the field extending to the walls make for a more interactive fan experience.

Team slots being filled for Phil Harison Golf Classic

The 23rd Annual Phil S. Harison Memorial Golf Classic, which raises funds for the Walton Foundation, is set for Sept. 21. Up to 32 teams of four will play the West Lake Country Club course. The event includes lunch and door prizes. The annual fundraising event – a fall tradition – was started by local businessman Phil S. Harison, chair of the Walton Foundation board (1998-2007), and continues to bring together local business leaders to support the Walton Foundation’s mission of helping people with disabilities in the CSRA live, work and play successfully. “Through their financial support, sponsors and teams help defray the cost of accessible home modifications such as ramps, assistive technology devices, adaptive sports equipment for our free adaptive sports clinics, and transitional costs from hospital to home, making life more independent for those with disabil-

ities in this area,” said Haley Hamam, Associate Development Officer for Walton Foundation for Independence. Opportunities abound for sponsorships, in-kind donations and other ways to support the foundation’s mission. Hole sponsors are encouraged to set up on their holes for a day of fun, sharing business information and treats with the players. To find out more about becoming a sponsor or to register a team, contact Haley Hamam at 706-826-5809 or email

“It’s exciting because the fans are right there and they’re always in your ear,” Lovett said. “If the ball goes into the stands you get to keep it – but if a player goes into the stands you have to throw him back.” There is also music and a dance team to entertain the fans. Dance team coordinator Amy Sullivent promises to make the dancing as entertaining as the game. “People don’t come to a football game to watch the dance team,” she said. “But my vision is that the way we design our routines, they will look forward to seeing the dance team, too.” Sullivent has taken her role seriously. The dancers range in age from early 20s to 30s and have a variety of backgrounds, including a winner of the Teacher of the Year award. Their dance backgrounds range from classical ballet to hip-hop, and Sullivent said choreographer Eric Bland may even combine those two disparate disciplines into one routine. The routines will be a combination of cheer, dance and gymnastics. Sullivent plans to have the dance team do more than just perform at games. “I’m going to involve them in public events and charities, both to give back to the community and to market them,” Sullivent said. “I plan to make them famous in this town.” The football, dance and other activities all add up to an entertaining fan experience. “Arena football is very exciting,” Lovett said. The Gladiators will host the Georgia Firebirds at 7 p.m. July 25 at the Aiken Convocation Center. Ticket prices are $12 and $22.

GreenJackets seek event sponsors The Augusta GreenJackets are looking for companies and organizations to help promote two upcoming events. One is the 9th Annual Military Appreciation Night on Saturday, July 25. The evening will recognize and honor those in the military and their families for their dedication, commitment and sacrifices. The GreenJackets will wear military-style uniforms that night that will be auctioned off afterwards. Sponsors for the event can provide seating for 20 or more military personnel and their families. The second program is for the Community Night Partnership. On those nights, tickets go directly to those communities to create a fun evening to celebrate. The GreenJackets create 15 non-compete partnerships for these nights and space is going quickly. For a minimal investment of $500 a company receives 250 tickets to use, a first pitch opportunity, marketing kiosk display in the team’s business expo and its logo on 7,500 tickets.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Travel Margaret Centers

Nonstop Key West Island paradise offers lots to do in a mere 36 hours

Key West, haven to artists and writers, chefs and hippies, is somehow more Caribbean than Floridian. The indie-minded transplants work hard to keep it that way. Get set to go, go and go for the next 36 hours. Friday 4 p.m. – Ditch the car…As any self-respecting bohemian local knows, the best way to get around Key West is on two wheels. Bike rental companies offer drop-off service to many hotels. Orient yourself by biking over to the Truman Annex, a palm-lined oasis of calm made up of two-story whitewashed buildings that surround the Little White House. 7 p.m. – Cleanse the palate…Key West chefs pride themselves on a culinary philosophy of simple cooking and fresh ingredients. It’s simple home-cooking, island style. Favorites always include a black bean soup and a fresh catch of the day. 9 p.m. – Mix it up…Time to choose your own poison

Home Care Kathy Crist

Senior Sojourn

Planning can make summer travel easier for seniors Summers are often the ideal time for family caregivers to take their senior loved ones on vacation, to reunions or on group outings. Travel can be physically and emotionally stressful at any age, so planning ahead will help ensure older adults stay safe and comfortable on the trip. Many seniors eagerly look forward to summer travel-

58 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

– but first be sure and stop by one of the many art galleries which can include rotating exhibitions, talks by artists, drop in art classes and evening folk concerts. Since you’ve already witnessed the breathtaking sunset at Mallory Square it’s now time for a good ol’ fashioned pub crawl. Try the Orchid Bar, you won’t regret it. Saturday 8:15 a.m. – Witness the sun…Every morning a dozen ‘spiritual’ leaders assemble at Fort Zachary for yoga on the beach. You’ll just have to witness it first hand to appreciate. 11 a.m. – A Taste of France...Need a French fix? Stop at Bahama Village’s newest import, where you’ll find crepes in an open kitchen. Start with a savory crepe like ratatouille, then move on to something sweet like red velvet with dark Belgian chocolate, strawberries and English custard. 1 p.m. – Island style…Just because islanders pride themselves on being casual doesn’t mean they don’t want to look great. Bésame Mucho is an old-world general store and across the street is Wanderlust, a boutique that opened in July 2010. For swank décor, check out Jan George Interior Design, a furniture shop that carries dreamy stark-white couches. The owners, Jan Oostdyk and his spouse, George Rutgers, landed as tourists from the Netherlands and never left. 5 p.m. – Drinks at sunset…No Mallory tonight. Instead, work your way through the white tablecloth dining

room to Louie’s Backyard, which has a large wood-planked patio that faces the ocean and the setting sun. It’s like an outdoor Cheers. 7 p.m. – Dining on Duvall…Since opening in 2002, the restaurant Nine One Five has gotten high marks for its Asian-inspired seafood. Last winter the owner turned the second floor into the Point5 lounge and if you stick around after dinner, Point5 becomes a party, with D.J. George spinning funk and soul and everyone dancing together under filament lights strung outdoors. Sunday 11 a.m. – Hair of the dog…Late night? Sarabeth’s, housed in what was the island’s first synagogue, serves omelets and tropical juices that are the ideal detox. Can’t be bothered to dress? Bad Boy Burrito will deliver a kobe beef burrito or fish taco to you, pool-

ing, but also can feel overwhelmed and nervous about getting to their destination and enjoying their stay. With a few pre-trip action steps, older adults can relax and enjoy their time away without incident. Right at Home recommends the following summer travel tips to assist senior adults whether driving, flying, taking a train or riding a bus. About a month before traveling, be sure the senior consults with his/her doctor to discuss any special health needs and refill prescriptions. If the older adult has a chronic medical condition, ask the doctor to write an overview of the loved one’s medical history and provide medication instructions in case of an emergency. If the elderly loved one is at risk for blood clots when sitting for long periods, ask if his/her doctor recommends wearing compression stockings while traveling. Know your elderly loved one’s physical limitations. Make sure the senior gets plenty of rest before and during travel. In the excitement of the jour-

ney, it’s easy to overdo and pack in too many activities each day. Take frequent breaks. Make use of travel resources. When purchasing tickets or detailing an itinerary for the trip, plan ahead for accommodations and any dietary, mobility or medical needs. Even if your older loved one does not usually require mobility assistance, walking longer distances can quickly exhaust seniors. Pack for the worst-case scenario. Keep all of the senior’s prescription medications with you at all times; travel delays or scheduling issues are common. Dress for comfort. In warmer weather, be sure the senior wears lightweight clothing in light colors to reduce overheating. Loose, comfortable clothing is best for traveling seniors to help with optimal circulation. Avoid direct sun and stay hydrated. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Be sure your older loved one stays hydrated and wears sunscreen and a hat.

side. 1 p.m. – Seaworthy pursuits…With all the shopping and eating, it is easy to forget why you’re really here: to get off the street and onto the water. Lazy Dog offers two- and four-hour kayaking or two-hour paddleboard tours through crystal clear coastal waters and into the deep green waterways of the gnarled mangrove forests. Or if you’re just looking to dip a toe in the sea, bike over to Clarence S. Higgs Memorial Beach and rent a beach chair for $10, and kick back. You’re on island time, after all. Need a guide? Call me and I’ll meet you there! Margaret Centers is the owner of Margaret’s Travel, www.margaret’ She worked for Morris Travel for nearly 20 years and formed her own agency in 2010. For questions or bookings call 706-396-3769.

Prevent picking up germs and illnesses. Wash your hands frequently and carry a hand sanitizer. Staying in a hotel and frequenting public places leave the entire family susceptible to exposure to extra germs and sickness. Visit tourist sites, public places and restaurants during non-peak times. Crowded, noisy surroundings can be difficult for seniors’ hearing and mobility. When planning a trip, include your loved one in the planning from the beginning so he/she can communicate personal needs and travel interests and feels included. If your senior may need more assistance than you will be able to provide, consider hiring a caregiver to travel with you. Senior care companies like Right at Home can offer senior care travel services. 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

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Music Insider Jonathan Karow

Smoke on the Water Augusta’s Steve Morse still going strong with Deep Purple

When music lovers strike up a conversation about their most influential guitarist legends, it is common to hear names such as Al Di Meola, Eddie Van Halen, Chet Atkins, Slash, Randy Rhoads, Jimi Hendrix, John Petrucci, Gary Moore, BB King, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Pat Metheny – and Steve Morse. One of the world’s most critically acclaimed guitar virtuosos, Morse grew up in Augusta. He is a musical prodigy who released his first full-length record, The Dixie Dregs, in 1975 in Augusta. He’s still releasing albums with Deep Purple that have ranked in the Top 10 in Europe. Morse has been the lead guitarist for Deep Purple for more than 21 years. Deep Purple is known in the United States for hits such as Smoke on the Water, Highway Star and My Woman from Tokyo. Steve has also played and recorded with the popular band Kansas. My father and I first met Morse during my teenage years through aviation. Morse has been a licensed commercial pilot for many years. I reminded him of that when we chatted recently, talking about acquaintances and how Augusta has grown but people still love Steve Morse. There’s not a day I don’t hear his name in conversation. His high school years are a bit confusing, so I asked him about it. “I went to Aquinas High School but they kicked me out because of my long hair,” he said. “Then I went to the Academy of Richmond and they kicked me out because my hair wasn’t supposed to touch my shoulders. Then I learned a secret from some soldiers about short-haired

The author, left, with Steve Morse in 1988.

60 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

wigs. I finally attended Westside High School where they caught onto the wig and thought that I was being defiant. Ultimately, though an honor roll student, I was not allowed to graduate.” The Dixie Dregs were formerly known as Dixie Grit. Members of both lineups still live in the CSRA, many of whom are still active in the Augusta music scene. One former member is keyboardist Johnny Carr who is a director of music at GRU and also the director of choirs and orchestra at Curtis Baptist Church in Augusta. I asked Johnny if he had any outstanding memories of accompanying Morse. “From the time we met in high school, I recognized that Steve was one of the most talented musicians on Earth,” Carr said. “My first recording studio experience was with Steve when we were very young. We also had the honor of playing a synthesizer duet at ASU before a symphony concert while we were attending college. I named my first-born son Jeremy Steven Carr in honor of my friend Steve. I will always admire and respect Steve Morse.” Steve Morse said a few times, “I am bad with names,” yet he asked about all sorts of people, including Johnny Carr, drummer David Perper, guitarist Henry Wynn Jr. and numerous others. “How old is Henry Wynn’s son now?” Morse asked. I told him that Henry III and his father play consistent gigs and Henry III is now about 40 and teaches at my music store. Steve was momentarily silent. Then said “40?!” with a shocked sense of humor that so much time has gone by. Studies have shown that the most crucial times in an artist or musician’s career are between the ages of 12 and 25. What they absorb and learn from their mentors and their surroundings during these stages of their lives will reflect upon the skills they have honed for a lifetime. I know that whenever I hear Morse play, it feels as if I’m hearing musical pieces of Augusta that span the world. Steve agreed. “I moved to Augusta at the age of 13 in the late 1960s and lived there into my 20s,” he said. “My father was working at The Medical College of Georgia (now GRU).” He recalled the early music scene in Augusta. “It was very important in the ‘70s that there were many all-ages coffee houses where we could play for much larger groups of people.” Morse has had a relationship with the Ernie Ball Music Man guitar manufacturer for more than three decades. They make a unique Steve Morse Signature guitar which is still popular. “I had quite a few companies approach me, including Ernie Ball, and turned them down,” Morse said. “Ernie Ball was persistent and promised that

Steve Morse rocks his famous blue guitar with the iconic group Deep Purple.

they would not release a guitar with Steve Morse on the headstock unless I was 100 percent happy with it, and it was made in the USA.” I asked if it took them long to satisfy him. “Not long at all, actually,” he said. “The guys at Music Man really listened to me and there were very few refinements or adjustments from the first guitar. I worked with DiMarzio USA on my pickup designs and they, too, have been extremely supportive. Actually, every show I play, you will see me play my number one guitar that you saw in the 1980s in Augusta on at least one song. That blue guitar has seen lots and lots of miles and is still very solid.” I said it must be an honor to have people playing his designs. “It’s an honor to still be able to share my music with good people for so many years,” he said. Morse has been featured on the cover of countless guitar and music magazines since the 1970s and as late as 2014 when Deep Purple’s most recent album,

Now What?!, reached No.1 in Germany and Austria, and was in the Top 10 in several other European countries. The album was produced by recording legend Bob Ezrin. Although the album did well in Europe, there was no mention of North America. “Deep Purple is starting our U.S. tour now,” Morse explained. “Currently the closest we are getting to the southeast is Nashville. I really hope the tour expands because I grew up in the southeast, in Augusta and also in Florida.” Deep Purple will be playing in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Aug. 2. 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.

Famous song based on true story Deep Purple’s best-known song, Smoke on the Water, ranks in Rolling Stone’s top 500 songs of all time. It was written long before SteveMorse joined the band and is based on a true story. On Dec. 4, 1971, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention were playing at the Montreux Casino in Montreux, Switzerland, when a fire started, allegedly by someone firing a flare gun. The casino became engulfed in flames, but everyone was able to escape

safely with a few minor injuries. From their room in a nearby hotel, members of Deep Purple watched the casino burn and the resulting smoke roll across the waters of Lake Geneva. A few days later bass guitarist Roger Glover woke from a dream with the idea for the song. The song’s opening chords are among the most well known in rock history. A sculpture dedicated to the song stands on the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Humor Nora Blithe

Going to the Dogs

Dog leads the pack in best behavior on summer vacation I heard this statement many times on a recent family vacation: “I wish our dog was as well behaved as yours.” My husband and I, his parents, his sister and her husband all rented a beach house together, and we all brought our dogs. There were five dogs in total ranging in size from a nine-pound terrier mix to a 110-pound German shepherd.

Healthy Eating McKenna Hydrick

Keeping it Real

Using less processed food key to healthier eating How to Build a Balanced Plate: With all of the choices surrounding us, commercials thrown our way and promises given from every corner, it’s difficult to know how to eat. It’s confusing and overwhelming to figure out where we are supposed fit into the ever-changing “diet” world. The reality is we don’t need a diet. We need a lifestyle that uses less processed food (foods far from their natural forms) and more real foods (those close to their natural state). When making food choices, consider these four pillars: Focus on Whole Foods: Unprocessed foods retain more nutrients than processed, packaged foods. Create meals from “whole foods,” which are in their most essential, pure and basic forms. Eat Plant-Strong: Phytonutrients and fiber are only found in plants. Eat plant-based foods to get your fill of these vital nutrients. Choose Healthy Fats: Whole plant foods contain healthy

62 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

It was … an experience. Our dog, a 3-year-old pointer mix named Starla, is a model canine. She walks nicely on a leash, she is housebroken and Brian almost has her trained to fetch beer. She’s easy to travel with and a pleasure to be around. But it wasn’t always this way. Though Starla is eager to please, she has energy that makes that pink bunny in the battery commercials look sluggish. I’ve seen her swim for hours only to return home and fetch her toys like she was fresh off a good night’s sleep. To help her be a polite, pleasant dog, I began training her when she was 12 weeks old. I’ve always had a knack with animals, and I spent 14 years working as a professional pet sitter. In my time, I learned how to quickly, patiently coerce dogs with no training to cooperate with me. In a way, Starla being adopted by me was a bit like a kid who has a teacher for a parent. The poor pooch gets away with nothing. Often, Brian’s father, an avid dog lov-

er, has scolded me for being too strict with her. He prefers a more lackadaisical approach to dog ownership; namely, his dogs can do whatever they want. Which brings me back to our recent vacation. We might have been relaxing, but I saw no reason to allow Starla to for-

fats and more nutrients than extracted oils and other concentrated fats. Get your fats from whole food sources such as nuts, seeds and avocados. Consider Nutrient Density: Nutrients – such as vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – are essential for good health. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables along with a variety of whole grains, beans and other unrefined whole plant foods. For many of us, these four pillars are common sense. We know this information, but we either don’t have time or don’t know how to actually implement them in our daily lives. Here are a few tips to make the transition more realistic: Shop the perimeter: Healthy foods usually reside on the outskirts of the grocery store. Load up on lots of fresh fruits and veggies, good quality freerange/grass-fed meats (if you choose), whole grains and nuts/seeds. Spend most of your money on these items, and you won’t be tempted to buy the bulk of your foods down the processed foods aisles. Make meals a social event: Visit farmer’s markets with family or friends, or invite friends over for an evening of cooking and dining together. Spend time around the table talking, laughing and enjoying company of those you love. Involve the family: If you have younger children, let them help you prepare foods (supervised). Washing, drying and chopping foods are great ways to get your kids involved. If you

have older children, let them choose a night to plan a meal. Help them shop the perimeter of the store, and let them cook a meal for the family! Take it slow: Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once. Take it one meal, one day at a time. Make better choices each day – eventually those small choices will add up to big changes. Sample meals for a Clean Eating plan: Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with apples and walnuts Lunch: Salad topped with raw veggies, fruits, and/or nuts, with a whole wheat muffin or a small bowl of soup on the side. Snack: Hummus with raw veggies like carrots or red pepper strips

get that there are rules and boundaries. If I told her to stay and she got up, I’d correct her. If she bolted out of an open door before being invited, I’d correct her. If she begged for people food, became overly hyper or pulled on the leash during a walk, I’d correct her. Each time, a family member was on hand to say, “She’s fine, Nora. Leave her alone.” Followed almost immediately (and with no trace of irony) by, “I wish our dog was as well behaved as yours.” Naturally, I ignored them and corrected my dog as I saw fit. So while my family members cleaned up German shepherd-sized accidents, I smiled and scratched Starla’s ears. They may not like the rules I make for my dog, but they do seem to like the results! 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

Dinner: Small portion of meat (Vegetarian option: Large green salad or a serving of black beans), sweet potato and steamed broccoli. Dessert: A few pieces of dark chocolate (70 percent or higher). For recipes or inspiration, Enjoy the process of building a better plate, and see the difference in your life! Cheers to a healthier you! McKenna Hydrick is the Healthy Eating Educator for Whole Foods Market and the creator and writer for 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.

July 16-August 19, 2015 Buzz on Biz


64 Buzz on Biz July 16-August 19, 2015

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