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“Augusta is a great location for transportation, which makes it a great place for manufacturing,” Franza said. “Manufacturers need to get raw materials in and product out.” Interstate 20 and the proximity to several other major highways, ports in Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga., and a major airport in Atlanta give manufacturers the access they need. Augusta is also diversified within the industrial sector, with companies including

In 2008-09, when an economic recession raged like a tornado across the United States, I was in the heart of the worst of it — Elkhart County, Ind. For a variety of reasons, Elkhart County has become the RV capital of the world. Many of the top recreational vehicle brands are built there — Coachman, Jayco, Keystone, Forest River, Monaco, Newmar — as well as number of lesser-known brands. Not only do those companies employ a lot of people, but by 2008, many smaller businesses also had been established to supply parts for the manufacturers, deliver the RVs and, of course, sell the RVs. In addition, other small businesses, like high-end furniture and cabinet manufacturing, had started, based on the buying power of those who worked in the RV industry. My advertising/marketing business worked with those secondary markets. It was an all-eggs-in-one-basket economic approach. And, for a while, it created an amazing economy. It actually verified President Ronald Reagan’s belief in a trickle-down economy. But when the recession hit, Elkhart County became the poster child for unemployment. It ranked first in the nation in unemployment numbers, officially somewhere north of 20 percent, but that didn’t account for people who

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See MIX on Page 2

The medical district, left, and the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training are two bedrocks of Augusta’s diverse economy. A diverse economy creates solid growth and guards against another economic recession. Photos by Gary Kauffman


Just like a good investment portfolio, diversity is important for the economic strength of a city. And Richard Franza, dean of the Hull College of Business at Augusta University, believes the Augusta area has a strong portfolio. “We have a couple of recession-proof bedrocks in government and health care,” Franza said. “When you have two bedrock industries, it’s like bonds in a portfolio. They may not be high risk but provide stability.” Franza said cities should think of their economies as a diversified portfolio rather than have an eggs-in-one-basket mentality. “Not all industries will be surging at the same time,” he said. “Rarely is everything clicking at the same time. Diversity in the portfolio reduces risk. We have a little more immunity from economic downturns.” Diversification is a strength in the CSRA, starting with the two pillars of government and health care.

Two Economic Bedrocks

Franza pointed out that there will always be a need for health care, and Augusta is rich with hospitals, clinics and medical research facilities. The government pillar may be changing from a Department of Energy emphasis at Savannah River Site to a strong Department of Defense presence at Fort Gordon. “The post size of Fort Gordon obviously enhances the economy, and it’s going to grow even more,” Franza said. Fort Gordon is only a year away from becoming the Cyber Command Center for the U.S. Army, and Franza believes that the government pillar of the economy will become geared more toward cyber and technology. In addition to Fort Gordon, the state of Georgia has invested $100 million into the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center for Innovation and Training. “Cyber is going to have a significant impact,” Franza said. “We’re just seeing the front end of the wave that’s coming

because there will be a lot of government money available (for cyber).” Like health care, he said, everyone has some stake in technology that will require cybersecurity. But beyond the two economic bedrocks, Augusta has several other strong pieces of a diverse economy.

Diverse Economic Sectors


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Textron — which is diversifying beyond just E-Z-Go golf cars — Club Car, Covidien, International Paper, John Deere and Kellogg’s among the major players. Across the river in South Carolina, Bridgestone and Kimberly-Clark add to the mix. “And that’s just the biggies,” Franza said, noting that there are many more factories from a variety of industries contributing the economy. Another key component to the economy is hospitality services. “This is a good place for tourism, restaurants and entertainment,” he said. “We’re growing in hotel rooms.” Which, of course, brings up the Masters Tournament. “The Masters is only one week a year, but it’s a pretty big week,” Franza said. Conservative estimates, he said, are that it creates a $125 million impact in that one week. The addition of a women’s tournament ahead of the Masters next year will add to that. And there are other big sports events that strengthen the economy, including the Ironman 70.3 triathlon and the Peach Jam high school basketball showcase. Franza expects the new SRP Park in North Augusta to generate additional opportunities. Education is also plus for the area, with Augusta University, Paine College, USC Aiken, Augusta Tech, Aiken Tech, Georgia Military College and the Medical College of Georgia among the major ones, in addition to a number of smaller satellite campuses.


Continued from Page 1 had their work schedules slashed to 25 hours, or the many self-employed people, like me, who saw their incomes shrivel to frighteningly small numbers. McDonald’s and other fast-food restaurants were inundated with hundreds of job applications, many from people who just months before had been earning $80,000 a year. One church had to deal with a congregation where 70 percent of its members were either unemployed or severely underemployed. It was a grim time and underscored with a double line in red ink the need for diversity in an area’s economy. When I moved to the CSRA, I saw — with great relief — good economic diversity. We have government (Savannah River Site and Fort Gordon), the medical district and a variety of manufacturing. The hospitality and entertainment sectors are strong, and we have a nice tourism and educational presence. And, of course,

2 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

More of Everything

A diverse economy contributes to economic growth beyond just those sectors. As employees move into the area, the demand for other services increases as well, meaning there will need to be more gas stations, dry cleaners, hair salons, retail stores and restaurants, plus new homes. “More of the things we use every day,” Franza said. “The quality of life has to be there, because the diversity of jobs will attract a diverse population.” While Franza sees Augusta as having an already diverse economy, he thinks two areas could be strengthened. “The downtown still has a ways to go,” he said. “It has good restaurants, entertainment and night-life places. It’s getting there.” He’d also like to see the city become a hotbed for entrepreneurs, something he believes is currently lacking. “What Augusta lacks is startups, particularly in technology development,” Franza said. “The influx of cyber might help, but it’s not a place where a lot of innovation has taken place. But cyber and technology are ripe for entrepreneurship.” But with all the diversity comes a challenge, especially as cyber grows: providing enough employees. “The challenge for us is we’ve got to provide the workforce for it,” Franza said. “We’ve got to attract more students to come here.” The economic diversity may help with that, both in attracting new students and in keeping homegrown students from leaving the area in search of jobs. “Younger people tend to job hop more, and a diverse economy enables them to do that without leaving the area,” he said. there’s the Masters Tournament. Augusta’s economy is also not concentrated in one area but spread throughout the CSRA, from Aiken and North Augusta, to downtown Augusta, on the southside and out into the booming Grovetown area. And now we have a new boom in cyber businesses growing up around the imminent establishment of the Army’s Cyber Command at Fort Gordon. That adds to the diversity. Many businesses are growing up specifically to service that industry, and others are starting as secondary industries to take part in the coming economic growth. That’s great, but I will offer a caveat from painful personal experience — stay diverse. As a metropolitan area, we need to maintain a diversity that can weather another national economic setback. But within individual businesses, stay diverse as well. Placing all the eggs in one basket can create a financial windfall when the times are right. But when the bottom falls out, it’s a long drop without a safety net.


What a difference a year makes in our customer experience at the “Happiest Place on Earth” in Orlando, Fla.! That’s true from the lessons we learned as customers and the lessons we gleaned as Augusta business owners to share with you. There are three examples of great service that stood out to me: 1. Our nearly 5-year-old daughter, Lyndee, was frightened by one of the characters and didn’t want to take a photo. The Disney guide grabbed Lyndee by the hand and asked her if she wanted to meet Snow White in a separate part of Magic Kingdom. Lyndee was made to feel like a princess and was escorted to the front of the line, and she shed her fears for the rest of the trip. 2. At one of the Disney stores, Lyndee noticed an Ariel doll behind the register and asked to play with it. The customer service person went to the stockroom and brought out two boxes of different outfits and accessories and sat down on the floor with her in front of customers and played with Lyndee for 30 minutes until

Lyndee was finished. 3. We made the decision to rent a single stroller this year for $39 for three days to avoid lugging ours on the approximately 10 bus rides we had to take to go to and from the parks. By Day Three, we had too much stuff and things were cramped for Lyndee. A Disney transportation worker upgraded us to a double stroller at no charge. This year we spent $169 so my photographer wife, Melissa, could put her camera down and better experience the parks! We bought the Memory Maker Disney Photo pass, so each time we wanted a photo, a Disney photographer took the picture and scanned our armband to add the photos to our digital file. We have them all for life. This year we planned ahead and my wife signed up for the free Fast Passes on different rides and shows to cut our wait time by more than half. We were less stressed out and simply experienced more. Also, I’m so glad Melissa didn’t listen to the skeptics who told her not to sign up for a Fairytale Dining Dinner at Cinderella’s

Royal Table. She was told she had to sign up a year ago to get us in. She checked and apparently someone canceled at the last minute. We had the most fabulous surf ‘n turf-like five-course meal in which all the princesses greeted and took photos with Lyndee — all from high atop Cinderella’s Castle overlooking Magic Kingdom. Disney Part 3 will involve inviting extended family members to share a large suite at Disney so we can experience the happiest place on earth with loved ones in style!

Neil Gordon founded the Buzz on Biz brand in 2005 with a Business Minute concept on News 12 that still airs daily at 6:25 a.m. Gordon is adding new video concepts to help other businesses grow. To reach him, email

Features In the Middle................................................. 4 600 Broad serves the business and cultural communities in its unique building in the middle of Broad Street. Buzz Bits..................................................... 6-7 Openings, Closings............................... 12, 13

Clean Greens............................................... 26 Owners of Fat Man’s Café plan to open a new restaurant featuring healthy salads. Southern Celebration................................. 30 The Morris Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of the South in a variety of ways.

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 Ashlee Duren, Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman Multimedia Journalist Witt Wells, Photography Witt Wells, Gary Kauffman, Melissa Gordon Layout Amanda Holahan Sales Manager Lisa Dorn, Sales and PR Jessica Jones,, 762-218-0239 Ad Building Michael Rushbrook Distribution Kenneth Brown, Jessica Jones

Upcoming Events.................................. 14, 15 Businessperson of the Month.................... 20 Mike and Wendy Perry use their Army experience to help leaders grow.

Columnists Christine Hall: Get financials in order before selling business.....8 Dagan Sharpe: Promoting success of others shows confidence....................................................................................................8 Tim Dalton: Do you own a business or just have a job?.............. 10 Russell Head: IRS to reverses change in HSA limit......................... 16 Stacy Roberts: Don’t wait for new year to make changes.......... 16 Gary Kauffman: Setting goals is a vital ingredient in success... 18 Witt Wells: Perils of parking bound to increase in near future.. 22 Dub Taylor: Step out of your comfort zone....................................... 23

Our Memory Maker Disney Photo Pass let my photographer wife experience the other side of the lens at the Tree of Life at Animal Kingdom. Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

Missie Usry: Competitors can all win with cooperation.............. 23 Tammy Shepherd: Chamber turns like a wheel in community................................................................................................. 24 Ed Enoch: Rules apply to image use to promote your business........................................................................................................ 25 Tony Creighton: Soft washing cleans without damage............... 25 Susan O’Keefe: Delicious vegan fare has starring role at juice bar................................................................................................................... 28 Samantha Barksdale: Blast from the past.......................................... 31 Ben Casella: Barrel-aged brew works perfectly for dessert........ 31

Opinions expressed by the writers 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 643 Broad Street, Augusta GA 30901

May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




Most buildings are constructed on one side of the street or the other, but Augusta has a unique distinction of having a building smack dab in the middle of a street. Not only is its location unique, but so is its design and, to a degree, its current use. Known as the old Chamber building, or simply as that weird building in the middle of Broad Street, the building has the official title of 600 Broad. It sits literally in the middle of Broad Street at the intersection with Sixth Street. Today, it is under the auspices of the Augusta Regional Collaboration, a nonprofit group that seeks to develop real estate for public purposes. It contains a public space for local artists to exhibit their work, 13 “business incubator” offices for entrepreneurs and a public meeting space. “Rather than building a new building, we’re using the assets we already have,” said Charles Murdorf, assistant vice president of ARC and the building’s manager. 600 Broad also is an anchor in ARC’s Four Corners Plan, a private-public venture to encourage development in four sections of Augusta. The “corners” are the downtown area, the mills, the medical district and the Laney-Walker area. The building, designed by worldrenowned architect I.M. Pei, originally served as the home for the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce. But it was vacant from 2010 until ARC took possession in 2015. 600 Broad has become especially popular among entrepreneurs. Office spaces on the second floor range from 90 square feet to 1,000 square feet and, because of ARC’s nonprofit status, are rented at below-market rates. All 13 spaces are now occupied, and there are a dozen more entrepreneurs are on the waiting list. Murdorf said the facility provides startups a place to get their feet wet in business at a lower cost. Utilities, except for highspeed internet, are included in the rent. “It’s sort of a learning opportunity, and you don’t have to invest heavily,” he said. “The leases start at six months, so you’re not locked into a long-term lease.” Although some of the entrepreneurs could easily work from home, the office spaces allow them to get away from the distractions homes can have. “You can focus on growing your business without all the other distractions,” Murdorf said. Current tenants include a wide range of entrepreneurs, such as a software compa-

4 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

Charles Mundorf, the assistant vice president of the Augusta Regional Collaboration and the manager of 600 Broad, says the building has become a key spot for entrepreneurs looking to get started and the gallery space attracts avant garde local artists. Photos by Gary Kauffman

ny, a life coach, a management company and the office of a construction company. The building also houses the office of the Augusta Black Chamber of Commerce. 600 Broad has already seen some success stories of businesses that started there before launching into bigger ventures. The Augusta Film Office, Friends with Benefits and the Greater Augusta Youth Theatre are among the examples. The art gallery space offers two floors for artists, or groups of artists, to display their work. The works can be a bit avant garde. “It’s not like what you’d see at Arts in the Heart,” Murdorf said. “Our artwork is targeted toward a younger demographic, but we do try to keep it family-friendly.” The gallery is open to the public, and

special exhibit events take place periodically. Opposite the gallery on the ground floor is the community room that can be rented by the hour or by the day for anything from business meetings and networking events to birthday parties. It is available from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week. One of ARC’s goals with 600 Broad is to bring more people into that area of the downtown. While many people are discovering the restaurants and businesses on other parts of Broad, their wanderings usually don’t take them beyond Ninth Street. Part of that is a perception that that end of Broad Street is dangerous. “That’s always in the back of people’s minds,” Murdorf said, “but wrongly so.

We have events here running late into the night, and we’ve never had an incident.” For a short time, 600 Broad paired with Augusta Trolley to bring people to the building at night but had to curtail that because of the cost involved. Murdorf hopes, though, that people will start gravitating that way. “We would like to make this a hive of activity,” he said. “The design of the building draws people.” Realizing the limitations of the space inside 600 Broad, Murdorf also hopes to expand the concept to other buildings in the area. That would provide more opportunities for businesses currently on the waiting list and would help expand the cultural side of ARC’s plans. “Ideally, we’d like to replicate this in other locations,” he said. “The demand is there. And I’d like to get some studio/ gallery space for artists. You can only do so much artwork at home before you’re overwhelmed.” 600 Broad is just part of ARC’s success so far in developing the Four Corners Plan. ARC also played an instrumental role in attracting Unisys to the downtown area, in bringing Cape Augusta to the mills district and in working with Augusta University to consolidate its expansion in the medical district. It recently helped establish Foundry Place, a 221-unit apartment complex in the Laney-Walker district that is expected to be completed in late summer 2019.


The old Carpet Shop property on Georgia Avenue in North Augusta is getting new life.

GROUP BUYS HISTORIC N. AUGUSTA PROPERTY North Augusta Forward (NAF) has purchased the former Carpet Shop property on Georgia Avenue. The building, adjacent to the North Augusta Municipal Building, is a historic property that used to house North Augusta Skating Rink. “This property has been for sale for several years, and we are excited to finally be able to secure it for appropriate development,” said NAF Chairman Brett Brannon. “This historic property is located immediately adjacent to land already owned by NAF, which will allow us to develop the two parcels in a strategically coordinated manner.” Brannon said NAF has owned the building for around 30 days and wants to hear from potential tenants interested in the space. He thinks the building would thrive as a mixed-use development that includes restaurants, retail and office space. The building is around 12,000 square feet. NAF also owns the parcel of land behind the Georgia Avenue building and plans to build a development around the same size there, Brannon said. North Augusta Forward stated in a news release that its “goal has always been to partner with residents, businesses, governments and community organizations to identify, develop and implement visionary initiatives as a catalyst for the continued transformation of North Augusta into an inviting and vibrant community that residents want to call home.”

CYBER LEADERS MAKE DEAL Augusta-based online and professional tax and financial technology

6 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

Doctors Hospital’s Trauma Center became one of only four such centers in Georgia — and the only one in Augusta — to be verified as an Adult Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). “This status shows our commitment to providing the highest quality of care for our residents and visitors to our community,” said Dr. Christopher Hogan, Trauma Services medical director. “With the tremendous growth we have seen in the Doctors Hospital trauma program in the last few years, Level II designation was the next logical step.” The verification follows an extensive site survey and review in January 2018 by a team of American College of Surgeons reviewers experienced in the field

of trauma. Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance as outlined by the American College of Surgeons’ Committee on Trauma in its current Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual. The designation also elevates Doctors Hospital to a Level II trauma center under Georgia Department of Public Health’s Office of EMS/Trauma. A hospital’s designation level allows EMS and first responders to know exactly what the hospital’s capabilities are for caring for a trauma patient. A Level II trauma center requires a trauma surgeon and anesthesia staff to be in-house 24/7, with major surgical specialties on-call and with the clear

commitment to be in the emergency department when the patient arrives. Other requirements include 24/7 operating room availability and operating room staff on-call and available 24/7. “We’ve built a great team of experienced trauma surgeons, specialized advanced practitioners, nurses and support personnel to serve the needs of the greater Augusta region,” Hogan said. “Improving access to trauma services is an important part of our growth here in Augusta.” In addition to Hogan, there are five other physicians who specialize in trauma and critical care: Dr. John Keeley, Dr. Erin Switzer, Dr. Colville H. Ferdinand, Dr. James D. Frizzi and Dr. Philip Fidler. Verified trauma centers must meet stringent criteria. Doctors Hospital’s verification came after an extensive site review.

company TaxSlayer has selected EDTS Cyber to provide additional best-inclass protection against fraud and cyberthreats for customers, EDTS has announced. The alliance adds EDTS Cyber’s advanced security analytics, threathunting services and 24-hour security monitoring and analysis to TaxSlayer’s security. The agreement brings together two leaders of the growing cyber community in the Augusta area, including Fort Gordon, home of the U.S. Cyber Center of Excellence, a National Security Agency installation, and Army Cyber Command; and the Augusta University Cyber Institute. “Augusta is becoming known as the Silicon Valley of the Southeast,” said

Charles Johnson, founder and CEO of EDTS Cyber. “TaxSlayer and EDTS Cyber’s roots have been in this community since inception. This partnership will help expand technology and cyber opportunities here and help protect clients across the U.S. By creating jobs, assisting with workforce development and building industry alliances, we are at the start of many great things to come.” “We are excited to be part of the technology surge, both in Augusta and across the Southeast,” said Brian Rhodes, president and CEO of TaxSlayer. “I believe two industry leaders headquartered only blocks from each other working together for the benefit of our customers and our industries will put us at a unique advantage over the

competition.” “There are a lot of companies that say they offer cyber or IT security, often taking advantage of the lack of understanding in the marketplace,” said Delano Collins, chief information officer of EDTS Cyber. “With today’s more sophisticated attacks, it takes a comprehensive offering to protect business data. TaxSlayer is a leader in their field, and we are excited that, after their thorough vetting process, they recognize that EDTS Cyber has not only leading technology, but some of the most qualified and talented cyber professionals. “We are very excited to explore other opportunities to expand our partnership to benefit both organizations and our community.”

buzz bits Connect also includes an in-car entertainment system featuring the Shark Experience — golf tips from Greg Norman, live sports, music and dynamic yardage information.

FREE DENTAL CARE OFFERED TO VETERANS Augusta’s Miller Theater was given the Marguerite Williams Award from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.

MILLER THEATER GETS STATE AWARD The Miller Theater in downtown Augusta is one of 28 sites that was recently awarded during the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservations’s 41st annual Preservation Awards. The Miller Theater received the Marguerite Williams Award, presented to the project that has had the greatest impact on preservation in the state. The building also received an award for Excellence in Rehabilitation. The Miller was recognized for its innovative use of virtually every preservation technique and program to achieve this astounding rehabilitation. It was considered an exceptional example of community organizations and individuals coming together to create a facility that will have a lasting impact on the city. The rehabilitation was funded by a $23 million capital campaign.

LEGAL ADVICE AVAILABLE VIA PHONE Legal advice is just a phone call away with a new venture called LegalSpark. People often need some quick legal advice and don’t want to make an expensive office visit. For just $50, the new service offers a 20-minute phone call with one of more than 50 experienced and qualified Georgia lawyers. The service is available throughout Georgia but is based in Augusta. The consultation begins with a visit

According to recent research, Augusta University has a $123 million economic impact in the metro area.


Two CSRA schools are not only educating students, they’re also having a significant economic impact on the region. Recent research found that the University of South Carolina-Aiken, through its employees, students and alumni, has a $281 million impact on South Carolina, most of that in Aiken County and the surrounding area. to, where a person can select a topic. The LegalSpark team then pairs that topic with a lawyer with expertise in the subject and calls the client within a few minutes. All phone numbers are masked, so both lawyers and clients are protected. Calls are never recorded. After 20 minutes, the call is ended automatically. “You might have heard of other legal software or online resources, but none of them do what we do,” said Augusta attorney Nick Gladd, who founded the service. “We get you personalized answers to your legal question, from a qualified local lawyer, quickly.”

MAGAZINE HONORS CLUB CAR A local company received an award from a national magazine for one of its newest products. Club Car’s Tempo Connect recently received the 2018 Editor’s Choice Award for the Best Golf Car by Golf Digest. This is the third year in a row

Another study found that Augusta University has an economic impact in the metro Augusta area of $123 million. On average, for each job created at AU, another 2.2 off-campus jobs exist because of the related spending. To help facilitate that spending, a number of local businesses have started offering student discounts.

Club Car has won a Golf Digest Editor’s Choice Award for Best Golf Car for its new Tempo Connect.

that a Club Car vehicle received the Editor’s Choice Award. “It is rewarding to be recognized by Golf Digest as we celebrate a milestone year, our 60th anniversary in the golf industry,” said Robert McElreath, vice president, connectivity for Club Car. “We remain committed to delivering the best golf car experience for golfers, and the Tempo Connect delivers unprecedented connectivity, content and customization to the course, all in an effort to move the game of golf forward.” Among the features of the Tempo Connect is a connectivity platform that allows golf courses to simplify operations, control costs and maximize efficiency on the course. The Tempo

The nation’s veterans can mark one expense off their list when they take advantage of an offer from Aspen Dental. Nearly 500 Aspen Dental practices across the nation will provide free care for veterans on June 9. Appointments are required and are made on a firstcome, first-served basis. Local veterans can call (844) 277-3646 to schedule an appointment. This is the fifth annual Day of Service for the company and is part of Aspen Dental’s Healthy Mouth Movement. Since the Healthy Mouth Movement started, nearly 10,000 Aspen Dental team members have given more than $10 million in donated dentistry to more than 17,000 patients in need.

BUSINESS LOANS AT ALLTIME HIGH A recent report released by the Georgia Small Business Administration shows that $1.41 billion was loaned in the state last year, an all-time high. In the last two quarters ending March 31, $650 million in loans were disbursed to small businesses statewide. “The lending environment is much better than it was 10 years ago,” said Drew Tonsmeire, of the UGA Small Business Development Center at Kennesaw State University. He added that the lending environment is much better than it was 10 years ago. Businesses are able to access different sources of funding aside from banks, such as SBA loans and lines of credit from online lenders. But the improved lending isn’t universal. A 2017 Federal Reserve Bank report showed that smaller firms struggle to access credit compared to larger, more established businesses. Women also still have some disadvantages nationwide. In the first quarter of 2018, only 27 percent of women who applied for loans were approved compared to an overall 43 percent loan success rate. May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




When it’s time to sell, potential buyers will scrutinize every aspect of your business. You must fully understand your business’ financial standing, including tax implications, before you get too far along in the sales process.



Selling a small to midsized business is a complex venture! If you’re thinking about selling your business, the first step is to consult a competent tax professional. You will need to make sure your financials are in order and develop a strategy to minimize capital gains and other taxes to maximize your profits from the sale. The importance of preparing your business financials before listing your business for sale cannot be overstated. Whether you use a business broker or word of mouth, rest assured that potential buyers will scrutinize every aspect of your business. Not being able to quickly produce financial statements, current and prior years’ balance sheets, profit and loss statements, tax returns, equipment lists, product inventories, and property appraisals and lease agreements may lead to loss of the sale. As a business owner, you probably think of your business as a single entity sold as a lump sum, but this is not necessarily the case. A business can sell the assets of the

8 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

business or the stock. The sales are treated completely differently for tax purposes, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both. Your business structure (i.e., business entity) also affects the way your business is taxed when it is sold. Sole proprietorships, partnerships and LLCs (limited liability companies) are typically taxed differently than corporations. C-corporations and S-corporations have different entity structures, and the sale of assets and stock is subject to complex regulations. For example, when assets of a Ccorporation are sold, the seller is taxed twice. The corporation pays tax on any gains realized when the assets are sold, and shareholders pay capital gains tax when the corporation is dissolved. This is a quintessential example of double taxation! However, when a C-corporation sells stock, the seller only pays capital gains tax on the profit from the sale, which is generally at the long-term capital gains tax rate. S-corporations are taxed similarly to partnerships in that there is no double taxation when assets are sold. Income (or loss) flows through shareholders,

who report it on their individual tax returns. If the stock qualifies as qualified small business stock, there may be some further benefits that allow an exemption on part or all of the capital gains from the sale of that stock. Planning is essential when selling a business. As you can see, it involves complicated federal and state tax rules and regulations. An experienced tax professional can potentially save a seller hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you’re thinking of selling your business soon, be sure to contact your tax professional before you get too far along. It will be worth it!

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 cmh@hmands

My pastor shared a powerful truth recently. He asked what the opposite of praise was. We might assume it is complaining. Yet he presented a pretty compelling case that it is, in fact, pride. What keeps us from praising others? At its root, pride typically pulls us back from generously promoting others. After all, we like being the one promoted, and if we are busy promoting others, we might dilute getting the attention we desire, right? Convicting? Thankfully, we can all do something about it — like being confident and humble enough to sincerely and genuinely promote others and sing their praises. We can reach a point of confidence and security within that we can freely give without any regard for what we get. Let’s go share some praises and smash the pride. Humility and kindness are always refreshing gifts to spread around. It has been said that the best way to promote your own career is to promote the careers of others. Yet how often is the opposite done? Tearing down others never helps anyone and rarely wins favor for the criticizer. Seeking to give our best and be at our best includes how we treat others, and confidence, not arrogance, is always more appreciated and valued over negativity. So, let’s be wise enough and confident enough to start a genuine and sincere promotion locomotion. Look for ways to celebrate others’ successes and promote their efforts. It’s a rare gift we can give in today’s world and a refreshing change indeed to spread around.

Dagan Sharpe is senior vice president of Queensborough National Bank & Trust and the author of Highways End and Full Disclosure. Email him at

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May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




In working with business owners on either the sale of their company or improving the business’ value, a recurring complaint is that the owners feel handcuffed to their business. They can’t get away for any prolonged vacation time, they are working excessive hours or they feel that for the business to operate effectively, they need to have their hand in all aspects of the operation. Whether you want to sell next year or a decade from now, you must be building an asset someone would buy — otherwise, you have a job, not a business. Here are eight characteristics that ensure you are building a company, not just performing a job: 1. A job requires that you show up at work to make money, whereas a company generates revenue whether you are there

or not. 2. If your company is so reliant on a single customer that it can dictate how you deliver your product or service, your company is more like a job than a valuable business. 3. A job is a place where your personal reputation impacts your results, whereas a company is a place where the brand is more important than the personality of the owner(s). 4. A job requires you to use your personal experience and expertise to get a result. A company is a place where a process — not a person — consistently produces a desirable result. 5. In a job, you can get fired for taking too much vacation, whereas if you own a company, the more vacation you can take without affecting your company’s performance, the more valuable your business

will be. 6. In a job, the harder you work, the more money you earn. In a company, the smarter you work, the more money you earn. 7. In a job, you solve the problems. If you own a company, your employees solve the problems. 8. If the majority of your customers know your mobile phone number, it’s likely you have a job, not a company. Business owners need to be prepared with a clear exit strategy, and part of that is increasing the value of their business. You might not be interested in selling your company now, but no one plans for an illness or accident that may force an owner into selling. Also, no one really prepares for a competitor or strategic buyer to come knocking on the door with an unsolicited offer to purchase. These are some things to consider and why an owner needs to be building a business instead of working at a job. If you’re not sure whether you have a job or own a business, it’s time to get your Value Builder Score. Whether you want

to sell now or are planning for an eventual exit from your company, the Value Builder Score assessment allows you to see your business as a buyer would see it and identifies how you perform on each of the eight key drivers of company value. The questionnaire is free and takes about 13 minutes to complete. After you’re finished, you’ll get a customized 27-page report outlining how you performed and where you could improve the value and salability of your company. If interested, just reach out to us. 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. He is also a Certified Business Value Builder. Additional services include targeted business acquisitions, business valuations and financing assistance. Dalton is a licensed real estate broker in Georgia and South Carolina and can be reached at 706.650.1100 or tdalton@ Visit Integra’s website at www.

OFFERING SERVICES FOR BUSINESSES FOR SALE IN GA & SC • SELLING A BUSINESS • BUYING A BUSINESS • BUSINESS CONSULTING Business owners often complain they can’t get away for a vacation, they work too much or that they need their hand in everything for the operation to succeed.

10 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018


Mordecai Evans Michael Reagan Tim Dalton

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May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz


Openings, Closings and Moves


Diablo’s Southwest Grill’s newest location is open in Evans.

Diablo’s Southwest Grill Popular counter-serve Tex-Mex restaurant Diablo’s Southwest Grill has officially opened its newest location in Evans. It is the sixth location of the successful Augusta-based chain, which has area locations in Augusta, North Augusta, Aiken and Grovetown. The chain has also expanded to Columbia; Braselton, Ga.; Thomasville, Ga.; and McCalla, Ala. The Evans restaurant is in the Belkanchored shopping center at Mullins Crossing and features some new additions, including a small bar with craft drinks and draft beer options, plus an outdoor fireplace. Carl Wallace, one of the co-founders of Diablo’s and a partner in the venture, said that the company is halfway through development of a new location on Washington Road in west Augusta. He also said he and his partners are looking to open a location in south Augusta. Hyundai A Hyundai dealership will soon be coming to the North Augusta-Aiken area. The North Augusta Board of Zoning Appeals has approved a variance to build a dealership at 5499 Jefferson Davis Hwy. Alan Reuber plans to open the dealership sometime between August and October. Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo A new seafood restaurant has opened in Aiken. Off Da Chain Seafood & Mo, a venture that had been in the works for the restaurant’s owner, Windell Davis, for the last 12 years, officially launched with a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 2. The restaurant is at 615 Laurens St. NW. The restaurant serves shrimp, scal-

12 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

SHAREDSPACE WILL OPEN AUGUSTA SITE A metro Atlanta-based company will soon make its mark on downtown Augusta by converting a Greene Street building into a new kind of workspace unique to the area. On May 15, SharedSpace, which launched in 2016 and leases modern workspaces to businesses and entrepreneurs, closed on the Greene Street property that previously housed the Augusta Probations Office. It plans to convert the building into a new kind of office: a 15,000-square-foot, modern, shared workspace with 45 private offices, five conference rooms, private phone booths, 2,500 square feet of meeting space and WOW! fiber internet. “We’re working differently now in this age of technology,” Margaret Woodard, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, said during an announcement of the new facility May 16. “People who are doing startup businesses will have an opportunity to be a member here and have co-working space to share ideas and get their business off the ground.” The facility is SharedSpace’s third location and first outside the metro Atlanta area. The other two are in Dunwoody and Cobb. The Augusta facility will have the same function: a workspace open to professionals who need office and meeting space for short-term or long-term needs. The office is set to open in November. “Everything we’ve learned from locations one and two in Atlanta we’ve implanted into the design of this building to really optimize the way that people experience these co-working spaces, whether it’s the open space up front where people can meet and connect, whether it’s the larger training room and meeting spaces or the coffee bar,” lops, crab legs, pork chops and chicken wings, among other items. Davis said the restaurant is characterized by “friendly people, good food and affordable prices.” Off Da Chain is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. At Home Home décor superstore At Home opened its first Augusta location on

The 80,000-square-foot home décor shop At Home has opened on Augusta West Parkway.

Michael Everts, president and co-founder of SharedSpace, says the Augusta location of the co-working space will be welcoming to all types of businesses. Photo by Gary Kauffman

said Michael Everts, president and cofounder of SharedSpace. The businesses that will set up shop in the building have yet to be determined, and Everts said SharedSpace opens its facilities to a wide range of industries. Everts said one of his company’s biggest keys to success has been its support of local businesses. At SharedSpace’s Dunwoody and Cobb facilities, most members are local and are based within a 3- to 4-mile radius of the workspace. “You know, in Augusta, that might be a little bit different with the focus on the cyber. It might be more cyber- or techfocused, but we’re really welcoming to all different types of businesses,” he said. “We’re not choosing a specific type.” The offices will have a “rustic chic” design, according to Everts, and will be open all hours of the week. Woodard said that will create vibrancy in the immediate area as potentially hundreds of new workers will likely attract restaurants and other businesses. “I think it will have a tremendous halo effect,” Woodard said. April 24. The store is at 1323 Augusta West Pkwy., near the corner of Bobby Jones Expressway and Wrightsboro Road. The 80,000-square-foot home décor superstore offers more than 50,000 home decor items, from furniture, mirrors, rugs, art and housewares to tabletop, patio and seasonal decor. The building was formerly occupied by clothing retailer Burlington, which is now at the Augusta Exchange shopping center. The store is the Plano, Texas-based

company’s ninth location in Georgia and 156th store nationwide. “As we strategically grow our national footprint, we are excited to enter into the Augusta market,” Lee Bird, CEO of At Home, said in a news release. “Our vast selection of on-trend styles is winning over home décor customers who want it all: value, variety and an inspiring, hands-on shopping experience.” At Home’s large warehouse model allows the company to bring in 400 new products each week, according to the release. “At Home strives to have the widest selection of home décor items, and we are dedicated to inspiring you to refresh, play and experiment with home décor that reflects your unique personality and style,” said store Director Ed Derham.

Nothing Bundt Cakes has locations stretching from California to the Carolinas, and a shop will open in Augusta in June.

Nothing Bundt Cakes Nothing Bundt Cakes, a cake bakery franchise with locations across the country, has made its way to Augusta. The franchise will open in June, according to Susan See, who co-owns the franchise with her husband, James. The bakery will open in the Mullins Colony shopping center in Evans at 4217 Washington Road, Suite 7. See said she will release more information

Openings, Closings and Moves regarding the opening date once it is set. She left a 25-year career as a lawyer at Augusta firm Fletcher, Harley & Fletcher to open the franchise. “I’ve been really, really impressed with the company,” See said of Nothing Bundt Cakes. “It’s so unique and different from everything else.” A line of chocolate chip, lemon and red velvet bundt cakes (among other flavors) has made the franchise a success everywhere from California to the Carolinas. See said the bakery’s 1,600-square-foot store in Evans will offer 40 kinds of cake and many decoration options for different occasions. Customers will be able to order instore, online or over the phone, and See said she hopes to have a delivery operation up and running within a couple weeks after opening the bakery this summer.

MAKE-YOUR-OWN CANDLE SHOP OPEN DOWNTOWN A new business concept hit Broad Street during the first week of May: a create-your-own candle store. Augusta Candle Co. officially opened at 1124 Broad St. on May 4. Customers are able to pour their own scented candles from a selection of more than 100 scents. They will also be able to mix scents to create their own. Business owner Amy Donaldson said she saw the concept in Ohio at a store

Augusta Candle Co. on Broad Street allows customers to pour their own scented candles and mix their own scents.


Julep Julep, a Charleston, S.C.-based women’s clothing boutique, has announced that it will close its Augusta location May 25. The store opened in Surrey Center on Highland Avenue last June. “It just hasn’t been as busy as we had hoped,” said Kayleigh Winter, a sales associate at the store. Winter said Julep will continue to operate in Charleston. The boutique sells a variety of women’s contemporary clothing. Coyotes Local bar and nightclub Coyotes, which had been open for 17 years, has closed, according to the owner. Charlie Sconyers, who co-owns the venue with Randy Sconyers, said that the property at 2514 Peach Orchard Road was recently sold by owner Vicken Baklayan. The new owners plan to double the rent, according to Sconyers, prompting him to look for new opportunities elsewhere. Sconyers also owns Roadrunner Cafe, which is in the neighboring building. Coyotes first opened in March 2001. Sconyers sold the venue six years after it opened before reacquiring it a year later.


Sherman & Hemstreet Sherman & Hemstreet has re-

called The Candle Lab and thought the unique activity would be well-received in a revitalized downtown Augusta. The newly renovated space is 2,600 square feet and has a balcony that overlooks the ground floor. It also features a private party room. Augusta Candle Co. is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

turned to the city center where it was founded more than 90 years ago. The real estate office opened its two-story, 18,000-square-foot office building at 624 Ellis St. on May 24. “Everything just fell into place,” company Chief Financial Officer Connie Wilson said. “It was almost like perfect.” Sherman & Hemstreet purchased the building for $865,000. The firm has invested additional capital in roof repairs, renovations and configuring the 19th-century building to house its nearly four dozen employees and licensed agents. The nearly half-acre tract comes with 27 parking spaces, three of which are leased to the building’s longtime tenant, Richards Furriers, whose fur cleaning and cold-storage business occupies nearly 5,000 square feet of the building. Constructed in 1891, the building has seen numerous uses over the years and had been the longtime offices of Merry Land & Investment Co., which was once one of the nation’s largest real estate investment trusts. “Merry Land was here before, so I

thought it was a really good sign that it was where we were supposed to be,” Wilson said. Sherman & Hemstreet had outgrown its previous office — a 4,500-squarefoot leased space off Walton Way Extension — after embarking on a string of expansions in 2015, starting with the acquisition of McBride Realty, whose portfolio included 3,000 rental homes in the Augusta-Aiken metro area. Though the Sherman & Hemstreet name has been around for decades and was responsible for developing some of Augusta’s toniest neighborhoods, its latest incarnation began when current owner/broker Joe Edge acquired the firm in 2006. Before moving to west Augusta, the firm had occupied space in various downtown office buildings. The new downtown headquarters will serve as the home office for all agents operating in Augusta, North Augusta and Aiken, while the company’s satellite office in Grovetown gives agents in Columbia County a place to charge their phones, store their supplies or meet with clients.


C&C Automotive’s new shop in Martinez brings the auto repair company’s total to three locations across the area.

C&C Automotive Auto repair company C&C Automotive opened a location in Martinez on April 30 to add to the business’ two locations downtown and in west Augusta. The company’s new building is at 4014 Washington Road, across the street from Ashley Square. C&C Automotive offers full-service auto repair and specializes in axle repair, cooling systems and engine repair, among other services. “We’ve never taken the fact that customers come back to us for granted,” said Amanda Clements, vice president of C&C Automotive. Clements’ grandfather, John Clements, opened C&C Automotive in downtown Augusta in 1977. That location outgrew its space four times before landing at its current building on Telfair Street. The business opened its Wrightsboro Road location in 2011. Evans Medical Group Family medical practice Evans Medical Group has opened a new location to expand its services into Augusta. “We saw a need for another location as our practice continued to grow,” said office administrator Danny Hobbs. “Our primary mission was to expand into another geographical area serving a larger part of the CSRA, making it easily accessible for new and current patients to use either location.” Evans Medical Group has operated in Augusta for 27 years, specializing in newborn care, child care, adolescents, adult medicine, women’s wellness care and geriatric care. Dr. Elpidio Stincer, who has been practicing medicine since 1981, is the primary physician at the Augusta West Parkway location. That location will be accepting new and current patients by appointment and walk-ins. Evans Medical Group West is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz



Wednesday, May 30

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

Women in Business, 11:30 a.m., Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St. SW, Aiken. “Women on the Offense,” presented by retired Army and Patrol Sgt. Amanda Alexander. Learn situational awareness to protect yourself from the risk of attack. For more information, visit

Thursday, May 31

State of the Technology Industry in Georgia, Noon, Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce office, 1 10th St., Augusta. Working in partnership with Porter Research, this year’s report focuses on the three key drivers: talent, capital and innovation that create and sustain a vibrant and healthy technologydriven economy in the state of Georgia. For more information, visit

Friday, June 1

First Friday Means Business, 7:30 a.m., 117 Newberry St. NW, Aiken. Informative breakfast meeting with a keynote speaker. For more information, visit aiken SCORE: Introduction to Government Contracting, 10 a.m., North Augusta Community Center, 495 Brookside Ave., North Augusta. This workshop explores various government contract opportunities through the Small Business Administration. Presented by Angela Brewer, business opportunity specialist, SBA South Carolina District Office. For more information, visit northaugusta

Wednesday, June 6

Executive Luncheon Series, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Martinez. For more

14 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

SCHEDULED RIBBON CUTTINGS June 5: Tidal Wave Auto Spa, 512 N. Belair Road, Evans, 11 a.m. June 8: Goodwyn Mills Cawood, 1450 Greene St., Suite 505, Augusta, 10 a.m. June 13: University Primary & Prompt Care – Butler Creek, 3486 Peach Orchard Road, Augusta, 1 p.m. June 14: Sizemore Inc., 2003 Gordon Hwy., Augusta, 4 p.m. information, visit columbiacounty

Thursday, June 7

Member Economic Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Augusta Marriott, 2 10th St. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch awards. Registration is required. For more information, visit augustametro

Monday, June 11

Chamber Member Town Hall, 4 p.m., Augusta Metro Chamber

of Commerce office, 1 10th St., Augusta. The topic is “Building Our Entrepreneurial Eco-System,” with featured guests from the inaugural graduating class of the Startup Life program. For more information, visit augustametro

Tuesday, June 12

Chamber Before Hours, 7:45 a.m., Columbia County Chamber of Commerce office, 1000 Business Blvd., Evans. The topic is “Financial Planning for the Future,” by Kurt Mueller, wealth management advisor, Consolidated Planning. For more information, visit columbia

Tuesday, June 19

Women in Business, 11:30 a.m., Legends Club, Augusta. Speaker and topic to be announced. Reservation deadline is June 15. For more information, visit augusta

Thursday, June 21

Power Lunch – From Flip-Flops to Fabulous, 11:30 a.m., Palmetto Terrace of North Augusta Municipal Building, 100 Georgia Ave., North Augusta. Presented by Jane Jenkins Herlong, motivational humorist, SiriusXM comedian, professional singer and best-selling author. Preregistration is required. For more information, visit northaugusta Networking for Leads, 3 p.m., Columbia County Chamber of Commerce office, 1000 Business Blvd., Evans. A structured program designed to promote meaningful business relationships. The goal is for businesses to give leads. For more information, visit columbia

AYP Third Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. E., Aiken. An opportunity for individuals ages 22 to 39 to meet other young professionals in a relaxed atmosphere for networking. Registration is required. For more information, visit

Saturday, June 23 Bill DaVitte Golf Tournament, 8:30 a.m., Forest Hills Golf Club. Best ball tournament. Register as a player, team or sponsor. For more information, visit columbiacounty





AT THE CLUBHOU.SE •A  ugusta Locally Grown has its downtown pickup location at every Tuesday, 5-7pm. • Entrepreneur members of the meet every Wednesday morning for Founders Circle, 9-10 a.m. June 6: 1 Million Cups will host Gordon Jones to share about his entrepreneurial endeavor, Universal Health Coin. 8-9 a.m. June 7: The Augusta Developer brings together developers and managers to talk about the developer culture in Augusta. 6-8 p.m. June 14: Monthly Meetup of Augusta Cloud, a user group for those interested in the cloud and its applications to IT. 6-8 p.m. June 19: ATDC Lunch & Learn – Buyer’s Journey, with Jacqui Chew. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 19: Our Gathering of Those Who Make Stuff currently focuses on exploring the possibilities of the laser cutter we have at 6-8 p.m. June 21: PyAugusta is a monthly gathering of Pythonistas interested in data science. 6-8 p.m. June 26: ATDC Lunch & Learn – Defining Your Unique Selling Proposition, with Jacqui Chew. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 26: Agile Augusta meets to discuss agile project management. 6-7 p.m. June 29: Growler Gardening gets together the horticulturally minded for some garden maintenance and good beer! 5-7 p.m.

May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz


Left, left to Right: Safia Siddique (R6), Nathan Dillard (R6), Kyle Dynamus (R6), Aaron White (R6), Eric Parker (co-founder of, Mike Mallow (R6), David Ray (R6), Gianluca De Leo (AU, College of Allied Health Sciences). Right, Rabei Alaisami of RobTechs. In March, hosted the Augusta Hackathon, part of a state-wide effort funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: the Southeast Startup Challenge. Out of this event came two businesses which will advance to compete in a statewide competition in Macon on June 18th: R6 Industries and RobTechs. What is the business? R6: R6 Industries is devoted to developing technologies to improve communication during disaster situations, when stresses run high and time is of the essence. Our first product, DisasterMed, is a standardized communication platform that easily and quickly identifies and tracks symptoms, medications, and resources in disaster situations. It allows shelters to share and monitor information - this can help contain disease outbreaks and manage chronic medical conditions. DisasterMed can work even without phone towers! RobTechs: Developing customized mobile apps to increase the quality of service for the healthcare industry. Any significant experiences/skills that (with hindsight) influenced your business? R6: Our team is pretty diverse - together our skill set consists of engineering, medicine, software development, and research. One thing we have in common, based on our past experiences, is the desire to innovate and create products that solve real world problems. RobTechs: I am currently studying for a Masters in Public Health at Augusta University, as well as having a medical background. How did you get the idea? R6: The problem - lack of standardized communication during disaster situations - was introduced to us during the SSC hackathon by the Department of Public Health. We initially created a solution based on their objectives.

RobTechs: By participating with the SSC at Specifically it is a solution to the WIC Uptick challenge.

RobTechs: One size fits all.

How has your idea progressed over time?

R6: Our next steps are competing in the final round of the Southeast Startup Challenge in Macon, GA on June 18, 2018. There, we hope to attain our first customers and start piloting and field testing our product.

R6: DisasterMed started off as a solution that tracks “red flag” symptoms in shelters during disaster situation. We have since progressed to a standardized platform for communication and tracking of symptoms, resources, and trends in disaster shelters. RobTechs: Although I have kept the original model, I’m making some changes in the end-user experience. Best piece of advice? R6: Our best piece of advice is to just be yourself - whether it’s with your personal relationships, business partners, or cool projects. Don’t try to be someone you’re not and don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help if you’re ever reaching roadblocks. RobTechs: Don’t give up. Common misconceptions about your business/entrepreneurship in general? R6: Although entrepreneurship and owning your own business isn’t a walk in the park, many people think that you need to be an engineer to start a company such as ours. It is important to understand your strengths and weaknesses, see what you can bring to a business and who you need to bring on to your team to be successful. Having an understanding of the business is just as valuable as the product you’ll be creating.

What is next for your business?

RobTechs: Keep developing this project, finding a good market for it, then developing other apps for some ideas I have in mind. How has working out of theClubhou. se benefitted your company? R6: has been an invaluable resource whether it comes to office space, mentorship, resources or networking. We are grateful for their support and look forward to continuing to work with them over the next few months. RobTechs: My project started with and I’m looking forward to working more closely with them and learn from their experience.

BECOME A MEMBER! From workspace, to meetups, to Startup Life and beyond, theC has what you need to start building something awesome. VISIT EMAIL



Hello leaders! Guess what? Your change doesn’t have to begin with a new year. At any time you recognize that improvement, change or realignment needs to occur, that is the time to make it happen. Many times as leaders, we postpone action. Sometimes it’s intentional and other times it’s just learned behavior. Here’s an example: Have you ever had a staff meeting and brainstormed amazing ideas to implement within your organization, then, at the end of the meeting, you announce that the ideas will be readdressed at the next staff meeting? Yes, some things need to wait for the right timing, but if the idea is something that can be implemented now for the advancement of your company, why delay? In many areas of life — personal and professional — we put things off. Healthy eating, exercising, realignment of job duties, budgeting, financial organization and letting things go are perfect examples of activities that you don’t have to wait to complete. Do it now. What are you waiting for? I hope you’re not waiting for a new year to start, because that’s a lot of time that you’re wasting. The longer you wait to implement change in your life, the further behind you’ll be in achieving all that you are capable of as a leader. Make up in your mind today to no longer wait on a particular date to make a change that can happen now. Your new year can start today!



On April 26, the IRS announced that for 2018, taxpayers with family highdeductible health plan (HDHP) coverage may treat $6,900 as the annual contribution limit to their health savings accounts (HSAs). Earlier this year, a tax law change for 2018 reduced the HSA contribution limit for individuals with family HDHP coverage from $6,900 to $6,850. After this change was announced, the IRS received complaints that the $50 reduction would be difficult and costly to implement. The IRS has now decided to allow taxpayers with family HDHP coverage to use the original $6,900 limit for HSA contributions for 2018 without facing excess contribution penalties. Employers with HDHPs may want to inform their employees about the HSA contribution limit change for family HDHP coverage. Employees who changed their HSA elections to comply with the reduced limit may wish to change their elections again for the $6,900 limit.

What are HSAs?

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

16 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

Health savings accounts are taxadvantaged savings accounts that accompany high-deductible health plans. HSAs were created in 2003 to provide individuals who have HDHPs with a tax-preferred method of saving money for medical expenses.

There are certain advantages to putting money into these accounts, including investment earnings and favorable tax treatment. The rationale behind the HSA/HDHP combination is that people will have a clearer idea of their medical costs and more control over their spending, enabling them to reduce their medical costs. HSA money can be used tax-free when paying for qualified medical expenses, helping individuals pay the larger deductibles associated with HDHPs. At the end of the year, the individual keeps any unspent money in the HSA. This rolled-over money can grow with tax-deferred investment earnings, and, if it is used to pay for qualified medical expenses, then the money will continue to be tax-free. The HSA and the money in it belong to the individual — not the employer or insurance company.

Taxpayers may rely on original $6,900 limit

After the IRS reduced the HSA limit for individuals with family HDHP coverage, it received feedback from various stakeholders, including employers, that the change would be disruptive and costly to implement. For example, some individuals with family HDHP coverage made the full $6,900 HSA contribution before the limit was reduced, and many other individuals made annual salary reduction elections for HSA contributions through their employers’

cafeteria plans based on the $6,900 limit. In response to these concerns and others, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2018-27, which allows taxpayers with family HDHP coverage to use the original $6,900 HSA contribution limit for 2018.

Corrective distributions based on $6,850 limit

After the reduction in the limit was announced, some HSA account holders may have received a distribution (with earnings) from their HSAs to correct an excess contribution, based on the $6,850 limit. Revenue Procedure 201827 addresses the tax consequences for these individuals. To avoid taxes and penalties, individuals can repay these distributions or use them for qualified medical expenses.

Employers that offer fringe benefits should review IRS Publication 15-B and work with their tax advisors to implement any necessary changes. Russell T. Head is CEO of Head Capital Advisors, an Acrisure agency partner and Augusta’s largest employee benefits brokerage. He can be reached at 706.733.3459 or


& DO-IT-YOURSELF MOVES 706.793.0186

May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




A friend of mine named Glen knew he wanted to be a professional football player from the time he received his first toy football as a toddler. He played Little League football and continued to excel through middle school and into high school (The fact that he was 6-5 and 240 pounds as a freshman helped). He turned in the best career his high school had ever seen and was given a full-ride scholarship to the University of Michigan. He was a star defensive player for Michigan when it won the National Championship and still is in the all-time top 10 in a number of defensive categories. And then he reached his goal — he was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals, and by then 6-7 and 280 pounds, played professional football for them for seven seasons. Throughout his years, from toddler to pro, Glen knew what his goal was and did the work required to reach it. That meant a lot of time in the gym working out, reading playbooks, staying away from vices and, above all, staying focused on the prize at the end. Without that firm goal in mind, it’s possible Glen would have never achieved success — despite his size, he might have been only a so-so high school player, or he could have washed out amid all the temptations and distractions of college life. Even if your aspiration isn’t the NFL, goals are important in life. Whether it’s as a business owner, parent, spouse, church member or simply a member of society, goals are what keep us focused and help us reach success. In fact, without a goal it’s impossible to know if you’ve been successful. Unfortunately, many people choose goals that are vague. “I want to be successful,” or “I want to make lots of money” are positive things, but how will you know when you’ve reached a goal like that? That’s why I urge people to set SMART goals — goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound. I’ll briefly explain each aspect.


The more specific a goal is, the more you can focus on it. Instead of “I want to be successful,” a specific goal would sound more like, “I want to add new clients.” Instead of “I want to make lots of money,” a specific goal could be, “I want to have an emergency fund in savings.”

18 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

Without a strong goal in sight, it’s impossible to know whether you’ve truly been successful.

Whether it’s as a business owner, parent, spouse, church member or simply a member of society, goals are what keep us focused and help us reach success. MEASURABLE: When you set a goal, you should be able to measure it; otherwise, how will you know when you get there? You could make the above examples measurable by saying, “I want to add 10 new clients” or “I want to have an emergency fund that could support me for six months if something happens to my income.” ATTAINABLE: This is about staying real. You could say you want 100 new clients, but if you’re only going to meet a limited number of people, that would be ridiculous. But 10 new clients could be realistic. The same is true with the money — you might want a million dollars in the bank, but the six-month emergency fund is a much more realistic expectation.

RELEVANT: Setting goals that don’t mean anything isn’t helpful. Adding 10 clients to your business doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have a business. Making goals relevant also involves prioritizing them — if you’re six months behind in rent payments, then setting a goal of a six-month emergency fund probably needs to take a back seat to getting caught up on your rent. TIME-BOUND: This is often where people bog down: They set a specific, realistic, attainable goal that means something but fail to set a deadline to meet it. Without that deadline, it’s easy to push achieving the goal to the side when “emergencies” crop up. In our examples, getting 10 new clients and a sixmonth emergency fund are worthy goals,

but they can easily be stretched out so far that they never really get accomplished. So, we should set goals like, “I want to add 10 new clients by the end of the year.” Or you could set the goal to be reached before you start on your next goal: “I want a six-month emergency fund in place before I buy those jet skis.” Often it helps to have someone as a sounding board for setting these SMART goals, which is where a trained life coach can help. Through questions and suggestions, the coach can help you figure out the strategies that will work best for your life. It might not get you to the NFL, but it can get you to where you want to be.

In addition to serving as editor of Buzz on Biz, Gary Kauffman is also a Christian life coach working from an office in Martinez. Contact him at 803.341.5830 or or visit

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3200 MIKE PADGETT HIGHWAY. May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz





Mike and Wendy Perry’s “retirement” years have taken on a different — and more active — twist than they had thought just a few years ago. Both Perrys retired after 21 years in the Army and today work as a team in Catalyst Executive Advising and Development in Evans. It’s a change of pace from years in the health care field, but one their experiences have uniquely prepared them for.

Mike & Wendy Perry, Catalyst Executive Advising and Development Wendy, from Washington, D.C., and Mike, from Portsmouth, Va., took different paths into the military. Wendy joined ROTC in high school as a way to pay for her college education as a nurse, but the Army was a natural fit. “I was born to lead and I recognized that early,” she said. “It was a natural decision.” Mike, though, planned to attend college on a football scholarship and “figure out the rest later.” But a broken arm cost him his final season in high school and a football scholarship. After attending a naval prep school for a year, he switched to the Army and attended college on an ROTC scholarship to become a psychologist. Both were working at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center when they had a chance meeting — Mike was a general’s aide at the time and Wendy served in the executive nursing suite, which attends to military officers and members of Congress. “Our paths were destined to cross,” Wendy said. Although both served in leadership positions in the Army, leadership training hadn’t crossed their minds as a retirement option. “I thought when I got out I’d hang out my shingle and do some private (psychology) work,” Mike said. Wendy’s idea was a little more laidback: “I was ready to retire and sleep all day and maybe occasionally go shopping.” But about a year before they were set to retire, they flew to Seattle to meet with the people from Catalyst Executive Advising, where they learned about the business and their own potential. “They were able to give us a little bit

20 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

Both Mike and Wendy Perry retired after 21 years in the Army, but retirement was just another step in their professional lives. Photo by Gary Kauffman

of inspiration and encouragement that we were probably ready now if we had the courage to step out and do it,” Mike said. “We started to visualize what we could do,” Wendy said. “It seemed almost unfair to have all this experience, knowledge and leadership, then sit at home and not share it. I thought, ‘Who am I to keep it to myself ?’” When Mike retired from the Army in 2016, he began the transition into the coaching world, but Wendy took a position as a nurse at the VA Medical Center. “For the first year and a half I was not part of the business physically, but in my mind I was 100 percent supportive of what Mike wanted to do,” she said. “But then I had an epiphany.” That epiphany came when she took a leadership class that she realized she could have taught. She made her decision to step out in faith and join Mike. She just needed 30 days, she told Mike. But their definitions of those 30 days differed. Mike thought she was going to work at the VA another 30 days before joining him; she meant she wanted 30 days of R&R. As it turned out, the 30 days didn’t materialize either way — she quit her job the next day and Mike had an event lined up for the both of them less than a week later. Now they work together to help leaders solve people problems, with a goal of helping them retain their best talent and to create productive work environments. “A lot of companies focus on training and developing their personnel, but when we ask what leadership training they had, the answer is often, ‘None,’” Wendy said.

“Or they had training but don’t know how to utilize it,” Mike added. As part of their Connect-Move-Grow strategy, they ask the difficult questions that often go unasked, help leaders have the conversations with personnel that are needed but might not be taking place and develop accountability for leaders. The Perrys have also been instrumental in working with families through their local church, and they serve as area coordinators for Family Life’s Weekend to Remember marriage conference, which this year will be held Oct. 26-28 at Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center.

In their own words

What have you taken from your Army experience into this business? Wendy: “I always had leadership roles as a nurse, but I don’t think I had an appreciation of how I was impacting the lives of the people I led. I wasn’t afraid to bend the rules or create my own. It was not just following policy but interpreting policy and then establishing it so it works for your people.” Mike: “I hadn’t focused on leadership training until I was out in Montana with my team and working with a leader who exhibited toxic behaviors that created a culture where people maintained their silence. About 90 days later, I had to go back after one of his team committed suicide. I didn’t blame the leader for the suicide, but I did blame him for the culture he’d created, where it made it impossible for the victim to reach out and get help. It got me thinking about how serious effective leadership is. It may not be life and

death, but it can be about happiness or not happiness, living out your purpose or not living it out.” How is working with leaders in the civilian world different? Mike: “No one meets before 9. That’s awesome! These leaders don’t have the ‘rule of law’ over what they can do. They can capture that purpose, that spirit that matters to their people. It’s exciting to help people figure that out.” Wendy: “They’re free to explore in different areas without institutional restraints. Our vision for a company is to create an environment where people are connected for personal, leadership, company and, ultimately, community growth.” How has it been working together? Wendy: “To take two leaders who are strong in their own rights and opinionated and put them together in the same space has been challenging but also very rewarding. The beauty of it is we get to bounce things off of each other. For our executive coaching, we trained at different programs, so there’s always back and forth, but then we’re able to take the best of both sides.” Mike: “It dawned on me only after we started that we’d never truly worked together. It’s a whole different ballgame. Our approaches are even different in how we prepare for meetings. But it’s become easier now (with clients) to step back and not drive things by my own ideas.” How has your Christian faith factored into your work? Mike: “One of the coolest things about this whole journey is that we decided what we did had to have a kingdom focus. We’re not preaching, but we’re not shy in talking about what’s important to us. It’s opened more doors for us.” Wendy: “What’s been revealed to both of us is that all the things we’ve been blessed and gifted with, we use to help others. Who we are becomes what we do. It’s the inverse of being defined by your vocation.” What does the future hold? Wendy: “We decided that next year we’ll focus more on married couples. We’re wholeheartedly committed to helping couples and ultimately families. Leaders are so consumed about leaving a legacy but not as tuned in to leaving a familial legacy.” Mike: “It’s especially important for folks in these complex positions to set boundaries, about how we make the important things in life non-negotiable.”

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May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




As the sun began to set, a strenuous journey lay ahead. Our party of six men, women and children stood atop the steep hill next to the North Augusta Municipal Building, sweat glistening on our foreheads as the sun beat down on us. We looked down on the slope that runs through flower beds and freshly cut grass that must have spanned an entire 16th of a football field. And that was only the beginning. For those few who survived such an onslaught of greenery and generally beautiful views through which they had inexplicably chosen to walk, yards upon yards of paved wasteland sat waiting on the other side, the final and most difficult trial between them and their reward: the long-awaited SRP Park. As we stood in horror, trying to wrap our brains around the amount of good fortune that would have to come our way in order to make such a treacherous, eighth-mile pilgrimage in one piece, hope emerged from just beyond the slope: a golf cart. A golf cart driven by a man who, by all accounts, seemed to be the most normal human a human could be. But in that moment, he was our savior. We climbed in, and when everyone was safely on board, we began our journey into the great unknown. As joyful as we were to be chosen, it was a heartbreaking experience. As our game-time shuttle service rolled along that lifeless concrete desert, spanning inches upon inches of pavement, we watched in disbelief the foolhardy souls who had for some reason taken it upon themselves to walk the entire 150 yards with their own two legs. As we passed by the poor saps and then watched them disappear into the distance, we were overcome with pity for our fellow citizens. Would they ever be seen again? As Riverside Village continues to be developed, hopefully that kind of unparalleled bravery won’t be necessary for long. Unfortunately, the same parking woes continue to plague downtown Augusta, and guess what, people: It’s only going to get worse. The institution of parking meters on Broad Street probably isn’t far off, after which swaths of good citizens will be forced to venture into faraway and largely uncharted territories like Ellis Street. The few lucky souls who survived long enough to tell the tale have said that a completely empty parking garage sits just beyond the horizon at the corner of

22 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

I don’t like to think of myself as a skeptic, but the fact is that we just don’t know what lies beyond Broad Street, and we may never know. And I’m here to tell you that that’s OK. It’s OK for you to get nervous every time you find yourself having to walk to the distant lands of Humanitree House. I know I do! Ninth and Ellis streets and is completely open to the public after 5 p.m. Some have even said that if you squint hard enough for just a moment as the sun rises, you can see it with your own two eyes. But can we really trust those accounts? I don’t like to think of myself as a skeptic, but the fact is that we just don’t know what lies beyond Broad Street, and we may never know. And I’m here to tell you that that’s OK. It’s OK for you to get nervous every time you find yourself having to walk to the distant lands of Humanitree House. I know I do! It’s OK to snag that handicap spot so you don’t have to walk three blocks just to grab a simple lunch at Nacho Mama’s. Isn’t the heat exhaustion a bigger risk anyway?

Sadly, a message of affirmation and comfort isn’t my goal here. On the contrary, I’m here to warn you that the day we all are forced to become those poor souls at the GreenJackets’ home opener — trudging our way through dozens, potentially hundreds, of feet to get to our destinations — is coming. It is coming soon. There will be no rest for the weary. Getting rid of the parking wells on Broad Street will help, but it won’t help much. This much is clear: Parking space on Broad Street has hit its capacity, and it is officially time to freak out. The most heartbreaking part of that reality is that there are those who will laugh at our pain. There are those who will hear my pleas and scoff, discounting these concerns as petty, even melodramatic. There are those who would say that if you think walking 500 feet to Whiskey Bar is a hard task, you should probably stop eating at Whiskey Bar. I’m going to give those comments exactly the amount of attention they de-

serve: Zero. And I would encourage you to do the same. Because as the merciless winds of change have swept over this town over the last few years, one thing has become clear: All we have in this cruel, postmodern world is each other. So, as your friend, I am here to tell you that your downtown parking panic is completely warranted. In fact, you’re probably not panicking enough. Am I encouraging you to panic? Yes, but only because I care about you. Just know that if a golf carts start running bodies back and forth from the Ellis Street parking garage to our favorite restaurants, and all the seats are taken, I will 100 percent dropkick a homie off that godsend of a vessel. It’s nothing personal. It’s just 2018. And that’s what it’s going to take to survive. Witt Wells is a Memphis-born writer with a love for comedy, the written word and the outdoors. He lives in Augusta, where he reports on business news in the CSRA. Contact him at witt.



Most professionals don’t like to feel uncomfortable in any situation in their life, work or business. It’s much easier to remain comfortably nestled in that familiar place that provides us a sense of security, one that might be false yet nonetheless feels secure enough to build our alliances. As a result of such perceived security, professionals will go to great lengths to avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable. Unfortunately, that avoidance strategy is a killer of innovation, achievement and living and working on your own terms. Here’s why: Change doesn’t happen by staying in your comfort zone. Change only happens when you step out of your comfort zone. And thereby lies the challenge. To create change and strike out in new directions requires doing something you

haven’t done before. It means rocking the status quo. It requires deciding not to settle for mediocrity. All those things can feel scary. They can bring up all sorts of feelings, including fear, resistance and self-doubt. And that

If you want to create change or achieve new goals, you have to be willing to step into feelings of discomfort and uncertainty. You have to be willing to take calculated risks. You have to be willing to feel fear and carry on regardless. Here is something worth considering: If you think staying in your comfort zone is safe, you are making a huge mistake. It’s not safe at all. It’s not safe because you are risking a lifetime of just existing rather than living. You are settling for mediocrity in your life, work, business and relationships. That’s not safe. From where I’m sitting, that is downright dangerous. It is a gamble to take with your one and only life. The reality is that if you are serious about creating the change you desire, you must get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. If you are willing to do that, the sky is

If you want to create change or achieve new goals, you have to be willing to step into feelings of discomfort and uncertainty. You have to be willing to take calculated risks. You have to be willing to feel fear and carry on regardless. is uncomfortable. So, unless you are willing to expose yourself to feeling uncomfortable, you are going to stay stuck. Many years ago, I tried for a long time to change a number of areas of my life and still work in my safe little comfort zone. It did not work. It was only when I stepped out of my comfort zone that the really good stuff started to happen in my life, work, business and relationships.

the limit. You could transform your life, work, business and relationships. You could thrive, improve your results and feel more fulfilled. As many people will attest, winning at your goals sounds like something worth feeling a little uncomfortable for. Therefore, I implore you to take a look at what sort of feelings come up for you when you want to create change or achieve your goals. What is required of you to manage your or your team’s feelings so that you can learn how to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable?

Dub Taylor, the CEO of Dub Taylor Consulting, holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Management from the Jack Welch Management Institute and a Bachelor’s degree in History from Stillman College. He is pursuing his doctoral degree in business with a concentration in leadership at Walden University. Contact him at, call 205.454.7242, follow #askDub or visit his website,



The dictionary definition of cooperation is “the process of working together to the same end.” While many of us expect cooperation within our businesses from co-workers or employees, we don’t often realize that cooperation can come from our competitors or those in the same industries as ourselves. In a world where competition in certain industries can be fierce, the idea of getting referrals from competitors seems like a novel approach. You might be asking, “Why a competitor would send business my way?” The answer is quite simple: Among competitors, there are often differences in the products and services offered to customers. Those differences may make one customer a better fit for a company

other than your own or vice versa. Additionally, an organization might have more work than it can handle itself. Frankly, you might offer pricing that is a better match for the client’s budget, or perhaps a competitor specializes in an area where you do not. When this happens, you’ll want to be a part of a network of competitors to both refer customers to and gain referrals from competitors. Georgia Military College is part of the CSRA Education Cooperative, made up of various college recruiters and admissions staff from colleges in the Central Savannah River Area. The group meets on a regular basis to network, hold educational events in the community, share scheduled calendar events for recruiting and stay up to date on what each college has to offer.

CSRA Education Cooperative members are able to refer students to another college when that student is searching for a specific program of study offered at another institution, for example, or if the student needs to accomplish a specific goal by a specific deadline. The group also can assist an organization or company that wants to hold an education fair for its employees but doesn’t have the manpower or time to create the event. By contacting a Cooperative member, such as Georgia Military College, a time and place can be determined, and the group does the work to put the event together. Ultimately, the Cooperative’s members have the same goal in mind: to meet the educational goals of people seeking education in the CSRA. By

the definition of cooperation, we’re all working to the same end.

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

May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is like a wheel in the business community. The wheel is made up of the hub, spokes and the rim. At the hub of the wheel is the organization that is roughly 1,000 members strong, with 40 percent of those members coming from outside the county. The hub is comprised of the membership, board of directors and professional staff carrying out the strategic direction of the board. The spokes of the wheel represent the many initiatives and goals of the Chamber. Those can be identified as major employers, advocacy, business development, community development, workforce and education, leadership and partnerships. Major Employers: The Chamber works to protect existing large and small businesses and support new potential growth of these businesses. When over 70 percent of Columbia County’s professional workforce leaves the county every day to go to work, it’s important to protect and grow these existing businesses: Savannah River Site (SRS), 1,400 employees; Plant Vogtle, 600-plus; Augusta University, 2,800; Club Car, 750; John Deere, 550; and GIW Industries, 440. In addition, more than 65 percent of Fort Gordon families live in Columbia County. These are just a few major employers, and the paychecks of these large employers are then spent with smaller businesses. Advocacy: Serving as the collective voice of the business community on local, state and federal issues, we partner with, and also sometimes disagree on a variety of issues with, various government bodies. The Chamber represents its business members and surveys their needs on a variety of topics. On the state level, the chamber takes positions on bills during the legislative session. For example, House Resolution 993 supported the creation of a statewide business court. This effort would provide a dependable forum for litigants to resolve complex businesses cases. This resolution will help protect Georgia’s positive business climate; therefore, the Chamber supported the resolution. On the federal level, the efforts to support an approved budget versus a continuing resolution, new missions at SRS, Fort Gordon (which was successful with

24 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

Cyber Command) and the repair of the New Savannah Lock and Dam. Lastly, the Chamber continues to advocate for a direct flight so desperately needed to Washington, D.C. Business Development: These are programs that support and

county infrastructure (water and roads). The Chamber supports special-purpose local-option sales tax funding instead of property tax funding. Workforce Development: Business growth does not occur without a qualified workforce. The Columbia

grow the Chamber members. Some of the members choose to simply invest financially to support the overall mission of the chamber and the work the organization does on behalf on the membership. Others take advantage of the opportunities for networking and professional development and for the educational benefits that come with engagement. Community Development: This supports the building of infrastructure to enhance the quality of life for businesses and the residents of Columbia County and the region. Those efforts include major transportation projects of corridor roads through the Transportation Investment Act, building of new schools, parks and libraries, as well as public safety and

County Chamber communicates with the school system on the current and future workforce needs of the business community. It is crucial to educate and train our students so that they may fill the needs from within the county first before attracting additional outside talent. This ensures that the overall demographics of Columbia County remain high. Currently, the Chamber’s Foundation, along with its Workforce and Education Committee, provides programs such as Teachers in Business, Students in Business, Principal for a Day and Workbased Learning to help bridge the gap in communicating employers’ needs for the future. Leadership Development: Programs such as Women on the Way, Youth Lead-

ership and Leadership Columbia County provide an opportunity for participants to grow personally and professionally. Participants are exposed to all the pieces of our community and learn how they are intertwined. Each participant finds his or her passion and uses that to make a positive impact on the community. Each Leadership Columbia County class creates and executes a project for the betterment of the program or community — just look at the impact since 2010! The classes have formed a foundation, developed a marketing plan, raised funds for scholarships, hosted fundraisers for Christ Community Center to kickstart funds for the Chamber Foundation, created a day of service for four nonprofits, provided more than 5,000 pairs of socks and underwear for children in need in Columbia County schools, and led a shoe drive and a payit-forward kindness initiative. Partnership: Partnerships provide strength in number of members and leaders toward the greater good of our community. The partnerships include chambers, development authorities, convention and visitors’ bureaus and similar organizations working together on specific goals. Each organization may still have its own strategic plan, but within that plan are the collaborative initiatives. Last on the wheel is the rim. The rim is the direct and indirect community impacts of the hub and the spokes. Everything revolves around the rim – if your rim isn’t strong enough, or it can’t handle the bumps and obstacles that often get in the way, you won’t get very far down the road in accomplishing the mission. If the rim is strong, then, and only then, will you achieve a smooth, efficient ride. Be a part of the wheel in motion and drive to success in our business community!

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



Do us a favor: The next time you are outside, take a look at your home’s exterior. Does it have a visible layer of dirt from recent storms? Is your driveway covered in black spots and oil? What about algae; are you seeing spots of green or black algae on your brick or siding? If so, your home needs some TLC in the form of an exterior pressure wash, and ensuring that you pick a reputable, licensed pressure-washing company is key to a safe, non-damaging and cost-effective cleaning. Once you’ve made the decision to use a pressure-washing company, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of companies listed on Google searches, through the Yellow Pages, on Facebook or from friend and neighbor recommendations. Choosing one might seem like a huge hassle and can be discouraging for some homeowners. However, if you keep in mind a few things, the choice can be an easy one. First, it’s important to remember that the terms “power washing” or “pressure washing” are a bit of a misnomer. In fact, a licensed pressure-washing company, such as AllClean Pressure Washing, uses a technique called SoftWashing, which uses essentially the same pressure you would get from a common garden hose. This technique uses commercial-grade detergents to do most of the work and

Homeowners need to do their homework before hiring a pressure washing company.

ensure no damage to your home’s siding, stucco or brick surfaces. At AllClean, we use this technique in conjunction with specially formulated soaps that help treat and remove things including mildew, algae and other organic growth while also lifting dirt and debris from your home. We encourage customers to do their research and make an informed decision. We enjoy speaking with and educating homeowners on the processes used to clean their home and answering any and all questions they might have for us. When speaking with a prospective

company, we encourage you to find out how long the company has been in business and whether it is insured. This weeds out the good from the bad, especially if you’re getting several estimates from companies in the area — it might seem like you’re getting a better deal until that fly-by-night company ruins your siding, brick, paint or other home surfaces and then just leaves. Ask what chemicals the company will use to clean your home. If the representatives say only bleach, and never mention detergents or SoftWashing techniques, it’s the wrong company and could cause

serious damage to your home or not give you the most effective, long-lasting clean. Lastly, you should know an approximate length of time that your specific cleaning should last. A typical wash for a 2,000-square-foot home should take, on average, one to two hours to clean. Not all homes are the same, and some jobs are dependent on weather, so there is some deviation to this. In the end, AllClean Pressure Washing encourages homeowners to do their research, ask questions and choose a reputable company with knowledge and experience to assist them with their home’s exterior cleaning needs. Your home is your biggest investment, and trusting it to fly-by-night, unlicensed and uninsured companies can lead to damage and more money spent on hiring a professional pressure-washing company to come in and complete a poorly done cleaning.

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



There are lots of news stories lately about data and privacy on the internet. Facebook, in particular, has been in the congressional soup over data-mining by third parties. For employers, and particularly nonprofits, there is the question of whether we can use images of employees, volunteers or program participants. Cellphone cameras are ubiquitous and give the opportunity to capture great marketing moments, such as the closing on a new home or the purchase of a car. Can we use these pictures in our business? Photographs are subject to copyright laws. Generally, unless you have paid

someone to take the picture for you, the copyright belongs to the photographer, not to the subject. The social media sites I have reviewed will not take down a picture unless the photograph is illegal (e.g., child pornography) or the person requesting the removal is the owner of the copyright on the photograph. (Facebook’s new policies do allow a parent or guardian to request the removal of images of their children under the age of 13. From ages 13-18, either the child or a parent/guardian can make the request.) People acting in public do not generally have an expectation of privacy, which means photos taken of these

people are fair game. There is no consent necessary to use these photos. The limitation is whether your use violates that person’s “right of publicity.” This law says that a person’s likeness cannot be used for commercial purposes without permission. So, you cannot put my face on your cereal box without my permission. Does this mean you cannot post a picture of me attending an event at your place of business? I think not, but these are questions that deserve discussion with your legal counsel. Of course, the safe route is to have the person sign a simple consent form before posting the picture. This keeps

the happy customer from becoming the unhappy customer.

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

May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




Augustans have waited for months to see what restaurateurs Brad and Havird Usry have been cooking up on Broad Street, but the owners of Fat Man’s Mill Café and their partner and chef Jeremy Miller have done a pretty good job of keeping the details of their concept under wraps. But the sweltering heat of summer is upon us, apparently, and opening day of The Southern Salad at 1008 Broad St., in the former home of New York High Style Men’s Wear, and next door to Fuse restaurant, won’t be far behind. I sat down with Havird (with Brad on the phone) to learn about what makes this project special and how it could signal the beginning of some new food trends in Augusta. Where did the inspiration for The Southern Salad come from? Havird: “We have had Fat Man’s as our family business since 1948, so these are our roots. But Dad and I and my family, we live a fairly healthy lifestyle. So, that was the idea going into The Southern Salad. We wanted healthy options for downtown. We wanted folks to eat the way that we eat on a normal basis. “So we do have the fried chicken and mac and cheese that we’ll be serving at Fat Man’s, but we wanted to bring some different options to Augusta. I think it will be accepted well. The excitement now is pretty crazy with the amount of attention people keep giving the concept. “It’s heavily salad, produce, grain bowlbased. We’re also going to have smoothies, beer and wine. We’ve got some really cool dessert options as well that are healthy, if you can consider a dessert healthy. It’s a healthy lifestyle that can be attainable by everyone. That is our mission.” What makes this concept different from anything else? Havird: “We bought a hydroponic greenhouse that is in Bartow, Ga., and we are partnered closely with the Hancock Farm, which is the only certified organic farm within miles of Augusta. We just planted the first seedlings for the hydroponic lettuce that are going to be feeding into the southern salad. All of the greens that are going into our bowls will actually be provided by our greenhouse. We’ll be literally picking heads of lettuce, and they’ll be delivered to the restaurant a few days a week. Doesn’t get much fresher than that. That’s about as farm-to-table as it gets, when we’re the ones also doing

26 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

“It’s not something that we just did on a whim. I think we started about 2½ years ago. It’s been a work in progress, or I guess what you’d call a labor of love.” – Havird Usry, on creating The Southern Salad restaurant

The Southern Salad will open this summer at 1008 Broad St., in the former home of New York High Style Men’s Wear. Owners Brad and Havird Usry see it as an opportunity, through both the menu and “a really cool urban environment,” Havird Usry (above) said, to bring a new concept to downtown dining. Photo by Witt Wells

the farm aspect of it. We’re really excited about that.” What does hydroponic mean? Havird: “Hydroponic organic is where there’s no dirt involved. It’s all in a very controlled environment where you can heat and cool, keep the temperature exactly where you want it. We start from seed and go into what we call a sprouting table, which is basically a sponge with a lot of different holes in it that soaks up the water in the sprouting table. The root system starts to grow down into the water, which runs down a long PVC pipe. Lettuce heads start to sprout. And the root system is always getting nutrients, and it’s always getting water. “We actually create the balance of nutrients. When they test these heads of lettuce — let’s say vitamin A or vitamin B or calcium — they can adjust the levels of nutrients in the water. This lettuce technically never has to be washed. It’s never gone in the dirt, it’s never been touched by hands except that have latex gloves. It’s so controlled inside that you should be able to take a bite out of a head of lettuce when you pull it out of the finishing table. “Essentially, by the end of this process, we’ll be able to pull out 1,080 heads of lettuce a week.”

Let’s talk about the restaurant. Havird: “The address is 1006 and 1008 Broad, which we purchased about a year ago. And there’s a commercial space downstairs that we have a tenant for already. Our side, which is 1008, is going to be connected to the new Convention and Visitors Bureau, so tourists or whoever’s visiting the CVB will be able to come directly into the restaurant in an adjoining door. And we’ll also have two apartments upstairs. “The inside space of the restaurant is actually pretty small. It’s probably 2,000 square feet. We’ll have about 58 seats outside and then we’ll have about 45 inside. We are one of the few businesses that have a rear entrance to the restaurant from Ellis Street. We will have a back patio adjacent to our parking lot, which is unique to Broad Street, so our customers will have access to parking that is designated for us. “I think we’ve decided the back patio is going be ‘The Ellis Garden.’ We’re going to have close to 50 seats out there. It’ll be a really cool urban environment with strung lights. It’s enclosed with three different sides. It’s going be cool. “I hope that as business owners that back up to Ellis Street — and ones that are on Greene Street that back up to Ellis Street as well — we can gather the

city’s attention to make that a nice corridor for the city. It does need some TLC, but I think that if it’s fixed up, Ellis Street could be a real asset to downtown.” Could you tell me a little bit about your personal family background with this kind of lifestyle and how that affected your choice to do the restaurant this way? Havird: “My mother’s been in health and fitness for as long as I can remember, so we were raised on good, healthy food. I’m speaking for my dad here as he’s on the phone, but he’s a fitness fanatic as well, always on the bike. And with him being around my mom, he has to eat well. I grew up playing soccer, played soccer in college. I’ve just embraced that lifestyle as well. I do a triathlon here in Augusta that I’ve done seven times now. It’s something our family embraces. And I think we truly embrace Fat Man’s, and we love Fat Man’s and Fat Man’s will continue. We’ll keep putting every ounce of this energy into it. But we wanted something that kind of represents our lifestyle. “It excited us, and we were ready to seek a new opportunity. That’s where Jeremy fits in. He shares similar views to us as far as food goes and the quality of food that he likes to eat. So, we thought he was a great fit to bring on board.” What is the menu going to look like? Havird: “We’re going to have five signature salads, we’re going to have five different grain bowls. It’s an organic brown rice base, and then it has our set

The upstairs space of the building that will house The Southern Salad will have two apartments. In addition to the seating inside, the restaurant will have a patio area in the back, facing Ellis Street, that can seat many more diners. Photo by Witt Wells

toppings on it. The grain that we have available is organic brown rice. Then we have smoothies, we have an acai bowl, which is a smoothie-based bowl that actually has toppings on it. It’s very progressive, I think, for Augusta, but I think folks will really get into it. “Then you’ll have your option to build your own, which is what I think most folks will do. Very unique toppings — that’s where I think we kind of celebrate ourselves, not being like a glorified salad bar but having some cool ingredients that are really elevated, like roasted golden beets marinated in a red wine vinaigrette, roasted marinated eggplant, marinated shrimp and smoked salmon that we’re doing in-house. Everything’s going to be served with a jalapeno cheddar corn muffin, which is freaking awesome. “Holeman and Finch, which is a bakery in Atlanta, has a sourdough that we’re using. We’re going to be hand-cutting sourdough, running it through the toaster. It’ll be just a lot of unique ingredients. “We’ll be making all our own dressings, too. All of them will be homemade and bottled in house, so we’ll be selling them as well. We’ve got a cashew-based Caesar, onion honey mustard, barbecue ranch, agave and apple cider vinaigrette. Kind of off-the-wall.” Did you guys go to similar restaurants to draw inspiration? Brad: “We visited places in California that served this kind of menu. We’ve got our own unique twist to it. We were so pumped. We didn’t have a location, but we went ahead and did all the branding, all the mission statements, all that was in place before we even had location. Even our menus to a certain extent were put together and ready to go. That’s how fired up we were about it. It’s not something

that we just did on a whim. I think we started about 2½ years ago. It’s been a work in progress, or I guess what you’d call a labor of love.” Havird: “As far as the concept, there were a lot of places that we’ve been to. I feel like, creatively, we’ve done those without trying to look at other people’s menus. With the structure of the createyour-own one, we did kind of gather that from other places, but the signature items are the ones we wanted on there. There’s a lot that we’ve come up with that we’ve thrown out, too. “When Jeremy came on board before Masters Week, he just sat up there in an apartment at Enterprise and made every single salad and bowl and brought it down here. We’d all sit around the table and taste. We’re like ‘Nah, this is trashed.’ ‘Oh, hell yeah, we’re keeping this.’ It was that kind of fine-tuning, which has been fun for all of us.” What is the design of the place going to be like? Havird: “I would say it’s pretty eclectic. I’d say it’s modern with that Southern, rustic feel. Brittany Cason Interior Design is who we’ve been working with. She’s been awesome. Kruhu’s been doing all of our marketing.” Do you guys have a date set for your opening? Havird: “Right now, we’ve just said summertime and kept it pretty broad. I think mid-July is safe. “Dad will want to hang here and do his thing, and then I’ll go down that way for probably the first six months with Jeremy and make sure everything gets off the ground the way it should. Hopefully we’re doing so well in six to eight months and we’re looking to find another spot for the next one.” May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz




Inhale slowly. Exhale even slower. Think calm, peaceful thoughts. Open your eyes and you’re a few blocks from downtown Augusta at one of the city’s most popular, Earth-friendly, vegan-encouraging, eclectic dining establishments. Colorful barstools, mismatched tables and chairs plus an assortment of sitting areas contribute to the relaxed atmosphere Humanitree House offers. With a mixture of young and old, hip and hippies, this eatery claims the title of Augusta’s first cold-pressed and vegan juice bar. Exposed bricks and an industrial vibe compliment the 1970s throwback color scheme. With African-inspired art gracing its walls and smooth reggae sounds from the speakers, there’s a familial spirit permeating the air. On a recent beautiful spring day, Humanitree was hopping with action. The door continuously swung open as patrons dashed in for lunch. Some planned to sit and savor. Others made a beeline for carryout. For those facing a time crunch and prioritizing healthy eating, the grab ‘n’ go vegan selection takes the cake (or the kale). In a place where the Earth is treated with kindness, patrons are treated equally well. A hearty “Hello” from clerks behind the bar greeted guests one by one. With a seemingly genuine interest in answering questions, clerks inquired about customers’ knowledge of the menu. It is clear that the menu changes with the growing season as well as the kitchen’s creativity. Once orders are placed, patrons choose their seats, and within minutes, it’s as if a local garden appears on the table. The Spicy Kale Wrap receives rave reviews — it’s packed with a marinated kale salad, sundried tomatoes, couscous and jalapeno peppers. The Jive Turkee provokes giggles and is just downright plain fun to say! With a grain-based meat substitute, this sandwich is served with grilled onions, vegan mayo, lettuce, tomato and love. And then there’s breakfast. For the early riser or breakfast business meeting, consider the Acai Bowl, packed with a smoothie-type base, granola, blueberries, bananas, strawberries and coconut. For a meatier munch, the Breakfast Burrito can be fashioned with a meat substitute, peppers, kale, mush-

Humanitree House Rating is based on a scale of 1 to 5

Food Price Location Networking Noise Level Humanitree House is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Sleep in on Saturday, as the hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Humanitree is at 305 Eighth St. near downtown Augusta. Contact it at 706-364-2518 or via email at See pictures of the mouth-watering cuisine at

Humanitree House’s Acai Bowl, which includes granola, blueberries, bananas, strawberries and coconut, is a great option for breakfast. Photo by Susan O’Keefe

rooms and a specialty sauce. Imagine checking the veggie box five times before 9 o’clock in the morning! “My favorite Humanitree offering are the juices. I alternate between Green Goddess and Beet Trip,” advised one satisfied customer. If it’s an off-the-beaten-path kind of place you’re seeking, then Humanitree is the right destination. From breakfast to lunch or even an after-hours gathering, it’s setting the bar high in terms of vegan fare and foods that fuel. For an after-hours gathering, Humanitree is available for rent. There’s optional live music and additional information on their website. After finishing every last bite and nearly wiping the bowl clean, patrons are encouraged to trash the trash and






28 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018

recycle the recyclables. For under $10, Humanitree offers a steal of a meal for breakfast or lunch. If the boss is treating for an in-office lunch, consider ordering online and having it delivered. With a strong commitment to locally grown, organic and GMO-free foods, Humanitree House is quickly earning solid success in the CSRA. And the best part, according to recent customers? “It just plain tastes great!” As the African proverb on its website says, “One generation plants the seed. The next generation gets the shade.” It seems this arrangement is a win-win.

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


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If you want to know anything about Southern art or artists, you don’t have to travel farther than downtown Augusta. The Morris Museum of Art at 1 10th St., along the Savannah River, is the only museum with a mission to exhibit the art and artists of the American South, or those who studied in the South or who were from the South. “It’s a broad definition of a specific niche,” said Nicole McLeod, director of public relations and marketing for the museum. “We’re the first museum dedicated to the art and artists of the South. We’re preserving the Southern culture in all its forms throughout the region and beyond.” The museum was founded in 1984 by William S. “Billy” Morris III in memory of his parents. It opened its doors to the public in 1992. Because of its broad definition of art relating to the South, the museum features many different styles of art, from realism to abstract works. Halls within the museum feature such genres as Southern Landscapes, the Civil War, Southerners at Play, Southern Stories, portraits and still-lifes. The permanent collection numbers more than 5,000 pieces, but less than 4 percent is on display. The collection continues to grow as artists and art collectors bequeath their works. The museum was recently bequeathed 20-30 works of an artist from St. Simons Island, Ga. The museum also features temporary exhibits of works by various artists, such as the works of Robert Vickrey, who painted covers for Time magazine, most notably of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1964. His works featuring sidewalk art and Catholic themes, painted with Renaissance-era egg tempera, will be on display until Aug. 12. But the Morris Museum is far from a staid gallery where visitors simply observe art. The museum is an active place where children and adults can have hands-on experiences creating art, including programs for schoolchildren and Artrageous Family Sundays. June’s Artrageous Sun-

30 Buzz on Biz May 25–June 21, 2018


A group of schoolchildren learns about the Southern art and artists featured in one of the halls at the Morris Museum of Art in downtown Augusta. Photo by Gary Kauffman

day will feature a presentation by the Riverbanks Zoo and a project to create animal puppets. The activities are not confined within the museum’s walls. The Morris staff takes art and art activities to such places as the VA Medical Center, Fort Gordon, the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, the Kroc Center and the Boys and Girls Club. It also sponsors activities for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. Art education is also important, through such programs as Art at Lunch and exhibit openings with artists or art historians. Music is also part of the museum’s offerings, with the monthly Music at the Morris series and the annual Southern Soul and Song concert series that presents music with Southern roots, from blues to bluegrass. There are also special tours to visit museums in other cities — this year it’s a trip to Chicago — and special trips to local venues, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Auldbrass plantation in Yemassee, S.C. And for those willing to take a longer lunch break, the museum also features a brown bag lunch movie series on the first Friday of the month showing films with Southern themes, such as Inherit the

Wind and The Little Foxes. The museum also has meeting rooms for rent, which can include museum tours. When the Georgia Cyber Center held a groundbreaking next door, the reception took place in one of those rooms, drawing a number of positive comments about the quality of the museum’s exhibits. McLeod believes there’s a good reason their offerings are so varied. “Art is really integral in our society as a whole because art is everywhere,” she said. “It’s in restaurants or in the way a cocktail is mixed, it’s in the architecture of our homes or in the design of cars. All of it is art.” The museum plays a potentially big role in the local economy as well. Many businesses looking to locate in the Augusta area are concerned about quality of life, which includes cultural institutions such as the Morris. McLeod said that when Starbucks considered moving here, the museum was a factor in the company deciding to build a plant in south Augusta. “Quality of life and the cultural aspects of it were very important to them,” she said. She said all cultural events, such as the museum, entertainment venues and fes-

Many of the paintings in the Morris Museum of Art have interesting backstories. One of those is a painting of a horse race. It is one of two paintings by two painters that originally hung in a New Orleans hotel, one painting depicting the start of a horse race and the other the finish. After the hotel was demolished, the paintings disappeared. But after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, workers discovered one of the paintings, undamaged, in a warehouse and the Morris purchased it. The museum was told it was the painting of the start of the race and labeled it as such. But recently, a relative of the painter contacted the Morris with a photo of the painting and the information that it actually depicts the finish of the race. It now bears the correct label of The Finish. tivals like Arts in the Heart of Augusta and Westobou bring people who spend money to the city. “When the community supports those events, we thrive,” McLeod said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.” McLeod said the museum can be a source of pride for local residents. “So many people, once they come here, they love it,” she said. “We want people to experience it and come back. It’s really their museum. It’s about them.” The Morris Museum of Art is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.



I had a little trouble choosing my movies this month. Maybe it’s the nice weather, the vegetables popping up in my garden or the fact that summer vacation is right around the corner. Whatever it is, sitting in front of the TV has proven extremely difficult lately. To force things, I recently called a family movie night. Turns out, this month’s reviews are all about the 1700s.

‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales’

In case you’ve lost count, this is the fifth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. Truth be told, I had no desire to watch this movie. As the parent of a teenager, however, I realized my son was only going to participate willingly if he got to choose. So, the family settled in for a little swashbuckling adventure.

Quite frankly, if you’ve seen one Pirates of the Caribbean film, you’ve seen them all. Johnny Depp may as well have the same script for each one. Why doesn’t Jack Sparrow age? Other characters now have grown children, but not Jack. He still the same drunk, disorderly womanizer he has always been. As for the plot, let’s just say it’s filled with holes. I’d like to believe that I missed something in one of the previous films, but no. My son has filled me in on the details, and there’s just a lack of consistency. But really, is anyone watching these films for the plot? I think not. While I don’t recommend this film, I will say it’s good for background noise. Or sleeping on the couch. It’s really great for napping.


After wasting an evening with Johnny Depp, I was a little curious as to what oth-

er Netflix offerings were set in the 1700s. After a little digging, I found Frontier. This Canadian-produced series explores the lives of people involved in the North American fur trade. Although it is a fictional series, there are historical references that make you feel like you’re learning something while you veg out. The main character of Frontier is Declan Harp, played by Jason Momoa of Game of Thrones. Harp once worked for the Hudson Bay Company, but he has recently struck out on his own, angering the company in the process. His former employer, Lord Benson, is eagerly searching him out, waiting to pay him back for the murder of soldiers at a Hudson Bay outpost. To find Harp, Benson has hired a young thief to go undercover and relay information concerning Harp’s whereabouts. Although I only watched the first episode, it’s pretty clear the young thief and

Harp will become allies. There are two seasons of Frontier available on Netflix, and the show has been renewed for a third season. I’m not sure whether I’ll make it through all of the show, but it’s definitely worth watching a few episodes. Way better than Pirates of the Caribbean.

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.



Scientific evidence shows that the brewing of beer goes back some 7,000 years in the Middle East. I’m always intrigued, through my chronologically chauvinistic lens, at just how darn intelligent people were so long ago. Some early Mediterranean civilizations even figured out how to make use of ducts and air temperature to create a primitive form of air conditioning — a truly remarkable feat when I consider I have to call someone when the light in my thermostat quits working — but I digress. It is true that much beer, monasteries aside, was home-brewed (essentially brewed on a small scale) prior to the Industrial Revolution. Technological advances made modern brews available to, well, the masses. Of course, along with mass production comes mass marketing. Heavy advertising of lighter beers was intended to sell more beer with less

in it to increase profits, and we are still experiencing such marketing today. So, with that said (and even though it’s late spring), let me rage against the machine for a bit and tell you about a thick and chewy beer I had recently.

Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY

People tend to know Oskar Blues around these parts for its Dale’s Pale Ale, Momma’s Little Yella PILS and Old Chub. I had my first Ten FIDY about a decade or so ago with my buddy, David, who owns the Book Tavern downtown on Broad Street. We had no glasses. So, straight from the can it was. Besides the intensity of chocolate and coffee, I recall being hit by the strong mouthfeel right off the bat. I recall watching David take his first sip and say nothing more than “yes.” Fast-forward 10 years later, and my first experience with Barrel-Aged Ten FIDY ends up being quite similar. I

didn’t have a proper glass available. So, straight from a tallboy can it was. This brew tastes pretty much the way I expected it would: Thick, chewy, sweet, a bit smoky and darn good. So, don’t bring it fishing with you unless by “fishing” you mean “napping on the couch.” It would make an excellent dessert in and of itself, and, as I write this column, I’m imagining how it would taste over a couple of scoops of quality vanilla ice cream.

Next month, Ben Casella promises he’ll “lighten up” a bit in time for the high humidity.

May 25–June 21, 2018 Buzz on Biz


Buzz Issue May/June 18  
Buzz Issue May/June 18