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Giving back to the community Businesses thrive in many ways when they give back

Metro FCU sets an example of how to give

By Gary Kauffman Fred Daitch of International Uniform has always advocated for doing business locally, and for giving back to the community. But there was a certain business in Augusta that with which he’d never worked. However, as he attended various charity events he was affiliated with, he discovered that the business was almost always present in subtle ways. Impressed with that company’s continued low-key display of generosity, he switched some of his business to that company. “I think businesses want to do business with other businesses who think like they do,” Daitch said. “I, as a business owner, look to do business with other businesses who are charitable.” Many companies in the CSRA are generous in their giving, and few do it with the expectation of a return. Jay Waldron, Jan-Pro franchiser for Augusta and Columbia, said giving is part of the natural progression of owning a business. “You go through stages in business, and you get to a stage where you realize it’s more than about just making money,” he said. Businesses have different reasons for giving and different types of places to which they give. Jan-Pro, for example, donates $25,000 annually to The Family Y because of the opportunities

By Gary Kauffman The list of community fundraising and activities Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union is involved in is so extensive that you might think fundraising is their main job and handling financial assets is only a sideline. “We truly enjoy giving back to the community,” Paula Kitchens, vice president of Augusta Metro FCU, said. “That’s all across the organization, managers and employees.” Included on that extensive list is the Children’s Miracle Network, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, the American Heart Association, Toys for Tots and the United Way. But to Augusta Metro FCU , giving means more than just writing a check in a corporate office. Employees do things like work the phones at Children’s Hospital of Georgia during the Children’s Miracle Network telethon; participate in the Relay for Life walk; bake items to be sold at fundraising bake sales; and use their talents to create other fundraising items, like Hershey’s Kisses roses,

See GIVING BACK, page 6

See METRO FCU, page 6

Christ Community one of many relying on community help By Millie Huff When Augusta businessman Clay Boardman purchased the Widows Home and donated it to Christ Community in 2007, it was with the stipulation that it be renovated to become a medical facility to serve the low-income population. Without the continued support of the local business community, the faith-based non-profit organization would not be able to fill the gap in healthcare for the uninsured and lowincome. “The founding physicians of Christ Community had the vision to share the love of Christ by providing affordable, quality primary health and dental care to the underserved in our community,” said Ron Skenes, Director of Development for Christ Community. “Since we began providing services in 2007, we have grown from almost 3,800 patient visits per year to more than 20,000 patient visits per year in 2014.”

The Ann Boardman Widows Home opened in 2011, becoming the second clinic for Christ Community Health Services. The first floor of the building was renovated and now provides 12 exam rooms and an on-site laboratory. The front of the building originally faced Greene Street but has been reoriented to face Telfair Street, where a spacious parking lot was added. A staff of 13 provides family and internal medicine, pediatrics and dental care on a sliding fee based on household income and size, as low as $25 per visit. They also care for patients with Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. Since 1818, the Widows Home on Greene Street has been a place for those in need to seek service and care. Originally built as a medical facility, it was an appropriate home for Christ Community Health Center to expand its services from its first location on D’Antignac Street. The historic site has a long history of car-

ing for the underserved of our community, being the birthplace of both University Hospital and GRHealth Center. The original building opened in 1818 as the City Hospital, which later became University Hospital and moved to its current location. At City Hospital, Georgia’s first school of medicine opened its doors as the Medical Academy of Georgia in 1829, later to be renamed the Medical College of Georgia and moved to another building at the corner of 6th and Telfair Streets. The current Widows Home structure was completed in 1887 and provided 42 rooms to shelter “needy women” and did so until 2003. “Christ Community fills an important gap in the medical community,” Skenes said. “Uninsured and underinsured patients who would ordinarily either do without healthcare or seek care in emergency rooms have an affordable, accessible alternative. We strive to develop long-term relationships

One of the exam rooms at Christ Community Health Services.

with our patients and become their primary source of healthcare for the entire family.” Local hospitals recognize that Christ See CHRIST COMMUNITY, page 2

CHRIST COMMUNITY continued from page 2 Community plays an important role in providing healthcare in our area by relieving pressure on emergency rooms. Their collaborative relationship is reinforced by the ongoing financial support of University Hospital and other healthcare providers. “We are in the final stages of completing a $1.5 million Capital Campaign, of which we have $175,000 more to raise,” said Skenes. “University Hospital made a lead gift to help ensure we can meet our goal of expanding our services. Once the capital funds are raised, the second and third floors of the Widows Home will be renovated. The second floor will become a physical therapy clinic, operated by PT interns from GRHealth, a patient education center for health presentations and classes, and office space for the medical staff. The third floor will become an 8-chair dental clinic where the current staff dentist will be supplemented by dental students and residents from the GRU College of Dental Medicine. Of the $4 million annual budget of Christ Community, only 40 percent comes from patient revenue. The other 60 percent comes from corporate, foundation and community donations. “We couldn’t offer the healthcare that we do without the generous support of the business community,” said Skenes. “Large businesses can afford to provide health insurance for their employees. But many smaller businesses are unable to do so. Most part-time employees do not have access to group health insurance, regardless of the size of their employer. “The businesses that support us recognize that we are here to help keep their employees healthy. Our services help reduce the cost of healthcare for everyone. That’s an

2 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

To make a donation to Christ Community Health Services, call Skenes at 706-396-1462. To learn more about the organization or to make an appointment, visit impact that benefits us all.” Patients come from a 16-county area of Georgia and South Carolina, but the majority of the patients are from nearby low-income areas of Augusta. Sixty-three percent of Christ Community’s patients fall below the Federal Poverty Level. For the physicians who work for Christ Community, serving the impoverished community is a ministry they are passionate about. Husband and wife family physicians, Jeremy and Karissa Wilson, joined the team at Christ Community right after they completed their residency. Jeremy works full-time while Karissa works part-time, allowing her time at home with their two small children. “We felt a calling from God to be a part of this ministry and are fortunate to be able to share our faith with our patients,” said Karissa Wilson, MD. “We regularly pray with our patients, which seems to give them quite a bit of comfort and encouragement.” For the thousands of patients that depend on Christ Community for their health care, a successful completion to the capital campaign will mean a wider range of services and a greater capacity to serve those in need. “Our biggest challenge is being able to accommodate new patients,” Skenes said. “We receive about 100 calls per week for new patient appointments but can only take about 20 per week. Continued support from the community means that we will be able to accept more patients and offer a wider variety of services. We are working to make our community healthier, one patient at a time.”

Publisher’s Notes Neil Gordon

Business Blessings

Businesses, organizations in area know blessings of giving If you read our cover story, it’s clear why some area businesses are successful. By virtue of them helping others get what they need, their business gets blessed. This holiday-themed issue is about the art of giving back. It’s one reason why we didn’t just focus on the businesses giving, but also on the charities on the receiving end.

Jeff Hadden, our Businessperson of the Month, understands that. For decades Jeff opted not to advertise his business and instead spent his dollars printing materials for non-profits for free! Read about his $7 million business and loyal employees on page 20. Chances are Jeff has done some printing related to the three non-profits we highlight in this issue. Please also read our features on Christ Community Health, Operation Christmas Child on Page 56 of our Holiday Section, and Mercy Ministries on page 58 of that section. Our holiday section begins on Page 55 and features advertorials on two great food brands in the CSRA – HoneyBaked Ham and The Pot Smoker BBQ. These stories are not only appropriate for the holiday food value, but also for the amazing growth of these businesses. If you’re like me, you’ll need to work off the pounds of the season, and that is where Fleet Feet comes in with their

running gear and running programs. See their advertorial on page 61 of the holiday section. You’ll need good running shoes by the time Bethany Roley gets hold of you. She’s one of four new columnists this month. This fitness coach is helping us battle our bulge this season with some helpful hints. Her column is on page 70. This season also highlights a social problem that can bleed into the workplace – addiction. Terry Childers is a community relations coordinator for Bradford Health and begins a series of articles to help us identify when our co-worker or employee needs help. His column is on page 34. Carolyn Ramp is a counselor who joins us to talk about some of the onthe-job issues many businesses face. In her initial column on page 36, she shares ways to manage different personalities in the workplace. Jame Geathers, a human resources expert, joins us as a columnist to address various employer-employee is-

sues. Her first column on page 32 is a timely one. She looks at the health benefit enrollment deadline from the employer’s standpoint. We also have our popular column on opening, expanding and closing businesses on pages 22 and 23. Plus read about Unisys’ new gig in downtown Augusta on page 24 and an Army veteran’s new brewery on page 40. Lastly, congratulations to two of our favorite columnists, business broker Kim Romaner and beer connisseur Ben Casella, who were both selected to give one of the many talks at TEDx Augusta on Jan. 29, 2016, at the Imperial Theatre. Look for the story on the event on page 10. Happy Holidays! 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 and a weekly email business newsletter in addition to Buzz on Biz, the CSRA’s only monthly business publication.

Features First in 55 years.............. 14 Women on the Way........ 28 Local banker Dan Blanton will become first chair of national banking association from Georgia since 1961.

New organization mentors young professional women.

Whole Foods downsizes.. 4 Corporation faces increased competition, Augusta store deals with same situations.

Angel investors................ 8 Growing network of investors has capital to invest in small businesses.

Businessperson of the Month: Jeff Hadden...... 20 Hadden has made a lifetime investment in family’s Phoenix Printing business.

TEDx speakers named..... 8

Business Openings...22-23

Asian and Hispanic consumers will be driving the markets in the future.

Unisys move in............... 24

Buzz Bits....................12,13

Unisys moves into former Fort Discovery building.

Culinary Genius............ 50 North Augusta restaurateur wins title from US Foods in national contest.

Riverwatch Brewery...... 40 Despite tragic setback, army veteran is making her dream come true.

Beautification project... 48 A businessman’s vision has led to some of Augusta’s entry corridors taking on a much better look.

Business Events............ 54 Holidays are here..... 55-64

Several businesses and charitable organizations are talking about their holiday plans.

Social Buzz............... 65-71

Columnists Kim Romaner: What the SBA won’t tell you about selling your business.............................8 Mark Alison: Your logo is just the tip of your brand iceberg................................................... 10 Gary Kauffman: Sometimes good business is taking advantage of good luck............... 14 Charles Kelly: Good work, not contracts, keep customers loyal............................................ 16 Mike Herrington: Buy-sell agreements fix value of your estate for taxes........................... 16 Jeb Blount: Rejection happens. Here are ways to bounce back............................................ 18 Eddie Kennedy: Tips on how to make your business outstanding...................................... 18 Steve Swanson: Perfection isn’t necessary to be a good boss............................................... 26 Barry Paschal: Non-profits make better use of donations than politicians....................... 26 Kelsey Morrow: Protect yourself from what others say on the internet............................. 27 Jeff Asselin: Help your website thrive with a little TLC.............................................................. 30 Christine Hall: Employers need to be aware of changes in health care, insurance........ 30

Russell Head: Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act starts.............................................. 32 Jame Geathers: Knowledge helps protect your small business............................................ 32 Terry Childers: Substance abuse creates problems for employers....................................... 34 Carolyn Ramp: Turning many personalities into one unit is a challenge........................... 36 Missie Usry: Ethics becomes an important part of college experience.............................. 42 Susan O’Keefe: RSVP Cafe keeps people coming back............................................................. 50 Ben Casella: Brews to fill your holiday pack of craft beers....................................................... 66 Samantha Taylor: Netflix originals contain some oddities...................................................... 66 Jonathan Karow: Creative minds develop electric versions of instruments..................... 68 Nora Blithe: Planning for the holidays can create a sticky situation.................................... 68 Bethany Roley: Tips to keep off unwanted holiday pounds................................................... 70

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Local, National Whole Foods downsize

Report: Augusta store struggles but changes being made Barely a year after opening, the Whole Foods store in Augusta may be having a harder time than anticipated. Whole Foods as an entire corporation has announced sluggish sales and plans to cut 1,500 workers. The problems seem to be magnified at the Augusta store. Someone with inside knowledge about Whole Foods Augusta told Buzz on Biz that sales at the store, located in the Washington Crossing Shopping Center, are less than half of what had been budgeted. Prices were reduced on 1,200 items but that has not yet made a difference in the bottom line. Even before the corporation-wide downsizing was announced, the Augusta store had been eliminating jobs. When the store opened in September 2014, 180 people were hired to work there. Now there are only about a third that number of employees. Attempts to reach someone for comments at the Whole Foods corporate headquarters were unsuccessful. However, Buzz on Biz also has learned that a few months ago Whole Foods brought in a new store manager who is a 20-year veteran with the company. Whole Foods also recently made a major advertising investment with Beasley Broadcasting and has been involved in community events, such as giving away 20 pairs of tickets for the recent Guitar Pull concert. The sluggish sales and downsizing are new to Whole Foods, which has grown rapidly through much of its history as the country’s first certified organic grocer. For the past 15 years, sales at its established stores have grown by an average of 8 percent per year. So far this year, though, those sales are only at 1.3 percent growth.

Whole Foods has had a reputation for high prices, which it has been reducing during the past two years, but they have apparently not added much in new sales. Whole Foods is also experiencing intensified competition from other specialty grocers, such as Sprouts Farmers Market, and from large retailers like Krogers stocking more organic fruits and vegetables. Local farmers markets, such as those in Augusta, have also taken small bites out of the business. Several people implied in comments on the Buzz on Biz story on the website,, that Whole Foods Augusta may be too close to Fresh Market, which offers similar items just a mile away on Washington Road. “With Fresh Market right up the street, I agree that an Evans location might’ve been a better choice,” one commenter said. “It is a big store, with several things that we were really not interested in. There is more competition nationwide now, with the expansion of the Sprouts chain. We will pay them another visit this week.” Another commenter added, “It’s on the wrong side of the tracks…or interstate. Have not been and frankly would never stop by on my way to Fresh Market.” Whole Foods has more than 400 stores throughout the nation, but the Augusta store is one of its largest. Some speculate that the store would have performed better had it been smaller and located in Evans. Some patrons have complained that parking is inadequate for the store, especially with the number of other stores located in the same shopping area. One commenter on the website did not like the divisiveness of suggesting the store

The extensive salad bar is one of the things Whole Foods Augusta is known for.

be located in Evans. “Everything does not have to be in Evans to succeed,” she said. “Evans is smaller than Augusta. The location is fine. It is close enough for patrons from Evans, Augusta and Martinez. Many did complain about the prices being too high, but the lack of success does not have anything to do with its location. Parking is very tight there and the spacing is inadequate.” Despite the sluggish performance so far this year, Whole Foods plans to open new stores named after its 365 brand of items,

called 365 by Whole Foods. It is designed to have lower prices and to attract younger shoppers. Whole Foods, headquartered in Austin, Texas, began in 1980 and went public in 1992. It has frequently been listed as one of the best companies to work for. Whole Foods bought the former Georgia State Floral Distributors store, as well as several adjacent stores, in the Washington Crossing Shopping Center in 2013. After a year of construction it opened September 23, 2014.

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

Senior Writer Elisabeth Curry

Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830

Writers Millie Huff, Kelsey Morrow, Amanda King

Sales Manager Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727 Sales Janine Garropy/803-480-2800 Design Gary Kauffman Photography Gary Kauffman, Melissa Gordon

Calendar Coordinator Kelsey Morrow Distribution Janine Garropy, Ken Brown, Anne Marie Patterson, David McGarry Submit Information

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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4 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz



continued from page 1 it gives children. Daitch at International Uniform likes to give to the smaller charities that often struggle. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) champions the United Way, this year raising $1.2 million. The Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union

gives to many groups, chief among them the Children’s Miracle Network and the American Cancer Society. Businesses have different approaches to giving as well. Some give money while others give in-kind support through free services. Some involve employees throughout

As part of their fundraising efforts for the Relay for Life, employees of Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union set up a car that people could hit with a sledgehammer for a fee, to “smash cancer.” Photo contributed


continued from page 1 handpainted Easter eggs and coffee mugs. “We have a lot of employee involvement in time and talent,” Kitchens said. Employees also have a big say in what charities to be involved with. Children’s Miracle Network is traditionally sponsored by credit unions, and continues to be a big part of Augusta Metro, but Kitchens said this year employees decided to emphasize the Relay for Life. “It’s hard to meet someone who hasn’t been touched by cancer in some way, through family and friends,” Kitchens said. Augusta Metro’s involvement in the United Way began when Kitchens moved from Savannah and brought the idea with her. Another employee did the same with the American Heart Association. “All the employees have different things that touch them,” she said. They are also active in developing creative ways to raise funds. “The employees never cease to amaze me at what they can come up with,” Kitchens said. The employees are also self-starters when it comes to giving.

6 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

“This is a very active group,” Kitchens said. “It’s not limited to one person leading the charge. It’s a lot of people across the organization.” That spirit of generosity spills over into the members who do business with Augusta Metro. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without our members,” Kitchens said. “A lot of our fundraising efforts like raffles and bake sales involve them. The members have been very generous.” All that effort led to some statewide recognition a few months ago, when Augusta Metro was given the Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Service Award by the Georgia Credit Union Affiliates. “The recognition means something to the employees,” Kitchens said. “They’re doing things in the community and people are seeing that.” But Kitchens said that while recognition is good, it isn’t what motivates Augusta Metro and its employees to give. “There are no good words to describe how important it is to us to do everything we can in the community where there is need,” she said. “It’s good for the company but it’s also good for the community.”

the process while others give as a corporation. All give because of a personal satisfaction that fulfills a desire to help others. Beyond personal satisfaction, though, studies have found that giving also is a sound business decision because of the peripheral benefit. When a company gives back to the community, it inspires employee morale, increases consumer respect, opens networking and marketing opportunities, and makes a better community in which to live and work. Employee morale: When a company is generous in giving, employees feel good about the place where they work. It helps them see the job as more than just a paycheck. This is especially important to the Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 2000). When employees are involved in the giving, both of money and time, it also creates a better work atmosphere. At a large company like Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, working together on a fundraising project can help employees get to know each other in a way the job wouldn’t allow. “It gives people a chance to meet one another,” said Teresa Eddy, senior scientist and campaign chair of the United Way campaign. “It allows you to have fun with coworkers.” Studies have found that co-workers who know each other on a more personal basis and have common goals, such as fundraising, also perform better on the job. It leads to better teamwork and more productivity. “We have little sub teams (for fundraising),” Eddy said. “It seems to bring everyone together.” Giving also builds company loyalty. “We don’t have much employee turnover and I think it’s because we create that culture (of giving),” Jan-Pro’s Waldron said. Consumer respect: People naturally develop a respect for companies who use their money to invest in the community, and they are drawn to those businesses. “I’ve never had anyone say, ‘We’re doing business with you because of your charity work,’” but we’ve got a better chance,” Daitch said. “I have people come up to me all the time and thank me for what we do.” Paula Kitchens, vice president of Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union, said giving back not only garners community respect but community involvement as well. “Many of our fundraising efforts like raffles and bake sales involve our members,” she said. “The members have been very generous.” Even for those companies without a product to sell find that giving raises their standing in the community. “It shows how we at the Savannah River Site want to be good neighbors,” Eddy said. Networking and marketing: Giving to a charity puts a business in an association with other like-minded businesses. Not only are they attending the same events, they are often asked to sit on the same boards, lead-

“(Giving) is great for our company but it’s also great for our community. Our employees truly enjoy giving back to the community.” ing to networking opportunities that would be tough to come by in other situations. Giving also continues to put a company’s name out in the public. Waldron said the publicity Jan-Pro receives from donating $25,000 to the Family Y each year is invaluable. “It’s the best advertising we can get,” he said. “I probably couldn’t spend $25,000 to get that kind of advertising.” He said it has helped sell accounts because people know that a portion of what they spend on cleaning goes back to the community. Making a better community: Most business owners and employees live in the same community where they work, so it makes sense that they want to improve that. “(Giving) is great for our company but it’s also great for our community,” Kitchens said. “Our employees truly enjoy giving back to the community.” Eddy said giving to the United Way helps increase that impact, since the United Way helps fund so many community organizations. While the majority of the SRNS’ fundraising goes to the Aiken County United Way, because some of the 5,000 employees live in other areas, a portion of the funding goes to eight other county United Ways. That gives the SRNS an impact in a wide range of communities. Waldron takes the long view of the benefits of Jan-Pro’s giving to the community. “In the end, we all live here,” he said. “Hopefully, our grandkids will live here and their grandkids will live here. It all starts with us.” Tax deductions: In a lot of cases, giving to non-profits is tax deductible but only one person mentioned tax deductions, and then only to say how unimportant they are. “A tax deduction is the last reason I would ever give,” Daitch said. “We give 10 times more than we can legally deduct anyway. My CPA complains that we give too much of our profit.” The main reason: There are a lot of sound business reasons to give generously. But for most businesspeople and their employees in the CSRA, giving comes down to a feeling of responsibility to help others in need. And it feels good, too. “Those of us who can, it’s important that we provide these opportunities to make a better community,” Daitch said. “I get great satisfaction from helping others.”

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Leverage Kim Romaner

Hidden Knowledge

What the SBA won’t tell you about selling your business Just to be clear, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a fantastic supporter of small business owners and those desiring to become small business owners, and we appreciate this government involvement in supporting small business in the USA. However, given that they are a government agency, there are some things they can tell you, and some they can’t. As an example, here’s a link to the SBA’s advice for selling your business ( getting-out). What you will find at this link is fantastic information. But it’s incomplete. Here’s what it doesn’t tell

you: • How to maximize your exit price. • How to best protect yourself if you offer seller financing. • When to plan your business exit strategy. • How to minimize capital gains tax. • How to create competition between buyers for your business. • How to market your business for sale to qualified buyers. • How to qualify potential buyers for your business. • How to calculate a market-based estimate of value for your business. • How to develop a plan to get from where your business is now to the value at which you want to exit. • How to accelerate the sale of your business. You also won’t find advice on how to select the best buyer for your business. Is it a search fund? A private equity group? A business that’s seeking “roll up” or “bolt on” acquisitions in your industry? A competitor that’s looking to grow? And if it’s a competitor, how will you protect your confidentiality? How will you make sure that your employees won’t be stolen out from under you, or that your vendors won’t spread the word about your business sale? How will you prevent customers from hearing about what’s going on, and make a decision to

Angels among us

You can assemble a team that will stand ready to help you successfully navigate the waters of business value go elsewhere with their business? In business brokerage, our goal is to protect you and your business on all of these fronts. In a small community like the CSRA, this is not a small task. That’s why we ask for your approval in all of the steps of our marketing process. You can approve our marketing copy, our confidential business review, even the photos we use to promote your business for sale. And if you want to create competition for your business, I would recommend that you partner with a business brokerage firm that co-brokers. Which means that – just as in real estate sales – every listing broker is willing to share his or her commission 50/50 with a broker representing a buyer for your business. This is not a given in business brokerage! Make sure you ask the question of your broker before you choose. Lastly, understand that your business broker is not a licensed CPA or attorney. We can give you information based on our experience, but we can’t replace your trusted advisors. If you’d

like to explore adding new trusted advisors to your team, we’re more than happy to make recommendations to trustworthy and talented advisors with whom we’re partnered. You don’t have to be a business owner or seller all alone. You can assemble a team that will stand ready to help you successfully navigate the waters of business value improvement as well as selling strategy. As a serial entrepreneur, I wish someone had given me that advice in my first business. Protect yourself. Have lots of conversations. You will be richer as a result. 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

Private investors help businesses grow

By Gary Kauffman At this time of year it’s not unusual to hear songs about angels. But for many businesses, the pursuit of angels goes on yearround. “Angels” are private investors who are willing to stake some of their personal cash in a startup business with the hope of getting a nice return on investment when the company becomes profitable. Think Shark Tank, the popular TV show during which representatives of small companies pitch their ideas to several potential investors. Charlie Banks, managing director of the South Carolina Angel Network (SCAN), spoke at the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce Power Lunch on Nov. 10 about the supply and demand of angel groups. SCAN currently has eight angel groups, including the local Central Savannah River Angels, with more than 250 investors, and that number is growing. SCAN is the eighth-largest angel network in the country. “What we do is way more tough than on Shark Tank but a lot less dramatic,” Banks said. Banks said the development of angel groups and SCAN itself stemmed from a desire of people to invest in growing businesses.

8 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

“There was a tremendous amount of people with resources to do it and a desire to do it, but didn’t have an avenue to do it,” he said. There are federal guidelines governing who can be an angel investor – an individual must have a net worth of at least $1 million, not counting their residence, or have an annual income of $200,000 or more, or $300,000 when combined with a spouse. Banks said that being an angel is profitdriven, although many also have more altruistic motives of helping businesses succeed. “We’re not an economic development group, we’re in it to make money,” Banks said. “For the investor, it’s a way to make money but have fun doing it and doing it for some good for the state.” Because the goal is to make money, angels usually look for certain types of business startups that have the ability to scale production and profit quickly to maximize the return on investment. Those are often businesses in the technology or medical sectors. Usually they are companies who have already begun business and are generating revenue but haven’t become profitable yet.

Angels are important to businesses because it gives them access to the capital they need to grow, plus provides them with insight and guidance from investors. Usually they are companies that banks consider too risky. “Banks don’t invest in entrepreneurs because they’re risky,” Banks said. “Banks have to get repaid. Investors don’t have to get repaid.” The typical angel investment in a business ranges from $250,000 to $1 million. SCAN uses the investment opportunities to grow more interest in investing in South Carolina companies. If a company needs a $1 million investment, for example, half of that would be funded through existing angel groups and the rest would be solicited from others to promote a growing network of investors. Investing as an angel requires a lot of due diligence, which is what SCAN does best. It performs the background work of screening businesses seeking investors and through several intense meetings whittles down the choices to one or two businesses that will make their pitch, a la Shark Tank, to one of the investment groups. “It’s extremely invasive, but the investors

need to know everything about a company,” Banks said. Once the pitch is made, it is up to the individuals within the angel group to decide to invest or not. No angel is required to make an investment. After angels invest, SCAN takes a board seat on the company, or obtains informational rights. “We get extremely involved,” Banks said. “We know our companies very well.” Banks admitted that being an angel investor is a risky proposition. “There’s a really good chance you’ll lose your money,” he said. He noted that about half of the investment deals fail, while the other half, on average, net a return of about 27 percent. “The key to doing it effectively is to invest in a lot of companies,” he said. “We say, ‘Spray and pray.’” He recommended that angels invest about 5 percent of their money in 10 to 12 companies. For more information about SCAN, contact Banks at charlie@scangelsnetwork. com, or for information about the Central Savannah River Angels, contact Peter Buckley at

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Marketing Mark Alison

Tip of the Iceberg

Your logo is important but is just a part of your brand Logo vs. brand – what’s the difference? If you are asking this question you are in good company. Not everyone knows the difference. Even people in the business get it confused. We find that there are graphic designers, web development companies and others that claim to do branding but they really mean logo design. Then there are clients who talk about their logo when they are really reflecting on their brand. So what is the difference? Here’s the answer, using two points of view; the consumer and the company. First, brand, for the consumer – Think of a company you do business with, any company, but preferably one with which you are familiar. What is your gut feeling about them? How would you summarize them to a friend? When you put those feelings into words, you have articulated their brand, as it relates to you. Let’s assume you chose Apple Corp. They do a good job of brand management. The expectation you have when you think about Apple products is the essence of the brand. While brand perception is always from the consumer’s point of view, it must be managed based on the company’s goals. OK, same question but this time the brand is BMW? They also provide a nicely articulated impression about their brand. In fact BMW goes so far as to make what we refer to as a brand promise – “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” More than just a slogan, it drives (pun intended)

their marketing. This is part of their brand messaging and they don’t stray from this central theme in any of their communications. What about the logo? First off, the logo is not the brand. In fact consumers may not be familiar with a company’s logo but still be attracted to a brand of products. For example, you may like Cheerios but you don’t look for the General Mills logo when purchasing. It also works the other way around. You see a logo that looks cool aesthetically but other than that, it has no real attraction. That’s because you are not familiar with what the logo represents. In other words, you are not familiar with the brand, meaning you have no gut feeling for the product or company. Brand and logo, for the company – Your brand is the sum total of what your customers think about the company. It is their impression, experience, knowledge and perceptions all taken together. As a result, it is an ever-evolving entity meaning change can be driven by outside forces. A good example of that is the recent VW emissions scandal. VW is doing all it can to restore the brand luster, and they will, but while they manage the public brand perception, they are not likely to change the company logo. That’s because the logo is simply one of the elements of the brand. It is what is called a “shortcut” to the brand expectation. Here’s an example. When we are thirsty for a Coke, we desire the taste that our array of brand expectations have come to anticipate. The logo is the visual shortcut we take to find the drink or machine that dispenses our expectation. We say we want a Coke but we don’t drink the logo. Because a logo is more tangible, it is quickly identified as a place to start when a company wants to rebrand or

change. That may be premature. The change needs to happen first at the brand level – remember, “brand” is the customer perception, gut feeling and expectation. That change at the brand level can then contribute to the design of the logo, i.e., the tangible expression. Unfortunately logos are often designed before the brand presence has matured, meaning the logo comes first and the strategy follows so brand strategy is erroneously created around the logo. This leads to a disconnect between the two and confusion for the customer. The brand and logo have to go hand in hand so the creative mind that designs the logo is inspired by the clarity and explanation of the brand that has been created to support it. Here’s a visual – if the brand is an iceberg, the logo is the tip of the iceberg, the part people see above the waterline. Taking the time to work on the support before you expose the tip requires discipline and sometimes that is best managed by an experienced,

outside source that is not “married” to the company. It’s not unusual for a company to “freshen up” the brand or do a rebranding. They are either responding to current consumer attitudes or remaking themselves to more successfully tap into the markets they want to serve. Yes, it can be painful at first but it has a big upside when done well, motivating customers, employees and sales. When the brand and the logo are in harmony, it resonates throughout the company’s communication tools, be they advertising, PR, internet or something as simple as a business card. And when that happens, every dollar spent becomes an investment in growing the business. Mark Alison is President of The Alison Group (started in 1982) with offices in Augusta and Charlotte. TAG s a B2B Marketing and Communication Company with a rich history of creating new business growth. Contact Mark at mark@

TEDx names speakers for January event TEDxAugusta 2016 recently announced the 14 speakers who will be taking the stage at the third TEDxAugusta event on Jan. 29, 2016. All talks will center around this year’s theme, Autonomy. The 14 speakers and their talks are:  • Mark Baggett (Evans):  Cybersecurity measures everyone can and should do. • Ben Casella (Augusta): Human vision as a consummation of art and science. • Elizabeth Chandler (Augusta):  The power of choice in our daily lives. • Ed Elser (Augusta):  How automation offers more rewards and autonomy. • Bill Karp (Augusta): The importance of integrative living and thinking through art

10 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

and science. • Nathan Klose (Huntsville, Ala.): Wrangling the kid back into our adult lives. • Daryl Rolle (Augusta):  Cultural gatekeepers can work for progress while keeping traditions safe. • Jay Samit (Los Angeles): Self-disruption leads to discovering our true potential. • Kim Romaner (Augusta):  Advocating for communities to take control of their technological destiny. • Phiffer Reed (Columbus, Ga.):  Acknowledging our weaknesses to give ourselves permission to be free. • Christopher Schroeder (Washington, D.C.): Access to technology is changing societies around the globe.

• Christopher Shelley (Augusta): Being a father and role model in a tough neighborhood. • Tricia Steele (Rome, Ga.):  Exploring child development and quantum physics. • Don Weber (Evans):  Autonomy empowered through self-awareness of our unconscious bias and triggers Presented at the historic Imperial Theatre, the day-long event also features an innovation gallery and creative breaks with music from Stink Bamboo (Aiken, S.C.) and spoken word poetry from Nathan Ivey (Graniteville, S.C.). David Walker, photographer, graphic designer, essayist, and TEDxTelfair alumnus, will be the master of ceremony. Lunch is included, provided

by local food trucks. Official ticket sales have also begun, with general admission at $85; VIP (with reserved seating) at $100; VIP patron (including inprogram mention) at $250; and student/ senior/military tickets at $65. Group tickets are also available. To order, visit tedxaugusta. com.  This year’s TEDxAugusta sponsors are: Georgia Bank and Trust, GPB, Meybohm Realtors, Be Still Displays, Augusta Magazine, Augusta Locally Grown, WRDW, CONima, MailChimp, Trustees of the Old Richmond Academy and Email Industries.  For information on becoming a sponsor, contact Grace Belangia at

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


NA Chamber president named to state board

Terra Carroll, president of the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, has been named to the 2016 Board of Directors of the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (CACCE). The 12 members of the board of directors come from chambers of commerce throughout North and South Carolina. CACCE is the professional development organization for chamber of commerce executives and staff members in North and South Carolina. CACCE equips chamber of commerce professionals with leadership skills and tools to build innovative chambers.  The organization was formed in 1994 when the North and South Carolina state chamber associations merged. 

Georgia names liaison between business, ed The Georgia Department of Education has created an Economic Development Liaison position to help coordinate the state’s education efforts with business needs. Richard Goble, a 30-year veteran of business and education, was hired to fill that role. “It’s essential that our students are prepared to thrive in our changing world,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Mr. Goble will help us strengthen our relationships with business and industry so we can provide real and relevant future opportunities for Georgia’s kids.” In his new role, Goble will create resources for CTAE educators and partners, oversee a Business and Industry Advisory Council for the Department of Education and work with business and industry representatives, local and state officials, and others to strengthen economic development efforts in Georgia. “Our CTAE mission is to educate Georgia’s future workforce

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by providing experiences for Georgia students that will prepare them for workplace success,” State CTAE Director Dr. Barbara Wall said. “Our new Economic Development Liaison will work with local CTAE leaders to assist them in connecting with local business leaders in an effort to contribute to the solution of Georgia’s workforce needs.” This new position is part of the Educating Georgia’s Future Workforce initiative, which aims to increase collaboration between the education and business communities.

Two local leaders named to Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40

Two people from the Augusta area have been named to Georgia Trend magazine’s 40 Under 40 list for 2015. Al Dallas, 39, chief of staff at GRU Cancer Center, and Lynthia Owens, 37, chief of staff for the Office of the Mayor, were both named to the list. The annual honor lists 40 people under the age of 40

Augusta unemployment rate drops again The unemployment rate in Augusta dropped once again in September, down two-tenths of a percentage point from August but a full percentage point lower than last year at this time. The Georgia Department of Labor figures show Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate for September was 6.3 percent. The rate declined as employers created more jobs. The number of jobs in Augusta increased by 1,300, or 0.6 percent, in September to 230,600. The job gains came mostly in state and local government and education and health services. Over the year, Augusta gained 5,800 jobs, a growth rate of 2.6 percent, from 224,800 in September 2014. Most of the job growth came in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, retail trade, and local and federal government. Also, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by nine, or 0.8 percent, to 1,159 in September. Most of the increase came in wholesale trade and health care and social assistance. Over the year, claims were down by 252, or 17.9 percent, from 1,411 in September 2014. Meanwhile, Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for September was 5.8 percent, unchanged from August. It was 6.9 percent in September 2014. Over the month, Georgia gained 9,100 jobs, and is ranked third nationally in monthly job creation.

12 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

who deemed among the best and brightest in Georgia. This is the 19th year for the list. Nominations were made by readers of the magazine and the final selection was made by the editorial staff. Dallas, a native of Thomson, had served as executive assistant to Mayor Deke Copenhaver after returning to the Augusta area in 2009. Following the end

I-20 visitors center closed for renovations

A local Georgia Visitors Center is getting a face lift. The Georgia Department of Transportation recently announced that the Augusta Welcome Center off of Interstate 20 was selected as one of eight centers slated for rehabilitation. Starting Monday, Nov. 9, the Augusta facility will close for an estimated 110-day construction period. Upgrades will include renovations to the courtyard, renewed landscaping, and new restrooms. Local business brochures, which had previously been available at the Interstate 20 Center, will now be available at two other visitor center locations: the Augusta History Museum and

of Copenhaver’s term, he took the position of chief of staff at the GRU Cancer Center, where he oversees external focus initiatives, communications marketing and community out-

reach. He and his wife, Lauren, are volunteers with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Owens serves as chief of staff for Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis. She previously held the position of district director for 12th District Congressman John Barrow for eight years. She serves on a number of boards, including the Greater Augusta Arts Council, Historic Augusta and Leadership Augusta. She is also an adjunct professor in GRU’s Political Science Department. the Savannah Rapids Pavilion. “We have brochures from all over the state at our location, but visitors will still definitely have access to all of the information that they need,” Keri Ogletree, manager of the Augusta Welcome Center, said. “Both of those locations are close to where we are located, only about 10-15 minutes away.”

Partridge Inn adds Tesla charging station The Partridge Inn has teamed up with Tesla Motors to provide an increasingly desirable amenity – Tesla Destination Charging. Tesla High Power Wall Connectors add 58 miles of range per hour to the Model S, charging the vehicle overnight and replicating the convenience Tesla owners are accustomed to

at home. The Partridge Inn joins a rapidly growing network of resorts in Tesla’s Destination Charging Program. Tesla partners with hotels, resorts and restaurants around the world to offer High Power Connectors as an amenity for visitors. This allows Tesla owners to charge their Model S at locations where they want to stay for several hours like hotels, ski resorts and restaurants. Model S offers 270 miles of range on a single charge so the High Power Wall Connector can easily top off the Tesla in just a few hours. “The Partridge Inn is constantly finding new ways to heighten the guests’ experience,” said general manager Lloyd Van Horn. “By combining leading-edge technology and the forwardthinking of Tesla with our commitment to provide outstanding service and offerings, we now have the ability to offer guests a seamless and convenient charging experience during their stay.” The Partridge Inn and other Tesla Destination Charging locations are hosted on Tesla’s interactive webpage and were recently GPS located on Model S’ navigation through a free software update sent wirelessly to the car. Tesla owners are now able to use the Model S 17” touchscreen to easily plan trips and locate the property. The Partridge Inn has just undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, where the hotel’s 144 guest rooms, hallways, all verandahs and balconies and the first floor porte-cochère and bathrooms have been redesigned. The latest unveiling is the hotel’s sleek lobby, which now includes a market and community counter. The hotel is now in the final phases of renovations where the hotel’s restaurant, P.I. Bar & Grill, the second floor bar, and public spaces will be designed to reflect a modern, upscale environment. Expect renovations to be complete by November 2015. California-based Tesla designs and manufactures electric vehicles, as well as renewable energy storage. Tesla has delivered more than 80,000 electric vehicles to customers worldwide.

Longtime Augusta businessman passes away

The man who turned bicycling into a passion for many in the CSRA passed away on Oct. 21. Andy Jordan was 65. Jordan and his wife, Susan, opened Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse on 13th Street in 1974. It was the first full-service, pro-level bicycle store in Augusta. Jordan did far more than just sell bicycles, though. He promoted bicycle safety and education, and organized many bicycle events, including the Lock-to-Lock Bike Ride, the oldest bike riding event in Augusta. He assisted in the founding of the Greeneway in North Augusta and organized fundraising for the Save Our Canal and Save the Butt Memorial Bridge campaigns. Jordan and his wife also were founders of the Augusta BMX Racing Track. Jordan was retired from the business, which is now run by his son, Drew. Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse has been a hub for the bicycling community for many years. It was recently voted as Metro’s Best by the Metro Spirit. In addition to his love for cycling, Jordan also was a professional drummer from 1966-1997.

First donation made to Columbia Co. foundation The newly-formed Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Foundation has its first donation. EDTS, a leading IT solutions and technology consulting company and a strong proponent of education, recently donated $5,000 to the Foundation. “The Chamber leads workforce and education initiatives to develop a skilled workforce for the future,” Columbia County Chamber President/CEO, Tammy Shepherd said. “With this, we rely on local business and industry

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leaders to invest in those efforts. We are most grateful for this generous contribution.” EDTS was founded in 1999 and takes great pride in supporting worthy organizations in the community. “EDTS is always looking for impactful ways to support our community,” said Charles Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, EDTS. “What better initiative than to support the workforce and education efforts to help our children excel – after all, our children are the future of this country.” One initiative funded by the Chamber’s Foundation is the Blackboards 2 Business program. Blackboards 2 Business is a three-pronged approach designed to equip students, teachers, administrators, business leaders and the community with a different set of skills and knowledge pertaining to the modern workforce. It brings a sense of urgency to the process because in less than a decade, one-third of the area’s workforce will be retiring. To make a donation to the Columbia County Chamber Foundation, contact Heath Taylor at 706 -651-0019 or heath@

Evans Animal Hospital earns accreditation

Evans Animal Hospital has achieved the highest level of veterinary excellence following a thorough evaluation by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Evans Animal Hospital earned AAHA accreditation after a rigorous review of the hospital’s practice protocols, medical equipment, facility and client service. Evans Animal Hospital is owned and operated by Dr. Chaffin Roseberry. They are located at 4317 Evans to Locks Road in Evans. Evans Animal Hospital is one of five CSRA animal hospitals to earn AAHA accreditation. Unlike human hospitals, not all animal hospitals are required to be accredited. Accredited hospitals are the only hospitals that choose to be evaluated on approximately 900 quality stan-

Augusta fashion expert lands job on cruise ship A local businessowner’s expertise in fashion has earned her a spot as an expert for a leading cruise company. Marquitta Graham, owner of Spice of New York in Augusta, will be the featured lead wig and wardrobe stylist and entertainment supervisor aboard the Norwegian Escape/Epic Cruise Lines, with cruises in the Caribbean, Spain and Italy. Graham was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., but relocated to Augusta in 2001. She opened Spice of New York in 2005. Graham had a successful career as a hair stylist for Grammy Award-winning artist Hezekiah Walker, but decided to open her own salon featurdards that go above and beyond basic state regulations, ranging from patient care and pain management to staff training and advanced diagnostic services. AAHA-accredited hospitals are recognized among the finest in the industry, and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine. AAHA standards are continuously reviewed and updated to keep accredited practices on the cutting edge of veterinary excellence. Pet owners look for AAHAaccredited hospitals because they value their pet’s health and trust the consistent, expert care provided by the entire health care team. At AAHA-accredited practices, pet owners can expect to receive the highest quality care from well-trained, professional veterinary teams. Only the top small animal hospitals in the United States and Canada have achieved accreditation by the Association. To maintain accredited status, Evans Animal Hospital must continue to be evaluated regularly.

SC tax rate reduced again

An improved economy means savings for South Carolina businesses. The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce announced recently

ing hair care, coloring, styling, weaving, lash extensions, waxing and more. Spice of New York has worked with many local cosmetology schools and Graham is recognized as a respected educator. Graham is the Southern/Eastern Region

Educator for MACVoil Natural Hair Products line. In 2012 and 2013 Spice of New York was the selected backstage hair style team for Full Figured Fashion Week. Spice of New York was the 2013/2014 First Place Winner for Best Salon Competition on the northern stages of the Glynn Jackson Agency Golden Scissors Awards. Graham will now take her out-of-the-box styling, referred to as “haute couture meets avant garde” to the Norwegian cruise lines. Spice of New York Salon will continue to be open for business at 712 Bohler Ave. during Graham’s absence and is preparing for expansion.

that it will cut the unemployment insurance tax rate for the second straight year. The tax rate for 2016 will be a 17 percent decrease over 2015. That’s expected to save businesses $69 million. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said the tax reduction will mean more jobs. “When we save businesses money, we give them cash flow, and they can expand, putting more people to work,” she said.

against adaptable threats. Janus leads an industry team comprised of highly capable and experienced subcontractors that was formed to develop, test, and demonstrate new technologies in support of expeditionary warfare, which involves rapidly deployable military forces operating overseas and away from their bases. Janus Research began in Appling and now is located on Ponder Place in Evans.

Local company wins military contract

Trendz marks 5 years in business

Janus Research Group, Inc., a minority and women owned company, was recently awarded a 5-year, $800 Million Multiple Award Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract to provide basic and applied research, advanced technology development, demonstration and validation, and operational systems development services for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Advanced Expeditionary Warfare Development (AEWD) program. The AEWD IDIQ supports the Department of Defense and other Government agencies in the delivery of research and development services to provide technology-based solutions

Hair stylist Robyn Kelley, known locally for her fundraising Cutathons, is celebrating five years of operating her own business, Trendz Salon. Trendz Salon is located on Old Petersburg Road and serves both men and women with cuts, color and style. Trendz includes a nail salon and massage therapy, plus an area where kids can play. Even before opening her own salon, Kelley began raising funds through cutathons, days in which the proceeds from haircuts would go toward helping pay the bills of a child requiring critical medical attention. Since 2009, Kelley and her staff have raised more than $70,000 through the cutathons.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Lessons Gary Kauffman

A Little Luck

Sometimes good business is taking advantage of good luck Sometimes, as the old adage says, it’s better to be lucky than good. But it also helps, as a businessperson, to recognize when you’re lucky and capitalize on it. Nearly 20 years ago I left the security of a job with a paycheck to go into business for myself as a writer and graphic designer (if I’d realized how little I knew about running a business I probably would have sat in a the corner with my knees drawn up to my chest, whimpering – proving the old adage that ignorance is bliss is also true). At the time I lived in Elkhart County, Indiana, which is the RV capital of the nation – the majority of recreational vehicles you see on the road are built there. There was an assumption that I would make my living off of that industry, as many others did. But that is a highly competitive, cutthroat business and

while I picked up a few jobs from some of the smaller RV companies, it didn’t seem like that would ever provide much of an income. The other thing that area of the country is known for is the Amish. The third-largest Amish settlement in the nation is there, with about 20,000 members. This is where the luck comes in. At about the time I started my business, a change was occurring in the Amish community. Farmland was becoming scarce – a lot of it bought up by the RV factories – and the traditional culture of farming had long since ceased to be a primary form of income for the Amish. They had, in fact, taken to working in the RV factories. In many of the factories, the large majority of the employees were Amish (yes, appreciate the irony that most RVs are made by people who don’t drive). But working in the factories was taking away from many of the Amish family-centric activities, so in the mid-‘90s a movement began to bring the Amish men back from the factories to the homesteads. Since farming was no longer a viable option, they began homebased businesses. It turned out that many of them were skilled woodworkers, and they began to turn out some of the highest-quality furniture you’ll ever find (the Amish do use furniture, so not quite the juxtaposition of RVs built by non-drivers,

What combination of skills and background do you have that can put you into a niche market? but for a while building TV stands was quite popular, so semi-ironic). As their businesses developed, they found a need for advertising, a skill I had. But not only that, I had an extensive background in the Amish culture. My parents were raised Amish. Although they left the faith before they got married, my grandparents were still Amish, as were many of my relatives and friends. This put me in the unique position of having a skill the Amish needed and understanding their culture. At the time, it put me in a category of one. As this developed, I had a decision to make – I could chase the bigger dollars in the RV industry or I could make a niche for myself among the Amish businesses. I chose the latter, and I’m glad I did. The Amish felt comfortable with me because I understood their culture and spoke their language, but I also understood quality advertising and marketing. For many years the majority of my clients were small Amish businesses, often startups, often operated by just a husband-and-wife team, or a handful of employees. The largest Amish

Dan Blanton becomes first Georgian in 55 years to head national banking group A well-known local banker has taken a position no Georgian has held in 55 years. Dan Blanton, CEO of Georgia Bank & Trust, has been elected chairman of the American Bankers Association for the 2015-2016 year. Since the ABA started in 1875, only five bankers from Georgia have been chairman, none since 1961. “It is an honor and a privilege to be elected ABA chairman and to represent the interests of America’s hometown banks,” Blanton said. “We are a diverse industry, but there’s one thing we all have in common – we’re in the business of helping our customers and communities grow.” Blanton has been an active member of ABA for many years, previously serving on the board of directors, Government Relations Council and as chairman of ABA’s Community Bankers Council. In these roles, Blanton advocated extensively for the growth and development of small financial institutions, speaking before various congressional committees on the need for regulatory relief and highlighting the important role banks play in their local communities.

14 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

Dan Blanton

Blanton previously served as chairman of the Georgia Bankers Association and on the FDIC Advisory Committee on Community Banking, where he provided guidance on policy issues affecting small community banks across the country.

Blanton began his banking career in 1976 as a bank teller. In 1988, after more than a decade in banking, Blanton joined the newly formed Georgia Bank & Trust as its first employee where he now serves as CEO. With more than 39 years of financial experience, Blanton’s background and commitment to the interests of hometown banks extends beyond the boards and committees he serves. In addition to his broad experience in the industry, Blanton has served on the boards and committees of numerous civic organizations and dedicated his time to philanthropic causes throughout the community, including The Family Y, Augusta Tomorrow, United Way, Sacred Heart Cultural Center, and University Hospital Foundation. He also serves on the advisory board of Augusta University, Hull College of Business. Blanton is a graduate of Clemson University, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree and Louisiana State University, where he received his graduate degree in banking. Blanton replaces outgoing ABA chairman and president and CEO of FirstBank Holding Co. John A. Ikard.

company I did business with had about 30 employees. The steady work from a number of small businesses brought more income – and satisfaction – than chasing after the big money in the RV industry. The point of my story is, whether you’re just starting your small business or are evaluating where you are in your existing business, keep your eyes open for the opportunities you can “luck” into. What combination of skills and background do you have that can put you into a niche market? What areas of need do you see that you can fill, even if it may not involve the people with the biggest amount of money? Most importantly, how do you make those work for you? Luck is a great thing, but only if you take advantage of it. 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

CSRA SHRM picked to host 2016 state conference

The CSRA Chapter of the Society of Human Resources Managers (SHRM) has been chosen to host the annual statewide conference for 2016. SHRM Georgia will meet at the Augusta Marriott on Sept. 18-20. About 400-500 human resource managers from across the state are expected to attend. The conference is titled HR & Business Superheroes Unite! This is the first opportunity to host the statewide conference, which has typically been held in Savannah or Atlanta. Because CRSA SHRM is hosting the annual conference, it will not hold its own conference in 2016. That will return in 2017. CSRA SHRM and Georgia SHRM will be seeking sponsors, vendors and exhibitors for the event. For more information, contact or call Sally Roberts at 706-284-2448.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Tech Charles Kelly

No Dotted Lines

Good work, not contracts, win customer loyalty

Many business owners sign an annual contract for IT services, one that locks them into service with a company that may change ownership, staff or quality of service. At our field service division, called Computer Exchange Professional Services, we have never required a contract, simply because it makes no sense to us. Actually, I take that back – it makes perfect sense if you are the company providing the services, but is pretty one sided if you are the customer. We tend to think like customers at Computer Exchange, so even though it makes sense for us to require contracts as most of our competitors do, we don’t do it because we like to walk the walk that we talk. You hear me on the radio and read my articles and they are pretty much focused on doing a good job for the customers. So, as we grow our field division, and gain more and more customers every month, someone mentioned that we should “lock our customers in” for a year. We have no interest in locking anyone into anything and feel that we should be able to earn our customers’ business each month, like we have always done. We do offer managed services that give the customer one monthly price for basic services to keep things running well, and

Business Advice Mike Herrington

All the Fixings

Buy-sell agreements fix value of your business for taxes What conditions must be met to fix the value of your business for estate tax purposes? If certain conditions are met, a binding buy-sell agree-

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we do recommend monthly service for any important computer and network, which is virtually every computer that you use in your business. I don’t understand companies that rely on a contract to keep their customers writing checks, especially IT service companies. If you keep your customer happy and do good work, they will want you back, month after month and year after year. Some of these IT companies will not even do work for you unless you sign a contract. In other words, if you are in a jam because the individual who set up your network is nowhere to be found and you need help and need it now, you are either out of luck or have to sign a contract to get work done. Of course, it’s not ideal for us to walk into a brand new situation where other people have done work and have to take over with no help from them, but we do it every day. We will come with a competent technician, ready to fix your problems, because we want to be the company you rely on in the future. We know that we have to earn the privilege of doing your work by earning your trust and helping you through your current situation. We do encourage responsible IT management, meaning that we are obligated to let you know of any issues that may cause you problems in terms of simple network reliability, security risks and backup of your data. Speaking of backups – having an external hard drive or a NAS (network attached storage) connected to your server does not mean that you are getting backups. When we check with a client, we often find that the backup stopped working months ago or the

wrong files were being backed up. When is the last time that you checked your backup? (By checked, I mean, pulled a sample of the data and tested it to make sure it is not corrupted and that it’s the actual data you want backed up.) What is your disaster recovery plan? Fire, flood, tornado and theft come to mind, but if the motherboard in your server fails, that can be just as much of a disaster. Does your server have a battery backup with hardware warranty in case of lightening damage? What oper-

ating system should you get if you need to replace a computer? Can you run with Windows 10? If those questions make you nervous, don’t wait until next year, call for professional help now.

ment may fix the value of a business interest for estate tax purposes. The purchase price, whether a fixed amount or one determined by a formula, can be accepted as the estate tax valuation if these conditions are met: 1. The buy-sell agreement must create an enforceable obligation on the part of the estate of the deceased owner to sell and the buyer to purchase the business interest. 2. The buy-sell agreement must prohibit the owner from disposing of his or her business interest during lifetime without first offering it to the other parties to the agreement at a price not higher than the price (fixed or formula) specified in the agreement. 3. The buy-sell agreement must be the result of an “arm’s length” transaction, meaning that the price must be fair and adequate at the time of the agreement or any subsequent re-evaluation.

Without a binding buy-sell agreement, there can be a great deal of additional detail and uncertainty as to the valuation of a business interest at the owner’s death, adding to the time and expense required to settle the estate, as well as making it difficult to predict and plan for any estate taxes that may become payable. The value of time Imagine there is a bank which credits your account with $86,400 each morning, carries over no cash balance from day to day, and every evening cancels whatever amount you have failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course! Well, everyone has such a bank. Its name is time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off as lost whatever time you have failed to use to good purpose. It

carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it erases the records of that day. If you fail to spend the day’s deposits wisely, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow.” You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success! The clock is running. Make the most of today.

Charles Kelly is President 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

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

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Sales Jeb Blount

Back on the Horse Rejection happens. Bounce back with these strategies

When prospecting, sometimes, no matter how nice or professional you are, the person you are calling on will slam the door in your face, have you escorted out of the building, respond to your email with a nasty note, or abruptly hang up on you. When you are treated this way you’ll have a tendency to dwell on it. You feel embarrassed, angry, revengeful, and a whole host of other emotions that invade your mind and steal your joy. You may even log a note in your CRM to never call them again!

Deeper Thinking Eddie Kennedy

Step it Up

Book outlines ways to make your business outstanding Many times, business owners will tell me they have a desire to improve their organization and to make their company better, but they don’t know how. Some will even say they don’t know the steps to take or what works the best to make it happen for them. Almost all business owners say they’re too busy as it is: solving problems, answering questions, managing the cash flow, keeping the front door swinging and doing the many other things that they must do. John Miller, author of the bestselling book, QBQ! The Question Behind The Question, has written a practical guide book that can help every organization improve. His book, Outstanding! 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional, is packed with ideas that can be used to create an organization where employees desire to work and customers enjoy shopping.

18 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

Meanwhile the prospect doesn’t even remember you. They moved on the moment you hung up the phone and haven’t given you another thought. Trust me. I’ve had prospects scream at me on Tuesday and treat me like I’m their best friend on a Wednesday, completely oblivious to my previous call. That’s why when people tell me to “never call them again,” I call anyway. It’s like when kids learn to ride horses. If the kid falls off parents make them get back on. They know if the kid doesn’t they’ll play the fall over and over again in their head, blowing up their fear to the point that they will never get on a horse again. The brutal truth is that courage is developed in the presence of fear, not in spite of it. It is difficult to regain your focus and keep moving when a prospect is horrible to you. Anger invades your thoughts and keeps you up all night stewing. At times, you completely shut down your sales day as you dwell on your anger, angst and anxiety. In the worst cases, salespeople are so afraid to get back on the prospecting horse that they wreck their pipeline and their career. I meet salespeople every day who are

re-living these transgressions over and over again. In our Fanatical Prospecting Boot Camps they seek company for their misery. All they want to talk about is the “one time a prospect said _____ to them.” They’ve made thousands of prospecting touches but dwell on the one call that went bad. Of course, letting go is easier said than done. Here are three strategies to help you bounce back from rejection. Harness anger. The real secret to moving on is understanding that anger is just energy and when you harness that energy, you tap into a powerful force. In fact, one of the enduring qualities of highly successful people is the ability to turn disappointment, defeat and anger into unmovable determination. When someone hurts you, your body and mind fill with energy and adrenalin for revenge. Take advantage of that gift of energy to get better – because achievement is the ultimate revenge. Develop a bounce back routine. Find something that helps you get your

confidence back or gets you pumped up. This could be an inspirational quote, podcast, an affirmation, a friend you call, music you listen to or even exercise. The key is developing a routine that works for you and that will snap you out of your funk and get you back on track. Put rejection in perspective. Over the years I’ve developed a simple trigger designed to shake me out of my self-pity when I’ve been slighted or find myself astride a dead horse. Behind my desk is an old index card taped to the wall. The paper has yellowed and the words faded just a bit because I’ve carried that card around with me for 25 years. On the card are four letters: NEXT.

There are many things that you can glean from this book and put into place in your company. Here are a few of my favorites. Be Fast. Outstanding organizations have a tremendous sense of urgency. People get things done – quickly. This is not doing things so fast that you act foolishly. This is streamlining the process of making a decision, so that good decisions can be made faster. Instead of long boring meetings, try to have fewer meetings and reduce the red tape and roadblocks to implementing a decision. Put the best minds on the problem, solve it and move on. Ineffective companies often waste time, money and energy, and end up missing opportunities in the marketplace because they are too slow at making decisions. Make Meetings Meaningful. Outstanding organizations make the best use of their most valuable resource: time. It’s important to realize that most real work is done outside the conference or meeting room. Here are tips to make meetings more productive: Have a clear leader, be punctual – start on time and end on time – be prepared, use a list, stay focused and control tangents. If you get off the list, it’s the leader’s job to get back on track. When you’re finished, end the meeting and get back to work. Set the Cultural Tone. Outstanding organizations need outstanding team members, and the tone of an organiza-

tion plays a huge role in who comes on board and who stays on board. Everyone is involved in setting the cultural tone in a business. It impacts how people speak to one another, how problems get solved, and the level of trust and coo p e r at i o n between employees and management. Setting and mai nt ai n ing the right cultural tone is everything. Do What You Promise. Outstanding organizations do what they say they’re going to do. They keep their promises. This is as important as any team-building exercise or knowing the vision and mission of the company. If you say you’re going to do something, whether it’s boss to employee, peer to peer, or company to customer, do it. Keep your word. Try! Risk! Grow! In outstanding organizations, people try things they’ve never tried before. Their culture is one that facilitates growth and provides an environment that supports people when they step out of their comfort zone to do or try something new.

Every attempt is not successful, but when failure happens, the team is there to encourage one another to try again. This provides employees a safe place to grow and mature into outstanding employees. Hire Character. Outstanding organizations are made up of outstanding individuals. Outstanding individuals are usually people of high character. Putting the right person in a position is one of the most powerful things we can do to make our companies outstanding. Objectively selecting the best person, while choosing character over credentials is the way to do it. Celebrate. Outstanding organizations celebrate victories. A celebration is anything that says, “Great job! Congratulations! You did it!” Whether it is achieving a company goal, a personal goal or doing something for the first time, all these things can and should be celebrated. I recommend you add this book to your library. You’ll want to pick it up again and again to get ideas on how you can make your organization outstanding.

It is difficult to regain your focus when a prospect is horrible to you

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. Hire Jeb to speak at your next sales meeting or conference. Call at 1-888-360-2249 or visit for more information.

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

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Businessperson of the Month Jeff Hadden, Phoenix Printing

A Wonderful Life

Jeff Hadden stepped into the family business at a young age and has made it his life By Gary Kauffman Jeff Hadden’s story sounds a bit like that of George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. As a senior in high school in 1981, he was set to attend Clemson when his father’s partner in Phoenix Printing became ill. Instead of going to college, Hadden bought the partner’s share in the business. Then in October 1987, just a week shy of his 25th birthday, his father suffered a disabling stroke and Hadden took over as head of the company. In 1991 he purchased his father’s share of the business. Not that Hadden was any stranger to Phoenix Printing. He began working there while still in grade school. “When the other kids were going to summer camp or to the pool during the summer, I worked in the plant,” Hadden said. “I ran the Linotype machine for about 10 years.” Still, operating a printing plant that had been in business since 1876 was a daunting task for a 24-year-old. “I remember saying a prayer (on the night of his father’s stroke), ‘Lord, if this is what you want me to do you’re going to have to help me because I don’t know what I’m doing,’” Hadden recalled. “The next morning at 8 we opened up and never slowed down.” Phoenix Printing is a full-service commercial printer, printing everything from business cards to catalogs, from 25 copies to a million copies. “It can be as simple as you want or as intricate as you want,” Hadden said. Phoenix also offers specialty marketing items, such as logoed pens and cups that companies give away, and a mailing service. Hadden foresaw the future of printing in the early 1990s when he and others from the plant attended Apple school to learn to use Macs. Then they upgraded their technology. His forward thinking kept the company from succumbing to fears that the internet would end the need for printing. Instead, the internet has transformed Phoenix from a local printer to a global printer, all from its building on 8th Street in Augusta. Phoenix has done printing for customers from such diverse locations as the United Kingdom and Japan, and across the United States, from the West Coast to New England. “We do so much printing for customers up north because our labor rates are so much cheaper,” he said. Growing the business has always been part of Hadden’s plan. He recalled a conversation he had with his father when he bought his shares of the business. “When I bought Dad out in 1991 we were doing about $200,000 a year in business,” he said. “Dad asked, ‘What are your goals?’ I said, ‘To do a million dollars.’” Although at the time his father couldn’t grasp the company’s ability to jump to that number, Hadden reached that goal in less than three years. A few years later he doubled that, and today Phoenix does more than $7 million a year. Part of that growth has been through the purchase of two other printing businesses, McGowan Printing and Miller Printing.

20 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

Jeff Hadden with Phoenix Printing’s new high-speed Heidelberg printing press. Photo by Gary Kauffman

But Hadden credits much of the success of Phoenix Printing to his loyal employees. Some have been with the company for 30 or 40 years. Often more than one member of a family works at Phoenix – Hadden said there are sisters, a husband and wife and a mother and son who work there. Hadden’s wife and son are also part of the company. “I run this business like a family,” he said. “I’m very considerate to the employees’ needs and their families.” Hadden’s brother worked for Phoenix for about 15 years before retiring a year ago. That opened the door for Hadden’s 26-year-old son to step into the business. Like Hadden, his son also started in the company as a child, doing a bit of everything including sweeping the floors. Now he is in sales. “I made him learn it from the ground up,” Hadden said. Unlike his father, though, his son was able to attend college, graduating from Georgia Southern with a business and finance degree. When his son went to college, Hadden was able to indulge in a new hobby – dirt track racing. “I’d always wanted to do it but couldn’t until my son went to college,” he said. “I told my wife I was either going to learn to fly or build a race car. She said, ‘Build a race car.’” So for the past eight years Hadden has been traveling to various tracks within two to three hours from Au-

gusta to race his car. This year is his last hurrah, though, as he plans to retire and continue to pursue his other passion, golf. “Golf is a little easier on the body than racing,” he said. What are you passionate about in your business? Service and customers. I’m committed to the customers being happy. And I want to give back to the community. Phoenix Printing gives a lot back to the community. What have you learned about yourself while running a business? How to be compassionate. How to not be judgmental and how to be forgiving. My door is always open. If employees have a problem about work, I want them to come to me. And if they have a problem at home, I want them to feel like they can come to me. What would your employees be surprised to learn about you? They’d be surprised to know that I don’t ever plan on retiring. I could have retired 13 years ago and I didn’t do it. I had an offer from a company to buy Phoenix Printing, but when I met with them I found out they didn’t plan to keep the employees on. I started ripping up the contract. They asked, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I’m going to be able to sleep tonight.’ My lawyer said, ‘You just paid me $20,000 to negotiate the contract.’ But that’s the best $20,000 I ever spent. I decided at that point I’m going to keep working the rest of my life.

How do you unwind? I love to play golf. I like fishing. From May to September we live at the lake. It’s like a vacation to me every day. How do you start your morning? The first thing I do, after I fix a cup of coffee, is I tell every single person in here good morning. Everyone, from a driver to a manager, before I read an email or take a phone call. I’ve been doing that since 1981. The employees are who make me. I’m no better or worse than my worst employee or my best employee. If you couldn’t have this job, what would you do? When I was 12 years old I lived in a subdivision with a lot of houses. I bought a Snapper lawn mower and I cut grass every day. Up until I was 25 years I had that grass cutting business. At the lake I still like working in the yard. How do you give back to the community? We try to use our talent in Phoenix to give back to companies that don’t have a printing budget. We can’t help everybody but we help a lot. I serve on several boards and help with fundraisers. I’m in civic clubs. And I work in the golf cart ministry at church (First Baptist of Augusta) taking people from the parking lot to the church. What does the future hold for you and Phoenix? I’d like to see more steady growth, to create an opportunity for the next generation to come in to carry on the family business.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Tradewinds gives artisans room to sell their wares By Gary Kauffman Small cottage industries and artisans will soon have a space in downtown Augusta to display their wares without having to make the investment in a storefront. Tradewinds Market will be opening in December at the corner of 11th and Broad streets. The concept for Tradewinds is the space is divided into 10x10 booths where vendors can display their wares for sale for a flat rental fee. Tradewinds staffs the store, collects the sales tax and pays for the utilities and upkeep of the building. “Each area is like a little business within a bigger business,” said Janie Terrell Peel, president of Prime Commercial Properties. She has been helping the owners develop leads to businesses who would fit into the concept. The location had been the home of an antique furnishings store run by brothers Nick and Paul Henry. They found themselves doing more of their business through the internet so they put it on the market. Meanwhile, Andre Johnson and Victoria Gilmer

were looking for a spot for their idea for Tradewinds. “Their dream was to do an antique and unique store,” Peel said. “They decided the downtown is the hot spot right now.” Peel stressed that this will not be a flea market-type location. It’ll be more vintage, more trendy,” she said. “It’ll be a little more upscale and trendy but when I say that, I don’t want to make it sound pricey.” The building has three floors but they are concentrating on filling the first floor right now. It can hold about 40 booth spaces. Peel said there has been a lot of interest and 10 of them have been filled already. The types of businesses already committed to booth spaces include vintage jewelry, wood carvings, fine antiques, leather goods, handmade doll clothes and dog treats and accessories. Peel said they are also seeking vendors who design clothes, make gifts, sell collectibles or any other unique items. She added that there has also been interest from established stores in other areas in having a booth to create a downtown presence.

“We have so many small cottage industries here,” she said. “It’s amazing what people do.” In addition to the shopping area, there will also be a refreshment area where food vendors who are already licensed to sell to the public can sell baked goods, canned goods, honey, coffee and other specialties. “That area will probably have 30 vendors in itself,” she said. Tradewinds will be open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Peel said the later hours allow those living downtown and those eating at downtown restaurants the opportunity to shop there. “The evening traffic is incredible and it’s the trendy traffic you want,” she said. Peel believes this is a great opportunity for those businesses that can’t afford a storefront investment. “I’ve seen so many businesses put their life savings into a storefront,” she said. “But it’s hard to do it all.” For more information, visit

Business openings, closings and moves Openings Dunkin’ Donuts If you like to start your morning with a donut and a cup of coffee, you’ll be happy to learn that Dunkin’ Donuts is planning to set up 46 new restaurants in Georgia over the next two years, including four in the CSRA. Peter Patel and A.J. Patel already own four Dunkin’ Donuts in the Augusta area, two of them partnered with Baskin-Robbins. They plan to open a new restaurant before the end of this year, and three more by 2017. Southern Made Three farm girls are pooling their efforts in a new store called Southern Made, a fiber arts supply store focusing on locally raised farm fresh fiber, spinning (yarn), knitting, crochet and weaving. The business sells supplies, finished handmade items, and also offers classes. The business is located at 1808 Broad St., in the Harrisburg area across from the Kroc Center. Southern Made is owned and operated by Alison Waddell of Phoenix Farm Fiber, Beech Island, S.C.; Pam Avrett, Hard Earth Farm, Modoc, S.C.; and Susannah Carter, Bella Luna Sheep and Wool, Washington, Ga. The three women have each raised their own fiber goats, sheep and alpacas in the CSRA for years and enjoy the art of creating with fiber. They met in a local spinners group and noticed that the biggest complaint among fellow crafters was the lack of a local outlet to purchase fiber. Most bought supplies online, which eliminated their ability to touch and feel the fiber before selecting. A lot of money was wasted purchasing non-returnable fiber that looked beautiful on screen but fell below the mark in person.

22 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

As fiber producers, the women saw an opportunity to provide their fellow artisans with a place to purchase the fiber that is grown in the CSRA. “We are now sharing our love for handmade in what have been called the lost arts, primitive arts and farm crafts,” Waddell said in an email. “This is a gathering place for artisans to collaborate, learn and purchase their supplies from spinning wheels to farm grown fiber. This is where handmade is well-made.” Southern Made is hosting a holiday market that runs through Dec. 24 that will feature handmade goods from local artisans throughout the CSRA. Items include candles, garden art, ornaments, wreaths, scarves, hats, blankets, quilts, shawls, hand turned ceramics, hand carved wooden cutting boards, gift baskets and locally grown herbs and teas. “Augusta has been lacking a good haven for crafters and we strive to be a one-stop shop for fiber arts supplies, handmade gifts, and classes,” Waddell said. “We feature handspun yarn as well as high quality commercial yarn made primarily of natural fibers (wool, alpaca, silk, cotton). We pride ourselves on our farm fresh goat milk soap made in small batches from fresh milk and essential oils. We offer a variety of wool, mohair and alpaca roving for spinners to create their own yarn. Though this is our first year in business, we foresee a long future with the community of crafters in Augusta.” For more information, visit facebook. com/SouthernMadeAugusta. Bojangles A local family has opened its eighth Bojangles in the CSRA, and has plans for even

more. Bojland Restaurant Group, owned by Patrick and Sandra Landon, opened their Bojangles Restaurant in Aiken, near Exit 22, on Nov. 10. The new 3,800-square-foot store can seat 88 and features a drive-thru, wifi and two flat-screen TVs. It will employ about 45. “Our loyal, passionate customers are the reason why our business is doing so well today,” Patrick Landon said. “Our other store in Aiken has exceeded our goals and that is why we are opening an eighth restaurant.” The Bojland Group plans to open three more restaurants in the CSRA in the next eight months, including another one in Aiken, as well as in North Augusta and Columbia County. Palmetto Shooting Complex The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) opened the Palmetto Shooting Complex in October between Trenton and Edgefield. The complex boasts a covered 9,300-foot pavilion, two sporting clay courses and five trap and skeet fields. When completed, it also will house a 9,500-foot roundhouse, 3D archery course, a rifle and pistol range and much more. “Our newly opened facility is designed to provide a destination for all things shooting sports to the surrounding communities,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO, “and we look forward to welcoming all who pass through our gates, especially those who wish to get out there and try something new.” The Palmetto Shooting Complex is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  Wednesday through Sunday and is located at 535 Gary Hill Road, Edge-

field. NWTF membership is not required to use the complex. Ammo, earplugs and safety glasses are available for purchase, but visitors need to bring their own shotgun. The Palmetto Shooting Complex at the NWTF was made possible in part due to a $2 million dollar Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration grant from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Through the Palmetto Shooting Complex, the NWTF hopes to invest in the next generation of hunters and shooters, because they contribute heavily to conservation funding in the United States. For more information about the NWTF and the Palmetto Shooting Complex, visit or TruFlame Gas TruFlame Gas Co. has opened a new showroom and office at 2139 Gordon Highway in Augusta.  Their showroom displays a variety of live burning gas logs, fireplaces, heaters, Rinnai tankless water heater, steamers, fryers, and more. In addition, cylinders of all sizes may be filled there. TruFlame Gas Co. is a locally owned propane (LP) company with offices in Waynesboro, Statesboro and now Augusta. Currently serving the CSRA and surrounding counties and moving into South Carolina, they deliver propane and service and install propane appliances.    Their staff has more than 200 years of combined propane experience. Gas is delivered within two or three days of any order. continued on page 23

Restaurateur hopes to create networking hub A new restaurant promises to not only serve good food but hopes to become a hub for business networking. Bistro 855 opened in October at 855 Laney-Walker Blvd., in the Armstrong Galleria plaza near Laney Supermarket. It serves Southern style foods, but it is more than just a restaurant. It is also a catering business and operates a movable concession stand. Owner Anthony King likes the location of his new business, situated within blocks of the medical district, industrial plants and the Richmond County Courthouse. Patrons from all those locations have dined at Bistro 855. “We’re very well located,” King said. “This area needed food service for the community and the businesses.” King, a marketing professional and sales-

man, said the business allows him to use his skills. “I use the soft skills (of sales) every day when I meet new people,” he said. The restaurant serves wings with a variety of sauces, burgers and other sandwiches, salads and seafood. King said the signature food items are the wings, Philly cheesesteak and the all-beef sausage dog. The restaurant opens at 10 a.m., but also offers a food delivery service. Happy Hour is 4-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Bistro 855 also offers a catering service for business events. The catering menus are different from the restaurant’s, and can be as varied as Italian or Asian. A concession stand is also available either for special events like tournaments or as a type of food truck to allow workers to eat lunch in-house. The restaurant can be used

for fundraising events, such as a pancake breakfast. King also is working on setting up a networking system similar to BNI. “Our goal is to have 150-200 businesses coming here to connect, to share informa-

tion and education,” King said. He plans to offer the networking events at breakfast, lunch and Happy Hour. “Depending on a businessperson’s schedule, they need some flexibility when it comes to networking,” he added.

Business openings, closings and moves continued from page 22 Edward Jones Office A third Edward Jones financial services office has opened in North Augusta, run by Meredith Guedry. “I am excited to be opening a third Edward Jones office in North Augusta,” Guedry said. “I know the people of this community have come to rely upon our firm to provide them with sound investment advice that is geared toward individual investors. I will strive to continue our tradition of excellence here.” The new office is located at 1147 Georgia Ave. Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. Expansions ADP One of Augusta’s biggest employers will get bigger. ADP, a global provider of cloud-based Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions announced their plans to increase their employment with the addition of 450 jobs and invest $20 million with the construction of an additional facility. ADP already employs 1,019 associates in Augusta. The additional 60,000 square feet will allow ADP to meet growing market demands. The newly created jobs will include both management and non-management positions, in addition to client service/product support roles. Once completed, ADP will continue to streamline human resource management protocol for businesses of all sizes, small to multinational. ADP established operations in Augusta in April 2007 to serve clients across North

America. “Our expansion to the Augusta Solution Center is based upon the continued success in attracting top talent, which supports our Human Capital Management products and adds value to the client experience,” said Dave Brendza, ADP Vice President and General Manager of the ADP Augusta location. “At ADP, we are confident the diverse talent pools which feed our workforce will remain abundant in this geography. We would also like to recognize our community partnerships for their continued support as ADP expands in Augusta.” Founded in 1949, ADP started off with an Underwood bookkeeping machine, a few Friden calculators and an Addressograph to print checks. In 2014, they celebrated 65 years in business, and currently serve more than 630,000 customers in more than 100 countries. Thomas Poteet and Son Sherman and Hemstreet recently completed a $970,000 transaction for Thomas Poteet and Son Funeral Home to purchase 16.7 acres on the corner of William Few Parkway and Columbia Road. “Our plan is build a funeral home at some point in the future,” said Buzz Poteet, owner of Thomas Poteet and Son. “We are currently located on Davis Road in Richmond County and felt strongly that we needed to make preparations for a second location in Columbia County.” Poteet also noted that Columbia County was an easy choice, given the amount of expansion and growth it is seeing. “Securing the land and gaining S-1 commercial zoning were the first items to do in regard to the expansion and those are now complete, thanks to (Sherman & Hemstreet representative) Matt Aitken and the county. We will see what the future may bring.” The sale was a win for the seller of the property as well. When asked about the

transaction, Bobby Smith, lead pastor of Journey Community Church said, “The sale of this property moves us one step closer to the expansion of our campus on Hardy McManus Road.” RentalQuip A rental equipment business has moved about a block to a bigger location. RentalQuip moved several weeks ago to 4674 Washington Road, Evans, to a new building that gives them an additional 1,500 square feet of space. The move is from a leased building at 4750 Washington Road to one that is owned by RentalQuip. Jeff Thouvenot, who is a co-owner with Stan Mobley, said the new building allows for future growth but is also more convenient for both the staff and customers. “It’s more accessible,” he said. “It allows us to get the equipment in and out more easily.” RentalQuip rents equipment for both contractor and homeowner use, from earth moving equipment and small tractors to lawn equipment and generators. It offers a 15 percent discount to the current military and veterans. RentalQuip opened in June 2013. Doctors Hospital A new Pediatric ER is part of a large expansion at Doctors Hospital. The project, which will cost around $16.5 million, will include the Pediatric ER, a four-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, two new operating suites, the expansion of the Inpatient Rehab Unit and the expansion of the Endoscopy Lab (which is where imaging is performed on the digestive system). “We’re committed to investing in our community, and to giving our physicians the tools they need,” Doug Welch, CEO of Doctors Hospital, said. “This expansion will help us better serve our patients and physicians.” The Pediatric ER will be staffed by

Board Certified Pediatricians during peak hours. “We already care for a lot of kids in our main ER,” Welch said. “This will allow us to continue offering the great emergency care we’ve always delivered, but in a more kid friendly environment.” The Pediatric ER is under construction and will be completed in November. Construction on the other parts of the project will begin next spring. Doctors Hospital is a full service acutecare hospital. It specializes in women’s services, orthopedics, cancer care and is home to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, the largest burn center in the United States. Kelly Services Kelly Services, a local staffing agency, has combined two offices and opened a new office in downtown Augusta. The new office is located in the Enterprise Mill building at 1450 Greene St., in Suite 150. It opened on Oct. 24. The staffing agency has been a part of the community since 1970 with offices located in Aiken and Columbia County. This year, district manager Gina Berry decided to combine both locations to better accommodate the CSRA. Kelly Services expects that the new central location in downtown Augusta will help them better meet the needs of the community. Closings Automotive Excellence John Albert has closed his Automotive Excellence detail shop after 21 years to take a government job managing a fleet of vehicles. Automotive Excellence was located on 4009 Enterprise Court, behind the Southern Lighting Gallery on the Bobby Jones Expressway. He is trying to sell his shop. Albert specialized in late model luxury, exotic and classic cars. Their work included detailing, hand washing, paint touch up and dent removal. Albert thanks his customers.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Unisys could boost downtown growth By Elisabeth Curry, Senior Writer One Seventh Street – the address of what was once the National Science Center’s Fort Discovery – has big things on the horizon. The new Unisys U.S. Client Service Center is up and running on the first floor, providing IT support services to the U.S. Army as well as commercial clients, while groundlevel retail and second floor Unisys renovations continue. About 200 staff currently work in the building now, with plans to gradually increase the number to 700 over the course of the next three years. It’s a different kind of work environment. Employees work in a sound-dampened open layout where phone conversations at normal speaking volume are barely audible, but workspace confines are almost non-existent. A large break room containing drinks and snacks purchased on the honor system opens up to a fenced patio area with a view of the river. The offices contain a shower and changing area to encourage employees to make use of the Riverwalk for exercise before their shifts. Conference rooms like The Greek – all named for venues where James Brown performed – pay tribute to Augusta’s music history in lieu of the obvious golf references. Leader in technology “Unisys has been at the forefront of every tech wave and change for over a hundred years,” said Tom Patterson, Vice President and General Manager for Global Security at Unisys. “The company and the industry are constantly evolving. That happens in Augusta as it happens everywhere in the world.” The company is 142 years old and has impacted in a major way every change in computer technology since the first commercially viable typewriter, produced by E. Remington and Sons. These days, Unisys specializes in new tech changes in network security, cloud usage, and developing more advanced back office systems. Downtown offers amenities for employees But the company focuses a good amount

Open House planned Unisys plans to host a community event on Dec. 14, officially opening the doors to share the ongoing renovation. “We wanted to have an event to showcase the facility,” Sly Cotton, Southeast Regional Direction for Unisys Federal said. “It’s a way to introduce ourselves to the community, let people see what we actually do, and give them an opportunity to ask questions. We want to socialize and be neighborly.” “The goal is to have locals and employees alike making use of the parts of the building open to the public,” Tom Patterson, Vice President and General Manager for Global Security at Unisys said. “The community opening is to communicate that this phase is complete, the employees have moved in, customers are being supported here, and we’re contributing to the area.”

of its energy and resources on employee quality of life, given the intensity of its responsibility to its clients. “One of the reasons we chose the downtown location was so that our employees could have a great quality of life, here on the river,” Patterson said. “They have the patio outside with the view of the river, food trucks come around each lunch hour, and they can get out and explore the downtown area. The employees are certainly looking for the amenities that the downtown region offers.” With the stated target of 700 employees in the next three years, the company hopes to find many of its future staff in the Augusta area. “Hiring local is a big component of our growth plans,” Patterson said. “We love to support the community and that’s how we’ll grow the business – with locals. There’s an option for direct entry into management positions. We’ve got Unisys University. There’s great talent here in Augusta – we want to take advantage of that, as well as

What it looked like as Fort Discovery. Photo via Wikipedia from Flickr user Stacie Wells

24 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

contribute to the community.” Downtown businesses will benefit Downtown businesses are expected to benefit from the Unisys offices, as well as the local job market. The increased foot traffic will especially be a perk for restaurants in the area. “Unisys will have a major impact on downtown Augusta,” said David Hutchison, a board member for the Downtown Development Agency. “They are occupying a space that’s been underutilized since Fort Discovery left. With 500-plus jobs coming, that will benefit nearby restaurants and may bring a new restaurant into the space being renovated.” Hutchison, in addition to his position on the board of the Downtown Development Agency, owns The Book Tavern, located in the ground floor retail space of the J.B. Whites building. He said the downtown area stands to gain more than just added foot traffic from the new Unisys offices. “With the increase in activity on the Riverwalk, it could also encourage more business development in the area,” Hutchison said. “It dovetails nicely with the DDA plans to enhance the Riverwalk.” Unisys looks to give back to community Unisys executives have been proactive in their efforts to contribute to the Augusta area. Patterson said representatives of Unisys have met with executives from The, a non-profit collaborative workspace on Telfair Street, to reach out to the community through various avenues. Mentoring, training and internships Sly Cotton, Southeast Regional Direction for Unisys Federal, has been integral in

building a relationship with The Clubhou. se. There are a myriad of ideas that Cotton intends to gradually integrate, but the first of those is a mentoring program. “Unisys is a global IT firm,” Cotton said, “and the industry requires experience, certifications and particular education. You have to keep on top of it because things constantly evolve and change. We want to take some of our guys and help mentor people over at the, so they have us as a resource to go along with their ideas and their mission.” According to Cotton, the mentoring program is just the first step in a plan to slowly involve Unisys in the local tech culture, from becoming a sponsor of TEDxAugusta to exposing summer camp kids to the opportunities an IT curriculum can provide. Another goal is to provide training for IT personnel at the VA. Some IT certifications can cost up to $3,000, but Cotton said Unisys would like to provide these opportunities to VA personnel for little to no cost. An Augusta University internship program is also in the works, slated to start in early 2016, taking college students with an IT degree track, getting them certified and hiring them on at Unisys part time. “The is a great part of Augusta,” Patterson said. “There’s innovation happening there. The university is another potential area of focus. We care about that aspect of the community. It’s our hope that Augusta will reach out to us just like we encourage our employees to reach out to Augusta. It’s a symbiotic relationship. “Augusta is a great city and we want to be great right back to it.”

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Faith at Work Steve Swanson

Who’s the Boss?

Perfection isn’t required of a boss but authenticity is In 2003 actor Russell Crowe starred in a movie called Master and Commander. Here’s the story line from IMDb. com: During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America. In the process of thinking about bosses, this movie title came to mind – “Master and Commander.” You likely aren’t working on the high seas, but does that title de-

scribe your boss (or you)? Here is a short list of the kinds of bosses I’ve worked for: I talk, you listen. When the boss spoke, we jumped. There was no dialogue or questions. You had a specific job and did as you were told. You saw the boss when he handed out the paychecks on payday. Not very often otherwise. Very little interaction. I talk, you follow. This boss was a little more engaged with those who worked for him. Not much was offered in the way of personal interaction, but you saw him a few times during the week. Most interaction consisted of being reminded what the rules were and the consequences for not following them. I am with you. This boss was a team leader. Definitely an encourager and great at putting the spotlight on the accomplishments of others. You knew you mattered to the company and were reminded of the power of team. (Together Everyone Accomplishes More). We’re on a mission. This boss often reminded us that we were called to serve together. We’re each playing an important role and doing things that matter

and make a difference. The boss had a leadership role but worked shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the team members while modeling his expectations. No doubt there are a multitude of combinations of these bosses and their various characteristics. Perhaps I’ve reminded you of a boss you’ve worked for? Or maybe you, if that is your role. National Bosses Day happened last month. One comment from a card I received said this: “Look on the bright side. You could have been a cat herder.” Another said, “With all the strange folks working here, all I can say is… Happy Bosses Day!” Pretty special, don’t you think? What kind of boss are you? My small team is passionate about what we do, which makes an incredible difference. I believe I’m striving to do a better job of daily leading my team. Here are a couple of reminders for you as you strive to be “the boss.” • It’s nearly impossible to over communicate • Assumption is the lowest form of communication • Follow up and follow through • There is a good reason the good

Lord gave us two ears and one mouth. It’s visual reminder! • Management by “walking around” is still a good idea. Most of your folks won’t come to you. • The brush is in your hand to paint the vision for your team • Praise in public, criticize in private • Learn to delegate, then teach others to do the same • Keep the big picture in mind • Take time to celebrate your successes and learn from your mistakes. • Your role is not just to tell others what to do, it’s to model the behavior you want to see. I am sure the folks you work with don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do want you to be authentic. Strive for consistency. Pray for those your team. Genuinely care about them. Trust God for great things and believe the best is yet to come!

Undoubtedly, every philanthropic organization shares this angst as the endof-the-year giving season approaches. While political candidates are hosing up money like a Dyson, charities can find themselves scrambling for preholiday leftovers. The not-so-secret weapon for nonprofits, though, is tax deductibility. While in general, donors don’t typically make decisions to give to charities based on tax implications, we do know that’s a bigger factor at the end of the year. Charities, wisely, remind potential donors that their time is running out if they’re looking for next year’s tax deduction. And political donations aren’t tax-deductible. With the local elections (and lin-

gering runoffs) now mostly (and thankfully) behind us for this year, non-profits such as Goodwill are all hoping they’ll now be able to get donors’ attention. They may not be able to promise to fix potholes, but they can certainly offer to fix unemployment rates by providing transformative services to local communities through wise use of donations that translate into jobs. Those dollars might not send someone to Washington, but they could send someone to work.

Steve Swanson serves as the station manager for Family Friendly 88.3 WAFJ. He’s invested 30-plus 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.

Business Observations Barry Paschal

Money for Something Non-profits make better use of donations than politicians do Our community has recently endured the election process, with a variety of elections (and runoffs) filling our mailboxes with postcards, flooding our airwaves with ads and cluttering our roadsides with signs. It’s a lot of… stuff. Where does it all come from? Not from magical political fairies, that’s for sure, though the way those yard signs pop up like mushrooms you might think so. These attention-grabbing appeals come from marketing companies, hired by candidates to smooth their rough edges and sharpen their messages. They don’t work for free, obviously; their funding comes from donations received by the candidates and, in many cases, from the hopefuls themselves. For example, in the recent local Georgia House race, one wealthy candidate kicked in nearly $100,000 of his

26 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

own money – and then barely made it into third place. Ouch. There is a lot of money involved in campaigns. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that the two major national parties have already spent more than $300 million in the 2016 election cycle. And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s still 2015. Naturally, local elections don’t have quite that much money invested in them. Candidates don’t have to buy time on national media; they can get plenty of attention from yard signs and knocking on doors. It’s a wildly different story for presidential candidates, who have to raise massive amounts of money to support their campaign apparatus alone. Heck, even “candidate-of-the-poorman” Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, recently held a Hollywood fundraiser costing attendees $150,000 each. That’s more than most candidates spend in a local race – combined. As a former political commentator, I get it. Most people run for office in the belief that their voice will contribute to the improvement of their community, their state, or their country. Donors give money to them either because they share the candidate’s beliefs, or in hopes of ensuring access to the candidate after the election. Even so, it’s downright painful to know the good that all that money could do if used for other purposes.

Barry L. Paschal is Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, parent organization of Helms College at

Social Media Kelsey Morrow

Say Anything

Protect yourself from what others say in web anonymity Online ratings are a fixture on the internet. Wondering whether you should try out that new restaurant? Check out its reviews online. Should you buy that car? You can read comments about that online too. And now a new social media application will even allow you to rate people. Peeple, a new social media app expected to launch sometime in November, has been described as “Yelp for people” and will allow users to rate their experiences with individuals. “People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions. Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?” Peeple CEO Ju-

lia Cordray said. Details about this controversial app have been vague and sparse. Originally Cordray had stated that users would be able to rate anyone, whether or not they had a profile on the app, and that reviews could not be contested. Even after an overwhelming negative response on the application’s social media pages calling for change, Cordray has not changed her tune. “I wouldn’t want this app to just be positive,” she said. “We want to know, did he steal from you? Did she steal from you? Were they abusive? Um ... do they have anger issues? Do they lie all the time? Are they narcissistic? I mean, these are the things that are more valuable in knowing.” Based on the large amount of negative press that Peeple has garnered before it has even launched, it will likely not even take off and certainly will not be viewed as a reputable source. However, Peeple does raise an important question: How can you protect your reputation online? People are usually not unbiased when it comes to their opinions of others, and when you combine that with the anonymity of sitting behind a computer screen, negative things will result. Even without an app like Peeple, it is easy for anyone to create their own

website, forum or blog, and post whatever they want on the internet. The most obvious step would be to increase your social media privacy settings. On Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, you can set your profile so that you must approve anything that someone attempts to write on your profile. This allows you to screen all potential posts. However, what if the posts aren’t being directed to your profile, but are being posted in some far corner of the World Wide Web? The only real form of protection against those angry internet trolls is to google yourself, and google yourself often. Employers often google potential job candidates, so searching your own name allows you to see what they see.

A good practice is to check the first three pages of results. You can also set up Google alerts, so that you will receive an email every time Google finds a new search result with your name. In the event that you do find a Google link to a defamatory post, be sure to contact the appropriate web host and request for it to be taken down. Most of the time, especially in situations of libel, the web host will be able to comply. Or, if all else fails, you could try one of the most overlooked ways of avoiding negative reviews: Be a nice person. Kelsey Morrow is the Media Assistant at Buzz on Biz and handles its social media accounts. She has a Masters in Public Relations from the University of Georgia. You can contact her at

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


WOW helps professional women balance lives By Tammy Shepherd, President, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Can professional working women have it all? Can a working woman be a mom, wife, top executive and still have a life? Can a young professional woman find the confidence and drive to take the next step up? Yes, they can! Women on the Way (WOW) is geared to young business women who want to develop professionally, not only for their work lives, but their personal lives too. Two years ago, a young business woman applied for the Columbia County Chamber’s Leadership Columbia County Program. I spoke with her before her interview for the program. She was dressed professionally, but lacked confidence and stature when shaking hands and introducing herself. Unfortunately, she was not accepted into the Leadership Columbia County program. Several months later, I ran into her at an event, and found her to be a bright young lady who just needed some encouragement. We scheduled a lunch appointment and talked at length about starting a program to mentor young professional women. She shared with me a book she was reading called Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. The book was perfect to be the foundation for the new Women on the Way program. WOW started in February this year with 15 young professional women, ages 23-35, led by five veteran executive women and one junior executive woman. The group of women met once a month at the Chamber office for lunch and the mentoring session. Each of the veteran executive mentors led two of the 10 sessions. Additional mentoring sessions were available to each young professional upon request of their mentor. The executive during that particular session took key points from the two chapters for the month and used it for discussion.

Members of the 2015 Women on the Way program are, in front from left, Alice Padgett, Mentor, Probate Court Judge; Katie Weiser, mentor, Katie Weiser Coaching; Stephanie Brown, Premier Networx; Jennifer Frantom, Safe Homes of Augusta; Tatyana DeLee, Hampton Inn and Suites; Katie Parsons, Christ Community Health Services; Megan Moye, Meybohm Realtors; Voneisa McBride, CB&I Areva Mox Services; Skye Valenzuela; and Dr. Karla Leeper, mentor, Georgia Regents University. In the second row are Yvonne Meeks, chair mentor, SRP Federal Credit Union; Virginia Wilson, Precision Waste Services; Brooke Willis, Columbia County Chamber of Commerce; Joanne Grzybowski, Madison Heights; Ali Hargrove, State Bank & Trust; Kellie Johnson, Shane’s Rib Shack; Nicole Thomas, Comcast Spotlight; and Felicia Gibbs, ADP. Members not pictured are Serah Tyler, Rural Sourcing Inc.; Nikki Hutto, Walmart; and Heather Lowe, American Family Insurance.

Some of the topics discussed were: leadership roles, gender beliefs and expectations, sitting at the conference table (meaning taking a seat of power), how to juggle work and home life, management competencies, taking risks, and overcoming fear. The young executive women discussed with each other their challenges and helped each other overcome adversity. They taught one another through their own examples and offered insight into things that worked for them in hopes that it would help some-

one else in the room. The program has been successful and meaningful for this group of business women. The inaugural program was led by a woman that I consider as my mentor over the last five years, Yvonne Meeks, Director of Human Resources at SRP Federal Credit Union. Yvonne has served for two years as the Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. She has been the teacher, encourager and confidant for me as I have served as president over the last

Development Authority honors 4 businesses Four companies were recognized for their work in the community at the Columbia County Development Authority’s Business Appreciation Dinner on Nov. 11. The authority, which serves as the county’s primary industrial recruiter, organized its awards by business category and selected the recipients based on a criteria that included job creation and capital investment. The categories and recipients were: • Company of the Year – Small Business: Southern Tots Ashley Jernigan started this as a home-based business six years ago when she was laid off work. Now Southern Tots occupies a 14,000-square-foot store with 30 employees in Evans. Southern Tots is a Southern-themed children’s clothing store. Sales during the past five years have totaled $14 million and the company expects to fill 200,000 orders in 2015. • Company of the Year – Manufacturer: Healthwise Nutritional Resources Healthwise, located in Grovetown, creates a variety of nutritional drink and food products that help with weight loss. It has been in business for 21 years. The company recently

28 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

purchased a development authority-owned spec building, allowing it to double the size of its operations to 100,000 square feet. The company, which has nearly 120 employees and annual sales exceeding $25 million, was created by Jim Mathews to assist weight-loss practitioners with obesity patients. • Company of the Year – Office/Headquarters: TaxSlayer This national tax software company is headquartered in Evans. They are known locally for their philanthropic efforts. The self-service tax filing company employs more than 100 full-time workers and hires more than 200 seasonal employees during tax-preparation season. • Project of the Year: Hoback Investments LLC Hoback Investments is building a 524,700-squarefoot warehouse near Grovetown. The state-of-the-art building will be the length of four football fields and a third that wide. The investment in the facility is more than $23 million and will create more than 60 jobs. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bennett International Group.

five years. I would not be where I am today without her. It’s time now to congratulate the 2015 WOW participates and select the new class for 2016. Does your company have a young professional woman striving to grow? Applications are available on the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce website,, and are due by Friday, Dec. 4. For more information, contact Cassidy Harris, Director of Programs, at 706-651-0018.

Elanco named Augusta’s Industry of the Year Elanco, a major manufacturer of animal health and food-animal production in Augusta, has been named the 2015 “Industry of the Year” by the Augusta Economic Development Authority. The award was presented to Elanco at the First Annual “Celebration of Industries” luncheon at the Augusta Country Club on Nov. 11. Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley was the keynote speaker at the celebration. He spoke about teamwork in the workplace and teamwork on the playing field, and the importance of community involvement. Elanco is currently investing more than $100 million in infrastructure and manufacturing enhancements at the Augusta Technology Center. Recognized as an OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) “Star” worksite, the Elanco Augusta Technology Center is recognized for its comprehensive safety and health management programs and has aggressive goals related to environmental impact.

Aiken company rents offices for temporary business needs Maintaining an office is a luxury some home-based or mobile businesses can’t justify on their expense sheet. But there are those times when an office would be convenient for a few hours or a day to meet with clients. The Citizens Park Office and Conference Center in Aiken has the solution – temporary offices. The former radio station building at 640 Old Airport Road has seven offices that businesses can rent for a day or in fourhour blocks. There are no permanent or long-term tenants, but rental packages are available that can be used two times or four times per month. There are two meeting rooms, one with a capacity of 18-20 and the other holding 40. In the evenings and on weekends, the offices can be transformed for social events such as showers and receptions. Mary Allen, office manager at the center, said the day-rental offices are popular with home-based businesses, visiting businesspeople, attorneys and real estate agents. “The majority of our clients come from out of town,” Allen said. The offices at Citizens Park Office and Conference Center are of varying sizes, depending on needs. One is large enough to hold a table with six chairs. The offices are

Quad/Graphics to close Evans plant fully furnished with executive-style desks and chairs and include wifi, general office supplies, copying and fax machines, a receptionist and a physical address for mail. It becomes highly personalized for regular clients. “When you come in you’ll have your nameplate on the door,” Allen said. The upstairs of the building was used as a recording studio for the radio station so it is sound-proofed, making it a popular meeting location for attorneys. Although the majority of use comes from out-of-towners, Allen said a vice president of a local company rented an office for four hours one afternoon. For social events, the staff covers the desks with linen tablecloths as food and drink serving areas with tables seating eight set up in other areas.

In the wake of third quarter losses, printing giant Quad/Graphics decided earlier this month to close the Evans plant, along with other plants, in a cost-cutting measure. The closure will take effect Dec. 3. The Evans plant, located on Evans to Locks Road, employs about 250 people. Employees have been given the option of relocation to one of Quad/Graphics other plants or a separation package that includes pay based on years of service, an extension of health benefits and help in searching for a new job. Some employees reportedly will stay on after Dec. 3 to help close the Evans plant. Print orders at the Evans plant will be completed at other Quad/Graphics facilities. The Evans facility had specialized in printing catalogs and advertising inserts. Quad/ Graphics plans to sell the 650,000-squarefoot plant. Quad/Graphics also announced it will close its plant in East Greenville, Pa. This

makes four plants the company has closed in 2015. Joel Quadracci, chairman, president and CEO of Quad/Graphics, said in a webcast Wednesday morning that the plant closings are part of a larger restructuring picture to keep up with changes in the industry that includes, among other things, a shift to more on-demand direct digital-to-press formats. The Evans plant was built in 1981 as the W.F. Hall Printing Co., and was sold to various printing companies, including World Color Press (formerly Quebecor), over the years. In 2010, World Color Press merged with Quad/Graphics. Quad/Graphics, headquartered in Sussex, Wisc., reported a net loss of $522 million for the third quarter, and a 6.5 percent decrease in sales from the previous year’s third quarter. The plant closures and other changes are expected to cut costs by $100 million in 2016.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Online Jeff Asselin

Website Love

Like relationships, websites thrive with a little TLC My wife and I recently got away for the weekend without our three kids. We spent a lot of time “face to face” versus “shoulder to shoulder,” talking with one another and really being intentional with our conversations. We have a very hectic family schedule and often find ourselves going through life at 100 mph. We shared feelings, dreamed big and solidified our relationship for the future. Our getaway weekend really helped strengthen our marriage and family. Is your website in need of a getaway, too? Has your company been going through the day to day operations with little to no attention given to your website? Some companies build their website because they were told they needed one and then they just leave it as-is year after

year. Just as with our relationships, the more time we spend working on them, the better they become. A company’s website is often a potential client’s first impression of their business. A website with current content, stylish design, relevant photos and videos will make a better impression than a tired, dated design with old information. It is good to regularly think about how to improve your website. Have you looked at your competitors’ websites? What can you do to make your website stand out above the others? Does your website help you meet your company goals? Does it scream “excellence?” Here are just a few things to consider when on your website “getaway.” • Is it mobile friendly? Recent Pew Research studies show that nearly twothirds of American adults (64 percent) now own a smart phone of some kind, up from 58 percent in early 2014. About 3040 percent of time spent on smart phones is between social media and visiting websites. Test your website on Android and Apple phones and tablets – are you providing a superior user experience? • How does your website perform in search engine results? Try searching for key terms and phrases that your potential clients might be using while looking for your goods and services. Try typing in your company name – what results come up? Is the information you see in

Business Accounting Christine Hall

Before and After

Many changes for employers in health care and insurance The PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) has resulted in many changes over the last few years regarding the treatment of health care and insurance. There are some recent changes that took effect in 2015 that may directly impact your business. It is important to stay in compliance with new legislation. Health Insurance Reimbursements Before: To help alleviate the high cost of group health insurance plans, employers were allowed to provide direct

30 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

reimbursements to their employees for individual health insurance policies. These payments could be reimbursed to the employee tax-free or paid directly to the health insurance company. Either way, it was a deductible cost to the employer as long as the proper documentation was kept on-hand. Now: As of July 2015, it is no longer appropriate to directly reimburse or pay for individual policies on your employee’s behalf. Employers who want to pay in part or in full for the health insurance cost of any employee must either: • Provide a non-discriminatory (offered to all) group plan which meets the minimum essential provisions of PPACA to each of your employees. Not all employees have to participate, but they must have the option; or, • Increase an employee’s taxable wages. It is important to note that you cannot restrict these additional earnings by labeling them as “health insurance” reimbursements. They must be earnings for which the employee may use as they choose. Non-Discriminatory Plans Before: Employers could provide coverage to limited individuals within

search engine results accurate? • Keep it fresh! Does your website look like it was built in 1995? Do pages load slowly? Is the information up to date? Do you still have those Glamour Shots pictures of your staff from the late ‘90s? Can you include recent videos or client testimonials? It makes sense to think often about how your website is working for you. Your website is a very powerful tool in today’s fast-paced digital world. Your website works for you 24 hours a day, seven days per week – make it great! Keep in mind, if you want your cli-

ents to keep loving you and your products and services, just like I want my wife and kids to keep loving me, you need to spend time and be intentional with your website. The payoff will be priceless! 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 or his office at 961 Broad St., Augusta. Contact him at or 706-691-7189 or 706-826-1506, ext 122.

Recent changes that took effect in 2015 may directly impact your business. their employ (i.e., an owner and spouse are covered but not their employees). Now: As of mid-2015, it is no longer considered appropriate to provide health insurance to “certain” employees and not others. Health insurance, which meets the minimum essential provisions of PPACA must be offered to all employed or none at all. The only current exception is for single shareholder corporations who have arrangements which benefit a single employee shareholder and/or their spouse and dependents. 2 percent Shareholders and Cafeteria (pre-tax, Section 125) plans Before: Shareholders and related party employees participated freely in the same cafeteria plans as their employees. Now: 2 percent shareholders and related party employees (i.e., spouse, children, in-laws, etc.) are not allowed to partake in the pre-tax benefits of a cafeteria plan. While they may remain covered through employer (non-discriminatory) group plans, any deduc-

tions must be post-tax. Solution: If you are currently deducting pre-tax for 2 percent shareholders and their related party employees, you must change the group health plan insurance deductions to be post-tax. Please understand that the information above does not cover every situation. Most situations involving healthcare are unique! We suggest that you contact your insurance agent if you are in doubt as to the compliance of your particular health plan. If you have any specific questions concerning how you should treat existing arrangements with employees for health insurance coverage or reimbursements, contact your tax professional or give us a call. Hall, Murphy & Schuyler, PC is a full-service public accounting firm. 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 706-8557733 or email at

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Benefits Russell Head

Open Season

Employer awareness critical during open enrollment 2016 Open Enrollment Checklist To prepare for open enrollment, group health plan sponsors should be aware of the legal changes affecting the design and administration of their plans for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2016. Employers should review their plans and plan documents to confirm that they include these required changes. Employer Penalty Rules Under the ACA’s employer penalty rules, applicable large employers (ALEs) that do not offer health coverage to their full-time employees (and dependent children) that is affordable and provides minimum value will

be subject to penalties if any full-time employee receives a government subsidy for health coverage through an Exchange. To qualify as an ALE, an employer must employ, on average, at least 50 full-time employees, including fulltime equivalent employees (FTEs), on business days during the preceding calendar year. All employers that employ at least 50 full-time employees, including FTEs, are subject to the ACA’s pay or play rules, including for-profit, nonprofit and government employers. A one-year delay for medium-sized employers (those with between 50 and 99 FTEs) was allowed during 2015. However, all ALEs will be subject to the employer penalty rules beginning in 2016. Under the ACA, an employer’s health coverage is considered affordable if the employee’s required contribution to the plan does not exceed 9.5 percent of the employee’s household income for the taxable year (adjusted to 9.66 percent for plan years beginning in 2016). Because an employer generally will not know an employee’s household income, the IRS provided three affordability safe harbors that employers may use to determine affordability based on information that is available to them, including the employee’s W-2 wages, the employee’s rate of pay or the federal poverty

Business Resources Jame Geathers

Knowledge Base

What you need to know to protect your small business The most wonderful time of the year is upon us. No, I am not talking about the holiday season but rather open enrollment (pause to scream and run). Due to the healthcare laws, for some, it is routine and for others it can be a nightmare. If you own a small business this process can be overwhelming and stressful but it does not have to be. The open enrollment period, which began Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31, is now underway. As a business owner, there are a few things you need to know. First, the facts – if you employ fewer than 50 full-time employees, defined as an employee working an average of 30 hours per week or 130 hours in a calendar month, you

32 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

are not required to offer coverage. For many small business owners that may be a relief. But understand that the law still requires you to take action. You must notify your employees that you do not offer coverage and that they may obtain coverage through the Healthcare Marketplace. On the plus side, if you have 25 or fewer full-time employees and you choose to offer coverage, you may be eligible for a nifty tax credit. Alternatively, if you employ 50 or more full-time employees, you are required to provide coverage, notify all employees of the coverage available and it must meet the standard of affordability. If it does not meet the affordability requirement or if one or more of your employees cannot afford the plans offered and opts to purchase through the marketplace, you may face penalties and/or fines. Second, as an employer you are responsible for notifying your employees of the coverage you offer and if they may qualify for a subsidy in the healthcare marketplace. There are two versions of the notice that are available for you to distribute to your employees, either provided by your insurance broker or found on the Department of Labor website. I strongly recommend that you dis-

level for a single individual. Under the ACA, a plan provides minimum value if the plan’s share of total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan is at least 60 percent of those costs. The IRS and HHS provided the following several approaches for determining minimum value. In addition, any plan in the small group market that meets any of the “metal levels” of coverage (that is, bronze, silver, gold or platinum) provides minimum value. Out-of-pocket Maximum Effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2016, a health plan’s out-of-pocket maximum for essential health benefits may not exceed $6,850 for self-only coverage and $13,700 for family coverage. The ACA’s out-ofpocket maximum applies to all nongrandfathered group health plans, including self-insured health plans and insured plans. Also, effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2016, the ACA’s self-only out-of-pocket maximum applies to all individuals, regardless of whether they have self-only or family coverage under a non-grandfathered plan. This means that, effective for 2016 plan years, non-grandfathered health plans are required to embed an individual out-of-pocket maximum in the plan’s family coverage when the fam-

ily out-of-pocket maximum exceeds the ACA’s out-of-pocket maximum for self-only coverage. Flexible Spending Contributions The ACA’s limit on employees’ pretax health FSA contributions for 2016 plan years remains at $2,550. An employer may impose its own dollar limit on employees’ salary reduction contributions to a health FSA, as long as the employer’s limit does not exceed the ACA’s maximum limit in effect for the plan year. Required Notices Open enrollment is a convenient time to provide employees with required annual notices. Group plan sponsors should check to see which of the following they are required to provide: • Summary of Benefits and Coverage • Grandfathered Plan Notice • Notice of Patient Protections • Annual CHIPRA Notice • WHCRA Notice • Medicare Part D Notices • Michelle’s Law Notice

tribute these notices to all employees – both fulltime and part-time – but if you choose not to provide them there is no penalty at this time. In 2016, if you employ 50 or more full-time employees you will be required to offer coverage to at least 95 percent of your full-time employees, up from 70 percent in 2015. As an additional level of documentation, I would also recommend keeping a copy of the form in each employee’s personnel file. Third, in 2016 there are new reporting requirements. Your company will be required to report pertinent details, such as employees offered coverage, percentage offered to and how much the employee/employer contributions were. Specific details on the required information determined by the size of your business can be located on the IRS website and there is a link to the information on the resources page of my website. Fourth, know how to get your employees to sign up. You have done your research, found a broker or a plan through the marketplace and now you are ready to kick off open enrollment. Unfortunately, some of your employees may not share your enthusiasm. Despite your daily email reminders and verbal reminders in staff meetings,

your team seems to be dragging their feet. This is where the wellness incentives and programs come in to play. Many insurers offer wellness programs, discounts and even prizes for covered employees. These programs can be extremely helpful for launching wellness initiatives and engaging employees. Additionally, I recommend that you remind hesitant employees that insurance is no longer just a great idea – it is the law. Per the law, they are subject to a penalty/fine of 2.5 percent of the total household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child under 18 (maximum of $2,085 per household), whichever is greater. While open enrollment can be a tedious process, it does not have to be a nightmare. Contact me for more information.

Russell T. Head is President with ACHS Insurance, Inc., Augusta’s largest risk management and employee benefits brokerage. He can be reached at 706-733-3459 or  Visit ACHS Insurance at

Jame Geathers is a Human Resources and Operations Professional with more than 12 years of experience in both the corporate and non-profit sectors. Jame has spent her career building and supporting HR infrastructures that have provided her employers and clients with the structure and policies that all start-ups need but owners may not have time to create and implement. For more information please visit the Jame Geathers Consulting website, www. or call (706) 496-9691.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Health Terry Childers

Drug Wars

Substance abuse creates work problems for employers Substance abuse and addiction are conditions that do not discriminate – they affect all races, gender and socioeconomic backgrounds. According to SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), more than 70 percent of all substance abusers in the United States are employed; therefore this is an issue every employer will have to face at some point. Studies reveal that 25 percent of workers between the ages of 18 and 34 will use illegal drugs at some point during the course of a year. In addition, other statistics reveal that employees struggling with substance abuse miss 10 workdays for every one that is missed by other employ-

ees; are only about two-thirds as productive as the average worker; are five times more likely to cause workplace accidents that injure themselves or others; are five times more likely to ask for worker’s compensation; accrue employer-covered health costs that are three times higher than the average employee; and play some kind of role in 40 percent of all industrial on-the -job fatalities. So it is obvious for employers that drug and alcohol abuse can have a dramatic impact on workplace safety, company image, profits and rising healthcare and other insurance costs. Substance users become adept at attempting to hide their behavior and at times make it difficult for their supervisors or co-workers to recognize what is occurring. However, there are a number of visible signs that indicate an employee may have a substance use problem especially if they exhibit two or more of these characteristics: • Frequent tardiness or unexplained absences, especially on Fridays or Mondays • Inconsistent on the job performance • Frequent small accidents, resulting in minor injuries or broken objects • Unusual behaviors such as un-

Georgia Chamber launches task force to study health care needs The Georgia Chamber recently launched a task force to take an in-depth exploration on ways to improve healthcare access throughout Georgia. This study will pursue sustainable and fiscally responsible recommendations to address challenges that include, the viability of rural healthcare providers and safety net hospitals, recruitment and retention of medical professionals, and the coverage gap that leaves close to 400,000 Georgians uninsured and hundreds of thousands more underinsured. “Access to high-quality healthcare ranks high on the priority list of our business community because it matters to our employees,” Georgia Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Chris Clark said. “We know that we can’t have an economically viable Georgia unless we have a physically healthy Georgia. The coverage gap doesn’t just affect the uninsured and the providers who care for them. It shifts cost directly to employers who insure their workforce, and it poses an existential threat to rural healthcare access as well as the stability of critical safety net hospitals.” The Georgia Chamber of Commerce Health and Wellness Committee will oversee the study and any policy recommendations that result. Over the next nine months, the study will execute three phases: Eco-

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nomic impact, data collection and analysis, policy option development and finalizing recommendations “We’re looking for unique, Georgiabased ideas that provide a comprehensive approach to delivering healthcare services to our citizens,” said Tim Lowe, chairman of the Chamber’s Health and Wellness Policy Committee. “Finding ways to cover the uninsured represents a big piece of the puzzle, but we’re going to look at many ways of bolstering our entire healthcare system.” But he wants it to stay financially manageable. “We have no interest in an unaffordable wish list that fails to meet the unique needs of Georgians,” he said. “State government has to balance its budget. We need a pathway that is workable and affordable not just in the short term but also in the long term. That’s what this study is about.” In recent years, five hospitals in Georgia have closed, with many more struggling financially. “Having health insurance in a community without a hospital nearby does you no good in a medical emergency,” Clark said. “If you lose the only hospital in an area, you also lose any chance you have of landing a major economic development prospect. Put simply, we face a crisis that affects every Georgian, whether they have insurance or not.”

steady gait, hyperactivity, sudden weight loss, wearing long sleeves on warm days, dental problems, lack of concern over personal appearance or hygiene • Paranoia or overreaction to criticism or helpful suggestions; defensive or continual excuse making • Unwillingness to talk about hobbies, family life or personal interests when forthcoming before • General sluggishness, bloodshot eyes or bags under the eyes from lack of sleep • Memory lapses or missing deadlines • Becoming withdrawn or isolating All employers should have clear and concise written drug and alcohol policies. It is recommended that these policies be reviewed with employees quarterly, biannually or annually. In addition, policies can be more effective when they are supportive rather than threatening, causing employees to feel safe coming forward to admit a problem. By educating supervisors and coworkers on the signs and symptoms of a drug and alcohol problem, issues can be addressed and resolved before the problem escalates. This allows employers to foster an attitude of workplace safety for all employees, making

co-workers more comfortable with getting involved when these signs are spotted. Instead of an attitude of us versus them, it builds company morale knowing that help is available; employees can get the help they need and return to work as a productive member of the team. Despite recent reports about the increased use of drugs, the U.S. Department of Labor continues to encourage that workplace substance abuse is a problem for which a solution exists. When issues are addressed by establishing comprehensive programs, which include a policy, education, and training, and access to treatment through EAP’s or other resources, it is a win-win situation for both employers and employees. Additional information is available at and Terry Childers has been with Bradford Health Services for 6.5 years as the Community Representative. He graduated from the University of Georgia in 1992 with a BS.Ed. in Educational Psychology and was the starting catcher for the 1990 National Championship baseball team . He also played professionally. Childers is available to talk to any group on a variety of substance abuse topics. Contact him at

Trinity Hospital offers help in assessing insurance needs Health insurance these days can be confusing, especially with the options created by the Affordable Care Act. Trinity Hospital of Augusta this year will again help area residents learn about and enroll in health insurance options on the Health Insurance Marketplace. As part of the Affordable Care Act, most U.S. citizens were required to have health insurance beginning in 2014. Since the passage of the ACA five years ago, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health coverage. But about 30 million Americans remain uninsured. “As a primary health provider in the CSRA, our goal is to help educate residents in an easy-to-understand way, as well as assist those who haven’t yet signed up for health insurance or Medicaid, if qualified,” said Jason Studley CEO of Trinity Hospital. “During the next few months, we’ll be out in the community and meeting one-on-one to help these individuals find affordable coverage.” The Health Insurance Marketplace provides U.S. citizens access to affordable health insurance coverage. Depending on household income, some individuals

may qualify for government financial assistance – or subsidies – towards the cost of the premium and other financial obligations like co-pays or deductibles. Though a major function of is assessing whether individuals and families qualify for financial assistance to lower the cost of health insurance, Trinity’s application counselors can perform the same analysis and help with enrollment and re-enrollment. To make an appointment to meet with an application counselor, call 706-481-7643.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Counseling Carolyn Ramp

All Together Now Turning many personalities into one unit a big challenge Working in an office environment means having to deal with all kinds of different people and personalities. Sometimes getting along with all of them can be a challenge. The bigger the company grows, the smaller the likelihood that everyone will get along. But the challenge can be met. So how do business owners and managers meet the challenge? The answer lies in understanding that it’s the relationship that matters. “People don’t care how much you know about them once they realize how much you care about them,” said Harvey Mackay in 1990. And if you care about them, you will make the effort to learn about them. Behind each job title is a living, breathing, thinking and

feeling human being who wants to know he/she matters. In order for people to believe they matter, it is essential to develop a relationship with each of them – a relationship that allows the owner to motivate not manipulate. Here are a few tips to deal with different personalities. Find out how the person likes to work, and adapt accordingly. Some people prefer emails or memos while others prefer a visit in person. Figure out how the colleague enjoys working and try not to interrupt the workflow. Some prefer to have an empty in-box at the end of the day, while others prefer to tackle one item completely before moving to the next item. This positions you as a team player. Pick your battles carefully. Not everything has to be battled. Decide what the priority is and let some things go. Engaging in a conflict may cause delays and hurt feelings and in the long run will not be worth the stress. The key is knowing when to push and when not to push. The relationship should be the prime consideration. Just because the job is done differently than you would have done it doesn’t mean it was done wrong. Recognize you’re on the same team. You’re in this together. And different ideas and opinions can offer fresh perspectives on the project. The goal is the

same for each of you – the success of the company. Strong opinions can indicate a passionate team. It’s an indication they care. Find a way to pull the ideas together. Don’t take everything to heart. Most people act the way they do because of something going on in their personal lives. Even with difficult coworkers, most of the time it has nothing to do with you – even though it may be directed at you. It may explain the behavior, but doesn’t excuse it. Find some common ground that will allow, at the very least, for civil co-existence. The use of empathy (not sympathy!) stimulates thinking and allows learning to take place. It builds relationships. Offer R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Most people want to be heard and validated. Each of them have different strengths and expertise. Make an effort to value their

GRU Breast Team earns accreditation

Team approach provides unique, high-quality care

The GRU Cancer Center Breast Team has been granted accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Center, a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. NAPBC accreditation is only offered to programs that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation and performance review. During the survey process, a program must demonstrate compliance with NAPBC standards for the diagnosis and treatment of a full spectrum of breast disease. These standards include leadership, research, outreach, education and quality improvement. The GRU Cancer Center Breast Team credits much of its current success to the expansion of the Breast Team and a robust clinical trials program unique in the region. The NAPBC is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to the improvement of the quality of care and monitoring of outcomes of patients with diseases of the breast. The mission is pursued through standard-setting, scientific

36 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

The GRU Breast Team recently earned national accreditation.

validation and patient and professional education. Its board membership includes professionals from 20 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of breast care.   The American Cancer Society estimated that there would be more than 230,000 patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the United States in 2015. This is in addition to the hundreds of thousands of women who will deal with benign breast disease and require medical evaluation for

treatment options. Receiving care from a NAPBC-accredited program such as the GRU Cancer Center Breast Team ensures a patient will have access to comprehensive care and a full range of state-of-the-art services, a multidisciplinary team approach that ensures personalized patient care, the latest information on clinical trials, research and new treatment options and quality breast care close to home.

expertise on an area and ask for their feedback or ideas. They will know they are appreciated and you may learn something new. Understanding the different personalities in the workplace isn’t always easy but it is necessary. Hopefully, the use of these tips will improve the odds that your workplace will be a happier, more productive environment. Carolyn A. Ramp has a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Augusta State University and a Specialist’s Degree in Counseling from Georgia Southern. She is a Nationally Certified Counselor, a Licensed Professional Counselor and an Approved Clinical Supervisor. She served as an Adjunct Professor at Augusta State University in the graduate counseling program. She is the owner of Resolution Counseling Professionals located in the Atrium on Wheeler Road. Contact her at 706-432-6866.

Two hospitals earn ‘A’ safety scores

Two local hospitals have received an ‘A’ grade in the Fall 2015 Hospital Safety Score, which rates how well hospitals protect patients from errors, injuries and infections. Both Doctors Hospital and University Hospital received the high scores. This is the third consecutive year that University has received the A rating. University Health Care System President/CEO Jim Davis said receiving the highest score possible on the “report card” is confirmation for that University is on the right track regarding safety. “Patient safety has always been, and always will be, University’s No. 1 goal,” Davis said. “This community puts its trust in the care we provide, and we will continue to do everything we can to live up to that trust.” Karen Smith, Chief Nursing Officer of Doctors Hospital, said, “Doctors Hospital puts patient safety first, and this score shows that what we are doing is working. Our nurses, physicians and staff work hard to provide high quality care to all our patients. We are very proud of this accomplishment.” The Hospital Safety Score is compiled by the nation’s leading experts on patient safety and is administered by The Leapfrog Group, an industry watchdog.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


38 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Dream of brewery a reality for Augusta woman Honors her late husband with Riverwatch Brewery By Millie Huff Dreams don’t always come true just as we imagine them, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come true. Retired Army Colonel Brey Sloan knows the truth of this first-hand. Her life has changed dramatically since she first discovered how much she enjoyed brewing beer in 1992. Sloan and her husband, Rick, were first exposed to the process of brewing beer at home while stationed in Japan in the early 1990s, one of three deployments to Japan for Sloan and her family. She laughs when telling about her brewing apprenticeship under the German brewer who lived nearby. Her family enjoyed hosting “brewfests” where they invited friends to their home to learn about brewing. It was this experience which built the dream to brew beer commercially once they both retired. As Sloan’s retirement approached, the family began researching

Brey Sloan, owner of Riverwatch Brewery.

communities in the United States where there was little competition. Drawn to the Deep South by its warm climate and Rick’s Mississippi roots, they chose Augusta where they have military friends. Rick and their two young-adult children moved to Augusta ahead of her. She followed in August 2014 but left again almost immediately to attend a three-month brewer’s training through the Siebel Institute in Chicago. Sloan was in Munich, Germany, in November 2014 for a class when she received a shocking phone call – Rick, her husband of 26 years, had died suddenly. “Once I got through the initial shock and grief of losing my husband, I knew I wanted to move ahead with our plans to open a micro-brewery in Augusta,” Sloan said. “Rick and I were a great team: I was the brewer

40 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

and he was the facilities manager. He could build and fix anything. Without him, I’m learning both sides of the business, one step at a time.” Her two children help to make Riverwatch Brewery a family business, with her daughter doing sales and marketing and her son serving as the assistant brewer. Together, they will honor Rick by fulfilling the dream they had before his death. While Sloan has the training and experience to brew the beer, there are many hurdles to jump before the production process can begin. Even to run a “test batch” requires three levels of licensing: local, state and federal, with the federal license being the most time-consuming. It was a challenge to find a location that was both big enough for the large equipment but affordable on their start-up budget. The business is getting off the ground thanks to loans through the Small Business Association and Georgia Bank and Trust, although much of the cost has been paid from the Sloans’ own funds. Dealing with a local bank has helped Sloan to feel more connected to her new community. The business is located in the State Farmer’s Market off of Laney Walker Blvd. and already contains many of the components needed to produce beer. The last big piece, a control platform, is being customized now. Once the licenses are secure, they will complete the build-out and begin production. “We’ve already secured the local license to brew and are waiting on the federal license to be granted. Once we receive that, the state process should move quickly,” Sloan said. “I’m testing recipes at home to get ready for production.” Once production begins, the brewery will produce four types of beers to package in kegs and sell to area restaurants and bars. Sloan is close to identifying a distributor to help with that process. They will begin by producing 20 barrel batches, or 630 gallons of beer. “When we start selling product, we will see what types are most popular and begin bottling those to sell in retail stores,” said Sloan. “For certain types of beer, you must order supplies almost a year in advance, so there is projecting involved of what will be most in demand.” While the brewery’s location is in an industrial setting, it has space to grow into more of an attraction over the next several years. She’ll begin giving tours once production is underway. “We have a space for a small Riverwatch Brewery merchandise store, a tasting bar, and I envision an outdoor ‘beer garden’ for events,” said Sloan. “We invite the community to come learn more about making beer.” Sloan is excited to introduce customers to the brewing process, which takes 14 days or

Brey Sloan checks one of the vats in her new brewery. Photo by Millie Huff

more, depending on the type of beer. There are many variables that effect the taste and color of the beer. The large equipment in the brewery looks daunting, but Sloan said every piece serves a purpose and contributes to the quality and taste of the beer. “Brewing beer is very scientific – it includes microbiology, chemistry and physics,” she said. “I went to school to learn about how to prevent and fix problems in

the process. We will even have an onsite lab to monitor the health of our yeast colony, a crucial ingredient in the brewing process.” Once Riverwatch Brewery is up and running, it will be the only microbrewery in the Augusta area, other than the Aiken Brewing Company in Aiken. Sloan and her children know that her husband, Rick, is with them in spirit and is watching their progress with pride.

Georgia takes step toward loosening brewery laws Georgia beer lovers can now get beer from their favorite breweries to go. Well, almost. Despite being home to several large craft breweries, Georgia is one of only a few states that does not allow breweries to sell beer. This law dates back to the Prohibition era and was originally intended to prevent monopolies from forming among the large-scale beer manufacturers. Many had hoped that Gov. Nathan Deal would sign legislation this year to eliminate the antiquated statute. While this was not the case, the new legislation, which went into effect July 1, does allow breweries to get around the old law in creative ways. The new legislation still does not allow

breweries to explicitly sell beer, but it does allow them to provide beer-tasting sessions. Breweries are also now allowed to give tours of their facilities and provide up to 72 ounces of beer for guests to take home as souvenirs. South Carolina changed its laws allowing selling up to 48 ounces to consumers in 2013, and in 2014 allowed microbreweries to apply for food and retail licenses. Neither Georgia or South Carolina allow craft brewers to self-distribute their product. Many states are loosening their brewery laws because of the increased interest in craft beers. Craft beers are among the fastest-growing in popularity among consumers.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Career & Education Missie Usry

Do the Right Thing Ethics becomes an important part of college experience

Television shows like What Would You Do, hosted by John Quinones, demonstrate that people react to different situations in different ways. Some ignore that anything is wrong; others do what they feel is right because

they hope someone would stand up or help them if the tables were turned. We teach our kids to “be good” with the hope that they’ll do the right thing when no one is watching or when we can’t be around to supervise. In corporate America, companies publish codes of conduct and of corporate responsibility to hold employees responsible, with the goal of keeping their companies protected from incidents that turn into bad press and lawsuits. However, if an individual has never had formal ethics training, how do we know that they understand the concept of maintaining integrity? Not everyone will do what is right because it is the right thing to do or understand what is expected. That’s why Georgia Military College not only incorporates an ethical code of conduct in its student handbook, but also incorporates formal study of ethics into freshman-required courses PER101 College Success and PER 102 Critical Thinking and Character Devel-

IGRU fundraising campaign surpasses $1 million goal The 2015 IGRU (I’m Giving. Are You?) fundraising campaign for Georgia Regents University exceeded its $1 million goal, the highest amount ever raised for the annual campaign. “Raising over $1 million is a truly remarkable achievement, and we could not have reached this goal without the generosity of GRU’s faculty, staff, alumni, donors and community partners,” GRU President Brooks Keel said. “Gifts of all amounts have led to this accomplishment, and these funds will help us continue to provide innovative learning opportunities to our students.” The campaign raised $1,077,964 – a 23 percent increase over last year’s total of $879,596, GRU officials said. IGRU is the annual campaign for giving

to GRU and GRHealth. Gifts are directed to benefit any of the nine GRU colleges, the health system, university athletics, the Children’s Hospital of Georgia or other specific programs. This year’s IGRU campus campaign brought in more than $337,000, and the community efforts surpassed last year’s total by nearly $95,000. “The success of this year’s fundraising campaign is a testament of the strong commitment our supporters have to the faculty, students and researchers at GRU and GRHealth,” said Rick Toole, chairman of the IGRU Community Campaign and president of W.R. Toole Engineers, Inc. For more information about the IGRU campaign, visit

New scholarships online at Aiken Tech Aiken Technical College Foundation has launched a new online scholarship application to make it easier for current and prospective students to apply for funds. “The old process involved filling out a paper application and submitting it to our Foundation office,” said ATC Foundation Director Mary Commons. “We were dealing with stacks of paper applications to read through, sometimes six pages per application. This new application system was established to make it easier for current and prospective students to apply for scholarships, give them more time to apply and make the application process as seamless as possible.” Starting in November, current and pro-

42 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

spective students can apply for more than $143,000 in scholarship funds for the 20162017 school year using the new user- and mobile-friendly application. To apply for a scholarship, current ATC students should go to Prospective students should visit Prospective/Signin. A complete list of available scholarships and criteria can be found at “Upon submission, applicants can view a list of scholarships they may be eligible for,” added Commons. “If applicants make a mistake in the application, they can also go back and edit their answers.” The priority scholarship application deadline is March 1.

opment. In these courses, students are exposed to concepts of character development, good citizenship and developing virtues that are essential to everyday life. Ethics is also included in student activities such as the debate team, which competes several times a year in Ethics Bowls. Further promoting ethical standards among young people, the school also hosts the CSRA High School Ethics Bowl at the Augusta campus. Students who participate in these competitions research ethical case studies involving public policy, politics, military affairs, international affairs, medical issues, environmental concerns, family law, education and personal responsibility. Student teams will present and defend their proposed solutions to other competing teams and to a panel of expert judges during the competition. Participating in these competitions exposes students to opportunities for ethics training, learning

good citizenship and leadership development. The competitions sharpen students’ critical thinking, research and communication skills while reinforcing character, ethics, values and personal responsibility. Georgia Military College aims to prepare students for the workplace so that they are never involved in ethical scandals in the headlines. – James Brady contributed to this column. Missie Usry is Enrollment Manager, holding an MBA in Marketing, and heads up Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus Admissions department. The Admissions department is responsible for enrollment, marketing, public relations, and recruiting activities. James Brady is a Communications professor at both Georgia Military College and Georgia Regents University. He is a graduate of Duquesne University, and is personally committed to character development in young people. For questions about how to enroll in Georgia Military College’s degree programs, call 706-993-1123, email musry@gmc., or visit

UGA conducting study of business needs in CSRA The University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government is conducting a workforce development survey in 13 Georgia counties in the Central Savannah River Area and five adjoining South Carolina counties. The employer survey, commissioned by the Richmond County School System, will help tailor Richmond’s Career, Technical and Agricultural Education program to better meet area business needs. More than 1,300 Georgia and South Carolina businesses were invited to participate in the 15-minute online survey. Businesses in Augusta and Richmond and Columbia counties with more than 20 employees were asked to participate, as were businesses with 50 or more employees in 16 additional Georgia and South Carolina counties. “We encourage businesses in the region to participate – more data equals more informed decision-making,” said Theresa Wright, director of the Institute of Government’s survey research and evaluation unit. “This survey will help the Richmond County School System enhance their CTAE program, which will benefit all businesses in the Augusta area as well as our neighbors in South Carolina.” The CTAE program uses real-life experiences, along with academic skills, to prepare students for post-secondary education and employment after high school. Participating in the employer survey helps area businesses ensure a better skilled

workforce from students graduating from the program. “By learning the hiring needs of regional businesses, we can tailor our CTAE programs to better prepare our graduates to join the workplace and provide local businesses with quality, well-trained employees,” said Angela Pringle, superintendent of Richmond County schools. For more information about the survey or to take the survey, contact the Institute of Government at or call toll-free at 1-844-535-0596. The Carl Vinson Institute of Government is a Public Service and Outreach unit of the University of Georgia that conducts training, technical assistance and applied research to help state and local governments operate efficiently and effectively and provide improved service to the public.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


44 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Some areas bouncing back after recession STEM jobs show most wage growth, others still struggling

Wage growth – or lack thereof – continues to be a major issue plaguing the U.S. market, but are some industries faring better than others? New findings from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. reveal which industries have experienced some of the biggest increases – and biggest declines – in post-recession wage growth. The study was based on an analysis of labor market information aggregated from nearly 100 national, state and local employment resources. From 2005 to 2015, the national average growth rate for earnings across industries was 2.1 percent with most of the growth taking place between 2006 and 2007. Since the start of the economic recovery in 2010, average earnings among wage-and-salary workers have decreased 0.1 percent. Wages in Broad Sectors From 2010 to 2015, wages declined in eight of the 20 broad industry sectors, with the biggest dip in  Health Care and Social Assistance (-4.4 percent), largely driven by a 20 percent decrease in wages in Individual and Family Services. The Government sector experienced the next largest decline in wages at 3.1 percent as more downsizing and budget cuts came into play. Several of the broad industry sectors that experienced declines or only very small increases in earnings post-recession are lower-paying on average: Retail (-1.7 percent); Accommodations and Food Services (-1.4 percent); and Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (-2.3 percent). Conversely, several of the broad industry sectors that saw significant increases since 2010 are high-paying, such as Information (13.9 percent); Finance and Insurance (4.2 percent); and Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction (3.1 percent). The Information sector not only had the most wage growth post-recession, but also since 2005 (20 percent). Among reasons for this surge in earnings is a big jump in Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portal jobs, which on average earn upwards of $220,000 in 2015. Wage Growth in Detailed Industries Drilling down into more than 300 specific industries, CareerBuilder and EMSI identified where wage growth is accelerating. Not surprising, most are concentrated in STEMrelated fields (science, technology, engineering and math). While higher-paying industries are producing the most wage growth, it’s encouraging that industries with average

Highest Wage Growth, at least $75,000 average earnings, minimum 250,000 jobs Industry Scheduled Air Transportation Scientific Research and Development Pharmaceutical and Medicine Mfg Electronic Component Mfg Data Processing and Related Services Support Activities for Mining Management of Companies Insurance Carriers Software Publishers Aerospace Mfg

% Change in Earnings (‘10-’15) 16.7% 9.6% 7.8% 6.6% 6.0% 5.3% 4.6% 3.4% 2.9% 2.8%

2015 Average Earnings $75,284 $117,196 $119,522 $96,606 $91,852 $87,878 $111,951 $84,879 $139,291 $94,124

% Change in Jobs (‘10-’15) 1% 5% 2% 0% 20% 52% 18% 4% 23% 2%

2015 Jobs 409,901 652,877 283,263 369,730 290,524 441,269 2,183,267 1,296,480 318,580 483,880

Highest Wage Growth, less than $50,000 average earnings Industry Consumer Goods Rental Specialized Freight Trucking Residential Building Construction Lessors of Real Estate Crop Production Social Advocacy Organizations Educational Support Services

% Change in Earnings (‘10-’15) 12.9% 5.4% 3.1% 7.0% 5.6% 4.4% 2.8%

2015 Average Earnings $36,138 $46,584 $48,441 $45,762 $28,888 $43,391 $46,945

% Change in Jobs (‘10-’15) -20% 19% 20% 1% 5% 11% 33%

2015 Jobs 154,811 451,081 721,575 590,582 556,898 212,058 139,523

Declines in Wage Growth, minimum 250,000 jobs % Change in Industry Earnings (‘10-’15) Individual and Family Services -20.1% Department Stores -8.8% Federal Government, Military -8.7% Office Supplies and Gift Stores -6.6% Grocery Stores -6.6% Building Material and Supplies Dealers -5.6% Home Health Care Services -5.5% Sports, Hobby and MusicStores -5.3% Gasoline Stations -5.0% Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing -4.7% Vocational Rehabilitation Services -4.7% Offices of Dentists -4.5% earnings of less than $50,000 are also seeing larger paychecks. Will Wages Start to Climb? “Though sluggish wage growth has affected workers across the board, those operating in lower-paying industries and occupations have felt the biggest impact,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder and co-author of The Talent Equation. “While the recovery for wages will continue to be gradual, our research indicates that we may see an uptick

2015 Average Earnings $21,156 $20,145 $47,359 $23,906 $22,589 $31,335 $28,166 $19,408 $19,431 $55,879 $25,474 $47,481

% Change in Jobs (‘10-’15) 2015 Jobs 64% 2,156,549 -10% 1,345,204 -3% 2,029,595 -7% 290,262 8% 2,657,897 8% 1,097,644 20% 1,298,526 13% 520,618 9% 893,894 34% 557,313 -2% 347,699 10% 910,783

soon, as employers begin rethinking their compensation strategies to compete not only for high-skilled positions but entry-level as well.” A nationwide study by CareerBuilder found 68 percent of employers plan to increase compensation levels for current employees, and 46 percent plan to increase starting salaries for new employees. In addition, 64 percent said they support a hike in the minimum wage in their state.

TAG launches new group to raise awareness of cloud technology The Technology Association of Georgia has launched into the cloud. In September, TAG developed its newest society, TAG Cloud. This special interest group, which joins the league of other groups such as TAG FinTech and TAG Health, will seek to educate and create awareness around the cloud industry in Georgia. The cloud computing market is projected to be a $270 billion dollar industry by 2020. Cloud computing is a way to store and access data and programs over the internet instead of on a computer’s hard drive. This technology eliminates the physical need for in-house dedicated network at-

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tached storage (NAS) hardware or server. Simply put, cloud computing can be done anywhere, anytime with a working online connection. “Cloud computing will become more and more prominent in the technology industry in the next few years,” Tino Mantella, President and CEO of TAG, said. “We at TAG are very excited to be at the helm in bringing this growing industry to the forefront of innovation in Georgia. I look forward to what this society will bring.” Founding Board Member companies include providers Google, Amazon Web Services, Century Link, Broad Green Solutions, Virtustream, and more. Additionally, the board

also hosts local technology leadership from The Coca-Cola Company, Bridge2Solutions, SterlingBackcheck, Red Tree Labs, SunGard Financial Systems, Saint Jude Medical, Primary Capital Mortgage, First Data Corporation, Resurgens Orthopedics, and GE Power and Water. TAG Cloud endeavors to leverage the immense pool of technology talent in Georgia and the experiences they derive in working for many of the most recognized brands in the world to increase the collective potential of the community through knowledge sharing, education, ideation, and the opportunity to shape the future of the industry.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Beautification project dresses up Augusta Corridor cleanup makes city attractive to consumers, new businesses By Amanda King Driving down Wheeler Road today, it’s hard to believe that the medians on the busy four-lane road were filled with weeds and asphalt debris just a few years ago. In 2010, local businessman Barry Storey noticed the unsightly appearance of the highly traveled road. Realizing that thousands of Masters patrons are corralled down Wheeler Road en route to the Augusta National Golf Club each year, Storey knew something had to be done in order to make a better first impression on potential investors coming to the city. Storey, who has decades of experience

in real estate and development and manages BLS Holdings Group, created the Augusta Gateway and Corridor Beautification Initiative and partnered with the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Augusta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, local businesses and other citizens to fix the cosmetic problems on one of Augusta’s busiest roads. The organization worked quickly, and by April 2011, the medians on Wheeler Road were adorned with new trees and shrubs, landscaping and irrigation. After the success of the first case, the initiative conquered three more locations in Augusta. Saint Sebastian Way, Alexan-

der Drive and a section of Doug Barnard Parkway near the Augusta Regional Airport were also deemed high-traffic areas in need of beautification and received similar makeovers as the Wheeler Road. The design and construction costs for all four locations totaled $978,000, all of which was funded privately. Two additional projects include a second section of Doug Bernard Parkway and along Sand Bar Ferry Road from Bobby Jones Expressway to Broad Street. Those projects will also be funded privately for around $63,000 and are expected to be completed by spring 2016.

The annual maintenance cost for the first four locations currently is $112,000 a year. Storey stressed that while giving the beautification initiative originated with Masters patrons in mind, the beautification of the city is something that must be maintained every single day to ensure that the Garden City lives up to its name and helps bring more businesses to the area. Storey encourages local businesses and residents to lend a hand in the beautification efforts by sending donations to the Community Foundation for the CSRA and designating funds to the Garden City Improvement Fund. Contributions are tax deductible.

Wheeler Road prior to the beautification project, left, and after. Wheeler Road was the first phase of the beautifcation, finished in April 2011. Photos contributed

The beautification transformed the area on St. Sebastian Street, improving the area around the Medical District. Photos contributed

48 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Lunch Review RSVP Catering and Cafe Susan O’Keefe

RSVP Catering and Cafe is located at 3626 Walton Way Extension

Return Request

RSVP Cafe’s simple meals keep customers coming back On a damp dreary day, it felt exceptionally warm and cozy entering the neighborly nook known as RSVP Catering and Café. For folks in the West Augusta area, it’s an easy lunch choice. My colleague and I arrived at high noon on hump day and found the line to order was nearly out the door. For any business, that’s a strong sign. As we perused the menu, we huddled close as customers continued to inch through the door. With a variety of soups, sandwiches, salads and wraps, RSVP seems to literally offer something for everyone. Popular picks that day included grilled turkey sandwiches, chicken salad sandwiches, mandarin orange salads and a chunky chili which was part of the Wednesday special. Patrons pay a standard beverage price, then choose their cup size from small to extra-large. Refills are on the house. Coke products are poured from the self-service soda fountain station. After ordering and paying our $20 fare, we scrambled

to find a seat. Although there is ample space for a few dozen diners, it was a bustling crowd. We were content to occupy a window seat at the counter looking toward Walton Way Extension. The RSVP staff delivers food and condiments as needed. Otherwise, it’s a self-serve deal. As we waited, the door continued to open and close as customers entered and exited. There never seemed to be a lull in the action. As soon as one party would exit, another would enter. Business folks were sprinkled amidst the more casual diners. Most parties included two to four people, but the dining space could clearly accommodate a group of six to 10. For a business gathering or meeting, RSVP would certainly fit the bill. The only downside might be the noise level. My friend and I sat fairly close and had to lean in to carry on our conversation. The restaurant vibe was lively and energetic. Choosing a table near

the back of the restaurant or in a corner might provide a quieter setting. As the kitchen staff bustled to and fro fulfilling orders, there were several carry-out boxes stacked with white lunch bags. Eventually, our meal was delivered by a staffer with a pleasant smile. From the menu of American cuisine, we chose the half order of the special sandwich which was a grilled Reuben, a spinach salad, a steak and cheese sandwich and potato soup. Each bite was just as tasty as the previous. The hot bacon dressing on the salad had just the right amount of zing. Even half of a sandwich provided a satisfying portion. Some say RSVP is a little pricey, but

in the same breath agree the quality is well worth an extra buck for a bountiful serving. Don’t expect a silver platter. Food is served in plastic baskets with wax paper or on heavy duty paper plates. It’s nothing fancy, but it is delectable. For three hours a day, Monday through Friday, RSVP caters to the lunch crowd of business people, casual diners, and everybody in between. Hours are from 11 to 2. In just a short amount of time, RSVP wins customers with its genuine charm, delicious food and gracious customer service. It’s simple. It’s savory. It’s satisfying. In the business world, that’s a recipe for success.

Local chef Manuel Verney wins national award A local chef has been deemed a culinary genius by a national food company. Manuel Verney, owner of Manuel’s Bread Café in the Hammonds Ferry area of North Augusta, recently was named the top chef in the Culinary Genius category of the Food Fanatics Awards program, sponsored by US Foods, Inc. Nearly 1,000 entries were received for the six categories in the program. Verney was the only chef from the South to win an award. Ironically, Verney didn’t know he was part of the contest. “I didn’t even know that they entered me,” Verney said in an interview on the Buzz on Biz radio show. “One of my food reps entered me without telling me. He wrote a bio about me without telling me, and I won the category.” The Food Fanatics Awards feature six creative categories designed to represent the heart and soul of the $709 billion restaurant industry. The categories include: Best Bite, Culinary Genius, Big Heart, Hero, Epic Turnaround, and Top Crew. “I think it’s awesome,” Verney said. “It’s

50 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

nice to have a little recognition. I’m not sure about the ‘genius’ part. I mean, I love food. Food has been my life for the past 30 years, so it’s nice to be recognized for that.” In naming Verney as the award winner, US Foods said Verney has recreated the essence of his birthplace, Lyon, France. “But Verney is so much more than a chef and owner,” the press release said. “He’s also a farmer, baker and entrepreneur. The Frenchinspired menu features produce from his farm across the street, while the bakery produces bread, custom cakes and croissants for his diners, other restaurants and retailers.” He has also bottled a sauce that originated in his restaurant labeled “The Furious Frenchman.” Other category winners were Best Bite: Ken Tominaga, PABU, San Francisco; Big Heart: ZPizza, Newport Beach, Calif.; Hero: Robert Vick, Vick’s Vittles Country Kitchen, Albuquerque, N.M.; Epic Turnaround: Alex Pozantidis, Zoe Restaurant, East Amherst, N.Y.; and Top Crew: Willy Carroll and team, Tahoe Mountain Club, Truckee, Calif.

Manuel Verney hams it up at the national awards in Napa Valley, Calif., on Nov. 6. Photo contributed

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


52 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Upcoming Business Events

Thursday, Nov. 19

Ribbon-Cutting: Augusta Balloons, The Columbia County Chamber office, 100 Business Boulevard, Evans, 4-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20 SCORE: How to Develop a Business Plan, Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Avenue East, Aiken. 9:30- 11 a.m. Offered at no-cost to local businesses and entrepreneurs. Presented by Allen Budnick and John Carman, Certified SCORE mentors, Greater Aiken SCORE. The workshop will focus on the different elements of a business plan, including customer insights, competition and pricing, marketing, finance and cash flow. The session will close with building a brief sample business plan.

Monday, Nov. 23 Ribbon-Cutting: Goldleaf Flowers & Gifts, 1528 Monte Sano Avenue, Augusta. 11:30 a.m. Parking is available both on Monte Sano and in a lot behind the store.

Wednesday, Dec. 2 Membership 101, Columbia County Chamber Office, 1000 Business Blvd., Evans, 1:30-2:30 p.m. Columbia County Chamber Membership Orientation. For new Chamber members and current members who need a refresher course. Each month a one-hour class will be offered on the Chamber website.

Thursday, Dec. 3 Columbia County Chamber Executive Luncheon, Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Rd, Martinez, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Brooks Keel, President of Georgia Regents University and CEO of Georgia Regents Health System. Registration required. columbiacountychamber. executive-luncheon-9515 Ribbon-Cutting: Gerald Jones Mazda, 4022 Washington Road, Martinez. 4-7 p.m. Hors d’oevres by TakoSushi. RSVP by Nov. 25 to receive VIP gift and be entered for drawing for Honda lawn mower.

Friday, Dec. 4 First Friday Means Business hosted by the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Newberry Hall, 117 New-

54 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

berry Street, SW, Aiken. 7:30-9 a.m. $18 per person. An informative monthly breakfast meeting featuring a keynote speaker who addresses issues of interest to the business community. First Friday Means Business includes City, County, Chamber and Sponsor talk. This monthly meeting also allows each attendee the opportunity to network.

Monday, Dec. 7 Jingle and Mingle hosted by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, 5-7 p.m. Location to be announced.

Wednesday, Dec. 9 Ribbon-Cutting: Numotion, 114 Commercial Boulevard, Martinez. 3:30-4:30 p.m.

the 8th Annual Gingerbread Village, 560 Reynolds Street, Augusta. For the eighth annual year the Augusta Museum of History will present the annual Holiday Gingerbread Village in the museum’s rotunda. Local bakers have been invited to create structures of the CSRA. Each historic-themed gingerbread creation will be available through silent auction, with proceeds benefiting museum programs and exhibitions. The display and the opportunity to bid on the houses are free to the public during regular museum hours.

The Nutcracker presented by Dance Augusta, Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad Street, Augusta. A classic holiday tale that has become a tradition in the CSRA. For show times and ticket pricing information, visit showdetails.cfm

Women in Business hosted by the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, North Augusta Community Center, 495 Brookside Ave, North Augusta, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Members: $20; Non-Members: $30. This month’s topic will be “Financial Fitness.” Ribbon-Cutting: Bella Faccia Skincare & Beauty Studio, 2606 McDowell Street, Augusta. 4-5 p.m. bellafacciallc. com Aiken Young Professional Gala, Trio Bar & Kitchen, 222 The Alley, Aiken. 7-10 p.m. Two awards, the Rising Star and the Most Valuable Professional, will be presented.

Monday, Dec. 14 Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce: Business After Hours, Woodside Plantation Country Club, 1000 Woodside Plantation Dr., Aiken. 5-7 p.m. An excellent opportunity for a company to introduce itself to the business community. This program allows the host/ sponsor to showcase its business, services, and facilities to fellow Chamber members. It also offers members the chance to meet one another and network in a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

Holiday Special Edition Thursday, Nov 19 – Sunday, Nov. 29 Augusta Museum of History presents

Sunday, Nov. 29

Friday, Nov. 20Wednesday, Dec. 30

Thursday, Dec. 10

Friday, Dec. 11

information, visit showdetails.cfm

Saturday, Dec. 5

Lights of the South, 633 Louisville Road, Grovetown. 6-10 p.m. Millions of lights will be blazing at the annual Lights of the South display near Grovetown beginning Nov. 20. This dazzling display will continue through Dec. 30. In addition to the lights, there will be a Christmas tree maze, hay rides and roasting marshmallows over an open fire. Santa Claus will make an appearance.

Friday, Nov. 27 The Nutcracker presented by Dance Augusta, Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad Street, Augusta. A classic holiday tale that has become a tradition in the CSRA. For show times and ticket pricing information, visit showdetails.cfm

Saturday, Nov. 28 The Nutcracker presented by Dance Augusta, Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad Street, Augusta. A classic holiday tale that has become a tradition in the CSRA. For show times and ticket pricing

Jingle Jam 5K, Benefit run sponsored by SafeHomes of Augusta to end domestic violence, Evans Towne Center Park, 8 a.m. Gingerbread House Workshop, Hire Grounds Café, 3179 Washington Road, Augusta, GA 30907, 10am-noon. Kids of all ages and their parents are invited to attend this free workshop and decorate a gingerbread house. RSVP with child’s first name and age to 706-650-5760 or

Sunday, Dec. 13 North Augusta Lions Club Christmas Parade, 2-4 p.m. Parade begins at the corner of Martintown Road and Georgia Avenue and travels down Georgia Avenue. Theme: Hark the Herald Angels. Commercial Entries: $50; Non-Commercial Entries: $10. Entry Deadline: Friday, December 4. Forms available at the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce. For more information, contact 803-624-2487.

Saturday, Dec. 19 Behold the Star, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. A Barefoot Productions/Creative Impressions musical about the birth of Jesus Christ, Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, Augusta University. Purchase tickets online at



HERE Who’s inside this section: Operation Christmas Child...... 56 Mercy Ministries....................... 58 Honeybaked Ham..................... 59 Fleet Feet................................... 61 The Pot Smoker BBQ................. 63

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Shoeboxes take message of Christmas overseas CSRA reaches the world through Operation Christmas Child

By Amanda King All Izabella McMillon wanted was snow. What she got was a life-changing gift. McMillon was 13 when she received an Operation Christmas Child shoebox filled with little trinkets and toys. Inside her box was a snow globe. Unbeknownst to the person who packed McMillon’s box, she had been praying for snow for weeks. McMillon said that at that moment, she knew that God was listening to even her smallest requests. At the time, McMillon lived in communist Romania and for most of her life was unable to profess to be a Christian, although her family hid a Bible in the floorboards of their home. She also attended an underground church near her home where she learned to pray. According to McMillon, after the Romanian Revolution in December 1989, members of the Operation Christmas Child swept into her neighborhood and delivered

“the shiniest packages I had ever seen.” The generosity and the answer to her simple prayer was enough to convince her to be a Christian to this day. McMillon, who now resides in the United States, currently works with Operation Christmas Child, sharing her story and speaking with other children who have been impacted by the organization’s work. For more than 20 years, more than 124 million shoeboxes have been delivered to more than 150 countries through Operation Christmas Child, a division of Samaritan’s Purse. More than 4.7 million children have participated in a 12-week follow-up program called The Greatest Journey, which helps children learn more about Jesus. According to Curtis Nappier, area coordinator for Aiken, Edgefield, Barnwell, Bamberg and Allendale counties, two-thirds of those children have chosen to make commitments to the Christian faith after participating in the program. “When you are packing a box, you just know you are doing something good,” Nappier said. “This is a great way to do international missions without leaving home. Any age can participate from the smallest child to the oldest adult.”

Operation Christmas Child Drop Off Locations in the CSRA The following locations and times are available to drop off Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes that have already been filled. For other details about Operation Christmas Child, visit occ. Bel Ridge Baptist Church 108 Monterrey Avenue, Belevedere, S.C. Thu, Nov. 19: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Fri, Nov. 20: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sat, Nov. 21: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Sun, Nov. 22: 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Mon, Nov. 23: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Warren Baptist Church 3203 Washington Road, Augusta Thu, Nov. 19: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Fri, Nov. 20: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.  Sat, Nov. 21: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Sun, Nov. 22: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Mon, Nov. 23: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Macedonia Baptist Church 1828 Wrightsboro Road, Augusta Thu, Nov. 19: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Fri, Nov. 20: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sat, Nov. 21: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Sun, Nov. 22: 12:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. Mon, Nov. 23: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. West Acres Baptist Church 555 Gibbs Road, Evans Thu, Nov. 19: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Fri, Nov. 20: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sat, Nov. 21: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sun, Nov. 22: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Mon, Nov. 23: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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Edgefield Baptist Association 985 US Highway 25 N, Edgefield, S.C. Thu, Nov. 19: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Fri, Nov. 20: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Sat, Nov. 21: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Sun, Nov. 22: 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Mon, Nov. 23: 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. First Baptist Church 120 Chesterfield Street N, Aiken Thu, Nov. 19: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Fri, Nov. 20: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.  Sat, Nov. 21: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Sun, Nov. 22: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.  Mon, Nov. 23: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Hephzibah Baptist Church 2527 GA Highway 88, Hephzibah, Ga. Thu, Nov. 19: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Fri, Nov. 20: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sat, Nov. 21: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sun, Nov. 22: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. Mon, Nov. 23: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Mount Pleasant Baptist Church 164 Mount Pleasant Road, Ridge Spring, S.C. Thu, Nov. 19: 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Fri, Nov. 20: 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Sat, Nov. 21: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. Sun, Nov. 22: 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Mon, Nov. 23: 9 a.m. - 10 a.m.

An Iranian boy celebrates with his shoebox. Photo from Operation Christmas Child.

Jason Baareman and his life group at Warren Baptist Church gather their families each year to fill boxes together. Children as young as 2-years-old fill shoeboxes in an effort to reach the unchurched all over the world. “My wife and I get our kids involved in this project every year because it provides us an easy teaching opportunity,” Baareman said. “Many others in our life group feel the same way so we come together and make a big event out of the project. We just want to use opportunities to live out our faith, help

others and teach our kids about Jesus while we do that.” This season, boxes are being collected the week of Nov. 16-23 throughout the world. Samaritan’s Purse estimates that they will collect 11 million boxes in 2015. Nappier hopes that his area will collect around 16,500 boxes, an increase from last year’s 14,831 boxes. The CSRA has a number of drop off centers, which can be found on the Samaritan’s Purse website, along with acceptable items and instructions for the shoeboxes.

Helms College raises scholarship funds through sale of cheesecakes Helms College has developed a tasty way to fund scholarships. For a limited time, Edgar’s Grille, which is affiliated with the college, will be selling gourmet holiday cheesecakes, with the proceeds going toward a scholarship fund. The cheesecakes, available in Caramel Apple and Pumpkin Praline, are prepared

by Edgar’s Grille’s award-winning pastry chef, Paige Chapman. Edgar’s Grille provides experiential learning opportunities for Helms College students. Cheesecakes can be ordered for pickup at Edgar’s Grille by call 706-651-9707, emailing or visiting the website,

Champions Retreat Golf Course plans Christmas open house Champions Retreat Golf Course will celebrate Christmas with the public Christmas at Champions event on Dec. 6. The family-friendly event runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The Retreat village will be decorated for Christmas and food and hot chocolate will be available. A variety of vendors and shops will be set up for holiday shopping. Santa Claus will visit during the day. Activities during the day include Christmas carols sung by a barbershop quartet, a visit from a Disney princess, the opportunity to take a family portrait with Santa and golf demonstrations.

The event is free for Champions retreat members. The public can purchase tickets for $5 pre-sale or $10 at the door. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Augusta Warrior Project. For more information, visit

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Filling needs is mission of Mercy Ministries Thrift store great for holiday gifts, funds serve those in need By Kelsey Morrow How do you tell a 13-year-old that he won’t be getting anything for Christmas? Mercy Ministries is working to make sure that question doesn’t need to be answered. During the Holiday season, the Augusta based non-profit partners with Toys for Tots to provide gifts for less fortunate children in the CSRA. “Toys for Tots ends at age 12, and you can’t just tell a 13-year-old that they don’t get anything for Christmas,” Fran Oliver, the Executive Director of Mercy Ministries, said. “We help provide for children of all ages, but especially the older children to supplement Toys for Tots.” Besides holiday gifts, Mercy Ministries also provides many other services for the community. Since it began in 2002 with the mission statement, “to use the power of mercy and kindness to meet the needs of our community,” the organization has worked to serve the CSRA’s less fortunate through many different programs. Mercy Ministries serves more than 10,000 meals per month in its soup kitchen,

58 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

operates a children’s program for more than 150 children, provides services to homeless and low income individuals, and has a case management team which assists in ending homelessness in the Augusta area. They also provide temporary housing for women in recovery, and in 2014 opened emergency housing for women and children in need. “We just find a need and we try to fill it as best as we can,” Oliver said. Despite the large number of services that Mercy Ministries is able to provide, it is an entirely volunteer-based organization, and the money for its operation comes exclusively from donations and purchases at the organization’s thrift store. “We are an all-volunteer agency, and we do not receive any federal money,” Oliver said. “As a local agency, all of the money donated here stays within the area, and 100 percent of the donations that we receive go directly to helping the less fortunate in our community.” Mercy Ministries is always in need of volunteers to donate their time. It takes about 40 volunteers a day to operate all of their programs, and all help is welcome, Oliver said.

Shopping at or donating to the organization’s new thrift store helps as well. Located at 2034 Broad Street, the Mercy Ministries Thrift Store features hundreds of gently used items at 50-90 percent off department store prices. New items arrive daily, and all of the proceeds from purchases directly benefit the organization’s community programs. Shopping the thrift store this Holiday sea-

son allows people to find the perfect gifts for their loved ones while simultaneously giving back to those in need. That way, no 13-year-olds will ever have to be told that there will be no Christmas presents. For more information about how to get involved through either volunteering or donating, visit or call 706432-8453.

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64 Buzz on Biz Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015

Integrity Golf to manage Mount Vintage course

A local golf course is under new management. Beginning in November, Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club in North Augusta is under management by Integrity Golf Company. In a letter to club members, Gene Garrote, CEO/president of Integrity, said, “In the coming year, we’re eager to rejuvenate Mount Vintage and turn it into one of the most desirable golf and leisure destinations in the area.” Integrity is based in Orlando, Fla., but manages golf courses throughout the Southeast, including Forest Oaks Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., Thistle Golf Club in Sunset Beach, N.C., Capital City Country

Club in Tallahassee, Fla., Golden Bear Golf Club in Windermere, Fla., and Olde Tennessean Golf Club in Bristol, Tenn. “Mount Vintage represents a great opportunity for us to share our extensive experience with another high-profile property and return it to prominence,” Garrotte said in his letter. In the near future, Integrity Golf Company plans to hold a meet-and-greet event for members. Integrity’s management deal only includes the golf course. The Town Center at Mount Vintage Plantation is a separate entity and will continue to be controlled by Apex Bank. For more information about Integrity Golf, visit

Annual Wheel Movement Wildwood Games honored ride to honor late founder for sports tourism efforts This year, Wheel Movement of the CSRA’s Annual Ride of Celebration will honor the event’s founder, Andy Jordan. Jordan passed away on Oct. 21. The ride will take place on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Kroc Center, 1833 Broad St. Jordan was an initial and continual supporter of Wheel Movement and made significant strides for the cycling community throughout the past decades. His impact is recognized and known by all and his absence has been deeply felt by the CSRA.    The Annual Ride of Celebration is a unique community cycling event because it offers options for all levels of cycling and for all ages.  It is an opportunity for avid and recreational cyclists to come together to support a positive cycling environment throughout the community. “As long as we continue to see accidents, injuries and deaths of cyclists, along with a negative attitude that some hold toward sharing the road with cyclists, it is important for all cyclists to come together to celebrate our local cycling community,” Jim Ellington, president of Wheel Movement, said. This year, a child-friendly event will be added: a Kid’s Bike Safety Clinic. The

event will be for children ages 5 through 12 and will include helmet safety checks and cycling skills training. Kid friendly snacks and games will be available for all participants. The children’s event is specifically important for Andy Jordan Wheel Movement because it aligns with its mission of providing educational programs and conducting community outreach initiatives.  The Kid’s Bike Safety Clinic will be led by League Cycling Instructors (LCIs). “LCIs are certified to teach the Smart Cycling classes to children as well as adults,” Ellington said. “Their goal is to help people feel more secure about getting on a bike, to create a mindset that bikes are treated as a vehicle, and to ensure that people on bikes know how to ride safely and legally.” Helmets and bicycles are required for participation.

The Wildwood Games and Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) were recognized as 2015 small market “Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism” by industry publication, Sports Destination Management. This sports industry magazine targets sports event managers and tournament directors with a focus on the important issues surrounding event location decisions and event management. The magazine recently featured the Wildwood Games in a case study highlighting CVBs who used new and innovative strategies to achieve success. “We are honored to have been recognized as a champion by Sports Destination Management,” said Randy DuTeau, executive director of the CVB. “This recognition is shared with the numerous partners, sponsors, volunteers and athletes who played such a vital role in the success of the event. The inaugural Wildwood Games were held in August 2014 and featured a marathon mountain bike race and four distances of trail running races. The second Wildwood Games were held just nine months later in May 2015. The anchor event for this year’s edition was the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships. In addition to the cycling national championship and trail running races, event organizers added disc golf at the

International Disc Golf Center and open water swimming in Clarks Hill Lake. The economic impact of this year’s Wildwood Games was approximately $300,000. In addition to the direct visitor spending of athletes training prior to the event, as well as during the Games, the event also generated significant exposure in regional and national press. “The CVB had two objectives when we created the Wildwood Games – to generate economic impact by attracting participants and use the event as a platform to promote Columbia County’s outstanding resources,” DuTeau said. “Having participation nearly double this year, as well as being recognized in Men’s Journal magazine as a must-do event for 2015, let us know we were on track with our mission.” The next Wildwood Games will be held June 4-5, 2016, and once again feature the USA Cycling Marathon Nationals, trail running, disc golf, and open water swimming. The CVB is also working with Blanchard Woods BMX to add bicycle motocross to the schedule. BMX will be the first off-site competition for the Games and take place at the new facility at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans. Event organizers hope the addition of a new sport and aggressive marketing will double the number of participants next year.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Good Spirits Ben Casella

Backwoods Brew

Holiday pack of craft beers can ease holiday weirdness Who’s up for an extended meal at 2:30 in the afternoon with people who want to talk more about politics than football? Oh, did I just describe your Thanksgiving? Well, if I did, let me offer to you a great way to take the edge off of all the “Trump’s gonna save us” and “fire Mark Richt” banter that’s likely to dominate the Fall Feast this year. It’s called the Holiday pack. That’s right – your very own variety pack of craft beer for the long weekend with Uncle Lou and his crazy yellow toe and Aunt Gladys with her mole. (All names and schticks have been changed to protect the guilty). Hereare two tasty tipples likely to be in my holiday pack this Thanksgiving, and I would recommend you include them

Screening Room Samantha Taylor

in yours, as well. Enjoy! Founders Backwoods Bastard – This beer is truly top-notch. It’s a domestic Scotch Ale from the master crafters who bring us the likes of Dirty Bastard and Breakfast Stout (the one with the Life cereal boy looka-like on the bottle). At 11.6% ABV, it’s best to enjoy this one after you’ve hunkered down in your recliner for the evening. The nose is heavy on dark fruits, vanilla and just a tinge of smoke. The taste expands upon these aspects with a bit more of a chocolaty undertone that decays into a sweet whiskey finish that’s just divine. I wouldn’t serve this brew as a dessert, but it’ll give your tongue just as much to think about as a slice of homemade pecan pie. Please note that this is one of the best beers I have tasted in years, and I highly recommend it. Rogue Double Chocolate Stout – Much like Founders, Rogue is known for their products consistently meeting a truly higher standard in craft beer. They’ve brought us the likes of Hazelnut Brown Nectar and Dead Guy, and I highly recommend that you try this American Imperial Stout Ale as the perfect complement to basically whatever is emanating from your cornuco-

ing reruns of the show he starred in and complaining to his unemployed human roommate. Did I mention BoJack’s exgirlfriend/agent is a half-woman, halfcat? BoJack Horseman is perhaps one of the strangest shows I have ever watched. It is certainly not for the easily offended. Full of vulgar language and inappropriate jokes, BoJack is reminiscent of the FX series Archer. While Archer has some comedic value to go

Original Oddities Narcos is great but BoJack Horseman is just strange BoJack Horseman – TV-MA I found myself scrolling through Netflix the other day, completely overwhelmed by the choices. While there were a multitude of shows I’ve heard people rave about, I stopped on something I’d never seen before. BoJack Horseman. The title itself was so absurd I had to hover on the icon for more information. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I had to see it for myself. BoJack Horseman is an animated series that follows the life of a half-man, half-horse named, of course, BoJack Horseman. A sitcom star in the early ‘90s, BoJack is now a washed-up, alcoholic reliving his glory days by watch-

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along with its obscenities, BoJack just comes off sad. After three episodes my decision is final. BoJack Horseman is not for me. Narcos – TV-MA I’ve been hearing murmurs about this show for the last few months. Another Netflix original series, Narcos follows the life of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar and the DEA agent who tried to take him down. A mix of fact and fic-

pia this Thanksgiving. I’m told this 9.0% ABV ale conveys more of a high cocoa bitter chocolate, but there’s some sweetness in there (especially towards the back end), making this ale one that I’ll use to wash down a piece of whatever dessert I have room

tion, Narcos does not disappoint. To begin with, you should know that much of the show is in Spanish and you should probably watch this on a large screen device so that you can read the subtitles. I realize not everyone likes to read subtitles, but let’s be honest folks. Should you really set a show in Columbia, or any other country for that matter, without having the characters speak the language? Sheesh. Another thing I love about this show is the way they use historical footage. Scenes from WWII era news reels, video clips from former presidents, and mugshots are the examples that come to mind immediately; however, I’m sure I missed a few things! Narcos is an extremely well-written show with great acting. I found myself unfamiliar with all but two of the actors, but each character was well played. The dialogue was intelligent, the facts were in order, and it actually felt like I was watching a documentary at times. While the subject matter is not appropriate for all, the story certainly gives a real impression of what the real world can be like. Drug production and distribution are dangerous activities, and Narcos gives us an inside peek at the lives of those who choose to live

for after filling up on stuffing and having a piece of dark meat to be polite. Here’s to a great Thanksgiving and kick-off to the holiday season. Come down to Broad Street some time and let me know what’s in your holiday pack!

this life. Drug use, destruction and death are everyday occurrences in the life of the member of drug cartel, and Narcos shows it all. Although the show could be a little harsh for some viewers, Narcos is one of the best shows I’ve seen in a long time. If you have an hour, give this show a try. Sure, it might make you a little angry at times, but it will definitely be worth the watch. 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.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Music Insider Jonathan Karow

Rock On!

Creatives develop electronic versions of instruments As the Holiday Season approaches I would like to pay homage to some of the most notable musical innovations which have changed the way we play music. In 1925 American innovator Adolph Rickenbacker created the first micro-phonic magnetic pickup electric fivestring banjo. Banjos were much more popular than the guitar at that time. This same design was carried over to the electric guitar and other instruments. The same pickup technology which he designed, including using a phone cable (same as a telephone operator would patch people through with), as an output is still the standard for 99 percent of all electric stringed instruments today.  Technically, I consider Rickenbacker the creator of the electric guitar. The first mass produced acoustic/electric guitar was the Ovation, designed in the late 1960s by Bill Kaman, who owned Kaman Aircraft/Aerospace Company. Ovation’s tag line was “Plug it in.” Kaman also had a passion for Martin guitars and attempted to purchase the company at any expense. Martin was honored but declined because

Humor Nora Blithe

Sticky Situation

Planning for the holidays can be a tricky venture My husband, Brian, returned home from work to find me sitting on the living room floor. I was surrounded by sticky notes, a calendar and a white board on which I’d tried to draw a flow chart. “What are you doing?” He bent down to remove a

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Innovations have changed the way we play music it was over a century-old family-owned business. Some of the nicest hand-crafted Martin guitars were made in Japan. Kaman sought out their Japanese luthiers (artisans) and they agreed to build Martin guitars for him under a pseudonym. Kaman looked at the mountain where the guitars had been crafted for Martin and asked, “What’s the name of that beautiful mountain?” The proud luthier responded, “Takamine.” Thus began Takamine Guitar Company. Kaman designed the NEX body Takamine, which has been copied by almost all other acoustic guitar manufacturers since. Modern improvements on acoustic guitars in the past 27 years have been made by luthiers Larry Breedlove and Steve Henderson while working at Taylor Guitars. Breedlove and Henderson began specializing in custom guitars. In 1991 the first Breedlove guitar model appeared, after experiments with the patented JLD bridge truss system and various improvements on bracing techniques. Larry’s brother, Kim Breedlove, joined Larry and Steve as a master craftsman in 1994. The biggest breakthrough in instrument tuning is the clip-on tuner first introduced by Seiko a decade ago. The original was large and was priced at

sticky note from my forehead. I didn’t answer and instead, focused on the note. “There it is,” I exclaimed with relief. I added it to the collection on my left thigh. “I’m planning our holiday schedule,” I answered. I pawed through the pile of sticky notes on the corner of the white board. I found a blue one and tugged. I passed it to Brian. “Here are the dates you need to take off from work if my travel plans are going to work.” I laughed and pretended that using the word work twice in the same sentence was a clever pun. It wasn’t. He ignored me and looked at the note. “This is a grocery list,” he said. I snatched the note away and rummaged through the sticky notes on the arm of the couch. “Here it is,” I exclaimed in triumph. I passed him the correct note. He glanced at the schedule. “I can

An array of unique Breedlove guitars. Photo contributed

around $90 dollars. The technology accurately reads vibration through the instrument’s neck versus a microphone. Any stringed instrument can be tuned perfectly with the volume completely down or unplugged without interference of other instruments. These tuners, such as The Snark, Planet Waves NS Ned Steinberger tuners, are now smaller, process very quickly and accurately and start around $15 dollars. TC Electronic PolyTune will show all six strings, sharp or flat, with one strum of a guitar. Last but not least would be electronic keyboards and electronic drums. Some of the key features are portability, silent

probably get these days off,” he said, “but is that going to be enough time?” “Since you started a new job just a few months ago,” I said, “I thought we shouldn’t plan on taking too many days off. I think I’ve figured out how we can see everyone during the holidays and minimize our time away from work.” “Ok,” he said slowly. Plainly, he doubted my flow chart and sticky note collection. Silly man. “I’ll show you,” I said. “If we both work the day before Thanksgiving, we can hurry home in time to pack for me, you and the dog. The three of us will depart our house by 7 that evening and make the two and a half hour drive to my mother’s. We’ll arrive at her house by 9:30 which gives us time to drink a glass of wine before bedtime at 10 – I’ll need my rest after that crazy day. Then, we spend Thanksgiving morning at Mom’s, eat lunch, depart by 12:30 and make the three hour drive to your sister’s where

practice with the use of headphones and reduced cost. Portable keyboards start around $100 and a quality electronic drum set starts around $300 with everything needed to play drums with an endless selection of sounds, a USB port, and is virtually silent. It can also be loud as any sound system or amplifier it is plugged into. 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.

they will just be putting a late lunch on the table. We can fill ourselves with stuffing, and, again, a glass of wine and be in bed by 6 p.m. so we can get up at 3 a.m. and drive home in time to work on Black Friday, because I am not going shopping in that crazy mess!” “What about Christmas,” he asked innocently. I led him to the office where the walls, the computer desk and the lamp were covered in sticky notes. “Christmas is tricky,” I said. “Clearly,” he replied. I replied wryly, “The biggest irony about the holidays is that they’re supposed to be a vacation from work, yet they create so much more.” 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

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Healthy Lifestyles Bethany Roley

Weight Limit

Try these tips to keep from adding holiday pounds Did you know that the average American gains 5-10 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s Day? We are busy, stressed and surrounded by our favorite holiday foods and tend to let our health and fitness goals take a back seat during the holidays. The good news is that this does not have to happen! You can enjoy the holidays and stay on track with your goals this season. Follow these healthy holiday tips to keep you from packing on those holiday pounds. 1. Stay on schedule with your fitness as closely as you can. Block times on your calendar like you would any other important appointment and stick with it. Make it a priority, not an option. 2. Practice the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of the time make

good, healthy choices choosing foods like lean proteins, lots of fresh vegetables, some fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds and then 20 percent of the time enjoy some of your holiday favorites – without going overboard. When you give yourself permission to enjoy some of the holiday favorites then you are less likely to over indulge and less likely to feel guilty and give up. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed with family and friends. You do not have to avoid all of your holiday favorites. Stick with the 80/20 rule and you will be good to go! 3. Drink up. Water, that is. Make sure you are drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day. It can be tough to stay on track with our water intake in the winter when the weather is cooler. Carry a water bottle with you and make sure you are staying hydrated. 4. Limit alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can do some serious damage to the waist line. If you are going to drink alcohol during the season stick with light beer, red wine and cocktails made with low calorie mixers. Alternate between an alcoholic beverage and a glass of water throughout the evening. 5. Find small ways to add extra exercise into your day. Do not spend five extra minutes circling the parking lot looking for a closer parking spot. Park farther out and walk in. Sign your family up for a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot. Get the family outside for a game of

Arts in CSRA help bring in business, retain workers The arts community means business! On Oct. 22, about 25 arts supporters, Augusta Ballet board members and business leaders attended the first Business of The Arts meeting at the Snelling Center in Augusta. Two key economic development leaders in the CSRA, Robbie Bennett, executive director of the Columbia County Development Authority and Walter Sprouse, executive director for the Augusta Economic Development Authority, shared their thoughts on the importance of the arts in attracting businesses to the area. In an email read at the meeting, Sprouse recalled the recruitment process for bringing Starbucks’ manufacturing plant to the area. “Starbucks specifically wanted to know details about the arts community when we were recruiting their soluble plant for the Augusta Corporate Park,” said Sprouse via email. “We produced a short video that highlighted a variety of quality of life issues, including the arts and a very important video of the Augusta Ballet’s performance of Peter Pan.” Bennett, who is also president of the Greater Augusta Arts Council, said the arts are important to Columbia County because

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it is one of the 40 fastest growing communities in the United States. He added that he expects 4,700 new Cyber Command jobs due to Fort Gordon’s expansion. “That means about 15,000 new people will move into our community,” he said. Sean Frantom, District 7 Commissioner in Augusta and Development Director of the Ronald McDonald House, shared his unique experience in government and fund raising. He said these types of events and partnerships are critical to the success of the Arts in Augusta. Ferneasa Cutno, founder and artistic director of the Cutno Dance Center, has been raising money and young artists for about 20  years in the CSRA. She talked about the importance of forging relationships with the business community.  She invited the Turner, Owens and Elam families to talk about their daughters’ involvement in the arts and dance. They expressed their hopes that their children stay in the CSRA or return after college to continue the legacy of arts in Augusta. Buzz on Biz founder Neil Gordon and Augusta Ballet Executive Director Larry Baratta agreed to hold quarterly events to continue the theme of Business of the Arts.

touch football. Look for ways every day that you can be a little more active. 6. Try new, healthier recipes. Make one or two of your holiday favorites then add one or two new, healthier holiday recipes to the menu. There are so many wonderful, tasty, holiday recipes out there. Start a new tradition with your family by adding some healthy holiday dishes to the menu. 7. Relax. Take some time to savor the holiday. Do not get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that you miss out

on the joy of the holiday. Concentrate more on being present in the moment, enjoying your family and friends, making memories, and relishing in the magic of the holiday season. Bethany Roley is a Certified Personal Trainer/Health Coach/Online Fitness and Nutrition Coach and Group Fitness Trainer. She is the owner of Bethany’s Bikini Fit Camp, and coowner and lead trainer of women’s program at Fierce Fitness Training, www.fiercefitnessevans. com,

Lyceum Series starts in February Georgia Regents University is kicking off the 48th Annual Lyceum Series.  All Lyceum Series shows will be held in GRU’s Maxwell Theatre. For more information, call the Maxwell Theatre Box Office at 706-667-4100. The Marriage of Figaro, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12 and 13, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14 Enjoy an evening of some of Mozart’s most timeless music in the opera The Marriage of Figaro. The production showcases a large cast of GRU students, professionals, and community members, together with a full orchestra set, magnificent costumes,

and English supertitles. This event is presented in conjunction with the GRU American Opera and Musical Theatre Institute. The Peking Acrobats, 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4 The Peking Acrobats are redefining Chinese acrobatics with their daring maneuvers filled with gravity-defying routines of somersaulting and gymnastics. Their style of performance is rooted in centuries of Chinese history and folk art dating back to the Ch’in Dynasty.  This family-friendly event promises to keep you on the edge of your seat. This event is presented by GRU’s Confucius Institute.

Nov. 19-Dec. 16, 2015 Buzz on Biz


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