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WINNER

CHARLIE MCVEAN &

CHARLIE NEWMAN BIG RIVER CROSSING

Supplement to Memphis magazine

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WINNER

D R. G I A N C A R L O M A R I U T H S C O B F.A.S.T.

Supplement to Memphis magazine

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O C T/ N O V 2 0 1 7 | V O L U M E X I I | N U M B E R 1

WINNER

BRIAN SORRENTINO, M.D. S T. J U D E C H IL D R E N’S RESEARCH HOSPITAL • GENE THERAPY •

Supplement to Memphis magazine

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WINNER

JULIE ROMINE HABITAT FOR HUMANIT Y • AGING IN PLACE •

Supplement to Memphis magazine

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$2.3 BILLION

ADDED TO TENNESSEE’S ECONOMY

$84.3 MILLION

IN GRANT EXPENDITURES

3097

TOTAL STUDENTS

ENROLLED

100+

CLINICAL AND EDUCATIONAL

SITES ACROSS TENNESSEE

Patient Care | Professional Education Research

6

HEALTH CARE COLLEGES

Dentistry | Graduate Health Sciences Health Professions | Medicine Nursing | Pharmacy

4

FULL CLINICAL CAMPUSES Memphis | Chattanooga Knoxville | Nashville

1

MISSION:

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TRANSFORM HEALTH CARE Education | Clinical Care Public Service | Research

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OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017 VOLUME XII | NUMBER 1

COLUMNS 4

FROM THE EDITOR ••• BY JON W. SPARKS

6

CREATIVE COMMUNICATION ••• BY ANDREA WILEY

8

FINANCE & INVESTMENT ••• BY DAVID S. WADDELL

16

10 I N S I D E F I N A N C I A L P L A N N I N G

Where are the millennials? ••• BY DANIEL ALLEN

12 I N S I D E R E T I R E M E N T

Are you prepared for healthcare costs when you retire? ••• BY BRIAN DOUGLAS

DEPARTMENTS

25

14 T H E H O T S H E E T 16 L E A D E R S H I P

Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell Owner of Royal Studios. ••• B Y J O N W. S PA R K S

25 E X I T I N T E R V I E W

Jerry Collins looks back on 10 years at MLGW.

42

••• BY JON W. SPARKS

42 M A D E I N M E M P H I S

Orphan drugs get some love at the Plough Center at UTHSC. ••• BY SAMUEL X. CICCI

50 P O W E R P L A Y E R S

Business and Employment Law

46

46 T O M O R R O W ’ S W H I Z Z E S

The Cook Analytics & Trading Lab at U of M is opening some doors. ••• BY SAMUEL X. CICCI

58 C U L T I V A T I N G T A L E N T

The LDI at New Memphis has been refining local leadership for 20 years. ••• BY JON W. SPARKS

58

62 T H E O F F I C E

Cynthia Ham BRIDGES. ••• BY SAMUEL X. CICCI

64 F R O M T H E A R C H I V E S

“The City of the Future” that never was. ••• BY VANCE LAUDERDALE

COVER PHOTOGRAPHS BY LARRY KUZNIEWSKI

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F R O M

T H E

E D I T O R

• • •

B Y

J O N

W.

S PA R K S

• • •

B Y

J O N

W.

S PA R K S

Customer service

It’s not that hard: Do it. Do it right. Do it right now.

INSIDEMEMPHISBUSINESS.COM EDITOR

Jon W. Sparks

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Brian Groppe

MANAGING EDITOR

Frank Murtaugh

ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Samuel X. Cicci

COPY EDITOR

Michael Finger

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS ADVERTISING ART DIRECTOR PRODUCTION OPERATIONS DIRECTOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS PHOTOGRAPHY

Jody Callahan, Vance Lauderdale, Aisling Maki, David S. Waddell, Andrea Wiley Christopher Myers Margie Neal Jeremiah Matthews, Bryan Rollins Justin Fox Burks, Larry Kuzniewski, Amie Vanderford

PUBLISHED BY CONTEMPOR ARY MEDIA , INC . PUBLISHER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER EDITORIAL DIRECTOR SPECIAL PROJECTS DIRECTOR DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CONTROLLER DIGITAL MANAGER SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER EMAIL MARKETING MANAGER DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

Kenneth Neill Jennifer K. Oswalt Bruce VanWyngarden Molly Willmott Jeffrey A. Goldberg Ashley Haeger Kevin Lipe Matthew Preston Britt Ervin Lynn Sparagowski

IT DIRECTOR

Joseph Carey

ACCOUNTING ASSISTANT

Celeste Dixon

RECEPTIONIST

Kalena McKinney

Inside Memphis Business is published six times a year by Contemporary Media, Inc., P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 © 2017, telephone: 901-521-9000. For subscription information, call 901-575-9470. All rights reserved. Periodicals postage paid at Memphis, TN. Postmaster: send address changes to Inside Memphis Business, P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. Opinions and perspectives expressed in the magazine are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of the ownership or management.

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I recently was flying into the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport from Tokyo, a numbing 12-hour experience on All Nippon Airways that was made tolerable by being able to score some extra wasabi sauce. As we taxied to the gate, a flight attendant uttered my name over the intercom and said that I should check in with ground personnel on arrival. Having your name announced over a PA is unsettling. I checked texts, but all seemed quiet at home. The Boeing 777 slowly, slowly extruded its passengers as I nurtured my anxiety, thinking that I had to navigate customs and go to another concourse in short order. When I finally stepped out of the door, a young man with ANA was there holding a card with my name on it. Ashish Adhikari greeted me and briskly explained that because of the hurdles to be jumped in a relatively short turnaround time, that he would help me get through it. I was delighted and puzzled. I was a mere economy class traveler and they’d done their job, which was to get me safely to the gate. But this was a case of an airline that saw an issue, took ownership of it, and moved affirmatively to make sure all went well. I followed Ashish — we were doing all this on the run — and he said that he’d help me get through customs quickly. Yeah, sure. But he said, “Really, there’s an app. Get it.” So I found Mobile Passport, which claimed it would let you breeze through customs and was officially authorized

by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And I’m thinking it’s too good to be true. But my minder guided me through it, helping me scan my passport, and watching as I took a selfie and filled in the info that normally is scribbled down on a form on the plane. By the time I’d done that, he had me in a line for customs. And I was at the head of it because it was just for people with the app. I looked over to the left and saw a long snake of a queue where everyone else was lined up. “Not many people know about this app,” my new friend said. I marched up to the agent, he scanned the info on the app, and said, “OK, you’re done.” My impulse was to say, “Are you sure?” I did not, however, and grabbed my luggage and scooted away. Ashish was still with me. “OK,” he said. “Now I’m going to take you to the shuttle train you need to take to get to your Delta flight. When you arrive, go up the stairs and the Delta agents will be on your left and they can take care of you from there.” But nobody took as good care of a flyer as this personable and efficient ANA agent, who enjoyed working for a company that knows a thing or two about customer service. And the lesson couldn’t be any clearer for those in the service industry. See a problem, own it, and take care of business.

Dig Deep for Memphis A 2012 survey conducted by The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Memphis second in that magazine’s list of per-capita charitable contributions for America’s 50 most-populous metro areas. Memphisarea residents and businesses give over $700 million to charity annually. Because of this, Inside Memphis Business in 2015 started working together with local companies to highlight the good work being done in our community. This is our “Dig Deep for Memphis” partnership program. Over the past two years, we’ve matched

every advertising full page purchased by our partners with a donated page for the charitable organization of their choice. We are very pleased with the “Dig Deep” program and look to expand it in the coming year. For further information, contact neill@contemporary-media.com. As always, please join me in thanking our program partners — Triumph, FedEx, and Northwestern Mutual — for their support of philanthropy in the Mid-South, and their support for Inside Memphis Business in 2017. — Kenneth Neill

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Communications Public Relations Marketing Advertising Social Media “Our clients receive senior-level strategy paired with detailed tactical implementation for a holistic marketing and communications approach.� -- Valerie Morris & Patrick Collins

MMGMemphis.com 901-425-3770 456 Tennessee Street Memphis, Tennessee

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CREATI V E COMMUNICATION

• • •

B Y

A N D R E A

W I L E Y

How to Whip Productivity into Shape Some days simply resist being productive. Everyone gets pummeled by life’s challenges: There are mornings when it’s hard to get out of bed and afternoons where you can’t seem to get a thing done. But no matter what level of strife pulls at us, it’s still possible to bring creativity and value to the job we were hired to do. Practicing methods that cultivate productivity routinely may actually help us perform at a higher level during times when it seems the hardest to do so. It takes discipline, of course. And a lot of it. it is a conference room, a coffee shop, or your But it can be done. living room couch, a change of scenery could Start each day with a plan and decide how do you some good — but only if it’s a place you are going to work around previously without distractions. scheduled meetings to accomplish your goals You are going to need a break, so you for the day. “Set aside time for responding to can even plan that. Go for a 15-minute walk emails, but don’t let them determine what around the block or take a bike ride along the your day is going to look like,” says Peter Daibluff to help clear your head. Never underestimate the power of fresh air and Vitamin D. syme, co-founder of Palo-Alto based Hostt, on Inc.com. “Have a plan of Marketing professors point attack at the start of the each out that if you play music you day, and then do your best to should be aware of whether it “HAVE A PLAN OF ATTACK is helping or hindering your stick to it.” AT THE START OF THE If your to-do list is a mashperformance. Bach or Beetup of mindless tasks that rehoven is appropriate when EACH DAY, AND THEN DO quire nothing more than a your work requires thoughtYOUR BEST TO STICK TO IT.” fulness and focus, while the little time, alongside major projects that require a lot of dedicated, foBeastie Boys can provide the beat you need cused time, then separate and approach them to crank out those routine tasks that just need in different ways. A “short” list of tasks can eat to get done. But not vice versa. Creativity can arise from chaos, but a clutup a whole morning. And the longer they are tered office probably isn’t helping you get it put off, the longer that short list gets, which becomes overwhelming. Set aside 30 minutes done, let alone done well. “Attention is proto tackle those annoying things that you have grammed to pick up what’s novel,” says Josh been procrastinating. But before you start Davis, director of research at the NeuroLechecking things off your list, ask yourself if adership Institute. Visible files and an overthis is something that truly requires your flowing in-box remind you of unfinished tasks time. Can this be delegated to someone else? and hurt the ability to focus. According to a Can it wait? Is it even necessary to be done at recent study by Harvard Business Review, people all? Decide, and then get it out of the way so with neat offices are more persistent and less you can get focused. frustrated and weary. Co-author Grace Chae, According to Fast Company’s Secrets of professor at Fox Business School of Business Productive People, you should carve out and at Temple University, says, “While it can be ruthlessly protect 1.5 hours per day for that comforting to relax in your mess, a disorganized environment can be a real obstacle.” major project that requires your undivided attention. That is 20 percent of an eight-hour It’s time to get out of our comfort zones and day. “Even if you squander the remaining 80 exercise discipline. With so much swirling percent, you can still make great progress if around us that is out of our control at work and in life, it’s easy to lose sight of the basic you have spent 90 minutes on your goals or priorities,” says North Carolina-based prothings we can control. We must be intentional ductivity coach Kimberly Medlock. everyday in the choices we make to minimize Having a coworker pop his head into your distractions and create an environment that stimulates productivity every day. workspace to chat or ask a simple question may seem harmless, but even brief interrupAndrea Wiley is director of account management tions can negatively affect your work patat DCA Creative Communications Consulting. terns. Minimizing interruptions may mean She is an adjunct professor teaching advertising at setting office hours, keeping your door closed, the University of Memphis and was the 2015-2016 or working in a place where you are less likely president of the American Advertising Federato be found when a deadline looms. A temtion, Memphis Chapter. She can be reached at porary change in your environment can be awiley@dcamemphis.com. like finding extra hours in the day. Whether 6|

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The My Triumph campaign exists to spotlight everyday people fulfilling their dreams. These are our customers, and these are their stories of triumph. What’s your triumph? MM_FullPage_TrimSize_9x25_11x125.indd 1

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FI NA NCE & I N V ESTMENT

••• BY DAVID S. WADDELL

The Innovation Imperative In 1798, economist Thomas Malthus wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population arguing that technological advancements led to an increase in population, but not an increase in prosperity. For context, up to that point the global economy relied on farming. While the global population increased from 225 million to 1 billion between year 1 and 1800, income per capita only increased from $450 to $650. Supporting Malthus’ logic, the fivefold gain in headcount over the time period only increased household prosperity by 40 percent. Therefore, from the dawn of time until around

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1800, technological innovation had virtually world is catching up quickly. no measurable impact on household wealth Each year Bloomberg publishes its Innocreation. Then something changed. vation Index country rankings. In the 2017 Starting in 1820, technological gains beedition, South Korea tops the leaderboard gan translating into prosperity gains. Bewith first-place rankings across R&D intentween 1820 and 2000, the global population sity, manufacturing value add, and patent grew from 1 billion to activity. Singapore and 5 billion souls while Japan also crack the household income top 10 along with SweTHE GLOBAL POPULATION COULD PEAK den, Germany, Switzergrew from $650 to NEAR 10 BILLION SOMETIME BETWEEN land, Finland, and Den$6,000. In the more developed Western mark. The USA ranks 2050 AND 2100. IF THAT OCCURS, world, where most 9th, right before Israel. ECONOMIC GROWTH WILL DEPEND of the technological This low ranking for adoption took place, ENTIRELY ON INNOVATION GAINS TO the USA does not imincomes grew twice OVERCOME POPULATION STAGNATION. ply that we have lost as fast, from $1,300 in our innovative stride, 1820 to $27,000 by 2000. These results combut that innovation has become aspirational pletely refute Malthus’ theory that popuglobally. Thankfully, more ubiquitous innovation lation and prosperity were self-canceling, contributes to global well-being on several contorting a once revered economist’s name into a condescending colloquialism. fronts. First, as less developed economies There are only two ways to grow an econbecome more technologically advanced, omy. One, you can increase the output of the they build tighter trade relationships with productive process by increasing workers other nations, reducing military incen(the global economy before 1820) or two, you tives. Second, if every worker across the can increase the output of the productive world attained the productivity level of a process using the same number of workUnited States worker, the global economy ers more productively (the global economy could grow another 350 percent. Lastly, after 1820). A convergence of factors near given that the size of an economy depends and around 1820 unlocked unprecedentupon its number of workers multiplied by ed innovation. First, the adoption of the their output, any downshift in population printing press, rapid advancements in acagrowth requires a corresponding upshift demic achievement, and vastly more scienin productivity growth simply to maintain living standards. tific experimentation elevated knowledge and capability. Second, enhanced properAccording to the United Nations, the ty rights and credit availability boosted global population could peak near 10 bilbusiness expansion and entrepreneurship. lion sometime between 2050 and 2100. If Lastly, newfound mobility and urbanization that occurs, economic growth will depend enabled economically inspired population entirely on innovation gains to overcome migration. This combination of more brainpopulation stagnation, meaning that today’s power, more willpower, and fewer societal global quest for economic innovation isn’t just enabling — it’s imperative. constraints set off an innovation revolution that yielded the world electricity, combusDavid S. Waddell is CEO of Waddell and tion engines, airplanes, computers, the inAssociates. He has appeared in The Wall Street ternet, penicillin, air conditioning, artificial Journal, Forbes, Business Week, and other intelligence, etc. While the West may have local, national, and global resources. Visit wadbeen the early adopter of innovation within dellandassociates.com for more. the modern capitalist system, the rest of the

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P L A N N I N G

designing investment portfolios. While we do spend a considerable amount of time on these tasks, that is not the whole story. In addition to asset management, we are engaged in what’s happening in our community and in the world. Also, good advisors must be good students who enjoy learning and solving problems. Most importantly, advisors must be great listeners, understand people and their

IN OUR SOCIETY’S PURSUIT OF INSTANT GRATIFICATION, MANY YOUNG PROFESSIONALS MAY BE UNWILLING TO MAKE THESE TYPES OF SACRIFICES.

Why Is There a Shortage of Financial Advisors? • • •

B Y

D A N I E L

A L L E N ,

J D ,

C F P

The investment management industry is facing one of its greatest challenges in years. Demographics are shifting while technology advances, simultaneously increasing demand for fi nancial services and shrinking the ranks of qualified financial professionals. According to Ernst & Young, the average age of a financial advisor is now 50 years old, and it continues to rise every year. In fact, only 22 percent of financial advisors are younger than 40, with only 5 percent younger than 30. As a result, the industry could face a shortage of up to 200,000 advisors by 2022. CNBC reports that over the next several decades, Americans will transfer an estimated $30 trillion in assets to the next generations. So why is the financial advisory business facing a shortage of young, qualified professionals? In my opinion, 10 |

we have an identity issue. Wealth management is how we help individuals, families, and business owners make smart decisions with their money. However, I believe our industry does a poor job of explaining what we actually do on a daily basis. When most individuals hear the terms “financial advisor� or “wealth manager,� they envision someone at a computer all day analyzing companies, poring through spreadsheets, or

pressure points, and be passionate about finding solutions to better their clients’ lives. Another barrier to entry for young professionals is the time, sacrifice, and money it takes to become a specialist in the financial advisory business. Advisors must be trained in general financial planning principles, education planning, risk management, investment planning, tax planning, and estate planning. Therefore, most firms seek young professionals with various specialties and designations, including CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), CFP (Certified Financial Planner), JD (law degree), and CPA (Certified Public Accountant). The training that advisors receive from these programs is invaluable, but it is time-intensive, involves challenging material, and is sometimes prohibitively expensive. In my pursuit of my law degree, I spent three years in school and thousands of dollars, along with three months of 12-hour study days to prepare for the licensing exam. Earning a CFP also requires years of studying and a minimum of three years of work experience. To obtain a CFA designation, advisors commit at least three years to meeting the educational requirements. While it may sound daunting, these specialties and

designations are achievable. They provide advisors the necessary tools to bring valuable solutions to their clients. In our society’s pursuit of instant gratification, many young professionals may be unwilling to make these types of sacrifices. However, the hard work is worth it in the long run. One of an advisor’s primary roles is to cut through the “noise� and analyze a particular set of facts to help our clients make informed decisions. These recommendations may involve investments in stocks, bonds, or real estate. They may also involve the sale of a business and how to protect those proceeds and effectively pass them to the next generation. In order to properly guide our clients, we must have an intimate understanding of their short and long-term goals and have open lines of communication. Robo-advisors and generic planning software do have some value, but those tools lack the customization, expertise, and case-specific solutions that are necessary in our complicated financial world. For example, will the robot understand the most tax-efficient ways to structure the sale of your small business? Does the software understand that Tennessee has some of the best asset protection laws in the United States to protect you against lawsuits, creditors, and ex-spouses? While robo-advisors offer convenience and present more choices, investors should consider the value of working with a trusted advisor. A human connection with a professional is beneficial to creating a long-term plan and making complex financial decisions. Although our industry is changing and our financial professionals are aging, it’s not too late. We can still build sustainable, valuable firms that attract and retain young talent. We just need to show these 20and 30-somethings that being an advisor is rewarding, exciting, and lets them make a real impact. 

ILLUSTRATION BY KITTICHA POLPAISAL / DREAMSTIME

F I N A N C I A L

Daniel Allen, 30, is a wealth advisor at Red Door Wealth Management in Memphis. He can be reached at daniel@ reddoorwealth.com.

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10

2016

project location size project type

Lansky’s Corporate Office Memphis, TN 4,417 sf Office - Renovation

100 Memphis, Peabody Place, Memphis, TN 38103 ••901.260.7370 • www.belzdesignbuild.com 100 Peabody Place, TN 38103 • 901.260.7370 www.belzconstruction.com

©Jeffrey Jacobs Photography

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Save strategically for other retirement expenses. If you have a healthy retirement account that covers what you expect to spend on living expenses and the dreams you want to pursue, you can feel more comfortable about your ability to handle out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Compare your current retirement savings to the amount you anticipate

ILLUSTRATION BY ARTINSPIRING / DREAMSTIME

R E T I R E M E N T

REDUCING YOUR DEBT AND SAVING AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BEFORE YOU RETIRE IS THE SIMPLEST WAY TO PREPARE FOR AN UNANTICIPATED NEED. needing in retirement to live the lifestyle you want. Then, make a plan to fill in any gaps.

How Women Can Prepare for Healthcare Costs in Retirement. • • • B Y

B R I A N

D O U G L A S ,

C F P,

C R P C ,

A D PA

Women live longer than men and face distinctly different challenges in funding their healthcare needs in retirement. According to a 2016 study by HealthView Services, a 65-year-old man who retires this year will spend an average of $200,000 on healthcare in retirement, while a woman will spend $235,000. With these expenses in mind, it’s not surprising that the cost of healthcare is one of the biggest retirement planning concerns for Americans. It’s essential to plan for healthcare expenses, although it’s especially important for women. The following strategies can help create a plan to prevent a financial shortfall in retirement: Estimate your healthcare costs. Begin by assessing your overall health and family health history, using your current annual medical and dental expenses as a starting point. 12 |

For help projecting what these costs may be in retirement, consider using an online healthcare calculator. Many estimators can educate you on potential treatment costs for a variety of health and dental conditions. Knowing the challenges you may face with your health — and what they may cost — can make a difference in being prepared. Have the right insurance coverage. Insurance plays an important role in helping you manage your current healthcare costs, as well as plan for

expenses you may incur down the road. Review your current life, disability, long-term care, and health insurance policies to ensure you have enough coverage for your financial situation. If you don’t have coverage in one of these areas, become educated about various insurance options to determine if a policy makes sense for you. Plan to review your coverage regularly and update as your health or financial situation changes. Consider setting up a health savings account (HSA) if you have a high deductible health insurance plan. An HSA allows you to both build money up and withdraw it for qualified medical expenses tax-free. Unlike a flexible spending account, you don’t lose money you don’t withdraw. If you change jobs, you can take the account with you. Plus, you can use it anytime during your lifetime to pay for qualified medical expenses. Keep in mind that if you withdraw funds for non-medical purposes, you are subject to a tax penalty.

Prepare for unexpected expenses. Reducing your debt and saving as much as possible before you retire is the simplest way to prepare for an unanticipated need — medical or otherwise. If your balance sheet is healthy, you’ll likely be better positioned to absorb medical costs not covered by Medicare or your insurance. Be proactive about your health. Schedule and keep routine dental and medical check-ups as well as stay up-todate on preventative services. Thoughtful prevention and early detection of potential health concerns may keep minor medical issues from becoming major ones. While planning for healthcare costs in retirement can be a challenge, there are steps you can take today to help you feel more prepared. Working with a financial professional can help factor real and potential healthcare costs into your overall plan for retirement. • Brian Douglas, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Financial Advisor and Principal with Guidingpoint Financial Group, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. To contact Douglas, call 901-312-5099.

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The HOT Sheet

Advancement inferno added Lauren Berry (public relations account coordinator) and Von Ralls (web developer). HealthChoice promoted Sarah Hennings to director of population health programs. Herbert B. Wolf, Jr. joined Stites & Harbison, PLLC as an attorney. Gray Bartlett joined Shea Moskovitz & McGhee, PLC as an attorney. Obsidian Public Relations promoted Lauren Hannaford to director of client services. Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South added Latoria Taylor (vice president of development) and Courtney Miller (program manager) to its team. Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence named Kevin Dean as its permanent CEO after a national search. The Seam hired Tammy Sullivan (executive assistant), Mike Vandenbergh (director of emerging technologies), and Rex Vandiver (customer development). Opera Memphis added conductor and pianist Michael Sakir as music director.

Johnnie Owens joined the Whitehaven office of BancorpSouth. Trey Talley joined Diversified Trust’s Memphis offices as senior vice president.

BTI Industry Power Rankings 2017: The Law Firms with the Best Client Relationships named Stites & Harbison, PLLC, to the Honor Roll of Core Firms and Recommended Firms in Transportation. Arthur S. Richey, an attorney at Butler Snow, has been named to the Leadership Memphis executive class of 2018.

Appointment James Maclin (principal at M&M Enterprises, Inc.), Cathy Ross (executive vice president and CFO of FedEx Express), and Greg Wanta (senior vice president, North American Container at International Paper) were named to the Christian Brothers University board of trustees. University of Tennessee Health Science Center appointed David M. Stern, MD, to the role of vice chancellor for health affairs for statewide initiatives. Paragon Bank named Sanjay Dave as new vice president, banking center and security. Youth Villages added three new members to its national board of directors: Reginald Coopwood (CEO and president, Regional One Health), Gerald Laurain (CFO, First Tennessee Bank Advisors), and Elizabeth Rose (co-founder and partner at Caiola & Rose, LLC, in Decatur, Georgia).

Working Mother magazine and Law360 named law firm Fisher Phillips to their “Best Law Firms for Women” and “Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys” lists, respectively. Two Fisher Phillips attorneys, Jay Kiesewetter, senior counsel, and Jeff Weintraub, managing partner, were included in Best Lawyers in America 2018. Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle, & Cox, P.C. attorneys Richard Glassman and Dale Tuttle were recognized in Best Lawyers in America 2018. Al Bright, Jr., Denise D. Burke, and G. Robert Morris, from Waller firm, were named to The Best Lawyers in America 2018. Averitt Express honored employee James Flake for 20 years of safety. Paragon Bank earned the number six spot on American Banker magazine and Best Companies Group’s annual Best Banks to Work For list.

Inked

Awards

Megan Stout joined Shannon & Waterman as sales manager for southeast region.

Memphis-based IMC companies opened two container drayage locations in Ohio and Minnesota.

Memphis production company Running Pony has won a 12th Clarion Award for its documentary “Rundown: The Fight Against Blight in Memphis.”

Pinnacle Financial Partners earned Preferred Lender Status from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Eclectic Eyewear added Shannon Seaton as eyewear architect.

Dayton Freight Lines received the Logistics Managements’ 2017 Quest for Quality award in the Midwest/ North Central Region LTL category.

Dr. Silvia N. Glaser joined SEE Eyewear as an in-store optometrist at the Saddle Creek location.

Alan Crone (Super Lawyer) and Laura Bailey (Rising Star), two attorneys from the Crone Law Firm, PLLC, were named to Thompson Reuters’ 2017 Super Lawyers list.

Saint Francis Hospital expanded its neuroscience service line with the addition of Dr. Chiu Yuen To.

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Gabe McGaha, an attorney for Fisher Phillips, received the Tennessee Bar Associations’ Larry Wilks Award.

Michael Frizzell (project manager) and Izaac Robinson (safety coordinator) joined Lehman-Roberts Co.

Group Benefits LLC recently merged its practice into Alera Group. Jason and Laura Wallace opened RE/MAX On Point East Memphis, a new real estate brokerage. Mahaffey Fabric Structures acquired $24.2 million in assets from Classic Party Rentals. Paragon Bank announced that second quarter net income increased 33 percent compared to last year.

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Lawrence “BOO”  Mitchell L E A D E R S H I P

Owner of Royal Studios B Y

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S PA R K S

The art of running an enterprise requires knowing when to change — and when to resist the temptation. Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell has been cultivating that knowledge a good part of his life as part of the fabric of Royal Studios, a legendary hatchery that has, for 60 years, been drawing some of the world’s most accomplished hitmakers. His father, Willie Mitchell, took charge of the studio in 1970, and Boo, now 46, took over after Willie’s death in 2010. Royal boasts of being one of the oldest perpetually operated recording studios in the world, and as the home of Hi Records in the early days, has spawned several million-sellers. Trumpeter Willie Mitchell came aboard as a session player in 1963 and made several hits while becoming increasingly involved in the studio’s operation. He eventually took over Royal and in the early 1970s would develop a singular expression and, aided by his collaboration with Al Green, give the world a distinctly Memphis sound.

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY ROYAL STUDIO

• • •

Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell

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PHOTOGRAPH BY JUSTIN FOX BURKS

ROYAL STUDIO PROJECTS THE APP

ROYAL RADIO: The free app is based at the studio and streams soul music, much of it recorded at Royal. Radio shows are hosted by Barbara Blue, Preston Shannon, Al Kapone, Frayser Boy, Charles Hodges.

THE ARTISTS

A LIST OF WHO HAS RECORDED HERE Al Green, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, Don Bryant, Ann Peebles, Eric Benet, Tom Jones, Rod Stewart, Solomon Burke, Syl Johnson, Robert Cray, Otis Rush, Otis Clay, Boz Scaggs, Marti Pellow, Charlie Rich, John Mayer, Jesse Winchester, Cliff Richard, Chuck Berry, Ike and Tina Turner, Buddy Guy, Keith Richards

THE ACHIEVEMENT

Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell PHOTOGRAPH BY JON W. SPARKS

Growing up in that atmosphere, Boo Mitchell performed and played plenty of music and, with his Pop at the control board, it was inevitable that he’d become increasingly interested in how the tunes were made. As a teenager, he was playing keyboards and writing songs. “That’s pretty much all I wanted to do,” he says. “And I loved the technology. My cousin and I used to say, ‘Oh, come on, Pop. We need this new, modern board and speakers,’ and Dad was always like, ‘Man, that stuff back there’ll do anything you want it to do.’ Eventually I go, ‘Man, he’s got more golden records than we do — he’s probably right.’ And he was.” Sitting in his chair at the board, surrounded by studio equipment and furnishings that might well have been there in the 1970s — the 18 |

“Uptown Funk” won the Record of the Year Award at the 58th Grammy Awards. Boo Mitchell, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars accepted the award at the ceremony in Los Angeles in May 2016. It’s the first time in the history of the Grammy Awards a Memphis-made record won this category.

studio has changed little since then — Boo says that vintage is now the future. “I had a meeting with a gentleman yesterday who wanted to redo his songs. He had stuff made in the late 1990s, early 2000s and it was dated. His synthesizers weren’t the old, old ones, they were more modern. I told him, “We’re gonna redo your stuff in a traditional way with real instruments and it’s gonna make it sound fresher than what you were doing back then — which was supposed to be futuristic.’”

THE EDUCATION OF BOO MITCHELL

I

n 1993, the family opened Willie Mitchell’s, a Beale Street nightclub, where Boo worked and learned. The club closed in 1998 and Boo spent more time at Royal. “For a couple of years I was doing odd

things around the studio, a bit of engineering, getting into mastering, and eventually I started managing the studio in 2000,” he says. His work was cut out for him. We never had a logo and I think we were still renting a telephone from BellSouth,” Boo says. “So, I started getting more interested in the business of music around that time and just looking at things. I was like, ‘Pop, start looking at the bills and stuff,’ and ‘Pop, man, we’re still renting a telephone for $10 a month — we can buy a phone at Target.” Boo wanted to streamline the operation, which was a commercial studio with a momand-pop feel and nothing even as basic as a logo and letterhead. “But my Dad was Willie Mitchell, you know, and he didn’t need a business card or a letterhead or any of those things.” But business was picking up. They were doing some major sessions and Willie was producing records again, such as Al Green’s comeback records I Can’t Stop and Everything’s OK. “I was project coordinator for those two records,” Boo says, “so I started getting more into doing budgets and rounding up the musicians and making sure everybody got paid. That helped me look at the studio more as a business entity than just a great place to make music. It helped me dig into more of the business side of music. It was a good learning experience and good preparation skills for me.” That digging in helped him understand the workings of record sales, radio play, songwriting, and sync licensing. “It was a crash course for me,” he says. “In 2004, out of necessity, I started getting back into the creative side doing engineering, producing more records, and engineering records with my Dad,” he says. With his management savvy, Boo was finding out when to resist the temptation to change but always striving to improve and stay current.

THE STATE OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY

I

t’s still changing,” he says. “Man, I try to stay on top of technology in the industry.” For Boo, his membership in the Memphis chapter of The Recording Academy is crucial to that. He’s been a member of the Grammy organization for more than 10 years and a board member for more than five years. “It’s one of the smartest things I’ve done as a musician, an engineer, and a producer. It represents the whole music industry, not just specialized groups. The Grammys is at the forefront of fighting for musician’s rights, fighting for songwriter’s rights, and keeping up with new technology and trying to make sure that people are given proper credit.” Boo remembers his astonishment and confusion when he first got an MP3 from iTunes. “It was Jack White’s Seven Nation Army, and I downloaded it, 99 cents. Then I’m looking all over my phone — ‘Where’s the credits?

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Where did they cut it? Who mixed it?’ That’s a real problem for creators because a lot of times we get our next gig depending on what our last gig was, so there’s this whole movement to try to get credits embedded into the MP3s.” He’s hoping that the current president of the Memphis chapter of The Recording Academy, Gebre Waddell, might be onto the answer. Waddell’s software company, Soundways, is doing innovative work in providing metadata in all the distribution pipelines so that credit goes where it’s due. The company also has developed sophisticated plug-ins for audio engineers. Boo’s involvement with the Grammy organization’s efforts to keep up with technological advances is essential for him. “I’m connected with people all over the country that do what I do and are trying to make sure that there is a music business. Nobody wants to pay for music anymore, but we all have to live. There’s a lot to figure out, especially with streaming and all that. And the issues of rights where there’s a lot of money that American musicians don’t have access to because of our antiquated copyright laws.” The Recording Academy, Boo says, is working to pass “Fair Play, Fair Pay” legislation, “because all over the world the musicians, and artists, and the background singers get paid for radio play. Over here in America, only the songwriters and the publisher get paid for radio play and because we don’t have that practice in America, there’s an excess of $200 million a year that is collected on behalf of American artists in places like Europe, Japan. But we don’t practice that and there’s no reciprocity, so the money stays in those countries.”

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t is somehow fitting that the historic 60-year-old studio with vintage equipment is also keeping on the edge of music. “Memphis has so much rich history musically,” Boo says. “It’s like this big pie and Royal has a nice slice of it. We’ve kind of flown under the radar except for the inside people — the musicians and artists — that really know. But Royal was probably the second major recording studio opening after Sam Philips Recording Service and Sun Records. It was started with people who were working at Sun.” Royal was bought in 1956 and officially opened in 1957 as the home of Hi Records. “It was known for its instrumentals and a lot of early rockabilly recordings were done here. When my Dad got here and started doing his R&B instrumentals, it gave the studio just a different breadth.” From the get-go, Willie Mitchell brought a lot to the operation. His Willie Mitchell Combo was hugely popular, playing Beale Street

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clubs and parties (including one where Elvis Presley — a frequent club visitor — brought bride-to-be Priscilla). “The Beatles on their first North American tour rehearsed at Royal for a week,” Boo says, “because the Bill Black Combo was their opening act. That was in 1964, more Memphis music history that people don’t know much about. Royal has always survived.” That included the riots after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. “They were burning businesses and people were tearing up neighborhoods. My dad had to go out of town and he got a bunch of winos in here, bought them a bunch of wine and was just like, ‘Man, watch my place.’ He didn’t bother to lock the door. When he got back from his gig,

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PHOTOGRAPH BY JON W. SPARKS

he didn’t know what he’d find. He opened the door and saw like 20 winos all laid out. ‘Hey, Willie! Yeah, we got you. Everything’s cool.’ Nothing was gone.” That’s the story Boo tells when people insist that he needs to get the studio’s historic artifacts out and into a safe place. “I tell them it survived the riots of ’68 and I think it will be fine.” Boo keeps the spirit of surviving and independence. “My Dad was always trying to be different even with his band. Most of the music in the early ’50s, was big band, you know? He was trying to find a sound that was different, so he was like, ‘Well, I’m just gonna use two horns.’ He did the same thing here at Royal with redesigning the room. He wanted to be different and when he was working on something, wouldn’t even listen to the radio because he didn’t want to be influenced by somebody else’s music.” Boo quotes Knox Phillips — son of legendary Sun Records founder Sam Phillips and a heralded producer, engineer, and Memphis music booster — as saying “Memphis represents the spirit of independent music.” Boo says, “I think my Dad and Royal are the epitome of that because he wanted all his stuff to

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be different and that’s why the studio looks the way it looks.” And this is what shapes Boo’s vision of the studio and the music that comes out of it. “We’ve survived for so long because we haven’t conformed to any sort of traditional thing in any shape, form, or fashion. We could have replaced equipment, but why would anybody want to come to Royal if we’ve got the same stuff everybody else has got?” It’s that idea of knowing when to change, and when to resist the temptation. “That’s how I run the business, just like he’s still alive — because he is. He lives in the music, he lives in the walls, you know what I mean? He lives in our hearts, so I’m always thinking, ‘I wonder what would Pop think about this?’”

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“WE’VE SURVIVED FOR SO LONG BECAUSE WE HAVEN’T CONFORMED TO AN Y SORT OF TRADITIONAL THING IN AN Y SHAPE , FORM, OR FASHION.”

Boo describes that as a baseline for him on how to improve the business and the music that comes out of it. “I still have my own ideas for what I think is going to make Royal better,” he says. “The beauty of that is I did a lot of that while he was alive, so I remember when I would present new ideas to him and how he felt about it. I learned and he let me evolve to where I understood that this place is already great, but that I could make more people aware of it.” What does the future look like for Boo Mitchell and Royal Studios? “Man, I’d like for us to get back to our roots. My sister Oona and I started a label, Royal Records, so I’d like for everything to go full circle, to start producing amazing artists out of Memphis and get back to what that other thing Memphis was known for, and that’s amazing talent. We have some of the finest musicians and artists in the world. We just have to get them out there, get the world exposed to them. That’s a big part of what I want the future to be.” If, in the process, Royal becomes an international destination for recording, then that’s fine with Boo. “To record at Royal is the most magical thing because we have the vibe. People come here and they get inspired. I’m inspired every time I walk through the building. There’s a magic here and there’s a gift here. I just want to share it with the world.”

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E X I T

I N T E R V I E W

Plugged in to the City MLGW CEO Jerry Collins reflects on a decade in the power structure.

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S PA R K S

As Plato said, “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” This month’s Exit Interview is with one of those men who knows a few things about power: Jerry Collins is stepping down in December as president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas and Water after a decade of managing the utility. Before that, the registered professional engineer was director of public works in Memphis and by the time he retires, he’ll have put in 38 years with the city. If anyone can tell you about aquifer science, natural gas, power lines, or sewer access points, it’s Collins.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JON W. SPARKS

“I do have some institutional knowledge,” he says, modestly. “And I know where all the bodies are buried,” he adds, dryly. He speaks with clarity befitting an engineer and when he finds exactly the right words, he sticks with them. Ten years ago, he told the Memphis Flyer, “We have to make sure that MLGW is not the subject of headlines and TV news pieces. We’re preaching that we want to be dull and boring. If we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing, there’s no reason that MLGW should be in the limelight.” In a recent interview with Inside Memphis Business, he said, “MLGW had been in the headlines a lot during that period of time before I got here, and one of my mottoes is it’s good to be dull and boring, and a low profile is the best profile.” Inevitably, there were headlines during his tenure in the aftermath of storms, with the expansion of smart meters, with rate hikes. He has gotten some criticism from some elected officials, but his stewardship, steadiness, and political acumen are reflected in his desire to, as he says, “endeavor to give the people the service they deserve at the lowest possible price.”

many times that economic development is not just about bringing companies and industries to Memphis, and it’s not just about expanding the large companies and industries that are already here. It’s about creating businesses within our community with the people that are already here so that we can

improve the economic condition of our city and our county. I feel that supplier diversity is a core component of economic development and something that ought to be really emphasized, and we do that. I think that we set the example and we still take the low bidder. I’ve heard people in government and private industry say if they embrace supplier diversity like people want them to, then their profits would diminish. My response is, you can eat your cake and have it too. We have, as far as I’m concerned, the best supplier diversity program in all of Memphis and Shelby County, and we still have the lowest utility rates in the country at the same time.

IMB: Is there anything over the past 10 years that you’d do differently? J E R RY C O L L I N S : [Seventeen seconds of silence tick by as he ponders this]. Nothing is hitting me. But what would you say has been difficult? J C : A lot of utilities do not embrace supplier diversity, but MLGW does. We want to be an organization that leads by example when it comes to supplier diversity, and I’ve said Jerry Collins: “One of my mottoes is it’s good to be dull and boring, and a low profile is the best profile.” OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017 | INSIDE MEMPHIS BUSINESS.COM |

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You’ve said that customer satisfaction and diversity are priorities. What other areas are important to you? J C : It’s really important to balance the condition of the assets versus the rates. There is potential that you might have the rates too low for too long, and your infrastructure might suffer for it. On the other hand, there’s a temptation that you spend a lot of money on infrastructure and maybe you’re not letting the infrastructure maximize its useful life; therefore your rates are unnecessarily high. We have to make sure that we have a balance so that we properly maintain the infrastructure and have rates that are as low as they can possibly be. There are actually measures that can be used to determine whether you’re investing in infrastructure appropriately. We use those measures and those measures tell us that we have an excellent balance in terms of maintaining infrastructure while maintaining rates at a low level. And we have to watch those metrics and when they get out of balance then we need to take appropriate action. That’s for the long-term 26 |

WITH SMART GRID: ◗◗ You can get more work done with fewer people. ◗◗ Customers can have a lot more information about their energy use at home, which they can use to help change habits and conserve energy. ◗◗ It makes us better able to respond to emergencies such as major power outages when there’s a storm.

benefit of our customers, because we don’t want to be in a situation where we skimp on costs and expenses today to the detriment of those that will come and be customers 10 years, 20 years, 30 years down the road. Why has MLGW adopted the Smart Grid technology? J C : It’s very much important that MLGW be in step with technology and not be put in a position where we’re behind the rest of the country. We want to maintain our position as being a utility that uses the best available technology to provide customers with great service, and help keep costs low. Smart Grid, which encompasses more than just smart meters, is a very important piece of the utility business these days, especially in the electricity business but also in the natural gas business and the water business. With Smart Grid you can get more work done with fewer people. You can have more information than ever before. Customers can have a lot more information about their energy use at home, which they can use to help change habits and conserve energy. It makes us better able to respond to emergencies such as major power outages when there’s a storm. It helps us minimize the number of people that are without power and it helps us to maximize our efficiency when restoring power. But it’s also a major investment. It’s the biggest project in the history of MLGW. The contract is $240 million. We will spend less than that, and it’s running a little ahead of schedule. We’ve deployed about 536,000 smart meters, in a system that has a total of about a million meters. It’s saving our customers a lot of money; for instance when you have your utilities reconnected after a cutoff we can do it from headquarters and not have to send a truck out. So the reconnect fee if you have a smart meter is substantially lower

than a reconnect fee if we have to roll a truck. In the last year, our customers have saved well over $1 million if they have smart meters and reduced reconnect fees. Also, it makes meter reading much more efficient. There’s been some resistance to the new technology. Why is that? J C : Some people think that we should employ more people rather than being as efficient as we can to keep rates as low as possible. We now, for the fifth year in a row, have the lowest combined utility rate of any major utility in the country. We live in a city where there are a lot of people that live in poverty, and so keeping the rates low is something that should be a high priority for all of us. We should not try to wastefully spend money if we can find more efficient ways to spend it and keep the rates low. How did you manage the response to the Memorial Day weekend storms that wreaked havoc on the city and left some people without power for days? J C : When we have a storm, it’s all about minimizing what I call customer hours without power, which is basically the number of customers times the number of hours that they’ve been out. So, obviously if you’re going to minimize those customer outage hours, what you have to do is hit the biggest outages first and then work your way down the list, which is exactly what we do. We have an excellent system, which is currently based primarily on phone calls from citizens, that tells us in a split second once you make the call, whether there is a four-customer transformer outage or a 40-customer fuse outage, or a 1500-customer circuit outage, and that helps us to prioritize work and to send people out to assess the damage so that we make sure we can get the most people back on in the shortest period of time. It’s a great system that is transitioning and improving as we move to smart meters, because now we have the ability to what we call “ping” a smart meter and it’ll tell us whether or not it has power, which is a great thing, and it’s another step. Once we get all the bells and whistles deployed, as we finish installing all the smart meters, then it’ll be even a better system. When we have a power outage, we don’t spare any expense. We try to get the power back up as quickly as possible, so that’s why 30 minutes after the storm hit, we were already working to get contractors in here. And we had 101 contract crews, this is overhead line crews, plus another 78 tree trimming contractor crews, and all of those were working in conjunction with our existing forces to get the power back on as quickly as possible.

PHOTOGRAPH BY JON W. SPARKS

What have been some challenges over the last 10 years and how did you address them? J C : Some of my counterparts who lead other utilities don’t embrace energy efficiency very well, because energy efficiency means they will get less revenue for their utilities. I take a different approach. I feel like this utility belongs to the customers, and our governing principle here at MLGW is to always do that which is in the best interests of the customers as a whole. And it’s obviously in the customer’s best interest if they’re spending less money on utilities, and we need to try to help them do that. And so we’ve had many different programs, where we can help people analyze their energy use, recommend home improvements. We’ve administered a number of grants that helps people make home improvements from federal grants or TVA grants. We’re the only utility in the country as far as I know that has a rental inspection ordinance, where we have set certain basic energy efficiency guidelines for rental properties and we have the authority to inspect rental properties. If we find a rental property that doesn’t meet those guidelines then you can take the landlords to court and make them make those improvements. That is something which has improved the quality of life for hundreds of people and it does reduce our revenues, but it does at the same time increase the quality of life and the well-being of people that we serve. Since we are owned by those people, that’s what we ought to be doing.

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How do you think MLGW will deal with alternative forms of power as more people start using them? J C : We have the responsibility to buy all of our energy from Tennessee Valley Authority. TVA has a mixture of different types of power generation. They have a little bit of solar in that, they have a little bit of wind, they have a little bit of power generated by bio-gas, along with hydroelectric, nuclear, coal, natural gas. But solar power just really hasn’t made a big impact in Shelby County. The economics are difficult and it’s not likely that a low-income family is going to spend the money to put solar panels on their roof if it’s going to cost them more than it would to buy their energy from MLGW. The very low prices of natural gas, which we anticipate will remain low for several decades going forward, makes it more difficult for solar power to grow. And the fact that we have low rates of electric, gas, and water also makes it difficult for other forms of energy to get a strong foothold. But it’ll grow in popularity, and it’ll become cheaper over time, and when that happens we’ll have to have more discussions about how we structure rates so we can recover the real cost of the energy for our customers, and for the real cost of services, and some of those costs are fixed and some of those costs are variable.

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If you were to sit down with your successor, what would be your advice? J C : Be more responsive than any other arm of any local government. When a customer has a complaint, get the complaint answered as quickly as possible. Don’t let anything drag, fall through the cracks. Answer the phone in a timely fashion. When it comes to how the various departments run, we have great employees, we have very talented people. What we want to do is hire good people, give them great training, and keep them for a long time. What you don’t want to do in the utility business, because we have so many highly skilled technical people, is to train them and then lose them, so you’ve got to give them a fair wage and you’ve got to give them good benefits, and that’s something a lot of people don’t understand or fully appreciate. You cannot go out tomorrow and hire three linemen. You have to grow them. You’ve got to find the right people with the right skillset that go through four and a half years of training, and then they become a lineman, a journeyman lineman, and you want to keep them for as long as possible and not have a lot of turnover. This is true with many job descriptions in utility; that’s just one example. I’ve got 150 engineers. We want to train those engineers and we want to keep them and not have a lot of turnover and do that by paying them a fair wage and giving them good benefits and do your best to try to minimize turnover.

INSIDE MEMPHIS BUSINESS.COM | OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2017

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••••

T H E E U R E K A FA C T O R CRE ATING THE REMARK ABLE Well before it became a vacuum cleaner company’s brand name, and even before the word made its way onto The Great Seal of the State of California, the word “eureka” was simply Greek for “I found it.” Legend has it that, over 2,000 years ago, the mathematician Archimedes solved one of the ancient world’s greatest scientific problems while sitting in his large wooden bathtub. “Eureka!” he cried excitedly after he’d figured out the puzzle — he'd discovered that a precise volume of water would be displaced by a solid of equal volume. In this case, the solid was Archimedes himself. He was so excited that he purportedly jumped out of the tub and into the street, naked, shouting at everyone he encountered, “I found it!” We’re not quite that excited down here at the offices of Inside Memphis Business — we’re keeping our clothes on — but we are very pleased this month to announce the recipients of our Fifth Annual Innovation Awards, presented in conjunction with the Fogelman College of Business & Economics at the University of Memphis. Once again, the competition was stiff; it’s remarkable what wonderfully innovative projects are going on inside the research centers of our private and public institutions, and inside the homes and garages of individual Memphians. After reading the next few pages, I think you’ll agree with me that all four of this year’s winners are truly worthy honorees. Keep in mind what these awards are all about. Much as we all value business acumen and financial success, this celebration is not about entrepreneurship or profitability. The Innovation Awards salute vision and endurance, and most of all, they celebrate real breakthroughs. There’s nothing inevitable about what our winners have done. These are real people solving real problems. Special thanks again to Dr. Rajiv Grover, Dean of the Fogelman College, and to our now well-experienced panel of judges, who graciously adjudicated these awards for a fifth straight year and, clearly, took their mission very seriously. The results speak for themselves. Thank you all for your excellent efforts. Eureka! — Kenneth Neill, Publisher

SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017 | INSIDE MEMPHIS BUSINESS.COM |

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••••

THE BRAIN TRUST HERE COME THE JUDGE(S)

DR. EUGENE ECKSTEIN

P

rofessor and Chair of the Depart-

ment of Biomedical Engi-

ANDY C ATES

G

neering at the University eneral partner

of Memphis. He has been

and CEO of

in his current position since

RVC Outdoor Destinations

2001, where his leadership

and Managing Member of

and active scholarship have resulted in a growing topic of

Value Acquisition Fund, an

research that encompasses many areas related to improving

acquisition, development, and

human health. He holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

asset management company

from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and he has

he founded in 2004. In 1999, he was Founding Chairman

held faculty positions at Harvard, the University of Miami,

and Project Developer of the Soulsville Revitalization

and University of Tennessee Health Science Center. His

Project. In 2000, he worked with business and civic leaders

interests include educational methods for biomedical engi-

to attract the Grizzlies NBA franchise to Memphis and was

neering and analysis of motions, blood flow, and artificial

a limited partner in the original ownership group. Cates

organs. He served as President for the American Institute

began his real estate career in Dallas with Trammell Crow

for Medical and Biological Engineering, and he is a member

Company and Crow Investment Trust (now Crow Family

of the Biomedical Engineering Society, American Society

Holdings) as a member of the team responsible for partner-

for Mechanical Engineering, Engineering in Medicine

ship and loan workouts, office and industrial acquisitions,

and Biology Society, Society for Biomaterials, International

asset management, and commercial development. After

Society for Artificial Organs, and the American Society

leaving Crow, he was a founding partner in Viceroy In-

for Artificial Organs. Patents he holds include a method

vestments, LLC and is a partner in two Viceroy sponsored

and device for connecting biological duct to a prosthesis, a

partnerships. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administra-

shock-absorbent prosthetic hip joint, a hydrogel surface of a

tion (Finance) degree at the University of Texas at Austin.

urological prosthesis, and intervertebral spacers.

In 2001, he was inducted into Lambda Alpha International honorary land economics society. He’s on the Board of Directors of Pioneer Natural Resources and PICO Holdings. He’s also on the board of the Myelin Repair Foundation.

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DR. BALAJI KRISHNAN

D

irector, MBA Programs, and

Professor of the Depart-

ANNA MULLINS

V

ment of Marketing and Supply Chain Management

ice president of communications and Strategic

Initiatives at New Memphis, a

in the Fogelman College of Business & Economics at the

nonprofit that is forging a more

University of Memphis. He has a Ph.D. in Business Admin-

prosperous and vital new Mem-

istration with a concentration in Marketing from Louisiana

phis by attracting, developing,

State University, and he received his Bachelor’s in Elec-

activating, and retaining talent.

tronics and Telecommunication Engineering and Master’s

In this role she leads the organization’s communications strat-

in Marketing from India. He has been instrumental in

egy and guides innovation as the team launches new projects

making the Fogelman MBA the largest MBA program in

and programs that will make Memphis magnetic, engage the

Tennessee. His research interests are in the area of cross-

community in positive ways, and build the city’s talent pool.

cultural issues in marketing, pricing and price promotions,

With experience in both nonprofit leadership and media, Anna

branding and brand equity, and services marketing. He

has worked in various roles to share stories about the people

has published a number of journal articles in prestigious

and organizations that are solving problems, looking forward,

journals. Krishnan was honored with the “Best Conceptual

and successfully shaping our community. In 2014, she helped

Paper” and “Best Empirical Paper” awards in the college.

steward the launch of the digital magazine High Ground News,

He has 18 years’ experience in marketing research, con-

a weekly news source focused on what’s next for the city of

sulting, and marketing education. Krishnan has consulted

Memphis, and currently serves as publisher for the project. In

with small businesses as well as multinationals in India

2015, she led the team that established TEDxMemphis and con-

and the United States. He currently teaches in the doctoral

tinues to serve as executive director of the annual conference.

program and the MBA programs.

Through the TEDx platform, Memphians are able to share local “ideas worth spreading.”

• • •

INNOVATOR PHOTOGRAPHS BY LARRY KUZNIEWSKI

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BIG RIVER CROSSING

CHARLIE MCVEAN • • •

W

hen those who were involved in bringing the Big River Crossing to fruition talk about their work, one word pops up in nearly every conversation. “Miracle.” As in, it’s a miracle that the $18 million, nearly one-mile walking and biking bridge that spans the Mississippi River ever came to be, considering the obstacles stacked against it from the start. They also point to one man who is responsible for that miracle: Memphis businessman Charlie McVean, founder of McVean Trading and Investments. If not for McVean’s leadership, his devotion, and his money, the Big River Crossing would have never been completed. “It took Charlie McVean to make something happen,” says Charlie Newman, a longtime lawyer with Burch, Porter and Johnson who was brought into the project in its early days and made his own invaluable contributions. Added Dow McVean, who also worked with his dad on the project: “That’s a hundred percent true.” This story began years ago, when Charlie McVean and others wondered why you couldn’t ride your bike or take a walk across the Mississippi River. “That’s part of the way he got this idea in the first place,” Dow McVean says. “He rode his bike lots of miles on the weekends, and he got frustrated at the lack of long distance, safe bike trails to ride in the area.” That got McVean to thinking, says his son, speaking on behalf of his father. The Harahan Bridge already had two decks attached to it that for years carried cars and trucks across the bridge; they became superfluous when the other bridges across the river opened. Why not convert those

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CHARLIE NEWMAN

C A L L A H A N

• • •

unused decks into a pathway for cyclists and walkers? A simple idea, or so it seemed. That’s where the miracles occurred, those involved say. The first miracle was persuading Union Pacific Railroad, which owned the bridge, to allow the project to proceed. “Dad convinced the Union Pacific Railroad to let him do it,” Dow McVean says. “[In 2011], Dad took two planeloads of folks to Omaha to Union Pacific [headquarters]. He did a sales job. Railroads have a lot of power and their default mode is to say no to anything.” But McVean was persistent, Newman says. “The railroad has no public relations or business interest in having this happen. Most railroads would reject it,” says Newman, who was also part of the Omaha trip. “Charlie took those Memphians over to Omaha and sat down with the CEO of Union Pacific. I think he just overwhelmed him. He realized that Charlie wasn’t going to take no for an answer, so he said OK and approved it.” But that wasn’t the end of dealings with the railroad, Newman says. Just because the CEO okayed it didn’t mean the entire railroad was necessarily behind the project. “Union Pacific is a huge organization,” Newman says. “And the whole middle management of Union Pacific had the ability to make it not happen if they didn’t want it. And they had no reason for it. They thought of every possible risk and obstacle they could think of. We spent years negotiating with them. They ended up making it just as expensive and hard to do as they could.” Then, with the railroad finally on board, McVean and others got another shock: This was going to be a very expensive project, one that could only be accomplished with a federal grant.

The problem, however, was that the city of Memphis had been trying for years to get this Tiger grant, which the federal government allots for road, rail, transit, and port projects. They’d missed out every time. But this time, U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen stepped in to help secure the nearly $15 million grant. “With Steve Cohen’s help, the second miracle occurred, the receipt of the Tiger grant. Without the Tiger grant, it would not have happened,” Dow McVean says. Then, the third miracle was called for: How the heck do you actually build this nearly mile-long span, anyway? It wasn’t just building this straight path across the river. Engineers had to make sure no one could interfere with the trains still passing by, or make any attempts to jump into the river 100 feet below, among other concerns. “There were then all kinds of engineering, technical, and railroad problems, which could only be solved at great difficulty,” Newman says. “Charlie spent a lot of money on consulting engineers to get that done.” And all that finally led to the next miracle, after the Big River Crossing opened in October 2016: Would anyone care? After years of work and millions of dollars, would anyone be drawn to the possibility of walking or biking across the majestic river? The answer was an enthusiastic YES. From its opening on October 22, 2016, through June 1, more than 150,000 people have crossed the bridge, officials say. Many of those have been tourists both from the United States and abroad, adding to Memphis’ growing reputation for adventure tourism. “There were many dealbreakers along the way,” Dow McVean says, “and we overcame them.” 

INNOVATION

It was a herculean effort to pull together all the parties and all the funding, but now the Big River Crossing is the country’s longest active rail/ bicycle/pedestrian bridge and people are coming from all over to try it out.

WEBSITE

bigrivercrossing.com

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“It took Charlie McVean to make something happen,” says Charlie Newman, a longtime lawyer with Burch, Porter and Johnson who was brought into the project in its early days and made his own invaluable contributions.

Charlie Newman and Charlie McVean, Big River bridge builders OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017 | INSIDE MEMPHIS BUSINESS.COM |

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U T H S C O B F.A.S.T.

DR. GIANCARLO MARI • • •

S

helby County has received national media attention for one of its most heartbreaking challenges — having one of the nation’s highest mortality rates, particularly among black infants. But last year, the Shelby County Health Department announced it had reached a historic milestone in decreasing infant mortality rates. Data showed that in 2015 the rate of infant deaths among non-Hispanic blacks was reduced by nearly half, from a rate of 21.0 in 2003 down to 10.6. Dr. Giancarlo Mari, MD played an indispensible role in that development. Mari is a man of many titles. At the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, he’s a professor, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and director of the MaternalFetal Medicine Fellowship. At Regional One Health, he’s the director of the High-Risk Obstetrics Center of Excellence. He was born in Salerno, Italy, attended medical school at the University of Naples, completed a residency at the University of Parma, and taught and practiced in England and the Netherlands. Mari arrived in the U.S. in 1987, completing a research fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, then a physician-executive MBA from the University of TennesseeKnoxville. He also received residency training in obstetrics and gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine at Yale University. Mari, a dual U.S./Italian citizen, came to Memphis with his sights set on reducing the high infant-mortality rate in Shelby County. In 2008, he joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) and, the same year, launched an innovative simulation program at Regional One Health, then called The Med.

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M A K I

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He and his team looked at numerous models for decreasing infant mortality rates in the United States and abroad, but they ultimately decided to develop their own, called OB F.A.S.T., which stands for Obstetrical Feasible Approach to Safety Training. The simulation-based model is designed to improve care for high-risk pregnancies and tackle the infant mortality rate. The model trains healthcare workers to efficiently handle obstetrical emergencies before, during and after delivery. These complications could include cardiac arrest, sepsis, anesthetic emergencies, respiratory distress, fetal heart rate distress, umbilical cord prolapse, and breech delivery. It’s a multidisciplinary approach for dealing with emergencies before, during, and after delivery that stresses teamwork, effective communication, shared decision making, and exemplary knowledge of protocols for situations that require immediate response. “Before 2008, infant mortality was above 20 percent of the expected rate,” says Mari, who humbly stresses that the program could not be successful without his team, particularly Dr. Danielle Tate, Bonnie Miller, RN, and Dr. Ravpreet Gill. “Since we started our program, the infant mortality rate dropped from 20 percent above the expected to 20 percent below the expected. Many people deserve credit for this.” OB F.A.S.T has now trained between 500 and 1,000 health care providers in 20 U.S. states. Most recently, Mari and his team traveled to the province of Henan in China to share their successful model with healthcare practitioners there. Mari was invited to China by Dr. Genxia Li, who had spent time working with Mari in Memphis in 2016 and was impressed with the program,

particularly its multidisciplinary simulation training, which is relatively new in China. “We were invited to go to China and to start the program over there,” says Mari, whose training manual has been translated into Chinese. “We trained doctors from 36 hospitals there. These doctors are now training other doctors in their own hospitals, and this is the reason our program is now becoming international. We plan eventually to look at other countries where we could go and train other people, as well.” But OB F.A.S.T. is only one of Mari’s numerous accomplishments in saving the lives of mothers and babies. He also pioneered the assessment of fetal circulation with Doppler ultrasound. At Yale, he was the principal investigator of a multicenter research project that brought non-invasive Doppler ultrasound techniques to the diagnosis of fetal anemia. That protocol has since become the standard of care for the diagnosis of fetal anemia in the U.S. and many other countries. He also developed a fellowship at UTHSC in maternal/fetal medicine to train physicians in high-risk obstetrical care and added a perinatal patient-safety nurse coordinator to the high-risk obstetrics program. He has brought cutting-edge surgery techniques to Regional One Health, the only Level 1 trauma center in a five-state region. He’s also a widely published researcher and internationally recognized author. “I like the challenge,” Mari said. “My work in research has been focused on developing new tools and to discover new things … I always want to help other people and I want to develop new things.” His innovation has meant the difference between life and death for high-risk pregnancy patients and their babies locally, nationally, and internationally. 

INNOVATION

OB F.A.S.T., (Obstetrical Feasible Approach to Safety Training), an innovative simulation program to train healthcare workers to efficiently handle obstetrical emergencies.

WEBSITE

uthsc.edu/obgyn/

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“Since we started OB F.A.S.T., the infant mortality rate dropped from 20 percent above the expected to 20 percent below the expected. Many people deserve credit for this.”

Dr. Giancarlo Mari, founder, developer and director of OB F.A.S.T. OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017 | INSIDE MEMPHIS BUSINESS.COM |

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S T. J U D E C H I L D R E N’S R E S E A R C H H O S P I TA L

DR. BRIAN SORRENTINO • • •

F

or children afflicted by severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), there is no margin for error. A lack of immune cells means that the children are unable to protect themselves from infection. Even minimal contact with another human being can be fatal. Most untreated children with SCID die within the first two years of their lives. Until recently, a matching bone marrow transplant from a sibling was the most effective treatment. The problem, however, is that many children do not have a matching donor. With a mismatched transplant, about 30 percent will die before they reach age 10. Past that, teenagers and young adults continue to experience fatal cases of immunodeficiency. In the 1980’s, SCID was labeled as “bubble boy” disease, a reference to children who were forced to live in a sterile chamber to avoid infection. Between 40 and 100 infants are born with the disease each year. Fast forward to April 2016, and Dr. Brian Sorrentino, along with several colleagues from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, revealed study results that suggested a new safe and effective form of gene therapy treatment for patients with SCID-X1, the most common strain of SCID. Gene therapy hadn’t been truly effective until then. Sometimes it would lead to a patient contracting leukemia. But St. Jude’s process, perfected over a 10 year period, has seen remarkable results. By combining lentivirus gene therapy, which uses a lentiviral vector to deliver a healthy gene into a host, with busulfan, a chemotherapy drug, doctors were able to rebuild the immune system and develop broader immunity in five young adults with the disorder. The entire process included

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X .

C I CC I

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managing tests for vector safety, re-engineering a lentivirus to safely transport a healthy gene into a new host, and creating an entirely new way of manufacturing vectors. That last element is key for the treatment, and the solution was very surprising. “What we shifted to is using the AIDS virus,” Sorrentino says. “We take all of the AIDS genes out of the virus and just use the shell as a trojan horse for delivering the gene that’s broken and causes the SCID.” The AIDS-derived virus was crafted into St. Jude’s lentivirus, which, after copious testing and studies, proved to a be a safer way to to conduct the therapy. “It turns out that these AIDSderived viruses, which we call lentiviral vectors, are much safer and much more effective for gene therapy,” he says. “Think about it for a second: what is the AIDS virus good at? It’s good at infecting humans. We exploit that property, because getting genes and bone marrow stem cells is not easy.” The next challenge was tailoring busulfan to young children. After the first positive trials, St. Jude researchers moved on to infants. It was imperative to make sure that the drug was dosed precisely based on a patient’s age and weight. Working with another team at the University of San Francisco, a computer algorithm takes the blood levels and then decides what the second dose should be. “All of the kids have exactly the blood level we want to achieve, and that’s never been done with SCID before.” With precise busulfan dosage and vectors produced in-house, the research can be conducted at any time. The new process, which has so far been used to treat SCID, has the potential to be used for other diseases as well. “No one has ever used

this technology to produce vectors before. We think this is going to be something that’s the wave of the future.” There is a wide variety of possible options, but St. Jude is looking at the possibility of using it to treat Sickle-Cell Disease, a prominent issue in Memphis. Other types of immunodeficient diseases can be treated as well, and Sorrentino says that any disease of the blood system caused by known genetic defects is amenable to this approach. St. Jude has now treated six infants with the immunodeficiency gene therapy program. The two youngest began treatment at two-months, while the oldest was less than a year old. Most of the patients have displayed signs of a full recovery, with immune signs coming back and doctors getting great immune signs from them. “This protocol allows us to treat up to 28 cases. If we continue to do these cases and learn, eventually this is a treatment we would like to see commercialized. We’ve been talking to a number of biopharmaceutical companies that are interested in licensing this from us, and they would eventually conduct a phase 3 trial, making this FDA approved.” With gene therapy exploding and continued help from sponsors, donors, and big supporters like the Assisi Foundation, that day might not be too far off. For now, though, Sorrentino is focused on his patients. The second of Sorrentino’s trial patients, from Peru, returned home after six months and was immunologically normal. Thanks to the new gene therapy and vectors manufactured by St. Jude, a once-fatal case of SCID is now a healthy, growing child. 

INNOVATION

Pioneering gene therapy treatment has succeeded where bone marrow transplants have failed to correct immune function of young cancer patients. The upshot is that now hope exists for patients with “bubble boy disease.”

WEBSITE stjude.org

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“Other types of immunodeficient diseases can be treated as well, and Sorrentino says that any disease of the blood system caused by known genetic defects is amenable to this approach.”

Dr. Brian Sorrentino, director of St. Jude Experimental Hematology OCTOBER /NOVEMBER 2017 | INSIDE MEMPHIS BUSINESS.COM |

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HABITAT FOR HUMANIT Y • AGING IN PL ACE •

JULIE ROMINE • • •

T

he battle against poverty in Memphis is a long one, requiring commitment and resources on many levels. If there’s no quick solution on the horizon, there are still victories to point to, and sometimes it’s the spirit of innovation that opens the doors. Case in point is the Aging in Place program created by Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis. While Habitat is best known for building homes, it also has embraced a mission of providing repairs. In 2012, the Plough Foundation commissioned the AdvantAge survey, which found that more than 7,000 seniors in Memphis were in need of home improvements. Most wanted to stay in their homes as long as possible, but some of the repair issues were making that difficult to achieve. Those persuasive numbers buttressed Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program launched in 2011 to make those critical fixes for homeowners, the majority of whom were seniors. “We were asked to select a focus neighborhood where we could identify neighborhood stakeholders to get their feedback, see what resources were available to leverage so that we could really provide an impactful program to make the neighborhoods more sustainable,” says Julie Romine, director of programs and strategic alliances, who oversees the program. Focusing first in the Uptown area, the program worked with the Community Redevelopment Agency to rehab more than 100 single-family home repairs. “It was pretty sobering for our team to see the conditions that some of the seniors were

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living and how they had to adapt,” Romine says. Data showed some 90 percent of clients were very low income seniors — an average of $10,000 a year — with no other resources to make the fixes. In many cases, all the seniors could do was put a bucket under a roof leak. In fact, some 90 percent of the homes need a roof repair and that needs to be done before almost anything else. Whenever possible, the team installs grab bars in bathrooms, changes round door knobs to lever handles, puts in hand-held showers, builds wheelchair ramps, installs fire and carbon monoxide alarms, and makes repairs to plumbing, windows, and weatherization. The program evolved as Habitat International was developing aging in place program guidelines with the AARP Foundation. But the Memphis operation was able to take it to where it is now a leader in the Habitat organization. “We heard about the Plough Initiative,” Romine says. “It was truly a circumstance of when preparedness, desire, and opportunity met. We applied for and were awarded a $3.9 million grant and leveraged that with several million additional dollars. We have served over 350 families in the last few years.” The Plough Foundation has also helped Habitat develop evaluation methods and connect to additional resources. The Habitat team does more than fix things around the house. The construction team are Certified Aging in Place Specialists designated by the Homebuilders Association. Several team members have gotten Neighbor Works International training,

which is about aging in place programming. With this support and training, the Memphis Habitat team has developed its own policies and procedures. “We are constantly evolving and improving as we go along,” Romine says. And it’s not just about patching up a house. The organization works closely with social services to make sure residents are getting what they need beyond a livable place. The results are gratifying. Clients often have their utility bills go down to the point they can afford needed medication. Many homes that have lost insurance can now have it reinstated. Wheelchair ramps mean clients aren’t confined to the house — and can get out in case of fire. A great deal of credit for the program’s success goes to Memphis Habitat CEO Dwayne Spencer, who Romine says, “is everything that you would hope a leader would be. He is always looking at how we can have a greater impact, serve more families, and supports our staff.” He ensures access to resources, tools, and training. “You have to have innovative and supportive leadership in order for that to happen,” Romine says. Habitat is looking to the future as well, hoping to expand its impact. Romine says it’s looking at a program that combines aging in place with in-home medical help where residents are evaluated and provided counseling and resources to get better healthcare in addition to a safer place to live. Habitat hopes that its partnership with Le Bonheur Healthcare Foundation can replicate the program and make further progress in diminishing the hopelessness of poverty. 

INNOVATION

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis’ Aging in Place program has served more than 350 families by making improvements to housing so seniors can stay longer in their homes.

WEBSITE

memphishabitat.com

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Plough Center for Sterile Drug Delivery New UTHSC facility embraces orphan drugs

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LEFT: Harry Kochat, Plough Center manager (left) and Dr. Kennard Brown, UTHSC executive vice chancellor/COO. ABOVE: Packaging equipment.

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If the demand for a certain drug isn’t there, what business incentive do companies have to manufacture it? That unfortunate reality creates orphan drugs, pharmaceuticals that remain undeveloped due to a lack of commercial viability. Many people with rare diseases might go without treatment due to this phenomenon. Take away profitability as a primary factor, however, and you end up with the Plough Center for Sterile Drug Delivery. The center is at 208 S. Dudley, the renovated Holliday’s Fashion Building that the University of Tennessee Health Science Center purchased seven years ago. Construction on the $16 million facility began in September 2015, and the project is expected to be finished later this year. The Center houses three 800-square-foot PODS that act as sterile environments in which the drugs are produced. They will allow the facility to attain the Good Manufacturing Practices designation, which indicates 42 |

that the premises meet the pharmaceutical industry standards. Initially, the center will produce small-batch drugs in either injectable or semi-solid dosage forms for pre-clinical, phase one, and phase two trials. “Hundreds if not thousands of drugs are in the pipeline for phase one and phase two trials,” says Dr. Kennard Brown, executive vice chancellor and COO of UTHSC. “So part of this facility’s objective is to support drug discovery research and enhance the expediency with which drugs can reach the market.” Getting drugs to market has always been difficult for smaller ventures for a variety of reasons. As a result, many patients don’t

realize the benefits of drug research, as ideas may be trapped in the conceptual stage indefinitely if developers don’t have connections or funding. The Plough Center’s mission is intended to allow for an easier transition from the research pipeline to consumers. Orphan drugs will be the main focus going forward, making UTHSC poised to be at the forefront of drug discoveries. This won’t be the first iteration of the Plough Center. The new facilities will expand upon the original location in the Van Vleet Building on UTHSC’s campus. Formerly known as Parental Medication Laboratories, it has more than 50 years of drug manufacturing experience. While the old lab was capable of small-volume pharmaceuticals, the new facility will offer production capabilities on a much larger scale. With the advent of a large manufacturing base, however, comes the need for safe

PHOTOGRAPHS BY LARRY KUZNIEWSKI

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products. There can be serious repercussions when standards slip. “In 2011, a compounding company in Massachusetts made a steroid,” says Harry Kochat, manager of the Plough Center. “They were making and selling it, but their quality went down. They made something which got contaminated, and they sold it. Sixty-four people died, of which 40 were from Memphis and Nashville.” That kind of business practice goes against everything Kochat believes the Plough Center should stand for. “Giving somebody a second life is the most precious thing nowadays,” he says. “That’s why we are here.” With its standing, UTHSC can make the Plough Center a turning point in the battle to make pharmaceuticals safer. Brown has always been a vocal supporter of more stringent manufacturing laws, and the dialogue that’s already been opened with national and international colleagues should help with that push.

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The building doesn’t skimp on quality measures. The first big room is dedicated solely to water purification. The FDA is strict about water regulation when it comes to pharmaceuticals. Purified water is necessary to ensure that drugs don’t get contaminated, while clean water is also required for cleaning equipment between shipments. Microbes are the first big threat to the process; if the water is kept still, they’ll grow and likely ruin a product. The water is continuously pumped to avoid such a situation. Once purified, it can be turned into steam for sterilization. Another container holds the chilled water for cooling. All the water comes directly from the city, and two large generators behind the Plough Center ensure that the purification process is never halted in case of an outage. Further into the complex, several rows of large windows along the inner and outer corridors allow workers to be observed as they carefully attend to every critical step of the manufacturing process. Once past the outer corridor, every employee and visitor is required to wear shoe covers and hair nets. Before setting foot into the main lab, a sterilization chamber ensures that no excess microbes or bacteria enter the area where the drugs are made, called a farm. All equipment, such as vials and syringes, is thoroughly cleaned before being placed into an oven to destroy pathogens, microorganisms that can cause disease. When everything is sterilized, manufacturers can begin creating a large shipment and use a belt similar to a bottling line to place the medicine into containers. The setup is equipped to bottle up to 50,000 10 mL vials in a day. Once the containers are filled, each is monitored under a microscope to make sure that there are no microbes. Contaminated products are immediately discarded. If the shipment is pure, each container is labeled and prepared for shipping. The attention to detail is impressive, with a different type of cleaning station around almost every corner. In the modern medical world, the Plough Center’s de-emphasis on profit becomes critical when thinking of orphan drugs. “For example, 20,000 people might get a rare disease in the United States,” says Kochat. “There is no drug to treat it because big pharma looks at the big picture and sees they won’t make even a few million dollars. They become neglected diseases and neglected people. If we won’t do it, there’s nobody there to develop them.” Several different groups have already drawn up contracts with the Plough Center, ensuring a steady flow of work. “There’s one Chinese company we’re contracted with,” says Brown, “and then we’ve got around 20 companies that we have nondisclosure agreements with to do drug manufacturing for. Before the facility is online, we’ve got a huge

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book of business already, so we’re optimistic about the potential level. And maybe we’ll even make some money!” In addition to the pharmaceuticals, the center will also act as a teaching hub for students and fellow professionals. Doctors from Kentucky to Japan work with UTHSC at quarterly training sessions and delegations from Mid-South universities have plans to visit and learn from the facility. The experience that the Plough Center offers is one of the

IN THE MODERN MEDICAL WORLD, THE PLOUGH CENTER’S DE-EMPHASIS ON PROFIT BECOMES CRITICAL WHEN THINKING OF ORPHAN DRUGS. best in the country for training pharmaceutical inspectors. Plenty of extra office spaces, meeting rooms, and classrooms provide space for students at the College of Pharmacy to get a more hands-on approach. Its proximity to the Medical District gives other medical institutions the chance to work together to further pharmaceutical production. “We are properly situated,” says Kochat. “With this many hospitals, we can do so many clinical trials.” The Plough Center’s features provide a very philanthropic feel. Professionals come from all over to learn from the facility while the proximity of FedEx means that the school can partner with the delivery company for easy logistics. That partnership gives UTHSC an even broader reach and the ability to ship drugs to countries with a severe shortage of medical supplies. Kochat, with his decades of experience in pharmaceuticals, remains devoted to helping as many people as possible. That passion can be traced back to the early 1990s in San Antonio. A young brain tumor survivor had come to personally thank Kochat, who had developed the oncology drug used to treat tumors at St. Jude. “That young boy walked around the table, came to me and asked, ‘Can I touch the finger that saved my life?’ Those kinds of moments are enough. We are not for profit. We are here for patients and we are here for quality. That’s how we came into the picture. This is the right thing we can give back to the community.” 

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T O M O R R O W ’ S

F I N A N C E

Cook Analytics & Trading Lab University of Memphis Financial Lab Offers Glimpse Into Wall Street Dealings

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The world of finance can be one of the most cutthroat industries in America, and those looking to make a career of it need to seize any advantage they can get. For local students, the University of Memphis Fogelman College of Business and Economics (FCBE) has a way to get ahead of the game. Only so much of the pressure and winnertakes-all feel of finance can be conveyed in the classroom. To expand its repertoire of teaching tools, U of M turned the first floor of the FCBE into the Cook Analytics & Trading Lab. Funded and overseen by Michael W. Cook, founder and CEO of Southern Asset Management, the lab is set to mimic a Wall 46 |

Street trading firm. Some of its features include real-time tickers, Bloomberg terminals, and access to various online databases. The resources available at the school make the lab a significant resource for students looking to move into the finance world. “Teaching these classes here now becomes much more intuitive. It’s no longer just in the

pages of a book; the students can see what’s actually happening,” says Vivek Sharma, manager of the lab. Over the last three years, the strategy of providing a hands-on approach to business and finance education is paying off. Recently, two student teams at the FCBE have been recognized at competitions for outstanding financial work. A five-student team ranked in the top 5 percent at the Bloomberg Trading Competition. Dylan Ledbetter (MS, Information Systems, MSBA, Finance); Zachary Golden (MS, Information Systems); Yi Lu (Ph.D. candidate); Zachary Morton (MSBA,

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY UM / DAVID TAYLOR

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Teams working out of the Cook Analytics & Trading Lab have made impressive showings in national competitions. Students observe events in real time and have deep access to financial information.

Finance); and Lokesh Chinthala (MS, Information Systems, reserve member) participated in “The University Challenge,” an eightweek trading simulation that tasked teams with competing for the highest absolute return on a $10 million portfolio. The Memphis team placed 13th out of 265 teams represented by 81 different schools. Earlier in the year, four Fogelman College students received first prize in the Southeastern Hedge Fund Competition in Atlanta, Georgia. While vying to learn investment strategies suitable for use by hedge funds,

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the team of Aubrey Ballard, Eithel McGowen LaTorre, Joseph Pascarella, and Charles Rodgers came up against teams from 39 other universities, including Duke, Emory, Vanderbilt, University of Tennessee, and Georgia Tech. The inaugural event was judged anonymously by hedge fund managers, and they chose to award the $10,000 scholarship prize to the University of Memphis team. The teams’ successes can be traced back to time spent in the lab. In addition to monitoring events in real time, the Bloomberg terminals, which absorb any relevant information entered into the public domain, give them unparalleled access to any financial information they might want to find. “Imagine that someone wanted to know what Apple looked like in 1998,” says Sharma. “We have that information here. If they wanted to see what Apple’s customers and suppliers looked like, we have that as well.” One investigation can lead straight into another, and there is always updated information on things like stocks, bonds, currencies, and municipal bonds. “These are the tools that asset management companies and corporations look at when they’re studying risk management, asset management, and investor relations.” While renting the terminals on a month-to-month basis is pricey, their availability makes the lab the only center of its kind in a 180-mile radius. One of the unique features of the lab is access to Oxford Analytica. At the behest of Michael Cook, students have access to many of the reports that the international consulting firm provides on a worldwide scale. In addition to financial information, the reports

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PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY UM / DAVID TAYLOR

The Cook Analytics & Trading Lab: One investigation can lead straight into another and there is always updated information on things like stocks, bonds, currencies, and municipal bonds.

also contain insights on geographic and geopolitical issues. The wide scope of data helps provide a clearer picture of all relevant factors to the financial landscape. Sharma believes that the lab not only creates a better educational experience but prepares students to succeed in a difficult profession. Finance is a very competitive field, but some of the competitors that he oversaw have made the step up into a concrete career path, which has led them to hedge funds, banks, consulting firms, and one of the larger conglomerates. “Everyone’s doing well, and this experience doesn’t just give them the confidence that they can compete at the highest level, but it also equips them to use the tools they need,” he says. “If they need information for their job, they know how to find it and they know how to analyze it.” While most of its students have reaped the benefits, the lab isn’t just for FCBE students. The University of Memphis hosts a Young Wall Street program, an intensive financial market instructional course for high schoolers. The aim is to give kids exposure to financial markets and perhaps pique their interest in a career in finance. Access to these kinds of tools is uncommon for students of that age, and it would be no surprise to see more pursuing a financial degree after learning at the Cook Analytics & Trading Lab. With all the advantages the lab provides for students, Memphis is set to provide a new wave of sharp financial minds in the future.  

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Law: Business and Employment

In the grayscale world of business law, you’re going to need someone who can discern just what victory is — and how best to achieve it. When a case goes to court, not losing is often a victory. And unlike the cases in television dramas, many can drag on — which means you’ll need an expert who knows when to settle and when to keep negotiating. On the other hand, if you never have to call upon any of the professionals in Employment Law, count yourself fortunate. They navigate ordinances that uphold workers’ rights for better conditions and fair standards in the workplace and, inversely, the rights of employers to moderate the powers of workers’ organizations and to keep labor costs low. Whatever your problem, it’s good to have experts like these POWER PLAYERS around to lend a hand. LEO BEARMAN JR. Senior Counsel, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. J.D., Harvard. Litigator of the Year, Tennessee Bar Association; listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, and Mid-South Super Lawyers. Former President, Tennessee Junior, Memphis, and Shelby County Bar Associations. Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers. Elected Member, International Association of Insurance Counsel, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. Received Pillars of Excellence Award, University of Memphis Alumni Association. NATHAN BICKS Member, Burch, Porter & Johnson, PLLC. B.A., Brown; J.D., Georgetown. Practice focuses on complex litigation with emphasis on white-collar crime, healthcare fraud, and class-action matters. Named by BusinessTN as one of “150 Best Lawyers in Tennessee.” Serves as Town Attorney for Collierville. Former appointee, hearing panelist for Tennessee Supreme Court Board of Professional Responsibility. President, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Past President, Memphis Jewish Community Center. W. KERBY BOWLING Shareholder, Evans Petree, PC. J.D., University of Memphis. Serves as co-leader of the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Worked at Kellogg as a unionized laborer before campaigning against organized labor. Assists clients in remaining non-union and avoiding employment litigation. Admitted to practice before Tennessee Supreme Court, U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, and Sixth Circuits. AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. In The Best Lawyers in America, 2015 and 2016 for Administrative/Regulatory Law and Labor LawManagement. Board Member, National Foundation for Transplants. 50 |

ALAN CRONE Attorney and founder, The Crone Law Firm, PLC. B.A., Memphis State University; J.D., Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Licensed in Tennessee and Arkansas. Represents executives, employees and entrepreneurs in employment and commercial litigation including wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, partnership and contractual disputes, non-competition enforcement and defense, overtime, wage and hour disputes, and more. Appointed Chief Counsel for the Tennessee Department of Employment Security in 1995 by former Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist. Currently is Special Counsel to the Mayor of Memphis. DONALD DONATI Co-Founder, Donati Law Firm. J.D., Tennessee. Certified Trial Specialist. Certified Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy. Member, Tennessee Association of Justice, National Employment Lawyers Association, American Inns of Court, and NOVA. Named 2012 Memphis Lawyer of the Year, Employment Law-Individuals, The Best Lawyers in America. Named one of top 100 lawyers in Tennessee by Mid-South Super Lawyers, and one of top six lawyers in U.S. by Lawyers USA in 2006. EUGENE S. FORRESTER JR. Member, Farris Bobango, PLC. B.A., cum laude, Vanderbilt University; J.D., Washington and Lee University. Practice concentrates on employment, workers’ compensation, and civil litigation. Member, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Memphis Bar Associations. Former President, MBA Young Lawyers Division. Former Chair, TBA Greater Access and Assistant Project. Named MBA 1994 Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year. Licensed in Tennessee and Arkansas.

RICHARD GLASSMAN Senior Shareholder and President, Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox, PC. J.D., University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. Practice devoted to business and professional liability/malpractice litigation in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Certified as Civil Trial Specialist and Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate. Fellow, Tennessee and Memphis Bar Foundation. Member, Litigation Counsel of America, American Board of Trial Advocates. Adjunct Professor of Law-Insurance Law. Recipient, 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Memphis. DEBORAH GODWIN Partner, Godwin, Morris, Laurenzi & Bloomfield, P.C. B.A., magna cum laude, University of Michigan; J.D., Boston College. Areas of practice include ERISA, labor and employment, civil rights, and personal injury. Director of the firm’s ERISA Law Section. American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section and Committee on Developing Labor Law. Named to The Best Lawyers in America and Top 50 Women Attorneys in the MidSouth Super Lawyers. AV-rated, Martindale-Hubble. MYRA HAMILTON General Counsel, Hamilton Entertainment Employment Law, LLC. Practice areas include employment and labor, HR and corporate compliance, and business contracts. Represents clients before the U.S. EEOC, Tennessee Human Rights Commission, and various U.S. District Courts. Member, Memphis and American Bar Associations. Included on the Attorney Referral List with U.S. EEOC in several jurisdictions. Member, ABA Forum, Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity, and ABA Presidential Advisory Council on Diversity. Inducted into Top 100, The National Black Lawyers. 2017 Women of Excellence and Top 3 Finalist: Best in Black Awards, New Tri-State Defender. ALBERT C. HARVEY Partner, Lewis Thomason. B.S. and J.D., University of Tennessee. Areas of practice include business and commercial, construction, healthcare, intellectual property, and product and professional liability. Former President, Memphis and Tennessee Bar Associations. Former Member, American Bar Association Board of Governors. Recipient, Lawyers’ Lawyer Award, Memphis Bar Association. Former Chairman, Tennessee Bar Foundation. Retired from U.S. Marine Corps Reserve as Major General. JOHN J. HEFLIN III Member, Bourland, Heflin, Alvarez, Minor & Matthews, PLC. B.A. and J.D., Vanderbilt. Areas of practice include complex commercial litigation, breach of contract, fraud, insurance, intellectual property, securities and construction. Chair, firm’s litigation practice. Former President, Memphis Bar Association. AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell. Listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers.

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Advance Memphis was founded in 1999 to bring about economic revitalization in Memphis, Tennessee. Specifically, we focus on the 38126 zip code area of South Memphis, which includes and surrounds the Cleaborn/Foote public housing developments. We believe that adults can be empowered to change their lives and their community. Advance Memphis provides Biblically based programs that bring HOPE, KNOWLEDGE, RESOURCES, and SKILLS to the neighborhood. The residents of the neighborhood then have the tools they need to affect change. www.advancememphis.org • 901.543.8525 THIS PAGE DONATED BY TRIUMPH BANK AND CONTEMPORARY MEDIA, INC. AS PART OF THE INSIDE MEMPHIS BUSINESS “DIG DEEP FOR MEMPHIS” PROGRAM.

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CHARLES HILL Member, Glankler Brown, PLLC. Practice includes employment law, broker/ dealer litigation, contracts, and commercial litigation. Experience in litigation over restrictive covenants, covenants against disclosure of proprietary information, protection of trade secrets, and creating social media policies. Member, Memphis and Tennessee Bar Associations and Defense Research Institute. Board Member, Greater Memphis Chamber. Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers. Named to The Best Lawyers in America. Board Member, Youth Programs, Inc., operator of the FedEx/St. Jude Classic golf tournament. MICHELE HOWARD-FLYNN Managing Partner, HF Law Group, PLLC. B.A., Political Science and History, Morehead State University; J.D., Tulane University. Practice areas include business litigation, estate planning, and probate and estate administration. Past President, Association for Women Attorneys. Member, Tennessee and American Associations for Justice and Tennessee Bar Association. Member, House of Delegates, Memphis Bar Association. Past Board Member, Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women. DAVID JAQUA Labor and Employment Group, Butler Snow LLP. Practice includes employment litigation (defense), arbitration and mediation, NLRB hearings, labor negotiations, representation campaigns, and management counseling and training. AV Preeminent Rating, MartindaleHubbell. Named to The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and Mid-South Super Lawyers. Fellow, American and Tennessee Bar Foundations. LISA KRUPICKA Member, Burch, Porter & Johnson, PLLC. Practice concentrates on employment litigation and business advising. Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Named to The Best Lawyers in America (2017 Memphis Management Employment Lawyer of the Year) and “Top 100 Lawyers in Tennessee” by Mid-South Super Lawyers. Named to Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Former Board Member, Memphis Bar Association, and former Chair of its Labor & Employment Section. Board and Executive Committee Member, National Civil Rights Museum.

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LISA LICHTERMAN Shareholder, Littler Mendelson, PC. J.D., Vanderbilt University. Practice includes employment law and HR compliance. Selected Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Named to Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Frequently named to Mid-South Super Lawyers in Labor and Employment Law and selected as a Mid-South Top 50 Women Attorneys for 2016. Martindale-Hubbell AV rating. Former Board Member, Memphis Bar Association, and former chair of its Labor & Employment section. Trustee, Pink Palace Museum. Martindale-Hubbell AV rating. Former Board Member, Memphis Bar Association, and former Chair of its Labor & Employment Section.

MICHAEL G. MCLAREN Member, Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee, PC. B.A., Yale University; J.D., Loyola University. Practices in federal and state litigation, commercial litigation, professional liability, insurance coverage, environmental law, construction law, and fidelity and surety law. Former Vice President and General Counsel, Wright Medical Technology. Named in Mid-South Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. Appeared in films such as A Time to Kill, The Firm, and The People vs. Larry Flynt. JOHN MCQUISTON II Shareholder, Evans Petree, PC. B.A., Rhodes College; graduate, U.S. Naval Justice School; and J.D., Vanderbilt. Experience includes banking, construction, securities, fraud, antitrust, breach of fiduciary duties, and e-commerce. Named one of top 100 lawyers in Tennessee, top 50 lawyers in the tri-state Mid-South, and top 15 lawyers in Memphis. Mediator for FINRA. Former Director, Memphis Bar Association. Former Chairman, Tennessee Bar Association’s Section on Antitrust and Business Torts. Former Chairman, St. Mary’s Episcopal School. ROBERT F. MILLER Member, Farris Bobango, PLC. B.A., Vanderbilt; J.D., University of Memphis. Specializes in general civil litigation, commercial litigation, railroad litigation, construction litigation, bankruptcy law, and insurance defense litigation. Member, Memphis, Tennessee, and American Bar Associations. Honored numerous times in Mid-South Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. Former Member and Chairman, Board of Directors, St. Agnes/St. Dominic Schools. RICHARD J. MYERS Member, Apperson Crump, PLC. B.A., Loma Linda University, M.A., University of Chicago; J.D., Cornell School of Law. Areas of practice include litigation, real estate, and public law and governmental relations. Member, Memphis Bar Association. Joined firm in 1997. Serves as City Attorney for Oakland, Tennessee. Elected Member of Board of Directors, World Cataract Foundation. Advisory Board Member, University of Memphis’ Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. JAMES R. MULROY II Managing Principal ­— Memphis, Jackson Lewis. B.A., Rhodes; M.B.A., University of Memphis; and J.D., University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Practice includes class actions and complex litigation, general employment litigation, and wage and hour. Member, Tennessee and American Bar Associations, and DRI. Commander, Judge Advocate General Corps, U.S. Naval Reserve. AV Preeminent-rated Lawyer, Martindale-Hubble. Frequently named to The Best Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers.

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RANDALL D. NOEL Partner, Butler Snow, LLP. J.D., University of Mississippi. Practice includes business litigation, data security, and products defense. Listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America, Lawdragon, and Super Lawyers. Former President of Tennessee Bar Association, American Counsel Association, and Tennessee Legal Community Foundation. Fellow, American, Tennessee, and Memphis Bar Foundations. Member, Governor’s Council for Judicial Appointments. DAN NORWOOD Partner, Norwood & Atchley. J.D., University of Memphis. Represents clients involved in discrimination, retaliatory discharge for whistleblowing, workers’ compensation claims, and breach of contract. Named to The Best Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers in Labor and Employment law. Featured on cover of Memphis magazine as the “Giant Killer” for success in suing government and discriminating employers. Member, Memphis and Tennessee Bar Associations and the National Employment Lawyers Association.

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LUCIAN T. PERA Partner, Adams and Reese, LLP. A.B., Princeton J.D., Vanderbilt. Focuses practice on commercial litigation, media law, and legal ethics work. Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Business Lawyers, and BusinessTN. Member, American Law Institute. Recipient, President’s Award, Tennessee Bar Association; Sam A. Myar Jr. Memorial Award, Memphis Bar Association; and Justice Joseph W. Henry Award for Outstanding Legal Writing. Former President, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers. President, Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. Former Treasurer, American Bar Association. President, Tennessee Bar Association. ROBIN H. RASMUSSEN Founding Member, Dinkelspiel Rasmussen & Mink, PLLC. B.A. and J.D., University of Memphis. Areas of practice include employment law, workers’ compensation, and civil litigation. Boutique firm founded in 2010. Member of Memphis, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Federal Bar Associations. Licensed in Tennessee and Mississippi. Recipient, American Jurisprudence Award in Real Estate Transactions. Certified Yoga Instructor. GLEN G. REID Senior Counsel, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs. Member, Intellectual Property Protection and Litigation Service Team. J.D., University of Memphis, Areas of practice include banking litigation, commercial litigation, products liability litigation, and white collar criminal defense. AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell. Recognized as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation in 2017. Named 2015 Banking &

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Finance and Securities Lawyer of the Year, and 2014 Betthe-Company Litigation Lawyer of the Year, The Best Lawyers in America. Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers. Master, Leo Bearman Sr. Chapter, American Inns of Court. Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers.

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JEFFREY C. SMITH Partner, Waller Lansden Dortsch & Davis. Practice includes employment law, commercial construction litigation, and counsel in construction, equipment distribution, franchise, and healthcare industries. Has defended employers against discrimination claims, unfair competition, and wrongful termination. Member, American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising, Appellate Practice Committee, and Commercial and Business Litigation Committee. Board Member, Tennessee Justice Center. JOHN C. SPEER Member, Bass, Berry & Sims. J.D., University of Kentucky. Practice is focused on business litigation. Represents banks and other financial institutions in disputes involving commercial loan and public bond defaults and federal and state laws and regulations. Also represents companies in critical business disputes. Recognized by Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, and Mid-South Super Lawyers. Memberships include: Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, Inns of Court (Master), Memphis Bar Foundation, Memphis Symphony Orchestra (Board/ Executive Committee), and Jacob’s Ladder Community Development Corporation (Advisor).

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DAVID WADE Director and Shareholder, Martin Tate Morrow & Marston, PC. J.D., University of Memphis. Areas of practice include civil and criminal litigation, land use, and administrative law. AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell. A distinguished mediator for cases on state and federal levels. Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers. Listed in The Best Lawyers in America. Former President, Memphis Bar Association. Former Chair, City of Memphis Civil Service Commission. Master and Former President, American Inns of Court.

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JEFF WEINTRAUB Regional Managing Partner, Memphis office of Fisher Phillips, U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2016 Law Firm of the Year for Labor Law Management. Represents employers in jury trials in employment lawsuits and labor cases. Selected for HR Executive’s 2017 Top 20 Lawyers in the United States in Traditional Labor & Employment Law, Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Mid-South Super Lawyers, and the World’s Leading Labour & Employment Lawyers (UK). Chair, Small Business Council of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce. Member, Chairman’s Circle. Licensed in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Missouri. MURRAY B. WELLS Partner, Horne & Wells, PLLC. B.F.A, Westminster College; J.D., University of Arkansas (Student Bar Association President). Areas of practice include civil rights litigation, federal criminal defense, and catastrophic injury. Named to Top 100 Lawyers - Civil Plaintiff. Admitted to practice in California, Tennessee, and federal districts of California, Western and Middle Tennessee, Sixth Circuit Court of appeals, and all state courts. Teaches CLE to other lawyers in a wide variety of litigation topics. GEORGE WHEELER Member, Harris Shelton Hanover Walsh, PLLC. B.S., with honors, University of TennesseeKnoxville; J.D., Vanderbilt. Areas of practice include business and corporate law, healthcare, intellectual property, and personal injury. Member, Litigation and Health Law sections, American Bar Association. Member, Health Law section, Memphis Bar Association. Named to The Best Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers. AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell.

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EDWARD YOUNG Shareholder, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. B.S., University of Memphis; J.D., Vanderbilt. Represents employers before NLRB in employment litigation, collective bargaining, and labor arbitration. Achieved landmark judgment against the EEOC for $750,000. Led efforts for a food manufacturer in Ohio in a union campaign that involved 600 voters and communications in multiple languages, resulting in a vote in favor of the company. Member, Labor and Employment Law Section and Committee on Equal Employment Law, American Bar Association. Former President, Economic Club of Memphis and Memphis Jewish Federation.

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9/8/17 1:09 PM


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9/4/17 8:53 AM


LDI Fine Tuning the Leaders in Memphis • • •

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The high-level training program was conceived by Goals for Memphis, a nonprofit looking to make positive changes in Memphis. GFM would later become the Leadership Academy, then New Memphis Institute and now is known simply as New Memphis, which has been led by Nancy Coffee for the past 12 years. The program came into being from a desire to provide top quality leadership training. GFM officials found that the North Carolina-based Center for Creative Leadership was the right partner to pull this effort off. For 20 years, it’s been a fruitful partnership. “There’s no other city in the country or the world that has this world-class leadership training developed and delivered to a local cohort of peer execs,” Coffee says. The idea is that LDI is designed to work with executives at the top of their game. The session is a threeand-a-half-day residential experience held at the Madison Hotel. There are about two dozen participants in each session and what they get is essentially a detailed, personalized critique. Each provides a self-assessment with a thorough 360-degree inventory, interactions and case studies, and one-on-one feedback from expert coaches. Participants find that they come out of the course with greater insight into themselves, the work they do, and a picture of how to take things to the next level. Nancy Coffee

Owner of Royal Studio

S PA R K S

For 20 years, the best in Memphis have been getting schooled in how to be even better. In 1997, the first Leadership Development Intensive brought together some of Memphis’ most dynamic leaders with an eye to super-charge their effectiveness at work and in the community. 58 |

FULL DISCLOSURE

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ne aspect that’s essential to the success of the intensive is for participants to bare their souls. Executives at this level tend to have considerable egos and to admit to weaknesses can be difficult. But for it to work, they have to be straightforward about the pluses as well as the minuses. “LDI is based on this notion that great leaders are those who know that in order to remain excellent, they need to continue to grow,” Coffee says. “They need to

PHOTOGRAPH BY JON W. SPARKS

T A L E N T

Nancy Coffee (right) chats with New Memphis staffers Chutney Young (left) and Frankie Dakin.

take time to invest in themselves, to really set aside this space for self-ref lection and exploration. And what they get in return for that is definitely greater effectiveness, but also greater ease in their work life and frankly in their life overall.” There are compelling incentives to be vulnerable, she says. “It can be lonely at the top and I think the value of feedback is something that those leaders up top yearn for. They want that fresh perspective. LDI is that chance to get feedback in a safe space and really act on it.” Beyond that are the distinct benefits of an approach that provides specific and relevant information. “People don’t describe the LDI as life changing for nothing,” Coffee says. “It is not, however, a hand-holding, Kumbaya-singing experience. This is a research-based program that is extraordinarily intentional and I think that is part of what provides the safe space for senior executives to come and be changed. It’s not about stress balls. It’s an informed design that draws on the experience of tens of thousands of leaders who have participated in the CCL’s program. There’s a lot of reassurance in that.” Team training within a company is good, she says, “but for senior executives, the opportunity to get outside of one’s company into the safe space that’s really free of direct workplace relationships, that is, I think, the catalyst for the exploration that will help them to grow beyond who they are already. This is a chance to be with people who are their peers, but in different sectors and different companies from around the city.” Since these leaders are already performing at a high level, Coffee

PHOTOGRAPH BY AMIE VANDERFORD

C U L T I V A T I N G

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GOING THROUGH LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT INTENSIVE COBBINS GOT BENEFITS HE NEVER EXPECTED

PHOTOGRAPH BY JON W. SPARKS

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arrell Cobbins, a graduate of Leadership Development Intensive, took the course 10 years ago and remembers that fact vividly because he didn’t have time for it. “I had just started my company,” he says. But Nancy Coffee, head of what was then called the Leadership Academy, was unrelenting. “She convinced me through what I call polite persistence. And so I decided to go ahead and do it, and I remember that I was doing it at the least ideal time, but when I got done with it I was so thankful.” Cobbins believes that his LDI experience made a significant difference. “You have to immerse yourself,” he says. “We all stay at one location together, which was The Peabody then. I live in Midtown, right on Union Avenue, right by Idlewild Church, so I was trying to get them to let me stay at home and I’d come in for the sessions. They were like, ‘No you need to be here, because that’s part of the experience.’” Cobbins quickly realized how good an idea that was. “I was there with a bunch of folks from varied backgrounds,” he says, “and I think sometimes, when you’re a native Memphian, you start feeling like, ‘I know everybody I need to know. I pretty much have this whole thing figured out. I’m not gonna need anybody new to make any light bulbs go off.’” But it wasn’t that way at all. Cobbins was meeting people he wouldn’t have otherwise met from an array of organizations. “Different people from different segments of corporate and business and civic life in Memphis all get put together for this experience,” he says. The biggest benefit, he says, was to sit one-on-one with the coaches. “They fly in these world-class business executive coaches. You do this 360-degree analysis of yourself and then your colleagues do a 360-degree analysis of you. All of that is combined into a report and you find out what you think about yourself and what others think about you and it’s an opportunity to be faced with reality.” For the process to work, the participants have to be honest, even if it hurts.  “It’s best to be 100 percent honest so that it’s an authentic experience,” Cobbins says. “On the final day we go through this reflective culmination where you write a letter to yourself. They ask you if you want to share what you wrote and there was a lot of emotion that went on in that room with all these folks who have big egos and big positions.” Cobbins says he tells people that LDI is different from Leadership Memphis (which he also has gone through), “in that Leadership Memphis is sort of community focused and outward and external. The LDI experience was very personal, about you, your strengths, your weaknesses, your personal goals and aspirations as leaders, very introspective. And one of the things I tell people is that when it’s all said and done you really can’t BS yourself. You can BS everybody in the world, but not yourself.” He did get one particular moment when the light bulb went off. He says he pretty much understood this one thing about himself that his coach ended up validating and offering constructive guidance.  “She said, ‘Darrell, clearly from your inventory of yourself, what other people think about you, and then what we’ve talked about during the course this conversation, you have a savior complex.’” That got his attention. The coach told Cobbins he carries with him this sense that if help is needed, he’s the one person who can give that help. “She said, ‘That’s a noble characteristic and trait to have but it can also cost you a lot of stress and frustration and take you into some other areas that might not be the best for you.’” She told him that, as a business person and entrepreneur, he needed to have someone who is assigned to him who can cut through the emotional heartstrings and feel-good elements and keep him objective. It wasn’t easy to stop him from giving in to his compulsion to help. But Cobbins immediately saw the benefit and it gave him the ability to say “no.” “If you’re saying ‘yes’ to everything, then when things come across you really want to do, you may have to say ‘no’ to some of those,” he says. ”As a leader, I think oftentimes we imagine we can do it all, accomplish it all, and we’re meant to multitask, juggle, spin plates, and do all of these things. But to truly be effective, you have to prioritize and figure out what you’ll say “yes” to and what you’ll say “no” to, to ensure that you’re being as efficient and targeted and maximizing your capabilities and skills.” That revelation manifested itself as he realized he was often being asked to be on community or civic boards. He turned some down regretfully, but then bigger board opportunities came along, as it did with the MLGW board that he served on for more than eight years. By its nature, LDI goes deep to find ways executives can improve not only what they do for organizations, but what they can do for themselves.  Cobbins says it helped highlight a personal issue that led to change. “At the time, my only brother and I were not on good terms, we weren’t talking,” he says. “My father’s 60th birthday was coming up, and I was going through this leadership experience and in my letter to myself I wrote how this was one of the things I needed to straighten out. How could I authentically and truthfully and honestly consider myself a ‘leader’ in business, in the community, and elsewhere if I can’t even straighten this issue out with my brother? That was one of the first things I did actually after completing the program. My brother and I sat down and worked through our issues, and celebrated my father’s 60th birthday. Little did we know that would be my dad’s last birthday.” Cobbins was thankful that his LDI experience sparked a self-challenge and ended with his father knowing his sons were in a good place. “That’s not business or professional, but that experience made me look at myself and say, ‘OK, if you’re going to be true to who you say you are, you need to do what a leader would do.’”

DARRELL COBBINS: President and principal broker, Universal Commercial Real Estate. Affiliations include Chairman’s Circle/Board of Directors, Greater Memphis Chamber; Board of Directors, National Civil Rights Museum; 2013 Board Chairman, New Memphis Institute. Past Chairman, Memphis Light, Gas and Water. Recipient, 2011 Agent of Change Award, MULYP, and 2012 African American Male Image Award for Business, Hobson-Goodlow Foundation. says, “we focus on where things are going well and growing from that place of appreciation.” Helping keep the experience as honest as possible is the one-on-one coaching at the heart of the experience. The coaching is highly specific in order to clarify thinking, planning next steps, and setting goals. “These are coaches who work with executives around the world,” Coffee says. “They are highly skilled and they don’t live in Memphis. So this is not someone you’ll run into at Kroger or at Pickwick.” The trainers fly in to bring their sharp listening skills and approaches to solutions.

MEASURING RESULTS

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o how does this training manifest itself in the real world? Coffee mentions an executive who’s a multitasking whiz. “He has a million irons in the fire and is able to manage that brilliantly,” she says. “He might have a person come into his office to just check in on something, a pop-in meeting. The exec would be checking the ticker

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tape on the screen and maybe seeing an email flash up or whatever. And he was able to listen to his colleague while maintaining his other activities, but he didn’t realize until he came through the LDI the impact it was having on his team. They were wondering, ‘Is he really hearing me?’ So he just had to make a simple change when he got back to the office to be more visibly present to the person standing in front of him.” Put another way, as one graduate did, it’s like getting a brain tattoo — something he’d always remember. A more complex example was with a participant who runs a large, complex healthcare system. He’s successful and an admired leader in his corporate work and civically. Coffee says he realized from the training that he’d been leading well, but missing a key element regarding the people side of his business. “He’d gotten all the data in order,” she says. “He has all of the processes and systems. The operations are in order. His org chart is in order. But there’s a lens through which he had not been looking that really had more to do with culture and the way his teams interacted. It dealt with the standards that were set to ensure inclusive cooperation and things like that. That was a fundamental ‘aha!’ that he took back and it radically changed the way he structured his operation.”

TR ACKING CHANGES

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DI stays effective with scads of research going into leadership training and staying aware of how the business environment continues to change. At the same time, it is quality of leadership that drives performance of organizations, Coffee says, “so the essence of the experience has not changed. It is still a resource for great leaders who know they need to continue to sharpen the saw to maintain the excellence in their organization.” What has changed, she says, is the growing number of experiences of alumni, which has spurred a wider array of training options offered by New Memphis. While LDI is for top executives, the organization is now offering a Fellows Program for mid-career people, which in turn inspired the Embark Program for millennials and a summer program for collegians. “That growth acknowledges that this is important training and that leaders at different levels need to be with their peers in order to really grow and progress.” The future of LDI will have to take into account how more and more leaders are facing complex, rapidly changing conditions and how they must remain nimble. “They are asked to solve complicated problems and take wise action in very compressed circumstances,” Coffee says. “Compressed in terms of human capital that they have to help them with the action. Compressed in terms of time and other resources. I think that what we’ve seen is just building resilience around these inevitable challenges that face every leader, that is really the leading edge of the leadership work we’re doing now.” 

9/6/17 2:33 PM

9/7/17 10:55 AM


A great business leader is dynamic, inspirational, resourceful, approachable, and creative. Memphis is teeming with them.

Who is your favorite?

We are now accepting nominations for our annual CEO of the Year Award! For more information, or to nominate a CEO, please visit insidememphisbusiness.com or email editor Jon W. Sparks, sparks@insidememphisbusiness.com. And keep an eye out for the date and time of our CEO of the Year Awards banquet coming in early 2018.

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9/8/17 12:59 PM


The Office Cynthia Ham BRIDGES

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!1 THANKS TO THE SPONSOR OF

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O F F I C E

N O VA C O P Y . C O M

!1 62 |

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• • •

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  • • • PHOTOGRAPHS BY LARRY KUZNIEWSKI

At BRIDGES, the mission is to mold youth into effective leaders by embracing inclusion, diversity, and creativity. That process begins as soon as they set foot near the headquarters on A.W. Willis. The building stands as a pinnacle of unique design set amidst the edges of suburbia. “The architect didn’t want to impose on the neighborhood and overwhelm the houses across the street,” says Cynthia Ham, president and CEO of BRIDGES. “As you go more towards downtown, the building starts scaling up. That’s why it’s scaled to rise as the building goes west, like a bridge!” The building’s facade is apt. As an institution, BRIDGES works to fill the gaps between different sectors of the community to create a more unified Memphis. To that end, Ham wants its focus to be as broad as possible. “Making sure that we get a diverse group of students who really reflect the demographics of the greater population is always a challenge, but I think overall BRIDGES has a really good reputation that’s been built over 30 years about bringing people together.” And there’s no better person to lead that community outreach than Ham. She knows Memphis, having been an integral part of its community for many years, having worked as the executive director of Memphis in May and a principal at Archer Malmo. As it stands, BRIDGES has

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1. Cynthia Ham’s Office: “When the building was built, there was an art project that was developed. A local artist oversaw the project with students to create these mosaics, so that’s why this desk is the way it is. There are mosaics on the picnic tables outside as well. This guy who’s done a lot of work for us, Bill Andrews, designed this desk and that table, which follow the lines and angles of the wall. I said, ‘I get this glare from this window,’ so he created this [a BRIDGES divider that blocks the window] that doubles as a bookcase door. Paul Edelstein, a local artist as well, did that painting over there. I’d purchased that one from my time at Archer Malmo, but I felt as if it were made to be here at BRIDGES.” 2. The Building: The Jim Boyd BRIDGES Center was completed in 2004 and is the first green commercial

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connections with 162 schools and a presence in 52 zip codes. While students and employees are doing good work out in the community, all of that can be traced back to the main building. The entrance to the structure, built with sustainability in mind, stands adjacent to a miniature water feature and grass-filled amphitheater, and most of the interior is bathed in natural light. These design choices aren’t just for show, either. The building’s layout, a product of architect Coleman Coker, is set up in a fashion to benefit all students who walk through its doors. “The whole idea was to stimulate the frontal cortex of the young person’s still-developing brain,” says Ham. “They process in ways during this brain development that adults don’t, so

that’s why there’s a little disconnect between how youth feel in this building and how adults feel.” While there is definitely a noticeable difference between how the young and old take in the design, it’s an ideal situation in which to mold students into talented leaders. Meeting spaces and classrooms are throughout the building, while lightwells are are deliberately placed to make the space feel more alive. Extensive greenery grows in each lightwell, complementing the rooftop garden. Finally, there is a giant climbing wall and ropes course for dynamic team building activities. The whole experience provides a positive feeling, creating a stable platform for the community efforts of BRIDGES.

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building in Memphis. The idea was to create a place that is inviting to youth while functioning as a place for the organization’s programs. 3. Conference Room: Numerous conference rooms are around the building. Each provides a spot for students to engage in ideas and have safe conversations. It’s part of the plan to have students become more comfortable in their own skin. “It’s to surprise, stimulate, and lift up youth to make them feel valued and welcome,” says Ham. “When they walk into this building, they feel it. They feel as if they’ve

stepped into a positive place.” 4. Photograph with Bill Clinton: Ham met president Bill Clinton at one of his campaign events. “All of a sudden, someone told us that we’d have the opportunity to have a photograph with him. We were all waiting in a room, and when he stepped out through the curtains, there was an audible gasp from everyone in the room.” 5. Painting: Ham says, “I knew the artist [Amy Hutchison] and was struck with her work. I really liked the color and energy of it and wanted to put it in my office.”

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F R O M

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Country Club Estates

This East Memphis neighborhood was promoted as a “city of the future.” Too bad it was never built. • • •

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The Society of Entrepreneurs recently published a book profiling its members, called There’s Something in the Water, the title endeavoring to explain the innovative spirit that pervades this city. After all, from the groundbreaking music of Elvis Presley to the overnight delivery service of FedEx, Memphis has made its mark on the world. Many innovators, for all their hard work, don’t quite make it, but over the years I’ve saluted those who made a valiant effort. I’m talking about Memphians such as Roy Noe, whose patented Xcercisor restored his failing health, or Clyde Washburn, who devised a better way (or so he thought) to attach license plates to automobiles. And then there are the “unsung heroes,” whose ideas would have changed the face of our city, but for reasons I don’t know, their plans never left the drawing board. One of those was a suburban development to be called Country Club Estates. Don’t let

the old-fashioned name fool you. This was promoted as a “city of the future” to be developed in the area bounded by Park Avenue, White Station, Quince, and Estate. It was patterned after a rather unusual subdivision in Radburn, New Jersey — surely one of the few times that New Jersey has been used as an inspirational model for anything. A rather fuzzy map that ran in the May 1, 1953, edition of the Memphis Press-Scimitar showed how the Radburn Plan, as it came to be called, would be applied here. It’s basically a grid of major thoroughfares, with the residential streets laid out as

neat rows of cul-de-sacs (most of us call them “coves”), with service roads running behind the homes. A centrally located park would include a lake and community center, and a large retail center would be constructed to the south. All the streets would be pedestrian friendly, with the smaller streets actually tunneling beneath the larger ones so no pedestrians would have to battle traffic. As the newspaper explained, “It winds walkways through the entire development, over grassy areas and beneath trees — with pedestrian underpasses to carry residents from any place in the

ALL THE STREETS WOULD BE PEDESTRIAN FRIENDLY, WITH THE SMALLER STREETS ACTUALLY TUNNELING BENEATH THE LARGER ONES SO NO PEDESTRIANS WOULD HAVE TO BATTLE TRAFFIC. community to any other place in the community, without having to cross a street.” Country Club Estates would include precisely 1,750 single-family homes, described as

“contemporary architecture of the Nth degree” — a precise scientific measurement which, I assume, is much better than homes of “L” or even “M” degrees. Renderings actually showed rather small, plain-looking single-story homes with flat roofs and detached carports. “Homes are designed with kitchen, utility rooms, and storage space facing the service street,” explained the Press-Scimitar. Living and dining space and as many bedrooms as possible will face away from the street toward the public park areas.” Local developer J.A. Montgomery claimed the development would “serve present-day requirements of good living in a more practical and pleasant way than does the conventional pattern of subdivision living.” The newspapers of the day supported the idea in every possible way, with the Press-Scimitar printing special editions that touted the Radburn Plan, calling it “a development of the future — not just another housing project, but a design for living.” But it never happened. Country Club Estates never broke ground. The local planning commission objected to the cheap-looking houses on small lots and fretted that “this type of home will be slums in a few years.” Memphis eventually built the curiously named Sea Isle

School in the land originally set aside for the community center. Other developers opened a bowling alley, Big Star grocery store, and other businesses at Quince and White Station, a shopping center they called Quince Station, but the rest of the neighborhood today bears no resemblance to the original plan. In fact, the only vestige of this grand scheme is the name of the street that would have served as its eastern boundary: Estate.  64 |

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Profile for Contemporary Media

Inside Memphis Business, October/November 2017  

This issue: Our 2017 Innovation Awards, in which we spotlight the Memphians making new things happen in every sector of public life.

Inside Memphis Business, October/November 2017  

This issue: Our 2017 Innovation Awards, in which we spotlight the Memphians making new things happen in every sector of public life.