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JULY 2013 ISSUE • THE CSRA’S ONLY BUSINESS MONTHLY PUBLICATION
Three of the hard-working technicians for Mr. Rooter photographed before making customer rounds. The family-run franchise took over the Augusta Aiken territory in early March of this year.
Family Values Led To Mr. Rooter FRANCHISE Christopher Selmek | Freelance Writer/Photographer
Buzz on Biz, LLC 3740 Executive Center Drive Martinez, Ga 30907
hen Mr. Rooter comes into your home, it’s about more than just the plumbing. These technicians will treat you with courtesy, do the job right and leave your home cleaner than they left it, which has been a hallmark of their business model since before the franchise arrived in Augusta. “I have never had a negative comment for as long as we’ve been in the plumbing business,” said Sharon Stevens, who calls each home immediately after the job is done to check up on the quality of their service. “Our customers just say wonderful
things about our technicians, not just about how they do the job but how they made them feel good. I had one lady receive my voicemail message and feel she needed to call me back later in the day to tell me how wonderful the technician was.” Mr. Rooter, formerly Modern Plumbing and Construction of Edgefield, South Carolina, recently expanded to incorporate the Waco, Texas-based franchise and hopes to provide their quality service and customer-centered business strategy to the entire CSRA. These plumbers can take care of all plumbing and drainage needs, including commercial and residential clogged drain repair, toilet repair, sink drain and faucet repairs, water heater repair and installations and plumbing pipe repair. They are not currently equipped to handle septic pumping,
but they hope to add that service within a few months. “We were piddling along with the plumbing company right here in Edgefield,” said general manager Vince Russo. “New construction was down but more people were renovating their homes so we were doing quite well, and that’s when we were contacted by Mr. Rooter corporate to help grow their business in the Edgefield area. They have a lot of the same business philosophy that we do, and it seemed like a perfect way for both of us to grow.” “Since we already had Aiken and Edgefield, the Augusta franchise came open because they realized their growth potential was dramatically reduced, and the franchisee had other business interests,” Russo continued. “That locked us in for the entire CSRA, and on March 3rd we were officially in
business as Mr. Rooter of the CSRA.” The Dwyer group, which contains Mr. Rooter, Mr. Electric and Mr. Appliance,
Continued on Page 5
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: SECTION A
Main Business News
Employment & Education
Leisure & Hospitality
SECTION D South Carolina
NEIL GORDON | President, Buzz on Biz LLC
s our economy evolves, I am noticing many more family run businesses in the CSRA. The “we’re in this together” philosophy is noble, and the subject of many of our features this month. Our cover story continues on page 5 with the Stevens family, who branched off into “Mr. Rooter” and now involves daughters and brother in-laws in helping to ensure that you’ve got a good set of pipes at your home or office! On page 16, we’ll introduce you to “Sisters in Christ” by faith and family. They are really stepping out to form Royal Kidz Christian Learning Center on Davis Road. The Jordan brothers are fulfilling a life-long dream to open their own restaurant. Smartly, they are building on an iconic Aiken brand, “Up Your Alley”. The Jordan’s are adding their own twist and calling the restaurant, “Up Your Alley Chop House”. What impressed us
so much is that the Jordan’s will travel together four hours roundtrip each week to bring customers back the freshest seafood. We think you’ll savor Stephen Delaney Hale’s feature on page 27. Frankie’s Taste of Chicago has reopened on Wrightsboro Road and the Jimmy Dyess Parkway and they’ve added onto their successful concept first formed at their Shartom Road takeout restaurant. Look for Christopher Selmek’s story on page 28. Lastly, Stacey Vincenzetti and her step-father are opening a “Jimmy John’s” (Read the story on Page 34) in Aiken after visiting one in Michigan. Hey, I’m inspired -- perhaps my son will join the family-buzz business someday! Neil Gordon is President of Buzz on Biz, LLC and produces a daily tv segment on News 12 This Morning, a daily radio show on WRDW 1630 AM, and two hyper-local, niche publications, “Buzz on Biz” and “Verge”. To learn more, visit www.buzzon.biz or email neil@ buzzon.biz
THE CSRA’S ONLY BUSINESS MONTHLY PUBLICATION
BUZZ ON BIZ • INDUSTRY EXPERTS • WATERCOOLER STORIES • BUSINESS ADVICE • TRENDS
The Buzz on Biz mission: to act as an inspirational tool for those in the workplace and those who are entrepreneurs and to provide useful, practical information to help increase companies’ bottom lines. To submit editorial content or to order a 12 month subscription mailed to your home or office for $12, mail a check to the address on the bottom of the page Neil R. Gordon: Publisher\Sales Manager (706) 589-6727 Jennifer Pruett: Executive Editor E35 Media: Design and Layout Kyle W. Evans: Sales(706) 288-9957 Christopher Selmek: Senior Writer Melissa Gordon: www.sofiacolton.com, Photography S.C. Contributors: Stephen Delaney Hale & Chasity Kirkland Jackson Opinions expressed by the writers herein are their own and their respective institutions. Neither the Buzz on Biz LLC, or its agents or its employees take any responsibility for the accuracy of submitted information, which is presented for informational purposes only.
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Jerri Simpkins is the daughter of Plastex, Inc. owner Sam Stevens, the office manager for Modern construction and Plastex, Inc. and manages all of their overseas sales and accounting.
Sharon Stevens is the customer service receptionist for Plastex, Modern Construction and Mr. Rooter, and calls every customer after they receive plumbing service to make sure they and their home have been treated respectfully.
Mr. Rooter – Plastex, Inc., the industrial fiber recycling company which expanded to incorporate Modern Construction and Mr. Rooter, has the ability to help clients throughout the CSRA from their central office located in Edgefield.
Family Values Led To Mr. Rooter FRANCHISE Continued from Page 1
begins every meeting at their corporate headquarters by reading over their code of ethics. This is the same way the family owned and operated Plastex, Inc. began their meetings before expanding into the plumbing and construction industries. This reassures every member of their small staff that their customer-first policy is more than just words on paper. “We started out wanting to be a different sort of company that respects people’s homes and the people themselves,” said Russo. “We meet every Monday and start by going over a code of values we all believe in. I do it different ways, sometimes by passing it around and having each person read one, and sometimes just by asking them which value they think they can grow and improve in, but this has been our practice since we first went into business together.” Mr. Rooter’s code of ethics includes respect, integrity and customer focus. Besides general statements about the
importance of listening to customer needs and making only commitments they are willing and able to keep, the company also put’s their values into practice in meaningful ways. All employees receive background checks, regular drug tests and ID badges. They park in a highly-visible location so as to avoid surprising anyone, and they use a special work mat to avoid getting dirt from their tools on the carpeting. Plumbers even where special booties and bring their own doormats. “I’m the one who had to take care of my home if there’s a plumbing job my husband can’t fix,” said office manager Jerri Simpkins. “Typically bosses will give women more leeway to be home and take care of the house. I’m scared sometimes when Dish Network guys come out to the house and I want to call my husband and tell him to come home and be with me, but Mr. Rooter isn’t like that; because all our guys are drug tested and background checked and they wear an ID badge. They’re so
BEWARE THE SUMMER INTERN J.EDWARD ENOCH, J.D. | Business Attorney
remember having summer jobs in high school to put gas in my car and have some spending money. Now that my friends and I have children in college and high school, it seems times have changed. Lots of young people who are working unpaid “internships” in order to get experience to land that first paying job or to break into a profession after college. With the downturn in the economy for the past several years, businesses have
had to get creative on doing more with less. It seems one of the answers they have turned to is unpaid internships. Sounds like a great idea, right? Bring someone in on a temporary basis and call it an internship. The business gets to try out the person before they decide to hire them, and the inexperienced “intern” gets some resume fodder to help land a real job. Win-Win, right? That would be all fine and dandy except for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA for short). This is the federal law which mandates employers pay a minimum wage to employees for hours worked. The
courteous; they won’t even wipe their feet on your doormat.” Simpkins is the daughter of Plastex owner Sam Stevens, who founded the company in 1996. Jerri began working for him in the summer of 1997 and now manages a considerable number of overseas accounts for the industrial fiber manufacturing side of the business. Russo, her uncle, spent 28 years as a construction contract administrator for an engineering organization before joining his brother in the Edgefield business venture. “I was a biology/chemistry major and I had no intention of being here, but when you’re father runs a business he won’t just let you sit on the couch when you’re looking for a job,” she said. “Working side by side with mom, dad and my uncle with a few kids running around the office makes for a very easy work environment, and when my daughter was born in 2005 it got easier for me convince my family I needed a day off work.”
Mr. Rooter extends their familycentered values to their Advantage Plan customers; this entitles select businesses to priority scheduling, preferential pricing and periodic specials. “Everybody’s got to have plumbing and electrical, and we want to be the ones who you can trust to be in your house,” said Simpkins. “I’ve used Modern Plumbing and Mr. Rooter plumbing myself, so I can tell you it’s a great set of guys who always put a doormat down and leave my home cleaner than they found it. The way we hire plumbers is we find someone we would trust in our own home.” Mr. Rooter currently has five guys on the road handling plumbing problems throughout Edgefield, Aiken and Augusta. To schedule an appointment, call 803.637.6631.
FLSA also contains one of my favorite legalisms. According to the FLSA, an employee is any person the employer “suffers or permits to work.” So who is a legitimate unpaid intern? Fact Sheet #71 for the US Department of Labor -- http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/ compliance/whdfs71.htm -- provides the federal government’s view of how for-profit companies can create unpaid internships. While the government loves to make long checklists, I like to boil it down to a simple rule a business owner can apply on the fly. So here is my rule about unpaid interns -- THEY HAVE TO BE MORE TROUBLE THAN THEY ARE WORTH! In other words, the benefit of the internship must flow primarily to the intern and the benefit to the employer
must be inconsequential or negative. True unpaid internships are a benefit the company provides to the community, similar to allowing employees to work on volunteer projects or serve on non-profit boards on company time. So if you think unpaid interns are the solution to your labor budget problem, think again. Have a happy summer!
By Christopher Selmek
J. Edward (ed) enoch This is a sponsored Law Talk article. Ed Enoch’s practice focuses on business, employment and real estate law. He is a 1992 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Washington and Lee School of Law. He has served in many leadership roles for SHRM, Rotary, the Family Y and the United Way. Reach him at 706.738.4141 or email@example.com.
From Google to Your Cash Register JEFF ASSELIN | Powerserve, Director of Sales and Marketing
oes your website drive business revenue? How are existing and potential customers using your website? How did they find your website? What keywords are driving viewers to your website from search results? These are all vital questions to ask yourself as someone who cares about bringing money into your business. Chances are your website was a significant investment -- there are many digital marketing efforts that can affect how your website can generate a return on that investment. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your website’s performance in search engine results. Paid search, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is purchased text ads in search engine results. These PPC ads typically appear at the top or the side of search results. In addition to SEO and PPC, businesses can use online display advertising, email, mobile/ text marketing and social media to increase traffic to their websites. Regardless of the method, data analysis is critically important.
A recent Borrell & Associates study showed that 52% of all digital spending in 2012 went towards improving a company’s web presence. Other top areas for digital spending were email, online video & online display advertising. The study’s projection for total advertising spending through 2016 showed sharp declines in print, radio and various directories. Mobile advertising will see tremendous growth. Companies will need to have websites that display properly on mobile devices and have a defined web presence strategy. Website usage studies have generated “heat maps” showing user eye patterns. These studies show that when viewing search results a user’s eye created a triangular pattern of behavior. Users begin looking at the top-left side of screen, then travel to the top right and then to about 1/3 down the left edge of the page. This “triangle” is where you want your website to be! PPC and SEO strategies are both important and will increase visibility. Top positions help consumers feel you are more relevant. Although different ages click organic & paid results differently; there is very little overlap. Over 89% of users who clicked a PPC ad never went back to
to review organic results. There are 3 main factors that contribute to optimal rankings for websites on search engines: 1. URL Factors • Search Engine Friendly URLs • Website Structure • Domain Life Span 2. On-Page Factors • Content Relevance • Bounce Rate • Meta Tags • Keyword Density 3. Off-Page Factors • Inbound Directory Links • Online Press Releases • Blogs • Social Media Engagement • More changing daily!! Beware of the SEO “snake-oil” salesmen who will promise you page 1 of Google in 30 days! It is the Wild
West out there - companies with little to no accreditation don’t always follow industry standards and are seldom accountable. SEO practices change regularly and tactics that may work in the “short term” could end up hurting visibility in the long run. Always work with a trusted company to develop a solid SEO strategy. Remember, you can’t outwit Google! Jeff Asselin is Director of Sales & Marketing for Powerserve, a web development company that focuses on Websites, Custom Business Software, Search Engine Optimization, Graphic Design and Social Media Marketing. Let Jeff put his more than 16 years of advertising and marketing experience to work for you helping grow your business. Click (www. powerserve.net), Email (jeff.asselin@powerserve. net), Visit (961 Broad St, Augusta) or Call (c: 706-691-7189, o: 706-826-1506, Ext 122). This is a sponsored article.
What’s Better: Buying an Existing Business or a New Franchise? Kim Romaner | Business Broker
here are many benefits to buying either an existing business or a new franchise. Let’s take a look at each. When buying an existing business, you’re buying a revenue stream. The work of establishing the business, the brand, the clientele and delivery of the products and services has already been done for you. The physical presence of the business has been established as well, including the purchase of furniture, fixtures and equipment. An accounting system is generally in place to track the money, vendor relationships already exist, and marketing systems are in play. You just have to step in, keep things running, and look for opportunities to improve results. When buying a new franchise, you’ll be creating a new revenue stream,
building out your location (should you need one; many franchises businesses can be run from your kitchen table), and finding your first new clients; but you’ll be doing it using systems that have already been created and leveraging a brand that already has a name in the market. This means that, much like buying an existing business, you don’t have to invent everything from scratch. Your franchisor will supply you with a marketing system, an accounting system, site selection services, help with building out your location, vendor relationships, step-by-step instructions on delivering products and services, and will be on the other end of the phone with deep expertise when you need it. You’ll be joining a network of franchisees, some newer and some long established, that will become your friends, your mentors and your confidantes. They’ll share their best practices with you and give you advice, because your success
as a franchisee is their success: if the franchise is collectively strong, the business results will be, too. And you may know that a higher percentage of independently established businesses fail than franchise businesses, so your continued success is more likely. You can also buy an existing franchise location from its current owner, which allows you to skip the startup phase, buy a revenue stream and take advantage of everything a franchise business has to offer. There are some for sale in the CSRA right now. As you can see, there are a lot of advantages to either approach. Ultimately, the decision to buy an existing business or a franchise depends a lot on the kind of person
you are and what you value. We work closely with our buyers to help them examine their goals and desires. Kim Romaner This is a sponsored article. Kim Romaner is president of Transworld Business Advisors of Augusta, a business brokerage that helps people buy and sell businesses, and also enter into the franchise world. With over 65 locations in the U.S. and abroad, Transworld has sold many thousands of businesses. If you’d like to talk to Kim about selling or valuing your business, buying a franchise or turning your existing business into a franchise operation, please call 706-383-2994, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Carfax Parable DON MACNEIL |
Crown Point Communications at Windsor Jewelers
n much the same way psychiatrists seem to have kids that are train wrecks and radio/TV wants you to advertise but doesn’t seem to do much of it themselves, my decades of marketing savvy couldn’t save me from being seduced by Carfax’ claims that they were the last word in a vehicle’s life story. In case you missed it, ABC’s “20/20” newsmagazine recently ran a segment questioning the dependability of Carfax’ used car reports, citing multiple cases where allegedly “clean” (accident free) vehicles had later been found to have incurred significant prior damage. When challenged, Carfax replied it’s not vouching for any vehicle’s condition, only stating that it’s not aware of any problem because no one had informed them. Would that be your takeaway from Carfax’ marketing? For those of us in the field of making affirmative cases on behalf of client businesses, this was a setback. Didn’t we all believe the world to be so
connected that the auto industry could track the life of a VIN number in its sleep? Those of us in this line of work know we fight a daily uphill battle against your accumulated cynicism,
I know of only one antidote to this: closely monitoring your own company practices and messaging your marketing in such a way that it can never turn and bite you. All very high-minded, you say, but in practical terms, what do I mean? 1. Never write an advertising line that begs the viewer or listener to make a sarcastic remark back at the TV/radio. Write, in other words, in a way that carefully
cliché’, but it remains true. Conversely, a poor experience with you will be shared and shared and shared. 3. And need I say? Weigh carefully the temptation to over represent what you do and how well you do it. Forget plausible deniability. You KNOW what the public is taking away from your message. (“A clean Carfax report is my assurance that nothing bad has ever happened to this vehicle”) Will revelation of the real story so enrage your constituency that it threatens the future of your business? Let that question be your litmus test. 4. This brings full circle what I first stated above: your marketing will never paint over failings within your business. It’s therefore critical that you get your house in order before you announce to the world that…your house is in order. That that was already the case when I joined Windsor has been of inestimable value to all concerned since. Next: Call To Action
a loss of faith traceable to a lifetime of advertising stretched truths, misrepresentations and out-andout lies. And now we’ve added yet another: 20/20’s revelations actually exacerbating the very used car fears Carfax’ marketing purported to slay. We’re back to near panic at the thought of buying a pre-owned vehicle.
Augusta CVB, Tourism Partners Provide Opportunities for DOD Employees
Augusta’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, in conjunction with local tourism partners, has developed a plan to offer special discounts to DOD employees in response to federal budget sequestration furloughs. In order to help employees with additional free time but limited disposable income, the CVB is securing special discount offers from several local events, attractions and hotels, as well as compiling a calendar of free events happening during the furlough period. “Augusta offers a wealth of attractions and events for the local community to enjoy,” said Barry White, Augusta CVB President and CEO. “We recognize the valuable impact that Fort Gordon has on our community, and we hope the employees and their families will take advantage of these many opportunities.” The offers will be valid from July 1 to September 30, 2013, and include buying any one-hour Petersburg Boat tour ticket at the Augusta Canal Discovery Center and getting another free, one dollar off regular admission at the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson, or
manages the dialog you’re having with his/her inner voice. 2. If you think the chances of a 20/20 crew breathing down your neck are small, you’re right, but in communities our size the street buzz on you performs the same function. Going the extra mile seems like an old
DON MACNEIL is a traditional media expert, having spent more than 30 years on-air and behind the scenes in Media and Marketing. If you have any comments or questions, email Don at windsorway@ comcast.net
three dollars off tickets for the Historic Augusta Trolley Tour. The Clarion Suites Hotel is offering a double or king suite plus hot breakfast buffet, manager’s reception with two complimentary drinks, free wireless internet and outdoor pool access for on $49 plus tax, valid through Sept. 1. The Soul City Sirens Roller Derby team is offering $8 general admission tickets for home bouts on July 14, August 11 and September 29. The Westobou Festival, the arts event that will return to Augusta October 2 through 6, is offering ten percent off advanced tickets, which must be purchased in-person at the Westobou office at 965 Broad Street. These deals apply to the employee and up to three family members or guests, unless otherwise noted. Employees will be required to present their DOD identification to receive the discount. “There are a lot of attractions and so many events here in the Augusta area that a lot of local people don’t think about, that are more for visitors, and we wanted to raise awareness about those opportunities,” said Carly Kobasiar, director of marketing communications at the CVB. “We also wanted to extend our support to DOD employees who might not be able to go out of town on vacation this summer, and give them some opportunities to spend time with their families while they aren’t at work.” The Augusta CVB is the official destination marketing organization for the City of Augusta, attracting visitors and fostering destination development to enhance the economic growth of our region. For more information and a complete listing of special offers, please visit AugustaGA.org/DOD-Offers or call 706.823.6600.
Blanchard & Calhoun plans 23-acre downtown Knoxville Development Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial Corp., the real estate developer which has been in business for over 85 years in Augusta, plans to develop a mixed-use project on 23 acres overlooking the Tennessee River in downtown Knoxville. The development includes 300 luxury Class A apartments, 225 student housing suites, a 150room hotel fully equipped with a conference and wellness center, and 40,000 square feet of retail and office space. “This is an exciting concept for the revitalization of our South Waterfront,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. “We look forward to working with Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial on this bold proposal that will transform the area
and encourage additional private investment.” The project will complement the Suttree Landing Park project in the Old Sevier Neighborhood, which is being developed by the City of Knoxville. That project will include a river walk, arboretum, children’s play area, boat deck and festival lawn. The Class A apartments have a projected completion date of late 2014. The total project completion date is anticipated for mid-2015. Also, according to the Augusta Chronicle, Knoxville is the hometown of Blanchard & Calhoun chief executive Vic Mills. “It’s an honor to be involved in such a remarkable development in my home town,” said Mills according to the City of Knoxville website. “I’ve spent time on this property since childhood and now to be able to work with the city of Knoxville to redevelop this site into something that will be, once again, a major economic driver to Downtown Knoxville, the University and East Tennessee.”
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Photo by Sofia Colton Photography Dozens of vendors set up displays at the 2012 Augusta Pride event. The expanded 2013 event featured an entire weekend of events
The Business Of Sexuality
These opinions are those of THOMAS Scott Hudson and not necessarily those of Buzz on Biz Newspaper or its staff. Article by Thomas Scott Hudson
f the Roman scholar of ancient times, Cicero, were alive today he would likely be banging his head against the wall that our society pays little attention to the financial mess this country is in but is obsessed with what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes. Today, you can’t turn on a television without seeing the latest in the debate over gay marriage. As the states slowly allow for gay marriage, then the next debate will be gay adoption. Forget the fact that the United States is in some 17 trillion dollars in debt; we are more concerned with which Hollywood celebrity decided to come out of the closet. Make no mistake, the whole gay issue is big business and that is why it is an issue. For the “religious right” it is big business and for the gay lobby it is even bigger business. Homosexuality is something that has been with humanity since at least we began recording history. Socrates and Aristotle were notoriously gay as was Alexander the Great. The man that is hailed as a great hero on the Titanic, Augusta native Archie Butt, is now acknowledged by most historians to be a gay man. He went
down on the ship alongside his “husband.” In the days when Archie Butt lived, American society politely tolerated homosexuality. Gay men were simply known as “confirmed bachelors.” Many of these men offered their services to lonely married women and kept them company, dining and shopping with them while their husbands worked. The husbands never complained about their wives having a male best friend because there was nothing to complain about. Fast forward to today, and the issue of homosexuality seems to be the biggest issue on the planet; and the reason it is a big issue has little to do with civil or human rights. The reason is that leaders on both sides of the issue are making a tidy profit. Religious leaders such as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have long made money by scaring their flocks. Who can forget the mailers that Falwell sent out under the name of the “Moral Majority” in the late 1970’s? They shocked the nation. The package had a disclaimer on the front that read “Do Not Open In Front Of Children!” Inside was a photo of two men kissing along with a letter begging for donations to keep the organization afloat so that it could continue the fight against this scourge against humanity. So called conservative politicians
are in the act as well; they claim a vote for them and a campaign donation for them will save the American family. Don’t let the words non-profit fool you. Groups such as the Family Research Council and Family Research Institute only “research” the issue of homosexuality, and their solicited donations pay really great salaries for the “researchers.” The pro-gay side is cashing in too. Liberal politicians stump over delivering marriage equality and progay non-profits profit. Does anyone really think that the Boy Scouts of America, a private quasi-religious organization, suddenly came around and changed their beliefs and welcomed gays into the fold? No, they were forced to change their policy because the companies that fund them want to market to gay consumers and they threatened to stop being a benefactor to the Boy Scouts. It is now the religious folks threatening with the purse strings and the likely end to this is that the Boy Scouts may simply just cease to exist. The annual Gay Pride Parade and Festival was held last month in Augusta, and it too was a cash cow. Thousands and thousands of well meaning people flocked to town thinking they were going to somehow change other people’s deeply-held religious beliefs by parading down Broad Street. Those same people stayed in hotel rooms, ate in the restaurants and bought tee-shirts and all kinds of useless trinkets with rainbows on them. The local
economy got a tremendous boost from these people who came to town to celebrate the fact that they like to have sexual relations with other people and want everyone else to know it and celebrate it too. For me, I don’t go out of my way to patronize a business that declares itself “gay friendly,” and I certainly am not going to quit eating Chick-fil-A because the owners of the business have certain religious views. Speaking of Chick-fil-A, I did have to laugh that people were willing to sit for an hour or more in a drive through line to show their support for the business and give them their money. The owners of Chick-fil-A were laughing too; they laughed all the way to the bank. The point is, regardless of where you stand on this issue, whether you don’t mind that Adam and Steve live next door to you or you pray for their souls weekly in church, be mindful that this entire issue is an issue because a small group of people can make a buck. As long as the pros and the antis can whip their respective groups into an emotional frenzy and manipulate them into emptying the contents of their wallets, the gay issue will remain an issue. Meanwhile, did I mention that the United States is 17 trillion dollars in debt? Thomas scott hudson is a free lance reporter for WGAC News and a local paralegal. For comments or story ideas email email@example.com
Plan Withholding Wisely Christine Hall, CPA | Hall, Hall, & Associates P.C
alf of 2013 has already passed us by and vacations, not taxes, are on our minds at this time of year. It is however in your best interest to take some time now to plan, review and organize your tax information. With that in mind, the place to begin is with your withholding. Ideally, you would like to break even every April 15 -- or owe just a few hundred dollars. Why wait another year for a big refund? A large refund means that you have given the government an interest-free loan of your own money! Now is a good time to review your withholding and make adjustments. If you owed at tax time, perhaps you’d like next year’s April 15 tax payment to be smaller. If so, you will need to increase your withholding by claiming fewer dependents. Remember, filing as single with no exemptions will withhold the most amount of money. Married status and multiple dependents will withhold less money from your paycheck. In many instances, your actual marital status and number of dependents do not mirror your ideal tax status. Give us a call if you typically receive large refunds or owe money every April 15. Put your 2012 tax return and supporting documents somewhere secure so you’ll know exactly where to find them if you receive an IRS notice and need to refer to your return. For 2013, establish a central location where everyone in your household can put tax-related records all year long. Anything from a shoebox to a file cabinet works. Just be consistent to avoid a scramble for misplaced mileage logs or charity receipts come tax time. Make sure your employer is properly withholding and reporting retirement account contributions, health insurance payments, charitable payroll
deductions and other items. These payroll adjustments can make a big difference on your bottom line. Fixing an error in your paycheck now gets you back on track before it becomes a huge hassle. If you are planning to use a tax professional to help you strategize, plan and make financial decisions throughout the year, then contact us now. The earlier in the year you are able to plan and make changes the better. Waiting until the end of the year will potentially lead to frustration when the numbers are not turning out as you expected. Another thing to keep in mind is if your expenses typically fall just below the amount to make itemizing advantageous, a bit of planning to bundle deductions into 2013 may pay off. An early or extra mortgage payment, pre-deadline property tax payments, planned donations or strategically paid medical bills could equal some tax savings. If you need help with tax planning for 2013 please give us a call. We can help you prepare an approach that works best for you. Each household’s financial circumstances are different so it’s important to fully consider your specific situation and goals before making large financial decisions. Feel free to contact us any time you have questions or concerns. We can help you stay abreast of tax law changes throughout the year--not just at tax time.
Hall, Hall, & Associates P.C This is a sponsored Employment article. Hall and Hall Associates P.C. is a full-service public accounting firm established in 1979. They have a staff of experienced professionals that stand ready to meet all of your accounting, tax and general business needs. For a complimentary consultation call 706-8557733 or visit hallassociatescpa.com.
Heatlh Care Reform and You --
Essentials, Minimums and Differences by Russell T. Head | EMPLOYEE BENEFIT CONSULTANT
ssential Health Benefits The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), has established legislation that requires health plans to provide Essential Health Benefits. There are 10 categories of care and services that all individual and small group health plans must include regardless of whether the policy was purchased through the Marketplace/Exchange or not. Most plans already cover some of these items. 1. Ambulatory patient services 2. Emergency services 3. Hospitalization 4. Maternity & newborn care 5. Mental health and substance use disorder benefits, including behavioral health treatment 6. Prescription drugs 7. Rehabilitative and habilitative service and devices 8. Laboratory services 9. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management 10. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care Minimum Essential Coverage In 2014, most people will be required to have minimum essential coverage to avoid paying a tax penalty for not having any coverage. These are the statutory exemptions from the requirement: Religious conscience Health care sharing ministry Indian Tribes No filing requirement Short coverage gap Hardship Unaffordable coverage options Incarceration Not lawfully present
The sources for obtaining minimum essential coverage are as follows: Employer sponsored coverage (including COBRA & retiree coverage) Coverage purchased in the individual health insurance market Medicare Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Certain types of Veteran coverage TRICARE (Military) Dental and vision plans, workers’ compensation, disability policies or coverage for a specific disease or condition are not considered minimum essential coverage. Minimum Value Coverage This provision requires that employers with more than 50 employees offer coverage that is less than the minimum value will have to pay a penalty. It also applies to individuals who may be eligible for a premium tax credit/ subsidy. In 2014, group plans without minimum value coverage will have to pay a penalty. Minimum value coverage means that on average the plan will pay at least 60% of covered services. An individual that enrolls in a public exchange but is offered minimum value coverage by their employer will not be eligible for the tax credit/subsidy. For further explanation of the PPACA provisions outlined in this article, please refer to the following resources: www.hhs.gov, www.irs.gov, www.healthcare.gov
Russell T. Head is a Partner and Chief Visionary Architect with Group & Benefits Consultants, Inc., Augusta’s largest, privately held employee benefits consulting firm. He can be reached at 706-733-3459 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Group & Benefits Consultants at www.groupandbenefits.com. This is a sponsored article.
Center For Primary Care Your Prevention SPecialiStS
Lanier’s Meat Market is Moving
Wayne Lanier is moving his meat market from Deans Bridge Road in Augusta to the former Teresa’s Restaurant on Walton Way. “There are a lot of people down there that need a good meat market, and I’m looking forward to being able to serve them some of the nicest Angus beef someone could want,” said Lanier. “On the other hand, for people who are having difficulty making ends meet, I plan to sell some things almost at cost so that they can afford to eat.” Lanier has been in business since 1969, and his products include all types of steak cut to order, multiple kinds of roasts and locally-produced products like beef and chicken, for the environmentally conscious locavore. “I pride myself on owning a fresh meat market where people can get things to order,” he said. “I also grind my hamburger several times a day so that it stays fresh and it isn’t jostled around as it’s moved from warehouse to warehouse.” Despite some construction delays due to the rain, Lanier hopes to have his new location open by August 1. More information is available by visiting www. laniersmeats.com or calling 706.830.4549.
Midtown Market Expands to include Sunday Hours Christopher Selmek | Freelance Writer
he Midtown Market, located at 2113 Kings Way, has extended their hours to accommodate Sunday browsers from noon to 3 p.m., by which they hope to see new customers dropping in after having Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the next door 5 o’clock Bistro. “After having brunch there they get ten percent off most items in the store if they tell us they just ate next door,” said David Johnston, one of 33 vendors leasing display booths at Midtown Market. “5 o’clock Bistro has been a great neighbor too us and this is a great opportunity for people to have a nice meal and then come over here and have a nice browse. It makes for a very nice Sunday afternoon to attract people to the community we’ve built here at Midtown.” “Anything that helps one of us do well help all of us in the community, and we support each other in any possible way we can help each other out,” said Midtown Market owner Laura Evans Moody. “If we’ve needed anything they’ve been here to help us, and vice
versa, and to me that’s what good neighbors do.” 5 o’clock Bistro’s brunch menu includes small plates of French toast and eggs benedict, sandwiches such as the Croque Madame or Brunch Burger, which includes the filet burger topped with a fried egg, and large plates of frittata du jour and tournedos-n-eggs. Fruit is available as a side item and berries and crème anglaise are available for dessert. “We’ve been doing brunch for about eight months now, and it’s going absolutely fabulously,” said Barbara Howard-Ross, co-owner of the 5 o’clock Bistro. “We’ll be changing our menu a little and doing some unique things for summer because people are watching their weight, but there are other menu items that we couldn’t possibly change because people love them so much.” Other exciting changes at the Midtown Market include the recent addition of Sweet Brier Fair, formerly at the Surrey Center, who now rent space at the back of the market to sell their
women’s accessories and children’s items. In addition, the Midtown community has also been collaborating to make their monthly First Thursday celebration even better. Hill Baptist Church has begun offering free babysitting from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the first Thursday of every month for children up to 5th grade. In addition, the nearby Fire Station is raising funds to preserve their historic building and has been participating with the shop owners at Midtown. “We always raise money for different local charities during First Thursday, and we are all very interested in other civic groups within the city,” said artist Frances “Panny” Force, who rents a booth selling mostly gifts and cards
with her paintings of local scenes. “I am very involved with the Augusta Choral Society, and all the stores have been so great about putting up posters and supporting the arts.” Midtown Market is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. The 5 o’clock Bistro is open for lunch Wednesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., for Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and hosts private events on Tuesdays. For a complete menu listing, visit www.5oclockbistro.com. For more information about the Midtown Market, call 706.733.1788.
EMPLOYMENT & EDUCATION
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Determining Your Success as a REALTOR® Lelia Williams | Meybohm Realtors
n today’s ever rising and falling economy, there is always one thing you can always count on – yourself. Most of us have a drive to be successful; I see it every day among real estate agents. Why do real estate professionals strive to be the best? One reason, they are determining their own success. Being a successful REALTOR® starts with a basis that is taught in a pre-license real estate class. Frank Mears, the instructor of the Meybohm Institute of Real Estate stated, “Control over their own future is one of the main reasons those interested in Real Estate come to our school.” There are many reasons why one would choose to become a REALTOR®: the convenience of making your own schedule and
the ability to earn and succeed based on your own hard work and efforts, not to mention the uprise of the Real Estate market. However, it is ultimately up to the agent to determine their own success by learning aspects of the business from a trusted institute and instructor in their pre-license course and continuing to better their business by never ceasing to learn about the changes in the industry. Meybohm Institute of Real Estate offers both pre-license agents classes and pre-license broker classes, both online and on site at their office on Wheeler Road. In these classes individuals will learn the ins and outs of the Real Estate Industry. More importantly, they get the information they need to start a successful career. After you earn a license, it is up to the individual and his/her ambitions to determine their success as a REALTOR®.
It is also vitally important that new realtors are willing to educate themselves. In an industry that is heavily technology based, there is great benefit to learning the programs and apps that make business run more smoothly. There are so many technology tools in place to kick start real estate careers. Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest as examples) is quickly growing to become the hottest tool that new agents can use. With just one post on twitter, they can reach thousands of followers who see and re-tweet their information. With Facebook they can create great fan bases of those who know them personally or are in the community, who will share their listings with others. It is also important that even the most experienced REALTORS® continue to educate themselves. Meybohm Institute of Real Estate offers many courses such as the first-year post-license class and more than 80 continuing education
classes. The real estate market is ever changing; with popular continuing education classes, such as classes on foreclosures and short sales, it is easy to stay on the forefront of the industry. I hope that I have given you some insight into what is needed to determine your own success as a REALTOR® and I encourage you to jump in and learn about the opportunities that the real estate industry has to offer. If you are interested in a career as a REALTOR® please call the Meybohm Institute of Real Estate at 706.739.1028 today to start determining your own success. Lelia Williams is the Marketing Coordinator for Meybohm Realtors. She specializes in technology training and social marketing. She is an Augusta native and enjoys spending time with her 8-year-old son. For more information please email her at email@example.com. This is a sponsored article.
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BUZZ ON ROYAL KIDZ: PUTTING GOD FIRST IN BUSINESS The self-proclaimed “sisters in Christ” (and by birth) Darla Long and Tiffany Williams are following God’s path in starting the Royal Kidz Christian Learning Center on 146 Davis Road. They are two of eight brothers and sisters. “It’s fun working with your sister. It’s family and she is a fellow believer,” said Ms. Long. She was running a home daycare with six children when she got the calling to set up a business that will have the capacity to serve about 50 children. Darla did her homework and didn’t notice many Christian daycares in the CSRA. “We teach according to the scriptures and the bible,” she said. The sisters also welcome families who are not Christians. “We try to show our light to non-believers,” Long said. Royal Kidz welcomes children from 12 weeks to 12 years old and has four different areas set up within their building, which used to be the Augusta West Dance Studio. When Ms. Long signed on in September of 2012, she was unaware of various code issues and improvements that needed to be made. “We didn’t think we could make it. With a lot of hard work, dedication and prayer we will get there,” she added. Tiffany is utilizing her supervisory skills gleaned from work at CSRA companies like ADP, Comcast and T-Mobile. She has a Bachelor’s of Sociology degree. Her sister Darla ‘s background is in the “caretaking business”. She’s worked for Doctor’s Hospital, University Hospital, at a home health agency and at a nursing home -- before opening her home daycare. The “sisters in Christ” are hoping to be filled to capacity this year. They are currently enrolling new students. Call 706.723.5417 to schedule a tour.
The Royal Kidz Christian Learning Center is one of the few CSRA daycares that teaches a bible-based curriculum. .
“Sisters In Christ” Tiffany Williams and Darla Long keep inspirational messages on their walls. Darla (pictured on right) opened the business in late April and right now her sister is volunteering to help.
Are YOU Prepared For the Person You are About to Interview? BRENT & KELLY MALLEK | Talent Focus Consulting
n our business we get a lot of articles, emails and blog posts related to interviewing. Most are written for the candidate, to improve their interviewing skills. Here’s an example taken from one: “The ten questions every candidate should prepare to answer.” Top 10 Interview Questions 1. Tell me about yourself. 2. Where do you see yourself in five years? 3. Why are you leaving your current job? Or why were you terminated from your last job? 4. What interested you in this position? 5. What do you know about our company? 6. Why do you think you will excel in this position? 7. What are your biggest strengths? Weaknesses? 8. Describe your biggest professional achievement. 9. Tell me about a time when you dealt with conflict in the workplace and how you handled it.
10. Do you have any questions for me? (ALWAYS have questions prepared to ask the interviewer.) The commonality among these articles suggests that there is a very high degree of commonality by interviewers. If you are asking these questions…come on, you know you do…are you really getting information that helps you select the best candidate? Sure, you get a perspective on the person answering. You get to see if they can articulate an answer. You get to determine if their answers are appropriate for the specific job you’re hiring to fill. You get to hear their selfanalyses and their insight on the job and the company. All of these are good things to know, and to assess; they are all good things to know and assess if in fact the answers are honest and unrehearsed. Remember, we got these questions from one of the myriad articles helping candidates better prepare for your interview! So, should you do away with these and ask questions like “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”- I was actually asked this in a real interview once! No, you should ask these tried and true questions but you should also probe into a candidate’s job based behaviors, their interests and they’re cognitive learning ability. You can
Lee Heffernan returns Home to Join Wier / Stewart
One of the media world’s most experienced marketing innovators, Lee Heffernan, is returning to her hometown to lead the growth of the highly creative and inventive agency, Wier/Stewart Advertising. “In my career, I’ve hired dozens of agencies, from the biggest names to trendy creative upstarts,” said Heffernan. “Alex and Daniel and their team deliver like a big agency, with the kind of laid back Georgia hospitality that, for a client, makes working with creative firms like ours the best part of their day.” Heffernan has held key positions with many leading brands including Lifetime Television, Martha Stewart Living, Turner Networks and AMC Network’s WE: Women’s Entertainment. Since 2003, as the head of her own marketing agency, Heffernan has executed a wide range of programs from brand development to consumer marketing and events for clients including Oxygen, WWE and iVillage. “Lee is the perfect fit for our agency, the right person at the right time coming to the right place,” stated agency co-founder and Creative Director Alex Wier. Added Agency co-founder and Studio Director Daniel Stewart, “We’re hoping, with Lee’s connections and experience, we can grow to be one of those sought-after creative boutiques bringing these big ideas to big companies, right here from downtown Augusta.”
do this through behavioral interviewing (good, if you know how) or through behavioral interviewing following a valid assessment (better) -- better because a valid assessment tool will actually give you specific interview questions related to that unique individual in your unique business, in your company’s unique culture, under your unique management style! Don’t forget, your candidates are preparing. Are you preparing for them? You should be! We all have read and know the cost of a potential “bad hire”. If all else fails, hand them a pen and ask them to sell it to you…or critique it…or describe it. It won’t help you pick a high performer but you’ll be amused by what you hear.
BRENT & KELLY MALLEK This is a sponsored article from their company, Talent Focus Consulting. Brent has over 20 years of Human Resources experience as a proven leader, coach, and teacher. His practical yet strategic approach to human capital issues provides great value to the businesses with which he works. Kelly’s successful track record spans 25 years working in sales, customer service, and business operations. Her practical approach puts others at ease while assisting others in driving their business results. Visit their website at www.talentfocusconsulting.com or call 706.945.1592 for a free consultation.
Become More Productive and Successful C
LARRY RUDWICK | The Buzz Business Coach
ommon Challenges: Are you an intelligent, hard-working person who frequently gets frustrated and disappointed? Do projects often not go the way they “should”? Do you feel other people are often the cause, and you’re being unfairly affected? Sad Fact: Ironically, many bright, intelligent people agree with the questions above. Intelligence and hard work simply do not guarantee productivity or success. Why is this? How can people increase their chances for success? Let’s first define Productivity and Success! For simplicity, let’s agree that high productivity is “getting a lot accomplished very efficiently and effectively”. Let’s also define business success as a combination of 1) contributing in positive ways - high productivity, 2) helping others, 3) others helping you, 4) receiving positive recognition, 5) being financially compensated fairly, and 6) feeling really good about yourself. Life success is business success without the financial compensation. There are many frustrated and disappointed people because one or more of the five or six items are not happening. Here’s a simple solution: Figure out which of the five or six items are not happening, figure out why, and then just START MAKING THEM HAPPEN!
In reality, my simple solution is very hard to implement alone. That’s why this article will continue in future issues of Buzz, and why I encourage serious people to check out my website and contact me. One Way to Increase Productivity: Think of productivity like math, where the product is what you get when multiplying numbers. For simplicity, let’s say productivity results from just two categories (in reality it’s many, many more): 1) Technical Skills, and 2) People Skills. To calculate productivity, rate people in both categories, then multiple those numbers together. Calculating Productivity: “TECHIE GUY” is 80% close to perfection on technical skills, with only 30% people skills (very poor). Since 80% x 30% = 24%, TECHIE GUY is only 24% productive. “AVERAGE GUY” is 50% technically, with 70% people skills. AVERAGE GUY’s productivity is 50% x 70% = 35%, more productive than TECHIE GUY, even though his technical skills are not great. To Improve Productivity, TECHIE GUY could: 1) improve his technical skills, or 2) improve his people skills. If TECHIE GUY works on technical skills, improving from 80% to 100%, his overall productivity would increase from 24% to 30%, a modest increase. But going from 80% to 100% would be impossible, since 100% is perfection.
Instead, if TECHIE GUY improves his people skills from 30% to 50% (still not great), his productivity would increase to 40%, a significant increase, and now higher than AVERAGE GUY. This is much more practical, even though techies rarely truly focus on their people skills without significant encouragement. Key Points to Remember: 1) A slight improvement on one’s weakest links will likely pay off handsomely, 2) people skills are VERY important, 3) find people who will encourage you to grow, and 4) This subject is much more complex than can be written in a short article. Outside Help: It’s totally impossible to optimize one’s productivity and
success on their own. If you are serious about making positive changes, reach out to one or more people who are very experienced in such matters. LARRY RUDWICK This is a sponsored Business-Talk article. A lot more about this can be found on the www.BusinessTune-Ups. com website. To do an Executive Assessment requires a Word Document entitled Ten Questions That Can Improve Your Life. I would be happy to email one to you; you may request it from me at Rudwick@cox.net or calling 571-331-6102.
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LEARNING TO USE CREDIBLE RESEARCH INFORMATION Emily First |
Georgia Military College Library Coordinator
magine you are a college student who has just been given the task to write a paper as a history assignment on a prominent historic figure of your choice. Now comes the hard part -- where to begin. Most of us would start by simply using a search engine to find information, but what happens when you plug a term into to an internet browser like Google? Most likely, your search will provide millions of websites that pertain to your historic figure. Now be honest, how many of us never look past the first or second page of results. Finally, how does one tell if the information we find was written by a credible source? For good, reliable research, time can be wasted viewing irrelevant websites. Georgia Military College offers a much easier way of searching for good credible resources. Through an array of online databases students can discover things in the library such as books, newspapers, documentary films and many peer-reviewed and scholarly articles. These databases are designed to pinpoint information for research and class assignments relevant to the curriculum offered.
Using these databases can result in allowing students more time to develop knowledge and actually write their research papers. These credible, teacher-approved resources are available to students 24/7 from anywhere with internet access. Why might it be important to learn how to look up credible resources? Not only is it important to learn how to search for credible information for our own individual day-to-day lives, but also because todayâ€™s employers are looking for people who can adapt to the Information Age and understand the information in front of them. If a student has developed the skill of information literacy upon graduation, they are a much more attractive job candidate. Georgia Military College is committed to helping develop information literary skills in each of our students as we prepare them for work the modern workplace. Emily First is the Library Coordinator at Georgia Military College, managing the Student Resource Center and Tutoring Center. For questions about how to enroll in Georgia Military Collegeâ€™s degree programs, please call 706.993.1123 or visit our website at www. gmcaugusta.com.
ON SITE OR ONLINE.
CLASSES FORMING SOON. Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Bachelor of Science in Human Services
Learn more at swu.edu.
swu.edu/northaugusta | 803.426.7981
Martial Arts Event Planned for Children with Visual Impairment
The Georgia Regents University division of Pediatric Ophthalmology is partnering with Superior Academy Self-Defense School this summer for a fun, safe, confidence-bolstering event for children with visual impairment. Sifu Jason Herrera, owner and operator of Superior Academy and a hall-of-fame martial arts expert, will provide the instruction during the one-day Visionary Warriors Training camp. Herrera and his staff of martial arts experts will provide comprehensive supervision throughout the day to ensure every child remains safe. “I decided to work with the Vision Discovery Institute, because I understand the benefit they will experience,” said Herrera. “The confidence, the feeling they can accomplish goals, the strength and security that they may be missing otherwise. This program allows them to bring out their warrior.” The Visionary Warriors Training camp will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 9 at Superior Academy at 4158 Washington Road in Evans. There is no charge for children to participate, but participants are asked to call ahead to reserve a spot. For more information, call 706.364.8127 or send an email to admin@ superioracademy.com. Proceeds from event donations or sponsorships will support pediatric eye research at the Culver Vision Discovery Institute at GRU.
Offer Expires 5/1/13 8/1/13
Offer Expires 5/1/13 8/1/13
7 Secrets to Finding Relevant Information Online KEVIN WADE |
CEO of IntelliSystems, Tek Talk
ave you ever run into a virtual wall when searching for information on the Internet? With billions of websites online, finding good, relevant information online can sometimes be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. But take heart! Here are 7 little-known secrets that will help you find what you are looking for in no time at all. 1. Use the “Advanced Search” tool Almost all search engines have an “advanced search” tool that will provide you with more options for filtering information and websites. This will help you narrow down your search and eliminate irrelevant, off-topic websites. 2. Search with a phrase in quotations Putting quotations around a phrase will tell the search engine to look for that exact phrase or name instead of each individual word. For example, if you were looking for a chocolate cake recipe, type “chocolate cake recipe” in the search window with the quotes around it. If you left the quotations off, you might get recipes for other cakes or chocolate candy in general because the search engine will look up the words separately: chocolate cake recipe 3. Use synonyms If your search does not produce the results you want, try synonyms. For example, a dog is also a pet, canine, mutt, pooch, and man’s best friend. Use your Microsoft Word thesaurus tool or Merriam-Webster OnLine to find synonyms for your search term. 4. Use a plus or minus sign This trick will allow you to narrow down a larger category. If you were looking for a roadside café in Atlanta, you would type in “roadside café + Atlanta”. This will allow you to search on a specific set of keywords that might not be strung together in one phrase as mentioned in tip #2. This also works in reverse with a minus sign (-). If you wanted to find all roadside cafes that were NOT in
Atlanta, you would type in “roadside café - Atlanta”. 5. Just search the domain name If you know the website you want but can’t seem to find the information you are looking for, you can tell the search engine to search for a specific keyword or phrase within that site. Simply enter the search term you are looking for followed by the word “site” and a colon, and then by the domain name. For example, if you wanted to find information on spam filter updates for Microsoft Outlook, enter this: spam filter update site: www.microsoft.com 6. Eliminate inappropriate content To eliminate adult sites clogging your search results, simply activate your favorite web browser’s adult filter setting. MSN has a SafeSearch option on its settings page and Google’s can be found in their advanced search option. It’s not 100% accurate but it will eliminate the most obvious sexually explicit websites from your search. 7. Use your search engine’s categories Many search engines offer specialized areas such as news, video, audio, pictures, local, and shopping related categories. If you know you are looking for a picture, choose the appropriate category and your chances of finding what you want increase significantly. With these tips you will find relevant information related to your searches with less clutter to get in your way. Kevin Wade was selected as the 2012 Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce “Entrepreneur of the Year”.
KEVIN WADE is the CEO and “techspert” for Intellisystems, a small business I.T department for area companies. He works with them to prevent network failure, data loss, or backup disasters and provides technology advice to keep clients and the community informed. Intellisystems is located in the Alley in Aiken, in Columbia at the Atrium on Stoneridge Drive, and in downtown Augusta. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org
JULY JUNE 2013 2012
LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY
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Myth Buster Series Part 3 Drew Belt | Assistant Golf Professional at West Lake County Club
eep Your Head Down.” Have you ever heard this myth? This myth to me can be very amusing. I have heard players of all ages and abilities offer up this advice over and over again to struggling friends, co-workers, wives or husbands. And it is JUST. NOT. TRUE. I have heard so many of my lessons tell me this that I have had to prove to them with video that their head is not the reason they are topping the ball! THE TRUTH Your head is attached to your neck which is attached to the
rest of your body. When you’re swinging the golf club back down to the ball, and through to your finish, your body is twisting and turning with a ton of force. To maximize the speed of the club, you must lift your head. You are putting yourself at risk of injury if you try to keep your head down! If you keep your head down your arms will bend, the club will flip, and you will top the ball again. The vicious cycle will repeat itself. I must have lifted my head…and then you top it again. I have seen this cycle way too often. To help you with this problem, I would recommend a couple of thoughts to try: 1) Make half swings feeling as though your head is connected directly to your
chest and turns through to the target as one unit. Keep your arms as straight as possible in the follow through during these half swings. 2) Continue turning your belt buckle all the way to the finish where your buckle faces your target. Take this one step further! Not only does your head lift and turn through the ball…your whole body does the same. Your shoulders lift and turn, your hips lift and turn, even your hands lift! Wait… your hands lift? Yes! Actually the only piece of the whole golf swing that is traveling down is your club head! Look at the still frame photos of Bubba Watson. Take note of the action of the shoulders, hips, and head. Every piece is lifting up! This dynamic action
is why Bubba crushes the golf ball. By the way, Annika Sorenstam and David Duval both turn their heads well before impact. Neither of them comes close to seeing the ball at impact. This didn’t keep either of them from becoming the #1 player in the world. Bubba Watson Lifts…Everything!
Drew Belt This is a sponsored Golf article. Drew is an Assistant Golf Professional at West Lake County Club. A PGA of America Class A Member, Drew has been teaching golf to all levels of players for over 10 years. For comments or story ideas email drewbelt@ westlakecountryclub.com
JULY 2013 Cognitive functions, cardiovascular risk and brain oxygenation results were recorded. Members then followed a four month routine of twice weekly interval training and twice weekly resistance training. Final assessment showed that cognitive function, VO2 max and brain oxygenation significantly improved due to exercising. Participants received an added bonus of reduced body fat and a more toned physique! Adding exercise to your life will not only enhance your smarts, it will boost your productivity and give you more energy. Just one 30-minute workout sends extra blood to your brain, delivering oxygen and nutrients. Training also floods the brain with elements that heighten functions such as memory,
What Are You Waiting For? ED REID | Owner, Team Fit
ave you ever had one of those days? You made a “to-do” list to remind yourself of things you HAD to get done this weekend. It was an important list… it was a long list. Saturday comes and you can’t find that blasted list anywhere. Oh well, off you go anyway. Now, where are those keys?
Perhaps it is time to add exercise back into your routine. New research shows truth in the old adage, “A fit body yields a fit brain.” A Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) study showed that exercising actually makes middle-age people not only healthier, but smarter. The cohort consisted of grown-ups, the average age was 49, with a BMI of 25 or higher (25-30 is overweight, 30+ is obese). The adults underwent a battery of cognitive, biological and physiological tests before beginning the program.
problem solving, and decision making. New research has found that exercise may even cause permanent structural changes to the brain itself. So, what are you waiting for? Get smart while getting fit! ED REID This is a sponsored Fitness article. Ed is a Certified Personal Trainer and leading fitness expert in the CSRA. He is Retired US Navy with over 15 years experience in the health and wellness industry. Ed owns Team Fit Personal Training located at 4460 Columbia Road, Suite 10. For more information, call Ed at 706.877.0556 or e-mail him: email@example.com.
“Man Cave” Opens in Harlem
“It’s A Man’s Place” consignment shop opened at the end of May at 190 East Milledgeville Road in Harlem, offering an alternative to yard sales, Craig’s list and e-Bay in terms of liquidating your “man stuff”. Anyone can consign, whether it be a homeowner, contractor, property manager or someone liquidating their own retail store. Consignments also include bait and tackle, sports equipment, hardware and other manfocused items. The store is co-owned by the owner of Sunrise Grille restaurants, who is partnering with his brother-in-law. For more information call 706.449.8102, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page.
RELAXING BY THE (CLEAN) POOL THIS SUMMER! PETE ALEWINE |
Owner of Pete Alewine Pool & Spa
f you have a pool in your backyard you are no doubt getting ready for a busy summer of swimming, pool parties and gatherings. Your pool is the centerpiece of your backyard; so whether you are swimming or hosting around it, you want it to be in the best shape possible this summer! Here are a couple of tips: 1) Housekeeping *Empty skimmers and pump baskets weekly, or as needed. This will help keep maximum circulation in the pool which is vital to healthy water. *Skim the surface with a net as needed to remove leaves or large debris, and brush the side walls and pool bottom regularly *Run your automatic pool cleaner 2-4 hours a day *Keep your filter in optimal working condition: Sand Filters need to be backwashed when the pressure gauge rises 8-10 psi above normal and sand needs to be changed every 3-5 years. Cartridge filters need to be cleaned regularly with the spray nozzle of your water hose and soaked in a cleaning solution every 3-4 months. Replace filters when they become tattered.
2) Maintain Proper Water Chemistry (don’t worry there won’t be a test). *Proper water balance prolongs the life of your pool equipment and vinyl liner or plaster. *It inhibits the growth of algae *Gives water the sparkling look we all want! *Reduces work and maintenance costs The key to worry-free maintenance is having a regular routine including bringing a water sample in at least once a month during swim season. With free water testing at both Pete Alewine Pool & Spa locations, it is easy to get your swimming pool on a plan that best suits you. Happy summer and safe swimming!
Pete Alewine, born and raised in Evans, GA, has owned Pete Alewine Pool Company for 15 years and been a part of the swimming pool industry in the CSRA for over 30 years. Pete Alewine Pool & Spa is located in Evans at 4470 Washington Road and in Aiken at 116 Pendleton Street SW. Services include new pool construction, outdoor kitchen construction, pool renovations, equipment repair and service as well as water testing and pool chemical sales. They are a dealer for Sundance Spas and Big Green Egg grills. This is a sponsored article.
Fast, Friendly Italian Nola Bon Viveur | Fun-Loving Foodie
continue my search for the best business lunch spots in the CSRA. Last month I dined in Downtown Augusta, as it certainly fit the bill for being a centralized location for many Augusta business professionals. With the growth of business in Columbia County, however, I decided to broaden my search this month to Evans -- where there is no shortage of restaurants from which to choose. Business on Washington Road is growing by leaps and bounds. For my Power Hour lunch, with a digital marketing client, I chose The Pizza Joint, located at 4301 Washington Road. The Pizza Joint, whose first location is on Broad Street in Downtown Augusta, was established in 1996. The Pizza Joint specializes in “specialty pies” (pizzas), strombolies, calzones and ovenbaked sandwiches, all cooked on a traditional brick oven. Their menu also includes several salads and appetizers and a few pasta selections. Pizzas are sold whole (14” or 20”) or by the slice. It was really tough deciding what
to order (as it usually is for me), but I went with a Greek Salad and a slice of Chicken Diane. The salad, lettuce tossed with feta cheese, black olives, pepperocini peppers and Italian dressing, was fresh and delicious. I probably could have made a meal off it, but I am sure glad I didn’t. The Chicken Diane pizza slice was great. It’s topped with alfredo sauce, jerk chicken, roma tomatoes and spinach. Yummy -- good choice. The client I was with ordered a veggie calzone, filled with mozzarella cheese, artichokes, green peppers, mushrooms, onions and green peppers -- and she let me taste a bite. It was also good. Messy, but good! Remember, my criteria for a great business lunch spot include noise level, convenient location, fast and friendly service and networking potential. I’ve already established that The Pizza Joint is conveniently located for those professionals working in Columbia County. As for the noise level, it is exactly what you would expect at a pizza joint. It’s loud, but not too loud. It’s definitely a casual environment that fosters friendly conversation, allowing for business to be conducted with ease.
The service at The Pizza Joint is…well, it’s slow! While I know that freshly-cooked, brick oven “specialty pies” are not “fast food,” our wait time was really long. For a night out on the town with the girls this is not usually an issue, but when dining for a lunch meeting on a weekday, it poses a bit of a problem. The staff is friendly, and they do their best to take care of customers while they wait for their orders, but there’s only so much they can do. I ran in to several people I knew at The Pizza Joint this day (and we had plenty of time to talk); therefore, it gets kudos for networking potential. If you are scheduling a casual lunch meeting with no stringent time limitations, or if you just want to take a client out to lunch to “catch up,”
give The Pizza Joint a try. The price is right, the mood is relaxed, and the food is good. Nola Bon Viveur the “Fun-Loving Foodie,” is on the quest to find the best local hotspots for business power lunches. Nola is a regular contributor for Buzz on Biz. She is a native of Augusta, and is well acquainted with the local food scene.
LOCATION SERVICE NETWORKING Noise LEVEL
Ghengis Grill to Open in Augusta
Ghengis Grill, the Mongolian Stir Fry restaurant with over 100 restaurants open in the United States, will soon expand into the Augusta area. An ad for a store manager was posted to monster.com in late May, for a location which has yet to open in the old Souper Salad building in the Target Shopping Center on Robert C. Daniel Parkway. Ghengis Grill offers 12 different types of Stir-Fry bowls, and customers choose their vegetables and meat. They also claim to have many customers who lose a significant amount of weight by eating there. They will compete with several other casual restaurants in the Center such as O’Charley’s, Macaroni Grill, Chile’s, Sticky Fingers, Logan’s and more.
ADVERTISE WITH SUPER SAVER COUPONS www.supersavercoupon.com (706) 731-8415 • find us on
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Dr. Philip Jordan and his brother Jeff stand front of what will soon be Up Your Alley Chop Shop.
Local Family Brings Up Your Alley (Chop Shop) Back to The Alley Stephen Delaney Hale | Freelance Writer
rothers Jeff and Philip Jordan are excited about their new popularity -bringing back what they have already come to know as an “Aiken Icon,” Up Your Alley Chop Shop. Closed since August 2011, the loss of Up Your Alley has noticeably drained some of the energy from The Alley, Aiken’s entertainment and dining heart for the past 30 years. Jeff and Philip laugh when asked about the market research they did before taking out a lease/purchase option on the ancient former warehouse and shoe store. “We wanted to open a restaurant together,” said Jeff, who with another brother Anthony owns and manages Jordan’s Signature Automotive repair shop on Richland Avenue, near the new Sam’s Warehouse. “The market research we did,” laughed Philip, “was to sit outside at Davor’s Café across the street and watch group after group of people stop, peer into the windows at the vacant restaurant and ask each other if they know when another restaurant is coming. “Everybody had heard a rumor. All these Augusta restaurants were going to come over and all these chain restaurants were looking at it, they would tell each other. They just all wanted to believe that Up Your Alley was coming back and that’s when we knew we could make it work.” “Besides,” said Jeff, “we are going to do something right. We grew up in Aiken and we’re going to do things that honor our parents’ good name. We didn’t want to be just another steak house in the Lowe’s parking lot. We are going to be in the center of things and we are going to provide
a dining experience that is going to bring the crowds back to The Alley.” Neighbor Sam Erb, owner of the landmark West Side Bowery Restaurant across the street is all for them. Erb and his parents opened The Bowery in 1981, the first true upscale restaurant and bar in Aiken, and Up Your Alley rose from the ashes of an abandoned building the following year. “I think it’s great,” said Erb in late
years at Harrah’s in Atlantic City. The Jordan family is another Aiken icon. The boys grew up learning how to run a family business from their dad Jerry, who owned Jerry’s Exxon and later Shell at Newberry and Richland, where The Pizza Joint is now. Jerry and wife Judy raised four boys and two girls. “Tell them we were born in the Tax Office!” Jeff said with a big laugh. “The native Aikenites will
June. “It’s great that we will have another full-service restaurant in The Alley instead of just a bar because you should always be able to eat at quality restaurants downtown. I talked with them last Saturday and wished them well.” Erb took his enthusiasm for his new competitors a step further. “Over the last two years when that building has been dark, it kind of depressed the area. It was much more exciting when we had two great restaurants competing. There were a lot more people walking through The Alley and that spilled over to the merchants downtown. The extra buzz helps us all. I say, turn on the lights, open the doors and welcome back to The Alley.” Up Your Alley regulars will also be happy to hear that Chef Keith Herron is returning to do his magic in the kitchen as chef and part owner. Also a part of the ownership team is General Manager Janice Rodriguez, who comes to The Alley after 19
enjoy that and the rest won’t know what it means.” “Chef Keith is a great proponent of fashioning classic dishes with a creative touch out of almost exclusively locally produced foods,” said Philip. “Our beef is grass fed in Aiken County. All our steaks will be hand cut. Our chicken will be the freshest, grown in Aiken County, never frozen. Our seafood will come from at least weekly trips to Beaufort. We will drive down there ourselves to choose only the best and the freshest.” Jeff said all the produce will be locally grown and monthly menus will revolve around what is fresh -just picked. “I fell in love with food when I worked as a cook starting my freshman year in college at USC in Columbia,” said Philip, who is also a doctor of chiropractic and owns Jordan Family Chiropractic at 186 Fabian Drive. “It was then I realized what an amazing thing it is to taste a
vine-ripened tomato instead of one that was picked green and ripened in a cardboard box on the way to a warehouse.” “Heck,” they both laughed together, Chef Keith has told us he doesn’t want the freezer -- except perhaps for ice creams and such. He’s going to use it mostly for dry storage.” Much of the interior will be familiar to Up Your Alley regulars. The bar will remain where it has been for 30 years and customers will find a new martini and wine bar just inside on the right of the main dining area. The back porch is being transformed into an oyster bar. Up Your Alley Chop House will be open six days a week, from 5 to 10 p.m., in the restaurant and from 11 a.m., to 10 p.m., in the bar, where they will serve lunch. The plan is to open in September. Philip said they expect to start with a staff of about 20, hiring mostly inexperienced locals so that they can train them they way they want to. We have a professional wine trainer who is going to teach our staff how to provide a memorable wine experience with every meal. Said Jeff, “Dining at Up Your Alley Chop House will not be just about dinner; It will be an experience. You will come here for your mother’s birthday and with your sweetheart for your anniversary, but you’ll also come in because you want a great steak.” “Good dining is an experience,” said Philip. “Food can take you back to some of the best moments of your life -- reunite you in your mind with a favorite person. Food is a connection to your life. That’s what it’s all about.” Story and Photography by Stephen Delaney Hale
Frankie’s Taste of Chicago Moves to Wrightsboro Road F
Christopher Selmek | Freelance Writer
rankie’s A Taste of Chicago restaurant has changed locations from the small carry-out off Washington Road to a larger, sit-down diner at 4314 Wrightsboro Road -- at the intersection with Jimmy Dyess Parkway, providing them traffic from both Fort Gordon and the Augusta mall. Owner Frankie Harris, who ran two similar restaurants in Chicago before moving to Augusta, said that Frankie’s carry-out was only the first phase in his plan to establish his restaurant here in this city, but after receiving numerous requests from customers who wanted to be able to sit down and enjoy the food, he decided to move to the larger, more visible location. “We did takeout and delivery for almost two years, but we found that Augusta is more of a sit-down area, unlike Chicago where people like to get their food on the go,” said Frankie’s wife and co-owner Latina Harris. “Chicago is a big city where the pace of life is fast, but what we’ve found in Augusta is that more people want to take the time to really
appreciate what we’re serving, so this move is a response to the requests of many of our customers.” All of the burgers and hotdogs available at Frankie’s original location will still be on the menu, including the famous Italian beef and Maxwell Street Polish, with a few notable additions. A Bleu Burger stuffed with bleu cheese and an Ally-oop burger stuffed with three cheeses will feature among the traditional hamburgers along with a New York style hotdog with sauerkraut and spicy mustard, and a Reuben dog with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and mustard. Frankies will also be adding deepdish pizza to their menu along with an appetizer menu including fried green tomatoes and cheese sticks. For desert, they will retain their signature key lime cake but will also add cheese cake with an assortment of toppings. “Augusta has some really great people living here, and then this city also has people from all over and they want to taste something different,” said Frankie. “Just for example, when Steak and Shake
opened up down the road their line was out the door. I want to do the same thing and give people something different.” Frankie also appreciates their location near Fort Gordon’s gate one, which previously had few dining options aside from the nearby Zaxby’s. He is also excited by the ongoing construction on Wrightsboro Road, which will turn the two-lane road into a four-lane highway directing mall traffic past the restaurant. Frankie hopes to expand the menu soon after opening to eventually
include rib tips, gyro cone, beer and wine and a Friday night fish fry. Although the restaurant is currently open Monday through Saturday, he also hopes to establish a Soul Food Sunday with a menu posted inside so people will have to stop by to see what’s cooking. Frankie’s A Taste of Chicago is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Saturday. For more information, visit www. frankiesofchicago.com or call 706.863.0080.
HOSPITAL FOOD RESEMBLES RESTAURANT FOOD
The Subway Café is now open to serve visitors and employees of Doctors Hospital, adjacent to the existing hospital Cafeteria located at 3651 Wheeler Road. It took almost a year to finalize the plan. The Subway Café not only features a full Subway menu, it also has expanded options such gourmet coffee selections, pastries, pizzas and salads. “We are excited to partner with Subway to better serve our patients by continuing to provide excellent food and dietary service. Subway will offer our visitors and employees healthy food options as well as expanded hours to better meet their needs throughout the day and evening hours,” said Robbie Bradford, Director of Food and Nutrition Services at Doctors Hospital. “Partnering with Doctors Hospital made sense because like Doctors Hospital, Subway is committed to healthy eating and heart healthy foods. When we made the decision in January to expand our services to Doctors Hospital we were excited to be able to bring healthy alternatives to the employees and visitors they serve,” said Penny Jones, Consultant for Subway, Inc. The Subway Café is open to the public Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Back-to-School is Big Business for Goodwill Advertorial by Kristen Soles for Goodwill Industries
ith the grills fired up and the pool parties in full swing, it is hard to believe the new school year is right around the corner. Soon it will be time to trade the floaties for football helmets and switch up the lemonade stands for jacko-lantern carving stations. Back-to-school season is the second most lucrative time for retailers after holiday shopping, and no wonder: according to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 79 million students will return to the classrooms this fall. The key to retailers staying competitive in the market is creativity and rock-bottom prices. This year, Goodwill stores endeavor to provide both. Christine Butler, Goodwill’s Director of Donated Goods, points out that “Men’s dress shirts, worn backwards, are great painting smocks for your preschooler’s classroom.” She also advises incoming college freshmen to visit Goodwill retail stores for their furniture shopping. “I’m not certain of the statistics, but our stores are really popular places for college students furnishing their apartments and dorm rooms.”
What is unique about Goodwill’s back-to-school campaign is not only do they seek retail shoppers; they also solicit back-to-school donations. The Goodwill model relies on contributions of gently used clothing, furniture and other household goods to replenish their inventory during successful shopping seasons. All of this cyclical shopping and donating, in turn, provides the funding Goodwill uses to underwrite job skills training programs and career services for the CSRA community. So before you strike out on the annual school shopping marathon (at Goodwill), do not forget to clean out the kids’ closets. Chances are good your donation will be a blessing to another parent striving to get the children outfitted before the first bell rings. Kristen Soles is the Marketing Coordinator for Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia & the CSRA (goodwillworks. org). A native Georgian, she graduated from Georgia College & State University. When not working with Goodwill, Kristen divides her time between freelance journalism, the Junior League, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Alpha Delta Pi Sorority.
Stone Industrial Site Has Been Named a Market-ready site by Georgia Allies
Stone Industrial Park has been named a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) by the Georgia Allies, a publicprivate partnership focused on economic development marketing. “The GRAD designation for Stone Industrial Site means that it can truly compete on a global stage for new industry and the accompanying jobs,” said Pat Wilson, Executive Director of Georgia Allies, and COO of the Department of Economic Development. “I fully believe that Thomson-McDuffie County’s efforts to attain the GRAD status for Stone Park will be beneficial.” The GRAD designation indicates that Stone Industrial Park is market-ready and also includes a continued presence on numerous websites and electronic newsletters which will help to market the site. “The Stone Industrial Site is now the only GRAD Site on I-20 from Metro Atlanta to South Carolina,” said Ralph Staffins. “I think that this designation, along with all of the aggressive actions from our community in the preparation of this site, have created one of the preeminent industrial sites in all of the State of Georgia.” Development Authority Chairman Riley Stamey said, “This designation is an integral part of our strategic plan to prepare for future job growth in our market area”
“Right at Home” owners Celeste Hoffman and Kathy Crist introduce therapy dog Snickers to Mrs. Margaret Lista. Photo by Todd Lista.
Stay at home alternatives from the professionals at Right at Home
For more information and a free in-home assessment, call
803-278-0250 or visit www.rightathome.net/csra.
South Carolina Biz Briefs Chasity Kirkland Jackson
| Freelance Writer
S.C. Restaurant Carry Bill Will Not Become Law
In the Legislature’s final hours this session, Senate members struck down a bill that would have let residents with concealed gun permits carry side arms in South Carolina’s restaurants and bars. It was a surprise move by the Senate for sure, since the House had just voted 100-12 to send the bill forward. But as the clock ticked toward 5 p.m. Thursday, June 6, a group of Democrats led by State Sen. John Scott filed a mountain of amendments to delay the vote. Supporters unsuccessfully tried to send the bill to conference committee. Opponents weren’t happy that the House removed compromise language that would have created a midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew for carrying firearms inside bars. That move unintentionally sabotaged any chances of the bill surviving, House members later admitted. But their reason for stripping the provision was simple, said Rep. Mike Pitts: “Why tell me I can protect myself in a restaurant until 12, then tell me I can’t at 12:05?” The restaurant carry bill is expected to be among the first taken up when lawmakers reconvene in January. Both the House and Senate versions stipulate that gun carriers can’t consume alcohol onsite. Both versions also give business owners the right to ban firearms in their establishments by posting signs. South Carolina is among only a few states that specifically prohibit guns in bars. Many states have no laws against packing heat in places that serve alcohol, making it legal by default. Others -- including Arizona, Ohio, Virginia and Tennessee -- now explicitly allow holders of handgun permits to hold onto their guns in bars.
Downtown Aiken Restaurant on FOX NEWS
Betsy’s on the Corner, a big hit with Aiken foodies, recently captured the attention of a national audience after Fox News featured the modern diner that is a flashback to the 50s. Reporter Mary Quinn O’Connor interviewed owner Betsy Simon for a segment on retro diners that are once again en vogue, from Los Angeles to the Big Apple, Kentucky, Atlanta and now Aiken. “It was such an honor and it was quite a surprise,” Simon said after the segment aired on June 21, introducing her bustling restaurant on the corner of Laurens and Barnwell streets way beyond the local scene. Betsy’s on the Corner has been attracting attention since it opened a year ago. In January, the Historic Aiken Foundation gave Simon an architectural preservation award for renovating the rundown building that couldn’t keep a steady tenant until now. The nostalgic atmosphere reflects the ’50s and ’60s with its red Formica tabletops, terrazzo floor, pressed-tin ceiling, enamel dinnerware, contoured Coke glasses and a bell in the kitchen window that dings when orders are up.
People continue to line the sidewalk for made-fromscratch comfort foods, especially the chicken and dumplings. Friends have loved Simon’s family recipe for years, and regular diners just know to ask for chicken and dumplings, even though that’s not on the printed menu. The “official” menu does feature typical diner food, including blue-plate specials every Wednesday, as well as milkshakes, sundaes, malts, hotdogs, fries and hamburgers. The burgers have names that reflect Aiken and its history, among them the Easy Street, South Boundary and the SRS.
R.B. Bolton and Associates sold to Meybohm Commercial
After three decades in real estate, Ronny Bolton has retired. On June 14, Meybohm Commercial bought out R.B. Bolton and Associates, which had operated in Aiken since 1977. Bolton, originally from North Augusta, started the business after working for 10 years at Citizens & Southern National Bank, now Bank of America. As a banker, Bolton had developed a relationship with E.G. Meybohm, the president and founder of Meybohm Realty. Bolton transferred 28 clients to Meybohm Commercial in the sale and sold his downtown Aiken office. R.B. Bolton & Associates focused primarily on commercial developments, with limited residential and some assisted-living projects. The company developed Aiken’s first residential retirement community, Kalmia Landing. Ronny, 72, is vice chairman of the Economic Development Partnership’s board of directors and has hinted at his willingness to serve on city or county boards that need his expertise. “I’m just going to stay involved as much as possible,” Ronny said. “I’ll have time to do that now.” Ronny served on the City of Aiken Planning Commission for a number of years and was the group’s chairman. During that time, he helped enforce stricter ordinances in landscaping and signage and banned billboards in the city limits.
be managed by Campbell, who in recent years has scaled back his operation. The outfit recently sent out Palace Malice to capture the Belmont Stakes. The colt became the second classic winner for Campbell -who is widely considered the originator of the modern racing partnership model -- joining Dogwood’s 1990 Preakness Stakes winner Summer Squall. In April 2012, Dogwood and Eclipse formed an arrangement in which Dogwood offered its members shares in Eclipse runners while Eclipse gained access to Dogwood’s training grounds. The venture also streamlined both groups’ financial operations under a single chief financial officer, former Dogwood treasurer Bill Victor. Dogwood Stable will continue to operate from its office in historic Aiken, the city it relocated to in June 1986, said Sadler. Eclipse also has offices in Del Mar, Calif., and Springboro, Ohio. “The beauty of it is that Mr. Campbell will continue to manage all of the existing partnerships until their end,” Sadler said. “I will continue to serve Dogwood Stable clients the way that I have up to this time.” Most of the new young horses will be trained in Aiken at Dogwood’s training barns, managed by Brad Stauffer and Ron Stevens. “I will look in on all aspects of the Eclipse/Dogwood operation when asked to,” Campbell said. “But the effectiveness of Aron Wellman and Eclipse has been established dramatically. Since he and co-founder Lee Midkiff launched their endeavor in the fall of 2011, they have won 13 stakes races with eight different horses, and right now the outfit is ranked among America’s top five in graded stakes wins.” “Cot Campbell, his brand, staff and family are pure class and to be provided the opportunity to live up to the high standard he has set is a responsibility I do not take lightly,” Wellman said. “It is an honor to be handpicked by Cot to carry on his esteemed legacy. This is the ultimate endorsement.” Since 1971, Dogwood has campaigned 77 stakes winners and made seven trips to the Kentucky Derby with eight horses. It’s owned both Preakness and Belmont Stakes winners, had six millionaires, captured two Eclipse Awards, and won a Breeders’ Cup race. Meanwhile, Sadler said Dogwood is pointing Palace Malice for the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga on July 27.
Dogwood and Eclipse Merger SMS Sportsworld to Close SMS Sportsworld, on E. Pine Log Road in Aiken, will Formalized
Dogwood Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners are no longer just flirting. The two prominent racehorse companies are getting hitched on July 1, during an official merger. “The loose connection we have with Aron Wellman and Eclipse is one that has worn well.’’ W. Cothran (Cot) Campbell, Dogwood president, said in a prepared statement. “What was described earlier as ‘going steady’ is now going to be a marriage.” Horses that are purchased at public auction will race under the name Eclipse/Dogwood, and will run with alternating colors, said Jack Sadler, Dogwood Stable vice president. Runners currently competing for Dogwood partnerships will not be affected and will continue to
close at the end of the month, says storeowner Bobby Sheridan. Merchandise that isn’t sold -- from shoes, clothing, equipment and memorabilia -- will be sent to Savannah. Everything inside is currently on clearance. Several factors lead to the decision, said Sheridan, who opened in 2009, but when Academy Sports announced it was coming to the southside just a few miles away, well, that pretty much sealed the deal. Last year the big-box retailer operates about 150 stores across the Southeast and recently opened a new location in Hitchcock Plaza off Silver Bluff Road. SMS Sportsworld also has stores in North Augusta, Orangeburg and Manning. The North Augusta store, which Sheridan also owns, will remain open.
JULY 2013 JAN. 10 –FEB. 6, 2013
SOUTH CAROLINA BUSINESS
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So much of Aiken’s traffic converges on the Aiken Bypass - S.C. Hwy. 118.
Public Process Proceeds On What to do with Aiken Bypass Stephen Delaney Hale | Freelance Writer
here is a line in the sand dividing people in Aiken. It is not dividing them geographically down the center of town; it’s the line that defines the western border of Aiken that all the fuss is about. Hitchcock Parkway, the almost five-mile “bypass” that connects at
the west end of Aiken at U.S. Hwy. 1, also named Richland Avenue and known as the Aiken/Augusta Highway, then swings south and east until it meets Silver Bluff Road. Two blocks later, Silver Bluff, now four lanes, connects with Hwy. 1 again, now in the form of Whiskey Road, leading Aiken’s biggest traffic flow south, out of town. Hitchcock Parkway was built almost 30 years ago on land donated by Houndslake Country
Club developer Bob Penland and his partners. Houndslake opened in 1974. The bypass has remained a two-lane road on a right-ofway intended to eventually suite four lanes when the town grew into it, said Penland and the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) at the time. A lot of people say that time has come, but most of the people who have shown up at public information meetings on whether to widen the
traffic artery, and if so, how big to make it, are vehemently opposed to what has been presented as a $26.5 million project, creating a fourlane highway that boarders Aiken’s sacrosanct Hitchcock Woods. After strenuous objections to the plan -- and the price -- at an informational session in Aiken on June 20, and an earlier session, SCDOT has asked City of Aiken
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What will happen to the Aiken Bypass
Continued from Page 31
Many in Aiken feel “The Bypass” is too scenic to spoil while others say it is already a dangerous, overcrowded, slow eyesore. The “eye of the beholder” may depend upon the time of day.
officials to wait until the state agency can review comments from the public and hold its own public information session on a date to be announced. The City will go ahead with a July 2 review session of concept ideas for a roadway that could be placed within the existing right of way, according to City Manager Richard Pearce. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m., at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 961 Trail Ridge Road, across the bypass from the upper Houndslake entrance. At an earlier information session, SCDOT Project Manager Kevin Gantt said the project would help ease traffic flow through the parkway, which is expected to continually increase in the future. During that session, citizens were told that the parkway currently handles approximately 18,000 vehicles daily and that it was built three decades ago for 16,000 vehicles a day. SCDOT officials said that it projects that in less than two decades, usage will increase to 28,000 vehicles per day. Grant has explained several times that the commission operates on a set criteria when considering proposals, including the volume of traffic, safety needs and economic issues that could impact the area – such as new commercial, residential or manufacturing growth. The commission is able to fund projects with several revenue streams, including state and federal funding,
grant money and tax funding originated for the purposes. Grant has explained at several sessions that the ARTS commission plans projects on a long-range scale and prioritizes those on a yearly cycle. He said that such commissions consider infrastructure projects over a large area – in this case Aiken County in South Carolina and Richland and Columbia counties in Georgia. He said the commission looks at the entire area to determine its transportation needs. Projects are then prioritized within a ten to 15-year plan so they can “line up” for funding. Proponents of the widening voiced fears that, after having waited 30 years for the highway widening project, Hitchcock Parkway could be bumped from the priority list for years, or even decades to come. That would be just fine with citizens who don’t want to spend the money in the first place, or at least, a lot less of it. Several spoke at the sessions making the point that, in their experience, significant traffic delays occur only at the two ends of the 4.8mile parkway. They would add turn lanes, especially at the intersections with Richland Avenue and Silver Bluff Road, greatly reducing the effects upon the environment and on the cost -- money that might be better spent shoring up unsafe bridges, or not spent at all.
Jimmy John’s Expanding To Aiken J
Christopher Selmek | Freelance Writer
immy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches will begin a new relationship with the Aiken community in mid to late August following the construction of a new store next to the Fresh Market at 1412 Whiskey Road. Stacey Vincenzetti, the franchise owner and general manager of the new location, plans to provide catering, delivery within 15 minutes and free samples before lunchtime for many businesses in the delivery area. It’s very high quality products that we use and everything is sliced fresh daily,” she said. “We have six kinds of meat, and our bread can only be four hours old before we throw it out, so we’re constantly baking and using fresh French and wheat bread all day.” “There is a mayo proportion that we have to use or else we get fired, so that every sandwich has a heaping scoop of mayonnaise that is evenly distributed throughout the sandwich, and if you ask for more we know exactly how much more to give you,” she added. “Our veggies are also placed proportionally, so that the sandwich is supposed to have the
same amount of flavor in every bite.” The freaky fast and freaky good business model is shared by all Jimmy John’s restaurants, which make only cold subs so that they can be ready to eat by the time you get to the cash register. “Jimmy John is a real person and he started his restaurant chain in Champaign, Illinois, thirty years ago,” said Vincenzetti. “He continues to give personal oversight for all his stores, and he believes in using the only the finest products that are fresh and consistently used at every store.” Jimmy John’s currently has 2,500 stores throughout the United States and is still growing. The Augusta restaurant located at 1129 Agerton Ln., across from the movie theatre, has been open for almost two years and has attracted a dedicated following in West Augusta. That franchisee is also planning an Evans location. Among the most popular subs are the Italian Night Club, with real genoa salami, Italian capicola, smoked ham
and provolone cheese, and also the Country Club with fresh sliced turkey breast, applewood smoked ham and provolone. Jimmy John’s also offers several healthy veggie subs and an
“unwich,” which is a sandwich made with lettuce leaves instead of bread that is perfect for a no-carb diet. Vincenzetti, a former elementary
school teacher, said she first heard of the franchise while living in Michigan and is excited about the opportunity to bring the Jimmy John’s taste to people who haven’t experienced it before. She and her step-father business partner live in Evans, but because the local market was already established decided to expand Jimmy John’s into Aiken. Construction will begin on the new building after Independence Day. They are also looking for delivery drivers and part-time employees. “We open as soon as our bread has come out of the oven and had time to cool, and we close ten minutes past the hour to accommodate any customer who shows up late,” said Vincenzetti. “The store has a classic rock feel and is a really fun place to come. The staff sings and we’re all about customer service.” For more information, visit JimmyJohns.com or e-mail JimmyJohnsAiken@gmail.com
Meeting the Deadline
Miss Bossy Pants | Humorous thoughts on the workplace
By Nora Blithe | Freelance Writer
sat back at my desk. Fifteen hours of hard work and my report for work was finished, just in time too. It was due in ten minutes. There is nothing as inspirational as a deadline I reflected as I hit print. The printer whirred and grinded, making its usual noises. Suddenly, it stopped with a choking sound. My brow furrowed. That didn’t sound good. I crossed the room to the printer stand and examined the printer. Half a ream of paper was wedged in the feed, gurgling noises came from inside and a myriad of lights flashed like a digital temper tantrum. I was in a bind. I had to resuscitate my printer, print the report and get it to my boss in ten, no wait, make that nine minutes. I opened the top and methodically worked the jammed paper out of the gears. Once the paper was free, I breathed a sigh of relief and started the process printing again. An error message popped up on my computer screen telling me there was a paper
jam. I hit the cancel button and tried to print again. Nothing happened. I looked at the printer. None of the lights were flashing. Thinking it had turned itself off I flipped the power switch. Still nothing so I flipped the power switch again. I jammed the power switch repeatedly until the printer whirred to life. “Whew,” I said to no one. I again sent the document to the printer. This time, the sounds from the printer were the normal sounds. I looked at the clock I still had four minutes. I relaxed and waited for the printer. It seemed to take forever. It’s probably just the stress I thought. I gave it another moment. How many pages is that document I wondered. I crossed to the printer and pulled the pages off the tray. Instead of the neat typed pages I was expecting, I found a myriad of gibberish and symbols splayed in one or two lines on each sheet of paper. “That’s it,” I shrieked at the printer. “I have had enough of you!” I marched out of my office and rummaged through the supply closet and found a hammer. My boss wouldn’t tolerate a late report but he might be sympathetic if my printer was broken.
“I’ll make sure it’s broken,” I muttered as I stormed back into my office. I stopped short in amazement. There are the printer tray sat my report, complete and ready for submission. Later, when my boss asked how I managed to complete such a great report in so short a time I smiled, “You just have to know how to talk to people.” And inanimate objects. nora blithe is a freelance writer. She and her husband Brian just moved from Augusta to Greenville, SC, and she is looking for a new career. Read her blog online at doorinface.com or contact her at norablithe.com.
Published on Jul 24, 2013