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Havird Usry’s television career was short-lived, but he has his family’s business thriving, including plans for expansion in the near future. Usry, 30, is the third generation operating the iconic Fat Man’s in Augusta. He’s been with the business since 2009 and has already seen change focus from a retail store to a restaurant and event center. A trained chef from Helms College, he was offered the chance this summer to compete for the title of The Next Food Network Star on the Food Network, after clearing various pre-trials to become one of 12 contestants chosen out of more than 90,000 applications. Unfortunately, he was the first of the 12 contestants to be eliminated. “It kind of sucked to be the first sacrificial one because you don’t get to truly show what you are all about,” Usry said, noting that most of the other contestants had some prior television experience. “If I had the opportunity to do it again I’d be more prepared.” He did get an encore appearance during the final two episodes, one as the sous chef for one of the finalists, and a wrap-up show. But a television career is not a priority for Usry. “It was a really cool experience, but that is not the direction of my career,” he said. “I want to focus on the restaurant and catering. If something happened with TV, it See FAT MAN’S, page 2

Havird Usry has Fat Man’s Cafe growing and looking toward expansion in the near future. Photo by Gary Kauffman



The world is crying out for a better brand of leaders, Bill Hybels said in the opening talk of the 2016 Global Leadership Summit, and with good reason. “Everybody wins when a leader gets better,” he said. Hybels is senior pastor and founder of Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, and the founder of the Global Leadership Summit, which this year was simulcast into the Augusta area for the first time. The Summit is designed to help business and community leaders lead better.

Using a display of giant eyeglasses, Hybels spoke about the four lenses of leadership – passion, people culture, performance and legacy. Passion “Leadership, in its simplest form, is leading people from ‘here’ to ‘there,’” Hybels said. “For team members to go from here to there, they feed off the passion of the leader.” He called that passion the protein or the energy that fuels employees. He noted that research has shown that motivated employees outperform unmotivated workers by 40 percent. “No one on your team cares where your passion is derived from,” Hy-


bels said. “They just want to feel the heat coming from the leader. They want to feel their own souls stirred.” It is the responsibility of the leader to fill his or her “passion bucket.” That will take different forms for different people – reading books by passionate authors, networking with passionate people or going to places that stir the soul. “I don’t know what the specific thing is that will fill your passion bucket,” Hybels said, “but do whatever you must do to get your passion bucket filled.”

For 15 years, Kelly Holmes attended the Global Leadership Summit simulcast in Seattle and had already purchased her ticket for the 2016 event when she made a move to Augusta. That meant she had to find a new location where she could view the simulcast event. Thanks to an organization called Trac4, she didn’t have to look far. Trac4, a group of local businessmen, brought the 2016 simulcast international summit to the CSRA on Aug. 11-12. It was held at West Acres Baptist Church in Evans. The Global Leadership Summit has been held at Chicago’s Willow Creek Community Church for 22 years, but the event is simulcast to other locations, this year to 1,225 sites around the globe, including 590 sites in the United States. More than 300,000 business and

See LEADERS, page 6


FAT MAN’S continued from page 1 would very much be secondary.” A career in the family business is still a bit of a surprise for Usry. Although he grew up in the Fat Man’s atmosphere, he had other aspirations. He went to Clemson University on a soccer scholarship, where he was a starter all four years and earned MVP honors. But as his college days ended, his father, Brad, was in the process of moving the business – now focused on catering for events – for the second time in five years, this time to Enterprise Mill. That’s when they had the idea to turn the event storage space into a restaurant. “Food was never our natural direction, retail was,” Usry said of Fat Man’s history. “But looking back, that was the smartest decision we made. The business has grown 20 percent or more every year for the past seven years. It’s been an awesome move.” It has also given Usry a chance to leave his own mark in the family tradition. “Now that food and beverage is our focus, it’s up to me what my path is,” he said. “I always loved to cook; now it’s a passion of mine.” He became so passionate about cooking that three years ago he went to culinary school. “That was a brutal couple of years of life,” he said. “I worked full time and went to school full time, but it was worth it. My dad really stepped up to the plate to allow me to do it. ” While it would be easy to rest on the laurels of the business’ history and recent success, Usry has plans for the near future that include expansion into North Augusta and Columbia County. Although he wouldn’t reveal any specific details, the expansion has an eye toward attracting members of Usry’s own Millennial generation. “One of the projects we’re working on is sourcing things locally,” he said. “We’ve met with farmers to see where these foods are coming from. This concept is based on the fact that neither Dad or I are the Fat Man at all. We stay fit and eat healthy, and this style reflects that.”

While Havird Usry is busy running and expanding Fat Man’s Café, his wife, Brooke, is a dentist, partnering with North Augusta dentist Dr. Ron Bryant. “We’re both very much full time,” Havird Usry said. “That balance can be difficult at times but that’s the life we live in today.” But their personalities complement each other, making that balance a little easier. “As far as careers, I’m very much big picture and she’s very much a detailed Type A personality,” he said. “I have grand ideas and she makes sure they’re detailed enough to work out.” Usry has the same kind of relationship with his father, Brad, in running the family business. “It was a match made for us to go into business together,” Usry said. “It’s a great partnership. We jibe well and know each other’s limits.” He said this is important because people, especially the Millennial age group, are more conscious of what they’re eating, as well as of the atmosphere and service they’re receiving. Usry is also conscious of a recent Southern Living article that ranked Augusta as the third-best place to retire in the South. “Everybody is playing to the Millennials and the cyber side of things, but who’s got more money, those retiring to Augusta or Millennials just out of college?” Usry said. “If you’re a smart businessperson you play to all demographics.” If the expansion goes as planned, it will keep Fat Man’s thriving well into the future, perhaps to a fourth generation. He and his wife, Brooke, have an 18-monthold daughter. “I would love to have a fourth generation involved, but I guess that puts all the pressure on me,” Usry said with a laugh. “I hope we can create something cool enough and worthy of a fourth generation wanting to be involved.”


Fat Man’s has been an iconic business in Augusta since the 1940s. That’s when Horace Usry took over his father’s grocery store and changed the name to Fat Man’s Corner. It quickly became a marketing success story. “It was a shopping center before there were shopping centers,” Havird Usry, Horace’s grandson, said. A restaurant, originally called The Pit (later named Fatsville Chow before becoming the current Fat Man’s Café), was added up the street. Fat Man’s Corner became the place to buy seasonal items, especially for Halloween and Christmas. Christmas became such a popular theme that it became a year-round display called Fat Man’s Forest. Fat Man’s Forest closed in 2008 after the store’s land was purchased by the Medical College of Georgia. In 2009, Fat Man’s opened an event center in Enterprise Mill, and then moved the restaurant business, which had been on the downtown River Walk, there as well.

2 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016



Business expansion is a theme running through this issue. On the cover is a story of the third generation running the iconic Fat Man’s franchise. I’ve known the Usry family since my TV news days when they had Fat Man’s Forest, a neat retail store on Druid Park Road in Augusta. When they eventually sold that property, some of their products helped to grow a downtown costume shop – Vintage Oollee. I met Brad Usry – and had heard about his talented children – one an accomplished video producer who counts Windsor Jewelers among his credits – and another a reality contestant on a Food Network show. Havird Usry is a great third generation story and with the support of his dad, Brad, is redefining the Fat Man’s “brand” with some expansion efforts planned. Bobby Boggs is part of a great American entrepreneurial story, he’s had many successful careers when most of us would be happy with just one. He was a longtime, successful advertising executive, and works with hundreds of financial planning and tax related clients as part of The Boggs Group. That’s his “day” job.


It is my sincere desire that by sharing what has transpired it will help others He is spending more and more of his time developing his Pot Smoker BBQ brand at his restaurant in North Augusta, his line of BBQ sauces and rubs at Bi-Lo, and soon at a new location in Columbia, near the state Capitol. They say “timing is everything” and Boggs’ expansion plan to Columbia came about three years early thanks to the insistence of a pre-eminent restaurant franchisee in the CSRA. Read the story on page 23. Yours truly also learned that everything happens in God’s perfect timing. I had not even thought of selling the Buzz brand until I was approached by Morris Communications. Read all about it in our special spread on pages 20-21. It is my sincere desire that by sharing what has transpired over the last eight months it will help others who might desire to sell their business one day. I opted to share what was happening in progress and am appreciative that our Editor In Chief Gary Kauffman stayed

through the transition – and media assistant Kelsey Morrow went along for the ride. Janine Garropy gave more than two years of her life to help me grow the company and I wish her well at her new position working for the National Wild Turkey Federation in Edgefield. Janine was able to train new salesperson Jessica Jones during the last few days and Jessica hasn’t missed a beat! We’re poised for a record year thanks to the great resources Morris provides. I want to thank their executive team for making me feel welcome and the Chronicle Media team led by General Manager Stephen Wade, Sales Manager James Holmes and their staff. Buzz feels at home. Lastly, success doesn’t happen without a great group of advisors around you. Special thanks to Brian King of Donsbach & King, my attorney, Christine Hall and Amanda Schuyler from Hall & Associates CPAs, and Kim Romaner of Tran-

Buzz Bits....................12,13

Business Events............ 38 B2B Expo........................ 45 B2B Expo will help businesses help each other be better.

Helping Hands............... 48 Ideal Savings Tool............ 4 Financial Freedom Boot Camp finds the ideal savings tool in an unexpected asset.

Maxwell’s Maxims............ 6

Leadership expert John Maxwell gives five tips on how to add value to people.

Grooming Guru............... 18

Grants help local organization to rework a disabled vet’s home.

Daryl Rolle of Dapper & Co. has a passion for helping men look their best.

Buzz about Buzz.......20,21

Buzz on Biz is now part of Morris Publishing. Read how the transaction took place.

Business Briefs..........22,23 Cyber Wars..................... 10 Class Act......................... 34 Have a Heart................... 57

TechNet Augusta addresses intricacies of defending cyber space.

Columbia County Chamber’s leadership class has 32 participants.

Arts in the Heart is back in Augusta for the 36th year, bigger and better than ever.

Columnists Beth Pence: Get out of the office to learn more about your business............... 8 Steve Swanson: Look for chances to give value to employees, customers....10 Eddie Kennedy: You need to get away and think about what’s next...............14 Dagan Sharpe: Hang loose when surfing life’s financial waves..........................16 Justin Anderson: Real estate market looking up despite doomsayers............16 Jeff Asselin: Your website can be attractive and easy to use...............................19 Kim Romaner: Buyers might want your business to sell their stuff...................24 Kelsey Morrow: Selfie giant Snapchat has business applications as well.......24 Charles Kelly: As phone, tablet sales dip, computer sales will rebound..........26 Scott Thurmond: Digital mimeographs cleaner, less smelly than originals...28 Mike Herrington: Consider options when receiving inheritance.......................28 Gary Kauffman: One business’ cash flow issues affect other businesses........30 Kevin Wade: Voice Over IP becoming increasingly viable option......................30

Christine Hall: Businesses often miss tax deductions and overpay..................32 Russell Head: How to react if you receive marketplace notices.........................32 Mark Alison: Don’t ruin good advertising with bad service.................................36 Jame Geathers: Dealing with employee behavior away from work.................36 Josh Heath: Businesses should develop plan for active shooter.......................42 Carol Gignoux: The right people help innovator brains stay focused..............48 Sarah Blake: Divorce brings struggles beyond legal issues.................................50 Susan O’Keefe: Bodega Ultima brings the world’s cuisine to Augusta............52 Bob Johnson: Dealing with people is key to good management.....................54 Ben Casella: Coffee stout, fruity IPA capture reviewer’s attention.....................58 Samantha Taylor: Two Netflix shows capture essence of school life................58 Ben Paschal: At the end of his rope, writer finds a simpler life...........................60 Nora Blithe: Writer pens final column to begin a new chapter in life...............62

sworld Business Brokers – all business partners in our Buzz on Biz publication. Our aforementioned Editor In Chief Gary Kauffman spent many days sitting in on some unique workshops for business leaders during the past couple of weeks. One was the Financial Freedom Boot Camp, which you can read about on the next page. The other was the international Global Leadership Summit that was simulcast live in the CSRA for the first time. Read about what some great leaders had to say about becoming great leaders on page 6. I hope you experience tremendous growth in your business as well, and blessings to you and your family.

Neil Gordon is operations manager for Buzz on Biz 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. You can reach him at 706-589-6727 or

The Buzz on Biz mission is to act as an inspirational tool for those in the workplace and those who are entrepreneurs, and to provide useful, practical information to increase their companies’ bottom lines. To order a 12-month subscription mailed to your home or office, please mail a check for $49 (includes sales tax) to cover postage to the address below. Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830 Sales Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727; Jessica Jones/762-218-0239 Design Gary Kauffman Photography Gary Kauffman, Melissa Gordon Writers Amanda King, Kelsey Morrow Calendar Coordinator Kelsey Morrow Distribution Jessica Jones, Kenneth Brown

Opinions expressed by the writers herein are their own and their respective institutions. Neither Morris Publishing Group or its agents or employees take any responsibility for the accuracy of submitted information, which is presented for informational purposes only. Like us on Facebook @ 604 Government Center Way Evans, GA 30809

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz





Five years ago, Danny Lowry, owner of Bennett Distribution in Augusta, decided to reinvest the money in his 401(k). But he discovered that he couldn’t get to that money while he was still working. “The lack of access infuriated me,” he said. So Lowry took his money into his own hands, becoming a virtual bank for himself through a little-known financial strategy – a life insurance policy. “Traditionally, a life insurance policy is not a great place to park your money,” Justin Craft of Nowlin & Associates in Birmingham, Ala., told about 30 business leaders in Augusta on Aug. 5. “But when it is structured properly, it is not taxable and maximizes your cash assets.” Craft and Scott Chapman of Sandersville, Ga., presented the case for a new way of thinking about money for the future at a four-hour-long Financial Freedom Boot Camp held at the Snelling Center. Craft quoted former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker’s prediction that the Federal tax rate could double by 2030. “That will be because of a four-letter word,” Craft said. “Math.” Today, 89 cents of every tax dollar collected is spent on four programs – Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the $19.3 trillion national debt. In four years, that will increase to 92 cents of every dollar. Even simple math indicates the government will need more money to keep up with those costs, and increasing taxes seems to be the only way to do that. “The government’s decisions affect our daily lives and daily decisions,” Chapman said. “What we’re doing here will not only help our lives but help each future generation.” Craft added, “If things are changing, then to protect our families we have to change our ways of thinking.” In saving money, Craft said there are three types of places people can “park”


In the past few years we’ve heard a lot about the wealthy 1 percent in this country. But who is wealthy? Take a guess at how much annual family income it takes to be considered to be among the wealthiest in the United States. Answers below. How much does it take to be in the top… A. 25 percent? B. 10 percent? C. 5 percent? D. 1 percent?

What we’re doing here will not only help our lives but help each future generation.

Justin Craft of Nowlin & Associates explains the needs for an ideal savings tool and how to get it at the Financial Freedom Boot Camp in Augusta. Photo by Gary Kauffman


Imagine the problems the following family is going to face financially:

Not only is this family spending $4,500 more per year than it makes, it is already nearly $200,000 in debt. Unless this family can drastically reduce spending or increase income, the debt will continue to grow past its already unmanageable proportions. That “family” is actually the United States – add eight zeroes to the num-

bers to turn it into trillions – $3.3 trillion income, $3.7 trillion in expenses and $19 trillion in debt. Not only are Americans facing a financial crisis currently, but it will be even worse for future generations, with the only real possible solution a drastic increase in taxes (the government’s income). How much is $19 trillion? Suppose you decided to spend $100 per second. At that rate, to reach $19 trillion by now you would have had to start before 4000 B.C. Or if you started today, you’d be slapping down Benjamins one per second until about the year 8047.

their money – places that are taxed today, those that are taxed tomorrow and those that are tax free. Examples of places that can be taxed today are traditional savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs. Those that can be taxed tomorrow are qualified plans or deferred accounts, business equity, real estate and annuities. The tax free areas are Roth IRAs and cash value life insurance. “And under the mattress, but that’s not a good idea,” Craft quipped. The ideal savings tool, according to Craft and Chapman, would have a competitive rate of return, would be guaranteed, have the cash easily available, be tax free, be creditor proof and have evercompounding interest. The No. 1 spot where people are parking their savings these days is in retirement plans, with taxes deferred until later. The

biggest drawback to this, Craft said, is that the money is inaccessible for the majority of a person’s life, only becoming available penalty-free at age 59-1/2 and only for 11 years. Plus when it is withdrawn it is taxed at the rate that is in place then. “And we don’t know what tax bracket it will be in in the future,” Craft said. The retirement plans, then, meet only two of the ideal savings tool categories – competitive rate of return and creditor proof. Mutual funds and bonds, likewise, only meet two – competitive rate of return and easily accessible. Savings accounts – the second largest place people put their money – meets only the guaranteed and easily accessible categories, and real estate, which some people use as a savings strategy, meets only the competitive rate of return category. A properly structured life insurance plan,

Annual income = $33,269 Annual expenses = $37,737 Debt = $190,000

A. $75,000; B. $128,000; C. $180,000; D. $429,000.

4 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

however, meets all six criteria of an ideal savings plan. Craft cautioned, though, that the key is “properly structured” and advised seeking the aid of a Certified Infinite Banking Specialist to make sure it is structured properly. A key indicator that properly structured life insurance policies are sound financial investments is that the largest owners of such policies in the United States are banks, which use them as a steady vehicle for safe, tax-free cash. “The same thing the banks are doing is what we’re talking about doing on a personal level,” Craft said. The life insurance, then, becomes a personal “bank.” The key is the ability to borrow against the cash value in the same way a person would borrow from a financial institution. But instead of paying back a bank, the money is paid back to the life insurance policy. Meanwhile, since the money is a loan against the policy, not withdrawing money from the policy (the money in the policy in essence becomes the collateral), the money paid into the policy remains and continues to draw compounding interest. “It transfers the control of your cash flow to your family instead of to the bank,” Craft said. This is known as the family banking system, or Infinite Banking. Chapman said it creates freedom by allowing the family to have choices about how they use their money, rather than banks or the government. Switching to this system solved the frustration Danny Lowry felt about not being able to access the money in his retirement account. “I take the same approach (to savings) but now I have access to my money,” Lowry said. “I become the investment. I no longer go to the banks. I finance loans myself with my bank. I’m the bank so I actually get the interest.” The Infinite Banking system has worked so well that Lowry wants to add it to his business. “I’m looking at doing this with my company,” he said. “If you’re buying equipment, you might as well buy it from yourself as buy it from the bank.”

August 29—September 22, 2016 Buzz on Biz



continued from page 1 People Culture “God only really treasures one thing in this vast cosmos – people,” Hybels said. “When He entrusts us to have them 40 hours a week we have a responsibility to develop God’s treasures to the zenith of their potential.” But leaders often have a shattered view of how to treat their employees, based on their personal experiences. Hybels recommended a reputable outside firm to assess the health of the business culture, then working on correcting the things that need to be changed. He encouraged those in the “C Suite” to keep an eye on the people who will be the future of the organization. “What the world needs is more leaders who will treasure what God treasures,” Hybels said. Performance Hybels said leaders must find ways to help their team reach peak performance, and that includes measurable goals. That can require constant monitoring and readjustment of performance goals – and letting people know how they’re doing and where they can improve. “People really want to know if the senior leaders are proud of their progress,” he said. “It’s cruel and unusual punishment to employ a person and never tell them how they’re doing.” Legacy A person’s legacy is what people remember about him or her after they’re gone. “Leadership is fundamentally not about time, it’s about energy – where do we put the most of our energy into,” Hybels said. But he added that leaders often place their energy just into their business life, something that can create an imbalance. “Leadership can become a legal ‘drug’ that creates a high that other areas of life have a hard time competing with,” Hybels said. “God never intended our vocations to crowd out other areas of our lives.” He said leaders not only need to flourish at work, but also in their marriages, their relationships with the kids and grandkids and in church. “We need to flourish holistically in every area of our lives,” he said. But it’s not too late for leaders who have become one-dimensional. “There are no do-overs but there are makeovers,” Hybels said. “Throughout history God has helped people rewrite the narratives of their lives with new chapters.” The four lenses of leadership are important for a simple reason – leadership matters. “It matters disproportionately,” Hybels said. “So we need to get better, every single one of us.”

Attendees at the Global Leadership Simulcast at West Acres Baptist Church in Evans watch Bill Hybels’ talk. Photo by Gary Kauffman

MAXWELL’S MAXIM FOR LEADERS: ADD VALUE TO PEOPLE DAILY The core of leadership is to every day intentionally add value to the people around you. That’s according to John Maxwell, the highly respected leadership coach and author, who presented one of the talks at the Global Leadership Summit that was simulcast around the world, including in the Augusta area, on Aug. 12. “There’s a thin line in leadership that is easy to pass between motivating people and manipulating people,” Maxwell said. “Manipulating people is always wrong.” He believes that followers are asking three questions of their leaders – Do you like me?, which speaks to compassion; Can you help me?, which addresses competence; and Can I trust you?, dealing with the leader’s character. “Basically they’re asking, ‘Will you add value to my life?’” Maxwell said. To answer that question requires a

leader to be intentional about it, and to be willing to make the changes and do the work it takes to motivate people. “Everything worthwhile is uphill,” Maxwell said. “Life is not easy, it never was and it’s not meant to be. It’s uphill all the way.” A big problem, Maxwell said, is that people’s habits don’t match their desires. “People have uphill hopes and downhill habits,” he said. “The only way you can break a downhill habit is to get intentional in your life.” Intentional living is deliberate and consistent. It requires getting past selfishness to thinking of others and how to add value to others. “Most people don’t lead their life, they accept their life,” Maxwell said. “When you accept your life it’s not intentional and it’s downhill.” Want more of John Maxwell? See the ad on page 19.

continued from page 1 community leaders viewed the simulcast. The 2016 Summit featured talks by Christian business leaders and motivational speakers like Bill Hybels, senior pastor at Willow Creek, Alan Mulalley, former CEO of Ford Motor Co., Jossy Chacko, founder of Empart, Inc., and Horst Schulze, founding president of Ritz-Carlton; authors and human relations experts like Dr. Travis Bradberry, Patrick Lencioni, Chris McChesney, Erin Meyer and Wilfredo de Jesus; leadership coach John Maxwell; and an interview with Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “I like the fact that (the simulcasts) help me to have my Christian principle in my business,” Holmes said. “It allows them to overlap.” That was the thought behind bring-

ing the event to the Augusta area for the first time. Robby Fox of Advanced Industrial Refrigeration in Augusta and a member of Trac4, said the group decided to bring the simulcast to the Augusta area after attending the event in Columbia in 2015. “It had a great impact on us,” Fox said. “We started late in the game (bringing it to Augusta) so our main goal was to get as much awareness as possible, with the goal to make it happen again next year.” Those who attended found plenty of things to like about the talks from the speakers. “John Maxwell’s talk was worth the whole price of admission,” said Vern Keszler of Pinnacle Specialty Group in Aiken. Dagan Sharpe, vice president at Queensborough Bank & Trust, also mentioned Maxwell’s talk.



6 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016


1. Value. This is where it all begins, Maxwell said, and is the essence of Jesus’ life. “We as Christ followers have a choice to make – are we going to spend our lives connecting with people or correcting them?” he asked. 2. Think. Maxwell starts every day thinking of ways he can add value to the people he comes into contact with that day. 3. Look. During the course of the day, Maxwell looks for ways he can add value to people, even ones who don’t know him. 4. Review. At the end of the day, Maxwell reviews if and how he added value to people’s lives that day. It is important, he said, to not only think about it but to take action. 5. Encourage. He encourages others to add value to people’s lives.

“I’m going to go back and share this with my company,” he said. “It’s all about making a difference that can have a ripple effect in our community and our families. It’s transforming the 9 to 5 into 24/7, a life that is all-encompassing instead of segmented.” Holmes also liked Lencioni’s talk about being the ideal team player and hearing about Mulalley’s experiences at Ford. “Those were very basic leadership principles that anyone can adopt,” she said. Holmes added that the Global Leadership Summit talks are not only motivating but affirming. “Often I walk out of this finding areas to work on,” she said, “but there are also areas where I’m on the right track and realize I made the right decision.” The 2017 Global Leadership Summit will take place Aug. 10-11.

August 29—September 22, 2016 Buzz on Biz




One of the best values a small business can take advantage of is networking. Now, when we think of networking, we automatically think of attending a breakfast meeting, a BNI meeting or an event. While all of those possess great value, a seemingly more challenging networking tool can be leaving the shop, getting out there to visit other businesses and ask them how they do things. When there are only five to 10 employees in your center and all of them are critical to your customer, how in the world do you take them away from the business for a day? How does that help our customer? As Nike says, just do it! Recently, we took our own advice. An employee and I made a day-trip to an Atlanta print center. We just did it – we made the phone call and asked if we could visit with them for a day, observing and learning from a successful and experienced staff. Competitors or not, you will be surprised how many business owners are glad to share their expertise and are honored by your asking them. A side note: If you are willing to travel outside the CSRA, neither you or the other business owner is concerned about giving away best practices secrets. Well, our trip paid off. The owners were generous with their time and readily shared their best practices with our newest employee. We both learned so much in just a few hours. They were full of tips and warnings that benefited us immensely. Our ride back to Augusta was filled with energy as we shared notes and ideas generated by the robust discussions, the passion and the energy of the owners. It raised the question, How do we build pas-

sion in our employees? Passion is important, but we’ll discuss that another time. We are planning a visit to another center in Savannah later this month. This trip will also include our production manager. Even though my partner and two other employees are nervous about three of us being out of the center all day, they are coming around to the idea that we will all benefit from these road trips. They are thrilled to have the opportunity to see another center at work – an opportunity never afforded to our employees before. Also consider that most of us wouldn’t have to leave the CSRA! We can consider visiting a local business that may not be a direct competitor of ours. So next on my

agenda is to ask a local business to allow us a visit. Better yet, I need to offer my open door to local business owners as well; after all, our customers are the indicators that we are doing something right so we have plenty to share. Regarding training and mentoring opportunities for employees, as hard as it is to pull them away from the business, we believe that training is a key to employee satisfaction and business growth. It’s not always the traditional classroom or webinar training that most energizes and excites them. When employees are provided any training opportunity, they reward you with loyalty, process efficiencies, increased innovation, improved customer

service and pride in their work, ultimately leading to business success and employees who know they are valued. That’s worth repeating: Employees who know they are valued. Valued Employees = Valued Customers.

Beth Pence and her son Phillip own Alphagraphics, located in Martinez, just across from the Martinez Post Office off of Martinez Blvd. on Commercial Ct. They offer full print, signs and design services. Reach them at 706-650-3177 or

EXPANSION WILL GIVE BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS MORE ROOM Youth in the Augusta area will get a boost when the Boys & Girls Clubs of the CSRA expands and adds programs in the near future. A groundbreaking for the renovation and expansion of the E.W. Hagler Club at 1903 Division St. took place last week. The expansion will include state-of-theart learning centers, funded in the memory of Bill Hatcher, to help Augusta students maintain a competitive edge in the changing technological work place. It will also include a new STEM lab, to encourage exploratory and experiential learning. Perhaps most anticipated is the new teen center, which will boast a recording studio, study space and programs designed for life beyond graduation.

The gym, the heart of every Boys & Girls Club, will have space for intramural basketball, physical activities and community and family events. Children from food-insecure homes will enjoy a hot dinner every evening, prepared in the club’s full commercial kitchen. Teens who have completed Career Launch and Money Matters programs are

8 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

eligible for employment there. The Augusta chapter of the Boys & Girls clubs was started by Augusta brick mason Ed Hagler in 1951 after the death of his son on the battlefields of Korea in 1950. Hagler devoted his life to the advancement of underprivileged boys in Augusta’s mill neighborhoods. Sixty-five years later, Boys & Girls Clubs of the

CSRA is testament to this man’s legacy that all children, regardless of circumstance, can achieve success. Over the last six decades, the Club has grown from a single room on the upper end of Broad Street serving only boys to a comprehensive youth development movement encompassing seven Club sites across four counties, enriching the lives of more than 2,600 boys and girls each year. The E.W. Hagler Club was built in 1960. The Club is operating temporarily every day after school during the renovation at Collins Elementary School to serve first through eighth grade youth. Teen programs are offered at the W.T. Johnson Club during the building project.

August 29—September 22, 2016 Buzz on Biz




A few months ago I had the opportunity to sit at the feet of a brilliant man named Reed Arvin. Reed is a person who takes the time to think, really think about trends and their impact in our culture. In one of his sessions he talked about the fact that we either lean in to something or away from it. Sounds like a simple concept, right? Right! But when was the last time you actually gave some specific thought time as to why people might lean in to what you work so hard at? The lean (according to Reed) is the first moment of connection with something created and their first contact. The lean is what happens in that moment. My wife spent 5-1/2 years as the manager of a breakfast/lunch restaurant. Occasionally I would get to help her. One of my observations and reminders during those “front line” encounters was that she was in the people business. Sure, she sold good food, but that was just where she intersected with the people who came in her front door. I work at a radio station. We certainly want to play the best songs every time someone tunes in. But we remind each other often that what we’re about at our

core is relationships. We’re connecting with and growing along with those who listen. We’re living life together. If you’re only interested in your profit margin and don’t really care about those you have relationships with, you’re missing the deeper opportunities you have in front of you. The folks at Chick-fil-A understand that impacting the people who come in the door is really their bottom line goal. David Salyers, vice president of marketing for Chick-fil-A has written a book

called “Remarkable.” I read David’s book and would certainly recommend it to you. How are you serving those who come to your business or use the service you offer? Perhaps this is a good time to stop and consider the points of contact you have with the community. During the time I had to hear Reed Arvin he emphasized how much we value data these days. In fact, from his perspective there is a major shift happening around us. Many in places of power and

A REMARKABLE LOOK AT VALUING PEOPLE The Amazon summary of Remarkable by David Salyers: “Business as usual. It’s conventional, operating within the established norms. It’s predictable, delivering the expected. It’s comfortable, maintaining the status quo. It’ There are millions of organizations doing business as usual. But, business as usual will never be Remarkable! Remarkable means notably or conspicuously unusual; extraordinary; worthy of notice or attention. The ideas explored in this book have come from a lifetime of observing some

extraordinary people and organizations as they live out their conspicuously unusual ideas, producing uncommon results. The effect is that those who work for and those who benefit from these people and organizations find themselves with an irrepressible desire to “remark about them!” What is it that these folks know that others seemingly do not? How does their view of the world lead them to think and behave differently than others? When faced with the same opportunities and challenges, how are their choices different...and why?”

influence believe that people only have value based on their productivity or lack of it. As an example, he quoted Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard for four years, who said, “You can always go faster than you think you can.” I truly believe there is more to life than merely increasing its speed! It’s time, I believe, to take a closer look at our goals. Remember, people are much more than just data containers. Our church reminds us often that #People Matter. Those two words can profoundly impact those you connect with today and in the future.

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. For comments, email


ARMY TAKES ON DIFFICULT TASK OF DEFENDING CYBER SPACE For the military, cyberspace is a domain that, like air, land and space, requires strategies to protect it and weapons to defend it. Earlier this month, military leaders participated in TechNet Augusta 2016, enlightening conference attendees about just how difficult this challenge is in light of attacks from new – and some previous – adversaries, a resurgence of electronic warfare activities and the need to synchronize cyberspace with the combined arms fight.  This was the third year for TechNet Augusta. Despite the numerous devices people depend on daily, most average users are oblivious to the depth and breadth of cyberspace. It runs in the background, primarily invisible to the human eye except for the nuts and bolts that make it possible: fiber, silicon and brilliant minds. Despite its invisibility, it is a place where skirmishes, intricate operations and fullblown attacks take place. One challenge today’s armed forces face is how dependent they have become on the cyber domain in such a relatively short period of time. Although the network-centric warfare concept was intro-

duced less than two decades ago, today’s warfighters depend on technology for situational awareness, operations coordination and calls for help as if a sophisticated network had always existed. But, the increased dependency on technology enlarges vulnerabilities, and connection protection is akin to defending a line in the water. Defending technology with technology is not the only approach, however. For example, recent international conflicts with cyber components provide insights into potential adversarial e-tactics and strategies. TechNet Augusta speaker Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe, shared that the United States is learning a lot about Russian capabilities from the conflict in Ukraine. Russia used jamming and other means to effectively counter unmanned aerial vehicles flown by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which monitors the situation between Russia and the Ukraine. Hodges recently asked a senior American official what Ukraine needed most. Without hesitation, the unnamed official replied, “Secure communications.”

10 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

“They are getting hammered because they do not have the ability to talk securely and everything they say is intercepted or jammed,” Hodges said. “Russian unmanned aerial vehicles are able to fly overhead and spy on formations – things we haven’t had to worry about for the past 15 years.” Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, commander of Army Cyber Center of Excellence, elaborated on how fighting in the cyber world differs from the real world. “You can’t call for supporting fires,” he said. “You can’t call for medevac. You can’t get resupplied. You don’t know where your leaders are. You get fixed, and you become a very easy target for precision fires. They maneuver right over you with combined arms maneuvers.” To address adversaries’ changing tactics, the U.S. military forces are making changes of their own. Ronald Pontius, deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army, predicted one of the biggest advances in the near future will be the convergence of major military networks into one unified Department of Defense

Information Network. “The Signal Corps will not only be highly relevant, it will be central to everything that occurs on and across the DODIN,” Pontius said. According to Gen. Dennis Via, commander of Army Materiel Command, members of his team have initiated discussions with Army Cyber Command to determine if the AMC can play a larger role in cyber. “We’ve got 12,000 scientists and engineers working out of state-of-the-art laboratories who are partnering with academia and industry to empower, unburden, protect and sustain our soldiers,” he said. “We execute approximately 75 percent of the Army’s science and technology budget, and I think we need to be doing more in the cyber arena to leverage these personnel and these facilities.” Via did not elaborate on his vision for AMC’s greater role in cyber, nor did he say how Army Cyber Command received the idea. But the possibility of the two major commands partnering on cyber solutions illustrated one of the major themes for TechNet Augusta’s last day: The need for innovation.

August 29—September 22, 2016 Buzz on Biz



Many small business owners, whether they’ve been in business for two years or 20 years, are so busy working in their business that they neglect working on it. If you’re ready to start working on your business in a smarter way, the Small Business Development Center’s GrowSmart gives you the tools and strategies to reach your goals. The next GrowSmart class begins on Sept. 13. The all-day classes meet on four consecutive Tuesdays. Enrollment is limited. GrowSmart was developed by the University of Georgia SBDC to meet the needs of growing businesses. Combining the latest ideas with timeless principles, GrowSmart helps propel your business forward. The program is designed for leaders of companies with at least two years of successful operation, annual revenues of $300,000 or more and the desire to grow. For more information, visit

EDTS HONORED ON TWO LISTS EDTS has been named to The Channel Company’s 2016 CRN Fast Growth 150 list, naming EDTS to the honorees for the fourth consecutive year. Concurrently, Apple has added EDTS to its prestigious Apple Consultants Network (ACN), recognizing its position as an independent consultant whose team is fully trained and tested in Apple technologies.  The Fast Growth 150 list is CRN’s annual ranking of North America-based technology integrators, solution providers and IT consultants which have experienced significant economic growth over the past two years. Apple’s exclusive ACN status indicates that EDTS offers comprehensive IT services and solutions based around Apple products, and is trained and equipped to ensure that IT solu-

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tions are set up, configured, and supported correctly. In becoming an accredited member of the ACN, EDTS has been validated as remaining current on Apple certifications, and has passed rigorous testing to become a certified member. “These honors are directly attributable to our team’s laser focus on helping customers attain the highest level of success possible from their IT investment,” said Charles Johnson, CEO of EDTS. “All of us at EDTS are proud to have attained these prestigious recognitions as we work each day to keep client networks protected, optimized, and running at peak performance.” The 75-person EDTS organization serves customers from offices in Columbia and Greenville, S.C. and Asheville, N.C., with its headquarters in Augusta.

JOHNSON SET TO RETIRE FROM SRNS Carol Johnson is finally getting to retire. Johnson had planned to retire two years ago, but instead stepped in to take the position of president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. This week she announced that she will now retire from that job in September. Stuart MacVean will take over Johnson’s position. Carol Johnson’s tenure as president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions will soon come to an end, leaving Stuart MacVean her successor. MacVean had been president of Savannah River Remediation, but resigned that position in February.

JOBS INCREASE SLIGHTLY IN METRO AREA The Georgia Department of Labor announced that Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate for June was 6 percent, up seven-tenths of a percentage point from 5.3 percent in May. The rate in June 2015 was 6.7

12 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

MED CENTER PURSUES QUALITY Augusta University’s medical center has taken steps to keeping its labs on the cutting edge. The medical center signed a 15-year master service agreement with Beckman Coulter, Inc., a global leader in the clinical diagnostics industry and a part of the Danaher Corporation. Through this alliance, the medical center will have full access to Danaher Corporation’s entire suite of leading diagnostic solutions, including Beckman Coulter’s laboratory automation, instruments, software, assays and services, as well as other diagnostic offerings. Augusta University’s medical center will also benefit from Danaher’s business improvement processes, known as the Danaher Business System (DBS). DBS has been proven to increase productivity and improve financial performance in numerous business settings, providing lasting benefits to quality and efficiency. “We appreciate partnerships that allow us the opportunity to develop innovative solutions to significant healthcare challenges,” percent. The rate rose as the labor force increased by 3,660 to 260,507, as students and others entered the job market looking for work. The labor force consists of people employed and those who are unemployed but actively looking for jobs. The number of employed workers rose by 1,602, while the number of unemployed people increased by 2,058.       Also, the number of jobs increased by 100 to 230,700 in June. Most of the increase came in professional and business services. However, over the year, Augusta gained 3,300 jobs, a 1.5 percent growth rate, up from 227,400 in June 2015. Most of the job gains came in professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality,

said Dr. Brooks Keel, Augusta University President and Health System CEO. “I am optimistic that our alliance with Beckman Coulter will result in a more efficient process for our hospital and a better healthcare experience for our patients.” “We are grateful to be partnering with Beckman Coulter; it gives our medical center the opportunity to continue to develop a new model for the healthcare industry that stresses better outcomes for patients through innovation, new technologies and collaboration,” said Shawn Vincent, Augusta University, Interim Chief Operating Officer for the medical center and Enterprise Vice President of Partnerships, International Healthcare and Strategic Affiliations. along with state and local government. The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance declined by 213, or 15.2 percent, to 1,185 in June. Most of the decrease came in manufacturing and construction, along with health care and social assistance. And, over the year, claims were down by 432, or 26.7 percent, from 1,617 in June 2015.

USC AIKEN RATED GOOD PLACE TO WORK The University of South Carolina Aiken is a great college to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education, a top trade publication for colleges and universities. The results, released in The Chronicle’s ninth annual report

on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of 281 colleges and universities. Only 93 of the institutions that applied for the program achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with USC Aiken included among the medium universities with 3,000 to 9,999 students. USC Aiken won honors in the collaborative governance category this year. “I am extremely pleased and highly honored for USC Aiken to be selected as a Great College to Work For,” said USC Aiken Chancellor, Dr. Sandra Jordan. “I’m particularly proud that we received recognition in the area of collaborative governance. Whether we are working on new academic programs, the budget, or student initiatives, gathering input from all corners of the campus — faculty, staff, students, and alumni is of critical importance to making the best decisions possible.”

SALVATION ARMY TEAMS WITH REALTORS Moving and don’t know what to do with all that stuff you’ve accumulated? The Salvation Army in Augusta has a plan for that, and is teaming with local realtors to create a program that helps both the movers and the Salvation Army. Real Estate for Rehabilitation offers a pick-up service of gently used clothing, furniture and other household items, which are then sold at local Salvation Army stores. The proceeds are used by the Salvation Army’s Rehabilitation Centers to transform lives. The Rehabilitation Centers help people with substance abuse problems through therapy, education, counseling and spiritual development. Brochures and business cards about the Real Estate for Rehabilitation program are available at many local real estate offices where people preparing to move can pick them up. For more information about the Salvation Army’s programs, visit

AUGUSTA FIRM LAUNCHES NEW DIVISION US CareNet, a national senior care services provider based in Augusta has launched its NavCare care management division. The NavCare brand provides chronic care and transitional care management, population health management and care coordination services for primary care providers and other healthcare providers throughout the country. “For 30 years we have been developing and improving an extremely effective care center,” said Rick Griffin, US CareNet President and Chief Executive Officer. “We use only Registered Nurses for triaging our patients and only nurses licensed in the states in which our services are provided.” Unlike software companies who hire clinicians to work in a call center, US CareNet is a healthcare company with experienced clinicians using our proprietary software designed to provide the highest level of care through its Care Center. “Our goal is to help providers deliver a higher quality of care to the chronically ill population, thereby driving better outcomes and more efficiency throughout the healthcare system,” Griffin said. To date, NavCare has added more than 50,000 Medicare patients to their rolls through agreements with practice groups and healthcare organizations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas. Additional agreements are in process. “Chronic care and transitional care management are the wave of the future in healthcare and we anticipate and are preparing for exponential growth in the coming year,” said Jon Wilder, Chief Operations Officer for NavCare and US CareNet. “Much of our time has been spent educating about chronic care management, its cost saving benefits, as well as its benefits to patients. Keeping patients out of the hospital and helping them manage their chronic conditions

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is vital and we have been able to show health care providers how easy it can be for them through the use of our services.”

DOE NAMED AS TOP DEALER Digital Office Equipment of Statesboro was named an Elite Dealer for Copystar Kyocera Technology for 2016, signifying more than $1 million in purchases for the fiscal year. This places DOE in the top 5 of Copystar Kyocera dealers across the nation. DOE also has an office in Augusta. The company previously received this honor in 2008 and 2013. DOE attributes much of their success to the Copystar Kyocera lineup, which has emerged as an industry leader. The office equipment manufacturer has chosen to invest more in the research and development of their products rather than mass media advertising like some of their more well-known counterparts, thus creating highly cost effective equipment for the end user.

HELMS GRADS CAN CONTINUE STUDIES Graduates of Helms College will now be able to continue their studies at any of Johnson & Wales University’s four U.S. campuses through an articulation agreement. Students enrolled in Helms College’s School of Hospitality at the Augusta Campus can currently study toward an associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts. Under this agreement, Helms students who meet the established grade point average requirement may transfer credit directly to JWU and continue their education at the junior level toward a bachelor of science degree in one of three JWU programs: Culinary Arts and Food Service Management, Food and Beverage Entrepreneurship, or Business Studies. “This is an exciting agreement with Johnson & Wales for

AUGUSTA RANKED AS A GREAT PLACE TO RETIRE If you’re ready to retire, you may already be in the best spot. Augusta ranked third on Southern Living’s recent Best Places to Retire list. According to Southern Living, cities that made the list have unique amenities, a low cost of living, opportunities for volunteering, part-time work and continued learning. A stable housing market, access to medical care, and an airport or train station close-by for ease of traveling were also important considerations. Southern Living cited the Riverwalk, museums, galleries, and an abundance of local businesses and restaurants as reasons why Augusta is a great place to retire. Also important to retirees, Augusta has three hospitals, a regional many reasons,” said James Stiff, President of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia, Inc., the parent organization of Helms College. “The Helms College experience provides educational advancement and with Johnson & Wales, our students will gain the opportunity to deepen their experience so they are ready for the challenges of the careers they aspire to obtain.” Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 15,000 graduate, undergraduate and online students at its four campuses in Providence, R.I.; North Miami, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; and Charlotte, N.C.


The Augusta Coalition for Addiction Recovery Awareness (ACARA) has planned its 7th annual Recovery Month Dinner for

airport and no tax on Social Security benefits. “We are excited that Augusta is getting the recognition it deserves as a great place to spend your golden years,” said Barry White, President/ CEO of Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau. “This ranking is proof that Augusta has plenty of unique, affordable experiences for retirees and people of all ages to enjoy.” Among the 15 cities on the list, the nearby cities of Bluffton and Charleston, S. C., made the list at number six and 14 respectively. Fairhope, Ala., and Weatherford, Texas, ranked ahead of Augusta. For the complete list of “Best Places to Retire,” visit

Sept. 8 at the Kroc Center. September is National Recovery Month from substance abuse. Sponsorship packages are available for businesses, ranging from Platinum to in-kind sponsorships. For more information about the event and sponsorship, contact Jessica Epps at 706733-1935 or

WHITE EARNS NATIONAL HONORS Barry White, President and CEO of the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau, has earned the Certified Destination Management Executive (CDME) designation, the only integrated executive program specifically designed for the destination marketing industry. The focus of the program is on vision, leadership, productivity and the implementation of business strategies. White was

recognized at the Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) 2016 Annual Convention on Aug. 3 in Minneapolis, Minn. “As a member of DMAI’s board and chair of the education committee, I am pleased to have joined the ranks of those few who have earned the CDME credential,” White said. “Ongoing professional development is important at all staff levels and disciplines, and I look forward to continuing working with the education committee to bring new learning opportunities to our industry.” The CDME program is designed to better prepare senior destination marketing organization executives and managers for increasing change and competition and to become more effective organizational and community leaders. The class of 2016 included more than 40 graduates. Over the course of 22 years, more than 400 students have participated in the CDME program.

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




One of the greatest challenges for a small business owner is correctly predicting and planning for the next level of growth in the business. Quiet time to think and plan is scarce. Once the business is up and running, as the owner, you often fill up your time with a plethora of various tasks. Usually it’s because you are talented in an area and enjoy doing the task, or it’s because of a shortage of staff that requires that you do it. Often small businesses are held back from achieving greater success because the owner gets so caught up in the minutiae of the business that he or she loses sight of where they are going. In most businesses, the direction, the primary purpose, and the why of what we do comes down from the top, the busiIf you’re like me, you’re asking, “where am I going to find the time to just think?” Here’s a useful tool to help create some extra time from the book, The Power to Focus, called the “4D Solution.” 1. Dump it. Learn to say “No, I choose not to do this.” 2. Delegate it. Ask yourself, “Who else can do this?” 3. Defer it. Doesn’t need to be done now. Schedule a time later to work on. 4. Do it. These projects need your attention now. Start today.

ness owner. But if you get overworked or too involved in the daily tasks, you cannot take the time necessary to think about the future and the changes you will need to make to stay relevant to your customers or plan for other growth opportunities. It seems that every moment of every day is taken up with tasks, meetings or solving problems. Not much time is left for thinking about the future. For the business owner, getting some alone time is almost impossible. Yet, if you can do it, those times can be some of your most creative moments. I’m not talking about running away from everybody and everything, but taking the time to concentrate and focus with a laser-like intensity on the big question of “what’s next?” When you create a few extra minutes, spend that time wisely by considering what is working and what is not. Look for other opportunities for your business. Research them and make a plan. Find the problems that are holding your company back and come up with solutions. Discuss the solutions with your team and implement them. Focus on that, and you will grow your business and improve your life. Focus your time and efforts on the few things that only you can do or things that you are better at than anyone else. In Jim Collins’ book, Good To Great, he describes having a simple singular focused mindset which he calls “the Hedgehog Concept.” He suggests that you find and communicate a single organizing idea based on

these three different assessments. 1. What are you deeply passionate about? 2. What can you be the best in the world at? 3. What drives your economic engine?   Collins believes that for your business to continue to succeed, you must find your sweet spot. When you discover what you are better at than others, that is what you should devote your time to doing. But in today’s fast changing business environment, you must also be able to see what’s next. Where is your next opportunity? What do you have to do to take ad-

vantage of it? You must be able to change direction, refocus and make corrections if what you are doing is not producing the results you desire. That is where focus becomes important. A few weeks ago, I was had my car washed and waxed at Top Notch Car Wash. While I am there, I like to talk about business with Doug Millar, the business owner. Doug was telling me about one of his childhood friends who had several really successful businesses. Doug’s friend had told him that one reason he was so successful was because he could see if what he was doing would work or not. He could see where the opportunities were and what he needed to do to capitalize on them. He could see what he needed to do next. His friend wasn’t a psychic; he had learned to focus. To be truly successful as a business owner, you must focus. It’s not about doing everything everyone else does, it’s about doing what you do better than anyone else, more often.

Eddie Kennedy is the owner of Great Deals on Furniture in Augusta. Eddie will be sharing ideas and principles he learned in over 37 years of involvement and management in small business. Contact him at

AREA INDUSTRIAL PARKS UPGRADE CONNECTIVITY Two area industrial parks have been certified as AT&T Fiber Ready, which is expected to help current businesses and draw new companies. Both Horizon South Industrial Park/Gateway South in Columbia County and Augusta Corporate Park have earned the designation. AT&T has been deploying high-speed, fiber-optic infrastructure across Georgia for many years with millions of strandmiles of fiber optics in the company’s statewide network, and the AT&T Fiber Ready designation is a tool for local economic development officials to highlight the presence of this high-speed infrastructure in their facilities. “As we work to attract new businesses to the community, the ability to highlight the presence of this critical, fiber-optic infrastructure is essential,” said Walter Sprouse, Executive Director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority. “I am proud of the work being done by

our state and local elected officials who have created an environment that attracts this type of private-sector investment in critical infrastructure.” In today’s world, connectivity is vital to employers and businesses of every type. There’s no such thing as a “low-tech” business today, so economic development leaders must be able to tout the presence of high-speed internet connectivity. “Our elected officials in Atlanta, and here at home, have Georgia pointed in the right direction, and as they continue to work to improve the business climate, other tools like the AT&T Fiber Ready designation can help to put us at the top of the list when employers are looking for a place to call home,” said Robbie Bennett, Executive Director of the Development Authority. With the designation of being AT&T Fiber Ready, the Augusta Corporate Park and Horizon South Industrial Park/ Gateway South join a growing number of

14 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

properties across the state that have pursued the designation to more effectively tout the presence of AT&T’s world-class communications network. “Positive, pro-business policies embraced by Georgia’s state and local elected officials continue to make our state a great place to invest, and I’m proud of the work

our AT&T Georgia employees have done deploying fiber-optics and other infrastructure that delivers high-speed Internet access,” said Stan Shepherd, AT&T Regional Director of External Affairs. “Their hard work and skills, combined with billions of dollars in AT&T investment, enable Georgians to connect and innovate.”

August 29—September 22, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Learning to surf can be challenging. We will undoubtedly fall, crash and get banged up. However, as we learn, we eagerly get right back up for the chance to take on another wave. Why? Because the thrill of catching and riding a wave to shore is hard to match. Even if we body surf, there’s nothing like having the power of the ocean propel you forward. For those who share a love for the ocean, there’s just something about the sand, sun and surf that changes the way you approach life. Thankfully, the same positive outlook we might find at the beach can easily be applied to our overall financial life in three primary ways: Attitude: Our attitude and perspective on the things that happen to us have a tremendous impact on our ultimate outlook and response to our goals. For a surfer, the thrill and challenge of catching a wave outweighs any concerns they may have of crashing and/or encountering unpleasant ocean creatures. Likewise, even though we will undoubtedly encounter unpleasant events in our business and/or finances, the thrill of giving our best to accomplish our goals in all these areas can propel us to do what is necessary in pursuing and fulfilling them, rather than ignoring or putting them off. In short, do we possess “can do” attitudes, or “can’t do” – or worse yet, “won’t do?”

Adventure: Just like going to the ocean allows my family to enjoy various adventures together, pursuing our financial goals will undoubtedly entail both foreseen and unforeseen adventures. The question is, will we choose to spend our time as observers, or opportunists. In other words, will we simply watch others pursue opportunities necessary to achieving goals, while we let them pass us by, or will we plunge into opportunities to plan, prepare, protect and propel our dreams into reality? Granted, the opportunities may require some work and sacrifice, but that’s what makes the adventure worth taking and the payoffs much more

rewarding. Advocacy: Once we experience something we enjoy, like surfing or a particular beach, it’s difficult not to share it with others, either by talking about it, or encouraging others to experience it. This, too, is much like the roles we get to play as participators rather than bystanders. Once we acquire new knowledge, apply it to our own goals and begin reaping the fruits of our labor, we can’t help but share our experiences with others we care about. As a result, we become better advocates and more generous stewards as we pass along and reciprocate to others the ways


they can accomplish their own goals and dreams. This allows us to enjoy the exclusive benefits that follow the givers, rather than the takers. It’s easy to relax and “hang loose” at the beach. Yet, when the waves of life come crashing in on our financial goals, we don’t have to give in to panic. With the proper attitude, we can remain calm and eagerly get back into the adventure knowing there are great dreams to catch, and we have done all we can to prepare, plan, protect and propel our chances of catching them. For those not knowing where to begin, this is where seeking an advocate, or advisor motivated in supporting your overall financial well-being is extremely important. You don’t have to go it alone, but I encourage you to invest the time to carefully identify the givers in the industry – those who desire to go beyond a sell, and seek to educate as well

Dagan Sharpe is Senior Vice President of Queensborough National Bank & Trust. He previously served as National Director for Wells Fargo’s Wealth Management division. He is the author of a stewardship book, Bank On It. He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Augusta. He is a deacon at Warren Baptist Church. Contact him at


Everywhere I go I am hearing investor’s predicting imminent doom in the real estate market. “It’s going to happen right after the election – the market is going to bust!” I say hogwash! I believe most of those doomsayers are simply in too much of a hurry, hoping to capture something they missed in the last market downturn. I would argue that right now is the best time of anytime you have left in your life to get in this game! First, interest rates are at all time lows, and there is no real sign of inflation on the horizon. Whatever the interest rate you are seeing advertised, or that you are personally getting on loans, you may as well just cross out that number and write “Free!” The interest rates available in the market today are as low as you will see them

Now is the best time of anytime you have left in your life to get in this game! and the Federal Reserve has already stated in their effort to display “transparency” that they will only raise rates a maximum of three times each year during the next two years. That means this money we can borrow will essentially be free until the end of 2018. Second, these low rates are causing banks to lend very slowly. There is little incentive for banks to loan more money than they need to when there is so little profit to be made at today’s rates. It is possible as rates rise back to “more normal” levels in the coming years, banks will find greater incentive to loan out the historically high excess reserves they are currently holding and we will see the market

16 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

heat up, not slow down. Third, time is not on our side. Waiting another year, another five years or 10 years to start investing is devastating to the long-term creation of your wealth and your freedom. Whatever you are waiting for – stop waiting! Now is the time to take action. After 18 years in real estate, there remains significantly more information that I don’t know than all the information that I do know. If I waited to get started until I knew everything, I would still be waiting. Get started now! Want to know more about why now is the time to start investing in real estate?

Join us at the next AORE Smart Session – where a local successful investor will share their story of how they have built their real estate investment business right here in Augusta. Our next Smart Session will be on Sept. 10 at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion. The doors open at 8 a.m. for coffee and networking. The Smart Ses-

Justin Anderson is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Georgia and Oklahoma, and has been a full time real estate investor for the past 18 years. He is the co-founder of AORE, a Real Estate Investment Training and Education Company with offices in Augusta, Oklahoma City and Philadelphia. For more information, visit or email

August 29—September 22, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Daryl Rolle has always been a tinkerer. As a child it was with his toys – his penchant for taking apart toys and rebuilding them into something different led his mother to believe he’d be an engineer. But when Rolle went to college, he realized that was not what he wanted to be. Now, years later, Rolle is a barber and grooming professional, the owner of Dapper & Co. on Wrightsboro Road. And he’s still tinkering, but with a different twist. “When people leave here, they’re going to get jobs, get married, lead in their field or create opportunities for themselves,” Rolle said. “So I’m still tinkering and rebuilding. But at least this way my ‘product’ talks back to me.” Even while pursuing engineering as a career, Rolle was cutting hair around his neighborhood. He realized that was his real passion, and turned his career pursuit in that direction. After working at various shops around the CSRA, he decided to open Dapper & Co. in 2008. “I could never get satisfied with the environment or services offered,” Rolle said. “I felt there was more to it than what was being offered. And if you don’t like what’s going on, it’s up to you to make that change.” Dapper & Co. offers a full line of grooming options for men, from haircuts and shaves, to massages, facials and mani/pedis. It is appealing to a wide range of men. “Nobody has a more diverse environment than Dapper & Co., except maybe a shopping mall,” Rolle said. “We have different people, different cultures and different age brackets. It makes for a great conversation.” His clientele includes graduate students from Augusta University, engineers at SRS and Plant Vogtle, various personnel from Fort Gordon and other executives. But there are also blue collar workers as well. “Even blue collar workers have to have a place for relaxation,” he said. “Some come in to get their feet done because they’ve got to wear steel-toed boots all week.” Making the transition to becoming an entrepreneur was an easy one, Rolle said, because of his background. “I come from a very hardworking family of immigrants from the Bahamas,” he said. “Their work ethic was impeccable. They innovated to make things happen. It was like second nature to become an entrepreneur.” He almost immediately had to put that innovation into use when the bottom dropped out of the economy soon after he opened. “In my business plan I had all these


pieces that looked great on paper, but I never anticipated the economy tanking,” Rolle said. But instead of being consumed with his own business, Rolle turned his focus toward helping others who were struggling. While at a job fair he noticed three demographics among those attending – those who were well groomed and had resumes, those who looked like they’d just rolled out of bed and didn’t have resumes, and those who were doing the best they had with what little means they had to be as presentable as possible in the circumstances. It was the third demographic that resonated with Rolle. He aligned with several non-profits to create Suited for Success, a two-day job fair event. It started with a drive to collect lightly-used suits. During the first day of the event, men attending received grooming services, suits and shoes and classes teaching employment and job-readiness skills. On the second day they met with prospective employers. It had a 100 percent success rate. “It was a piece that let me know that as a business owner I not only have an obligation to my clients but also to the community,” Rolle said. Helping people level the playing field by helping them look as presentable and ready as possible is a goal for Rolle. “Opportunities are not missed – they’re taken by someone else who is ready,” he said. “Make yourself ready.” Rolle’s influence reaches far beyond Augusta. He travels regularly to other cities around the country as a grooming consultant and educator. In July, for example, he was in Chicago teaching at a men’s grooming expo. “I teach good barbers to become great barbers, and I teach men with good grooming habits to have great grooming habits,” he said. He also gained additional exposure through his January TEDxAugusta talk about the role of the barber chair, inspiring one veteran of the corporate world to consider a career change after listening to Rolle’s talk online. What are you passionate about in your business? I’m passionate about empowering my clients to their fullest potential through our grooming experience. Your passion will always make a way for you. If you’re doing what you love, your passion will create opportunities for you.

18 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

Where does the name Dapper come from? It was a word that I knew described my demographic. Dapper is a pretty underused word but it described to a T the guys who would come to this establishment. It’s turned out to become my nickname, so I’ve embraced it. It’s a culture, and if you’re going to be the leader of that culture, you need to embrace everything your guys believe and take it on your shoulders. What is your role behind the barber chair? The role behind the chair is kind of heavy. It’s a safe space for the 45 minutes or an hour that they’re in the chair. You have to know which hat to put on, when to react and when to respond. Sometimes it’s the psychologist hat, sometimes it’s a listening ear, or advisement or networking. You take your cues from the client. Many times when the client sits in the chair you get the vibe that there won’t be any talking. Some guys don’t know what they want, so you help identify their lifestyle and sort of mold their life into their look. Standing behind the chair, that assessment is all happening in just a few minutes. Who has been your biggest influence? My biggest influence is someone I’ve never met but I’ve read his books, tracked his business from afar and I’ve watched him play – Magic Johnson. In terms of a business leader, he’s a huge force. Magic has principles in his businesses in a way that align with how I see the world. He is one of my biggest inspirations. How do you unwind?

I unwind around my kids, anywhere my three teenagers are, whether at my son’s basketball games or my daughter’s plays at Davidson. If your life had a theme song, what would it be? That would be Ambition by Wale. How do you give back to the community? I have a not-for-profit that does community programs in the area. We just finished a community initiative with a few other non-profits called STEM in the City. It empowered 22 kids through the Boys & Girls Clubs to have STEM training in robotics. In the eight-week program they learned how to program, how to assemble and how to compete with their robots. They had so much fun. I sit on a couple of boards – Leadership Augusta, Boys & Girls Clubs, Dream Builders. I’m embedded in the community. You’ll find me somewhere trying to make a difference in Augusta. What does the future hold for you and your business? For the business, the future holds expanding our market share. We bought into another business, Regal Styling and Imaging of Evans, which is a different brand but along the same lines as Dapper & Co. Fall’s going to be great because we’re rolling out Phase II of Dapper & Co. We’ll take the Dapper experience from good to great. Personally, legacy building is what’s next for me. I have a lot of goals for my family, so that when I leave this earth my great-great-great-grannies will have what they need to maneuver.



What do Billy Ray Cyrus, Dog the Bounty Hunter and Randy Johnson all have in common? Answer: They all rocked the mullet haircut – you know the one: business up front, party in the back! While having a haircut that is the best of both worlds is not necessarily a good thing, having a website that looks great and is easy to use is the web version of a mullet and is, in fact, a very good thing! Ever been to a website and had a difficult time finding what you were looking for? Have you seen one of those websites with tons of information all over the place – what you need is there, you’re sure – but it is difficult to navigate? After just a few minutes of navigating a difficult website, a user will go to another related website in search of the same information. Websites are a very visual medium, so it is important to keep a balance of visual appeal and ease of use for the consumer. Whether you are a rock band promoting your latest songs on your website or a large retailer selling products, your website needs to be visually appealing. The

saying goes, “You only have one chance to make a first impression” – so make your website design count! Some businesses want their website to be a trendy, fashionable design and something that is very cool to look at but they don’t spend much time considering how their information is laid out and or if it’s easy to find. It is possible to have a great looking website with all the latest visual bells and whistles and have the information presented in a way to make it easy to for the user to find the information they crave. There are websites out there that are extremely text heavy and have very little imagery. These uber-informative websites can also be useful to a visitor if the information is laid out in a consistent, concise, well thought out manner. When designing a website or giving your existing site a makeover, it is important to talk to your designer about your business goals, target audience, your company’s corporate personality and any perceptions people might have (negative or positive) about your goods and services. A good designer will listen to you and develop a website plan that helps hit all

Websites are a very visual medium, so it is important to keep a balance of visual appeal and ease of use for the consumer. aspects of your goals, audience and perceptions. Websites can be visually appealing and highly efficient at the same time. Beware of the designer who just wants to “get the website” up and running with little to no time spent on design. You must also watch out for the website designer who is more concerned about winning awards with their artwork and visual appeal versus functionality and meeting your goals. Your website is a significant investment. Be sure to work with a designer or design team that has a proven track record for making websites that are beautiful to look at across multiple devices while still being client-focused and user friendly. Ask to see their portfolio, then reach out to those businesses and learn about their experience with the designer. One final thought: There are design-

ers out there that can effectively accomplish both design and usability in their website designs! Make sure you enjoy working with them and that they deliver fabulous customer service before, during and after the design phase of your website.

Jeff Asselin is Director of Sales and Marketing for Powerserve, a web development company that focuses on websites, custom business software, search engine optimization, graphic design and social media marketing. For more information, visit or his office at 961 Broad St., Augusta. Contact him at or 706-691-7189 or 706826-1506, ext 122.

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




For more than 10 years, Buzz on Biz has been providing the “buzz” on business news in the CSRA. Now Buzz on Biz is the buzz. On Aug. 1, Morris Communications Group, LLC and Chronicle Media officially acquired Buzz on Biz, LLC, which includes the Buzz on Biz suite of print, digital, broadcast, radio shows and events. Founded in 2004 by Neil Gordon, Buzz on Biz publications, shows and newsletters showcase businesses and provide insight from important agencies, local Economic Development Authorities, councils, and chambers. Gordon will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the business. “Morris Communications is one of the best companies in the CSRA,” said Gordon. “In joining the Morris team, we’ll be able to grow in new ways and offer clients more options. I’m so excited to join the tremendous team that has been carefully developed over the years.” The new acquisition will join the Morris-owned Chronicle Media portfolio of more than 12 titles including The Augusta Chronicle,, Augusta Magazine, and neighborhood publications such as The Columbia County News-Times, Richmond County Today and North Augusta Today – all published across print, digital and social platforms. “I’m very pleased that we are able to diversify our Augusta portfolio by adding Buzz on Biz, and view this as an

important addition to our local media company’s product mix,” said William S. Morris IV, president and CEO of Morris Communications Co. “Increasingly, we are looking for new and innovative ways that we can serve our local community, and this acquisition is a great example of that.” Stephen Wade, general manager of The Augusta Chronicle and Chronicle Media, said Buzz on Biz will be a compliment to the Chronicle. “Neil’s a proven entrepreneur and has done a tremendous job of filling a niche that is an asset to the community, one that we are looking to work with him to continue and expand,” Wade said. The Buzz editorial team consists of award-winning journalists, a social media expert, and dozens of business owners who discuss lessons learned in running their own companies. Buzz on Biz began as a column in the Business Observer magazine in 2004. “The first few stories I covered in that column talked about dirt-digging at Alexander Drive and Washington Road – which of course became a Kroger Shopping Center and Gas Station,” said Gordon. Gordon also discussed the scoop on a Tiki Bar opening on Broad Street, a Chinese Restaurant moving in the former Damon’s BBQ building, and decisions Fox 54 were facing to start local news. “It was this kind of coverage of the CSRA business landscape that made Buzz what it is today,” he added.

The first-ever print edition of Buzz on Biz was a six-page publication on June 6, 2008, that was inserted into The Business Examiner. Since then, it has grown steadily and in May 2016 reached an all-time high of 80 pages. It now prints 15,000 copies, with additional readership online. Gordon said the decision to sell was a difficult but necessary one. “A l t h o u g h I enjoyed my years as a small business owner, I felt our media offerings and our clients would be better Whe served with CS re it all began: Buzz on Biz fir st appeared as RA Business O a column in Th bserver. This w the assets, e as the first colu mn in February resources 2004. and infrastructure of a larger company Evans. Chronicle behind us,” he said. “Morris’ years of Media will be involved in the promotion experience and guidance will help us to and ticketing for Buzz’s B2B Conference continue to grow into the future.” and Expo in October through its new The Buzz staff will share space in The online ticketing platform, CitySpinTickColumbia County News-Times office in


Buzz on Biz produces content to showcase new businesses, expanding companies, firms reaching milestones, receiving awards and providing great community service. Buzz also takes a wider view by providing insight from important agencies such as local Economic Development Authorities, the Small Business Development Council, the Hull College of Business, SCORE and area Chambers of Commerce, of which Buzz is a member/sponsor. The Buzz editorial team consists of award-winning journalists, a social media expert and dozens of business owners who write and talk about lessons learned in running their own companies. Buzz’s proprietary content is distributed through the following media: • Daily via • Daily via a TV business minute, hosted by Neil Gordon weekdays at 6:30 a.m. on WRDW (News 12) • Daily via an hour-long radio show, hosted by national award-winning host John Patrick weekdays at noon on WRDW (1630 AM) • Daily via a radio business minute, hosted by John

20 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

Patrick weekdays at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on WGAC (580 AM, 95.1 FM) • Weekly via an email newsletter, sent Tuesdays to thousands of subscribers • Monthly via the Buzz on Biz printed publication, distributed via direct mail, hand delivery to select professional offices, and to racks and boxes across the CSRA To support its content, the Buzz sales and marketing team partners with like-minded companies wanting to reach business leaders who read the content. Buzz provides two advertising vehicles: the purchasing of ad space in print, digital, or broadcast and through sponsorships to allow companies to provide exclusive, informational columns to our readers and listeners. One of the biggest areas of growth with Buzz since 2014 has been its community business events. Each February, Buzz on Biz hosts a Career Expo and beginning this October, Buzz will host a B2B Conference and Expo to connect business leaders and companies in a day-long event to share best practices and showcase products and services.

The majority of the Buzz on Biz staff will remain in place following the acquisition by Morris Communications Group, LLC and Chronicle Media. Buzz on Biz founder Neil Gordon will continue to oversee the daily operation of Buzz on Biz, but will also have more time to devote to his role in sales. Gary Kauffman will continue as editor in chief, a role he has held from more than two years. Kauffman was an awardwinning journalist in Indiana and then owned his own graphic design/marketing business for more than 17 years before joining the Buzz on Biz team in December 2013. Kelsey Morrow will continue her role as media assistant, with primary input on Buzz’s social media sites. Morrow, a California native, has a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from the University of Georgia. She has been with the Buzz staff since January 2015. Janine Garropy, who had overseen advertising and circulation for Buzz for two years, has moved to a new role with the National Wild Turkey Federation in Edgefield. Stepping into her role is Augusta native Jessica Jones. She has extensive experience in sales and in owning a small business.



I’m humbled and blessed. Over the past 10-plus years I’ve shared business content with you about thousands of local businesses that were in the midst of change – opening, expanding, selling or closing. Little did I know that yours truly would undergo the same seismic shift this month. Entrepreneurs like you and I typically put our heads down, work hard, juggle cash-flow and hope a competitor or interested party notices us, so that when we can’t work as hard anymore we have another champion to carry our torch. I always thought I’d be ready to “cash out” in 10 or 15 years. In 2015, I was planning to raise some more funding to improve my cash-flow and welcome a possible partner in 2016. My cousin and founder of Business Tune Ups in Northern Virginia, Larry Rudwick, was of great help to me in focusing on my business. Then coincidently, in a lunch meeting with my client and business broker, my world changed. “A company might be interested in buying your business,” she said. My first thoughts were, “It’s too soon,” and “What about my team?”  I had just turned 52 years old. My team and I had just gone through a major transition folding our poorly performing Verge newspaper into a bigger Buzz publication, precipitating staff shuffling to allow us all in attempt to make 2015 our best year ever.   Gary Kauffman, who handles all of our content; Janine Garropy, who took care of sales, circulation and more; and Kelsey Morrow, our millennial media assistant were like family to me. My wife, Melissa, was incredibly supportive during the entire “season of change.” Throughout this time of change and uncertainty, I learned that Morris Publishing Group, a division of Morris Communications, could potentially be interested. Around the time of their inquiry, they had made investments to beef up their business coverage with a promise of more.  I sensed one way or the other, things were going to be different for the company I had carefully built over 10 years. DUE DILIGENCE From December 2015 through July 2016 we learned about each other. Fortunately, Morris was already a strategic partner of mine through our relationship where they handled the printing of our publication flawlessly over the last two years. I had also worked with several of their sales reps on projects to help Buzz clients. I played in their charity ping-pong tournament and got to know their key people in a fun environment. Through my one-on-one connections, I discovered that I loved their passion, and I’ve learned over several months, they have high-character and are a company comprised of good people. We met a few times and discussed strategy. They reviewed my books and tax returns and asked questions.

quite know how to take the news that on Monday, Aug. 1 Morris Communications acquired Buzz on Biz, LLC. QUESTIONS Questions tended to go like this: Congratulations – I think! Is this good for you, your family and your team? Yes, I am very humbled and blessed. As business owners and families we all accrue debt. Melissa and I are no different from most business owners and families. This acquisition will allow the Gordons to rid ourselves of debt and begin a long-term plan for personal retirement. It is great for the brand as Buzz will be able to grow exponentially with the backing of Morris Publishing. It is also a benefit to our employees and I sought the counsel of friends who contractors. I never want to lose them had worked for Morris, and I sought from Buzz, and now new opportunithe advice of experienced entrepre- ties arise with Chronicle Media, the neurs who had been pitched before local magazine division and in other to sell their businesses to others. Morris markets. Our part-time Buzz One close friend, Jeff Annis, re- employee will continue with her dutired CEO of Advanced Services, ties and has already had her role got me to see the window left in my expanded at the Columbia County life to try and grow the business the News-Times. We’re all very happy. way I want – and to see that I could Will you continue to run the Buzz also grow my retirement. He felt this operation? decision was a “no-brainer.” He was Yes! We are all looking forward to always correct before, coaching me many, many successful years to ensure on how to juggle the business and that our brand not only stays consiscreative side, and how not to become tent but grows in many ways! The a commodity in the crowded adver- plan is for Buzz to continue to be a tising field, but to stay a pioneer. stand-alone publication/brand (like Another advisor was Fred Daitch Augusta Magazine) while tapping of International Uniform, who has into the resources of Morris that can been there for me for years with his help us grow. time, talents and resources. He’s inWill the TV segment still concredibly excited about my future and tinue on News 12? the future of Buzz. Yes, both GM John Ray and News I leaned on my CPA team and, of Director Estelle Parsley have been course, my family.  very supportive of me since I began Every confidante I asked agreed. producing reports for them 10 years It was unanimous – I should sell my ago on News 12. The Buzz on Biz segbusiness to Morris and negotiate ments remains weekday mornings.  the best employment contract as the AFTER THE SALE founder and visionary of my business. Morris Publishing wants to keep I cannot emphasize the impor- our entrepreneurial spirit going and tance of having a solid, business at- wants us to operate off-site from their torney in your corner that know, the corporate headquarters.  “devil is in the details.” The attorneys The management team has made worked out compromises that cre- me feel incredibly valued by inviting ated a “win-win.” me to family get-togethers and even I found that it is important to do asked me to speak at their annual your due diligence and trust your gut.  publisher/sales managers conference. Many friends and clients didn’t Resource-wise, Morris has already

provided us with ticketing support through their new platform called City Spin Tickets ( They are taking orders for our B2B Expo in mid-October. This new initiative will   provide tremendous social media support and provide cross-promotion across all of the Morris-owned titles for support.  We’re now partnered with Main Street Digital, the web building, social media and digital advertising arm of Morris Publishing that will give us new technologies and services that we can provide to our business partners.   Through this partnership, we’ll be able to “bundle” our services together into an affordable small business package. I’ve been asked to share Buzz “best practices” with other publishers in their group as a way to give them some ideas to consider. We have not lost a single client as a result of the acquisition and have made some relationships stronger as a result of additional services I can offer. LESSONS LEARNED ON THIS JOURNEY  I hope this helps you if out of the blue an interested buyer knocks on your door. • Keep your books clean • Always respect and work with your competitors to help each other. You never know when they might want to buy your business. • Focus on what you do best and leave the rest to others • Develop a trustworthy inner circle of professional advisors like attorneys, CPAs, business brokers and fellow business owners you trust. Their advice is invaluable There were so many well-wishers who called me, sent me emails and discussed the change in-person. It was a text message from a former client I had not heard from in more than five years that summed up the journey of those of us who are/ were small business owners. “This is a great American entrepreneurial story: create something, work hard to build it, and then receive a just reward. I’m very happy for you. Hope to see you soon.” –  Jim Bernstein, President & Managing Partner of the Milton Ruben Auto Group. 

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz



If you want authentic Tuscan cuisine but don’t have the money to travel to Italy, now all you have to do is make your way to the Hammonds Ferry section of North Augusta. Recent immigrants Andrea and Marion Petruzzi opened DiVino Ristorante at 465 Railroad Ave., across the street from Manuel’s Bread Café, on Aug. 6. Andrea Petruzzi is from the Tuscan region of central Italy and his wife is originally from France. Her father has lived in the United State for 15 years and now lives in Hammonds Ferry, which is why they chose the area for their restaurant. The Petruzzis started the restaurant project two years ago but they have been in the United States permanently for only five months after passing through proper immigration channels. The Petruzzis brought Chef Leonardo Accorsi from Florence to create the authentic taste of Tuscany. The name DiVino is a play on words, combining the Italian word for wine, vino, with the word divine. Andrea worked in the restaurant busi-

ness in Italy for 10 years before coming here but found restaurants operate differently in the United States. “It’s very different between here and Italy,” said Andrea, who is still learning English. “It’s all new to me.” One difference, for example, is how the wait staff are paid in Italy. “In Italy, there are no tips,” he said. “Every employee has a salary.” Italy has three distinct regions – north, central or Tuscany, and south – and each has a unique flavor based on the types of products available there. In Tuscany, for example, they favor meat dishes, such as the bistecca, a large, thick steak served with beans. “The sauces are very simple, very basic, with a few ingredients but very good,” Marion said. All their pasta is homemade. They also offer 10 types of Tuscan pizza, which features a thin and crispy crust. DiVino offers several lunch specials, such as pesto pasta, carbonara pasta and vellutata, a creamy asparagus soup. There are also drink specials, such as the Italian margarita, made with amaret-

Andrea and Marion Petruzzi, owners of DiVino Restaurant. Photo by Gary Kauffman

to, and Italian sangria, made with Tuscan wine, plus spritzers and mojitos and some unique offerings. “We make a lot of cocktails that we

drink in Europe,” Marion said. DiVino employs 18 and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

changes because it’s a lot easier for me personally.” Grace + Grit will be in the same location, 12 9th Street, next to Boll Weevil Café. McNair is in the process of developing floor plans and color schemes for the new store, and hopes to be open in September. She is working on carrying several specific lines of clothing for young women to “women my age who still have a flair for fashion and unique items,” she said. That will include trendy styles, seasonal clothing, T-shirts and monogramming. In addition, she will continue to carry lines of custom jewelry that are locally made, which had been popular in her previous store. McNair was able to liquidate most of the merchandise from her other store, and also donated several truckloads to The Salvation Army. “I believe in helping others,” she said.

for a new location nearby but have not yet found one that is suitable both logistically and financially. Warranty work performed by National Hills Tire through Goodyear will be honored at any of the area Goodyear stores.


The Playhouse Giving school kids a place to burn off some energy without hanging out on the streets is part of the motivation behind a new business in Columbia County. The Playhouse – an indoor gaming facility for anyone from 6 months to 65 years old – is under construction in the former Food Lion building at the intersection of Old Evans and Old Petersburg roads. Owner Darren Fielding wanted to be discreet about the types of games that will be offered in The Playhouse, but said there will be games that will require participants to be physically active. “It’s the first of its kind here, although they’ve been doing things like this in Europe,” Fielding said. “I’ve pooled concepts from various places.” Fielding was born and raised in Augusta and after living in other locations, returned with the idea to create something that was missing in the community. “I’m trying to do something for the children to do,” he said. “Too much idle time is not good for them.” But all ages can enjoy The Playhouse activities.

“I’ve seen people as old as 75 do these things,” Fielding added. The Playhouse will also serve food. The 30,000-square-foot facility is currently under construction and Fielding expects to be open this fall. He plans to employ about 20 people initially. Waffle House As Buzz on Biz first told you in October 2015, a new Waffle House is coming to Davis and Pleasant Home roads. That’s about a mile from the Augusta Exchange, off of Exit 196 of I-20. Construction on the exterior is nearly complete. An email query to Waffle House’s headquarters about when the new restaurant will be open was not answered. According to earlier reports, this will be a corporately owned restaurant. The property where the new Waffle House is being built had been a vacant lot. It is located next to The Snug restaurant. Jordan Trotter Commercial Real Estate which handled the property sale. Grace + Grit A downtown Augusta business has closed, but only temporarily while the owner shifts the focus of the store. Ashton Brooke Eclectic Boutique had offered unique furniture and home décor, but owner Angela McNair has closed that down and will soon open another boutique called Grace + Grit. The new store will offer women’s clothing and jewelry. “Sometimes life happens,” McNair said about the change. “I’m choosing to make

22 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016


National Hills Tire A business that was part of Augusta for more than a quarter century has closed its doors, at least temporarily. In a letter to their customers, National Hills Tire & Service owners Vickie, Fred and Tim Cooper announced that they have lost their lease after nearly 27 years in their location, 2718 Washington Road, across from the National Hills Shopping Center. They closed on Aug. 6. The letter states that they are searching


Charm House Boutique Looking for the perfect gift for that special occasion? A new Evans boutique is here to help. The Charm House Boutique is located next to the Publix supermarket in the Furys Ferry Plaza. The boutique is owned by the popular store, The Swank Company, which also has a location in the same shopping center. “We saw a need for a certain style of clothing,” Hannah Greene, manager of The Swank Company, said, “and there is only so much you can do in one store. While the Swank Company is known for being more trendy, Charm House will be more classic and carry gifts as well as clothing.” The Charm House’s tagline is “a modern boutique with southern charm” and is supposed to evoke classic feelings of southern hospitality. Charm House will differ from The Swank Company in that it will mostly be carrying gift lines, such as jewelry, home décor and candles. “Customers will be able to find a continued on page 23


An Augusta man has opened a coinoperated laundry business featuring two things not normally associated with laundry mats – cleanliness and security. Michael Krapes left 35 years in the restaurant industry and two weeks ago opened Tumbles Laundry in the IGA shopping plaza at 3355 Deans Bridge Road – the first of at least eight he plans to open in the CSRA. “I decided to open my own business after 35 years of working for somebody else,” he said. “I took all my apples and threw them into one laundry basket.” Krapes had been director of operations and district manager for Checkers locally, but decided to step away from that business sector. His research led him to the coin-operated laundry business. “I wanted to do something with a good opportunity for profit and that I could take care of and grow,” he said. “But what really put me over the top was seeing what the competition offered.” In many similar facilities he saw dirty conditions, machines that didn’t work and a lack of safety precautions. He decided to offer something better at Tumbles. He in-

vested in security cameras and other safety measures, and purchased new state-ofthe-art washing machines and dryers. He said his efforts have been appreciated. “From the customers I’ve been talking to it’s so well perceived,” Krapes said. “It’s

what the area needed and what the customers wanted.” Tumbles Laundry is open from 7 a.m.10 p.m. daily and has 18 washers and 12 dryers, which are competitively priced. Krapes plans to open a second Tumbles

Laundry before the end of the year, possibly on Gordon Highway. He hopes to build two more in 2017 and eventually have at least eight. “I have the resources, it’s just a matter of finding the right properties,” he said.

continued from page 22 gift for any occasion at Charm House,” Greene said. The clothing offerings at Charm House will also differ from The Swank Company as well. While Swank typically carries juniors sizes that run smaller, Charm House will carry women’s sizes, including plus sizes up to 3XL. The Charm House Boutique is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, including photos of the latest merchandise offerings, visit their Facebook page at or follow them on Instagram at @shopcharm. Dynamic Pain Control A Martinez massage therapist has completed training in an innovative therapy for pain relief. Dianna Kendrick, owner of Dynamic Pain Control in Martinez, recently completed professional training in the innovative practice of NeuroKinetic Therapy. NeuroKinetic Therapy utilizes specific muscle tests to identify which muscles are working too hard and which muscles are essentially shut down. In addition to being a Licensed Massage Therapist in Georgia, Kendrick is a certified Level 4 Rossiter System painrelief specialist, trained personally by founder Richard Rossiter, and is also certified in other pain-relief modalities, such

as MediCupping. Dynamic Pain Control is located at 3685 Old Petersburg Road, Suite 100, Martinez. The Pot Smoker BBQ A North Augusta original will soon be represented in the South Carolina capital, thanks to the collaboration of two local restaurateurs. Bobby Boggs, owner of The Pot Smoker BBQ in North Augusta, and Andy Pye, owner of various restaurant franchises throughout the CSRA, signed a licensing agreement that will allow Pye & Son to open a Pot Smoker BBQ restaurant in Columbia. The new store will be on Senate Drive, just a block from the capitol building. The expansion of Pot Smoker takes place less than two years after the original opened at 340 Edgefield Road in North Augusta. Pye has been a friend and consultant for Boggs since the beginning. In fact, Pye was responsible for The Pot Smoker slogan: “You can smell our butts a mile away.” It was this friendship that gave Boggs the confidence to move ahead with the expansion well ahead of his five-year plan. “If it had been anybody else I would have hesitated,” Boggs said. “But with it being Andy, a great guy and great businessman, I felt it was a great match.” Pye will own the store and have access to the meat recipes and processes, but Boggs will maintain proprietary control

of the sauces and rubs. Boggs and Pye are in the process of training the pit masters for the new store, making renovations to the building and finalizing legal documents with the hope to be open by Oct. 1. Because of its proximity to the capitol building, it will be open six days per week. Boggs also hopes that Bi-Lo stores in the Columbia area will stock The Pot Smoker barbecue sauces. Seven Bi-Lo stores in the Augusta area already stock the sauces. “It’s gone extremely well,” Boggs said. “Bi-Lo is pleased with the results and so are we.” Boggs has begun the process of talking to other area stores about carrying the sauces. He has also been contacted by someone who is interested in opening a Pot Smoker in North Carolina.

munity center there. The course has been run under the name Golf Gem MV since the beginning of August. Residents of Mount Vintage Plantation had complained of deteriorating course conditions and plan to put “serious money” into building it back to the condition it had been in when the originally purchased homes there. It has already purchased a new fleet of gas golf carts, which should be available by the end of the month. Mount Vintage is a semi-private course but accepts public play. Jeff Marks has been named as the new pro. Credit Union merger RCT Federal Credit Union of Augusta has merged with Peach State Federal Credit Union. The financial merger, which has been approved by the National Credit Union Administration, became effective Aug. 1. All RCT members are now members of Peach State. RCT was chartered in 1963 to serve the needs of the employees of the Richmond County Board of Education. The credit union was originally founded for the teachers, but was later extended to all Board of Education employees and their immediate family members. Peach State was also founded by teachers.



Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Course A group of homeowners have decided to take the care of a golf course into their own hands. According to a report in the North Augusta Star, the Mount Vintage Plantation Homeowners Association in North Augusta bought the 27-hole golf course there for $2.9 million. The course had been owned by Apex Bank and managed by Integrity Golf. The Homeowners Association had already purchased the com-

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Microsoft’s recent $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn provides an illustrative example of a strategic acquisition – the type of sale that usually garners the most gain for the acquired company’s shareholders. You may be wondering what a multibillion-dollar acquisition has to do with your business, but the very same reasons a strategic acquirer buys a $26 billion business holds true for the acquisition of a $2 million company. One might argue that Microsoft overpaid for LinkedIn given that LinkedIn only generated a few hundred million dollars in EBITDA last year, meaning the good folks in Redmond paid an astronomical multiple of LinkedIn’s earnings. But earnings are not the only thing strategic acquirers care about when they’re considering an acquisition. Microsoft‘s purchase of LinkedIn is a classic example of a strategic acquisition.


A financial buyer is buying the future stream of profits coming from your business, whereas the strategic buyer is buying your business for what it is worth in their hands. To simplify, a financial acquirer buys your business because they think they can sell more of your stuff, whereas a strategic buyer acquires your business because they think it will help them sell more of their stuff. The Redmond-based technology giant has been undergoing a major transformation from being a software company focused on operating systems to a business concentrating on cloud-based software applications. Microsoft enjoys a dominant market share in the basic tools business people use to get their job done, but other software offerings have begun to nip at their heels in many product lines. Take Microsoft Office, for example. Many businesses have started to use competitive offerings from Google and Apple. In addition, Microsoft is challenged by its own client base, large numbers of whom cling to older versions of Microsoft Office software, even though Microsoft is

keen to move everyone over to the cloudbased Office 365. In purchasing LinkedIn, Microsoft saw an opportunity to suck data from LinkedIn into Microsoft’s cloud-based software applications, making them irresistible. Imagine you’re a sales person and you just landed a big meeting with a new prospect. You enter the appointment as a Microsoft Outlook event and suddenly the details of the event feature everything LinkedIn knows about your prospect. Now you can make small talk about where they went to school, the previous jobs they have held and know the scope of their current role – all without ever leaving Outlook. Microsoft is betting this kind of inte-


gration across its platforms will compel more people to upgrade to its latest software applications. While your company is likely smaller than LinkedIn, the same thing that makes a giant buy another giant holds true for smaller businesses. To get the highest possible price for your business, remember that companies make strategic acquisitions because they want to sell more of their stuff.

Kim Romaner is president of Transworld Business Advisors of Augusta, a business brokerage and franchise consulting firm, and a Multi-Million Dollar Member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers (GABB). To learn more about improving the value of your business, selling it, or finding the right business to buy, call Kim at 706-383-2994, x802, or email her at


Looking for a new way to reach your customers? Just snap! No, I’m not talking about your fingers. Snapchat is a social media platform which began in September 2011. Users can send pictures or short videos, also known as snaps. What makes these snaps different from other social media platforms is that snaps are only temporary. In today’s media-saturated society where attention spans are at an all-time low, fast is an attractive quality, which would explain the exponential growth that Snapchat has seen over the past few years. On Snapchat, senders select how long they want receivers to be able to view their snaps, from as short as one second to as long as 10 seconds. After the snap has been opened and the time has passed, it is no longer viewable. In addition to sending snaps to individual users, videos and pictures can also be added to a user’s public “Story,” which is able to be replayed for up to 24 hours. Another notable feature is that all snapchat content must be live. You cannot snap a picture or a video that you took earlier. It has to be taken with the app and then snapped right away. Business accounts did not truly become active on Snapchat until early

2015, but in the past 18 months, several effective marketing strategies have emerged. • Preview snaps: The clothing brand Lilly Pulitzer, like several other retailers on Snapchat, uses its story as a preview of new products. When the brand launches new collections, Snapchat is often the first place where it will post a sneak peek. This creates a VIP feel for its snapchat fans, and, because stories expire every 24 hours, it keeps them actively viewing the brand’s posts on a regular basis. • Behind-the-scenes snaps: During major events, such as Fashion Week, certain brands have used snapchat as a way to show behind-the-scenes footage. Transparency is a popular topic in today’s society, and the live, unedited nature of snaps is exactly the “real life” image that customers like to see. • Coupon code snaps: Since snap stories are only visible to snapchat users that are following you and only visible for a limited time, some businesses have used their snap stories to publicize a certain promotion. For example, you might post a photo that says “All users who show us a screenshot of their snap by [insert date] will receive 10% off their next purchase” or anything along those lines. Similar to

24 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

preview snaps, these coupon code snaps encourage a loyal snapchat fan base and loyal customers. • Snap Competitions: GrubHub, an online food ordering website, has used snapchat for competitions. In the past, the brand has held contests where users could send snaps relating to a certain theme, and the users who submitted the company’s favorite entries would win prizes or coupons for free food. • Geofilters: You might have seen people post pictures of themselves with puppy dog ears or various cartoon features. These

features are referred to as snapchat filters. Filters are images that decorate a snap either by creating a border, decorating a user’s face, or other imagery. But filters aren’t just funny. They can also be a valuable marketing tool. On the snapchat website (, businesses can design and upload their own snapchat filters using their company logo or an event logo. Once you have uploaded your filter, you can select a geofence, or coordinates where your filter can be seen. The larger the geofence, the more expensive the filter, beginning as low as $5 per day. Why create a geofilter? Anytime a user takes a photo with your filter and sends it to their friends or their story, your logo has reached those people as well. There are also people who actively search out new snapchat filters, so the filter alone could bring you new business.

Kelsey Morrow is the Media Assistant at Buzz on Biz and handles its social media accounts. She has a Masters in Public Relations from the University of Georgia. Contact her at

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




The great Windows 10 migration of 2015 to 2016 appears to be complete (although users can still obtain the upgrade, free of charge for now, even though the technical free upgrade date has passed). Microsoft has an enormous amount of resources devoted to moving customers to Windows 10, so we predict that the upgrade path will remain in place for quite some time. Windows 7 and Windows 7 Pro products are still available and for many of you in the business community, you simply have to use Windows 7 or 7 Pro to run your software. Tablet sales have leveled off and many tablet users are finding the lack of functionality a force driving them back to desktops or full-featured laptops. Has anyone typed a report on a tablet lately? If you have, it’s probably one of the convertibles that has a keyboard attached. Smart phone sales are predicted to dip in 2017, which will free up dollars for consumers and businesses to spend on IT products. Again, we find ourselves tapping out email responses and squinting at small screens while our monthly bills for these devices top $200 in some cases. These factors, along with the fact that many companies have simply put off replacing desktops or laptops until after the Windows 10 migration was complete, will lead us to an actual uptick in sales in the desktop/laptop category for 2017. This same effect was felt in 2014 when XP was officially retired and we had the best new system sales numbers we have had in years.

If you are reading this you probably own a desktop or laptop that has some age on it, running either Windows 7 or Windows 10, but the average age of these systems across the U.S. is higher than ever. That means we are set for a busy year

on a regular schedule, every three to seven years. We need fewer computers than we did

in 2017 and our fall selling season has already begun with a steady set of orders. What that means for you, the computer owner, is that you should be monitoring the age of your system and be ready to decide what operating system you will need when that time comes to replace it. As I always say, a planned migration is better than an unplanned one. Take a quick inventory of the programs you will be using and have a plan in place, so you can make an informed decision if and when something fails. Ideally, though, you should not have a failure, you should simply migrate to a new computer

a decade ago because so much of what we do has migrated to the computer in your pocket. In fact, we now categorize desktops and laptops in pretty much the same category, which is a testament to how much things have changed even in the last five years. It becomes desktops and laptops (the things with keyboards) measured against everything else. What has not changed is that the articles written for the Buzz on Biz were written on a computer, the bridge spans designed in the CSRA were designed on a computer and my doctor pulls up my medical records on... a computer.

If you are like me, you head for old faithful, the always on, always ready computer standing silent, but ready to do research, or record the pages of a novel or a business letter. There is no substitute for a full-sized desktop computer with a full -sized keyboard, for our aging hands and a large monitor for our aging eyes. When serious work is done, it is done on an actual computer. My main computer is now seven years old and has lasted longer than I predicted. It still does a tremendous amount of work every day, but I know it’s a matter of time. I am waiting for fall weather to plan my upgrade. The only reason it has lasted this long under such a heavy work load is that I chose good components and, in fact, I will use the same chassis, (housing) for my new system. It is a brushed aluminum unit that sits in an audio rack and in fact, you would think is a stereo component. When I build the new one, it will be built to last for five years, but I hope I get seven. When the time comes for your new system, get a good one that will last a long time and work well for you for years to come.

Charles Kelly is President of Computer Exchange, with four locations in the CSRA: South Augusta, North Augusta, Martinez and Grovetown. Computer Exchange specializes in computer solutions for home and business. For answers to your computer questions, email him at


The Technology Association of Georgia Greater Augusta chapter can break out the song, “We are the champions.” The Augusta chapter won the recent statewide battle among TAG chapters to provide food for eight regional food banks in the Bytes for Bites food and fund drive. Twelve Augusta companies participated in the two-week competition July 11-22 and raised $6,032 and 2,139 pounds of food for the Golden Harvest Food Bank. Collectively as the TAG Greater Augusta chapter, the 12 companies won the Top TAG Chapter award in the competition by raising 55.6 pounds per employee and beating out TAG Atlanta, TAG Athens, and TAG Middle Georgia. To determine the winners, each dollar raised equates to four

pounds of food in the competition totals. Individual Augusta companies also won statewide and regional awards: Statewide Awards Small Company – Pounds per Employee Digital Office Equipment of Augusta; 238 Pounds per Employee Midsize Company – Pounds per Employee & Total Pounds EDTS of Augusta; 15,563 Total Pounds & 208 Pounds per Employee Regional Awards TAG Greater Augusta – Total Pounds

26 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

EDTS of Augusta; 15, 563 Total Pounds, Benefitting Golden Harvest Food Bank TAG Greater Augusta – Pounds per Employee Digital Office Equipment of Augusta 238 Pounds per Employee; Benefitting Golden Harvest Food Bank. Other Augusta-based companies contributing to the winning effort were Augusta University Graduate School, City of Augusta IT Department, CMA Technology, Ipswitch, Inc.,Powerserve International, Retirement Strategies, Inc., Rural Sourcing Inc. (RSI), SunTrust Bank, Troy University and Unisys. The Augusta efforts were also supported by the Augusta based Bytes for Bites Steering Committee Member Tonia Gibbons, Outreach Director with the Mayor’s Office of Augusta.

Statewide, more than 40 technology and technology-enabled companies representing more than 8,000 members of the industry participated in the two-week competition. They collectively raised $26,200 and 4,098 pounds of food, surpassing the goal of $25,000. This is the equivalent of 90,751 meals that the Food Banks will be able to distribute to families and children struggling with hunger in Georgia. “I am really proud of what the Technology Community can accomplish when they come together. I have witnessed great things over the past 12 years at TAG, and this is definitely one for the books. Let continue to use this momentum and build upon the success for next year,” said Tino Mantella, CEO of TAG.

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




In this digital age, we still have customers who insist on calling a digital duplicator a digital mimeograph machine. They enjoy showing it off to Millennials, who’ve never heard of a mimeograph machine but can’t figure out why they can’t make a copy by lifting the lid and pressing a button. Other users take pride in bringing an older citizen in to listen to the familiar clacking of this modern machine that sounds just like the mimeographs of yore but looks like a fancy copier. Most of all, they love the cost savings that a digital duplicator brings without the headaches of the old mimeograph machines. Even in this time of complex copiers designed to do everything from simple copying to scanning and emailing, there are some organizations that prize what they call a digital mimeograph machine. Today, its proper name is a digital duplicator. To those old enough to remember the old mimeograph machines, the new version has some similarities but a lot more convenience. The mimeograph dates to a patent by Thomas Edison in 1876 for what he called an autographic printing process, which used a pen to create perforated stencils onto a flatbed duplicating press. Eleven years later Edison submitted another patent for making stencils by etching words with a metal stylus on a grooved metal plate. It was the AB Dick Company,

An original version of the mimeograph developed by Thomas Edison. Photo contributed

whose CSRA franchise Duplicating Systems purchased more than 30 years ago, which licensed Edison’s idea and created the name, “mimeograph machine.” Until the 1970s most students and church-goers were familiar with the mimeograph machine. Test questions, which weren’t written by the teacher’s hand on the blackboard, were dashed off on a mimeograph machine, characterized by purple lettering and a distinct chemical smell. One could hear the clackety sound of the machine when approaching the office as it ran off copies of one-color flyers, church bulletins or student information. The worst part of the machines was add-

ing ink, a process that stained the hands and ruined many pieces of clothing. The mimeograph machine was based on a stencil that was typed on a manual typewriter, and then fastened to a cylinder, where it was manually hand cranked to make copies by pushing ink through the stencil. Today, all of that is gone thanks to new technology, but the methodology is basically the same. The digital duplicator still has the sound of the old mimeograph machines, but gone is the ink that has to be poured into a channel. Instead, customers select individual color ink that can be effortlessly placed into the machine

without the spills that were a side effect of the old mimeograph machines. One still does create a stencil, but today’s stencil is created by simply putting the original on the glass to be scanned. The machine converts the document into a wax-based master via tiny dots and wraps the stencil around the drum. As the ink filled drum rotates, it creates the image of the stencil by pressing the ink onto the paper. It’s still limited to one color at a time, but your color choices are numerous, 10 or more depending on the machine. The digital duplicator is loved by churches, schools and other organizations that want to run off dozens or hundreds or thousands of copies, perhaps on color paper. Most of all, these organizations appreciate the fact that it is faster than most copiers, and that they can make copies for a fraction of the cost of multi-function copiers. I can also assure you they don’t miss the mess or the smell.

Scott Thurmond is CEO and Co-Owner of Duplicating Systems, Inc. (DSI), which provides multi function copiers, software solutions and other technology. The company has been serving CSRA for more than 30 years. For comments or questions, email sthurmond@ duplicatingsytstems. com



Take your time. This is an emotional time...not the best time to be making important financial decisions. Short of meeting any required tax or legal deadlines, don’t make hasty decisions concerning your inheritance. Identify a team of reputable, trusted advisors (attorney, accountant, financial/insurance advisors). There are complicated tax laws and requirements related to certain inherited assets. Without accurate, reliable advice, you may find an unnecessarily large chunk of your inheritance going to pay taxes. Park the money. Deposit any inherited money or investments in a bank or brokerage account until you’re in a position to make definitive decisions on what you want to do with your inheritance. Understand the tax consequences of inherited assets. If your inheritance is

from a spouse, there may be no estate or inheritance taxes due. Otherwise, your inheritance may be subject to federal estate tax or state inheritance tax. Income taxes are also a consideration. Treat inherited retirement assets with care. The tax treatment of inherited retirement assets is a complex subject. Make sure the retirement plan administrator does not send you a check for the retirement plan proceeds until you have made a distribution decision. Get sound professional financial and tax advice before taking any money from an inherited retirement plan…otherwise you may find yourself liable for paying income taxes on the entire value of the retirement account. If you received an interest in a trust, familiarize yourself with the trust document and the terms under which you receive distributions from the trust, as well

28 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

as with the trustee and trust administration fees. Take stock. Create a financial inventory of your assets and your debts. Start with a clean slate and reassess your financial needs, objectives and goals Develop a financial plan. Consider working with a financial advisor to “test drive” various scenarios and determine how your funds should be invested to accomplish your financial goals. Evaluate your insurance needs. If you inherited valuable personal property, you will probably need to increase your property and casualty coverage or purchase new coverage. If your inheritance is substantial, consider increasing your liability insurance to protect against lawsuits. Finally, evaluate whether your life insurance needs have changed as a result of your inheritance. Review your estate plan. Your in-

heritance, together with your experience in managing it, may lead you to make changes in your estate plan. Your experience in receiving an inheritance may prompt you to want to do a better job of how your estate is structured and administered for the benefit of your heirs.

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

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




A number of years ago, I had a client named Marlin who had a problem that became my problem as well. Marlin manufactured pool tables – high-end, hand-crafted wooden pool tables – and gaming tables. I had done some advertising for him and he owed me for the work. But Marlin couldn’t pay. Month after month I billed him, and even stopped by a few times, where I received repeated assurances that he would pay me as soon as he could. His problem was that he’d made a large sale to a furniture store – and that store had not yet paid him for those products. That meant he didn’t have money to pay me or his other suppliers. I was fortunate in that the amount he owed me was small and I had other sources of income so my cash flow wasn’t disrupted. But the problem Marlin had, and one he passed on to me, is a big one for small businesses, and according to an Associated Press article, is one that is growing. When one business can’t pay, it trickles down to others. According to the article, in the past year more and more customers have gone from paying within a month to paying in

two or three months. Get a few of those types of customers and that can become a huge cash flow problem for businesses.

Often, that type of problem trickles down the supply line, as in the case with Marlin and me, and soon a mul-

TIPS TO KEEP YOUR CASH FLOWING Offer incentives. Since businesses often have to prioritize who to pay, one way to make your way to the top of their list is by offering an incentive (say, a 2 percent discount if paid in 15 days) or a penalty (a 2 percent interest charge on past due payments). Take plastic. If you don’t take credit cards from people you supply rather than just extending credit, you may need to consider that. That way late payments become the problem of the credit card company and your business will continue to have cash flow. Be tough. In some cases, businesses have to refuse service on new orders until old bills are brought up to date. Marlin, for example, refused to supply that furniture store with any new tables until they paid what they owed him. And I didn’t do any new work for Marlin until he paid me. Get cash in hand. Require a down

payment. If I was dealing with a customer I thought might be a payment risk, I required a down payment of 25 to 50 percent before I’d start the work. With a down payment, you can at least pay the people who supply you even if the remaining balance doesn’t come in on time. Get help. Work with a company that collects invoices for you. We ran two stories about this in our previous issue. These companies pay you what is owed, less a small percentage fee, and then takes on the risk of collecting on the invoices. This keeps your cash flow flowing. Don’t be part of the problem. Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of daily business, we put off things that aren’t immediately due, and then forget them. Stay current on paying all of your vendor bills so that you aren’t the cause of the trickle-down effect.

titude of businesses are affected. Employees still want to be paid, so if there is a cash shortfall, it gets passed on to the next business in the form of a late payment. Marlin is a good guy, which is why I believed his promises that he would pay me as soon as he could. So I wasn’t at all surprised when, almost a year to the day after I sent out the first invoice, he finally paid me in full. But a year is an awfully long time to wait, so if you’re feeling stuck in the accounts receivable department, try some of the methods I’ve listed.

Gary Kauffman is Editor in Chief of Buzz on Biz and manages the content for print, web, radio and TV segments of Buzz on Biz. A native of Indiana, he has made the CSRA home for more than two years. Prior to moving here, he ran his own graphic design/advertising business for 17 years where he worked with many small businesses. Contact him at



To VoIP, or not to VoIP, that is the question that many small- and medium-sized businesses have been asking. And with good reason, since placing calls over the internet with a “Voice over IP” system is an increasingly viable option given the robust features, ease of use and cost savings. But does VoIP guarantee crystal clear local, international and intra-office calling? Phones are an absolutely essential aspect of any company’s communications arsenal. And after Alexander Graham Bell made the first coast-to-coast longdistance call in 1915, it was clear that this was technology that had the power to transform business. But as with all emerging technologies, there were some kinks to work out. Those earliest phones had power and leakage issues surrounding the wet cell batteries; more recently, cell phones have had their failings as well, such as dropped calls and short battery life; and today, VoIP technology has to deal with some minor complications, too. The keyword, though, is “minor,” and our

aim today is to help you identify these relatively slight hangups and help you optimize an already superior telephony solution. Voice Echo It’s fun to hear your voice repeating throughout the high-walled canyon you’re hiking, but not so great when you’re having a quick chat on the phone. And while VoIP echo won’t totally disrupt your conversation, there are a few things you can do to reduce it such as adjusting volume and gain settings, upgrading your USB headsets, or even implementing VoIP echo cancellation software. Static Many VoIP systems use an ATA, or Analog Telephone Adapter, to convert analog voice signals to digital signals. This sometimes produces static during calls, with the culprits usually being incompatible power supplies or feedback from the phones plugged into the ATA. Easy fixes include unplugging/replugging the ATA and/or the devices connected to it, or switching to IP Phones which require no analog/digital conversions. Choppy Voice The main factor in disjointed, start-

30 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

stop sounding messages in a VoIP environment is packet loss, which occurs if individual data “packets” are lost in transmission. When this occurs, the gateway at the receiving end of the call tries to predict what’s been lost, but when it can’t, the gap in data remains empty. With a simple tweak to your VoIP system’s bandwidth settings, sending and receiving voice data will become smoother and significantly reduce these interruptions. Post-dial Delay This refers to a delay between the time the caller finishes dialing and when they hear ringing, a busy signal, or some other kind of “in-call” information. It can be a nuisance when, instead of the ringing being delayed, it never actually occurs and you suddenly realize that your call has been connected. This is actually an externality from a vital piece of VoIP technology known as SIP. At the moment the only solace we can offer is that its widespread nature means you’re not alone, and a solution should be coming along soon. By now it’s clear that a VoIP phone system can benefit your business, even with

the occasional delayed ring or scratchy call. Because what we’ve learned from previous telephony advances is that inconveniences like this are manageable,and we can help you manage. From VoIP planning to installation to optimization, contact us today for more information.

Kevin Wade is President and CEO of IntelliSystems, a local IT management and telecommunication company with offices in Augusta, Aiken, and Columbia. In addition to meeting the technology needs of small and medium-sized companies, including sourcing computer and networking hardware and software, providing day-to-day IT support, installing cabling and wireless network systems, and design and installation of telephone systems, IntelliSystems works to help medical practices reach and maintain HIPAA compliance. He can be reached at 706-722-2024 or by emailing him at

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




One of the biggest hurdles you’ll face in running your own business is staying on top of your numerous obligations to federal, state, and local tax agencies. Tax codes seem to be in a constant state of flux and increasingly complicated. The old legal saying that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” is perhaps most often applied in tax settings and it is safe to assume that a tax auditor presenting an assessment of additional taxes, penalties and interest will not look kindly on an “I didn’t know I was required to do that” claim. On the flip side, it is surprising how many small businesses actually overpay their taxes, neglecting to take deductions they’re legally entitled to that can help them lower their tax bill. A common misconception is that if you start up a company while you have a salaried position complete with a 401K plan, you cannot set up a SEP-IRA for your business and take the deduction. This is untrue. There are many part-time small business owners that fail to take advantage of this benefit. Preparing your taxes and strategizing

as to how to keep more of your hardearned dollars in your pocket becomes increasingly difficult with each passing year. Your best course of action to save time, frustration and money – and an auditor knocking on your door – is to have a professional accountant handle your taxes. Tax professionals have years of experience with tax preparation, regularly attend tax seminars, read scores of journals, magazines and monthly tax tips, among other things, to correctly interpret the changing tax code. For the 2015 tax filing year, the summary of the tax code changes was more than 300 pages! When it comes to tax planning for small businesses, the complexity of tax law generates a lot of folklore and misinformation that also leads to costly mistakes. Another misconception that we see with both business and personal taxes is that extensions allow taxpayers to pay their tax liability at a later date without penalty. Wrong! An extension is for time to file only, not time to pay. Penalties and interest begin accruing from the date your taxes are due

Keep in mind that the IRS doesn’t care if you pay the right amount of taxes or overpay your taxes. They do care if you pay less than you owe. which is the due date of the return, not including extensions. Keep in mind that the IRS doesn’t care if you pay the right amount of taxes or overpay your taxes. They do care if you pay less than you owe and you can’t substantiate your deductions. Even if you overpay in one area, the IRS will still hit you with interest and penalties if you underpay in another. It is never a good idea to knowingly or unknowingly overpay the IRS thinking that it will make you “audit proof.” The best way to “audit proof ” yourself

is to properly document your expenses, keep good records and make sure you are getting good advice from a tax professional. Whether it’s a missed estimated tax payment or filing deadline, an improperly claimed deduction, or incomplete records, understanding how the tax system works is beneficial to any tax payer whether they are a business owner or simply an individual filer. Even if you delegate the tax preparation to someone else, you are still liable for the accuracy of your tax returns. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call the office for assistance.

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 email at cmh@



Most large employers by now have finished their employee and IRS reporting related to their employee healthcare offerings, and are enjoying a break before the onslaught of fall open enrollment season. However, some employers are finding that break interrupted by the arrival of Marketplace Notices informing them that one or more of their employees has been found eligible for advance payments of a premium tax credit or cost sharing reduction, or healthcare subsidy, during 2016. Since this is the first year these notices are being provided, understanding the purpose and proper response to them can be a challenge. What is this new form? One of the goals of health care reform is to provide options for individuals who have no affordable healthcare insurance available to them. One way this is achieved is by providing “premium tax credits,” or subsidies, through the healthcare exchange to those who meet certain income requirements, and are not offered qualifying coverage through their employer.

Currently, the application process for applying for coverage through the Federal exchange requires an individual to attest to whether or not he has been offered qualifying coverage through his employer. The Marketplace Notices, therefore, are a first step in verifying if the individual is in fact eligible for any subsidy he may have received by confirming with the employer that no qualifying coverage was offered. So what if the employee received a subsidy but was offered qualify coverage at work? Perhaps he did not understand the application, or simply “fibbed” when asked about the availability of employer coverage. In any case, once the error has been identified, the individual will be required to repay the amount of the subsidy. And the longer it takes before the error is discovered, the more he may owe. To Appeal or Not to Appeal? The last part of the notice explains the employer’s right to appeal the subsidy award. Employers will need to decide which, if any, notices to appeal. For employees who are part-time or were in a waiting period and not eligible for benefits, there is no need to appeal because

32 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

no offer of coverage has been made that would affect the employee’s eligibility for the subsidy. For employees who were offered qualifying coverage (whether or not they enrolled), employers will likely want to file an appeal to reduce the amount of subsidy the individual receives and will have to repay. Another reason to appeal a subsidy awarded in error is to confirm that the employer has met its obligations under healthcare reform by offering qualifying coverage to eligible employees. While any potential employer penalty would originate from the Internal Revenue Service and not the Department of Health and Human Services, it is still unclear as to how those penalties will be assessed. Reporting now on qualifying coverage offered may help defend against a potential IRS penalty against the employer later. How to File an Appeal Employers have up to 90 days from receipt of the notice to submit an appeal using forms found on the healthcare. gov website. In addition to identifying the employer and employees involved,

employers will be asked to make a brief statement as to why the subsidy is being appealed. Relevant documentation, such as a signed waiver or enrollment form, should accompany the form, when available. Completed forms can be mailed or faxed to the Health Insurance Marketplace; however, the Marketplace has informally indicated faxed appeals may result in faster response times. Employers may want to inform affected employees, when possible, of the employer’s appeal to make them aware of the possibility that their subsidy award may be found to be in error.

Russell T. Head is President with ACHS Insurance, Inc., Augusta’s largest risk management and employee benefits brokerage. He can be reached at 706-7333459 or  Visit ACHS Insurance at

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Columbia County Chamber Welcomes the Leadership Class of 2017 On August 15, the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce welcomed the newest Leadership class at Savannah Rapids Pavilion for a “Meet the Class” Reception. The Leadership Columbia County Class of 2017 is comprised of 32 business professionals from all over the area. Leadership Columbia County, a program of the Columbia County Chamber, began in 2009 and since its inception has been sponsored by SRP Federal Credit Union. In addition to the adult program, the Columbia County Chamber also coordinates the Youth Leadership program sponsored by State Bank. Both the Youth Leadership and the Leadership Columbia County programs are an important part of the Chamber’s mission to advocate for beneficial economic growth in the Greater Augusta

At the conclusion of each year’s class, the participants always rave about how much more knowledgeable they are in regards to our community region. The Chamber takes great pride in developing youth and adult leaders, and believes strong leadership is the key for economic growth. Over the course of these 10-month community awareness programs, the participants are exposed to many aspects of our community such as healthcare, law enforcement, local history, and community service. One important feature of the program involves the classes traveling to Atlanta to meet with lawmakers and get a first-hand look at State Legislation. By seeing how the legislative process unfolds, they leave knowing how best to make their voices heard on legis-

lative issues. The exposure to these many aspects, some positive and some negative, allows each participant to become a part of the solution through awareness and service. By the end, they are equipped with the tools to make a positive impact on our community. At the conclusion of each year’s class, the participants always rave about how much more knowledgeable they are in regards to our community, but also how much they have developed not only professionally but personally as well. To be selected for the Leadership Co-

lumbia County program, applicants must go through a rigorous selection process. Applicants must submit a detailed application, include letters of recommendation, and be interviewed by a panel from the Leadership Steering Committee, which organizes the sessions and guides the class during the year. The 2016-2017 Leadership Chair is Laura Smith of SRP Federal Credit Union, and Reagan Williams of Sherman and Hemstreet is the ViceChair; both are alumni of the program.

Tammy Shepherd has served as president of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce for six years after a career that included working at DisneyWorld, hotel management, managing Savannah Rapids Pavilion and Columbia County Magazine.

The Columbia County Chamber Leadership Columbia County Class of 2017

34 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




I love good advertising. I hate bad service. It’s that simple. I am a fast food lover and I like using the drive through. Burgers, dogs, tacos, chicken, you name it. The targeted ads literally drive me the $5 Sonic Bag, the $3 Crossanwich at Burger King and Mickey D’s 2 for $5. I watch ‘em on TV and I go get ‘em the next day. That’s good advertising and I love good advertising. But when I drive off and you forget to put a napkin in the bag or you were too busy talking to another person about last night and just poked my bag out the window without even a “Thank-you,” that’s bad service and I hate bad service. Oh, and I don’t think paying $15 an hour will make it any better. When I read a good ad and it drives me to call your company about the product so I can come pick it up, that’s a good ad. Love it. But when I have to explain what the advertising promotion is about to the person who answers the phone, who doesn’t have a clue and can’t help me get what I want, that’s bad service and I hate bad service. When your ads say you have the “best” and I spend my cash to find out it’s just mediocre, that’s bad service. When the

I love good, compelling ads. I have pulled over at the sight of a great billboard to get whatever it’s selling. cashier asks me “How was your meal?” but doesn’t acknowledge me when I say it wasn’t up to par, that’s bad service, especially when I offer a suggestion to make it better. If your radio commercial ends or begins with five seconds of unintelligible fast talk, I think you’re trying to pull something and I change the station. And why do you repeat your phone number three times at the end of your commercial, like I’m going to stop the car and write it down? That’s bad. Give me credit for having some intelligence. I use Facebook to check out places I might like to shop. If I am attracted by your good ad, I’ll see what my friends say. If my friends on Facebook are complaining about your poor service and you haven’t taken time to comment or offer to do something, that’s bad. Get your stuff together, man. I am not shopping you and neither is anyone else I know. I love good, compelling ads. I have pulled over at the sight of a great billboard

to get whatever it’s selling. But, when your name, written in 5-foot-tall letters across the board, is spelled out in some unusual curly font – Yes, Mr/Ms Realtor person holding your dog, I am talking to you – and I can’t make any sense of it in 2.5 seconds, it’s bad. You may as well not have put it up on that 20x60 foot structure because I’m not going to have to work to understand your advertising. When I search for an item on the Internet and your store name comes up, I expect to click on that URL and go to the item, not your home page. I do not want to be required to re-enter the item, assuming you have a search box. That’s bad. Make it easy for me to do business with you, and happy I did, so I can tell my friends. I love good ads. When they make me laugh, I remember them. Like the “Hump-Day” TV spot or Geico’s newest Pirate Parrot that repeats what it has heard. I’ll rewind them and watch again. Isn’t that what you want? Nielsen would be so proud.

So when I call, don’t put me in a 10-minute queue line. That’s bad service. Makes me wonder how quickly you are going to handle a claim when I really need you. It’s really simple. I love good ads. I will judge you by your ads. I’ll respond if they are good. If you don’t live up to the ad, I won’t shop you again and with social media I will tell my friends. I’ll tell them when you are bad much more often than when you are good. (5 to 1. Source: Psychology Today) That’s the way I roll. Who am I? I am your customer. Give me a good reason to shop you with good advertising and an even better reason to shop you again with great service. It’s that simple.

Mark Alison is President of The Alison Group (started in 1982) with offices in Augusta and Charlotte. TAG is a B2B Marketing and Communication Company with a rich history of creating new business growth. Contact Mark at



Many employers and employees alike believe that what the employee does while off-duty is off limits to the employer, but that is not always the case. As an employer you don’t want to get into the habit of policing employee social activities and online profiles but you should have clear policies in place to protect your business from individuals that may not have the company’s best interest at heart. For example, if you find out one of your employees is arrested for murder over the weekend – extreme I know – it is pretty much general consensus that the employee can be terminated. But what about someone who is arrested for driving under the influence? Both are illegal but do your company policies make it clear that both would result in disciplinary action? Not having clear polices in place can expose your business to wrongful termination claims and the worst case scenario of public embarrassment. Let’s look at off-duty behavior/activities that you can and should discipline

an employee for engaging in. For starters, in the case of the employee who gets arrested, he or she would be eligible for termination if you have a written policy in place. This is one of those gray areas that is not spelled out in state or federal law. When addressing this in your policy be sure to state clearly if employees are subject to disciplinary action as the result of an arrest or conviction. What about moonlighting? As an employer you are allowed to have a moonlighting policy in place. However, I would strongly suggest that the policy is limited to working for competitors, during hours that create a conflict with their employment with you and/or engaging in work that could be damaging to the reputation of your business by association. Being proactive and including these specifics in your moonlighting policy will help you set clear expectations for your employees. Unauthorized work during non-work hours is another issue to address. With smartphones everyone is connected at all times. Many employees look forward to

36 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

disconnecting during their off time but there are some that have a difficult time unplugging. If those employees are exempt based on overtime regulations, that’s not a problem. If they are nonexempt, though, it could be a disaster. Employees who are nonexempt must be compensated for all work-related tasks, including after-hours emails, phone calls and any other tasks. That’s why it is absolutely imperative that you have a strong overtime policy that includes prohibiting work outside of scheduled time without approval. While you still must pay them for time worked, at least if you have a policy in place you can take disciplinary action when an employee chooses not to comply. Lastly, let’s discuss sexual harassment. Employee A finds Employee B attractive but employee B has made it clear they are not interested. Employee A begins to reach out to Employee B via social media while off-duty. The contact is unwanted and Employee B has asked them to stop. Even though this is taking place offduty and off company premises, this is

sexual harassment – regardless of whether the target of the unwanted advances is a co-worker, subordinate, a client or a vendor. Assuming you have a zero tolerance sexual harassment policy – if not get one now – this behavior would be covered and should be treated as such. The recurring theme in each of these examples is be proactive and create policies that protect your business. If you need to create or review your current handbook and/or policies, please contact us.

Jame Geathers is a Human Resources and Operations Professional with more than 12 years of experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Jame has spent her career building and supporting HR infrastructures that have provided her employers and clients with the structure and policies that all start-ups need but owners may not have time to create and implement. For more information please visit the Jame Geathers Consulting website, or call (706) 496-9691.

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz



Tuesday, August 30

Thursday, Sept. 8

Ribbon-cutting: Blake & Associates Law Firm. 1450 Greene St, Suite 105, Augusta. 4-5 p.m. For more information, visit

Business and Community Expo presented by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Riverview Park Activities Center, 100 Riverview Park Drive, North Augusta.

Wednesday, August 31 Ribbon-cutting: Kroger Store #644. 435 Lewiston Road, Grovetown, GA. 10-11 a.m. For more information, visit

Thursday, Sept. 1

Meet.Mingle.Mesh (formerly Business After Hours) presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Augusta Westobou Gallery, 1129 Broad Street, Augusta. 5:307:30p.m. Free for members. $25 for non-members. Food provided by Solé Grill & Sushi Bar and Oliviana Italiano. Advance registration required. For more information, visit Ribbon-cutting: Vacations to Remember. 20th Anniversary celebration. 802 Oakhurst Dr, Evans. 4:305:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Tuesday, Sept. 6 Member Economic Luncheon presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Augusta Marriott, 2 Tenth Street, Augusta. 11:30 a.m. - 1p.m. Members: $35; Non-Members: $45. Advance registration required. Topic: “Cyber in Manufacturing” with guest speaker Bond Calloway of SRNL. For more information, visit Ribbon-cutting: Hap Greenway Agency, Allstate. 240 Edgefield Road, North Augusta, SC. 4-6 p.m.

Wednesday, Sept. 7 Membership 101 presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Boulevard, Evans. 8:30-9:30 a.m. If you are a new chamber member or just want a refresher course, plan to attend the Membership 101 class. For more information, visit

Friday, Sept. 9

First Friday Means Business presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry Street SW, Aiken, SC. 7:309 a.m. $18. An informative monthly breakfast meeting. This event features a keynote speaker who addresses issues of interest to the business community. This monthly meeting also allows for business networking opportunities. For more information, visit

Tuesday, Sept. 13

Chamber Before Hours presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce Office, 1000 Business Boulevard, Evans. Breakfast and Networking: 7:45-8:15 a.m.; Program: 8:15-9a.m. Free for Members. First time visitors: $20. Presentation by Manpower’s Marketing Manager, April Mitchell, “Teachable Fit: How to close the gap between employer needs and the ability of a candidate”. For more information, visit

Thursday, Sept. 15 Third Thursday Business Builder presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Augusta Metro Chamber Office, 1 Tenth Street, Suite 120, Augusta. 11:30a.m. - 1p.m. Free for members. Nonmembers: $15. Advance registration required. Lunch provided. Topic: “How to Maximize Your Professional Mobile Technology” sponsored by TMobile. For more information, visit

Friday, Sept. 16 Good Morning North Augusta presented by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Palmetto Terrace, 4th Floor: Municipal Complex, 100 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta. Networking at 7:30 a.m.; Breakfast

38 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

and program: 8-9 a.m. Topic: “Linking Leaders” This event will provide a welcome to a few of the newest leaders in the North Augusta community. For more information and to register, visit northaugustachamber. org.

Monday, Sept. 19 Alzheimer’s Association Round to Remember Golf Tournament, Jones Creek Golf Club, 777 Jones Landing Ct, Evans. 11a.m. - 4p.m. An inaugural golf tournament benefiting the local Augusta chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Individual Golfers: $100; Teams: $300; Business Sponsorships vary. For more information, contact Marcus Covar at or Casey Corley at

Tuesday, Sept. 20 Networking for Leads presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Chamber Office, 1000 Business Boulevard, Evans. 3-4 p.m. A structured program designed to promote an environment which cultivates meaningful business relationships which not only promote one’s business but identify the needs of other business owners. For more information, visit SCORE Seminar: Health Care Reform for Small Business and Insurance Needs presented by Southern Wesleyan University and the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Southern Wesleyan University, Business Technology Center, 802 East Martintown Rd, Suite 101, North Augusta, SC. 9:30-11:30 a.m. For more information, visit Women in Business Luncheon presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Legends Club, 2701 Washington Road, Augusta. 11:30a.m. - 1p.m. Members: $30; Non-Members: $40. Advance registration required. Topic: “Media Demand: Answering the Shift in Consumer Behavior”Guest speakers will include Ryan Gordon and James Holmes of the Augusta Chronicle.

For more information visit

Wednesday, Sept. 21 Power Lunch presented by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Palmetto Terrace, 100 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta, SC. 11:30 a.m. - 1p.m. Topic: “Empowered: Becoming a Woman of Influence” The event will feature a designated panel of four influential business women from different industries and professions. For more information, visit Women in Business Luncheon presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, The Reserve Club at Woodside, 3000 Reserve Club Drive, Aiken, SC. 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. For more information or to register, visit

Thursday, Sept. 22 Goodwill Job Fair, Snelling Center, 3165 Washington Road, Augusta. 1-4 p.m. Meet with two-dozen representatives from area companies to help you find your next job. For tips on being prepared, call the the Job Connection Staff at 706-447-5195. For more information, visit State of the Community Address, Columbia County Exhibition Center, 212 Partnership Drive, Grovetown. Business Expo and BBQ Dinner: 5 p.m.; Program: 6:30 p.m. Individual tickets: $30; Table of 8: $300; Tickets must be purchased in advance. An update on the growth and goals of Columbia County. For more information, visit Business After Hours presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, First Citizens Bank, 125 Park Avenue SW, Aiken, SC. 5-7 p.m. An opportunity for a company to introduce itself to the business community. For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 27 Ribbon-cutting: Holiday Inn Express and Suites Augusta, West Fort Gordon, 4087 Jimmie Dyess Parkway, Augusta. 4-5 p.m. For more information, visit

August 29—September 22, 2016 Buzz on Biz


40 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




In the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando – the worst in US history – it is now more important than ever for businesses to protect employees and customers from these senseless crimes. According to an article from PBS Newshour in 2015, there were 372 mass shootings in the United States, which killed 475 people and injured 1,810 others. Since it is impossible to predict when one of these attacks will occur, planning and preparation are essential. At Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus, faculty and staff have been preparing for such an emergency by participating in active shooter drills. With help from local law enforcement officers, the college conducted a drill in April. Designated staff members played the role of the shooters, and most of the offices and

classes successfully avoided the mock attack. Students were caught by surprise, but it was a productive way to hold conversa-

tions with students about the concept of “fight, flight, or barricade”. The worst mistake you can make is to think a shooting won’t happen at your


• Remain as calm and quiet as possible. While people often scream when they’re in imminent danger, excessive noise only makes it easier for a gunman to locate people to shoot. • If possible, all customers and employees should move to a secure location or get out of the building. For example, everyone could move into an office, lock the door, then call 911. • Once you have locked the shooter or shooters out of your office, barricade the door. For example, a filing cabinet or a chair can be placed against the door, and computer cords or a belt tied to the

doorknob can prevent a gunman from breaking into an office. • Keep in mind that an active shooter’s goal is to take as many lives as possible in the least amount of time. Police typically arrive at a business within a few minutes of an attack, so shooters often look for easy targets. Everyone should strive to be a hard target. • In the event that a shooting begins in an office and locking the door is no longer practical, improvise. In this case, anything on a desk, such a stapler, telephone or paperweight, can instantly become a weapon.

business. All businesses need to develop a coordinated plan now to prepare for such an emergency. Once a shooting begins, it’s too late. The lives you save may be those of your employees, co-workers, and customers.

Josh Heath is an Admissions Counselor at Georgia Military College. For additional questions about Georgia Military College’s programs, please call (706) 9931123, email, or visit Georgia Military College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, which means that all credit earned at the institution is transferable to other institutions.

SCAM CALLS TARGET THOSE OWING ON STUDENT LOANS For millions of college students in the United States, student loans can feel like a huge financial burden. In 2015, the average college student graduated with approximately $33,000 in student loan debt. The average student in Georgia and South Carolina graduates with more than $26,000 in student debt from federal and private loans, according to the Institute for College Access & Success. Unfortunately, because student loan debt is so common, scammers use this as an opportunity to take advantage of current students and graduates. The scam starts as a phone call, email or letter to the student that claims their company can alleviate all student loan debt for a fee. They also claim to have helped other student loan holders; however, student loans can only be forgiven

under very specific circumstances, which aren’t fast or easy. Instead of helping, they take your fee and disappear. In another version of this scam, scammers claim that they can save you money by combining your loans. Others may move your loans to a private lender with a higher interest rate. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Better Business Bureau advises student loan holders to look out for red flags and follow these tips to avoid getting scammed: Never pay upfront fees.  Avoid deceptive phrases like, “We do the work for a fee.” Real lenders will take a percentage once their service is complete and will never demand a fee upfront. Never give a third party power of attorney. Don’t sign anything giving a com-

pany the power to negotiate on your behalf. A fake company can use this to take control over your loans. Do your research and ask questions. Check to see how long the company or lender has been in business and ask questions. Does the lender appear to be well-established? Are they pushing you to make a fast decision? Remember, don’t give out any personal information, including your Social Security number, to unfamiliar parties. Know your options. If you are having trouble paying back your student loans, contact your lender directly to discuss ways to make it easier to repay your debt. Options may include making lower payments or suspending loan repayments for a while. The type of student loan you have and the type of lender (government or

private) will impact the kinds of options available to you. Don’t ignore payment notices. Don’t wait to deal with the issue and never ignore legal notices about past due loans. Be aware that loan delays or other changes to loan terms will probably result in higher total loan cost over a longer period of time. For more information about coping with student loan debt, visit   Keep your student loan debt under control. The Institute for College Access & Success works to increase public understanding of student debt. For more advice about student loans and debt, check out their  Top 10 Student Loan Tips for Recent Graduates at For more consumer information, to file a complaint or report a student loan scam, visit

CYBER CENTER WORKING WITH SCHOOLS FOR NEXT GENERATION The Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon is cultivating a new generation of Cyber Warriors and the impact is extending outside the gates. Cyber Security companies  expanding their footprints in Augusta means their employees and families are moving into the area. Now the heads of these companies are saying it’s never too early to get children  to learn  about Cyber Security. Modern Technology is changing the way people live their everyday lives. While the latest tech toys are simplifying your world, they are increasing the need for security in Cyberspace. That’s where Cyber

Professionals come in, they keep your information safe from the bad guys. “It is 24/7 Cyber, Signal, and Intelligence operations that are happening,” said U.S. Army Cyber School  Deputy Commandant Todd Boudreau. The Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon is cultivating a new generation of Cyber Warriors and the impact is extending outside the gates. Since the introduction of the Cyber Center of Excellence and now that the U.S. Army Cyber Command is moving to Fort Gordon, “Fort Gordon is going to become one of the most pivotal establishments for the security of the free world.”

42 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

Tom Patterson, Chief Trust Officer and Vice President of Unisys said. Leaders are noticing there’s been a shift in the type of people moving into the region. “Now prominently we have families, that have children, in a high-tech work environment,” Boudreau said. “Guess what they expect in their sons and daughters? A highly technical scholastic environment.” Many parents are now expecting this technology to be taught in schools. Boudreau helps run the U.S. Army Cyber School and since its establishment the Deputy Commandant has introduced a Cyber Security Pathway Program into local schools.

“I think there’s a big misunderstanding that our kids today really understand cyberspace and understand this domain,” he said. “They are very comfortable with the technology.” Boudreau said Fort Gordon will need young minds to trains and join the fight against cyber attacks. He knows exposure of this technology at the elementary level will only help the future of electronic warfare. At Tech Net Day 2 a panel of Cyber Professionals also touched on the need for community partners when students move into higher level training and are looking for internships.

August 29—September 22, 2016 Buzz on Biz


44 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 22, 2016


BUZZ ON BIZ B2B SHOWCASE EXPO NEARING SELL-OUT NEIL GORDON Sandi Shields and Robin Baxley are all about functionality and feng shui. In late July the two co-owners of Best Office Solutions in Waynesboro signed as one of the Premier Sponsors of the B2B Showcase and Expo and will have plenty of display room at at the Foundry at Rae’s Creek during the Expo on Oct. 19. This event is co-hosted by Buzz on Biz and Welcomemat Services, a direct mail company helping to connect new residents with merchants trying to develop brand loyalty. “We’re excited to lay out an office setting to show business leaders what’s trendy in furniture, desks and ergonomic chairs,” said Shields. They join News 12/NBC 26 and PremierNetworx as presenting sponsors. Chad Harpley, president and CEO of PremierNetworx is also excited about showing what his company can do. “We will highlight all our products and

You’ll pick up best practices and lessons from some of the most successful businesspeople and speakers in the CSRA. services to show that we are a one-stop shop when it comes to your company’s IT,” he said. “We are also the only local company that supports both Microsoft and Apple operating systems as a member of the Apple Consultants Network.” The goal of the B2B Expo is to create a business-to-business setting that will benefit everyone on both sides of the aisle. Think about it: You’re a business who needs to buy products and services to run at peak efficiency. There are many businesses who focus on helping your business do that. It’s a natural fit to bring everyone together to share our expertise in one setting. At our B2B Expo, you’ll find booths by

WHO’S IN THE B2B EXPO SO FAR Presenting Sponsors PremierNetworx Best Office Solutions News 12/NBC 26 1 spot remains Level 1 Sponsors Pollock Company Augusta Staffing/Job Shop Chronicle Media 3 spots remain Level 2 Sponsors Woody Merry/AXA Advisors Powerserve Welcomemat Heath Insurance CRI Professional Resources Morningside Assisted Living

Ink Boy 1 spot remains Level 3 Sponsors Augusta Data Storage Jani King Local Trade Group Alpha Graphics Cracker Barrel Credit Card Payment Systems Troy State University Window World Keen Signs Stitches Peach State Credit Union Attorney Ed Enoch AAA Travel Agency 2 spots remain

dozens of vendors offering the kinds of products you’ll need at your business. There will also be a few seminars during the day, dispensing advice that you’ll find useful in making your business even more successful. The Expo will be held at the new Foundry at Rae’s Creek, a beautiful setting created by Robert Williams of Roux’s Catering – and a place you might want to consider for your upcoming event. Welcomemat Services is coordinating the schedule of speakers for the event, which features eight along with a panel of experts. “Whether you are a new entrepreneur, established business leader, future business executive or CEO you’ll pick up best practices and lessons learned from some of the most successful businesspeople and speakers in the CSRA,’ said Chad Trollinger, the local franchisee of Welcomemat Services.

A full agenda of speakers and time for networking/exhibit visits is posted below. Buzz on Biz is coordinating the sponsorships for the event which features a two-pronged effort to ensure that potential attendees get the most out of the day. “We’re producing a 24-page guide to the B2B Showcase and Expo in the Sept. 22 issue of our publication,” said Buzz on Biz founder Neil Gordon All of the above sponsors receive either a quarter-, half- or full-page story advertorial to highlight their businesses in a way that attendees will want to meet them. As of publication time, tickets were available, but sponsorships were about 80 percent sold out.

Neil Gordon is operations manager for Buzz on Biz 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. You can reach him at 706-589-6727 or


(Prize drawings will be held throughout the day) 8 a.m.............Networking and Vendor visits 8:50 a.m........Jeff Annis, ex-CEO Advanced Services on Employer/Employee Relationships 9:30 a.m........Dr. Tony Robinson, GRU Professor/Marketing Executive on Branding 10:10 a.m......Networking and Vendor Visits 10:50 a.m......Brian Mattingly, CEO Welcomemat Services, Power of Customer Loyalty 11:30 a.m......Eddie Kennedy, CEO Great Deals on Furniture, Adapting to a Changing Market 12 p.m...........LUNCH 12:45 p.m......Networking and Vendor Visits 1:25 p.m........Keynote Brig. Gen Jeff Foley, Leadership and 1 page business plan 2:20 p.m........Panel Discussion—Small Biz Ownership vs. Franchising 3:10 p.m........Networking and Vendor Visits 3:50 p.m........Small Biz Development Center: Classes to Grow Your Business 4:30 p.m........Networking and Vendor Visits August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz


46 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 22, 2016

August 29—September 22, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Compensating Mechanism #3: Your People Support Network In our work together so far we have: 1. Looked at your super strength called compensating and how that works for you in general to make up for the disparities caused by a roving brain. 2. Learned about: “Planning Ahead: Five Steps to Creating a Habit that will Save Your Butt” that taught you how to gain control over your impulsivity so you could get things done and meet the obligations and expectations of those around you. 3. Today we are going to take a look at the third most important compensating mechanism: Your People Support Network and how to further structure your life so you can make the most of your relationships and the people that surround you. I have often heard it said from successful Innovator brain types (those mislabeled ADHD) that if it were not for the people who supported them, they would never have made it. Picasso made the point often and so did Kennedy, Churchill, Einstein, and many others. Have you ever wondered why so many CEOs, CCOs, CFOs and other top people have ADHD? Ask yourself where support is more likely to be found than with our top creative problem solvers and inventors – the movers and shakers that keep the economy humming and keep their companies and charitable organizations profitable. Take a look at your own life. Didn’t you always seem to do better when you had others supporting you? The reason for this is that other people keep us focused so our eyes stay on the prize. They ask questions and make suggestions that keep us choosing the best

alternative. They make sure we don’t forget things, have the resources we need and follow through so we get things done on time. They don’t let us botch things up because we forgot to communicate something vital to a good outcome. Just like all the different people that support CEOs, our support network makes sure we stay focused and on track.

YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK Here are your steps to creating the best support network ever: Search out the best possibilities. These are the people and teams that could work for you. Don’t be afraid about the cost or worrying it’s too much to ask or what happens if they say no. Your job is to find the right ones and get them to say yes. Try them out. Not all of the people we get on our side may work out at the beginning. If you don’t hit it right the first time, try again until you do. Set specific goals. Determine how each person will be supporting you. Decide how you can best use what each offers. Measure your progress. Is the path to the vision you have for yourself and your future being fortified – is progress being made quickly enough? Where are the holes? What needs to change? Are you happy? Learn as you go. Trust your gut and know that you are the master of your destiny and you will know what to do to maximize the gifts of your team of supporters.

Support people come in all varieties: Coaches, therapists, psychiatrists, marketing teams, research teams, secretaries, receptionists, business managers, teachers, advisors, colleagues, friends, husbands, wives and parents. There are many others of course. Our job is to choose the best ones for our unique situations. Our job is not to hide from help because we are embarrassed they might think we are incapable of doing things on our own. That is a myth from childhood that needs to go away. We need to understand that for most of us to be reliably and consistently successful, we must create and maintain a solid support structure and network of people who are there in our best interest. There is a popular saying, “You can never have too much help” and for people with this brain type that is certainly true. I promise that if you use this strategy, you will get where you want to go more

quickly with fewer mistakes or detours. And instead of struggling on your own, it’s going to be more fun and much more rewarding to be building great relationships along the way!

Carol Gignoux is a coach, trainer and motivational expert in the world of achievement and productivity with a 40-year background in educating and training people of all ages. She is well established as an expert in ADHD Coaching with more than 16 years of experience. For the past decade she has engaged in extensive research. You can find Carol’s just published book:  Your Innovator Brain — The Truth About ADHD  in online booksellers like and and on local Barnes and Noble bookshelves Contact her at 706-955-9063 or



Like many residents of the CSRA, Roscoe Barnwell is a military veteran. A former drill sergeant, Barnwell gave 14 years of service to the United States Army. During the course of his service, however, he lost a leg which has caused difficulty in everyday tasks, such as safely maneuvering around his home. Fortunately, some local businesses have teamed up to help. Thanks to a grant from the Home Depot Foundation and Meals on Wheels America, Walton Options for Independent Living was able to assist 10 veterans and veteran families with home modifica-

tions. In the case of Barnwell, this partnership provided bathroom modifications, repairs to floors and walls, widened doorways, wheelchair accessible ramps, new sinks and toilets, new light fixtures, and other features that will increase his standard of living. “Through our Home Modification program we work with our consumers to make their homes safe so that they can comfortably remain at home for as long as possible,” said Kathy Peltier, Director of Assistive Technology and Home Modifications at Walton Options. Since its incorporation in 1994, Walton Options has been dedicated to assisting

48 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

people with disabilities to live independently in their homes and communities and maintain the highest standard of living. On their website, waltonoptions. org, they describe their mission as “Empowering people of all ages, regardless of disability, by promoting Personal Choice, Independence, Community Inclusion and Competitive Employment.” They accomplish this goal through several assistive programs, but perhaps the most popular is the home modification program. In addition to their recent grant work for veterans, Walton Options also provides home modifications for civilians in

need. Anyone of any age who could benefit from home modifications can contact Walton Options, but the vast majority of requests come from those ages 60 and older. “We currently have over 200 seniors on our waiting list for home modifications,” Peltier said, “and the wait time can be up to a year. Our main focus is to do everything we can to let people age in place. ” As a non-profit organization, Walton Options always welcomes assistance in the form of volunteers and donations. For more information on how to volunteer your services or on how to donate to the organization, visit

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




As an attorney, I often find myself helping my clients through not just legal struggles, but emotional and physical ones as well. I get to be your business brain, and I will help you apply the law to your life. Any attorney understands this, but a truly great attorney also understands that there are emotions tearing the life of their client to pieces. I always recommend that my clients receive counseling and follow up with a primary care doctor.   You cannot and should not take your health for granted. Your health may play a major role in your family law case, as the court will want to know about your mental and physical health.

For example, if one person is disabled and is unable to work, he or she may receive a larger share of property, or if one parent has an uncontrollable illness, they may not be the appropriate candidate to receive primary custody because they will not be able to care for the children properly. As intimidating as it may be, knowing the truth about your physical and mental health can help you immensely.  While it’s important to take care of your own health, it is also important that you, as a parent, are able to recognize what your children’s needs are, and to handle them in an appropriate manner. During a time as stressful as a divorce or custody battle, keep in mind that chil-

dren are struggling with a lot of emotions and fears as well, and they don’t need to be put in the middle. At the same time, you can’t ignore that their whole lives are  changing.  You need to learn how to discuss the situation with them in a healthy, constructive manner. You need to be open to the concerns of your children and what they may need.  Finally, I always tell my clients to listen to their intuition. Never ignore your own safety. If you have any fears for your safety or the safety of your children, make sure you are taking the necessary steps to stay safe. You may have to remove yourself from a potentially harmful and/or violent situation. Educate yourself about the public

safety options available in your area. Once you are safe, immediately contact an attorney.

Sarah Floyd Blake, a CSRA native, received her undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia in 2004, double majoring in Political Science and Russian. Sarah attended law school at Washington and Lee University School of Law  where her legal studies focused on constitutional  criminal procedure and litigation. Sarah is licensed to practice law in Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia, and her practice focuses on family law. Contact her at

TRINITY HOSPITAL HAS NEW NAME, OFFERINGS IN PROGRAM FOR OLDER PATIENTS Trinity Hospital has a new name and new offerings for its patients over the age of 50. The Senior Circle program will now be known as Our Healthy Circle. The name change for the national program came after feedback from adults older than 50 found that they no longer identified with

the word “senior.” Our Healthy Circle has more than 23,000 members nationwide, and more than 400 members in the CSRA. In addition to the name change, program leadership also learned that the interests and concerns of those over 50 have evolved over the past decade.

50 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

“Our members are living longer, healthier and more active lives,” said Laken Sisk, OHC Advisor. “If we want to keep them engaged, we need to offer an evolution of programs, benefits and social opportunities that reflect their active lifestyles and a holistic approach to wellness.” Most of the program’s most popular

features and benefits will remain in place. Our Healthy Circle programs include special services at Trinity Hospital, including private rooms, cafeteria discounts and caregiver benefits; delivery of the quarterly magazine, Inside Circle; national vision and dental discount benefits; and discounts on other services.

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz



BODEGA ULTIMA BRINGS THE WORLD’S CUISINE TO AUGUSTA SUSAN O’KEEFE Bodega Ultima in Surrey Center boasts a menu inspired by worldwide culinary adventures. Whether it’s olive oil produced in Greece or coffee roasted in New York, this new eatery in Augusta plans to set itself apart by offering a unique global experience without ever leaving the CSRA. For lunch diners, Bodega Ultima serves gyros, sandwiches, small plates and salads. There’s ample space for a simple gathering of two, four, or even six. Consider the casual, comfortable patio setting to hammer out details of a long-awaited business deal. Bodega Ultima presents a relaxed atmosphere with a perfect combination of charm and class. Mouthwatering menu items hail from various Mediterranean countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Israel and Turkey. The Mediterranean Duo Salad caught my colleague’s eye. With only a $10 price tag, the hefty ingredients made it a contender for our order. Romaine heart wedge, shrimp salad, couscous salad, imported canned tuna, tomato, radish, avocado, Brussel sprouts, radish, beets, olives, pepperoncini and dolmas are all part of this carefully constructed popular go-to green goddess. For my colleague with a passion for pork, there was a back-and-forth game between the pork confit and the Italian hoagie. The menu lists mortadella, salami, and chorizo on a baguette with lettuce as

Bodega Ultima

Bodega Ultima is located at 353 Highland Avenue in the lower level of Surrey Center. Email them at the prime ingredients for the hoagie. Add a bit of Dijon, tomato, mozzarella, aged parmesan, and aioli to top it off. Most sandwiches are priced at a reasonable rate of $10. Several customers were enjoying a quiet lunch on a recent summer day when I visited Bodega Ultima. The interior really lends itself to casual, top-shelf dining without top-shelf prices. While there was a steady stream of customers, the place never felt overwhelmingly busy or chaotic. Once we placed our order with the cashier, we were able to pick and choose our own seating arrangements. Within a short amount of time, our food was delivered. The ultimate kale salad, loaded with egg, avocado, bacon, sunflower seeds, shrimp


While no rides are visible at the planned Scuttle’s Island Water Park in North Augusta, some of the rides now have names and descriptions, according to the park’s website. The planned water park, located off Exit 5 on North Augusta’s north side, was originally scheduled to open on Memorial Day but so far there has been no construction on the site and no word on when it will begin. Many of the slides for the attractions have already been built, though, and kept in storage. The $21 million project plans to have 24 attractions, including the tallest water slide in the Southeast and the second-largest wave pool in the Southeast. According to the website, some of the featured attractions are Scuttle’s Cove, a 34,000-square-foot wave pool; Walk the Plank, a 90-foot slide; Pirates Plunge, a 70-foot slide, Crow’s Nest, a 54-foot

slide complex; Ship Wreck Falls, a family raft ride; and Not So Lazy River, a 2,000-foot-long river that features rapids and a waterfall. There will also be Oscar’s Galley, the park’s main restaurant; The Jolly Roger, a Mexican-themed bar/restaurant; an ice cream parlor; and food kiosks throughout the park. Scuttle’s Island plans to employ about 100 people during the season between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and draw 250,000 to 300,000 visitors.

52 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

and tomato, drew rave reviews from its recipient. Also, the bison bacon burger which was served on a warm brioche bun, pleased the palate of my colleague so much so that he didn’t need to request a carry-out box for dinner leftovers. It was easy to eat it all in one sitting. For a breakfast meeting for coffee connoisseurs, a lunch meeting, or drinks with dinner, Ultima Bodega seems to be on the path to success. With the dynamic duo of father-son team Cary Goldsmith (TakoSushi) and his son Kevin, Bodega is an

up-and-coming restaurant that will surely garner a few gold medals.

Susan O’Keefe has been reviewing restaurants for Buzz on Biz since August 2015. Her reviews are based with a business lunch in mind.

GREENJACKETS WILL WELCOME SPECIAL FAN DURING FAN APPRECIATION WEEKEND The Augusta GreenJackets’ Fan Appreciation Weekend could be extra special this year. Held over the Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2-5, Fan Appreciation Weekend will host some exciting events for fans, but especially for one special fan. Sometime during that weekend the GreenJackets expect their 2 millionth fan to pass through the gates of Lake Olmstead Stadium. That lucky fan will win a prize pack. The weekend is filled with fun including a water bottle giveaway presented by Augusta University Health, a mystery ball giveaway benefiting Children’s Hospital of Georgia, the AU Run With the GreenJackets 5k and much more, including the final Bark in the Park and a Labor Day fireworks show to close out the regular season. The GreenJackets close out the regular season versus the Rome Braves.

For more information, including pricing and benefits on all ticket plans, visit

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




A bar manager asked me recently if I had any suggestions for becoming a better leader. The person asking me was “thrown” into a management position because he was really good at what he was doing previously. It was “assumed” he must have the abilities to be a good manager because of his previous great work performance. In other words, he got promoted to his level of incompetence. Management skills are learned over time – they’re not inherited. You need training, which creates knowledge, to become a good, effective leader/manager – and you need time (experience) in order to develop what you’ve learned to do. But always remember – experience does not mean you have knowledge. I’ve met many a manager who uses the line, “Hey! Don’t tell me! I’ve been doing this for 17 years!” (Have they been doing it wrong for 17 years?) Time, i.e. experience, does not take the place of knowledge. Time enhances knowledge. To become a good, effective manager you need time in grade that coincides with a lot of knowledge – which equals

knowledge with experience – the best combination of all. It’s not an overnight thing. I believe the most important management requirement is knowing how to deal with people. You have to tell people what to do (and probably how to do it), and you have to do it in such a way they stay motivated and achieve the desired goals. How you communicate personally and professionally with your staff to get a job done determines their level of respect for you as well as your likeability. Here are a few techniques I used over the years to develop my teams. They work. Use them to develop your own style of becoming a great leader! Show appreciation. Always say “thank you” to staff that are doing well and trying hard. It lets them know you are noticing them. It’s important to be noticed and appreciated for what you are doing. The word “please” goes a long way, too. Cheerfulness is contagious. Most people will respond better to a cheerful person rather than someone who is surly, grouchy and yells a lot. If you yell at anyone because of a work situation, trust me, they will get even; all of a sudden they’re

54 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

not around when you need them or they can’t stay to cover a shift for a late arriving bartender. You don’t need that kind of attitude when you’re three deep at the bar and on the verge of losing control. You need everyone’s help and cooperation – all the time! Display an aura of energy. Make eye contact. Don’t look down or around when talking to someone, especially if it relates to business! Give staff your full attention when they’re trying to get through to you. And most importantly, listen to your staff. Encourage constant input. It makes your staff feel they’re contributing. Promote team family. Don’t allow drama to fester amongst your staff. Stop the petty disgruntlements immediately. Try not to let anything carry over to the next day that can be resolved that night. Don’t hesitate to take corrective action. I recall nights after closing, sitting at a table with two employees who didn’t like each other, yelling and screaming their derisions, with me acting as referee, until we finally worked it out! Do whatever it takes. Encourage your team to help each

other. Be prepared to jump in and help your people when a work-related situation gets out of control. You don’t want your staff continually working in the weeds. Stress creates turnover. Let your work ethic form a pattern of leadership. The most successful men I know still mop floors and pick up trash when they see it needs to be done and no one is doing it. Don’t think for a moment that just because you’re a manager those days are over for you. They’re not.

Bob Johnson has more than 50 years experience in the food and beverage industry. After years of running a successful bar management business in San Diego, he and his wife, Lisa, moved to North Augusta. In addition to authoring books on bar management, he also teaches a mobile bartending school, a bar management workshop and a bartending school for military veterans. Contact him at or 800-447-4384.

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz


56 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016



The 36th Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival will take place Sept. 16-18 in downtown Augusta and promises to offer great new acts, familiar faces and a more convenient way to purchase tickets. One of the new features in this year’s festival is the Troubadour Stage being moved inside the Doris Building at 930 Broad Street. “When we were offered this space – climate-controlled, lights and a good tech set-up, we thought it would offer patrons a great space to enjoy the diverse entertainment offered on this stage,” said Brenda Durant, executive director of the Greater Augusta Arts Council. “It’s grown in popularity and we need more audience space.” Another new perk is that badges are now available to purchase online for $5 per person plus service and processing fees. They will also be available for purchase at Suntrust Bank locations, Vintage Ooollee in downtown Augusta and New Moon in Aiken prior to the event. Badges will be available for purchase at the gate of the festival for $10 per person. Children 10 and under may enter for free.

Many world cultures will be on display through performances on stage and in the many food booths during the 36th annual Arts in the Heart Festival. There will also be some hands-on demonstrations and plenty of local art. Photos contributed

Badges are available for use the entire weekend so participants may come and go as they please. Visitors can also purchase VIP tickets which include shaded seating, free snacks and water, open bar after 5 p.m., catered dinner by local favorite Rae’s Coastal Café and supporter-level membership to the Greater Augusta Arts Council. The festival typically sees around

70, 000 people in downtown Augusta throughout the three-day event. Approximately $3.2 million is pumped into the local economy during those days and the impact ripples throughout the year. “A lot of those people don’t come downtown (at other times) and it’s a great way to introduce them to it so they will come back,” Durant said. Around 115 fine arts and crafts vendors will line Broad Street between 7th and 10th streets, providing patrons with traditional and contemporary pieces to purchase to wear or display. The majority of vendors are local although a few come from other areas the United States. A preview of the vendors can be found on the Arts in the Heart website. Many local fine arts organizations will also be present to highlight their upcoming events and provide information for those interested in membership. Several dance and music groups will also be performing on stages in different areas of the festival. “It’s a great overview of our vibrant arts community,” Durant said. Children and families have an opportunity for fun in the Family Area. Chris-

tina Berkshire, administration manager for the Greater Augusta Arts Council, said superheroes, Disney princesses and more will keep little ones happy and entertained, and they will also have the opportunity to create a different work of art at each booth. “As the children go to each booth and create the craft or participate in the activity, they receive a stamp in a printed passport provided at the entrance to the family area. When they collect all the stamps, they receive a free prize bag,” Berkshire said. With all that walking and excitement, participants are bound to get hungry at the festival. A variety of ethnic foods will be available to sample and purchase in the Global Village, more commonly known to Augustans as the Augusta Commons. This year an Italian vendor will be present in the Global Village. Other dining selections include food from Germany, Lebanon, Guam, Ireland and more. Hot dogs will be available at a separate location for those who choose more traditional fair fare. For more details and to purchase tickets, visit

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




Am I right to say there were some counties in Georgia that started school during the end of July? I mean, that’s crazy, right? If you’ll permit me to get heated (hot summer pun intended) for a second... I think some counties are counting on a few furlough days. Well, being married to an educator self-proclaimingly affords me the luxury of having verbal opinions regarding how we treat our school years here in Georgia, and I think it’s crazy that we start earlier and earlier each year. I get the middle of August, but I cannot rationalize July for the start of a school year. It seems almost as crazy as reviewing an uber dark beer before Labor Day... Ok, guilty as charged, and I will cease bashing the school system – at least for now. Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout – Yup, not just an uber dark beer, but a coffee stout.

It pours an expected deep brown to black with a cappuccino head to match. The nose matches the tongue to a certain extent, and I think it’s the espresso that puts it over the edge for me. This is a good, good beer, and I would enjoy a pint any day of the year and in any weather – hot, warm, mild, or – what was that other climate we seem to never get - oh yeah: cold. There are heavy notes of caramel on the tongue, as well, and I would recommend keeping this brew quite cold so as to not let the heavy sugars become manifest. This will become more difficult as you sip, but it will take it absolutely over the edge with a slice of peanut butter pie from the French Market Grille. Grapefruit Sculpin – This IPA from California’s Ballast Point Brewing Company is one of the best beers I have ever had – ever. It pours a golden bright amber, and the nose and tongue convey the

The carbonation helps a lot, as does the grapefruit, which comes across as almost ripe – again, just perfect. I dare say improvement is not possible with this beer, and that’s the nicest thing you’ll read from me regarding a beer. Try it all by itself at first, but it also goes great with a game of beach bocce. Just make sure you let your friends win so they don’t feel bad about it.

hoppier aspects of an IPA, but the grapefruit keeps everything in check. The finish is clean and a bit dry– and just perfect.

Ben Casella still wakes up on the first day of school happy as all get-out that he isn’t still in school. Nothing against school, and if you’re still in school, you should stay in school. You know what – he’s probably not helping a thing right now. So, he’ll just shut his mouth.



Say it ain’t so! It can’t possibly be the end of summer. Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love being a teacher. I can’t imagine doing anything else. I am, however, just as guilty as some of my students when it comes to procrastination and adequate planning. What I’m really trying to say is, I have a boatload of paperwork that needs to be done, ASAP! With all this in mind, I decided to dedicate this month’s reviews to education; the good, the bad and the ugly. Once again, Netflix was there for me. Last Chance U If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you already know how much I enjoy watching football, particularly at the college level. I knew I wanted to see this series as soon as Netflix recommended it, so you can imagine my joy when I realized I could work it into this month’s reviews! Last Chance U is definitely about football, but it’s also about education. Almost all of my male students tell me they plan to play in the NFL, but they always forget a crucial step – college. Sure, there are a few walk-ons, but the majority of players in the NFL got drafted because coaches were able to see their abilities while they played for their universities. What does that mean for the kids who can play, but are poor students? What about kids who can’t beat out the competition at a Division I school? That’s

what this series is all about. Last Chance U follows the East Mississippi Community College Lions during the 2015 season in their bid to win their third straight National Junior College Athletic Association Championship. The school has a great coach and a winning record, but none of the players actually wants to be there. The goal for every one of them is to get out of the little town of Scooba, with only 700 people and nothing to do, and get to the Division I level. What does all this have to do with education, you ask? Some of these players were at big-league schools, but poor grades, attendance and behavior forced them out. To get back to that level, they not only have to play well, they have to do well in school. They have to show up to class. This is where the real battle begins. I highly recoammend Last Chance U. The language is brutal, so I won’t be watching it with my son right away, but as an athlete himself, it’s something I truly believe he needs to see. He needs to understand that everyone doesn’t go to Georgia or Alabama, that even if you make it into a popular university, you may not have the grades or talent to stay there. I guess the moral of this story is, you better have a back-up plan. Dream School Dream School is a series that was created by the folks at the Sundance Channel and its first season is currently on Netflix. Because I work in education, and

58 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

I understand how the system works, I was a little suspicious. Take 15 California kids who have dropped out or been kicked out for various reasons, put them in a sleek school building, throw them into classes taught by celebrities and certified teachers for one month, and they can earn enough credits to either graduate or move onto the next grade. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea. One month, though? Is that really enough time? What about the kids who simply move to the next grade, do they go back to regular high school when it obviously hasn’t worked for them in the past? The only way to find out was to watch. The students chosen for Dream School come from a variety of backgrounds and some of their stories are heart wrenching. Three of the girls dropped out to have children, one boy dropped out to nurse his mother while she was dying from cancer, others have drug problems, and several have a history of fighting. Honestly, these kids reminded me of so many of the students I’ve taught in my career and I was rooting for all of them. In order to educate students dealing with so many external issues, teachers must be creative. Dream School does this by pairing celebrities like David Arquette, Oliver Stone, 50 Cent, Suze Orman and Jesse Jackson with certified teachers. Together, they work to educate the students in unconventional ways. For instance,

during her science class, Dr. Mae Jemison took the students to see the Shuttle Endeavor, while Jeff Corwin brought a variety of animals to his class. I’ll go ahead and tell you that every student doesn’t make it to Dream School graduation. Parents that enable, uncontrolled emotions and a general lack of self-confidence get the better of some of the students – just like in real life. I may have been a little hesitant to watch Dream School, but I was inspired by what I saw. If you want to know what we educators are up against, watch it yourself. Yes, there are still plenty of honor students and kids who come from families that value education, but an increasing number of kids come from backgrounds like those on the show. They are unmotivated, lacking in foundational skills, and are often emotionally unstable. But we can’t give up on them. Dream School proves that they can learn too, you just have to present things a little differently.

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 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




But on the plus side? It’s always “on” – no more rope-yanking. And it’s easier to push than you’d expect. No gas or oil needed. Other than regular lubrication, there is virtually no maintenance. (Even an electric mower needs recharging.) No air pollution. No noise pollution. I like to wear earphones and listen to music while mowing; the reel mower is so quiet that I can hear the music without cranking it up to deafening levels. My neighbors aren’t forced to listen to my yardwork, either; I could mow the lawn at midnight and they’d never know. (It’s so hot I just might.) Obviously, manual mowers are better suited to smaller, flatter, regular-shaped lawns, yet my yard is neither small nor flat nor regular, and the manual mower does just fine. Certainly, if you have a postage-stamp yard, you should consider the switch. Best of all, you’ll never have to pull that rope again. Can I get an amen?


A broken rope started me on the path to environmental enlightenment. Hallelujah. In late spring, I rolled out my gas mower for another season. I filled it with fresh gas, primed the carburetor and yanked the pull cord. Which then broke. There was enough rope left to crank the reliable mower anyway, so I finished the lawn with the intention of getting it repaired afterward. Have you tried to find a mower repair place lately – one that will fix any small engine, not just the ones they sell? It isn’t easy. The guy who repaired mine for years has disappeared and I don’t have a replacement, so I was resigned to living with the shorter pull cord. During this frustrating period, I borrowed my brother-in-law’s manual reel mower for a tryout. That’s when I saw the light and kissed my power mower goodbye. My career at Goodwill is pretty awesome. But if a company offered to pay me to drive around the country and proselytize on behalf of their brand of manual mower, I’d be all in. Serving as an evangelist of environmentally friendly lawn maintenance would be almost as cool as serving as a cheerleader for our marvelous non-profit. The two are somewhat complementary. Manual mowers are the essence of simple frugality, and mindful stewardship is an

integral part of Goodwill. We encourage people to donate their clothing and household goods, and to purchase gently used items as an alternative to more-expensive new stuff. Customers save money, Goodwill earns revenue to support job training and education services, the community wins.

WEEKEND OF JAZZ PLANNED SEPT. 1-4 Visitors and residents in Augusta will have plenty to do during the 2016 Labor Day holiday weekend, as Garden City Jazz has partnered with several downtown businesses and event producers to present a full complement of activities Sept. 1-4. From trolley and craft brewery tours to music events, gallery crawls to fashion demos, a block party and a rooftop soiree for all ages and preferences. Garden City Jazz has hosted an annual holiday weekend jazz event for six years running, but this year marks the first allinclusive weekend. “Our team has been bouncing around the idea of incorporating additional components for some time now,” Karen Gordon, president of Garden City Jazz, said. “The timing seemed right this year, with 2016 being designated as the Year of Georgia Music by the state tourism division. Because of our relationship with the local tourism office, we just felt it was okay to stretch out a little.”

For six years, Gordon and her team have produced a single-day music festival on the Sunday before Labor Day, but this year, they are also presenting major touring artists at the Bell Auditorium and providing promotional support to several downtown events. “It’s important that we attract (and provide activities for) family reunions and casual visitors to the downtown area,” Gordon said. “There are so many attractions and beautiful spaces here, and if we provide a great experience, then they’ll return – and bring friends. We’ve got to let people know that we’re here.” Garden City Jazz presents several programs annually in the Greater Augusta Area, providing performance opportunities for area jazz musicians and music students, while promoting awareness of the historical and cultural significance of jazz music. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the James Brown Academy of Musik Pupils and the Wycliffe Gordon Scholarship at Augusta University.

60 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

But back to the mower: After trying out the loaner, I bought my own. Now it’s kind of ridiculous how much I enjoy mowing the lawn. Yes, manual mowers have limitations. It won’t cut tall weeds, for example, and isn’t good at edging. You’ll need hand trimmers or a weed-whacker to supplement.

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


The homeless in Augusta are walking with a newness in their step. At the end of June, The Salvation Army had a large number of requests for shoes from homeless men, women and children who were walking around during the hot summer months without anything on their feet. The Salvation Army saw a serious need for simple flip flops to help protect their feet from the hot pavement. The response from the public came quickly, and The Salvation Army soon received more than 3,000 pairs of flip flops to serve the local homeless population. Individuals, clubs, scouts, church groups and families dropped off new flip flops in all sizes and colors. The Salvation Army of Augusta now has enough flip flops for this year, next year, and maybe even after that.  “We are so grateful that when people throughout the greater Augusta area see

a need, they step up,” said Area Commander Captain Philip Canning. “Our greatest need right now is canned food items for our pantry. It’s at the lowest level in years.” With two area shelters closing in the last year, The Salvation Army has seen record numbers in the homeless shelter, with women and children being the largest increase. Canned food items can be dropped off Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and noon and 1-4 p.m. at The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope, 1384 Greene St., Augusta, Ga., 30901. Most needed food items High protein foods, such as peanut butter, canned beans, meats and stews • Canned fruit and juice • Canned vegetables • Breakfast items, such as cereal, oatmeal and pancake mix • Infant formula and baby food

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz




I have always told stories. Mostly, I make them up for myself. When I was a small child, there were no other children in my neighborhood. I pretended that Mickey Mouse was my friend, and we went on adventures. Then, I got some actual friends and Mickey went by the wayside, but the habit of telling myself stories never stopped. I was in high school before I began putting the stories on paper for others to read. They weren’t very good and most of them had no endings, but at least the stories were out of my head and on the page. It wasn’t until I worked with two friends to put on a mental health fair that I decided to write humor. (Stick with me on this.) We spent months planning a free workshop to help address mental health needs in our community. It was a huge success, and I’m very proud of the work we did. I thought for a time that it might be my life’s work, but after the workshop was over, I realized that it wasn’t my path. I like to laugh, and I like to make other people laugh. Indeed, I know no better way to heal than through joy, and I

wanted to spread some. My blog, “Door In Face,” was born the day following the mental health fair, and I knew humor was my niche. Within 6 months, I turned it into the column you know today. Given my history, it should have come as no surprise to me that my writing would again evolve, but it did. I realized recently that it’s time to conclude my column and focus on another aspect of my writing. Last year, I completed my novel, Dog Gone. That is, I thought I’d completed it. After some soul searching, I realized

62 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

that it was lacking something. I’m currently doing a rewrite of it, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. However, I’m anxious to conclude it and move forward into this new chapter (pun intended) of my career. To do that, I need to free a little room in my schedule. Somewhat suddenly I realized that it’s time for me to bring my column to an end. I was surprised by this decision. I thought I’d continue writing it for many more years, but once I’d made the decision, I knew it was the right one. This will be the last installment of my column in Buzz on Biz. There are so many who’ve supported

me along the way. A lifetime of storytelling has not prepared me to express to you the appreciation I feel. Writing can be a tough and sometimes thankless industry. My supporters’ belief in me has sustained me through challenging times in my career, and I appreciate it so very much. It is hard for me to leave this support and the friendships I’ve made, but as I knew that working in mental health was not the right path for me, I also know that being a novelist is the right path, and it’s in faith that I step out to follow that path wherever it leads me. I hope you’ll continue to follow my writing wherever it leads me. You can do so at my website,

Nora Blithe is an Augusta native, an entrepreneur and a syndicated humor columnist. She lives in Greenville, S.C., with her husband, Brian, and their pets. To read more of her work, get news and information,

August 29—September 21, 2016 Buzz on Biz


64 Buzz on Biz August 29—September 21, 2016

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8 24 16 buzz on biz aug sept 64 pages