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Business Book Review: Customer Mania!............. 6 Buzz Bits........................................................................8,.9 Businessperson of Month: Charles Johnson......12 Keep the Main Thing the main thing...................14 Career Expo preview..................................................20 Career & Education...............................................22,24

Sneak Attack

Right now, as you’re reading this, someone could be breaking into your company and stealing you blind. But all the locks and razor wire in the world won’t stop this thief. He’s coming in through your computer. By Gary Kauffman Mark Baggett sits on his back porch in Evans, his eyes on his laptop screen. On display is a world map. Glowing lines shoot from China toward the United States, as if the web site was displaying some missile attacks. In fact, it is displaying attacks. But these aren’t missile launches – they’re computer hackers trying to infiltrate computer systems in an attempt to extract information. While it all sounds high tech and not the kind of thing that will affect the Mom-and-Pop shop in the CSRA, Baggett said everyone is vulnerable. “Some people have gone so far as to say that every organization with data worth stealing has been compromised already,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s 100 percent true, but every organization can be compromised. It’s up to the will of the hacker.” Baggett knows quite well how hackers work since, in essence, he is one. Baggett is a technical advisor to the Department of Defense for the Sans Institute, but he is also a penetration tester – companies have him break into their computer systems to check their vulnerability and to assess the loss a cybercriminal could cause. On the laptop screen, the flashing lines from China have now become a solid line as the number of cyberattacks picks up. There are also attacks from within the United States and a few from other countries, such as Mexico, Russia, France, Brazil and even Sweden. The United States is far and away the biggest target for these attacks. Although giant corporations like Sony and Target made headlines when their security was breached, Baggett said local businesses have been victims of these attacks as

well. Members of an organized cybercrime group have been arrested in Augusta. There are three basic types of hackers – opportunistic, targeted and foreign governments. The opportunistic hackers make up the majority of attacks, about 70 percent. These people look for any computer to break into and steal what data they can – equivalent to a burglar looking for the unlocked brick-and-mortar buildings. “They have a ‘key,’ it’s just a matter of finding the doors it’ll open,” Baggett said of the opportunistic hackers. “They scan all the computers, and it works on thousands of them.” They most often steal financial data – credit card and bank numbers, pin numbers, mothers’ maiden names. In many cases they don’t use this data themselves, but sell it to others. Baggett, using Google, pulled up a website offering See CYBERCRIME, page 2

Buzz on Biz Career Expo set for Feb. 12

There’s good news in the CSRA: Employers are hiring. And there’s even better news: There’s a way for those seeking jobs to meet some of these potential employers in one location. That location is the Legends Club on Feb. 12 when Buzz on Biz hosts its Second Annual Career Expo. The event, which runs from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., will feature booths set up by staffing agencies, universities and other employers, and a chance to interact with them. To learn more about the Career Expo and to get a preview of some of the jobs staffing agencies are looking for, turn to page 20.


continued from page 1 stolen credit card information on sale by a hacker. Targeted attacks often come from more organized groups. Instead of randomly trying computers, they target a specific business, such as Sony or Target. This usually involves reconnaissance to determine computer security, usage habits and even physical on-site observation to determine the best times to break into the computers. Targeted attacks are increasing, Baggett said. Then there are the attacks sanctioned by foreign governments, with China being a major player in this type of attack. Foreign governments usually target financial institutions, high tech companies and the military. In some cases they steal information for immediate financial gain, but they also steal proprietary information to bolster companies within their own countries. The disconcerting aspect of these cybercrimes is that businesses are rarely aware that they’re happening – or even that they’ve happened. “Ninety percent of companies find out they’ve been attacked when the FBI or other government agency shows up at their door and asks, ‘Hey, is this your data?’” Baggett said. “They saw it leaving the country and show up in China, but the company doesn’t even know they’ve been attacked.” The stealth of the attacks leads companies to a false sense of security or even a lack of

interest in protection. “That’s why most people don’t put their resources into this, because it’s an invisible threat,” Baggett said. Baggett likened it to guarding against a bear attack. A bear can overpower you and eat you, but since there are no bears in Augusta, it seems ridiculous to be on guard for an attack by one. “But what if there are invisible bears?” Baggett said. The hackers are the “invisible bears” and they are hungrily roaming the United States, even in Augusta. On the laptop, the line of attacks from China to the United States has swelled to a thick, solid line. A counter keeping track of the number of attacks on the United States moves so fast it’s hard to get an accurate readout. Every business that stores any financial data from customers, employee records or personal or company financial information – which is most businesses, large or small – is vulnerable to these invisible attacks. Think you’re safe because you don’t store any of those data on your business computers? Think again. “Criminals still target those networks for the computing power you have,” Baggett said. “If they can break into your computers they can hide where their attacks are coming from.” Protection, then, becomes vital for all businesses. There are different levels they can take.

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

Photography Gary Kauffman Melissa Gordon/ Contributing Writers Alexandrea Daitch Submit Information

Design Gary Kauffman 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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2 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

Returning to the bear analogy, Baggett recited the old joke about two hikers being attacked by a bear. One hiker is tightening the laces on his running shoes and the other asks, “Do you think you can outrun the bear?” to which the first hiker replies, “No, I just have to outrun you.” Taking the time to beef up the basics of your computer security puts you ahead of many companies and helps protect against the opportunistic hacker who will gravitate toward the least-protected systems. “Installing patches, updating your antivirus, using good passwords, those are putting on your running shoes,” Baggett said. “It works well against the opportunistic attacks.” But if an attacker targets you – if the bear decides you’re a tastier morsel than the others – your options are more limited. “You can’t outrun the bear,” Baggett said. Since you can’t prevent an attack from a determined cybercriminal, the best step is to discover it as quickly as possible and minimize the damage. “For a business, the best thing they can do is hire trained people who can recognize when people are in the network and get rid of them,” Baggett said. “Unfortunately, people who can do that are rare and highly prized.” A company can also hire a firm that offers managed IT services to monitor their systems, or can even hire someone like Baggett to discover where a system is most vulnerable and then beef up that section. The laptop screen has now been open for a half-hour. The line of attacks is still a steady, thick line. In those 30 minutes, the United States has been attacked more than 6,600 times, half of those originating in China. The United Kingdom has the second-most attacks against it in that span – 117. The threat has grown exponentially as more and more data are stored electronically, and as internet speeds increase worldwide. “Ten years ago for someone to steal your data they had to break into your business,” Baggett said. “Now your data is 0.3 milliseconds from every bad guy in the world.”

Stolen info not the only cyberthreats Stealing information is just one way cybercriminals can damage your business. There are other ways that Augusta-area businesses have been attacked in the past year. Denial of service – Each business’ website has a finite ability to receive and send information. If a hacker gains access to enough computers he can send so many requests to your website that it clogs the line, blocking your legitimate customers from using it. If your business offers a lot of online services, this can be crippling. Ransom – In this scenario, the hacker threatens to “kidnap” your system if you don’t pay a ransom. He can do this through a denial of service or by releasing a virus that locks you out of your own data unless you pay to get the “key.” Often businesses find it less costly to pay the ransom than to lose the business of their legitimate customers. Negative SEO – Most companies work on their SEO – Search Engine Optimization – to gain higher standing with search engines like Google. But search engines also drop companies in their rankings or eliminate them completely if they seem to not be legitimate or engaged in shady practices. In this kind of attack, a hacker will create websites full of spam, porn, viruses and other items on the search engine’s blacklist, then link them to your site so that it appears you are involved in these activities as well. If your company relies heavily on people finding you through web searches, a negative SEO attack could be devastating.

SWU hosting series to help businesses be more effective Southern Wesleyan University will be business website, including basic “do’s” and hosting a series of programs in North Augusta to help area businesses become more effective and competitive in the marketplace. Southern Wesleyan is partnering with SCORE and the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce to offer the chamber’s Business Academy Series,  8:30-11 a.m.  on the third  Wednesday  of each month at the university’s learning center, located at 802 E. Martintown Rd., Suite 101 in North Augusta. The following topics are proposed, with others being planned for the near future: Jan. 21:  Building or improving your

“don’ts” and enhancing search engine results. Feb. 18: How to prepare your business for sale. March 18:  Buyer behavior, competitive advantage and competition. April 15:  The Fair Labor Standards Act, exempt vs. non-exempt, contractor vs. employee and overtime vs. comp time. The programs are free and no registration or RSVP is required. For details, contact the North Augusta Chamber at  803-279-2323. Students can contact Jason Norton, regional director, at 803-426-7981  or email

Business Matters Kim Romaner

Value Leader

Implement strategies to gain higher market value No matter whether your business is generating less than $1 million or is a lower middle-market company in the $10-20 million dollar range, there are some clear business optimization strategies that will drive higher valuation multiples when preparing to sell. These strategies take some time to implement, and some serious analysis needs to be done to understand which will drive the most value in your case. If you intend to transition out of the business in the next 5-10 years, you should know what areas to consider for value improvement, and what strategies can be applied

to do so now. Here are some examples of valuegenerating elements: Financial Performance. Is your operating margin in line with your industry? Growth and Scalability. How fast are you growing in relation to GDP? To your competitors? Client Concentration. Is more than 15 percent of your revenue coming from one customer? Asset Management. Can the business pay out healthy dividends and still grow?

Recurring Revenue. Is recurring revenue under or over 50 percent of total revenue? Competitive Barriers. How differentiated are you? Are your competitors few? Customer Satisfaction. Are more than 75 percent of your customers “very satisfied?” Management Team. Would your business suffer a lot if you were out for three months, or would your team manage well in your absence? Efficiency. Is revenue per employee aligned with industry benchmarks?

If you’re exceeding benchmarks in all of these value-generating elements, you will have become a Value Leader, a company that can expect as much as five times your operating profit as a valuation. Business buyers want to minimize risk as much as possible when investing in a business. By focusing on optimizing the processes in your business that will mitigate that risk, even a business with industry average profit margins will improve its valuation. Designing and implementing strategies that will improve client satisfaction, cycle time, time-to-market, operational or administration productivity, revenue and margins will help you turn your business into a Value Leader and get you a substantially higher market valuation. Kim Romaner is president of Transworld Business Advisors of Augusta, a business brokerage that helps people buy and sell businesses, and also enter into the franchise world. With over 100 locations in the U.S. and abroad, Transworld has sold many thousands of businesses. If you’d like to talk to Kim about selling your business, buying a franchise or turning your existing business into a franchise operation, please call 706-383-2994, x802, or email her at

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Matters Christine Hall

Break Point

Legislation extends tax breaks for businesses President Obama signed legislation extending a broad range of expired tax breaks for businesses and individuals through the end of 2014. The so-called “tax extenders” bill passed in December renews 55 tax breaks that ended in 2013. The bill covers items ranging from bonus depreciation on purchases of fixed assets for businesses to unreimbursed expenses for teachers who buy school supplies for individual taxpayers. One of the biggest tax breaks for business owners is the extension of the increased limitations for Section 179 expensing along with and extension of the bonus depreciation. Section 179 expense deduction is for equipment

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purchases up to $500,000 of the first $2,000,000 of certain business property placed in service during the year. In addition, there is a bonus depreciation of 50 percent for qualified property that exceeds the threshold amount. Another benefit for businesses is that the Work Opportunity Tax Credit is extended through 2014 and includes the enhanced credit for hiring certain veterans. When a business hires a person from one of several specific economically disadvantaged groups it may claim a Work Opportunity Tax Credit, generally equal to 40 percent of the first $6,000 in wages paid to a new hire. The list of extensions on the bill that affect individuals is quite extensive. A few of the more relevant extensions are: • The income exclusion of up to $2,000,000 of qualified principal residence indebtedness through December 31, 2014. • The maximum $250 deduction for certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers. • The election to take an itemized deduction for state and local general sales tax instead of state and local income taxes. • Tax-free IRA distributions to charities of up to $100,000 for those at least 70-1/2 year of age. This distribution counts towards the required minimum distribution and must be made directly

to the charitable organization. • Premiums for mortgage insurance deductible as a qualified residence interest. • Credit for qualified energy-efficient home improvements. Some believe that the mid-term elections greatly affected the outcome of this bill passage before Dec. 31. The fact that it was passed on Dec. 19 and all of the renewed provisions expire Dec. 31 did not give individuals and businesses alike much time to react to and take advantage of these tax savings.

The extensions mentioned here are not all inclusive so be sure to review your specific situation with your tax advisor to see if any of the extensions pertain to you. This is a sponsored employment article. Hall & Associates LLC is a full-service public accounting firm established in 1979. They have a staff of experienced professionals that stand ready to meet all of your accounting, tax and general business needs. For a complimentary consultation, call 706-855-7733 or visit

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Deeper Thinking Eddie Kennedy

Unleash the Maniac These four steps will help you focus on your customers

Focus your business on the customer! As the economy improves, it’s time to focus on the customer. Ken Blanchard tells how to develop a customerfocused company in his book, Customer Mania! Blanchard’s four steps to build a customer-focused company: 1. Set your sights on the right target; 2. Treat your customers the right way; 3. Treat your people the right way; and 4. Have the right kind of leadership.

Business Online Jeff Asselin

Web Makeover

Research, specifics will help you choose best web designer I’ve spoken about the importance of keeping your website content updated on a monthly basis (at a minimum). I have also talked about the need to update your website’s design every three or four years. If your website was built years ago it most likely looks dated. An outdated website design reflects poorly on your business and sends potential customers looking elsewhere for your goods and services.  Suppose you don’t have a website or are looking to get a quote for a re-design. What are some steps you can take to ensure you get a quality website at a great price?  If you already have a website, take a close look at your website’s traffic. How many visitors are coming to your site each month? How many different pages did they look at during their visit?  How long were they on your site? How did they get there? How many viewed from a mo-

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1. Focus on the right target. If the goal of your company is just making money, then your customers and employees become the means to an end. Blanchard suggests that your ultimate aim would be to have a “Triple Bottom Line.” He describes this as being a choice provider, a choice employer and a choice investment. This “right target” focus sets you apart from many of your competitors and helps make your business the desired shopping and working destination. 2. Treat customers right. Give them a better customer experience than your competitor. Be responsive to their needs and desires. Think about the moments when your customer comes in contact with your people. Did the staff go the extra mile? Did they leave as a loyal customer? To improve the experience at your company, evaluate what you have now by asking questions like: What do our customer’s really want, how can we change and how do we exceed their expectations? Develop the answers into action steps with specific plans for every area of the organization. Communicate the plan clearly so that

everyone knows their part in executing the plan. Then deliver your great experience to the customer. 3. Treat employees right. It’s impossible to treat your employees poorly and have t h e m deliver a great experience for your customers. Employees should treat the customer as if they are most important people in the world. To do that, your staff needs to be empowered to deliver a great customer experience. Start employees with a training program that teaches them what they need to know to function properly in your organization. Have an ongoing development program that

keeps the focus on the customer while utilizing each employee’s specific gifts, talents and abilities. Manage their performance and provide the right support for their individual needs along the way. Show employees you care for them. Give the ones that excel an opportunity to grow and advance as far as they can in your organization. Then you’ll have employees that care for your customer and love working in your organization. 4. Be the right kind of leader. Be a servant leader. Give others the credit. Take the blame. Work to make everyone in the organization successful. Remember, when they win, you win. These principles will work in any business. Put them to practice today in your business and focus your business on the customer.

bile device? Did they type your website address directly or search for you in Google, Yahoo! or another search engine? What were the most popular pages on your website? Having a clear understanding of your current website traffic will help you make better redesign decisions. Before I buy a car, I research different makes and models and come up with a list of “nice to haves,” “gotta haves” and “could take it or leave its.” When redesigning or building a new website, look at as many websites as possible to give you ideas of what you like and dislike. Write these down and share them with your potential designer.  Include such things as animation, e-commerce capabilities, layouts and page count.  Have an idea of the top three “calls to action” or goals for your website. Be thinking of functionality (video and photo galleries, staff bio pages, calendars, online submission forms and the like) that will take a designer time to build into your website. The more a website designer understands about your project the easier it will be able to quote you a price and get you closer to bringing your message to life. Do you have your own images and artwork or will you need them created for you? Do you need a blog? Will your website compliment your social media strategies? Make a detailed list and share them with your potential designer. Do they have any additional ideas or thoughts?

Ask them to share their portfolio with you. Consider their client referrals and testimonials.  Do they have a proven track record?  Consider the breadth of the designer’s services. Can they also provide you with custom software and mobile apps down the road? Can your designer help you promote your website through online advertising solutions and search engine best practices?  The more specific you can be with your request, the easier it will be for your designer to give you an accurate and competitive price quote. Building

a new website or updating an existing website can be a lot of fun – be sure to pick a designer you connect with and one who will provide you with legendary customer service.

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

Jeff Asselin is Director of Sales and Marketing for Powerserve, a web development company that focuses on websites, custom business software, search engine optimization, graphic design and social media marketing. For more information , visit or his office at 961 Broad St., Augusta. Contact him at or706-691-7189 or 706-826-1506, ext 122.

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


buzz bits

Non-stop flights to Washington resuming Non-stop flights from Augusta to Washington, D.C., will resume again – for a limited time. US Airways discontinued its daily flights from Augusta to Reagan National Airport six months ago. The non-stop flights will resume on March 29, but only until June 3. The flights are important to area businesses, especially those related to Fort Gordon, the National Security Agency and the Savannah River Site.

Barney’s celebrates 30 years Last year was a banner year for Barney’s Pharmacy owner Barry Bryant. In September Bryant celebrated his 30th year of owning the pharmacy, which has seven locations in the CSRA. Bryant also received three awards during the year: The Sixth Annual Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award from Cardinal Health, Next Generation Entrepreneur Award from Next-Generation Pharmacist, and the NARD Ownership Award from the National Community Pharmacists Association Foundation. Bryant worked for Kroger Pharmacy for three years after graduating from the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy in 1981 before becoming a partner in Barney’s Pharmacy. He was the first pharmacist trained for HIV screenings through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control. Bryant’s three daughters, Vanessa Hoffman, Brittany Smith and Stephanie Tankersley, are all pharmacists. Barney’s Pharmacy has six current locations, three in Augusta and in Louisville, Wrens and Grovetown. A seventh location will open March 1 on Fury’s Ferry Road next to Goodwill. The pharmacy carries a wide range of products, conducts health screenings, offers $4

2014 cool and dry, continues into 2015

Walter Sprouse

Hardie Davis

Ricardo Azziz

Walter C. Sprouse, Jr., Executive Director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority and Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis have been named to the 2015 edition of Georgia Trend magazine’s “Most Notable Georgians”. Dr. Ricardo Azziz, President of Georgia Regents University, was named to the publication’s “Most Influential Georgians.” The announcement was made in early January at Georgia Trend’s headquarters in Atlanta. Sprouse has been Executive Director of Augusta’s economic development organization since 2003. It was the fourth time Sprouse was named to the list of the Most Notable Georgians. Davis was elected last year as

Augusta 84th mayor, and took office on Jan. 5. Prior to serving as Mayor, Davis represented Richmond County in the Georgia State Senate. Azziz has been named to the list of the Most Influential Georgians for five years in a row. “I am honored to be included among the state’s most influential leaders – those who work year round to make a positive impact on the lives of Georgians across the state,” Azziz said. “I would also like to congratulate Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis and Augusta Economic Development Authority Director Walter Sprouse, two city leaders who have exhibited a continued commitment to move Augusta forward.” Also on the cover is “Geor-

gian of the Year” University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank M. Huckaby who was named for his strong, steady, and principled leadership of Georgia’s University System. According to the magazine’s editorial staff, “Some of the notables wield their influence in the limelight; others work behind the scenes. But all of them impact the daily lives of Georgians everywhere.” Other notables on the Georgia Trend 2015 list of “Notable Georgians” include Atlanta Journal Constitution Publisher Amy Glennon, actor Tyler Perry, NCR President Bill Nuti, Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz, and Savannah College of Art and Design President Paula Wallace.

“Over the past two years, we have restructured our business to focus more succinctly on the needs of seniors,” said Rick Griffin, President and Chief Executive Officer for CareSouth. “With an aging population, more care should be taken to ensure that seniors are provided acceptable options so that when the need for healthcare and healthcare related activities arise, seniors may receive those options while remaining in their residence of choice. The CareSouth Advantage ensures that more options are available to our seniors, in their residence of choice, and at the highest level of service experience possible.” The company launched the rebrand with the presentation of a new logo and website. The new design, which places a graphic of people in the center

of the CareSouth name, is indicative of The CareSouth Advantage commitment to a client centric organization.

Three Augustans honored by Georgia Trend

generic prescriptions, sponsors support groups and conducts an education class for children ages 5-12.

CareSouth Health rebrands agencies

CareSouth Health System, Inc., a national senior living services provider based in Augusta, announced recently that it will begin a national rebranding of its CareSouth agencies across all CareSouth branded business lines including CareSouth Home Health, CareSouth Hospice, CareSouth Private Duty and CS Health & Wellness. The rebrand will focus on The CareSouth Advantage, which ties service excellence into every aspect of the senior living client experience.

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Candlewood wins Masters of Hospitality again Candlewood Suites won the Limited Service Award and the Hilton Garden Inn the Full Service Award in the annual Masters of Hospitality competition by the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau. This is the third straight year Candlewood Suites won and the fifth year overall. The competition started in 2008. The Masters of Hospitality is awarded based on forms filled out by hotel guests, and rewards exceptional service.

If you sweated a bit less in 2014, it’s because the average high temperature for the year was 1.1 degree below normal and the average low was 1.2 degrees below normal. That made it the 19th-coolest year in Augusta’s history. Augusta recorded 3.2 inches of snow during the year and, of course, a major ice storm on Feb. 12. Only one day, Aug. 23, reached 100 degrees. The year was also relatively dry, with rainfall 4.87 inches below normal. The start of 2015 is expected to continue the below-normal temperature trend.

Columbia County hospital on hold

The dream to have a hospital in Columbia County seemed about to be realized when Georgia Regents University Medical Center was picked to build its $148 million, 100-bed facility. But University Hospital and Doctors Hospital, who had competing bids at a slightly lower price tag, have put on the brakes by contesting the decision. Their appeals could be heard as early as March but that more likely will happen in May. GRU Medical Center was awarded the contract in November by the Georgia Department of Community Health partially because it has historically helped more patients in need. The Department of Community Health also believed that GRU’s goals were more in line with the state’s overall health plan. Columbia County is the largest county in the state without a hospital. The Department of Community Health had ruled that the county is adequately served by emergency rooms in Augusta. GRU’s bid went through because of an exception to the ruling that allows the county to pay 20 percent of the building costs, which Columbia County has agreed to do.

Visitors to bring $2 million to Augusta Visitors attending events in Augusta will generate more than $2 million in the month of January, the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau and Augusta Sports Council announced. All of that will come during events in the second half of the month. More than half of that revenue will come from the 36th Annual Augusta Cutting Horse Futurity, scheduled for Jan. 16-24. The event is expected to attract 2,700 people and generate more than $1.2 million. “The meeting planners and sports groups we work with always speak highly of Augusta,” said Barry White, Augusta CVB President and CEO. “We’re easy to get to, and its easy getting around once they’re here. And when the work is done, they kick back, unwind and enjoy Augusta.”

Kroger patrons contribute food for the hungry Augusta-area customers and associates contributed more than $13,900 in just six weeks to Kroger’s 2014 Can Hunger campaign and $8,000 to a second initiative benefitting Golden Harvest Food Bank. From Nov. 16 – Dec. 24, Kroger customers supported the annual Can Hunger campaign by purchasing $1, $3 and $5 icons. Each icon purchased benefitted Feeding America food banks and helped to provide food to local families in need. In addition, a two-week company-wide promotion “Bringing Hope to the Table” – in partnership with key suppliers – featured hundreds of popular products at special sale prices. A portion of those proceeds also benefitted the local food bank. Kroger’s Atlanta Division, which includes Augusta, raised more than $568,600 through Can Hunger and more than $191,500 from “Bringing Hope to the Table” for a total of $760,100, or the equivalent of 2.9 million

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meals to support food banks across Georgia, Eastern Alabama and South Carolina. The donated amount surpassed its $600,000 goal. “The overwhelming amount of donations raised during this year’s Can Hunger initiative is a testament to the character and generosity of our Augustaarea customers and associates,” says Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “Kroger is incredibly grateful for their donations and support as we work to help provide food for those who are less fortunate.”

Augusta small businessman Allen heads to Congress Rick Allen, founder of R.W. Allen & Associates in Augusta, is one of 14 small business owners who made it to Congress during this past election. The new Republican Representative was featured with the others in a recent Washington Post story. Allen founded R.W. Allen & Associates, a commercial construction company, in 1976. It serves a six-state area. The company constructed many well-known buildings in the Augusta area, including the Convention Center, the Kroc Center, the Children’s Hospital of Georgia and the AugustaRichmond County Public Library, as well as numerous churches, schools and medical buildings. Allen received the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Small Businessperson of the Year in 2008. He represents Georgia’s 12th Congressional District.

SRR donates to Augusta Tech The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) liquid waste contractor, Savannah River Remediation (SRR), donated $5,000 to Augusta Technical College Foundation to help fund GED Scholarships, which helps students acquire

their high school equivalency diploma through the college’s Adult Literacy program. SRR is the Savannah River Site (SRS) Liquid Waste contractor; SRS is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. SRR is composed of personnel from a team of companies led by URS with partners Bechtel National, CH2M HILL and Babcock & Wilcox. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and URS Professional Solutions.

Nearly 10,000 handwarmers given to troops The hands of U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan are a little warmer this winter, thanks to the efforts of Operation HandWarmer, sponsored by CSRA Home Connections. The drive, spearheaded by Burt Sappenfield, owner of Majestic Floor Care in Augusta and Savannah, collected 9,688 hand-warmers, plus 4,234 miscellaneous items like food and candy and hundreds of Christmas cards. Everything was packaged and sent to the troops in time for Christmas. Afghanistan is a rugged, mountainous country that experiences bitterly cold winters and the hand-warmers will help U.S. troops whose duties require manual dexterity. “This means a whole lot of grateful military men and women in cold-weather duty stations this Christmas,” Sappenfield said.

Game to raise funds for men’s breast cancer Although breast cancer in men is rare, making up less than 1 percent of breast cancer cases in the United States, it does happen, as local resident Cecil Herrin can attest. To help raise awareness, Herrin and the Michael Douglass Youth Foundation are sponsoring the Men Get Breast Cancer Too Celebrity Basketball Tournament with the Harlem Legends on Feb. 7. All proceeds will

After nine years, Copenhaver returns to private sector Deke Copenhaver’s nineyear tenure as mayor of Augusta ended on Jan. 5 with the inauguration of Hardie Davis. “Augusta is now on an upward trajectory with great things happening each day and I’m truly excited to see the way our city will be transformed in the coming years,” Copenhaver said in an email. “As I’ve transitioned out of office I’ve come to realize that helping to improve the quality of life in our community at all levels has become for me more than just a time in office as I now know it is truly a life’s work.” Copenhaver said he has benefit men with breast cancer in the Augusta area. The Harlem Legends are made up of former Harlem Globetrotter stars and athletes from other sports. Herrin’s team, the Breast Cancer Warriors, will be comprised of local political, business and community leaders, coaches and educators. The contest takes place at 6 p.m. Feb. 7 at Greenbrier High School in Evans, with a basketball clinic at 3 p.m. For more information, call 706-799-9465.

Historic building razed for high school Ongoing demolition on the campus of the Lucy Craft Laney Comprehensive High School on Laney-Walker Boulevard has resulted in the loss of the CauleyWheeler Memorial Building, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. This is the first demolition of a building in Richmond County that had been individually designated on the prestigious list. Congress established the National Register in 1966 as a part of the National Historic Preservation Act. The current expansion of Laney High by the Richmond County Board of Education did

opportunities to share the lessons he learned in Augusta with other cities. He will be working from an office on the second floor of the Green Building, 1019 Broad Street. not incorporate the historic site into its plan, in spite of its historic designation, according to a press release from Historic Augusta, Inc. Erected in 1924 as a kindergarten, the building was the last permanent structure built under the management of Lucy Craft Laney, leader of the Haines Normal and Industrial Institute. Laney founded the school for the education of African Americans in 1883. She died in 1933. In 1949 the Haines Athletic Association leased the campus for 999 years to the Richmond County Board of Education. “The sad thing about the loss is that the Board of Education could have incorporated the historic building into its expansion plans if there had been the will to do so,” said Erick Montgomery, Executive Director of Historic Augusta, Inc. “It would have been an important centerpiece for the education of students at Laney, giving them a tangible connection to their school’s historical significance.” Historic Augusta included the Cauley-Wheeler Memorial Building on its Endangered Properties List in 2013 after it was learned that expansion plans for the Laney campus threatened its future existence. Because there were no Federal funds involved, the National Register listing was powerless to save the building from demolition.

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business openings, closing and moves

Openings Blue Collar Bistro A South Carolina couple recently opened Blue Collar Bistro in the Harrisburg area of Augusta. The new restaurant is located on Broad Street in the former Hot Foods by Calvin location. Blue Collar Bistro is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, offering homemade Southern-style cooking like chicken, pot roast and meat loaf. The restaurant has drawn heavily from the neighborhood during the week and from churches on Sunday. The owners also operate a retail store and a tax filing company in Johnston, S.C.

Krispy Kreme The Hot Now sign will be lighting up in south Augusta now that a Krispy Kreme franchise has opened for business. Krispy Kreme opened on Dec. 16 in the Windsor Square shopping center on Peach Orchard Road. The 3,000-square-foot establishment will employ 70 part- and fulltime employees. This is part of planned renovations and additions for Windsor Square, which includes better lighting and new landscaping. Chik-fil-A also has plans to locate there. Mellow Mushroom Local Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers owners Shawn and Katy Ledford have opened their third store in the CSRA, this one locate at 151 Bee Lane, Aiken. The new store opened six years to the day after their store opened in Evans. They also own the store on Broad Street. General manager Ryan Kight, who opened the downtown store, runs the Aiken store. The Aiken store has a patio that seats 20 and seating for 60 inside. It contains the same funky artwork on the exterior and interior as the other stores. The bar features craft beers, an extensive wine list and cocktails. The new store is open 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Closings Sit A Spell, O’Donovan’s, Odd Fellows The new year started with the reported closing of three downtown businesses. Sit A Spell coffee shop at 9th and Broad reportedly closed its doors. According to some customers, free wifi – which has become customary in most coffee shops – would have helped business there.

10 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

O’Donovan’s Irish Pub on the corner of 10th and Broad also has closed. It opened shortly before Masters Week last year. The business had received many favorable reviews for its food on Yelp and Tripadvisor, but also some complaints about service and the small dining area. Odd Fellows, the eclectic art store owned by Syd Padgett at 1036 Broad St., has also reportedly closed. Padgett has been active with Artists Row in promoting First Fridays in Augusta, as well as supporting local art and photo festivals. Big Lots A second major store is closing in a Wrightsboro Road shopping center. Just a few months after Food Lion closed its store on Wrightsboro, Big Lots also plans to close. According to reports, the store will close on Jan. 15. The store ran a liquidation sale earlier in the month. There are three other Big Lots stores in the CSRA – on Martintown Road in North Augusta, Peach Orchard Road in Augusta and on Belair Road in Evans. A 148,000-square-foot Walmart Supercenter opened a short distance from Big Lots less than a year ago. JCPenney The JCPenney store in the Aiken Mall will close in early March. The store apparently was underperforming. JCPenney will offer the store’s employees an on-site career training class and will assist in writing resumes, filling out job applications and answering interview questions. Eligible employees leaving the company will receive separation benefits. The only other JCPenney in the CSRA is in the Augusta Mall. Swamp Fox An Aiken restaurant is out of business, according to a Facebook post. The post from the Swamp Fox thanked its patrons for their support and listed some of the items it was selling, including stoves, ice machines, cooking utensils and dishes. The restaurant, owned by Connie and Tommy Dean, had been in business for two years and closed on Dec. 20. It had been awarded a 2014 Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor. No reason was listed for the closing. Consolidatons & Moves Rock Bottom Music Rock Bottom Music recently consolidated its Aiken and Augusta stores and will now do business in Fairway Square on Washington Road. Owner Jonathan Karow had move to the Fairway Square location about a year ago. “As a result of this merger, we’ll now be open seven days a week in Augusta – open on Sundays to serve the worship community in need of instruments, mics or any accessories to ensure their church service goes well,” said Karow. In December, Rock Bottom Music was named one of the Top 50 independent music stores in the United States by Music Mer-

chandise Review Magazine. Karow also recently began writing the Music Insider column for Verge, Buzz on Biz’s sister publication. Aqua Salon and Spa Aqua Salon and Spa in Evans has been consolidated with the original location on Walton Way Extension in Augusta, according to Aqua founder Sandy Maddox. All client records, appointments and gift certificates have been transferred to Aqua Salon and Day Spa Augusta and the Evans location at 902 Ponder Place Court is now closed. “I sold the Walton Way location to Grace Bennett in July of last year and recently made the decision to transfer ownership of the client records at our Evans location to Grace as well,” Maddox said. “She has done a terrific job since taking over and I feel it is now time for me to step away and leave this business in her capable hands.” Maddox started Aqua Salon nearly 15 years ago and has been actively involved in the day-to-day operation since that time. Aqua has become known as one of Augusta’s premier salon and day spas. Maddox said all valid gift certificates sold at the Evans location and online for the Evans location will be honored at Walton Way. “I am grateful for the friendships and relationships I have developed over the past 13 years and I feel good about the future of Aqua,” she said. “Grace and I felt that with the central location on Walton Way, just off I-20, that it made sense for her to put all her effort into one location rather than spreading herself thin at two locations.” She added, “I am at a point in my life where I still want to work, but I also want to slow down and enjoy my family. I have always been motivated by challenges and I have other things I want to accomplish before I retire.” For more information, contact Sandy Maddox at 706-836-4849 or Grace Bennett at 706-481-9301. Le Lis Boutique/The Swank Company Le Lis Boutique on Vaughn Road in Martinez is joining The Swank Company, according to their Facebook page. The Swank Company is located in Surrey Center and will continue to operate there. The two stores had partnered on a crosspromotional effort for Christmas and in January. The more formal partnership allows The Swank Company to move into the clothing realm that Le Lis Boutique has focused on. The Swank Company had primarily focused on home accessories and women’s body products. The combined effort also has created job openings and the stores are looking to hire for different positions. The Pain Center William E. Durrett, M.D., owner of The Pain Center, recently purchased Aiken Neurosciences, PC. The two practices, which have been working together for several

years, have now merged to become The Pain & Brain Center at Aiken Neurosciences & Pain Management. While working with MCG’s Pain Management Department, Durrett treated multiple patients from the Aiken area. He realized there was a need in Aiken that was not being filled. When he moved to Aiken and began working at Aiken Regional, he decided to pioneer a pain management program in Aiken. He worked with the Surgery Center of Aiken as well as larger offices in Aiken. Six years ago, he moved to Aiken Neurosciences full time, to open The Pain Center. The Pain & Brain Center has grown immensely and has two locations at the Aiken Medical Center and the Village at Woodside. The practice combines the latest techniques in treating chronic pain patients with an interventional approach. Once the source of pain is identified, Durrett designs an individualized treatment program for each patient. This program can include massage therapy, aquatic therapy, physical therapy, injective therapy, and, at times, medication management. “Pain is very real and so many people are afraid to deal with it,” Durrett said. “It is rewarding to get people active again. When a patient is dealing with pain, the last thing they need is to commute out of Aiken to find relief.” The office is dedicated to scheduling new and established patients with minimal wait times. Because the practice encompasses neuroscience and pain management, patients do not have to visit multiple doctors’ offices to find pain relief. The Pain & Brain Center comprises five board certified physicians. Dr. Durrett specializes in pain management, anesthesiology and perioperative medicine. Dr. Richard Eisenberg, Dr. Will McCutchen, Dr. Khaled Kamel, and Dr. Melvin Haas are neurologists, and Dr. Haas specializes in sleep medicine. The staff is dedicated to helping patients manage their pain and move forward with their lives. For information on The Pain & Brain Center, visit or call 803-642-6500. SMS Sportsworld SMS Sportsworld in North Augusta has downsized to a new store. The 20-year-old sporting goods store moved from its current location in the Publix Plaza on Martintown Road to the North Hills Shopping Center, also on Martintown. Buzz on Biz founder Neil Gordon spoke with the store manager, who told him the new store will be a third smaller than the current location, but will benefit from increased foot traffic. Their new neighbors include Fred’s, Marco’s Pizza, Premier Martial Arts and the Family Y. SMS Sportsworld started in 1994 and stocks a variety of Nike products, T-shirts, caps and sporting goods equipment appealing to youths getting started in sports.

Project Jackson eases ahead while waiting on Supreme Court

Although appeals are still waiting to be heard in the South Carolina Supreme Court about Project Jackson, the North Augusta City Council has selected a contractor for the multipurpose stadium that is part of the project. The council picked Brasfield and Gorrie, headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., as the general contractor. Brasfield and Gorrie based its estimates for building the stadium on pricing from local subcontractors. The selection of Brasfield and Gorrie is not an official awarding of the contract since the city cannot yet fund the project while it remains in court. Meanwhile, Steve Donohue has filed

an appeal with the state Supreme Court, contesting that the lower court’s ruling in favor of the city was based on faulty information. The city has responded to the appeal, arguing that the lower court ruling was proper. Donohue filed a lawsuit to halt Project Jackson, contending that the city should not be allowed to create a Tax Increment Financing district on the property. On Aug. 20, 2014, the Circuit Court ruled in the city’s favor. Donohue’s appeal was denied in September and when he made a second appeal in October, the city requested that the Supreme Court rule on it. The centerpiece of the 25-acre project

is a $144 million multipurpose stadium that would become home to the Augusta GreenJackets. Depending on the Supreme

Court’s ruling and how fast things progress, the GreenJackets could be playing there by spring 2016. Plans for Project Jackson include a hotel, restaurant, shops and condos. “So many great things are coming to the riverfront area,” said North Augusta Chamber of Commerce President Terra Carroll in an interview with Buzz on Biz/Augusta CEO. She believes the project will benefit the entire CSRA, not just North Augusta. “What we get on this side of the river, the Augusta side will benefit from as well,” Carroll said. “It’s really going to be great for all businesses involved.”

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Businessperson of the Month Charles Johnson, EDTS

The IT Guy

Detouring from the CPA path, Johnson built one of top managed IT firms in world By Gary Kauffman It took Charles Johnson about 40 tax returns to realize that being a CPA was not the life for him. Johnson had majored in finance at Georgia Southern University, with a minor in Management Information Systems. But a detour on his way to using his finance degree – and the discovery that he didn’t enjoy doing people’s taxes – led him to today owning EDTS, one of the fastest growing managed IT services in the world. Johnson was recently named the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur of the Year, but accolades are nothing new for Johnson and EDTS. The company has repeatedly been named as one of Inc. Magazine’s 5,000 fastest-growing privately-owned companies. Other entities have also listed EDTS as among the fastest-growing managed services companies in the world. Johnson’s minor in Management Information Services in the early ‘90s had little in common with today’s IT world – it simply meant he was well-versed in word processing, spreadsheets and some data bases. But on his first day on his new job fresh out of college, the billing department’s system went down. “Everyone looked at me,” Johnson recalled. “I went to the server and pushed a button and prayed it was the right thing to do.” It was, and from that moment on Johnson was the IT guy. He took that designation to heart, whizzing through Novell, the leading networking system at the time, and reorganizing the company’s entire system. Looking for a new challenge, and tired of his father reminding him that he wasn’t using his finance degree, Johnson went to work for Wade & Co. as an IT guy with the promise that they’d help him earn his CPA license. “I did 40 tax returns and realized that it wasn’t for me,” Johnson said. About a year later Elliott Davis bought Wade & Co. and Johnson continued working for them as an external IT consultant. By 1999, he realized he wanted to be his own boss, so he formed a partnership with Elliott Davis to create an IT consulting firm. When Elliott Davis decided to divest itself of products that weren’t part of their main financial services, Johnson bought their shares. That was on Jan. 1, 2009. Since then, EDTS has grown from fewer than 20 employees to 60, and revenues have grown by 600 percent. Johnson believes one reason for the growth is that EDTS approached IT from the consulting side rather than from the hardware side as some other companies have. He also realized early on that being proactive was better than being reactive. And he recognized the need to surround himself with good people. “When I started I was the chief cook and bottlewasher,” he said. “But I realized early on that the company wouldn’t grow that way. So now I hire good people, teach them the right way to do things and then let them go to work.”

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A good example of that happened recently when a company called EDTS at 4:50 on a Friday afternoon with a problem. An EDTS employee responded within six minutes, took ownership of the problem and worked through the weekend. The issue was resolved to the customer’s satisfaction by Sunday afternoon. “That’s just a testimonial to the type of people we have,” Johnson said. “Honestly, I didn’t even know about it until Monday morning.” What are you passionate about in your business? Helping people. Network security is something I really dig my teeth into, but it all comes down to helping people. We’re helping people solve a problem that will help their business succeed. They shouldn’t have to worry about IT. Let us do that and free up their time to let them run their business. What is the biggest misperception people have about you? Because I like to hunt and fish I may sometimes be perceived as not being a typical businessman. But I’m an open book. People usually know it if I don’t like something or if I do like something. One of my favorite quotes

is from Benjamin Franklin: “Well done is better than well said.” It’s much better to be judged by the end results than by me telling you how good I am. If you could splurge on anything, what would it be? I’d buy 5,000 acres in good hunting territory. I like to play on ATVs and hunt. The outdoors gives me peace. What have you learned about yourself by running a business? That I don’t know everything. You kid yourself if you think you do. We all have strengths and weaknesses. But I can’t be everything to everybody, and I can’t serve everybody. Someday I’ll probably hire a CEO to run the company for me. I’m looking for the growth of the business, not how important I am. How do you start your day? I hit the ground at 4 every morning with a pot of coffee. I sit there with my emails and make a list of what I’m going to do. In that peace and quiet is when I do my thinking and plan my strategies. I’m usually good for one pot of coffee and then I’m at the office by 7:30. It seems like I get more done in that time from 4 to 7:30 than the rest of the day. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Keep your head down and work hard, and when you achieve success then you put your head up and help others. You’re no good to others if you’re not good to yourself. I worked hard at this for 15 years and now that it’s successful we can put our money where our mouth is in the community. How do you give back to the community? Previously we’d written a bunch of checks, but now we’ve formed a “mojo committee,” where the employees bring up things they’re passionate about. We’re choosing less but putting more time and effort into it other than just writing a check. We’re trying to choose things we’re passionate about. Sometimes I step outside the mojo committee to sponsor things I’m passionate about, even if it means I have to write a personal check. How do you unwind? Usually with something outdoors. I like to spend time with friends and family, and with the kids riding ATVs. And I like to deep-sea fish. A plaque provided by Cudos4u, Awards and Promotions, your hometown favorite for Awards and Promotional Products, (706) 7220010, will be given to Charles Johnson on behalf of Buzz on Biz.

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Advice Larry Rudwick

The Main Thing

Success depends on keeping the main thing the main thing Many businesses fail, or don’t reach high levels of success, because they do not stay focused on the “main things.” As a business coach, consultant and advisor, I often ask business owners: “What do you consider the top 5-10 most important things you focus on in your business?” Often, they pause, and don’t have a great answer. To business owners who are struggling to stay in busi-

Mike Herrington

Taxing Issues

Tax brackets impact choices for funding insurance Tax brackets have an impact on funding insurance solutions to the needs of closely-held corporations and their shareholders.

14 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

ness, or feel they are working “too hard for too little,” I suggest they focus on the following list. Please Note: These same principals not only help business owners, but can help all of us, whether we are managers, or line workers. In fact, they also can help us in our personal lives. When you see the word “business” below, feel free to substitute “job”, or “personal life”, or whatever may apply to you. To start this process, simply ask yourself, What are the 5-10 most important things my business must do to attain success. I challenge you to stop reading this article at the end of this sentence and come up with your list. Did you come up with your list of important things? If so, congratulations for starting the process, but you’re not done with your list quite yet. This list is so important that you should get feedback from others. Ask people you respect outside your business, and have brainstorming sessions with your key employees off-site. Figure out: What is the mission of the business? Hint: It is to help or provide products or services to certain types or groups

of businesses or people. Figure out the specifics, with some help from others. Slogan and Logo: Do you have a catchy appropriate slogan and logo that people remember? If not, work on them. It will help your business get known. Your Associates: Work with qualified people with good attitudes, and train them well. Manage them well and pay them appropriately. Your Products and Services: Offer things that there is a good market for. Develop and hone your niche so when people want what you offer, they think of your business first and foremost. Operations and Processes: Businesses that fail often produce their products and services at high costs. High costs, at best, reduce profits. Or, it may create losses, which could eventually cause bankruptcy. Processes should be looked at closely to figure out how costs can be cut while retaining quality. Sales and Marketing: These are the weak links in many businesses. One of the main things to do in business is to figure out the “secrets” to how to sell your products or services effectively.

General Management: People often make mistakes because management failed to train or communicate with their people properly. Having an open and honest relationship with your associates, customers and suppliers is something to strive for and achieve. Show everyone respect. Realize that people make mistakes from time to time and have feelings. Think of mistakes as great opportunities to learn and do better! Be prepared to make changes: Nothing stays the same over time. Businesses must evolve to “keep up with the times.” Don’t let yourself get sidetracked! As the title suggests, keep focusing on the main things. It’s so easy to get unfocused on what’s most important, especially if you haven’t figured out your true mission!

For example, a corporation in the 15 percent tax bracket gets to keep 85 cents of every taxable dollar it makes, while an individual in the 35 percent tax bracket gets to keep only 65 cents of every taxable dollar he or she makes. Since life insurance purchased to fund a buy-sell plan must be paid for with after-tax dollars, it may make more sense to pay the premiums with 85cent dollars as compared to 65-cent dollars. Conversely, the marginal tax brackets of the corporation and shareholder employees can have an impact on the total cost of a selective benefit plan. Benefits provided to corporate employees on a selective basis generally are either tax-deductible by the corporation or are not currently taxable to the employee, but not both. As a

result, the relative impact of tax brackets should be considered in selecting a selective executive benefit plan that produces the most advantageous overall tax results. Impact of Tax Brackets on Buy-Sell Planning: Lower bracket corporation – If the corporation is in a lower tax bracket than the shareholders, a stock redemption buy-sell plan can be funded with enhanced dollars, since premiums are paid by the corporation. Higher bracket corporation – If the corporation is in a higher tax bracket than the shareholders, a cross purchase buy-sell plan may be more cost effective since premiums are paid with enhanced dollars by each shareholder. Impact of Tax Brackets on Executive Benefit Planning: Lower bracket corporation – When the corporation is

in a lower tax bracket, selective benefits that are non-deductible by the corporation and non-taxable to the shareholder-employee generally produce the better overall tax results. Higher bracket corporation – When the corporation is in a higher tax bracket, selective benefits that involve tax-deductible corporate payments are generally more advantageous, even if taxable to shareholder-employees.

Larry Rudwick is a business and relationship coach. For more information, visit where you can sign up for a free newsletter or listen to podcasts. Contact him through the website or call him for a free consultation at 571-331-6102.

Fiscal Fitness 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 or mike@

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Solutions Charles Kelly

Throw-away Society Old electronics need to be disposed of in the right way

You have drawers full of old cell phones, closets full of game systems and cameras that you haven’t used in years. You have your last three computers in the garage and at work there is an entire room dedicated to obsolete electronics. What in the heck are you supposed to do with all of this e-waste? Intuitively, you know that it’s a bad idea to throw these items in the trash and your intuition is quite correct as state after state is making it illegal to dispose of computers and other electronics in standard trash bins. In Georgia, it’s not illegal… yet, but it’s always been a bad idea for three reasons. First, much of this equipment is made with things like

hexavalent chromium, lead and cadmium, things which really don’t need to leech into our groundwater, ever. Second, proper recycling reuses almost 100 percent of the items at the elemental level, including even the plastics and glass. The third reason for proper recycling of electronics is the safety of your company or personal data. Tossing a company server or workstation into the dumpster is asking for trouble in ways you cannot imagine. Does your IT provider properly recycle your obsolete equipment? They should, but if they don’t, Computer Exchange does at each of its four locations and has been doing so since 2008. With the help of the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, we were able to design a safe, secure process to recycle, not only computer equipment, but most kinds of electronics with no cost to the end user. The reason we did this is that we have never been comfortable throwing electronics in a dumpster. In the beginning, with high metal values, it was a break-even proposition, but in the last two years with scrap prices plummeting, it has evolved into a net negative in terms of revenue, meaning that we had to decide whether or not to charge our customers for this service.

We decided to continue our “no fee” policy as a service to the CSRA community that has supported us for the last 20 years. We do have limits on amounts, especially at satellite locations, but with notice, we can process larger amounts. Most customers are comfortable with the fact that we pre-process everything that comes in and then work with reputable vendors that remove the electronic residue from our locked steel containers. So, what happens to all of this electronic debris? It goes to large plants where it is sorted and deconstructed to the point that what is left is separated then smelted for precious metals, ultimately ending up being used in that next device you purchase. In some cases we do remove an old device for display on our “motherboard” wall and to save in our archives. Currently, at the Washington Road location we have an IBM Jr, circa 1983, on display and working that we rescued from the recycle process. We also have committed to the Augusta Warrior Project to provide them with recycled computers for them to donate to veterans in need, a commitment that is very close to my heart. We are looking for computers and laptops that are “Vista” and above for this project.

Just before Christmas we had two daughters from different families bring in boxes and boxes of things from their fathers’ garages that contained hundreds of technology artifacts, dating from the late 1980s, things that I was familiar with. Our entire tech team gathered around, marveling at this ancient treasure, in bags and boxes, hundreds of items now obsolete, representing thousands of man hours as hardworking pioneers worked with new, unstable technology, day after day, year after year, doing their part to spread this new technology everywhere. Bring us your tired and old technology, your computers, your laptops, your cameras, your stereos, your flat TVs and pretty much anything that plugs in the wall that does not process food or laundry and we will put it where it belongs. For some photos see our Facebook page for Throwback Thursdays where we highlight an unusual electronic item that has come in that week.

The survey showed that a significant number of respondents are rightfully more concerned about being sued today than they were five years ago. Although we’ve been suggesting it to our clients for many years, statistics show that most homeowners – 63 percent – have never added a relatively inexpensive umbrella liability policy to protect themselves against this risk. What to do? If you’re uncertain about your cov-

erage or you don’t have an umbrella liability policy, call a reputable insurance agent today.

Charles Kelly is co-owner of Computer Exchange, with four locations in the CSRA: South Augusta, North Augusta, Martinez and Grovetown. Computer Exchange specializes in computer solutions for home and business. For answers to your computer questions, email him at

Business Insurance David Bagwell


Many don’t know what their insurance covers Sorry . . . that’s not covered by your insurance! In the past few month’s I’ve come across numerous articles highlighting the findings of new research by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. I found the report so shocking that I wanted to get the information to all the readers of Buzz on Biz. The NAIC survey revealed these alarming statistics about homeowner misunderstandings when it comes to common loss situations – none of which are covered by standard home insurance policies – such as: • 68 percent think vehicles such as cars, boats and motorcycles stolen from or damaged on their property are covered.

16 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

• 51 percent think damages from a break in the water line on their property supplying water to their home are covered. • 37 percent think damages due to a break in the sewer line on their property that connects to their municipal sewer system are covered. • 35 percent think damages from earthquakes are covered. • 34 percent think mold damage is covered. • 31 percent think termite damage or damages from other infestations are covered. • 22 percent think pets stolen from or injured on their property are covered. What you don’t know can hurt you! The more I read the survey results, the worse it gets. Too many homeowners don’t even understand what type of coverage their insurance provides. Twentyfour percent believe their home is covered for Actual Cash Value, 64 percent said Replacement Cost, and 12 percent had no idea at all. This is a very important distinction as Actual Cash Value represents only what it would cost to repair or replace damage to your home and contents “after” depreciation (in case you’re wondering, ACV coverage is generally not a good thing). Spend a little, save a lot

David Bagwell is Vice President of Bagwell Insurance. For more than 40 years they have been a family-owned and operated Independent Insurance Agency specializing in home, auto and business insurance. Their mission is to be the client’s trusted advisor for protection against the risks of economic loss. Contact David at

Goodwill expanding job center to Grovetown In an effort to expand its services to the citizens of the CSRA as the community grows, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA has purchased a parcel of land in the economically vibrant Gateway Center near Grovetown. Purchase of the two-acre parcel, located near the Gateway Center entrance on Partnership Drive, closed Thursday, Jan. 8. Goodwill is not disclosing the terms of the sale, but will have 60 days of due diligence to finalize plans for the site. The site is intended as a future home for a Job Connection center, providing job training, education and career development

services to residents of western Columbia County and Grovetown, one of the fastestgrowing areas in the CSRA. In addition, the facility to be built at the Gateway Center will include a convenient donation drivethrough supporting a Goodwill retail training store. The additions will bring to five the number of Job Connections in the CSRA, joining other centers in Augusta and Aiken; increasing the number of full- and part-time donation sites to 11; and expanding the number of Goodwill retail training stores westward to five. “Goodwill is very pleased to be part

of the exciting economic development of the Grovetown area and to support business, industry and Fort Gordon with forthcoming new human development programs,” said James Stiff, President of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA. Construction of the facility is expected to begin this spring, with a projected opening in late 2015. For information, email Barry Paschal, Goodwill Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, at bpaschal@, or call (706) 7261986.

Theater plans to break ground Ground will be broken in January for a new movie theater complex in Augusta, pending approval from the city’s Planning and Development Department. Georgia Theatre Co. will build the 14-theater complex across from Cabela’s in the Village at Riverwatch. The complex will include a restaurant and in-theater dining in some of the theaters. If ground is broken in January as planned, the theater is expected to open in the fall. It will employ about 50 people.

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Chamber looks to build on banner year in 2015 By Tammy Shepherd, President/CEO, Columbia County Chamber 2014 was a banner year for the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. We were awarded the 5-Star Accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This prestigious honor puts the Columbia County Chamber among the top 1 percent of chambers nationwide. Our number of members surpassed 900. We sponsored more programs and initiatives than ever before, helped businesses grow and thrive, provided a strong voice for the needs of the business community and worked with the public schools to train our future workforce. Now we ring in 2015 with more plans and an even greater drive to promote business and serve our business community. This month, I, along with several local leaders, will head to the ArCyber Town Hall at Fort Belvoir, Va., and Fort Meade, Md., where Cyber Command is now headquartered as it transitions to Fort Gordon. There we will meet with Cyber Command’s civilian employees to make presentations and provide resources about the Greater Augusta area in a town hall format. The goal is to attract these highly-skilled employees to relocate to Fort Gordon as those jobs are transferred. We want them to be excited about coming here! We’re already seeing a housing boom from the expansion at Fort Gordon.

Advocacy Even before the Georgia General Assembly convened this month, the Chamber’s Government Affairs committee was studying proposed legislation and discussing our priorities with lawmakers. In December, I met with our local delegation members to discuss the Chamber’s legislative priorities. These priorities include: Economic Development, Transportation and Infrastructure, Education/Technology/ Workforce Development, Taxes and Reform, Healthcare and Medical, and Water Management and Environment. Our efforts aren’t restricted to Columbia County. After all, what impacts one part of our region also impacts the entire region. For example, the Savannah River Site may be in Aiken County, but 1,400 of those employees live in Columbia County. Feb. 10 is Greater Augusta Day at the Capitol. Chamber members from Columbia County, Burke County and Augusta will travel to Atlanta to

Upcoming Chamber Events January 26 Chamber After Hours, 5 to 6 p.m. Queensborough National Bank 3617 Walton Way Ext., Augusta Members only, Reservations required No charge www.columbiacountychamber. com, 706-651-0018 meet with lawmakers and let them know our legislative priorities. The Leadership Columbia County class also will be at the Capitol that day. To be successful, we must take a regional approach to economic development. Then in April, representatives from the Columbia County, Greater Augusta, North Augusta and Aiken chambers will go to Washington to meet with our

representatives and key decision-makers to make sure they understand our priorities. This type of collaborative effort among the regional chambers will facilitate growth and bring new business and customers to our local businesses. 10th Annual Banquet & Red Carpet Gala On Feb. 20 we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Columbia County Chamber becoming its own Chamber. This is a milestone for us! As Columbia County has grown, we’ve grown with it by striving to be the best member-driven, business-focused organization possible. We will celebrate our history by recognizing those leaders who laid the foundation. We will add a Red Carpet Gala, complete with a band, dancing and a cocktail reception. Our annual banquet sells out every year, so if you would like to attend, visit our website at, or call 706-651-0018. Reservations are required.

Business Benefits Russell Head

Deadline Awaits Open health care enrollment ends soon, some rates go up With an end of the general open enrollment deadline looming upon us in a very short time (February 15th to be exact), we will soon have closure of three months of continued insurance change. While last year’s opening to closing of the new individual health insurance exchange (aka or the “marketplace”) saw many ups and downs, this year has been much easier to navigate. Have there been changes? Absolutely! However we must say the introduction of new products, plan designs and rates did not change the insurance carrier dominance of both Humana and BCBSSC within the CSRA. Assurant and United Healthcare both added products to the area exchange/marketplace offering but have had few takers with the heavy competition for enrollees. Humana has continued to increase market share due to its broad based local and national network, attractive plan designs and competitive rates. Humana continues to

18 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

provide network coverage with all four local Georgia hospitals and better than 98 percent of the area physicians participating. While specific Humana plan designs did see both single and double digit rate increases, we continue to see the Augusta market as one of the most competitive in Georgia. BCBSGA’s HMO offering provided the most competitive product on for Augusta area residents. The biggest downside for exchange enrollees would be the loss of the most preferred facility for many individuals – University Hospital. Perhaps just as important would be the omission of many local physician providers not included in their network as well. The off-exchange offering by BCBSGA is competitive and did include all area hospitals. BCBSSC has continued to be dominant across the river in the four bordering counties. Perhaps the real reason is access more so than price. Many individuals who live in Beech Island, North Augusta and Edgefield want access to Augusta network providers. BSBSSC continues to give them that choice, even though their pricing may be slightly higher than the Consumers Choice or Blue Choice HMO offering on the South Carolina side. Perhaps the biggest surprise for many consumers who had renewed their old pre-ACA grandfathered plans last year was the change to new ACA compliant plans upon renewal. Did they have a choice this year? The insurance carrier made that choice for many of their insureds this year. Not only did their plan

designs change but for many insureds it was the staggering 100 to 200 percent increase in premiums that was the most difficult pill to swallow. The more generous the plan benefit, the the more your plan rate increased. Even for those who had previously selected QHDHP’s with an HSA have seen their deductibles and premiums that sometimes are double. The individual health insurance market will continue to evolve year to year. The ultimate question is, Will it be sustainable? Can we continue to pay the double-digit increases year after year or will we see the introduction of new consumer-driven health plans

(CDHP) with limited high quality networks? Only time will tell – how long will we have to wait is the real question. Perhaps it might be longer than your bank account would like. For further explanation of the ACA/ PPACA provisions outlined in this article, please refer to the following resources:,, Russell T. Head is President/Managing Partner with Group & Benefits Consultants, Inc., Augusta’s largest, privately held, locally owned employee benefits consulting firm. He can be reached at 706-733-3459 or rthead@gandbc. com. Visit Group & Benefits Consultants at

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Career and Education Career Options

Buzz on Biz Career Expo puts right people with right jobs By Gary Kauffman Whether you’ve always dreamed of being a vice president of operations or a forklift driver, or you’re a company looking for those people, the chances are good that you’ll find what you’re looking for at Buzz on Biz’s Second Annual Career Expo on Feb. 12 at the Legends Club. “The Buzz on Biz job fair is by far the best job fair to find your skilled candidates and hard-to-find people,” said Isaac Kelly, business development/safety coordinator for Augusta Staffing Associates, which had a booth at the first expo in 2014. “This isn’t your average job fair – it’s where the best companies can really shake hands with the best applicants.” That’s exactly what Buzz on Biz founder Neil Gordon was hoping for when he launched the inaugural Career Expo last year. “We wanted to connect the right people with the right jobs,” Gordon said. “What better way than to let them all meet in person in one venue.” The first Career Expo didn’t go off without a hitch. It was originally scheduled for Feb. 13, 2014 – the day Ice Storm Pax dumped 2 inches of ice on the Augusta area. The Expo was rescheduled for the following Monday and was still deemed a success.

“Despite the change in plans, we still had a good turnout of high-quality job applicants,” Gordon said. The event is sponsored by Augusta Staffing Associates, GRU Talent Acquisition and WRDW Channel 12. A number of staffing agencies will be onhand seeking qualified candidates, including Augusta Staffing Associates, Accustaff, Acrux Staffing, Employment Express and GRU Talent Acquisition. A number of schools will also be onhand, with both job openings and education opportunities. Among those are Troy State Univerity, Southern Wesleyan University, Georgia Military College and Brenau University. Other companies with booths who are looking to fill job openings are Carole Fabrics, Advanced Services for Pest Control, Meybohm Realty, Jan-Pro, Comfort Inn and Suites, the Richmond County Board of Education, the U.S. Army and WRDW Channel 12. In addition to mingling with potential employers, job applicants will also have the opportunity to attend two seminars during the day. GRU Talent Acquisition will conduct a seminar on resume preparation and Augusta Staffing Associates will talk

Staffing agencies seek wide range of workers What positions are local staffing agencies looking to fill at Buzz on Biz’s Second Annual Career Expo? They are many and varied. “Skilled talent will be in demand but competition will also continue to be strong,” said Tom Moody, owner of Accustaff in Augusta. “Persons with STEM-related education will be in high demand, especially with the continued skills gap in the available workforce pool.” Isaac Kelly of Augusta Staffing Associates has seen strong hiring in the area the past three years, and expects 2015 to continue that trend. He sees a continued demand for management positions. “We’re constantly hiring for middle and upper management,” Kelly said. “The ones we see getting the jobs do come to the plate with the experience (sometimes not in that company’s specific industry) and have a positive, people-friendly, and balanced personality. Companies are hiring for 60 percent for who you are and 40 percent for what you’ve done.” Both hourly and salaried positions are available. Hourly positions tend to range from $10-$20 an hour and salaried positions from $50,000-$90,000. Some positions staffing companies are currently looking for: • Mechanical Assembly

20 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

• Warehouse/Machine Operator • Medical Administration • Contact Center • V.P. of Operations • Commercial Insurance Representative • Senior Accountant • Collections Analyst • Field Structural Engineer • Weld Program Coordinator • Inventory Planning Leader • Quality Safety Trainer • Inventory Plan & Demand Analyst • Design Engineer • Bilingual Customer Support (Medical Environment) • Production MIG Welder • Production Supervisor • Faculty • Administration • Management • Nurses • Health-related positions • Forklift operators • Machine Operators • Non-skilled Laborers (Local carpentry/ construction) • CDL Class A Drivers • Residential Plumbing Tech • Administrative Assistant (with Quickbooks and/or SAP exp) • Kitchen Stewards for a golf club • Customer Service

Robert Kelly of Augusta Staffing talks with an attendee at the 2014 Expo.

about the growing world of online job applications. “There are right ways and wrong ways on how to submit a resume document,” Kelly said. “I’m going to tell you what no one else will take the time to tell you

about the online application process and how to master online forms.” For more information about the Buzz on Biz Career Expo, visit buzzon. biz or call Neil Gordon at 706-589-6727 or Janine Garropy at 803-480-2800.

Three tips that will make your resume grab attention If you are one of the many hoping to get a career boost this year, Julie Goley, Director of Career Services at Georgia Regents University, suggests the following makeover tips for your resume: Know your audience. Consider studying the work environment of your potential employer first to avoid having your resume completely rejected. Write about what you bring to the table that makes you the best candidate for that environment. So, while there is nothing wrong with having a creative resume, focus more on the content. Furthermore, many companies today prefer applicants to submit their resumes online, eliminating the need for special trends and tricks on a printed resume. Tell your story. No one can tell your story better than you, and the cover

letter is still the best place to share accomplishments that will show how you will add value to the company. Target the section reserved for your professional experience to not only list your work history, but add in a few sentences highlighting those roles that are unique to your skill set.   Be sure to also include buzzwords that your next employer values. This will help highlight the impact of your work. Never stop updating. As you reflect on your career accomplishments this year, be sure to add this new information to your resume. Even if you are not actively searching for a new position, keep your resume current. This will not only help you focus on the work that is getting you results, but it is a great way to keep track of your successes.

Education opportunities at Expo The Buzz on Biz Career Expo isn’t just for those looking for work. There will also be plenty of opportunities for those who want to further their education. “We are recruiting for graduate and undergraduate programs,” said Jason Norton, exhibitor and Regional Director for Southern Wesleyan University in North Augusta.

He said SWU offers degrees in Business Administration, Human Services and General Studies. In addition, they have graduate programs in business (MBA and MSM) and for teachers (MEd). In addition to SWU, Troy State University, Brenau University and Georgia Military College will also be represented at the Expo.

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Career and Education Praying for Sun February is a key time for companies, potential hires

Thursday, Feb. 12 is a big day for the Buzz on Biz Career Expo. I’ve been praying to the man upstairs and getting regular reports from Career Expo sponsor WRDW and Chief Meteorologist Shane Butler.  The chant and prayers are simple: “Sunny and 65 degrees, please!” Despite last year’s “Icepocalypse” on  Feb. 13 (the day our first expo was scheduled), “the show went on” and was moved to President’s Day the following  Monday. A few hundred career-oriented job seekers got the word, switched plans and braved the wintry residue to participate in our first event. We’re planning on at least double the number of attendees this year. So, despite wintry risks, why pick February? It’s the key time of the year for employers and schools to seek candidates looking to make a change and it’s a good time for employers who are disbursing a “fresh pot of money” to grow their companies. This year we’ll add a few different elements. For vendors, we’ll host a breakfast a few hours before we open the doors at the Legends Club to job applicants. Since the core of our business is business to business, we want to offer a

22 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

structured opportunity for our exhibitors and sponsors to “break bread” with their colleagues and develop or re-kindle relationships. On the applicant side, we are working on a digital sign-in system to gather everyone’s information at check-in to register them for prizes and to provide clear information to our exhibitors. We’re also pleased to have GRU’s Talent Acquisition Department deliver some workshops along with our returning VP sponsor, Augusta Staffing. GRU will focus on your resume and review best practices and “no-no’s.” Isaac Kelly of Augusta Staffing will hone in on do’s and don’ts of on-line applications. We have a limited number of booth spaces available as of this writing, so if you’d like to be part of this exciting opportunity to meet some great potential employees, contact Janine Garropy at 803-248-2800 right away. 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.

GRU, USC Aiken among best for online nursing programs Two CSRA online nursing programs have been ranked in the top 100 nationally in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs. GRU College of Nursing ranked 31st in the nation for its Online Graduate Nursing Program, while USC Aiken was listed 65th for its Online Undergraduate Nursing Program. USC Aiken also ranked second in South Carolina. “Our online nursing program is for RNs wishing to earn a BSN,” said Dr. Thayer McGahee, Interim Dean of the GRU School of Nursing. “Students admitted to this program already have their RN license (after earning an associate degree or diploma), and they are able to complete the program and earn their BSN in one calendar year. Our student body is characterized by excellence, diversity, caring, and commitment.” GRU’s ranking was a significant rise. Last year it had been 75th best. “The sharp rise in rankings reflects a growing awareness of GRU

excellence in online graduate nursing education,” said Dr. Lucy Marion, Dean of the Georgia Regents University College of Nursing. “We’ve entered our eighth decade as a college with a focus on investments in the future, including a new generation of faculty, increased partnerships, new technologies, and joint degree programs.” In addition to the nursing program, USC Aiken also ranked number 125 in the nation for it graduate education technology program, and number 2 in the state of South Carolina. The Master’s Degree in Educational Technology is designed to provide advanced professional studies in graduate level coursework to develop capabilities essential to the effective design, evaluation, and delivery of technology-based instruction and training (e.g., software development, multimedia development, assistive technology modifications, web-based development, and distance learning).

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Career and Education Missie Usry

When Will I Use It? Learning algebra will have practical applications in life

Often students ask, “Why do I have to learn about algebra? I’ll never use it again.” They think it is unnecessary if it is not directly related to the career field with which they have chosen. Admittedly, I am not a math person, but it was my algebra teacher, Mr. Art Mark, at Georgia Military College, who showed me that algebra has practical and applicable uses. He defended learning algebra because we use it in many ways throughout our day, but commonly just don’t recognize it. For example, formulas are a part of our lives. When we take a road trip, we may have to calculate time and dis-

24 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

tance to determine stopping for gas or what time to get to the airport without missing a flight. When we are in the kitchen cooking, even simple tasks like reading a recipe card means we exercise order of operation. Algebra teaches us problem solving and critical thinking too. One has to be able to look at family income to determine a budget, choose the best deal for mortgage rates, measure the floors to order enough carpet for our house, or review the best cell phone contract for the money. Then there’s the thing we don’t want to admit out loud – our kids need our help with math homework. Yikes! Dare we spend our hard-earned money on a tutor? These every day decisions and tasks require a strong skill in algebra. Even when we don’t think algebra is applicable to our work, it often is. You see, one doesn’t have to be a scientist or engineer to use more complex math than addition and subtraction. In the workplace, we are sometimes required to figure out cost, price or profit for a business. Presentations require graphs, charts and statistical data to demonstrate growth or a need for change. Perhaps our job is in the marketing field where we have to determine demand for a product. All of

this is calculated through algebraic models and processes. See, we do need algebra! It saves us time, money, and unnecessary problems when we have a practical understanding of its use. The next time you hear someone gripe about an algebra class, you can now defend it. It’s there every day, right in our face, even when we may not know it.

The Southern Association of Colleges accredits Georgia Military College and Schools, which means that all credit earned at the institution is transferable to other accredited schools. Missie Usry heads up the Admissions department and advises the Community Involvement Club at Georgia Military College’s Augusta campus. For questions about Georgia Military College, call 706.993.1123 or visit our website at www.

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Health and Fitness Katie Silarek

What is Your Why?

You can help your employees reach their health resolutions It is the start of a New Year, a New Beginning! The start of a new resolution or the restart of the same resolution we all have to get fit and/or lose weight. And that is awesome! But the question we have to ask is, “What are we going to do reach this resolution and make it an unconscious habit?” Yes, I said “unconscious habit” – when we have been so consistent with creating healthy habits we don’t have to even think about what our next meal will be or when we will get in a workout or how we are going to handle going out for dinner with friends without destroying our resolution. The average American spends 30 percent of their week working. As a business owner, office manager or supervisor, what can you do to ensure our employees success in their resolutions? Why is this important? Because last year the annual medical costs doubled, coming in at $190 billion in the United States alone. The Mayo Clinic found obese workers cost employers more and more as the weight of their employees increased – as much as $5,530 per year for someone who has a 40 percent or higher BMI. I have been in my profession for more than four years and, unfortunately, 40 percent BMI is very common. An

individual does not have to look obese to have this high of a BMI. So what can you as a leader in your company do to help your employees stay on track? • Have an Open Door Policy. Let your employees know that you care about the goals they have set out to reach. For the ones who want to make healthy choices, as a leader you can be their accountability at work, someone they look up to everyday. Ask them, “What is your why?” When someone speaks aloud their goal that have now publicized it. • Build a Rolodex of health professionals. Publicize the names and contact information of a reputable personal trainer, organizing health coach, financial planner, life coach – all the people who can help you and others stay on track with the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and financial commitments we have to make when keeping our resolutions. • Remind employees of incentives. Many insurance providers offer incentives for healthy lifestyle choices. Several offer gym membership reimbursements and rebates on premiums. • Healthy Lifestyle Challenge! Create a challenge program that has everyone competing with themselves, not each other. Remember, these are their fitness resolution. And don’t call it “Biggest Loser” – nobody wants to be called a loser. If someone is working hard toward a goal they are a winner! • Create a walking club during the last 10 minutes of lunch hour where employees walk outside, climb the stairs or do a mini group workout in a safe exercise space. • Remember that when having a catered lunch to include healthy op-

tions for those who are working on a goal. Offer two mini breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, for a mental break and to breathe fresh air. This increases productivity and creates a positive result for the company and employees. “It is the possibility of a dream coming true that makes life interesting.” – The Alchemist A goal gets you excited and motivated. Reaching your goal should be a grand celebration but enjoy the journey of reaching your goal. Reward your employees and/or yourself for reaching milestones along the way.

If you would like to start a Healthy Lifestyle Challenge at your Business or would like for me to come speak during a lunch hour contact me at 706-5894113 or Katie Silarek has been a personal trainer for four years and is the owner of Be Bella Fitness Boutique in Martinez. She became interested in fitness after struggling to get back in shape after the birth of her youngest child. Her goal is to help people develop training plans and to live healthy lifestyles. She wants to inspire men and women who don’t know where to start, what to do or are scared to fail. For more information, call her at 706-589-4113.

10 questions to ask before joining a gym Losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions after the gluttony of the holiday season. If you’re pledging to lose some pounds this year by joining a gym, the Better Business Bureau recommends asking ten questions before signing on the dotted line. In 2014 alone, the BBB received more than 7,000 complaints about gyms and health clubs, putting the industry in the top list of most complained about businesses. Regardless of how eager you are to start losing weight in the New Year, take the time to do your research before joining a gym and don’t give in to high-pressure sales pitches. Always check the health club out with your Better Business Bureau, inspect the facilities closely and read the contract carefully, making sure that all of the promises are in print. BBB recommends asking the gym and yourself the following 10 questions before

26 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

signing up for a membership: Questions to ask the gym: What are the terms of any introductory offers? Gyms often use special introductory offers to lure in new members. Just make sure you understand the terms and what the price will be once the introductory period is over. Will my membership renew automatically? Every year, BBB receives a large number of complaints from people who joined a gym and didn’t realize that their contract would renew automatically and that they would have to take specific steps to cancel their contract. How can I get out of my contract? Getting out of a gym contract isn’t always as easy as getting into one so make sure you understand what steps you would need to take to cancel your membership.

What happens if I move? Gyms have any number of different policies when it comes to how moving will affect your membership. It might depend on how far away you’re moving and if they have other locations nearby. What happens if you go out of business? BBB often receives complaints from people after their gym suddenly closed up shop and took their money with them. Ask the gym to explain what will happen to your money if they suddenly go out of business. Questions to ask yourself: What are my fitness goals? Determining your fitness goals in advance will help you select a facility that is most appropriate for you. If you have a serious health condition, consult with a medical professional when setting your fitness goals. Is this location convenient? If the gym is across town, you’ll be less

likely to workout. Choose a fitness club that is convenient to work or home so the location is not a deterrent to getting exercise. Can I really afford this every month? Monthly gym fees add up and, after any introductory periods are over, the price could jump higher than your budget can handle. Do the math before you join and make sure you can afford a gym membership. Am I feeling pressured to join? Do not give in to high-pressure sales tactics to join right away. A reputable gym will give you enough time to read the contract thoroughly, tour the facilities and make an informed decision. Did I get everything in writing? Read the contract carefully and make sure that all verbal promises made by the salesperson are in writing. What matters is the document you sign, so don’t just take a salesperson’s word for it.

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Humor Nora Blithe

The Great Chase

Uncle aids police in crazy chase to start his day “The craziest thing happened to my dad on his way to work the other morning,” my cousin April confided in me. I wasn’t surprised. My uncle David has a way of find-

ing crazy. It’s probably why I like him so much. We can relate. “He was standing in line at the gas station to buy his cup of coffee,” she went on. “For 20 years, Dad has gone to the same gas station to buy a cup of coffee every single morning. “Never mind that there are closer gas stations or better gas stations. Never mind that that part of town has gone downhill in the last few years. He always goes there, without fail. If he ever goes missing the cashier at that gas station will probably be the first to notice. “He is standing in line and he looks up and he notices a guy grab a bunch of things and run out of the store! This guy is stealing from the store! So he says to the cashier, ‘That guy just stole from you.’ “The cashier was young and looked like a deer in the headlights so Dad decided he’d have to take matters into his own hands.

Business Lunch Review Wrap ‘Em Up Crepes Alexandrea Daitch

That’s a Wrap

North Augusta restaurant serves delicious crepes, soup If you’re looking for a quick bite to eat during your busy work schedule, just take a short drive across the Savannah to a new savory restaurant called Wrap ‘Em Up Crepes. The small building is located near the North Augusta city building, next to the Shell station. It is easily accessible from both downtown Augusta and North Augusta. The atmosphere is quaint. They have a small amount of seating inside, bar seating and outdoor seating. It is not a typical sit down restaurant – you order and pay at the bar and then the staff delivers

28 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

the food to you. The staff is polite and welcoming. They greeted us when we entered, thanked us for coming in and even thanked us when we left. The entire atmosphere is delightful, except not designed for business meetings. The tables are a little too close and small, and the noise level a bit too loud for much of a business meeting. To me, Wrap ‘Em Up Crepes is designed more as a “let’s take a break from work and go have some delicious food.” Speaking of delicious food, that is what you’ll get at Wrap ‘Em Up Crepes. We were there for lunch and found a wide variety of lunch crepes, but they also serve breakfast crepes and even sweet dessert crepes. With that variety, one can’t go wrong. I ordered the Zesty Q crepe, while my colleagues chose the Billy Bob, and the Hoppin’ Joe. They also got potato soup while I stuck with the original side the meals come with, a tomato salad. According to my colleagues the potato soup was delicious but lacked in thickness. I was ecstatic with my choice of the Zesty Q. The rich flavors combined a zesty ranch sauce with pork tenderloin and kale, topped with cheese. It made me so happy to eat it.

“He jumps in his truck and follows the guy. The guy was on foot and Dad was in the truck so he had no trouble following him. Down the road they go. Fortunately, the cashier called the cops. Dad sees the cops pull up and he thinks, ‘Ok, they’ve got him. I can go to work now.’ “The cop hops out of his car and starts chasing the guy. Well, wouldn’t you know they sent the fattest cop on the force? Dad thinks, ‘There is no way this cop is going to catch that guy. No way!’ Dad realizes he can’t leave yet. “He stomps on the gas pedal, catches up to the guy, opens his door and grabs him by the shirt! He holds on until the police officer catches up. The guy flops on the ground and the cop sits on him so Dad thinks, ‘No way that guy is getting away now with that fat cop sitting on top of him. Now, I can leave.’ “His good citizen deed is done for the

day and he has just enough time to get to work before he’s late when he realizes something.” “What,” I interjected. “Did he tear his shirt? He has to go home and change?” “No, even better,” she grinned. “He forgot to pay for his coffee.” 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

The Zesty Q crepe with salad

I also decided to try their homemade lemonade. I’m always hesitant to try homemade lemonade because everyone is particular about the right proportions of water, sugar and lemon. To my surprise, though, it was quite delicious. As we were eating we saw a dessert crepe come out of the kitchen. I swear my mouth began to water immediately.

Unfortunately, we all had to get back to the office, but I am definitely going back to try one of those next time. Wrap ‘Em Up Crepes has only been around for a short time and serves great food, has quick service, polite staff and is reasonably priced. If you are looking for a quick getaway from the office or a great weekend lunch place, this is the place to go.

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Sports and Leisure Glenn Campbell

Daytona Days

NASCAR’s biggest event comes first in season

In most professional sports, the biggest event of the year is at the end of their season. However, NASCAR racing is not your typical professional sport and its biggest event is the first one on the schedule. NASCAR teams have rolled into Daytona International Speedway to kick off the 2015 season with the running of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 22. Most race fans are familiar with the traditions of the sport but Daytona is on a totally different level than any other track on the circuit. I’ve been in attendance at Daytona since the early 1960s in one capacity or another. I’ve covered it as a reporter for the last 22 seasons and I can tell you that there is no other place like Daytona. Built under the supervision of NASCAR founder William France Sr. in 1958, Daytona held its first event

Photo Credit: Daytona International Speedway

in 1959 with Lee Petty edging out Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish that took three days to reach a decision. Not only was the race finish a first of its kind, the Daytona track itself was an engineering marvel. France had wanted the turns on his 2.5 mile superspeedway banked high enough for the race cars to reach maximum speeds and give the fans a clear view of racing all the way around the circuit. This design presented several challenges for the construction team. The turns were banked 31 degrees which was too steep for conventional paving equipment. So, a tethered grading system was developed to allow the

Men’s Refinery, Inside Drive partner for unique experience If you’ve ever wanted to get in a quick round of golf while waiting for a haircut and a shave, you’ll soon have that chance in downtown Augusta. The owners of Men’s Refinery BarberSpa and The Inside Drive are partnering their businesses to offer a unique experience in golf and grooming. Shelley Craft, owner of Men’s Refinery, moved from her location in Jackson Square in North Augusta in October to make way for University Health Care’s Prompt Care. She is renovating a 4,000-square-foot building at 953 Jones Street in the Lafayette building behind the Family Y. She already offered a unique service for men – haircuts, shaves, manicures and pedicures and “The Gentleman’s Facial” – but she wanted to add something more. That’s when Brad Pond, owner of The Inside Drive, entered the picture. The Inside Drive is a concept he has been developing

30 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

for three years. He has two indoor golf simulators to give golfers the chance to play on 50 courses. Customers of Men’s Refinery can play the courses for 20 minutes while waiting for their treatment, making it the “Ultimate Man Cave.” In addition to being able to play while waiting, The Inside Drive is also available for private rental during Masters week, corporate rentals and for clinics and golf lessons. The move allows Craft to offer more services. “We used to have four barber chairs and we will add two more to meet demand,” she said. Craft expects the new location to be open by Valentine’s Day. Pond and Craft have also crafted packages that focus on either Men’s Grooming or Golf or combination packages. To purchase as a Valentine’s gifts or to learn more about the businesses, visit or www.

workers to keep the paving equipment from sliding down the banking when they laid the asphalt. Another question that I’ve been asked is why there is a lake in the middle of the racing grounds. Lake Lloyd was also a result of the highly banked turns. Construction workers had to move dirt from the middle of the property to build up the 31 degree bankings which created a large hole in the middle of the infield. With the high water table in the Daytona area, the hole quickly filled up with water. Instead of trying to figure a way to fix that problem, France decided to incorporate the lake into the overall amenities of the complex. He stocked

the lake with fish and began to hold fishing tournaments and boat racing events to help fund the construction of his superspeedway. Bill Elliott holds the fastest qualifying lap around the speedway at over 210 miles per hour which was set back in 1987. Dale Earnhardt Sr. holds the most overall wins at the facility but only won the 500 once. Earnhardt’s son, Dale Jr., won last year’s event and his car owner Rich Hendrick summed up what it like to win Daytona when asked the question after the race. “This race is so big and it is our Super Bowl. A win here will carry your team the rest of the season,” said Hendrick on what it means to win the Daytona 500. Winning 2014 crew chief Steve Latarte added his feelings also about what it is like to win the 500. “Any race they decide when you win it, you’re the champion of the event, not the winner of the event, it kind of sets it apart. That’s really what this is all about.” Who will win this year’s NASCAR Super Bowl is yet to be decided but you can rest assured that there will be 43 drivers trying to add their name to the “Race Champion” category. Glenn Campbell is a syndicated columnist and radio and TV show host. For more information, visit

Hayes Marine sold, now Waterfront Marine

A job offer in another state has brought about the sale of a successful marine business. Hayes Marine on Lake Thurmond will now be known as Waterfront Marine after Travis and Cathy Hayes sold the business to Jon and Gina Gridley. The Hayes have operated the business since 2007 and it is the only Marine 5-Star Certified business in the Augusta area. It was a Boating Industry magazine’s Top 100 Dealer six consecutive years. Cathy Hayes, a pharmaceutical representative, has commuted weekly to Wilmington, Del., for nearly two years. When she was offered a job with AstraZeneca in Wilmington, the Hayes decided to move there. The Gridleys owned a sea-tow business on Clarks Hill, Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair, an AAA-type business on the water that offered towing assistance and repairs for disabled boats. Buying Hayes Marine was a good fit to extend his business. The Gridleys will receive all the tools,

equipment, accessories, intellectual property and customer lists in the transaction. The three full-time employees will remain, and Travis Hayes will continue for a short time during the transition. “When you work with the company for eight years you have emotional investment so I’ll stay on for several weeks and work with Jon and customers to ensure all goes smoothly in January and February,” Travis Hayes said. “We have good processes in place and are profitable.” Hayes’ grandfather, Paul, started a marine business in the 1950s, and Hayes’ father, Bob, continued it. Travis was an engineer with Mercury Marine before buying an existing dealership on June 30, 2007 and continuing his father’s legacy. Hayes has retained the right to the name Hayes Marine. He and his wife hope to return to the Augusta area in the future. The new Waterfront Marine is located at 5580 Marine Parkway, Appling, and retains the same telephone number, 706541-9111.

Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015 Buzz on Biz


32 Buzz on Biz Jan. 15-Feb. 18, 2015

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