AUGUST 20-SEPT. 16, 2015 • THE CSRA’S MONTHLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Millennials changing business landscape New generation is changing traditional work environments, employment choices By Elisabeth Curry The employee perks at Wier/Stewart, a design agency located on Broad Street in downtown Augusta, might seem excessive to longer-lived companies, but co-founder Daniel Stewart believes the incentives inspire his team to go above and beyond. Just this year, in addition to company iPhones, comprehensive healthcare coverage, Free Lunch Friday and an office fridge stocked with beer and wine, Stewart and his partner Alex Wier rolled out the company field trip perk: Each employee receives $1,000 to take an inspirational trip somewhere they’ve never been. “We hope that when they come back here from the trip, they’re inspired to create great work,” Stewart explained. “We have a lot of Millennials in the office, so it’s really important to me for this place to be very comfortable and feel like you’re working with brothers and sisters, not bosses.” Stewart’s emphasis on a comfortable, relaxed workplace atmosphere is not uncommon: In fact, it’s a growing trend among companies looking to attract a younger workforce who have different expectations of their employers than workers in the past. The traditionally professional, somewhat sterile office environment has lost traction in the last decade in favor of flexible schedules, less stringent dress codes and an atmosphere aimed more toward creativity, collaboration and experiential perks. The thought process behind Stewart and Wier’s purchases, be it employee perks or brand new tech for the office, is a
Zac Lewallen, right, has become a managing partner in Computer Exchange with Charles Kelly, left, and John Luther. He has become an important part of the business because, as a Millennial, he is able to relate to the next generation of business owners. Photo by Gary Kauffman
simple one. ‘Find happiness in your work’ is the Wier/Stewart tagline. Buying decisions, such as new computers for the entire design team, are usually based on happiness. Stewart said that having bosses willing to pony up the money for
new equipment indicates a team mindset and shows a willingness to reinvest the financial success of the business into See MILLENNIALS, page 4
New generation makes different buying decisions By Elisabeth Curry Companies trying to cater products and services to the increasingly influential Millennial generation have found a need to adjust their marketing strategies, placing an emphasis on storytelling, artisan and local products, and even sourcing methodologies. More and more, Millennials are holding businesses to a standard that is not only high, but very specific: the products should not only be top quality and function as promised, but also unique and socially responsible. In addition, digital marketing is no longer optional – it’s essential, and constantly evolving as new technologies and social networking channels inundate the market. Some companies, like Auben Realty, have
done away with traditional media channels entirely, relying solely on digital marketing. “We don’t do any traditional marketing,” said Chadwick Heard, Director of Digital Marketing/Operations at Auben Realty. “We don’t do billboards, TV or radio. Millennials are definitely more tech savvy, so if you want to reach them, it has to be digital. It’s still very hard to crack into the psyche of Millennials because they consume so much content, so it’s more about understanding your target market and emphasizing what makes Auben unique.” At 27, Heard rests directly in the center of the Millennial age demographic. Rentals are much easier to market to Millennials, according to Heard. The challenge arises when attempting to market the benefits of
a permanent residence to a generation that holds flexibility as one of its core values. “A lot of Millennials don’t want to be tied down,” said Heard. “They’d rather rent as opposed to purchasing a home because if an opportunity arises to move to a new place or pursue career advancement in a different city, they’re willing to jump up and go after it. It’s a really tough demographic in terms of purchasing a home.” Transparency is key, according to Heard. Millennials looking to purchase homes are primarily sold either on the concept of equity, or through an honest and personalized assessment of what the potential home buyer is looking to achieve from their purchase, as well as out of life. “Young professionals tend to be attracted
to Auben because our staff is young, we’re weird and unique, and we’re not afraid to let people see that,” Heard said. “The behindthe-scenes stuff really resonates with our audience. We let people see what goes on in a renovation, and all of the crazy goofy things that happen in our office. In previous generations, that might have been considered weird, but Millennials are all about philosophy, storytelling, and what makes a company unique and human.” “Millennials rebel against the typical corporate environment,” Heard continued. “They don’t buy into the mass broadcast of a message. Whether you’re talking product marketing or a work environment, it’s about personalization. The paradigm is definitely shifting.”
EDTS, IntelliSystems both make Inc. 5000 list For one company it’s happened five times before. For another, it was a first. But for both EDTS and IntelliSystems, being named to Inc. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies was a tremendous honor. For EDTS, it is the sixth consecutive year on the list. Maintaining such rapid growth and momentum over multiple consecutive years is exceedingly difficult, borne out by the fact that only 18 percent ever make it on the list even a fifth time. “We are delighted to be recognized for six consecutive years as one of America’s fastest growing private companies,” said EDTS CEO Charles Johnson. “We dedicate this recognition to the commitment and hard work of our team, and to the successful partnerships that we have forged through the years with our clients.” EDTS, a full-service technology consulting firm specializing in network security, managed IT services and advanced infrastructure for Southeastern business, was ranked No. 3,890 on the 2015 Inc. 5000 list of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies, and continues to rank highly among IT Service providers on the list – historically the fastest-growing segment. The 2015 Inc. 5000 list measures revenue growth from 2011 through 2014, with average annual growth for the 2015 list coming in at 77 percent, according to Inc. To qualify, companies must be U.S. based and privately held, independent – not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies – and have had
at least $100,000 in revenue in 2011, and $2 million in 2014. EDTS revenues according to Inc. totaled $10.5 million at year-end 2014. IntelliSystems of Augusta joins the ranks of the 5000 for the first time. IntelliSystems ranked No. 4,867 on the list. “We are so excited to be listed on the Inc. 5000 list of growing companies and have our clients to thank for this honor,” said Kevin Wade, President and CEO of IntelliSystems. “I feel our team of technology professionals and supporting staff are more like a family. We have worked hard to reach this point and strive to keep growing and pushing forward to be a reliable resource for small- and medium-sized businesses to achieve their technology goals.” This was the second honor for IntelliSystems in the past week. Last week they were named to Ingram Micro 2015 SMB 500. That annual list recognizes the 500 fastestgrowing Ingram Micro U.S. channel partners serving the small- and midsize-business market.
Georgia wants feedback on businesses’ workforce needs The state of Georgia would like to know how it can help businesses get the people they need for the workforce. On July 13, the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Workforce division launched a High Demand Career Initiative (HDCI) interactive tool on Georgia. org. This continues the work in gathering data already done in 2014. Through the new HDCI assessment, the state is seeking input from Georgia employers of all sizes to better identify workforce needs now and in the future. As a leading state in economic development, Georgia seeks to provide a skilled and sustainable workforce for existing, expanding or newly located businesses by further identifying the needs within the state’s workforce infrastructure. “The launch of the High Demand Career Initiative served as a vital tool in equipping our state partners with the insight needed to respond to the workforce needs of participating companies and industries,” said Commissioner Chris Carr, Georgia Depart-
2 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
ment of Economic Development. “This new assessment tool will expand the initiative’s outreach across the state and allow more Georgia-based companies to provide us with information needed to help grow their businesses.” The HDCI final report, released in December 2014, confirmed that there are growing workforce needs in high demand sectors across the state. In order to continue the conversation, Georgia companies are being asked to visit Georgia.org/WorkforceAssessment to submit information regarding the specific occupations anticipated to demand the largest number of new employees, the occupations that are the most difficult to fill and the critical soft/workplace skills most needed, as well as additional details regarding the nature of their workforce challenges. The information collected from the HDCI assessment will enable the state to map the needs of employers by region, thus, further aiding the establishment of workforce development initiatives to better serve communities throughout the state.
Publisher’s Notes Neil Gordon
New School Buzz
Old school thinking gets a boost from Millennial input Thank goodness we have a “token” Millennial on the Buzz on Biz staff. Our office is littered with “50-something” Baby Boomers like yours truly, Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman and our sales and circulation coordinator Janine Garropy. The three of us tend to be more old school, although we’re doing our best to keep up with the
new technology. However, “20-something” Millennial Kelsey Morrow is more adept with Facebook, Twitter, texting, Instagram and everything digital. She often greets us via our smart phones with text messages and keeps things light and cheerful. She’s also our social media guru, writing a monthly column for our readers, plus updating our Twitter feeds, Facebook and helping with other content. Her column this month on Page 14 deals with the very serious aspect of social media and whether or not individuals can own the passwords of their businesses. Writer Elisabeth Curry’s Millennial cover story examines how Millennials are changing the business world. Through her profiles of companies like Auben Realty, Wier Stewart and Computer Exchange, it’s easy to see why a fresh perspective to hiring staff and marketing will be critical to companies’ successes in the coming years. What amazed me was how Baby Boomers Charles Kelly and John Luther
are preparing to turn over the keys to their company one day to a 22-year-old savvy tech guy with a world of talent. It’s evident why Computer Exchange has stood the test of 20 years time while other computer stores have closed, consolidated, merged or gone out of business. CSRA businesses, organizations, and even large, out-of-town companies are blessed to work with Daniel Stewart and Alex Wier of Wier/Stewart. When they first moved their creative design and marketing business into a really hip loft on Broad Street, I got a tour. It’s different – the bosses are not in private,
large offices with a window view. They are in an open space with all of their staff, who they treat more like their “brothers and sisters.” Millennials do not necessarily rule the creative space in the CSRA, however. Baby Boomer Mark Alison of The Alison Group begins a series of marketing columns in this issue on Page 14. He’s going to pull the curtain back on how some deals get done and some products make it to market. His first column revolves around breaking into the competitive lawn mower market with some creative strategy. In future columns, he’ll also share his lessons learned from years on the road managing exhibits for clients at national trade shows. 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.
Best & Worst Jobs......... 44
Some jobs will be hot in the next 10 years, like health care and technology, while others will start to fade away.
Social Buzz............... 47-55
Beard Pampering............. 6 Bob Hoeller creates successful line of beard oils and waxes with an eye toward local and environmentally friendly sources.
Businesspersons of the Month: Andrew & Fruitland Augusta......... 26 Alex Polonus................. 28 Vodka and tea using Georgia peaches celBrothers take over waste disposal and recycling business started by their father and uncle.
ebrates Augusta’s rich heritage in making Georgia the Peach State.
Augusta is finally on the verge of finishing its Wayfinding Systems of signs
has a variety of events on tap for the coming month.
Buzz Bits....................12,13 Business Openings...22,23 Business Events............ 32 iQ University.................. 17 N. Augusta Chamber..... 36 Arts in the Heart........... 47 North Augusta’s Chamber of Commerce Augusta’s award-winning festival turns 35 Financial stress causes loss in production. Wayfinding System........ 24 Queensborough Bank creates program to help employees develop financial literacy.
Russell Head: Court ruling changes benefits for same-sex couples.......................................8 Tim Dalton: Confidentiality is important in business sales........................................................8 Christine Hall: Rolling over your 401(k) is important when changing jobs....................... 10 Mike Herrington: Qualified retirement accounts have benefits............................................ 10 Mark Alison: A case study in marketing from start to finish................................................... 14 Kelsey Morrow: Who owns the password of your business social media?........................ 14 Jeb Blount: Leave voicemail messages that get return calls.................................................. 16 Marin Rose: Stay organized at home as well as at work........................................................... 16 Charles Kelly: Businesses need upgrades with equipment and employees..................... 20 Gary Kauffman: Millennials are changing the world of business.......................................... 20 Eddie Kennedy: Book review of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There............................ 28 Pam Hanson: Bartering reduces the need for cash.................................................................... 28
this year with more of the art, ethnic foods and entertainment people love.
Susan O’Keefe: Business Lunch Review of Manuel’s Bread Cafe........................................... 34 Steve Swanson: Each day is a blank paper for a new attitude............................................... 40 Katie Silarek: Eating healthy doesn’t have to break the budget........................................... 40 Barry Paschal: Feds targeting colleges who make false claims............................................. 42 Missie Usry: Dual enrollment is the best of both worlds......................................................... 42 Ben Casella: Cooler weather perfect for pumpkin brews........................................................ 48 Samantha Taylor: Orange is the New Black not a viewing choice for everyone.............. 48 Margaret Centers: Travel to Caymans is grand............................................................................ 50 Kathy Crist: Seniors are now taking care of seniors................................................................... 50 Jonathan Karow: Music builds confidence and minds............................................................. 52 Nora Blithe: Laughter leads to reward............................................................................................ 54 McKenna Hydrick: Get everyone involved in healthy food choices..................................... 54
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
MILLENNIALS continued from page 1 the professional success of the Wier/Stewart team. “My buying decisions are based on the fact that I want everybody here to have the best, because we want to be the best at what we do,” said Stewart. “Part of being the best is having the best people, the best stuff, the best perks and the best atmosphere. You can’t expect the best out of people who work for you if you’re not willing to give them that.” The increasingly influential Millennial generation is notoriously difficult to define but, in terms of age, is generally accepted to include anyone born between 1980 and 2000. Expectations, both professionally and personally, have shifted to emphasize experiences and overall contentment over financial stability or permanency, possibly owing to the Millennial generation reaching adulthood during a time of rapid economic, social and technological change. Changing views on employment In fact, a report published in 2014 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the United States Department of Labor reported that workers between the ages of 25 and 34 changed jobs on average every three years. In Stewart’s opinion, this behavior – a drastic departure from that of prior generations – is due, in part, to a shift in priorities. “Some of the reasons that people have left bigger companies to work here are purely based on the experience,” said Stewart. “We’re very competitive with our salaries, but it’s an added bonus that we work with such a diverse group of clients. I think even if the career wasn’t as financially beneficial, people would still bail out of jobs they didn’t like, just to have a better work experience. They want to be as happy as possible from 8 to 5.” The tendency for Millennials to place importance on connectivity, lifestyle and workplace flexibility is seen by some as a radical departure from the high level of caution and pragmatism espoused by the preceding generation. Baby Boomers sometimes cite the apparent Millennial lack of focus, especially for prolonged periods of time toward one activity or goal, as a detriment to productivity. Millennials, however, are inclined to view these rapid-fire shifts in focus or between tasks as run-of-the-mill multitasking, brought on by new technologies and a variety of ever-expanding social media channels. Zac Lewallen, 22, is especially aware that some members of the prior generation still have doubts about the Millennial work ethic. Whatever negative opinions may be expressed about the Millennial generation, Lewallen isn’t having any of it. “I hear people say all the time that Millennials are lazy,” Lewallen said, “or that they’re so afraid of what will happen when our generation is in charge. But we just think about things differently, and it’s just as effective – sometimes even more effective. Being able to use those differences to make our business more efficient is kind of the Millennial wheelhouse. It’s where we thrive and succeed.”
4 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Expectations, professionally and personally, have shifted to emphasize experiences and overall contentment over financial stability or permanency
Charles Kelly, who started Computer Exchange 20 years ago when Lewallen was only 2-years-old, and his co-owner, John Luther, had no such qualms about the Millennial generation. That’s why they recently made Lewallen chief operations officer and part owner of the company. The need for businesses to change “As businesses mature, the owners become less willing to take risks,” Kelly said. “As a company’s leaders mature, they get complacent. That’s something we’ve tried to fight.” Zac Lewallen, Kelly said, was part of the solution. “You’ve got a young guy like Zac,” Kelly said, “if he hadn’t been a partner with us here, he would’ve opened his own company because that’s what Millennials do. Zac is a prime example of a guy who wasn’t willing to settle, and quickly advanced. He’s pushed us in ways that we needed, and doubled our customer base in 18 months.” Kelly said that although Millennials are often painted in a negative light, the reality is that they are smart, tenacious and just as hardworking as prior generations. The example he cites is a change Lewallen instigated to a business model that had been established in the company for 20 years. “We had a field tech attached to each location,” said Kelly. “Zac told us that model created confusion and that all of the techs needed to be in one location. He said ‘I’ll do it today,’ and we packed everyone up and moved them to North Augusta. Within a week, we were gaining new customers, which enabled us to double our sales. That has been one of the single best moves we’ve made in 20 years.” Kelly says Lewallen relates to all of the company’s existing customers, moving fluidly from one generation to the next. While the current customer database remains the primary concern as the core of the established business, Kelly hopes Lewallen will also attract newer, more aggressive businesses. “As a business owner, when I look for someone to do work for me, it’s about tenacity, the quickness of the quote, and the hunger to do business,” Kelly explained. “Companies need that infusion to service for Baby Boomers and Millennials.” Lewallen, for his part, never anticipated that his interest in computer science and network security would turn into a business partnership. He began working at the North Augusta Computer Exchange when he was 16 as a way to put himself through college. His goal was to become a surgeon, but as the medical industry changed, he found his passion for computer science transforming from a hobby to a career interest. When the opportunity for a partnership presented it-
self, however, he jumped in headfirst. “They’ve always done really well with customer service here,” Lewallen said, “but I want to bring a larger scale operation to it. I have large aspirations, and that kind of operation takes someone with a lot of energy.” According to Lewallen, the differences between the Millennial client and an older client are simple, but profound. He says that Generation X places a high priority on reliability and customer service – “someone to interface with.” Millennials don’t put quite so much emphasis on the relationship aspect, requiring instead a service that is fast, affordable and convenient. Traditional employee expecations change Traditional expectations of employers in most industries have altered alongside the Millennial shift in priority. With few exceptions, the presumption that a worthwhile employee should dress in a certain manner, cover all visible tattoos or even use particular language at work has lost momentum. Professionalism has evolved from a specific employee image representative of a company to a focus primarily on quality of work, meeting
and exceeding set goals, and ability to find creative solutions to problems as a team. Matt Wallace, the executive chef at downtown Augusta restaurant Craft & Vine, further evidences that the Millennial generation is looking for something more than just a steady paycheck. He left a career in the healthcare industry to pursue a dramatically different path. Wallace formerly managed patient access at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. “For me, it was about legacy,” Wallace said, describing the motivation behind his career change. “We all come to a point where we have to figure out what it is we’re leaving behind. Most people would associate the career I used to have as an altruistic one, but I never encountered anyone I was helping face-to-face. Even though I worked in healthcare, it was mostly bureaucratic.” Wallace has found that while most people are accepting of the recent attitude of work ethic and quality over appearances and social convention, there are still a few naysayers. “I take a different approach in a kitchen than most people and I’ve caught flak for it since I’ve been down here,” Wallace said. “I never knew a chef that cooked better with a jacket on than one without the jacket. For certain people, that’s your sole source of identity. I never understood that. Whether you have tattoos on your hands or you’re wearing a shirt and tie, I don’t see how it necessarily has a correlation to your ability to do your job.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Janine Garropy/803-480-2800 Design Gary Kauffman Photography Gary Kauffman
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August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Dr. Bob brings new life to beards Bob Hoeller’s business helps men groom their facial hair
By Jennifer Reynolds Bob Hoeller never imagined his life would take the path it did. From college dropout, to a 22- year career in the military, to service as a Methodist minister, and now to beard oil entrepreneur, his path has been anything but ordinary. Hoeller’s latest venture, Dr. Bob’s Beard Tonic, began as a hobby, a way for Hoeller and his friends to care for their beards. It’s grown into a family business that’s expanded into other grooming products including beard balms, moustache wax and even hand-carved cedar holders specially made for Dr. Bob’s products. Hoeller said the idea, “originally came from some friends of mine. They were bearded friends, of course. I started looking at (beard oils) and I thought, ‘I can do that.’” Friends become guinea pigs He researched beard oils and began crafting his own; however, his oil wasn’t an immediate success. “Unfortunately for my friends, they were my test subjects,” he joked. “I made some oils that really were terrible.” Hoeller said that listening to feedback from his friends is what made his beard tonic successful. He listened to their suggestions and needs, and tweaked his formula until he had it right. “I was so dogged about it,” he said. “Once I started it, it became like an obsession.” He worked and reworked his product, and the result was his first beard oil, which he named Original Blend. “All of a sudden, my friends were like ‘Oh my gosh! This is the best oil we’ve ever had for our beards,’” he said. Stores began asking for it and Dr. Bob’s Beard Tonic transitioned from hobby to business. “That’s when I went and got the business license,” he said. “I knew I had to get legit.” Hoeller said that the input of his friends was a key part of the success of the product, a product that has been profitable for Hoeller from its launch. “I spent a lot of time talking to guys about their beards,” he said. One way he reached potential customers and gleaned feedback was by spending time downtown and striking up conversations with passing bearded men. “The beard oil community is a bunch of guys that are cognizant of their appearance,” Hoeller said. “It’s kind of funny at first, because when you think of guys you think of a group that doesn’t worry about their appearance. But truth be told, they worry a
6 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Bob Hoeller (in chair) and Tony Powledge of Old Tyme Tattoo and Barber with Dr. Bob’s beard products. Photo by Gary Kauffman
lot about their appearance and a lot about grooming, especially guys with beards.” They also provided valuable feedback on product packaging. In the beginning, Hoeller used dropper bottles for the oils. When his friends complained that the bottles didn’t fit comfortably in their pockets, and that there was always some product that the dropper couldn’t reach, he switched to insert-dripper bottles. When the wives of his test subjects complained about the mess the oils made on the bathroom counter, Hoeller dusted off his saw and made cedar coasters to set the bottles on. “The guys have got their own man space on the sink now,” he said. He attributes his success to his ability to listen to his customer. “It’s a niche thing so you’ve really gotta listen to these guys and cater to them. That’s what they like,” he said. A project for the whole family He also said that his family plays a large role in Dr. Bob’s, and he relies on his family to help support and promote his products. His son Nathan designed his logo and website. They worked closely together to develop a look and feel for his product. “It’s beard oil,” he said, “so I wanted it to
look like it came out of the 1890s.” His wife, LaDonna, is the bookkeeper and helps oversee inventory. Even visiting family members have been drafted to help assemble the products, which they do in the Hoeller home, even employing the family grill to melt the wax for the beard balm. Dr. Bob’s Beard Tonic is Hoeller’s first entrepreneurial venture. “All of this was brand new to me,” he said. “I’ve always worked for somebody else. I learned entrepreneurship by trial and error.” Though he was able to draw both on past work experiences and his current studies as a Ph. D. candidate in both business administration and industrial organizational psychology, he had to learn entrepreneurship – everything from where to purchase supplies, to paying taxes, to marketing in an internet-savvy world. The first time he tried to sell his product to a store, they asked him if he had an Instagram account. He replied, “’What’s Instagram?’” “I was like the quintessential old man there for a minute,” he joked, but said that experience demonstrated to him that he had to learn how to market online. “I had to get spun up on just how to start marketing this, pitching it every day.” Local and environmentally friendly Sustainability and locally sourced prod-
ucts are something that Hoeller and his customers value. “I have fully embraced the buy-local idea,” he said. “I help out everybody that helps me. We have a tribe, a tribe of people that sell my stuff and I sell the heck out of their stuff.” Gravity Growlers, an Augusta store and part of Hoeller’s tribe, was the first place to sell the beard oils. Olde Tyme Tattoo and Barber, owned by Tony Powledge, was the second store to retail the product. “Powledge sells the heck out of it,” Hoeller said. “It’s a natural habitat for my product.” Hoeller sources his products from local places. He uses a coffee oil that is produced in Asheville. He uses wax from beekeepers in Augusta. The cedar for the holders comes only from trees that are fallen. “Every tree that I use for a coaster has already fallen. We don’t cut any trees down,” he said. Repurposing items is in keeping with Hoeller’s faith. “My spiritual background tells me I’m supposed to be a good steward of the earth,” he said. When it comes to using only already fallen trees for his coasters and displays he said, “I think that things should be reused and See DR. BOB, page 17
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Benefits Russell Head
Court ruling raises concerns for businesses offering benefits
Author’s note: The following article is intended to inform the reader concerning the current legislative landscape of employee benefits as it relates to same-sex unions. However, it should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any definition of marriage other than the Biblical ideal, being the union of one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime. In a close 5-4 vote, the United States Supreme Court in June ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that all states must license same-sex marriages, and also must recognize same-sex marriages licensed in other states. For Georgia, along with several other states, the decision will
mean a substantial departure from the state laws not recognizing marriages other than those of oppositesex partners. Many of our clients have had concerns over what impact this decision will have on their current and future benefits offerings. As with so many things, the answer is “it depends.” The following Q &A may help shed light on this complicated issue. Q: Must I offer spousal benefits to my employees’ same-sex spouse in the same manner that I offer benefits to my employees’ oppositesex spouse? A: Probably, but not necessarily. While governmental employers are required to offer benefits to same-sex spouses on the same basis as oppositesex spouses right away, private employers’ group plans are governed by other rules. For fully-insured groups, the decision will be determined by the carrier’s rules and state insurance laws. Most likely, one or both of these sources will require that all spousal and dependent coverage be uniform between sameand opposite-sex spouses. Self-insured groups, however, have more freedom in designing their plans, including the definition of who will be eligible to receive benefits. As a result, a self-insured group plan
Business Leverage Tim Dalton
Confidentiality is important to everyone in a business sale In this day and age of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media forums, it seems like everyone is posting something about themselves for people to see or read. And although this might be acceptable in a person’s personal life, when it comes to selling a business, confidentiality is imperative. In real estate, the objective is to let everyone know a property is for sale. With a business sale it is just the opposite. Concerns can arise if your employees, customers, vendors, landlord, banker and other people involved with the business know it is for sale. Your competitors can also use this knowledge to possibly dip into your customer base.
8 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Employee concerns about a business sale can have the most devastating effect on a business’ operations. Good, trained employees are most often the lifeblood of a business. To lose a key employee or employees because they have concerns about a new owner coming into the business can upset operations. And oddly enough, a buyer is just as concerned that the trained employees will stay on once the business is sold. So, although sometimes it may feel disingenuous to not make an announcement about your plans to sell, it really is best for all parties involved. Other effects about broadcasting a business being for sale can be customer retention. Say you owned a day care and the parents started to hear it was for sale. Do you think this would cause a few parents to look at other day cares that they felt were more stable? What if you have an exclusive agreement with a vendor, but now they learn you are for sale. Would this affect your long-term exclusivity? What if your line of credit is up for renewal and your banker hears you are thinking of selling your business. Would they extend the line? All these factors will influence your business operations while owning the
may be designed to exclude benefits for same-sex spouses. However, it should be noted that these plans may be at greater risk for discrimination lawsuits. Q: What is the timeline for enrolling newly eligible spouses? A: Little guidance has been offered as to the required timing of enrolling same-sex spouses married before the court ruling. However, treating the new eligibility as a qualifying event is a safe route. Generally, the requirement to request enrollment is limited to 31 days following the event (in this case, June 26, 2015); however, some governmental employers are allowing enrollment of existing same-sex spouses through September 1. Q: I have a religious objection to gay marriage. What are my options? A: Employers who do not wish to offer group benefits to same-sex spouses have limited choices. As stated above, self-insured groups may choose to design their plan to cover only straight spouses. Any group plan may choose not to offer benefits to spouses altogether, eliminating any discrimination concerns. Q: What effect does this ruling have on payroll taxation of same-sex benefits? A: The costs of same-sex spousal
Employers who do not wish to offer group benefits to same-sex spouses have limited choices benefits offered through cafeteria plans have been exempt from Federal taxes for some time. However, most states that chose not to recognize same-sex unions (including Georgia and, until recently, South Carolina) continued to tax the value of benefits for same-sex spouses. The court’s ruling will require states to exempt these amounts from state taxes as well. For further explanation of information outlined in this article, refer to the following resources: supremecourt.gov, irs.gov, healthcare.gov, oci.ga.gov and doi.sc.gov. Russell T. Head is President/Managing Partner with Group & Benefits Consultants, Inc., Augusta’s largest, privately held, locally owned employee benefits consulting firm. He can be reached at 706-733-3459 or rthead@gandbc. com. Visit Group & Benefits Consultants at www.groupandbenefits.com.
It may feel disingenuous to not make an announcement about your plans to sell, but it really is best for all parties business, prior to selling it, and can also affect the final sales price. So what is the course of action? First, don’t make any announcements about your intentions to sell your business. There will be a time and place for the announcement, and typically it is directly after the sale has closed. Until a seller has a check in their hands, anything could possibly derail a sale. To make any announcement prior to closing is a poor plan for the reasons already presented. Secondly, employ an experienced business broker to help you sell your business. An experienced broker knows how to maintain confidentiality while marketing and exposing the business opportunity to hundreds of prospective purchasers. An experienced broker will only advertise an opportunity in a way that won’t specifically identify the business. They will qualify prospective buyers, require them to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and initially only release
a summary overview of the business, while protecting the business’ detailed financial information. Lastly, an important thing to remember is that the prospective purchaser has the same interests as the seller. He or she wants the trained employees to stay on with the business. They want the same customers to patronize the business. They want to take over vendor relationships, and they don’t want any competitors to get a foothold on your customer base. Hiring a business broker and maintaining confidentiality will reduce your headaches and help maximize the business’ sales price. 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 706-650-1100 or at email@example.com. Visit their website at www.integrabrokers.com.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Accounting Christine Hall
On a Roll
Changing jobs means your 401(k) needs to change, too One of the most important questions you face when changing jobs is what to do with the money in your 401(k). Making the wrong move could cost you thousands of dollars or more in taxes and lower returns. For example, let’s say you put in five years at your current job. For most of those years, you’ve had the company take a set percentage of your pre-tax salary and put it into your 401(k) plan. Now that you’re leaving, what should you do?
Business Advice Mike Herrington
Those are the Breaks Qualified retirement plans offer significant tax breaks
A qualified retirement plan is a program implemented and maintained by an employer or individual for the primary purpose of providing retirement benefits and which meets specific rules spelled out in the Internal Revenue Code. For an employer-sponsored qualified retirement plan, these rules include: • The plan must be established by the employer for the exclusive benefit of the employees and their beneficiaries, the plan must be in writing and it must be communicated to all company employees. • Plan assets cannot be used for purposes other than the exclusive benefit of the employees or their beneficiaries until the plan is terminated and all obligations to employees and their beneficiaries have been satisfied.
10 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
The first rule of thumb is to leave it alone because you have 60 days to decide whether to roll it over or leave it in the account. Resist the temptation to cash out. The worst thing an employee can do when leaving a job is to withdraw the money from their 401(k) plans and put it in his or her bank account. For instance, if you decide to have your distribution paid to you, the plan administrator will withhold 20 percent of your total for federal income taxes, so if you had $100,000 in your account and you wanted to cash it out, you’re already down to $80,000. Furthermore, if you’re younger than 59-1/2, you’ll face a 10 percent penalty for early withdrawal come tax time. Now you’re down another 10 percent from the original amount of $100,000 to $70,000. Also, because distributions are taxed as ordinary income, at the end of the year, you’ll have to pay the difference between your tax bracket and the 20 percent already taken out. For example, if you’re in the 33 percent tax bracket, you’ll still owe 13 percent, or $13,000. This lowers the amount of your cash distribution to $57,000.
But that’s not all. You might also have to pay state and local taxes. Between taxes and penalties, you could end up with little over half of what you had saved up, short-changing your retirement savings significantly. A good alternative would be to roll your account into your new employer’s plan before the 60-day period ends. Referred to as a “rollover,” it is relatively painless to do. The 401(k) plan administrator at your previous job should have all of the forms you need. Another suggestion, especially if you are not happy with the fund choices that your new employer offers, is to roll the money over into an IRA instead. You can then choose from hundreds of funds and have more control over your money. The best way to roll funds over from an old 401(k) plan to a new one or an IRA is to use a direct transfer. With the direct transfer, you never receive a check, and you avoid all of the taxes and penalties mentioned above, and your savings will continue to grow taxdeferred until you retire. One more option would be to leave it alone. If your vested balance is greater
The worst thing an employee can do when leaving a job is to withdraw the money from their 401(k)
• Plan contributions or benefits cannot exceed specified amounts. • The plan benefits and/or contributions cannot discriminate in favor of highly-compensated employees. • The plan must meet certain eligibility, coverage, vesting and/or minimum funding standards and provide for distributions that meet specified requirements. • The plan must prohibit the assignment or alienation of plan benefits. • Death benefits may be included in the plan, but only to the extent that they are “incidental,” as defined by law. Qualified Retirement Plan Tax Advantages: In order to encourage saving for retirement, qualified retirement plans offer a variety of tax advantages to businesses and their employees. The most significant tax breaks offered by all qualified retirement plans are: • Contributions by an employer to a qualified retirement plan are immediately tax deductible as a business expense, up to specified maximum amounts. • Employer contributions are not taxed to the employee until actually distributed. • Investment earnings and gains on qualified retirement plan contributions grow on a tax-deferred basis, meaning that they are not taxed until distributed from the plan.
The bottom line is that the primary qualified retirement plan tax advantages – before-tax contributions and tax-deferred growth – provide the opportunity to accumulate substantially more money for retirement, when compared to saving with after-tax contributions, the earnings on which are taxed each year.
Mike Herrington is President of Herrington Financial Services, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisor. He is a Certified Financial Planner licensee(CFP), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a Certified Estate Planner(CEP). He has been serving clients in the CSRA since 1984. Contact him at 706-8688673 or firstname.lastname@example.org
than $5,000 you can usually leave it with your former employer’s retirement plan and your lump sum will continue to grow, tax-deferred, until you retire. Once you turn 59-1/2, you can begin taking withdrawals from your 401(k) or IRA without penalty and your withdrawals will be taxed as ordinary income. This is a sponsored employment article. Hall, Murphy & Schuyler, PC is a full-service public accounting firm. They have a staff of experienced professionals that stand ready to meet all of your accounting, tax and general business needs. For a complimentary consultation, call 706-855-7733 or visit hallassociatescpa.com.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
CSRA added 5,500 jobs in past year
buzz bits is already seeing a reduction. That means by the next official census in 2020, Augusta could maintain its position as Georgia’s second-largest city.
Despite a seasonal loss of jobs in June, the CSRA has added 5,500 jobs since June 2014. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, that increase holds even after accounting for a loss of 2,400 jobs from May to June. Most of those job losses – 1,400 – came in the education and health services area, which includes teachers and other school employees. State government, construction and manufacturing jobs also decreased. Retail, professional services and transportation gained jobs during the month. Overall, the CSRA has 228,700 jobs. The state increased its jobs in June, and in the past year has added 106,000 jobs. Georgia’s job growth rate remains a halfpercent higher than the national average.
Brown honored by Allstate for service work
A new census estimate shows that Augusta grew a tiny bit in 2014 to 196,741 residents, up 127 from 2013. That still puts it in third place among Georgia cities, behind Atlanta at 456,002 and Columbus at 200,887. The overall CSRA also grew, according to the estimates, from 580,230 to 583,632, an increase of 3,402. The primary areas of growth were in Columbia and Aiken counties. According to the latest estimates, Columbus’ population decreased by 3,065 during the year. However, the official U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years and in the last census, in 2010, Augusta still ranked ahead of Columbus as the second-largest city. Both Augusta and Columbus have large military populations, but in the next five years Augusta’s military population is expected to grow while Columbus
one of four people to recently be named a Georgia Certified Chamber Executive. In 1993, the Georgia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives created the designation of Georgia Certified Chamber Executive, which exemplifies excellence and professionalism of Georgia’s Chamber Executives. This designation is based on experience, service to GACCE, training/continuing education and personal achievement. To achieve this designation, Shepherd completed the GCCE application with supporting documentation, wrote a 250-word essay describing her views on her performance as a chamber executive and provided letters of recommendation from a past chamber chair and three GACCE peers. The application and supporting material were then reviewed by a panel of judges.
Local Allstate agency owner L.J. Brown received four Allstate Agency Hands in the Community Awards for his commitment to helping others and community service. Because of Brown’s outstanding volunteerism, The Allstate Foundation awarded $1,000 grants to four local non-profit organizations: When Help Can’t Wait, The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta, Martinez Evans Little League and Columbia County Parks and Recreations. The L.J. Brown Agency is located 119 Davis Rd. Suite 9C in Martinez.
Upscale apartments being built on Walton Way Extension A new upscale apartment complex is under construction on Walton Way Extension on the north side of I-20 Exit 196. It will go by the name Grand Oaks at Crane Creek. According to the website, the complex will offer upscale conveniences and amenities, like a cyber café with computers and wi-fi, a resident lounge, a game room, a wellness center and a swimming pool with cabanas and grilling stations. According to signage at the site, Grand Oaks at Crane Creek is expected to open this fall.
Georgia Shepherd earns businesses Census estimate state chamber worry about shows Augusta certification economy closing on Tammy Shepherd, President and CEO of the Columbia CounSmall businesses in Georgia Columbus ty Chamber of Commerce was were increasingly worried about
12 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
economic conditions in July, according to the Thumbtack.com Small Business Sentiment Survey, a monthly survey of independent local service businesses in the United States, including 523 responses in Georgia. Key findings for Georgia include: • Georgia small business owners’ feelings about their current finances declined by 2 percent while expectations for the economy as a whole dropped by 4 percent. • Concerns over tightening access to credit were particularly pronounced as expectations for availability of credit declined by 5 percent this month. • Nevertheless, Georgia’s independent local service professionals remain more optimistic about future economic conditions than the rest of the South and the nation as a whole. Small businesses in Georgia reported that their biggest
concern was acquiring new customers. In regards to hiring, Georgia’s small business owners reported a 3 percent decline in plans to add employees to their ranks. “Although the economy as seen through the eyes of America’s small businesses has improved over the last year, and some areas reported stronger economic sentiment, recent trends show that small businesses overall are not feeling optimistic about the future,” said Thumbtack’s Chief Economist Jon Lieber. “Expectations about future economic conditions have been on a five-month decline, even though hiring expectations nationwide are holding steady, which is a continued good sign in the labor market.”
Intersections get safer left turn signals New traffic signals that could make busy intersections less dangerous will start showing up soon in areas of Columbia and Richmond counties. On the new signals, when the green left turn arrow goes off it will be replaced with a flashing
yellow left turn arrow while the remaining lanes have a green light. This allows drivers to make a left turn after yielding to oncoming traffic. It is the same situation as currently when the green arrow goes off and the remaining lanes have a green light. The flashing yellow arrows have been shown to make drivers more cautious about making turns. Research conducted by the Georgia Department of Transportation shows that the flashing yellow arrows reduced left turn crashes by 35 percent. Lights at new intersections in the area will all have the new flashing yellow arrows. Signals at existing intersections will be replaced over time.
IntelliSystems on fast growth track
IntelliSystems has been named to the Ingram Micro 2015 SMB 500. The annual list recognizes the 500 fastest-growing Ingram Micro U.S. channel partners serving the small and midsize business (SMB) market. IntelliSystems has expanded its business with Ingram Micro by 46 percent in the past three years and now ranks 193rd. “We are excited to be a part of Ingram Micro’s SMB 500 list,” said Kevin Wade, President and CEO of IntelliSystems. “Our team works hard to help businesses in our area achieve their technology goals.” As part of the SMB 500, IntelliSystems earns industry-wide recognition for its growth, continued success and commitment to service excellence. Ingram Micro delivers a full spectrum of global technology and supply chain services to businesses around the world. Founded in 1993, IntelliSystems labels itself “The Small Business IT Department,” with offices in Augusta, Aiken, and Columbia. Featuring a 60-minutes-or-less response time for most technology problems, it uses a proactive approach to leverage a variety of tools to manage client IT systems, resulting in less “fixing” of recurring problems that rob organizations of employee productivity.
Columbia County Chamber forms foundation
The new Columbia County Chamber Foundation is officially off and running. The Foundation is an arm of the Chamber that will be used to develop and enhance Chamber programs beneficial to community development. Examples of current projects that will benefit are Principal for a Day, Teachers in Business and Students in Business. While Workforce and Education programs will be the initial benefactors, the foundation’s reach will be expanded to other programs such as leadership development. The Foundation, as a 501(c)(3), can apply for grants and solicit tax-deductible donations for worthy projects. The Chamber is a 501(c)(6), which means it is a not-for-profit lobbying organization and not a charity. While many of the Chamber programs are beneficial to the community, without the charity designation it isn’t eligible for most gifts and grants.
lion or more in fiscal year 2015. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs, including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Pre-K Program. More than 1.7 million students have received HOPE, and more than 1.3 million 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.
Branum’s is district dealer of the year Nick Meabon of Branum’s Sewing and Vacuum in Augusta was named a District Dealer of the Year by the Bernina sewing machine company at the annual dealer conference in Scottsdale, Ariz. “Our top dealers represented Bernina with outstanding sales, first-class customer service and educational support in 2014,” said Paul Ashworth, president of Bernina of America. “These Dealers are exemplary and a model of success for our other Bernina Dealers to emulate. We are proud to recognize them.” Branum’s, located on Washington Road, sells sewing and seamstress supplies, as well as arts and crafts supplies. Bernina manufactures sewing, embroidery and quilting machines.
Georgia lottery adds millions to education fund Poll points Georgia’s education fund increased by nearly $1 billion to expanding after the Georgia Lottery Corp. transferred money to it in July. economy The lottery transferred $980.5 million to the Lottery for Education Account, $34.4 million more than the previous year. As a result, the total raised for educational programs in the state of Georgia increased to more than $16.5 billion since the lottery’s inception in 1993. “We are pleased to have raised more dollars for education than in any previous year,” said Georgia Lottery President and CEO Debbie Alford. “This would not have been possible without the support of our players, retailers, business partners and employees across the state.” The lottery was also good to some of the players, with 67 people winning prizes of $1 mil-
Signs are pointing to an expanding economy, according to a poll conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In the poll, 61 percent of businesses surveyed reported their current sales levels are at or above normal, and 56 percent said their profit margins are normal or better than normal. At the same time, they also said their costs of goods and services they use in production have increased by 1.5 percent since last year. They also foresee an increase in inflation to 2 percent. All of those things taken together are a sign of a growing economy as consumers increase their buying.
Customers ordering at the WifeSaver counter circa 1965.
WifeSaver celebrates 50 years of serving chicken WifeSaver, the iconic CSRA restaurant, is celebrating 50 years in business this month. Founded in 1965 by George Cunningham, WifeSaver began as a way for George to take care of the mounting medical bills brought on by his son, (and now owner) Chris’ childhood bout with polio. The original WifeSaver on Milledgeville Road stood in the front yard of George’s home. Now, 50 years later, they are still serving up award-winning Chicken.
Summer sports have economic impact for area
Everyone knows the economic impact sports have on the area in April, but June and July are quickly becoming months featuring sports that add significantly to the area’s economy. North Augusta hosted seven youth tournaments during those two months that brought in $263,000 in direct income but boosted the area’s economy by $5 to $10 million. Two Nike basketball tournaments, the boys’ Peach Jam and the girls’ Nationals, contributed most of that, an estimated $223,000 in gross revenue. But during those two major events, hotel rooms were filled to capacity from Augusta to Aiken. North Augusta’s Riverview
“We’ve been here for 50 years…which is kind of mind boggling when you think about it,” Chris Cunningham said. “When we started, an 8-piece Family Meal was $2.89, a cup of tea was a dime, a 2-piece chicken dinner with two sides and bread was 85 cents and a gallon of gas was a quarter. That just goes to show how long we’ve been around…and, I think we are going to be here for 50 more years.” Park also played host to the ASA Girls Softball Tournament, the South Carolina RBI Baseball Tournament, the Cal Ripken Southeast Regional Baseball Tournament and the Dixie Boys State Baseball Tournament.
Local groups in finals for STEM awards
Three CSRA groups are among the finalists for the fourth annual STEM Education awards sponsored by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed). The Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization is a finalist in the Post-Secondary Outreach category. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions’ Education Outreach and Georgia
A lot has changed in those 50 years, but Wife Saver’s famous recipes have stayed the same and the food has since become a beloved culinary staple of football tailgaters and post-church suppers in this part of Georgia. Wife Saver has seven locations currently operating in and around Augusta. It has been voted Best Fried Chicken by readers of Augusta Magazine ever since the “Best Of” awards began. Power’s East Region Corporate Outreach are both finalists in the Corporate Outreach category. These awards were created to recognize and celebrate education outreach programs for outstanding efforts and achievement in supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering, and math education in Georgia. “We applaud each of this year’s finalists for their extraordinary efforts to bolster awareness about STEM and for their hard work to increase student participation in science, technology, engineering and math programs,” said Michael Robertson, director of TAG-Ed. “Georgia will need to fill 211,000 STEM-related jobs by 2018, so we are pleased to showcase so many great schools, programs and organizations that are helping to develop a strong future workforce for our state. ”
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Marketing Mark Alison
Bridging the Gap
Sometimes marketing starts with a non-existent product Sometimes the best way to develop a new product is to find one that doesn’t exist – find a gap and fill it. That’s what product manager Brian had in mind when he called The Alison Group saying he needed something more than advertising for his idea for a mower. Here’s a case study of how starting from square one worked for him. We started with a non-existent product. We had no idea what it would look like, what it was named or how much it would cost. The Gap Analysis showed a big $600 hole between the high-end walk-behind mower at $600 retail, and the lowend rider, a $1,200 Murray. Brian was determined to fill it. Our job was to help him design and sell a new machine “from the ground up.” We started in April. In May we conducted surveys. We targeted consumers
Social Media Kelsey Morrow
Pass the Password
Court case raises questions about who owns social media A Texas business owner recently spent several weeks in jail for refusing to hand over his business’ social media passwords to the new owner. The business owner argued that because he had posted personal information on the business page, it should solely belong to him. However, a federal judge ordered that since the social media pages provide access to the business’s current and potential customers, they provide value to the business and therefore are considered business property. Cases like these are largely unprecedented. However, as
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who shopped the lawn and garden section of major retailers like Sears, Lowes and Home Depot. By late May we had enough data for the product design engineers. The machine would definitely be a rider but not the typical one. Our research showed that “Nobody cuts grass at night,” so there’d be no headlights. Other comments were “Put the engine behind the rider,” and “Make it a battery start,” but include a pull rope back-up. This was good stuff. We drilled down using focus groups to find likely buyer demographics. In June we conducted mall intercepts to test out a potential lift lever, speed changer and seat. The high-back seat was a big hit but added a $14 manufacturing cost. Still, we felt is was a good selling point. Consumers also wanted a 24-inch deck to enable riding through a single gate. We tested price points. Honestly, the little machine was starting to look like a much improved old Snapper brand rider I had helped market in the ‘70s. In August the engineers pieced together a prototype that we took to the lawn and garden magazine capital of the world, Ames, Iowa. We presented it to 20 editors. We had one small window of time to make the spring lawn and garden magazines and this was it. They asked to see the mower in operation. We held our breath and rolled the
social media continues to become ingrained in society, we are likely to see more cases like this one in the future. And even though this particular case took place in Texas, it could happen anywhere. The story’s lesson? Keep your personal life and business life separated on social media. In theory, this should be a pretty straight forward decision. If you create something with the sole purpose of promoting a business, it belongs to that business. For example, our Buzz on Biz social media accounts were created several years ago, and when I began my position, they were handed over to me. In the future I will pass them on to someone else, who will pass them to someone else, so that they stay within the business. However, sometimes it can be hard for business owners to separate their personal lives from their professional lives, and that is when things get complicated. For example, say you are a small business owner and your business is having some type of event. Logically, you might post something on your personal social media mentioning this event to reach any of your personal
prototype off the truck. The U.S.-made Briggs & Stratton motor built especially for this unit worked flawlessly. They were impressed and called it a “Category Buster.” We were encouraged. September moved us to selling and distribution. We prepared the card deck to pitch it to the major players in the lawn and garden market. Afraid the little machine, which we had now branded as “Weed Eater One,” would cannibalize higher margin mowers, retailers were reluctant to buy in. Three of the majors delayed their decisions. But Walmart, with rider sales at zero the year before, was very interested. We had learned that people would buy it if they could take it home in their car so the box was engineered to fit into the back of a minivan. We pitched that feature along with the price and Walmart was sold. Virtually every other retailer capitulated.
From October to December, Husqvarna ordered 50,000 Weed Eater Ones to be built. We refined the target audience to retirees who were downsizing then found a secondary target – first-time homeowners. Our team created 30-second TV commercials and print ads for spring. From March to May we placed media in select cities based on our target demo and other overlays, like spring’s arrival, which could lag by more than 30 days in our desired markets. The machines were delivered in February. We were sure it needed a story to sell it at retail but someone forgot to attach our beautifully designed FABs (features and benefits) hang-tags. All we could do then was wait. Magazine stories hit, ads hit, PR hit, the internet buzzed. Our little $799 machine which hadn’t existed a year before sold out! Brian was a happy man. The next year every major lawn mower manufacturer made their version of the Weed Eater One and a new category of mower was born. Twelve months from idea to reality. That’s the power of good marketing. Mark Alison is President of The Alison Group (started in 1982) with offices in Augusta and Charlotte. TAG works best with goaloriented clients who have ambitions to grow. www.thealisongroup.com.
If you create something with the sole purpose of promoting a business, it belongs to that business followers and friends who may not be following your business page. Does this then make your personal social media page property of your business? Or what if you are a small business owner who just hasn’t (for whatever reason) found the time to make a separate page for your business. Does that make your personal page business property? The type of page and name of the page matter when deciding if it should be considered business property. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms are set-up so that multiple pages cannot have the same username, handle or tag. This means that if someone creates the Twitter handle @JohnDoe, even if another person is also named John Doe, they would have to choose some other Twitter handle, such as @JohnDoe2, @ JohnDoe3 and so on, that differentiates it from the original. Therefore, if I were to create a username for a business that
is the business’ name that would then become business property. For example, Buzz on Biz should be able to keep @buzzonbiz instead of having to create @buzzonbiz2. If the page is created under someone’s personal name, I don’t believe that should become business property because it does not affect the business’ ability to create its own page. For example, if Jane Doe is posting as Jane Doe instead of as XYZBusiness, that does not prevent the future owners of XYZBusiness from creating a page for the business. I expect we will be seeing many business social media legal cases in years to come. Kelsey Morrow is the Media Assistant at Buzz on Biz and handles its social media accounts. She has a Masters in Public Relations from the University of Georgia. You can contact her at email@example.com.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Sales Jeb Blount
At the Tone...
Tips on leaving voicemail messages that get returned As I reluctantly trudge through voicemail messages from salespeople, there are three kinds that drive me crazy: No Contact Information. These messages are automatically deleted. Long-Winded. Somewhere in the middle of their droning on and on I usually hit delete. Garbled Contact Information. When I have to listen to a message more than once, it wastes my time and I delete it. Here’s the deal: To get more of your messages returned you must make it easier for your prospects to call you back. 5 Steps to Leaving Voicemail Messages That Get Returned: Identify Yourself. Say who you are and the company
Business Habits Marin Rose
Day and Night
An organized work area may not translate in home tidiness Quite a few of my residential organizing clients wonder aloud why they’re overwhelmed by household paperwork and tasks. “At work,” they say, “I’ve got it all together.” The truth is that being organized isn’t necessarily consistent from one area of life to another. We tend to seek order where it comes naturally to us, where we’ve had a strong example of it or where it’s most critical to our survival. It’s common for people who are disorganized at home to be quite the opposite in the workplace, for several reasons. Work is highly defined whereas home life is not. Job descriptions and organizational charts make clear to us
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you work for up front. This makes you sound professional and transparent. Say Your Phone Number Twice. Prospects can’t call back if they don’t have your number or you garbled it. Give your contact information upfront and say it twice – slowly. Plus, after they hear your name and company they may not care about the rest of your message because, based on their situation, they can infer what it is about. Tell Them the Reason for Your Call. Tell them why you have called. There is nothing more irritating to a buyer than a salesperson who is not honest about their intentions. After you give your personal information just say, “The reason for my call is…” or “the purpose of my call is…”, then tell them why you are calling and what you want. Transparency is both respectful and professional. Give Them a Reason to Call You Back. Prospects call back when you have something that they want or are curious about. Curiosity is a powerful driver of behavior. When you have knowledge, insight, information, special pricing, new or improved products or a solution to a problem, you create a motivating force that compels your prospect to call you back. Repeat Your Name and Say Your Phone Number Twice. Before you
what is expected of us at work. In the corporate sphere, roles and responsibilities are systematically defined and delegated. At home, there’s no hierarchy dictating how to prioritize. Positive role models abound in the workplace but not necessarily in the home. Most of us are eyewitnesses to organized employees before we even hit the workforce. Teachers, professors and mentors throughout our lives have probably exposed us to some form of organization. For those raised in organizationally challenged families, the same example has not been offered in the home setting. Consequences of disorganization on the job are immediate and severe. Tardiness and lack of preparedness at work can get us into embarrassing situations and even jeopardize our employment. At home, the consequences take longer to materialize and can be more subtle. Understanding what causes organized behavior at work can help us apply similar principles at home. Develop a mission for your family and assign roles to each member. Priorities at home are just as important as priorities at work. Define the top goals for your household and de-
end your message, say your name again slowly and clearly and always, always say your number twice. “Hi Rick, this is Jeb Blount from Sales Gravy, my phone number is 1-888-3602249, that’s 1-888-360-2249. The reason I am calling is you downloaded our white paper on cold calling and I want to learn more about your situation and what triggered you to seek out this information. I also have some additional resources on voicemail messages and phone prospecting I thought you might be curious to learn about. Let’s get together this week. Give me a call back at 1-888-360-2249, that’s 1-888-360-2249.” I am aware that it feels awkward to
say your phone number four times on the same voice mail message. Your goal is to make it easy and pleasurable for them to call you back, not more comfortable for you. By saying your phone number twice up front they don’t need to listen to the entire message to get your phone number if they are ready to call you back. If your message intrigued or hooked them and they want to call you back you’ve made it easy for them because you gave your number twice at the end of the message. They don’t have to replay the message to get your contact information. Making it easy increases the probability that you’ll get a call back. In fact, it will at least double your call backs when you use this methodology consistently. Bonus Tip: Keep voice mail messages to 30 seconds. When you hold yourself to 30 seconds it forces you to be clear, succinct and professional. Jeb Blount is the founder of Sales Gravy in Thomson. He helps sales teams across the globe reach peak performance fast through keynote speeches, boot camps, seminars, and on-site and online training experiences. Hire Jeb to speak at your next sales meeting or conference. Call at 1-888-360-2249 or visit JebBlount.com for more information.
The consequences of living without order at home often means living with a lack of intention in your life cide how each person will contribute. Is saving money a top priority? Freeing up more time for fun? Reducing conflict in the household? What are the daily, weekly and monthly tasks that each person will perform in pursuit of those goals? Find a role model – and become one, too. There’s no shortage of guidance these days about running an organized household. Whether it’s a friend or family member, an Internet resource or a professional organizer, find someone to help you make positive change at home. And be the example to your kids that you never had. The lifelong benefits to them will be astounding. Recognize the consequences. There’s no one to fire you from your job as head of household, even if you wish there were. But the consequences of living without order at home often means you’re living with a lack of intention in your personal life. The wasted money, squandered time and
seeping energy that disorder requires is not as devastating as the missed opportunity to choose your path and enjoy your home. If you’ve got it together at work, you know you can do it at home. The first step is to recognize the value of making your personal life as much of a priority as your professional life. Get organized among friends! Starting September 1, I 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. Contact me for more information. Professional Organizing Coach Marin Rose of Libra Organizing is celebrating five years organizing people’s spaces and lives to help them become happier and more productive – and less stressed. Contact Marin at libraorganizing.com to schedule a free organizing assessment in your home or office, or to hire her as a speaker.
Financial stress causes lost work time New education program helps reduce financial stress for employees By Kelsey Morrow A financially stressed employee can cost a business approximately 20 hours of lost production time each month. Multiply that by five or 10 employees, or even more, and that quickly adds up to many hours lost each month – a major set-back in productivity. But Henry Leverett of Queensborough National Bank and Trust has a solution to easing this financial worry for both employees and their employers. When Leverett joined Queensborough as their At Work Banking Specialist, he devised a program called iQ University which is designed to teach program participants about topics that often cause financial stress – credit, budgeting, investing, retirement, insurance, homeownership, education and estate planning. iQ University is a free program offered to any business, no matter the size. Queensborough does not require any commitments from businesses wishing to participate. “It’s about doing the right thing for your customer,” Leverett said. However, upon completion of the program, if participants wish to do business with Queensborough, they can receive spe-
cial incentives. Leverett describes iQ University as a financial literacy program, which he defines as being knowledgeable about a number of essentials needed to achieve a secure financial future. “We’ve seen a growing amount of people who need a financial literacy foundation,” Leverett said. “Not everyone knows how to budget or manage credit. Some financial rules have also changed due to the recession of 2008 and 2009, and not everyone is aware of those changes or properly taking them into consideration.” While lack of literacy often has the connotation of poor or uneducated, financial literacy is an issue that affects people of all walks of life. For example, while putting together the materials for the iQ University program, Queensborough discovered that more than 30 percent of people with salaries of more than $100,000 still live paycheck to paycheck. Because financial literacy levels can vary, iQ University programs vary as well. Leverett said that some organizations prefer for him to cover all of the eight main topics, some will ask for him to speak on a smaller
selection of topics, and others will even ask for additional financial topics to be included such as how to write a check, balance a check book, explain bank fees and other basic banking procedures. The most popular topic, and biggest concern of iQ University participants, is credit. Many people struggle with large credit card debts, which affects the ability to save and credit scores. A poor credit score can affect all aspects of one’s life, including the ability to take out a loan, obtain insurance and even find a job. Leverett is hoping to expand on this topic even further in future versions of iQ University. “It’s not always bad habits that cause bad
continued from page 6 here’s why: God redeemed me from something I used to be and decided to use me again.” Branching out to other products Hoeller says that beards are a trend and that trend is already fading in big cities. To keep his products fresh and viable, he plans to expand into other areas. He created a tattoo butter to preserve a tattoo’s color and aid in healing. He is currently testing a line of body butters aimed at women, and has plans for candles and lip
credit,” Leverett said. “Sometimes it can be the death of a spouse, medical issues, etc. – it’s not always things we have control over that cause our credit to be bad.” iQ University is more than a job for Leverett. It is based on a personal passion – and personal experience. Leverett said that in the past he encountered many of the financial problems that he speaks about, and wants to help keep others from making those same mistakes. “I just want people to benefit from my experience,” Leverett said. For more information about iQ University, contact Leverett at hleverett@qnbtrust. com.
balms. Hoeller, a lover of bulldogs, even has plans in the works to create a pad balm for his four-legged pals. Though he currently works a full-time job in addition to running Dr. Bob’s Beard Tonic, he’s considered shifting to it full time if the opportunity presents itself. Whatever the future holds, Hoeller is committed to giving his best. “You can’t be mediocre,” he said. “I don’t want it to just be a hobby and kind of sputter out,” he said. “I like doing it and I like the relationships we make with it.”
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Businessperson of the Month Andrew and Alex Polonus,
Augusta Disposal & Recycling
Brothers carry on father’s, uncle’s goal of getting the CSRA to recycle By Gary Kauffman You could say that Augusta’s oldest recycling company is being recycled. Brothers Andrew and Alex Polonus have assumed the leadership of Augusta Disposal and Recycling, a business their father, Bill, and late uncle, John, founded in 1991. Andrew is the general manager while Alex is the operations manager, although they don’t feel bound by titles. “We don’t even really have titles,” Andrew said. “But everything goes through us.” Andrew returned to the family business three years ago after a sojourn on the beaches of Charleston and Alex joined in a year later when he finished college. They are running a business that is the true definition of grassroots entrepreneurship. John Polonus had worked for a waste disposal/recycling company in Philadelphia and on his visits to Augusta he noticed that no one offered curbside recycling. He convinced his brother, who was selling cars, to join him in a trash disposal-recycling venture. Their mother and seven sisters chipped in to provide the seed money for the fledgling business. “When they started the company they had one truck,” Andrew said. “My uncle would drive and dad would be on the back. If the truck broke down, dad would get under it and fix it and they’d go on.” They built their customer base by literally knocking on doors. They gradually grew the business but the big break came when they were awarded the contract for Richmond County, which they held for seven years. “That’s what started it all,” Andrew said. “They had a pretty decent customer base but once they got that contract, it allowed us to expand.” Their first office was in John’s basement. The babysitter for his daughters, Paula Ford, answered the phones while they were out in the truck. Her babysitting duties have long since ended, but Ford is still an employee of the business. Augusta Disposal and Recycling isn’t currently servicing Richmond County, but provides services for Columbia County and parts of Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina. Augusta Disposal and Recycling is known for its distinctive white trucks with black spots, reminiscent of a Holstein cow, something Bill and John started from the beginning. “I wish I could give a good reason for why they did that,” Andrew said. “It was just a way for Dad and my uncle to differentiate themselves.” The company has now added a Pepto-Bismol-pink truck to the rotation, a tribute to breast cancer awareness which has affected their family. Originally, they thought that driving the pink truck might embarrass the drivers but the opposite happened. “The guys love it because all the women wave at them and want to have their pictures taken with it,” Andrew said. The employees are a big part of the business, and a number of them have been with the company for a long time. Some are as recognizable to the people on their
18 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Brothers Andrew (left) and Alex Polonus now run Augusta Disposal & Recycling. Photo by Gary Kauffman
routes as the trucks. “Some of our guys have been on the same route for 13 years,” Andrew said. “If Tim is out on a Friday afternoon, we’ll get five calls asking, ‘Where’s Tim?’” Customer service is important. If someone is missed on a route, or they get their can out late, someone will return that day to get it. For their handicapped customers, an employee will take the can from the house to the truck and then return it. Having the brothers take over the business was always part of the plan. Although both do a little bit of everything, Andrew handles most of the paperwork and business end of things, while Alex oversees the physical operations and the employees. “Alex is doing what Dad did, and I’m doing what my uncle did,” Andrew explained. Their father still contributes to the business, and they keep their 102-yearold grandmother in the loop, too. “She was one of the first investors,” Andrew said. “We have dinner with her once a week and tell her about the business, and she gives us her opinions.” About 11 months ago the brothers made a big change to the business that has taken recycling to the next level. They became the area’s first singlestream recycler, meaning that people no longer have to sort out their recyclables. Instead, they now bypass the landfill completely and take everything to the recycling center in South Carolina. There, optical scanning machinery separates the recyclables from the trash. “Dad always wanted the entire CSRA to recycle,” Andrew said. “Now, if you’re a customer of ours you’re recycling without even realizing it.”
It also means Augusta Disposal and Recycling is the only waste management company in the area that can recycle glass. Going to the recycling center reduces landfill waste by at least 45 percent. “It’s a little more expensive to go the recycling center,” Andrew admitted. “But we’re also taking a truck off the road, so there’s less cost and less pollution.” Both brothers grew up working in the business, from cleaning trash cans to actually slinging trash into the truck. And even though more of their work is behind the scenes now, occasionally on a Friday they’ll hop into one of the trucks and run a route. What are you passionate about in your business? Andrew – I’ve always been environmentally conscious. We work closely with Earth Day festivals and work closely with the schools. After our presentations at the schools, if we can get the kids to just go home and mention recycling, we’ve done our jobs. Alex – I try to treat the guys with respect. They’re hard workers. We work with a lot of veterans. They’re great workers. What did you learn from your father about business? Andrew – More than anything, it was work ethic. He’s the hardest working guy we know. Growing up we didn’t see him much because he was always working on the trucks. Alex – He’s a very compassionate guy. He’d never ask anyone to do something he wouldn’t do himself. He was always one of the guys. What have you learned about yourself by being in business? Andrew – I’ve learned patience. I learned to prioritize and to delegate.
Alex – It’s definitely not easy. When the job is done you can feel good about yourself, but the job is never done. How do you unplug? Andrew – I run a lot. We both go see a lot of live music. We’re big Georgia Bulldogs fans, as well as fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Alex – I play golf and listen to music. If you could splurge on anything, what would it be? Alex – I don’t know, everything I wear is from Goodwill. A new fleet of trucks would be great. Andrew – Season tickets for Georgia football. We’re not too materialistic, we’re garbage men. If you couldn’t have this job, what would you do? Andrew – For the last 20 years this is all I thought of. I worked in advertising for a little while but that didn’t work out. Alex (laughs) – I think I’d be a good radio host or a sports announcer because I like to think that I know everything. How do you give back to the community? Andrew – We work closely with a lot of charities and breast cancer awareness. We work with the Phinizy Swamp Nature Center on their events and we work with schools. We donate our services more than anything. What does the future hold for you? Andrew – We plan on getting bigger and expanding further into South Carolina and Appling. A lot of companies have a goal of getting a lot of customers so they can sell to a larger company. We plan to give this to our kids. We want to make it a third generation company. And ideally, if we keep growing to the east, we’ll get back to the beach.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Solutions Charles Kelly
Ultimate Upgrade Equipment upgrades good, but employees are the key
Businesses, just like computers and IT infrastructure, require constant updates to remain relevant, stable and profitable. Your computer’s operating system requires those annoying updates, without which you become vulnerable to attack and ultimately to failure. A prime example of this is the Windows 10 free upgrade, now available to those of you running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. What customers are rapidly finding out is that all updates to their current Windows OS have to be done or the
upgrade will fail. So, do those updates and please, please backup your data before attempting the upgrade. The lesson here is that businesses, like operating systems, cannot remain static and must constantly adapt and change or they risk “failure to thrive” or even outright collapse. IT infrastructure must be constantly evaluated and upgraded on a regular basis with a plan towards regular, staged upgrades rather than a massive overhaul with the accompanying tidal wave of cost and disruption. Businesses must also constantly improve processes and evaluate their position within their industry. Ignoring either of these leaves a company vulnerable to new, aggressive competition that can rapidly take away market share and drain away profits. Operating in the IT space for the last 20 years here at Computer Exchange has meant that we have had to constantly evaluate product, process and competition, both locally and nationally, all while growing and retaining a staff to meet our customers’ needs. We began with one employee and now have 25 employees, four retail loca-
Business Lessons Gary Kauffman
Millennials think of work, buying, play differently Many years ago when I was in college, shortly after the dinosaurs had quit roaming the earth, I worked two summers at a sash and door company (I built doors; sashes was a different department). One of my co-workers was Smokey (not sure where the name came from since he was one of the few employees who didn’t smoke), who had been with the company for 50 years, a feat made possible by the fact that he started when he was 16. While Smokey held the record for longevity at the company, several others had been there more than 40 years, a number of others 30-plus years and almost everyone except us summer helpers had been employed at least 15 years. They were held in high esteem for their longevity and it was seen as a sign that they were conscientious workers and good at what they did.
20 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Recently my son changed jobs. He’d been with the same company for eight years, starting right out of college. He changed jobs for a number of reasons, but among them was the fact that his tenure at the company was beginning to be viewed negatively by prospective employers. There was a perception that if he’d been at the same job for so long that maybe he wasn’t a motivated employee or not especially skilled at what he does. That is just one illustration of how things are changing in the world of work, and will continue to as the socalled Millennial Generation (roughly those born 1983-2000) move into the workforce and even start moving up the corporate ladder. Not only will there be changes in work habits, there will be changes in the way Millennials shop. The wise business owner will stay aware of and cater to these changes, because this generation will be the workforce and main consumers for the next 20 or 30 years. Here are some things to be aware of about Millennials: Workforce Longevity is no longer a measure of ability – Be prepared to field resumes with lots of job changes, sometimes within a relatively short time. While it could still be the mark of a problem employee, the odds are increasing that it’s the mark of a talented worker.
tions and a rapidly growing Field Services Division. Of all the aspects of staying current and relevant, infrastructure and process are important, but the core employee component is absolutely the most important of all. Without a management team to implement all of these forward thinking ideas, not only will daily operations suffer, but improvement becomes impossible. We have all seen companies that, when young, were aggressive, responded quickly to customer inquiries and did great work, but as the company aged, they became slower to respond and seemed to care a little less than that new company on the block. Would you rather do business with a company that has a great attitude and is hungry to do the work or a company that has become complacent, with the self-delusion that they are the best and that the best is worth waiting for? As we reach the 20-year mark this year at Computer Exchange, we feel that we have done a good job of staying relevant, aggressive and customer centric, but we know that in order to maintain that stance, we must appeal
to not only our current customer base, but also the new generation of business owners, many of which are Millennials. With that in mind, John Luther and I are happy to announce that Zac Lewallen, the current manager of our Professional Services Division (a proud Millennial himself), who has been with us for five years, is now a managing partner of Computer Exchange Professional Services. Zac leads the field team and will often be the face you see when you ask for a quote. To be clear, John and I are not retiring and plan on at least another decade or more in this, our chosen field. Our goal is to ensure that Computer Exchange will be here, not only 10 years down the road, but 20 or even 30 years from now and that we will grow in the right directions with dedicated, stateof-the-art team members.
They are changing jobs frequently because their talents are sought, there are more opportunities available through national websites like Monster and CareerBuilder and they are looking for ways to expand their expertise. Dress codes aren’t as important – Millennials aren’t sloppy dressers but many of them eschew the traditional suit-and-tie, dress-and-heels work attire that once was a staple of the business world. Flexibility – Millennials grew up in a very connected world through computers, smart phones and the internet. They see less reason to work 8-to-5 at a desk when they can easily do some or all of their work from home or from Starbucks. A greater awareness of the world around them – Millennials still like to get paid, of course, and expect a fair wage. But many are more interested in working for businesses that are environmentally-friendly and socially conscious than those that will pay them the biggest buck. Buying public Experience is tantamount – Many Millennials would rather experience something than be an observer. Outdoor activities like zip lining, kayaking or hiking are popular, as are indoor games like laser tag. Surprisingly, for a generation raised on social media, social activities and venues like coffee shops and upscale bars are popular. Online savvy – Millennials like the
experience of shopping in a store, but they’ve been raised to expect that they can buy what they want from a website, 24/7. Forget the hard sell – Millennials are wary of sales pitches, especially anything that sounds too good to be true or that require instant action. They value their friends’ experiences shared through social media or the advice of people they consider to be experts. They’re a little tight fisted – While they might not hesitate to spend a chunk of money on a vacation experience or a night out with friends, they are not frivolous with their money. They saw the devastation the recession caused and carefully evaluate before spending anything. Thrift shops and discount stores are popular with this generation. It’s a different world than Baby Boomers are used to, and some people might view the changes with skepticism. But I remember the Depressionera generation looking at the Baby Boomer generation the same way and I think we turned out all right. So will the Millennials.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Hydroponics helps gardeners beat the heat By Gary Kauffman The brutal heat can take its toll on garden vegetables. Kevin Marken offers a unique idea to beat the heat – grow them inside. Marken owns Garden City Hydroponics, which recently moved to the Maple Street Station shopping center at Maple Street and Columbia Road, a block from Belair Road. The business, which started in February 2014, had been located in the industrial park on Flowing Wells, but changes there forced them to find a new location. While the new space is smaller, it is set up for a retail business as opposed to an office space in the previous location. Marken said the new location in a shopping center near a busy intersection has also increased foot traffic in the store. Marken believes hydroponics – growing plants in water instead of soil – is the answer to beating the heat with a garden by creating it in a controlled indoor environment. “In this kind of heat fruiting vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers will shut down and not produce fruit,” he said. “They’re just trying to stay alive.” Hydroponics has an advantage in grow-
ing plants quicker since the roots draw nutrients directly from the water rather than from the soil. It also uses less water than plants in soil, since there is no wasted water flowing through the soil. The controlled indoor environment aids in better pest and disease control. While hydroponics systems can be set up for large greenhouses, they can be as small as a 5-gallon bucket system. “You can grow it as small as one that sits on a windowsill up to a greenhouse,” Marken said. “You can grow pretty much anything hydroponically.” Since December, Garden City Hydroponics has also been offering aquaponics setups. Aquaponics blends the growing of fish and plants. Horticulturist Jim West operates that part of the business. In the store display, a tankful of goldfish and koi are linked with a tray of lush plants. The water from the tank, which contains fish excrement, is filtered to the plants. The excrement acts as fertilizer and the plants draw nutrients from the water. The water is then cleaned and recirculated into the fish tank. West helps people set up the systems,
Openings Due South Brand A new Southern-inspired clothing store is set to open in Furys Ferry Station shopping center on Aug. 26. According to their Facebook page, Due South Brand seeks the newest trends in Southern-inspired clothing and gifts. It carries apparel for men, women and children. Among the brands it carries are Lilly Grace, Properly Tied, ChickeeBoom, Fripp & Folly, Southern Marsh and Farmhouse Fresh. Due South Brand plans a grand opening event on Aug. 29, with a drawing for a grand prize of an Orca cooler filled with more than $750 worth of store merchandise. The store will be open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m. They have a new website at www.duesouthbrand.com and are also on Facebook. Bodega Unlimited A new upscale-casual restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine will open soon in Surrey Center. Bodega Ultima will open in the lower level of Surrey Center in the space formerly occupied by My Friend’s Place. The restaurant is owned by Kevin Goldsmith, who also owns TakoSushi. Bodega Ultima will feature tapas-style offerings plus also sell retail food. It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. A patio will also be part of the restaurant for those who enjoy dining outdoors. Spirit Halloween The Spirit Halloween store will be leasing a Washington Road store for the spooky
season ahead. They have 1,100 stores nationwide and offer Halloween costumes, decorations, party supplies and more. Contractors are working on the finishing touches to the interior and expect to open soon. They are looking for seasonal employees. You can apply at work4spirit.com. For many years, Blockbuster video leased the store. Earlier this year, Treasures For Your Home moved into the vacant building and suddenly closed over the summer.
An aquaponics system combines fish and plant life.
as well as offering maintenance for home aquariums. He also grows and sells corals. Aquaponics has become popular with area schools, and Garden City Hydroponics sets up displays for schools, including
STEM exhibitions. Garden City Hydroponics carries a complete line of equipment for setting up a hydroponics system, as well as educational material like DVDs and books.
corner from the Kroger store on Washington Road. Lidl is part of the Schwarz Group, the fourth-largest retailer in the world. Lidl is the chief competitor of Aldi, and has more than 10,000 stores worldwide. Earlier this year it opened its U.S. headquarters in Arlington, Va., and plans to open stores along the East Coast. Like Aldi, it is a no-frills store, where customers take products directly from the shipping boxes. However, Lidl usually offers more branded products as well as some locally-sourced products. If approved, Lidl is expected to break ground in 2016. Lidl’s website does not cur-
Road next to Walmart at Exit 5 of I-20. It is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Jersey Mike’s Jersey Mike’s opened its newest CSRA restaurant on Aug. 12 near North Augusta. The newest franchise of owners Eric Clark and Jason Wren is located in the Sweetwater Shopping Center at Exit 5 of I-20. The shopping center is anchored by Walmart. As with all their Jersey Mike’s grand openings, the owners used it to support the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation. This is the second store opening this year for Clark and Wren. In the spring, they opened a store on Washington Road. This is also their second in North Augusta, having opened one in Martintown Plaza in June 2014. The owners now have six franchises in the CSRA. Kroger Marketplace Work will begin soon on the new Kroger Marketplace in Grovetown, with a goal of opening by the middle of 2016. The Kroger store will anchor a new shopping center on the north side of I-20 Exit 190, on Lewiston Road between William Few Parkway and Bluegrass Trail. In addition to the Kroger Marketplace, the center will include a Kroger gas station and locations for 12 other retail stores. A Kroger Marketplace is usually twice as big as a regular Kroger grocery store and offers non-grocery items like jewelry, clothing and furniture. Plans for the area show the addition of
Business openings, closings and moves
22 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
New York Butcher Shoppe New York Butcher Shoppe is returning to Surrey Center in Augusta after an absence of several years. The business will be in the middle level of Surrey Center, in the same row as the previous business, and will open in the fall, according to a sign at the location. It will be located next to Spa Bleu. According to the sign, the shop will be locally owned. New York Butcher Shoppe currently has seven locations in the Southeast, including two in Atlanta and two in Greenville, S.C. The business is known for handcut Angus beef steaks, fresh sausages, prepared entrees, specialty sandwiches and side dishes, with a selection of wines and cheeses. Lidl One of the first United States stores for a German supermarket giant could be located in Augusta, if the Augusta commissioners approve its plan. The planning commission gave its approval for a plan to build the 36,000-squarefoot store on Alexander Drive, around the
rently list any other stores in the United States. Crazy Buffet Crazy Buffet, a combination Asian cuisine restaurant, has opened in the Sweetwater Shopping Center in North Augusta. The restaurant serves an all-you-can eat Chinese buffet, with a sushi bar and a hibachi grill. It also offers carry out. Crazy Buffet is located at 1069 Edgefield
continued on page 23
Business openings, closings and moves contiued from page 22 turn lanes and a traffic signal to ease traffic flow in the already congested area, although no details have been released about when those traffic changes might take place. The Gateway Shopping Center, anchored by a Walmart Supercenter, is located on the south side of Exit 190. Body Canvas If you don’t like the product choices in stores, the best solution is to make one you like. That’s what Dr. Andrea Bridges, an Aiken resident, did after being disappointed in the shea butter products she found in stores. Bridges used her chemistry background (she holds a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame) to make her own shea butter cream. Her goal was to make a shea butter cream that had a smooth application and a refreshing fragrance. Eventually, she started adding oils to soften the texture and enhance moisture retention on the body and hair. In 2014, with the help of her husband, Eric, Bridges went public with her product under the name Body Canvas. The company now offers a variety of products including lip balm, shampoo and conditioner, shea cream and moisturizing soap. Body Canvas is available for purchase at Herbal Solutions & Spa in Aiken and at Garner’s Natural Life located in Columbia. For more information on Body Canvas, visit www.drandreabridgesbodycanvas.com or find Body Canvas on Facebook. Expansions Ridgecrest Coffee Bar Ridgecrest Coffee Bar in Aiken is expanding to a second location on Coach Light Way in the Village at Woodside. The first location on Wagener Road at the junction of Pine Log Road and Route 32 serves breakfast and lunch all day. In addition to coffee and espresso, it also serves frozen blended drinks and fruit smoothies. Food choices include muffins, scones, breakfast sandwiches, paninis and salads. Bellevue Memorial Gardens Bellevue Memorial Gardens, Chapel and Mausoleum in Grovetown will soon have a memorial area honoring those military veterans who served in the Pacific. John Reeves, Sr., owner of Bellevue Memorial Gardens and his wife, Deborah, trekked to Hawaii to finalize design concepts for his planned expansion that features a special section commemorating those men and women who served in the United States Armed Forces in the Pacific Theater, and those who have given their lives in doing so. “Our new section will accurately replicate memorials in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (informally known as Punchbowl Cemetery),” he said. “We plan to meet again with our architect and landscaper to make this dream a reality as soon as possible. A large percentage of our clients are military veterans and their dependents
so this venture is a natural extension and expression of our appreciation for our military men and women.” Bellevue Memorial Gardens is currently in the midst of several updating and enhancement projects to make the facility even more attractive and convenient. Reeves and his staff are well known for their annual Memorial Day Celebration events that commemorate military service members. Closings Killer B Disc Golf Killer B Disc Golf shop at the Hippodrome on Atomic Road in North Augusta has closed. According to a blog on the company’s website, the move came as a result of the owners, John and Marcy Borelli, wanting to try new ventures. They had run the shop for five years. “Although we are proud to have played a part in the rebirth of disc golf in Augusta, we are even more proud to have introduced so many new players to the sport and to each other,” they said on their blog. According to another news source, the shop will be closed during August and then re-open under the management of the Hippodrome staff.
4Ts Computers Usually closing two stores is not a sign of a growing business. But 4Ts Computers contracted in order to expand. The longtime CSRA computer store closed its locations in Daniel Village on Wrightsboro Road and on Tobacco Road, consolidating them into its central location at 592 Bobby Jones Expressway. This allows 4Ts to expand its on-site residential and business computer service. “Where it may seem that we are downsizing, we have actually added an additional technician to cover more personalized (we come to you!) on-site service,” said C.J. Taylor, manager of the Bobby Jones location and lead tech for 4Ts. The on-site service includes repairs and virus removal, installation, upgrades, networking and data backup. They can also install the new Windows system. It’s a service that customers want. “We’ve had a great response to the expansion of our on-site service, especially for our residential customers who no longer have to disconnect their PC and bring it to the shop,” Taylor said. Mergers and Acquisitions Evans Kia The Kia dealership in Evans has a new local owner and a new name.
The dealership at the corner of Washington and Gibbs roads, formerly known as Dyer Kia, will now go by Evans Kia. Wael Elsay bought Rob Dyer’s portion of the dealership in July. The rest of the ownership, BDC Automotive Group/Bowers Automotive of Chattanooga, Tenn., remains in place. Elsay comes into the business with an extensive background in the auto industry. He moved to the United States from Morocco 22 years ago and has spent 20 years of that time in the car industry, including eight years of managing Kia of Augusta. Elsay, emphasized that the ownership now has a local touch since he lives in Evans. “It’s local,” he said. “I want to get that out there as much as I can, that it’s local.” He plans to keep most things status quo, but wants to be more aggressive about selling cars. “We want to give the best deals to our customers,” he said. EDTS Southeastern information technology company EDTS has announced the acquisition of WHAV Inc. of Aiken. WHAV specializes in audiovisual and multimedia systems, video surveillance, access control, automation, intelligent control solutions, and structured cabling for clients across the Southeast. EDTS specializes in managed IT services, network security and advanced infrastructure. All clients of the former WHAV will be transferred to EDTS effective immediately, and the company will operate as a division of EDTS. WHAV’s six employees have joined EDTS and remain at the combined company’s existing location in Aiken, joining EDTS offices already in Augusta, Columbia and Greenville. Former WHAV principal Chris Boyer joined EDTS as the Director of AV/MM Solutions as part of the transaction and lead the integration of these services into all EDTS markets. According to both Charles Johnson, CEO of EDTS, and Boyer, WHAV’s deep expertise in video surveillance, access control and automation perfectly complements EDTS’ rapidly growing network security practice, as physical security increases in importance to optimizing network security. Hall, Murphy & Schuyler A desire to serve clients with more knowledge and resources prompted two local CPA firms to merge. Hall, Murphy & Schuyler, PC, was formed by the merger of Hall and Associates, LLC and William E. Murphy, CPA, PC. Amanda Schuyler, the third CPA in the firm, had been part of Hall and Associates. The change took place Aug. 1. “This allows us to pool our knowledge and resources,” Christine Hall said. “We feel we can be more efficient combined.” The new company’s office will be at 1221 George C. Wilson Dr., the location of the Hall and Associates offices. Construction on an addition to the building to accommo-
date the additional staff should begin soon. Hall said all the staff of both companies has been retained, with the possibility of hiring even more staff. She said the merger came about because each company had strengths the other felt they could benefit from. “We’re taking the best of both and merging them,” Hall said. Having three CPAs on staff will also increase the knowledge base for dealing with various situations. “The more knowledge you can bring in, the better,” Hall said. “Things change so quickly in the tax world that it’s always good to have more brain power.”
Infiniti of Augusta Infiniti of Augusta has a new owner and will have a new home within the next few weeks. Buzz on Biz learned that the dealership has been sold to the Ed Napleton Auto Group from the Chicago area. The new management team started on Aug. 17. The dealership, currently located at 3069 Washington Road, will move further west on Washington Road to a new store near the intersection of Pleasant Home Road. That move is expected to take place Sept. 1. Infiniti of Augusta had been owned by Andrew and Damon Ferguson since February 2013. The Ed Napleton Auto Group is a fourgeneration, family-owned group that started in 1931. Moves Ivan’s Gallery A personal trainer has taken his unique training program to a new location. Ivan Trinidad moved Ivan’s Gallery from its present location on Washington Road to a new facility behind Southern Lighting Gallery on Bobby Jones Expressway. The move nearly doubled the space for Trinidad’s unique spin classes, from 2,800 square feet to 4,500 square feet. The move took place Aug. 17. Trinidad invented a full-body workout on a stationary bike 18 years ago in Miami and brought that to Augusta eight years ago. The workout includes lasers and lights that Trinidad described as a club-like atmosphere. Ivan’s Gallery started with 14 bikes and increased that to 80 in the current location. He plans to have 100 bikes at his new location. He also plans to have more room for Zumba and yoga. Trinidad is a sports nutritionist and develops individualized nutrition and fitness plans for people who want to lose weight. His plans are designed to train the body to burn fat.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Augusta’s Wayfinding System finally complete Getting around Augusta is a little easier, thanks to the completion of the city’s Wayfinding System. More than 300 signs will welcome travelers at all city limits and major gateways. It directs people to major areas, city facilities, colleges and universities and points of interest. It also identifies public parking. The Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau is the managing organization of the City wayfinding system and has led the project since its beginning in 2005. Last July, Augusta Commissioners approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds to finish the project. “The completion of the City Wayfinding System is a benefit for all of Augusta,” said Barry White, President & CEO, Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “For residents, the system acts as a permanent billboard reminding them of all there is to see and do and encourages both residents and visitors alike to seek out our attractions. For visitors, it provides a gracious southern welcome and helps to create awareness of our historic and tourist assets.” Installation is expected to be finished by September. The destinations included in the sign system are as follows: Medical Institutions: Doctor’s Hospital GRU Health Center
24 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Signs like this help visitors find their way around Augusta. Photo by Gary Kauffman
Trinity Hospital University Hospital VA Hospital Uptown & Downtown Walton Rehabilitation Hospital Government Facilities: Fort Gordon Government Center Public Library Post Office Historic Sites:
Woodrow Wilson Home St. Paul’s Church Ezekiel Harris House Museum Historic Walton Home Airports: Augusta Regional Daniel Field Parks & Recreation: Augusta Canal Discovery Center Phinizy Swamp Nature Park
Riverwalk Marina Common Park Springfield Village Park Diamond Lakes Park Baseball Stadium Soccer Complex Municipal Golf Course Forest Hills Golf Course First Tee Golf Course Aquatic Center Pointe South Golf Course Goshen Golf Course Boat House Old Government House Education: Paine College Georgia Regents University Augusta Technical College Performance Venues: Bell Auditorium Imperial Theatre James Brown Arena Visitor Information: Augusta Visitor Center Other Attractions: James Brown Statue Arts & Culture: Museum of History Institute of Art Museum of Black History Morris Museum of Art Sacred Heart Cultural Center
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Augusta’s peach heritage honored in spirit Fruitland Augusta Vodka, Tea use Georgia peaches, honors local contribution to Peach State By Elisabeth Curry August is National Peach Month. (Yes, there is indeed an entire month specifically designated to celebrate the truly delicious glory of peaches.) Peaches have become a cultural centerpiece to the Georgia identity, as evidenced by its most popular nickname: The Peach State. Augusta played a central role in the “Peach State” nomenclature, though the history of Augusta peach production isn’t widely known. Baskets of fresh peaches and scores of age-old family recipes are usually celebration enough for Augusta residents when peach season rolls around, but this year, Georgia peach culture has a new herald: Fruitland Augusta Vodka. A recent addition to the food and beverage marketplace, Fruitland Augusta Vodka is the brainchild of Yuri Kato, the former owner of an agency that provided branding consultation for distilled spirits companies. The company currently offers two products – Peach Vodka and Peach Sweet Tea – and is, to date, the only distilled spirit made with real Georgia peaches. “By volume, Georgia is number four in peach production,” Kato said, “but we are the peach state. We did a blind tasting of different peaches and Georgia peaches are by far the sweetest. To use the word ‘real’ in your branding, you have to be approved at a federal level. You’ll never see another peach vodka brand with the word ‘real’ on the label. We’re the only one.” Kato launched Fruitland Augusta last August during National Peach Month, after five or six years of planning, research, and development. She wanted something small, regional and unique. Kato attended college
A Georgia Peach Martini and an Augusta Lemonade made at TBonz with Fruitland Vodka and Tea.
26 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
in Atlanta and, throughout her extensive professional travels, has always felt drawn to Georgia. “This was my ticket back to Georgia,” said Kato. “So we started to do Georgia peach spirits research and that took us to Augusta.” Augusta, Kato explained, was home to Fruitland Nurseries, owned by Prosper Berckmans, a Belgian immigrant and noted horticulturist. The city appealed to the Berckmans family as a site for their nursery for several reasons: climate and soil composition, as well as a location that provided transportation opportunities by railway, road and river. When Berckmans moved his family to Augusta in 1857, there were around 100,000 peach trees in the state of Georgia, mostly cultivated on family farms. Berckmans family documents claim that by the time Prosper died in 1910, he had planted more than 3 million peach trees in Augusta alone. “There’s a reason Prosper Berckmans is considered the father of the peach culture,” said Kato. “And Augusta is the birthplace of Georgia peaches.” This year, Fruitland Augusta Vodka commemorates its one-year anniversary by kicking things up a notch. The distilled spirits company has teamed with several Augusta bars and restaurants to celebrate National Peach Month with a variety of signature cocktails throughout the CSRA, with the intent to drive home the message that the city of Augusta played an integral role in the agricultural phenomenon that led to Georgia’s nationwide recognition as the “Peach State.” Kato is thrilled at the response from the local food and beverage industry. Craft & Vine and Farmhaus are part of the promotion’s downtown presence, Finch & Fifth, French Market Grille and Oliviana’s represent Surrey Center, and several Mexican restaurants are serving the Georgia Peach Margarita, made with Fruitland Augusta Georgia Peach Vodka. The recently renovated historic Partridge Inn in Summerville will feature $5 Fruitland Augusta Wednesdays, and Fruitland Augusta has also partnered with TBonz Steakhouse restaurants (both the Evans and Washington Road locations) to feature a special on every Fruitland drink that will run throughout the month of August. “We’re particularly excited about the TBonz partnership because the Washington Road location used to be a part of Fruitland Nurseries,” Kato said. One of the first restaurants to actually carry Fruitland Augusta Vodka, TBonz Steakhouse picked the spirit up as soon as it became available for wholesale purchase.
Jeremy Jones, bar manager at TBonz Steakhouse, mixes up a signature drink with Fruitland Augusta Vodka. TBonz is just one of a number of local locations that sell the peach spirit. Photo by Gary Kauffman
Jeremy Jones, bar manager for TBonz, said that the company staunchly supports the purchasing and promotion of products made in Georgia or created with local ingredients. “When Yuri first approached us with her promotion for National Peach Month, I was all about it,” Jones said. “We wanted to do anything we could to contribute. We’re offering her bestseller – the Augusta Lemonade – and we’ve got our own cocktails as well.” Kato describes the Augusta Lemonade cocktail as “a peachy, boozy version of an Arnold Palmer,” and displays immense pride at the effort that went into the creation of the peach sweet tea vodka that acts as the main ingredient. “It’s very dear to my heart because it took us forever to formulate,” Kato said of the Georgia Peach Sweet Tea. “We didn’t want it to be syrupy, and there’s a longer process involved in that. It’s a very clean, light tea flavor. We think the Augusta Lemonade is the best cocktail in the South.” Jones says that the response from cus-
tomers to the cross promotion has been overwhelmingly positive, and that the main selling point for the cocktails has been the story behind the product. “Everybody’s really curious about bottles that say ‘Augusta’ on them,” said Jones. “The customers like the fact that it’s from Georgia. Our employees like the history behind it. For TBonz to be a part of this is really special, especially since the hearsay is that the Washington Road location was part of the original Fruitland Nurseries.” The promotion and signature cocktail specials to celebrate National Peach Month continue until the end of August, but Kato says the point of teaming up with local bars and restaurants is to bring attention to Augusta’s pivotal role in Georgia’s pervasive peach culture. “Our message this month is that Augusta is the birthplace of Georgia peach culture,” Kato said. “This product is only available in Georgia, and we’d like to keep it that way. If you like it, come and visit us in Georgia and experience what it is to be here. We’d like to be a champion of Georgia.”
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Deeper Thinking Eddie Kennedy
Sometimes leaders become their own worst enemies Marshall Goldsmith, in his book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, focuses on the bad habits that prevent successful people from attaining a higher level of success, and shares his methods for changing a near-great leader into a great leader. One reason, he believes, successful people don’t go on to achieve greater success is their belief that “I’m already successful” and the idea “Why change if it’s working?” Goldsmith calls this the “success delusion.” These leaders delude themselves about their status, contributions and achievements. They take credit for successes that belong to others, have an elevated opinion of their professional skills and ignore their own failures. Goldsmith’s cure for the success delusion is pointing out the leader’s bad habits and the disruptions they cause in
the organization, and by demonstrating how slight tweaks in their behavior can change their outcome. When leaders make these small interpersonal changes they often go on to become great leaders. There are 20 habits that Goldsmith identifies that hold leaders back. Here are several from his “stop it” list. Stop winning too much. This means competing with others when it doesn’t matter. Doing that annoys people. Stop adding too much value. Quit always adding something on to what everyone says. You don’t have to have the best idea or the last word. Stop starting sentences with “No,” “But,” or “However.” These statements are telling everyone you’re right and they’re wrong. This undermines coworkers’ confidence and value. Stop failing to give proper recognition. There is an emotional payoff that comes with success. Don’t deprive your team of it. If you do, they will feel forgotten, ignored and pushed to the side. Stop making excuses. Correct your bad behavior or poor planning instead of coming up with reasons to justify them. Stop playing favorites. Doing this rewards those who heap unthinking, unconditional admiration on you. You’re encouraging behavior that serves you, not the best interest of the company. Stop not listening. This is rude behavior. When you fail to listen to
Business Interaction Pam Hanson
Have or Have Not
Bartering can reduce need for cash when banks say no Do we always do what we are told? Of course not. We didn’t always take our mother’s, father’s or teachers’ advise, but maybe we really should have. Fast forward to owning your own business. Many business advisors and startup experts suggest bartering to save money. In fact, in a 2010 article in Fortune magazine, a business consultant suggested five strategies to find other ways to raise cash when the bankers turned off the “easy money” spigot back then. But it still holds true today.
28 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
The first of the five strategies he suggested was “Join a barter network.” Joining a barter network is a great way to conserve cash. The aware entrepreneurial business owner realizes the business world is divided into two distinct financial tiers: The “haves” and the “have nots.” In short, large corporations with abundant assets will continue to be able to tap the conventional banking avenues and equity markets. But for the vast majority of businesses in our country, we’re on our own. The banks don’t embrace the smallbusiness owner like decades ago when one was given the benefit of the doubt, and the bankers often trusted their instincts to provide loans. It just doesn’t work like that anymore. Surviving today requires a certain maturity. Business owners need an expanded outlook on what their wealth really is. It’s much more than just the cash you have in the bank. If you’re only looking at what’s in the till, you’ll always be cash-starved. Now, more than ever, it’s necessary to be aware of what constitutes your wealth: It’s your resourcefulness, your ability to perform. One of the ways to create additional wealth – increasing cash – is to be
someone talking to you, you’re saying, “I don’t care about you; you’re wrong; you’re wasting my time; you’re stupid.” Stop failing to express gratitude. When someone does something for you, say “thank you” and mean it. Stop passing the buck. Take responsibility for your mistakes and don’t blame others. Goldsmith believes that the higher you go, the more likely your problems are behavioral ones, not flaws in your intelligence or flaws of your skill. As you advance in your career, these behavioral changes are often the only significant changes you can make. To grow to the next level of success, leaders must first identify the bad habits and stop them, then follow Goldstein’s improvement process steps to make the changes to your behavior permanent. Step 1. Get feedback from those around you. When soliciting feedback ask, “How can I do better?” Listen to what they say without passing judgement or making excuses. The most
interesting stuff you’ll pick up is information that is known to others, but unknown to you – your blind spot. Step 2. Apologize for the bad habit or behavior that is annoying those who work with you. Say, “I’m sorry. I’ll try to do better.” Step 3. Tell everyone you’re going to change. Keep telling them so they will believe you. Step 4. Become a better listener. Good listeners think before they speak, listen with respect and gauge the response of the other person. Step 5. Thank others. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Saying “thank you” helps provide closure. Step 6. Follow up with your coworkers. Check on how you are doing with them. Ask, “Am I doing better?” Step 7. Practice Feedforward. This is the opposite of feedback. Pick one behavior you plan to change. Meet with someone about the changes you plan to make. Ask them for two suggestions to help you in the future. Thank them. Repeat the process with someone else. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s necessary to be aware of what constitutes your wealth: It’s your resourcefulness, your ability to perform aware of alternative methods of financing. Working through your trade exchange expands your ability to create income. It’s a very practical and beneficial way to increase and maximize the use of your resources. With a trade exchange you can get what you need or want by utilizing the products and services you already have. You’re not using your cash, otherwise known as profit, to acquire them. Barter is an old idea that got new life, thanks to the enormous communicating powers of the Internet. By joining a barter exchange, companies can benefit greatly by getting new customers that they did not have before. When a business joins an exchange, they’re exposed to a whole new network of businesses and potential clients. This offers new possibilities for moving excess inventory of unsold or undersold products, moving timesensitive services like empty chairs in
restaurants or unused appointment times and time slots available that if not filled are gone at the end of the day, and increasing cash flow by earning and spending trade dollars instead of cash. It’s also creating a competitive advantage when a customer bypasses other vendors and buys from a fellow trade exchange member because they take trade dollars. Belonging to a trade exchange can be a very useful tool to help a business get from where it is now to where it wants it to be. 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 706-469-8357 or email@example.com.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Gold Cross receives two state awards for lifesaving care
Beat the heat with these tips Since the beginning of June, there have been 37 days when the temperature reached at least 95 degrees in the Augusta area, including nine times when it reached triple digits. The intense heat makes people susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. There were 123 heat-related deaths across the nation in 2014, according to the National Weather Service. “People suffer heat-related illnesses when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves,” said Dr. Richard Schwartz, chair of emergency medicine at Georgia Regents University. “No matter if you’re in the garden, on the playing field, at the beach or at the construction site, summer activity should be balanced with measures that aid the body’s cooling mechanisms and prevent heat-related illness.” Heat exhaustion occurs when a person is overexposed to heat, resulting in loss of body water and salt. Symptoms include weakness, heavy sweating, nausea, giddiness, dizziness, collapse, fatigue and cool, clammy, red or flushed skin. Those suffering from heat exhaustion should immediately go inside. Rest, drink cool beverages and take cool baths. Heat stroke, the most severe heat-related illness, occurs when the body is unable to regulate its temperature. Temperatures may rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. If you suspect someone has had a heat stroke, call 911 immediately. Schwartz recommends these eight tips to beat the heat: Schedule outdoor activities strategically: If you must be outdoors, try to limit activity to early morning or early evening hours. Take breaks regularly in shady areas or indoors so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover. Pace yourself: If you don’t frequently exercise or work in a hot climate, begin slowly and gradually increase the pace. Avoid overexertion. If activities in the heat make your heart pound and leave you gasping for breath, stop, move to a cool or shaded area and rest – especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak or faint. Avoid direct sunlight: If you can, stay out
30 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
of the sun. If you have to be outside, then be sure to apply sunscreen to reduce the heat absorbed and the moisture lost from the body. Additionally, wear lightweight, lightcolored, loose-fitting clothing and a widebrimmed hat that covers as much of the head as possible. If you work in the sun, be sure to take frequent breaks and don’t push yourself to hard. Drink plenty of fluids: It’s important to keep drinking water even when you are not thirsty. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses of cool fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the needed salt and minerals you lose in sweat. Swimming is not hydrating: Don’t make the mistake of thinking swimming will hydrate you. When you swim, you are exercising and, therefore, losing water and other nutrients. If heading to the pool, you’d be wise to take along plenty of bottled water. Avoid certain hot foods: Do not eat a heavy or hot meal before going outside in hot weather. This will heat your body faster, making you more vulnerable. Avoid liquids that contain alcohol or large amounts of sugar – these cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid extremely cold drinks, which can cause stomach cramps. Use a buddy system: During outside activities in hot weather, keep an eye on the conditions of your family, children, friends or co-workers. Make sure you have someone look out for you, too. If you are 65 or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. Likewise, if you know someone in this age group, check on them frequently. Stay inside: If you don’t have to go outside, stay indoors in an air-conditioned environment. If your home has no air conditioning, find a public place that does. A few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you return to the heat. Taking cool showers or baths is also a good way to keep your body temperature cool if you don’t have air conditioning. Also, avoid using your stove and oven as they can significantly raise the temperature in your home.
Gold Cross EMS recently received the two highest state awards from the Georgia Association of Emergency Medical Services for their life-saving efforts. Gold Cross received the Mary Beth Bowns Excellence in Trauma Care Award and the Dr. Joseph E. Simons Pediatric Award of Excellence for their response to emergency situations at Lake Thurmond and in Jefferson County. “I am very proud of our team,” said Vince Brogdon, CEO of Gold Cross. “The outcome of the patients in these two situations was positive because of the outstanding care they were provided. Both of these circumstances could have had a very different out-
come had it not been for the quick response and the valuable knowledge and ability of our staff at the scene.” Brogdon praised the individuals who responded. “I cannot say enough about the crew members who were on scene at these two calls,” he said. “Lisa Gunn-Brown and Candice Weathers were heroic at the lake in saving these young lives. Our entire Jefferson County team responded to a call that no one would have expected any type of positive outcome and made the difference in saving a young man’s life.” Gold Cross is the 911 EMS provider in Richmond, Columbia and Jefferson counties.
Report: University behind only Emory among Georgia hospitals University Hospital ranks second only to Emory University Hospital among Georgia’s hospitals, according to the latest rankings by US News & World Report. The ranking results were based both on how hospitals ranked nationally as well as how well they performed in five areas of common care. These common care areas include hip replacement surgery, knee replacement surgery, heart bypass surgery, heart failure and chronic lung disease, or COPD. In May, University was ranked “High Performing” in all five of these areas. In fact, of the 4,600 U.S. hospitals evaluated by US News & World Report’s new tool, only 34 were ranked “High Performing” in all five procedures, including University Hospital – the only hospital in Georgia rated as such. University also was ranked “High Performing” in the following adult specialties: Gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics
and orthopedics. Of all hospitals in the CSRA, University is the only one to be ranked “High Performing” in any specialty and/or procedure. University Health Care System is anchored by the 581-bed University Hospital, and serves Augusta-Richmond County and the surrounding region. Founded in 1818 as City Hospital, the hospital was first located on the 100 block of Greene Street. University has since moved through four facilities to its present location, which opened in 1970.
TLC Medical Centre accredited for providing medical equipment, supplies TLC Medical Centre in Aiken has received accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC). This is the third consecutive time TLC has received ACHC accreditation. “TLC is pleased to receive its latest ACHC accreditation,” said Zoom Heaton, owner and lead pharmacist of TLC Medical Centre. “This achievement is a confirmation of the quality and scope of services we provide to residents in the Central Savannah River Area.” The ACHC accreditation confirms TLC Medical Centre’s expertise in providing durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies to customers. Healthcare businesses and organizations must demonstrate compliance with national standards to receive ACHC accreditation. Accreditation reflects an organization’s dedication and commitment to meeting standards that facilitate a higher level of performance
and patient care. TLC Medical Centre is a full-service pharmacy that carries a full line of medical equipment and over-the-counter medications. In addition, TLC is a custom prescription compounding pharmacy as well as an American Association of Diabetes Educators-accredited facility that provides diabetes education. Heaton is a certified diabetes educator, trained to help individuals better manage their diabetes through medication counseling, nutrition recommendations, evaluation of blood sugar readings and by providing technical help with blood glucose meters. TLC Medical Centre is located adjacent to Silver Bluff Road at 190 Crepe Myrtle Court in Aiken. Centre hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday – Friday, and 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Saturday. TLC has a drive-thru pharmacy and will deliver emergency prescriptions.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Upcoming Business Events
Thursday, August 20
Toastmasters International. Odell Weeks Center, 1700 Whiskey Road, Aiken. 6:45 p.m. toastmasters.toastmastersclubs.org Augusta Area Newcomers Club Prospective Members Coffee. 10 a.m. Welcome event for people new to the area, providing social activities, luncheons and speakers. For more information, including location, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. “Got 30 minutes?” Presented by the Area Agency on Aging. Kroc Center, 1833 Broad St., Augusta. 1 p.m. 30 minute classes conducted by the Area Agency on Aging; presents overview of services available for caregivers, the aging and those with disabilities in Georgia. Salvationarmyaugusta.org. North Augusta Planning Commission Meeting. Council Chambers, North Augusta Municipal Building, 100 Georgia Ave., third floor, North Augusta. 7 p.m. northaugusta.net.
Friday, August 21 A.M. Connection-August, North Augusta Community Center, 495 Brookside Ave., North Augusta. 7:15 a.m. Networking, 7:30-8:45 a.m. Breakfast and Event. Advance Registration – Members: $15, Non-Members: $25. At the Door – Members: $20, Non-Members: $30. Legislative Update, Speakers: Senator Tom Young and Representative Bill Hixon will provide a public policy update. Northaugustachamber.org.
Wednesday, August 26 Federal Contracting 101 Seminar, Penland Administration Building Room 110, 471 University Parkway, Aiken. 10 a.m. $35. For small businesses interested in federal government contracts; covers program for socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses, service-disabled veteranowned small businesses, womanowned small business and historically underutilized business zones; Michael Corp, speaker. uscregionsbdc.com
Thursday, August 27 Women in Business-August, Palmetto Terrace, North Augusta Municipal Complex, 100 Georgia Ave., North Augusta. 11 a.m. Networking, 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Lunch and Program. Topic: Cyber & Social Media Safety: Are you Protected? Advance Registration – Members: $20, Non-Members: $30. At the Door – Members: $25, Non-Members: $40.
32 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Northaugustachamber.org. Builders Association of Metro Augusta job safety seminar, 9:30 a.m12:30 p.m., 3732 Executive Center Dr., Martinez. Facilitated by Dana Nathan Blose, loss control manager for Builder’s Insurance Group. Participants will learn the requirements to maintaining a safe jobsite, including what’s needed to prevent fall from height accidents, why people take risks and how to prevent them, and how to control financial and legal risks associated with sub-contractors. To register for the event or for more information, contact email@example.com or call 706-860-2371.
706-364-3764 to register. www.burroughselijah.com. Professional Organizing Class hosted by Marin Rose of Libra Organizing, Whole Foods Market, 2907 Washington Road, Augusta. 5:30 p.m. $10 per class or $65 for eight classes. Topics will include letting go of stuff, organizing as a family, paper management and more; brief introductions, Marin Rose’s topical presentation and lots of time for questions and conversation; reservations by 4 p.m. day of class; firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, Sept. 10
Paine College Golf Tournament, Jones Creek Golf Club, 777 Jones Creek Drive, Evans. Registration 8 a.m., shotgun start 10 a.m. $175 per player or $375 per team. Benefit golf tournament supporting Paine College. Also includes brunch, prizes, awards ceremony, recognition dinner; cart included; contact 706-821-8428 or email@example.com for more information.
Free Estate Planning and Elder Care Planning Seminar hosted by Burroughs Elijah, LLC. 924 Stevens Creek Road, Suite 107 Augusta. 3-4 p.m. Learn legal strategies to protect your family and your estate: - Wills and Trusts - Estate Planning - Probate Avoidance - Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney - Medicaid and/or VA Planning Drinks and light refreshments will be provided. Seating is limited, please call 706-364-3764 to register. www.burroughselijah.com. Business & Community Expo, 2-6 p.m. For more information visit northaugustachamber.org. Ribbon-cutting: Charles W. Cheek Agency. 3316 Deans Bridge Road, Augusta. 11:30 a.m. augustametrochamber.com.
Tuesday, Sept. 1
Tuesday, Sept. 15
Professional Organizing Class hosted by Marin Rose of Libra Organizing, Whole Foods Market, 2907 Washington Road, Augusta. 5:30 p.m. $10 per class or $65 for eight classes. Topics will include letting go of stuff, organizing as a family, paper management and more; brief introductions, Marin Rose’s topical presentation and lots of time for questions and conversation; reservations by 4 p.m. day of class; info@libraorganizing. com
Job Fair Boot Camp. The Job Connection, 3179 Washington Road, Augusta. 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. Sharpen your professional skills to make an impression at the Goodwill Job Fair by attending Job Fair Boot Camp. For questions, contact Kristin Arrowood at 706-854-4762 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Professional Organizing Class hosted by Marin Rose of Libra Organizing, Whole Foods Market, 2907 Washington Road, Augusta. 5:30 p.m. $10 per class or $65 for eight classes. Topics will include letting go of stuff, organizing as a family, paper management and more; brief introductions, Marin Rose’s topical presentation and lots of time for questions and conversation; reservations by 4 p.m. day of class; email@example.com Networking with S.A.S.S. Jones Creek Golf Club, 777 Jones Creek Drive, Evans. 6 p.m. $35. Workshop led by Amy D. Kilpatrick; positive affirmation for
Friday, August 28 Ribbon-cutting: Auto Money Title Pawn. 3729 Washington Road, Martinez (Located near intersection of Davis Road and Washington Road). 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. columbiacountychamber.com
Monday, August 31
Tuesday, Sept. 8 Free Estate Planning and Elder Care Planning Seminar hosted by Burroughs Elijah, LLC, 924 Stevens Creek Road, Suite 107, Augusta. 6-7 p.m. Learn legal strategies to protect your family and your estate: Wills and Trusts, Estate Planning, Probate Avoidance, Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney, Medicaid and/or VA Planning. Drinks and light refreshments will be provided. Seating is limited, call
self; connect with other professional women, showcase business, learn from other professional women; for women; bring business cards, flyers and business brochures; cost includes materials. Thesassylady.com.
Thursday, Sept. 17 Goodwill Job Fair. Snelling Center at 3165 Washington Rd. in Augusta, Georgia. 1-4 p.m. Meet with representatives from dozens of hiring companies by attending the Goodwill Job Fair. For questions, contact Kristin Arrowood at 706-854-4762 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Toastmasters International. Odell Weeks Center, 1700 Whiskey Road, Aiken. 6:45 p.m. toastmasters.toastmastersclubs.org “Got 30 minutes?” Presented by the Area Agency on Aging. Kroc Center, 1833 Broad St., Augusta. 1 p.m. 30 minute classes conducted by the Area Agency on Aging; presents overview of services available for caregivers, the aging and those with disabilities in Georgia. Salvationarmyaugusta.org. Team Building 101, presented by Inspiring Change Network. 6:30 p.m. at Panera Bread, West Augusta. RSVP by calling 770-291-9546 or at meetu. ps/2D6R0j North Augusta Planning Commission Meeting. Council Chambers, North Augusta Municipal Building, 100 Georgia Ave., third floor, North Augusta. 7 p.m. northaugusta.net.
Tuesday, Sept. 22 Columbia County State of the Community Address. Liberty Park Gym, 1040 Newmantown Road, Grovetown. 5:30-6:30 p.m., Business Showcase & BBQ dinner; 6:30 p.m., Program, Dinner tickets: $25 for members and $30 for non-members. An update from the City of Grovetown, Columbia County Commission, City of Harlem, Columbia County Board of Education and Fort Gordon. For additional information contact Cassidy Harris at (706) 651-0018 or visit columbiacountychamber.com.
If your business or organization has a public non-sales event it would like to place in this calendar, please contact Kelsey at email@example.com. Event listings are subject to approval by the editor.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Lunch Review Manuel’s Bread Cafe Susan O’Keefe
Over the River
Manuel’s offers French dining just a short drive away From downtown Augusta, Manuel’s Bread Café is located just a hop, skip and a jump over the Savannah River. The French café occupies a cozy corner of Hammond’s Ferry in North Augusta. I visited Manuels recently with colleagues on a steamy summer day. As one might expect, the patio portion of Manuel’s was vacant. The sail shade canopies were barely moving in the near stifling air but did provide a bit of cover from the sun’s rays. Inside we were greeted by the aroma of freshly baked bread mixed with a variety of savory scents from the lunch menu. A few diners were scattered throughout the restaurant and a couple more perused the pastry case. Almost immediately, our server shared the daily lunch specials. Drinks were delivered promptly. Lunch selections seemed to offer enough to please most palates. There were sandwiches stacked with turkey or corned beef plus salads with fresh ingredients from Blue Clay Farm located a
few blocks away. A black bean chipotle burger and grilled vegetable sandwich provide ample alternatives for those seeking non-meat dishes. Finally, we focused and zeroed in on the salmon cake salad, the French style Greek salad and the All American Burger. Funny that we ordered “Greek” and “American” items in a French café. Lunch items were priced in the $10$15 range which we found reasonable. As we waited for our food, we noticed a few business people arriving. There seemed to be at least two meetings taking place. There was some sort of business training among another small group. The pace of incoming customers was slow but steady. One patron commented that Manuel’s would serve as a sufficient spot for a business lunch including no more than five or six people. For larger groups, the place would lose its coziness. Music quietly played through speakers. It was loud enough to set a tone of relaxation but low enough to avoid being a distraction. Once our food arrived, we were im-
pressed with the vibrant, colorful display. The burger was topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, sweet onion and a pickle served on a ciabatta bun. It was devoured quickly. The pan-seared salmon cake was served next to a small Blue Clay Farm mixed green salad. One partaker of the salmon is a self-proclaimed “salmon-aholic.” He was very pleased with the inside moistness of the cake and the barely crispy outside. The Frenchstyle Greek salad made for a pretty picture with feta cheese, grilled red onions, olives and marinated mushrooms. It tasted equally delicious. Our compliments to Chef Manuel VerneyCarron.
It’s easy to understand why Manuel’s was awarded the “Best of Augusta” honors of Best Place for a Business Lunch and Best Outdoor Dining in 2014. As a Frenchman, the chef prides himself on the seasonal menu which intricately weaves time-honored French dishes with organic produce from the nearby Blue Clay Farm. On its website, Manuel’s presents itself as a “combination of a French bakery, pastry and food shop with an unforgettable casual dining experience.” They were true to their word. For Georgians, it’s well worth the short drive across the river. Manuel’s Bread Café is located at 505 Railroad Avenue in North Augusta.
Annual golf tournament will benefit Walton Foundation For State Farm’s Skip Smith, Walton Foundation’s annual Adaptive Golf Challenge is special. “I’ve played in this tournament for the past 10 years,” said Smith. “There’s no other event like it.” On Monday, Oct. 19, community golfers are invited to play in this one-of-a-kind tournament, where they partner with senior golfers with low mobility and golfers with dis-
34 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
abilities for a day of fun and competitive play. The tournament helps give community golfers and sponsors a unique perspective, said Smith. “When I play in this tournament, I realize I never have a bad day on the golf course,” he said. “It’s one thing to read about folks with physical challenges, but it’s quite another to actually spend four or five hours with someone and see what it means when
you don’t have the ability to do things that we all take for granted. The annual tournament – a season-ending celebration for Walton Foundation’s adaptive golf clinics – takes place at Forest Hills Golf Club. It’s also a fundraiser for Walton Foundation’s adaptive golf program. The foundation is able to provide its monthly adaptive golf clinics in Augusta and Aiken at no charge
thanks to the golf challenge, along with support from grants and other donations. The event also benefits the next generation of golfers through Camp TBI, a summer camp for children and young adults with traumatic brain injuries. To find out more about becoming a sponsor or to register a team, contact Haley Hamam at 706-826-5809 or email haleyh@ waltonfoundation.net.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
NA Chamber plans busy month Legislative breakfast, cyber security meeting and business expo on tap in coming weeks By Terra Carroll, President, North Augusta Chamber of Commerce Wow! What a year it has been for the South Carolina Legislature. From infrastructure and taxes to body cameras and budgets, our elected leaders have had their hands full. Although the next session does not officially resume until January 2016, people have an opportunity to find out more about what was debated in the Senate and House State Rep. Bill Hixon in 2015, and what needs to be done to prepare for 2016 issues by joining the Chamber on Friday, Aug. 21 for the annual Legislative Breakfast. Guest speakers will be Rep. Bill Hixon and Sen. Tom Young. Today we are often using social media to interact and become connected. From countless social networking options, to chat rooms and gaming websites, it’s often difficult to keep up with the latest internet trends and to be knowledgeable about safe on-line communication. For example, did you know you shouldn’t give out your mother’s maiden name when your bank or credit card company asks for it as a form of identification? Why? Because these days its pretty easy for an iden-
tity thief to find it on social media or on the internet. One cyber security professional recommends creating a fake mother’s maiden name to give to your bank or credit card company, so that identity thieves will never figure it out. Cyber Security and Social Media Safety Join us on Aug. 27 for our program, Cyber Security and Social Media Safety, presented by Women In Business. In addition to the mother’s maiden name switch, you’ll learn other tips to protect yourself and your family on the internet. This presentation will also educate participants on how to recognize warning signs and behaviors associated with cyber stalking and bullying, depression and other associated health risks connected to social media and internet usage. It will also talk about how to protect yourself, as well as your family, from on-line predators and other hidden dangers. Business and Community Expo Whether you’re in the startup phase or a long-established company, the Business and Community Expo has the right resources for you. The North Augusta Chamber hosts the area’s only businessto-business expo, and we’ve made it our mission to help small business owners and entrepreneurs like you achieve their business dreams. The Expo is an easy, affordable way to give your company maximum exposure and place your business in front of Cham-
ber members as well as the North Augusta Community. Benefits include: • Raising your profile • Developing business leads and new customers • Networking with peers in your industry • Launching and/or shopping for new, innovative products and services • Gaining invaluable industry insights You may think that expos are just places where you can browse booths and pick up swag like free pens, stress balls, cups and candy. But did you realize that expos offer you so much more as a business and even as a job seeker? Behind the carefully arranged displays and freebie swag is a goldmine of networking opportunities for the taking. And in the business world, networking is crucial to success. Exhibitors are always eager to talk to visitors and conversations can easily lead to potential business deals or job opportunities. There are also generally “expo perks” available. Attendees often walk away with giveaways, bonus offers and raffle prizes. This year’s event will be held at Riverview Park Activities Center. With more than 60 exhibitors, attendees’ time will be well spent participating in a scavenger hunt, viewing demos on the entertainment stage, listening to “Chamber Chat” – an update on news and happenings around town – and hanging out in the chamber café. Looking for a job? GAEC (Greater Augusta Employee Committee) will be on-site sharing information about job opportunities and how to freshen up your resume. If you’re looking to drive your business forward or seeking a career path to success, this expo is for you. Upcoming Chamber Events • Business Academy A.M. Connection SC Legislative Update Friday, August 21 7:30-9 a.m. North Augusta Community Center 495 Brookside Avenue, North Augusta • Women In Business Cyber & Social Media Safety Thursday, August 27 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Palmetto Terrace Ballroom 100 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta • Business & Community Expo Thursday, September 10 2-6 p.m. North Augusta Community Center 495 Brookside Avenue, North Augusta For more information or to register for any of these events visit northaugustachamber.org
36 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Leadership North Augusta taking apps for coming year Leadership North Augusta is taking applications for its 2015-16 class. A class of 10-12 will be chosen from the applications submitted for training as potential leaders of North Augusta. Applications are due by Sept. 9. The group will meet on the first Wednesday of each month from October through June in day-long sessions. The sessions will explore issues, problems and opportunities facing North Augusta. This year, Leadership North Augusta will introduce a reading and lecture series that includes homework and a class project. Benefits of being involved in Leadership North Augusta are exposure to local issues, developing a diverse communication network, refining leadership skills and becoming part of a resource pool to benefit the community. To graduate, participants are expected to attend all sessions. If selected, the cost to the applicant is $650. For more information, contact Mary Anne Bigger at northaugusta2000@ bellsouth.net.
Game Day fun for all ages, raises funds for family needs CSRA Game Day, a brand new sporting event where every one of all ages can get active and participate in fun indoor and outdoor competitions, is coming to Riverview Park in North Augusta on September 26. Individual and team competitions for both men and women include a 5K run, flag football, basketball, softball, volleyball, kickball, tennis, table tennis and tug of war. Prizes will be awarded to competition winners. Vendor spaces are available for the event. Proceeds from the event will assist in funding programs designed to address the needs of families in the community by focusing on spiritual issues, economic needs and academic success. For more information or to register, visit csragameday.com. This event is being presented by the Positively Active Foundation, a division of New Life Worship Center in Hephzibah.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
38 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Faith at Work Steve Swanson
Each day starts with a new chance for a positive attitude I sit in front of a blank sheet of virtual paper today, choosing what words and thoughts to share with you. “Blank paper” certainly is a good description of each day we prepare for work. We have amazing freedom to choose to work hard, be productive, helpful and engaged – or not. When our work day begins, we can decide to have an attitude of gratitude and invest in people and the place where we’re employed. Speaker Zig Ziglar said it this way:
“Attitude determines altitude.” I’ve worked in enough different environments to experience the stark difference between a person with a positive outlook and attitude versus the one who always seems to find something to complain about. Wouldn’t it be revealing if we could carry a recording device that recorded everything we said throughout the day so we could listen back the next day to everything we’d said? I bet we would be surprised – and shocked in some cases – to discover some “trends” in our words. Perhaps we’re prone to repetition and small talk instead of big, bold, new, positive ideas? Maybe we’re more negative than we think we really are? In my observation and life experience, our attitude often follows our actions. We can feel better by choosing to be unselfish. We can choose to find something good in every person we deal with, or to be like many folks who attach a mental label (positive or negative) to each person we encounter. On our kitchen wall hangs a reminder with these words: “Suppose you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today.” It serves as an
encouragement to further cultivate the habit and attitude of gratitude. So, if your co-workers were asked to describe your attitude, what would they say? Are you the “shining light” in your office or a person others try to avoid so they don’t feel pulled down? Here are 10 practical suggestions on developing a better attitude (in no particular order). 1. Be a thankful person. Count your blessings (you have many). 2. Choose to be a person that celebrates the unique differences in your coworkers – yes, please include your boss in this! 3. Look for ways to “be a light” in the place you’ve been given. 4. Share positive things about your life. 5. Celebrate good things about your work place. 6. Pray. Ask God to go before you into your world today. Then ask him to walk with you through it. 7. Avoid office “gossip” – it’s a waste of your mind space and words. 8. Take out the “mind trash” regularly. Determine that you won’t let something stew in your mind or heart until it stinks!
Health and Fitness Katie Silarek
Eating healthy doesn’t have to put a dent in your budget School is back in session! Here are some helpful tips to keep a budget in the grocery store and feed your family healthy meals. There is this idea society has that to eat clean you have to spend a lot of money. The reality is eating clean can be less expensive than buying all the junk. This month I want to give you my 10 ways to eat clean on a budget and teach our younger generations the importance of having a healthy lifestyle. Make a list and stick with it! Before you hit the grocery store make a list and only buy what is on the list. This will help you remember what you need for the week so you eat clean and will also keep you focused. And being focused is what will bring me to the next tip. Don’t be sucked in by sale items! Most items that will suck you in are items that are processed, full of sugar and
40 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
will be found in the aisles….stay out of the aisles, shop the perimeter. Don’t buy junk food. But what about the kids? My answer is they eat clean, too. As parents it is our responsibility to create habits in our children’s lives that will benefit them for life and eating clean is very important. This rolls into my next tip. H2O! Instead of sugar-loaded drinks, pack mini waters. A pack of lunch box drinks can run close to $3 for a box for 10. A 24-pack of mini waters is about the same price and will last you 24 lunches. Not only do you save money, you teach the habit of drinking water. Personally, I keep two beverages in my home: Almond milk and water. Sodas and sugary drinks are expensive and have no health benefits. And a side note to packing lunch, use reusable containers instead of plastic zip bags. This will save money and the earth. Portion control. America has got out of control with portions. Yes, eating clean can be expensive when you are eating too much. Talk with your trainer or nutritionist about what a good portion of meat is for your meal plan. Meat can be expensive but when the right portion is consumed the price per serving is less, making each meal affordable. Drink a glass of water before and after each meal. This will help your learn the difference between hunger and habit. And slow down
when you eat. After each bite lay down the fork and give yourself time to enjoy your meal. Buy more greens, eat what is in season and shop local farmers markets. By doing this, you will support local farmers, plus eat organic veggies that are fresh and full of nutrients your body craves. Talk to your local farmer about what vegetables and herbs are easy to grow, then start your own garden and get the kids involved. Show your food. Too often the healthy fruits and veggies get pushed to the back of the refrigerator by to-go boxes and the unhealthy items. Keep
9. Let the people around you be heroes. Choose to lift others up with your words and actions. 10. Decide that you will smile at others, make eye contact and really listen to what they have to say. We spend so much time at our jobs these days that the people we work with can really be a lot like family. Treat them well! The words of Jesus spoken many centuries ago still apply today: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” (Luke 6:31) A good attitude is cultivated daily. You can (with God’s help) lead the way in your work place with an attitude that lifts you up and helps others! A final thought from legendary football coach Lou Holtz: “Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you do it.” 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.
your refrigerator just as clean as your meal plan. Keep all the good foods at eye level in clear plastic containers. Prep your food at the beginning of the week and label your containers. Eat in and allow a night out for dinner to be a “cheat meal.” Having a cheat meal will help in your weight loss goals but only when done at the right time. This is something your trainer or nutritionist can guide you on. Download apps to all the local grocery stores. This way you can compare prices and keep up on the specials the stores are running. Shop store brands, ask about a rewards program, check the unit price on items and ask for any discounts offered, i.e., military, student, teacher or senior citizen. Shop the club store and buy in bulk or share the coSst with a fellow friend who is also eating clean. Start your day with a good solid breakfast and eat every three hours. Eating throughout the day will keep your metabolism running and keep you from eating something unclean. 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.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Career and Education Barry Paschal
Where the Jobs Aren’t Feds targeting colleges that make promises they can’t keep Since 9/11, the federal government has spent more than $30 billion on college tuition for qualifying veterans under Department of Veterans Affairs funding, generally known as the G.I. Bill. And increasingly, we’re learning a lot of that money has been wasted. Obviously, you’re shocked at the notion that the federal government would squander tax money – but it’s true. Federal agencies are discovering that veterans have been spending a significant portion of the G.I. Bill funding – along with their own money and student loans – on deadend classes at for-profit colleges. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a school earning a profit. But the proliferation of such institutions following 9/11 indicates that the growth of many of those colleges was fueled by the increased flow of easy money out of Washington, with little accountability for the outcome. As a result, many of the veterans found that their expensive education failed to lead them to the private-sector jobs they wanted.
Best of Both Worlds Law change means more kids can access dual enrollment
For years, ambitious students with the resources available to them have been able to participate in a variety of dual enrollment programs at colleges around Georgia. That granted them college credits that cross over to count toward high school graduation as well. The dual enrollment program has changed rules and changed names over the years in Georgia, but ultimately, it allows high school students to enroll at a college or
42 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Government agencies now are cracking down on for-profit colleges. The Federal Trade Commission currently is examining a major for-profit institution to see if it engaged in deceptive business practices for claiming inflated employment rates for its graduates, according to CNN Money. Earlier this year, the Department of Education hit Corinthian College with a $30 million fine for overstating its job-placement rates; the for-profit college then shut down, stranding more than 74,000 students in educational limbo. Another for-profit college network, ITT Educational Services, was charged with fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission for making what the SEC called “outright misstatements” and “half-truths” about its student loan program. The additional scrutiny for these institutions comes from the new “gainful employment rule” from the Department of Education. The rule, according to Law Street Media, “requires colleges to track their graduates’ performance in the workforce and eventually will cut off funding for career training programs that fall short.” But while the focus is on for-profit institutions, non-profit entities like Helms College can’t pretend to live in untouchable glass houses. The current focus might be on for-profit colleges with dismal employment rates and high student debt, but not-for-profit colleges should be prepared for close examinations of their books, too. Helms College, operated by Goodwill, is a relatively recent entry into the university and pay only a portion of the cost. Often, there were barriers to students being able to accomplish such aspirations, such as family finances, transportation and high school counselor support. Senate Bill 132, signed by Gov. Nathan Deal on April 14, breaks down several barriers that once blocked qualified students from participating. Here are the changes. • All high school students in grades 9-12 who qualify under a college’s admissions standards are now able to participate. In the past, only juniors and seniors participated. • Colleges who choose to accept new Move On When Ready students must accept the amount that Georgia Student Finance Commission pays and cannot charge the student any costs or fees above that, which removes the financial burden families faced previously. • Transportation to and from the high school has been an issue for students. Beginning next year, high schools may qualify for transportation grants to bus their students to and from the colleges for Move On When Ready courses. • Some high schools discouraged
ranks of institutions awarded eligibility for G.I. Bill funding, including its associate degree in culinary arts. Much of the basis for that funding is Helms College’s effort to ensure more than 70 percent of graduates land gainful employment in their field of study – a specific requirement of maintaining ACCET national accreditation. Obviously, small, non-profit institutions can have a tougher time competing against for-profit colleges and state colleges and universities with vast sums of taxpayer-subsidized marketing money. But perhaps these crack-
downs by federal authorities will help level the playing field, even as they challenge smaller, non-profit institutions to act as good stewards of funding for students seeking greater career opportunities. If so, the best response from Helms College and other non-profit career colleges should be: Challenge accepted. Barry L. Paschal is Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, parent organization of Helms College at www. helms.edu.
All students in grades 9-12 who qualify under a college’s admissions standards are now able to participate students to participate in dual enrollment because the school lost FTE dollars. This has now been removed so that counselors do not feel pressured from administrators to push students toward AP courses to keep them at the school. • Students can now complete the nine basic state required high school courses in PE, English, math, science and social studies with an associate degree, technical diploma or technical certificate in a career pathway completely at the college and can graduate from both high school and college at the same time. This means more students are ready for occupations when they graduate. • Students can take summer courses, and colleges can now teach the courses at the high school to open up opportunities for more students to participate. • Homeschooled Georgia students,
public online high school students and private school students who live across the borders of South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama but attend a private school in Georgia can now participate. Previously, students were required to be Georgia residents for two years to qualify. If you feel that your teen could benefit from participating in Move On When Ready dual enrollment courses, please contact me or visit our website. 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. gmcaugusta.com.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Best, worst job outlooks for coming year Computer, health fields among best; floral designers, machine operators unpopular occupations Each year Kiplinger’s ranks the best jobs for the future as well as the jobs with the worst outlook for the future. Not surprisingly, computer-related jobs and health care dominated the Top 10 jobs with the best future. The Bottom 10 were filled with jobs being made obsolete by the internet or hands-on jobs that can now be done by computer-operated machinery. The Top 10 Speech Language Pathologist – Both for treatment of older patients following strokes and early correction of speech problems in children. Community Services Manager – This can range from social services offering adult day care to rehabilitation facilities for substance abuse. Computer Systems Analyst – This job keeps a company’s technology running smoothly. App Developer – More than 70 percent of companies are developing some type of app technology. This job is projected to grow by more than 23 percent in the next
10 years. Registered Nurse – As Baby Boomers age, the demand for nurses will increase in hospitals, nursing homes and even for private home care. Information Security Analyst – Cyber criminals are pushing the demand for experts to protect a company’s data. This job will grow by more than 30 percent in the next decade. No wonder it’s in the top 10 for the second consecutive year. Health Services Manager – As the demand for health care rises, so does the need for someone to manage a medical practice or health care facility. Medical Sonographer – Medical imaging can help doctors make more precise diagnoses without invasive surgery, so this profession is expected to grow by nearly 35 percent by 2015. Physical Therapist – Recovery from strokes, heart attacks and accidents can be sped up through physical therapy. This is the second straight year this has been in the top 10.
CSRA College Night offers info on scholarships, aid High school students will have an opportunity to meet recruiters from more than 140 colleges and universities – and win scholarships totaling approximately $12,000 – at CSRA College Night on Sept. 10, 5-8:30 p.m., at the James Brown Arena Each year, nearly the entire floor of the arena is filled with students and information booths – colorful exhibits manned by representatives from colleges, universities and technical schools from throughout the United States, as well as members from local professional societies, who gear up to share beneficial information relative to the college selection process. Last year about 6,000 CSRA students, parents and guidance counselors attended the event. College Night provides a way for CSRA students and parents to obtain information on educational opportunities, admission requirements and tuition, as well as speaking with representatives from various professional societies. Information will be available about HOPE and LIFE scholarships, financial aid and essay writing for college admissions, time management, learning styles, scholarships and joint enrollment. In addition, students can visit the counseling center that will be open throughout the evening, where students and parents can seek advice about the college application process from high school advisors and admissions professionals. There is also a career exploration area where students can discover their options after college. Students will be able to participate in a quick “card sort” interest inventory to validate their career choice. To qualify for a College Night scholarship, students must be high school juniors or seniors and graduate with a GPA equal or above 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent). Students must attend and register in person at CSRA College Night to be eligible. CSRA College Night sponsors include the U.S. Department of Energy-Savannah River Operations Office, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, SRP Federal Credit Union and Clear Channel Media + Entertainment. Other contributors include Aiken County Public School Career Specialists and Counselors, CENTERRA, Augusta Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Communigraphics, Augusta Marriott Hotel and Suites, South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers (Aiken chapter) and American Association of Cost Engineers International (CSRA section).
44 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Nurse Practitioner – Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more people are taking advantage of health insurance, putting a bigger load on medical practices. Nurse practitioners, as well as physicians assistants, help take the load off the doctors. The Bottom 10 Floral Designer – Those bouquets in all the big grocery stores, as well as on the Internet, are diminishing this career so much that it’s been on the Bottom 10 for three years. Door-to-Door Sales – Ordering online is so much simpler. Woodworking Machine Operator – Computer programs can run machines at less cost. Cabinet Maker – High-tech machinery
reduces the need for humans. Metal and Plastic Molding Machine Operator – Same problem as the woodworking machine operator. Travel Agent – Virtually every airline, hotel and cruise line offers easy online booking. Courier – Email is even faster than those guys on bikes. Sewing Machine Operator – See the other machine operators above. Drywall Installer – A victim of the downturn in the housing market. It could rebound if new home construction rebounds. Tile Setter – Same issue as the drywall installer.
Georgia’s, Brazil’s tech colleges work out reciprocal education College students in Georgia and Brazil will soon be able to take advantage of additional reciprocal educational and training opportunities, thanks to an agreement between the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and São Paulo’s technical education system, Centro Paula Souza (CPS). A memorandum of understanding was signed in July in Brazil by TCSG Commissioner Gretchen Corbin and CPS Director Laura Laganá during an economic development mission led by Gov. Nathan Deal. “International companies in Georgia look to our technical colleges every day to provide the skilled workforce they need to stay competitive,” Corbin said. “This agreement with São Paulo’s technical system is not only key to expanding TCSG’s global outreach, it is an outstanding educational opportunity for students in both Georgia and Brazil. It encourages joint educational and economic development activities, exchange of staff and students and the exchange of visiting
scholars to conduct research and professional development.” CPS Director Laura Laganá added, “TCSG and CPS Colleges of Technology, through this partnership, have a myriad of opportunities for mutual cooperation on the field of professional higher education, which will effectively contribute to the development of both states.” The agreement provides a pathway for TCSG and CPS students to engage in internships, language training, short-term cultural exchange trips for staff members and students, joint student projects and traditional semester exchanges. In addition, the agreement facilitates increased cooperation between the educational agencies and local and regional chambers of commerce, municipal and provincial or state governmental agencies, hospitals, local and regional businesses, and manufacturing and industrial enterprises. More than 12,000 Georgians are employed by 40 Brazilian-owned businesses.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Tax preparer with accounting knowledge needed for CSRA office. Please e-mail request for full job description and your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax at (866) 910-0905. Wages are negotiable, based on the skills. Paid Vacation.
Survey: Augusta ranks low in job outlook Augusta ranks next to last in a jobs market survey of 100 metropolitan areas conducted by Manpower. Manpower’s third quarter survey showed Augusta with just a 9 percent growth in job market. However, that may not be as bad as it seems. The numbers are obtained by subtracting the number of companies planning to decrease employees from the number expecting to add employees. But the vast majority of Augusta companies plan to maintain the same levels of staffing. Overall, the United States ranks high in the world in the number of jobs expected to be added in the third quarter. The rate of increase is expected to be 16 percent, the same as in the second quarter and slightly ahead of the third quarter in 2014. That also returns it to the same percentage as the first quarter of 2008, when it was also 16 percent. About 70 percent of U.S. businesses plan to keep employment steady during the quarter. “U.S. employers have reported the same steady hiring plans throughout 2015, and the third-quarter results are no exception,” said ManpowerGroup CEO Jonas Prising. “We are seeing the signs of a healthy labor market, with the outlook improving compared to 2014. Although there is some variance in optimism across sectors, employers are focused on growth and adding to their workforces at a controlled rate so as not to face the consequences of over-hiring.” Leisure and hospitality, one of Augusta’s strongest areas of employment, is expected to stay strong throughout the quarter. Rochester, N.Y., was projected to add the most jobs, 33 percent, followed by Nashville, Tenn.; Provo, Utah; San Jose, Calif.; Columbia, S.C.; and Seattle. Only Tucson, at 6 percent, ranked behind Augusta. Youngstown, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; Bakersfield, Calif.; and New Orleans ranked just ahead of Augusta.
46 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Arts in the Heart Award-winning festival turns 35 By Susan O’Keefe From a small grassy field to a space spanning more than three city blocks, an Augusta festival has come a long way. The countdown is on as the annual Arts in the Heart prepares to celebrate its 35th birthday. September 18 is show time for this year’s festival. “(The first one) was in a field next to the city municipal building,” said Sallie West, director of outreach with Greater Augusta Arts Council. “I don’t think I was at the very first event but I remember a few years later, it was still in that field. Over the years, it’s been in several different locations with varying degrees of success. When Broad Street was declassified as a state highway, then that allowed us to use Broad. That was a game changer.” This will be the fifth year Arts in the Heart will be on Broad Street. More than 30 people make up this year’s steering committee. Team members are burning the midnight oil to make sure the 2015 event matches the caliber of previous ones. Among numerous other awards, the festival enjoys a top ranking by Sunshine Artist magazine as one of the top festivals in 2014. Another accolade was bestowed by a newspaper article proclaiming the festive time as “Augusta’s finest moment.” West feels like the council works diligently to
Festival Dates & Hours
Sept. 18-20 Friday, Sept. 18, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. $5 in advance at Suntrust Bank locations across Augusta; $10 at the gate. artsintheheartofaugusta.com
A variety of ethnic food is one of the popular aspects of the Arts in the Heart Festival. Photo by Gary Kauffman
provide something for everyone. “We have a fine arts and fine crafts market where there will be a lot of artists from all around the southeast. We’ve worked hard to curate a selection of art that is high quality yet a variety of price points that my daughter can buy with her allowance or a collector might spend $10,000 for an original painting,” West said. If money truly talks, then imagine the sounds of coins in the coffers. A recent economics survey showed the festival draws more than $3 million in direct visitor spending to the area. That’s a win-win situation for everyone. When the curtain goes up in a few short weeks, supporters are banking on the festival’s intergenerational attractions and proven track record to keep folks coming back for more. Perhaps one of the most popular parts of the festival is the global village. West said this year patrons can expect to
sample authentic foods from more than two dozen countries. Experts agree it’s an excellent way to experience other cultures without ever leaving home. While most people will never travel to Pakistan, for example, there is an opportunity to get a taste of the country at the Pakistani booth. Art and education go hand in hand as the festival is a classroom-of-sorts with an infinite number of lessons to teach. For many in the CSRA, the festival’s longevity is a family affair. “In the mid-1980s, I performed Irish dancing as a little girl and now my kids are performing with Suzuki Strings of Augusta,” said Augusta native Jennifer Regan Baker. “I love that my children are participating in something I participated in as a child. Of course, it’s changed and grown a lot, but I really do value the celebration of different heritages. It’s a special event for the Augusta community.”
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Good Spirits Ben Casella
as fall clothing. So, with that said, the Terrapin pumpkin seasonal is pretty darn good this year. It pours an expected burnt amber/copper, and it smells sort of like the Christmas section of Fat Man’s Forest, with notes of potpourri, cinnamon, nutmeg and French toast (maybe sans the egg). The taste exhibits less of a “holiday” tone than does the nose. Indeed, if it’s possible to have a truly strong pumpkin taste, this beer comes relatively close. The spices and other notes are still evident, but they are present as background to pumpkin – a bit of ginger, malts and a trace of hops that’s just present enough to serve the purpose of preventing this brew from inducing the thirst that goes along with other pumpkin ales that overdo the sweet factor. I enjoy those beers as well, but much more so when it actually feels like autumn. If you’ll remember, autumn is that season when you need a sweater or a jacket every now and then. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Hints of fall turn reviewer’s thoughts to pumpkin brews My wife ran me (yes, basically like a dog) down on the Greeneway a few days ago. I should have prefaced that sentence with the notion that I have never, in my entire life, had a “good run.” I’m not knockin’ it. It’s just not how I prefer to get my exercise. I did, however, notice something peculiar about the breeze down by the river: it was cool. Indeed, it was nothing like the breezes we had in June. You know, the ones that feel like you’ve just walked over a New York City subway vent or opened the oven too soon. It’s truly odd to enjoy August in the Deep South more so than June. In fact, I enjoyed that breeze so much that I may have gone on that day to be the first Augustan to have a pumpkin ale this year. True story; here’s how it went. Terrapin Pumpkinfest – The White Horse got South-
Screening Room Samantha Taylor
Behind Bars Orange is the New Black isn’t a show for everyone Orange is the New Black – MA (2013 – present) Once again, I jumped on the bandwagon late. My Facebook page has been filled with statuses about the Netflix original series for two years, but I just wasn’t interested. I tried to watch OITNB once before, but the first few scenes were too much for me to handle while I was cooking my son’s dinner. But I couldn’t sleep the other night, so I decided to give it another try. I was up until 5 in the morning. Set in a women’s prison, OITNB follows the lives of the women who reside there, with the main focus on Piper.
48 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
ern Tier Pumking in pretty early last year. Thankfully, Faulkner put a few aside. However, even to me, August 21 seems a little premature for the breweries to start “pump”ing out their autumn
brews. Although, if you know me (and remain cognizant of the fact that I’ve never knowingly reviewed a blonde ale), you know I’m not about to complain about fall brews arriving as early
Piper is a pretty, blonde-haired, blueeyed, 30-something woman doing time for a single, nonviolent crime she committed 10 years earlier. Piper doesn’t seem like the type of girl who should be in prison: Middle-class and having recently quit her job to focus on her soap-making business. Also of importance, Piper is engaged to a man who loves, respects, and supports her, regardless of her yearlong sentence. OITNB may not be completely realistic, but it does a good job of exploring the relationships between inmates, between inmates and guards, and inmates and their families. There is a hierarchy in prison, with power being difficult to gain and easy to lose. Learning to survive in this hierarchy changes a person, something that becomes evident to loved ones. Watching Piper’s relationship with her fiancé change was jarring, and there were times that I was actually yelling at
the screen in frustration. I’ll warn you, OITNB isn’t for everyone. The offensive language, drug use, sexual innuendo and homosexual activity may be too much for some to handle. At first, I didn’t think I could watch it. The truth, however, is that none of these things are gratuitous. This is a show about life in prison and how people got to that point and the situations it portrays are (somewhat) true representations. It may be gritty, and sad, but OITNB is a show worth watching. It will make you think more carefully about the choices you make and the freedoms you have, however small they may seem at times. Private Practice (2007- 2013) First of all, I don’t usually watch shows like this. Network dramas just aren’t my thing, with their poorly developed characters and weak plotlines. After binge-watching OITNB, however, I needed something that wouldn’t require much of my mental/emotional being. Since my sister has been watching about four episodes a night, I thought I would give Private Practice a try. Private Practice is a spin-off, so all you Grey’s Anatomy fans out there can
Ben Casella did, indeed run with his bride the other day. Shortly thereafter, they found themselves at Farmhaus for lunch. Ben had the Bratwurst burger. It was truly excellent, and he’s pretty sure it served the purpose of compensating for that run.
go ahead and queue this one up. Main character Addison Montgomery has left Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in Seattle, and relocated to L.A. She still uses her world-renowned neonatal surgical skills at times, but life at the Oceanside Wellness Group co-op has a much slower pace and Addison is forced to re-evaluate her thoughts on healthcare and wellness. I’ll admit, I probably won’t make it to Season Six of Private Practice. The Season One cast is solid, the characters have a bit of depth, and there is a good deal of humor, but I’m not seeing enough to make it last six seasons. Most of the plotlines are rebooted from other series and there’s only so much you can do with in-office love affairs. Even though it’s a little over-the-top, the show is fun. If you’ve had a bad day, or you just want to watch something a little mindless, Private Practice is a good bet. 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.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Travel Margaret Centers
Ain’t it Grand?
Grand Cayman, other islands are a tropical paradise With beautiful beaches, world-class diving, the unique experience of swimming with semi-tame stingrays at Stingray City and mangrove swamps, a trip to Cayman is the stuff of bucket lists for most people. The extraordinary beaches on all three islands are perfect for lazing about, while the surrounding waters are a treasure trove of marine life, with unprecedented visibility due to the lack of rivers feeding silt into the ocean. The islands – Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman – are home to around 50,000 people, a significant number of these being expatriate workers filling jobs in everything from high finance to bartending, diving staff to low-paid jobs in the service industry. The financial industry looms large over most initial discussions about the islands, and there’s no income tax, leading many to believe paradise really does exist here. Still, the high duty on consumer goods, food and fuel makes the cost of living sharply felt. The locals refer to the islands as ‘Cayman’ (never ‘The
Home Care Kathy Crist
Old Folks at Home More senior caregivers are seniors themselves
Paul is 92 years old and is slowed significantly by Alzheimer’s disease, but when his 74-year-old home caregiver arrives to get Paul out of bed, bathed and groomed, the day takes a turn for the better. As the demand for se-
50 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
Caymans’), a collective noun that encompasses all three islands, while the Sister Islands is the collective name for Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. But that wasn’t the first name these small specks in the center of the Caribbean enjoyed. None other than Columbus named the islands Las Tortugas for the large numbers of turtles on the islands, making them a valuable stop-off for passing ships to replenish meat stocks. Indeed, in future years, turtling was a major part of the local economy both as a work and food source. To this day, Cayman has the oft-controversial Turtle Farm providing meat to local restaurants. The word ‘Cayman’ comes from the Carib word for marine crocodile, caymanas, suggesting that the islands were also well-populated with somewhat snappier reptiles. Occasionally crocs do pop up, having journeyed from Cuba, Cayman’s closest neighbor. One particular croc – renamed Smiley – now has her home at the Turtle Farm. These days, there are more gourmet options available than turtle. There’s a fine array of top class restaurants – more than 200 on Grand Cayman alone – including the exquisite Blue at the Ritz-Carlton by Eric Ripert, head honcho behind New York’s fine dining fish restaurant Le Bernardin. All things culinary are celebrated each year at Cayman Cookout – a topend event attended by world famous chefs including Anthony Bourdain, Jose Andres and more – and the local
celebration of Taste of Cayman. The Pirates Week Festival (Nov. 1222) celebrates local culture in the company of pirate crews from around the world, drawing well over 5,000 to its events. It all begins with an invasion of the hoary old soaks, who capture the (mock) governor each year and create as much chaos as you’d expect. Each district competes in a float parade, while sporting and family events make great entertainment. Heritage Days allow visitors to sample the local food, entertainment, history and atmosphere of the island in even more detail. Another must-see is Batabano, Cayman’s own version of Carnival, complete with floats, extravagant costumes, steel bands and all the dancing you can
muster. So pour out a glass of the local drink Swanky, grab a spot on Seven Mile Beach (or one of the many other incredible options), sit back and enjoy the show. I’ve flown into Grand Cayman and have cruised there several times but the grandeur of the beaches, the friendliness of the islanders and the pure beauty of the ocean never ceases to amaze me. If you haven’t tried this particular Caribbean paradise you are missing out on a jewel.
nior care services increases across the country, more and more families are finding a supportive lifeline in older caregivers – who are sometimes nearly the same age as their clients. The Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, a nonprofit advocate for America’s workers caring for the elderly and disabled, projects that by 2018, 29 percent of direct senior care providers will be age 55 and older. In some U.S. population segments, seniors already make up the majority of older home healthcare professionals. Home health jobs are fast-growing in today’s world of ever-increasing elderly Baby Boomers. With the challenging job market and people living longer on fixed incomes, many American seniors are drawn to work in elder care to supplement their retirement incomes. And despite the physical demands, thousands of older individuals are finding success and fulfillment in helping other aging adults. Right at Home is a leader in hiring senior adults to provide home healthcare
for other seniors and disabled adults. In both 2014 and 2015, our company honored a senior professional caregiver as the Right at Home National Caregiver of the Year. Both of these extraordinary senior caregivers demonstrated exceptional skills and compassion in caring for their elderly clients. Active older caregivers often stand out with years of work competency and a depth of generational awareness that strengthen their first-rate senior care. Listed below are a number of advantages to hiring older adults as professional at-home caregivers: Personal knowledge of the aging process. Because of their own adjustments to aging, senior caregivers can relate to the health changes and emotions their elderly clients are experiencing. Years of work and life experience. Many older at-home care providers have weathered decades of financial, family, career and health challenges, which equips them with invaluable
flexibility and resolve. Dependability and commitment. Older adults model trustworthiness in consistently showing up for work on time and completing assigned tasks. Reliability is a trait of senior caregivers that increases their “I’m-here-for-you” relationship with elderly clients and their families. Common-age relational skills. Do you remember the day JFK was shot? Who were your favorite music groups of the ‘When did you first see color television?’ generation? Older loved ones often enjoy reminiscing about their lives and milestone world events. Seasoned in conversing and listening, senior at-home care providers build a natural rapport and genuine friendships with their elderly clients.
Margaret Centers is the owner of Margaret’s Travel, www.margaret’stravel.com. She worked for Morris Travel for nearly 20 years and formed her own agency in 2010. For questions or bookings call 706-396-3769.
Kathy Crist co-owns Right at Home of the CSRA. As a leading provider of in-home care and assistance, Right at Home supports family caregivers and is dedicated to improving the life of the elderly and disabled. Call 803-278-0250 or visit www.csra.rightathome.net.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Music Insider Jonathan Karow
The Magic of Music Enrolling in a music course builds confidence and the mind
Playing a musical instrument has been proven to make people smarter. Some of the greatest composers and musical virtuosos such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, John Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven all had IQs of over 165. Now that the school season is upon us, it would be beneficial to enroll your children in some sort of music program. Many schools offer band instrument classes that are commonly focused on supporting the school’s football and sporting events. Select schools offer guitar lessons, stringed instrument programs, including violin, viola, cello and bass, and orchestral music programs. Private schools of worship commonly have a praise band
52 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
that includes both acoustic and electric guitar, bass, keyboard and drums. Studies have proven that when an individual learns how to play a musical instrument, they expand the part of the brain called corpus callosum that is associated with hearing, motor skills, memory and audio information. It is also proven that children have exhibited self-discipline after multiple sessions of music education. These factors are vital for children’s educations, as well as expanding the minds of adults. I have heard numerous adults say, “I’m too old to start playing a musical instrument” or “I’ve tried playing an instrument and I was absolutely horrible at it.” No one is ever too old to learn and to expand their mind. There is a musical instrument suited for everyone. In this case, the adults were probably playing an instrument not suited for them. I witnessed a man who had been struggling with playing drums for years pick up a banjo and a banjo book in my store. He was almost immediately playing like a prodigy. It took a lot of convincing by him that he had not previously ever even picked up a banjo. When enrolling your child or yourself in a music program it is imperative to have the proper instrument. Educational teachers are very finicky about the quality of instrument provided to
the student. The music educator obviously doesn’t want a group of children with one kid playing an instrument out of tune. That is both an embarrassment to the teacher and the music group, as well as to the child. Parents hate receiving that dreaded note from the music teacher telling them that their child is no longer allowed to perform in the music program until they have a quality instrument. In many cases the child gets frustrated and it lowers their self-esteem. They completely give up on future music education because of an ISO – “Instrument Shaped Object” – that will never sound right. Local musical instrument stores commonly rent instruments to students and have consulted with the teachers about what books and edu-
cator-approved instruments to provide for their courses. It has never made any sense to me to rent or purchase an instrument to be used locally from outside of the community. Ultimately, you are really not supporting the community at all because your taxes don’t go toward local education. Buy or rent locally to support the growth of your children’s minds and our surrounding community and churches while making a joyful noise. 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.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Humor Nora Blithe
Giving coffee shop a laugh leads to a tasty reward
It was 8 a.m. and I was already having a bad workday. Naturally, I declared a state of emergency. This called for chocolate therapy. I abandoned my work and drove to a nearby café for a fix, questioning as I drove, my place in this world and my purpose in life. My morning was that bad! My favorite café recently installed a drive-through. I’ve been skeptical about using it. How can I get the full café experience without smelling the coffee and seeing the bagels toasting? I decided to risk it on that morning. It wasn’t as if my day
Healthy Eating McKenna Hydrick
Keep everyone involved in planning healthy meals As we all get prepared and adjusted to school back in session, here are a few ideas to help you stay on track (or get on track) with healthy eating this fall. One of the biggest pieces of advice I offer friends and clients is never to make food the white elephant in the room. Let your family be a part of the whole process – from meal planning, to shopping, to preparing, to cooking. Food is social, so let everyone get involved in the kitchen together. You’ll see many benefits like spending time together, teaching your family invaluable skills and taking pressure off of you! When everyone works together (especially with the dishes!), everything is much more manageable.
54 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015
could get much worse. I pulled to the speaker and placed my order. “I’d like a chocolate chip bagel to go please.” I paused realizing my mistake. “Of course it’s to go,” I corrected myself. “I’m in the drive-through. That was a stupid thing to say. Sorry about that.” The voice from the speaker ignored my rambling apology, and politely asked me to pull forward. When I arrived at the window, I was greeted exuberantly, enthusiastically, zealously by a woman with a short bob and a big smile. “That was great!” she effervesced. “You made our entire morning.” “What do you mean?” I was confused, too absorbed in my own wallowing to realize that I’d done something funny. I rarely miss when I’m being funny. Don’t believe me? Ask my husband, Brian. “You are the only person who’s ever said ‘to go’ in the drive-through and caught themselves! We loved it!” One of her coworkers grinned at me over her shoulder. I laughed. “I guess I’m just used to ordering at the counter and needing to
specify.” “Do you want a cup of coffee on the house or something? You made our day and we want to do something for you!” “No,thank you,” I laughed. “Are you sure?” she pressed. She was serious about how much they’d enjoyed my ordering flub. I waved her off. “It’s enough to know I made someone’s day.” I paid for my bagel and reached for the bag. She passed me two bags. I blinked, confused again. In one bag was my bagel. In the other was a chocolate cookie.
I thanked her, and the drive-through team waved goodbye as I pulled away. I looked at my cookie and fought down a sob. My place in the world is the same as it’s always been: to make people laugh. I just needed a little chocolate to remind me.
I hope these ideas and tips help you as you get back in a routine this fall! For more resources, including recipes, visit wholefoodsmarket.com/healthyeating. Preparation Pick a time to plan meals and shop. This is by far the most important step. Plan a “prep” day. This may be different than your shopping day or the same if you want to do it all together. Work with your family to plan and cook. If you have older children, give each child a night to plan/cook. Help direct them to meals that have a rainbow of colors from natural sources. Then spend time chopping, preparing, and cooking together. If you have younger children, help them get involved by taking them grocery shopping with you so you can teach them about what they see, and by helping with smaller tasks like sorting and washing. Prepare and chop vegetables for salads and store in individual containers in the fridge. You can also pre-make your salads in mason jars and store them in the fridge for about a week (put the salad dressing at the bottom, followed by veggies that can marinate without wilting—like carrots— then put the rest of the ingredients in). Make 1-2 salad dressings and soups at the beginning of each week. Make batches of rice or quinoa and staples like beans or hummus.
Prepare smoothie bags (fruit and greens) in freezer zipper bags for an easy morning or afternoon snack. Throw them in your blender the next morning, add liquid (almond milk, coconut water or water), and other ingredients like nut butters, hemp seeds or chia seeds, and blend. Make bags of snacks like pretzels or granola for easy grab and go! Keep them in an easy-to-reach place so you always have something handy. Keep one or two in your purse or lunch box for easy on-the-go snacks. Easy Meal Ideas Breakfast: • Yogurt with granola (organic dairy or dairy alternative) • Whole wheat cereal and almond milk with side of fruit • Overnight oats or warm oatmeal (both recipes on thrivetolive.com) • Avocado on toasted Ezekiel bread • Smoothies • Savory dishes like quinoa bowls with sweet potatoes Lunch: • Leftovers! • Homemade lunchables (crackers, meat, cheese, fruit) • Salads with greens, chopped veggies, and homemade dressings • Guacamole and veggies with muffin and fruit • Quesadillas dunked in pizza sauce or Southwest version with beans and rice
dunked in salsa • Fruit pizzas: Pita bread topped with nut butter (almond, peanut or sunflower seed) and fruit with a side of hummus and veggies • Nacho station • Skewers (club sandwich – pieces of bread, meat and cheese, fruit kabobs, tomato and cheese) Dinner Ideas: • Keep it simple! Start each dinner with a salad and bowl of veggies, then have your meal. You’ll get full faster on the good stuff. • Multipurpose items (utilize items from your batch cooking to mix and match) • Fajitas: Mexican stir-fried veggies and tortillas, guacamole, and salsa • Asian Stir Fry: Sauteed veggies over rice or quinoa (that you made in bulk earlier in the week) • Salad, steamed veggies, pasta and marinara sauce • Simple meals like salmon, salad and sweet potato, or chicken and roasted veggies
Nora Blithe is an Augusta native, an entrepreneur and a syndicated humor columnist. She lives in Greenville, S.C., with her husband, Brian, and their pets. Read her syndicated humor column Life Face First in Verge, or find her online at doorinface.com.
McKenna Hydrick is the Healthy Eating Educator for Whole Foods Market and the creator and writer for www.thrivetolive.com. She is passionate about spreading the message of a plant-strong, active, thriving lifestyle. When she’s not working, you will find her spending time with her husband and three boys, cooking, or singing and writing music.
August 20-Sept. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz
56 Buzz on Biz August 20-Sept. 16, 2015