Page 1

MAY 2013

FULL STORY, PAGE 4

the sushi & grill fusion experience


2F — Sunday, May 19, 2013

Faulkner County Business Journal

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Conway Seniors Recognized for Academic Achievement

E

ach year, Conway Academic Signing Day recognizes a select few of the high-achieving graduating seniors from Conway Public Schools, St. Joseph and Conway Christian who have received significant academic awards and substantial scholarships. The event is hosted by the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce and is presented by Acxiom Corporation. Graduating seniors from Conway High SchoolWest, St. Joseph High School, Conway Christian High School, and those home-schooled in the Conway School District were eligible to apply. This year’s 25 honorees maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.8 or higher on a 4.0 scale and have been recognized in one of these five areas: the recipient of a top scholarship from the fouryear accredited college or

university of their choice; a National Merit Scholar or National Merit Finalist designation; acceptance into a U.S. Service Academy; the winner of a state or national scholarship program; and the recipient of a Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship or Governor’s Scholarship. Mary Margaret Satterfield, director of events at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, said that the event is a public and fun way to recognize academic excellence. “Academic Signing Day is based loosely on letter-of-intent ceremonies for athletic scholarship recipients and provides insight into the collegiate destinations and academic achievements of Conway graduates,” Satterfield said. “Conway Area Chamber of Commerce started this event to provide high academic

achievers and their support systems with the recognition they deserve.” The ceremony took place May 16 on the campus of Central Baptist College. One by one, honorees stated where they plan to attend college, signed

a placard indicating their choice, and received an award. Jeff Standridge, vice president of global operations at Acxiom and chairman of the Conway Area Chamber’s board of directors, said the honorees were an elite group, representing only 3.5 per-

cent of high school seniors in Conway. “Acxiom and the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce recognize that education is critical to economic development, so we want to honor those students who excel.” Other sponsors for

Academic Signing Day 2013 were Central Baptist College, Log Cabin Democrat, Conway Corporation, Crafton Tull, Crain Buick GMC, The Edge at Donaghey, First Security Bank, Magie-Mabrey Eye Clinic, Regions Bank, Smith Ford and Southwestern Energy.

Registration open for Chamber bowling Metropolitan National Managers who are looking to provide team building or reward opportunities for their employees may find that Bowling for Business is right up their alley. Now in its third year, Bowling for Business encourages interaction among employees in a fun and laid-back environment and promotes friendly competition among participating businesses. The event, hosted by the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, will take place Friday, June 28, at Conway Family Bowl. Crafton Tull is the presenting sponsor. Bowling for Business offers morning and afternoon “flights” separated by a luncheon. The morning flight is from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m., and the afternoon

Bank to Host Business After Hours

flight is from noon to 3 p.m. Lunch is from noon to 1 p.m. During lunch, more than 200 professionals have the chance to network while enjoying traditional bowling alley fare. Lunch is sponsored by Smith Ford, Southwestern Energy and Kimberly-Clark. Lane sponsorships are available for $350, which includes signage

at the event, a five-person team, a team T-shirt for each bowler, and the ability to provide participant giveaways. Five-person team sponsorships are available for $150. Lunch is included for all participants. To participate in Bowling for Business on June 28, register online at ConwayChamber.org/events or call 501-327-7788.

Metropolitan National Bank will host the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly Business After Hours networking event on Tuesday, May 21, from 5-6:30 p.m. The bank is located at 414 Oak Street in Conway. According to its website, Metropolitan National Bank is the largest, locally owned bank in central Arkansas. It opened in 1970 to serve customers in southwest Little Rock and now has 45 banking branches and 51 ATMs throughout central and northwest Arkansas. Business After Hours allows members to strengthen professional relationships and develop new opportunities to work with fellow Chamber members. The event is free to Chamber members and their employees. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be provided. For more information about Business After Hours, call the Chamber 501-327-7788.


Log Cabin Democrat • Find our online edition at www.thecabin.net

Sunday, May 19, 2013 — 3F

Faulkner County Business Journal

HBO documentary featuring Nabholz to be screened at Chamber The Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Nabholz Construction Services and the Arkansas Department of Health, will host three screenings of HBO documentary “The Weight of the Nation” on Wednesday, May 29, at the Chamber. Nabholz Construction is fea-

tured in the four-part documentary series. The company implemented a wellness program six years ago, which has resulted in improved health for employees and below average increases in health insurance rates. “Weight of the Nation” also features interviews and case studies about the obesity epidemic along with

testimonies from individuals and families struggling with the condition. The series spotlights the facts and myths of obesity and explores how the public health issue affects the nation’s health care system. Chamber members and employees of Chamber mem-

ber businesses can attend the screenings at no cost. The sessions begin at 7:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. and last for two hours. Seating is limited to the first 40 individuals who register per session. To make reservations, email Lindsay Wygal at Lindsay@ConwayArkansas.org.

Hanging baskets return

The Conway Downtown Partnership is proud to announce the return of the hanging baskets to downtown Conway. A total of 239 baskets were hung on downtown streetlights. The hanging baskets are paid for by the Conway Downtown Partnership through a donation by the Toad Suck Daze Committee.

Arvest Bank to lead seminar on cyber fraud Cyber fraud is a widespread form of targeted, online fraud affecting organizations that use commercial Web-banking services. Next month, representatives from Arvest Bank will present a free, informative seminar about how nonprofit organizations, schools, public sector entities, and small- to medium-sized businesses can protect themselves from this crime. The seminar is part of the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Lunch and Learn series. It will take place Tuesday, June 25, from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Chamber building, located at 900 Oak Street. Perpetrators of cyber fraud attempt to transfer money from commercial bank accounts using wire transfers and automatic clearinghouse (ACH) transactions. Lunch and Learn attendees will be informed of risk mitigation techniques the FBI recommends. They will also learn how they can reduce their organizations’ risk of cyber fraud by understanding how fraud works, protecting their computer networks, monitoring commercial bank accounts, and reporting suspicious activity. Employees of Chamber member businesses can attend the event at no cost. Seating is limited to the first 40 participants so reservations are required. To reserve a seat at the Small Business Lunch & Learn, call 501-327-7788 or email Sandra@ConwayArkansas. org.


4F — Sunday, May 19, 2013

Faulkner County Business Journal

To subscribe call (501) 329-2927 • Log Cabin Democrat

Umami Sushi Lounge and Grill Fusion opens in Conway Restaurant specializes in blending Japanese and American cuisine

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Masaharu Morimoto of the “Iron Chef America” television show and Nobuyuki “Nobu” Matsuhisa. “These chefs are my idols,” he said. “I own every book they have written and have visited Morimoto’s restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas and Philadelphia. I travel the world studying food and restaurants and apply what I learn to my The Name establishments.” Ho opened his first Umami Umami Sushi and Grill Fusion Japanese restaurant in Rushas an extensive sushi menu sellville one block away from with several varieties of sushi Arkansas Tech University’s and sashimi combinations, football field. “I chose the name house and traditional rolls, and ‘Umami’ because it’s something Umami signature rolls. A yumi I want my cuisine to live up to,” yumi roll topped with the popular he said. “Umami” is a Japanese yum yum sauce is listed on the word that describes a savory signature menu. There is even taste and is one of the five basic an Arkansas River roll and a flavors. The others are sweet, Russellville roll. “After we dissour, salty and bitter. cover what menu item people in Ho’s restaurant was an instant Conway love most, we’ll create favorite and outgrew its location a roll named after this city as within 10 months of opening. He well,” Ho said. “In Russellville, then opened a second, larger lo- our smoked salmon is popular cation near Walmart. “I obtained so we incorporated it into the a private club license, and the roll.” added space allowed me to play The restaurant has hibachi around a lot more. I hired a few entrees and plated entrees. Ho American culinary chefs, and we said customers will find distinct were able to really get creative items on the hibachi menu, such and fuse cuisines instead of as mahi-mahi and rib-eye steak. only serving traditional JapaHe also encourages customers to try menu items prepared in nese food.” the kitchen. “I take great pride in our kitchen food. Believe it The Menu or not, our must-try menu item Ho describes the food, desin my opinion is our hot-stone serts and drinks at Umami as American Kobe beef and our a fusion between American American Kobe beef burger. All and Japanese cuisines. “As of our beef is USDA choice and an Asian American, I love to hand-butchered in house.” infuse traditional Japanese tastes with American tastes. It’s The Location Asian food, but it’s not totally The 10,000-square-foot authentic. People accustomed restaurant seats up to 325 to either cuisine can adapt to people and has plenty of open the taste easily.” Ho’s inspiraspace to feel relaxed and not tion comes from celebrity chefs

n April 30, Johnny Ho opened his third Umami Sushi Lounge and Grill Fusion at 500 Amity Road in Conway. From the restaurant’s name, to its menu selection, to its physical layout and design, Ho’s attention to detail is apparent.

continuously on Saturday from noon until 10 p.m. Umami will stay open until 2 a.m. when its private club license goes into effect mid-June. The regular menu will not be available after normal hours, but customers can order snack foods and drinks as they enjoy live entertainment on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The Owner

Johnny Ho was raised in California and earned a bachelor’s degree in international business from San José State University. He came to Arkansas because his mother and aunt – who emigrated from Taiwan nearly 40 years ago – owned Chinese resUmami owner and founder Johnny Ho (left) is pictured with executive sushi chef Hadi taurants in Little Rock. “I grew up in the restaurant business, Ismanto (center) and executive chef Edgar Sarabia (right). so it was the last thing I wanted to do,” he said. Ho worked with food at Umami, karaoke at the crowded, even on the busiest his father importing and exportnights. Much of the property was restaurant blends American and ing goods out of China before Asian culture. formerly the site of a 15,000returning to the food industry in “Karaoke is really popular in square-foot telemarketing Asia, but it’s performed mostly in 2007. “My passion for food kept company. “We have completely private rooms instead of in open bringing me back to the busitransformed this space and inness.” corporated feng shui techniques areas,” Ho explained. “Karaoke Ho’s passion is undeniable. rooms are commonly referred to into our lighting, color, water While working on a project as KTV rooms in Japan, which features and overall design. It’s prior to the restaurant’s grand is an abbreviation for karaoke very new age and contempoopening, Ho fell 12 feet from television. Our room at Umami rary,” Ho said. is similar to KTV rooms, and we the ceiling above his office onto The restaurant has overflow hibachi rooms as well as a prifeature popular music from Asia the floor. He fractured a bone in his foot and has spent several vate room that can seat approxi- and the United States. International students can come here in weeks in a wheelchair. “This acmately 25 people. The private cident happened the second day their free time and have an eleroom is ideal for business or of our soft opening. It was the ment of home, and Americans recreational purposes. Corpoworst possible time to get hurt,” rate meeting groups have acwill enjoy it as well.” Ho said. “But it’s not going to Umami Sushi Lounge and cess to a 70-inch television with Grill Fusion is open Monday Apple TV connectivity, which keep me away. I am passionate through Saturday. During the enables business professionabout what I do and will work to als to stream content wirelessly workweek, the restaurant opens see this restaurant succeed.” from their iPhones or iPads. The for lunch at 11 a.m., closes from For more information about room can also serve as a lounge 2-5 p.m. and reopens for dinner Umami Sushi Lounge and Grill from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. (10 or reception area and has a Fusion, call 501-358-3880 or p.m. on Friday). It stays open karaoke machine. Just like the visit UmamiConway.com.


ave

6F — Sunday, May 19, 2013

TOP 5 RESIDENTIAL HOME SALES 10 Kingfisher Cove 25

40

40

Old Morrilton Hwy

Gentry Lake

A

Days Lake 65

ylin

Meadowlake Rd

64

Sk

Donaghey Ave

Gleason

r eD

Cadron Valley Country Club 319

64

St

1540 Willow Creek

65 65

Tyle r

Mountain View Par

Gatlin Park

Lake Carol-dan

r St

Hendrix College

ride

Centennial Valley Golf Club

Hark 266

65

980 Scherman Oaks

40

60

t

S ce

Conway

Prin

Caldwell St

Laurel Park

60

Oak

Conway Country Club

Oak St

St60

E Oak St

60

65

Fifth Avenue Park

Airport Park Central Baptist College

Dennis F Cantrell Field

60

Highway 60 W

Oak Grove Cemetery

405 Janan Court S Salem Rd

60

University Of Central Arkansas

286 286

Dave Ward Dr 286

der

arkri

SH St 365

Brumley

65 S

Ar-3

nother successful Toad Suck Daze has come and gone. Traditionally, unpredictable weather gave us the coldest festival on record (last year was the hottest), but Mother Nature gave dedicated festival-goers plenty of bearable weekend to work with. Toad Suck Daze is a successful event on two fronts. First, any Southern town worth its salt has a festival named after a native fruit, vegetable or animal. (We assume things like “Founder’s Day Festivals” mainly exist up North or in movies.) Toad Suck Daze is ours. It’s unique, fun and family-focused — just like our community. Second, the festival is inextricably tied to education — just like our community. This year, festival proceeds will fund 21 college scholarships to Faulkner County students studying at UCA, CBC, Hendrix or UACCM. Proceeds will also support the Lifelong Learners pre-K initiative. In a less than a year, that program has already had a positive impact on more than 200 area preschoolers. The fun and funding that stem from Toad Suck Daze would not be possible without the help of hundreds of Faulkner County residents and organizations. First, the committed festival attendees who make Toad Suck Daze a success…rain or shine. The area businesses that donate goods and services or sponsor the festival. They are the reason Toad Suck Daze is Arkansas’s largest free festival. The volunteers who set up; sell merchandise, toad bucks and drinks; and clean up and tear down the festival. The city employees who keep downtown Conway clean and safe for three very busy days. The downtown businesses who, candidly, put up with a lot of activity and inconveniences. And finally, the Toad Suck Committee, who will start working on next year’s festival in about 60 days. All of these people and many others are due equal credit for the almost $1.5 million raised for education over the years and the family fun shared by thousands of our friends and neighbors.

Robins Lake

64

Donaghey Ave

give CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

rk R

To subscribe call (501) 329-2927 • Log Cabin Democrat Beaver Fork Lake

Salem Rd

EDITORIAL

rfo

d

Faulkner County Business Journal

65 40

365 286

61 Richland Hills

PRICE

ADDRESS

BED/BA/HB

SUBDIVISION

SQ. FT.

$/SQ. FT.

BUILT

Tupelo Bayou Site One Reservoir

36

$1,160,000

1540 Willow Creek Cove

5/5/2

Centennial West

7,000

$228.57

2002

$540,000

405 Janan Court

5/4/1

Avignon

4,230

$141.61

2006

$440,000

61 Richland Hills

5/3/1

Richland Hills

4,678

$101.54

1990

$381,000

10 Kingfisher Cove

4/3/0

Lakeview Acres

3,599

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2004

$375,000

980 Scherman Oaks

4/3/1

Scherman Oaks

4,300

$92.79

1995


Log Cabin Democrat • Find our online edition at www.thecabin.net

Conway Economy at a Glance Unemployment Rate March 2013 US . ........................ 7.6% Arkansas................. 7.2% Faulkner County ... 6.9% Conway................... 6.7% *Faulkner County & Conway not Seasonally Adjusted Sales Tax Collections Conway* February 2013............. $1,804,699 2012............... 1,786,056 Percent Change 1.04% Annual* 2012........... $22,944,163 2011........... $22,366,464 2010........... $21,868,102 Percent Change (20132012) 2.6% *Tax Rate 1.75% Faulkner County* February 2013................ $669,691 2012................ $690,694 Percent Change -3.0 Annual* 2012............. $8,465,686 2011............. $8,279,301 2010............. $7,834,226 Percent Change (20132012) 2.3% *Tax Rate 0.5% Restaurant Sales* March 2013........... $14,484,396 2012........... $14,335,423 2011............................... Percent Change 1.04% Annual Sales 2012......... $153,412,988 2011......... $144,646,055 2010......... $134,082,891 Percent Change (201312) 6.1% *Including mixed drink sales Hotel Sales March 2013............. $1,601,549 2012............. $1,839,259 2011............. $1,638,950 Percent Change (20122012) -12.9% Annual Sales 2012........... $18,683,676 2011........... $18,662,136 2010 ......... $17,590,242 Percent Change (201211) .12% Conway Building Permits Single Family Homes Year to Date February 2013.............. 50 Permits 2012.............. 46 Permits 2011.............. 46 Permits Percent Change (201312) 8.7%

Average Construction Cost* Year to Date February 2013................ $236,670 2012................ $209,684 2011............... $211,039 Percent Change (201312) 12.9% Average Square Footage* Year to Date February 2013...................... 2,865 2012...................... 2,917 2011...................... 2,856 Percent Change (201312) -1.8% Average Construction Cost Per Square Ft.* Year to Date - February 2013.................... $82.61 2012.................... $71.88 2011.................... $73.89 Percent Change (201312) 14.9% Annual 2012............ 186 Permits 2011............ 153 Permits 2010 .......... 223 Permits Percent Change (201211) 21.6% Average Construction Cost* Annual 2012................ $207,537 2011............... $204,387 2010................ $182,340 Percent Change (2012 -11) 1.5%. *Not including land or lot improvements Average Square Footage* Annual 2012...................... 2,910 2011...................... 2,814 2010...................... 2,722 Percent Change (201211) 3.4% Average Construction Cost Per Square Ft.* Annual 2012.................... $71.33 2011.................... $72.64 2010.................... $66.99 Percent Change (201312) -1.8% * Total under roof Lottery Sales Faulkner County April 2013............. $1,437,795 2012............. $1,473,620 2011............. $1,307.406 Percent Change (201312) -2.4% Annual 2012........... $16,764,931 2011........... $16,788,678 2010........... $17,540,450 Percent Change (201211) -0.14%

Total State April 2013........... $38,728,606 2012........... $39,188,476 2011........... $38,758,626 2010........... $44,982,226 Percent Change (201211) -1.2% Annual 2012 ........ $452,245,217 2011 ........ $474,879,701 2010......... $459,916,256 Percent Change (20212011) -4.8% Natural Gas Severance Tax Distribution April Conway 2013.................. $20,251 2012.................. $15,934 Percent Change 27.1% Faulkner County 2013.................. $16,442 2012.................. $12,947 Percent Change 5.9% Annual Conway 2012................ $162,457 2011................ $254,822 Percent Change 27.0% Faulkner County 2012................ $131,418 2011................ $204,052 Percent Change -35.6% Wellhead Price per MCF* December 2012 ..................... $3.35 2011 ..................... $3.14 2010 ..................... $4.68 2009...................... $4.66 2008...................... $5.94 2007...................... $6.87 Yearly Average 2012......................$2.66 2011......................$3.95 2010......................$4.48 2009......................$3.67 2008......................$7.97 2007......................$6.25 2006......................$6.39 2005......................$7.33 2004......................$5.46 2003......................$4.88 2002......................$2.95 *MCF=1000 cubic feet Number of Active Wells* Faulkner County....... 350 Total in Field ......... 4,481 *As of December 12, 2012 Estimated Life Time Value of Production* Total Field....................... $11,382,327,198 *As of September 30, 2012

Information provided by pulseofconway.com

Sunday, May 19, 2013 — 7F

Faulkner County Business Journal

The Rest of the Story

By Roger Lewis Several weeks ago an article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette had the headline: “Six-year rate of graduation rises to 40.8%.” The data the article was based on, though not inaccurate, presents a false image of the success of both our students and our public institutions of higher education. The graduation rate was calculated for students who start at an institution and finish at that same institution within six years. (In the lingo of higher education these students are called native graduates; start here – finish here.) Although the report follows guidelines for colleges and university who report data to the US Office of Education, a story based on only native graduates is not complete. The public is entitled to know the rest of the story. A more accurate headline would be, “Six-year graduation rate rises to over 60%.” Students follow a variety of paths while completing their education. A sizable number transfer to other institutions and complete their degree there. As seen in the accompanying table, of the 12,082 freshmen students enrolled in 2006 in our ten public universities, 2336 transferred within the system to another public institution. 536 of them graduated. These 536 were not included in the data presented in the Democrat-Gazette article. Another sizable group of students are still enrolled in college six years after starting. This group includes part-time students, students who

Graduation Rate of Entering Freshmen Students at Arkansas Four-year Public Universities After Six Years 2006

Graduated1

Cohort

Number Percent

Transfers2 Number Graduated

Total Graduates3 Percent

Number Percent

Success5

Retained Cohort

4 Transfers Total

Number Percent

Arkansas State U

1,663

653

39.3

308

52

16.9

705

42.4

104

110

214

919

55.3

Arkansas Tech. U

1,435

585

40.8

329

70

21.3

655

45.6

67

101

168

823

57.4

Henderson State U

588

206

35.0

148

32

21.6

238

40.5

26

49

75

313

53.2

Sothern Ark. S U

588

196

33.3

115

22

19.1

218

37.1

16

34

50

268

45.6

U A Fayetteville

2,725

1,636

60.0

403

91

22.6

1,727

63.4

119

124

243

1,970

72.3

UA Fort Smith

802

216

26.9

139

59

42.4

275

34.3

100

41

141

416

51.9

U A Little Rock

605

117

19.3

147

29

19.7

146

24.1

67

56

123

269

44.5

U A Monticello

633

170

26.9

108

15

13.9

185

29.2

35

35

70

255

40.3

U A Pine Bluff

691

191

27.6

83

10

12.0

201

29.1

32

25

57

258

37.3

U Central Ark.

2,352

960

40.8

556

156

28.1

1,116

47.4

104

165

269

1,385

58.9

12,082

4,930

40.8

2,336

536

22.9

5,466

45.2

670

740

1,410

6,876

56.9

TOTAL

1. Graduated from the institution first enrolled (Native Graduates) 2. Transferred to another pubic institution (four or two year) in Arkansas 3. Total native graduates and graduates at transferring institutions 4. Enrolled in classes at native institutions or transfer institutions 5. Total graduated or still enrolled in classes Data Source: Unofficial document provided by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education

dropped out and then returned, and students who changed majors and need additional courses to graduate. The table (Retained columns) shows that 1410 (11.7%) of the entering freshmen are still enrolled after six years. Most likely many of them will eventually complete their degree. When the still-enrolled students are combined with those who completed their degrees and this total (6,976) is divided by the original cohort group (12,082), you have the success rate. The success rate is 56.9% for the 2006 cohort group. Even the success rate fails to capture all those who graduate from college. Some transfer to institutions out of state or to private institutions in the state and then graduate. Such information cannot be obtained, but it would probably add a couple of percentage points to the success rate. There are other reasonable reductions that should be applied to the original cohort group according to reporting guidelines. Students who die or become

permanently disabled should be removed. Adjustments can be made for students who join the military service or a government aid service such as the Peace Corps and official church mission groups. Such adjustments would reduce the size of the cohort and hence, increase the graduation rate but outcomes for these students are rarely captured. However, if all these adjustments could be made, the success rate would probably be more than 60%, a significant improvement over the reported 40.8%. “We know Arkansas students don’t always follow the traditional four-year path to graduation,” said Shane Broadway, ADHE interim director. “The national standard is a six-year period, but we know in tracking our students that many are persevering, as shown by the success rate of nearly 60 percent.” The accompanying table shows data for the 10 Arkansas public universities that enroll students in 4-year degree programs. The University of Central Arkansas is unique in that it had the

most students transfer and then graduate from other public institutions. 556 students in the 2006 cohort transferred; 156 of these obtained degrees and 137 are still enrolled. UCA’s success rate of 58.9% is second only to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. In addition, UCA has programs such as preengineering and architecture that are designed specifically for students to start at UCA and then complete a degree elsewhere. In summary, our public universities in Arkansas have graduation rates that are much higher than rates based on native graduates only. As “graduation rate” become an important statistic for judging schools, it is important for public and governmental officials to know the rest of the story. I thank my friend Chris Spatz for editing and helping me with this article. You can obtain more information on the economy of Conway and Faulkner County by going to the Pulse of Conway website (www. pulseofconway.com).


2013-05 Faulkner County Business Journal  

May 2013 Faulkner County Business Journal – Umami Sushi Lounge and Grill Fusion