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Innovation Academy offers entrepreneurs place to work By Gary Kauffman Keith Edmondson is in business for himself and the sole employee of his business. Yet several times a week he enjoys being around dozens of “co-workers.” Edmondson, who owns Augusta Sports League, is one of 45 entrepreneurs and small business owners who avail themselves to the Innovation Academy, located in the old Richmond Academy building on Telfair Street. Innovation Academy, which includes The that had been on Broad Street, opened in November as a place where entrepreneurs and small business owners could gather. It gives them an office space, and access to technology like an electronics lab and a computer lab they might not be able to afford on their own. It’s a valuable as-

set to budget-conscious entrepreneurs. For $99 a month, they can use the space as often as they want. For Edmondson, the Innovation Academy has increased his work output over his home office. “I get a lot more work done here,” he said. “I get way distracted at the house.” Plus there’s the advantage of having other people, his “co-workers,” around him. “There’s the opportunity to fellowship,” he said. “When you’re a one-man show, it’s great to be able to share what’s going on and to get some feedback.” That is exactly the atmosphere Grace Belangia and Eric Parker were going for when See INNOVATION ACADEMY, page 2 Dale Green of Konica Minolta shows some of the products that can be produced with 3-D printers sold by Pollock Company. Photo by Gary Kauffman

Pollock marks 50 years with Tech Expo

Keith Edmondson in his “office” at the Innovation Academy. Photo by Gary Kauffman

By Gary Kauffman Standing among the avant garde of 3-D printer technology, Joe Pollock seemed a world removed from the company his father started in 1965. Back then, the cutting edge technology involved typewriters and mechanical adding machines. Pollock said his father couldn’t have imagined the types of products Pollock Company sells today when he started the company. “No one could have,” Pollock said. Pollock Company celebrated its 50th an-

niversary May 12 and 13 by holding a Technology Expo at the Marriott Convention Center. It was a celebration of how a company can adapt to the changes of the modern world to continue serving its customers. The technology on display would have seemed like science fiction in 1965, and is even a little hard to believe in 2015. The stars of the show were the 3-D printers that can be used to create scale models of products, See POLLOCK, page 6


continued from page 1 they started The and now the Innovation Academy. “It’s the next step up from a coffeehouse, a more formal space,” Parker said. “In a sense you have co-workers, even though they’re working on different things. There are people you can bounce ideas off of.” He said on any given day, 10-15 people are working in the building. In addition to opening the space to the entrepreneurs, the building is also home to Hackathons. A Hackathon is an event held for a set period of a few hours where creative technologists gather to work on a specific project or problem together. Projects have ranged from creating a Twitter app to building an animatronic Santa Claus. Between the office spaces and Hackathons, Belangia said about 2,000 people have utilized the building in the first six months. It was the Hackathons that led Parker and Belangia to create their first workspace, The, three years ago. Parker asked those at a Hackathon they sponsored if people would be interested in paying $100 a month for a place to work. There were 12 founding members, which was enough to pay the rent on the building on Broad Street. That served them well until the concept became more popular, prompting a change in location. “We were definitely outgrowing that space,” Parker said. “It was making it difficult for the space to be successful.” At about that same time, Belangia was organizing TEDx Telfair and talked to a member of the board of trustees for the Rich-

mond Academy. Their building on Telfair had been vacant for more than 20 years and they were seeking a tenant. With Parker’s background in architecture and Belangia’s involvement in community organization, it became a perfect fit. The building was erected in 1802 and used as the Richmond Academy until 1926. It did stints as a library and museum after that. Although it had been vacant for so long, the ground floor had been well maintained. The Innovation Academy is making changes necessary to upgrade the infrastructure for modern equipment. “It is kind of funny that we’re creating an innovation center in a building that predates electricity,” Parker admitted. It is a work in progress. They are working on the electronics lab and want to add 3-D printers and teach robotics classes. In the future, they hope to renovate the kitchen to become a test kitchen for restaurateurs and entrepreneurs creating food products. Parker said there is a misconception that because of their investment in technology that it is only for entrepreneurs in the tech field. “We’re very tech focused but people get a little misguided that you have to be a tech company to be here,” he said. “We’re here to advocate what technology can do for your business.” Although there is a range of types of companies in a variety of fields, Parker said there is still a lot of collaboration about how to do business. “Business itself has a lot of commonality – understanding the customer, financing,

Freedom of Information Act probed in Project Jackson case The fate of Project Jackson in North Augusta could come down to who said what when. The South Carolina Supreme Court on May 5 heard arguments from lawyers representing the city of North Augusta and Steve Donohue about whether the city can move ahead with Project Jackson, which will contain a stadium for the GreenJackets, a hotel and various retail stores. The project has been on hold since Donohue first filed a suit against it more than a year ago. Last August the Circuit Court ruled in favor of North Augusta, and the case was appealed to the Supreme Court. Much of Donohue’s original argument had involved the designation of the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District to fund the stadium and whether that was a valid use of the TIF. But the justices seemed to have little concern about the TIF. Instead, the Court delved into the question of what was said in executive sessions following the public meetings of the City Council, and whether anything was discussed there that should have been discussed in public. Public bodies like city councils are allowed to meet in private sessions following

2 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

public meetings in order to address issues like employee discipline and contracts. Donohue’s lawyer contended that the council met in executive sessions to discuss the TIF District and other issues that should have been part of the public record. He also believed that the council did not sufficiently publicize when Project Jackson was going to be discussed, curtailing important public input. But the city’s attorney countered that the only discussions in executive session about Project Jackson were contract negotiations, and that all discussions about Project Jackson were publicized to the public on the council agendas. The Supreme Court is concerned that the ties between contract negotiations and establishing the TIF District are close enough to raise concerns about whether one could be discussed in private without affecting the other. There appear to be two possible outcomes from the Court – it can uphold the city’s contention that it acted properly and the project can move forward, or it could rule that the Freedom of Information Act was violated, in which case the city would have to hold new hearings on the issue.

The Innovation Academy is located in the old Richmond Academy building on Telfair Street. The building was constructed in 1802. Photo by Gary Kauffman

legal issues,” he said. The businesses also help each other through their expertise. One member, for example, offered a three-day introduction to graphic design to other members, something Edmondson found to be a plus in his membership in Innovation Academy. “To be able to offer classes to members to expand their knowledge, that’s also a benefit,” Edmondson said. Belangia added that the atmosphere goes

beyond business. “It’s a community,” she said. “It becomes very hands-on. This is their castle, their office.” Xavier Jones has his business, Perfect Storm, a community art education program, at Innovation Academy and enjoys that sense of community. “This is a perfect fit for us,” he said. “Everything is positive, everyone wants to share and collaborate.”

THE CSRA’S ONLY MONTHLY BUSINESS MAGAZINE The Buzz on Biz mission is to act as an inspirational tool for those in the workplace and those who are entrepreneurs, and to provide useful, practical information to increase their companies’ bottom lines. To order a 12-month subscription mailed to your home or office, please mail a check for $36 to cover postage to the address below. Publisher Neil R. Gordon Editor in Chief Gary Kauffman/803-341-5830

Writers Jennifer Reynolds Elisabeth Curry Kelsey Morrow

Sales Manager Neil R. Gordon/706-589-6727

Calendar Coordinator Kelsey Morrow

Sales Janine Garropy/803-480-2800 Design Gary Kauffman Photography Gary Kauffman Melissa Gordon/

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Publisher’s Notes Neil Gordon

Time of Reflection

Special Memorial Day events and news you can use If you are reading this soon after our publish date of May 21, I ask you to read up on a pair of really unique events put on by local businesspeople. On Memorial Day, John Reeves of Bellevue Memorial

Memorial Gardens, Chapel & Mausoleum in Grovetown is hosting an Avenue of Flags and special ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. There will also be a nice surprise from Reeves if you stay. Read all about this patriotic business in the centerfold insert. The next day, on Tuesday, May 26 Ryan Owens, a female advisor with First Command Financial Services, is hosting a financial workshop to help CSRA women. She is also one of our featured female entrepreneurs in our Women in Business section, which begins on page 39. There must have been “something in the water” 50 years ago for a pair of local institutions, Weinberger’s Furniture and Pollock Company. In 1965 Walker Penland began his career with Weinberger’s Furniture and is still working several days a week at the River Watch Parkway headquarters. Look for Elisabeth Curry’s feature on page 12. Also in 1965, Pollock Company

opened in Augusta and has enjoyed a wild ride from selling mechanical adding machines and manual typewriters to cutting edge technology like 3-D printers. A feature about the company and their technology begins on the front page. Also on the front page, read about the Innovation Academy located in the old Richmond Academy building. It acts as a “creative think tank” for many budding entrepreneurs in the CSRA. Our columnists were very busy this month as well and we’re introducing a new one – Delano Collins, the Chief Information Officer of EDTS. He is helping local businesses fight cyber crime. You’ll also enjoy reading about Michael McCauley’s employment detour that led to a passion for selling shoes. As the old saying goes, “If the shoe fits....” Another entrepreneur with a “sound vision” for the future is Jonavon Stephens. Read about his idea for intro-


In the center 8-page insert is The Patriot Times sponsored by Bellevue Memorial Gardens, Chapel & Mausoleums.

Business Openings...22,23

Inn Starts Phase 2............ 6

Women In Business 39-48

The Partridge Inn has started Phase 2 of its renovations that will see changes to public areas and exterior.

Many businesses in the CSRA are owned by women. In this special section we take a close look at 12 of them.

A Sound Vision.............. 24 Entrepreneur Jonavon Stephens hopes his vision for an affordable sound and video studio will catch on.

Businessperson Of Month: Michael McCauley......... 28 A temporary job in a shoe store led to a perfect fit for a business.

Business Events............ 30

50 Years on the Job........ 12

Insurance Extras............ 26 Apprenticeships............ 31

J. Walker Penland has been selling furniture at Weinberger’s Furniture since 1965 and is still going strong at age 83.

As more companies push employees to insurance exchanges, supplemental insurance becomes more vital.


Neil Gordon is president of Buzz on Biz, LLC and produces a daily TV segment on News 12 This Morning, a daily radio show on WRDW 1630 AM, a daily website and a weekly email business newsletter in addition to Buzz on Biz, the CSRA’s only monthly business publication.

Memorial Day Section

We Are Downtown........... 4 Buzz Bits....................14,15 Business owners are banding together to change the image of the downtown.

ducing more people to the world of music on page 24. And if you’re concerned about what to do about high health insurance costs, you can read about the vital role supplemental insurance will play in the near future. In our Social Buzz section, you’ll learn about how to attain that ab sixpack, hot spots for cruises and ways to eat healthy for only $50! Our rock n’ roll columnist, Jonathan Karow, scored an interview with a leader in the music electronics industry and gives us some insight into that business world.

Charles Kelly: Buying business computers that last.....................................................................8 Jeff Asselin: How much should a website cost?.............................................................................8 Donna Martin: A giving spirit helps a company.......................................................................... 10 Larry Rudwick: Simple rules to help your business grow........................................................ 10 Jeb Blount: Loose lips can sink business deals............................................................................ 13 Steve Swanson: Being reliable helps you and your company succeed.............................. 13 Marin Rose: Delete, delete, delete those emails......................................................................... 16 Delano Collins: Protect now against cyber crime....................................................................... 16 Gary Kauffman: Let go and delegate some responsiblity....................................................... 18 Mike Herrington: Choices in rolling over a 401(k)...................................................................... 18 Russell Head: Take care when offering employee wellness programs................................ 20 Christine Hall: Household employees make you an employer.............................................. 20 Kelsey Morrow: Be choosy in your social media presence ..................................................... 33 Eddie Kennedy: Business Book Review – “Necessary Endings”.............................................. 33

Gov. Nathan Deal visited Columbia County and talked about apprenticeships and other ways to boost employment.

New Techniques............ 50 GRU’s Digestive Health Center uses the latest techniques to treat patients and a new business model.

Social Buzz............... 53-60 Camp Guide.............. 70-71

Barry Paschal: What you post could haunt you........................................................................... 34 Brian Hendricks: Veterans give and take from college experience...................................... 34 Alexandrea Daitch: Honey from the Rock Cafe is a sweet spot............................................. 37 Katie Silarek: Great abs need good food and exercise.............................................................. 53 Margaret Centers: European cruises offer lots of choices........................................................ 53 Ben Casella: A salute to IPAs............................................................................................................... 54 Samantha Taylor: Netflix takes her out to the old ballgame................................................... 54 Jonathan Karow: An interview with Hartley Peavey.................................................................. 55 Glenn Campbell: Danica Patrick will need a new ride.............................................................. 56 Kathy Crist: Signs that an older loved one needs assistance.................................................. 58 Scott Patterson: Property managers can ease burden of renting........................................ 58 Nora Blithe: In a jam as deadline approaches.............................................................................. 60 Melissa Brown: Start eating healthier for only $50.................................................................... 60

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Campaign works at promoting downtown Business owners love downtown but want more done to change image

By Elisabeth Curry Last summer, on a trip to Asheville, N.C., with his wife and daughter, CoCo Rubio caught sight of a billboard promoting the Asheville downtown arts district. His thinking immediately turned to how that concept could be applied to promote businesses in Augusta. Rubio, who owns popular music venues Sky City and Soul Bar on Broad Street, is an outspoken proponent of local businesses, especially those in the downtown Augusta area. “I thought ‘We need something like this for downtown Augusta,’” Rubio said. “I don’t really see a downtown Augusta promotion done on the regular.” Struck by the idea, Rubio met with his friend Stuart Raburn, owner of Billboard Guru, to get details about possible locations and pricing for a similar billboard to promote the local businesses downtown. After obtaining the necessary advertising information, Rubio then approached Andrew Lawandus, an Atlanta-based graphic designer, about the campaign logo. Lawandus had previously designed a poster for the safety and anti-crime campaign, Respect Downtown, during his Augusta internship at Wier/Stuart. After speaking with Rubio, Lawandus agreed to design the new campaign as well. “I thought ‘We Are Downtown Augusta’ would be a simple tag to use,” said Rubio. “It would also be a good way to include as many downtown businesses that wanted to be a part of this campaign.” The inspiration behind We Are Downtown Augusta, according to Rubio, was fairly straightforward. There was no collective effort being made to actively promote downtown businesses, so the business owners decided to do it themselves. “Since we are all small independent businesses, for the most part, in downtown Augusta,” Rubio explained, “I thought it would be a good way to promote all these busi-

nesses together, on one billboard, on Calhoun Expressway on the way to downtown.” For most small businesses, a billboard campaign would be too expensive to consider, but Rubio’s thought was to split the cost between the businesses that wanted to participate. Eventually 56 businesses joined the effort and the final price tag per business ended up being only $10 a month. After six months, the most eye-catching part of the campaign – the We Are Downtown Augusta billboard on Calhoun Expressway – was not renewed after a reevaluation of the campaign’s marketing strategies. Downtown business owners have expressed their intention, however, to keep the campaign viable with smaller-scale promotional material. While Rubio’s brainchild acts as an encouraging step in the right direction for downtown Augusta, many local business owners think the city still has a ways to go

in terms of shaking off some of the negative press garnered over the past few years. Appearance is a large part of what draws people to a city, according to Dee Bruker, President of Sanford, Bruker and Banks Insurance Co. on Broad Street. Bruker, also a member of the We Are Downtown Augusta campaign, lives downtown with his wife, Karen, on the renovated third floor of his office building. “All the vacant buildings – that’s the biggest problem we face downtown,” Bruker said. “People buy these buildings dirt cheap, sit on them and let them deteriorate. They don’t look great. I wish the city would do something.” Despite his concern with deteriorating building facades, Bruker is adamant that downtown Augusta is his home. With the Savannah River, the Augusta Canal, the Bell Auditorium, and a wide choice of restaurants and entertainment venues, Bruker thinks that the downtown area could easily

realize its full potential. “We love it here,” said Bruker. “Eventually it’s going to reach a tipping point where we’ll have a grocery store and some national chains down here. From a business perspective, downtown is going to do nothing but grow.” Rubio feels the same, that growth is inevitable, but a continued effort must be made to draw people to the downtown area. He is considering more billboards around Augusta, with updated lists of businesses, as well as branching out into different media formats. “I just need to figure out who might be interested in doing it,” said Rubio. “Comcast has also expressed an interest in doing a We Are Downtown Augusta commercial that would be on television. It would focus on all the individual businesses that are committed to the cause of promoting downtown, as well as their own businesses.”

Southern Business & Development magazine has named Augusta to a pair of their Top 10 lists for 2015, according to the Augusta Economic Development Authority. Augusta was named to the Ten Sizzling Mid-Market Economies in the South, and also made the Ten Places in the South to Hire Vets. “Augusta has a long and steady reputation for growing the economy and involving the military and trained veterans as part of their

recruitment strategy,” said Michael Randle, publisher of the magazine. “Throughout the South, there are communities on the move – cities where economic growth and development are outpacing the rest of the country. Augusta is one of these cities.” According to Randle, Augusta is “rapidly becoming a hub for technology, thanks to the U.S. Army’s Cyber Center for Excellence at Fort Gordon.” The magazine points to the recent locations of MacAulay-Brown, Sabre Systems, Chiron Technology and Unisys,

along with advanced manufacturing expansions at DSM, Elanco, Kellogg and Solvay, for the growth. The publication also cites Augusta as one of the top places to hire veterans. “Not only does our American military keep us safe during their tenure in our armed forces, they keep our economy marching forward after they retire from service,” Randle said. “When it comes to workforce, companies come to Augusta” is the slogan used by the

Augusta Economic Development Authority for the past three years to promote the area’s workforce with trained and trainable workers, highlighting the large number of available workers who are retired military. Southern Business & Development magazine is recognized at the top economic development publication for southern-based recruitment efforts in 15 southern states, from West Virginia to Florida and extending to Texas and Oklahoma.

Magazine ranks Augusta in Top 10 Sizzling Economies

4 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz



continued from page 1 prototypes of new products and just-for-fun items. Wide range of applications The applications for the technology are staggering. “It’s so new that we keep stumbling on new applications and areas where we can aid our customers,” Pollock said. Michael Sommers, senior vice president and general manager for Pollock Company, said one such application is a 3-D print of a baby’s face before it is born. A local obstetrician who works with 3-D and 4-D sonograms has asked them about using his images to create a 3-D model of the baby’s face. “It’s mind boggling,” Sommers said. It can be a boon for all types of companies. Sommers held up a model of a shoe that had been printed on a 3-D printer. It looked just like a real shoe, down to the details of the stitching. He said a shoe manufacturer could print prototypes in different colors or patterns and test market them without the expense of creating an actual shoe or working from drawings. “Anybody who does research and development, before they had to look at pictures and drawings, now can have something they can touch and feel in a matter of hours,” he said. The 3-D printers can create fully functional pieces. On display was an adjustable wrench made from plastic that worked like the real thing. Pieces created by a 3-D printer can actually be placed into machinery to see if they work. They can utilize medicalgrade plastic as well – a dentist, for example, could print a custom crown for a patient in his office. Some machines can even print in chocolate or sugar for the food industry. Other high-tech products available While the 3-D printers had mouths hanging agape, they weren’t the only products Pollock Company had on display. Along one wall were digital printers that could produce offset-quality prints, machines that

can run round the clock and produce a million copies. On the opposite wall was an interactive white board display that allowed the user to draw directly on the screen as if it was a real white board. The white board image can be displayed on a laptop or tablet in real time. “You can sit in Starbucks in Augusta and be in a meeting in San Francisco,” Sommers said. Next to it was a projector that can produce an image up to 80 inches wide while sitting within inches of a wall. The operator can also draw on that screen. Sommers said it makes good business sense to offer things like the whiteboard because customers buy printers to last three to five years. “We don’t want to talk to them just every three to five years,” he said. “Our business is to see how we can help streamline your business.” Pollock has history of following trends While it is a far cry from the OlivettiUnderwood typewriters Pollock Company originally sold, it is hardly a surprise that the company has adapted to the new technology. Pollock said it has always tried to keep up with the customer’s needs. From the early start in typewriters and calculators, the company moved into electronic word processing equipment and then to copiers. The next logical step was 3-D printing technology. But it hasn’t just been equipment that’s kept Pollock Company around for 50 years. “We’ve been blessed with very loyal, good employees,” Pollock said. “We have a great company culture.” As mind boggling as the new technology is, Pollock acknowledged that one day it will probably seem as archaic as a mechanical adding machine is today. “Technology changes have accelerated tremendously in recent years,” he said. “I can’t imagine what someone might see at one of these 50 years from now.”

Partridge Inn begins Phase 2 of renovations The Partridge Inn is set to begin Phase Two of renovations. The historic Augusta hotel recently reopened after completing a $6 million renovation including all 144 guest rooms, bathrooms, guest room hallways and balconies and the hotel’s iconic verandah. Plans are now to renovate the lobby, the porte-cochère, P.I. Bar & Grill, upgrade all landscaping, pool area and exercise room as well as the first and second floor public restrooms. Owned by Partridge Inn Holdings, LLC and managed by NorthPointe Hospitality Management, LLC, The Partridge Inn’s new design will preserve the historic architectural features of the Inn while offering a sophisticated, contemporary interior. The original woodwork and ceiling tiles will remain completely intact, complemented by modern furniture and light fixtures. A vibrant color scheme consisting of light, neutral walls accented by rich, dark accents pays homage to the inn’s “Grande Dame” reputation for hospitality with simple, yet refined, elegance. Bill Mish, who had served as general manager for Phase 1, has returned to Chattanooga and the Partridge Inn is expected to hire a new general manager soon.

The renovation has a three-part timeline: Phase A- now-June 30 Includes the lobby, porte-cochère and first floor bathrooms. Cream and white furniture and floors paired with dark rugs and warm earth tones will welcome guests as they step out of the Augusta heat and into the formal hotel lobby. The lobby’s market will also receive an upgrade and feature white shelves, a central community counter and contemporary bar stools. Phase B- June 17-July 17 Includes the Grill and the second floor bathrooms. The newly redesigned interior of the hotel’s restaurant will feature a modern, upscale feel with contemporary furniture that gives a nod to gracious, classic design. Phase C- July 17- August 30 During Phase C, contractors will renovate the second floor bar. Guests will be able to sip cocktails in a casual yet sophisticated environment. The Partridge Inn will remain open during renovations with minimal impact to guests staying at the Inn. During renovations, the reservations desk will temporarily move to the historic Bamboo Room – the northeastern side entrance of the hotel on Hickman Road.

Medical Managers plan seminar for health care, medical practice managers

A demonstration of the interactive white board at the Tech Expo. Photo by Gary Kauffman

6 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

The CSRA Medical Managers Association will present its second annual seminar for health care and medical practice managers on Thursday, May 28. Titled “Engage – Grow – Develop,” the seminar will be held 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Legends Club. Rebecca Summey-Lowman of MAG Mutual Patient Institute, Russell Head of Group & Benefits Consultants and Ira Bedenbaugh

of Elliott Davis will be the speakers. The purpose of the CSRA Medical Managers Association is to better serve patients and the medical profession by improving the quality of medical practice management. It also works to provide local opportunities for the development of health care managers. Registration is free to association members and $30 for non-members. To register, visit

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Solutions Charles Kelly

Buying Power

Spending more now means a better computer that lasts What kind of computer should you buy and how much should you pay for it? These are the questions business owners have asked since computers have become first available, then affordable and now, a requirement. Starting with price, there are a few basic rules to follow. Purchasing the cheapest computer you can find is almost always a bad idea for a business. Computers are made of components and an operating system. The cheapest name-brand computers are often made of excess parts inventory and pieced together for a very low price. A perfect example of this is a mid-sized tower computer that has an external power supply, like your laptop does, at a sub$300 price. So, why would a desktop computer have a laptop power supply? Open it up and you discover that it has a netbook class motherboard with the slowest processor on the mar-

Business Online Jeff Asselin

Perfect Employee The value of your website should outweigh the cost

One of the most common questions I’m asked is “How much does a website cost?” The simple answer is that websites can range from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars – it really depends on the functionality and the amount of customization you’re looking for. It is not uncommon for a business to spend several hundred thousand dollars on a retail space renovation in order to attract new business. An in-

8 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

ket, has no room to add ram and has no slots to add any cards. A machine such as this has no place in your business and in fact, most big box retail brand computers are a bad fit for your business. So, skipping the low-end retail and closeout models, what should you buy? What are you getting when you spend $800 instead of $400 on a computer? Besides the obvious things, like a faster processor, more ram and a bigger hard drive, what you are really buying is years of use. It’s that “years of use” that makes an enormous difference in productivity, from the single system user to the busy office with 50 users. You want to install your computers, load them with software, migrate data, get them up and running and keep them up and running for years to come. Every time you take a computer out of service for repair or replacement you lose time and productivity, which equals money. Many customers say, well, I just check my email and write a few letters, and use QuickBooks, so I don’t need the fastest processor. They are right, they don’t need the fastest, but they do need something in the mid- to upperrange, so that they can work for many years before replacing the system. In many cases, it’s the small business owner that relies on one or two computers to run their entire enterprise. Those computers should be well con-

vestment in a great website and internet marketing plan will cost a tiny fraction and can bring in much more business. Initially, it seems like web designers ask a lot of money for a website, but I guarantee you it’s a great deal! What a website actually costs is not nearly as important as the actual value of the website. I will share an analogy I learned that really helps folks understand the true value of a website. Consider your website as an employee. You recently hired a new salesman named Ted. Here’s a little bit about Ted: Ted works 24 hours/day, 7 days/ week, 365 days/year. He never sleeps and never takes lunch breaks. Ted’s only mission in life is to talk to your customers and promote your business. Ted is the perfect sales representative. He knows everything about your company and his sales pitch is perfect every single time. Ted often talks to hundreds of people every day. He has the ability to talk to everyone all at once while still giving each of them one-on-one attention. Ted is a great traveler. He can be anywhere in the world at any time, and

Besides the obvious things, like a faster processor, what you are really buying is years of use. structed, balanced in design, have the right operating system and should be backed up regularly. Anything less can put your business at risk of loss of productivity and loss of data. In a busy office that uses medical, accounting or legal software, it’s even more important to have robust workstations with a balance of quality components, higher speed processors and, especially, better-than-average cooling and power systems. Things like higher wattage power supplies and large cooling fans in a chassis designed for constant use make the difference between a productive day and frustrating day of down time. For the power user such as graphics designers, engineers, media editors, gamers or someone who simply wants a very fast computer that will last a long time, you will want closer to the high end, maybe one or two steps below the fastest processor on the market, a well known motherboard, a solid state hard drive, a very good graphics card and a great chassis (tower) with perhaps an 800 watt or higher power supply. A machine like this will be very fast, will last for years and if a component does fail,

it will be worth repairing. Finally, the operating system that you choose makes an enormous difference in many cases. Many business environments require Windows 7 Pro or Windows 8 Pro. Currently, 90 percent of our customers are choosing Windows 7 or 7 Pro as their operating system, ensuring that they will not have a steep learning curve and that almost all of their connected devices and software will be compatible. Keep in mind that Windows 10 will be out this fall and any customer that has Windows 7 or Windows 8 will be eligible for a free upgrade, according to Microsoft. Better computers cost a little more up front, but all studies show that in the long run, a mid- to upper-range computer costs you less per year and provides a much more stable platform to run your business.

What a website actually costs is not nearly as important as the actual value of the website.

poor man 23 cents an hour. What a deal, considering he works tirelessly around the clock for just one cause: your business. Try to find a model employee like Ted that will work for 23 cents per hour. Better yet, try lowering the pay of your best team member to just 23 cents per hour and see how long they stick around. Good luck with that! Bottom line, from a business owner’s perspective, it shouldn’t matter how much a website costs. At almost any price (within reason) for a website it is a steal because its value is exponentially greater than its price tag. When paying for a website, how much it costs is not nearly as important as the value of what you receive in return for your investment.

more than one place at the same time if he needs to be. Best of all, Ted doesn’t file any expense reports. Ted learns fast. You only have to tell him something once. With just a few days of training, he can be taught to speak many different languages. Here’s the best part…Ted is cheap. I mean, super cheap! Let’s say you keep Ted on your team for three years and have a website costing $6,000…Ted’s salary would work out to just $2,000 per year. The longer you work together, the cheaper Ted gets, and – he never quits! Ted might be better off flippin’ hamburgers; after all, you only pay this

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

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

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Publicity Donna Martin

Giving Back

Aiding a nonprofit is good for community and your company One great way a business can achieve visibility is by hosting a special event. There are a number of event options such as a grand opening, business anniversary, hosting a special clinic or seminar or sponsoring a fundraising event for a nonprofit organization. In this column, I am going to focus on how partnering with nonprofit organizations and supporting the fundraising efforts of such worthy entities will show your support of the greater good of the community and solidify a positive reputation. Nonprofit organizations need the financial assistance of the community. Charitable contributions are their lifeline. Your business will be identified as a community leader by taking on a specific cause. Your CEO may also have the opportunity to speak during the event to share the company’s dedication to philanthropy. How to Plan a Fundraising Event Fundraising events take on various forms and focus.

Business Advice Larry Rudwick

Growing Up

A few guidelines can help a business grow efficiently Owning a private, growing business can be quite rewarding. Here are some basic guidelines to help make this happen. Set your Goals and Mission! Set your business goals in writing, and have a well-thought-out mission statement, before starting a business. Share them with your advisors, and get their honest feedback. After starting a business,

10 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

Golf tournaments, 5- and 10-K runs and celebrity chef evenings are some popular and effective ways to raise money for nonprofits. Coming up with a new and creative event to raise money will most certainly gain the attention of the community and the media. But your company and the nonprofit organization mustn’t take on the challenge of a fundraiser alone. Marketing companies excel in event planning. It is part of the training of most marketing professionals. Events can be organized efficiently for a reasonable cost. A team approach between the nonprofit, the sponsoring company and the marketing team can ensure winning results. A Marketing Campaign is Essential The key to a successful fundraising event is to employ a marketing campaign. Planning the event well before the event date is a must. Checking other event dates is one of the first objectives to complete so that your event does not conflict with another. Developing the campaign should happen as soon as a date is set. This is where a marketing company will provide the expertise – and elbow grease – that is needed to accomplish all of the tasks. If it will be an event of substantial size, securing the location, the caterer, tenting, music and audio-visual needs are crucial. A fundraising campaign should include among its tactics the creation of marketing materials, and eventspecific website (with online dona-

tion access), news releases, media coverage before, during and after the event and identifying giveaways to keep the nonprofit on the mind of the community. Support Our Community and Host a Fundraiser Planning a fundraising event is a huge task, but so well worth the effort for everyone involved. Businesses, I implore you to reach high by being a supporter of a nonprofit organization and helping them showcase their cause. Your com-

look at them often, and refine them when necessary. The Rule of Threes: It often takes three times more time and money to accomplish important milestones. Businesses often fail because their business plans were unrealistically optimistic. Warning! Most new businesses close within the first three years, and the founder often loses lots of time and money, gone forever. Execute Your Mission with Confidence and Effectiveness – focus, focus, focus: You and your business team must all be on the same page; everyone needs to “row in the same direction”. Financing a Business: Banks rarely make loans to businesses until they are established; they require collateral that will protect their loans. New businesses are often funded by the founder(s), and/or receive loans from “friends and family.” Some businesses sell shares, rather than, or in addition to, taking out loans. While there are risks involved in taking on partners, the right partners, under the right terms, can help make a business quite successful quite quickly.

Cash Management: Cash is the lifeblood of the business. Even a profitable business that runs out of cash may be forced into bankruptcy. Doing cash flow projections frequently can help greatly reduce the risks and probability of significant financial setbacks, especially businesses that frequently run short of cash. Taking on More Staff: New hires can be much more expensive to a business than expected. It’s not just their salaries and benefits that can be expensive, but so can potential lost “opportunity costs,” things that could have been produced or achieved if the new hire was not made. The key to successfully taking on new staff is: a) Hire the “right people,” b) train them efficiently and effectively, c) manage them properly and d) compensate them appropriately. Note: All of this assumes the business really needs more staff and can afford to compensate them competitively. Key Advisors (last, but not least): Smart, successful business owners know that an experienced team of experts they can call on when needed, is

pany will receive the admiration of your employees and your community and you will be known as a business that is committed to giving back. Donna Martin is co-owner of Martin Wilson Marketing, a full-service CSRA marketing company created to help businesses and organizations grow and shine. She shares her 30-plus years of corporate marketing communications experience with entities seeking a higher tier of visibility and profitability. Contact her at

a key secret to success. Unfortunately, many business owners don’t have a team of advisors or, if they do, they call on them only after the business is facing significant business challenges. This team typically includes a) their CPA, b) their business attorney, c) their business coach or consultant, d) their Board of Directors, e) their banker or source of funding and f) other trusted people with significant business experience who may be considered to be their “advisory board”. A team of key advisors is possibly the most important element to create a growing business. There should be at least one member of the team qualified to provide assistance to any business challenge you are likely to face. Call on them whenever necessary. Larry Rudwick is a business and relationship coach. For more information, visit where you can sign up for a free newsletter or listen to podcasts. Contact him through the website or call him for a free consultation at 571-331-6102. He enjoys facing challenges.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


50 years on the job and still going strong Walker Penland has been selling furniture at Weinberger’s since 1965 By Elisabeth Curry The consummate Southern gentleman, Augusta born and raised J. Walker Penland exudes warmth and friendliness in a way that escapes traditional description. At 83, Penland has racked up an impressive resume, both personal and professional: his marriage of 61 years to his wife, Venice, his service in the United States Army, and a successful career in sales that spans well over half a century, 50 years of which have been spent at the same company – Weinberger’s Furniture. Bring up his accomplishments, however, and he’ll give only a brief synopsis, instead choosing to focus on the person standing nearest. Penland emanates strength of character and humility as soon as he smiles and reaches out to shake hands, making each person to cross his path realize the truth of the matter: that he’s genuinely pleased to meet them. He’s simply “Walker” to his friends, which is just about anyone who has ever met him. Children especially seem to gravitate toward him, and tug their parents across rooms and sometimes even streets to say hello. “It makes you feel good when the children, and the parents too, they don’t want to come in to buy – they just want to say hello,” Penland said. “When a child about five or six years old whips around and says ‘Walker, Walker!’ It just makes me happy.” In honor of his longevity and commitment to his community, Mayor Hardie Davis proclaimed May 14 as J. Walker Penland Day. The celebration took place at Weinberger’s Furniture on River Watch Parkway. Mark Weinberger said that he had dozens, if not hundreds, of family, friends, and customers inform him that they wouldn’t miss the event for the world. “The event is really just an outpouring of love for him,” Weinberger said. “It’s not an

event to sell furniture. It’s about him being part of the family.” Penland had already cultivated an impressive history in retail sales before Weinberger’s Furniture, working for GE in Louisville, Ky., as well as Brad Ragan Enterprises in Salisbury, NC. In 1953, he was awarded the honor of being the number one salesperson in the Southeast Region, which earned him membership in the G.E. Toppers Club. At Brad Ragan Enterprises, Penland worked in the retail division as a store supervisor, responsible for overseeing 13 stores in six states. Penland’s journey at Weinberger’s in the mid-1960s began because his elderly parents still lived in Augusta. He wanted to relocate from North Carolina back to his home city to be able to care for them and provide for their needs. A friend who knew both Gene Weinberger and Penland heard of his desire to relocate back to Augusta, and made the connection. Penland started work for the Augusta Furniture Market, which later became Weinberger’s Furniture, on June 30, 1965. At that point, there were two stores – one on Broad Street, and the other on Peach Orchard Road. He was hired to assist with sales, merchandise and advertising for the company. Mark Weinberger, Gene’s son, was 9 years old when Penland started working for the company. “I’ve worked side by side with him since I was 15,” he said. “I’ve spent more time with him than anybody else on earth, I’m sure, not counting my wife.” He recalls that Penland was a competitive salesman in his earlier years, but as his personal and professional journey with the Weinberger family continued, Penland’s direction became less about numbers and sales, and more about connecting with each of his customers on a personal level.

Local car guru, radio host on-stage in Vegas Local radio personality and car guru Aaron Clements was on-stage in Las Vegas in early May as part of the 2015 NAPA Expo. Clements owns C&C Automotive. He and his shop foreman, John Ryan Mooney, dispense information on vehicle maintenance, repair and safety on the C&C Auto Show on 580 WGAC AM and 95.1 WGAC FM every Saturday morning from 8-10 a.m. At the NAPA Expo in Las Vegas, Clements appeared on stage for a tire-changing demonstration in front of thousands of auto shop owners.

12 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

“I have learned a lot of new things about the automotive maintenance and repair industry,” Clements said. “It was fun appearing on stage in a special tire-changing demonstration. Clements plans to share that knowledge with his radio listeners. “I’ll be sharing tons of new, exciting information I picked up in Las Vegas that our listeners can use,” he said. Clements manages the downtown Augusta location of C&C Automotive at 990 Telfair St.

83-year-old J. Walker Penland has been selling furniture at Weinberger’s Furniture for the past 50 years. Photo by Gary Kauffman

“It’s never been about the money,” said Weinberger. “In his prime, he was very competitive. He wanted to be the number one salesperson. But it’s never been about money. He was always about the customer’s best interests. The sincerity carries through, and it just works. He’s got so many longtime customers and even newer customers that just cherish the friendship with him.” Penland is also gifted with a memory for those he’s met. “He really has a gift for remembering people,” Weinberger added. “A man came into the store a few years ago. He told me he was in the military and that he’d bought furniture from us 16 years ago. He shipped out and hadn’t been in Augusta since. When he walked back into the store, Walker remembered his rank and his name, first and last. The guy was in shock.” Penland’s openness and genuine interest in the people he encountered translated into massive success as a representative of the business. He has achieved the Weinberger Million Dollar Club four times, exceeding $1 million dollars in yearly sales. In 2002, he was further honored with the Founders Award, in memory of Abe Fogel, who founded the business with his wife, Hannah, in 1932.

“I treasure this award most of all,” Penland said, “for Mr. Abe was a very special person to so many, and well respected in the community. He was my hero.” The average American holds 11 jobs in his or her lifetime, and most people expect to retire around age 65. Walker Penland is far from average. He expressed gratitude and appreciation for the honor that Mayor Hardie Davis and the city of Augusta bestowed on him for his 50 years at Weinberger’s Furniture, but clarified that he’s never been the type of person that seeks out attention. “Fifty years might seem like a long time,” Penland said, “but to me, it is a labor of love, wanting to improve someone’s life, and make their dreams come true. The success and longevity of a salesperson is sincerity, love of helping others, and a desire to make someone’s life better. Not just for the moment, but forever.” Even at 83, Penland has no intention of retiring anytime soon. If anything, he has plans to continue his sales career right on into the afterlife. “I don’t know if there will be a furniture store in Heaven,” Penland said, “but if there is, I hope it will be a Weinberger’s Furniture because it is a privilege and honor to be a part of such a caring and giving family.”

Business Sales Jeb Blount

Button Your Lip

Take action to keep your company’s information secure My first sales manager taught me to be paranoid. He constantly warned us that loose lips sink deals. After sales meetings and deal strategy sessions, he was always the last one in the room removing all of the paper evidence of our discussion, and even retrieving handouts that had been thrown into the trash. He took it all with him and shredded it back at our office. He was vigilant with our sensitive data and I’ve carried those lessons with me throughout my career. You never know who might be listening in on your conversation at a hotel bar, on a train or in-flight. One misspoken word can easily get back to your competitor and torpedo your deal. That’s how Murphy’s Law works.  In sales, it pays to keep your secrets close and to be vigilant, even a bit paranoid, when it comes to your most sensitive information. Sadly, that was much easier before the digital revolution when everything was in paper format.

Faith at Work Steve Swanson

Lead by Serving

Reliability of leaders, workers helps a business succeed Growing up, I had the opportunity to be a Cub Scout, then a Boy Scout for a number of years. I remember the characteristics we often repeated together. They are still solid goals today: “Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful and thrifty.” As I thought about these qualities, it got me thinking that they really make for solid employees. But another

Today, we face a whole new ball game where information is easier to obtain, hack and share. Over the last 10 years sales meetings, demos, presentations, and proposals have shifted from the meeting room to cloud-based web conferencing. In this environment, it can be difficult to shut the door on hackers and eavesdroppers who are intent on getting your information. So while web conferencing and digital sharing have made sales professionals more agile, they’ve also made us more vulnerable. Just imagine the damage a competitor could cause by getting hold of your pricing prior to their presentation to your prospect! Each day we discuss our most sensitive data through online conferencing. Ask yourself this question: What is the worst thing that could happen if this information fell into the wrong hands?  Now consider this:  Many sales professionals use their own devices or applications for online meetings which makes your data even more vulnerable to third parties. Take Action Now:  My first sales manager taught me to be vigilant and his lessons continue to apply in the digital age. Manage Need to Know:  Don’t give your information and dial in numbers to everyone. Only invite the small group of people who “need to know” to your web conferences. Change Call-in Numbers Frequent-

ly: I am shocked at how many sales managers use the exact same call-in number every week for weekly meetings and salespeople who do the same for online demos and presentations. What happens when a former employee ends up at a competitor? Do you think they keep this information to themselves? Think again. Use a different call-in number and online login for every meeting. Use Secure Web Conferencing: Believe it or not, most of the major providers of web conferencing do not offer  secure platforms. This is a major problem, especially in light of the fact that teams are dispersed and the devices they use to access web conferences cannot be controlled. Perhaps the most important action

you can take is to constantly remind your peers, employees and managers that loose lips sink deals. Train your team to be both vigilant and a little paranoid when it comes to sensitive sales information. I am sure for some it might seem like overkill, but if you’ve just lost a million dollar deal because your competitor knew your strategy, no amount of vigilance can be enough.

trait I’d include in the list is reliability. Many years ago I hosted a weekly cable TV show in the Minneapolis area. Tim was one of our crew members and quickly became an invaluable help with the show’s success. Tim is a carpenter. He showed a MacGyver-like ability to build a set, or use whatever materials we had to conquer each challenge we encountered. But the best thing about Tim wasn’t his ability to make things happen – it was that our team was able to count on him. He always made himself available, and jumped in to help us succeed, week after week. The biggest “plus” was that he just chose to serve – and work hard – without ever seeking or expecting extra attention or for a spotlight. My first car was a “slightly used” 1951 Chevy. It was all black except for the hood and left front fender, which were inexplicably green. I paid $35 for it. It had manual “three on the tree” shifting. No frills, no extras. It just ran. No doubt most folks would consider it a “junker” (and they’d be right) but

for me it was transportation – getting me place to place reliably in all kinds of weather. Back in my high school days I helped build sets for our high school musicals (which were very high-quality productions). One of the things that always impressed me was the tech crew. They didn’t get any of the applause at the end of the night because they never stepped into the spotlight. Their critical work was unseen by the audience. Those who attended the show didn’t even give them a thought. Yet, the reality is that without them, no one would hear or see the performers. The reliable crew did the heavy lifting in the shadows, off stage. Stop for a moment and think about someone reliable you’ve worked for, or with. In my life experience, the most reliable folks are often the ones that lead from “off stage.” They are behind the curtain, but without them I believe our workplaces would grind to a halt. Joanne works at our radio station. She is among the most reliable (and dependable) co-workers I’ve ever been around. She works hard every day, giv-

ing her best at all times. She makes herself available to help in whatever way she can. No job is beneath her. She goes above and beyond what is expected and required of her. Her reliability makes a big difference for us. It’s time to stop hoping others will notice what you’re doing at work. It’s time to focus, dig in and work hard. Make a difference! Stop hoping for more attention. Choose now to lead by serving. Choose to ask these questions: “What can I do to help?” and “Is there anything else I can do?” And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Colossians 3:17 Modern English Version (MEV). Be reliable. Make an impact. Make yourself valuable. Go the extra mile. Make a difference! Start today.

Jeb Blount is the founder of Sales Gravy in Thomson. He helps sales teams across the globe reach peak performance fast through keynote speeches, boot camps, seminars, and on-site and online training experiences. Hire Jeb to speak at your next sales meeting or conference. Call at 1-888-360-2249 or visit for more information.

Steve Swanson serves as the station manager for Family Friendly 88.3 WAFJ. He’s invested 30-plus years in the world of radio and was named the Christian Music Broadcasters Program Director of the Year in 2009 and 2011. He and his wife , Susie, live in North Augusta.

May 21-June17, 2015


Georgia now a popular tourist destination

It appears more people than ever have Georgia on their minds. According to a recent report, the tourism industry in Georgia grew by 6.7 percent last year, with a $57 billion dollar economic impact. It created about $3 billion in state and local tax revenue. The report issued by the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics estimated that the demand for destinations in Georgia is now 24 percent higher than it was in 2007 and has created about 425,000 jobs. In addition, the tax revenue generated for the state means the average household had to pay about $840 less in taxes. “Without a doubt, tourism has grown to become one of the state’s leading industries impacting nearly every community in Georgia,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “These record-setting numbers are a clear indicator that Georgia is on the minds of travelers around the world.”

Augusta one of best places to start a business

One of the best places in the United States to start a business is Augusta, according to research by the website WalletHub. Augusta ranked eighth overall in the nation. Columbus was 10th and Atlanta 70th. The website looked at two areas, access to resources and business environment, then ranked them based on their average. Augusta had one of the best balances, ranking 15th in access to resources and 21st in business environment.

Aiken OKs hospitality tax Aiken approved a 1 percent hospitality tax May 12 that will raise money for business-related investments and provide some tax relief for businesses.

buzz bits The tax is expected to generate $1.2 million per year, about 60 percent of that coming from people traveling to Aiken from other areas. The tax will be applied to the sale of prepared meals, food and beverages. It would primarily affect restaurants, but would also cover meals served in grocery stores, gas stations, hotels and nursing homes. About half of the collected funds will be used for businessrelated investments, such as a parking garage. Some of the money will be used to provide incentives to new businesses, such as rebates on license fees, and to help existing businesses reduce their license costs. Another portion will be used for business vitality, and about a third of the money will be placed into a capital reserve account for future infrastructure expansion. The new hospitality tax is expected to affect about 220 businesses in the Aiken city limits.

Apprenticeship program gains recognition An apprenticeship program in the CSRA to help companies develop their own workforce talent pool has gained national recognition. Created in 2012, the apprenticeship program at the MTU Aiken Plant in Graniteville is the first-ever registered apprenticeship program for high school students in the state of South Carolina, and was developed in conjunction with Aiken County Schools, Aiken Technical College and Apprenticeship Carolina. Now on its third class of apprentices, the two-year program provides high school juniors and seniors with hands-on vocational learning opportunities in a real manufacturing environment. “Manufacturers across the country are struggling to attract, hire and retain highly-skilled technical talent,” said Joerg Klisch, vice president of North American operations. “We adapted our German training model for our U.S. operations.”

14 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

Doctors only area hospital named as baby-friendly Doctors Hospital is the first hospital in the CSRA and only the third in Georgia to be designated a Baby-Friendly Hospital. This important designation recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. “We are excited to offer women and their families the first Baby-Friendly hospital in the area,” said Annette Repko, RN, Director of Women’s Services at Doctors Hospital.  “We believe our approach to mother/baby bonding and breastfeeding will lead to healthier babies.” The work of Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. (BFUSA) and its implementation of the BabyFriendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) in the United States is predicated on the fact that human milk fed through the Upon completing the program, MTU apprentices earn an Industrial Mechanic – Basic certification, which has been recognized by the South Carolina and U.S. Departments of Education, as well as Germany’s Chamber of Commerce.

Aiken Tech, county schools join to push higher ed A partnership between Aiken Technical College and Aiken County public high schools will work toward correcting an education gap in Aiken County. Research has shown that Aiken County lags behind other counties in the state and in the nation with residents with associate or higher degrees. The Within Reach Initiative will award 25 students attending Aiken Tech with $1,000 scholarships. Through the initiative, Aiken Tech will also work with high schools in identifying students who would benefit from a twoyear degree, provide financial

mother’s own breast is the normal way for human infants to be nourished. There is an abundance of scientific evidence that points to lower risks for certain diseases and improved health outcomes for both mothers and babies who breastfeed.  Doctors hospital had to meet numerous criteria, and undergo an onsite assessment, to earn the designation, which is for five years. There are 247 Baby-Friendly aid workshops and use technology to offer high school juniors and seniors the opportunity for dual enrollment. In future years the initiative could work with middle schools as well.

Georgia Bank posts profit Southeastern Bank Financial Corp., the holding company for Georgia Bank & Trust Company of Augusta, recently reported quarterly net income of $4.2 million for the three months ending March 31, or $0.63 in diluted earnings per share, compared to $3.8 million, or $0.57 in diluted earnings per share, in the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 10.5 percent. “We are pleased to report a significant increase in earnings over the year-ago period,” said President and Chief Operating Officer Ronald Thigpen. “Our net interest income increased based on growth in loans and securities and we experienced an 18 percent increase in mortgage origination volume.” Total assets at March 31 were

hospitals and birth centers in the United States. Doctors Hospital is home to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, the largest burn center in the country. It is A-rated in patient safety by the independent Leapfrog Group. They are also only one of about 4 percent of hospitals in the country to be recognized as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures by The Joint Commission for the fourth year in a row. $1.8 billion, an increase of $70.6 million from December 31, 2014. Loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter were $988.6 million, an increase of $3.9 million from December 31, 2014, and an increase of $48.3 million from March 31, 2014. Total deposits were $1.5 billion at March 31, 2015, an increase of $73.2 million from December 31, 2014, and an increase of $33.9 million from March 31, 2014. Cash and cash equivalents totaled $71.5 million at the end of the first quarter of 2015. “We are challenged by this continuing low interest rate environment, but we are encouraged by the increases in mortgage origination volume along with core loan and deposit growth,” said Thigpen. “Our balance sheet is as strong as ever and we stand ready to handle increased loan growth as the market continues to improve.” On April 22 the company’s Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share of common stock payable on May 22 to shareholders of record as of May 8.

Local lender given state award

Randy Griffin, President of Augusta-based non-profit CSRA Business Lending, has been recognized as Georgia’s Financial Champion of the Year by the Georgia District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA gives this award each year to one accountant or financial services provider in the state for their advocacy and impact on small businesses in the state. “I am honored to receive this award and think it is an attestation to the quality work our staff does every day in reaching small businesses in the communities we serve,” Griffin said. In 1987, Griffin, then 24, was hired as the only company employee of CSRA Business Lending when the company was facing decertification by SBA and closure. Since then, loan production increased from an average of two projects per year to an average of 45 projects per year over the past five years. CSRA Business Lending has now financed more than $700 million in small business projects during his tenure. CSRA Business Lending is a non-profit Certified Development Company of the SBA making SBA-504 loans (SBA’s business mortgage program) in conjunction with banks throughout Georgia and portions of South Carolina and also operates a $7 million dollar direct loan program called CSRA Direct targeted at making smaller loans up to $250,000.

Unemployment down in metro area in past year The Georgia Department of Labor announced that Metro Augusta’s unemployment rate for March was 6.4 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from 6.7 percent in February. The rate in March 2014 was 7.2 percent. The rate declined as employers created more jobs, many of which were connected to

buzz bits

preparations for the Masters Tournament. The number of jobs increased by 2,800, or 1.2 percent, in March to 230,600 from 227,800 in February. Much of the growth came in leisure and hospitality and trade, transportation and warehousing. There was also job growth in education and health services, professional and business services and government. And there was an over-theyear gain of 7,500 jobs, or 3.4 percent, from 223,100 in March 2014. Most of the job growth came in leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and warehousing, education and health services, and the goods-producing sector, which includes manufacturing, mining, logging and construction. However, there were 40, or 4.2 percent, more new claims for unemployment insurance filed in March, as the number increased to 995 from 955 in February. Most of the increase in claims came in manufacturing and construction and professional and technical services. Over the year, claims were down by 206, or 17.2 percent, from 1,201 filed in March 2014.

Prayon named Manufacturer of the Year Prayon, a world leader in the production of phosphate for food and industrial use, was recently named as the 2015 Manufacturer of the Year by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal. The Augusta facility won in the category of 150 employees or fewer. Mitsubishi-Hitachi Power Systems Americas, Inc., in Savannah, won in the category of 150-500 employees, and Milledgeville-based Triumph Aerostructures won in the category of 500 or more employees. “Most of all, I want to thank the employees and contractors of Prayon Inc., who without you this success story would not be possible,” said Beth Allen, vice president of Finance and Administration, upon receiving the award. “Success always starts with the team. The 85 employees and 30 contractors who

Y’s Team Lean participants lose 5 tons

Bubba’s burritos earn money for Children’s Hospital Masters Champion Bubba Watson’s affinity for burritos from Moe’s Southwest Grill in Augusta is turning into good things for the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. The Augusta franchise owners of Moe’s Southwest Grill announced they donated $2,000 to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia in honor of PGA golfer Bubba Watson. On an episode of the “Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” Watson told Fallon that during Masters Week in 2012, while his wife was at home with their newly adopted son, he ate burritos every day for 10 days – and won the tournament. He continued the tradition in 2014, the year he won again. On Fallon’s show, Watson declared that he would be eating burritos every day during the 2015 tournament and noted that one of his favorite places in Augusta to get burritos is Moe’s Southwest Grill. Watson created a stir on Twitter with the hashtag #BurritoWeek. Although the burritos didn’t have the desired result for Watson (he finished one over for the tournament), it did mean work for Prayon are our team… the Prayon Team.” The Augusta facility is Prayon’s only manufacturing site located in the United States. There are three in Europe. Phosphates are naturally occurring in many foodstuffs and are essential to many of the body’s systems, like DNA, teeth and bones. Added to commercial foods, they enhance appearance and taste. In industrial applications, phosphates can be used in cleaning products and water treatment. Nearly 9,305 manufacturing facilities are located in Georgia, and they provide 367,153 jobs, generating nearly $19.5 billion in wages for Georgia’s citizens and contributing more than $100 billion to the state’s economy each year.

good things for CHOG. “We’re pleased that Moe’s burritos are a part of Bubba Watson’s Masters experience,” said Chris Smith, one of the Moe’s Augusta franchise owners. “To thank him for his support of our restaurants, and for generating a lot of buzz for our burritos during his time in Augusta, we want to honor him by making a donation to our favorite Augusta-based charity in his name.” Moe’s Augusta has a longstanding relationship with Children’s Hospital of Georgia, which is the local franchise group’s charity of choice. Moe’s Augusta holds an annual fundraiser for the hospital called Joeys 4 Juniors during which the location offers the “Joey Bag of Donuts” burrito for $4 and donates $2 to the hospital for each burrito sold. In 2014, Joeys for Juniors raised $6,500.

Taylor named Columbia Chamber VP Heath Taylor has been named as vice president for the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. Taylor was previously employed at the Aiken Chamber of Commerce, where he served as director of membership and vice president of business and community development. This is a newly-created position for the Columbia County Chamber. In his new position, Taylor will oversee membership sales and retention efforts, including retention committees and programs. He will also head the chamber’s new Foundation and Workforce and Education Committee and programs.

Part of the CSRA is lighter by more than five tons. The Family Y of Greater Augusta celebrated the conclusion of its seventh annual Team Lean competition on Saturday, April 19 at the Family Y of Downtown Augusta. This 12-week, city-wide weight loss competition saw more than 1,390 people participating this year, losing a total of 11,597 pounds. This year’s competition reached a remarkable milestone for the cumulative numbers of Team Lean. Since the start of Team Lean in 2008, 100,478 pounds have been lost by participants, making the CSRA a healthier community.

Golden Harvest, Goodwill join forces

People dropping off clothing and household items at the Goodwill drop sites in the CSRA can also now drop off nonperishable food items for Golden Harvest at the same locations. Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA and Golden Harvest Food Bank announced a historic partnership in April that is expected to produce significant benefits for the community and those assisted by both agencies. With the agreement, donors accustomed to the convenience of Goodwill’s five CSRA drivethrough donation centers now also will be able to drop off nonperishable food donations for Golden Harvest. In addition to clothing, small appliances and household items, donors now may also deliver non-perishable food for Golden Harvest at Goodwill donation centers located at 3179 Washington Road, 655 NW Frontage Road and 3120 Peach Orchard Road, Augusta; 4074 Washington Road, Martinez; and 1015 Pine Log Road, Aiken. Golden Harvest is placing bins inside each location, and Goodwill attendants are available to assist donors.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Habits Marin Rose

Box Cutter

Improve efficiency by taking time to purge your email inbox Among the many wonders of email is that it cuts down tremendously on paper. But it’s a mixed blessing, of course. Email is so fast and easy to send that it piles up even more

Cyber Security Delano Collins

Not If, But When

Cyber crime will happen so plan ahead to protect your data Cyber crime is no longer a hobby for hackers, it’s an organized business. These increased threats require business owners to manage a constant evolution of vulnerability and risk. To maintain key elements of every business, we have simplified IT security into three phases:

quickly than paper. While emails don’t take up physical space, they still weigh heavily on the minds of the average businessperson, who receives more than a hundred emails per day, and result in stress, distraction and lost time. Jammed inboxes happen because: • we hang on to every single email out of anxiety and/or nostalgia • we’re unsure how to prioritize, organize and archive our email • we put off tasks (like handling emails that require action) rather than addressing them as they come To enjoy the peace of mind of a permanently empty inbox, you’ll need a clean slate. This initial “zeroing of the scale,” so to speak, is a useful exercise in letting go of thoughts like, “I might need to refer to that later” and “that message was once meaningful to me.” The truth is that very little of our electronic communication is important

Phase 1: Prevention Prevention includes a broad range of discovery, planning and solution implementation of: • Security posture evaluation • Vulnerability assessments • Security awareness education There are many tools to manage the multiple layers of required protection for IT security, specifically patch management, anti-virus, anti-malware, firewalls and authentication. Selecting a comprehensive suite of tools based on your tailored business needs might be a challenge – very few IT providers have the experience and training to manage these tools to maximize value and business impact. Phase 2: Detection Optimal security solutions provide a level of protection directly proportional to the value of the data. However, it is critical to recognize that there are no perfect security solutions. Even with the most robust security defense, a business is susceptible to being compromised with enough motivation and skill.

The truth is, little of our electronic communication is important enough to save, so take the plunge and delete, delete, delete. enough to save, so take the plunge and delete, delete, delete. Start with unread email and then decide on a cutoff date. Any email in your inbox from before that date gets trashed. Now that you’re down to only recent emails in your inbox, follow these three rules to get to – and stay at – empty. • Immediately delete junk emails or unnecessary emails • Immediately address or respond to action item emails • Archive important emails as soon as they’ve been addressed It’s crucial not to read an email

Therefore, a successful prevention strategy provides multiple layers of defense which generate timely and informative alerts that communicate suspicious activity or an invasion. Effective IT security management means 24-7-365 monitoring and experienced response in the event an intrusion is detected. Phase 3: Response Response encompasses both proactive and reactive applied intelligence to any event considered a threat. The greatest value of a defense system is

until you are ready to delete, address or archive it. Don’t cheat! Not only will your inbox re-grow in a matter of days, you’ll also be spending valuable time skimming email when you should be focused on the task at hand. Professional Organizing Coach Marin Rose of Libra Organizing is celebrating five years organizing people’s spaces and lives to help them become happier and more productive – and less stressed. Contact Marin at to schedule a free organizing assessment in your home or office, or to hire her as a speaker.

how quickly a security threat is eliminated, because they will happen. Rapid and effective response includes configuration assessment, event correlation, behavior analysis, threat intelligence and the constant evolution of a business IT security strategy. Points to Consider: • IT security is complex. • A proper defense entails fit-forpurpose plans, tools, education and management of your IT environment. • The cost of downtime is expensive and creates significant risk for small to medium size businesses. It’s not a matter of if, but when… don’t wait for a threat to invade your business. Delano Collins serves as the Chief Information Officer for EDTS. He brings more than 20 years of experience in information technology, cyber security and management. Mr. Collins has a bachelor degrees in computer science and psychology both from Georgia Regents University. He holds a dozen significant industry certifications, most notably CEH, MCSE and CASP.

Cyber crime costs will quadruple in next five years New research from leading market analyst Juniper Research suggests that the rapid digitisation of consumers’ lives and enterprise records will increase the cost of data breaches to $2.1 trillion globally by 2019, increasing to almost four times the estimated cost of breaches in 2015. The research, entitled The Future of Cybercrime & Security: Financial and Corporate Threats & Mitigation, has found that the majority of these breaches will come from existing IT and network infrastructure.

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While new threats targeting mobile devices and the IoT (Internet of Things) are being reported at an increasing rate, the number of infected devices is minimal in comparison to more traditional computing devices. The Cybercrime Economy Driving Action The report also highlights the increasing professionalism of cybercrime, with the emergence of cybercrime products (i.e., sale of malware creation software) over the past year, as well as the decline in casual activist hacks. Hacktivism has become more suc-

cessful and less prolific – in the future, Juniper expects fewer attacks overall, but more successful ones. “Currently, we aren’t seeing much dangerous mobile or IoT malware because it’s not profitable,” report author James Moar said.  “The kind of threats we will see on these devices will be either ransomware, with consumers’ devices locked down until they pay the hackers to use their devices, or as part of botnets, where processing power is harnessed as part of a more lucrative hack.

With the absence of a direct payout from IoT hacks, there is little motive for criminals to develop the required tools.” Other key findings include: Nearly 60 percent of anticipated data breaches worldwide in 2015 will occur in North America, but this proportion will decrease over time as other countries become both richer and more digitised. The average cost of a data breach will exceed $150 million by 2020, as more business infrastructure gets connected.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Deeper Thinking Gary Kauffman

Let it Go

Delegation has worked for leaders for thousands of years

About 4,000 years ago a man named Moses – who may or may not have looked like Charlton Heston – led the Israelite slaves out of Egypt toward the Promised Land. As the leader, when people had disputes they came to him to settle things. Because the Israelites were a quarrelsome bunch, Moses soon found himself spending the majority of his days deciding who owed who how many shekels and the finer points of donkey etiquette. Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro – who may or may not have looked like Max Baer Jr. – told Moses that he was spreading himself too thin and he needed some help. So Moses delegated most of the decision-making to nine others and reserved only the biggest, most important cases for himself, giving him more time to chisel various laws onto stone tablets. Delegation is often one of the hardest things for a business owner to do. After all, it’s your business, it’s your expertise and it’s you who are going to succeed or fail. It’s

Business Advice Mike Herrington

Change of Plans

When changing jobs, choices needed to handle 401(k) plan When you change jobs you may have an important decision to make: What to do with your money in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan? Since these funds were originally intended to help provide financial security during retirement, you need to carefully evaluate which of the following options will

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especially hard for perfectionists like me. We know exactly how we want something done and we know that our way is the best way. But then we find ourselves working 60, 70, 80 hours a week trying to get it all done, yet never feeling like we have a handle on things. It took me a while, but I finally realized that those who worked for me had a fair amount of talent. They might not have always done things the way I would have, and maybe their way wasn’t quite the perfect way to accomplish things. But the way they did things was good and acceptable. It didn’t decrease sales, it didn’t detract from customer service and it didn’t hurt the product. What it did do, though, was give me more time to focus on the more important aspects of the business. I had time to do the things that truly only I could do, the things I was the expert in. Delegating decreased the number of hours I had to work, but still left me feeling like I’d accomplished much more. Part of delegation means that initially you’ll have to invest some time in training an employee how to do things. I use the term “invest” intentionally, because taking time to train someone is an investment in time. That hour you spend training now can save you many hours of work in the future. But delegation also opens the possibility of mistakes. And you have to give your employees – and yourself – the freedom to fail. Chances are you didn’t

best ensure that these assets remain available to contribute to a financiallysecure retirement. Take the Funds: You can withdraw the funds in a lump sum and do what you please with them. This is, however, rarely a good idea unless you need the funds for an emergency. While a lumpsum distribution can be tempting, it can also potentially cost you thousands of dollars in taxes, penalties and lost growth opportunities – money that will not be available for future use in retirement. Consider: A mandatory 20 percent federal income tax withholding will be subtracted from the lump sum you receive. You may have to pay additional federal (and possibly state) income tax on the lump sum distribution, depending on your tax bracket (and the distribution may put you in a higher bracket). Unless one of the exceptions is met, you may also have to pay a 10% premature distribution tax in addition to regular income tax. The funds will no longer benefit

Moses parting the Red Sea, a task he chose not to delegate.

get the task right the first time you tried it, either. Failures are inevitable and can be valuable learning tools. Of course, if the mistake happened because the employee was lazy or careless, that’s another issue, but you probably aren’t going to delegate to employees like that. A trusted employee who fails is highly unlikely to repeat that mistake – in fact, they’ll work extra hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Delegation comes down to trust – pick good employees who will work

hard for you and you will find yourself getting more done in fewer hours. Letting go can be hard but, trust me, delegation works. After all, it’s been a tried and true practice for 4,000 years. Gary Kauffman is Editor in Chief of Buzz on Biz and manages the content for print and web publications. He moved from Indiana to the CSRA in December 2013. Prior to moving here, he ran his own graphic design/advertising business for 17 years where he worked with many small businesses. You can reach him at

You need to carefully evaluate which options will best ensure assets remain available to contribute to a financially-secure retirement from the tax-deferred growth of a qualified retirement plan. Leave the Funds: You can leave the funds in your previous employer’s retirement plan, where they will continue to grow on tax-deferred basis. If you’re satisfied with the investment performance/options available, this may be a good alternative. Leaving the funds temporarily while you explore the various options open to you may also be a good alternative. (Note: If your vested balance in the retirement plan is $5,000 or less, you may be required to take a lump-sum distribution.) Roll the Funds Over: You can take the funds from the plan and roll them over, either to your new employer’s re-

tirement plan (assuming that the plan accepts rollovers) or to a traditional IRA, where you have more control over investment decisions. This approach offers the advantages of preserving the funds for use in retirement, while enabling them to continue to grow on a tax-deferred basis. Fiscal Fitness is a sponsored financial column. Mike Herrington is President of Herrington Financial Services, Inc, a Registered Investment Advisor. He is a Certified Financial Planner licensee(CFP), a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a Certified Estate Planner(CEP). He has been serving clients in the CSRA since 1984. Contact him at 706-8688673 or

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business Benefits Russell Head

Healthy Attitudes

A wellness program is great but take care in how you do it Many employers offer wellness programs for their employees as a way to reduce health care costs, encourage healthier lifestyles and prevent disease by offering employees incentives for certain healthy behaviors defined by the employer. These plans generally are popular with employees and sometimes even pay for themselves in decreased costs relating to health care and absenteeism. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) even offers incentives for employers who utilize certain wellness programs. The Problem Last year, however, the Equal Employment Opportu-

nity Commission (EEOC) gave at least three employers a wake-up call when the agency charged that they had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by punishing employees too harshly for not participating in wellness plans. In one case, employees who did not complete a health risk assessment were charged their entire health plan premium (plus a $50 non-participation penalty), leading the EEOC to claim the penalty was so steep that it rendered the program “involuntary,” in violation of the requirements of the ADA. The Proposed Solution Employers have complained that by making these charges, the EEOC is holding employers accountable for a standard which has not been defined. In response, the EEOC released proposed regulations on April 16 that describe how the ADA might apply to wellness programs. The proposed regulations establish the following parameters: Reasonable Design. To be compliant under the ADA, plans must be reasonably designed to promote health or prevent disease. Plans that collect medical information, but fail to use the data to provide feedback to employees about their health risks, or to design programs aimed at particular medical conditions, would be out of compliance.

Business Accounting Christine Hall

House Money

Rules for hiring household workers are complex Several times during tax season this year the question came up regarding household employees. If you employ someone to work for you around your house, it is important to consider the tax implications of this arrangement. While many people disregard the need to pay taxes on household employees, they do so at the risk of paying stiff tax penalties down the road. The rules for hiring household help are quite complex. Commonly referred to as the “nanny tax,” these rules apply to you only if you pay someone for household work and that worker is your employee. Household work is work

20 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

that is performed in or around your home by baby-sitters, nannies, health aides, private nurses, maids, caretakers, yard workers and similar domestic workers. A household worker is your employee if you control not only what work is done, but how it is done. If a worker is your employee, it does not matter whether the work is fulltime or part-time or that you hired the worker through an agency or from a list provided by an agency or association. It also does not matter whether you pay the worker on an hourly, daily or weekly basis or by the job. If the worker controls how the work is done, the worker is not your employee but is self-employed. A selfemployed worker usually provides his or her own tools and offers services to the general public in an independent business. Also, if an agency provides the worker and controls what work is done and how it is done, the worker is not your employee. For example, let’s assume you pay Betty to babysit your child and do light housework four days a week in your home. Betty follows your specific instructions about household and child care duties. You provide the household equipment and supplies that Betty

Limited Incentives. The proposed rules clarify that the ADA would allow employers to offer incentives up to 30 percent of the cost of employee-only coverage to employees who participate in a wellness program. (Cost of coverage includes employer and employee contributions.) Incentives of more than 30 percent of that cost would be considered excessive and render the plan “involuntary.” Voluntary. Employees may not be required to participate in wellness plans, may not be denied coverage or given reduced benefits if they do not participate in wellness plans, and may not be disciplined for not participating in wellness plans. Employee Notice and Confidentiality. For wellness programs that are part of a group health plan, the employer must provide a notice to employees explaining what medical information will be collected, how it will be used, who will receive it and how it will be kept confidential. Generally, employers may only receive medical information in aggregate form that does not disclose the identity of individual employees. Reasonable Accommodations. For employees with disabilities, employers must provide reasonable accommodations to allow them to participate in wellness plans. For example, an employer who offers an incentive for at-

tending a nutrition class may need to provide a sign language interpreter for an employee who is deaf. The Next Steps The EEOC will accept public comment on the proposed rule through June 19. After that time, final regulations will be issued, perhaps as soon as this fall. Meanwhile, employers are not required to follow the proposed guidelines; however, the agency has said that it is “unlikely” that a court or the EEOC would find an employer to be in violation of the ADA if it has voluntarily complied with these guidelines in anticipation of the final regulations. To help employers better understand the proposed rules, the EEOC has provided a Fact Sheet and a set of questions and answers, both of which can be found on their website. For further explanation of information outlined in this article, please refer to the following resources:,,, and Russell T. Head is President/Managing Partner with Group & Benefits Consultants, Inc., Augusta’s largest, privately held, locally owned employee benefits consulting firm. He can be reached at 706-733-3459 or rthead@gandbc. com. Visit Group & Benefits Consultants at

Contrary to popular belief, a household employee is not a deduction on your return but rather an added tax needs to do her work. Betty is your household employee. In another example, let’s assume you pay John to care for your lawn. John also offers lawn care services to other homeowners in your neighborhood. He provides his own tools and supplies, and he hires and pays any helpers he needs. Neither John nor his helpers are your household employees. If you determine that you indeed have a household employee, you may need to withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, or you may need to pay federal unemployment tax or both. Generally speaking, if you will pay wages of $1,900 or more in 2015 to any one household employee then you will need to withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. The combined taxes are generally 15.3 percent of cash wages and your share as the employer is 7.65 percent. You can pay your employee’s share if you choose. In addition, you may owe federal and

state unemployment taxes if you pay more than $1,000 during any calendar quarter. The unemployment rate is 0.6 percent of cash wages up to $7,000 and in Georgia, the state unemployment rate begins at 2.7 percent of the first $9,500 of wages. Contrary to popular belief, a household employee is not a deduction on your tax return but rather an added tax that you will need to pay because you are considered an employer. Ignoring these rules can cause more headaches than they are worth in the future so be sure to inform your tax preparer if you employ a household worker. This is a sponsored employment article. Hall & Associates LLC is a full-service public accounting firm established in 1979. They have a staff of experienced professionals that stand ready to meet all of your accounting, tax and general business needs. For a complimentary consultation, call 706-855-7733 or visit

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Business openings, closings and moves Openings

Mary Beth’s Photography When it comes to photography, Mary Beth Cooper likes to keep things natural. As an all-natural photographer, she eschews the use of flash, hot lights or any lighting not provided by the sun. “I like the depth it creates,” she said. “I like the style, I like not having any restrictions of a flash. I just like the look of it.” Now Cooper can go au naturale with the lighting in her new studio on the second floor of Jackson Square in North Augusta. Large windows let in ample natural light. “And since I’m upstairs I don’t have anything to block the windows,” she said. “So the lighting is always good, even on overcast days.” Mary Beth’s Photography has been in business since 2008, but Cooper just moved into the new studio in mid-February. She started out working in the dining room of her home, but two years ago built a studio at her home. Growth in her business, though, and the chance at the space in Jackson Square prompted her to move. “My business has grown so much that a space outside the home was the next step,” she said. The new location is already paying off, both personally and professionally. “It’s nice to separate work and home,” she said. “It’s nice to have a set location. Since I’ve moved here I’ve had a lot more business.” Cooper has had the photography bug since, as a child, she saved her birthday money to buy a Polaroid camera. She grew up to become a school teacher but one day a friend asked her to take portraits of her and her children as a Valentine’s Day gift. Another friend liked the portraits and asked Cooper to take hers as well. Soon she had a growing business photographing family and friends. She took a class at Augusta State and upgraded her camera. Before long, she found herself in the photography business. Cooper specializes in newborn, children and family portraits, as well as pictures for high school seniors. “I love being around kids because I was a teacher,” she said.

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Cooper is known for her creative settings, and for pampering her clients. Each client receives a dozen cupcakes from Small Cakes Cupcakery, and she has special treats for mothers of newborns. Cooper said there is more to running a photography business than simply pointing a camera and clicking the shutter. She takes workshops and classes, including one in Rhode Island last year, to stay current with styles and techniques. She also has Mary Beth’s Photography on a website, as well as all of the social media outlets. There is a lot of preparation for a shoot – “Those creative sets don’t create themselves,” she said – and then the editing of the photos afterwards. She has an assistant and a marketing person who help her keep up with the work. Because there’s so much that goes into running a photography business, Cooper is starting a mentoring program for other would-be photographers. She’s also offering classes called Just Click It to teach people how to use their digital SLR cameras and how to take better portraits. “I try to give back to the community,” she said. For more information, visit

Supercuts and Sunny Wok The Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market on Evans To Locks Road at Furys Ferry Road is starting to draw some new tenants to the shopping center. In May, both the Supercuts and Sunny Wok will open in Furys Ferry Station. Supercuts is opening in late May and is a walk-in haircut franchise owned by Aiken businessman Reggie Barner and Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson. Supercuts has two other location in the Shoppes at Whiskey in Aiken and in the Washington Crossing Center near Whole Foods at I-20. Sunny Wok joins BirdDog Grille and El Alazan, a popular Mexican restaurant, in the shopping center. There is also a Circle K and an F & B Bank anchoring the shopping center. Aldi North Augusta shoppers will have a new option for groceries in the near future. Aldi, the discount grocery chain, will build a store at the corner of Knox and

LeCompte avenues that should be open by early 2016. Aldi currently has a store on Bobby Jones Expressway in Martinez and on Whiskey Road in Aiken. The new Aldi in North Augusta will be 16,476 square feet, according to a site plan listed by Jordan Trotter Commercial Real Estate. It will have entrances off both LeCompte and Knox. Construction is slated to start in May. Aldi stores are known for their barebones product displays, coin-operated shopping carts and their own take on name-brand products. While they are often rated high in customer service, the stores typically only have a handful of staff on hand at any one time. Their buildings are typically small by grocery store standards and are open only during peak shopping hours. According to their website, Aldi is able to price its store-brand items at 50 percent less than comparable brands. Aldi began in Germany in 1913 as Albrecht’s Discount. It opened its first store in the United States in 1976, and now has more than 1,300 locations in the country, most of them east of the Rocky Mountains. According to a recent article in Forbes magazine, Aldi is redefining shopping for some consumers by eliminating the variables. Because Aldi typically only offers its own brand of a product, there is no need to comparison shop among similar products. That also eliminates the need for marketing, changing store displays, special offers and coupons. Tailored Living Tailored Living, part of the Home Franchise Concepts family of companies that includes Budget Blinds, announced that it now offers service in the CSRA. “For many people, having a place for everything and everything in its place is a dream,” said Dana Wade, owner and operator of Tailored Living of Augusta. “Tailored Living offers storage solutions for closets, pantries, garages, laundry rooms and mudrooms.” Tailored Living of Augusta began operation in March. As households and lifestyles evolve, so do the storage needs. Whether members are being added to a household or leaving to create homes of their own, appropriate places for our belongings is a growing need. That’s where Tailored Living helps. “With our expansive product line, we are able to provide solutions for every room and every budget,” Wade said. “Our specialists come directly to customers’ homes to discuss the needs of the home.” Wade measures the space and creates a computer image for the homeowners to approve before agreeing to buy. The storage unit is then professionally installed. “The consumer never needs to guess if they bought the right box of shelves, haul the product home from the warehouse, be concerned about taking proper measurements or even installing the product,” Wade

said. “We handle it all.” For more information on Tailored Living of Augusta visit

Maryland Fried Chicken The Maryland Fried Chicken location in front of the Walmart in Evans reopened April 20 under new ownership. The business, which had been owned for three years by a pair of local businesspeople, had been closed since late 2014. Charlotte and Thomas Hill will own and operate the Evans location, their second franchise. Charlotte Hill will continue to manage the flagship location on Broad Street, which she has done since 2007, and Thomas Hill will manage the new Evans location. There is no doubt that the Maryland Fried Chicken restaurant in Evans has hands-on ownership. When a cook couldn’t make it in to the downtown Augusta location recently, Charlotte Hill donned her apron and went to work. “If someone doesn’t show up, you cook,” she said. The Hills plan to replicate the success of the Augusta store in their new location. At about 4,000 square feet, the new store is the biggest of the two. Charlotte Hill said the new store is in a great location and they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add it to their business. She feels the brand has been successful because of the quality of the chicken. The chicken is processed fresh each day and the cole slaw is made from scratch. The Evans location will also include sides not available in the Augusta store. She also expects to do catering from the Evans store, especially for those who are health conscious. The catering menu offers salads and baked chicken. Plans are to offer daily discounts targeting different nonprofits, families, seniors, service providers and churchgoers, plus others. The Hills met while both working at Applebee’s in the early 1990s. Chick-fil-A Chick-fil-A is the latest chain restaurant to see the value of a presence in South Augusta. The newest CSRA store of the popular chain will open in the 3000 block of Peach Orchard Road in the Goodwill Shopping Center. In Augusta, there are restaurants inside of University Hospital, Augusta Mall, on

Business openings, closings and moves Washington Road, in the Augusta Exchange and at Mullins Crossing, plus stores in Aiken and North Augusta. Chick-fil-A has a unique owner/operator model where they typically select current workers to open new locations. Chick-fil-A puts up the money to build and acquire the land and the owner/operator splits the profits with the restaurant chain. Palmetto Gastroenterology Afsar Waraich, MD, recently opened his Aiken practice, Palmetto Gastroenterology & Hepatology, at 103 Gregg Avenue. A gastroenterologist is a physician with dedicated training and unique experience in the management of diseases of the digestive systems. They receive specialized training in doing endoscopies and colonoscopies. Waraich is a board certified gastroenterologist and has practiced gastroenterology in South Carolina for 20 years. He is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. Palmetto Gastro & Hepatology specializes in managing all forms of gastrointestinal problems and GI procedures, especially screening, pre-emptive and corrective procedures such as Colonoscopy, Endoscopy and ERCP. Waraich has a special interest in treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease / Ulcerative Colitis), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, prevention of Colon Cancer, Hepatitis C and management of cirrhosis. Find Palmetto Gastro & Hepatology online at or on Facebook. Dollar General Dollar General celebrated the opening of its new location on Williston Road in Aiken on April 25 with free prizes and special deals. “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 Aiken customers will enjoy shopping at Dollar General’s new location.” Dollar General stores offer convenience and value to customers by providing a focused selection of national name brands and private brands of food, housewares, seasonal items, cleaning supplies, basic apparel and health/beauty products. The store’s layout is designed to make shopping simple for customers.  Traditional Dollar General stores employ six to 10 people, depending on the need.  Anyone interested in joining the Dollar General team may visit the Career section at Dollar General is deeply involved in the communities it serves and is an ardent supporter of literacy and education. At the cash register of every Dollar General store, customers interested in learning

how to read, speak English or get their General Education Diploma (GED) can pick up a brochure with a postage-paid reply card that can be mailed in for a referral to a local organization that offers free literacy services. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $97 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 5.8 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy or continued education. For more information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and its grant programs, visit

the Pizza Joint, gives ample room for the kayaks. “This gets us closer to the river,” owner Bruce Cliatt said. “We’ll have kayak rentals from this location and we’ll do some events on the river as well with kayaks.” But Cliatt had other reasons for the move as well, in part because he likes downtown Augusta.


Ming Yat The iconic Ming Yat Chinese restaurant in North Augusta will close on May 31 when their building undergoes remodeling. Whether they’ll reopen after the remodel is still up in the air, according to manager Simon Yung. “We’re not sure if we’ll stay or if we’ll stay closed for good,” Yung said. “We haven’t made a decision yet.” According to Yung, the landlord sold the building at 434 Georgia Ave. and it will be remodeled. Ming Yat moved into the former Big Star Grocery Store 35 years ago and it has been a favorite of the CSRA ever since. Ming Yat is asking customers to post some of their favorite stories about the restaurant to Facebook. Some have already commented about favorite foods, childhood memories, proposals and celebrations at the restaurant, and several have lamented the closing of their favorite restaurant. According to the Facebook page, the decor and equipment are all up for sale and ready for pick up after May 31. Interested parties can call Young at 803-279-6963. Moves Escape Outdoors Escape Outdoors is moving its Augusta store to Broad Street, just a short portage for kayakers from the Savannah River. The store sells major brands of outdoor apparel, and sells and rents kayaks from its Evans location. But its second location off Walton Way Extension has been too small for kayaks. The new 7,000-squarefoot location at 1243 Broad Street, next to

“I’m excited about the new businesses and new restaurants,” he said. “Downtown Augusta has a got a good vibe now.” The new location also puts him closer to some of his customer base. He said Escape Outdoors has a young demographic, the type of people who frequent the downtown restaurants and who live downtown. The store also draws customers from North Augusta and Aiken. “We’re excited about being closer to North Augusta,” Cliatt said. “That was a drawing force for us too.” Escape Outdoors is starting its sixth year in business. It began with the Evans store at 4275 Washington Road, and that store is the model for the new Broad Street location. “We’re trying to mimic the Evans store,” Cliatt said. Escape Outdoors sells major apparel brands like Patagonia, North Face, Mountain Hardwear, Arc’teryx, Chaco and Olukai. With the increased floor space – the new store is more than triple the size of the current Augusta store – Cliatt plans to add some new clothing lines, including a few brands that aren’t carried in the Evans store. He’ll also be adding a few employees in the new downtown location. Cliatt plans to open the new store by the first week of June. For more information, visit the website at Smith Law Firm The Smith Law Firm, P.C., previously located in Columbia County, has moved its offices back to Richmond County. The building at 3549 Wheeler Road, formerly known as the home to Morris Travel Agency, now houses the elder law firm. The move was prompted by an urge to better serve the local community. “We believe our new location will be more convenient for clients,” said attorney and owner Patrick Smith. “Our new, larger location will allow us to better provide educational opportunities in-house giving the community the ability to better understand

estate and asset protection planning options.” The Smith Law Firm focuses on the many areas of elder law. It is their passion to solve and help their clients navigate the complex issues they or their families may face when a loved one needs long-term care. Whether an individual or family is proactively planning years in advance of needing long-term care, planning for a disabled family member or if they have a loved one who needs care immediately, Smith makes it his duty to find a solution. The Smith Law Firm in Augusta has served Georgians for more than 11 years and has grown to include two additional offices located in Warner Robins and Conyers. Workshops on estate and advanced planning will begin in May. A reservation is required to attend. For information on workshops, call 706826-1500. Acquisitions French Market Grille An iconic Augusta restaurant is changing hands. Walter Clay, owner of Rae’s Coastal Cafe, has agreed to buy French Market Grille in Surrey Center. Chuck Baldwin, who started French Market Grille 31 years ago, will continue working at the business for an undisclosed period to create a smooth transition. Clay is a longtime restaurateur in the area, having worked with Baldwin and with Calvert’s. The Baldwins launched French Market Grille March 29, 1984 and welcomed the CSRA – and many visitors to the Masters – to Cajun cuisine, cold drinks and an environment dedicated to providing customers with a memorable and wonderful experience that still remains an integral part of the successful business today. Bob Richards Automotive Bob Richards Automotive has acquired Triangle Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram on Jefferson Davis Highway in Graniteville. It opened May 5 as Bob Richards Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep Ram. Bob Richards Automotive Group is family-owned and operated and has served the CSRA for more than 40 years. Bob Richards not only provides world class sales and service to loyal customers in the Aiken and Augusta markets, but gives back to the community. Bob Richards is a big supporter of Salvation Army, The Kroc Center, The Golden Army Harvest Food Bank, The United Way and the Aiken County and the Richmond County Teachers of the Year. Bob Richards believes its success is based on the principles established by the company to guide each employee’s actions – honesty, integrity, community, leadership, teamwork, fairness, commitment and innovation. The new dealership joins two other dealerships in the Bob Richards family, Bob Richards Nissan in Beech Island and Bob Richards Toyota in North Augusta.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Entrepreneur hoping he has a sound idea Sound Visions offers high quality studio for less money

By Gary Kauffman If Jonavon Stephens’ vision comes true, his small storefront off Walton Way Extension will be replicated in cities throughout the Southeast, and maybe across the nation. Stephens and his wife, Peaches, own Sound Visions Studios, a unique entry-level audio and video recording studio. He held the soft opening recently and already it has drawn local interest. The idea is to make the recording studio accessible to all ranges, from the novice to the touring professional, and franchised in a variety of cities similar in size to Augusta. “I wanted to change the industry of the recording studio,” Stephens said. “We want to be an inexpensive sound-quality recording studio.” State-of-the-Art recording software The big sound boards with hundreds of sliders and dials that once dominated sound studios are largely archaic these days. Now professionals record using computer software – the same software Stephens has at Sound Visions. “We have all the software to record an industry-standard album,” he said. “There’s nothing they can do that we can’t do.” The small size of the store invites those new to the music industry but the sound quality also makes it a good choice for professionals. He envisions a touring band stopping in Sound Visions to do some recording. Later, in another city, they could stop at the Sound Visions franchise there, have their files emailed to them and pick up where they left off. Stephens knows firsthand how difficult it can be for a band to find a good studio in a new city. Stephens is currently the business manager for several artists but before that he served as a tour manager, traveling on the road with the band. If the band wanted to record on the road, it was often a frustrating experience locating a recording studio. When one was finally located, it frequently was in an unmarked warehouse in a scary part of town. A franchise store would provide continuity and familiarity. Helping the novice grow But Stephens places just as much or more emphasis on the budding musician. That includes lessons for kids on drums, piano and guitar. “Even if they’re not at the point where they’re ready to record we can get them to that point,” he said. “We’re where you start. We can work with any size budget.” But like with the big studios with top line stars, Sound Visions aims to pamper the musicians. Through a series of questions, the Sound Visions crew then provides the musician’s favorite snacks and drinks, adjusts the recording studio’s lights to the color they prefer, lights candles in their

Office manager Bobbi Jones and sales associate Andrew Rosier of Sound Visions Studios. Photo by Gary Kauffman

preferred fragrance and tunes the TV to his or her favorite channels. “When you walk in it feels like it’s your studio,” Stephens said. “We want you to feel comfortable because you might be here three to six hours.” Sound Visions can help an artist write songs, plan and shoot album covers, and even produce a music video that meets VH1 and MTV standards. Stephens doesn’t claim any particular musical skills and hires others to teach and do the behind-the-scenes work. “I don’t have any music training or know how to engineer,” he admitted. “I can just tell you if the record is going to be a hit or not.” Video studio for business commercials But Sound Visions is more than a sound recording studio. Stephens contracts with several videographers to do video as well, either in front of a green screen or on site. He already has several local businesses lined up who want to shoot their TV commercials there. He said Sound Visions can work with a business’ concepts, or they can form a focus group to come up with ideas.

“We try to have some fun with it,” he said. “We don’t call them advertisements; we call them mini-movies.” He added that the sound booth doesn’t have to be used just by musicians. He suggested that an author can read his or her book to publish online for audio book apps. A pastor might utilize the studio to record sermons. The front lobby can also be transformed into a photo studio, or the furniture can be removed to form a rehearsal hall. A key component of his ideas are affordability. He plans to charge a rate about a third of that of the larger studios. Niche market in smaller cities Stephens plans to work the kinks out of his first store and get things working smoothly, then opening two other stores locally before launching into the franchise idea. His plan is to bypass the largest cities, like Atlanta, which already have ample recording studios and concentrate on the B and C markets, like Augusta and Columbia, S.C. Stephens admits his idea could be a longshot. “I’m not saying this concept will work,” he said. “It’s like I’m trying to reinvent the wheel. But I’ll give it a shot.”

Augusta economy completes full year of growth

The Augusta area completed a full year of economic growth, according to the most recent figures in the Hull College of Business Augusta Leading Economic Index (LEI). In February, the LEI increased 0.3 percent from January. It was a small increase but marked 12 straight months of growth. While there have been some concerns about the growth rate of the U.S. economy,

24 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

that is not reflected in Augusta. Since February 2014, the index has increased 6.7 percent. Not only is the LEI growing, but so is employment. Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to their lowest level since February 2006. More than 2,000 jobs were added in February (after seasonal adjustment). The Augusta LEI is a monthly composite index that combines several national, re-

gional and local indicators into a single variable. Leading indexes combine variables that change before business cycle variables such as employment changes. Leading indexes may, therefore, indicate changes that could occur in the economy. Leading indexes are not forecasts or predictions about the future, but may signify future economic activity.   The Augusta LEI may, therefore, provide

local decision makers with timely information about future business cycle patterns in the Augusta area. The Augusta LEI uses economic indicators for the Augusta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes seven counties (Burke, Columbia, Lincoln, McDuffie and Richmond counties in Georgia, and Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina).

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


A fighting chance against health care risks As companies push employees to exchanges, supplemental insurance becomes more vital By Gary Kauffman The statistics Alan Smith of Client First Financial Group shares about the lack of preparedness most Americans have for a health care crisis are sobering. But Smith offers a ray of hope as well. According to those statistics, 66 percent of employees in America said they wouldn’t be able to financially handle a major medical crisis, and 49 percent admitted they had less than $1,000 on hand for a medical event. No wonder, then, that 62 percent of bankruptcies stem from a major medical event. And of those filing bankruptcy because of medical costs, 78 percent of them had major medical insurance coverage at the time. That’s where Smith comes in with some hope. He helps clients find supplemental insurance that pays directly to the clients to help cover the various expenses associated with a medical crisis. “The National Cancer Institute says that 73 percent of the impact of cancer is nonmedical, indirect costs,” he said. “You don’t

26 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

ever want to lose sight that the biggest shortfall is personal cost, not medical.” As an example, he cited an acquaintance whose wife had cancer and was being treated at Emory University. In the course of those trips to Atlanta, they ate 152 meals in restaurants – all out-of-pocket costs not covered by major medical, but costs that could be paid by supplemental insurance payments. “It can replace lost time at work for a family member,” he said. “If your spouse or child is sick, you’d have to take time away from work.” Supplemental insurance will become increasingly important if another group of statistics proves true. Those stats say that in the next few years 83 percent of small- and medium-sized companies will discontinue group health coverage and send their employees to the exchanges. Depending on the type of coverage from the exchange and a person’s income level, the out-of-pocket costs for a family could be in excess of $13,000. Supplemental insurance can help pare down that figure.

Supplemental coverage varies based on a lot of variables, but in general it pays a certain amount for a certain length of time, based on the type of medical issue. The money is paid directly to the insured and can be used for any type of expense, whether toward the actual medical costs or the costs associated with travel or time off of work. Smith believes his company, Client First Financial Group, and others like it will be able to fill that gap because they can work with individuals and small groups. “Most carriers are focused on group sales,” Smith said. “They don’t want individuals.” But Smith works with a group of more than 40 companies that have a long history of providing supplemental insurance, which means they can offer competitive rates.

“I have individual policies that are the same price as a group rate,” he said. “That’s unique.” People can also buy supplemental insurance even if they don’t have major medical. Short-term disabilities also create significant burdens for many workers. Client First Financial offers policies covering three to 24 months of disability. “We have a short-term disability that you can access without a group,” he said. “That should be one of the most sexy things we have.” Smith said some of the large insurance companies are recognizing the gap between coverage and out-of-pocket and are starting to offer supplemental coverage. But some of the companies he deals with have been offering supplemental coverage for more than 100 years. He said he has heard a number of reasons why people don’t buy supplemental or short-term disability insurance. “I hear that they can’t afford it, but some people will never prepare,” he said. “Others say they don’t know that they have a choice.” Others believe it is a long-shot that they’ll need it. “But with illnesses like heart attack, cancer and stroke hitting one out of every two people, how much of a long shot is it, really?” Smith said. “It’s about risk management.”

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Businessperson of the Month Michael McCauley, Fleet Feet

If the Shoe Fits...

Michael McCauley’s temp job at a shoe store turned into a perfect fit for his passion By Gary Kauffman Michael McCauley has always been passionate about running, but nearly a decade ago he discovered something he was even more passionate about – selling shoes. Through his Fleet Feet franchise store in the Furys Ferry Station shopping center, he is now able to fulfill both of his passions. McCauley’s aspirations weren’t toward being a businessman. He went to Gardner Webb University in North Carolina on scholarship as a distance runner. He studied French and international studies, with a goal of becoming a teacher. After leaving college, he took a job in the Fleet Feet store in Greenville, S.C., as a holdover until he could get the job he wanted. It turned out that he’d found it. “It turned out I loved it,” McCauley said of his shoeselling job. “I realized I was pretty good at it but I also discovered I had a passion for it.” Within a few years he and another employee bought the store and ran it together. But it soon became apparent that a small retail store wasn’t going to support two families. McCauley heard of a running specialty store in North Augusta, All Things Running, that was for sale. It had everything he wanted – a customer base, inventory and a good location. It also had a bonus he hadn’t expected. That’s where he met Jen, a store employee, who eventually became his wife. After three years in North Augusta, in August 2012 McCauley moved his store across the river to its present location. He was able to build the 2,800-square-foot store to his specifications. As a result, he has a storeroom that stocks 2,500 pairs of shoes. “That doesn’t last us as long as you would think,” he said. The store’s name connotes running, and the bulk of the store is devoted to shoes, clothing and other merchandise related to running. But McCauley also works with podiatrists and physical therapists to fit patients with special shoe needs. His customers range from high school and college runners, people taking up running or walking for exercise, soldiers and older people. “We have a very specific product but a broad range of people get benefit from it,” he said. Fleet Feet is big on customer interaction. Customers aren’t just sold a pair of shoes; they get a pair of shoes that fits them specifically. McCauley and his staff measure a customer’s feet in several ways, watch them walk and find out what activities they plan to participate in. That then enables them to find a shoe and insole that fits them. But there’s more than just the custom fitting. “The fitting gets the customer in here and it’s a nice added value,” McCauley said. “But it’s the personal touch

28 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

Michael McCauley and his wife, Jen, owners of Fleet Feet in Augusta. Photo by Gary Kauffman

or service that gets you to tell your brother or spouse about it and have them come in. Our ultimate goal is to have the customer return and ask for a staff person by name.” Fleet Feet stocks some of the brand names people are familiar with and are sold in a variety of department stores. But the types of shoes he sells are seldom found in those other stores. “You can buy a lot of the same brands elsewhere but not the same shoes,” he said. “I’m not going to stock products I don’t believe in and aren’t high quality.” Fleet Feet recently added an online presence through its franchise that has been in the works for four years. If the store doesn’t stock the desired color shoe, customers can order it online from an in-store kiosk and have it shipped direct to their home within five business days. What are you passionate about in your business? It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, my passion is to be the best. I love what we do, I love keeping people fit and healthy, but I want to be the best in Augusta and the best in Georgia one day. I’m trying more and more to follow a quote from (legendary UCLA basketball coach) John Wooden: “Make each day your masterpiece.” We all have the same amount of time each day to make

it what it is. Who is your biggest competitor? I think our biggest competitor is ourselves. It’s easier to put yourself out of business than for someone else to put you out of business. We haven’t grown less than 15 percent each year. I’m not tooting our own horn, it’s just that we’re taking responsibility for our actions. Is there a reason for your success? The biggest thing that has contributed to our success is our staff. I’m able to get out and think big picture, knowing these people are taking care of customers to their fullest. What is something about you that your staff probably doesn’t know? They probably don’t know that I play guitar. I was in a dorm band in college. And my first official job out of college was a door-to-door insurance salesman. How do you relax? Running and fishing. I went fishing over Easter weekend. Sometimes your best ideas come when you’re fishing or on the golf course. You have to make time to do those things. Who inspired you? My grandfather. He had a truss factory and he and my grandmother had an amazing marriage. He owned a small farm and when he wasn’t working, he would farm. He was able to

retire at 55 and that encouraged me to pursue my own business. And various other store owners have inspired me. People doing triple the business that we do are inspiring too. Do you do anything to keep current in your business? I’m a lifelong learner. School is great, but that wasn’t really my forte. I try to read 25 books a year. I’m always trying to learn and expand my knowledge base. Any advice for others in the business world? Always try to do more than you’re paid for and you can’t go wrong. That might mean staying an extra 15 minutes after closing time, or going to that thing that doesn’t generate any money. What does the future hold for you? Hopefully good things – I’ve got a lot riding on it. It’s been fun to see how the business has changed and we have such a great staff that I’m excited to see where it will go. In this area here is tons of untapped potential. In the next fivesix years we should be at double the revenue. A plaque provided by Cudos4u, Awards and Promotions, your hometown favorite for Awards and Promotional Products, (706) 7220010, will be given to Michael McCauley on behalf of Buzz on Biz.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Upcoming Business Events

Friday, May 22

SCORE: Social Media for Small Business, 9:15-11 a.m. Aiken Chamber of Commerce, 121 Richland Ave. An upcoming SCORE presentation titled Social Media and How it Affects Your Business will be presented by Laura Gibbons of Blue Salamander Solutions. It will begin with a discussion of a standard website and then expand to social media that can be used by small businesses and entrepreneurs. Topics include: social media trends for 2015, social media platforms that are best for your business, scheduling and linking your social media accounts, Facebook advertising: to pay or not to pay?, and using social media advertising to boost your website ranking.

Monday, May 25

Ribbon Cutting: Certa Pro Painters of the CSRA, noon, 215 Baston Road, Martinez. Ribbon Cutting: Lullwater at Riverwood, 4-5 p.m. 120 Lullwater Drive, in Evans.

Friday, June 12 Business After Hours sponsored by Pruitt Health of Aiken, 5-7 p.m. Pruitt Health Aiken, 830 Laurens St., NW, Aiken. Business After Hours provides an opportunity for a company to introduce itself to the business community. This program allows the host/sponsor to showcase its business, services and facilities to fellow Chamber members. It also offers members the chance to meet one another and network in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Meet and Greet with the Editor of The Southern Tablet, 5:30 p.m. Jeff Maxwell Branch Library, 1927 Lumpkin Road, Augusta. Angel, from The Southern Tablet, talking about the publication and about how to become published. Registration suggested. 706793-2020.

Monday, June 1 Riverwalk Toastmasters, 7 p.m. University Hospital Education Wing, third floor, Room 3, 1350 Walton Way, Augusta. Public speaking and leadership club; meets every Monday except holidays.

Tuesday, May 26 Faith @ Work Luncheon, The Fellowship Hall at the First Baptist Church of Augusta (3500 Walton Way). Noon. $7 per person. Contact Dede Maddox, Assistant to Pastors, at 706-736-6708 to reserve a space.

Thursday, May 28 CSRA Medical Managers Association “Engage – Grow – Develop” seminar, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Legends Club, Washington Road.. The 2nd annual seminar for health care and medical practice managers. Rebecca Summey-Lowman of MAG Mutual Patient Institute, Russell Head of Group & Benefits Consultants and Ira Bedenbaugh or Elliott Davis will be the speakers.Registration is free to association members and $30 for nonmembers.

30 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

Lunch provides Chamber members the opportunity to hear views and insights on economic trends, stay informed on issues relevant to the business community and network with other professionals.

Riverwalk Toastmasters, 7 p.m. University Hospital Education Wing, third floor, Room 3, 1350 Walton Way, Augusta. Public speaking and leadership club; meets every Monday except holidays.

Thursday, June 4 Executive Luncheon, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Savannah Rapids Pavilion.

Ribbon Cutting: RiverStone Apartment Community, 11:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m., 101 Halton Drive, Grovetown (located across the street from the Grovetown Walmart).

Tuesday, June 16 An Evening with Author Donald Miller, 5:30 p.m., Doris Building, home of Redemption Church, 930 Broad St., Augusta. $20 registration; $50 VIP. Book signing and meet and greet with New York Times bestselling author, Donald Miller. First Friday, Downtown Augusta. Enjoy live music and shop from local vendors along Broad Street and in the Augusta Common. Discover local restaurants, galleries, retail stores and nightlife. Many downtown businesses have First Friday specials.

Monday, June 8 Riverwalk Toastmasters, 7 p.m. University Hospital Education Wing, third floor, Room 3, 1350 Walton Way, Augusta. Public speaking and leadership club; meets every Monday except holidays.

Tuesday, June 9

Friday, June 5 First Friday Means Business, sponsored by AT&T, 7:30-9:00 a.m. Newberry Hall, 117 Newberry St. SW, Aiken. $15 registration Fee. First Friday Means Business is the Greater Aiken Chamber’s informative monthly breakfast meeting. This event features a keynote speaker who addresses issues of interest to the business community. First Friday Means Business includes City, County, Chamber and Sponsor talk. This monthly meeting also allows each attendee the opportunity to stand up and introduce themselves and their firm to all the other attendees and possibly meet their next newest and potentially largest client yet.

Business Power Lunch, 11:30 a.m., Palmetto Terrace, 100 Georgia Ave., North Augusta. Registration for members, $35 per individual or $300 per table of eight; non-Members, $50 per Individual or $425 per table of eight. Keynote speaker will be South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Governor Haley will share her views on state infrastructure and workforce development, as well as how the community can better support the state’s priorities. Since taking office, Haley has focused on creating jobs and improving the business climate in South Carolina. The Business Power

Networking for Leads, hosted by the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, 3-4 p.m., 1000 Business Blvd., Evans. A structured program designed to promote an environment which cultivates meaningful business relationships which not only promotes one’s business, but identifies the needs of other business owners. The goal of the program is to encourage businesses to give leads, create mutually beneficial relationships and develop a netweaving experience where leads are received. The program will consist of a round table activity which will be followed up by an optional lunch connection, based on appropriate matching, to further enhance the leads experience.

Thursday, June 18 Aiken Young Professionals “Third Thursday,” 5:30-7:30 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn – Aiken, 350 Eastgate Drive, Aiken. Designed to foster personal, civic and professional growth. Gathering events designed to give members an opportunity to meet other young professionals in a relaxed atmosphere for networking and sharing of information. These events are held on the third Thursday of each month at a different location in Aiken. There is no charge for this event, however, reservations are required.

If your business or organization has a public non-sales event it would like to place in this calendar, please contact Kelsey at Event listings are subject to approval by the editor.

Apprenticeships could help fill jobs Gov. Deal links job creation, education at chamber event

By Gary Kauffman An apprenticeship-type program could be the key to helping fill jobs that now sometimes go unfilled because of a lack of qualified workers, Gov. Nathan Deal told a group of Columbia County businesspeople on May 7. Deal spoke to about 350 people at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion as part of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce’s Post-Legislative Breakfast. He and the state senators and representatives attending the breakfast all called this past legislative session the most productive they have participated in. Deal, the keynote speaker, said that often in the past education and job creation were seen as separate entities, but that is changing. “Education and job creation go hand in hand,” he said. As part of an initiative to promote job growth, Georgia identified 11 critical areas where jobs exist but due to a lack of education or training, there are not enough workers to fill them. He is encouraging programs in job training or apprenticeships, especially for young people. “I believe that if young people have real work experience, they’ll benefit and the employers will benefit,” Deal said. He believes job growth has been a key factor to Georgia’s recovery from what he called “the Great Recession.” “Sometimes when you’ve gone through events like the Great Recession the tendency is to puddle around in a circle and cover your head and hope nothing bad happens,” he said. “We didn’t do that.” Instead, Georgia put policies in place that would foster job growth. “I felt the best way to get out of the Great Recession was to grow out of it,” Deal said. As an example, he cited the removal of sales tax on energy used in the manufacturing process. That has led to growth in the manufacturing sector. Education is one of his priorities, Deal said, noting that over the past five budget cycles, funding for K-12 education has increased by $2.1 billion. He is also encouraging dual enrollment for high school juniors and seniors that helps them earn college credit while still in high school. That will save students significant money in college costs. Education is also important in the Department of Corrections, Deal said. “As we looked at the state prison population, we found that

Gov. Nathan Deal speaks to about 350 people at the Columbia County Chamber breakfast. Photo by Gary Kauffman

about 70 percent of them had dropped out of school,” he said. Without intervention, he said, they will continue the cycle of returning to prison. About a third of released inmates will be back in jail within three years. Without proper education and work skills, Deal said it is unrealistic to expect them to return to society and be productive and successful citizens. He noted that the accountability and diversion programs already in place are cutting down on the rate of recidivism, allowing the state to hold off on a projected need to build two 5,000-inmate prisons. Deal also touted the Opportunity School Districts that would help turn around chronically failing schools, those that have received failing grades from the state accountability system for at least three years. Currently there are 139 school districts in this category. “Opportunity School Districts allow for children who are trapped in chronically failing schools to have another chance,” he said. In closing, Deal noted that he has been a frequent visitor to the Augusta area. “I’m told I’ve visited this area more than any other governor in modern times,” he said.

SC governor Haley to speak about infrastructure in North Augusta South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will be the speaker at the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce’s Power Lunch on June 9. The event will begin with networking at 11 a.m. and the lunch and program at 11:30 a.m. The lunch will be held on the Palmetto Terrace of the North Augusta City Building. Haley will speak about state infrastructure and workforce development at the lunch, as well as how local

communities can support the state’s priorities. Creating jobs and improving South Carolina’s business climate have been Haley’s focus since taking office. Seating for the event is limited and registration is required. Sponsorships for the event are also available. To register, visit or for more information contact Jessica Hanson, Director of Member Services, at

Columbia County won’t be hit twice by state’s gas tax hike

The new transportation bill signed by Gov. Nathan Deal is not the “double whammy” for Columbia County that it seems, Deal said at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Breakfast on May 7. The new bill increases state taxes on gasoline sales and adds $5 to the price of every hotel room. The goal is to raise $1 billion in new revenue to repair the state’s infrastructure, like roads and bridges. But Columbia County is one of three regions that approved a transportation special project local option sales tax (T-SPLOST) that already raises money for infrastructure. The county felt the new tax becomes a double taxation. “You will not be punished but be rewarded for that,” Deal said of the T-SPLOST. He said projects that would usually be split 70 percent state cost and 30 percent local cost will be split 90-10 in Columbia County. However, he said, the goal of the new transportation bill and the T-SPLOST aren’t exactly the same. The transportation bill’s primary use is upkeep of existing infrastructure while the TSPLOST is primarily for building new roads and bridges. Deal said because of the political nature of raising so much money, the tendency had been to put off working on a transportation bill. But he commended the state legislature for tackling the issue, because of the dire need in some areas. “We have so many bridges in the state in serious need of repair,” he said. “Fortunately, they last a long time but we’ve been riding that ‘long time’ for a long time now.” He said that people will see work on projects that otherwise would have been untouched. And when they do, they’ll realize the transportation bill was a good decision. “Sometimes when doing the right thing it takes people a while to realize it was the right thing,” he said.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Area business leaders travel to Washington Meet with Department of Energy on behalf of CSRA By Tammy Shepherd President/CEO, Columbia County Chamber Do you know where your customers’ paychecks come from? It’s important to know because if legislative actions impact those businesses, it’s going to have an impact on your business. Furloughs at the Savannah River Site mean fewer dollars in our economy. New missions at Fort Gordon – think Cyber Command – mean more money flowing in. When Georgia Regents University expands, pocketbooks are fuller. And when hospitals and doctors see their reimbursements slashed because of government regulation, there’s a definite trickle-down effect for your business. The Columbia County Chamber, and the other Chambers in the region, actively monitor legislative issues to protect the interests of our businesses. We help you by studying legislation and regulations that impact businesses. We make sure lawmakers and our members know our positions and

why. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be in a better position to protect your customer base and your business Recently, 40 regional business leaders spent three days in Washington, D.C., advocating for local business. By meeting with Department of Energy officials and discussing decisions being made that effect SRS or Plant Vogtle, we let them know what’s best for our region and why. We learned more about DOE policy and plans. By learning more about cybersecurity, we can better prepare for the growth in the Augusta area as those missions come online. For many years the Chamber was a leading voice to keep missions at Fort Gordon. Now that Fort Gordon is posed for major expansion through the Cyber Center for Excellence, we have been actively working to recruit industries that follow these types of missions. Earlier this year, a group of area Chamber and eco-

In April, 40 local business leaders traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with lawmakers and advocate for CSRA. Photo contributed.

Michelle Young, left, and Amber Perry, right, with Tammy Shepherd, President/ CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, after receiving awards at the Chamber’s Annual SuCCessful Superwoman’s Brunch on April 22. Photo contributed.

Businesswomen honored at Superwoman brunch Each year the Columbia County Chamber honors business women with the SuCCessful Superwoman’s Brunch on the annual Administrative Assistants Day. It’s a fun event with a motivational – and this year quite humorous – keynote speaker, Dale Smith Thomas. The highlight of the event is the announcement of the Businesswoman of

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the Year and the Administrative Professional of the Year. Michelle Young of Evans Rehabilitation Services was named the Administrative Professional of the Year. Dr. Amber Perry with Southern Smiles Pediatric Dentistry received the 2015 Business Woman of the Year award.

nomic development leaders went to the Washington, D.C., area recently for town hall meetings where we provided information about the community for those relocating here. During the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly, we kept a close eye on several bills impacting our business community. We wrote letters to our delegation members in the House and Senate, detailing our position and concerns. We, along with the Metro Augusta Chamber, strongly opposed a bill that would change the way gasoline is taxed across the state. It was a measure to raise funds for highways since most areas of the state voted down the Transportation Investment Act, or TSPLOST. Since our region voted to impose this tax on ourselves, adding more state taxes for the same purpose is doubletaxation. The measure was approved, but our voice was heard. Some of the other bills we took a stand

on included: • Opposing a bill to raise the state minimum wage. (Not approved) • Supporting a bill that reforms the Workers’ Compensation system. (Approved) • Supporting a program that allows some students to pursue an associate or technical degree in high demand areas while still in high school. (Approved) • Supporting the formation of the Opportunity School District to help struggling schools. (Approved) We wrapped up our work for the 2015 session with the annual Post-Legislative Breakfast on May 7. We were honored this year to have Gov. Nathan Deal as the keynote speaker. During the breakfast, the members of our local delegation discussed the successes and failures of the session. In November, we will again host the PreLegislative Breakfast where our delegation will discuss what they expect from the 2016 session.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering those who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, was formerly known as Decoration Day and originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. By the 20th century, Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service. It typically marks the start of the summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials, particularly to honor those who have died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries. Annual Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on a Sunday in late spring or early summer in some rural areas of the American South, notably in the mountain areas. In cases involving a family graveyard where remote ancestors as well as those who were deceased more recently are buried, this may take on the character of an extended family reunion to which some people travel hundreds of miles. People gather on the designated day and put flowers on graves and renew contacts with relatives and others. There often is a religious service and a picniclike “dinner on the ground,” the traditional term for a potluck meal in which people used to spread the dishes out on sheets or tablecloths on the grass. It is believed that this practice began before the American Civil War and thus may reflect the real origin of the “memorial day” idea. Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

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The dream was born before the dreamer


ay back in 1932, in the throes of the Great Depression, a young man from Waynesville, North Carolina, was trying to make a living in New York when he decided to move back home to the Asheville area to build a better future. Byron Eugene Reeves was a fairly successful insurance salesman when he was recruited into the cemetery sales profession by Roy Hatton. Byron’s first contract assignment was Riverside Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida. Byron Reeves fell in love with his new career, and quickly ascended to the position of District Manager, traveling the Southeast. Then Byron met a beautiful Georgia Peach in Macon.

Her name was Pauline Blizzard and she hailed from McRae, Georgia, just southeast of Macon. The couple wed and began traveling all over the Southeast and portions of the Midwest and Southwest, growing their enterprise, Southeastern Advertising Sales System, Inc. (S.A.S.S.), up to 52 cemetery sales contracts by 1955. Byron was earning over $125,000 per year (over $1 million in today’s dollars) at that time, more than enough to educate their children in Catholic and/or military boarding schools while the couple traveled so extensively on business. Meanwhile, the dreamer was born in Macon… Pauline Blizzard Reeves gave birth to John Thomas Reeves on March 27, 1944. When John was 24, after attending the University of Georgia and working for S.A.S.S. in contract sales, he was named vice-president and district manager of his family’s business. Upon the death of their father in 1969, John and his older brother, company president Byron Duke Reeves, decided that constant traveling was not the long-term career path they preferred.

John and Deborah Reeves

The dream begins to take shape. Instead of securing sales contracts from other cemetery owners, John and Byron began buying their own cemetery properties. They used the proceeds of a very fortuitous and lucrative cemetery purchase and quick resale in Texas to secure ownership of their first six cemeteries---which included Hillcrest Cemetery in Augusta. The dream becomes a reality. After a remarkably successful 25-year expansion, S.A.S.S. was sold, Byron semi-retired and now plays a lot of golf, and John Reeves moved to Augusta and bought Bellevue Memorial Gardens. “I redesigned Bellevue after Georgia Memorial Park in Marietta – the only cemetery my dad ever bought and developed,” Reeves said. “This profession is all about having an abiding passion for meeting the needs of your fellow community members before the time comes and at that time, whenever it becomes necessary.” John added, “We are committed to making sure Bellevue Memorial Gardens is the best-managed and most elegant cemetery in the entire CSRA. We take pride in our property and facilities. We constantly strive to innovate in our profession and make everything at Bellevue more appealing, convenient, comfortable, and affordable for our clients. It is, indeed, an honor to serve.” The Patriot Times Special Section


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May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


When only memories remain, let them be beautiful

The ongoing, never-ending goal of owner John Thomas Reeves, Sr. and his team is to strive to continually develop and enhance Bellevue Memorial Gardens into the best-managed, best-maintained, and most elegant cemetery in the entire CSRA. “We take pride in the privilege bestowed upon us by maintaining that sacred final resting place for so many members of our community,” assures Reeves. “This is a special honor that gives us a sense of being a part of each family in our care.”

Bellevue. It’s the right thing to do.

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Social Media Kelsey Morrow

Be Choosy

Pick social media that is most relevant for your business Social Media profiles are a necessity for businesses today. However, simply having a social media presence is not enough. The following tips will help you develop the best social media strategy for your business. What social media platforms does your business actually need? From Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to LinkedIn and beyond, there is an ever-growing list of social media networks to join. A lot of businesses feel like they need a profile in every network in order to stay current. This is not necessarily true. Depending on the nature of your business, there will be certain networks that are more beneficial than others. If you are a law firm, for example, it might not make sense to have a company Instagram account. Instagram

Deeper Thinking Eddie Kennedy

End of the Road

Sometimes the beginning starts with an ending Have you ever had an employee or a business relationship that was holding you or your business back, but you did not know how to end it? Truthfully, we all have. Some relationships end well, however, most do not. Dr. Henry Cloud, a leadership consultant and author of the best-selling book Boundaries, has written the book, Necessary Endings, to help you deal with the hard to make decisions you must make in your life and business to continue to move forward. Cloud says, “Getting to the next level always requires ending something, leaving it behind and moving on.

is a photo-sharing website, and I doubt many clients would choose their lawyer based on the pictures that they post. However, if you are in the retail industry and would be posting pictures of new products, Instagram’s photo sharing would be a perfect fit. Once you have determined which platforms are most relevant to your business, it is important to develop a strategy for your content. Being a frequent social media browser, I am often deterred by businesses that don’t keep their pages up-to-date. However, posting just to post is not a good strategy either. It’s important to have a goal of what you would like to accomplish through your social media page. Are you trying to lead your viewers to a certain action, such as making a purchase on your webpage? Are you trying to create a certain image for your company? Are you trying to achieve feedback from customers? In order for your social media platform to be beneficial for your company, any content that you post needs to be connected back to this goal. In addition to supporting your goal, your content must ultimately be memorable. This is the time to get creative. If your goal is to drive viewers to make a purchase through your website, making bland posts such as, “Visit our website!” is not going to work. A better

marketing strategy might be focusing on specific products that your target audience might find interesting. Better yet, try engaging with that target audience by asking questions and soliciting feedback. Anything that gives you a greater understanding of your target audience’s motivations and desires will bring you closer to getting that audience to accomplish your goal. Ultimately, the next time you come

across a new social media platform, remember to worry less about having a presence everywhere, and more about strategizing the exact presence that will suit your company’s needs.

Without the ability to end things, people stay stuck, never becoming who they were meant to be, never accomplishing all that their talents and abilities should afford them.” Cloud helps the reader realize that until you let go or stop what is not good, you will not move on to something that is good. To continually improve, business leaders must learn to identify what to end and how to end those things well. To grow, you must prune. Cloud says, “The areas of your business and life that require your limited resources – your time, energy, talent, emotions, money – but are not achieving the vision you have for them should be pruned.” When something in your life or business becomes unwanted or is not producing the results or direction you desire, you should stop it or remove it. To know what to prune, ask yourself, what is holding you back from fulfilling your business vision and mission. You must face the brutal facts, make the tough decision and prune those things out of your business. Sometimes the thing you need to prune is an employee. Because you cannot deal with every employee the same, Cloud breaks people into three basic

types: wise, foolish and evil. Learning the character traits of people in these three categories will enable you to deal with them more effectively. Wise people will welcome feedback and will make adjustments to improve. He says the best way to deal with this group is to keep talking. Discuss the issues and explore ways to change until real solutions emerge and Necessary Endings meaningful Dr. Henry Cloud changes can 256 pages occur. Foolish people try to adjust the truth so they don’t have to change. They rarely see themselves as wrong. Dealing with them can be very frustrating as it feels like you are talking to a wall. So, he says the best way to deal with them is to stop talking. Instead of talking about the problem, use a new strategy of setting limits and establishing consequences

for the problem. The limits will protect you and the business from the fool’s collateral damage and the consequences will let them feel the pain of their behavior. Evil people may want to actually bring you and your business down. There is not much hope for these people to change. You can’t reason with them. Cloud suggests you protect yourself from these people with “lawyers, guns and money.” Endings are hard, but as a productive business leader, you must embrace change to grow. There may be things and people in your business that are holding you back from a better future. Identify those things and prune them. Be bold to deal with problem employees and move on to the next level. Cloud says, “You have to be able to face losing some things you might want in order to be free to do the right thing.”

Kelsey Morrow is the Media Assistant at Buzz on Biz and handles its social media accounts. She has a Masters in Public Relations from the University of Georgia. You can contact her at kelsey.

Eddie Kennedy is the owner of Great Deals on Furniture in Augusta and an avid reader of business books. Eddie believes every business owner should invest in themselves by reading, but if you can’t, then read his column every month to see what he learned. Have you read any great business books? Let Eddie know at

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Career and Education Barry Paschal

Post With Care Social media posts can come back to haunt employees The good news for upcoming college grads: Prospects for finding a job this year appear to be pretty strong. The bad news: Losing that job is easier than ever, thanks to social media. That’s what put Kaitlyn Walls in the unemployment line. The Colony, Texas, resident had just accepted a job at a daycare center when she went on Facebook to post that she “absolutely hated” being around a lot of kids – presumably, a key part of working in a daycare center. Her new employer saw the post – and yanked the job offer. Obviously, most grads won’t be quite so self-sabotaging. But many will unintentionally damage their employment prospects by oversharing on social media. College grads looking for that first job, or even for the already-employed looking to move up the career ladder, undoubtedly spend considerable time (or should) making their resumes look appealing and emphasizing their education and experience. What they might be less likely to do is audit their own social media history and check their

credit report. Many employers now routinely check social media and credit reports almost as if they are another set of job references, and too many job-seekers fail to take those facets of their life story into account. If your finances are trashed, revamping your credit history can be tough just before job-hunting. Scrubbing social media history at least is a little easier to accomplish, though it can be time-consuming – especially for those who use multiple platforms. First, go after the no-brainer stuff: Facebook, for example, allows users to basically lock down their history before a certain point. It might look a little suspicious to a potential employer for your history to go back no further than last Tuesday, but certainly you don’t need to keep the indiscretionary years of high school posted – unless, of course, most of your postings were from Math Club competitions. Obviously, delete or set to “private” any pictures of behavior that would be inappropriate for your prospective workplace. View photos and posts through the lens of an employer trying to decide between multiple applicants. A picture that looks like an awesome Spring Break party weekend to fellow students might look like potential Monday-morning absenteeism to an employer. Don’t give them a reason to cull your resume before you even get an interview. Next, look for verbal posts in which you might have sounded off on sensitive issues. Your soapbox commentary on a touchy subject might pigeonhole

you as a troublemaker. Again, view it from the perspective of that prospective employer who undoubtedly is going to be older and more careful. Otherwise, like Wall, you might find yourself still looking for work. But back to that good news: The National Association of Colleges and Employers says employers plan to hire 8.3 percent more new college graduates this year than last year. Additionally, the University of Georgia’s Career Center expects job prospects to be much friendlier this year based, in part, on higher employer attendance at job fairs. Goodwill can attest to that: Recent job fairs have received strong interest from employers, along with record-setting attendance

Career and Education Brian Hendricks

Veteran Versatility

Veterans benefit from and give back to the college experience People pretty much understand you go to college to learn. What they may miss is how a lot of what you learn may not come from books or even in the classroom.

34 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

Some of the most important lessons we learn come from those around us. When we interact with others, we help each other grow and learn. (Hey, Confucius built an entire philosophy around that!) Just by being there, military veterans contribute to a better college experience. Quiet and contained or boisterous and visible, veterans are leaders, not just learners. Their skills, abilities and perspectives enrich everyone around them. At Georgia Military College, veterans not only get the skills and knowledge they need for success, they also share valuable skills and knowledge with others. That makes college a place to grow and succeed for life, not just a place to burn off those last 12 months of VA benefits. A community college like Georgia Military benefits veterans by providing a smaller and more relaxed environment. Classes are smaller. The

from job-seekers. One of the things all career centers recommend, by the way, is that jobseekers have their resume reviewed by a career counselor. That’s always a good idea, and is a service provided by Goodwill’s Job Connections free of charge. Find one near you at Best of luck in the job search. Barry L. Paschal is Senior Director of Marketing and Communication for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA, parent organization of Helms College, an accredited culinary college offering associate degree and one-year diploma programs at campuses in Augusta and Macon. Learn more at, or call 844GO HELMS.

ganization where students can interact with others who understand who they are and where they have been. We have staff that understand military and veteran benefits programs and want to see all our students succeed. Our student population is interesting and diverse. Our credits are designed to transfer to regionally accredited colleges and universities, saving you time and money. Whether you prefer to blend in or stand out, beginning with a school like Georgia Military can make a difference in your life. A small college cares about who our students  are  and who they want to be.

relationship with the faculty is more direct. Many of the faculty are veterans, too. We have a student-led veterans’ or-

G. Brian Hendricks represents Georgia Military College in the Education Center on post as the Fort Gordon Coordinator and Recruiter. He has also taught history classes for the college. For questions about how to enroll in Georgia Military College’s degree programs, call  (706) 9931123, email, or visit

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Career and Education Older unemployed still having trouble finding suitable work

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Despite recent improvements in job creation statistics and the nation’s unemployment rate, half of the people ages 45 to 70 who experienced unemployment during the past five years are not currently working, according to a survey conducted by AARP.   Fifty percent of survey respondents reported they were either unemployed or had dropped out of the labor force. Among those who had become re-employed, nearly half said they were earning less than in their previous jobs. The survey was sponsored by the AARP Public Policy Institute’s  Future of Work@50 initiative. A report on the survey results,  The Long Road Back: Struggling to Find Work after Unemployment, was released recently at a Washington briefing and panel discussion on unemployment issues. The survey also examines the different experiences between people who had been short-term unemployed – less than six months – with those who had been longterm unemployed – more than six months.  Selected highlights from the survey include: Half of older workers who experienced unemployment in the last five years are not working: 38 percent reported they were

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unemployed and 12 percent had dropped out of the labor force. Half of those who found jobs earn less: 48 percent of the re-employed said that they were earning less on their current job than the job they had before they most recently become unemployed. Among the re-employed, half were earning less because they were being paid less, 10 percent were working fewer hours, and 39 percent gave both as reasons. Remaining unemployed longer means earning less: 59 percent of the re-employed who suffered a long-term spell of unemployment were earning less in their current job, compared to 41 percent who had been short-term unemployed. Many settle for part-time work: 41 percent of those who experienced long-term unemployment are working in part-time jobs.  Half work in a new occupation: 53 percent had an occupation different from the one they had prior to becoming unemployed. By way of comparison, 63 percent of the long-term unemployed had a job in a different occupation, while 46 percent of the short-term unemployed were in a different occupation.

Tips about financial aid Whether you are just entering college or graduating, the thought of paying back student loans can be daunting. But don’t panic. Paula Stribling, Interim Director of Georgia Regents University’s Office of Student Financial Aid, offers the following tips to help students navigate the world of student loans. 1. Evaluate your loan options.  Federal and private education loans are options for financing your education, but consider using federal assistance before choosing a private education loan. Federal loans offer numerous repayment plans, affordable interest rates, and loan forgiveness programs. Private loan programs may offer fixed interest rates and may have limited deferment or loan forgiveness options.  2. Borrow only what you need. Most universities will offer you an estimated cost of how much you should borrow, but you do not have to accept the full amount. Set a budget and stick to it. Do your best to live frugally, and try not to borrow to support expensive habits. 3. Keep tabs on your borrowing. It is important to keep track of the balance and repayment status of each of your stu-

dent loans. One of the best tools to monitor your loan activity is the National Student Loan Database System at NSLDS. You can use this site to view the balance and the repayment status on your federal student loans. If you have a private student loan, be sure to monitor your billing statements, or contact the school if you are unable to locate your loan records. 4.  Know your repayment options.  If you want to pay off more than one student loan, start with the one with the highest interest rate.  If you find it difficult to make standard payments on your loan, consider other options such as incomedriven repayment plans. These programs can help cap your monthly payments at an amount reasonable to your income and, depending on the plan, debt can be forgiven after 25 years. You can also keep tabs on your repayments by using the repayment estimator tool on 5. Search for alternative funding. Although student loans are available to offset your college expenses, continue searching for scholarships and check to see if your employer offers tuition assistance programs.

Business Lunch Review Honey from the Rock Cafe Alexandrea Daitch

Sweet Spot

Honey from the Rock Cafe knows Southern cooking The wonderful part of living in the South is being able to experience Southern cooking. I had the pleasure of experiencing Honey from the Rock Café this month and am looking forward to going back. Honey from the Rock Café is operated and owned by a local church, Whole Life Ministries. One can locate Honey from the Rock Café and Whole Life ministries on Washington Road, just a Tiger Woods tee shot from the Augusta National. Honey from the Rock Café was voted best in down home cooking 2013-2014 and best service in 2014 by Best of Augusta. They deserve that title fully.

You’ve got to love a place that starts with dessert. The restaurant is set up buffet style, and first in line is an array of desserts. I chose the peanut butter pie and my colleague selected key lime pie from among the assortment that included chocolate cake and pecan pie. Next in the lineup came the main courses and sides: Fried pork loin chops, fried chicken tenders, meat loaf, the greens, vegetables, sweet potato soufflé, squash casserole, mac and cheese… Are you hungry yet? For a buffet-style restaurant you wouldn’t think service would be a factor. But waiters/waitresses appeared every few minutes with drink refills and to clear dishes and to ask if we needed anything. The service was impeccable and it is probably the friendliest atmosphere in town. It never felt like we had

a waitress/waiter serve us – we had the whole Honey from the Rock Café family serve us. Although the place seems small and buffet line long, the place never seemed to fill up. They knew how to pace everything so we were in and out in a reasonable amount of time. Honey from the Rock Café also has an environment to hold business meetings. When I dined the entire restaurant seemed to be filled with business people from all around the CSRA. It is quiet enough to be able to have a serious meeting there, and they have a separate room that could accommodate a

larger business group. The price was reasonable: Two full meals including meat and two vegetables, a dessert and drink totaled $30. Not bad for the amount of food you get. I couldn’t even finish my five chicken fingers and had to take my peanut butter pie to go. It was an incredible environment, one that I cannot wait to revisit. You will not be disappointed in either the food or the service. If you really want to impress an outof-town guest with some good Southern cooking, Honey from the Rock Café is the place to go.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


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Kathie Williams, Cornerstone Academy............................40 Sandy Wood, Designed for Change....................................40 Suzanne Lilly, Hardwood Floors and More........................41 Kirstie Wohlfeil and Kelly MacVean, La Dolce...................42 Deena Youngblood, Learning, Laughter & Love................42 Ryan Owens, First Command Financial Services...............43 Paige Miller, Hope House....................................................44 Ann Helms, Fogel’s Fine Floors..........................................44 Carolyn Ramp, Resolution Counseling..............................45 Zoom Heaton, TLC Medical Centre...................................46 Melissa Gordon, Sofia Colton Photography.......................47 Judy Gill, Caring Together..................................................48

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


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Digestive Health Center great for bottom line New concept helps patients save money while increasing profit

By Jennifer Reynolds The new digestive health center at Georgia Regents University is not only great for patients, it’s smart for business. Like anyone who works in business, those in healthcare must manage their dollars and cents and make their bottom line work – a task made more challenging by new and ever evolving government regulations. The Georgia Regents Digestive Health Center’s design promises to improve patient satisfaction and help make it a viable business – and new efforts to make GRU a place for destination medicine are expected to grow revenue. The new center is the vision of Dr. Satish Rao, Director of the Digestive Health Center and an expert in neurogastroenterology, GI motility, nutrition and gastroenterology. The center will offer patients the latest in digestive health treatments and procedures. Some of the features of the new 43,000-square-foot center include the nation’s largest and most advanced motility clinic, the only neurogastroenterologist in the region and many touches to enhance the patient experience, such as televisions in each room. Benefit to patients Chad Knight, administrator of the new center, thinks patients will like what the Digestive Health Center has to offer. “There’s something to gain from the consumers’ perspective,” he said. “They like the convenience of having one place and they also like the idea that multiple physicians can collaborate on a single appointment to make sure they’re getting a collaborative diagnosis.” “High-quality, efficient care and patientcentered care can reduce health care costs and save money for patients,” Dr. Rao said. “Instead of going to multiple places, having correct and accurate diagnoses and treatment will save costs. The Digestive Health Center multidisciplinary model is designed to achieve that.” Yet Knight said that while the design of the new Digestive Health Center is great for patients, it’s also good for business. Knight should know. As administrator, it’s his job to run the business side of the center. He oversees the day-to-day operations and is responsible for strategic planning and marketing. “We are a business model just like any other industry would be,” he said. “We’re a business that absolutely has to turn a profit. We have to have a balance of cost versus revenue and make sure we have a positive margin. At the end of the day, when we look

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Dr. Satish Rao designed the new concept for the Digestive Health Center, including the lobby design and pictures on the wall. Photo by Gary Kauffman

at our balance sheet we have to be profitable.” He hopes that some of the new features that the Digestive Health Center has to offer will assist him in managing the center’s finances. “Financially,” Knight said, “if you look at just the dollars behind it all, there’s gain in efficiency in allowing you to potentially reduce cost … you can share staff and share clinical space which will ultimately drive down the cost of operations.” Health care rules affect finances Recent changes to health care legislation make Knight’s job more challenging. “It’s becoming increasingly more difficult,” Knight said of turning a profit, “because of the regulations that were a part of

the Affordable Care Act.” One of the new regulations imposed by the Affordable Care Act is the management of electronic health records. The changes require healthcare providers to make electronic medical records available to patients in a timely fashion. “Part of that is the requirement for electronic medical records which obviously will increase the cost of care because many hospitals, especially smaller hospitals in rural areas that GRU will support, they didn’t necessarily meet the requirements,” Knight said. “So there was money that had to be spent in order to meet those requirements.” Yet new standards set by the Affordable Care Act don’t stop with electronic records.

New technique makes colonscopies easier GRU’s new Digestive Health Center is employing innovative technology for a much maligned health procedure. Colonoscopies are recommended for men and women at the age of 50 and again every 10 years, more often if a patient is at an increased risk. Yet, the procedure is uncomfortable and often the butt of jokes. Traditionally, the procedure is done by using air to inflate the colon and intestines. According to Dr. Satish Rao in an interview in GReport in October 2014, air is difficult to completely remove from the

colon, causing bloating and discomfort. The new Digestive Health Center will replace air with water and carbon dioxide. Water is removed more easily than air, and carbon dioxide is absorbed into the body, reducing the discomfort a patient experiences during the procedure. If this change isn’t enough for the nervous patient, each exam room is equipped with a TV. While patients who want to maintain good health can’t avoid a colonoscopy, at least they can minimize the displeasure by catching up on their favorite programs during the experience.

New quality of care standards set by the legislation also affects the bottom line. Finally, additional pressures on managing finances are driven by consumers. “Consumers are demanding healthcare at a cheaper cost and rightfully so,” Knight said. “So the trick for any administrator or any health system or hospital, is to find the balance between quality healthcare delivery and a price that is appreciated by the consumer – that they’re willing to tolerate.” He added, “Those increasing costs, along with the continuing improvement of other capital investments that you have to make in order to continue to offer high-quality care, are very difficult when your revenue is growing at a slower pace. It makes it difficult to make a profit.” Knight said those costs must be taken into consideration when planning how to make the Digestive Health Center a viable business. Dr. Rao an asset for the center Yet he found a way to affect the bottom line through the experience of Dr. Rao himself. Knight said of Dr. Rao’s expertise, “We’ve been able to use that to attract not only regional patients in the southeast but international patients from all over the world. It’s not uncommon that we have international patients from Europe or Asia or even other parts of North America coming to see us because of his expertise and his reputation internationally.” The ability to attract patients from around the world helps drive up the center’s profits. “From a business perspective that’s very exciting because it allows us to expand our brand,” said Knight. He emphasized that the brand isn’t limited to the Digestive Health Center but to GRU as a whole. Becoming a medical destination Attracting patients from outside the immediate region is also referred to as destination medicine. Knight cites Johns Hopkins as one healthcare provider who uses a destination medicine business model. According to Knight, destination medicine, while not new to healthcare, is something that’s relatively new to GRU and it’s an area in which the facility is trying to grow. “There’s definitely opportunity there,” he said, “especially in an academic medical facility. You have to be able to compete internationally and attract people internationally. I think that’s a growing business and is going to continue to be so.” Though the center is new, Knight said they are already planning for the future. “We continue to recruit (doctors for) other specialties. We actually have two recruits that we’re currently negotiating with and so we hope to have those two specialists onboard soon.” They also have an outreach program to partner with and support rural hospitals in the Augusta area.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Georgia, S.C. in top 10 in economic impact A new report ranks Georgia and South Carolina among the best performing states in terms of economic momentum, outpacing both the rest of the country and other states in the South. The Index of State Economic Momentum released recently showed Georgia’s robust 3.8 percent job growth over the last 12 months ending in February make it the third-fastest hiring state. The Index of State Economic Momentum released recently is compiled by Federal Funds Information for States, a Washington-based clearinghouse for policymakers. “Regional trends are apparent. States atop the list are located almost exclusively in the West and South, while those at the bottom are located in the Midwest, South and Northeast,” the authors noted. “No northeastern state exceeded the national average

economic performance.” The index is based on each state’s growth in employment, population and personal income. Topping the index were energy-boom states like North Dakota, Texas, Utah and Colorado. Also among the top ranks are trendy Washington, Oregon and again Colorado that are benefitting from perceptions among young adults that they are more accepting of liberal lifestyles. The Peach State ranked eighth on the index. It’s robust 3.8 percent job growth over the last 12 months ending in February make it the third-fastest hiring state, behind only Utah and North Dakota, which have much smaller populations. Interestingly, Georgia’s unemployment rate appears comparatively gloomy, but then it’s one of four states in the top 10 of

the index that also have unemployment rates worse than the national average. Economists say that’s because people are moving to those states to find work, and the hiring rate shows they are succeeding. In terms of population growth, Georgia’s 1.03 percent expansion placed it 14th. Personal income grew 5.2 percent, making it the 10th fastest and the best large, nonenergy producing state. Florida’s No. 9 ranking on the index comes thanks to a 3.5 percent hiring pace that’s fourth best in the nation behind Georgia. Personal income grew in the Sunshine State 5 percent, or 13th fastest in the U.S., while people continue to flock to work or retire there, with a 1.5 percent expansion rate that’s sixth highest in the country. The Palmetto State came in at 10th place in the index, the same spot it holds for

population growth with a 1.3 percent yearly increase. The state places ninth for employment growth, with a 3.3 percent rate, and 14th for personal income improvement with a 5 percent annual change. Here are the top 10 states in an index that combines growth in employment, population and personal income. 1. North Dakota 2. Texas 3. Oregon 4. Colorado 5. Utah 6. Washington 7. Idaho 8. Georgia 9. Florida 10. South Carolina Source: Federal Funds Information for States

MAU partners with Boeing to Dumpster Depot, Recleim team up to recycle appliances supply workers for Dreamliner After the old refrigerator conks out, it can often be tough to find a way to safely dispose of it. Aiken County now has a site that can take not only old refrigerators but dishwashers, washing machines, dryers and other household appliances, thanks to a partnership between two South Carolina companies. Recleim LLC, a next-generation recycling services provider, has partnered with Dumpster Depot, a waste removal and recycling company, to offer Aiken County residents a convenient and environmentally sound solution for disposing of old household appliances. Dumpster Depot, through its Greenworks recycling program, will house the collection center at its facility on University Parkway in Aiken. County residents can drop off the appliances 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. There is no fee for the service. Recleim will then transport items to its state-of-the-art Graniteville recycling center for processing. “Recleim and Dumpster Depot share a commitment to protecting the environment through responsible recycling methods,” said Norman Dunagan, founder of Dumpster Depot. “We’re excited to partner with Recleim and help the community properly dispose of old, end-of-life appliances free of charge and in an environmentally friendly manner.” At its 110,000-square-foot flagship facility, Recleim will process those appliances using its exclusively-licensed recycling technology. The company destroys 99.9 percent of ozone-depleting substances found in household appliances and reduces landfill waste by recovering more than 95 percent (by weight) of ap-

52 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

pliances’ commodity components for reuse in new products. “Together, Recleim and Dumpster Depot are leading an effort to address an unmet need in Aiken County for convenient appliance recycling,” said Douglas Huffer, president and general manager of Recleim. “This program supports local businesses and jobs while reducing Aiken County’s reliance on area landfills and out-of-state recyclers.” A portion of the program’s proceeds will be invested in county-wide green initiatives to educate the community on the importance of recycling and reducing its environmental impact. Dumpster Depot and Recleim also plan to expand the recycling service to include additional collection centers in the future. For more information, visit recleim. com or

Augusta-based MAU Workforce Solutions will be providing some of the workforce Boeing needs to build the 787 Dreamliner, the fuel-efficient wide-bodied jet built in North Charleston. MAU, with offices in North Charleston since 1998, is partnering with Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace manufacturer, to provide temporary staffing services. Originally with an Augusta-only footprint, MAU now represents global services and capabilities in 25 countries. In South Carolina, the Chamber of Commerce had ranked MAU as the state’s 15th largest employer. “MAU’s contract with Boeing complements our Lowcountry client base, comprised of premier industrial and manufacturing companies,” said MAU President Randy Hatcher. “We are pleased to be working with Boeing in this effort.” Founded in Augusta in 1973, MAU built its foundation on a knowledge and core ex-

pertise in manufacturing. Today, it is the nation’s 17th largest industrial staffing and recruiting firm, and for the last four years MAU was named to Inc. 5000’s list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. “Every time we start a new contract, we often hire people who are not currently working for us,” said Hatcher. “This new partnership with Boeing is an opportunity for us to introduce the MAU difference to a whole new group of employees and their families as well. Everyone comes to us initially looking for a job; what they don’t expect is that MAU makes resources available to help them in raising their children, improving their marriage, and in general just learning how to be a better person. We see this contract with Boeing as another great opportunity to employ people, add value to their lives and ultimately make their lives better.” For more information, visit  www.mau. com/aerospacejobs.

Columbia County working with TAG for internship program Businesses in Columbia County can help high school students gain real world STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills through a summer internship program. The internship program is sponsored by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) Education Collaborative. The Development Authority of Columbia County is offering host companies a $500 matching grant to help offset the $1,250 fee to participate in the program. The fee covers the internship stipend and the cost of running the program. The TAG Education Collaborative will work with the companies to create relevant,

hands-on workforce learning opportunities. The participating companies interview and select their interns, then provide mentoring. They will also provide feedback to the interns and to TAG-Ed. The internship program is expected to help high schools students understand the vast opportunities in the community as well as increase awareness of local businesses and the technology community already in place. The program has been successful in Metro Atlanta. For more information and to apply for a matching grant, visit

Health and Fitness Katie Silarek


Great abs takes more than just a thousand crunches

Have you ever heard anyone say that “great abs are made in the kitchen” or that getting fit is “80 percent diet, 20 percent gym?” A new study from the University of Washington has found that while more people are exercising, the rate of obesity is climbing too. People auto-

Travel Margaret Centers

Euro Ports of Call

Europe offers cruises of many types and destinations European Cruising Myths You’ll only cruise the Mediterranean. It is true that the most popular cruising region is the Med. With that being said, please do not overlook the Baltic, Coastal Norway, the British Isles and, of course, the many river cruises – too many to mention here. You’ll need at least two weeks to cruise. Obviously, you’ll visit more ports and cover more ground on a 14- or 21-day cruise but there is a large variety of seven-day itin-

matically assume that just because they spend an hour doing cardio, it will undo all of those donuts or frappuccinos that they ate or drank the day before. Consider that an average 150-pound person would have to run more than five miles just to work off the calories found in a fast food milk shake or a quarter pound hamburger. Exercising off excess calories daily is not always easy when you are continuously tempted by high-calorie foods. Yes, it is true that you cannot exercise a bad diet. I hear it every day: “I want to get rid of this,” referring to their midsection, and it makes me grin. Why? Because we all have abs – the muscle is there! Abs, or what I like to refer to as our core, is there. It is just the matter of making them visible and to do this, a combination of great meal planning and an exercise regimen is needed. You cannot have one without the other. Our stomach is where all the food we eat is digested and processed. If we fill it with junk it will look like, well, junk.

But by filling it with clean-from-theearth foods it will be flat and show the abs you desire. In addition to clean food, drinking water will allow the body to flush out excess water your body is holding and keep you hydrated. Water also helps with digestion and the functions of your organs used to break down your food. Everyone needs to know how important water is. If you weigh 120 pounds, then aim for at least 60 ounces of water daily. Water helps to balance hormonal responses to weight loss as well. Eating helps you gain muscle, but does not create them like physical activity does. This is one of the many reasons why exercise goes hand in hand with a proper meal plan. Primarily, yes, it is true that abs are made in the kitchen. But you do not want just great abs – you want the total package! Right?  Stop doing thousands of crunches. Compound, multi-joint, total body movements will promote more total fat loss and promote a much bigger mus-

cle-building response than crunches and sit-ups ever will. Another great thing about this form of exercise is that you typically work more than one muscle group in the process. Be smart with your cardio. All cardio is not created equally. Try interval training next time you are at the gym. Try a one-minute burst of exercise with a short 20- to 30-second rest. Summer time is here! Making changes in what you put in your body and the exercise you put out will make you excited to put on the summer clothes you have pulled out of storage.

eraries. There are even six-day cruises that are extremely popular that feature the Norwegian fjords between Bergen and Kirkenes. European cruises are for grownups only. Many families cruise Europe and often. What better way to bring world history to life than to visit the different ports of call; early history in Greece, WWII history in France and England, Medieval history along a castle river cruise and now Disney is touting a Norwegian “Frozen” cruise with Anna, Elsa and the other characters from their blockbuster movie of the same name. You’ll be in a rush, no time to relax. Oops, don’t ever forget that on a cruise you can always “dial your own danger.” Need an afternoon off for a nap or catching some rays on the pool deck? Just do it. Don’t want to rush back for the traditional dinner hour – most cruises offer an “any time” dining plan as needed. Don’t forget that you will not have delays in airports, checking in and out of daily hotels or even having to arrange your own tours. But please remember that if you tour on your own the ship will not be sensitive to delays

or breakdowns – only if they’ve sponsored the tour. All we’ll see are churches and museums. You will want to visit the historic sites but there are a myriad of cultural tours, hands-on cooking tours, “the arts” tours and others. The list of opportunities is limited only to your imagination.

Book Europe now, the euro has dropped and is still dropping. You’ll love it.

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

Margaret Centers is the owner of Margaret’s Travel, www.margaret’ She worked for Morris Travel for nearly 20 years and formed her own agency in 2010. For questions or bookings call 706-396-3769.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Good Spirits Ben Casella

Salute to IPAs

Lighter brews still possess many notable qualities As you may have picked up over the past six years of craft beer reviews, I particularly enjoy a brew that has something for every part of the mouth and tongue – fullbodied, if you will. So, for that reason, I haven’t often written columns dedicated to niches, especially the more gimmicky, sing-songy ones that appear around certain holidays (pumpkin ales aside). With that said, I’m aware that such discrimination of palate has lead me further from India Pale Ales than most would prefer. So, here’s a rare dedication to the craft of IPA which features two that I enjoyed recently (and that I also plan on enjoying again – if they’re still available). Shane’s Big DIPA – This Westbrook brew is a double IPA (get it? – “DIPA”). It also happens to be one of the best ones I’ve enjoyed in a while. It pours a slightly burnt amber with the stark white head you’d expect from this craft of beer. The nose is full of floral notes with lemon-

Screening Room Samantha Taylor

The High Hard One Netflix’s baseball offerings thin but hit a home run

I think I’m going through a mid-life crisis. I’m beginning to enjoy baseball. It feels weird. For those of you who don’t know, I have always considered baseball to be an incredibly dull sport. Sure, my son has been playing for six years, and I’ve cheered him on as best I could, but even love couldn’t keep me engaged in the game. Until recently, that is. I was at my son’s last game when I found myself intrigued by what was going on out on the field. I wasn’t just watching this game, I was anticipating what play was next,

54 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

grass and sour mash. The taste is similar to the nose but also carries with it a thicker, almost caramel savor that is full and significant without being chewy. Don’t get me wrong: There’s nothing especially sweet about Shane’s Big DIPA, but the softer aspects take a little edge off the hops to make this brew more wellrounded than I thought it would be. Stone Enjoy By 4.20.15 IPA – Ok, Stone has solidified itself as somewhat of a world-class gold standard (or as close as a beer can be) for IPAs with the Enjoy By series. I really don’t think I’ve had one over the past few years that I haven’t enjoyed quite a bit (full disclosure: I haven’t had them all). I enjoyed this particular Enjoy By in a Disney Cruise Lines mug. Yes, we went on a Disney Cruise, and I came back with a Disney beer mug – don’t ask. I found Enjoy By 4.20.15 to be particularly well-balanced for an IPA. The notes you’ve come to expect are all in the nose and taste (floral, pine, a tinge of yeast, etc.). However, this one is a tad drier with a crispness that rarely comes with such a high-octane brew. Highly recommended (even a bit after the “enjoy by” date). Ben Casella was halfway through his Shane’s Big DIPA before he realized “DIPA” was short for “Double India Pale Ale.” He thought the folks from Westbrook were just being hipster with the spelling, as he just recently learned what hipsters were. So much to keep up with...

watching the pitcher and trying to see the strike zone. The game had suddenly slowed down, and I was interested. I wanted to know more and the best way to do that was to watch a documentary. Baseball: The Tenth Inning, A film by Ken Burns & Lynn Novick (1994) PG I must admit, I was a little disappointed with the selection of baseballthemed movies on Netflix. Only three popped up for instant streaming. The small selection did have a Ken Burn’s film, though, and I knew immediately that I should get comfortable. Baseball is an in-depth 10-part miniseries covering every facet of the sport one might think of. I don’t know how long it took them to prepare for this project, but the research was exhaustive and the filmmakers should be applauded. The series includes photographs and video from the earliest history of the sport, including footage of Ernest Lawrence Thayer reciting his famous poem, Casey at Bat. The thing that really grabbed my attention while watching this series was the realization that baseball has been big business for a long time. Although the “founders” of organized baseball agreed that no player would ever be

paid, promoters quickly found out baseball could make them rich and they set about making that happen as quickly as possible. Baseball is a good series to watch over time, but too many episodes at once will have you feeling a little tired. The slow pace and soothing narration had me drifting off after the third episode. But, three hours is a long time to watch anything! Also, the series is a great choice to watch with preteens and teens that love the sport and want to know more. It will not only educate them on the game’s history, but also open up lines of communication about racism, sexism, athlete’s rights and plain and simple hard work. The Perfect Game (2009) PG Usually I watch movies like this with my son because I like to get a kid’s perspective on kids’ movies. This time, however, I was flying solo. While I am not the target demographic for this film, I was still able to find some enjoyment in it. The Perfect Game is based on the true story of the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series. The film follows the lives of the group of poor boys from Monterrey, Mexico, that won the 1957 title with a pitcher who pitched

a perfect game; not a single batter made it to base. While the story behind this film is pretty complex, the movie is not. It’s simple, with bad acting to boot. It is, however, made for 7-11 year olds, so I guess it’s supposed to be simple. Acceptance of oneself and others, love, friendship and hard work are the primary themes of the film. And baseball, there’s lots of that. In spite of its juvenile storyline, The Perfect Game is still pretty fun to watch. First of all, it’s beautiful. I don’t know if it’s the film or the camera they used (both of which I did some research on), but every scene is lovely to look at. Second, sometimes cheesy movies are just what a person needs. I’m sure you’re wondering if I’ve truly been converted to a baseball fan. I’m not sure. I definitely have a new respect for the game after taking the time to learn more about it. 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.

Rock n’ Roll Buzz Jonathan Karow

Amped Up

The real story of the boss of legendary music company Peavey Electronics is an American-owned company based in Meridian, Miss., off I-20. It employs more than 2,400 people in the United States. Peavey is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, and remains one of the leading music and sound equipment manufacturers in the world. As a young musician I vividly remember numerous long trips to visit my family who lived in Jackson and Meridian, Miss. It was always exciting to be in Meridian knowing that was the home of Peavey Electronics, just as it is exciting for a James Brown fan to visit Augusta. My wife, Jeanie, recently handed me a box to sort through containing items dating back to 1982, including newspaper clippings that my grandmother would mail to me from Mississippi about Peavey, numerous Peavey Monitor Magazines and a fold-out Peavey brochure from the Mississippi Welcome Center. When viewing the brochure that mapped out the city of Meridian it looked more like it should have been the “City of Peavey” at the time because of its many different facilities, which included their own public safety division. I found Peavey to have the best quality for my budget as a 12-year-old bass player and singer at church and in my personal band. I used Peavey bass amps and sound systems all made in the USA. Even in my 40s, I still enjoy Peavey products, many of which I purchased as a young man.

Jonathan Karow and his wife, Jeanie, with Peavey Electronics founder Hartley Peavey. Photo contributed.

Peavey Electronics recently participated in an episode of CBS’ show, Undercover Boss. I have seen numerous episodes of Undercover Boss and 99 percent of them end in an “Oprah Winfrey feel-good scenario.” Not in the case of the recent Peavey episode. I recently had the pleasure of talking to 73-year-old owner/founder/ CEO Hartley Peavey about the show, politics and how Chinese and foreign manufacturing is impacting economic growth and job availability in the United States. As a concert promoter and sound engineer I see quite a few Peavey amps on back line stage equipment requests from professional musicians. Most commonly requested are the Classic 30, Classic 50 and Delta Blues guitar amps. The real compliment is when the rider request doesn’t include Peavey by name, because sound professionals have known these as Peavey products for years. “Those have been some of our best-selling vacuum tube amplifiers throughout the years,” Peavey said. I told Peavey that I was appalled at the way Undercover Boss was edited. “Me too,” he replied. I asked Peavey if he felt like he was

I see quite a few Peavey amps on stage equipment requests from professional musicians. set-up on the TV show. “It’s really starting to look that way,” he said. “Originally when asked to be on Undercover Boss, I declined. I have always had great results as a Peavey customer, and I felt it was blatant on the show that there were many cuts and pastes to include shortened statements, laughter where the editors desired, even sequences shown out of order. I hope by now that people know that reality TV is not much about reality, and much of it is scripted. Whenever anyone signs a contract to be on these types of shows, they are signing their rights away as to how the editor portrays or modifies their behavior, words and actions. For example, someone could say, “I heard right from the horse’s mouth that your mom likes KISS and listens to them daily.” After the fact, the film editors could easily change your statement to “I heard that your mom likes to kiss horses right on the mouth daily.” Peavey said, “CBS directed my step-

Hartley Peavey at his Peavey Electronics headquarters. Photo contributed.

son, Courtland, to act like an idiot for the show because he was supposed to be undercover. Courtland went to Harvard. He is extremely well educated, yet the show makes him actually look like an idiot.” There are two authorized Peavey dealers in the CSRA. I asked Peavey representative Roy Rogers about the Undercover Boss episode. He noted several errors. “Peavey has reconfigured many of our facilities to include the A Street plant for Composite Acoustics Guitars, which Undercover Boss implied was being closed,” Rogers said. “The only problem with Composite Acoustics Guitars is that we can’t build them fast enough. In all actuality, Peavey is currently hiring people to fill specific positions in the U.S. at this time. We are in no way closing down in the USA and moving everything to China.” “There are still numerous Peavey products manufactured in the USA,” Peavey said. “As with many companies, we offer an import line all the way up to hand-built professional sound systems like you would see professional sound engineers and performing musicians

using at large events.” Peavey said there are still five plants active in Meridian but Peavey Electronics has been an international company for many years, with products manufactured in Italy, Hong Kong, Germany and other countries. “So to have some of our products made in China should not come as a big surprise,” Peavey said. One thing I noticed is that Peavey’s stepson, Courtland Gray, COO of Peavey Electronics, lives on Peavey company property in a modest home rather than in a mansion. In fact, the most recent time my wife and I talked to Hartley Peavey in person was at the Atlanta Airport where he was taking a Delta flight instead of cruising in a Learjet. Jonathan Karow is the owner/founder of Rock Bottom Music in Augusta and an active musician. He has handled artist relations and concert promotions for internationally recognized musicians for more than two decades. He is also a consultant and product development designer for famous brand instrument manufacturers.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Sports and Leisure Glenn Campbell

Goodbye GoDaddy Danica Patrick will need a new ride after this year

There have been several female drivers that have tried to make it in the predominately male sport of NASCAR over the years. However, none has impacted the sport as much as Danica Patrick. Patrick has overcome many obstacles in her climb to one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers. However, her biggest challenge may lie ahead of her as longtime sponsor GoDaddy announced that they would be pulling their support from NASCAR at the end of the 2015 season. GoDaddy followed Patrick from the Indy car series to the NASCAR Xfinity Series several years ago and increased their sponsorship dollars as she progressed to the Sprint Cup Series at Stewart-Haas Racing.

“They have been an enormous supporter through every transition,” said Patrick of her relationship with GoDaddy. “They supported me when I just wanted to run Xfinity to get experience. So they’ve been great.” A NASCAR sponsorship that is rumored to be in the neighborhood of $22 million to $25 million will be hard to replace but Patrick does not seem to be overly worried. “Either someone new or one of my great partners that already exists and wants to step up,” Patrick said. “Finding primary sponsors is a challenge. But I feel confident that in all the people to find sponsors, I believe in my agent and my team. And we’ll figure it out.” Patrick is definitely a marketing machine when it comes to customer acceptance. She has many associate sponsors that have come along in recent years and one of them could find the GoDaddy departure a chance to increase their relationship with the 33-year-old superstar. “It was good that GoDaddy gave us, as a team, time to find someone else for that sponsorship role,” said Patrick. “We’re going to have to figure it out and it’s a challenge, no doubt.” Challenges, however, have never intimidated Patrick and this recent development doesn’t look like it will slow her

GreenJackets upgrade concessions, sound system at Lake Olmstead Stadium Fans attending the the Augusta GreenJackets games this season will notice a few changes at Lake Olmstead Stadium. Included in these new offerings will be a unique concessions area, new inflatable obstacle course, upgraded sound system, and a signature menu item. “We value our fan experiences here at Lake Olmstead Stadium and in 2015 our front office staff has pulled out all the stops,” said GreenJackets General Manager Tom Denlinger. “We invite the CSRA to come out and have some fun with the GreenJackets, sample our new food offerings and cheer on your GreenJackets to victory.” Fans first entering Lake Olmstead Stadium will notice the newest concessions area on the first base side, the Ahmen Korner Bar and Grill. This new area will feature grilled menu items like hot dogs, hamburgers, bratwursts and Italian sausage. The Kids Zone Fun Area will have a new inflatable ride for kids to enjoy during GreenJackets games. Along with the

56 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

jungle gym, bounce house, and wiffle ball game, children will be able to take part in the new obstacle course. The sound system of Lake Olmstead Stadium also saw a few upgrades, thanks to the help from Augusta-based MAC Electronics. There will be new music covering all genres to entertain GreenJackets fans before, during and after games. Additionally, a new amplifier and speakers were installed during the off-season. The GreenJackets also partnered with the City of Augusta to update the lighting system of Lake Olmstead Stadium to MLB standards. The newest menu item offered at the ballpark will be the Auggie Burger. The Auggie Burger is stacked high with two all-beef patties, Maurice’s BBQ pork and sauce, pimento cheese, and coleslaw. Auggie Burgers will be available at the first and third base concession stands for all GreenJackets’ home games. The GreenJackets are playing their 27th consecutive season of professional baseball in Augusta.

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

down at all. In fact, she is confident that between her management team and Stewart-Haas Racing that a new sponsor will come soon. “They’re working hard to find someone for the new primary position,” said Patrick. “My team is working to find someone for the new primary position. So, I think at this point in time, we’re moving forward with all those intentions.” Although Patrick is comfortable with her status and future at SHR, she is not closing any doors to other teams when it comes to her future. “I guess it is on some level open season in a lot of areas,” continued Patrick on her future plans. “So, I don’t think

you can ever say never, of course; but I am happy where I’m at right now.” Regardless of what happens with the sponsorship situation, Patrick is too valuable as a marketing tool to NASCAR to fail. She might drive a car with different colors for a different team in 2016 but she will survive somewhere. She has been involved in a lot of controversy over her short tenure on NASCAR’s senior circuit but most new drivers face that when they first enter the big leagues. Glenn Campbell is a syndicated columnist and radio and TV show host. For more information, visit

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Home Care Kathy Crist

Changing Times

Know the signs when older loved one needs assistance Dad sometimes leaves the garage door up all night with his keys in the car. Mom stays in the same outfit for days and limits her bathing. Uncle Henry’s desk is stacked with piles of bills, health insurance letters and bank statements – all unopened. At first, these behaviors seemed a bit out of the ordi-

Real Estate Scott Patterson

Rent and Relax

Property managers can make renting your home easier

Homeowners can end up owning a rental home for a myriad of reasons. Some owners may use it as a form of investing while others may be underwater and have no choice but to rent the home and everything in between.

nary, but now you are beginning to wonder if something is shifting in your senior loved ones’ health and daily care needs. The warning signs of when aging affects a family member may be gradual at first, but can quickly cause larger challenges. If you bring up the subject to your older adult, he or she may just brush off the topic by stating, “I’m fine. There is no need to worry.” Recognizing true limitations of aging is not always clear-cut, but it may be time to seek outside help if you notice these differences in older adults: • Communication and relationship changes with family and friends. • Neglect of personal care. • Poor nutrition, or weight loss or gain. • Financial mismanagement, such as unusual purchases or unpaid bills. • Spoiled food that accumulates in the home and is not tossed out. • A growing collection of nicks and dents in the car. • Confusion and uncertainty with accomplishing regular tasks. • Difficulties with balance, walking

Regardless of the reason, effective communication is the key to avoiding undue stress with your property management experience. With today’s technology, communication can be in many forms such as text, email, Skype, FaceTime and the traditional phone conversation. When owners don’t get a response from their property management team, they feel like they are being avoided which is never good for the partnership. An owner and their property manager have to both understand the ultimate goal and remain flexible during the rental process to garner the best results. Honesty is always the best foundation to get the desired results in the shortest period of time. Both manager and owner need to be forthcoming with how they need to operate in order to avoid misunderstandings later. Time is money and every day that a home sits vacant can quickly become a source of stress for a family who isn’t using the home as an investment but rath-

or mobility. For many families, there comes a time for “the conversation” with their senior loved one about needing help with everyday activities. Fortunately, it’s a relief to know that experienced home healthcare professionals understand which aging and health changes warrant caregiver help and when and how to take more purposeful steps to support your aging loved one. As your older loved one’s condition begins to flux, here are suggestions for helping you move from guarded concern to appropriate action: Document changes you notice in your senior loved one. Accompany your senior to doctor appointments so you can hear the medical information firsthand and speak directly with your loved one’s physician. Involve siblings and significant decision-makers. It is important to share the facts of your loved one’s care needs with your siblings and your elder’s medical and legal power of attorney representatives. Plan for a direct, yet loving con-

versation with your older loved one. Appoint someone to lead the conversation. Use open-ended questions. Be sensitive to not overwhelm or ambush your aging loved one. Stay flexible on next steps. Your family may need continued conversations over time to determine the best care plan. The time in-between will allow for gathering additional resources or delegating care responsibilities. While it can be troubling to see forgetfulness, lapsed hygiene and other signs of aging affect your older loved one, the good news is that many seniors are actually relieved their families notice and care. In many cases, the elderly loved one can remain independent at home with the support of family members and professional in-home caregivers. Kathy Crist co-owns Right at Home of the CSRA. As a leading provider of in-home care and assistance, Right at Home supports family caregivers and is dedicated to improving the life of the elderly and disabled. Call 803-278-0250 or visit

Time is money and every day a home sits vacant can become a source of stress for a family er just trying to keep their head above water financially. The same can be said for when it is time to make repairs to the home or pay the mortgage payment. I have seen some owners try to get more rent for the home than the market will allow in hopes of breaking even every month. Many owners don’t realize that it can take up to a year to recover from one missed month’s rent trying to make that happen as opposed to keeping it occupied at the market price and taking a small loss each month. A good property manager will always make themselves available to answer questions and discuss concerns, within reason. Others are willing to assist with financing repairs to help an owner keep the home occupied with

quality tenants. All property managers operate a little differently within the same set of guidelines, depending on the client’s needs, so make sure you choose the manager who is the fit for your needs and goals. At Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Executive Partners, we have many professional property managers who can assist you with your property management needs that best suit your goals. Scott Patterson formerly served as the President of the Builders Association of Metro Augusta. He is the Property Management Director for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Executive Partners. He can be reached at or 706- 830-0580.

Beazley Real Estate joins Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Prudential Beazley Real Estate this week joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and has changed its name to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beazley, Realtors. Since its launch in September 2013, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates LLC family of real estate brokerage franchise networks, has grown to nearly 35,000 agents and 1,100 offices oper-

58 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

ating in 47 states. The network last year was named “Startup of the Year” among entrants from a wide range of U.S. industries in the American Business Awards Stevie Awards competition. Barbara Sanders, broker manager and vice president, said the brand is an ideal fit for Beazley, Realtors. “Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is built on core values of

trust, integrity, stability and longevity, the same qualities we live every day,” she explained. “We appreciate the opportunities our new brand brings, and we accept the responsibilities of representing Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.” With the transition, Beazley, Realtors agents gain access to Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ Global Network Platform

– a suite of online tools, applications and services – plus ongoing business consultation, professional education and marketing support. Resources include powerful lead generation, a handy mobile app and much more. The brokerage will also benefit from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ national advertising campaign.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


Humor Nora Blithe

In a Jam

Deadline looms larger when printer begins to act up I sat back at my desk. Fifteen hours of hard work and my report for work was finished, just in time too. It was due in 10 minutes. There is nothing as inspirational as a deadline, I reflect-

Healthy Eating Melissa Brown

Food for Fifty

A single $50 bill could make a big difference in your diet It is more and more apparent that a person’s diet is not one size fits all. Our bodies were each made in their own special way. So shouldn’t it also be important to every one of us to seek out clean foods that will allow our bodies to perform at maximum capacity? Our body is our temple – our representation – to the

ed as I hit print. The printer whirred and grinded, making its usual noises. Suddenly, it stopped with a choking sound. My brow furrowed. That didn’t sound good. I crossed the room to the printer stand and examined the printer. Half a ream of paper was wedged in the feed; gurgling noises came from inside and a myriad of lights flashed like a digital temper tantrum. I was in a bind. I had to resuscitate my printer, print the report and get it to my boss in 10, no wait, make that nine minutes. I opened the top and methodically worked the jammed paper out of the gears. Once the paper was free, I breathed a sigh of relief and started the process of printing again. An error message popped up on my computer screen telling me there was a paper jam. I hit the cancel button and tried to print again.

world. We focus so much on our cosmetics, but what if we shifted that focus to what we put in our mouths every day? Unfortunately, a whole-foods, plantbased diet is still seen as an incredibly difficult task to manage. “Healthy eating is too expensive!” How many times have we all heard (or said) that? To share healthy ingredients or food to purchase is a good start, but let’s take it a step further. What if your budget is $50? How then should you shop, if you want to shop healthy? Spend $20 on Fresh Produce – This keeps you accountable for picking the best foods possible first, it ensures that you have a decent amount of fresh food in your diet each week, and it prevents you from spending your $50 on tons of fruit and vegetables you won’t be able to eat in a week. If you can choose organic, you should. It’s a lot healthier for you due to less pesticide exposure, and is easy to do now, with more stores offering affordable organic foods. Spend $10-15 in the Bulk Section – It’s time to check out the bulk bins.

Nothing happened. I looked at the printer. None of the lights were flashing. Thinking it had turned itself off I flipped the power switch. Still nothing, so I flipped the power switch again. I jammed the power switch repeatedly until the printer whirred to life. “Whew,” I said to no one. I again sent the document to the printer. This time, the sounds from the printer were the normal sounds. I looked at the clock. I still had four minutes. I relaxed and waited for the printer. It seemed to take forever. It’s probably just the stress, I thought. I gave it another moment. How many pages is that document, I wondered. I crossed to the printer and pulled the pages off the tray. Instead of the neat typed pages I was expecting, I found a myriad of gibberish and symbols splayed in one or two lines on each sheet of paper.

“That’s it,” I shrieked at the printer. “I have had enough of you!” I marched out of my office and rummaged through the supply closet and found a hammer. My boss wouldn’t tolerate a late report but he might be sympathetic if my printer was broken. “I’ll make sure it’s broken,” I muttered as I stormed back into my office. I stopped short in amazement. There in the printer tray sat my report, complete and ready for submission. Later, when my boss asked how I managed to complete such a great report in so short a time I smiled, “You just have to know how to talk to people.” And inanimate objects. Nora Blithe is an Augusta native, an entrepreneur and a syndicated humor columnist. She lives in Greenville, S.C., with her husband, Brian, and their pets. Read her syndicated humor column Life Face First in Verge, or find her online at

We focus so much on our cosmetics, but what if we shifted focus to what we put in our mouths every day? In this section you will want to purchase some grains, beans, nuts and seeds. You don’t need a pound of almonds to eat all week long and don’t need a pound of beans, either. If you want, skip the bulk beans, if you don’t like soaking them, and purchase some canned options instead. Purchase nuts and seeds in 1 ounce amounts and only choose a few different kinds each week. Spend $5-7 on Non-Dairy Items – Purchase several non-dairy milks; you will most likely need one. Or get a container of non-dairy yogurt if you prefer yogurt. There is no need to spend a lot of your money here, but non-dairy milk is one of those “must-have items” for many of us, even if we eat whole foods otherwise. Spend the Remainder on Frozen

Veggies and Fruits – Don’t forget your frozen foods when you are trying to eat healthy. Plain frozen greens, berries and veggies like broccoli are must-haves for budget-savvy individuals watching the pennies. You can always use frozen veggies in meals when the fresh veggies run out, and you can use the greens and fruits in your smoothies. In conclusion… all it takes is $50 to get started on your journey to building healthier meals. When in doubt, come on in and we will help get you started! Melissa Brown is Marketing Team Leader for Whole Foods Market in Augusta. She has more than five years of marketing experience in Augusta and the surrounding areas. If you can’t find her in the store you will find her out and about spreading the word about Whole Foods.

Root beer floats help raise funds for diabetes research The Fresh Market will celebrate the 21st anniversary of its annual “Hope Floats” Sidewalk Sale May 29 through May 31, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily to benefit JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Each of The Fresh Market’s stores will offer picnic-style items including its signature root beer floats (regular and sugar-free), each for a $2 donation. The Fresh Market will donate 100 percent of the funds raised over the three-day sale

60 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

directly to JDRF to support its research efforts. In addition to the Sidewalk Sale, The Fresh Market is hosting a JDRF Sneaker Sale campaign through May 31. Customers can make a donation by purchasing green paper sneakers at The Fresh Market’s checkout counters to show support. Since every penny counts, JDRF Collection Containers are also placed at each checkout counter. This year marks the 21st anniversary of

the partnership between The Fresh Market and JDRF, raising both funds and awareness to create a world without T1D. The Fresh Market is proud to have raised more than $4 million for JDRF through its annual Paper Sneaker and Sidewalk Sale, Wine Gala program, corporate donations and other fundraising events.  “We are honored to celebrate the 21st year of our longstanding partnership with the JDRF Sidewalk Sale,” said Sean Crane, the

company’s interim chief executive officer. “Our overarching philosophy of ‘Neighbors Serving Neighbors’ is the driving force for both how we serve our customers and how we serve our communities. The Fresh Market is committed to the communities where we do business, and our employees enthusiastically support their local JDRF chapters and this annual event.” The Fresh Market in Augusta is located next to The Legends Club.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz



Sports Camps

• Boys Basketball Camp hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st-8th graders. June 1-5 from 9 a.m. – noon. $150. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Camp Flip Flop hosted by Gymnastics Gold, Ages 4-13. Gymnastics, games, crafts, outdoor activities and more. Contact 706-650-2111 or visit • Cheerleading Camp hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st-8th graders. July 15-19 from noon3 p.m. $150. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Football Camp hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st8th graders. July 8-12 from noon-3p.m. $150.Contact 706-731-5260 or visit wsa. net/summer. • Girls Basketball Camp hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st-8th graders. June 8-12 from 9 a.m. – noon. $150. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Kick ‘N Karate Camp hosted by Premier Martial Arts, Weekly martial arts camps, June 8 - August 14. Register by calling (803) 640-8443. • Rowing Camp hosted by Augusta Rowing Club, Ages 12-18. June 13-17 and July 11-15, 8 a.m. – noon. $100 per week, includes lunch and t-shirt. • Soccer Camp hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st-5th graders. May 26-29 from 9 a.m. – noon. $135. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Summer Horse Camp hosted by Tranquility Stables of Appling, GA, Ages 6 and up. Weekly sessions June 1st-July 27th. Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Awards show every Friday. $255 per session. Call 813-714-2456 to reserve your spot. • Summer Tennis and Swim Camp hosted by Newman Tennis Center, Ages 7-17. Weekly sessions from June 1-July 3 and July 13-August 7. $200 per week. For additional information call 706-821-1600. • Tennis Camp hosted by the Petersburg Racquet Club, Ages 4 -18. Weekly sessions are held in June and July. Pee Wees (ages 4-5) are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:15 – 9 a.m. Half-day camps for those 6-18 are from 9 a.m. – noon. Pee Wees: $36 per week or $15 a day for non-members; $28 a week or $12 a day for members.

62 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

Half-day camps: $140 a week or $32 per day for non-members; $110 per week or $26 a day for members. Participants are divided into groups by age and ability, where they participate in tennis instruction and swimming. Contact 706-860-9288 or • Volleyball Camp hosted by Augusta Preparatory Day School, Rising 6th-8th graders, 9 a.m.-noon. Rising 9th-12th graders, 1-4 p.m. June 6-9 and June 18-21. $130 per week. Girls learn the fundamental skills of volleyball in a competitive and fun environment.

Educational Camps

• American Girl Camp hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising K-3rd graders, July 13-17 from 9 a.m. – noon. $150. Campers will focus on a different American Girl doll each day, learning their history through crafts, games and more. Campers can bring their own dolls. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Book Club hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st-2nd graders, June 8-12, 9 a.m. – noon. $135. Participants will take books home and participate in crafts. Contact 706-7315260 or • Camp Invention, Rising 1st-6th graders. June 15-19 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at either Augusta Christian Schools or the Ruth Patrick Science Education Center. $220. Created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Camp Invention is the only nationally recognized summer program focused on creativity, innovation, real-world problem solving and the spirit of invention. Contact 800968-4332 or • Careers in Business hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 10th-12th graders. June 8-12 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. $150. Each day of the camp will be dedicated to a specific business career. Business dress is required. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Dig History Day Camp hosted by Hickory Hill in Thomson, Ages 11-17. June 8-12 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. $60 (does not include lunch). Campers will explore ancient hunting methods, learn what our garbage says about us, and work alongside professional archaeologists to learn about forensic methods to solve crimes. Contact 706-595-7777 or • Driver’s Education hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Those who have a valid driver’s permit. Class-

room instruction, May 26-30 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Driving hours: Six hours scheduled between June 1- August 8. $450. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Eat Your Homework: Math & Science Camp hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 1st-5th graders. July 6-10 from 1:30-3:30pm. $125. Campers will discover what makes bread rise, what happens when you whip egg whites, why fractions are important in cooking, and more. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Eating A-Z hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising Pre-K-Kindergarteners. July 6-10, 9-11 a.m. $125. Campers will practice their alphabet while making snacks for different letters. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit wsa. net/summer. • Eco-Adventures Day Camp hosted by Hickory Hill in Thomson, Ages 10-15. June 22-26, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. $60 (does not include lunch). Campers will learn how Native Americans lived off the land, how early Georgia settlers farmed, and how we can help sustain our environment for the future. This experiential camp allows kids to plant a medicinal and culinary herb garden, harvest fruit, vegetables, and eggs, and make snacks and crafts from the fruits of their labors. Contact 706-595-7777 or • Everyday Poetry: Reading and Writing in the World hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 9th-12th graders. June 15-19, 9 a.m. – noon. $120. Participants discuss poetry, as well as venture off-campus for writing inspiration. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Foreign Language Prep hosted by

Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 8th-9th graders. July 13-17 from 10 a.m. – noon. $150. A camp that provides a grammatical foundation for students who take Latin, French, or Spanish. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Grandmother’s Kitchen hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Pre-K and Kindergarteners, June 15-19 from 9-11 a.m. Rising 1st-5th graders, June 15-19 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. $125. Campers will make old-fashioned recipes. Contact 706-731-5260 or wsa. net/summer. • Great Book Camp hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 11th-12th graders. July 20-31 from 9-10 a.m. $150. An in-depth study of “The Odyssey”. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Growing Green hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, June 8-12. 9:30-11:30 a.m. for rising 3rd-5th graders and 1-3 p.m. for rising 6th-8th graders. Campers will learn about soil, composting, hydroponics and more through projects and keep a gardener’s journal. $175. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Hands and Feet hosted by Westminster Schools of Augusta, Rising 3rd-6th graders. June 22-26 from 9 a.m. – noon $150. Campers will serve others through hands-on projects. Contact 706-731-5260 or visit • Kids University Summer Camps hosted by Georgia Regents University, Rising Kindergarteners through rising 9th graders. Science and Social Studies topics. June 1-26 and July 6-17. Half Day $100, Full Day $170, Extended Day $185. Registration begins Tuesday, April 1.

May 21-June17, 2015 Buzz on Biz


72 Buzz on Biz May 21-June17, 2015

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