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Summer Services Directory

July 27-Aug. 30, 2017 • The CSRA’s monthly business Magazine

Pages 25-31

Preliminary work for a five-story Hyatt House hotel in the 1200 block of Broad Street is just one sign of the growth happening in downtown Augusta. Photo by Gary Kauffman

Legacy Company Sees Old Becoming New Again By Neil Gordon

The old is becoming new again in the real estate world, and one company well positioned to take advantage of that is one of Augusta’s oldest companies. Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate Co. is on the verge of the century mark, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2018. Company leaders are thinking of hiring a historian to document its years in the city. Blanchard and Calhoun’s commercial real estate business is booming and so is downtown Augusta. The firm oversees hundreds of thousands of square feet of space in downtown Augusta. “It’s all about exposed wood, brick and

creating an open, industrial feel,” Davis Beman, vice president and director of Commercial Real Estate, said of the oldis-new trend. He points to restaurants such as Farmhaus, open offices including Wier/Stewart and mixed-use facilities in different phases of operation including the Enterprise, Sibley and King mills Blanchard and Calhoun’s origins are on Eighth and Broad in the building now occupied by SRP. Currently they share space at 699 Broad St. with other tenants they manage, including Augusta University, which has its name on the See REAL ESTATE on Page 2

Downtown Growth Has Augusta Feeling Good By Joe Hotchkiss

The Augusta Chronicle This should give you an idea of the demand for downtown Augusta property. When word spread that the Family Y of Greater Augusta was merely thinking about putting its Downtown Y building at 945 Broad St. up for sale, three interested buyers approached the Y unsolicited. At that time, the Y didn’t even have a real-estate agent. It’s just one example of how downtowns nationwide are attracting new interest. In the past few decades, many downtowns suffered the effects of post-World War II development, which saw fami-

lies moving to the suburbs with retailers following. Cities were casting about for magic bullets to reinvigorate their urban centers. Now, people and developers across the country are rediscovering downtowns for their own reasons. In Augusta, local development experts see a unique set of circumstances intersecting in its increasingly thriving downtown. It includes a strong highereducation sector, diverse employers, changing residential and business trends, and what Augusta University President Brooks Keel has described as the city’s See DOWNTOWN on Page 8


Real estate Continued from Page 1 former Wells Fargo building. When Blanchard and Calhoun started in 1918, it was common for Augustans to live, work and play downtown. Some business owners lived where they worked, with the business occupying the first floor or two and the family living in the rest of the building. Beman sees that coming back. Sanford, Bruker & Banks at 931 Broad St. is one such company, and others may follow. In addition to the commercial ventures, Beman also oversees a portfolio of 1,500 residential units to lease. He may partner with developers to build and manage hundreds more in downtown Augusta to accommodate the influx of cyber employees and students. “We’ll need 800-1,200 units eventually in downtown Augusta,” said Beman. He says Augusta won’t be too far behind Savannah and Greenville, which he says each have more than 1,500 downtown units to lease. Beman’s team manages more than 1 million feet of commercial space and their footprint stretches well beyond downtown Augusta with strong developments going on in Thomson, Grovetown and other pockets of the CSRA. Beman’s team also occupies another building on Davis Road, which helps it stay centrally located with their other clients. The consulting part of Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial is also growing as its team does in-depth site selection studies to help buyers understand that when they move or expand, the old adage of “location, location, location” really matters. Blanchard and Calhoun recently got creative with its TaxSlayer client, suggesting it move into the old Family Y on Broad Street and undertake the necessary renovations. In another instance, Your Pie’s rapid growth at its North Augusta location led it to hire Blanchard and Calhoun to find two more locations, which it did in the soon-to-be built Plaza at Evans Town Center and across from the busy Gateway Shopping Center in growing Grovetown. Perhaps the best example of its service is related to another client, Scottrade. The online financial trading consultant was interested in the strip center behind the Chick-fil-A in Augusta Exchange. “They told us, we need to be there,” said Beman. But his analysis and knowledge of the area proved otherwise.

2 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

Blanchard and Calhoun will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2018. Their original location is now an SRP Federal Credit Union on 8th and Broad. At top an early photo of George Blanchard.

“Because the building behind the restaurant is perpendicular, visibility is tough and would have cost Scottrade more in advertising,” he said Also, Scottrade’s typical client is a professional male, 30-50 years old, not the female shoppers who make up the majority of the Exchange’s customers. Beman suggested the Washington Walk Shopping Center, anchored by Kroger, and the client’s been happy ever since. It gives the office a location on Washington Road near I-20 with some foot traffic. Beman says a growing trend in the CSRA is the increased leasing of flex space. The firm leases about a third of its commercial space for a combination office and warehouse use because it’s less expensive. “Service businesses will continue to do well,” he added. “You can’t get a haircut online. It’s why most every strip center has a nail salon.” He says professional offices are shrinking, with more storage in the cloud and more people telecommuting. “Space has been culled down to more usable bodies in the office,” he said. Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial will take time to cut the cake next year at the 100th anniversary party – if only for a moment, so it can catch up to all of the growth ahead in the CSRA.

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Unique ‘Foodie’ Businesses Thrive in CSRA By NEIL GORDON

Chef Darrin West used to create delicious meals for customers of Augusta institutions including Cadwalladers, French Market West and Roux’s Catering. In July, he cooked for our family, courtesy of my cousin Larry Rudwick, who was here for his consulting business and decided to treat us. I know why Chef West calls his startup business “Darrin’s Pantry.” He brought everything but the kitchen sink, and that’s about all we provided from our home. He had skillets, spices, salmon, chicken and vegetables, couscous and all his special cutlery. Normally, I don’t like eggplant and my wife dislikes mushrooms. With Darrin’s seasoning and other traditional veggies mixed in, his medley that included those was magnifico. His poached salmon was the best I have ever eaten. From a business standpoint, he’s onto something. He didn’t have the capital to develop a brick-and-mortar restaurant or catering facility. However, he is licensed to operate his business onsite. He’s gotten creative and is perfecting another idea of his – the “pop-up” restaurant. He’s done “Chef ’s Table” five-course meals at the local bed and breakfast, “The Painted Lady,” in Olde Town. Course by course he brings out the food and shares his ingredients and recipe for success.

Chef Darren, at left, enjoyed his own cooking with the Gordons and Neil’s cousin Larry. The poached salmon dish was as soft as butter, surrounded by couscous and a vegetable medley. Photos by Melissa Gordon.

He also travels to Lake Oconee weekly to cook and meal-prep for a family’s weekly needs. He’d like to help more busy businesspeople and families. We enjoyed his private dining experience and think you may, too. Reach him at (762) 218-3534 or darrins.pantry@hotmail.com. Another mobile food business is about to grow into a brick-and-mortar space after having success at the Farmers Market in Augusta with 80 flavors of French desserts. The business is owned by the Smith family, and they franchised the name,

concept and recipes from a friend in Atlanta. Their story is on page 53. They say they will be leasing space next to Your Pie, an exploding, Subway-like “pick-yourtopping” pizza franchise with a thriving location in North Augusta. Read about Your Pie’s expansion efforts in our popular “Comings and Goings” section, along with thesad closing of an iconic, local steakhouse and deli after nearly 45 years of combined service. Also, our independent food critic, Susan O’Keefe, taste-tested The Boll Weevil to see if you should revisit it for your next business meeting. Bon appétit!

Features Downtown Y Getting New Home................. 4 YMCA relocation will take advantage of riverfront area Buzz Bits.................................................. 6, 44 Openings, Closings................................. 7, 45 Upcoming Events.................................. 14, 15 Finding Money and Advice........................ 20

Two longtime non-profits band together to help CSRA businesses grow

Businessperson of the Month.................... 22 Lisa Wilson of G.L. Williams and Daughter Trucking finds herself in a unique position in a male-dominated field. Summer Services Directory....................... 25 Local Starbucks Becoming Venti............... 47 Augusta’s Starbucks manufacturing plant will expand and add 100 jobs. Ice Cream Dreams....................................... 48 Scott and Suzanne Fanning’s answered prayers have them owning the Pink Dipper.

Columnists Kurt Mueller: Be Prepared if Partner’s Interests are Jeopardized..........10 Christine Hall: Employ These Tips to Keep Vital Information Safe........12 Russell Head: Form created to Help with Benefits.....................................12 Mark Alison: The Less You Say, the Better Your Message Sounds.........16 Dagan Sharpe: Leadership can be Developed with Key Attributes.....18 Ed Enoch: State Legislature Changes rules for Powers of Attorney.....24 Brandon McCrillis: Could Cyber Insurance Become Mandatory?..........24 Billy Cristofanelli: A Parent’s Survival Guide to Food and Fitness.........38 Mark Stephens: Dispelling Myths about Cost Segregation....................40

Gary Kauffman: Tips to Help Business Owners Live Out Faith...............42 Randy Elvidge: In Forensics, Even the Teacher Becomes a Student.....46 Mike Herrington: An Annuity can Provide Long-Term Security............46 John Pope: Google Returns to Their Old Ranking Tactics........................47 Tony Creighton: Clean Exterior Adds Value When Selling a Home......50 Samantha Taylor: People can Achieve Dreams Despite Disabilities....50 Onnie Sanford: Switching to Healthy Diet Creates Positive Changes.52 Ben Casella: Thirst-Quenching Brews Flavor Summer Activities...........52 Susan O’Keefe: Mouth-Watering Meals, Treats at Boll Weevil................54

Neil Gordon is the founder and publisher of Buzz on Biz, which includes a daily TV segment on News 12 This Morning at 6:25 a.m., a daily radio show from noon to 1 p.m. on 1630 AM, a weekly e-newsletter and www.buzzon.biz. Reach him at 706.589.6727 or neil@buzzon.biz.

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 $49 (includes sales tax) to cover postage to the address below. Publisher: Neil Gordon Editor In Chief: Gary Kauffman Layout: Riverfront Design Center Ad Building: E35 Media Photography: Gary Kauffman, Melissa Gordon, Neil Gordon, Jessica Jones Sales Manager: Neil Gordon,neil@buzzon.biz, 706.589.6727 Sales\PR: Jessica Jones,jessica@buzzon.biz, 762.218.0239 Distribution: Kenneth Brown, Jessica Jones Opinions expressed by the writers herein are their own and their respective institutions. Neither Morris Publishing Group nor its agents or employees take any responsibility for the accuracy of submitted information, which is presented for informational purposes only. Like us on Facebook @ facebook.com/buzz-on-biz Follow us on Twitter @BuzzonBiz 604 Government Center Way, Evans, GA 30809

July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Downtown Y Getting New Home, New Name by Jan. 1 By Gary Kauffman

When the New Year rolls around, the downtown YMCA will have a new home and a new name. Danny McConnell, president and CEO of the Family Y, made the announcement July 17 in the lobby of Discovery Plaza, home of Unisys and formerly Fort Discovery, on Reynolds Street. “We chose to have this press conference in Discovery Plaza because as soon as the renovations are done, this will be our new home,” he said. Unisys occupies half of the first floor; the Y will take over the east half of the floor. McConnell promised an aggressive renovation schedule. Services in the current facility will end Dec. 31 and the new facility will open on Jan. 1, 2018. After announcing the new location, McConnell had one more surprise – a name change. When the facility opens in January it will be known as Riverfront YMCA. “Augusta’s riverfront has always had an outstanding look,” McConnell said. “With Cyber University and all the dollars now being invested in the downtown, we believe Augusta’s riverfront will be the front porch to it all.” The new location became necessary after TaxSlayer purchased the building on Broad Street that has housed the Y for the past six years. The Y decided to find a new location because renovation costs to the current building would have exceeded $5 million. Katie Duncan, vice president of marketing for the Family Y, said four or five other venues “within a stone’s throw” had been considered before settling on Discovery Plaza. After renovations in Discovery Plaza, the new YMCA facility will house a 5,800-square-foot cardio and weight-training area with a wall of glass overlooking the Savannah River and a separate large facility for group activities. The new location also opens up possibilities for outdoor activities and possibly

Finally a Place to Park

Family Y members doing cardio or weight training will enjoy a view of the river through a wall of glass in the future home of the downtown YMCA. Photos by Gary Kauffman

One of the key additions to the new downtown YMCA facility in Discovery Plaza will be parking. Members will have access to the building’s parking garage. The current facility had no parking available other than on the street, which frequently created issues for members. Katie Duncan, vice president of marketing for the Family Y, said adequate parking means employees of downtown businesses could even work out during their lunch hours. “It’ll be easier to come and get a quick workout and get back to work,” she said. “You won’t be driving around looking for a parking space.” The new facility is also handicap accessible.

TaxSlayer Moving into Old Building

The floor plans for the new downtown Y include a large fitness area (in green) with a wall of glass facing the river (at top). Other colored squares are locker rooms, a spin room and an aerobics room.

using the river. However, there will not be a pool. “This exciting indoor/outdoor multi-faceted fitness space will offer some new ways to stay fit,” McConnell said. “There will be great options to enjoy the beauty of this river. I can see many new programs offered around, in and on top of the river.” With the growth of business in the downtown area, the new Riverfront YMCA will increase its focus on corporate memberships, which has already started. “Both the owner of this facility and Unisys are making commitments to their em-

4 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

ployees that will set the pace for many of the downtown employers to step up and help their staffs become healthier,” McConnell said. “This is a win-win-win situation for Augusta,” said Zack Daffin, chairman of the board of directors for the Family Y. “TaxSlayer gets to move downtown and they’ll be adding jobs; our members get to move into a brand new, exciting facility and get the amenities they want; and the city of Augusta gets another shot in the arm for the invigorization of the downtown.” The new facility also enhances the area for those who

choose to live downtown as well as work downtown, according to Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. “We find ourselves in an environment where we have a live-work-play society right here in the heart of Augusta,” he said. Currently YMCA staff offices are in the downtown building, but they will not move to the new facility. Plans are to move the staff offices to the area of River Watch Parkway near exit 200 of I-20. A facility there will be more central to the various YMCA branches in the Augusta-Columbia County area.

The tax software company TaxSlayer bought the Family Y building at 945 Broad St. in late June, with plans to move highlevel members of the management team – including President Brian Rhodes – into the 94-yearold building after it is renovated. They are expected to announce specific plans for the building in the near future. TaxSlayer was founded in Augusta in 1965 as the tax preparation business Rhodes-Murphy & Co. It ventured into software development in 1989 to enable the company to complete tax returns by computer. It later marketed its software, first to tax professionals then to the public nationwide. TaxSlayer completed its Evans headquarters in 2012. The five-story building can accommodate about 500 employees. The company had 134 full-time employees as of December 2016.


July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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buzz bits

Replay America Stop in Augusta Canceled

Researchers Say Augusta Property is Undervalued Area Realtors have long known that Augusta has some valuable assets, but a new study has found that the city’s real estate should be valued much higher than it is. Augusta ranked just behind Charleston, S.C., in a key lifestyle survey done by a SmartAsset, a finance technology company. In order behind Charleston this year are Augusta; Pittsburgh; Overland Park, Kan.; Baltimore; Plano, Texas; Newark, N.J.; Philadelphia; Fort Collins, Colo.; and Providence, R.I. “We looked at metrics including crime, weather, high school graduation rates, walkability and unemployment to uncover U.S. cities where residents are getting the most bang for their buck, and Charleston came out on top,” Kara Gibson said for researcher SmartAsset about its second yearly study. Charleston moved up from seventh place in the online firm’s initial report in 2016. Pittsburgh placed first last year. In Augusta, Zillow says homes cost about $55.58 per square foot on average, but SmartAsset said they should be much higher. “Prices in Augusta should be more like $213.95, based on quality of life factors,” SmartAsset said. “That’s almost four times higher.” All of this means that home buyers in the Augusta area are getting the most bang for their buck. SmartAsset added, “The city is one of the most walkable cities in the South, making it a great option for people looking for a warmer city that’s also explorable by foot.”

6 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

that my Father started long ago. I am very proud to be celebrating 50 years and hope to continue moving forward for the next generation,” said Lisa Wilson, president. [See a profile of Wilson on page 22.]

Global Leadership Summit to be Simulcast at True North church The CSRA will again be one of the host sites for the Global Leadership Summit simulcast. The two-day event, Aug. 10-11, will be held at True North Church, 1060 W. Martintown Road, North Augusta. The event has been held at Willow Creek Community Church near Chicago and simulcast to thousands of locations throughout the United States and around the world. It features global business leaders speaking about vision, inspiration and practical skills to improve leadership and life skills. Among the 2017 featured speakers are Bill Hybels, senior pastor at Willow Creek; Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook; Marcus Lemonis, CEO, Camping World and star of The Profit; Andy Stanley, author and pastor; Laszlo Bock, senior advisor at Google; and many others. Registration for the event is required. For more information, visit truenorthchurch.com/events/global-leadership-summit.

But Augusta may be too hot for some, with 84 days a year of extreme temperature (most being more than 90 degrees), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. To come up with quality of life numbers, SmartAsset used nine gauges from meteorological conditions to education for the 200 large cities it tracked in the U.S. In addition to the Zillow-based home value per square foot and the extreme temperature days. It also included metrics for precipitation, entertainment and dining, high school graduation rate, percent of bachelor’s degrees or higher, the unemployment rate; violent crime per 100,000 residents; and walkability.

Trucking Firm marks Golden Anniversary An Aiken County family-run business has a lot to celebrate – it’s the company’s 50th birthday. G.L. Williams & Daughter Trucking Inc. delivers sand and gravel to homeowners, contractors and municipalities. It is a dump truck and heavy equipment company. They mine their own sand, make their own compost and perform all types of heavy equipment services. “Working in a family business is challenging at times but also very important to carry on the tradition

Some of the Replay America tour scheduled for many ballparks across the United States this summer has been canceled, including the concert date set for Aug. 12 at Lake Olmstead Stadium. Poor ticket sales was the reason cited for the cancellation. “These shows featuring Billy Ocean, Taylor Dayne, Starship, the Motels and Naked Eyes were anticipated to bring thousands of people to a ballpark environment but didn’t generate the interest needed,” said the Augusta GreenJackets marketing team. Full ticket refunds will be given from wherever the tickets were sold.

Mexican Restaurant Celebrates 25 Years Veracruz Mexican Restaurant is celebrating 25 years in business. Veracruz was born out of a love for Mexican food by owners Lisa Cooper and Emilio Sanchez. At the time, Cooper was working as a retail manager for J. B. Whites and Sanchez was the owner of a local car wash. They Continued on Page 44


openings, closings and moves Palmetto Moon is the latest one to announce an opening. The company, based in Charleston, S.C., will be moving into Augusta Mall’s promenade area by late July. It is a Southern lifestyle brand, selling novelty and gift items including T-shirts, Yeti products, logoed shirts and many other eclectic offerings.

OPENINGS

Southside Martial Arts Center offers lessons for both children and adults.

Southside Martial Arts Center Southside Martial Arts Center is now open at 3751 Peach Orchard Road. The center offers a fun environment for both children and adults to learn martial arts and offers one of the most affordable memberships in the CSRA. The instructors are world-champion fighters with years of experience in teaching students of all ages and skill levels. Southside Martial Arts also plans to partner with other local businesses and charities to help each person in the community grow and prosper. Kids Room Furniture and More A local furniture store is trying to take on some of the big-box stores. The Kids Room Furniture and More store just opened on Belair Road near the new Dunkin Donuts plaza about a mile from Interstate 20. Locally, Rooms to Go and Ashley Furniture have kids’ areas, as do other retailers in town. The Kids Room Furniture and More offers bright blue and red bunkbed sets, baseball-themed chairs and sofas, fun lighting and accessory items for little girls.

Granite Depot carries all types of natural and manmade stones.

Granite Depot Granite Depot recently opened in Evans at 4750 Washington Road across the street from Greenbrier

The Your Pie franchise has a restaurant in North Augusta and is now planning to open two more: one in Grovetown and another in Evans.

Your Pie is growing quickly Your Pie opened a restaurant in North Augusta in May, and it is already planning on bringing two more of the fast personal pizza shops to the CSRA. The original spot on Georgia Avenue in North Augusta has been busy ever since it opened. The second location of Your Pie is scheduled to open in November 2017 at 252 Meridian Drive, Grovetown, off Interstate 20 at exit 190. This location will be a freestanding building with 3,000 square feet providing indoor, outdoor and unique convertible seating. Nursery. It is open six days a week and displays granite top varieties where they can be viewed by passersby. Granite Depot specializes in all types of natural and manmade stones. The turnaround time for the cutting and installation for a home or business is just five to seven days. The company says it will match any written quote and give a 5 percent discount. High Cotton Downtown A boutique and gift shop just moved into the space once occupied by La Dee Da Gifts in North Augusta. High Cotton Downtown opened in June in Jackson Square on Georgia Avenue with the tag line “Fabulous finds for the home, gifting and for you.” The owner is offering name brands

The convertible seating will be a first in the brand concept. The third location is scheduled for the Plaza at Evans Towne Center in Evans, directly across from Lady Antebellum Amphitheater. The projected opening is March 2018. This will be part of the project that is now underway with Meybohm developing and leasing the site, which will include office space for their Columbia County agents. This new location will be the largest Your Pie in the CSRA at 3,350 square feet, with indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating will face the amphitheater. including Nora Fleming, Votivo, Mud Pie and others. La Dee Da closed a few years back so the owners could focus on their online business and trunk shows. A shoe store had occupied the space for a while after that.

A Palmetto Moon store is expected to open in Augusta Mall’s promenade in late July.

Palmetto Moon New boutique and gift shops are beginning to pop up in Augusta, and

Dollar General Dollar General’s newest store at 2820 Joy Road in Augusta is now open. It’s located near Tutt Middle School and Boy Scout Road. Dollar General celebrated the store’s official grand opening July 22. “Dollar General is committed to delivering a pleasant shopping experience that includes a convenient location, a wide assortment of merchandise and great prices on quality products,” said Dan Nieser, Dollar General’s senior vice president of real estate and store development. “We hope our area customers will enjoy shopping at Dollar General’s new location.” Traditional Dollar General stores employ approximately six to 10 people, depending on the need. Waffle House The boarded-up Walton Way Wine & Spirits will soon be demolished to make room for a new Waffle House. The half-acre location is not far from Select Speciality Hospital, the VA, University Hospital and Augusta University Medical Center. The closest Waffle House for night owl medical workers was on Georgia Avenue just across the 13th Street bridge in North Augusta.

EXPANSIONS KAMO, Weeks Transmission KAMO is moving one door closer to the heart of downtown Augusta. Harris and Jack Weinstein announced that they have purchased the Weeks Transmission facility at the corner of 13th and Reynolds streets. KAMO’s buildings come up to the back of the Weeks service bays. “We will be expanding our warehouse to the new property to better handle the growth we have seen in the past few years and to prepare for the growth in our future,” Harris Weinstein said. Continued on Page 45 July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Downtown Continued from Page 1 “cyber tsunami.” Just in the past month: • Gov. Nathan Deal broke ground for the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center on Augusta University’s developing Riverfront Campus between Reynolds Street and the Savannah River. • Augusta University Health signed a lease for two floors and the basement of the former Wells Fargo building at 699 Broad St. • The partnership DTJR LLC broke ground on a five-story business-class Hyatt House hotel in the 1200 block of Broad Street. • Evans-based tax preparation software company TaxSlayer bought the Downtown Y building for $2 million, and it expects to move about 100 employees into it within the year. Margaret Woodard, the executive director of the Augusta Downtown Development Authority, said there are more such announcements coming. “I heard a developer say not too long ago, when asked ‘Why do you want to do something in Augusta?’ the answer was, ‘Your workforce is growing and your population is growing, and in most secondary markets we’re not seeing that trend,’” she said. “But Augusta is, with cyber and all that.” TaxSlayer President Bryan Rhodes cited the “technology movement downtown” as the compelling factor behind its Downtown Y purchase. “I think we all knew it two or three years ago. Cyber was the hot topic,” Woodard said. But she considers Deal’s stated commitment to cyber in Augusta “a big matchstick” to ignite an expected new blaze of downtown development. If you can find property, that is. Buildings are changing hands so quickly it’s nearly impossible to find Broad Street property for sale above Ninth Street. That has helped move interest to lower Broad. Recently, a former art gallery at 551 Broad St. was snapped up almost immediately. Nearby, a contract has just been put out on a former floral and catering business at 520 Reynolds St. “So we’re seeing things shift, which is great, and I think that has a lot to do with people who want to purchase and own and get in while they can,” Woodard said. “In general there’s more interest in downtown space than I’ve probably ever seen,” developer Bryan Haltermann said. “Some interest is from people who are just kicking the tires, and other people with what I call ‘hobby businesses’” – entrepreneurs pursuing a pastime and with no solid business plan.

8 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

Construction continues on the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center, one of the many signs of growth in downtown Augusta recently. Demand is so high that little property is for sale on Broad Street above Ninth Street. Photo by Michael Holahan

Haltermann bought his first downtown building in 1986 – the old Sheehan Bottleworks building in the 1100 block of Broad. The second floor was vacant, and the first floor’s two tenants were a usedshoe store and a band needing practice space. They paid monthly rent of $160 and $100, respectively. Today the building houses Haltermann’s office, which he moved into three years ago, and a wellness salon. Upstairs, a pair of two-bedroom loft apartments each command monthly rent of $850 – and they’re both occupied. In May, Haltermann acquired 901 Broad St., a three-story corner property he intends to convert into nine loft apartments sitting above restaurant and retail space on the ground floor. Augusta’s downtown growth also has caught the eye of investors and developers from outside the area. “We’re getting calls just about on a daily basis from developers who want to see available sites or rehab projects they can do on a larger scale, who are from the South,” Woodard said. “We’ve embraced, finally, out-of-

town investors,” said Davis Beman of Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate Co. “These investors are used to other markets and able to align their investments to meet the needs of the urban dweller. This outside money coming in expanded our realm of possibilities and what is financially doable.” A notable example is Charlotte, N.C., developer Lat Purser and Associates. In 2015, that company developed Canalside Multifamily Apartments at Walton Way and St. Sebastian Way. Out of 106 units, as of last week only seven were available for rent. That points to another aspect of downtown growth. More people want to move downtown, and Woodard called it “our No. 1 concern right now.” “We’ve got all these people moving downtown, with the governor’s announcement and TaxSlayer,” she said. “They’re going to want to live down here.” According to figures provided by the Downtown Development Authority, more than 7,000 people live within a one-mile radius of downtown, which has a “daytime population” of more than

30,000 in that same radius. That’s the estimated number of people who work downtown. Those numbers are expected to grow. Downtown’s residential occupancy rate now hovers between 96 and 98 percent, according to the DDA. “Empty-nesters no longer need school systems and swing sets and backyards. Millennials are getting married later in life and tend not to own a car or drive,” Woodard said. “And we’re seeing another trend that’s interesting – the millennials’ parents follow them. They want to live that lifestyle.” Beman said that “a diverse platform of employers” in the Augusta area, such as Savannah River Site and Plant Vogtle, are drawing workers who have lived in other urban cores, and when they look for similar amenities, they look to downtown. “We’re a big city and becoming a lot more diverse,” he said. Beman also credits “a strong educational core” contributing to downtown growth. “We have a strong technical school program and a strong university system,” he said, which studies show bring in people of all ages. Schools naturally bring in younger people, but also attract seniors “looking for other things to do when they retire” and middle-age people, often professors or other school staff who want to live near work. Augusta University’s growth of its downtown footprint “is very similar to Mercer (University) spreading out in Macon and SCAD (the Savannah College of Art and Design) spreading out in Savannah,” Beman said. Until the late 1970s, Haltermann said, retail businesses such as department stores were the “anchors” of downtown blocks. Today, it’s restaurants. “They’re the buildings that attract the traffic,” he said. “Fast casual dining is the fastest-growing retail sector,” Woodard said. “You’ve got four (downtown) restaurants that are now on the drawing board to open up.” And she said those are “second, third and fourth concepts for existing restaurants,” meaning their business models have proved successful elsewhere. Also, all four restaurants are local – no chains. Woodard does, however, expects to see a regional restaurant chain locate downtown within the next six months. Where could this downtown growth lead five or 10 years from now? “I see more restaurants. I see more loft apartments. I see more workers and I see more students. All of the above,” Haltermann said. “There’s a positive feeling about downtown, greater than I’ve seen in the past 40 years.”


Serving the CSRA Since 1919 945 Broad

COMING 2018

SOLD 2017!

Tenant Representation

699 Broad / Renamed! Augusta University Available for Lease

TaxSlayer

Lamar Building SOLD Available for lease

Marion Building Under Contract Available for Lease

Commercial Brokerage and Property Management Commercial & Residential Services Sales / Leasing / Site Selection Landlord & Tenant Representation Lease Administration / Acquisition Asset Management / Tax Free Exchanges Property Management / Development www.bandccommercial.com | 706.823.6740 July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Protect Your Business

Be prepared if partner’s business interests are jeopardized By Kurt Mueller

As an entrepreneur, you know that starting a business is challenging. What you may not have considered is how difficult continuing that business can become, especially if one of your co-owners retires, gets divorced, or suddenly becomes disabled or dies. A business may face significant cash flow problems and internal strife should an owner unexpectedly leave. You might, for example, need to quickly raise money to purchase a retiring owner’s interests or, in the case of an owner’s divorce, disability or death, you could suddenly find yourself in business with his or her family. Because you want to have the best selection of options for creating a desired exit strategy before you or another owner leaves, now is the best time to begin planning.

A properly drafted and funded buy-sell agreement can help protect that vital asset should the unexpected happen. have the option to buy any remaining interest. Finally, any interest not purchased by the remaining owners must then be purchased by the business. Because this approach is a combination of a crossp u r c h a s e and entity purchase, the

their interests is through a pre- or postnuptial agreement, which should be coordinated with the buy-sell agreement. Preand post-nuptial agreements can specify whether the owner’s spouse will have any right to the business upon divorce and, if so, the manner in which the business will be valued and divided.

Planning for Contingencies

A well-crafted buy-sell agreement helps ensure the smooth transition of business interests. It should clearly define what happens if you or another owner retires, gets divorced or becomes disabled or dies. Several types of buy-sell agreements are available to accommodate variations among businesses, including organizational structure, number of owners, whether the owners are related and who the purchasers will be.

Protecting You, Protecting Your Business

Selecting an Agreement

Three common methods for transferring business interests include a cross-purchase agreement, an entity purchase agreement and a wait-and-see agreement. Each offers unique advantages, along with considerations to keep in mind when selecting an agreement. With a cross-purchase agreement, the remaining owners purchase the departing owner’s interest. Remaining owners obtain an increased basis that can result in tax savings if the interest is later sold. With an entity purchase agreement, the business purchases the departing owner’s interest. Because the funding is provided through the business rather than the owners, as in a cross-purchase, the overall process is made simpler, particularly if there are three or more owners. And with a wait-and-see purchase agreement, there is a sequence through which an interest is made available for purchase. In a typical wait-and-see agreement, the business has a first option to buy all or a portion of a departing owner’s interest. Second, after the business has had the opportunity to buy, the remaining owners

10 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

minister. Each can protect working capital and help provide the correct amount of financing at exactly the time it’s needed. Life insurance helps assure funding is available to purchase an interest if an owner dies, while disability insurance helps assure funding is available if an owner becomes totally disabled. A totally disabled owner may become more concerned with his or her family and personal well-being and less concerned with his or her participation in the business. Buying out the disabled owner’s interest often becomes the logical choice for the remaining owners. Benefits paid from the policies are generally income-tax free, and the cash value of permanent life insurance grows tax-deferred and is available to help meet other business needs. Life insurance can also be used to equalize property distribution in the event of divorce. How the insurance is structured, meaning who will be the applicant, owner, insured, beneficiary and payer, is determined by the type of agreement selected.

advantages of both are available, and the business and the owners can decide which option is optimal when a buyout is triggered.

Flexibility Is Central

All types of agreements offer flexibility in how the business is valued and how interests can be transferred. An agreement, for example, can set a fixed purchase price, define a formula or call for an appraisal to determine fair market value. Similarly, the agreement can stipulate that the payout must be made in a lump sum or in installments. An agreement can also address divorce. Qualification for ownership, for example, could exclude former spouses of owners. It can provide the business or the owners with an option to buy a former spouse’s interest. It could also stipulate the creation and adequate funding of a contingency fund that would provide the assets needed to purchase the interest of the divorced owner’s former spouse. Another way for owners to protect

Regardless of the terms, however, the ultimate goal of any agreement is to avoid conflict and confusion by correctly transferring business interests in a timely manner to the desired people with the least possible conflict, expense and delay.

Where’s the Money?

No matter how well it’s written, a buy-sell agreement is only as good as the funding that makes the actual purchase of a departing owner’s interest possible. Options include using existing assets, borrowing the money, creating a cash reserve fund, making installment payments and purchasing insurance. The key is to select the combination that meets evolving business needs and provides the required certainty. Of these options, disability and life insurance are two of the more effective choices for a number of reasons. Both can be more cost-effective and easier to ad-

You and your partners are working hard to build your business. A properly drafted and funded buy-sell agreement can help protect that vital asset should the unexpected happen. Think of it as a formal exit strategy that can give you options that might not otherwise be available after the retirement, divorce, disability or death of an owner. If you haven’t already, begin working with legal, accounting and financial professionals who are experienced in the field of business valuation and succession planning. The right team of advisers can help you assess your readiness and create an exit strategy so that, when the time comes, you will be well-positioned to transition your business on your terms.

Kurt W. Mueller is a financial advisor with Northwestern Mutual in Augusta. Call 803.671.8792 or email kurt.mueller@nm.com. The information in this article is not intended as legal or tax advice. Not all products mentioned are offered through Northwestern Mutual.


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July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

11


QuickBooks Safeguards

Employ these tips to keep your vital information safe By Christine Hall

Your QuickBooks company file contains some of the most sensitive information on your computer. You may have customers’ credit card numbers and employees’ Social Security numbers. An intruder who captured all that data could create tremendous problems for you and a lot of others. That’s probably the worst-case scenario. But other situations could also spell disaster for your business, such as losing your company data through fraud, hacking or simple technical failures. The importance of protecting your QuickBooks company file, especially your customer and payroll information, cannot be overstated. Whether someone steals it or it’s inaccessible for another reason, it’s gone. Keeping your business going after such a loss would be very difficult – maybe even impossible. The tips below should help prevent that from happening.

Internal Safeguards

No business owner wants to believe that his or her employees could use their QuickBooks access to commit fraud. But

it happens. Your company file contains credit card and checking account data that could be used for nefarious purposes. You can restrict user access to specific areas and actions of QuickBooks by setting up Users and Passwords. You can select the areas of QuickBooks you would like each user to have access to. For instance, an employee who has access to the accounts payable section does not necessarily need access to the accounts receivable or payroll sections of the program. Also, software companies’ occasional updates do more than just add new features and fix bugs. They sometimes refresh your software to ensure greater security based on new threats. Don’t forget about those all-important antivirus and anti-malware applications, as well as QuickBooks itself.

Keep Your Networks Safe

Just as a cold virus spreads around your office, so too, can computer viruses. Don’t allow an electronic epidemic to get started; take these steps ahead of time to prevent it:

• Discourage employees from excessive web browsing. This can be a hard rule to enforce, as some employees probably need internet access for research, timecard entry and other work-related tasks. Create a firm policy legislating what workers can and can’t do on company-issued equipment (including tablets and smartphones) or any personal devices that use your wireless network. • Ask employees to refrain from using public networks on work equipment. Enforce the rules vigorously, and make compliance an element of performance evaluations. • Minimize app installations on business smartphones. Employees should ask for approval. Viruses and malware get in that way, as well as through some websites and email attachments. • Use monitoring software. If you can’t afford to pay for managed IT (a la carte, third-party IT services), install an application that alerts you to problems.

and if you create them on a local, portable device, don’t leave them in the office; cloud-based storage is a better solution. Shred papers that have sensitive information on them. Log out of QuickBooks when you’re not using it or when you leave your office. Be aware of who may be around you, looking over your shoulder. It is an unfortunate reality that hackers are consistently attempting to acquire data illegally. Be sure that your office data is protected and backed up. If an unfortunate incident occurs, you will be thankful you took the time to do so.

Use Common Sense

Christine Hall is a partner in Hall, Murphy & Schuyler PC, a full-service accounting firm. For a complimentary accounting, tax or business consultation, call 706.855.7733 or email cmh@hmandscpas.com.

You can fight data loss and theft by being cautious. Be diligent about backups,

Getting the Right Information

Federal departments create form to help with benefits By Russell T. Head

On June 16, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury released a draft model form that plan participants may use to request information on their mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits. A federal law – the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) – requires most group health plans to provide parity between MH/ SUD benefits and medical and surgical benefits. Under MHPAEA, group health plans and health insurance issuers must provide plan participants with certain information regarding their MH/SUD benefits. The departments released the draft model form to help participants request relevant information.

Mental Health Parity

MHPAEA is a federal law that generally prevents group health plans and health insurance issuers that provide MH/SUD benefits from imposing less favorable limitations on those benefits than on medical and surgical coverage. Under MHPAEA, the financial re-

12 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

quirements (such as copayments, coinsurance, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums) and treatment limitations (such as visit limits or other limits on the scope or duration of treatment) applicable to MH/SUD benefits cannot be more restrictive than the predominant requirements or limitations applied to substantially all medical and surgical benefits. In addition, MHPAEA imposes parity requirements on the non-quantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs) that plans may place on MH/SUD benefits. NQTLs include medical management standards; formulary designs for prescription drugs; plan methods for determining usual, customary and reasonable charges; exclusions based on a failure to complete a course of treatment; and restrictions based on facility type or provider specialty. MHPAEA’s parity requirements apply to group health plans sponsored by employers with more than 50 employees. However, due to an Affordable Care Act reform, insured health plans in the smallgroup market must also comply with federal parity requirements for MH/SUD benefits.

Draft Model Form

The departments’ draft model form may be used by health plan participants, enrollees or their authorized representatives to request information from their health plan or issuer about NQTLs that may affect their MH/SUD benefits, or to obtain documentation after a claim denial involving MH/SUD benefits to support a claim appeal. The draft model form may be used to request general information about the plan’s coverage of MH/SUD benefits or specific information in response to a claim for MH/SUD benefits that was (or may be) denied or restricted by the plan. If specific information is requested, the draft model form asks the plan or issuer to provide the detailed information regarding the plan provision or limitation involved in the claim denial. Plan participants are not required to use the draft model form to request information about their MH/SUD benefits; health plan sponsors and issuers must respond to participant requests for this information even if the model form is not used. The availability of the form,

however, may make it more likely that health plan sponsors will receive participant requests for information on MH/ SUD benefits.

Action Steps

Employers with group health plans should review the draft model form in anticipation of participants’ requests for information on their MH/SUD benefits. It is possible that the availability of the model form will generate requests for detailed information on plan benefits. A copy of the draft model form can be found on the Department of Labor’s website, www.dol.gov. Plan sponsors should respond to these information requests within 30 calendar days in order to avoid possible penalties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Russell T. Head is CEO with Head Capital Advisors, an Acrisure agency partner and Augusta’s largest employee benefits brokerage. Call 706.733.3459.


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whenever, wherever, with

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srpfcu.org July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

13


upcoming business events Wednesday, Aug. 2

Aiken Young Professionals Third Thursday. 5:30 p.m., Aiken Chamber of Commerce. An opportunity for professionals aged 22-39 to meet other young professionals. Registration is requested. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.

Membership 101, 8:30 a.m., Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, 1000 Business Blvd., Evans. A course for new Chamber members. Third Thursday Business Builder, in the Metro Chamber office, 1 Tenth St., Augusta. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.

Friday, Aug. 4 First Friday Means Business, 7:30 a.m., Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St. SW, Aiken. Informative breakfast meeting and networking opportunity. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.

Tuesday, Aug. 8 Caffeinated Conversations – County Update, 8:30 a.m., Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. E, Aiken. Clay Killian, County Administrator and Andrew Siders, Akin County Council Chair, provide an update. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net. GreenJackets Columbia County Community Night, 6 p.m., Lake Olmstead Park, Augusta. Presented by the Augusta GreenJackets and the Columbia County Chamber, it allows up to 15 businesses to purchase ticket packages to attend the baseball game that evening vs. Rome. For package details, contact Tom Denlinger at 706-7367889. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.

Thursday, Aug. 10 Global Leadership Summit simulcast. 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., True North Church, 1060 W. Martintown Road North Augusta. A two-day simulcast event of vision, inspiration and practical skills to improve leadership and life skills. Featuring many world renowned speakers, including Bill Hybels, senior pastor at Willowcreek Church in Chicago; Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook; Marcus Lemonis, CEO, Camping World and star of The Profit; Andy Stanley, author and pastor; and many others. Registration is required. For more information, visit truenorthchurch.com/ events/global-leadership-summit.

14 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

Friday, Aug. 18

Augusta. For more information, visit northaugustachamber.org.

Good Morning North Augusta – Legislative Update. North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, 8 a.m., in Palmetto Terrace, Fourth Floor of the North Augusta Municipal Complex. Legislative update with Rep. Bill Hixon, Sen. Shane Massey and Sen. Tom Young. For more information, visit northaugustachamber.org.

Tuesday, Aug. 15

Tuesday, Aug. 22

Chamber Before Hours, 7:45 a.m., Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, 1000 Business Blvd., Evans. “Recruitment Panel – From Application to Retention.” Panel of local of employment agencies talk about what employers are looking for. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.

Thursday, Aug. 24

Catch the Buzz! Get more on events and follow business and economic news across the CSRA at buzzon.biz.

Ribbons Cuttings July 28: AT&T, 10 a.m., 212 Bobby Jones Expressway, Martinez July 28: Matt Willis State Farm Insurance, 11 a.m., 110 Harlem-Grovetown Road, Ste. G, Grovetown Aug. 1: O  ffice Depot/Office Max, 12 p.m., 4221 Washington Rd., Evans Aug. 11: High Cotton Downtown, 10 a.m., 336 Georgia Ave., North Augusta Aug. 23: Enoch Tarver, 4 p.m., 3540 Wheeler Rd., Ste. 312, Augusta

Friday, Aug. 11 Global Leadership Summit simulcast. 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., True North Church, 1060 W. Martintown Road North Augusta. A two-day simulcast event of vision, inspiration and practical skills to improve leadership skills. Speakers, include Bill Hybels, senior pastor at Willowcreek Church in Chicago; Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook; Marcus Lemonis, CEO, Camping World and star of The Profit; Andy Stanley, author and pastor. Registration is required. For more information, visit truenorthchurch. com/events/global-leadership-summit. Lip Sync Battle and Karaoke Dance Party. 7 p.m., North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, in the North Augusta Community Center, 495 Brookside Ave., North

Caffeinated Conversations – Education Update, 8:30 a.m., Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. E, Aiken. Dr. Sean Alford, Aiken County Public School Superintendent, and Levi Green, Aiken County Board of Education Chair, provide an update. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net. Women in Business Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., The Legends Club, 2701 Washington Road, Augusta. “To be a Caregiver: The Journey of Elder Care.” Megan Rhea of the Area Agency of Aging presents the resources available for caregivers. Registration deadline is Aug. 11. For more information, visit augustametrochamber.com.

Thursday, Aug. 17 Third Thursday Business Builder, 11:30 a.m., Augusta Metro Chamber, 1 Tenth St., Augusta. “Technology Investment: Seven Things You Must Do to Make Your Company a Productivity Rockstar,” presented by Kevin Wade Intellisystems. Registration deadline is Aug. 14. For more information, visit augustametrochamber.com

Women on the Way, 11:30 a.m., Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, 1000 Business Blvd., Evans. A program for women in leadership. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com.

Power Lunch – North Augusta Growth, 11:30 a.m., in Palmetto Terrace, Fourth Floor of the North Augusta Municipal Complex. Guest speaker is Todd Glover, City Administrator. Pre-registration required. For more information, visit northaugustachamber.org. Networking for Leads, 3 p.m., Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, 1000 Business Blvd., Evans. A structured networking program. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com. Business After Hours. 5 p.m., Aiken Center for the Arts, 122 Laurens St. SW, Aiken. Aiken Chamber of Commerce provides this opportunity for the host to showcase its business, service and facilities, and networking in a relaxed atmosphere. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.

Tuesday, Aug. 29 Caffeinated Conversations – Economic Vitality Update, 8:30 a.m., Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. E, Aiken. J. David See EVENTS on Page 15


Events Continued from Page 14

Jameson, Aiken Chamber, Rick McLeod, SRS Community Reuse Organization, and Will Williams, Economic Development Partnership, provide an update. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.

Wednesday, Aug. 30 Columbia County Executive Luncheon, 11:30 a.m., Savannah Rapids Pavilion, 3300 Evans to Locks Road, Martinez. “Be Where Your Feet Are – Mastering the Moment,” a presentation on developing strategies to get the most out of the important moments of a hectic schedule. For more information, visit columbiacountychamber.com. Aiken State of the Community Luncheon, 12 p.m., USC Aiken Convocation Center, 471 University Pkwy., Aiken. “Aiken: A Compelling Place to Live.” Dr. Sandra Jordan, Chancellor of USC Aiken and chair of the Compelling Place to Live Task Force, presents the task force’s findings and recommendations. Pre-registration required. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.

At theClubhou.se August 9: ATDC Lunch & Learn will feature IntelliGenisis offering valuable insight on what the cyber tsunami might bring to area entrepreneurs and innovators. noon-1 p.m. August 9: Beer & Bytes is presented by ATDC and theClubhou.se. We will hear Angie Lienert’s startup story. Angie is CEO at IntelliGenesis, a business in Columbia, Maryland with offices in Augusta, which provides offensive and defensive cyber operations to businesses and institutions. 5-7 p.m. August 10: Swift Augusta Meetup is for those interested in developing apps for the iOS platform. 6-8 p.m. August 17: PyAugusta gathers Python programming enthusiasts to tackle a specific topic each month. 6-8 p.m. August 24: Javascript Meetup brings together a community exploring Javascript, focusing on a particular application of the language and allowing for members to share the projects they are working on, 6:30-8:30 p.m. August 25: Growler Gardening with Kim Hines and Augusta Locally Grown in the Community Garden at theClubhou.se. 5-7 p.m. Augusta 26: 3D Printing Club returns to explore the basics of the technology and 3D-CAD. 10 a.m.-noon

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Augusta Sports Leagues

had developed in the last 3 years helped too. When I would tell people about an adult kickball league, they would get almost giddy with excitement. It was definitely an idea that filled a need in this community.

Keith Edmondson OWNER & PRESIDENT

1. What is the business?

9. What have you learned from your competitors (both successes and failures)?

Augusta Sports Leagues, LLC. We offer sport and social experiences for adults in the CSRA.

You have to offer a consistent product that people can trust, you have to offer great customer service, and you have to market yourself every day. With so much digital noise, getting your message out, even in a local area, can be difficult. Last thing, word of mouth is invaluable, because people trust it more than any other form of advertising.

2. Any significant experiences/ skills that (with hindsight) influenced your business? Community is very important to me. The events with the greatest impact in my life involved getting others together; people need community. In college I helped throw parties, plan community service projects, and a lot of work organizing and inspiring others, and this carried on through my 20s and early 30s with my church and work. After living in Augusta for 4 years I realized that the CSRA needed more opportunities for adults to build that community. 3. Any previous entrepreneurial experience? Lessons learned? I owned a lawn care business in my late teens, ran a network marketing business (on the side) for a few years after college, and was mentored with an entrepreneurial mindset for eight years working with Dave Ramsey in Nashville. The biggest lesson I learned was that you can do all the planning in the world, but nothing happens until you execute. Sometimes jumping into the unknown is the action that must be taken before you can do anything else. I also learned that all people fail or make mistakes, but you have to pick yourself up, and try again. 4. What appealed to you about entrepreneurship? I have worked in several small businesses and would always get frustrated when my boss’s vision or priorities and mine didn’t line up. Since it was their business, I had to abide by their direction, decisions, etc. I finally decided in late 2012 that I wanted to do something that is mine.

10. Common misconceptions about your business/entrepreneurship in general?

KEITH EDMONDSON 5. How did you get the idea? While living in Nashville, I was invited to play on a kickball team, and I only knew one person on the team. It was so much fun and I really enjoyed meeting new people. When I first moved to Augusta, I got connected to other adults through Young Professionals of Augusta, and realized that there weren’t many opportunities in Augusta for young adults to connect. 6. How has your idea progressed over time? We started with two sports, kickball and sand-volleyball. After four years, we now offer 11 sports, organize a few social events and/or tournaments each month, have 5,000 members, and are linked with seven other similar leagues across the Southeastern U.S.

I think a lot of people just think it is about being competitive at sports. Sports is just the medium. It is about people connecting through a common activity and developing community to improve overall quality of life in the area. 11. How has working out of theClubhou.se benefited your company? Getting out of the house has helped me to avoid distractions, given me an opportunity to share with others when I need feedback, and also provide motivation with the success of others at theClubhou.se.

WANT TO BECOME A MEMBER?

8. How did you market your business?

VISIT www.theclubhou.se

We started with posters and flyers in any place where young adults would go, bars, restaurants, gyms, even barber shops and hair salons. We also added social media and a few ads on F acebook to get the word out. Word of mouth was extremely valuable and my connections/ relationships in the community that I

Would you like to schedule a tour? STOP BY 540 Telfair St. Augusta, GA EMAIL ivy@theclubhou.se

July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

15


A Simple Plan

Sometimes the less you say, the better your message sounds By Mark Alison

Simplifying the selling message lets you use any ad medium more effectively. Seven words work for outdoor. Thirtyand even 10-second ads can work best on TV. Sixty seconds or less (I prefer less) works for radio. In print (newspaper and magazine), you’ll want plenty of white space in the ad, so less content is better. Even digital ads work best when kept short. Direct mail, again, is best when the message is to the point. Suppose your ad needs to list what you have for sale, like a grocery store or a clearance sale. As the message becomes longer and less focused, some media is no longer useful. TV, for example, is far less effective as the ad message gets more fractured. Listing ads work best in print, direct mail and some radio if presented in an entertaining way. What about a teaser campaign? This is a series of ads that introduces the consumer to a part of the story, with more to come later. For example, a billboard might simply read: “IT’S COMING.” Teasers don’t have to say much to get the point across and curiosity up. In addition to outdoor advertising, teaser campaigns work best with digital, print, direct mail and possibly short “break” 5-second TV ads.

The Method Mix Pyramid

So, which one is for you? My formula for media choices is based on a pyramid we titled the “Method Mix.” Simply put, in the Method Mix pyramid, research sits at the top, creative is in the middle and method forms the base. It works from the top down. Research drives the creative message and the creative drives the method mix. Method is the list of all available vehicles to get the message out.

1

Research is deciding what you want to sell, who the audience is for what you have and what they need to hear to make them want to buy what you have. Notice the power is in what they want to hear, not what you want to tell them. That’s why research is at the top of the pyramid. If you don’t have a message they will pay attention to, don’t go to the next step or waste your money. Other pieces of research include an

16 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

Notice the power is in what they want to hear, not what you want to tell them. evaluation of the competition and, of course, the money, time and manpower you have to put into the promotion. It’s easy to see that solid research will almost immediately cancel out some media choices. You may discover that your budget is too small for some media choices, or certain media can’t deliver the audience you need.

2

Research drives the creative. Never approach creative with rock-solid media choices already made. Creative thinking works best with a broad, clean palette. Remember, it is the creative that (drives) determines the

media (method mix) and not the other way around. Once the creative message is formed, it will almost always dictate a primary medium and some secondary ones. Your creative message will come from your research. If the inspiration isn’t easily forthcoming, your research is not complete. Go back and dig deeper – the answer is there.

3

Finally, creative drives the media. Method mix is simply choosing the media that will most effectively carry the creative message to your particular audience. Don’t be fooled into buying media based solely on audience size. Let’s face it, if you only need to move 100 widgets to be successful and you can deliver a powerful (creative) message to the right 100 people, why do you need to pay for 1,000? All numbers are relative. But if you need to paint with a broad brush to reach your goal, by all means buy as much primary and secondary media as your budget, time and manpower can handle.

Media has become so fractured that choosing the best direction is complicated, but if you follow the Method Mix pyramid properly, the choice will always make itself obvious. So, based on small to medium local markets, what is the best medium for your business? I would answer glibly, the one that works. In reality, it depends on who you want to reach, what the appeal is for what you have to sell, and how simple you can make your message.

Mark Alison, the Business Accelerator, is an independent marketing counselor. He can be reached at Mark9226@me.com.


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3523 Walton Way Ext. Augusta, GA 30909 706-722-8334

July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Where are all the leaders? Leadership can be developed with a few key attributes BY DAGAN SHARPE

There is no doubt that the lack of quality leadership today is rampant. In fact, one of the primary indicators to a business’ long-term success, employee engagement, community prosperity and strong family ties is leadership. All this begs the question, if leadership is so vital to positive outcomes, why does there seem to be a deficit of quality leaders? As I look back over my career, I have had the good fortune of having many different leaders, both good and bad, and to be honest, I learned much from them all. Personally, I would never claim to have arrived at the pinnacle of leadership greatness, nor do I claim to have all the answers, but I definitely know I have a strong desire to consistently improve. My guess is many people feel the same. To help in this worthy pursuit, outlined below are some of the key attributes impactful leaders possess – and thankfully, they are all skills any of us can develop. Leaders are Influential. What type of influence do we make, or do others make on us? It is either a positive, neutral or negative impact. There are no other options. John Maxwell, an expert on the subject of leadership, makes a powerful statement when he says, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” All we have to do to see the validity of this truth is to look around – is there chaos and breakdown in our homes, jobs and community, or unity and progress? Whatever we observe, we must then look at the type of influence we are having on the situation and adjust accordingly. For example, if we have disgruntled

teams and families, consider how we can better influence that situation. It won’t necessarily be easy and most likely will require sacrifice and commitment, but making a positive impact always does. It’s the neutral and negative impact that comes easy.

deploy them to support multiplying their impact. In the end, great leaders seek to multiply great leaders. Therefore, we consider how we willingly invest our time with others to improve how we and they are making an impact as leaders in our homes, at work and in our communities.

Leaders are Relational. In order to have influence, however, we must have built relationships. Good leaders are relational leaders. They get involved, are committed and care to know the people around them. They aren’t the dictators who stand alone, bark orders and never interact or get involved with others. Quite the opposite -- they care, and they seek to discover the strengths in others, develop them and

Leaders are Developmental. As mentioned, once we have relationships established, we are in stronger positions to help develop others. To highlight this point: I once had an executive coach assigned to me, an experience I’m grateful for today, but back then it was quite annoying because she kept reminding me about all I did wrong. One of the most memorable insights she shared was to stop working so much

on my weak areas and begin focusing more on my strengths. This was hard to do because I felt to get better I had to work on my weaknesses, but her wisdom revealed that those efforts took too much of my time and only served to discourage and exhaust me. Instead, focusing on my strengths resulted in better results in less time and left me feeling motivated and encouraged because I was seeing success and using my gifts. It was a light bulb moment we can all apply – focus on developing our strengths and the strengths of others. This does not mean we neglect weaknesses completely, but intentionally focusing on strengths has a much greater return and impact. Now imagine our churches, our homes, our communities and our businesses filled with people selflessly seeking to build meaningful relationships with others, proactively striving to build upon each other’s strengths and seeking to propel positive influences. The impact would be staggering. Thankfully, the good news is this is happening, but the better news is we can all join the movement and be among those who truly care to “lead” a legacy.

Dagan Sharpe is senior vice president of Queensborough National Bank & Trust and the author of a stewardship book, Bank On It. Email dsharpe@qnbtrust. com.

University Health buys Trinity Hospital, gives it new name Staff reports

Trinity Hospital is now part of University Health Care System, but it still has a special designation. “After much thought and consideration, we decided on the name University Hospital Summerville to honor the hospital’s beautiful campus in the heart of historic Summerville,” explained James Davis, University Health Care System president and chief executive officer in a statement. The signs on the site of the former Trin-

18 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

ity Hospital on Wrightsboro Road reflect the new name. The sale was finalized and on July 1, University Health Care System welcomed Trinity Hospital of Augusta into University Health Care System. “We thank Trinity and St. Joseph Hospital for serving our community well for 65 years,” Davis said. “We have proudly picked up that torch and will carry it with pride. The best is yet to come.” About 370 former Trinity employees join University, both on the Summerville campus and on the main campus and

throughout the system. “They are part of an elite organization in which the safety, quality of care and needs of the patient are always our top priority,” Davis said. “We leave every day with the satisfaction of knowing we delivered the best, most efficient care possible.” According to the University Hospital statement, some critical capital improvements like a new roof and installation of a new nurse call system have been Board approved and will soon begin, Davis said,

and preparations are underway as well to transition University Hospital Summerville’s electronic health record system to Epic on or before Nov. 1. “There is indeed much work to do, but I hope everyone at University remains as excited as I am about the opportunities in store for University Hospital Summerville and our patients. I look forward to breathing new life into that campus while alleviating capacity issues on our main campus,” he added.


July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Offering businesses a helping hand CSRA Business Lending, SCORE put businesses on right path By Neil Gordon

More than 10 years ago, businessman Larry Lynn did what smart husbands and business partners do – get good advice from a trusted source. “My wife, Rosemary (co-owner), encouraged me to look at buying our own building,” said the franchisee of Allegra Marketing & Printing and Signs by Tomorrow. “Through good relationships with my bank and the Chamber of Commerce I found CSRA Business Lending.” Lynn was leasing a pricey, shared space at the corner of Washington and Pleasant Home roads when his brand was American Speedy Printing. He applied for a loan to buy a building and received hundreds of thousands of dollars through their CSRA Business Lending’s SBA504 program. Now, Lynn has his own office and warehouse space near the Martinez Post Office. “Having the building secured with the loan has also helped me use a line of credit through the years,” added Lynn. Diane Masters, senior loan officer of the nonprofit CSRA Business Lending, explained that an SBA-504 loan is used to buy a building with a 10 percent down payment from the business owner, 40 percent from CSRA Business Lending and 50 percent from a bank. In mid-June, Masters spoke with about 50 business leaders, entrepreneurs and bankers at a Columbia County Chamber of Commerce event on the topic of the SBA-504 loan. In addition to being used to acquire real estate, the SBA-504 loan can also be used to buy equipment, but cannot be used for operating capital. Benefits of the loan include 20-year repayment periods with fixed rates. In June that rate was 4.59 percent, with bank fees financed in that rate. Jason Rueggeberg, clinic director of Evans Injury Chiropractor, approached Master after the Chamber meeting. “I need to build an x-ray unit now,” he told her. “It will cost $35,000. I am interested in talking with CSRA Business Lending.” Smaller loans that include equipment, start-up costs, working capital and other areas is part of the CSRA Direct Loan Fund and Rueggeberg’s potential loan would fit in that category. His plans are to expand to North Augusta, Thomson and South Augusta next. Trip Derryberry and Reoj English, owners Reliable Equipment Rental, is one of 270 businesses that have received CSRA Direct Loans. Reliable had an opportunity to expand its business and pro-

20 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

Representatives from SCORE and CSRA Business Lending spoke to the Columbia County Chamber about the services they offer to help businesses be successful. Photo by Neil Gordon.

“When you are trying to grow a business you need to make the right choices. We made the right choice when our banker introduced us to CSRA Direct.” —Reliable Equipment Rental vide equipment for major road widening and interstate construction projects. “When you are trying to grow a business you need to make the right choices,” the owners said. “We made the right choice when our banker introduced us to CSRA Direct to help fund our growth.” Money is a small piece of the puzzle needed to be successful, according to two other speakers at the recent chamber program. Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) volunteers Don Burch, a former aerospace engineer, and John Carman, a retired government contractor, said business ownership should start with

a business plan, market research, a financial plan and a coach – or it is likely the business will not succeed. “Seventy percent of startups fail within the first year and 50 percent fail within three years,” Burch said. In 2016, SCORE helped 367 CSRA companies with mentoring meetings, designed to prevent mistakes and to provide a sounding board to owners finding it “lonely at the top.” Burch and Carman have different experiences and, like other SCORE volunteers, meet in pairs to uphold the “two heads are better than one” principle. “When we sit and meet with clients,

Online

To learn more, visit csrabusiness lending.com and score.org. he’ll bring something to table I don’t know and vice versa,” Burch said of Carman. SCORE is trying to grow business ownership in unique ways. In 2016, 250 inmates in Edgefield County went through an eight-session program called “Simple Steps.” It gave them knowledge on how to prepare for starting a business once they re-integrate into society in the CSRA or elsewhere. “Inmates leave with a certificate of completion, which they can use with their parole boards and to re-set their lives,” Carman said. “There is no mention of corrections on the certificate.” Carman added that Georgia Governor Nathan Deal is interested in curbing the recidivism, so SCORE could soon start helping Georgia inmates as well.


Here We Grow Again North Augusta Chamber keeps on expanding

By Terra L. Carroll, IOM President/CEO

“Here We Grow Again” is a favorite saying of North Augusta Chamber Membership Development Manager Rushunda Lett. Not only are we seeing growth in the city of North Augusta and through chamber membership, but our chamber team is growing as well. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated team member in Rushunda who, even at nine months pregnant, has been able to produce a record month in June of 11 new members. After growing our membership, Rushunda also delivered to us our first Baby Ambassador – Cordell Jackson Lett. Jackson was born Tuesday, July 11, and we are super-excited to welcome him into our chamber family. Please wish Rushunda, her husband, Cordell, and daughter, Maddie, well on the addition to their family (our family). Now, the growth does not end there. The board of directors is the policy-making body of the North

Upcoming Chamber Events August 11: Lip Sync Battle & Karaoke Dance Party, 7 p.m. @ North

Augusta Community Center. August 18: Good Morning North Augusta, 8 a.m. @ Palmetto Terrace; Legislative Update with Rep. Bill Hixon, Sen. Shane Massey and Sen. Tom Young. August 24: Power Lunch – North Augusta Growth, 11:30 a.m. @ Palmetto Terrace; Speaker: Todd Glover, City Administrator. Register online at NorthAugustaChamber.org. Augusta Chamber and represents the business and professional leadership of the community. We are pleased to welcome Ben Reeves and Michele Rich to the leadership team as board members, effective July 1. Ben is branch manager at Security Federal Bank on Martintown Road and has 19 years banking experience that includes small-business relationship management, commercial credit analysis and mortgage closing. We look forward to having Ben on our board. Michele is director of admissions

and marketing at PruittHealth North Augusta. With a solid background in management and marketing, Michele’s membership on the board will further strengthen our presence and leadership in the community. Rounding out the growth spurt we’re having at the North Augusta Chamber is the introduction of Jennifer Marner. Jennifer joined the chamber team Monday, July 10, as member events manager and is responsible for conceptualizing and executing chamber events to create an educational, im-

pactful and relevant platform for our members. Jennifer is looking forward to producing her first event/chamber Marner fundraiser on Augusta 11. Join us for a “rockin’” good time at the second-annual Lip Sync Battle and Karaoke Dance Party. For information, contact Jennifer at events@ northaugustachamber.org.

Terra Carroll is the president of the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce and oversees the growing staff and membership with her advocacy efforts in North Augusta, Columbia and Washington, D.C.

2506 Peach Orchard Rd. July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

21


Businessperson of the Month

Wilson Thrives in Traditionally Male Business By Gary Kauffman

A common childhood scenario for Lisa Wilson was that while her sister was inside the house, she was outside driving tractors. “I grew up playing in the dirt,” she said. “I was always the tomboy of the family.” That penchant for dirt and heavy equipment has paid off for her now as the president and owner of G.L. Williams &

Lisa Wilson, G.L. Williams & Daughter Trucking Daughter Trucking in Graniteville, S.C. The business is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Glenwood (G.L.) Williams started the business as a side job in 1967 with a small dump truck and bulldozer, clearing building lots. Eventually it grew into a full-time business, and over the years more trucks and equipment were added. Today the company has 16 employees and owns seven sand mines, an inert landfill and two compost sites. It hauls a variety of dirt, sand and gravel combinations for new homes, driveways and landscaping. As a womanowned business, it also has a contract with the Department of Transportation to haul asphalt and clay for road projects. The business continues to evolve. This is the first year that it is selling compost. It has also opened one of its sand mines to sell to the public. But it still also clears building lots and does site prep, grading and excavation. “We’re staying really busy,” Wilson said. “We added new trucks and equipment in the last several years.” Wilson and her brother were involved in the business growing up, at first as general laborers. “My brother and I were the first screening machines,” she said with a smile. “When Daddy would dig up a load of top soil we’d sit in the back of the truck

and pull out the sticks and rocks. Now we have screening machines that do that.” As she got older, Wilson drove the dump trucks and ran the equipment. But when it was time to go to college, she chose something much cleaner than hauling dirt. She became a medical lab tech and worked at Mullins Laboratory in Aiken. “When I was younger I had a microscope and enjoyed looking at things through it, so I was interested in lab work,” she explained. Eventually, though, while raising young children she desired a job that didn’t require her working on weekends and holidays. That’s when her mother, who ran the office for the company, urged her to return to the family business, where she would only have to work three days a week. But before long her mother left the company and Wilson’s role became full-time. At that point her brother was involved in the business, which was known as G.L. Williams & Son Trucking. The person who made T-shirts for the company offered to make a special one for her that said G.L. Williams & Daughter. “It was pretty much just a joke,” Wilson said. “But then when my brother left the company Dad said, ‘Let’s just change it to G.L. Williams & Daughter.’” Wilson began to take on a bigger role in the company, and when her father retired, she took over as owner. Her father, now 81, still shows up in the office every day to work on his rental properties. “If I need him for something he’s always there,” Wilson said. “I hope when I’m his age I’ll have his stamina.” A woman-owned company is still a rarity in the world of dump trucks and heavy equipment. “Sometimes I’ll take certification classes and I’ll be the only woman in the class,” Wilson said. “Sometimes they think I don’t know what I’m talking about as a woman.” However, her loyal customers

22 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

Lisa Wilson’s father started the Graniteville, S.C., company in 1967 as a side business. Today it has 16 employees and owns sand mines, a landfill and compost sites. Photo by Gary Kauffman

are well aware of her pedigree and qualifications. “A lot of times I’ll get a call from someone who says ‘Soand-so told me to call you because you’d have the answers,’” she said. The business maintains a family atmosphere. Wilson’s husband, Len, does the estimating and is her biggest supporter. “He is my sounding board and always has my back,” she said. “Having the right partner makes the biggest difference in running a business.” Wilson still has an opportunity to play in the dirt. “Still occasionally someone will come in to get a pickup load and if no one else is here, I’ll load them,” she said. “I often thought about going back and getting my CDL license again, but I stay too busy in the office.” What are you passionate about in your business? The trucking part – hauling our own materials. We can provide any type of material people want because we mix it ourselves. The composting is something I’m excited about because it’s green. We’re taking yard debris and making it into something that’ll

make things grow. I also like when you can see that what you did makes a difference, like the road project on Atomic Road. When I go past there I think, “We were part of this road expansion project.” What’s the best part of being a woman in this business? Being unique. There aren’t a lot of women doing this. It makes us different. It helps us stick out in people’s minds. What’s the hardest part of being a woman in this business? People think a man should be doing this. It’s hard to get people to take me seriously until they get to know me and talk to me. What are some challenges about a family business? I get along with everybody, but with other family members, sometimes you butt heads. At the end of the day, though, you realize you all want what’s best for the company and each other and we move forward. Family tells it like it is and everybody needs that. I’d rather get advice from somebody who tells me the truth than from somebody who tells me what they think I want to hear. How has your father influ-

enced you in business? He never gives up and is always searching for opportunities and ways to improve. He’s always working. Those are big shoes to fill. How do those big shoes motivate you? I always want to make him proud of me. I want the business to continue on to leave as his namesake. How do you unwind? I enjoy going to the beach and hiking outdoors. And I like cutting grass. How do you give back to the community? We try to help out some churches that need things, like someone was putting in a volleyball court, we donated the materials. We help out the local sports teams. We try to do things that are local because we feel that if we’re helping people in the community, they’ll want to help us out, too. I got some things I still want to do in the community that I haven’t got to yet. What does the future hold for you and the company? I would like to expand and take jobs a little further out. I’ve got grandsons and I’d like to keep it going long enough that they can be involved if they’re interested. I’ve still got some years left in me.


As we celebrate a 50 year milestone, we would like to say “Thank You” to our loyal customers, employees and family members that have worked in the business along the way. Thanks for all you have done to support our business. Our business would not be here today without each and every one of you. We are so thankful for your trust and the friendships we have built along the way. We look forward to serving you for many years to come.

Services we provide: · Hauling services · Grading and Clearing · Demolition · Driveway repair Mining and sand aggregate For construction projects, grading, road base and landscaping.

Property maintenance · Brush Cutting · Mowing and Mulching Services.

www.GLWilliamsTrucking.com July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

23


There’s a New Kid in Town

Georgia legislature changes rules for powers of attorney By Ed Enoch

The Georgia Legislature generally ends its session in late March or early April. Laws passed by the Legislature usually take effect on July 1 of the year passed. This year, the Legislature passed a new law concerning financial powers of attorney that affects all Georgians. People frequently misunderstand powers of attorney. As part of all estate planning packages we do at our firm, we include both financial and health care powers of attorney. These documents give someone else the right to make decisions for you, generally when you cannot make the decisions – maybe you are out of the country or incapacitated in some way. Financial powers of attorney have

been problematic in Georgia because they were very easy to revoke. Third parties such as banks, brokerage houses or attorneys closing real estate transactions were wary of relying on general powers of attorney out of fear of liability if the agent went beyond his powers or acted after the person granting the power of attorney revoked it. I have known numerous situations where warring family members drag an elderly relative to different attorneys to get conflicting powers of attorney granted. The new power of attorney statute addresses a number of these weaknesses. It provides protection for third parties who reasonably rely on the document presented. That is good news for

the banks, etc. On the flip side, those entities – banks, brokerage houses and others – will no longer be allowed to require use of their own internally generated power-of-attorney form when presented with a properly executed power of attorney under the new statute. Third parties have a limited time to evaluate and honor or question the new power-of-attorney form. If they do not follow these new rules, they can be subject to paying the attorney’s fees of the person whose power of attorney they rejected. This is good news for anyone who has ever tried to deal with a bank or brokerage company on behalf of an elderly relative. Even if you have a current valid fi-

nancial power of attorney, go back to your estate planning attorney to discuss whether to update to the new form. There may be significant advantages to using the new statutory form.

J. Edward “Ed” Enoch has practiced law in Augusta for more than 20 years, mostly focusing on helping business owners and companies to include formation, transition, business planning, contract writing, employment law and other areas of the law. Email jenoch@enochlaw.com.

Substituting Cyber Insurance for Security Could Cyber Insurance Soon Become Mandatory For All Businesses? BY BRANDON McCRILLIS

Many organizations today choose to purchase cyber insurance policies to protect their business from the impact of a cyber incident. It’s important for businesses to realize that a beefy cyber insurance policy should not be a replacement for good information security practices. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) publicly criticized Abbott Labs (which acquired St. Jude’s) over the lack of risk analysis and security precautions taken by the company regarding its implanted medical devices. The criticism included information about two patient deaths from an implanted device battery malfunction. These actions by the FDA were the result of a research firm publicly announcing security flaws found in Abbott’s products. Before releasing publicly, the research firm placed a large Wall Street bet that St. Jude’s stock would plummet. Abbott is currently suing the firm over its shortselling tactic, and actions by the FDA have sparked debate on whether cyber insurance replaces good security practices and risk mitigation techniques when protecting your business from a cyber event and if there should be more security oversight. Cybersecurity of medical devices has

24 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

“Too many organizations today are substituting cyber insurance for security. These organizations often find out too late that insurers won’t pay when the insured fails to adopt industry-standard security practices.” – Jake Williams, the president and founder of Rendition Infosec been an area of concern for a while now, and too many medical devices are hopelessly vulnerable. Former Vice President Dick Cheney famously required that his implanted medical device have its wireless communication capabilities disabled to “thwart hacking.” The risk is real, documented and excised. With tech-driven business today, no matter the vertical, every business could be impacted by a cyber incident or event, and that incident could directly impact the bottom line. Should a regulatory body make it mandatory for all businesses to possess cyber insurance? If so, would that be effective or would cyber insurance completely replace

good security? Your current liability policy might cover some cyber impact, but chances are you are underinsured and subject to strict parameters to even receive a payout when needed. In the case of Abbott, not only were flaws released publicly, but the timing was intentional to tank stock prices. Does your cyber insurance policy cover both stock and revenue loss? “Too many organizations today are substituting cyber insurance for security. These organizations often find out too late that insurers won’t pay when the insured fails to adopt industry-standard security practices,” said Jake Williams, the president and founder of Rendition Infosec.

Rendition Infosec has assisted clients when they are navigating the idiosyncrasies of their cyber policy and kicker selections. We are frequently asked by our clients about proper coverage when choosing the best cyber policy features tailored to their business model and risk appetite. Rendition InfoSec recommends that every business leader first appropriately assess risk through an industry best-standard framework. Understanding cyber risk now will increase the effectiveness of your incident response processes and help to align your controls. If you choose to protect your business with a cyber insurance policy, know what you need to cover your risk acceptance, and reassess your insurance needs as your attack surface widens. Lastly, never substitute cyber insurance for good information security. Brandon McCrillis is a Principal at Rendition InfoSec, specializing in incident response, penetration testing, digital forensics, training, and network monitoring. Brandon delivers consulting worldwide helping organizations of all sizes reduce risk, achieve compliance, maintain business continuity, and reach security goals.


Summer Services Please read these advertorial stories and visit the supporting advertisers in these pages. Turf Tractor of Augusta............ Page 26 Vacations To Remember........... Page 28 Premier Networx....................... Page 30 Skateland of Augusta............... Page 32

July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Augusta Turf and Tractor is Augusta’s locally owned and operated John Deere dealer. Known for its outstanding craftsmanship, and durability, John Deere is one of the most popular and the most respected brands among lawn products, including compact tractors and landscaping equipment. “Around here, there are a lot of folks who need lawnmowers,” explained Sales Manager, Carter Adams, “It’s our bread and butter.” The store is located on Wylds Road, behind the Augusta Mall, across from Bobcat of Augusta, and contains a designated John Deere sales department, a designated John Deere parts department, and a designated John Deere service department. A spacious and well-stocked store, the recent rise in construction throughout the CSRA has caused a drastic increase in demand for Augusta Turf and Tractor’s products and services. And so has the weather. “The climate has a lot to do with it, too. We’re having a humid, hot summer, but the storms have also been fairly regular and that makes everything, especially weeds, grow very quickly,” said Carter. “But we carry everything our customers might need, from residential

mowers, to large commercial tractors.” The most commonly purchased machines range in price from around $1,700.00 to upwards of $11,000, but, as Carter explained, by purchasing a John Deere product, customers are making a worthwhile, long-term investment. “If you buy a John Deere, you’ll have it for a long time. One of our customers has a tractor from the 1950s that’s still going. While many of the parts have been replaced through the years, we are still able to service and equip that engine, and keep it working every day, rain or shine. You can’t say that about many products.” Such a high-quality product is rare, but it means very little without a team of knowledgeable employees standing behind it. At Augusta Turf and Tractor, not only are the employees a team of experts, but they know how to identify their customer needs. “When a customer walks through the door, they’re going to be able to talk to a specialist about specific circumstances,” said Carter. “Everyone who works here knows their product or service through and through. They listen to the customer and find something within their budget that does everything they’re looking for.”

Augusta Turf and Tractor makes the buying process even easier by offering a comprehensive and easy to navigate website, an informative Facebook page, and helpful tools, such as online customization of products and applications for in-store financing. Customers can build a package that meets their needs, get pre-approved, and then contact the store to finalize the arrangement. Carter says it’s a vital part of Augusta Turf and Tractor’s approach to customer service. “It doesn’t do you any good to sell a customer a bunch of stuff and expect to never see that customer again,” he said. “You’re going to see them again – they’re going to need something – and you need to have a business model to support that. And we do.”

Augusta Turf and Tractor

2804 Wylds Road, Augusta GA 30909

Carter Adams

706.737.9191

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July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Travel Weekly and TravelAge West are proud to announce that Julie Lanham was selected from among hundreds of applicants to attend the fifth-annual Global Travel Marketplace (GTM), which took place at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale, Florida, July 9-11, 2017. GTM is a two-

28 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

and-a-half day appointment-only event for top-producing travel advisors in North America and leading cruise, hotel, tour and destination suppliers seeking to conduct business face-to-face. Only the top 17 percent of the nearly 700 applicants were selected to participate. “A GTM advisor is one that

recognizes the importance of creating new business relationships and fostering existing ones, and understands how crucial it is to be well educated in this ever-changing industry,” says Jacqueline Hurst, Director, Trade Recruitment and Engagement, Travel Weekly Events. “With up-to-date knowledge and valuable relationships in their arsenal, these advisors are fully equipped to provide each client with a unique experience, tailored to their travel preferences.” A record 123 suppliers engaged with travel advisors through a variety of one-on-one pre-scheduled meetings, exclusive Boardroom presentations and networking events. GTM advisors exhibit unparalleled industry expertise and have relationships with key individuals in hotel, cruise, tour and destination organizations, allowing them to best meet their valuable clients’ needs. “The advisors chosen to attended this event represent the best in today’s travel business. The knowledge and experience they offer their clients is second to none, and is undoubtedly enhanced as a

result of attending the event,” said Alicia Evanko-Lewis, Senior Vice President of Events, Travel Group, Northstar Travel Group. “GTM provided the platform for these travel professionals to network with like-minded individuals who all have the same goal: To build and grow their business.” This has been quite a year for Ms. Lanham as her business grew so much she has to relocate and she is celebrating her 20th Anniversary as President of Vacations to Remember. When you’re ready to “get away”, reach Julie below.

802C Oakhurst Drive Evans, Georgia 30809

706.869.8355

www.VacationsToRemember.com


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July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Photo provided by Neil Gordon

By Neil Gordon Everything about Chad Harpley’s Information Technology business is growing. He grew from 10 employees to 14 in the last year. He’s going to lease more space in the office park off of Wheeler Road in West Augusta. Geographically, his customer base is still focused in the CSRA, but now, there are others in Atlanta, Nashville, Columbia and the South Carolina coast. A few years ago, he had about 100 clients and now has more than 200. Revenues have doubled. “After the first of this year, things spread like wildfire,” said Harpley, the CEO of Premier Networx. Harpley added many new clients including Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate, Warren Baptist Church and Augusta Oncology. “I feel it’s all about our customer service and trustworthiness that has helped our reputation and grown our business,” he said. In 2013, Harpley decided that it was the right time to start his own company. After working in both the phone and technical industries for 15 years, he saw the need for a first-class IT company to serve both small- and medium-sized busi-

30 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

nesses. Knowing that a company relies on its network to run without interruption, Premier Networx’ main objective is to keep its clients’ IT working so that concentration can be focused on running the day-to-day business. The headaches associated with computer issues shouldn’t fall on the business owner, he believes. Leaving that up to Premier Networx allows a business to run efficiently and without interruption. Harpley knows the importance of this and insists his employees serve each client in a professional and friendly manner. “After working for so many years in the IT industry, I saw firsthand the importance of customer service in today’s competitive world. We want to be known for treating each customer as if they were the only customer we have,” he said. That includes “lunch and learn” opportunities where Premier Networx will bring in lunch and go over the “do’s and don’ts” of computer usage with his clients. He likes to relate a story about the family that had a solid front door put in that was bulletproof with a deadlbolt lock. They were protected until the homeowner looked through the peephole and decided

to let a stranger in. “It’s the same with your computer when you click on a strange email and let a hacker in. Your computer can get infected,” he said. “With Cybersecurity being so important our staff is doing as much training as possible to be prepared for potential threats.” Harpley has acquired two local IT businesses – Vernon Systems, LLC in 2014 and Ran Services in 2015. Besides being a leader in the IT industry, Premier Networx also has a unique advantage in offering certified Apple Consultants to assist customers with any Apple device issues that may arise. Premier Networx offers many services including workstation, server and firewall installation; managed anti-virus; disaster recovery; cloud email hosting; cloud storage; telephone system installation and management; virus removal and much more. However, Premier Network is not just a “break-fix” company. A key focus is in managed services. “Being proactive for our customers not only minimizes their IT issues, but it also helps their bottom line,” Harpley said. With security front and center in

the news recently, Premier Networx knows how crucial it is to ensure that a business network is safe and secure. “With the ever changing and evolving landscape of IT today, it is necessary to stay on top of all the latest security products and services for a business’ computer system,” Harpley said. “We strive to do that at Premier Networx by offering what we believe is the most cost efficient and effective of security software for any size or type of office.” Premier Networx is not only a leader in IT in the CSRA, it is also a big part of the community. “My philosophy as a business owner is that you can’t just exist as a tax payer in the city where your business is located – you need to be active in that community to truly show you care,” Harpley said. Currently, he is 1st Vice Chairman and a major sponsor for the American Red Cross Augusta Chapter and in 2018 he’ll be Board Chairman. He encourages his employees to choose a cause or non-profit close to their hearts and take part in fundraisers and volunteer opportunities. They also provide low or no cost services for Safe Homes of Augusta, the Southeastern Fire Fighters Burn Foundation and Hope House. It’s just another example of how Premier Networx exemplifies its professional and community services in the Augusta area. Harpley also believes that his staff and the community should have fun. Join the Premier team for Hot August Nights at the Country Club each Tuesday night. Premier Networx is sponsoring the KIX 99 Summer Concert Series, featuring up-and-coming country acts with no admission charge!

PREMIER NETWORX Check Us Out

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803.279.9909 harbinlumber.com July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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32 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017


JESSICA JONES jessica@buzzon.biz 762.218.0239

NEIL GORDON neil@buzzon.biz 706.589.6727

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, THE FIGHT FOR SPACE IN A GROWING CSRA Davis Beman, Director of Commercial Real Estate, Blanchard and Calhoun

THE BUSINESS SCHOOL FOR BUSINESS. ENGAGING AND ADVANCING FUTURE WORKFORCE Dr. Rick Franza, Dean of the Hull College of Business at Augusta University

TURNING YOUR NETWORKING TIME INTO PROFITABLE RELATIONSHIPS Amy Kilpatrick, Consultant & Creative Strategist for Nspired

HOW TO RUN A SUCCESSFUL FAMILY BUSINESS FOR 50 YEARS Brian and Nyles Ellefson, co-owners of The Ellefson Transportation Group

PRESENTING SPONSOR

BE YOUR BEST!! COMFORT & FUNCTIONALITY = PRODUCTIVITY Robin Baxley and Sandi Shields, coowners of Best Office Solutions

PROTECTING THE BOSS AND YOU. THE IMPORTANCE OF A SUCCESSION PLAN Kurt Mueller, Northwestern Financial Services Advisor

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT CYBER SECURITY Charles Johnson, CEO of EDTS & EDTS Cyber

Call, email or visit cityspin.com to get more information on sponsorships or attending the B2B Expo

Welcome back to our 2nd Annual B2B Expo, this year at the spacious Savannah Rapids Pavilion. We’ll have great networking opportunities, 7 inspiring speakers and many giveaways!

Thursday, Oct 19 Savannah Rapids Pavilion in Evans, GA

Hosted by Buzz on Biz & WelcomeMat Services

ARE YOU READY?

July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Brewing for a Long Time Entrepreneur searches two years for perfect coffee shop spot By Amanda King

Army veteran Andrew Gorman knows from his time in the military that it takes a lot of preparation to go into battle. He’s applying that training to opening Hot Moose Coffee. Gorman, a first-time entrepreneur has been planning to open a coffee shop in Columbia County for the last two years. Now he’s ready for action. “You don’t just go out and do something,” he said of his due diligence. The military brought him and his family to the CSRA, and the Gormans fell in love with Columbia County. After nearly nine years at Fort Gordon, they moved to a place the polar opposite of the Georgia heat and humidity – Alaska. While stationed about 10 miles outside of Anchorage, Gorman began to notice coffee places all over the town and throughout most of the state. “In Alaska, coffee is a real big thing since it’s much colder,” he said. He described drive-up huts, about the size of a shed, where cars pull up to the window to order a cup of Joe. “Those are all over the place.” After Gorman’s retirement from the

Army, he attended transition classes that help soldiers think about what they will do after leaving the military. One of those classes included a visit from the Small Business Administration. Their presentation about veterans starting their own businesses didn’t appeal to Gorman initially. “But the more they talked, I thought ‘OK, that’s not bad,’ ” he said. With help from his wife and inspired by the Alaskan coffee, they decided to start a coffee business when they returned to Evans for her job. After arriving, he set out to find land to build a drive-up hut in Columbia County similar to those he had experienced in Alaska.

He found out quickly that prices for land in Columbia County were higher than he was expecting. So, the search began for a property to lease. In the meantime, Gorman attended the American Barista and Coffee School to learn the science of brewing that perfect cup of coffee. Gorman found a roaster out of Atlanta to produce coffee for his future shop. In addition to having good coffee, Batdorf and Bronson had the ability to ship quickly, something Gorman said is incredibly important for the coffee business. He began testing the different brews with his friends who he knew he could trust to give their most honest opinion.

They even helped him pick out his logo and Alaska-inspired mascot, Joe the Moose. He had the coffee. He had the name and logo. But what he didn’t have was a place to actually start the business. That changed when he found not one, but two vacant spots next to one another behind the Marshall Family Y in Evans. At 2,300 square feet, Gorman felt it was the perfect place to set up shop and turn his dream into reality. Gorman has big plans for his two suites at 1202 Town Park Lane, just off Belair Road. He wants to create a space where customers can spend time talking with friends while enjoying a hot or cold beverage and a deli sandwich or sweet treat. For parents who want to get out of the house and have a conversation with a friend, there will be a children’s play area to keep the kids occupied. “I want people to feel comfortable when they come in,” Gorman said. For more details on Hot Moose Coffee, including the announcement of its opening day, follow it on Facebook at facebook.com/HotMooseCoffee.

repairs on the go

Mobile mechanics provide convenience for CSRA By Amanda King

It’s been said that you never want to be on a firstname basis with your mechanic. But with convenient service from M&R Automotive Maintenance, knowing your mechanic’s name and having him on speed dial may be a good thing. Brothers Marquis McBride and Richard Thomas created the new mobile mechanic service to be a convenience to the area while using the interests they have possessed for many years. “There’s a great need for it because this is a working town,” McBride said. “Being mobile is a great service to customers.” McBride worked on cars in the area until graduating from Glenn Hills High School in 2009 and then joined the military. After returning from tours of duty in Afghanistan and Kuwait in January, he and his brother caught the entrepreneur bug and began brainstorming ideas on how to make a living doing what they loved. Thomas had worked in the food service industry since he was 16 but like his brother, had worked on cars as a hobby.

34 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

With their talents combined, a mobile car repair business seemed to be the best idea for them and the brothers began servicing clients in early 2017. By meeting customers at their home or workplace, McBride and Thomas allow customers be stay productive at work or home and take away the stress of finding a ride while their car is being serviced. “A lot of people don’t have time to take off from their jobs to take their car the shop or have someone to bring them back from the shop,” McBride said. Not only does M&R Automotive have the convenience of going to the customer to repair vehicles, but without the overhead cost of a shop, their prices are substantially cheaper, according to Thomas. For example, brake changes are an affordable $55. The company will service anywhere in the CSRA although some areas may see an additional charge for mileage on their final bill. The first 10 miles that McBride or Thomas drive from their home in Hephzibah is free, but every 10 miles after that is $10, still a reasonable price for a mechanic willing to come to the customer’s location.

M&R Automotive specializes in preventative maintenance services such as brake, spark plug, thermostat and oil changes, but can perform most auto services as long as they do not have to open an engine or transmission. If the pair cannot fix the issue, they can figure out what the problem is and make recommendations. McBride and Thomas want the business to be more than servicing customers out of their work truck. Their client base is small now, but as they grow they plan on employing other mechanics and help their community by providing on-the-job training for people looking for employment. They also hope to build a network of tow trucks, mechanics and other members of the auto-service industry. “We try to form relationships and people trust us. That’s what we’re here for so people don’t get taken advantage of,” Thomas said. For more information, contact M&R Automotive at (706) 631-6445 or visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/mrautomotivemaintenance.


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July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Angel Gowns assists families with grief, healing after loss By Amanda King

When Kayla Johnson and her husband found out that they were expecting their third child, they were a little shocked. The couple already had a 4-month-old and the thought of having another baby so soon was somewhat overwhelming. Not long after adjusting and accepting the news of their son-to-be, Johnson found out unexpected news about baby Wyatt in March 2016. The baby had bilateral multicystic dysplastic kidneys and would not survive after birth. “When we found out he was sick it was like the end of the world,” Johnson said. After hearing the news about her grandson, Johnson’s mother, Bella Bruce, began looking for an angel gown for Wyatt to be buried in. Although she found one, the gown could not be secured when Johnson went into early labor at 30 weeks. Wyatt passed away just a little over two hours after his birth on June 2, 2016. Johnson and her mother channeled their grief into creating their own angel gowns and angel wraps, which they offer free to grieving families. Their project has impacted not only the Augusta community but people all over the country. The non-profit, WJL Angel Gowns – named in memory of Wyatt Lee Johnson – repurposes used bridal gowns and formal dresses. A team of local seamstresses take the material and design the infant burial gowns. By creating angel gowns through the organization, the mother/daughter duo tapped into the subject of infant loss, a topic they say is often taboo. “You start grieving the moment you hear those words. It’s hard,” Johnson said. “It’s okay to grieve and there are other people who are on the same journey.” Their website, wljgowns.org, shows the inventory of wraps, used for smaller babies or those lost through miscarriage,

About the Gowns Items needed for WLJ Gowns and gowns for families to privately select an appropriate ensemble for their child. “They don’t want to go shopping if they found out that their baby is not going to make it,” Johnson said. “It’s one less thing that they have to think about.” While many of the families who use WJL Angel Gowns know in advance that their infant will not survive, for unexpected deaths Bruce can often accommodate overnight shipping and will meet families at the hospital or funeral home. Bruce’s and Johnson’s “go big or go home” attitude has them striving to make WLJ Gowns readily accessible and to make them know to as many people as possible. They currently rely heavily on

word of mouth, social media and doctor’s offices to communicate their service. “The more people who know about us, the more people we can help,” Bruce said. Bruce and Johnson also need people to donate and assist with WLJ Angel Gowns. Sewing materials and bridal gowns and formal dress are big needs, according to Bruce, who says even the small sewing items add up in cost after a while. They are also in need of seamstresses and donations to assist with shipping. Details on how to help are on their website. WLJ Gowns will certainly need more help in the near future as Johnson prepares for her “rainbow baby,” Lincoln. A rainbow baby is a name commonly given

Sewing materials Wedding gowns/formal dresses Volunteers to sew or cut patterns Donations/sponsorships Connections to doctor’s offices and hospitals Drop-off There are currently two drop-off points for bridal gowns: Flack Family Chiropractic, 4246 Washington Rd. #6, Evans and CSRA Local Gifts, 521 Shartom Dr., Augusta. to surviving children after infant loss or miscarriage. On June 20, the day of Buzz on Biz’s interview with Johnson, she was 33 weeks pregnant and glowed as she reported that it was a healthy pregnancy. “He’s my lifesaver,” she said.

Many organizations benefit from Centerra-SRS generosity Staff reports

A check for $285,000 was cut and divided between many CSRA community organizations, courtesy of Centerra-SRS, the security contractor at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site. “We take great pride in our corporate and employee support for our surrounding communities,” said Mark Bolton, Centerra-SRS General Manager. “We have a critical responsibility to protect the Savannah River Site, but we also have

36 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

a commitment to give back to our community neighbors and we are pleased to provide support where we can.” The company and its employees donated funds to help support many organizations in the CSRA that provide assistance to at-risk youth, disabled citizens, schools, minorities, local law enforcement, health improvement, economic development, veterans care and other initiatives. Some of the organizations that received financial assistance included United Way,

Golden Harvest Food Bank, Toys for Tots, American Red Cross, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Crowning Lupus, Special Olympics, March of Dimes, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Children’s Place, Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, Aiken Habitat for Humanity and Aiken-Augusta Wounded Warrior Fund. Also, Children’s Advocacy Center of Aiken, Aiken Technical College Foun-

dation, South Carolina Society of Professional Engineers Educational Foundation, Together We Rise Foster Care, Shepeard Community Blood Center, University HealthCare Foundation, The RECing Crew, Aiken Chamber of Commerce, Aiken Jaycees, Community Foundation for the CSRA, Leadership Aiken County, North Augusta Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and other local and regional organizations.


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keep the Campfire FUN going Make your next campfire one to remember with our campfire seasoning, fishing hats, lantern lamps, and more camp-inspired items from our store and SHOP.CRACKERBARREL.COM 544 N.Belair Road Evans, Ga | 706.228.3018 | crackerbarrel.com July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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It’s Time for Back to School! A Parent’s Survival Guide to Food and Fitness By Billy Cristofanelli

Summer is fun! I remember as a kid looking forward to finishing up a school year and enjoying the fact that I didn’t have to do homework or wake up early. I waited with great anticipation for fun family vacations to the beach and seeing my extended family. However, like most kids I felt like the summer flew by, and before I knew it August had arrived and we were out buying school supplies and new outfits. As I grew older and played football in high school, it also meant that I had the great blessing (insert sarcasm here) of going back to school a few weeks ahead of time to practice every day in the blazing hot Georgia sun. That did not make going back to school easier. I realize summers are not easy for us as parents. I know plenty of parents who are waiting with great anticipation for school to return so the family can get back on a routine schedule. Most of these parents have felt like Uber drivers all summer as they have taken their children from one activity to the next. Whether it was summer camps, friends’ houses, vacation Bible schools, the pool, or just having the kids there for every activity, parents are still wondering when their summer vacation begins. So, as we begin a new school year, I thought I would pass along a few ideas about food and fitness to make the transition back to school a little easier and more affordable for you and your family. School, homework, after-school study time, athletics and other activities make it difficult for families to do all that they need to do and still find time to even eat. Therefore, most of us end up stopping by some fast-food restaurant and picking up something on the way home so the kids can shower as quickly as possible and work their way toward bedtime. As a parent I found myself looking for possible deals for kids’ meals around Augusta throughout the week that might help to save some money, but also get my kids fed without breaking the bank. When I struggled to find this information, I decided to create a website and app that would help parents find this information quickly and easily. As a result, when you download the free Pinpoint Savings app and select the kids’ meal section under the search tab, you will see a listing of available kids’ meal specials for each day of the week. Usually you will have at least three to four restaurants to

38 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

choose from each day, and while the list is not comprehensive, it should provide you with a great starting point. The list continues to grow each month, so if you haven’t checked in a while, you might be pleasantly surprised to see all the new choices. How is your health? Are you making any time for yourself to stay in shape during this crazy life we are all living? I turned 40 this year, and I began feeling like the lack of physical exercise and bad eating habits were starting to catch up with me. For some reason, I couldn’t eat a whole pizza at midnight and drink Mountain Dew and feel fine the next morning the same way I could in my 20s. So, I decided to try to improve my health. I recently joined a new workout center called Epic and have found it to be exactly what I needed for someone my age. There are younger people there that have far more expendable time to work out for couple of hours and socialize, but

there’s also a large group of people in their 40s to 60s who need to have a great workout and be in and out in 45 minutes or less. While the price is a little higher than your traditional gym or other large facility, the service and training at Epic are exceptional and help to take people like me who have been out of the gym for a while and slowly return our bodies back to a healthier version. I bring this up because as a parent I have to take care of myself in order to be the best dad I can be. I don’t want to feel tired all the time and not be able to participate in my kids’ lives. So, if you are like me and needed a little kick in the pants, try Epic or find a gym that can work for you and your schedule, and see if you can put yourself back on track for a healthier you. As a special incentive, Pinpoint Savings has worked out a fitness special for Epic. Details are available on our website, pin-

pointsavings.com. Finally, I want to say “good luck” to all of the parents about to start a new school year. I know it isn’t easy, and I hope some part of this article has helped provide information that will help you and your family this year. Just remember, as Bonnie Blair said, “Winning doesn’t always mean being first, winning means you’re doing better than you’ve done before.” Billy Cristofanelli is the founder and co-owner of Pinpoint Savings, LLC and has 15+ years of sales and marketing experience. Billy developed Pinpoint Savings to help local CSRA businesses connect with customers by offering coupons through their free app. Pinpoint Savings currently represents over 40 local businesses.


Battling Eye Disease Concert by Augusta Native Terri Gibbs Will Raise Funds for Eye Research Staff reports

An Augusta native musician will be using her musical abilities – and her own blindness – to raise awareness and money to battle degenerative eye diseases. Terri Gibbs, nominated for Grammys in both country and contemporary Christian music, will perform the concert, Terri Gibbs and Friends, at 6 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Imperial Theatre. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Augusta University’s James and Jean Culver Vision Discovery Institute and its research into new treatments and therapies for patients suffering from blindness and visual disorders. Blind since childhood, Gibbs was raised in Augusta and graduated in 1972 from Butler High School. Gibbs, 63, is best known for the 1981 hit single Somebody’s Knocking. The song reached No. 8 on U.S. country charts, No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 3 on the Adult Contemporary PH Hospice Augusta Ad 07_2017.pdf

Learn more

To Purchase Tickets: www.imperialtheater.com Sponsor\Event Info: David Cantrell 706.721.1817 Concert Program Ads: Reda Boswell 706.373.8440

1

chart. A year later, Gibbs’ single Ashes to Ashes made the Top 20 on the country charts as did her 1983 song Anybody Else’s Heart but Mine. Gibbs, who grew up singing in the church choir, returned to Christian music in the late 1980s, releasing several albums, including the Grammy-nominated Turn Around. She released her sixth and most recent album, Sum It All Up, in June. Gibbs was named Top New Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music in 1980 and was the inaugural winner of the Country Music Association’s Horizon Award in 1981. In 2012, Gibbs received a Lifetime Achievement 7/6/17

10:38 AM

Award from the Artists Music Guild. Sponsors for Terri Gibbs and Friends include Chaplin and Sons Demolition and Asbestos Removal, Financial Advisor Woody Merry of AXA Equitable, Lions Clubs International and other businesses. Since 1971, when Lions Clubs International was founded, clubs like the Lions Club of Augusta have worked on projects designed to prevent blindness, restore eyesight and improve eye health and eye care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Tickets for Terri Gibbs and Friends are available for purchase at imperialtheatre.com.

Terri Gibbs will perform Oct. 28 at Imperial Theatre. Photo by The Augusta Chronicle.

It’s the Moments Together That Change Us Forever When your family is faced with difficult end of life decisions, you need to focus on what matters most. PruittHealth Hospice is committed to caring. We ensure your loved one experiences a smooth transition from the hospital to home hospice care through our unique service offerings. So that you can focus on more moments together. And be changed forever.

1220 Augusta West Parkway, Augusta, GA. 30909 Office: 706-650-1522 • Fax: 706-650-1786 PruittHealth.com The PruittHealth Organization complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Here’s the Truth

Dispelling Common Myths About Cost Segregation By mark Stephens

Cost segregation is an IRS-approved application by which commercial property owners can accelerate depreciation and reduce the amount of taxes owed. This savings generates substantial cash flow that owners often use to reinvest in their business, apply to their principal payments or spend on themselves. Here are some common misconceptions about cost segregation:

1

Cost segregation studies are very expensive. False. Here’s the truth: Fifteen years ago, when cost segregation first hit the marketplace, studies were performed only on very large, multimillion-dollar buildings for companies with deep pockets. There was no effective method in place to analyze a building without multiple site visits and many specialists lending their expertise on-site to the project, which drove the cost of the studies through the roof. As technology has advanced, the engineeringbased cost segregation study, which the IRS recognizes as the most thorough, has become very affordable. The ROI (return on investment) for building owners is very compelling. Cost segregation allows commercial property owners to free up investment capital to grow their businesses using their own money.

2

Cost segregation studies cannot be done on buildings worth less than $1 million. False. Here’s the truth: Cost-effective studies are being done daily on buildings with a cost basis of $300,000 and on renovation projects as low as $200,000.

3

Cost segregation studies do not identify much that can be segregated. False. Here’s the truth: Many people do not realize that 25 to 50 percent of a building’s cost can be redefined as a short life asset. Combine this large percentage with the low cost fee, and a significant ROI can be realized. Even when a CPA accelerates some depreciation, an engineering-based study will uncover significant amounts of hidden opportunity.

4

Cost segregation studies can only be done in the first year of ownership. False. Here’s the truth: Cost segregation can be applied in any tax year for qualifying buildings without amending prior year returns. Change of Accounting Method (IRS Form 3115) is automatically approved with an engineering-based cost segregation study. The benefit to a “look-back study” is pulling all of the accelerated depreciation forward into the current year as if this method had been applied since the first year of ownership. Qualifications are: • Building must have been acquired or renovated

40 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

after Dec. 31, 1986. • Owner must be a taxable entity.

5

Cost Segregation can only be done on newly constructed buildings where you have all the receipts. False. Here’s the truth: Cost segregation technical analysts will cost analyze a building, its structure, its systems and its costs. A study completed by an individual having construction technology and experience is considered by the IRS to be the most reliable and thorough type of study. Where receipts are helpful, the practice of delivering lump sum pricing in construction projects will require construction technology expertise to identify all the component items buried in these bids that qualify for short-term depreciation.

6

It is better to take depreciation expense over 39 years. False. Here’s the truth: It is all about the time value of money. A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. An engineering-based cost segregation study helps building owners maximize this basic accounting principal.

7

Cost segregation studies are risky and may trigger an audit. False. Here’s the truth: Engineering-based cost segregation studies have been upheld as appropriate, valid since 1997, and no riskier than any other legitimate deduction. Since the 2014 Tangible Property regulations have triggered a landslide of questions, cost segregation is the certain method to finding the answers.

8

You have to amend prior year’s returns. False. Here’s the truth: For buildings placed in service in prior years, owners should complete IRS Form 3115 and make a 481(a) adjustment for the current tax year. This allows owners to bring forward the total of all allowable deductions which were not taken without amending prior year returns. Excess deductions can be carried forward until used.

Mark Stephens manages Business Development for Cost Segregation Services Inc. CSSI is the Premier Company for IRS defined engineering-based cost segregation studies in America. Our objective is to facilitate maximum tax savings and improved cash flow, allowing businesses to grow, evolve and flourish. Reach him at (706)294-7989 or mstephens@costsegregationservices.com.

Time to give Christmas comes early for five groups, thanks to donations Staff reports

Employees from Veterans United Home Loans in Augusta brought some Christmas cheer to five local charities about six months early. Each of the charities was surprised with $10,000 each. The donations were part of Veterans United Foundation’s national Week of Giving campaign in which more than $1 million will be given to charities across the country between now and the end of the year. “This is a great initiative made possible by each and every employee at Veterans United,” said Mike Ritz, branch manager at Veterans United Home Loans in Augusta. “Our values include enhancing the lives of those within our community, and we’re extremely proud to be able to give back and help those people in need.” “It’s a tremendous feeling for all of our employees to visit these local charities and see the smiles, tears and pure joy on their faces,” said Jennifer Stewart, branch manager at Veterans United Home Loans in Augusta. “These organizations do so much for our community. It’s an honor to be in a position to give back to them.” The recipients were the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta, Women Veterans Club of the CSRA, Press On Fund, Augusta Warrior Project and H-3 Veterans Services. More than 90 percent of employees of Veterans United donate at least 1 percent of their paychecks to the foundation, the philanthropic division of the company. Because of employee contributions, the foundation has raised more than $30 million since 2011. In addition to giving money to charitable organizations, the foundation also provides financial assistance to Veterans and their families. Earlier this year, Veterans United was recognized as No. 3 on the 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back list by Great Place to Work and Fortune. Veterans United Foundation donated more than $6.6 million to charities and organizations in 2016 alone.

“These organizations do so much for our community. It’s an honor to be in a position to give back to them.” Jennifer Stewart, branch manager at Veterans United Home Loans in Augusta


July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Joining Faith and Business Some do’s and don’ts to help business owners live out faith By Gary Kauffman

Leadership guru John C. Maxwell was once asked to discuss business ethics. “There is no such thing as ‘business’ ethics,” Maxwell replied. “There is only ethics!” His point was that we don’t have one set of ethics for our personal lives and another set for business or any other area of our lives. We should be consistent in all areas of our lives. This is especially true for the Christian business owner. I once heard it said that God isn’t interested in your spiritual life; He’s interested in your life. The point is the same one that Maxwell made – we don’t live one way on Sunday morning and another way the rest of the week. We live by our Christian beliefs whether we’re in church or in our business or at the lake with the family. The goal is to live a consistently growing spiritual life. Of course, as a Christian business owner you’ll want to treat your customers fairly and your employees with respect, be honest, not cheat or cut corners, meet your commitments and have clean restrooms. But that really doesn’t set you apart – those should be the goals of every business owner, whether they profess any kind of faith or not.

Of course, as a Christian business owner you’ll want to treat your customers fairly and your employees with respect, be honest, not cheat or cut corners, meet your commitments and have clean restrooms. But that really doesn’t set you apart But in two decades of working with small businesses, many of them owned by Christians, I’ve discovered a few things that the Christian business owner should do – and some they shouldn’t. • Do remember that you have a higher calling. Owning a business is a worthy vocation, but it is not listed among the spiritual gifts. Your highest calling and first priority is always your relationship with God. • Do serve others. You are part of the community where your business is located, as well as where you live and where you attend church. God called us to love our neighbors. Stay aware of opportunities where you can either serve personally or through your business. • Do pray. As stated above, God is interested in every aspect of your life, including your business. Pray daily

for His guidance and blessing in your business. Make it His business, not yours. • Do tithe. Hopefully your business is making a profit (the term for a business that doesn’t make money is ‘hobby’). Just like with your personal income, you should be giving back to God from the business profits. If you’re asking Him to bless your business, then you need to acknowledge that with your tithe. • Don’t be consumed by the business. Running a successful business requires time and energy. But it can also demand all of your waking moments if you let it. That will affect your personal life – health, relationships and emotions – in negative ways. Try as much as possible to break from the business when you go home for the night and concentrate on your family and your church.

• Don’t undercut yourself. There is a temptation to feel guilty about making a profit as a Christian. I have seen Christian-owned businesses fail because of this. Remember, this is your livelihood and you have a right to earn a living. Proverbs 16:11 tells us to use honest balances and scales – it means that you don’t cheat your customers, but at the same time, don’t cheat yourself. Price your products and services fairly in the market. • Don’t put pressure on yourself. You may feel like the success of your business is vital to representing God, and failure would give Him a bad reputation. But if you are seeking Him first, He has promised to provide for your needs (Matt. 6:33). Relax and trust that He is far more capable of making a business successful than you are.

Gary Kauffman of North Augusta is a freelance writer and product photographer and is studying to become a Christian life coach. Contact him at glkauffman77@gmail.com or 803-341-5830.

Advanced Services named best company for work-life balance Staff Reports

Advanced Services for Pest Control in Augusta was honored for its work-life balance in June. They were one of 12 Elite Winners in the 2017 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For. Best and Brightest Companies to Work For identifies and honors organizations that displays a commitment to excellence in their Human Resource practices and employee enrichment. Organizations are rated based on communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition, retention and more. Advanced Services founder Jeff An-

42 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

nis, who accepted the award, oversaw the process of benefits to create a work-life balance for employees: “Our ‘Field-Force’ program allows our field service team to work from home and go direct to their first customer and from their last customer straight back home 80 percent of the time,” Annis said. “Our technology allows for our office and admin staff to work from home if they have a sick kid or if they are caring for a sick relative. One of our admin staff recently spent three years of her mother’s life at home with her for constant care – and did her job 40 hours a week, right from home.”

He added that Advanced Services has the following other benefits in place: • Three paid days off if you are the father or mother of a newborn or adopt a child. • Sliding scale of paid days off for death of a loved one, depending on the distance of travel to the funeral. • In-house staff can bring their children to work when necessary, as well as pets who are in need of special attention or on the way to and from veterinarian visits. • The benefit package includes support for major medical, short and long term disability, life insurance, dental insurance,

vision insurance, tax-free savings plan with matching, etc. • Our ongoing education program includes tuition assistance or reimbursement, plus we pay bonuses for added qualifications and certifications added. Among other 2017 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For award-winning companies, several have ties to Augusta. Rural Sourcing Inc. or RSI and they won the Small Business Best of the Best Award; Gray Television, which owns the News 12 and NBC stations in the CSRA; Cingo, formerly Allgood Pest Control; and Southeast Restoration.


July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Continued from Page 6

frequently ate Mexican food at a local establishment and after becoming friends with the manager, decided to open their own restaurant. Cooper said their mission statement has never changed in their 25 years. “We aim to provide the highest quality food at the best prices,” she said.

Local Firm named One of Best Places to Work Georgia Trend magazine named MealViewer as the 3rd-Best Small to Mid-Size Company Place to Work across the state in its 2017 rankings. The company is in an industrialtype building at 11th and Broad streets in downtown Augusta and boasts 17 employees. It develops and maintains software for educational systems managing their cafeteria breakfast and lunch programs for students. One of the employee perks is a three-week paid sabbatical after five years that is separate from vacation time, which is set up to help staff achieve items on their bucket lists.

Film Crew Shooting in Augusta A film crew from Los Angeles has been shooting scenes in Augusta and Columbia County for an upcoming movie. Untitled Diffusion Project, the working title of a film, began

44 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

buzz bits Border Bash is Getting New Home for 2017 The 2017 Border Bash will be held on the site of the Hippodrome in North Augusta off of the Palmetto Expressway– a gateway into both Aiken and Richmond County. Part of the grounds include a 45,000 square foot covered, outdoor arena, which will help keep attendees dry in the event of stormy weather. In past years, the Hippodrome has been primarily used for horse stables and hosting of regular events like the Augusta Cutting Futurity, the annual World Champion National Barrel Horse Race and the Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day Barrel Race. production in the CSRA on July 17 and will wrap up Aug. 4. It is being produced by Digital Diffusion LLC, which is located in Los Angeles. Untitled Diffusion Project will star two well-known lead actresses and is being directed by Jeffery G. Hunt. Various locations around the Augusta River Region are being utilized. It is a closed set, meaning it is not open to the public at any time. The Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) worked with members of this production company in the past for the filming of SiREN in Augusta in 2015. “We are excited to be assisting Untitled Diffusion Project with many of their needs ranging from filming locations, to office space, to lodging and more,” said Barry White, ACVB CEO & President. “While word of mouth is powerful in any industry, it is perhaps even more influential in film. We look forward to ensuring another positive experience here so that this production company will continue to return and will encourage others to film in Augusta as well.” Additionally, the ACVB is working closely with the Augusta Regional Film Office on this project, ensuring local crew members and industry professionals are aware of opportunities to be hired.

The Hippodrome will be retrofitted into a multi-use facility to include outdoor events, festivals and concerts. The Hippodrome is owned by Morris Communications, the parent company of Buzz on Biz. Director of Corporate Events Brian Graham, is developing plans for the renovation and sub-dividing of the Hippodrome and marketing the Border Bash. The event is managed by concert promoter Joe Stephenson and will take place Friday, Nov. 3, in advance of the big game that Saturday between South Carolina and Georgia in Athens.

Café on Canal Gets Facelift Café on the Canal is undergoing a five-week remodeling project that began June 30. It plans to relaunch on Saturday, Aug. 5. Not only are the owners remodeling the look of the cafe, but they are also updating their menu. Updates on the remodeling process will be shared via Facebook, Instagram and the Kroc Newsletter.

Westobou Changes Focus The owner of the Westobou River Trading Company retail store is re-inventing herself back to her former life as an interior designer. Westobou River Trading Company used to be an outdoor-type store with items including outdoor clothing and kayaks. Now owner Sherry Elijah will utilize her interior design skills to bring homes to life. Her studio will be set up in the same space at 827 Stevens Creek Road. Elijah will work from inception of the home to installation of any design elements.

She does on-on-one consultations, planning of living spaces and pre-move in consultation. Examples of Elijah’s work can be seen at westoboudesign.com.

Luncheon will focus on Caregiving Longevity means many people will be caring for older parents, which can create new issues to deal with for professionals. The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Luncheon will address that issue in August. Megan Rhea of the Area Agency of Aging will present “To be a Caregiver: The Journey of Elder Care” at 11:30 a.m. August 15 at The Legends Club. She will talk about the resources and support available in the CSRA Rhea for caregivers. The deadline to register for the luncheon is Aug. 11. For more information, visit augustametrochamber.com.

Aiken Task Force Seeks Work Force Development In January, the Aiken Chamber of Commerce created the Compelling Place to Live Task Force to develop strategies and recommendations to develop, attract and retain new workers, young professionals and families with children to the Aiken area. On Aug. 30, Dr. Sandra Jordan, Chancellor of USC Aiken and chair of the Task Force, will resents the task force’s findings and recommendations at the 11th Annual State of Our Community Luncheon. The luncheon begins at 12 p.m. in the USC Aiken Convocation Center. Pre-registration required. For more information, visit aikenchamber.net.


openings, closings and moves Continued from Page 7 “It will allow us to purchase more efficiently and to increase our stock considerably in the very near future and reduce the cost for our customers.” KAMO provides janitorial supplies and sustainable, green-clean solutions for many schools, churches, municipalities, restaurants and companies mostly in the Georgia-South Carolina area. Weeks Transmission will be building a state-of-the-art facility on the 1400 block of Broad Street that it says will be easier for customers to access. Groundbreaking will take place soon, and construction is expected to take 8-12 months to complete.

NEW OWNERSHIP Pink Dipper Suzanne and Scott Fanning are the new owners of the iconic ice cream parlor in North Augusta, the Pink Dipper. The shop has been at 501 Georgia Ave. in North Augusta for decades. They took over as owners July 1. “We are so excited about this new addition to our family! We pray that God uses it as a platform of our faith and an act of love to North Augusta,” the Fannings said in a Facebook post. “So for those of you who’ve lived here your entire lives and have never come by ... swing by to say hey and try it out! “And for ya’ll veteran PD guests, still swing by and come say hey and get you a scoop of ice cream.”

CLOSINGS Antique Market The 10,000-square-foot Antique Market in Le Pavilion Shopping Center at Pleasant Home and Washington roads has closed for good. Sales were not up to par for the main tenant and he chose to close. The property management company Sherman and Hemstreet had been working closely with the 30 or so vendors to make things as comfortable as possible. Sherman and Hemstreet is deciding whether to subdivide the space or seek one tenant. For more information, call (706) 722-8334.

Garden City Steak and Grill, formerly known as the Snug, closed its doors after the final meal was served June 30. “We didn’t see how it could possibly fail,” owners Tom and Christine Sparks said on Facebook.

Garden City Steak and Grill has closed The last meal was served on June 30 at the Garden City Steak and Grill, the home of the former Snug Restaurant on Davis Road in west Augusta. Tom and Christine Sparks purchased the business and building in June 2015 and last November changed the name of the iconic Snug to Garden City Steak and Grill, although the menu and décor were largely unchanged. The restaurant had gone through some management changes and endured a costly replacement of large Walton Way Deli Walton Way Deli, which had been a fixture on Walton Way for nearly two decades, closed July 13. Increased rent and lease terms were cited as the reason on its Facebook post. Walton Way Deli opened in September 1999. The owners, Michael and Lisa Hogue, couldn’t decide on a name so chose to name it after the street so people would always know their location. Their goal in opening the deli was to have an old-fashioned place that was easily manageable for lunchtime service, which would give them more time with their children. It grew over time and, according to Facebook, their patrons moved beyond being just customers and became friends. “We worked hard to make everything just right and customers happy and took pride in everything we did,” the Hogues said on Facebook. “It is going to take us some time to get over this loss. The Deli has been our iden-

heating and air units, plus had been working on upgrading the meeting rooms connected to the restaurant and bar. The facility is equipped for a restaurant, full bar and multiple meeting rooms with a separate entrance for a different business. Tom and Christine had their first date at the Snug around 20 years ago, and Tom quipped to Christine, “Someday I am going to own this restaurant.” At the end of June the Sparks post-

ed this message on their Facebook page: “It’s with profound disappointment and sadness that we inform you that tomorrow 30 June 2017, will be our last day in business. This is especially hard because of how it affects our wonderful employees and customers. We loved this restaurant so much – the food, the service and the atmosphere – We didn’t see how it could possibly fail. Thank you to everyone who supported this endeavor and helped us ‘take a shot.’ We will always be grateful.” The Hogues will now be focusing on their other business, Augusta Honey Company, taking care of their honeybees and selling their honey and beeswax products.

Walton Way Deli opened in 1999. Owners Michael and Lisa Hogue decided to close because of rising rent and lease terms, they said on Facebook.

tity and our life for so long but it is just time to move on in a new direction.”

Armando’s Pizza Armando’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant suddenly closed in early July after several years in the Riverwood Plantation Shopping Center. Despite a sign posted on the door stating, “Closed for July 4th holiday week,” a manager at the Grovetown location confirmed the Evans restaurant is permanently closed. The Grovetown location remains open. Armando’s was a sit-down family restaurant but faced recent competition from Marco’s Pizza, which opened a half-mile away in the TPS Shopping Center in Evans, and there was word that a new Papa John’s pizzeria was opening in the same shopping center this fall. – From staff reports July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Teaching the Teacher

In new field of forensics, even the teacher becomes a student By Randy Elvidge

With the increasing popularity and presence of crime-scene investigation television shows, the quest for more knowledge about this subject drives many students to search for related courses. At GMC, we created such a course. We’ve offered Forensic Biotechnology since 2015, and it continues to attract a wide diversity of students. From fascinated dual-enrollment students to local law enforcement, the course plays a vital role in our community. As a scientist, and not a trained forensic investigator, I have strived to find relevance in all aspects of the course. This course resembles (and often mimics) similar courses in Criminalistics, but I wanted students to learn by touching, measuring, comparing, viewing, thinking and reporting all biological and physical aspects of criminal activity. In just eight weeks, students observe and measure blood spatter, fingerprints, hair and fibers, footprints, and handwriting. Students also analyze DNA to determine the actual suspects at the crime scene, as well as decide the actual father in a paternity case. Students are not the only participants expected to learn. At GMC, faculty professional development is not only encouraged, but expected. Just like students, faculty are also lifelong learners. This summer, the University of Tennessee offered a short course at their Forensic Anthropology Center. Many of you may be familiar with the nickname of “Body Farm.” The course, Comparative Osteology, taught students from all over

the United States the importance of recognizing and noting differences between human skeletal remains and remains often mistaken for human. For three days, participants studied actual human skeletons from donors of the Bass Collection. In addition, students were challenged to compare these donors to common wildlife bones (such as bear, deer, pig, cow, and even coastal animals such as dolphins and sea lions). The course culminated into a final exam within the boundaries of the actual research facility. Upon entering the decomposition facility, we were briefed on what to expect and the basic rules of working around

donors (actual decedents placed for research). Immediately after we slipped on gloves and protective boots, we walked up a gravel path into the facility. Within minutes, we were exposed to the mild odor of decomposition. To the left and to the right there were two donor bodies placed just two weeks prior. We stopped to make observations and were taught the significance of all environmental parameters of that particular time frame. In only a few more yards, we arrived at our simulated crime scene. We measured, photographed, mapped and illustrated, flagged, recovered and identified all placed pieces of evidence (remains). This

truly was a hands-on final exam. Class participants included law enforcement officers, coroners, crime scene investigators and even a medical examiner. They added a wealth of knowledge by explaining how what we were seeing related to common observations found at crime scenes. The instructors for the course were very helpful and patient. Seeing that a couple of college biology professors were learning much of this material for the first time, they focused on how to draw conclusions from what we already knew. I cannot wait to include this information in my courses! This course is offered annually to college educators, law enforcement officers, and investigators. Officers and educators interested in this, and related courses offered by the University of Tennessee, should check the Forensic Anthropology Center’s website for information (www. fac.utk.edu). Randy Elvidge is Georgia Military College’s Natural Sciences Division Chair, teaching as faculty at the Augusta campus. For questions about Georgia Military College enrollment, call 706-9931123 or visit our website at www.gmc.edu. Georgia Military College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which means that all credit earned at the institution is transferable to other accredited schools. Eligibility for participation in the joint enrollment program is based on students’ high school GPA and SAT or ACT scores.

Taking the Long View

An annuity can provide long-term security in retirement By Mike Herrington

In planning for financial security in retirement, an annuity can satisfy two basic objectives: 1. To accumulate retirement assets on a tax-deferred basis: If you’re already contributing the maximum to IRAs and any employer-sponsored retirement plans and need to save more for retirement, a deferred annuity may be the answer to your retirement savings need. 2. To convert retirement assets into an income that you cannot outlive: If you’re near or at retirement, an immediate income annuity can be used to convert existing retirement assets into a lifetime income.

46 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

An annuity is a long-term savings plan that can be used to accumulate assets on a tax-deferred basis for retirement and/or to convert retirement assets into a stream of income. While both are insurance contracts, an annuity is the opposite of life insurance: Life insurance provides financial protection against the risk of dying prematurely, while an annuity provides financial protection against the risk of living too long and being without income during retirement. If you are already contributing the maximum to an IRA and/or an employer-sponsored retirement plan, an annuity can be an excellent way to save for financial security in retirement. Inadequate retirement savings can

keep you from realizing your retirement dreams! Are you making effective use of your business to achieve your retirement planning goals? Consider that your odds of dying before age 65 decrease as you get older, but your odds of living into your retirement years increase. For example, of 1,000 men aged 30, about 16 percent will die before age 65. Among women, that percentage is about 13 percent. But by the time they reach age 60, their odds of living into their retirement years increase to 94 percent for men and 95 percent for women. That means retirement funds are critical. Contact my office if you’d like additional information on the role an annuity might play in your retirement planning,

or any other information in setting yourself up for life in retirement.

Mike Herrington 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. Reach him at 706.868.8673 or mike@herringtonfinancialservices. com.


100 New Jobs Coming

Starbucks to expand manufacturing facility in Augusta BY Staff reports

The Augusta Economic Development Authority announced in June that Starbucks will nearly double the size of its Augusta manufacturing facility, adding 140,000 square feet to its current 180,000 square feet, and will create up to 100 new jobs. Construction on the new facility will begin this summer and will be completed in the fall of 2019. The expansion is prompted by Starbucks’ growth and consumer demand. The Augusta plant currently employs 185 people. The new jobs will cover a range of positions, according to Tim Filipowski, the plant director. Of the 185 current positions, one in six are military veterans or spouses of veterans. “Because of the technical nature of our business here, we have recruited heavily for automation specialists, operators, mechanics and technicians,” said Filipowski. “Generally, the folks coming out of the service have some or all of those experiences.” The plant maintains a close relationship with Fort Gordon. In addition to hosting job fairs at the base, Starbucks conducts regular plant tours for service members, maintains an Adopt A Unit program and supports the annual Fisher House Golf Tournament, which generates funds to aid families of patients receiving care at military and Veterans Administration medical centers.

The Starbucks manufacturing plant in Augusta plans to add 100 new jobs after expansion. Photo contributed

In 2013, Starbucks set a goal to hire 10,000 service members, veterans and military spouses by 2018. The company reached that goal earlier this year and announced a new target of 25,000 by 2025

at the Starbucks Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Starbucks opened the plant in Augusta in July 2012. It is the first companyowned facility in the world to produce

Starbucks soluble products. The plant’s two roasters generate Starbucks VIA Instant and the coffee base for Frappuccino blended beverages and many of Starbucks’ bottled and canned beverages. The expansion will add six new wholebean roasters, allowing the plant to offer packaged coffee to Starbucks stores and retail locations in the Northeastern and Southeastern United States. When finished, Starbucks will have more than a quarter of a billion dollars invested in Augusta-Richmond County at Augusta Corporate Park. Walt Sprouse, the executive director of the Augusta Economic Development Authority, said the connection between Starbucks and the Fort Gordon community is mutually beneficial. “We have many people who leave the military after three, six or 20 years and they are excellent workers,” Sprouse said. “Starbucks did their research and have found many qualified workers here in Augusta.” Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said the expansion in Augusta affirms the region’s reputation as a gateway to the Southeastern market. “As Georgia grows its reputation as the gateway to the Southeastern market, companies like Starbucks continue to strategically locate and expand operations here,” said Deal. “This decision to expand in Augusta reflects Georgia’s ability to retain dynamic companies and support industry leaders in long-term growth.”

Moon Rise

Google Returns to Their Old Ranking Tactics By John Pope

In June Google went back to their pattern of making significant updates to their PageRank Algorithm, this time targeting quality of content and spammy backlinks. Healthcare based sites seem to be one of the major targets along with click-bait sites that you would find linked to your Facebook or Twitter profile feeds. Landing pages and other ad-based links are considered spammy backlinks by Google and this can significantly hurt your ranking, especially in the Chrome browser. Some sites saw huge fluctuations last month that carried over into this month and most likely will continue to be felt into the fall. The effects can be felt across both mobile platforms such as your

iPhone or Droid device and also your desktop devices such as your handy laptop or tower. So basically there is a major algorithm wave happening right now. “Moon Algo” is what this change has been dubbed as it apparently was launched around the June 25, which was a new moon. According to online SEO bloggers and analysts this is basically a refresh of Panda and Penguin. “We are tightening up Penguin again because people feel as if they can simply have their links ignored and continue spamming without repercussions,” said one representative from Google. “I would strongly suggest treading with care as we move into next month. Clean up internal anchors, overuse of single words and

over-optimized external anchors.” What does this mean for your business? Well, basically this means you will need to clean up your content on your website and landing pages so that there are not too many repetitive keyword mentions, especially if they are keywords that you are attempting to have optimized. If you are running a Google AdWords campaign this can affect your cost per click as well since this effects the overall quality score of content on websites. The best advice I can give is to contact your web designer or in-house web development team and have them analyze and revaluate your content for spam like sentences and call-to-actions clicks. Also make sure your keyword density or your

number of keyword mentions is appropriate. And, as always, the team at On the Level Digital is ready to help with these necessary adjustments.

John Pope has worked in digital media sales and marketing for six years. His specialty is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Email pope@ontheleveldigital. com.

July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Ice Cream Dreams

Answered prayers lead Fannings to buy iconic Pink Dipper By Gary Kauffman

Sometimes God answers prayers with ice cream. At least that’s the story for Scott and Suzanne Fanning, who became owners of the Pink Dipper ice cream parlor July 1. The Pink Dipper, 501 Georgia Ave., has been a fixture of downtown North Augusta for the past 45 years. The Pink Dipper looks like an ice cream parlor should, with delicate white metal chairs with red upholstered seats and a heart design in the back, faux-Tiffany lamp shades and a counter with red upholstered bar stools. Of course, there is plenty of ice cream available – up to 40 flavors – plus specialty items like floats, smoothies, malts, sundaes, frappes and old-fashioned ice cream sodas. The Pink Dipper opened in 1972, owned by the Gabriel family. After about 20 years, they sold it to an investor who quickly found that it required more effort than he’d anticipated. It wasn’t long before he sold it to David and Lindy Myers, who owned the ice cream parlor for the past 24 years until the Fannings bought it from them. The Fannings have long been familiar with the Pink Dipper since both grew up in North Augusta. Scott worked there from 1998-2003 while in high school and college. And Suzanne was a frequent visitor while pregnant with their son. They also attended the same church as the Myers. Because of their close connection, they had often dreamed about owning the ice cream parlor but assumed it wouldn’t be attainable. But earlier this year, both Scott and Suzanne felt restless in their jobs and began praying about future direction. Scott had even spent some time talking to their pastor about their desire to move into some other area of work. Then on Palm Sunday, a series of events conspired to make them too late to attend their church’s service, so they attended another church. The pastor there urged the congregation to quit playing things

48 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

Scott and Suzanne are the new owners of the Pink Dipper ice cream parlor in downtown North Augusta. Photo by Gary Kauffman

safe and take an aggressive attitude for God. That moved Scott to the point that the next day he met with his own pastor to discuss the message. “He said, ‘It feels like you’re putting God in a box. Pray for God to make you marvel at Him,’ ” Scott recalled. That was Monday, but he put off the prayer until Friday night after Suzanne had gone to bed early. “I didn’t know what to ask, so I said, ‘Lord, make me marvel at You,’” Scott said. About three hours later he was on the internet and, on a whim, searched for the Pink Dipper. To his surprise, he found it listed for sale – and at a price that was a possibility for them. The next morning

he showed Suzanne the listing, which left her speechless. “And I’m rarely speechless,” she said. The Fannings drafted a letter stating their intent to buy the business and their goals with it. They presented the letter to Lindy Myers, but she didn’t open it. Instead, she told them what she would expect of them if they bought it. It was identical to what the Fannings had written in the unopened letter. “It feels like every door has been opened,” Scott said. “We’re still amazed.” “Seeing how God’s hand has been woven through our story, we definitely feel this is our calling,” Suzanne said. Apparently, so do the residents of North Augusta. Sales were so brisk during their first full weekend in business

that they ran out of three flavors. And the pace hasn’t slowed since. “Two things make people happy – hugs and ice cream,” Scott said. “People can come in, looking like they’re having a rough day, and by the time they’re done with their ice cream, a smile has crept onto their face,” Suzanne said. Among the customers are those who haven’t been there in years but remember trips to the Pink Dipper with their parents or grandparents. Scott said it is a place that creates memories with its oldfashioned feel. However, the Fannings do plan to update and upgrade the store, but carefully. “We’re being respectful of the history,” Suzanne said. “We want to update some but we don’t want it to lose its charm. We want to make those changes but not have anyone experience culture shock.” They plan to use their business as a mentoring opportunity for their employees, many who are working there while still in school like Scott once was. “We can train them for their future employers,” Suzanne said. “It’s a fun environment but we also expect them to work hard. Work hard, play hard is our motto.” The Fannings also will explore ways to incorporate ministry opportunities into their business. “We want to be good stewards with what we’ve been given and blessed with,” Suzanne said. “This is an act of love for our community. We love North Augusta. We want to use this as our platform of faith in this town.” With the new baseball stadium and Riverside Village at Hammonds Ferry on the way, the Fannings anticipate growth in downtown North Augusta. Although that could mean competition from other stores selling ice cream, the Fannings believe the Pink Dipper’s rich history will cause it to stand out. “We’re leaning into our history,” Suzanne said. “Even if a new ice cream shop comes into town, they don’t have the history or nostalgia we do.”


July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Making a First Impression

A clean exterior adds value when selling a home its surfaces. Everyone loves a clean environment. Pressure washing makes the house›s exterior clean, and the prospective buyer feels that the house is the best one for them. You can easily move into a pressurewashed house and settle down faster than in one that has not been pressure-washed. Indeed, buying a dirty house when clean ones exist beats logic, and that is why pressure-washed houses normally sell faster.

BY TONY Creighton

The saying goes, “first impressions stick,” and there is nowhere that is more evident than when a home is on the market. The very first impression is often the one that stays with prospective buyers, and often a home covered in dirt or algae doesn’t stand a chance. Indeed, when a home does not look clean, nothing else seems quite right. A SoftWash of your home’s exterior siding, stucco or brick, driveway and walkway surfaces increases the value because it entails removing dirt, grime, mold, mud, algae and other organic growth and materials. By so doing, it increases the aesthetic value of the house, making it visually appealing to the buyers. Additionally, a clean home exterior gives prospective buyers the impression that your home has been well-maintained. As a Realtor or seller, you are communicating to prospective buyers that your home is worth the time, effort and money you’ve put into it with regular care and maintenance, and can greatly add to the value of your home.

Given all the advantages of pressure washing, Realtors and homeowners must consider hiring professional pressure washing companies such as AllClean Pressure Washing if they want to increase their curb appeal and raise the value of their property. Selling a house at the highest possible value is not an easy task and requires your full attention to detail. The exterior parts of the house, such as the roof, siding, driveway/walkway and patio surfaces, are the focal points of the

entire house; without an appealing curb aesthetic, prospective buyers may never even make it inside to see the rest of your home. Professional cleaners are trained to use the proper equipment, techniques and detergents to ensure the highest-quality cleaning of your home’s exterior surfaces. By using a professional pressure-washing company, you’re guaranteeing your home will receive the highest-quality cleaning while also ensuring no damage is done to

Tony Creighton is the owner\operator of ALLCLEAN™ Pressure Washing, LLC and its subsidiary, Augusta PROCLEAN™ — committed to providing high-quality cleanings for the CSRA’s commercial properties and homes. Call 706.651.8089 or email allcleanaugusta@gmail.com.

Yes, I Can

Many people can achieve their dreams despite disabilities By Samantha Taylor

As a teacher, I have worked with many students with disabilities. Unfortunately, when you say disability, people typically assume you are referring to an individual who is unable to care for him or herself and will never earn a high school diploma, much less a college degree. Yes, there are individuals with severe disabilities who will not be able to do these things; however, the vast majority of students can and will. I don’t mean to get on a soapbox, but the stigma associated with having a disability is one of my biggest pet peeves. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing students with learning disabilities, autism, muscular dystrophy and bipolar disorder walk across the stage to receive their diplomas and then go on to college. With this in mind, this month’s reviews are dedicated to movies about people who overcame their disabilities and achieved their dreams. The Other Sister: This 1999 film stars Juliette Lewis as Carla Tate, a woman with an intellectual disability who is returning home after many years spent in a

50 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

boarding school for individuals with special needs. At this school, Carla learned a great deal of independence and returns home hoping to have a future in which she can care for herself. Unfortunately, her mother does not see the same future for Carla. After a great deal of negotiating, Carla is permitted to attend the local community college. She does well there and meets a boy named Danny, who also has a disability. The two of them become friends, and Carla is inspired by Danny’s independence. Not only does he attend school, but he also has a job and his own apartment. She soon begins pressing her mother for these things, which leads to a great deal of strife between the two of them. I enjoyed The Other Sister because it gave a fairly accurate account of the issues facing individuals with disabilities and their families. Everyone wants independence, but this can be difficult to come to terms with for parents of an individual with a disability. They love their child, but they are afraid and sometimes this fear causes them to keep their child from

reaching his or her full potential. This film allows viewers to see this difficult process and leaves you smiling at the end. A Mile in His Shoes: Let me first say that the acting in this film leaves much to be desired. It isn’t awful, but it most certainly didn’t have the caliber of actors that The Other Sister featured. Also of note, this film is based on a novel, which I haven’t read yet, so I can’t say how true the film is to the original story. What I can say, however, is that this is a good family film and will open up lines of dialogue between you and your children. Set in the 1940s, A Mile in His Shoes is the story of Mickey Tussler, a farm boy with Asperger’s syndrome. Not much is known about his condition, but his father is adamant that farm work is the best thing for him. A twist of fate brings Arthur Murphy into their lives. Murphy is the manager for the minor league Milwaukee Brewers and is blown away by the strength of Mickey’s arm. After watching him “pitch” apples into a barrel, he convinces Mickey’s parents to let him try out for

the team, and a few days later the two of them head to camp. I’ve worked with athletes and I know how brutal they can be to one another, but I also know how deeply they care for each other once they become a family. A Mile in His Shoes does a good job of showing the ups and downs of accepting someone new on a team, especially someone who requires a little more patience and understanding to be successful. It may not be Oscar-worthy, but it’s definitely worth watching.

Samantha Taylor, “Sam the Movie Chick,” is on a mission to find the best movies and TV shows for you to stream from Netflix. She loves good flicks, good food and good friends. Her eclectic tastes are sure to give readers a wide range of viewing choices.


July 27-August 30, 2017 Buzz on Biz

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Eat Better, Look Better Switching to a healthy diet creates positive body changes BY ONNIE SANFORD

If you have seen any of my live Facebook videos, which we have dubbed Thursday Throwdown in the Paleo Kitchen, chances are you have seen my kids participating. As much as they slow me down sometimes, I love to have them try new foods, get their hands dirty (don’t worry, they wear gloves) and help me create yumminess. Most importantly, it makes them ask questions and helps them become aware of food. I asked my 8-year-old what I should write about, and she said, “How it changes your body.” I asked her to elaborate, and I had a proud Mommy moment. In the words of Nora: “It makes you look better, it makes you feel pretty or handsome and it makes you feel like doing more things.” She gets it; I wish I had learned this sooner. Thanks to the knowledge I have gained over the past four years, I was able to determine that gluten was really making Nora uncomfortable. We had already taken dairy out of her diet, but her stomach issues persisted. After school let out, my husband and I put her on a more paleo meal plan and deduced very quickly that gluten was the culprit. She went from having stomach pains for most of the day to complaining very rarely. Now, I am not telling everyone to selfdiagnose themselves or their kids. If you are unsure, please see a doctor. I am stressing that you should really start paying attention to the foods you and your family eat. Food allergies are at

Balsamic Vinaigrette It’s so much healthier to make your own dressings and marinades. Try this one: 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (Kroger makes a version with no sugar added) ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper ¼ cup balsamic vinegar ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 garlic clove, crushed

an all-time high, chronic illnesses are inundating American families, obesity is the worst it has ever been and the list goes on. There are multiple types of food that cause inflammation in the body. Gluten, meaning glue in Latin, is essentially the glue that holds food together. Dairy is another highly inflammatory food. To keep it simple, a person’s level of intolerance is based on how well their body breaks down lactose found in dairy products. When we add the large amounts of dyes and processed foods, our body has a very difficult time deciphering what to break down and how to break these foods down. What is the answer? Educate your-

self on foods and what is good. When in doubt, get back to the basics. Meat: At a minimum, look for meat with no hormones and no added fillers. Vegetables and fruit: Get organic vegetables and fruit, if it fits into the budget. If not, soak and wash them in water and white vinegar. If you can’t get fresh, frozen is your next best option; try to steer clear of the canned veggies. Carbohydrates: Rice and quinoa need to be washed before cooking. Sweet potatoes are an easily digestible carbohydrate – and packed with nutrients, so you get a lot of bang for your buck. Sauces and marinades: Most impor-

Pour ingredients into a jar with lid, tighten the lid and shake vigorously! Store the vinaigrette in the fridge. tantly, stay away from the pre-packaged marinades, sauces, seasoning packs and dressings. It is so easy to make your own, or at least read the label – the ingredient list should be short, and all the ingredients familiar! Onnie Sanford is the owner of Paleo Num Yums, a meal prep service specializing in healthy, fresh and tasty meals that are ready to cook. For a free consultation, call 706.699.1383.

Summer Ales

Thirst-quenching brews flavor summer activities BY BEN CASELLA

As previously promised, this summer will be the one during which I actually review some good summer ales instead of my usual and customary chewy brews. So, piggybacking off of last month’s column, let’s dive into a couple more (dare I say) quenching beers for those badminton competitions or croquet games or whatever the devil it is people do outside these days. If you need me, I’ll be inside till Halloween.

Victory Summer Love Ale

This American Blonde Ale from Penn-

52 Buzz on Biz July 27-August 30, 2017

sylvania’s Victory Brewing Company is far removed from that brewer’s Golden Monkey Ale, which is popular around these parts. At a much lower 5.2 percent ABV, Summer Love conveys a crisp and clean savor throughout, with floral and citrus notes toward the back end. The malts are present, but not too sweet or toasty at all, allowing the hops the opportunity to give this brew a significance of savor while somehow maintaining a clean decay. Well balanced and well done, Victory. I would couple this brew with openfaced toast topped with bacon, avocados,

tomatoes, pepper jack cheese, and aged balsamic vinegar – that would be a great meal.

Dogfish Head Festina Peche

One of the ways to get me to drink more water is to add some citrus to it. Well, interestingly, the same principle can apparently be applied to beer. This Berliner Weissbier pours a partly cloudy (very) light gold with a two-or-so finger head – after all, it’s a bit yeasty. However, the citrus tones throughout and especially toward the end really settle this brew as you sip. There is a linger on the tongue, but it’s not significant enough to send you

running for water afterward. I would couple this brew with lemon pound cake (don’t forget the custard). Hopefully, the long fall we call “fall and winter” will come sooner rather than later this year. Until then, “Stay hydrated, my friends.” Ben Casella likes summer – really, he does. But he’ll be inside until the air is a little more crisp. October sounds good.


Unique dessert company plans North Augusta location By Amanda King

You never know what you may gain from high school friends later in life. For Missy Smith and her husband, Shane, an old friend gave them the opportunity to open the first franchise of a growing business, Tree House Macarons. Owner Eric Roundtree began baking macarons, a handmade French dessert comprised of meringue and almond flour, in his home kitchen in Hoboken, Ga. After family and friends, including the Smiths, began encouraging him to sell the treats, he and his wife, Kelley, set up a website to take online orders and eventually moved into a storefront. “It’s doing phenomenal, and I think it all goes back to presentation,” Missy said, referring to the colorful array of macarons available online, in the Hoboken storefront and at their table at The Augusta Market. The Smiths’ franchise in Augusta was the first to open on June 10. Shortly after, a location in the Druid Hills area of Atlanta opened. Similar to Roundtree, the couple opted to take online orders first and take advantage of The Augusta Market, where they sold out of macarons the first day, setting a corporate record for the number of treats sold in a single day.

Tree House Macarons carries 80 different flavors, all gluten free. Flavors are unique, like pancakes-and-bacon, pecan pie, mimosa and double-shot espresso. The Smiths hope to cash in on the Masters crowd by offering a collection of Masters-inspired flavors, including one that tastes like pimiento cheese. Missy, a teacher’s assistant at Westminster Schools of Augusta, and Shane, a training supervisor with Mosaic Technologies Group at Fort Gordon, plan to open a storefront in downtown North Augusta next to the new Your Pie on Georgia Avenue in the fall. The main bakery for Tree House will also move to the new location. They hope to make Tree House their new full time jobs and escape the “rat race” of their normal work life and have the luxury of working for themselves. The Smiths have two daughters, one attending Clemson University and another at Westminster, and hope to use their new business to pay for their education. For now, customers can enjoy the macarons by ordering from their website or picking up individual macarons or collections at The Augusta Market. For more details on Tree House Macarons or to place online orders, visit treehousemacarons.com.

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How Sweet It Is

Mouth-watering Meals, Treats at Boll Weevil BY SUSAN O’KEEFE

The Boll Weevil Cafe and Sweetery

Housed on the property of an old cotton warehouse built in the late 1800s, The Boll Weevil Café and Sweetery has outlived its namesake by a long shot. The cotton-eating insect has a life span of just a few weeks. But the restaurant has enjoyed success for nearly three decades. The Boll Weevil sits in the middle of Augusta’s riverfront history. No matter that it’s on a dead-end street — its savory sweets and enchanting entrees make it a destination eatery. From Southern delights such as shrimp ‘n’ grits and gumbo to nachos and quesadillas, The Boll Weevil is a jewel of a downtown dining option with an inclusive menu that offers a hint of the homemade. Accompanied by a trio of ladies eager to eat, discuss and leave with a few leftovers while keeping the budget intact, I recently dined at The Boll Weevil. It was a sunny, beginning-of-summer kind of day. Within minutes of being greeted and seated, a sweet Southern iced tea hit the spot. Our server was gracious to allow us time to talk, muse over the menu and eventually settle on a few items. One must-have on our list was the famous Tomato Apple Soup. It’s a Boll Weevil signature special and is made with fire roasted Fuji apples and carrots in a creamy tomato soup. My mouth was watering at the thought of the curious combination. One colleague chose the turkey-andrice soup packed with smoked turkey breast, carrots, onions and celery in a thick broth served over white rice. It would be served alongside a house salad. My other colleagues chose the Lumberg Club and The Jerk Chicken sandwiches.

Food Price Location Networking Noise Level Ham! Turkey! And bacon! Oh, my! While the four of us visited, we noticed a nice steady stream of patrons. Although there didn’t seem to be a wait for diners, there was always a hostess striding back and forth. A couple of tables nearby offered spacious seating for at least eight. There were several parties of just two. A few solo diners perched at the bar. Overall, there was a relaxing atmosphere at The Boll Weevil that seemed in rhythm with its customers. A few folks were involved in serious conversations. A few others laughed and welcomed the lazy days of summer. And still, a few others seemed all too keen on keeping business at the top of the menu. Once our food was delivered, and we’d each tasted and tried one another’s fare, we all reached a consensus of thumbs-up all around. Prices are reasonable. The food is tasty. And the background noise is low enough so as not to distract from people trying to carry on a face-to-face conver-

sation: Translated, that means cellphones are out of sight. When the main part of lunch wrapped up, there was the dessert debate. Should we or should we not? Maybe we could just split a piece of cake? If we eat it now, then there’s still time to walk it off this afternoon and evening. Offering more than 30 homemade desserts, The Boll Weevil prides itself on delicacies such as Hummingbird Cake, which is layers of spice cake with bananas, pineapples and cinnamon all beneath a homemade cream cheese icing. Perhaps the Perfect Chocolate Cake could be our cherry on top of a lovely lunch. It’s billed as decadent layers of chocolate cake with chunks of rich brownies baked inside, topped with chocolate buttercream icing and dark chocolate ganache. One colleague eyed the Red Velvet Cake and I assure you, her mouth was hanging open in lust. The Red Velvet is

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The Boll Weevil Café and Sweetery is located at 10 James Brown Blvd. in Augusta. The phone number is 706-722-7772, and the website is www.thebollweevil.com. promoted as indulgently delicious layers with our homemade cream cheese icing. To order dessert or to deny dessert? What’s a girl to do? If you dine at The Boll Weevil anytime soon, let me know what you decide. As for our choice, I’ll never tell.

Susan O’Keefe has been reviewing restaurants for Buzz on Biz since August 2015. Her restaurant visits and reviews are done with a businessperson in mind.


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