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C O N T E N T S Features
Business News for Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties
Volume 1 • Issue 4 Publisher/Editor Jack Criss
Advertising Administrator Mindi Phillips Art Direction/Layout Pevey Creative
Lorraine Fagan of Singleton Architects
firstname.lastname@example.org Columnists Jennifer Anderson, Jim Craig, Walt Dallas, Murray Harbor,
Dr. Roger Parrott/Belhaven University
Brian Harris, Wes Holsapple, Tommy Landry, Randy Shell Contributing Writers Lynne Jeter, Mary Mack Jones,
City of Flowood (Part I)
Tom Ramsey Photography Beck Photographic, Jack Criss, Mary Mack Jones, Jeff Sanders, Greg Pevey, Hubert Worley
COLUMNS 4 Up Front
6 Craig’s Corner 8 GJB Special
38 Ramsey’s Reality
26 Julie on Jackson 40 Planning
42 Financial 10 GJB Speical
44 Business Health
Greater Jackson Business is published twelve times a year to promote Metro Jackson in an informative and positive manner. We welcome contributions of articles and photos; however, they will be subject to editing and availability of space and subject matter. Photographs, comments, questions, subscription requests and ad placement inquiries are invited! Return envelopes and postage must accompany all materials submitted if a return is requested. No portion of this publication may be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. The opinions expressed in Greater Jackson Business are those of the authors or columnists and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products or services herein. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement.
Business News for Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties
P.O. Box 13665 • Jackson, MS 39236 Phone: 601-750-6587 email: email@example.com www.greaterjacksonbusiness.com
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F R O N T
The Business of Friendship
BY JACK CRISS Publisher
have stated in a previous column that we live in a very different business climate and culture than existed before the economic meltdown of late 2008 – I don’t think anyone would argue with that. Just as in hard personal times, we turn to friends and loved ones to support us and help us get through (and it’s in those times we find out where true loyalties lie), so in business I think we should also turn to our friends in challenging times. But do you know who your business friends are? It may seem an odd question but it’s one I’d like for you to ponder: Is your customer your friend? Is your supplier? Your accountant or banker? Your co-workers? The answers you give may surprise you and may, believe it or not, even lead to greater profitability for your business. In days past, I believe walls existed between co-workers (perhaps understandably) and even between owner and customer (not so understandable.) Whether due to protocol, rigidity, social mores, formality…whatever… it used to not be such a positive thing to allow yourself to get close to those within your business circle. I think that times have changed in that regard, though. And I would argue that it’s change for the better. I’m proud to say that my closest friends now are people I first met on a sales call or through having hired them to work with me. What started with a “Hello, Mr. Wall, I’d like to discuss advertising with you” has evolved into “Hey, Stacey, would you like to grab some dinner?” In addition, in a small business, you tend to draw those in who work with you: they see you at your best and worst and, just by the nature of being a small business, often share your personal life’s highs and lows as well. That’s why I can count people like Tom Beck, Andy and Marianna Chapman, Mindi Phillips and others, as real friends. We met through business ties but, through those same ties, became friends. My own business friends and associates step
up to the plate every day with their support, economic or otherwise. The nicest people I know are the ones I’ve met through my business and, not only do they help me pay the bills, they also take the time to ask how I am and talk with me about things besides the job or the transaction. In fact, it’s not uncommon for me to spend an hour in a “business meeting” to only bring up the purpose of the meeting when we shake hands to say goodbye! (Such is another great aspect to doing business in Metro Jackson: We have so many genuine, decent and friendly people in our business community. I wonder how true that is for other cities across the country? Personally, I don’t really want to find out.) Because we all went through the economic ringer recently (with many of us experiencing personal “ringers,” too) and are still a bit gun shy, I think it’s perfectly fine and normal now to take a more personal interest in our business associates, whether they are co-workers or clients. Business transactions, regardless of what the critics may say, are very necessary, rewarding – and HUMAN – experiences in our day-to-day relations. What’s wrong, then, with acting more human in your workplace and work environment? If you don’t already, ask the people you’re out selling or delivering to how in the world they’re doing. Ask them how the wife (or husband) and kids are getting along. Tell them you appreciate what they add to your business and that you are concerned about them. If that’s a little too intimate for you, well, just show them how you feel: take a little more time to demonstrate they’re not just a sale or an equation on your spread sheet. They’ll get the message and they will appreciate it. I know I would…and do. The bottom line? Make a friend in business and you’ll make a lasting and loyal customer, as well. And, no, it’s not just some purely utilitarian, profit-at-all-cost sleight of hand to make more money. You WILL make more money but it will be because you care – about your business and about the people who make it what it is. That’s just good business to me… - GJB Greater Jackson Business - 3
S U C C E S S S T O R I E S
Dream Beads in Fondren Turning a hobby into a business BY MARY MACK JONES Contributing Writer
f you have ever been curious about how a piece of beautiful handcrafted beaded jewelry is created, you might want to consult Alma Motley. As the owner of Dream Beads, located in Jackson’s trendy Fondren District, Motley teaches the craft of designing elegant, one-of-a-kind necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other original pieces to a growing number of devoted clients. This small business is a gem itself and a shining example of the ingenuity of its artistic owner. After her husband’s retirement from a career in the Air Force, the couple moved to Jackson, her husband’s hometown. Motley took a job with the State Hospital and worked in administration for several years before turning her hobby of making beaded jewelry into a business. No stranger to working with her hands Motley has always been imaginative and resourceful. “I grew up under a sewing machine,” she remarks. “My mother was a tailor and I have been sewing most of my life. I have attempted most any craft you can name and sewing seems to be the one thing I have stuck with.” Her interest in making jewelry began when she admired a uniquely beautiful necklace worn by an acquaintance. When she discovered that the piece was handmade, Motley was intrigued and determined that her next quest would be learning the skill of creating jewelry. Her love affair with beads had begun. After taking a few classes in beading at a shop in Ridgeland, her passion for collecting beads took hold, and before long, she was spending all her time buying all the beads she could find in the Jackson area. “I lost my mind,” she laughs. “After I accumulated all the beads I could find here, I took a trip to the Tucson Gem Show that brings in gems and beads from all over the world. That city is a Mecca for bead people. After I maxed out my credit cards on gorgeous stones, I knew it was time to make some jewelry to sell.” Word got around of her talent and not long
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after she began selling her jewelry to friends and others who found her by word of mouth, she began having home jewelry parties selling her creations. The parties were a big hit and the success of her sales convinced Motley to think seriously about starting her own business. In 2006, she opened her first Dream Beads in Pearl and was happy with the operation there, but needed to find a spot with more foot traffic and storefront exposure. Her daughter convinced her to check out the Fondren District and in 2009, she moved her operation to its present location at 605 Duling Street. Motley is a vocal ambassador for the City of Jackson in general and for Fondren in particular. “I love Jackson,” she declares with conviction. “I love working in this community where a cup of coffee is two minutes away and good food is right around the corner. The people who live and work in Fondren are supportive of each other and the community spirit is wonderful,” she says. Learning the art of creating these unique pieces is always a work in progress for Motley, and thanks to the instruction and mentoring of a customer who taught her the technique
of “seed beading” and explained the lingo of reading the patterns, Motley is able to teach her students the stitches to make more intricate jewelry. Motley enumerates the various offerings for classes at Dream Beads: “We do stringing, beading, weaving, bead embroidery, and we work with polymer clay (Dream Beads is a charter member of the Polymer Clay Guild of MS). We also work with precious metal clay, firing the clay pieces from a kiln and turning it to pure silver.” Interestingly, the hobby is also therapeutic. Among her students are cancer patients, stroke patients and one client who in spite of her blindness, has learned the skill of the stitches. Her classes include people from many backgrounds who find the beading to be a fine way to de-stress and tune in to the creative process. Classes are offered throughout the week and on Saturdays. The website (http://www. cart.2dreambeads.com) displays the various class offerings and interested prospective “beaders” are encouraged to call Alma Motley for an appointment to assure one-on-one instruction. - GJB
Come by and see the splendor of Spring.
Woodlands Office Park Ridgeland, MS
For leasing information on the Woodlands contact:
WOODLANDS REALTY GROUP, LLC Russell Wilcox, Broker
Phone: (601) 956-9833 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.woodlandsrealtygroup.com Greater Jackson Business - 5
C R A I G ’ S C O R N E R
A Conversation with Circuit Judge Malcolm O. Harrison
n April 27, 2009, Governor Barbour appointed I was speechless. He asked, “Are you still there?” We Hinds County Prosecuting Attorney Malcolm both laughed and I thanked him for his trust in me. I O. Harrison to the Circuit Judge position vahad a moment of prayer after the call, thanking God and cated by the resignation of Judge Bobby DeLaughter. asking for His help in this new calling. Then I started Judge Harrison will stand for re-election this year. spreading the word to a very excited family! Hinds County Court Judge Bill Gowan has qualified to Craig: Do you have any thoughts about why the Govoppose Judge Harrison in the election. The precincts in ernor selected you? Subdistrict 4 comprise most of Western Hinds County Harrison: I don’t know the Governor’s thinking outside the Jackson City limits, including Clinton, Rayabout it. But when I interviewed, I made a point of exmond, Byram, and other communities. plaining that I have represented both plaintiffs and de Judge Harrison was first elected as the County Prosfendants in civil cases, that I had a lot of criminal trial ecuting Attorney for Hinds County Mississippi in Noexperience, and that I lived in the sub-district. Also, I vember 1999. Harrison was re-elected on November have won three county-wide elections, and I feel that I BY JIM CRAIG 4, 2003 with 61% of the vote and was unopposed for know the people of Hinds County as well as any lawyer Contributing Columnist re-election in November 2007. As Hinds County Prosin this area. Perhaps those were some of his reasons for ecuting Attorney, Judge Harrison was involved in sevappointing me. eral organizations including U.S. Attorney’s Project Safe Craig: Do you think race was a factor? There had been Neighborhood; Hinds County Auto Crimes Taskforce; and Hinds County some criticism of the Governor for not appointing an African-American Criminal Justice Coordination Counsel. to a judgeship. Judge Harrison is a member of several legal associations including, the Harrison: I believe ten of the twenty-two applicants for this judgeship American Bar Association, National Bar Association, Mississippi Bar As- were African-American lawyers. The Governor had many well-qualified sociation, Magnolia Bar Association and Hinds County Bar Association. attorneys of both races to choose from. I had the advantage of having Judge Harrison’s community and civic involvement includes Deacon & served three terms as Hinds County Prosecuting Attorney. Personally, I Trustee Board member, Farish Street Missionary Baptist Church; Lead- think that made a big difference. ership Jackson; Life member, Jackson State University, National Alumni Craig: Most Mississippians would agree that Governor Barbour is not Association and Life member and Legal Counselor for the Omega Psi Phi going to make any appointment solely on “affirmative action” grounds. Fraternity, Inc.(7th District). Harrison: I would like to think that he picked the lawyer he thought I support the re-election of Judge Harrison in the upcoming election. I would make the best judge! (chuckling) sat down with the Judge in his chambers to discuss his family, career, and Craig: I think that’s a safe bet. So let’s go back to the beginning. What his position as our newest Circuit Judge. made you decide to become a lawyer? Craig: Good afternoon, Judge, and thanks for letting us come talk with Harrison: I have a very distinct memory of that. My mom and I used you today. to watch a lot of Perry Mason together starting when I was in 4th grade. Harrison: My pleasure, Jim, and thanks for the opportunity to address Perry was able to use his intelligence and wit to get to the bottom of a GJB’s readers. crime, protect his innocent client, and catch the person who was guilty – Craig: So, tell me about “the call” – how did you find out you were be- within an hour! Sometime between 4th and 6th grade, I decided I wanted ing appointed to the bench? to be like him: on my feet in a courtroom solving people’s problems and Harrison: Well, to be honest, it was surprising. That Monday morn- making the community a better place. Later in my adolescence, I enjoyed ing, I was getting my office mail at the post office, and I ran into a lawyer LA Law, which wasn’t as high-minded but did show the excitement and friend who told me that someone else was getting the appointment. I drama of practicing law. went to Court that morning, and my mother, a retired professor at Jack- Craig: Where did you go from there? son State, was answering our phones. She picked up a call to have a voice Harrison: I attended Jackson State University, where I majored in say, “This is the Governor.” She said, “the Governor? You mean Haley?” Political Science and Pre-Law, with a minor in English. And during my He laughed and said yes, and asked me to return his call. college years, I worked as a runner for the law firm that is now Watkins, Craig: So then you knew your friend was wrong? Ludlam, Winter & Stennis. And in fact, that firm was instrumental in Harrison: No, not really. I thought, “the Governor has a lot of class. getting me to Cumberland Law School in Birmingham, by helping with a He’s just calling to tell me I haven’t been selected.” I was one of over scholarship and recommendations. twenty lawyers who responded to the call for applications on the Missis- Craig: Then you came back to Jackson? sippi Bar’s website. I did make the cut for an in-person interview with Harrison: Yes. I graduated from law school, moved back to MissisGovernor Barbour. It was the first time I’ve ever met him, and although sippi, took the Bar, married my wife all in the same summer. I felt it went well, I told my family and friends, “Doesn’t everyone always Craig: Wow. think that about job interviews?” And after all, as County Prosecuting At- Harrison: I know! At least I never had time to be nervous about the torney I was an elected Democrat. So I really wasn’t convinced I would Bar and the wedding. I was too busy! get the nod. Craig: Tell me about your wife and family. Craig: But you were wrong! Harrison: I have been so blessed to find such a wonderful soulmate! Harrison: I was! The Governor asked, “Do you still want the job?” I met my wife Tammiko when we were both in college at JSU. She was
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teaching at Piney Woods when we got married, so we bought a home in Byram. That way we both had about the same distance to drive to work. We moved to Raymond in 2007 and have two boys, ages nine and thirteen. CRAIG: That means Dad and Mom are running to a lot of youth activities! Harrison: It sure does. They play football and basketball, and my oldest is on his school’s math team. And we are active together at Farish Street Missionary Baptist Church. But it’s not tiring – it’s great to relax and watch them as they grow up. Craig: What moments stood out as highlights of your career as a lawyer? Harrison: I enjoyed private practice. I had the opportunity to represent both individuals who had been injured, and small businesses and individuals who were being sued. But I thrived as County Prosecuting Attorney. More people interact with the legal system in Justice Court than anywhere else, and I prosecuted there on a regular basis. I am most proud of my work prosecuting the pilot who gave alcohol and drugs to kids in parties at his home. Many of the young people who had been targeted by this man refused to step forward, due to peer pressure. The push was, “he was cool to us, don’t get him in trouble.” But we ended up with enough courageous kids to prosecute him for contributing to the delinquency of minors and have him incarcerated. I wish we could have done more, but it was satisfying as a citizen and a parent that we got that far. Craig: Tell me about your community activities. Harrison: I put a lot of time into working with our youth. The County Prosecutor handles all prosecutions in Youth Court. Since 1999, I have seen on a daily basis how much our young people need involvement, encouragement, and support from adults – and particularly from men. I participate in a program with my fraternity brothers, identifying at-risk youth and establishing positive relationships with them. I have spoken to church youth groups and high school classes in Raymond, Terry and other places in the county about the rights and responsibilities of juveniles. And in the late 90s, before my son’s extracurricular activities started occupying my time, I participated in Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Hinds County. We need to be there for our kids to steer them in the right direction. Craig: That’s excellent. What’s different about your new job as compared with your law practice? Harrison: It sounds trite, but there’s a big difference between being an advocate for one side in a dispute, and being the judge who decides how the law applies to that case. I’ve always enjoyed trying cases, both criminal and civil. It’s fun to find holes in your opponent’s argument, to make procedural maneuvers, and to engage in the conflict to convince a jury of the justice of your cause. But the judge’s role is to be a neutral, objective party keeping everyone within the rule of law. It’s great to have the time and resources to research and study the law from that neutral position. Some cases are easy to decide, but a lot of them are a literal toss-up! Craig: I noticed that you’ve established “Ten Commandments of Etiquette and Decorum In Trials,” and posted them on your judicial web page. Harrison: Yes. As I said a bit ago, as an advocate I loved the give-andtake of the courtroom. I’m sure you can find lawyers who can attest that I knew how to make my side of the case heard – even if I had to throw some figurative elbows to do it. So I know what you might call “the tricks of the trade,” and I think it’s part of my job to keep lawyers inside the boundary lines of the rules. Craig: I think there are also lawyers who can attest that when the case was over, you didn’t hold a grudge or take the conflict personally. Harrison: I hope that’s the case. And that is also part of the “etiquette” that I require from advocates in my court. Craig: What is the caseload in Hinds County Circuit Court? Harrison: Thanks to retired judges L. Breland Hilburn and William Coleman, who accepted temporary special appointments to return to the Hinds Circuit bench, the backlog that we’ve had for years has been cleared. We are now hearing civil cases that were filed from 2007 forward; previously cases lingered five years or longer because of the caseload.
There are about 300 civil cases and 500 criminal cases currently pending in the Second Judicial District, in Raymond. Craig: And you’re responsible for all of those cases? Harrison: Yes. The Circuit Judge from my subdivision is assigned all of those cases, because all of the residents of the Second Judicial District live in my subdivision. Craig: How many cases from the First Judicial District are assigned to your chambers? Harrison: About 700 civil and 1,000 criminal cases. Craig: How can one judge possibly get a handle on all of those cases? Harrison: First of all, thanks to the great work of Judge Hilburn and Judge Coleman, it’s a lot better than it used to be! But I’ve established regular docket calls for both districts, so that I can eyeball the lawyers on the cases and get them scheduled and moving forward. That helps a lot. Craig: What kinds of civil cases are being filed in Hinds County? Harrison: There are, and always will be, motor vehicle accident cases, of course. The other main categories of cases are nursing home negligence, premises liability, and asbestos. There are some medical malpractice cases, though not as many as before tort reform, and some “alienation of affection” cases. Craig: How are you feeling about the coming election campaign? Harrison: Well, it’s different from the races for County Prosecutor. For one, it’s not county-wide, so the focus is more intensive. Second, as you know, the Code of Judicial Conduct restricts what I personally can do in seeking re-election. But we have a great finance committee, co-chaired by LeRoy Walker, owner of several McDonald’s franchises, and Billy Ray Smith, the former Mayor of Clinton. I am grateful for the trust and support of those gentlemen and the other men and women who believe in me and are working for my re-election. Craig: Our readers will be interested in the support you have from Mr. Walker and other business owners. Harrison: Keep in mind that I have been a small business owner myself. As a partner in the Harrison & Flowers law firm, I’ve had to pay rent, make payroll, pay taxes, and earn a living for my family. I know those stresses, and I understand the needs of small business owners to have their legal disputes decided in a fair, speedy and efficient manner. Craig: Sadly, one’s supporters can be an albatross, as Judge DeLaughter discovered. Do you think, in the aftermath of the recent judicial scandals, Mississippi judges have a special burden to re-earn the trust of the citizens? Harrison: It’s true what you say about supporters. One of the other Circuit Judges told me, shortly after I took the oath of office, “it’s not your enemies that get you in trouble. It’s your friends. Keep high standards.” And I think that’s right. Fortunately, I’m blessed with great friends who don’t want to take advantage of our relationship, but who want me in this office to administer justice fairly. And that’s how I was raised. As a prosecutor, I didn’t go forward with a case if I didn’t think it was right. My job was to see that justice was done, not to put innocent people in jail. I think I was fair as a prosecutor and as an attorney, and I bring that same commitment to the bench as Circuit Judge. Judge DeLaughter has had to answer for himself. All I can do is make my best efforts and seek God’s help to administer justice in a fair and impartial manner. And that’s what I plan to do. Craig: I guess that means I’ll get no special favors when I step into your courtroom then? Harrison: (Laughing). I’m afraid not, Jim. You’ll just have to present the best case to the Court and the jury. Craig: So it goes. Thanks for your time, Judge. We appreciate it. Harrison: You’re most welcome. And good luck to Greater Jackson Business.
Jim Craig is a partner in the Jackson office of Phelps Dunbar LLP, where he represents businesses in commercial and customer litigation at trial and on appeal. The views in his columns are his, not Phelps Dunbar’s. Jim can be reached at email@example.com Greater Jackson Business - 7
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It’s Who You Know... P BY WES HOLSAPPLE Contributing Writer
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aul Harvey announced Meridian Mississippi was the hottest place in America that August day. But as a sales and marketing rep attempting to develop new business, it felt like the coldest place in the world! It was my first year working for Dale Carnegie Training. My job was to sell local businesses on a $1000 per person, night class. The price, along with the 14 week class schedule, had created a numbing series of setbacks that day. People who last week said they would “think about it”, were now screening my calls. Getting the put off was worse than getting a “NO”. This was beginning to get depressing. If only I knew more people. Was it any wonder why strangers wouldn’t enroll in my class? After all, I was asking for a significant investment of their time and money. They had no assurance I would be able to deliver that which I was so enthusiastically attempting to sell. It was time for lunch, but I wasn’t in the mood to eat. So, I hustled back to the office in hopes that at least one person in town had returned my call. The single message was from Jimmy Kemp, who at the time was the mayor of Meridian. I had never met the mayor but he had to be a decision maker. I hustled over to his office in hopes of catching him. Out of breath from taking the stairs two at a time, I found myself in the mayor’s office. If nothing else, I discovered one more way for getting past the gate keeper by showing up after the receptionist had gone to lunch! The name plate on his desk told me I was in the right office. The bust of Harry Truman with the quote, “The Buck Stops Here!” told me something about the man. Realizing my presence, he whirled around from where he was standing behind his desk. Wonderful! I had made a great first impression by interrupting his phone call. With a scowl on his face, he mouthed the question, “who are you?” I mouthed back, “Dale Carnegie.” He winked his acknowledgement and held up his finger indicating I should wait. He hung up the phone and looked at me with a slight smile. Nervously, I launched into my rehearsed lines. Fifteen seconds into it, he raised his hand indicating he had heard enough! He asked three questions: 1. “When do your classes start?” 2. “Do you conduct in-house classes?” 3. “Can you meet me at 3 PM tomorrow to discuss the details?” I answered each question in succession, agreed to the appointment, and then thought it best that I leave. Then he asked a series of questions that changed my entire outlook on selling. “Have you been over to see Dudley Gilmore at Allied Systems? Well, you should. He inquired about your courses when I saw him at Rotary on Tuesday. What about Kathy Wright? She is the human resources director over all the McDonalds around here. And I’d suggest you meet with Hardy Graham at the Meridian Coca-Cola Bottling plant. He’s a busy guy, but if you will follow me over to the industrial park for a ribbon cutting in 15 minutes, I’ll introduce you.” In the matter of three minutes, I went from no appointments, no prospects and little hope, to having the mayor introduce me to some of the most prominent business people in the community! But here’s the most important question of all; what were the ingredients that made this extraordinary opportunity happen and how could I recreate this scenario in order to create business? Here’s what happened. Jimmy Kemp had already decided he was interested in our services before I ever showed up. In fact, at that time, his belief in my services was probably stronger than mine. He recognized the challenges I was facing as an outsider in a new town. He also believed in my objective of helping build leaders in his community, therefore, he opened some doors for me. Many of he people he referred me to bought my services and I learned some of the most valuable lessons of my professional life. Here they are. 1. It’s who you know. Building important relationships is critical to business success. People believe what others say about you, not what you say to promote yourself. Take a sincere interest in others and those aspects of life which are important to them. Find common interests. Ask “open ended questions”; questions that can’t be answered with a yes or no in order to get the conversation started. I.e.”Where are you from?” “How did you get started in your business?” “What are your thoughts on the recent changes in your industry?” 2. It’s what you know. Business development is more about asking the right questions and less about convincing people you have all the answers. Every business competing in the same industry is facing many of the same problems. If you know what these are, asking “questions of implication” gets their attention, builds your creditability and creates interest in you and your suggestions. For example, “If the new legislation passes regarding proposed safety requirements, how will this impact your cost of doing business? How important is it for you to beat your competition to the punch in making these improvements? What advantages are there to begin these improvements now instead of waiting for what industry experts are saying is inevitable?” 3. It’s what you believe. One of the most frequently asked questions posed to me as a business coach is, “what do I say when they say...?” There are many people in business development who think it’s about technique. It’s less about technique and more about what you believe. The higher you reach up on the ladder of decision makers, more often than not, you will come face to face with many who have the ability to see through technique. They recognize and are looking for those who believe in themselves, their products and services
Wes Holsapple is the president of BDS Institute which works with businesses to increase their sales by developing new strategies and skills to capture untapped markets and new customers. His areas of expertise are in business development through referral generation, sales, and marketing. He served as a Dale Carnegie trainer and area manager in Mississippi for ten years where he worked with more than 5000 clients ranging from small companies to the Fortune 500.
Business News for Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties
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TO D AY !
honoring the one who has lived his or her life in a way that honors and esteems the family and their name. My friend, Michael Pink, of Selling Among Wolves fame, knows who he is. He gets his identity from his Father and Michael is diligent in his efforts to honor and esteem Jesus the Son and God the Father. I will testify this is true because I have spent much time with Michael. For the better part of a year, we worked shoulder to shoulder. As a result, I can say with reasonable certainty, the parameters Michael will use in making important decisions. I’m not saying I can predict every decision Michael will make. I am saying that I can trust Michael to make his decisions along the lines of that which will honor his Father. This builds TRUST (To Rest Upon a Sure Thing) in our relationship to the point that I am not only willing, but I am motivated to tell others about him and our Father. As we all move forward with our lives in an effort to live life to its fullest, I hope these words will be of encouragement and guidance to you. - GJB
and their purpose. What do you believe about your company, your team and your product’s ability to get results for the clients you give your word to? What do you believe about yourself, your skills and your ability to generate results, consistently? These are the tough questions we must answer each day. Yes, you can build belief. 4. It’s who you are. When people introduce themselves to others, they typically say their name and profession. No big deal, right? However, people form opinions based on what you say and how you say it as related to experiences in their past. In processing information, people tend to pigeonhole your response by relating what you say, to something they are familiar with. For example, since you probably don’t know the positive or negative experiences they have had with others in your profession, it is better to talk about the results you can create for them vs. hoping they have had great experiences with others in your line of work. Otherwise, you may be creating barriers in your relationship caused by the problems they have had in the past with losers or charlatans! At the very least, they may have become confused based on the inaccurate information they received from your competitors. In Biblical times, people identified themselves by their given or first name followed by the person’s father’s Hebrew name. The reputation of the older is bestowed on the younger. When a child is formally named, it is common practice to explain who the child was named for, why the child was named for that person, and what qualities of that person the parents would like to see perpetuated in the child. This is also a way of
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Greater Jackson Business - 9
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Are you taking advantage of a Roth IRA? S
imply put...contributing to a Roth Individual Retirement Account (IRA) may be a smart money move. The question then is...are you taking full advantage? The benefit of contributing to the Roth IRA is that the money you put into one of these accounts grows tax free and distributions may be made tax free.1
If you haven’t opened a Roth IRA, do it now. You have until your tax deadline (typically April 15) to set up an account and make contributions for the previous year. Annual contributions are limited; currently the maximum amount is $5,000.2 That means you can invest $5,000 for 2010, giving you a solid start to your savings.
BY JOHN DORSA Contributing Writer
If you’re just starting to invest, the Roth IRA should be one of your first options – even before you open a regular, taxable account or contribute to a workplace retirement savings plan. The only exception is if your employer offers a match on your 401(k) contributions. That’s free money you don’t want to pass up. You can invest in both a Roth IRA and a workplace retirement plan. Not sure where to find money to fund your account? Consider investing your tax refund. The amount could be a great start for funding a Roth IRA. There are specific income restrictions for contributing to a Roth IRA. Contributions are limited and based on the taxpayer’s filing status and Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI). When the taxpayer’s income exceeds the eligibility limits for contributing to a Roth IRA, an eligibility phase out period begins. For 2010, the MAGI phase out range for contributing to a Roth IRA is: At least $167,000 but less than $177,000 for a married couple filing a joint return or a qualified widow(er); At least $105,000 but less than $120,000 for a single individual or head of household; Less than $10,000 for a married individual filing a separate return; Your exact contribution amount can be calculated using the worksheets found in Publication 590 on the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov. Withdrawals are tax-free if you’re over age 59½ and at least five years have expired since you established a Roth IRA. Otherwise withdrawals of gain may be taxable (unless the withdrawal is “qualified”) and may be subject to a 10% tax penalty. 1
An individual can contribute up to $5,000 (or 100% of earned income, whichever is less) for tax year 2010. If you are over age 50, you are allowed to make additional catch-up contributions of $1,000 for tax years 2009 and 2010. Your adjusted gross income may limit your contribution amount. - GJB
John Dorsa is an agent with State Farm in Jackson, MS.
Visit us online at www.greaterjacksonbusiness.com 10 - Greater Jackson Business
The Source for Entertaining Easy Parties and Wedding Celebrations Tablescapes • Menus • Recipes
Mississippi Magazine’s “Easy Does It” expert, Patty Roper, helps conquer entertaining with this innovative, new how-to book on party planning. She takes you step by step through hosting a whirlwind season of social events from a poolside brunch or holiday dinner party, to a bridal shower or at-home wedding reception—all with ease and sophistication. You’ll find over 30 complete party plans with more than 250 recipes, stunning full-color photographs, and easy-to-follow directions. 2 pages h jacket • 19 bound wit ex • $32.95 d In • 1⁄ 2x11 • Hard t u o h 8 phs throug ra g to o h p Full-color
Each event’s theme is fully implemented throughout all aspects of the party.
B R U N C H E S • B U F F E T S • D E S S E RT PA RT I E S • D I N N E R S • L U N C H E ON S • P I C N I C S R E C E P T ION S • T E A S • B I RT H D AY S • HOL I D AY S • S HO W E R S • W E D D I N G S • S P E C I A L O C C A S ION S
Cooking for a Cause The Telephone Pioneer Associations of Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia have each published four tremendously successful cookbooks. These sets have been condensed to single BEST OF THE BEST cookbooks, each of which contains 400 exceptional recipes. Also included are fascinating facts and illustrations that convey the history and evolution of the telephone. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these cookbooks creates revenue for the Pioneer Association of each state. This revenue is used to finance a variety of projects that assists and enriches communities throughout all three states.
Best of the Best from Calling All Cooks Cookbook
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Preserving America’s Food Heritage
Greater Jackson Business - 13
E C O N O M Y
Anticipating Life’s Twists and Turns U
nexpected twists and turns, such as the onset of chronic illness, could overturn all you have worked hard to build. Anticipating life’s twists and turns is about having a strategy that’s flexible enough to help you maintain control even under unpredictable circumstances that could derail your financial stability. A well-designed universal life insurance policy will provides death benefit protection and growth potential to help supplement retirement income. However, new to the scene is a universal life insurance policy combined with an accelerated benefit rider. This strategy can allow a person to incorporate a living benefit into his or her life insurance policy to help offset the financial impact of chronic illness. This type of rider will accelerate up to 100% of the death benefit during the life of the insured in the event the insured becomes chronically ill and otherwise qualifies under the rider.
BY RANDY SHELL Contributing Columnist
You are typically considered chronically ill under this rider’s definition if you: • Are unable to perform at least two Activities of Daily Living, or ADLs, without substantial assistance for a period of at least 90 days due to a lack of functional capacity, or • Require substantial supervision to protect you, the insured, from threats to health and safety due to a severe cognitive impairment. Also, you will need a physician’s certification that must state that you are in need of services under a plan of care that is likely to be needed for life. While your condition and need for care must be certified annually, you are usually not required to provide proof of expenses incurred. Once qualified, accelerated benefits can generally be used for any medical or non-medical expense without restrictions, including: family care, assisted living, skilled nursing care, adult day care, intermediate care, or hospice and respite care. The tax-status of benefits depends on use and circumstances, including whether qualified expenses are incurred and reimbursed, and whether benefits are being received under similar contracts. The maximum monthly benefit is usually 2% of the death benefit amount, but not to exceed IRS Per Diem Limitation. Receiving benefits under a rider such as this the rider will reduce the death benefit available to the policy’s beneficiaries. The benefit is supplementary to coverage for death benefit protection and helps your life insurance adapt to life’s detours. Though it allows death benefit to be used for certain lifetime services, it is not long-term care insurance and is not intended to replace the need for long-term care insurance. It may not cover all of the costs associated with the chronic illness of the insured. The number of Americans with a chronic illness is expected to rise to 157 million by 2020. Over the same time period, the number of people with multiple chronic illnesses is projected to increase by 30 percent. Close to 80% of all long-term care patients simply need help with the activities of daily living rather than medical treatment. Given the high costs of care – on average more than $40,000 annually for nursing home care, and… on average more than $500 per month for home care (or $6,000 annually) – persons needing to purchase such care face a substantial financial burden. Chronic illness can cause financial burden, fear and stress. A universal life insurance policy combined with an accelerated benefit rider is one way to give you the ability to help prepare for this uncertainty. - GJB Randy Shell is a Senior VP and Trust Officer with Pinnacle Trust in Madison, MS.
12 - Greater Jackson Business
If you can’t be there, we can. She’s one fastball away from victory, and when she lets it go, the crowd’s gonna go wild. But if you can’t be there cheering in the stands, you can still make sure that she knows you believe in her. Farm Bureau Insurance has a wide range of life insurance policies that can meet your family’s needs, so you can help her feel like a winner, no matter what happens.
Contact the agent nearest you.
In Hinds Co., call (601) 857-5551 In Madison Co., call (601) 856-3705 In Rankin Co., call (601) 825-5056
Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co., Jackson, MS
Greater Jackson Business - 15
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S P E C I A L
Lorraine Fagan: A One-Job Woman An Interview with Publisher Jack Criss
reater Jackson Business Publisher recently talked with Lorraine Fagan, a woman who has been with the same company since the age of 18. In this era of constant turnover, Ms. Fagan has been a fixture with Singleton Architects, one of the Metro’s premier architecture firms. She brings to her job professionalism, cheerfulness, efficiency… and, of course, staying power! We hope you enjoy her inspiring story in this exclusive Q&A
GJB: Lorraine, how long have you worked for Larry Singleton and Singleton Architects? And how old were you when you started? FAGAN: I’ve been working with Larry since April, 1984. At the time, the firm was the partnership of Craig, Simmons, Singleton Architects. It just so happened that my first day of work was also my 18th birthday. When I came in for my job interview, the partners didn’t ask any specifics about my age or education, assuming I’d just graduated from college. So when I told them on my first day of work that I was 18 years old that day, they were a little taken aback, to say the least. GJB: Do you realize how rare it is to be in your position, with the same company, for so long? To what do you attribute your lengthy tenure? FAGAN: Actually, I do realize how unique it is to stay with one employer for such a long time, especially in this day and age. I think the most important factor in my sticking around for so long is that Larry and the past partners have always...and I mean always...treated me with the utmost respect and appreciation. Our office staff has changed many times over the years, but this has always been a fun and interesting place to work. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to work along side some of the nicest and most talented people in this business. GJB: What was your “official” title when you first started? What is it now? FAGAN: I believe my job title back when I started was “Administrative Assistant.” I remember thinking how important it sounded! But, pretty much I just made coffee, answered 14 - Greater Jackson Business
the phone, and typed specs on an enormous and cantankerous IBM Selectric typewriter. My job title for about the last 22-23 years has been “Office Manager”, but I still prefer to use the comfortable, though much maligned term “Secretary.” It’s what I am, and I think I’m pretty good at it, so I find no shame in that title. GJB: Being with an architecture firm for so long have you picked up any knowledge of the profession? Could you ever see yourself as an architect? FAGAN: I’m sure I’ve picked up some technical knowledge here and there over the years. I suppose that’s unavoidable. But, I probably only know enough to be dangerous, as they say. I couldn’t see myself being an Architect, no. I admire what they do immensely, but I simply don’t have the creative vision that seems so inherent in Architects and Designers. I’m all about the paperwork. GJB: Honestly – when you first came to work for the firm, how long did you think you would stay? What were your goals then – and what are they now? FAGAN: When I interviewed for the job, I intended for it to BE my job. I didn’t look at it as a stepping stone on the way to bigger and better things. I was looking for a steady job do-
ing secretarial work for nice people. Which is exactly what I got. I enjoyed it then, and I enjoy it now. My goal is to continue doing that until it’s time to quit. Larry and I made an agreement years ago that “when one of us goes, we both go!” GJB: Since you’ve been with Singleton for so long, does it feel like a family to you? In what ways? FAGAN: Oh, absolutely. These people are my other family. We spend a tremendous amount of time together, so we know a lot about one another. We all know each other’s spouses and families, and we do try to keep up with what’s going on with everyone. I’m a talker, so these poor guys probably know much more than they ever wanted to know about me and my family. We like to do office birthday lunches as often as possible, and, of course, we all get together with our spouses for a Christmas dinner every year. GJB: Why do you think more women are not in your position? There is so much turnover these days and not much loyalty: Why do you think that is and why HAVE you stayed so loyal? FAGAN: I think many people...usually women, in my particular line of work...leave jobs because they are looking to improve their circumstances. That typically means more money, better benefits, or a less stressful working environment. I’m already satisfied with those aspects of my job, so I haven’t had to look elsewhere. Other women are possibly looking for promotion or more responsibility, which is perfectly understandable. I’m content with my status and responsibilities here, and feel that I make an important contribution to this business, so I haven’t felt the need to look elsewhere. I was taught from a very young age that being faithful and responsible is not an option, so I tend to look very carefully at my motives for considering any kind of change. Larry Singleton has been incredibly generous and kind to me for the past nearly 26 years, and so few people are able to say that about their boss. I feel blessed. GJB: Finally...are you going to RETIRE at Singleton Architects? FAGAN: That’s a good question! My husband and I have graduated one child from college, but still have one to go! Our son graduated from MSU last Spring, and our daughter will be starting college this Fall. So, I’m sure I’ll be a working mom for a few more years yet. But, hopefully, I’ll be here with this great group of guys until I’m ready to take a rest! - GJB
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S P E C I A L
DR. ROGER PARROTT Belhaven President takes the Longview with his University and Vision for Leaders An Interview with Publisher Jack Criss
r. Roger Parrott, President of Belhaven University in Jackson, recently released his first book, The Longview: Lasting Strategies For Rising Leaders (David C. Cook, 2009). In this exclusive Q&A with Greater Jackson Business Publisher Jack Criss, Dr. Parrott discusses the themes of his book as well as Belhaven’s newly announced shift to university status. GJB: What prompted you to write “The Longview?” PARROTT: I’m deeply concerned about the skewed expectations we’ve put on leaders, and how badly they have responded to this cultural shift. The problem in leadership is not that we don’t have great leaders, in fact, we’ve probably never had more educationally well prepared leaders than we have today. The problem is that leaders are caught in an ever tightening vice grip of unrealistic expectations that pressure them into valuing turn-around over transformation. Today’s leaders are expected to find simple solutions to complex problems, and because these quick-fixes only hold for a short time, leaders from presidents to pastors disappoint those they are leading. I believe this pattern started in American culture in the 1980s with the quest to get rich quick from junk bonds and buy outs, through the dot.coms in the 1990s, and the explosion of “want it now” credit card debt and built into the real-estate frenzy created by leveraged speculators in the past decide. So leaders have been reared, tutored, and equipped to operate in a world that prizes immediate results over lasting significance. For three decades skyrocketing incentives
Belhaven Univeristy Campus have been the norm for all manner of shortterm producers – from stockbrokers to college coaches – as leaders at every level have indoctrinated us to believe immediate gains trump long-term consequences. This nearsightedness is eroding the foundational underpinnings of organizational quality and severely handicapping the effectiveness of leaders who are robbing the future to pay for today. GJB: Is there a particular audience you are trying to reach? We’ve heard your book described as being directed solely toward Christian readers---is that an accurate statement or could leaders of other faiths learn from your work? PARROTT: It was written for up and coming leaders, but the response from well seasoned
leaders has been equally as strong. For three reasons I’m convinced this rising leaders of today are ready to embrace Longview leadership: 1. Their generation has seen that the short view doesn’t work. This is likely to be the first generation that has not had a quality of life better than their parents. And they know the reason is we are not dealing with Longview solutions in the macro problems of health care, terrorism, energy, and the economy. And they will be the ones to pay the price for patchwork fixes. 2. They are connected to huge networks of real people through social networking, and listen to them rather than public relations messages – and they know from their peers that sugarcoating a problem doesn’t make it go away. 3. This new generation of leaders is much more focused on mission significance and Greater Jackson Business - 17
problem solving than on organizational stature and position climbing. They want to make a difference in the world, and they are willing to dig into problems to find lasting solutions. The challenge for younger leaders is that they have never been given the tools to lead in a Longview pattern. So I’ve been concerned about not just a call to Longview leadership, but mostly how do leaders deal with the everyday nitty-gritty issues of leadership from a Longview perspective. As for the diversity of the audience, the book quotes the Bible and Harvard Business Review about equally. I’ve found that the best concepts of leadership do have a biblical base. Good to Great, by Jim Collins, was one of the most aggressive books I’ve ever read in promoting biblical concepts of leadership - that he discovered through his research. He just hadn’t connected them back to the Bible, but they are there. GJB: Without giving away the book’s premise, what are the main components of what makes for lasting business and leadership strategies? PARROTT: Leaders need to be challenged to think very differently about leadership, so some of the section headings in my new book can be a bit jarring because we need to radically break free from conventional leadership models if we hope to return to a biblical pattern of leadership. I’m suggesting to leaders ideas such as: · Planning Will Drain The Life From Your Ministry · Deflate Your Ego To Expand Your Influence · Policies Are For Cowards · Learn to Work with the “Untouchables” Of Leadership · Understand the Diagnostic Triggers to Preempt Conflicts of Interest · Treasure the Four Gifts Found in Your Rearview Mirror · Learn to Shepherding A Vision Without Scaring Away The Flock We live in a quick-fix, immediate-impact, short-view world. But we serve a Longview God. To bridge this gap, Jesus became the ultimate example of Longview leadership amid the clamor for expedient results. Of course His sights were always aimed toward eternity (the ultimate Longview), and He lived and thought in that realm. But even in the practical everyday demands of leadership, Jesus showed us the value of investing in Longview solutions as we serve those in our care. And that’s what I wanted to address in the book - how Jesus lived our Longview leadership in the practical challenges of everyday leadership. GJB:Why the title, “The Longview?” PARROTT: A different way to lead is as much about an outlook and attitude as it is an objective or action. We need to view leadership in terms of what counts for the long term. I suggest that leaders begin by leading as if 18 - Greater Jackson Business
you’ll be there forever. Imagine that the organization and position you are in right now is what God wants you to do for the rest of your professional life. For many, it might be discouraging to truly feel “locked in” to your job. But contrary to the mantras of popular career gurus, this is one of the best things that could ever happen to you and your ministry, because to lead as if you must remain in that same position forever-and live with the long-term consequences of every decision-will shift your perspective, align your priorities, and build lasting strength in your organization, rather than allowing you to settle for the comfort and accolades of immediate results. When a leader is thinking, living, and acting in terms of only the short-range, everyone around him suffers and may be handicapped for years to come because the decisions of today will narrow subsequent options and opportunities. The compounding weight of each shortsighted decision speeds the deterioration
of the ministry’s foundation, while a long-term perspective strengthens that substructure for a higher reach in the future. Whether new on the job, nearing retirement, or eyeing a climb up the career ladder, leading as if you’ll be in your current position forever will revolutionize the way you lead. GJB: Have you been pleased with the response to your book? PARROTT: As I’ve done interviews on radio all around the country, I’ve had a very positive response - in fact, a talk show host in Detroit told his audience the other day that every listener should buy this book and give it to their pastor. But I’ve had just as much positive back from people in business who know what they are doing in leadership is band-aid fixes, and they want to bring about genuine transforma-
tion instead. GJB: As objectively as you can, please tell why your book is different from other similar leadership books on the market. PARROTT: I’m not sure I can be objective about something that is so much a part of my life. This is how I lead, and what has been our pattern at Belhaven University through my years here. So I’d turn to the reviewers for that evaluation of why it is different: “Now more than ever, leaders everywhere are realizing that short-term thinking doesn’t work. The Longview by Dr. Roger Parrott is essential medicine for today’s hurry-up, quick-fix lifestyle. This book makes the connection between long-term vision and lasting value. Read this book, read it again, and apply its message to your life.” – Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Lead Like Jesus. “Do we need another book on leadership? We do if it is as chock-full of wisdom, experience, and godly counsel as Roger Parrott’s The Longview. This is a book I would love to see in the hands of every Christian leader, young or old, new or well-worn. It would be in the best interests of many a Christian organization to make sure their leaders have steeped themselves in its insights.” Duane Litfin, president of Wheaton College. “Staying power is success power. Roger Parrot reminds us of this vital leadership principle. In an age that confuses mobility with progress and fails to see the link between the temporary and the transitory, The Longview is a must read!” – Ed Young, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. “Leaders in the United States have needed to heed the message of this book for years. Roger Parrott explains how leaders can best serve their people and the organizations they lead. Leading others is like running a marathon, not a sprint, and Roger Parrott is a leadership marathoner par excellence! I highly recommend this book.” – D. Michael Lindsay, author of Faith in the Halls of Power GJB: Finally, briefly discuss Belhaven’s recent shift to that of university status? What does that mean to the campus and to you as President? PARROTT: The name change does not change who we are, or shift our mission, focus, or priorities. Rather, the change of our name to University more accurately describes who we have become. More specifically, the name university best identifies us because: · Belhaven currently serves 3,000 students on four physical campuses, plus a fast growing online campus. We had the largest enrollment growth percentage of any private college this fall with an increase of 15.4%, and I anticipate we will grow to 3,500 to 4,000 students in the next three years. · We attract students from 44 states and 20 countries. We offer 27 major areas of study,
with a faculty to student ratio of 12:1. Eightyfive percent of our full-time our faculty have their terminal degree. · Among those studying with us are 500 graduate students in six master programs, with a further expansion of the graduate offerings on the near horizon. While we do not currently offer doctoral programs, the name change prepares us to move to this level eventually (there are 52 southern schools named university that do not offer a doctorate.) · Belhaven is academically structured around four schools - Business, Education, Arts and Sciences, and Fine Arts - as well as our Honors College. Many in Christian higher education consider Belhaven to be a leading school in the scholarship of worldview curriculum. Nine of our departments are engaged in ongoing discipline specific research. · We have gained national distinction in the arts as one of only 30 schools accredited in all four of the arts - music, theatre, visual art, and dance - while most other schools working at that level are major state universities such as Ohio State, Florida, Cal State, and Southern Mississippi. We are the only Christian college in the U.S. offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing and one of only 26 undergraduate institutions offering such a degree. For ten years Belhaven has been named to America’s 100 Best College Buys. The Templeton Guide: Colleges That Encourage Character Development has recognized Belhaven for leadership in the field of student character development for spiritual growth programs. Our Business School was selected as one of the top Christian business colleges in the country by Business Reform Magazine, and received special recognition as an editor’s pick for “most biblical curriculum and focus.” This change of name is the next natural progression in the 117 year history. As I look back, this will be the tenth significant step in the development of the school: 1. Founded as a finishing school: “Belhaven College for Young Ladies”; 2. Became a Presbyterian college; 3. Moved to the current location; 4. Admitted men and added athletics; 5. Became purposeful about ethnic diversity; 6. Added graduate programs and our Worldview curriculum; 7. Established multiple campuses; 8. Developed nationally recognized Arts programs and started football; 9. Launched online degrees and international partnerships;10.Renamed Belhaven University God’s hand has been on this school through all the years. I’m thankful for those who have gone before us to create such a wonderful place for students to prepare for the Lord’s best in their lives, and to become grounded in our motto: To Serve, Rather Than Be Served. To me, this name change is a fulfillment of that longview to bring about transformation in our students lives over all these years of serving in Mississippi. - GJB Greater Jackson Business - 19
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22 - Greater Jackson Business
F O C U S
FLOWOOD Staying Strong During Hard Times Part I of a Two-Part City Focus By Jack Criss Publisher
ayor Gary Rhoads says that Flowood is tightening its belt in some ways with everyday expenses to weather the economic crisis but that city services have not suffered. In fact, Flowood has seen growth in spite of the downturn. “For example, we built two new fire stations for $8 million,” the Mayor says. But Rhoads also points to the consistency of city government and the stability of his employees as key factors in Flowood’s success. “We’re not over-governed,” he states. “I’ve got the same number of people working here in City Hall as I did 21 years ago. We have a great group of employees who wear several different hats and it’s like a family around here. That means a lot to our business and residential communities because they know the people here and have known them for years.” Rhoads also says that, over the past three months, Flowood has seen a steady increase in sales tax. “We stabilized for a while there, “ he notes, “but the retail sector has picked up lately.” If there is a “secret” to Flowood’s enviable economic success, the Mayor says it’s actually a simple and basic one:
don’t overspend. “In 2005, we borrowed $13 million for infrastructure improvements to keep ahead of the expected growth. This, in turn, helped increase property values and that brings about more development. But we always keep a close watch on the budget and that has helped us weather the recent downtimes.” When asked why Flowood is considered so businessfriendly, Mayor Rhoads responds, “We try to move the building permit process through quickly and get things pushed quickly for the business community. You can’t really tell a business they can’t come to our city but you can tell them where they can locate; we’ve tried to be smart about that and forward-looking.” Part of that forward thinking manifests itself in transportation: Besides working on turning Lakeland Drive into a six-lane road, Mayor Rhoads says the city has bid to start on a new four-lane bypass road going from Airport Road to Flowood Drive which will help traffic congestion and open up over a hundred acres for Flowood’s medical community. “We are a diversified community as far as business and services,” Mayor Rhoads says. “The medical community, for instance, has just been tremendous for Flowood. We have Greater Jackson Business - 23
NICU at River Oaks Hospital
Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads four major hospitals and facilities here: River Oaks, Woman’s, Methodist Rehab and Brentwood. So, while the industry sector has had its share of economic troubles – and years ago that was all Flowood was, basically – with the diversity of our services we have done very, very well financially.” Rhoads, who was Flowood’s police chief before being elected mayor, also notes the civic spirit that exists in the city – something he says he tried to instill in his force years ago. “I’ve always known – and our employees know – that we work as servants to the people here. How we act in public is the perception of Flowood,” he says. “So, for instance, if you’re broken down on the side of the road, our officers know to stop and offer to help – whoever it is. We try and apply the Golden Rule in Flowood – it‘s a source of pride for us. And, sure, we’ve had bad apples now and then, but they don’t last past the 90-day probation period.” Sherry Pitts, CEO of Woman’s Hospital, and at the helm of the facility for 11 years, says that it is significant 24 - Greater Jackson Business
that Woman’s is located in Flowood. “Without a doubt, I think it’s the best place to live and work in the Metro area,” she says. With 300-plus employees and licensed for 109 beds (currently operating about 60 according to Pitts) Woman’s Hospital, combined with River Oaks Hospital, is the largest employer in Flowood. Primarily an OB-GYN hospital, Pitts says that Woman’s also offers general surgical procedures for men, as well, “which is a little known fact,” she says. “We also do plastic surgery and, also, mastectomies here at Woman’s. Just recently, the hospital was named Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, only one of four in Mississippi.” Long linked as a partner with River Oaks Hospital, also in Flowood, over the last three years Pitts says Woman’s Hospital has become a more autonomous facility; however, it remains a part of the River Oaks Health Care Network which includes all the Metroarea Health Management hospitals. “We share a lot
of the same medical staff with River Oaks but Woman’s also has more of a core group of physicians that work here daily,” Pitts says. In her eleven years at Woman’s Hospital, Pitts says that the biggest change she has witnessed is the quick turnaround time of surgery and recuperation. “Many of our surgeries now are outpatient or 23-hour; the longest length of a stay for a patient that we have here is when they have a baby,” she says. “It’s been a major evolution for us and for most hospitals.” Pitts says that Woman’s Hospital is very active in the Flowood community. “We are heavily involved with the March of Dimes, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and, through our chief nurse here, the Make-A-Wish Foundation,” she says. “We are an established hospital and have a great reputation for outstanding care. We’re fortunate to be here in Flowood – since 1975, as a matter of fact – and we will continue to act as a leader in providing outstanding care. We have several employees who have been here since the beginning and I’m very proud of them and our entire staff – this is a good group of professionals.” Denny Bruns, CEO of River Oaks Hospital for the past two years and a veteran of the healthcare profession, remembers vividly when he first came to Flowood. “I had been approached by a headhunter for the position of CEO here at River Oaks,” Bruns says, “and came into town to get a feel for the community and the hospital. I was amazed by all the growth and thought it was a beautiful city. The local Chamber was extremely helpful and the people went out of their way to speak to me and be pleasant.” As a 160-bed, 146,000 sq. ft.-plus facility, with 475 physicians on staff, River Oaks is a vital part of the Flowood business and medical community. In turn, though, Bruns says that city officials play an integral role in the hospital’s success, as well. “I can’t say enough about how fortuitous it is for us to be based in Flowood,” Bruns says. “Mayor Rhoads serves on our Board and we have forged a strong relationship with the City. We have a contract in place to take care of Flowood’s employees – police and fire departments and other city workers – but, even beyond that, the tie is a strong one.” Ranked number one in Mississippi in Neuro-spine, orthopedic and joint surgery for five years in a row by Health Grades, River Oaks also placed in the top five percent in the same categories nationwide. “This kind of recognition in a national survey, coupled with the beauty and richness of the Flowood community, gives us a strong advantage in physician recruitment,” Bruns says, noting that more doctors will be needed as River Oaks continues to expand its own campus and open new clinics throughout the Metro. - GJB
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Greater Jackson Business - 25
C I T Y
F O C U S
Flowood: It’s My Home – Come Take a Visit! I
’d always known that Flowood was a friendly town and that I liked the people here. But when I opened an office a few years ago I began to research more of the numbers. They’re astounding. This Rankin County city flows north and south of Lakeland Drive to
an area including and just past Pinelake Church. It has a low crime rate, high fire safety rating and comparatively low property taxes, a high average income per household, low unemployment rate and a traffic count along Lakeland Drive of more than 55,000 vehicles per day. The state’s largest airport is in Flowood and the city is adjacent to two Interstates. Flowood is home to one of the state’s largest private schools, a top notch hospital and one of the state’s
BY TOMMY LANDRY Contributing Columnist
largest churches. A vocational school and two colleges offer multiple higher education opportunities. The city’s down time activities can’t be beat. It is becoming a major shopping area with multiple dining options. Multiple city parks, golf courses, fitness facilities and easy access to the Ross Barnett Reservoir, a clay shooting range and paint ball course add even more recreational options. I found myself adding to that list as I explained my involvement with the Flowood Chamber of Commerce to colleagues in other parts of the country. I explained that more than 50,000 people visit the city daily to work, shop or play but fewer than 10,000 live here. This creates a small town feel with big city amenities. Like my friends, you may want more clarification. What does “small town feel” mean anyway? People are involved. They make the difference. In the past two years, I’ve been to numerous ribbon cuttings, open houses, luncheons, committee meetings and ground breakings. Even one ground blessing! Every month, I see more than 40 Chamber members, including the mayor, police chief and fire chief attend ribbon cuttings for large and small businesses. I saw a dozen restaurants and dozens of Chamber members, working through two rain delays, present the first Taste of Flowood gathering. Flowood even supports members from adjacent cities. At a recent ribbon cutting in Ridgeland, more than 30 Flowood Chamber members came to encourage the new business owners. I’m sure you’ve all heard that you reap what you sow. Whether it’s your church, business, marriage or exercise program, the more you put into it the more it means to you and the greater your rewards. The city and county governments, as well as countless businesses and community volunteers, have invested time and money to create the small town feel and big city amenities found in Flowood. Don’t take my word for it. Visit Flowood and make a new friend. Join the Flowood Chamber. Get involved. - GJB Tommy Landry is a Financial Advisor with Edward Jones Investments and President of the Flowood Chamber Board of Directors.
26 - Greater Jackson Business
Weâ€™re bringing national-caliber medicine closer to home. University Physicians is excited to announce our new Grants Ferry location, serving our new neighbors and the Jackson metro area. Opening in July 2010, this extension of University of Mississippi Health Care will offer convenient family care in addition to a wide range of specialty services. From routine checkups to chronic problems or even sudden illness large and small, University Physicians will offer extended hours, committed customer service and a reputation for excellence. Shouldnâ€™t your doctor be a University physician?
Look for more information coming soon.
Greater Jackson Business - 29
F L O W O O D
Flowood: Unique in so many ways
rowth seems a tame word to describe what’s happening in Flowood and at the Flowood Chamber. Galloping is more like it. The future is bright in Flowood and the Chamber of Flowood is proud to be a vital part of
our city’s success. The Chamber of Flowood has grown along with the city adding a Visitors Center and moving into our new office located on the well-travel Lakeland Drive. This year we will celebrate our fifth anniversary meeting the needs of the city, businesses we serve and the community. We will continue to build this community into a place we dream it to be…a high quality, visually-attractive city for all who work, live, shop, eat, play and stay in Flowood. Together we will anticipate and meet the needs
BY JENNIFER ANDERSON Flowood Chamber of Commerce
of the community by fostering a business environment to attract and welcome visitors to our wonderful city daily. Flowood has a unique sense of community, and the Chamber is a dynamic part of that. The Chamber works with City Hall, Board of Aldermen and Mayor Gary Rhoads on many events.
Flowood thrives on
relationships – our Park & Recreation Department, the Police and Fire Departments, Water Works, and the Street Department - all contribute to every event. These relationships flow through into the business community as well. People are drawn to the small town feel because you know those with whom you do business. Our chamber plays important roles in both supporting our local businesses and in marketing Flowood to potential businesses, visitors, shoppers and residents by offering special events throughout the year. Our events include a Golf Tournament, Annual Membership Luncheon with the Flowood “Top of the Community” Awards, and other various local charity and city events. Monthly the Chamber offers educational and networking luncheons, ribbon cuttings, open houses, and ground breakings. Our Visitor’s Center plays a new important role also in supporting businesses and in marketing Flowood and Rankin County to potential businesses, visitors, and much more. We will strive to market this area to neighboring cities and states in an effort to add a new method of support for our businesses and community through Tourism. From Maps to welcome packets we offer a wide variety of information for all who visit, do business, or live in our community. The commitment to excellence is demonstrated through the dedicated service of our Board of Directors, Committee Chairs/Co-Chairs and our members. Our members value their Chamber membership because the chamber is effective. We work to address the needs of our businesses with networking events, provide guest speakers and opportunities to enhance their business recognition and exposure. - GJB The Chamber of Flowood is a very energetic and versatile organization. Active participation benefits you… your business…your community. For more information about becoming a member, please stop by the office located at 115 Laurel Park Cove, Ste 108, call 601-932-8007 or visit us at www.flowoodchamber.com. 28 - Greater Jackson Business
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F L O W O O D
Mississippi College Opening Campus in Flowood
From Left to right - Chad Phillips, Executive Director of Enrollment Services; Roy Ward, Chairman, MC Board of Trustees; Gary Rhoads, Mayor Flowood; Dr. Lee Royce, President Mississippi College; Dr. Scott Thomas, Pastor First Baptist Church Brandon
ississippi College is expanding with a new campus in Flowood. The Flowood campus will be home to the Mississippi College Accelerated Degree Program (ADP). Classes will begin this August; the new campus is housed next door to the Chamber of Flowood and Visitor’s Center, located at 115 Laurel Park Cove. Recently, a Ground Blessing ceremony was held outside the building. Dr. Scott Thomas, pastor of First Baptist Church in Brandon, blessed the location. Mississippi College leaders, invited guests, and Flowood officials took the opportunity to see the facility, and join in praying for this new campus and the instruction that will take place within its walls. “We believe the city of Flowood is an ideal location for students who are looking for quality education and convenience,” said Jim Turcotte, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “Mississippi College is excited about being a partner with Flowood as we both grow and improve.” MC is already planning to expand its offerings at the Flowood campus. More than 30 classes will be offered initially with the addition of graduate level and continuing education courses in the future. Boasting eight classrooms, the facility will also use Compressed Interactive Video (CIV). This technology enables Mississippi College students to connect live anywhere in the world, via video and audio. MC’s Accelerated Degree Program is designed
30 - Greater Jackson Business
for adults, including those working full-time while trying to further their education. Each course is offered in 8-week sessions that meet two evenings per week. ADP students can earn degrees in Business Administration, Accounting, Marketing, Public Relations or Sociology. Students can earn 30 or more hours a year toward their major attending Fall, Spring and Summer sessions. Fall enrollment for ADP is set for August 19th, with classes starting on August 23rd. Mississippi College is a private, Christian university. The main campus is located in Clinton, and the Mississippi College School of Law is in downtown Jackson. The oldest college in the state, Mississippi College is recognized by Forbes magazine as one of America’s top 25 “Best College Buys.” Mississippi College, affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention, is a private, co-educational, Christian university of liberal arts and sciences serving nearly 4,900 students from 41 states and 26 countries. Founded in 1826, Mississippi College is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of Mississippi and second oldest Baptist university in the nation. With more than 80 areas of study, 47 graduate degree programs, a doctor of jurisprudence degree and a doctor of education leadership degree, Mississippi College seeks to be a university recognized for academic excellence and commitment to the cause of Christ. - GJB
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F L O W O O D
University Physicians Grants Ferry to Debut in Flowood
niversity Physicians, a part of University of Mississippi Health Care, is preparing to branch out by opening a $14 million satellite clinic in Rankin County. University Physicians at Grants Ferry, located at the corner of Lakeland Place and Plaza Drive in Flowood, is scheduled to open July 7. The new 50,575 square-foot medical office building is slated for completion the second quarter of 2010 and will house primary care and other specialty services. The mission is simple: Take the expertise of faculty physicians off campus to serve the needs of the community where patients live. Cogdell Spencer ERDMAN, the construction company for the project, broke ground last June on the 6.85 acres in Flowood. Parent company, Cogdell Spencer Inc., will own the clinic and University Physicians will master lease 100 percent of the facility. University Hospitals and Health System will provide additional medical support services. “We are pleased to be working with University Physicians to provide state-of-the-art medical facilities for Flowood and the surrounding communities,” said Susan Dorr, president of Cogdell Spencer’s southeast region. Dr. Scott Stringer, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs and CEO of UMHC, said Flowood is a rapidly growing area with fewer services for health care than other areas, which influenced the decision to locate a satellite clinic there. He said Rankin County residents can expect rapid, convenient service at the Grants Ferry clinic with the added confidence of knowing that they have access to the Medical Center campus for 32 - Greater Jackson Business
health issues that require more complex care. Faculty physicians will see the patients, but residents and medical students will shadow and work in tandem with them. Stringer said that’s a common model for many academic medical centers, such as the renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. “Everybody thinks that when you go there you’re going to see a faculty physician, and you do, but you also see residents and medical students. We’re moving to a model of combined care rather than resident-driven care,” he said. Stringer said opening satellite clinics in other areas of the state will be considered in the future. “It’s our mission to provide health care to those who need our services in the state of Mississippi and we need to be located wherever we can best meet that mission,” he said. The University of Mississippi Medical Center, located in Jackson, is the state’s only academic medical center. UMMC encompasses five health science schools, including medicine, nursing, health related professions, dentistry and graduate studies, as well as the site where University of Mississippi pharmacy students do their clinical training. The Medical Center’s threefold mission is to educate tomorrow’s health-care professionals, conduct innovative research to improve human health, and to provide the highest quality care available to the state’s citizens. A major goal of the Medical Center is the improvement of the health of Mississippians and the elimination of health disparities. For more information, contact the Division of Public Affairs at 601-9841100 or visit us on the Web at http://info.umc.edu/. - GJB
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34 - Greater Jackson Business
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Greater Jackson Business - 37
R am S E Y ’ S R E A L I T Y
The Map to Here
BY TOM RAMSEY Contributing Writer
read a recent Rasmussen Poll that stated “Three out of four Americans are angry at the Federal Government.” The poll of 1,000 likely voters, taken on Feb. 4th and 5th, showed that 75% of the respondents were either “very” (45%) or “somewhat” (30%) angry with “current policies of the federal government.” Why are these people angry with the government? They place the blame for our current economic situation squarely on the shoulders of our leaders in Washington. On top of that, they are also angry about bailouts, immigration, healthcare and taxes. Should we solely blame the Federal Government or is the government just an easy scapegoat that keeps us from looking at ourselves? Let’s take a look at how we got to where we are. As a people and a nation, we want more and we want it now. We want cheap gas in our tanks, cheap groceries on our table, cheap doo-dads at big box stores and cheap money in the form of lower interest rates. On the flip side, we want to earn more and more money each year so we can continue buying the goods and services we demand. We want bigger and bigger houses, newer and more luxurious cars and lots and lots of entertainment. When we don’t have the ready cash to get these things, we borrow the money on credit cards or with the equity from our houses. With the money we save, we demand higher and higher rates of return. We want to earn more and work less. We want jobs that pay great benefits and allow us plenty of leisure time and little physical exertion. And for a long time, we got all of those things. We build not a house 38 - Greater Jackson Business
of cards, but a McMansion of cards...no, a whole planned-unit-development of cardbuilt McMansions. The collapse of this ever upward spiral was inevitable. When regulators got in the way of growth, we cried “foul!” We demanded less government oversight for the sake of progress. We lost sight of the impact we were having on our own lives and the lives of others. We enabled the banks, insurance companies and automotive companies deemed “too big to fail” and then when their failure was unavoidable and our entire economy was on the precipice of collapse, we screamed for help. The government did help in the form of a quick-fix bailout. It probably wasn’t the most well crafted piece of legislative work, but our economy didn’t crash, taking our currency and our way of life down with it. And now, we are complaining about who got what in a bailout that was brought about in part by our own actions. Let’s look at some specifics of different parts of this matrix and see how they converge into contradiction. Here are three Bête Noires of today’s society that are intimately connected at a root level: Imported Goods (China), Bailouts Corporate Greed, and Unemployment. Large corporations live and die by their quarterly earnings. Long term viability has given way to stabilization of stock prices which is largely driven by “hitting the whisper,” which is Wall Street Speak for having your quarterly earnings meet or exceed market estimates. For many companies, this means two things, lower costs and higher short term earnings. The quickest way to lower costs is to cut employees followed by outsourcing manufacturing. This sounds like a case of “blame big business” but the roots go deeper. Why are these corporations so worried about quarterly numbers? Investors demand high return on their money. When most people hear “investors” they think about some investment banker in a glass building in Manhattan, planning his weekend in the Hamptons. Certainly that guy exists, but the real power to move the markets is found in the mutual funds, retirement accounts, 401(K) accounts and pension funds who get their money from everyday people working in stores, offices and factories across the country. We want our money to grow and punish
companies who don’t meet our needs. We want our money to grow so badly that we look the other way and shout out for deregulation and “small government” so that the bankers can take bigger and bigger risks, funding stronger and stronger corporate growth. These same banks that take investment risks are also the ones issuing the credit cards and personal loans that we use to buy the cheap goods and services we demand. To keep the credit card rates low, these banks must make higher returns on other investments and take bigger risks elsewhere in their portfolios. This pattern is much like the living relationship between an alcoholic and an enabler. Both get what they want and slowly the disease kills both of them. When the financial disasters hit, the fingers were all pointed outward with accusation. We blamed everyone but ourselves. We said the bankers were “greedy” but we never asked how they got away with it for so long. We said the government was “asleep at the wheel” but never asked who sang the lullaby of deregulation. We said the corporations were “heartless” for laying off so many workers but never considered the consequences of our insatiable desire for cheap goods imported from countries with cheap labor. In the same way, our outrage over Middle Eastern wars falls flat when we look at our huge demand for gasoline and our fury when prices at the pump reached $4.00/ gallon. Our shouts about closing the borders and the vilification of “illegals” rings hollow when we also look at $1.00 lettuce, booming construction sites and cheap domestic labor. If we want high wage jobs and low unemployment, we have to be willing to either pay higher prices for the things we want, or help to develop foreign markets for our domestic goods. If we want cheap labor and cheap food, we have to find people who are willing to do the minimum wage jobs. If American workers were filling these jobs, they would not be available to undocumented foreign workers. It is much easier and less risky for an employer to hire American workers than undocumented ones. Most of these jobs get filled because of a lack of available able bodied American workers willing to accept prevailing wages. We need to decide if we want to do the work or pay more. We can’t have it both ways. If we want responsible corporations who take reasonable risks, then we have to lower our investment expectations
and accept more oversight. I don’t claim to know an answer to all of these problems. There are much smarter people than me who are studying the issues and offering solutions. Some of them work for businesses, some for government. I do know this: We as a nation and individually must look in our own wants and desires and find something to replace the desire for “more.” There is a hole in our collective hearts that we have attempted to fill with stuff we don’t need and paid for with money we don’t have. I’ve been guilty of it. As I have seen my income recede as a result of this current economy, I’ve had to change certain core beliefs about what it is that makes me happy and what it takes to make happy those around me. What I have found is that the “more stuff ” was not the answer. I’ve found that a little bit of quality stuff is better than lots of cheap stuff. I’ve found that borrowing tomorrow’s money for today’s desires is a fools errand. I’m working to fix me with the help of family and friends and if we all work to fix ourselves while helping to fix those around us, we will emerge from this recession a stronger nation than when we went in. A few months ago, the Dean of St. Andrew’s Cathedral said something that has stuck with me and applies to so many things. He said, “It is an undeniable fact of nature that healthy things grow.” To get healthy will take hard work, sacrifice and dedication to a common goal. It will hurt before it feels better and the path will not be short, straight or smooth, but the people of this great state and this great nation have never stayed down for so long that we couldn’t get ourselves back up.
J U L I E O N J A C K S O N
The Dawning of Downtown At Dusk
ne of the things that I think is unique about Jackson is that it seems to be a place where, if you have an idea to do something, you can make it happen—whether it’s starting
a new business, restoring an old building and giving it life as a new development, or starting an annual festival. It’s something that I’ve noticed with increasing frequency over the past few years, and I love it. I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently because of one small idea for an event downtown that met with a response that blew those of us involved away. The idea was pretty simple and generic—simply
BY JULIE SKIPPER Contributing Columnist
to have something on a fairly regular basis that would encourage people to hang around downtown after work instead of getting in their cars and heading home to their own neighborhoods. So,
a team was assembled to get it done…a team with members of the business community, bar owners, the chamber of commerce, young professionals. Sometimes it felt a bit like we were flying by the seat of our pants and didn’t really know what we were doing, but we pulled it together, and on a beautiful Thursday night in March folks gathered in a downtown parking lot to enjoy free blues, cheap beer, and crawfish at what came to be called Downtown at Dusk. In planning the event, we hoped that maybe 300 people or so would show up but really had no idea what to expect. Well, anyone who doubts the energy and excitement surrounding downtown should have been there—we estimate that 600 people attended! And these were not just the usual downtown suspects (since I am a usual suspect, I can say that). It was a diverse group of people who work downtown, live downtown, and some who came just for this event: businesspeople, young professionals, members of the creative class, the mayor, even. It was a great night for downtown, and as the series continues through August, we want to keep alive the initial spirit of the event—that you can come out downtown and have a fun time. But
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it’s also about supporting local businesses. These business owners have invested in our city and we want to support them. So each month, Downtown at Dusk will be held at a different location. It will always be free to attend, but food and beverage will be provided by the vendors at each location, and I encourage you to support them. Having lived down here, I’ve gotten to know many of them and not only do they love what they do, but they love this place, and we need them. I also hope that you’ll stick around after the events end and eat at a downtown restaurant or enjoy more music at a club. Because that’s the thing: this is just one single event, but it will (I hope) lead to more and more similar ideas. Not one week after this event, I was at another meeting about additional series of events downtown. The question was posed: “Do you think people will come to something downtown after work?” Without hesitation, I was able to say, “Absolutely!” How wonderful to be able to say that and know it to be true from experience. How encouraging that people—young people, especially—are clamoring for things to do downtown, and that organizations and businesses are recognizing it. I’m eager to see Downtown at Dusk grow, but I’m even more eager to see additional events in downtown and to see more ideas come to life. - GJB Greater Jackson Business - 39
P L A N N I N G
Medical Reimbursement Plan I
n the last issue of the Greater Jackson Business, the 2011 higher tax rates were discussed. As Federal income tax rates will rise from 35% to 39.6% in 2011, this will be a 13% rise in the top ordinary income tax rate. This article will examine one of the tax deduction tools available.
Congress has long viewed medical expenses as tax favored and has encouraged taxpayers to spend funds for medical expenses by allowing the medical expenses to be tax deductible. Congress also has encouraged businesses to spend funds not only for health-insurance premiums but also for the payment of the medical expenses for employees.
BY WALT DALLAS Contributing Columnist
The medical reimbursement plan has been extended to many employees by reason through cafeteria plans. Thus many persons with high and low incomes utilize the medical reimbursement plan. A medical expense plan for an employer can reimburse or pay qualified medical expenses and deduct those amounts paid for employees. Coverage requirements require the plans must cover most employees and cover employees of related businesses. The items that may be reimbursed or deducted are too numerous to list. Some of these items are nonprescription over-the-counter medications. Congress gently draws the line at plastic surgery. However, if the cosmetic benefit occurs by reason of a valid medical expense that is otherwise deductible, the plastic surgery could also be deductible. Some clients have small businesses whereby the only employees of the Corporation are family members. This allows the offering of more generous tax-deductible medical expenses with higher limits. Complex rules must be complied with prior to the implementation of a medical reimbursement plan. Also special rules exist for S corporation shareholders and LLC members. Additionally control group rules and affiliated service group rules must be complied with in order to avoid inclusion of employees in related businesses or non-deductibility. So, while this is a complex area of law, the benefits add up. If a person has a medical expense of $10,000, and that person is in the 39.6% federal income tax bracket and the 5% state income tax bracket, for a total bracket of 44.6%, that person will need at to earn about $18,000 in order to pay after-tax, the $10,000 medical expense. This is computed $18,000 times the 55.4% after tax rate equals $10,000 (rounded). Or, stated another way, the medical expense plan would save $8,000 in income taxes. If instead, that $10,000 were deductible, that person could spend $10,000 to purchase $10,000 of medical expenses. I hope this gives you a few ideas. - GJB Walt Dallas, J.D., LL M. (taxation) is a tax attorney with his offices in Flowood, Mississippi, and can be reached at wdallas@ corporate planning 123.com or by phone at 601-209-8327. Dallas will be writing a series of columns on additional income tax planning for future issues.
40 - Greater Jackson Business
Central Mississippi Office Locations 125 South Congress Street, Suite 1100 • Jackson, MS 39201 • 1.800.264.6335 100 Renaissance • 1022 Highland Parkway Suite 202 • Ridgeland, MS 39157 • 601.898.3358 1230 Hwy 51 North • Madison, MS 39110 • 601.898.8118
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Greater Jackson Business - 41
F I N A N C I A L
Should we throw away the maps? I
n my market research lately, I have heard countless times that “we are in uncharted waters,” and that “this time is different,” and that “we have never seen anything like this before.” Most of the talking heads today are saying that we are going to double dip into another recession before we have started climbing out of
the last one. Will Rogers once said, “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” I have a suspicion that yesterday, or more specifically, the last recession, is taking up too much of today’s forecasts. I had a chance to go to a CMG Funds conference in Dallas recently, and the featured speaker was John Mauldin. Mauldin is a financial hero of mine who writes a weekly newsletter that is read by over 1.5 million
BY BRIAN HARRIS
people. After the conference, CMG loaded everyone onto a bus and we ate Texas-style barbeque at John
Mauldin’s house. It is always really neat to meet someone that you have admired for many years and realize how nice and normal they are. He has a large family and enjoys good company like we all do. The best part of the dinner was when I found out that John works from his home office, and it looks very similar to mine (except that the rest of the house had a lot more square footage). During the conference, one main point stuck with me: the headlines that move the market may be different and new, but the behavior that moves the market is the same. The market is still moved by fear, greed and complacency, and there is no real way to predict what emotion is moving the market and when that emotion will change. As John Maynard Keynes said, “Markets can remain illogical far longer than you or I can remain solvent.” I’ve also heard it said that understanding the mass psychology is often more important than an understanding of economics. It is for this reason that investing is an art form and not a science…it is human behavior that makes investing so unpredictable. It is also why I love what I do…every day is different and there is always something to try to figure out. So, the next time you hear someone say that this time is different, you can just smile and know that this time is not really all that different (at least emotionally). The maps may seem new, but they are the same ones that have always been around. - GJB Brian Harris is President of Bridgeport Financial Group, LLC
Important Disclosures: Past performance is no guarantee of future investment returns. Data contained in this newsletter is from sources believed to be reliable but is not guaranteed. For information purposes only and not intended as a recommendation. You should consult directly with us for specific advice relative to your personal situation. Registered Representative, securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Bridge-port Financial Group is not affiliated with Cambridge and CIRA. These are the views of Brian Harris and not necessarily those of Cambridge, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice. 42 - Greater Jackson Business
Expert Estate Planning Legal Services can be as Easy as 1, 2, 3! 1. Discovery Meeting 2. Assessment Meeting 3. Document Signing Celebration T. Walt Dallas, J.D., LL.M. (taxation) 601-209-8327 • email@example.com Phillip W. Smith, J.D., LL.M. (taxation) 601-850-9668 • firstname.lastname@example.org Bonnie J. Childers, Client Services Director 769-798-2123 (local) • email@example.com Tom Hilton, Client Services Director 601-209-1601 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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B U S I N E S S H E A L T H
Practical Wellness Tips for the Administrative Professional W
BY MURRAY L. HARBOR Contributing Columnist
ellness is a popular topic in the business world these days as companies struggle with increasing health and productivity costs as well as maintaining their employee’s morale. Employers and their employees can all do their part to make the workplace a healthy environment. At the end of this month, many businesses will be celebrating administrative professional’s day and week. Administrative professionals do many tasks at work including computer input, phone conversations, filing, preparing things for meetings and events, and many more actions. These actions include sitting at the desk, moving around the office, and lifting items throughout the day. It is important for them to focus on ways to do these actions with health in mind. Healthy habits at work include using good posture while also eating healthy, walking, and learning some stress management techniques. Melissa Lewis and Pat Lebaron, both are Senior Executive Assistants, at Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company in Jackson, practice healthy habits during the workday. Melissa states, “We arrive at work early in the morning to walk one mile before working hours start; walk one mile during morning break; and walk one mile during afternoon break -- and we include walking up and down the 6 flights of stairs after each mile. Having a walking partner has helped me be more accountable and has helped me to keep on walking, even on days I’d rather not.” Pat states, that “this has helped tremendously with my daily activity and keeping my mind clear during my working hours. I would personally like to challenge everyone to put themselves first at some point of the day and exercise. I can think of nothing better for our mind, body and soul.” These two office professionals are an encouragement to many of the office personnel at their workplace and help SFBLI sustain a healthy work culture. Along with being physically active, eating and fueling your body is a key aspect of health and wellbeing. To address these aspects, let me recommend that you pack a healthy lunch and snacks including fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, and water. You will feel better and save money rather than buying foods at a local restaurant all the time. Be sure to drink more water during the day and try drinking tea, hot and un-sweet, during the day instead of coffee. For stress management, do not underestimate the simple pleasure of walking outside and breathing some fresh air and getting a little sunlight. They both can have a relaxing and refreshing effect on the body. If work is piling up, take a time management class as continuing education opportunity. Injuries in the office environment are common and can be prevented. A study by the CDC reports that falls, strains and overexertion, falling objects, being caught in or between objects are the leading causes of disabling injuries. Many work injuries are causes by our lack of attention to our posture during the day and our interaction with our work stations. Dr. Carl Pearson, a chiropractor in Flowood, recommends that office professionals focus on posture both at work and away from the office. He offers a few suggestions: • Make sure your computer and desk spaces are set up to minimize strain on the body. • The desk should be the proper height and well organized to prevent over-reaching for commonly used items. • The monitor should be at eye level directly in front of you to prevent repetitive bending and twisting of the neck. • The chair should be comfortable and allow for good posture by maintaining the curve in the lower back and by keeping the thighs parallel to the ground and the feet on the floor in front of you. • Sit up in good posture, keeping your ears, shoulders and hips in line. • Keep the keyboard close to your body with your forearms parallel to the ground and elbows in. • Learn to use “hot keys” instead of the mouse. • Get up out of your chair every 30 minutes and move your body. • Do some stretches at your desk where you extend backwards and open up the chest area. - GJB Murray Harbor is a Health Performance Consutant based in Ridgeland, MS. Practicing healthy habits at work and at home will help you feel better and be able to do more of the things you want to do in life. Plan to celebrate Administrative Professional’s Week by hosting some healthy activities such as a healthy potluck, a healthy seminar, or a healthy noon-time walk. Make it a healthy month!
48 - Greater Jackson Business
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