FREE! Take One
JUNE 2013 ISSUE • THE CSRA’S ONLY BUSINESS MONTHLY PUBLICATION
Chantel Holt and other Augusta ATV staff honor the memory of former owner, Jimmy Holt.
AUgUSTA ATv DRIvES ON WITH NEW lEADERSHIp I
Christopher Selmek | Freelance Writer
Buzz on Biz, LLC 3740 Executive Center Drive Martinez, Ga 30907
“ put Jimmy’s tennis shoes up over the door leading to the back room so that we would always remember what big shoes we have to fill,” said Chantel Holt, owner of Augusta ATV, the CSRA’s only licensed dealer of Bad Boy Buggies located at 2325 Peach Orchard Road. “He was a great presence in the community and he was kind to everybody. I want to continue his legacy of customer based service second to none.” Jimmy Holt passed away in January after a 13-month battle with esophageal cancer, leaving his ATV dealership in
the hands of his capable wife and a few trusted employees. “Everyone has been very supportive,” said Chantel. “The end went really quickly, and we hadn’t planned for it. Jimmy passed away on a Friday after a long week of being hospitalized, and I had to leave the hospital and go to the store to do payroll. For a while I was overwhelmed with grief and questioned if I was capable or had the desire to do this. A lot of people were asking me questions that I just didn’t have the answers to.” Now, five months later, Chantel has made the decision not only to continue overseeing the business but also to expand to a second location in west Augusta and out into the community with a mobile service unit. “The mobile unit was the first idea that I had to grow the business, which came about after consulting with our
store manager, Mike Douglas; he agreed that it was an idea whose time had come,” she said. “Jimmy’s son, Jimbo Holt, is still working and has been very helpful during the transition.” “We have a lot of positive things happening for us with the mobile service unit and the new location opening up,” said Douglas. “We had some personnel changes, but I feel we’re now working with the best team we’ve ever had. Chantel has made some decisions that will help us move forward.” The 12-foot enclosed trailer hit the streets in May with the ability to perform most vehicle repairs on sight in neighborhoods or business locations. Driver Frank Pileggi is an E-Z-GO certified mechanic who will soon establish a regular schedule of maintenance sites. Appointments with the mobile service unit may also
be made by calling the store’s main number. “If you have a neighborhood with a
Continued on Page 5
INSIDE THIS ISSUE: SECTION A
Main Business News
Employment & Education
Leisure & Hospitality
THE TRADITION CONTINUES NEIL GORDON | President, Buzz on Biz LLC
immy Holt always knew the devil was in the details. It is why he was so successful running the operations side of the Pump N Shops for so many years -- and why he was successful in growing Augusta ATV in South Augusta. Before Jimmy passed away, he told me how he wanted to see more of his golf cars in all of these planned communities in Columbia County. We hope you enjoy our cover story on how Chantel Holt is keeping Jimmy’s dream alive...and then some. Ms. Holt recently made a bold move on the service aspect of the business as well. Other Columbia County businesses are growing too. First Bank of Georgia just moved to Evans. The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and other civic leaders
traveled to Washington D.C and came back with a great story! Restaurants are also expanding or opening in the CSRA. Look for our buzz bits throughout the newspaper. Lastly, the Buzz on Biz and Evans Fitness are partnering together on a special promotion to encourage business leaders to stay healthy. Please turn to Page 12 to claim your (absolutely) FREE membership! Have a great June. I’ll buzz ya’ next month. Neil 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 hyperlocal, niche publications, “Buzz on Biz” and “Verge”. To learn more, visit www.buzzon. biz or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.
www.buzzon.biz 3740 Executive Center Drive #300 Martinez, GA 30907
COMCAST BUSINESS CLASS
like us on facebook
In today’s fast-paced world, your business can’t wait - for slow connections, for outdated technology, for service delays or for anything else. With Comcast Business Class, you’ll get significantly faster Internet speeds with downloads up to 33 times faster than DSL and a T1. You’ll also get phone service that’s the best in call clarity. And the reliability you need to keep your mind on your business 24/7. Switch to Comcast Business Class today, and stop waiting.
Restrictions apply. Not available in all areas. Speed comparison between Comcast Business Class Deluxe 50 Mbps Internet service and standard 1.5 Mbps DSL and T1 service (downloads only). Actual speeds vary and are not guaranteed. Call for details. Comcast © 2012. All rights reserved. NPA88012-0009 73757__NPA88012-0009 8.5 x 5.175 ad.indd 1
2/10/12 10:38 AM
Jimmy Holt, who passed away in January, leaves ‘big shoes to fill’ according to his staff.
Chantel Holt, owner of Augusta ATV.
AUgUSTA ATv DRIvES ON Continued from Page 1
lot of golf cars this is ideal for helping them get the service they need without the inconvenience,” said Chantel. “We’re the only ones in town so we expect to get a good response.” The South Augusta location will continue to handle repairs and will also ship parts to the West Augusta location for next-day service. The location at 3206 Washington, across from Warren Baptist Church, will focus mainly on sales. “The new location becoming available is another great opportunity, and there is no doubt in my mind that it’s come about due to Jimmy’s everpresent guiding spirit,” said Chantel. “Jimmy always wanted to be in West Augusta for the growing communities. There are a lot of hunters as well as farmers who live in that area who he thought would benefit from a location in that area.” The 2013 line of Bad Boy Buggies includes the hybrid-electric Ambush, the Recoil and the Instinct, which entirely eliminates Bad Boy’s former XTO, Classic and LT models to create a completely redesigned outdoor
experience. The Ambush 4X4 hybrid has the ability to switch on the fly between the range of a gas engine and the silence of an electric drivetrain with the power of four wheel drive. It also features independent front suspension, 1,000 pound towing capacity and a 9.6 cubic foot cargo bed which can be exchanged for an optional rear-facing bench seat. The Recoil comes standard with front independent suspension, but the upgrade Recoil iS is also available with four-wheel independent suspension. Both feature a 72-volt AC electric drivetrain, full-time four-wheel drive and a range of up to 40 miles per charge. The Instinct has an extensive range of up to 50 miles per charge, a 1000 pound towing capacity and 5.9 cubic foot cargo bed. Chantel is familiar with the reliability of E-Z-GO vehicles, having previously worked at the E-Z-GO plant here in Augusta before she met her husband. “E-Z-GO paid for me to go to school and get my degree in business management, but I didn’t think I
Hire sloW, fire fAsT
J.EDwARD ENOCH, J.D. | Business Attorney
irst, hire slow. Small business owners wait until the need is critical before adding personnel. This makes it very difficult to “hire slow,” as the pressure is to get the slot filled. Speaking from experience, moving quickly in the hiring process can lead to a long, slow, painful process for the business owner and the employee. In this economy, with so much available talent in the unemployed workforce, there is no reason to hire a person with the wrong skills. Pay a little
extra to have some testing done, or hire an agency to do it for you. You will save ten times over in the long run. Be sure the prospective employee has the skills you need before you put them on the permanent payroll. Even harder than “hiring slow” is “firing fast.” Television shows such as “The Apprentice” glorify the process; however, in my experience, making the decision to terminate an employee is a difficult and painful one that gets delayed too long. I refer to termination as, “setting them free to be happy somewhere else.” If they are not happy, or you are not happy with them, after
Chantel Holt and the Augusta ATV staff standing beside their mobile service unit.
was ever going to need it after the downsizing of the company,” she said. “When the opportunity to own a dealership came up in 2007 we talked about it and it seemed like a natural fit. At first we carried the Bad Boy Buggy brand and had not become an E-Z-GO certified dealer and I expressed to Jimmy the importance for him to be able to fly that flag.” Shortly after becoming an E-Z-Go dealer, E-Z-GO bought Bad Boy Buggies. Now Augusta ATV sells both Bad Boy Buggies and E-Z-GO cars. We
are able to customize and accessorize your unit to your specifications. New ATVs can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $16,000 depending on the brand and model. Augusta ATV is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their existing location at 2325 Peach Orchard Road (706) 5600904, or Thursday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at their new location at 3206 Washington Road (706) 364-5024.
appropriate counseling and remediation, set them free to find a place where they will be happy. Employers run scared of terminating employees for fear of reprisals or lawsuits. I frequently get the call, “I want to fire ________, but I am afraid I will get sued.” There is no way to control whether or not you will get sued; all you can control is how you act and what you document in the process leading up to termination. Having a nondiscriminatory progressive discipline policy will go a long way toward defeating any lawsuit based on a termination. In Georgia and South Carolina, the legal odds are actually stacked very heavily in favor of the employer in the employer/employee relationship.
The key to successfully beginning and ending employee relationships is to focus on the job and the skills required for that job. Judge the applicant or employee by this subjective standard and you will go a long way toward easing the pain of employee management. 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.
The Online Landscape -- Are You Keeping Up? JEFF ASSELIN | Powerserve, Director of Sales and Marketing
eople often ask me, “How do you keep up with the newest social media sites, latest apps and ever-changing landscape of online marketing trends. This is a great question and a very important topic for anyone in business today. Marketing trends have changed dramatically and quickly throughout the past few years. Business owners used to have just a few advertising choices from which to choose. Nowadays, local businesses are getting clients from all over the world through websites, apps and evolving technology. Marketing and advertising is changing rapidly. What can you do to keep up? I rely heavily on my social media connections. I follow industry thought leaders on Twitter, Linked In and Facebook to name a few. Be sure to find those who are leading your industry and gain insights from them daily through establishing connections with them on social media. I listen to podcasts and attend webinars (online-based seminars) several times per month.
If your position involves hiring people, hire folks who are smarter than you. Always look to grow your personal and business network with people who will challenge you and keep you growing. Our company regularly sends our team to local and regional seminars, workshops and conventions, exposing us to a variety of new technologies and trends. I recently attended a Digital Summit in Atlanta where there were more than 40 vendors and 1,500+ attendees. I used my time meeting people and asking as many questions as possible. I also came away with 10 new apps loaded on my smartphone. I love to ask friends and people I meet what type of phone/smartphone they have. I often ask what their favorite app is as well as any great websites they’ve been to. When I meet business owners I ask them how they grow their business, what advertising solutions do they use and why. People typically like to share information about their business successes. I also find that writing, blogging and talking on the radio about web-based solutions, online marketing and social media helps keep my mind sharp. Subscribing to industry-related
emails keeps me up to date with latest technology news, trends and discussions. I stay involved with volunteer organizations, civic groups and technology-related associations. In order to keep up with current online trends that will help your businesses grow you must continuously be learning. I also use YouTube to find videos or tutorials for solutions to my technology questions. Search engines are your friend -- use them to research challenges you may be having. A dear friend of mine who works at the computer help desk for his company once told me that much of what he learns to help his fellow employees he finds on Google. Lastly, ask an expert. Seek out people you can trust, find out
what they are doing and develop meaningful relationships with them. Look for people in your community who are doing the things I mentioned above. Keeping up can be overwhelming, don’t panic -- we’re all in the same boat. Start slowly and make it something you enjoy! Jeff Asselin Jeff 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.
Navigating the Business Buying Process Kim Romaner | Business Broker
f you’ve never bought a business, you’re probably not familiar with the process and requirements of doing so. In this article, we’ll go through some preliminary considerations and walk a few steps into the process. 1. Identify your interests and talents. Although I know CPAs who have started successful restaurants, this is more the unusual case than the norm. If you stick more closely to what you know, are good at, and have interest in, you’re more likely to be successful. 2. Quantify your investment and working capital requirements. How much do you have to pay for or put a down payment on an existing business? Do you also have cash available to cover your living expenses and any unexpected costs of the business for the first year? Most small businesses choke on a lack of capital. Make sure you can comfortably manage your first year.
3. Be prepared to qualify yourself as a buyer. The business seller or seller’s representing broker will ask you to prove that 1) you will maintain the seller’s confidentiality by signing a confidentiality agreement and 2) that you are a good match for the business skill-wise and financially by completing a buyer’s profile. Be prepared to provide that information and those assurances. It may seem a bit invasive to provide your personal financial data, but it actually serves you to be up
front and save both your and the seller’s time if you’re not a fit. 4. Understand the financial review process. Once you’ve found a business that you’re interested in, you’ll request more information. The seller or seller’s broker will be willing to share some preliminary information about the business, its history and its financials. The seller will also be willing to provide a showing of the business, letting you see how the business operates, meet you and answer some more questions. But when you get down to wanting to know who the customers are, reviewing
contracts and tax returns and counting the inventory, you’ve moved into the due diligence part of the process, and that comes only after you’ve made a contingent offer on the business (very much like how inspections on a home come after you’ve made an offer). Learning more about the buying process will help you to set your expectations at the right level and prevent surprises. Kim Romaner This is a sponsored article. Kim 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 67 locations in the U.S. and abroad, Transworld has sold many thousands of businesses. If you’d like to talk to Kim about selling 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.
AUgUSTA NATIONAl MOvES OUT
First Bank President and CEO Remer Brinson III cuts the ribbon at the Washington Road First Bank ribbon cutting on May 23
FIRST BANK OpENS NEW BRANCH IN EvANS F
Christopher Selmek | Freelance Writer
irst Bank of Georgia held their grand opening for a new branch in Evans, located at 4349 Washington Road, on May 23, opening itself to a vibrant and growing market in the Columbia County area. First Bank President and CEO Remer Brinson III said First Bank had bought the property ten years ago but decided against developing it after the economy took a downturn in 2007. First Bank has continued to serve the area through their West Town and Fury’s Ferry Road locations but made the decision to open the new location in order to serve their Columbia County customers better as well as to gain new customers. “We at the chamber want to say congratulations on the new location and thank you for investing in Columbia County not only with the building but also with your manpower,” said Tammy Shepherd, president and CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. “Our region grows economically with the support of community banking, and with your investment not only in brick and mortar services but also in your people who stay actively involved in the community.” “We want to thank the banking industry, particularly First Bank, for coming out and becoming a part of our budding community,” said Ron Cross, Columbia County Commissioner. “Even though a member of our commission is a competitor, it is of course a friendly competition and we wish success to both of you.” Cross was referring to Columbia County Commissioner Ron Thigpin, who is the Chief Financial Officer for Georgia Bank and Trust, which has a location down the street. The new First Bank of Georgia location is also across the parking lot from the Health Center Credit Union. “All financial institutions are competing for the same dollars,
particularly community banks because the regional banks aren’t as actively involved in the community,” said Stacy Tallent, HCCU President. “Credit unions represent less than two percent of the entire financial services market, but even though we’re smaller we are full service and offer all the same financial counseling services, savings and checking accounts, mortgages and investments as a bank.” This is First Bank’s seventh location since 1999, whereas HCCU has only five locations including three on the GRU campus and one inside Trinity Hospital. The main difference between banks and credit unions is that credit unions are governed by their members and each member gets one vote, regardless of the amount of money in their account. This HCCU location has a proud tradition of contributing to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia through dress down days and joint raﬄes with the Augusta Credit Union Chapter. They have raised over $8,000 parking cars for shows at the nearby Lady Antebellum Amphitheatre and hope to make good neighbors for First Bank. “I don’t see it as a competition,” said Sheila Stuberfield, retail manager of First Bank. “I think all financial institutions have something special to offer their customers depending on the needs that they have at the moment they walk in the door. We give awesome customer service and a lot of people keep coming back because of our people, who really care about their customers and want to provide the best possible service for their current needs as well as their needs in the future and for their children.” “Really it’s a good thing,” said Tallent. “Just because we’re smaller doesn’t mean we can’t compete head to head, but anything that brings more financial customers in our direction can benefit both of us.”
The Augusta National’s holding company did not renew the lease for the IHOP across the street, initiating plans for the administrative staff of ANGC to move off course into the former Big Tree Shopping Center, which used to include IHOP. It is believed the A frame structure will be demolished. Augusta National employees will occupy some of the former retail and office space that made up Big Tree. Now that there is no IHOP, it will clear any parking issues, thereby making room for staffers to move off course. There is no word on what the existing admin offices will be used for. In recent years, AGNC has added a number of hospitality houses for companies to use during tournament week.
NEW WIFE SAvER RESTAURANT OpENS IN gROvETOWN
The all-new Grovetown WifeSaver restaurant, located at 5170 Wrightsboro Road, officially opened for business May 6. Buzz spoke with Chris Cunningham, local President, in early May and he said, “Bob Quigley and his team have been serving customers and making sure everything is up to WifeSaver food quality and service standards this past week.” The Grovetown location is near I-20 at Wrightsboro Road and will be modeled after the Fury’s Ferry Evans location, with high ceiling and a spacious dining room. Other locations are at Washington Road in West Augusta, Wrigtsboro Road in Augusta, a South Augusta location and one on Martintown Road in North Augusta. Quigley closed the Belair Road location and will look to lease it in the coming months. For more information, call 706-651-0080.
T-BONZ ADDS lUNCH AT NEW lOCATION
The new T-Bonz location in Evans has been so crowded many evenings for dinner that staff are planning to begin offering a scaled down lunch featuring man of the dinnertime favorites. While the restaurant is not open during the day, customers may call to order and pick up their food after 11:30 a.m. on weekdays. Staff have been doing a lot of “guerrilla marketing” by passing out menus to large employers in Columbia County. The original T-Bonz is open for lunch and dinner on Washington Road in Augusta.
DOWNTOWN AUgUSTA RESTAURATEUR TO OpEN THIRD RESTAURANT
Sean Wright, chef at Frog Hollow Tavern and Farmhaus Burger, both on Broad Street in downtown Augusta, is set to open a yet-to-benamed third restaurant next to Farmhaus. The new restaurant will focus on “tapas” or heavy appetizers with the idea of customers coming in and sharing plates with one another and having a glass of wine or other beverage. Construction crews are doing the build out planning for a summertime opening. Wright recently joked on “Buzz on Biz” radio show that he may come up with a name with “FH” in it to match Frog Hollow and Farmhaus.
CONSUMER AWARENESS kATE MIELITZ | Branch Manager Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Augusta
hether we can relate to Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” or Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” we all want the good life. Our definitions may be different, our pace will likely speed up or slow down depending on our current circumstances, but I think it’s safe to assume that most people want to improve their financial status, especially the closer they come to retirement. In the last two months
I’ve talked about effective use of credit and budgeting. Let’s wrap up this three-article series with some discussion on Consumer Awareness. First, know your rights. You have the RIGHT to read the contract IN ITS ENTIRETY before you sign it. You have the RIGHT to keep your money in an FDIC® or NCUA® insured financial institution. You have the RIGHT to CHOOSE credit or cash. Should you choose credit, and should you choose not to pay (though that is not something I recommend) you do have the right to be treated with
THE 5% EXplANATION DON MACNEIL |
Crown Point Communications at Windsor Jewelers
e’ve all heard at one time or another of the poor regard in which Americans are held across much of the globe. Most of us either write that off as the dark side of envy or smile inwardly and proudly think, “We are pretty out there, aren’t we?” Ever wonder where this American personality comes from? Search, “Formation of American Character” online and a blizzard of Masters and Doctoral theses will spill down your screen, laboring on about imported European ethics, Manifest Destiny, etc. etc., and in doing so overlook a major characteristic of their subject: an inherent American impatience with documents that drone on for 200 or more pages for the sake of some academic degree. Are you game for a one-pager? Good. Here goes: From where did our American personality come -- the one the rest of the world seems to characterize as loud, rude, ignorant and pushy? To get started you have to buy in to a little rudimentary psychology. Or maybe
it’s sociology. It’s that rule of thumb that society in general and commerce in particular is advanced by a select 5 percent of us who are ambitious, energetic and to varying degrees, empire builders. The remaining 95% of us -stand by for a hurtful truth -- simply go to work for them. They are the restless, the visionary, the unwilling to settle for the status quo. Question: from Viking warriors to Christopher Columbus to the Pilgrim Fathers and even the chieftains of the Asian tribes that preceded them, from which of the two percentages mentioned above would you guess the earliest Americans sprang? While 95 percent of their brethren sat across both oceans resigned to lives of class discrimination, squalor and monarchies, 5 percent got up and did something about it. From such thread was an entirely new culture woven in an entirely new land. We Who Got Up and Did Something About It.
respect by the collectors who call you. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you from abusive practices of third-party debt collectors. Third party debt collectors are prohibited from calling you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. The FDCPA also prohibits excessive calls and requires the collector to stop calling if you have asked them to stop calling you at that number, threatening arrest if the debt isn’t paid, threatening to advertise your debt, and using abusive, profane, or threatening words. Additionally, third party collectors can’t talk to someone else about your debt, unless they are a co-signer. Secondly, understand how compounding interest affects you. Sure, it’s all well and good in a savings or investment account, but understand that it’s harmful to you in a credit agreement. Small weekly payments can sound very attractive… they fit in your overall budget, after all. However, if you save those small weekly payments in a savings account in order to pay cash for a large item, rather than renting-to-own, you’ll actually pay less in the long run -- a whole lot less! Credit clinics and these signs we see on the side of the road, “Erase bad credit for only $250,” don’t work.
There is NOTHING they can do for you that you can’t do for yourself…for FREE. All these companies are going to do is send out a whole bunch of disputes to your creditors. Here’s the thing -- if it is a legitimate debt and you legitimately owe it, the disputes are nothing but a waste of time and money. If it’s not legitimate, then you can get your credit report at www. annualcreditreport.com for FREE and file the dispute on your own (also for free). If you need to FIX your credit, seek professional help. The counselors and staff at Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the CSRA are here to help you make the most of your money and guide you on how to build, or rebuild, your credit effectively. You can schedule a no-obligation financial review and get assistance that is affordable as well as effective in order to make sure that you are in control of your financial future.
Historians will tell you that by the early 1800s the profile of characteristics mockingly called “Yankee” were fully formed and yes, even that early on, globally despised. It wasn’t enough that we put action ahead of manners and performance ahead of social station. We had the audacity to make democracy a teachable moment for the rest of the world (an especially dicey development for French nobility). And yes, this “Yankeeness”, built as it was around a kind of collective impatience, often presented itself as loud, rude and pushy. This is not to suggest we’re a nation of Type As. Succeeding generations fell right into an American – operative word, American – version of the 95 percent - 5 percent rule. I stress American because, in a culture born of a 5 percent ethos, even the remaining 95 percent of us have to row a little harder to keep up. It’s instructive to note that a long succession of American presidents has sought to calm prejudice against incoming waves of immigrant groups by reminding that America’s genius is continually refreshed by these puttingit-all-on-the-line newcomers. And had you considered? Notwithstanding the drug issue, while 95 percent of Mexicans hunker down amid breathtaking
violence, poverty and pervasive corruption at home, 5 percent of their countrymen are doing something about it: pouring over our borders in search of something better. As Grandma might have put it, these are Latinos with gumption. Finally, there’s that wonderful unintended consequence our founding fathers couldn’t have anticipated when they sketched out early drafts of our Constitution: that nothing gets a fivepercenter’s attention quicker than the success of earlier fivepercenters. What’s the result? It’s a continually turning, feeding-on-itself wheel of brain gain as the world’s ambitious advance on our shores -- often much to the discomfort of the already enfranchised. In this way America has always been a kind of giant ball team, a roiling meritocracy where your spot in the lineup can be challenged by someone faster and smarter at any moment. Any student of evolution will tell you that’s what keeps the pack alert and strong. What keeps us, We Who Get Up and Do Something About It.
KATe mieliTZ AFC®, CFC is the Branch Manager at CCCS of the CSRA. She has more than 13 years combined experience in financial counseling, debt negotiation, collections, bankruptcy and fraud investigation. Her passions include public speaking and motivating others to make informed spending decisions. Contact Kate at 706.736.0411 or email@example.com.
Next: The Call-To-Action Dogma 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
JUNE 2013 BIg lOTS TO OpEN COlUMBIA COUNTY STORE
Big Lots will soon move into the former Food Lion store next to Home Depot, which is being built out to fit Big Lots’ specifications. Demolition began five weeks ago, and Big Lots officials are planning to open the department
store around July 1. Big Lots has stores on Wrightsboro Road in Augusta and Martintown Road in North Augusta, along with other rural stores in the CSRA, but this location will employ an addition 50 to 60 people. Big Lots is known for its discount merchandise, often selling closeouts and second quality items at deep discounts.
Bill Woodward, CPA/ABV, CVA Office Managing Shareholder
88 years, Elliott Davis has advised businesses For 87
on how to run efficiently, grow wisely, be more
We’ve helped businesses succeed through the Great Depression, the recent recession and every market in between.
One 10th Street • Suite 400 • Augusta, GA 30901 706.722.9090
profitable. Our team provides audit, tax, advisory solutions, and accounting resources that include financial reporting, payroll and software implementation across the spectrum of industries.
fully engaged for you
Georgia • South Carolina • North Carolina • Virginia www.elliottdavis.com © 2012 Elliott Davis LLC © 2012 Elliott Davis PLLC
CSRA lEADERSHIp TRIp TO NATION’S CApITAl TAMMY SHEPHERD
CEO Columbia County Chamber Of Commerce
vital role of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is to be an advocate for our members in local, state and federal legislative matters. Simply wading through the bureaucracy and special interests in these centers of power is complicated and daunting. But, combine the strength of our membership and you have a powerful force to push for the issues important to our regional business members. The Chamber advocates for its members regarding governmentrelated concerns and to address or take action where it is needed on legislative issues. Each year we review specific proposed legislation and policy decisions and make sure our lawmakers know where we stand on these issues. LEADERSHIP TRIP Part of that advocacy mission includes the annual CSRA Leadership Trip to Washington DC, which is a collaborative effort with the Aiken, North Augusta, Augusta and Columbia County Chambers of Commerce. Community leaders from across the CSRA converge at the nation’s capital to discuss with lawmakers and government officials issues that impact our region. This year’s trip to Washington DC, on May 7-9, included almost 40 leaders from the CSRA. Top on the agenda were discussions with Georgia and South Carolina Representatives and Senators and with federal officials at the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. As you might expect, discussions with lawmakers and DOE officials about funding and staffing at the Savannah River Site were high on the priority list, as were improvements and projects at Fort Gordon and funding for repairs to the New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam. “The trip to DC provided an excellent opportunity for local leaders to network and visit with our delegation, informing them first hand of major issues affecting our area. Although several of these issues are still being debated, I feel like the trip was a success and look forward to the outcome,” said Chris McLaughlin, Chairman of the Board for the Chamber. STATE LEGISLATIvE AGENDA This year, the Chamber supported several bills that that were approved by the state legislature The Columbia County Chamber supported the following bills that passed the Georgia Legislature
during its 2013 session: - HB 188, which allows someone who hold certain military certifications to obtain certain professional licenses in Georgia. It also allows spouses of military personnel stationed in Georgia to obtain certain professional licenses based on their licensing in another state. - HB 164, which continues the sales tax exemption for the use of certain equipment or property involved in aircraft maintenance. This supports the strong growth of the aviation industry in Georgia over the past six years. - HB 372, which restores the level of academic qualification for the HOPE scholarship for Georgia students attending technical college to a 2.0 GPA. When the requirement was raised to a 3.0 GPA a few years ago, enrollment at tech schools dropped by more than 7,000 students. - HB 393, which brings more transparency to Georgia’s Workforce Investment Boards. The Chamber also took positions on these bills that did not make it through the legislative session: - SUPPORTED SB 224, which addresses the critical need for more access to venture capital and seed funding to attract and retain businesses in Georgia. - SUPPORTED HB 128, which allows qualified investments in municipal areas to be deemed “renaissance districts” to be eligible for certain state tax credits. - OPPOSED SB 73, which would have made significant changes to the Transportation Investment Act that could setback the TSPLOST referendum approved last year by some regions of the state, including in Columbia County. In addition to these legislative initiatives, the Chamber has been closely following the budget and sequestration fallout for the Savannah River Site and Fort Gordon. Furloughs, layoffs and reduced funding for missions, all negatively impact the local economy. POST LEGISLATIvE BREAkFAST The Chamber wrapped up the state legislative session with its annual Post Legislative Breakfast on May 15 at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion. More than 180 people attended the event which featured short reviews of the legislation dealt with in the 2013 session from members of the Columbia County Legislative Delegation. The keynote speaker, Henry “Hank” Huckaby, Chancellor of the Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia, spoke about the importance
Photo by Jean Duncan More than 35 leaders from Columbia, Richmond and Aiken counties traveled to Washington, D.C., from May 7-9 for the CSRA Leadership Trip. The group met with Georgia and South Carolina federal lawmakers as well as federal officials involved projects and initiatives important to the CSRA.
Photo by Joey Cummings State Rep. Ben Harbin, left, and state Sen. Jesse Stone, talk with Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz, right, at the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Post Legislative Breakfast at Savannah Rapids Pavilion on May 15
Photo by Joey Cummings Speakers for the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce’s Post Legislative Breakfast on May 15 were: (from the left): Chamber Government Affairs Committee Vice Chairman Doug Duncan, Rep. Ben Harbin, Columbia County Board of Directors Chairman Chris McLaughlin, Rep. Barbara Sims, Board of Regents University System of Georgia Chancellor Henry “Hank” Huckaby, Sen. Jesse Stone, Rep. Barry Fleming, Chamber President/CEO Tammy Shepherd, Sen. Bill Jackson, and Chamber Government Affairs Committee Chairman Doug Ferguson
of higher education in Georgia and the greater role it will play in the future. Georgia Regents University is poised to become a statewide enterprise with branch facilities throughout the state. “Support GRU in general so we can move forward,” he told the audience. The University recently received a $66 million gift – the largest to a university in Georgia – which will provide scholarships for students and fellowships to faculty. Attracting the best and the brightest is what will make GRU a success. COMING UP To get involved with the Chamber’s
advocacy initiatives, attend the State of the Community Address on September 26 in the Liberty Park Gym in Grovetown. For more information, call the Chamber at 706651-0018 or visit the website at www. columbiacountychamber.com.
TAmmY sHePHerd is the president/ CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. She can be contacted at (706) 651-0018 or tammy@columbiacountychamber. com.
BEWARE: TAX SCAMS Christine Hall, CPa | hall, hall, & Associates P.C
lthough the 2012 tax season is officially over, tax scams unfortunately are not. Taxpayers should be aware of these tax scams so they can protect themselves against claims that sound too good to be true. Taxpayers who buy into illegal tax scams can end up facing significant penalties and interest and even criminal prosecution. Tax fraud through the use of identity theft tops this year’s tax scam list. Combating identity theft and refund fraud is a top priority for the IRS. The IRS’s ID theft strategy focuses on prevention, detection and victim assistance. During 2012, the IRS protected $20 billion of fraudulent refunds, including those related to identity theft. This compares to $14 billion in 2011. Taxpayers who believe they are at risk of identity theft due to lost or stolen personal information should immediately contact the IRS so the agency can take action to secure their tax account. If you have received a notice from the IRS, call the phone number on the notice. Phishing typically involves an unsolicited email or a fake website that seems legitimate but lures victims into providing personal and financial information. Once scammers obtain that information, they can commit identity theft or financial theft. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication, such as text messages and social media channels. If you receive an unsolicited email that appears to be from the IRS, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Beware of scammers who prey on people with low income, the elderly and church members around the country. Scammers use flyers and
ads with bogus promises of refunds that don’t exist. The schemes target people who have little or no income and normally don’t have to file a tax return. In some cases, a victim may be due a legitimate tax credit or refund but scammers fraudulently inflate income or use other false information to file a return to obtain a larger refund. By the time people find out the IRS has rejected their claim, the promoters are long gone. Following major disasters, it’s common for scam artists to impersonate charities to get money or personal information from wellintentioned people. They may even directly contact disaster victims and claim to be working for or on behalf of the IRS to help the victims file casualty loss claims and get tax refunds. Taxpayers need to be sure they donate to recognized charities. Falsely claiming income you did not earn or expenses you did not pay in order to get larger refundable tax credits is tax fraud. This includes false claims for the Earned Income Tax Credit. In many cases the taxpayer ends up repaying the refund, including penalties and interest. In some cases the taxpayer faces criminal prosecution. When it comes to taxes and potential “tax breaks” be sure to keep a healthy amount of skepticism. If you have any doubt about something you have received from the IRS or hear of through flyers, social media or a phone call, contact your tax preparer before you make a costly mistake.
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.
HEALTHCARE REFORM & YOUR BUSINESS by Russell T. Head | EMPLOYEE BENEFIT CONSULTANT
checked online to see what the dictionary had to say about a word new to the world of health insurance. Healthcare Reform/ PPACA/ACA has created a new job title for us to embrace in all of the processes being
NAVIGATOR: Here’s how it is defined as a noun and a verb from www.merriam-webster.com. nav·i·ga·tor noun \ˈna-və-ˌgā-tər\ Definition of NAVIGATOR one that navigates or is qualified to navigate nav·i·gate verb \ˈna-və-ˌgāt\ nav·i·gat·ednav·i·gat·ing Definition of NAVIGATE intransitive verb 1: to travel by water 2: to steer a course through a medium; specifically: to operate an airplane transitive verb 1a: to sail over, on, or through 1b: to make one’s way over or through 2a: to steer or manage (a boat) in sailing 2b: to operate or control the course of Here’s how Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or cms.gov describes the Navigator Program: The Marketplace (Public Exchange) must establish a grant program to fund entities or individuals called “Navigators” that will: • Provide consumer assistance. Navigators will help you understand your new health insurance options available through the Marketplace and will help you select a health plan. • The primary goals of Navigators are to raise public awareness about the Marketplace, reach out to diverse populations, help consumers understand their coverage
options, and provide referrals. • To ensure that Navigators provide unbiased and accurate information, the Marketplace must develop conflict of interest standards and training programs for Navigators. • Navigators can’t receive commissions from health insurance companies for enrolling consumers, employers, or employees in Qualified Health Plans or in nonQualified Health Plans outside of the Marketplace. However, they can help consumers with other non-Navigator assisted enrollment functions, as set forth in in 42 CFR 155.220. • Agents and brokers may serve as Navigators as long as all other Navigator standards are met. http://marketplace.cms.gov/ GetOfficialResources/Training-materials/ the-health-insurance-marketplace-cmsnational-training-program.pdf Note: Georgia House Bill 198 20132014 Regular Session has passed the House and Senate. This will require that Title 33 of the Official Code Georgia Annotated be amended to require that navigators in Georgia be licensed through the Commissioner of Insurance and are trained and knowledgeable in the subject matter of health insurance. Using the word navigator makes sense based on the outline of the anticipated program objectives. We are not yet sure of who will be navigators or who they will be employed by. They may be public employees working for a state or federal agency. As October 1, 2014 gets closer, we will all start hearing more about the Navigator just as we will all be more familiar with “The New” health insurance buying process called Health Care Reform.
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 email@example.com. Visit Group & Benefits Consultants at www.groupandbenefits.com.
TEN MISTAKES TO AVOID WHEN BUYING OFFICE FURNITURE FRANK MULHERIN | Office Design Expert
uying office furniture requires practical considerations that go far beyond aesthetics. The comfort and safety of employees and guests must be factored into every decision. By avoiding a few commonly made buying mistakes, furniture selection will yield improved employee satisfaction, productivity and profits. Mistake #1: Buying Without a Vision or Plan -Accurately assess your needs -Analyze what’s good and bad about what you already have -Choose timeless style over what’s trendy Mistake #2: Not Considering Employee Comfort -Comfort equals productivity Mistake #3: Selecting Wrong Fabrics -Evaluate the utility and use a piece is going to have before choosing a fabric Mistake #4: Getting a Product that’s Not Rated for the Task -You should be able to comfortably accommodate individuals of all shapes and sizes Mistake #5: Choosing Price over Value -Consider the cost of ownership over the expected life of the furniture Mistake #6: Not Buying With Growth
in Mind -Consider how furniture will adapt to technology -Keep workspace flexible Mistake #7: Not Coordinating the Product’s Life Expectancy with Your Accounting Department’s Depreciation Schedule -If your accounting department depreciates major furniture purchases over a 10 year period, yet you purchase items with a five year warranty, you may be forced to replace them sooner than your budget will allow. Mistake #8: Not Evaluating the True Cost of Ownership -The base price of the furniture is just the starting point. Be sure to add in freight charges, taxes, any packaging or special handling required, and services such as assembly and installation Mistake #9: Not Asking Your Dealer to Keep Your Standards on File -Once you have established furniture standards, ask your dealer to be responsible for keeping them and meeting with you once a year to review. Mistake #10: Doing Business with a Vendor That Offers Little or No Support after The Sale -Ask your vendor how they handle warranty issues and damage issues that occur during shipping. Then contact references to find out how they’ve handled past problems.
Frank MULHERIN This is a sponsored article. Frank has been the General Manager of Weinberger’s Business Interiors since it opened in 2008. He has 32 years of experience in the office furniture industry. Frank was associated with Ivan Allen Co. for 28 years.
Frank’s team has received numerous industry awards. Frank has been extremely active in his community, having held leadership positions in numerous civic and charitable organizations. Reach him at 706-922-1371 or firstname.lastname@example.org
EMPLOYMENT & EDUCATION
15 17 25 23
Caution: Is Your Job Your Identity? Katie Weiser | CCE-Board Certified Coach
f you are still in the world of gainful employment or in your own business, you probably think you are too busy to think about retirement -- after all, it is three to seven years out. Or, you feel that you can just figure it out when you retire because you will have all the time in the world then. Be careful, that thinking can unexpectedly create an identity crisis. Case in Point: My friend Karen was planning to retire in 2017 -- four years from now -- and had not thought about what retirement would look and feel like or what she might do. Then, life just handed her a curve ball. Her company decided that it was “her time” to leave and offered her a package to go not in five years, but…now! At first, Karen enjoyed sleeping in, loved her lunches with her already retired husband and enjoyed quick trips to see her children and grandchildren. After about three months, she became depressed and asked for my coaching help. She explained that when she was
at work she knew exactly what to do every day and she felt fulfilled and happy. She missed so many things about work: a structured life, deadlines that kept her on task, wonderful camaraderie with coworkers, the boss she loved to hate, the business travel, her interaction with the outside world, etc. She just did not feel relevant anymore. She did not know who she was, what she wanted to do or how to get there. She was also still struggling with the emotions of being pushed out of her job. Even though, the “package” was decent -- it still gnawed away at her. She ruminated over scenarios of why they picked her and she began to feel like a victim of circumstance. Here are 10 tips to help you avoid this identity crisis: Whether you are pushed out like Karen or leave on your own accord and on your own terms, you will feel a sense of loss. The emotional turmoil can be overwhelming and begin to chip away at your identity. So, what do you do? Here is what Karen and I worked on together to help her manage this. First, we worked on her emotions and self worth. Then, we were able to work together which produced 10 ways
to shift her mindset and shape what she wanted to do with her life: 1. Accept that retirement is one of the biggest transitions in life. 2. Take time to grieve for what has been lost and then move forward. 3. Realize that you have the freedom of choice and time to do some long, overdue self reflection. 4. Tap into your passions, interests, strengths and values to create an ideal encore career or life. 5. View life as an opportunity. 6. Appreciate that your life experiences provide more options. 7. Capitalize on the skills you have learned over the last 35-40+ years and leverage them. 8. Bask in the glory of your mature perspective and listen to and follow your inner voice. 9. Enjoy the thrill of new horizons. 10. Cry a little, laugh a lot. So, what happened to Karen? Her new mantra became: It’s my time…It’s my time…It’s my time! Your old job is not your identity -- it does not define you as a person. You are unique and have many gifts to share with the world. This time in your life is an encore performance
for you. You say to yourself, “Watch out world, here I come.” Moral of the story: Take the time in advance of retirement to plan your second life so that you will be able to step into your new identity quickly without all the drama. Break a leg!
Katie Weiser This is a sponsored article. Katie has five different accreditations as a certified coach. She retired from Deloitte Consulting and Deloitte Services after 40 years and oversaw the counseling of 500 firm professionals who were downsized from their positions. She provided them with resume writing services, networking and interview advice. She is available to conduct several different workshops or speeches for a variety of companies, groups or associations focused on change, leadership, goals, effective communication and more. Coach Katie also coaches individuals to make transitions in to the next phases of careers or of life. Sign up for a 30-minute, complimentary strategy session by emailing Katie@katieweisercoaching. com or by calling 706.550.4161.
WHAT DOES THE REST OF THE WORLD KNOW THAT YOU DON’T?
gru.edu/spine Job # 1271GRM13 • Job Title: Spine_BuzzOnBiz
READY FOR A NEW OFFICE CHAIR? ROBIN BAXLEY | Co-Owner of Best Office Solutions
SANDI SHIELDS | Co-Owner of Best Office Solutions
ost of us spend a THIRD OF OUR DAY sitting at our desks. The right chair can make a huge difference in productivity, comfort and health. Are you ready for a new one? You probably are if... • your shoulders and neck are stiff and sore • you have to stretch to reach your mouse or keyboard • your lower back aches • The seat cushion provides little or no padding • your chair does not slide under your desk • you have eyestrain • your chair is too narrow, long or short in the seat • you’re just plain uncomfortable! Whether you sit at your desk for hours at a time or in spurts throughout the day, it’s crucial to select a chair that supports
your shoulders, arms and back. Having an ergonomic chair that offers support prevents you from hunching over or overstretching which can lead to chronic muscular problems. Chairs don’t have to be one size fits all, and there are many options to choose from. Here are a few tips for selecting an ergonomic chair that works for you. Consider how you work. Do you spend a lot of time on the phone? Do you need to quickly access files or other items in desk drawers? Do you use the keyboard and remain in the same position most of the day? Try them out. Your local office supply dealer carries a variety of ergonomic chairs that you can assess or try out. Don’t become concerned if you sit in an ergonomic chair and it feels uncomfortable. It probably just needs adjusting to your specific body type.
Once you find a comfortable one, consider the following: Height:. Look for a seat with a pneumatic lever you can raise or lower while seat with your feet flat on the floor and your knees at a 90 degree angle. Arms: Armrests take the pressure off your shoulders and neck, which is especially important if you sit at the computer for a significant part of the day. When typing, your forearms should be just above the armrest, with your elbows resting on it. Look for armrests that adjust for both height and position to accommodate different activities. Back: We all have a natural curve in the lower part of our spine, and it’s this area, the lumbar region, that can cause the most problems if not properly supported. That’s why a good ergonomic chair should include a lumbar support with adjustments for up and down, forwards and backwards to suit the natural angle of your spine. It should be high enough to support your shoulder and neck, while allowing for movement so you can reach for items when you need them. Spend a lot of time on the phone? Then you may want to check out chair backs that recline to suit your posture. Seat width and depth: Look for a chair that gives enough depth in the seat so you have two to four inches between the back of your knees and the edge of the seat. The width should be at least one
inch wider than your hips and thighs. Headrests and footrests: These features aren’t for everyone, but may be right for you. Headrests provide good support and prevent neck pain when talking on the phone in a more reclined position. If you want a footrest, select a free-standing one that allows you to rest your feet, keeping your knees at a 90 degree angle. With so many options available, you’re sure to find the perfect chair to support your body and prevent muscle aches for years to come. Try out a new one today!
roBiN BAXleY ANd sANdi sHields This is a sponsored CSRA article. The TEAM at BEST Office Solutions would love an opportunity to make your work life easier. They customize plans for each of their customers to fit their individual needs and personalities. They are excited about finding efficient, economical SOLUTIONS for YOU! Call or email today for your free ordering process evaluation 877.533. BEST (2378).
You Have a Choice Article by Bill Boatman | Meybohm Realty
ow do most consumers choose a REALTOR® with whom to work when selling or purchasing a home? Many get referrals from family or friends. Some call from signs they see on properties or in their neighborhood; some call on advertisements; some make contact from a website; some just walk into a real estate office. It may be hard to believe but buyers and sellers sometimes trust the largest investment that many families will ever have to someone they know very little about. Why would they do that? From my 30 years of experience, I believe that many times the consumer does not understand the process and the different factors that can have an effect on the real estate transaction. Let’s discuss a few of the factors. When buying, one might consider how much home can I comfortably afford, what locations are best for me, what is the resale value of the home, how many homes are available and at what prices,
and are the prices fair based on market comparisons? Now that I have found the home I desire, how much should I offer, what should be contained in the contract to protect me, what should I ask to be included, what will the costs I incur in obtaining a loan? Once under contract there is the appraisal process, inspection process, perhaps a request to the seller for repairs, a reinspection of the repairs, a walk thru prior to closing, and then the closing itself. These are just the normal steps, and then more can be added if problems occur along the way. Why do I go through all this? I do so to demonstrate that there are many steps in the buying and selling process and the consumer should want professional, knowledgeable, timely guidance through each step. This is what you are paying for and should expect when you use a REALTOR®. So, what should you know about a REALTOR® that will help you buy or sell? Well, there are many questions one might ask their REALTOR®. There are many questions one could ask but let’s examine these. What type of experience do you have? An experienced professional might not be able to predict or prevent
REALTOR® FOR SALE BY OWNER every problem but chances are either they or their management have walked through them before and know what the solutions are. Are you a full time agent? Do you really want someone representing you in a transaction this important that is a part time participant? What type of company do they work with? Does the company stand with and behind its associates? What are the sales numbers for the company and where do they rank in the community? What designations do you have? This shows whether the agent is taking steps to keep themselves educated in what is an ever-changing real estate world. What is your production history? This is usually a very good indicator of the agent’s work ethic, knowledge, and ability to complete successful real
estate transactions. I hope from the above you can tell that choosing a REALTOR® is not as simple as walking into an office or trusting a web presence. Check references, ask for testimonials, ask if they survey their service performance, and interview before you choose. Remember, you have a choice. Bill Boatman is President of Meybohm REALTORS®, a past President and REALTOR® of the year for the Greater Augusta Association of REALTORS®, and a past President of the Georgia Association of REALTORS®. He lives in the Augusta area with this wife and attends Trinity on the Hill Methodist Church. This is a sponsored article.
Why You Should Hire Interns This Summer! BRENT & KELLY MALLEK | Talent Focus Consulting
ummer is almost upon us, which means students are out of school and many are in search of internships. Back in the day, interns were perceived as the guys who went on coffee runs, made photocopies, and ran the fax machine. Well, times have changed! Internship programs have become valuable resources for top businesses across the nation. Interns may be young and work by the hour, and at times for free, but that is no reason to underestimate the skills and contributions they can bring to your organization. In the Young Producer Study conducted by Reagan Consulting, almost half of the top leading firms had internship programs and recruited directly on college campuses. Paid internships are very competitive. Whether paid or unpaid, interns can play an integral part in any organization’s needs. Internships are not just for the largest companies. They can be an effective talent strategy for even a small organization.
The benefits interns can bring to an organization is their commitment and eagerness to learn and gain real workplace experience. They bring an exciting, fresh energy and perspective, which is a great addition to the workplace. Interns are known for contributing innovative ideas, and are familiar with cutting-edge business trends, such as social media and technology. They are also expert multi-taskers, juggling their academic duties and social life with their emerging professional life. An internship that is labeled a success by both the organization and the individual starts with a good fit. In all aspects of the selection process, it’s essential to look for interns who take initiative and fit with the corporate culture. It’s important to look beyond the “intern” label and look at what that individual can contribute to the team and organization as a whole. Here are some quick tips for an effective internship program: • Have an official welcome for interns, and introduce them to all coworkers and important organization contacts • Assign a mentor or a use a “Buddy System” • Involve interns in staff meetings
and professional events • Encourage interns to feel free to ask questions, remember they’re learning too! • Conduct performance evaluations throughout the internship, and give constructive feedback so interns know how they are doing • Stay connected, even when the internship is over Remember, today’s intern may be tomorrow’s top producer! Don’t you owe it to your organization to explore tomorrow’s talent?
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.
Do You REALLY, REALLY WANT IT? D
LARRY RUDWICK | Founder, “Larry The Tune Up Guy”, Business Coaching Expert
o you really, really want IT? What is IT, you might be asking yourself? IT’s the important thing(s) you think about from time to time, or maybe ALL THE TIME. IT’S that thing that’s truly within your reach, not some pie-in-the-sky dream like winning the $100 million lottery. IT may be: owning a business that you consider to be quite successful, having a great job/ career and/or having a personal life that meets all of your needs. Maybe you’ve only started to think about IT recently, or maybe IT’S been on your mind for years. That’s not the point, because if IT’s something that keeps coming back to your thoughts, IT’s probably quite important to you. Do you keep thinking/telling yourself you want IT? So, why haven’t you obtained IT yet? I wonder: Do you REALLY, REALLY WANT IT enough? Because if you do, I then wonder: What’s stopping you from pursuing IT? Here are more questions: • Have you thought IT through? As they say: ‘The Devil’s in the details”. Unless you know your goals, and make a plan to make IT happen, you’re much less likely to take action and pursue IT until you get IT. • Are you avoiding IT? Many of us are procrastinators who wait and wait and wait to do the things that WOULD
be great to do. So, what’s holding you back? • Does just thinking about IT make you nervous? There are lots of expressions such as “Change is hard”, “Fear of Failure”, and “Fear of Success”. These and other reasons tend to explain why it’s so common to have unfulfilled dreams, even when those dreams are quite realistic to obtain. We’re all creatures of habits, so working on something new can be stressful, even to the point of causing some “mental paralysis”. • Are you concerned about the costs of acquiring IT? Obtaining new things and making changes always have some costs associated with them, whether it’s time, effort or money. But, what about the positive benefits of having IT? Aren’t they worth the effort? Even if IT would be really great for you, and well worth doing or achieving, that doesn’t mean you’ll ever have IT. Why is that? People make changes for two reasons: 1) they HAVE TO, and 2) they WANT TO. But in reality, people don’t always do things they have to do, because they don’t see that what they want CAN be achieved without as much effort and time as they imagine.
Therefore, there is really only ONE reason people make change: They REALLY, REALLY WANT IT! If/when you’re stuck, (which happens to all of us), find some help. Consult with one or more people who can give you some needed guidance and support. Conclusion: When you really WANT IT enough, you will truly COMMIT to working toward your goals and realistic dreams! If you feel like this article is talking to you, feel free to contact me to discuss
what your elusive IT is! Maybe I can help. LARRY RUDWICK This is a sponsored Business-Talk article. A lot more about this can be found on the www.BusinessTuneUps.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.
Jumpstart Positive Change FREE 5-Step process ($200+ value) helps businesses, careers, personal lives
Go to www.BusinessTune-Ups.com
Larry Rudwick Business Coach
To start process, click STEP 1 from ANY page, or call 571-331-6102
Start Here. Go Anywhere.
Start Here. Go Anywhere. Not just for military– we have civilian students as well!
Not just for military– we have civilian students as well! Small class sizes and free tutoring! Small class sizes and free tutoring! aidFinancial aid available for qualified Financial available for qualified students!
with the Apply for free oer: free f ly p d p co A o m ro p g followin
with the code: llowing promo
115 Davis Road, Martinez, GA ● 706.993.2643 ● www.gmcaugsta.com
115 Davis Road, Martinez, GA ● 706.993.2643 ● www.gmcaugsta.com
JUNE 2013 BRICKS 4 KIDZ IS MOvINg
Bricks 4 Kidz, currently located at 4115 Old Petersburg Road, is moving to the same plaza as The Garlic Clove in Evans. This will allow them to utilize less space and be closer to their market in Evans. Bricks 4 Kidz programs provide an extraordinary atmosphere for students to build unique creations, play games and have loads of fun using Lego bricks. The activities are designed to trigger young children’s lively imaginations and build their self-confidence. Children work with exciting themes such as machines, outer space and mosaics. For more information, visit www.bricks4kidz.com.
TYpES OF FINANCIAl AID HAILEY RIBEIRO |
Former Georgia Military College Admissions Manager
pplying for financial aid is one of the most important steps in the college planning process. It’s important to understand the types of aid available in order to make the right financial decision for your family and your future. If you have been accepted to more than one college, you should take the time to compare financial aid packages from each school and include finances as a part of your final decision on what college to attend. Even if you applied to only one school, you need to ensure the financial aid package offered will cover all education costs and not leave you in a crippling amount of debt post-graduation. Here are the types of financial aid that you may qualify for: GRANTS Grants are a form of gift aid that does not have to repaid. You may qualify for both federal and state grants, depending on your family’s financial situation. Most grants are need-based and not merit-based. SCHOLARSHIPS Scholarships are another form of gift aid that d0esn’t need to be repaid. Scholarships can be need-based, merit-based or both. Scholarships may be offered through the college
you are applying to, community organizations such as civic groups or sports leagues or state programs (such as HOPE and Zell Miller in the state of Georgia). LOANS Loans are money that is borrowed to help pay for college. This type of aid must be repaid (typically with interest) after you graduate from college. Several types of loans are available, including federal direct loans, federal Perkins loans and personal loans. wORk-STUDY Work-study is a need-based program that allows college students to earn money for school by working part-time at the college they attend. This money is earned, and does not need to be repaid at any time. For more information on financial aid, please contact the Financial Aid Office at Georgia Military College by calling 706.993.1123 or visit www. gmcaugusta.com.
HAileY riBeiro is moving up north. She is the former Admissions Manager and Recruiter at GMC and used to manage the joint enrollment program. For questions about this program and Georgia Military College, please call 706.993.1123 or visit our website at www.gmcaugusta.com
Offer Expires 5/1/13 7/5/13
Offer Expires 5/1/13 7/5/13
ON SITE OR ONLINE. Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Master of Science in Management
Learn more at swu.edu.
Building Kingdom Leaders
swu.edu/northaugusta | 803.426.7981
Now Accepting Applications for The 2013-2014 school Year Member School
K3 thru 12
313 Baston Road Martinez, GA 30907 (706) 863-2905, ext. 100/113 www.augustachristian.org
MICROSOFT ENDS SUppORT FOR OlDER SOFTWARE kEvIN wADE |
CEO of IntelliSystems, Tek Talk
f you use older Microsoft products in your business, there are some important dates coming up in the next 11 months that could severely impact your business’ ability to safely continue to operate. Microsoft will discontinue support for Windows XP, Office 2003, Exchange Server 2003 and Small Business Server 2003 on April 8, 2014. Support for Windows Server 2003 will end a year later. End of Life for these products means that important security patches and bug fixes will end, making
it increasingly dangerous to your company’s network security to continue to operate using these products. The result is a higher likelihood that your important data and the productivity of your workers could take a hit due to an exploit or vulnerability. So what are your options? Well you could upgrade: translation -- buy new software and hardware. You should upgrade Windows XP workstations to Windows 7 or 8, which is not as easy as it may sound because older PCs likely will not have software drivers for Windows 7 or 8, rendering the machines useless and requiring replacement. Office 2003 will likely require total replacement, which can be expensive, but Microsoft Office 2013 is available for a reduced price on a new PC. The upgrade to Exchange Server will require new hardware. Exchange Server is the back end for Outlook which allows your company to share schedules, contacts, to enjoy universal email access, and the ability to backup those emails, which is becoming increasingly important. Exchange Server has often been purchased by small businesses as an embedded product of Microsoft Small
business Server, but SBS has been discontinued. The combination of new hardware and software requirements makes a great case for considering Cloud hosted Exchange Server for your Outlook users. Speaking of which, another option is to get off the software and hardware upgrade rat-race and consider Cloud Computing. For an inexpensive monthly fee, you get your software applications formerly costing hundreds of dollars to purchase every few years. You won’t need to spend thousands of dollars for new server hardware, and you don’t need an expensive desktop PC with lots of processing power -just a simple Internet connection and a laptop, desktop or even a tablet PC. You always have the latest software and it is patched and maintained constantly for no additional fees. One of the most amazing reasons to consider the cloud option is because remote workers will greatly improve their ability to connect and work. More and more, key employees need a means of working in a non-traditional work environment, even if it’s a temporary requirement due to family obligations such as maternity, or caring for an elderly family member. Many employees travel or work from home offices as well, and the cloud option allows them access to the same work environment as people working in the company office space. All that is required is an Internet connection and the device of their choice. No matter which direction you take, you need to consider what happens with end of life software you may be using to run your business, and budgeting for the cost of upgrading within the next 11 months. 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 email@example.com
Mathnasium, the math learning center for elementary through high school students, will soon expand to a new location next to HH Gregg in the Augusta Exchange. The franchise began with an aggressive growth plan that hoped for 100 students by their thirteenth month, but local owner Jeff Rucker, a former meteorologist for WAGT who opened the first Augusta Mathnasium almost two years ago, said he was surprised to get 100 students by his fourth month in business. “We had North Augusta families driving all the way out to Evans, which is such a commitment in terms of time and distance,” he said. “We had Augusta families who really needed our services but were not able to make that drive consistently down Washington Road, and we just knew that we needed to find a place where we could market and service the families in Augusta and North Augusta and parts of Aiken county where they could get here frequently, because we think Mathnasium works because we’re like a gym for the brain. And going to the gym once a week is helpful, but you got to get there more often than that and that’s the way we are.” The Mathnasium method works by providing each student with a highly individualized learning plan each time they visit to help them catch up, keep up, and get ahead in math. Students may enroll anytime. For more information, call 706-868-9393 or visit www.mathnasium.com/evans.
JUNE JUNE 2013 2012
lEISURE AND HOSpITAlITY
27 19 23 27
MYTH BUSTER SERIES pART 2 DREw BELT | Assistant Golf Professional at West Lake County Club
HE BUNkER SHOT The myth we are looking at today is all about how to properly hit a bunker shot, be able to put spin on the ball and control your distance. Guess what? The bunker shot is much easier than anyone really thinks it is. The bunker shot myth that is commonplace is “when you hit a bunker shot, swing steep and left into the ball”. There are three
glaring problems with this statement. First, why would you want to hit the ball with “cut spin”? Second, when you swing steep into the golf ball you hit too far under the ball. Having this steep angle of attack hurts you severely in hard sand because your ball will shoot over the green; it damages you as well in soft sand because your ball will never get out of the bunker! Third, because of the increased amount of sand taken, you will be unable to control your distance or to spin the ball. That to me does not sound like fun. Here is
the secret: try to hit a draw. Exact opposite right? Put the ball forward in your stance, aim your feet left of the target, open your grip on the club and swing inside out. When the club comes from the inside the divot will be much shallower, which will allow you to control your depth of strike in all types of sand. In addition, you will now be able to spin the ball and control your distance as you never have. If you are struggling with the feeling, try to imagine you are skipping a stone or golf ball. This will allow the club to come more shallow
and from the inside. Watching great bunker players on the PGA Tour is fun and sometimes amazing to watch, and now you can do it too. 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
Dr. Beth Fundraiser D
EAT WELL, LIVE LONGER! ED REID | Owner, Team Fit
This article was first published in July 2012 aintaining a healthy lifestyle requires that you eat well, exercise regularly and find the time to properly de-stress -- resting your mind and body. The first tip, eat well, is truly the key to success. No matter how often you engage in physical activity, without proper nutrition, you will be spinning your wheels. You may never reach your goals or fullest potential. The Food and Drug Administration defines their meaning of eating well: “A healthy diet emphasizes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free / low-fat milk products; lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts; is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars; and stays within your daily calorie needs.” The recommended daily allowance, RDA, describes an ideal amount of food intake that typically corresponds with some aspect of health. The RDA for calories is a recommendation for the optimal intake of calories to prevent weight gain and maintain healthy body function. It varies between individuals based on age, sex, height, weight and physical
activity, all of which, according to the American Society for Nutrition, impact your daily energy needs. Remember the old food pyramid? If you did not know, it has been replaced by a plate. The website, Choosemyplate.gov, can help determine an adequate amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. We all know that there are fad diets that recommend restricting (or even eliminating) portions of the categories, thereby increasing the rate of weight loss. Not every fad diet will work with every person. Therefore, you may find yourself trying countless crazes until you find the one best suited for your needs. The one thing most of these trend diets have in common? You cannot follow them for extended periods of time, nor do you always have the energy to exercise. Be simple, be smart. Choose a balanced, healthy eating plan and you can count on health and well- being that lasts a lifetime. 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: getfit@ teamfitaugusta.com.
Christopher Selmek | Freelance Writer
octor Beth Anne Flack, the licensed chiropractor operating Flack Family Chiropractic at 4488 Columbia Road, aims to relieve stress and aid in the human body’s ability to heal itself through her practice, but also feels a sense of commitment to relieving the stress of those forgotten citizens within our own country. Now through July 15, anyone who brings in a backpack filled with school supplies and a $25 and a backpack filled with school supplies to the Love Has No Color, a charity that benefits the Native American Reservation in Poplar, Montana, will receive a free exam and X-Ray which typically costs $245. “The reason we chose backpacks is because somebody brought school supplies last year and the kids came up to me after and asked for more shoes and school supplies because they really need them,” said Flack. “Not toys or candy or fun things, but they wanted school supplies, so that’s what we’re going to give them.” “It really is 3rd world conditions out there,” she continued. “There are children running around with no shoes and sleeping on the streets in old, raggedy clothes. Love Has No Color is the charity that contributes everything that goes to the reservation, and is responsible for building the movie theatre, setting up a chiropractic office, and funding a student to go to chiropractic school. They were trying to build a better community for themselves and New Renaissance Chiropractic Coaching Company had a heart for giving back humanitarian aid for our Native American cousins who were here before we were.” Flack has been at this location for almost two years, where she rents space from Goss Chiropractic. The trip she makes to the reservation this August to deliver the backpacks will be her second since setting up her practice here, and she plans to host another drive this October and November and make a visit in December to hand out Christmas gifts. “The finances are going toward building a movie theatre out there that opened April 27, because some of the kids feel really beaten down and there is a now a safe and healthy environment where they can learn how to run their own business,” she said. “Just this April there were three children suicides in the community,
and going to the theatre has become an alternative to substance abuse and helps them fight depression.” Chiropractic care has some similarities to the alternative medicine of the Native American people, though there is real science backing up the benefits of neck and back adjustment. “I have two huge binders filled with research from doctors proving that interference is real and that we can help relieve it through chiropractic care,” she said. “Some people think it’s just for neck and back pain, and although we can help those things we help a lot more than that. We don’t cure anything, but we allow the power of the body to heal itself, and it can’t heal if there are interferences.” Chiropractic care has benefits for children with ADHD, Autism, colic or narcolepsy. Flack also has equipment for adjusting pregnant women and establishes wellness plans for returning customers. A typical initial appointment costs $245 and Flack accepts most types of insurance, but subsequent adjustments cost only $45 for a simple procedure than moves the bone to take pressure off a nerve and allows the messages to get through. “If a person’s nervous system isn’t functioning well you’re going to see depression and dependence on other substances,” she said. “Right now there’s a high school student at the reservation who is a candidate to go to chiropractic school. We’re going to see the true power of chiropractic care in this community, and we hope it boosts their morale.” To schedule an appointment, visit www.flackfamilychiropractic.com or call 706-305-3241.
gOODBOATS gOOD BUSINESS FOR AUgUSTA Advertorial by kristen Soles
oodwill Industries of Middle Georgia & the CSRA hosted their second annual GoodBoats Race and Festival on Saturday, April 27, at Lake Olmstead in Augusta, Georgia. In its second year, GoodBoats welcomed over 2,500 guests, utilized a cadre of 150 volunteers and displayed 26 vendor storefronts, which were depicted in a fashion similar to those found in the Hong Kong street markets. Entertainment included Tai Chi with swords, a Peacock folk dance, Chinese chorus, a Kung Fu demonstration, the Fan Dance and the Lion Dance. Spearheaded by the local Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, the day also celebrated the cultures of Pacific Islanders, Philippine, Korean, Thai and Vietnamese groups. Twenty-three teams competed in the event focal point, the dragon boat races, raising an estimated $51,000. Goodwill’s president &
CEO, Jim Stiff, was pleased. “This is only our second year and we are continuing to grow and to capture the community’s attention. We believe we’ve found a fun and creative way to tell the Goodwill story and make new friends for our human and economic development cause.” Stiff also pointed out how GoodBoats is helping to expand Helms College’s menu of programs. “The money raised through this event will fund programs at Helms College, the nationally accredited college founded by Goodwill. Helms is working to meet the needs of the rapidly growing hospitality industry and will soon expand into other high demand, middle-skills occupations.” Originating in China over 2,500 years ago, dragon boats are the largest flat water racing canoes in the world. Constructed of solid teak, these spectacular boats weigh 1,500 pounds and are over 30 feet long. Each dragon boat team consists of 20 paddlers and a steer person all kept in sync by a drummer. Not wanting to lose momentum, plans already are underway for next
The Bridgestone team transitions smoothly from the road to the water in Goodwill’s GoodBoats race.
year’s event with Stiff promising more family fun and possibilities for business partnerships. “We have begun to build upon an event that families can enjoy and where businesses have an annual teambuilding opportunity which celebrates and honors the Asian culture while keeping our eye on our mission and vision. Goodwill is here to build better jobs, stronger families and dynamic communities.”
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.
AUgUSTINO’S ITAlIAN EATERY Nola Bon viveur | Fun-Loving Foodie
y search for great “Power Hour” business lunch spots around the CSRA led me this month to Augustino’s in downtown Augusta. Augustino’s Italian Eatery and Fine Steaks is very conveniently located at Two 10th Street, inside the Marriott Hotel Convention Center on the Augusta RiverwaIk. As I’ve noted before, downtown Augusta is a hotspot for local business professionals. So for location, Augustino’s gets five thumbs up. My husband and I met with our financial advisor from Morgan Stanley on this occasion. Because his office is in the building just across the street from the Marriott, he was able to walk to our meeting…talk about convenience! Augustino’s features a pasta bar during lunch hours, offering several types of pastas, sauces, veggies and proteins; the chef “expertly prepares your pasta your way”. In addition, the pasta bar includes fresh Italian-inspired salad choices and homemade soups. Regular menu items, such as salads, sandwiches and Italian entrees, are also available at lunch. While the pasta bar was tasty, and seemed the best choice for eating and meeting within the hour
we had allotted for our lunch meeting, the other two people in my party chose to order from the menu. My husband chose the Smoked Turkey Sandwich – smoked turkey breast, apple wood smoked bacon, tomato, cheddar cheese and strawberry jam on thick French toast. It was delicious. The turkey was flavorful, the tomato was fresh and the bacon…well, everything tastes better with apple wood smoked bacon. With his sandwich he had black and tan onion rings – another big hit. And while I didn’t taste the Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (because it isn’t really polite to sneak bites from the plate of your financial advisor), he said it tasted great. Lunch prices range from $10 - $15 (the pasta bar is $12 per person) – very reasonable for the food quality. The atmosphere at Augustino’s is relaxed yet sophisticated. The upscale décor matches that of the Marriott Hotel. Tables and booths are available. Everything is clean and well kept. The parking at Augustino’s is also convenient. Sometimes dining downtown can post the problem of finding a spot on Broad Street; however, Augustino’s has a designated lot beside the Marriott where diners self-park and have their parking tickets validated by the restaurant staff.
Our lunch at Augustino’s was very quiet. We were able to have a discussion without struggling to hear each other, yet there was enough going on that we didn’t feel like those around us were a part of our conversation. Our service was outstanding; the server was courteous and attentive, and we never felt rushed. Augustino’s seems to be a favorite lunch spot for business professionals in the downtown area, as there was quite a midday crowd. It meets all the criteria for a great “Power Hour” lunch. The food is delicious, the staff is friendly and attentive, the atmosphere is quiet and enjoyable, the price is reasonable and the potential for networking is certainly there. They are open weekdays from 11:30 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The next time you need to schedule a quiet business lunch close to downtown, you should definitely give it a try. Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
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
JUNE 2013 JAN. 10 –FEB. 6, 2013
SOUTH CAROlINA BUSINESS
29 27 33 31 23
Henry and Cuba Rowland of New Ellenton were on their way for lunch at the nearby Golden Coral and took a stroll through Aiken Mall. “We don’t do an awful lot of shopping here,” said Henry. “The problem is the competition stores all around here outside the mall that can run lower prices. If they (Aiken Mall) don’t resolve that problem, there won’t be a mall here. You come here during a holiday when it’s supposed to be crowded here and there won’t be anybody here.” Photography by Stephen Delaney Hale
AIKEN MAll FOREClOSURE: FUTURE BRIgHT? STEPHEN DELANEY HALE | South Carolina Section Editor
t didn’t take David Jameson long to put a positive spin on the pending $38.5 million foreclosure of 35 acres of Aiken Mall. An anchor of what has become known euphemistically as South Aiken since the late 1980s, Aiken Mall has one more open storefront than it has closed stores and was set to go on the auction block at the courthouse in downtown Aiken on Monday, Jun 3.
“But that could be good news”, said Jameson. “I have seen mall foreclosures in other places end with very positive results for the community and for the economics of the mall and surrounding businesses.” “What often happens, said Jameson, “is that a mall goes into default on their loan and then the holder of the note will generally resell the debt. Potentially a new mall owner and new mall management will come in and make some very positive changes. New investment can be expected, maybe a whole
new facelift-- the recruiting of new and more popular stores, so it could become a magnet for more businesses, just as Aiken Mall was when it was founded.” A new owner may be able to offer lower leases because they have a lower mortgage themselves, said several business sources around Aiken. Jameson said whether the mall closes or remains open wouldn’t affect other businesses possibly coming to the city. “I think the businesses coming to Aiken look at the demographics of
the area,” he said. “The population mix, the income mix, the geography. They make their own decisions and don’t really watch what’s happening to others.” Aiken has not been immune to store closures during the recent recession, but it seems to be bouncing back even faster than most of the country. The mall itself has been losing stores at an alarming rate throughout recent years, with several stores closing up shop or relocating. But, anchor stores include
Continued on Page 28
JUNE 2013 grinds on for Aiken Mall. The total owed value includes a principal balance of about $20 million, with additional uncollected interest and late fees making up the other $8.5 million. According to Clerk of Court records, Aiken Mall Acquisitions LLC quit making payments on the interest on April 1, 2012. A judge will open a bid process to purchase the property at 11:00 a.m., on June 3 at the courthouse on Park Avenue. Several aspects of South Carolina foreclosure law can kick in at that point. U.S. Bank, or a note holder it may be representing, has a choice to seek a deficiency judgment against Aiken Mall Acquisitions LLC by that date and time. A deficiency judgment may be obtained in South Carolina when a property in foreclosure is sold at a public sale for less than the loan amount, which the underlying mortgage secures. This means that that borrower still owes the lender for the difference between what the property sold for at auction and the amount of the original loan. Deficiency judgments are subject to appraisal rights. South Carolina has a process called an “Application for an Order of Appraisal”. A borrower usually requests this process where an independent appraiser determines the high value of the property that may be substituted for the sale amount if the lender is seeking a deficiency. If the bank does not seek a deficiency judgment, then the highest
Ashton, 23, Kelsey, 22 and Kamryn Posey, 3 mos., (all of Aiken) are strolling from Sears to Belk, “and then that’s about it,” said Kelsey. “We come here a couple of times a month. We are concerned the mall might close but we usually do our shopping at Augusta Mall anyway. It’s a drive, but that’s where we get all our real shopping done. There’s much better selection there.” Ashton said it would be great if new investment in Aiken Mall brought in more and better stores but if not, “there’s not going to be a mall here.”
AIKEN MAll FOREClOSURE Continued from Page 27
Belk, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Sears and Books-A-Million still seem to be busy and prosperous. There are other signs of tough times around town, but each has its own tough story that may not be tied to the Aiken economy. The once immensely popular Blockbuster video store closed in 2012, but that was more a result of the march of technology that made their product outdated. The nationwide firm declared bankruptcy in 2010 and hundreds of locations closed when it was sold to Dish Network last year. The popular local chain restaurants, Teresa’s and Ryan’s, have closed in the past year, as has Fred’s discount store in South Park Shopping Center -- but that closing represents lots of good economic news in Aiken recently.
Fred’s and the Goodwill Emporium, which built a huge new facility nearby, made way for the upscale new Fresh Market grocery chain in a prime location between the two hubs of the city. A second Wal-Mart went up four years ago, and a Sam’s Club is now under construction across the AikenAugusta Highway from it. Three new hostelries, two of which are suites hotels, and Academy Sports are under construction on the Southside. Downtown, several new restaurants have sprouted, including the down-home Betsy’s on the Corner and La Dolce, both on Laurens Street. There is also the new Swamp Fox across from the courthouse, Pizza di Napoli on the Southside, and Aiken’s first Cracker Barrel, across from the mall. But for now, the legal process
bidder on June 3 will be awarded the property and a deed would be issued. If it does seek one, the bank would not only be foreclosing the mortgage, but also seeking a money judgment. Then the bidding would remain open for another 30 days, ending on July 3 at 11 a.m. The highest bidder at the first sale cannot bid again at the second sale. If no one else raises the bid at the second sale, then the property goes to the higher bidder from the original sale. The sales will be conducted by open bidding. It is not necessary to pre-register. The successful bidder is required to pay 5 percent of the total bid to the Aiken County Master-In-Equity. sTePHeN delANeY HAle He is a freelance writer and president of HaleStorm communications, a small public relations firm based in Aiken, S.C. The Augusta Chronicle published his first book, “Aiken and Its Horses – A Celebration of Equestrian Sports,” in March of 2000. The printing has sold out. He is a co-author of African-Americans in Aiken County - A Pictorial History, published in July, 2008. Hale has written for dozens of newspapers and magazines in the two state area. As the former Augusta market correspondent for Reuters News Agency Hale’s coverage was published across the globe, including The Times (London), The New York Times, The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), and many more. To reach Stephen email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (803) 221-4976.
HOllOW CREEK MOvES HOSpITAl
Hollow Creek Animal Hospital has relocated to a location just off of Whiskey Road at 126 Dominion Drive, Suite 1060, where they hope to continue serving the people of Aiken and their animal companions. Dr. Kevin Weis has been practicing veterinary medicine for almost eight years and anticipates the majority of his customers following him to the new location because of the welcoming attitude and good communication within his small staff. “I like veterinary medicine just because it’s challenging, there are a lot of different species and things that we see every day that aren’t cookie cutter,” he said. “You never really know what you’re going to walk into and have to treat, which makes it challenging and fun.”
“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.
“I think it’s just about good communication and good bed side manor and just trying to be available for people,” he continued. “It’s really all about communication, you have to focus on that and make sure everybody is on the same page about what’s going on and what’s expected, and people will typically stay with you.” The new location is only three and a half miles from the old one, and provides the same complete spectrum of veterinary and pet health services, including examinations, immunizations and wellness, pet medical services, radiology and orthopedic or soft tissue surgery. It is Hollow Creek’s policy to offer clients treatment options so they are able to have input into the most appropriate course of action for their pet. They provide information about proposed treatments, along with estimations for the associated costs, to allow clients to make informed decisions about their pet’s treatment. “I’ve wanted to own my own business ever since I decided I wanted to be a veterinarian,” he said. “To me there’s a lot less red tape and we can make a lot of our own decisions about how we’re going to run our business and how we’re going to treat our patients, we don’t really have to go to a committee to make decisions like a smaller hospital would, and I always liked that.” Hollow Creek Animal Hospital is also pleased to accept most types of insurance. “Insurance is kind of a newer thing, mainly coming out in the past five years or so it’s becoming more accepted,” he said. “I think it’s a good thing that helps people to be more prepared for unexpected events, that’s where we see people having a hard time if something comes along and their pet gets sick and suddenly they have to pay $1000 for treatment and I think insurance will help them with stuff like that.” According to Weis, Aiken has been a very good location for his business, which has remained steady even though economic ups and downs because people will always care for their pets. “I’ve definitely seen some clients and their patients who have to make some hard decisions based on their finances and their jobs,” he said. “We’ve seen it, but I feel like Aiken has been a good environment and a good climate for us.” Hollow Creek Animal Hospital is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with a noon to 1 p.m. lunch break for the small staff, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. More information is available by calling 803-226-0551, or visit www.hollowcreekvet.com.
SC AMONg TOp 10 FOR SMAll BUSINESS FRIENDlINESS
A recent survey, completed by Thumbtack.com, in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, reveals that South Carolina is good for small business. The ranking is a result of the state’s employment and labor regulations, the overall ease of hiring additional employees in the state, and the quality of its online resources for starting a business. This is the second year the Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey, which draws
from an extensive universe of job creators and entrepreneurs nationwide, including small business owners, has been completed. South Carolina improved upon last year’s survey results, going from a B+ earning to an A-. “For the second year, South Carolina set an outstanding example of providing a supportive environment for small businesses,” said Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com. “The state ranks among the best place to grow a business, encouraged no doubt by South Carolina’s highly rated employment laws and training programs.” SOME OF THE kEY FINDINGS FOR SOUTH CAROLINA INCLUDE: - SOUTH CAROLINA SMALL BUSINESSES AwARDED THE STATE AN ‘A-’ for its employment and labor regulations and an ‘A-’ for the overall ease of hiring additional employees in the state. - THE STATE ALSO EARNED A ‘B+’ for its training and networking programs. - SOUTH CAROLINA wAS RANkED #3 for the quality of its online resources for starting a business. The state’s small businesses also reported one of the highest anticipated hiring rates for 2013. Nationally, professional licensing requirements were more important to small business owners than taxes in determining a state’s overall business-friendliness, confirming the findings from
last year’s study. The top ranking states overall were Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Texas. The lowest rated were Illinois, California, Hawaii, Maine and, in last place, Rhode Island. “It is critical to the economic health of every city and state to create an entrepreneur-friendly environment,” said Dane Stangler, director of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. “Policymakers put themselves in the best position to encourage sustainable growth and long-term prosperity by listening to the voices of small business owners themselves.” The full survey results for SC can be seen by visiting www.thumbtack.com/sc and include full sets of rankings, easily searchable quotes from South Carolina small businesses, regional comparisons within states, and Census data comparing South Carolina’s key demographics against those of other states. Thumbtack.com connects people seeking home services with businesses in their local community. The Buzz on Biz wishes to thank the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce for providing this article.
pREMIER MARTIAl ARTS MOvES WITHIN FRED’S plAZA
Premier Martial Arts, which was already located within the Fred’s Plaza, recently moved to a larger location within the same plaza in order to expand the range of their martial arts programs. “We’ve been in North Augusta for four years now and we’re in the same shopping center but we has just outgrown the facility we were in and we wanted to add some programs to what we were offering,” said owner Aaron Hensley. “We took the space that used to be the old Movie Gallery, added some square footage, and with that we’re adding some new programs.” “One is an after school program where we actually pick the kids up from the school in North Augusta,” he continued. “We help them with their homework, give them some tutoring if they need some help, they get a snack and they get to do either a martial arts class or a PE class, so when the parents pick them up between 6:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. they’re done with everything and they’re ready to go home and have
some family time.” Premier Martial Arts does offer adult programs, but Hensley estimates that 75-80 percent of their students are children. “It’s just one of the things that we’re doing really well with the martial arts program is giving parents reinforcement about teaching life skills like self-control, self-discipline and respect that a lot of times they need some assistance on,” he said. “They need some backup with the home life and through martial arts they’re learning those skills plus kids like jump kicking, spinning and doing weapons so it’s fun plus they’re getting some added benefit as well.” Hensley hopes that martial arts programing can be a catalyst to get kids to be more active rather than the sedentary lifestyle observed by many Americans today. “A lot of times it comes back to the family structure and the lifestyle of the family and a lot of times parents can see where they’re not doing a great job in that environment on their own so they want to instill a better lifestyle in their kids,” he said. “Through martial arts because it’s a fun activity they can aspire to doing a lot of advanced skills. My son just turned five and he loves doing weapons, so it creates a fun aspect plus a challenge, plus the fact that they can do it not just as a kid, they can grow up, and my father is 55 and he is still doing it.” “Sports were designed to be a microcosm of life,” he continued. “You’re supposed to learn about teamwork, social skills, how to set a goal and achieve it. Unfortunately in America sports have become a business even at young ages, and we want to win at any cost. Whereas martial arts the way we teach it we strive to teach people to have that internal drive and discipline and to know that if they set a goal and work toward it they can achieve whatever they set their minds to.” Premier Martial Arts currently offers almost 50 classes a week for all ages. For more information, visit www.hensleypma.com.
Why live with varicose veins?
At The Vein Center at Aiken Regional Medical Centers, we provide advanced treatment for varicose veins, spider veins and other vein conditions, including the VNUS Closureâ„˘ procedure, a minimally invasive alternative to painful vein-stripping surgery.
To make an appointment, call 803-641-5544. Physicians are on the medical staff of Aiken Regional Medical Centers, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not agents or employees of Aiken Regional Medical Centers. The hospital shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians.
Family Owned and Operated Since 1964
Vinyl Graphics & Signs 502 EDGEFIELD ROAD • NORTH AUGUSTA, SC 29841 Open Monday – Friday: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
fax -- 803.278.4831 • email -- Info@QPGraphics.com
The Willcox Inn used the release of the “Great Gatsby” as the backdrop for their May charity event.
Posing with the 1927 Model A Phaeton are:Elliott Levy, director of the Aiken County Historical Museum Shannon Ellis, co-owner of The Willcox; Aiken’s real celebrity, Sissy Brodie; Shannon’s fellow co-owner and husband Geoff Ellis; Chris Powers; Aiken Downtown Development Executive Director Carla Cloud; and Karen Dempsey. They were among approximately 100 revelers who celebrated The Jazz Age in Great Gatsby style to raise money for Children’s Place. Thirteen other Aiken restaurants also celebrated the evening to support local children. Driver, hotel co-owner Geoff Ellis, front seat, restaurant manager Matt Sayer (same last name as Zelda Fitzgerald’s maiden name!); catering manager Katy Judd; Willcox Spa esthetician and cosmetologist Carrie Power; hotel Assistant General Manager Kellie Smith; and co-owner Shannon Ellis.
THE WIllCOX AMONg 14 AIKEN RESTAURANTS SUppORTINg CHIlDREN’S plACE IN MAY
Living up to their Roaring 20s roots, The Willcox Inn used the national release of “The Great Gatsby” to throw a faux movie-review party for their annual Celebrity Waiter Night for Children’s Place. Flappers and swells flocked to The Willcox, just as they did in the 1920s. F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald never visited The Willcox, but it was roaring during the same Jazz Age that inspired lavish parties in the 1920s and 30s. The Hitchcocks, Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Harrimans and many more wealthy families maintained huge houses on Long Island, Manhattan and Newport, R.I., where they danced the years away. As the weather turned cooler, they followed their horses to their ‘cottages’ in Aiken for the winter -- when The Willcox became the epicenter for ‘spending daddy’s money.’ Well over 100 guests came in their roaring costumes. A portion of the price of dinner, drinks and tips went to Children’s Place. “We thank The Willcox and all the other restaurants around Aiken who flock to our aid every year for Celebrity Waiter Night,” said Children’s Place President Peggy Ford. Celebrity Waiter has become one of Aiken’s premiere social events, with 14 restaurants and over 150 “celebrities” this year. Children’s Place provides therapeutic child care to more than 110 children a day.
SAvINg IN THE lONg RUN tHese oPinions are tHose oF tHoMas HuDson anD not necessarily tHose oF BuZZ on BiZ newsPaPer or its staFF.
Article by THOMAS HUDSON
hen it comes to automobile insurance, underinsuring could turn out to be disaster. Plenty of people take radio financial guru Clark Howard’s advice to buy a used automobile and then drive it until the doors fall off. While taking that route does save thousands of dollars, Howard has never advised that anyone put only the minimum amount of insurance coverage on their vehicle. The rule of thumb for automobile insurance is simple: if drivers have enough disposable income to be able to replace the car if it is totaled, and have great health insurance that will cover any injuries sustained in an accident, then they may buy a simple liability policy. If that’s not the situation, then regardless what the car is worth, it needs full coverage. It’s astounding how many drivers are on the road with no coverage at all. I see it quite often at the law firm where I work. There are people who purchase a policy so that it shows up when they register the tag and then simply stop paying on the policy. In the old days, people could get away with that for
years. Computer technology has helped in preventing this, but technology is not perfect. It takes roughly six months for a lapsed policy to show up in the system. There have been numerous occasions I’ve seen where the officer on a scene runs the tag number and puts a policy number on the accident report. When we’ve attempted to file a claim in those instances, we are told the policy was in the system but not active when the accident occurred -- leaving our client out of luck. In one extreme case, our client was hit by a drunk driver and was injured. Her truck was more than 10 years old and was totaled. The at-fault driver did have insurance, but it was this tiny company operating out of Texas. When we filed the claim we were told the company was in receivership and everything had to be filed through the state of Texas. Even the simple act of arranging a rental car for the client had to be approved by the state. The client’s vehicle was towed to a local paint and body shop. It took several weeks to get an adjuster to come out and inspect the truck, and then that adjuster had to wait on the state to approve a property damage settlement. The vehicle had a book value of roughly $1,500; however, the paint
and body shop was charging $20 a day to store it. They wanted back payment on the storage fees before they would let the client move the truck to the junk yard. The truck sat at the body shop for two months -- you do the math. This client did not have health insurance and carried only liability insurance on her vehicle. So, she lost her vehicle, racked up thousands of dollars in medical bills and now has to ride on public transportation to get to and from work. Eventually, she may be able to settle the claim, but this accident has almost destroyed her life financially. The at-fault driver in this case is a day laborer, so we’d likely have more luck suing a ham sandwich before we would ever get anything out him. The fellow did not have the resources to pay the bond and get out of jail for the DUI charge, and we aren’t sure he is a legal resident. So, should we sue him, we might have to go to Mexico to depose him.
These cases happen all of the time. Adding uninsured motorist is well worth the cost. Most standard policies have a limit of $25,000 for personal injury. If injured, requiring extensive medical treatment, all the insurance company has to pay is that limit; then the uninsured or under insured policy kicks in. Claims against the insurance company can be filed to cover the remaining costs. Georgia Law prevents insurance companies from raising rates if underinsured motorist claims are filed. I am all about saving money, but paying that extra $20 dollars a month for full coverage may save a lot of heartache in the long run. THOMAS SCOTT HUDSON is a free lance reporter for WGAC News and a local paralegal. For comments or story ideas email email@example.com
Your Summer Fun In The Sun Station!
Center For Primary Care Your Prevention SPecialiStS
listen live online!
The Problem With Finding A New Job
Miss Bossy Pants | Humorous thoughts on the workplace
By Nora Blithe | Freelance Writer
groaned. My husband Brian looked up from his book. “What’s wrong,” he asked. “I’m searching for a job,” I told him “and it’s abysmal.” “Looking for a job is tough,” he sympathized, “especially right now. “It’s not just the looking. It’s the ads. Listen to this one for example,” I read from my computer screen. ‘Wanted competent office manager to run small office. Must be skilled with computers and office equipment such as photocopiers, fax machines and multi-line phone system.’” Brian stared at me uncomprehending. “So,” he asked. “So you know what that means. It means I’ll be updating obsolete computers so that I can do my work while my future boss yells at me for not having things done on time. It means I’ll have to kick the photocopier to make it work, push a magic combination of buttons while hopping on my left foot to send a fax all while the phone incessantly rings.”
“You can tell all of that from a want ad,” he grinned. “Yes, I can. This isn’t my first job. I know they dress the ads up to make the jobs sound better than they are. Take this one, ‘Wanted, friendly responsible person who answers the phone by the third ring.’ Answers the phone by the third ring? That means that your only responsibility is answering the phone and it will be a boring, low paying job. I wish the writers of these ads would just say what they mean. “ I invented an ad: Like Wanted: Office Manager. Hartech Industries needs an energetic and enthusiastic person to manage a busy office. The right candidate displays a positive, cando attitude, is proficient in Microsoft programs such as: Office, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, can lead a team of fifty, occasionally moody people, is available to work nights, weekends, all federal holidays and a regular Monday to Friday schedule of
85 hours. Can repair recalcitrant office equipment including but not limited to: an ornery printer, a hateful photocopier and an electrical system designed
in 1875. The right candidate turns in all work correct and on time, no exceptions. Occasionally, materials such as paper and pens will be made available to you but usually you’ll be expected to scrounge something out of the trash or provide your own. Sorry but we can offer no reimbursements. Competitive benefits package. For the right candidate, salary is $12,200 a year (less fees for the parking garage.) Brian laughed, “But then no one would work for them.” “Exactly,” I said. “Sometimes the problem with finding a new job is that there are so few jobs worth finding.”
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.