Buzz dec 22 17 issue

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The CSRA is poised for a once-in-alifetime opportunity to become to cyber what Silicon Valley is to computing. Dr. Tom Clark and the Alliance for Fort Gordon are at the forefront of making sure the area doesn’t miss its chance. In 2019, the Army will officially move its Cyber Command to Fort Gordon, making it the epicenter for all things involving computer software, hardware and networking. Its focus will be on how to protect the United States’ networks, how to attack an enemy’s network and to understand all the nuances of warfare in a digital age. “It’s not sexy like a tank or a plane,” Clark said, “but they’re taking UAV footage from Iraq and Afghanistan in real time, analyzing it and then send it back (to the battlefront) in real time. The folks at Fort Gordon are saving lives on a daily basis.” For the first time ever, the Army will be placing the operational army and the training and doctrinal command on the same base. That will allow both to learn from each other in real time. Clark, executive director of the Alliance, has gone so far as to label the Augusta area the “Fort Gordon Cyber District” in anticipation of what he expects will happen over the next decade. The district encompasses seven counties in Georgia and South Carolina. “Our mission is to promote and advocate for this area to become the Silicon Valley of the South by 2020,” Clark said. “We are well on our way to do that. Fortune magazine said we’re the dark horse


Tom Clark, executive director of the Alliance for Fort Gordon, stands next to a sign at the Augusta Regional Airport informing visitors about the area’s Cyber District. Photo contributed

to do that. I believe that horse is up and running in the race.” Growth is Already Happening Cyber Command is a key component in nosing that horse into the lead, and the ramifications of that are becoming evident in the Augusta area. Fort Gordon has already brought thousands of soldiers and their families to the area over the past few years, and expects to add another 1,200 soldiers and 3,000

of their family members in 2019. Companies dealing with cyber technology have begun opening offices in Augusta and more will come. But it isn’t just companies involved in cyber who will benefit from Augusta’s new role. Even low tech companies like barbershops, pizza restaurants and gas stations will benefit. “As Fort Gordon grows, so does the community,” Clark said. “Every job on post creates two jobs off post.”

While most of the growth so far has been in Columbia County, especially in the Grovetown area, Clark said the impact will be felt throughout the CSRA. Each community, from Edgefield and Aiken to Thomson, offers unique characteristics that will appeal to different soldiers and their families. That includes more than 13,000 retired personnel who choose to stay in the area. See CYBER on Page 2


Continued from Page 1

REASONS ABOUND TO DRAW CYBER PROS TO CSRA Tom Clark, executive director of the Alliance for Fort Gordon, believes the Augusta area is uniquely positioned to become the Cyber District of the South – the cyber equivalent of the Silicon Valley. And it’s not just because of the upcoming move of the Army Cyber Command. Clark points to the welcoming communities, affordability of housing and the proximity to big cities and natural resources like beaches and mountains as reasons for those in the cyber industry to call the CSRA home. “We’re two to three hours from many areas,” Clark said. “If you live in Washington, D.C., it can take you an hour just to get across town.” Because both military personnel and civilian contractors need to make trips between Fort Gordon and the nation’s capital, the Alliance is partnering with Augusta Regional Airport to try to make that easier. Although the airport once offered direct flights to Washington, it currently does not. That causes many service members and contractors to drive to airports in Atlanta or Columbia for direct flights. The Alliance and the airport are exploring ways to bring back a direct flight between Augusta and Washington, which will make the area even more attractive to contractors.

Improved Education is Key But the race to be the cyber version of Silicon Valley isn’t a runaway. One of the major hurdles is education. Nationally, the number of cyber jobs will rise to 6 million by 2019, but the country is about 1.5 million short of meeting that. The Augusta area is no exception in running short of qualified cyber professionals. To that end, the Alliance for Fort Gordon is spearheading an effort to infuse cyber training into CSRA schools, eventually from kindergarten through college. It has already started at all Columbia County middle school levels. “We want to be champions of education, innovation and entrepreneurship,” Clark said. “We want to develop a cyber technology culture.” Clark said the education isn’t always specifically geared at cyber training. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing the examples used in existing curriculum. For example, a math problem may have used an example like, “Jane has two apples and Jack has one apple. How many apples do they have?” In the new curriculum, the problem may read, “Jane has 2 gigabytes and Jack has one gigabyte. Do they have enough gigabytes to run this program?” Augusta University has already taken the first steps toward becoming a world leader in cyber education, launching its School of Computer and Cyber Sciences in July. The Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center is under construction on AU’s Riverfront Campus on

Reynolds Street. Clark said Generation Z, those under age 20, are a natural fit for this education because they were born into the digital age. “In many cases they’ll be the experts and in some cases you’ll have the students teaching the class while the older generation catches up,” he said. Jobs to Retain Local Graduates The goal is to create a self-sustaining community where students stay after graduating. “We’re creating these jobs so our children will have the opportunity to stay in the community, make a contribution to their country and earn a great wage while doing it,” Clark said. “It’s not just cyber professionals we need, but engineers, plumbers and support staff.” And that could create some big changes in the CSRA in the next dozen years. “Maybe by 2030 we’ll be living in a city with self-driving vehicles, where the workforce has no physical building and we’ll be the world leaders in cyber technology and security,” Clark mused. “We’ll have the whole world coming to Augusta to learn from homegrown experts about protecting cyber and protecting the earth.” But that future requires the right actions now. “We’re in a unique position to capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Clark said. “There are a lot of places worldwide that can’t believe they’ve missed out on this opportunity.”

2 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

FOCUS ON FITNESS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE NEW YEAR Speaking of growth, Gary met with Tom Clark from the Alliance at Fort Gordon on what’s next for our growing Cyber industry. It’s our cover story. Millie “Hollandaise” Huff is filling in this month for our business lunch food critic Susan O’Keefe. She profiles That Flippin’ Egg, one of the best-named restaurants in the CSRA. Her review is on page 32. Lastly, one of our most popular features in Buzz on Biz is our Buzz Bits and Comings and Goings. If you are an entrepreneur, please read Witt Wells story on a Grovetown business closing up shop at the end of the year. It is a raw and honest cautionary tale of a business owner that admittedly made mistakes that led to his demise.


When our sales and PR person Jessica Jones suggested we focus on fitness in our New Year’s issue, it really struck a chord with me. As I’ve outlined before, I really need to get on a program so I can live a healthier life and be around longer to see my 4-year-old daughter grow up. I would describe my workout regimen as “hit or miss.” I was pretty consistent for a while earlier in 2017 when I worked out a few times a week at GTR Fitness with their trainers. They are a great group, but it was pretty advanced and I was not up to the challenge. Then summer hit and I found myself not being able to handle the heat in my regular tennis matches and I had to drop back. This fall, I had a cardiac catheter and discovered some arterial blockage. Simply put, I need to lose weight. I’ve procrastinated, but think I’m going to join Anytime Fitness in the neighborhood and take part in a group training session with up to 10 people – so I’ll have support. Our business reporter Witt Wells profiled five area “bootcamps,” personal training facilities and martial arts centers to give you a (non-fat) flavor of what’s available in the CSRA besides the “big box” gyms. His special report is on pages 21-22. Please take a look. I promise I’ll commit to regular exer-

Happy New Year!

In the Spring of 2017, when I was working out regularly at GTR Fitness in Evans

cise in 2018. How about you? Our Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman was busy leading up to the publishing of this issue. He attended a few different forecast-type meetings, focused on where our economy is headed. One of those was at Augusta University, where economics professor Simon Medcalfe explained how the area’s numbers vs. other communities

maybe a little deceiving – especially with all of the cranes in action! That story is on page 4. Gary also attended an annual meeting in North Augusta as they outlined 2018 plans to deal with the growth surrounding Riverside Village and a new baseball stadium, as well as at Exit 5. Catch his report on page 34.

Features Economy Heads Skyward............................. 4 The CSRA’s economy is on the rise, but don’t believe the numbers. Trust the buildings going up.

Strength in Small Packages..................22-23 There are many ways to keep your New Year’s vow to get fit with more personalized training.

Buzz Bits.................................................. 6, 12

Growing Pains............................................. 34 Growth in 2018 holds both opportunities and challenges for North Augusta.

Openings, Closings................................. 7, 13 Upcoming Events.................................. 14, 15 Businessperson of the Month.................... 20 Walker Posey provides light in families’ darkest times.

Celebrating 10 Years................................... 36 The Poison Peach Film Festival showcases the film arts of homegrown talent.

Columnists Mark Alison: Extra Effort Makes a Huge Difference........................ 8

Stacy Roberts: 5 Simple Tips to Help You Accomplish Tasks.....26

Tim Dalton: Don’t Slip on These Mistakes When Selling............10

Dagan Sharpe: A Different Form of Addiction................................28

Liz Klebba: Deciphering What Business Dress Styles Mean......16

Missie Usry: Giving Back Teaches Good Citizenship.....................28

Ed Enoch: Prep Now to Ease Distress if an Emergency Occurs 18

Kurt Mueller: Plan for Your Retirement Before You’re Forced to.30

Christine Hall: A Health Savings Account Hold Advantages.....18

Millie Huff: That Flippin’ Egg Adds to Evans Lunch Choices......32

Gary Kauffman: Starting Your Days Right Can Kick Off Better

Tony Creighton: DIY Pressure Washing Could Cost More..........37

New Year...................................................................................................24

Ben Casella: Plenty of Chocolaty Richness in New Terrapin

Danielle Harris: Stay Motivated to the End for a Great Start For


2018....................................................................................................................... 24

Samantha Barksdale: Netflix’s Look at British Royalty Worth

Russell Head: IRS Begins Sending Employer Penalty Letters....26


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

The Buzz on Biz mission is to act as an inspirational tool for those in the workplace and those who are entrepreneurs, and to provide useful, practical information to increase their companies’ bottom lines. To order a 12-month subscription mailed to your home or office, please mail a check for $49 (includes sales tax) to cover postage to the address below. Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman Multimedia Journalist Witt Wells, Layout/Ad Building Michael Rushbrook Photography Witt Wells, Gary Kauffman, Melissa Gordon Sales Manager Neil Gordon,, 706-589-6727 Sales and PR Jessica Jones,, 762-218-0239 Distribution Kenneth Brown, Jessica Jones Opinions expressed by the writers herein are their own and their respective institutions. Neither Morris Media Network nor its agents or employees take any responsibility for the accuracy of submitted information, which is presented for informational purposes only. Like us on Facebook @ Follow us on Twitter @BuzzonBiz 725 Broad Street, Augusta GA 30901

December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




A composite view of the Augusta-North Augusta skylines, taken from the North Augusta Municipal Building, shows three cranes in operation. These visible signs of new construction may explain a recent economic spurt in the CSRA. Photo by Gary Kauffman


Simon Medcalfe has a theory to explain why his local predictive indexes didn’t foresee an uptick in Augusta’s economic activity – cranes. Medcalfe, economist with the Hull College of Business at Augusta University, presented his 10th annual Economic Forecast Breakfast on Dec. 14. One of his graphs showed how the predictors and the actual economic activity has risen virtually identically, but then a few months ago, the actual activity took a sudden sharp upturn. “I don’t know why the local index is no longer an accurate predictor,” he said, “but I suspect it is something intangible to the local area that is not in the data. My suspicion is that it’s a five-letter word that starts with C – crane.” Medcalfe pointed out the number of cranes visible in a relatively concentrated area in the downtown area, counting six along the 13th Street corridor. Those include the ones across the river at North Augusta’s Riverside Village development, the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center on Reynolds Street, the new hotel on Broad Street and the cancer center construction in the medical district. “I don’t remember a time when we had six cranes in the downtown area,” he said. “I’ve never felt such a buzz and feeling of excitement for growth since I moved here.” After the meeting, he added that the visibility of so much major construction boosts the confidence of others considering building projects in the CSRA. “I feel that investors and developers who are looking in the area, when they see that kind of activity, think, ‘That’s where I need to be at,’” he said. Medcalfe began his annual economic

forecast in 2009 at the lowest point in the area’s economy. That year growth was negative 3 percent. “Back then, the jokes were pretty bad,” Medcalfe said, alluding to his annual barrage of puns and corny jokes. “But the recession was not as bad here as in other places.” Things picked up in 2013, and the CSRA’s economy has grown steadily, including by 2.4 percent in 2015 and 2.1 percent in 2016. That still leaves Augusta trailing Atlanta, Gainesville and Savannah, which have averaged double-digit growth in the past four years. Medcalfe noted that 80 percent of all

jobs created in Georgia in the past four years were in those three cities. But the Labor Market Index gives a broader picture of how the economy is doing. Augusta’s growth of 1.4 percent on that index is on par with Savannah and this year moved ahead of Gainesville. In 2015, Medcalfe introduced his Economic Well-Being index, which looks beyond economic numbers to other factors that play into a feeling of well-being, such as gross domestic product, income and poverty, education, health, crime and the environment. Augusta’s rank is generally higher on that index than where it ranks in GDP alone.

Simon Medcalfe, economist with the Hull College of Business at Augusta University, presented his 10th annual Economic Forecast Breakfast on Dec. 14. Photo by Gary Kauffman

4 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

Medcalfe had projected a flat growth in the job market in 2017, and for the first six months his prediction was accurate. But then in the middle of the summer job growth spiked upward and has fluctuated up and down since. He thinks that growth will continue to be robust. “Will it be good enough to catch Atlanta?” he asked. “I don’t know but some of the charts are showing that the potential is there.” That is because of some slack areas in the economy that can still be tightened. The average hours worked in the CSRA is 34.9 per week, meaning employers could increase jobs without significant amounts of extra money. Unemployment is at 4.5 percent, so there is still room for that to decrease as well. Medcalfe noted that the CSRA’s job market is changing, though, becoming more concentrated, which could create a new outlook in the future. “Employment is becoming concentrated in fewer large sectors,” he said. “As it concentrates in fewer industries we could see more rapid growth. Or we could have peaks and valleys that we haven’t had in Augusta.” Tera Bonsell, a senior marketing major at Hull College of Business, gave a brief presentation of her study of the area housing market. She found that since 2009 housing prices have increased by $27,000. Her study projects that those prices will increase by $6,000 in the first nine months of 2018. The study, however, was a macro of the entire Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina, and did not break down prices by area, or the rates of increase at various price breaks.

buzz bits


SIGN MAKER WINS ANNUAL CHAMBER ENTREPRENEUR AWARD The number of entrepreneurs in Augusta continues to grow, but one stood out at the Augusta Metro Chamber’s quarterly member economic luncheon Dec. 7. Lane Keen, founder of Keen Signs and Graphics, was named the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce at the event, which drew hundreds of businesspeople and community members to the Marriott Convention Center. Keen Signs and Graphics has nearly doubled its business over the last three years, according to Jay Forrester, Augusta president of South State Bank, who introduced Keen. The company creates signs and graphics for various uses and surfaces, and offers several consultation and design services. “They recently relocated downtown and are proud to be part of the revitalization of the downtown area,” Forrester said. “As entrepreneurs it’s not only important to focus on doing business and growing your business but also to focus on giving back to the community.” Keen has served on numerous chamber committees, including the Red Carpet Showcase Committee responsible for organizing the annual event that showcases Augusta’s economic and business communities to CEO’s from around the world. Keen Signs and Graphics is located at 1350 Reynolds St. Q and A with Lane Keen. What inspired you to pursue a business in signs and graphics? I was a production manager at the Solo Cup plant, and we printed on cups so I was familiar with printing. Another sign shop was for sale (Keen didn’t buy it), and I started doing research on the industry. I thought it was something I could do. We actually started the business in 2010. What have you learned over the last few years? Take care of customers. Most of growth has been customers giving us more work. The word of mouth from happy customers in the best. We did work for one local company, and because of that we started doing work for another company out of town. What’s the significance of having a downtown presence? Visibility. It’s turned out to be very positive and the right time. What has been your own personal biggest challenge as an entrepreneur? The biggest thing is just being able to handle the growth. You need more people, more resources. Being able to deliver up and still deliver a sound product. .

6 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

A local businessman is getting statewide recognition in the technology sector. The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), one of the nation’s largest state trade organizations dedicated to technology and innovation, recently released its Georgia Game Changers: Who’s Who in Transportation Technology list in the latest issue of the organization’s Hub Magazine. Augusta’s Textron Specialized Vehicles President and CEO Kevin Holleran made the 2017 list, which identifies key players from the state’s technologyfocused transportation companies who are driving innovation in the industry. The list also included Georgia executives from Delta Airlines, AT&T and a few other companies. Among Textron’s products are aircrafts, rotorcrafts, armored vehicles, electrical vehicles, tools and automotive systems.


The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce is taking applications for the Small Business Marketing Academy, JanuaryJune 2018 program. Applications are available for download on the Chamber’s website, The deadline to apply is Jan. 19. The academy is an opportunity for participants to learn, share and plan for a growing, thriving business. Attendees meet once a month for six months for a day of learning from local industry experts, and to engage in roundtable discussions applying practical advice and best practices. The Academy runs twice a year, with classes beginning in January and July. Classes are on the last Wednesday of the month, excluding December. The first day of the January-June 2018 program will be Jan. 31, and will focus on “Essential Marketing Plan Ingredients.” Attendees can learn the steps and components of creating or updating a marketing plan. For more information and to complete an application, visit the Chamber’s website.


Augusta banker Dagan Sharpe, recently featured in Buzz on Biz for publishing a novel, released a non-fiction work in early December. Titled Full Disclosure: Candid Confessions from a Recovering Workaholic, the work examines how ambition can become overwhelming and detrimental. Sharpe, director of wealth services and region manager for Queensborough National Bank & Trust, makes his observations from his own life that nearly spiraled out of control. According to the description on Amazon, “Full Disclosure shares in a revealing way, the power of stewardship. It’s easy to get distracted in today’s fast paced world. We have family, work, health and money issues to contend with – and all pulling at us at the same time! However, when we keep our hearts and minds focused on what’s most important and surrender to what our true purpose is, we realize how powerful a truth Christ reveals when He says, ‘seek first the Kingdom of God…’ (Matthew 6:33).” In September, Sharpe released a novel, Highways End, which dealt with some of the same themes. He also has published two children’s books. Full Disclosure is available in paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and as an e-book for Kindle. Continued on Page 12


OPENINGS Wingate by Wyndham

A new hotel is up and running on Washington Road. Wingate by Wyndham has opened its latest state-of-the-art 61 room hotel in Augusta off Washington Road, just east of I-20. The hotel is located at 2650 C Center West Parkway and opened on Nov. 29. The Wingate is smoke-free, with amenities that include wired and wireless high-speed internet throughout the hotel. Each room features a 49inch flat screen TV. Travelers or locals wanting a respite can enjoy a fitness center, 24-hour business center, sundry shop and a complimentary hot breakfast with healthy options like oatmeal, yogurt, fruit and eggs as well as comfort food like bacon and waffles. Jimmy Peach A new retail store opened on Broad Street at the beginning of December. Jimmy Peach, a new retailer selling antique furniture, artwork, woodwork and more, is located at 1155 Broad Street, next to Sky City. The space previously housed artist co-op Artus. They’ll be open from 6-9 p.m. Jimmy Peach features mid-century modern collection, artwork and handmade leather goods and furniture by artist Robert Twilley, and artwork and handcarved wood workings by artist Max Kafka. Trust and Mane A new salon has opened in the Le Pavilion shopping center off Washington Road. Trust and Mane, which was opened by former Tuscany Spa stylist Tara Theil, held its grand opening at the end of November. Trust and Mane offers new color techniques, hair extensions and hair replacements. Seven stylists are housed in the newly renovated space. Theil calls the salon “warm and inviting,” and all of the salon’s equipment is brand new. Trust and Mane is open Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Mondays by appointment.

HAIRMAX BEAUTY SUPPLY Hairmax Beauty Supply, which for years was a fixture next to the former Kroger on 15th Street, is planning to double its size in the New Year when it moves onto Broad Street. The shop is moving into the space on the 1200 block of Broad Street that used to house Escape Outdoors, next to The Pizza Joint. The building has more than 7,000 square feet of space. Rochelle Tutt, the owner of Hairmax, said that the Medical College of Georgia Foundation, which owns the Central Square Shopping Center where the beauty supply center is currently located, has plans for a redevelopment in the area. That forced Tutt to find a new location for Hairmax. “The traffic is really good and the visibility is good,” Tutt said of Hairmax’s new digs. “I wasn’t so crazy about the parking, but the couple of times I’ve been there, it hasn’t been that bad.” Hairmax sells hair extensions, cosmetics, beauty supplies Trust and Mane is located at 106 Pleasant Home Road, Suite 2C. Panda Express A new Panda Express opened on the south side of Aiken Dec. 9 at the corner of Silver Bluff and Pine Log roads. The restaurant has both drive-thru and pick-up options. It is the third Panda Express that has opened in the CSRA; the other two are located on Robert C. Daniel Jr. Pkwy near the Augusta Exchange and at Fort Gordon. Panda Express is a fast-casual Asian restaurant. BenchMark Physical Therapy A physical therapy provider that has locations throughout the United States – including various locations in Georgia – is coming to Augusta. BenchMark Physical Therapy, will lease the space at the Augusta Exchange shopping center on Robert C. Daniel Jr. Pkwy between Panera Bread Co. and Mattress Firm. Benchmark will be located next to the Mattress Firm, where Nail Spa was located before it recently moved next door to the old location of Movie Stop, which is now closed. “This move by BenchMark is further evidence that there is a growing trend for medical users to locate in retail centers instead of in traditional office space,” said Joe Edge, president of Sherman and Hemstreet, the company that leased the building. The address of the retail center is 254 Robert C Daniel Jr. Pkwy.

and more. The Broad Street building’s owner, Fred Daitch, said he showed the facility to many different prospective tenants looking to open a variety of businesses, including a coffee house, distillery, restaurant, bar, brewhouse, innovation company, salon and spa and others. “I expect more than 100 customers to go in and out of Hairmax each day,” Daitch said. Tutt says Hairmax will move in on Jan. 1. A grand opening of Hairmax is expected that month, and build-out of the spacious facility will continue in the following months. “I don’t think there’s another business like ours in that area,” Tutt said.

West End Collective A new home and antique market is bringing high-end furniture and classic antiques under the same roof. The summer closure of the 10,000-square-foot Antique Market at Le Pavilion Shopping Center has made way for a new antique store called West End Collective, a family venture focused on bringing a style of high-end home furnishing and decor that one of the owners says he has not yet seen available in Augusta. After spending years in corporate retail management, 38-year-old Jim Wynn decided it was as good a time as any to take a chance on a new business. Wynn’s mother was an interior decorator in the Augusta area for decades. The trade runs in the family. “We take the old school antiques and the new school decor and mesh them together,” Wynn said.

viously housed Floors 360 and Appliance Land. A design associate at the outlet said that the owner of the building on Frontage Road that previously housed the decorator retailer sold it. That building will soon house shuttle service Groom Transportation. Decorator’s Outlet and Interiors is now located in the same building as Complete Game, which moved into the location after Floors 360. Decorator’s Outlet and Interiors’ new location provides a selection of custom drapery, fabrics, bedding, pillows and other household items. Decorator’s Outlet and Interiors is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The outlet is located at 3855 Washington Road.

MOVES Decorator’s Outlet

Gary’s Hamburgers opened a new location on North Belair Road in Evans at the end of November. The burger joint will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and is located at 116 N Belair Rd. It is currently only open for lunch and dinner but will be open for breakfast soon. The building was previously occupied by WifeSaver restaurant. Gary’s Hamburgers, which has multiple locations locally, closed its Graniteville location earlier this year due to

Decorator’s Outlet and Interiors has moved from its Frontage Road location to a new one on Washington Road. The outlet is now located across the street from the West Town shopping center and Bojangles, in the building that pre-

EXPANSIONS Gary’s Hamburgers

Continued on Page 13

December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




I worked on my father’s ice cream truck every Saturday during the summer when school was out. We sold soft-serve on neighborhood routes and special stops where people, who heard the familiar music from our Mr. Softee-style truck, would gather to buy our shakes, sundaes and cones. While I missed playing hoops and tag football with my friends, the work wasn’t without its advantages. I ate my weight in ice cream. I loaded up on root beer floats. I made special sundae concoctions with pineapple and crushed cherry toppings and those delicious, syrupy wet walnuts. I drank crazy-flavored milk shakes and, as they would say in the South, I “ate the mess” out of chocolate ice cream. At “ice cream school” they had taught us how “turn a cone.” It was a way to wind just enough ice cream above the lip of the cone to make it look like a good value for the money. We were instructed to weigh each one to be sure the serving did not exceed the profit margin. Sundaes had a similar set of rules. Milkshakes had a fill line for the milk and the ice cream followed by one single pump of chocolate. But since I loved chocolate, I

ignored the rules when I made my own personal milkshakes and they were way better than the corporate ones. Here’s the recipe. First the whole milk. I poured a little less than the fill line into the squatty pint cup. Then rich soft serve vanilla ice cream loaded with butterfat. I’d circle it into the cup, lining the walls, top to bottom, making an ice cream walled tunnel down the center. Finally my favorite; a full pump of dark brown Hershey’s chocolate, followed by another pump – filling up that ice cream tunnel. Then onto the Hamilton Beech mixer it went until everything was blended deliciously. Yum! I can still see it sliding reluctantly up the paper straw and feel that creamy cold chocolate decadence coating the inside of my mouth. I considered it a life changing experience. (I have to pause here to savor that again in my mind). The only difference in what I made for myself and the milkshakes we sold was that one extra pump of Hershey’s chocolate. I asked my dad what that extra pump of chocolate cost and he said, “Not very much.” So I suggested to him that we make our shakes my way. I pitched that mine was far superior to the ones we were

8 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

selling and that people might tell others how much better they were and we could become known for these really good milkshakes, and… He said OK, not because he believed a 13-year-old kid but because I was so enthusiastic about it (obviously supplemented by a sugar high). Well, our chocolate shake sales did take off. We did become known as the place with the best milkshakes. Some months later we were told that our franchise led the group in percentage of milkshake sales and they wanted to know why. We never told them – but now you know. Twenty years later when I started my own business I considered that milkshake lesson when I wondered how we could avoid being a mediocre company. Early on, I decided to give clients an extra pump of chocolate and in many ways it paid off better than it did with the ice cream. Our staff got enthusiastic about it! We would imagine ways to give the “extra pump” to our customers. Our business grew. It worked so well, in fact, that we introduced the idea internally into our everyday interaction. When a team member requested something of another, we would give an “extra

pump” of chocolate – not every time, but many times. So much so that it became a corporate philosophy, a way of life. Soon after that in our Monday team meetings, without prompting, the receivers of the pump would often thank the givers publically for doing the “extra” and tell how it helped them. It was life changing. Well, maybe not life changing but certainly attitude changing. That’s worth savoring a moment too. Try it wherever you are in life. It doesn’t only work with customers and employees. It works in families too. It’s the “little extra” that changes attitudes and totally destroys mediocrity. Go ahead! Consider how you can give someone an extra pump, especially someone you love. And even someone you don’t.

Mark Alison, the Business Accelerator, is an independent marketing counselor. He can be reached at

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As your coach we’ll plan for LIFE • Investments • Insurance • Business/Personal Financial Planning Join our team by making an appointment at one of two convenient CSRA locations. Let us help you avoid costly fumbles in life.

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Registered Representative and Financial Adviser of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 4201 Congress St., Ste. 295, Charlotte, NC 28209. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect,wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Consolidated Planning is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. 2017-51331 12/19

December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




I’ve been fortunate to earn my living working as a business broker for the past 19 years. Through that time I have seen several missteps from business sellers that have made the process of selling their business more difficult. The great thing about experience is you can learn from it, which allows us to be better coaches and advisors for our clients. If you want to have a successful business sale, below is a list of common pitfalls to avoid. Not having a plan for after you sell the business. This may sound fairly basic, but many business sellers know they want to sell, but take a wait-and-see, if-I-get-abuyer attitude about their after-sale plans. The problem with that is once a buyer starts negotiating in earnest to purchase the business, some sellers start to back up about truly wanting to sell due to an uncertain future. A buyer will pick up on a seller’s hesitancy and will develop concerns of his or her own. Talking to others about the business being for sale. In most cases the customers and employees have worries when they hear a business is for sale. Competitors can also use this information to their advantage in the marketplace. Confidentiality about the sale is of the utmost importance. Waiting until after the business is for sale to get your financials in order. Financial statements are at the heart of all business sales. In a small business, keeping up with the finances often gets placed on the back burner when more pressing daily operations take precedence. Take the time to get your financials in order. Any inaccuracies or delays in getting financial information to a buyer will turn

the buyer cold on the deal. Having a business where the seller is not replaceable. Sellers wear many hats in the operation of their business and if no other employee within the company can perform some of the tasks of the seller, it is less appealing to a buyer. Buyers understand they will need some training in order to step in behind a seller, but if the seller is not replaceable, buyers get leery. Not being forthcoming on the real reason the business is for sale. Business owners sell for many reasons such as retirement or health issues. Even something like simple burn out is also a legitimate reason. However, to try and hide any business deficiencies as the reason for the sale will always backfire. Many times what is perceived as a deficiency can be

10 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

overcome by new ownership with more resources or management expertise, but buyers need to be made aware upfront. Changing how you operate the business. When you list your business for sale is not the time to cut back on routine maintenance, advertising, employee incentives and other expense categories to try to save a few bucks. Buyers want to see what led your business to success and to cut back on the factors that contributed will be noticeable. It can also be viewed as artificially trying to improve the shortterm bottom line. This is just a short list of the pitfall items we have compiled. The thing for all sellers to consider is when a business is for sale it needs to be at its best. Have a plan, be prepared and understand a buyer is always thinking, What am I missing?

Don’t give them any reason for doubt. After all you do have a great business, make sure it shows that way.

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


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

3523 Walton Way Ext. Augusta, GA 30909

706-722-8334 December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz


buzz bits Continued from Page 6


The Sweetwater area at Exit 5 of I-20 and Edgefield Road in North Augusta continues to be a hot real estate market. Presley Realty recently listed 30 acres on the southeast corner of I-20 and Edgefield Road, which will be marketed for retail development. The site is well positioned for development as grocery- or soft goods-anchored shopping centers with retail shop space. “We’re working hard to help North Augusta move forward,” said Joel Presley, owner and senior advisor at Presley Realty. “We really see two trade areas in North Augusta, one at Knox/Martintown/Georgia Avenue, which we characterize as ‘The River’ trade area, and then one at I-20/I-520/Hwy 25, which historically has been called ‘Sweetwater.’ Sweetwater draws from Sweetwater Road and Hwy 25 south from Edgefield and Trenton on the north all the way down to Belvedere and Clearwater on the south. It’s really growing quickly.” Many recent announcements have been made about new developments coming to the Sweetwater area. Lakes and Streams, a subdivision on Sudlow Lake Road, recently announced that it will be expanding by almost 250 units. Shannon Rollins, sales agent for the development, said, “Lakes and Streams’ uniqueness of the many fountains, lakes and over 100 acres of common area and green space continues to attract. The next section that we’ll break ground on has 47 lots.” That should take place in December or January. Sweetwater Landing, with 59 new homes, was recently announced as well. Catherine Metts, realtor in charge of Sweetwater Landing, said it is selling out quickly. “Even before we were able to sell lots, people were on a waiting list,” she said. “The homes are selling before we can even get them finished.”


Last year, Millennials (roughly ages 1934) overtook Baby Boomers as the largest

living generation and becoming the hottest target market for many products, including tourism. Last summer, Augusta University Hull College of Business professor Marsha Loda and 13 hospitality and marketing students completed a week-long “Study Away” trip to western North Carolina to dissect Asheville as a tourism destination and Millennial magnet. While Asheville is considerably smaller than Augusta, it attracted nearly $2 billion in visitor expenditures compared to Augusta’s $366 million. Recently, Asheville has been awarded multiple tourism accolades including No. 3 Best Small Town to Visit in the USA by the U.S. News and World Report’s, No. 10 Best City in the USA by Travel + Leisure, and No. 1 Travel Destination for 2017 by the Lonely Planet. During the study away, Hull College students examined several questions as to why Millennials flocked to Asheville. The students completed 48 face-to-face interviews with Millennial tourists in Asheville, and they asked visitors four big-picture questions: Why did they come to Asheville?; What word would they use to describe the city?; What did they like best?; and What did they like least about the city? They often heard words such as “accepting,” “hippie,” and “scenic.” But after analyzing the qualitative research sample, the top reason Millennials came to Asheville was to visit friends and family, or for its reputation as “Beer City USA.” The words most frequently chosen to describe Asheville were “unique and different.” What they liked least about the city was “nothing;” what they like best were the quality of beer, food available and Asheville’s residents.


AT&T Fixed Wireless Internet is now available in rural and underserved locations in parts of 44 counties in Georgia. In May 2017, AT&T launched Fixed Wireless Internet, an innovative service that delivers an internet connection with download speeds of at least 10Mbps to homes and small businesses. This is an efficient way to deliver high-quality internet to customers in rural and underserved areas. “In today’s economy, access to highspeed internet is an integral part of both our infrastructure foundation and our job growth,” said Georgia Gover-

12 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018


The Augusta GreenJackets will have a new look when they open the 2018 season in a new ballpark in North Augusta. “We wanted the new look of the GreenJackets to reflect Riverside Village, SRP Park and the classical charm of Hammonds Ferry,” said Jeff Eiseman, GreenJackets president. “This new look, which will be prevalent throughout the park, will feel right at home with the design of the venue and represent the GreenJackets as we enter a new era of baseball in the CSRA.” The new identity pays tribute to the region’s rich golf heritage. Fans will enjoy a new GreenJacket wearing a vintage cap and a new Augusta A with nor Nathan Deal. “Ensuring our current and future workforce are equipped with the skills necessary to succeed has been a top priority of mine since taking office. To that end, I’ve invested more than $100 million towards ensuring students across the state have access to high speed internet.” Nearby rural counties included in this project are Burke, Jefferson, McDuffie and Warren. To determine Fixed Wireless Internet eligibility, interested consumers may call toll-free 877-990-0041.


To ensure the security of airline passengers and the nation’s airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has implemented new, stronger screening procedures for carry-on items at Augusta Regional Airport (AGS). The new procedures, which were announced earlier this

GreenJacket “Auggie” wings. The team also unveiled their new custom team plaid pattern. The GreenJackets are the only professional baseball team with their own plaid pattern. Grass green, dark green, Augusta gold and black make up the club’s new official colors. The GreenJackets are the first professional sports team to use this color combination. The GreenJackets look was brought to life at Brandiose in San Diego. “Working with the Brandiose team to create the new era of GreenJackets Baseball was a great experience,” Tom Denlinger, GreenJackets vice president said. “They dug deep into the rich history of baseball and golf in the CSRA and allowed us to develop and create a new iconic brand for everyone to enjoy!” The GreenJackets will unveil their new uniforms for the 2018 season at a later date. year, require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for Xray screening in standard lanes. “TSA must constantly enhance its security procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats,” said TSA spokesman Mark Howell. “TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security and we appreciate the cooperation of the traveling public in this endeavor.” TSA officers will begin to ask travelers to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similarly to how laptops have been screened for years. This simple step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image. It is possible that passengers may experience more bag checks; however, through extensive testing, TSA identified ways to improve screening procedures with quicker and more targeted measures to clear the bags. “The simple step of separating personal electronic items for screening allows TSA officers to more closely focus on resolving alarms and stopping terror threats,” said Howell. There are no changes to what travelers can bring through the checkpoint.

OPENINGS, CLOSINGS AND MOVES Continued from Page 7 an inability to find long-term employees. The restaurant also has locations in Martinez, West Augusta, North Augusta and Johnston. Consolidated Planning

Financial advisor Kurt Mueller of Consolidated Planning, Inc., has opened a new office in the Village at Woodside in Aiken. Mueller is a full-service financial planner with a focus on business succession plans for new and closing businesses, with a goal of helping clients find solutions to achieve financial security. Consolidated Planning has been in the business of strategic financial planning since 1981. The company now has 110 advisors, according to its website, and manages more than $1.4 billion in assets and over $6.5 billion in insurance protection in more than a dozen locations in the Carolinas. Mueller’s new office is located at 137 Old Market St.


Tampa Bay-based fast food restaurant PDQ (“People Dedicated to Quality”) closed its Augusta location on Dec. 6, according to an email from the company and a sign on the restaurant’s door. “We are sad to announce that we have made the very difficult decision to close our Augusta PDQ location on Washington Road. The welfare of our team members is always a top priority and we are currently working to relocate as many of our employees to other PDQ locations, including our neighboring restaurant in Evans,” read the email. The email also mentioned that PDQ hopes “to find another site in the area where we may be able to relocate our restaurant.” PDQ opened its Washington Road location in March 2016, two years after the area’s first PDQ opened in Evans in 2014. The PDQ in Evans will remain open.

ROLL FOR DAMAGE CLOSING The luck of the draw hasn’t been favorable lately for game shop Roll for Damage. The store that sells board games, trading card games, miniature games and role playing games, will close on Dec. 30, according to the store’s owner, John Lente. Lente said a “downward spiral of decreasing sales” had been happening for months and that in the end, “my debt was able to overcome me.” Lente attributes his significant loss of sales in recent months to a lack of initial funding for the business when he opened it, reliance “on employees who didn’t live up to expectations” and losing a reliable, primary supplier. Lente is also constantly competing with online retailers, who can afford to sell a game for $35 while Lente tries to sell it for $50. But Lente, an NSA retiree who spent 20 years working in the Air Force intelligence field, has every intention of pursuing a local job now. If he stays in the area, he says he “has every expectation to open back up by summer.” Lente opened Roll for Damage in September 2016 in an PDQ has 62 restaurants in the United States and has become known for its chicken dishes and fresh approach to food. The restaurant makes its sauces in-house and does not use preservatives, according to a manager at the Evans PDQ. PDQ also did not use freezers for a long time as part of its dedication to high-quality, fresh meals. PDQ in Evans is located at the corner of Belair and Washington roads.

ACQUISITIONS SRP Federal Credit Union

SRP Federal Credit Union (SRP FCU), headquartered in North Augusta, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Southern Bank, headquartered in Sardis, Ga. The combined entity will

effort to give Grovetown residents an outlet for “good, clean fun.” Since then, Roll for Damage has become a hang-out for game-lovers. For a $10 membership, visitors can come play board games on the “Play for Free” shelf at any time and can roll dice for discounts (“rolling for damage”) when they buy games from the store. “It’s always been a great place to meet new people,” said Zach Smith, who frequently goes to Roll for Damage to play games like Dominion, a strategic, deck-building card game. “It’s something that the community needs.” Behind the retail portion of the store, gamers – mostly young adults – gather six days a week to face off in matches of Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer 40,000, Magic the Gathering and dozens of other board games and card games. Roll for Damage also hosts tournaments organized by the International Tournament Circuit (ITC), which runs tabletop game competitions around the United States. “This is nerd crack,” Lente said. “Players walk in with $3,000-$4,000 cards – playing cards you’d have to sell your car to get.” Roll for Damage is located at 110-D Harlem Grovetown Rd.

have approximately $950 Million in assets with more than 20 branches in South Carolina and Georgia. “We are delighted that Southern Bank has agreed to join with SRP Federal Credit Union, to help strengthen and expand our presence in the thriving CSRA region,” said Harry Gunsallus, president and chief executive officer of SRP FCU. “We admire Southern Bank’s high-level of personalized service, focus on improving the communities they serve and the commitment they have to doing what is best for their customers. This service commitment is the same model that we live by every day.” Southern Bank has five branches that Gunsallus believes are a perfect fit for SRP’s Georgia growth plan. There

is no overlap with existing SRP locations. “Southern Bank is a healthy, wellrun bank with an experienced staff that when joined with our staff, product mix and technology offerings we believe will immediately make the combined organization a major player in this market,” Gunsallus said. The definitive agreement was approved by the Board of Directors of each company. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals or non-objections and shareholder approval with respect to Southern Bank, and the fulfillment of all customary closing conditions.

December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz


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

Friday, Jan. 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

Wednesday, Jan. 10

QuickBooks (Basics and Beyond), 9 a.m., UGA Small Business Development Center, 1450 Greene St., Ste 3500, Augusta. A day-long class providing a hands-on approach to learning the features and functions of QuickBooks. Registration required. For more information, visit

Thursday, Jan. 11 Georgia Economic Outlook, 11:30 a.m., Augusta Mariott. Pre-

sented by the UGA Terry College of Business. A detailed look at the future economy based on data from the Selig Center for Economic Growth. For more information, visit Social Media 101 – From a Millennial Perspective, 6:30 p.m., North Augusta Chamber, 406 West Ave. Presented by Evan Reade, Eximia Marketing. Learn what applications best fit your needs. Registration required. For more information, visit

Thursday, Jan. 18

Third Thursday Business Builder, 11:30 a.m., Augusta Metro Chamber office, 1 Tenth St. “Generational Diversity in the Workplace: Recruiting and Hiring Millennials,” presented by Hull College of Business and Hull Barrett. Registration required by Jan. 15. For more information, visit

14 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

AYP Third Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Aiken Chamber, 117 Newberry St. NW, Aiken. An opportunity for individuals ages 22-39 to meet other young professionals in a relaxed atmosphere for networking. For more information, visit

Thursday, Jan. 25

Business After Hours, 5 p.m., Aiken Chamber, 117 Newberry St. NW, Aiken. An opportunity for businesses to present themselves to the business community. For more information, visit

Friday, Jan. 26

Good Morning, North Augusta, 7:30 a.m., Palmetto Terrace, North Augusta Municipal Complex, 100 Georgia Ave., North Augusta. Topic to be announced. Pre-registration required. For more information, visit

RIBBONS CUTTINGS SCHEDULED Jan. 11: Thrive Senior Living Center (Indigo Hall), 5 p.m., 313 Furys Ferry Rd., Martinez Jan. 12: McAlister’s Deli, 11 a.m., 230 Meridian Dr., Grovetown Jan. 13: Riverfront YMCA, 10 a.m., One 7th St., Augusta Jan. 16: Decorator’s Outlet & Interiors, 11:30 a.m., 3855 Washington Rd., Martinez Jan. 18: Troy University, 3 p.m., 2743 Perimeter Pky, Building 100, Ste. 101, Augusta See EVENTS on Page 15

EVENTS Continued from Page 14

AT THECLUBHOU.SE Augusta Locally Grown has their Downtown Pick-up location at every Tuesday, 5-7 p.m. Entrepreneur members of meet every Wednesday morning for Founders Circle, 9-10 a.m. Jan. 1: will be closed for New Year’s Day Jan. 3: Join us for our monthly 1 Million Cups Augusta, a networking event for entrepreneurs. 8-9 a.m. Jan. 11: Monthly Meetup of Augusta Cloud, a user group for those interested in the Cloud and its applications to IT. 6-8 p.m. Jan. 17: Beer & Bytes! Meet the first cohort for Startup Life, our year long business accelerator funded by the Kauffman Foundation. 5-7 p.m. Jan. 18: PyAugusta is a monthly gathering of Pythonistas interested in data science. 6-8 p.m. Jan. 19: Growler Gardening gets together the horticulturally minded for some garden maintenance and good beer! 5-7 p.m. Jan. 20: Danielle’s Brainiac Extravaganza (DBX) brings science for the kids! 9:30-11:30 a.m. Jan. 22: The monthly Robotics Meetup will be gearing up for the FIRST Robotics Competition 2018 Season! 6-8 p.m. Jan. 25: The monthly Javascript Meetup will have a Javascript30 Coding Challenge this month! 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 3: TEDxAugusta 2018 at the Miller Theatre!

December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




Traditional Business Dress is what most people imagine when they think corporate “suit.” Traditional Business Dress (TBD) is widely seen in the CSuites, and in banking, finance and law. The goal is to look serious and trustworthy. Why would you put your money or life into someone’s hands who looks casual or “risky?” Some real estate professionals also wear TBD, a logical choice if you think of a home or piece of property as the largest investment a person may make. In Traditional Business Dress, men wear a (dark) suit, shirt and tie. They are covered from neck to toes, and down the arms to the wrists. The only exposed skin we see is the face and hands. Women’s TBD equivalent is similarly armored, and in subdued colors. For women that means skirts are down to the knees, and shoulders are not exposed. Hose are always worn, and closed shoes are expected. Accessories are usually fine and subtle. Smart Business (SmtB) is similarly covered up, but less stiff and structured. The jacket and trousers may not be of the same fabric, but the trousers are generally wool or a wool blend, not cotton. You will see more color and pattern in shirts and ties. Shirt sleeves are long, and a jacket is still expected. For many men, the grey trousers plus blue blazer is the Smart Business default, but that is certainly not the only option! One summer variation here in the South is the lighter colored and more relaxed look

of the seersucker suit and white bucks. For women, Smart Business expects the same level of coverage as TBD, but often the colors will be brighter, and with more patterns and combinations. Accessories are often bolder and more expressive of personality. Relaxed Business (RelB) takes another step down from the formality of Smart Business. RelB has less structure and more color than the above manners. Men’s shirt sleeves may be short, and a tie is not always expected. Relaxed Business is less “covered up.” If no jacket is worn, long sleeves are still often preferred. Women’s RelB may find sleeveless dresses and tops appropriate, but the tops of the shoulders are still covered (no tanks or spaghetti straps). Less structure means that wider, softer skirts are seen, and fine knits will be commonly worn. A cardigan will often be chosen as a topper, rather than a jacket. Business Casual (BusCas) became a phenomenon in the 1990s. This is the dress code that many offices and schools have adopted. But business casual is not what you would wear to an outdoor activity, cleaning your garage, out for a pub crawl or on a “looking for love” outing. The first word is still Business! Everything is less structured, but should not veer over the line into leisure wear. The default here for men is often khakis and a sport shirt. If jeans are worn, they are dark (not distressed or torn) and balanced with other structured pieces like a jacket or collared shirt. When knits are

worn, they too, are balanced with more structured pieces. For women the difference between Relaxed Business and BusCas often comes down to the shoes. Open toes are commonly seen as Business Casual, as well as fabric shoes instead of leather. As difficult as it may be for those of us living in the center of the golf universe to believe, not everyone is familiar with Masters’ Casual! A common dress code for small businesses here in Augusta, and even for larger businesses during The Season, and often well into summer, Masters’ Casual generally consists of khakis and a golf shirt with loafers or boat shoes. One April is all you need to be indoctrinated

into our specialty form of BusCas! What’s the dress code where you work?

Liz Klebba of CP Image 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@ or 706-691-4298.


Employee Image Workshops Dress & Communication · Virtual Communication Color Psychology · Dress & Uniform Code Advisement Personality Image Consulting · TV\Video Color Consulting Retail Training · Personal Services also available | 706.691.4298 16 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018


WHAT'S YOUR PLAN FOR 2017/2018? Let us help you find your best financial solutions

• Financial Planning • Investment Solutions • Insurance Solutions • Trust Services • Disability Income Planning • Business Succession Plans Call us today at:



Financial Advisor December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




Everybody watches It’s a Wonderful Life over the holidays, right? George is going to throw himself off the bridge when Clarence intercedes to show George what life would have been like without him. While I hope none of you are contemplating doing yourself in, allow me to play Clarence for a moment. What would happen in your family, business or job if suddenly you were not there? This might not mean death, it could be a traumatic brain injury or a stroke that leaves you in a coma. Obviously, there would be grief and emotional distress. So my question is, Have you done the things you can do to help ease that dis-

tress? Based on my experience, here are some things I suggest: Make sure you have a will (or trust) – to ensure your assets are distributed the way you intend and that you pick the person in charge of that process. Make sure all your beneficiary designations are up to date and correct – because assets such as life insurance and retirement accounts are not controlled by your will. Make sure you have health care and financial powers of attorney – so there is someone who can legally step in and act for you without going to court. Organize all your account information in one secure place (bank, invest-

ments, bills, credit cards, etc.) and make sure the necessary people know where these are – so that whoever has to take over for you has all the information they need in one place and organized. Store online passwords in such a way that the person who steps in for you can get access to your online accounts – so much of what we do now is online, and if you do not have the user name and password, you can forget about getting access to those accounts. While these tips are important for everyone, they are particularly important for business owners, because in the event of an emergency, it is critical the business keep running.

Do these things and maybe I will earn my wings!

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@


A HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT HOLDS ADVANTAGES FOR SOME This limit doesn’t apply to deductibles and expenses for out-of-network services if the plan uses a network of providers. Instead, only deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for services within the network should be used to figure whether the limit applies. You can make contributions to your HSA for 2017 until April 17, 2018. Your employer can make contributions to your HSA between January 1, 2018, and April 17, 2018, that are allocated to 2017. The contribution will be reported on your 2018 Form W-2. HSA plans are certainly a great tool to assist with medical costs if you are covered by a qualified high deductible medical plan. The added tax savings and rollover feature is an added benefit. Be sure to consider taking advantage of HSAs if you qualify.


As we see health care continuing to change, more and more people are taking advantage of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Like a Flexible Spending Account (FSAs), they offer pre-tax contributions. However, they offer taxpayers several additional tax benefits over FSAs, such as contributions that roll over from year to year (i.e., no “use it or lose it”), tax-free interest on earnings, and when used for qualified medical expenses, tax-free distributions. A Health Savings Account is a type of savings account that allows you to set aside money pre-tax to pay for qualified medical expenses. Contributions that you make to an HSA are used to pay current or future medical expenses (including after you’ve retired) of the account owner, his or her spouse, and any qualified dependent. You cannot be covered by other health insurance with the exception of insurance for accidents, disability, dental care, vision care, or long-term care and you cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return. Spouses cannot open joint HSAs. Each spouse who is an eligible individual who wants an HSA must open a separate HSA. A Health Savings Account can only be used if you have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). Typically,

high-deductible health plans have lower monthly premiums than plans with lower deductibles, but you pay more health care costs yourself before the insurance company starts to pay its share (your deductible). A high-deductible plan can be combined with a health savings account, allowing you to pay for certain medical expenses with tax-free money that you have set aside. By using the pre-tax funds in your HSA to pay for qualified medical

18 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

expenses before you reach your deductible and other out-of-pocket costs such as copayments, you reduce your overall health care costs. For calendar year 2018, a qualifying HDHP must have a deductible of at least $1,350 for self-only coverage or $2,700 for family coverage. Annual outof-pocket expenses (e.g., deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) of the beneficiary are limited to $6,650 for self-only coverage and $13,300 for family coverage.

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



Construction workers in Graniteville recently unearthed the cornerstone of the original Posey Funeral Home built there more than 130 years ago. It will soon find a resting place in the current Posey Funeral Home on Georgia Avenue in North Augusta. That discovery serves as a fitting link between the innovation that made Posey the first funeral home in Aiken County and the innovation that makes Posey a national leader in the funeral home industry today. At the forefront of today’s innovation is Walker Posey, 40, the fourth generation of funeral directors to serve the families of Aiken County. But Posey’s reach extends well beyond the local area – he is the spokesman for the National Funeral Directors Association, called on by national media for information, and speaks at international conferences, most recently in England and China. It is the people in the CSRA, though, that he remains focused on, carrying on the tradition started by his great-grandfather in 1879. After being wounded in the Civil War, J.M. Posey settled in Graniteville to work in the mills. But he soon acquired a Singer sewing machine franchise and added a furniture store. As with most furniture store owners at the time, Posey was then asked to build caskets. Embalming bodies was still an innovative process in those days when Posey asked Joseph Clark, founder of the Cincinnati College of Embalming, to teach him the technique. That led him to build the first funeral home in Aiken County. “We’ve always been innovative,” Walker Posey said. He had, however, intended to leave the family business to become a lawyer. He had enrolled in Pepperdine University and had moved to California when his grandfather, Dudley Posey, died. What he observed at the funeral changed his career path. “I saw the impact his life had and I wanted to make the same difference,” Posey said. “I gave up my seat (at Pepperdine) the day before classes started. I’ve dedicated my life to be as skillful as I can be.” But he sees the funeral business as much more than simply providing embalming and a casket. “We approach the funeral service as a long-term care proposition,” he said. “It’s not about the actual funeral but helping families deal with grief.” In his role, Posey wears three hats – part caregiver, part advocate for the families

Walker Posey Posey Funeral Homes dealing with legalities and part clergy – in addition to the preparation of the body and funeral service. “People want to know you care, but also that you’re capable,” he said. Like any other business, success in the funeral business relies on creating a positive customer service experience. Posey seeks that not only for his own customers but works to educate other funeral directors with almost missionary zeal. “I’ve tried to help funeral homes develop their business acumen and deliver a high level of service,” Posey said. “Everything from how that bottle of water feels when you hand it to them to how you explain where the restroom is. How do we give the most to make these families feel the best? How do we over-deliver their expectations?” That means keeping up with the changing times. Funerals are becoming less formal, both in the service and the setting. It is no longer unusual to have a funeral service at an outdoor location, for example, or to have a service that has no religious overtones. But that doesn’t mean people take them any less seriously – it may just be the opposite.

20 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

“Baby Boomers demand a higher attention to detail,” he said. That includes after-care programs, like a weekly grief counseling meeting and online resources. Posey recently held a program to help families deal with the holidays following the death of a loved one. Posey also advocates talking about the funeral before there’s any need for it so that when death inevitably happens, loved ones know how to deal with it. “It makes that experience an easier conversation to have,” Posey said. “The tag line to our video is, ‘Let’s Talk About it.’ People are seeing that when they talk about it, it helps financially and emotionally. We’re not just dealing with death. We want to be resources for them during their lives.” Posey’s international travels have given him insights into how other cultures deal with death and helps him focus on innovation. “I try to be forward thinking of what’s next and what will help families in the future,” he said. “In an industry full of death, we want to produce life, light and a measure of happiness.” What are you passionate about in your business? I love knowing I can make a difference in people’s lives. We see families at their worst time. I love the idea that afterwards they can come back and say, “Walker, I couldn’t have done this without you.” That’s the

caregiver part of me. How much work is involved in funeral preparation? It’s almost the equivalent of doing a wedding in two days. There are a couple of hundred moving parts for each service. A lot goes on behind the scenes that people aren’t aware of – but we don’t want them to be aware of them. I don’t think people understand what it takes to deliver that high level of service. What else don’t people understand about your business? A lot of people have the expectation that working in a funeral home is creepy. But the attitudes of the staff have to be upbeat and positive, so it’s really a great work environment. Do you feel pressure in carrying on a longstanding family business? I feel a lot of pressure personally to carry on the high standard established by my great-grandfather. But there’s also excitement that every time I serve a family I get to re-establish that connection with them. We have a family we’ve been working with for almost 60 years. I almost feel like a shirt-tail relative. I want to honor our history, I value it, but the reason they call us shouldn’t be because they’ve always called us but because they have confidence in us. How do you unwind and relax? I like to travel. I work 60 days in a row, Monday through Sunday, then I take three days and go somewhere. A lot of times I go out of the country. Hopping on an airplane helps me decompress because I can’t be easily reached. I’m on call 24/7; when I’m in town I’m on call all the time. When you have a family business you’re always connected. And I like to play golf. How do you give back to the community? There are so many things we support – the American Legion, the Family Y, local churches, first responders. We do a Back the Blue barbecue every year. We sponsor golf tournaments for charity. We’re strategic in how we do that. We support those who give care, for hospice and clergy. It’s not just financially, but a big part of it is actually doing the work. I’m past president of the Rotary and I serve on about 10 boards. What does the future hold for you and the business? I hope we continue to expand our reach and grow the number of families we can help. We support families all over the CSRA. I hope my legacy can be that I always try to deliver a high level of service that is meaningful to others.

December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




The gym membership that has been abandoned by the end of February is a cliché at this point. Greg Smith, a former Gold’s Gym trainer and longtime health consultant who recently opened a new fitness facility called Pulse Fitness and CPR in Martinez, says that out of 100 people who join gyms anywhere in the country, you’d be lucky to find 10 who are still using that membership 60 days later. For that reason, he says, accountability is not only a relative rarity in the fitness world, but it’s one of the most valuable elements of smaller gyms like Pulse. “If they don’t show up three days a week, we start calling and texting immediately,” Smith said. That can be uncomfortable for some people, but Smith – along with every other trainer cited below – has no doubt that accountability is one of, if not the, biggest roadblock to people’s ability to maintain results their physical health. When a partner is present, the results are hard to ignore. “I’ve never seen anyone not reach their goal,” Smith said. In the age of the CrossFit cult, people have increasingly found purpose, connection and, dare we say, enjoyment in physical exercise within the context of smaller gyms, where prepared workouts take their needs into account, coaches guide them and fellow members know their names and cheer them on. With that in mind, we took a look at a few smaller programs throughout the CSRA that are flying under the radar. You know the big ones like Gold’s Gym, YMCA and Evans Fitness Club; here are a few others you might not be familiar with. Each program has its own niche, rules and approach to fitness and health. SOUTHSIDE MARTIAL ARTS Walk into the 5,000-square-foot warehouse at Southside Martial Arts off of Peach Orchard Road, and you’ll find dozens of people of many different skillsets participating in a wide variety of mixed martial arts, including jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, karate and judo. “People around here seem to want it more,” said Nathan Key, one of the founders of Southside and a seven-time International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) World Champion. “They usually have some kind of things they’re trying to work through. They appreciate the outlet more.” “It feels like home,’” said Cade Dement, a kickboxer who competes locally, in South Carolina and in Florida. “I’ve never had a

Mark Willis, a trainer at Orangetheory, directs an afternoon workout. Photo by Witt Wells

place that feels like that.” That includes high-quality training. Aside from Key’s experience as one of the country’s premier kick-boxers, Southside’s staff also includes International Brazilian Jiujitsu Federation Gold Medalist Elizabeth Chastain, IKF World Champion LaKesha Sprinkle and Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and certified instructor Kevin Stehle, who has been training for more than a decade. Key says Southside encourages instructors to train elsewhere and always keep learning. “It’s very humbling,” said Chastain, another one of Southside’s co-owners and head manager of the organization. “I always tell people for (jiu-jitsu), it’s a two-in-one. You’re getting in shape and you’re getting practical applications.” Chastain will soon add self-defense for women as a training program at Southside, a skill she’s taught in the past and envisions being an extremely useful and rewarding program for women at Southside, especially since women outnumbered men for the first couple months Southside was open. Chastain even has a cousin and aunt who also attend regularly. Southside is open from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with kickboxing, circuit training, and jiujitsu courses running through 7:30 p.m. and advanced jiu-jitsu running from 7:30 p.m. until close. Southside Martial Arts is located at 3751 Peach Orchard Road. Other martial arts clubs in the area include Greubel’s Mixed Martial Arts (Augusta), Terra Planus Jiu-

22 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

jitsu (Martinez) and Premier Martial Arts (North Augusta). ORANGETHEORY FITNESS For many of us, camaraderie is the biggest motivator during a tiresome workout. If your typical gym experience is an hour of isolation in a pump room while dozens of other members tackle individualized workouts, Orangetheory takes the opposite approach: thousands of members across the country doing the exact same workout together. If that sounds overwhelming, just know that the local Orangetheory in Evans has a maximum of 24 people per class, giving each session’s coach plenty of time to push each person to grind out the best they can give. Orangetheory’s great equalizer is a heart rate monitoring system that tracks everyone in the group, which makes it an ideal option for both seasoned athletes and those who haven’t stepped foot in a gym in years. The program keeps every person in the room in an uncomfortably difficult, if not all-out pace for a significant portion of each session. “I’ve been doing fitness for 40 years, I’ve been to every club in this town,” said Lynn Sligh, a coach at Orangetheory. “Nobody can copy this. It’s incredible.” The workouts that Orangetheory coaches direct every day are tested for effectiveness at least five times before distribution and are designed for maximum excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), which can potentially keep the body burning calories for more than a day after the workout. The gym’s hour-long sessions are divided

between cardio and strength training, with every attendee switching halfway through for a well-rounded workout. Rowing, running and cycling exercises are all part of the organization’s cardio training, and TRX suspension training (leveraging bodyweight using straps for a variety of exercises), free weights, ab dollies, BOSU balls and more are all part of Orangetheory’s strength training workouts. Cara Gillion, who has been a member of Orange Theory for about a year and a half, attends three or four hour-long sessions per week. “If I went to a regular gym, I would not be doing as much,” Gillion said. “I used to kind of have to force myself to come to the gym.” “Anybody can do it at any level of fitness,” Sligh said. “It’s like finding a personal fitness trainer at a group rate in a science-based program that includes everything.” Orangetheory has three membership plans that include four, eight, and unlimited hour-long sessions per month. Orangetheory is located at 4274 Washington Road in Evans Towne Center, two doors down from Publix. Similar to the Orangetheory approach to fitness is that of Burn Bootcamp, another Evans institution that is part of a standardized, national system that sends brand new, innovative workouts to its local gyms every day. Burn Bootcamp is a women-only program and kicks members into gear fast with a regimen of circuit training, both cardiovascular and strength-oriented. Just ask the current owner, Ashleigh Dees, who bought the local franchise last summer after joining the program and losing 60 pounds in six weeks. Enough said. (Burn Bootcamp offers a twoweek free trial to newcomers.) Burn Bootcamp is located at 4490 Washington Rd. PERSONAL HEALTH COACH Kristen Lovell of Merry Heart Health Coaching Kristen Lovell, who owns her own health consulting company called Merry Heart Health Coaching, has two elementary pieces of advice that would vastly improve people’s lives if they actually did them regularly: drinking water and eating breakfast. Implementing those simple tips might be a game-changer for some, but for those who are seeking a committed health coach who knows their life and habits and will invest in them, a personal health trainer might be the best call. If you feel you don’t have time for that, well, Lovell would disagree. It’s become the

STRENGTH norm in American culture to put health and wellness on the backburner as we relentlessly pursue our career aspirations day in and day out, often without respite. That doesn’t mean it’s the best way to live, said Lovell, who received her coaching certification through the Dr. Sears’ Wellness Institute. “Just like any other appointment in your life, you need to make time for self-care,” Lovell said. “I dealt with a lot of anxiety and panic attacks for a while, I was stressed out so much.” Lovell is well aware that people often don’t even pursue a healthy lifestyle because they don’t know where to start. Lovell’s 4-6 week course starts with a consultation that allows her to get a peripheral vision of someone’s current eating and exercise habits. Soon afterward, she does a “pantry makeover.” “We will identify foods that will be the green, yellow and red light areas,” Lovell said. Teaching clients how to eat well involves helping them discern what products are good for the body, which requires a working knowledge of which ingredients are healthy or unhealthy. (The fewer ingredients, the better, usually.) Lovell also supports a product line of whole foods (foods that have been minimally processed and have few to no additives). Fruits and vegetables are a core component of a healthy regimen, Lovell said, one that even disciplined athletes sometimes forego to their detriment. Speaking of athletics, Lovell is also a fitness trainer (she became certified at local training program Fierce Fitness), so her course is loaded with useful tips for effective exercise, another core element of her mindbody-spirit approach to wellness. “For me and my clients, we really take it back to simplicity,” Lovell said. “Those of us who are doing one-on-one are that accountability partner. People start getting excited about seeing the changes and seeing the results. It helps build up their own self-belief.” More on Lovell’s services can be found on IVAN’S FITNESS GALLERY When Ivan Trinidad opened Ivan’s Spin Gallery in a 1,000-square-foot building in 2008, he had seven bikes, the maximum he could afford at the time. Now, his twostory Ivan’s Fitness Gallery has 85 of them. At times, all of the bikes have been in use simultaneously. That can happen when you invent a method of exercise that turns into a major hit nationwide. “I was working out one time by myself in Miami,” Trinidad said. “I knew you could burn 500 calories just spinning. If you’re on a bike for 45 minutes, let’s make it a little more interesting.” Trinidad realized he could burn another

200 calories per workout just by doing upper body exercises while he was on the bike. Now he’s got hundreds of Augustans doing the same thing every day, and other clubs copying the strategy have opened around the country. Essentially, Trinidad and other coaches lead five classes a day at Ivan’s Fitness Gallery during which members get a full body workout by combining cardio training with bikes and strength training through upper body workouts. Sometimes that even means dancing. By drawing people of different fitness levels with a fun atmosphere that uses music as an aid in spirited camaraderie and motivation, Trinidad has created a culture predicated on acceptance of all kinds rather than intense competitiveness among attendees. He says no one is there to judge anyone else. “Everybody’s in the mood to have fun, get a workout and go home,” Trinidad said. Single sessions at Ivan’s Fitness Gallery offers single session rates, month-long memberships and four-month memberships. Classes are at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. The gallery is located at 4010 Enterprise Ct., Augusta. PULSE FITNESS AND CPR Like Orangetheory, Pulse Fitness is based on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. But at a smaller gym, co-owner and trainer Greg Smith makes a point to cater to each individual’s level of fitness. “Most people out there are de-conditioned,” Smith said. “They better be with somebody who’s going to condition based on the person.” Pulse’s unique approach lies in its core training component: resistance training. A significant portion of Pulse’s workouts (Smith creates new ones every day) revolve around the use of resistance bands (elastic bands used for strength training), which can be leveraged to exercise virtually every part of the body. Ultimately, the value of resistance training, Smith says, is that it makes for a program that both tones the muscles and is a rigorous cardiovascular workout. Personal dedication is requirement at Pulse – and the reason that Smith says he’s seen nothing but success from those who stick with the program. Smith makes members promise that they’ll be at Pulse three times per week. “We’re big on accountability,” Smith said. Pulse offers a weekly rate. Classes run from 8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Smith’s partner and health expert John Rogers runs training sessions in CPR. Just make sure you don’t skip class.

FROM OUR OFFICE TO YOURS ask us about personalized office visits



December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




This is the time of year when most people think about making a fresh start as a new year starts. Business leaders are no different as they develop plans for how to start the new year on the right foot. Often that involves new ways to run the business, improving fitness and health or increasing family time. But the right way to start the new year may involve how you start each day. As a former business owner and someone who’s been in management positions, I know how quickly thoughts about the business, the day’s and week’s activities, and employee and customer relations can crowd into the brain. Far more than once I woke up before the alarm, my mind already whirling with possible solutions and ideas. It seems important to get that early jump on the day. With a 12-hour day looming, what could be more important that getting down to business the moment you get up? Well, I’ve discovered something that for Christians in business is even more vital to starting the day right – spending

time reading the Bible and praying. With a 12-hour day looming, reading and praying may seem like a waste of valuable time. But 20 minutes or so of this activity first thing in the morning can set the tone for the entire day. And I’ve found that with the right attitude and spirit, even a 12-hour day seems to go by faster – sometimes it even leads to the day being shorter. With a good attitude in both mind and spirit, problems don’t loom as large and solutions come faster and often with better results. That attitude rubs off on those around you as well, creating a more positive work environment, which reduces stress for everyone. There is no magic formula of how to do this – the secret is really in just doing it on a regular basis. It’s probably best to do this in a quiet area of your home before you leave for work, because work has a tendency to take over once you get there. But if mornings at home are chaos with kids getting ready for school, arriving at work a half-hour or so before anyone else could provide an ideal time. There are a number of daily Bible read-

ing plans available through smartphone apps like the YouVersion Bible that can help regulate your time. But I’ve also found that the pre-work reading is not really a time for in-depth Bible study. It’s best to just read a few chapters, or even just one chapter, of a book and meditating for a few moments on what you’ve read. Then spend some time in prayer about the upcoming day – not to invite God into your day but to remind yourself that you are taking part in God’s day. It’s amazing how much stress it relieves when I acknowledge that God is in control. There will still be stress and long days, even when you start the day this way, but

I think that once you develop this into a regular habit, you’ll find it’s the best business tool you have.

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


STAY MOTIVATED TO THE END FOR GREAT START FOR 2018 er your business is flourishing, in a holding pattern, or you’re finding yourself returning to a regular 9-to-5 job, learn from it all to become stronger and more efficient. Let go of perfectionism and realize that it’s okay if you didn’t hit every goal within your timeline. What matters is that you didn’t give up. This can still be one of the best years of your life and keep those high hopes for next year.


I don’t know about you, but it feels like this year flew by and I still can’t believe 2018 is just a few days away. Remember at the start of the year, we were setting goals and feeling ambitious for the months ahead. You might have accomplished many of your dreams this year or your plans may have been diverted for one reason or another. Regardless of what happened over the last 12 months, you can still finish the year strong without burning out. Below are few of my tips on how you can stay motivated and give yourself a great start for 2018. 1. Don’t be so hard on yourself. When goals aren’t met before a deadline, it can leave you feeling pretty shabby and you might even feel tempted to throw in the towel. Goal setting isn’t easy, but it forces you to think of creative ways to accomplish your dream. So, all of that time you thought you wasted was just additional research to help you develop a better plan to win.

Remember, your work will never be perfect and you just have to push forward with relentless focus and expectation. 2. Get rid of distractions. Entrepreneurs are usually creative thinkers and multitaskers. Although these are great traits to have, there might be a tendency of being distracted when juggling too many responsibilities. To help you stay focused, try delegating your work, turning off all forms of communication during specific times and making

24 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

time for yourself. 3. Stay in the now. One of the best ways to get clarity about the future is being present in the current moment. Instead of worrying about failing, focus on the great things that can happen daily. Celebrate the small steps you are taking today to create a better tomorrow for yourself and your business. As you close out the year, take a moment to reflect on how you are still alive and take that as proof that you are a winner. Wheth-

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

December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




Starting this month, the IRS began sending letters to employers informing them of their potential liability for an employer shared responsibility penalty for the calendar year 2015. Background The ACA’s employer shared responsibility rules require applicable large employers (ALEs) to offer affordable, minimum value health coverage to their full-time employees or pay a penalty. These rules, also known as the “employer mandate” or “pay or play” rules, only apply to ALEs, which are employers with, on average, at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, during the preceding calendar year. The employer shared responsibility rules took effect for most ALEs beginning on Jan. 1, 2015. An ALE may be subject to a penalty only if one or more full-time employees obtain an Exchange subsidy (either because the ALE does not offer health coverage, or offers coverage that is unaffordable or does not provide minimum value). The IRS will issue Letter 226-J to an ALE if it determines that, for at least one month in the year, one or more of the ALE’s full-time employees was enrolled in a qualified health plan for which a premium tax credit was allowed (and the ALE did not qualify for an affordability safe

harbor or other relief for the employee). For purposes of Letter 226-J, the IRS determination of whether an ALE may be liable for an employer shared responsibility penalty and the amount of the potential penalty is based on information reported to the IRS on Forms 1094-C and 1095-C and information about full-time employees of the ALE that were allowed the premium tax credit. Response and Appeals ALEs will have an opportunity to respond to Letter 226-J before any employer-shared responsibility liability is assessed and notice and demand for payment is

made. Letter 226-J will provide instructions for how the ALE should respond in writing, either agreeing with the proposed employer shared responsibility penalty or disagreeing with part or all or the proposed amount. The response to Letter 226-J will be due by the response date shown on Letter 226-J, which generally will be 30 days from the date of Letter 226-J. If the ALE responds to Letter 226-J, the IRS will acknowledge the ALE’s response with Letter 227, which will acknowledge the ALE’s response to Letter 226-J and describe further actions the ALE may need to take). If, after receipt

of Letter 227, the ALE disagrees with the proposed or revised employer shared responsibility penalty, the ALE may request a pre-assessment conference with the IRS Office of Appeals, generally within 30 days of receipt of the IRS response letter. If the ALE does not respond to either Letter 226-J or Letter 227, the IRS will assess the amount of the proposed employer shared responsibility penalty and issue a notice and demand for payment – Notice CP 220J. Paying a Penalty If, after correspondence between the ALE and the IRS (or a conference with the IRS Office of Appeals), the IRS or IRS Office of Appeals determines that an ALE is liable for an employer shared responsibility penalty, the IRS will assess the employer shared responsibility penalty and issue a notice and demand for payment. IRS Links: pdf and Russell T. Head is CEO with Head Capital Advisors, an Acrisure agency partner and Augusta’s largest employee benefits brokerage. Call 706.733.3459.




As leaders, it is important to learn how to prioritize and multitask effectively. At times we get busy and some things get behind or even fall through the cracks. We have to learn to organize, prioritize and even ask for help when it is needed. We can get so much more accomplished if we complete tasks wisely.

Here are a few tips to help: Make a list. Write things down so you don’t forget the tasks that need to be done. Mark them off as they’re completed. Prioritize and do one thing at a time. At times, some things are just more important to accomplish than others. Use wisdom on what order your tasks need to be completed in. We overwhelm our-

26 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

selves by trying to do too many things at once and end up not fully completing any of our tasks. Learn when to multitask and when to work on one item at a time. Use Outlook or get a planner. Technology is an awesome tool to help you stay organized. Outlook has helped many people remember meetings and items that needed to be completed. Make a habit of writing things down. Some people love to use their smartphone to take notes and send themselves calendar reminders. This is an excellent tool to help you remain organized. Think of your smartphone as your very own personal assistant that you carry in your pocket or purse. Learn to ask for help and task items out. We have people on our teams to help us so we don’t have to carry the load alone. I promise if you learn to do this more, you will relieve yourself from unnecessary stress. Take time to rest. Don’t forget to take time for yourself. As leaders, we strive to

inspire and motivate our teams to meet our organizational goals. However, it’s hard to lead when you are burned out. Remember to relax and rest so that you can effectively complete your tasks and accomplish your goals. Without proper management, our days can quickly get off track. However, by taking the time to do a few easy steps, we can make sure that we are achieving goals and effectively managing our time. Stacy Roberts is president of SMR Leadership Solutions, LLC. As an executive coach with extensive HR and corporate leadership experience, she assists in providing leadership coaching and training. She also authored Boomer, Be Nice and Roscoe’s Rescue. She believes that leadership skills can be taught to help children develop into successful adults. Contact her at stacy@

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December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




Addiction can manifest itself in many ways. It begins with an attraction to something that eventually creates an attachment. After a while, this attachment can consume our hearts, minds, and senses. We crave it, desire it, covet it – and we become addicts. Some mistakingly restrict addiction to a substance like drugs and alcohol. In reality, addiction is much more expansive. It can consume us in the form of perfectionism, ambition, pleasure, work or other areas. All of these things, of course, carry positive connotations, unlike substance abuse. Yet, they can be just as lethal to our relationships, health, finances, and overall welfare if we become addicted to them. Here are just a few things that we can become addicted to: Praise. Who doesn’t like to be praised? We all appreciate the proverbial “pat on the back.” However, what happens when we seek to receive the approval of others at all costs. Sound radical? We see politicians, businesses, entertainers, workers, and leaders do this all the time in order to keep profits rolling, products selling and polls rising. We may call this compromise, but isn’t that what addicts

do? Comprise long-term value in the most important things like integrity, honor and dignity for the short-term fix? Positions. Success can be defined in many ways, but one of the most prevalent and acceptable is climbing the ladder to the top. This means we are recognized as successful by the positions and prominence we hold. Thus, this is a subtle trap many of us can fall into. I surely did. In fact, I was blindly sacrificing my health and neglecting precious time with my family in order to devote more energy to my work – to ensure I was the first, the best and the ultimate corporate success. This can also be known as being a “workaholic,” and is

not the badge of honor we want to live for. Possessions. We know about materialism, but rarely want to identify ourselves with it. We simply say we like “nice” things. However, there is often a deeper reason behind our passionate pursuit of treasures. We falsely assume our self-worth is tied to our net worth. I recall a time I routinely flew in firstclass, stayed at exclusive 5-star resorts and earned extravagant bonus checks. Yet, as I looked around me, I was completely alone. I was always on the road and had no one I deeply cared for to share it. Ultimately, as B.B. King once said, the thrill was gone. All of it, no matter how nice it was, held no lasting meaning other than

to feed my pride and vanity. It was chasing after the wind. Clearly, ambition is not a negative thing. However, if we’re honest, much of our ambition can be selfish. But we don’t need to be too hard on ourselves because we are living in this world. A camper may enjoy the woods, but his home is someplace else. Likewise, we go out into the world and pick up these unsightly things, but like the camper checks for ticks, so must we. There are behavioral parasites just like there are physical ones, and we must check for them and then remove them. Let us consider: is our ambition harboring any addictions?

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

‘TIS THE SEASON GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY TEACHES GOOD CITIZENSHIP of Augusta, Hope House, Garden City Rescue Mission and The Humane Society. These are just to name a few. Through the collection of money, goods and many hours of volunteer time, we’ve made a difference in the lives of those in our community with the limited resources that students and educators have. Every organization or business can get involved in some way. All it takes is one person with a passion, creativity and an idea.


At this time of year, after we’ve stuffed ourselves with turkey, dressing and far too many sweets, we tend to start thinking about purchasing gifts and decorating for the holidays. At shopping centers around town, we hear the Salvation Army bell ringers and seasonal music. Students are taking final exams, eager to enjoy their break in weeks ahead. In all the hustle of the holiday season, let’s not forget about others in need. At Georgia Military College, our faculty and staff strive to make a difference in the lives of not only students in our classrooms, but also to others in our community. We teach giving back and community involvement to students so they can become citizens who reach out to make a difference beyond their own families and social circles. We encourage this on campus throughout the entire year, not just during this season when most people’s minds turn to helping the less fortunate. How can a small organization or group get involved? What can one person do? GMC’s college campus conducts fundraisers for various organizations all during the year through bake sales, car washes and raffles. Many students, faculty and staff don’t have large sums of money to donate at one

time, but they are willing to donate their loose change and clean out their closets to donate gently used items for various causes. In the fall, we collect non-perishable items for Golden Harvest Food Bank through the Spooky to be Hungry campaign. Leading up to the Christmas season, we are a Toys for Tots drop off location. Another way to get involved doesn’t cost anything! Donating time can mean the world to organizations. At GMC, we encourage students to volunteer because it teaches them to think beyond themselves, seeing the world through a different lens. Volunteering can be

28 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

fulfilling for you too. There’s no better way to get the family involved and teach children about differences in others. Overall, Georgia Military College’s students, faculty and staff have assisted through donations and volunteer hours to organizations such as Augusta Warrior Project, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Toys for Tots, Lydia Project, Susan G. Komen, Golden Harvest Food Bank, Shepeard Community Blood Center, Columbia County Cares Food Pantry, Salvation Army, Pruitt Healthcare, When Help Can’t Wait, Rape Crisis, Safe Homes

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

December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




Not long ago, “retirement” for many people meant living on a combination of Social Security and a fixed pension. Today, retired people are living longer and better, and many plan to enjoy their golden years. The problem is that those fixed pensions, for many, have disappeared – which has put much more emphasis on the importance of pre-retirement planning (which, for our purposes here, refers to a plan for an individual’s transition to retirement). Retirement Is Not Predictable Today, many people transition into retirement gradually over a period of months or even years. Unfortunately, for many, this transition occurs abruptly and unexpectedly, through either a layoff or disability. Few can predict with certainty which day will be their last on the job. In the absence of predictable retirement dates, many people put off the serious planning that should take place before retirement. Instead of planning for the changes in their lifestyle that their changed financial circumstances may require, they wait until it’s too late to properly plan. This can lead to hasty, ill-conceived decisions, and a rocky start to their golden years. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to start serious retirement planning at least one year before the transition period begins. This allows adequate time to obtain professional help, understand the many choices available, and make wellthought-out decisions. Key Issues and Decisions What issues and decisions should you evaluate in this pre-retirement planning process? Consider the following: Investment asset allocation – Retirement is a good time to assess how much risk you want to take with your investments. Once you stop working full-time, it may be harder to replace assets lost if markets suffer a downturn, since your investment time horizon will be shorter. An asset allocation process designed for a specific level of risk, with the appropriate diversification among asset classes, although not guaranteed, may help make market volatility less severe – especially when not every asset class has lost favor with investors. Income from investments – Many people approaching retirement expect that investment income will replace part of their paychecks. But since few stocks

pay significant dividends, that can mean repositioning assets from stocks into bonds or cash. Fixed annuities provide guaranteed monthly payments that can help to fill budget gaps when paychecks stop. In some cases, cash can also come from borrowing against the cash values of life insurance policies. Social Security benefits – The decision of when to begin Social Security retirement benefits is important, and usually can’t be changed once made. If you are eligible for Social Security, you may be eligible to begin receiving monthly income benefits as early as age 62. However, permanent benefit reductions are imposed for each month that you collect benefits before your Normal Retirement Age (age 65 to 67, depending on your age). As retirement nears, it’s a good idea to periodically check your free Social Security Statement, which contains your earnings history and an estimate of your future benefits. To get yours, visit www. Health benefits – This can be a major issue for people who retire prior to age 65, when Medicare and Medigap coverage may begin. Many employers do not extend their group health coverage beyond the period required by law. Even if they do, many retiring workers must pay their own premiums. At age 65, coverage under Medicare Part A (hospital) is automatic for most, and most retirees also elect to pay the modest premium required for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor

30 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

bills and miscellaneous medical charges. It’s also important to evaluate private Medigap policies, which can help to cover Medicare copayments and deductibles. Retirement distributions – When an individual retires, their retirement plan(s) may offer them several distribution options. For example, the retiree may be able to choose to: • receive the full amount of their “vested” account balance; • receive a set amount of monthly income (based on his or her account balance and whether or not payments will continue to be paid to a surviving spouse); or • directly roll over the account balance to an IRA. Choose carefully, since the old saying “actions have consequences” definitely applies here. For example, before you accept a check for your entire account balance, be sure you understand the tax implications of that choice – as in most cases, any federal (and, if applicable, state) taxes you owe on your money will be due all at once – for the year in which you received your payment. This usually means that you’ll pay much more in taxes than if you chose another option. On the other hand, if you choose the monthly income option, make sure you carefully consider the kind of payments you’d like to receive, particularly if you are married or have a partner to consider. Finally, with the rollover, even if you meet the rollover deadline (60 days), your

current plan provider will withhold 20 percent of your account balance in the form of withholding taxes if you receive the money directly (i.e., if your money is not transferred directly from one retirement plan provider to another, but you receive the check instead). To avoid paying taxes on that 20 percent for the year – as well as a possible 10 percent penalty – you must use your own funds to replace that sum by depositing the same amount into your new IRA within the 60-day deadline. Estate planning – It’s best to start this planning as early as possible. In recent years, there have been numerous changes in estate tax laws, and more are potentially on the horizon. That makes this a good time to review any existing estate plan you have, and also to take care of important details such as writing a will or creating trusts. Don’t wait until you’ve reached the point where you feel pressured to make major retirement decisions. Be sure to obtain the information and guidance you need to calmly consider all your choices well ahead of time. Competent financial and legal professionals can help you chart a course for retirement, as you try to project the levels of income and assets you’ll need to maintain your desired lifestyle. In pre-retirement planning, you will make some of the most important financial decisions of your lifetime. Don’t make them in haste – or on your own. 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 advisor 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







Kurtis Mueller is a Registered Representative and Financial Adviser of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS). OSJ: 4201 Congress St., Ste. 295, Charlotte, NC 28209. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, (704) 552-8507, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect,wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Consolidated Planning is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian.

Ryan Forester is a Registered Representative of Park Avenue Securities, LLC (PAS), 4201 Congress Street, Ste. 295, Charlotte, NC 28209. Securities products and services offered through PAS, (704) 552-8507. Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, NY. PAS is an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. Consolidated Planning, Inc. is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC.



Meet the team at our new Evans office. Consolidated Planning provides a wealth of knowledge and upgraded service in core areas like Insurance, Investments, Personal and Business Financial Planning. To learn more visit, www.cplanning. com or contact our team members directly.

North Belair Square 601 N. Belair Square, Suite 26 Evans, GA 30809


Affiliated with the Mueller Financial Group



Going out for lunch on a cold, rainy day is no one’s idea of ideal, but the warmth inside That Flippin’ Egg in Evans was a welcome reprieve from the rain and shopping traffic on Washington Road. Billed as “brunch style,” the restaurant is located on Washington Road in the former Sho Chin’s Chinese Kitchen across the street from the Evans Walmart. One would never guess its international heritage by its bright, casual style. They serve breakfast all day beginning at 6 a.m., adding daily lunch specials, salads and sandwiches from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Its animated egg-character logo is prominently displayed on menus and restroom doors. My companion and I were greeted at the door by a friendly hostess who offered us a choice of booth or table. The booth we chose was roomy enough to seat four to six easily and was comfortably spaced so that conversations at the next table weren’t easily overheard. Upbeat background music played but wasn’t a distraction. Multiple televisions were conveniently located around the restaurant but were muted and had closed captions running. Our attentive waitress, Alisa (coincidentally, also my sister’s name), took our drink orders and left us with a large, doublesided menu with more selections than any other menu I’ve seen lately. Alisa kindly offered to make a fresh pot of coffee for my coffee-drinking companion. I gravitate toward eggs benedict and was thrilled to see three different choices, including a vegetarian option. Anything with Hollandaise sauce usually gets my vote. The extensive menu offers customary breakfast combinations and an array of pancake varieties, sandwiches, and buildyour-own omelets, skillets and breakfast

That Flippin Egg Food Price Location Networking Noise Level That Flippin’ Egg is located at 4466 Washington Road in Evans. Its number is 706-210-9636. It is open seven days a week from 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

sandwiches at reasonable prices. Beef tips and meatloaf were the daily specials with about 15 tempting side choices. After vacillating between the eggs benedict, meatloaf and a strawberry-pecan chicken salad, I ordered a made-to-order skillet of veggies, eggs and cheese over home fries. My companion had equal difficulty choosing but ultimately selected the Southern-traditional chicken and waffles. Once we placed our orders, we settled in for a good chat and to take a look around at the other customers. Everyone was casually dressed and relaxed; not a typical “business” crowd at all. The customers may skew more family-friendly and “ladies who lunch” but it would certainly be appropriate for a business lunch. Alisa delivered our meal in a reasonable time. My skillet, actually served in a small,

skillet-shaped dish, was delicious, especially the fresh-cut home fries. The serving was large enough to be satisfying but not so much that I left any uneaten. However, my friend’s chicken and waffles seemed better in concept than in execution. While the serving size was generous and presented like a sandwich with a side of syrup and scrambled eggs, neither the waffle nor the chicken was hot and both needed a knife to cut. I was more pleased with my selection than my friend was with hers – nonetheless, she happily took her leftovers home for supper. That Flippin’ Egg is a welcome addition to the growing number of restaurant options in Evans. It was opened in March 2017 by the Robertson family who previously owned and operated the popular Evans Diner. For those who have breakfast






32 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

or lunch meetings, it’s an easily-accessible, budget-friendly option with a traditional and customized menu. We each had bills of less than $10. I’ll definitely go back and take my pancake-loving husband with me. They offer an $11.99 all-you-can-eat brunch buffet on Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m.1:30 p.m. I wonder if they can serve me a side of Hollandaise sauce?

Millie Huff is a freelance writer, part-time teacher and active volunteer in the CSRA. Now semi-retired, she’s eaten lunches in the Augusta-area since 1996 and loves any excuse to dine with friends and colleagues. Her restaurant review is written with a businessperson in mind.

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December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




Speaking at the North Augusta Chamber’s State of the Community event were, from left, Mayor Bob Pettit, Aiken County School Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford, Aiken County Council Chairman Gary Bunker, North Augusta Chief of Public Safety John Thomas and Fort Gordon Garrison Commander Todd Turner. Photo by Gary Kauffman


North Augusta is growing on two fronts. The opportunities and challenges of that growth was the topic of five community leaders as they spoke on the State of the Community, sponsored by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce on Dec. 15. While growth is anticipated from the east as Fort Gordon continues to grow, the more pressing concern is the westward migration of the population in Aiken County. Dr. Sean Alford, superintendent of Aiken County Schools, said studies have shown that over the past five or six years, the core population of the county has shifted about five miles to the west. That moves it from the area surrounding to Aiken and closer to North Augusta. That has already led to increased growth in food and retail businesses and housing developments along Edgefield Road of Exit 5 of I-20. North Augusta mayor Bob Pettit said housing will continue to expand in the area. “Residential development has been good in North Augusta but in the next four years it’s going to be dramatic,” he said. But the riverfront is also growing with the construction of Riverside Village, bringing with it increased interest in the downtown. Riverside Village is the multiuse development of residential, retail and hospitality. The centerpiece is a new baseball stadium for the Augusta GreenJackets. Pettit reported that by opening day of the GreenJackets’ 2018 season, their new home – SRP Park – will be finished, as will the hotel parking deck, the rightfield res-

taurant and at least the shell of the apartment complex in leftfield. Apartments in the village and the hotel will be under construction at that time. He also hopes the Riverview Park will be completed by that date. Pettit said he is focused on the revenue stream for the development and the rest of the city. For the first time in 25 years, the city raised the property tax rate. It also reinstated a 2 percent hospitality tax that had been dormant since 1998. But while Exit 5 is gaining plenty of attention, Pettit said the city is also looking for ways to make the Exit 1 corridor attractive to new business. That means upgrading some areas around that interchange, especially since the state will be widening the I-20 bridge across the Savannah River. Pettit also wants to shift the focus of Aiken County – and the state of South Carolina – from thinking only about industrial development to non-industrial support. “Economic development is more than just industry,” he said. “We’re working to get more office spaces.” North Augusta Public Safety Chief John Thomas said his department is already feeling the pinch of more people in the area. “We see a lot of people and crowds around the river,” he said. “The traffic situation has increased because of the growth of Exit 5, and our call volume is increasing.” He plans to apply for state grants that will help put more police officers on the streets, especially for traffic patrols. The city will also study putting a new

34 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

fire station more in the center of the area that can cover a five-mile radius. Thomas reported that the North Augusta Public Safety Department earned national accreditation in 2017, completing what is normally a three-year process in two years. Accreditation holds the city to a higher standard than the average city’s public safety department, which creates increased safety for North Augusta residents and businesses. Alford said the shift in demographics, more than growth, has caused an imbalance in school spaces. He noted that Aiken County Schools have been within a few hundred of 25,000 students for the past 30 years. But it is where those students are coming from now that is causing concern. “It’s not rapid growth but a rapid change in where the students live,” he said. While schools in the eastern part of the county are seeing more open spaces, the schools in the North Augusta area are approaching 100 percent capacity. One school, near Exit 5, has already exceeded 100 percent capacity. Alford said the shift won’t change the school’s focus of producing employable graduates. “The public school district is the cornerstone (for work force development),” he said. “It’s the first source for the future job market.” To that end, the district is providing education that is both specialized for jobs such as cyber, but also general enough to provide employees for industry, energy and nursing jobs. “We want to make sure that every stu-

dents leaves our school district with employable skills,” he said. Gary Bunker, chairman of the Aiken County Council, said the county is continuing to pursue businesses to bring jobs to the area. He said it probably won’t be another giant like Bridgestone, but lots of smaller businesses that will make the difference. “There will be 50 jobs here, 120 there, 20 there – it all adds up,” he said. The council is also seeking ways to capture some of the peripheral growth from Fort Gordon, both in contractors who locate their businesses in North Augusta, or having their employees live in the area. The growth at Fort Gordon necessitates plenty of work on base as well. Todd Turner, Garrison Commander at Fort Gordon, said bringing the cyber headquarters and training center to the base requires upgrading existing facilities and constructing new buildings. The current buildings for the Signal Corps are an average of 42 years old. To bring the base up to the standards it wants, the Army will spend about $900 million in upgrades and new facilities over the next seven years. Fort Gordon is one of only a handful of Army installations that are growing. All of these opportunities and challenges paint a rosy picture for North Augusta’s future. Pettit paraphrased a quote from baseball legend Yogi Berra, who once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be.” “The future for North Augusta ain’t what it used to be, either,” Pettit said. “It’s bigger, brighter and it’s better.”

December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz



POISON PEACH FESTIVAL PROMOTES HOMEGROWN FILM INDUSTRY perial or increase his bank account. “Enough people come that I don’t lose my butt on it,” he said. “It’s sort of a break-even deal, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of it.” The Poison Peach Film Festival starts at 7 p.m. each night, Friday, Jan. 5 through Sunday, Jan. 7.


Georgia has been making its name known in the motion picture world in the past decade, and Augusta has lately been a popular place to shoot some scenes as well. But the film industry is hardly a new phenomenon in the Garden City. “Before the news picked up on the bigger films coming in, people had no idea of any film industry in Augusta at all,” said Christopher Forbes. Forbes, with 23 feature films to his credit, will sponsor the Poison Peach Film Festival at the Imperial Theater during the first weekend of 2018. It will celebrate its 10th year. The Poison Peach Film Festival showcases films written, acted, directed and filmed by people by local talent. “These are films – shorts and features – that were created from Ground Zero here in the Augusta area,” Forbes said. The Poison Peach Festival began as an effort to fill a void left by the short-lived Southern Pride Flicks Festival that ran for a few years around 2006. After a year without a local film festival, Forbes stepped in to sponsor the Poison Peach with the help of the Southeastern Filmmakers Association (then known as Augusta Film). The name came from Sherri Lloyd during a brainstorming session to title the new festival. “Members of the film group met to brainstorm the coolest, or at least weirdest, name they could come up with,” Forbes said. “We were doing primarily horror films at that time.” Lloyd combined the horror genre with Georgia’s namesake fruit to come up with Poison Peach. The first two years the festival was held at the 65-seat La Chat Noir playhouse at 8th and Ellis streets, which quickly filled to capacity. Forbes then talked to the Imperial, which was ready to run another film festival, especially during the down time at the beginning of January. In the 10 years since it started, the Poison Peach has spread out to all genres. Forbes will be showing two of his Westerns on Sunday night. Saturday night, though, remains the domain of horror, including a

A scene from Christopher Forbes’ feature movie The Last Days of Billy the Kid, one of the films that will be shown at the 10th annual Poison Peach Film Festival Jan. 5-7. Photo contributed

feature, The Old Man and the Rooks, that is the collaboration of 12 directors. “They were each given the authority to take the story wherever he or she thought it should go,” Forbes said. “But there is a character and story thread to it.” Friday night opens with a collection of short films of about five minutes each, although one lasts only a minute. “The short film format is a great way to start off,” Forbes advised would-be filmmakers. “A feature film is really just a grouping of 20 shorts in a row. If you can master the short film format, that’s the first step to doing a feature film.” For those interested in the local film industry, Forbes said the Poison Peach Festival is the place to be. “For anyone interested in any facet of film, this is a really good place to network,” he said. “Virtually anyone in the area involved in film will be there. It’s worth its weight in gold.” Forbes is impressed with

36 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

the local talent in all aspects of the film industry. “Augusta’s got it going on,” he said. Augusta has three local casting agents who have played roles in procuring extras when bigger films have come to the city, but are also vital in casting for smaller local films. Forbes has also been pleased with the local acting talent he’s found at La Chat Noir, the Augusta Players and similar groups in Aiken. He said that for actors, the smaller films often offer more opportunities than playing an extra in a bigger film. “The way to get a reel together is playing a feature role or role with dialogue in a small film,” he said. “It gives you the capability of moving on.” The local film scene encompasses a wide age range of enthusiasts. “Just in The Old Man and Rooks you have people involved from 20 into their 50s,” Forbes said. Forbes acknowledged that the Poison Peach will probably never fill the 850-seat Im-

POISON PEACH FILM FESTIVAL SCHEDULE FRIDAY, JAN. 5 Short Film Showcase (family friendly): “The Gift;” “Noise;” “Time Waits;” “Allen the Ace;” “Eastwind Productions;” and “Bryn Gets a Job.” 8:15 p.m. “Arte Factum Legends” (not so family friendly) 9:30 p.m. “Cozpar: New Beginning” (family friendly) 7 p.m.

SATURDAY, JAN. 6 7 p.m. Short Film Showcase (not so family friendly): “Prison World;” “Death Don’t Do Us Part;” “Sliver;” “Miss Julie;” and “Puppy.” 8 p.m. “What Would Linnea Do?” (NOT family friendly) 9:30 p.m. “Old Man of the Rooks” (NOT family friendly) SUNDAY, JAN. 7 Western World Premiere Double Feature (family friendly) 7 p.m. “The Last Days of Billy the Kid” 8:30 p.m. “Jesse James Vs The Black Train”


Grovetown residents are about to get their very own taste of what Augusta Magazine named the best Mexican restaurant in Augusta this year. Taqueria Y Carniceria El Rey (known locally as Taqueria El Rey), which opened on Washington Road last year and has quickly become a hometown favorite for what the owner calls “Mexican comfort food,” is getting ready to open a new location on Lewiston Road in Grovetown, near Kroger. Ramiro Galvan, co-owner of the Martinez restaurant, says he and his staff are aiming to open the new location in January or February. Galvan recently signed a contract with Dunkin’ Donuts to lease the space; the chain owns the property near the corner of Lewiston Road and Bluegrass Trail, where Taqueria El Rey and a few other retailers are preparing to open.

Now Galvan is waiting for the county to approve the blueprints of the new store, which will be smaller than the restaurant’s current location on Washington Road. “We just won Best of Augusta, and we want to keep it that way,” Galvan said. In the restaurant’s 17-month history, it has become popular among locals seeking authentic Mexican food. That was Galvan’s goal. When he moved to Augusta from California 15 years ago, his requests for street tacos at local Mexican restaurants, to his surprise, were met with puzzled faces. “If you go to Mexico, they’re going to have the chorizo, el pastor with pineapple…the good stuff,” Galvan said. After working at local restaurant Mi Rancho for almost a decade, Galvan, along with his sister, father, mother and brother-in-law, opened Taqueria El Rey

in the West Town Shopping Center off Washington Road in Martinez. Prior to working at Mi Rancho, Galvan had managed another Mexican restaurant at the same location called El Valle when he was just 18 years old. This time around, Galvan saw an opportunity to create a restaurant that broke away from traditional Tex-Mex menus filled with Speedy Gonzales’ and chimichangas. The Galvan family forgoes American mainstays like ground beef burritos for tripe (stomach) and beef tongue. Nick Sanchez, a loyal customer of the Taqueria El Rey who often eats there multiple times a week, says he discovered the restaurant during a search for authentic Mexican cuisine after moving to the area from Fresno, Calif. “I came here earlier at 3 o’clock to get some meat, and now I’m back here again,” Sanchez said.

“Whatever meats I get back in Cali, I can get here,” said Juan Gomez, another customer. Patricia Galvan, Ramiro’s sister whose personable side lends itself to her role at the front of the house, thinks the tacos are the best thing on the menu. “Growing up, there were tacos on every corner,” Patricia said of her childhood experiences in Mexico and California. That may not be the case in Augusta, but locals can add the corner of Lewiston Road and Bluegrass Trail in Grovetown to the list. The new restaurant will have a smaller menu than the Martinez location, featuring the top 20-30 items that prompted Augustans to rank Taqueria El Rey at the top. “We wanted it to be something homemade,” Patricia said. “(Hispanic) customers tell us it tastes like something grandma made.”

NOT FOR AMATEURS DIY PRESSURE WASHING COULD COST MORE IN THE LONG RUN consider the entire financial costs: paying the employee hourly rate, paying for the pressure washing equipment, the gas to run it, the cost to repair it when it breaks, the costs of any chemicals or detergents than need to be purchased out of your budget, you simply can’t do it more costeffectively in house. There is hardly a scenario where it would make sense to try and handle your pressure washing in-house using your current employees. It is for all of these reasons, that we recommend hiring a licensed, knowledgeable pressure washing company like AllClean Pressure Washing to meet your exterior cleaning needs. In the long run, it will save you time, money, and possible legal hassles.


Abraham Lincoln once said “A person who represents himself in a court of law has a fool for a client.” Just think about that for a second; most people aren’t trained as lawyers, so they won’t know all the legal terms, procedures and loopholes that give themselves the best chance of winning, especially when going up against a trained professional. Thus, their chances of winning their case will be slim to none and their attempt to do so, awkward at best. Why take the risk? So, how hard could it possibly be to properly and safely maintain the exterior of a commercial building, restaurant or strip mall? Timmy and Tina, the teenagers that were just hired last week, or Mr. Wilson, the in-house maintenance manager, should be able pressure wash the siding and concrete walks in your 75-unit apartment complex, right? Isn’t that the easiest, most cost effective way to do things? Think about it again. Please. Set aside the thought that in either case above, neither person would likely have the experience and knowledge to remove gum from concrete, mildew or graffiti from vinyl siding without damaging it or remove dangerous, slippery grease from restaurant entrances that a Professional, experienced, properly-equipped exterior cleaning contractor would provide.

Also, set aside the thought that, in addition to needing the proper experience and equipment, one would need the proper knowledge and professional-grade detergents to get the best possible results. Additionally, think about the risks of having an inexperienced employee using a high-pressure wand that could very easily cause damage to concrete, windows, stucco or vinyl siding. A high-pressure stream of water that accidentally comes into contact with bare skin can create painful and dan-

gerous injuries to your employees. Imagine the inexperienced employee incorrectly tries to use a dangerous caustic chemical to remove grease or stains and ends up splashing it in his eyes or skin causing dangerous burns. The costs of dealing with the legalities of job-incurred injuries to employee will far outweigh the cost of any perceived savings by trying to handle it yourself, in-house, with an employee – guaranteed. Secondary to the liability risk, when you

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

December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz



PLENTY OF CHOCOLATY RICHNESS IN NEW TERRAPIN BREW different. It’s significant for more chocolate than hazelnut, but the hazelnut that comes in later really dampens the chocolate nicely, making this brew surprisingly balanced on the tongue when you factor in the notion that you’re drinking a chocolate hazelnut imperial milk stout ale. So, give this beer a try, unless you’re counting your calories (in which case you probably don’t read my column anyway). Overall, I say well done to the brewers at Terrapin up the road in Athens. Here’s to a 2018 filled to the brim with love and laughs.


It happened. The weather turned cold. Winter came. Jack Frost nibbled at our noses. Christmas lights twinkled from my neighbors bushes. I walked up to Arsenal Taproom, able to see my breath in the cold evening air. I stepped inside, sat down with some friends, and searched the menu for the most wintry brew I could find. I started to order a Delirium Noel, and that’s when the bartender said, “Have you had the Terrapin Moo-Tella?” I replied with a hard “no” and sampled this unforeseen libation. After a second or two of blissful swishing about the sip, I promptly ordered a pint – then another. Terrapin Moo-Tella – (say these next few sentences out loud like Troy McClure from The Simpsons) Do you enjoy chocolate – rich chocolate that’s not too bitter? Have you already given up on your approaching New Year’s resolution to lose weight in 2018? Do you like to drink your dessert? When you’re out with friends, and someone suggests just getting one slice of cake with four forks,

do you get audibly angry? Do people who put on their expensive work-out gear just to go to the grocery store really grind your gears? Do you have one of those bumper stickers that doesn’t say “26.2” or “13.1” but instead says “0.0 – I Don’t Run”? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we’ve got a beer for you!

This brew is an imperial cousin to its progenitor, Moo-Hoo. Moo-Tella is termed a Chocolate Hazelnut Imperial Milk Stout. Make no mistake about it; this is a stout ale and will overcome just about any food you’d pair it with. The almost-milk/almost-dark chocolate on the nose screams at you, and the taste is no


Ben Casella reviews new beers in a variety of seasons. He is excited to see what brews the New Year will bring.


Most of the time, I try to have a theme for my reviews. I like to let you know what to expect. This month, however, I couldn’t decide on a theme. Nothing sounded good. Instead, chose shows that I knew nothing about. These shows did not let me down. The Crown I’ve never really cared much about English nobility. I don’t know who Prince Harry is dating, how many royal offspring there are, or who is next in line for the throne. With that said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I say I’ve never even considered watching a program about the topic. Well, all that changed recently. The Crown is a Netflix original series that opens in the latter years of King George IV’s reign. He is ill, very ill. Even so, he must present his eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, at her wedding. If you’re lacking prior knowledge of the topic as I was, you may find yourself a bit confused watching the first episode. I paused it and did a little research.

Elizabeth’s marriage was controversial, as she married a foreign-born man. He had no money and family ties to the Nazis. Her love was true, however, and the country was forced to accept the marriage. The next few episodes of The Crown center on the King’s rapidly declining health and the King’s last days. The Princess becomes Queen, and family’s life is forever changed. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the show for me thus far is that of the relationship between Elizabeth and her husband, Phillip. Phillip was a proud man with a career plan. His marriage to Elizabeth ended that career. Once she become Queen, they left the family home he loved, and she and their children renounced his family name in favor of Windsor. His sacrifices were many, and a lesser man would have given up. I may have chosen it on a whim, but The Crown has easily become one of my new favorite shows; even if I have to stop and give myself history lessons every so often.

38 Buzz on Biz December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018

Alias Grace I knew I wanted to watch this show as soon as I saw the name Margaret Atwood. She is one of my favorite authors, and her novels are complex, powerful and terrifying. This series is adapted from Atwood’s novel of the same name. Based on true events, the show explores the story of Grace Marks, a 16-year-old sentenced first to death, then life in prison. Once again, I had no background knowledge, but I was able to finish the first episode without doing any research. Psychologically captivating from the first scenes, I needed no extra information to find myself completely absorbed in Alias Grace. The first episode introduces our main character, Grace, and her journey to Toronto. Travelling from Ireland with her family, Grace endured eight weeks below deck, in cramped quarters, watching her fellow travelers battle sea-sickness and cholera, among other things. The realism this show brings is unsettling; I literally felt sick watching these scenes. This uncomfortable feeling continued as the family reached land, trekking through the

mud and muck, simply trying to find a suitable home. While Alias Grace is filled with dystopian visuals, the dialogue is a literature teacher’s dream. Figurative language abounds, with similes so epic they could be used in an end-of-course test review. But don’t worry if that isn’t your cup of tea, the show is easy to follow. I’ve only watched one episode of the sixpart miniseries, but I’m excited to see where it goes. I mean, who doesn’t love a good murder mystery on a cold winter day?

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.





BREAKFAST MEETINGS LUNCH ‘N LEARN DINNERS/SPECIAL EVENTS 544 N. Belair Road Evans, Ga 706.228.3018 December 22, 2017-January 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




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