Sept. 28 - Oct. 25, 2017 • The CSRA’s monthly business Magazine
Health of Marriage Affects Worker Performance Pages 20-21
New Civic Center in South Augusta?
A vestige of the Montgomery Ward sign can still be seen on part of the Regency Mall in South Augusta. The Regency Mall site has been proposed as the location for a new civic center to replace the current James Brown Arena (inset). Photo by Gary Kauffman
Business Leaders Discuss Effects of Proposed Location Editor’s Note: In August, the AugustaRichmond County Coliseum Authority voted to locate a new civic center at the site of the defunct Regency Mall in South Augusta to replace the aging James Brown Arena. Most people had expected the site to be downtown, as recommended by a consultant study. The Augusta Commission still has to approve the coliseum authority’s proposal, but the decision has already generated controversy. Here, five local business leaders weigh in with their views.
By Witt Wells
Josh Pierce has lived and worked in Augusta for too long to view his downtown
community as anything less than family. When across-the-street sushi restaurant Sole needs avocados, Whiskey Bar, where Pierce is the general manager, gives them avocados. That’s how downtown works these days, Pierce said. That didn’t come easily. As Pierce reflects on the time it took to turn downtown into the vibrant scene it is today, he pays homage to the vision that people like Soul Bar and Sky City owner Coco Rubio have had for the area for years. So, Pierce doesn’t take the pending decision for a location of Augusta’s new civic center lightly. He doesn’t think any-
one should. I talked to Pierce and a few other business leaders in the downtown area and in South Augusta – many of them in the food and beverage industry, a vital element of local entertainment – not only about the importance of local businesses to the success of a civic center, but how those businesses create communities. Here’s what a handful of businesspeople around town had to say about the location Augusta’s new civic center: Larry Sconyers, owner, Sconyers BBQ in South Augusta When you weigh the pros and cons of a
new civic center location, what factors do you think about? I think saying it has to be in a particular spot, that’s not really a necessity. If you think about what you see in Atlanta stadiums – SunTrust Park – they’ve got a whole lot of businesses and restaurants Sconyers in and around the stadium itself. Take Riverside Village (in North Augusta) – it’s going to be a total comSee CIVIC on Page 2
Civic Continued from Page 1 complex, not just a ball field. So for this new arena, it would make a lot more sense for there to be other restaurants and entertainment built in and around the arena as part of the development. But with Regency Mall, I wouldn’t take that lease. To take that lease for 35 years and then once that’s up, it’s not yours anymore? That’s a joke. No smart businessman would do that, and I wouldn’t either. One thing that made sense about a Regency Mall location is the availability of parking, and it needs to be put by a major highway. That part makes sense. Sean Wight, owner of downtown restaurants Frog Hollow, Craft and Vine and Farmhaus Your restaurants have been a big part of the revitalization of downtown over the last few years. How important is the James Brown Arena to that community? I don’t think moving the arena would negatively affect the restaurants, but I think it would negatively affect the JBA. It will be less successful because it won’t be a one-stop package. I think that’s Wight a very poor decision, to move JBA out of downtown, which has all the amenities. When my wife and I go to a show out of town, we don’t pick the band necessarily. We pick the city we’re going to. My theory is that the whole premise of spurring economic development with a new civic center is a false premise. I think it’ll hurt the success of the JBA. The center needs the businesses. You can’t build a business off 60 nights a year. It just doesn’t work. Brad Usry, president, Fat Man’s Mill Café and vice chairman of Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority How do you envision the needs of a new civic center when it comes to entertainment like restaurants and bars? This arena needs to be built for 18-, 25-, 30-year-olds. That’s who it’s going to be for, and they love downtowns. Malls aren’t sexy anymore to Millennials. Ninetyfive to 97 percent of Usry recently built arenas have been or are being built in down-
towns, and the 3-5 percent of venues that aren’t being built in downtown areas are in cities that have a million or more people in the area. They built the Braves’ stadium outside of town, but you can’t compare that! The median income there is not close to the area around Regency Mall. Neither is the population. Anybody who makes that argument just does not know the facts. Also, if you look at JBA and Bell Auditorium, combining two venues creates one kitchen, one loading dock – the efficiency of that business is crazy good. Lance Spence, general manager, Acura of Augusta in South Augusta What potential do you think a new civic center at the Regency Mall site has to grow business in the area? Anything that’s close to the interstate is a good choice. Everything here is a stone’s throw away from everything else. The arena downtown seems a little congestive as far as traffic. Spence I’ve seen things move from one side of town to the other, and if you have an area that’s able to be improved, that’s a good thing. Activity breeds activity. You get more events, more advertising. I just hate to see stuff leave based on how people feel instead of what’s right. Josh Pierce, general manager, Whiskey Bar What’s the importance of the JBA to downtown’s business community? Downtown is a family. And we support the JBA by making sure people get excellent service and they get to that event. That’s the relationship all of us have down here, and that took a long time to develop. Whether or not a civic center at the Regency Mall site floats or sinks – that depends on the support around it. If there’s not much there, I’m worried about it to begin with. I understand Pierce the desire to build up other places, but what it feels like is that South Augusta is not prepared for a build like this because there isn’t enough infrastructure around it. And if you’re going to drop the money and bail out cause you know it’s not going to work – don’t do it.
2 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
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Blowin’ in the Wind
Stormy Weather and Big October/November Events By Neil Gordon
My relatives and friends in South Florida lost power but my brother’s condos on Sanibel Island and his favorite hotel in Key West are all secure. My personal Irma experience simply cost me only time. Prior to the storm, I flew to New York to visit family, friends and watch a pro football game. Luckily, I got “stuck” in Charlotte, unable to return to Augusta on Monday of the storm. My extended layover gave me a chance to slow down and visit with a family friend. On page 18, Witt Wells highlights the generosity of area photographers helping their brethren from the first storm, Hurricane Harvey, and the donations given by an Augusta businessman to help victims of both storms. I’m hoping you’ll pause for a day and enjoy the fruits of your labor in our local businesses. On Thursday Oct. 19, you have a chance to attend an inspiring and fun networking day at
It’s fall, y’all and here’s hoping you and your family is safe from the storms and ready to enjoy some great business and entertainment events in the CSRA! the 2nd annual B2B Expo, presented by Best Office Solutions, American Audio Visual, News 12/NBC 26 and Buzz on Biz. Tickets are still available at cityspintickets.com. A few vendor booths are still available. Reserve yours by calling me at 706-589-6727. Last year we had an amazing turnout at The Foundry at Rae’s Creek and we outgrew it. This year, our Expo is at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Columbia County. Our special Expo section on pages 27-46 includes stories and ads on all of our exhibitors to preview what you’ll see if you “be all you can be” at the B2B
Expo! Event and entertainment venues is a big focus of this issue. On the cover, Witt Wells takes a different look at the controversial decision in process regarding the future home of the expanded Augusta Richmond County Civic Center ( James Brown Arena). Some of the comments he heard from South Augusta and downtown Augusta business people are eye opening. Very quietly, my employer and owner of the Buzz on Biz brand – Morris Communications – has retrofitted its longtime Hippodrome Arena in North Augusta into an all-purpose venue.
Features New Spin on Events Center.......................... 4 Hippodrome Complex plans to host concerts, festivals and unique events
tions in Augusta, are recognizing that helping employees strengthen their marriages is good for business.
Buzz Bits.................................................. 6, 62
Businessperson of the Month.................... 22 The Butler did it: Butler helps area drivers keep moving.
Openings, Closings................................. 7, 63 Phase II of Mullins Crossing opening in October..................................................... 8 Belk will anchor newest part of the Evans shopping center Upcoming Events.................................. 14, 15 Health of Marriage Affects Worker Performance......................................... 20, 21 Companies, like MAU Workforce Solu-
B2B Expo Preview..................................27-46 A look at the vendors and speakers at the 2nd Annual Business-to-Business Expo. The Intersection of Art and Business........ 56 Augusta companies strive to incorporate local art in their businesses.
Columnists Tim Dalton: Why It Makes Sense to Buy an Existing Business................10 Mark Alison: Three Ways to Get Ahead in Anything You Do...................12 Ed Enoch: Common Sense Goes a Long Way in Treatment of Others 16 Christine Hall: Don’t Fall for Fraudulent Charity Scams............................16 Gary Kauffman: Don’t Wait for Relationship Breakdown Before Seeking Help..............................................................................................21 Russell Head: Court Orders EEOC to Reconsider Wellness Program Rules.........................................................................................................24 Liz Klebba: Clarity Take the Stress Out of Employee Dress Issues.........26 Kurt Mueller: Succession Plan is Integral to Business Strategy..............42 Danielle Harris: Making Decisive Choices Helps You Reach Your Goals.................................................................................................................50
Dagan Sharpe: Our Actions, Words Build Our Personal Brand...............50 Missie Usry: Consistency in Actions, Message Fuel Success...................52 Brandon McCrillis: Cyber Security is Having More Impact on Corporate Success...........................................................................................52 Susan O’Keefe: Manuel’s Offers French Dining Just a Short Drive Away....................................................................................................54 Ben Casella: Local Breweries Gearing up for Southern Suds Celebration...............................................................................................................58 Samantha Barksdale: Viewing Choices When You Want Something Other than Football........................................................................58 Tony Creighton: Choose the Right Contractor for Exterior Cleaning..60 Onnie Sanford: Take Control of Your Life.......................................................60
Gary Kauffman caught up with Morris’ Director of Corporate Events recently to find out more about the changes taking place in time for the annual Border Bash on Nov. 3. It’s fall, y’all and here’s hoping you and your family is safe from the storms and ready to enjoy some great business and entertainment events in the CSRA!
Neil Gordon is the founder and publisher of Buzz on Biz, which includes a daily TV segment on News 12 This Morning at 6:25 a.m., a daily radio show from noon to 1 p.m. on 1630 AM, a weekly e-newsletter and www.buzzon.biz. Reach him at 706.589.6727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, email@example.com Layout Riverfront Design Center Ad Building E35 Media Photography Witt Wells, Gary Kauffman Sales Manager Neil Gordon, firstname.lastname@example.org, 706-589-6727 Sales and PR Jessica Jones, email@example.com, 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 @ facebook.com/buzz-on-biz Follow us on Twitter @BuzzonBiz 604 Government Center Way, Evans, GA 30809
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
New Spin on Longtime Events Center
Hippodrome Complex Plans to Host Concerts, Festivals and Unique Events By Gary Kauffman
In the midst of discussions to relocate the James Brown Arena and the building of a new ballpark for the GreenJackets, the CSRA is on the verge of expanding another event venue. The Morris Communications Company is transforming its 155-acre hippodrome complex in North Augusta into an all-purpose events area, with the annual Border Bash on Nov. 3 as the first big event. The 52,500-square-foot outdoor covered arena will be renamed City Spin Arena and the entire complex will be known as the Hippodrome Events Complex. The complex also contains a 42,000-square-foot indoor arena and six barns with 589 horse stalls. Plans are to strip and regrade the outdoor arena and make other improvements, including hanging a banner proclaiming the new City Spin Arena name. The hippodrome has long been a fixture on Schultz Hill in North Augusta, overlooking the Augusta skyline. It is most well-known for hosting events for the annual Augusta Futurity horse event and the National Collegiate Disc Golf championships on its five disc golf courses. (The name has nothing to do with large semi-aquatic animals. Hippo is the Greek word for horse and a hippodrome is an arena for horses). Equine events will still play an important role after the transformation, but Brian Graham, director of corporate events for Morris, envisions a much wider range of events. “Later this year we’ll go into the master plan process,” he said, “but we expect to have festivals, fairs, concerts, sporting events and outdoor markets. The Morrises are very excited about the possibilities out here.” But Graham believes the sky’s the limit – possibly literally – when it comes to events. He mentioned such things as mud runs, obstacle courses and even a staging area for hot air balloon events. “This place has great flexibility and untapped potential,” he said. “As an events person, I saw it has great potential, but we had not been doing a great job of marketing it.” Among the advantages the Hippodrome has is ease of access and ample parking. The grounds are located just off I-520 and Hwy. 1 on one side, and Atomic Road on another. Depending on how the space is utilized, the grounds have room to park thousands of cars. “We’re not trying to get into competition with the Civic Center but Augusta
The outdoor covered arena at the Hippodrome complex in North Augusta will be known as City Spin Arena and will host concerts, festivals and unique events, like this vintage products show in mid-September. City Spin Arena will host the annual Border Bash on Nov. 3. Photo by Gary Kauffman
Border Bash will be arena’s inaugural event The 24 annual Border Bash will be the rate events for Morris Communications Comth
first big event hosted by the newly named City Spin Arena in North Augusta. The annual event brings fans of the University of Georgia and the University of South Carolina together before their big football game the following day. In the past, the event has been held in downtown Augusta. Last year, inclement weather dampened the festivities. “This will alleviate the issue they had last year with weather,” Brian Graham, director of corponeeds a place where you can do experiential events,” Graham said. “Downtown Augusta needs a good concert and festival venue.” City Spin Arena will offer local concert promoters some new options, including room for larger audiences. “I’ve had discussions with one promotor who is considering a high-end country act that requires a huge venue like this
4 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
pany, said of the covered outdoor arena. Graham said they are planning for 10,000-15,000 people to attend. The Border Bash, dubbed The Ultimate Tailgate Party, features the cheerleaders from both schools, as well as their mascots. Live music will be performed by Eve 6, Ashley McBryde and Black Dawg, with fireworks after. Border Bash proceeds help fund CSRA children’s charities and clubs. Tickets are available at cityspin.com.
for 20,000-25,000 people,” Graham said. “This offers a lot of things for promoters that you can’t find in Augusta.” Graham said bigger concerts and festivals desire additional activities, which the Hippodrome Complex can offer in the form of disc golf and table tennis facilities. He also envisions a tailgate area, and expects people attending concerts there to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets
for a casual entertainment experience. He plans to gather input from promoters, the Augusta Sports Council and community partners to see what the CSRA’s needs are as they formulate a master plan for the Hippodrome Complex. “This is an exciting time for North Augusta and Augusta,” Graham said.
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srpfcu.org September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
ment Council, and is in the College of Fellows of the International Asset Management Council.
TEDxAugusta Looking for Speakers
Calling all thinkers, doers and visionaries: Now in its fourth year, TEDxAugusta has announced a call for speakers for its next event on Feb. 3, 2018. TEDxAugusta’s 2018 theme is Venture – Dare to be Audacious, an inspiration for people in the community to venture out of their comfort zone by sharing stories and lessons from thought and action leaders. Anyone with an idea to share is eligible to apply. Past speakers at TEDxAugusta have included artists, musicians, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, techies, innovators, writers, reporters and politicians. Organizers will work with speakers to help them practice and rehearse prior to the event. For specific guidelines on how to be an effective TEDx speaker as well as videos of past TEDxAugusta talks, visit tedxaugusta.com. The online application is available at tedxaugusta.com/speakers. The call for speakers closes Oct. 11. TEDx is a program of local, selforganized events that bring people together and spark deep discussion and connection.
Sprouse Retiring at End of Year
Walter Sprouse, the executive director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, announced on Sept. 14 that he will be retiring from the Augusta
Development Authority OKs Record Amount of Bonds
The Development Authority of Richmond County approved $940 million worth of industrial revenue bonds and bond proposals on Sept 14. Officials said the bonds would help five major employers – including Doctors Hospital and FedEx – expand local operations. The bonds – which obligate the borrower, not the county or its taxpayers – are primarily used as economic development incentives to attract new industry and entice existing industry to expand. The largest of the five bond issues was $672.5 million for an existing industry identified only as “Project Beam.” Authority attorney Robert Hagler said the bond would fund the company’s multiyear expansion project, mainly equipment purchases. Two of the bond issues were for previously announced economic development projects: the $130 million addition of a coffee-roasting facility at Augusta’s Starbucks plant and the $100 million expansion of Doctors Hospital’s emergency room and main hospital buildings. The other two included a $30 million bond for International Paper to improve its wastewater systems and $8.5 million for a FedEx-affiliated developer to relocate the delivery company’s downtown distribution center to an industrial park near the intersection of Tobacco Road and Mike Padgett Highway. Authority Executive Director Walter Sprouse said the bonds’ dollar value represented a “record” amount for a single day. Economic Development Authority at the end of the year. Sprouse has served as the executive director of the Authority for the past 15 years. During that time, more than $3 billion in new investments and more than 15,000 new jobs were created under his leadership. Sprouse was named as one of the “Top 50 Economic Developers
6 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
in North America” in 2017. He was also named one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” by Georgia Trend magazine. He previously was named to the “Most Influential” list in 2008 and was named five times to the magazine’s Notable Georgians list. Sprouse is an honorary life member in the College of Fellows of the International Economic Develop-
Wier/Stewart Wins National Award
Augusta-based advertising agency Wier/Stewart has won a National Silver American Advertising Award for murals designed for Unisys’ call center downtown. The agency worked with local interior designer Tzara Harper of the Augusta architecture firm Cheatham Fletcher Scott and Unisys Transitions Director Raquel Rivera to create large-scale wall murals in the old Fort Discovery building. The designs are based on Unisys core principles and feature themes such as Laser Focus, Absolute Integrity, External Obsession and Best or Nothing. “A lot of times you’re just sitting at a desk on the phone,” Harper said. “That whole idea of going to work and having a residential feel – even a coffee house feel – is what people like.” The American Advertising Awards is the advertising industry’s largest competition, attracting more than 40,000 entries per year. After winning Gold American Advertising Awards at the local and district levels, Wein/Stewarts’ work advanced to a national competition in New Orleans on June 10, where it won a Silver Award. “It worked out wonderfully,” Harper said. “It’s a completely different world for Augusta.” Continues on Page 62
openings, closings and moves OPENINGS Dunkin’ Donuts
A new Dunkin’ Donuts will replace the Sonic at 500 Furys Ferry Rd that closed a few weeks ago, according to a representative from Jordan Trotter Realty, the firm that assisted Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee APS Real Estate Holdings in the deal. The building, which reportedly had electrical issues that were partially responsible for Sonic’s closure, will be renovated to house a 2,100-square-foot Dunkin Donuts set to open in the first quarter of 2018. Troy Jordan of Jordan Trotter said the remainder of the 3,500-square-foot space will become regional corporate offices for Dunkin’ Donuts, which currently has five locations in the CSRA. Construction is set to begin within the next two months. Lidl A new grocery store has officially opened – twice – in the CSRA. German company Lidl opened its first Georgia store Sept. 14 at 1096 Alexander Drive in Augusta. One week later, on Sept. 21, Lidl’s second CSRA location opened its doors at 417 East Martintown Road in North Augusta.
Metro Diner Metro Diner, an eatery offering classic comfort food, plans to open in mid-October. The restaurant, which has 39 locations around the country, is also looking to hire more than 100 people in the area to staff the new location. The restaurant will be located at 2820 Washington Road, in the former Somewhere in Augusta building. It will be managed by chef Jeff Freehof, former owner of Garlic Clove in Evans. Metro Diner first opened in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1992 and has won various awards for its food over the years. As the chain has expanded, it has remained known for its made-from-scratch dishes, unique recipes and imaginative twists on old classics.
Holiday Inn Express brings 84 more rooms to area
The new Holiday Inn Express off Exit 5 in North Augusta has opened, bringing 84 new rooms to an area that had only one hotel, a nearby Sleep Inn. The only other accommodation options for North Augusta visitors had been the smaller Rosemary Inn Bed and Breakfast and the Lookaway Inn, which have a combined 16 rooms. Instacart Grocery shopping got a little easier for Augustans. In fact, many of them won’t have to go to the store, now that online grocery delivery service Instacart (instacart.com) launched in the CSRA on Sept. 21. Instacart, which has become known around the country as “the Uber of grocery shopping,” serves shoppers through popular local stores including Publix, Costco, CVS and Petco. It will have a widespread delivery radius of 156,000 households in Augusta, North Augusta, Aiken, Aiken Heights, Balltown, Graniteville, Beech Island, Warrenville, Martinez, Evans, Grovetown and Belvedere. “Over the past year we’ve seen incredible demand in the Augusta area,” said Dave Osborne, senior regional director for Instacart. “We work with a variety of local retailers to provide the freshest, highest-quality groceries to our customers.” Since its 2012 launch, Instacart is now in more than 120 markets around the country. The arrival of Instacart in the CSRA will reportedly bring about 100 new jobs to the area.
The Holiday Inn Express General Manager, Carol Stewart, said the hotel is perfect for “people who want to stay near Augusta but not in the heavily-trafficked areas.” The hotel includes an outdoor pool, a full buffet-style breakfast and conference rooms. Located at 138 Stephens Farm Lane, the hotel is close to the heart of North Augusta and about 15 miles from Aiken.
Feel Good Food Two and a half weeks after Christian Schaumann bought a food truck from a friend, Feel Good Food, a new food truck selling “Comfort Food With a Twist,” is up and running at 1031 Richland Ave. W. in Aiken. Schaumann and his wife Molly, who have worked at restaurants for a combined 30 years, have wanted to start their own food business for a while, but the right opportunity hadn’t come along. When it finally did, the Schaumanns didn’t waste any time. “A friend had an amazing gourmet kitchen on wheels,” Shaumann said. The truck had previously belonged to the Wilcox Hotel in Aiken. Now it’s the home of the Schaumann family’s
comfort food business that includes everything from smoked pork belly to fried mac-and-cheese. “I’ve been in the restaurant business for 17 years, and my wife has been in it for 13 years,” Schaumann said. “With where I was in life, it was time to do something on my own.” Once the foodies behind Feel Good Food get into a rhythm, Schaumann hopes to turn the vacant building on the Richland Avenue lot into a beer and wine bar complete with ping pong, cornhole and entertainment for kids. Feel Good Food will be open Tuesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. until around 10 p.m. No word yet on where the food truck will appear in the CSRA outside of its Richland Avenue home base, but it will be making plenty of appearances at music festivals. Schaumann helps organize the annual May Aiken Bluegrass Festival, an event that will likely be full of locals in the mood for some Feel Good Food. “We have every intention of doing as many (East Coast) music festivals as we can,” Schaumann said. Continues on Page 63
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
New Shopping in Store for Evans
Phase II of Mullins Crossing Opening in October By Gary Kauffman
It’s taken a few extra years, but Phase II of Mullins Crossing in Evans is poised to open soon. Anchor store Belk is expected to open in mid-October. So far Belk is the only store officially announced for Phase II, although owner-developer Joe Mullins said there are commitments from other businesses. Those won’t be announced, though, until after Belk opens. “We made an agreement with Belk that we wouldn’t rob any of the limelight from them,” Mullins explained. Phase I of Mullins Crossing opened in 2006 and has been well-established with stores like Kohl’s and Target. Phase II was originally expected to begin in 2013 but Mullins decided to wait until Columbia County finished the River Watch Parkway extension to relieve some of the congestion on Washington Road. Clearing land for Phase II began in 2015 in conjunction with the road expansion, and construction of the buildings began this year. “That shopping center wouldn’t be there without the Columbia County Commissioners and the state working on that road,” he said. He added that placing a stoplight on Washington Road at the entrance to Phase II was also a key component. There is also a stoplight at the entrance to Phase I. Mullins, who along with his family owns the development, said landing Belk as the anchor store was an important part of the launch of Phase II. He said they approached Belk with the prospect of being the anchor. “We like their growth and stability,” he said. “They’ve made some really good moves. We showed them that Columbia County is one of the fastest growing areas of the state and courted them from there.” The demographics of Columbia County and Target’s success as an anchor in Phase I helped convince Belk to open the store. The only Belk currently in the area is in Martintown Plaza on Knox Avenue in North Augusta. But Belk has a long history in the Augusta area, first opening a store in downtown Augusta in 1934, and at one time operating three area stores. Belk had also been an anchor in the now-defunct Regency Mall, but closed that store in 1996. Mullins said after Belk was confirmed as the anchor store, he began receiving interest from other companies that will
Belk plans to open in mid-October as the anchor store for Phase II of Mullins Crossing. It will be the first Belk store on the Georgia side of the CSRA since 1996. Photo by Gary Kauffman
begin being announced after Belk opens. “They’re very high end,” he said. “It’s a good mix for Columbia County. We’re focusing more on boutiques and restaurants for this phase.” Exactly how many stores will wind up in Phase II is still a bit undecided and will depend on the needs of the businesses coming in. In addition to the mall area, there will also be ample space for buildings on the perimeter. Mullins is aware of the requests of many in the area for a nice sit-down restaurant and said, “Those are on the way.” He said the stores will complement rather than compete with those in Phase I. The two phases will be connected but it hasn’t been decided yet how that will happen. “But it’ll all flow together,” Mullins said. Aesthetics will play a big role in the construction of Phase II, including a courtyard atmosphere. The stores are constructed from stone and faux wood. “You’ll feel comfortable going from store to store,” he said. “We want to make it a destination where you can shop and eat.” Because the Mullins family will retain ownership of Phase II, they feel it is im-
8 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Work continues to finish other stores in Phase II of Mullins Crossing. More stores will be announced after the opening of Belk. Photo by Gary Kauffman
portant to bring in stores that will last and be good for the community. “We develop them with the intention that we’ll own them for many years to come, so we focus on making the right decisions,” he said. Both phases of Mullins Crossing are
built on the Mullins family farm and there is still land remaining. Once Phase II is completed, will there be a Phase III? “I can’t answer that one way or the other,” Mullins said. “But it is very early to be done with it. You’ll probably hear from us again.”
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September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
Making the Old New Why it makes sense to buy an existing business By Tim Dalton
In working with business buyers a question that often comes up is, “Why would I pay more to buy an existing business than to start a business of my own?” My response is, “Are you sure you would end up paying more?” When I say this, I am asking how a start-up business owner knows how much money they will need to survive, from the start-up phase to a steady state of business. Sure, everyone plans and budgets, but until you put your business in operation, everything is theoretical and operates on a best estimate. Most people are familiar with the statistics for start-up businesses: 90 percent of small-business start-ups don’t make it to the 5-year mark and 82 percent that fail do so because of cash flow problems, or lack of money. So, in the long run, does it really take less money to start a business? Being a business broker and assigned with the task of selling existing businesses makes me much more optimistic about established businesses and their continued success. I’ve found that 80 percent of existing businesses continue to be in operation five years after acquisition. Existing businesses have a track record of success. They have trained employees in place, the telephone is ringing with customers the day the new owner takes over, there are vendor and supplier relationships already in place, and the experienced seller is there for a training and transition period to help the new owner get on their feet. All these factors add up to continued success. In fact, most business sales result in increased revenues and profits of about 1015 percent over what the previous owner
was doing with the business. This is due to new enthusiasm and ideas implemented by the new owner. Another reason purchasing an existing business is beneficial is financing. Although financing the sale of an existing business still remains challenging, lenders, with the help of SBA loans, are more receptive to financing an existing business sale.
10 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Trying to get a start-up financed with a lender is nearly impossible unless you have some strong collateral outside of the business operations you are willing to pledge for the loan. I often tell a buyer that if a lender is willing to lend on a business purchase when they are coming to the table with the most amount of money, they have no say in planning and budgeting for the business, nor have any
daily oversight of operations, then it must be a fairly good opportunity. There are some things to look for in an existing business prior to purchase. Take a look at the track record. How long has the business been in operation? Have they been through a major economic downturn? How did they fare during that downturn? Have they had increased revenues and profits over the last 3-5 years? How stable is the workforce? Can the business be outdated by new technology? Do any customers make up more than 15 percent of sales? Is the business location-dependent, and how are the demographics around the business changing? There are a lot of factors to consider in buying an existing business, but the beauty is you have something to analyze with an existing business. With a start-up, there is no operational data for analysis. Lastly, the perfect business is not out there. At the end of the day, a business purchaser is going to have to assume some risk and maybe some headaches. All businesses have some sort of Achilles heel. Some businesses are challenged with finding good labor, others have tightening profit margins or increased competition. Others have trouble with accounts receivable and getting paid on time, but good business owners learn to be agile and adjust to market conditions. Business as a whole is challenging, but ask any successful small-business owner and they will tell you it is more rewarding than working for someone else. Most would not change their decision to be a business owner as a means to earn their living and provide for their family.
NEAT. Thank you, Augusta, for your support. As your trusted CPA and Advisor, cheers to the future!
ellioodavis.com September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
Head of the Class
Three Ways to Get Ahead in Anything You Do
By Mark Alison
Books – When I started my first company, one of the books I bought was How to Build a Small Advertising Agency and Run It at a Profit by Len Gross and John Sterling. The book was an experienced operator’s blueprint. The wise counsel in those pages helped me build a strong foundation that did not have to be re-created when the company grew. I still have the book with all of its underlines and marginal notes. Our first political campaign opportunity came and I had no idea what to do. I discovered a book about grass-root political campaigns. We ran the campaign according to the book and our newbie won over an incumbent for the first time in 20 years! There was powerful information in that book. The education I received from books continued: Among the topics are strategic planning, surveys and research, public speaking, public relations and even a book called What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School. Now, of course, there is the internet, with so much material available at a mouse click (but I still buy books because I can underline in them). The bottom line is there is a book or online training about everything. Use other people’s experience to catapult you ahead. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Education and Seminars – Choose seminars wisely. Some training is cleverly designed to sell to you, more than train you, and on and on it goes. But seminars can be motivating moments in your business and personal career. I recall meeting with John Maxwell at a leadership seminar in Atlanta, early in his career. Only a handful of people turned up at the hotel venue, so we took a small side room and John worked one-on-one with each of us, giving us – giving me – his leadership secrets. I highly valued that opportunity and put his words into action. Since then, I have been to many seminars, both large and small. The secret to learning from a seminar is, as Tony Robbins puts it, “Play full out.” In other words, you’ll get as much out as you put in. Online and classroom training are available on every subject imaginable. Just to stimulate your imagination, step out of your comfort zone and take a short class in something crazy. The people you meet are just as interesting as the topic. I still
The bottom line is there is a book or online training about everything. Use other people’s experience to catapult you ahead. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. go to seminars and classes today. Want to stay relevant? Never stop learning.
Mentors – As I was getting started in business, I looked for someone to advise me. Reading a trade magazine, I found the most successful person closest to me (I didn’t have a lot of money for travel). Alf Nucifora, considered by many to be a new leader in our field, was in Atlanta. So I called him, asked for half hour of his time, made a list of questions and drove to his office. He gave me more than an hour and the time was golden. I’ve met Alf since then and thanked
12 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
him for the advice. Don’t be afraid to ask the best for their input. When you get the opportunity, listen more and talk less. At one business seminar I met a guy who steered me toward a peer group that was perfect for my business. After an extended interview, they chose to mentor me. I was ecstatic. My business saw profit margins double in a short time, far shorter than if I had done it on my own. These mentors were from all across the country and ranged in age. We met twice a year in person but they were always available if needed. It was top-to-bottom scrutiny from my P&L to simple operational procedures. As time progressed, I became one of
them and was able to mentor new invitees who were once like me. I adopted a phrase early in life – “You don’t know what you don’t know.” I don’t know who originated that phrase but I do know what the implications are. Seek, ask, find. There are people who have been where you are who are willing to share their knowledge and experience. Find the best ones and take what you can use from them. Life is a learning experience.
Mark Alison, the Business Accelerator, is an independent marketing counselor. He is an entrepreneur with a journalism degree specializing in marketing and public relations. Contact him at Mark9226@me.com.
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September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
UPCOMING BUSINESS EVENTS Monday, Oct. 2 How to Change Your World and Your Life in 7 Days, Savannah Rapids Pavilion, Martinez. The start of a seven-week training program to change your mindset, grow your business, set goals, prospect for new business and develop daily habits for success. For more information, visit northaugustachamber.org. Industry Appreciation Golf Tournament, 8:30 a.m., Woodside Plantation Country Club, Aiken. $125 per person. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.
$200 per golfer, space permitting. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.
Tuesday, Oct. 17 North Augusta Growthfest 2017, 3 p.m., North Augusta Municipal Building, 100 Georgia Ave., North Augusta. An expanded business expo and networking event. For more information, visit northaugustachamber.org.
Wednesday, Oct. 18
Principal for a Day, 7:30 a.m., various locations. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.
QuickBooks Desktop 2017 Accounting Software Training, 9 a.m., Elliott Davis Decosimo, One 10th St., Augusta. $95, includes lunch. Small group settings to learn about QuickBooks Desktop. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.
Friday, Oct. 6
Thursday, Oct. 19
Thursday, Oct. 5
First Friday Means Business, 7:30 a.m., 117 Newberry St. NW, Aiken. Informative breakfast meeting with a keynote speaker. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.
Tuesday, Oct. 10 Chamber After Hours, 5 p.m., Kendrick Paint & Body, 4180 Wheeler Road, Martinez. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com. Chamber Candidates Forum, 6 p.m., Harlem Library. An opportunity to hear from candidates for city council in Harlem and Grovetown, and for mayor in Harlem. Open to the public. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.
Saturday, Oct. 14 Aiken Young Professionals Trucks & Tunes, 2 p.m., Gyles Park, Park Ave., Aiken. A festival celebrating the 10th anniversary of AYP. A music festival with food trucks that extends until 10 p.m. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.
Monday, Oct. 16 13th Annual Golf Tournament, 8:30 a.m., West Lake Country Club.
Business to Business Expo, 8 a.m., Savannah Rapids Pavilion, Evans. A full day of speakers on topics of interest to businesses, and booths displaying products and services from 40+ local businesses. For more information, visit buzzon.biz or contact Jessica Jones at 762-218-0239. Third Thursday Business Builder, 11:30 a.m., Augusta Metro Chamber, 1 Tenth St., Augusta. Topic and speaker to be announced. Registration deadline is Sept. 18. For more information, visit augustametrochamber.com. Women in Business Signature Event, 6 p.m., Augusta Marriott Hotel, Two Tenth St., Augusta. “Dare to Be…” An evening with Becky Blalock, bestselling author of DARE: Straight Talk on Confidence, Courage and Career for Women in Charge, and former senior vice president and CIO for Southern Company. For more information, visit augustametrochamber.com.
Friday, Oct. 20 Good Morning, North Augusta, Palmetto Terrace, North Augusta Municipal Complex, 100 Georgia Ave., North Augusta. “Social Media Security: Balancing Security, Addiction & Communication,” presented by Jeremy Mace, CEO, NewFire
14 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Ribbons Cuttings Scheduled Sept. 29: Midwest Maintenance, 11 a.m., 4013 Enterprise Court, Augusta Oct. 2: Still Waters Professional Counseling, 10 a.m., 3711 Executive Center Drive, Augusta Oct. 2: Augusta Smile Care, noon, 4200 Columbia Road, Suite D, Martinez Oct. 4: Crawford Creek/Meybohm Realtors, 10:30 a.m., 1608 Davenport Drive, Evans Oct. 5: Mount Vintage, 3 p.m., 375 Mount Vintage Plantation Drive, North Augusta Oct. 6: Elite Bar & Grill, 5 p.m., 401 W. Martintown Road, Suite 157, North Augusta Oct. 11: Belk, 9 a.m., 4263 Washington Road (Mullins Crossing), Evans Oct. 12: Space Yoga Studio, 4 p.m., 1502 Monte Sano Ave., Augusta Oct. 13: Frails & Wilson, Attorneys, 11 a.m., 5170 Wrightsboro Road, Suite B, Grovetown Oct. 17: Metro Diner, 11 a.m., 2820 Washington Road, Augusta Oct. 17: Hillary Odom Photography, 5 p.m., 3 Mayfield Court, North Augusta Oct. 19: Kumon Math and Reading, 4 p.m., 500 Furys Ferry (Bi-Lo Shopping Center), Martinez Oct. 26: Weinberger’s Furniture, 4 p.m., 3021 River Watch Pkwy., Augusta
Catch the Buzz! Get more on events and follow business and economic news across the CSRA at buzzon.biz. Media. For more information, visit northaugustachamber.org. Ladies Night Out, 5 p.m., Downtown Harlem. Includes shopping and dinner at Red Oak and a free concert. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.
Monday, Oct. 23 Jefferson Energy Charity Golf Classic, 7 a.m., Bartram Trail Golf Club, Evans. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.
Tuesday, Oct. 24 Chamber Before Hours, 7:45 a.m., Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Blvd., Evans. Networking for members and community leaders. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.
Wednesday, Oct. 25 Women in Business – Networking Like a Pro, 11:30 a.m., 117 Newberry St. NW, Aiken. “Never
Feel Awkward Again,” presented by Eleanor Togneri. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.
Thursday, Oct. 26 Networking for Leads, 3 p.m., Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Blvd., Evans. An environment for meaningful business relationships to give leads and create mutually beneficial relationships. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com. Business After Hours, 5 p.m., Cold Creek Nurseries, 398 Hitchcock Pkwy., Aiken. An opportunity for businesses to present themselves to the business community. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.
Friday, Oct. 27 1st Annual Clays for Commerce, 8 a.m., Palmetto Shooting Complex, 535 Gary Hill Road, Edgefield. For more information, visit northaugustachamber.org. Murder and Mocktails Mystery Night, 7 p.m., Julian Smith Casino, 2200 Broad St., Augusta. Take part in solving a murder mystery in a 1930s speakeasy, plus a bake-off See EVENTS on Page 15
AUGUSTA’S INNOVATION NEWS
Continued from Page 14
competition. A night of shows, games, music, dancing, food and non-alcoholic drinks. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.
AppVizo, LLC Thane Plummer PRESIDENT
1. What is the business and when and where did you found it? AppVizo LLC was formed in Augusta, Georgia, on January 1st, 2013, as a software development company. I’ve been writing software for over forty years, and it’s something I am passionate about, so it was the obvious thing to do. It’s my opinion that you should strive to get paid for doing something you love, so that was the motivation. 2. What were you like in school? When I got to college I couldn’t decide on a major, so for two years I just took all the classes that sounded interesting and were something I wanted to learn. After two years I took a look at all the majors to figure out which one I could complete with the classes I’d taken, and it turns out it was Bioengineering. So that’s how I got my undergraduate degree. 3. How did you fund the business? AppVizo has been self-funded from the start, and our goal is to market and sell the software we’ve created. We have a few customers, and are now focusing more on sales and marketing. 4. How did you choose who to hire? To help with the workload I hired a few interns from Augusta State University. Eli and Jeremy would come to my house to program, so that changed the work environment somewhat. We all liked to listen to music while working, but finding a compromise of something we could all work to was pretty amusing. 5. How has your idea progressed over time? I have a doctorate in Neurobiology and am familiar with the business of scientific research, so we were in a good position to provide solutions to researchers at the Medical College of Georgia (now Augusta University). Although we still have a few smaller scientific/research related projects, our focus has changed to more enterprise-level projects with higher complexity that require more resources to complete. I formed AppVizo with Chris and Elizabeth Campbell, and our original goal was to create apps for the iPhone. We wrote an app and showed it to a company who
I was certain would want it. No interest. None. However, they did need other software, so this was AppVizo’s first official project. The product we created, IQAutoScan, was recently sold to another bank software vendor in Austin, and we’re pretty jazzed about that. As a business owner, you are constantly learning; learning from others, from books and online resources, and especially from your own experiences. Early on we took on a lot of projects without much regard to the complexity of the situation. These were fun because I viewed them as challenges, but now it’s very different. Even with more experience and a great team to work with, I’ve learned to be cautious about taking on these kinds of projects. An important lesson for me was (and still is!) the process of managing expectations. 6. Who are your main competitors? Our competitor’s approach is to create a massive website that someone has to learn to navigate, and have hundreds of web forms that need to be filled out in order to meet compliance regulations. Our approach is very different. We try to leverage existing technology whenever possible, so our solution has what we call “Smart Document technology” that greatly simplifies things by allowing users to work with technology they already know. We plan to use this technology in more fields, such as OSHA compliance, and continue to grow and expand the business. 7. Best piece of advice? To succeed in business, you have to surround yourself with people who are good at things you aren’t. Luckily for me, I have business partners that are really talented in what they do, and they do a better job than I ever could. Chris is tremendously talented in design, and he’s also a really good programmer, so his contribution is essential to our success. In fact, this is true for all my business partners: each one has a skill that I do not, and this makes the team and business stronger as a result. 8. What is next for your business? We’ve been working for several years on a product called Aztech, that helps universities reduce the amount of time and resources required to run compliance departments.
THANE PLUMMER 9. How has working out of theClubhou.se benefitted your company? We’re fortunate to have a good community here in Augusta for programming and technology. We’ve been members of theClubhou.se since the beginning, and enjoy participating in events and staying in touch with the tech community. One particular guest speaker at theClubhou. se had a business model very much like ours. Talking with him one-on-one was a tremendous benefit, and helped both with guidance and reinforcing our business goals and plans. AppVizo is a great business; it’s fun and challenging, and right now there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.
WANT TO BECOME A MEMBER? VISIT www.theclubhou.se Would you like to schedule a tour? STOP BY 540 Telfair St. Augusta, GA EMAIL email@example.com
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
The Golden Rule
Common Sense Goes a Long Way in Treatment of Others offer of employment. Now if you’ve ever been around a welding shop or in a shipyard, it is hard to imagine why a welder could not do his job wearing hearing aids. The EEOC got involved in both cases. The medical center agreed to settle for $100,000. The shipyard case is still in litigation, but there’s not much question in my mind about how that will come out. Representing employers, I deal with discrimination and harassment claims on a regular basis. We spend a lot of time in strategy and defense but fundamentally the issue generally comes down to, “Did you treat this person as you would want to be treated?”
By Ed Enoch
When I speak to groups of smallbusiness owners, I can tell we are on new ground by the look in their eyes, especially when I start talking about compliance with federal laws dealing with employees. Which is why I constantly stress how important it is to consult with professionals – attorneys, HR professionals, accountants – all of whom can help make sure you comply with these laws. However, I’m frequently dumbfounded by how far out of the way some employers go to get themselves in trouble with their employees. While technical compliance with the law can be difficult, usually you will arrive at the same answer by simply applying a very old law – the Golden Rule. Remember that one? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I expect you heard it from your parents or Sunday school teachers all during your growing-up years. As I read and listen to stories of how managers have dealt with employees, it seems many of them did not learn this rule. In fact, sometimes they go out of their way to make life difficult for someone for no reason. Two examples came across my desk this week. The first was a medical center that
terminated a 36-year employee after she broke her shoulder and asked to be returned to work on light duty. There was a light-duty job available, but the medical center chose to terminate her instead of either placing her in that job or entering into any kind of discussion about how she might be integrated back into the workforce. The other example was a shipyard that made a provisional offer of employment
to an experienced welder. The offer of employment was contingent on him passing the company physical. Part of that physical was a hearing test. The prospective employee informed the employer he wore hearing aids and asked to be tested with his hearing aids in place. The employer refused and forced the employee to take the hearing test without his hearing aids. Consequently, he failed the test and the employer rescinded his
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@ enochlaw.com.
Don’t Fall for Fraudulent Charity Scams for Storm Relief By Christine Hall
While the IRS, state tax agencies and numerous people in the tax and accounting industry are working together to warn tax professionals and their clients about phishing scams, the scams are still all too common. Here’s what you need to know about one of the most recent: Fake charities that take advantage of people’s generosity during times of natural disasters. Fake Charity Scams Relating to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma With Texas, Florida and southern Georgia still reeling from the devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many people are wondering how they can help. One of the best ways to do this is by donating to a charity that helps victims affected by natural disasters. Unfortunately, due to the prevalence of tax scams, taxpayers need to make sure the organization they donate to is not a fake charity set up by unscrupulous criminals looking to make a fast buck or get
people’s personal information. These types of fraudulent schemes usually involve contact by telephone, social media, email or in-person solicitations. Criminals typically send emails that steer recipients to bogus websites that appear to be affiliated with legitimate charitable causes. These sites frequently mimic the sites of, or use names similar to, legitimate charities, or claim to be affiliated with legitimate charities in order to persuade people to send money or provide personal financial information that can be used to steal identities or financial resources. Follow these tips if you want to make a disaster-related charitable donation but avoid falling victim to scam artists: • Donate to recognized charities. IRS. gov has the tools people need to quickly and easily check the status of charitable organizations. • Be wary of charities with names that are similar to familiar or nationally known organizations. Some phony charities use
16 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
names or websites that sound or look like those of respected, legitimate organizations. The IRS website at IRS.gov has a search feature, “Exempt Organizations Select Check,” which people can use to find qualified charities; donations to these charities may be tax-deductible. • Don’t give out personal financial information, such as Social Security numbers or credit card and bank account numbers and passwords, to anyone who solicits a contribution. Scam artists may use this information to steal a donor’s identity and money. • Never give or send cash. For security and tax record purposes, contribute by check or credit card or another way that provides documentation of the donation. • Consult IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, available on IRS.gov. This free booklet describes the tax rules that apply to making legitimate tax-deductible donations. Among other things, it provides complete details on what re-
cords to keep. Taxpayers suspecting fraud by email should visit IRS.gov and search for the keywords “Report Phishing.” More information about tax scams and schemes may be found at IRS.gov using the keywords “scams and schemes.” Details on available relief can be found on the disaster relief page on IRS.gov.
\sigsChristine 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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September 29-October 26, 2017 Buzz on Biz
Headshots for Houston Local Photographers Stage Benefit for Colleagues Hurt by Hurricane By Witt Wells
Help for victims of Hurricane Harvey has come in a variety of forms, from clothing to blood donations. In the photography world, it’s coming in the form of headshots. Headshots for Houston. It all started with Georgia-based photographer Tracy Bosworth Page, who grew up in Aiken. Page had just organized an event in Orlando to benefit Professional Photographers of America partner charities there when Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston. “It dawned on me that I should be doing something in Houston,” Page said. Page launched Headshots for Houston with Orlando-based organizations Brevard Talent Group and 22 Talent, and the initiative quickly gained traction on Facebook. Photographers around the country started coming out of the woodwork, Page said. Her counterparts in Atlanta, Ohio and even the West Coast wanted in. “It just blew up,” Page said. As Page sought help in what was becoming an ambitious project, she reached out to a close friend and colleague: North Augusta-based photographer Sally Kolar, another certified PPA photographer. Kolar, who specializes in portraits and wedding photography, jumped in. The two Georgia-based photographers launched events in three cities where they do much of their work: Augusta, Orlando and Atlanta, scheduled for Sept. 25, Sept. 30 and Oct. 17, respectively. Each one would be an opportunity for people living in and around those cities to get heavily discounted headshots done by some of the most talented professionals in the business. All of the proceeds would go to Houston photographers who were struggling to keep their heads above water. “Everybody’s been praying for Francie,” Kolar said. “We’re just helping in this small, little way.” Francie is photographer Francie Stonestreet, who was fortunate that Hurricane Harvey didn’t do any damage to her house. Her neighborhood in Kingwood, a suburban community 28 miles northeast of the center of Houston, was hit hard by the storm and subsequent flooding of local rivers and lakes. Residents in the area are still recovering from the massive amount of destruction done by 50 inches of rain in the Houston metro area in the span of a few days. But Stonestreet’s house was one of a
Local Business Aids Victims of Two Storms Fred Daitch, owner of International Uniform in downtown Augusta, has been active in helping provide for victims of two hurricanes. After Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area, Daitch sent cases of medical scrubs and uniforms to Texas. In all, he provided about 4,800 pieces of apparel, worth about $95,000. But he didn’t stop there. When Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys and south Florida, he sprang into action again, setting up a collection point for medical scrubs, blankets and nonperishable food to send to that area.
North Augusta photographer Sally Kolar is spearheading an effort to provide funds for fellow photographers in Houston who were affected by Hurricane Harvey. Photo contributed.
few in the immediate area that were untouched. She describes it as a small island of houses on dry land. Still, an unfathomable amount of ruin was right at her doorstep. Stonestreet has mainly focused on making sure she gives as much help to the Kingwood community as possible. Stonestreet says she’s primarily been in a mindset of “How can I put my hands and my back to good work?” But there’s another community for whom Stonestreet’s heart is heavy: her fellow photographers. She knows around 10 photographers in the Houston area whose homes and studios are flooded. “Once stuff is filled with river water, it’s not salvageable,” Stonestreet said.
18 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Not only is photography highly susceptible to damage beyond repair in that kind of situation, but it’s not a priority, even for photographers. “Photography is a luxury,” Stonestreet said. “As small-business people, we are going to, in the next couple years, struggle. People will need to spend money on their homes.” Stonestreet, who runs her own photography company called FireHeart and specializes in wedding and portrait photography, has already had three weddings canceled that she planned to shoot during the remainder of this year. Ailene Harding, president of the PPA’s Guild of Houston, has seen several of the guild’s 200 members in Houston face similar struggles.
“Whether you’re a portrait photographer, commercial shooter … all of those businesses, all of those clients are going to be gone in the next year,” Harding said. That’s where Headshots for Houston comes in. Page joined Kolar for the first event on Sept. 25. Kolar also received help that day from Augusta photographers Melissa Gordon, Chuck Odom, Brad Budd and Laura Morris. “We’re hoping to raise $10,000$20,000 (among all three events), and that would make $30,000-$40,000 that would go down (to Houston) to help them,” Kolar said. That’s because the PPA has agreed to match whatever Headshots for Houston is able to raise, up to $100,000. That could make a real impact, Page said. Stonestreet, Harding, Page and Kolar all say that the PPA is a community that looks out for each other, even if there are 30,000 of them. Headshots for Houston is just one example of that. “We just have a terrific membership,” Harding said. “My fellow guild members, those who aren’t in our guild, we’re all in the same boat.”
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
Crossing Over Health of Marriage Affects Worker Performance By Gary Kauffman
MAU Workforce Solutions of Augusta has this motto on its website: “MAU makes lives better by delivering workforce solutions globally.” But for President Randy Hatcher, making lives better transcends a mere job. “Any company can give you a job,” he said. “Our promise on top of that is we want to make every part of your life better, not just your job. And part of making life better is helping your marriage be better.” Hearing a company talk about marriage seems a little odd, since traditionally home and work have operated as two separate spheres. But frequently, companies are finding that there really is no separation. Marriage and Work Performance According to several research studies, marital problems negatively impact work performance. The stress from marital and family issues can produce illnesses that cause workers to lose time at work – in fact, in the year after a divorce, the average worker misses 168 hours on the job. Even when they do show up for work, the stress of marital issues causes loss of focus and productivity, a condition known as “presenteeism.” One estimate shows corporate America loses $6 billion annually as a direct or indirect result of marital issues. “A lot of things can distract you at work,” Hatcher said. “Marriage and family are the two biggest ones.” Conversely, a healthy marriage can boost productivity because employees are healthier and happier. They have fewer days absent, stay with a company longer, advance further in their careers and are considered more dependable. “Our marriage and family relationships, along with our faith, represent the single greatest factor that will impact a person either positively or negatively,” said Dave Willis, a pastor at Steven’s Creek Church in Augusta. He and his wife, Ashley, are founders of StrongerMarriages.com and the authors of several books on marriage. Willis added, “If things are unhealthy at home, every other part of life and work will struggle. If things are thriving at home, other parts of life will thrive as a result. It’s impossible to overemphasize how important and how influential our family relationships are to every aspect of life.” Strengthening Employees’ Marriages Hatcher realized the importance of
A few resources that employers can use to build stronger marriages for their employees – and for themselves. Family Life Weekend to Remember Conferences: familylifeministries.org/ weekend-to-remember Winshape Marriage Retreats: marriage.winshape.org Marketplace Chaplains: mchapusa.com Video Workshops and Podcasts: strongermarriages.com Online Marriage Course: thecouragecourses.com/p/109320
The difference between a distracted, unproductive employee and a happy, productive worker may depend on the health of their marriage and home life.
that early in his married life when he and his wife and young children attended a family conference in North Carolina sponsored by the Christian Businessman’s Committee. They attended the annual weeklong conference for 15 years. “That’s where I first saw the benefit of it,” Hatcher said. “I saw the impact in my own life.” He began a multi-pronged approach to helping his employees strengthen their marriages: Family Life’s Weekend to Remember, Marketplace Chaplains and MAU’s own TrustBuilding. Weekend to Remember events are held throughout the country on most week-
20 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
ends of the year (including one in Augusta Oct. 6-8). The event, which runs from Friday night through Sunday morning, offers a variety of strategies through both speakers and activities for couples to strengthen their marriages. MAU pays for the registration and hotel room for a certain number of employees to attend these events each year. This year the company also sent two clients. Brittany McDaniel, an associate recruiter at MAU, and her husband, Ross, have attended two Weekend to Remember events. She found it to have practical benefits in her marriage and beyond. “They show you good communication
skills, and a lot of conflicts in marriage are from poor communication,” she said. “It not only helps the marriage at home but also helps the attitude in how you show up to work every day. And it can translate into the work place with better communication skills.” Marketplace Chaplains is a global organization that offers personal care for employees. A male and female chaplain visit MAU weekly to touch base with employees and offer confidential counseling for any of them. Employees also receive a phone app with contact numbers for Marketplace Chaplains that can be accessed 24/7. TrustBuilding, MAU’s own creation, is a six-month course that teaches employees how to be trustworthy. “If they’re more trustworthy they’ll be a better mother, a better father, a better spouse and a better employee,” Hatcher said. “It affects every dimension of life.” Hatcher said MAU employees have experienced healthier relationships as a result of those efforts. “We don’t hear all the stories, but the stories we do hear are powerful,” he said. Both the Weekend to Remember conferences and Marketplace Chaplains are also available for an employee’s spouse. “If we help the employee’s spouse, we’ve helped the employee, too,” Hatcher said. “And if we’re keeping parents informed how to raise good children, that’s pretty directly helping that marriage relationship.” See MARRIAGE on Page 21
Don’t Wait for Relationship Breakdown Before Seeking Help “ You can’t expect people to do well in their business if they’ve got problems at home.”—Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A.
By Gary Kaufman
I was failing in my job, and I was being called out on it. That’s never a pleasant experience, especially when you’re a sole proprietor and a big chunk of your income is resting on the job. This happened about 15 years ago, when I was coordinating a major expo for furniture manufacturers. It involved working with 60 vendor exhibits and hundreds of representatives from furniture stores around the country. It was a big task in the best of times, but it was even more difficult that year because my brain often wandered elsewhere. The slack in my performance was noticed by several of the furniture manufactures I represented, and they were concerned about whether they were getting the performance from me that they were paying for. The reason I struggled had nothing to do with how I felt about the job or that I was incapable of doing it or that I was lazy. The fact was, my brain had fixated on something else – my struggling marriage. At the time, my wife was in the throes of a mental illness that would
eventually claim her life. The cause was undiagnosed, so we had no way to treat it. The results were a marriage and family life that felt like walking through an unmapped field of landmines. Try as I might to concentrate on my work tasks, my mind was frequently on my home situation. I don’t relate this tale for sympathy but to illustrate the overwhelming effect a person’s marriage relationship can have on work performance. “When someone is struggling in a marriage, no matter how hard they might try to compartmentalize those issues and not let home life affect work life, it always bleeds over,” said Dave Willis, pastor at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta. He and his wife, Ashley, are founders of StrongerMarriages.com and the authors of several books on marriage. As much as we try to separate home life from work life, the fact is that as humans we are whole persons. One will always influence the other. Willis added, “The emotional exhaustion that is created from strife in a marriage is impossible to compartmentalize or contain.” Exactly. Emotional exhaustion was a great description of how I felt back then. A lot has been written and talked about recently on the subject of work
balance. The theme is to not let stresses from work bleed over into family life. But not a lot has been said yet about the current traveling the other way – how home stresses can affect work life. Some companies are starting to take notice, like MAU Workforce Solutions here in Augusta (see story on page 20). But it is also critical – often more so – for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs to take it seriously. Studies show that marital stress causes businesses to lose lots of money in absenteeism, and in lost productivity even when distracted workers show up for work. When you are relying on yourself and you’re losing productivity, as I was, then you’re in danger of losing everything. Or, if you have several employees in your small business, you can ill afford to have one of them suddenly experience decreased productivity. There are several good marriagestrengthening resources to help yourself or your employees (see box on page 20). These are also good preventive medicine – they help take good marriages and make them even stronger. Investing in a good marriage is far less costly than trying to repair a broken one later, along with all the business problems that could result from it. But even beyond a weekend con-
ference, there are some simple things couples can do to strengthen marriages. One is simply praying before heading off to work, something my wife and I do every morning. It helps us experience a moment of togetherness where we commit the day to God. It helps us be aware of the struggles each other may be facing that day. And it helps us display gratitude for all the good things we have. Dave Willis also advises couples to become each other’s biggest encouragers. “Become a cheerleader for your spouse’s strengths instead of simply an expert in their weaknesses,” he said. “The tone of your words will shape the tone of your relationship.” And the tone of your relationship will set the tone of 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-341-5830.
Marriage Continued from Page 21 Return on Investment All of this comes at a substantial cost to MAU but Hatcher sees a return on the investment that may not always directly show up on the bottom line. “People come to work for us because our people like the way we treat them,” he said. That cuts down on recruiting costs, and has resulted in long-term retention. Some of MAU’s employees have been there for more than 20 years, and many others for a decade or more. And that creates strong bonds with clients that produce longlasting business relationships. “Some of our client relationships go back to the 1970s and I like to think that’s
because of our employees,” Hatcher said. Investing in marriage strategies makes sense for businesses. Dave Willis points to Chick-fil-A, legendary for having both happy employees and loyal customers. “Wise business owners will realize that any investment into the health of their employees’ marriages and families will pay off huge dividends for their company as a whole,” Willis said. “Chick-fil-A has one of the healthiest and most profitable staff cultures on earth and they invest millions of dollars annually to provide marriage enrichment for their employees through their Winshape Center and other opportunities as well.” Research shows return on investment
on money spent in relationship wellness to be $1.50-6.50 for each dollar spent. An Ounce of Prevention It is important to note, though, that many faith-based marriage conferences, like Weekend to Remember and Winshape’s marriage retreats, are not just to fix broken marriages. They are geared toward taking good marriages and making them even stronger. A marriage conference often can be equated with preventive medicine, like health and wellness programs many companies put into place for physical health. People who invest in strong marriages, especially early in life, often find that the cost was minimal compared to what they
gained in return. “When you reach the end of your life, your faith and your family will be all that really matters to you,” Willis said. “Please don’t wait until then to make them a priority! Love your family more than you love your career, money or hobbies. That other stuff can’t love you back. When you put your family first you’ll be truly rich regardless of how much money you have in your bank account.” Hatcher believes he is following a longstanding heavenly strategy when he emphasizes marriage. “The original union of man and woman is something God is very interested in,” he said, “and we are too.”
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
Businessperson of the Month
The Butler Did It: Butler Helps Area Drivers Keep Moving By Gary Kauffman
Eddie Butler had no desire to be a mechanic when he joined his father’s business, Butler Automotive, in 1985 and that has been fortuitous for the business. Butler, now the owner, began working on the business side of things at a time when computers first began appearing in cars. He’d received some basic computer knowledge in college and began learning more about car computers when others in the auto repair business shied away from it. “I was of an age and mindset to not be fearful of that technology, so I embraced it,” Butler said. “That put us on a good track that built our business over the years.” Butler Automotive has been a part of Augusta since 1976 when Butler’s father, Bill, opened his business in a small concrete-block building where the sculpture garden is now located on Reynolds Street, diagonally across the street from Mellow Mushroom’s current location. In 1985 the business moved to 1401 Reynolds St. Ten years later it opened a second location in Martinez, and subsequently added locations on Wrightsboro Road and in Evans. They are currently looking to expand to a fifth location. Expansion wasn’t the goal when Bill Butler first opened the business. “It’s not that he would have objected to being big, but when you’re starting out risking everything and you’ve got a family to support, the goal is survival,” Butler said. Butler worked for his father in middle and high school and then went to college to study economics. His return to the business was not part of his plan but was a mutual decision he and his father made. “It was necessitated by my performance in college,” he said. “He needed help on the business side and he knew I needed some direction.” Still, it met Butler’s goal of going into business and into politics. Soon after becoming part of the business, he also was elected to the Aiken County Commissioners, a role he held for more than 20 years. Although he is now the owner of four stores, Butler can often be found behind the service counter of the downtown store, greeting customers when they enter. “Sometimes I have a hard time moving from the service counter to running the business,” Butler admitted. “I like the day-to-day problem-solving here.” Butler said the company has ridden several tailwinds that led to continued growth – a strong local economy, steady
Eddie Butler Butler Automotive growth in population and people keeping cars longer. “But the real unforeseen thing was the level of creature comforts that were introduced into automobiles,” he said. “We thought we’d become the Maytag repairmen of the auto industry. What kept that from happening was all the creature comforts.” Things like back-up cameras, electric seats, dual climate controls and sensors on everything have led to an increased need for repair work. “There’s never a day that we don’t work on a tire sensor,” Butler said. Better quality in cars has also been a boon. When Butler started helping his dad in the 1970s, a car reaching 100,000 miles was near the end of its life, and it was rare to work on a car more than 12 years old. Today, Butler Automotive’s sweet spot is cars in the 7- to 15-year-old range. Cars may not even need major maintenance before 100,000 miles. “Cars today are so much better,” Butler said. “There’s never a day that we don’t have a car in here with 250,000 or 300,000 miles.” People have appreciated the service they’ve received at Butler. A few customers have been around for 40 years, and many others return year after year. But even people who don’t use their service are probably aware of the business, thanks to a clever advertising campaign. A gloved hand holding a platter has been Butler Automotive’s logo since 1988, playing off Butler’s last name as a symbol of quality and convenience. “There are only a few things you can market – price, quality and convenience,” Butler said. “We wanted to focus on quality and convenience.” Later, the symbolism expanded to include a man in a butler’s uniform appearing to help people in everyday emergency situations. “We wanted to emphasize that we’re here to help and we’re mobile,” Butler said. What are you passionate about in your business? Service – how do we personalize it and how do we make it painless? We know the most common failure on a car is the battery. Nowadays we have a boost box so there’s no need to call a tow truck. The customer just wants to get moving. We
22 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
have a truck equipped with a boost box, gas cans, air tanks. It’s how quickly we can get it done and how long will the customer be stranded. There’s a fast food restaurant in town that not only has a drivethrough but on Saturday mornings has teams of employees in the drive-through taking orders electronically. That’s service. The word entrepreneur is overused and misused as an adjective. In my mind, an entrepreneur is someone who can find a better way to deliver a service. So we pick up and deliver a lot of cars, we install batteries onsite, we put on tires onsite. It’s how we differentiate ourselves from our competitors and create value. What did you learn from your father about business? Financially, he made sure I had a strong background. We paid for everything as we could and took on very little debt. It’s hard to go out of business if you don’t owe anybody anything. What are some of the frustrations and joys about owning a business? On the positive side, you meet a lot of interesting people. This town and our customers have be extraordinarily good to us. On the other side, as you’re building a business, getting all the pieces together can be frustrating when you can’t figure it out. But those frustrations are usually solved by looking in a mirror. If I want to see the source of my frustration, I just need a good mirror. What makes you laugh? People, especially my family. We’re a
pretty close-knit family and we have a lot of fun together. And the people I work with. Many have been dedicated employees here 20-plus years. You get to know those people beyond the working level – and they get to know you. But I can be a bit too intense. One of my shortfalls is that sometimes I can’t take my foot off the accelerator and laugh. It used to be that when I came home, my wife would ask, “Is this Work Eddie?” and then make me step outside until I could get into another persona. How do you give back to the community? I teach a class at North Augusta High School called Real World 101. I’ve done that for about 15 years. We give to North Augusta football, North Augusta 2000, the Humane Society, Symphony of Augusta, a high school in Columbia County; we’ve been pretty generous in a lot of things. We have stacks of coupons for free oil changes for when a civic organization has a raffle or silent auction. What does the future hold for you and your business? A business is either growing or its backing up; it’s hard to stand still. So we still want to grow. I need to evolve and change my role over time as owner, which is easier said than done. I have a Type A personality, so I don’t see myself retired on a golf course. I enjoy a schedule, a regimen, and I’d be lost without one. So I plan to be here for the foreseeable future.
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September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
Back to the Drawing Board
Court Orders EEOC to Reconsider Wellness Program Rules By Russell Head
While there are many benefits that can be achieved through a workplace wellness program, there are also potential legal issues related to employersponsored wellness plans that employers should be aware of. Wellness programs must be carefully structured to comply with both state and federal laws, and make adjustments as those laws change. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia recently issued a ruling affecting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s final wellness rules. In AARP v. EEOC, the court directed the EEOC to reconsider its final wellness rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The final rules allow employers to offer wellness incentives of up to 30 percent of the cost of health plan coverage. The court held that the EEOC failed to provide a reasoned explanation for adopting the incentive limit. Rather than vacating the final rules, the court sent them back to the EEOC for reconsideration. Final Wellness Rules Federal laws affect the design of wellness programs, including two laws that are enforced by the EEOC – the ADA and GINA. Under the ADA, an employer may make disability-related inquiries and require medical examinations after employment begins only if they are job-related and consistent with business necessity. However, these inquiries and exams are permitted if they are part of a voluntary wellness program. Under GINA, employers cannot request, require or purchase genetic information. This includes information about an employee’s genetic tests, the genetic tests of family members and the manifestation of a disease or disorder of a family member. Like the ADA, GINA includes an exception that permits employers to collect this information as part of a wellness program, as long as the provision of information is voluntary. Neither the ADA nor GINA define the term “voluntary” in the context of wellness programs. For many years, the EEOC did not definitively address
whether incentives to participate in wellness programs are permissible under the ADA and, if so, in what amount. On May 16, 2016, the EEOC issued long-awaited final rules that describe how the ADA and GINA apply to employer-sponsored wellness programs. These rules became effective on Jan. 1, 2017. The final ADA rule provides that incentives offered to an employee who answers disability-related questions or undergoes medical examinations as part of a wellness program may not exceed 30 percent of the total cost for self-only health plan coverage. The final GINA rule clarifies that an employer may offer an incentive of up to 30 percent of the total cost of self-only coverage to an employee whose spouse provides information about his or her current or past health status as part of the employer’s wellness program.
24 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Court Decision On Aug. 22, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the EEOC and remanded the final wellness rules back to the agency for reconsideration. In this case, the AARP argued that the 30 percent incentive limit is inconsistent with the voluntary requirements of the ADA and GINA, and that employees who cannot afford to pay a 30 percent increase in premiums will be forced to disclose their protected information when they would otherwise choose not to do so. The EEOC identified numerous reasons why it adopted the 30 percent incentive limit. However, the court concluded that the EEOC’s basis for establishing this incentive level was not well-reasoned and not entitled to deference from the court. Rather than vacating the rules altogether, however, the court remanded them to the EEOC for reconsideration.
Action Steps It is unclear how the EEOC will respond to the court’s decision – the EEOC may appeal the ruling or reduce the amount of permitted incentives. For now, the EEOC’s final wellness rules remain in place. Due to this new legal uncertainty, employers should carefully consider the level of incentives they use with their wellness programs. Employers should also monitor any developments related to the EEOC’s rules. Russell T. Head is CEO with Head Capital Advisors, an Acrisure agency partner and Augusta’s largest employee benefits brokerage. Call 706.733.3459.
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September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
Dressed for Success Clarity, Consistency Take , Stress out of Employee Dress Issues enforced the dress code, and now New Sheriff in Town is struggling. Bringing in a professional to facilitate employee dress workshops and/or training sessions demonstrates both the intention to take employee dress seriously and provides the support needed for success.
By Liz Klebba
Employee Dress Issues: Three words that strike terror into the hearts of supervisors, managers and Human Resources professionals everywhere. Dress issues crop up regularly, but no one wants to manage them; it is messy and awkward. Most employee dress issues stem from four causes. Assumptions. When management hires a new employee, the managers assume the new hire understands what dress is required, because he or she came to the interview appropriately dressed. But employee dress codes should be discussed during the interview process to make sure that the applicant understands what will be required. This also creates an awareness from the start that employee dress is a matter of importance to the company. In the absence of a written dress code, reviewed and signed by the employee, a new hire makes assumptions based on what he or she sees others wearing. Taking cues from others who are inappropriately dressed, or from employees with a different position and dress requirement, creates a problem. Dress Code Ambiguity. Found in an employee handbook: “Female employees may not wear short skirts.” Dress codes are rife with rules like this. Any parent of a teen will tell you that “short” is far too open to interpretation!
Ask five people if a skirt is short. Unless it is skirting indecency laws (my apologies, the pun was too hard to resist!) there will be disagreement. Lest you think ambiguity is simply an issue for women and their hemlines, prohibiting clothing with slogans or logos sounds simple, right? Does the horse on the pocket count? Is the boss’ shirt pocket monogram a problem? Do I have to cut the tag off my jeans? Creating a clear, written dress code with visuals to illustrate both correct and incorrect modes of dress gives everyone a clear standard. Inconsistent Dress Code Application. When employees feel targeted for dress code violations, whether individu-
ally, by gender or by job, morale takes a hit. Maybe at the staff meeting, the men are called out for torn jeans, but the women are not because that’s the fashion. On the other side of the gender divide, the women are asked to tone down their perfume when the men are wearing enough body spray to disguise a corpse in the filing cabinet. Does anyone hold the supervisors accountable when they miss a trip to the barber, or is it only the guys on the shop floor who hear about it when their hair needs a trim? As they say, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. A dress code should apply to all, or to none. Management change is another source of inconsistency. Old Manager never
Uniform Buy-In. Employee uniforms frequently are a source of friction. Business owners with uniformed employees must ensure that the uniforms are appropriate for the job, not just “what the boss likes.” Comfort, safety, maintenance and color all play into appropriateness. A professional to mediate the selection process can help. Employees who have a say in what uniform they wear are happier and more comfortable. That is a win for the employee, the company and the customer.
Liz Klebba of Closet Play is a trained image and wardrobe coach and skilled member of the Association of Image Consultants International. She helps clients express their personal style in a way integrated with their lifestyles and values, and helps businesses finesse the tricky waters of employee dress issues with workshops, training and mediation. Contact her at info@closetplay. biz or (706) 691-4298.
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email@example.com | 706.691.4298 closetplay.biz 26 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Thursday, Oct 19 8am-4pm | Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Evans, GA
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION Please get to know the following speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors before attending our Expo. Their stories and ads appear on the following pages:
Best Office Solutions Josue Garcia CPA ETG Premiere Networx Ellefson Blanchard & Calhoun Smart Safes AlphaGraphics BrandStorm Promotions WataNut Cracker Barrel Matthews & Mayo CPA Nspired News 12 Catalyst Hull College of Business Augusta Chamber Chicken Salad Chick Belair Donuts Morningside of Evans
27 28 29 29 29 30/31 30 32 32 32 32 34 34 35 36 36 36 37 37 38
Evans Chiropractic Augusta ProClean CRI Clifton Construction American Audio Visual Headshots at Expo Signarama Kamo Cartridge World Consolidated Planning InkBoy K&M Hardwoods Augusta Staffing Chilton & Hobbs Northwestern Mutual WFXG Certa Pro CCPS SuperSaver Coupons
38 38 39 39 40 40 41 41 41 42/43 44 44 44 45 45 46 46 46 46
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
Becoming a Better Business B2B Expo Showcases Products, Offers Education By Gary Kauffman
If you could get 500 people coming to your company in one day, would it help your business? Most businesses would like that kind of exposure and Jessica Jones believes that is what the 2nd annual Business to Business (B2B) Expo at Savannah Rapids Pavilion on Oct. 19 will provide. “It’s almost like having a second brick-and-mortar store and having 500 people walk through your door in one day,” said Jones, a sales representative for Buzz on Biz and coordinator of the B2B Expo. But there’s more than just being able to display your services and products at the Expo – it is designed to help people with their business practices as well. “Most of us spend 95 percent of our time working in our business instead of on our business,” said Buzz on Biz publisher Neil Gordon, who spearheaded last year’s inaugural B2B Expo. “For one day, consider doing something for yourself – and for those you represent at your company.” The B2B Expo is a combination of information and vendor booths designed to help businesses be successful. With eight local experts speaking on a wide variety of business topics and 40-plus vendor booths and displays, there’s something to enhance any business. “It’s good education all day long,” said Sheri Osburn, owner of Cer-
“It’s almost like having a second brickand-mortar store and having 500 people walk through your door in one day.” – Jessica Jones, a sales representative for Buzz on Biz and coordinator of the B2B Expo. taPro, who attended last year and will be back this year. “Every single one of last year’s speakers brought a lot to the table.” The first B2B Expo was so successful that a new venue was needed this year. Last year’s event was held at The Foundry at Rae’s Creek, a charming location but a bit cramped for the number of people attending. “Last year’s site was pretty,” said Amy Kilpatrick, founder of Nspired Networking. “But with the size of the event, and because it’ll probably grow every year, moving to a larger space was a no-brainer.” Kilpatrick was a last-minute pinchhitter as a speaker last year and was eager to return as a featured speaker this year. “I do a lot of these events and they’re not always what you expect them to be,” she said. “But Neil and his team at Buzz did a great job with the variety of vendors and the format. Anytime you can have an eclectic mix of speakers and great attendance
throughout the day, that’s an event worth putting on your calendar.” Last year’s Expo featured 32 vendor booths, and Jones said there are already more than that signed up, with a goal of 50 booth spaces. Many are returning for a second year, but there are new vendors who attended last year and decided, based on what they experienced, that they wanted to have their business represented. Robin Baxley, co-owner of Best Office Solutions, is one of those returning. She said last year was successful from both an educational and sales standpoint. “We got the opportunity to educate a lot of business leaders in the area about some of our products and services,” she said. “And we sold several of our sit-and-stand desks to people who saw them there.” They were also able to connect with another vendor, Premier Networx, to help with some of their own business needs. Jones said that among the vendors,
there are some who are using space as a mini-showroom to display their products. “It’s not just all booths and signage,” she said. The B2B Expo will also provide a unique twist on providing food. Jones said three or four local family-owned restaurants who offer catering will be set up to provide samples of what they offer. It provides both food for those attending and advertises their catering services to those who may not realize they provide it. “What better way to get people to know about them than to try their food,” Jones said. Eight speakers will make presentations during the daylong event, with topics ranging from how to resolve conflict in the workplace to creating a succession plan for exiting your business, from how to coach good employees into great employees to finding the right location for a business. “It’s a wealth of knowledge in all things relating to running a business,” Jones said. “We’re encouraging people attending to bring a colleague, an employee, a client – anyone who can benefit from it. It’s great to get your sales reps in front of these people.” Even the experts presenting the topics are looking forward to learning more. “I’m looking forward to getting tips from my peers,” Kilpatrick said. “Everybody is always learning new things.”
803-335-8092 | JGarcia@JGCPALLC.com | JGCPALLC.com 28 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
COMING FALL 2017! Team ETG is excited to share that our new record storage facility is almost complete! We look forward to expanding our business into this new space and celebrating this new beginning as we close out our 50th anniversary year in 2017.
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WHERE’S THE DEAL? HERE’S THE DEAL
A British salvage company received worldwide news coverage recently when it found a sunken World War II cargo ship 200 miles off the coast of Iceland. Its cargo? More than $130 million worth of gold. That’s exciting, but what didn’t make the news was the years of the meticulous research and salvage experience guiding the company’s rare and valuable discovery. Now approaching 100 years of business success, Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate has built an impressive track record of providing the expertise that connects investors and buyers even in the most challenging markets. There is treasure out there for new real estate investors, but it typically requires the navigational skills of an experienced broker to find it, says Davis Beman, Vice President and Director of Commercial Real Estate for Blanchard and Calhoun.
30 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
“I have people calling me all the time, asking me ‘Davis, I know you know where the deal is; what can you tell me?’” The simple answer: Good deals for real estate investors are out there but finding them requires research and experience in the market. “Being in the real estate industry, I like to work with investors,” Beman said. Beman will share his lessons learned at the podium as one of the B2B Expo’s featured speakers. “The real estate market is a good investment right now,” Beman adds. “Your upside is tremendous over the next five plus years,” particularly with investments in the area’s booming residential market. Cyber-related activities alone are expected to bring an additional 18,000 residents to the Augusta area - and they’ll all need a place to live. One of the strengths of working with an experienced broker is that they can find opportunities that they
will never find on their own. Blanchard and Calhoun is a fullservice real estate company serving the CSRA for almost 100 years. In business since 1919, Blanchard and Calhoun is committed to the Augusta area and looks forward to being part of the community’s success, and your success, for many years to come.
To learn more about how you can start investing in real estate, contact Davis Beman at Blanchard and Calhoun. Find them at
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BREAKFAST MEETINGS LUNCH â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;N LEARN DINNERS/SPECIAL EVENTS 544 N. Belair Road Evans, Ga 706.228.3018 crackerbarrel.com 32 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Thursday, Oct 19 8am-4pm Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Evans, GA A great day of networking through breakfast(Belair Donuts), lunch (Chicken Salad Chick) and afternoon snacks (Ms.Stugie’s Cookies). Be inspired by 8 great speakers and engaged by more than 40 exhibitors. Order tickets at cityspintickets.com and use coupon code BUZZ to save $5 off individual tickets THE BUSINESS SCHOOL FOR BUSINESS, ENGAGING AND ADVANCING FUTURE WORKFORCE Dr. Rick Franza, Dean of the Hull College of Business at Augusta University
ENGAGING EMPLOYEES TO TAKE “OWNERSHIP” OF COMPANY Robert and Isaac Kelly, Key Employees of Augusta Staffing
BE YOUR BEST!! COMFORT & FUNCTIONALITY = PRODUCTIVITY Robin Baxley and Sandi Shields, co-owners of Best Office Solutions
WHERE’S THE DEAL? HERE’S THE DEAL MAKING GOOD REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTS Davis Beman, Director of Commercial Real Estate, Blanchard and Calhoun
HOW TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL FAMILY BUSINESS FOR 50 YEARS Brian and Nyles Ellefson, co-owners of The Ellefson Transportation Group
PROTECTING THE BOSS AND YOU. THE IMPORTANCE OF A SUCCESSION PLAN Kurt Mueller, Financial Advisor
TIPS FOR STRATEGIC BUSINESS GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT Amy Kilpatrick, Consultant & Creative Strategist for Nspired
ACTIVELY MANAGING CONFLICT IN THE WORKPLACE Mike and Wendy Perry, Owners of Catalyst Executive Advising & Development
EXHIBITORS All Clean/ProClean Alphagraphics American Audio Visual Augusta Headshots/Sally Kolar Photography Augusta Magazine Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce Augusta Staffing Belair Donuts Best Office Solutions Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial BrandStorm Promotions Cartridge World Catalyst Executive Advising & Development CertaPro Painters
Chicken Salad Chick Chilton & Gibbs Investigations Clifton Construction Consolidated Planning/Mueller Financial Group Cracker Barrel Credit Card Payment Solutions CRI Professional Resources Ellefson Transportation Group Evans Chiropractic Hometown Threads Hull College of Business at AU Inkboy Josue Garcia, CPA KAMO
K& M Hardwoods Matthews & Mayo, CPA’s & Business Consultants Morningside Assisted Living News 12/NBC 26 Northwestern Mutual-Gil Eaves Nspired Consulting Premier Networx Queensborough National Bank & Trust Signarama Smart Safes Supersavers Coupons Watanut WelcomeMat WFXG
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
MATTHEWS & MAYO CPAS AND BUSINESS CONSULTANTS
Handling the books for a business can be scary. Turning them over to a big accounting firm can be intimidating. It can be a huge relief, then, to discover Matthews & Mayo Certified Public Accountants and Business Consultants. The accounting firm is large
enough to bring their experienced team of specialists to expertly handle any and all tax and accounting needs, while providing personal, friendly service in full partnership with their clients. “It’s about serving someone who may not fully understand that they need
34 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
professional services,” says Lisa Mayo, CPA/CVA, shareholder of Matthews & Mayo CPAs. “I love helping people get where they’re going – by helping plan their path to success.” That help is often provided after the business owner tries to handle payroll and taxes on their own, and then realizes managing the numbers can consume far too much of their valuable time. Time that is better spent running the business. “The success of our clients is our primary goal,” says Mayo. “Most want to do it themselves so that they can save money,” Mayo says. “Some learn quickly that they really don’t want to do accounting and that they should focus on managing the operations of the business.’” No matter the stage in which clients comes to Matthews & Mayo CPAs, they will find a dedicated partner in growing their business through a trusting, personal and professional relationship. “I want all clients, whether a business or an individual, to know they have access to me year-round,” Mayo says. Fees for all services are transparent from the beginning, so customers are comfortable calling with questions. “This transparency creates a relationship where all of our clients know they can
call without any hidden fees. Our clients are comfortable calling with small questions rather than letting them grown into bigger problems.” says Mayo. In fact, Mayo says one of her most gratifying testimonials came from a client who said, “You never make me feel dumb - you never make me feel like I’m asking the wrong questions. You’re willing to teach me; you help me learn more and want to understand it better, so that I can effectively manage my business.” That, Mayo says, is a great example of the type of relationship Matthews & Mayo CPAs builds with its customers. “You’re going to know we are taking your best interest at heart,” she adds. To learn how Matthews & Mayo can serve your business with accounting services or as business consultants, contact them below.
Matthews & Mayo
www.matthewsmayocpas.com 3540 Wheeler Road, Ste. 616 or call Lisa Mayo at
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
ACTIVELY NAVIGATING EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE CONFLICTS EXPO SPEAKERS
By Barry L. Paschal Few things in the workplace can be as awkward or feel as risky as the conversations that must follow mistakes, shortcomings, or unmet expectations. Hoping problems solve themselves, or ignoring counterproductive behavior, isn’t a reasonable long-term strategy. Michael and Wendy Perry, owners of
Catalyst Executive Advising and Development, will provide guidance for those facing such tough workplace issues in their entertaining and informative B2B Expo presentation, “Actively Navigating Employer/Employee Conflicts.” But that’s just a sample of the transformational services Catalyst offers. Their wide-ranging, customized train-
The Hull MBA An MBA is one of the best investments you can make to advance your career in today’s highly competitive and dynamic work environment. The Hull MBA provides an engaging educational experience taught by renowned Hull College faculty. Achieve your personal and professional goals by gaining the skills, experience and professional network needed to take the next step in your career.
ing for leaders in businesses of all sizes can provide assistance for traveling through many other workplace roadblocks preventing otherwise successful enterprises from reaching their greater potential. “What we want business leaders to understand is that our goal is to create places where their employees want to work,” says Michael Perry, Ph.D., President and Chief Operating Officer of Catalyst. “People desire a connection, with room to grow and the potential to excel,” he adds, noting that Catalyst can guide an organization’s leadership toward cultural improvements that provide those vital employee connections. It’s not always easy - particularly in a business that might be reluctant to face the need for change. “Success can be a barrier,” Perry points out. “If you believe what happened in the past worked, you’re going to keep doing it” - and likely continue hitting the same walls. That’s where Catalyst can help. Since its founding two years ago by Perry and his wife, Chief Executive Officer Wendy Perry, the dynamic Catalyst duo have leveraged their combined 42 years of service in the U.S. Army with Michael’s experience as a clinical
psychologist and Wendy’s expertise in the healthcare industry to provide an extensive suite of leadership coaching, consulting and training services. As a team, their extensive military experience can be especially helpful to veterans transitioning to private employment - but it’s also helpful for employers to learn how best to smoothly integrate those focused, skilled workers into their businesses. In addition, Michael’s foundation in human performance fuels his passion for helping leaders to deliver meaningful change, while Wendy is driven to empower and equip women for taking on greater leadership roles. Together, Catalyst provides valuable guidance for leaders ready to move their companies toward reaching their organizational vision - as Wendy reiterates, “in places where people want to work, with leaders they want to work for.”
Catalyst Executive Advising and Development
2017 WOMEN IN BUSINESS SIGNATURE EVENT
An evening with Becky Blalock Bestselling author of DARE: Straight Talk on Confidence, Courage, and Career for Women in Charge • Managing Partner at Advisory Capital Named one of INC Magazine’s 17 Inspiring Women to Watch in 2017
Oglethorpe Ballroom, Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center
For more information, visit augusta.edu/mba.
36 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Event begins at 6 PM Register online at www.AugustaMetroChamber.com
HEALTHY CATERING OPTIONS
Expo Lunch SponSor
Kathryn Lovingood, Catering Manager
Chicken Salad Chick just might be the perfect office lunch: Everyone is sure to love it, the pricing is affordable, and employees won’t be nodding off from an afternoon heavy-food coma. With 12 delicious varieties of chicken salad available, Chicken Salad Chick’s catered meals are delivered with smile and set up by their catering staff so the office workers can relax and enjoy lunch. “Everything we serve is made inhouse - everything is fresh,” says Gigi Obando, General Manager of Chicken Salad Chick’s Augusta location. “We’ve been very popular with catering since we’ve been open - especially the ladies; they love their chicken salad - and the guys are always welcome!” Varieties range from the original and most popular Classic Carol, with Fancy Nancy - featuring Fuji apples, pecans, and seedless grapes - coming in second. Other creations range from mild Olivia’s Old South, a South-
ern tradition favorite, combining sweet pickles and eggs, to the bold Kickin’ Kay Lynne, fired up with buffalo sauce, bacon, ranch,jalapenos and Sriracha perfect for tailgating. Complementing the chicken salad are a variety of gourmet soups, fresh green salads, popular catering sides include broccoli salad, grape salad, and pasta salad. -Plus delectable buttercream-frosted cookies and strawberry platters for a sweet finish. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are abundant, too. And it’s all available with a phone call or the click of a mouse and Obando says while they prefer 24 hours’ notice on catering orders, particularly for larger groups, “we’re experts on last-minute catering.” Forgot to order for the office lunch? They’ll even deliver that same-day order if a time slot is available. Ordering is easy at www.thechickcaters.com After completing the order,
you’ll get an email confirmation - and the Chicken Salad Chick catering staff will follow up with a phone call. “We want to make it personalized for your needs,” Obando says. The $100 minimum order, plus $25 delivery fee, will easily feed 10-12 people with platters of chicken salad sandwiches on buttery croissants. Each delivered catering order includes all of the plates, flatware, napkins, ice - the works - and is set up by Chicken Salad Chick’s friendly catering staff. “That’s something we’re very proud of,” Obando says. “We set everything up so it’s really pretty like our restaurant.” The Augusta area’s first Chicken Salad Chick is at 2817 Washington Road, near Alexander Drive, with a second location coming soon in Evans to expand their already large delivery area. To conveniently place an order for pickup or delivery, go to www.thechickcaters.com, or call 706-729-6556
Proud Provider of Breakfast Treats and Coffee at B2B Expo TRY US AT THE EVENT OR FOR OFFICE CATERING AND SPECIAL EVENTS
Specialty & Designer Donuts · Breakfast Burritos, Bagels & More High Quality Coffee & Lattes Belair Donuts
706.869.5091 | 706.364.6522 | 4045 Jimmie Dyess Parkway | 720 E. Robinson Ave. (Outside Gate 2) September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
MORNINGSIDE OF EVANS HELPS FAMILIES AND BUSINESS LEADERS It’s often a tough decision: Leaving the comfort and familiarity of home to make the transition to a senior living community. At Morningside of Evans, they understand the anxiety - both from the new resident, and from their families who often are the ones deciding on the need for a greater level of care. “When a family comes in to Morningside, I’m the person they talk to and I have an opportunity to build a rapport with them fairly quickly, says Kellie Pugh, Executive Director at Morningside. “We’re very open, we’re very sensitive, we’re very caring, we’re very understanding of what the family member is going through.” Morningside helps ease any uncertainties by inviting the families to lunch - no strings attached. “We’re just going to sit and chit-chat,” Pugh says. “We’ll get to know them, they’ll get to know us, and they’ll get a feel for what this community is like.” The new resident also will have an opportunity to sample the food prepared by Morningside’s professionally trained chef, with three meals and snacks served restaurant-style to the residents daily. “The food is really good,” Pugh says, adding that a committee of
bers, it’s not just about the resident - it’s about their families, too.” The move to Morningside then becomes the easiest part. “The majority of residents, after a couple of days of being here, it’s like they’ve been here forever,” Pugh says. “They find their comfort zone very quickly, they get acclimated, they meet the other residents and get involved with the daily activities. It’s wonderful.” Businesses hoping to become one of the many vendors serving the Morningside community also undergo a stringent vetting process to make sure they’re a good fit. “I’m extremely protective of our residents,” Pugh says.
residents provides monthly input on the menus, all of which are designed by a professional dietician. As families are choosing one of the 40 spacious suites at the Morningside community, the new resident will undergo a comprehensive assessment by
WE CAN HELP• Neck Pain Headaches/Migraines Sports Injuries Sinus issues Auto Accident Arthritis Back Pain Shoulder Pain Range of Motion
New Patient Special $49 Includes Consultation, Exam & First Treatment.
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706.305.9046 38 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Morningside’s attentive staff. “We want to make sure we’re able to provide for whatever their needs are, and that the resident would be appropriate for this type of setting,” Pugh says. “I make sure I understand what their specific needs are, and I always tell the family mem-
To learn more about Morningside of Evans, call Kellie Pugh at
706-228-4709 or go to
www.morningsideofevans.com or stop by for a visit at
353 North Belair Road in Evans
Gayle Bryan • 706-664-2221 Josh Keck • 706-927.5325
Michelle Grant • 706-731-4926 Tony Creighton • 706-651-8089 Gayle Bryan 706-664-2221 Gayle Bryan •••706-664-2221 Rob Clifton 706-731-0978
Sheri Osburn • 706-993-9600 Gayle Bryan • 706-664-2221 Mark Stephens • 706-294-7989Tony Creighto TonyCreighton Creighton 706-651-8089 Tony ••706-651-8089 Gayle Bryan • 706-664-2221 Tony Creighto
Heath Bradham • 706-941-8610 Gayle Bryan • 706-664-2221
Heath Bradham • 706-941-8610 HeathBradham Bradham••706-941-8610 706-941-8610 Heath Jessica Jones • 762-218-0239 Michael Duggan • 706-691-7842 Tony Creighton • 706-651-8089 Heath Bradham • 706-941-8610 Trip Derryberry • 706-421-4700 Rebecca Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170 Michael Duggan • 706-691-7842 JessicaJones Jones 762-218-0239 Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732 Gayle Bryan • 706-664-2221 Josh Keck • 706-927.5325 Jessica ••762-218-0239 MichaelDuggan Duggan 706-691-7842 Gayle Bryan • 706-664-2221 Michael ••706-691-7842 Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978 Tony Creighton • 706-651-8089 Gayle Bryan • 706-664-2221 Tony Creighton • 706-651-8089 Michael Duggan • 706-691-7842 Tony Creigh
• Commercial • Residential Heath Bradham • 706-941-8610 Jessica Jones • 762-218-0239 • 706-941-8610 Duggan • 706-691-7842 • Industrial Heath BradhamMichael Heath Bradham • 706-941-8610
Heath Bradham • 706-941-8610
Michelle Grant • 706-731-4926
Michelle Grant • 706-731-4926
Jessica Jones 762-218-0239 Terry Kondzich • •706-726-2732 Michael Duggan • 706-691-7842 John Hales • 706-619-2530 Michelle Grant • 706-731-4926 SheriOsburn Osburn 706-993-9600 Sheri ••706-993-9600 Michelle Grant • 706-731-4926
Osburn • 706-993-9600 MichaelSheri Duggan • 706-691-7842 MichelleGrant Grant••706-731-4926 706-731-4926 Michelle
Sheri Osburn • 706-993-9600
Jessica Jones • 762-218-0239 Rebecca Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170 Sheri Osburn • 706-993-9600 John Hales 706-619-2530 MichaelJohn Duggan • 706-691-7842 Hales ••706-619-2530 Sheri Osburn • 706-993-9600
John Hales • 706-619-2530
Michelle Grant • 706-731-4926 Keck • 706-927.5325 Sheri Osburn • 706-993-9600 MichelleJosh Grant • 706-731-4926 Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978 JoshKeck Keck••706-927.5325 706-927.5325 Josh Gayle Bryan • 706-664-2221 Tony Creighton • 706-651-8089
Sheri Osburn • 706-993-9600 John Hales • 706-619-2530 John Hales • 706-619-2530 Mark Stephens • 706-294-7989 Josh Keck • 706-927.5325 Sheri Osburn • 706-993-9600 Michelle Grant • 706-731-4926 Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978 Gayle Bryan • 706-664-2221 Mark Stephens 706-294-7989 RobClifton Clifton••706-731-0978 706-731-0978 Mark Stephens ••706-294-7989 Rob Tony Creighton • 706-651-8089 Josh Keck • 706-927.5325 Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978
Heath Bradham • 706-941-8610 Josh Keck • 706-927.5325 Heath Bradham • 706-941-8610 Mark Stephens • 706-294-7989Trip Derryberry • 706-421-4700 Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978 Rebecca Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170 Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732 Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732 Rebecca Wall,CCIM CCIM 706-495-2170 Josh Keck • 706-927.5325 Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732 Jessica Jones • 762-218-0239 Rebecca Wall, ••706-495-2170 Josh Keck • 706-927.5325 Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732 Michael Duggan 706-691-7842 Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978 Michael Duggan • 706-691-7842 Mark Stephens ••706-294-7989 Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978 Josh Keck • 706-927.5325 Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732
Rebecca Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170 Trip Derryberry 706-421-4700 Jessica Jones 762-218-0239 Derryberry •••706-421-4700 MarkTrip Stephens • 706-294-7989 Rebecca Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170 Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978
Trip Derryberry • 706-421-4700 Rebecca Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170 Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732 CRI is a hand picked group of professionals, committed Trip Derryberry • 706-421-4700 Rebecca Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170 to working together toTerry provide a higher level of service Trip Derryberry • 706-421-4700 Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732 Rebecca Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170 Kondzich • 706-726-2732 and accountability to our Commercial, Residential and RebeccaJohn Wall,Hales CCIM••706-619-2530 706-495-2170 Terry • 706-726-2732 SheriKondzich Osburn • 706-993-9600 Michelle Grant • 706-731-4926 Sheri Osburn • 706-993-9600 Gayle Bryan • 706-664-2221 Michelle Grant • 706-731-4926 John Hales • 706-619-2530 Industrial customers. Tony Creighton • 706-651
Heath Bradham • 706-941-8610
Visit Our Booth & See Project Photos Josh Keck • 706-927.5325
Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978
Jessica Michael Duggan • 706-691-7842 Josh Keck • 706-927.5325 Mark Stephens • 706-294-7989 Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978 Mark Stephens • 706-294-7989
Building Lasting Relationships
Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732
Trip Derryberry • 706-421-4700 Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170 Trip Derryberry • 706-421-4700 Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732 Rebecca Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170 Sheri Osburn • 706-993-9600 Michelle Grant Rebecca • 706-731-4926 John
One Project At A Time
Josh Keck • 706-927.5325
Terry Kondzich • 706-726-2732
Rob Clifton • 706-731-0978
Rebecca Wall, CCIM • 706-495-2170
Rob Clifton Business Development, Leed AP
CLIFTON CONSTRUCTION 4324 WHEELER RD MARTINEZ GA 30907 EMAIL ROB@SDCLIFTON.COM | OFFICE 706-731-0978 EXT 7 | CELL 706-306-7787
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
a division of Studio Gordon LLC
COME DRESSED FOR SUCCESS. RESERVE YOUR HEADSHOT APPT AT BUZZ EXPO! Professional photographers Melissa Gordon and Sally Kolar will take multiple poses of you at the event.
The regular rate is $250. Expo Special $99. Reserve yours before the slots are gone at www.studiogordonllc.zenfolio.com/b2b
40 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
ALL SIGNS POINT TO SIGNARAMA TO DISPLAY YOUR BRAND
For Signarama Augusta, trade shows are a major key to their business and that is why the Buzz on Biz B2B Expo comes at an exceptionally great time. Trade shows give Signarama the opportunity to help businesses by providing marketing, branding and promotional products to help build top of mind awareness, visibility, and an
ever growing customer base. By having Signarama create high visibility trade show materials like popup banners, tablecloths and personalized giveaway items, businesses find that it is easier to attract new customers and create more success. And while Signarama happily provides plenty of signs, canvas prints, vehicle wraps and other products for
individuals, “For the most part what we ucts. We get really creative to help our do is commercial,” says Heath Bradham, customers standout,” Bradham says. “If franchise owner of Signarama. “We someone comes in with a project that’s work closely with businesses to create completely unheard of, we have the netoutstanding branding that fits exactly work, the creativity, and state of the art with their specific goals, and we strive technology to solve the problem and get for partnerships with our customers. the job done!” Solving problems is his Many of our customers are new busifavorite part of the business, he adds. ness owners and we are always glad to Customers enjoy the sage advice they help them by referring them to others in get when setting up their presentation our local network of businesses, people for trade shows. that we have met along the way that can help out with other services that they may need as well as promote their business with our social media. We love helping people where ever we can.” Signarama Augusta is nimble and part of a substantial network which gives them a unique ability and access to the latest technology and techniques. Bradham 706-941-8610 If you would like• to learn more “One of the things that drew me to Sig- Heath visit Signarama today, they are narama was its large network” Bradham conveniently located in Augusta says, which gives him access to extensive expertise, capacity and creativity. “I on the second level of Fury’sWhy Ferrypay mor can handle the large signs, pens, busiStation, near Riverwatch Parkway, at ness cards and everything in-between. 231 Fury’s Ferry Road, Anything your business name can go Ste. 206B on, we can make it happen with exception of tattoos.” “If you can dream it, Call Us or Visit Our Website we can do it; the ideas are limitless. We are a one-stop shop for our customers with our broad spectrum of prodwww.signarama-augusta.com
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September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
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Passing the Torch
Business Succession Plan Is Integral to Business Strategy By Kurt Mueller
The equity in a small-business owner’s company is a valuable asset. But in a privately held company, how can equity be converted to cash when the owner exits the business? Creating an exit plan – commonly called a “succession plan” – is an integral part of strategic business planning. Here’s how. The Tax Impact at an Owner’s Exit Succession planning, which involves passing ownership to an heir or selling the company, aims to achieve an optimal outcome for the business, which includes converting business equity into cash whenever necessary. This goal is important for two reasons: 1. At retirement, business owners usually want to enjoy themselves or pursue other opportunities. After giving up control, they don’t want to worry about the health of their business. 2. An owner’s heirs may lack the knowledge or interest to manage the business – and may prefer, at the owner’s death, to liquidate it. The value of a business passed to heirs is included in the owner’s estate at death and could be subject to federal estate taxes. These taxes must be paid in cash, and the filing deadline for federal estate taxes is nine months after the date of death, unless an extension is requested. Federal and state governments require cash to settle taxes – regardless of the status of the business in the wake of the owner’s death. In the worst cases, valuable businesses have been sold at “fire sale” prices simply to meet estate tax obligations. Heirs may also need cash for other reasons, such as business debts and obligations, probate and attorneys’ fees, the cost of business appraisals, audits and the costs of closing down the business. Consequently, almost every business needs cash to work through the transition in ownership. Providing this cash is one of the most important steps in the succession planning process. Three Key Questions One starting point for business succession planning is to ask and answer three questions: 1. What is the business worth now on a “fair market value” basis? Fair market value is the amount that a willing buyer would pay a willing seller in an arm’slength negotiated transaction. (A business appraisal conducted by a qualified professional can help to answer this question.) 2. What will the business be worth when the owner exits? Any future
growth in revenues or profits should increase business value – as should the grooming of one or more successors. 3. How will heirs obtain a fair value for the business when the owner exits? One solution, called a buy-sell agreement, pre-determines the terms of a sale (including transaction price) and may also pre-determine the funding mechanism necessary to complete the sale and help pay expenses and taxes. Terms of a Buy-Sell Agreement A buy-sell agreement may be formed between co-owners or partners, who each agree to buy out the other’s interest upon a “triggering” event. Alternatively, it may involve the current owner and a designated successor owner, perhaps a family member or top manager. Most buy-sell participants lack the personal resources to buy a partner or owner’s business interest outright. Since most business owners prefer to receive cash at the closing, strategic planning requires that the source of the cash be identified well in advance. Often, the primary source is permanent life insurance. The death benefit is a cost-effective way to fund a death buyout and the cash value component can be utilized for lifetime buyout events. Valuing the Business After a successor is identified, the next step is to determine the buy-out value. Although small-business owners have some flexibility in setting the price of a buy-out transaction, the IRS and courts require a valuation that represents fair market reality. Some valuation methods include: • Comparable recent transactions – Business value is based on the terms of sales or mergers involving companies of comparable size in the same industry or market area. • Multiple of revenue or book value – Business value may be pegged to a
42 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
multiple of gross revenues in the year or two just before the owner exits. For example, some service-oriented businesses may sell for about one to two times annual gross revenues. Or, the value may be pegged to an audited balance sheet as a multiple of “book value.” • Discounted cash flow – The value is based on total cash flow that the business is projected to generate for a period of years (typically three to five) after the owner’s exit, discounted by a cost of capital. Drafting the Legal Agreement The next step is to formalize the buysell agreement in writing with the help of an attorney experienced in succession planning – and ideally, one who also has a background in estate tax planning and business valuation. An important section of the agreement defines the “trigger events” that will require ownership to change hands. Common trigger events include an owner’s death, disability, retirement, divorce, or separation from employment. When a buyout is triggered by an event other than death, the legal agreement also may include provisions that prevent the departing owner from competing against the company or disclosing its trade secrets. Funding the Buy-Sell Agreement As noted earlier, permanent life insurance is often used to fund buysell agreements. This is because coverage can continue, and premiums remain constant, at any age. Funding these agreements with permanent life insurance also has other benefits: • Quick and convenient cash for heirs – Life insurance solves the problem of turning an illiquid asset (the business) into cash. • Tax advantages – Life insurance pays a death benefit that is generally free of federal income taxes. In buy-sell agreements, the benefit is usually paid to the party who has the obligation to buy the shares: the surviving shareholders or outside buyer – so the death ben-
efit does not create estate tax consequences for the estate of the deceased. • Affordable, level premiums – Permanent life insurance can be purchased at affordable level premiums, especially when the insured person is fairly young and in good health. • Cash value – The cash value of a permanent policy can provide buyout funds if an owner exits at a lifetime triggering event, such as a divorce or normal retirement. Most agreements include provisions for terminating the buy-sell agreement by mutual consent or if specified events occur. In such instances, the policy’s owner can recoup part of the premium cost from the cash value. Planning for a Long-Term Disability One trigger event that can be funded with insurance is an owner’s long-term disability. In this case, disability income insurance can be purchased to fund an obligation written into the buy-sell agreement. Subject to the terms of the policy, disability buy-out insurance pays to the business beneficiary or other owner a stated amount of money or periodic income (after a waiting period) that can be used to fund part or all of the buyout. Successful business owners rarely stop working long enough to ask why they are working so hard. But ultimately, most are striving to achieve a certain level of security for themselves and their loved ones. With the right succession planning, small-business owners can help to ensure both the long-term success of their business and greater financial security for themselves and their family for many years to come.
Prepared by 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 adviser regarding your individual situation.
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 email@example.com
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?
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September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
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46 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Ok, But What’s the Catch?
It seems that at every event that Pinpoint Savings participates in, whether it is Arts in the Heart, Snowfest, Chic, Thunder over Evans, Mudbugaboo, or many others, I am asked the question, “OK, but what’s the catch?” People are always curious about what Pinpoint Savings is and what it is that we do. So when we tell them that we are a free app that will give them coupons to restaurants, retail, health and fitness, auto, activities for their family, and where they can get their kids’ meals for free, usually the next question is, “Ok, but what’s the catch?” So I thought I would address this question as soon as possible in this article and tell you that there is no catch. All of our coupons and the app itself are all free and available for you to use immediately once the app is downloaded on your phone. Still a little skeptical? OK, let me highlight why that is the case. If the question, “Ok, but what’s the catch?” comes up at any event we are at, usually the next question to follow is, “But how do you make any money if everything is free?” Once we tell them that the businesses pay us to advertise for them, then everything else starts to come together. At that point usually the walls have been broken down and now people are excited and ready to begin saving with the app. It is not uncommon for someone to immediately download the app while they are at our table and ask what they have to do next. The good part is that all the consumer has to do now is to take the coupons in and show them on their phone to their local Pinpoint Savings businesses and let the savings begin.
The reality remains that people love saving money, but they just want it to be easy! Pinpoint Savings makes it easy for you to save, so let’s highlight a couple areas of interest that you might want to explore. Kids eat free! Who doesn’t like this statement if you are a parent? This section on the app will let you know about exclusive free or discounted kids meals for each day of the week for our participating Pinpoint Savings restaurants. This area of the app is one of the most popular sections and almost every day of the week contains at least one kid’s special that is sure to save your family money! Do you love to eat out but don’t have kids? No worries, Pinpoint Savings has you covered with our exclusive restaurants tab that features more than 25 different restaurants around the CSRA. With restaurants like The Whiskey Bar, Boll Weevil, Southbound Smokehouse and Wild Wing Café, you are sure to find a great local hangout with some of the best food around. Do you live in Evans and don’t get downtown often? Pinpoint Savings still has you covered with restaurants like Monterrey, Twisted Burrito, Pizza Central USA, Maryland’s Fried Chicken and PDQ,all located in the city of Evans. Don’t worry South Carolina readers; we have you covered from North Augusta to Aiken with great restaurants like The Pot Smoker BBQ, Papa John’s Pizza, Willie Jewells BBQ and Marcos Pizza. Ok, I could continue on with many more restaurant options, but instead I am going to let you know about a few more sections on the Pinpoint Savings app that can help you save money when you aren’t hungry!
All that food you ate may at some point catch up with you the same way that it did with me as I began life in my 40s. All of a sudden I couldn’t just eat anything I wanted anytime and still be able to have my clothes fit like they should. If you are reading this and in a similar position, I have good news for you! Select the health tab on the app and you will find gyms like EPIC total fitness and Orange Theory Fitness as well as Bee Healthy Medical Weight Loss and two great options for healthy smoothies at Smoothie King and Tropical Smoothie Café. All of these great businesses can help you get back on track and make those pants fit a little less snug. Last but not least, let’s talk about some fun activities for you and for your family. A quick look at the Kid’s Corner section on the app will allow you to access great coupons for fun family activities like Putt-Putt Golf Augusta or Airstrike Trampoline Park. Or perhaps if the kids have earned a sweet treat, it would be a great time to take advantage of the coupon for Confetti Candy or perhaps some delicious frozen yogurt from Menchies. If your kids are full of energy like mine, then you might be looking for a great facility like C&C Gymnastics to help your kids expend some of that extra energy! These coupons and businesses are just a sampling of what the Pinpoint Savings app offers, so download the free app today and join the thousands of users already saving money all around the CSRA! Remember, just as Warren Buffett said, “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving!”
Billy Cristofanelli is the founder and co-owner 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.
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
North Augusta Chamber’s Business Expo Has New Name
By Jenn Marner Member Events Manager
“There is nothing permanent except change.” – Heraclitus The North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, in an effort to grow with our amazing community, has changed the name of our Annual Business Expo to the Chamber Growthfest. The event will encompass much more than the Business Expo of years past. As the community’s needs change, the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce will adapt as well. The Growthfest will be held Tuesday, Oct. 17, at the North Augusta Municipal Building. For one afternoon and evening, the Chamber of Commerce will occupy every floor, meeting room and terrace space available to bring our community a one-of-a-kind event! The Chamber is sensitive to the potential parking overflow issues. The Medac parking structure, as well as street parking, will be available. A traditional business exposition will be held as in previous years. The expo will include 38 atrium booths and 36 ballroom booths for a total of 74 businesses. There will be much to peruse during the expo hours. In addition to the traditional business expo, the Chamber is adding the following programming: Headshot Lounge: In today’s business world, headshots are becoming a necessity. While your Facebook or Instagram selfie with the bunny ears may be your best picture to date, it probably isn’t appropriate as a professional headshot. The Chamber has arranged for a photo booth to be available to provide a headshot for our business professionals. Headshots will be purchased directly from the Headshot Lounge vendor for $10. Community Growth-Centered Roundtables: Workshops are essential to growth, but in some cases a roundtable
event can provide more specific information. Although programming is not yet solidified, the Chamber is working to provide 2-4 roundtable discussions in the morning prior to the business expo portion of the Growthfest for professionals in our community. Connections Lounge: One of the main recurring themes that the Chamber has witnessed this year is businesses voicing concern about not being able to connect with employees who are the “right fit” for them. With the addition of this programming, the Chamber hopes to provide a relaxed setting in which employers can give a two-minute employer pitch to potential employees within our community. This would be a “why you want to work with us/what we do/what our company needs” type of elevator pitch. Also offered in the lounge will be slots in which individual professionals will be given a 90-second elevator pitch to potential employers in the area. The individual pitches will be provided professional feedback from 4-6 hiring professionals in the area. Business After Hours: The Business After Hours is open to the public and will be held immediately following the business expo. The after-hours event will be held on the terrace of the Municipal
48 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Building. This unique experience will be a Savoring of North Augusta. The Chamber is lining up 12 caterers from the CSRA to provide samples of some of their offerings. Business professionals can network while sampling wares from potential caterers for their yearly and holiday events. A cash bar will be available. Now that all of the programming has been explained, you are surely asking yourself how you can become a sponsor of such a great event! The answer is to contact Jenn, member events manager. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (803) 279-2323.
The Chamber still has space available for Signature Sponsors, Premier Sponsors, Connections Lounge Sponsor, Swag Bag Sponsors and Door Prize Sponsors. The Swag Bag and Door Prize Sponsorship options are great ways for businesses who have a scheduling conflict during the event to have a presence. Each sponsorship level provides great incentives. The Chamber Growthfest promises to be an entertaining event full of resources for business professionals, companies and individual community members. Space is limited, so be sure to turn in registrations before we fill up! Registration is open now for Chamber members and the general public.
Jennifer Marner is the new Membership Events Manager for the North Augusta Chamber. Jennifer will be responsible for the event process from conception to execution of Chamber events. Her email is jennifer@northau-
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September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
Man in the Mirror Our Actions, Words Build Our Personal Brand If something reflects a clean and professional image, it immediately increases its brand quality. This goes for both people and organizations, but then there’s the inner reflection. This is what we project through our body language, tone and overall communication. This obviously can be positive or negative and quickly serves to highlight or diminish our outward reflection. Michael Jackson immortalized the Man in the Mirror expression through his hit song. Yet, this descriptor shows that building a quality brand first begins with each of us and our inner workings. This involves how we will choose to respond, respect and reflect to others and our situations every minute of every day.
By Dagan Sharpe
Why do certain brands help us justify spending more for their products or giving more to their cause? In short, it is because we perceive value in them. Somehow they have created an image that makes us believe they are better than their peers, or we will be better by aligning our time, money and resources with them instead of their competitors. Likewise, every human being is in the brand-building business. Our brand is our name and what others perceive when they hear our name and reflect on our reputation. This can be a very scary thought! However, this is also a powerful realization to help each of us build better brands. As a result, not only do our reputations and perceived values improve, but so do the organizations we affiliate with, our churches, our civic groups and even our families. Although obvious, our brands are either tarnished or polished in three primary ways: Response: How we respond to others has a significant impact on our brand. We all know when we get treated rudely, disrespectfully and/or nonchalantly and it impacts the way we think of others and the institutions they represent. If we get good responses from others, we tend to
think favorably of them and that goodwill spreads to the institution they work for. We always have to be conscious of our responses to others, especially in times of stress and interruption, because we never know the impression we might be sending and leaving. Respect: When we treat others with respect, we do so by paying attention to them in an inviting way. Quality customer service hinges on one person’s respect for another. I am always amazed at how
some are extremely effective with this skill, especially when dealing with irate customers. Have you ever seen a rude and angry person defused with kindness? It’s amazing to witness and is a skill that can be learned. It not only builds our brand, but again, it spreads to impact the brand of the organization or entity we represent. Reflect: What image and persona do we reflect? This begins with our outer appearance – people can’t help but size things up according to their appearance.
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.
This … or That? Making Decisive Choices Helps You Reach Your Goals By Danielle Harris
Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed with options and unable to make a decision? This can be frustrating, because the feeling of uncertainty leaves you feeling confused, stuck, and just flatout drained. In the world of business, decisions matter and indecisiveness can stall your progress – and even stunt your creativity. Author John Mason once said, “Your destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.” One day, my brother said to me, “Think, but don’t overthink,” and I use this advice daily. Overthinking can be paralyzing, and the amount of energy you put into thinking about the option won’t change the outcome. So, you just have to trust yourself and get past this detrimental habit of indecisiveness, allowing you to reach your goals with assurance, clarity and peace. Here are a few tips to help you over-
come indecisiveness. Be Fearless. Often we’re indecisive because we’re afraid of the possible outcomes. We spend time worrying about what could go wrong instead of thinking about what could go right. Even if you make a decision and what you fear comes to pass, just know you have what it takes to overcome it. Make a plan and trust your instincts. When you know what you want, it is easier to attain. So, with your goal in mind, let your heart lead you in the right direction.
50 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Reflect on the lessons of past experiences and apply them to your current situation. You’re smarter than you think, but give yourself permission to make a few mistakes along the way. Focus on one thing at a time. When you find yourself struggling to choose, pick one thing to focus on to help pull yourself out of this personal abyss. You can also think about the pros and cons of your options, which will also help you make a decision. Just do it. Simply pick an option and commit to it. Your commitment is what will bring your dreams into reality. Breathe and let it go. Your nerves might be going haywire, but do your best to refrain from wallowing in the thought of whether you made the right choice or not. Instead, occupy your mind with something that is both constructive and positive. Where we are today is a result of a decision we did or did not make. To be a suc-
cessful entrepreneur, you have to do your best to get off the fence of indecisiveness and choose not to be afraid. Choose to believe in yourself and know that you are more resilient than you think. In the words of Albert Einstein, “I think 99 times and find nothing. I stop thinking, swim in silence, and the truth comes to me.” Today, calm your mind and allow this moment of stillness help you find the answer you’ve been waiting on.
Danielle Harris is the CEO and founder of SDI, a leadership mentoring program for entrepreneurs. She 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) 3332868 or at SDILeader-
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Over and Over Again Consistency in Actions, Message Fuel Business Success much attention to what their supervisor does as to what he says. Employees watch what a manager does and model that behavior, despite what rules or guidelines have been set. Practice what you preach! Consistency is the power that fuels businesses to succeed. Consistency means that a business is providing predictable, reliable results to a customer, client or to an employee every time.
This column originally appeared in the November 2016 edition
By Missie Usry
Arsene Wenger once said, “When you look at people who are successful, you will find that they aren’t the people who are motivated, but have consistency in their motivation.” The textbook definition for consistency is having conformity in the application of a task repetitively; it is believed that consistency is a characteristic that is imperative for leaders in every walk of life. Eric Holtzclaw lists five reasons why consistency is important in business and in leadership. 1. Consistency allows for measurement. Until you’ve tried a process consistently for a specific period of time, you won’t know if the process is working or not. Otherwise, how can you measure performance? 2. Consistency creates accountability. When asking employees to be accountable for meeting goals, it’s a priority for a leader to do the same with consistent feedback and recurring team meetings. The fact that there is a set time to report on business progress means that employ-
ees will be motivated to carry a project to success. 3. Consistency establishes reputation. Business growth requires a successful track record and this won’t happen if the business is not consistent with a plan. Constantly shifting gears and changing tactics doesn’t allow enough time to measure success and gives the appearance of a
failing business. 4. Consistency makes a business relevant. This applies to leaders as well. A business or leader that is not consistent loses ground, employees lose respect, and the business never has a chance to gain traction. 5. Finally, it’s important to maintain a consistent message. Your team pays as
Missie Usry is the Enrollment Manager and advises the Community Involvement Club at Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus. Georgia Military College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which means that all credit earned at the institution is transferable to other accredited schools. Eligibility for participation in the joint enrollment program is based on students’ high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores. For questions, call 706.993.1123 or visit gmcaugusta.com.
From the Backroom to the Boardroom Cyber security is having more impact on corporate success By Brandon McCrillis
As cyber threats continue to increase and cyber criminals continue to advance their tactics, corporations are putting increasingly more emphasis on the amount of time and money they are spending (or not spending) on the evaluation and implementation of information security measures. In a recent Al Jazeera interview regarding the Equifax breach, I highlighted the importance of discussing information security continuously at the board level, and perpetually assessing organizational security postures and business continuity plans, to include incident response (IR). Competent security procedures in place better protect your business, help to maintain regulatory compliance, and are obligatory to garner the trust of your customers. “It’s unfortunate, but the criminal mind does not sleep; therefore, company leadership has been forced to shine a light on what has historically been a backroom discussion,” said Jake Williams, founder and president of Rendition Infosec. In a recent Threat Intelligence Report
by Dimension Data, which analyzed 18,000 companies, 6 billion attacks and trillions of logs, it was documented that attacks against businesses and professional services firms moved from 9 percent to 15 percent over the past year. “With the increase in attacks being almost one hundredfold, the sheer criticality of information security should now pervade an organization,” Williams said. “Companies that execute their information security plans well will gain market share, profits and favor with investors.” Even with a talented IT staff in place,
52 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
cyber criminals are working 24/7 to devise their next attack, and it’s not a matter of if they will get through, but a matter of when they will get through. With that in mind, another very costeffective way to ensure that an organization is prepared is to develop a playbook with step-by-step instructions for each task that will be encountered when handling an incident. Additionally, developing a playbook is not overly time-consuming and will pay for itself many times over when the next attack occurs. It will also greatly decreases costs when it is time to hire an IR contractor. Things for companies to do to prepare in advance of an attack include: • Understand the technology so they are prepared to hire the right CRO (chief risk officer) and IR contractors. • Trust their IT staff – and if they don’t, find staff (or contractors) that they can trust. • Know what the potential for impact is and prepare accordingly. • Be confident that they can recover from a ransomware attack or other type
of breach. • Know the difference between electronic data and kinetic (physical) data. When considering the previous five points, always know how the organization will work with the right CRO and IR contractors to most effectively reduce costs and overall risk to the organization. By taking these few easy, yet important steps, companies can significantly impact the bottom line. There will be an expense upfront, but that expense is minimal compared to when an unprepared organization is breached. Brandon McCrillis is 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.
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Over the River
Manuel’s Offers French Dining Just a Short Drive Away This review originally was published in the September 2015 edition.
By Susan O’Keefe
From downtown Augusta, Manuel’s Bread Café is located just a hop, skip and a jump over the Savannah River. The French café occupies a cozy corner of Hammond’s Ferry in North Augusta. My colleagues and I visited recently on a steamy summer day. As one might expect, the patio portion of Manuel’s was vacant. The sail shade canopies were barely moving in the near stifling air but did provide a bit of cover from the sun’s rays. Inside we were greeted by the aroma of freshly baked bread mixed with a variety of savory scents from the lunch menu. A few diners were scattered throughout the restaurant and a couple more perused the pastry case. Almost immediately, our server shared the daily lunch specials. Drinks were delivered promptly. Lunch selections seemed to offer enough to please most palates. There were sandwiches stacked with turkey or corned beef plus salads with fresh ingredients from Blue Clay Farm located a few blocks away. A black bean chipotle burger and grilled vegetable sandwich provide ample alternatives for those seeking non-meat dishes. Finally, we focused and zeroed in on the salmon cake salad, the French-style Greek salad and the All American Burger. Funny that we ordered “Greek” and “American” items in a French cafe. Lunch items were priced in the $10-$15 range which we found reasonable. As we waited for our food, we noticed a few business people arriving. There seemed to be at least two meetings taking place. There was some sort of business training among another small group. The pace of incoming customers was slow
Manuel’s Bread Cafe Food Price but steady. One patron commented that Manuel’s would serve as a sufficient spot for a business lunch including no more than five or six people. For larger groups, the place would lose its coziness. Music quietly played through speakers. It was loud enough to set a tone of relaxation but low enough to avoid being a distraction. Once our food arrived, we were impressed with the vibrant, colorful display. The burger was topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, sweet onion and a pickle served on a ciabatta bun. It was devoured quickly. The pan-seared salmon cake was served next to a small Blue Clay Farm mixed green salad. One partaker of the salmon is a self-proclaimed “salmon-aholic.” He was very pleased with the inside moistness of the cake and the barely crispy outside.
The French-style Greek salad made for a pretty picture with feta cheese, grilled red onions, olives and marinated mushrooms. It tasted equally delicious. Our compliments to Chef Manuel Verney-Carron. It’s easy to understand why Manuel’s was awarded the “Best of Augusta” honors of Best Place for a Business Lunch and Best Outdoor Dining in 2014. As a Frenchman, the chef prides himself on the seasonal menu that intricately weaves time-honored French dishes with organic produce from the nearby Blue Clay Farm. On its website, Manuel’s presents itself as a “combination of a French bakery, pastry and food shop with an unforgettable casual dining experience.” In my opinion, they were true to their word. For Georgians, it’s well worth the short drive across the river.
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Location Networking Noise Level Manuel’s Bread Café is located at 505 Railroad Avenue in North Augusta.
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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September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
The Intersection of Art and Business
Augusta Businesses Strive to Incorporate Local Art By Witt Wells
When it comes to corporate environments, the brand of comedy generally referred to as “potty humor,” in the vast majority of cases, is frowned upon—especially when it’s permanently inscribed on the bathroom wall. That is, unless you can nail it creatively. “We wanted to use it in a sophisticated way,” said Daniel Stewart, studio director at the Broad Street graphic design agency Wier/Stewart, which recently won a National Silver American Advertising Award for its murals inside the Unisys call center downtown. At Unisys, sophisticated potty humor came in the form of 1960s jazz records. Flush by Melvin Bussey and the Clarences. On a Roll by Charmaine and the Whipples. Take Five. You get the idea. “We did have a jazz record called ‘Plop’ that didn’t make it,” Stewart said. “That was too gross.” Alex Wier, the agency’s creative director, says these are the kinds of projects that scare him a little bit – not because the themes are mildly crude, but because it’s exactly what he and Stewart love doing. “I like those jazz albums from the ’60s,” Wier said. “It was like, is this a bad idea? Are we just doing this because it’s something that we want to do? But it made sense.” Clearly, American Advertising Award judges agreed. Still, it’s not as if the personal tastes of Wier, Stewart, local artists Leonard Zimmerman and Jay Jacobs, and everyone else who helped turn an IT call center into an artistically rich scene inspiring both determined focus and laughter during bathroom breaks are the only factors at play. The playful aesthetic of the murals speaks to a larger trend among workplaces: people want their jobs to be cool. After all, Wier says, we spend more time at work than we do at home. “In Augusta, there are a lot of businesses coming around to the idea that culture is one of the most important things,” Stewart said. “You’ve got to come to work for 6-8 hours a day. You kind of need to like it, you know?” Unisys isn’t the only Augusta company that has come to value the attitude and creativity that naturally arise in artistic and visually stimulating workspaces. Cape Augusta and EDTS had an entire wall in one of the large rooms at the new Augusta Cyberworks campus completely covered in graffiti. Interior designer Tzara Harper, who
One of the inspirational murals at Unisys. Photo by Witt Wells
Augusta’s own Happy logo crops up in a variety of places.
The new cyberworks center includes intentional graffiti as part of the design. Photo by Witt Wells
works for architecture firm Cheatham Fletcher Scott and designed the inside of the new Unisys call center, says TaxSlayer’s new downtown digs, the Meybohm Realtors’ future offices at The Plaza at Evans Town Center and Augusta Sportswear’s facility in Grovetown might be filled with upcoming projects driven by local artists and designers. “The Unisys murals were based off the Millennial generation, with spaces you could escape to,” Harper said. “It’s a com-
56 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
pletely different world for Augusta.” Indeed, the fact that Unisys sought out local artists and designers Zimmerman and Jacobs is no small thing. Those are situations in which companies of Unisys’ size typically look to Atlanta’s creative minds for inspiration and guidance. For Harper, the Unisys project showed that Augusta has the same caliber of talent. “It’s starting to feel like the Augusta brand, from an art and music standpoint, is really starting to take shape,” Stewart
said. “And in the same way that a lot of ladies would go to Atlanta to get their hair colored or whatever because they think the only people who can do it are in Atlanta, same thing goes for art. Augusta has a dense group of phenomenal artists.” As self-taught designers, Wier and Stewart have plenty of artistic abilities themselves. But they’re careful not to call themselves artists. Stewart says that would be somewhat blasphemous to those who are. They don’t take for granted the privilege they have of working with “Porkchop” Zimmerman (a designer at the agency by day). And the work of Jason Craig, Blaine Prescott and Jay Jacobs makes them confident that Augusta will only continue to thrive artistically.
SERVICE WITH INTEGRITY
By Barry L. Paschal Just about everyone needs service on their car, but finding the right shop can be a source of anxiety. In fact, a survey by AAA found that two-thirds of consumers distrust auto repair shops in general - fearing that the work will be done wrong, or that they’ll be pushed into unnecessary and expensive repairs. That’s why the family atmosphere at
Robbie’s Automotive Service Center is so reassuring. Customers are kept fully informed, know they’re treated fairly, and are in charge of all decisions about their vehicles. There’s no pressure, no “gotcha” gimmicks, and plenty of care and trust from a fullservice facility. “We’ve been in the people business since 1985,” says owner Robbie Roberson. “We know any shop
in town can work on your car, but we’re going to take care of you in the process because auto repairs aren’t cheap anymore.” To get to know a new auto repair facility, AAA recommends having minor service first. Robbie’s introduction to many of its new customers is a $14.99 oil change, which includes a free tire rotation and a courtesy check of the vehicle. “The whole purpose of our courtesy check is that while your car is here, it’s my job to check it out and let you know if any additional services are needed.” It’s then entirely up to the customer to decide whether to have those repairs made “If there’s something wrong with your car, we’re going to tell you that,” Roberson says. “If there’s a problem, our job is to tell you what the problem is and offer you a solution - and then you can make an informed decision about any repairs. There’s no pressure; it’s all about trust.” Speaking of trust, what about customers who need to buy a used car but fear the risk of purchasing from a private individual with an online listing? Robbie’s will provide
a free pre-purchase inspection to let you know if you’re getting a good deal - or if you should keep looking. And when your car’s “check engine” light comes on? There’s no need to panic - Robbie’s will diagnose it as a courtesy, too. After all, Roberson says, their best service is customer service. “Look at our reviews, ask our customers,” Roberson added. “We believe in people, and we’re here to help them.”
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Local Breweries Gearing Up for Southern Suds Celebration By Ben Casella
I’ve been writing this monthly column faithfully since February 2009, when I was part of a team at the downtown publication formally known as Verge. Since then, I have conveyed my thoughts on just about every craft beer I could think of. With that said, I think it’s about time to blaspheme a bit on the juice of the barley, and I think autumn is just the season in which to do that. So, let me tell you about a real Oktoberfest beer brewed in Augusta. River Watch Brewery’s Oktoberfest this year is a very good beer. I got to sample it at a Historic Augusta function downtown in mid-September, and I couldn’t stop complimenting the brewmaster. She explained the process to me, along with all the attention paid to brewing this craft beer just as they do in Munich (insert picture of Clark W. Griswold in lederhosen here). The nose hinted of dark chocolate with toast and malt coming on a bit more strongly toward the back end. These aspects translated onto the tongue nicely, and I was most impressed with the mouthfeel and the even coating throughout. The roof of the mouth can be left out easily with this craft beer if careful attention is paid more closely to one brewing aspect than others, but the time, research, effort and care taken to brew this beer is evident from start to finish. Cheers, River Watch Brewery. Very well
done. Now to change gears and go back in time: a time during which persimmons were used to brew beer. The Augusta Museum of History is reprising Southern Suds, which is a historic take on one of the finer aesthetic pleasures of the good life in the South. River Watch Brewery and Savannah River Brewing Company will be showcasing some local brews, and River Watch is bringing back (by popular demand) Per Simma Down. This brew is crafted from a recipe found in an 1870s cookbook in the museum’s archives. It is also the only food or drink with persimmons that I have ever not hated. In fact, I love it. The Southern Suds event is Oct. 20, and tickets are on sale. More details can be found at augustamuseum.org/SouthernSuds.
To the best of his knowledge, Ben Casella hasn’t actually had any other food or drink with persimmons in it. He has, however, heard what others have said of such edibles, and he chose to unabashedly copy their thoughts for this piece. (Reference: The cultural culinary zeitgeist)
Viewing Choices When You Want Something Other Than Football By Samantha Barksdale
Truth be told, I haven’t given Netflix much time lately. It’s football season and that means my family spends most of our free time at a game, watching a game, or watching something about a game. Needless to say, it was a nice change of pace to sit down in front of the familiar red logo and watch something with a script. This month’s reviews don’t have anything in common except that they aren’t about sports. Enjoy a few random picks. Sing I remember watching the previews for this animated film and thinking it seemed a little risqué to be a kid’s movie. Nevertheless, it was my first pick on a quiet Friday night. With my son in bed and my husband asleep on the couch, I cleaned the kitchen and watched this one on my phone. It would have been better on the big screen, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) is just your average koala bear trying to save the theater he inherited from his father. With dreams of restoring the crumbling building back to its glory days, Buster comes up with a plan; he’ll host a talent show! Although Buster is known for having unrealistic expectations, even he is surprised by the turnout for auditions. Little does he know, his elderly secretary has mistakenly advertised the talent show as having a $100,000 prize, about $90,000 short of what he actually has. Once he is aware of the mistake, Buster chooses to go on with the façade, rather than be honest with his talent. While I expected a shallow storyline, I was pleasantly surprised. There are a lot of stories happening in Sing, but here are my favorites: an underappreciated mother is seen in a new way by her husband and children, a painfully shy elephant finds
58 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
the courage to live out her dream in front of the entire town, and an overbearing father learns to love his son’s true talent. Ryan Hamilton: Happy Face I love comedy specials. Once I realized Netflix was offering them, I played the specials while I cooked, cleaned and did paperwork. Needless to say, I walked through them pretty quickly. Because I watch them faster than Netflix can put them out, I’m always super-excited to get a new one. While the boys watched Sportscenter, I cooked dinner and got a few laughs in. Ryan Hamilton is from a potato farming community in Idaho, and has a degree from Brigham Young University. Why does this matter, you ask? Because that upbringing provided him with the insight and experiences to perform “clean” comedy. Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy an adult joke, but I absolutely love comedy I
can share with the whole family. Hamilton’s comedy is slightly self-deprecating, poking fun of his always-smiling face and the lonely life of a single comedian, but he’s good-natured and lighthearted. With “edgy” jokes about hot air balloonists and small-town living, you’re sure to have a “Happy Face” after watching.
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.
CROSSFIT 706: HELPING YOU ACHIEVE YOUR FITNESS GOALS It’s a persistent image of CrossFit: Heavily muscled athletes performing impossible physical tasks while trainers bark at them. At Augusta’s CrossFit 706, it’s more common to find a dozen class members of all ages, sexes and levels of fitness working out together, encouraging each other on their individual paths toward a healthier lifestyle. “We’re trying to break that stereotype that you have to be superfit before you do CrossFit,” says Stephanie Brown, who owns CrossFit 706 with her husband and fellow instructor, former U.S. Army Ranger Austin Akins. “We work with people who’ve never worked out a day in their life, and they’ve learned, ‘Hey, I can be healthy and strong, too!’” While CrossFit 706 membership spans a broad range of ages and fitness levels, about a third of the members had never participated in organized workouts. But whatever their prior experience, there’s no charge for the first visit. “Everybody can try a class for free,” Brown says. “That’s when we do our evaluation with them, see
where they are, what their athletic capabilities are and how they move.” That’s usually all it takes to get hooked on the high energy and supportive, family friendly atmosphere at CrossFit 706. “This is not a gym where you just come in and scan your barcode and you’re on your own for two hours,” Akins says. “Everything we do is in a structured class environment.” CrossFit 706 members also have the unique opportunity to participate in Adventures of Eating 101, which optimizes each member’s nutrition to their level of physical activity. Taking advantage of such inspiring programs requires a visit to the CrossFit 706 gym at 4304 Sudan Road in Martinez. It’s conveniently located off Wheeler Road, easily accessible from either the Wheeler Road or Belair Road exits of Interstate 20 - and its industrial park setting is by design. “Our No. 1 amenity is the amount of space we have,” Akins says. “It’s very rare for a CrossFit gym to have this much space - most are stuck in little strip malls. We have 10,000
square feet, so we can run classes with 15 people each, where 14 of them are your accountability partners and one is the instructor. We’re the perfect size.” Brown agrees. “Once you create this great environment, everything works so well.”
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Avoid Headaches by Choosing the Right Contractor for Exterior Cleaning By Tony Creighton
As a commercial property manager, addressing problems can be a large part of your daily schedule. With issues seemingly flying at you from all directions, why create more stress for yourself by choosing the wrong contractor for exterior cleaning? Q: How do you go about choosing the wrong contractor? A: Usually, by looking solely at the lowest price, and not taking into consideration all the things that will minimize the risk of headaches. The right exterior cleaning contractor knows the role of a commercial PM, and has the knowledge and commercial property experience to help solve their prob-
lem, making their job easier and hasslefree! The right contractor has the proper equipment and experience to efficiently clean surfaces like concrete sidewalks, siding and windows without causing damage. Concrete can be scarred and damaged by trying to remove chewing gum or stains with high-pressure washing. Instead, the experienced, properly equipped contractor knows to use hot water, combined with special detergents and a controlled amount of pressure, to melt gum and remove grease. Frequently, an inexperienced contractor tries to clean surfaces by blasting away with a pressure washer, which can perma-
nently damage window seals, scar vinyl siding, or blow water under siding or door jambs. These issues will quickly create a headache for the property manager, who now has to deal with fixing those costly problems. As a commercial PM, getting the required work done within the allotted budget is always a priority. A knowledgeable PM knows that a professional, experienced and licensed contractor can be a better solution, even though they may be more expensive than a “deal” found on Craigslist, or from a flimsy sign stapled to a telephone pole. In the long run, the cheaper option will usually impact the budget – and not in a good way. Just remember, if you think hir-
ing a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur. This column originally appeared in the December 2016 edition
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 email@example.com.
Take Control of Your Life
Fuel Your Body With Healthy Food for Top Performance By Onnie Sanford
I didn’t always own a meal-prep business. In fact, I was a Registered Nurse and had no desire to start my own business. I have always respected the human body, all of its amazing capabilities and the science behind it. But until I went on my own healthy journey, I never fully grasped the “you are what you eat” phenomenon. It wasn’t until I started living it, discovering how wonderful I felt – as well as noticing dramatic changes – that I became a believer. I also started taking a look at my emergency room nursing job, which I loved, and realized that something was missing. There I was, triaging and caring for incredibly sick patients – patients with preventable chronic illnesses, morbid obesity and cancer. I watched patients die from heart attacks and strokes at a younger and younger age and I started questioning what I was doing. I felt that I was handing these patients yet another prescription to add to their growing list, and I wasn’t able to educate them on prevention and healing. I started turning into the holistic hippie type that I, admittedly, had made fun of years before. Instead of reaching for medicine as a form of treatment, I went for the essential oils, muscle recovery, and yes, even food. I paid attention to the foods I ate and how my body reacted to them. I want to do more than feed people. This new mindset positively changed my life and I want to change others as well.
60 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
Meal prepping is trending up. Whether you want to start small or jump in with both feet, we can guide you through. We have snacks, condiments, sides, meat, individual dinners and family dinners. I have tried to leave no room for excuses, although I have heard everything. “I can’t give up _______,” “I’m not that disciplined,” and “I don’t like _______.” And for every excuse, I have a solution. Our bodies are no different than a piece of equipment. If we fuel them appropriately, provide the necessary maintenance work, and continue to use them, they will perform every day, all day long. I have seen a 72-year-old learn to do 11 strict pull-ups in a row. I have seen people come out of their comfort zone to change their lives. I have also seen several people come off of all their medications through nutrition and exercise. I urge you to be the change. Your body is sending you warning signs, so the options are these: Change on your own terms, or your body will make you change, and I can’t promise the outcome. I used to say life is too short to not enjoy the “yummy things.” Instead, life is too short not to enjoy every minute of every day. 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.
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September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
Continued from Page 6
Augusta Cyberworks Holds Grand Opening
EDTS and Cape Augusta held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in September for the grand opening of the new Augusta Cyberworks facility at Sibley Mill, a data center, office space and training ground that the cyber community hopes to transform into a thriving “live, work, play” environment. It was an event that Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis believed was a symbol of why Augusta has become “the envy of the nation right now” when it comes to the growth of the cyber industry. After the ceremony, guests were ushered into the old mill built in 1882 and toured the campus, which already houses about 80 EDTS employees. EDTS moved into the facility over the summer after signing a 10-year lease on the 32,500-square-foot space in the former textile mill, which used to produce denim for Levi Strauss. James Ainslie, co-founder of Cape Augusta, spoke at the ceremony and stressed the importance of the renovated Sibley Mill in drawing young entrepreneurs to Augusta. “That’s where sustained growth is going to come from,” Ainslie said. Ainslie also stressed the importance of human capital development, galvanizing venture capital, and involvement in the local community as major focuses for Cape Augusta going forward.
Head Capital Marks 20 Years
Head Capital Advisors celebrated its 20th anniversary in early September. When the firm opened in 1997,
The Augusta Chronicle
SRS Brings $2.4 Billion to Area Economy The U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site continues to generate an economic impact of roughly $2.4 billion per year in the regional economy, according to the latest Economic Impact Study released today by the SRS Community Reuse Organization. The five-counties studied are Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell Counties in South Carolina, and Columbia and Richmond Counties in Georgia. The analysis also estimates the consequences of the potential impact of future job fluctuations and future workforce transition, and adds research to identify how communities in the region can prepare for anticipated changes in the makeup of the SRS workforce. Details of the study were presented at local events across the five-county region during the last week of August. “This study is a good collection
it was founded as Group and Benefits Consultants, which went on to become the largest independent employee benefits firm in the CSRA. “We make insurance a very personal decision for corporate clients, as well as individuals trying to weave through benefits design and cost,” Head said. “We do a lot of things your typical insurance agency doesn’t.” Some of those things include compliance-advising, wellness-advising and proprietary technology contracts. Head said HCA prides itself on capitalizing on technology. Head became a partner at Group
62 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017
of factual analysis that updates and confirms much of what we see about the SRS role as a driver of the local economy,” said Sanford Loyd, chairman of the SRSCRO. Economic highlights of the study include the following: • For 2016, SRS organizations spent $1.2 billion in the region in the form of wages, benefits and other direct expenditures. This spending generated an additional $1.2 billion spent in the five-county region; the total of $2.4 billion is 11 percent of the gross regional product. • SRS employed 8,566 residents of the five-county region in 2016 (over 80 percent of the Site’s total workforce). Spending associated with SRS generated an additional 10,139 jobs in other employment sectors (retail, building services, employment services, real estate, and restaurants, for example). In all,
and Benefits Consultants in 2000 and oversaw a period of strong growth for the company that hit in the early to mid-2000s. In 2015, the firm was bought by Acrisure, one of the largest insurance firms in the country. Bringing in national support gave the Augusta Firm access to more technology and support while maintaining a strong local presence. “We’re transparent about what we do,” Head said. “Some people talk to their clients once a year.” The next year, Group and Benefits Consulting was renamed Head Capital Consultants, and
the Site is responsible for approximately 18,705 jobs in the regional economy – 7.9 percent of the region’s employment base. The average job at SRS pays approximately 2.3 times the regional average. • The projected impact of a 1,000 job loss or gain at SRS would be a total regional job impact of 1,700, and a loss or gain of $200 million in output. • In 2016, SRS generated $91 million in state and local taxes, $291 million in federal taxes, and $6.5 million in payments in lieu of taxes. (Payment in lieu of taxes helps to offset property tax losses for SRS property located in South Carolina counties.) • Federal government-related employment (including SRS and the approximately 26,000 employees of Fort Gordon) is by far the largest employment sector in the five-county region.
Head became its CEO. As far as the mission of the team of 16, Head said they want to educate their clients as much as possible. “It’s taking that deeper dive into their needs,” Head said. “Some people in the technology industry need deeper benefits.” The firm has the record to prove the effectiveness of that approach. HCA currently retains 98 percent of its group clients. “When I think about the past 20 years, I’d say God has graced and blessed us – blessed me – with great clients and a valuable team to support them,” Head said.
openings, closings and moves Continued from Page 7 Treehouse Macarons The macarons that have become a mainstay at the Augusta Market on Saturdays will have their own store soon. Treehouse Macarons, which originally began in Hoboken, Ga., will soon open at Furys Ferry Station Suite 113, next to Marco’s Pizza. The Smiths are shooting to open Treehouse Macarons’ first store in November. When Shane Smith contacted a friend in south Georgia to ask about the possibility of his macaron store opening a shop in Augusta, his friend told him to start his own. Shane and his wife, Missy, have done just that, and they’ll be moving their business that has been featured at the Augusta Market into its first building soon. The Smiths say the bakery will occupy the back of the space at Furys Ferry Station. The duo will stick with macaroons for now, but Shane mentioned during a recent interview on the Buzz on Biz radio show that they may be looking into coffee and other products later on. Top Sushi and Steakhouse SideTrack Bar and Grill closed its doors in late August, and a sushi restaurant called Top Sushi and Steakhouse will take its place this fall. Owner Chuck Large closed up shop after deciding to retire to Texas, where his wife has lived for the last several years and will retire as well. Large had been traveling back and forth from Texas to Augusta to run the restaurant. He became the owner of SideTrack in 1995 and first started trying to sell the space in 2010. “You have a local bar and grill, and you start getting really dedicated customers,” Large said. “That’s what I’ll miss more than anything.” SideTrack’s building on Washington Road won’t be dead for long, though. The new owners, Jin Xing Chen and Xiang Feng Lin, hope to have their new restaurant, Top Sushi and Steakhouse, open by November. Lin currently owns Top China, a counter-serve eatery on Columbia Road. He’ll split his time between Top Sushi and Steakhouse and Top China, which he has owned for four years. Large is 69 and says he’s looking forward to retirement but he’ll miss everyone at the restaurant, where he’s
Sonic on Furys Ferry closes Sonic on Furys Ferry closed in September because of electrical problems and structural damage, according to a general manager at the Sonic on Washington Road in Martinez. General Manager Ronney Gant said
been making memories since 1995. One year, SideTrack was the location of a live show that occurred during the Masters, and Large said two or three golfers were present.
Prestige Appliance The Prestige Appliance stores in Augusta and Aiken and Discount Appliance in Martinez have all closed suddenly. The company’s owner, Douglas
it was a “really bad electrical problem” that caused their system to crash. “The revenue they brought in wasn’t enough to pay for all that.” Gant said that the Furys Ferry Sonic used an electrical system that
Huffer, who expanded into the Augusta market last year with a 5,000-squarefoot showroom in west Augusta, reportedly attempted unsuccessfully to sell the assets to another company. After opening Prestige last fall, Huffer opened Discount Appliance in Martinez in the spring. According to The Augusta Chronicle, Huffer has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in an attempt to liquidate and pay off creditors. Prestige’s closing will cause the loss of about 35 jobs.
EXPANSIONS University Health Care
A new University Health Care primary care center is being built near the corner of Washington Road and Blanchard Road in Evans, between Butler Automotive and Kendrick Paint and Body Shop.
he estimates was around 10 years old. The Sonic first opened 10 years ago and has gone from being a Sonic to a barbecue joint and back to a Sonic.
The Greenbrier center is slated to open in the first quarter of 2018, according to a communications specialist at University Health Care. University Health Care has nine primary care centers around the CSRA.
Anytime Fitness Anytime Fitness, a 24-hour fitness club, opened a new location Sept. 1 in Riverwood Town Center in Evans. Anytime Fitness has four other CSRA locations: in Martinez (341 Furys Ferry Road and 4497-4 Columbia Road), Grovetown (107 E. Robinson Ave.) and North Augusta (336 Georgia Ave.).
September 28-October 25, 2017 Buzz on Biz
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64 Buzz on Biz September 28-October 25, 2017