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April 19, 2013 • Vol. 35, No. 16 • $2 • 28 pages

Drone Sweet Drone

State hopes to be unmanned aircraft testing site — Page 2 MBJ FOCUS: LAW & ACCOUNTING

Errors, record mismanagement can be costly, prepare now for 2014 Page 14

2 I Mississippi Business Journal I April 19, 2013



Drone sweet Drone: State hopes to be unmanned aircraft testing site

McAuliffe gone, GreenTech works to fulfill loan terms



Mississippi is among 37 states vying to be one of six sites selected by the Federal Aviation Administration for testing of unmanned aircraft systems. The testing is a prelude to integrating the remotely controlled aircraft into the nation’s general aviation system. If testing proves successful, the next step will be wide commercial use of the unmanned aircraft. The Mississippi Development Authority hopes to leverage the state’s vast defense contracting base, including drone manufacturer Stark Aerospace in Columbus, to gain selection. “Our next major submission is due to the FAA on May 6,” said Sally Williams, MDA spokeswoman. She said the economic development agency is limited in what it can say For The Mississippi Business Journal about its bid until after it makes its May While Mississippi is pushing to secure a site for testing of unmanned aircraft systems, there is keen competisubmission to the FAA. With unnamed aircraft systems, or tion from across the U.S. UAS, considered the next big thing in Here is the Popular Science ranking of what the magazine views aerospace, the MDA concedes the competition will be inas the seven strongest prospective sites and its brief analysis: tense. » San Diego — General Atomics, maker of the Predator Drone, Mississippi is already home to some UAS flight testing. The FAA two years ago authorized Stark Aerospace to fly the is just one of many companies that provides San Diego with a Heron UAS from Golden Triangle Regional Airport sizable drone industry. The city’s industrial base, range of cli(GTRA). Stark’s Heron testing is conducted within the traf- mates and easy flying conditions make San Diego a shoo-in. » North Dakota — The state will probably get the bid, and it fic control area of GTRA. should. Testing drones in extreme winter conditions is imThe Heron is a medium endurance long altitude (MALE) UAS in use in 27 countries and has been flown by portant to development. » Hancock Field, N.Y. — Hancock will be an FAA test site, but Stark’s Flight Services team in support of U.S. counter-narit really shouldn't. Having an important politician in U.S. Sen. cotics operations. The Heron’s strong safety record and built-in redundan- Chuck Schumer to tip the scales is how these things are done. cies as well as its ability to do autonomous takeoffs and land- But for all its charm, Hancock Field offers very little that isn't ings in up to 25 knot crosswinds influenced the FAA’s decision matched and exceeded elsewhere. » Sierra Vista, Ariz. — With a high volume of drone flights alto grant the testing permit, according to Stark. ready taking place, southern Arizona has a lot to offer the “This is the next step as we continue to establish the Golden Triangle as the leader in the aerospace industry,” FAA in crafting flight rules that accommodate both manned said Mike Hainsey, executive director of GTRA, in a press and unmanned aircraft. Sierra Vista offers good access to the statement issued by Stark shortly after the 2011 FAA test- border and air traffic control there is experienced with highvolume drone flights. ing authorization. » Huntsville, Ala. —The city boasts an annual symposium on GTRA is among only a few commercial service airports for unmanned vehicle systems, now in its 24th year. That is a which the FAA has authorized UAS operations. Stark has a fully integrated hangar capable of both produc- strong sign of native talent and technical expertise, which eltion acceptance and training operations. From the hangar, evates Huntsville's FAA drone aspirations above those of the there is direct access to the runway at GTRA, where the FAA average region. It’s still not seen as enough to sway the FAA, however. has authorized Heron flights. » Creech Air Force Base, Nev. —Nevada has a long history of Stark produces the Heron and the Hunter MQ-5B UASs at aviation testing, and IT expertise can feed drone technical deits high-tech production facility in Columbus. The Hunter MQ-5B is a tactical unmanned aerial systems velopment easily. That, combined with vast tracts of empty (TUAS) that has flown more than 100,000 hours in support federal land and cleared airspace, allow for great testing possibilities. of the U.S. war against terrorism. » Daytona, Ohio — The FAA will need an average city to test Despite the presence of Stark and other aerial defense condrones in, and Dayton fits the bill. It's large enough to prestractors in the state, Mississippi could be a long shot, according to a ranking by Popular Science magazine, which listed ent both challenges, like other air traffic, and opportunities, Huntsville, Ala., as the lone location in the South likely to get like enough customers to make taco drones viable. Dayton is expected to succeed in its bid. serious consideration.

GreenTech Automotive has until the end of 2014 to create a minimum of 350 jobs at its Tunica facility, per the terms of a $3-million loan the Mississippi Development Authority made the company. The loan, made in September 2011, is to help the hybrid car company with site preparation and what an MDA spokesperson called “other project-related expenses” in Tunica, which the company hopes will be home to its second manufacturing facility in Mississippi. GreenTech started building the MyCar, a small electric vehicle, in Horn Lake last summer. MDA spokesperson Sally Williams said in an email to the Mississippi Business Journal that loan repayments would begin after production in Tunica has started. Payments would be made twice annually in June and December, with the loan repayment period capped at 10 years. The MDA also loaned Tunica County $2 million to buy the facility, with the same company requirements attached to it. What the company will build in Tunica is still unknown. A fall 2009 unveiling at the site featured several models, including a sedan and a sports car, but the company has since kept under wraps what it will make there. Initial job figures the company announced exceeded 1,000, with original plans calling for the Tunica facility to produce more vehicles annually than the Nissan plant in Canton. Those metrics have since been reduced. GreenTech has become an issue outside Mississippi. Former company chairman Terry McAuliffe, who resigned in early April, is running for governor in that state. Opponents of McAuliffe, whose time in the 1990s as chairman of the national Democratic party was marked by record fundraising, have spent the past several weeks bringing into question GreenTech’s validity and McAuliffe’s role in securing public assistance for the project after he said he would not do so. Williams said the company remains in good standing with the state. “To date, the company has done everything they had said they would,” she said. GreenTech’s MyCar facility, housed in the old Dover Elevator building in Horn Lake, has produced the MyCar since a launch party last summer that included McAuliffe, former Gov. Haley Barbour and former President Bill Clinton. Company spokesperson Marianne McInerney said this week that she couldn’t share specific production figures, but put the number in the hundreds. McAuliffe told Bloomberg right See


April 19, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




Wholesale natural gas prices rise from historic lows Wholesale natural gas prices have doubled during the last year, and that’s bringing sighs of relief from an unusual variety of interests. Soaring production and an unusually warm winter sent prices plunging to under $2 per thousand cubic feet last spring, prompting some to wonder whether the natural gas boom would kill demand for both coal and new renewable energy. But natural gas is now just over $4 per thousand cubic feet. Energy experts say prices in the $4 or $5 range won’t affect the increasing use of the fuel by consumers and industry since the price was $8 just a few years ago. In Europe and Asia prices are even higher — $10 to $14. “I don’t think anyone in their right mind� thought $2 or $3 natural gas was here to stay, said Manuj Nikhanj, the head of Energy Research at ITG Investment Research, a worldwide financial firm based in New York. He added that current prices are still “pretty cheap.� Gas drilling companies are obviously happy with the rising price, and so are leaseholders and states that get revenue based on the market price. But the coal industry and renewable energy advocates are cheering the news, too, since gas no longer has a huge price advantage over those other energy sources. Some even suggest that at current prices both natural gas and renewables win. “Ultimately in the long term, gas and renewables are really well paired,� said Christina Simeone, the director of PennFuture Energy Center, which is run by an environmental group. That’s because while renewables don’t emit air pollution, they need backup for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. Natural gas is a perfect backup for renewables, Simeone said. Natural gas suddenly became cheap last year because of a surge in production from the drilling technique known as fracking. Now industry analysts expect new natural gas fields, such as the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, to provide fuel for decades. Mark Brownstein, an associate vice president at the Environmental Defense Fund, noted that the price of renewable energy has declined substantially in recent years, and that’s expected to continue, making them even more competitive with natural gas. Wall Street analysts are taking notice of the trends, too. A Citibank research report noted that much has been said about the potential for the natural gas boom to derail growth in renewables, but they believe “the opposite is true.� “Gas and renewables could in fact be the making of each other in the short term,� the report noted, since renewables will cost about the same as conventional fuels in many parts of the world “in the very near term.� That would allow a surge in demand for renewables, “which in turn will drive demand for more gas-fired� power plants to be used as backup. “Gas provides an abundant and (potentially) cheap source of energy to be used while renewables continue to gain in competitiveness,� the report said. But a new drilling boom isn’t imminent. The Marcellus Shale Coalition, an industry group, says current prices will have to be sustained for months or years for companies to drill significantly more wells than they are now. “I think everyone’s watching it,� said Katie Klaber, the group’s president, who expects prices to stabilize.

— from staff and MBJ wire services

EMEPA: Rates increase because of Kemper East Mississippi Electric Association is raising rates for some customers because of higher wholesale power rates charged by Mississippi Power Co. to cover the costs of its Kemper County power plant. The Meridian-based electric cooperative says customers in Lauderdale, Clarke, Newton, Wayne and Jasper counties will see power rates rise by 9.3 percent starting with May bills.

EMEPA buys wholesale power for customers in those counties from Mississippi Power, a unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. It buys wholesale power for its customers in Kemper, Winston and Attala counties from the Tennessee Valley Authority. The cooperative says bills will go up $10.80 per month for a customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt hours per month. Most Mississippi electric consumers use more than that, on average.



— from staff and MBJ wire services

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4 I Mississippi Business Journal I April 19, 2013 BOSTON BOMBING AFTERMATH

‘RUNNERS ARE A HEARTY LOT’ Mississippi Blues Marathon organizer believes runners will not be deterred By STEPHEN MCDILL I STAFF WRITER Race organizer John Sewell called the terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon “a terrible tragedy.” Days after the bombing killed three and injured more than 150, the Jackson marathon runner and race organizer says runners will band and bond together in the coming weeks to overcome the “terrible tragedy.” “When you think about a crowd of people out on a beautiful spring day to watch one of the greatest athletic events in the world (and) in the matter of an instant its totally shattered… as a parent my heart breaks for the family that lost their son,” Sewell tells the MBJ. The spokesman for the 26-mile Mississippi Blues Marathon, the state’s largest running event, says the Jackson marathon draws runners from around the country and world just like the Boston Marathon. Registration for the 2014 race was announced and it has been sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi since its founding in 2008. More than 3,000 runners from 46 states and 10 countries registered for this year’s event, which was held last January. Sewell said security has always been a part of the race from guarding on-site equipment at the start and finish lines to working with Jackson and Hinds County law enforcement officers to protect runners and spectators during the event. “Our number-one concern is runner safety,” says Sewell. “We have a course marshal at every intersection to watch traffic and watch over runners. We want to do everything within our power to make sure that the Blues Marathon is a safe event for runners and spectators.” Sewell has run the Country Music Marathon in Nashville and the Georgia Marathon in Atlanta and says that races like that with crowds of 15,000 to 20,000 people make it difficult for organizers to handle logistics. “The challenges multiply exponentially,” he says. Sewell adds that one could never predict something like a terrorist bombing and that he hopes and prays nothing like that would ever happen again even as he begins to prepare for next year’s marathon. “You try to do everything you can to be prepared. Will we think about it — sure,” he says. Part of the preparation for any race always includes having medical personnel to deal with everything from racing injuries or heat exhaustion. Sewell said Jackson cardiologist Rick Guynes has served as the medical director for the race and that he was helping out at the Boston Marathon at the time of the bombing.

For The Mississippi Business Journal

The women’s winner of the 2013 Mississippi Blues marathon crosses the finish line.

Madison’s Martha Davis sees Boston Marathon celebration turn to sadness By FRANK BROWN I STAFF WRITER For Martha Davis of Madison, this year’s Boston Marathon was supposed to be a time to celebrate. But that all changed last Monday afternoon shortly after she crossed the finish line in Boston, nine minutes before two explosions killed three and injured more than 100 near the finish line. “My mother passed away after last year’s marathon, so this year was supposed to be a therapeutic trip,” said Davis. ”The explosions just add to the sorrow. It compounds the tragedy while we were trying to celebrate the life of my mother.” Mary Ann Shirley Smith died April 21, 2012, just days after last year’s marathon, which was Davis’ first time to run in Boston. She was not a runner, but Davis, who has been running for 33 years, said her mother was always supportive of her running. “I can’t wear my jacket from this year’s marathon. It causes a bad feeling in my stomach. This is supposed to be a feeling of joy.” Instead, she wore last year’s jacket as she continued her visit in Boston after the race. “It’s just a general feeling of sadness. It’s supposed to be a joyous occasion. Now people who were celebrating their abilities are in the hospital with lost limbs,” said Davis, who works at University of Mississippi Medical Center. Davis finished her race in 4 hours, 28 seconds, then began her walk down Boylston Street to pick up her medal and bag. “Where I was, things were relatively calm,” she said. “I was standing near the bags, and we heard something that sounded like a cannon. It was like something you’d hear on a base. “I didn’t think the worse, I thought it was a celebration. But then I saw the smoke, and it became obvious that it was not planned. Seconds later, there was another explosion. A lot of people started moving toward the explosion, but most of the people around me started moving away from it. “I didn’t really get the sense that something was really wrong until I saw the police presence and volunteers moving that way. Then we heard the

Donna Bruce describes Boston as ‘somber’ day after marathon bombing By ROSS REILY I EDITOR Somber is how Madison’s Donna Bruce described the scene in Boston, one day following the bombing at the Boston Marathon. Bruce, a partner at BKD, LLP in Jackson, finished the race in 3 hours, 50 minutes, some 20 minutes before two bombs ripped through the streets. She says she wasn’t close enough to hear or see the bombing when it happened and was actually getting much of her information from people back home, in the forms of texts and calls, in the minutes after event. “It was just crazy,” Bruce said from Boston before her flight back to Jackson. “I felt a lot better once we realized that all the Mississippi runners were accounted for,” said Bruce, who did not get back to her hotel until late last Monday night where security was very tight. Now, it is much different for Bruce, who ran in her first Boston Marathon in 2012. “Last year was so different. It was a celebration. It was fun. “This year… this city is so affected. …There’s ATF, FBI and military police everywhere. “I will be glad to get home.” ambulances arriving.” Her first thought was not that it was an act of terrorism or violence. “When I got off of Boylston Street, we saw police more vigilant in their work of securing the area. That’s when it set in. “

April 19, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal





Mississippi Business Journal takes home 5 APME awards The Mississippi Business Journal won five awards last weekend in the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Managing Editors newspaper contest. Staff writer Stephen McDill captured a first-place in feature writing for “Moog Master,” a story on Madison engineer Bill Hemsath who invented the Minimoog, a first-generation modern synthesizer. Staff writer Clay Chandler took second place in sports enterprise writing for his story on “The cost of losing,” which focused on the financial impact of the University of Southern Mississippi’s winless football season. Staff writer Ted Carter won third place for a collection of personal columns. In the online competition, the Mississippi Business Journal took second place for best web page, and second place for the best blog — The Business Blog. Contest entries were from newspapers in both Mississippi and Louisiana for work published in 2012. The awards were announced during a banquet at the University of Mississippi in Oxford. The Mississippi Business Journal was the only Mississippi weekly competing in the division. The Mississippi Business Journal competed in Division II, which are mid-size papers such as the Natchez Democrat and Greenwood Commonwealth.


Gov. Bryant signs tourism consolidation bill Gov. Phil Bryant has signed legislation that will rename the Harrison County Tourism Commission the Mississippi Gulf Coast Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. The bill will take effect July 1 The new regional bureau will be charged with promoting tourism across the Coast, and is designed to combine the efforts of several agencies in the three coastal counties. Members of the regional bureau will be appointed by supervisors from Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties. Each county will split the new agency’s funding. Harrison County supervisors will appoint nine members; Jackson and Hancock county supervisors will appoint three each. Harrison county supervisors will set and approve the new agency’s budget. The bill authorizes a nonvoting advisory board. It will include representatives from several sectors of the hospitality industry, including the Mississippi Hotel and Lodging Association, the Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association and the Mississippi Casino Operators Association. A handful of tourism agencies on the Coast have consolidated within the past few years to form a single entity that promotes tourism in the area. Consolidation of similar agencies and those charged with promoting general economic development has been a trend designed to streamline operations and save money. Last year marked the Coast’s strongest tourism season since the 2010 BP oil spill that stretched into summer, driving down the number of visitors and related revenue. The oil spill came right after the recession had cut into Coast tourism, which serves as one of the area’s primary economic drivers.

— Clay Chandler / MBJ staff

Markets growing for state’s small specialty growers » Mississippi Small Farm Development Center encouraging small acreage farmers to switch from row crops to vegetables, fruits and herbs & spices By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER Mississippi’s specialty crop growers head into the new growing season expecting better prices and a larger market for their vegetables and fruit. It’s unlikely they will be disappointed, said Dr. Magid Dagher, an Alcorn State University professor of agricultural economics and director of the Mississippi Small Farm Development Center at Alcorn. A chief reason for the optimism, according to Dagher, is the increased in-state market for specialty crops grown on Mississippi’s small farms of 100 acres or fewer. Retailers such as Waymart and stores specializing in fresh produce as well as a growing number of restaurants and casino dinning rooms are contributing to the demand for Mississippi’s specialty crops. School lunchrooms across the state are contributing to demand as well, Dagher said. “This is all helpful in creating more production and more supply,” he said. “They can sell more of what they produce. The demand is there. In some places the demand is outstripping the supply.” Expectations would be even higher had rain and cool temperatures not dominated Mississippi’s early spring. Farmers couldn’t get out to prep the fields in early March to ensure an early summer harvest. “Now we’re probably looking at a month behind schedule,“ Dagher said, and noted Mississippi farmers could lose the timing advantage over counterparts in the North and Midwest. “If we miss that, the price drops,” he said. “We call that our window of opportunity.” Crops they are planting include Southern peas, greens, okra, squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes and watermelon. “I’d say the greater percentage will be consumed in state” or in the Memphis or New Orleans’ markets, said Dagher, whose Small Farm Development Center has been encouraging farmers who own or work small amounts of acreage to switch from row crops to specialty crops. For row crops, you must have 100 acres and up to gain the necessary economies of scale, he said. “As they get below 100 acres, we are steering them away from row crops. Maybe a combination of vegetables


Former IRS workers charged with theft SOUTHAVEN — Twenty-four current and former Internal Revenue Service employees have been charged with stealing government benefits, federal prosecutors have said. The IRS employees were indicted on charges

and livestock and some pastured poultry.” Part of that encouragement comes from the potential for a ready market, according to Dagher. Two market giants — international retailer Walmart and produce sourcing and supply company C.H. Robinson have agreed to take all of certain crops a Mississippi specialty grower can produce, he said. For instance, said Dagher, “All of the peas of good quality the Delta produces Walmart buys.” To meet the growing market demand, the plan is to double or perhaps triple the Delta’s production of crowder peas and purple hull peas, both of which are varieties of Southern peas, which is actually a bean.

Farm to school Since 2002, Mississippi’s school cafeterias have been serving produce grown in the state through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School program, a bulk-buy initiative administered by the Department of Defense through assistance from the Mississippi Department of Agriculture. Even more potential for Mississippi produce to be included on school lunch menus around the state came with a provision in the 2008 federal Farm Bill that exempted locally grown produce from prohibitions against local procurement preferences. Though the preference is not huge, it does give some advantage to local growers in helping to get their produce onto the 500,000 lunch plates served daily in Mississippi schools , said Priscilla Ammerman, director of purchasing and food distribution for the Mississippi Department of Education. “I think it is beginning to increase purchases of Mississippi produce,” she said, though she emphasized the school lunch programs are always strapped for cash and limited in their purchasing power. The co-ops and individual growers from which

that they illegally received more than $250,000 in benefits including unemployment insurance payments, food stamps, welfare, and housing vouchers, the U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis said in a news release. Prosecutors say 13 of the IRS employees face federal charges of lying about being unemployed while applying for or recertifying their government benefits. They each face up to five years in prison if convicted of making false statements to receive

the crops are bought must stay competitive within a set price range or they don’t get the business, Ammerman noted. “Most schools try to keep food costs under $1 a plate, and that includes the entrée,” she said. The Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School program allows states such as Mississippi to divert entitlement dollars to local produce purchases. “We do this in partnership with the USDA,” Ammerman said. “They identify the farms and crops that can be used by the schools during the school months.” Ammerman’s department provides each of the school lunch directors a list of produce eligible for selection. The Mississippi Department of Agriculture keeps the directors informed on what produce is available, said Paige Manning, the department’s marketing director. “They tell us, for instance, they need ‘X’ number of sweet potatoes on this date. We go out and pursue filling those orders,“ she said. In addition to sweet potatoes, eligible produce typically includes summer squash, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe and slightly processed produce such as butter beans and peas. A private company, Merchants Food Service, operates the central distribution facility in Jackson. The Department of Defense got the job of administering and handling logistics of the program through its expertise in procuring and distributing large volumes of fresh food, Ammerman said. The DOD provides payments to the Mississippi Department of Agriculture. The state ag department, in turn, pays the farmers through a revolving fund. The arrangement greatly shortens participating farmers have for payment, Ammerman said. Federal entitlement money devoted to Farms to School has been around $2.2 million for each of the last three years, she said.

the benefits. Eleven others face state charges of theft of property over $1,000, a felony that can carry a sentence of probation up to 12 years in prison if they are convicted. “While these IRS employees were supposed to be serving the public, they were instead brazenly stealing from law-abiding American taxpayers,” U.S. Attorney Edward Stanton said in a statement

— from staff and MBJ wire services

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MBJPERSPECTIVE April 19, 2013 • • Page 6


Mississippi must attract and retain top teachers


eachers in Mississippi are on the hot seat. In this age of test-driven accountability, our state's teachers face the double-edged challenge of lingering low educational achievement and high poverty. Mississippi teachers are expected to perform at a higher level than ever before, yet their training doesn't fully prepare them for the task. Of course, actual experience has always brought teachers, or any other professionals, into unanticipated and unrehearsed-for circumstances. But today teachers face a host of

newer challenges — including understanding, interpreting and using student data — that teacher education programs haven't caught up with. If we judge teachers on student achievement, they should be trained in the interpretation and use of the data that surround it. This is one of the most obvious areas where teacher education is getting a good, hard look as Mississippi works to update how it educates its educators. That's why there's such a push on now to elevate the attractiveness of majoring in education for the brightest Mississippi students.

Creating more selective programs, such as the collaborative honors college-type approach to teacher education announced recently by Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi, can help raise the prestige level at least closer to that of other, more lucrative professions. But a big part of attracting and holding on to the best teachers is raising the financial rewards, meaning a commitment to moving teacher pay up more quickly that our state has demonstrated the resolve to do. — Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

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>> HOW TO WRITE Letters to the editor are one of the most widely read features of the Mississippi Business Journal, and they give everyone a chance to voice their opinions about current affairs. We’re interested in what you think and we welcome Letters to the Editor for publication. Here are the guidelines: >> Letters should not exceed 300 words in length as a general rule. >> All letters must bear the writer’s address and telephone number. Street addresses and telephone numbers will not be published, but may be used for verification purposes. Letters may not appear without the author’s name. >> Form letters, thank you letters and letters to third parties generally are not acceptable. >> Letters must be typed or e-mailed. >> Letters must conform to good taste, not be libelous and not involve personal attacks on other persons.

>> All letters are subject to editing, and become the property of the Mississippi Business Journal. >> Letters can be sent to The Editor, The Mississippi Business Journal, 200 North Congress, Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201, delivered to the newspaper during regular business hours or e-mailed to They may also be faxed to Ross Reily at (601)-364-1007.

>> CORRECTIONS The Mississippi Business Journal takes seriously its responsibility to provide accurate information, and will correct or clarify articles produced by the editorial department if we have made an error or published misleading information. The correction will be placed in the perspective section. If you see inaccuracies in Mississippi Business Journal news stories, please report the mistake via e-mail at


April 19, 2013 I Mississippi Business Journal



U.S. Postal Service can survive structural change, not inevitable



Third grade reading reform weekend


ransformational change” said Gov. Phil Bryant, thanking the Legislature for enacting key elements of his “Education Works” agenda. “I thank the Legislature for working with me to raise the bar for public education and create transformational change for our children,” he said. “Half-hearted” said the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, describing the Bryant’s “Third Grade Gate” literacy measure as passed by the Legislature, one of the key elements in Education Works. “The third-gate idea has proven merit, but a half-hearted effort won’t get the job done,” the newspaper said. Bryant says his Third Grade Gate program will improve literacy achievement by “ending social promotion of third grade students who are not reading on grade level.” He said the program provides resources to schools to screen students’ literacy skills and provide those who are struggling with additional reading help. K-3 teachers and administrators will participate in training on best practices for reading instruction. The newspaper says the Legislature weakened the program by making screening tests voluntary, underfunding the program, and leaving out reading coaches. As originally written, Senate Bill 2347 required literacy screening at the beginning of each school year for kindergarten through third-grade students. For students identified with reading deficiencies, schools would have had to provide intensive intervention. As finally adopted, the bill makes annual screening optional, giving schools a loophole to avoid intervention activities until students complete third grade. At that time, schools may not socially promote students who read below grade level but must retain them in the third grade and, finally, provide them extensive levels of intervention, such as small group instruc-

tion and tutoring. Citing former state superintendent Tom Burnham, the newspaper wrote, “students should be measured each year and those who are behind should get additional days of instruction. ‘If you don’t do it that way and you just build a wall at the end of third grade, you are going to Bill Crawford have another crisis in education.’” To implement this comprehensive statewide program, the Legislature provided $9.5 million. “Woefully inadequate,” the newspaper quotes Nancy Loome, Parents’ Campaign executive director. Bryant’s Third Grade Gate copies Florida’s highly successful program. But Florida required annual screening, committed substantial resources for intervention and included reading coaches in its program. “Reading proficiency is the foundation for all education progress, and many public school supporters believed that using the Florida model, which achieved substantial results, could become effective in Mississippi,” said the newspaper. “Florida made a full commitment, and Mississippi must match that vigor.” The newspaper called for Bryant to correct program deficiencies by adding it to his likely call for a special session on Medicaid. Agreed. Transformation does not come from half-hearted efforts. (Shhhh. The bill still allows social promotion for thirdgraders retained two years who don’t succeed in reading.) Bill Crawford, a syndicated columnist from Meridian, can be reached at

ommunication with clients has drastically changed over the last decade. While we still send out quarterly reports in the old U.S. mail packet with a formal letter, other mailings are rare. E-mail is the favored method these days, and it surprises me that my older clients are well-versed in this area. We even text clients now. Need a reminder on an appointment? We’ll send out a text message. Clients text us when their deposits show up in their accounts. And that Nancy Anderson paper check? Forget about it. Money gets moved with the click of a mouse. So it’s no surprise that the U.S. Postal Service is struggling. While other businesses have struggled through a difficult and long recession, this is different. This is a business going through a structural change. Mail, as we have known it, is becoming obsolete. Along the way, we have lost the fine art of letter writing. Messages are autocompleted or are abbreviated in strange shorthand with emoticons attached. This less formal way of communicating has become accepted practice. Now social media is stepping into the spotlight. We “Facebook” clients and “tweet” information to them. Public companies are even using social sites to release important information about their business. It’s a new age. And delivery to my door has taken on a new meaning. While bills and notices show up in my inbox, clothing and household goods show up on my doorstep. Online retailing is growing by leaps and bounds, so the transportation business for those packages has grown, as well. The problem is that the U.S. Postal Service has been slow to see and respond to the transition. FedEx and UPS are far ahead in this game. With deep enough pockets, any business can survive a recession, but no business can survive a structural change. Facing the inevitable is never pleasant.

While other businesses have struggled through a difficult and long recession, this is different. This is a business going through a structural change. Mail, as we have known it, is becoming obsolete.

Nancy Lottridge Anderson, Ph.D., CFA, is president of New Perspectives Inc. in Ridgeland — (601) 991-3158. She is also an assistant professor of finance at Mississippi College. Her e-mail address is, and her website is


8 I Mississippi Business Journal I April 19, 2013




Education in Mississippi: A glimmer of hope for the future

State lacks for autism services


t seems that in every news outlet over the past few days there has been discussion of education legislation passed in the 2013 session of the Mississippi Legislature. While there was no massive education reform package, numerous doors were opened. The actions this session seem to signal willingness on the part of legislators and the governor to consider the type of “outside the box” thinking that will enable Mississippi to attempt to right itself in the effort to participate in a high-tech world that is advancing at warp speed. While opening a number of doors is not the same as walking through them, Mississippi may nevertheless discover a portal to the future by peering at the world beyond. This rise to action by policymakers could not have come at a better time. One need look no further than the April 22, 2013 issue of Time Magazine to discover why this is the case. The feature in this issue, “Made in The U.S.A.,” by Rana Faroohar and Bill Saporito contains much good news concerning the return of manufacturing superiority to the United States. The bottom line in their well-researched piece is that the once cost effective outsourcing of manufacturing jobs is rapidly becoming less so. American technological innovation, combined with abundant newfound domestic supplies of energy, portend an industrial manufacturing renaissance in the United States. That is the good news. The not-so-good news is that few new jobs are being created in the process. The task of manufacturing itself is being taken over by computer-driven precision machines with virtually unimaginable capabilities. Quoting from the Time article, “Today’s U. S. factories aren’t the noisy places where your grandfather knocked in four bolts a minute for eight hours a day... Computer skills and specialized training are in, since the new madein-America economics is centered largely on cuttingedge technologies.” The article goes on to say that in this world of “more machines and fewer workers, for those workers to be the masters of the machines new manufacturing jobs are requiring at least a two year tech degree to complement skills in welding and milling and further that it won’t be long before employers can demand and expect a four year degree for virtually all manufacturing work.” According to Faroohar and Saporito, the implications are huge for educators who must “deliver the skills and policymakers who will have to recognize and set new educational standards.” In the past, consumption of such an article would be followed by despair as one pondered the plight of Mississippi in such a scenario. However, the once prevalent sense of hopelessness may be poised for a change. Many of Gov. Bryant’s “Education Works” reform measures have been allowed to see the light of day by the Legislature. Taken together, these pieces of education legislation do not yet comprise an all-encompassing solution, but they do represent a departure of sorts from the status quo. Legislation creating the possibility of charter schools in lowperforming districts will enable us to judge in actual practice whether such schools can contribute to the turnaround in educational performance in districts desperately in need of a new direction. Legislation titled “Third Grade Gate” literacy will focus the

Marty Wiseman

spotlight and some financial resources on the development of reading skills by the third grade. Improving teacher quality is the goal of a multi-pronged approach based on college entrance scores, classroom performance and teacher exams. In addition, scholarship money to attract the brightest scholars possible into the teaching profession is being made available. Also of significance is legislation to implement a pilot program in pre-kindergarten education. Several other appropriations have been made by the legislature to target areas of educational improvement. Appropriations for the key providers of workforce development — Mississippi’s community colleges — as well as funds for the state’s universities that are the research and development engines held their own even in these

» Now that we have committed to a beginning we must feed these higher education entities with the large numbers of capable high school graduates necessary to make Mississippi — yes even Mississippi — attractive territory for the new age of manufacturing. austere economic times. Will the work of the 2013 Mississippi Legislature alone be sufficient to propel Mississippi into the thick of the manufacturing renaissance described by Time? Hardly. But these legislative efforts do offer significant evidence that we may be willing to step up to the starting line. Many of the pieces are in place. Mississippi is fortunate to have one of the oldest and most effective community college systems in the country. Many of the state’s universities have demonstrated national rankings in a number of fields of innovative research. Now that we have committed to a beginning we must feed these higher education entities with the large numbers of capable high school graduates necessary to make Mississippi – yes even Mississippi – attractive territory for the new age of manufacturing. The fact is that we have no other choice. Dr. William Martin Wiseman is director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and professor of political science at Mississippi State University. Contact him at

Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States with an estimated one in 50 schoolaged children now affected, yet the state has failed to seriously address its implications. Yes, the Mississippi Legislature appointed a one-time task force and an ongoing committee to study autism and recommend strategies to deal with it. Among the suggestions were for the state to hire a full-time autism director, fund more early intervention and better train teachers to educate this growing population. But their proposals now gather dust on the proverbial shelf. Meanwhile, the autism rate gains steam — from one in 150 children when the task force issued its report in 2007, to one in 100 when the committee submitted its own findings four years later. But the state lacks comprehensive autism services. Doctors still aren't diagnosing the disorder soon enough. Early intervention providers are scarce. And the public school system hasn't equipped teachers with the tools necessary to educate these kids, much less prepare them for a future. Other states have tackled this issue and gained national recognition for their policies and programs. Among them are Texas, Wisconsin, Colorado and Florida. Mississippi doesn't have to reinvent the wheel. It can learn from its peers and borrow the best strategies for implementation here at home. — The Clarion Ledger

Miller sets standard at DMR Jamie Miller, Gov. Phil Bryant's nominee to be the executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, breezed through his confirmation process in the state Senate. Now comes the hard part. Miller replaces Bill Walker of Ocean Springs, who was fired by the Commission on Marine Resources on Jan. 15 amid ongoing state and federal investigations into the DMR's finances. Miller, 40, of Gulfport, told legislators during his confirmation hearing, "If I could state my goal for this agency in one sentence, it would be to remake the DMR as the most well-respected, effective and efficient state agency in Mississippi. But in order to get there, we've got to find out what's been done wrong, what's been done right and how we can do things better." Bryant also assured legislators Miller "understands our desire for transparency at DMR." State Sen. Sean Tindell of Gulfport, who has known Miller since childhood, said Miller has advanced his career "because of hard work (and) doing the right thing." When asked by state Sen. Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula what he will do to straighten out DMR finances and to provide information to lawmakers and to the public, Miller said the agency needs to make detailed information readily available, possibly by posting it online. "I think you have to put it all out there," Miller said. From beginning to end, Miller and his supporters have said all the right things. Now it is time for Miller to deliver. He has set a high standard for himself and an agency that has been brought low by revelations of woeful mismanagement. We wish him every success in restoring the stature of the DMR, which plays a vital role in both the Coast economy and ecology. And we hope to easily track that success once a transparent approach to serving the public is put in place at the DMR. — The (Biloxi) Sun Herald

April 19, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




Designing a career » Williams overcomes challenges to open ArchitectureSouth BY WALLY NORTHWAY I STAFF WRITER TUPELO — Terri Williams can laugh about it now. She perhaps would not call it a last laugh, but… “I came to Jackson, Miss., straight out of college, didn’t know a soul, no contacts — nothing,” Williams remembered. “I just started knocking on doors. I got a lot of, ‘You want to do what, young lady?’” And, Williams just howled with laughter, which is not surprising since enjoying life is one of her keys to success. “If you’re not excited about coming to work in the morning, looking forward to working with your people and your clients, growing from your work each and every day, then you don’t belong in architecture — you need to find a new career,” Williams said. “I just totally enjoy what I do.” It is an interesting philosophy considering that her career began as anything but enjoyable. Williams grew up in Birmingham, Ala., the daughter of an electrical project manager. For reasons even Williams does not know, her father pushed her toward the field of architecture. That seemed like shaky advice. In the mid-1970s when Williams was contemplating going to college, few women were architects. When she got to Auburn University, her architecture class had only 10 females — and half of those did not make it out of the program. “About half the guys didn’t make it out, either,” Williams quickly added. “It wasn’t that they couldn’t do the work because they were women. The program was just tough — for everybody.” Graduating in 1978, Williams subse-


Continued from Page 2

before production started that GreenTech hoped to build 10,000 MyCars in the first year of production. The vehicles that have made it off the assembly line have been sold in the Middle East, the European Union and in the United Kingdom, McInerney said. Greentech has also produced vehicles for what McInerney called “targeted customers” in the U.S. Among the biggest is individual Domino’s Pizza franchises. The agreement with the pizza restaurants were a central theme to the Barbour-ClintonMcAuliffe launch ceremony.

quently came to Jackson looking for someone to take a chance on a young, female architect. She found plenty of doubters and closed doors. The Capital City’s historic 1979 Easter Flood only compounded her challenge to launch a career. Undeterred, Williams persevered and worked in Jackson briefly before relocating to yet another community to which she had no connections, Meridian. After a brief stay there, she moved to Tupelo where she would finally find a home. Williams started designing in Tupelo in 1982, and less than a decade later found herself a principal in the firm of Staub & Williams, P.A., whose roots went back to the late 1960s. In 2002 and upon the retirement of the firm’s founder, Williams took over the business, which was rechristened ArchitectureSouth, P.A. The one-time “young lady” who no one wanted to take a chance on had become a member of what remains a distinct minority group in Mississippi — a female leading an architectural firm. “I don’t see myself as a female principal. I’m just a principal,” Williams said, downplaying her role as a pioneer of sorts. “Gender has nothing to do with it.” She points to her female designers at ArchitectureSouth, including one who is also African American, as examples of the opportunities architecture holds for both women and minorities. Certainly, ArchitectureSouth’s success supports her position. A full-service firm, it specializes in the commercial, educational, student housing, ecclesiastical, health care, civic sectors as well as planning services. A few of ArchitectureSouth’s projects include the Workforce Regional Training Center at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit; Tupelo City Hall; “We have had a strong national and international response from Domino’s owners and (Tuesday) took on another three orders for the MyCar 13 to be placed in the US,” McInerney said. “These vehicles are largely customized for market delivery needs. We love the innovation of the Domino’s global family and the relationship we have with them.” McInerney said GreenTech will in a few weeks begin making the MyCar 13, which will build on the MyCar 12 with more safety features and other amenities. They include an improved ride, handling and performance, she said.

Special for The Mississippi Business Journal

Terri Williams has led ArchitectureSouth into a diverse mix of industries, including education. The recently opened Student Services Facility at Northeast Mississippi Community College is an example of her firm’s work.

“I got a lot of, ‘You want to do what, young lady?’” Terri Williams Principal, ArchitectureSouth, P.A.

St. Luke Methodist Church in Tupelo; and, the Johnny Hoss Noe Sportsplex and Memorial Park in Smithville. The firm has won awards from such diverse organizations as the American Institute of Architects, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Associated General Contractors and Amer-

ican School and University. Williams, who once served on the Mississippi State Board of Architecture and was that body’s youngest member, has observed an evolution in her industry, particularly in the area of sustainability. The challenge today, she said, is not just design something that looks good on opening day. The work needs flexibility and vision, to look into the future so the client is not left with a “facility that is obsolete before they get moved in.” However, the basic practice of architecture — and the strategy that has made ArchitectureSouth successful — remains unchanged, she said. “It’s still about meeting the client’s needs, listening, being part of a team, solving a puzzle,” Williams said. “It is all about people — clients as well as those who work for and with you. My main measure of success is the growth of those around me. “My vision for ArchitectureSouth is to continue to learn, evolve and move forward. If we do that today, we’ll be successful tomorrow.”

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April 19, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




Bond money to move Stuart museum forward By CLAY CHANDLER I STAFF WRITER

Included in the $196-million bond bill that awaits Gov. Phil Bryant’s signature is funding to advance a proposed Marty Stuart museum. Stuart, a Philadelphia native, has long been recognized as one of traditional country music’s leading performers and preservationists. His Sparkle and Twang memorabilia collection has been displayed across the U.S., including a recent stint in Meridian. The museum ostensibly would serve as a permanent home for the collection, and would be East Mississippi’s answer to Sunflower County’s B.B. King Museum, said Sid Salter, Mississippi State spokesperson who serves on the museum’s board of directors. “The intent of the Legislature was to see the local folks get some fundraising done, organization done, and then to put up some money to bolster that and to step up behind it,” Salter said in an interview this week. “What I’ve heard out of legislators is that the Legislature wanted to partner on this, but they had to see some movement locally, and I think toward the end of the session, they felt like Marty Stuart himself had personally stepped up on this. There’s still a lot of work to be done all around, but this is an excellent first step toward getting this done. You’ve got a lot of folks kind of at the table in Neshoba County.” That includes former Ole Miss chancellor Robert Khayat

and Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Chief Phyllis Anderson, both of whom Salter singled out as having taken an active role in the private efforts to move the museum forward. For the Stuart museum to be as successful as the King museum, it has to have what Salter called “a consistent draw. And the one thing Marty brings to the table is that he’s had such a consistent role in preservation.” Stuart has spent his career, which started when he left Philadelphia in his early teens for Nashville, collecting and preserving country music artifacts, ranging from clothing worn by Hank Williams, Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner to Gene Autry’s cowboy boots. Stuart’s collection is considered the largest outside of Nashville’s County Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “It’s a classic story of a little boy leaving home and chasing his dream at a great cost,” Salter said of Stuart’s career. “He lost a lot of his childhood to that. The fact that Marty never lost the connection with home speaks volumes. He didn’t start trying to reconnect with home after 50. He maintained

a constant contact with home, and I think that’s why local people have embraced this idea. He’s been the leading preservationist of real bedrock country music. But another thing he’s done is give everything he could give back to Neshoba County and East Mississippi. “If all of those forces can come together, I think you’ll have a great facility not only for Mississippi but the nation as a whole. (The Mississippi County Music) trail concept can be realized with this. I feel good about this.” Having the money available meant a bond bill making its way through the same political hurdles present in the 2012 session, when leadership in the House and Senate were unable to agree on one. It was the first session in several a bond bill had not been approved. With the money in hand, Salter said the agenda for the next board meeting would be to start figuring out exactly what the money will fund. “The board has been involved primarily to listen and contribute toward broad stroke concepts about how this can and should work, and obviously our work will intensify as we move toward getting this from the drawing board to reality.” David Vowell, president of the Philadelphia Community Development Partnership, said his agency is currently conducting an economic impact study with assistance from IHL. He said the results should be available within a couple weeks. The bond money could be potentially be used to conduct a similar study as planning moves forward, Vowell said. “We’re still in the early stages of this,” he said.




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12 I Mississippi Business Journal I April 19, 2013 CONSUMER SPENDING

Metro retail seen realigning, achieving some stability » Metro Jackson retail vacancies rose in 2012 but so did per square-foot leasing rates


Inventory By Center Type

21.9 %

24.9 %


Community Neighborhood Power Center

Though they can still see signs of economic distress, metro Jackson’s commercial real estate professionals say they have gained new confidence in the performance and potential of the area’s retail sector Some leasing agents credit a slow but steady return of metro Jackson’s housing market. Still others cite retailers that have learned to be more efficient with their space and to operate consistently within the market segment for which their businesses were designed. The segments “have performed almost consistently within their demographics,” said veteran Jackson retail real estate professional Richard Ridgway. The result has been confidence among tenants in signing new leases, expanding or even chasing new markets deemed to have a retailer’s preferred demographics, Ridgway said. “Lots of new leasing is going on,” he added, and noted that with signs of an improving economy, even more big box stores are giving the metro market a look. And retail tenants on average are paying more, reports commercial real estate data collector REIS Inc. Metro Jackson vacancies ended 2012 a half percentage point higher than the previous year but asking rents per square foot climbed 1.5 percentage points, according to REIS. The one-half percentage point increase in asking rents in last year’s fourth quarter marked four consecutive quarters of increased lease rates, REIS reports. The run of consecutive quarters of higher asking rents would have reached seven if not

By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER Inventory By Center Age 53.3 %

Shopping Center Stock Traits

Year Built Size (sq. ft.)

Low 1954 10,000

Metro Mean Median 1986 1986 71,800 54,729

Asking Rent

Year Built


Before 1970










After 2009 All

0.0% 100.0% As of 06/30/12

Source: REIS 2nd Quarter Performance Monitor

AWARDS >> CoStar Group’s 2012 Jackson Sales Revenue Winners. List on page 26

for the fourth quarter of 2011, when rates neither increased nor decreased. The last negative period on lease rates came in the first quarter of 2011, the last of a string of negative quarters going back to the second quarter of 2010. Ridgway said he thinks Flowood’s asking rents are some of the highest in the region and possibly state. “But Madison and Ridgeland are also robust,” said Ridgway, who recently merged his firm Ridgway Lane & Associates into CB Richard Ellis Memphis. Reports are that the Mattice Company is poised to begin work on phase two of the Renaissance at Highland Colony in Ridgeland, having made progress in lining up financing. Though the company Source: REIS 2nd Quarter Performance Monitor

Vacancy Change (BPS)

High 2007 369,500

As of 06/30/12

METRO DATA Vacancy Rate


Ask Rent % Chg

Pop % Households Chg


























- 0.6%









- 0.5%









- 1.2%









- 0.1%



























































Note: Selected economic and demographic data are provided by Moody's

did not return calls seeking comment, for the better part of a year it has been preleasing for the second phase of the openair shopping mall situated at the northwest corner of Interstate 55 and Old Agency Road. Ridgway said indications are that metro shoppers in the first months of this year began pulling back from the uptick in purchasing they showed in 2012. The counter balance, though, is the upward movement of the metro housing market, he added. “That’s going to pick back up again,” and with it will come the new rooftops to support current and future retail, Ridgway said. “When housing starts are being done it starts circulating in the economy.” Brian Estes, an agent with Commercial Property One in Ridgeland, said he has seen signs the long wait for a housing resurgence is ending. “Residential is really happening,” he said. “Fondren is still strong and Gluckstadt is just booming right now. Just take a ride. A lot of new buildings are being built. My understanding is that they are selling well.” Estes said he thinks the continued increase in rooftops near Renaissance at Colony Park is driving the Mattice Company’s pre-leasing of phase two. “It’ll lease up. I just don’t know how fast,” he said. In the meantime, retail will follow the residential growth occurring in northern Madison County, Estes predicted. “Whether that is 16 months or 12 months, we’ll start seeing a little bit larger big boxes get out there,” he said, predicting a Kroger or other larger supermarket could join the new WalMart that is going up north of Gluckstadt. With 16.3 percent of its retail space still See

METRO, Page 27

Global commercial real estate firm CB Richard Ellis has set up shop in the metro Jackson market, having recruited a trio of longtime Jackson commercial real estate professionals to join the firm’s Grant Ridgway for the opening of an office at 10 Canebrake in Flowood. The arrival of CB Richard Ellis gives Jackson access to an international network that “was previously unavailable in our market,” said Richard Ridgway, who joins David Lane and Guy Parker III in the new office. The office will be part of CB Richard Ellis Memphis LLC, an independently owned and operated affiliate of CBRE Inc. The Memphis office has served clients throughout the MidSouth, including Arkansas and Mississippi, for more than 26 years. “We see a tremendous potential for growth in Mississippi, and the addition of the Jackson office will allow us to better serve the southern portion of our territory,” said CBRE Memphis CEO Kevin Adams. Joining Grant Ridgway will be Richard Ridgway and David Lane, co-principals of Ridgway Lane & Associates, and Guy Parker III of Parker Real Estate Properties. Richard Ridgway has more than 37 years in the brokerage business, and his family has been active in the Jackson real estate market since the 1890s. Lane previously served as national president of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and as president of the largest commercial real estate company in Mississippi, employing over 175 people. Parker has worked in leasing, management and development in Jackson since 1986. He is the past president of both the Mississippi CCIM Chapter and Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), a former member of the Jackson Association of Realtors board of directors and a charter member of the Mississippi Commercial Association of Realtors (MCAR). Ridgway, who has been with CBRE Memphis since 2008 and received the Pinnacle Award for Newcomer of the Year in 2010, has moved to the Jackson office to continue his work in his hometown.

April 19, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




What goes around… » Coast city tops in construction job growth BY WALLY NORTHWAY I STAFF WRITER

Some contractors in Pascagoula, particularly those who were members of the local Associated General Contractors (AGC), were unhappy and were quick to let the local chapter know it in 2010 when a national AGC report had the Coast city losing the most construction jobs of any metropolitan statistical area (MSA) in the entire country. Three years later, the community is back atop an AGC national ranking, but this time contractors are all smiles. The current AGC report shows Pascagoula’s construction job growth from February 2012 to February 2013 was 51 percent — more than double the increase of any MSA in the U.S. during that time. Perry Nations was the head of the AGC of Mississippi in 2010, and it was he who heard criticism of the report that year from his members. His son, Lee Nations, now leads the state chapter. Lee Nations has not heard any complaints this time from his members, and is guardedly optimistic about the future. “We’re definitely past the trough,” he said. Nations added that the Pascagoula MSA is small, and its numbers are more readily affected by local events, such as hiring at Pascagoula-based Ingalls Shipbuilding. It is certainly a huge leap in the right direction for the Pascagoula MSA. In June 2010, AGC released its report showing Pascagoula tied (with Flagstaff, Ariz.) for the highest percentage of year-over-year construction job decline at 32 percent. Local contractors complained that the report had Pascagoula on top percentage-wise, but that the MSA did not lose the most total jobs. That was true — Chicago-JolietNaperville, Ill., lost 21,300 jobs, compared to Pascagoula’s -2,000 jobs. Also, contractors pointed out that Pascagoula’s 2010 job figure included numbers from the mining and logging industries, which skewed its numbers. However, many other MSAs in the 2010 ranking had mining and logging figures intermixed with construction numbers. And, while Chicago-Joliet-Naperville had more than 10 times the job loss compared to the Coast city, that represented a 15 percent decrease, less than half that of Pascagoula. Now, that is a distant memory as Pascagoula is back on top — solidly. In February 2012, the MSA showed employment of 3,500 (which includes mining and logging). Over the year, it added 1,800 jobs, bringing total employment to 5,300 workers. That 51 percent increase, in essence, lapped the nation. The second-highest increase was

in El Centro, Calif., at 23 percent. Anchorage, Alaska (22 percent), Fargo, N.D.-Minn. (20 percent), and Merced, Calif. (20 percent), were the only other MSAs in the country to

post an increase of 20 percent of better. By comparison, Mississippi as a whole and the other three local MSAs underperformed. From February 2012-February 2013, the state netted 500 construction jobs, a 1 percent increase from 47,600 workers to 48,100. (Factoring in mining and logging, and the state still showed a 1 percent increase). The Memphis, Tenn.-Ark.-Miss. MSA added 500 jobs, representing a 3 percent year-over-year increase. The state’s other two MSAs were both in

the red. Jackson (the only MSA whose figures did not include mining and logging) lost 300 jobs and was down 3 percent while Pascagoula’s neighbor, Biloxi-Gulfport, shed 200 jobs, a 4 percent decrease. Compared to the nation, Pascagoula’s numbers are more impressive. More than half of the MSAs in the nation —181 of 339 — posted construction employment in February 2013 that was either unchanged or down compared to February 2012. See




‘NEXT YEAR, I’M NOT MAKING TH Âť Errors and record mismanagement can be costly, so prepare now for when decisions come up in 2014 By LISA MONTI I CONTRIBUTOR


T’S THE LITTLE things that can get taxpayers. Simple math errors, poor penmanship or hurriedly filling out your tax form at the last minute account for loads of filing errors. And those slip ups, which typically happen with paper returns, give the Internal Revenue Service another opportunity to tout the benefits of filing taxes electronically. “We strongly suggest that people file electronically,� said IRS spokesman Mark Green. “It’s fast, safe, accurate and free.� In the last 28 years on the job, Green has seen all the mistakes taxpayers are most likely to make, and then some. “Taxpayers want to avoid the common errors, like leaving off the social security number for dependents, or accidentally switching a son’s number with a daughter’s. It happens more than you can imagine,� he said. Also, leaving off the ID number for your child care provider is just one omission that can sidetrack your refund.


Bay St. Louis CPA Charles Benvenutti offers this simple advice: “Complete the return and let it sit for a couple of days. Review it again before sending. You’ll have a much better chance of catching your mistakes.â€? Green also suggests taxpayers doublecheck all of their numbers closely. “Not looking at the figures correctly can be costly,â€? he warned. “It could reduce your refund or cause an increase in the tax you owe.â€? The most common mistake Green has seen in his IRS career? “You’re rushing to get everything completed, you’ve double checked the numbers and everything on the tax return but you forget to sign the return,â€? he said. “It’s the biggest mistake I see every year.â€? Here are the top eight errors commonly made that taxpayers should avoid, according to the IRS: Âť Wrong or missing Social Security numbers. SSNs for the taxpayer and others on a tax return must be provided exactly as they are on the Social Security cards. Âť Names wrong or misspelled. All names on a tax return must be exactly as they ap-

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pear on their Social Security cards. Âť Filing status errors. The IRS says to choose the right filing status from these five: Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household and Qualifying Widow(er) With Dependent Child. Not sure which one you are? See Publication 501, Exemptions, Standard Deduction and Filing Information. E-filing your tax return will also help you choose the right filing status. Âť Math mistakes. Double check the math on paper returns. If you e-file, the software does the math for you, says the IRS. Âť Errors in figuring credits, deductions. The IRS advises taxpayers to carefully read the instructions in your tax booklet carefully. Âť Mistakes are often made in figuring the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child and Dependent Care Credit and the standard deduction. Âť Wrong bank account numbers. Want your refund fast? The IRS says direct deposit is the fast, easy and safe way to receive your tax refund. Just make sure your bank routing and account numbers are en-

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Complete the return for a couple of days. R again before sending. much better chance o your mistakes.â&#x20AC;?

April 19, 2013 â&#x20AC;˘ MISSISSIPPI BUSINESS JOURNAL â&#x20AC;˘


e return and let it sit f days. Review it ending. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have a hance of catching .â&#x20AC;? Charles Benvenutti CPA in Bay St. Louis

tered correctly. Âť Forms not signed, dated. The IRS says an unsigned tax return is invalid. Married? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Guess what,â&#x20AC;? says the IRSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Green. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need both signatures on a joint return.â&#x20AC;? Âť Electronic signature errors. If you e-file your tax return, you will sign the return electronically using a Personal Identification Number. For security purposes, the IRS says, the software will ask you to enter the Adjusted Gross Income from your originally-filed 2011 return. You may also use last year's PIN. Green said another common mistake is made by self-employed people who wait to pay taxes at the end of the year rather than quarterly. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you are required to make estimated tax payments, make them throughout the year to avoid a penalty at the end of the year for not making the payments,â&#x20AC;? he said. Estimated tax payments are due quarterly starting April 15. If you waited until the last minute this tax season to file your return, you might want to get an earlier start next year, Green said. And if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been favoring a paper return, you might also want to join the estimated 1.1 million Mississippians who filed their taxes electronically this year. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about 85 percent of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1.3 million tax filers, Green said. E filing cuts down on many common

errors that paper filers fall victim to, the IRS says. Green said now is the time to make some adjustments to your W-4 if you get a big refund every year or if you owe taxes every year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you owe money every year, we encourage you to make an adjustment to your W-4,â&#x20AC;? Green said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Likewise, if you get a large refund, you may want to decrease your withholding and have that money come to you in each paycheck instead.â&#x20AC;? The IRS web site,, has a

withholding calculator that can help employees figure out whether they need a new Form W-4 so theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not holding out too much or too little Federal income tax from their paycheck. The web site, Green said, also highlights tax law changes that taxpayers should be familiar with each year. And if you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t file a return or extension by the April 15 deadline, Green says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never too late. Start now to cut down on penalties and interest that started accruing on April 16.â&#x20AC;?

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16 I Mississippi Business Journal I April 19, 2013



From Itta Bena to space law » Riddle has traveled much, and gone far; now counsel for Space and Missile Defense Command By BECKY GILLETTE I CONTRIBUTOR

Lt. Col. Karen W. Riddle has traveled far and wide from her native of town of Itta Bena, having lived in Japan, Korea, Germany and Iraq while practicing in diverse areas of the law. She has a passion for criminal law, and has worked as a defense attorney, prosecutor and military judge. She has also worked in claims including medical malpractice and torts. Currently Riddle is command counsel for U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, Colorado Springs, Col. Training for the recently promoted officer’s new job has included going to Continuing Legal Education courses and training conducted by the Army and Air Force in ballistic missile defense, space law, and space operations. Riddle highly recommends the military as a place where an attorney has opportu-

nities for more experience and promotion than are usually found in civilian life. “You get a lot of practical experience,” Riddle said. “You immediately start work. In the military, within the first few Riddle months a lawyer may be prosecuting and defending serious felony cases. You could be a new lieutenant in the Army trying a big criminal case, or you could be deployed advising commanders in life and death situations.” Military law varies from civilian law, and on-the-job training is combined with frequent CLE courses. “You are constantly being trained by some of the best attorneys in the world,” she said. “I tell young attorneys starting out from law school that if you aren’t sure what area of the law you want to practice, the

military helps you narrow it down. Even if you stay in for just a few years, you will develop skills and practice areas.” Her advice for young law students is two fold: Find an area of the law that you love and that makes a contribution. Second, be willing to pay your dues. “Whether it is a private law practice or the military, employers are not just looking for people to put in the hours,” Riddle said. “You have to be smart, creative, have a good work ethic, and integrity. You must be willing to stand up and be a different voice. That is particularly important in the military where you find yourself advising commanders. “You can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ all the time. You need to be the voice at the table that says, ‘You have to think about this’.” While society has some pre-conceived notions about African American women, Riddle said the military has very good programs in place to prevent discrimination

based on race or gender. “Soldiers in the military are just normal people who happen to wear a uniform, so it is possible to run into people who might have prejudices,” Riddle said. “I do think the military deals with this very well. The Army does a good job of training people to overcome prejudices. It has been at the forefront of racial integration. This is an organization that really is all about what you produce--your rank, time and service, versus color, background and gender. “It really is a good organization.” Riddle finds the most challenging thing about her job is balancing her professional and personal life. “I think it is a lot harder in the military because it is not just a job, but a way of life,” said Riddle. “You can’t rely on one spouse doing all See

RIDDLE, Page 23

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Mississippi Business Journal




High profile brings high risks » Handling cases like the Tennessee minister’s wife can be tricky for Ashland lawyer By LYNN LOFTON I CONTRIBUTOR

Ashland lawyer Steven Farese Sr. is no stranger to media interviews. He has been interviewed for national publications and television for some of the high profile cases he’s represented. Being the voice of those who need representation is what he enjoys most about practicing law. “I’m not attracted to these cases; they call me because they might have seen me on TV or in the papers,” Farese said. “I try to keep up with what’s going on by reading two daily newspapers and following some TV and radio,” he said. “I turn down more than I take and really don’t know when a case will be high profile.” The case of Mary Winkler, a battered Tennessee minister’s wife accused of killing her husband, was the perfect storm to capFarese ture the public’s interest. “With this case all the elements came together,” Farese said. “There was the religious element – especially in the South; the Winkler family is very well known and have had several generations of pastors; and many females in the U.S. can relate to battered women in some way.” He describes his first visit with Winkler as surreal. She wouldn’t look him in the eye. “She was in shock. I think she was resigned to spending her life in jail,” he said. “She had no money, hopes or dreams when I was asked to represent her pro bono. I put together a team of volunteers, and she went from a possible death sentence to 210 days in jail. She later told me she never expected to see me again.” Steven Farese’ sister, Kay Farese Turner, represented Winkler – again pro bono – and regained custody for Winkler of her three minor children. Farese describes media attention of his cases as pogo sticking through a mine field. “It can be helpful, but I have certain ethical concerns,” he said. “If the other side has a press conference, I can respond to that, and I’m allowed to diffuse things. I have become comfortable with media interviews because I know the facts, and they want to know, but I must be careful.” The Winkler case, for example, gave Farese the opportunity to put out the message that “there may be more than meets the eye.” As he pondered how he would present Winkler’s case, he heard a popular

theme throughout the case.” Among his media interviews and appearances were Vanity Fair, People Magazine, “Prime Time,” “Court TV,” “City Confi-

country song “No One Knows What Goes on Behind Closed Doors.” “It was like a gift,” he recalls, “because that was true in this case. We stuck to that

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18 I Mississippi Business Journal I April 19, 2013       






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Congratulations to the 2013 New Members of the Phoenix Club of Jackson! Jake Banks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Scott, Sullivan, Streetman, & Fox, PC Nick Dennery - Lakeland Dental Care Ryan Florreich - JBHM Architects, PA Tyler Flowers - First South Farm Credit Alex Martin - Forman, Perry, Watkins, Krutz, & Tardy, LLP Wesley Mockbee â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Mockbee, Hall, & Drake, PA Trey Nordan â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MS State Personnel Board Coby Parker - KPMG Grant Ridgway â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CB Richard Ellis Jackson Jake Rogers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Trustmark National Bank Parker Smith â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Horne, LLP Matt Thiel â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Eubank, Betts, Hirn, Wood, PLLC Nathan Upchurch â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MS Secretary of Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office Jeremy Ward - Coca-Cola North America Clarence Webster - Forman, Perry, Watkins, Krutz, & Tardy, LLP

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April 19, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal





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April 19, 2013

Profiles of growing young professionals in Mississippi

the target audience is high school students. I have such an incredible opportunity to use my passion for performance and my love for Mississippi to help kids find their passion.” Sanders earned a bachelor of arts in theater from Belhaven University and has since taught theater, modeled and starred in several local commercials. Acting began early for Sanders after her reenactment of the “Little Red Riding Hood” story became a favorite at family holiday gatherings. She says some of her best training since childhood has been from New Stage Theatre in Jackson where she continues to act, volunteer and teach a youth troupe. Sanders and her husband Michael live in Brandon where she enjoys horseback riding and “being a country girl.”

— By Stephen McDill

Mississippi Business Journal



Age: 25 TV Host, Mississippi Public Broadcasting

Keeping our eye on... KERRI COURTNEY SANDERS From operating a Mississippi Power bucket truck to driving a forklift at Taylor Machine Works, actress Kerri Courtney Sanders knows a thing or two about Mississippi’s many job opportunities. The Richland native says she was hired as the host of Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s workforce development program “Job Hunter” after the show found out she was an actress that knew how to use power tools. “I never knew there were so many wonderful, growing industries in my home state,” Sanders says. The show is funded in part by the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and the Mississippi Department of Employment Security and travels around the Magnolia State highlighting high-skills (and high-paying) jobs from health care to information technology. “My passion is to inspire and inform others through the arts of film and theatre,” Sanders says. “I enjoy knowing that part of


Best thing about Mississippi: “It helps that we have more warm months than cold.” Best Mississippi event: Celtic Fest, Fondren’s Arts Eats and Beats and New Stage Theater’s annual benefit performance. Favorite Mississippi food: Pizza, ice cream and cocktails at Sal & Mookies in Jackson. Favorite hangout spots: Cups in Fondren. “It’s the best place to memorize lines.” Favorite TV Show: “Friends” Favorite Movie: “Anything” with Meryl Streep Heroes or mentors: : Fellow MPB host Walt Grayson and my professors in college, Dr. Lou Campbell, Kris Dietrich, and Joe Frost Read the full biography at

Bailey joins agency

Faculty, staff gets pins

Campbell named ‘All-Star’

USM honors Franks

Roberts Creative, a multimedia ad agency located in downtown Laurel, welcomes Skye Bailey as a designer/developer to its creative team. She will assist in building campaigns to establish strong brand awareness for businesses and organizations. Bailey is from Hattiesburg and a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where she earned her bachelor of fine arts with an emphasis in graphic design in 2012. Bailey Her major strengths include print design, layout, identity development and photography. While at Southern, Bailey was the licensing chair and membership development chair for her sorority, Delta Delta Delta. She currently serves on the board for Jones County Young Professionals. She also has experience as a designer from a marketing firm in Grayton Beach, Fla., and the University of Southern Mississippi’s marketing and communications department. Bailey loves everything the ocean has to offer, anywhere from a quiet fishing trip to scuba diving. She also enjoys painting, live entertainment, and maintaining the responsibilities of a social media expert.

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus celebrated the university’s Founders’ Day with a reception honoring employees for continuous service of 10 and 20 years to Southern Miss. In recognition of their service, honored employees received a commemorative pin from the university. Ten-year service pin recipients are Dr. Louise Perkins, professor of computer science; Saidul Hassan, technology specialist for Gulf Coast Libraries; and, Dr. Gregory Carter, chief scientist for the Gulf Coast Geospatial Center. Twenty-year service pin recipients are Rose Bremenkamp, director for the Office of Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs; and, Nadean Wallace, executive secretary for Student Affairs.

Roy D. Campbell III, a partner in the Jackson office of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP, has been named to the 2013 BTI Client Service All-Stars list. The annual national ranking lists only those attorneys singled out, unprompted and by name, during extensive interviews with corporate counsel at the world’s largest organizations. Only 307 attorneys from around the United States made this year’s Campbell list. The BTI ranking recognized Campbell in the area of complex business litigation. With more than 34 years of experience litigating insurance and product liability cases, he has served as lead counsel in more than 100 jury trials. Campbell holds a J.D. from the University of Mississippi School of Law and a B.A. from Davidson College.

Tammy Franks, dean of business services at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Jackson County Campus, has been chosen to receive the 2013 W. L. Pierce Education Leadership Award from the University of Southern Mississippi Department of Educational Studies and Research. Franks is currently a doctoral candidate in higher education administration with a minor in instructional technology Franks at USM. Franks is scheduled to complete her doctoral studies in 2014. The award, which was established in 2010, recognizes the highest levels of integrity, fairness, democratic leadership and academic achievement of a graduate student enrolled in one of the department’s programs.

Chaney, Cross make Hall Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has been recognized for his service to the citizens of Mississippi with induction into one of the most prestigious insurance-related groups in the state. Chaney was inducted into the Mississippi State University Insurance Hall of Fame. The induction was part of Mississippi State’s annual Insurance Days. Chaney was joined as an inductee by Nancy Cross, director of the Mississippi Insurance Department’s Division of Statutory Compliance. Cross has been an employee of MID for over 53 years, serving four different commissioners.

Mobley earns CPE The Certifying Commission in Medical Management recently designated Robert Mobley, M.D., executive vice president of medical affairs and quality at St. Dominic’s, a certified physician executive. CCMM awarded Mobley the status of CPE for educational achievements, demonstrated stature as a physician and experience in the field of medical management.

Governor selects pharmacists Gov. Phil Bryant has selected pharmacists J. Todd Barrett of Madison and Guy M. Phillips of Indianola to fill upcoming vacancies on the Mississippi Board of Pharmacy (Board) representing Old Congressional District 2 and At-Large Retail, respectively. The appointees will assume responsibilities July 1 and will serve a five-year term. Barrett is the owner and operator of Covenant Pharmacy and specializes in serving residents of long-term care facilities throughout the state. Active in his profession, he is president of Advantage Pharmacy Services, vice president of Transcript Pharmacy and president of the Mississippi Pharmacists Association. Phillips has ownership in four Magic Mart Pharmacies in the Mississippi Delta where he has practiced pharmacy for over 22 years. He serves on the board of directors for both the Mississippi Independent Pharmacy Association as well as the Magnolia Health Plan.

Alverson named editor/publisher Jon Alverson has been named editor and publisher of the Delta Democrat Times in Greenville. Alverson, a native of Mobile, Ala., graduated from the University of Florida in 1998. He has more than 15 years of newspaper experience including stops in Alabama, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Mississippi. Though Alverson is new to the Delta, he knows the area well from being good friends with the two former publishers of the DDT, John Clark and Matt Guthrie. Joining Alverson in the move are his wife, Holly, and their three sons, Walker, 12, Shel, 3, and Canon, 2.

Magazine quotes McCullough Micah J. McCullough, CCIM, vice president with UCR Properties, a division of the Underwood Companies, contributed to a story in the April issue of Commercial Investment Real Estate, the magazine of the CCIM Institute. McCullough is the 2013 president for the Mississippi Commercial Association of Realtors, serves as the secretary and treasurer for the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Mississippi Chapter, and sits on the board of directors for the Building Owners and Managers Association of Mississippi. McCullough, a Jackson native, earned his B.B.A. in real estate from the University of Mississippi with minors in managerial finance and management. He has been with Underwood Companies since 2008 and is responsible for a developer and third party-owned commercial real estate portfolio consisting of approximately 400,000 square feet of office, retail and industrial properties with an estimated market value of $30 Million. He handles all of the company’s commercial real estate services including acquisitions, brokerage, leasing, development and asset management.

Board selects Wilson The board of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi has selected Brent Wilson as its new president and CEO following a national search. Wilson joins the organization with a strong business background in addition to being a successful leader in the nonprofit arena. He began his professional career in 1994 with the accounting firm KPMG. Since 2002, he has served in senior management positions with the YMCA of Metropolitan Jackson and Christ United Methodist Church. Wilson and his wife, Rebecca, live in Jackson with their two daughters, Emma and Mary Thames.

Board likes Taylor Greenville Public School District has granted a three-year contract extension to school superintendent Leeson Taylor II. The district's board of trustees voted unanimously to extend Taylor's contract. Taylor, who has served in the district for more than 15 years, was named interim superintendent in June following Harvey Franklin's resignation. Franklin pleaded guilty in August to accepting bribes and kickbacks, stealing and embezzling and conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States after receiving more than $47,000 in kickbacks from a reading program he used in the district.


22 I Mississippi Business Journal I April 19, 2013

Firm welcomes Stovall Butler Snow Advisory Services has added Troy A. Stovall as its newest strategic advisor. Stovall is a former executive vice president and COO at Howard University in Washington, D.C. As a strategic advisor at Butler Snow Advisory, Stovall will utilize his experience in university leadership and venture capital, along with his institutional knowledge of the state of Mississippi and key constituencies. He currently serves as managing member of LeMaile Stovall, LLC, a management consulting firm. Stovall holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a minor in mathematics from Southern Methodist University, where he graduated cum laude, a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Appointees confirmed Gov. Phi Bryant has appointed Lee Bush of Jackson, Dolly Marascalco of Grenada and Sue Stedman of Natchez to the Mississippi Community College Board. Bush will fill an unexpired term through June 30, 2014. Marascalco and Stedman will serve six-year terms beginning July 1. Additionally, current board member Bubba Hudspeth of Louisville was re-appointed to a six-year term. All four appointments have been confirmed by the state Senate.

Dania receives award

B u fr Bu sin om n e d s $ 80 les s /m o.

Alcorn State University School of Business faculty member Dr. Akash Dania’s research paper titled “Examining Performance of Socially Responsible In-

vesting: Case of Faith Based Compliance” was awarded the McGraw-Hill/Irwin Distinguished Paper Award in International Business studies at the recently held 2013 Federation of Business Discipline conference in Albuquerque, N.M. This research paper was co-authored with Dr. D.K. Malhotra at Philadelphia University.

Riley-Collins named director The ACLU-MS has appointed Jennifer A. RileyCollins as its new executive director. Riley-Collins, a native Mississippian, is an attorney with a demonstrated commitment to social justice and equality. She brings 14 years of legal experience, along with more than 25 years of leadership and organizational management both as an attorney and a military officer. Riley-Collins is a member of Riley-Collins the Mississippi Bar Association. She received her juris doctor from Mississippi College School of Law in 1999, masters of criminal justice administration from Central Texas College in 1993, and bachelor of arts from Alcorn State University in 1987. Her career reflects service. She has formerly served as Hinds County Youth Court public defender. Riley-Collins is a former staff attorney with Southern Poverty Law Center and former juvenile justice fellow at Mississippi Center for Justice. Prior to becoming the new executive director, she was a mobilized U.S. Army Reserve lieutenant colonel for five years.

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Johnson elected VP Rosi Johnson, CEO and president of Mississippi Music and Mississippi Music Acceptance Corporation, was elected vice president of the National Association of School Music Dealers during its 51st annual convention, held in San Antonio, Texas. She is on track to become the first woman to serve as president of the association. Johnson is president of Mississippi Music Inc., a four-store, full-line retailer based in Hatties- Johnson burg. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Mississippi. Johnson currently serves on the board of directors of the National Association of School Music Dealers and is a past board member of the National Association of Music Merchants. She is a member of the Alliance of Independent Music Merchants, American Music Conference, Mississippi Music Educators Association, Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association and Area Development Partnership.

LEAP selectees unveiled Fourteen Mississippi State staff members are participating in the university's 2013 Learning Experience for Aspiring Professionals program. Chosen through a competitive nomination and selection process, this year's group includes: Heather Andrews, information services coordinator, Shared Advancement Services; Bobbie Baker, business manager II, Vice President for Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Michael K. Busby, manager/distance education, Center for Dis-



tance Education; David Garraway, video program manager, University Television Center/University Relations; Clay Hill, websites manager/coordinator of web services; MSU Libraries Web Services; NaToya Hill, recruitment, retention and program specialist, Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion; Shauncey Hill, business manager, Institute for Imaging and Analytical Technology; Melissa Inmon, procurement card manager, Office of Procurement and Contracts; Nicole Ivancic, contract and grant specialist, Computer Science and Engineering; Mashala Pulliam, IGBB accountant, High Performance Computing Collaboratory/Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology; Andrew Rendon, assistant dean of student affairs, Division of Student Affairs; Alexander Washington, loan counselor, Student Financial Aid; Christine Williams, Institutional Review Board compliance administrator, Office of Regulatory Compliance and Safety; Lari H. Wright, associate director for administrative operations, Housing and Residence Life. Campus session presenters will include Greg Bohach, Darrell Easley, Sharon Fanning, Bill Kibler, Lemond Irvin, Joan Lucas, Scott Maynard, Wanda McCallum, Patrik Nordin, Allison Pearson, David Shaw, Cade Smith, Judy Spencer, Tommy Stevenson, Kacey Strickland, Scott Stricklin, John Rush, Jason Townsend, Amy Tuck, Ron White, Carmen Wilder and Don Zant.

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the work. I realize I do need to make some time for family. I need to come home early at times. A lot of it comes down to prioritizing. A lot of people in the military I’ve worked with have a strong work ethic, initiative and drive. They want things completed on time and to be perfect. But sometimes you need to step back and say maybe an A minus is okay for this project.” In private law, sometimes lawyers will work very long hours in order to generate income for the law practice money and make partner. Often that can cause problems in marriages. Riddle said in the military, if you neglect your family, you can lose your job; you can get in trouble for not supporting your family like you should. Right now Riddle’s husband, Paul E. Wagner, who is a signal officer, is deployed overseas. That leaves her as a single parent to their son, Ethan, 11. “I have to balance what I need to get done in the day,” she said. “I can’t stay and work all night like I used to because there is no one else to come home, cook dinner, and get Ethan to his hockey games and tournaments.” During her deployments to Japan, Korea, Germany, and Iraq, Riddle got to experience living in those countries—not just visiting them. And she has taken advantage of opportunities to travel throughout Europe and Asia. “What I like the most about the military is the traveling, but the other part is that it is very rewarding mentoring attorneys to be better advocates,” Riddle said. “The military has a strong focus on developing leaders. I’ve learned so much from my mentors, and have been able to pass that along by mentoring attorneys who have worked under me. I love when I hear back from them about their successes. Often the military experience helps them get hired in the private sector.” Currently the government and the economy are restructuring, and the military is downsizing. “Soldiers are concerned about job security,” said Riddle, who plans to stay until retirement. “They are tightening up how many are going to stay in until retirement. People also are concerned about the loss of benefits. But it is the same in the private sector.” Riddle and her family love hiking and other outdoor activities, so they are enjoying Colorado. But she misses the warmer winters in the South and may come back to the South after retiring from the military. “My goal has always been to be a judge on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals,” Riddle said. “Or, I would love to be on the Mississippi Supreme Court.”

April 19, 2013


Continued from Page 17

“Nancy Grace,” “Larry King Live” and “Greta Van Sustren.” Asked if he considers himself compassionate, Farese replied, “I’m overly compassionate because of the example of my father. He represented people with no money and blacks before anyone in Mississippi would.” There’s no such thing as a favorite case with this lawyer whose practice is 95 per-

cent litigation. “That’s because in my cases there’s always suffering of victims and families,” he said. “I am disenchanted with the criminal justice system which has become a feeder industry for prisons. There are far too many people in jail – I know that’s unpopular to say. There are some people who need to go to prison and some who need to stay there, but judges are afraid not to put them in jail because we live in a red state and it’s expected and judges


Mississippi Business Journal

Butler Snow welcomes new additions to our team.

Matthew A. Barley

Alicia Cottrell

Julia K. Fendler

J. Troy Johnston

Brenda Currie Jones

Commercial and General Litigation Group Birmingham Office

Healthcare Regulatory and Transactions Group Nashville Office

Public Finance and Incentives Group New Orleans Office

Public Finance and Incentives Group Greater Jackson Office

Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare Group Greater Jackson Office

Valerie Diden Moore

Luther T. Munford

Binford (Trey) E. Parker, III Aaron R. Rice

Commercial Litigation Group Nashville Office

Appellate and Written Advocacy Group Greater Jackson Office

Public Finance and Incentives Group Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare Group New Orleans Office Greater Jackson Office

M. Andrew Snowden

Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare Group Memphis Office

Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare Group Fort Washington, PA Office


are elected.” A graduate of the University of Mississippi and the UM School of Law, Farese has lectured extensively throughout the U.S. to trial lawyers on criminal trial techniques. He is president of the Farese, Farese & Farese firm in Ashland and is also licensed in Tennessee. If he wasn’t practicing law, he says he would probably be a teacher. Farese and his wife, Suzanne, have three children, one of whom, Steven Jr., is a member of the Farese Law Firm.

Growing to Serve Clients Better

Ben J. Scott

I Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada, PLLC Birmingham, AL | Montgomery, AL | Atlanta, GA | Baton Rouge, LA | New Orleans, LA | Bay St. Louis, MS | Greater Jackson, MS Gulfport, MS | Oxford, MS | Bethlehem, PA | Fort Washington, PA | Memphis, TN | Nashville, TN Matthew A. Barley is licensed to practice in Alabama. Alicia Cottrell is licensed to practice in Tennessee. Julia K. Fendler is licensed to practice in Louisiana and Texas. J. Troy Johnston, Brenda Currie Jones, Luther T. Munford and Aaron R. Rice are licensed to practice in Mississippi. Valerie Diden Moore is licensed to practice in Tennessee and New York. Trey Parker is licensed to practice in Louisiana. Ben J. Scott is licensed to practice in Tennessee and Mississippi. M. Andrew Snowden is licensed to practice in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. FREE BACKGROUND INFORMATION AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST. This ad authorized by Donald Clark, Jr., Chairman, 1020 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 1400, Ridgeland, MS 39157.

24 I Mississippi Business Journal I April 19, 2013 Photos by Stephen McDill / MBJ

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Brewhaha Homebrew Supply

Tapping in » Home-brewed beer supply salesman taps emerging market By STEPHEN McDILL I STAFF WRITER

Mac Rusling saw it coming. After years of hiding in the shadows, Mississippi’s home-brewed beer enthusiasts were seeing a light emerge at the end of the tunnel. Rusling’s store Brewhaha Homebrew Supply had been open for four months when Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill in March that would legalize homebrewing in Mississippi in time for the Fourth of July. Benjamin Franklin and Sam Adams would be proud. “This is not an original business by any means. They are all over the country,” Rusling, 61, says. With the new law on the books, Alabama will be the only state in the country where homebrewing is still illegal. Brewhaha is subtly tucked away in the LeFleur’s Gallery shopping center on Interstate 55 in Jackson where it hopes to attract beer nerds from Olive Branch to Ocean Springs eager to develop their own ales and lagers. The American Homebrewers Association only lists one other supplier in the whole state. The rich smell of grain hangs in the air of the store. “Browsing is approved,” Rusling tells a customer. Brewhaha’s supplies are organized based on experience with easy-to-make starter kits and storage kegs lining one side of the wall and dozens of containers and bags of grain from malz pilsner to Wyermann’s carahell malt lining the other. All along the walls are shelves full of quart-sized bags of brewing elements like maltodextrin extract and lactose. A cooler near the cash register is full of yeast and hops products. From a novice needing an extract kit that includes yeast and even bottle caps to medium-range kits that don’t require a lot of guesswork, Rusling has something for every learning level. Occasionally a rookie brewer will come in thinking he can make a batch of his favorite brand of beer and Rusling helps educate them on which style they prefer. Advanced brewers that will grind and mash their own grain can also find what they need to help build a dry beer, sweet beer, control the body or add extra flavor or color. Since sterilization is such an important step for brewers in between batches Rusling also stays stocked with a fair share of brushes, pipe cleaners and other cleaning supplies. Rusling grew up in Jackson and says he

Above: Brewhaha Homebrew Supply has plenty of quality grain for Mississippi’s beer chemists. Owner Mac Rusling shows off a handful of his finest Thomas Fawcett halcyon malt. Below: Homebrewing supplier Mac Rusling and a bag of Wyermann malt from Bamberg, Germany. The Jackson store supports every level of beer brewing from novice to advanced brewer.

Home Brewing Glossary ATTENUATION - The degree of conversion of sugar to alcohol and CO2. FERMENTATION - The total conversion of malt sugars to beer, defined here as three parts, adaptation, primary, and secondary. HOPS - Hop vines are grown in cool climates and brewers make use of the cone-like flowers. The dried cones are available in pellets, plugs, or whole. PITCHING - Term for adding the yeast to the fermenter. PRIMING - The method of adding a small amount of fermentable sugar prior to bottling to give the beer carbonation. Source:

has had an interest in homebrewing and owning a small business for a long time. In the old days, Rusling says anyone could walk into the local grocery and find the ingredients to make “prison-style” beer. Ingredients included sugar, Fleischmann's bread yeast and Pabst’s Blue Ribbon hops flavored malt syrup. “It was consistently horrible and never failed to put us on the floor,” Rusling says. After finally deciding to go into business for himself, Rusling began months of planning including and developing a business model. “I thought it might be a good thing to do to help the local homebrewing community around the state,” Rusling says. “Someplace where they could go and you could actually put your hands on things rather than do like everyone else and order it off the Internet.” While employed as a wholesale distributor, he used up some vacation days to take a short course at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago, the country’s oldest brewing school. “I used up four pens in a week taking notes,” Rusling says. The recent beer-friendly law changes

spurred on by advocates like the Raise Your Pints organization have caused a culture shift and opened people’s eyes to a potential hobby or business, according to Rusling. “The major brewers pretty much had the market wrapped up,” he says. “We just didn’t have a lot of choices when it came to commercial beers because of the alcohol cap. People were tired of driving across the river or going to another state to get these beers and the state was losing money from a tax standpoint simply because these products were not available.” The perception of the homebrewer has also been refined in recent years. “There are hundreds of people that do this. It’s a little deeper than hiding out in the woods with a still,” Rusling says. “This is not the caliber or the profile of the local homebrewer. These guys are educated; doctors, lawyers, professional people.” Rusling says it wasn’t the law breaking that prompted their interest in homebrewing but the love for a creative and scientific hobby.

Brewhaha allows Rusling to pursue and lobby his hobby in a state that is now more accepting. He also likes the small business service mode of interacting with people including those who like buying local, knowing their food sources and promoting sustainability. As for his future, right now Rusling has a corner on the market and says he’s not interested in any extra competition. “I put my trust in God,” he says. “I let Him drive the boat. I’m just the water-skier out back trying to hang on.” Brewhaha Home Supply is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.

April 19, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal



» MISSISSIPPI LEADERS by Martin Willoughby

Happy ‘mad genius’ F Sarver believes stamina, keeping the mood light key to agency’s success

irst we had marathons which seem like way too far for a human to run. Now we have ultra-marathons which allow athletes to race for distances up to 100 miles or greater. The focus, determination and endurance that must require simply amazes me. As I continue to study the “secret sauce” of leadership, I similarly find that endurance is an extremely important quality of leaders. The ability to be a long-term guiding force for an organization and to consistently bring the energy and enthusiasm to get the job done makes a HUGE difference. Chip Sarver, president of the advertising firm Mad Genius, similarly said, “I personally admire every business leader that has the stamina to wake up each day and motivate a team to fight for business and repeat it day after day.” Sarver has brought that kind of stamina to building a thriving business at Mad Genius, including weathering the Great Recession that impacted so many clients. Sarver grew up in Saucier, Miss., and earned a degree in radio/television/film from the University of Southern Mississippi. Sarver has over 24 years’ experience in account management and production for a number of broadcast network affiliates and provided freelance services for HBO, ESPN, and FOX Sports. Prior to co-founding Mad Genius, he was an account manager with WJTV in Jackson. When asked about who he considers a ge-

Up Close With ... Chip Sarver

Title: President, Mad Genius Favorite Books: Gabriel Allen by Daniel Silva; Dirk Pitt by Clive Cussler First Job: “High School — West Building Materials” Proudest Moment as a Leader: “Watching our team prepare a creative strategy and acquire new clients, all while having a MAD time. ” Hobbies/Interests: “Driving through all 50 states on Harley Davidson motorcycles with my dad. I have five states left on the West Coast; Jimmy Buffet concerts”

nius, Sarver said, “There are several geniuses throughout history I admire but of late it’s Willie G. Davidson. For him to have had the vision to take back a failing Harley Davidson brand and shape it into a lifestyle that people respect, identify with, and, frankly, want to spend $25k+ on a two-wheel vehicle that you have to prop up with a kickstand is pure genius!”

Sarver is a passionate Harley Davidson enthusiast himself. He had a goal to ride his own Harley bike in all 50 states before his 50 birthday. He only lacks five states and has a few years left to go. Early business mentors taught him the importance of business ethics and modeled how to show respect to people. He learned early on the value of sending handwritten notes to follow up

“Never turn off the business clock.” Chip Sarver President, Mad Genius

with people and to show appreciation. Sarver also emphasized, “While we are often working on tight deadlines, I try to keep the mood light in the organization.” Humor can be a Martin Willoughby great stress buster, and Sarver credits his Mom for his own sense of humor and his Dad for his common sense. Philosopher William James once said, “Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.” Sarver certainly effectively brings both humor and common sense to his leadership style. He also emphasized to, “Never turn off the business clock. Represent yourself the same on Friday night the same as you would in a Monday morning meeting.” That is a great point that I emphasize to my clients. Every day the door is open for business is “Game Day,” and we need to bring our very best. Sarver takes an active role in leadership in the community as well. He is past president of the City of Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce, and the Jackson American Advertising Federation. He also serves on the Tulane Advisory Board and is currently on the Madison County chamber board. Sarver has a “pay it forward” view of leadership and believes in giving back. I am sure we will see Sarver and his colleagues helping organizations grow well into the future. Martin Willoughby is a business consultant and regular contributing columnist for the Mississippi Business Journal. He serves as Chief Operating Officer of Butler Snow Advisory Services, LLC and can be reached at

Person you love may not be who you think he or she is


ot off the press with an April 23 release date, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is an impressive debut novel by Gainesville, Fla., resident Rhonda Riley. It comes with the hearty endorsement of Adam Brady, an employee of Square Books in Oxford, who was fortunate to read an advance copy. "It's a really good book and has a twist to it; it's not what you first think it is," Brady said. "During the waning days o World War II, a 17-year-old tomboy, Evelyn Roe, is sent to take care of her family's farm in North Carolina. She finds a wounded soldier and takes care of him, but he turns out to be something entirely different."

» The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope By Rhonda Riley Published by Harper Collins $15.99 paperback

The rescued soldier heals at an unnatural speed, and just as fast he and Evelyn fall in love. "It's an unconventional and passionate love story. It's breathtaking and unusual," Brady said. Rhonda Riley reveals the exhilarating, terrifying mystery intent in all relationships. It begs the question: are those we love

“’s not what you first think.”

really who we think they are? No matter how deeply we love someone and no matter how much we will sacrifice for them, we can only know them so well — as well as they allow us to know them. Without giving away too much of the story, Evelyn's soldier morphs into different forms, even looking like her at one point. Perhaps Riley is using allegory to remind us that we sometimes try to re-make those we love without appreciating their differences from us. Riley is a graduate of the creative writing program at the University of Florida.

Adam Brady Square Books

— Lynn Lofton,

26 I Mississippi Business Journal I April 19, 2013

CoStar Group’s 2012 Jackson Sales Revenue Winners National commercial real estate data research firm CoStar Group has named the top firms and brokers in the metro Jackson market based on transactions in 2012. Jackson is one of 90 markets across the United States included in the transaction survey conducted by CoStar, an Internet provider of commercial real estate information, analytics and market services. Here, in alphabetical order, are the transaction leaders for 2012 in each category:


For C Spire’s Hankins, it’s personal Kevin Hankins, COO of C Spire Wireless, recently told the MBJ that there is more growth in the future at the Ridgelandbased telecommunications firm.

Top Leasing Firms Duckworth Realty H.C. Bailey Company Parker Real Estate Properties Ridgway Realty T L Brown Properties Top Sales Firms KENNEDY & CO. Real Estate Inc. Marcus & Millichap Parker Real Estate Properties Stribling Realty Corporation T L Brown Properties Top Office Leasing Brokers Brandon Brown T.L. Brown Properties Michelle Burford H.C. Bailey Company John M. Holtmann Duckworth Realty Mark Nicholas Nicholas Properties Guy M. Parker Parker Real Estate Properties Top Retail Leasing Brokers Brian Chadwick Commercial Property One Chris Curlee Curlee Realty, Inc. John M. Holtmann Duckworth Realty Scott Overby The Overby Company Guy M. Parker Parker Real Estate Properties Top Industrial Leasing Brokers Brandon Brown T.L. Brown Properties William G. Cook Cook Commercial Properties Conrad Martin Conrad Martin Real Estate David N. Price DNP Corporation Bob R. Ridgway Ridgway Realty Top Sales Brokers Brandon Brown T.L. Brown Properties Steve Kennedy Kennedy & Co. Real Estate, Inc. Guy M. Parker Parker Real Estate Properties John Stribling Stribling Realty Corporation Brent Yurtkuran Marcus & Millichap

RELATED TOPIC >> Metro retail seen realigning, achieving some stability. Page 12


hen the MBJ talked recently with Kevin Hankins, chief operating officer for C Spire, he stressed that from his and the company’s perspective, it’s all personal. “Our key focus is on providing our customers with an integrated communications experience that gives them the content and support they’re looking for,” he said. “For us, it’s all about personalization and customer relationships.” Hankins is a seasoned communications veteran, having started in the wireless business in 1985, and working for companies such as Motorola, Verizon and Ericcson through the years. In his current position with C Spire, he is responsible for the operations of the largest privately held wireless company in the United States. C Spire, headquartered in Ridgeland, has more than 1200 employees and many more contractors. The company has grown to its current level from its start in wireless just 25 years ago, and Hankins attributes that success to “a great and well oiled team of people who are dedicated to getting it right.” They must certainly be getting it right, as the company serves more than 1 million customers. Hankins sees continued growth on the horizon for C Spire. “We’re making the commitment and investment to continually improve both our wireless and wire-based services, and make it all an integrated and personal experience for our customers, both consumers and businesses,” he said. C Spire has invested heavily in expanding its fiber optic, and looks to a future that will include commercializing their data centers, being able to provide hosted services, and to position itself to deal with the rapid change that is a hallmark of today’s technology. “Things change overnight,” Hankins said, “and we’re going to keep pace whatever it takes.” In fact, Information Week magazine recently named C Spire to its list of the top 250 Technology Innovators, with the company coming it at no. 49 on the list. It was the only Mississippi-based company to make the list, and Hankins is proud of that recognition. Hankins is high on Mississippi, and believes the state has a bright business future. “When you consider the culture, universities that are innovating, the work force and work ethic, and our sense of pride, it’s hard not to see a bright future,” he said.

STEPHEN MCDILL / Mississippi Business Journal

That doesn’t mean that things are perfect in Mississippi, he pointed out. “In some ways, we’re a very well-kept secret, and we really need to focus on getting a great story out to the rest of the world. That means marketing and competing aggressively with other states in our region. It also means helping Mississippi based comAlan Turner panies to grow, and fostering the growth of technology in our state,” he said. Among the sectors he sees as great growth prospects in Mississippi are technology, health care, construction, agriculture, and manufacturing. Hankins sees coming opportunities in what he called onshoring and rural shoring... that is, returning viable operations that have been offshored to attractive locations in the U.S. which offer good resources and reasonable labor costs. “Offshoring no longer makes the kind of economic sense that it once did,” he said. “We’re going to see companies looking for attractive opportunities in our region. He sees especially good opportunities for some of Mississippi’s rural communities in the coming years. “That’s why our focus is not just on the larger cities, but also on the smaller communities throughout our state,” he said. “All of these are important to us, and they will definitely be a part of our success in coming years.” He says that technology is the “driver” for Mississippi’s future, and that C Spire intends to be at the forefront of that movement. It’s hard to argue with the fact that C Spire has beaten all the odds to emerge as a major company, competing effectively with the other wireless companies. What does the future hold? “For sure, it means change,” he said. We’re currently serving customers with the best 4G LTE service that can be delivered. But is 5G or 6G on the horizon? Almost certainly. And we’ll be there, delivering the services and speed that our customers need and expect.” For Kevin Hankins, it is personal. And he means to keep it that way. Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at or (601) 364-1021.


April 19, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




The Twitter you may not know. But should.


hat is in a tweet? For most people it is simply a post and a prayer. For me, it’s value, information others can use, followers, reputation, image, re-tweets, customers, referrals, sales and money. Is that enough? Twitter has the power to generate awareness, create value attraction, keep you or your brand at top-of-mind status, and build relationships. Is that enough to get you to participate? I want to share some advice about twitter: I am NOT passing myself off as an “expert,” and there is nothing to buy, and no free webinar to attend. These are just my observations and successes based on the past four years of my participation. Here are my stats as of this writing: My twitter handle is my name: @gitomer Followers — 60,580 Following — 17,109 Tweets — 3,127 Average tweets per day — 4 Average links to view a video or an offer — 1 per day Average number of re-tweets/favorites per day — 25-75 per tweet New followers per day — 30-50 Here are 3.5 things I recommend you do in order to really benefit from Twitter: 1. Have an objective and a strategy. Twitter is intended for you to inform with value, influence, brand and (on occasion) to converse or respond, not chit-chat. The value of your tweets will determine who stays with you and re-tweets you. When I see someone with 14,500 tweets and 285 followers, two words come to mind: NO VALUE. I often use the direct message feature to respond, rather than an open tweet — that’s meaningless to everyone else. 2. Create a list of value-based tweets and subjects you intend to tweet about. Be prepared at least a week in advance. Keep a Twitter file that documents ideas and possible tweets. I tweet quotes from


Continued from Page 12

vacant, metro Jackson’s retail sector must lease up a lot of space before it returns to 12.8 percent vacancy REIS recorded for the metro market in the second quarter of 2008. Each quarter since then has shown either an increase in vacancy or no decrease in vacancy. Totals for each year since 2008 have also reflected increased vacancies, with 2008 ending at 13 percent, 2009 at 14.1 percent, 2010 at 15.5 percent and 2011 at 15.8 percent. The absence of vacancy decline has not stopped customary retail migration patterns, according to Ridgway and other commercial agents in the metro market. “We’re seeing the out-migration to the next exit on the interstate,” Ridgway said. “You see the same thing in Dallas and other places. This is the way retail does.” Justin Davis, formerly of the Shopping Center Group but now principal of Tupelo’s Southern Retail Properties, said he sees a realignment underway in the Jackson retail market. Both Davis and Estes see County Line Road becoming more of a neighborhood center shopping destination. “It will continue to attract more price conscious retail-

my books, and thoughts that come to me during the day (or night). You can also re-tweet others if you believe it helps your followers. NOTE: I try to leave at least 10 characters open, so that others can easily re-tweet me. NOTE: If you re-tweet me or favor me, I’ll follow you as a courtesy. 3. Approach followers of strategic value. You have an email list. INVITE each person to follow you PERSONALLY. In an email, tell each person about your twitter participation, LIST A FEW OF YOUR TWEETS, and ask them to follow you by clicking a link and the follow button. If you have 1,000 people on your list, and 250 follow you, it’s a GREAT start. Continue to send your tweets out weekly to the rest of the list, and re-ask them to follow you. This will take time, but the earning potential exceeds the stupid TV show you’re watching. 3.5 Be consistent. Tweet every day, at least once a day. Don’t DM (direct message) me saying “Thanks for the follow.” It’s an annoying waste of my time and yours. Instead, how about sending me the same kind of message I sent you — ONE OF VALUE. A message to make me think, make me smile or make me money. Insincere politeness and phony thanks makes you sound like a bad flight attendant, reading from a script, into a bad microphone, behind a wall. Don’t re-tweet the news. You are not the source. Originality counts – especially if it’s valuable or thought provoking to your customers. Your twitter outreach is not going anywhere if: » You talk with other people in superficial chatter more than 10% of your tweets. » You re-tweet others more than 50 percent of the time. » You fail to tweet your own thoughts. » You have nothing but sales messages with a link to buy something. » You’re only trying to get people to “go here” to “read this” and “see my blog post” or “watch this video.” » Your tweet to follower ratio is out of proportion. You should have a MAXIMUM of one tweet for every 10 followers. 100 tweets = 1,000 followers. The lower the ratio, the better.

ers,” said Davis, who has leased retail properties in Jackson for a number of years. “There will always be a niche for it.” In the future, County Line Road will have fewer big boxes and more small places designed for convenience shopping, Estates predicted. For one, “people just perceive it to be a pain,” he said of the often-jammed roadway. The other change factor is a more modest income demographic from a decade or so ago, Estes added. “What you are going to see is a changing of tenants. The tenants are following the income levels of the apartments” in the vicinity of County Line Road. While County Line continues its transition, Davis expects a realignment of sorts will continue along Northside Drive and Highland Village area — both of which he described as “very healthy trade areas,” especially with the pending arrival of Whole Foods in Highland Village. Estes, meanwhile, said he is betting on more in-fill retail in markets such as Fondren. “If you need 1,500 square feet of retail, you won’t find it in Fondren,” he said. He said he is equally bullish over the future of neighborhood centers. “There’s been a lot of absorption n our neighborhood centers,” he said, citing the leasing his firm man-

Here are the MAJORS: MAJOR CLUE: Being re-tweeted is the key. My goal is 100 re-tweets a day MAJOR OPPORTUNITY: Photo and video is becoming commonplace. Do not abuse it. Show value, not your backyard BBQ. MAJOR FAUX PAS: Your links better work — especially if they’re to your website, your blog, or other social media like LinkedIn. Jeffrey Gitomer MAJOR IDIOCY: Please don’t offer advice for sale, or call yourself an expert, if you don’t have AT LEAST 50,000 followers. I am amazed at how few sales professionals and sales leaders are not taking advantage of Twitter. It’s a resource, it’s a broadcast medium, it’s a vital recognition tool, it’s a reputation builder, and it’s free. Tweet that. I just did. At 7:30am. In less than two hours I had 9 new followers, and 43 re-tweets or favorites that reached (influenced) MORE than 75,000 people. For free. How’s your morning going? What a list of my most powerful tweets? Go to, register if you’re a first-time visitor and enter the word TWITTER in the GitBit box. Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of “The Sales Bible”, “Customer Satisfaction is Worthless” “Customer Loyalty is Priceless”, “The Little Red Book of Selling”, “The Little Red Book of Sales Answers”, “The Little Black Book of Connections”, “The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude”, “The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way”, “The Little Platinum Book of ChaChing”, “The Little Teal Book of Trust”, “The Little Book of Leadership”, and “Social BOOM!” His website,, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at

ages. “Some of the larger national tenants are still looking at larger spaces. Lots of momand-pops are moving around.” Alternative uses such as fitness clubs are becoming more common in neighborhood centers as well, he said. “We just leased to Planet Fitness in Ridgeland.” Dollar stores such as Fred’s and Dollar General continue to flourish, according to Estes. “A lot of the focus is on under-served areas — the places with very little competition” for food products and household staples. Fred’s has taken the dollar store concept a step further by growing its stores to an average 24,000 square feet and adding pharmacies in some of them, Estes said. “Fred’s is becoming a mini version of Walmart,” he noted, with the added advantage of convenience. “They don’t need to go to a big shopping center. They can pull into Fred’s and get what they need.” Given the likelihood that the metro market’s housing market will return to its former good health, retail leasing rates will continue to rise and new retail will be built, CB Richard Ellis’ Ridgway said the months ahead may help he and others in his profession leave a not-so-pleasant recent past. “We’re achieving some level of stability,” he said.


Continued from Page 13

The largest job losses were in Northern Virginia (-3,100 jobs); Cincinnati-Middletown, Ohio-Ky.Ind. (-2,400 jobs); and, RaleighCary, N.C. (-2,300 jobs). On the national level, construction employment is trending positively compared to June 2010. In that AGC report, construction employment declined in 285 out of 337 MSAs from June 2009-June 2010. Only 132 MSAs declined from February 2012-February 2013. Still, a cautious optimism remains. “While construction employment continues to decline in many parts of the country, the number of communities experiencing gains continues to expand,” said Ken Simonson, the AGC’s chief economist. “But the twin threats of additional public sector construction cuts and a looming shortage of certain types of construction workers could hurt the industry just as it is beginning to recover.”




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