W H A T ’ S IN S I D E
AUGUST 2014 • The CSRA’s Only Monthly Business Magazine
3-day work week in the future?..............2 Something they’ve never seen...............6 Buzz Bits...................................................... 8,9 Business openings and closings......... 10 Businessperson of the month.............. 13 Nuclear energy careers........................... 21
Stars Shine on Augusta Red Carpet Businesses
Campaign seeks to boost spending between Georgia businesses by 2%
Kinard’s law clerk, Kyle Tennis, said the judge did not receive an order from plaintiff Steve Donohue by the required date. “There will be no ruling today (Thursday),” Tennis said. “The judge did not receive an order from the plaintiffs and would not be able to go through one at this late hour.” Tennis said the judge went on vacation starting July 25 and will return before his next scheduled appearance, which is Aug. 4, in court in York County. “There could be a ruling by early August, but I cannot
By Gary Kauffman Fred Daitch, owner of International Uniform, knows there’s a way he could make a bigger profit, but he’s choosing not to take that route. “People tell me I could make more money if I outsourced my manufacturing overseas,” he said. “And they’re right. But I don’t care. I will not be part of the problem.” International Uniform’s products are made in Augusta and Eastman, Ga., and he said 90 percent of his suppliers are based in Augusta. “I like to keep my money local,” he said. Daitch is not yet part of the Georgia2Georgia initiative promoted by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, but he exemplifies the spirit behind the initiative. Georgia2Georgia is an effort to get Georgia businesses to buy 2 percent more of their goods and services from other Georgia businesses. “It’s a little bit like pay it forward,” said Chris Clark, CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. “We are asking companies to lead by example. In the long run, we’re growing the Georgia economy organically.” Clark said the idea was born from his conversation with businesses around the state and an earlier initiative to buy Georgia agriculture. Clark said he heard from local governments and school boards who bought from out-of-state vendors because they weren’t aware of local suppliers, and local businesses who could provide goods and services but couldn’t get on the radar of those entities. “It was clear to us that some type of campaign was needed,” he said.
See PROJECT JACKSON, page 2
See BUSINESSES, page 2
Chadwick Boseman, who portrays James Brown in the new movie Get On Up, was in Augusta July 24 for the premiere of the movie. For more information about the making of the movie, turn to page 27. Photo by Gary Kauffman
Court filing delay keeps Project Jackson in limbo By Stephen Delaney Hale The serial cliffhanger that is Project Jackson opened a new chapter on Thursday, July 24, when South Carolina Circuit Court Judge J. Ernest Kinard, Jr., did not give a ruling on a law suit filed to stop the North Augusta development. The reason was that one of the sides in the case did not file an order for him to review prior to a verdict. Attorneys for the defendants, the City of North Augusta, Mayor Lark Jones and the North Augusta City Council all say that at the end of the July 18 trial Kinard instructed both sides to submit an order by Wednesday, July 23, that would produce a verdict the next day.
Is a three-day work week on the horizon? Billionaire suggests shorter work weeks now but retiring at age 75 By Gary Kauffman Would you be willing to work later in life – into your 70s – in exchange for four-day weekends now? That is a new work and retirement plan advocated by the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim. Slim, from Mexico, owns extensive holdings and investments valued at nearly $80 billion. At a conference in Uruguay in July, Slim said workers should only work three long days per week, perhaps 11 hours a day, but then instead of retiring at age 65, work until 70 or 75. Slim’s own telecommunications company offers a four-day week option, at full pay. Flexible schedules – not necessarily three- or four-day weeks – are already gaining popularity in Europe and even with some U.S. companies. Some studies and first-hand reports indicate that shorter work weeks, even if it means longer days, increases productivity and creativity among employees. While a shorter work week might seem strange to us, a hundred years ago it was standard practice to work six days a week. The History Channel reports that Henry Ford broke ground in 1926 when he shortened his worker’s work week to five days, 40 hours per week. The Financial Times reports that the shorter work week wouldn’t work well in some businesses, but would probably work
in far more businesses than people imagine. This could be especially true in more creative enterprises. But, The Financial Times continues, it would require a two-fold shift in how business owners think about work. One is the realization that a portion of each traditional work day is wasted. Fewer days could help focus and concentrate work. The other realization is that the best way to measure employees’ worth is by their production, not by the hours they spend at a desk. Workers in the United States have long been viewed as overworked compared to many other nations, with longer work weeks and less vacation time. New technology such as the Internet and smartphones has made it possible for employees to stay tethered to the job even more than in the past. But that same technology can also be used to create the more flexible schedules that some European nations advocate and may make Slim’s three-day work week closer to reality. At the same time, the ability to work longer would also address the growing concern of outliving retirement savings. A worker retiring today at age 65 and in good health could realistically expect to live another 20 years or more. Having more time off when workers are
PROJECT JACKSON continued from page 1 speculate as to an exact date,” Tennis said. Defense sources said they were operating under the assumption that an answer was required by Wednesday but a source reached by phone at Donohue’s residence said Kinard merely suggested the July 23 date as a convenient time to submit orders from both sides “if they wanted an immediate ruling.” Otherwise, the female source at Donohue’s residence said the judge said that without the orders by Wednesday he would make a ruling in early August. Neither of the two court employees authorized to clarify the wording from the judge were in the Clerk of Court’s office on Friday afternoon. Donohue is a resident of The River Golf Club, which lies close along the Savannah River to the proposed new minor league baseball stadium, large hotel, multiple retail and restaurant locations and other businesses. He is also the president of the River Club Homeowners Association. The association initially joined Donohue in the suit but withdrew soon after it was filed. The trial brought out a number of interested people, some of whom speculated on July 18 and then again on July 24 that the suit, as well as any delays in it, are delaying tactics by Donohue in hopes that the developer, Chris Schoen of Greenstone Properties in Atlanta, would find it increasingly
2 Buzz on Biz August 2014
difficult to keep prospective tenants committed, thus crippling the development by missing costly construction deadlines. That could include the Augusta GreenJackets minor league baseball team which plans to move to North Augusta once a stadium can be built in the development along the river. GreenJackets President Jeff Eiseman said the delays are a problem, but they will have no effect on the eventual construction of the stadium, the move of the GreenJackets and the larger construction of the many other facets of Project Jackson between North Augusta and the river. “We’re committed, we’re going forward and we have not changed our intention of breaking ground in 2016; that’s our plan and it remains our plan,” Eiseman said. “I can’t tell you this doesn’t have an impact on us, because it does – financial implications – but we are proceeding as though this suit will be dismissed and the plans will go accordingly. I’m confident in the lawsuit and always have been. This has all been done in an open and transparent manner from the beginning and the charges of the suit are groundless.” Eiseman said the team of developers, baseball executives and city leaders have faced several frustrating delays over the past two years but they all are confident the GreenJackets will be playing ball in North Augusta after breaking ground on the stadium in 2016.
Would a three-day work week make you soar? Let us know at Buzz on Biz.
younger could alleviate stress that often leads to breakdowns in health later, meaning working until age 75 would not be the burden it might be under the five-day workweeks now. What do you think? Buzz on Biz would
continued from page 1 The Chamber thought back to a previous successful campaign to buy products grown in Georgia. “We thought if we were able to do that for products grown in Georgia, surely we can do the same for things that are built in Georgia and the services in Georgia,” Clark said. The campaign asks businesses to increase their in-state spending by 2 percent. Clark said that figure seemed sensible. “Two percent will make a difference in a small business, and it’s achievable for local government,” he said. Already a number of city and county governments and chambers of commerce have signed up, along with dozens of companies, including some of the state’s major players like Coca-Cola, Georgia Power and UPS. Tracy Melvin of Tracy Melvin Insurance in Augusta signed up because she believes in supporting local businesses – and hopes that has a reciprocal effect. “I like keeping money and relationships within the county and within the state,” she said. “When it comes time for them to need advice or a policy check, I hope my exposure and support of them will make them think of me. You get what you give.” Brenda Brown of PBA Management in Augusta believes that signing up for the initiative will have an impact on the workforce in Georgia. “The more business I do within the state means the more jobs will come to the state,” she said. “It increases the revenue all around. It’s true within your community and it’s true for the entire state as well.” Clark said buying in-state has an impact that may not be easily seen. “If you buy a Kia vehicle it impacts 10
like to hear from business owners and managers about whether three-day weeks of 11-hour days makes sense and how they might structure their business to accommodate that. Contact me at gkauffman@ buzzon.biz.
Georgia counties, all the small companies that supply Kia,” he said. “You could have 300 small business supplying them. It’ll have a huge ripple effect.” A campaign like Georgia2Georgia adds to the already business-friendly reputation
Two percent will make a difference in a small business, and it’s achievable for local government that the state enjoys. Clark said he heard recently from a company that is considering moving to Georgia because of that reputation. “Existing businesses will benefit from Georgia2Geogia, but it will also be good for economic growth,” he said. The initial phase of Georgia2Georgia was raising awareness. The second phase is a website launch that lists the participating companies that other businesses can use as a resource to increase their in-state buying by 2 percent. (At press time, however, the site appeared to not fully list all the participating businesses, including most of those in Augusta.) Clark wants to make the campaign practical for businesses. “We want to see how it can be a benefit to you and not just a PR campaign,” he said. Because the campaign started so recently, it is difficult to measure what effect it may have had so far. But Tracy Melvin believes it is a worthy endeavor. “I have no idea where it’s going to take me,” she said, “but it’s worthy of support.”
Top line vs. the bottom line in your business A nice gross revenue is a wonderful thing. But it’s only part of the story in building your business into a valuable asset that will garner you the best possible price when you’re ready to sell it. For many of you business owners out there, I know this is not news. You’re aware that cost control is extremely important. You Kim Romaner may already be Business Broker managing your business to conform to the standards that apply for your industry. For example, if you own a full-service restaurant business, you’ll want to manage your cost of goods to 30 percent or less. Labor should fall into the same range, depending on the kind of restaurant you’re running. If you own a machine shop, you’d be in the ballpark if your cost of goods was in the 45 percent range, and your labor costs were about 20 percent. No matter what industry you’re in, there are plenty of signposts out there that can help business owners like you better manage your businesses.
Ultimately, though, the successful business seller will be cognizant of the variables that enhance the selling price of a business, and that, if not properly attended to, will come back to bite you in the butt when you’ve decided to put your business on the market. So let me share a few scenarios where sellers did not do themselves a service when they finally decided to put their businesses on the market – and apparently weren’t aware of the important selling variables. Quality inventory: You’re the owner of a business that has an expiration date on your inventory. Trends change, people want the most current things, and for some reason or another, you’ve not updated your inventory. Now you want to sell it at what it was worth three years ago. Not gonna happen. Paying yourself: You’re feeling the 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.
crunch of higher costs and lower margins, so to fix that, you stop paying yourself a salary. Newsflash: businesses are sold based on owner’s benefit, salary being the biggest one, and you just shot yourself in the foot. Ouch. Client growth: You’ve stopped taking new clients because you want to scale back your involvement in the business, the kids don’t want it, and your employees, if you have any, won’t step up. Well, call me right now. You have a limited time to get while the gettin’ is good, and you will want to capture all of the value remaining that your years of blood, sweat and tears have created. So, what is the ultimate measure of suc-
cess when selling a business? Owner benefit - how a new owner will personally benefit from buying your business. This is expressed as profit plus maybe…cell phone payments, auto expenses covered, health or life insurance, your kid’s college tuition getting paid…however you’ve managed to reap the benefits of owning your business. No business broker or other advisor can guarantee the sale of your business, but let’s be clear about one thing: Timing is everything. Don’t go too far down the road when your passion, health, energy, interest or working capital is becoming exhausted. Plan your exit strategy before you actually feel ready for it. Then you’ll have your ducks in a row when the time comes.
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
B2B is the way to be! Buzz doing its part to help CSRA businesses succeed
Gary Kauffman›s cover story exemplifies how businesses doing business with one another can have a profound effect on the economy and everyone’s bottom line. Larry Rudwick continues this theme with his column on page 14. You may notice that the Buzz on Biz newspaper is becoming a bit more “business to business”, focusing more on editorial content and advertisers that can help your business grow – while still chock full of stories and ads that can affect business leaders at work and at home. I’m excited to be part of a B2B conference coming up Tuesday, Aug. 12 at the Legends Club in Augusta. I’m part of “StartUp Augusta,” a group made up of business people dedicated to helping other business people succeed with good sound business, legal and marketing support. I’ll be speaking on how “start-ups” or even small businesses can leverage the media to get their story out – at no cost. Brian King, an excellent attorney with Donsbach & King, will help companies navigate the legal side. Dr. Tony Robinson, a professor at GRU is a branding and strategy expert, will share some wisdom. Eddie Huff from the Sandler Sales Institute will Neil Gordon help the entrepreneurs sell more! Tony Lever of pinestraw. Buzz on Biz com shares his e-commerce success selling everyone’s favorite lawn accessory, pine straw! John Kane and Nate Edwards of Publisher the Augusta Chronicle discuss on-line and print advertising to round out the event. For more information on signing up, go to Page 34. I hope to see you there and will be happy to help your business grow any way I can! 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.
4 Buzz on Biz August 2014
The CSRA’s Only Monthly Business Magazine The Buzz on Biz mission is to act as an inspirational tool for those in the workplace and those who are entrepreneurs, and to provide useful, practical information to increase their companies’ bottom lines. To order a 12-month subscription mailed to your home or office, please mail a check for $36 to cover postage to the address below. Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830 Sales Manager Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727 Sales Janine Garropy/803-480-2800
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Opinions expressed by the writers herein are their own and their respective institutions. Neither Buzz on Biz LLC or its agents or employees take any responsibility for the accuracy of submitted information, which is presented for informational purposes only.
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August 2014 Buzz on Biz
Show them something they’ve never seen
Surely it’s happened to you, too. A question comes up related to what you do for a living, and you stand inwardly amazed as an assessment and suggested solution comes pouring out of you. You’re surprised by what you’re hearing from yourself. Surprised by what experience has taught you, and how it all weaves into a better answer. So many layers. So much nuance to share. Could this be why you were asked in the first place? This actually happened recently when I took on a new out-of-town client in the fiDon MacNeil nancial planning business. I Crown Point could see right away that financial planning advertising, Communications at like most financial institution Windsor Jewelers marketing, is hamstrung by draconian rules that leave guys like me with little more to
advertise than, “Our people are just nicer!” But I also saw a compelling similarity between the way I found jewelry marketing in the year 2000 and financial planning advertising today. Bland. Expected. And verrry serious (except for the E*Trade baby). Little about it would attract, let alone hold, your attention. What followed was a classic, left brain/right brain confrontation. The client, poster guy for left-brain numbers cruncher, quickly proposed this billboard: (pre-artist mockup)
My reaction? What you’ve sent me is comprehensive, yes, but you’ve tried too hard to impart too much. Far too much for the two seconds of someone’s drive-by viewing time you have. And in trying so hard you’ve missed this board’s cru-
Georgia No. 1 in women-owned firms Many of us remember a time when the business world was dominated by men. That is becoming less and less true, as every day we are seeing more women open up businesses. Have you ever wondered how much Georgia has grown in the area of women-owned business? American Express Open recently released their State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, which reveals some interesting trends. A sheer numbers comparison turns out as expected, with the most populous states having the highest number of businesses opened by women. What was more interesting, however, was a percentage growth comparison between the states, as some states nearly doubled their numbers between 1997 and 2013, and one state more than doubled its number. We thought it would also be interesting to go a step
further and calculate which states have the most womenowned businesses per capita, using Census population estimates for 2013. The data revealed the growth of women-owned businesses and its changes over the last 16 years. Georgia showed to have the highest growth rate in women-owned business – 111.17 percent. According to a recent analysis of data created by MyLife, a social media website, more women are opening up businesses than ever before. The analysis included three sets of data for each state: Percent of Growth of Women-Owned firms, Total number of WomenOwned firms 2013 and Women-Owned Firms per Capita Georgia’s total number of women-owned firms in 2013 was 308,200 and .0308 per capita.
Merchants lagging in offering mobile technologies While the purchasing power of today’s millennial shopper continues to grow, most retailers have not updated their marketing and shopping experience to take full advantage, according to a survey by Merchant Warehouse and Retail Pro International. “Buyer Knows Best: Retailers, Millennials, and OmniChannel Shopping” focuses on four main areas of disconnect between the retailer and millennial shopper: online presence, mobile devices, and coupons/loyalty programs. Millennial shoppers continue to expand their use of the internet for making purchases, but many also prefer to
6 Buzz on Biz August 2014
purchase in-store after first researching the product online. U.S. retailers have been slow to develop unified omnichannel experiences for their customers. By leveraging coupons and the mobile technologies available and in use by millennials today, there are large opportunities for driving increased sales both online and in-store. In fact 75 percent of consumers stated they would switch to brands that delivered real-time discounts and promotions to their smartphones while shopping, and despite this only 27.3 percent of retailers in the survey were currently leveraging mobile coupons.
cial need: To give viewers a reason to look in the first place. They’re worn out with advertising, so it’s incumbent upon you to reward them for their attention, and you do that by entertaining – not teaching – in exchange for two seconds of their time. That requires showing them something they’ve never seen before…followed by making them smile, like this: (pre-artist mockup)
Everyone has some level of fear regarding retirement and investing. Staring into a black abyss called “Retirement” will illicit an inner smile of recognition to anyone who’s pondered the subject. Further, a cartoon character triggers an anticipation of humor, so you WILL be read. The hardest news to break to any advertiser? That people don’t study his advertising. Putting it out there doesn’t mean anyone is motivated to look at it. There’s nothing in it for them. They’re certain it’s just more of your puffery. That’s why I always try to reward them for giving me those two seconds. It’s fun and it’s…yes…swagger. I love swagger, ‘cause it’s the opposite of the sense of desperation you get from most advertising. This back-and-forth embodies almost everything we’ve talked about in these visits. The client can’t emotionally break away from the notion that, “By gosh, this is my hard-earned money and I’m not going to spend it ‘fooling around!’ I’m going to give people the facts!” Except there’s nothing that draws us to, “The facts”. I said to the client, “It’s your job to explain what you do when they call. It’s my job to get them to call.” I’m happy to report that all of this has a positive ending. The client finally found validity/wisdom in where I was leading him, and soon his faraway city will awaken to several variations of that billboard, accompanied by print ad headlines that reach into truths not often heard from his industry, one of which will be: Budget? Raise your hand if you have a budget. Thought so. 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.
Section 179 helps small businesses with vehicles A popular accelerated method of depreciation for business owners is referred to as Section 179 expense. It allows business owners an immediate deduction for purchases of depreciable business equipment instead of capitalizing and depreciating the asset. The Section 179 expensing method is offered as an incentive for small business owners to grow their businesses with the purchase Christine of new equipHall, CPA ment. Hall & One of the more popular Associates uses of the Section 179 Deduction has been for vehicles. In fact, several years ago the Section 179 deduction was sometimes referred to as the “Hummer Tax Loophole,” because at the time it allowed businesses to buy large SUVs and write them off in the year of purchase. While this particular use (or abuse) of the tax code has been modified, it is still true that Section 179 can be advantageous in buying vehicles for your business. Vehicles used in your businesses qualify for Section 179 expense but certain passenger vehicles have a total depreciation de-
duction limitation of $11,060, while other vehicles that by their nature are not likely to be used more than a minimal amount for personal purposes qualify for full Section 179 deduction. For passenger vehicles, trucks and vans that are used for more than 50 percent qualified business use, the Section 179 expense deduction for 2014 is limited to $11,060 for cars and $11,160 for trucks and vans. There are a few exceptions to this limitation. If you use an ambulance or hearse specifically in your business; taxis, transport vans, and other vehicles used to specifically transport people or property for hire; or qualified non-personal use vehicles specifically modified for business (i.e. van without seating behind driver, permanent shelving installed and exterior painted with company’s name), they are not subject to this limit. Certain vehicles (with a gross vehicle weight rating above 6,000 pounds but no more than 14,000 pounds) qualify for expensing up to $25,000. Many vehicles that by their nature are not likely to be used for personal purposes qualify for full Section 179 deduction including the following vehicles: Heavy “non-SUV” vehicles with a cargo area at least six feet in interior length (this area must not be easily accessible from the passenger area.) To give an example, many pickups with full-sized cargo beds will qualify (although some “extended cab” pickups may have beds that are too small
to qualify). Vehicles that can seat nine-plus passengers behind the driver’s seat (i.e.: hotel/airport shuttle vans, etc.). Vehicles with: (1) a fully-enclosed driver’s compartment/cargo area, (2) no seating at all behind the driver’s seat, and (3) no body section protruding more than 30 inches ahead of the leading edge of the windshield. In other words, a classic cargo van. Another very significant change in 2014 is the restoration of the original Section 179 limit of $25,000. The IRS increased this significantly during 2012 and 2013 to spur corporate growth but that increase
expired on the last day of 2013. Congress has talked of increasing the limitation for 2014, but it has not happened yet. When tax planning for 2014, be sure to take this into consideration because it can greatly affect your potential tax liability. 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.
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
buzz bits Deans Bridge Industrial park has new owners
The Deans Bridge Industrial Park was recently sold to Augusta native Franklin Adams and his Adams Development Company, based in Charleston. The six-acre tract of land in South Augusta is near Fort Gordon, Plant Vogtle and the Bobby Jones Expressway. Roughly half of the space is occupied. In total, there is about 90,000 square feet comprised of nine buildings of 10,000 square feet each. The industrial park was formerly owned by Brush and Company, founded by the late Ben Brush and run by his family. Tripp Wilson is handling the leasing of the spaces and will subdivide to suit the tenant. Reach him at 706-294-1924 for more information.
CVB expects August visitors to spend $1.8M
Although August is typically a slow month for the tourism, the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Augusta Sports Council expect visitors to spend nearly $1.8 million in the area in August. Two of the biggest draws are sports event, a mixed doubles tennis tournament and a soccer tournament.
Family Y gets gift from Ingersoll Rand The Family Y of Greater Augusta received a $120,000 grant from the Ingersoll Rand Foundation, which will benefit the renovation and expansion of Camp Lakeside, the Y’s resident camp located on Lake Thurmond. The Family Y and the Children’s Hospital of Georgia formed a partnership last year to make Camp Lakeside the new home for all the hospital’s special needs summer camps, in addition to Family Y day and resident camp programming. “We so appreciate that Ingersoll Rand shares our vision to turn our beautiful Camp Lakeside into an accessible, medically-safe camp facility for
8 Buzz on Biz August 2014
all children, including those with cancer,” said Danny McConnell, President and CEO of the Family Y of Greater Augusta. The Ingersoll Rand Foundation is the foundation of Club Car’s parent company. Locally, Club Car has been actively involved with the Children’s Hospital of Georgia’s Camp Rainbow for children with cancer for more than 20 years. With a 156-year legacy of service in the Augusta area, the non-profit Family Y offers programs and services at 12 CSRA facilities, including nine family and wellness facilities, one full-time daycare center, and Camp Lakeside, the 88acre resident camp located on Lake Thurmond. The Family Y’s Prime Time program provides after-school child care at 34 Richmond, McDuffie and Aiken County elementary schools. Currently, more than 50,000 members and more than 20,000 non-member program participants are served by The Family Y. As part of its mission, financial assistance is available for all programs and services. In 2013, more than $1.6 million in financial assistance was awarded to kids, adults and families in need. The Family Y is a partner agency of the United Way of the CSRA and the United Way of Aiken County.
Casella named treasurer of state group Ben Casella of Casella Eye Center, 767 Broad Street, has been named Treasurer of the Georgia Optometric Association. He had formerly served as president of the Augusta chapter of the organization. Casella is a third generation optometrist in Augusta, currently sharing an office with his father, Thomas.
City slow to act on study’s findings Five years after a half-million dollar study found the city of Augusta behind the curve in conducting business with minorities, little has changed. The study, conducted in 2009, found that Augusta did business with less than 7 percent of
Museum extends hours for James Brown fans Because of the release of the movie Get On Up, interest in James Brown has increased at the Augusta Museum of History. Because of that the museum will increase the days it open, adding Tuesday and Wednesday hours. For August and September, the museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m. People have come as far as Japan and Germany to visit the Museum since The Godfather of Soul: Mr. James Brown exhibition opened in May 2008. “It was always our goal to provide a place where fans and people around the world can pay homage to Mr. Brown and learn about him as a man, see artifacts and enjoy the extraordinary music he created,” said Nancy Glaser, Executive Director of the Museum. “To do so in his hometown is a great honor and we are proud to have been able to partner with Augusta-Richmond County, the Brown family and the James Brown Estate to present the first major exhibit on Mr. Brown.” The exhibit features hundreds of rare memorable and personal artifacts, including photographs, posters, albums, costumes, musical instruments such as a drum set and guitars, and an assortment of awards including his 1982
businesses owned by women or minority groups, even though those groups own more than 30 percent of the businesses in the area. Channel 12 News recently reported that the city has not yet taken any action on the 20 changes the study recommended. The city commissioners have asked all affected departments to meet soon and may recommend another study.
Taylor named president of Sales Gravy Dub Taylor has been named President of Sales Gravy, a global leader in sales enablement solutions. Taylor, who has more than 15 years of experience in sales, sales management and senior leadership, most recently served as Executive Vice President of Sales and Business Development at BACAS, one the top pain management firms in the United States. “We are thrilled to have a talented leader like Dub Taylor join our fast growing team,” said Sales Gravy founder and CEO, Jeb Blount. “Dub brings a wealth of experience building high-performance teams that will benefit both the Sales Gravy
Grammy and more, which vividly tell the story of Brown’s rise to worldwide fame. Interactive kiosks highlight the often imitated, but never duplicated, sound of Brown’s horndriven funk music and enable exhibit visitors to experience his musical evolution as a singer, composer, and performer. His remarkable legacy is told through oral histories of musicians, politicians, and entertainers.
team and our clients.” Taylor, who has also held leadership positions at Aramark and KGB Deals, is a graduate of Stillman College. He will be responsible for guiding Sales Gravy as it continues to expand its reach into new markets, mobile learning solutions and sales onboarding automation. “I am excited to be joining the Sales Gravy family,” said Taylor. “Sales Gravy has a strong track record of helping companies build high-performance sales teams and I am looking forward to continuing its blistering rate of growth.” Sales Gravy helps its clients generate the highest possible return on sales headcount investment by helping them deploy actionable strategies for building high-performing sales teams fast. For more information, visit salesgravy.com or call 844-447-3737.
USC Aiken one of best places to work for
The University of South Carolina Aiken is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education. The results in The Chronicle’s
seventh annual report on The Academic Workplace are based on a survey of more than 43,000 employees at 278 colleges and universities. This is USC Aiken’s third consecutive year being named as a “Great College to Work For.” In all, only 92 of the 278 institutions achieve “Great Colleges to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with USC Aiken included among the medium universities with 3,000 to 9,999 student category. USC Aiken won honors in Collaborative Governance, Teaching Environment and Tenure Clarity and Process.
Leopard named a Rising Star Greg Leopard has been selected to the 2014 Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. Each year, no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
New theater, outlet mall reach deal
The Georgia Theatre Co. and Ben Carter Enterprises recently reached an agreement that will allow construction to begin on a new theater, outlet mall and restaurant complex on River Watch Parkway. The new development will take place next to Costco and Cabela’s. The land for the 14-screen movie theater had to be repositioned to make room for the outlet mall. The 70 acres acquired by Ben Carter Enterprises will be used to build a 400,000-square-foot fashion outlet mall, with another 400,000-square-feet designated for restaurants, hotels and other retail businesses. Ben Carter expects to break ground on the project in December, with the project completed in time for Masters Week 2016. The new movie theater, originally scheduled to open this fall, is now expected to be open by fall 2015. Georgia Theatre Co. owns the Evans Stadium Cinema 14 on North Belair Road and the Masters Value Cinema 7 on Washington Road.
SC, Georgia set sales tax holidays South Carolina and Georgia have set their sales tax holidays for back-to-school supplies. South Carolina’s holiday will be Aug. 1-3, while Georgia’s will be Aug. 1-2. During those days, no sales tax will be collected on selected items. In Georgia, that includes clothing and footwear valued at $100 or less, computers and software valued at $1,000 or less and school supplies valued at $20 or less.
In our July edition, in a story on the growth of North Augusta, we meant to say the intersection expanding at Highway 25 was Walnut Lane, not Sweetwater Road. In our Buzz Bits column in July, we meant to say that the Maxwell House Pharmacy closing---left just a handful of independent pharmacies left in the CSRA such as Barney’s, Summerville Pharmacy and others.
Canal making improvements The Augusta Canal is making improvements to the trails along the canal. The River Levee Trail will open to the public in October. Grading and paving segments of the new trail is taking take place over the next two months, according to Augusta Canal Authority Project Manager Russell Foster. River Levee Trail (formerly called the New Bartram Trail) begins north of the Olmstead Bulkhead Bridge near Rae’s Creek and passes through wooded and grassy areas between Riverwatch Parkway and the Savannah River. The trail includes two bridges across tailraces of the Sibley and King Mills and a boardwalk leading to the top of the Savannah River levee. The
Bridgestone names two to leadership roles Bridgestone Americas announced two appointments to the plant leadership team at the company’s manufacturing operations in Aiken County, S.C. Bridgestone appointed Ron Brooks to serve as Plant Manager at the company’s new off-road radial (ORR) tire plant, which is scheduled to begin production later this year. Brooks spent much of his distinguished career working for Bridgestone, and brings experience managing several manufacturing facilities, including the company’s tire operations in Warren County, Tenn.; LaVergne, Tenn., and Bloomington, Ill. Bridgestone also announced that Fran Jones accepted the position of Plant Manager at its passenger (PSR) and light truck (LTR) manufacturing facility in
completed portion of the trail temporarily dead-ends here. Future plans call for extending the trail eastward along the levee, creating a pedestrian crossing at the Hawks Gully bulkhead and connections to 15th and 13th Streets. The Augusta Canal Authority has also installed two permanent restroom structures for trail users. The pre-cast concrete buildings each have a men’s and women’s toilet. One unit is located at The Clearing (the grassy meadow between the canal and Savannah River about a mile south of I-20 overpass) and replaces two orange plastic portable toilets. The other unit is on the new River Levee Trail at the Sibley Tailrace Bridge.
Aiken County. Jones, previously Vice President, Administrative Services, at the Aiken ORR plant, succeeds John Stewart, who was recently appointed Plant Manager for the company’s operations in Warren County, Tenn. In April 2013, Bridgestone announced the completion of a two-phase expansion at its PSR/ LTR operations in Aiken County, S.C., increasing the plant’s footprint to 2.42 million square feet and resulting in a rated production capacity of 37,350 tires per day, or 13.4 million tires annually.
GRU adds MBA degree for STEM grads Georgia Regents University’s James M. Hull College of Business will launch and begin recruiting students for the school’s first MBA option aimed specifically for graduates with backgrounds in science,
technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, this fall. The STEM-MBA Option is a 15-month program focused on the management and commercialization of emerging industries in energy, biotechnology, health care, information and manufacturing technologies. “Since STEM careers are in such high demand, it is our goal to prepare students for not only the business of science, but the science of business,” said Marc Miller, Dean of the Hull College of Business. “With the rigorous curriculum being taught by highly skilled professors, we know our graduates will be better equipped to meet the future challenges in their STEMspecific careers.” Coursework includes subjects like business analytics, managerial and global economics, and strategic information systems. For more information about the program, call the Hull College of Business at 706-7371560.
TakoSushi helps feed hungry kids Local restaurant, TakoSushi, teamed up with Action Ministries to help provide lunches for 600 area kids during summer break. For the past two years, Action Ministries’ “Smart Lunch, Smart Kid” program has delivered lunches to children who may otherwise go hungry when school is out. The program partners with volunteers to purchase, assemble, and distribute nearly 300 lunches each day. “Team Tako”, comprised of staff members and volunteers, assembled and packaged bagged lunches on July 24 and 25.
Fleet Feet marks 5 years With more than half of businesses failing within the first five years, making it to the five-year mark is a noteworthy event. Fleet Feet, an athletic shoe store, recently reached that mark. Fleet Feet started in North Augusta five years ago and has since moved to 229 Fury’s Ferry Road. The store specializes in walking and running shoes, workout
gear and training programs. Its mission statement is “to provide a vibrant, educational, and life changing experience.” It has more than 9,000 customers. For more information, visit fleetfeetaugusta.com.
MedNow plans third facility in Augusta area MedNow Urgent Care will soon add a third facility, this one on Washington Road near Alexander Drive. MedNow bought nearly an acre of land that contained a gas station and will build a 7,500-square-foot facility on the site. The new building will contain digital X-ray equipment, a lab and a pharmacy. The new center will have 10 staff and three doctors. The new facility should be completed by December or January. MedNow currently has facilities on Belair Road in Evans and on Peach Orchard Road in Augusta. MedNow is locallyowned by Dr. Mark Newton. The centers provide urgent care and are open late on weekdays and on weekends. They provides walk-in care for most acute ill-
University ranked 5th University Hospital of Augusta was ranked fifth in the state in a recent U.S. News and World Report survey of hospitals. In the survey, 82 percent of discharged patients said they would definitely recommend University Hospital to friends and family. The national average for hospitals is 71 percent, and 70 percent in Georgia. In contrast, only 3 percent said they would probably not recommend the hospital, below the national average of 5 percent and the state average of 6 percent. U.S. News found that University Hospital performed at the level of nationally-ranked hospitals in 10 adult specialties: Cardiology and Heart Surgery, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Gastroenterology and GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology, and Urology.
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
Business openings, closing and moves Openings Covenant Pediatrics Covenant Pediatrics opened the first and only pediatric practice in Grovetown in July. By opening an office in Grovetown, Dr. Alan Getts has fulfilled his desire to expand his Christ-centered pediatric practice to the lesser-served areas of Columbia County. This office will be open Monday-Friday. Initially the office will be staffed all day on Mondays and in the mornings TuesdayFriday. Beginning in January, the office hours will be expanded because a new physician is expected to join the practice. Covenant Pediatrics Grovetown is located in the Barney’s Pharmacy building next to KJ’s IGA. When the owner of Barney’s Pharmacy built the pharmacy in Grovetown he made a space for a clinic knowing that having a physician in the same building makes it easy for patients to see their doctor and get their medications in one stop. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in Aiken is set to open on Aug 6. NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick is scheduled to be on hand to sign autographs during the Grand Opening. They’ll go into the old Kalmia Plaza at 1660 Richland Ave. in the former Belk building. Belk’s moved out in 1989 to go to the Mall. It’s been vacant for almost 25 years. Tickets are required for the autograph session with Harvick. Only 250 tickets will be issued. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, based in Harrisburg, Pa., is a retailer of closeouts, excess inventory and salvage merchandise, according to a press release. This retailer operates more than 150 stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee, according to its website. The first Ollie’s Bargain Outlet opened in 1982. Wing Express Wing Express is now open on Highland Avenue outside of Surrey Center in Augusta. They offer a full Chinese menu and Hibachi style Japanese food. Most recently, Bullchicks opened and closed a few different times and finally closed for good. Sole Jay Klugo, a Clemson, S.C., restaurateur, is investing in 1033 Broad St. and a neighboring lot to open a modern-style sushi dining spot called Sole in early 2015. Renovation is expected to begin soon. He is affiliated with 356 Sushi and Martini Bar on College Avenue in Clemson.The downtown Augusta building is currently a mixed use space on Broad Street and used to house Curvitude, a clothing store for plus-sized women. Klugo’s main competition will come from the Soy Noodle House directly across the street on 1032 Broad Street. Soy Noodle House has a lunch and dinner sushi bar and is owned by Sae Shin, who is also an owner with two other downtown Augusta restaurants.
10 Buzz on Biz August 2014
Another defense contractor opening office in Augusta The Augusta Economic Development Authority announced recently that another defense contractor is locating in AugustaRichmond County. Sabre Systems, Inc., a provider of integrated technology solutions to United States defense and civilian agencies, commercial and international clients, will open a new office in Augusta this summer. Sabre’s announcement coincides with the announcement that the United States Army will consolidate Cyber Command operations to Fort Gordon and become the command’s new headquarters. The company’s new office will be located in Augusta’s Enterprise Mill. “The Augusta office enables us to continue providing seamless support to existing Army customers and posture us for future growth at Fort Gordon,” Sabre President Philip Jaurigue said. “We are thrilled to be on the front lines of supporting this extremely important mission. Protecting our nation against cyber threats is vital to the security of our nation and we look forward to being an integral part of the solution.” “This new office and its convenience to the base will enhance our relationship with our customer and with other contractors,” said Krazy Wings A new restaurant called Krazy Wings is retrofitting a closed restaurant in Evans. They will be serving wings, Philly sandwiches and more. They’ll replace the closed “About Thyme Café” in the Eagle Pointe Shopping Center in Evans. The shopping center currently has The Garlic Clove and Toki Restaurants. The space was formerly leased by Serendipity Coffee, Punjab Grill and another ethnic restaurant. Krazy Wings will be competing in the crowded chicken market with Zaxby’s and a pair of restaurants about to open in Evans, Bojangles and PDQ. Nova Medical Center The largest pure occupational medicine company in the nation, Nova Medical Centers, recently opened its fifth Georgia center in Augusta. This new facility will join four Atlantabased Nova Medical Centers’ locations. The Augusta facility will be located at 3209 Deans Bridge Road, and will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. “With Nova’s treatment philosophy of rapid return-to-work and decreased treatment times for work-related injuries, we believe Augusta employers will see substantially larger gains in indemnity cost savings,” Bruce Meymand, Chief Operating Officer for Nova Medical Centers, said. Closings Masters Bowling Lanes In July, the Masters Bowling Lanes closed at 1810 Gordon Highway. Buzz founder Neil Gordon spoke with a few remaining employees, who told Gordon that they believe the shutdown was a result of Masters’ parent company acquiring 75 other Brunswick facilities last week and deciding to close some underperforming ones. Parent company Bowlmor acquired Brunswick on July 17 for $270 Million. The employees of Masters had no idea whether Bowlmor was going to offer severance to its employees. The employees believe Masters had been
Fred Kuster, Sabre Vice President of Cyber Operations. “We are excited to be a part of the growing Augusta community and participating in many of the organizations supporting Fort Gordon.” Henry Ingram, Chairman of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, said “We are thrilled to have worked with Sabre to locate their new office in Augusta. The recent announcement by the military that the Cyber Command would relocate to Fort Gordon was a game-changer for Augusta, and the Augusta Economic Development Authority decided to be pro-active in the recruitment and assistance of defense contractors to Augusta. Sabre has a long history of community involvement, and we are delighted to have them as a new business in Augusta, and a partner in the growth of Fort Gordon.” Headquartered in Warrington, Pennsylvania, Sabre Systems also maintains offices and locations throughout the United States. The Augusta office will be their first in Georgia. Founded in 1989, Sabre offers its customers integrated, end-to-end solutions focused around cyber; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); analytics; autonomous systems; and critical infrastructure protection.
open for more than 50 years before the sudden closure. Whoa-Nuts In late 2013 Whoa-Nuts tried to capitalize on the buffet bar sweet craze that has worked for frozen yogurt for many years. But in late June, Whoa-Nuts closed its unique doughnut shop on Agerton Lane across from the Regal 20 Cinemas. A mom, daughter and husband had hoped that the doughnut buffet and coffee shop would work. When they were interviewed for an Augusta Chronicle article in December they said they had done research in their home kitchen and called on their 30 plus years of food and beverage experience. “The toppings buffet is all the rave,” Candace Wolke said in the interview. “I think that doughnuts are the next fashionable fad.” Customers started with a cake doughnut and picked from glazes and treats at the buffet bar. The finished product was weighed and sold by the weight, just like in the frozen yogurt business model. Tutti Frutti left its space for Whoa-Nuts and took two spaces in the same shopping center across from Regal 20. Moves Soar Academics Academy Soar Academics Academy of Evans will be moving to a new location soon. The academy will be moving to 4210 Columbia Road, Ste 12B in Martinez. A grand re-opening is planned for 5-7 p.m. Aug. 3 at the new location. Soar teaches and tutors students with learning disabilities, IEPs, ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, autism and Asperger’s. Teaching is done in small group settings. Soar obtains results with students who normally don’t perform well in a traditional school setting. For more information, call 706-869-4128 or visit soaracademics.com. Service Loan & Tax Service Loan & Tax has moved to a new location. The company had been located at 1033-
B Broad Street for 15 years but moved on Aug. 1 to 223 James Brown Blvd. The company provides small personal loans and prepares income tax returns. The business services more than 800 customers. Acquisitions and Expansions Allgood Pest Solutions Allgood Pest Solutions on 1730 Wylds Road has acquired two more pest control companies. First, they purchased Eli’s Pest Control last fall and now has acquired Allstate Pest Control on the Bobby Jones Expressway. Allstate opened in 1975. Allgood’s staff of 10 listed on their website will be increasing greatly. No word on where the Augusta headquarters will be. They began in Augusta by acquiring Bert Hall Exterminating in 2007. When they opened in Augusta hired Wier Stewart to come up with a clean, advertising “Pestimonial” campaign to put them on the CSRA map. The Augusta location serves Augusta, Evans, Martinez, Grovetown, Harlem, Wrens, Thomson, Warrenton, Waynesboro, Aiken and North Augusta. Aqua Salon and Spa A full-service salon and spa has new owners but a familiar face. Grace Bennett, who has worked at Aqua Salon and Spa on Walton Way Extended for two years, and her husband, Reed, recently purchased the facility from Sandy Maddox. Maddox also owns the Aqua Salon in Evans. The salon on Walton Way Extended is in its 10th year of business. Aqua Salon and Spa has a wide range of services, including hair coloring and cutting, manicures and pedicures, skin care, body waxing, body wraps and scrubs and massages. It also sells a variety of salon products The salon has seven service providers. Bennett has been a hair stylist for 7-1/2 years and will continue to serve her clientele four days a week. For more information, call 706-481-9301 or visit aquasalonaugusta.com, or see them on Facebook.
Unsecured wifi invites credit card thieves I was checking out at Lowe’s when I was first asked for the last four digits on my credit card. I thought, “The card is right here – why?” Still, some ask me why we’ve set their terminals up to prompt for those four numbers. Well, we Americans really don’t care how they do any- Jimmy McCollum thing in Europe, Credit Card or anywhere else Payment Systems in the world for that matter. But years ago, pretty much everyone else did get it right, mandating credit cards to embed card holders’ private information in microchips, which are then embedded inside of the cards, as opposed to our familiar cassette tapes on our cards. Today, one of the primary means of stealing card data is through merchants’ unsecured wifi networks. Now a hacker – we’ll call him Bob – can sit at his laptop, sipping on a latte for hours as data is harvested from each card transaction through a credit card terminal on the same, unsecure network. With the right equipment, that data is then used to rewrite other cards’ magnetic stripes.
The cards look perfect – because they are. Empty gift cards sporting the Visa or MasterCard logo from the big box stores are altered with the info of Susan, the nice lady who bought a Cafe au Lait at the wrong time. Bob will also sit in his car, outside; strong wifi is a great asset for him. The bottom line for a merchant is this: If you have open wifi, whether for employees or customers, and have your IP terminal on the same network, bad things are inevitable. The card isn’t reported as lost or stolen because it is still in Susan’s purse, so it works long enough for Bob to pick up a few new flat screens. Once she sees the purchases, a call to the bank turns off the card, fraud chargebacks are initiated and the poor merchants are left with empty shelves and bank accounts. The merchant loses 100 percent of the time with counterfeit cards. I say all of this to enlighten CSRA merchants to the widespread counterfeiting in every town in the country. If you have a terminal or POS system that prompts for the last four numbers on the card (fraud control), it confirms the numbers on the card front match the numbers in the magnetic strips. If they don’t match, the transaction will be declined, and you will not be robbed. Otherwise, merchants aren’t aware of bad cards until the funds are removed from their checking account the day before the chargeback letter arrives. EMV or “Smartcards”, with embedded
chips, will replace the magnetic stripe cards, but this has been pushed back to 2017. By that time, all Point of Sale card readers will have been replaced with equipment compatible with the new chip cards. But for the next 2 ½ years, fraud control is your lone defense. 2014 is seeing more counterfeit cards than ever. Merchants can be up and running with CCPS, with Fraud Control in only a couple of days. Give Mark a call at
706-799-2913. Just tell him you saw this in Buzz on Biz. Jimmy McCollum is vice president of Service Operations for Credit Card Payment Systems. Mark Hofilena is the president. The company was formed in 2006 after the two longtime friends worked for other credit card companies. For more information, visit ccpaymentsystems.com or call Mark at 706799-2913.
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
Factoring similar to how credit cards work Previously, I introduced you to the alternative finance option of factoring. Factoring, by definition, is a purchase of accounts receivable at a discount – for less than face value – for immediate cash. As I have stated previously, factoring is not a loan, it is the sale of an asset. While factoring was brought to America Ronald Garnett with the PilSmall Business grims around Financial Solutions 1620, because it was how they financed their journey to America, the public in general is not familiar with the term factoring. While the public may not be familiar with the term, almost everyone is familiar with the concept. The most common form of factoring is the credit card. When a customer makes a purchase with a credit card, the merchant sells this debt to the credit card company at a discount. The credit card company, acting just like a factor, receives its money by charging the merchant a few percentage points for and depositing funds, less a discount, into the merchant’s bank account. The credit card company also
12 Buzz on Biz August 2014
Any business that has invoices due to it from a creditworthy business can benefit from factoring.
accepts responsibility for collection of the debt. We may not call this factoring, but in essence it is the same process. When this type of transaction takes place between two businesses it is called factoring. What type of businesses can benefit E. Ronald Garnett has managed and owned businesses for over 30 years. He is a graduate of Augusta State University, and holds graduate degrees from Georgia State University, and Indiana University. For the past several years has taught classes in micro-enterprise development, and is a certified instructor in micro-enterprise business planning and development. He has worked with numerous businesses and was able to obtain funding for their enterprises. Currently, he is an adjunct professor at Paine College in Augusta, Georgia teaching Business Law.
from factoring? Generally, any business that has invoices due to it from a creditworthy business can benefit from factoring. The most common issue that causes the need for factoring is that a business has customers who will simply take longer to pay than the client can wait. This causes cash flow issues. Factoring is usually a viable funding alternative for businesses that fit into some of these categories: Businesses that are unable to secure financing to pay operating expenses; businesses that are new or young so they don’t have the history to obtain traditional financing; businesses
that don’t have an adequate cash on hand to purchase materials and/or meet payroll; businesses that can’t give terms of payment for 15 days or more; and businesses that have a negative net worth but sell to credit-worthy customers. While these are not all of the categories of businesses who can benefit from factoring, they do give you some idea of who may want to consider factoring. It is my hope that this article gives you some insight into factoring and lets you know that it is a viable financial tool that is around us in some form or fashion every day.
Learning to fail better leads to success By Gary Kauffman Spend an hour with Fred Daitch talking about business and you’ll come away feeling inspired. Daitch has been through the business wars. He started a business from scratch, lost everything and learned from failure. Now that success has come his way, he actively seeks ways to help others. Daitch started International Uniform in 1998 after his family’s 68-year-old wholesale distributor business folded under increasing competition from big box stores. Daitch sought a niche that the big box stores didn’t serve, and decided on supplying uniforms. In a medical community like Augusta, he naturally does a lot of business providing scrubs and apparel for doctors, nurses and medical facilities. But International Uniform also carries apparel for the culinary and restaurant industries, lab coats, work clothes and usher dresses. In the back of the store are the closeout racks with 20-60 percent discounts and consignment clothes. But that is just the half of it. The other half of the business, again keeping with Augusta’s tradition, is the golfing community, specifically apparel for caddies. International Uniform provides coveralls and aprons for caddies at golf clubs from around the world. Daitch is also a bit of an inventor, and holds several patents for his products, such as bib aprons with clear vinyl inserts that act as leaderboard signs, caddie bib aprons with Velcro strips to add player names and totes for carrying divot sand. International Uniform’s products are made in both Augusta and Eastman, Ga., facilities and carry International Uniform’s own label. In addition to International Uniform, Daitch also owns rental properties downtown and is a silent partner in several other small businesses. What are you passionate about in your business? Customer service. In my business we never have problems, we have challenges. The challenge is to make the customer happy, always. Happy customers come back and they tell their friends. Success and money come to you if you treat your customers, or as we refer to them guests, right. We have service call buttons all over the
store that customers can push for help. By having those buttons it alerts staff to service that area. Not that my employees don’t service those areas anyway, but it’s more convenient for the customer. I have a great staff that’s been with me a long time. They run the day-to-day operations of the business. They know what they’re doing and they don’t need me to micromanage them. What were your early years in business like? I started this business pulling a trailer behind my truck and going from medical office to medical office. I thought about this
Businessperson of the Month Fred Daitch, International Uniform years later, but it’s like how my grandfather started when he came from Poland. He traveled with a horse and buggy with his goods out to Wrens and Waynesboro. I did exactly what he did, just in a modern way. I struggled and lost money for 10 years. But being an entrepreneur and being in business for myself was the only way I knew to do it. If it was such a struggle, why did you continue? Quitting wasn’t an option for me. I had to learn to fail better every time. Making a mistake and failing doesn’t mean you quit. I believe failure makes you better and stronger. It makes you a better human being. The only person in this country who will stop you is you. It’s a matter of how many times are you willing to fail and how many hours are you willing to work? What are you grateful for? I remember in the early days pulling up to a gas pump and not having a dime to put gas in the truck to get to the next sales call. I’d trade a watch or something else I had to get gas. Now every time I pull out my International Uniform credit card and swipe it and put $50 or $70 of gas in the truck I stop for a second and think how fortunate I am to do that. (Daitch pauses for a moment as
tears well up in his eyes.) A lot of people don’t realize that I was that broke. So I’m thankful for all my blessings. My motto is ‘Life is Good.’ I sign all my emails that way and it’s the name of my boats. What is one secret you’ve learned to be successful in business? I don’t consider myself a smart person but I read a lot, plus I had a father and brother who were great mentors. There are a lot of common denominators that successful businesspersons have, and one of them is charity. Every single one of them is charitable with time and money. When I didn’t have money I gave my time. But you can’t be charitable expecting to receive anything. It has to come from the heart. I’m very proud of my wife and children that they’re givers. You can’t be a taker; you have to be a giver to be successful in life. What kind of legacy do you want to leave? One quote my father taught me, it’s an old one that everyone knows, but it’s my
favorite: “Give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.” My legacy would be to teach people to fish, to teach people how to be successful. One of the challenges for me is that when people come to me for help, they want money or whatever. But that’s like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. It only covers up the challenge. I want to help them solve the challenge. Ultimately, I just want to help people. I feel that’s why God put me on this earth. What does the future hold for you? I’m trying to downsize my life. I don’t want to retire, but everything in life has its season. I’ve worked literally 108-hour weeks for months and years. Work controls me, I don’t control it. I can’t possibly do everything I want to do. In order to accomplish the things I want to do I have to give up something. I’d rather have less and have more time for myself and my wife, Lisa, who has been my greatest asset.
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
Sales, marketing goals help avoid mistakes I ran a successful B2B operation for 19 years, and here are some of the basics I learned: Knowing and Writing Your Sales and Marketing Goals will go a long way to creating a successful business and avoiding many of the common mistakes. The majority of B2B businesses (businesses who focus on selling to other businesses rather Larry Rudwick than consumers) could hanBusiness and dle much more Relationship Coach business if they just got the orders. Very few businesses are flooded with orders and can’t handle more. Take the following steps to improve business success. Step 1- Identify Your Ideal Customers: It often seems easier to sell to lots of different types of businesses than focusing on less. But that’s putting precious resources in the wrong directions. Ideal clients are businesses that 1) really need what you offer, 2) are able and willing to pay a price that is sufficiently profitable to the seller, 3) are eager to contact or be contacted by the selling business, 4) can be easily found/discovered by the buying and/ or selling business and 5) are close enough geographically, when that is essential. Step 2- Listen, listen, listen to your prospects, customers and experts: Think of your business as a “servant” to provide what “your master” wants and requires,
14 Buzz on Biz August 2014
The devil’s in the details: Learn specific steps to take for your particular business. within your capabilities. The motto “The customer is always right” can be interpreted in many ways. First, the customer may suggest something that is truly not practical. Second, it does not mean you should do whatever the customer says, even when they have a good idea, because you may not have that capability, at least presently. Whenever that happens, let them know you cannot currently provide what they are suggesting and, if you have a good alternative they are not aware of, suggest they consider trying that. Listening to your prospects and customers will give you numerous ideas, such as what you should add to your product line, services and capabilities when it become practical for you to do so, and you will learn what other areas of your business to work on. Step 3- Understand the Numbers: Be mindful that all businesses have market values that are based on current sales and profits and, more important, anticipated future sales and profits. Example: If a business is worth one times
its sales, then a business doing $1 million in revenue could be sold for $1 million. Therefore, a customer who has been purchasing $10,000 annually will reduce the value of the business by $10,000 if they become dissatisfied and take their business elsewhere. Remember: It is much easier to keep existing customers happy than to find new ones. Step 4- Learn, learn, learn: Identifying who your ideal customers/clients are and how to find them is a work in progress, so realize it will take some time to figure this out. Keep increasing your knowledge and refining your processes. Learn from experienced business people:
Develop an informal group of advisors you can bounce ideas off. Conclusion: The devil’s in the details: Learn specific steps to take for your particular business. To learn how I developed a successful B2B business (becoming the No. 1 supplier of wheelchair replacement parts in the U.S.), go to businesstune-ups.com/ wheelchair_parts.html For more information, you may look over my website businesstune-ups.com/ index.html, sign up for my free newsletter, listen to my podcasts, contact me through my website, or call me at 571-331-6102. There is no charge for an initial consultation.
Should you use Facebook for your business? Facebook is still the most popular social media platform. For people who choose to use only one form of social media, Facebook is it, to the tune of 84 percent. That’s a pretty good gauge of its popularity. Here are a few more hefty statistics: 71 percent of adults use it 60 percent of users visit once Pat Homer per day Social Media 40 percent of users make mulCommunications tiple visits per day Diverse demographic mix (Source: Pew Research Internet Project) The greatest thing about Facebook is it allows you to communicate directly with your customers. Facebook allows you to create a business page and post on it for free. You can also purchase Facebook ads to promote your business, if you wish. Social media is called social media for a reason: People want you to communicate with them. So, in addition to regular posts, you should monitor your timeline and private messages to answer any questions your customers may ask. A timely response
shows your customers that you care about them. We all know Christmas is coming (just four months away!). Shoppers are gleaning information from Facebook on things such as new shipments of popular items, sale prices and unique gift ideas. Stock the shelves, post it on Facebook and open the doors. Remember, posting on your business page is different from posting on your personal page. Many people may discover your business through a friend or an ad you purchase, so your Facebook page may be the first impression they have about your business. You should present a professional image. That doesn’t mean you don’t allow your personality to show through. Your customers need to get to know and trust you, but it does mean you need to be more careful with your writing and grammar. Also, research shows that people tend to click on posts with visual images or videos. People love pictures. They want to see what you have to offer. You can video product demonstrations and share them on Facebook. The more people know about you and your business, the more likely they will walk through the door. So, add graphic design, photography and videography to your to-do list. Each business is as unique as its customers. Finding the right mix of posts that engage your customers can take time and persistence. And, time is the greatest challenge
for most business owners. Most business owners are already too busy just running their businesses. That is one of the benefits of a social media management company. Many businesses include social media marketing in their budgets because social media management can provide consistent posting, well-researched and written content and professional branded images. A social media management company knows the time frames that people are on certain platforms. Social media marketing used to be simple but now it is a more complex system
with the rules changing every day. The bottom line remains the same — it’s our business to drive traffic to your business. No matter which social media company you choose, the answer is yes. You should be on Facebook. Pat Homer is Vice President of Social Media Communications at SocialPAJE, a Social Media Management and Branding company. Contact SocialPAJE at (706) 564-4135 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit SocialPAJE. com or search for us on any of the social media platforms.
No rest for the sick when working from home Working from home has its pros and cons. The best part, naturally, are the pros: I can do laundry while meeting a deadline, I don’t have to pack a lunch and if the weather is rainy, sunny or wintery I pour another cup of coffee, fluff the pillows and get back to work. Everyone should enjoy the thrill of answering an important Nora Blithe business call in Humorist their footy pajamas at least once. The downside is that I never feel entitled to a day off. Through throes of flu or nasty winter colds, I rationalize that if I can work in my bed when I feel lazy I can also work in my bed when I feel crummy. Bummer. Being a writer is not a physically taxing job but it does strain the mental muscles. That makes working through illness difficult. When my brain is throttled back to naptime and by chicken soup, it doesn’t deliver my best work. Add medication and there’s no telling what I might write. Take last pollen season for example. My red-rimmed eyes burned and I chugged grape-flavored syrupy medicine. I had exactly two hours left to meet my deadline
and the only words I had on paper were “my head hurts.” Look out, Hemingway; here comes Nora Blithe. It was time to buckle down. I soaked in a hot tub, sipped a toddy and put on a fresh pair of footy pajamas. Forty-five minutes left until the deadline. I powered up my laptop. Suddenly, words exploded on the page. My fingers flew across the keyboard like Jerry Lee Lewis banging out his most energetic performance of “Great Balls of Fire.” I was on a roll. With fifteen minutes to spare, I read my work and groaned. There once was a train wreck in Nebraska that wasn’t as messy. Thirteen minutes. I sighed. If ever I needed a dog to eat my homework it was then. Sadly, we’d invested hundreds of dollars in training to teach our dog not to eat our things. Figures. It was a crisis time. I did what any great writer would do. I poured a cocktail and republished an old column. If my head wasn’t hurting so much I would have enjoyed the irony. I could have taken the whole day off if only I had resubmitted an old column right away instead of trying to work from home on a sick day. 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.
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
5 things to improve your online presence Brilliant Wealth Concepts has helped scores of clients improve their online performance and presence. Here are 5 of the things we have learned. 1. Become World Class. Mercedes, Starbucks, Apple. These are world-class brands and their websites don’t disappoint. They have high quality designs yet are simple enough to navigate. A world class website has a fluent, aesthetic, simGeorge Garner ple yet modern Brilliant Wealth design. Concepts It is critical your website be customized to the user’s preference. Personalized websites show visitors (i.e. potential clients) you know their buying habits and can talk their language. “World class web design begins with world class thinking.” 2. Become Searchable. Let’s face it, if your clients can’t find you, how do you expect to increase sales? Simply having a presence online does not guarantee customers will find your business. Effective search engine marketing pro-
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vides a way for potential clients to find you. Google+ is a quick resource a business can use to improve their search ability. Through customer reviews and “likes,” future clients can make a better decision on whether to do business with you. “Google is by far the search engine of choice, preferred by more than 80 percent of search users – are they finding you?” 3. Become Retargeted. Generally 2 percent of shoppers buy on the first visit to a website – retargeting
brings back the other 98 percent. Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your site and “re-displaying” your company to them as they visit other sites online. “Retargeting generates greater online sales by keeping your brand front and center.” 4. Become Mobile. The best websites are optimized for any mobile device. Over 60 percent of companies that designed a mobile website increased sales.
By 2015, 50 percent of all searches will be performed via a mobile device. Those not optimized for mobile could miss 50 percent of potential new clients and sales. Some studies show mobile users spend more money on a per purchase basis compared to desktop users. “The future of search is mobile – allow your clients to find you FIRST before your competition.” 5. Become Unique. 400-plus churches. 600-plus attorneys. 1000-plus realtors. Dare there be another with “cookie cutter” marketing, web design and sales pitches. STAND UP and STAND OUT. What makes you distinct? Atypical? Extraordinary? Why should your clients choose you? Give them a darn good reason to! Dare to be different. Successful companies create a Unique Selling Point (USP) – they are the “purple cow” in a crowded herd. “Every day customers are faced with boring stuff – you can be remarkable or boring.” George Garner is the founder and Owner of Brilliant Wealth Concepts – a company that specializes in web design, marketing and consulting. His team of quality web designers and marketing experts provide World Class customer service to all his clients. For a complimentary analysis of your website, please email email@example.com or visitwww.BrilliantWealthConcepts.com.
Be like Fred: Making your life exceptional The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn Hardcover,112 pages The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn shows how to transform your life and business from the ordinary to the extraordinar y by using the four key principles he identifies. These principles work for business owners and employees. Eddie Kennedy Learning and Business Book using them can Reviews change your outlook and change your business. Principle #1 – Everyone makes a difference. Every task that needs to be done in a business to deliver exceptional customer service is vitally important. Some employees think they are not important because no one has told them how vital they are, so take some time and tell them! They really do make a difference. Challenge yourself and your employees to be the best at whatever task there is to be done. If they make a decision to be the best, they will find the solutions to make the best happen. Principle #2 – Success is built on relationships. Get to know your employees. Spend time connecting with them on a personal level. Help them achieve some of their personal goals. Build a strong professional relationship with them. Doing this will encourage your employee to know your customers. If you have strong relationships with your employees and they have solid relationships with the customers, your business will be more successful. Principle #3 – You must create value
for others. You don’t have to invest in any new programs, products or training materials to achieve a higher level of performance, you can do it with what you already have – your imagination. Use your imagination to come up with ways to improve on what you do. Here is the challenge: Outthink the competition rather than outspend them. Meet with your team leaders and have them help you evaluate the differences between the job that was done by the employees and the quality of the job that could have be done. Then, find ways to help the team achieve the higher quality. Principle #4 – You can reinvent yourself regularly. Every day is a new day, a time when you can go at success again or reinvent yourself. Remember that you are an original, one-of-a-kind, differencemaking person. Don’t quit, don’t give up. You alone can make your life and your business anything you choose it to be. Think about these principles often. Instill them into your daily life. They will help you on your road to success in business and life.
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 eddie@greatdealsaugusta. com.
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
Measure success in life by your happiness By Brian Tracy Achieving your own happiness is the best measure of how well you are living your life. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT Happiness in life is like a smorgasbord. If 100 people went to a smorgasbord and each put food on their plate in the quantity and mix that each felt would be Mike Herrington Fiscal Fitness most pleasing to him, every plate Investment Advisor would be different. Happiness is the same way. Each person requires a particular combination of those ingredients to feel the very best about himself or herself. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART And your mix is changing continually. Therefore, the only way to judge whether a job, a relationship, an investment, or any decision, is right for you is to get in touch with your feelings and listen to your heart. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF You’re true to yourself only when you follow your inner light, when you listen to what Ralph Waldo Emerson called the “still, small voice within.” You’re being the very best person you can be only when
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Each person requires a particular combination of those ingredients to feel the very best about himself or herself.
you have the courage and the fortitude to allow your definition of happiness, whatever it may be, to be the guiding light of every part of your life. THERE ARE NO LIMITS Accept the notion that you deserve all the happiness you can honestly attain through the application of your talents and abilities. The more you like and respect yourself, the more deserving you will feel of the good things in life. And the 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
more deserving you feel, the more likely you will attain and hold on to the happiness you are working toward. MAKE HAPPINESS YOUR KEY MEASURE You should make happiness the organizing principle of your life. Compare every possible action and decision you make against your standard of happiness to see whether that action would make you happier or unhappier. PAY THE PRICE Of course, there are countless times when you will have to do little things that don’t make you happy along the way to-
ward those larger things that make you very happy indeed. We call this paying the price of success in advance. You must pay your dues. Sometimes these interim steps don’t make you happy directly, but the happiness you achieve from attaining your goal will be so great that it totally overwhelms the temporary inconveniences and dissatisfactions of getting there. The purpose of this column is to provide information of general interest to our clients, potential clients and other professionals. For more complete information, contact my office at 706-868-8673.
Answers to how to distribute MLR rebates MLR Rebates: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurers to spend at least 80 or 85 percent of their premiums on health care and health care quality improvement. Insurers that do not meet the percentage, which is called a medical loss ratio (MLR), must pay rebates to consumers. MLR rebates for 2013 are due by Aug. 1. Beginning with the 2014 MLR reporting year, rebates will be due by Sept. 30 following the end of the reporting year. Russell T. Head The Department Employee Benefits of Labor (DOL) Consultant has provided general guidelines on how employers should handle MLR rebates. The following will help you decide what to do with your MLR rebate. You must determine whether the rebate, or any portion of the rebate, is a plan asset under ERISA. This step is crucial because any rebate amount that qualifies as a plan asset must be used for the exclusive benefit of the plan’s participants. You, as the employer, cannot retain any portion of the rebate that is a plan asset. Unless you pay the entire cost of health insurance without any employee contri-
bution, at least a portion of the rebate will typically be a plan asset. Who Pays the Premiums? The portion of the rebate that must be treated as a plan asset depends on who paid the insurance premiums. If the employer paid 100 percent of the premiums, the rebate is not a plan asset and the employer may retain it. If participants paid 100 percent of the premiums, the entire rebate amount is a plan asset. If the employer and employees each paid a fixed percentage of the cost, the percentage of the rebate equal to the percentage of the cost paid by employees is a plan asset. If the employer was required to pay a fixed amount and participants were responsible for paying any additional costs, the portion of the rebate that does not exceed the participants’ total amount of contributions for the MLR reporting period would be a plan asset. If participants paid a fixed amount and the employer was responsible for paying any additional costs, the portion of the rebate that does not exceed the employer’s total amount of contributions during the MLR reporting year would not be a plan asset. Can I Distribute the Rebate to Employees? The rebate can be distributed to employees under a reasonable, fair and objective allocation method. Should I Distribute the Rebate to Former Employees? If you find that the cost of distributing
You must determine whether the rebate is a plan asset. This step is crucial.
a rebate to former employees approximates the amount of the proceeds, you may decide to limit rebates to current employees. Former employees are those who participated in the plan for the MLR reporting year, but are not participating in the plan when you receive the rebate. What Are the Tax Consequences of Rebates? The rebate’s tax consequences largely depend on whether employees paid their premiums on a pre-tax or after-tax basis. If premiums were paid by employees on a pre-tax basis, the rebate will generally be taxable income to employees in the current year and will be subject to employment taxes. If premiums were paid by employees on an after-tax basis, the rebate will generally not be taxable income to employees and will not be subject to employment taxes. However, if an employee deducted the premium payments on his or her prior year taxes, the rebate is taxable to the extent the employee received a tax benefit from the deduction. How Much Time Do I Have
To Distribute the Rebate? The DOL has provided relief from the trust requirement for rebates that are used within three months of their receipt. Thus, employers who decide to distribute the rebate to participants should adhere to this three-month time limit. Are There Other Options for Using the Rebate? If distributing payments to employees is not cost-effective, you may utilize the rebate for other permissible plan purposes, such as applying the rebate toward future employee premiums or toward benefit enhancements. Directing an insurer to apply the rebate toward future employee premiums or toward benefit enhancements would avoid the need for a trust and may, in some circumstances, be consistent with ERISA’s fiduciary responsibilities. Employers may find the premium reduction approach to be administratively easier than sending out checks and calculating the additional taxes. For further explanation of the ACA/ PPACA provisions outlined in this article, please refer to the following resources: hhs. gov, irs.gov, healthcare.gov, and cms.gov. 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 706-733-3459 or email@example.com. Visit Group & Benefits Consultants at www.groupandbenefits.com.
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
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careers & EDUCATION Careers of the future are in nuclear energy CSRA may have 10,000 new jobs; schools creating prep courses
By Stephen Delaney Hale Many of the jobs of the future in the CSRA will involve nuclear energy. According to a recent workforce study by Booz Allen Hamilton, the region will need to hire people to fill 10,000 new nuclearrelated jobs between 2014 and 2024. Senior representatives of five colleges in the CSRA met in Aiken on July 24 to recognize the progress that each of them has made in educating the nuclear workforce of the future, especially as their work has been aided by a federal grant called Advancing Nuclear Skills Regionally. The grant is funded by the Nuclear Workforce Initiative and overseen by the locally controlled SRS Community Reuse Organization (SRSCRO). To date, the five schools – Aiken Technical College, Georgia Regents University, Augusta Technical College, USC Aiken and USC Salkehatchie – have shared in $3.8 million provided through the grant. A champion of nuclear education in this region for over a decade, Dr. Susan Winsor, chairman of the SRSCRO and president of Aiken Technical College, said the challenge of meeting the job needs of the near future is exciting, and looming. “I don’t believe we can overstate the importance of the nuclear sector in our region,” Winsor said. “The opportunities in this region are more robust than anywhere else in the U.S.” David Deal, who works with Winsor in the Aiken Technical College nuclear program, said the school has recently used the grant money to build its nuclear welding program and bring newer equipment to the campus, a necessity in the always changing nature of nuclear work. The workforce
study predicted the need to hire more than 2,000 nuclear technicians and about the same number of craftsmen in the next 10 years, fields where the two technical colleges can provide critical training. Dr. Michele Harmon, a biology professor from USC Aiken, said the school’s goal for the grant money was to address environmental remediation, a need that is critical to the nuclear cleanup work at the Savannah River Site. Harmon said USC Aiken’s five-year plan with the grant is to develop a degree with a concentration in environmental remediation. “We have also been able to use these
funds to provide scholarships and handson research opportunities for our students,” Harmon added. Overall, among the five schools, the grant has enrolled 300 students, graduated 60 students and has indirectly benefitted more than 1,000 others, according to information supplied by the SRSCRO. The SRSCRO was founded in 1993 by then Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary to promote economic development in the five counties of Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell in South Carolina and Richmond and Columbia in Georgia, by addressing changes at the Savannah River Site resulting from downsizing at the end of the Cold War.
The SRSCRO’s current mission is to help diversify the economy in the five-county region At Georgia Regents University, the grant has been used in the development and implementation of nuclear science tracks in chemistry and physics degree programs. Augusta Technical College has used the money to develop and implement an Associate of Applied Science Chemical Technology Program. The University of South Carolina Salkehatchie has used the grant to help meet nuclear workforce needs through expansion of its STEM course work in the Salkehatchie area south of the SRS.
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
Organizing, routines help reduce stress In a world of rapid movement and technology made to speed up our productivity, it is easy to find ourselves feeling distracted, overwhelmed and anxious. Often the stress people feel comes from being unorganized and unprepared for what lies ahead. Organizing ourselves and managing our time can help eliminate some of the tension and feelings of chaos surrounding us. Granted, we cannot anticipate everything that comes our way, but taking certain steps can certainly help Missie Usry us eliminate the feelings of being Enrollment Manager, ove r w hel me d. Georgia Military Getting orgaCollege nized and staying organized saves us time, money and energy. Perhaps some of the tips below can improve your time management and organizational skills. Develop a routine and try to stick with it. We are typically creatures of habit that thrive on routine, so why not develop one that works to help keep you organized and helps get things done more efficiently. Plan ahead before you go to bed at night or leave the office for the afternoon to prepare for the next day. By placing keys, wallet, and
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phone in the same place, you can easily locate important things so you can dash out the door. Have a morning routine that gets you off to a good start so you are not as hurried. When you get to the office, check emails and voicemails left from the evening before and return the emails or calls right away. You can move on through the day feeling more accomplished and with a clearer mind. Get organized using a planner to write down important notes, contact information, and appointments or deadlines. This can be an electronic version or a paper version, depending on what works best for you. There’s hardly a way to remember everything! If you have a family, it’s important to get everyone involved in using a family organizational calendar so that nobody misses an activity or an appointment.
Georgia Military College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which means that all credit earned at the institution is transferable to other accredited schools. Eligibility for participation in the joint enrollment program is based on students’ high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Missie Usry is the Enrollment Manager at Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus. For questions about Georgia Military College, please call 706.993.1123 or visit our website at www. gmcaugusta.com.
At work, use the calendars in Outlook or similar program to set reminders or recurring deadlines to stay on task. Share your Outlook calendar with colleagues in the office so everyone can anticipate when you will be out of the office. Use your time wisely. Technology is meant to increase productivity, but it can also be a distraction. With the development of technology also comes the development of new ways to throw away huge amounts
of time. Do not be afraid to turn off your cell phone, put away the laptop and unplug the kids from their devices. Finding a way to balance the time we spend using technology and time with our family or focusing on healthier activities is important for relationships and a better lifestyle. The ultimate goal is that you feel in control and on top of things. This makes us happier, healthier and makes each day run more smoothly.
According to the Mid-Year 2014 Consumer Survey by Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, more than 71 percent of respondents noted a college degree was worth the financial investment and more than 60 percent noted saving for college expenses was important to them. Just over 20 percent indicated they believe student loans are a good way to finance a college education. Recent evaluation of college pricing revealed the expense of a post-secondary education continues to increase, as does the level of student debt. Despite the significant financial investment, there is a true return in the job market. According to the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, Americans with a four-year college degree made an average of 98 percent more per hour last year than
those without a college degree. Tips for Financing a College Education Start saving now: Whether you are months, years or decades away from paying for college, start saving today. Seek assistance: It’s always a good idea to speak with an experienced financial adviser about college savings goals and financing options. Do your research: Research the options below and speak with a financial adviser to ensure you understand the full benefits of each. Scholarships and grants Prepaid tuition plans 529 college savings plans Coverdell education savings accounts Work-study programs Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
College degree worthwhile but saving on expenses important
Poll finds Georgians’ support for school choice has no political boundaries A large majority of Georgians support school choice, and nearly all of those support choice for all Georgia students regardless of family income, according to a survey unveiled today at a Georgia Public Policy Foundation event in Macon. The 2014 Georgia Education Survey, conducted for the Economics of Education Policy Center at Georgia College & State University, found that more than seven in 10 respondents (70.3 percent) approve of Georgia’s tax credit scholarships and more than eight in 10 respondents (80.5 percent) support Georgia’s scholarship program for special-needs students. Nearly seven in 10 (69.4 percent) of respondents agree that tax credit scholarships should be available to all families, regardless of income, while just 28.3 percent believe that such scholarships should be only be available to families based on financial need. Georgia’s Education Expense Credit Program – tax credit scholarships – allows taxpayers to redirect some of their state income tax payment to student scholarship programs, which provide scholarships to public school students whose families want to enroll them in private schools. The state set the total amount that can be contributed to the program in 2014 at $58 million. Within the first three weeks of the year, contributions from Georgia taxpayers had reached the cap. Asked whether they would support increasing the 2015 scholarship total to $100 million, 61.8 percent of survey respondents agreed; 29.1 percent opposed an increase. Respondents were also polled about HSA-type education savings accounts – pioneered in Arizona and recently established in Florida. ESAs allow parents to take their child out of a public school and use a government-authorized savings account to pay for private school tuition, online education, private tutoring or future college expenses. Nearly seven in 10 (67.8 percent) of Georgia respondents supported the concept. “This survey reinforces Georgia voters’ overwhelming approval of the 2012 referendum to establish a state charter school commission,” said Dr. Ben Scafidi, a professor of economics and director of the Economics of Education Policy Center at Georgia College & State University. “More important, the results of this survey make it clear that school choice in Georgia knows no political affiliation: Most Georgia parents simply want to give their children the best start possible.” The survey found that among professed Republicans, 71.5 percent support tax credit scholarships; 74.8 percent support universal access to scholarships and 56 percent support raising the donation cap for tax credit scholarships to $100 million. Among professed Democrats, more than 67 percent support tax credit scholarships; 64.5 percent support universal access to scholarships and 63.8 percent support raising the donation cap for tax credit scholarships to $100 million. The survey of 1,000 Georgia adults was conducted in May by Braun Research of Princeton, N.J., and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. It was released in Macon at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s annual Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day, an international celebration of the birthday and legacy of the late Milton Friedman, Nobel Prize winner in Economics and a champion of school choice.
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
Most STEM grads don’t work in STEM jobs The U.S. Census Bureau reported today that 74 percent of those who have a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, engineering and math — commonly referred to as STEM — are not employed in STEM occupations. In addition, men continue to be overrepresented in STEM, especially in computer and engineering occupations. About 86 percent of engineers and 74 percent of computer professionals are men. “STEM graduates have relatively low unemployment, however these graduates are not necessarily employed in STEM occupations,” said Liana Christin Landivar, a sociologist in the Census Bureau’s Industry and Occupation Statistics Branch.
According to new statistics from the 2012 American Community Survey, engineering and computer, math and statistics majors had the largest share of graduates going into a STEM field with about half employed in a STEM occupation. Science majors had fewer of their graduates employed in STEM. About 26 percent of physical science majors; 15 percent of biological, environmental and agricultural sciences majors; 10 percent of psychology majors; and 7 percent of social science majors were employed in STEM. Approximately 14 percent of engineers were women, where they were most underrepresented of all the STEM fields. Rep-
resentation of women was higher among mathematicians and statisticians (45 percent), life scientists (47 percent) and social scientists (63 percent). The rates of mathematicians and statisticians, and life scientists are not statistically different from each other. Highlights The tables released today highlight statistics on field of degree, occupation, unemployment and median earnings for college graduates by sex, race and Hispanic origin. In addition, the tables include state level STEM occupation information. Below details a few highlights from the tables: At 9.1 million, the college major with the most graduates was business, while multidisciplinary studies was the major with the smallest number of graduates at 275,000. Engineering was the major with the
highest earnings ($92,900), while the major with the lowest earnings was visual and performing arts ($50,700). In 2012, 3.6 percent of all college graduates between the ages of 25 and 64 were unemployed. A larger percentage of men than women were unemployed: 3.7 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. Non-STEM management occupations employed the most male college graduates (3.8 million), while education occupations employed the most female college graduates (4.3 million). States with the largest percentage of STEM workers: Maryland (18.8 percent), Washington (18.3 percent) and Virginia (16.5 percent). The rates of workers in Maryland and Washington are not statistically different from each other.
Theft is a big problem in Georgia, according to data released by LoJack Corporation . The data originated from the Company’s annual Construction Equipment Theft and Recovery in the United States study. LoJack’s annual study and accompanying infographic reviews theft trends specific to construction equipment and tools equipped with the LoJack Stolen Vehicle Recovery System. Many equipment owners and rental companies in the United States do not realize that equipment is also one of the biggest targets when it comes to theft. LoJack’s 2013 study revealed that: · California remains the highest-ranking state in terms of equipment theft as a result of many active construction projects, as well as an international border with access to major shipping ports. · Light utility vehicles / work trucks and trailers are the most common type of commercial equipment stolen. · Newer equipment models were stolen more often than older equipment – largely due to the fact that the resale value of new equipment is greater. In fact, 46 percent of equipment stolen in 2013 was less than five years old.
· In 95 percent of the cases, the stolen equipment was recovered in the same state that the theft was reported. · Construction theft is prevalent in suburban areas, particularly in areas where construction growth is widespread.
Georgia 4th highest in equipment theft
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States with the highest occurrence of equipment theft were: 1. California 2. Texas 3. Florida 4. Georgia 5. New Jersey 6. North Carolina 7. Arizona 8. Maryland Most popular types of stolen and recovered commercial equipment installed with a LoJack device in 2013 : 1. Light Utility Vehicles / Work Trucks / Trailers 2. Backhoe Loaders / Skip Loaders / Wheel Loaders 3. Generators / Air Compressors / Welders / Light Towers 4. Skid Steers 5. Other 6. Mini Excavators 7. Forklifts
Dependence on vendors increases risk Vendor’s crisis could create critical work flow interruptions As businesses increasingly rely on external parties for critical services, they become more vulnerable to business interruptions. This is especially true when such businesses know little about their third party vendors’ resiliency and recovery capabilities, according to a new PwC US whitepaper, which examines the effects that vendor resiliency, or lack thereof, can have on an organization’s business continuity strategy. Titled “Business continuity beyond company walls: When a crisis hits, will your vendors’ resiliency match your own?,” the PwC report also notes that risk becomes greater when the organization has a limited understanding of its own business interruption threats, resiliency status and recovery capabilities and strategies. “In a world of ever increasing dependence on third party vendors, you need to know if you can count on the other party when a crisis strikes,” said Phil Samson, principal in PwC’s Risk Assurance practice and the firm’s Business Continuity Management services leader. “It’s all about transparency – asking the right questions and pushing the right levers to determine whether your vendors will be able to weather a serious business interruption and quickly resume business as usual. “The more you know about your own needs, your vendor’s capabilities, and the robustness of your resiliency plans, the more comfort you’ll have about staying on track toward your long-term strategic and operational goals even when faced with adverse developments.” According to PwC’s report, reliance on third parties is gaining momentum, and if companies lack insight into their critical vendors’ resiliency and recovery capabilities, they run the risk of their own strategic goals being derailed. “Our clients are adjusting to the shift in global economic power and demographic shifts – two of the megatrends we identified – by increasing their use of strategic vendors to accelerate their global growth
strategy and decrease time-to-market for their products and services,” said Brian Schwartz, PwC US Risk Assurance, Governance, Risk and Complianceleader. “Along with the increase in strategic vendor reliance comes the need to more formally monitor vendor and other third party risks.” In order to protect against business interruption risks, companies should institute a business continuity management program that encompasses vendor risk by incorporating increased resiliency and rapid recovery. PwC outlines five steps to help companies look beyond their own walls and examine interruption risk among the vendors who provide support. Step 1: Map your vendor risk landscape The journey to an integrated, responsive, and proactive business continuity management program begins with a thorough business impact analysis (BIA), an interruption risk assessment (RA), and a high-level vendor interruption risk assessment. These allow for a company to review how interruption events, such as loss of technology, reduction in personnel and loss of facilities, can impact the organization, and move on to the next component of the vendor resiliency and recovery analysis: Vendor resiliency stratification. Step 2: Distinguish among different shades of red Not all vendors are equally important to an organization and it is critical for companies to take a risk-informed approach in determining which vendors are most integral to operational resilience. Within the BIA and RA documentation is the foundation for developing an approach that enables vendor resiliency and recovery assessment stratification. PwC identifies nine critical risk variables that organizations should take into account when assessing their third parties, including revenue and inventory impact from loss, labor, country and geopolitical risks and regulatory and cross-border issues, among others. These risk variables
provide a framework for organizations to determine their spectrum of vendor risk, and what factors need to be highly safeguarded in the event of a crisis. Step 3: Be specific Companies can no longer rely on generic business continuity questionnaires in vendor risk management, and need to assess the quality of a vendor’s resilience and recovery capabilities. PwC’s report outlines several factors that companies should be considering within their BIA and RA such as a list of processes that consume the vendor’s outputs, a geographical depiction of the vendor’s activities, and a description of the vendor’s role during an interruption that affects the organization. Step 4: Trust but verify Once the organization has developed a vendor risk landscape, it is significant to verify the vendor’s resiliency and recovery capabilities. PwC provides six best practices that can aid a company’s vendor resiliency interaction and analysis, including enlisting the vendor as a resiliency partner, obtaining relevant portions of the vendor’s BIA and RA and having the vendor provide its framework for responding to crisis events. Step 5: React According to PwC, vendors often have minimal formal resiliency or business continuity management programs in place, focusing solely on IT disaster recovery and life safety. Companies should de-
termine how much vendor resiliency risk they are willing to accept. If a third party is critical to a strategic growth goal or to fulfilling a regulatory requirement, then resiliency levels should never be negotiable and replacing the vendor is a less risky and costly alternative to
You need to know if you can count on the other party when a crisis strikes poor disaster preparedness and recoverability. “Even the most internally prepared organization can be deeply impacted by an interruption at a third party,” Samson said. “When disaster strikes, it is imperative to understand where your organization ranks in importance among the vendor’s customers, as it can significantly damage your market share, brand and reputation. “Although an organization may have reached a mature level of operational resiliency and recoverability by developing its own business continuity management program, it is still imperative to go beyond just basic vendor risk management.”
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Leisure & Hospitality Brown biopic over a decade in the making Making a movie about James Brown was a process that took more than a decade. Like many of his generation, producer Brian Grazer grew up listening to James Brown. “I loved his sound and the beat and everything about him as a kid,” Grazer explains, “but never in my life did I think I’d end up producing the James Brown movie.” It was the hip-hop community that inspired him. “In the late ’90s, while researching the movie that became 8 Mile, I came across many pivotal figures in the hip-hop world,” Grazer said. “Chuck D, Dr. Dre, Slick Rick, LL Cool J, all of Wu-Tang Clan—ODB, Ghostface Killah—they all said they were influenced by James Brown. What they said stayed with me, and I decided I had to find a way to do a movie about this figure who inspired so many.” Courting Brown for the film rights was a lengthy process. When an agreement was finally reached, Grazer commissioned several writers to work on a script. With a final draft in hand from English playwrights Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth, with a story by the Butterworth brothers and Steven Baigelman, he was ready to hire a director.
On December 23, 2006, James Brown fell ill unexpectedly and died two days later, at the age of 73. The film rights that Grazer had worked so long to acquire reverted to the James Brown Estate, and the biopic was at a standstill. In time, the estate needed someone to oversee those rights, and chose Peter Afterman to serve as its arbiter. Afterman, who has also handled music licensing and visual media for The Rolling Stones since 2009, believed that Stones frontman Mick Jagger was just the man to reignite the fire that was the James Brown story. Jagger has, in his own right, changed the landscape of music over the course of the past half century. But that’s only half of his story. In addition to his work producing features and television, the storyteller had recently finished those duties on two documentaries, Stones in Exile and Crossfire Hurricane, and was open to developing a new project with his longtime Jagged Films partner, Victoria Pearman. Jagger is the first to admit that he deeply admired and grew to marvel at his peer’s See BROWN BIOPIC, page 29
Chadwick Boseman and director Tate Taylor on the red carpet in Augusta. Taylor’s vision was key in making Get On Up a reality. Photo by Gary Kauffman
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
Raes Coastal Café: Take a little vacation for lunch It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Raes Coastal Café – now I’m wondering what I was thinking. My guest and I wandered through the lovely neighbor off Walton Way to find the Augusta-tradition tucked away by Forest Hills Racquet Club. This “shack” transports you to the beach – cool, comfortable, simple, where it would be OK to have a little sand on your feet and that faint reminder of sunscreen on your Jennifer Miller skin. Power Hour Lunch We had a nice seat by windows overlooking the lush vegetation outside. Deciding what to order was a chore – a delightful chore that is. I went with the Mahi Mahi for $11. I was so glad I did. The 6 oz. filet was
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Raes Coastal Cafe 3208 W. Wimbledon Drive Augusta 706-738-1313 www.raescoastalcafe.com grilled well. But it was the “almostfamous mango chutney” that stole the show. Sweet, yet tart. Yum. It came with a tasty serving of black beans and rice and a side salad. I cleaned my plate. My guest ordered the crab cake for $12.50, which also came with the beans and rice and the side salad. We both agreed, it was the best crab cake we had eaten. I wanted more than my one taste and she ate the entire generous portion. This delicacy was light, full of fresh crab and none of that heavy filler used in lesser quality crab cakes. The meal was served with warm, soft bread. I avoid the bread, but my guest said it was delicious. If you’re looking to network, we saw plenty of opportunities. This is a restaurant where people come to talk and the place was full – many of them among the movers and shakers around town. My one complaint: It took way too long to pay the bill. That process took more than 15 minutes – way too long for lunch. Other than that one glitch, the servers were prompt, very friendly and fun. Overall, this was one of the best lunches I had in a long time. My guest agreed.
BROWN BIOPIC Continued from page 27 insatiable drive. “James Brown wanted to be in the forefront musically,” he said. “He was a groovemaker and a tastemaker whose grooves have become part of the hip-hop language. I find his life endlessly fascinating and deeply moving, and I was honored to be considered to become one of the caretakers of it.” When Jagger was approached by Afterman about producing a documentary on Brown – one ultimately directed by Alex Gibney and previewed as a work in progress at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival – he discussed with Pearman that he was keen to explore the untold story of a man about whom he emulated and actually has firsthand knowledge. Jagger said, “Then I woke up in the morning and I said, ‘Well, that’s great. But why don’t we do a feature film? I could do the documentary as well, but can we do a feature?’” Jagger learned that Grazer already had a script in play, one written by the Butterworths, who had, in the interim, received the Writers Guild of America West’s 2011 Paul Selvin Award for their screenplay for Fair Game. Once he read a copy of the working script, Jagger reached out to Grazer to find out if the producer wanted to partner with one another and produce the biopic. After numerous conversations with Grazer’s team, Pearman and Afterman, Jagger could comprehend why this biopic had
Augusta native Keith Robinson had a role in the movie. Photo by Gary Kauffman
been such a labor of love for those involved and just how respectfully it should be treated. To encapsulate the seven-plus decades of a man who is arguably one of the most influential performers of the last century was a Herculean task. “I saw what all the problems were and how they could be surmounted with Brian,” Jagger said. “We surmounted them, we re-did the whole thing and got it back into production.” Grazer, still mourning the loss of the project so close to his heart and soul, admits that he was stunned by their initial phone conversation. “To get an incoming call from Mick Jagger, also a global icon in the world of music, is like having an asteroid from outer space
land at your house,” Grazer recalled. “Mick said, ‘I’d like to do this with you.’” With these two powerhouse producers aligned, it was time for the Brown family to weigh in with their unified wishes for the film that would serve as an intimate look inside the world of the man they called James Joseph Brown. “They read the script and believed in what we’re doing,” Grazer said. “They are aware that we’re visiting some of the lows of James’ life but also celebrating him and his accomplishments. They’ve been completely cooperative.” The time had come, again, to think about directors, and this time, things moved faster than anticipated. Producer Victoria Pearman said, “We wanted the person most
compatible with the material naturally.” Imagine was already interested in director Tate Taylor for another project, and the production company had invited the Mississippi native to the office to discuss that possibility. “We loved The Help,” Grazer said. “Tate had made a difficult subject palatable and beautiful, and it was very successful.” When that meeting ended, Taylor was on his way to the elevator when Imagine executive Anna Culp happened to mention the James Brown script. “I was leaving town that day and asked to read it on the plane,” Taylor recalls. “Somewhere over Las Vegas, I turned to my producing partner, John Norris, and said, ‘I know how to do this.’” Taylor admits that he is fascinated by stories of mastery and resilience, embodied by the subject of the script he was then reading. “James Brown was not one to rest on his laurels,” Taylor said. “He had an endless need to move forward.” Imagine and Jagged’s list-making ended the moment Taylor called to express his interest from Sin City. Finally, this longgestating project could become an ideal version of itself. “Tate brings enthusiasm, sensibility and great understanding of the character,” Jagger said. “The way he tells a story makes for a very dynamic film.” Grazer agrees with the assessment. “When Tate loves something, he’s unstoppable as an artist.”
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American Workers Struggle to Fully Enjoy Their Time Out of the Office
Americans struggle to find time away from work One-quarter of all American workers are unable to take all of their paid time off during the year, according to a survey by Adecco Staffing US. The survey found that 37 percent of those who take vacation have had to work or stay connected during that time – 89 percent have checked email while 70 percent have made work-related calls and 25 percent have actually shown up for in-person meetings during vacation. Even more frustrating is the 22 percent that have had to actually cut a vacation short because
of work-related duties. Perhaps not so surprising, those who have given up vacation time because of work related duties tend to judge their colleagues’ work habits more than others. According to the survey, 37 percent of those who have worked during vacation said they judge their colleagues for coming in late or for leaving early, compared to only 21 percent of those who have not had to give up personal time for work or connect while out of the office.
“We live in such a fast-paced, technology-driven world that it can be very difficult to completely unplug, even when we’re out of the office on personal time,” said Sherry Dixon, a senior vice president with Adecco. “The pressures and responsibilities of the job tend to follow us wherever we go, but it’s important to have balance so that you can enjoy the time you have. One way to do this is by establishing boundaries at work and appropriately planning staffing needs when one is going to be out of the office.” Although working Americans say they’re not able to fully disconnect when they’re out of the office, it seems they are finding other ways to claim back their time. In fact, two in 10 (22 percent) of working Americans admit to planning to either come to work late or leave early when they know their boss is going to be out of office. Other findings include: Working Americans stay focused on the basics –making more money and having a greater work/life balance. According to the survey, 53 percent of American workers said they hope they get a raise this year, followed by 45 percent who would like a better balance between work and personal life. Other goals include getting promoted (26 percent), getting a new job (23 percent), networking more effectively (22 percent), and improving their relationship with their boss (15 percent). Millennials have ambitious career plans for the year ahead when compared to other generations. According to the survey, Millennial workers are much more likely to want a promotion (43 percent compared
to 30 percent of Gen X and 17 percent of Boomers) and raise than other generations (67 percent compared to 58 percent of Gen X and 44 percent of Boomers respectively). American workers feel a lack of senior roles in their current company is the biggest obstacle for career growth. According to the survey, 27 percent of American workers do not believe there is upward mobility within their company. Other obstacles to achieving their career goals include a lack of motivation/being disengaged with their current job (15 percent) followed by a lack of support from their manager (13 percent), lack of company sponsored training (13 percent), and limited personal qualifications (9 percent). Colleagues who complain about work don’t get any sympathy from their coworkers. Working Americans are most commonly (37 percent) annoyed by colleagues who complain about their work. This topped other habits such as leaving common spaces messy (30 percent), talking excessively loud (26 percent), and coming into work sick (21 percent). “With so many different personalities and generations melded together in the workplace, it’s no surprise that American workers may get annoyed with their coworkers from time to time,” said Dixon. “But it’s important not to judge those we work with and instead find ways to work together and support the needs of the job. This will create a healthier working environment, as well as provide a greater level of support across the board.”
RIP, 40-hour-work week
Study finds people working more hours A recent survey by PGi, a global leader in collaboration software and services for over 20 years, revealed that the traditional 40-hour, 9-to-5 work week is now a thing of the past for the vast majority of American workers. In fact, 71 percent said they take work home at least one day per week. Rest in peace, 40-hour work week. • 88 percent of survey respondents said they work more than 40 hours per week. • 71 percent said they work more than they prefer. • 63 percent eat lunch at their desks. • 61 percent commute more than 30 minutes each day, with nearly 25 percent clocking in at over an hour. • 60 percent rely on technology to automate processes to be more productive (calendar apps, project tools, intranets, etc.). Only 16 percent said they would reduce the number of meetings to improve productivity. The eye-opening survey results prompted PGi to launch its #TakeBack60 campaign, dedicated to providing productivity tips, technology resources and work-life balance ideas to help workers reclaim 60 minutes from their overworked week. What will workers do with that extra 60 minutes?
According to the survey results: • 64 percent said they would spend more time with family. • 64 percent said they would exercise. • 31 percent would pursue a hobby. • 24 percent would catch up on household chores. • 22 percent would learn or improve a skill. “As mobile technology evolves and workloads increase, the traditional 40hour work week is giving way to a new reality for workers: Longer hours and increased stress from constant connectivity,” said Sean O›Brien, PGi executive vice president of strategy and communications. “Smart business leaders understand that the most important investment they can make is in their people. We believe that when workers have the tools and tactics they need to work smarter – not harder – they can reclaim time in their week to focus on their families, personal wellness or pursuing a hobby. With more productive and satisfied employees, businesses can unlock the true potential of their human capital investments, including faster innovation, higher growth and market leadership.”
August 2014 Buzz on Biz
Yankees repeat as favorite team, Braves 5th GreenJackets’ parent team, the Giants, move to 3rd in fan poll Now that the mid-point of the baseball season has been reached, it is also time to see who America’s Favorite Baseball Team is this year. Among those who follow the sport, the New York Yankees again win the honor of being “America’s Favorite,” as they have each year since 2003. In the second spot on the list again are their long time arch-rivals, the Boston Red Sox. Moving up seven spots, from 10 to 3 are the San Francisco Giants. Rounding out the top five are the Chicago Cubs at No. 4(rising three spots from last time) and, at No. 5, the Atlanta Braves, dropping two spots from number three last year. These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,241 adults, of whom 763 follow Major League Baseball, surveyed online between June 4 and 16. Looking at the bottom half of the top 10 favorite teams, tied for number six are the Los Angeles Dodgers (down from number 4 last year) and the Detroit Tigers (down from a tie for number 5), followed by the Milwaukee Brewers (No. 8, up from a 21stplace tie), the Minnesota Twins (No. 9, up from a tie for No.13) and in a tie for 10, the Kansas City Royals (up from a tie for No. 19) and the St. Louis Cardinals (up from a tie for No. 11). Who will win it all and who people don’t want there When it comes to the World Series, a repeat is not expected to be in the works as almost one in five baseball followers (17 percent) say the San Francisco Giants will win the Fall Classic this October, followed by the New York Yankees (13 percent), the Detroit Tigers (9 percent), the
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1. New York Yankees 2. Boston Red Sox 3. San Francisco Giants 4. Chicago Cubs 5. Atlanta Braves 6. Los Angeles Dodgers 6. Detroit Tigers* 8. Milwaukee Brewers 9. Minnesota Twins 10. Kansas City Royals
Favorite baseball teams 10. St. Louis Cardinals* 12. New York Mets 13. Philadelphia Phillies 13. Oakland A’s 13. Cleveland Indians* 16. Pittsburgh Pirates 17. Arizona Diamondbacks 18. Seattle Mariners 18. Chicago White Sox 20. Colorado Rockies
20. Baltimore Orioles* 22. Houston Astros 23. Texas Rangers 24. Cincinnati Reds 24. Tampa Bay Rays 26. Miami Marlins 26. Washington Nationals 26. Los Angeles Angels* 29. San Diego Padres 30. Toronto Blue Jays
*tie for position Oakland Athletics (8 percent), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (7 percent). Less than one in 10 baseball followers (6 percent) say the Boston Red Sox will win again. And, where there is the team people think will win, there is also the team fans don’t want to see in the World Series. Two in five baseball followers (40 percent) say the New York Yankees are the one team they least want to see make it to the World Series. At a distant second, 14 percent say this about the Boston Red Sox, while 6 percent say this about the Los Angeles Dodgers and 4 percent do not want to see the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. Instant Replay For this baseball season, MLB instituted a new rule allowing each team’s manager to challenge one call with the final decision made through Instant Replay. Over three-quarters of baseball fans (77 percent) are aware of this new rule. When new rules come into play, there can be an adjustment time, but this may not be one of those rules as over four in
five of those who follow baseball (83 percent) say it is a good thing for Major League Baseball overall with almost half (46 percent) saying it is very good for baseball. One of the concerns was it would slow the game down, but just one in five followers (19%) say the rule has slowed the game down at least somewhat, two in five (42 percent) say it has slowed the game a little bit and almost one-quarter (23 percent) say it has not impacted the pace of the game at all. Following baseball Over one-third of Americans (37 percent) say they follow Major League Baseball, a number that is up from both last year (34 percent) and 2011 (36 percent). Looking at who follows baseball, men are more likely to do so than women (47 percent versus 27 percent). There is also a regional divide, as almost half of Easterners and Midwesterners (46 percent each) and almost two in five Westerners (38 percent) say they follow baseball compared to one-quarter (25 percent) of those in the South.
Housing bubble inflating again, say mortgage bankers Mortgage bankers fear another real estate bubble, according to the latest quarterly survey of North American bank risk managers conducted for FICO, a leading predictive analytics and decision management software company. In the survey, 56 percent of respondents directly involved in mortgage lending expressed concern that “an unsustainable real estate bubble is inflating.” “The home loan environment has bifurcated,” said Dr. Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs. “Six million homeowners in the U.S. are still underwater on their mortgages, with the average negative equity a whopping 33 percent. Yet with home prices soaring in many cities, total homeowner equity in the U.S. is at its highest level since late 2007. That doesn’t feel like a healthy, sustainable growth situation. No wonder many lenders in both Canada and the U.S. are concerned about the risk in residential mortgages.” Lenders Focused on Consumer Debt The survey, conducted for FICO by the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA), also looked at common concerns that arise during the underwriting process across all types of consumer loans. Most bankers surveyed (59 percent) cited “high debt-to-income ratio” as their top concern when approving loans. The second and third most common con-
cerns were “multiple recent applications for credit” (13 percent) and “low FICO® Score” (10 percent). “As consumer confidence picks up and people increase their borrowing, lenders are understandably concerned about growing indebtedness,” said Mike Gordon, FICO’s executive vice president of Sales, Services and Marketing. “For the last two quarters, around 65 percent of our respondents said they think credit card balances are headed higher. Those are the two highest figures we’ve ever seen in this survey. When I talk with bankers, they tell me they’re happy to see growing consumer optimism, but they’re wary of a return to reckless borrowing.” Brighter Outlook for Small Business Lending Survey respondents throughout the U.S. and Canada were more optimistic this quarter than last when asked about small business lending. Twenty-six percent of those polled in the most recent survey said they expected delinquencies to increase on small business loans in the next six months. In the previous survey, 34 percent expected delinquencies to rise. In addition, only 28 percent of respondents in the latest survey were concerned that the supply of credit for small businesses would fail to meet demand over the next six months. .
Breweries are booming The number of U.S. breweries more than doubled — from 398 to 869 — between 2007 and 2012, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released recently. It draws from the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series. The breweries industry reported $28.3 billion in shipments in 2012, an increase of nearly 33.6 percent since 2007. Employment in the breweries industry also climbed over the five-year span — rising to 26,077 employees in 2012, up by 3,825 or 17.2 percent, from 22,252 in 2007. While overall employment grew, the average number of employees per establishment was nearly halved, from 56 in 2007 to 30 in 2012. Average payroll per employee changed little between 2007 and 2012, increasing by 4.4 percent over the five-year period. Detailed data for the manufacturing industry series can be found here; specific product or service statistics for this series can be found here. These data are part of the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series, which publishes data profiles of detailed industries, including information on the specific product and service — data only available from the economic census. These data are collected for establishments, which are typically single physical locations of a business that produce or distribute goods or perform services. For example, the economic census
data tell us that beer shipments in kegs have grown substantially but still represent just a fraction of overall beer shipments. Specifically: Beer shipments in barrels and kegs rose 88.2 percent to $2.4 billion in 2012. In 2012, kegs represented 8.6 percent of beer shipments, up from 6.1 percent in 2007. In comparison, beer shipments in cans increased 32.1 percent between 2007 and 2012: $10.9 billion to $14.3 billion. Today’s release of economic census data also includes information on U.S. wineries (NAICS 312130). Highlights include: The wineries industry employed 37,602 people in 2012, up from 33,390 people in 2007. Average payroll per employee was $46,482in 2012, a 10.7 percent increase from 2007. Total product shipments of wineries was fairly evenly split between red and white wine: 31.6 percent red wine, 29.2 percent white wine, while rose grape and other fruit and berry wines accounted for 2.6 percent of total shipments. In addition, the released data includes statistics for beer, wine and distilled alcoholic beverage merchant wholesalers (NAICS 4248). Highlights include: Sales of distilled liquor by beer, wine and distilled alcoholic beverage merchant wholesalers increased 29.9 percent from 2007 to 2012.
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Non-profits lead the way in economic optimism In the first quarter of each year over the past three years, surveys of U.S.based association managers conducted by Plexus Consulting Group, LLC have consistently shown a level of optimism for revenue and membership growth that clearly was out of sync with the overall economy. Nevertheless, these predictions have been largely fulfilled each year. According to Plexus survey results this year, once again, U.S.-based association leaders are predicting growth well in excess of the 2.1 percent growth now projected for the U.S. economy for 2014 by both the Federal Reserve Board and the International Monetary Fund. Plexus president Steven Worth noted that “initially these findings perplexed us as we had assumed the financial health of the association community was simply a lag indicator of the health of the U.S. economy; but these survey findings indicate a different kind of relationship.” Rather than being directly dependent on the economy, it would appear these trade associations and professional soci-
eties are helping professionals and companies to adapt to changing economic trends—so the more the economy is challenged the more professionals and companies turn to these associations to help them adapt. “But performance is not uniform,” Worth continued. “The associations that are doing the best are those that offer products and services that are helping students and professionals find better, higher paying jobs and helping companies realize their missions more efficiently and effectively. There are differences also in the sectors served, with healthcare, the Internet, and the energy sectors usually outperforming other sectors. But the key take-away from this survey data is that top performing associations are helping to define their markets rather than trailing them.” Plexus Consulting Group, LLC is an employee-owned, Washington, DCbased firm that provides nonprofit and public service sectors the tools and experience to operate as well or better than the best.
Many would keep jobs if they won the lottery If you won the lottery, would you keep working? While some may dream of hitting it big and leaving their office behind them, a new study from CareerBuilder suggests that’s not the case for everyone. Half (51 percent) of workers reported that, even if they didn’t need a job financially, they would still work after winning the lottery. Thirty percent of all workers say they would keep their current job. The national survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 13 to June 6, included a representative sample of 3,372 workers across industries and company sizes. Money Isn’t Everything The study revealed that working isn’t always about the paycheck. The most common reasons workers would stay employed after winning the lottery included: I would be bored if I didn’t work – 77 percent Work gives me a sense of purpose and accomplishment – 76 percent I want financial security aside from the financial winnings – 42 percent I would miss co-workers – 23 percent A Good Last Impression? While many workers find reasons to continue working after a great financial windfall, nearly half (49 percent) say they’d take the opportunity to leave the workforce.
When asked how they would quit their jobs, the most common responses included: Give two weeks’ notice or give my employer more time if they needed it to find a replacement – 48 percent Give two weeks’ notice and leave after two weeks – 31 percent Resign that day without giving notice – 13 percent Tell off the boss and air all grievances – 3 percent
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