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Evans on Ice founder Christine Boerner is one of the Women in Business we celebrate. Pages 27-39

April 27-May 24, 2017 • The CSRA’s monthly business Magazine

ready for a close-up Here I am wearing one of our Cielo pill holders around my neck

By Christine Boerner Eight years ago I didn’t know I was an entrepreneur. I spent my days at Starbucks Coffee headquarters thinking about how to make every moment matter for our customers, and I absolutely loved it. The work was interesting, my colleagues were brilliant and I planned on happily spending my career there. Then, in August 2009, the best and worst things that had ever happened to me changed my life in a matter of weeks. First, I met my husband. And second, my dad passed away unexpectedly. Grieving for the man who taught me to appreciate a sunset, while at the same time falling in love with my husband made me realize that nothing matters more than the people in our lives. In my corporate job, I spent a lot of time away from my friends and family, and I often joked that I felt about eight PowerPoint presentations away from interacting with an actual customer. I knew I needed to find a way to connect with people in a meaningful way, but I had no idea what that meant.

So I left Starbucks in 2013, and I started exploring the world with meaningful connection as my compass. I’ve found that when you take the time to really connect with someone, there’s a type of magic that occurs. All of a sudden you feel like you did something significant, there’s a satisfaction deep in your soul. And the best part… you want to do it again! And so a virtuous cycle begins. When people are more connected to others, they want to give more back. They want to participate in life. All of a sudden you have a community of people that want to be involved with what’s going on around them. People aren’t just watching the world they live in, they’re part of it. Connection makes everything richer. It makes it matter. It makes it better for everyone. So I started my first business to connect with people over a very personal subject – their health. Practically, Cielo Pill Holders give people a stylish and reliable way to carry pills – which amazingly, didn’t

Film industry is growing in Augusta

By Amanda King

The Augusta area is about to have a close Encounter of the cool kind. Filming began April 18 on the scifi drama written and directed by Paul Salamoff and starring Anna Hutchison (Cabin in the Woods), Luke Hemsworth (Westworld), Christopher Showerman (George of the Jungle 2) and Tom Atkins (Lethal Weapon). Hemsworth also is older brother to Chris (Thor) and Liam Hemsworth (The Hunger Games). Encounter is the fourth film made in Augusta in recent years, but it is the first to be filmed here exclusively. Hollywood Dirt, another recent film produced by billionaire Elon Musk’s twin sister, Toska, was filmed in the area for 10 days and is scheduled to be released in November. Film production in Augusta won’t be slowing down any time soon. Kevin Welch, Encounter’s line producer and production manager, said he is aware of at least three projects in the works later this year, all with bigger budgets than Encounter and Hollywood Dirt, which means a bigger impact on the economy.

Top Right Photo: We are using a global leader in the ice rink industry that will bring in a massive refrigeration unit to run coolant under the whole structure to keep it icy cold--- even if temperatures hit the 70’s!

exist before. Emotionally though, I hope that Cielo gives my customers an unexpected reason to smile - from the look of the pill holder, to the satisfying way it feels when it closes, to the feeling that they did something great by supporting American manufacturing. This business has been an incredible journey for me so far – Cielo has been recognized by Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Fortune, Town & Country and Good Housekeeping! It’s also connected me to my customers in a way that’s really mattered. Cielo has been a huge focus these past few years, but starting our family has been an even bigger priority. We have two children now, and they are the reason we are in Augusta. The strength of this community drew us here from Seattle last summer, and we’re here to stay.

Why Augusta?

In 2008, former Gov. Sonny Perdue signed the Entertainment Industry Investment Act, giving production companies up to a 30 percent tax credit for filming in the Peach State. Movies and TV shows began filming all over Atlanta almost overnight. There is just one problem with the capital city, according See FILMS on Page 4

Writer/director Paul Salamoff (from left) laughs with actors Christopher Showerman and Tom Atkins on the set of Encounter at Trinity Hospital. Filming began April 18. Three more productions are reportedly in the works for the Augusta area. Photo by Amanda King

Augusta Film Office helps facilitate the filmmaking process in the area/Page 4

Bottom Right Ph be working hard all families enjo

We’re embar ness venture no celebrating and local communi inaugural year the CSRA’s new Evans on Ice. Anchored by skating rink, w Columbia Cou attractions that friends togethe the holiday sea run from midNew Year at Ev Our goal is t nity and its bus as possible. If y about how you check out www.EvansO

‘driving attraction’ County developers use Red Carpet Tour to tout area’s potential By Amanda King

While many of us sipped on fruity cocktails or chased princesses and a giant mouse around a theme park during Masters Week, numerous Richmond, Columbia and Burke county employees were hard at work helping to bring businesses to the Garden City. Economic developers Jessica Hood (Burke County), Walter Sprouse (Richmond County) and Robbie Bennett (Columbia County), along with economic developers across the state, took part in the Red Carpet Tour, a four-day tour organized by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce to draw businesses to the state. The Red Carpet Tour has generated tens of billions of dollars in investments and tens of thousands of jobs since its inception, according to a story by Damon Cline, business editor of The Augusta Chronicle. With the event held during Masters Week, it is only natural for Augusta to be one of the stops on the tour. “It has been a phenomenal event over the years, really driving attraction not only to our area, but the state as a whole,” Bennett said. “We are lucky to have the Masters, but the state of Georgia is also lucky to have the Masters.”

Hood, Sprouse and Bennett spent the week making connections with business representatives from across the country. No deals or promises were made during this visit. All three local developers will now follow up with the contacts made and try to bring them back to the area in the near future to discuss potential projects and get a closer look at the region and all it has to offer. “Our job is to be in front of them and for them to remember us,” Sprouse said. Talks during the event weren’t all business, but even casual conversations turned into possible opportunities. Hood recalled talking with a site developer for a while when he casually picked up a brochure with some Burke County information. The developer immediately saw a project that he might want to be a part of and the two arranged to speak in the future. Bennett said Columbia County is currently focusing on the film industry and made connections with film representatives. Hood, with a more rural demographic in Burke County, focused more on manufacturing contacts. “It’s great because each of the three counties has its own unique niche, and so we focus on different industries,” Hood said.

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To order a 12-month subscription mailed to your home or office, please mail a check for $49 (includes sales tax) to cover postage to the address below. Publisher\Editor in Chief Neil R. Gordon Managing Editor Amanda King, Layout Riverfront Design Center Ad Building E35 Media Photography Amanda King, Melissa Gordon

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2 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

lessons from Mickey, Minnie and my Mouseketeer By Neil Gordon

It’s been 20 years since my last visit to Walt Disney World, when my first child was almost 4 years old, an age when it seems appropriate to enter the “Happiest Place On Earth,” and for parents to realistically check stress levels at the gate. Yes, Mickey and Minnie Mouse were there to greet my family, including my now almost 4-year-old daughter – and yes, staff members were incredibly attentive. I had put on my best pair of walking shoes. I knew I’d be zigzagging across five visits to theme parks in three days at a brisk pace so we could hurry up … and wait … on the next attraction. I wasn’t as frustrated when I learned by trip’s end that I had walked the equivalent of nearly a marathon to offset my awful food choices during the week! Thanks to fitness technology, there was “an app” for that. That, too, was the biggest Disney difference between then and now. Technology. We stayed at one of the resorts on the property and our “MagicBand” rubber bracelet served as a hotel key that usually I would have a) lost or b) discovered that the magnetic strip didn’t work. Both scenarios would have caused me to constantly run to the lobby for a new key. MagicBands are waterproof and stayed on our wrists the whole trip and were used in lieu of a credit card to make purchas-

At left, my “client” Lyndee Gordon loved her 20 or so meet ’n greets in the Disney Parks, and we learned to “give her what she wanted.” Above, Disney’s MagicBands are a great example of high-tech benefits to make a client’s experience memorable. Photos by Melissa Gordon

es at the park. No cash or credit cards to lose or locate. Photographers pop up everywhere from Main Street to Hollywood Boulevard. After your family poses, they scan your MagicBand with the scanning gear attached to their camera. You can view and purchase

the photos on your Disney app. (Luckily for me, my wife is a professional photographer and we have plenty of documented memories). Best of all, no more fingerprinting of your kids and no need to put a “call me” note in your child’s shoe. The MagicBands

link to your account at the resort so park officials can instantly know whom to call if a park goer sits with your missing child. So, what are we doing to make lives easier for our clients like Disney does? If we are in the service business with a waiting room, do we provide more than just magazines for those waiting to pay us? Is shopping really a “pleasure” at your retail store? It’s easy to notice a different level of service – from help carrying packages to staff smiling to the store layout. The other lesson learned was from my daughter Lyndee, whom Disney employees called “Princess.” I call this the “give ‘em what they want” lesson. As much as we tried to explore animal safa-

ris and insect exhibits at Animal Kingdom and listen to African music and visit countries like Asia at Disney – she kept saying to us, “Mommy, Daddy, I want to go see the characters!” We waited in line time after time to get “meet ’n greets” with her generation’s rock stars – Moana, Sofia The First, Doc McStuffins, Rapunzel, Alena, Anna, Elsa and others I cannot remember. She even stood in line a second time so she could show Doc McStuffins that she had a lab coat just like her. So, are we giving our clients what they want or are we shoving the “special of the month” down their throats? If we don’t have what our client needs are we going the extra mile by finding a good fit with another vendor – even if it means no immediate profit for us? That’s okay. You’ll be the “goto” person the next time around, and they’ll trust you. Let’s make our companies the happiest place for clients in the CSRA.

Neil Gordon is the founder and publisher of Buzz on Biz, which includes a daily TV segment on News 12 This Morning at 6:25 a.m., a daily radio show from noon to 1 p.m. on 1630 AM, a weekly e-newsletter and Reach him at 706.589.6727 or

Features ‘Driving Attraction’....................... 2 Developers use Red Carpet Tour to tout area’s potential. Buzz Bits.................................. 6, 44 Openings, Closings and More...................................... 7, 45 Growth in Evans.......................... 10 The Plaza at Evans Towne Center brings new business opportunities.

Columnists Mark Alison: The Wrong Kind of Risk............................................................................. 8 Joe Edge: Alcohol and Real Estate................................................................................16 Christine Hall: A Closer Look at Estimated Tax Payments....................................16 Dagan Sharpe: Are You Work Weary?..........................................................................18 Scott Thurmond: Saving Money with Copiers.........................................................18 Mike Herrington: Are you ready for retirement?.....................................................20 Beth Pence: Recipe for Success.....................................................................................20 Barry Paschal: Getting to Work......................................................................................22

Greenjackets............................... 12 See what the minor league team has in store for its last season at Lake Olmstead Stadium and find out about the “Tebow effect.” Upcoming Business Events.................................. 14, 15 Hospital Economic Report......... 21 Two hospitals release reports about economic report and growth.

Roger Duke: Project Manager? Who Me?..................................................................24 Janie Peel: Meet Some Downtown Women in Business.......................................34 Kurt Mueller: The Importance of Planning................................................................46 Steve Swanson: Be More Interesting...........................................................................48 John Pope: In Digital Marketing, Vigilance is Key...................................................48 Ben Casella: The Maine Effect.........................................................................................52 Daryl Rolle: Where’s Your Halo?.....................................................................................52 Susan O’Keefe: Buona Caffe Offers Tasty Fare..........................................................54

Women in Business Special section.......................27-39 Social Buzz: Bethany and the Southside Boys........................... 42 Local Band taking the stage with big names. Dancing Stars.............................. 50 Two dance studios are lending their time for a good cause.

Samantha Taylor: Don’t Call it a Comeback..............................................................54 Onnie Sanford: The Right Ingredients.........................................................................56 Richard Brashear: Online presence is crucial in today’s mobilecentric world.....................................................................................................................58 Sean Andrews: Be Mindful of Your Health.................................................................60 Tony Creighton: Am I Saving Money with a Partial House Wash?.....................62 Mark Stephens: What Properties Benefit from Cost Segregation?...................62

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Films Continued from Page 1 to local filmmaker Bryan Williams from Bryton Entertainment: “You can only get so many looks from Atlanta.” Other productions have taken place in other parts of the state including the upcoming Baywatch movie filmed at Tybee Island. The Augusta area offers a wide range of sceneries – urban environments in Richmond County, suburban and lake scenes in Columbia County and rural life in Burke County. Filmmakers also have the opportunity to shoot in South Carolina, though they are not able to use the tax credit there. The variety of scenery and its access to an airport, rental cars, lodging and other conveniences make Augusta suitable for a production such as Encounter, which was shot over 18 days in the metro area. “People are looking at Augusta because Atlanta and Savannah have enough going on,” Welch said. “Augusta has the infrastructure and it has the tax credit, so it’s only a matter of time before more comes here.” Another sweet incentive for filmmakers? Augusta has no film permit fee. Atlanta charges a fee based on the size of the production. For lower-budget projects looking to cut corners, Augusta is a fairly good option. And then there’s just Augusta’s good old Southern hospitality. “People are nice around here, you know?” Williams said. Nobody’s putting on airs or pretending they’re better than they are.” Rhinehart’s restaurateur, author and movie enthusiast Amy Bailey told Buzz on Biz in a text message that she is one of at least four local entrepreneurs who invested money to help finance the making of the movie. The list includes Kevin Goldsmith of Tako Sushi, Henry Scheer of TBonz and Rick Kelly of and Harvest Table Buffet.

Economic impact

“Every aspect of the film making process has a benefit to the local economy,” said Denton Adkinson, the other half of Bry­ton Entertainment. He has served on crews for Hollywood Dirt and Encounter. Welch said Encounter budgeted $30,000 just for housing. For Hollywood Dirt, actors and crew stayed in a hotel downtown for 10 nights. “There’s an insane amount of bed and breakfasts that kind of operate for that Masters crunch week, and that means the rest of the year they have the ability to rent their house out if they choose,” he said.

4 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Denton Adkinson and members of the Encounter crew set up a shot inside Trinity Hospital while filming the sci-fi drama, which is set to be released at the end of the year. Photo by Amanda King

Then there’s the food – lots and lots of food. When asked about meals, actors Atkins and Showerman sang the praises of T-Bonz and Rhinehart’s where the cast had recently eaten. “I had one of the best steaks of my life at T-Bonz,” Showerman said. The portion size at Rhinehart’s created a problem for Atkins, who realized the continuous servings of oysters, shrimp and chicken fingers was interfering with his job. “In this movie, I’m dying of pancreatic cancer, and I’m thinking, ‘I can’t be gaining weight! I need to look thinner!’ ” he laughed. Crews are given a stipend and their choice of where to eat, which could impact as many as 15-20 restaurants each day, said Welch. Food and accommodations are not the only things cast and crew need – many set pieces and props get purchased from local stores, which adds to the local sales tax base.

Impact on Jobs

It would be easy to assume that all of the crew and actors for Encounter are from Los Angeles or New York, but most of them are from Augusta. Local crew members bring their own equipment and unique expertise to the set. “The talent is here, and the quality is here, and we’re definitely cheaper than some of the other cities,” Williams said. With the influx of job opportunities, Adkinson wanted to make sure future crew members are ready. Southeastern Filmmakers, of which Adkinson is president, offers classes in lighting, rigging and electric work to help

locals land jobs on film sets. Crew members are not the only ones getting help finding a job. With many extras pulled from local talent, actress-turned-casting director Susan Willis is offering classes for those interested in landing “background” roles. She has appeared in Selma as an onlooker and as the jury foreman in the upcoming Tupac Shakur biopic, All Eyez on Me. Willis’ classes go over what casting directors look for in applications and how to properly address them at the auditions. “If you don’t know the ropes, you are not going to get hired,” Willis said. More filming in Augusta means less mileage on some local actors’ vehicles. Nellie McKinney frequently drives to Atlanta for acting gigs and is looking forward to having work closer to home. She has held background roles in several films produced there including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Sully and Pitch Perfect 3. Background roles will not be the only opportunity for those interested in acting roles. Encounter has a few locals with speaking roles. Adkinson said job opportunities are not limited to actors and trained crew members. Anyone with skills in construction, electrical and other trades may be needed to work on set.

Location, location, location

Encounter will be released at the end of 2017. Locals who view the film might be able to recognize some of the filming locations. Trinity Hospital was a hot set in mid-April, and downtown is set to be a filming spot. Trinity Hospital Marketing Director Leanna Wanta said the production staff was very easy to work with and the hospi-

Augusta Film Office’s role is growing The old Krispy Kreme building on Gordon Highway definitely has something “hot now.” The Augusta Film Office set up shop in the former doughnut shop after members of Southeastern Filmmakers, a group of local filmmakers who shoot small projects including commercials, music videos and documentaries, began talking about trying to attract films to the Augusta area. Rick Kelly, who serves as AFO’s vice president and chief financial officer, recalls members wanting to seek out $20 million action movies. As a former businessman, he had his concerns. “Looking at it from a business model, it just doesn’t work. We don’t have what we need here,” Kelly said. But when he and others learned of a small movie already being filmed downtown, they went to investigate. They learned what movie crews needed to successfully put on a production in a city and went to work creating a studio in the AFO building, setting up a makeup area, lounge areas for actors to rest in between takes and planning areas for crew. AFO now serves as a “concierge” to movie creators, finding everything from cameras and film equipment to suggesting locations, making the crew’s job easier and helping draw more films to Augusta. – Amanda King

tal had to do very little to prepare for their arrival and filming. “Our number one priority is of course patient care and making sure that it did not affect any of those areas,” she said. So, don’t be surprised if you start seeing film crews set up in your favorite CSRA spots over the next few years, and don’t forget to bring your autograph book around with you – you never know who might be filming next in the Garden City.





Call Jessica Jones at 762.218.0239 or email Call to Set up an Appointment to Review Your Current Credit card Processing Charges and Receive a Free Round of Golf From Jones Creek April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


buzz bits Georgia breweries to sell beer beginning Sept. 1

Chefs at Edgar’s Grille won the Girl Scout Cookie dessert Contest with Toffee-Tastic Cheesecake. Special photo

Edgar’s Grille wins sweet award Congratulations to Edgar’s Grille on its recent win in the Girl Scout Cookie Dessert Contest. Sous Chef Paige Chapman and Pastry Chef Katelyn Silas created a Toffee-Tastic Cheesecake, based on the organization’s new gluten-free Toffee-Tastic cookie. This is Edgar’s third year in a row winning this sweet title.

Employment stays solid in Augusta According to Hull College of Business’s Simon Metcalfe in his latest Augusta Economic commentary, employment has been largely unchanged in 2017, with 237,000 people employed in the Augusta metro area. Unemployment returned to 5.4 percent in February after a slight increase in January, and weekly earnings have increased 3.7 percent since November.

County sign ordinance goes forward The proposed sign ordinance in Columbia County could become a reality for business owners in the coming months.

6 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Just last month, Savannah River Brewing Co. opened its doors at 813 Fifth St. in Augusta, offering customers the ability to tour its facility and drink beers after the tour. But beginning Sept. 1, breweries across the state of Georgia will have the ability to sell beer in cases and in individual glasses at their locations. Currently, breweries can only sell to wholesalers, such as restaurants and stores. The Georgia State Senate passed the bill allowing alcohol and food sales at breweries on March 22. As of press time, it was on Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk, awaiting his signature. “The new laws will be very beneficial to our brewery, tap room and our wonderful patrons,” Steve The Planning and Zoning commission voted 4-0 on April 20 to send the revised proposal to the Board of Commissioners at its next meeting May 2. The proposal has been a hot topic with business owners, especially those in the sign business. Many feel that it is too restricting, limiting the height of signs and so potentially not attracting customers. “We certainly appreciate the progress,” Shawn Vincent, chairman of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, told the commission. “We listen to our membership just like you listen to your constituents, and we hope you would reconsider on those areas with height.” Vincent and the chamber have held several meetings with the commission to discuss revisions to the ordinance; some of their requests have not been met. One of those is the use of perforated vinyl signs on windows. Larry Lynn, from Allegra Signs, spoke to the planning and zoning commission, pointing out that the vinyl let employees and customers inside the business the ability see outside while concealing the activities within. “Its prime purpose is to display an inviting and compelling message of the products and services

Ellison, co-owner of Savannah River Brewing Co., said. “Of course, the biggest change with the new laws will be our ability to sell beer by the pint to our customers without having to sell a tour.” Ellison said tours will still be available, but no longer required to enjoy a fresh, cold beer. The brewery will also offer flights of beer, growlers and up to a case of beer per person per day. “We are very appreciative of the state legislators for changing the laws,” Ellison said. “I believe this will boost the craft beer industry in Georgia.” Riverwatch Brewery, located on Fourth Street in Augusta, will also benefit from the new law. offered in a particular business,” he said. “It’s Basic Advertising 101.” Existing signs would not be affected by the ordinance, but if a business needed to replace an existing sign, it would be expected to follow the new ordinance.

Augusta Handmade Fair set First Friday downtown in May will offer something it only has twice a year. Inspired by the Indie Craft Parade in Greenville, S.C., the Augusta Handmade Fair will take place from 5-9 p.m. from 930-936 Broad St. on May 5. The full-circle shopping event features everything from kids’ clothes to chain mail jewelry. All vendors are local and what they sell must be handmade. “Our pediatrician was just asking me when it would be because she got all of her Christmas gifts from the last one,” Claire Riche said. Riche manages social media for Augusta Handmade Fair and Support Downtown. Popular vendors on site will be Antebellum Chocolate, which we featured last month in Buzz on Biz,

Vendors will sell handmade wares during May’s First Friday event in downtown Augusta. File photo

and Sweet Darlin’ Bake Shoppe. There will also be an opportunity to donate to the Family Development Ministry of Sojourn Church in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Money raised will go toward tuition for children to attend school. For more details on the event, visit

Local broker wins award The Cartus Broker Network, an international leader in employee relocations solutions, honored local Century 21 Larry Miller Realty with its Platinum Award. This award is the highest of the awards presented to principal brokers. “To earn the distinction, a broker must have successfully demonstrated outstanding performance in addressing customer needs, understanding local conditions and Larry Miller executing best business practices,” Scott Becker, senior vice president of Cartus Affinity and Broker Services, said in a statement. Larry Miller’s sister, Mary Lou Miller, accepted the award in Phoenix, but big brother did issue a comment about the accolade. “Our team has spent the entirety of 2016 putting a committed effort into achieving the Continued on Page 44

openings, closings and moves at 3458 Peach Orchard Road. The sweets and treats include cakes, cupcakes, candy and more. It offers various drinks and coffee to wash down your favorite craving. Gift baskets are also available, and if you need to do any business while relaxing one afternoon, wifi is available.


Gold’s Gym has opened a new location on Evans to Locks Road. File photo

Gold’s Gym Evans Gold’s Gym is ready to pump you up! The newest Gold’s Gym is now open at 4408 Evans to Locks Road, in the former Omni Gym and Quantum Fitness location. The state-of-the-art facility features a large parking lot, a variety of equipment and free weights, stand-up tanning beds, steam and sauna rooms and personal training. Group classes include cycling, yoga, Pilates and barre. It has plans to offer parent’s night out in the future. Memberships are available for $19.99 and include all of the amenities above and more. Current Gold’s Gym members can also use this facility. Your Pie The self-proclaimed, “Mr. Bojangles” of the CSRA, Pat Landon, is hoping to become “Mr. Your Pie” in the next several years. The franchisee of 10 Bojangles in Georgia and South Carolina and two in Alabama is opening his first Your Pie, a fast-casual pizza chain, in early May. That location will be at 434 Georgia Ave. in a newly redeveloped strip plaza that will replace the Ming Yat restaurant and be close to Antonio’s and Gary’s restaurants in the heart of North Augusta. The 2,400-square foot location will have seating for 55 customers inside the dining room and an additional 16 customers on the outside covered patio. The dining area will include six 55inch HD televisions and free wifi for customers. Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday. The Landon family, which operates the Bojangles brand under the Bojiland Corp., is hoping to open several Your Pies in the CSRA in the coming years. Your Pie serves brick-oven pizzas with a make-your-own, down-the-line format alongside a variety of craft beers and artisan gelato. Your Pie customers

The HH Gregg store at Augusta Exchange shopping center will close. The company filed for bankruptcy in March. Photo by Jessica Jones

HH Gregg closing all stores Augusta is losing another chain store after a corporate decision to close its stores. HH Gregg announced earlier this month that it would close all of its stores after filing for bankruptcy March 6. The company hoped to find a buyer but was unsuccessful. Augusta’s Robert C. Daniel Jr. Parkcreate their own pizzas by choosing from three crusts, eight sauces, nine cheeses and 34 toppings. Papa John’s Papa John’s will open its 10th CSRA location in a newly developed strip center inside Riverwood Plantation in Evans. The new store will move into a crowded pizza and restaurant space within a quarter-mile of its new location. Armando’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant is in the Publix Plaza, and across the street is the new Marco’s Pizza, which opened in the TPS plaza on Washington Road and William Few Parkway. Close by are Subway, McDonalds, Zaxby’s and Mi Rancho . We’ve heard it will be summer or early fall before Papa John’s completes its construction. The Alley Downtown Taproom On March 28, entrepreneur Alexandra Kneece opened The Alley Downtown Taproom in Aiken. She has more than 40 taps and focuses on selling a variety of craft beer, ciders, wine, kom-

way location is one of 220 stores that will close. A manager told Buzz on Biz that an exact date has not been set for when it will close its doors for good, but liquidation has begun across the store, with items already marked down 5 percent to 30 percent. buchas and sodas. She already owns Aiken Organics. The Alley Downtown Taproom has a unique business model – you can buy as little or as much as you like and pay by the ounce. There are several other competitors in her space in the Augusta area – Tips Taps, A World of Beer, Riverwatch Brewery and Savannah River Brewery. PetSmart North Augusta has a new location to treat its four-legged friends. PetSmart opened in the former K-Mart building. Ross, Rack Room Shoes and Burke’s will also join the shopping center. The new Chipotle will be housed in the former Silverstein’s Dry Cleaning building. Diablo’s in Grovetown Diablo’s opened its seventh location, in Grovetown, on April 3. An eighth location is expected to open in North Augusta at the end of April. Brown Sugar Sweets and Treats South Augusta just got a little sweeter with Brown Sugar Sweets and Treats

Fairfield Inn & Suites Damon Cline, from our sister publication The Augusta Chronicle, reported that a Georgia-based hospitality company will soon begin work on its third Marriott-branded hotel in the metro Augusta market – a 100-room Fairfield Inn & Suites near the corner of Washington Road and Interstate 20. It will replace America’s Best Value Inn at 3023½ Washington Road, and construction will begin in late May. Dairy Queen The newest Dairy Queen is now open on Edgefield Road in North Augusta near Interstate 20. Apparently Warren Buffet likes the DQ Blizzard! You might not know this, but Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., owns the American Dairy Queen Corp. Years ago, Buzz on Biz was printed in Opelika, Ala., at a Berkshire Hathaway newspaper press. It is fair to say Mr. Buffet likes to diversify his portfolio from Omaha, Nebraska. Express Oil Change Cabela Drive will be getting another new business soon. An Express Oil Change will be going in at the growing shopping area that is home to Cabela’s, Costco and Riverwatch Luxury Cinemas. This location has the same owner as the Evans location on Washington Road. Plans for an apartment complex have also been released for the Cabela’s area by commercial real estate developers Troy Jordan and Dennis Trotter.

Expansions Prestige Appliances

Buzz has learned from its PR firm that Prestige Appliance is expanding again – this time with a new concept called Discount Appliance. It will open soon in the Anderson Plaza on Bobby Jones Expressway in front of WalMart and Sam’s Club. The concept is to compete with big box stores and offer name-brand appliances. Discount Appliances will offer low prices with cash-and-carry options or Continued on Page 45 April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


The wrong kind of risk Is Bad Advertising Killing Your Business? By Mark Alison

I will shop at a place that runs good ads. I might shop at a place that runs no ads. I will make it my business not to shop at a place that runs bad ads. If you are running bad ads, stop advertising! Not sure if you are running bad ads? Here is a litmus test. If you can’t define your audience, you are running bad ads. Often referred to as “the father of advertising,” David Ogilvy’s advice to copywriters was, “You can’t write copy unless you know who you are writing it for, how that person thinks and what that person needs.” If you don’t have carefully researched answers to those questions, you are wasting your money on advertising. I hear it on the radio every day, advertising that is simply tiny sentences punctuated with meaningless clichés spouted into the ozone. Phrases like “You’ll be glad you did.” “Service after the sale.” “Hundreds to choose from and one just right for you.” I call it verbal pabulum, nothing but filler to round out 60 seconds. If your commercial or print ad contains language like this, stop. Spend your money on a

8 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

booth in the flea market. If you don’t have a goal in mind when you run an ad, you’re running bad ads. What is the marketing supposed to do? Be realistic. “Sell out my inventory,” is not the answer. Goals can be both long- and short-term. Is your goal to generate new customers, create a buzz, give the competition heartburn or maybe just gain recognition? If you have no goal, how will you know when you have spent enough or too much or too little? If you have no goal, there is nothing in the ad to motivate me to act. “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising,” said Mark Twain. The key to his phrase is “the right kind.” It’s the kind that has a goal in mind. If you don’t have a goal for the advertising, small will simply stay small. You’re better off stopping your ads and buying an antelope farm in Argentina. If you don’t have anything interesting to say it’s bad advertising. And, let’s be honest, what you think is interesting might not be of interest to your customer. Here is my rule of thumb. It’s called “WIFM.”

That’s not a radio station’s call letters but it should be. WIFM stands for “What’s In it For Me.” Say stuff in your ad that will answer WIFM for your customer. We worked for a medical group. They wanted to run a big ad to let everyone to know their doctors were accredited. It meant a lot to the doctors, but consumers already assumed doctors were accredited, so there was no interest. The ad was wasted money. If your advertising doesn’t communicate an interesting message, one that someone might even repeat to a friend, it’s bad advertising. Stop. Go to Vegas and bet the money on a number at the roulette wheel. If you have been in business for more than a few years, someone is buying what you are selling. Let people know why your product or service is important to them. Tell them why they should be interested and make sure you touch a nerve when you tell them. Tell them why they should do business with you, from a position that makes them the winner. Give them reasons to trust you, and not just because you have been around forever. If your audience is broad, pick out a lu-

crative piece of it, define them and devise a message that will move them to action. Just because a medium reaches 100,000 people doesn’t mean you have to appeal to all of them with a broad brush. If you are trying to appeal to everyone then you are probably appealing to no one. Finally, advertising was never meant to be mediocre. It was meant to excite, energize and create an expected outcome. If your advertising is mediocre, stop wasting your money. You’re better off buying a Pomeranian. That is also a waste, but not as much as bad advertising.

Mark Alison has spent more than 30 years in sales and marketing. He is the chief operations officer of Alison-South, a regional advertising/marketing firm with a diverse client base. Call 706.724.3758.

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


MEYBOHM MOVES TO help EVANS grow By Neil Gordon

First comes Meybohm and then comes high-tech companies. At least, that is the plan for The Plaza at Evans Towne Center. “We are working with the CSRA Alliance at Fort Gordon, and hopefully some contractors and cyber companies will want some office space,” Meybohm project manager Lionel Prather told Buzz on Biz radio show host John Patrick a few hours after ground was broken on April 18. The 22 acre, multiuse development is across the street from Lady Antebellum Amphitheater. Prather believes the growth of the Cyber Command Center and pending growth in cyber education will help Meybohm develop the first and second phases of The Plaza. The company is ready to cash in on the hot cyber market. “We have a huge internet fiber line out on Evans Town Center Boulevard,” added Prather. Meybohm Realtors will occupy about one third of the first 57,000-square-foot, three-story building to be constructed. The company plans to move agents and staff from its Belair Road office, which it has occupied for four decades. The company is actively looking for professional companies, such as cyberoriented firms, to lease space. Construction has already begun on the development complete with office, retail and restaurant space next door to a new 2,000-seat performing arts center. E.G. Meybohm and Meybohm Realtors are the private components of the public-private partnership that helped make the development possible, accord-

10 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

With shovels from left, Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross; E.G. Meybohm, of Meybohm Realtors; Robbie Bennett, executive director of the Development Authority of Columbia County; and Scott A. Clark, president and CEO of RW Allen, break ground for The Plaza at Evans Towne Center. Photo by Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle

ing to Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross. “(E.G. Meybohm) brought the money that made this happen,” Cross said. A rooftop open-air terrace, which can accommodate some 300 people, will overlook the entire area and Lady Antebellum Amphitheater. Storefronts at street level will accommodate restaurants and other retailers that have yet to be named. “We went to Atlanta and Charlotte and saw great examples of this,” said Meybohm Realtors President Mike Polatty. He said Meybohm also brought in a retail consultant to study Evans and Martinez demographics and looked at a Columbia County report that indicated

about $400 million leaving the county each year from residents buying goods and services elsewhere. “Our consultant says there are big holes in the market and that a lot of different national retailers would like to be here, but can’t find the space, he added. That won’t be an issue in what leaders are calling the “new downtown of Evans.” Once complete, The Plaza will be a 300,000-square-foot complex. Cross gave special thanks to the citizens of Columbia County, whom he credited with turning the vision into reality with the passage of the special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) and the general obligation bond. “The bond issue is making a lot of this

possible, the SPLOST you have approved in the past, it’s a county collaboration. Your confidence in what we are doing is just outstanding.” Meybohm hopes some of those residents will be part of a later phase that may include housing. “These buildings will all be two and three floors with elevators and could have lofts, where folks could come downstairs and go to our coffee shop or restaurant and go back to their apartment or condo,” said Prather. In its studies, Meybohm is finding that people want to move downtown to be closer to where they work and play. Columbia County News-Times Editor Abbigail Lennon contributed to this story.

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


GreenJackets celebrate final opening at Lake Olmstead, look to future By Neil Gordon

Ernest Odom, 76, and his wife, Martha, are the perfect customers for the Augusta Greenjackets baseball team. They were at the sold-out opening night game and were part of the record-setting attendance weekend against the Tim Tebow-led Columbia Fireflies. It’s the 29th straight season opening game Odom has attended. “We are a minor league baseball team, so if it weren’t for the support of the community and businesses, whether it be from season tickets or corporate sponsorships, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them coming out and supporting us,” said General Manager Tom Denlinger. Denlinger and the owners of the team believe in the staying power of minor league baseball in the CSRA – while watching professional hockey and indoor football teams fold numerous times in Augusta. The business confidence is so high that ownership is investing millions of dollars in development in North Augusta for a stadium expected to open in time for Odom’s 30th opening day next April. Odom’s loyalty to Augusta baseball teams goes back about 50 years. He received his first season tickets to an Augusta-based minor league team for $5 in the 1950s. The Augusta Tigers played at Jennings Stadium, near

Zach Keehn, 7, poses with Augusta GreenJackets mascot Auggie as Hannah Williams, 7 (left), and Emily Williams, 5, watch at the GreenJackets’ home opener against the Columbia Fireflies at Lake Olmstead Stadium. Photo courtesy The Augusta Chronicle

present-day Walton Way and St. Sebastian Way. Augusta has seen a few baseball teams throughout Odom’s lifetime, but in 1988, the Augusta Pirates stepped onto the scene. The Pirates would go on to become the Red Sox, and in 1995 finally settle on a name appropriate for the popular golf city – the Greenjackets. When the team made its debut, Odom was working in insurance and didn’t have the flexible schedule of his childhood days, so season tickets were not an option. “I would go to all of the week-

end games and weeknight games if I didn’t have appointments,” Odom said. When he retired in 1996 and had more time to devote to his favorite pastime, he and Martha bought season tickets and have renewed them every season since. The Greenjackets know they are in the entertainment business. They have learned that it’s more than a ballgame to many people – it’s an experience. Whether it’s fireworks on a Friday night, allowing kids to run the bases after the game or special giveaways, the Green-

jackets know how to give their customers an extra bang for their buck. They have also learned that cheap booze doesn’t hurt – their Thirsty Thursday nights are among their most popular games, as are Ladies’ Night with wine specials. This year will also have some first-time events, like a Pirate’s and a ’90s night, celebrating the team’s early years. Even though this is the team’s last year at Lake Olmstead, the Greenjackets are still making improvements to their 22-yearold stadium. The team invested in a new sound system on the

concourse level and a new patio near the Ahmen Corner Bar and Grill. The official groundbreaking for the new stadium is expected in early May, and season passes for 2018 will be available in June. The 4,000 plus-seat stadium is designed to provide the Greenjackets with more revenue streams and fans with a better experience. The team will be venturing more into the event business – allowing for corporate meetings, expos and family gatherings in large meeting rooms overlooking the field. There will also be an air conditioned club area and nine skyboxes, plus shopping, hotels and leased office space. “What Turner Field built is very similar to Project Jackson – it’s the live, work, play. When you come, everything’s in one place to come and hang out,” Denlinger said. “Once you get down there, there’s really no reason to leave.” It appears as though all of the legal roadblocks to open the stadium have been cleared. Odom said he couldn’t care less about where the Greenjackets play – he just wants to watch a ballgame. He plans to make next year’s home opening game across the river his 30th straight watching a new season unfold. Buzz on Biz Managing Editor Amanda King contributed to this story.

Tebow mania has big impact at home opener By Amanda King

Tim Tebow signs autographs for fans at the sold-out game at Lake Olmstead Stadium on April 13. Photo courtesy The Augusta Chronicle

12 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Augusta has a fever – and apparently the only prescription is Tim Tebow. “Tebow mania” hit the CSRA in March, when the Columbia Fireflies, a Mets franchise, announced that the twotime Heisman Trophy winner would be joining the team. Ticket sales, which were already fairly high from the Pack the Lake promotion, made a beeline to a sell-out. The team has had multiple sell-outs in its 29year history, but most were sold out the night of the game – not days in advance,

GreenJackets President Jeff Eiseman told Buzz on Biz radio host John Patrick. “The demand was greater than our ability to fulfill,” he said. With a higher attendance came bigger sales. Eiseman reported that compared to last year’s opening night, food and beverage sales were up $15,000 and merchandise sales were double. Unfortunately, the increase in sales means an increase in lines. Eiseman said that despite having every possible person working throughout the stadium, they were just unable to serve people ef-

fectively. “It was a reminder to us of what’s to come,” he said, referring to the team’s move to North Augusta in 2018. “We will see more nights like this next year.” Luckily, the new stadium will have more seats and have more points of sale for concessions. Even with the long lines for concessions and bathrooms, and the inadequate parking, fans kept whining to a minimum and were just excited to experience having Tebow on the field. After all, there’s no crying in baseball.

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Upcoming Business events

Special photo

Monday, May 8

Monday, May 15

2017 Golf Classic presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber and State Bank and Trust, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Gordon Lakes Golf Courses, Range Road, Building 537, Fort Gordon. Foursome $500, single golfer $135. Register at Schedule: • 11:30 a.m.: Lunch by Chick-fil-A • Noon: Putting Contest by Hampton Inn & Suites • 12:30 p.m.: Shotgun Start • 5 p.m.: Dinner by Tin Lizzy’s Cantina • 5:30 p.m.: Awards

Chamber After Hours presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, 5-7 p.m., Sheraton Augusta Hotel, 1069 Stevens Creek Road. After-hours event designed for members to meet and build relationships with other business people of small to large companies and organizations in the area. Register at

Tuesday, May 9 Post-Legislative Breakfast presented by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, 7:30-8 a.m. Breakfast and Networking; 9-10 a.m. Program; Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Evans. Keynote speaker Lynne Riley, State Revenue Commissioner, Department of Revenue. Register at

Tuesday, May 16 Women in Business Luncheon presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Legends Club, 2701 Washington Road. Join guest speaker Gene McManus, CPA, CFP, to learn about financial planning in your 30s, 40s and 50s. $30 for chamber members, $40 for prospective members. Advanced registration required. Register at AugustaMetro

See EVENTS on Page 15

Catch the Buzz! Get more on events and follow business and economic news across the CSRA at

14 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

head to The The following events will take place at The, 540 Telfair St., Augusta. Call (706) 723-5782 for more information. May 3: Aiken-Augusta SOLIDWORKS User Group has its quarterly meeting from 5:30-8:30 p.m. to exchange ideas, get answers to problems and learn more about SOLIDWORKS and its partner applications. May 6: The Sumo Robot League Spring Tournament will see more than 100 students compete using robots they have programmed to “sumo wrestle.” Round-robin competition in the morning and single-elimination in the afternoon! May 10: Atlanta Technology Development Center’s Augusta Day begins with a Lunch and Learn, “Using Incubators to Launch, Scale and Succeed” from noon to 1 p.m. ATDC Startup Catalyst Kirk Barnes will share his insight on how startup incubators can help technology and product-based companies at various stages, to navigate the path from ideation to developing a minimal viable product (MVP) to launch and ultimately to scale to commercial success. May 10: Beer & Bytes, an after-hours networking event, is from 5-6:30 p.m. May 17: PyAugusta is a computer programming user group which meets monthly to explore the possibilities and applications of Python. Newbies welcome, along with intermediate users. Pizza is provided! 6-8 p.m. May 20: Bill Gray of Augusta University leads the monthly 3D-Printing Club from 10 a.m. to noon. Bring ideas, file and intrigue and join the conversation about 3D-CAD and 3D-printing.

Events Thursday, May 18 Third Thursday Business Builder presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Metro Chamber Office, 1 10th St., First floor, Augusta Riverfront Building. Topic TBA. Free for members, $15 for prospective members. Because of limited space, please limit to one representative from each company. Register at

Friday, May 19 Good Morning North Augusta presented by North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, North Augusta Municipal Building, 100 Georgia Ave., Palmetto Terrace. Register at North

Wednesday, May 24 Power Lunch presented by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., North Augusta Municipal Building, 100 Georgia Ave., Palmetto Terrace. Col. Todd Turner, garrison commander, and Fort Gordon’s MWR provide an update on the base and the activities available to civilians. Register at

Ribbon Cuttings scheduled Area businesses are joining the Augusta and Columbia County Chambers of Commerce: May 3: Walmart Neighborhood– Grovetown, 7-8 a.m., 5303 A Wrightsboro Road, Grovetown. Columbia County Chamber May 5: Benton House of Augusta, 10-11 a.m., 204 Frazier Point, Augusta. Joint ribbon-cutting May 8: Augusta SmileCare, noon to 1 p.m., 4424 Columbia Road, Martinez. Columbia County Chamber May 11: Q  ueensborough National Bank & Trust (Wealth Management), 5 p.m., 7 George C. Wilson Court, Augusta. Augusta Metro Chamber May 16: C  ritical Nurse Staffing, 4 p.m., 3540 Wheeler Road, Suite 308, Augusta. Augusta Metro Chamber May 17: O  BGYN Partners of Augusta P.C., noon to 1 p.m., 465 N. Belair Road, Suite A, Evans. Columbia County Chamber May 18: O  BGYN Partners of Augusta P.C., 5 p.m., 1348 Walton Way, Suite 4100, Augusta. Augusta Metro Chamber

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Daniel Scheiner, Daniel Knaul FOUNDERS

Daniel Scheiner and Daniel Knaul have formed Skyraider Aeronautics and set up shop at Count a solid work ethic and sharp wit among their talents. Meet the Daniels! 1. What is the business? Skyraider Aeronautics is a veteran-owned and operated agricultural drone service provider that aims to provide farmers with improved plant health data of their farm, quickly, and on a budget. Our services save time and effort in detecting threats that would otherwise take weeks to identify. In addition, we wish to enable individuals who are looking to start their own business with an opportunity to franchise through us. 2. What is next for Skyraider? Daniel S.: On April 10th, We announced a Commercial Drone Bootcamp happening at, June 9-11th, that will provide individuals (16 and up) who wish to become commercial drone pilots the opportunity to prepare for FAA certification. The course will consist of a 16 hour class, FAA Handbooks, a study guide, with food and drinks provided. It’s $299 with discounts for students, and military. 3. What appealed to you about entrepreneurship? Daniel S.: It isn’t about the money, I think it’s about the legacy. I want to build something from the ground up and help others in the long run. Daniel K.: I like the attitude of self-efficacy that permeates the entrepreneurial ideal. To me, there are no problems that are beyond my ability to solve, and finding solutions is inherent to the process of entrepreneurship. 4. How did you get the idea? Daniel S.: About two years ago, I want-

ed to start a quick response search and rescue drone firm, but regulations prevented me. That all changed in August of last year. We decided to support agriculture because, in the long run, helping increase yield will ultimately save more lives. 5. How has your idea progressed over time?

Daniel Scheiner (L), Daniel Knaul (R)

Daniel S: Our ideas as a whole have become more refined and clear with the continuing advice of entrepreneurial experts, like Eric Parker. We feel that our core idea is solid, and most of the progressions have come in the incorporation of additional possibilities, rather than in changes in the central concept of the company. 6. How did you fund the business? Daniel S: Our initial funding came from a friend, who purchased our first drone and covered our initial legal fees. Right now all of our funding is out of pocket. However, we are currently in the market for investors who are excited by the potential of being on the bleeding edge of technological advancement. 7. How did you market your business? Daniel S.: Networking is key, in the past seven years that I’ve been in Augusta I grew a collection of professionals from many fields. 8. Best piece of advice? Daniel S.: When you want to be successful as bad as you want to breathe, you will be successful. Daniel K.: Want what’s best for others, and the best is what they’ll want for you. 9. Common misconceptions about your business/entrepreneurshi in general?

Daniel K.: I think that the biggest misconception is that drones can only take pictures, or are just toys. So many times people have been surprised by the things that drones are being used for, things that have been possible for years now. 10. How has working out of benefited your company? Daniel S.: I have met some of the best people in Augusta through theClubhou. se. We have a great place to work, meet clients, and I look forward to growing with this wonderful organization. Daniel K.: Having a space to go where I can focus on work, and be in my work mentality, has been very beneficial. Not only that, has afforded us some great networking and business opportunities.

WANT TO BECOME A MEMBER? VISIT Would you like to schedule a tour? STOP BY 540 Telfair St. Augusta, GA EMAIL

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Alcohol and Real Estate: The Value Impact By Joe Edge

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen a lot of discussion in our community lately about establishments that serve alcoholic beverages and the impact they have on our community. One impact that is often ignored is real estate value. Whether it’s the controversial bar/club going into the former Planned Parenthood building in Augusta or the proposal to change the Columbia County Alcohol Ordinance, the effects on surrounding real estate can be substantial. The first thing to consider is that the impact from restaurants that serve alcohol and the impact from bars is not equal. Restaurants, whether they serve alcohol or not, are desirable and often increase the value of surrounding properties. Bars and nightclubs, however, tend to have a negative effect on surrounding property values. Co-tenancy matters! Co-tenancy refers to a tenant’s right to either reduce his rental rate or terminate a lease if certain lease conditions occur. For example, if a big-box anchor tenant were to vacate a property, most of the other tenants would have the right to a drastically reduced rate or to terminate. Another example would be if a landlord leased space to a bar, pawn shop, or massage parlor next to a national grocer. The grocer would have the right to terminate the lease if a certain quality of co-tenants was not maintained. National retailers love to have great restaurants, whether they serve alcohol or not, as neighbors. But they require that bars and clubs not be allowed to occupy space on the same property. What do these national retailers understand about alcohol? They understand that bars/clubs result in more crime, vandalism, higher property expenses, excessive wear and tear to the property, and ultimately, lower rent levels. In addition, they understand that

National retailers … understand that bars/clubs result in more crime, vandalism, higher property expenses, excessive wear and tear to the property, and ultimately, lower rent levels. In addition, they understand that restaurants result in a diverse amount of patrons who often spend money at neighboring stores and don’t result in increased vandalism and crime. restaurants result in a diverse amount of patrons who often spend money at neighboring stores and don’t result in increased vandalism and crime. Restaurants also often result in higher rental rates for the properties around them. Some recent discussion has focused on the Columbia County requirement for restaurants to derive 51 percent of their sales from food, if they do serve alcohol. From a real estate perspective, I think this is a good

provision that prevents an abundance of bars in a suburban area. Before owning Sherman & Hemstreet, I worked in business brokerage, and I know that many restaurants either float very close to 51 percent or just outright alter their numbers when they sell more alcohol than food. Restaurants that essentially operate as bars already exist and they are easy to find. I don’t think we need to open the door to venues that only sell alcohol, putting pressure on our real estate values. Regardless of your opinion on drinking, statistically we see that the more places a community has that serve alcohol, the more crime and DUIs that community will have. Good, reputable restaurants raise property values and rental rates whether they serve alcohol or not. Straight-up bars and clubs reduce property values and rental rates and generally have more crime and vandalism. There are already plenty of places to get a drink, and I would argue that we should focus on good retail growth, including national users and restaurants.

Joe Edge is president and broker at Sherman & Hemstreet. After service in the U.S. Marine Corps and a career as an independent commercial agent, Edge bought the historic Sherman & Hemstreet, a fullservice firm specializing in commercial real estate listings and property management. He recently restarted residential sales. Reach him at 706.722.8334.

A closer look at estimated tax payments By Christine Hall

Tax season is finally over, and most folks have filed their tax returns for 2016. Based on their 2016 tax return, many taxpayers have been set up with quarterly estimated payments for 2017. Every year we are asked the same question, “Do I have to pay these estimated payments?” If you owed additional tax for the prior year, you may have to make estimated tax payments for the current year. Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding. This includes income from self-employment, interest, dividends, alimony, rent, gains from the sale of assets, prizes and awards. You also may have to pay estimated tax if the amount of income tax being withheld from your salary, pension or other income is not enough. In most cases, you must pay estimated tax for 2017 if both of the following apply:

16 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

1. You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for 2017, after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits. 2. You expect your withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of: • 90 percent of the tax to be shown on your 2017 tax return, or • 100 percent of the tax shown on your 2016 tax return. Your 2016 tax return must cover all 12 months. If your adjusted gross income for 2016 was more than $150,000 ($75,000 if your filing status for 2016 is married filing a separate return) you must pay 110 percent of your 2016 liability to avoid penalty. If you are filing as a sole proprietor, partner, S corporation shareholder and/ or a self-employed individual, you generally have to make estimated tax payments. However, if you receive salaries and wages, you can avoid having to pay estimated taxes by asking your employer to withhold

more tax from your earnings. Complete a new form W-4 for your employer and reduce your exemptions. A lower number of exemptions results in more tax being withheld from your paycheck. The most amount of money will be withheld with a Single/Zero status. Remember, you don’t have to be single with no dependents to ask for that status on your W-4. Also keep in mind that at times, a taxable event in the prior year might make it appear that estimated payments will be due for the current year, when in fact they are not. For instance, if you sell stocks or a piece of investment property at a gain, receive a severance package or win the lottery you will owe tax, but the absence of that event in the current year may negate your requirement to pay estimated taxes for the current year. Estimated tax payments should be made in four equal installments and do not follow the traditional monthly quar-

ters. The due dates are April 15, June 15, Sept. 15 and Jan. 15. Failure to make the payments by their due dates will result in an estimated tax penalty in most cases. There are some exceptions to this rule if you do not receive your income evenly throughout the year, so give us a call if this pertains to you or if you are unsure as to whether you need to make estimated tax payments.

Christine Hall is a partner in Hall, Murphy & Schuyler PC, a full-service accounting firm. For a complimentary accounting, tax or business consultation, call 706.855.7733 or email


When it comes to your real estate, hire a hometown company with a regional perspective. We are the region's leader in commercial sales and leasing and our property management portfolio boasts more than 3,000 units and 4 million square feet. Learn more at

3523 Walton Way Ext. Augusta, GA 30909 706-722-8334

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Are you Work Weary? Don’t let work steal your joy By Dagan Sharpe

I remember when I dreaded Monday. Monday was drill-down day at work. This was when everyone had to get on a conference call, report team numbers and be prepared to address a flurry of questions. Not so bad, but the call was purposely structured to be more like an interrogation than a collaboration. So, not only was preparing for this particular call grueling, but no one knew who was going to get set up as “the example” for that day. This was the person randomly selected to receive a particularly harsh interrogation to help drive whatever point leadership wanted us to understand. In fairness, we all got our turn, and we never knew which Monday would be our day. Needless to say, everyone was on pins and needles and completely exhausted by noon. These calls transformed others to adopt similar behaviors, and as a result, a culture was being developed where many people began leading their teams in similar ways. Not the best example of servant leadership, yet a powerful reality – for better, or worse, leadership style is contagious. Interestingly, I look back on that time in my work life with gratitude. It taught me a lot about leadership, stress management and the power of prioritization. So, I realize what a glorious time this truly

Even the bad days at work can be put to good use – we just have to keep things in the proper perspective. Special photo

was, despite its hardships, and I’m thankful for the boss, the stress, the pressure and the quotas that helped make me a better person. I have a clearer understanding the special place work has in our lives and how both the good and the bad experiences can add up to powerful benefits: Preparation: We not only acquire new skills and knowledge at work, but we also sharpen and improve the knowledge and skills we have. Work develops us and helps prepare us for future opportunities, future hardships and even future blessings. How many of us could do the job we’re in today without the benefits of working our way up? Now, consider how the skills we’re sharpening now will help us in the future. There’s value in the preparation. Platform: We gain a platform at work.

This platform allows us to make impact by serving as positive influences to others. Granted, this platform is sometimes raised, or lowered, by our performance, promotions and demotions, but our attitude and perspective is always a choice. Thus, the higher we go, what type of example are we setting, and when things don’t go our way, what type of example are we demonstrating? This is our leadership on display and influence at work. Ultimately, our work is a gift that offers some of the greatest platforms we have to make a difference. Provision: We gain money from our work, which allows us to provide for our needs. This is a great benefit. However, we must never see work as the primary source of our provision. Unfortunately, we

often get this mixed up, as I once did. If we’re not careful, we can begin to see our job as our primary source of security and identity. As a result, we risk making work our top priority; doing so has robbed many people of healthy families, lives, marriages and peace of mind. Work can be hard, stressful and even painful at times. However, when we keep it in proper perspective, we better understand the benefits we receive through all the circumstances work offers. This is not to say we are to remain in abusive environments and never pursue advancement opportunities. However, it is vital we place our work in proper prospective as a valuable tool that serves to develop us, prepare us and offer us platforms of service and support while providing for our needs. This helps protect us from job hopping and seeking nirvana. Problems will no doubt come from work, but they are also some of the greatest growth opportunities we can receive. Dagan Sharpe is senior vice president of Queensborough National Bank & Trust and the author of a stewardship book, Bank On It. Email dsharpe@

Saving money with copiers

New devices come with tools to help you save By Scott Thurmond

Every once in a while, a company which might be sending documents to a fast copy center begins to count copies, or I should say, count dollars. Accounting begins to ask, “Can’t we save by copying here?” Sometimes, they try copying their flyers, notices, etc., on their desktop copier and realize they had false savings, particularly with all the staff time included. The fast copy service was beginning to look a lot better if it weren’t for the turnaround time, the time spent delivering and picking up their jobs, and the fact that they sometimes just did not plan as far in advance as needed for outside copying. Emergencies do happen. Sometimes when they purchase that copier, the first invoice almost gives a heart attack to the accountant who had been complaining about paying the fast

18 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

copier service. They soon realize that color copies do indeed cost a good deal more than black and white. How does a company have the convenience of a multifunction copier, save money and time from sending out printing and continue to be thrifty? There are several ways: The first is to make certain that the multifunction copier that you select can do the jobs you want it to do. Are you wanting to make fancy brochures or fullcolor posters? If so, you probably need to invest in one of the upper-end devices. It would also be wise to invest in a professional graphic designer as well. The finished look can be as good as the design. What if you want to do a flyer here and there, or a booklet when needed? There are lots of options available. Check to make certain that the copier can handle

the various paper stock that you want to use. We have a paper chart on our website to guide selection of paper and settings. Once you land that copier in-house, you will want to take steps to ensure that you are using it as economically as possible if the cost factor is a concern. Not only should your default be set at black and white on your device, but don’t forget about the myriad computers, laptops and smart devices that print to the copier. Each of these has default settings and should be set accordingly. We suggest downloading the app for your copier onto your various mobile devices. The manufacturer apps enable more of the devices’ features and functionality than the common air print, etc. One more thing: Even if you are not charging individuals for copies, codes for each person in the office helps to track

usage of the copier. The codes help answer a question about a high bill. Many times it is too late after the bill to figure out exactly where the copies came from. Copiers can indeed save money and time for an organization. Manufactures have created many built-in features to control ongoing costs. These features, along with often-overlooked print driver defaults, can help prevent an unexpectedly high invoice. Scott Thurmond is CEO and co-owner of Duplicating Systems Inc. (DSI), a company with 30 years of service in the CSRA. DSI provides copiers, software solutions and other technology. Email



GET NOTICED. GET BUSINESS. • Print 3822 Commercial Ct. Martinez, GA 30907

call today

• Signs

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706.650.3177 April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Make it last Are you ready for retirement? By Mike Herrington

How long can you expect to live after retirement? Check out this data from the 2001 Commissioners’ Standard Ordinary Mortality Table, which is a composite taking into account both smokers and nonsmokers: Current Male life expectancy Female life age (in years) expectancy (in years) 60 20.64 24.08 62 19.06 22.47 65 16.80 20.12 66 16.08 19.36 67 15.37 18.60 68 14.68 17.86 69 13.99 17.12 70 13.32 16.40 71 12.66 15.69 72 12.01 14.99 73 11.39 14.31 74 10.78 13.64 75 10.18 12.98 With longer life expectancies, however, come the increased risk of outliving your retirement savings. If you withdraw both principal and interest, how long will it take to exhaust a $250,000 retirement savings fund? Here is a closer look at how long that savings fund might last: Rate of return 4 percent 8 percent

Amount withdrawn at the beginning of each month $2,500 $5,000 $7,500 121 months 54 months 35 months (10 years, (4 years, (2 years, 1 month) 6 months) 11 months) 183 months 60 months 37 months (13 years, (5 years) (3 years, 7 months) 1 month)

The numbers don’t lie – if you haven’t started saving for your retirement yet, it’s time to start. If you are already saving, good for you. Reassess your needs on a regular basis to determine whether you should adjust the amount you are saving. A certified financial planner can help. Mike Herrington 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. Reach him at 706.868.8673 or mike@

20 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

A successful sales process takes a good recipe. Special photo

Recipe for Success

get cooking to help your business Editor’s note: This column first appeared in the November issue of Buzz on Biz.

By Beth Pence

Many of us have our three best recipes that draw a crowd to our table. You should also have three best “sales recipes” that draw a crowd to your business. Sometimes it’s Gramma’s recipe handed down or it’s the brand new recipe brought to the fair that wins the blue ribbon. Either way, it’s a prize-winning recipe that works and wins! So, let’s start there. Your objective is to get new business, right? Look at the recipe here and get started! Research shows that nine out of 10 salespeople don’t use any kind of “recipe” (sales process). I know what you’re thinking: I’ll stop reading now because this is just another how-to-increase-sales article. But hang in there with me for a few more paragraphs, and then if it doesn’t sound like a good recipe to you, stop reading and go to one of your old boring recipes out of the store-bought recipe book. Consistency is the key. Every good cook will tell you that you need consistent utensils, habits, ingredients, heat, etc. There is no secret sauce in this recipe. Just like a good casserole, each cook adds his or her own touch and flavor.

It’s okay to be the individual cook you are; some clients will love your flavoring best. Just be the cook who becomes the preferred chef to those who love your recipe. While recipe directions (steps to the sale) matter immensely, they matter less than the frequency, amount and consistency with which they are applied to the recipe. Remember, you won’t win everyone over with your best casserole, but the ones you do win over will frequent your “kitchen” (business) more often than that of your competitors. In short, determine what your best recipe is and use it regularly and consistently. Here’s one to get you started. Ingredients (Prospecting and Profiling): • One heaping bowl of lead generation • Several cups from the prospects list • One cup of qualified and researched propective clients Prep and Pre-Heat (Lead Nurturing and Relationship Development): Prep and pre-heat those prospects; do not cook on high or broil (yet). Let the oven heat up gradually but in a timely manner for the perfect relationship to your ingredients. Stirring in Your Ingedients

(Steps to the Sale): Put your “touches” on the recipe with these steps. Step 1: Sales rep delivers first dimensional piece, a bag drop with general info about your services. Step 2: Sales rep delivers business card and other promotional pieces. Step 3: Sales rep emails prospects they’ve touched in Steps 1 and 2. Step 4: Sales rep calls for an appointment. Step 5: Sales rep delivers a gift or sample. Step 6: Sales rep calls on prospect. Step 7: Sales rep closes the sale (puts the casserole in the oven). Step 8: A perfect delivery of the perfect “casserole” (product) and your client is fully satisfied and will come back for more. Now, get ready to repeat your “casserole recipe” for more hungry clients!

Beth Pence is co-owner of Alphagraphics with her son Phillip. It is located across from the Martinez Post Office and offers print, sign and design services. Call 706.650.3177 or email

health care has big impact Two leading hospitals generate $2.3 billion in state, local economy By Amanda King

University Health Care System and Augusta University Health released their recent Georgia Hospital Association reports revealing their impact on the state and local economy. Their direct expenditures, combined with an economic multiplier, produce a combined economic impact exceeding $2.3 billion. The multiplier considers the “ripple” effect of the hospital’s expenditures on other sectors of the economy, such as medical supplies, durable medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. AU Health said its economic impact was nearly $1.4 billion. It also provided more than $52 million in uncompensated care, while sustaining more than 9,000 full-time jobs. “This report is a clear indicator of the significance of hospitals to the state and local economy,” Lee Ann Liska, AU Medical Center Chief Executive Officer

and executive vice president of Clinical Affairs for Augusta University, said in a statement. University Health Care System generated more than $955 million and provided nearly $34 million in uncompensated care. The hospital also provided more than 6,000 full-time jobs throughout Augusta and the rest of the state. “University Health Care System is proud to be an economic force in our community,” James Davis, president and CEO of University Health Care System, said in a statement. “More importantly, we are proud to be a mission driven health system dedicated to providing high quality care to improve the health of those we serve. “University also understands the high cost of care, and we work very hard to keep our costs as low as possible to help make care affordable in our region.” The hospital has invested millions of dollars in the past three years to open new

Primary Care and Prompt Care offices in Evans, North Augusta and Aiken and recently initiated a $30 million, three-year reconstruction project to expand and renovate its Emergency Department. The facility was designed to care for 50,000 patients a year, but hit a record high of 85,000 patients in 2016. University’s economic footprint will get a little bit bigger in June, when it completes the acquisition of Trinity Hospital. Quorum Health Corp., the majority owner and operator of Trinity, is negotiating the sale of the 231-bed facility to University in a transaction expected to close June 30. The acquisition would include the main hospital, all equipment and about 80,000 square feet of physician office space. Davis said some layoffs are likely to occur during the merger, but said it was too early to determine an exact figure. Trinity has 400 employees.

In 2014, AU Health was awarded a certificate of need to build a $150 million hospital in Columbia County near the Grovetown exit on Interstate 20. The project has been delayed by a legal challenge from Doctors Hospital, which also sought the certificate to build in the county. “Our top priority is to meet the health care needs of our patients and families,” Liska said. “Beyond that, we contribute to the economic wellbeing of our community by providing significant, marketdriven compensation to our employees and by purchasing goods and services needed for delivery of our state-of-theart care.” Doctors Hospital, the third-largest metro area hospital, did not release its Georgia Hospital Association-calculated economic impact figure. A hospital spokeswoman contacted April 21 was unable to provide the information.


706.825.6557 SUPPORT@ONTHELEVELDIGITAL April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Getting to work Job prospects are improving There are lots of jobs available in the area. You just need to be realistic in your searches. Special photo

By Barry Paschal

Just a couple of years ago, getting a job was tough. The unemployment rate hovered near 8 percent – much higher in some areas – and many of the jobs available required skills that the chronically unemployed just didn’t have, and other available jobs didn’t pay well. Within the past few months, particularly in the Augusta area, that has changed. Our unemployment rate has steadily declined, and it’s now nearing the level that economists consider full employment. That pretty much means if you want a job, you can get one. Sure, it might not be the job you want, but there aren’t many excuses for not being able to work somewhere. Of course, I speak from a position of reasonably comfortable employment, so it’s easy for me to say. And it’s still true that the betterpaying jobs are those requiring specific, higher-level skills that many job-seekers just don’t have. For example, a spot-check of local job boards and the Goodwill Job Connection job books shows lots of listings for various “technicians,” all of which require training or certification in a specific field.

22 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Positions that can be filled by pretty much anyone who can fog a mirror are a little harder to find. In such an environment, then, how does an unskilled or uncertified job-seeker find employment? Perhaps not surprisingly, the advice in a good labor market isn’t that much different from one in which unemployment is high. First, the person seeking employment needs to be realistic. If you don’t have the specific skill or certification needed for a job you want, plan to get it – either by attending a school that provides the right training or by seeking a lower-level position that allows you to get the skill or certification while on the job.

This information is especially important for high-school students who will be graduating soon. Their earning potential increases exponentially if they seek education beyond a high school diploma. In fact, a Pew Research Center study says that the median income gap between millennials with a college degree and those will just a high school diploma is the widest it has ever been – at $17,500 per year. That certainly makes the investment in a year or two of postsecondary education sound wise. Additionally, unless a dead-end, entrylevel position is good enough (and why should it be?), the job-seeker also should be willing to relocate. Otherwise, your

job prospects are limited to only what is available nearby. All of this comes together with an appropriate sales pitch from the would-be worker. That means a good, concise resume that frames a person’s skills, education and experience in the best possible light. (Goodwill Job Connection staff members are happy to help – free of charge.) With all these pieces in place, a bit of good news is that because job prospects really are better these days, job seekers also can be more willing to be choosy about where they seek employment. They might even get paid more, too.

Barry L. Paschal is Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, which helps guide people on career paths through Helms College at Contact him at


Our panel of 4 experts will help you see the forest from the trees! By 1:30 that afternoon, you’ll have a roadmap to help you and your company be more successful! Neil Gordon will hand out his “black book” of newsroom contacts to help you tell your story and give examples of how social media is a game changer! He is the founder of Buzz on Biz and The Gordon Group and was acquired in August of 2016 by Morris Publishing Group with plans to expand the “Buzz” publication and digital platforms into other regional markets.

He’ll share insights on the Old School & New School way of marketing. J. Edward Enoch is one of the most experienced business attorney in the CSRA with decades of working with business leaders to help them set up their companies, deal with difficult employees, manage legal risks and much more.

He’ll discuss the upside and downsides of creating a “Buy-Sell” agreement in your company. Kurt Mueller of Northwestern Mutual and Mueller Financial Group helps business leaders protect what they have personally and professionally by developing plans should cash flow be compromised by injury or illness. He partners with clients to define their financial security and then finds solutions to meet the goals.

He’ll discuss the importance of planning for the day you need to transition out of your business with a succession plan. Lisa is a licensed CPA in Tennessee and Georgia and has more than 11 years of experience in public accounting. She specializes in business valuation services for closely held business entities, tax planning and tax compliance services to clients across a wide range of industries. She assists small to mid-size businesses with setting up their QuickBooks programs and files, training employees and developing internal accounting procedures.

She’ll help protect your company with good tax planning & preparation and business consulting.





Project Manager? Who, Me? By Roger Duke, PMP, CSM

“Who’s a project manager?” Go ahead and raise your hand, because I am going to convince you that all of us are project managers and that every business needs them. However, before I can do this, you need to know what a project is. A project is simply a temporary endeavor that is unique and produces a product, service or result. Have you been assigned tasks that are temporary; i.e., have a beginning and an end? Do you have tasks that produce something? Of course you do. So, the only question left to answer is, are your tasks unique, i.e., not repetitive? If you answered yes to these three questions, then you are a project manager and you should look forward to reading this column every month. I will be sharing with you the latest in project management practices and tools to help you be more successful in completing your tasks … I mean projects. When asked to describe a project manager, it’s natural to think of engineers, contractors and construction managers who look at drawings, wear hard hats and build things. Today, that is not the case. Every industry needs project managers, and the demand is growing. Business services, finance, energy, health care

24 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Many people are project managers and might not realize it, says Roger Duke. They are needed in every industry now, and the number is expected to grow. Special photo

and information services are some of the unique industries with large and increasing amounts of project-oriented work. The Project Management Institute (PMI) Talent Gap Report projected a 12 percent growth in project management roles between 2010 and 2020. The industries expecting to grow the most are business services and health care. Health care is expected to increase project management roles by 30 percent, the highest of any industry. In the U.S. alone, the demand for project management professionals will grow by nearly 700,000, drastically outpacing supply. Unparalleled opportunities for

project managers will be created. The first step in becoming a member of the project management community is to join PMI and the local Augusta-Aiken PMI chapter. Worldwide, there are more than 500,000 members of PMI in 300 chapters in more than 200 countries. The Augusta-Aiken PMI chapter has nearly 400 members and holds monthly dinner meetings for networking and learning about the latest trends in project management. The second step is to earn credentials as either a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® or a Project Management Professional (PMP)®.

The CAPM credential is for individuals with little or no project management experience, such as students, who are interested in beginning a project management career. To qualify, the requirement is 23 hours of project management training and passing a three-hour exam. To qualify for the PMP credential, individuals must complete 35 hours of project management training, have over 4,500 hours of project-related experience and get their application approved by PMI. Then, they must pass a difficult four-hour exam. The initial pass rate is only 60 percent. Worldwide, there are 750,000 holders of the PMP. To join PMI and learn more about the credential process, go to To learn more about the Augusta/Aiken PMI chapter, go to Roger Duke, PMP, CSM, is a Greater Augusta project management advocate, Augusta/Aiken PMI Chapter officer, Augusta University adjunct professor, PM PMP/CAPM Prep trainer and SRS engineering program manager. Reach him at 706-8400008 or email: rduke2@

Going digital There’s an easier way to save By Billy Cristofenelli

Do you find saving money to be difficult when you are eating out or buying groceries? If your answer to this question is “no,” then you have either already figured it all out and should be writing this article, or you probably haven’t ever really tried to save. If your answer is yes, then I think you are in the majority, and I hope that this article will help you out in some small way. So, let’s start this savings journey together and see if we can make some strides toward keeping a few more of those dollars where they belong – in your pocket! Technology can be your friend when it comes to saving you money at local restaurants. When I began my coupon company, Pinpoint Savings, I thought about all the things I didn’t like about restaurant coupons and then did my best to try to remove those barriers. I didn’t like when I forgot the paper coupons at my house and didn’t have them with me to use. So, I created a free mobile app that allowed for coupons to be able to be used directly off your phone, without the paper copy. By the way, this idea isn’t anything new, but it was something that the CSRA was lacking. I also hated expiration dates and all the different restrictions that made it next to impossible to actually use the coupons. As a result, the coupons on Pinpoint Savings do not have expiration dates and the coupons have as few restrictions as possible. The last and probably most relevant thing I hated about traditional coupons is that I didn’t have them for the restaurants I really wanted to go to. It seemed the only coupons that were out there were for places that were struggling or those that no one really wanted to go to anyway. With that in mind, Pinpoint Savings sought out great existing restaurants that were already extremely successful and popular and worked hard to provide coupons for those businesses. The result is an easy to use, free app that allows consumers to identify restaurants that want to offer a coupon to try and attract your business. OK, I know all that sounded like a commercial for my own company, but I really wanted you to know that I have felt your pain with restaurant coupons and I have tried to do more than just write and

Ditch the sea of paper coupons and check out digital coupons from your favorite stores. Special photo

check them out Since I don’t have time to go through all the possible apps that will help you with shopping and restaurants, here are some free and easy-to-use apps to explore at your leisure: • Pinpoint Savings • Publix • Kroger • Flipp • Ebates tell you how to save money, but also actually given you a way to get it done! Let’s talk groceries. I know we all can use the restaurant coupons we talked about in the previous paragraph, but I also know that most families can still fill up a shopping cart pretty easily.

I remember when my wife attempted to be super-organized with all her grocery coupons and would use all the available websites to try and match the coupons each week with all the specials at various grocery stores. The result was great, and we saved a decent amount of money. The problem, however, was the amount of time it took to organize and print off all the coupons and then to plan the various shopping trips to the different stores in order to facilitate the savings. Since my goal is to save you more money and to do so in an easy way, then I am not going to recommend that process. I think the reality is that most of the people reading this article don’t have the patience or time to do all the clipping and organizing of coupons that is required to maximize savings. Instead, I am going to recommend that you pick your favorite grocery store and explore its shopping app. In most cases, like with Publix and Kroger, the apps will contain everything

from free digital coupons to free recipes and ideas for making some great meals. The coupons are free on the apps, so it is an easy way to start saving with very little effort. It might sound simple, but a few dollars saved on each trip will add up over time, and having the app on your phone should make it simple to use. Hopefully, these recommendations will help you out as you seek ways to save more money. Happy hunting!

Billy Cristofanelli is the founder and coowner of Pinpoint Savings LLC and has 15-plus years of sales and marketing experience. He developed Pinpoint Savings to help local businesses connect with customers by offering coupons through a free app. Pinpoint Savings currently represents over 40 local businesses.

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Don’t Let the Cat Out of the Bag! Protect your trade secrets having strong, enforceable contracts with those with whom you share such information. Examples include: (i) confidentiality and nondisclosure provisions in employee contracts; (ii) work-for-hire contracts for vendors who create proprietary information, such as drawings or software code, for you; and (iii) nondisclosure agreements when negotiating the purchase or sale of a business. It’s not a secret if more than one person knows. That is not a legal standard, just me speaking from experience. If you share information, make sure you wrap it tightly in a legally binding agreement.

By Ed Enoch

All too often I get calls from clients asking about some type of “confidentiality agreement” after they have released sensitive information – financials, drawings, customer contacts, operating procedures, etc. – to another company. As the old saying goes, “It is too late to shut the barn door after the cow is out.” There are a host of different ways to protect company secrets. Most states, including Georgia and South Carolina, have state trade secret laws. In May 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law the federal “Defend Trade Secrets Act.” That law opens the door to federal court for businesses trying to protect their secrets. This is a significant advantage for companies operating in multiple states because it applies one standard across the country. If the business information falls into the category of a trade secret, it is not necessary to have an agreement to protect it from illicit theft or misuse.

Some work topics need to stay at work. Confidentiality agreements can help protect trade secrets. Special photo

However, a key question in trade secrets litigation is the steps the company took to protect the information. If you do not protect your information, then the court is not going to protect your information. This means controlling access to sensitive data and

J. Edward “Ed” Enoch has practiced law in Augusta for more than 20 years, mostly focusing on helping business owners and companies to include formation, transition, business planning, contract writing, employment law and other areas of the law. Email

BUSINESS BENEFITS Future of Certain ACA Taxes and Fees By Russell T. Head, CBC, CSA

Several steps have been taken in 2017 toward repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the introduction of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). However, on March 24, Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives withdrew the AHCA. A House vote had been scheduled to take place on that day, but Republicans could not secure enough votes to approve the legislation so, instead, they canceled the vote. As a result, the ACA will remain in place at this time. While the future of the ACA as a whole is unclear, some definitive changes have been made to some ACA taxes and fees for 2017. Employers should be aware of the evolving applicability of existing ACA taxes and fees so that they know how the ACA affects their bottom lines. A federal budget bill enacted for 2016 made at least three significant changes to three ACA tax provisions.

Cadillac Tax Delayed

The ACA imposes a 40 percent excise tax on high-cost group health coverage, also known as the “Cadillac tax.” This provision taxes the amount, if any, by which the monthly cost of an employee’s applicable employer-sponsored health coverage exceeds the annual limitation (called the employee’s excess benefit). The tax amount for each employee’s coverage

26 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Although President Donald Trump has not directly indicated that he intends to repeal the Cadillac tax, he has stated that repealing and replacing the ACA is a main goal for his administration. will be calculated by the employer and paid by the coverage provider. Although originally intended to take effect in 2013, the Cadillac tax was immediately delayed after the ACA’s enactment until 2018. The 2016 federal budget further delayed implementation of this tax for an additional two years, until 2020. The 2016 federal budget bill also removed a provision prohibiting the Cadillac tax from being deducted as a business expense and required a study to be conducted on the age and gender adjustment to the annual limit. There is some indication that this additional delay will lead to an eventual repeal of the Cadillac tax provision entirely. Over the past several years, a number of bills have been introduced into Congress to repeal this tax. Although President Donald Trump has not directly indicated that he intends to repeal the Cadillac tax, he has stated that repealing and replacing the ACA is a main goal for his administration.

Moratorium on the Providers Fee

Beginning in 2014, the ACA imposed an annual nondeductible fee on the health insurance sector, allocated across the industry according to market share. This health insurance providers fee, which is treated as an excise tax, is required to be paid by Sept. 30 of each calendar year. The first fees were due Sept. 30, 2014. The 2016 federal budget suspended collection of the health insurance providers fee for the 2017 calendar year. Thus, health insurance issuers are not required to pay these fees for 2017. Employers are not directly subject to the providers fee. However, in many cases, providers of insured plans have been passing the cost of the fee on to the employers sponsoring the coverage. As a result, this oneyear moratorium might result in significant savings for some employers on their health insurance rates.

Moratorium on the Medical Devices Tax

Effective in 2013, the ACA also imposed a 2.3 percent excise tax on the sales price of certain medical devices. Generally, the manufacturer or importer of a taxable medical device is responsible for reporting and paying this tax to the IRS. The 2016 federal budget suspended collection of the medical devices tax for two years, in 2016 and 2017. As a result, this tax does not apply to sales made between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2017.

Reinsurance Fees

Under the ACA, health insurance issuers and self-funded group health plans must also pay fees to support a transitional reinsurance program for the first three years of Exchange operation (2014-16) to stabilize premiums for individual market coverage. Fully insured plan sponsors do not have to pay the fee directly. Because this program was operational only through 2016, reinsurance fees do not apply for 2017 and beyond (although the 2016 fees will be paid in 2017). Russell T. Head is CEO with Head Capital Advisors, an Acrisure agency partner and Augusta’s largest employee benefits brokerage. Call 706.733.3459 or email

Celebrating Women in Business Business Person of the Month: Alison Smith........... 28 Evans on Ice......................... 29 Missy Usry........................... 30 Best Office Solutions.......... 31 PJ Campanero..................... 33 Janie Peel............................. 34 Women Who Inspire........... 35 Tammy Shepherd................ 36 Living Spotless.................... 37 Women in Business Luncheon............................. 38 CertaPro.............................. 39

Special section

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Businessperson Of The Month

Family Tree of Female Entrepreneurs By Neil Gordon

Don’t be surprised if 10-year-old Kate Lee Smith follows in the footsteps of her mother, Alison Smith, who owns Crickets Dry Goods in the Shoppes at Camelot in Evans. “If she doesn’t take this store over one day, she’ll go into the fashion world,” smiled Smith a few minutes before opening her expanded store on a recent Saturday morning.

Alison Smith, Crickets Dry Goods “I like helping Mom on Saturdays and going to the mart to shop,” said Smith’s youngest daughter. Kate Lee’s 13-yearold sister, Madison, also tags along to Atlanta to help order clothing to sell to teenage girls. Smith’s daughters are growing up in a retail environment – and doing their homework in the back offices. Times have changed over the years, but this family of four generations of service-oriented workers has not. “Alison used to help me design flowers and bouquets for our weddings and do homework at the store,” said her 83-yearold grandmother, Mary Johnson, who owned Anderson’s Florists on Peach Orchard Road for 21 years. Johnson’s daughter and Alison Smith’s mom, Susan Bone, also worked in that store for many years and owned it for eight, after Johnson retired. Eventually, Bone changed the name to Lady Bug’s Flower and Gifts and employed Smith part time from 2005-10. “Alison always took good care of our customers and provided personal service,” said her mom. When Bone retired and sold Lady Bug’s, she helped Smith open Cricket’s in October 2014 and is now juggling her part-time role as Smith’s bookkeeper/ store greeter with occasional chauffeuring of Kate Lee and Madison to and from school. “My mom owning a business absolutely inspired me to start my own,” Alison Smith told a Buzz on Biz reporter a few months after opening Cricket’s Dry Goods in 2014. Smith previously worked in a high-intensity role in pharmaceutical sales before opting to open a retail store as her role models had before her. In 2016, Smith doubled the size of her footprint after a salon left the shopping

28 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Alison Smith owns Cricket’s Dry Goods in Evans. She is the third-generation woman in her family to run a business in the area. Shown with Smith (second from left) are her daughters Kate Lee and Madison Smith; her grandmother Mary Johnson, who owned Anderson’s Florists; and her mother, Susan Bone, who took over Anderson’s and renamed it Lady Bug’s Flowers and Gifts. Photo by Melissa Gordon

Crickets Dry Goods’ Vendors Crickets Dry Goods merchandise comes from a number of local vendors, including: • Antebellum Chocolates, Graniteville • Anne’s Farm Soaps, Appling • Crickets Dry Goods Jellies, Salsas, Dressings, made in Hephzibah • Land of Thee T-shirts, Augusta

• Links and Lead Trading Co., Evans • Jalapeno Jack’s Sauce, Martinez • Paws & Claws, Blythe • It’s All About the South, Statesboro, Ga. • Katy Grant Jewelry, Augusta

Merchandise also comes from throughout Georgia, including books such as The Masters A to Z from Atlanta and How to Get Your Swirl On from Evans; jewelry from designers in Dublin, Savannah, Macon and Atlanta in Georgia and Beaufort, S.C.; candles from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee; soaps and bath products from South Carolina, Florida and Georgia; and pantry items from Charleston, S.C., Beaufort, Hephzibah and Martinez. center. It allows her to provide opportunities for many local and regional artisans, clothing designers, food makers and gift sellers to showcase their products in her comfortable space. As she showed a guest around the store, she began to tell stories about her vendors. One is The Refinery Co., a candle company from Bainbridge, Ga.

“Proceeds from the sale of their candles go to help the women of Still Waters, a safe place for women and their children,” she said. She said she’s met on Interstate 20 before to restock inventory from two women in Greensboro, N.C., who cut and stamp wood in their barn to produce unique picture frames.

“We really bond with our vendors,” added Smith. She also bonds with her customers. “I wanted a place for the community to come and shop where everybody knows your name,” laughed Smith. Though Cheers is a TV show that has influenced her retail operation, it was a show from the 1970s and ’80s that always stuck with her. “Little House on the Prairie was my favorite show,” she said. Smith loved the scenes involving the general store, where the community gathered. Smith’s favorite time of the day is after dinner on the back porch watching the sun go down and hearing the crickets. “It gives me a sense of peace,” she said. It also gave her the name of her thriving retail operation. She’s not sure if her daughters Kate Lee or Madison will continue the family tree of female entrepreneurs, but that’s OK with her, because of the life skills they are learning through the business and through working with their mom. “It’s more important to me that I be a good role model for the girls,” she said. It appears as though the apple didn’t fall too far from the family tree.


Here I am wearing one of our Cielo pill holders around my neck By Christine Boerner Eight years ago I didn’t know I was an entrepreneur. I spent my days at Starbucks Coffee headquarters thinking about how to make every moment matter for our customers, and I absolutely loved it. The work was interesting, my colleagues were brilliant, and I planned on happily spending my career there. Then, in August 2009, the best and worst things that had ever happened to me changed my life in a matter of weeks. First, I met my husband. And second, my dad passed away unexpectedly. Grieving for the man who taught me to appreciate a sunset, while at the same time falling in love with my husband made me realize that nothing matters more than the people in our lives. In my corporate job, I spent a lot of time away from my friends and family, and I often joked that I felt about eight PowerPoint presentations away from interacting with an actual customer. I knew I needed to find a way to connect with people in a meaningful way, but I had no idea what that meant.

So I left Starbucks in 2013, and I started exploring the world with meaningful connection as my compass. I’ve found that when you take the time to really connect with someone, there’s a type of magic that occurs. All of a sudden you feel like you did something significant, there’s a satisfaction deep in your soul. And the best part… you want to do it again! And so a virtuous cycle begins. When people are more connected to others, they want to give more back. They want to participate in life. All of a sudden you have a community of people that want to be involved with what’s going on around them. People aren’t just watching the world they live in, they’re part of it. Connection makes everything richer. It makes it matter. It makes it better for everyone. So I started my first business business to connect with people over a very personal subject – their health. Practically, Cielo Pill Holders gives people a stylish and reliable way to carry pills – which amazingly, didn’t

Top Right Photo: We are using a global leader in the ice rink industry that will bring in a massive refrigeration unit to run coolant under the whole structure to keep it icy cold--- even if temperatures hit the 70’s!

Bottom Right Photo: My husband and I will be working hard this summer to ensure that all families enjoy Evans on Ice this holiday season!

exist before. Emotionally though, I hope that Cielo gives my customers an unexpected reason to smile - from the look of the pill holder, to the satisfying way it feels when it closes, to the feeling that they did something great by supporting American manufacturing. This business has been an incredible journey for me so far – Cielo has been recognized by Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Fortune, Town & Country, & Good Housekeeping! It’s also connected me to my customers in a way that’s really mattered. Cielo has been a huge focus these past few years, but starting our family has been an even bigger priority. We have two children now, and they are the reason we are in Augusta. The strength of this community drew us here from Seattle last summer, and we’re here to stay.

We’re embarking on our next business venture now– and it’s all about celebrating and contributing to our local community. 2017 will mark the inaugural year of what we hope will be the CSRA’s newest holiday tradition – Evans on Ice. Anchored by a huge outdoor ice skating rink, we’re developing events and attractions that will bring family and friends together over and over during the holiday season. We’re considering several locations, with Evans Towne Center Park as the front-runner. Evans on Ice will run from mid-November through the New Year . Our goal is to include the community and its businesses in as many ways as possible, so if you’d like to learn more about how you can get involved, please check out April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Great Things Come in Small Packages Ginger Crosby (center) earned her associate’s degree from Georgia Military College, which helped her be promoted. Visit Georgia Military College at the Spring Fling Open House from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 29. Special photo

By Missie Usry

When we meet certain women, we might think: “She’s headed places!” One such woman is Ginger Crosby, a Georgia Military College graduate. Ginger was awarded her associate’s degree in May 2016. While college graduation is not uncommon, Ginger is special because she was working full-time as a Georgia Department of Corrections Officer at Augusta State Medical Prison while also juggling a full-time college courseload. Aside from a deep dedication to accomplishing her goals, there are many reasons she was able to be a full-time employee and full-time student. “The thing I loved about GMC first and foremost was the schedule. GMC works with all their students to make sure their schedule fits their needs,” Ginger said. “Being a night-shift employee I needed classes first thing in the morning, but ending no later than 1 p.m. to ensure that I got some sleep before going into work for a 14-hour shift.” She also loved that the staff and faculty were flexible and friendly. “Everyone tried to make sure that I had the tools I needed to succeed,” she said. The college offers free tutoring and an

electronic library that can be accessed anywhere to complete assignments. She’s also grateful that Georgia Military College believes in second chances for students who might have previously hit a rough patch. This wasn’t her first attempt at being a college student, but she finally found true success at GMC. Ginger is quick to tell anyone who asks that she learned more at Georgia Military College than criminal justice education. She learned critical thinking, time management and organization. Her coursework gave her greater insight into how the criminal justice system works and

different reasoning behind why offenders commit crimes. The soft skills she learned, coupled with the degree she completed, earned her a promotion to sergeant and the opportunity for a transfer last year. “If I had never gone to school, it would be extremely hard for me to move up without my degree,” Ginger said. “The time period is a lot longer before you can move up without one. I would not have had the motivation to strive for promotions, either. I probably would have ended up changing jobs instead of staying with Department of Corrections.” Now that she’s a sergeant with a degree,

she’s able to participate in a professional management program in the prison system, which puts her a step closer to her goal of becoming a prison warden. Sgt. Ginger Crosby is much more confident in her career. Through education, she has strengthened valuable communication skills, which is important – barely more than 5 feet tall, she works around inmates and is able to build rapport with them by sharing her story of second chances, setting goals to achieve a dream and how it feels to succeed. She’s not only changing her own life, but also teaching inmates how to change their path.

Missie Usry is the enrollment manager and advises the Community Involvement Club at Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus. Georgia Military College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which means that all credit earned at the institution is transferable to other accredited schools. For questions, call 706.993.1123 or visit

WANTS TO GIVE “MOORE” THIS YEAR 3670 Riverwatch Parkway 706.496.7629

Products • Paul Mitchell • Brazillian Blowout • Keracolor • Kenra Services • Hair • Nails • Massage • Sugar • Makeup • Spray Tan By Neil Gordon Robyn Kelley was waiting on word from God about which family would benefit from her 10th cutathon at Trendz Salon. The past nine netted nearly $80,000 for families of sick children. She prayed and prayed and even delayed their usual May event to back to school time. She asked her husband to pray. One day her husband Billy came home from coaching his Georgia Light-

30 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

ning travel baseball team. “Billy said the Lord told him it should be Alex Moore’s family,” she said. One of Billy’s players and their parents attend Trinity Baptist Church on Columbia Road. They’ve followed the struggles of 8 year-old Alex Moore and his parents who Pastor the church. Moore has aplastic anemia. “He’s been struggling for 3 years, said Ms. Kelley. He’s in need of a bone marrow transplant.” This year Billy Kelley’s daughter, 21 year-old Kaylee Kelley will provide free haircuts for the first time along with free services from her colleagues at Trendz Salon. She’s worked the last few cutathons in her role as receptionist and recently graduated from Augusta Technical College with her cosmetology degree. “Robyn’s my other Mom,” said Kaylee, who’s biological Mom Misty has also been very supportive of her new career. “Several stylists wanted to rent a booth through the years, but we held it open for Kaylee. She is the new generation of stylists and instead of just me as a mentor, she has the whole team,” said

her other Mom. Kaylee and the other stylists work together on their schedule to ensure that clients are covered from MondaySaturday. The salon is inviting—with children welcome in their remodeled playroom. “It’s a different atmosphere than most--we have a light mood with lots of laughter,” said Robyn Kelley.

The weeks leading up to the August 6th event called, “Moore than a Trim” will be hectic---as Kelley’s team welcomes raffle prize donations from businesses and arranges for jump houses and food. Those who come for face painting or food or haircuts or other services pay what they are led to do. “It’s amazing how it all comes together. It’s a God thing, “said Robyn Kelley.

Robyn Kelley (back row, far left) and her Trendz team of 9 salon professionals. Photo by Melissa Gordon

Giving Their Best

LADIES HELP CSRA OFFICES FUNCTION WELL By Neil Gordon It was an extra stressful Christmas in 1999 for Sandi Shields and Robin Baxley in Waynesboro, Ga. Both were key employees – Robin on inside support and Sandi as an outside salesperson – of an office supply company that was closing its doors after 53 years. Robin stayed on to help close down the company. Both were offered sales jobs elsewhere but they were both getting tugged by folks – including prestigious bankers and educators like Doug Day, the superintendent of the local school system – to fill the office supply void in the market. “Robin and I rented an old meat market and while she closed out the other business, me and my mom paid for the first month of rent by scrubbing the building,” Sandi said. “We kept going back and forth to the store and used seven bottles of Clorox.”

“We don’t look for customers; instead we look for lasting relationships.” Their faith bonds the two partners together stronger than the thousands of bottles of glue they have sold over the years. It was at church that Best Office Solutions began. “Before we opened, I was taking orders at Wednesday night service on napkins,” chuckled Sandi. “We opened in the old meat market with a fax machine, one of our card tables and a used desk from a customer,” remembered Robin. Fast forward 17 years later and the dynamic duo are now at the helm of a multi-million dollar company, with 1,500 active accounts in 22 counties serviced by nine employees, including Sandi and Robin. They participated in a roundtable of 25 of the top independent office supply and furniture dealers at a conference in Chicago last spring. Their name Best Office Solutions and its meaning have stood the test of time. “The other day I talked a client out of a more expensive office furniture lay-out,” said Sandi. “It was the best fit.

Partners Robin Baxley (L) and Sandi Shields (R) are flanked by the “new girl” Tiffany Faulk. Faulk spent 17 years as a BEST client and hopes to spend the next 17 as a business consultant helping new clients.

We’re not after the sale, we’re after the solution.” Robin said the nurturing aspect of these women in business makes a difference not only in their eye for furniture design for clients but in many other situations. “The other day I competed against a male sales rep for a big account,” said Robin. “We talked in the lobby area. He was about the numbers. We were about making sure the system would work for the client.” The philosophy for the two ladies is about helping their clients be more productive and efficient. “We get more involved than other companies in learning how our customers function. We try and understand what they do,” said Robin She loves it when clients like the Burke County Chamber of Commerce ask her for ideas on how to make an event pop. After a brainstorming session, they came up with a Business Expo Beach theme and utilized products from Best Office Solutions new promotional product division. “We handed out beach ball stress relievers, Frisbees, Chapstick sunscreen and more,” said Robin

She often comes up with creative solutions for clients, from large companies like Plant Vogtle to smaller companies. Sandi is also a creative problem solver, but is more process-oriented. To save labor for many of their customers, we will set up a supply cabinet for several locations in the plant. “They tell us what they want and every two weeks we deliver what they need,” she said. To combat the “big box” stores, Best Office offers free weekly delivery in all

parts of the CSRA or next day UPS delivery if it absolutely, positively needs to be there. Together the ladies came up with a unique system for the 23 branches of Queensborough National Bank & Trust. In essence “Q” has a website within to authorize purchasers from each branch to order on-line at anytime. The fastest growing part of Best Office’s business is in office furniture. Once again this is an area in which the ladies don’t just sell product. “You show us the space and we can draw out how the layout of the room and functionality of the furniture will work,” Robin said. “Standup desks made by Ergotronics are also very popular. They help our clients’ employees get up and move around.” With the new technology, Best Office is selling more thumb drives and shredders than file cabinets these days as more companies go paperless. Regardless of more technology, the partners will maintain their sense of service. “We don’t look for customers; instead we look for lasting relationships,” said Robin. Her partner of 17 years keeps a long prayer list in her notebook for her customers and any challenges they are going through personal and professional. “Maybe it’s old school, but it’s how I was brought up,” Sandi said. “I feel that it’s important to constantly thank the people who support us with notes, clippings of their successes, etc. We both care about our customers /friends and know the names of many of their kids and often their pets too!”

Tel: 800-533-BEST (2378) or 706-437-9771 Fax: 706-437-9772

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


32 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Law You Need to Know By Neil Gordon It won’t be a question of if Attorney Portland “P.J” Campanaro becomes a judge one day but likely when. She runs a thriving law practice, hosts the Law Talk radio show on WGAC and was one of the attorneys considered by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to replace local retiring Superior Court Judge David Roper. Her latest appointment as Certified Mediator in the Augusta Judicial district may prove to be a training ground for her eventual run for judgeship. “Divorce can be mediated,” said Mrs. Campanaro from the second floor law office she owns in Evans. She should know as in 2010 she hung out her shingle and has helped hundreds of clients navigate through child custody, child support, paternity and adoption issues. “It’s been an adversarial thing for so long,” she said. Now, there is a standing order that all civil cases including domestic ones have to go to mediation. Instead of a courtroom, mediation will be done in her office or at one of the attorney’s offices—with an eye on finding a better way. “We set these families up for failure by pitting them against each other rather than working together toward a peaceful and amicable resolution,” she told a reporter at Attorney at Law Magazine—a publication she was featured as the cover story of the inaugural CSRA and Southern District of Georgia premiere edition. Family law is just part of her practice. Campanaro also divides her time defending those accused of crimes or DUI’s and works on Personal Injury

Photos Courtesy: Attorney At Law Magazine / Melissa Gordon cases—all with an eye on helping clients in need. These topics often come up on Lawtalk on Sunday nights. (See sidebar for information on how to listen and call-in). “I like doing this as a good service to the community so people have a way to call in for free legal advice,” she added. She’s had on a private investiga-

tor, a sheriff, former politician Charles Walker and her mentor, Georgia State Senator Harold Jones. “I like to talk about current legal issues and give listeners a different perspective of the law,” she said. She worked for Jones in 2004 in the Richmond County Solicitor General’s office—and stayed there for six years, after moving from her native Tennessee as an Assistant District Attorney in Knoxville. She is married, and she and her husband have two daughters, Sophie and Olivia. She spends free time running them to soccer matches and running herself, having completed several half-marathons, a full marathon and even participated in Augusta’s Half Ironman. Her regular exercise routines include intense hour long fitness challenges at a local personal training studio. She also likes to help out her organizations like Leadership Augusta, the Augusta Bar Association, Young Lawyers of Augusta. She ran for “Woman of The Year” two years ago for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and now helps others

raise money. Don’t be surprised if –after helping hundreds of more clients—she decided to run for a judgeship.


Radio Show 7:00-8:00pm

Sunday Nights on WGAC

580 AM radio or streaming Chat with US During the Show! 706.863.5800

Or Email Your Questions Contact PJ Campanaro 706.821.2222 or 601 North Belair Square Suite 16, Evans GA 30809 April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


meet some Downtown Women in Business By Janie Peel

There are so many women who own businesses downtown and add to its glitter. I am sure to leave many out, so I am focusing on some of the more vivid, visual stand-outs who are contributing to our overall economy.

Ooollee Bricker

Ooollee Bricker at Vintage Ooollee will fit you up with a custom costume or vintage outfit from most any period. Ooollee specializes in unique hats and jewelry. She, along with her husband, are also business owners and residents of downtown. They are at so many of the downtown events and eateries, you are sure to converse with them in and out of the store at most any time. Vintage Ooollee is a creation of Caren Bricker’s finds and compilations of rare clothing and costumes over the years. Some can be traced back to Fat Man’s costumes from way back when. Go by and see what Ooollee has in store for you. (She is creating a new Queen’s crown for me. Who knows – I may even get some new eyelashes when I pick it up.)

Lou Ann Hildebrandt

Lou Ann Hildebrandt also has a family legacy of history downtown. Owner and resident at Hildebrandt’s, Lou Ann is there taking care of her customers, serving up their favorite deli sandwiches, cutting and wrapping cheeses and cold cuts, and grilling up hamburgers. She is running her kitchen on autopilot as it is such a part of her heritage. Lou Ann’s family has recently joined her in her quest to keep the eatery and store in good shape while preserving the atmosphere. The Hildebrants have been serving their Augusta friends since 1879. Go enjoy the atmosphere and nostalgia present throughout this historic establishment.

Photos courtesy The Augusta Chronicle

Bonnie Ruben

Bonnie Ruben has to be the woman who has the longest history of continually being in business downtown. Rueben’s Department Store has been around for over 100 years. Bonnie has not been around that long of course, but her dedication is phenomenal and longstanding. Her affection for Ruben’s will keep her going for many years to come. In addition to Ruben’s, Bonnie owns The Ramada Hotel and several other buildings downtown. Her father started Ruben’s Department Store, so retail and downtown are in Bonnie’s blood. If you want to see a real department store, shop at Ruben’s and enjoy the vintage dressing tables in the millinery department. Shoes, women’s dresses and accessories (yes, gloves!), men’s suits and children’s clothing are there for a shopping experience in the heart of downtown, just where it has been for over 100 years. Bonnie purchased and has operated the Ramada Inn and other properties over the years and has withstood all the changes and ups and downs of our downtown. Her stories of downtown are fun, sometimes serious and always hopeful of seeing the continued growth and streets full as they were when she was a girl.

34 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Elizabeth Sanderson

Our newest female entrepreneur is Elizabeth Sanderson, who has reopened the old Whistle Stop Café on the railroad track at Sixth and Greene Street. The eatery’s new name is Olde Town Diner. Elizabeth is the resident chef and chief bottle washer. She does it all! Her menu is based on farm-to-table ingredients, and local farmers are bringing her the goods. Elizabeth has her own mini garden and has plans to expand to grow a full garden adjoining the café. Elizabeth can truly do it all. Along with owner Fred Daitch and contractors, she has scrubbed, painted and done most of the renovations to the diner. The diner is open extended hours, with breakfast and lunch being the main attractions.

Janie Terrell Peel is the broker/president of Prime Commercial Properties. She has been dubbed the “Queen Advocate of Downtown” for her knowledge and appreciation of the diverse culture, unique architecture and non-cookiecutter atmosphere in downtown. Janie brings 40 years of experience in real estate. Reach her at 706.564.6231 or janie@prime-properties. net.

women who inspire

augusta businesswomen tell us who made an impact on their lives

Terra Carroll,

President of North Augusta Chamber of Commerce Inspired by: My little sister “She was a single mom, had a baby right after college and started working for JP Morgan Chase. She got her MBA while she had a toddler. She got married and runs a couple of businesses on the side now, in addition to being a vice president at JP Morgan Chase. Doing all that under 35 is pretty inspirational.”

Virginia Atkins,

Public Relations, Customer Relations and Events Manager at Gerald Jones Auto Group Inspired by: Lysa TerKeurst “She’s one of the contributors to First 5, which is a devotion that I read every morning. She’s just an incredible writer and a woman with a heart devoted to God. She writes a lot about glorifying God through her work and how she serves God through her family, and my life is God, family, work, so that applies to my life.”

Stacie Wells,

Realtor, Market House Realty Inspired by: Debra Trappen “She always reminds me to take care of myself so that I can take care of everything I need to and my family and everything else. She is the most positive, fierce, sparkly, encouraging Wonder Woman I have ever met in my life. She’s great at taking care of herself just as much as she takes care of others. She encourages me to be the best version of me that I can.”

Sandra Sanders,

Owner of Purely Painted Market and Gifts Inspired by: CeCe Cauldwell “She’s my friend … and she developed a line of paint and finishes while she was working full time. She was concerned about the environment, concerned about the people who were around her when she was painting, concerned about her health, so she developed a line that was completely nontoxic. The fact that she did that while she was working is pretty amazing.”

Photos and text compiled by Amanda King

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I can help. I'm Elisha from Restorative Massage Therapy. I specialize in pain relief.

706.426.1760 This is Not a Day Spa.

You will feel the difference with clinical massage. April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


The Women on the Way class of 2017 and their mentors gather at the Columbia County Chamber office. The class is intended to help young professional women in their career and personal development. Participants are chosen each October, and classes meet from January to November. Submitted photo

‘tremendous support’ Women on the Way inspires, educates By Tammy Shepherd

Would you want a professional MOM at work? I’m not talking about someone who cooks your meals, does the laundry and tells you to clean your room. I am talking about someone who is encouraging, guiding and yes, maybe sometimes, the one who tells you to work harder to get the things you want. That professional MOM might just be called a mentor, someone you connect with who provides you guidance and direction, is a good listener and has a compassionate heart for your future development. Think about it – Flip MOM and you have WOW, and that is where you have Women on the Way! A program of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Women on the Way was developed out of seeing a need for young professional women to build confidence, self-esteem and direction for their careers while also learning how to balance that career with family. Many statistics show young professional women dropping out or not moving up in the workforce and a very limited number holding the top rank of CEO for major corporations. How do we invest in that segment of the working population to have a positive outcome? In 2015, WOW welcomed its first class of 15 young women and five top executive

36 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

women. Armed with copies of the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, the class gathered monthly with mentors to discuss different workplace and leadership topics along with personal and professional growth issues. The goal of the program is to give women the tools to reach new and unexpected heights in their careers. “Women can fall into the age-old stereotypical roles in the workplace and that does not need to be the case at all,” said Women on the Way Vice Chairwoman Caroline Ashe, sales and marketing director for Ivey Residential. “A group of women can encourage each other and that gives everyone confidence to speak out and try new things in their careers.” Currently in its third year, WOW has evolved to meet the needs of its participants, utilizing Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath, implementing individual development plans and requiring regular meet-ups with peers and mentors outside of the monthly class meetings to build connections and keep members plugged in. The program has been a great success for the Chamber as we help develop the workforce for area businesses. A major part of the success is thanks to a great program manager, Rachel Ellefson, who coordinates the WOW program with the

five mentors and handles all of the logistics to effectively reach the goals of the WOW participants. The program has improved each year with Rachel’s leadership. Through the application process, she identifies the strengths and weaknesses and develops the programming based on the needs of the class. For instance, if she finds the participants excel in a particular topic, she will craft the program to spend less time on that topic and more time covering things the class will find beneficial. Popular themes such as personal branding, social responsibility and dealing with the social pushbacks associated with ambitious women have been added to program’s breadth of topics to create one of the region’s most dynamic and soughtafter professional development programs for young women. “As a young professional, the opportunity to gain direction and guidance from more advanced professionals was an invaluable educational experience,” said 2016 class member Rachel Addy, director of Medical Staff Services of Doctors Hospital. “I had tremendous support from other leaders at Doctors Hospital that recognized that this would be a great program for me.” Personally, I have to say that my men-

tors came to me late in life – basically during my tenure as president and CEO of the Chamber. I have to thank Yvonne Meeks, Michelle Piper and Angi Brock for being mentors, role models and also dear friends as they served as Chairwomen of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Not only are they outstanding leaders, they invested in me, so that I may serve as a better leader for the Chamber membership. I am truly grateful! Women on the Way participants are chosen through an application process each October. The class year begins in January and runs through November. For those interested in learning more about Women on the Way, contact Rachel Ellefson at rachel@columbiacounty or (706) 651-0018.

Tammy Shepherd is president of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and has worked at Disney World, Savannah Rapids Pavilion and Columbia County Magazine. Email tammy@columbiacounty


Article and Photos submitted by Living Spotless Jessica Velez, Owner of Living Spotless Cleaning Services since 2016, has given the Cleaning Service industry in our hometown a new outlook, taking it to another level. The growth in our community, between families, busy working homeowners and local businesses, there is a high demand for the services Living Spotless offers. Services available such as Residential Cleaning to suit every homes needs (weekly, bi weekly, move outs/deep cleans, organizing/declutter, new construction/remodeling clean up) Commercial Cleaning. What sets Velez’s company aside from other cleaning services in our community is that she is hands on everyday. “Do you know why I inspect each home after each visit everyday? I guarantee the service and quality my clients expect. Simple as that. I leave with a peace of mind that we don’t cut corners, we clean them. Rest assure, we give our clients time for the important things,”said Velez. Velez branched off her sister Stephanie Velez’s, Spotless Cleaning Services in Macon, Ga. It’s a sister-partnership, she is proud of. Velez thought she would take baby steps to success, but within weeks of networking in the community the phone calls began. Living Spotless is a local cleaning service on a misson. That mission is to offer help to local cancer patients with a service that many overlook. Friends and family often think that food and support is what is needed and they are correct, yet after a few days the physical demand on the body prevents the ability to do simple things like the upkeep of a home. Servicing the CSRA and talking to business owners and local residents is how she learned of the high number of cancer patients in our own community. Ms. Velez’s company “Living Spotless” is a proud partner of Cleaning For A Reason, a non profit organization that provides free cleaning services for women with cancer. This opened the doors allowing her and her staff to provide the free services. Yet she has taken it a step further, she is providing this service to all cancer patients, men, women, and children. Once it became obvious that Living Spotless was the only cleaning company partnered with Cleaning for a reason in her community she knew it

was time to get the word out. We want to help our community, you don’t have to look outside of our community for that help. It’s here locally. Velez brother, Bert Velez, is also involved in mowing lawns for cancer patients with his lawn service, Millie’s Lawn Care, named after his mother. It has become a challenge to keep up with the number of applicants in need of help. Living Spotless is always looking for good, responsible help that is willing to give back to our community. They also invite other businesses in the community to join in helping with donations that will facilitate, accommodate, and enable a greater number of candidates receiving free services. The team at Living Spotless wants to give these families a peace of mind while they undergo this difficult time in their lifes. “Two of our own team members lost their mother to cancer, it hits home to these ladies and they wish these services were available then to help their family. I am blessed to have a group of Angels on my team that donate their time to help cancer patients like, Jessica Price,” added Velez. A mother of two, wife and friend, she was diagnosed with breast cancer on Oct 16, 2016. Price had a double mastectomy Nov 18, went thru 4 rounds of chemo and has rung the bell to be

cancer free. Like Price, excited that a company in our community provides free cleaning services to women with cancer, Price says, “You ladies are amazing!!” I love your sincere spirit of giving. When I come home to a clean house after a day of pushing myself through work, it is a heartfelt emotional experience of overwhelming joy!”

Jessica Velez (far right) and cancer patient Jessica Price (center) were profiled by Paige Tucker on her “26 Women To Watch Segment”. Velez has a special for cancer patients after her own experience with cancer when her mother was diagnosed in 1998. “She had a tumor in between her lungs, and after being told it was

asthma, bronchitis, we found out the tumor had grown in her for at least 20 years,” said Velez. With her mother ill and receiving radiation and chemo to treat the tumor, Velez who was 22 years old at the time, was left with the responsibilty of caring for her four younger siblings and her own son. Velez’s mother lost her battle to cancer, and she was left to continue caring for her siblings until they were ready to “leave the nest”. In addition to caring for cancer patients, Living Spotless provides services during the biggest, busiest week in Augusta Ga, The Masters Week!! Living Spotless works with a group of referral partners that offer many different services like carpet cleaning, pressure washing, painting, lawn service, builders, realtors and more... she likes to call it a “one stop shop” We’re all very grateful for the wonderful relationships we’ve built, and we look forward to continued growth in our hometown! 706-305-9100

Jessica’s staff comes to work every day ready to smile and clean!

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Women in Business lunch inspires

Swarts shares how to accomplish career goals By Amanda King

You have a brand whether you want one or not. That was the message Angela Swarts, franchise owner of Spherion, gave ladies, and a few men, at the April Women in Business Luncheon presented by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce. Swarts opened her Spherion franchise in 1995 and became the youngest franchise owner in the company. Spherion is a staffing company with franchises in 34 states. She also owns a franchise in Montgomery, Ala., and frequently drives between her two locations. “I know a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two,” Swarts said, using the Farmer’s Insurance slogan to establish her knowledge in how to build a strategic career plan. She pointed out that in order to get from point A, the beginning of your career, to point Z, the ultimate objective of your career, specific goals must be set and you must “manage your career before it manages you.” “Your career is your business, and you manage it just like a CEO,” she said. Swarts offered the following tips:

Angela Swarts, a franchise owner of Spherion, a staffing company, told the people gathered for April’s Women in Business luncheon that they should manage their careers the way they would a business. Photos by Amanda King

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Get Practical Experience

Swarts strongly emphasized getting involved in internal groups to build leadership skills or to seek out community opportunities, such as Women in Business.

Don’t miss the next Women in Business Luncheon: Financial Planning in Your 30s, 40s and 50s with Gene McManus, partner, AP Wealth Management. When: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 16 Where: Legends Club, 2701 Washington Road, Augusta Cost: $30 for Augusta Metro Chamber members, $40 for prospective members Sign up: Register at by Friday, May 12

Figure Out Your Brand

She suggested asking people who know you best to describe you in three adjectives. The words you hear consistently are your brand. The power of a personal brand is that people will eventually come to you because they know you and what you are capable of doing.

Find a Mentor

Swarts suggested a number of people to look for to be a mentor – a boss, the person you aspire to be and many more – but one thing was key: you have to have a mentor to grow.


Whether it’s through a chamber meeting or making a connection on social media, Swarts emphasized working with others in your industry to gain knowledge and make connections for the future. With today’s technology, she heavily stressed using LinkedIn for more than adding connections.

38 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

“You never want to find yourself in a situation where you have to make a change,” Swarts told the audience.

Maintain Visibility

When your boss asks for someone to volunteer to join a committee or work on a special project, do you slink down in your chair and hope he or she doesn’t see you? Don’t, Swarts said. The more you volunteer and step up, the more you are noticed and considered for other job opportunities.

Continuous Development

Never stop learning. Try to attend workshops, classes or conferences to continue to learn about your field. Swarts gave the example of a woman who came

to her after working in publishing for over 30 years. After the publishing company closed, the woman began looking for a job. Because she had not sharpened her skills and learned new practices, Swarts was unable to find her a job that matched the pay grade the woman had at the publishing company.

Manage Job Changes Smartly

“You never want to find yourself in a situation where you have to make a change,” Swarts said. When you are complacent and not learning, she said it might be time to look for another position. There may be times in life to where you might need to “coast” – such as after starting a family – or even step back if needed.

What Gets Measured Gets Improved

Regular evaluations of yourself are especially important as they help you determine where you are on your path to reaching your ultimate objective. Swarts recommended updating your resume frequently, adding accomplishments immediately after they are reached, not just when you are looking for a job. The message resonated with many attendees, including Stephanie Nichols, who recently started her own business, SBN Counseling Services. “It’s spot-on for what I’m doing with my life right now, being a small-business owner,” she said. Nichols was particularly struck by Swarts’ advice to measuring her accomplishments and plans to begin measuring her targets and goals.


Advertorial and Photo by Wes Hennings You might expect to find swatches and brushes when you walk into a painting office and showroom, but at CertaPro Painters, the usual features of a home improvement business are replaced with service awards, inspiring quotes and reminders of what sets their business apart -- extraordinary customer service. That’s because for owner Sheri Osburn, being in the paint business actually means being in the people business. “Where a relationship is needed,” Osburn said, “that’s where we do our best.” And their best means painting hundreds of homes a year, nearly 3,000 since her business opened in 2008. Sheri Osburn did not originally set out to open a painting business. Her corporate background led her to a job as a vice president of administration for a logistics company, but her passion was to own her own business. Osburn said she didn’t consider painting until one too many bad painters crossed her path. Even when she found someone who could paint, the customer service was lacking. So she decided to fill in the gap. Now she laughs as she recalls trying to start a painting service when the economy took a downturn and builder after builder was closing their doors. But what should have been an obstacle turned out to be an opportunity. She found herself knocking on doors for clients, but it didn’t take long for the tables to turn and customers to start knocking on her door. The economic recovery has seen CertaPro’s business double, and the growth of the area means they will soon hit their milestone of doubling again. Osburn attributes the growth to her undying optimism, and the fact that even in the hard times, she just kept believing. Osburn’s logistics background has clearly served her well in her current position, as on the day we met, she was training a new employee and rerouting painters across the city. CertaPro can find talented painters looking for a steady paycheck. Today, that’s how she keeps talented professionals on her team, with competitive pay delivered on time. She admits that she is not a painter by trade, but CertaPro is North America’s largest painting company, and the

minute she signed up, she shipped off to paint school. The backing of such a successful brand is just another layer of security for Osburn’s customers.

“Any business can succeed if you deliver on your promise” -Sheri Osburn

In fact, the word you will hear most often from Osburn is certainty; a concept that is a breath of fresh air for those navigating the maze of home improvement businesses. CertaPro Painters gives in-person quotes, and before a sales rep leaves your house, you will have a written proposal with your preferences and scope of the work, along with a printed warranty. Osburn says it’s a much better strategy than many of her competitors, who simply write a

quote on the back of a business card. She hears that from customers because she is the one customers call when a competitor leaves their home a mess. And customers sign off on every step of the process, from site preparation to two coats of quality paint. So Osburn says her customers don’t end up with a punch list, but rather a “pride walk” as they see the finished product. “Any business can succeed if you deliver on your promise,” Osburn said. And it’s a theory she’s proving every day. Osburn is also a member of the Rotary Club and looks for any chance she can get to help out the community, whether it’s volunteering for the Boy Scouts, or helping secure paint to finish a room in Augusta’s historic Imperial theater. She has also established a group of professionals who meet on Fridays to pass along referrals and hold each

other accountable. She says it’s helpful if she can guarantee work from another service provider, and then they can tell their customers about her service record. “You’re only as good as your last paint job,” Osburn said. That means the hustle never stops, and every day means earning another client, who will hopefully give CertaPro the best advertising of all, a good reference. “When a customer says ‘We love our paint job,’ that tells me I’m successful.” That means Sheri Osburn has found success not only in the business of painting, but also in the business of people.

215 Baston Road Martinez, GA 30907 706.993.9600

CertaPro Franchisee Sheri Osburn is always coaching staff and directing traffic to ensure that their paint jobs are completed on time to their customer’s satisfaction.

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


40 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Local band taking stage with big names By Amanda King

As sound check began for the High Flyer Music Festival, the soulful voice of Bethany Davis crooned out Fiona Apple’s Criminal, causing heads to turn and jaws to drop. The 32-year-old singer is no stranger to the stage. After years of belting out the national anthem in her hometown of North Augusta and singing in local projects, Davis moved to Folly Beach, S.C., singing only occasionally for fun. After returning to Augusta and having a daughter, she knew that it was time to make a decision about a music career. She sang with some local bands and knew what she had to do. “I just realized once I got on stage that I had to do it full time so I made it a fulltime thing,” Davis said. Davis played with Delta Cane for a few years, performing soulful bluegrass at local events like the annual Banjo-BQue Festival. But as band members got married or moved away, everyone found it difficult to get together. She said that the band still plays together when they are not busy. Through the musical connections Davis made over the years, she met Keith Petersen, a 21-year-old guitarist who confesses to learning music by picking up a copy of Guitar for Dummies. Davis vouches that he is no dummy. “I don’t know 40-year-olds who can play that well,” she said. Deveren Roof, another Delta Cane

“I get to sing songs with my friends and get to make a living off of it, and I am thankful every day,” said Bethany Davis of Bethany and the Southside Boys. “Whatever else happens is just icing on the cake.” Photo by Peter Wood Photography

alum and a bass player, said he always wanted to play music and one day just did it. Roof also owns his own music store – 440 Instruments on Broad Street – a handy resource to have in a band. Together, the three make up Bethany and the Southside Boys. Performing in downtown bars, and at weddings and local events like the upcoming Cinco de Mayo Celebration presented by North Augusta Forward. In September 2016, the band released its own EP titled Raunchy Tonk, complete with songs written by Davis and other local musicians. Recorded at Pulse Recording Studio,

the band used additional musicians, all from the Augusta area. Sales of the EP have resulted in a new excitement for Davis. After years of seeing audience members sing along with their cover songs, now they are singing along with her songs. Most recently, Davis and the Southside Boys opened for Lady Antebellum and Darius Rucker at Rock Fore! Dough, and for Sister Hazel and The Motet at the High Flyer Festival. “We just got really, really lucky. We know a lot of really cool people that have been very helpful getting our name out there when they can,” Davis said.

Even though the trio has had the opportunity to play with country’s top performers at one of the biggest concerts Augusta offers, Davis said they are just as happy to perform downtown in front of just a few people. Davis said she doesn’t like to make predictions for the band in fear that things may go “awry” afterwards, but she does have at least one wish: “I just hope that we continue to be supported as much as we have, especially locally,” she said. “I get to sing songs with my friends and get to make a living off of it, and I am thankful every day. Whatever else happens is just icing on the cake.”


mother’s day weekend!

big city sports bar, world class comedy,

one location 42 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

y ” a Y d l l a t s a f k a bre

after 11am daily



$ .69 w mulitberry pancake breakfast


$ .99 w

Three Buttermilk Pancakes griddled with blueberries in the batter then topped with fresh strawberries and served with warm raspberry syrup. Comes with two Grade A eggs and your choice of Thick-Sliced Hickory-Smoked Bacon, Smoked Sausage Patties, or Turkey Sausage.


maple jam n’ bacon burger platter

Two 100% Angus beef’ patties made to order with maple pepper bacon, sweet maple onion jam, Colby cheese, lettuce and tomato on a split-top bun. Served with our new Homestyle Fries and a sampling of Cole Slaw.



$ .69 w uncle herschel’s favorite®


Choose from Fried Chicken Tenderloins, Sugar Cured Ham, Hickory-Smoked Country Ham, Grilled Pork Chop, U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish, or Hamburger Steak. Comes with two Grade A eggs and your choice of Fried Apples or Hashbrown Casserole. Served with homemade Butttermilk Biscuits, Grits, and Sawmill Gravy.



Seasoned grilled chicken, bacon, fresh spinach, strawberries, Feta cheese, red onion, and diced pecans, tossed with Strawberry Poppy-Seed Vinaigrette. Served with our own Westminster crackers.


$ .29 w double meat breakfast


Three eggs with a full order of our Thick-Sliced Bacon and Smoked Sausage Patties. Served with homemade Buttermilk Biscuits, Grits, and Sawmill Gravy.



w country fried shrimp platter


Our buttermilk breaded fried shrimp served with hushpuppies, your choice of any three country sides, and Buttermilk Biscuits or Corn Muffins.

544 N. Belair Rd., Evans, GA 706.228.3018 | www. April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Continued from Page 6

best results for Cartus and their clients. I applaud them and thank them for this honor,” he said. Century 21 Larry Miller Realty was founded in 1985 and now has offices in Evans and Thomson.

buzz bits Anytime Fitness holds creative contest for tickets One local business got into the spirit of Tim Tebow visiting the CSRA. Anytime Fitness asked members to send in their most creative “Tebowing” picture for a chance to win tickets to the soldout game April 13. “Tebowing” refers to the Heisman trophy winner’s tendency to drop to one knee, bow his head on his fist and pray, regardless of what is going on around him. Chris Thomas, an electrician from Grovetown, was one of the contest winners with the picture at left.

Hull Group redevelops Illinois mall The Hull Property Group of Augusta is growing again – outside Augusta. Buzz on Biz has learned the company will be redeveloping a mall it manages in Illinois called Alton Square Mall. A multimillion-dollar investment is being planned for the large-scale redevelopment that will come to life as a joint effort between the various owners of the mall and Alton’s community leaders, with hopes of reviving the city’s only enclosed shopping mall. The redevelopment plan includes demolition of the former Macy’s building to create a new 14½-acre redevelopment area. Tenants on the mostly vacant upper level will be relocated to the lower level so the vacant spaces can be demolished to create a large, open floor plan with space for three junior anchor boxes.

Walmart, food bank team up Walmart and Golden Harvest Food Bank are teaming up for the “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, a nationwide initiative calling on the public to take action in the fight against hunger. “We … are thrilled that Walmart is asking the public to get involved and make a difference in their local communities through the ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign,” said Travis McNeal, executive director of Golden Harvest. “The opportunities to actively participate – from making a register donation to purchasing

44 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

sponsored products to promoting the campaign online through social media – are so varied that everyone can have an impact.” Last year, Golden Harvest Food Bank benefited from nearly $8,000 from Walmart’s campaign to fight hunger. To learn more, visit www.

IS Regency Mall Being revitalized? After 15 years of being closed, there may be some new life ahead for the old Regency Mall. Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. and city commission members in March toured a few places that offer opportunities for development, including the defunct shopping center. The building, at nearly one million square feet, is completely gutted, according to a representative of the owners, and is ready

to be developed. Davis and city representatives will return in the fall with a plan of how to continue.

TaxSlayer Names Chief Marketing Officer TaxSlayer has named Chris Moloney as its new chief marketing officer. Moloney will lead the company’s marketing initiatives, partnerships and growth strategy. He brings more than 20 years of financial services marketing expertise in helping drive significant growth for some of the financial services industry’s most successful brands, including Scottrade, Experian and Wells Fargo Advisors. “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to help drive growth at TaxSlayer,” Moloney said. “The company has built a robust set of products and tools for individuals,

businesses and tax professionals that are positioned for growth in this industry. There is good reason the National Association of Tax Professionals has rated TaxSlayer No. 1 year after year, and I am proud to be joining such a superb team.”

State Farm has your Uber covered Do you Uber? Do you live in South Carolina? Your State Farm agent may have a policy for you. State Farm is introducing a new coverage endorsement in South Carolina to help fill insurance gaps for policyholders who use their personal cars to provide rides for a transportation network company (TNC), such as Uber or Lyft. With these new transportation services in the marketplace, drivers are exposed to new risks. The new policy enables a policyholder to have his or her personal auto policy fill in coverage gaps left by TNC-provided insurance. This provides the driver with the full liability coverage limits carried on his or her auto policy during times when the driver is available for hire and provides the driver with all other coverage applicable to his or her policy during TNC driving.

Ivey Homes sells 1,000th new home The team at Ivey Homes celebrated a huge milestone in April by selling its 1,000th new home. Ivey Residential was started by Matt and Mark Ivey in 2004 as a sister company to their father, Jake’s, company. It has been voted Columbia County’s People Choice Builder of the Year eight times. “We are proud to build upon the legacy that our father left. We have an incredible team at Ivey Homes that has allowed us to grow and prosper since our start, while providing exceptional customer satisfaction, quality homes, at a fair price,” said Matt Ivey.

openings, closings and moves Continued from page 7 $50 delivery charges. Prestige opened its first store in Columbia. It has two locations outside the CSRA and one on Riverwatch Parkway in Augusta. The owner, who is from Aiken, will use the store in Augusta as a prototype to gauge results before he franchises the concept.

Work began on a building for Good Earth Produce and Garden Center in late 2016. It opened March 30. File photo

Good Earth Produce and Garden Center After announcing at the end of 2016 that it would build an indoor facility and expand its outdoor services, Good Earth Produce and Garden Center opened to the public on March 30. For seven years, customers have been able to browse local produce, dry goods, frozen meat and plants at the outdoor location at 150 Davis Road in Martinez from March to December. With the indoor location, Good Earth will have the ability to remain open yearround, and continue to allow customers to browse the greenhouse space outside. Before opening the Martinez location, owner Rick Catts had an indoor location in Aiken for 22 years, which was later sold. Unlike the new store, the Aiken store is only open September to December. More local products are available at the approximately 9,000-square-foot location, including Watanut mixed nuts and locally grown fruits and vegetables, and most products are from within a 100-mile radius of Augusta. For more information, visit Maguire Therapy Services Inc. Maguire Therapy Services is opening a second location in the CSRA. They are sort of a one-stop shop for those in need of various rehabilitation such as occupational, physical, speech or even massage therapy. It has an introductory visit program for $75 that it calls an an-

Changes happening at car washes You are going to start to see a lot of dumpsters around the sites of the three former Top Notch Car Wash locations. The transition by the two former co-owners is almost complete. Buzz on Biz first told you in March that the two longtime car wash business partners had dissolved their Top Notch car wash company at three locations. The locations at 2841 Washington Road by Red Lobster in Augusta and 512 N. Belair Road by Cracker Barrel in Evans are becoming Tidal Wave Auto Spa, a regional car wash company with several Southeastern locations. The Augusta owner is able to use the branding, back

Area Top Notch Car wash locations are undergoing renovations and rebranding after the longtime owners dissolved their partnership. Photo by Jessica Jones

office support and ability to continue to do monthly membership programs like he did at Top Notch. However, full-service car washes will no longer be

available. The other former Top Notch owner will retain the Martinez location at 3853 Washington Road near Bobby Jones Expressway.

nual health screening. The business’ first location is behind Trinity Hospital in the Summerville Professional Building on Wrightsboro Road. The new location is on 427 N. Belair Road in Evans. For more info, visit

hire. To learn more about FutureStaff, visit This will be MAU’s 10th office in Geor­gia, South Carolina, Tennesee and Utah; it also provides on-site help to clients in Charleston and Greenwood, S.C.


Uptown Cheapskate in Evans The popular consignment store has grown too popular and has relocated just down the road from its original location to 4216 Washington Road. It will continue to buy and sell clothing in the bigger space. Its former location will be utilized by its partner, Kid to Kid, to provide more space for that store.

Closings Gary’s Hamburgers

Gary’s Hamburgers is closing its Graniteville location and opening another on Belair Road. ClarionSouth Communications does public relations for Gary’s Hamburgers and said the Graniteville location closed because of the inability to find long-term employees, which ultimately affected profitability. The goal is for the Belair Road location to open in late May. Gary’s Hamburgers has been working closely with Columbia County on permitting and regulations. Formerly, the building was

That location has become a Rock N Wash Auto Spa. If you have Top Notch Gift Cards, you can redeem them – just stop by the newly named locations.

Gary’s Hamburgers plans to close its Graniteville location and open one on Belair Road. File photo

occupied by Wife Saver. Gary’s Hamburgers has four other locations in Martinez, west Augusta, North Augusta and Johnston, S.C.

Mergers/ Acquisitions MAU

MAU is growing again. The giant staffing company is based on Greene Street and grew exponentially overnight by buying FutureStaff, a metro Atlanta-based company. Since 1982, FutureStaff has been a provider of customized staffing solutions in the metro east and south Atlanta areas. Its services include contingent staffing, temp to hire and direct

University Hospital/Trinity Hospital Metro Augusta’s largest acute care hospital would acquire its smallest over the summer if a deal announced March 30 comes to fruition. Quorum Health Corp., the majority owner and operator of Trinity Hospital of Augusta, said it is negotiating the sale of the 231-bed facility to University Hospital in a transaction expected to close June 30. It would include the main hospital, all equipment and about 80,000 square feet of physician office space. Davis said some layoffs are likely but said it was too early to determine a figure. Trinity has 400 employees. Lawhorn CPA Group Inc./ Baird and Co. CPAs LLC Lawhorn CPA Group Inc. from Knoxville, Tenn., recently acquired Augusta’s Baird and Co. CPAs LLC. This is the fourth location for Lawhorn. “This acquisition, while a part of our overall vision for the firm, is a very big step for us. We’re excited about entering the Augusta market and partnering with this well-established firm.” Jason Lawhorn, the president and CEO of Lawhorn CPA, said in a statement. April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


the importance of planning

5 Tips to Help Improve Your Finances Immediately By Kurt Mueller

While juggling the demands of everyday life, it’s easy to put your financial planning on the back burner. Between working, home repairs and caring for your pets or children it can be hard to find time for anything else. But when you make your financial health a priority, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be building a brighter future for yourself and your loved ones. Whether your goal is to get out of debt or save for the things you want today, achieving your goals starts with a comprehensive financial plan. This plan will be one of your keys to preparing for potential financial risks, saving for the future and planning for retirement. Get on track with these five easy tips:


Know where you stand. Before you know where you’re going, you must know where you are today. Review your current assets, debts, expenses and income sources. Get a clear view of your financial situation by: • Tracking your spending to see where your money is going • Checking your credit profile. • Reviewing past financial successes and failures. • Making sure your finances are adequately protected. • Calculating your net worth.


Create detailed and personal goals. When setting goals, it’s important to make them specific and relatable. For example, “saving for vacation” isn’t as motivating as “saving $5,000 by January for a vacation to Hawaii.” Making sure your goals are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and have a Timeline – will help propel you to achieve them.


Partner to create a plan. Partnering with a trusted financial representative will help you map out strategies that can get you to your goals and set a time-frame for reaching them. A financial professional can help you build a personalized plan to meet your short- and long-term goals – no matter how big or small. With some expert help, you can easily crunch the numbers, weigh options and map out a saving and investing strategy that’s right for you.


Take control. Not all financial priorities are based on big life milestones. Sometimes achieving a seemingly small financial feat can be just

46 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

A budget and detailed plan are key to gaining control of your finances. Special photo

what you need to get on the right track. Unsure of where to begin? Here are some items to consider putting on your financial to-do list: • Set a budget and stick to it. • Build an emergency fund of six months of living expenses stored away. • Manage debt wisely (pay off highinterest and nondeductible debt first). • Be strategic in your investment and saving decisions. • Build your credit score. • Save for retirement and take full advantage of your employer’s retirement plan. • Protect your assets and your income. • Update your estate planning documents.


ning isn’t a once-in-a-lifetime activity; it takes a strategic, steady effort to arrive at your destination. With a little thought, effort and planning, you may confidently achieve your financial goals.

As you strive to get your financial house in order, be sure to stay focused on the big picture. Keep in mind that financial plan-

Kurt W. Mueller is a financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual in Augusta. Call 803.671.8792 or email The information in this article is not intended as legal or tax advice. Not all products mentioned are offered through Northwestern Mutual.

Review your plan regularly. Life is filled with changes, both personal and financial. Milestones like a new job or a new family member will have an impact on your strategy. Make sure to meet with your financial representative before one of these milestones and at least annually to ensure your mix of investments, budget and insurance options are current and accurately reflect your goals and risk tolerance. To help you remember, plan to review your financial plan around the same time each year; the start of the new year or your birthday often work well.

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Be More Interesting!

Focusing on others makes you more engaging By Steve Swanson

“It’s more important to be interested than interesting.” A wise friend told me that once, and I’ve heard it several times since. It is truly amazing how people will open up and have deeper conversations when you are sincerely interested in their lives – their life experiences and their interests. When it’s all about you, conversations very quickly evaporate. Dale Carnegie was a writer and lecturer who developed well-known courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking and interpersonal skills. Born into poverty on a farm in Missouri, he authored How to Win Friends and Influence People, a bestseller that is still popular today. Years ago I had the opportunity to take a Dale Carnegie course. Every week in class we stood in front of the group to give a talk. Sometimes it was “spur of the moment.” Other times we prepared in advance. One of the things I most enjoyed was interacting with folks who were completely outside of my normal life “orbit.” The course stretched me and I would recommend it to you. Here are three of my favorite Carnegie quotes: • “Talk to someone about themselves, and they’ll listen for hours.” • “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” • “Names are the sweetest, most important sound in any language.” I read an article recently about making conversations more engaging. Here are some of the ideas:

Did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to have a conversation? Speaking with others the right way makes all the difference in business – and in life. Special photo

Make your conversations more interesting: Does this sound familiar? “Hi, how are you?” “I’m fine, thanks; and you?” “Fine, thank you.” In our hurry-up world, nobody seems to have time to carry on a real conversation. Or they don’t know how – it seems to me that people are spending so much time with technology that they aren’t developing the ability to have face-to-face conversations. Explore other perspectives: It seems commonplace these days to either try and convince another person of our point of view or we just don’t express our true feelings in order to be agreeable. Instead of trying to change others’ minds, make a real effort to understand how they came

up with their perspective. Use follows up questions: Asking “What do you do?” is fine, but follow it up with questions about the occupation, like: “What is the biggest misconception people have about your line of work?” “What surprised you most about your current job?” or “What do you wish more people understood about your work?” Be sure to be prepared to answer the “What do you do?” question in an interesting way. Think about aspects of your work people have found most interesting. (Remember, it’s about the person you’re talking to – you are NOT the focus!) Listen and then listen more: Most of us don’t listen very well. We’re too busy

pondering our response or waiting for our turn to speak. Jumping in abruptly breaks the other person’s train of thought and implies that you think your ideas are more important than the other person’s. A useful listening technique is to periodically recap what you heard the other person say. Ask some open-ended questions: “What if ” questions can energize a stagnant conversation and turn a boring conversation partner into a delightful one. For example, “What if people were allowed to talk for only one hour every day? What might be some of the consequences and benefits?” Conversations become even better when you gear “What if ” questions to the other person’s strengths. In summary, you will be more interesting when you: • Sincerely focus on others. • Listen well. • Ask open-ended questions. • Think about a couple “What if ” questions before you start a conversation. • Remember that you are much more interesting when you’re sincerely interested in others.

Steve Swanson serves as the station manager for 88.3 WAFJ. He has more than 30 years of radio experience and was named Christian Music Broadcasters Program Director of the Year in 2009 and 2011. Email

in digital marketing, vigilance is key By John Pope

Having worked in digital media sales for the last five years, I have been able to evolve and practice my SEO skills. My specialty is SEO (search engine optimization), especially concerning the Google PageRank Algorithm and the RankBrain AI. I have been battling the Google algorithm updates for my clients successfully for the last five years, and I plan on staying the course and providing the best SEO service in Augusta. As digital marketing becomes the norm and more businesses start reallocating their advertis-

As … more businesses start reallocating their advertising budgets to internet-based marketing, it is important to deal with professionals who have the knowledge to back up what they are selling. ing budgets to internet-based marketing, it is important to deal with professionals who have the knowledge to back up what they are selling. Not only can I back my work up with know­ ledge

48 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

and experience, I can offer many examples of how search engine optimization has increased my clients’ bottom lines and allowed them to save money on other forms of advertising.

It is important to note that you do not want to allocate your advertising dollars into just one form of marketing, but it is necessary to allocate the funds to a proven strategy that is relevant to today’s consumers. I am going on my fifth year of digital marketing and the battle rages on. Last year, Google changed its search algorithm multiple times, according to SEO experts and bloggers. Not to worry; most of these changes are minimal and have little effect on your page rank. But others can drastically change the way Google indexes your site

on their search results on both mobile devices and desktops. That is why it is important to hire someone who knows how to manipulate your website to conform to these constant updates.

John Pope has worked in digital media sales and marketing for six years. His specialty is search engine optimization (SEO). Email

Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


studios donate time, energy to raise money By Amanda King

Two local dance studios are making helping Alzheimer’s patients as easy as 5-6-7-8. Ballroom in Motion and Fusion Ballroom are joining with the Alzheimer’s Association for Dancing Stars of Augusta, a competition similar to the popular Dancing with the Stars. The event will be held May 5 at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. Dance instructors from both ballrooms are paired with one of 13 members of the community, also known as the “stars,” and teach him or her a unique ballroom dance. Each star receives 15 hours of private lessons from their professional to learn the routine that will be performed for the competition. “When you think about the hours they donate, it’s a lot of time,” said Christina Waters, relationship events manager for the Alzheimer’s Association and organizer for the event. During their training, the stars and professionals work together to raise $10,000 or more for the Alzheimer’s Association. Those include table sales for the performance and individual donations. Last year’s event raised $150,000. This year’s goal is $160,000, with 70 percent of

50 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Last year’s Dancing Stars of Augusta contestants show off their mirror balls. This year, 13 are competing for Best Performance and People’s Choice. Photo by Amanda King

that met by mid-April. Waters said every penny of the money raised stays in the community, providing programs and services for Alzheimer’s patients and their families at no cost to them. She said that Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States but is disproportionately low in federal research funding. Many of the stars have connections with Alzheimer’s, while others just want to support the association.

Attorney and Dancing Star Neal Dickert’s mother has Alzheimer’s, while Ballroom in Motion owner Teena Marie’s mother-in-law has dementia. Both report that music and dancing have a unique way of stimulating their loved ones. Some research has shown dancing helps with memory and can delay, if not prevent, Alzheimer’s and dementia because the engaging of the body and mind assists with cognitive brain function. “It’s not easy,” Dickert said. “When you

are being choreographed for a routine of some degree of precision, it’s tough.” Personal trainer John Paul Lynn and his instructor, Fusion owner Cristell Reyes, keep things fun on the dance floor, but Lynn knows when it’s time to get serious. “When she starts speaking to me in Spanish then I know I’m messing up,” he said. Just like on the television show, injuries are a part of the gig – one professional dancer was injured, requiring the star to learn the routine with another instructor. Also similar to the show, Teena Marie said that there are emotional times. “You go through highs and lows, but at the end you see them walking taller like the stars that they are,” she said. Dancers will be competing for two mirror ball trophies – People’s Choice Award for the star who raises the most money and the Judges Choice Award where judges pick the best dance performance of the night. Most of the performers have their eye on the performance mirror ball, while others have another goal. “I just hope I finish,” laughed Dickert. For information on donating to the Alzheimer’s Association or to purchase tickets to the event, visit georgia.

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


the maine effect Local IPAs HIT SPOT AFTER TIME ON SLOPES By Ben Casella

There are places on Earth that craft beer was just made for. One of those places (and times) is northern Maine in March. Let me explain. The weekend before the Masters Tournament, I had a speaking engagement in Maine. It was a continuing education conference at Sugarloaf Ski Resort, which is about two hours northwest of Portland. Laura and the kiddos came up as well, and we had an absolute blast. Sugarloaf has found a way to have first-class amenities and an extremely casual feel at the same time – part of the reason we are so drawn to Maine. So, shortly after we drove through Augusta (and North Augusta), Maine, we were there. The snow was surprisingly more powdery than people had said it would be, and the brews were even better than I remembered from our last excursion to Maine (Sebasco Harbor, 2015). I lectured from 7-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. for two days. That allowed ample time to ski with the family and have a burger and a can of craft at dinner.

The first one I had was a canned IPA from Maine, and it went perfectly with my burger. Baxter Stowaway IPA: This local brew from Maine’s Baxter Brewing Co. pours a nice light gold with a one- to two-finger head to match. The lacing is as would be expected in a quality New England IPA. Malts and toast are both apparent on the nose and the tongue, but the expected grass/pine hoppy flavor wind out in the end, with a drier feel than other IPAs I’ve had. All in all, Baxter Stowaway is a solid, medium-bodied IPA that I would recommend after a day on the slopes – after, of course, you’ve hydrated with some water. I tried mine with a burger, but I would also recommend Stowaway IPA with fried fish or chicken. Space Dust IPA: OK. So, it turned into an almost exclusive sampling of IPAs, but, hey, when in Rome … This brew from Washington State’s Elysian Brewery is a bit more potent than Baxter Stowaway, but it has a similar feel as to the heaviness. There are similarities between the two, but

Space Dust IPA has more of a citrus tone in all of its aspects, which also provides a dry finish that readily pairs it with a variety of foods. As mentioned earlier, the ABV is on the higher side (8.2 percent). So, don’t let the medium feel throughout fool you. You are sipping something that, while served cold, will warm you in a heartbeat. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Shipyard Brew Haus, which is just a few yards down a ski slope from Sugarloaf Inn. If you visit Sugarloaf and don’t eat there, then you’re missing out. Cheers!

Ever wondered how to pour, smell and taste beer and then articulate your findings into a written column? Just come downtown and buy Dr. Ben a beer, and he’ll drink you through his process.

The Baxter Stowaway IPA from Baxter Brewing Co. is a solid, medium-bodied IPA that went well with a burger after a day on the slopes in Maine. Photo by Ben Casella

where’s your ‘halo?’ Success and the attractive state of mind By Daryl Rolle

Layovers in airports can make one very hungry. On a business trip to New York, I decided to head to the nearest restaurant to occupy my time and stomach. The restaurant was located in a really tight quarter of the airport, but there were people giving up their seats to have a conversation with a group of men in the restaurant. My assumption was that these guys have to be somebody important – after all, who gives up their seat in LaGuardia’s restaurant just for the sake of conversation? I have been grooming for success for almost 20 years, so I understand what the “mold of success” looks like to me. Even stepping outside of my expertise, this group commanded the room. The halo effect was in full

As long as there are marketing/branding line items on your company budget, there should always be a line item on your personal budget committed to ensuring that your demeanor commands the room. effect. The “halo effect” is a bias that a person’s positive qualities, physical appearance and general attractiveness affects how we judge character – the better a person looks and behaves, the better a person we judge him or her to be. Was there really a bias in all of this? The obvious differences in age, gender, ethnicity, shape and size were there; however, a common denominator tied this

52 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

group together – their attractive demeanors. Does having an attractive demeanor really pay dividends in the business world? The Journal of Sociology published by the University of Chicago suggests that there are “premiums for attractiveness.” This theory states both men and women obtain significant financial benefit from attractiveness, about 12 to 14 percent more than their coun-

terparts. What about inspiring others and building great networks? After finishing my meal, I asked my waitress about the group, and she indicated they were part of an international leadership organization for CEOs and company presidents who were finishing up their annual conference in New York. Balance in your mental/physical demeanor pays the “premiums of attractiveness.” I am not implying that this observation is a standalone to success in business, but I am suggesting that your demeanor and how you perceive yourself is the “crust of the pie.” No matter what factors take the largest slice, your demeanor will always be part of the experience. As long as there are market-

ing/branding line items on your company budget, there should always be a line item on your personal budget committed to ensuring that your demeanor commands the room.

Daryl Rolle is the owner of the award winning Dapper & Company men’s grooming lounge and co-owner of Regal Styles and Imaging of Evans. Rolle is one of the fastest-rising barbering educator/ grooming consultants in the country. For questions or reservations you can contact him at drolle@

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Buona Caffe offers tasty fare By Susan O’Keefe

Located just off Central Avenue near downtown and the medical district, fouryear-old Buona Caffe is a locally owned establishment. On my recent visit, there was a plethora of patrons, including high school football coaches, businessmen and college students representing a variety of ages and stages of life. As we walked into the charming houseturned-café, we were warmly welcomed by a barista with an Australian accent. He called customers by name and carried on a friendly conversation with most of them. The laid-back, easy atmosphere was a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the business grind. Although coffee claims the leaderboard at Buona Caffe, lunch fare is also offered. If customers cannot find a suitable selection from the half-dozen sandwich options, then they can order from the breakfast menu, which is available all day. Breakfast anytime is always a crowd pleaser. After placing our order, we found a seat on the homey leather couch and chairs. Traditional tables and chairs were available, but the couch was calling our name. A short time passed, and our orders were announced by the clerk. We eagerly jumped to our feet to retrieve our food. (Did I mention we were famished?) The hefty serving of chicken salad on a flaky croissant caught my eye immediately. I solicited a small bite from my cohort. Side options included bananas, broccoli slaw and pasta salad. While I thought the chicken salad had earned an A+, I then tasted the mozzarella and Italian salami Panini and decid-

Buona Caffe Food Price Location Networking Noise Level Buona Caffe is at 1858 Central Avenue in Augusta. Its phone number is (706) 8694074. The website is

The chicken salad, above, and cappuccino at Buona Caffe really hit the spot. Photos by Susan O’Keefe

ed that two A+ grades were merited. The popular panini is topped with balsamic vinegar on ciabatta bread. Wow! Talk about pleasing to the palate. My second cohort decided to take advantage of the breakfast-all-day deal. Again, A+. He was thrilled with the

hearty sandwich of eggs, bacon and sharp cheddar in a toasty warm ciabatta bread. Desserts and pastries were plentiful, but I opted for a small sample from the fully equipped coffee bar. To me, a cappuccino is a treat, so I ordered the smooth coffee drink and smiled when it was delivered. A creamy leaf embellished the coffee and added a twist of art to the beverage. Each time an order was announced by the staff and retrieved by a customer, it seemed another party entered the quaint café. For the one-man kitchen crew, it was perfect timing. For my friends and I, it became comical. By the time we relinquished our seats, there were people waiting to use them.

Buona Caffe provides an ideal lunch atmosphere for casual or business conversations. There are no TVs to blunt the opportunity for easy conversation among customers. The $20 bill seemed like a fair price for scrumptious food for three. After a few years on the Augusta eatery scene, Buona Caffé has earned its share of the lunch clientele. It’s proving itself to be more than just a coffee shop.

Susan O’Keefe has been reviewing restaurants for Buzz on Biz since August 2015. Her restaurant visits and reviews are done with a businessperson in mind.

Don’t Call it a Comeback By Samantha Taylor

Sometimes it feels like there’s more on your plate than you can handle. Heck, I feel that way right now. I didn’t plan on it, but my movie choices this month turned out to be a personal reminder that no matter what life throws your way, how impossible it all seems, you can get through it. You will get through it. This month’s reviews are all about making a comeback when life knocks you down. Everything Must Go: I chose this film because Netflix had it listed under comedies and Will Ferrell plays the main character. My husband and I love his style of comedy, and we were looking for something lighthearted to watch. While we both enjoyed the film, and we did laugh a few times, it wasn’t what we expected. Ferrell plays Nick Halsey, an alcoholic businessman who just got fired. He’s great at his job, but his drinking costs the com-

54 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

pany more than he makes and they’ve had enough. They send him on his way with a personalized Swiss Army knife as a “thank you” for all of his years of service. As if his day wasn’t bad enough, Nick pulls up to his house to find all of his belongings on the front lawn. It looks like his wife has had enough as well. He handles it the way he handles everything, drinking until he passes out in his recliner, only to be woken in the morning by the sprinkler system. I appreciated this movie. We’ve all had those days where it seems like things just can’t get any worse. Then they do get worse and all you want to do is give up. The feeling is one you can relate to – even if the reasons for the feeling are different. Just like real life, Nick was finally forced to deal with his problems. Even though it seemed as if he didn’t have a friend in the world, help came from the unlikeliest of

places. While the movie doesn’t give you much closure, it does leave you with hope. Hands of Stone: I really tried not to do anything sports-related this month, so you can blame this one on my husband. Lucky for him, it fit perfectly with my unexpected theme. Hands of Stone is the true story of boxer Roberto Duran. He grew up poor in Panama and witnessed riots and social upheaval. With few options, he sought to do the one thing he knew he knew best – box. Duran is most famous for the phrase “no mas,” uttered during a rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard. If you aren’t familiar with the story, all you need to know is that he quit in the middle of a match, disappointing his family, trainers and country. Even worse, he disappointed himself. Even though I knew the story of the famous “no mas” match, I didn’t know

anything about his comeback. Duran was at rock bottom, and nobody thought he would get another shot. Thanks to his trainer Ray Arcel (played by Robert DeNiro), Duran did get another chance. Sure, he had to start from scratch, but he proved to himself and the world that even when you think you’ve given up, you can still make a comeback.

Samantha Taylor, “Sam the Movie Chick,” is on a mission to find the best movies and TV shows for you to stream from Netflix. She loves good flicks, good food and good friends. Her eclectic tastes are sure to give readers a wide range of viewing choices.



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April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


The right ingredients Balancing Food with Life By Onnie Sanford

How do you live your life, eat right, keep your family together and do it all at the same time? The simple answer is you find a balance and quit being so hard on yourself. I own a meal prep business, and if you think that I am always prepared, well, you are wrong. I falter and forget my meals in a rush, or we run out of food and do not have time to put any meals together. I could give up by saying it is too hard, or my husband and I can regroup and figure out a different plan. We have come too far to give up now, and I also remember that there are so many people looking to me for support, so I follow my own advice. I have given myself the opportunity to know what it feels like to feel good by just treating your body right, and that is too much to walk away from. My advice to you is to educate yourself about food by doing what you can, when you can. There does not always have to be a fancy prepared dinner – think simple by picking up a rotisserie chicken and a bag of frozen veggies or stop by the Paleo Num Yums “grab and go fridge” to pick up your dinner. Meal prep doesn’t have to be intimidating, either. Meal prep is making your food ahead of time and placing it in individual containers. Then, don’t leave home without it. When you do find yourself without food and no chance of returning home in the near future, make the healthiest alternative food choice available. Take your day one meal at a time, and if you make a mistake on one meal, make it right the next meal. You help to create healthy habits the more often you make good choices. Life can get a little easier, if you can enjoy your chaotic life, and most of the time, you can make awesome healthy food choices. It doesn’t have to be stressful to prep dinner at home, either.

Quit being so hard on yourself. … Educate yourself about food by doing what you can, when you can. Whether you choose to do your cooking in one day or spread it out through the week, always make double batches. The extra meal can be frozen or used throughout the week, and any leftovers can be put into individual containers as your healthy choice option. Slow-cooker meals are an easy way to effortlessly add a second meal to save for later in the week. Paleo Num Yums has an excellent Hawaiian BBQ Pork Tacos with Pineapple Slaw that frequently visits our menu. The recipe makes two family dinner portions, freezes amazingly well, has several ingredients that can be used for other meals throughout the week, and you could substitute chicken for the pork. Other ways to incorporate through the week: Use the meat on a salad; use the pineapple slaw by itself as a snack or over a salad with chicken; use the paleo tortillas for a breakfast burrito; or use the BBQ sauce to add a little flavor to your chicken and veggies meals. Be the change every meal, every day.

O n n i e Sanford is the owner of Paleo Num Yums, a meal prep service specializing in healthy, fresh and tasty meals that are ready to cook. For a free consultation, call 706.699.1383.

56 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Photo by Onnie Sanford

Slow cooker HAWAIIAN BBQ Pork TACOS WITH PINEAPPLE SLAW Hawaiian BBQ pork 6 pounds pork 3 cups unsweetened pineapple juice 1 cup Paleo Num Yums BBQ sauce or your own homemade version 2/3 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos 1 cup apple cider vinegar ¼ cup coconut 5 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoon minced ginger 2 tablespoons sriracha Spray a Crockpot or other slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the pineapple juice, liquid aminos, barbecue sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sugar, and sriracha in a large

bowl and whisk until well combined. Place the pork in the slow cooker and cover with the pineapple juice mixture. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Serve on tortillas with slaw. Pineapple slaw 1 large bag coleslaw mix 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk ½ cup lime juice 3 tablespoon sriracha 1 tablespoon coconut sugar Combine all of the slaw ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate the mixture until you are ready to serve.




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AT FOREST HILLS GOLF CLUB NORTH AUGUSTA FAMILY YMCA 803 278 0882 April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


what’s your strategy?

Online presence is crucial in today’s mobile-centric world Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the November 2016 issue of Buzz on Biz.

By Richard Brashear

Everybody is selling digital marketing these days. Digital agencies are providing social media for your company, marketing firms are handling your internet and search engine marketing, and your cousin Ned is still building your website in his basement. Over the past couple of years, we, as local businesses, have patched together our online strategy to try to keep up with the ever-changing digital ecosystem. And for the most part, this worked. But as the ecosystem has grown and become more complex, this piecemeal strategy is becoming much less effective. Today, you must look at your online strategy holistically. And that means looking at an online strategy that builds more presence, creates more audience and drives more engagement.

3 Pillars of Online Marketing and What They Mean for Your Business

Build More Presence: The bedrock of your digital marketing strategy is your website, which should be responsive and mobile-friendly. Your website should also be optimized for lead generation through online forms, click-to-call buttons and compelling call-to-actions. Remember, this is your “online storefront” that complements your brick-andmortar store and is key to driving customers to your store. According to Google’s 2015 data, 50 percent of consumers who conduct local searches on their smartphone go to a store within 24 hours, and nearly 20 percent make a purchase within a day. Create More Audience: Once you have built your online presence, you need to work to get found online. There are a few key approaches to do this. First, get your website registered with Google and Bing. This makes them “official” with the two key search engines. Tied closely to this is working to optimize your website to get more natural search engine traffic to your website. This helps to build your online presence network. Second, you can use internet advertising programs like search engine market-

58 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

ing (pay-per-click), display ads, retargeting or social media ads to begin driving visitors to your site. Mediapost reported that “total spending on Internet advertising is predicted to grow 12.9 percent next year. The internet will become the largest medium for advertising in 2016 (ahead of TV).” Using each of these techniques in unison, you can help to expand your online audience cost-effectively over time. Engage Your Visitors. Once you have a solid online presence and have grown your audience, you can begin to communicate with these visitors through a variety of social media outlets, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and the like. The key here is to make your posts and interactions compelling and useful to visitors. This is a challenge for many businesses. According to StreetFightMag. com, 31 percent of merchants who don’t use social media say they “don’t know how,” and 13 percent say they “don’t know what to post.”

So, What Does It All Mean?

The days of looking at online marketing as a secondary function to traditional offline marketing are gone. It is essential in today’s mobile-centric online world that your business has a presence that is complete, accurate and growing and can use that presence to both grow audience and engage customers. Don’t shy away from online marketing; rather look as an essential part of your business’s strategy to reach people. Look to an expert firm to create an online strategy that takes into consideration each of the three pillars of online marketing: presence building, audience growth and customer engagement.

Richard Brashear is general manager for Main Street Digital, a sister company of Morris Publishing Group. Main Street Digital assists companies with various online services, including websites, social media, SEO and generating online leads. Call 706.828.3948 or email

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April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


be mindful of your health Hypnosis may help curb bad eating habits

ping after her session with me. She called about an hour later and asked to come back to have the suggestions modified. Even walking past the candy aisle made her nauseous!

By Sean Andrews

Hypnosis in its many forms has been around for over 4,000 years. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks had “sleep temples” where people with physical or mental illnesses could go to be cured. Once inside, the priests would place the patient on a stone slab and “cure” him with incantations and ceremonial rites. In the 1700s, German physician Franz Anton Mesmer used magnets and touch to cure many diseases. So, using trance to heal people is not a new thing. Today, hypnosis is practiced throughout the world but is primarily used in three areas. In the hypnosis industry, we call them the three S’s: • Slimming • Smoking • Stress Lack of exercise, overeating and poor food choices have turned obesity into an epidemic in many developed countries. Diet pills, eating plans and gym memberships are very popular with people wanting to lose weight, but because they do nothing to change how the person thinks about food and exercise, any weight lost is quickly gained back. Enter hypnosis for weight loss! In my hypnotherapy practice, I have helped many people achieve their weightloss goals. I have found that there are four keys to losing weight and, more importantly, keeping it off: 1. Making the right food choices 2. Portion control 3. Drinking plenty of water 4. Exercise Intellectually, we all know that these are the keys to getting and maintaining a slim, trim body … but we don’t do it! Why? There are many reasons. Bad habits, comfort eating, lack of motivation and the absence of clear goals are just some of the things that contribute to weight gain. Hypnosis can help in all of these areas.

Making the right food choices

Chocolate seems to top the list of offenders when it comes to weight problems. Many people, especially women, are in love with chocolate and seem to find it almost irresistible. To combat this, I ask for my client’s permission to suggest an aversion to chocolate. In hypnosis, your subconscious mind becomes open to suggestions so that a skilled hypnotist can change the way you think about a particular food. Having obtained my client’s permis-

60 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

Portion Control

When your stomach is empty before a meal, it is smaller than the size of your fist. It is only after you eat that it begins to expand. In hypnosis, I suggest to the client that she is very aware of the small size of her stomach. She will be very conscious of just how much food it would take to fill that space – not much – and make her feel satisfied. I also suggest another strategy where she will look at the food on her plate and mentally divide the meal into two equal portions. When she has finished half the food on her plate, she will feel completely satisfied and very happy and proud of herself for becoming healthier.

Drinking Water

Hypnosis can help people tackle four main issues that prevent them from losing weight: Making the right choices, portion control, exercise and drinking water. Special photo

sion, I tell her a story about the origin of chocolate. “As you know, chocolate comes from cocoa beans and sugar. Both grow in the wild and are harvested and mixed in a factory. Beans and sugar cane, or sugar beets, are open to the environment, so naturally bugs and worms and other insects crawl on them. “Like every other living creature, bugs and worms eat and excrete, and that excrement naturally is deposited on the cocoa beans, sugar cane and sugar beets.” At this point, I watch my client carefully. The look on her face tells me that the idea of bugs and worms leaving deposits on her precious chocolate ingredients is

beginning to take hold. If need be, I can continue to describe how the beans, cane and beets are stored and subjected to rodent infestation. “Now don’t worry!” I tell her. “The government tests these things and they have strict limits on how much excrement is allowed in the chocolate. It’s not enough to make you sick – but many of my clients report that if they try a little bit of chocolate after our session, they can actually detect the taste of the impurities even though they never noticed them before.” I have found that this process is pretty effective at ending chocolate cravings. One of my clients went grocery shop-

Sufficient water intake is essential to any weight loss program. Most people like water or at least feel neutral about it. Often the problem is that we just don’t think about drinking water. Many weight loss programs suggest that a glass of water before a meal is an excellent way to control overeating, and we know that water is a healthy way of flushing toxins out of our bodies. Also, if you quench your thirst with water, you won’t be drinking as many sugary soft drinks! In hypnosis, I give my client suggestions so that water seems more appealing. I also suggest that she will remember to take a bottle of water with her wherever she goes. These simple suggestions go a long way toward ensuring that she drinks a healthy amount of water that will greatly contribute to her permanent weight loss. Next time I will discuss the final piece to the weight-loss puzzle – how to program in the desire to exercise! Sean Michael Andrews is a hypnotist, body language expert, author and corporate keynote speaker. He was selected the Mid-America Hypnosis Conference 2013 Hypnotist of the Year and the 2016 Educator of the Year. Reach him at 706.284.3370.

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz


What properties benefit from cost segregation?

Imagine cleaning only one side of your car. Ridiculous, right? So, why only wash one side of your house? Special photo

By Mark Stephens

Am I really saving money with a partial house wash? By Tony Creighton

At least once a week, a prospective customer will request an estimate on a partial pressure wash of their home. They’ll say things like, “Only one side of my home really needs to be cleaned,” or “I’ve completed two sides and just don’t have the time to finish the rest.” While we’re happy to provide those estimates, and agree that in today’s economy any chance to save money is a great idea, a partial cleaning is just not practical. One reason a partial house wash is impractical is that the cost difference between a partial and full is so minimal that it doesn’t make financial sense to not have whole house washed. In fact, most service-related industries, such as pressure washing companies, have a minimum price that they cannot go below without losing money on a job. What most customers don’t realize is that the majority of the cost in washing a house is from unseen factors of simply being in business. Insurance, employee-related expenses, equipment maintenance, marketing, utilities, shop rent, phones, fuel, training, detergents and travel all are necessary regardless of washing one side or all sides of a home. The technicians still need to travel to the property, unroll all the hoses, mix detergents, allow the dwell time before a rinse that would normally occur while soaping another side of the home and roll up all hoses again. Generally, the request for a one-side wash is for the dirtiest side, which during an entire house washing, would have taken the longest time. So, doing the rest of house only adds a minimal amount of time. Thus, the cost difference is of no impact. Additionally, the quality and longevity of the cleaning is hindered when partial washes are done. Imagine only washing one side of your car because the mud and pollen are only seen on that side. Once you’re finished, you’d see dirty water and soap stains splashed onto the other side of your car, and be able to see just how dirty

62 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017

all your car was to begin with. This is precisely what happens when you only clean one side of your home. Water and detergents splash onto other sides, leaving clean streaks and highlighting all dirt and mildew left behind. Also, those sides of the house that the customer feels don’t need washing have the same mildew that the dirty sides have. It just isn’t thriving in the same way. If it isn’t killed and removed, the rest of house becomes infested quicker and the cleaning isn’t as long-lasting. Lastly, the request for a partial wash typically comes from a failed attempt at DIY washing. Some customers think that this is a no-brainer. Then, they begin work and discover that using a rented pressure washer can be difficult and time consuming, and the job requires more than one person to do effectively. Having licensed and insured pressure-washing technicians who are trained to safely and effectively clean the exterior of your home not only saves you time, it can also save your body the aches and pains of hours of labor and sun exposure. So, the next time you’re in the market for an exterior cleaning of your home, remember that it’s always cost- and timeeffective to take care of all four sides. Dedicated, knowledgeable pressure washing companies such as ALLCLEAN™ Pressure Washing want to do the best, most thorough job for you to ensure you get your money’s worth. For a free estimate, call us at (706) 651-8089.

Cost segregation is the practice of identifying commercial building assets and their costs and classifying those assets for federal tax purposes. In a cost-segregation study, certain commercial building costs previously classified with a 39-year depreciable life can instead be classified as personal property or land improvements, and a 5-, 7-, or 15-year rate of depreciation using accelerated methods. Residential buildings, including multifamily, are subject to a 27.5-year life. An “engineering-based” study allows an owner to depreciate a new or existing structure in the shortest time permissible under current tax laws. The benefits of a study include: • An immediate increase in cash flow • A reduction in current tax liability • The ability to reclaim “missed” depreciation deductions from prior years (without having to amend tax returns) Cost-segregation opportunities include: • New construction • Purchase of existing property • Renovations or expansion • Leasehold improvements • Existing property placed in service af-

ter 1986 (“look-backs”) • Real property stepped-up through estate Here is a partial list of properties that benefit from cost segregation: • Apartments • Assisted-living and daycare facilities • Bank branches • Department stores • Funeral homes • Gas stations • Hospitals/medical centers/practices • Hotels/motels • Industrial/manufacturing facilities • Office buildings • Resorts • Restaurants and shopping centers • Sports facilities • Warehouse and distribution centers Mark Stephens manages Business Development for Cost Segregation Services Inc. CSSI is the premier company for IRS-defined engineering-based cost segregation studies in America. Its objective is to facilitate maximum tax savings and improved cash flow, allowing businesses to flourish. Reach Stephens at 706.294.7989 or

Tony Creighton is the owner\operator of All-Clean Pressure Washing and its subsidiary, Augusta ProClean — committed to providing high-quality cleanings for the CSRA’s commercial properties and homes. Call 706.651.8089 or email

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz

April 27-May 24, 2017 Buzz on Biz




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64 Buzz on Biz April 27-May 24, 2017


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