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SEPT. 22—OCT. 19, 2016 • THE CSRA’S MONTHLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE

BUSINESS IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT

NDHLOVU RELATES HIS OLYMPIC STORY TO THE BUSINESS WORLD BY AMANDA KING

What many people would call stumbling blocks, Olympic marathon runner Pardon Ndhlovu sees as stepping stones. Ndhlovu, a native of Zimbabwe, graduated last year from Augusta University with an MBA and then worked at Fleet Feet in Augusta while he coached AU’s track team and continued his training. He was chosen to represent Zimbabwe in the marathon in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where he finished 41st in 2:17:48. On Sept. 7, Ndhlovu spoke to employees at Elliott Davis Decosimo. Bill Woodward, office managing shareholder, had heard Ndhlovu’s story and saw the correlation between running a marathon and managing a career or business. Buzz on Biz has compiled Ndhlovu’s racing strategies and Woodward’s tips to help CSRA leaders to run the race of business. 1. Get a “coach” Although Ndhlovu started racing in his bare feet in Zimbabwe at age 13 without much coaching, he quickly learned the importance of having someone to guide him. As he prepared for the 2016 Olympics, he relied on his coach for motivation

Olympic marathon runner Pardon Ndhlovu spoke about his experiences at Elliot Davis Decosimo on Sept. 7. Photo by Amanda King

and feedback. “Feedback is a way to save me from myself,” Ndhlovu said. Woodward has also leaned on coaches in the business world and has played the

part of coach to several co-workers. He said often the best coaches are people outside of a person’s own office walls, as was his recent experience with a coach. “He came in very objective, provided a

lot of insight that I would not have had if I had someone internal doing the coaching,” Woodward said. “I could bounce a See BUSINESS MARATHON, page 4

AUGUSTA’S BUSINESS FORTUNES GROW WITH FORT GORDON BY GARY KAUFFMAN

When Tom Clark, the new executive director of the Alliance for Fort Gordon, peers into the future, he sees a thriving business climate in Augusta. “By 2026, business will be booming here,” he said. “The globe will recognize the Fort Gordon Cyber District as the premier place to live, work and play. We’ll have the same things here that we have now, but more of them.” There is reason for Clark’s optimism: Fort Gordon is one of only two military installations in the country that are projected to grow in the next 10 years. It is, in fact, already growing. More than 1,400 service members and their families have moved to the area in the past few years and more are coming. Columbia County schools enrolled 420 new students this year, at least some of them because of those move-ins. With base housing 95 percent occupied, the majority of the move-ins will be living within the community. And, by 2019, the Army will have completed moving its Cyber Command Center to Fort Gordon. Along with more service members, that will – and already is – bringing in civilian contractors and companies that work with

the military. “The community will absorb a fair amount of that growth,” Clark said. “That’s good for realtors, construction companies, air conditioning repair companies, lawn maintenance – it is great for the economy.” He also thinks there will be some new businesses that will attract younger generations. “There will be places for Millennials to expand their horizons,” he said. But the new growth at Fort Gordon is primarily among the senior ranks, a transition the Army made intentionally. Clark said only a small portion of the base will be young soldiers. That means many will be reaching military retirement age in the next decade. “Seventy-five percent of folks said that wh`en they get out of the military they would stay in Augusta if there were job opportunities here,” Clark said. “The average retirement age is 40 to 45, which enables them to have a dynamic second career.” He said the low cost of living and the Southern hospitality will entice many to stay, just like he and his wife did. “From the sweet tea to the ‘how y’all doing?’, it puts a smile on my face,” he said. “We absolutely love it.”


Tom Clark is the new executive director of the Alliance for Fort Gordon, which bridges the relationship between community and the military. Photo by Gary Kauffman

A NEW PERSPECTIVE

AFTER 37 YEARS OF HELPING THE MILITARY, TOM CLARK TAKES ON ROLE OF COMMUNITY LIAISON BY GARY KAUFFMAN

Tom Clark has a lofty goal – to make the Augusta area nationally recognizable as the place for cyber life, work and play by 2020. In his new role as executive director for The Alliance for Fort Gordon, it is Clark’s job to promote the benefits of Fort Gordon to the community, and the benefits of the community to Fort Gordon. To do that, he is making an adjustment in how he refers to the area, noting that outside of Augusta the term CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) has no meaning. So he has coined the term Fort Gordon Cyber District. “People know Silicon Valley,” he said. “I’m hoping the Fort Gordon Cyber District will have the same type of meaning and enticement by 2020.” After 32 years in the Army, including serving as Command Sgt. Major of the Fort Gordon Signal Regiment, and five years on post with General Dynamics, Clark is enthusiastic about his new role. “I left a good job for a great job,” he said. “I absolutely believe in Fort Gordon. It’s been a great 37 years helping the military side, now it’s a great job helping the

community side.” Clark replaced Thom Tuckey as executive director this past summer. Tuckey retired after 15 years in the position. One project he’s already organized was giving area teachers a tour of Fort Gordon, matching them up with various military units. “It was a program where both sides learn about each other,” Clark said. “It was a joy to see that come together.” A big part of Clark’s work will be educating the community about the changing role of warfare and Fort Gordon’s role in the front lines of that. “Cyber is a complex, evolving environment with difficult challenges,” he said. “When I was deployed in Iraq I saw the faces of my enemy. But in the future, with hacking of networks and destroying data, warfare will be completely different.” At Fort Gordon, soldiers will be trained to not only defend against attacks, but also to attack enemy networks. “The great thing about the military is that every day they prepare for thousands and thousands of scenarios,” Clark said. “Like in the past, America still has the greatest military.”

2 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016


OLYMPIC-SIZED LESSONS

LIFE IS A MARATHON, NOT A FOOTRACE

NEIL GORDON

My headline is also one of my favorite sayings, because I feel like God gave me patience around some sometimes inpatient people. I also can’t think of a better headline for Pardon Ndhlovu’s story. I hope I get to meet the inspiring Olympic marathoner someday. Bill Woodward is also inspiring as a business leader in the CSRA as office managing shareholder at Elliott Davis Decosimo. Woodward recently invited Ndhlovu to speak to his staff and hundreds of well-wishers showed up to learn from someone who’s overcome long odds. Talk about teambuilding. I hope you take a nugget or two from our writer, Amanda King, who attended the event. Her story begins on the front page and continues to page 4. We also hope to provide some inspiration to our fellow business leaders in the CSRA. We’re gearing up for our first B2B Conference and Showcase on Oct. 19 at The Foundry at Rae’s Creek. To celebrate our special event, we’ve put together a 24-

page special section to give you a preview of our speakers, vendors and activities. Although the vendor space is sold out, we do have tickets available that will give you access to the wisdom of our amazing speakers and the exciting offerings of our vendors – plus there’s food that’ll keep you energized for the day! Please see our special section and order tickets on line at cityspintickets.com. Plant Vogtle is going online soon and bringing jobs to the area. Several new leaders in the community were intro-

duced at the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce. Both stories appear on page 6. As many of you may know the Morris Publishing Group acquired Buzz on Biz on August 1. The Morris-owned Augusta Chronicle utilizes Parade Magazine as an insert into the weekend paper. Parade provides market research to all publications that carry them. We’re re-printing some of the data because it is a fascinating study in what types of media we like and don’t like to get our information from – and what media influences our spending habits. You can find that on pages 44 and 45. We also welcome in a pair of new columnists – Scott Chapman of the Freedom Financial Bootcamp, who will help us deal with our money from a behavioral and foundational way, and Chris Kane, known by many as a sports and news anchor on WAGT and WJBF. As always, we have excellent business advice from our local business community, starting on page 8 with Jame Geathers’ advice on how to do something all of us

bosses dread doing - firing someone. But we also have some ways to improve relationships with employees (Charles Kelly on page 10) and to communicate better at work (Steve Swanson on page 16). Our editor, Gary Kauffman, recently spent a few days at Disney World on a working vacation and picked up some ideas of how to improve your business by doing things the Disney way. All of this advice, I hope, will help you run your business like a marathon!

Neil Gordon oversees 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 Neil@buzzon.biz.

Features Market Research.......44,45

Powering Up..................... 6

Survey of area finds that newspapers still make a strong showing in advertising.

Plant Vogtle is coming online in 2019 and bring jobs with it.

New Leaders..................... 6

Lights, Camera, Action!.. 56

Four new business leaders were introduced to the North Augusta community.

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

Georgia is becoming a major player in the film making industry.

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.

Opening Doors................ 20 Businessperson of the Month Shannon Rollings has a unique real estate sales model.

Business Briefs..........22,23 Power Lunch................... 34 Shoe Salesman............... 16

Local teacher becomes a ‘model’ for Rack Room Shoes.

Fastfood marketer will discuss the power of your brand in North Augusta.

Arts and Life................... 59

Business Events............ 38

For 40 years, Augusta Mini Theatre has been teaching the arts and life skills.

Columnists Jame Geathers: Take the right steps when terminating an employee............... 8 Charles Kelly: Dealing with employees defies simple theories..........................10 Gary Kauffman: A few days at Disney offers valuable business lessons..........14 Steve Swanson: Good communication at work requires extra effort...............16 Dagan Sharpe: Two questions set tone for a business’ performance...............18 Barry Paschal: Have a plan in place before emergencies occur..........................18 Kelsey Morrow: LinkedIn is great connectivity tool when used properly......24 Jeff Asselin: For more versatile programs, choose custom software................24 Scott Thurmond: Move to paperless world easier with diligent planning.....26 Christine Hall: New rules mean careful planning for overtime work................26 Russell Head: Health plans must reveal prescription drug coverage...............28 Mike Herrington: HSA plans are a good solution for small businesses...........28

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.

Beth Pence: Good signs take a business’ message to the streets......................30 Justin Anderson: The best real estate investors rely on coach for advice.......36 Scott Chapman: A firm foundation helps finances weather storms.................36 Mark Alison: Marketing plan is as important as business plan...........................40 Carol Gignoux: Breaking free from false beliefs leads to fulfillment.................42 Marvin Farmer: Learning about government deepens critical thinking.........48 Susan O’Keefe: Sunrise Grill creates comfortable feel for diners.......................54 Bob Johnson: Bar workers avoid problems by not drinking on the job..........56 Ben Casella: Legendary Vermont brew lives up to its hype.................................60 Samantha Taylor: Writer changes normal Netflix viewing habits......................60 Chris Kane: Thoughts on why college football outshines pros...........................62

Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830 Sales Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727 neil@buzzon.biz; Jessica Jones/762-218-0239 jessica@buzzon.biz Design Gary Kauffman Photography Gary Kauffman, Melissa Gordon Writers Amanda King, Kelsey Morrow Calendar Coordinator Kelsey Morrow kelsey.morrow@buzzon.biz 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 @ facebook.com/buzz-on-biz 604 Government Center Way Evans, GA 30809

September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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BUSINESS MARATHON continued from page 1 lot of ideas off of him. He was a good sounding board.” 2. Set goals When Ndhlovu began working with his coach, he asked the runner what his ultimate goal was. Ndhlovu said he wanted to qualify to run a marathon in the 2016 Olympics. The pair sat down and mapped out what he would need to do to accomplish that goal and began formulating a plan to get him to Rio. Discipline is key when setting and carrying out goals, Woodward said. Businesses should set obtainable goals to stay on the right path for growth. 3. Stick to the plan, but be flexible It’s said that the best-laid plans of mice and men  often go awry. For Ndhlovu, that was almost the case. After successfully qualifying for the Olympics, he and his coach laid out a plan to make sure there were no injuries and that he could finish the race. The plan was to start conservatively and pick up speed later in the race. But when Ndhlovu saw two of his teammates running two minutes ahead of him, competitiveness kicked in and he had a change in plan. Ndhlovu picked up speed with more than half of the race to finish. Around mile 20 of the 26.2 miles, his leg began to cramp. “This is not good! This is not good!” Ndhlovu said. For Ndhlovu, it was best to stick with the plan because that is how he trained and what he and his coach knew he was capable of doing. However, Woodward said there are times when deviating from the plan may be the best option. “It goes back to knowing your strengths and weaknesses,” he said. 4. Go at your own pace When his leg began to cramp, Ndhlovu dropped his pace back and was able to complete the race without any more issues. He finished 41st out of 155 runners. Some participants had to drop out after starting too fast while others had to finish by walking.

Bill Woodward of Elliott Davis Decosimo and Olympic marathoner Pardon Ndhlovu discussed the similarities between business and running on Sept. 7. The background photo shows Ndhlovu crossing the finish line at the Olympics. Photo by Amanda King

Woodward offers the same advice to business leaders: too much growth too soon can be detrimental to a company. “It can’t be too fast. It has to be sustainable,” he said. 5. Incremental improvements While attempting to qualify for the Olympics, Ndhlovu had to get his marathon time below two hours and 18 minutes. After his second attempt to qualify came just 12 seconds short of the requirement, Ndhlovu was encouraged. “This can be done!” he said. Before returning home, Ndlovu had already selected the Houston Marathon as his next attempt at qualifying and began training to shave off those extra 12 seconds. He ran that race in 2:16:52, securing his spot on the Olympic team. Ndhlovu made minor changes to his

daily routine and training to accomplish his goal. A few incremental changes made a huge difference in his performance. “At Elliott Davis Decosimo, one of our core values is ‘always getting better,’ and we try to have continuous improvement every day,” Woodward said. “If you make small adjustments, tweaks and improvements in a number of areas then it will set you on a different trajectory and can be very meaningful over time.” 6. Know your numbers If you want to make improvements, you’ve got to know your numbers. Ndhlovu rattled off countless pace times from races he participated in five years ago. He knew his numbers well so that he could improve day-to-day.

Business leaders know that knowing their numbers is crucial. “That speaks not only to knowing your financials, but also to knowing your operational metrics. You’ve really got to know your business, you’ve got to study your business and work on improving your business,” Woodward said. 7. Focus on what you can control While waiting to find out if he had made the Olympic team, Ndhlovu began to get anxious. The list was supposed to be finalized on April 30, but it was more than a month after that before he found out that he was one of three marathon runners from Zimbabwe that would be competing in Rio. During that time, Ndhlovu’s coach instructed him to focus on what he could control – hydration, resting and controlling his pace. Businesses are often unpredictable and many employees have been distracted by things that are sometimes uncontrollable. “Most businesses have a unique strategy and if you put a lot of focus on what you can do, you’re more than likely going to succeed, but if you’re always looking at the competition and trying to do everything, you’re not,” Woodward said. 8. Just keep going Overall, Ndhlovu’s story is one of perseverance. Despite growing up during one of the worst economic depressions his country has ever known, taking the SATs multiple times to get into an American college and racing in multiple marathons to qualify for the Olympics, he has always stuck to the mantra of “just keep going.” “No matter how hard things can be in life just keep moving forward because rough patches happen, but you don’t have to quit because the breakthrough is just around the corner,” he said. Woodward acknowledged that things do get tough for business leaders and perseverance is key in being successful. “You have to stick with what you know and persevere,” he said.

AIRPORT PASSES TWO INSPECTIONS WITH FLYING COLORS The Augusta Regional Airport recently passed two important annual evaluations, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certification Inspection and the airport’s annual Audit. Airport Executive Director, Herbert Judon reported that for the second year in a row AGS received zero discrepancies on the annual FAA Safety Inspection. This inspection is a comprehensive review of all of the airport’s operations, including such areas as the inspection reports of the airfields’ markings, light-

ing, and overall maintenance, as well as, the airport’s operational safety processes and fueling operations. This inspection also reviews the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting operational procedures and response times. Judon also announced that the airport received an “unmodified opinion” or clean financial report by the external independent audit firm, Mauldin & Jenkins. This opinion means that the financial statements were fairly stated, in all material respects, in accordance

4 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

with generally accepted accounting principles. In addition, there were no major discrepancies, no material weaknesses, and no issues of noncompliance identified within the airport’s financial statements. Additionally, the auditor praised the airport’s handling of its finances, its financial position, and described AGS within the top 5 percentile of government agencies they audit. “We are very proud of this accomplishment,” Judon said. “Of the airport’s over-

all operation, these are two of the most important areas. Safety and security is obviously number one. From a financial perspective, the FAA requires Airports to be as self-sustaining (financially) as possible and we have consistently done so. Many people don’t realize that AGS is an enterprise department of the local government and receives no local tax dollars from the general fund. Therefore, I am very pleased that we are in such good financial shape and our books and processes are reflective of this.”


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

5


POWER FOR THE FUTURE

PLANT VOGTLE COMING ONLINE IN 2019, BRINGING JOBS BY GARY KAUFFMAN

The first new nuclear units in the United States are still about three years away from becoming operational, but a big chunk of the future work force is already at Plant Vogtle. “There are probably 400-500 employees on site today, going through the training program for the units, even though they won’t go online for four years,” said David

We expect 2.4 million new residents by 2030 with a 21 percent increase in energy demand.

McKinney, vice president for nuclear development for Southern Company. McKinney spoke at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Lunch on Aug. 31, giving an update on the progress of Units 3 and 4, the new reactors being built at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro, about 35 miles south of downtown Augusta and about two miles from the Savannah River. The original two units of Plant Vogtle were built in the late 1980s. Since then,

construction of new nuclear facilities in the United States had stopped until the construction of Plant Vogtle’s new units. Unit 3 is expected to go online in the summer of 2019 and unit 4 in 2020. When all four units are online it will be the largest nuclear facility in the nation. South Carolina is also building two identical nuclear units that are expected to power up shortly after Plant Vogtle’s units. McKinney said the new units were necessary because of the expected growth in Georgia’s population over the next decade. “We’re planning for the future,” he said. “We expect 2.4 million new residents by 2030 with a 21 percent increase in energy demand.” McKinney said that many states focus on the short-term cost of energy, which has led some nuclear facilities to shut down, but Georgia’s Public Service Commission takes a long-term view that favors a mix of nuclear, coal, gas and renewable energy. “This was the best economic option for all of our customers,” McKinney said. “The economic impact is very low for our customers, about 6-8 percent, less than we’d originally thought.” But the economic impact to the Augusta area, especially Columbia County, will be positive as Plant Vogtle employees move into and shop in the area.

“A lot of the professional staff and the permanent staff will be living in Columbia County because of the benefits of the area,” McKinney said. There has already been an impact locally. Building the plant has required about 6,000 people – in fact, when that work force is on site at Plant Vogtle it increases the population of Burke County by 27 percent. Once the site is online, it will require a permanent work force of about 800. McKinney said the majority of those jobs will be in security, which is standard in the industry. “The plant will be very well protected by structure and personnel,” McKinney assured. “Safety is our first and foremost focus.”

The new reactors are Westinghouse AP1000 units, designed with “the latest and greatest in safety,” McKinney said. They will also rely much more on electronics and computers for operation than the original two units, with a state-ofthe-art cyber security system. They are designed to operate up to 72 hours without human intervention, and they don’t need power in order to shut down safely. They are also designed to operate for 60 years, but McKinney said they will probably be able to still serve the community beyond that. McKinney said the new units will have virtually no impact on the environment. There are no carbon emissions and engineering has designed it so it will have no impact on the Savannah River.

NEW LEADERS INTRODUCED AT NORTH AUGUSTA CHAMBER BY NEIL GORDON

As part of the Good Morning North Augusta breakfast in mid-September, four new CSRA leaders shared their background and new mission with the community with more than 100 business leaders. Dr. Forest Mahan, President, Aiken Technical College Mahan, is a native of Moncks Corner, S.C., and spent time in undergraduate, graduate and employment at the College of Charleston, USC, and NE Tech in Cheraw, S.C. He spent his first 90 days at Aiken Tech getting to know faculty, staff, students and people of the community. “My focus is on workforce development,” he said. He feels there is a mass exodus of baby boomers exiting the workplace, leaving room for Aiken Technical College graduates. Mahan said employers are not as focused on selecting candidates with fouryear or graduate degrees as in the past. “We’re noticing that our students are getting a lot of good paying jobs with just

Col. Todd Turner

two-year degrees,” he said. Colonel Todd Turner, Garrison Commander, Fort Gordon A native of Atlanta, Turner graduated from West Point Academy as a helicopter pilot. He has four priorities: Sustaining the Fort. He handles the

6 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

daily operations required to run “the city” of 30,000 that live and work on the post, including overseeing the fire, police and housing on post. Transformation. He is overseeing projects that involve growth since 3,500 new families have come on post since 2012. Commerce. There are 37 businesses on post that comes under Turner’s oversight. Community Relations. “There is going to be a major transformation over the next 10 years,” he said. “We need the support of your business.” Tim Painter, Plant Manager, Bridgestone Painter, a native of Tennessee, and his brother started working at the first U.S Bridgestone facility in Nashville. He was an operator on the production floor for many years. He moved to the Aiken Bridgestone plant about 2-1/2 years ago. “Locally, our passenger plants make more than 1 million tires a month,” he said. “We are growing and hiring more people – we are at more than 2,000 employees.”

Painter has enjoyed travel to Japan and around the world to learn the Bridgestone way. Painter noted that the Aiken facility services other plants from Canada to South America. Harry Gunsallus, President, SRP Federal Credit Union When former SRP President Ed Templeton retired in the spring, Gunsallus knew he had big shoes to fill. He brought on a CLO (Chief Lending Officer) to increase loans, especially focusing on local businesses. “Over the next six, 12 or 18 months we will put more focus on small business and commercial lending,” said the Pennsylvania native. Gunsallus added that SRP will always be a consumer bank. “We will always be open for business – even online.” Gunsallus spoke of the stability of SRP, noting that the credit union is a well-capitalized, locally member-owned organization with 16 branches and 350 employees.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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END OF THE LINE

TAKE THE RIGHT STEPS WHEN TERMINATING AN EMPLOYEE JAME GEATHERS

As a small business owner, one of the most rewarding parts of your role is being able to create opportunities for and empowering others to provide for their families. But what happens when the individual you’ve extended an opportunity to isn’t working out? For starters let’s look at why you should not terminate an employee. I know what you’re thinking, Georgia is an “at-will” state, I can fire them if I don’t like the color of their tie. Well, that’s only half true. On one hand, if the tie violates your written dress code policy, then by all means take corrective measures. However, if the tie annoys you because it has a religious symbol on it and you have personal, negative opinions about that religion, hold off. That could be misconstrued as terminating the employee due to their religious beliefs and that is discrimination. In fact, per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), you can be accused of discrimination if you terminate some one based on the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. To avoid even the appearance of impropriety, be sure to document everything, including the behavior that led to the termination and, most importantly, the policies that the employee is in violation of. Having policies and key disciplinary details documented may help you avoid in being on the losing side of a Department of Labor (DOL) or EEOC complaint. Now that your policies are in place and you’ve been documenting an employee’s absenteeism and tardiness, what do you do next? Prior to calling

said employee into your office for “the talk,” there are a few documents that you will need. First, if the employee is covered by company insurance it’s best to have the information that they will need regarding their coverage such as, ending date, if they are available for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and if they are, the cost to enroll. You’ll also want to provide details regarding their last paycheck and a separation notice – for Georgia that would be form DOL 800 and it can be found on the Georgia DOL website. Once you’ve compiled all the documents and information that you will need to provide to the employee, now it’s time to call them in. This can be the trickiest part of termination an employee. If at all possible, never terminate an employee one on one; have another member of

8 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

management present. But if you are the only member of management then don’t bring in another team member (nonmanagement); that will only humiliate the employee. While you may feel the need to beat around the bush and ease the employee into getting fired, don’t. That is simply delaying the inevitable and it’s cruel to give them false hope that they can change the outcome. Once you have called them in, calmly and clearly explain the problem behavior, recall the warnings and/or corrective steps they’ve been given to correct the behavior, state the policies that have been violated and finally tell them that they are being terminated. Once you have delivered the news, provide the employee with the documentation and information that you compiled prior to the meeting. At that time, you

can spend a few minutes answering questions that the employee has but be careful not to engage too much. Also avoid giving a letter or recommendation. Even if you think the employee is a great person but just not a good fit, a letter of recommendation could come back to haunt you in a wrongful termination claim. At the conclusion of your conversation and after all badges and keys have been returned, the employee should be walked out of the building. I know it seems humiliating to walk someone out but being terminated can bring out the worst in some people and giving them the opportunity to go back to their desk or say goodbye to coworkers will only disrupt the rest of your team. To avoid the need for this, while you are meeting have a designated employee to quietly pack up the terminated employee’s personal items and have them waiting near the exit when the meeting is over. I realize that the process of terminating an employee can seem like a monumental task but I assure you it’s not. With the right policies and processes in place you can make it as painless as possible. If you need assistance creating human resources policies or with DOL or EEOC complaints, please contact us!

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


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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Y NOT?

DEALING WITH EMPLOYEES DEFIES SIMPLE THEORIES CHARLES KELLY

I might be in the computer business, but all of us are in the people business. This is a reflection of what I have learned from the years of managing an often tumultuous business, filled with above average, yet unusual, people. When I was a business major at Augusta College/Augusta State/GRU/Augusta University, I took a class from Dr. Holloman that was essentially a people management class. I was offered the Theory X and Theory Y methods of managing people and being a young idealistic person, I wrote my paper on the virtues of Theory Y, meaning that people want to work, you just need to find the right environment, empower them and they will want to do what is right. Money, it turns out, is not the biggest motivator of people. As I was in the middle of my MBA classes, while working at Bulldog Computer Products, I was one of the last four people laid off from that once powerhouse company. I had been talking with a

After 21 years of doing this, I feel like I still have much to learn and I am always adjusting my ways of doing things. guy in Hop’s Plaza that had a store called Fred’s Used PC. (He did not have room for the “S”). The day I was laid off, I struck a deal with him to open my own company, Computer Exchange. He took his product and I took the lease. We did well from the day we opened and I had a personal mantra that I would always satisfy every customer no matter the cost in time and effort. Then we got employees, first one young man from Davidson Fine Arts and he was a brilliant technician from day one, and then Sonny Kim came along one day and fixed everything he touched. John Luther, my high school friend and former business partner in San Miguels’ Mexican Restaurant in Daniel Village (early 80s) approached me about opening another location and all went well. We grew, and then I found myself in charge of employees with no boss above me to blame anything on and I had to put into practice what I believed about Theory Y. What I discovered is that, Theory Y and Theory X are both wrong and right at

the same time. For a small organization, with just the right people, everyone knows their job and no one is technically “the boss” or has to act with authority all the time. Everyone knows what to do and everyone works together as a team, the synergy is fantastic and things are as efficient as they can be. Long complicated meetings become a waste of time and everything is sunshine and profit…Not. We have had periods like that when our staff was nearly the perfect staff and I rarely had to step in and simply decree things. Then we have had times where I have had to wrestle with employee problems and frictions every single day. It is a combination of X and Y that every organization must deal with. In the United States Army, with over a million men and women under command, a “top down” structure must be in place with thousands of rules and regulations to keep all of the young men and women focused. However, when you drill down and look at particular units, you will find the epitome of Theory Y. Army Medical Service Corps units, called Medevacs or “Dustoffs”are comprised of a pilot, co-pilot, crew chief, medic and a doctor or nurse. These fiveperson teams function as one highly skilled, highly motivated team, flying into combat zones to rescue wounded soldiers.

10 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

The same was true in Vietnam when the 57th Medical Detachment began to disobey orders from superiors (Theory X guys) by flying at night and by flying into dangerous places to rescue the wounded. These first crews were trained by my father, who while he could run Theory X up and down the flag pole as I have read from his diaries and efficiency reports in Korea, also knew that teamwork would be what saved the soldier on the ground when the team had to function as one to even entertain such a mission under enemy fire. So, there is an example of a very large organization that is the prime example of Theory X using Theory Y to excel at one of the most important jobs of a soldier. What I do for a living is not important or consequential or in any way comparative to those brave soldiers, but I always try to continue to learn from any great person or organization so that I can properly lead, coax and/or manage my staff to be better at what they do and to function as a team. If you own a business, you are probably always adjusting your focus and your interests, constantly trying to improve the productivity and teamwork of your staff. After 21 years of doing this, I feel like I still have much to learn and I am always adjusting my ways of doing things. I cannot say that I subscribe to Theory

Y as much as I did in college, but I also cannot manage a company with Theory X. I guess it’s XY or Z… we all have to find our own balance of what works. But if your people understand that customer satisfaction is your primary drive and they see you do it, then they should value the customer just as you do. If that does not happen after a while, then you haven’t trained them properly-says some management theory. On the other hand, if you have tried everything in your arsenal and they still have not changed, maybe they are suited for a different career. My theory is that the customers’ satisfaction is paramount and I will use whatever versions of theory X or Y that I need at the time, but certainly my goal is the perfect Theory Y team. Then I could go home and mow the grass without my cell phone on my hip.

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 charles@computerexchange.com.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

11


LABOR MARKET UP BUT HOUSE MARKET DROPS The Labor Market Index in Augusta increased by 0.3 percent from June, according to the Hull College of Business at Augusta University. The index grew because of 100 more jobs, an additional 1,000 people employed or seeking jobs and an increase in weekly earnings. The Leading Economic Index (LEI) decreased, however, dropping 0.3 percent since June. But that is still a 0.6 percent increase from a year ago. The month of July was brutal for the housing market, though. It showed a drop of almost 50 percent from June, and a 40 percent reduction from July 2015. It is the biggest drop since December 2007. “I don’t think this indicates the start of the next recession, but it is certainly something to keep an eye on,” said Simon Medcalfe, associate professor of finance at Hull College.

WORLD NEWS AGAIN RANKS USC AIKEN IN TOP SPOT Once again the University of South Carolina Aiken has been ranked No. 1 Regional Comprehensive Public College in the South by U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Colleges guide. This 2017 distinction marks USC Aiken’s 19th consecutive ranking among the top three in this category and its 12th time in first place. USC Aiken rose significantly in the overall rankings among public and private institutions in the South. Overall, among all public and private institutions throughout the South, USC Aiken holds the 5th position. Last year, the university was ranked 18 overall with 17 private institutions ahead of USC Aiken. “This is especially good news for it highlights the value of a USC Aiken education,” said Chancellor Sandra Jordan.

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The reported average tuition and fees for the top 10 private institutions ranked just below USC Aiken was $25,450 for the 2014-15 Fall and Spring Semesters. In comparison, USC Aiken’s tuition and fees were $9,878. “USC Aiken’s recognized high-quality at more affordable cost provides a significant value proposition for students and their families,” Jordan said. Additionally, USC Aiken was again ranked as the No. 1 Public Regional College in the South by U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 Best Colleges for Veterans guide. The university rose significantly in these overall rankings as well. This year USC Aiken was ranked No. 2 overall. Last year, the university was ranked No. 13 overall behind 12 private institutions. “These distinguished honors would not be possible without our engaged, award-winning faculty; dedicated staff; talented student body; the steadfast support of the local legislative delegation, Aiken Partnership Board, the Aiken County Commission for Higher Education, the Inclusion Advisory Council, and the Alumni Council; and our generous donors,” Jordan said.

FEDERAL GRANT ALLOWS AIRPORT TO UPGRADE Augusta Regional Airport has received some federal money to help make the airport a bit safer for its aircraft. The Department of Transportation awarded the federal grant for $14.7 million to rehabilitate and extend the taxiway at the airport. The taxiway is the path planes take between the runway and the parking area. Currently, taxiway “A” does not extend the full length of the parking area, meaning pilots sometimes have to jockey around parked planes in order to get to the proper place. Extending the taxiway will help with safety. “This will make things smoother so pilots aren’t going

12 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

NORTH AUGUSTA CONSIDERS BRINGING GREENEWAY INTO DOWNTOWN AREA A proposal to extend the North Augusta Greeneway into the downtown at a cost of $2.8 million was presented to the North Augusta City Council last month. The proposal offers a fourpronged extension of the popular walking and biking trail. It would extend the trail along both East and West avenues, which run parallel to Georgia Avenue, and also along Spring Grove Avenue, just south of First Baptist of North Augusta, and Bluff Avenue, which runs just north of the North Augusta municipal building. Many people believe that to have to zig zag,” said Lauren Smith, communications manager for the airport. She said construction of the taxiway won’t affect air traffic or passengers. The federal grant covers 90 percent of the cost of the project. The Georgia Department of Transportation and the airport will divvy up the remaining 10 percent. The project has already been put out for bids and the airport is currently working through a contract with a construction company. Construction is expected to start this winter and be finished in time for Masters Week. “This shows that we are continuing to grow and putting infrastructure in place so that we can possibly have a parallel runway in the future,” Smith said.

tying the Greeneway into the downtown could transform the area into a pedestrianfriendly destination, similar to Greenville, S.C. The proximity to the Savannah River would also be a draw for the area. The Greeneway runs along a portion of the river in the Hammond’s Ferry area. North Augusta Forward, the organization spearheading the extension project, asked the council to put the proposal at the top of their agenda for North Augusta. No decision was made at the meeting and it will be revisited at a future city council meeting.

EDTS AMONG BEST IN SOUTH CAROLINA

EDTS, a regional technology consulting firm that specializes in providing managed IT services, has again been named one of the top-performing businesses in South Carolina for 2016. Organizers of the Roaring Twenties awards, presented annually to 20 large and 20 small Palmetto State organizations achieving the highest increases in revenues for 2014-2015, included EDTS among the honorees for the fifth consecutive year. EDTS’ specific ranking in the competition will be announced on October 12 at a ceremony in Columbia. “Coupled with our seventh consecutive year on the Inc. 5000 list, this honor reflects a

growing recognition of EDTS as a regional IT service provider that is committed to providing the highest level of support to our clients,” said Charles Johnson, CEO of EDTS. “The entire EDTS team is proud to have earned this recognition and remains committed to keeping our clients’ business networks running at the highest levels of performance, security and efficiency.” To qualify for Roaring Twenties designation, companies must have a physical presence in South Carolina and be a for-profit entity or a nonprofit organization. EDTS was honored in the Roaring Twenties Large Company group, which requires more than $10 million in revenue. The 75-person IT organization serves customers from offices in Columbia and Greenville, South Carolina, Asheville, North Carolina, and is headquartered in Augusta.

AUGUSTA TECH OFFERS HELP THROUGH CONTINUING ED If your business needs training in customer service, math and computer skills or in the art of selling, Augusta Technical College has courses that will benefit you. Augusta Tech’s Continuing Education & Workforce Training will offer classes on the following: • Customer Service and The Language of Business, September 27 • Telephone Service Skills, October 4 and 18 • Business Math and Computer Skills, October 25 • Business Writing, Nov. 1 • Personal Style, Diversity, and Inclusion, Nov. 8 • Managing Multiple Tasks & Priorities and Navigating Change, November 15 • Managing Difficult Situations, November 29 • The Service of Selling, December 6 For more information on classes, fees and class times, visit AugustaTech.edu.


WALMART RAISING FUNDS FOR CHOG

About 62 children enter a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital for treatment every minute. Walmart and Sam’s Club members can help provide vital care to these young patients by making a donation to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Donations of $1 or more can be made through Oct. 9, Walmart customers and Sam’s Club members can give $1 or more during a special fundraising campaign for CHOG. Customers, members and associates can use the hashtag #HelpKidsLiveBetter in social media posts and photos to share the campaign and ask for additional support from friends and family.

WILLIAMS ASSUMES TAG LEADERSHIP

Larry Williams has been named to succeed Tino Mantella as President and CEO of the Technology Association of Georgia. The transition will take place in mid-November, and Mantella will continue to work with Williams through the end of the year. Williams served as president and CEO of The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s official economic development partnership, which has grown under his leadership. Williams brings more than 25 years of experience in global branding, international trade and finance, public and industrial policy, and administration and management to TAG. From 2011 to 2014 Williams helped shape the vision for Atlanta’s tech sector as vice president of technology development at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. He provided leadership and direction to the Chamber’s Mobility Task Force, positioning Atlanta as a global hub of mobile technology, and to the Technology Leadership Council. Mantella has led TAG for more than a decade and under his

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leadership, TAG has become the largest state technology trade association in North America, with more than 30,000 members in multiple chapters and societies, including the Technology Association of Greater Augusta.

CHICK-FIL-A RAISES FUNDS FOR GOLDEN HARVEST

Local Chick-fil-A restaurants raised $5,006 for Golden Harvest Food Bank this summer with a mobile ordering campaign. The campaign, which ran for seven weeks in June and July, donated $1 of every order placed on the restaurant’s new mobile ordering app to the food bank. Six local Chick-fil-A locations participated in the campaign: in North Augusta on Knox Road, in Aiken on East Gate Drive, in Evans on Washington Road, and in Augusta at Augusta Exchange, on Peach Orchard Road and Washington Road at I-20. Around 715 people placed mobile orders at these locations each week, resulting in the generous gift to the food bank. “We are so thankful for this partnership between Chick-fil-A and Golden Harvest,” said Travis McNeal, Executive Director of the food bank. “We’re thankful for everyone that supported this fundraiser and we know it will have a great impact on the lives of hungry people in our community.”

LOCAL ARTIST PAINTS MURAL FOR NEW KROGER STORE The newest Kroger facility in Grovetown exhibits a mural painted by local artist Margaret Ann Smith, also known as “The Town Painter.” The Greater Augusta Arts Council administered the mural project after being approached by Kroger, Inc. to help facilitate the search for a fitting design. The Arts Council published a call for artists to submit designs,

ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX SETS RECORD

The Augusta Entertainment Complex enjoyed its best financial year during 201516 fiscal year, surpassing its budget by $121,000. In addition, Spectra by Comcast Spectacor, which along with the Richmond County Coliseum Authority, manages the Complex, was able to reduce the deficit by more than $25,000. This is the third year in a row that Spectra has increased the Complex’s bottom line. They also booked 129 events, an increase of 33. “When all three of Spectra’s divisions work together, we can operate more seamlessly for our clients and drive profitable growth for their facilities and businesses,” said Spectra’s Chris Bird, General Manager of the James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium. “In Augusta, we remain focused on being fiscally savvy by spending smart, growing value, and managing our expenses, while creating unforgettable live experiences for our guests.” According to Cedric Johnson, Chairman, Augusta-

which Kroger Inc. requested were community-focused, joyful, and energetic. After receiving numerous submissions for the mural, Kroger executives chose Smith for the winning design. Known as Augusta’s “Town Painter,” Smith channeled the spirit of her hometown into the mural design with a series of vivid and imaginative paintings of its defining landmarks, including the Augusta Riverwalk, the Signal Towers on Fort Gordon, and the Savannah River Rapids Pavilion. Smith says she hopes to “ignite a smile to the faces of Kroger shoppers as they casually catch a glimpse of this mural, giving them a feeling of pleasurable memories of life in this wonderful community.”  The Greater Augusta Arts Council publishes opportunities like these on their “Call for Artists” page on augustaarts.com and urges local and national organizations to submit their own opportunities for publishing on the site.

Richmond County Coliseum Authority, Spectra and the Authority improved the facilities’ net operating position by $170,697, an 87 percent decrease over last fiscal year. “Spectra’s single company, bundled approach continues to provide a tremendous financial return for Augusta-Richmond County,” Johnson said. “Bringing in Spectra has saved us $2.9 million over the last eight years.  Our venue operating deficit has decreased from $1,184,112 in fiscal year 2009 to $528,657 in fiscal year 2016.  This is a 55 percent reduction in the deficit since fiscal year 2009.” More than 290,000 customers visited the James Brown Arena and Bell Auditorium in

CHAMPIONS RETREAT HIRES LOCAL CHEF Champions Retreat, located just outside of Augusta, welcomes Augusta native Jeremy Miller as their executive chef. With more than 15 years of experience, Miller’s diverse background is expected to bring new flair to the club’s cuisine. While in culinary school at the Art Institute of Atlanta, Miller studied abroad in Italy, learning native cooking techniques and recipes in Rome, Florence, Assisi, San Gimignano and Sienna. Not long after, he expanded his cultural repertoire, spending time in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, doing a short stint while there at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok. Domestically, Miller has worked at notable establishments such as Jean Georges in Trump International Hotel

2015-16, attending concerts, Broadway shows, comedy, and family shows. The lineup of high-quality entertainment included Miranda Lambert, The Avett Brothers, Mary J. Blige, REO Speedwagon, Brantley Gilbert, Patti LaBelle, Katt Williams, Boyz II Men, Frankie Valli, and Rascal Flatts. Johnson said the success bodes well for building a new arena. “With the 2015-16 success, not only from a financial perspective, but the from the community’s support, the Coliseum Authority will continue to move toward building a new arena for Augusta and the CSRA,” he said. “This year’s support reinforces our feasibility study and allows us to take the next step to build the state of the art arena this community deserves.” Some events already scheduled for the next 12 months at James Brown Arena and The Bell Auditorium are T.I., Martin Lawrence, Anthony Hamilton, Cinderella, ZZ Top, Price is Right Live, and I Love the 90s with Salt N Pepa and Vanilla Ice. Manhattan, Napa Valley’s French Laundry, Winterlake Lodge outside of Skwetna, Alaska, RN74 in San Francisco, Atlanta’s Bluepointe and STK. His return to Augusta comes on the heels of serving as executive chef for the wood burning grill restaurant, American Food and Beverage. Miller attributes his deep-rooted food interest to his first job, where he worked as a bus boy at an Augusta restaurant. Since then, he’s dedicated his life to exploring different tastes across the globe, which he can now bring home to Augusta, the birthplace of his culinary passion. “We’re excited to welcome Chef Miller to our club and back to his hometown of Augusta,” said Cameron Wiebe, General Manager of Champions Retreat. “Since leaving over 15 years ago, his resume has vastly expanded, allowing him to gain rich culinary experience across the globe. We look forward to the addition of his innovative culinary expertise.”

September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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WORLDLY WAYS

A FEW DAYS AT DISNEY OFFERS VALUABLE BUSINESS LESSONS GARY KAUFFMAN

I recently had the opportunity to spend several days at Walt Disney World in Orlando. It wasn’t exactly a vacation (there was work and a conference involved), but there were vacation-like moments when my wife and I had the opportunity to visit a few of the parks. This is billed as the “Happiest Place on Earth” (although by the end of the day we saw a lot of parents who would have said the happiest place on earth was one where their kids were sound asleep in bed and they were hold a very large, very strong drink). I will admit that I would have felt a tad happier had some of the prices not been

so high. When we visited Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) I felt like the merchants may as well have been holding out five-gallon buckets for me to toss my money into. And I did get tired of elbow-to-elbow people after a while. Still, it’s hard to complain about a place whose goal is to help people create magical family moments. From a business point of view, it’s also hard to complain about a company that has been so incredibly successful at what they do. They are one of the most customer-centric companies in the world. A number of years ago, I worked briefly for a large hardware wholesaler, that for their annual marketing event brought in

BUSINESS LESSONS FROM DISNEY

Doing the small things. I’m not talking about It’s a Small World (which mercifully has now been closed) but about the little things that enhance quality. While walking around Epcot’s World countries I spent some time observing tiny details that 90 percent of the people bypassed without a second glance. I observed the same in our hotel, at the pool and throughaout the property. While those details may seem insignificant, and are often bypassed by other companies in favor of convenience or cost, it is those small bits of extra attention that still make a big difference to the overall experience of a customer. They may not be able to name exactly what it is, but customers will sense the overall theme of excellence the small details bring out. Convenience. I generally walk around with my pockets full of things. I spent five days at Disney World with empty pockets – no, not because they’d sucked all the money out of them, but because of the MagicBand. This was affixed to my wrist and served as the room key, my charge card and my admittance to the pool. It was incredibly convenient. Speaking of convenience, when we wanted to go to Magic Kingdom, or Disney Springs, there was no need to retrieve our car. There were buses running everywhere, all day and night. You may not be able to pull off something quite so elaborate, but there are probably some little things you can do to increase your customers’ shopping experiences – say, shopping baskets by the door or an umbrella stand so they don’t have to carry a dripping umbrella around. A can-do attitude. I never heard a Disney employee utter the word can’t.

Want to split the check in some ridiculous way? Can do. Need something extra in the room? Can do. Customers love this kind of attention to their needs/wants. Curiously, the willingness to do whatever the customers need often makes them less demanding and improves their attitudes. I’ve talked to several business leaders in Augusta who have adopted this same can-do attitude and have seen their businesses flourish. Solid employee training. Disney cast members (all employees go by that title) go out of their way to make customers feel good. Even the housekeeping staff flashed smiles and greetings in the hallways. It came across as genuine, and it probably was, thanks to good employee training. You personally may have all the courtesy and can-do attitude in the world, but frequently your employees will be the ones who have the first – or only – contact with a customer. Training them how to properly treat customers will not only increase customer satisfaction, but will help employees feel better about their jobs. Brand it. I ate Mickey Mouse shaped waffles and ice cream bars. The table lamp was shaped like Mickey. The pattern in the rug had Mickey shapes. I stepped out of the pool and I swear a drop of water landed in the shape of Mickey’s head. There was no doubt where I was. While branding is usually considered an advantage to the company, it is also something that adds to the customer experience – all I had to do to prove this was observe the thousands of people wearing Mickey or Minnie ears, wearing Mickey or Minnie shirts and shorts and skirts. The Disney brand was a status symbol. Examine how your brand can become a valued status symbol to your customers.

14 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

representatives of Disney World to talk about the Disney way of creating customer satisfaction. There are several ways that I observed that Disney World elevates that customer satisfaction level, listed at left. I’m sure there are many other tips you could get from Disney World in how to add to customer satisfaction. But the bottom line is, if you want to make your business successful, look to the companies that are doing it best – locally, nationally or internationally – and see how you can adapt what they’re doing to your business.

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 gkauffman@buzzon.biz.

GEORGIA AGAIN RANKED AS TOP STATE FOR BUSINESS

Georgia has been named the No. 1 state in the nation in which to do business for the third consecutive year by Area Development, a leading corporate site selection and relocation magazine. “Once again, Georgia has been named the top state for business, reflecting our success in growing Georgia’s thriving economic environment,” Gov. Nathan Deal said. In the last year, global manufacturers, innovative technology companies, film companies, growing small businesses, international firms and other industries opened operations in Georgia, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs for families and investing millions of dollars “With our economic and workforce development initiatives, Georgia leads the way in providing a business-friendly environment and a highly qualified

workforce to support growing businesses,” Deal said. “This ranking is not only a testament to Georgia’s business climate, but it also speaks to the commitment and support from our industry partners, communities and the people of Georgia.” In addition to being named the top state for business, Georgia is ranked No. 1 for cooperative and responsive state government as well as workforce development programs. Georgia ranks second for its competitive labor environment, regulatory environment and speed of permitting. Area Development’s 2016 Top States for Doing Business rankings reflect the results of a recent survey that asked site consultants to provide their top state picks in 10 categories that impact companies’ location and facility plans.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

15


SAY WHAT?

GOOD COMMUNICATION AT WORK REQUIRES EXTRA EFFORT STEVE SWANSON

I remember the morning clearly, even though it happened years ago. I don’t recall all of the specifics, but I do remember the encounter – and how intense it was. An important issue had come up at work. I had spoken with my boss about it on the phone. Somehow between our phone conversation and his arrival at the office, the heat had been turned up. When we engaged in our conversation in person it quickly became apparent that we were not on the same page. He was very unhappy with me – he seemed to think I was being somewhat cavalier in my responses on the phone. It took only moments to realize he was angry and wanted (and received) my full attention! Our meeting probably didn’t last more than 10 or 15 minutes. (It seemed much longer). I listened; we discussed. It was ugly for a time, but thankfully of short duration. We put the matter aside and went on with the day’s other responsibilities. I work in the communications business. However, because we are all people trying to communicate with people, we often fall short of solid communications. Over the course of time I have learned a few things about what it means to communicate well. This is not an exhaustive list by any means but I hope you will find it helpful. • I’ve learned that “Communication is the message received.” It doesn’t matter how many times something has been said, e-mailed, or spoken. It’s what the other

person heard – that’s what you have communicated. • It’s nearly impossible to “over-communicate.” It takes a concerted effort to be certain you have actually been heard. You need to say things a number of times and then ask the person you’re trying to communicate with what they actually heard you say. • Don’t rely on e-mail only to communicate. I cannot tell you how many times folks have told me that they sent me an e-mail. I didn’t receive it or did, but didn’t see it. They never followed up and their message to me was not communicated. • Remember that different co-workers

respond to different methods of communication – for some, in-person conversations will always be the best. Others find the phone most convenient. Usually a “mix” of communication tools will provide you with the best results. • Carefully think through the message you have to share. If it’s not clear to you, it most certainly won’t be clear to those on the receiving end. • Put yourself in the place of the person who will be receiving your communication. Be succinct and to the point. Say what you need to say. Then stop! If possible, have a singular focus. • Pray – God invented communication,

words and our brains. Ask him to enable you to think clearly, focus on your message, and share it in such a way that it “sticks” with the one receiving it. • I’ve certainly heard it many times, and will repeat it here. Praise in public, criticize in private. You’ll discover that amazing things happen when you make a concerted effort to honor someone in front of everyone. The opposite is also true. When you need to address what you perceive to be a shortcoming, or lack of effort, do so in private. Believe me. It is much better received that way! Think of someone you’ve worked for or with that you have found to be an encouraging communicator. What characteristics have they exhibited that have made them someone to emulate? The good news is that we all can become better at communicating, at work and in our other relationships. Assumed communication is just plain lazy. It takes work to be able to connect and communicate. But it is well worth your energy and effort!

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 steve@wafj.com.

LOCAL TEACHER BECOMES ‘MODEL’ FOR RACK ROOM SHOES National footwear retailer Rack Room Shoes is featuring real people in its ads, and that now includes a local school teacher. Marlana Harris, a Grovetown resident, was selected by Rack Room as one of the faces of its new brand campaign, The Real People Project. For more than a decade, Rack Room Shoes has featured real customers – instead of professional models – in all of its seasonal advertisements, selected through an annual Models Wanted contest. The Real People Project is an evolution of the well-known Models Wanted initiative and celebrates the unique lives of Rack Room Shoes’ customers through authentic storytelling. Harris was selected from a pool of thousands of applicants for her enthusiasm as a teacher, as well as her passion for adventure. An avid motorcycle rider,

she can sometimes be spotted arriving at school on her motorcycle. As for teaching, Harris says she likes to see her “students’ light bulbs turn on.” Her story will be on display to millions around the nation for the retailer’s fall and holiday season. Harris is now featured on the retailer’s website, social media channels, digital advertisements and on a special display in all Rack Room Shoes stores across the country, including the Macon location in Summit at the Mall. In addition to Harris, Rack Room Shoes hand-selected three other individuals to be spotlighted in a variety of upcoming seasonal campaigns throughout the year. A production crew travels to each person’s hometown to capture the essence of their story to share with the retailer’s online communities through a collection of images and videos. Rack

16 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

Room Shoes also awards each winner with a tailored prize package, custom created to further each person’s unique

passion or dream. Part of the prize includes a donation to the charity of the winner’s choice.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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BUSINESS BASICS

TWO QUESTIONS SET TONE FOR A BUSINESS’ PERFORMANCE DAGAN SHARPE

Peter Drucker, best known for his various books on business management, once suggested two of the most important questions a business can ask are: 1. What business are we in? 2. How’s business? For many, the answers may seem obvious, but how leaders answer these two simple questions can have a dramatic impact on a business’ performance, people and profits. As examples, the founder of a major investment firm envisioned taking “Wall Street to Main Street;” a thriving fast food business seeks to be “faithful stewards with all God has entrusted to them;” and a successful bank aspires to leverage its resources to help families in their communities enhance their financial education. Clearly, these businesses all demonstrate breadth and depth in defining their missions. They go beyond simply promoting the obvious. Instead, they strive to make a difference.

No matter what business we’re in, or what we do, we can use it as a platform to make a difference in the lives of others. However, defining one’s mission isn’t limited to just businesses, for it is extremely beneficial when individuals do the same thing. When we align what we do with our values and passions, we become more engaged and ultimately make more impact with our contributions and commitments. Therefore, keeping three areas of action in mind as you consider your professional and personal mission. To Lead. What skills and resources do we and/or our business possess that can lead others to a better quality of life? No matter what we do, we can choose to take advantage, use, neglect or benefit others with our services. For example, one business owner seeks to have every customer “leave with a smile.” Another seeks to help families “break

into the middle class” and beyond. What resources do you offer to benefit others? To Love. This may seem a bit mushy, or not related to business, but in reality, most of us have loved ones. In fact, it’s through our professions and businesses that we are able to provide for them. Therefore, protecting and propelling our professions and businesses forward is a good thing when it allows us to support the ones we love – and allow those who work with us and for us to do the same. Does our mission, then, support others in supporting those they love, or simply ignore this part of the equation? One well respected company defines it this way, “People before profits.” To Lift. When what we do helps lift others, generates income and aligns with

our passions and values, we receive rewards that are hard to match. And this doesn’t have to be an impossible task. No matter what business we’re in, or what we do, we can use it as a platform to make a difference in the lives of others. Even if you think what you do can’t make a difference, remember – it’s not the position, it’s the person in the position that makes the difference. We simply have to choose to find and fulfill the opportunities that come our way.

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 dsharpe@qnbtrust.com.

IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU

HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE BEFORE EMERGENCIES OCCUR BARRY PASCHAL

Back when I was in the newspaper business, I often reminded writers – and myself – that people involved in the news sometimes act irrationally not because they are irrational, but because they simply didn’t know what else to do. See, when you are a police officer or other first responder, or a seasoned reporter, over time there are fewer things you’ve seen for the first time. That’s rarely the case for a victim. House fire? Firefighters have seen scores of them, and reporters have covered scads of them. The family burned out of house and home, though, likely has never been through the experience and probably was in denial about its possibility until the moment they smelled smoke. Burglary? They’re a dime a dozen for cops, and so common that reporters rarely write about them. For a homeowner, though, a burglary can be a bewildering invasion of privacy, often resulting not just in loss of possessions but long-term loss of security. Proper planning helps prevent such personal disasters, or at least mitigate their consequences. Yet according to the National Fire Protection Association, the majority of house fire deaths occur each year in homes that have no working smoke detector (and a quarter of those

alarms don’t work simply because the battery is dead). And according to Safewise, just 14 percent of homes have a security system. That reflects the fact that many people think calamities just won’t happen to them – hence, the total surprise when it almost inevitably does. Businesses have fewer excuses for planning for emergencies, or even just disruptions. Two years ago, the Augusta area was hit with an ice storm that shut everything down for days. The immediate reaction? Go out and buy generators. That’s a perfect example of locking the barn door after the horses have escaped. Here’s a better idea: Plan for emergencies, and then prepare. Use a few what-ifs: What if we have a power outage lasting more than a few hours? What if we have a fire? What if there’s a crime on our property and our doors are locked during the investigation? Goodwill isn’t unique in planning for such emergencies. Like many businesses, we have specific protocols in place, including those spelling out how management staff communicate with each other, with all affected personnel and with the public. Cleaning up or reopening after an outage isn’t complicated; what’s difficult is getting everyone informed during the crisis.

18 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

We even have a plan for communicating if our email system goes down; for an organization as large as ours, spread across 35 counties, email is essential. We’d be crazy not to have an alternate communications plan in place. By the way: Daylight saving time ends Nov. 6; avoid the rush and change the batteries in your smoke detectors now – because yes, it can happen to you.

Barry L. Paschal is Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, parent organization of Helms College at www.helms.edu.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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BUSINESSPERSON OF THE MONTH

ROLLINGS OPENS DOORS FOR REAL ESTATE BUYERS, SELLERS BY GARY KAUFFMAN

Shannon Rollings has a love for taking old homes and renovating them. So it’s not surprising that she also took the old real estate sales model and has renovated that into something unique. Rollings started Shannon Rollings Real Estate in North Augusta 13 years ago and has seen it grow steadily, doubling twice in the past five years alone. The first eight months this year have already exceeded 2015 by 25 percent. It is proof that Rollings unique approach to real estate is working. But that isn’t surprising since Rollings’

Shannon Rollings, Shannon Rollings Real Estate path to the real estate world started in the business world. Originally from Colorado, Rollings graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with an MBA, which she used in the health care field. While working with Humana Hospitals in Jacksonville, Fla., she and her husband, Robert, had the chance to buy a health records storage company. In that business, they would retrieve and deliver files at all hours of the day, seven days a week. “We really worked our tails off to build that business,” Rollings said. When they sold their successful business, Rollings discovered her love for renovation, especially in creating appealing interiors. She bought and renovated homes in the Jacksonville area, and soon people were asking where they could buy homes like that. That spurred the idea to become a real estate agent with ReMax in Jacksonville. “You can imagine what my Mom thought,” she said. “I have an MBA and I’m going into real estate.” When her husband had the opportunity to work in the Augusta area, she decided to become an independent real estate agent. But with her business background, she also decided to create a new type of agency. “I sat back and thought about how I would want it done if I was the buyer and what I would want if I was the seller,” she said. The result of those thoughts is a team of specialists rather than independent agents who handle everything from beginning to end. “As an independent agent you won’t be able to do everything well,” she said. So one team of specialists, including

Rollings, does nothing but handle the listings and all the advertising related to it. Another team handles the buyer/ seller interactions up to the point of actually closing on the sale. Then another team steps in to handle the closing of the transaction. Yet another team handles property management, working with property owners and tenants. All of the staff are full-time salaried professionals. “Everyone works well together as a team,” she said. In the team approach, agents cover for each other, allowing them to have a normal work schedule while enhancing the access buyers and sellers have to the agency. Phones are staffed 9 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week. The team approach has also eliminated one of the problem areas some agencies face – rivalry and jealousy among agents. “It’s not at all that kind of environment,” Rollings said. “I came out of that kind of environment. But we’re happy for each other when the sale is made. We help educate each other. I’m so impressed by our team.” In addition to selling real estate, Rollings and her husband have also been involved in “creating” real estate. They built Jackson Square at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Buena Vista Street, and six years ago built their real estate office at the corner of Buena Vista and West streets. Both buildings have the solid feel of having been in place for most of North Augusta’s history instead of less than a decade.

20 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

“I had someone come in (the office) and say, ‘This used to be an old fire station,’” Rolling said with a laugh. “So I guess I must have done a good job with it.” What are you passionate about in your business? Working to ensure that we do a quality job in everything we do, so that at any time our clients can say, “We really had a good experience.” I love it when you go on an appointment and they say, “Yeah, my friend said you guys did an awesome job.” I love it because that encompasses the whole team. How did your business background help you in real estate? Having a business background helped because when the market was down I knew I needed to spend money to make money. How did your background in home renovation help in real estate? When I was renovating houses I would always think, what can I do with it? When meeting with sellers they always ask, What can I do? I go to every single house we have listed and help the sellerwith how to put eyes on the house. With buyers, if they like the house but they have an objection, I can give them an idea of what they can do to the house and find out how much it will cost. Who inspires you in business? My husband, Robert, really does inspire me a lot. He has a super business mind. He’s always thinking forward. When we have something we think we’ve perfected, he’s already thinking ahead of how to im-

prove it. What it is the hardest business lesson you’ve learned? That when times get tough in the process with buyers and sellers, you’ve got to keep them in the loop. The seller doesn’t want to hear why their house is not selling, but they need to hear it. They need that feedback from each showing. It’s not easy to tell someone what they don’t want to hear. But when working with the buyers you have to say, “This is the situation.” You have to be completely honest. How do you unwind? We love riding bicycles and kayaking on the river. We spend a lot of time on the Greeneway. How do you give back to the community? We help with the Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee and some of our staff are involved with North Augusta Forward to help with the growth. Sometimes the city asks for our input and we help give the city direction with the growth of the downtown. If our only growth is on 25 (Edgefield Road) we’ll lose our sense of downtown. What does the future hold for you and your business? We hope to continue to have moderate, controlled growth. We’ll be unique because we don’t do it like everybody else. Our team approach allows us to sustain quality and growth. If I wasn’t here, the business would still go on. It’s grown to the point where it’s not just me, so the business can keep chugging along without us.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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GROCERIES, CLOTHES, SUSHI AND MORE

NEW KROGER MARKETPLACE OFFERS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE BY GARY KAUFFMAN

If you need a head of lettuce, a new shirt, to get a prescription filled and want to grab a bite of sushi for lunch, you can now do it all in one place – the new Kroger Marketplace. The highly anticipated store on Lewiston Road, Grovetown, off of Exit 190 of Interstate 20, opened on Aug. 31. “Everybody’s talking about it,” store manager Eric Carroll said, noting that one item that piques interest is that it contains the closest Starbucks to Grovetown. Carroll said in addition to the size – 123,000-square-feet – what makes the Marketplace unique from other Kroger

stores is the line of apparel for the entire family, a large general merchandise side and a larger pharmacy. And then there’s the bistro, which features a sushi bar, panAsian cuisine, barbecue, pizza and sandwiches, which can be enjoyed in the small dining area. The layout of the store also varies slightly. “What makes this unique is the produce is up by the front door,” he said. “Surveys we’ve done show people come (to Kroger) for the produce.” There’s also an expanded wine area, complete with a wine steward, and a grilling station in the meat department where shoppers can try samples.

Also available at the Marketplace is Clicklist, an online ordering service. Customers can place orders online from the more than 40,000 items in the store – including fresh produce, meat, seafood, dairy and frozen products – then schedule a convenient time to pick it up. That service launched in September. The new store is also providing a boost for the economy. Carroll said the store has hired about 340 employees, and had another 40 associates transfer there from other area Kroger stores. Carroll has made presentations about the store in a number of the area schools. As part of the grand opening, Kroger

donated $500 to partner schools, including Grovetown High School, Columbia Middle School and Baker Place Elementary School. The store also features a painting by Augusta native Margaret Ann Smith that depicts the Savannah River and activities around the area. The painting is on display in the dining area. Kroger’s Atlanta Division introduced the first Marketplace store in Carrollton, Ga., in 2013 and  currently operates eight Marketplace stores, including locations in Athens, Carrollton, Gainesville, Grovetown, Rincon, Savannah and Warner Robins, Ga., and Columbia, S.C.

BUSINESS OPENINGS, CLOSINGS AND MOVES OPENINGS

Big D’s BBQ and Sugar Rush A popular local food truck has opened a brick and mortar location. Big D’s BBQ and Sugar Rush, a restaurant and bakery, opened Labor Day Weekend at 2320 Lumpkin Road in Augusta. However, owner Donald Smalley is not new to the Augusta food scene. Smalley and his food truck have been a welcome sight at local businesses for the past two years. Smalley and his team coordinate with HR managers at local companies to provide a more convenient lunch option for employees. “A lot of employees only get 30 minutes for lunch, and so we would save them time and eliminate the rush of traveling to get food and then having no time to eat. It has worked out really well, and

people love our food and how everything is prepared and ready to go.” In addition to meal offerings, Smalley’s dessert offerings gained a following as well. “People loved the sweets that we used to carry on the food truck,” Smalley said. “Now they can get them fresh from our bakery.” Big D’s BBQ and Sugar Rush is open for business Tuesday through Saturday from 11am-7pm. “Our menu is more than just BBQ,” Smalley said. “We have a wide selection of food items on the menu. There is definitely something for everyone.” Morning Flo Coffee drinkers in downtown Augusta have a new location to get their cup of Joe.

22 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

Morning Flo coffee shop opened last week at 877 Broad Street. The coffee is brewed in Keurig machines, but offers 30 flavors of coffee. In addition, tea is also available, plus ice packets to create iced coffee concoctions. While the Morning Flo is new, the business where it is located is not. It is also the home of QP’s Dollhouse, which offers unique shoes, handbags and fashion accessories through use of a 3D printer. Owner Artina Sharpton said adding the coffee shop allows her to better utilize the space of her store, and it adds a needed business to the downtown. It also creates a bit of cross promotion, noting that she’d already made one sale of a QP’s Dollhouse product to a customer who had stopped in for coffee.

Goin’ Postal A complete mailing store is coming to Martinez. Jay Patel is opening a Goin’ Postal location in the Publix Shopping Center on Fury’s Ferry road in October. He also owns the one in Hephzibah. Goin’ Postal handles U.S. Postal Services, Continued on page 23


LOCAL HEALTH FIRM, MED CENTER FIGHTING OBESITY The 2016 health rankings for the State of Georgia show 35 percent of adults in Richmond County are obese. This is just one of the factors that ranks the county 135th out of 159 counties in the state for the health factors considered. Although Columbia County ranks 8th in the state for all factors, the adult obesity rate is still 29 percent. Although the rates of obesity in the two counties are lower than the national average of 37.7 percent, they are still high. In an effort to fight the obesity epidemic in the CSRA, Action Medical Center has partnered with Nutritional

Resources, Inc., of Grovetown, manufacturer of the HealthWise product line. HealthWise products are designed to help people lose weight while ensuring they are getting the proper nutrients in their diet. The two companies have put together a program to help people lose weight but more importantly, to make permanent change in their habits and affect long term change in their health. This is achieved through behavioral change that includes increased activity and exercise along with an improved relationship with food.

Action Medical Center’s team works with each client individually to develop a custom plan for weight loss that may include HealthWise products, counseling

and other scientifically proven interventions while avoiding the use of potentially harmful drugs and surgical interventions. All client plans are overseen by the staff of doctors and nurse practitioners to ensure the highest level of safety and efficacy possible. Obesity has been shown in multiple studies to increase the risk of more than 50 different health problems, including the top causes of death in the United States – heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even cancer. For more information on the clinic and its programs visit actionmedicalcenter.com.

BUSINESS OPENINGS, CLOSINGS AND MOVES

continued from page 22 Fedex and DHL shipments, rents mailboxes and offers business services like copying and faxing, passports and notary services. Grovetown Accident Rehab Dr. Dejan Djolic, owner of Aiken Chiropractic, opened the doors to his new location, Grovetown Accident Rehab, in August. “I have served the Aiken community for over a decade,” said Djolic. “And now I look forward to providing exceptional care to Grovetown residents as well.” Adjustments are available for everyone from infant to the elderly and same-day appointments can be made during regular operating hours. The office will specialize in personal injury rehabilitation. Patients may sign up for the Power of Wellness program for a monthly fee of $59. The Power of Wellness program includes up to four visits each month and one therapy session included with every visit as-needed. No contract is required. The new office is located at 5114B Wrightsboro Road, Grovetown. For more information, visit the website at GrovetownAccidentRehab.com. Your Pie A company known for one type of restaurant is venturing into trying another. According to reports, Bojland Group, which owns 10 Bojangles restaurants in the area, is planning to bring a Your Pie pizza restaurant to downtown North Augusta. The restaurant would be one of the shops going into the renovated building that previously housed Ming Yat restaurant. Your Pie began in Athens in 2008, specializing in small, individualized pizzas made with hand-tossed dough and fresh ingredients. It also offers salads, paninis, gelato and craft beer and wine. The pizzas are baked in a wood-fired oven and are ready in less than five minutes. There are more than 40 locations now across the

country, but currently the closest to Augusta are in Athens or Savannah. There is no word on when the Your Pie might open in North Augusta. Living Spotless A new business in Augusta is helping people stay clean, and providing a muchneeded service to those dealing with cancer. Jessica Velez has opened Living Spotless Cleaning Services that provides residential and business cleaning services in Columbia and Richmond counties. In addition to typical cleaning, Living Spotless also offers carpet cleaning, pressure washing, lawn maintenance and property watch services. Living Spotless is also partnering with Cleaning for a Reason, a company that provides up to four months of free cleaning services for people undergoing treatment for cancer. Homes2 Suites Visitors to Grovetown can stay awhile, thanks to a new extended-stay hotel. Homes2 Suites by Hilton opened recently at Exit 190 off I-20, offering 118 rooms that can accommodate long-term stays. Each room has a full kitchen. The hotel concept is designed for those contractors who have to locate to the area quickly but may not have time to immediately find a permanent place to live. The company plans to hold a ribbon cutting and grand opening in November.

CLOSINGS

Piccadilly Cafeteria Labor Day weekend marked the end

for a popular cafeteria-style restaurant in Augusta. Piccadilly Cafeteria, 3110 Washington Road, closed – apparently for good – on that Sunday. Employees were notified on Friday of the closing and a sign was posted on the door. According to a press release from the corporate office in Baton Rouge, La., closing the store was a last option for Piccadilly but was necessary so it can focus on other locations. There are no plans to re-open the Augusta location. The Southern-style cafeteria had operated in that location for nearly 30 years. Piccadilly at one time had a second location in the Regency Mall that closed on Jan. 4, 1998. The parent company now has fewer than 50 locations left in the United States. There are 11 in Georgia, primarily in the Atlanta area.

EXPANSIONS

JRPW Racing JRPW Racing will hold the Grand Opening at its new state-of-the-art Race Shop on Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Special guests confirming attendance include Phantom Racing Chassis owner Harrill Wiggins, the dominant dirt oval chassis in the country; Rowdy Jordan from Chasen Racen Illustrated; Maxxis Tires and Van-K wheels, with more expected. JRPW expects an overflow crowd since its customer base is nationwide and many people have already confirmed attendance. Visitors will be given the opportunity to go behind the scenes of one of the nation’s top kart shops and see the machinery and techniques that make JRPW an industry leader. The 2017 Phantom Chassis models will be on display as well. TakoSushi A popular Augusta restaurant is mak-

ing its way north. TakoSushi, which serves Asian and Southwestern fare, will open a new restaurant in Asheville, N.C. This will be the sixth location for restaurateur Kevin Goldsmith and his first in North Carolina. The new store will go into a former service station but will have a look consistent with the Augusta locations. The menu will be the same as at the other locations, which allows couples or friends with varied tastes to both be satisfied. No date has been set for when the Asheville location will open. In addition to Augusta and Evans, TakoSushi also has South Carolina locations in Aiken, Columbia and Greenville.

MOVES

Tradewinds Tradewinds Mercantile Exchange opened in Martinez on Aug. 1 at 3309 Washington Road, across from Sunbelt Nissan. The store features antiques, furniture, handmade goods, collectibles, arts & crafts, jewelry and vintage items. Tradewinds had originally been located in downtown Augusta on Broad Street but due to unforeseen circumstances had to relocate.

September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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IT’S NOT FACEBOOK

LINKEDIN IS GREAT CONNECTIVITY TOOL WHEN USED PROPERLY KELSEY MORROW

If you are a business professional, chances are you have a LinkedIn profile. But the real question is, do you know how to use it? First, let’s take a quick step back. LinkedIn markets itself as “the world’s largest professional network” and since its launch in May 2003, it has gained more than 450 million registered users. However, despite its widespread presence, one of the most common questions that I get asked is, “I know I need to have a LinkedIn profile, but now what do I do with it?” LinkedIn is sometimes referred to as Facebook for business because users create profile pages and gain connections, similar to Facebook friends. Just like Facebook, there is no single way to utilize LinkedIn. However, there are certainly some topics to keep in mind. Profile Page as Resume: Unlike Facebook, where you can be as creative as you want with your profile page, on LinkedIn it is important to think of your profile page as you resume. Since LinkedIn is so widely used, often in addition to looking at the resume that you submit and conducting an interview, employers

will search your LinkedIn profile as well. Make sure that your profile resembles your printed resume as closely as possible. Also, although it is easier said than done, try to keep your LinkedIn profile as upto-date as possible, even if you aren’t currently job hunting. You never know when a potential client might come across your profile, so you want it to represent you as accurately as possible. When to add connections: You know those high school classmates that you

haven’t seen for years, but still felt compelled to accept friend requests from on Facebook? You don’t want to do that on LinkedIn. Think of LinkedIn connections as the references section on your resume. Would you feel comfortable with some casual acquaintance speaking to your work ethic or background? If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t add them as a connection. LinkedIn connections are also viewed as a reflection on your character in a way in which Facebook friends

usually aren’t. If you would not be proud to associate with someone, then I would strongly suggest that you do not add them as a LinkedIn Connection. Posting content: Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn gives you the option to post content on a newsfeed. Unlike Facebook, however, content on LinkedIn should be more professional and work oriented, such as scholarly articles or research relating to your industry. Yes, I too am a big fan of internet memes and they do have their place online, but that place is not on LinkedIn. Think of your LinkedIn content as topics that would fit in at a business meeting or conference. If it adds value to or could be important for people in your industry, then it’s perfect for LinkedIn.

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 kelsey.morrow@buzzon.biz.

SHELF LIFE

FOR MORE VERSATILE PROGRAMS, CHOOSE CUSTOM SOFTWARE JEFF ASSELIN

(This column originally ran in April 2015)

Today’s businesses are not questioning whether or not to invest in computer software to run their operations – they’re asking themselves do I buy “off-the-shelf ” pre-built computer programs or do I opt for a custom solution to fit my company’s individual needs? How do you know which one makes the most sense? There are literally thousands of “canned” business software solutions available. Some solutions need to be installed onto local computers while others can be webbased, coming with a variety of payment and subscription models. While these programs appear to be simple and easy to use, a business owner needs to understand the pitfalls to watch out for with each. When using pre-built software, a business is limited to the functionality, design and features unique to that program. Often these software programs do not allow for complete customization, affecting your company’s operations. Programs such as Quickbooks and various Customer Relations Management (CRM) tools can only be tweaked to a

When using pre-built software, a business is limited to the functionality, design and features unique to that program. certain extent. The challenge becomes even more painful when you want to share data between applications in your own format. Reporting can be clunky and displaying information in a meaningful fashion might not exist in several formats. Staying current on software updates can be an expensive proposition. Many business software programs offer releases to their systems several times a year, requiring businesses to spend countless upgrade dollars to have the latest bells and whistles, including security updates. We’ve seen company websites and software programs come under attack by online hackers.  Fixing software af-

24 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

ter these attacks often requires repairing broken databases as well as salvaging breached information and can become quite expensive. While no software is ever deemed “hack proof,” publicly available software programs are easy prey for these malicious attacks. Custom software can often be “off the radar,” with more levels of security built in. One of the main reasons to develop a custom software solution over an “off-the shelf ” product is a company’s ability to design a program that is exactly what you need from the ground up. Some businesses need to track, organize, measure and securely store their client data or employee records on their own platform. Custom software is often the best and most sensible solution to meet those needs. How do you determine if a custom software solution is right for your business? Ask yourself three simple questions: Is there an existing solution out there that will meet your needs for the way you do business? Do you have the luxury of time required to have someone build your custom software? Do you have the capital investment available to fund custom software?

Custom software versus off-the-shelf applications boils down to your company’s priorities and strategic business plan. Pre-built software is limited and can affect your company’s ability to grow at scale. Having a custom built software solution gives you the ability to add custom features unique to your business, provide in-house support and correct software issues quickly. Custom software can become a business advantage over your competitors who are still using their prebuilt software solutions.

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


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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EMPTY FILE CABINETS

MOVE TO PAPERLESS WORLD EASIER WITH DILIGENT PLANNING SCOTT THURMOND

If you’ve been to a surplus store lately, you’ve probably noticed a plethora of file cabinets. These aren’t just the old dilapidated metal variety with years of service and abuse. You’ll frequently find a variety of modern, woode, or metal cabinets that look brand new. I have a friend who just found what appears to be a fairly new Herman Miller mahogany double lateral file cabinet for $150 at a local thrift store. This surge in used file cabinets must be linked to the number of companies transitioning to a “paperless” workplace. Paperless is never truly paperless, but most company documents can be stored electronically. For many, the decision to go paperless can be daunting and confusing. Many times employees resist the idea of change. It is the change in workflow that causes the most concern. The change from a manila file to an electronic file can be intimidating. However, in today’s office many documents are retrieved specifically to email to someone else. Electronic documents are perfect for this workflow. People are more open to going paperless

today. They are doing it personally with their banking or store purchases. The office equipment industry has been a major player in the move to go paperless. Scanning to folders or email is one of the most popular features on today’s equipment. With additional software and workflow

design, these features can be the beginning of the paperless solutions that offices are seeking. With proper design work, the electronic version should look and feel similar to the traditional paper version. Nobody likes to file into a file cabinet. The same can be said for paperless solutions. For that reason, proper setup and design is important. With proper design and setup, the filing process can often be automated to scan and file the document without human interaction. Unlike file cabinets, the retrieval process is the payoff. Within seconds, a quick search returns the documents. You can satisfy your customer almost immediately instead of promising to call them back when you find it. There are many reasons companies go paperless. Common reasons include security, file sharing, disaster recovery, physical space, outsourcing, or simply the desire to modernize the workplace. There are a few general questions to consider to convert to paperless:

• Who needs access and more importantly, who does not? Security and compliance are often the biggest questions to be asked. • What unusual workflows need to be considered? For example, do different employees need different parts of pages of a large document? • How are current file cabinets organized and can we automate the process? What information needs to be auto populated to streamline the new process? The more familiar the feel, the greater the buy-in for employees. By doing the diligent design work up front, your transition to paperless will be much easier. Then, your hardest decision will be where to send those old file cabinets.

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 the CSRA for more than 30 years. For comments or questions, email sthurmond@ duplicatingsytstems. com

AFTER HOURS

NEW RULES MEAN CAREFUL PLANNING FOR OVERTIME WORK CHRISTINE HALL

On May 18 the Department of Labor released a final rule that radically increases the thresholds for overtime rules, expanding the number of employees eligible for overtime pay. Most everyone is familiar with the two standard classifications of employees, “hourly” and “salary.” Hourly employees typically are paid based on the number of hours they work in a pay cycle plus they receive additional compensation for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Salaried employees typically receive the same amount of compensation each pay cycle regardless of the number of hours actually worked whether it is more or less than 40 hours per week. The new rule doubles the minimum salary threshold from $455 per week to $913 per week (which amounts to $23,660 annually to $46,476 annually). It also raises the exemption level for those considered to be “highly compensated employees” from $100,000 to $134,004 annual salary. This new Department of Labor rule can potentially impact major business decisions like hiring, expansion and offering benefits or more flexible work arrange-

ments for employees. If you are an employer that has salaried employees, this change could possibly affect you and the amount of money you must pay your employees. Here is how: If you currently have an employee that is a salaried worker and makes a weekly gross paycheck of less than $913 ($46,476 annually) then you will need to make some changes. Your first option is to switch them to an hourly rate. Of course,

when you do this it will automatically make them subject to the overtime rules. Your second option is to raise their salary to $46,476 per year. Every three years this threshold will increase, similar to minimum wage increases. The estimated minimum salary in three years is anticipated to be more than $50,000. Therefore, if you choose to increase your salaried employees pay to meet these new guidelines, be aware

Let’s look at an example. Assume that you have an employee that meets the salaried employee (exempt) rules and you pay that employee $30,000 per year. Let’s also assume that employee worked 43 hours in one particular week. By the old rules, you would simply write that employee their typical standard paycheck and be done with it. With the new rules, the overtime will be calculated as follows: $30,000 / 52 weeks per year = $576.93 per week $576.93 / 43 hours worked = $13.42 per hour $13.42 x 1.5 for overtime pay = $20.13 per hour $13.42 per hour x 40 hours plus $20.13 per hour x 3 hours = $597.19 In this example, an employee that you would have paid $576.93 for a 43 hour week you will now have to pay $597.19. Each week that employee works overtime; you will have to refigure their overtime rate based on the formula above. As you can see, this can become a very tedious and costly task!

26 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

that you will have to increase their salary again, by a potentially substantial amount, in three years. If you choose to keep your salaried employees pay at a level below $46,476, you will now have to pay them overtime on any hours worked over 40 a week. This new rule becomes effective Dec. 1. Business owners who employ salaried workers will have until then to make determinations on which employees they may want to consider reclassifying as hourly wage employees (or increase annual salaries) and implement these changes.

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@ HMandScpas.com.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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FULL DISCLOSURE

HEALTH PLANS MUST REVEAL PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE RUSSELL HEAD Employers with group health plans providing prescription drug coverage to Medicare Part D eligible individuals are required to provide certain disclosures about their drug coverage. Specifically, such plans are required to let affected employees know each year whether the plan’s prescription drug coverage is at least as good as the Medicare Part D coverage (in other words, whether their prescription drug coverage is “creditable”). The deadline for the disclosure is October 14. Why the Disclosure is Necessary In order for Medicare Part D eligible individuals to make informed and timely enrollment decisions, group health plan sponsors must disclose the status (creditable or non-creditable) of the plan’s prescription drug coverage. If an individual’s

Disclosure notices must be provided to all Part D eligible individuals who are covered under the plan’s prescription drug coverage. enrollment in Part D is to be considered timely, the individual must enroll before the end of his or her Initial Enrollment Period. In general, after the Initial Enrollment Period, the individual may only enroll in a Part D plan during the Annual Coordinated Election Period or under certain circumstances that would qualify the in-

dividual for a special enrollment period. The Annual Coordinated Election Period begins on Oct. 15 and goes through Dec. 7 of each year. An eligible individual who fails to enroll in Medicare Part D during the Initial Enrollment Period must maintain “creditable coverage” or pay a late enrollment penalty. Thus, the disclosure notice is essential to an individual’s decision regarding whether to enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Content of Creditable Coverage Disclosure Notices When the prescription drug coverage offered by a plan sponsor is creditable, the disclosure notice must contain • A statement that the plan sponsor has determined that its prescription drug coverage is creditable; • An explanation of creditable coverage (that the amount the plan expects to pay

on average for prescription drugs for individuals covered by the plan in the applicable year is the same or more than what standard Medicare prescription drug coverage would be expected to pay on average); and • An explanation of why creditable coverage is important and advice that, even though coverage is creditable, an individual could be subject to higher Part D premiums if the individual subsequently has a break in creditable coverage of 63 continuous days or longer before enrolling in a Part D plan. When the prescription drug coverage offered by a plan sponsor is determined to be non-creditable, the disclosure notice must contain the following information: • Statement that the entity has determined that its prescription drug coverage is not creditable; • Explanation of non-creditable cov-

erage (that the amount the plan expects to pay on average for prescription drugs for individuals covered by the plan in the applicable year is less than what standard Medicare prescription drug coverage would be expected to pay on average); • Explanation that an individual may only enroll in a Part D plan from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 of each year; and • Clarification of the importance of creditable coverage, and that the individual may be subject to higher Part D premiums if the individual fails to enroll in a Part D plan when first eligible. Providing the Disclosure Notice Disclosure notices must be provided to all Part D eligible individuals who are covered under the plan’s prescription drug coverage. The disclosure notice requirement includes active and retired employees, disabled or COBRA-enrolled, as well as Medicare beneficiaries who are covered as a spouse or a dependent. To simplify plan administration, plan sponsors often decide to provide the disclosure notice to all plan participants. And because the notice can be provided at any time before the October 14 deadline, some plan sponsors simply include it with annual open enrollment materials earlier in the year.

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 rthead@achsinsurance.com.  Visit ACHS Insurance at achsinsurance.com.

SELF PROTECTION

HSA PLANS ARE A GOOD SOLUTION FOR SMALL BUSINESSES MIKE HERRINGTON

In attempting to provide health care benefits, small employers and self-employed individuals face several problems: Cost Due to the high cost of traditional health insurance coverage, it is difficult (if not impossible) for many small employers and self-employed individuals to provide themselves and their employees with adequate health insurance protection. Without this protection, however, the financial impact of a serious injury or illness can be devastating!

Choice While managed care has produced cost savings, people enrolled in managed care plans generally find their choice of doctors restricted. There is also increasing concern about the interference of bureaucracies in the doctor-patient relationship. Control Individuals who need little or no health care receive no financial reward under traditional or managed care plans, nor is there any financial incentive under these plans for individuals to exercise

28 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

control over their health care expenditures. Ask your employees to name their top financial concern and many of them will name paying for health care, both now and after retirement. By combining tax-advantaged personal savings with a high-deductible health insurance plan, the Health Savings Account (HSA) may be the answer for small employers and self-employed individuals looking for a flexible, affordable health care solution, both now and into retirement.

Mike Herrington is President of Herrington Financial Services, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisor. He is a Certified Financial Planner licensee(CFP), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a Certified Estate Planner(CEP). He has been serving clients in the CSRA since 1984. Contact him at 706-8688673 or mike@herringtonfinancialservices.com


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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SIGN LANGUAGE

GOOD SIGNS TAKE A BUSINESS’ MESSAGE TO THE STREETS BETH PENCE

When the polls are all closed in November, and we no longer hear “… and I approve this message,” we’ll be glad it’s over and will begin living with our choices as a community, state and nation. In our community we are seeing more and more political signs dotting people’s yards and establishments than ever before. We’ll be taking down those political signs supporting our favorite candidates and their causes, but what do you do with them? The challenge will be to collect and recycle those signs, whenever we can. If not, they end up in our landfills. Political signs are usually made from durable corrugated plastic and plastic films. These materials make them waterproof and very durable but can also make them difficult to recycle. Most of the plastics included in signs should not be co-mingled in your curbside recycling. Let’s hope that some of the candidates will collect and save their signs for reuse during the next election cycle, which is a nice option for keeping them out of our landfills. If that’s not an option, we’ll take them to a collection center for you. Come by Alphagraphics in Marti-

nez, across from the Martinez Post Office, and we’ll recycle them. No hassle and no having to stuff signs into your trash cans. We have set a goal to have 300 signs turned in to us for recycling. We are working with area recyclers and hoping to reduce the number of these political signs in our landfills! We won’t take any signs until after the election; we don’t want to encourage any early sign stealing. We’ll separate the metal stakes and the plastic. This allows recyclers to turn these signs into things like bale headers,

30 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

composite lumber products, or even back into crude oil products. They can take the metal for its multiple re-uses. Speaking of signs, businesses can thrive because of a simple sign. Signs get our message to the street, if you will. We need to be seen by potential and current customers as they drive by our establishments. So signs are a valid marketing strategy. Shop around, find the best price but be sure to get the best quality so you’re not replacing signs more often than necessary. Did you know there is a difference in

the materials used in sign making? Ask how long a material is guaranteed for. Ask if your sign is UV protected or if it needs to be. If it’s in the direct sunlight, UV protection over your graphics is absolutely necessary or you’ll be replacing that sign every year. You don’t want to appear tired and worn out to your customers. Here are some signs to consider for your business: Durable vinyl banners, flags out front, die-cut decals, window graphics, car graphics, fabric banners, retractable banners, window clings, Coroplast yard signs, mesh banners, art canvas prints and removable wall graphics. So when you see all those political signs, think recycle and think out of the box. Consider how signs can work for you.

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 US650@alphagraphics.com.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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32 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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NORTH AUGUSTA CHAMBER

POWER LUNCH SPEAKER EXPLORES POWER OF YOUR BRAND TERRA CARROLL

Arby’s has celebrated a series of PR and social media wins over the past few years that have put the brand back on the map among consumers. Beginning with Pharrell’s hat and the tweet heard ‘round the world at the 2014 Grammys, Arby’s has used creative PR and social content to drive buzz, awareness and traffic into the restaurants. From the now infamous feud with Jon Stewart (former host of The Daily Show), to the Meat Mountain secret menu item, and the launch of a Vegetarian Support Hotline, Arby’s is back in conversation and the business has never been better. The brand recently celebrated 21 consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases along with significant transaction growth, proving the brand is successfully attracting new customers and also those who haven’t been to Arby’s in quite some time. A well-defined and well-executed brand strategy affects all aspects of business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions and competitive environments. Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what

Jason Rollins of Arby’s

they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. At the Chamber’s November Power Lunch, Jason Rollins will provide firsthand knowledge of how an iconic company turned its brand around after years with an identity crisis. Rollins is an award-winning marketing communications professional with a

34 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

passion for helping brands communicate their story, both internally and externally. He currently serves as manager of corporate communications for Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. Headquartered in Atlanta, ARG is the franchisor of the iconic Arby’s brand, which has more than 3,300 restaurants worldwide, $3.4 billion in sales and 74,000 team members. In this role, Rollins manages global public relations, crisis and issues management, internal communications and executive visibility. He has a diverse background, including agency, healthcare, food and beverage and not-for-profit. Rollins has a MBA in Marketing from Mercer University and currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Mercer’s Atlanta campus. The Power Luncheon will also feature a few local businesses and how they use their “brand” to attract customers. The Power Lunch will be held at 11:30 a.m., Nov. 11, in the Palmetto Terrace Ballroom in North Augusta’s municipal building. The cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members. Pre-registration is required for this event. To register, visit

northaugustachamber.org or call 803279-2323. Presented by SRP Federal Credit Union, the Power Lunch Series provides Chamber members and visiting guests the opportunity to stay informed on issues relevant to the business community, along with promoting connections with professional colleagues. Also, the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications to serve on the Board of Directors. Board Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of each month at 4:30 p.m. in the Chamber Conference Room. For an application contact terra@ northaugustachamber.org. Submission deadline is Monday, Oct. 3.

In August, Terra Carroll celebrated 4 years as President/CEO of the North Augusta Chamber and has 16 years in the Chamber Industry.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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PUT ME IN, COACH

THE BEST REAL ESTATE INVESTORS RELY ON COACH FOR ADVICE JUSTIN ANDERSON

If you interview just about any successful real estate investor you’ll typically find they have drive, determination and stamina, but every good investor also has a strong advocate in their corner, watching and encouraging them every step of the way. The most prolific investors have a coach – or mentor – giving them solid advice and helping them to avoid some of the roadblocks, detours and traffic jams that can delay or prevent their coronation as successful investors. There are four stages of investing where coaching makes sense: Before You Get Started – At this stage of your career you have more questions than answers. You’re invigorated and excited about the future, but you’re also afraid of making costly mistakes. A lot of investors fear failure so much they delay investing – spending thousands on one real estate investing course after another – trying to convince themselves that they’re investing in their futures, when in reality they’re hiding from it. A coach can help you adequately assess your preparation and see if you need more education or a gentle nudge towards the playing field. After you get started and you’re doing well – You may have left the gate with the zeal of an Olympic sprinter, but you need to realize that real estate investing is more like a marathon. If you don’t pace yourself, you can get winded, slow down and drop out. A coach can help you to find opportunities you may have overlooked – and to avoid mistakes that could throw you off track. Starting strong can generate income,

but good coaching can help you build sustainable wealth, instead of a quick infusion of cash followed by extended periods of inactivity. What’s the best way to segue from one stage to the next? How do you evaluate the current market and accurately decide what the future holds? A good coach can tell you that – and more. After you get started and you’re struggling – An immediate stumble out of the gate can cause some investors to question the wisdom of their decision. This problem can be compounded by listening to family and friends who are married to the idea of earning just enough to get by. Accustomed to failure – or at least mediocrity – they assume that you are, too. The worst thing you can do is elevate all the Doubting Thomases in your midst to positions of influence. A real estate investing coach doesn’t

have the mindset of finding you a graceful exit strategy from real estate investing. They’ll show you new ways to face your fears, assess your strengths and turn things around. It won’t happen overnight, but a coach can give you the guidance you need to turn around and get headed in the right direction. Anytime you’re ready to move to the next level – Regardless of where you’re at in your investing career, you’ll face moments of self-doubt and confusion about the best move for your business. You’re traveling in what is to you uncharted territory. An investing coach knows the lay of the land and how to reach your financial destination. Are you taking advantage of every opportunity to advance your business? What could you be doing better? Whether it’s learning advanced invest-

ing techniques or better utilization of your credit, an investing coach can show you multiple options for getting where you want to go. You may have considered some and discarded them due to misunderstanding their significance. A coach will help you see the light without shoving you into the path of an oncoming train. As you can see, a coach is needed no matter where you find yourself on the real estate investing success track. You can easily falter or stumble, but with an investing coach there to guide you, you can plan on reaching your financial, personal and investing goals more quickly. A coach can’t guarantee that you’ll never falter or stumble. What they can do, however, is help to ensure that a stumble doesn’t precede a painful fall to the rear of the pack. Hire a good coach to catch you if you fall, to direct you when you stray and to celebrate you when you succeed. Join us at the next AORE Smart Session on Oct. 8 at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion at 8 a.m.

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

FIRM FOUNDATION

A GOOD FOUNDATION HELPS FINANCES WEATHER STORMS SCOTT CHAPMAN

A Firm Foundation – Often the most forgotten part, certainly not the sexiest and most glamorous part, but nothing stands without it. When the storms come, a nice home won’t be nice for long if it is not adequately anchored to a firm and strong foundation. If the foundation is weak, the home will shift and settle. The walls will crack, the trim and moldings will split, and the doors won’t properly open and close. It becomes ugly. We then realize that our once beautiful home has serious problems. We wanted the glitz and glamour of the nice trim work, cabinets and paint job, so we took the foundation for granted. After all, that is what it seemed everyone else was doing.

However, now we find out that the structure is only as strong as its foundation, and our foundation is weak. The cost to fix and repair it after the fact will be drastic compared to what it would have been if it had been properly done in the beginning. When it comes to the basic principles of our financial life, it is no different. We often forget about the most basic foundational principles upon which our financial house should be built and we skip right ahead to the glitz and glamour so we can be like everyone else. We simply don’t consider it and think about it. After all, if everyone else is doing it this way it must be right. Wrong! We fail to understand that there is a huge difference, at the most fundamental level, between the financial elements of

36 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

savings and investing. The financial industry has done a terrible job of confusing these two things, thus confusing the populace. The truth is we must build our financial house on a firm foundation of savings. If we fail to do this, when the financial storms come, our financial house built with all of the glitz and glamour will no longer look so pretty. It will crack and split and the cost to us can be devastating. Having an adequate “safe-money” savings element to our financial plan is of utmost importance, yet most people completely skip this step and go right to investing. Having a foundation of safe-money savings is something that the wealthy understand and they never quit doing.

Therefore their financial house stands the test of time. They have a strong and firm foundation upon which it is built. Just like a well-built home that can be an asset for the next generation of your family, so too can a financial house that is built upon a strong foundation become an asset for the next generation of your family.

Scott Chapman is a financial planner who runs Financial Freedom Boot Camps that help people build a firm financial foundation. For more details, see his ad on page 5.


ALLEN NAMED BUSINESS GUARDIAN The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation’s leading advocate for small businesses, awarded Rep. Rick Allen of Augusta with its biennial Guardian of Small Business Award for his outstanding support of America’s small business owners in the 114th Congress. “Many elected officials claim that they are champions of small business, but our Guardian Award shows our members and other small business owners who is really fighting for them,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Based on his voting record, Rep. Allen is one of the most reliable advocates for small business in Washington.” The Guardian of Small Business is

NFIB’s most prestigious award. It is reserved for lawmakers who vote consistently with NFIB on the key issues identified by small business owners. NFIB tracks the votes of every member of Congress. House members and Senators who vote with NFIB members at least 70 percent of the time are eligible for the award. “As a former small business owner for over 40 years, I know the struggles that our small businesses face every day,” said Allen. “I know the impact small businesses have on our local economies and communities, which is why I continuously fight for policies that strengthen our nation’s job creators. I am proud to receive this award and I thank the National Federation of Independent Business.”

TOURISM MAKES $58B IMPACT ON STATE Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia’s tourism industry generated a record $58.9 billion economic impact in the last year at the 2016 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference in College Park. Deal recognized several of the state’s top tourism professionals at the annual industry event, which was hosted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.

“Tourism has become one of Georgia’s top economic generators, as the industry supports more than 439,000 jobs and surpassed $58.9 billion in economic impact last year,” said Deal. “In 2015 alone, a record 100 million visitors came to Georgia to explore our mountains, beaches, big cities and small towns. With a thriving tourism sector and new attractions coming across the state, I have no doubt that next year will follow the trend of exceeding our expectations.”

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UPCOMING BUSINESS EVENTS Friday, Sept. 23 Ribbon-cutting: Prestige Appliance, 2501 Reynolds Industrial Road, Augusta, noon-1 p.m. Columbiacountychamber.com

his/her professional career. Topics will include social media etiquette, work place attire, interview skills, public speaking and goalsetting. Young and mature adults are both welcome. Make reservations at info@mapbt.com or 706922-1862. Space is limited.

Thursday, Sept. 29

Health Care Reform for a Small Business and Commercial Insurance Needs presented by SCORE and the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Avenue, East, Aiken. 9:30-11:30 a.m. This workshop will cover requirements for health care, tax penalties, general liability, workman compensation and bond requirements. For more information and to register, visit http:// events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/ event?oeidk=a07ed05kezj77394c7d&llr= 495wqceab

Tuesday, Sept. 27 Disability Benefits & Employment: Making it Work for You presented by Walton Options for Independent Living, Aiken Works Center, 1571 Richland Avenue East, Aiken. 1:30 p.m. Free community event that will provide information attendees need to make choices about employment as well as providing an opportunity to connect with more services in the area. For more information visit www.eventbrite.com/e/disability-benefits-and-employment-making-itwork-for-you-tickets-27180756374 Ribbon-cutting: Holiday Inn Express and Suites Augusta-West Fort Gordon, 4087 Jimmie Dyess Parkway, Augusta, 4-5 p.m. Columbiacountychamber.com

Meet.Mingle.Mesh (formerly Business After Hours) presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, HealthSouth Walton Rehabilitation Hospital, 1355 Independence Drive, Augusta. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Members: Free; Non-Members: $25. Advance registration required. Augustametrochamber.com

Monday, Oct. 3 12th Annual Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament, West Lake County Club, 3556 West Lake Dr., Augusta. General Registration: 7:00 a.m., General Tee Time: 8:30 a.m.; Sponsor Registration: 11:00 a.m., Sponsor Tee Time: 1:30 p.m. $200 per golfer. To register, visit columbiacountychamber. chambermaster.com/eventregistration/ register/10408

Wednesday, Oct. 5 Membership 101 presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Blvd, Evans. 1:30-2:30 p.m. Membership orientation for new members or a refresher course for existing members. Columbiacountychamber.com

Thursday, Oct. 6

Wednesday, Sept. 28 Ribbon-cutting: ReMax Reinvented, 130 N. Belair Road, Evans, 4-5 p.m. ColumbiaCountyChamber.com Success Starts with You workshop series presented by Medical Associates Plus, 2467 Golden Camp Road, Augusta. 5 p.m. Topic: “Dress for Your Success.” The purpose of the series is to educate individuals on a variety of topics that will equip him/her with tools needed to enhance decision making and improve

Women in Business Golf Tournament presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Houndslake Country Club, 901 Houndslake Dr., Aiken. 12:30-6 p.m. $65 per person which includes the use of a golf cart, snacks on the cart, greens fee, beverages on the course, door prizes and a dinner reception/ award ceremony. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.; Putting Contest at 1:30

38 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

p.m.; Tournament begins at 2 p.m. For information on sponsorships, contact Emily Murphy at emurphy@aikenchamber.net or call (803) 649-1200, ext. 225. The event is open to golfers of all ability levels. AikenChamber.net Women in Business Signature Event presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Augusta Marriott, 2 Tenth Street, Augusta. 6:30-9 p.m. Members: $55; Non-Members: $65. Advance Registration Required. Guest Speaker: Karen Beavor, President/CEO of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits. AugustaMetroChamber.com

Friday, Oct. 7 First Friday Means Business presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry Street SW, Aiken. 7:30-9 a.m. $18 per person. A monthly breakfast meeting featuring a keynote speaker who addresses issues of interest to the business community. AikenChamber.net

Monday, Oct. 17 Chamber After Hours presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Mercedes Benz of Augusta, 3061 Washington Road. 5-7 p.m. An after-hours event designed for members to meet and build relationships with other business people of small to large companies and organizations in the Columbia County area. ColumbiaCountyChamber.com

Wednesday, Oct. 19 Buzz on Biz Business to Business Expo, The Foundry at Rae’s Creek 250 Boy Scout Rd. Augusta. 8am-5pm. A business networking event held at the all new Foundry at Rae’s Creek, a modern and roomy event space, featuring a 7000 Square Foot spacious lobby, meeting space and outdoor covered patio. Attendees and vendors receive a delicious hot buffet from the award winning team at Roux’s Catering, refreshments, a conference bag of swag, networking opportunities, and a full day of inspiring speakers! To purchase tickets, visit cityspintickets. com

Thursday, Oct. 20

Aiken Young Professionals Third Thursdays presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry Street SW, Aiken. 5:30-7:30 p.m. An opportunity for individuals ages 22 to 39 to meet other young professionals in a relaxed atmo-

sphere for networking. Members and first time guests are free. Registration is requested. AikenChamber.net Third Thursday Business Builder presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, Augusta Metro Chamber Office, 1 Tenth Street, Suite 120, Augusta. 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Members: Free; Non-Members: $15. Lunch provided. Advance registration required. Sponsored by Peach State Federal Credit Union. AugustaMetroChamber.com

Friday, Oct. 21 Good Morning North Augusta: Workforce Engagement & Retention, presented by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, Palmetto Terrace, 4th Floor: Municipal Complex, 100 Georgia Ave. North Augusta. Networking: 7:30 a.m., Breakfast and Program: 8 a.m. Members: $15, Non-Members: $25; Advance Registration – Members: $15, Non-Members: $25; At the Door – Members: $20, Non-Members: $30. To register, visit secure2.chambermaster. com/directory/jsp/events/dlg/Public_AddReg.jsp?ccid=1673&eventid=479

Wednesday, Oct. 26 Success Starts with You workshop series presented by Medical Associates Plus, 2467 Golden Camp Road, Augusta. 5 p.m. Topic: “Importance of Interview Impressions.” The purpose of the series is to educate individuals on a variety of topics that will equip him/her with tools needed to enhance decision making and improve his/her professional career. Topics will include social media etiquette, workplace attire, interview skills, public speaking and goalsetting. Young and mature adults are both welcome. Reserve your space by contacting info@ mapbt.com or 706-922-1862. Space is limited.

Thursday, Oct. 27 Business After Hours presented by the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Honda Cars of Aiken, 550 Jefferson Davis Highway, Warrenville. 5-7 p.m. A networking event that provides an opportunity for a company to introduce itself to the business community. This program allows the host/sponsor to showcase its business, services and facilities to fellow Chamber members. It also offers members the chance to meet one another and network in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. AikenChamber.net


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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DUMB QUESTIONS

MARKETING PLAN IS AS IMPORTANT AS BUSINESS PLAN MARK ALISON

In Kyoto there is a shrine famous for its stone garden. For centuries, 15 stones of different shapes and sizes have been resting in a garden of carefully raked sand. By tradition, the stones represent the 15 basic problems of mankind – every person names his or her own. But all the stones cannot be seen at the same time. The message I take away from this is that no one can or should try to contemplate, much less solve, all of his problems at once. (Norman Peale – Have a great day every day) The same can be said for marketing. There are many “stones” or basic problems and opportunities associated with marketing. You can’t solve them all at once, nor should you. The basic rule of marketing success is to start at the most obvious place and then take them as they come. For example, you can’t solve distribution until you’ve solved the manufacturing dilemma. And what good is manufacturing if sales has issues. You don’t know how much to make, or buy. Creating a logo is artistic design. Running an ad is advertising. They are both tangential to marketing but they are not marketing unto themselves. So what comes first, the chicken or the egg; i.e., the brand or the product? The sales or the manufacture? Good marketing starts with a 30,000 foot view. What is the goal and what is the process to reach the goal? We often tell clients, “You have a business plan so why not a marketing plan?” A solid plan examines all of the processes that contribute to getting to the goal. And while it looks for opportunities it also looks for glitches that can cause problems along the way. We worked with a client who felt that advertising and PR were not to mingle.

Indeed, public relations purists have long held that there should be no connection between advertising, the paid message and PR, the free message. However, later that year when an ad came out touting one message and a conflicting message from PR hit the press at the same time cancelling out the ad, it was clear that internal communication wasn’t happening.

So, reflecting on the Kyoto example above, one of the marketing stones is internal communication. When outlined properly the marketing plan is accompanied by numbered steps to take and, by necessity, some of these take place almost concurrently. But remember the stones: Not all opportunities or issues can be seen at once so the plan

leaves room for change based on new market conditions. And, under today’s conditions, we give the plan 24 months at best. No one does five-year plans anymore. That doesn’t make the current plan outdated, though; it is something to build on. Marketing plans are created along with the participating managers. I’ve seen good marketing planning develop new products, new markets and fresh energy. I’ve also seen it result in manufacturer rep changes, sales team realignment and market shifts. The most unusual experience was when two members of the management team discovered they were both doing duplicate parts of the same job, independent of each other. That was a large company. The best part of this process is what we call the “dumb questions.” Because an educated marketing team is not buried deep into the business culture we can ask questions that often open up sanctuaries of information. When I hear a client say, “We’ve always done it that way,” I know it’s a good place to ask a dumb question. So do you have a marketing plan or are you flying SOP (seat of pants)? Consider outsourcing to help with your plan. The savings far outweigh the cost.

We’ve Always Done it This Way

There’s a story of the mom who always cut off the skinny end of the beef roast and packed it next to the larger piece before she wrapped it in foil and placed it into the oven. Her husband questioned her about it and she said she learned it from her mother. Her mother, when asked about cutting off the end of the roast said she had seen her own mother do it for years. The grandmother, when asked if this was some special cooking technique laughed and said, “Heavens no. The butcher always gave me a 15-inch roast and I only had a 12inch pan.”

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 mark@thealisongroup.com.

POKEMAN GO HAS MARKETING BENEFITS FOR BUSINESSES Here’s a new way to attract business – offer Pokemon-themed products. MGH, a full-service marketing communications  agency, released the results of a survey it conducted to uncover if Pokemon-themed products or discounts have been attracting potential customers. The survey found that nearly 60 percent of smart phone users who have  downloaded Pokemon Go were likely to enter a business offering Pokemon-branded discounts to players, 38 percent were likely to purchase a Pokemon-themed product offering, and 60

percent viewed businesses hosting Pokemon promotions favorably. Restaurants and bars topped the list of the types of businesses those surveyed noted as offering Pokemon-themed products or discounts, while Facebook (72 percent) and store signage (52 percent) were the media where the majority of players saw Pokemon-related promotions. Other notable stats included: • Overall, 94 percent of smart phone users surveyed were aware of Pokemon Go • Of those aware, more than 50 percent

40 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

have seen Pokemon Go promotions, a number that increases to 66 percent when looking at respondents who have downloaded Pokemon Go • After restaurants and bars (71 percent), retail stores (44 percent) and entertainment venues/attractions (42 percent) were the types of businesses where respondents were most likely to have seen promotions • Of the respondents who downloaded the game, 56 percent were between the ages of 18-29 • Female respondents are slightly more likely to have seen Pokemon Go promo-

tions, and slightly more likely to purchase a Pokemon-themed product. “With estimated daily users of Pokemon Go still teetering around 20 million, this survey shows there’s still a great opportunity for business owners to tap into this unique and active audience to not only drive foot traffic into their venues, but get them to potentially purchase a product,” said Ryan Goff, Senior Vice President and Social Media Marketing Director at MGH. “The best part of Pokemon Go is that it’s getting people of all ages out and about; businesses just have to find a way to lure customers in.”


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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BEYOND THE LIMITS

BREAKING FREE FROM FALSE BELIEFS LEADS TO FULFILLMENT CAROL GIGNOUX

In our work together so far we have: 1) Looked at your super strength called compensating and how that works to make up for the inconsistency 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 and get things done so you can meet the expectations of others. 3) Explored the third compensating mechanism: Your People Support Network and how to further structure your life so you can make the most of your relationships with the people that surround you. Now we will be talking about Compensating Mechanism No. 4: Dismantling Self Limiting and False Beliefs How beliefs determine results is not a new concept. I suspect you have heard this before: The concept that we achieve what we believe we can and conversely we don’t achieve what we don’t believe we can. Like Henry Ford said: “If you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you’re right.” When did you last ask the question of yourself: “I wonder if I have any of those self-limiting beliefs?” Maybe never and probably not recently. The truth is, we all have them. The problem is that we don’t know how much happiness and success we sacrifice every moment of every day as a result of their influence over our thoughts and decisions. Since our beliefs are unconscious,

until we make them conscious, we may not have a clue. And that’s the problem. For most of us, these problematic self-limiting beliefs that keep us stuck in unhappiness are completely unconscious. We don’t see what is behind our unsatisfying lives – those self-limiting beliefs that steal our thunder and drain the life force out of us every moment, every day, every way. So here’s the good part. You need not continue to tolerate being a slave to your self-limiting beliefs. You can push away the walls of the box that surrounds you by going from powerless to powerful. Once you know what these problem beliefs are, your limited results,

failu r e s and unhappy cycles will begin to make sense. How could you expect to succeed with such beliefs guid-

ing you? There is a way to do this. With the help of a professional success coach, you can identify them, see what they are costing you, and begin to create new stronger beliefs based on your true abilities. You won’t be able to do this on your own. Your conscious mind and long held problem beliefs are clever and ready

to defend themsel ves at every turn. You will need assistance to see through these habitual patterns that have been keeping you stuck for a long time. • Wherever you continue to fail, not get what you want, and recycle the same problems over and over again, there are problem beliefs or set of problem beliefs underneath the issues. • You first must go through a process to find them. These problem beliefs will exist in the areas of your life where there are repeating conflicts within yourself. They show up as knots in your stomach or chest and are tied to relationships. • Once you identify these self-limiting beliefs, you will need help to create the

best new ones to replace the old problem ones. • The final step that will determine whether or not you are able to replace old beliefs with new ones: You and your coach will set up an ongoing structured plan to instill in your mind your new empowering beliefs using a program of empowerment that includes repetition, persistence and faith in yourself. Your coach will keep you on track when you want to give up prematurely. I want you to consider the importance of doing this work. After all, this is about how you are living your life – what could be more important? Are you willing and ready to open the gates to living your true potential, passion and happiness with conscious knowing of exactly what is holding you back? Or are you content to leave the gates closed to growth and fulfillment without knowing what it’s costing you?

Carol and her services are available at www. LiveADHDFree.com. Carol is also the author of a book detailing what she learned from her 40-year journey as an ADHD coach working with hundreds of clients and includes her ground breaking discovery: “ Your Innovator Brain – The Truth About ADHD” available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and many independent booksellers.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK WHEN PICKING A TUTOR FOR YOUR CHILD BY KELVIN COLLINS

School is back in session and report cards will be out before you know it. It’s important to stay proactive when it comes to your child’s academic success. If your child struggles with new curriculum, or just needs a head start with standardized testing, a professional tutoring service can be a valuable tool. Researching and interviewing candidates now ensures that your child is academically prepared throughout the year. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) wants to make sure you get the most for your money when it comes to your child’s educational needs. Nationally, BBB received more than 150 complaints on tutoring services last year. Most complaints allege contract and service issues, many of which stated promises were not met and students weren’t receiving the proper assistance.

Think about how they learn, and what will be most effective to help them. What works for one child may not work for another. Also, some claim billing and refund issues. BBB has this advice when seeking a tutor for your child: Consider your options. Private, inhome tutoring? Small group lessons? Online step-by-step instruction? There are many different avenues to explore before signing your child up for any-

42 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

thing. Think about how they learn, and what will be most effective to help them. What works for one child may not work for another. Do your research. When seeking the right tutoring service or commercial learning center for your child, check out the company’s BBB Business Review at bbb.org  to view its complaint history and details about the complaints. Also, read customer reviews for positive, neutral and negative feedback. Get referrals. Ask for referrals from your child’s teacher or counselor. Other parents and friends can be a great resource as well. Check the tutor’s credentials. Ask for transcript copies, copies of state teaching certificates, tutor certification, or proof of other specialized training. Ask the tutor to provide a complete resume. Also, make sure he or she is qualified in the right subject area for your child’s needs.

Schedule a meeting. Meet with the tutor and discuss measurable, specific goals. While a tutoring program can’t necessarily guarantee higher test scores, a tutor can help identify problem areas and address any specific subjects where your child needs help. Check in. If you use a personal tutor, feel free to occasionally sit in on a session and observe how the tutor and your child are working together. Ask the tutor for advice on what you can do as a parent to help your child learn more effectively. Read the terms and conditions. Be sure you understand details of your payment plan and what happens if you decide to cancel. Get everything in writing. Kelvin Collins is president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia & the CSRA, Inc. serving 41 counties in Central Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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NEWSPAPERS STILL STRONG IN CSRA

LOCAL RESEARCH SHOWS NEWSPAPERS EDGE OUT TV Local newspaper media continues to dominate as the source of local news through their branded website, social media and printed products for the community, according to a new survey of 400 local media users commissioned by AMG/Parade, publisher of insert magazines and conducted by research outfit Coda Ventures. Local TV still leads as an overall platform used by 84 percent of consumers compared to local newspaper’s 76 percent, according to the Coda Research; however, newspapers led online consumption for local news with 56 percent of consumers saying they had visited a newspaper website and/or social page in the past 30 days,

44 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

compared to 39 percent for TV stations’, 20 percent for radio stations’, and 15 percent for magazines’. Newspapers still dominate as the advertising of choice when it comes to local shopping with 45 percent saying they use newspaper’s print, inserts, website, apps and social media. In advertising effectiveness, local papers also lead when asked which media readers consider the best source of information for sales and deals, 48 percent of local media users cite newspapers, compared to 36 percent for TV and 23 percent for direct mail.  The survey also found that local newspapers were the “most relied on” source for deals across a range of goods

and services, including apparel and accessories (31 percent), appliances (37 percent), automotive (32 percent), electronics (35 percent), groceries (35 percent), lawn and garden (36 percent) and office supplies (46 percent). “What’s most exciting for me is that 49 percent of millennial users from the survey thought newspapers did the ‘best job’ providing local news, and 42 percent said they had visited a newspaper website in the past 30 days,” James Holmes, vice president of sales for The Augusta Chronicle.  “As we focus on building our future, we can see our media products are resonating with the next generation of consumers.”


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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46 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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BACK TO BASICS

LEARNING ABOUT GOVERNMENT DEEPENS CRITICAL THINKING MARVIN FARMER

One of the hurdles that all Georgia college students must successfully clear is a course in American Government that includes instruction in both the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions. The typical youth entering a community college has paid scant attention to the role of government and the impact it will have on their lives. I usually ask students for a show of hands of those who follow the news about the government, watch politically-oriented programs or listen to talk radio. This unscientific poll tells me that students either plead ignorance to avoid further questioning or they

truly pay little attention to current events about government. When asked about a current event, some students proudly announce that they do not follow the news. The study of American Government emphasizes traditional American political and cultural values. This may be the first time that the students have heard terms like “limited government,” “free market solutions,” “ puritan work ethic,” and “individualism,” just to mention a few of the concepts addressed. Most students seem to enjoy learning about the basis for the Constitution and how government operates. The framers gave us a great rulebook for self-gover-

nance and liberty when we follow it. Most students, regardless of their political party attachment, are open to discuss concerns of excessive dependency on government programs. At Georgia Military College, political science courses must incorporate an ethical component where students are required to write a report addressing an ethical issue specific to government. This activity promotes critical thinking, broadens one’s knowledge of ethics and the law, and introduces new viewpoints. Studying political science helps a student gain new skills that can be appreciated by employers as they search for

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

employees who understand governmental policies, procedures, and can incorporate ethics into their daily lives.

Marvin Farmer is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and the Department Chair of Social Sciences at Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus. He is also the advisor for the Veteran’s Club, a student organization on campus. For questions about how to enroll in Georgia Military College’s degree programs, call 706993-1123, email musry@gmc.cc.ga.us, or visit gmcaugusta.com.

EMPLOYERS, EMPLOYEES STRIVE TO CLOSE WORK SKILLS GAP

Despite the red flags raised last year as workers expressed concerns about their perceived lack of job skills advancement, new findings from the 2016 Emerging Workforce Study commissioned by Spherion Staffing, which has an office in Augusta reveal that employers and employees have made little progress to narrow the skills gap in the last 12 months. In fact, the study found that the skills gap actually may have grown wider. Conducted online by Research Now among 416 U.S. human resource managers and 2,810 employed U.S. adults ages 18 and older, the 2016 EWS reinforced the skills gap’s impact on both the cur-

sion President. “Either outcome is detrimental to long-term business success, and as our Emerging Workforce Study found, both businesses and workers are taking a dangerous risk by ignoring these skills development disconnects.” The 2016 EWS found that employees are as equally concerned today as one year ago that their professional abilities not only are outdated, but will hinder their ability to move forward. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of workers believe their current skills will prevent them from earning a promotion. Likewise, a nearly equal number (35 percent) is concerned about falling behind in acquiring the new skills required to succeed in more advanced fu-

Employees who believe their workplace does not provide relevant and practical skills development tools are more likely either to become unmotivated to seek growth opportunities or look elsewhere for positions.

rent and future workforce. While employees fear their companies are not doing enough to prepare them to thrive, employers worry that their teams’ skills development and training discontent will make already-challenging retention efforts even more difficult. “Employees who believe their workplace does not provide relevant and practical skills development tools are more likely either to become unmotivated to seek growth opportunities or look elsewhere for positions more suitable to their abilities and training needs,” said Sandy Mazur, Spherion Divi-

ture positions. As they work to overcome this confidence crisis, more employees are holding their companies responsible for their lack of progress. Nearly one in three (32 percent) does not feel his or her company has provided adequate skills training. Additionally, 40 percent admit they find it difficult to devote time to pursuing skills development opportunities. Spherion also found that while employers believe they are making strides to address workers’ skills concerns, significant room for improvement remains. Nearly

48 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

half (45 percent) of companies say they have increased their investment in training and development programs during the last two years. In spite of these efforts, only a small number of workers (14 percent) would give their company’s training and development programs an “A” grade. So why are workers who say they welcome new approaches to skills development so dissatisfied? According to the EWS, this discontent may stem from perceptions that the training programs their company offers are not relevant. Fortyfive percent of workers believe that company-provided development programs are not applicable to their day-to-day job needs. Furthermore, today’s workers seem to lack trust in their team’s ability to provide valuable direct training, with significant numbers considering third-party experts (34 percent) and online training and certification  courses  (23 percent) more credible educators.

An encouraging sign is that employers and employees appear to be on the same page regarding the main skills that will be required for future success, including problem solving, strategic thinking and the ability to understand and interpret data. The challenge for both parties remains finding the ideal strategies to enhance these skills, and ensure that workers feel prepared to meet the changing demands of their industry and individual workplace. “Closing the skills gap is the responsibility of both employers and employees, and better communication can help eliminate some of the disconnects that have prevented progress,” said Mazur. “Through more frequent and open dialogue, both parties can identify which types of training and development programs are the best match for individual needs and examine how workers can enjoy continuous growth at their company.”


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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CASHING OUT

MAJORITY THINK U.S. WILL BECOME CASHLESS Most Americans (62 percent) expect the United States to become a cashless society in their lifetime, with all purchases being made with credit cards, debit cards and other forms of electronic payment. They express these views as more Americans make payments from an expanding  menu  of electronic options, and fewer  make cash  transactions, and as younger populations are becoming more comfortable without cash in their pockets. Gallup asked Americans in a June 2223 survey about their opinions of cash and its future role in the economy. Solid majorities in all age groups say they can foresee a United States society without cash, including 58 percent of those 65 and older and 63 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds. Younger Americans Least Likely to Have Cash on Hand As Americans move away from using tangible currency for their transactions, the majority (54 percent) still say they like to have cash on them at all times. Forty-two percent say they are comfortable not having cash on them. Younger Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most likely to be comfortable not having cash. Americans aged 30 and old-

In the long term, Americans largely predict that cash will become a relic. er – including more than six in 10 among the oldest Americans – say they would prefer having cash on them at all times, as opposed to not having cash. Young adults’ greater comfort in being cashless aligns with their self-reported behavior. They are using cash in a significantly smaller proportion of transactions than they were even five years ago, so they are clearly adapting to spending without cash. Those in Peak Earning Years Carry the Most Cash While older adults generally like to have cash always on hand, this does not mean they like to carry the most cash. Instead, those aged 30 to 49 like to have the most on hand, averaging $61.73. That is more than double the average amount of cash 18- to 29-year-olds like to carry. The ages of 30 to 49 are largely considered the peak earning years and the prime

50 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

child-rearing years. Therefore, for those in this group, their relatively high amount of desired walking-around money may derive from both supply and demand – they have access to more money, and they likely have more reasons to spend it. Bottom Line The first article in this two-part series reported on Americans’ decreasing use of cash in daily transactions. Accordingly, most Americans can already foresee a time when cash will be obsolete. Cash is becoming less a part of Americans’ purchasing behavior as they gravitate toward other payment options and shift toward online purchases, rather than transactions in a brick-and-mortar store. Younger American customers’ lower likelihood to use cash and greater comfort with not having it on hand suggest that the economy will have to adapt. This has significant implications for the credit card, banking and e-commerce industries as well as the local stores and businesses in every U.S. town and city. In the short term, this shift will place greater pressure on these businesses to adapt and accept electronic payments. In the long term, Americans largely predict that cash will become a relic.

WILL THE U.S. GO CASHLESS?

How likely do you think it is that in your lifetime the United States will be a cashless society, in which all purchases are made with credit cards, debit cards and other forms of electronic payment? Very Likely................................... 30% Likely........................................... 32% Unlikely....................................... 25% Very Unlikely............................... 11%

DO YOU HAVE CASH WITH YOU WHEN YOU GO OUT? Are you someone who likes to have cash on you at all times when you are out of your home, or are you comfortable not having cash on you? Always Comfortable Age have cash without cash 18-29.............. 54%..................... 42% 30-49.............. 42%..................... 56% 50-64.............. 54%..................... 42% 65+................. 62%..................... 32%

HOW MUCH CASH DO YOU CARRY WHEN YOU GO OUT? About how much cash do you typically like to have on you when you are out of the house? Age Ave. Amount 18-29............................................. $27 30-49............................................. $62 50-64............................................. $48 65+................................................ $52


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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52 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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LIKE GRANDMA’S KITCHEN

SUNRISE GRILL CREATES COMFORTABLE FEEL FOR DINERS SUSAN O’KEEFE Imagine your grandmother’s kitchen table with a few comfy but well-worn chairs around it. Then imagine an ease of conversation and welcome spirit permeating her home. There’s a similar feeling at Sunrise Grill in Martinez. We were greeted with a hand wave and instructed to find a seat anywhere we chose. With an exceptionally large dining space, we had no trouble finding a table for five. Customers were scattered throughout the space, enjoying their mid-day meal. Bright rays of sun shone through the broad front glass windows. After settling into a table nestled against the wall, we were met by a friendly server. She inquired if this was our first time at the award-winning grill. With a sense of loyalty, she proudly shared the menu overview, including the fact that breakfast is served all day. At last count, Sunshine Grill’s website estimated a whopping 3.9 million eggs had been cracked and served since they opened! Surely that includes the North Augusta location as well!

Sunrise Grill

Sunrise Grill has two locations. One is located at 3830 Washington Road in Martinez. The other is located at 404 East Martintown Road in North Augusta. Their website is thesunrisegrill.com One of my colleagues keenly picked up on the all-day breakfast offer. He resolutely closed his menu and settled on breakfast: biscuits, sausage gravy, two eggs, grits, the works. Colleagues two and three jumped on the breakfast bandwagon but chose a bacon and cheese sandwich. Colleague four and I decided on a more traditional lunch. He ordered a cheeseburger,

54 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

and I chose to try the chicken salad. Neither of us was disappointed. With menu items ranging from $4.29 to $8.59, it’s clear this grill takes counting every penny fairly seriously. If your wallet’s a bit tight, it seems the dollar can stretch at Sunrise Grill. Their online motto clearly states their goal is to provide high quality foods at reasonable prices. A couple of televisions displayed sports or news shows. Since the volume was muted, the audio didn’t hinder our conversation. If a large business group wanted to meet, there would be ample space, and each should be able to hear the other. If a smaller, more intimate conversation is needed, there are several smaller tables that would be adequate as well. Once our steaming hot food was served, our table quickly became quiet. Too busy to talk, we were consumed with eating. The burger received two thumbs up as did the biscuits and gravy. While not a huge fan of home fries, we decided

they earned their keep if one was a fan in the first place. The chicken salad was a large enough serving to make its way into a carry-out box and provide for another meal. More than once, our drinks were refilled. Our server went out of her way to take care of us, answering questions and ensuring our enjoyment. As its website states Sunrise is “a real nice place” for breakfast and lunch. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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ZERO TOLERANCE

BAR WORKERS AVOID PROBLEMS BY NOT DRINKING ON THE JOB BOB JOHNSON If you are an owner or general manager of a restaurant or bar who allows your staff to consume beverage alcohol during the scope of their employment – i.e., “drinking on the job” – you ought to be taken out back and taught a lesson. Okay, that may be an exaggeration. But when you carefully examine this issue, allowing your staff to drink on the job is the ultimate act of irresponsibility and disrespect for the welfare of your employees and your business. Owners and managers must protect their business from potential lawsuits, and allowing your employees to drink while they work leaves you wide open. You’re taking a chance at losing it all. Ethyl alcohol affects judgment and impairs one’s ability to rationalize or perform a function that requires effective interpretation or quick reaction. Misreading a situation is commonplace for anyone consuming beverage alcohol, regardless of the amount. Counting money, making a judgment call, responding to a pressure situation or settling a disturbance can only be done with a clear mind. Beverage alcohol is not a “performance enhancer”. Legally, if there are damages or injury to a third party, and you were involved in the situation in any way and it was known that you were under the influence of alcohol at the time, your company and you have no reasonable defense. You just lost the case, and you may not have enough money to defend yourself in this kind of situation. Medically, if there is injury to you while on the clock and you have consumed beverage alcohol in any quantity, worker’s compensation will not pay for your medical treatment. You’re on your own. Because you work in a heavily scrutinized industry, management and staff must never be under the influence of

beverage alcohol when confronted by a representative of local law enforcement or a governmental agency performing a routine assignment that wants to ask questions. When you, the owner, hired a bartender or manager, did you include the consumption of beverage alcohol as part of the job? Of course you didn’t. So why would you allow it? If a bartender or manager chooses to consume a beverage alcohol product for their personal consumption while working, they’re stealing from you. That is grounds for immediate termination. It’s no different than working at Wal-Mart and helping yourself to a few DVDs or a pack of gum without paying for it. I have too many bartender friends who got into the habit of having a couple of drinks while working. Then the customer

buys the bartender a drink, and the bartender gladly accepts, because he’s allowed to. Now the bartender is having quite a few every day, then finds him or herself having a few on their days off, and they have to have several drinks a day just to “balance out.” This is called addiction, and they’ve got a problem they’re going to battle the rest of their lives. Do you really want to be a part of that? Alcohol is for the customer to consume, not the bartender or other staff members. Bartenders simply prepare it and serve it – that’s it! Why do bartenders, managers or staff feel they’re entitled to consume alcohol while they’re working? It’s unprofessional, it’s self-serving, and in many states, it’s illegal. Charley is on my mind every day. He was a bartender who worked at a place

where I was a regular customer. Charley was allowed, and encouraged, to drink with the customers. He was my friend and I did everything I could to get him to stop drinking at work. “It doesn’t matter what they allow you to do, Charley,” I would say. “Professional bartenders don’t drink while working.” Charley had quite a bit of tequila one night, and then mixed it with a few too many shots. He didn’t make it home, nor did the family of four he crashed into while on their way to an early morning mass. Charley fell asleep at the wheel and crossed over the center line. The case is pending, but a massive lawsuit has been brought against Charley, the bar owner, and investors and managers of the bar where Charley worked. You see, the owner and managers encouraged their people to drink while working. “It’s good for business,” they rationalized. And Charley? He survived the crash (the drinker usually does). But his life is over. He has to be sedated every day. He can’t eat. He can’t do anything. He was once a really good guy, but today he can’t live with himself for what he did to those innocent people on their way to church.

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 bobthebarguy.com or 800-447-4384.

FILM INDUSTRY BRINGING BIG MONEY TO GEORGIA

GEORGIA THIRD AMONG STATES IN FILM MAKING

Hollywood isn’t the only place that’s making money off the film industry. Georgia is becoming a big player as well. Gov. Nathan Deal announced recently that feature films and television productions filmed in Georgia generated an economic impact of more than $7 billion during fiscal year 2016. The 245 feature film and television productions shot in Georgia represent $2.02 billion in direct spending in the state. “Georgia’s film industry provides a significant impact on our state’s economy, employing thousands of Geor-

56 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

gians while developing infrastructure and boosting small businesses,” said Deal “The film industry has created a home in Georgia, and I am committed to retaining this relationship by constructing a strong, film-ready workforce that will continue to help the industry thrive.” Georgia now ranks third behind California and New York as the top states in the film industry. More than 130 new businesses have relocated or expanded in Georgia to support this burgeoning industry, creating jobs for Georgians as well as economic opportunities for communities and small businesses. “As long as we continue to deepen our crew base and add even more studios and businesses to support the industry, Georgia is ensuring its place in the film industry

well into the future,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr. Georgia-filmed movies will take over the big screen in the next few months with “Solace,” starring Colin Farrell and Anthony Hopkins was released on Sept. 2 and “Sully,” starring Tom Hanks, Anna Gunn and Laura Linney, on Sept. 9. Also releasing this fall are “The Birth of a Nation,” starring Nate Parker and Armie Hammer, on Oct. 7; and “The Accountant,” starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick and Jon Bernthal, on Oct. 14. Upcoming Georgia-filmed television productions premiering within the next few months include “Atlanta,” on FX; “The Walking Dead,” on AMC; and “Halt and Catch Fire,” on AMC.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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58 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016


ARTS AND LIFE

AFTER 40 YEARS, AUGUSTA MINI THEATRE STILL GOING STRONG BY AMANDA KING

Musician and actor Kigwana Cherry gets emotional talking about his experience with Augusta Mini Theatre. The arts and life skills school on Deans Bridge Road empowered Cherry and his friends not only with a hobby, but also valuable lessons and relationships. “‘My strength is derived from my own determination. I am indestructible,’” Cherry recited from a poem he learned in elementary school. He is now 30 years old. Over the past 41 years, Augusta Mini Theater has grown from meeting in a library to building its own 9,333 square-foot school. The facility currently hosts five studios for dance, piano, violin, drama and visual arts and also has a room for students to complete school work before or after rehearsals and there are plans to expand the building to accommodate more students and programs. Augusta Mini Theatre got its start in 1975 when Tyrone Butler didn’t get a much-desired promotion at his job. He decided to pursue his dream of performing and met with librarian Gwendolyn Cummings at the Wallace Branch Library in 1975 with a desire to put on a show to entertain others. Cummings approved Butler to perform at the main branch library. Within a few performances, Butler noticed a lot of young people attending the shows and wanting to be a part of them. He formed the non-profit Augusta Mini Theatre and students eagerly signed up to learn the arts. “To be honest, back then, I didn’t even know we were doing the arts,” Butler recalled. “People, early on, would say to me, ‘Tyrone, you are doing a great joy with the arts’ and I would reply, ‘Thanks.’ But, once alone, I would ask myself, ‘Arts? What’s that?’” With help from the Augusta Players and Paine College, Butler and other instructors began teaching students acting, dancing and music. More than four decades later, Butler still runs the school with the same dream to provide an affordable arts school for the Augusta area. While students pay a fee to participate in classes, no one is turned away because they cannot afford it. Through donations from the community, Butler and his staff make sure that every child has the opportunity to attend. Early on, students at Augusta Mini Theatre performed popular productions such as “The Wiz” and “Little Red Riding Hood,” but Butler decided to take a different approach by writing his own plays, predominantly about social issues. Augusta Mini Theatre found its niche with Butler’s plays and continues to bring shows that make viewers think about the things that are going on around them, especially in the school setting. “There were not many groups doing things about social issues at that time,” Butler said. With original plays, Augusta Mini Theater found its

The cast of Invade America, one of many shows Augusta Mini Theatre has produced since 1975. Photo contributed

niche for performances and continues to bring shows that make viewers think about the situations going on around them, especially in the school setting. One of the stories Butler penned is a play entitled, “Pickin’,” a story about bullying in high schools. After the shooting at Columbine High School in 1998, the play was published by Pioneer Drama Services and is still performed 10 to 15 times per year across the country, according to Butler. But Cherry said there is so much more to the school than learning about the arts. He recalled Butler and his wife treating him and the other students like they were their own children, listening to their problems and offering advice. Cherry left Augusta after high school to attend Tuskegee University. Through the study abroad program, he had the opportunity perform in operas overseas. When he returned home, he caught up with Butler and his wife. “It was like falling back in with family,” he said. Butler offered his former student a position on the school’s board. Cherry knew that he had to give back to the school that had given him so much. Because of the skills obtained at Augusta Mini Theatre, Cherry has had the opportunity to play in a number of plays and operas, including Augusta University’s “Marriage of Figaro.” Cherry is not the only successful artist to emerge from the school. Shay Roundtree had a major role in the 2002 movie, “Drumline,” as well as various commercials and

television shows. Rege Lewis has also appeared on the small screen, including “House of Cards.” Nicole Williams has appeared in Disney productions and moved to Japan to work at the Disney studios there. Not all students go on to be musicians and actors. Alumni include doctors, lawyers and high-ranking members of the military. In addition to his singing and acting gigs, Cherry is also an engineer. He believes that the school has enhanced his life and that it can do the same for other students. “It’s a top notch education,” he said. Even though Butler plans to raise more funds to expand the building, that hasn’t taken away from his main goal – helping students. In 1984, the school began awarding Mariah McKie Memorial College Book Scholarships. Students who have been enrolled at the school for four or more consecutive years qualify to receive a $400 per year scholarship for up to four years. This year’s scholarships were awarded on July 19 at the Church of the Good Shepherd during the theater’s annual Sunshine’s Roast and Toast where they roasted former Georgia Senate Majority Leader, Charles Walker. Augusta Mini Theater already has a full schedule for the 2016-2017 school year, including a showcase on October 9 and two full productions during the school year. Ticket information can be found on their website at augustaminitheatre.com or by calling the office at 706-722-0598. September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

59


MOUNTAIN TOP EXPERIENCE

LEGENDARY VERMONT BREW LIVES UP TO ITS HYPE

and there was even an app to let you know when the delivery truck would be at certain locations. Ok. So, that’s a bunch of hype, and admittedly so. However, I was truly blown away at the robust flavors, significant hoppy savor, and paradoxical drinkability of this 8% IPA when I tried it. The mouthful mirrors the nose with floral notes, pine, hops, bark and a helping of grassy earth to round things out. Everything you’d expect in a double IPA is present, but nothing, absolutely nothing, offends the senses with this brew. It lives up to the hype in a simple and significant way, and I dare say Alchemist has found something so simple yet so profound that a brew enthusiast discovering this beer is akin to a physicist discovering gravity (high gravity, that is).

BEN CASELLA

A smoked bluefish sandwich, my beautiful bride sitting across the table from me, the wind off the northern Vermont mountains at my back, the best IPA I’ve ever had in my right hand, and Hall and Oates’ Greatest Hits (on vinyl) playing in the background. Well, it was almost the perfect day. Nothing against Hall and Oates – it’s just not for me. Again, I’m not knockin’ it. It’s just not for me, and, to prove that I’m not a chronological chauvinist, I have what I would call a desirable collection of Grateful Dead bootleg tapes from the early 1970s. So, there’s that... What I would like to elaborate on, keeping with the theme of this column, is the mention of the best IPA I’ve ever had in the preceding paragraph. Let me digress for a moment... Recently, I had a speaking engagement in Vermont. By means of an incredible extended family child care support network on both sides of our marriage, Laura got to come with me, and having her there was even better than escaping the heat for a few days. At any rate, I gave three consecutive lectures on a Friday on the topics of Meibomian gland dysfunction, optical coherence tomography, and glaucoma. Suffice

it to say, the audience was ready for a beer even more than I was. Within 30 minutes of my last lecture concluding, Laura and I were sitting at a table at Doc Ponds in Stowe, Vermont, when the waitress said four significant words: “We have Heady Topper.” It’s that big of a deal that she didn’t even need to wait for us to ask. Heady Topper is an American IPA truly local

to Vermont. I say truly local due to the fact that it is sold in a handful of locales and not anywhere far from the Alchemist Brewery. In fact, before Alchemist opened another location within Stowe, people would literally follow the delivery truck and buy beer right as it was delivered to retail locations. There was often an eightbeer (two four-pack) limit per purchase,

Augustans Ben and Laura have added Vermont to the list of places to which they have to return some day. They didn’t see Bernie Sanders or any members of Phish (Ben’s favorite band) when they were in Burlington, but they had an excellent time and can’t wait to return.

IT’S A STRANGE WORLD

WRITER CHANGES NORMAL NETFLIX VIEWING HABITS SAMANTHA TAYLOR

There are times in life when I find it extremely difficult to get out of my comfort zone. My Netflix habits are a great example of this. I love sports, documentaries and stand-up comedy, so I can be a little hesitant to switch gears. This month, however, I didn’t give myself an out. The rules were simple: no sports, no stand-up, no documentaries. Stranger Things I’vae seen this show popping up on Netflix, and I may have even read the description. To be completely honest, though, I don’t think I ever would have watched it on my own. The title alone made me suspicious, and the picture they use to promote the show sealed the deal. This is a scary show, and Samantha doesn’t like to be scared. Lucky for my readers, I didn’t have to watch the show alone. My awesome boyfriend stepped up and saved the day like he always does. Armed with popcorn and boiled peanuts, we hunkered down and started Stranger Things.

The first two minutes of the show was a little intense. Somewhere in early ‘80s Indiana, a government lab has lost control of one of its experiments and things do not go well for the man on duty. We don’t see what attacks him, but we do see the terror on his face, and that’s good enough for me. The show then cuts to some of our main characters, four middle school boys in their 10th hour of a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. (It’s the ‘80s, remember!) It’s getting late and it’s a school night, so the host kid’s mother sends the other three boys home. They turn on their bike headlights and ride together down the dark, quiet streets. As they pass a row of houses, they say goodnight and one of the friends turns into his driveway. Now there are two. The two friends continue on, but, as you might have guessed, they don’t both make it home. Something is in the woods, and that something follows one of the boys home. Thus far, I’ve only watched one episode

60 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

of Stranger Things, but I am intrigued. It’s well-written, well filmed, and one of the most original shows I’ve seen in a long time. I’m looking forward to watching the next episode, and I may even watch it alone if I have to. Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell I found this show on accident, and was intrigued by the title. Set in the 18th century, the series opens with a young man attempting, in vain, to cast a spell. His failure frustrates him, and he rushes off to meet with a group of the (self-proclaimed) wisest men in England. They are magicians. What’s interesting about these magicians is that they don’t actually practice any magic. This truly troubles the youngest member of the group, and he asks during their meeting why magic has left London, why there are no attempts to cast spells, why the group is happy to sit and talk rather than use their knowledge for good. The poor fellow is laughed out of the meeting. What the young man doesn’t know is

that magic is not gone from London, and the prophecy says that not one, but two, magicians will be known and bring magic back to the city. While Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell is not nearly as exciting as Stranger Things, it wasn’t awful. With an original storyline and solid acting, the show has potential. Unfortunately, it moves pretty slowly, so I’m not sure just how many episodes I’ll actually make it through. I don’t want to totally write it off though, so if you’re into period dramas, give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.

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.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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GAME DAY GLORY

THOUGHTS ON WHY COLLEGE FOOTBALL OUTSHINES PROS CHRIS KANE

On the first college football Saturday this year, I missed a call from my friend, Julie, and called her back at 11:54 a.m. That was a dumb move by me. For seven months, I’ve been waiting for this day and the plan was simple: Don’t leave my couch from noon to 12 a.m. Twelve solid hours of football watching. All right, so I’d have to get up to let the pizza guy in at some point, but you get where I’m coming from. So here’s how that 11:54 a.m. call went: Me: “Hey Julie: “Hey, Kane Me: “I only have six minutes to talk, then I’m watching college football all day.”

Julie: “Ummm....Okay.” (Six minutes later) Me: “Bye” (hangs up phone) And off I went. Twelve hours of epic college football viewing was underway. No other day compares to the first Saturday in September. I never have this anticipation for the first Sunday of NFL games. And then it hit me: College Football is better than Pro Football and here’s why. • ESPN GameDay Show • Jim Harbaugh’s Twitter account • Real live Mascots • No Roger Goodell • Overtime games that guarantee both teams touch the ball • Lee Corso headgear picks

• Bands that play throughout the game • Walk-on players earning scholarships • Rivalry games that linger for 365 days • Brent Musburger saying “You are looking live!” • Games played in front of 150,000 fans at a NASCAR Track • Heisman Trophy • Bowl Games • Paul Finebaum’s radio show • Walking through campus before kickoff • School traditions • Tailgate parties planned seven months in advance • Smart couples don’t schedule Saturday weddings between September-December • No fantasy football commercials

• Players singing their fight song after the game • Southern Cal Cheerleaders Can’t wait for next Saturday. Don’t worry Julie, I’ll call ya a little earlier, at 11:30 a.m. Somebody alert the pizza guy.

Chris Kane spent 17 years in Augusta working as a popular sports/news anchor at WAGT (NBC) and WJBF (ABC). He put the mic down for good in April 2016. Contact him at masterkaneo@yahoo.com.

CAUTION URGED ON AREA ROADS AFFECTED BY IRONMAN 70.3 The 8th annual Ironman 70.3 Augusta will be held on Sunday, Sept. 25 beginning at 7:30 a.m. This year’s event is once again the largest 70.3 in North America with more than 3,500 athletes attending. The triathlon includes a 1.2 mile swim in the Savannah River, continues with a 56 mile bike ride through Aiken County, and finishes with a 13.1 (half marathon) run through Downtown Augusta. New this year, Augusta will be hosting about 20 professional female athletes. The Augusta Sports Council estimates this sold-out event will have an estimated $4.7 million in economic impact. Along with Ironman 70.3 is the Ironkids Augusta Fun Run which will take place the Saturday before the triathlon. In an effort to enhance the well-being of those residing in the communities where Ironman events are held, the Ironman Foundation provides an opportunity for Ironman Athletes to showcase charitable support to a variety of local nonprofit organizations that recognize citizens in need and provide support to the local commu-

The cyclists will return to The Boathouse to begin the run section of the race. Safety along the route is critical for both the athletes and residents. There will be dozens of security vehicles including local law enforcement and city vehicles assisting with road closures and safety. Be aware of these officers, along with uniformed volunteer road marshals, who will be monitoring entrances and nity. The Ironman Foundation will sup- exits to homes and businesses. If travels port deserving organizations within the catch you in the midst of the competiAugusta region, and will be awarding tion, please remain where you are, enjoy $20,000 in grant funding this year to non- the race and proceed safely when you can. profits with a volunteerism component.  Bike Course: Traffic conditions will be impacted on The first group of cyclists will take the area roads on Sunday beginning at 4 a.m. route at approximately 8 a.m. Organizand continuing until 6 p.m. ers anticipate roads to be clear by 3 p.m.  The 70.3 mile triathlon will begin at The cyclists will start on Riverfront Drive. 7:30 a.m. with the swimming event from They will turn onto East Boundary then the Augusta Riverwalk Marina to The turn again on Sand Bar Ferry to begin the Boathouse Community Center on River- trek to Aiken County. Roads along the front Drive. From there, athletes will tran- cycling route will be open to traffic. Masition to the cycling leg. The leg will wind jor intersections will be monitored by law through Aiken County, passing through enforcement from the Richmond County Jackson and New Ellenton on the route. Sheriff ’s Office, Aiken County Sher-

NIKE BOWS OUT OF GOLF BUSINESS

You may see Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy playing with a new set of clubs and hitting different balls at the next Masters Tournament. Nike has sponsored both of those players, plus Brooks Koepka and Michelle Wie and others, but it announced recently it will be getting out of the golf business. It will no longer make clubs, golf balls and golf bags. But you’ll still be able to buy Nike golf shoes and other golf apparel. Woods has been with Nike for 20 years, ever since turning pro in 1996.

Three years ago, the company signed McIlroy for a reported $200 million. Woods is expected to remain as a spokesman for Nike golf, but will probably have to put different clubs in his bag. David Duval was the first player to win a major with Nike equipment at the 2001 British Open. Despite having Woods and other big names under contract, the Nike name never made much of an impact in the golf world except in its shoes and apparel.

62 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

iff ’s Office, Jackson Police Department and New Ellenton Police Department. Side streets will be monitored by volunteer course marshals from Fort Gordon. Run Course: Race organizers expect the leaders to begin the run at approximately 10 a.m. According to the race cut-off time, runners must be off the course by 6 p.m. On Greene and Reynolds streets, one lane of traffic along the route will be designated for the race, with cones marking the circuit. Broad Street will closed to vehicle traffic from 13th Street to East Boundary. Motorists are encouraged to park on side streets. Other Closures: The westbound lane of Broad Street between 8th and 9th streets will close Friday evening, Sept. 23 and remain closed until 6 p.m. Sunday, September 25. Gordon Highway ramps will be closed at Broad St. and Bay St. from 4 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 25. The 5th Street Bridge will be closed from 6 to 10 a.m. on Sept. 25.

NORTH AUGUSTA CLASSIC GOLF TOURNAMENT SET FOR OCT. 17

North Augusta Forward, the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce and the City of North Augusta will hold their 14th annual North Augusta Classic Golf Tournament on Monday, Oct. 17. This will be held in cooperation with TTX Hamburg and The River Club Golf Course. This joint venture was developed to serve community improvement initiatives. Approximately 130 community

and corporate leaders participate in the event annually. A quarter of a million dollars has been raised over the past 13 years. Each team receives green fees, cart rental, tournament gift, lunch and 19th Hole celebration after the tournament with barbecue. Each player is eligible to win prizes the day of the event. Sponsorships are available by contacting Mary Anne Bigger at 803-510-0011.


September 22—October 19, 2016 Buzz on Biz

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64 Buzz on Biz September 22—October 19, 2016

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