W H AT ’ S I N S I D E
APRIL 2014 • The CSRA’s Only Monthly Business Magazine
30 years serving Augustans and Masters visitors
Enthusiastic crowds flock to Cabela’s
It was Calvert who first told Baldwin about the location and according to Baldwin, it was Calvert who said the building looked like New Orleans. Ideas started rolling. Baldwin traveled to Louisiana to learn more about the culture and food. He liked what he saw and tasted. The Baldwins launched French Market Grille March 29, 1984 and welcomed the CSRA – and many visitors to the Masters – to Cajun cuisine, cold drinks and an environment dedicated to providing customers with a memorable and wonderful experience that still remains an integral part of the successful business today.
By Gary Kauffman, Editor The people in the Augusta area left little doubt that they were eager for the new Cabela’s Outpost to open its doors. The Outpost, just off Riverwatch Parkway near exit 200 of 1-20, is the first Cabela’s store in the Southeast. It opened its doors on March 20. When those doors opened, more than 2,000 people were waiting outside, including Tracy Lingle and his son Preston, who had arrived at 4:45 p.m. the previous day and camped out. They took their place at the head of the line at 2 a.m. “I’ve been on their website and seen their catalog,” Lingle said. “I’m part of Trail Life USA and wanted the opportunity to talk to Cabela’s about it. “But it was also a fun time, a little bit of an adventure.” Katie Duncan, marketing manager for the Augusta Cabela’s, said sales exceeded expectations on that opening weekend, with about 13,000 sales from Thursday through Sunday. That equated to about 25,000 people in the store those four days. Thomas Millner, CEO of Cabela’s, attended the Grand Opening and said Augusta was picked for the first Cabela’s in the Southeast because of the location. “We were really attracted to this piece of real estate,” he said. “It’s right on the border so we can get the South Carolina customer and the Georgia customer. We love to locate with Costco, and we love the development that will happen here. It was kind of a natural.” The 42,000-square-foot store is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, packed with hunting, fishing and camping gear, as well as a wide array of clothing. To emphasize the outdoor theme, more than 70 taxidermy pieces line shelves mounted to the walls throughout the store. The mounted animals include everything from moose to skunks. Many of those waiting in line on March 20 wore camouflage and were eager to see what Cabela’s had to offer. “I’m really excited to have a store like this in the CSRA,”
See 30 YEARS, page 2
See CABELA’S, page 5
French Market Grille owner Chuck Baldwin and kitchen manager Maurice Turner display some of the restaurant’s favorites – peanut butter pie, oysters and beef tenderloin. Photo by Melissa Gordon
French Market Grille is Augusta’s place for New Orleans cuisine By Jennifer Reynolds When Gail and Chuck Baldwin decided to serve Cajun style food at French Market Grille 30 years ago, they weren’t inspired by childhood experiences or a burning passion to infuse the CSRA with Po’Boys and Crawfish Etoufee. Instead, the decision came from the look of the building in Surrey Center off Wheeler Road. Chuck’s longtime friend and colleague, Craig Calvert, had just established Calvert’s, another popular restaurant also located in Surrey Center. Baldwin and Calvert were classmates together at Michigan State and spent several years working together at Green Jacket, an Augusta restaurant with a Masters theme.
Buzz Bits...................................................... 8,9 E-Z-Go celebrates 60 years.................... 12 Businessperson of the Month.............. 15 Andrew’s Place gears up for Masters.17 Careers & Education................................ 23 GreenJackets prepare for season........ 28
30 YEARS Continued from page 1 Thirty years later, Chuck still returns at least once a year to tour the New Orleans area, learn about new trends and to dine on great food. “I just love their culture,” he said, and it shows in his restaurant. Not only is the food true to the Cajun culture but the walls are decorated in a New Orleans’ theme. But was it a gamble to serve Cajun cuisine in Augusta in the 1980s? Baldwin said everything in the restaurant business is a gamble but he had a little help selling the idea of blackened and spicy foods thanks to trends in the culture. Justin Wilson, a Cajun chef, had just launched a popular cooking show on TV. He helped propel gumbo out of the bayou and into the mainstream. It seems only fitting that Wilson once dined in French Market Grille, the restaurant he unknowingly helped to succeed. Another reason behind French Market Grille’s long-time popularity is the effective team that Chuck and Gail Baldwin make. He’s the dreamer and visionary. She’s the business woman who makes certain that things run on schedule. Like a blend of masterful art and business savvy they have created a fixture of Augusta dining. Another part of the success team that might not be so readily obvious is the customers. French Market Grille is home to numerous regulars and Chuck likes to know all of them. He laments that he doesn’t have time to learn the stories of everyone who comes through his doors. “I’m always enjoying what I do,” says Baldwin. “When people say it was great, I live for those moments. They’re subtle but they’re really rich.” The Baldwins celebrate their customers every year with a party to thank their regulars. Invitation-only guests are treated to an evening of dining and Chuck Baldwin is treated to the opportunity to know his customers a little better. This year is no exception. Their 30-year bash set out to outdo all previous years. The Baldwins invited 800 of their most regular regulars to attend. They treateded them to complimentary meals and drinks, live music, belly dancers, stilt walkers, jugglers, fire breathers and gifts. It sounds a bit like Mardi Gras without the floats. Baldwin says it was “the mother of all parties.”
2 Buzz on Biz April 2014
The architecture of the building inspired owner Chuck Baldwin’s choice of cuisine. Photo by Melissa Gordon
A special moment in the evening came when guests submitted their fondest memories of French Market Grille. It’s been the scene of many notable life events including first dates, engagements and even weddings. Immediately following their 30th birthday party is Masters Week. The crowds that stroll down Highland Avenue quickly find their way across the sidewalk to French Market Grille for Jambalaya and a serving of Chocolate Mousse. “I can’t really sleep that week I’m so jazzed up,” Baldwin said. His enthusiasm for the excitement and energy of Masters Week in Augusta is evident. Expenses go up considerably to feed so many people. The restaurant has expanded its staff by 40 percent in preparation for the crowds. Extra seating and serving pieces will be brought in and extra food and wine is ordered. It’s a risk, a big one, but Baldwin says someone who’s averse to risk shouldn’t go into the restaurant business. Through the years, French Market Grille has entertained golfers such as Fred Couples, Rory McIlroy and Jim Furyk, plus notable golf professionals like the golf course designer Tom Fazio and sports psychologist Bob Rotella. Other notable figures include George Will and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but it’s the repeat customers who Baldwin talks about most fondly.
Not only do the same customers come to his restaurant every year on Masters Week, but Baldwin said now children of regulars have begun coming as well. They tell him, “My dad used to come here, now I’m here.” French Market Grille has witnessed many changes in the restaurant industry since it opened its doors 30 years ago. The biggest change Baldwin sees is that people are better educated about food and expect higher quality than in years past. “You can’t dial it in,” he said of the day-today workload. “I live it and breathe it from the time I get up to the time I go to bed.” One thing that hasn’t changed is the Baldwins’ commitment to their restaurant. “You have to be all in,” Baldwin said repeatedly. It’s obvious from the fond way he talks about the restaurant that passion is in high supply. Baldwin doesn’t describe his business by the day-in day-out chores but in terms of how what he does affects the lives of his customers and staff. When Chuck Baldwin serves a customer dinner, he doesn’t see a plate of salad and a glass of wine. He sees an evening of escape. It’s more than dinner, it’s an event and he’s passionate about making his customer’s experience a great one. “French Market Grille is in the business of saying, ‘OK, you want to get away from the world for a few hours. Let’s have some-
thing really good to eat,’” Baldwin said. He said he doesn’t get caught up in trends but prefers to pave his own way. He added that a good restaurant can’t be swayed by the “whims of the culture.” Instead, it’s about following his own instinct and making great food. Baldwin has learned a great deal in 30 years and he generously shares his wisdom with anyone seeking to start a restaurant of their own. Experience, knowledge and commitment are key, he said. It’s not enough to know how to cook. You also need a business background. Every dollar has to be accounted for. There’s nothing to waste. To that end, he advises would-be restaurateurs to hone their skills in someone else’s restaurant first. Then look to take over a business that is closing. But mostly, he repeats, you have to “be all in.” The days of owning a successful restaurant while doing very little work are long gone – if they ever existed at all. Talking to Baldwin calls to mind the classic saying, “Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life.” “Every day I’m excited to get to work,” he said. “What we do is important.” The evidence of his words show in every plate served at French Market Grille and anyone who has eaten there hopes the great food, drinks and atmosphere will continue for another 30 years.
Celebrating Augusta’s champions The Master’s Tournament celebrates champions. So does the Buzz on Biz. We shine our spotlight on small businesspeople making a difference in the community. Jennifer Reynolds profiles iconic restaurateur Chuck Baldwin of the French Market Grille – a favorite of locals and Masters visitors. He is celebrating his 30th Masters tournament serving up “hole in one” like quality – just a chip shot away from Gate 10 on Berckman’s Road. Speaking of Southern hospitality, John Hyder is going through his 1st Masters tournament offering backyard oyster roasts. Our editor Gary Kauffman writes about his story. You’ll also notice dozens of “Need Badges” signs and posters around town. Attorney P.J Campanaro gives us something to think about in her guest column on “scalping.” At our core, Buzz on Biz is all about celebrating champions – small businesses opening, expanding, achieving milestones and unfortunately failing. Our “Buzz Bits” pagNeil Gordon es near the front gives you a sense of the “movers and shakBuzz on Biz ers” in our community. In this column, I want to celebrate a champion in my Publisher eyes –our salesperson Kyle Evans, who has overcome some obstacles and is on his way to living his dream of business ownership. He’s going to team up with the Primerica group in Evans. We thank him for helping our dream and wish him well on his dream. Neil Gordon is president of Buzz on Biz, LLC and produces a daily TV segment on News 12 This Morning, a daily radio show on WRDW 1630 AM, a daily website, a weekly email business newsletter and the monthly publication Verge in addition to Buzz on Biz, the CSRA’s only monthly business publication. To learn more, visit buzzon.biz or email him at neil@ buzzon.biz.
The CSRA’s Only Monthly Business Magazine The Buzz on Biz mission is to act as an inspirational tool for those in the workplace and those who are entrepreneurs, and to provide useful, practical information to increase their companies’ bottom lines. To order a 12-month subscription mailed to your home or office, please mail a check for $36 to cover postage to the address below. Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830 Sales Manager Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727 Sales Kyle W. Evans/706-288-9957 Special Projects Erin Campbell/706-589-2033
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3740 Executive Center Drive, #300, Martinez, GA 30907
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
CABELA’S Continued from page 1 It’s nice to have a hunting, fishing and outdoor store right here.” Lest it seem like a men-only type of store, Duncan said that many women find plenty to keep them occupied in the store. “There have been stories of a wife thinking she’ll be bored but then it’s the husband who has to drag her away from the store,” Duncan said. One woman in line for the Grand Opening was Katie Lewis of Thomson, who waited while holding her 7-month-old baby. She served as a proxy for her husband and sons. “My husband and two boys hunt and fish, but they’re at work and at school,” she said. “I’m getting apparel for them and checking prices on hunting gear, guns and bows.” Duncan said she wondered at first, too, what interest the store would hold for her. “But now I have a list two pages long of things I want to buy,” she said. She said the wide selection of guns and the knowledgeable sales staff make it easy for women to buy things like guns. The lead sales person at the gun counter is female, and the store plans a Girls Night Out gun seminar on April 5. A sales staff who knows the products is a key to Cabela’s success, Duncan added. “Our staff is very passionate about the store,” she said. “We were very targeted in who we hired. We put experts in the departments, and do intense product training
More than 2,000 people waited in line for the Cabela’s Grand Opening on March 20. Photo by Gary Kauffman
with them. They either know about it, or know which of the staff does.” The Augusta Cabela’s is a Core-Flex store, meaning that it changes its inventory every three months to adjust to the season.
Currently it emphasizes turkey hunting, but that will change for the summer. The store also features an indoor archery range where customers can test their skills with new products.
More than 70 taxidermy pieces line the walls of the new Cabela’s Outpost. Photo by Gary Kauffman
Until now, the majority of Cabela’s stores have been located in the Midwest, Southwest and mountain states, but another store will open in Greenville, S.C., this month, and other Georgia stores are scheduled to open this year in Acworth and Fort Oglethorpe. Cabela’s stores have become known as destination stores, meaning people will often travel two or more hours to shop there. Duncan said in some cases families have even planned vacations around a trip to Cabela’s. That, she said, is good for local businesses like restaurants and hotels, who will benefit from the increased traffic. Cabela’s emphasis on the outdoors – their motto is “It’s in your nature” – makes a natural fit to support local outdoor areas like Augusta Canal, Savannah River and Phinezy Swamp. Millner said that as more Cabela’s open throughout the Southeast, more people will become familiar with the Cabela’s brand, which he believes is good news for people who enjoy the outdoors. “I think the hunters, fishermen and outdoors persons will like the choices,” he said.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
6 Buzz on Biz April 2014
Several business open, expand and move Openings and Expansions
Fairway Ford On Tuesday morning March 11 Fairway Ford of Evans announced a $1.5 million dollar renovation project at their dealership at the corner of Washington Road and Evans To Locks Road in Evans. Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross, Chamber of Commerce dignitaries and Fairway Ford management was on hand at the groundbreaking ceremony. Fairway Ford is hoping to complete the renovation project by Christmas time. They are located at the corner of Washington and Evans To Locks Road and are one of two auto dealerships in Evans; Dyer Kia is the other. The dealership will be re-designing and expanding its showroom and service department. They will also be working with Columbia County officials on changing the façade and landscaping in front of the facility. Brown Construction will be doing the renovation work. Premier Martial Arts Aaron Hensley, owner of Premier Martial Arts in North Augusta, has announced he is adding a second location in Grovetown. The new martial arts stuido will be in a block of stores in front of the Ivy Falls subdivision on Columbia Road, next to the Hoppy Feet Fun Center. It will open around May 1.
Hensley is a 6th degree black belt and trained under Chuck Norris. He was featured as the Businessperson of the Month in the January edition of Buzz on Biz.
Catch 231 A new take on seafood started recently in Aiken. Catch 231, the newest restaurant in The Alley, brings fresh seafood to Aikenites. Catch 231, at 231 The Alley in Aiken, will open its doors on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. The new restaurant, open for dinner Monday through Saturday, will feature fresh seafood brought in weekly from Beaufort, S.C. The restaurant is owned by Dr. Philip Jordan, Jeffery Jordan and Janice Rodriguez. The three also own and manage Up Your Alley Chophouse, across the street from Catch 231. The owners saw the need for a local seafood restaurant in downtown Aiken. “We were hearing feedback from our customers at Up Your Alley Chophouse, and we realized we were selling just as much seafood as we were our New York Strips,” Philip Jordan said. Executive Chef Keith Herron added, “Most of the produce used at Catch 231 will come from within 20 miles of the restaurant, and the seafood will be brought in each week from Beaufort.” Herron has worked at The Willcox, The Aiken Brewing Company, and Houndslake Country Club.
Mother-daughter duo branch out
A mother-daughter real estate team has branched out and rebranded its partnership with AikenHomes.com. Vikki Crossland and Brandi Crossland-Cook are a mother-daughter duo that has been working together at Meybohm Realtors since Brandi was a child. In 2004 the pair began working together full time when Brandi became a licensed agent. Now, they are branching out and rebranding their partnership with AikenHomes.com, an easier way to search for or sell a home in Aiken, South Carolina. The Meybohm subsidiary will provide Aiken home buyers and sellers with a team approach to real estate. Other members of the Aiken Homes team include Nancy Hardwood who specializes in assisting buyers in all phases of real estate transactions and Scott Linkenhoker who provides background support of daily operations and assists O’Donovans Irish Pub O’Donovans Irish Pub opened in March on the corner of 10th and Broad streets under the ownership of Elaine Sheridan D’Arcy. The pub serves traditional Irish fare, such as corned beef and cabbage and fish and chips. The bar has about a dozen beers on tap along with high-end liquors. The restaurant side of the business will be open for lunch and dinner. The pub will try to stay true to Ireland’s culture and expects to eventually bring in traditional Irish music. O’Donovans Irish Pub is located at 1002 Broad St., where the former Greek restaurant, Eros Bistro, had occupied. Geek Tech Geek Tech Computer & Cellular Services is opening in Waynesboro on Sixth and Peach streets across from the courthouse. Shawn Abrams, Jr. is the new owner. He specializes in computer, cell phone, tablet and video game repairs. It is also a PagePlus authorized dealer.
Infiniti of Augusta Infiniti of Augusta announced that it will be making a move later this year that will give it a state-of-the-art dealership. An Atlanta family purchased the Augusta Infiniti dealership from Bob Richards Infiniti in 2013 and continued to operate out of the same building on Washington Road in front of the Red Wing Roller Rink and Bowling Alley. The new dealership will be built on land acquired at 3315 Washington Road, which has been vacant for several years since Aarbour Pool and Spas had its showroom there. The Atlanta ownership group is leasing the current property and wanted to own the building and land. Though this footprint will be smaller, there will be access from Washington Road and Riverwatch Parkway. Since the Infiniti brand is made of cars only and no large trucks, the dealer-
with clients when Vikki and Brandi are unavailable. The Aiken Homes team shares the belief that if they do the right thing, do what they say they will do, and work hard, then success will follow. For more information on Aiken Homes, call 803-645-3325 or 803-6458008. You may also e-mail Vikki at Vikki@vikkicrossland.com or find Aiken Homes online at www.aikenhomes.com. ship group felt the space would be enough. The new Infiniti dealership will be open in the 4th Quarter of this year. Treasures For Your Home Treasures For Your Home is downsizing it’s store a bit from behind Augusta Mall to a much higher traffic location on Washington Road in Martinez. The store has moved from Wylds Road into the former Blockbuster location. Treasures For Your Home has been run by a husband and wife team for many years and opened in 1983. They join Great Deals on Furniture and Rooms to Go as some of the nearby furniture stores close to Washington Road and the Bobby Jones Expressway. Treasures For Your Home is a traditional furniture store featuring classic type offerings for every room in the home. Pizza Central Soon, Pizza Central of Evans will be moving its pizza ovens, tables and perishable food less than a mile away. The pizza place will move from its current location in the Quantum Fitness Plaza on Evans to Locks Road to a location next to the Home Depot off Washington Road and Belair. Pizza Central serves pizza, calzones, pasta, salads, chicken wings and more. Pizza Central will move into a larger Evans facility for more sit-down business. They will take the space vacated by the former Yumo Japanese Restaurant. There has been a lot of change in the businesses next to Home Depot. Last year, Food Lion closed and was replaced by Big Lots.
Aiken Bi-Lo One of Aiken’s Bi-Lo’s, located at 1149 York St., will close in July. It is one of several store locations closing throughout South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. The store is scheduled to shut its doors July 13.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
buzz bits Arts in Heart of Augusta Festival Wins Awards
Arts in the Heart of Augusta added to its list of achievements when it was awarded a Silver Kaleidoscope Award for Best Festival at the Southeast Festival and Event Association Conference held in Savannah in February. Arts in the Heart of Augusta competed with other Festivals from all over the southeast to win this award, which is just one of several garnered in the past year. Others were Best Festival for 2013 by readers of the Augusta Magazine; Best Annual Festival for 2013 by readers of Columbia County Magazine; A Top 20 Event for fall 2013 by Southeast Tourism Society; A Top 200 Event (debuting at a ranking of 73rd) by Sunshine Artist magazine; A Top USA Event by the publisher of Top Events USA; and a listing in American Profile «Happenings» column for the week of Aug. 25-31, 2013
Meybohm added to Luxury Portfolio Luxury Portfolio International has expanded its luxury broker collection with the addition of Meybohm Realtors, the No. 1 real estate firm in Augusta, North Augusta, and Aiken. Luxury Portfolio specializes in the high-end real estate market and is the luxury component of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, an organization encompassing more than 500 companies with 120,000 sales associates worldwide. As the largest real estate company in the area, Meybohm brings extensive resources and experience working with a wide range of properties. The company’s luxury program, Meybohm’s FINE, is dedicated to marketing world-class sporting and luxury properties, including equestrian estates, premier golf-oriented homes and historic residences. “We are delighted to welcome Meybohm Realtors to our network,” said Stephanie Pfeffer-Anton, executive vice
8 Buzz on Biz April 2014
president of Luxury Portfolio. “The company’s impressive market share and unique collection of properties make it a welcome addition to our network.”
Alzheimer’s group plans star dance fundraiser The Georgia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association recently announced the celebrity cast of the fourth annual fundraising event Dancing Stars of Augusta. The event is scheduled for Friday, June 6 at the Augusta Marriott and Convention Center. Set up much like the similarly named TV show, Dancing Stars of Augusta is made up of local celebrities who are paired with a professional dance partner from Ballroom in Motion dance studio. Each star dancer has committed to raise a minimum of $10,000 to benefit the Alzheimer›s Association, as well as learning a dance routine to be performed on the night of the event in front of a live audience. Every dollar raised by these local celebrities count as a vote, and the prized Mirror Ball Trophies will be awarded to the winners. The People›s Choice Award will be accepted by the dancer who raises the most individual dollars (and getting the most votes), while The Judge›s Choice Award will be given to the dancer with the highest performance scores. The 2014 celebrity cast of Dancing Stars of Augusta includes Ann Beth Strelec, Richmond County Board of Education; Bobby Gagnon, American Family Insurance; Cassidy Harris, Heartland Hospice; Chad Jordan, HCA-Doctor›s Hospital; DeDe Keir, Thomson Family Y; Janeabeth Well, Columbia County Commissioners; Robbie Bennett, Development Authority of Columbia County; Sandra Carraway, Columbia County Schools; Sara Allgood Yawn, Homemaker; Scott Brantley, Meybohm Realtors; and Steve Kendrick, Kendrick Paint and Body. Celebrities began practicing with their professional partners on March 24, 10 weeks prior to the event, in preparation for their live performances. Fans
Augusta rated 3rd-best city to start a business Augusta was recognized by WalletHub as the third-best city to start a business in the United States The ranking evaluated the 150 largest U.S. cities and used 14 unique metrics, ranging from five-year survival rate and the affordability of office space to the educational background of the local labor force. “Augusta’s ranking at No. 3 by WalletHub on their ‘2014 Best Cities to Start a Business’ list is another reflection of the strength of our local economy and our city’s constant comcan review the dancer bios, keep tabs on their favorite celebrity›s progress and «vote», ($1 equals one vote) at www. dancingstarsofaugusta.com.
Grovetown hotel worker wins state award Pamela Wrenn, housekeeper at the Best Western Evans Hotel in Grovetown, received the “Roomkeeper of the Year” award (division 1) during the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association’s “Stars of the Lodging Industry” celebration. “Pam delivers superior customer service to our guests,” said owner/general manager Kanta KR Kondur. “She anticipates guests’ needs and makes sure they are happy during their stay at our hotel. Pam is a good team player – she assists the other housekeepers when needed and also helps in the laundry. Pam goes that extra mile.
mitment to innovation,” said Mayor Deke Copenhaver. “As we look to the future I firmly believe this is one more leading indicator that our community is now entering a time of major growth and prosperity the likes of which we’ve never known. “ According to WalletHub, Augusta has the 19th-most industrial variety out of the 150 cities that it analyzed, as well as the 16th-lowest corporate taxes, the 18thmost affordable real estate, and the 20th-lowest average income. “We are happy that she has been recognized by the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association, and we are proud to have Pam as a member of our staff.” Since 2010, the Best Western Evans Hotel has received five GHLA “Stars” awards for staff members and five GHLA “Stars” awards for hotel programs. The hotel is located on Park West Drive, off Jimmie Dyess Parkway in Grovetown.
Plant Vogtle on schedule, within budget The Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion project is on schedule and within budget, officials with Georgia Power Co. reported Friday. In a construction monitoring update filed with the state Public Service Commission, the Atlanta-based utility indicated it spent $389 million last year on the planned addition of two nuclear reactors at the plant south of Augusta, bringing
Georgia Power’s total spending thus far to $2.6 billion. Georgia Power’s share as the largest partner in the $14 billion project is $6.1 billion. The first of the two nuclear units is due to go into service in the fourth quarter of 2017, to be followed by the second unit one year later. “We’re seeing visual progress,” said Buzz Miller, Georgia Power’s executive vice president for nuclear development. “Things keep getting higher.” Georgia Power’s report covering 2013 brought more positive news for the utility’s customers and shareholders than the last update a year ago. In February 2013, Georgia Power informed the PSC the Plant Vogtle expansion had fallen a year behind its original schedule. For the first time, the utility asked the commission to approve expenses beyond estimates the PSC certified when it approved the project. Since then, however, the project has kept within its revised schedule while reducing financing costs by $91 million due to a combination of more favorable interest rates and the project achieving construction milestones set for 2013. In fact, the projected impact on ratepayers is now at 2 percent to 4 percent, less than when the PSC certified the proj-
Martinez, Evans among best for home owners NerdWallet, a consumer advocacy group, has named Evans No. 2 and Martinez No. 12 on the list of Best Cities for Home Ownership in Georgia. The study looked at home availability, affordability and growth to determine the rankings. Most of the cities in the Top 20 are Atlanta suburbs. Nerdwallet described Evans as a “small town with big opportunities,” citing its proximity to Augusta and opportunities such as the Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon and Georgia Regents University. The study shows that Evans has an 86 percent homeownership rate, a median home value of $230,600 and an 8.7 percent population growth from 2010 to 2012.
James Brown movie set for summer release James Brown will finally have his life story told on the silver screen. Get On Up by Imagine Entertainment chronicles Brown’s rise from extreme poverty to stardom as The Godfather of Soul. It is set for release Aug. 1. Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed Jackie Robinson in the move 42, plays Brown. Among other actors in the movie are Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, both who appeared in The Help and Dan Aykroyd, with a cameo by Mick Jagger, who is also one of the film’s producers. Boseman reportedly studied films of Brown performing in concert and rehearsed five hours a day for two months for his portrayal of the man often known as The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business. Brown was born in Barnwell, S.C., and moved to Augusta when he was 4.
Leukemia fundraiser underway The third annual Man and Woman of the Year campaign of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society kicked off in March. The 10-week competition raises funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, with the top fundraisers earning the titles of Man & Woman of the Year. Winners will be announced at the Grand Finale Gala on Friday, May 30 at The Legends Club. The candidates are community and business leaders who are philanthropic and socially active, with an interest in making a difference in the lives of people suffering from blood cancers. This year’s class includes 11 members of the CSRA community who, as a team, aim to raise $250,000 in 10 weeks to fight blood cancer. The 2014 Augusta Man & Woman of the Year class includes Jenifer Davis; Andria Duff, Greenbrier High School; Ryan Forester, Northwestern Mutual; BJ Jordan, State Farm Insurance and Financial Services; Kim Kitts, Balanced Body Spa; Ryan McArdle, Blanchard and Calhoun; Marissa Ponzi,
buzz bits Governor’s Mansion decision to stock local coffee helps Golden Harvest Food Bank Harvest Blend coffee, created exclusively for Golden Harvest Food Bank by Augusta-based Buona Caffe Artisan Roasted Coffee, is now the official coffee of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion. Governor Nathan Deal and his wife, Sandra, were presented two bags of Harvest Blend during their Servant’s Heart Statewide Day of Service visit to The Masters Table Soup Kitchen on Dec. 7, 2013. The First Lady enjoyed it so much that she contacted Golden Harvest about serving it at the Governor’s Mansion. “We’re very excited that the First Lady wants to share Harvest Blend with her guests in Atlanta,” said John Curry, co-owner and roast master at Buona Caffe. “Our company Cintas; Courtney Prouty, Mass Media Marketing; Joshua Reid, Pipeline Work Clothes; Bethany Roley, Bethany’s Bikini Fit Camp; and Joy Weigle, Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church. For more information, contact Kate Sanders cell (404) 547-9099 or visit www.mwoy.org/ga.
Bell Ranger adds three clothing lines Three new lines of clothing have Bell Ranger Outdoor Apparel of Augusta excited about the future. Bell Ranger, which manufactures and distributes hunting, military and other outdoor clothing, recently received the license to manufacture and distribute clothing for U.S. Angler, Outdoor Legends and HillBilly. Bell Ranger plans to sell the clothing through outdoor stores and small businesses before possibly branching out to bigger retailers. Bell Ranger has already seen growth in its company in 2013 after a deal with camouflage clothing company Realtree. With the new deal, Bell Ranger expects to need bigger facilities in Augusta by year’s end. Its screen printing is done in Atlanta.
Sandra Deal will be serving Buona Caffe’s Harvest Blend in the Governor’s Mansion.
slogan is ‘Good things happen over good coffee.’ We would be thrilled if good things happen for the state of Georgia over a cup of Harvest Blend.” Harvest Blend coffee sells for $15 per 12-ounce bag,
UPS Raises Freight Rates UPS Freight, one of the nation’s largest heavy freight carriers, announced a general rate increase of 4.4 percent, effective March 31. This rate adjustment applies to non-contractual less-thantruckload shipments rated on the current UPS Freight tariffs, including 525, 560, 570 and 571. It also applies to all offshore rates and charges and accessorials listed in the UPS Freight 102 Series Rules Tariff. The impact of this general rate increase may vary by specific lane or shipment characteristics such as weight or class.
with 100 percent of the proceeds returning to Golden Harvest Food Bank. It is available in regular, decaf, whole bean and ground. “Our vision for Harvest Blend is to see it sold in local stores and brewed in large corporations for employees and guests,” said Mariam Baxter, Director of External Relations at Golden Harvest Food Bank. “We are very thankful for Buona Caffe and their endeavors to give back to the local community.” Harvest Blend can be purchased at Golden Harvest Food Bank, at Buona Caffe’s coffee bar at 1858 Central Ave., online at www.goldenharvest.org and at www.buonacaffe.com, and at 3 Chicks at 7013 Evans Town Center Blvd. in Evans. lina’s College of Arts and Sciences. She received the award at the College’s annual Recognition of Excellence Dinner on March 21. Hale is a native of Aiken. South Carolina, the first baby born to a DuPont family at the startup of the Savannah River Plant in Aiken. She is a graduate of St. Mary Help of Christians School and St. Angela Academy, both in Aiken. Hale is an experienced public policy strategist with an extensive career in the public and private sectors. She has held senior level positions in government and national campaigns, including the White House, where she was Assistant to the President, serving as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs following a year as Director of Scheduling and Advance, both for President Clinton.
Former Aiken woman honored Law firm adds by USC corporate Marcia L. Hale, President of Building America’s Future, a attorney national infrastructure coalition co-chaired by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Governor Ed Rendell, and former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Alumnae Award for her outstanding service to the University of South Caro-
Entrepreneurs in Augusta have a new source to tap for legal advice and counsel. Burroughs/Elijah Attorneys announced recently that Attorney Stephen Donaldson of Atlanta will join the team to manage the firm’s expansion to business and corporate law.
“With the addition of Stephen to our firm, Burroughs/Elijah offers a new level of affordable legal services to start-up companies and small businesses in the Augusta area,” said Brandon Elijah, one of the firm’s managing partners. “Stephen will provide our clients with his own unique brand of business and corporate legal services, specifically because of his background. He was educated at a top-tier law school, and over the past decade, has achieved success in his own right as a successful entrepreneur in Atlanta. Our clients will appreciate his knowledge of the law as well as his experience as a start-up business owner.” Donaldson comes to Burroughs/Elijah with a Juris Doctorate from Washington and Lee University School of Law. In his role as of Counsel, Donaldson will represent and advise clients on a wide range of corporate and business matters including corporate governance, organization and reorganization, shareholder relations, contracts, non-profit organizations, administrative and regulatory compliance and planning, business planning, and operations.
Local Bruster’s GM honored as the best Here’s a “scoop” for you – of all of the Bruster’s Real Ice Cream general managers in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama, Rodney Scruggs is No. 1. Scruggs is the General Manager of both the Augusta and Evans stores and has been operating both stores since 2011. He was recently given the Manager of the Year award by the Bruster’s CEO at their corporate meeting in Atlanta. Bruster’s cited several reasons for Scruggs winning the award. He manages both locations and consistently travels back and forth. Both stores had 100 percent customer service on their service checks. In terms of the bottom line, Scruggs was able to decrease Bruster’s costs by 5 percent while increasing revenues by 5 percent. “I’ve increased our catering and fundraising by 6 percent,” Scruggs said. “I fundraise with over 20 local schools in Richmond and Columbia counties.”.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
Yes, You CAN Safely Buy A Restaurant! You’ve heard the story – restaurants are scary acquisitions because they go out of business so frequently. Haven’t you seen that in your own neighborhood, a storefront or standalone building that’s been three or four different restaurants? Yes, restaurants, like other businesses, do fail. They fail for a variety of reasons, just like Kim Romaner other businesses. Some start up Business Broker from scratch underestimating build-out costs and working capital needed, and fold almost as fast as they open. Some buyers take over existing restaurants without knowing a thing about running a restaurant, and end up running the business into the ground. And some restaurant owners continue to own and operate the restaurant way past the time that they should have sold it, lose their passion and energy, and it begins to show in poor food quality, dirty bathrooms and fewer patrons coming in the door. When restaurants fail, it’s very visible because generally they’re in retail locations that you see every day driving down the
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streets of your town. But there are many, many very successful restaurants out there that would make great acquisitions, if only you knew what to look for. And there are many successful restaurant owners out there that had no restaurant experience when they bought, but are now seasoned restaurant owners because they put together a good team of advisors and invested in continual learning about the business. Here’s a starter kit for buying a restaurant whether you have experience in the industry or not. It’s not comprehensive, but it will get you headed in the right direction. The correct valuation method for a going restaurant is the income method. What is the current owner able to take out of the business every year, as payroll, personal insurance coverage, automobile expense, etc.? As I’ve mentioned before, this is called Seller’s Discretionary Earnings (SDE), or Owner’s Benefit. Please note that cash in the pocket is not part of this calculation. The seller has already received the benefit of taking the cash through tax savings and should not be rewarded for it twice. The seller is also highly unlikely to be able to adequately document it. Leave it out of the conversation. The correct value of the restaurant will generally be in the range of 1.7 – 3 times the SDE, depending upon market conditions. After you’ve reviewed the package provided to you by the seller’s broker, arrange
for a showing of the business. You’ll want to eat at the restaurant anonymously to test the service staff and food quality, unless you’re already familiar with the restaurant. The showing will generally be a meeting between yourself and the current owner, before or after hours, to go through the restaurant in more detail and ask questions. Don’t talk to the employees or other patrons of the restaurant about the business. That’s a big no-no. Make a written offer based on what you’ve seen, and submit it with your earnest money, generally about $10,000. Don’t be afraid of signing a contract. A standard offer agreement protects the buyer should something unexpected be revealed in the due diligence. You can walk away with your earnest money if you see something you don’t like. The agreement also protects you should the seller try to pull out after agreeing to your offer, or can’t consummate the sale. Take your due diligence seriously, especially the deadline for completing it,
because there will be one, and missing it has consequences, which are outlined in the offer agreement. Inspect the premises, the equipment, the books, the lease, POS (Point of Sale) reports, proof of owner salary and anything else that helps you prove out the numbers. The deal structure for buying a restaurant is generally an asset sale, meaning that you assume no responsibility for any liabilities – nor benefit from any outstanding accounts receivable – of the previous owner. And don’t worry about making sure all equipment is paid for. Your closing attorney will do a lien search on your behalf to confirm. And speaking of attorneys, make sure you have a good team of advisors to help you get through this process. Buying a restaurant, just like any large purchase, does have risks, but you can eliminate most of them by exercising a disciplined purchase process. This is a sponsored article. 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 more than 70 locations in the United States and abroad, Transworld has sold thousands of businesses. If you’d like to talk to Kim about selling or valuing your business, buying a franchise or turning your existing business into a franchise operation, call 706-383-2994, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take advantage of all the tax breaks you can It is a known fact that tax laws are in a constant state of flux. From year to year it is difficult to know exactly what can and cannot be taken as a deduction or what tax credits are available to individual taxpayers. Here are a few tax breaks that you want to be sure you take advantage of this year if you qualify: State Sales and Income Taxes – Thanks to the fiscal cliff deal last January, the sales tax deduction, Christine which originally Hall, CPA expired at the end of 2011, was reHall & instated in 2013 Associates (retroactive to 2012). As such, taxpayers filing their 2013 returns can still deduct either state income tax paid or state sales tax paid, whichever is greater. Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit – Most parents realize that there is a tax credit for daycare when their child is young, but they might not realize that once a child starts school, the same credit can be used for before and after school care, as well as day camps during school vacations. Job Search Expenses – Job search ex-
penses are 100 percent deductible, whether you are gainfully employed or not currently working – as long as you are looking for a position in your current profession. Expenses include fees paid to join professional organizations, as well as employment placement agencies that you used during your job search. Travel to interviews is also deductible (as long as it was not paid by your prospective employer) as is paper, envelopes, and costs associated with resumes or portfolios. The catch is that you can only deduct expenses greater than 2 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Student Loan Interest Paid by Parents – Typically, a taxpayer is only able to deduct interest on mortgages and student loans if he or she is liable for the debt; however, if a parent pays back their child’s student loans the money is treated by the IRS as if the child paid it. As long as the child is not claimed as a dependent, he or she can deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest paid by the parent. The deduction can be claimed even if the child does not itemize. This is a sponsored Employment article. Hall & Associates P.C. is a full-service public accounting firm established in 1979. They have a staff of experienced professionals that stand ready to meet all of your accounting, tax and general business needs. For a complimentary consultation, call 706-855-7733 or visit hallassociatescpa.com.
Medical Expenses – Most people know that medical expenses are deductible as long as they are more than 10 percent of AGI for tax year 2013. What they often don’t realize is what medical expenses can be deducted, such as medical miles (24 cents per mile) driven to and from appointments and travel (airline fares
or hotel rooms) for out of town medical treatment. Are you getting all of the tax credits and deductions that you are entitled to? Maybe you are...but maybe you’re not. Why take a chance? Make an appointment with us today and we’ll make sure you get all of the tax breaks you deserve.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
E-Z-Go celebrates 60 years in cart business By Stephen Delaney Hale Over the past six decades, E-Z-Go carts have represented Augusta around the world with their style, reliability and the fun that comes when they drive up. Leaders of the E-Z-Go world headquarters and manufacturing plant just north of the Augusta airport say they wouldn’t want to be anywhere else and they’re planning some surprises for their fans, but we’ll have to wait for the party in June. That’s when the world-renowned golf cart company turns 60. According to Brandon Haddock, director of communications at E-Z-Go for the past seven years, the company came about in June 1954 when brothers Bev and Billy Dolan, newly discharged from the U.S. Army, saw a makeshift motorized buggy that they knew they could improve upon. Even more importantly, in the Home of Golf, they saw a market for it – and they were right. “They set up a tiny, one-room machine shop in Grovetown,” Haddock said, “and began making carts using surplus 24-volt motors from the wing flaps of decommissioned B-17 bombers. I’m told the machine shop was so small that they had to open the windows (during assembly).” The idea caught on at the same time that golf was enjoying tremendous post-war growth. Between golf and several other leisure industries, the company expanded rapidly.
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How did the Dolan brothers come up with the different but catchy name? “I don’t know for sure,” Haddock said with a laugh, “but the story goes that it came out of a discussion among a group of gentlemen in the card room at Augusta Country Club. It came out of the blue. They liked it and they stuck with it.” In 1960, E-Z-Go was acquired by Textron and Haddock said it has been among
the longest serving and most productive lines of Textron ever since. “We have been based in Augusta for our entire 60 years and we have built our reputation around the world for light and reliable transportation right here over those years,” Haddock said. “Today we build more than 50 vehicle models in our plant in Augusta with a great array of personal, recreational and industrial applications.”
That diversification continues to take new shapes with shuttles around airports and college campuses, consumer vehicles and the increasingly popular Bad Boy vehicles, loved by hunters and other outdoorsmen because they are silent and odor free. Haddock said the company’s longevity and stability can be traced to the people who work there. “E-Z-Go is very proud of our heritage in Augusta,” he said, “but we would not have been in Augusta as long as we have if not for the quality of our workforce here and the quality of life our employees can enjoy here in Augusta and the Central Savannah River Area.” Haddock added, “We have been very fortunate to have the high-quality workforce that built our company – not just their tremendous skills and what they do on our factory floor and in our boardrooms, but for the incredibly devoted workers who put forth such tremendous effort, allowing the company to achieve our ambitious goals.” That goes for the entire area as well, “Quite frankly, the level of support we have received over the years from our city leaders, area business leaders and chambers of commerce, and really, from people throughout the region, makes us humbled by the appreciation Augusta has given us throughout our history,” Haddock said. That workforce continues to expand, and See E-Z-GO, page13
E-Z-GO Continued from page 12 Haddock expects it will add about 20 new people in the next few weeks. E-Z-Go has expanded at double-digit pace for the past several years. They have about 650 employees in Augusta and about 950 worldwide. Most of the people outside of Augusta, notably in Canada, Europe and Asia are in marketing and service. E-Z-Go has just established a joint venture in Jiangsu Province in China, west of Shanghai, to design and produce vehicles for the specific needs in China’s golf and commercial sectors.
“We have operations around the globe today and they all know about Augusta,” Haddock said. Haddock said he couldn’t release many of the details ahead of time, but that the company is planning a 60th anniversary celebration that will include the rollout of a limited edition golf cart and a number of new products “that will be exciting.” It will be exciting because E-Z-Go has been such a good friend and neighbor in Augusta for all these decades and there is sure to be plenty of fun on wheels to come.
Textron a world manufacturing leader
Textron has owned E-Z-Go since 1960. Textron itself was founded in 1923 as Special Yarns Company, a textile producer in Providence, R. I. It has since become a widely diversified manufacturing company headquartered in New Hampshire, and rated as being worth $12.1 billion last year. It is listed among the Forbes 500 companies. Among Textron’s other divisions are: Bell Helicopter, America’s foremost helicopter company, headquartered in Hurst, Tex. Cessna, a leading American general aviation manufacturing corporation headquartered in Wichita, Kans. Greenlee, an industrial and electrical tool company founded in 1862 by brothers Robert and Ralph Greenlee and headquartered in Rockford Ill.
Jacobsen, a leading manufacturer of garden tractors, and other turf care and maintenance equipment and vehicles, Cushman motors, started in 1903 in Lincoln, Neb., by Everett and Clinton Cushman and now based in Augusta, is a manufacturer of industrial, personal and custom vehicles known for their rugged construction and used in difficult work environments. Cushman was perhaps most famous for the lightweight Cushman motorcycles airdropped behind enemy lines and used by American parachutists during World War II. Textron Systems, an aerospace and defense development and manufacturing firm headquartered in Wilmington, Mass., and several other units, including Beechcraft, Hawker and Scorpion aircraft.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
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From engineer to golf program director Jill Brown has been the executive director of The First Tee of Augusta for 11 years, a pretty good stint for someone who was an engineer at the Savannah River Site and who doesn’t play golf. It was a co-worker at SRS who urged her to apply for the position. Brown applied more to get the co-worker to quit bugging her than having any real interest in the job. No one was more surprised than Brown that she was hired for the job, although she has no regrets about her change in career. The First Tee is a national organization that teaches golf to kids, but more impor-
tantly, instills core values that they carry into all aspects of their lives. She said the fact that she doesn’t play golf has not been a detriment and in some ways has been a benefit, since she’s not distracted by the desire to play a round of golf. What are you passionate about in your job? My most favorite part is helping to create the programs and opportunities to help young people. The nine core values that guide what we do here – those are things I do in my life. People who come in here know what to expect, and the kids know it.
We want your kids to carry these core values to the next place they go, whether that’s home or school. There’s a whole generation of children who have never heard of something as simple as courtesy. What we do
Businessperson of the Month Jill Brown, The First Tee here is really important. What brings you the most satisfaction? Seeing the growth in the kids and hearing from their parents how the things the children learned have impacted them in a positive way. We’ve created a total environment that really teaches everyone, even the college students who work here. The college students aren’t really in the classes but they say they’ve learned things. I hope it rubs off on everyone who walks through the door. Who has inspired you? I was very fortunate to have great parents and grandparents. Both parents were teachers and my grandparents were farmers so I learned about hard work. The nine core values is the way I was raised. It’s the way I saw my parents and grandparents live and what I took to be normal. I’m in their fan club. They’re great people. What’s been your favorite experience in
your job? I don’t know that I have one. There’s never a dull moment. But I can say it’s a fun job. There are days it grays my hair but it is really a fun job, especially as compared to my job as an engineer. How has your background as an engineer helped you in this job? I’m doing way more engineering than I ever did at Savannah River Site. Engineering teaches you to think in a very analytical way. When I create an event or marketing material, I analyze what we’re doing. How will it be perceived by people? How are kids going to experience it? It’s helped us fine tune some things and eliminate some things. How do you unwind? I love Pinterest. I love spending time with my family. Grilling out is one my favorite things. I love good food – I’m an undercover foodie. And I have a great group of friends. Friends, family and food. If your life had a theme song, what would it be? Depends on what day it is. I would give each day its own theme song. Some days it would be Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, other days it would be Groovy People. What do you see for your future? I’m a Christian so I have no idea where God will place me next. I’m really good where He puts me. But I feel comfortable that wherever it is, I’ll take the nine core values with me. They’ve proven to be beneficial. I want to see people do well.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
Buying scalped Masters ticket could be your ticket to jail It is that time of year again. The Azaleas are about to bloom and Augusta is about to be the most watched city in America for the Master’s Tournament. And the tickets are certainly not cheap. Actual tournament tickets are going for around $4,388 for Thursday through Sunday and a coveted Par 3 ticket is running about $912 on Stubhub. It is no wonder that many folks come here empty handed but PJ Campanaro prepared to grab a Attorney deal on tickets outside the gates. However, Buyer and Seller both beware because you do not want your trip to The National to become a trip the Richmond County Jail. During the 2012 tournament the Richmond County Sherriff ’s office arrested 24 people under the County Ordinance Code for Disorderly Conduct, but last year the sheriff ’s department changed position and began giving out warnings before charging
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and traveling under the State Code. The Georgia State Code states that, “For all venues which seat or admit 15,000 or more persons, a ticket broker and its employees, agents and assigns are criminally prohibited from reselling or offering for resale any ticket within 2,700 feet from the venue where an event or contest is to be held or is being held.” Most people get in trouble by buying or selling tickets within 2,700 feet of the venue even though they aren’t a broker. But don’t look for any designated marker for the 2,700-foot distance, although just beyond the Parkway Inn on Washington Road is a good estimate of the boundary. However, feel free to give your tickets away no matter what the distance you are from that gate. That isn’t a crime and maybe Masters Week might be a great time to be generous. PJ Campanaro has been practicing law since 1999, specializing in violent crime, DUI, custody and child support. She is a member of the Augusta Bar and former Chief Solicitor General. If you have comments or story ideas, contact PJ at email@example.com or call 706-821-2222.
Masters vet brings mojo to Andrew’s Place Dickson expects well-known customers during Masters Week
By Neil Gordon, Publisher Jody Dickson has been to this party before. A lot. “I’m always excited around Masters time, because you’ll never who you’ll see,” said the Andrew’s Place Operations Manager. “I expect golfer Fuzzy Zoeller to be at our VIP party Monday night from 8-9 p.m. during Masters. He’s been with me many Mondays of Masters Week.” Dickson’s first Masters running a bar was in 1981. He has “bar-hopped” a bit for the last 33 years, running successful operations at the Adam’s in the old Holiday Inn, The Electric Cowboy, Saints, and more recently Coconut’s, Chevy’s and Cadillac’s. Golfers aren’t the only ones who might show up at Andrew’s. Actors like Kevin Costner, Bill Murray and Mel Gibson, and athletes like George Brett, Robin Yount and Jim Kelly have been known to show up at one of Dickson’s bars. What’s different for the weathered operations manager at Andrew’s compared to his recent gigs is that the rules for Masters Week will be different. That’s because Andrew’s Place is also a restaurant. “A lot of bars don’t serve food so they have to close on Sundays,” Dickson said. “We expect the Sunday before and the final round Sunday to be strong days.”
He hopes Andrew’s Place will be a kickoff for the tournament for those getting ready for a 90-hour week. “The Sunday night after the tournament will be great for area food and beverage workers and golf course workers,” he said. To entertain The Masters contingent, Dixon has booked a live band for nine consecutive nights from the Saturday before to the Sunday of the final round. He’s giving local bands like Robin Dixon and The Midnight Moon Band, Hello Betty, Perfect Picture and Augusta’s Most Wanted prime exposure. “They’ll all play a mix of beach music, blues, Top 40 and, above all, dance music,” said Dickson. To ensure success, Dickson will call on his old friends – ticket brokers – to invite VIPs from area hospitality houses. They’ll open the patio and grill out food for guests. Andrew’s Place is also a great venue for The Masters if you failed to score a ticket. Andrew’s will show all the action on an 80-inch television. In addition, it has seven other TVs in the restaurant. Andrew’s Place opened on New Year’s Eve 2013 in the former Malibu Jack’s building at 231 Furys Ferry Plaza, a block west of Washington Road. Call 706.426.7904 for details
Operations Manager Jody Dickson, bartender Kaitlyn Alexander and the owner’s son, Nicky Marks, pose behind the bar and in front of their Masters memorabilia area at Andrews Place . Photo by Neil Gordon
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
Health Care Reform & Your Business Open Enrollment Days….I mean Daze
As we embark upon the final days of open enrollment of the new government health insurance exchanges we can certainly say we have had our fair share of ups and downs in this initial six month process. In the first two months we experienced glitches galore that made the enrollment experience extremely time consuming and mentally challenging. Per health care Russell T. Head reform law, March Employee Benefits 31st is the schedConsultant uled deadline for open enrollment. However due to an expected crowd of last minute enrollees the government will allow for an additional 15 days of enrollment on healthcare.gov if you experience technical issues while trying to enroll before the 31st. I guess you could say there is nothing like the anticipation of the expected. So what are top 5 Pros and Cons that we can take away from our initial experience with the exchange.
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Pros: 1) Access to health insurance for the uninsurable – the new health insurance exchanges created an opportunity for individuals to purchase coverage no matter what their previous health history may have been or even what their current medical status may be. 2) Individual policy holders who remained with the same insurance carrier due to uninsurable pre-existing conditions are now free to purchase coverage both on the exchange and off the exchange. 3) Individuals were no longer rated due to you being either male or female and industry/career identification no longer played a role in underwriting. Basically high risk occupations can no longer be considered. Russell T. Head is a Partner and Chief Visionary Architect with Group & Benefits Consultants, Inc., Augusta’s largest, privately held, locally owned employee benefits consulting firm. He can be reached at 706-7333459 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Group & Benefits Consultants at www.groupandbenefits.com.
4) Individual rates decreased for about 30% of the population who already had existing individual coverage. 5) Premium tax credits and cost sharing subsidies for those who qualify. Cons: 1) Competition in our market has been limited. In the Augusta market we have only two carriers that participated in the first year: Humana and BCBSGA. Aetna and Coventry were only available off exchange while the country’s largest insurer, United Healthcare chose not to enter the permanent individual market in 2014. 2) Age, Age, Age…..initial reports put a solid majority of individuals enrolling as older Americans. A pool of older enrollees will drive up rates for next enrollment season. 3) If not age then perhaps the Cobra policy holders, the State Continuation policy holders, the High Risk pool recipients, the Conversion policy holders and the PCIP policy holders – all of which typically spell the unhealthiest of the unhealthy. An unhealthy risk pool drives up rates for everyone.
4) Mandates, taxes, fees, etc…..if you liked what you had before and you could afford to keep it by early renewing December 1st, 2013 then you may be in for a surprise come next enrollment period. Expect your rates to increase dramatically when they renew. 5) Access to your healthcare provider of choice – in the future you will see the development of narrower networks based both on cost efficiencies and quality outcomes. Accountable care organizations will thrive in the years to come. You may have access to your physician and hospital of choice or you may not. Access to all providers will come at a hefty price. Next year’s open enrollment will only last two months – November 15 through January 15 – let’s hope we are glitch free with four fewer months to enroll. For further explanation of the ACA/ PPACA provisions outlined in this article, please refer to the following resources: www.hhs.gov www.irs.gov www.healthcare.gov www.cms.gov
Annuity offers two ways to financial security In planning for financial security in retirement, an annuity can satisfy two basic objectives: 1. To accumulate retirement assets on a tax-deferred basis: If you’re already contributing the maximum to IRAs and any employersponsored retirement plans and need to save more for retirement, a Mike Herrington deferred annuFiscal Fitness ity may be the answer to your Investment Advisor retirement savings need. 2. To convert retirement assets into an income that you cannot outlive: On the other hand, if you’re near or at retirement, an immediate income annuity can be used to convert existing retirement assets into a lifetime income. An annuity is a long-term savings plan that can be used to accumulate assets on a tax-deferred basis for retirement and/or to convert retirement assets into a stream of income. While both are insurance contracts,
an annuity is the opposite of life insurance: – Life insurance provides financial protection against the risk of dying prematurely. – An annuity provides financial protection against the risk of living too long and being without income during retirement. If you are already contributing the maximum to an IRA and/or an employer-sponsored retirement plan, an annuity can be an excellent way to save for financial security in retirement.
few months or years. 2. Installment Method. The purchase price could be paid in installments after the owner’s death. For the purchaser(s), this could mean a drain on business income for years. In addition, payments to the surviving family would be dependent on future business performance after the owner’s death. 3. Loan Method. Assuming that the new owner(s) could obtain a business loan, borrowing the purchase price requires that future business income be used to repay the loan plus interest.
4. Insured Method. Only life insurance can guarantee that the cash needed to complete the sale will be available exactly when needed at the owner’s death, assuming that the business has been accurately valued. If you died or become disabled yesterday, who would own and manage your business today? Contact my office if you’d like additional information on the role an annuity might play in your retirement or business goals.
There are four ways to fund a buy-sell plan at a business owner’s death: 1. Cash Method. The purchaser(s) could accumulate sufficient cash to buy the business interest at the owner’s death. Unfortunately, it could take many years to save the necessary funds, while the full amount may be needed in just a This is a sponsored financial column. Mike Herrington is the President of Herrington Financial Services, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisor. Mike 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. He can be reached at 706-868-8673 email@example.com
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
Dare to be different – or die Differentiate or Die by Jack Trout 240 pages Availabe in hard cover, paperback, Kindle and audio CD
Whenever I run into small business owners, one book I always recommend is Differentiate or Die by Jack Trout. In this book, Trout tells how to make your business stand out from all your competitors. Being able to draw clients or customers to your business is a key to your success. You don’t want to be the same as everyone else, do you? No! You want to show the consumer that when they deal with you, they get something from you they can’t get anywhere else. That will bring them in the first Eddie Kennedy time and also will keep them Business Book coming back. Reviews Here are the major points you learn from this book: Have a differentiating idea, have the credentials to support your idea and communicate your difference. Differentiating Idea. The Idea that makes you different is one that separates you from your competitors. Your difference does not have to be product related. It could be limited hours, limited service, specialty offerings, exclusive brands, etc. Create a business model that is not already in your market or that cannot be easily duplicated by your competitors. Credentials. You have to have the credentials to support your idea. You need a logical argument for your difference. This makes your business difference real and believable. Demonstrate your difference. If it’s your product, show
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it. If it’s your offerings or brands, be able to convince the consumer why it’s better. You must be able to prove why your difference is a benefit to the consumer. Communicate. You must communicate your difference to your target customer. Everything you do must tell your difference. Your advertising. Your websites. Your brochures. Your sales staff must know your story and must be able to tell it effectively to your consumer. Only then will you get the credit for being different in the marketplace. Learn this principle. Use it. It will help your business grow and prosper even in economic downturns and in good times. It will set you apart from a crowded field of competitors. Eddie Kennedy is the owner of Great Deals on Furniture in Augusta and an avid reader of business books. Eddie believes every business owner should invest in themselves by reading, but if you can’t, then read his column every month to see what he learned. Have you read any great business books? Let Eddie know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eye Guys first to get new LASIK technology The world’s fastest and most precise refractive laser suite designed specifically for LASIK arrived this week at the new state-of-the-art Laser Center at The Eye Physicians & Surgeons of Augusta (The Eye Guys), 1330 Interstate Parkway. According to leading eye surgeon Bradley Bertram, M.D., who said the new Wavelight Refractive Suite is the ‘Next Generation’ in LASIK technology. “With most LASIK treatment times under 10 seconds, this breakthrough laser technology is taking the popular LASIK procedure to the next level in terms of safety, precision, accuracy and results,” Bertram said. “Faster treatment times enhance the visual recovery process and improve outcomes because there is less trauma to the eye.” The Eye Guys are the first group of ophthalmologists in the country to receive the Wavelight Refractive Suite that features WaveNet technology. “My partners and I are obviously extremely proud to be the first and only practice in the entire country to offer the benefits of this advanced technology to our patients,” Bertram said. “As refractive surgeons, we are always researching ways to improve refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism,” said eye surgeon Herbert Fechter, M.D. “This new Wavelight Refractive LASIK Suite allows for a much greater degree of safety and accuracy that allows us to further fine tune surgical treatment plans for each of our patients.” The higher laser speeds allow for faster treatment times and less time that the patient needs to be in surgery.
Patience is not a virtue for web browsers I have friends that have no patience for waiting – for anything. They freak out when they have to wait a few extra minutes at the Starbucks drive thru, when standing in line at the movies or waiting a couple of extra seconds for a web page to load. These precious seconds feels like an eternity to them. The constant demand for “I want it now” is evident in many areas of our lives. Retailers like Walmart, Amazon and eBay have gone from nextday delivery to “same-day delivery” in certain cities, while hospitals display emergency room wait times on billboards and Jeff Asselin on hospital webDirector of Sales sites. Smartphone & Marketing at apps eliminate Powerserve waiting on a taxi, making reservations at a fancy restaurant and even helping singles find a date. As our society becomes less patient, it is more important than ever to be sure your website loads quickly! Pew Research’s “Internet and American Life Project” tells us that the hyper-connected crowd under the
age of 35 has a “...need for instant gratification and loss of patience.” It’s not just the Gen Y’ers, but any of us who’ve groaned while being “forgotten” on hold with a doctor’s office, waited too long at a railroad crossing or suffered through a slow YouTube video stream. Ramesh Sitaraman, a computer science professor at the University of Massachusetts, examined the viewing habits of 6.7 million internet users in an study released last fall. How long were subjects willing to be patient? Two seconds. “After that they started abandoning,” Sitaraman said. “After five seconds, the abandonment rate is 25 percent. When you get to 10 seconds, half are gone.” As Internet speeds increase, web users are becoming even less patient. Slow website loads affect visitors’ behavior and leads to decreases in sales conversions and revenue. A one-second delay can result in a 7 percent reduction in conversions. That one-second delay to an e-commerce site making $100,000 per day could potentially cost $2.5 million in lost sales every year. There are a several factors that can slow a website’s load time. Low server memory, competing resources and data influx, higher than normal levels of website traffic, complex navigation, site design, large images and apps are just a few of the reasons a
website might load slowly. Google has gone on record to say that website speed is included in its algorithm for search engine results rankings. Visitors expect the same experience on mobile devices and desktops. Having a website that is optimized for multiple screen sizes/devices (Responsive Web Design) allows text and images to be scaled down and rearranged. That speeds up load times and maximize web experiences. As our society continues to crave immediate gratification and demand faster service it is time to make sure your website is keeping up. There are many things a web design company can do to test, measure
and improve your site’s speed. What are you waiting for? This is a sponsored article. 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. He will put his more than 16 years of advertising and marketing experience to work for you in helping grow your business. For more information , visit www.powerserve.net or his office at 961 Broad St., Augusta. Contact him at email@example.com or706-691-7189 or 706826-1506, ext 122.
Museum plans Civil War exhibition The Augusta Museum of History will present Augusta, 1864, an exhibition that focuses on Augusta and its citizens as they prepared for a military invasion. What did happen and how did it affect the region and its people? “Researching this time period was a fascinating journey,” said Nancy Glaser, exec-
utive director. “Reading the letters, diaries and newspaper accounts was an opportunity to visit another time and also feel the foreboding of a way life for many that was coming to an end.” The exhibition, Augusta, 1864 was made possible by the Porter Fleming Foundation.
Arts in the Heart gears up for 2014 Arts in the Heart Festival is accepting applications for 2014. The festival committee and staff are busy gearing up for the 34th annual event to be held September 19-21, 2014. As in the previous three years, the festival will be held on Broad Street and the
Augusta Common. Applications are now available online for the following areas: the Fine Arts & Fine Crafts Market, Volunteers and Food Vendors. They may be found at www.artsintheheart.com.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
Some reasons to use a qualified business attorney Considering the growing popularity of websites offering legal forms and self-help guides, it is helpful to keep in mind some reasons why using a qualified business attorney to form a company for your business is advisable: Forming a Separate Legal Entity. If you are operating as a sole proprietorship or general partnership, you are not protected from liability. Setting up a separate legal entity can protect your personal assets from risks related to the operation of your business. A qualified business attorney can advise you on which J. Brian King legal structure makes the most Business Law sense for your Attorney business whether it be, for example, a limited liability company, limited partnership, C-corporation, or S-corporation. Advice Regarding Maintaining Limited Liability. Just filing the forms is not enough. Company operation is as important as the formation documents. The way you operate your business can increase the risk of liability and the risk of a plaintiff ’s attorney piercing the corporate liability
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shield and attacking you personally for legal liabilities. A qualified business attorney can give advice regarding operating the business in such a way as to reduce those risks and maintain limited liability. It is much cheaper to set up your company in the proper fashion in the beginning, have the right legal documents in place, and operate your business in the proper fashion than to find problems, or for a plaintiff ’s attorney to find problems, with your business later. Litigation on the back end is much more expensive than doing the proper legal work on the front end. Agreements among Business Owners. Having multiple owners of a business has its advantages and disadvantages. Care needs to be taken that the relationship between the owners is well defined. A qualified business attorney can draft an agreement that sets out the arrangement between the owners and includes buy-sell provisions to account for possible future events such as death, disability, divorce, or bankruptcy of a business owner, and determine what happens to that owner’s interest in the company. Tax Structure. A qualified business attorney understands the tax implications of the types of legal entities available. Often, tax elections should be made at formation to save you time and money. Further, your operations can be structured in such a manner to save taxes. A qualified business attorney can advise you on these and other tax issues.
Some people are hesitant to want to pay an attorney to set up their company and provide advice, but it is better than being forced to pay an attorney to deal with issues later. Having the proper setup for your business will not guarantee that you will not be sued in this litigious society, but it will help reduce the chances of you being sued and maximize the chances of winning a legal dispute if you are sued. Having a qualified business attor-
ney that understands business law, tax implications, and liability risks allows business owners to focus on the profitability of their business rather than worry about legal and tax issues. J. Brian King is an experienced business law attorney and a partner at Donsbach & King, LLC. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Subway honoring Habitat workers Like many organizations, Habitat for Humanity relies on volunteers to accomplish its mission to “build houses and hope.” Locally-owned Subway restaurants are thanking Habitat volunteers at work sites in the CSRA and across the Carolinas with a free catered lunch during National Volunteer Week, April 6-12. “Our volunteers are the backbone of Habitat,” said Dennis Hoyt, Executive Director for the Augusta/CSRA Habitat for Humanity. “We appreciate Subway joining us to show our local citizens who give their time and talents that we value what they do to make our community better.” Approximately 2,000 Habitat for Humanity volunteers working across the region will be catered boxed lunches by the local franchise owners and employees of Subway restaurants, including Habitat volunteers in Aiken and Augusta. “There are many unsung heroes who help
make our community a better place,” said Nalini Patel, a local owner of Subway restaurants. “We wanted to take this opportunity to say ‘thanks’ to Habitat volunteers for giving back in a very tangible way.” Each year, Habitat for Humanity in the CSRA depends on hundreds of volunteers to complete its building projects. The spring build season is underway. Information on becoming a Habitat volunteer is available at www.augustahabitat. org. Volunteering in the United States fell in 2013 to its lowest rate since tracking began just over a decade ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report. Georgia has an annual volunteer rate of 24.3 percent, with 1.84 million volunteers serving 209.2 million total hours per year. South Carolina’s annual volunteer rate is 25.5 percent, with 914,410 volunteers serving 133.4 million total hours per year.
careers & EDUCATION Find the job, career that is perfect for you
Having a great job is one of the most important, fulfilling things in life. Yet many people are unemployed and underemployed. Here are some suggestions to increase the probability of an improved career path. Set Goals. If you are serious about obtaining a better job or career, write down specifically what Larry Rudwick you want, how Business and you plan to accomplish it, how Relationship Coach much time each step will take, and when you plan to accomplish your goal. If you don’t know specifically what you want, start with more general goals and work on making them more specific. Use Google! The Internet has anything you can imagine, and more. Google things like “Lists of Jobs and Careers.” It’s amazing what pops up, and how it may help you figure out what really interests you. Do a S.W.O.T. Analysis of Yourself. Carefully analyze your Strengths and Weakness (which are things you can do something about), and the Opportunities and Threats (the Job Market environment, things you cannot control). The purpose of a SWOT Analysis is the figure out how to best use your strengths within the environment that exists, so you can aim for a position that needs what you are good at,
and that doesn’t require areas that are your weaknesses. Ideally, there is also a shortage of qualified people as well, such as software programmers. Go to Other Websites for 1) Tips on improving your resume, 2) What jobs are most in demand today, 3) Websites that advertise positions available, including Craigslist and 4) Websites that advertise job seekers. Become More Attractive to Potential Employers. Time is money, and great places to work often have money to pay but time is scarce. Making a good first impression (and second and third) is VITAL. You must present yourself well: 1) Have a very well written resume, targeted to the position you are seeking, 2) Look appropriately presentable for the position, in terms of grooming and clothing and 3) Be well prepared, articulate and confident. Use the Resources Available to You: Don’t forget, there are general resources available to everyone, and personal resources thast can give you a leg up. You likely have more resources to tap into than you realize. General Resources include what we can find on the Internet, books and tapes and the like. Consider joining Toastmaster, a group can helps people learn to listen better and improve speaking, especially in front of groups. Personal Resources include the network
of people we know who may directly or indirectly help us sort things out, give us referrals, or even offer us a job themselves! Don’t be shy to ask for help. Additional Thoughts and Conclusions: For many people, a great job and career is similar to a great marriage; it’s a long term, win-win growing experience that is a big, important part of our life. Thinking of it like that, isn’t it well worth the effort to pursue and ultimately find a job and career that
is perfect for you? It’s vital to be persistent, and find resources that will stack the odds in your favor. Finding a great job IS a big job to be taken seriously. Get some help, and don’t do it all alone. For more information, contact me. There is no charge for an initial consultation. Go to http://www.businesstune-ups.com/ index.html, sign up for my free newsletter, and call me. Larry Rudwick 571-331-6102.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
What? Are we speaking the same language? BC’s not available, but I can place your CMYK ad IFC, FRR, or IBC. What? Welcome to my world. And it’s a near guarantee you move in a culture with its own similar kind of coded language. Like most folks, I noticed as a kid that people in work places seemed to speak their own language, and usually it sounded like a kind of verbal shorthand. At the pizza place they’d holler, “pep”, instead of “pepperoni”. “’Really?” I thought. “People are so lazy they can’t push themselves to even finish
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the word?” And then came Sociology 1 in school in which all was made clear. All of us live in a world of clubs – sociology likes to call them cultures – each with its own set of rules and language. In a given day we move from club to club, adjusting our behaviors and speech along the way. John Doe is married. He and his wife over time have fashioned a comfort zone of language and behaviors, so first thing in the morning he belongs to the club called Husband. Then he moves out into the world where he changes club hats to that of Guys,
characterized by a lot of sports talk and jocularity featuring the occasional bad word. When the work day begins he suddenly launches into a lexicon nearly indiscernible to all but those around him. If it’s a Wednesday he’s off to church with, again, its own set of accepted behaviors and speech. We all do it, and do it without a single doN maCNeil thought. At Crown Point least until we’re thrust into an Communications at unfamiliar enviWindsor Jewelers ronment. That’s where livings are made. Livings? Sure. Every profession and every skill surrounds itself with its own culture so members can recognize each other and outsiders are exposed and kept out. This means – put in oversimplified terms – that these outsiders have to pay you money to access your world. Do contracts really have to be written in impenetrable gobbledygook? No. But we have lawyers with families to feed. And the same is true across all endeavors. The
medical profession in this regard is – pardon the pun – off the chart. So my goal here is to help raise your awareness of this and to urge you to not be intimidated when confronted by a media rep who unthinkingly spews her office lingo all over you, expecting you to follow it. Openly confess ignorance and request a translation. There is no shame in that. If you’re handling the marketing of your own small business it may be worth a few minutes to find glossaries of media terms online. Experience has taught me that folks who don’t think to translate the vocabulary of their profession into language you can understand are the same people who fail to grasp what you’re asking for unless you express it in their language. I once triggered a world of misdirection with an insurance guy because, unable to come up with the industry term, “supplemental” at the moment I needed it, I substituted “addendum.” The agent just looked at me, clueless. Oh, and that opening sentence? The back cover is not available, but I can place your CMYK (subtractive color system) ad on the inside front cover, first right read or inside back cover.” Don MacNeil is a traditional media expert, having spent more than 30 years on-air and behind the scenes in media and marketing. If you have any comments or questions, email him at email@example.com.
Leisure & Hospitality Turn up the heat in your exercise routine The summer heat is just around the corner, which means indoor workouts are a necessity. Try mixing up your normal treadmill routine with a different machine, such as the elliptical. Don’t underestimate this machine; you can definitely work up a sweat on the elliptical, whether you’re looking Tammy & Tommy for a beginner, intermediate Garner or advanced Anytime Fitness workout. The key is to turn that average elliptical session into a calorie-torching HIIT routine. Use the incline or resistance buttons to up the intensity -- or both if you really want a challenge! You’ll have to pay attention as the minutes go by, but the result is a super-sweaty, productive workout in a short time. Warm Up: 3-5 minutes, easy incline and resistance Min 0-2: Resistance 5, Incline 5
Min 2-3: Resistance 10, Incline 5 Min 3-5: Resistance 5, Incline 7 Min 5-6: Resistance 10, Incline 7 Min 6-8: Resistance 7, Incline 9 Min 8-9: Resistance 12, Incline 9 Min 9-11: Resistance 7, Incline 9 Min 11-12: Resistance 12, Incline 9 Min 12-14: Resistance 9, Incline 11 Min 14-15: Resistance 14, Incline 11 Min 15-17: Resistance 9, Incline 9 Min 17-18: Resistance 12, Incline 9 Min 18-20: Resistance 7, Incline 9 Cool Down: 3-5 minutes, easy incline and resistance. Here’s evidence that it works “When we purchased our membership at Anytime Fitness in January 2010, I weighed in at 165 pounds. I did not know my body fat percentage but I knew that I needed a change. I was training with my husband up until November 2011 and lost about twentyfive pounds. But then I hit a plateau and fluctuated between 140 to 145 pounds. I needed to have further motivation. This was the point when I decided to train with Brad. He created a routine that met my needs and personal goals. He is very attentive; watches to make sure that my form is correct and lets me know the muscles each of the exercises are working. As of May 2011 -
thanks to Brad encouraging and pushing me - I have met my goal and have a lean/tone body. I weigh in at 115 pounds and have fifteen percent body fat. Now, I am training to achieve my new goal of a more sculpted body and have already seen some more changes and will continue to do so with my new routine. I could not be happier with the results that I have been getting. I have become stronger and more confident. Thank you to Brad at Anytime Fitness for “pushing me to my limits.” -Member, Cindy Clayton
At Anytime Fitness we care about you physically, mentally, and financially. Helping find a better “YOU” is what we do best. Our caring staff and top-rate personal trainers make us the ideal club for those new to exercise, those who feel intimidated by large, crowded gyms, or the fitness enthusiast. We make it personal and we make it convenient, 24 Hours, 365 days a year. For more information about our four clubs in the CSRA, visit us at anytimefitness.com/gyms/24/ martinez-ga-30907 or call us at 706-3642447.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
Some professions are messier than others Humorous thoughts on business, work and the bag of tricks it takes to make it through the work day. All In A Day’s Work I was a professional pet sitter for more than 10 years, six of which I owned my own pet-sitting company. People often ask me what it takes to be a pet sitter. A love of animals is imperative, the ability to work independently and be responsible Nora Blithe is also necesHumorist sary but nothing compares to a sense of humor for sheer survival on the petsitting frontlines. The German shepherd weighed nearly as much as I did. (If he were wet and I didn’t eat for three days but who’s counting?) Named Etzel, he was a regular on my schedule. I walked him nearly every day. He was great to walk for a number of reasons. No one pesters a woman walking a dog that she could saddle and ride and he wasn’t easily upset. He took unexpected disturbances like the raucous noise of a front-end loader in stride. Plus, he never, ever pooped on a walk. I never had to tote a bag of doggie doodie across two neighborhoods to the nearest trashcan. In the case of such a large dog, it
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would have been a hefty bag: a very hefty bag. Then one innocent day it happened. An event so traumatic as to inspire years of therapy, or it would have if I went to therapy. It started with a rumbling deep and low like an impending thunderstorm. The sky was clear and sunny but the “thunder” boiled and stirred and small animals darted for the safety of their burrows.
Etzel turned and looked at his backside in confusion. He heard the noise. He felt something strange but he had never experienced something like this before. He was worried. With a great whoosh his bowls erupted and liquid, warm doggie doodie sprayed from his rear end. He began circling in desperation blowing poopie in a circle like a deranged garden sprinkler. I watched in horror as both my legs were sprayed with waste. I was rooted to the spot, unable to do anything more that gape. Etzel was tall and the stream coursing from him reached my thighs. I shut my
mouth just to be safe. It was over almost as suddenly as it began. Etzel and I locked eyes. His expression was one of utter confusion. Mine was horror. What to do? I could scream. I could cry. My sense of humor got the better of me. I burst into laughter. The dog who never pooped, indeed. So much for that! Nora Blithe is an Augusta native, an entrepreneur and a syndicated humor columnist. She lives in Greenville, S.C., with her husband, Brian, and their pets. Read her syndicated humor column Life Face First in Verge, or find her online at doorinface.com.
Love of seafood led to growing business By Gary Kauffman If you move from Florida and can’t find the fresh seafood you were used to, what are you to do? The answer for John Hyder was to start his own business selling fresh seafood to the CSRA. “We loved fresh seafood but we found there really wasn’t a business up here that had any,” Hyder said. “We decided we had room for it on our property.” That was six years ago and JC’s Seafood was born. Located on Whiskey Road in Aiken, JC’s Seafood sells fresh fish, oysters, crabs and other seafood. It is one of the few facilities in the CSRA that markets live blue crabs. Hyder’s son, Chris, purchases the seafood fresh from the coast and they sell it from their small building. “It’s nothing fancy, but when you walk inside you feel like you’re at the coast,” he said. But it’s what the business can do with the seafood that has brought it the most fame. “We’re best known for our low country boil,” Hyder said. “It’ll knock your socks off, the kind of seasoning we use.” Unlike most low country boils that add shrimp to the base of corn, sausage and potatoes, JC’s Seafood will add other kinds of shellfish, based on the customer’s taste. “You buy the base and we’ll add the shellfish you like,” Hyder said. “It’s been very well received.” Allergic to shellfish? So is Hyder’s wife.
So instead of adding the shellfish directly to the base, he cooks them separately. “We don’t cross contaminate,” he explained. “A lot of people buy the base because they love the seasoning but they’re allergic to shellfish.” All of JC’s prepared food is to-go and while you could eat it there, most people prefer to eat it in the comfort of their own homes. JC’s Seafood has recently ventured into another area of food that is popular in South Carolina culture – the oyster roast. They have several scheduled in Aiken and in Augusta for Masters Week. Hyder’s take on the oyster roast is to leave the best part to the customer – eating the oysters – while he and his crew take on the mess of cooking and cleaning up. “Normally whoever does the roast misses out on the social aspect,” he said. “Our motto is ‘You invite the guests, we take care of the rest,’” he said. “We steam the oysters onsite, then take everything with us when we leave.” JC’s Seafood emphasizes the social aspect of the oyster roast with specially-built tables. Instead of the traditional 4x8 plywood table found at many roasts, Hyder designed a small octagon table. “You can get seven or eight people around it, so it’s more intimate,” he explained. “We’ve designed the tables to look a little more upscale.” The smaller tables easily fit onto a deck, a patio or swimming pool deck.
JC’s also has a custom-built trailer for steaming the oysters and can steam up to 13 bushels per hour. They can accommodate parties as large as 300 people or as intimate as 30. Hyder runs the seafood business with his son, Chris, and wife, Suzi, although she is a behind-the scenes presence. In fact, JC’s derives from their names. “The J is for John and the C for Chris, and the S is for Suzi coming behind to kick our butts to keep us in line,” Hyder said with a laugh. “She is not only my life partner but also my business partner.” In addition to JC’s Seafood, Hyder also owns the Hole N One Family Fun Center on the same property, which contains a miniature golf course, batting cages and
arcade. “We’re more informally known as ‘the putt-putt place on Whiskey Road,” he said. He said the target audience is families with elementary-age kids, but there are plenty of middle schoolers, high school and college kids on dates, and is a favorite of groups like the Red Hat Society and assisted living centers. “It’s a safe place to hang out,” Hyder said. “It’s a family-friendly wholesome atmosphere.” It also offers an opportunity for younger children to get into the sport of golf. “The younger kids are watching Mom and Dad watching the Masters and this is a good opportunity to introduce the children to golf,” Hyder said. “It’s kind of cool.”
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
GreenJackets ready to kick off 26th season New GM plans fun events, entertaining baseball for 2014
By Gary Kauffman, Editor Anyone who has run a fantasy baseball team has fantasized about the way things would be if only they could be the general manager of a real team, the trades they’d make, the players they’d sign…. Real life isn’t like that, at least not at the minor league level. “I don’t have a lot to do with the team side,” Tom Denlinger, the new GM for the Augusta GreenJackets said. “I always say we control everything from the warning track in.” Most of the dealings with the players are done by other executives in the San Francisco Giants organization, the Major League teams the GreenJackets are affiliated with. So what does a minor league GM do? “All the day-to-day operations,” Denlinger said. That includes everything from corporate sales efforts and marketing to making sure the concession stands are ready. Denlinger has been with the GreenJackets since January, but was in the Giants organization for four years before that as assistant GM for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Giants’ Double A team. In this case, being moved from Double A to Single A was a promotion as Denlinger stepped into the top position. He’s found a ready audience for his promotional ideas in Augusta. “The CSRA has been awesome,” he said. “We’re ahead in sponsorships and ahead in ticket sales.”
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A key, he said, has been the response of businesses to corporate sales efforts. “We couldn’t do it if businesses didn’t get involved,” he said. “Marketing is the lifeblood of minor league baseball.” To that end, the new season of the Augusta GreenJackets promises to have plenty in the way of marketing – entertaining activities, prize giveaways, new concessions and a revamped Kids Club.
Oh, and there should be some pretty good baseball, too. “We’re all about family entertainment,” Denlinger said. The season kicks off on April 3 at home in Lake Olmstead Stadium against the Charleston River Dogs. The Giants have won two the past four World Series and the GreenJackets have done well themselves, too. They See GREENJACKETS, page 29
GREENJACKETS Continued from page 28 reached the playoffs last season in the South Atlantic Conference. The Giants set the roster for the GreenJackets and at press time had not yet released a full roster. But Denlinger expects a competitive roster, since they will be drawing players from short-season affiliate Salem, which also appeared in the postseason in 2013. Denlinger said four of the Giant’s top prospects will probably be playing in Augusta in 2014. Those are shortstop Christian Arroyo, drafted in the first round last year; third baseman Ryder Jones, and righthanded pitchers Chase Johnson and Keury Mella. But even people who are less-than-enthusiastic about the games will find something to enjoy at the ballpark. “We’re providing three hours of entertainment with total fan participation,” Denlinger said. “When you leave the game you may not remember who won or lost but you’ll remember the experience.” He added, “”If you’re a baseball fan we’re not taking anything away from the baseball experience.” One area fans from previous season will notice a difference is an ease in buying concessions. A point-of-sale system allows the use of credit cards at many of the stands. There will also be a difference in the food. This season the GreenJackets will serve Carolina Pride hot dogs and in the picnic area has partnered with Sweetwater Brewing Co. The Kids Club has also been revamped for children 12 and under. Joining the club
is free and it gets them into every Sunday game for free. There are planned activities for the kids, including allowing them to run the bases after games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The GreenJackets have scheduled three national acts – WWE wrestler Sergeant Slaughter, Inflatamaniacs and Yo Gabba Gabba – 11 giveaway nights and seven fireworks nights. Then there are the weekly promotions. Feed Your Face Mondays allow fans all they can eat of certain items with the purchase of a beverage. That will often be traditional items like hot dogs, but Denlinger has also planned several special food nights: Tribute to Bacon, Cinco de Mayo, Taste of Italy and Taste of Augusta. Tuesdays are two-for-one beverage nights, Wednesdays are Baseball Bingo and Thursdays are Thirsty Thursdays with $1 drinks, which Denlinger calls “the stalwart of minor league promotions.” Fridays and Saturdays will feature fireworks, giveaways or the national acts. “There are 70 home games and we have a different promotion almost every night,” Denlinger said. Denlinger also plans for more fan interaction with Augie, the team’s mascot. This the 26th consecutive year of baseball in Augusta, but the history of baseball in Augusta stretched back more than 100 years. For the baseball historian, the GreenJackets have banners showing past affiliations. Augusta also started a Hall of Fame of players who have played for them. Former major league pitcher Tim Wakefield and current Giants third baseman Pablo San-
Study: Tech colleges add millions to local economy How much does the area served by Augusta Technical College benefit economically from spending that is either directly or indirectly related to the college? According to Dr. Jeffrey Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, it adds up to $54,380,987. The economic impact is in a new report from Humphreys that details his analysis of economic data from the Technical College System of Georgia for the 2012 fiscal year. The study also found that the college’s spending results in 699 public and private sector jobs. Humphreys reported that statewide, for each job created on a TCSG college campus, one off-campus job exists because of college-related expenditures. One in every 264 nonfarm jobs in Georgia, he said, occurs because of spending associated with a TCSG college. “The fundamental finding is that each of the TCSG colleges, including Augusta Technical College, creates substantial economic impacts in terms of output, value added, labor income and employment,” Humphreys said. “These economic impacts demonstrate that continued emphasis on
technical colleges as an enduring pillar of the regional economy translates into jobs, higher incomes, and greater production of goods and services for local households and businesses.” The TCSG commissioned Humphreys to calculate the importance that spending connected to the state’s technical colleges has for their service delivery areas, which range in size from two to 11 counties. Augusta Tech serves Burke, Columbia, Lincoln, McDuffie and Richmond counties. Several categories of college expenditures were reviewed for the study, including personnel salaries and fringe benefits, college operations, capital construction projects and student spending. The result, put in the context of the taxpayer investment, indicated that the $13,001,014 state appropriation for Augusta Tech in 2012 supported the enrollment of 6,463 students, generated $54,380,987in local spending, and helped to sustain almost 699 college-related jobs. “Augusta Technical College plays a vital role in not only the workforce development of our students, but also in the economic stability of our community”, said Terry Elam, President of Augusta Tech.
doval were the inaugural inductees. In addition to the GreenJackets, Lake Olmstead Stadium is also the site of home games for the GRU baseball team.
Denlinger has also scheduled the first major concert at the stadium in several years. Country musicians Florida-Georgia Line will perform there on June 13.
U-verse gives Augusta cable, Internet options Greater Augusta area residents now have a new choice for their television and high speed Internet services. AT&T is launching U-verse TV, AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet and AT&T U-verse Voice in the area. The new services are part of AT&T’s Project Velocity IP (VIP). The initiative significantly expands and enhances AT&T’s IP and mobile data networks. AT&T Uverse will continue rolling out to additional local cities and neighborhoods in upcoming months. “The great thing about U-verse is that it makes TV, Internet and voice services work together in harmony,” said Keith Holmes, AT&T vice president and general manager
for Georgia and South Carolina. “We’re honored to bring our innovative services to Augusta-area customers. Local residents have asked for more TV service choices and today we’re delivering.” Customers signing up for U-verse by April 14 may qualify for a $100 reward card; bundle offers may also be available. Project VIP will extend the AT&T Uverse IP network to about 57 million customer locations in its service areas by the end of 2015. AT&T also plans to upgrade U-verse High Speed Internet to speeds of up to 100Mbps over the next several years. That’s fast enough to download two songs or 6,000 email messages in a second.
EDTS ranks 121 in world EDTS, a regional IT services company specializing in managed IT services, network security and advanced infrastructure for Southeastern businesses, has been ranked 121st among the world’s leading managed IT service providers in the seventh annual MSPmentor 501 Global Edition rankings of leading MSPs. That marks a rise of 27 positions from last year. EDTS is the only firm with dual GeorgiaSouth Carolina operations so honored. The exclusive ranking is based on data from MSPmentor’s 2013 global online survey, conducted October-December 2013, and recognizes top managed service providers based on metrics includ-
ing annual managed services revenue growth, revenue per employee, managed services offered and customer devices managed. “MSPmentor congratulates EDTS on this significant honor,” said Amy Katz, president of Nine Lives Media, a division of Penton Media. “Qualifying for our MSPmentor 501 Global Edition puts EDTS in rare company.” MSPs on this year’s Global 501 list lifted their combined annual recurring revenues to $2.6 billion, the seventh straight year of strong growth. Together, those MSPs manage more than 6 million PCs, servers, smartphones and tablets.
SC has record employment According to the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW), newlyreleased figures show that 2013 was a banner year as far as total employment. More South Carolinians were employed by the end of the year than ever before in the state’s history. South Carolina’s employment level exceeded the 2 million mark in November 2012 and remained above the two-million level throughout 2013. Prior to this, the last time employment exceeded two-million was in July of 2008. The number of South Carolinians employed in December 2013 was 2,025,887 – more than 3,035 employed than the state’s previous high of 2,022,852 in November 2013. “Having more South Carolinians employed than at any other time in our state’s history didn’t happen by chance – it’s the direct result of Team South Carolina’s strategic effort to recruit and
expand businesses in every corner of our state,” said Governor Nikki Haley. “This is a real testament to our ever growing business community and world-class workforce and we couldn’t be more excited to keep these jobs coming in and getting every person in our state back to work.” “This is amazing news for South Carolina because it shows that the state’s economy continues to improve and as a result businesses are hiring,” said Cheryl M. Stanton, DEW executive director. “We will continue to do our part to develop the state’s workforce to meet our employers’ needs and to get to a point where every South Carolinian who wants to work can.” Furthermore, comparing data from January of 2012 to December of 2013, the state has seen an increase in the employment level by approximately 48,620 people, reflecting on-going progress over the nearly two-year period.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
Nonprofits rebounding from recession Nonprofit HR announced Monday the results of its seventh annual Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey, which this year indicates that the nonprofit sector has seen a marked improvement in staffing levels since the recession. According to the survey, more organizations have expanded their staff in 2013, and fewer plan to eliminate positions in 2014 in comparison to 2009 survey results. This reinforces the nonprofit sector’s economic viability and potential to create a significant number of jobs in the year ahead. Key Findings from the 2014 survey include: Significant increase in hiring new staff 45 percent of nonprofits surveyed for this year’s study reported that their staff size had increased in 2013. In 2009, at the height of the recession, only 19.3 percent of nonprofits reported their staff size had increased from the previous year. 45 percent of nonprofits indicated that they plan to create new positions in 2014. In 2009, 41.6 percent of nonprofits intended to create new positions in the year ahead. Reduction in plans to eliminate positions and implement hiring freezes Only 7 percent of those who responded to this year’s survey indicated that they plan to eliminate positions in the year ahead. In 2009, 21.6 percent of nonprofits intended to eliminate positions. Only 5 percent of nonprofits indicated
that they plan to freeze hiring in 2014. Anticipated job growth across all employment areas The percentage of organizations anticipating job growth in 2014 increased in every employment area, from community outreach to finance and administration. The largest areas of anticipated growth for 2014 are direct services (42 percent), program management/support (40 percent) and fundraising/development (36 percent). While this data points to a rebound within the nonprofit sector specifically, the impact also extends to the larger economy. With the increase in nonprofit job creation, these organizations are contributing to the rebound of the economy in general by lowering overall unemployment rates. Opportunities for upward mobility and professional growth are available within the sector for individuals at all levels. Entry-level vacancies were most often filled by people just entering the workforce (52 percent) and by people from outside of the nonprofit sector (22 percent). Midlevel vacancies were most often filled by people from other nonprofit organizations (48 percent) and people promoted from within (37 percent). Experienced and senior/executive vacancies were reported as being most commonly filled by professionals from other nonprofit organizations (56 percent and 59 percent, respectively). Nonprofits are using online resources to recruit qualified job candidates in increas-
ing numbers. 60 percent utilize LinkedIn, the most popular online recruitment sources among nonprofits, followed by Craigslist (55 percent), Idealist.org (47 percent), Indeed.com (43 percent) and Facebook (42 percent). The issue of diversity is top-of-mind for many nonprofits, especially in light of recent national and global discussions regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) human rights. Despite the importance and benefits of diversity to most nonprofits, less than half (36 percent) of survey respondents reported that they have a formal workforce diversity strategy, and 14 percent cited diversity as being the biggest employment challenge at their organizations. The greatest diversity challenges that organizations face include: retaining
staff under 30 (32 percent), balancing ethnic/cultural diversity (26 percent), having the staff reflect the composition of the community served (22 percent) and balancing gender diversity (19 percent). “There is a stereotypical view of the organization that it is ‘an old (white) boys’ network that is completely out of date but hard to overcome. Our CEO is a woman!” said one survey respondent. “The organization is very open to candidates representing diverse age, ethnic and sexual orientation categories, and we ensure that positions are not segregated by gender stereotyping. However, until we increase the participation of members who represent diverse categories, I think we will continue to have difficulty attracting staff who reflect them.”
New restaurant could mean an end to historic Evans landmark A new chain restaurant is locating in Evans, but that move leaves the fate of a historic building in limbo. PDQ, a Florida-based restaurant chain specializing in chicken tenders, is in the process of purchasing the land at the intersection of Belair and Washington roads, at the site where a small stone building has stood for about 90 years. That building once served as a home for teachers at the old Evans School.
A committee has been formed to try to find a way to move the building to the old Columbia Middle School property on Columbia Road. The cost of moving the building is expected to be $125,000-$150,000. If the building can’t be moved then it will probably be razed. PDQ, which serves sandwiches, tenders and salad made from chicken and turkey, is expected to add about 75 employees.
All South offers free inspections and estimates for roofing. Kight comments, “We have had plenty of customers who are unsure whether or not their roof is damaged, and we will go out to inspect just to make sure. We have also had cases where we inspect a roof and find no damage, but as soon as a heavy rain comes through, the homeowner calls with a roof leak.” Sometimes damage can be nearly impossible to spot. Insurance companies give customers one year from the time of a major storm to report damage. “We encourage our customers to check for leaks after a heavy rain and to
report any issues before your claim time runs out. It is better to have your roof inspected and covered if there is damage rather than waiting and paying out of pocket later,” Kight adds. All South Roofing offers roof repair or replacement, replacement windows and doors, siding, and sunroom or screened porch conversions. If you believe that you have roof damage or are in need of a new roof, give All South Roofing a call. For more information on All South Roofing, call 706.495.5102. Take a look at their work at www.allsouthsidingandroofing.com or on Facebook.
All South Roofing working to keep people covered By Rebecca Vigné All South Roofing is Augusta Built from the ground up! This local roofing, siding and window company started 15 years ago when owner Kevin Tierney went door-to-door in the Augusta area. For every 10 houses he visited, he found roofing work and began to build the reputable company that exists today. All South sets itself apart from other roofing companies by offering a nomoney-down Advertorial guarantee. All South Roofing Krystle Kight, Office Manager at All South Roofing, explains, “We finish the work before we take a dime from the customer. It gives them the reassurance that we will get the job done. We like for our customers to feel comfortable and in control.” After the recent ice storm and high winds, All South has been busy repairing roofs. They estimate that they will be dealing with roof repairs for another month. All South, like many other roofing companies, must wait on insurance adjusters who are driving in from all over the country to assess damage. The company also estimates that they will receive
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calls about roof damage throughout 2014. Some damage takes time to reveal itself, and any damage that is reported within a year of the ice storm could be covered by insurance. All South encourages those with roof damage to be wary when hiring a roofing company. Scams are common after any type of storm that causes major damage, so it is always important to research a company before hiring them to work on or in your home. Additionally, after a storm, storm chasers move in to the area temporarily to get business. While some of these storm chasers may be legitimate companies, once they are done with a job, they leave the area. If there are any issues with a roof after the storm chaser has gone, it is extremely difficult to contact those companies or get them to fix problems with a new roof. “We encourage people to buy local when it comes to their roof. We will be here if you have an issue, and we stand by our work,” Kight explains. All South is an established company located in the CSRA. They offer a five-year labor warranty on all of their jobs, and depending on what type of shingles are used on a roof, those may carry a 25-year warranty or a lifetime warranty.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
Raising Money without raising anxiety level You have the idea, you’re excited about the cause, and you are ready to raise some cash! Or are you? First and foremost, proper planning is the key to your fundraising success. The first thing to consider is what type of fundraiser you will be holding. You want the event to be fun. Fun events will bring out the crowds and crowds bring the money. Think of an event where people would Lelia Hebert want to be inGeez Louise volved and bring Event Planning others, may it be family or associates. The key to a fundraising event is to keep your audience in mind. The next thing that should come to mind would be sponsorships. The point of a fundraiser is making money, not spending it. Reach out to various businesses in your community for donations. Donations can come in monetary forms or items or services that can be auctioned off at the event to raise more money. Most local businesses have a budget for donations and sponsorships each year. This may be something to consider when planning
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the date. Don’t forget the food! Food may be something that is tricky to get donated but is simple to sell for a profit. If you buy food from a local wholesale discount store and cook it yourself, it is easy to sell the food for double or triple the value that you paid. Also, remember to have food that is relevant to your event. It may be a beer cart at a golf tournament or cotton candy at a fair, but each one will evoke the participant of the event to buy. Volunteers are probably just as important as the type of event. Reach out to friends, associates and family members to help at the event. Also, a little known resource is high school students who are working to get community service hours. You will just need to provide them with documentation after the event. If you have volunteers, you will be able to save on labor for the event. Promoting your event can make or break a fundraiser. If people do not know about your event, how can they attend? Use free resources, such as community calendars on newspaper and news channel websites, start a social media page for the event or start spreading the word by Lelia Hebert is co-owner of Geez Louise, which specializes in all events from corporate fundraisers and weddings to the popular Pinterest parties. Call 912-312-0866 for a free consultation.
mouth. You can also ask local print shops to donate the printing of flyers that you can pass out. Your first fundraising can be a little over-
whelming. Just remember to stick to your planning and start planning early (up to six months!) A fundraiser should be fun and you should have fun too!
USRowing is pleased to announce the 2014 USRowing Masters National Head Race Championship, hosted by Augusta Rowing Club and the Augusta Sports Council, will be held Sunday, Nov. 9, in Augusta. Now in its third year, the event is expected to draw hundreds of masters competitors to the Savannah River in sweep
and sculling competition. The race runs downstream on a 5,000-meter course on the Savannah River with the start line at Hammond’s Ferry and the finish line just past the Boathouse. USRowing Events Manager A.J. Dominique said, “The Savannah River provides a great opportunity for spectators to enjoy the regatta.”
Rowing championship coming to Augusta
RSVP rated good choice for power lunch RSVP Catering and Café Walton Corner 3626 Walton Way Ext. Augusta Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday – Friday Finding the perfect place for a business lunch can be tricky. Consider the formality of the meeting, the taste and expectations of your guest, the impression you want to make and your budget. Fortunately, most business meetings I have aren’t stuffy affairs so good taste and convenience are usually paramount. A friend suggested RSVP Catering & Café in the Walton’s Corner shopping center on Walton Way Extension. It was a winner. RSVP isn’t a fancy eatery, but it’s bright and welcoming, and clearly has the look that says the food is the star JeNNifer miller of the show – no showy décor or Power Hour Lunch trendy furniture. We ordered at the counter. The employees were friendly and helpful. My guest ordered the Pecan Chicken Salad. They had no problem with her request to substitute the fresh fruit it comes with it for a small Mandarin Orange Salad.
The salad had a generous pile of chopped and tasty poppy seed dressing, topped with orange segments, walnuts, red onion and parmesan cheese. It came with a seasoned pita toast. The chicken salad was delicious. Savory and full-flavored, it had plenty of pecans to give it crunch and texture. I’d rank it in my Top 5 chicken salads. The menu is long and full of foods I love. I took the easy way out and asked the manager taking our order for recommendations. He suggested the Grilled Italian Sub: ham, salami, provolone, onion, banana pepper, tomato, mayo and mustard, all piled on a fresh hoagie roll. It was enough for two, but I ate the whole thing. My guest cleaned her plate as well. The meat was high quality and fresh, as were the veggies. It was warm – perfect for the rainy afternoon we had that day. The food came quickly. It wasn’t five minutes before someone delivered our plates. My one complaint only goes to the “power lunch” portion of this assignment. My sandwich was messy. I must have used 10 napkins and had to be careful not to drip food on myself. However, the reason for the messiness was worthwhile – the grilling brought out the sweet juices in the sandwich and made it even tastier. It might not be the sandwich to eat on a job interview lunch, but for most occasions go for it. My guest’s salad plate, however, was an excellent choice for dining while talking.
I’ll be going back to RSVP. Next time I think I’ll try a grilled salad, or maybe a different sandwich, or maybe a specialty salad like the Tarragon Shrimp Salad Plate … how will I ever decide? As for price, our total for two meals, and two drinks, was just over $23 including tax. That was under the $25 budget and on par pricewise with most of the better deli restaurants I’ve been to.
April 2014 Buzz on Biz
New seafood restaurant SC tourism creates jobs offers many fresh choices By Stephen Delaney Hale Successful downtown Aiken restaurant owners say their clients made the decision for them. Brothers Jeff and Phillip Jordan saved and transformed an Aiken icon when they thoroughly remodeled the 30-year-old Up Your Alley, now renamed Up Your Alley Chop House, and gave it their own flavor with an emphasis on grilled meats. Jeff Jordan said things have been great since their opening in September. “We are fortunate that many of our guests tell us they are longtime Up Your Alley patrons but a surprising number say were never in before,” he said. “We love seeing both types whenever they come back and see us.” “But,” Phillip Jordan added, “what they also tell us is that they wish Aiken had a seafood restaurant.” That was all they needed to hear because they, too, love the time they’ve spent enjoying seafood in Beaufort and Charleston. Their chef, Keith Herron, especially loves to create with food from the sea. The next decision was easy, too – the former Soiree, right across The Alley, was available and they created Catch 231 at the new address, 231 The Alley. Phillip says Catch 231 provides Aiken with “a more elegant way to experience South Carolina seafood cuisine. We’ll have some classic dishes with a modern twist. “We will let the flavor of our food be
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the shining star at Catch 231,” Phillip said. “When you have good fresh seafood, you don’t need to put a lot of different kinds of spices on it.” Items on Catch 231’s menu will include crab meat-stuffed flounder with cream sauce, lobster macaroni and cheese served in an iron skillet, she-crab bisque, crab cakes and a deconstructed low country boil. Among the other options for diners will be fresh fish specials, little neck clams and goat cheese fritters made three different ways, with shrimp, crab or lobster. “There will be Cajun and Creole twists to some of our dishes,” Jeff added. Just as the Chophouse has some great seafood items, Catch 231 will have specialties of beef and pork to please everyone at the table. They also have a full bar with a large wine list. The seafood is shipped fresh, mostly from Beaufort, and the produce is grown locally. Philip and Jeff will continue to manage both restaurants. Also a part of the ownership team at both restaurants remains General Manager Janice Rodriguez, who came to The Alley last year after 19 years at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. Chef Keith has been named Executive Chef of both restaurants and will serve as the head chef at Catch 231, which will have around 15 employees. Carmelo Figueroa, who has worked in Atlanta, Charleston and Charlotte, will be the Chop House’s new head chef.
A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 1,566,756 visitors to national parks in South Carolina spent $80.3 million and supported 1,158 jobs in the state in 2012. “The national parks of South Carolina attract visitors from across the country and around the world,” said Stan Austin, NPS Southeast Regional Director. “From mountains to military parks and from shore to swamps, South Carolina is home incredible diversity of scenery and stories important to American history. Visitors travelling to the state plan for a great experience and end up spending a little money along the way. This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy - returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service and a big factor in our state’s economy as well, a result we can all support.” The national parks in South Carolina are Cowpens National Battlefield,
Ninety Six National Historic Site, Kings Mountain National Military Park, Fort Sumter National Monument, Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, and Congaree National Park. The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economists Catherine Cullinane Thomas and Christopher Huber and Lynne Koontz for the National Park Service. The report shows $14.7 billion of direct spending by 283 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 243,000 jobs nationally, with 201,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.75 billion. According to the report most visitor spending supports jobs in restaurants, grocery and convenience stores (39 percent), hotels, motels and B&Bs (27 percent), and other amusement and recreation (20 percent).
Average home owns 7 Wi-Fi devices Global shipments for Wi-Fi enabled Consumer Electronics devices grew 19 percent year-over-year to reach 1.9 billion units in 2013 according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices service report, ‘Embedded WLAN (Wi-Fi) CE Devices: Global Market
Forecast.’ Four billion Wi-Fi enabled consumer electronics devices are now in use across the world, resulting in an average of seven Wi-Fi devices for every Wi-Fi household. By 2017 over 7 billion devices will be in use globally.
Is your business evolving with your customers? Omnichannel is the often-used description for success in retail, but using it effectively truly separates the winners and losers. Retailers need to be focused on their target customers, understand what they want, when they want it, how they want to buy it and what they are willing to pay for it. McGladrey’s The one constant in retail is change explains how retailers are realizing that a positive cross-channel experience requires a new level of engagement with customers, who now expect to access brand and products through store, Web, social media and mobile. Retailers need to display a common experience across all channels. Listening to consumers and responding to a shift in their behavior will establish a stronger bond. With technology leveling the
playing the field between large and small retailers, the strong survivors will likely be those that decide against ‘business as usual’ and, instead, create and adapt to change. Based on McGladrey›s 2013 Consumer Products Monitor, the key investment areas for companies are information technology (80 percent), equipment and machinery (71 percent) and physical facilities and warehouses (60 percent). While companies are increasing expenditures primarily to improve profitability and productivity, there seems to be less focus on actually trying to grow their businesses. Since it is difficult to increase market share, long gone are the days of «stack›em high and let›em fly.» Promotions, discounts and price cuts might generate short-term traffic and
With the increasing availability of mobile and online banking options, it’s no surprise that traditional checking account products like paper personal checks are falling out of usage. In the latest GOBankingRates survey, which asked how often banking customers wrote personal checks, the most common response was “never” (37.8%), followed by “several times a month” (25.6%), “a few times a year” (20.5%) and “once a month” (16.1%). “Age played a big part in check writing frequency,” Casey Bond, GOBankingRates managing editor, noted. “This suggests that as older bank customers continue to adopt online and mobile alternatives, we’ll see a comparable decline in the use of traditional checking features like personal checks.” GOBankingRates Checkbook Survey Highlights The youngest demographic polled, 18-24, were most
likely to never write checks. Older respondents were more likely to write checks several times a month than younger respondents. Men were more likely to never write checks than women. Every single respondent polled making $150,000 and up reported writing checks several times a month. “Increased convenience and adoption of online banking technologies are the largest factors reducing the number of checks being written today,” Kyle Kolsky, SVP Head of Consumer Deposits at Bank of Internet, told GOBankingRates. “Consumers are becoming more tech-savvy and realize that online banking is more convenient and secure than using paper checks … Younger consumers rely on debit card transactions or person-to-person money transfer services and may never write a check, similar to consumer behavior in Europe.”
sales, but they do not generate long-standing relationships with customers. While having loyal customers is key to survival, it is also important for retailers to know how and why customers shop. An effective loyalty program will generate repeat traffic. Your people are part of the shopping experience, too. Some studies have shown a 25to 50-percent increase in the likelihood of a customer purchasing after interacting with a salesperson – something for retailers to remember if they are trying to achieve savings by cutting staff. McGladrey›s The one constant in retail is change provides more details on ways to keep moving ahead. Remember retailers, if you are doing the same thing you did yesterday, someone has already caught up – and maybe even passed you.
Survey finds 38% have quit writing checks
March 2014 April 2014
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