May 3, 2013 • Vol. 35, No. 18 • $2 • 24 pages
Bracing for BRACC State puts $2M into effort to keep military bases Page 10
MBJ FOCUS: FINANCIAL PLANNING
Financial advice for the ages It’s time to take stock of your ﬁnancial situation
2 I Mississippi Business Journal I May 3, 2013 WEATHER
Tornado leaves ‘clean slate’ » USM, Neel-Schaffer recreating campus BY WALLY NORTHWAY I STAFF WRITER email@example.com
knew where all the ‘skeletons’ were on campus, how it drains, etc. For example, I needed some surveying of the front of the campus — they had already done it. Sent me a PDF that day — free of charge.” “I don’t think there’s any doubt that our familiarity with the university and relationship with the people there is a significant asset,” said Russ Bryan, landscape engineer with Neel-Schaffer and the firm’s leader on the USM project. Within days of the storm, USM and Neel-Schaffer started working on a comprehensive plan for restoring the landscape. The plan passed with USM administrators and committees, and was unveiled in mid-April. Since the gateway of the campus was most heavily impacted and is most visibly noticeable, it is getting reworked first. With debris cleared, infrastructure work, mainly in area of irrigation and drainage, are currently underway. In the meantime everyone is gearing up for the arrival of the trees. Hand picked in Florida by Erickson and Bryan, USM is shipping in mature live oaks to shade the front porch. Again fast-tracked, Bryan said the goal is to have the trees in the ground by spring commencement, which is May 10. The placing of the trees is aimed at enhancing the view of College Hall, Southern Hall, Aubrey K. Lucas Administration Building, Ogletree Alumni House (significantly damaged) and Lake Byron. The plan also includes smaller tree plantings, shrubs, flowers as well as improved sidewalks and access to the lake and All American Rose Garden, a long-time campus landmark. Once the Gateway Phase is complete, officials will move on to the District Phase, which will entail more irrigation system work, tree plantings and lawn restoration. It will be followed by the Lake Byron Phase, which will encompass the lake’s expansion and development into a catch basin for stormwater as well as new fountain, trees, bridge, sidewalk and retaining wall. The numerous other phases with titles such as Hardy West and East, Marsh, Rose Garden and Highway 49. All involve more landscaping and infrastructure. “We’ve tried to approach this project like we always do — listen and be a partner with your client,” Bryan said. “I’m please with the progress that’s been made so far.”
Loren Erickson watched from his Hattiesburg home that Sunday in February as an EF-4 tornado ripped through the heart of the Hub City. He feared the worst. “I could see the debris raining out of the top of the tornado — I knew it was going to be bad,” Erickson remembered. After freeing a person who was trapped in their home, Erickson sped to the University of Southern Mississippi where he serves as superintendent of campus lands. The university had been heavily impacted, especially USM’s “front porch” — the main entrance into the campus off of Hardy Street that features the university’s rose garden and lake. “I was shocked,” Erickson said. “Our oak trees were gone, one broken off at the trunk. I had put out some benches and created a great place where the faculty and students liked to sit. It is a mud hole now. It was just total destruction.” In all, USM lost approximately 75 trees, including many “legacy” live oaks that dated back nearly a century, and the landscape was left in tatters. Now less than three months later, Erickson is part of a team charged with giving the Hattiesburg campus a new “face.” Well into an emergency management plan drawn up in the aftermath of the twister, he sees it as an opportunity. “It’s like a clean slate,” he said. “You don’t often get an opportunity like this — a total redo. We can do anything we want, because it’s all gone.” The EF-4 tornado formed Feb. 10 just west of Hattiesburg and, after roughly paralleling Hardy Street/U.S. Highway 98, crossed that roadway at Elam Arms residence hall just west of the main USM entrance. While causing extensive damage and some injuries across the greater Hattiesburg/Petal area, there were no fatalities. USM officials’ first task was getting the campus back in shape so classes could resume. Four days after the storm, the students were back. By then, however, it had become clear that USM’s main gateway was going to have to be completely rebuilt, a project that was PE going to require significant resources. FRONT CAMPUS LANDSCA AN ENH CEMENT PLAN Two factors have helped spur that work ESTORATION AND R along. With only $250,000 worth of insurance coverage for landscaping, the university needed funds for the makeover that is expected to cost approximately $3 million. The USM Alumni Association immediately put up $100,000, and the USM Foundation launched the Southern Miss Campus Beautification Campaign. Keeping the plan flexible, the project’s Overview phases have not been numbered, but rather named, as officials are executing the work as the money is received. The second factor in the project’s fast-track Southern Miss to the Top! progress is the university’s relationship with Neel-Schaffer Inc. The Jackson-based engineering firm, which offers a full slate of emerMORE ONLINE >> View Neel-Schaffer full restoration and gency management services, was already enhancement plan online with this story at www.msbusiness.com. See partial working projects on campus when the tornado hit. listing of three phases on page 9. “That was huge,” said Erickson. “Neel-Schaffer already Hardy ed the landscape along the EF-4 tornado severely damag Campus On February 10, 2013, an burg campus. The Front e of the Southern Miss Hatties only redevelop Street and Hwy 49 entranc multi-phase effort to not Enhancement Plan is a for all nce experie the Landscape Restoration and that enrich but also make improvements what was damaged or lost, who visit our campus. creates strategic ve campus entrance that is to provide a more attracti ions While the primar y goal project will also offer suggest historic architecture, this stronger of hment sightlines to the university’s establis the for ys. In addition, proposals for new pedestrian pathwa nodes of interaction, and the creation of additional uses, land t adjacen to connections ucture will be incorporated. provisions for green infrastr
DISASTER ENGINEERING In 2010, Neel-Schaffer reorganized its emergency management activities into True North Emergency Management. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, True North is a full-service emergency management company offering debris removal management/monitoring, automated debris management and emergency management planning/training and exercises. The employment of True North varies depending on the magnitude of disaster response in progress and often includes several hundred employees. Founded in 1983, Neel-Schaffer is a turnkey ﬁrm offering a full slate of services, including emergency management. It has a staff of over 350 professional and technical employees. Of 160 graduate engineers, more than 131 are registered professionals and over 20 have advanced degrees Neel-Schaffer/True North has a sizeable portfolio of disasterrelated work. A few of its recent projects are:
» The ﬁrm, through True North Emergency
Management, provided debris management services to 20-plus communities in New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Our monitoring in New Jersey included right-of-way (ROW) debris removal, public property debris removal, hazardous tree work, private property work, and waterway debris. These projects included the monitoring of operation and closeout of 22 temporary debris storage and processing sites. True North worked as a subconsultant to the Louis Berger Group to monitor the removal of over 1.2 million cubic yards of debris from Ocean County, N.J., including several towns within the county. The removal of ROW debris was completed in approximately 90 days, involving over 200 monitors. The project included C&D debris, vegetative debris, white goods, HHW, and deposited sand removal. The project also included monitoring a large storm sewer cleaning effort to remove sand and sediment deposited by Hurricane Sandy. Hazardous hanging limbs were removed from over 35,000 trees. » As part of a planning team for the Uniﬁed New Orleans Plan (UNOP), Neel-Schaffer will examine documents and conduct research and interviews in order to analysis and depict the physical condition of the city’s infrastructure. The ﬁrm will review the FEMA Public Assistance Project Worksheets, damage assessments and other information available from key agencies to ascertain the postHurricane Katrina condition of the Preliminar y Concept infrastructure. Neel-Schaffer will also 3 March 201 undertake a structured interview process with key management personnel to review the status of repairs and restoration. The review will focus on key personnel within public and private agencies and organizations. Meeting summary reports will be prepared and interviewees will be provided with the opportunity to examine the reports and comment on suggested ﬁndings. Where possible, data will be
Biological members of the university’s se of multiple arborists, this plan. The resources and experti Force were utilized to create the Tree Management Task plant Sciences department and determination of tree and to play an active role in the e continu will ists a healthy landscape. These special important to maintaining eristics charact other species, age, size and while and campus communities resiliency of the Hattiesburg future This plan represents the nal interactive space for to create attractive and functio offering the opportunity and visitors. Miss students, faculty, staff rn Southe of ions generat
DISASTER, Page 9
May 3, 2013
Mississippi Business Journal
SOUTHERN GAMING SUMMIT
Fierce competition changing face of summit BY FRANK BROWN I STAFF WRITER firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s time once again for the annual Southern Gaming Summit in Biloxi, but next week’s gathering of industry leaders from the Southern region and across the country is developing a different aura. “It’s changed over the years,” said Larry Gregory, executive director of the Mississippi Casino Operators Association. “While we want to showcase Gregory gaming in Mississippi, it’s no secret that expansion has taken over, and now competition is fierce with other states that are getting into gaming. “We have to showcase the state and show people in the gaming industry that we have the stability and tourism amenities to get people to come to our state. That’s the goal of the summit.” The Southern Gaming Summit/Bingo World gathering is Tuesday through Thursday at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center in Biloxi.
Gary W. Loveman, CEO and president of Caesars Entertainment will give the keynote address at the executive session Wednesday morning. During the session, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association.
» For more information on the summit and for registration options and pricing, visit www.msbusiness.com/blog/southern-gaming-summit or www.sgsummit.com/ In addition to the expo, there are two days of education conferences ranging from
the latest games to marketing strategies. “The expo offers a glimpse into new technology, new games and legal issues,” said Gregory. “But the main goal is to let the people come and see we are a tourist destination — A stable destination. Want people to come come and enjoy gaming and other tourism attractions.”
BOOKS AND BUSINESS
Grisham sequel to ‘A Time to Kill’ to be published The defense attorney in John Grisham’s first novel, “A Time to Kill,” is returning to the courtroom. Grisham’s new book, “Sycamore Row,” will be published Oct. 22, the Doubleday Publishing Group has said. Like “A Time to Kill,” it will feature Jake Brigance as a lawyer in a small Mississippi town. knosp Doubleday promises a trademark Grisham tale of “intrigue, suspense and plot twists.” Grisham “A Time to Kill” was published in 1989 and sold modestly. But after “The Firm” and other thrillers made Grisham a brand name, his first book was reissued and became a best-seller. “A Time to Kill,” in which Brigance successfully defends a man accused of murder, was later been adapted into both a movie and a stage production. It was adapted into the 1996 film starring Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson. The movie grossed $108 million, making it the second-highest grossing of the ten films adopted from the author's work. The Firm with lifetime grosses of $158 million remains Grisham's most successful film adaptation.
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4 I Mississippi Business Journal I May 3, 2013 AUTOMOTIVE
Nissan sales surge in April; Toyota’s dip slightly BY CLAY CHANDLER I STAFF WRITER email@example.com Nissan has reported that its April sales were up 23 percent over last year. The company, which has a facility in Canton, sold 87,847 units for the month, up from 71,329 in April 2012. A 24.6 percent sales jump in the Nissan division was spurred by the Altima (built in Canton), Pathfinder, Sentra (also built in Canton) and the Rogue compact SUV. Sales of the Altima in April were up 35 percent. Sentra sales jumped 44.9 percent. “In the first quarter of 2013, we improved our retail sales by more than 4 percent while reducing deliveries to fleet customers by more than 17 percent,” said Jose Munoz, Nissan Americas senior vice president for sales and marketing. “We continued this trend in April with retail up 29 percent and fleet mix down over four percentage points from one year ago, which proves that our new products such as Altima, Sentra and Pathfinder are taking strong hold in the marketplace. We expect to have gained market share in April due to our strong retail performance, which we have full intention to continue through the summer months given the building momentum that we are seeing with Altima, Sentra and Pathfinder in particular.”
Toyota news not as good The news wasn’t as good for Toyota, which builds the compact Corolla sedan in Blue Springs. Overall Toyota Motor Sales dipped 5 percent. The Toyota Division’s sales fell 5.4 percent over April 2012 on one more selling day. It was the first month in several the automaker did not report monthly sales had risen year-over-year. March sales rose 4.8 percent. February sales were up 8.7 percent; January sales increased 21 percent. “From an industry standpoint, continued retail sales growth indicates the underlying strength of the market, which is a great sign for the months ahead, especially with new products, low interest rates and plenty of pent up demand,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of Toyota Division. “Toyota’s two newest models — Avalon and RAV4 — continued to attract customers with double digit gains in April.”
Delegation praises $487M Pascagoula contract to build Coast Guard cutter Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. Roger Wicker and Rep. Steven Palazzo are praising the award of a $487 million contract that will allow shipyard workers in Mississippi to provide the U.S. Coast Guard with its sixth National Security Cutter (NSC). The U.S. Coast Guard has awarded the “fixedprice incentive firm target contract” to Huntington Ingalls Industries for the NSC No. 6 to be built at its shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. The shipyard is already working on producing two other NSC vessels, which are the most technologically-capable ships available to carry out the Coast Guard mission. The Coast Guard plans to procure a total of eight NSCs as a minimum baseline needed to meet mission requirements. “This contract will allow workers in South Mississippi to carry on with their good work of
producing the best ships available to serve our national and homeland security interests,” said Cochran, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Coast Guard. “I also appreciate that this award keeps the Coast Guard’s modernization plans on track and gives our Mississippi Gulf Coast more economic growth and certainty.” “These ships are the cornerstone of the Coast Guard’s new modern fleet,” said Wicker, who serves on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which oversees the Coast Guard. “During a recent hearing, I was pleased to hear the Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Robert Papp, express his strong commitment to fund all eight National Security Cutters. The NSC allows the Coast Guard to continue undertaking safety and security missions
Port: 47-foot-deep ship channel added to study
Miss. College opens medical sciences building Mississippi College and Clinton leaders formally celebrated the grand opening last week of the university’s medical sciences building, the largest academic structure on campus in a half-century. President Lee Royce, School of Science & Mathematics Dean Stan Baldwin and Mayor Rosemary Aultman were among the officials taking part in ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the 22,000square-foot building on College Street. In his remarks, Royce noted the university’s first chemistry lab dates back to 1884, and has been replaced seven times since then. This 21st Century facility that includes gross anatomy and histology labs, classrooms, lecture halls with the latest technology and research facilities won’t be replaced anytime soon. The facility is a tremendous addition to science programs at Mississippi College that have been “long acclaimed,” Royce said.
William Carey to start work on four buildings HATTIESBURG — William Carey University intends to start construction this year on four new buildings on its Hattiesburg campus. WCU will build a chapel, a School of Business building, a College of Osteopathic Medicine wing and a gymnasium. WCU president Tommy King says the school has paid for the $800,000 chapel and the $2 million medical school addition. He says the school plans to break ground on the chapel in a week or two and the medical school by the end of May. There will be a fundraising campaign for the $4
around the globe. The new contract is a testament to the pride and professionalism of Mississippi’s shipbuilders who construct these vessels.” “These state-of-the-art cutters are some of the most direct contributions Mississippi makes in support of our nation’s homeland security,” said Palazzo, member of the House Homeland Security Committee. “They are an invaluable maritime asset for the Coast Guard, law enforcement, and the Department of Defense, and Pascagoula is the only place they are produced.” The Huntington Ingalls shipyard has already produced the first three NSCs for the Coast Guard and another two are under production in Pascagoula. NSC No. 4 is approximately 39 percent complete and NSC No. 5 is about 16 percent complete.
GULFPORT — The Port of Gulfport is asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study the feasibility of a 47-foot-deep ship channel in Gulfport. The corps will take public comment on the proposed study at a meeting May 21 in Gulfport. The port's request to deepen the 20-mile ship channel would modify a corps study of port expansion that began about two years ago. Under the current permit, the corps is studying further expansion of the port's West Pier, East Pier, north shore and turning basin. The expansion would involve disturbing about 200 acres of water bottoms for wharfs, bulkheads, terminal facilities, container storage, container-transfer infrastructure and other improvements. Those improvements would be in addition to the 84-acre West Pier expansion the port already has undertaken. — staff and MBJ wire services
million School of Business. King says the building will break ground in early summer. The new $12 million gymnasium will be financed through state bonds. King hopes to break ground in early fall.
DMR hires firm to review agency’s finances BILOXI — The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources has an agreement with a firm to conduct a 60-day review of the troubled agency's finances, structure, staffing, work flow and government program compliance. DMR executive director Jamie Miller says the agency has signed a deal with Horne LLP, a CPA firm with offices in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. Horne's contract with DMR will specify the job won't exceed $150,000. The DMR is also working on another agreement with another CPA firm. Miller said when he was named as head of the agency last month, he would initiate a
comprehensive 60-day review of the DMR's spending practices and structure.
Hattiesburg clinic marks its 50th anniversary Hattiesburg Clinic will celebrate 50 years of service to the community on May 1, 2013. The clinic was established on May 1, 1963, when 10 physicians partnered with a mission to focus on excellence and service to the patient. Today, Hattiesburg Clinic is the state’s largest privately owned specialty outpatient facility. While the Clinic has grown to over 300 physicians and providers, caring for patients in more than 18 counties in South Mississippi, its mission has remained the same. The anniversary celebration launched with Hattiesburg Clinic’s second annual Rise and Shine Half-Marathon and 5K on April 6. The event raised $15,000 for The Arc, a local non-profit organization that provides programs and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
— from staff and MBJ wire services
May 3, 2013
Mississippi Business Journal
Stockholders approve sale of casino for $869M VICKSBURG — The sale of Ameristar Casino will mark the second gambling house buyout in Vicksburg in less than a year. The stockholders of Las Vegas-based Ameristar Casinos Inc. last week approved the company’s planned acquisition by Pinnacle Entertainment. The all-cash transaction is estimated to be valued at $869 million. No change to Ameristar’s brand name was to accompany the deal’s closing, expected by this summer. “Not in the near-term, no. Anything after that would be up to Pinnacle, who is acquiring us,” Ameristar spokeswoman Roxanne Kincaid told the
RJ Young opens an office in the Meridian area RJ Young, a leading provider of office equipment and business solutions, is pleased to announce they have a new location in Meridian. RJ Young has been servicing the Meridian area since it acquired Ricoh Business Solutions accounts in several locations last spring, but until now has not had an official location for the local sales and service team. “We are excited to see continued growth in the Meridian area. We look forward to being more involved in the community and providing better service and technology solutions for local businesses,” says Chip Crunk, president and CEO of RJ Young Company. The new RJ Young office is located at 2911 8th Avenue, Suite A, Meridian. They will support the city of Meridian as well as the Lauderdale, Newton, and Clark counties and will have the added service support in the nearby RJ Young locations in Columbus, Hattiesburg and Jackson. With Meridian joining its ranks, RJ Young will now have 20 locations throughout the Southeast.
AT&T switches on new 4G LTE on the Gulf Coast AT&T has turned on its 4G LTE network in the Gulfport and Biloxi area, bringing customers the latest generation of wireless network technology. Benefits include: » LTE technology is capable of delivering speeds faster than many other mobile Internet technologies. Customers can stream, download, upload and games faster than ever before. » LTE-compatible devices, including new AT&T 4G LTE smartphones and tablets. » LTE technology offers lower latency, or the processing time it takes to move data through a network, such as how long it takes to start downloading a webpage or file once a request is sent. Lower latency helps to improve services like mobile gaming, two-way video calling and telemedicine. » More efficient use of spectrum. Wireless spectrum is a finite resource, and LTE uses spectrum more efficiently than other technologies, creating more space to carry data traffic and services and to deliver a better network experience. “Demand for wireless bandwidth is growing rapidly, and we want to meet that demand for our customers,” said Mike Walker, executive director, AT&T Mississippi.
Vicksburg Post. In Vicksburg, the gambling scene has already experienced some significant changes. Riverwalk, which opened in 2008, was purchased by Churchill Downs in October for $141 million. A fourth casino, DiamondJacks, is owned by privately held Legends Gaming. The firm filed for bankruptcy in 2012, a case still active in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The former Grand Station Casino, which Harrah’s developed and
opened in 1993, was auctioned for $10,000 recently as part of its own active bankruptcy proceeding. Its winning bidder, Robert Keyes Jr., plans to dismantle the vessel for scrap, pending permits form the city and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In November, the former Rainbow Casino was renamed Lady Luck Casino by Isle of Capri, which had purchased the casino in 2010. Ameristar is the largest of Vicksburg’s casinos. It employs 800 at its 72,210-square-foot casino and hotel. Pinnacle owns three casinos in Louisiana — two under the Boomtown brand in Bossier City and New Orleans — two casinos in Missouri, two in Indiana and a horse racetrack in Ohio. — from staff and MBJ wire services
#NCAA bans Twitter hashtags on the field The NCAA has apparently weighed in on the use of Twitter hashtags on college athletic fields. The organization’s decision to ban the use of hashtags (ie: #NCAA) is a strike against social media, school pride and athletic departments everywhere from the University of Alabama to Southern Maine Community College (#SeaWolves). The MBJ looked at this phenomenon last October in the middle of Mississippi State’s “Hail State” craze that swallowed Twitter whole. ...
Hash tags (#Mississippi for example) have become a new way to organize different trending comments or topics on Twitter. It’s an easy way to get out news and find out what people are thinking and saying about it. Mississippi State University is one of the state’s most visible adopters of the Twitter hash tag. In
Natchez gets six-digit grant for depot project NATCHEZ — The city of Natchez’s plans to renovate the former railroad depot downtown have picked up a little steam. Mayor Butch Brown says Mississippi Department of Transportation awarded the city $250,000 for the depot project and will award another $250,000 in the fall and $200,000-$250,000 next spring. The city is partnering with Alcorn State and Mississippi State universities to renovate the depot and relocate the Natchez Farmers Market to the bluff. Preliminary plans include constructing an openair pavilion for the Alcorn State extension program’s farmers market and turning the depot into a public product development facility with a demonstration kitchen. The MDOT funding is being provided through the Transportation Alternatives Program funds and will require a 20-percent match.
Solar power company inks letter with manufacturer GULFPORT — Solar America Corp. has signed a letter of intent with L&G Energy Solutions, a commercial manufacturer of energy management devices including LED lighting and solar equipment.
anticipation of last year’s football season, the Twitter tag #HailState was painted in the end zone at Davis Wade Stadium turning the school’s traditional fight song into a social media buzz word. Assistant athletic director Chad Thomas said the idea came up after the athletic department launched its new website hailstate.com. “We were trying something completely new,” Thomas said. “National writers started picking up on it and started to see how cool it was. After our fans started seeing the response they really took a hold of it. People use it for just about everything. It’s just a rallying cry for Mississippi State fans.” Twitter is still ablaze this season with #Hailstate mentions for everything from new MSU uniforms to homecoming elections. Thomas said #HailState will also be painted on the basketball court and baseball dugouts. — Stephen McDill / MBJ staff writer
L&G Energy Solutions, based in Round Rock, Texas, is a clean tech company building products aimed at reducing energy consumption. According to the provisions of the LOI, L&G Energy Solutions will supply its LED lighting solutions for incorporation into Solar America’s upcoming projects. “Our partnership with L&G instantly increases the range of solutions that we can offer to our customers,” said Solar America CEO Robert Bludorn. “While looking for a domestic source for high-quality LED lighting components to reduce our reliance on overseas manufacturers, we came across L&G and believe together our companies will have a very bright future.”
Vicksburg casino headed to scrap heap The bankrupt Grand Station Casino riverboat barge, a fixture in downtown Vicksburg for years, is headed to the scrap heap. Keyes Recycling of Vicksburg purchased the riverboat barge for $10,000 in an auction on the Vicksburg riverfront. Bennie Taylor of Taylor Auction & Realty in Grenada, which conducted the sale, said the interior contents sold for about $38,000. Taylor said the gaming equipment had been previously removed, and vandals and thieves had left their mark on the inside of the boat. “It was a mess,” Taylor said. Taylor was not sure if the new owners were going to be able to move the boat or if they would have to dismantle it on-site. “They said if the river gets about five feet higher, they might be able to float it out of the cofferdam.” The casino was shut down in March 28, 2012. More than 200 workers lost their jobs. A court hearing for creditors of the former Grand Station Casino were be heard May 3. In November, after the sale of the court-ordered sale of the casino fell through, the case was converted to a Chapter 7 case, forcing the liquidation. The two major creditors are Bally Gaming and the city of Vicksburg. Creditors Bally Gaming and the city of Vicksburg were seeking to recoup a $3 million loan for improvements and back rent payments.
— Frank Brown / MBJ staff writer
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When sports fans go too far
o small measure of people in the South take college football seriously — too seriously in the opinion of non-fans who question the priorities of paying head coaches millions while state universities complain they can't raise salaries for faculty as tuitions rise. Even the critics would have to admit, though, that there’s much to be said about the fun of attending an athletic event on a college campus on a crisp fall day — and the attendant hoopla that surrounds the game. It can be argued that athletics bind alumni and supporters, as well as providing national publicity for universities.
And the rivalries are fun, until they get out of hand, as was the case two years ago in Alabama. Last week, officials had to cut down the old oak trees at Auburn, Ala., the ones Auburn fans traditionally festooned with toilet paper whenever there was cause for celebration. For two years the people at Auburn fought to save the trees at what is called Toomer’s Corner after they were poisoned by an overzealous Alabama fan following the 2010 Iron Bowl, when Auburn beat Alabama and won the national championship. Harvey Updyke Jr., the man who was arrested for poisoning the trees at the famous Auburn site, changed his plea in March from
not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to guilty. Updyke was sentenced to three years on a charge of criminal damage of an agricultural facility. He will remain incarcerated for six months — he’s already credited for serving 104 days in jail — and has been placed on five years of supervised probation after his release. He won't be allowed to attend any college sporting event or talk with media. He is banned from any Auburn property and has a 7 p.m. curfew. Harvey Updyke Jr. will long be an iconic example of how not to be a sports fan and what can happen when “games” go too far. — McComb Enterprise-Journal
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Folks finally reading about Holland’s family
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tate Rep. Steve Holland has been saying for years that someone should write about his family’s political dynasty in northeast Mississippi. It’s a great story, he promises. One that people would love to read. Holland, D-Plantersville, has served in the state House since 1984. His wife, Gloria Holland, is mayor of Plantersville, a small suburb of Tupelo. One of his brothers, Billy Joe Holland, is a Lee County supervisor. And their mama, their sainted 80-year-old mama, Sadie Holland, is a Lee County Justice Court judge. The Holland family has gotten plenty of international attention the past couple of weeks — just Emily W. Pettus not for reasons that most folks could’ve imagined. Federal agents say Sadie Holland was one of three people who were sent letters in early April that tested positive for the poison ricin. The other letters were addressed to President Barack Obama and Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, but those two letters never reached their intended targets because they were stopped in mail processing facilities. Judge Holland opened her ricin letter, and Steve Holland told The Associated Press that like just about any country lady would do, she gave it a “smell test” when she saw something odd. Steve Holland reports it burnt her nose a little. The judge later underwent medical tests and was found to be fine. Nonetheless, the ricin letters saga took a series of turns so bizarre that a book editor would probably See PETTUS, Page 8
May 6, 2013 I Mississippi Business Journal
» RICKY NOBILE » MIND OVER MONEY
Rep. Andy Gipson: A 19th-century man with 19th-century ideas know Mississippi Rep. Andy Gipson. He’s a really nice guy, has a nice family, very sweet people. You’ve heard the phrase, “He’s a renaissance man?” Doesn’t apply to Andy. Instead, I’d call him a solid 19th-century man, as in “His feet are solidly planted in the 1800s.” When I knew Andy, he lived on family land in rural Mississippi. He built a cabin on the property. It had no electricity or running water, just a good pioneer abode for a pioneer kind of guy. Andy needed a wife to make his life complete. While Andy Nancy Anderson is a fine-looking specimen of a man, you could imagine the response of prospective brides upon seeing the cabin. They ran as fast as they could! So it’s no big surprise that Andy supports a gun law that allows folks to carry weapons in public without so much as a permit, because in Andy’s 19th-century world, there are still Indians and bandits and wild game to be encountered with every trip into town. Now I have no problem with anyone who wants to stay stuck in the 19th century. After all, this is America! We can each choose to live exactly as we please — as long as it doesn’t encroach upon our neighbors. And that’s where I part ways with Andy. Allowing anyone and everyone to walk around with guns exposes ME to risk. If you want to walk around your house and your property with your gun on your hip, have at it. But when you enter the public square, you enter the 21st century. We have police and highway patrol and a solid set of laws for protection. We also have unstable people who can get their hands on weapons that could clear the OK Corral in a matter of seconds. Fast Draw McGraw would be no match. So, Mr. Gipson, with all due respect, check your calendar. And stop trying to impose your way of life and viewpoint on the modern citizens of Mississippi. Oh, and say “hello” to the Missus.
»FROM THE NEWSROOM
My Mississippi needs me
o one in my family is actually from Mississippi. While my father grew up in Jackson, he was born in Alaska thanks to my grandfather’s Army posting there. My mother is from Atlanta. I was born in New Orleans. My brother was born in Virginia. Like so many others, I’m one of those “not from Mississippi but got here as fast as I could” folks. Life is funny like that. Over the years, I have watched many friends leave Mississippi for “greener pastures.” Their joke was that Mississippi’s chief export is people. Well the joke’s on them, ladies and gentlemen. A new group coordinated by the Mississippi Development Authority called Mississippi Young Professionals (MSYP) held its inaugural state summit at the historic MSU Riley Center last week in enchanting downtown Meridian. I was privileged to attend along with more than 300 other young professionals from across the Magnolia State. Organizer Fredie Carmichael told me he would have been happy with half that number and the high attendance was proof of the appetite my generation has for wanting our state to be the best it can be. “Our age group is at a pivotal place where you can flourish or you can flounder,” Carmichael said, “I feel like this state is also at that pivotal moment.” Carmichael and others like him from Tupelo to Biloxi have a real world burden and calling for young people in Mississippi to affect actionable change not just by staying in this state but by making their communities a better place. It was refreshing to marinate in some positive ideas with others like myself who have chosen to make Mississippi
our home and invest in the state in various ways. Tray Hairston is a legal counselor and Stephen McDill policy adviser for Gov. Phil Bryant and was recently named an MBJ “Top 40 Under 40” honoree. “We’re at this crossroads,” Hairston said. “We have to address and understand the perceptions we are up against.” He mentioned a Facebook user who wrote, “People leave Mississippi for thousands of reasons. They are probably all right.’’ Hairston said young people need to see Mississippi as a place of opportunity, not a place to escape from. One way to retain and attract them is for Mississippi to push a utilitarian economy that includes technology, film, health care, tourism and creative endeavors. Jackson advertising executive Tim Mask talked about how the Mississippi Brain Drain Commission is spearheading efforts at the policy and individual level to fill the state’s younger ranks. “About 40 years ago what we call Silicon Valley was full of apple trees,” Mask said. “We need our Silicon Delta. Let’s make sure our educators, mentors, the people that are forming opinions get across the idea that it can be done here.” The summit wasn’t just another economic development meeting or pep rally. It was both fun and inspiring. There were V-neck T-shirts with Twitter hashtag logos shouting #RethinkMississippi. There was live music. There was crawfish. But most importantly there was hope. Hope for a new Mississippi borne on the backs of a generation that chose to give it See MCDILL, Page 8
Now I have no problem with anyone who wants to stay stuck in the nineteenth century. After all, this is America!
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 email@example.com, and her website is www.newper.com.
8 I Mississippi Business Journal I May 3, 2013
» VIEW FROM THE STENNIS INSTITUTE
Five Presidents and an enduring constitution
he United States, though still a young country by comparison, has the oldest continuous constitution of any country in existence in the world today. On rare occasions an event takes place that reminds us of the uniqueness of our country. Such an event took place two weeks ago in Texas. Although we had very little practice at forming an enduring government, we took a shot at it and got it right. We defined, in writing, the structure of a government for a free people and that structure has stood the test of time and numerous crises from global and regional wars to economic calamities and the steady but certain evolution of social conditions. Two weeks ago we were given pause to consider for a moment the march of recent history as we arrive at this juncture in the life of this constitutional democracy called the United States of America. The event making this possible was the dedication of the George W. Bush Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. I will confess that I had no special plans to watch the dedication ceremonies, but I passed the television just as the festivities were beginning. Five first ladies of the United States were introduced, followed by four former Presidents and current President Barack Obama. That scene of five Presidents arrayed across the front steps of the Bush Library was plenty breathtaking. Several thoughts occurred to me. First, often the transfer of power in other countries is the cause for great tension and in many cases it serves as the stimulant for violent adventurism for those wishing to take advantage of what they perceive as a momentary power vacuum. Secondly, it hit me that never have I had the occasion to see five heads of state from each of the two major parties from the same country standing arm-in-arm. Thirdly, a quick flood of memories of dilemmas and crises spanning the times in office of these five presidents proved to be mind-boggling. There was the Georgia peanut farmer, Democrat Jimmy Carter, who came to office somewhat by surprise and perhaps overly imbued with idealism about the way things ought to work. He suffered through the Iranian hostage crisis that went a long way toward spelling doom for his administration. Yet it was President Carter who mediated the Middle East peace accords — The Camp David Accords — between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egypt’s Anwar El Sadat. Republican George Herbert Walker Bush like Carter served only one term. But it was during that term that the elder Bush presided over the fall of the Berlin Wall and demise of Soviet style Communism in Eastern Europe. This was an event that
most of us assumed we would never see in our lifetimes, and to many it signaled the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Then there was, and for that matter still is, the Democrat from Arkansas, Bill Clinton. He will be remembered for numerous domestic efforts as well as the protracted Balkans conflagration in Eastern Europe. And yes, there is the incident of the Monica Lewinsky affair and the ill-fated attempt of the rival Republicans to remove Clinton from office following his impeachment. Clinton has clearly been rehabilitated and now is most often remembered for producing the first, and perhaps the last period of budget surpluses in all of our lifetimes. The honoree, Republican George W. Bush, upon reflection, was called upon to deal with many issues and threats to national security. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, remain indelibly imprinted on our nation’s psyche. Then there were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and of course the historically-disputed 2000 election in which Democratic Party challenger Al Gore polled over a half-million votes more than the ultimate winner Bush, who won via the electoral college. Finally there was the appearance of current President, Democrat Barack Obama — the nation’s first African-American President. No doubt his accomplishment of an approach to the provision of health care to virtually all Americans after so many others had tried and failed will be a hallmark of the Obama presidency. So too will numerous battles fought over social issues and the constant partisan headwinds in his face from the worst recession since the great depression. The only missing link at the festivities, but one that would have most certainly further enlivened the largely partisan Republican crowd, was the late President and Republican icon Ronald Reagan. It was good to see the angry bickering among the partisans of these philosophical opposites shoved out of site for a few hours. Four decades of the orderly transition of power and representative government were on display. As might have been expected, as the words of the benediction faded into the Texas afternoon, the talking heads reloaded their verbal arsenals and resumed combat. Fox News refocused its sights on President Obama and its claims that the President had reopened the door to terrorism. MSNBC began dismantling the accolades spoken during the Bush Library dedication as mere revisionist history. Here we go again.
» It was good to see the angry bickering among the partisans of these philosophical opposites shoved out of site for a few hours. Four decades of the orderly transition of power and representative government were on display.
Continued from Page 6
a chance in spite of the put-downs, jokes, bottom-of-the-list statistics and funky weather. “We’re fertilizing their grass that’s why its greener,” Carmichael said of other states. “Its time to fertilize our own grass. We don’t want to wait till we’re 50 and a torch is passed to us. We’re ready now.”
Dr. William Martin Wiseman is director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and professor of political science at Mississippi State University. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meridian has two downtown landmarks. The MSU Riley Center was a historic grand opera house that the community renovated into a fantastic conference center and performance hall that fields star-studded shows by Jewel and Vince Gill. Across the street is the so-called Three-Foot Building, an abandoned office tower complete with chain link fencing, broken windows, rusty trim, and a seemingly bleak future. Both buildings are metaphors of our state. With young
Continued from Page 6
kick the story back as too incredible if it were submitted as a work of fiction. Federal authorities arrested an Elvis impersonator from north Mississippi then dropped the charges nearly a week later. The investigation continued with federal agents in haz-mat suits searching another man’s home and former business in Tupelo. Sadie Holland raised six sons on a family farm. In the 1980s, she was the first female mayor of Nettleton, a small town south of Tupelo. Relatives say she was also among the first female bus drivers for the Lee County School District — a job that, in any school district anywhere, requires a strong personality and plenty of stamina. Mississippi’s northern district public service commissioner, Brandon Presley, was mayor of Nettleton from 2001 to 2007, and said he has long known the Holland family, including the woman he calls Miss Sadie. “She’s just about like everybody’s grandmother. She’s just a kind, gentle woman,” said Presley, a distant cousin of the late king of rock ‘n’ roll. Steve Holland is among the most outspoken lawmakers on issues such as funding public education and providing mental health services and Medicaid coverage. He’s known for frequently waving a tiny American flag during debates and is a jokester who’s quotable on a wide range of subjects. “I’ve been to five gubernatorial hangings, and I’m still here,” Steve Holland said April 3 just before a portrait of Republican former Gov. Haley Barbour was hung at the Capitol. That’s not to say Steve Holland is always a happy-go-lucky guy. Even he acknowledges he can be a bit of a hot head at times. A few years ago, for example, he chewed out a 20something Barbour advisor in front of a room full of people at the Capitol, using the king daddy of all obscenities in the process. Things work out, though. Barbour and Holland frequently disagreed on policy issues — one of them being a former Republican National Committee chairman and the other being an unapologetic Yellow Dog Democrat — but Barbour managed to give Holland a friendly shout-out during State of the State addresses he made as governor. Follow Emily Wagster Pettus on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus
people behind-the-wheel that have the courage to face the past and the wisdom and grit to navigate the future, we can restore what needs restoring and share one of the South’s best-kept secrets. We can rethink Mississippi. MBJ staff writer Stephen McDill can be reached at email@example.com or 601-364-1041.
May 3, 2013
USM RESTORATION PLAN
From Neel-Schaffer’s Front Campus Landscape Restoration and Enhancement Plan
Preliminary Phasing Plan Implementation of the proposed improvements will occur in phases. The Gateway Phase will be implemented ﬁrst, as it is the most visible and highly used entrance of campus. The District Phase would be next, followed by the Lake Byron Phase (see below). Additional phases will be completed as seasonal planting conditions and funding permits.
Gateway Phase First to be implemented, the Gateway Phase will consist of sidewalk, landscape and irrigation improvements. The sidewalk improvements will include a new sidewalk adjacent to the parking on West and East Memorial Drives. The landscape improvements will include tree planting consisting of live oak, crape myrtle, Japanese magnolia, green ash and Japanese camellia. Shrub and groundcover improvements will consist of drift roses, butterﬂy iris, black-eyed Susan, evergreen giant liriope and other attractive plant material. Irrigation will be modiﬁed and expanded to provide the necessary coverage for all landscape and lawn areas.
District Phase The District Phase will follow the Gateway Phase and will include a variety of large shade trees, such as native oaks, ash, chestnut and elm. The existing lawn will be repaired, and a new irrigation system will be added.
Lake Byron Phase The Lake Byron Phase will include an expansion of the perimeter, addition of an attractive bulkhead and an aerating pond fountain. The spillway structure will undergo a minor modiﬁcation to allow for temporary retention and release of approximately 18 to 24 inches of stormwater. Hardscape improvements will include a new bridge, sidewalks and a retaining wall that will offer an opportunity to honor donors or distinguished individuals. This phase will also include planting native tree species such as oak, hickory, magnolia and longleaf pine on the western and eastern sides of Lake Byron. This phase will also include hardscape improvements such as a multi-use pathway to the midtown mid-block crosswalk, a pedestrian gathering space, and a continuation of the multi-use pathway toward the intersection of Southern Miss Drive and East Memorial Drive. Large live oak plantings will provide the framework for desirable views and will provide shaded pedestrian spaces. Irrigation and minor shrub and groundcover improvements will also be included in this phase.
Mississippi Business Journal
Continued from Page 2
collected in a format consistent with the UNOP team’s data management strategy so maps can be prepared as part of the Recovery Data Atlas to indicate the status of each recovery element. The mapping will be done by other members of the UNOP team. » The Town of Smithville experienced a devastating loss of life and signiﬁcant property damage April 27, 2011, as a result of an F5 tornado. The tornado destroyed the downtown commercial area and over 100 homes. A comprehensive recovery planning process began in early 2012. The plan included goals and objectives, future land use plan, community facilities and services plan and transportation plan. » Following Hurricane Ike, Neel-Schaffer provided staff to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ESF-14 long-term community recovery planning team that served the City of Galveston, Texas. The team conducted 10 two-hour neighborhood open houses and two allday public meetings to gain public input on needed recovery projects. Also, as a parish team leader in the hurricane recovery planning process for Louisiana Recovery Authority, Neel-Schaffer staff worked closely with parish ofﬁcials to approve the ESF-14 process. We then worked one-on-one with local business, professional, civic, development and community leaders to form a local Community Recovery Committee on the parish level. Duties involved training committee volunteers in the ESF-14 process and assisting them in initiating the process. Neel-Schaffer staff was also on a team that reviewed all parish recovery plans and facilitated their inclusion in the overall State of Louisiana plan. By Wally Northway
Lake Byron Phase
Lawmakers approve Yokohama incentives By CLAY CHANDLER I STAFF WRITER firstname.lastname@example.org
Lawmakers approved in a special session last Friday a large load of state incentives for Yokohama Tire to make heavy equipment tires in Clay County. The House passed authorized legislation 117-2 for the project last Friday morning. The Senate did the same less than an hour later. The bill now goes to Gov. Phil Bryant, who has said he intends to sign it. The state will borrow $70 million for land, infrastructure and workforce training. Local governments will chip in $12 million, $1 million from the Appalachian Regional Commission, $900,000 from the TVA and $590,000 from natural gas utility Atmos Energy. The first phase of the project will represent a $300 million investment from Yokohama, and cre-
ate in the neighborhood of 500 jobs. The company has plans to expand in three additional phases, raising its investment to over $1 billion and job numbers to 2,000. The expansions are scheduled over the next eight to 10 years. Total state bonding authority for the project is $130 million, with everything above $70 million contingent upon the expansions. Yokohama will build the facility on a 500-acre megasite close to West Point. Construction will start this fall with plans to start production in fall 2015. Economic development officials have spent the past several months marketing the site in hopes of luring a large manufacturer. This is the first big fish for the new economic development consortium made up of West Point and Clay County, Columbus and Lowndes County and Starkville and Oktibbeha County. The consortium,
known as the Golden Triangle Development Link, had in its sights a Yokohama-like project when it formed last year. The House Ways and Means Committee passed the bill unanimously last Friday morning. Chairman Jeff Smith, R-Columbus, said talks with Yokohama started about a year ago. He said Clay County, whose March unemployment rate was second highest in the state at 18.2 percent, was one of two finalists. Ad valorem taxes, under a revenue sharing plan West Point and Clay County have entered into, will be split between the city and county. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the company and the state contains clawback provisions that call for the state to receive $35,000 for every job the company comes up short in provid-
ing in each phase. For example, if the job count for phase one is 500, Yokohama will have to pay the state $35,000 for every job short of that. The same clawbacks apply to all four phases. State Auditor Stacey Pickering will have oversight of the project, since the state bonds will be issued under the Mississippi Major Economic Impact Act. Pickering pushed legislation last session – and plans to push again next session – that would have extended his office’s oversight authority to all state bonding programs. Pickering currently does not have automatic oversight over projects assisted under bonding programs like the Advantage Jobs Act and the Mississippi Development Bank. Rep. Steve Holland, D-Plantersville, offered an amendment to the incentive legislation that would have given Cooper Tire in Tupelo a sales tax on equipment break worth $1 million. The amendment was defeated, however. “This is going to be such a shot in the arm for West Point,” Smith said.
10 I Mississippi Business Journal I May 3, 2013
State puts $2M into effort to keep military bases » Even without a formally appointed BRACC panel, key members of Congress have acknowledged they expect significant cuts in defense By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER email@example.com
Mississippi’s state and local officials can tell you that defending the state’s military bases from closures can get expensive. The state spent a reported $60 million to $65 million in the 2005 round of base closings, an effort that helped to save such Mississippi military mainstays as Kessler Air Force Base, Naval Air Station Meridian, Camp Shelby and Columbus Air Force Base. The state, however, lost a Navy installation in Pascagoula and Air National Guard Air Wing in Meridian. Now state and local officials are gearing up again for what could be an expensive campaign to ensure survival of the air bases, naval stations and National Guard training centers around the state. This year’s state bond issue included $2 million to ready Mississippi’s military communities for the likelihood of a return of 2015 of the Base Realignment & Closure Commission, or BRACC. Under BRACC, a panel appointed by the President and approved by Congress selects bases for closing and submits a list to Congress for an up-ordown vote. No changes can be made to the list after submission. The state’s $2-million allocation is likely to be a mere down payment as the intentions of the President, Congress and the Pentagon become clearer. Even without a formally appointed BRACC panel, key members of Congress from both parties have acknowledged that significant cuts in defense spending, especially in the military’s domestic infrastructure, are ahead. The hundreds of billions in federal cuts over the next 10 years through the federal budget sequester guarantee across-the-board pain, officials say. “If the cuts already passed come to be, they are going to have to do something,” especially with infrastructure, said Bill Crawford, a Meridian resident who was involved in the state’s 2005 BRACC as deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority. For instance, Crawford said, a reduced Navy carrier force could put at risk one of Navy air training stations in either Meridian or Kingsville, Texas. Reductions in military shipbuilding and unmanned drone aircraft could also occur, as could cuts in defense research at Stennis Space Center. As Crawford sees it, the nation’s fiscal reality says a BRACC is needed. But “politics says ‘no,’” he added. Regardless of whether the draw down in the military’s domestic infrastructure occurs through BRACC or through congressional pol-
itics, “now is the time for the communities to gear up and get ready,” said Crawford, who now tracks government and politics in the state as a columnist syndicated in the Mississippi Business Journal and other newspapers. The best approach, he said, is to make sure the bases stay in prime shape, as shown by Kessler’s recent selection as the top Air Force’s installation. “Sometimes that is getting military construction done and making sure the quality of life for folks stationed there is good,” Crawford said. Particular focus must be put on preventing civilian encroachment that would diminish the effectiveness of the installation’s mission, he added. A key bit of advice Crawford has for state and local officials going into a new BRACC round is to expect the unexpected. “We had things pop up in 2005 we never thought would come up,” he said, including BRACC panel consideration of closing Kessler Air Force Hospital and cut backs at the Army Engineer Research & Development Center in Vicksburg and the closing of Army National Guard Camp McCain training center in Grenada. “We learned some lessons early on that we applied later,” Crawford said. Specifically, he added, state and local officials learned to keep the installations off the list “and when they get on the list get them off.” The state continues to keep its pipeline to Washington open through lobbyist Barry Rhoads, managing partner of the Cassidy Group. Rhoads has worked with the state on base defense since the early 1990s. “He’s been through thick and thin with us,” Crawford said. Meanwhile, top officials of the Navy and Marine Corps say they do not expect to cut much spare capacity if a new base closing round goes ahead in 2015, according to a bloc posted by the national Association of Military Defense Communities. Ray Mabus, former Mississippi governor and current secretary of the Navy, told Congress this month the Navy has already shed “most of our duplicative and overlapping bases and services.” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos said the Corps is preparing to trim its end strength by 20,000 troops to 182,1000 Marines over the next several years, even though there is “not a lot of fluff” in the corps. Army leaders say they plan to accomplish their strength reductions by eliminating six brigade combat teams in the United States, or about 80,000 troops by 2017. The Army is spending millions of dollars on installa-
Meridian, Triangle resume efforts to keep bases open » Navy secretary says there’s little capacity for cuts; Air Force chief says 20 percent of AF bases could go By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER firstname.lastname@example.org Meridian put its military installation team together in 1991 and helped Naval Air Station Meridian avoid getting shut down after landing on closing lists in 1991, 1993 and 1995. Larmar McDonald, a Meridian insurance businessman and current chair of the Meridian Military Team, says he thinks the local air station is the only Navy installation to “be successful three times against BRACC,” ofﬁcially known as the Base Realignment and Closure Commission, a citizen panel that selects bases for closing and submits a list to congress for an up-or-down vote. In the 2005 BRACC round, the air station stayed off the list completely, though the base closing commission ultimately closed an Air National Guard wing based in Meridian. President Obama’s budget calls for a new BRACC round in 2015. Should Air Station Meridian land on the list, McDonald will draw from successful past defenses. “The main thing is you learn how to tell the story of why this base is so important and essential to national security,” he said. In this instance, the main facts to convey are the community’s support for the installation both through infrastructure help and quality of life enhancements, ample elbow room the base has being 10 miles from town and the quality facilities that have built on the base over the years. Air Station Meridian is an intermediate training stop for pilots who go on to ﬂeet duty after completing training there. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, a former Mississippi governor, has soothed some nerves in Meridian with congressional testimony that the Navy has little room for further infrastructure reductions. Not so for the Air Force — much to the chagrin of residents in Mississippi’s Golden Triangle trying to keep Columbus Air Force Base open. Mabus’ Air Force counterpart, Secretary Michael Donley, put an ofﬁcial estimate of See
BASES, Page 11
tions that are “simply unusable” as the cost of upkeep for antiquated facilities climbs exorbitantly, Secretary John McHugh said in media interview this week. The Association of Military Defense Communities reports that Air Force Secretary Michael Donley put an official estimate of excess Air Force base capacity at roughly 20 percent. The closures carried out following the 2005 round of base closures were relatively small, he said in a report by the American Forces Press Service. Funding constraints already are causing the Air Force to curtail training for 13 fighter and bomber squadrons through the end of the fiscal year, the Association of Military Defense Communities reports. Manning McPhillips, chief administrative officer of the Mississippi Development Authority, is coordinating the state’s military current installation defense efforts. Though he declined to discuss anything that touches on the state’s strategy, including lessons learned from previous BRACC rounds in 1995 and 2005, McPhillips said the state’s main focus will be to help localities with military bases enhance the mission of the bases. This could be infrastructure projects such as an access road getting built for Navy Air Station Meridian or a firearms range in Columbus for use by Air Force personnel and the general public. Paying for those projects included matching shares from the communities. Allocation of the $2 million from this year’s Legislature and future allocations will also require community matching shares, McPhillips noted. The match ensures “local communities have some skin in the game,” he added. Each part of the state that is home to a military installation has a military communities council. Each council sends a representative to a state council chaired by Army National Guard Maj. Gen. William “Bill’ Freeman Jr., who is chairman of the state council. Freeman, former Mississippi adjutant general and a longtime executive at Newton County Bank, declined to discuss the work of the council without MDA authorization. The MDA is considering whether to let Freeman speak with the media, McPhillips said, emphasizing the competitiveness of the BRACC process and the state’s desire not to tip its hand. The state, he said, is “sensitive about what can be said,” especially this early in the process. The local councils will participate in developing overall strategy as well as strategies specific to their installations. In requesting infrastructure help, the councils will send their proposals to the state councils to be vetted by a process that includes members of the state body as well as the MDA. “The MDA scores it based on asset criteria,” McPhillips said. “Then we make our recommendations to the council.”
May 3, 2013
Mississippi Business Journal
TOURISM / ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
New life for Walthal hinges on winning bid » Auctioneer says sellers very eager to secure buyer for waterdamaged hotel closed since 2010 By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER email@example.com
The fate of downtown Jackson landmark the Edison Walthal Hotel could be decided through an online real estate auction May 22. Auctioneer Benny Taylor indicates a bargain is in the making on the sale of the eight-floor hotel, closed down since early 2010 after burst water pipes extensively damaged the lower floors. Sellers “are very motivated,” Taylor said to the various prospective bidders who toured the 225 Capitol St. property Tuesday. “When they start getting me involved, they are looking for money,” Taylor said of the sellers. Tax records put the appraised value at $3.79 million, though its assessed value for tax purposes is $569,261. St. Louis-based Roberts Hotel Group tried unsuccessfully to have the 205- room hotel included in a bankruptcy filing. When that failed, the property landed with Lee Katz, an Atlanta specialist in finding buyers for distressed properties. His job was to recover as much as possible of the $7.5 million owed bond holders. “We had some interest,” he said this week. “We negotiated a couple of contracts, but we decided after we got court approval to hold an auction that this would be the best way to get this to a concluding point.” Katz has been the court-designated receiver of the hotel since last fall. Taylor, of Taylor Real Estate Auctions, said the auction will require a minimum bid but he could not disclose the amount. He said he has advertised the more than 100,000square-foot hotel and its four-level, 200-
space parking garage extensively in recent weeks. That’s brought a 15 percent to 20 percent increase in interest, he said. The auction includes all furnishings in the hotel, Taylor said. The building opened in 1927 as a threestory bakery. Owners converted the property to a hotel in 1928 by adding five floors. Named for Civil War figure Edward Cary Walthal, the hotel has undergone a series of makeovers through the decades, as hotel styles changed, including an incarnation in the 1960s as a motor court with a swimming pool atop the garage. The Roberts Group, owners of Jackson TV station CW34 and radio station 97.7FM WRBJ, bought the hotel in 2008 with plans to invest $10 million in upgrades. The Roberts put about $7.5 million into renovations of some of the top floors
Continued from Page 10
TED CARTER / The Mississippi Business Journal
A motor court with pool above the garage, added in the 1960s, is just one of the unique features of the venerable Edison Walthal.
excess Air Force base capacity at around 20 percent and says a new round could make up for the relatively small reduction in Air Force infrastructure achieved in 2005. In the Golden Triangle, talk of Air Force cutbacks is as welcome as boll weevils in the Delta. And for good reason — Columbus AF Base, a training ground for new pilots, carries an economic impact equivalent to a top three or four manufacturer in the Triangle. “The products they are delivering are pilots,” said Joe Max Higgins, executive director of the Golden Triangle Link, an economic development agency representing Columbus, West Point and Starkville. Columbus AFB had 1,494 military personnel assigned to it in 2009 and 1,777 civilian employees, producing an annual economic impact estimated at $287M. No wonder Columbus and the other of the Triangle communities are busty identifying ways to keep the base, one of two Air Force centers for entry level pilot training, competitive. After the last BRACC round, Columbus voters agreed to fund construction of a new middle school near the base. Further, Lowndes County School District
before the water damage forced them to shut down the hotel. Taylor, the auctioneer, expects the Walthal’s next incarnation will be as a condominium or residential apartment building. “It’s going to need a complete restoration,” he said. David Watkins, who successfully restored Jackson’s King Edward Hotel after it had been closed for many years, said he agrees the new owner must do a complete overhaul. “A lot of remediation must take place,” Watkins said in an interview. “All the material would have to be stripped out” of the damaged floors. “Once you do that, you might as well strip it all out,” he added. As a hotel, the Walthal might have success as an extended stay property with perhaps some permanent apartments included, ac-
has put in a place a school provision that allows children of base personnel to attend the highly rated Caledonia elementary, middle and high schools. Higgins said he went back to review concerns raised in the 2005 BRACC. “They always brought up education, education, education as an issue,” he said. The task in 2005 could be much the same in 2015: Show whatever shortcomings Mississippi’s public schools have, the schools in Lowndes County do not share them, Higgins said. “Now when we sit down and talk to our base ofﬁcials, education does not come up. It was seen as a weakness the last time.” Link, the Golden Triangle Airport Authority and East Mississippi Community College are working to reopen an aircraft mechanics and aerospace training school at the Golden Triangle Airport outside Columbus. Aircraft mechanics and aerospace specialists make up the biggest portion of the civilian workforce at the air base, according to Higgins. A state of the art school is planned in a former Air Force hangar that will train students for FAA certiﬁcation in airframe and power plant work. “This will provide the air base with a stream of mechanics who can do the work,” Higgins said. Meanwhile, Golden Triangle Airport has opened one of its runways for takeoffs by pilot trainees while the air base repairs one of its runways. When
cording to Watkins. The operational costs would be lower than with a conventional flag hotel, he noted. “The other use I think would be residential. I know you would be able to rent them out,” said Watkins, whose King Edward and neighboring Standard Life buildings have 140 rental units that are at 97 percent occupancy. Downtown has about 400 rental apartments that are at “virtually 100 percent occupancy,” he said, adding demand could accommodate a few thousand more. “There is a need for downtown living,” he said. Watkins said whoever gets the Walthal needs to pick it up cheap because the costs that lie ahead will be significant. “I wish them luck,” he said. Malcolm Shepherd’s Jackson-based Full Spectrum South could be among the bidders. “There’s no doubt there’s an opportunity there,” said Shepherd, who has toured the building with several other Full Spectrum representatives. “The tragedy is that it’s falling into disrepair,” added Shepherd, Full Spectrum South’s development director. He does not see the Walthal as viable to return solely as a hotel. “What you’re looking at is a mixed-use building that has some retail application,” he said, suggesting that a mix of rental apartments and hotel rooms may work on the upper floors. “The challenge for developers is to make it profitable as a development opportunity,” he said. “The key is to figure out the right mix.” Shepherd said the Full Spectrum South construction specialist who accompanied him on Tuesday’s tour declared the building structurally sound. “We were impressed,” he said. “We’re taking a serious look.” (Details: Benny Taylor, 662-417-0397)
the FAA was thinking about cutting off funding for air trafﬁc control at the civilian airport, the Airport Authority agreed to fund the tower for at least three months after the funding dried up. In the end, however, the FAA exempted towers at Golden Triangle Airport and Meridian’s Key Field from funding elimination, based on their importance to military operations. Alegra Bingham is the Triangle’s representative on the state Military Defense Communities Council. She served on the council formed to stave off closure of Columbus AF Base in 2005. “When one BRACC ended we started planning for the next one,” she said. “The Columbus community is constantly in tune with the needs of Columbus Air Force Base,” she said. “We’re constantly assessing and talking with the leaders at the air base on the things that will make the bonds stronger and will make life better for the trainers and the instructors.” In past years, the region has worked to help upgrade housing on the base and established land-use policies that prevent encroachment on air base operations, according to Bingham. She said she thinks the new round of closures will be different from previous ones. “My gut feeling is that so many decisions will be based on economics – not the emotional factors of the community. Shear facts will drive the decision,” she said.
12 I Mississippi Business Journal I May 3, 2013 TRANSPORTATION
Bond bill to fund studies for rail project By CLAY CHANDLER I STAFF WRITER firstname.lastname@example.org
The bond bill Gov. Phil Bryant signed April 25 may help a rail project in East Mississippi. The $196 million bill has in it $1 million to support the East Mississippi Intermodal Rail Corridor, which would develop 56 miles of railroad that would offer continuous rail service along the state’s eastern border. It would connect to state ports along the Gulf Coast. The Rail Authority of East Mississippi, made up of five counties and the Jackson County Port Authority, has been working on the project since its formation in 2009. Since then, the group has paid for feasibility studies aimed at determining the financial justification for developing the project. Additional funding has been provided by the Economic Development Administration, USDA Rural Development and the Pat Harrison Waterway District. A preliminary market analysis done by Mississippi State and the University of Southern Mississippi found that there is sufficient demand for the rail, and that it can cover its operating costs. Existing businesses will benefit, the analysis said. Wood chips and pellets used for power generation in Europe would be the principal driver of the rail traffic, the report said. The line would carry about 15,000 rail cars annually for the purpose of transporting forest products. The report said the East Mississippi woodbasket carries “enormous volume” with demand growing with the specter of biomass companies locating in the region. The line’s secondary market would include access to stone and
Blue Springs Tupelo Amory
aggregates for regional construction projects. Grain, chemicals and metals for metal fabrication could drive another 1,000 cars annually, the analysis found. The analysis was paid for by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Several wood pellet mills have already started production or announced intentions to locate in Southeast Mississippi. Those industries typically prefer freight rail over truck transportation, because it’s cheaper. The latest funding will pay for an environmental impact analysis and other pre-construction steps, said Geoffrey Clark, RAEM’s executive director. Clark said if the analysis finds no negative impact, the project be eligible for a low-interest construction loan through the Federal Railroad Administration. Clark said the original Gulf Mobile & Ohio Railroad ran from Mobile, Ala., through Mississippi, as it headed north to Chicago. Southeast Mississippi timber was a major customer of the line. The former GM&O is now owned and operated by several different carriers between Waynesboro and the Mississippi-Tennessee state line, but the segment between Waynesboro and Mobile was abandoned in the 1980s. “Counties in our region should have worked harder to market and keep the line open, as other parts of the state did. With our workforce and resources, we can attract substantial manufacturing opportunities – opportunities that we need for creating jobs and marketing our timber and other resources. But, we need throughrail service to realize our full potential,” Clark said.
Aberdeen West Point Columbus Starkville
Gulfport 10 90
Moss Point Pascagoula
Source: USDA, Forest Service's Timber Product Output database, 2007.
RAIL, Page 13
A view of the railway, which spans the entire length of Mississippi.
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May 3, 2013
Mississippi Business Journal
DHS attorney claims salary comes up short » State agencies not following law, lawsuit says By CLAY CHANDLER I STAFF WRITER email@example.com
An attorney in the Mississippi Department of Human Services’ Child Support Enforcement Division is suing the agency, claiming his salary has been lower than allowed by state law. William Satterfield, who has been with DHS’ Harrison County office since 2009, filed the lawsuit March 1 in Hinds County Chancery Court. Listed as defendants are Gov. Phil Bryant, Mississippi State Personnel Board executive director Deanne Mosley, DHS executive director Richard Berry and Wally Naylor, former director of the CSE group. Each is sued in their official capacity. State law mandates that DHS’ child support unit have at least one attorney in each chancery court district who is responsible for establishing paternity and collecting child support. The attorneys’ salaries are set by law, according to the salaries of other fulltime attorneys employed in the attorney general’s office. The law requires the Personnel Board review annually the salaries of the AG’s attorneys and adjust those of DHS attorneys accordingly. Minimum salaries for DHS staff attorneys cannot fall below $40,000 a year; for senior attorneys, that figure is $50,000. Satterfield alleges in his complaint that the defendants failed to make the proper salary adjustments, and failed to conduct the annual salary comparison between DHS and AG attorneys. Satterfield claims whistle-blower protection in his complaint. Satterfield, who is representing himself, claims his salary range was between $40,000 and $70,000, below the AG attorney range of $67,000 and $117,000. Satterfield claims that salaries of child support enforcement attorneys are “arbitrarily assigned and grossly underpaid.” “They haven’t met the minimum salary re-
Continued from Page 12
The project has been hampered the past couple years by lack of funding. The Authority has applied for several grants through federal transportation agencies, but has been denied for most of them. Pleas for state funding had gone unheard until this year. Legislation lawmakers passed during the 2012 session made the project eligible for state transportation money that had been reserved only for active railroads and not potential projects.
Child Support collections could be privatized under new law Starting July 1, the Mississippi Department of Human Services will be allowed to outsource some of its programs to private vendors. That includes its child support collection division, which is the subject of a lawsuit ﬁled by one of its attorneys. William Satterﬁeld, who has worked in DHS’ Harrison County ofﬁce, says his salary has been lower than allowed by law. The legislation authorizing the DHS to enter into private contracts did not have an easy time clearing the Capitol. Opponents said it could lead to layoffs of existing state employees whose duties were outsourced They also cited a failed program in the late 1990s that spent more to collect less than state attorneys. Supporters said it could save the agency money, and ease the caseloads for child support attorneys. Sen. Terry Brown, R-Columbus, supported the bill, saying during debate in the Senate that overdue child support in Mississippi has climbed over $1 billion. The bill’s ﬁnal version cleared the Senate 30-20, and cleared the House 62-56. Each vote came mostly along party lines. Gov. Phil Bryant signed the bill April 23. — Clay Chandler / MBJ staff
quirement, per that statute,” he said in an interview this week. The law doesn’t specify if DHS and AG attorneys be the same, or a percentage of each other. Satterfield said he believes they should be the same. “Another
Clark said last year the Authority needs about $3 million to complete prep work on the rail before construction can start. When RAEM was formed in 2009, the six member counties committed $650,000 to get the project off the ground. The Authority was in line for a $1 million appropriation as part of a U.S. Senate transportation bill in 2010, but that fell through after Republicans enacted a moratorium on earmarks. Until the bond money, the project had been funded only by local sources.
thing is apparently they’ve got some sort of formula that they use to calculate the child support salary, but I’d like to see the formula. I’ve asked for it in discovery” Complying with the statute would also require the agencies to place in a separate fund attorney fee collections related to child support enforcement litigation, and not in a generic DHS general fund, Satterfield says in his complaint. In a memo to former DHS executive director Don Taylor, sent in October 2011, Naylor says segregating the funds would not leave CSE’s overall general fund low on money. In another memo sent later that month, Naylor told Thompson that of the $800,000 that would be part of overall 2011 attorney fee collections, less than $500,000 would be needed to raise each CSE attorney’s salary by $8,000. Giving senior attorneys a slightly larger raise and staff attorneys a slightly smaller one, Naylor wrote, would cost a little less. Each option would leave $300,000 in the child Support Protection Trust Fund, the memo said. In each memo, attached as exhibits to Satterfield’s complaint, Naylor asks that the collection fees be separated from DHS’
general fund. Naylor adds that doing so would help DHS retain its CSE attorneys, which in turn would be a long-term cost-saving measure, keeping veteran attorneys from traveling to train new hires and allowing them to focus on their existing caseloads. “If you read the memos, they really haven’t done what they’re supposed to do,” Satterfield said. “It’s like they’re trying to shirk their responsibility. The salary should be increased to an amount commensurate with that of the special assistant attorneys general. It’s sad that we’re hovering around $40,000-$45,000 when the statute provides for a good $20,000 more. That’s a lot of money right there.” Satterfield asks for lost wages, attorneys’ fees, and for the Personnel Board to begin salary review procedures. Personnel Board spokesperson Shawn McGregor declined comment in an email to the Mississippi Business Journal, other than to say the agency has filed a motion to dismiss Satterfield’s lawsuit. Bryant spokesperson Mick Bullock referred questions to DHS, whose spokesperson did not respond to a message.
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FINANCIAL PLANNING “SPEND LESS, SAVE MORE”
Financial advice for the ages » It’s time to take stock of your financial situation, says Anderson By LISA MONTI I CONTRIBUTOR firstname.lastname@example.org
The best advice is worth repeating until people take it to heart and follow it. For your waistline, it’s something like, “eat less, exercise more.” The best advice for your wallet might well be “spend less, save more.” Nancy Lottridge Anderson, a chartered financial analyst, offers advice to clients at New Perspectives Inc., her investing service and financial planning firm in Ridgeland. She also helps readers of Mississippi Business Journal and The Clarion Ledger, listeners to Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s weekly “Money Talks” and students in her finance class at Mississippi College.
“Now is actually the time to turn back a little bit and take some money off the table.” Nancy Lottridge Anderson, New Perspectives Inc
“People really need to hear it over and over before it starts to sink in and they take action,” she said of financial advice. These days, with the stock market roaring to record levels, Anderson said people are asking her if it’s a good time to come back into the market. “Now is actually the time to turn back a little bit and take some
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money off the table,” she said. The big winners, she said, were those who invested before the markets took off. This is the time to take stock of your financial situation, according to Anderson. “Once we get past tax season, when people are so concerned about getting their taxes done, it is a good time to look at where you stand because you already have gathered up all your financial information.” Anderson recommends looking over your first quarter 401(k) statement and other accounts as well as looking at your emergency cash fund. If any adjustments need to be made, now is the time to do it, she said. Another ongoing issue consumers are having to deal with is low interest rates at banks. Anderson doesn’t expect that to change in the next few years but she cautions people not to be tempted by offers to put your money into something that might not be appropriate for them. “You need a good savings account to keep cash where you can get your hands on it,” she said. While the economy is improving, consumers can expect some bumps in the road to recovery, Anderson warns. “Now is the time just to be cautious and not run the other way,” she said. “Sit down as a family once a year and assess where you are. How much have you saved? What are your goals? What does your debt situation look like?” Interest rates may be low but credit card rates are still high, Anderson said, and consumers shouldn’t take on more debt than they can handle. Another important lesson to learn is how much you need to save for emergencies and retirement. “There are financial calculators online or you can schedule an appointment with someone to give you direction,” Anderson said. “If you need some help with your 401(k), it’s worth it to pay somebody to
help you with a plan.” Anderson offers these financial tips for the different stages of life: For younger people: “First and foremost you need a good emergency cash fund,” she said. Since many young consumers are comfortable with online banks, they can usually find a little higher rate online. The second piece of advice is to sign up for your 401(k) “the first day you possibly can sign up,” and start out saving at least 10 percent. “You won’t even notice it but it’s going in every month,” she said. Some researchers say you should save 16.6 percent of your salary for 30 years for retirement. “Most people don’t come close to that,” she said. For middle-aged people: “At this stage you’re often in the midst of dealing with children in college,” Anderson said. “Just relax. It’s the most expensive time of your life but you will survive it and get past it. Hopefully you saved enough in the early years that you can use and when the kids get off the payroll, you can go back into high gear, contribute more to your retirement account and deal with other issues. You’re pretty close to retirement at that point.” For retirees: “If you are already retired, you want to be careful about your exposure to the stock market,” she said. “You don’t have long to make up for big dips in the market, and at the same time retirement money is still lifetime money. You can draw the income you need. But you still need some kind of growth on your account so don’t give up on stocks.” Also, Anderson said, with lower interest rates, “a lot of people are tempted to sign up for annuities that offer a so-called guaranteed rate that locks you in.” Trying to get the money out before a certain time can be costly. “Don’t be tempted by that,” she said. Anderson said people at any age can make the biggest financial misstep very easily. “The one that can really hurt you more than any other is taking on too much credit card debt,” she said. “It is so easy to get your hands on. Every store is issuing a card. Those bits and pieces can fool you into thinking you don’t have that much debt.” Credit card debt is around 15 percent and Anderson calls that “money just going down the drain for stuff that is perishable. And you’re not able to save as much.”
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16 I Mississippi Business Journal I May 3, 2013
FINANCIAL PLANNING ASSOCIATION
Itâ€™s about continuing education Âť Organization keeps planners, advisers up to date on regulatory changes By LYNN LOFTON I CONTRIBUTOR email@example.com
Keeping members up to date with changes that affect their profession is a large part of what the Mississippi Chapter of the Financial Planning Association does. Members and other professionals gathered recently to earn four hours of continuing education credits as they learned how changes in the regulatory landscape will affect them. More quarterly forums are being planned for the future. â€œFinancial planners and advisors of all types â€“ whether theyâ€™re registered investment advisers, insurance professionals or investment brokers â€“ are all facing regulatory changes that affect the way they conduct business,â€? chapter president David Russell said. â€œThe term â€˜fiduciaryâ€™ used to only apply to certain individuals in the advice business, however the term is now being applied to include a much broader range of activities and touches everyone
who holds themselves out as an adviser.â€? Legal, compliance and regulatory professionals held panel discussions about various fiduciary requirements as they apply to estate planning lawyers, financial planning, retirement planning advisers David Russell and other professionals. Speakers at the forum included Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann; attorneys Joshua Henry and Trey Dellinger from Wells, Marble & Hurst; John Hill, CPA and managing partner of Wealth Partners; Steven Sharp, senior vice president of investments with Wells Fargo Advisors; and, Scott Reed, CEO of Hardy Reed Advisors in Tupelo. The Financial Planning Association is the largest membership organization for certified financial planning professionals in the country and also includes members
who support the financial planning process. Educators, financial services professionals and students are members of the association. Chartered in 1988, the Mississippi chapter of the Financial Planning Association has more than 100 members throughout the state. Russell, who is senior vice president/trust officer with Pinnacle Trust in Madison, says FPA is compensation neutral and represents those from diverse backgrounds and business models. â€œWorking in alliance with academic leaders, legislative and regulatory bodies, financial services firms and consumer interest organizations, FPA helps connect all in its membership through a variety of unique and compelling ways,â€? he said. â€œMembers adhere to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical conduct and clear, complete disclosure to those they serve.â€? The Mississippi chapter is unique among other state chapters in that it has a large
percentage of allied professional members such as attorneys and CPAs. â€œWe have always been an inclusive chapter, realizing that clients are best served by a team of advisors who are well educated and credentialed and who are committed to high ethical standards,â€? Russell said. â€œEven though FPA publically supports the CFP mark as a financial planner standard, there are many other professionals with other designations who provide equal value to the client relationship.â€? He added that the quarterly forums provide valuable networking opportunities in addition to education. Russell also invites the public and professionals to learn more about the FPA Mississippi chapter by visiting its website at www.msfpa.org. The site provides consumer and advisor information. â€œYou can access resources to help achieve your financial goals or search for a qualified financial planner in your area,â€? he said.
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May 3, 2013
Mississippi Business Journal
‘Over 50’ offers contrast in styles » But spenders and savers are linked by asset conservation and economic well-being For this article, we will discuss those areas of estate and financial planning for the age group I will refer as “age 50 and older.” Obviously, we’re dealing with a wide age span for people in this group that pairs those of the World War II generation along with the Baby Boomer generation that followed behind. And, it is an interesting financial contrast; for with the WW2 age group, we have the greatest savings group of any generation in American history, while Baby Boomers represent the greatest spenders of any age group. But, in my opinion, the common thread that binds these two factions together deals with two primary issues — asset conservation and building economic well-being. With this, we come face to face with a fundamental question and that is; where are the areas of financial risk in Ike Trotter our lives? What steps need to be taken to offset a financial calamity? And, more to the point, how much money will be needed in the future to retire comfortably, and for how long will it be needed. In no particular order, here are a few areas to make sure that the basics are covered: » Financial and personal assets are in order: By that I mean these matters are arranged and organized. It also means they are made known to those, such as children or loved ones to whom you wish to pass them on. In far too many situations, leaving matters to children and survivors to hunt or “scrounge” through one’s home and/or bank lock box is no way to have one’s life organized. » Legal arrangements are in place and communicated to loved ones: The importance of making sure that legal arrangements are in place cannot be overemphasized. Certainly, for people in this age group, it is critically important that plans are in place, current with existing tax laws and made known to those people in charge of carrying out your wishes. » Review your debt load: Most probably, 20 to 25 years ago, I wouldn’t be making note of this. However, an unfortunate statistic today is the fastest-growing debtor group in our country is the retired and elderly. With more and more deciding to refinance, relocate or purchase a new home, it makes good sense, in taking
on that kind of mortgage debt, not to spread it out beyond the age of 65 to 70. » Adequate healthcare: These are really two issues pertaining to this: Number one
is making sure that adequate medical care is in place and secure. For those under age 65, there is no greater need. This is especially true now days with so many de-
pendent on employers for health care See
TROTTER, Page 23
FINANCIAL PLANNERS (CFAS & CPAS)
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May 3, 2013
Profiles of growing young professionals in Mississippi
Keeping our eye on... ROBBY FOLLOWELL After earning a graphic design degree from Mississippi College and working there as an admissions counselor, Robby Followell opened Followell Fotography in 2007 with a desire to combine art, technique, design and business. “I really love art. I'm enamored by the thought that images can cause us to remember, rise up an emotion, and even move us to action,” Followell says. “Despite the fact that so many are jumping on the professional photographer bandwagon, I really feel like that just means those of us committed for the long haul must really set ourselves apart with a product and service that stands out from the rest.” Followell shoots more than 500,000 images annually for dozens of weddings and commercial projects like Mississippi College and St. Andrew’s Episcopal School. He also donates a
couple of portrait sessions to non-profit organizations each year in an effort to help them raise funds. “I'm drawn to the business of making photographs that speak for themselves,” he says. “Subjects and their interaction with one another effectively captured within a frame is unarguably a powerful thing.” Since opening in 2007, Followell’s business has demanded always-on creativity and a growing knowledge of how technology can make photos more attractive and processing easier. Followell’s wife Jessica helps as a studio manager and he says he wants to grow the business by adding photographers to serve a larger client base.
— By Stephen McDill
Accrediting body chooses Woodward Hospital recognizes employees Dr. LouAnn Woodward, the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs and professor of emergency medicine, has been appointed to the nationally recognized accrediting body for U.S. and Canadian medical schools. Woodward, who is also UMMC’s vice dean of the School of Medicine, will serve a three-year term starting July 1 as a member of the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Association. She will be one of 17 medical educators and administrators, practicing physicians, public members or medical students serving on the committee, which will meet in Chicago and Washington, D.C. A native Mississippian, she earned her undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University and received her medical education at UMMC, where she also completed her residency training. Woodward helped shepherd the School of Medicine through its own recent accreditation process.
Governor commends Harris Waggoner Engineering’s Donelson C. Harris, PE, received commendation from the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal after more than 50 years of service in his field, honoring his efforts to “safeguard life, health and property and promote the public welfare.” Harris’ career as a professional engineer has been marked by many notable accom- Harris plishments, including serving as the project manager for the Alaska Transcontinental Oil Pipeline for Michael Baker, Jr. Inc., the Jackson metro-area Airport Parkway Commission and most recently for the Interstate 20 Improvement Program for the city of Ruston, La. For more than 50 years, Harris has provided a wide range of planning, design, and construction services in connection with roadways, bridges, tunnels, pipelines, ports, airports and other civil engineering projects. He has worked with Waggoner Engineering since 2000, and now serves as a project manager and senior project engineer with the company. Prior to Waggoner, Harris was the vice president of ICF Kaiser/Georgia Wilson Inc. in Houston. He is registered as a professional engineer in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
Mississippi State Hospital recently honored employees with April anniversary dates for their years of service to the hospital. Service Awards are given to employees in the month of their date of hire, beginning with one year, followed by every fifth anniversary year. Mississippi State Hospital April service award recipients include: Cheryl Johnson of Jackson, one year; Amy Carruth of Brandon, one year; Jackie Yates of McCall Creek, five years; Stephanie Young of Pearl, five years; Linda Butler of Jackson, 20 years; Sydney Rankins of Pearl, one year; Sheila Hicks of Greenwood, five years; George Berry of Jackson, 20 years; Diana Hunter of Jackson, 20 years; Chenille Hewitt of Ridgeland, one year; Patrick Webb of Jackson, 20 years; Martha Robinson of Pearl, 15 years; Elisha Hawkins of Jackson, one year; Clarice Shirley of West, 15 years; Ross Ainsworth of Richland, 25 years; Jeff Luckey of Mendenhall, 15 years; Jamie Shows of Pearl, 10 years; Kevin Frazier, 15 years; McKinley Albert of Byram, one year; Earnest Brooks of Brandon, one year; and Latrice Brown of Jackson, one year.
USM honors Turner Dr. James M. Turner, dean of the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine, was the recipient of the Alton B. Cobb Outstanding Master of Public Health Award at the University of Southern Mississippi’s annual College of Health Awards Night at the Thad Cochran Center. Dr. Michael Forster, dean of the College of Health at USM, and Dr. Ray Newman, chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences at USM, presented the award to Turner, who is currently a student in the master of health program at USM. Turner graduated from Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1988. He received his fellow from the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians in 1998 and the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Medicine in 2008. He completed his residency in emergency medicine from Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, Fla., and completed his bachelor of science degree at Georgia Southwestern College in Americus, Ga. Turner has worked as an Osteopathic Family Physician and Emergency Physician in Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and West Virginia. He currently serves on the board of directors for the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Medicine. He is also an inspector for the American Osteopathic Association for
medical colleges and emergency medicine residencies, and serves on numerous committees of the osteopathic medical profession. Turner relocated to Hattiesburg from Charleston, W.V., where he worked in post- graduate education and developed an emergency medicine residency program. He has worked for the WCUCOM since 2011.
Dunaway selected to be dean Greg Dunaway, a longtime Mississippi State University sociology professor and former sociology department head is the university's new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2011, Dunaway became associate dean of the college and, since last year, has served as its interim dean. A Baltimore, Md., native, he was the college's Thomas Bailey Professor of Sociology from Dunaway 2008-11 and, as department head, led in developing the state's only criminology degree program. In addition to master's and doctoral degrees in sociology from the University of Cincinnati, Dunaway holds a bachelor's degree in the same field from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. Last year, he was honored with the Dean of Students Award of Excellence in recognition of contributions to student well-being at the 135-year-old land grant university. He is the second to receive the MSU Division of Student Affairs honor since its inception in 2007. Dunaway is a member of the Southern Criminal Justice Association and an editorial board member for the American Journal of Criminal Justice.
Flynt made president Renee Nick Flynt was recently elected president of the board of directors of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi. A native of Greenville and graduate of the Mississippi University for Women, Flynt’s professional career included a decade of service on the staff of U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran. She has an extensive background in public service and community involvement, having Flynt served as president of Parent Teacher Associations in Roswell, Ga., and Birmingham, Ala., and as president of the
Mississippi Business Journal
Age: 28 Owner, Followell Fotography Hobbies: Spending time with family, traveling, riding on my Vespa scooter Heroes: My pastor Chip Henderson First job ever: McAlister's Deli in Meridian Favorite Mississippi food: Wedding cake Favorite hangout spots: My front porch Favorite TV Show: “American Idol” Favorite Movie: "A Beautiful Mind" Favorite Music: The Civil Wars, Ingrid Michaelson, Hillsong Twitter: @followellme Read the full biography at www.msbusiness.com Mississippi University for Women Alumni Association. Flynt joined the Guild board of directors in 2008 and most recently served as chairman of the fundraising committee. She and her husband, Mayo, reside in Jackson with their daughters, Sarah and Olivia.
Deer comes aboard People Lease has added Julie Deer to the staff. Deer brings two years’ experience in the insurance industry with her. She is a licensed property and casualty agent and is currently pursuing her licensing in life and health. Deer is a 2010 graduate of Mississippi State University, where she received a degree in business administration. She has over three years of experience in customer Deer service and relations. Deer currently resides in Jackson with her husband, Brandon, and their two dogs, Dollie and Lexie. She enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, playing tennis, and hanging out with friends and family.
Gay makes world ranking Time magazine has named HIV specialist Dr. Hannah Gay, University of Mississippi Medical Center associate professor of pediatrics, to the 2013 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In caring for a newborn infected with HIV in 2010, Gay followed an atypical treatment regimen and functionally cured the baby. She and her colleagues, Dr. Deborah Persaud, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center virologist, and University of Massachusetts Medical School immunologist Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga, who were also named to the TIME 100 list, presented the child’s case report in March at a scientific meeting in Atlanta. The report is the world’s first to describe an HIV functional cure in an infant. Gay said she is honored and wants the recognition to highlight the efforts of physicians and scientists worldwide working in HIV prevention, care and research.
For announcements in Newsmakers; Contact: Wally Northway (601) 364-1016 • firstname.lastname@example.org
20 I Mississippi Business Journal I May 3, 2013 SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: JEA Model Management
Steel Magnolia » Jackson model determined to grow agency in Mississippi
(Photos by Tom Beck. Makeup by Leah Vincent)
By STEPHEN McDILL I STAFF WRITER email@example.com
Growing up the daughter of a Simpson County Southern Baptist preacher probably isn't in the biography of many high-end fashion models. That doesn't matter to Jamie Ainsworth. The Magee native has graced the covers of Atlanta magazines and walked the prestigious runways of New York Fashion Week but is comfortable and confidant in her decision to come home and start a modeling agency in Mississippi that caters to models whether they are just starting out or are ready to take it to the next level. “I think I have a different take. I want to cater to the models," the owner of JEA Model Management says. "I don’t want to keep them in the dark. I want them to be comfortable with me and for us to be on the same page.” Ainsworth opened her agency in February and says speed and professionalism are the keys to the modeling kingdom. “If you can get something done really quick and its good quality then its worth the money,” she says. “Right now I’m in the process of recruiting and getting my models because I want to get them trained first then be able to get the work." The portfolio development that Ainsworth provides has a dual purpose to instill quality standards and training in Magee native Jamie Mississippi models seeking local or regional work while Ainsworth says she’s always also prepping the few that want to go further into potenwanted to work in fashion and tial long-term careers in larger markets. different modeling opportuniKnowledge is currency in the fashion industry and ties kept propelling her forAinsworth wants to represent women (and men) who are ward. “Some girls are really trained and know everything there is to know about the tall and thin and have this process, making it easier on the designers, stylists, and phounique, high-fashion look,” she says. “Other girls might not be tographers they will work with. as tall but have a classic look JEA modeling coaching lessons are weekly and cover that is more commercial.” everything from how to walk on a runway to having the right photos or comp cards (headshots that list a model’s height, measurements and contact info). “There are a lot of pretty girls but there’s a difference when someone’s been taught,” Ainsworth says. “I’m wanting to take those pretty girls and teach them how to be models.” Ainsworth graduated from Simpson Academy and studied fashion merchandising at Mississippi State University and the International Academy of Design & Technology in Heidi Klum: For her tenacity to model commercially for Tampa, Fla. Her real knowledge of the industry comes from years before getting her ﬁrst Victoria’s Secret job. having modeled herself, a world she entered at the age of 13 Karlie Kloss: For working with charities and giving back. after attending a photo shoot in Hattiesburg. Coco Rocha: For giving wacky, beautiful faces not the “My mom, bless her heart. She probably worked her butt off to try to figure out what do I do with this child and more common “ﬁerce look.” where do I take her,” Ainsworth says. Ainsworth signed with BMG Models in Chicago at 15 In addition to modeling, Ainsworth has retail experience, and started working on her portfolio before coming back to spending five years as a manager for Mississippi designer Jackson to sign with modeling agent Sharon Ward. Her Libby Story McRight. earliest jobs were handing out flyers locally for tax services One thing Ainsworth tells her models up front is that she and fragrance companies. At 23, she signed with an Atlanta can’t guarantee them work. agency and began working for magazines and attending “I can send someone out with all these pictures but it alcastings during New York Fashion Week.
JAMIE’S FAVORITE MODELS
A COMPLETE, COUNTRY GIRL Jamie Ainsworth is just as comfortable in a deer stand as she is on a fashion runway. The model and owner of JEA Model Management began hunting alongside her father as a toddler and says her ﬁrst picture in a magazine was actually taken while she was wearing camouﬂage and holding up a shot turkey. “I don’t go out as often as I used to,” Ainsworth says. “Its kind of like a father-daughter thing. I just like spending time with him and being outside. Its peaceful and fun.” In addition to bass ﬁshing and hunting turkey and dove, Ainsworth has killed ﬁve deer including two bucks on her family farm near Mississippi 49 in Magee. “The ﬁrst deer I killed was off my back porch one morning before school,” she says. At ﬁrst Ainsworth says she was confused when the doe she was aiming at ran away at the gunshot. Then she realized she had actually hit the one that had been standing next to it. “I went to school and told all the boys I killed one,” she says. “That was fun.” ways depends on the client,” she says. There is great income inequality with only a few supermodel incomes (IMG model Gisele Bundchen is the world’s highest-paid model with $45 million in the bank). Most models can barely make ends meet. “You can’t just go somewhere and have a decent, steady, in-between salary,” Ainsworth says. The behind-the-scenes world isn’t as its sometimes portrayed on TV and models aren’t typically famous. “Its a process. Its fun but it’s not glamorous,” Ainsworth says. “It can be tough and not every girl winds up a Victoria’s Secret model. A lot of modeling is about timing. It depends on your agent. It depends on your look.” If after this wave of reality sets in, a local model still wants to pursue a career, then Ainsworth insures that they don’t get blindsided by the more shady aspects of the business like being misrepresented by an agent or not being paid for a photo shoot. JEA models also know how to ask for feedback on the days that they aren’t hired. Modeling in Mississippi has its own mindset and pace, according to Ainsworth. Models are often in school or have other things going on and just pose when they have the time. Most work can be found in local retail boutiques that need models for their website or social media platforms. Other models find jobs in magazines and with advertising agencies. Some do TV commercials or pose for photography classes. “I think there’s a market for it here because I’ve run into a lot of people that want it so I think its just a matter of getting built up so you’re able to do it," she says. Ainsworth says the proximity to her family and the small fashion market in Jackson is what attracts her most about the area. “I wouldn’t go to New York and start an agency. They already have tons,” she says.
May 3, 2013
Mississippi Business Journal
» MISSISSIPPI LEADERS by Martin Willoughby
Internal auditing Markow works to understand himself to better serve GranthamPoole
he ancient Greeks had a temple with the words “Know Thyself ” inscribed in the forecourt. Thales, another ancient Greek philosopher, wisely noted, “The most difﬁcult thing in life is to know yourself.” In my study of leadership, I have found that great leaders understand who they are and where they are going. Unfortunately, as human beings, we can easily fall into self-deception or lack understanding of ourselves altogether. People who know what they stand for and their own strengths and weaknesses are able to better lead others to accomplish great things. Greg Markow is a values-based leader who has enjoyed a successful career in leadership. Markow, who recently joined the CPA ﬁrm GranthamPoole as a partner, has been involved in leading businesses and accounting organizations for almost 30 years. Markow was raised in Syracuse, N.Y, and after moving to Mississippi in high school, he went on to get his undergraduate and master’s degree in business from Ole Miss where he was an Academic All-American football player. He began his career in public accounting with KPMG where he practiced for 18 years becoming a partner with
Up Close With ... Greg Markow, CPA Title: Partner, GranthamPoole Favorite Books: Integrity (Dr. Henry Cloud), Big Russ and Me (Tim Russert), The Blind Side and Evolution of a Game (Michael Lewis) First Job: “Mowing yards in junior high and retail sales in high school.” Hobbies/Interests: “Spectator sports (particularly Ole Miss sports); golf and jogging.”
a focus on tax planning and services. Markow’s career includes serving as chief ﬁnancial ofﬁcer for Reformed Theological Seminary for 10 years before he joined the private equity backed North American Midway as CFO. This year, Markow has returned to public accounting with GranthamPoole where he serves in a senior leadership role. Markow shared that one of the key principles he follows as a leader is to make sure that, “you and the other members of the leadership team understand the organiza-
tion’s core values and purposes – know where you are going and why.” He continued, “Once that is understood, teamwork is absolutely critical to a successful organization.” Markow credits Jack Carlisle, his football coach at Murrah High School with instilling in him the importance of teamwork. Markow shared, “Carlisle built teams by motivating individuals to sacriﬁce for the common good of the team while at the same time motivating individuals to compete to the best of their ability.” He noted that teamwork requires buy-in throughout the
Markow credits Jack Carlisle, his football coach in high school, with instilling in him the importance of teamwork.
organization on the long term goals, and team members that are willing to listen and serve others. Under the leadership of Bob Cannada at Reformed Theological Seminary, Martin Willoughby Markow learned the importance of vision for an organization and making sure that the organization remains true to the vision. He also learned from Cannada the importance of understanding the principle behind a rule and how that principle ties into the mission of the organization. Markow shared about his move back to public accounting, “Serving as a partner with GranthamPoole provdes me an opportunity to contribute to a ﬁrm whose core values include a desire to serve God by serving others with trust, integrity, and excellence, and an opportunity to learn from a successful and experienced leadership team that applies these core values in serving its clients.” Markow’s father taught him how to set and work to accomplish goals, the value of hard work, and the persistence to get the job done. The instilling of these types of core values has made Markow the leader he is today. By knowing himself and aligning himself with values-based organizations, Markow has demonstrated the power of values-based leadership. These type leaders serve as the backbone of our business community and serve as a model for 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@ butlersnow.com.
Book ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ tells what movie leaves out
ou've seen the award-winning movie, now read the book to get the full story. Or better still, read the book and then rent and watch the movie. That's what Virginia O'Neal is doing. She's the owner of Cotton Row Books in Cleveland and is enjoying reading this book. "It's just fascinating to read this account of mental illness that's written in ﬁrst person," O'Neal said. "It's ﬁction but takes a serious look into mental illness and how it can change a life." O'Neal admires Quick's writing style and the "distorted yet enduring perspective that takes us inside the main character's mind." The protagonist, Pat Peoples, is out of a bad place in his life, but he doesn't remember a lot that's happened to him. He's >> The Silver Linings Playbook By Matthew Quick Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux $15.00 paperback
lost his wife and is living with his parents. The book — Quick's ﬁrst — has been translated into 21 languages in addition to being made into a movie. Quick has been quoted saying that although the ﬁlm is different from the book,
he loves the adaptation and is happy that it has encouraged more openness about mental health. The author earned a master's of ﬁne art in creative writing at Goddard College in Philadelphia. He quit his job as a teacher to write, but before buckling down to the task he hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, ﬂoated the Amazon River, backpacked in South Africa and soul searched. He moved in with his inlaws, the parents of his wife novelist Alicia Bessette, to write his ﬁrst book.
“...distorted yet enduring perspective...”
— Lynn Lofton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Virginia O’Neal Cotton Row Books
22 I Mississippi Business Journal I May 3, 2013
—Interview by Clay Chandler
BOB LYNCH, Red Cup Rebellion
BOSTON STRONG Mississippian describes life in Boston during marathon weekend More on Lynch: Must have Mississippi food: Fried catfish with hushpuppies Favorite movie: Saving Private Ryan Last book read: A History of the World in 6 Glasses (if you like world history and drinking, this is a great read) Website: RedCupRebellion.com Twitter: @BobLynchII (or if you want the blog one it’s @RedCupRebellion)
ob Lynch, 26, is a Madison native, 2008 Ole Miss graduate and a graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston. He’s pursuing a masters degree in international relations. Lynch, who runs the popular Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion, was one of the Mississippians affected by the Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent pursuit of the two suspects that closed Boston and neighboring areas for the better part of two days in April.
Q — What part of the Boston area do you live in, and how close is that to where most of the suspects’ interaction with law enforcement took place? A — I live in the northwestern part of Cambridge, which is where the suspects are from. More specifically, my house is a few miles northwest of MIT, where the suspects killed a campus police officer and where the older suspect died from wounds suffered in the firefight. The younger suspect (assuming I have the story correct here) then stole a car and drove across Cambridge to the south of my house before heading further southwest to Waterton where there was a firefight before most of Friday’s manhunt began. Waterton borders Cambridge on the southwest, and much of the action there was also just a few miles away from my house. Q — Take us through the events that Thursday night, when authorities first encountered the two brothers. When and how did you notice something was amiss? A — I was actually asleep through the firefight and explosion at MIT. My girlfriend woke me up at around 5:30 or 6 to tell me what had happened, and to let me know that everyone was being asked to stay indoors due to an ongoing manhunt. I immediately turned on the television and watched what was going on in Waterton unfold for probably three or four hours. I was checking Twitter and Facebook the entire time, and had plenty of family and friends from all over, including Mississippi, calling and texting me to make sure I was okay. Q — How would you describe the period when the Boston area was under the “shelter-in-place” order? A — Eerie, somewhat scary, and mostly boring. During the morning, it seemed like they were going to catch the second suspect rather quickly, so I was not too worried about missing school and work. Then all sorts of closings were announced – schools, businesses, municipal offices, etc. – and it became apparent that this wasn’t going to be over for a while. It is really odd to not see any traffic or people on the sidewalks. In a way it is quite haunting. Adding to that the fact that they still had not located the suspect, and that he is from the city I live in, made me worry a bit that he could he hiding not too far from where I live. (Editor’s note: Authorities captured the second suspect that Friday night.) After a while, though, you start to get stir crazy and, frankly, pretty annoyed by the whole situation. I completely understand why they do not want people and traffic getting in the way of an ongoing manhunt, so I am not criticizing the decision. I am just saying that it is pretty unpleasant. Q — How was the order enforced? In other words, did law enforcement do things like house checks to keep people off the streets? A — They did not, but it seems to me like they did not really need to. The almost constant sound of sirens in the background served as a reminder to us that they still had not located the suspect and that it would be best for everyone to stay put. Q — What did you originally have planned for Friday that was interrupted? A — My school has a formal dinner and dance every spring called the Diplomat’s Ball. It is one of the most anticipated events of the spring semester, if not the entire academic year. This year, it was going to be located at a very nice venue in downtown Boston and everyone was very much looking forward to it. Unfortunately, the event had to be cancelled due to the shutdown of the trains and taxicab services in Boston. Q — Is Houston Nutt a great example of the American Dream, or the greatest example? A — If the American Dream involves earning an obscenely high salary for doing a terrible job, then totally. He embodies it as well as anybody. — Clay Chandler / MBJ staff
May 3, 2013
Mississippi Business Journal
» JEFFREY GITOMER
Salespeople have questions, Jeffrey has answers.
get a ton of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve their sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life and (most important) your sales thought process right now.
Dear Jeffrey, I have cold called in the past and didn't have a problem with it. But now I am having a hard time getting people to even hear me out. What is the best way to handle cold calls about a free hearing screening for senior citizens and follow up on a direct mailing? Sherri Sherri, Cold calling sucks. It's for people that have no other way of marketing. Senior citizens meet in groups. They have conclaves. They have bridge parties. They have mahjong parties. They have bingo parties. Go to the parties. Stop cold calling people. It’s a waste of time. What you need to do is sit in a room and in a normal voice and say, “How many people can't hear me? Well, I guess you're not raising your hands because you can't hear me.” And then talk about your free test and ask, “Who would like to take it?" Maybe bring the test to the group. Go to a Kiwanis or Rotary meeting. There are both retired and older people there. Your job is to figure out smarter, better ways to eliminate the cold call. If you’re gonna use direct mail (goodness gracious!), it’s okay, but its passé. Everyone knows it's passé. The bottom line is if you get a response from it, then figure out a better way to communicate with those who are interested. Often, the senior citizen will have an email account. Often, the senior citizen will have a Facebook account because they are communicating with their grandchildren. Figure that out. Then make the call. Best regards, Jeffrey
Dear Jeffrey, How do you advertise and get customers to your business with no money? Jamie Jamie, Actually, it’s easier than you think. If you have some customers, get them to start advertising. Get them to post a little bit of a testimonial for you on their Facebook page and your Facebook page. Start LinkedIn. Start Twitter. And start to use social media to build your business and build your reputation. It’s free. You don't have to worry about the cost of an ad, which may not bring you the results you’re hoping for anyway. Advertising is more free than it has ever been. Your job is to figure out a way to take advantage of it using existing customers and social media. Best regards, Jeffrey Jeffrey, I work in the agriculture industry. Most of my customers wear blue jeans and cowboy boots. Everything I read about sales says dress up. When I do, some of my customers make comments about being a city boy, or they say I look like their banker (even though I usually wear dress slacks and a long sleeve shirt with polished shoes). In your opinion, how should I dress? Doug Doug, Wear what you like. Wear what makes you feel comfortable. If you're uncomfortable wearing city boy clothes in front of cowboys, then stop doing it. Wear nice, fashionable cowboy clothes. Make certain that if you're going to wear boots, that they’re polished and have some nice brand name to them. The goal is that your customers will say, “Nice boots!” or “Nice belt!” or “Where did you get that shirt?” That's what you want. You want one of a kind stuff. Wear vintage stuff. There's plenty of vintage cowboy stuff out there. Make certain your look, even though casual, is one notch better than the
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coverage. For those 65 and over, it is important, in my opinion, to carry additional “MediGap” coverage to pick up the many additional expenses not covered by basic Medicare. However, this only covers one side of health care protection. The other part points to the additional expenses of extended care or long-term care. Unfortunately, far too many continue to bury their heads in the sand rather than face the reality of this situation. And, it affects the entire family — not only emotionally, but financially, as well. » Liability Protection: As discussed last month, we live in a more litigious society than 25-50 years back. Due to this, it is extremely important that our assets are protected as well as those situations where an accident or event could put us at personal fault. » Review Housing Arrangements: For many elderly and retired, maintaining an older house can be quite a financial drain. This becomes even more apparent in situations where children are located far from home with little chance of returning to live in the family home. » Income Planning Issues: There are two key issues at
customer would wear when you’re in that meeting with them so the clothes become a positive discussion rather than a drawback. Jeffrey Jeffrey, I have recently started in sales at a Jeffrey Gitomer radio station. I have read a few of your books and we follow all of your suggestions as far as selling. I am right out of college and I look it, if not younger. I’m afraid if I try to make appointments in person I will be turned down right away because of my age. How would you suggest I overcome this? Sarah Sarah, First of all, stop believing that your age is a barrier. Second of all, pre-prepare a 30-second commercial (of around ninety words or less) about the customer before you ever walk in the door. Record it. Walk in and say, “Hey, I just did a commercial for you. Would you like to hear it?” If the commercial is cool, creative, maybe a little bit edgy, and has a little music in the background they will listen to that commercial and call other people in to hear it. No one will care about your age if you prepare in terms of the customer. Best regards, Jeffrey Jeffrey, I recently joined a business broker who has been successful for six years. I am the new boy. It appears revenue is generated from listing fees and commission on sales. Listings are obtained from direct mail, drop ins, and customers seeing our website. Lots of groundwork has to be done to build up list-
work here: No. 1 – Making sure there is enough income for retirement and, of critical importance, seeing this income can last as long as needed. No. 2 – Securing, in the event of death, not only that expenses are paid for the deceased, but also that an income stream continues for the survivor. This provides financial “peace of mind” for a survivor not to experience too large of an income loss. And understand, if the survivor would live for 10-15 more years, that could require a great deal of income. There are, obviously, many areas at work in providing for economic security. The overriding message at work here is this; Life offers no guarantees and the plans that we make for ourselves and our loved ones today are the key tools to securing financial “peace of mind”. Always remember – there is no better feeling in life than in knowing that plans are in place – for the days in front of you . . .
ings from zero in my case. Purchasers are coming all the time, and converting them to sales doesn’t appear to be a problem. It only takes one purchaser and the commission is good. What concerns me is we seem to be using old methods to get listings. Snail mail and cold calling. Do you have any suggestions on what you would do to fast track the listing process? David David, When you start in a job, there is no “fast track.” There’s only what has been done successfully before. Start there. And when you do start there, you'll be seen as “fitting in” and “part of the team” or “part of the process.” Yes, you’re on your own. Yes, you make your own commissions. You know what? You can't come in and fight traffic from the first day. What you need to do is harmonize with what’s happening in your place of business. Do it the old way first and then figure out a new way on your own. If it were me, I’d be using social media. I’d be using testimonials. I’d be using every new strategy I possibly could, but not until you've made a few sales with the old way. Start there. Best regards, Jeffrey 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, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at email@example.com.
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Published on May 3, 2013