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Change is brewing

Aug. 31-Sept. 27, 2017 • The CSRA’s monthly business Magazine

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Turning a corner The Critical Point in the Cyber Explosion By Witt Wells

whole family,” Johnson said. There might not be anything that will more effectively meet all those needs than Riverside Village, the new home of the Augusta GreenJackets. It’s one thing that will make North Augusta a unique destination. “If you’re not here, you should be,” Glover told business leaders. “I firmly believe we’re going to be the place to be for the next 10 years.” Riverside Village Glover said that although SRP Park – the recently named Greenjackets’ ballpark – is on track to be ready for the April 12 opener, not all of the Riverside Village

The U.S. Army is “open for business.” That’s how Army Chief Information Officer Lt. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford put it at Augusta TechNet 2017. The new CIO had been appointed to the position less than two weeks prior to the massive Augusta trade show that brings together thousands of cybersecurity professionals in the military, government and private sectors. “Regardless of whether you’re a large company or a small company, we want to leverage the power of your best practices, we want to leverage the power of your innovation, we want to deliver the network that the war-fighter deserves,” Crawford said. “And we can’t do that without your help.” Outside the walls of the huge conference room, hundreds of booths featured cyber technology in many different forms – from the latest virtual reality combat training to the kind of robots meant to attract middle-schoolers to computer programming – made by many of the entrepreneurs who make TechNet happen. Their innovation is only going to become more crucial. According to Crawford, the U.S. Army, as far as information technology goes, is going to “start acting like a customer, and it wants to be treated like one.” In Augusta, such demand has manifested itself in an ever-growing collection of cybersecurity and information technology companies, both big and small,

See BALLPARK on Page 8

See CYBER on Page 2

North Augusta’s growth is symbolized in the continued progress on the construction of the stadium portion of Riverside Village. The stadium was recently named SRP Park. Photo by Gary Kauffman.

Live, work, play ball North Augusta Primed for Business Growth By Witt Wells

Todd Glover, city administrator of North Augusta, is marketing the city as the perfect midway point between the Savannah River Site and Fort Gordon. There are a lot contractors, he says, who are involved with both. Glover said there are already $4 million in cyber contracts based in North Augusta. “If we become the geographical center – a base or hub of operations where they can have offices here and have staff at Savannah River Site or Fort Gordon, think about the advantage we have here from an economic development standpoint,” Glover said to a room full of business leaders at an Aug. 24 North Augusta Chamber of Commerce lunch event.


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Glover said this is the time to capitalize on the region’s cybertechnology growth. In the last year, North Augusta has either become home to or approved for the future construction of a host of new establishments, both locally and nationally based; Your Pie, Diablo’s, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Holiday Inn, IHOP, Petsmart, Burke’s Outlet and Ross Dress for Less have all opened in North Augusta or have been approved for building. Anne Claire Johnson, who works at the Savannah River Site and attended the presentation, particularly values the multiuse spaces being created in the area as it enters a new phase of robust development. “It sort of meets all the needs of the


4460 Washington Rd, Evans 500 Oxbow Rd, Grovetown

CYBER Continued from Page 1 that have set up shop in Augusta. EDTS. Cape Augusta. Unisys. Rendition InfoSec. Zapata Technology. The list goes on, and more will come. The question is how they’ll respond to a growing need. As it turns out, the city of Augusta and the Army Cyber Command aren’t just happy to have them anymore. They’re relying on them. Cyber Explosion As successful as cybersecurity companies in the CSRA have been over the last few years, research suggests that we haven’t seen anything yet. A recent study conducted by the Augusta Cyber Institute at Augusta University stated that “there are simply not enough individuals going into the field of cyber security to meet the demand.” According to the study, the percentage of millennials interested in a career in cyber increased from 33 percent in 2015 to 43 percent in 2016. In 2015, labor market analytics company Burning Glass reported that cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. grew 3.5 times faster than any other IT job and 12 times faster than all other jobs from 2010-2014. The trend has held true in Georgia. In 2015, Burning Glass reported 121 percent growth in cybersecurity positions in the state compared to 2010-2014. The Georgia Department of Labor also expects big growth in cyber-related IT positions. “There needs to be a lot of value placed on the engagement between academia in the local communities and…that regional capability they’re developing,” Crawford told Buzz on Biz at TechNet. Crawford said he’s been pleased to see institutions like Augusta University get ahead of the game and start implementing technical skillsets into curricula. But he suggests that road should begin even earlier, and that “If we’re starting in high school, we’re starting too late.” EDTS CEO Charles Johnson also stresses that Augusta has a long way to go in preparing the city for future infrastructural, educational and social needs. Last year, his company launched EDTS Cyber, a new, 100-person unit focused on cybersecurity solutions including network threat analysis and security monitoring “I want people to take action,” Johnson said. “I think we’re two years behind right now. Unless we’ve got plans to support this growth, we’re behind the 8-ball.” Johnson’s sense of urgency is clear. He says Augusta needs to get ready for the demands already beginning to present themselves for a burgeoning cyber community that is getting an influx of military professionals, cybersecurity contractors and entrepreneurs. That creates a huge need for the community to step

up technologically, academically, in infrastructure and more. Or, as The Alliance for Fort Gordon puts it, make Augusta a better place “to live, work and play.” “Anything you can do to bring the entrepreneurs and innovators together with the business folks that have capital is important,” Johnson said. Investing in Augusta Enter Invest Augusta. What TechNet is for the global cybersecurity industry, Invest Augusta wants to be for the expanding cyber world in the CSRA. “Augusta’s turned a corner,” said Tony Lever, the organization’s founder. “There’s going to be an explosion of small companies selling cyber (products).” The purpose of Invest Augusta is to merge Augusta’s cybersecurity and business sectors by showcasing and developing top talent. Lever’s vision for it is easy to state but difficult to execute: harness the explosion of the cybersecurity industry in the CSRA by bringing all of the industry’s local movers and shakers together. Lever expects a boom in small cyber and technology businesses in the CSRA,and he wants Augusta to be ahead of the curve. Lever is wasting no time in his second year running the organization. In less than a month, Invest Augusta will hold its first annual cyber conference, where cyber professionals, business leaders, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will gather to share ideas and become familiar with the local cybersecurity scene on a personal level. Johnson will speak at the conference, as will Dale Dye, executive director of global information technology company Unisys. For Lever, Johnson, Crawford and many others, the formation of a tight net­work of cyber professionals to make meaningful progress at a critical time in Aug­usta is a necessity. Brandon McCrillis, CEO of Augusta-based cybersecurity firm Rendition InfoSec, agrees. He said that cybersecurity companies “largely operate in a vacuum.” “If we band together, Augusta will be transformed because of this cyber district movement,” McCrillis said. McCrillis’ outfit, a lean team of 15 (up to 35 during bigger projects that require a large number of contractors), established new headquarters in Augusta in July. McCrillis says Rendition InfoSec has roughly doubled in size over the course of 2017 (the company began in 2013). The company has also found a niche in Augusta’s blossoming cyber community. To McCrillis’ knowledge, it is the only one in the area doing digital forensics. “This was a great spot,” McCrillis said. “It was a no-brainer.”

2 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017


I love decompressing away from the office and learning more about my craft and myself. I had several chances in August. One opportunity involved Marcus Lemonis, star of the hit CNBC show, The Profit. During a period of transition in my professional career in early 2016, as Morris Communications discussed the purchase of Buzz on Biz and my business consultant/ cousin considered a large investment, I applied to be a finalist on another of Lemonis’ shows, The Partner. It was a competition for a $250,000-a-year job and a 1 percent stake in his company. I uploaded my video but I was not selected. After watching Lemonis speak at the Global Leadership Summit, which was simulcast at True North Church in North Augusta Aug. 10-11, I know why I applied for that show and why I’m glued to The Profit Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. – Lemonis is real. “Business and life is about making a connection,” Lemonis said during his segment of the Summit. “Success is all about your ability to be vulnerable.” (Our editor Gary Kauffman stayed for the entire two-day conference and has a two-page report beginning on Page 20.) Lemonis shared about his childhood abuse by a relative, and how it led him to See GORDON on Page 21

Features Baby Boomers Try Entrepreneurship in Retirement.................................................... 4 Skateland owner Kathy Nave draws from her experience to offer advice to those thinking of starting businesses in their 50s and 60s. Buzz Bits.................................................. 6, 46 Openings, Closings................................. 7, 47 Global Leadership Summit Simulcast Inspires Local Leaders.......................... 20, 21 Local leaders gathered at True North Church in North Augusta in August to view the simulcast of the worldwide 23rd Annual Global Leadership Summit.

Upcoming Events.................................. 14, 15 Businessperson of the Month.................... 22 Drive to be the best and a unique business model have put D.J. Williams of D.J. & Co. a cut above the rest. Something’s Brewing in Augusta........ 30, 31 Changes in state law and local planning ordinances have improved the way Augusta breweries can do business, which could lead to more breweries in the future. Beating the Rat Race.................................. 48 Augusta Sports Leagues’ after-work events combine sports, friendships and community.

Columnists Christine Hall: Knowledge About Tax Law Changes Is Best Weapon......8 Tim Dalton: Is Now the Time to Sell Your Business?...................................10 Ed Enoch: Sometimes No Response Is Best Response..............................12 Danielle Harris: Protecting Business Focus Makes You Unstoppable..12 Mark Alison: Here Are 5 Ways to CYA..............................................................16 Dagan Sharpe: Cash Reserves Are Important Safeguard.........................18 Witt Wells: Garden City Reaches Writer’s Heart Through Stomach......25 Gary Kauffman: Use Generous Measuring Cup...........................................36 Missie Usry: Colleges Help Students Understand Employment Needs of the Disabled...............................................................36 Kurt Mueller: Inflation: The Great Robber of Retirement Savings.......................................................................................................................40

Brandon McCrillis: Second Opinions Can Save a Lot of Money for Your Business.....................................................................................................42 John Pope: Facebook AI and the New AI Evolution...................................42 Samantha Barksdale: Movies Show the Value of Patience, Persistence and Perspiration..............................................................................50 Tony Creighton: Before Hiring Pressure Washing Company, Research Methods.................................................................................................52 Onnie Sanford: The Importance of a Good Snack......................................52 Ben Casella: Brews Bring Hope for Cooler Weather – Eventually..................................................................................................................53 Susan O’Keefe: New York Butcher Shoppe Lives up to Quality Reputation................................................................................................................54

The Buzz on Biz mission is to act as an inspirational tool for those in the workplace and those who are entrepreneurs, and to provide useful, practical information to increase their companies’ bottom lines. To order a 12-month subscription mailed to your home or office, please mail a check for $49 (includes sales tax) to cover postage to the address below. Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman Multimedia Journalist Witt Wells, Layout Riverfront Design Center Ad Building E35 Media Photography Witt Wells, Gary Kauffman Sales Manager Neil Gordon,, 706-589-6727 Sales and PR Jessica Jones,, 762-218-0239 Distribution Kenneth Brown, Jessica Jones Opinions expressed by the writers herein are their own and their respective institutions. Neither Morris Publishing Group nor its agents or employees take any responsibility for the accuracy of submitted information, which is presented for informational purposes only. Like us on Facebook @ Follow us on Twitter @BuzzonBiz 604 Government Center Way, Evans, GA 30809

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz



When Kathy Nave started Skateland of Augusta at age 57, she didn’t realize she would be at the forefront of a trend. Now, as she celebrates her 10th year in business in September, Nave has become an expert of sorts in what Inc. magazine is calling the hot new retirement plan for baby boomers – opening a business. When the Recession of 2008-09 hit the United States, many baby boomers found their retirement accounts had dwindled. Although the economy has since rebounded, a growing number of people in their 50s and 60s are considering becoming entrepreneurs as a way to supplement retirement income, and as a hedge against another recession. When Nave opened Skateland in September 2007, she was carrying out the retirement dream she and her husband, Stan, had of owning a roller skating rink. “Unfortunately, he died in 2000,” Nave said. “It was his dream but I took it over as my retirement.” Nave and her husband became involved in roller skating when their son started competing in local and national events. Eventually they both began skating as well and competed in adult competitions. Nave competed into her 40s and is now a certified Olympic coach. And that brings up her first tip for people in their 50s or 60s looking at opening a business after retirement. “When people are looking to do something in retirement, it’s important to do something they enjoy,” Nave said. “My husband and I enjoyed roller skating.” But enjoying something doesn’t automatically transfer into knowing how to run it as a business. “Just because you can cook doesn’t mean you can run a restaurant,” she said. Nave and her husband worked at various aspects of the rinks they skated in to learn how to operate a roller skating business. After Stan died, Nave took a part-time job in the office of a skating rink and learned how to operate the books and other business aspects. All of that prepared her to begin Skateland. “You can do it without knowing how to do business, but you have to know what it’s about,” she said. In other words, someone who’s never stepped foot into a skating rink would not be successful in owning a skating rink. Here are a few more of the lessons Nave shared with those reaching retirement age wishing to start their own business. Don’t rush in. One of the most important things to consider is who wants to

Kathy Nave started Skateland of Augusta at age 57. Now celebrating her 10th year in business, she has a wealth of knowledge on the do’s and don’ts of starting a business in retirement. Photo by Gary Kauffman

buy your product or service. Just because you enjoy something or have a personal need for something doesn’t mean other people will want it. Even in her own business, Nave said if she decided to open an adults-only skating rink, she’d be closed in a month because the demand isn’t there. “If you don’t have a who for your business, you don’t know anything,” she said. “If you don’t love what you do or know who you’re going to sell to, you might as well quit now.” Plan ahead. Unless you’re planning to fund the entire start-up cost yourself, you’ll need to borrow money. Lenders want detailed five-year projections – including specific costs of every detail – before they’re going to part with money. Advice from lawyers and accountants is needed. In some cases, zoning changes are needed for buildings. “It’ll take at least a year because of all the things they require,” Nave said. But, she added, there is a wealth of information on the internet about planning to open a business, including a vast array of business plan templates. Money. Even if you’re borrowing, you’ll probably be required to put as much as 25 percent down. And even then, it’ll take a chunk of change to get going. “Everything costs more than you think it will,” Nave said. “No matter what you think it’ll cost, you double it. Prepare for the worst and then you’re going to make it.” In Nave’s case, even though she bought an existing rink, she had to install a new

4 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

floor to the tune of $180,000. And don’t expect to be rolling in dough as soon as you open the doors. “You’re going to need money to fall back on,” Nave advised. “When your business opens you’re not going to make money right away. There’s no instant gratification in opening your own business.” Money sources. In additional to traditional bank loans, there are other sources for obtaining startup funds. The Small Business Association is one such source. Nave advised that just because you’re turned down by one source doesn’t mean everyone else will. She was turned down by one SBA but when she applied to another, she was approved. She also advised being cautious in having friends invest in the business, stressing that a legal buy-sell document be drawn up by a lawyer. “Before you go to friends for money, you need a buy-sell agreement,” she said. “When it comes to money, people are not friends anymore.” Hire good people. “I have a wonderful general manager. She’s someone I can trust. It’s very important you hire people you can trust to run the business.” Depending on the business, though, sometimes it takes patience with employees. At Skateland, many of the workers are part-timers, usually still in high school and college. Before hiring someone, Nave has them take a math test covering basic skills in making change. Eighty percent of the applicants fail. Remember your age. Starting a busi-

ness takes a lot of work at the beginning, both in planning and, once it opens, often necessitating long hours and even physical labor. “People forget they’re not 20 anymore,” Nave said. She advised examining your health before starting up. Be prepared to learn. Although most baby boomers know the basics of computers and websites, they may have to learn at a much deeper level than before. And those accounting classes you took in high school probably need a refresher lesson. The buck stops with you. Owning a business carries responsibility, which means you can’t be wishy-washy. Nave has a reminder of this. “I had to write a sign to myself: ‘This is Kathy Nave’s business and we will run it Kathy Nave’s way,’” she said. Necessities. Nave said a website and advertising are necessities in running a business. Be judicious about advertising, though, finding the best media for your type of business. Fun times. Although it takes work, Nave said there are a lot of good things about owning a business, especially after it is going and you’ve hired good people to run it. Then you can set your hours, make decisions to run it your way (although you’ll also be eating the mistakes you make) and even take trips. “Owning your own business is fun, but it’s work,” Nave said. “Anybody who tells you it isn’t, they’re wrong.” BEYOND OWNERSHIP Kathy Nave’s connection to roller skating goes beyond owning a skating arena. She is also a Level 2 roller skating coach certified by the Olympic Training Committee. Roller skating isn’t currently a part of the Olympics, but since it could be added at some point as a summer sport, there are certified training programs. A number of Olympic ice skating champions started out and competed in roller skating before earning their medals. To be certified, Nave has to know skating styles, the mechanics of skates and even about bullying and sexual harassment. She is certified in both artistic and speed skating. Nave recently had a protégé – a 51-year-old man from Atlanta – win a national championship in the adult competition. Yes, adults do compete – Nave likened it to golf in that skating is an individual activity that can be enjoyed at an age that is too old for other competitive sports.

Downtown Augusta MAKE THE MOVE NOW! The 1200 Block of broad is the most desirable location for Augusta's downtown. It has some of Augusta's best restaurants and home to the new Hyatt House hotel directly across the street. Additionally, you will have the Augusta University cyber center building out your back door and another hotel coming on the corner. Great space for Retail, Restaurant, Event Space, Club or a Brewery.Â

SIZE 7,200 square feet Borders Pizza Joint & Firestone Stretches from Broad to Jones Street AMENITIES 2 upgraded 5 ton HVAC systems 5 year old roof Updated Monitored Security/Fire system New Monitored Video surveillance Camera system New electrical throughout & LED lights Renovated bath rooms 2 glass wall offices 2 drive through 12 ft roll up freight doors & loading docks 3 MAIN SECTIONS Retail front Center retail Offices & warehouse in rear 3rd RATE As little as $8.50 per foot Offered By: F Daitch Properties, Agents Welcome For a private tour contact Fred Daitch at 706.829.8002 or

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


buzz bits TWO LOCAL COMPANIES NAMED TO INC. 5000 Inc. Magazine has named two Au-

gusta companies part of its annual “Inc. 5000” list of America’s fastestgrowing private companies: Auben Realty and technology consulting firm EDTS. Auben Realty and EDTS were ranked Nos. 1,321 and 3,681 on Inc.’s 2017 list, respectively. “When we started this company eight years ago, we had one goal: To make Augusta a better place, one home at a time,” Auben said in a statement. “Over 1,000 homes later, we feel our journey has just begun.” The recognition is nothing new for EDTS, which has now made the cut on Inc.’s list for eight consecutive years. Applicants for  Inc.’s list were required to be U.S.-based, be an independent company, have started earning revenue by March 31, 2013, and have had revenues of at least $100,000 that year, have had revenues of at least $2 million in 2016, and have revenue in 2016 exceed revenue in 2013. Auben Realty and EDTS fulfilled every requirement on that list. “It has been an amazing honor to experience the consistent growth and receive this award for eight consecutive years,” said EDTS CEO Charles Johnson. EDTS employs around 80 people specializing in cyber and network security, IT services and advanced infrastructure. The company’s offices are in Columbia, Greenville, Asheville and Augusta. Auben, which began in 2009, currently employs 50 people specializing in single-family homes, sales and acquisitions, project and property management. “I never would have imagined that when I responded to an administrative assistant ad that it would lead to the amazing team we have assembled today,” Auben founder and broker Natalie Walls said.

UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL LISTED AMONG GEORGIA’S BEST In the latest “Best Hospitals” ranking from US News & World Report,

University Hospital was ranked third in Georgia out of nearly 175 hospitals in the state. The study evaluated data on nearly 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult specialties, nine adult procedures and conditions and 10 pediatric specialties. University Hospital scored particularly well in several categories and received the highest possible rating in colon cancer surgery, heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement, heart bypass surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The ratings in procedures and conditions focused on typical Medicare patients. No other hospital in the area ranked “high-performing” for any procedure or condition. Goodwill Honored for Cost-Efficiency

GOODWILLS IN GEORGIA KEEP STEPPING UP THEIR GAME. The nonprofit organization’s Middle Georgia branch received a pres-

tigious award for its mission support at Goodwill International’s 2017 summer conference. Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia has received this honor every year since 2014 for its cost-efficiency that returns the greatest share of revenue from retail sales of donated goods to fund Goodwill’s job training, education and career development. In the past five years, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA has provided career and education services to more than 107,000 individuals, helping place nearly 28,000 people into employment.

FORMER PRO PITCHER HOSTS YOUTH CAMP It’s never too late to pick up the

bat again, even when you own a company. That seems to be the philoso-

6 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

phy of choice for former Pro pitcher and president of Southpaw Roofing David Noyce, who recently announced that his Second Annual Southpaw Roofing Youth Baseball Camp is being held at North Augusta’s Riverview Park 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, with registration starting at 8. The camp, sponsored by Southpaw Roofing, is free and open to all children ages 8-12. Noyce, who pitched for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks, said the camp includes a staff of elite instructors who have played baseball at a high level.

Their goal is to teach kids the value of hard work, and that they can be whatever they want to be in life. “There will be a strong emphasis on playing the game of baseball the right way,” Noyce said. Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Steve Smyth and former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Matt Childers are just a couple of Noyce’s all-star lineup of instructors. Ron Smith, former coach at Furman University and a great influence on Noyce, will also speak at the camp.


form of money. Not as many come in the form of high-bypass turbofan airplane engines. But Southwest Airlines went the latter route in a recent donation to Augusta Technical College’s Aviation Training Center, donating a high-bypass turbofan aircraft engine to the school. The engine is worth approximately $100,000 and is the college’s first turbofan engine. The engine will provide students with advanced training in troubleshooting, repairing and maintaining industry-grade aviation equipment, while also equipping the college to prepare future students for aviation careers. The Aviation Training Center is located at the McDuffie Regional Airport in Thomson. Continued on Page 46

OPENINGS, CLOSINGS AND MOVES and thermostats for an affordable price. The venture expects to add 50-75 new jobs by 2021. “Securing the Internet of Things is a huge mission that must be tackled immediately,” Charles Johnson, CEO of EDTS Cyber and founding partner of Secure IOT, said in a statement. “Cape Augusta and EDTS Cyber are actively working with various internet service providers, technology inventors and industry experts to develop a solution that can protect new and future IOT technology.” Internet-connected home devices – refrigerators, home automation systems, video-streaming devices, video games and thermostats – are typically easy to set up, easy to use and, unfortunately, easy to hack. Secure IOT is dedicated to solving that problem, offering quality home system security for an affordable price. “Even though this new venture is aimed at the home sector, I feel it’s helping our national security stance,” Johnson said.


Ross Dress for Less moved into a space on Martintown Road in North Augusta.

Ross Dress for Less, Rackroom Retail Stores Ross Dress for Less and Rackroom Shoes have moved into the space on Martintown Road in North Augusta that used to be a K-Mart. Ross Dress for Less opened July 14, and Rackroom opened July 20. Ross Dress for Less and Rackroom are located at 310 and 338 Martintown Road, respectively. Rackroom is open 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Ross Dress for Less hours are 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sunday. Rackroom has two other locations in the CSRA (Augusta, Evans), and Ross Dress for Less has three (Aiken, Augusta, Evans).

Surplus Warehouse will move into a building on Wrightsboro Road in midSeptember.

Surplus Warehouse Surplus Warehouse, a home improvement store, is moving into the former Food Lion building on Wrightsboro Road, next to Sherwin-Williams. It’s Augusta’s first Surplus Warehouse, and only the second in Georgia. The new store, part of a chain that has dozens of locations throughout the South, will move into the building mid-September, but the store may not open until a couple months later. Surplus Warehouse sells building

THE FLYING BISCUIT TO OPEN AUGUSTA AREA LOCATION When The Flying Biscuit first opened on the east side of Atlanta in 1993, the

restaurant allegedly sold out of its signature biscuits by 11 a.m. Breakfast lovers in the CSRA may create a similar dilemma this fall. That’s when the Atlanta-based breakfast destination will open a location in The Market at Riverwood in Evans, according to a public relations representative for The Flying Biscuit and CSRA real estate company Blanchard and Calhoun, the tenant representative. Meybohm Realtors represented the shopping center in the transaction. The restaurant is expected to open in late November. Augusta is a new city for The Flying Biscuit; all of the restaurant’s current Georgia locations are in Atlanta and surrounding areas. The chain has also expanded into North Carolina, Florida and Texas. supplies for various customer bases and offers custom design, estimates for home improvement, and services and plans for carrying out building projects. Surplus Warehouse offers free kitchen designs and free estimates for flooring, bathroom, door and window projects. Engility Add Engility to the list of entities growing the Augusta cyber scene. Engility, a private contracting company that provides services to U.S. government customers, including the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, federal and civilian agencies and space markets, is opening a new facility in Augusta. The company plans to seize on cyber capability and skills that have grown in Augusta. The office will also support customers at Fort Gordon. “Not only will this office allow for better and more agile customer collaboration, the new location places us at the ground floor in a premier location for cyber leadership,” Scott Whatmough, Senior Vice President for Engility’s Defense Group, said in a statement. Last week, Engility announced the

launch of five new “ENnovation Centers,” a Cyber ENnovation Center being one of them. Engility has nearly 100 employees in Georgia. The new facility will house the company’s program management staff that coordinates the efforts of those employees and seeks out top-level talent. “A physical presence within Augusta allows us to more effectively adopt the latest technologies and solutions and apply them to customer missions anywhere in the world.” Secure IOT Affordable cyber technology will reportedly be developed in more homes soon, thanks to a joint venture between two technology companies. Cybersecurity company EDTS Cyber LLC and technology sector investment group Cape Augusta LLC are forming a joint venture company, Secure IOT (Internet of Things) LLC, to provide reliable security solutions for the consumer market. The companies are shooting for fullscale operation by January, aiming to secure easy-to-hack networks of home devices such as video-streaming devices

A Hardee’s location at Jimmie Dyess Parkway and Wrightsboro Road is expected to open by October.

Hardee’s Hardee’s will be serving up more “Made from Scratch” biscuits and charbroiled burgers in Columbia County soon, when the restaurant chain opens a second location in the area. According to contractor Clifton Construction, the new Hardee’s at the corner of Jimmie Dyess Parkway and Wrightsboro Road will open by October. The 3,000-square-foot restaurant will be a little smaller than a typical Hardee’s but will include a double drive-through. The location is a few miles north of Fort Gordon near Hardee’s competitors Steak ‘n Shake, McDonald’s, Dairy Queen and Cookout. The other Hardee’s in Columbia County is on Washington Road in Evans. Continued on Page 47

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


No Excuses

Knowledge About Tax Law Changes Is Your Best Weapon By Christine Hall

Ignorance is no excuse for breaking the

law and that includes taxes. New laws are constantly created and then “clarified” through the court system which typically causes a new law to be enacted. The summary of tax law changes in 2015 was more than 300 pages, and that was just the summary! Even though there is no way to know all of the current laws, the Internal Revenue Service agrees that ignorance is no excuse. Knowledge is the best weapon. Reading and being aware of laws, even if you can’t recite them verbatim, is a huge advantage. If and when the subject matter becomes a concern, if you at least have something stored in the back of your brain that it could be an issue, you are ahead of most others. In this article I would like to make you aware of a few issues concerning relatedparty transactions. There are tax consequences when dealing with related parties in business. If you are an individual taxpayer only, don’t stop reading; these transactions may affect you as well. A good example I see quite often is a

The law is that you cannot deduct a loss on the sale or trade of a property between related parties. The disallowance rules prevent taxpayers from manipulating recognition of losses for tax purposes when an economic loss has not been realized. taxpayer allowing a relative to live rentfree in a rental home for which they claim expenses. The old saying, “Nothing is ever free,” is quite true! Generally, a related party is defined as the seller’s immediate family: brother or sister (whole or half-blood), spouses, ancestors and lineal descendants. A related party is also a controlled group, as in entities that have the same owner(s). As a caution, different types of transactions define related-party members differently. If you believe you are or may be involved in a relatedparty transaction, do your homework before the transaction takes place. The law is that you cannot deduct a loss on the sale or trade of a property between related parties. The disallowance rules prevent taxpayers from manipulating recognition of losses for tax purposes when

an economic loss has not been realized. The rules apply to any sale or exchange, even if it is a bona fide sale and the terms are determined on a fair market basis. Gains are recognized and are taxed accordingly. If multiple properties are sold, the gains and losses must be computed separately so that gains can be recognized and losses can be forfeited. An aggregate of gains and losses cannot be computed and reported as such on the sale of multiple properties. In the situation of allowing a relative to live in a rental home rent-free, it is the unrecognized rental income that becomes the problem. In this case, the transaction is treated as an arms-length transaction, meaning the IRS looks at it as if the rent were actually received and expects the taxpayer to pay tax on it accordingly.

The IRS views the transaction as follows: The taxpayer gifts the rent to the relative; the relative accepts the gift and then pays the rent back to the taxpayer, who in turn reports it as rental income. Rental income is taxable, but gifts are nondeductible. Doing business with a related party is certainly acceptable, assuming it is handled appropriately on your tax return. There may be little benefit for doing business with a related party, and a mishandled transaction can actually hurt a taxpayer. Be sure you check the implication of the transaction with a qualified tax preparer before you carry it out, because an anticipated loss may not be beneficial.

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

Ballpark Continued from Page 1 Development will be complete. Still, progress is moving quickly, he said. Some retail will be open, and a good portion of development on Riverfront Park will be complete, even if it’s not open yet. “There will be plenty of restaurants for you to go and enjoy,” Glover said. “You’ll begin to get a look and feel for what it’s going to be like.” As plans for the village have evolved, some changes have been made. The front of the Riverside Village hotel will be more appropriately designed for an urban, pick-up and drop-off environment. The presence of outdoor and rooftop seating at restaurants has become more of an emphasis as well, including one on top of the hotel. Renderings of the hotel’s first floor also feature a fireplace, a bar and potential sliding glass garage doors by the bar to be opened during nice weather. “The views down there over the river are going to be gorgeous,” Glover said. Other elements of the village include a terraced amphitheater, two more parking decks and a “bike barn” for people to park their bikes.

An artist rendering of what the finished Riverside Village complex will look like. Photo contributed.

“This is going to be a vibrant place where people will want to come and be a part of,” Glover said.

8 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

Getting Down to Business Glover’s favorite part of the development at Riverside Village is the opportunity for thriving business that it provides,

particularly for companies that want to develop a presence in prime North Augusta real estate. One building facing the stadium will have a first floor dedicated to retail, with condominiums on the top three floors. Glover said there are eight spots for retail lining the “shell” of the stadium that includes 100,000 square feet of office space. “If you’re thinking about future office space, this is the place where you want to be, this is a place where you want to build an attractive workforce that you need for the future,” he said. As the cyber industry and Riverside Village continue to grow North Augusta culturally and in business, Glover believes that what the city will be able to offer over the next few years is second-tonone. More is in store for North Augusta. Riverview Park Activities Center is adding two more courts to its gym, making it an even better home for the annual Nike Peach Jam. A new Public Safety Headquarters is in the works as well. “We’ve got a lot going on,” Glover said. “This is an exciting time to be in North Augusta.”

Serving the CSRA Since 1919 945 Broad


SOLD 2017!

Tenant Representation

699 Broad / Renamed! Augusta University Available for Lease


Lamar Building SOLD Available for lease

Marion Building Under Contract Available for Lease

Commercial Brokerage and Property Management Commercial & Residential Services Sales / Leasing / Site Selection Landlord & Tenant Representation Lease Administration / Acquisition Asset Management / Tax Free Exchanges Property Management / Development | 706.823.6740 August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz



THE DEFINITIVE ANSWER IS YES – BUT IT DEPENDS ON YOUR REASON a motivating reason to sell their business. Whether it be retirement, illness, a desired relocation, or just plain burnout from spending many years in their existing business, there needs to be a reason. Unfortunately, cashing out to make a fortune is not one of the options in small business. Business sellers are rewarded for their blood, sweat and tears for successfully running their business, but having an individual or another company come in and pay an inflated value for a business rarely happens. The reason for this is that smallbusiness transactions typically have a portion of the sale financed by a lender or the seller. In both cases, neither party is going to overextend themselves by loaning too much money on the sale and jeopardizing their ability to repay the loan. That is what keeps values and the sales price in check in a small-business sale. So if you are ready, now is a good time to consider selling your business. Generally, values are up, buyers are more active in the marketplace, and lenders are more willing to provide financing for deals that make sense.


There is a lot of great business activity in the CSRA, with several bigger businesses announcing plans for expansions and hiring more employees, while others are buying buildings and relocating or have locations under construction. Many times what happens in big business trickles down to what I call small business, typically those companies with $250,000 to $15 million in annual revenues. Small business is the backbone of any local economy, and according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, companies with 20 or fewer employees make up 89.4 percent of businesses. What happens in big business influences small business and the general health of the local economy. So if the stock market is hitting all-time highs, think big-business success, but then remember small businesses are performing well also. When is the best time to sell a business? When it is at its peak performance. Business valuations are based on the financial performance of the company. Assets such as inventory, furniture, fixtures and equipment have value, but it is really the profitability of a business that sets the value. You can have a store full of inventory and a strong balance sheet of assets, but at the end of the day, if those assets are not providing profitability for the business, the overall value of the company is going to be lower. However, with a strong economy and business growth, profitability is up in small business, thus bringing higher values for businesses than in past years. Some interesting information from, the internet’s largest business-for-sale marketplace, is that smallbusiness transactions hit record high levels in the first half of 2017. BizBuySell.

com gathers its statistics from participating business brokers across the nation that confidentially report their business sale transactions. For the first half of 2017, small-business transactions totaled 4,902, as compared to 3,775 for the first half of 2016, which is an increase of 23 percent. Another interesting statistic is the first half of 2014 reported 3,755 business sales, which, when compared to the same time period in 2016, shows a negligible in-

10 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

crease of 0.5 percent. So there is definitely an upward trend of activity in the sale of small businesses. Also keep in mind that BizBuySell. com is only one aggregator of small-business sale transactions and that the actual number is generally recognized to be in the 200,000 to 300,000 range per year. With all that said, is now the time to sell your business? I say yes – but it also depends. How is that for conviction? Small-business owners need to have

Tim Dalton is president of Integra Business Brokers and has more than 19 years of experience in the Augusta area assisting business buyers and sellers. Additional services include targeted business acquisitions, business valuations and financing assistance. Tim is a licensed Real Estate Broker in Georgia and South Carolina and can be reached at (706) 650-1100 or at Visit their website at integrabrokers. com.


NEAT. Thank you, Augusta, for your support. As your trusted CPA and Advisor, cheers to the future! August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz




Early in my legal career, I tried a case with one of the senior attorneys in our firm. The opposing attorney asked several questions of a witness that I knew were objectionable. During a break, I asked my co-counsel why he did not rise and object to the questions. Right? We have all seen those moments on lawyer television shows when the attorney indignantly jumps up shouting, “I object, your Honor, because blah blah blah!” His answer stuck with me all these years. He said, “Ed, when the witness gave the objectionable testimony, the jury heard it once. They probably did not even pay much attention to it. But if I stand up and object, the jury is going to focus on what the witness said and will think it must be important if I am making such a fuss about it.” Social media has given disgruntled employees a megaphone to broadcast

“Ed, when the witness gave the objectionable testimony, the jury heard it once. They probably did not even pay much attention to it. But if I stand up and object, the jury is going to focus on what the witness said and will think it must be important if I am making such a fuss about it.” — Anonymous their discontent. While it is hard to listen to someone criticize your business, it is exponentially harder to watch someone trash your company on Facebook or Twitter. I get frequent calls from clients frustrated about posts on social media by employees and former employees. My advice generally is, ignore it. These rants lose their steam in a couple of days – un-

less you engage with them. Then they just keep on going. You will never get the last word, so don’t even start. That answer is not very satisfying. Unfortunately, the legal options for addressing these situations are limited. If the complainer makes patently false statements about your business, you can send a cease-and-desist letter for defamation. If they persist, you can sue and might eventually get some recovery in the

courts. For current employees the situation is even stickier because they have some protection under labor laws to complain about their working conditions. Sometimes the best legal advice is just to keep your head down and let the problem resolve on its own. That is not in our nature, particularly for attorneys, but at times doing nothing is the best option.

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 jenoch@



The idea of starting a business can be fun, exciting and nerve-racking, all at the same time. There you are, this budding entrepreneur, driven by the dream of touching lives and leaving a wealthy and thriving empire for your family. However, reality has a way of sinking in when you’re faced with demands such as developing strategic marketing plans, making payroll by the end of the month, and finding good health insurance for your employees. Although you know these are duties you must handle, they can leave you feeling overwhelmed and even impacting your momentum. Trust me, you have what it takes to be a great business owner, but you just have to pace yourself on the path to success. As your colleague and coach on this business journey, I understand how building a business from the ground up can be tough, and it requires perseverance. Just know that those long nights and personal sacrifices are going to pay off if you stay focused. Your focus is your most valuable asset, so don’t let anything or anyone hinder you from reaching your business goal. Sometimes, you even have to check yourself and confront your own fears with faith. After all, who cares if no one else thinks

your idea is great? It’s not their vision and they will never understand your passion. That’s why the dream was given to you, because you will know how to handle that fragile idea with care. So, what can you do to protect your focus? Here are a few suggestions. 1. Delete distractions. If it’s not pushing you toward your goal, remove it immediately. Time is non-refundable and you can’t waste it on something that is depleting your creativity. Also, be sure to manage your workload so you won’t spread yourself too thin. Doing too much too soon can be a distraction, which is why you might find yourself emotionally drained.

2. Unplug and refresh. Take care of your body and take some time away from the busyness of life so you can rest. Consider a digital detox by blocking off time when you step away from the computer, smartphone and social media to spend time with family, friends, or even take a walk at the park. This mental break will do wonders for you! 3. Grow on the go. Every day won’t feel great, but there’s a lesson in every experience. View your setbacks as being setups for something better. In other words, grow through what you go through. You and I will never stop learning, and this will help you become a wiser entrepreneur in the long run.

This road to destiny is filled with swift transitions, and you must be adaptable and teachable. In addition to having a plan of accomplishment, get a mentor that will challenge you to push beyond your limits. Additionally, surround yourself with people who will not only celebrate you, but will hold you accountable when it comes to raising your standards. In other words, they will help you stay focused on what really matters.

12 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

This road to destiny is filled with swift transitions, and you must be adaptable and teachable. In addition to having a plan of accomplishment, get a mentor that will challenge you to push beyond your limits. Additionally, surround yourself with people who will not only celebrate you, but will hold you accountable when it comes to raising your standards. In other words, they will help you stay focused on what really matters. If you can hold on to your focus, you will be unstoppable. So, do your tomorrow a favor and start today.

Danielle Harris is the CEO and founder of SDI, a leadership mentoring program for entrepreneurs, and earned her certification as a Personal Development Coach from the Coaching and Positive Psychology Institute, an affiliate of the International Coach Federation. Reach her at (762) 333-2868 or

NEW VISION. NEW COMPANY. SAME OL’ KURT Financial Advisor Kurt Mueller’s joined Consolidated Planning team of more than 100 advisors managing more than $1.4 Billion in assets and more than $6.5 Billion in Insurance Protection. He’s opened an office in Evans and Aiken to serve his existing clients and to welcome you to learn about his plan—all part of Consolidated Planning’s wealth of knowledge and upgraded service.

Business is thriving in the CSRA. Consider: • • • • •

Business Owner Exit Planning Timing\Cash Needed Identifying Key Employees Syncing Exit Strategy\Retirement Strategy What About Your Estate Plan?




Affiliated with the Mueller Financial Group

601 NORTH BELAIR SQUARE SUITE 26, EVANS, GA 30809 August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


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

Friday, Sept. 1

First Friday Means Business, 7:30 a.m., Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St. SW, Aiken. Informative breakfast meeting and networking opportunity. For more information, visit

Tuesday, Sept. 12 Chamber After Hours, 5 p.m., Kendrick Paint & Body, 4180 Wheeler Road, Martinez. For more information, visit

Thursday, Sept. 14

Meet.Mingle.Mesh, 5:30 p.m., Palmetto Shooting Complex, Edgefield. Networking event. For more information, visit

Friday, Sept. 15

Good Morning, North Augusta, 7:30 a.m., North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, in Palmetto Terrace, Fourth Floor of the North

Augusta Municipal Complex. “Philanthropy & Community Engagement.” For more information, visit

Tuesday, Sept. 19

Women in Business Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., The Legends Club, 2701 Washington Road, Augusta. “Living Your Healthy: Taking On Your Best Lifestyle Habits.” Dr. Francisco Jacome, bariatric surgeon, Doctors Hospital, and Beth North, bariatric coordinator, Doctors Hospital. Registration deadline is Sept. 15. For more information, visit

Thursday, Sept. 21

Third Thursday Business Builder, 11:30 a.m., Augusta Metro Chamber, 1 10th St., Augusta. “Security & Fraud: Navigating the Complex World of Cybersecurity, Payment Fraud & Data Theft,” presented by Stuart Smith, executive security adviser, Secure Design & Engineering. Registration deadline is Sept. 18. For more information, visit

14 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

RIBBONS CUTTINGS Aug. 31:River Watch Brewery, 4 p.m., 1175 4th St., Augusta Sept. 5: Boys & Girls Club, 1 p.m., 1903 Division St., Augusta Sept. 5: Trip Quest Travel Services,4p.m.,Springlakes Clubhouse, 104 Springlakes Drive, Martinez Sept. 7: Movement Mortgage, 5:30 p.m., 3662 Wheeler Road, Augusta Oct. 2: Still Waters Professional Counseling, 10 a.m., 3711 Executive Center Drive, Augusta Oct. 5: Weinberger’s Furniture, 4 p.m., 3021 River Watch Pkwy., Augusta Aiken Young Professionals Third Thursday. 5:30 p.m., Aiken Chamber of Commerce. An opportunity for professionals ages 22-39 to meet other young professionals in a relaxed networking atmosphere. Registration is

requested. For more information, visit State of the Community Address, 5 p.m., Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Columbia County Exhibition Center, 212 Partnership Drive, Grovetown. Expo of local businesses, dinner buffet and program. For more information, visit

Monday, Sept. 25

Member Town Hall, 4 p.m., Augusta Metro Chamber, 1 10th St., Augusta. Meeting the region’s newest executives. For more information, visit

Thursday, Sept. 28

Business After Hours. 5 p.m., Serotta Maddocks Evans, CPAs, 125 Park Ave. S.W., Suite 200, Aiken. Aiken Chamber of Commerce provides this opportunity for the host to showcase its business, service and facilities, and network in a relaxed atmosphere. For more information, visit


AT THECLUBHOU.SE Augusta Locally Grown has their Downtown Pick-up location at every Tuesday, 5-7 p.m.



Entrepreneur members of meet every Wednesday morning for Founders Circle, 9-10 a.m. Sep. 6: Join us for our first gathering of 1 Million Cups Augusta, a networking event for entrepreneurs. 8-9 a.m. Sep. 9: Danielle’s Brainiac Extravaganza! is a part of the quarterly series, “Tech Talks for Kids.” 9:30-11:30 a.m. Sep. 13: Tony Lever of Invest Augusta will speak on “How to Fund Your Start-up” for ATDC’s monthly Lunch & Learn. noon-1 p.m. Sep. 13: Beer & Bytes is presented by ATDC and, with Georgia Center for Innovation speaking on “Free Innovation Resources for Georgia Start-ups.” 5-7 p.m. Sep. 14: Swift Augusta Meetup is for those interested in developing apps for the iOS platform. 6-8 p.m. Sep. 20: SBDC will present a Lunch & Learn on “Getting Your Start-up Bank Ready.” 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sep. 21: PyAugusta gathers Python programming enthusiasts to tackle a specific topic each month and share their personal developments. 6-8 p.m. Sep. 22: Growler Gardening with Kim Hines and Augusta Locally Grown in the Community Garden at  5-7 p.m. Sep. 22: Opening reception for the Technology & Humanity Exhibition. 5-8 p.m. Sep. 25: The Robotics Meetup at is for those interested in all things robotic. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Sep. 27: Members tour of Savannah River National Lab. Ten slots available. Sep. 28: Javascript Meetup brings together a community exploring Javascript, focusing on a particular application of the language and allowing members to share the projects they are working on. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sep. 30: 3D Printing Club explores 3DPrinting and 3D-CAD. 10 a.m.-noon


1: Tell us about your company. Email Industries is comprised of three niche offerings. BlackBox (http://www. is a predictive email abuse-prevention solution that is used by commercial email service providers to identify would-be spammers. Indiemark ( is a full-service email marketing agency that provides companies with strategic, creative, and technical services. Alfred Knows ( is a joint venture with a fellow email geek which helps marketers find reliable and affordable email verification service providers. I’m also a co-owner of Wolf and Finch (http://www.wolfandfinch. com/), Augusta’s newest contemporary art gallery. 2: When did you found it? Indiemark, our agency, was founded in 2008 in Orlando. BlackBox was born in 2010 and Alfred Knows only went live in 2015. Wolf and Finch was born earlier this year. 3: Where is the business now? We relocated to 859 Broad Street in January of this year but we’ve been set up at nearly since its inception. 4: What were you like in school? I barely made it out high school. It wasn’t until my time at Augusta State University that I knew what it felt like to be successful. That experience changed everything for me. 5: Any early experiences/skills that (with hindsight) influenced your career path? I remember trying to make sense of TV commercials when I was a kid; “Why are those teenagers playing with Matchbox cars?” is one question that sticks out in my mind. I guess I was critiquing their ad agency’s choices or perhaps scrutinizing their tactics. 6: Any previous entrepreneurial experience? Lessons learned? Email Industries is the third company I’ve founded and operated since 1999.

SCOTT HARDIGREE Through those experiences I’ve learned a lot about people and myself, but mostly I learned that I don’t know anything.

10: Favorite quote? “There are two rules for success… 1) Never reveal everything you know.”

7: What appealed to you about entrepreneurship? Nothing. It was never my dream to start a business but I took one risky step and one thing led to another. I can’t imagine doing anything else now.

Along with his work at Email Industries he is also a Startup Catalyst for the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia’s technology incubator, which mentors area startups.

8: How has your approach to business progressed over time? My first business was a digital agency. Frankly, I just emulated what other guys were doing and tried to do it in a way that worked with my style. Indiemark, which was the first dedicated email marketing agency, was a bit different. Since then I‘ve continued down the niche path so I suppose my progress has been focused on being hyper-focused. It works for me. 9: How did you market Email Industries? Believe it or not our early growth is 100% attributable to Twitter. Back then, the email marketing community and marketplace was small so it was easy to cut through the noise and make business friends, those friends who become referral partners. Nowadays, we’re reaping the multi-year investments we’ve made into content marketing, organic search, and networking.

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

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz




I wish everything always went as planned, deadlines were always met, budgets were always approved and everyone told the truth. In the real world, though, it doesn’t happen that way and then somebody pays a price. Here are five ways to cover your assets and keep communication flowing while working on projects. 1. Date everything you send/receive and every note you take. I put the date, time and people in the room at the top of every legal pad page. When I flip the page I write the date and time again so I can see the progression of notes. Once the trail gets cold a few weeks later, it is good to have this information dated and timed. I am even guilty of scanning the page and putting it into my digital files. Phone calls? Open a document, place the date, time and people, then take notes. Text messages? Take a screen shot and date them – just change the name of the file and date it. I have a piece of software called “stickies” on my computer. Yes, it’s sticky notes for your screen. Sound obsessive? You bet! My assets are covered. 2. At the very start of the project, determine the stakeholders and keep them in the loop. Stakeholders are those people who have a bearing on the outcome. It’s always good to limit these when possible, because waiting on approvals from multiple parties can slow projects down. Having more stakeholders at the beginning, however, minimizes mistakes, and more input is vital at the beginning of a project. Part of keeping them in the loop is to determine how they want to be communicated with. We found that trying to get changes approved by one client was impossible. We missed critical deadlines. Emails went unanswered. Projects we had spent weeks on were being scrapped. The client was not pleased. We called a meeting to figure out what was going wrong. “I am on the road 200 days a year,” our client explained. “If you want to reach me, call me. I do not sit at a desk.” Our mistake was in assuming the client would communicate the same way we did, through emails. Once we learned how to communicate with him, assets were covered. 3. Once the project is initiated verbally, write down the specifics in outline form and when possible, create a flow chart with deadlines. Deadlines need to be agreed on, especially when there are multiple ones. I hate waking up at 2 a.m. wondering if the deadline was met.

I always pad the deadline a bit to allow for slow responses. Editors and printers have what they call “deadlines,” and then there is the real “drop-dead deadline,” that is, the immovable one. If you are the project manager, never tell anyone else about the “drop-dead deadline” or it becomes everyone’s deadline and you have left your assets uncovered. 4. Monitor and explain changes. Change happens and it always seems to happen at critical junctures. There are “cloud-based” software products that can help keep everyone on the same page with changes but they have to be maintained by a project manager. The old axiom is, “If everyone’s doing it, no one is doing it.” Don’t assume, assign. I wish it stopped there but it doesn’t. Monitor the person you assigned the task

16 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

to because you know, if they fail, it’s your assets that are hanging in the wind. I used to say nothing is complete until the check clears the bank. 5. Follow the progress. Our client had intel that the competition was making a move that would impact sales dramatically. We initiated a project to counter the move and were aggressively working on the project. Our team was hard at work on step 4 above – monitoring and meeting deadlines. The problem was that no one was following the progress at the client level and we weren’t informed when the competition abandoned their plan. Bottom line – the project wasn’t needed. Who knew? There are multiple levels in communication. Stay as close to the top as possible because you know what flows downhill.

Here’s the bottom line. CYA is really about covering the company assets – the brand, the image and ultimately the P&L. Stuff happens but by communicating properly, timely and effectively you will have fewer of those 2 a.m. moments of insanity.

Mark Alison is an entrepreneur with a degree in Marketing and Public Relations. Email Mark9226@


Career Opportunity at SLV Hiring a Director of Marketing We’re building a team that is focused on enhancing the experience of our members and guests. Here’s what we are looking for: •

Relocating your home or business, planning a logistics project, or searching for records management solutions?

• •

Team ETG can help you put together a winning game plan to get the job done. | |

A great attitude and a drive for continuously improving An Ideal Team Member who lives what we believe (see below) Proven ability, skills and sufficient educational background and actual experience to administer the entire marketing and communications programs. Excellent writing, graphic design and public speaking skills. Excellent computer skills to include spreadsheet, word processing, desktop publishing, graphics, video production and media software programs. Promotional ability and demonstrated creative talent.

We offer: 1.

The ability to work in a strong, positive culture firmly grounded in a meaningful purpose. 2. Real chances to grow professionally. 3. The opportunity to work with like-minded people you like and respect. 4. A place you can do great things that can immediately impact thousands of stakeholders, while having a great time with others who want the same. 5. A company that values its people with competitive wages and benefits. We believe: 1.

All growth and improvements to community begin with attracting awesome people with unique talents to our organization who care for and love people as much as we do. 2. With the collective talents of our team, we can make Savannah Lakes Village the best community in the Southeast. 3. There is power and purpose when everyone works together in the support of common direction and goals.


If you share our beliefs, excitement and enthusiasm for growing our destination — we want YOU to join our Savannah Lakes Village family. To be invited for an assessment of attitude, values and beliefs, please send your cover letter and résumé to WWW.SDILEADERS.COM 762-333-2868

EOE and Drug Free Employer. Application Deadline – September 8, 2017.

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz




I have known and seen many millionaires who didn’t have enough cash upon their death to even pay for their own funeral expenses. How can this be? The fact is, many privately held businesses can run into this problem because all their money is put back into the business and ownership is held privately, which means any stock does not trade publicly and isn’t easily sold. In addition, other millionaires may own significant amounts of real estate, whether it be farmland, raw land, commercial or residential property. The value of this real estate may be worth millions, but owners may also have significant levels of debt, or high monthly payments, leaving little to no equity or cash reserves. This is the difference between liquid assets and non-liquid. If too much value is placed in non-liquid assets, the result can create this interesting paradox of being a cash-broke millionaire. The problems these individuals eventually face may not be immediately obvious, because while the person is alive, cash flow is often being generated to pay their bills. However, what happens when the primary owner dies, or becomes incapacitated? The result can be disheartening. Property may have to be sold and families may be sent scrambling in an attempt to pay for basic needs. Many times, fruitful businesses and farms can fail due to lack of adequate leadership. Granted, people in these unique situations have done well and are, in fact, millionaires. However, they often unknowingly place themselves in risky situations by having most, or all of their assets non-liquid. The solution to this problem is quite simple and valuable for all to learn, even if you’re not a millionaire, because the following stewardship model is beneficial to anyone seeking to be stronger managers with what they have. Diversification. When we diversify our ownership, it basically means we don’t put all our eggs in one basket. Instead, we “spread our bread.” This means we own various assets, some liquid and some nonliquid. As examples, mutual funds allow for ownership in various stocks. Farmers may plant various type crops, rent their land, and/or incorporate livestock. Businesses can seek to spread their profits in other areas outside of their business – even if the sale of their business is their retirement plan. Thankfully, there are many ways to diversify, including holding cash reserves

for emergencies that are large enough to cover at least six months of living expenses. Liquidity. By having liquid assets, such as equities, cash savings and other easily accessible sources of cash, we safeguard ourselves from the cash-broke scenario. We also provide peace of mind for ourselves and our loved ones by engaging in the wisdom planning ahead offers. Effective planning with qualified advisers can help those with too many non-liquid assets create the right amount of liquidity they will eventually need. Protection. We protect ourselves, our loved ones and our businesses when we proactively plan the best we can for those foreseen and unforeseen circumstances that undoubtedly come in life. Obviously,

18 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

diversification and liquidity help, but so can insurance, trusts, medical directives and wills. These basic tools don’t have to be expensive, but the protection they provide and the peace of mind they offer are priceless, because loved ones will know what to do and where to go, plus have the funds available to provide in those times of emergency and loss. It is easy to put all your eggs in one basket, not save and not engage financial planning. Thus, this is why so many of us fail to do any of these things, even when we know better. However, the rewards and benefits of establishing a plan, saving, investing, diversifying and protecting are priceless and never regretted – even though it requires work, discipline, pa-

tience, proactivity and perseverance. So, whether we become millionaires or not, we don’t have to be broke because we failed to plan and failed to preserve a reserve.

Dagan Sharpe is senior vice president of Queensborough National Bank & Trust and the author of a stewardship book, Bank On It. Email dsharpe@qnbtrust. com.

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz




Stephen Sullivan came to the Global Leadership Summit simulcast on Aug. 10-11 expecting to get some help in leadership. He got more than expected.

Sullivan, senior tech support engineer for Columbia County, has found himself in more leadership roles, which he feels is not one of his natural gifts. “I need to know how to lead better,” he said of his first Summit. “(Friday) was above and beyond my expectations. This helps in every area of dealing with people, of doing daily tasks with everyone.” That was a typical response for the several hundred local leaders who attended the Global Leadership Summit simulcast at True North Church in North Augusta. The 23rd annual Summit was held live at Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago and simulcast to several hundred locations across the United States and several hundred more around the world. It featured some of today’s biggest names in leadership and work management. Kara Peeler, clinical director at Pediatric Therapy of Aiken, attended the Summit for the first time to find ways to motivate her employees. “I wanted to find out how to make them enjoy their jobs on a daily basis,” she said. “I’ve taken something away from every session.” The theme for the conference, iterated in song form, was “The rebels, fighters, champion of change, come be leaders. We call on the brave.” Following is synopsis of the messages brought by the speakers. Bill Hybels, pastor, Willow Creek Church Hybels related a story of a prank he pulled as a 10-year-old student, and his teacher’s encouragement to think of himself as a leader. He also spoke about a time in India when he encouraged a young waitress to pursue leadership in hospitality. Both stories spoke to the need of leaders to recognize the seeds of leadership in young people and encourage them to develop it. He also

Local business leaders gathered at True North Church in North Augusta to view the simulcast of the Global Leadership Summit Aug. 10-11. Here Bill Hybels interviews Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Photo by Gary Kauffman

spoke of the challenge of leading in an environment of divisiveness and disrespect. He challenged leaders to develop a written civility code for their businesses and hold employees – and themselves – accountable for following it. Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook In an interview conducted by Hybels, Sandberg discussed her hiring strategies at the social media giant, which includes hiring people for a need before you get to the need. She also talked about her Lean-In Movement that is working to create equal work opportunities for women worldwide. Sandberg was also candid about the experience of losing her husband to a heart attack and gave insights into how people can offer true help and compassion to someone going through grief. Marcus Lemonis, CEO, Camping World & Good Sam Lemonis, star of The Profit, spoke about the importance of vulnerability in establishing connections with people and making them successful. See more information in Neil Gordon’s column on page 3. Fredrik Haren, business creativity expert A creativity specialist, Haren spoke about how ideas are formed through taking two known things to create a new thing, including the example of a urinal with a built-in sink where the water used to wash hands is also the flushing mechanism. In a rapidly

20 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

changing world, new ideas are important. He urged leaders to unlock creativity in their people by helping them get unstuck from the way things have always been done. “We are never closer to God than when we have a good idea,” he said. Bryan Stevenson, founder, Equal Justice Initiative Stevenson spoke about the increasing incarceration rate in the United States, particularly noting a 600 percent increase in the number of women being jailed. About a third of black children will end up in jail at some point. He said to create a change, leaders have to get in the proximity of the problem. “We think we have to have the answers before we get in proximity, but the answers come from proximity,” he said. Leaders have to stay hopeful, engage in difficult discussions and be willing to do uncomfortable things to effect real change. Andy Stanley, pastor, author Stanley’s North Point Church in Atlanta has been one of the fastestgrowing churches in the nation. He said what caused the growth was having a uniquely better product – it didn’t create a new category but developed a better product within the category. He challenged leaders to think about their shared assumptions. “Shared assumptions get us in trouble because we think we know why we’re doing what we’re doing, and we don’t,” he said. Creating

uniquely better is virtually impossible, but it is possible to recognize it. He urged leaders to create cultures that embrace uniquely better rather than resist it. Doing that includes being a student and not a critic; keeping your eyes and mind wide open; replacing “How?” with “Wow!” when new ideas arise; and asking uniquely better questions: Is it unique? If not, what would make it unique? Is it better? Is it better … really? Laszlo Bock, senior adviser, Google People spend more time at work than doing any other one thing, Bock said, so work should be more meaningful. A common mistake in companies is not trusting their people to do what is right. The main thing that promotes success is establishing a goal and making it visible to the employees. He said giving people more freedom to do their jobs, more freedom than the manager is comfortable with, brings better results. Trust and respect increase productivity, better morale and retention. “The beautiful thing is, by treating people right, they’ll do right by you,” he said. Juliet Funt, CEO, Whitespace at Work Funt spoke about the power of “the pause” at work. See separate article on this page. Marcus Buckingham, author See SUMMIT on Page 21


The Pause. That moment during the work day when nothing is scheduled, nothing is going on … just a pause. And not everybody likes it. “All of us are getting less and less comfortable with ‘the pause,’ Juliet Funt, founder of WhiteSpace at Work, told the Global Leadership Summit audience. “The pause is a formidable source of professional power where you can stop, reflect and strategize.” However, the recipe in many businesses is 100 percent exertion and 0 percent thought. When a pause threatens to happen, people fill it with busy work. Funt also calls the pause ‘white space,’ an area unmarked by work. It becomes a strategic pause between activities. Although the white space may be brief, and physical activity has ceased, the brain is often more active. “(It’s) the oxygen that ignites the fire of productivity,” she said. White space, she added, isn’t meditation or the mind merely wandering away without permission. Instead, it is a time of no boundaries and no rules. “It allows the mind to explore, to think the unthunk thought,” she said. The concept of white space struck a note with many of those attending the simulcast of the Summit at True

North Church, among them Jon Dawkins, owner/operator of Chickfil-A in North Augusta. “In my industry, the fast-food industry, we’re going a mile a minute all the time,” he said. “This is something I need in my life and that I need to teach my leaders.” Funt also identified four thieves of productivity: drive, excellence, information and activity. She said they are diabolical because all are necessary, but taken to the extreme they become corruptive. Funt urged people to “de-crapify” their work flow by using four filter questions: Is there anything I can let go of ?; Where is good enough, good enough?; What do I truly need to know?; and What deserves my attention? She added that one of the biggest issues for many businesses is email – not the amount of email but the need to respond immediately, which is not what email was designed for. She developed a code system people can attach to their emails to quantify the urgency of a response. Funt, the daughter of comedy legend Allen Funt, creator of Candid Camera, used plenty of humor to make her point – build white space into your life, both at work and at home, to increase productivity and reduce stress.

SUMMIT Continued from Page 20 Buckingham urged leaders to move from dissecting failures to examining why something is excellent. “You learn nothing about excellence by looking at failures,” he said. In creating excellent teams, look at an excellent team, either current or in the past, and see why it was excellent, then build on that. People want to feel unique and needed, and good leaders will integrate those qualities. He believes in weekly check-in meetings for leaders with each employee, asking two questions: What are your priorities this week? and How can I help? His theory is that people don’t want feedback, they want coaching attention. “People want you on their side of the fence and to help them get better,” he said. Sam Adeyemi, senior pastor, Daystar Christian Centre, Nigeria In leadership, you don’t attract who you want but who you are, Adeymi said. “We can make champions out of ordinary people,” he said. “The transformation that happens is a test of your leadership.” To create transformation from the inside out, he urged leaders to describe their vision repeatedly, set up a structured training system, model the transformation and reinvent themselves over and over. “No one should be around you for a year or longer without being transformed,” he said.

Immaculee Ilibagiza, author Ilibagiza spoke about her experience of losing most of her family in the Rwandan genocide in 1994 while she hid in a 3x4-foot bathroom with seven other women for three months. The experience brought her into a relationship with God and taught her the power of forgiveness. She works with the United Nations as a peace and forgiveness advocate. Angela Duckworth, professor, University of Pennsylvania Duckworth developed the Grit Scale, which measures the sustained passion and perseverance of longterm goals among experts in a wide variety of fields. The scale shows that talent x effort = skill, and skill x effort = high achievement. “Talent counts, but effort counts twice,” she said. Experts in any field keep stretching their abilities, learning and improving a little bit each day. Gary Haugen, founder, International Justice Mission Haugen said the one thing that could render all leadership training useless is fear. Fear replaces the love that inspires a dream. “We end up being driven more by our insecurities and fears than our dreams,” he said. He urged switching from playing defense to playing offense. He said we can draw our courage to play offense from God. “Courage, like fear, is contagious,” he said.

GORDON Continued from Page 3 chase money. He owned a fancy $100,000 car and new home in Chicago, but when his mother came to visit him, she was not impressed by any of it. Instead, she made him focus on what’s important – finding his purpose and his role in life. He now inspires millions of small-business leaders – including yours truly – to focus on people, product and the process. Lemonis also said that as leaders, our duty is to make sure our staff is successful. “After all, you hired them,” he said. My latest hire is Witt Wells from Memphis, Tenn., and a graduate of the School of Journalism in Columbia, Mo.

He’s a millennial and shares his first impressions of the Garden City in his inaugural column on page 25 and crafts a special two-page spread on craft beers and the changing of Georgia’s state law for breweries. It’s on pages 30 and 31. He and I got to be part of a workshop in August that included Georgia Trend Magazine as we figure ways to work together in the coming months and years. I was blessed to be part of a Publisher Roundtable in Augusta attended by colleagues of mine from Orlando, Jacksonville, Charlotte, Charleston, Athens, Savannah and Alaska (via conference call).

Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

We’re discussing innovative strategies to grow the Morris magazine division, now that there is the pending sale of the remaining Morris newspapers. Finally, I hope you will attend the 2nd Annual B2B Conference and Expo on Oct. 19 at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion. I recap last year’s conference and we have information on this year’s speakers, topics and exhibitor/sponsorship options. Coverage is on pages 43-45. I’m glad I didn’t get picked to be part of Marcus Lemonis’ team, but grateful I can still learn from him. I’m looking forward to inspiring others as we grow Buzz on Biz.

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

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz





D.J. Williams is driven to be the best. But unlike many with that drive, he doesn’t step on people on the way to the top and leave them in the dust. “I’m very driven but I like to bring people along with me,” Williams said. In fact, that was a goal when he started his D.J. & Co. Salon & Spa 25 years ago. “I wanted to start something bigger than myself,” he said. “I wanted to create jobs.” He has certainly accomplished that, now employing 21 stylists in his highend salon next to the Inner Bean on Davis Road in Martinez. And he is always looking for ways to expand, to offer more services and, by extension, add jobs. Williams knew at an early age that his future was in the hair industry, perhaps due to a subtle influence from a grandfather who was a barber in World War II. “It was almost a calling,” he said. “I knew what I was good at.” But rather than becoming a barber, he decided to pursue the more creative route of hair salon. “I have nothing against barbers – I love barbers – but this gave me more creative freedom,” he said. He learned his art in Charleston, S.C., but despite an offer to stay there, he chose to return to Augusta and eventually open his salon here. He decided to establish a salon reminiscent of the high-end shops found in New York City or Miami. “Augusta was thirsty for it,” he said. Growth has been steady over the past 25 years, even successfully pushing through the Recession of 2008-09, one of the few times in history when the salon industry was affected by a downturn in the economy. In addition to his strong drive, another reason for the success of DJ and Company is the unique business model Williams set up. The salon industry typically has one stylist owning a location, with other stylists renting booth space. While they work in the same location, they are all independent operators. But Williams has all of his stylists working as employees, which he said creates a team concept. “We’re the exception to the rule,” he said. “I like the culture of team. It’s important for growth, because everyone looks out for each other rather than the dog-eat-dog world of booth rent.” That also creates a better experience for his clients, he believes. It allows stylists to

D.J. Williams, D.J. & Co. Salon & Spa refer a client to another stylist who has a better skill in a certain area and it allows him to serve a wide range of clients. “I like having a diverse clientele coming through the door,” he said. “I believe in offering you anything I feel you can benefit from.” The teamwork concept works for employee retention. One stylist has been with him since the beginning, and two others have been there 17 and 18 years. Many others are in the five- to 10-year range. Because he is a single father, Williams values family time and works to ensure that his employees don’t exceed 40 hours a week in the salon; most average about 36 hours. He also offers flex schedules if needed to provide family-friendly hours. A key to finding and retaining good employees is his 30- to 40-week internship program for new hires. Interns assist stylists, gradually moving up to more responsibility. Because they are employees rather than independent contractors, they can still earn a competitive wage during their internship. “The internship program weeds out the divas, the ones who think they know everything,” Williams said. “It’s a win-win

22 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

for me.” It’s also a win for the clients, because they have confidence that a stylist has the knowledge to provide them with the experience they’ve come to expect from DJ and Company. And Williams stresses that it is an experience for the client from the moment they walk in the door. Because the stylists are time-conscious and call clients if they’re running late, clients rarely have a long wait. But while they are waiting they can choose from a variety of beverages and a wide array of current, high-end magazines, which Williams said cost more but are well worth it. After three months, he takes the back issues to local nursing homes, giving them great reading material and ensuring his clients have fresh magazines. It works. Some of Williams’ clients have been seeing him since he started professionally 28 years ago, and many others have been long-standing clients. He also believes in boosting the entire industry. He allows other salons, if they are farther away than an 80-mile radius of Augusta, to “benchmark” his business. They spend a half-day in the business, observing and asking questions, to help them improve. “I learn as much from them as they learn from me,” he said. What are you passionate about in your business? I will educate my staff to death. We have four classes a year when I fly in the

best educators from New York or Miami. We have to keep up on the trends to stay ahead of the curve. Everyone has an iPhone and in 10 seconds can pull up a picture showing a style and color – and I’d better know how to do it. I do believe in being honest – if I don’t think it’ll look good on you I’ll tell you. You might lose one out of a thousand clients doing that, but the other 999 will respect you. Who were your mentors in this business? Francis London Dubose was my instructor at the Academy of Hair Design in Charleston. I was so enamored by her. I immediately connected with her. She was ahead of her time. Michael Cole is a motivational speaker who I’ve hosted in my salon. He helped me through my divorce. I look at him as a huge positive force who knows this industry. My sister, Angela Williams Stillwell, is a motivational speaker who started Vulnerability Warrior. They met with me during the recession and helped me through it with nobody losing a job or taking a pay cut. I’ve been a Summit Salon since 2012 and my Summit coach, David Hodges, has helped me through some roadblocks. And my clients. They’ve taught me as much as anybody else has through listening to their experiences. How do you give back to the community? We’re inundated with so many requests that we do a spreadsheet and rotate the charities each year. We try to keep it fair. But we’ve always been big on breast cancer awareness because we have so many female clients. We’ve helped with the Miller Theater and Morris Museum, and we give gift certificates to a lot of silent auctions. Children are my soft spot, so we support a lot of sports teams. What does the future hold for you and your business? Both of my grandfathers worked until the day they died because they wanted to. I’d love to slow down some day but I’ll probably always be behind a chair. For 25 years I’ve wanted to keep things at one location and keep adding shifts. In fact, we’re getting ready to add another shift, from 3-9 p.m., for millennials. But for the first time I’m thinking about adding a second location, maybe within a year or two. I’m ready to capitalize on my hardearned reputation. In the meantime, I’ll continue to grow this location.


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Clients Enjoy The Following Services

Hair · Style · Color Massages · Mani & Pedi’s Body Scrubs · Wraps Tanning · Facials Foot Therapy · Eyelashes Ear Piercing | 706.868.9400 139 DAVIS ROAD, AUGUSTA GA 30907

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


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24 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017



I came to visit as an outsider: the boyfriend of one of the bride’s former college roommates. I didn’t yet know that in mere weeks I’d have the chance to move here for good. We were running late on our two-hour and 15-minute drive from Atlanta, and the frantic search for food began as soon as we arrived in Augusta. Yes, the wedding reception would probably, like every reception in the history of weddings, provide us with plenty of opportunities to overindulge. But Lindsey and I had skipped lunch. We weren’t about to sit through a ceremony in that state. We rolled into downtown, turned onto 10th Street, parked the car, and walked into the restaurant that Lindsey had picked out. We wanted to sit outside, so a hostess led us back out to a table not far from my car. We only had about half an hour before the wedding started, so we had to make quick decisions. Fortunately, we’re both tenacious eaters. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say we take 15-minute breaks from our relationship during meals, each of us freefalling wholeheartedly into “the zone.” Both of us are aware of this. I obliterated my Cuban, I assume she probably did the same to whatever she got, and we were off. The Hive had not disappointed. Yes, the wedding reception ended up having a solid spread. I snacked modestly, and I wasn’t mad about it. Later that night, after the wedding, word went around that some people were taking the party to a bar called Indian Queen. But when Lindsey and I arrived, we didn’t recognize anyone. We ordered a couple of beers, but the place was so packed that we couldn’t find a place to sit. Lindsey suggested we head upstairs, and we were rewarded. A couple of roomy, comfortable chairs faced the railing of a loft that was perfectly tucked away from the crowded scene below. Only two more people from our group showed up that night. Up there, that number was just fine. When we woke up late the next morning, Lindsey and I only had a few hours before driving back to Atlanta. Our group of four decided on a well-reviewed downtown brunch spot called Fuze. We feasted on strawberry shortcake, lamb sausage hash and spicy chicken quesadillas. I tried a Bloody Mary for the first time (yes, I know). Once again, the Augusta eats had come through … note to self. Not that I’d be coming back anytime soon, I thought. After parting ways with her friends, Lindsey and I spent the remainder of

our time in Augusta wandering around downtown. We walked east on Broad Street, peeking into the windows of odd shops and antique stores to see what, if anything, was open. Few places were. Coming from a big city, it seemed a bit strange. We sat down in some chairs near the Imperial Theatre to decide our next move. There was one obvious Augusta “thing” we hadn’t done yet: the Riverwalk. We got up and began making our way back up Broad Street. When you’ve spent a year in the major metropolis of the Southeast, Augusta’s main drag doesn’t seem like much. It’s funny to think that, at the time, I had no idea I’d be working for the company just inside that “NEWS BLDG.” sign that became smaller and smaller as we walked back up the sidewalk. It’s also funny to think that the less-than-thrilling section of Broad Street I was walking through on a lazy Sunday afternoon probably didn’t

Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

have an open parking spot the night before. Because that’s just how downtown Augusta rolls these days. Every day I’m here, I get a better idea of why that is. To put it simply, it’s business. It’s thousands of cybersecurity jobs pouring into the CSRA. It’s a burgeoning craft-brewing industry that might be about to explode. It’s a medical industry that boasts what was just named the third-best hospital in Georgia. You can read about all of those in this issue, and we’re only going to dive deeper in the future. I promise. It’s my first column. Cut me some slack. And yes, it’s about the food. To those who are surprised that I managed to reach the end of a “business news” column without providing a single anecdote outside the food tourism genre, allow me to counter with … yes, yes I know. But as someone who was merely a causal tourist of Augusta until last month, let me remind you that it’s as important a business

as any. As one woman I met outside Nacho Mama’s put it, when you’re downtown, “you get a taste of what Augusta really is.” For a native of Memphis – a river town so swiftly characterized by the flavor of its dry rub ribs – eating one’s way to the heart of a city is simply an instinct. Then again, I don’t really think I have to remind you of that at all. From what I’ve heard (and tasted), I’m in pretty good company. Witt Wells is a Memphis-born writer with a love for comedy, the written word and the outdoors. He lives in Augusta, where he reports on business news in the CSRA. Contact him at witt.

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


26 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Last year’s B2B Expo at the Foundry on Boy Scout Road in Augusta was standing room only, with 35 vendors, 250 business leaders and six speakers. “The speakers helped me a lot to think about how to grow my business and to make changes,” said Inkboy co-owner Tony Canell during the 2016 conference. “We also got a lot of leads and a lot of interest in our products and services.” The 2017 B2B Expo will take place Thursday, Oct. 19. It has been moved to the larger Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Evans, which can accommodate 500 business leaders at the conference. “Our goal is have 50 vendors or booth spaces filled this year,” said Buzz on Biz’s Jessica Jones, helping to coordinate the 2017 Expo. At press time, 25 exhibitors had reserved 30 spaces (some with double or triple booths).  This year’s Expo speakers again will address a mix of practical small-business suggestions, along with an emphasis on the explosive growth in the CSRA in the following areas: Workforce Development, Commercial Real Estate and Cyber. One area of importance that hasn’t changed since last year is networking. Nspired Networking Enterprises LLC co-founder and President Amy Kilpatrick is a returning speaker. Last year, she was asked the night before Expo to fill in for a speaker who had a conflict come up. Her talk proved to be one of the most popular for many of the Expo attendees. Kilpatrick advises clients to set up a referral system of 8-10 professionals in their inner circle. She said this strategy increases revenue and eliminates the need for her to reach out to “strangers.” “I am 16 years cold-call free,” she said at last year’s conference. “I hate cold calls.” To see other speakers and topics, order tickets and review a list of exhibitors and sponsorship packages, please read our two-page spread following this article.

Business-to-business networking is one of the highlights of the first-annual B2B Expo and Conference last year. Photo by Gary Kauffman Former Fort Gordon leader Jeff Foley uses a tug-of-war example to illustrate the need for an adequate business plan at last year’s B2B Expo. Photo by Gary Kauffman

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


Thursday, Oct 19 8am-4pm Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Evans, GA NEIL GORDON 706.589.6727

Welcome back to our 2nd Annual B2B Expo, this year at the spacious Savannah Rapids Pavilion. We’ll have great networking opportunities, 8 inspiring speakers and many giveaways! Refreshments served throughout the day and Lunch as well.

JESSICA JONES 762.218.0239

Corporate Table of 10: $250 | Individual Ticket in advance: $30 | Tickets at the Door: $35


HOW TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL FAMILY BUSINESS FOR 50 YEARS Brian and Nyles Ellefson, co-owners of The Ellefson Transportation Group

For ticket info visit and click on the B2B advertisement



EXHIBITORS Augusta Headshots

$1,250 billed Oct 1 and $1,250 billed Nov 1

Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce

• Exhibit up to (3) booths w\tables, chairs and electricity • Logo inclusion in Buzz, Augusta Chronicle, News 12 and NBC 26, billboards, brochures, signs, and on-line • Audio mentions on WGAC WRDW radio and TV stations and event... • Full page advertorial article in Expo preview issue(Sept.) and Full page ad in review issue(Oct.) • Private table with 10 total lunch tickets and seats to the conference • Emailed list of attendees

Augusta Staffing Best Office Solutions Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial BrandStorm Promotions Catalyst Executive Advising and Development CertaPro Painters Chronicle Media

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, THE FIGHT FOR SPACE IN A GROWING CSRA Davis Beman, Director of Commercial Real Estate, Blanchard and Calhoun

BE YOUR BEST!! COMFORT & FUNCTIONALITY = PRODUCTIVITY Robin Baxley and Sandi Shields, co-owners of Best Office Solutions

ACTIVELY MANAGING CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE Mike and Wendy Perry, Owners of Catalyst Executive Advising & Development

Clifton Construction


Consolidated Planning/Mueller Financial Group

$500 billed Oct 1 and $500 billed Nov 1

Cracker Barrel

• Exhibit booth w\table, chairs and electricity • Name inclusion in Buzz, Augusta Chronicle, News 12 and NBC 26, and on-line • 1\2 page advertorial article in Expo preview issue(Sept.) and 1\2 page ad in review issue(Oct.) • (6) total lunch tickets and seats to the conference • Emailed list of attendees

Credit Card Payment Solutions CRI Professional Resources Ellefson Transportation Group Evans Chiropractic Gil Eaves-Northwestern Mutual Hull College of Business at AU

ENGAGING EMPLOYEES TO TAKE “OWNERSHIP” OF COMPANY Robert and Isaac Kelly, Key Employees of Augusta Staffing

28 August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


LEVEL 3 SPONSORSHIP $325 billed Oct 1 and $325 billed Nov 1


• Exhibit booth w\table, chairs and electricity • Name inclusion in Buzz, Augusta Chronicle, News 12 and NBC 26, and on-line • 1\4 page ad in Expo preview issue(Sept.) and 1\4 page ad in review issue(Oct.) • (2) total lunch tickets and seats to the conference • Emailed list of attendees

KAMO K& M Hardwoods Matthews & Mayo, CPA’s & Business Consultants News 12\NBC 26 Nspired Consulting Premier Networx Signarama

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz



It’s a Friday evening in early August, around 7:45. Savannah River Brewing Company closes at 8. The place is still packed, though. Every table is full as beer lovers float between their social circles, cornhole competitions and SRBC’s back porch that overlooks the railroads that dead-end near the intersection of 6th and Taylor Streets. The wide-open main room of the warehouse is filled with consumers of all ages, but young people ages 21-30 largely characterize the crowd of Augustans sipping on fresh brews. They made their way here tonight from downtown Augusta, Evans, North Augusta, Martinez and probably other areas, too. For 25-year-old Deaudra Mangus and her husband, Savannah River Brewing Company has become a favorite destination. “The last time we came downtown, we came here,” Mangus said. “We like it because it’s relaxed.” Austin Melancon, a friend of Mangus, said that “downtown has gotten much better” over the past six years. But for Augustans who frequent local breweries SRBC and River Watch Brewery, 1175 4th St., the best is yet to come. Before Sept. 1, no one who visited SRBC – or any other Georgia brewery William Odinsson, a bartender at Savannah River Brewing Company, talks to visitors during a lively Saturday afternoon at SRBC. Photo – could simply walk in and buy a beer. by Witt Wells. Georgia law had prohibited breweries to To put it simply, Ellison said, if you able to open that door on Broad Street sell directly to consumers since Prohibiwant to be a city that people come to to create a special place. He wants it to tion. In fact, Georgia was the only state in visit, you need more breweries. America be a destination spot unlike anything else the country that still had this restrictive has taken that as truth; there are more that’s available in the area. law. Mississippi had similar restrictions breweries in the United States than ever “I don’t think we need any more bars,” until earlier this year, when it passed its before, which has been the case for a Daitch said. “A brewery would be good.” own law allowing breweries to sell to conInterest is there. Daitch says he’s alfew years. In 2014, the Washington Post sumers. Of course, Augusta didn’t even wrote that America was in “a golden age ready had three parties reach out to him have a local brewery until River Watch about turning the 7,200-square-foot for beer lovers.” Brewery opened in 2016. But that was three years ago, before space into a brewery or brewpub. One of At Georgia breweries, visitors had River Watch Brewery was Augusta’s first Augusta had a single brewery of its own. them, Daitch said, was seeking consultato pay for a tour of the facility (usually brewery, but a change in the law may In the Garden City, a new era is just be- tion from Atlanta’s SweetWater Brewery around $15), after which they received increase the number in the next few years. ginning. and was the only individual who seemed a few “samples” of beer – no more than Photo by Witt Wells. to be seriously pursuing the possibility. 36 ounces in total – to enjoy on site (they While it’s still unclear what he’ll do, the The business of beer could also choose to take home up to 72 without having to take a tour, the SRBC A few blocks north of SRBC, next to interested individual, who has been brewand River Watch hope to see the fruits of Firestone on Broad Street, sits a vacant ing at home for several years, predicts a ounces of beer). All that changed on Sept. 1. Earlier this their labor enjoy more widespread appeal. building with a blue awning owned by thriving brewery scene in Augusta over Ellison would like to extend the brew- Fred Daitch. It’s prime real estate, and the next few years. year, Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 85 into law, which allows brewer- ery’s hours, too. They’re currently limited he’s received plenty of offers for it, but “I think they’re on the starting edge of ies and distilleries to sell directly to con- to 4-8 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, 1-8 nothing satisfactory. it,” he said. p.m. on Saturdays, and 1-5 p.m. on Sunsumers. Daitch will wait for an opportunity he Daitch is a fourth-generation Augus“I think we’ll see more people once the days. River Watch Brewery, the smaller of tan. He’s watched the city’s downtown thinks will stimulate downtown growth. law’s changed,” said Steve Ellison, co- the two breweries, is open only 12 hours area thrive, fade, then begin to bloom A vast selection of locally brewed beer, per week. owner of SRBC, in August. again. He owns seven commercial propIdeally, Ellison said, SRBC might even erties downtown, but he wants to be Now that people can walk into SRBC See BREWERIES on Page 30 and simply buy a beer – or two or three – be open every day. 30 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

BREWERIES Continued from Page 31 Daitch said, would do just that. Good food and drink are vital to the process of revitalizing any downtown, and unique restaurants like Farmhaus and Craft and Vine have proven that. When The Pizza Joint moved into the lot neighboring Daitch’s property almost 20 years ago, Daitch said his business, International Uniform, Inc., saw an uptick in sales. “I think the more quality establishments you have downtown, the more business you’re going to get,” said Sean Wight, owner of downtown restaurants Frog Hollow, Farmhaus and Craft and Vine. “We always have one of the local brewers on tap. I’m hoping they keep thriving and grow, and hope more will come in.” Right place at the right time River Watch Brewery, the cozier, more intimate counterpart to the much larger SRBC, lies just across the block from SRBC, near the corner of 4th and Laney Walker Boulevard. River Watch was Augusta’s first brewery when it opened last year. Right outside River Watch’s taproom is a wooden porch that will become an increasingly pleasant retreat for the brewery’s visitors as cooler months approach. Owner Brey Sloane thinks it will be a little fuller, too. “We’ll be functioning in the taproom more just like a regular bar,” Sloane said. River Watch’s limited hours were a direct result of the brewery tour requirement. Prior to Sept. 1, River Watch was only open for four hours on Friday and eight hours on Saturday, because Sloane can’t take anyone to the back of the house while she’s in the process of cleaning it. That was a more significant restriction that some might realize; as Sloan sipped on a beer, she joked that her job is 10 percent drinking, 20 percent paperwork and 70 percent janitorial. Cut out the tour requirement, Sloane said, and things will start to open up. She plans to open River Watch four nights a week, have better prices due to direct-to-consumer sales and sell more beer. “It gives us a lot more flexibility, and it gives our customers a lot more options,” Sloane said. Even though SRBC and River Watch both opened within the last

RIVER WATCH TO SELL BREWS IN LOCAL STORES Enjoying Augusta microbrews is about to get a

Adrienne Caba, Austin Melancon and Mark Mangus enjoy glasses of craft beer at Savannah River Brewing Company. Photo by Witt Wells.

two years, Sloane believes Augusta is ripe for more breweries. Evans is primed for one. She also learned from the Brewers Association that there are already four craft breweries developing that plan to open in the CSRA (although Sloane said one of them has been on that list for about five years). If any of those future breweries decide to open downtown, they’ll have one less roadblock than SRBC and River Watch had. In August, a new ordinance from the Augusta Planning Commission opened the door for small breweries that sell fewer than 3,000 barrels of beer per year to set up shop in the general downtown business zone, which covers most of downtown, including Broad Street. Both Ellison and Sloan would have liked to see the amendment implemented before they opened. But they envision future competition being far more positive than negative. As Ellison described his vision for SRBC in a new era of Georgia brewing, he alluded to the relationship between breweries and the places where they exist. Breweries and cities both benefit from and feed off each other. During the Augusta Craft Beer Festival in April, SRBC gave dollar discount tours to visitors with festival wristbands. As it turned out, even a local beer festival gave SRBC a boost. “You’d think a beer fest wouldn’t be ideal for breweries, but we actually had a really good day,” Ellison

said. “The busier the city is, the more people show up.” Anne Sloane, Brey’s daughter and co-brewer at River Watch, points out that more breweries will also likely bring more beer enthusiasts to Augusta. “They’ll drive from Atlanta for three breweries,” she said. “They might not drive for two.” Local taste has a long way to go, too. Brey Sloane has found Augusta to be a fairly weak craft beer market. In her experience, Augustans seem to be too content with macrobrews like Budweiser and Michelob to seek out local flavors like River Watch’s Cautionary Tale. (That doesn’t make her any less confident in her Double IPA’s potential to perform well in the October’s Great American Beer Festival in Colorado.) Still, it’s promising how perfectly the pieces are coming together for craft beer to begin to flourish in Augusta. The launch of Augusta’s first two breweries since Prohibition, the new direct sales law, the downtown zoning ordinance, The Brewers Association, the influx of government contractors from places like Washington D.C. and Maryland, where craft breweries are the norm – it’s all built up fairly quickly. That doesn’t mean it won’t take time to materialize. Sometimes all you can do is sit back, have a beer and wait. “I’m optimistic, but I’m almost always optimistic,” Ellison said.

little bit easier. Local brewery River Watch will soon be bottling its beer and selling it in grocery stores, according to the brewery’s owner Brey Sloane. Sloane plans to distribute bottled beer to stores like Kroger, Publix and Food Lion within the next month. River Watch will start out bottling brewery favorites Cautionary Tale (a double IPA), Scenic Overlook (blonde ale) and Route 104 (pale ale). “People have been asking us,” Sloane said. “They know us and they have been waiting.” Savannah River Brewing Company, the larger of Augusta’s two breweries, already bottles and sells its beer at local stores, including Kroger, Publix, Circle K and Walmart. Currently, River Watch only distributes kegs to local bars. River Watch experiments with plenty of smallbatch brews on site, but Sloane said as the bottling process begins, they’ll only distribute bottles of their core products on a large scale. Small-batch brews may come later. “There are a lot of people who still don’t know there’s a brewery in Augusta,” Sloane said.

COMMISSION OPENS DOORS FOR MORE BREWERIES Due to an amendment made by the Augusta

Planning Commission, small breweries and distilleries will soon be allowed to operate in downtown business zones. “Nano-” and “pico-breweries,” as the commission refers to them, will be allowed to operate in the general downtown business zone, which covers most of downtown. The commission defined “nano-breweries” as breweries that sell 3,000 or fewer barrels of beer per year. Augusta’s two breweries, River Watch Brewery and Savannah River Brewing Company, had to be built a few blocks away from the center of downtown when they opened in 2016 and 2017, respectively. River Watch owner Brey Sloan said at a commission meeting that her brewery has no issue with the new amendment. SRBC brewmaster Graydon Brown told The Chronicle he had hoped the law would remain the same. There had been talks of creating a “brewery district” in the industrial area where River Watch and SRBC are located, on 4th and 5th streets.

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


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August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


CHAMBER WELCOMES LEADERSHIP CLASS OF 2018 sponsored by State Bank. Both the Youth Leadership and the Leadership Columbia County programs are an important part of the Chamber’s mission to advocate for beneficial economic growth in the Greater Augusta region. The Chamber takes great pride in developing youth and adult leaders, and believes strong leadership is the key for economic growth. The Columbia County Chamber is pleased to present the following members of the Leadership Columbia County Class of 2018: Angela Allen, Augusta University Medical Center; Tom Barnes of Cyber School, Cyber Center of Excellence; Shelly Blackburn, Columbia County Convention & Visitors Bureau; Robbie Bryant, ADP, LLC; Meredith Burkett, Elliot Davis Decosimo; P.J. Campanaro, Law Office of Portland Campanaro; Nicole Clark, State Bank & Trust; Tom Clark, Alliance for Fort Gordon; Ansley Crawford, Serotta Maddocks Evans & Co., CPAs; Lauren Dallas, Episcopal Day School; Amanda Dent, Cleveland Group, CPAs; and John Eubank, The Eubank Company. Also, Bobbie Jo Gainey, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Melissa Gordon, State Farm Insurance – Melissa Gordon; Jason Grove, Ellefson Transportation Group; Vance Henry, Total Comfort Solutions; Kevin Hudson, Advanced Services Pest Control; Bonita Jenkins, Augusta Technical College; Sabina Khoja, Northwestern Mutual; Laura Kitchens, Homes2Suites; Puneeth Kumar, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions; and Heather Lowe, American Family Insurance. Also, Brian Marshall, Augusta University; Kevin Netherton, TaxSlayer; Phillip Pence, AlphaGraphics; Abbey Remkus, Morris Communications; Cathy Shaw, Fort Gordon Directorate of Family & MWR; Sid Sidley, U.S. Army, Cyber Center of Excellence; Lauren Terrell, ADP, LLC; Trish Thornhill, WJBF News Channel 6; Chad Trollinger, Welcomemat Services; and John Waller, City of Grovetown.


Students aren’t the only ones headed back to school this fall. Here at the Chamber we are gearing up to kick off yet another Leadership Columbia County class year. On Aug. 15, the Columbia County Chamber announced the 2018 class members at the annual “Meet the Class” reception. This year’s class consists of 32 business professionals from varying industries across the Greater Augusta area. The 10-month program sends local leaders back to school by way of day-long sessions that cover various topics such as law enforcement, healthcare, education and workforce, economic development and county history. Instilling a high level of community awareness and pride in its participants, the program fosters the development of community leaders. In its short history, the Leadership Columbia County program, sponsored by SRP Federal Credit Union, has become the area’s premier professional development program, challenging leaders to use local resources and tackle community issues. One very important feature of the program is the class service project. Each year, class members are tasked with finding a need or challenge within the community and meeting that need, whether it be through volunteer efforts, raising funds and awareness, or connecting community members and creating partnerships. Last year’s class members created the successful Show You Care, Give a Pair campaign, collecting socks and underwear for local children in need of the most basic necessities. Another highlight of the program involves the class traveling to Atlanta to meet with lawmakers and get a firsthand look at state legislation. By seeing how the legislative process unfolds, they leave knowing how best to make their voices heard on legislative issues. The exposure to the many aspects of our community, some positive and some negative, allows each participant to become a part of the solution through awareness and service. By the end, they are equipped with the tools to make a positive impact on our community. To be selected for the Leadership Columbia County program, applicants must go through a rigorous selection process. Applicants must submit a detailed application, include letters of recommendation, and be interviewed by a panel from the Leadership Steering Committee, which organizes the sessions and guides the class during the year.

The 2017-2018 leadership chair is Reagan Williams of Sherman and Hemstreet, and Daniel Pharr of Yancey Rents is the vice chair; both are alumni of the

34 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

program. In addition to the adult program, the Columbia County Chamber also coordinates the Youth Leadership program

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

544 N Belair Rd. SR 383 & SR 104 Evans, GA 30809 706-228-3018

#moretofallfor August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz



My daughter is the catering manager for a restaurant and recently she delivered an order to a business that totaled $182.34. The business owner said she wanted to tip 20 percent and then proceeded to try to figure it out on a calculator, with the emphasis on “try.” But she couldn’t figure out the numbers and finally wrote in a tip of $30. Then, amazingly, she added the $30 to the $182.34 and came up with $220. My daughter corrected the total for her. The point of the story isn’t that business owners really need to be better at math (although that’s an excellent point) but that generosity matters. The owner just as easily could have left it at $220, which would have been just slightly above the 20 percent ratio (20.65 percent). Unfortunately, I have witnessed this kind of penny-pinching before. I’ve been a business owner myself, and I

understand the need to watch the cash flow – after all, if you get too flippant with money you could start eating into the necessary profit. But in my experience, it is often the penny-pinchers who are really struggling in business. Often it is because they don’t have a firm handle on what their cash flow is, or have already made other stewardship mistakes, such as not being able to figure out percentages despite using a calculator. But for Christian business owners, generosity is important. Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over – will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use,  it will be measured back to you” (HCSB). Of course, being generous with your employees is key to a strong business. This doesn’t mean you have to overpay them. It doesn’t even mean exorbitant bonuses. But small tokens of apprecia-

tion mean a lot – a few dollars extra in the paycheck, a Starbucks gift card or a catered meal (just make sure to figure out the proper tip). Be generous with your customers as well. Do you have a loyal customer who’s been with you for years? Give them a 10 percent discount on their next order, just to show appreciation. If you’re a service business, give them something while they wait – popcorn, bottled water or prepackaged snacks. And, of course, the service people who make deliveries to your shop should not be forgotten. Is the computer tech upgrading your computers going to be there over lunch hour? Buy him a sandwich and drink. And give the proper tips. (Oh, and if you’re using a gift card, tip on the entire bill. For example, if you have a $20 gift card and the bill is $23, tip on the $23 even if you only laid out $3 of your own. Seems common sense, but believe me,

I’ve seen people tip on just the $3.) If all this generosity is making you squirm and squint at the bottom line, take another look at the quote from Jesus. If it’s his example you’re striving to follow in your business, then generosity should be your norm, not the exception. Remember, the same measuring cup you’re pouring out with will be used to pour back into your business.

Gary Kauffman of North Augusta is a freelance writer and product photographer and is studying to become a Christian life coach. Contact him at or 803-341-5830.


Accommodation for disabilities challenges both businesses and educational institutions. While colleges must meet requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, unemployment rates for those with disabilities tend to be high. Federal law secures everyone the opportunity for education and training at an equivalent level whenever accommodation is reasonable and appropriate. While ADA laws cover employment too, it seems that many employers are still reluctant to hire disabled employees over other options, regardless of their skills. In college, students are key players in the process and bear more responsibility for their success than in lower grades. Accommodations do not happen automatically and require active student par-

ticipation and self-identification to work a successful accommodation plan. This accountability is important because disability services at the college level bear a greater responsibility to prepare students to manage lives and careers. An employer is subject to ADA regulations, but benefits from employees who understand their accommodations, how to manage them, and their own responsibilities in making the system work. College disabilities officers work with students to understand this, which means they are more likely to know what they need once they get into a career. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce report, hiring people with disabilities is good for the bottom line. They appreciate the opportunity to work and tend to be loyal to their employer, which means less turnover and less money spent on training new staff. Case studies reviewed the success of

36 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

such companies as 3M, PepsiCo, Merck and AT&T in hiring those with disabilities. The U.S. Department of Labor notes that most workplace accommodations are either very low-cost or cost nothing at all. Examples of a few accommodations include allowances in dress code rules, allowing an employee to sit/stand when other positions are customary, moving a desk chair to allow a wheelchair in its place, or moving computer monitors/keyboards closer for use. The next time you are hiring for a position, do not shy away from someone with a disability. Sure, there may be some adjustments required, but the level of success they’ve had as students in the classroom using accommodations becomes a testament to their hard work and preparation to be successful citizens and employed professionals.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredits Georgia Military College to award associate and select bachelor of applied science degrees. Credit earned at the institution is eligible for transfer to other accredited schools. Missie Usry is the enrollment and recruiting manager at Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus. Brian Hendricks is the academic dean and disabilities coordinator for the Augusta campus. For questions about Georgia Military College, call (706) 993-1123 or visit

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Financial Advisor August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz



Most people know how inflation works. When the prices of goods and services rise, your money doesn’t stretch as far. During your working years, if you’re receiving regular pay increases, it can be easy to overlook inflation’s overall impact on your bottom line because those raises can help to offset the effects of rising prices. But what happens when you take a long-term view of inflation? You’ll notice that the prices of everyday goods have significantly increased over the years. Take a look at the accompanying inflation graph, which tracks inflation for the 10-year period from 2005 through 2015. In the chart, price changes are measured by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index. The CPI provides an estimate of a price change between two periods of time for a sampling of goods people buy for day-to-day living. It represents the degree to which prices change between these two points of time. (Interestingly, it does not measure the change in prices of food or energy.) Can Your Retirement Income Do Two Important Things? Once you’re retired, inflation can pose a big threat to your budget, since you’ll be on a fixed income. Your retirement income will most likely come from Social Security, withdrawals from qualified retirement plan assets (such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan), and other assets you have accumulated to support your lifestyle during retirement. Once you’ve left the workforce, your retirement income will need to do two important things: last for your lifetime and fully cover your expenses during retirement. But here’s why you may find it difficult for your retirement income to achieve both of these goals: • Social Security is designed to last for your lifetime and can provide a cost-ofliving adjustment, but this adjustment is not guaranteed to happen each year – for example, there was no COLA in both 2010 and 2011. (The Social Security Administration uses the CPI-W to help determine the amount of any COLA that is granted to Social Security recipients.) • The longevity of your other retirement income sources will depend on how much

The graph of inflation rates displays annual rates from 2005-2015. Rates of inflation are calculated using the Current Consumer Price Index published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The most recent monthly data (12-month based) is used in the chart and graph. Source:

your investments earn (investment earnings can be unpredictable and your investments may lose value) – and the amount of money you withdraw from your retirement account(s) each year. (Too high of a withdrawal rate may mean you could run out of money during your lifetime.) Creating Your Retirement Income Strategy Today There are several steps you can take to help yourself counteract the effects of inflation – and help you to ensure that your retirement income will last. These include: • Developing a diversified investment strategy by investing some of your assets into a mix of stocks (“equities”) and fixed income funds. Over the long term, equities have tended to outpace inflation (more so than fixed income investments), but stocks tend to have a higher level of

40 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

investment risk than fixed income investments, such as bonds. • Following a distribution/withdrawal plan by withdrawing some of your assets at certain points in time. This can help you lengthen the life of your assets, gain the potential benefit of compounding growth and help you systematically increase your retirement income. • Purchasing financial products, such as annuities, which can provide guaranteed payments for life. Speak with Your Financial Professional Having a guaranteed source of lifetime income may give you the confidence and ability to enjoy retirement the way that it should be enjoyed — doing the things you love without the worry of outliving your money. So, be sure to speak with your financial professional about the steps you can take to help secure your retirement

income – and the role an annuity can play in helping to give you the kind of retirement income you can count on.

Kurt Mueller is an independent financial advisor for the Consolidated Planning Group and worked on preparation of this article with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. The information contained in this article is for general, informational purposes only. Guardian, its subsidiaries, agents or employees do not give tax or legal advice. You should consult your tax or legal advisor regarding your individual situation. To make an appointment with Kurt—call 803.671.8792 or email













1700 ALTA VISTA DRIVE COLUMBIA, SC 29223 803-648-7250

7628 HAWKINSVILLE RD MACON, GA 31216 478-785-2285 August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz



Click bait and social media sharing were congested this summer with stories about Artificial Intelligence evolving, such as Google’s AI teaching itself how to virtually walk in a more practical and logical way than its human counterparts, and a report on Facebook AI and the creation of a new language.According to AI expert and web blogger Abhimanyu Ghoshal of, “When Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research (FAIR) Lab shared a finding that its bots had invented their own language to communicate with each other, that story made waves, and so did several reports based on a follow-up piece by Fast Co. Design. Several blogs ran with headlines stating that Facebook had shut down its Frankenstein-like AI after it cre-

ated its own language. However, the problem with this sort of interaction is that we can’t make much sense of it, at least not beyond the realm of research.” Also as Gizmodo noted, “The team had realized that they hadn’t incentivized the bots to speak in English that humans would be able to understand fully, and so they shut down the conversation. That’s all it was, and nothing close to a reality of being ruled by sentient beings.” Many bloggers and practical techies and engineers ran debunking posts around the web proclaiming that doomsday was near; this is simply science fiction. Sure it is something we have seen in our horror movies, but The Terminator is just a movie. Although a classic and essential viewing for all sci-fi fans, it is, alas,

fiction. As FAIR visiting researcher Dhruv Batra explained in a Facebook post: “While the idea of AI agents inventing their own language may sound alarming/unexpected to people outside the field, it is a well-established subfield of AI, with publications dating back decades.” Also in nerd speak, according to Ghoshal, “Simply put, agents in environments attempting to solve a task will often find unintuitive ways to maximize reward. Analyzing the reward function and changing the parameters of an experiment is not the same as ‘unplugging’ or ‘shutting down AI.’ If that were the case, every AI researcher has been “’shutting down AI’ every time they kill a job on a machine.” In summary, there is no logical

reason to be afraid of AI in the immediate future, period. As nerd icon, television personality and renowned astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson pointed out, “Any AI we create – no matter how dangerous – can simply be unplugged.” End of story. For now ....

John Pope has worked in digital media sales and marketing for six years. His specialty is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Email


More and more firms are jumping on the “cyber” bandwagon and offering security services to take advantage of a hot market, making it very difficult for the consumer to spot the fakes – let alone the underqualified. Information security is a hot topic these days and that is a good thing. When deciding how to spend cybersecurity dollars, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion. Rendition Infosec’s incident response team is usually called in after a breach has already occurred. In most cases, the businesses were spending money on security and had made conscious efforts to secure their sensitive information. While it’s important to allocate funds for the security of your network and data, what’s more important is choosing a vendor that actually knows what they are doing when it comes to security, because it’s not the same as troubleshooting your printer or replacing your

keyboard. If you wouldn’t go to your podiatrist for open-heart surgery, then definitely don’t go to your IT vendor for cybersecurity services. Just like a periodic health check with your doctor, Rendition recommends a health check of your network security. Most people would choose to seek a second opinion if a doctor had told them they had a serious illness or needed an expensive procedure done. Why should the security of your business-sensitive data (and perhaps your client’s) be any different? It’s easy, discreet and invaluable to your business. Cybersecurity health checks are also a great idea when it comes to mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Rendition assists many clients in assessing the information security posture of a prospective acquisition or business merger. Rendition Infosec clients have also saved considerable amounts of money when using our security findings at the negotiation table.

42 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

Acquiring a “breach waiting to happen” is not a sound business plan, and it’s critical for business leaders to know how much risk they are assuming once the M&A process is completed. Knowing how each entity’s information security processes integrate is also important, as combining differing security technologies between organizations can burn your budget and quickly render established security programs ineffective. At Rendition Infosec, it’s all about building trust with our clients and letting our work and services speak for themselves. Case study upon case study demonstrates that we are the real deal, and we don’t need to put the word “cyber” in our name to prove it. When you choose to work with Rendition Infosec, you gain industry-leading expertise that serves a global client base at a price point that won’t break the bank. So, before you or your business finds

itself in the midst of a breach, take a proactive approach and have Rendition Infosec conduct a cybersecurity health check. Whether we are monitoring the security of a network 24/7, responding to a breach, or providing expert consulting services, Rendition Infosec changes “we think” to “we know” we’re secure.

Brandon McCrillis is CEO and a Principal at Rendition InfoSec, specializing in incident response, penetration testing, digital forensics, training, and network monitoring. Brandon delivers consulting worldwide helping organizations of all sizes reduce risk, achieve compliance, maintain business continuity, and reach security goals.



To be fair to everyone reading this article, I am going to tell you from the beginning that it will be biased toward my own company, Pinpoint Savings. I am only choosing to highlight the coupons on the Pinpoint Savings app because I believe that the article itself will provide you and your family with some great savings, and that is what I set out to do when I began writing these articles six months ago. As the owner of a coupon company, I love to hear the word “free,” and usually consumers also enjoy this word. This month’s article is going to focus exclusively on deals available through the free Pinpoint Savings app, and I hope it will give you the opportunity to take advantage of some great savings! So let’s get started and begin to provide you with some great free deals around town. If you are a parent, grandparent, or someone who cares for a young child, I am sure you have probably run into a time when you were out to eat and bought your child a kid’s meal, only to have them eat a few bites and the rest be thrown away. That’s why I am sure that parents can appreciate when restaurants offer special nights of the week when their child can eat for free. In the Augusta area and through the Pinpoint Savings app, there are quite a few choices throughout the week to help your family. On MondayWednesday families can get a small one-topping pizza from Marcos Pizza for free, and on Thursday night Papa John’s offers a similar special for a free small cheese pizza. Also on Thursday, The Pot Smoker BBQ in North Augusta offers free kids meals and a chance to enjoy some great BBQ. As we round out the week and arrive at Sunday, there are two great options to enjoy some great chicken and have the kids eat for free. Both locations for PDQ in Augusta and Evans offer free kids meals on Sunday through the Pinpoint Savings app and they work hard to live up to their mantra, People Dedicated to Quality. Free kids meals are also offered all day Sunday and Wednesday evenings at the Maryland’s Fried Chicken loca-

tions in downtown Augusta, Evans and Pollards Corner. While I can’t promise that your child will actually eat the free kids meals listed above, I can promise that your wallet and bank account will feel better knowing that your children ate for free. Now that we have taken care of the kids, it’s time to feed the adults! Let’s start out with all the businesses on Pinpoint Savings that offer a free appetizer when you use their coupon. These restaurants are listed in no particular order, but each provides their

own unique menu to sample: Texas Roadhouse, Southbound Smokehouse, Birddog Grille and Pizza Central USA. Now that we’ve had our appetizer, we can move on to the main course. In this category we have two restaurants that provide a buy-one-get-one-free special. The first restaurant, Maryland’s Fried Chicken, offers a buy one 2-piece and get one 2-piece for free coupon. The second restaurant, Papa Johns, offers a coupon for a free pizza of equal or lesser value when you buy any large or extra-large pizza at regular menu price. How about a free dessert or drink? Luckily, Goolsby’s has you covered, and you can use their Pinpoint Savings coupon for either a free drink or dessert. I may be a little biased, but I would pay for my drink and enjoy some free delicious peach cobbler! While these coupons focused exclusively on “free,” don’t forget that there are plenty of other “free” coupons

available by downloading the “free” Pinpoint Savings app. I know I just said “free” three times in the previous sentence, but as I said at the beginning of this article, most people tend to like that word a lot. Remember, as Will Rogers said, “The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.” Billy Cristofanelli is the founder and coowner of Pinpoint Savings, LLC and has 15+ years of sales and marketing experience. Billy developed Pinpoint Savings to help local CSRA businesses connect with customers by offering coupons through their free app.Pinpoint Savings currently represents over 40 local businesses.Pinpoint Savings currently represents over 40 local businesses.

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


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44 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017













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By Gary Kauffman Everyone knows someone who’s been affected by substance abuse, according to Terry Childers, local representative for Bradford Health, a center for helping people overcome chemical dependency. It’s an issue that seems increasingly relevant in today’s society. “It’s a soul sickness,” Childers said of substance abuse. “People are trying to fill a void with substances instead of healthy things.” It is the goal of Childers and Bradford Health to help people break that dependency and return to healthy living. Although the local Bradford Health

office closed at the end of 2016 because of corporate restructuring, it still maintains a strong presence in the area through Childers. Those needing help are often referred by family members, doctors, lawyers, schools and employers. Childers also works closely with military families. About half of time, a person comes to Bradford Health as a self-referral, recognizing they have a problem and need to change. Childers has dealt with people from a wide range of ages, from teens to people in their mid-70s, and from all walks of life. Childers helps referrals determine the best treatment options and work through issues like insurance. Bradford Health has treatment facilities in Alabama and other resources throughout the southeast. Alcohol and prescription drug abuse are two of the most common dependency issues Childers sees, but an increasing issue is heroin abuse. This is especially alarming because some heroin is laced with an elephant tranquilizer that kills the users.

“The prescription drug epidemic got so bad that federal and local governments have done a good job of controlling that,” Childers said. “Now heroin is filling the gap (for opioid dependents). It’s cheaper and a lot more available. It’s downright scary.” Childers said addictions usually start as a way to attain temporary relief for a stressor in life rather than dealing with it in a healthy way. Gradually the substance abuse becomes a regular part of life. Childers knows the issue well, having battled his own substance abuse. After successfully conquering his addiction, he decided to use his experience to help others. “It helps immensely that they know what I’m telling them is from personal experience,” he said. “It builds faster rapport and gives them some hope when they see where I’ve been and where I am today.” Successfully battling substance addiction requires a change of mindset, as well as a strong support system. “What recovery is all about is living

life on life’s terms,” Childers said. “They have to accept support from others who have been through those things and who are there to help them.” Bradford Health’s local 24/7 contact number is 706-854-1126. Childers can be reached directly at 706-421-4075.

For more information or immediate confidential help call


24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz


buzz bits

Continued from Page 6

AUGUSTA RANKS LOW IN BEST PLACES TO RENT When it comes to renting a place

to live, it looks as though Augusta leaves something to be desired. A new study by WalletHub ranked the city 131 out of 150 cities with regard to their rental markets, affordability and quality of life. Citing a housing affordability analysis done by the Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing studies, WalletHub added that “11.1 million  renters today spend more than 50 percent of their income on housing, a group that federal housing agencies describe as ‘severely cost-burdened.’” WalletHub calculated where renters get the most “bang for their buck,” taking into account 21 different factors that affect affordability and quality of life. Among those factors were home square footage, forecasts of changes in median rent, job market, recreation friendliness and quality of public school systems. San Bernardino, Calif., ranked just ahead of Augusta at 130, and Tacoma, Wash., ranked just behind Augusta. Scottsdale, Ariz., took the top spot as the best market for renters, while Cleveland, Ohio, came in last.

AUGUSTA NAMED MIDMARKET OF THE YEAR On July 26, Southern Business & Development magazine named Au-

Rounding out the top five were Brevard County, Fla.; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.; Montgomery, Ala.; and Spartanburg, S.C. – all of which, with the exception of Spartanburg, are metro areas comparable to or larger than Augusta.


GEORGIA POWER TO MANAGE PLANT VOGTLE EXPANSION The U.S. Department of Energy has approved the Georgia Power

Company’s plan to manage Plant Vogtle’s expansion. Southern Nuclear, a Georgia Power affiliate, will oversee construction at the site just south of Augusta. Toshiba Corp., the parent company of the project’s former contractor Westinghouse Electric Co., filed for bankruptcy in March. The company had reportedly taken losses due to delays in construction and cost overruns at Plant Vogtle. According to Southern CEO Tom Fanning, the utility will decide in August whether the project will continue. “We remain focused on safety and quality as we complete this transition,” said Mark Rauckhorst, executive vice president for the Vogtle project. In 2009, The Georgia Public Service Commission approved plans to construct two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. “We are already in the midst of a seamless transition for the thousands of workers across the site, allowing us to sustain the progress we are making every day on both units,” Rauckhorst said. gusta to the South’s top honor as the best “Mid-Market of the Year” in 2017. In 2015, the magazine named Augusta as one of the “Ten Sizzling Mid-Market Economies” in the South. Michael Randle, Publisher of Southern Business & Development, said Augusta garnered the top spot based on strong recruitment efforts for new jobs and investments. “Throughout the South, there are communities on the move, where

46 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

cities’ economic growth and development are outpacing the rest of the country,” Randle said. “Augusta is one of these cities, with the Augusta Economic Development Authority leading the way.” Unisys, EdenCrete, Jacobsen Turf, Textron Specialized Vehicles and the Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon have chosen to relocate to Augusta. Automatic Data Processing, Standard Aero, Starbucks and Solvay also expanded in Augusta.

have outsourced technology jobs to countries like India where labor was cheap. That is still often the case, but the rate of outsourcing has slowed. Part of that is because the exploding economies of India and other countries like it don’t provide the inexpensive labor they once did. But companies are also realizing the upside of having entire teams that work domestically, are nimble, and can work closely with everyone involved with the business. The other difference is that these domestic technology jobs aren’t just on the typical coastal cities like New York City and San Francisco. In the digital age, people are electing to work in middle-American cities that can provide them with a much higher quality of life. Smaller cities like Augusta, which has become a cyber and technology hub ever since Army Cyber Command and Unisys Corp. came to town, is the perfect example of these kinds of cities. Outsourcing company Rural Sourcing, which has one of its four major hubs in Augusta, had only a dozen employees in 2009, according to a New York Times  report. Now it has more than 300 in Augusta, Albuquerque, Jonesboro, Ark., and Mobile, Ala. Consultant Monty Hamilton took over the company in 2009. He says the company’s payroll will increase to 400 by the end of the year. He told the  Times  that today, every business is a digital business. “They need technical help,” Hamilton told the Times. “That’s really driven the demand for our U.S.based talent.”


and graphics, is moving from its current store at Fairway Square Shopping Center on Washington Road to Washington Square Shopping Center across the street, behind Hooters. Store manager Melvin La Pan said the new space is bigger and has a warehouse. Fastsigns’ new address will be 2834 Washington Road, Suite N, and the new location will open Sept. 1. The Washington Road store is the chain’s single location in Augusta.

Panda Express will open an Aiken location toward the end of November.

Panda Express Panda Express is coming to Aiken, according to Meybohm Commercial Properties. The chain restaurant will be located at the corner of Silver Bluff and Pine Log Roads on the Aiken south side. Plans are to open the restaurant toward the end of November, according to an individual from Panda Express. Panda Express is a fast-casual Chinese restaurant. The company operates more than 1,600 restaurants nationwide. This will be the chain’s first location in Aiken. Augusta has a Panda Express on Robert C Daniel Jr Pkwy.



PANERA BREAD LAUNCHES DELIVERY SERVICE IN GEORGIA Panera Bread is launching its new delivery service in Georgia, and it’s deliver-

ing local jobs, too. Panera Bread franchisee Covelli Enterprises announced yesterday the launch of a new, small order delivery service that will bring more than 300 jobs to South Carolina and Georgia. Covelli plans to launch delivery service at 14 cafes. In Augusta, delivery will begin Aug. 31 at the Panera in the Augusta Exchange. Panera says it will deliver within a designated eight-minute delivery radius from one of its cafes. Delivery requires a minimum order of only $5 with the addition of a $3 delivery charge. All delivery orders are placed online using the Panera Bread app or at Hours of delivery service are 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Delivery orders can be placed 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

CLOSING BUSINESSES Cafe on the Canal re-opened on Aug. 5

Café on the Canal Café on the Canal is celebrating its sixth anniversary with an improved menu and a newly renovated restaurant. The cafe, in the Kroc Center on Broad Street, re-opened on Aug. 5. The menu includes a new variety of breakfast items, burgers, wraps and salads. The cafe’s new hours are 6 a.m.- 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturday.

Rock Bottom Music After doing business in Augusta for decades, Rock Bottom Music and Sound Super Store is preparing to close its doors, according to the store’s Facebook page. Rock Bottom is one of Augusta’s best-known and expansive music stores, selling instruments and sound systems in the Garden City for the last 20 years. During that time, Rock Bottom was named “Best Music Store in the State of Georgia” and “Top 50 in the USA,” according to Rock Bottom’s Facebook

post. The store’s prices are hitting rockbottom, too. The store is kicking off a liquidation sale, and part of the proceeds will be donated to autism and Asperger’s awareness and animal rescue causes. Rock Bottom Music and Sound Super Store is located at 2825 Washington Road, Suite D.

MOVING BUSINESSES Fastsigns Fastsigns, the retail chain that provides custom signs, banners, displays

Serotta Maddocks Evans, CPAs Serotta Maddocks Evans, CPAs has acquired financial consultancy Snyder and Stewart, PC. SME CPAs is the largest local accounting firm in the CSRA. SME CPAs specializes in tax, audit, accounting and business advisory services. It was founded in 1952 and has locations in Augusta and Aiken. In addition to John Stewart joining the firm, SME CPAs added Patty Dixon and LeAnne Jolley to its team. SME CPAs has relocated to the First Citizens Building at 125 Park Ave. S.W., Suite 200, Aiken. The company’s other location is 701 Greene St., Suite 200, Augusta. Vintage Creek Apartments An affiliate of New York-based real estate investment firm Quad Property Group has acquired Vintage Creek, a 104-unit apartment complex located at 1924 N. Leg Road on Augusta’s west side. The sale price was $5 million, and the transaction closed Aug. 15. According to Jariel Bortnick, principal at Quad Property Group, it was an opportunity to acquire a well-maintained, 1970s-era property ripe for renovation. “Through our renovation program, we plan to make strategic (changes) that will improve the tenant experience at Vintage Creek, both inside individual apartments and throughout the complex,” Bortnick said. Bortnick also said that the company plans to enhance Vintage Creek’s position in the market by renovating unit interiors and improving the complex’s common areas. Additionally, Quad Property Group plans to add amenities for tenants, including a brand new leasing office and clubhouse, along with a pet park and sport court.

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz



The rat race – go to work, come back home, go to work, come back home. It’s a grind anyone gainfully employed has felt at times. Keith Edmondson is doing his part to change that in the CSRA. “There more to life than that,” Edmondson said. “People want to get out, meet friends, get some exercise. You need to stop to smell the roses.” That’s what Edmondson’s Augusta Sports Leagues does. Designed for adults, it allows them to play sports and develop friendships and a sense of community after work. Edmondson had been involved in recreational sports leagues in Nashville before moving to Augusta. Once here, he found that opportunities for adult sports were limited, and there weren’t many opportunities in general for adults to get together. He was looking to start his own business, so he contacted the person who ran the leagues in Nashville. That person was in the process of helping Greenville set up a similar adult sports league, so Edmondson met him there. In November 2012, he entered into a contract with the man to help him get started, and by April 2013 the Augusta Sports Leagues was underway. The initial sport was kickball, which has become the most popular sport ASL offers. Edmondson was taken by surprise at how popular it was from the very beginning. He recalls putting up a poster advertising the initial kickball league at Nacho Mamas on Broad Street. “There was a guy in there eating a burrito,” Edmondson recalled. “He dropped his burrito and didn’t even finish chewing. He said, ‘Kickball! Are you really doing a kickball league?’ You’d have thought I was giving away a million dollars. He was ecstatic.” The first season started with eight kickball teams without much recruiting effort. “It proved my point that a lot of Augustans were looking for something to do,” he said. Although kickball remains the most

BRINGING OUT THE INNER CHILD One reason Augusta Sports

Kickball continues to be the most popular sport offered by Augusta Sports League. Photo contributed.

popular sport, ASL also now offers softball, volleyball, basketball, dodgeball and flag football leagues, as well as cornhole tournaments and other special events. Leagues are offered year-round, with a few exceptions, to allow continuity in activities. Fall and spring are the most popular times of year, although there is still a good turnout in summer and even winter. “Everybody has pressures,” Edmondson said. “You need something in life where you can go out and have fun, to be a kid and have permission to do so. There’s an element of competition, but it’s about getting out and playing.” To accommodate busy schedules, a team only has one game per week scheduled, although Edmondson said people who want additional activity can sign up for more than one team. The median age of participants is 28, with quite a few in the early-20 age range coming out of college who had been in school sports or intramural leagues there. But he said he also has those into their late 30s who like having their one night a week out to get some exercise. “We have one guy who is 60 and he plays kickball with his three adult children,” Edmondson said. “He’s out there

48 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

mixing it up with the young adults.” Teams are coed and require a 60-40 mix of men to women. This fall for the first time Edmondson will offer two allmen leagues because it is becoming more challenging to find enough women to fill out rosters. He believes that’s because in their 20s and 30s, men and women look to different types of social activities. For men, sports is one of the most important – and often sole – social activities in their lives. “Men have more difficulty in developing close friendships and they do that a lot more over sports,” Edmondson said. But developing friendships and building community is one of the goals of ASL. Edmondson has a number of restaurants that offer discounts or specials for ASL members, and the players are urged to patronize those establishments after contests. “When you’re hanging out afterwards, that’s when you get to know everybody,” he said. “It also creates the sense of community that people love. And anytime you do that, it also helps the local economy.” For more information about the Augusta Sports Leagues, visit

Leagues has enjoyed popularity is because it doesn’t require athletic prowess to be able to play and have fun. “We’ve got some people who have never played organized sports,” ASL founder Keith Edmondson said. “You can still play and not be a phenomenal athlete.” He said some of his favorite teams lose every game but they’re out there having fun. He added, however, that there is also a competitive element to the sports, so it creates a balance of fun and competitiveness. He said sometimes people, especially younger people, are timid about the game and afraid of making mistakes. “A lot of times, the mistakes are what make the game fun or funny,” he said. It can also create bonding experiences as older or more-experienced players help the younger players learn and get better. This idea of having fun while playing could also explain the ongoing popularity of kickball, a game usually not played after junior high P.E. classes. Not only doesn’t it require great natural talent to play, it also brings out the inner child who still enjoys running around and kicking a ball.

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz




Some people have pretty disappointing lives. I know that seems like a harsh statement, but it’s true. Think about it. We all know that one person who can’t seem to get a break, can never get ahead and is always complaining about everything. But what does that person ever do to change his or her situation? In my experience, people like that spend their time blaming others for their misfortunes and are never willing to do the exhausting work that is necessary for true success. True success requires long nights and working through the pain. Success requires you to be a little uncomfortable. (Well, maybe more than a little.) This month’s reviews are dedicated to Netflix films that feature individuals with the perseverance needed to be successful. The Incredible Jessica James I love this movie. Too often romantic comedies rely on cliché storylines that are entirely unbelievable and air on the Lifetime channel three times in a day. Thank you, Netflix, for giving us a rom-com with a witty and intelligent main character and a plotline that is outside of the box. Jessica James is an aspiring New York playwright doing her best to get over a breakup. Well, maybe she isn’t really trying to get over it. She follows her ex on Instagram and takes a date to one of his favorite hangouts in the hope he’ll see her and get jealous. When he arrives with his

In my experience, people like that spend their time blaming others for their misfortunes and are never willing to do the exhausting work that is necessary for true success. True success requires long nights and working through the pain. Success requires you to be a little uncomfortable. (Well, maybe more than a little.) own date and attempts to give a polite greeting, Jessica proceeds to verbally barrage him and his date. OK, she isn’t taking the breakup well. When Jessica isn’t social media-stalking her ex, she spends her time writing plays and working to inspire local youths to do the same. She dreams of seeing her work on the stage and sends her plays out to production companies around the world. Unfortunately, Jessica hasn’t had much success when it comes to her own work, and she has a wall of rejection letters to prove it. As I previously mentioned, I love this movie. Sure, Jessica can be a little obsessive, a little judgmental and loses her temper now and again, but aren’t we all guilty of those things? More importantly, she’s brave enough to say what she thinks, even when it makes people uncomfortable, to apologize when she’s wrong, and

50 Buzz on Biz August 31-September 27, 2017

to keep trying, even when she’s been told no. We could all learn a little something from Jessica James. The Founder Let me be honest about a few things before I start. First of all, I had completely forgotten what a great actor Michael Keaton is. Second, I didn’t recognize Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation) without facial hair. Finally, I act like I’m too good for McDonald’s. Now, let’s get to the review. The Founder is the story of Ray Kroc, played by Keaton, and his rise from a traveling salesman that nobody took seriously to the man who made McDonald’s a billion-dollar company. Kroc finds himself in San Bernardino, amazed at the speed with which he is served quality food from the McDonald brothers’ establishment. Once he hears their story, he can’t get the restaurant

out of his mind. I’ll admit it, this movie was eye-opening for me. For one, the McDonald brothers were brilliant. They adjusted their business time after time in search of the perfect balance of speed and quality. Seeing all they did gave me a new respect for the business. Even with all of their brains, McDonald’s would be nothing without Ray Kroc. He had the vision and guts necessary to take the business from a small stand in California to a logo recognized across the world. When people laughed at him, he kept going. When money got tight, he found a way. When the McDonald brothers wanted to keep things small, he pushed forward. If you want the full story of McDonald’s, you’ll need to do some research past the film. While good, there are a lot of missing details. Even so, the film shows true American ingenuity, something we could use a little more of today.

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

August 31-September 27, 2017 Buzz on Biz



Do us a favor – the next time you are outside, take a look at your home’s exterior. Does it have a visible layer of dirt from recent storms? Is your driveway covered in black spots and oil? What about algae; are you seeing spots of green or black algae on your brick or siding? If so, your home needs some TLC in the form of an exterior pressure wash, and ensuring that you pick a reputable, licensed pressurewashing company is key to a safe, non-damaging and cost-effective clean. Once you’ve made the decision to use a pressure-washing company, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the number of companies listed on Google searches, through the Yellow Pages, Facebook, or friend and neighbor recommendations. Choosing one may seem like a huge hassle and can be discouraging for some homeowners. However, if you keep in mind a few things, the choice can be an easy one. First, it’s important to remember

that the terms “power washing” or “pressure washing” are a bit of a misnomer. In fact, a licensed pressurewashing company such as AllClean Pressure Washing uses a technique called SoftWashing, which uses essentially the same pressure you would get from a common garden hose. This technique uses commercial grade detergents to do most of the work and ensure no damage to your home’s siding, stucco or brick surfaces. At AllClean, we use this technique in conjunction with specially formulated soaps that help treat and remove things like mildew, algae and other organic growth, while also lifting dirt and debris from your home. At AllClean, we encourage customers to do their research and make an informed decision. We enjoy speaking with and educating homeowners on the processes used to clean their home, as well as answering any and all questions they may have for us. When speaking with a prospective company, we

encourage you to find out how long the company has been in business and if they’re insured. This weeds out the good from the bad. Especially if you’re getting several estimates from companies in the area, it may seem like you’re getting a better deal until that fly-by-night company ruins your siding, brick, paint or other home surfaces, then leaves. Ask what chemicals they’ll be using to clean your home. If they say only bleach, and never mention detergents or SoftWashing techniques, they’re the wrong company and may potentially cause serious damage to your home, or not give you the most effective, long-lasting clean. Lastly, you should know an approximate length of time your specific cleaning should last. A typical wash for a 2,000-square-foot home should take, on average, one to two hours to clean. Not all homes are the same, and some jobs are dependent on weather, so there is some deviation to this. In the end, AllClean Pressure

Washing encourages homeowners to do their research, ask questions and choose a reputable company with knowledge and experience to assist them with their home’s exterior cleaning needs. Your home is your biggest investment, and trusting it to fly-by-night, unlicensed and uninsured companies can lead to damage and more money spent on hiring a professional pressure- washing company to come in and complete a poorly done job.

Tony Creighton is the owner\operator of ALLCLEAN™ Pressure Washing, LLC 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 allcleanaugusta@


After a fun-filled summer with no hard-pressed schedules, we are now thrust into the new school year. Some kids are excited, others are terrified. Some parents look forward to this time of year, while other parents dread it. If anyone else is like me, school lunches can be our nemesis. I have some healthful tips and tricks to keep your kids, and yourself, fed while we gear up for a busy school year. Most people can grasp the idea of eating a well-balanced meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You throw in the meals in between (the majority calls them “snacks” but I call them meals two and four) and people start to get anxious. We will start with kids’ lunches and snacks, because kids always seem to be hungry. I do buy some processed foods, but I am selective on what I buy and I

52 Buzz on Biz July 27-Augusta 30, 2068

balance it out with fresh food. I look at my kids’ lunchbox as a meal plan. First, I incorporate a protein in the form of a sandwich with a hearty slice of bread; we love tuna, turkey or ham. We have even made their own “lunchables” by cutting up lunch meat and cheese to fit on hearty crackers. I also try to throw in some type of fat in the form of peanut butter, nuts, cheese, yogurt or even hummus. Fat is important for kids to help them remain fuller longer and be more satisfied after a meal. My go-to fruits are blueberries, strawberries or oranges because they are easy to eat and, well, my kids love them. To balance it out, I throw in a fun item like fruit snacks or popcorn. The biggest thing that I do to ensure that my kids are eating is I let them choose items from the list that they want in their lunches – and they have to make

their own lunch the night before. I buy snacks in bulk and put them on the pantry shelf already in bags and easy to grab to fill lunchboxes. The kids love helping with sorting food after grocery shopping. Making them a part of selecting their own meals actually increases the odds that the food is eaten. Now to grown-up snacks. Our kids cannot function if we are not functioning properly. On most days, my “snack” meals are the same size as all my other meals, and that is what I prefer. Occasionally, even I falter and need a quick grab snack. Of all the questions that I get asked, the “what do I eat for a snack?” ranks No. 1. Keep it simple, and remember it is all about balance. Just as you put your kids’ lunches together and plan for them, do the same for yourself. If you are smart about it, the

snacks can actually cross over – fruit, peanut butter, nuts, hummus, ham and pickles, guacamole and veggies. It is preferable to use a carbohydrate with your morning snack, like apple and peanut butter. Your afternoon snack, which is when most people reach for the sugar-filled snacks, should be the veggie type. Keep it ready and on hand and you will be less likely to derail yourself with a candy bar. Onnie 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.



Other than seeing a literal interpretation of “Parable of the Plums” on a street in Dublin, getting a guided tour of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors by artist Alex Grey is likely the trippiest thing I have ever done. Toward the end of the tour, a nomadic hippie from Patagonia (the region, not the company) asked the artist how humans can shape their environments through thought and meditation. The conversation quickly turned to the notion of collective consciousness and the like, with specifics such as prayer and meditation as examples of a means to attaining a sense of cosmic togetherness and inner peace, all at the same time. Well, I’m not the deepest thinker on the block, but I did have this notion in mind the other day when I purchased a Samuel Adams Octoberfest in hopes that I could influence the weather and make autumn come early. It didn’t work. Samuel Adams Octoberfest – I don’t dislike it, and I don’t feel guilty about saying that. If I were a wine taster, I would certainly not be wearing a black turtleneck (or whatever the devil it is those

This Samuel Adams Märzen style should be tasted by those who want fall to go ahead and get here. people wear) and going on about how I could never be in the same time zone as a boxed wine. I remain open-minded, and I think that, while not the best Octoberfest out there, this Samuel Adams Märzen style should be tasted by those who want fall to go ahead and get here. It coats nicely, and the malts don’t overdo it, so there’s a tinge in there that does just enough to remind you that the weather will eventually cool off. Terrapin Blueberry Thyme Saison – August is typically blueberry-picking season (at least most places), and I suppose I had that in the back of my mind the other night when I paired this tasty brew with some pizza at Mellow Mushroom on Broad Street. Maybe not, but either way I was glad I did. If it weren’t for the head, you’d say this Athens ale looks more like wine, and that goes hand-in-hand with the almost rip-

ened blueberry and cherry throughout. Overall, this brew is tasty, satisfying with doughy foods, and not difficult to drink. So, you have been warned that it’s over 9 percent ABV.

Ben Casella is a fan of Alex Grey’s art. In fact, the bricked hallway in the back of his office even features a print of one of his works. It’s easy to spot among the others, as it is the only one featuring eyeballs on fire.

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Buzz on Biz July 27-Augusta 30, 2069

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New York Butcher Shoppe

Their logo boasts of rare quality and well-done service. From my recent encounter at New York Butcher Shoppe, I would have to agree. Although there is only seating for a few folks, the high quality of meats, cheeses and to-go items make it a rare find. In the half hour that my colleague and I spent sitting at the lone table, we watched a dozen customers come and go. Their missions varied. A trio of friends grabbed sandwiches and chips, presumably to take to the park or pack for the lake. A teenage college student stopped by at her mother’s request in order to bring home a hot dinner because Momma wasn’t cookin’! And an older couple perused the catering menu for quite some time. They were clearly ordering for a special occasion. New York Butcher Shoppe has a variety of catered items. My favorites include the basil pesto chicken or apple-smoked cheddar and bacon-stuffed pork chops. When it’s your turn to be in charge of dinner, consider allowing the butcher to assist. For a casual office gathering, boxed lunches and deli trays may fit the bill. If it’s a lunch reception, patrons might add a Greek pasta salad or Caesar salad with roasted chicken. Hot meals, for a dinner event perhaps, include the entrée, tossed salad with dressing, French bread and chocolate chunk cookies. Also from the catered menu are side items such as traditional macaroni and cheese and twice-baked potatoes. For a more nutritious fare, there are grilled vegetables or tomato pie from which to choose. When my colleague and I entered New York Butcher Shoppe, we were offered a friendly greeting from Jack the butcher (and franchise owner). Jack brings a couple of decades of food and beverage

Food Price Location Networking Noise Level New York Butcher Shoppe is located at 465 Highland Avenue in Augusta. Their website is The phone number is 706-303-8286. experience to his shop. An easygoing, welcoming atmosphere was evident as chatter across the meat counter between customer and butcher indicated. Armed with a sandwich selection sheet, my colleague and I set right to work, checking and circling our sandwich of choice. Prosciutto, capicola, genoa salami and provolone? Or corned beef, pastrami and Swiss? Or should we create our own? For the sandwich fanatic, it was a small slice of heaven. We window-shopped in Surrey Center for a few minutes, then returned to retrieve our Dagwood-style sandwiches. We nabbed a bag of chips and grabbed a couple of water bottles, then took our seats. As if it were Christmas morning, we eagerly unwrapped the butcher paper around our sandwiches and stared with excitement. Stacked between pieces of marble rye, my selections of turkey, Muenster and all things veggie were perfectly placed. Taking it back to the basics, my colleague chose white bread, turkey, roast beef and

American cheese, smothered in mayonnaise, lettuce and onions. Earning an A+ for customer service and an A++ for presentation and taste, The New York Butcher Shoppe deserves a top spot on “Where to go for lunch?” With a wine club, catering, choice meats, savory sides and more, it’s living up to its slogan as a shop “a cut above” the rest. The New York Butcher Shoppe is located at 465 Highland Avenue in Augusta’s Surrey Center. For more information, email them at surreycenter@nybutcher. net or call (706) 303-8286. Their website is






54 Buzz on Biz July 27-Augusta 30, 2070

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.


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July 27-Augusta 30, 2071 Buzz on Biz




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56 Buzz on Biz July 27-Augusta 30, 2072


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Buzz on Biz Issue 08 31 2017  
Buzz on Biz Issue 08 31 2017