MARCH 19-APRIL 15, 2015 • THE CSRA’S MONTHLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Partridge Inn reopens after $6M renovation By Gary Kauffman Thousands of feet of crown molding line the tops of the walls in the hallways of the Partridge Inn, a symbol of another era, of the early 1900s when the hotel was built. But behind that crown molding lies the 21st century. “People don’t realize that behind all that crown molding is the wifi and television cable, all the IT stuff,” said Bill Mish, general manager of the Partridge Inn. That is just one of the many areas of the
grand old hotel that have been modernized in a $6 million renovation that spanned more than four months. The challenge was to create a modern experience in a centuryold hotel. “We maintained the integrity of the old hotel but brought in new stuff,” Mish said. “There are things in this hotel you would never want to change, nor could you afford See PARTRIDGE INN, page 17
Fred Daitch, right, and his daughter, Alex, center, show some of their products along with Golf Division Senior Manager Jennifer Wiseman. At far right is a caddy uniform Fred’s grandfather supplied to the Masters in the early 1940s.
International Uniform equips best courses and tournaments
The second floor verandah outside the restaurant of the Partridge Inn gives visitors a taste of old Southern living. Photo by Gary Kauffman
By Elisabeth Curry In a humble building on Broad Street in Augusta, a father-daughter team are reaching out to play a part in many of the world’s top golf courses and major tournaments. International Uniform owner Fred Daitch was recently joined in business by his 23-year-old daughter, Alex. The physical store is filled with scrubs for the medical profession and uniforms for other professions. But in the back room they are filling orders for caddie uniforms and accessories,
golf tournament signage and other signature apparel for golf courses around the world. Five generations in business Although Alex, a fifth-generation representative of the family business, has only recently become an integral part of the business, she has been quick to understand her father’s unique grasp of a truly niche market. The two share an office in the same See INTERNATIONAL UNIFORM, page 2
INTERNATIONAL UNIFORM continued from page 1 2,500-sq.-ft. building where Fred’s grandfather started selling dry goods in 1930. “She’s the creative one,” Fred said of his daughter. “She takes almost everything I do and improves on it. She’s smarter than I was at 23 years old, that’s for sure.” “He has way more experience than me so I get to suck all of that knowledge out of his head, which is great,” Alex said. “Not only that, but he understands how I think, so he approaches me in a beneficial way. He wants to make my dreams come true and he wants to help me. It’s the best work environment a daughter could ever ask for.” Over the years, Daitch & Company provided the Augusta National with various items for the tournament starting in the early 1940s, but it wasn’t until 1950 that the signature white caddie coveralls made their debut. Until 1998, the coveralls made up only a small portion of the company’s business, which mainly provided industrial uniforms to the general public. In 1999, however, Fred Daitch rebranded Daitch & Company as International Uniform, Inc. His focus was producing the highest quality caddie apparel possible, catering to a very specific market – golf courses around the world with the funds to support caddie programs. Worldwide reach The decades-long relationship the Daitch family had cultivated with the Augusta National, as well as the prestigious club’s eminent standards and scrupulous attention to detail, allowed Fred Daitch to reach out to other golf courses with a line of products that were chosen by the pinnacle of the golf community. Several years were spent building an imposing list of customers, and now International Uniform legitimately is an international company, providing caddie apparel and accessories to the world’s top courses. “We’re small, but we ship all over the world,” said Daitch. “Pebble Beach, the U.S.
A display of the various caddy bibs made by International Uniform
Open, the British Open, Dallas National. The biggest golf courses in the world are our customers because these are the courses and major tournaments that can support caddie programs. Their customers want to walk the course with a caddie because they’re not in a hurry to be off in two hours. They’ve taken the day off to play.” International Uniform has about 1,700 active accounts – courses, tournaments and customers that buy from the company every year. Any uniform company, Daitch said, could supply these customers the caddie bib, a basic product much like an apron. However, the caddie bib offered by International Uniform comes with extraordinary quality control and customer service. When a customer contacts the company with concerns about wear, discoloration, or any other issues they may find, Daitch personally involves himself in the process. A business of innovation “We’re constantly changing our products,” Daitch said. “If a customer complains, I take it very seriously. If the issue is a manufacturer’s defect, I replace it for free. If it’s the design, since we’re constantly changing our product, something we think is a good change might turn out not to be.” He added, “It’s not just buying merchandise and hoping someone buys it off a rack. There’s an actual science to this business.
We aren’t just selling items. We are 100 percent constantly making them better. By doing that, we eliminate our competition. The difference between us and our competitors is that they buy goods and turn them into a golf product. We make a golf product.” “When golf courses are starting caddie programs, they call us for advice,” Alex said. “We like to help them out as much as we can.” The company keeps meticulous records so they have the ability to guide customers with their purchases in the future. “You have to adapt to what your customer needs,” Alex added. A good example of the company’s ability to adapt to customer needs is one of International Uniform’s newest products: The standard bearer sign. The purpose of a standard bearer sign is to display the golfer’s score in relation to par to spectators and members of the media. A customer asked if the company made standard bearer signs – a product they didn’t offer at the time – and Daitch and his daughter began to do research. After a while – including a prolonged period of time when the project was tabled – they found someone to make the signs, but shipping expenses would have been astronomical due to the attached four-foot pole. “That was no good,” Daitch said, “so then rose the question ‘Can you make the pole removable?’” “That’s the idea that started it!” Alex exclaimed. “We’ll make the pole removable. The next idea was tracks.” “See, their tracks are metal,” said Daitch, continuing the thought. “Therefore you have to have a sign company make the inserts to go in them. Twelve bucks a name! The sign suddenly becomes really expensive for the average golf course. Every time you have new players, you’ve got to make new names. I came up with a snap track, so they could print card stock right from their office
computer, cut them with a pair of scissors, and put them right in.” Daitch elaborated. “The names don’t change at the end of every hole – they’re the same players. What does change is the score, and it’s time consuming to take the cards out of your pocket and place the scores. The player’s already halfway down the fairway by the time you do that. So Alex came up with a dry erase board.” His daughter, attributing the original idea to a customer suggestion, said the dry erase board solution was not as simple as they’d hoped. The standard bearer sign is an outdoor product, so weather and sun damage must be taken into consideration. Porcelain was the answer. Then came the magnetic track. “I’m telling you,” Daitch exclaimed as his daughter listed more details, costs and innovative solutions, “we’re going to go next year to the PGA show with a perfect sign. Tracks, magnets, eraser board, removable pole, extendable to make it higher, and it can attach to a golf cart!” Staying true to local roots Although the company’s sales span the globe, International Uniform has made an effort to support the local economy and Augusta community. The Daitch family has forged relationships with many neighborhood businesses over the past several decades, and those connections remain as important today as they were when Daitch & Company was formed in 1930. Fred Daitch pointedly mentioned that nearly 100 percent of their products are manufactured in the United States. “Everything we do, every golf garment we have in the catalog, is made in USA,” Daitch said. “Not only is it made in USA, it’s made in Georgia. Some of it is even made in Augusta. We don’t need to go overseas to keep our business because we have everything we need right here to make a quality product. I’m very proud of that.”
Cranston Engineering chosen for state award The Georgia Society of Professional Engineers (GSPE) has chosen Cranston Engineering Group as the 2015 Georgia Engineering Employer of the Year for Small Companies. The award recognizes small businesses with exceptional contributions to the lives of members of both their community and their staff. Cranston Engineering Group’s own employees nominated the firm for the honor. Based in downtown Augusta, Cranston Engineering Group has been a leader in many endeavors for improving the City and the region. Currently, a major company focus is the community revitalization and redevelopment of the Laney-Walker Bethlehem community, spearheaded by David Simoneau, a project manager with the firm. “Cranston’s a great, innovative company to work for in this day and age,” Simoneau
2 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
said. “They give you the opportunity to both grow professionally and to actively improve the places where you work and play. And we’re at this great balance of size, where we’re small enough to apply real personal attention by experienced professionals to individual projects, while still having the manpower to take on larger projects.” Tom Robertson, president of Cranston Engineering Group, looks at it this way. “By providing our employees the chance to work on interesting projects and furnishing continued professional education, we can address all three of our company’s three core beliefs: our clients’ needs and expectations are paramount, our employees are our most valuable asset, and we must maintain the highest quality of work,” Robertson said. The firm is also currently the lead designer for the restoration of the landmark
Archibald Butt Memorial Bridge that leads into the Downtown Medical District, focusing on preserving and enhancing its historical value and appearance, strengthening its structural capability and providing updated travel lanes and approaches. “We are honored to receive this award on behalf of all of our employees, who work collaboratively every day with clients and complementary professionals to get things built,” Robertson said. “We consider our clients as parts of the team, and our design professionals work closely with everyone involved to ensure the client’s goals and expectations are met. Our greatest reward is in the large percentage of our business that comes from repeat clients and from new people they have referred to us.” GSPE presented the award at the Annual Engineers Week Awards Gala in February.
New use for old Chamber building..................................4 Buzz Bits......................................................................... 8,9 Business Openings......................................................... 10 A men’s spa with golf...................................................... 12 Optimism for Project Jackson........................................ 14 New hope for old building............................................. 21 Businessperson of the Month........................................ 28 Columbia County Chamber awards.............................. 30 Upcoming Business Events............................................ 34 Recleim ‘recycles’ Graniteville....................................... 38 Social Buzz...................................................................... 41 Masters Week events...................................................... 44
Larry Rudwick..................................................... 6 Kim Romaner...................................................... 6 Donna Martin....................................................16 Marin Rose.........................................................18 Jeff Asselin.........................................................18 Charles Kelly......................................................20 Jeb Blount..........................................................20 Christine Hall.....................................................22 Mike Herrington...............................................22 David Bagwell...................................................24 Russell Head......................................................24 Eddie Kennedy.................................................26 Gary Kauffman.................................................26 Steve Swanson.................................................27
Barry Paschal.....................................................29 Missie Usry.........................................................29 Katie Silarek.......................................................36 Brad Steinle........................................................37 Neil Gordon.......................................................41 Ben Casella.........................................................42 Nora Blithe.........................................................42 Jonathan Karow...............................................46 Samantha Taylor..............................................47 Glenn Campbell...............................................48 Margaret Centers.............................................50 Santalee Jernigan............................................50 Alexandrea Daitch...........................................54 Melissa Brown...................................................54
THE CSRA’S ONLY MONTHLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE 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 $36 to cover postage to the address below. Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830 Sales Manager Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727 Sales Janine Garropy/803-480-2800 Design Gary Kauffman
Photography Gary Kauffman Melissa Gordon/sofiacolton.com Writers Jennifer Reynolds Elisabeth Curry Distribution Janine Garropy April Burckhalter Keefe Danielle Robertson
Opinions expressed by the writers herein are their own and their respective institutions. Neither Buzz on Biz LLC or its agents or employees take any responsibility for the accuracy of submitted information, which is presented for informational purposes only.
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March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Four-corner strategy could spur downtown New use for old chamber building key part of strategy
By Jennifer Reynolds A negative reaction to Facebook and a building designed by a world-renowned architect could spur growth in downtown Augusta. The Augusta Regional Collaboration (ARC) recently reopened the quirky building in the center of Broad Street at 6th Street, known colloquially as “The Old Chamber Building,” as part of a strategy to rejuvenate the downtown. Once home to Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, the building designed by I.M. Pei sat empty for five years. Recently, ARC, a non-profit established in 2012 by former mayor Deke Copenhaver to increase investment potential in Augusta, renovated the building and turned it into an arts and cultural center. They’ve even given the building a new designation: “600 Broad.” “We’re focused on culture and entertainment as a strategy for helping increase the number of people on the streets (of downtown) and be attractive for both young people, empty nesters and folks who want to live in a vibrant part of downtown,” said Executive Director of ARC Matt Kwatinetz. He said that this strategy has worked well in other cities throughout the region.
“We’re kind of pulling a page from the book of Greenville or Asheville,” he said. Like Greenville and Asheville, many cities throughout the nation are returning to downtowns and making them the heart of their cultural and economic centers. Ironically, Facebook – or a negative reaction to it – may be driving the push for interactive downtowns. “I think people are craving more personal connections,” Kwatinetz said. “People want to be in proximity to one another. I think that now we’re on the upswing of a long change and people are wanting to band together to accomplish great things and improve the area around them.” ARC is employing what they call a “fourcorner strategy” in Augusta. By targeting four key areas of downtown and establishing them as safe, commercial corridors, they hope to spur economic development throughout the rest of the city. “The intent is to create enough density that the four corners become anchors and help drive what’s happening with the investments in transportation and from outside from real estate developers,” Kwatinetz said. The four corners established by ARC are 600 Broad, Laney Walker Boulevard where it meets 15th Street, Harrisburg, which encompasses the mills and the canal, and Twiggs Circle where it meets Laney Walker. As the first of the four corners, ARC will use 600 Broad as a multiuse center for arts. It will house offices and two separate galleries that can be used for exhibits. “The idea was to use the building as a first stop, a cultural incubator,” Kwatinetz said. ARC invited groups who have cultural uses or good ideas for how to grow their or-
Famous architect I.M. Pei was active in Augusta
By Jennifer Reynolds Augustans know it as the quirky little building in the center of Broad Street, but what most don’t know is that the old Chamber building was designed by one of the world’s most renowned architects, I.M. Pei. Pei is a Chinese immigrant famous for designing such buildings as the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the glass pyramid entrance to the Louvre. He came to the United States at the age of 17 to study architecture and earned his Masters at Harvard University in 1946. In 1955, he opened his firm, I.M. Pei & Associates, in New York. By then, he was considered a world leader in modern design. So why would this world famous architect design a building in Augusta? It was the persuasive powers of a clever lawyer and businessman that brought Pei to the area and convinced him to design not only the old Chamber building but several other noteworthy Augusta locations as well. Eugene Holley, a native of Aiken and an Augusta attorney, met Pei in the early 1970s when both were involved with building the World Congress Center in Atlanta. Holley worked on the financing side of the project and Pei was the architect. It was then that Holley persuaded Pei to come to Augusta to design several projects. Holley wanted Pei to design a penthouse for one of his properties, the Lamar Building at 753 Broad Street. While Pei was in Augusta, he was hired to do several projects. In 1976, the Greater Augusta Chamber of Commerce hired Pei to design their building, what is now unofficially known as the Old Chamber Building. He also designed the Broad Street Mall, which opened in 1977, and the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center, now known as the James Brown Arena, which opened in 1980.
4 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
The old Chamber building at 600 Broad Street, designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei. In the background is the penthouse of the Lamar Building, also designed by Pei.
ganizations that would potentially contribute to the larger fabric of Augusta to submit proposals to use 600 Broad. The response ARC received reads like a Who’s Who of the Augusta arts scene. Groups such as Southeastern Filmmakers Association, East Coast Entertainment’s Augusta office, Greater Augusta Youth Theatre, and the First Friday’s Organizing Group are now tenants at 600 Broad, and Greater Augusta Arts Council and Artists Row are scheduled for gallery collaborations. Additionally, ARC has partnered with Momentum, a partnership of several foundations that specializes in training arts and cultural organizations to be more effective with their financial resources, and hopes to help educate non-profits in the Augusta area. Kwatinetz said that there are other applicants, which the board is currently reviewing, and that the building has the capacity to hold many more groups. He said they would like to see even more proposals. “I would love to see more educational things that are offered directly to the public so they can have more participation inside the building and understand that this is a great resource for them,” he said. Things are on track now, but taking 600 Broad from closed to open and functioning was more work than anyone anticipated. Initially, the city put the building up for auction but the bids received were far below the amount for which they hoped to sell it. Instead, the city designated ARC as stewards of the building for 10 years, with the goal of opening it as a culture and entertainment center.
“We have a general mandate from the city saying that we would use the building in order to promote activity in the downtown corridor,” Kwatinetz said. The first step was to repair existing problems in the building and bring it up to current code since it was constructed in the late 1970s. “We thought it was a great opportunity to take over the building temporarily as a steward for the city and to fix some of the basic problems in the building which turned out to be rather significant,” Kwatinetz said. Kwatinetz cites asbestos, mold and roof leaks as just some of the problems that plagued the building. He said they had to rip out numerous walls and carpet before they could begin transforming the building into the events center the group envisioned. Now, the building is modernized, wheelchair accessible and ready to welcome the public. Funding for the repairs came from a combination of city funds and donations. The city of Augusta paid $100,000, just a little over a third of the cost, and gave additional funding to be used throughout ARC’s other projects. A small portion of these additional funds went toward the 600 Broad project as well. Starbucks gave extensive in-kind labor donations and materials. “They really gave quite a lot of help,” Kwatinetz said. He said the generosity from Starbucks came out of a desire on their part to give back to the community after the conclusion of the deal that will bring Starbucks VIA manufacturing to south Augusta.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Advice Larry Rudwick The mission of any organization is to
help or provide selected products and/ or services to targeted groups, organizations and/or individuals.
Knowing when “good” is holding back “great” This article is about a recent, real story about Buzz on Biz. It illustrates the principles of my February article entitled “Keep Focusing on The Main Things.” That article stated that many businesses fail, or don’t reach the highest levels of success, because they do not stay focused on the “main things.” I am currently the business advisor to Buzz on Biz, which is owned and operated by my cousin, Neil Gordon. Neil is a well-known and well-liked entrepreneur who has lived in the CSRA for more than 20 years, and
has worked exclusively in the media (TV, radio, and/or PR) even longer. Neil asked me to come to Augusta this past January to hold a brainstorming retreat for Neil and his key Buzz associates. The goal was to come away with a business plan that could be quickly implemented to help get Buzz to the next level in 2015. This brainstorming retreat was a big task! The short version is it involved getting feedback from all its key people, understanding all of the basic details of Buzz, learning what was really going well, what and where the problems were, where hidden potential might be found, and to make a new business plan while getting buyin from all key personnel. But the first step, to help kick off the process, was to answer this question: What is Buzz’s mission? Hint: The
Business Matters Kim Romaner
Some ways to protect yourself when offering seller financing One of the scariest phrases to some business sellers is “seller financing.” “I don’t want this thing back!” they say. “What if she takes all my inventory and disappears? What if he runs my business into the ground because he has no idea what he’s doing?” These are legitimate concerns. However, seller financing has become critical to the successful sale of small- to lower middle-market businesses since the Great Recession. It has become less common for banks and other lenders to take on all of the risk of financing a business sale. Buyers have had less cash to invest, and sellers have
6 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
had to step up to successfully close transactions. Should the business qualify for a loan guaranteed by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), the SBA generally requires not only a down payment from the buyer, but some percentage of seller financing as well. The SBA guarantees up to 75 percent of an SBAapproved loan offered by a bank (the SBA does not loan money itself), and wants all parties – the buyer, the seller and the bank – to take serious responsibility and accountability in repaying this federally guaranteed money. Given these market realities, seller financing has become a critical component to the successful sale of most businesses. Seller financing requires that both the buyer and the seller be highly invested in the continued success of the business. The seller wants the payments on what has been financed, and the buyer has most likely put everything he or she has into the purchase of the business, and absolutely needs the business to continue on the successful track the seller has established. If you offer seller financing, you will continue to be an investor in the business, and you’ll need to reduce the risk of that investment. To do that, include protections for your investment in the promissory note that should be written
mission of any organization is to help or provide selected products and/or services to targeted groups, organizations and/or individuals. During the retreat, we agreed that Buzz’s mission was to transmit noteworthy business news or “buzz” and help businesses obtain more business throughout the CSRA. Even before the retreat began, it became pretty clear that Buzz’s second newspaper, Verge, was not in line with Buzz’s mission. Verge mostly catered to letting individuals know about arts, entertainment, social events and values that were happening in the Augusta area, a very different mission and target market than Buzz on Biz. But what should happen to Verge? It was decided Verge should either be shut down, sold or transformed into something different. After care-
by your attorney on your behalf. Such protections may include: • A requirement for the buyer to provide a monthly detailed P&L for the business during the term of the loan. If you as the seller review the P&L and see that some line items have gotten out of whack, you can request an explanation from the buyer, and offer guidance to get things back on track. Sometimes all it takes is a little advisement to correct errors introduced by the uneducated buyer. • The ability to rescind the financing and repossess the business in the event that some trigger event occurs. Trigger events may include: • The business profit margin dropping dramatically below a well-established and customary expectation. • Missing payments or being a certain number of days late in making payments. • Failure to make commercial real estate lease payments in the case where the seller’s lease agreement only provides for subletting the business location, rather than allowing a clean transfer of the lease or a new lease agreement for the buyer. • Conviction for any sort of crime during the financing period. You may not want your business back, but if the choice is taking it back,
ful consideration and debate, I am pleased to say that the answer now lies in the back section of this very edition of Buzz on Biz! Although Verge is now shut down, we have re-purposed some of its basic content, now written to target Buzz’s typical readers. We hope you like it, and believe this addition to Buzz will attract additional readers as well. It was not an easy decision: Verge did have potential to improve and grow. And, in a way, it is sad to think about all the energy put into Verge during the past 2-1/2 years – and now it’s gone. But I feel this is a good example of something good (Verge) that was holding Buzz back from reaching its greater potential. Please let the Buzz on Biz staff know how you like these changes, and what else Buzz might do to “hit the mark” even better going forward! Larry Rudwick is a business and relationship coach. For more information, visit BusinessTune-Ups.com where you can sign up for a free newsletter or listen to podcasts. Contact him through the website or call him for a free consultation at 571-331-6102. He enjoys facing challenges.
Seller financing has become a critical component to the successful sale of businesses keeping the forfeited down payment and reselling it, it may well end up being one of the most lucrative and shortterm investments you’ll ever make. On the other hand, you don’t want the terms of your financing to be so onerous that no one will take you up on it. Discuss your options thoroughly with your trusted legal counsel, and be prepared to negotiate terms that are equitable to all involved. Kim Romaner is president of Transworld Business Advisors of Augusta, a business brokerage that helps people buy and sell businesses, and also enter into the franchise world. With over 100 locations in the U.S. and abroad, Transworld has sold many thousands of businesses. If you’d like to talk to Kim about selling your business, buying a franchise or turning your existing business into a franchise operation, please call 706-383-2994, x802, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Kelloggs gets Energy Star from EPA
Augusta’s Kellogg facility has earned an Energy Star certification from the EPA. The certification is given to plants that are industry leaders in energy efficiency in reducing greenhouse gases and cutting their energy costs. To qualify, the plants must be verified to be in the top 25 percent in energy performance. The Augusta Kellogg plant was one of three Georgia companies to earn this certification. Only 70 plants across the nation earned the designation.
Laurie McRae named to national board Laurie McRae of Laurie McRae Interiors of Augusta has been named the president of the board of directors for the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ), the national organization that oversees the examination interior designers must pass to practice their craft. “I am looking forward to futureproofing the association and the professional practice of interior design over the next year” McRae said. “Interior Designers have a central role in designing spaces that are not just aesthetically pleasing, but that are also functional, safe and contribute to health, well-being and improved quality of life.” As a regulated profession, many consumers may not recognize the amount of formal education, intensive supervised work experience, and specific knowledge and skills that qualified Interior Designers must demonstrate in order to earn the prestigious NCIDQ Certification. “As President of our Board, Laurie leads the CIDQ activities in not only identifying and setting the standards of competence for the field of Interior Design, but in perpetually looking toward the future to ensure that the NCIDQ Examination is always evolving to reflect current practice realities, enabling
us to deliver on our mission and protect the public,” said Dr. Carol Williams-Nickelson, CIDQ and the NCIDQ Examination’s Executive Director. “Laurie was chosen by her colleagues to serve on the Board because she is an accomplished and well-respected practitioner, visionary, role model and leader in the profession.” McRae has numerous achievements including Vice President of Georgia Alliance of Interior Design Professionals and serving as a member of the Georgia State Board of Architects and Interior Designers for seven years. She is a member of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
Loss of business forces lay offs Sitel, a long-time employer in the Augusta community, has announced it will reduce its staff by about 675. According to a press release, a project for a client ended, creating the need for the layoffs at its customer service center on Windsor Spring Road. The layoffs started earlier this month and will continue through the end of the month. Sitel is actively seeking new business opportunities, programs and alternatives to provide employment for the employees affected by the layoff.
Recycling guessing game If you’re good at guessing and care about recycling, you could win a car. Recycling Perks, part of Augusta’s solid waste service, in conjunction with Milton Ruben Toyota, has filled a Toyota Prius with recyclables. Guess how many recyclables – plastic, paper and cardboard – are crammed inside and you could win the car. The car can be seen at Milton Ruben Toyota at 3510 Washington Road. The contest runs through April 30, with the winner announced on May 1. To enter, log in to your free Recycling Perks online account and enter your guess on the account dashboard screen.
8 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
Flights to Washington, D.C. starting again on trial basis The new flight schedule has been announced for nonstop flights from Augusta Regional Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. Nearly a year after being discontinued, the direct flights will resume on March 29. The American Airlines flights will depart Augusta at 12:11 p.m. and arrive in Washington at 1:52 p.m. They will leave Washington at 10 a.m. and arrive in Augusta at 11:46 a.m.
The flights will be scheduled six days a week. The direct flights will be available on a temporary basis only, ending once again on June 3. The flights to the nation’s capital are important to Fort Gordon and a number of local businesses. The possibility of keeping the direct flights on a permanent basis depends on how much the flights are used during the trial period
Interior design firm wins award
Interiors. “It’s an amazing tool for improving communication in the client/designer relationship. Whenever I need to show someone what I am trying to describe, we go to Houzz and find a similar image. This cuts down on ambiBespoke Fine Interiors was guity in the design process.” chosen for a prestigious award In keeping with Bespoke’s by the more than 25 million tagline, “Custom by Definition,” users that comprise the Houzz Hersacher said the goal of any community from among more successful design project is to than 500,000 top-rated home make the project uniquely cusbuilding, remodeling and design industry professionals from tom to fit the client. Whether it is a residential or commercial projaround the world. ect, the interiors should enhance The Best of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design the individuality of people. Bespoke Fine Interiors offers a and Customer Satisfaction. Winners such as Bespoke Fine Interi- variety of services, from oneors are determined by a variety hour consultations to full-service, of factors, including the number ground-up design for new construction. To learn more, visand quality of client reviews a it www.bespokefineinteriors.com. professional received in 2014. Bespoke is located in downtown Those that win receive a “Best Aiken at 413 Hayne Avenue SW. of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles to assist Houzz users in learning more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community. EDTS, a regional IT services “I love being a part of Houzz,” company headquartered in said Catherine Hersacher, owner Augusta, continues to be recogand designer of Bespoke Fine nized for the service it provides.
EDTS named to MSP 500
This time, the company has been named to the 2015 CRN Managed Service Provider (MSP) 500 list as a member of the MSP Pioneer 250. The list recognizes the top technology providers and consultants in North America who offer a leading-edge approach to managed IT services. The MSP Pioneer 250 list honorees have a business model geared toward the small- and mid-sized markets. EDTS has also been ranked 121st among managed service providers worldwide on the 2014 MSPmentor 501 Global Edition list, and has been named to the Inc. 5000 FastestGrowing Private Companies in America for five consecutive years. The firm ranks among the fastest-growing companies in South Carolina on multiple lists. “The managed services landscape continues to evolve rapidly as organizations are discovering they can impact both bottom-line and top-line growth,” said Charles Johnson, CEO of EDTS. “Being recognized in this top tier of managed service providers is a testament to the commitment to excellence of our employees and the confidence and support of our growing client base, and we look forward to sharing insights and best practices from this group with our customers.”
Miller Realty raises funds for Easter Seals
Century 21 Larry Miller Realty announced that it raised more than $30,000 for Easter Seals of East Georgia in 2014. The multi-faceted fundraising efforts resulted in a $30,743 contribution to Easter Seals. “I am so proud of our agents, our staff members, and anyone who contributed to our Easter Seals projects during the year,” Miller said. “Easter Seals has been close to our hearts for over 22 years now, and we look forward to helping serve this wonderful organization again this year.” All told, nationwide Century 21 realtors donated $2.9 million to Easter Seals.
AGS holds social media contest Seasonal non-stop flights to Washington, D.C., have been restored to Augusta Regional Airport and the airport is celebrating by giving away a flight to the nation’s capital. Non-stop flights to Washington’s Reagan National Airport had been halted last year, but they are back now on a seasonal basis, running March 29-June 3. A bit of technology is needed to enter the contest to win a $350 voucher toward the flight. To enter, contestants must take a selfie by the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau kiosk located in the baggage claim area of the main terminal. Contestants must post the picture on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtag #CHECKINATAGS2DCA to be eligible to win. In addition to the grand prize, participants will be eligible for weekly drawings for a $25 Visa gift card. Drawings will end Friday, April 3. On April 3 a grand prize winner will be drawn. The $350 travel voucher can be used for the new seasonal service flights to Washington. Winners are generated automatically by the social media software Woobox. For more information, visit flyags.com/checkinatagstodca.
Young entrepreneurs pitch ideas Young would-be entrepreneurs will be pitching their ideas to an investor panel in a format described as Shark Tank meets The Apprentice meets American Idol. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) will sponsor the event at 6 p.m. on March 24 at the USC Aiken Etherredge Center. During the evening, YEA members will pitch their ideas for a business or social movement to a group of local industry leaders and a public audience. The students are competing for
a $6,000 investment. YEA students have spent weeks in classroom instruction, field trips and listening to guest speakers in preparation for the event. YEA launched a year ago and is the first of its kind in South Carolina. Partners in the program include the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Aiken County Public Schools and the USC Aiken. The investor panel includes EDTS, Margaret’s Garden Adult Daycare, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, SRP Federal Credit Union, B&S Machine Tool, Manpower, MAU Workforce Solutions, Real Estate One, Serotta Maddocks Evans, CPA, and AECOM.
Unisys gets parking area for new offices Unisys employees will have a place to park once the company officially moves to Augusta, and they won’t take up any on-street parking downtown. Unisys plans to eventually bring 700 jobs to downtown Augusta when it locates in the former Fort Discovery building on Reynolds Street. In February, Augusta officials approved allowing Unisys to utilize the two-level parking deck beneath the building. It will also be able to utilize a new parking lot at the old railroad depot that is slated for improvements. Walter Sprouse, executive director of Augusta Economic Development Authority, said that the parking situation was the final step for Unisys to begin construction within the building. The building has been vacant since 2010. Unisys is expected to lease about 80,000 square feet, or about three-fourths, of the available space. The city approved creating a 6.3 acre parking lot at the old railroad depot site that will be open to the public, but will serve as overflow parking for Unisys as it expands. Unisys is an IT company that provides a service desk and end user support for the Army and commercial businesses.
GRU installs electric vehicle charging station Georgia Regents University leaders unveiled the school’s first electric vehicle charging station on March 10. The new charging station is located in the Student Center parking lot on the Health Sciences Campus, 1459 Laney Walker Blvd. The electric vehicle charging station is an example of GRU’s ongoing efforts to lead the way in environmental stewardship by developing, promoting and implementing sustainable initiatives. According to consulting firm ChargeUp, GRU is the only university in the state to have a 50kW DC Quick Charger, which can charge a plug-in electric or hybrid car in 17 to 22 minutes. GRU received the charging station with a grant administered through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority.
Georgia businesses alerted to scams Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is alerting corporations that his office has received recent complaints about solicitations sent from a firm called “Georgia Council for Corporations.” The firm offers to complete corporate meeting minutes on behalf of Georgia corporations for a fee of $125. Georgia corporations are not required by law to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State’s Corporations Division. “Georgia’s corporations should be cautious regarding any suspicious solicitation, and practice their due diligence to prevent corporate fraud and identity theft,” Kemp said. Although the solicitation from the Georgia Council for Corporations contains language from various Georgia Code sections and a disclaimer stating, “Georgia Council for Corporations is not a government agency and does not have or contract with any government agency to provide this service. This does not fulfill the Georgia annual report filing
requirement,” some corporate officers have been understandably confused by the official-looking documents. It is important to remember that any official statement or request from the Secretary of State will clearly indicate its origin by displaying the State Seal and the name of Secretary of State Brian Kemp. If corporate customers have any questions, please call the Corporations Division Call Center at 404-656-2817.
Credit agencies make changes Your credit score may be getting better. The three largest credit-reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – have agreed to change how they report some items. The biggest news is that they will not include medical debts until after a 180-day waiting period to allow enough time for insurance payments to be applied. They will also remove from their reports any medical debts that have been paid by insurance companies. The reporting agencies will also no longer count delinquent payments on such things as tickets and fines as debts.
In addition, they plan more transparency with consumers who contest their reports. The three agencies are also focusing on ways to better help victims of identity theft and fraud. The data collected by the agencies are used to create credit scores, which are often used to determine eligibility for loans and interest rates on those loans.
GMC plans open house
Georgia Military College is hosting a spring open house at its Davis Road campus on April 18, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. There will be door prizes, scholarship giveaways, campus tours, activities for the kids, music and free food. Included will be an information session on dual enrollment for high school students. Students can also learn more about transferring to or from GMC. Students who will be first-time freshmen can learn the process of enrollment, and that they can enroll without military obligation. Students can also enroll without the SAT or ACT test scores required by most colleges. The open house will include a free financial aid workshop.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Businesses opening or soon to open Openings
Reginal Barner, with six stylists from the area. It will be open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m-5 p.m. Sunday. Supercuts, ranked the top haircare franchise in the U.S. in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2015 Franchise 500, offers professional haircuts, color services and facial waxing options. Coming Soon
Cucina 503 A bit of Italy has come to Martinez with the opening of Cucina 503. The new restaurant, located in the Bi-Lo Shopping Center on Fury’s Ferry Road, is the second restaurant for chef Edward Mendoza. He also owns Kitchen 1454 on Walton Way in Augusta. “It’s a true Italian restaurant featuring pastas, risotto and flat breads made from scratch,” Mendoza said. “The pasta maker was shipped straight from Italy. The restaurant atmosphere is simple and casual to showcase the unique cuisine offered.” Mendoza has Italian roots, though he has never traveled to Italy. Mendoza created the Cucina 503 menu by reading cookbooks, visiting Italian restaurants in larger cities and learning throughout his culinary career. Among the dishes Cucina 503 features are Grilled Calimari, Asparagus and Poached Egg Salad, Seared Scallops in a Cauliflower Purée and Butternut Squash Ravioli. Menu prices range from $7 to about $18. Mendoza brought in Chef Edgar Thomas as his head chef for the new restaurant. Thomas is from Swainsboro and has worked in a number of restaurants in Atlanta and Savannah. The new restaurant features a bar with a unique variety of wines, beer and liquor. A large dining room is available for business meetings, birthdays, or other private events. Cucina 503 is currently open for dinner Monday through Saturday. For more information on Cucina 503, find them on Facebook or call 762-9940143. University Health Primary Care University Health Care Systems has added another Primary Care center. The new facility is located at 3851 Evans to Locks Road in Martinez, next to the Walmart Neighborhood Market at the intersection of Furys Ferry Road. The new location is staffed by Dr. Mittal Patel, a family practice physician who did her residency at the Medical College of Georgia. The new location is the eighth Primary Care center in the CSRA. It takes both walkins and appointments and is open MondayThursday. Supercuts A new hair cutting business has opened on Washington Road. Supercuts opened in the Washington Crossing Shopping Center earlier this month. It is locally owned and operated by
10 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
Jersey Mike’s Jersey Mike’s is opening its fifth store in the CSRA within the next few weeks. The new location is on Washington Road in front of Fairway Square and should be open by Masters Week. The signs are up, including a banner that says they’re hiring. Other store locations owned by Eric Clark and Jason Wren are in Grovetown, Aiken, North Augusta and on Furys Ferry Road. Jersey Mike’s is a big contributor to charities and is celebrating its “Month of Giving.” On March 25 it will be donating 100 percent of its sales to the Southeastern Burn Foundation. Conns HomePlus Conns HomePlus is continuing the remodel of the 65,000-sq.-ft. space in the Village Plaza Shopping Center on the Bobby Jones Expressway that until recently had been the location for Great Deals On Furniture. Great Deals stayed in the same shopping center, in the same location where it had started a decade ago. Buzz on Biz first reported that Great Deals co-owner Eddie Kennedy was given incentives to move from the larger location into his original, smaller store in the same center, which also has a Sam’s Club. The Furniture Outlet and Rooms To Go also have stores on the Bobby Jones Expressway. “When I opened on the Bobby Jones Expressway in 2005, I had the first furniture store. Having all of these furniture stores in the area makes it easier for the consumer to find the furniture and store that fits them best,” Kennedy told Buzz on Biz founder Neil Gordon Kennedy liquidated much of his inventory in the larger store before moving back. Conns Homeplus is a national chain carrying furniture, mattresses, appliances and electronics. This is its first store in Georgia. They have locations in more than 10 states, including stores in Greenville and Florence, S.C. According to the conns.com website, the store provides in-house financing and states, “whether you’ve got bad credit, no credit, even if you’ve been turned down other places, we say “YES!” Dunkin’ Donuts/Which Wich The Medical District crowd has a new food franchise to help them get started in the morning and to enjoy a quick lunch. A combination Dunkin’ Donuts/Which Wich Sandwich store will be built at 1640 Walton Way. Ground was broken earlier
this month and the business should be open by July. The location had been the site of an old house and a closed Jiffy Lube that were demolished for the new store. Between them, the two stores plan to hire about 45 workers. The new store is an addition to the franchise stores in the area owned by brothers Peter and A.J. Patel. They plan to open four additional Dunkin’ Donuts stores in the next three years. Security Federal Bank Security Federal Bank plans to open its second location in Columbia County with professional office spaces for rent as part of the structure. The new location will be behind the Publix Shopping Center at the entrance to Riverwood Plantation. The bank plans to build a three-story structure similar to its branch at 7004 Evans Town Center Blvd. near Evans To Locks Road. The first floor will include a traditional banking layout with teller windows and offices for mortgage, loans and financial advice. The second and third floors will include offices to be leased out to other professionals. This will make it the first such professional office space in Riverwood. Construction will begin soon with a goal of opening as soon as feasible later this year. The current Security Federal branch in Evans offers full service banking, mortgage services and private banking while being open seven days a week. The closest bank to the entrance to Riverwood or William Few Parkway is three miles away across from the Walmart, where Georgia Bank and Trust has an express bank location. Currently, major chains like McDonald’s, CVS, Publix and a Doctors Hospital Prompt Care are in the shopping center at Riverwood. Security Federal has 10 other locations on the South Carolina side of the CSRA, including a second seven-day-a-week branch on Whiskey Road. Carter’s/OshKosh B’Gosh Carter’s/OshKosh B’Gosh, a leader in children’s clothing and accessories, will be opening a store in Augusta later this summer. According to the company website, the new store will be located in Washington Crossing Shopping Center just off I-20 Exit 199. Although the website did not give the exact location within the shopping center, it is expected to be located next to the Verizon Wireless store. The website says that the store is expected to open in August. Currently the closest Carter’s store is in Columbia, S.C. Carter’s says it sells 10 products for every child born in the United States. Solvay Specialty Polymers Augusta won out over India for Solvay Specialty Polymers’ latest plant expansion. The international company headquartered in Belgium had considered several sites for the $85 million expansion before narrowing it down to Augusta and a similar
facility in India. Walter Sprouse, executive director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, announced recently that Augusta had been chosen. “This means new investment and new jobs for the community,” Sprouse said. The current facility on Clanton Road on Augusta’s south side makes a resin that is used in electronics, healthcare, aircraft and other industries. It has been in Augusta since 2001. “It’s the building block of various other products,” Sprouse said. The expansion will make the Augusta facility the first in the United States to manufacture polyether etherketone (PEEK), a high-strength, fire-resistant and chemicalresistant polymer. PEEK is used to fabricate items used in demanding applications like bearings, pumps and piston parts, and is compatible with ultra-high vacuum applications. The expansion is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2016. Once operational, the expansion is expected to add 35 jobs to the existing 200 and add to the 50 contractors already in Augusta. Hiring is expected to start in the fall. Sparkle Express Car Wash By the end of the year, Grovetown area residents will have a new location to get their cars sparkling clean. Sparkle Express Car Wash is in the early stages of building a new car wash in the Gateway Shopping Center near the Walmart, off I-20 Exit 190. This will be the sixth location for the business. Sparkle Express president and owner Gary Richardson said they are currently in the permitting and engineering stage. “Hopefully by June we’ll be breaking ground and opening before the end of the year, by the end of November or beginning of December,” he said. The new car wash will be similar to the ones in Evans and Greenwood, S.C. It is being financed by Georgia Bank & Trust. Richardson said customers at the Belair Road location had requested a car wash in Grovetown. “We’re just trying to take care of our customers,” he said. “That’s an exciting area in Grovetown. That’s where the growth of the county is going.” Sparkle Express has a variety of wash plans. The purchase of an Ultimate Wash at one of the Evans locations earns a 15-centper-gallon discount at the nearby Circle K. Sparkle Express is also involved in community activities and offers its services for fundraising car washes. It also has a program to give back to military veterans. A portion of each purchase goes toward Wash Away Thirst, an international organization providing clean drinking water to areas in need. Sparkle Express Car Wash locations are 115 North Belair Road, Evans; 4393 Washington Road, Evans; 1731 Walton Way, Augusta; 204 Edgefield Road, North Augusta; and 1120 Mathis Road, Greenwood, S.C.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
A spa experience for men – with golf Men’s Refinery makes move to downtown Augusta with a twist By Gary Kauffman It is the Ultimate Man Cave. Two large-screen golf simulators where you and your buddies can play 18 on St. Andrews or Pinehurst, a bar where you can grab a beer and a sandwich while watching a game on TV, eight stations to get a haircut with TVs at each station so you don’t have to miss a second of the Big Game, two rooms for massages, a room for a manicure and pedicure – OK, maybe it isn’t a completely traditional man cave, but The Men’s Refinery is creating a space in downtown Augusta where men can relax. “Women have a lot of options for nice spas and treatments,” owner Shelley Craft said. “For men, the only option for those
Shelley Craft has owned The Men’s Refinery for seven years.
things was to go to a place that catered to women.” Craft opened The Men’s Refinery seven years ago in North Augusta. Last fall, with her lease up and needing a bigger space, she moved across the Savannah River to Lafayette Square between Broad and Reynolds streets, across from the Marriott. The move allowed her to offer an added dimension – golf. Brad Pond, who was starting up a company called The Inside Drive that allowed golfers a chance to play and practice inside, asked about adding golf simulators to her business. “She said she was planning to take The Men’s Refinery to the next level, and I thought the demographics would work together,” Pond said. His initial vision was to have six simulators, but he scaled that back to two for The Men’s Refinery.
12 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
The Full Swing golf simulators are endorsed by Tiger Woods and are used for personal training by many of the top pro golfers. The high-speed cameras and computer processors allow not only the sensation of playing shots on a legendary course, but measure actual swing performance. That makes them ideal for club pros to use to work with golfers to improve their game. “It’s a safe environment to come to learn the game of golf,” Pond said. “But it’ll also have a Dave & Buster’s atmosphere where you say, ‘Hey, let’s go have a beer and play St. Andrews.’” The simulator is a quick way to play 18 holes. Pond said it takes about an hour to play 18 on the simulator, a bit longer if playing with some buddies. He believes that will be an attraction for the busy businessman or the father with kids at home who can’t take the four or five hours it takes to play on a real course. And, of course, it never rains inside The Men’s Refinery. Pond said joining The Men’s Refinery takes a bit of the learning curve out of starting a new business. “The Inside Drive is a new business model for Augusta and if I look at it by itself I’d have to start from zero,” he said. “With The Men’s Refinery, they’re already addressing some of the same clientele. I think that the relationship will be astronomical.” “This is a great addition to The Men’s Refinery,” Craft added. “It gives men a place to go to relax a little bit.” It also gives men a safe place to try some things that women have enjoyed for years, like a manicure or pedicure. Often, if a man wanted to try a service like that it meant sitting with a group of women “I wanted to create a space where they could try some of these services without feeling like they’re sitting out in front of everyone,” she said. “Here, they’re not in front of everyone, they get to watch what they want on TV and they can get something to drink.” She said the combination of her services and the golf simulators will work well for groom’s parties. The groom and his groomsmen can get haircuts and beard trims, massages, mani-pedis and some golf. “It gives them a fun day in about half the time they’d spend on a golf course,” Craft said. Craft has always tried to make the experience at The Men’s Refinery a fun one. She’s had singers in the shop and brought in clothing vendors to display their wares. Now that she’s in downtown Augusta, she plans to be involved in downtown events as well. Craft thinks her new location will attract some new business while not losing much of the business she had in North Augusta. Some of her customers had already crossed
The Full Swing golf simulator at The Men’s Refinery will allow a quick round of 18 holes on a famous course, or a chance to examine the mechanics of a golf swing.
the bridge to utilize her services. “I’ve got clients who are now within walking distance,” she said. “And I think sometimes it’s easier to get people from North Augusta across the bridge to the Georgia side than vice versa.” She admits parking will be a challenge – there is no public parking in the immediate vicinity of her building, although a parking garage is located only a block away. “I think most people who are used to being downtown know that you park and you walk,” she said. Craft hopes that The Men’s Refinery will become not only the Ultimate Man Cave but also the Ultimate Lunch Break. “You can come here, get a haircut, have some lunch and do 20 minutes on the simulator,” she said. The new location has two entrances, one facing Reynolds and one off Lafayette Square. Craft plans to take advantage of the courtyard area for outdoor seating. As with most remodeling efforts, things
have gone a little slower than anticipated. But Craft said they will definitely be open in the new location by Masters Week, possibly sooner. The Men’s Refinery will be open 9 a.m.7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 9 a.m-3 p.m. Monday and Saturday. The goal is to have the simulators available seven days a week and later hours, but since it is a new business model, Craft said the final determination on hours will be the demand. And she thinks there will be a demand. She believes The Men’s Refinery serves a basic human need. “We have a human need to unwind and relax,” Craft said. “In today’s society we’re stressed to the max. People do stuff out of convenience because they’re stretched for time. We need to have an ‘experience’ every now and then. “Men deserve a spa experience in an environment they don’t feel nervous walking into. The Men’s Refinery is my way of creating something that will fill that need.”
The bar area at the Men’s Refinery is located across from the golf simulator.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Project Jackson moving ahead despite suit
GreenJackets’ may have to wait until ‘17 for move across river
By Jennifer Reynolds The Augusta GreenJackets may not move across the Savannah River in 2016, and costs may increase a bit, but plans for Project Jackson in North Augusta are still going strong. The project had been expected to start earlier this year but a lawsuit against the city, pending in South Carolina’s Supreme Court, has created delays. That dispute is expected to be resolved this summer. No one is prepared to say that the GreenJackets won’t make the move to North Augusta in 2016, but North Augusta Mayor Lark Jones said that when he considers the timeline, “it will be nigh impossible. If you get the case decided on July 15 there’s no way you’re going to build a $25 or $35 million stadium and have it open by April 1.” He said that it doesn’t make sense to move the team midseason. In spite of the hurdles, Jones said there is no fear the GreenJackets will back out. “Absolutely not,” he said. In addition to the GreenJackets’ new stadium, Project Jackson will hold a hotel, business spaces and retail stores. The delay created by the lawsuit comes with a price tag. Jones estimates that the delay added an additional $1.5 million to the cost of the project. “The biggest cost has been the delay,” he said. “You take a $30 million stadium and you take a 5 percent increase in cost from one year to the next, that’s $1.5 million.” He said the reason for the increase in cost is the improving economy driving the cost of construction up. One step they’ve taken to reduce some of the cost is altering the plans slightly to save on expenses. “A lot of tiny little involved things,” Jones said of the changes. “Nothing major, nothing that affects the usability of the ballpark.”
Project Jackson will be built along the Savannah River next to Georgia Avenue in North Augusta.
An artist rendering of the exterior mall area of the stadium at Project Jackson.
After the lawsuit is finalized, there will still be numerous issues to be resolved before ground is broken on the new complex. Jones said the plans for the complex won’t hold things up but that issues such as funding and issuing of bonds must be addressed. That takes time. “The developer has got to come to the table ready to pull the trigger on hotels, apartments, office buildings and all of the things that they have to do in order for this project to move forward,” he added. The city won’t begin construction on the stadium until the developer is ready. Jones stressed that the developer has worked as diligently as the city on the program but uncertainty sparked by the lawsuit has hindered the ability to put certain plans in place, such as getting commitments from businesses who might be interested in moving into the complex. “I’m sure the developer has a lot of interest in (companies to fill the) various restaurants and things of that nature that are saying, ‘Well, I’m interested but I don’t want to have to deal with lawsuits,’” said Jones. North Augusta resident Steve Donohue first filed the suit in December 2013. Since that time, the suit has been heard at trial and has been appealed. Both times, the court found in favor of the city. But Donohue appealed again. Typically, the next step in the process is for the case to be heard before the appeals court. However, the state Supreme Court can elect to skip this step and did so in this case.
“The Supreme Court, I think, recognized the magnitude of this project for the city of North Augusta,” Jones said. He feels confident that the Supreme Court will again find in the city’s favor. “If you look at the statistics,” he said, “very rarely will the Supreme Court overrule a trial judge.” He thinks that once the case is concluded, the developer will be able to quickly fill any remaining vacant spaces. Keeping a positive perspective, Jones said not being ready for the GreenJackets’ 2016 season, “may afford everybody a little more time to get ready, time to dot i’s and cross t’s and really firm some stuff up.” He said the design of the stadium and surrounding complex will be similar to Fluor Field in Greenville in that the ball field will be surrounded by restaurants that are able to serve customers both from within and without the ball field. The mayor thinks the biggest problem will be Project Jackson’s popularity and a finite number of available spaces. “I think once it gets started we’re going to have a lot of people that are going to say, ‘Wow! Have you seen this?’ and they’ll want to get in and there’s not going to be a spot for them,” Jones said. “They’re going to miss their chance.” He said maybe businesses that aren’t able to get a spot at Project Jackson will move into downtown Augusta. “We want downtown Augusta to thrive because it’s the width of the Savannah River away from us and we think that the stuff that we do here will help them and a good thriving downtown in Augusta helps us.”
Aiken company wins award for recycling efforts An Aiken company was one of five South Carolina businesses recognized for exemplary recycling efforts by the South Carolina Smart Business Recycling Program and Green Hospitality Program. The Gravatt Camp and Conference Center in Aiken reduced its waste by 70 percent in 2014 and earned $400 from the sale of
14 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
recyclables including cardboard, metals, paper, plastic, grease and organics. The Conference Center works closely with its food supplier to purchase locally made products with little or recycled packaging material and educates more than 4,000 guests on recycling and composting annually. “The 2015 winners demonstrate how busi-
nesses and organizations can improve their bottom line while also conserving resources and protecting the environment,” said Elizabeth Dieck, Department of Health and Environmental Control Director of Environmental Affairs. “Their dedicated efforts help strengthen South Carolina’s economy by creating recycling businesses and jobs.”
The S.C. Smart Business Recycling Program and Green Hospitality Program offer free, confidential, non-regulatory services including site visits, technical assistance, market research and workshops. For more information, visit www.scdhec.gov/smartbusiness or www.scdhec.gov/greenhospitality or call 800-768-7348.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Publicity Donna Martin
All About the Brand The right brand makes your company stand out in a crowd
You recognize them immediately. The golden arches, the white swoosh and the apple with a bite mark on the right. It’s not even necessary to list their names. You know exactly who they are. In fact, these companies are known worldwide…and it all began with a brand. What we call “branding” in the marketing world involves, among other things, creating a logo that is the visual identity of your company. In a perfect world, your logo is immediately recognizable and is your statement to the public: “This is my corporate identity and I stand by it.” Build your brand to sell The American Marketing Association defines a brand
16 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
as the “name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” Your brand is also identified by your customer service, both in store and online, and your reputation. Carefully crafting your brand should begin before startup as you are developing mission and vision statements and gathering data to identify demographics and target markets. Creating your brand is as important as purchasing that piece of equipment so essential in conducting your business. Call the professionals! Brand engineering is a strategy used by marketing companies that incorporates concept development, message development, graphic design and studio work. For those truly serious about their brand, marketing companies will also conduct surveys and focus groups to gather data on the effectiveness of a proposed logo/tagline. Do not panic, however, if you have just started your business, or have been in business for years and you do not have a logo or yours is not as powerful as you wish. You can change your logo or update it as well as add a tagline or change your existing tagline to represent a new focus or vision for your company. A marketing company will
become a dedicated business partner and your brand champion. Be the best brand you can be I challenge each of you today, whether you are a business or organization, to take a look at your logo and tagline (if you have one) and ask yourself if it is truly recognizable by your target audience. This is not about you or what you like. This exercise is about putting yourself in a potential customer’s place. Starting today, you can be the best brand you can be.
Next month we will venture into the world of PR and focus on the power of the press release. And it is powerful indeed. Donna Martin is co-owner of Martin Wilson Marketing, a full-service CSRA marketing company created to help businesses and organizations grow and shine. She shares her 30-plus years of corporate marketing communications experience with entities seeking a higher tier of visibility and profitability. Contact her at email@example.com
Some of the fourth- and fifth-floor rooms of the Partridge Inn offer sweeping views of downtown Augusta. Photo by Gary Kauffman
PARTRIDGE INN continued from page 1 to. The moldings alone you can’t reproduce without spending millions of dollars.” Perched atop the hill in the Summerville area of Augusta along Walton Way, the Partridge Inn has been a symbol of Augusta for more than a century. But a century of wearand-tear had begun to show on the building, which is why new owners Northpointe Hospitality Management decided on a twophase renovation to turn it into a 4-star hotel. Phase 1 closed the hotel from the beginning of November to mid-March to redo all the guest rooms and hallways, update the restaurant, infrastructure repair and update mechanicals, plus painting the exterior ivory white. The staff was also trained in how to run a 4-star hotel. Phase 2 will begin in May and will include overhauling and expanding the restaurant and bar, redoing all the public areas, including the lobby and front desk, the meeting rooms and the fitness room. That will add another $2 million or so to the renovation bill. All the guest rooms have been upgraded to 4-star quality, with Hilton Simmons Beautyrest pillow-top mattresses, sheets with high thread counts, heavy bath towels, top-quality soaps, high-speed internet and flat screen HD TVs. “All the amenities you’d find in a very high-end hotel,” Mish said. But part of the experience of the Partridge Inn is the uniqueness of the rooms. “There are 144 rooms and 144 room types,” he said. “That doesn’t happen in a standard cookie-cutter hotel.”
Some rooms are large with a small bathroom, some have a large bathroom and a smaller floor space; the entryways to some rooms are wood flooring while others have tile; and some of the fourth and fifth floor rooms have sweeping views of the Augusta skyline – one room has a scenic view from the bathroom while another has a closet with a window overlooking another scenic view. That means that unless you request the same room, no two stays in the hotel are ever quite the same. The Partridge Inn also contains some nuances that show that the building was added onto several times over the years. Turning left from the elevators, guests descend a short flight of stairs, cross a landing and then up another flight to get to the rooms on that end. Or, from the landing, they can turn left, descend another short flight of stairs to find the rooms there. “You can see the progression of how the building was added onto over the years,” Mish said. Those nuances are part of the appeal of the Partridge Inn and why this summer it will partner with Hilton Curio, Hilton’s line of boutique hotels. Boutique hotels provide more than an overnight stay, they provide an experience, which is something Mish said the Partridge Inn is well-qualified to do. “In this industry we talk a lot about Millennials (those born in the 1980s and ‘90s),” he said. “They don’t want a cookie-cutter experience. They want things very individualized and higher end. They want The Experience. That’ll be a big push for us.”
Boutique hotels also tell a story through their uniqueness and history, all part of the experience. But unlike some hotels that are being newly-built as boutiques, the Partridge Inn has a real story behind it. “We have been here from 1910,” he said. “That’s the story. Our story has already been created.” The Partridge Inn is full of artwork and curios spanning more than a century, all of which were refurbished and rematted during the renovation. “They tell the story of the Great Dame of the South,” Mish said.
That story makes it special not only for first-time guests but for those who have experienced its history over the years. Mish recalled his first visit to the Partridge Inn when he watched a man eating dinner by himself in the restaurant. The man was dressed up and focused on the dining experience. When he finished he hugged all of the staff. “He was living out something on his bucket list,” Mish said. “Maybe his grandfather had eaten here. Whatever it was, he was having an experience. That’s what makes this place so special.”
One of the newly refurbished bedrooms at the historic Partridge Inn.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Habits Marin Rose
To-do or Not To-do Successful use of a to-do app depends on actually using it
Although I am, at heart, a traditionalist, I have become a digital technology convert in the last decade or so. The advantages of digital technology over pen and paper for managing task lists, schedules and contacts are various. As a solo-preneur who spends much of my time away from my home office, digital solutions result in:
Business Online Jeff Asselin
Custom software has edge over off-the-shelf choices Today’s businesses are not questioning whether or not to invest in computer software to run their operations – they’re asking themselves do I buy “off-the-shelf ” prebuilt computer programs or do I opt for a custom solution to fit my company’s individual needs? How do you know which one makes the most sense? There are literally thousands of “canned” business software solutions available. Some solutions need to be installed onto local computers while others can be webbased, coming with a variety of payment and subscription models. While these programs appear to be simple and easy to use, a business owner needs to understand the pitfalls to watch out for with each. When using pre-built software, a business is limited to the functionality, design and features unique to that program. Often these software programs do not allow for complete customization, affecting your company’s operations.
18 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
• Less paper to manage • More flexibility to accommodate clients • Greater mobility • A smaller margin for error • Easier information retrieval • Cleaner workspace So when it comes to helping clients increase efficiency and productivity at home and at work, I advocate for switching to digital methods. However, the glut of programs, apps, services and devices available these days is daunting. I’m often asked which are best. My answer? Whichever ones are comfortable enough for you to fully commit to using. Most of the products available are pretty good. For me, a combination of Gmail, Google Calendar, Dropbox and Constant Contact does the trick. If you have a system that works for you – even if it is an old-fashioned datebook – then stick with it. But if you’re looking for some of the capabilities I mentioned above to free you from the paper pile, the only successful system is the one that you use
Programs such as Quickbooks and various Customer Relations Management (CRM) tools can only be tweaked to a certain extent. The challenge becomes even more painful when you want to share data between applications in your own format. Reporting can be clunky and displaying information in a meaningful fashion might not exist in several formats. Staying current on software updates can be an expensive proposition. Many business software programs offer releases to their systems several times a year, requiring businesses to spend countless upgrade dollars to have the latest bells and whistles, including security updates. We’ve seen company websites and software programs come under attack by online hackers. Fixing software after these attacks often requires repairing broken databases as well as salvaging breached information and can become quite expensive. While no software is ever deemed “hack proof,” publicly available software programs are easy prey for these malicious attacks. Custom software can often be “off the radar,” with more levels of security built in. One of the main reasons to develop a custom software solution over an “offthe shelf ” product is a company’s ability to design a program that is exactly what you need from the ground up. Some businesses need to track, organize, measure and securely store their client data or employee records on their own platform. Custom software is often
When choosing a system, ensure you’re choosing one that accommodates your unique lifestyle, organizational style and thought process. solely and consistently. The clients whose systems fail are the clients who bounce from one shiny new app to the next, or who use the calendar function built in to their mobile device and their whiteboard and a smattering of sticky notes to track their appointments. It’s important to consider a variety of options when choosing a system to ensure you’re choosing one that accommodates your unique lifestyle, organizational style and thought process. But once you commit, it’s crucial that you use that system fully and exclusively. Digital technology is a powerful tool but it only works if you use it correctly. Free Document Shredding You’ve
the best and most sensible solution to meet those needs. How do you determine if a custom software solution is right for your business? Ask yourself three simple questions: Is there an existing solution out there that will meet your needs for the way you do business? Do you have the luxury of time required to have someone build your custom software? Do you have the capital investment available to fund custom software? Custom software versus off-theshelf applications boils down to your company’s priorities and strategic business plan. Pre-built software is limited and can affect your company’s ability to grow at scale. Having
gone paperless. Now what to do with that bin full of sensitive documents? Take advantage of free, unlimited, on-site shredding courtesy of Libra Organizing. Saturday, May 2, 8 -11 a.m. at The Cleveland Group, CPAs parking lot on Davis Road. Shredding and recycling provided by Augusta Data Storage, Inc. Stop by my table for free refreshments and organizing tips. Professional Organizing Coach Marin Rose of Libra Organizing is celebrating five years organizing people’s spaces and lives to help them become happier and more productive – and less stressed. Contact Marin at libraorganizing.com to schedule a free organizing assessment in your home or office, or to hire her as a speaker.
a custom built software solution gives you the ability to add custom features unique to your business, provide inhouse support and correct software issues quickly. Custom software can become a business advantage over your competitors who are still using their pre-built software solutions. Jeff Asselin is Director of Sales and Marketing for Powerserve, a web development company that focuses on websites, custom business software, search engine optimization, graphic design and social media marketing. For more information , visit www.powerserve.net or his office at 961 Broad St., Augusta. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or706-691-7189 or 706-826-1506, ext 122.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Solutions Charles Kelly
Treat customers, competitors with respect for success About a year after I opened Computer Exchange, a guy in an expensive suit walked into my store, looked around with disdain at my hand-built shelves and asked if I was the owner. I introduced myself and he promptly stated that he was with a computer franchise store and he was going to put me out of business. I smiled at him, wished him luck and added that he would need a lot of it. He then pulled out a full-page color advertisement and laid it out on my second-hand glass counter. “How can you compete with that?” he asked. I looked at his slick ad, populated with the same gimmicks that the big box stores used back then, and again wished him good luck.
Business Sales Jeb Blount
Skillful use of subject line gets your emails read Here’s a fact of life: According to the Harvard Business Review, the average business executive gets 200-plus emails a day. Add to that the mail they get in their social media inboxes, instant messages, and the chatter on crowdsourcing tools deployed by many companies, and there is simply no way they can possibly get to it all. So your prospects cope with being crazy busy and overwhelmed by an inbox that is set to “infinite refill” the same way you do: Scan and Triage. They, like you, must make instant, split-second decisions to open, delete or save for later. In this paradigm, to get opened, your prospecting email must stand-out from all of the noise and be compelling enough to entice a click. Though subject lines are not the
20 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
I tried to explain to him that in Augusta people are polite to competitors as well as customers and that being competitive does not mean that you should act like a jerk. I told him that if he was speaking to me that way in my place of business where he was my guest, that he simply didn’t have what it took to gain and keep the trust of customers. I suggested that he get his priorities straight and to be careful about investing in a franchise that revolved around a product he admittedly didn’t understand. He persisted, almost ranting, and finally threw his ad on the table and stalked out, saying over his shoulder “You’ll be gone in six months!” I never really understood his purpose in dropping by and being combative. I understand shopping your competitors and I understand being aggressive and competitive, but early in my .ownership of Computer Exchange, I drew the line at targeting a business to try and close them, even though we occasionally had the opportunity to do that. We have always been courteous to our competitors and sometimes sold them parts when they missed a shipment. It’s very simple to me – you never know who you are talking to and it’s easier to just be courteous and fair to everyone. I like to be treated fairly and
with respect when I walk into a business. I like to feel welcome and comfortable. That’s the way we try treat everybody at Computer Exchange and that’s the way we train our staff. The best technician in the world cannot work here if they are not able to treat customers, co-workers, competitors and vendors with respect and a full measure of dignity. Well, Mr. Fancy Suit opened his computer franchise store and stocked it with shiny computers and reasonably good technicians. He marketed his store very well, and his inventory systems and processes were very good. I shopped him about every six months, as I do all of my competitors, and I was always polite. Usually I came away with an idea or two. I felt that his pricing was a little high, but fancy stores usually have fancy prices. Mr. Fancy Suit’s store did OK for a couple of years, but in end it closed and he moved back up north from whence he came. He never did understand that
only thing that gets your sales prospecting email opened - timing, your name, brand, and email address also play a role – the subject line is, by far, the most important of these elements. 3 Common Reasons Sales Prospecting Emails Scream “Delete Me!” 1. Too Long: Data from many sources across the sales ecosystem prove that shorter subject lines outperform longer subject lines by wide margins. Frankly, it’s intuitive. A long subject line requires your prospect’s brain to work harder. That extra effort in the context of splitsecond decisions about the value of an email gets you deleted. Neither do long subject lines play well on mobile. It’s estimated that 50 percent or more of emails get opened on a mobile device. With the limited screen size, you get but a glimpse of the email subject line. If you think about your own behavior on your mobile phone, you are even quicker to delete a message there. More than 50 characters in your subject line and the open rate goes down exponentially. Solution: Keep email prospecting subject lines short – three to six words or 40 to 50 characters including spaces. Remember, less is more 2. Questions: Email prospecting subject lines in the form of questions are delete bait. Virtually every major
study conducted on the efficacy of different types of email subject lines conclude that subject lines in the form of a question quickly doom your email to the delete-button death roll. Though there may be a time and place for using a question in your email subject line, in most cases you should step away from the question mark. Solution: Use action words and directive statements instead of questions. List-based subject lines that include a testimonial like 3 Reasons Why ABC Chose Us are especially powerful, as are referral subject lines like Jeb Blount Said We Should Talk and statement-based subject lines like Biggest Fail in Industrial Pumps 3. Impersonal: Generic, impersonal subject lines are boring. When you are attempting to engage hard-to-reach executives a failure to connect will send you straight to the trash. Think about it. Every salesperson in your industry is trying to connect with the highest-value prospects in your market. These executives are inundated with requests for appointments. You will never break through this noise and get their attention with cheesy, impersonal subject lines. Instead of standing out, you’ll look like all of the other schmucks junking up your prospect’s inbox and wasting their time. Solution: Connect your subject line
You never know who you are talking to and it’s easier to just be courteous and fair to everyone. no matter how good the process or the product, the marketing and the display, that true and honest customer service is a crucial ingredient in the mix of a successful business. Now, 20 years later, I buy most of my shelving new. But I am always on the hunt for a good deal on high-end retail equipment at a bargain, like the counter pieces I got when Mr. Fancy Suit closed his store. Those counters sit a few feet away from my working desk at our Washington Road store and they always remind me that it’s not about advertising and expensive shelving; it’s about connecting with the customer in an honest way and treating them with genuine respect. Charles Kelly is co-owner of Computer Exchange, with four locations in the CSRA: South Augusta, North Augusta, Martinez and Grovetown. Computer Exchange specializes in computer solutions for home and business. For answers to your computer questions, email him at email@example.com.
to an issue your prospect is facing, especially if it is emotional or stressful, or compliment them on a recent accomplishment or something that you know makes them feel proud. For example, the easiest, fastest way to get me to open your email is a subject line that reads: Loved Your Book! The reality is we are all self-centered and almost always focused on our problems, issues, accomplishments, and ego. The fact is 95 percent of the time we are thinking about ourselves and the 5 percent of time that we are not thinking about ourselves something – maybe a mouthy salesperson – has gotten in the way of us thinking about ourselves. So, play the odds, and make your subject line about your prospect. It’s really easy to do if you take a little extra time to research the recipient of your prospecting email through an internet search, company website, and on social media sites. Jeb Blount is the founder of Sales Gravy in Thomson. He helps sales teams across the globe reach peak performance fast through keynote speeches, boot camps, seminars, and on-site and online training experiences. Hire Jeb to speak at your next sales meeting or conference. Call at 1-888-360-2249 or visit JebBlount.com for more information.
Reddy hopes to turn old building into gold Old Woolworth building had been vacant for years
By Gary Kauffman According to a fable, Rumpelstiltskin could spin straw into gold. T.R. Reddy may not quite be able to do that, but the Augusta businessman has shown a knack for turning old properties into something valuable. Reddy, retired owner of an energy control systems company, demonstrated that a few years ago when he bought the old Regency Inn on Broad Street, stripped it down to the steel frame and rebuilt it as a state-of-the-art Holiday Inn Express. “I try to take something that’s not valuable and make it more valuable,” he said. Now Reddy, who calls himself a conservationist, has purchased another old building with a hope to transform it – and the surrounding area as well. Reddy recently bought the former Woolworth building on the corner of Broad and Eighth streets for $650,000. The 46,000-square-foot building was built in 1939 but except for a brief stint as a warehouse has been vacant since Woolworth closed the store in 1992. Reddy has no definite plans yet for the
building other than restoring it. “I want to create something of value, for the business property and for the city,” he said. Reddy likes the building because unlike a hotel or a restaurant, this building can have multiple uses. He said the upper floor will likely become apartments with some type of business on the lower floor. A market and an artists’ gallery have both been suggested to him for the main floor, office space or even a Fred’s department store. He said apartments in downtown Augusta are in high demand and are about 90 percent occupied now. Reddy has no timetable for converting the building. “I’m retired so I take my time,” he said. The next step is to talk to architects and improve some of the basic things first. Reddy said the building is in reasonably good shape despite having been vacant so long. “With the hotel, I took out about 90 percent of the stuff,” he said. “We’ll do something similar with this.” He will also be meeting with the historical society to see what input they have on the building’s use and appearance. Reddy acknowledges that buying the building is a gamble but he’s successfully rolled the dice before with the Holiday Inn Express and other properties. “Let’s see what happens,” he said with a smile.
The former Woolworth building at Broad and Eighth streets. Photo by Gary Kauffman
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Accounting Christine Hall
That’s Not Me
Pilot program helps avoid tax-related identity theft
Georgia has one of the highest per-capita percentages of tax-related identity thefts in the United States. As a result, the Internal Revenue Service is offering a pilot program to residents of Florida, Georgia and the District of Columbia
Business Advice Mike Herrington
Life insurance can provide funds for planned liquidation When business liquidation is the only course of action at an owner’s death, life insurance can provide the funds that make the difference between a planned liquidation and a financially-disastrous forced liquidation. Consider the uses to which life insurance can be put in
22 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
in an effort to help deter identity theft. Any taxpayer who filed their federal tax returns last year from Florida, Georgia and the District of Columbia may participate in this pilot program and register for an Identity Protection PIN. The main purpose of the program is to add an additional layer of protection to taxpayers who live in areas where tax-related identity theft is more prevalent. Taxpayers who wish to take advantage of this pilot opportunity for additional filing protection should visit www.irs.gov/getanippin to register and create an account. The Internal Revenue Service cannot issue an Identity Protection PIN to a taxpayer unless that person’s identity has been verified online. Once issued an Identity Protection PIN, taxpayers need to use it to confirm their identities on all federal income tax returns filed during the 2015 calendar year and future tax years. If you chose to participate in this program
Georgia has one of the highest percapita percentages of tax-related identity thefts in the United States.
the planned liquidation of a business: Estate Settlement: Life insurance proceeds can be used to pay estate taxes and other estate settlement costs, allowing the liquidation to proceed on an orderly basis. Family Income: Using life insurance proceeds to provide the surviving family with a continuing income can avoid a forced liquidation of business assets for this purpose. Working Capital: If the executor needs additional cash to temporarily operate the business, life insurance can serve as the source of that cash. Offset Shrinkage: Even a planned liquidation will usually result in some shrinkage in value, as compared to what the business was worth as a going concern. Life insurance can be used to replace the value lost in the liquidation. For “pennies on the dollar,” life insurance guarantees that the cash need-
ed to help avoid a forced liquidation will be available exactly when needed. At least 70 percent of people over 65 will need long term care services and supports at some point in their lives. About 68 percent of nursing home residents and 72 percent of assisted living residents are women. The national median daily rate in 2014 for a private room in a nursing home was $240, an increase of 4.35 percent from 2013. The average length of a nursing home stay is 835 days, or 2-1/4 years. At a median daily rate of $240, an average nursing home stay of 835 days currently costs more than $200,000, making it unaffordable for many Americans. Medicare does not pay for long-term care services, as explained by the Social Security Administration: “About Social Security and Medicare...Social Security pays retirement,
be sure to give the Identity Protection PIN number you have been assigned to your tax preparer. They will not be able to e-file your tax returns unless they have this number. Taxpayers will receive their new Identity Protection PIN numbers by postal mail. The IRS Identity Protection PIN is a 6-digit number assigned to victims of identity theft whose cases have been resolved. The Identity Protection PIN allows affected individuals to avoid delays in filing returns and receiving refunds. The pilot program provides taxpayers who live in the geographical areas mentioned that have not been the victim of identity theft to participate in the program voluntarily.
Resolving tax-related identity theft remains a top priority for the IRS. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes nationwide, and preventing tax refund fraud caused by identity theft is one of the biggest challenges facing the IRS. The IRS is focused on preventing, detecting and resolving tax-related identity theft cases as soon as possible. This is a sponsored employment article. Hall & Associates LLC is a full-service public accounting firm established in 1979. They have a staff of experienced professionals that stand ready to meet all of your accounting, tax and general business needs. For a complimentary consultation, call 706-855-7733 or visit hallassociatescpa.com.
disability, family and survivors benefits. Medicare, a separate program run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, helps pay for inpatient hospital care, nursing care, doctors’ fees, drugs, and other medical services and supplies to people age 65 and older, as well as to people who have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for two years or more. Medicare does not pay for long-term care, so you may want to consider options for private insurance (emphasis added).” Fiscal Fitness is a sponsored financial column. Mike Herrington is President of Herrington Financial Services, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisor. He is a Certified Financial Planner licensee(CFP), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a Certified Estate Planner(CEP). He has been serving clients in the CSRA since 1984. Contact him at 706-8688673 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SBA has money to help small businesses By Gary Kauffman Money is available for small business loans, and the Small Business Administration has a goal of helping business owners find it. That was the message from a pair of SBA officials at the first Mayor’s Small Business Roundtable held at Augustino’s in February. Although sparsely attended, Mayor Hardie Davis said it was the first of what he hopes will be many such roundtables. “I want to see a growing Augusta, not just in population but in growing businesses,” he said. “This is an opportunity to bring the experts to you.” One of those experts was Ann Marie Mehlum, associate administrator of Capital Access for the U.S. Small Business Administration. She said the SBA’s loan programs make it easier for small businesses who need relatively small loans to find a match. One of those specific programs is a pilot program called LINC, which allows a small business to fill out a questionnaire that is then submitted to a variety of “microlenders” and other financial institutions that are looking to loan money. “It’s getting harder and harder for banks to make small loans,” Mehlum said. Susan Caldwell, area director for the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center, said part of the SBDC’s
services are to help small businesses determine what size loan they’ll need and when they’ll need it, then help them through the process. Cassius Butts, regional administrator for Region IV for the U.S. SBA, who also spoke at the roundtable, said Caldwell’s services are important for small businesses. “You don’t have to do it alone,” he told the business owners in attendance. “You can get help from the SBDC.” Mehlum said making loans more accessible, focusing on getting the loans into underserved markets and offering better oversights of the loans are three parts of the SBA’s four-point strategy. The fourth part is to strengthen international trade programs, where business growth is expected to come from in the near future. “There’s opportunity for small businesses to get on that train,” she said. “With technology the world is getting smaller and it’s easier than it used to be. Ninety-five percent of consumers live outside our country.” She encouraged the business owners in the room to start thinking of ways they could become involved in international trade. Local Resources for Businesses • SBA LINC, sba.gov/tools/linc • Small Business Development Center, 706-721-4545
Ann Marie Mehlum Speaks to a group of business owners at the first Mayor’s Roundtable while Mayor Hardie Davis and Cassius Butts look on. Photo by Gary Kauffman
• Augusta SCORE Chapter, 706-793-9998 • CSRA Business League, 706-722-0994 • Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center, 706-721-4529 • Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce,
706-821-1300 • Augusta Planning and Development Department, 706-821-1796 • Augusta Procurement Department, 706-821-2422
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Insurance David Bagwell
Audit Awareness Health care providers could be at risk for a Medicare audit If you are a health care provider and you treat Medicare patients, then you know all too well that the only thing worse than having to understand and follow Medicare’s enormous book of rules is having to worry about the ever-present threat of a potential audit. Regulatory and enforcement agencies have more focus and resources than ever before, increasing the risk that healthcare providers will become the target of an investigation or audit. This has certainly gotten the at-
tention of providers all across the country. However, some providers may not be aware that there are contractors working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) performing claims audits as part of this enforcement initiative, and a simple audit may turn into a criminal prosecution of the entity as well as individuals. The contractors conducting these audits are known as the Zone Program Integrity Contractors (ZPICs) and Recovery Audit Contractors (RAC). They are tasked with investigating fraud and abuse for all Medicare-related claims under Parts A and B (hospital, skilled nursing, home health, provider and durable medical equipment claims), Part C (Medicare Advantage health plans), Part D (prescription drug plans) and coordination of Medicare-Medicaid. What does it mean if you are selected for a ZPIC or RAC audit? When a provider is selected for an audit, it is either the subject of a fraud investigation, or the auditor is reviewing the claims information to determine if a fraud investigation should be
Business Benefits Russell Head
Into The Breach Businesses need to take action in response to Anthem breach Employers’ Response and Responsibilities in the Anthem Breach In what is being hailed as the largest data breach of a health care insurer, hackers gained access to more the 80 million internal files for health insurance giant Anthem, Inc. While the company has been praised for coming forward so quickly, details of the incident are still surfacing. What seems to be clear is that the results will be serious and widespread for individuals and health groups alike. So what’s a business owner to do? What should I do to protect myself and my employees? The breach affects all current and former members of Anthem plans dating back to 2004, including Anthem companies Amerigroup, Anthem and many Blue Cross and Blue
24 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
Shield groups. If you feel you or your employees may be affected, the first step would be to access the identity protection resources and other information provided at www.AnthemFacts.com. Anthem has pledged to contact all affected individuals primarily through mail in the coming weeks. Individuals should be suspicious of communication received any other way, especially emails or phone calls requesting credit card information or Social Security numbers, as these may be scams designed to capture personal information sometimes known as “phishing.” Individuals should remain especially vigilant for potential incidents of fraud and identity theft. Account statements should be reviewed carefully. Also, free credit reports should be monitored frequently for any unusual or fraudulent activity. As an employer, should I be concerned about HIPAA responsibilities? The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires that individuals be notified when unlawful disclosure of their protected health information (PHI) has occurred. While Anthem has said that no medical or financial information was breached, stolen data has been confirmed to include names, street addresses, birthdates, Social Security numbers, email addresses, employment information and income data, all of which do meet the definition of PHI.
opened. Auditors conduct both prepay and post-pay review of claims and can interview providers and beneficiaries in addition to reviewing records. They can also recommend payment suspensions while an investigation is ongoing. What happens after the audit is completed? Providers face one of three potential outcomes following an audit. The first and most serious potential outcome involves the auditor referring the case to law enforcement for criminal prosecution, or even civil litigation through the False Claims Act. Second, the auditor may refer the audit results to the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for collection of the overpayment demand. If an overpayment demand is made, a provider has the right to appeal the overpayment determination through the five-step Medicare appeals process. Because overpayment demands can often be in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, most providers will appeal the results regardless of having to follow what is considered to be a time-consuming process.
For the third and final potential outcome, the auditor may determine that provider education is the appropriate resolution for the audit. This result is the best outcome for a provider as it means that the provider will not be assessed an overpayment demand or other potential sanction. Is there insurance protection? Management liability policies are available to healthcare organizations to minimize the risk of exposure to rising regulatory scrutiny of purported healthcare fraud. Most medical malpractice polices don’t cover things like defense cost, fines and penalties arising from actual or alleged billings errors. As such, a management liability policy can be a valuable asset for a healthcare provider subject to a False Claims Act case. David Bagwell is Vice President of Bagwell Insurance. For more than 40 years they have been a family-owned and operated Independent Insurance Agency specializing in home, auto and business insurance. Their mission is to be the client’s trusted advisor for protection against the risks of economic loss. Contact David at email@example.com
Individuals should remain especially vigilant for potential incidents of fraud and identity theft. The most important question is who is responsible for making the required notifications? The answer to that question depends on what kind of healthcare plan you have. For fully-insured plans, the carrier is responsible for investigating the situation, making appropriate mitigating measures, and providing all of the required notices to employees, regulators and sometimes the media. However, prudent employers will want to reach out to their carrier and/or their insurance broker to stay current on the situation and the steps being taken on behalf of their employees. For self-funded plans, however, the responsibilities can fall to the plan sponsor (usually the employer), or shared, depending on how the contract documents read. For example, the third party administrator (TPA) may be responsible for assessing and responding to the breach, while the employer may be responsible for making the appropriate notifications. The employer should closely examine the service contract and business associate agreement to determine the extent of its responsibilities.
What if I don’t have an Anthem contract? Employers can check to be sure their current or former health plans are not affiliated with Anthem, including those who may have shared a provider network with Anthem. Again, your carrier or TPA, or your insurance broker should be able to confirm whether you are directly affected. If you determine that you and your employees are not directly affected by the Anthem breach, you may consider checking with your own health insurer and asking for assurances concerning how they encrypt employee data and make a record oftheir responses. For further explanation of information outlined in this article, please refer to the following resources: anthemfacts. com, hhs.gov, oci.ga.gov and www.doi. sc.gov. Russell T. Head is President/Managing Partner with Group & Benefits Consultants, Inc., Augusta’s largest, privately held, locally owned employee benefits consulting firm. He can be reached at 706-733-3459 or rthead@gandbc. com. Visit Group & Benefits Consultants at www.groupandbenefits.com.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Deeper Thinking Eddie Kennedy
You set the tone in fueling your company’s energy bus You need people on your team to have a successful business, but keeping them focused on the goal and staying positive is a challenge. Every business can use positive energy to form the team and propel them to the ultimate goal. Jon Gordon’s book, The Energy Bus, is a business fable
Deeper Thinking Gary Kauffman
Successful people help others avoid mistakes they’ve made I have a college degree, a BA in Journalism, and learned quite a bit in my four years in college. But I learned far more after that in the various courses I took in the School of Hard Knocks. After college I worked for a magazine for three
about a man who learns how to find and use positive energy to fuel his journey towards success. Here are a few of the lessons you can learn from the book. Rule #1 – “You’re the Driver of Your Bus.” You, the business owner, must decide where you want to go in business, relationships and life. Most people allow others or circumstances to make that decision for them. If you don’t like the direction you are heading, change it. Take some time to think about what you want to achieve and then write it down. Making your vision clear and heading in that direction is the first step to taking control of where you’re going. Rule #3 – “Fuel Your Ride with Positive Energy.” You must have energy to fuel your journey. Negative energy saps desire, strength and productivity. You need positive energy to overcome obstacles and challenges. You get positive energy from your faith, understanding your purpose, finding joy and happiness in what you
are doing, and being enthusiastic about doing it all again tomorrow. How you perceive the events in your life and business will determine its outcome. This real genuine positive energy will build momentum and help dispel negative energy from your business. Rule #4 – “Invite The Energy Bus People on Jon Gordon your Bus and 172 pages Share Your Vision for the Road Ahead.” Look for people who will add positive energy to what you are doing. Hire and be around people who will challenge you and push you to do better. Share your vision with them.
Make them part of the team. Rule #7 – “Enthusiasm Attracts More Passengers and Energizes Them During the Ride.” Develop a culture of positivity and enthusiasm and other quality people will want to join your company. People want to work with a winning team. You’ll find out it’s not always about the money. The Energy Bus is an easy read and is full of great advice for your business and life. If you are not fully in the driver’s seat of your bus, follow these steps and take control. You can change your direction, find your purpose and enjoy the best business life ever.
years, then did a 10-year stint as editor of a newspaper in a small town in Indiana. Then I had the bright idea of going into business for myself. I started an advertising/marketing business that I ran successfully for 17-plus years. But that success didn’t come without a lot of hard work and some hard lessons. Over the years I’ve learned quite a bit about how business works – and doesn’t work. Unfortunately, much of what I’ve learned about the negative side of business came through my own foibles and fumbles. But I also gleaned a lot of information from people just starting out in business and from those who had put in many years as their own boss. Although my expertise was advertising and marketing, I learned a lot about customer relations, business plans, strategies for growth, setting prices and profit points and bill collecting. Along the way, I discovered the importance of integrity, hard work and
simply having fun doing what you’re doing. I also learned that successful business owners never stop learning. They never think they have it all figured out and are always looking for ways to improve their product, their customer service and their employee relations. Perhaps most importantly, they are looking for ways to improve themselves. But I also recognized that those who created successful businesses shared their knowledge. Early on, I had several successful businessmen give me advice on how to improve my services. They were busy and had no reason to even spend a few minutes helping me. But they took what amounted to several hours over the course of several visits to offer me wisdom from their years in business. I saw them do the same thing for other new businesses – sometimes even with people who could become their competitors. It taught me that successful people help others. They don’t keep their
knowledge to themselves. That’s my intent with these columns and a series of blogs I’m writing for Buzz on Biz – to share the knowledge that’s been passed down to me and that I’ve learned myself. Some of it you probably already know (although I learned that for someone as hardheaded as myself it often takes hearing the same thing over and over before it sinks in), but hopefully there will be things that will help you make the best decisions for you and your business – and maybe save you from having to take quite as many courses in the School of Hard Knocks.
Eddie Kennedy is the owner of Great Deals on Furniture in Augusta and an avid reader of business books. Eddie believes every business owner should invest in themselves by reading, but if you can’t, then read his column every month to see what he learned. Have you read any great business books? Let Eddie know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gary Kauffman is Editor in Chief of Buzz on Biz and manages the content for print and web publications. He moved from Indiana to the CSRA in December 2013. Prior to moving here, he ran his own graphic design/advertising business for 17 years where he worked with many small businesses. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Email scam preys on fears, used to steal personal information
An email that looks like an important warning about child safety may actually be a scam. The email looks like a warning for parents about a child predator in the area. Here’s how the scam works: You receive an email with the subject line “Alert: There is a Child-Predator Living Near You!” The email claims to be a notification that “a registered-child-offender has just moved into your area,” and this information is based on your “local area zipcode.”
26 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
The email provides a link and instructs you to click to “learn more about this predator-alert.” If you click, you are redirected through several sites to land on the website for “Kids Live Safe,” a service that sells localized reports on sex offenders. But this spam isn’t actually affiliated with Kids Live Safe. Sending users to that website appears to be a way to lend credibility and distract from the actual scam. Clicking on the other link (the scam link) is enough to infect your machine with malware, even
if you ultimately end up at a legitimate site. Once it’s on your machine, the malware will attempt to search for stored information such as passwords and credit card numbers. How to Spot a Scam Email: • Check out the “From” field: Scammers have the ability to mask email addresses, making the message appear to come from a legitimate source. But they don’t always use it. Look out for email addresses that don’t match the brand used in the email message. • Watch for typos, strange phrasing and
bad grammar. Scammers can easily copy a brand’s logo and email format, but awkward wording and poor grammar are typically a giveaway that the message is a scam. Like in the example above, the awkward phrase “local area zipcode.” • Hover over URLs to reveal their true destination. Typically, the hyperlinked text will say one thing, but the link will point somewhere else. Scammers either set up fake websites or hack into third-party sites and use them to host malware.
Faith at Work Steve Swanson
In The World
Bringing Sunday faith to work can cause anxiety It’s my opinion that bringing your Sunday morning faith in to the workplace often causes unnecessary uneasiness and anxiety. (I’ll get back to that in a few moments.) Although I currently work in a great environment at a Christian radio station, my working life has included stints at restaurants, a flower shop, the phone company, school bus driver, several other radio stations and a few other odd jobs. Each job has provided me with blessings and challenges. My guess is that you have had similar experiences. One common theme with each of my “real world” ex-
periences is that each is as unique and different as the people who make up the place. Every work environment brings with it the personalities of each of the individuals that are part of the company. Each place we work takes on the characteristics of the people who are involved in its day-to-day operations. Something that is common in each of my workplace experiences is that I have worked with those who share my faith and those who don’t. I expect you find yourself in the same situation today as you work. It’s far too easy to look for “Five easy steps to being a model employee, share your faith, and not offend anyone.” I don’t think such a document exists. However here are five practical considerations for you as you prayerfully live out your faith at work: • Waiting until you’ve “perfected” your faith is a worthless pursuit. None of us will ever “arrive” or “have it all together.” We’re all works in progress. • We communicate far more loudly by how we conduct ourselves than by any words we might ever speak. D.L. Moody is credited with these words (a good prayer for each of us): “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”
• Spending time with God is the single most important change agent in our lives. When we are with God, our hearts are changed, as well as our perspective and responses to others change. (There is no “shortcut” for this!) Make time alone with God your highest priority. • Pray for those you work with. Those you like and get along well with as well as those who feel like sandpaper to you. You are there for a reason. They are too! Pray for them by name. Ask God to bless them. Pray that your life will clearly point to your faith. • 3 B’s – Be Excellent. Work hard
and model excellence. Be Available. Allow the Lord to use you and treat people as the treasures they are. Be open. God has an incredible way of using those who make themselves available to him. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17 (Living Bible) Steve Swanson serves as the station manager for Family Friendly 88.3 WAFJ. He’s invested 30plus years in the world of radio and was named the Christian Music Broadcasters Program Director of the Year in 2009 and 2011. He and his wife , Susie, live in North Augusta.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Businessperson of the Month Nick Prokosa, Wedges & Woods
Golf Club Guru
Nick Prokosa worked his way from picking up trash at a driving range to owning it. By Gary Kauffman For many an avid golfer, owning a driving range sounds like a dream job. For Nick Prokosa, owner of Wedges and Woods Driving Range, the appeal was in watching grass grow. While Prokosa does enjoy golf, it was agronomy and outside work that led him to become involved in the driving range while he was still at Evans High School. He started in 1997, a year after Alex and Slick McNeil opened Wedges and Woods. Alex McNeil had been a club pro in West Virginia but moved to Georgia to escape the cold and snow of winter. After being partners in a golf course, he began looking for a suitable place for a driving range. “He wanted to stay in the golf business without all the headaches,” Prokosa said. Prokosa went to college for a degree in golf course management. When the McNeils were ready to sell in 2008, Prokosa bought the property. “I started at the very bottom, picking up trash and doing all the odd jobs no one else wanted to do,” he said. “I really worked my way up the pole.” The way up the pole at first involved maintenance of the grounds and upkeep of the machinery. Then he was asked to repair some golf clubs and found he had a knack for that. Soon he began to give some golf lessons as well. “I’m very well rounded when it comes to golf,” Prokosa said. The driving range is also more well-rounded than those found at most courses. It has the typical long-distance range that includes a set of covered tee mats for those who want to practice in inclement weather. “Even when it’s raining we still have people under the shed hitting balls,” he said. Wedges and Woods also has two short driving ranges to hone a golfer’s short game. One allows golfers to practice wedge shots of five to 75 yards, while the other is for bunker shots up to 35 yards. “They’re all the shots we have trouble with on the golf course,” Prokosa said. “Amazingly, most people don’t want to work on their short game.” And for the “putt for dough” aspect of the game, there is a large, sloped, multi-level practice green that allows practice on a variety of challenging breaks. For those who might be running a bit late for their practice time, Wedges and Woods has lights that allow for practice even after dark. And, unless it’s snowing, you can go to the driving range every day of the year. Golfers may also notice a different feel to the range balls. Prokosa changes them out once a year, something many golf course driving ranges don’t do. Over the years Prokosa has built a reputation as an expert at club repair and upgrades. “I’m told that I’m the club guru or the club doctor,” he said. Prokosa is currently battling a bad back incurred in his
28 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
Nick Prokosa, owner of Wedges & Woods Driving Range. Photo by Gary Kauffman
other job as a firefighter. He joined the Richmond County Fire Department in 2007 for a stable income. “There’s nothing stable about the money in golf,” he said. However, several years ago while working as a firefighter he ruptured discs in his back that have limited his ability to do some of the heavier tasks at the range and curtailed his golf playing abilities. But he’s had the payback of some good karma, as family, friends and even military veterans he’s helped over the years have pitched in to help out. Wedges and Woods offers free clinics for veterans on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and twice a month works with the Walton Foundation for Independence, an organization that helps people with disabilities, both natural and from accidents, regain independence. What do you enjoy most about your business? I love having a good, well-groomed range. I like working outside with no walls in your way. And I love watching those guys from Walton Foundation, when you get them to hit a golf ball good, it just makes your day. Golf is something you can basically play until the day you die. You can play it with
the whole family. There’s not too many sports where you can do that. What’s the most challenging part of your business? The weather is the biggest hurt. People are creatures of habit and if the weather is constantly miserable, like the cold, rainy winter we’ve had, they don’t come out. And the last three years the road construction on Wrightsboro Road has killed me. They’ve blocked my entrance, cut my power lines. The costs on everything have doubled since I started working here, but we’ve basically gone up only $1.50-$2 per bucket of balls during that time. What have you learned about yourself running this business? About how far I can push myself. We all have our breaking points. At times I think I’m going to break but then I look at what’s going to be around the corner and just work through it. I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel somewhere. If you could play any golf course in the world, what would it be? Augusta National. Because that is probably the hardest course to get into in the world. Even if you have deep pockets there’s no guarantee you’ll get
in. But to be asked to play and then be able to play would probably be the greatest thing. What do you enjoy about attending the Masters? I go to the Masters to watch the grounds crew work. Or I try to find weeds to take pictures of. What’s your best golf story? I had a friend whose dad was a mechanic at Augusta National and I went with him to the Masters. We had our chairs set up at the 16th green. Arnold Palmer stepped across the ropes and sat down next to me and asked, “How should I play this putt?” I was 13 years old and wasn’t playing golf, so the only thing I could think to say was, “Put it in the hole.” Everybody started cracking up. So he went back, hit his putt and it just missed. He turned his head real quick to look at me and I said, “You didn’t listen to me.” He started laughing. That was the ultimate. A plaque provided by Cudos4u, Awards and Promotions, your hometown favorite for Awards and Promotional Products, (706) 7220010, will be given to Nick Prokosa on behalf of Buzz on Biz.
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Career and Education Barry Paschal
Spin the Wheel Take the chance out of job seeking with preparation The job market sometimes seems like a game of roulette. Unemployment remains uncomfortably high, especially when the number of job-seekers who have given up looking for work are factored in. Yet at the same time, many employers are practically begging for capable workers, particularly in skilled trades. There’s often an element of chance in being able to match workers to employers. Like that roulette wheel, the wheel of job prospects spins and the prospective worker hopes to land in the right spot. That’s why staffing agencies continue to grow; they’re able to guide job-seekers to meet the specific needs of employers, rather than both hoping for a favorable spin of the wheel. But what about individual job-seekers? What can they do to improve their odds of being hired? First, it starts with setting realistic goals. A worker with a degree in political science probably doesn’t have much chance of getting hired as a packaging engineer, but he or she might parley that education into a position in logistics or administrative support. A general education background – in liberal arts, for example, as opposed to a
skilled trade like welding – will require the applicant to emphasize those parts of their education and work history that are most relevant to a particular job, and sometimes to think creatively in matching their experience to a prospect. Second, the job-seeker should base his or her prospects on their relative mobility. If you’re unwilling to relocate, your job prospects will be further limited by your geography. Let’s face it: There aren’t many jobs for oceanographer assistants in Augusta, Ga., but you might have luck near Augusta, Maine. Third, prospective workers shouldn’t limit themselves only to specific openings. In a tough job market, prospects also should consider available positions that might be a step below the one you want, but in a solid organization. A
Career and Education Missie Usry
Student says immigrants have positive impact on economy Do immigrants have a positive or negative impact on our economy? One of our students at Georgia Military College thinks it is definitely positive.
Each quarter at Georgia Military College, students have the opportunity to submit an essay to our ethics essay contest, often on topics that are current to our society. James Rhaesa submitted his essay entitled, “Immigration in America: The Economic Impact.” Rhaesa starts his essay with statistical figures for immigration in the United States and offers interesting numbers such as the number of U.S. citizens in our country, the number of visas issued in 2012, and notes that there were about 41 million foreign-born people living here in 2012. Since we often see so much negative information in the news, Rhaesa chose to shed a positive light on immigrants by demonstrating how they have helped boost our economy in ways we often do not consider. For example, 65 percent of the immigrants in the United States in 2012 owned houses. This means adding stability to real estate markets and paying property taxes in the communi-
foot in the door in a position that has growth prospects might be better in the long run than a good initial match at a dead end. Of course, all these considerations need appropriate packaging. Prospective workers have to think like sales people (especially if they’re seeking a sales position), with themselves as the product. The resume is an advertisement designed to play up the strengths of the product and persuade the employer to invest in it. The application process is a cold-call whose aim is to get a face-to-face visit with hiring personnel. The interview is the opportunity to make a sales pitch, and the job-seeker should be prepared not only to promote their features best suited to the “buyer,” but to appropriately downplay flaws
that could jeopardize the “purchase.” That doesn’t mean to lie, by the way. One sure-fire way to wreck you chances at long-term employment is to bluff your way into a job; you’ll just be on the fast-track to losing it later with a smudge on your resume. As Chicago Tribune business columnist Rex Rupke wrote, referring to NBC News anchor Brian Williams after he was caught fudging the facts about his wartime news coverage: “The workplace lesson here is quite simple: Don’t lie. If you lie, there is a good chance you will get caught and once you’re branded a liar, that’s a hard reputation to shake.
ties where they live. In 2010, households headed by unauthorized migrants paid approximately $10.6 billion in state and local taxes by purchasing goods and paying for services, including social services where they do not qualify for benefits through social programs. Rhaesa continues by quoting research from the Center for American Progress Immigration Team, stating that the legalization and naturalization of undocumented immigrants would raise their incomes by approximately 15 percent over five years after granting legal status. This boost in wages also increases the amount of money they have to put back into the economy when they purchase more goods and services. Rhaesa wraps up his essay by expressing the need to reform immigration laws. He claims that reform may actually reduce federal spending over the long haul. As it stands, our country
is throwing money away by increasing border control and working to keep unauthorized immigrants out of our country. Instead, he urges, we should invest that money into methods to increase citizenship and legal residency. These folks want to live in the United States, so allow them to do so in a legal manner that requires paying income tax, allows a driver’s license and contributes in more ways that positively impact our economy.
Barry Paschal is Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA.
The Southern Association of Colleges accredits Georgia Military College and Schools, which means that all credit earned at the institution is transferable to other accredited schools. Missie Usry heads up the Admissions department and advises the Community Involvement Club at Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus. For questions about Georgia Military College, call 706.993.1123 or visit our website at www. gmcaugusta.com.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Columbia Chamber celebrates 10 years Petsch Respiratory, John Deere named businesses of the year
Petsch Respiratory and John Deere were the winners of the Business of the Year awards at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting and awards presentation Feb. 20. The Red Carpet Gala, held at the Columbia County Exhibition Center and attended by more than 700, was extra special because it marked the 10th anniversary of the chamber and it celebrated the 5-Star Accreditation the chamber received in 2014 from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Members of Petsch Respiratory Services accept the award for the Small Business of the Year.
Ambassador Award winner Keith Henderson of Wingate Hotel (right).
Petsch Respiratory was named the Small Business of the Year (less than 20 employees). Owner David Petsch is celebrating 15 years in business this year. The company was chosen for its strong commitment to their customers and the way they give back to the community. The philosophy of Petsch Respiratory Services is to provide quality home respiratory services in the patient’s home setting where the patient can relax, breathe easier and continue to enjoy life. John Deere received the Business of the Year (more than 20 employees) award. Mary Pat Tubb, Factory Director, accepted the award. Since John Deere located a factory in Grovetown in 1991, it has produced more than 1 million tractors, which have shipped all over the world. Mark Herbert of Herbert Homes received the Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served as president of both the local and state builders associations and was instrumental in the hiring of the Columbia County Building Official and the Fire Marshal as well as reconstructing the Columbia County Advisory Board. He has served Columbia County on the Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as advisor on many other boards and committees. He has also been involved in many charities. He could not attend the gala but thanked the chamber via a video. His wife, JoAnn, accepted the award on his behalf.
Other award winners were Scott Johnson, Leadership Columbia County Alumni Award; Keith Henderson, Wingate Hotels, Ambassador of the Year Award; and Samantha Stough, Costco, Volunteer of the Year Award.
2014 Chair of the Board Rick Crawford and 2015 Chair Michelle Piper.
Leadership Columbia County Alumni Award winner Scott Johnson, Columbia County Administrator (right).
Volunteer of the Year Award winner Samantha Stough of Costco (right).
30 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
Members of John Deere Commercial Products, which won the award for the Business of the Year.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Jay Waldron of Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems recently donated $25,000 to the annual fundrasing campaign of the Family Y of Greater Augusta. Accepting the check is Family Y CEO Danny McConnell. Waldron owns Jan-Pro franchises in Augusta and Columbia, S.C.
32 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Upcoming Business Events
Friday, March 20
A.M. Connection: The 2 Cents on Your 1 Cent, North Augusta High School Media Center, 2000 Knobcone Ave., North Augusta, 7:30 a.m., North Augusta Chamber members $15, non-members $25 (includes breakfast). This event will include an update on the penny sales tax increase and an update on the North Augusta High School building projects. Northaugustachamber.org
Monday, May 23 Riverwalk Toastmasters, Public Speaking and Leadership Meeting, University Hospital Education Wing, 3rd floor, classroom 3, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 24
ers in an effort to win $6,000 in funding for their idea. Aikenchamber.net
Wednesday, March 25 Webinar – Elevating the Customer Experience from Average to Extraordinary, 9-10 a.m., sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Presented by Theo Gilbert-Jamison, chief executive officer of Performance Solutions by Design. The seminar is designed to help businesses learn to consistently deliver exceptional customer service that it can start integrating immediately. For information and registration, visit gachamber. com/2015CustomerServicewebinar
Thursday, March 26 Aiken Business After Hours, Carolina Musculoskeletal Institute, 399 Silver Bluff, Aiken, 5-7 p.m., free but registration required. This is an opportunity for businesses to introduce themselves to the community, and for Chamber members to meet and network in a casual atmosphere. Aikenchamber.net
Friday, March 27 Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Small Business Development Center, Enterprise Mill Event Center, 1450 Greene St., Augusta, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m., $49. Interactive sessions taught by University of Georgia SBDC marketing experts. Participants will learn how to integrate technology and marketing into their existing marketing strategy. Registration required. Georgiasbdc.org
Ribbon Cutting – Life Leadership, 406 West Ave., North Augusta, 11 a.m. A lunch-and-learn event will follow. $8 for lunch. Northaugustachamber.org SCORE: Do You Know Your Customers and Competitors?, Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. East, Aiken, 9:15-11 a.m., aikenchamber.net
Ribbon Cutting – The Kitchen Center, 5170 Wrightsboro Road, Grovetown, 12-1 p.m, free. Columbiacountychamber.com
Queensborough National Bank & Trust Anniversary PiQnic, at participating Queensborough locations, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., free. Food, fun and prizes. Register to win prizes. https://www. qnbtrust.com/PiQnic
YEA! Investor Panel, USC Aiken Etherredge Center, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, 6-8 p.m., free but registration required. Students of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) will pitch their business ideas to an investor panel comprised of local business lead-
34 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
Ribbon Cutting – Ivey Residential, 7013 Evans Town Center Blvd., Suite 401, Evans, 12:30-1 p.m., free, Columbiacountychamber.com Technology Association of Georgia Greater Augusta Happy Hour, Technology networking social, Bonefish Grill, 2911 Washington Rd., Augusta, 4:30-6:30 p.m., free. A networking event for technologists and for those using technol-
ogy in their business. Tagonline.com
Monday, March 30 Chamber After Hours, University Primary Care Camelot, 4446 Washington Road, Suite 7, Evans, 5-7 p.m., Columbia County Chamber members only. This event is designed for members to meet and building relationships in the Columbia County business community. Columbiacountychamber.com Riverwalk Toastmasters, Public Speaking and Leadership Meeting, University Hospital Education Wing, 3rd floor, classroom 3, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 31 Networking for Leads, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, 1000 Business Blvd., Evans, 3-4 p.m., open to business owners. A structured program to cultivate meaningful business relationships, to give and receive leads. Columbiacountychamber.com
Tuesday, April 14 Ribbon Cutting – Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Beazley Realtors, 7009 Evans Town Center Blvd., Evans, 12-1 p.m., free. Columbiacountychamber.com
Wednesday, April 15 Business Academy Workshop: The Fair Labor Standards Act, Southern Wesleyan University Business Technology Center, 802 E. Martintown Rd., North Augusta, 9:30-11:30 a.m., free. Topics include exempt vs. non-exempt, contractor vs. employee, overtime vs. comp time and more. Northaugustachamber.org Ribbon Cutting – Jason’s Deli, 2907 Washington Rd., Augusta, 10 a.m., free. Augustametrochamber.com
Thursday, April 16 Aiken Young Professionals “Third Thursday,” Location TBA, 6-8 p.m., free but registration required. Fostering personal, civic and professional growth through a relaxed atmosphere of networking and sharing information. 803-641-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. aikenchamber.net
Ribbon Cutting – GRHealth Digestive Health Center, GRHealth Professional Building, 1481 Laney Walker Blvd., Augusta, 5:30 p.m., free. Augustametrochamber.com Business After Hours, Pruitt Health, 1200 Talisman Dr., North Augusta, free for North Augusta Chamber members, non-members $25. Northaugustachamber.org
Monday, April 20 Riverwalk Toastmasters Public Speaking and Leadership Meeting, University Hospital Education Wing, 3rd floor, classroom 3, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 22 SuCCessful Superwoman’s Brunch, Savannah Rapids Pavilion, Business showcase 11 a.m., lunch and program, 12 p.m., $35 for Columbia County Chamber members, $50 nonmember. Topic: “Surviving the Superwoman Syndrome: Learn how to say no so you can say yes to a happier, healthier life!” Keynote speaker: Dale Smith Thomas. Columbiacountychamber.com
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Health and Fitness Katie Silarek
Office Work Out
Simple stretches at desk can decrease back, neck pain An analysis of job industry trends over the past 50 years revealed that at least 8 in 10 American workers are desk potatoes. Neck and shoulder pain are common pals of a sedentary job. Not surprisingly, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that about 8 in 10 Americans will experience significant lower back pain at some point in their lives. If you are like most people, when faced with the decision to warm up or not, there is a good chance you skip it or don’t know the proper way to warm up. Even when you only have a short time to fit in your workout, a warm up will pay off! The best way to warm up is with dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching moves a muscle at its full range of motion. It increases flexibility, improves blood flow and decreases your risk for injury. Doing dynamic stretching is not just good for pre-workout warm ups it is also great to do thoroughout the day at work no matter the type of job you have – even more so if you are sitting at a desk working on the computer all day. Take a few minutes every few hours, maybe when you do your morning and afternoon snacks, to get your blood flowing. That
allows your body to get a natural rejuvenation. Here are a few stretches you can use before your workout and during the day at work. The Daydream Gently pull each elbow to the opposite side overhead. Just pretend you’re under a Tahitian waterfall and need to scrub your shoulder blades. The Carpet Gazer Remaining seated, extend your legs and reach toward your toes. Stare at the purplish-gray office carpet or search for lost bits of popcorn for 20 seconds. The Half Bear Hug Hug one knee at a time, pulling it toward your chest. Tell passers-by you need a mini-childhood flashback, or that “this is how you roll.” The Olympic Diver Clasp your hands in front of you and lower your head in line with your arms. Pretend you actually know how to dive correctly, and use this “proper technique” to impress your cubicle companions. The Almost-Aerobic Reach Extend each arm overhead and to the opposite side as you imagine Richard Simmons goading you toward a fabulous body. Shrugs Raise both shoulders at once up toward the ears. Drop them and repeat as you explain to your boss that you are, indeed, listening with interest. The Freedom Stretch Clasp hands behind your back, push the chest outward, and raise the chin. Count yourself lucky if you’re not looking at suspended ceiling tiles and fluorescent bulbs. The Spine Stretch Cross your legs and alternate twists
toward the back of the chair. Use the rear-facing position to comment on your neighbor’s color-coded file system with near genuine admiration. Tip: Exhale as you lean into a stretch for a greater range of motion. Neck Roll Lean your head forward and slowly roll from side to side. Picture all of the times you finished a less-thanpolished robot dance with dangling head and arm, and vow to record it next time. During your stretching be sure to take deep breaths and exhale as you’re going into the stretch. After you go
through a stretching session you should feel energized and light on your feet. Get your co-workers involved and end your lunch with dessert – stretching! Katie Silarek has been a personal trainer for four years and is the owner of Be Bella Fitness Boutique in Martinez. She became interested in fitness after struggling to get back in shape after the birth of her youngest child. Her goal is to help people develop training plans and to live healthy lifestyles. She wants to inspire men and women who don’t know where to start, what to do or are scared to fail. For more information, call her at 706-589-4113.
UGA study confirms that exercise reduces stress Exercise does more than build muscles, it also creates a mechanism in the brain to reduce stress and persevere during hard times. In a series of experiments on rats, neuroscientists at the University of Georgia have begun to unravel the link between long-term stress resilience and exercise. The study, published in the February edition of the journal Neuropharmacology, reveals that a naturally-produced chemical called galanin is a necessary piece of the puzzle. Researchers demonstrated in rats that galanin protects brain neurons from degeneration caused by stress. Galanin is produced by exercise. The experiment found that when the researchers blocked galanin when the rats exercised, they were as stressed as if they hadn’t exercised at all. Conversely, when they were given galanin, stress was reduced even in rats that didn’t exercise. The researchers believe this shows the
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importance of neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to adapt to changes. “We were able to show that stress, just a single exposure to stress, caused a decrease in synapse formation,” said Philip Holmes, the study’s principal investigator and a professor of psychology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. Holmes also chairs the Neuroscience Program of the Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute. “The hypothesis was that maybe what galanin is doing, and what exercise is doing, is maintaining neuroplasticity in the prefrontal cortex.” The prefrontal cortex is responsible for complex cognitive behavior such as planning, decision-making, emotion regulation and stress resilience. Interestingly, said Holmes, this region of the brain atrophies during depression. To measure synapse formation, Holmes’ lab counted dendritic spines on neurons in the prefrontal cortex.
If dendrites are a neuron’s branches, then these subcellular structures are the twigs on those branches. “Dendritic spines change dynamically with experience,” said Natale Sciolino, the paper’s first author. Counting dendritic spines enabled Sciolino to look at what she calls “an important anatomical basis of plasticity, or the brain’s ability to change.” When Sciolino found fewer dendritic spines on the neurons of sedentary rats than in the ones that exercised or were given shots of galanin, she knew the lab had discovered something significant. The team used mild foot shocks and a plus-shaped maze to measure anxiety-like behavior in the rats. Stressed rats that exercised or received galanin were more willing to explore the maze, a sign of resilience. Stressed sedentary rats, however, did not want to explore. In one experiment, researchers gave rats that exercised a drug to
prevent the action of galanin, and these rats stayed put as often as the sedentary group. “We found this protective effect of exercise, but we could block it with the galanin antagonist, so that was really exciting because that told us that galanin was necessary for the beneficial effects of exercise,” said Holmes. “That’s really the key experiment.” Holmes and Sciolino established a positive relationship between exercise and stress resilience in previous research at UGA. Their 2012 paper showed that exercise increases galanin levels in a key region of the brain that handles stress. The current study aimed to combine these findings into one well-defined and comprehensive model. “We know increasingly the evidence is pointing to some sort of deficit in neuroplasticity as being the most important process in stress-related disorders like depression and anxiety,” Holmes said.
Health Dr. Brad Steinle
Keeping employees healthy will increase productivity Regarding health care and the small business community, there are several issues and concerns of importance. First, a business owner must think about making a profit, then he or she must think about how to keep employees healthy by preventing on-the-job injuries. The cost of workers compensation insurance will vary according to the size of the business. In businesses with more than 50 employees, health insurance must be provided for employees, and in today’s market that can be very expensive. The best way to keep business expenses down is to put a chiropractor on your Workers Compensation Board. Chiropractic is the most cost effective care for the majority
Chiropractic care is excellent at improving the overall health of the employee of on the job injuries – especially low back injuries, which tops the list. A trip to the emergency room for sudden onset of low back pain will be an expensive and frustrating experience for the employee, who is often sent home with pain medication and inadequate follow-up care. A chiropractic visit will reveal the problem and correct it at only a fraction of the cost, without the use of medication. Not only is chiropractic care superior in treating injuries, it is also excellent at improving the overall health of the individual employee, which will increase their productivity and save on health insurance claims in the long term. Dr. Brad Steinle practices out of Advanced Chiropractic and Wellness Center, His office is located at 122 Old Evans Road, Martinez, GA. Find him online at www.chiropractic4augusta.com or contact him by phone at (706) 738-7731.
GRHealth named fit-friendly worksite The American Heart Association has recognized GRHealth as a GoldLevel Fit-Friendly Worksite for championing employee wellness. GRHealth is the only Augusta hospital to achieve this honor. Fit-Friendly Worksites reach gold and platinum levels by implementing activities and programs that encourage physical activity, nutrition and culture enhancements that foster healthy living. “As an organization focused on providing quality health care, we must be positive role models for our patients, families, staff and peers,” said Susan Norton, Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer. “Receiving this award not only enhances our ability to attract highly qualified staff in the face of shortages in health care professions, but, more importantly, it inspires all of us who work here to continue to value our own health and well-being.” Some of the healthy initiatives at GRHealth that helped earn the Fit-
Friendly designation include: Publishing and promoting campus walking routes and programs, publishing health and fitness tips through an online newsletter, maintaining a tobacco-free environment, providing “mindful eating” and other healthy food choices in the cafeteria, offering weight loss programs at work and implementing an employee wellness program that includes coaching. According to the American Heart Association, American employers are losing an estimated $226 billion a year because of health care expenses and health-related losses in productivity. Many American adults have sedentary jobs, which contributes to a lack of physical activity and an increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a host of other medical issues. The AHA aims to transform corporate cultures through the Fit-Friendly initiative and other wellness programs. The AHA recommends employee walking programs. Walking has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Recleim recycling appliances and hope
New plant fills old mill, revitalizes Graniteville A new state-of-the-art facility in Granite-
ville is recycling old appliances but in many ways it is also recycling a historic mill and the entire town. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was in Graniteville earlier in the month for the ribbon cutting for the new Recleim recycling plant located in the historic Hickman Mill. The Atlanta-based company invested more than $40 million into the project that will create 200 jobs. That is good news for a town devastated by a deadly train crash 10 years ago. On Jan. 6, 2005, in the middle of the night, a train crashed into a stopped train in the center of Graniteville. A tanker containing chlorine gas ruptured, leading to nine deaths. The crash was also deadly to the town. The chlorine gas damaged machinery at the Avondale Mills in the Hickman building, leading to the company to shut down and putting 2,000 people out of work. Recleim’s presence in the town gives hope for Graniteville’s future. Recleim recycles old appliances like computers and other electronics, household ap-
38 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
pliances and even bigger items like HVAC systems. But Douglas Huffer, Recleim general manager, said the plant does more than recycle – it “demanufactures” the appliances. He pointed out that while most recycling facilities recycle 70-75 percent of the prod-
uct, Recleim recycles in excess of 95 percent. And it converts 99.9 percent of CFCs. Haley said people often don’t think about what happens to appliances when they throw them out. She said that in just six months of operation Recleim’s recycling efforts kept 1 million pounds of waste out of
landfills. Recleim has value far beyond the immediate area, she added. “This is a good quality company,” Haley said. “While this is a big deal for Aiken County and a big deal for South Carolina, this is a big deal for our country.”
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
40 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
Publisher’s Notes Neil Gordon
Pulling The Plug
Decision to end Verge will make Buzz healthier business The Buzz on Biz brand began in 2005 and I’ve personally reported on hundreds of business closings and consolidations. We’re part of that infamous club now – Buzz on Biz, LLC, no longer publishes Verge magazine. It makes me sick because I had high hopes for its success, yet I know my business will be much healthier as a result of that 900-pound gorilla being lifted from the backs of me, our salesperson and our editor in chief. As a team, we decided to blend the best of Verge into a new “Social Buzz” section that starts right here. Why did we decide to discontinue Verge? Probably for a lot of the same reasons the litany of restaurants and retail shops and service firms fold or sell or consolidate. Competition Our team lost count of how many nutty niche publications there are in the CSRA. We think there are 25 or more. I live in a neighborhood of 900 people and we all get two different, full color glossy magazines about just our neighborhood! It matters because a lot of those advertisers could have been potential Verge advertisers. That piece of the advertising pie was getting smaller and smaller. With all of that supply and not enough demand it was difficult to get enough money for the advertising value we were providing. Rates were cut, which is never a good idea in business. Losing core focus We became a bit of a “melting pot” of stories and events without much identity. The Verge brand was not recognizable enough. Our main brand has always been Buzz on Biz, yet as a team we spent about half of our collective time trying to put together Verge and sell advertising. We missed out on a lot of opportunities to grow this newspaper, our radio show, our digital platforms, our TV segment and more. Falling in love with our product We did everything we could to save Verge, from a magnificent magazine-like re-design to spending months trying to create a companion television Verge show to replicate the success of Buzz. None of those ideas moved the needle.
So, was the last nearly three years a waste of time? Not at all, because like a lot of other business owners, I gained loyalty from staff and clients – not to mention invaluable experience on what does and doesn’t work – and so, we charge on to grow our core brand. With help from my business advisor, Larry Rudwick, we crafted a plan to put our three key people in better position to succeed. (His take on what went wrong with Verge is on page 6.) Our Editor In Chief, Gary Kauffman, is now responsible for all content across our entire platform. This frees yours truly up to attend more networking functions, work on more general business development and look for more strategic partnerships to further our core brand. This transition from Verge to a larger Buzz has given us the resources to do a better job of distributing Buzz. Our salesperson, Janine Garropy, now also organizes three independent contractors to deliver newspapers to 600 professional offices in the CSRA, while
passing out Buzz sales material and sales material from another client. We are so blessed that 100 percent of the advertisers that were in Verge only have agreed to continue in Buzz on Biz – including Dr. Ashley Wheatley from Greenbrier Veterinary Services. As we kicked around various names for the new back section, her idea of “Social Buzz” was the one that really stuck. Our new section highlights things to do when off work and where to spend our paychecks! Some of our unique Verge columnists will lend their insight and wit to the pages of Buzz. Samantha Taylor, our resident Movie Chick, will begin a series of reviews on what’s available on Netflix, an increasingly popular choice for business people as an alternative to cable television and satellite TV. Her column is on page 47. Dr. Ben Casella, a downtown Augusta optometrist, continues his views as a beer connoisseur, a kind of foodand-spirits love letter from Broad
Street to the rest of the CSRA. You’ll laugh and we promise you’ll never cry in your beer again! Turn to page 42. Margaret Centers, an Augusta travel agent, takes you away from your office and shows you a window on the world through her past experiences of visiting places all over the world. See page 50. As I have outlined above, sometimes business can be a struggle. We all need some laughter. In each issue, Nora Blithe (page 42) will leave you laughing about life. We think you’ll enjoy the new section as much as you do the rest of Buzz. After all, we work so hard at our companies so we can enjoy life after work! Neil Gordon is president of Buzz on Biz, LLC and produces a daily TV segment on News 12 This Morning, a daily radio show on WRDW 1630 AM, a daily website, a weekly email business newsletter and the monthly publication Verge in addition to Buzz on Biz, the CSRA’s only monthly business publication.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Good Spirits Ben Casella
Brews even little old ladies might find tasty alternatives Sometimes it’s fun to wear more than one hat at a time. The other day, a nice old lady was reading in our waiting room while she waited for her eye examination. I’ve been treating her glaucoma for seven years now, and we’re friends at this point. When she got into my exam room, she quietly praised the Beers Locals Like column I wrote for Verge and said that I had an eloquent writing style. She then asked if anyone was put off by the fact that his or her eye doctor was a beer critic. I chuckled and politely told her that optometrists, much like other people, are people, too. I then proceeded to tell her that Stillwater Taproom had one of the best happy hours in town (it was a Tuesday). That being said, let’s turn to a couple of brews that even little old ladies might find to be a tasty alternative to their Tom Collins or Rob Roy. Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre – I’ve waxed on about this beer in years past, but I think they have subtly changed the
Humor Nora Blithe
Writer finds that the master of her soul is a feline Roald Dahl once said, “A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” Dahl would know. He was a writer and is famous for such works as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James
42 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
batch on me. I recall the fig and caramel aromas that translate seamlessly onto the tongue. I think there’s more lacing now-a-days, though, which I appreciate and could perhaps attribute to a subtle augmentation in the yeast. Then again, I could be making all of this up, as I tend to think about craft beer with the same parts of my noggin that the beer affects. Either way, this brew is still well worth your attention. Try it alone at first and then as a complement to a prosciutto, fig and goat cheese sandwich. Dale’s Pale Ale – First of all, it’s really not pale in appearance. That’s just the craft into which this Lyons, Colo., brew from Oskar Blues fits. Secondly, it’s one of the only pale ales that I would recommend with a veggie burger, and that’s usually how I enjoy a Dale’s. The mouthful is a little thicker and bolder than your usual pale ale (whatever that may be), and the hops don’t take your taste buds for a wide left turn while taking over your entire mouth until you’re done with the meal you couldn’t even taste. Dale’s is a great beer for the late winter/early spring when we stop thinking about the possibility of ice storms and start thinking about golf. Try it with the veggie burger from Farmhaus. You’ll be glad you did. Ben Casella does sporadically practice eye care when he’s not writing about craft beer. He has yet to come up with any specific benefits of beer that pertain to the human eye (except, perhaps, for “beer goggles”).
and the Giant Peach and my mother’s favorite, Matilda. It’s a poetic statement and in large part, I agree with Mr. Dahl on all points except one. I agree that a person is a fool to become a writer. (Who would do this on purpose?) It’s hard work for little reward. I also agree that the only compensation is absolute freedom. After I filed last year’s tax returns, several IRS agents called me to offer their condolences. They assured me that I needn’t bother with the forms this year if my earnings continued to be so low. However, Mr. Dahl is wrong when he says that a writer has no master except his own soul. It is true that the soul is master, especially where writing is concerned. I often say to friends that I did not choose to be a writer. It chose me. As I must breathe so must I write. Yet there is one other master that is more demanding, more exacting than my
Author Roald Dahl obviously didn’t have a cat.
own soul. My cat. While the rest of America spends their workday in a cubicle, I spend mine under a cat. People who say cats aren’t needy have never met Seti. As I sit before my computer, he sits on my lap, or my shoulder, or my head, or
anywhere he can cram all eight pounds of his feline frame. Other people have bosses who demand reports – I have a “boss” who demands catnip. Other people have coworkers who want to chat over coffee. I have a “coworker” who chatters at the birds outside my office window. Other people have staff who try to get away with doing as little work as possible. I don’t have staff. Cats work for no one. It is plain to me that Mr. Dahl, though a brilliant and celebrated writer, never lived with a cat. If he had, he would know that like writing, cats choose us, and once chosen by one or both, you are indeed a servant for the rest of your days. Nora Blithe is an Augusta native, an entrepreneur and a syndicated humor columnist. She lives in Greenville, S.C., with her husband, Brian, and their pets. Read her syndicated humor column Life Face First in Verge, or find her online at doorinface.com.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Masters Week Events Monday, April 6
Mayor’s Masters Reception Augusta Common, Downtown Augusta Admission: $12 This annual event is held each year. Attendees are invited to sample food from local restaurants and enjoy family festivities. The program will honor those who have contributed to the game of golf. For more information, see VisitAugusta.com.
burg Boat. Bring refreshments of your choice and be delighted by the sounds of jazz duo Mike Frost and Lauren Maccia. Reservations are required. Visit AugustaCanal.com for more information. Live Music at Whole Foods 2907 Washington Road McKenna Hydrick, acoustic cover music
Tuesday, April 7
Saturday, April 11
Rock Fore! Dough Concert Lady Antebellum Pavilion at Evans Towne Center Park, Evans Admission: $30 - $35 The 11th Annual Drive for Show, Rock Fore! Dough features former Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker. This is Rucker’s second year of headlining the show, which will also feature performances from Sam Hunt, A Thousand Horses and Phillip Lee, Jr. Visit RockForeDough.com for ticket and event information.
The Whigs Sky City, Downtown Augusta The Whigs are an American garage rock band from Athens, Ga., consisting of lead singer and guitarist Parker Gispert, drummer Julian Dorio and bassist Timothy Deaux.
Thursday, April 9 The Major Rager Augusta Common, Downtown Augusta Admission: $30 - $100 Get ready for an unforgettable night with Gov’t Mule, Lettuce, The Revivalists, and an After Party with Omega Moos. Visit TheMajorRager.com for ticket and event information. Live Music at Whole Foods 2907 Washington Road Donna Jo, acoustic cover music
Friday, April 10 Augusta Canal Moonlight Music Cruise Augusta Canal Discovery Center, Downtown Augusta Admission: $25 Enjoy live music aboard a replica Peters-
Music Tuesday, April 7 - Sunday, April 12 Jazz Masters Jessye Norman School of the Arts, Downtown Augusta Garden City Jazz and the Jessye Norman School of the Arts combine creative forces to present Jazz Masters, a pop-up jazz club. Two shows nightly. For reservations, visit Visit GardenCityJazz. com.
Exhibitions American Dreams: Paintings by John Mellencamp Morris Museum of Art, Downtown Augusta April 7 - 12 This exhibition features 50 oil and mixedmedia paintings, some of which have never been seen by the public, by legendary rock-and-roll star John Mellencamp. Mellencamp’s work seems to mirror certain aspects of the contemporary South and its past. Visit TheMorris.org for more information.
Player to speak at annual Prayer Breakfast A familiar name will headline the annual Masters Week Prayer Breakfast. Wayne Player, son of Masters legend Gary Player, will be the featured speaker at the 21st annual prayer breakfast on April 7 sponsored by the Greater Augusta Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
44 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
Player and his father were the first father-son duo to play in the same U.S. and British Opens. Inspired by his father’s impromptu motivational speeches, Player turned to motivational speaking. He continues to be linked with golf through co-hosting a show on the Golf Channel. The Masters Week Prayer Breakfast is held at Warren Baptist Church and is attended by about 1,000 people each year. The breakfast is free. For more information, visit greateraugustafca.org.
Mayor’s Masters Reception honors caddie The Mayors’ Masters Reception is back, this year honoring a long-time caddie. This year’s event will be held on April 6 in the Augusta Common. The annual event was canceled last year when organizers couldn’t find a player to agree to headline it. This year, Augusta native and longtime Ben Crenshaw caddie Carl Jackson will be the featured guest. Mayor Hardie Davis said this year’s event will be hosted by himself and past mayors. The entertainment for the event will have a country flavor with country rapper Colt Ford as the headliner. Joshua Scott Jones of Steel Magnolia
In Celebration of Golf: Landscapes by Linda Hartough Morris Museum of Art, Downtown Augusta April 7 - 12 Perhaps golf’s leading artist, Linda Hartough, graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1970. She made a living as a professional artist in Chicago until 1980, when she moved to South Carolina. She painted landscapes, portraits, and horses until 1984, when Augusta National Golf Club commissioned her to paint the famed 13th hole, which began her career as a golf landscape artist. Her work has since gained international fame. The only artist ever commissioned by the United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews to do the annual, official paintings and prints for the U.S. Open and British Open Championships, she has painted golf courses from Scotland to China. Her paintings are in the collections of the Augusta National, Pine Valley, and Laurel Valley golf clubs and in many private collections. Visit TheMorris.org for more information. Celebrating a Grand Tradition, the Sport of Golf Augusta Museum of History, Downtown Augusta April 5-12 Explore the history of golf and its legacy in Augusta. Exhibit includes two galleries, totaling more than 2,000 square feet. Visit augustamuseum.org Jeff Tilden Art Exhibition Sacred Heart Cultural Center, Downtown Augusta Known for his mastery of horticulture and gardening, Jeff Tilden has begun painting scenes that he wants to see. He seeks inspiration always, and hopes people feel good when in his places and looking at his work. Exhibit through April 30. Visit SacredHeartAugusta.org.
and Katie Deal, daughter of Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, will also perform. About 40 local restaurants will feature free samples during the evening. Tickets for the event are $10 and are available at Eventbrite.
Trolley Tours Historic Trolley Tours of Augusta Augusta Visitor Center, Downtown Augusta Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., Thursday at 10:30 a.m., and Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Admission: $15 Board the Lady Liberty trolley and explore Augusta’s Historic Downtown. You will see historic homes, hear about the bones in the basement of the Medical College of Georgia, see where a U.S. president lived as a boy, get a glimpse of the Augusta Canal and hear the legend of the famous Haunted Pillar. Price includes admission to the Augusta Museum of History, where you can explore Augusta’s journey through time. Advance reservations are required. For reservations, call the Augusta Visitor Center at 706-724-4067 Augusta Golf Heritage Trolley Tours Augusta Visitor Center, Downtown Augusta Mondays at 10:30 a.m. Admission: $21.50 Participate in an amazing sightseeing journey and discover grand hotels, golf courses and other historical sites that played key roles in Augusta’s transformation into the golf capital of the world. For reservations, call SouthStar Trolley at 706-432-8883. Augusta Black History Trolley Tours Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, Downtown Augusta Fridays at 10 a.m. Admission: $15 The Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History Trolley Tour is a one-hour experience that takes patrons to over 25 significant historic sites related to Augusta’s Black history. Price includes admission and tour at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History. For reservations, visit LucyCraftLaneyMuseum.com.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Rock n’ Roll Buzz Jonathan Karow
Big Business Blues
Large corporations buying up smaller instrument companies When I attended the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Winter trade show in January 2008, I immediately noticed musical instrument manufacturers laying off or firing numerous representatives. Sadly, many were longtime loyal supporters to the musical instrument and sound technology companies. A trend was apparent of larger companies buying up smaller companies. Some brand’s products were reengineered and labeled under much larger brand names who now own their patents and designs. Hundreds of those smaller companies now cease to exist while others who still had historic value in their names and products were either purchased outright or came to agreements with industry leaders to market and distribute their products. One of the larger companies was Fender Musical Instrument Corp., which in 2007 bought Kaman Music Corporation. Kaman owned Ovation Guitars, Hamer Guitars, Genz-Benz amplifiers, Gibraltar Drum Hardware, LP Latin Percussion and many others, and were exclusive distributor for Sabian cymbals and Takamine guitars. Since then Fender has also picked up famous brands such as Guild Guitars, Jackson and Charvel Guitars, SWR
Bass Amplifiers and Gretsch Guitars (Gretsch Drums were previously being distributed by Kaman). Fender also has special agreements to manufacture and distribute EVH guitars and amplifiers by Van Halen guitarist and lifelong product designer Eddie Van Halen. Fender has been the longtime leader in the Music Industry with their popular guitars, such as the first massproduced quality electric guitar the Telecaster, and the Stratocaster, Precision and Jazz bass, plus numerous guitar and bass amps which have been popular since 1946. These are still the industry standard with today’s popular musicians. Fender isn’t the only company to follow the trend of consolidated distribution. JAM Industries/US Music, the owners of one of the oldest stringed instrument brands, Washburn (established 1883 in Chicago), have also been distributing famous brands such as Marshall Amps, Warwick Basses, Jay Turser and Randall Amps. (Don Randall was formerly a Fender amp designer. Later Randall was the CEO of Fender for a few years. ) ESP-LTD and Takamine, who originally built guitars for Martin & Co. ,have merged for American distribution. ESP-LTD has been noted as the fastest growing guitar company for the past eight years. HHI Hanser Holdings/Davitt and Hanser is now distributing B.C. Rich Bernie Carlos Rico guitars, established 1969, Spector Basses and others. B.C. Rich reintroduced updated versions of their popular acoustic guitars at 2015 NAMM which haven’t been available since the 1980s.
A 1950’s Fender Telecaster and Twin Amplifier. Photo contributed
The oldest brand known to man is Zildjian Cymbals, established in Constantinople almost 400 years ago. (Zildjian is the Turkish family name for “Cymbal Smith,” like other family names like Cook, Shoemaker, and Baker.) Zildjian moved their manufacturing to the United States decades ago and have since purchased Vic Firth Drum Stick Company. A couple of members of the Zildjian family moved to Canada to form Sabian Cymbals, using the same family secret bronze alloy. The name Sabian is said to stand for the first two initials of the grandchildren of Armand Zildjian, Sam, Bill and Andy. Sabian announced that they will now distribute their cymbals directly from Canada. With a new Fender CEO on throne at 2015 NAMM, Fender announced that they are now selling off most of their “specialty sales” brands. Drum Workshop purchased all of the Fender/
Kaman percussion brands including Gretsch Drums, KAT Electronics, LP, Toca, Gibraltar Hardware and, in a surprising move, Ovation Guitars. Yes, DW Drums is now a guitar company too. A few independent companies still stand strong. Breedlove Guitars is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Breedlove was established by luthiers Larry Breedlove and Steve Henderson as cofounders of Taylor Guitars. Alvarez Guitars is celebrating its 50th anniversary and are standing strong as one of St. Louis Music Companies’ leading brands. Jonathan Karow is the owner/founder of Rock Bottom Music in Augusta and an active musician. He has handled artist relations and concert promotions for internationally recognized musicians for more than two decades. He is also a consultant and product development designer for famous brand instrument manufacturers.
Americans spending most time on smart phones Americans are now spending an average of 4.7 hours a day on their smart phones – more than their counterparts in at least 11 countries around the world – according to a new monthly report from Informate Mobile Intelligence that tracks and measures consumer use of smartphones in 12 countries. “Smartphones are becoming the primary screen for consumers here in the U.S. and around the world,”said Informate CEO Will Hodgman. “But, surprisingly, none of the traditional digital measurement firms have taken this unequivocal dynamic seriously outside of the U.S. and a few international countries. This is not a U.S. and developed country dynamic. It is a global sea change. That’s a powerful new dimension that we bring to the table.” The International Smartphone Mobility Report provides marketers, telecoms, OEMs and developers with an unparalleled look at how consumers are using their smartphones in growing global markets including the U.S., India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philip-
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pines, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Thailand, Turkey and Qatar. Top Findings Overall Engagement: The report reveals that Americans are spending the most time
per day on their smartphones at 4.7 hours. At the other end of the spectrum, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico are spending the least amount of time, coming in at under two hours each.
Data Consumption: The report also reveals the U.S. as having the highest average rate of monthly data consumption at 20 gigabytes. Indonesia’s average consumption measured the lowest at three gigabytes per month. The report also found that Indonesia had the highest share of cellular data traffic at 59 percent (and lowest WiFi at 41 percent) and that Mexico and Brazil had the lowest cellular data traffic at 5 percent (95 percent WiFi). Apps Usage: Google properties represented at least six of the top 10 apps accessed across all markets. Facebook properties including FB Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram accounted for the rest. In regard to entertainment apps, video and media player genres had a higher reach as compared to radio and TV. Video apps usage was highest in Mexico. Music usage was highest in India. Radio and TV apps were most popular in the U.S. Data for the report was collected during December 2014 with the majority of panelists using Android devices.
Screening Room Samantha Taylor
Multi-tasking movie reviewer finds joy in watching Netflix Can I just say that Netflix is my new favorite thing? Yes, I realize it’s been around for a while, but I’m just now buying into it. It all boils down to one thing: I was able to watch a variety of shows while I cooked dinner. In case you didn’t know, I’m all about efficiency. I may have been scared of Netflix before, but I have to admit it’s quick and easy to use. Plus, watching while I cook dinner or clean my room is right up my alley. The following are a few of the things I watched that I would recommend. Now the only question is, what do I watch
next? ESPN Film’s 30 for 30 ESPN’s documentary series 30 for 30 is probably the best show on television right now. From Cuban refugees who came to the U.S to play baseball, to NC State’s 1983 championship basketball team and their coach’s subsequent battle with cancer, to the figure skating scandal of 1994, each episode takes an in-depth look at the lives of people who make the sports industry go round. Sometimes a bit harsh, but always sincere, this series has something to offer everyone. A few highlights: Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks was the first episode I watched. First off, let me just say that I don’t really care for basketball. Sure, I like to watch my son play, but you won’t catch me watching an NBA game willingly. Nevertheless, I was completely engrossed in the bitter rivalry that was Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers against Spike Lee and his beloved New York Knicks. It was funny and quick paced, and I was genuinely entertained. Youngstown Boys was my next 30 for 30 choice, and I found myself growing angrier by the moment as I learned
BOA offers free entry to The Morris Bank of America and Merrill Lynch credit and debit cardholders can now use their cards to get into the Morris Museum of Art – for free. The Morris has joined the Bank of America Museums on Us program that gives the cardholders one free general admission to the museum during the first full weekend of each month. About 150 other art, cultural and educational institutions in the United States also participate in the program. In addition, Bank of America is under-
writing free admission for all visitors every Sunday at The Morris. “We are delighted to join Bank of America in this exciting program to reach a large, diverse population. We welcome them to see and participate in all the riches the Morris has to offer,” said Morris Museum director Kevin Grogan. For a complete listing of Museums on Us participating museums and other program information, visit bankofamerica. com/museums.
Popular films made in Georgia Georgia-filmed productions are well represented in the digital space with 35 movies and TV shows now available on Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” service. We’ve compiled a list of all of them for your viewing pleasure. Once you’ve binge-watched this whole list, check out Georgia-filmed productions that are now showing or coming soon to a theater near you! • 96 Minutes • Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues • Archer • Being Mary Jane • Christmas Cupid • Coma • Double Divas • Drop Dead Diva • Flight • Footloose • Good Eats • Killing Season • Lawless
• Let the Church Say Amen • Mean Girls 2 • Necessary Roughness • Plus One • Property Brothers • Quarantine 2: Terminal • Raising Izzie • Revolution • Ring Of Fire • Royal Pains • Sabotage • Small Town Security • The Collection • The Following • The Game • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire • The Originals • The Sacrament • The Walking Dead • The Watsons Go To Birmingham • Vampire Diaries • Witches of East End
about one of the most tragic stories in college football. It is the story of Maurice Clarett, a kid from the streets of Youngstown, Ohio, and Jim Tressel, the coach he thought could save him. Done wrong by Ohio State University, Clarett was suspended from college football a year after helping the team to a national championship and wound up serving time in prison after becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. While every episode of 30 for 30 is sports-related, you don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy the show. The stories are captivating and you’re likely to find yourself binge watching. If you’re looking for a way to spend a rainy day, consider throwing 30 for 30 into your repertoire. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt What does one do after being held hostage underground for 15 years? Move to New York of course! This Netflix original series is a comedy about a woman named Kimmy Schmidt, who only recently has been rescued from the underground bunker she and three other women lived in. After a trip to New York to appear
on a morning news show, Kimmy decides to put down her roots in the Big Apple. She sets off, with only a dream and a backpack full of money, and soon finds a job working as a nanny for an eccentric and ridiculously wealthy family. She also finds herself living with a gay man who dreams of playing in The Lion King on Broadway. She reads the Babysitters Club book series and wears light-up Skechers, but Kimmy’s naivete is charming, and she ultimately just wants to help people. The show is light-hearted and tries to be fun, but sometimes it felt like I was grasping at laughs, instead of finding it genuinely funny. While Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt made me smile as I watched the first three episodes, I’m not certain I will watch it again. The jokes are cute, but predictable. Perhaps it will improve with time, as do most things, but you just never can tell, can you? Samantha Taylor “Sam the Movie Chick” is on a mission to find the best movies and TV shows for you to stream from Netflix. She loves good flicks, good food and good friends. Her eclectic tastes are sure to give readers a wide range of viewing choices.
Sitcom star Warburton will be speaker at Salvation Army event Sitcom star Patrick Warburton will be in Augusta on May 13 as the guest speaker at The Salvation Army’s annual Doing the Most Good event. Warburton first gained fame as the on-again, off-again boyfriend of Elaine on Seinfeld, then starred in Rules of Engagement and the short-lived superhero comedy
series The Tick. His voice is also wellknown in animated shows like Family Guy, Hercules and The Emperor’s New Groove. He currently is seen as the “control enthusiast” in National Car Rental commercials. The “Doing The Most Good” Annual Event will take place on May 13 at The Salvation Army Kroc Center in the theater. Seating is limited to event sponsors and table hosts. Sponsors will also be invited to a special VIP Reception with Warburton. For more information, or to learn about corporate sponsorship opportunities, contact Della Epps at 706-434-3182 or John Sebby at 706-434-3177.
GreenJackets offer ticket packages The Augusta GreenJackets have announced ticket packages that will allow businesses to send employees and customers to the team’s home opener on April 16. The GreenJackets face the Rome Braves that night. Ticket packages range from $500 to $100 and include various benefits such as coupons to The Hive Pro Shop, a prize pack, the chance to throw the opening pitch at a future game, box seats to a future game and entry in to prize drawings. The first 3,500 fans to the game will also receive a magnet
schedule. The GreenJackets full promotional schedule will be released to the public at a future date. For more information or to reserve your Opening Night package contact Derek Herron at dherron@greenjacketsbaseball. com or (706) 922-WINS (9467). All GreenJackets Ticket Packages, including Full, Half, and Weekend Packages are on sale now for the 2015 Season. For more information, including pricing and benefits on all plans, visit GreenJacketsBaseball.com.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Sports and Leisure Glenn Campbell
24 Years for No. 24
Racing legend Jeff Gordon to call it quits after 2015 season It was a cool day at Atlanta Motorspeedway back in 1992 when I attended my first race as a NASCAR reporter. I was there to cover the last race for NASCAR’s “King,” Richard Petty, and the first race for a highly talented rookie named Jeff Gordon. A lot has happened since that day and the young rookie has become a four-time champion as well as being the face of NASCAR. His accomplishments on and off the track have propelled the sport into mainstream media. Gordon is just as comfortable in front of a camera as he is in his race car.
48 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
Hendrick Motorsport Teammate Jimmie Johnson was one of the drivers that benefited from Gordon’s success and knows firsthand what he has meant to the sport. “You look at when Jeff and Dale Earnhardt and their competitive nature in our sport, kind of falling into mainstream media at that point,” said Johnson recently. “We needed a cleancut, wellspoken person to kind of carry the sport. Jeff was that guy. His dominance helped our sport.” In February, Gordon announced that 2015 would be his last season behind the wheel. However, he made it clear that this was not going to be a farewell tour but a final Championship drive. “I know that I have a team that believes that they can build great race cars,” said Gordon of his final season aspirations. “I know there are going to be distractions but I want to minimize them so that I can give my team a chance at a championship.” Just as he came on the scene in 1992 with tons of high expectations, he leaves at the end of 2015 with even higher ones. However, don’t expect his competitors to cut him any slack. “It’s kind of like a divorce,” said Clint Bowyer, who had a few run-ins with Gordon over the years. “You may
appreciate them from time to time but at the end of the day you don’t like them anymore.” So far in 2015, Gordon has had very fast race cars and even sat on the front row at Daytona. However, luck has not favored him in racing action. In fact, Gordon has been involved in two wrecks over the first two events of the season and finds himself in 36th position in the point standings. Of course, it only takes a win and a top 20 position in the point standings to qualify for the Championship Chase. Both of those marks are well within Gordon’s capabilities. As the Cup Series moves toward Gordon’s old stomping grounds on the West Coast during the month of March, Gordon’s No. 24 team is hoping a little home cooking is what their driver needs to get back on track. One thing that they can count on is that Gordon does not know the meaning of the phrase “give up.” He will be up on the wheel giving it 110 percent effort all the way to Homestead. Glenn Campbell is a syndicated columnist and radio and TV show host. For more information, visit www.victorylaneonfox.com.
Run honoring artist to benefit Walton Foundation
Engler was artist, fitness trainer
A local artist and fitness trainer will be memorialized with a 5K run in April. Kathleen Girdler Engler died last summer but her legacy of art and fitness will live on in the 1st Annual 5K Run with Art scheduled for April 18 in downtown Augusta, sponsored by the Walton Foundation for Independence. Engler was a longtime supporter of the foundation’s popular Undercover Artists Show fundraiser and also hosted her own Run With Art camps for hundreds of local children. The run will be held the Saturday following the Undercover Artists Show. Engler’s large-scale sculptures are displayed throughout the Augusta area, including at the entrance of HealthSouth/ Walton Rehabilitation Hospital at the cor-
ner of 13th Street and Walton Way. The 5K Run With Art is open to all ages and abilities to run, walk or roll in the 5K event or a 1-mile fun run. The event benefits Walton Foundation’s camps for children and young adults with physical disabilities, including Camp To Be Independent, one of the nation’s only summer camps for children and young adults living with a traumatic brain injury; and Walton Winter Weekend, a weekend camp for children with physical disabilities and their families, which debuted this month. Funds raised from the 5K will go toward ensuring that as many children and families as possible can attend these camps at no cost.
One of the well-known sculptures by Kathleen Engler at 13th Street and Walton Way.
Walton Foundation for Independence is presenting a new adaptive community event that will showcase the wide variety of adaptive sports, leisure activities and services available for people living with a disability in the CSRA. “Life in Motion” is on Saturday, March 22, from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Georgia Regents University Christenberry Fieldhouse, 3109 Wrightsboro Rd. The free event brings
together local resources on adaptive sports/ leisure opportunities, assistive technology, returning to work, behavioral health, accessible housing and more, and is designed for survivors of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, adults and children with developmental delays, amputees living with prosthetics, veterans with disabilities and anyone else living with a disability. The Champions Made From Adversity
Bulldogs wheelchair basketball team and the Family Y of Greater Augusta’s Miracle League will also present demonstrations, and attendees themselves will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of adaptive sports on the gym floor. Along with the Walton Foundation for Independence, community partners who will provide information on local activities and resources include Walton Options for Independent
Walton Foundation to showcase adaptive sports
Living, the Champions Made From Adversity, Family Y of Greater Augusta, the RECing Crew and others. Anyone interested in being a vendor at this event should contact Sarah McPherson, Adaptive Sports and Leisure Coordinator, Walton Foundation for Independence, 706-434-0150 or emailsarahm@ waltonfoundation.net.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Real Estate Santalee Jernigan
Local realtors help take the confusion out of relocation Moving to a new city is a disorienting experience at best, and a relocation expert can reduce your confusion, get your feet on the ground, and help you move ahead quickly and confidently. Relocation departments are trained to be an advocate in all aspects of your move. By definition, relocation is a process regulated by state and federal law, by which a public agency assists displaced households by finding comparable replacement housing in a new location. The top three relocation challenges are controlling relocation costs, finding housing and complying with laws and regulations. How do local real estate companies aid in relocation? A real estate company is retained by third-party com-
Travel Margaret Centers
East To Eden
Bermuda offers beautiful, less busy vacation destination Most travelers think of heading south on an island vacation. If you stay with that “conventional wisdom,” you’ll miss out on a much-less-traveled island destination and it’s a quick flight from Atlanta or Charlotte – Bermuda. Bermuda consists of around 180 islands and islets, lying just 640 miles off the coast of the United States in the Atlantic Ocean, almost due east of Augusta. Its many coastlines are characterized by small bays with beaches of fine pale pink coral sand and surrounding vivid bluegreen waters. Inland is an abundance of subtropical
50 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
panies to facilitate employee moves in several different branches of business. We assist in the sale and purchase of homes for the client and typically work with a third-party referring company in order to sell the acquired homes. When you’re moving away to a completely new area, a relocation specialist can help cut your stress and anxiety immeasurably. There’s much more to a big move than packing your belongings and filing a change of address form with the post office. What are the Benefits of Using a Relocation Agent? Sifting through numerous property details, along with factoring in time to view properties, is an exhausting process. Add to these difficulties with travelling, often from overseas, can equate poor time management and overall anxiety. Relocation agents help remove stress for the client by finding the property that best suits their requirements. Relocation agents view all suitable properties on the clients’ behalf, only accompanying clients to those properties that match their brief. Ultimately, this saves the client both time and money, and is the most efficient use of their time. Just a few of the skills an experienced relocation specialist can provide include: • Relocation appraisals and their use
• Local cost of living and housing • Recommendations and evaluations of reputable moving companies • In-depth knowledge of area communities and what new residents should know • Connections with local organizations to help relocating homeowners join the community • Essential advice on basic tax and legal implications of corporate relocation Who is Cartus? Cartus is the third-party company who facilitates a large majority of the moves that we at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate assist in. Cartus provides trusted guidance to organizations of all types and sizes that require global relocation solutions. Serving more than half of the Fortune 500 and providing service to more than 185 countries, Cartus has 60 years of experience helping corporate, government, and affinity clients with their mobility, outsourcing, consulting and language and intercultural training needs. Cartus provides a broad array of services to assist those clients and their employees in developing their global workforces and managing the mobility process – from selling a home and shipping household goods to settling into new communities around the world. For global assignments,
Cartus provides not only logistical support for expatriates, but also specialized expertise in cross-cultural and language training and in policy development and talent management. What role does a relocation director play? A relocation director is the person responsible for connecting all relevant parties in a client’s move. Some people move into our area because of job relocation, retirement purposes or military transfers (or PCS). It is the director’s responsibility to ensure that the referring coordinator, client and realtor are all on the same page and communicating efficiently. As the Relocation Director for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Executive Partners, my job is to make sure clients find a place to reside, make sure they understand the area, shopping, schools and church locations based on their needs and desires. The bottom line is that it is my job to ensure the transfer occurs as smoothly as possible. Relocation has a lot of moving parts. It’s our job to keep them moving as one.
plants and flowers, interspersed with quaint pastel cottages. Bermuda was first discovered in 1505. It was claimed in England’s name in 1609. After colonization, the island prospered and has continued to do so almost continuously ever since. In 1968, the island was granted internal self-government while the UK retained control of defense and foreign policy. The issue of independence continues to crop up. A referendum on independence was last held in 1995 but a low turnout produced a majority against independence. The tower of the Neo-Gothic Anglican Cathedral presides over Hamilton, the main city in Bermuda. You can ascend to the highest point in the city for a splendid view, on a clear day, of the entire length of the archipelago. It is near-mandatory for every visitor to sample a Swizzle, Bermuda’s signature cocktail. A good place to try this blend of rums infused with fruit (plus juice and bitters) is the Pickled Onion at 53 Front – a lively first-floor restaurant-bar with a balcony view of the harbor. Reach Dockyard by ferry – in summer, there is a direct link from St. George’s, otherwise return to Hamilton.
The massive naval complex has been converted into shops and restaurants, aimed squarely at the cruise business, but the highest, furthest point contains the beautiful Commissioner’s House. The verandas command panoramic views, while the interior is
home to the National Museum of Bermuda.
Santalee Jernigan is Relocation Director for Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate | Executive Partners, providing guidance to new residents moving to the CSRA. For assistance with your move, contact her at (706) 364-1583 or email@example.com.
Margaret Centers is the owner of Margaret’s Travel, www.margaret’stravel.com. She worked for Morris Travel for nearly 20 years and formed her own agency in 2010. For questions or bookings call 706-396-3769.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Home Care Kathy Crist
Addressing underlying need key for Alzheimer’s patients Will he wander away again? How aggressive will she be today? One of the most challenging aspects of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is adjusting to the troubling and sometimes abrupt changes in personality and behavior. Pinpointing the emotions behind the Alzheimer’s behavior and then addressing the loved one’s underlying need is the key. Because those with Alzheimer’s struggle to clearly understand words, they respond more readily to tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. A reassuring touch, a smile and eye contact communicate gentleness and compassion, which ease agitated responses. These are
52 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015
tips we at Right at Home have found helpful in caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s: 1. Eating and Drinking As Alzheimer’s progresses, mealtime routines may need to be adapted to the person’s changing needs. Dementia can limit the sense of smell and taste and the recognition of favorite foods. Continue with the person’s familiar mealtimes and place (e.g., recliner for snacks, family table for meals). Give them plenty of time to finish the meal. Rushing increases anxiety. Keep an eye on chewing and swallowing and, if necessary, advise when to chew and swallow. Serve small, bite-sized foods that are easy to pick up and chew. Boost fluid intake by offering small cups of water or other liquids throughout the day or foods with high water content, such as soups, fruits and smoothies. Test the temperature of foods and beverages before serving. Limit the distractions of television and even bright, patterned tablecloths, placemats and dishes. 2. Bathing and Hygiene Because hygiene care and bathing are private activities, allowing others to assist with bodily cleaning can feel threatening to Alzheimer’s patients. Bathing
Because those with Alzheimer’s struggle to clearly understand words, they respond more readily to tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. works best when caregivers help the loved one feel relaxed and in control. Set a routine time for bathing. If the person is used to a morning shower, stick with that time of day. Use an adjustable-height shower chair or tub bench. For added safety, use a hand-held showerhead, nonslip bath mat and grab bars. Select a comfortable water temperature. Check the water throughout the bath time. Sponge baths are a helpful alternative between showers or baths. A full bath or shower two to three times weekly is a healthy guideline for most people. 3. Rummaging and Hiding Things A loved one with Alzheimer’s may rummage through closets, drawers, cabinets, the refrigerator and other storage places and/or squirrel away random objects from food to medications. Remove access to harmful items,
such as cleaning products, sharp knives, firearms and power tools. Create a specific place – a basket, tote bag or chest of drawers – where the person with Alzheimer’s can freely sort through a set of safe, tactile items including socks, stuffed toys or hats. Ensure mail is safely delivered out of reach of the Alzheimer’s patient, who may toss, lose or hide mail. Consider a post office box or mailbox outside a locked yard gate. Be sure you are getting the in-home care support and respite breaks you need. Flexibility and patience, plus selfcare, go a long way in the loving, safe care of those with Alzheimer’s. Kathy Crist co-owns Right at Home of the CSRA. a leading provider of in-home care and assistance, supports family caregivers and is dedicated to improving the life of the elderly and disabled. Call 803-278-0250 or visit www.csra.rightathome.net.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
Business Lunch Review Beamies at the River Alexandrea Daitch
Rolling on the River Beamie’s at the River gives an out-of-city experience
Did you ever have a dining experience where you didn’t feel like you are in Augusta? Beamie’s at the River recently had that effect on me. I am not sure whether it was because it was raining outside or because I was eating great seafood; but for that hour I didn’t feel like I was in the city I grew up in. Beamie’s recently got a facelift with new ownership and according to my colleagues “took on a new light.” They updated the paint, food and atmosphere. This being my first time at Beamie’s I was an unbiased customer walking in. I immediately got the vibe of this restaurant as being an upscale seafood shack. The service was prompt and our waitress was incredibly attentive. I personally like when servers are “silent but there,” meaning our conversation was never interrupted by the refilling of drinks or by the exchanging of plates. When we received our drinks the first thing all three of us noticed were the straws. They were thicker and bigger than the typical flimsy straws restaurants have. I couldn’t get over them. This just goes to show that even the small-
Healthy Eating Melissa Brown
Start with a plan, stock up and make healthy choices Many of us are interested in eating healthy, but are unsure where to start. We stroll the aisles of the grocery store with big eyes and good intentions, but end up making hasty choices to satisfy our growling stomachs.
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est update in convenience makes a huge difference in the customer’s experience. I can not tell you how many times my straw has cracked or bent; with the straws at Beamie’s one doesn’t have to worry about that. I was interested in trying the gumbo and immediately the waitress informed me that it had a deadly kick. I was still debating it, when she offered to bring me a sample to try. I was incredibly impressed by her offer. When she brought out this little cup of gumbo, I said to my colleagues, “No way can this be that hot!” After taking one bite that deadly kick she warned about kicked in. It kicked me right to my glass of water. If you like spicy, and I mean spicy, get the gumbo! I decided to go a different route with my food choice considering I didn’t want to spend the meal gulping down water. I chose the oyster and shrimp basket. They can come fried or grilled. I ordered the shrimp fried and the oysters grilled, with their homemade potato chips. The meal was great, the shrimp had a nice balance of batter on them and the oysters, although small, were seasoned
and cooked well. The homemade chips were definitely my favorite part of the meal. If you venture to Beamie’s, order the chips. One colleague, who is not a huge seafood fan, ordered the Beamie’s Banging Chicken sandwich. According to him it was proportioned well and had great flavor. My other colleague, a seafood eater, ordered the fried catfish and fried shrimp. He devoured his basket and was content with the catfish, saying “it
was breaded well and had a lot of great flavor.” He ended up even finishing my shrimp because they were so big I couldn’t eat them all. The atmosphere at Beamie’s is conducive to a business lunch gathering. When we arrived we noticed at least six different tables having business meetings and lunches. Located on Reynolds and James Brown by the Riverwalk, Beamie’s is a great little seafood getaway for downtown business folk.
Sound familiar? Allow me to recommend some excellent tips to avoid poor dinner decisions. I recommend making a game plan for the week. Create a list and ask yourself a few questions. What do you want to cook? Can ingredients be used for multiple meals? How much time do you have for cooking? Answer these questions and plan accordingly. Prepare for success Start with fresh vegetables. Shop and then wash, chop and store fresh veggies once or twice a week to minimize cooking time on other days. When in doubt, freeze those veggies for later meal building. Bean there, done that Once a week, you should prepare a big batch of beans and lentils for simple healthy meal options. Slow Saves Time Do you have a slow cooker? A slow cooker always simplifies the meal-making process. It allows you to prepare healthy delicious meals while you’re at
work or even while you’re sleeping. Make Grains Galore Cooking with whole grains is an essential piece of eating a diet based in whole foods. They’re also quite simple to cook! Did you know that you can cook extra whole grains and store portions in your freezer for up to a month? This is great for when you are in a pinch and need a healthy meal in a hurry. Pull out the stored grains and you are ready to cook! Transform Leftovers Make your leftovers into tomorrow’s lunch! Take your cooked ingredients and make them part of a whole grain wrap or burrito. Give chili new life by adding it to a baked potato. No Prep Necessary To avoid prep work, shop the frozen aisle for greens, grains, vegetables and fruits. That way when you go to make your meal your ingredients are ready to go. Stock up on Shortcut Staples Buy in bulk! Stock up on shortcut
staples, such as whole wheat pasta and cans or cartons of no-salt-added lentils, beans, vegetable broth and tomatoes. You will always be ready for quick meals like Whole Wheat Pasta with Tomatoes and Veggies. Get “Fast” Food and Feel Great About It! If you need a break from cooking but still need healthy options, Whole Foods Market has your best healthy eating interests in mind. Look for the Health Starts Here logo at our salad bar, hot bar, self-serve cases and full-serve cases — you’ll be sure to find convenient options. Prepare for success and commit to change…positive results will follow. You can do it! Melissa Brown is Marketing Team Leader for Whole Foods Market in Augusta. She has more than five years of marketing experience in Augusta and the surrounding areas. If you can’t find her in the store you will find her out and about spreading the word about Whole Foods.
March 19-April 15, 2015 Buzz on Biz
56 Buzz on Biz March 19-April 15, 2015