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June 28, 2013 • Vol. 35, No. 26 • $1 • 28 pages


» Proposal on the table for downtown Jackson

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MBJ FOCUS: Big Business

Keesler AFB’s impact is measured in more than dollars

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2 I Mississippi Business Journal I June 28, 2013


Mississippi doctors, hospitals seem to diverge on Medicaid expansion By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER

Associations representing hospital executives and physicians appear to be on opposite sides on whether to greatly enlarge the state’s Medicaid rolls. The Mississippi State Medical Association has declared that Mississippi’s uninsured deserve medical care but cautioned “a Medicaid expansion may perpetuate a broken system.” The official MSMA statement is clear in expressing what it says are the anxieties of the state’s physicians that Medicaid expansion would jeopardize and an-already troubled health care delivery system in which Medicaid now covers 644,000 low-income, needy or disabled Mississippians. The MSMA’s worry is nearly opposite that of the Mississippi Hospital Association. The association made up largely of hospital and health care executives says dis-

astrous consequences could befall the state’s hospitals once the federal government shifts money from paying hospitals to cover treatment of the uninsured to expanding Medicaid in the states that participate in the expansion. In a statement issued last June just after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can opt in or out of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, the Mississippi Hospital Association predicted that rejecting the expansion would spell “devastating” consequences for uninsured Mississippians and hospitals alike. “Failure to expand Medicaid eligibility

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will leave just under 200,000 Mississippians with no health care coverage at all,” the MHA said in detailing its position. “These Mississippians will be left ‘in the gap’ — not eligible for Medicaid and not eligible to purchase health

insurance through the health insurance exchange. The result could be devastating. Hospitals cannot be expected to treat such a large volume of people with no expectation or prospect of payment for those services. The result could very well mean the closure of many of our community hospitals.” By contrast, the Mississippi State Medical Association official statement predicts huge harm could come from Medicaid expansion: “Mississippi physicians believe all uninsured patients in Mississippi deserve medical coverage; however, physicians have concerns that a Medicaid expansion may perpetuate a broken system. Physicians fear that an expansion of Medicaid may not be financially sustainable and will impose on the state unintended consequences that will weaken provider capacity which is inadequate now and will worsen. We are concerned that the State is not prepared to handle those immediate and future consequences.” Meanwhile, the expansion issue has been in a partisan stalemate for weeks. Democrats in the Mississippi Legislature have refused to extend Medicaid past July 1 without an expansion. Republicans, led by Bryant, say the tens of millions of dollars the state would have to come up with to cover its share of the expansion would be a quick ticket to bankruptcy. The likelihood of a special session next week on Medicaid grew this week with a new legal opinion from Attorney General Jim Hood. The AG insists that the gover-

nor can’t authorize Medicaid payments beyond July 1 without legislative approval. The non-binding opinion from Hood, a Democrat, contradicts Republican Bryant. The governor has said for weeks that he thinks he can run the program himself, even if lawmakers don’t vote to keep it alive beyond June 30, the end of the current budget year. Hood wrote last week that without legislative action to keep Medicaid in business beyond July 1, “the Division of Me d i c a i d and the

position of its executive director will no longer exist.” With a legislative showdown having begun with a Special Session in the Mississippi Legislature over re-authorizing Medicaid beyond its July 1 expiration, Democrats are seeking to force a vote on adding the working poor to Medicaid rolls. While the Mississippi State Medical Association is clear in expressing the harm that could come from greatly enlarging the state’s Medicaid rolls, the association’s president is a bit less emphatic in his public objections to growing Medicaid. Dr, Steven L. Demetropoulos, MSMA’s 2012-2013 president, emphasized in the April JOURNAL MSMA that emergency rooms around the state serve as a primary health care source for many of the working poor who would be covered under the Medicaid expansion. Keeping low-income workers off the Medicaid rolls and forcing them to rely on emergency rooms and federally funded free clinics around the state will put tremendous financial stress on the state’s entire health care system, wrote Demetropoulos, an ER physician at Pascagoula’s Singing Rivers Hospital. A significant portion of the stress would See


June 28, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




Renasant, First M&F tying knot, plan convergence Âť Combined company will make Renasant 4th largest bank in Mississippi By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER

Affirmative shareholder votes Tuesday cleared the way for Renasant to begin a $119 million acquisition of Kosciusko’s First M&F Corp. The acquisition gives the $4.2-billion regional bank based in Tupelo a Central Mississippi presence and increased market shares in the northern part of the state as well as in Tennessee and Alabama. Tupelo’s Renasant announced the acquisition of First M&F, parent of the $1.6-billion Merchant & Farmers Bank, in February, with terms that included a $119-million common stock transaction. The combined company will make Renasant the fourth-largest bank in Mississippi. In total, Renasant will gain 36 locations in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, though how many will remain open has not been decided, Renasant officials say. With the expected green light from shareholders of both institutions, Renasant will seek to complete the deal by the third quarter and begin convergence of banking operations in the final quarter. All locations will carry the Renasant name upon completion of the convergence. Renasant will gain 36 locations, though how many remain open will depend on overlap between the two. Renasant locations will also be examined for overlap and some could be closed, said Scott Cochran, president of Renasant’s Mississippi Division. While Cochran noted it is “still a moving number� on clos-

ings, he said the banks have seven branches within a mile or two of each other and another 15 within seven miles. “We’re going to make some closings,� he said, and noted branches from both banks would be among ones shut down. One of Renasant’s two Oxford branches will be merged into the First M&F location on The Square in Oxford, Cochran said. “It’s a better facility and Cochran more conducive to our needs.� With the acquisition, Renasant gains nine First M&F’s metro Jackson branches scattered around Flowood, Brandon, Pearl and Clinton. Just what the merged operations mean for the 100 or so employees at First M&F’s Kosciusko headquarters is not yet clear. Some will continue to serve the combined bank’s operation through remote locations. Some job cuts are planned, however, according to Renasant. Not all of the support service employees need to be in Tupelo, Cochran said, indicating some First M&F employees in Kosciusko could possibly continue to work from there. Ultimately, the merged operation must be lean but effective, he said. “For this transaction to be of shareholder value, we have to gain efficiencies.� Hugh Potts, chairman and CEO of First M&F, will step down after 40 years at First M&F. Potts said previously that the merger will give First M&F customers a menu of serv-

ices that a much larger financial institution can offer and “a high degree of service found in a local community bank.� Potts will stay on through the transition, likely to the end of the year, according to Jeff Lacey, First M&F’s president and chief banking officer. Lacey will oversee the Southern branches, “primarily the ones that don’t have overlap,� he said in an interview. In addition to entry to the Jackson market, the acquisition gives Renasant some good branching overlap and “synergies for cost-savings and market-reach pickup,� Lacey added. Renasant will grow its property & casualty insurance operations by about a quarter and expand its mortgage lending as well. Both companies maintain their mortgage lending headquarters in Birmingham. Plans are for Renasant to move its operations into what is now the First M&F mortgage headquarters, according to Cochran. On the insurance front, Renasant gets to expand its agent locations beyond Tupelo and Louisville to vastly more locations throughout the multi-state region, Cochran noted. Matt Olney, analyst with Stephens Inc., said he expects the acquisition to propel Renasant to a 16 percent increase in earnings per share, from $1.47 to $1.71. Olney set a EPS price target of $1.89 for 2015. First M&F’s Lacey said his bank was not looking to be acquired, having worked through a lot of its real estate lending difficulties, primarily from loans in the Memphis market. “It started with a friendly phone call to Hugh Potts,� he said. “We looked at the transaction and decided it was a good deal for shareholders.� In the end, he said, “It’s going to make a very strong bank.�

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4 I Mississippi Business Journal I June 28, 2013


Home-grown business » Marianne Hill, who is stepping down after tracking Mississippi’s economy for 23 years, says home-grown business is the prescription for economic growth By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER

The logic of purposely dumping American grown wheat into the Gulf of Mexico while large parts of the world’s population starved didn’t compute for high school math whiz Marianne Hill. Her teacher’s short-form answer – the wheat dumping protected farmers in the Third World countries whose people were starving – equally befuddled Hill, who decided then to put her knack for numbers to work making sense of this science called “economics.” It’s been a more-than-four-decade quest, with over half of that time spent in Mississippi as a state senior economist with the Center for Policy Research and Planning, a department of the Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning. Before Mississippi came stints in Bangladesh as a visiting scholar and in Puerto Rico advising the island’s leaders on effective government participation in economic development. She followed that with five years in academia as a public finance professor at the University of Akron in Ohio. The University of Maryland math graduate and holder of a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and a doctorate in economics from Yale University retires next week. Her pursuit of economic understanding won’t end there, however. She’s got a book planned and other writing projects under consideration. Among Hill’s specialties is economic forecasting, a skill she has used for years in producing the state’s Quarterly Economic Outlook and other periodicals. She also has often been called on to brief government and business leaders on the current and future condition of Mississippi’s economy as well as the nation’s. Hill gets ready for such tasks by delving into the intricacies of Mississippi’s economic sectors and indices, and developing models detailing how they interact. The aim is to give insight into the state’s economy of today and tomorrow, Hill says. As Center for Policy Research and Planning colleague Peter Wally puts it, Hill represents “80 percent of our thought processes around here.” Academically and professionally, Hill’s focus has been on the role of govern-

ment in economic development. On occasions in which she is asked what Mississippi can do to create a healthier business class, she has a short answer: “Entrepreneurial development.” Go to a party in Jackson. You’ll encounter lots of lawyers and other professionals but “not all that many folks who see it their goal in life to start a business,” she says. She says for proof Mississippi can grow its own, look at any list of the state’s major manufacturers. “They were founded in the state and have thrived here.” Hill says she does not want to downplay the value of such huge economic development successes as Ingalls, Nissan, Toyota, General Electric and, more recently, Yoko-

Hill. “It has been that way for some time. We get a lot of federal R&D money but not private.” The absence of venture capital forces a lot of promising startups to leave the state. As this continues, Hill says, “You are just condemning your economy to only picking up what has started elsewhere.” Closer assessments of young, innovative Mississippi companies and developing incentives to aid their growth would be a good start, Hill says. “It is definitely the case that Mississippi needs to have an overall approach to economic development. But we also need to be investing and developing our own entrepreneurs.” Her bottom line on Mississippi’s eco-

ent workers in the state face different problems. There is not an emphasis on ensuring women have a career ladder to follow. Nor is there an emphasis on ensuring access to childcare for low-income women to enable them to do well in providing for their families,” says Hill, who helped create the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women, a state-authorized entity that provides information on women’s issues and recommends policies to public and private groups and individuals. Blacks, Hill says, face far more obstacles than whites in Mississippi in terms of climbing up the career ladder. “We don’t talk much about that,” she said of the state’s government, business and civic leaders. As an economist, Hill says the consequences of taking on public debt can’t be ignored. No one should buy things they don’t know how they are going to pay for, she says. But Mississippi and the rest of the country have become too prone to exclaiming, “We’re so poor we can’t pay enough taxes to improve our schools, to improve our roads...” Though Hill’s prescription for economic health would get a fast thumbs down from the state’s political leaders, she is hardly shy about where she thinks the state can gain the investment revenues it sorely needs: Large corporate entities in the state, especially ones that have operations around the


By fall, soon-to-retire senior state economist Marianne Hill expects to be hunkered somewhere in Maine toiling away on a book that examines the concentration of wealth and power in corporations. The consequences of this concentration for everyday people and the communities in which they live will be a main theme of the book, says Hill, who plans to maintain her Jackson residence after retirement. Here’s how she framed the theme in an outline to her publisher: “This book focuses on power and the economy in the belief that the greater our understanding of power and its role in the economy, the more capable we will be of achieving changes in our economic institutions that will advance the common good.” Titled “Confronting Power,” the book’s ideas will stray from the conventional wisdom of, say, the Wall Street Journal. But that’s the whole point, she says — put new ideas out to stir debate. Just maybe, says Hill, she may get readers thinking about a resetting of national priorities and concentrating “our efforts on the critical issues facing us.” The first step to the reset, her book will suggest, is to change “who makes decisions and how in our leading institutions.”

hama Tire. But an increased emphasis on developing what is already here would pay big dividends as well, she adds. “Often we adopt what is happening elsewhere as opposed to innovating and being leaders.” In the most recent tabulation, Mississippi had the fewest number of patents per capita among the states, according to

nomic development strategy? “I think there is plenty of room for adjustment,” she says. As a student of Mississippi’s economy for 23 years, Hill has concluded the state can do a lot more to remove obstacles to economic success for low income workers, especially women and minorities. “Differ-

country and internationally. Her remedy would not involve new taxes, Hill says, just collecting more of the taxes that are owed. “We haven’t been as diligent as we need to be in monitoring” where multi-state corporation in the state say they See


June 28, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




Tanglefoot nears opening date By CLAY CHANDLER I STAFF WRITER

Contractors are putting the finishing touches on north Mississippi’s Tanglefoot Trail. The 44.5-mile long multi-use recreational trail will be the region’s answer to South Mississippi’s Longleaf Trace recreational trail. Tanglefoot runs from New Albany to Houston. The trail is an old Gulf Mobile & Ohio railroad. Betsey Hamilton, chairperson of the GM&O Rails to Trails Recreational District, said in an interview this week that the trail will be ready to use “by football season.” She said the wet winter and spring delayed construction, pushing back the original opening date, set for early this year. Contractors ran into another significant roadblock when they started working on a bridge near New Albany whose ballasts were in worse shape than first thought. “I wish I could tell you exactly when but it’s going to depend on inspections, check list and how fast that gets done,” she said. A $9.6-million federal transportation enhancement grant, to go with a combined $450,000 in state money, funded the project. Hamilton most of what remains are the trail’s whistle stops, under construction in Ecru, Algoma, Ingomar and New Houlka. All the asphalt has been laid, except for a small patch near New Albany that was delayed due to work on an adjacent overpass. “That was kind of a hold-up,” Hamilton said. “We’ve been told that as soon as can get their equipment (for work on the adjacent overpass) out that we think we’ll be able to open the trail underneath. That little connection is probably the last piece of asphalt unless there was a section I was not aware of.” Until then, the trail is under the purview of general contractors Glasgow Construction, of


Continued from Page 4

are generating their income, she adds. The state must be more demanding in knowing specifically where certain types of corporate income is derived and should develop reporting forms that can attain thorough accountings, Hill says. Part of the problem is the absence of uniformity among the states in accounting for corporate income and its point of origination. “If every state has a different means of measuring income from corporate activities, then you end up with the potential for more corporate tax loopholes. “If they claim the money was made outside the state then they don’t owe anything.

Special to the Mississippi Business Journal

Construction of the 44-mile Tanglefoot Trail is nearly complete. The multi-use recreational trail will likely be open by early fall, according to officials.

Guin, Ala., and is closed to the public. Figures unveiled in 2006, when conceptual work on the project started, put annual visitors at 100,000 with an economic impact of just shy of $5 million for the three counties the trail traverses. “And a lot of that was taken from the Longleaf,” Hamilton said. “I don’t think ours will be that big yet. We’re not Hattiesburg, but I think it will have a tremendous impact.” Hamilton said there were several things working in the trail’s favor, as far as attracting visitors. Chief among them was the new Interstate 22, the old U.S. Highway 78 that runs by the trail’s northern gate in New Albany. The Natchez Trace runs by the trail’s middle and southern portion, which ends in Houston. “Our positioning is good,” Hamilton said.

Who is monitoring what they pay.” An immediate fix, Hill says, would be to hire more state tax auditors. Hill says if nothing else, leaders in Mississippi and other states should begin welcoming a wide debate on how to move their economies forward. “Economic development involves conflict among different groups competing for favored treatment,” she wrote in a recent email. “Policies that move a region forward depend on all major players getting involved in policy debates: people just do not agree on which policies offer the greatest potential for higher incomes and a higher quality of life. Only debate clarifies which policies can lead us forward. Debate changes opinion and brings the cooperation needed for success.”

Development related to the trail is another issue. Mississippi State’s Carl Small Town Cen-

ter is partnering with the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University to figure out ways to handle the anticipated traffic increase once Tanglefoot opens. The schools will be using first-of-itskind technology to do it. A $120,000 grant awarded by the Southeast Transportation Research, Innovation, Development and Education Center will fund a study that will allow researchers to run test scenarios of possible development related to the trail. Carl Center director Dr. John Poros told the Mississippi Business Journal last year researchers will spend 15 months compiling data, and plan to issue their findings in a report in December of this year. Poros added that one of the primary goals of the study is to help save communities money and improve their air quality as people begin to use Tanglefoot. “What we will do is come up with a series of scenarios of how they might develop, and we’ll take those and run them in a GISbased transportation program that the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill has put together. It will model transportation throughout that entire region”. The Northeast Mississippi region is ripe for this kind of research, Poros said, because of the kind of growth it’s already experienced and the anticipation that it will continue as suppliers for Blue Springs’ Toyota plant continue to locate there.

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ALAN TURNER Publisher • 364-1021 ROSS REILY Editor • 364-1018 WALLY NORTHWAY Senior Writer • 364-1016 FRANK BROWN Staff Writer/Special Projects • 364-1022 TED CARTER Staff Writer • 364-1017 CLAY CHANDLER Staff Writer • 364-1015

MBJPERSPECTIVE June 28, 2013 • • Page 6



Jackson County invests heavily in its economy

ometimes it helps to look into the past to see the future. So it is with the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation. While the foundation has existed for 20 years, it was conceived years earlier, in the 1970s. Those were boom times. Jackson County’s population had more than doubled since 1960, reaching 120,000 by the late ’70s. Employment at Ingalls shipyard more than kept pace, rising from 10,000 in the late ’60s to more than 24,000 by the late ’70s. Ingalls could easily lay claim to being Mississippi’s largest private employer. Then Ingalls announced it would cut its

workforce by as many as 13,000 over an 18month period. A multibillion-dollar contract with the Navy was winding down and there was no sign of more work on that scale. Jerry St. Pé was as aware as anyone of the impact on the community. Not only was he Ingalls’ vice president of public and industrial relations, he was the president of the Pascagoula-Moss Point Area Chamber of Commerce. The area, he realized, was not prepared to absorb this blow. “We needed to broaden the community’s economic horizon,” said St. Pé. In a matter of weeks, $100,000 was raised in the private sector. It was matched with

public funds by local officials. Slowly but steadily, that public-private partnership grew stronger and is now the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation. Along the way, attitudes had to be changed. Economic development had to be seen as everyone’s responsibility, not just a chore for elected or appointed officials. Collaboration, cooperation and coordination between the public and private sectors have given Jackson County a competitive edge, one that other Mississippi communities should emulate. — The (Biloxi) Sun Herald

STEPHEN MCDILL Staff Writer • 364-1041 TAMI JONES Advertising Director • 364-1011



Leadership set to prevent Medicaid expansion vote

MELISSA KILLINGSWORTH Sr. Account Executive • 364-1030 ASHLEY VARNES Account Executive • 364-1013

By Bobby Harrison / NE MISS Daily Journal

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Gov. Phil Bryant’s call announcing the special session and its topic should not prevent the Legislature from voting on Medicaid expansion. Let me repeat that — the proclamation issued by the governor should not prevent a vote on Medicaid expansion. But the Republican leadership — the governor, Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves — are so dead-set against expansion, apparently so fearful to allow the full Legislature to vote on the issue — that they most likely will take other measures in the special session to try to prevent that vote. Of course, the Legislature returned to a special session Thursday to take up funding and reauthorizing the Division of Medicaid for the new fiscal year, which begins Monday. Without legislative action, it is uncertain what will happen to the program that provides health care for about 644,000 Mississippians who are elderly, disabled, poor pregnant women and poor children. Technically, the program would cease to exist so Thursday’s special session is about as important as they come. The Legislature did not take care of its Medicaid business during the 2013 regular session because Democrats in the House wanted to be able to vote on the expansion that is allowed under the new federal law. Gunn, as already established, is against expansion and used extraordinarily legislative tactics to block that vote. The result was that the existing program was not funded or reauthorized for the new fiscal year. During the special session, the legislative leadership is expected to take advantage of the House and Senate rules — or more precisely the differences in those rules — to try to ensure no vote on expansion, at least in the House. The governor has put two items on the call — funding the program and reauthorizing it. At some point, the Legislature most likely also will try to See HARRISON, Page 8


June 28, 2013 I Mississippi Business Journal



Gators, trenches and crime resolution



Big spenders vs. big savers


ou stand at your window and look across the street. Nice house, you think. Nice landscaping. Nice sports car. Nice driveway. New bikes for the kids. Wow, if only you had that kind of money . . . . On the other hand, the plain home down the street with the older model sedan parked out front pales in comparison. A couple in their seventies lives there, and the front yard hasn’t been spruced up in a decade. Who knows, maybe they struggle just to get by. If you could somehow look into the financial lives of those two households, you might be surprised. The couple with all the toys might not be as wealthy as the neighborhood perceives, while the vanilla exterior on that humble rancher might hide a multimillionaire next door. Remember that affluence does not equal net worth. When you look across the street at the house of that well-to-do family, you are not necessarily gazing at a portrait of wealth. You are seeing a portrait of their spending habits. What are they spending their money on? Perhaps, quite literally, a façade; their house may be the best house in the neighborhood, but what of kind of mortgage payment are they grappling with? Are they making payments on that sports car? That vehicle is a depreciating asset (unless they keep it garaged for a few decades). The flat-screen, the pool, the home audio system ... they have put their dollars into things that their neighbors can see. They may be engaging in all-too-common financial behavior: thinking of wealth in terms of material items, spending money on toys instead of their lives. Real wealth may not be advertised. Perhaps the older couple down the street isn’t interested in the hottest new luxuries. Decades ago, they put extra money toward their mortgage; even with housing values currently depressed, their residence is

still worth much more than they paid for it. Most importantly, it is paid off. Maybe they are good savers, always have been. Ike Trotter When they were the age of the flashy couple up the street, they directed money into things that their neighbors couldn’t see – their investments, their retirement accounts, their bank accounts. Years ago, they could have lived ostentatiously like that highearning couple up the street – but instead of living on margin, they chose to live within their means. They saw some of their friends “rent” a luxury lifestyle for a few years, only to lose homes and cars they couldn’t really afford. Sometimes the economy or fate had a hand in it, but too often their friends simply made poor decisions. It could be that it was just more important for them to think about the future rather than the moment. Parenting reinforced that philosophy. Their good financial habits kept their family away from a bunch of bad debts, and helped them build wealth slowly. Indirectly, it also helped their kids, who grew up in a household with less financial stress and with an appreciation and understanding of key financial principles. Now, they are applying those principles to build wealth in their own lives. Roughly every fortieth American is a millionaire. There are nearly 8 million people with a net worth of $1 million or more in the U.S., and their financial characteristics may differ slightly from what you expect. Fidelity’s 2012 Millionaire Outlook survey (which polled 1,000 households with $1 million or more in investable assets) notes that 86 percent of millionaires are self-made. Among the See TROTTER, Page 8

he worst feeling is to feel insecure in your own home. At home, we want to be safe. We want to know our children are protected. While our home is our castle, we prefer it be a garden cottage versus a fortified outpost. Clinton shares a border with West Jackson. It’s a porous border with a constant flow of traffic back and forth. Most Clinton residents leave town every day to go to work, so we depend on the Capital City and the larger Metro area for jobs. Lately, though, that proximity has been a problem. Neighborhoods are experiencing higher levels of crime. Much of it is coming from Jackson, with their citiNancy Anderson zens crossing over borders to steal and pillage, then fleeing back across city lines. Easy access roads that allow quick entry and exit have turned into getaway routes. The good neighbor policy is breaking down, as residents feel themselves under siege. The response has been to turn to the old proverb, “Good fences make good neighbors,” as we look for ways to block access. Easthaven neighborhood in Clinton asked for a barricade on a roadway crossing the border into Jackson. Other neighborhoods are sure to follow suit. While thieves can find their way around any obstacle, surely they will be slowed down by these barriers. Clinton Police are limited in their ability to respond to these issues. Jackson Police are overwhelmed. And the truth is, no matter how many cops are on the street, you can’t be everywhere at once. I don’t think Clinton is alone is seeing a rise in such activity. All the gated communities in Madison County are a testament to the problem. While I don’t like the idea of being barricaded IN, I sure don’t like the feeling of insecurity when you walk in your house to find a stranger has been through and helped himself. Is there something short of a moat and hot oil to stop the encroachment? Some neighbors prefer to take matters into their own hands. And that’s my worry. I don’t believe our only response is to place cannons at the castle wall. They could just end up blowing up in our faces. Instead, maybe our best defense against our criminal neighbors is to be good neighbors to the folks right next door. Time and again, as we have heard of break-ins, we found ourselves lacking in attention. Do we really know our neighbors? Are we paying attention to strange cars trolling the area? Do we get involved when we see something questionable? Or do we turn a blind eye because we just don’t want to get involved. In my neighborhood, we have resolved to speak up when we see something shady. We are alerting each other through e-mail and texts about strange cars and strange characters. We have resolved to be more neighborly, to really know who belongs and who doesn’t. Of course, if that doesn’t work, I’m digging a trench and filling it with gators.

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 June 28, 2013




Supreme Court surgically removed heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965


was scrolling through my Twitter feed when the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) made public its ruling on the Shelby Co., Ala., challenge to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA). The news appeared between a tweet about the Mississippi State Bulldogs at the College World Series and one about Russian President Putin washing his hands of Snowden: The Supreme Court had dismantled the Voting Rights Act. A majority of the Justices took a scalpel and surgically removed the heart of the VRA. For those unfamiliar with the case, Shelby Co., Ala., challenged whether Congress could oversee localities with a history of racially-based voter discrimination — a role the federal government has filled for almost five decades — with the effect being a boon in minority voting. SCOTUS said no. Granted, the Court said the VRA could survive if Congress comes up with a new methodology for determining whether localities should be held to heightened scrutiny. However, it can’t live in this political climate with its heart removed, with an onus on this US Congress to re-formulate how covered jurisdictions are chosen. Keep in mind that the VRA was fully reauthorized, by Republicans in Congress and signed by President Bush, in 2006 for another 25 years. The Court, however, will have none of that, and those now at the center of power within the Republican Party are celebrating. In disagreeing with this decision I likely place myself at odds with many of my fellow Mississippians. But, let’s also acknowledge all of our fellow Mississippians who do agree with me. During my undergrad years at Delta State University, I had a professor who would often remind us, “everything is relative, folks, everything is relative.” He wasn’t telling us that facts depended on a person’s perspective, but that our attitudes and interpretations of facts depended on where we stood within society and culture. And, frankly, were we willing to challenge our perspective and see the world from the shoes of others? I have thought of his astute admonishment several times as the VRA debate has been taking place. My eyebrows went up upon reading Justice Antonin Scalia saying, about the Voting Rights Act, that, “whenever a society adopts racial entitlements it is very difficult to get out of them through the normal political processes.” Really? The concept of “racial entitlements” being hung around the necks of fellow Americans who experienced decades of Jim Crow and poll taxes and poll tests and “separate but equal” is a perspective I don’t get. The same could be said of the GOP’s attempt to limit minority voting by nixing early voting dates in several states this last election cycle; but I suppose everything is relative. The Voting Rights Act is the cornerstone of our laws that ordered society in a way that brought down the walls of institutional racial entitlement. These laws freed us all from living in such a society. Some who oppose the VRA have referred to it as a “60’s era” law that was fine then, but is now obsolete; a Cold War artifact,


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self-made millionaires, the top sources of assets were investments and/or capital appreciation, compensation and employee stock options or profit sharing. Millionaires born into wealth were the most likely to cite entrepreneurship and real estate investing as key factors behind their fortunes. According to the survey, the average U.S. millionaire is 61 years old with $3.05 million in investable assets. Fidelity also

Burns Strider I suppose. However, laws that protect people and ensure that each American has basic rights, like voting, are not arcane. But, discrimination ought to be. The Voting Rights Act covers Alaska, Arizona and parts of California as well as the Southern states. And, it works, both in its goals and in practicality. Recently, counties in New Hampshire were removed from falling under the VRA. The ability for a jurisdiction to be removed was alive and healthy before the Court’s decision. The legal right of states to carry out their own elections is a valid argument, but it’s not the only one. Now, the Supreme Court has taken laws that had been working, growing our electorate, and making the ballot box a place of equality and has placed them squarely into the political sphere. Let the partisan quagmire and lawsuits commence! Well played, SCOTUS. And, we begin seeing voters lose their rights, as many believe will happen. After all, the rights of each and every citizen are at the heart of our endeavors in the public square. The more engagement, the more we work to include and inform and grow together, the better and stronger we will all be for it. Sometimes and in some places, privilege and despair live side by side. Those of us who have been blessed too often fail to put ourselves in the shoes of those who struggle — those who at times live just across town. Each March, I travel with the Faith and Politics Institute and Civil Rights legend, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, to Selma, Ala. We march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and remember the first time Mr. Lewis did so, on Bloody Sunday in 1965. Today, our commemorations are full of celebration. In 1965, it was full of tear gas and baseball bats. It was a dark day for the South. We have come so far. We, in Mississippi, elect more African Americans to office than any other state. We live and work together each day. We make it work. And, we are moving, I believe, to a colorblind society. I see signs of it whenever I have the opportunity to be home. But, our rate of success is tied to our realization of our past and the present challenges still manifested around us. And, don’t forget, the Voting Rights Act was forced upon the nation by Southerners, too. Southerners who sat at counters, who peaceably crossed bridges and who non-violently demanded their right to vote. They were fellow Southerners. The Voting Rights Act has been serving us well. Removing its heart kills it.

Burns Strider, a native of Grenada, is founder and principle of the D.C.-based consulting firm Eleison, llc, founder and president of the American Values Network and a director of The Southern Project. He has served as senior advisor to both Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi as well as policy director for the U.S. House Democratic Caucus.

found that with regard to the financial future, more than (30 percent) of these millionaires were focused on preserving wealth, rather than growing it (20 percent). What will you spend your money on — tomorrow or today? Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko noted in their classic study The Millionaire Next Door that the typical millionaire lives on 7 percent of his or her wealth. That was in 1997; the percentage could be lower today. Call it frugal, call it boring, but such financial conservation may help promote lifetime wealth. Today, with so many enticements to spend

Continued from Page 6

pass a bill to levy the various taxes on health care providers — nursing homes and hospitals — to help fund the program, but that will take a larger-and-harder-to-obtain three-fifths majority. It is generally accepted that the governor establishes the subject for the special session, but how that subject is dealt with is a legislative decision. If the Legislature wants to deal with expanding Medicaid to cover those earning up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level — or about $15,000 annually for an individual — while funding and re-enacting the program, that would be a reasonable interpretation of the legislative rules, according to most experts. Some might argue that expanding Medicaid would not be allowed because the governor did not include that specifically in his agenda for the special session, but there are several precedents that would dispute that assumption. On the other hand, the House rules say — and have for years — that code sections cannot be added to a bill by amendment. The House leadership most likely will introduce and take up a Medicaid reauthorization bill that does not include the eligibility code section. If someone tries to offer an amendment to expand Medicaid, the speaker would be well within his authority to rule the amendment out of order since the eligibility code section is not in the bill. Now understand that House leaders could just as easily introduce a bill with the eligibility code section in it, but they do not want to because they want to block a vote on expansion. In the Senate, code sections can be added to legislation as long as the code section is related to the original subject matter of the bill. So it is safe to assume the expansion amendment could be offered to any Medicaid reauthorization bill originating in the Senate. But Reeves, who presides over the Senate, already has said the legislation would originate in the House. If anyone in the Senate tries to add the expansion legislation to a House bill that does not include the code section, it could theoretically kill the bill when it is returned to the House. That is how the legislative leadership — not the proclamation issued by the governor — could block a Medicaid expansion vote during Thursday’s special session. Most observers question whether the Democratic minority would have the votes to pass expansion even if a vote is allowed. But for whatever reason, the Republican leaders want not only to block Medicaid expansion, but also block a vote on the issue. Bobby Harrison, the Capitol Correspondent for the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, can be reached at

your money as soon as you earn it, this kind mindset makes a lot of sense. Ike S. Trotter, CLU, ChFC, is a financial advisor in Greenville. Securities and investment advisory services provided through Woodbury Financial Services Inc., Member: FINRA, SIPC and Registered Investment Advisor, P.O. Box 64284, St. Paul, MN 55164. Tel: 800.800-2638. IKE TROTTER AGENCY, LLC, and Woodbury Financial Services are not affiliated entities. Information and opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Woodbury Financial Services Inc.

June 28, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




Bad bridges list draws strong reaction » 81 of 82 counties have red-flagged bridges BY WALLY NORTHWAY I STAFF WRITER

Few people know Jones County better than Mitch Stennett, a long-time resident and head of the Economic Development Authority of Jones County. Yet, even he was surprised by the number of suspect bridges in his county and where they are located per the National Bridge Inventory (NBI). “Two bridges on the Ellisville-Tuckers Crossing Road are on the list? Really?” Stennett asked. “That is a heavily traveled road.” When he learned that the NBI has redflagged 46 bridges in Jones County and thousands across the state, he added, “I am surprised by that. I had no idea it was that many. I guess it is out of sight, out of mind.” Patrice O’Brien lives in Rankin County, but she owns timberland in Yalobusha County and has witnessed firsthand the challenges bad bridges create. A creek running along her Yalobusha land was dredged in a flood control project. The dredging caused enormous erosion issues, and eventually damaged a neighboring farmer’s bridge. “He came to me asking permission to use the bridge on my property because he could no longer get to market,” O’Brien said. “For those of us in the agriculture industry, safe, dependable roads and bridges are absolutely essential.” Their reaction to the list of aging bridges in Mississippi that get a low grade in the NBI is typical. The Mississippi Business Journal ran the entire list of more than 2,000 bridges in the June 21 issue, and it has drawn sharp comments. “This is what we’re trying to do — get the word out that we have a growing problem in Mississippi, and that we need to address it now,” said Mike Pepper, executive director of the Mississippi Road Builders Association, when presented MBJ’s list. “Sometimes the numbers — thousands of bridges and billions of dollars needed to fix them — are just too big to get your mind around.” The bridges in the NBI, which are available on the Office of State Aid Road Construction’s website at, are ranked on a sufficiency rating scale of 0-100. Information on individual bridges includes the road-

MISSISSIPPI’S WORST BRIDGES Of the 2,000-plus bridges given a sufficiency rating of 50 or less in the National Bridge Inventory, where are the absolutely worst bridges in Mississippi? The answer is unsettling — everywhere, even in the heart of our largest cities. Here is the list of Mississippi most insufficient bridges. – By Wally Northway SUFFICIENCY COUNTY YEAR BUILT RATING Carroll 1930 .0 Forrest 1939 .0 Perry 1956 2.0 Prentiss 1967 3.0 Hinds (city of Jackson) 1964 3.0 Prentiss 1963 3.0 Adams 1945 4.0 Hinds 1929 4.0 Pearl River 1964 4.8 Union 1963 6.0 Neshoba (city of Philadelphia) 1940 6.0 Quitman 1955 6.1 Union 1971 6.8 Jones 1957 7.0 Hanging Moss Rd. over Hanging Moss Creek tributary Hinds (city of Jackson) 1987 7.0 James St. over Burkett’s Creek Forrest (city of Hattiesburg) 1965 7.0 Kiln-DeLisle Rd. over Bayou Le Terre Hancock 1960 7.0 Rocky Hill Dedeaux over Bayou Le Terre Hancock 1966 7.0 Rocky Hill Dedeaux over Bayou Le Terre tributary Hancock 1966 7.0 Lowe's Rd. over Main Canal Washington (city of Greenville) 1954 8.0 Old Hwy. 145/Tate St. over Elam Creek Alcorn 1970 8.4 Otho Sellers Rd. over Sand Hill Creek Perry 1905 8.6 Pineville Rd. over Canal No. 1 Harrison (city of Long Beach) 1971 8.6 CR 600 over Hatchie River Alcorn 1953 8.7 CR 46 over Tallahatchie River slough Union 1964 8.9 Will Garrett Rd. over Toomsuba Creek Lauderdale 1929 9.7 BRIDGE CR 144 over Abiaca Creek Lee Ave. over Illinois Central Gulf R.R. Old River Rd. over Tallahala Creek Jacinto Rd. over Tuscumbia River Manhattan Rd. over Hanging Moss Creek Ramp to field near Ballentine Rd. over drainage Lower Woodville Rd. over St. Catherine’s Creek Old Hwy. 80 over Big Black River Frank Seal Rd. over Parker Bayou CR 46 over Tallahatchie River relief CR 561 over unnamed branch Darling Rd. over Wilson Bayou CR 46 over Tallahatchie River Ellisville-Tuckers Crossing Rd. over Flat Branch

Note: Does not include railroad bridges

way, feature intersected, year built, bridge type, year rehabilitated or repaired, the entity that owns the bridge, average daily traffic, etc. It also provides a rating on each bridge’s deck, superstructure, substructure, culvert and channel. The NBI list does not include the 1,054 suspect state bridges — structures either closed or posted — that are maintained by the Mississippi Department of Transporta-

tion. (The MBJ ran a complete list of the state’s posted bridges in the June 14 issue.) County supervisors are responsible for the upkeep of the vast majority of the bridges in the NBI, and they face a growing problem daily. More people seeking country living and new business and industry is putting more and more traffic on roads that only a few years ago were relatively littleused rural lanes. Counties really felt the

crunch two years ago when the Legislature did not pass a bond bill. Melinda McGrath, executive director of MDOT, has personally seen — and heard — supervisors’ problems. A rural Hinds County road she lives on has become a shortcut to the industrial park in Clinton. She also was on the Coast last week where the supervisors met to discuss major issues, transportation infrastructure being a key talking point. “They need more funding — everybody is looking for money,” McGrath said succinctly when asked what she heard from supervisors. McGrath said MDOT-managed bridges are part of the grid and are better maintained than the county and municipal bridges. She said non-MDOT bridges, while on average shorter, are also generally older. “These are largely old, wooden structures,” McGrath said. “I would guess that the majority of the bridges (that are redflagged in the NBI) are beyond rehabilitation — they need to be replaced.” MDOT, the transportation commissioners, road-builders, foresters and more have been trying to call attention to the growing bad bridge issue, and gain some political traction. At the heart of the effort is to replace the current funding mechanism — set in 1987 at $18 cents per gallon of fuel. Last year, legislation in the State House that would have raised the tax failed to get out of committee. The Senate briefly explored a plan that would have used a portion of casino winnings for bridge and road costs, which was never formally debated, before passing a resolution to form a study group to explore the issues. (The group met for the first time June 12.) In the meantime, concerns continue to rise that the states deteriorating bridges are going to stymie economic development and offer a real threat to public safety. Perhaps Robby Toombs of Resource Management Service, LLC, in Flowood summoned it up best. He has been active on the road and bridges front in Mississippi for years. Recently, he worked as part of a team developing the Mississippi Forestry Association’s position statement on the issue. “In my opinion, Mississippi’s two greatest assets are its people and land,” Toombs said, adding that bad bridges are a threat to both. For the MBJ’s complete list of redflagged bridges that ran in the June 21 issue, visit For a list of the state’s posted bridges that ran in the June 14 issue, visit

“I would guess that the majority of the bridges (that are red-flagged in the NBI) are beyond rehabilitation — they need to be replaced.” Melissa McGrath, Executive director of MDOT

10 I Mississippi Business Journal I June 28, 2013


Open carry law takes effect July 1 » Business owners can determine if customers can carry firearms on premises By CLAY CHANDLER I STAFF WRITER

Starting Monday, state law will allow firearms to be openly carried without a permit. House Bill 2, passed during the last session, was celebrated by supporters as an important step to protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. It essentially permits those who are not convicted felons to have on their person firearms that are visible. Concealed weapons still require a state-issued permit. In an opinion issued June 13, Attorney General Jim Hood clarified some of the law’s details, in response to concerns from law enforcement about open carry being allowed in jails and courthouses. Hood said in his opinion that would be left up to individual county sheriffs, most of whom have already said they will not allow firearms unless they’re carried by law enforcement. Hood’s opinion also carried ramifications for the state’s business community. One of the questions Hood addressed was whether the new open carry law altered the rights of private property and business owners to prohibit conduct that isn’t criminal, but may butt against policy. Hood said it did not. “A private property owner or manager of a retail store, grocery store or restaurant may exercise his property rights and deny entry to persons carrying weapons on his property (verbally, by posting a sign or other means.)” Hood’s opinion says. “A private property owner may even prohibit enhanced concealed permit holders from their property. “It is a basic tenet of property law that a landowner or


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come from the loss of federal disproportionate share, or DSH, payments the hospitals receive to cover at least some of the cost of treating uninsured people, Demetropoulos said. Just this year, the state’s hospitals received around $155 million in federal DSH payments. The Mississippi Hospital Association projects reimbursement cuts could total $5 billion over the next 10 years, based on current provisions of the Affordable Care Act. “It is vital for those hospitals to maintain their bottom lines,” Demetropoulos said in a press statement Thursday, referring to the importance of the reimbursement money. “If a hospital is not duly paid for the care they give, this could mean reduction of access to care, testing, and any other services the hospital provides.” The federal government has agreed to wait until after 2015 to initiate a phased lowering of the amount disbursed na-

tenant may use the premises they control in whatever fashion they desire, so long as the law is obeyed,” the opinion continues. “This leads to the logical conclusion that a landowner or valid tenant may forbid any other persons from using their property. This ideal is protected in our law to the point that there are both civil and criminal prohibitions against trespassing.” Allowing businesses to decide whether their customers could openly carry firearms is one tenet Mississippi’s business community wanted the new law to protect, said Ron Aldridge, director of the Mississippi chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The NFIB is a small business advocacy organization. Aldridge said his group did not actively engage the bill during the legislative process, after it was given assurances that business owners could control the influx of firearms on their property. “That was our main interest, was the self-protection . We immediately put out a copy of the AG’s opinion just so they would have something as a legal foundation so they could go ahead and begin to think about what their policy could be on that,” Aldridge said. “Whether they wanted to put a sign in front of their business, or whatever the policy is, will be completely up to them.” Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, chairs the Judiciary B Committee and introduced House Bill 2. He said during a

“A private property owner or manager of a retail store, grocery store or restaurant may exercise his property rights and deny entry to persons carrying weapons on his property (verbally, by posting a sign or other means.)” From opinon issued by AG Jim Hood clarifying some of the details of House Bill 2

forum shortly after the legislative session ended in April that the bill was in response to a prior attorney general’s opinion that left muddled whether citizens could carry a firearm that was not concealed. The new law is designed to “clear up” any confusion that opinion created, Gipson said. Legislation similar in nature died during the 2010 legislative session. That bill specified that restaurants that serve alcohol could not prohibit customers with a concealed carry permit from possessing firearms inside their establishments. In 2011, Mississippi law was amended to allow those with an enhanced concealed carry permit – which requires an eight-hour training course to go with the regular background check – to possess firearms in previously prohibited places.

“It is vital for those hospitals to maintain their bottom line.” Dr. Steven L. Demetropoulos President, Mississippi State Medical Association

tionally in DSH payments. The original plan specified a lowering of payments nationwide by $5 billion in 2015 before lowering the total DSH care payments by $20 billion in 2020. Presumably, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will return to that schedule after the 2015 reprieve. Addressing the state’s mandated share of Medicaid expansion – which he estimated would be $159 million by 2025,

Demetropoulos wrote in the JOURNAL article: “Some people would say this is an impossible number for the state to reach inasmuch as we already are having difficulty funding our current Medicaid budget, which was $30 million over budget this year alone. “Others would say, ‘If I come up with $1 and you would give me $9, then I would take that match any time.” Demetropoulos noted that economics projections say Medicaid expansion would

create about 8,000 new jobs. “Some people have gone so far as to say that if the state were trying to recruit a business into the area and it would have to come up with $159 million each year but the business would generate $1.2 billion, (the state) would be clamoring to take on that extra money.” In an “on the one-hand-and-on-theother-hand” approach used throughout his article, Demetropoulos said others argue that providing the working poor with free medical care would diminish their sense of responsibility. Further, he said, others argue:“If they do not have to pay anything for these services then they don’t really value them.” Another worry raised, he said, is the lack of sufficient primary care physicians to handle a massive influx of new people into Medicaid. Alternatives that others has suggested, he said, include covering the working poor through some type of health insurance exchange or providing plans offering high deductibles or tax credits.

June 28, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




FROM RACKETS TO WHEELS » College student bikes Southern Tier for amputee awareness


After earning a tennis scholarship to play for Holmes Community College, one of the first things Grey Tedford did was go to Walmart and buy a bicycle so he could get around the Goodman campus. “I didn't know how big the campus would be,” he said. It wasn’t long before Tedford, 19, fulfilled the old proverb that necessity is the mother of invention. This summer, the Bruce student is taking part in a one-man trek across the Southern Tier, a daunting adventure cycling route that runs from San Diego, Calif., to St. Augustine, Fla. Donations collected during Tedford’s trip will go to the Amputee Coalition of America and the organization’s annual Paddy Rossbach Youth Camp held every July in Clarksville, Ohio. The five-day camp experience is for children ages 10-17 who have lost arms or legs or who were born with limb differences. The average cost to send a child to the camp is $1,800. “Obviously this is gonna be a very hard trip,” Tedford says from a cell phone in New Orleans where he has stopped for lunch. “I’ve already had 10 flats. I started off with racing tires which are thin. I put in liners to make them more resistant.” Good tires aren’t the only thing powering Tedford’s 3,100-mile mission. Both of Tedford’s parents are two of the more than 1.7 million Americans living with See

San Diego perial Beach

SOUTHERN TIER AT A GLANCE Distance: 3,100 miles Route: San Diego, Calif., to St. Augustine, Fla. Time: Two months

Special to the MBJ

In addition to his “Miles for Amputees” cross country trip, Bruce cyclist Grey Tedford has biked or walked to raise money for tornado victims in Alabama and women’s shelters on the Gulf Coast. For more information or to help support Tedford’s work visit or

WHEELS, Page 27

Grand Canyon NP


“My body is super, super tired. I try to go anywhere from 50-100 miles a day.”

Big Bear Lake Joshua Tree NP Wickenburg Pine Valley Phoenix Tecate

565 mi



Santa Fe

Grants A


Pie Town Gila Cliff Dwellings NM


Hot Springs NP




Guadalupe Mountains NP






New Roads Austin

Big Bend NP M



Del Rio I



Baton Rouge Navasota Houston

San Antonio


2008 mi


New Orleans




1338 mi



Columbia Tishomingo


El Paso



Great Smoky Mountains NP

Little Rock

Las Cruces

Antelope Wells





Oklahoma City





Albuquerue El Malpais NM

Silver City

In Rock Cave NP Waverly



Cape Girardeau






My Charlesto

Statesboro Savannah



DeFuniak Springs Tallahassee Pensacola Gulf Islands NS

Jacksonville St Augustine Gainesville

Daytona Bea Canaver

Orlando Tampa


Courtesy of Adventure Cycling Association

The Southern Tier runs from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida. Already halfway, Bruce cyclist Grey Tedford has traversed the rugged Southwest seeing places like the Carrizo Gorge Wilderness, Yuha Desert, Apache Leap Mountains and the Jacumba Volcano.

12 I Mississippi Business Journal I June 28, 2013



Jackson Convention hotel deal returns with new proposer, better terms

September 10, 2012 • Vol. 34, No. 37 • $2 • 24 pages

Tri-State Brick and Tile falls into shambles as family fights over control



Cities turning to social media to round up delinquent fines Page 5 MBJ FOCUS: Law & Accounting

Page 13

MBJ takes home General Excellence, 14 total awards at MPA convention The Mississippi Business Journal won 14 awards, including the General Excellence award last weekend in the Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Award convention at The Beau Rivage in Biloxi. It was the second time in three years the MBJ has won the General Excellence award. Staff writer Ted Carter won a first place in the prized Investigative Journalism category for his work on the story — EMPIRE CRUMBLES — Tri-State Brick and Tile falls into shambles as family fights over control. Carter also won a first place award in the Personality Portrait category for his look at Ridgeland business owner Libby Story. Editor Ross Reily won a first place for his collection of work in the category of Commentary Columns, including his column on former Southaven Mayor Greg Davis. MBJ staff writer Frank Brown won a first place for Best Graphic for work done on an end-of-the year series of stories. Production director Tacy Rayburn and Reily won a first place for Best Design for overall design of the newspaper. Also, contributing photographer Deryll Stegall won a first place for Personality Portrait for photos taken of Libby Story. Second and third place awards are listed below: » Second Place — Best Commentary Column — Ted Carter » Second Place — Best Special Section — MBJ Staff » Second Place — Best Website — MBJ Staff » Second Place — Best Magazine — MBJ Staff » Third Place — Best Picture-Story Combination — Deryll Stegall and Amy McCullough » Third Place — Best Special Section — MBJ Staff » Third Place — Best Magazine — MBJ staff Contest entries were from newspapers in Mississippi for work published in 2012.

A Tampa hotel management and development company says it intends to break ground on a 330room, $60-million convention center hotel in Jackson within six months. The saving grace of this project, said outgoingMayor Harvey Johnson, is that it would require the city to provide a backstop of only $9 million. Harvey called the proposal from Robinson Callen Development a far better deal than the $90-million investment the city would have had to make in a proposal from Transcontinental Realty Investors, or TCI, a Dallas real estate investment group that worked for years to get a convention center hotel built in Jackson to no avail. At press time, the Jackson Redevelopment Authority was to vote on the proposal at a meeting Wednesday. From there, the deal would go to the Jackson City Council. Several council members and Mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba were on hand for a press conference Tuesday announcing the hotel. They indicated the deal looks appealing to them. “I’m certainly impressed by the advantages of this proposal over the one we received before,” Lumumba said. No indication was given at the press conference whether the Jackson Redevelopment Authority put the hotel project through a request for proposals process. The RFP process proved the undoing of the TCI deal as the JRA on Thankgiving-eve 2011 tried to compress the process from the customary 30 days to 15 days to accommodate TCI’s bonding timeline. The snag came when a new group — Journeyman Austin — presented a proposal during the shortened RFP period. With a new player on the scene and public criticism over the JRA board’s willingness to accommodate one proposer over another, city council members backed away from both proposals. That left an impasse, with TCI in possession of about 4.5 acres across from the Convention Complex and demanding the city pay it $14 million for the property, a sum far above what TCI had paid the JRA for the land just a few years before. As time went by, TCI began looking for a way out and sought a solution that would end its approximately $6 million in debt on the 4.5 acres, according to Mayor Johnson. “They wanted to resolve

This rendering shows Robinson Callen Development of Tampa vision for a multi-story, 330-unit conventional hotel for Jackson, a project that could start in the next six months and take two years to complete.

it and were willing to make concessions,” he said. Johnson said the city regained the 4.5 acres by agreeing to take over the debt, which is owed to the U.S. Department of Urban Development through a Section 108 loan. Such loans are allocated to local governments for revitalization and redevelopment projects and can be awarded to third parties such as a hotel developer through a public-private partnership. “The land is worth more than that,” Johnson said of the remaining debt on the 4.5 acres for which the city has regained ownership. The 4.5 acres are part of the nine or so acres on which Robinson Callen plans to erect the convention hotel. As presented, the hotel would have 330 rooms, a full-service restaurant, meeting rooms and landscaped surface parking lot. A catwalk across Pascagoula Street would connect the hotel to the Convention Complex. Robinson Callen vice president David Clement said the company envisions a four-to-six month timeline for starting for construction. “We’re on a fast-track,” Clement said after the press conference. He conceded, though, that a huge amount of work lies ahead. The work includes lining up financing such as

New Market Tax credits, which are allocated by the federal government for urban revitalization and are valued by developers for the financing they offer. Clement said the developer also wants to obtain financing through establishment of a Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, district. Under this arrangement, at tax rate would be set based on current valuation of the properties in the district. As property values rise, the money collected above the set tax rate and former property values would go into a TIF fund. Money from the fund could, in turn, be put toward the hotel development. The TIF district presumably would encompass several blocks area around the Convention Complex. When asked how much of the develoment company’s own money would go into the project, Clement did not provide a figure. Robinson Callen prefers to develop hotels in city centers, which it has done in such cities as Tampa and Nashville. Jackson’s land availability next to a three-year old convention center appealed greatly to the company, Clement said, and noted Robinson Callen selected Jackson over several other cities. “It has national appeal,” Clement said of the Capital City.

16TH SECTION REVENUE TOPS $89 MILLION By CLAY CHANDLER I STAFF WRITER Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said Monday that revenue from 16th Section land leases reached $89.2 million for fiscal year 2012, which ended last July. The money goes to school districts. “This $89 million will help alleviate some of the financial headaches faced by our school districts today,” Hosemann said in a press release. “In times of serious cutbacks and strict budgets, we were able to increase revenue generated on these public lands to benefit education.” Hosemann said annual revenue from the leases has increased $34 million since

he took office in 2008. Hosemann’s office executed a memorandum of understanding with the Mississippi Forestry Commission to develop forest management plans for 16th Section land with timber on it. Plans are designed to maximize revenue generated by selling timber. Oil royalty payments have also increased. All 16th Section leases are posted on the secretary of state’s website at “I made a promise I would protect our public lands for schoolchildren. Time and time again, we have seen attempts to raid 16th Section land funds for short term gains,” Hosemann said. “This increase in funding shows sound management practices are producing cash results.”

June 28, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Inflatable Kingdom Inflatable Kingdom owner Brian Sparrow hopes to use his party jump rental business for more charity and non-profit events like Relay for Life and other community activities.

AT A GLANCE Name: Inflatable Kingdom Website: Contact: (769) 218-2630

The life of the party » Summer is a business bonanza at the Inflatable Kingdom By STEPHEN McDILL I STAFF WRITER


hen Brian Sparrow and his team members test their equipment they usually flip a coin to decide who gets the opportunity to bounce around in it. “Sometimes its rock, paper, scissors,” Sparrow says. As the owner and operator of Inflatable Kingdom, a space jump and party equipment vendor in Jackson, Sparrow says he finds himself juggling as many as six different parties in a single summer weekend. “It’s really a big time for us,” he says. “Everybody is out of school, there's lots of family reunions, fundraisers, class reunions, and birthday parties.” The company serves Central Mississippi with everything from so-called classic “space jumps” and bouncers to refreshingly cool water slides. Sparrow is also finalizing the purchase of an 80-foot obstacle course and also provides concession rental equipment for snow cones, cotton candy and popcorn. After finishing an associate marketing degree from Meridian Community College, Sparrow attended Belhaven University in Jackson where he earned a management degree in 2008. “We had to do a business plan when I was at Belhaven and drew different businesses out of a hat and I just happened to draw a rental business,” Sparrow says. Sparrow, who as a child wanted to be a lawyer, let the rental idea grow into a franchise that has since grown to 16 units and four part-time employees. “I prayed about it and let God do it and we got started,” he says. “I never thought three to four years later that we'd be as big as we are.” Sparrow says he wants to eventually expand operations into South Mississippi and Tennessee. In addition to water slides and generic bounces, Sparrow has a popular line of cartoon-themed licensed units like Disney Princess, Superman, Hello Kitty and Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer. Having

recognizable jumps and all the copyrights paperwork to back them up helps give the company an edge over more generic competitors. In addition to a good time, Inflatable Kingdom guarantees great value, on-time delivery, customer service and most importantly, clean and safe equipment. Sparrow Sparrow tells customers that no matter what vendor they choose, they need to make sure the equipment is safe, set up securely and fastened or staked to ground. A series of bounce house accidents across the country last year led to a round of bad press for the industry. While party vendors like Inflatable Kingdom aren’t required to be certified for safety in Mississippi, Sparrow and his company have all the updated credentials from the Safe Inflatable Operators Association and is the only certified vendor in the area that delivers. Most standard size floats weigh as much as 250 pounds and guidelines are provided to the customer including weight limitations. Sparrow often checks in on a party site throughout the day but insists that clients be more observant. “Customers need to watch the children the whole time they are there,” he says. Sparrow attends New Jerusalem Church in Jackson and says he’s gotten lots of mentoring from other business owners at the church. He says he doesn’t rely completely on advertising for business but just maintains good principles. “We're starting to get calls about larger events and I want my work to speak for me,” he says. “I'd rather that be my go-getter. We're not a perfect business but give a high level product at an affordable price. Everybody is not going to be my customer, I just treat them the best I can.” Affordable pricing, attention to safety and good service keep drawing customers back to the Inflatable Kingdom. “Its a really good, healthy way to keep your kids busy,” Sparrow says. “Even an hour of play is worth it instead of sitting in front of a video game all summer.”




Keesler AFB’s impact is meas

A fleet of 10 C-130J Hercules aircraft are used by the Hurricane Hunters to collect data which is credited with increasing the accuracy of forecasts by the National Hurricane Center by 30 percent.


asured in more than dollars » Biloxi, South Mississippi feel the military base’s presence socially, economically and historically By LISA MONTI I CONTRIBUTOR

EESLER AIR FORCE Base’s presence in Biloxi and South Mississippi is so extensive that it has to be measured from several angles, including historical, economic and community service. The base is rooted in the region’s history, dating back to June 1941 when the War Department activated Army Air Corps Station No. 8, Aviation Mechanics School in Biloxi. The War Department named the new school Keesler Army Airfield in honor of 2d Lt. Samuel Reeves Keesler Jr., of Greenwood. He died while serving in France during World War I as an aerial observer. Today, Keesler, with 12,000 em-


only get their paycheck and ployees, ranks atop the Harspend money in the commurison County Development nity, it extends beyond that Commission’s list of largest one or two people.” Using a employers in the county. multiplier effect that takes in Paychecks spent in the a ripple effect throughout the area generate an economic community, the base calcuimpact of more than $600 lates a total economic impact million a year. The 28,000 of $620 million. “That’s a lot annual graduates take with them a taste of Coast life 2nd Lt. S.R. Keesler Jr. of money,” Spacy said. Still, he said, the general that often brings them and their families back for vacations or public knows Keesler more for its careers. And retirees who choose to military mission to train airmen live in the area or come back for than as an economic engine. The medical treatment contribute to the business community, though, sees Coast economy. In Mississippi the the base’s impact on their bottom military retiree population in 2012 line, Spacy said. “Most people recognize we’re here was estimated to be 13,745. Brig. Gen. Brad Spacy, com- and we’re known for training airmander of the 81st Training Wing, said the 12,000 civilian and military employees who work at Keesler “not See KEESLER, Page 20

Kemberly Groue / U.S. Air Force photo Tech Sgt. James Pritchett / U.S. Air force photo

Carl Washington assists Brig. Gen. Brad Spacy, 81st Training Wing commander, with lighting the caldron at the Special Olympics Mississippi Summer Games in May. This was the 27th year Keesler has hosted the state Special Olympics.

16 I MBJ I June 28, 2013



‘Gentle Giant’ Âť Soft-spoken steel man well-respected in his industry, his Meridian community cility and purchase equipment. Over the years, Dulaney bought out the two partners, who are now decreased, and is now Tommy Dulaney is well-respected the sole owner. The business has grown by leaps and statewide for taking an initial $60,000 investment in Meridian’s Structural Steel bounds, and now has 800,000 square feet Services in 1975 into a business today that of manufacturing space. “We can’t ever specializes in building structural steel for seem to get enough room,â€? Dulaney said. One of the company’s main products is power plants, steel mills and other industries worldwide. But while building SSS steel fabricated for air pollution control. “Since 1970, when coal-fired power into a business employing 330, Dulaney has found time to volunteer, including plants had to start cleaning up, air pollution serving as chairman of the Mississippi control has been about 75 percent of our Economic Council and the Mississippi market,â€? Dulaney said. “Back in the 1990s, 50 to 60 percent of what we fabricated Manufacturers Association. “He has a very quiet dignity about him, went to Southeast Asia — China, Indonesaid Jay Moon, president and CEO of sia, Thailand — until their financial crisis hit in 1998. We currently have plant MMA. “Everybody recognizes him in Philippines that is doing some as an extremely savvy business peradditional boilers that is asking us son who has taken the fortune he to bid. We are so busy in this counhas been able to make, and made it try, I don’t know if we are going to work for the community. be able to bid that job or not.â€? “He has invested a lot of time and Products for foreign customers resources in charitable activities. He are shipped out of the Port of is very involved with the Meridian Pascaguola. But one of the bigger Community College establishing customers in recent years has been programs there that are quite a tesclose to home at the Mississippi tament to his belief in people, and Tommy Dulaney Power Company Kemper County building a stronger community, recoal gasification plant. “We have provided gion and state.â€? MEC president Blake Wilson said Du- 25,000 to 26,000 tons of steel for the gasilaney stands as a gentle giant among state fier building at the Kemper Plant where lignite fuel will be gasified to burn in the business leaders. “He is unselfishly committed to his plant,â€? Dulaney said. “Our capacity is about community and his fellow citizens,â€? Wil- 50,000 to 60,000 tons per year. At any son said. “He is also a quiet cheerleader. given time, we have 10 to 15 jobs going on. Although he speaks with a soft voice, he We are doing work all across the country will say with a lilt of excitement in his tone right now. We are working on jobs in Ariabout various projects, ‘This is really going zona, Nevada, Utah, Ohio, Pennsylvania to be good for our community. We need and Wisconsin.â€? Dulaney, one of the largest industrial folks to get behind it and make it happen.’ employers in the area, credits his employAnd they do, following his lead.â€? Wilson said Dulaney has a folksy, unas- ees with making the company successful. “The key to my success has been the emsuming style. He speaks softly, but with ployees I was able to attract on the front great positive energy and influence. “He is also willing to roll up his sleeves end,â€? he said. “So many of our employees and work hard in serving on non-profit have stayed with us from the beginning. boards to tackle challenging problems and We have 10 or 12 who started with us who lead the way to make good progress,â€? Wil- are still here. Certainly you need to have son said. “Tommy is also successful in busi- good, loyal dedicated employees. Tony ness, consistently finding new ways to Dean, who started out at the bottom, is approach steel fabrication, implementing now general manager, executive vice presapproaches that deliver higher value to ident, and on the board of directors. Ancustomers who are often far beyond Mis- other long-time employee, Kane Combs, project manager, has been a very key emsissippi’s borders.â€? SSS started with the $60,000 invested ployee. Two other key employees here alby Dulaney and two silent partners, most since the beginning include Randy Sammy Davidson and Tommy Webb. They got a line of credit for $400,000 to See DULANEY, Page 20 buy land, build a 12,000-square-foot fa-



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18 I Mississippi Business Journal I June 28, 2013



“We’re talking to companies and see a lack of technically trained workers, but we can quickly meet that demand.�

Âť Organization provides leadership in finding new sources of energy By LYNN LOFTON I CONTRIBUTOR

With global energy consumption poised to increase by 50 percent over the next 25 years, Mississippi can play a role in supplying that energy and manufacturing related products. The Mississippi Energy Institute, a non-profit, privately funded organization, is providing leadership to capitalize on these opportunities. The organization’s president, Patrick Sullivan, says the group’s core mission is

developing a state energy policy. “We see ourselves as the compass of energy policy and strategies,� he said. “Secondly, as a privately funded entity, we assist the state in attracting energy industries.� The group began in 2009 under the Mississippi Economic Council’s Momentum Mississippi and has been a standalone entity since 2010. Energy is considered the lifeblood of the state’s economy with every part of the economy relying on energy in some way. “So often energy is such a major compo-


“FCCI’s culture stands out. We are a big company, but we don’t act like one. When I go out and visit policyholders with agents and our loss control consultants, our goal is to get to know and really help the agents and policyholders we work with.� Trey Stone, CIC Senior Marketing Underwriter Gulf Coast Region Birmingham, Alabama Now, let’s talk about your business. General liability t Auto t Property t Crime Workers’ compensation t Umbrella Inland marine t Agribusiness t Surety              

Patrick Sullivan, President, Mississippi Energy Institute

nent of attracting industry,� Sullivan said. “We try to look at things we consider realistic. A lot are incredibly capital intensive and long term; nuclear energy is an example.� The Mississippi Energy Institute asks questions about which industries the state should pursue and keeps abreast of new forms of energy. “We place a strong emphasis on what we consider energy technology,� Sullivan said, “and have to think about ways to grow that. We have the infrastructure in place, but we need to push students into technology because these are high-paying jobs.� The lack of a trained workforce is the biggest issue in energy as in all sectors, he points out. “We’re talking to companies and see a lack of technically trained workers, but we can quickly meet that demand. We need to educate junior high and high school students on the career opportunities in energy,� he said. “Hopefully the demand in Mississippi will be extremely high. The average wage is three times the wage of other jobs in the private sector.� Sullivan sees that Mississippi can make the biggest impact in the energy sector with manufacturing energy-related items, such as utility poles and electric transformers. “Mississippi and the South have an advantage because we have lower energy costs so that helps us more with manufacturing. We have more natural gas flowing through our state than any other state,� he

said. “With emerging nations such as China and India using more energy, global growth is almost incomprehensible.� In addition to the more traditional energy sources of oil, natural gas and nuclear, other forms including wind, hydro, biomass and solar will be needed to meet this scale of demand while continuing to find ways to be more energy efficient in buildings, transportation and manufacturing. “In preparing for this growth in energy production and to participate in new technology development, Mississippi has a major economic opportunity,� Sullivan said. “Opportunities are in energy production, research, technology development, components manufacturing, transportation and distribution, storage and extraction, and with each of these comes jobs and investment.� Currently – from an employment standpoint – the vast majority of energy jobs in the state are in electricity, natural gas and oil production with additional jobs in service and manufacturing related to energy. Asked if he’s optimistic about the state’s future growth in energy, Sullivan responded, “Absolutely. “We have business leaders thinking progressively and looking at where we need to put our emphasis. We also partner with Mississippi’s government leaders, academic institutions and economic development communities to develop growth-minded policies to maximize energy based economic development in Mississippi.�

June 28, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal



PATRICK SULLIVAN, President, Mississippi Energy Institute

An eye on the future State can have a global impact on how energy is used, produced


atrick Sullivan is president of the Mississippi Energy Institute in Jackson, an energy policy and research and development hub dedicated to helping Mississippi compete in the global energy sector. The institute was founded in 2009 under the Mississippi Economic Council, but is now a standalone, privately funded business. Its mission is to develop policies and strategies to encourage more energy production and attract energy-related investment in the state.

Q — What kind of work does MEI do on the energy policy side?

A — Since energy directly affects the economy, jobs growth and quality of life, our work is focused on finding ways to not only encourage production of more energy locally but to use our energy strengths to leverage economic opportunities in Mississippi. Part of this is monitoring the global energy sector to ensure Mississippi’s business policy environment remains competitive and forward thinking. A key task is establishing contact and developing relationships with key energy players outside of the state to market Mississippi’s strengths and receptiveness to energy relatedinvestment. On the policy and strategy side, we believe the most important part is identifying realistic opportunities. So much in energy is extremely capital-intensive with long lead times for development, and the full value chain is extensive. Understanding the parts and technologies that potentially meld with Mississippi’s assets is important. The energy economy is largely a global one, and the amount of additional energy required to supply large developing economies like China and India over the next several decades is staggering. So not only do we need to be thinking about our own energy security, but we need to consider how Mississippi can benefit by supplying national and global energy demands. This could be exporting, manufacturing, technology development or all. The objective is to understand Mississippi’s unique characteristics and advantages to determine achievable targets for development. Q — Is there a particular type of fuel used to make energy (coal, natural gas, etc.) that holds particular promise for the state?

More on Patrick Sullivan: Must have Mississippi food: Porterhouse from Doe’s in Greenville (hometown) Favorite movie: Lonesome Dove Last book read: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell Internet: Twitter: Facebook:

A — From a development perspective, we should talk about energy in three categories – electric power, transportation fuels and heating. Electric power comes from a mix of fuels, and almost all in Mississippi comes from either natural gas, coal or nuclear. All are cost effective and scalable, and maintaining a mix of these in electric power is important for long-term stability. Virtually all transportation fuels in Mississippi come from oil, and natural gas makes up most heating fuels, with propane gas used for heat in many rural areas. A major strength for the state is in our infrastructure, notably pipeline infrastructure. According to America’s Natural Gas Alliance, Mississippi has more volume of natural gas flowing through the state than any other state. While oil and natural gas production adds many quality jobs to the state economy, Mississippi actually uses more oil and natural gas than is produced. Production is limited

by geology. Our supply strength is in our infrastructure and transportability. Another unique, fuel-related strength worth mentioning is utilization of carbon dioxide for oil production. With an extensive pipeline system, Mississippi is at the center of one of only two enhanced oil recovery regions in the U.S. This industry alone has boosted oil production and related employment in Mississippi over the last decade and continues to grow. Carbon dioxide is regularly talked about as a liability, but in Mississippi, it’s an asset-adding value. Long-term (two to three decades), I see enormous opportunities for Mississippi in the nuclear power industry if U.S. nuclear power policy is improved. Much of these opportunities will be about public perception, and so far, Mississippians have understood the economic benefits and good record of energy projects and have been receptive.

Q — What is Mississippi’s current role in the race to produce more energy? A — Mississippi is an energy producing state as a net exporter of refined petroleum products (thanks to Chevron Pascagoula) and electric power. As mentioned, much of the country’s energy passes through Mississippi via pipeline. As energy demand in the Southeast U.S. and around the world steadily increases, Mississippi should seek to play an even greater role in adding value to energy resources by manufacturing for export the end use products, like fuel and electricity. These types of project yield high-quality economic results. Q — What should that role be moving forward? A — The importance of energy to Mississippi’s economy cannot be overstated. With jobs paying twice the average private sector wage, the energy sector provides the familysustaining jobs Mississippi developers and communities are seeking. Technology will continue to impact both the way we produce energy and the way we use it more smartly and efficiently. In addition to seeking value-added manufacturing and production and greater extraction of Mississippi’s geologic resources, the state should seek technology related activities. Inherent in technology development and commercialization is risk, but technology activity also yields high-quality development. In energy-related technology, Mississippi has played a limited role. More aggressively leveraging strengths at Mississippi research universities to match with “horizon” technology opportunities and attract private R&D capital is a development option worth consideration. —Interview by Clay Chandler


20 I Mississippi Business Journal I June 28, 2013


Continued from Page 16

Blass, vice president and sales manager, and Robert Cardwell, vice president and purchasing manager.” SSS does a lot of work with large engineering construction firms and some of the nation’s largest utilities like Southern Company and American Electric Power and their subsidiaries. “You do good work with on-time deliveries, and they will come back to you,” Dulaney said. “We do so much repeat business. Only 15 to 20 percent of our business is with new customers. Everything we bid on we have been invited to bid on. Normally we are only competing against three or four other fabricators who have been pre-qualified with these companies.” Dulaney is 74 and has no thought of retiring soon — either from SSS or his many volunteer activities. His grandson, Cole Cardwell, joined the company after graduating from Mississippi State in 2007. He is training under the general manager, and was recently named a vice president. “At some point I would like to turn the reins over to Cole,” Dulaney said. “I will still be hanging around. We have a lot of second-generation employees working here. You feel an obligation to them.” Dulaney serves on many boards, and one that is especially important to him is the Meridian Community College Board of

Trustees, where he has served since 1984. He was recently appointed to another fiveyear term. He has also served on the board of the Hope Village for Children and the Aldersgate Retirement Community, and is on the board for the Mississippi Partnership for Economic Development. “I feel like the town has been good to me and as a corporate citizen, I think I owe back to the community,” Dulaney said. “I am also now president of the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center Board. In July, we will start a fundraising campaign for this center designated to Meridian by the state legislature to honor artistic talent produced by Mississippi. It is incredible the poets, writers, singers, artists, authors and actors like Morgan Freeman who are from Mississippi. It will be honoring all the people like Elvis Presley and Jimmy Rodgers. We will have a Hall of Fame in addition to the regular museum. It will definitely be an important new tourist attraction for Mississippi and Meridian. It will complement the Riley Center with its conference center in a restored opera house. There will be just a few blocks separating them.” Dulaney credits his first wife, Margaret, who died five years ago, with being the art collector in the family. Two years ago, Dulaney married Rebecca Combs, who also loves to collect art. “We are still in the art collecting business,” he said.


Continued from Page 15

men. People think of that more than actual dollars but if you own a business, you appreciate that.” Keesler is one of four primary Air Force training bases and its primary mission is technical training for about 3,800 students daily. Other missions include medical, airlift and weather reconnaissance performed by the famous Hurricane Hunters. Keesler is the Air Force’s electronics training center of excellence and all Air Force cyber training begins at the Biloxi base. The civilian and military combined annual payroll at Keesler is $358.4 million, according to the latest economic impact statement available. Purchasing from local vendors and contractors was $121 million. The base, including the training annex, covers 1,784 acres. The plant replacement value is listed at $2.2 billion. Aside from the paychecks, purchases and other monetary contributions Keesler makes, there is a tradition of community service provided by the airmen. Last year they volunteered more than 173,500 hours to a variety of community service projects. For many years, the Coast has shown its appreciation to Keesler and other bases at the annual Salute to the Military. In a special report on the military published by the Harrison County Development Commission in conjunction with last year’s Salute

event, executive director Bill Hessell said, “The military is an integral part of our community in Harrison County and the South Mississippi region. These patriots and their families are valued guests while serving here,and we are enriched as many of them decide to retire here after completing their service to our country. These highly educated men and women continue to contribute to the richness of our community with second careers in public service, commercial business or as private citizens who spread the word about the quality of life in South Mississippi.” In April, Keesler got the news that it had been named the best installation in the Air Force. The Commander-in-Chief ’s Installation Excellence Award is given based on “enhanced productivity, dedication to continual improvement and other innovative accomplishments that create and sustain base operations to support the mission of the United States Air Force.” Keesler’s winning effort included an expansion of its recycling program and renovations to dormitories. The award came with a $1-million prize which Keesler is spending on quality of life improvements at the base, including new gym equipment, splash pads at the marina and a cushioned coating on the running track. “A little bit of something for everyone,” said Spacy. Most of the projects will be completed by the end of summer.




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June 28, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal

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22 I Mississippi Business Journal I June 28, 2013 Acquirer




United Mississippi Bank

Peoples Bank of the South/PBFC Holding Company


June 2013


Adams and Reese, LLP

Ellis Lawhorne


June 2013



June 2013


10 payday-lending companies


May 2013


Volpe, Bajalia, Wickes, Rogerson & Wachs


March 2013


Community Bank (Destin, Fla.)


February 2013


Renasant Corporation

First M&F Corporation


February 2013

Stock swap

Trustmark Corporation

BancTrust Financial Group Inc.


February 2013

Stock swap

Watkins, Ward and Stafford, PLLC


January 2013


All American Check Cashing

Payday Solutions, LLC


December 2012


All American Check Cashing

Community Financial Center


November 2012


All American Check Cashing

Check Exchange of Mississippi (six stores)


July 2012


Cowboy Maloney’s Appliance, Electronics and Bedding Superstores Persnickety Kitchens All-American Check Cashing Adams and Reese, LLP Community Bank, National Association

White & Company

Transaction Details

Please direct any comments to Wally Northway at

“We Have Been Busy The Last Year” May 22, 2013

“All American Check Cashing Acquires Country Cash of Columbia”

May 16, 2013

July 25, 2012

“All American Check Cashing Completes Acquisition of Check Exchange”

July 23, 2012

“All American Check Cashing Acquires 10 Retail Locations Across State”

“All American Title Loans Expands into Grenada”

December 17, 2012

“All American Check Cashing Expands Operations into Louisiana”

November 26, 2012

“All American Check Cashing Completes Acquisition of Emergency Cash”

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/LHS[O*HYLRLLWZNL[[PUN IL[[LYPU4PZZPZZPWWP 5VTPUH[L@V\Y/LHS[O*HYL/LYV Mississippi Business Journal is looking for nominations to identify and honor outstanding men and women in the health care industry whose contributions have increased the well-being of the community. Nominations can be e-mailed to or mailed to Mississippi Business Journal 200 N. Congress Street, Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201. Submitting multiple nominations for one nominee is not necessary, as the selection committee will not decide based on show of support but rather on quality and thoroughness of supporting information.

/,(3;/*(9,/,96,::<9=,@ Honorees will be recognized in six categories: Animal Care: Honors an individual from the veterinary field whose treatment of pets and other animals is above and beyond normal care. First Responder: Honors individuals such as the military, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, firefighters and police for their professional achievement and community involvement in their line of duty. Nurse: Honors individuals from the nursing field whose performance is considered exemplary by patients and doctors and provides a model of professionalism to peers. Physician: Honors doctors who work to discover new medicine or practices that can save lives or improve the quality of life for a large number of people. These honorees are also involved in community organizations and outreach programs that focus on improving the community’s health. Professional: Honors health care workers other than doctors and nurses. Examples include administrators, researchers, technicians and professors. Volunteer: Honors nonpayroll individuals who reach out with time or skills to help patients or health care providers.

Category: Nominee:


Company: Address: Phone Number: E-mail: Reasons (Please be as specific as possible for us to make our selection):

Nominator: Nominator’s phone number: Nominator’s e-mail address: Date:

Deadline for nomination submissions is August 2, 2013.

(601) 364-1000 • Fax (601) 364-1007 Download form at: (click on Events and scroll down to Health Care Heroes for link to form)


24 I Mississippi Business Journal I June 28, 2013 Profiles of growing young professionals in Mississippi

Keeping our eye on... LAURA BETH STRICKLAND Laura Beth Strickland says with pride that she is a Vicksburg girl through and through. Born and raised in the Mississippi River town, Strickland once told her kindergarten class that she wanted to be a police officer so she could have lots of dogs. While the law enforcement career may have been a childhood dream, Strickland is serving her city in other ways at the Vicksburg Convention & Visitors Bureau. “I can’t think of anything better suited for me,” Strickland says. “I get to promote a city that I love for a living.” Strickland handles a combination of duties to promote Vicksburg as a tourist destination for everyone from outlet shoppers and casino gamers to Civil War and blues history buffs. With a passion for online marketing, Strickland manages a

number of websites and social media networks and creates the annual visitor’s guide. “The future of tourism in Vicksburg and Mississippi is optimistic,” she says. “Visitors are amazed at our state’s history and culture and love to experience what we have to offer.” Strickland is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in journalism and English and previously worked for PMQ Pizza Magazine, the Vicksburg Post and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Strickland advises young professionals to always be conscious that they not only represent the company but themselves. “You want to dress and act like a professional in all circumstances whether that means in person, on the phone, through an email or on social networks.” — By Stephen McDill

Cooley gets promotion

C Spire promotes, hires

Patterson earns promotion

Asya Besova Cooley, a professional staff member in the Mississippi State University Foundation, is the university’s new annual giving director. In that role, she will direct fundraising efforts that typically focus on gifts made to any MSU area on a continuing basis. Cooley also will be responsible for securing annual gifts for the institution and its academic colleges through diCooley rect marketing efforts. Since 2011, she has served as assistant director of annual giving and coordinator of the MSU Foundation’s telefunding program. A native of Southwestern Russia, Cooley is a communication graduate of Alcorn State University who went on to receive a master’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. Before coming to MSU, she was a research associate at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and co-owner and a social media consultant for the HH Agency in that city. Previously, she worked for two years with the New York Times Regional Media Group. As annual giving director, Cooley will continue overseeing the Bulldog Calling Center.

Jeff Cook has been promoted to manager of brand interfaces for C Spire Wireless. Cook, who joined C Spire in 2007, has over 20 years of experience in consumer technology and telecommunications, including a stint at Dell Computer Corp. as a research and development engineer. Prior to his recent promotion, Cook was a senior product manager for emerging devices. A native of Madison, he Cook is a Mississippi State University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering where he was Engineering Student Council president and founding member of Phi Delta Theta, Mississippi Beta chapter. Cook is active as a community volunteer and serves on the board of directors of Business and Professional Outreach Inter- Milner national and as a director of Search for Christian Maturity Retreats with the Catholic Diocese of Jackson. Also, Amy Milner has been named manager of consumer brand strategies for C Spire Wireless. Milner has over 15 years of marketing experience, including various brand and exPoe periential marketing positions. She previously worked for Skytel and most recently was an account supervisor and senior account supervisor for Legacy Marketing Partners in Chicago. Prior to her newest position, Milner was a project planner in C Spire’s marketing group. A native of Brandon, she is a University of Mississippi graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science, is a member of the American Marketing Association and has volunteered with Autism Speaks. Finally, C Spire Business Solutions, a unit of C Spire Wireless, has hired Belinda Poe as client account executive for business and government sales in the company’s Mississippi Delta market. Poe is a 13-year telecommunications industry veteran and has previously worked as an account service representative and Market Manager for C Spire. A native of Yazoo City, Poe attended Holmes Community College, Hinds Community College and Mississippi State University. She holds an associate degree and is a licensed veterinary technician and cosmetologist.

Maj. Christian Patterson of Clinton was recently promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Mississippi Army National Guard. Patterson, who serves as deputy director of the Mississippi Military Department’s Public Affairs Office, and as the Joint Force Headquarters, Mississippi National Guard public affairs officer, had his new rank pinned on by the state’s adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Augustus L. Collins, and Patterson’s wife, Latrice, of Oak Grove. During his career, Patterson has deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and Afghanistan. He has also completed assignments in France, Honduras and the Dominican Republic, as well. The majority of his service has been in various assignments within the 102nd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment located in Jackson. Patterson was commissioned as a second lieutenant through Louisiana State University’s R.O.T.C. program in 1999. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in mass communications from LSU, and later earned an MBA degree from Belhaven University in Jackson. He also possesses many credentials, which include an associates of arts in radio, TV and film degree from Hinds Community College, professional certificate in strategic communication and leadership from Seton Hall University and is a 2012 graduate of the Command and General Staff College’s Intermediate Level Education-Common Core Course. He received his accreditation in public relations + military communication in October 2012 from the Universal Accreditation Board in New York, N.Y. Patterson is very active in community programs within the Jackson metropolitan area. He is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., and serves as president-elect of the Rho Xi Lambda chapter in Canton. He also volunteers as a community health advisor for Jackson’s mid-south division of the American Cancer Society and is a member of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi. Patterson is the son of Raymond and Linda Patterson of Jackson.

Perkins named VP Don Perkins has been named vice president of contracts and pricing for the Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Ingalls Shipbuilding division. Perkins’ shipbuilding experience began with an apprenticeship program and comprises more than 30 years of his career, including seven years as contracts director at Ingalls from 2002 to 2009. Over the past four years he held the position of sector director of contract administration for Northrop Grum- Perkins man Electronic Systems, and he most recently served as the corporate director of contracts for Northrop Grumman Corp. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University. He currently serves as the chair of the procurement techniques committee for the Aerospace Industries Association and is also a member of the National Contract Management Association and the National Defense Industrial Association.

JSU brings in Brown Dr. Ricardo A. Brown, a veteran administrator and cardiovascular physiologist who has worked with the National Institutes of Health and led programs to open higher education pathways for underrepresented populations, has been named the new dean of Jackson State University’s College of Public Service. Brown comes to JSU after serving as assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs for the University Sys-

Age: 26 Communications Manager, Vicksburg Convention & Visitors Bureau Best thing about Mississippi: “It warms my heart when visitors tell me how wonderful our hospitality is.” Best Mississippi event: Dixie National Rodeo Favorite Mississippi food: Tomatoes Favorite TV show: “The Big Bang Theory” Favorite movie: “Cinderella” Favorite music: Country Twitter handle: @VisitVicksburg Heroes: “My parents have always been my heroes. They have taught me that having faith and working hard will keep you in balance.” tem of Maryland and chief academic programs officer at the Universities at Shady Grove, which is part of the system. From 2002 to 2008, he was health scientist administrator/minority health and health disparities coordinator for the NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Brown previously served as associate vice president for sponsored programs at Howard University. He was the principal signing agent for grant contracts and corporate agreements on behalf of the university. Brown also was a professor at Howard University College of Medicine in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. He is president and CEO of RAB Associates, LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting services company handling grants, contracts administration, continuous process improvement, program and project management and evaluation. Brown received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Oakwood College. He earned his Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from Howard University. Earlier in his career, Brown served as chairman of biology at Morgan State University and a professor in the Department of Physiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Brown’s research on the cardiovascular effects of alcohol consumption has been published extensively and he has received recognition for medical student training and directing programs designed to increase minority student participation in STEM programs, biomedical sciences and medicine.

Mall hires Bailey Megan Bailey is the new director of marketing and business development at Northpark Mall. Most recently, Bailey oversaw restructuring and branding of two longstanding urban radio stations in Indianapolis, Ind., as the director of promotions for Radio One Inc. She also spent five years as event manager for the Indiana Convention Center & Lucas Oil Stadium where she was part of a team that oversaw all events in venues that attract hundreds of thousands annually. Prior to taking on her role at the Indiana Convention Center, she served as a guest services associate at Circle Centre Mall in Indianapolis, another Simon property. Bailey is a graduate of Purdue University, and will complete her MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University this year.

NEWSMAKERS Dean’s contributions honored Kenneth Dean’s 50 years of service in the television industry stands apart as unique and special. During his time at WLBT in Jackson, he built the nation’s first bi-racial commercial television station, which became the first black-owned network station in the country. This year, as the only National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Gold Circle inductee, he will be honored at the 2013 Southeast EMMY Awards.

Little honored for advice Randy Little, a professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in Mississippi State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, has received a national award for his excellence in student advising. Little has formally guided the career paths of more than 300 undergraduate students since he began at MSU in 1990, and he has informally advised more than 1,000 stuLittle dents during that time as students value his wisdom and seek his guidance. The National Academic Advising Association chose Little as a winner of the Outstanding Advising Award for Faculty Academic Advising. Little received his bachelor’s in agribusiness management from New Mexico State University, his master’s in agricultural economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana and his doctorate in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University. Little received the 2013 Irvin Atly Jefcoat Excellence in Advising Award, the premier advising recognition at MSU.

Johnson retires from HCC Joe Johnson has retired from Hinds Community College. He has served as an administrator, coordinating the Cooperative Education, Work-Based Learning, and Job Placement programs for the past 18 years. Prior to coming to HCC, Johnson taught in the Jackson Public Schools at the Career Development Center, and at Long Beach High School, McComb High School and Chamberlain-Hunt Academy. He also Johnson had seven years of sales and marketing experience. He is married to Cindy Johnson, and they have three grown sons and three grandchildren.

College honors Martin Dr. James N. Martin Jr., professor of obstetrics and gynecology and director of maternal fetal medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, has been unanimously elected to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in London as an ad eundem, or honorary, fellow. Martin earned his M.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, trained in obstetrics and gynecology at North Carolina Memorial Hospital, completed a clinical research fellowship with the World Health Organization at Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm and a maternal fetal medicine fellowship at University of Texas Science Center at Dallas.

June 28, 2013

Aldridge takes board seat Ron Aldridge, of Jackson, is now a member of the board of directors of Woodmen of the World/Omaha Woodmen Life Insurance Society. Aldridge has been an attorney-at-law in Aldridge Law Office since 1977. He has served as the Mississippi state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, representing 3,500 small business owners, from 1989-92 and from 1998-present, is executive vice president and general counsel of the Mississippi Beverage Association (since 1992), is a lobbyist for the Mississippi Automatic Merchandising Association and is a tree farmer. Prior to his election to the Board, Aldridge served on several national committees, which are key to Woodmen of the World’s representative form of government. He is a charter member of Lodge 1450 in Jackson, having served as vice president, and has also served as a trustee of Lodge 2 in Madison. He has held the Mississippi state jurisdictional offices of president, secretary, treasurer and escort, and served as chairman of legislative, resolutions, mileage and per diem and credentials jurisdictional Committees. Aldridge has served on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including: the Mississippi Heart Association; Hinds County Human Resource Agency; Willowood Developmental Center; Crisis Pregnancy Center of Jackson; New Hope Foundation; Keep Jackson Beautiful; and Lions of Mississippi Eye Bank. He has also been a member of many other organizations, including: the State Obesity Council; State Recycling Task Force; Gov. Barbour’s Tort Reform Task Force and Blue-Ribbon Tax Study Commission; Gov. Fordice’s Election Reform Task Force; American Freedom Coalition; and Mayor of Jackson’s Crime Commission and Task Force on Juvenile Chemical Abuse. He has also been cubmaster and den leader for the Cub Scouts; school board chairman; Booster Club president; and, volunteer coach for varsity and/or elementary school basketball, swimming and track teams. His current community involvement includes service on the Mississippi Small Business Regulatory Review Committee as chairman; Mississippi Comprehensive Health Insurance Risk Pool Association

He joined UMMC in 1981 to practice and teach maternal fetal medicine. Martin has more than 500 scientific publications to his credit, many focusing on pregnancy-related complications including HELLP syndrome, placental ischemia and preeclampsia.

MSU thanks faculty Faculty in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, and Agriculture and Life Sciences, as well as a member of the campus advising center staff, are 2013 selections for Mississippi State’s annual faculty awards. Mark A. Novotny, head of the physics and astronomy department, was announced as the newest William L. Giles Distinguished Professor, the university’s highest academic rank. Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and MSU Alumni Association, the annual spring university-wide awards program also recognized associate professor Joel E. Collier of the marketing, quantitative analysis and business law department with the Alumni As-

Board; State Workforce Investment Board; Mississippi Worksite Wellness Group; Mississippians for Economic Progress as treasurer; Mississippi Self-Employment Assistance Program Steer- Aldridge ing Committee; Keep Mississippi Beautiful board; Mississippi Recycling Coalition as treasurer; Metro Jackson Lions Club; and, American Legion Post 110. He has twice won the Lion’s Club International President’s Certificate of Appreciation; won the Fondren Business Person of the Year; won the Advocacy Award from the Governor’s Council on Aging; was the first recipient of the Mississippi Right to Life Statesman Award; won the Outstanding Legislator Award in 1986, given by the Mississippi Association for the Education & Rehabilitation of Blind and Visually Impaired; and, the Louise Godwin Award for Excellence, Keep Mississippi Beautiful’s top award. Aldridge is active in First Baptist Church in Jackson serving as a deacon, a junior high Sunday school teacher and currently or previously on various committees, including legal, missions, finance, audit, congregational care, music and Christian citizenship. Aldridge received his business administration degree, with a major in accounting, from the University of Mississippi in 1972, and graduated from the University of Mississippi Law School with his juris doctorate degree in 1975. He then served from 1975-77 in the United States Army, in the Mississippi Army National Guard from 1978-79 and in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1979-97, retiring as a Major in the Army Corps of Engineers. Aldridge served in the Mississippi State House of Representatives from 1984-88, where he was vice chairman of the Constitution Committee and was a member of the Education, Colleges & Universities, Judiciary and Oil, Gas and Other Minerals committees. He and his wife, the former Beth Buckley, have three children: Ryan and wife, Rebekah; Angela Beem and husband, Colby; and Melanie.

sociation Graduate Teaching Excellence Award; professor Gary N. Ervin of the biological sciences department with the Alumni Association Outstanding Graduate Student Mentor Award; academic coordinator Daniel T. Fancher of the University Academic Advising Center with the Irvin Atly Jefcoat Excellence in Advising Staff Award; professor Randall D. Little of the agricultural economics department with the Irvin Atly Jefcoat Excellence in Advising Faculty Award; instructor Kimberly W. Walters of the mathematics and statistics department with the John Grisham Master Teacher Award; instructor Joshua B. Winter of the physics and astronomy department with the Alumni Association Early Career Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award.

Meacham relocates practice Dr. Robert Rhodes Meacham III has aligned with Methodist Healthcare. His clinic, formerly Baxter Clinic of Hernando, is now Meacham Clinic lo-


Mississippi Business Journal



cated at 124 West Commerce Street in Hernando. Meacham attended the University of Mississippi medical school and served a primary care residency at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He received his undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University. He is board-certified in internal medicine and has previously received DeSoto’s Best Primary care Physician award, and has participated in a number of research studies.

Gregory leading campus Rick R. Gregory, former president and dean of the International College of Lijiang College of Guangxi Normal University in Guilin, China, is the new executive director of the University of Mississippi at DeSoto in Southaven. Before joining UM, Gregory served in several leadership roles of a university, both in the academic and nonacademic arenas. He taught at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels, creating programs at each. Founding dean of the Cook Graduate School of Leadership at Dallas Baptist University, Gregory has been vice president in student affairs, executive vice president and a vice president responsible for global initiatives and partnerships. Gregory graduated from Howard Payne University, Sam Houston State University and the University of Houston. He previously worked at DBU as vice president, dean and professor of leadership in DBU’s Gary Cook Graduate School of Leadership and vice president for executive and student affairs. Gregory also served as president of HPU. He and his wife, the former Judy Barnes, have three children: Josh, Tiffany and Zach, and one daughter-in-law, Rebekah.

Nash, Loe join Baptist Baptist Medical Clinic | Family Medicine has opened a new clinic in Brandon with new providers. Carrie Nash, DO, moved her practice to Baptist. Nash received her bachelor of science degree from Mississippi College. She received her doctor of osteopathic medicine from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and completed a family medicine residency at the University of MissisLoe sippi Medical Center. She was previously a physician with Flowood Family Medicine and Health Management Associates CarePlus Reservoir. Certified family nurse practitioner Kim Loe has joined Nash. Loe received her associate degree in nursing from Meridian Community College. She received her bachelor of science in Nash nursing and MSN family practitioner degrees from the University of Mississippi School of Nursing. She has previously worked as a nurse practitioner at Crossgates River Oaks Hospital, Wood Care Specialist in Forest and Rankin Family Practice.

For announcements in Newsmakers; Contact: Wally Northway (601) 364-1016 •

26 I Mississippi Business Journal I June 28, 2013

» MISSISSIPPI LEADERS by Martin Willoughby

Balcony leader Townsend leads by example at Global Leadership Institute


s I go through life, I find that there are “basement people” who drag you down in life and there are “balcony people” who lift you up and encourage you to be your very best. Great leaders are balcony people who help lift the vision of those around them. They see what people are capable of and help them “unleash their greatness.” Balcony people go through life seeing where they can make a difference – and they DO IT! Dr. Cindy Townsend is a great balcony leader who leaves you feeling motivated about life after being around her. Townsend is a Jackson native and serves as the director of Jackson Preparatory School’s Global Leadership Institute. She obtained an undergraduate and master’s degree from Mississippi College before going to earn a Master’s and Doctorate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In her professional career, she has extensive experience as a writer, speaker, and ministry leader. She shared, “The Global Leadership Institute was formally established in the fall of 2008. The dimensions of the program were actually created when I lived in Texas before serving at Jackson Prep.” The program evolved as Townsend was working on her doctorate in leadership administration and servant leadership. When Townsend’s family moved back to Mississippi, Head of School, Susan Lindsay,

Up Close With ... Dr. Cindy Malone Townsend Title: Director, Global Leadership Institute, Jackson Preparatory School Favorite Books: Leadership - Encouraging the Heart: A Leader's Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others By Kouzes and Posner; In Life- The Bible has influenced me more than any other book. . First Job: ““17” Magazine teen rep. and Fashion Teenboard coordinator for Gayfer’s Dept. Store in Jackson, MS.” Proudest Moment as a Leader: “When I receive calls from former students telling me they are using what they learned about leadership to better themselves and their world.” Hobbies/Interests: Music-playing guitar and piano, traveling, speaking and writing.

and the Board of Trustees asked her to customize what I had developed to meet the needs of Prep’s students. The Institute was the first of its kind in the state of Mississippi, and it was recognized by former Gov. Haley Barbour with an official Proclamation in 2008. The goal of the Institute is “to cultivate leadership in all students by encouraging them to discover their unique

personalities and giftedness and helping them pursue lives of service to their community and beyond.” As a leader, Townsend stresses four important principles. She believes in the value of teamwork and collaboration for a more productive and creative outcome. She teaches that great leaders choose to do hard things on a consistent basis, and they do the

“I try to live each day with a real passion to make a differtence somewhere.” Dr. Cindy Malone Townsend

right thing the right way with the right motive. Finally, she emphasizes that discipline is the difference between good and great! Her philosophy on leadership is that, “Great leaders en- Martin Willoughby courage the heart and stimulate the mind of those they lead. They challenge people to accomplish the desired tasks with intelligence, creativity, and heart-felt purpose and passion.” In her work, she encourages young leaders to find their passion, work hard, play hard, and remember life is not about having and getting but rather it is about giving and becoming. Townsend’s passion for life is contagious. She views each day as a gift! She said, “I try to live each day with a real passion to make a difference somewhere for someone in some way that really matters.” Townsend shared a quote by Emerson which inspires her — “For one life to have breathed easier because I have lived, that is to have succeeded.” Townsend is certainly making a difference in her corner of the world. As Director of the Global Leadership Institute, she is inspiring students to grow and develop as leaders. I came away encouraged and inspired by my time with Dr. Townsend. We are fortunate to have her skills and enthusiasm for life back home in Mississippi inspiring tomorrow’s leaders. 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 martin.willoughby@

Director, Global Leadership Institute

Poignant, magical tale of young boys on a voyage in the 1950s


» The Cat’s Table By Michael Ondaatje Published by Vintage Books $15.00 softback

f course everyone’s tastes are different when it comes to books (and many other things). A friend passed along The Cat’s Table with the unsolicited comment that she didn’t like it. I started to buy it when it came out a year ago, mainly because it was written by Michael Ondaatje, Booker Prize winning author of The English Patient. But now I have it, I’ve read it and I liked it quite a bit. First of all to explain the title: on ocean liners the table farthest away from the captain’s table is called the cat’s table or as one of the passengers assigned to this table says, “We’re in the least privileged place.” The narrator is a boy of 11, Michael, who along with two other young boys, is assigned to the cat’s table. Set in the early 1950s, the story tells of the many adventures the three youngsters have onboard as the ship makes its ways from Ceylon to England. As they are not accompanied

by adults, the trio roams the huge ship at odd hours and observes the collection of high brow and low brow passengers. These include a prisoner who’s brought in chains to walk the deck in the early morning hours; a nobleman who meets his demise on the trip; scholars; musicians; and a host of others. There’s something rather poignant about seeing these assorted travelers through the eyes of children. As The Washington Post reviewer wrote, “Lithe and quietly profound: a tale about the magic of adolescence and the passing strangers who help tip us into adulthood in ways we don’t become aware of

“Lithe and quietly profound...”

The Washington Post

until much later.” There are some especially compelling observations of Mr. Fonseka, who is traveling to England to teach. Our young protagonist describes Fonseka as gracious with his quietness. When he spoke, he was tentative and languid. As Michael contemplates the “spare” life the man would have as an urban teacher, he comments, “But he had a serenity that came with the choice of the life he wanted to live. And this serenity and certainty I have seen only among those who have the armour of books close by.” Isn’t that a beautiful thought? And one with which — as book lovers — we must agree. I have to add that the narrator lets us know what happens to the three young boys after they reach England, but the action, the heart and soul of the story, takes place aboard the Oronsay.

— Lynn Lofton,


June 28, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




Make a sale or create an outcome? One has more power


he two least understood words in sales are also the most powerful. » Both of the words are related. » Both of the words have nothing and everything to do with the sale. » Both of the words have more power than any other fact or figure about your product or service. » Both of the words determine your understanding of the selling process and how it relates to your sales success. » Neither of the words currently appear in your slide presentation or your sales presentation. The words are “ownership” and “outcome.” When someone comes into your place of business, or you call on someone, or someone calls you to buy, or someone goes to your website to buy, it’s based on the same reason: they want to take ownership. And after ownership, they have an expectation of how they will use, enjoy, and profit from the purchase. That’s called outcome. And customers have an expectation of it BEFORE they purchase. I don’t go into a car dealership to buy a car. In my mind I’ve already bought the car. The reason I’m there is to get back and forth to work. Or show my customers how cool I am. Or show my neighbors how cool I am. Or take vacations with my family. Those are outcomes. What happens AFTER I take ownership of whatever it is you’re selling is one billion times more powerful than the sale itself. Salespeople who focus on “trying to sell” miss the entire opportunity to en-


gage the customer emotionally about how they will enjoy, produce more, and profit more from the purchase — from ownership. NOTE WELL: In the sales process, it’s broken down to: What’s the real need? What’s the real urgency? What’s the real desire? Who is the competition? Does the prospect have the budget or the money? Do I understand the customer and his or her business? Have I emotionally engaged them? Do they like me? Do they believe me? Do they have confidence in me? Do they trust me? And am I good enough to gain commitment? That’s a pretty complete list. But those answers pale in comparison to “ownership” and “outcome.” What will the customer do after they take ownership? What does the customer want the outcome of their purchase to be? And as a salesperson that needs to be your focus. THE BEST NEWS IS: Neither ownership nor outcome have anything to do with price. They have everything to do with the emotion of the sale. And your main job as a salesperson is to find out why they want to take ownership, and what they expect the outcome to be after they take ownership. It is a visualization process. You literally paint a picture of what you believe will happen to the customer once they possess what it is you’re selling. And please do not misinterpret this lesson as only for a “product” sale. Service is sold exactly the same way. I don’t want to pay an annual maintenance fee. Rather, I want peace of mind that if my air condi-

tioner, or my heater, or my copy machine, or my roof needs repair that someone will be there to do it in a heartbeat. Terms and conditions are one thing – that’s the cost. Peace of mind is another thing – Jeffrey Gitomer that’s the value, that’s the outcome, and that’s what I am buying. And more often than not, it is NOT what you are selling. Here’s what to do: » Review your entire sales presentation. See what percentage, if any, focuses on the pride of ownership and the outcome of ownership. » Allocate presentation time to outcome. If, as I suspect, there is little or nothing about ownership and outcome, then I recommend at least 25% of your presentation focus on it. » It begins by asking questions. Questions that will get you to the motive of why the customer wants to buy. Questions that will get you to the understanding of when they want to buy, and why that’s important to them. Questions about their past history as it relates to your product or service. And questions about how they intend to use your product or service once it is purchased. » Questions will generate dialogue. Emotional dialogue. Emotional dialogue trumps price. Once your customer or your prospective customer under-

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amputation. His father lost both legs and the fingers of his left hand to a vascular disease while his mother lost her right leg below the knee after developing a severe blood clot. Tedford says his grandmother also lost both legs to infection before her death. “Growing up and seeing my dad lose limbs was devastating,” Tedford says. Simple things like going to the bathroom or running errands are arduous tasks for amputees but Tedford says both his parents have learned to live with it. “Who wouldn’t get down not being able to work or do stuff with their kids,” Tedford says. “I think it’s outstanding that my dad can walk around on his prosthetics without crutches. He fights through it.” The tough terrain throughout the journey has taken its toll on Tedford but he fights through it, thinking of his dad as the miles pass. “My body is super, super tired,” he says. “I try to go anywhere from 50-100 miles a day.” Tedford’s customized $1,500 Allez bike was provided by an anonymous donor and continues to hold up its end of the trip except for the occasional flat tire. “I couldn’t afford a bike like that,” Tedford says. “I almost busted into tears.” Temperatures as Tedford biked through Arizona climbed as high as 115 degrees and the sun drains him. “There’s Devil’s Canyons in California and Arizona and

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For more information or to help support Tedford’s work visit or

they both sucked,” Tedford says. “It was beautiful but going 40 miles an hour down this humongous grade- it’s not the most fun thing to do. Changing flats out in the middle of

stands how they win, how they will enjoy, how they will benefit from, how they will produce from, and how they will profit from what it is that you’re selling, then you can get down to buyer urgency. » Get to their urgency. The more emotional the dialogue, the more “urgency” will become evident. And the less important price becomes. KEY POINT OF IMPLEMENTATION: Visit customers who have already purchased your product or service. Discover how they use and benefit from ownership of your product. Document everything you find. Don’t try to remember anything. Write it all down. Visit at least 10 customers. At the completion of those visits you will have all the information you need about ownership and outcome. You will have a new and more powerful presentation. You will also make more sales. And that’s an outcome you can bank on. 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

the desert is not for me.” Most nights, Tedford finds cyclist-friendly people to stay with using a website or by getting people to sponsor hotel rooms. Some nights, he finds campsites or anywhere along the road to rest. “I ran into a full blown sandstorm and that scared the crap out of me,” Tedford says. The storm kicked up when he was five miles outside of Lordsburg, N.M. “Cars were inching by me. They were all laughing at me and I gave them a thumbs up,” Tedford says. One compassionate motorist stopped to give Tedford a ride into the city and paid for his hotel room. When he’s not meeting as many people as possible and sharing his story, Tedford manages very active Twitter and Instagram accounts, blogging and posting pictures from his trip and responding to his online followers. If surviving the rigors of the heat, the terrain and errant roadside thorn bushes isn’t enough, the mischievous Tedford opted for a little extra adventure by detouring through the campus of Louisiana State University wearing a rival Ole Miss T-shirt. Wherever the road takes him, every time he tightens his gloves and helmet and grips the handlebars, Tedford says he is thinking about both of his parents. “I feel like God put me here to do stuff like this and I'm fulfilling his purpose,” he says.


Rosi Johnson joined Mississippi Music, Inc., in 1973 at the request of the owners – her in-laws. She brought her financial skills to the table and learned the music business from the ground up. In 2002, she became president of the company and its four full-line music store locations. “Our business is complex,” says Rosi. “But Regions understands how all the different parts of it work. And I use their branch network and iTreasurySM online banking to move the money from all of our locations into one account.”

“Regions always works to ensure that we have exactly the right mix of products to help our business.” Through the years, Regions has helped with lending solutions to purchase more efficient inventory systems for the company and to finance new locations. A line of credit also helps smooth out cash flow fluctuations due to the seasonal nature of the business. “Regions has been there for us through all our changes and helped us overcome all our challenges,” says Rosi. To learn more about Mississippi Music, Inc., and how Regions can assist your business, visit

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Mbj june28 2013  
Mbj june28 2013  

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