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INSIDE — New plans for Costco gas pumps closer to plaintiffs? — Page 2 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

May 18, 2018 • Vol. 40 No. 20 • 20 pages


Full-service grocery slated for downtown Jackson — Page 8


Financial Planning {Section begins P9}

» Have tax cuts resulted in Americans investing more? » Time to look ahead at 2019 tax year

g n i t t e b s t r o Sp e v i s u l c x e e b to s o n i s a c f o n i a m o d

{The List P12-14} » Largest Financial Planners

» Juicing state visitor numbers is goal By TED CARTER


» MATTHEW McLAUGHLIN: Choice in Mississippi

Whatever shape Mississippi’s sport betting takes in its expected fall arrival, it’s a lock that enhancing the state’s visitor numbers and hospitality spending will be a main goal. This goal puts Mississippi officials in har-

mony with a gaming sector eager for their casinos to become sports betting destinations. And as a major plus for the industry, anyone wanting to legally bet on sports will have to visit one of the state’s 28 casinos to do it. A political benefit will also come into play: By confining sports wagering to the casino gaming floors, state officials can argue they

aren’t expanding gambling. That, at least, is the view of Larry Gregory, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming & Hospitality Association. “We’ve got gaming,” he said. “This is just another type of gaming” on a gaming floor. Regardless, there’s no legal leeway, Gregory said. “The bottom line,” he said, is that the state’s

See BETTING, Page 2

2 Q Mississippi Business Journal Q May 18, 2018 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

NEW PLANS FOR COSTCO GAS PUMPS CLOSER TO PLAINTIFFS? By JACK WEATHERLY Costco Wholesale has maintained that it would “move forward” with a plan to build a store in Ridgeland since the state Supreme Court ruled in April that the city ordinance that was crafted to accommodate the project was illegal. Now the plan has been revealed, though not in detail. The store would still be built on the 45-acre site on Highland Colony Parkway, but gas pumps, the part of the original plan that particularly nettled opponents, would not be included. Will the nine residents who sued the city be happy? Maybe. But the latest is that the Issaquah, Wash.-based chain aims to build the fueling station nearby, on the other side of the parkway and apparently closer to the plaintiffs who challenged the zoning ordinance. That’s what Dave Messner, senior vice president for real estate for Costco told the Mississippi Business Journal on Tuesday in a phone interview. Costco does not have the gas pumps at all of its stores.

The residents in the upscale neighborhoods contended that the big store and its pumps would create a traffic situation that would devalue their property. The day after the state Supreme Court appeared to block Costco Wholesale from establishing a store in what developer Andrew Mattiace has designated phase three of the Renaissance at Colony Park, an open-air mall, it served notice that it would “move forward” with a plan. Sheldon Alston, attorney for the plaintiffs, said Tuesday that “we’ll have to wait and see” the plan. Mattiace said he likewise has not seen the plan being drafted by Costco. Alan Hart, director of community development for the city, said Tuesday that the plan has not been received. The next meeting of the Architectural Review Board is May 22 at 6 p.m. On a different tack, the city of Ridgeland asked on May 3 the Supreme Court to reconsider its unanimous ruling against the amended city ordinance that would have allowed a Costco with gas pumps. James Peden, special counsel to the city on the zoning matter, said that the chances are slim that would happen, but that it is not unprecedented.

BETTING Continued from, Page 1

Gaming Control Act states “any type of gaming in the state has to be conducted on the gaming floor.” The tradeoff will be loss of potential tax revenue from money spent by people who want to place bets on their portable devices or at a corner sports betting parlor. Mississippi puts a 12 percent tax on casino earnings from wagering, with 8 percent going into the state’s pocket and the remaining into local coffers. Those earnings totaled $2.1 billion last year, the state says. Limits on how and where sports betting can occur could change, Gregory said, but the three-member Mississippi Gaming Commission will mold the new sports betting regulations from current law. The May 14 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that cleared states to legalize sports betting hardly surprised Mississippi and other states. The federal barriers to states did not make constitutional sense when Nevada, Montana, Delaware and Oregon had sports betting, the states said. In anticipation of the ruling, Mississippi legislators last year added wagering on sporting events to types of gambling allowed in casinos. With that done, “the regulatory folks are building their regulatory frame work,” said Gregory, who joined the Gaming & Hospitality Association eight years ago after a career leading the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Not being “behind the eight ball” puts Mississippi “in a position to move forward on it,” Gregory said. Building visitor numbers and adding to the dollars gamblers spend will be key, according to Gregory, whose association includes hospitality businesses such as hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions. “The gaming industry had 22 million visitors last year. We want more visitors,” he said.

“We want to drive visitation. Offering something a little additional” will help do that “That is what this is about,” Gregory added. Mississippi is the lone Southern state with a statutory option in place for legal sports wagering. But expect that to change, with Louisiana and Florida acting quickly to establish sports betting, says Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission. Godfrey does not think it is far-fetched for Mississippi to debut its sports betting in time for professional and collegiate football in the fall. “It can be done in a timely manner,” he said. In-game betting, Godfrey said, is unlikely for now. “We may get there but we are going to start off slow,” he said. Other exclusions are likely as well, according to Godfrey. These will include “proposition” betting, or wagers on a specific occurrence or non-occurrence during a competition. Just how much new money could Mississippi be looking at? Godfrey emphasized it’s impossible to say. But he noted that in Nevada, the leading sports book state, sports gambling accounted for 4 percent of gaming revenues. If applied to Mississippi, that 4 percent would represent about $80 million in revenues for the industry. “Even if you just get $12 million” from the sports betting tax, “you get additional revenues from sales taxes from hotels and restaurants,” Godfrey said. The Gaming & Hospitality Association’s Gregory, meanwhile, said the casinos plan to make their sports book venues destinations rather than a place for a quick stop to make a bet. He envisions music and other entertainment, rows of TVs and an atmosphere of comradery. “I’ve gone to Vegas to those sports book paces,” Gregory said. “It’s a fun time… It’s a festive activity.”

May 18, 2018


Mississippi Business Journal




Toyota begins search for 400 new team members J ust two weeks after announcing a $170 million expansion and the need for another 400 workers, Toyota Mississippi had its first in-house job fair Thursday to begin the search for that additional help. And for six hours, some 375 people came to the plant, got a brief tour and submitted their applications. How many will get hired remains to be seen, but officials were hopeful. The plant will need the new “team members,” as Toyota calls employees, in a few months, as it ramps up to build the next-generation Corolla next year. Dennis Seid “The data has shown we have to have 1,500 applications to get 100 qualified applicants, so we have to have a lot of people come through,” said Kathryn Ragsdale, Toyota Mississippi’s external affairs manager. “So this is just the first of many steps to get to the 400 we’ll need.” The job fair, put on by ResourceMFG, began with two online applications. After applying, an online assessment lasting up to two hours took place. Then it’s a multi-step process before landing a job at Toyota. Successfully completing the online assessment leads to a call back to go through an 8-hour production simulation. Complete that successfully leads to an phone interview, followed by a drug screen and a date for a more extensive tour of the plant. Then a physical and functioning screening of up to four hours is done at Toyota Mississippi. Successfully complete this screening, and the applicant is eligible to work at the plant. The whole process can take a couple of weeks, Ragsdale said. Applicants who make it through the entire process will start at $15.01 per hour, which includes a 65-cent premium for the rotating shift that the plant has. Bonuses, paid holidays and insurance options are available as well. The workers are actually employees of ResourceMFG but have the opportunity to convert to being team members of Toyota Mississippi. “That conversion process is based on a couple of things,” Ragsdale said. “You need to make sure you’re doing the job right and your attendance has to be spot-on. If you’re not there, we can’t make cars. And you also have to make sure you can work as a team, follow instructions and see things through to the end.” It’s another screening process for Toyota to see who will work out. “If you come to work every day and work as a team, you’ll be successful,” said Mike

Jenkins, the area Vice President for ResourceMFG. Toyota team members come from all walks of life, but veterans are a really good fit at Toyota because of the teamwork environment. “Come in, because we have a place for you,” Ragsdale said. “They find the same teamwork atmosphere and structure that

they found while they were in the military, and it’s a good fit.” Any interested applicants can go online at .

Dennis Seid is the business editor at the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

4 Q Mississippi Business Journal Q May 18, 2018 ANALYSIS

Ponzi schemes and controversial clawback claims against investors M any have called Madison Timber Properties, LLC the largest Ponzi scheme in Mississippi history. The scheme involved more than $100 million in investments and hundreds of investors spanning many years. The scheme has attracted the attention of the national media. Now, in the wake of the scheme’s collapse, the recent guilty plea is only the beginning. Many questions remain. Among them, what happens to the investors in the scheme? In a nutshell, a Ponzi scheme is a financial arrangement where the Ponzi operator, without a legitimate underlying business, makes payments to past investors with funds collected from new investors. While Ponzi schemes can last for years, all eventually collapse, usually when the operator is unable to recruit enough new investors

to fund the withdrawal requests of existing investors. A Ponzi scheme’s collapse almost invariably leads to a bankruptcy, receivership, or some other formal dissolution and liquidation proceedings. In these proceedings, a trustee or receiver is charged with maximizing funds to pay creditors and scammed investors. Among the methods trustees or receivers have used to recover assets are claims against investors who received returns from the scheme. This controversial method of recovery is often referred to as a clawback action. Clawbacks have been used in recent high-profiled Ponzi scheme proceedings such as Madoff, Stanford, Bayou and Goldberg. While it seems counterintuitive and ineq-

uitable to assert claims against any defrauded investor, the theory underlying clawback actions is that money received by those investors came from other defrauded investors, and all investors should be on equal ground. The asserted legal basis for such claims rests in both federal bankruptcy law and state fraudulent transfer laws. The use and breadth of clawbacks are usually hotly contested, and courts have reached different results. A recent example of how a trustee or receiver used clawback claims against investors who received money from a Ponzi scheme is the Michael Goldberg case that occurred in Connecticut. In total, the Goldberg scheme had over 350 investors who invested over $100 million. After the scheme collapsed, Goldberg filed for bankruptcy and was later sentenced to a 10-year prison term. Total loss to investors was estimated at $30 million. The bankruptcy trustee in the Goldberg case filed multiple clawback actions against investors in the Ponzi scheme who had received money from it. The trustee sought to recover not only profits earned from the investments, but also those investors’ returned principal. The investors contested the trustee’s authority to recover amounts they invested as principal, asserting a goodfaith investor defense available under federal bankruptcy law. The Goldberg bankruptcy judge ruled in

favor of the trustee’s efforts to recover both the profits from the scheme and the principal invested in the scheme. Other judges have refused to allow a receiver or trustee’s clawback power to extend to principal. Edwin Gault Jr. It is too early in the wake of the Madison Timber Properties, LLC Ponzi scheme collapse to predict how events will continue to unfold. It is, however, safe to predict one thing. If recent history with the Madoff, StanSpencer Ritchie ford, Bayou, Goldberg and other Ponzi proceedings is any indication, expect investors to clash with the trustee or receiver over any clawback efforts.

Edwin S. Gault, Jr. and Spencer M. Ritchie are attorneys in the Jackson office of Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP. Mr. Gault’s practice areas include commercial litigation, personal injury defense, and environmental litigation. Mr. Ritchie’s practice areas include general and commercial litigation, employment law, and political law.

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Mosquito prevention could save lives

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History may repeat itself in 3rd district race


ill history repeat itself in the Third Congressional District election this year? In 1964 a wealthy, agricultural businessman came out of nowhere to win what was then the Fourth Congressional District seat. Prentiss Walker, then 47, president of Walker Egg Farms and owner of Walker’s Supermarket in rural Mize, won as a conservative on the coattails of Barry Goldwater’s strong vote in Mississippi in 1963. Walker abandoned his seat in 1966 to challenge long-time U.S. Sen. Jim Eastland, but lost badly. This year another wealthy, agricultural businessman has come out of nowhere to run for Congress. Perry Parker, 52, who now lives in rural Seminary where he helps manage brother Ted’s cattle farm, made his money as a currency derivative trader for Goldman Sachs in Chicago, New York, and London, as a managing director for a division of Deutsche Bank, and as a partner managing the U.S. office in California for London-based hedge fund Peloton Partners Capital Management. Parker wants to win as a conservative on the coattails of Donald Trump – both wealthy businessmen with no political experience who chose to mostly self-fund their campaigns. In 1966 a former Mississippi State varsity basketball player with business and political experience won the con-

gressional seat. G. V. “Sonny” MontBill Crawford gomery, then 46, was an insurance businessman and state senator from Meridian. He served for 30 years, becoming chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and a senior member of the powerful House Armed Services Committee. Sonny used his persistent, friend-building style to successfully champion veterans’ issues, help build the all-volunteer Army, and improve the National Guard and Reserves. This year another former Mississippi State varsity basketball player with business and political experience is in the race. Whit Hughes, 43, of Madison managed his own economic development consulting firm, served as Deputy Director of the Mississippi Development Authority, and until the campaign was Foundation President at Mississippi Baptist Health Systems. He got early political experience working for the Republican National Committee in Washington. He also served as finance director for Elizabeth Dole’s 2002 senate campaign in North Carolina and for Haley Barbour’s 2003 gubernatorial campaign. The outgoing Hughes wants to use his experience and political connections to champion and improve economic opportunities for middle class Mississippians. See CRAWFORD, Page 6

ow is the time for Mississippians to take preventive measures to combat mosquito and tick-related diseases that will be here before we know it during the summer and early fall. Too often, we see these insects as no more than a common nuisance that can interrupt a nice day out with family or friends. The reality, however, is that certain mosquitoes and ticks can carry serious and deadly diseases, making the need for prevention all the more vital. Unfortunately, the number of mosquito and tick-related illnesses are increasing in Mississippi and the rest of the country, as reported by the Daily Journal’s Michaela Gibson Morris. In a report released earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control found the number of cases of disease from mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled between 2004 and 2016. During that time, West Nile Virus spread across the country. The first outbreaks for Chikungunya and Zika viruses occurred in the United States. Seven new tick-borne germs have been identified in the United States. Between 2004 and 2016, Mississippi had counted 1,137 confirmed cases of mosquito-borne illness, according to the CDC report. The most common mosquito-borne illness in Mississippi has been West Nile Virus. 2012 was the high-water mark with 247 confirmed cases and five deaths. In 2017, there were 63 confirmed cases with two deaths. The state health department also confirmed cases of Chikungunya and Zika, but those illnesses were associated with travel to areas where the diseases were actively transmitted. Over the 12-year CDC report period, Mississippi had fewer tickborne cases: 539, a little less than half of the mosquito-related count. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever has long occurred in Mississippi and remains the most common tick-borne illness. Between 2015 and 2017, provisional monthly disease reports show between 94 and 161 confirmed cases annually of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, exceeding the number of confirmed West Nile cases. Mississippi has seen less of Lyme disease and its famous bullseye rash. Tick-borne illnesses are treatable, but they should be taken seriously. People who develop a fever, especially with a rash, after being bitten by a tick, should seek medical attention. Surveillance at home, officials said, remains extremely important, especially during the summer and early fall, which is the most active time for mosquito and tick-related diseases in Mississippi. Precautions suggested by state health department officials include removing sources of standing water, especially after rainfall, wearing protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, during peak times from dusk until dawn and using a recommended mosquito repellent according to manufacturer’s directions. We urge Mississippians to take heed of these instructions and be prepared for what could be a rough season. Taking these preventive measures could prove to be lifesaving. — Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal


6 I Mississippi Business Journal I May 18, 2018 » RICKY NOBILE


Continued from Page 5

In 2008 a Rankin County prosecuting attorney and Baptist deacon won the congressional seat. Gregg Harper, then 52, of Pearl has served for 10 years, becoming Chairman of the House Committee on Administration in 2017. In January, the long-time Republican Party activist and hard-fighting champion for the developmentally disabled announced he would not seek re-election. This year another Rankin County prosecuting attorney and Baptist deacon is in the race. Michael Guest, 48, of Brandon, District Attorney for Madison and Rankin Counties, has 22 years of prosecuting experience. Guest serves as President of the Foundation for Rankin County Public Schools and on the Boards of the State and Central Mississippi Crime Stoppers. His resume is filled with law enforcement activism with Guest having served as a law enforcement instructor, aggressively pursued drug forfeitures, and publicized “most wanted” criminals. Guest wants to transition his fighting for victims of crime in courtrooms to fighting for Mississippi’s interests in the halls of Congress. Yes, history may repeat itself. But which history will voters prefer? Bill Crawford ( is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.


Candidates vie for attention in 3rd District race


oters in central Mississippi’s 3rd District are choosing a new member of Congress for the first time in a decade. Candidates have been traveling for weeks to speak at forums and fish fries, and the heavy rotation of advertising – for those who can afford it – is expected to begin close to Me-

morial Day. Party primaries are June 5, and if a runoff is needed to choose the Republican nominee, it will be June 26. Rep. Gregg Harper of Pearl was first elected in 2008 to what was then an open seat because fellow Republican Chip Pickering stepped aside after 12 years. Harper announced early this year that he wouldn’t seek another term, saying he thinks a decade in Washington is enough. The district encompasses all of 20 counties and parts of four others. It runs in a diagonal across the middle of the state, from two counties that touch the Mississippi River in the southwestern corner, up through the more densely populated suburbs of Madison and Rankin counties in the Jackson metro area and further northeast to the college town of Starkville and over to the Alabama line. Six candidates are in the Republican primary. Because a majority is needed to win, it is likely to go to runoff. Sally Doty , 51, of Brookhaven, is an attorney and secondterm state senator. Morgan Dunn , 36, of Magee, founded a health care consulting firm, and she and her husband own a restaurant. Michael Guest , 48, of Brandon, is the district attorney in Madison and Rankin counties. Whit Hughes, 43, of Madison, is a past deputy director of the state economic development agency and has been foun-

dation president and chief development officer for Baptist Health Systems. Perry Parker, 52, of Seminary, had a career in international finance, working in Chicago, New York, London and Santa Barbara, California, before moving back to his native Mississippi; he also helped found a bank in Hattiesburg. Katherine “Bitzi” Tate , 61, of Jackson, is an education consultant. Two candidates are competing in the 3rd District Democratic primary. Michael Ted Evans , 42, of Preston, is a second-term state representative and retired firefighter. Michael Aycox , 30, of Newton, is a Navy veteran. The most recent campaign finance reports show how much money the candidates raised and spent between Jan. 1 and March 31. Hughes led the field, having collected $304,354. Next was Guest, at $280,911. Parker collected $102,032 and lent his own campaign $240,000. Doty collected $65,059 and lent her own campaign $15,802. Dunn collected $30,600 and lent her own campaign $73,100. Tate did not file a report to the Federal Election Commission. On the Democratic side, Aycox reported $100 in contributions and Evans did not file a report.

Emily Pettus

The 3rd District has been considered solidly Republican territory since it was created after the 2000 Census. Mississippi went from five U.S. House districts to four because it had grown more slowly than other states. The current 3rd District consists largely of territory combined from the former 3rd that was represented by Pickering and the former

The 3rd District has been considered solidly Republican territory since it was created after the 2000 Census. Mississippi went from five U.S. House districts to four because it had grown more slowly than other states. 4th that was represented by Democrat Ronnie Shows. Pickering and Shows were pitted against each other in the redrawn 3rd District in 2002, and Pickering won. For a Democrat to compete in the general election this year, the party and the nominee will need to quickly accelerate their fundraising efforts. Winners of the Republican and Democratic primaries will advance to the Nov. 6 general election, and the ballot then will also list Matthew Holland as a Reform Party candidate. Emily Wagster Pettus covers Capitol matters for the Mississippi Associated Press in Jackson.

May 18, 2018


Mississippi Business Journal




Choice in Mississippi


n a previous column, I emphatically stated that my contrarian view of Mississippi to what the mainstream media often portrays is based on a cognitive choice. Every day people must make choices and these choices carry certain benefits, some of which may be purely financial and others that may be altruistic in nature. Choices also carry very real costs, some of which may be purely financial, but others may be opportunity in nature. Nascent startups and entrepreneurs focused on trying to solve problems with expansion are faced with an almost unmanageable number of choices and decisions at each phase of development. Regardless of whether a startup is in the conception phase or the scaling phase of its life cycle, it must make choices and decisions – many of which can drastically alter the trajectory of the organization in either a positive or negative way. In advising hundreds of startups and early stage companies over a nearly 15-year career, I have witnessed clients make some incredibly brave and impactful choices. I have also witnessed some monumentally devastating choices. The two areas where I see most startups and early stage companies make choice mistakes are building the proper team and product development. One of the first critical decisions for a founder is building out the team, generally composed of co-founders, mentors,

advisers, and employees/independent contractors. As Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, observed, “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.” Going at it alone will almost certainly lead to failure; but, what strategies can a founder implement in order to make the best choices for the startup team? First, look for people that are committed to the vision. Next, look for people that have the necessary technical skills. My belief is the strongest founding teams are made up of three primary members, the hacker, the hipster, and the hustler. The hacker is generally the team member that possesses the technical ability or skill. The hipster is generally the person that brings the creative ability to the team. And finally, the hustler is that team member that can sell the product or service. Once the founder has identified individuals that are committed to the vision and possess demonstrated technical ability, I suggest following the teambuilding strategy of Richard Barton, the founder of Expedia and Zillow. Regardless of someone’s technical competency, Barton looks for team members that demonstrate The Wizard of Oz characteristics of leadership, namely that people possess a brain, a heart, and are courageous. When startup organizations make choic-

es or decisions, it is critically important for the founders to analyze and assess as much information as is readily available while balancing the two most scarce resources, which are time and money. This is especially true at the validation stage of the startup life cycle. By the time a startup has reached the validation stage, it has identified a core problem and theorized a potential solution or series of solutions. The startup has also built out the founding team, initially defined its mission, and has developed some minimally viable product. At the validation stage, the startup begins to further and more aggressively test assumptions. One of the best ways a startup can test assumptions is to seek customer feedback. I have seen all too often that startups make untested assumptions about certain product features, but they fail to seek any or enough customer feedback. Failing to test assumptions by garnering customer feedback leads to startups making choices based on insufficient information, which can lead to costly decisions. Another benefit from receiving customer feedback during the validation stages is the removal of bias. It is extremely common for founders and founding teams to carry bias through the idea, concepting, and committed phases. This is normal and very natural; but, seeking out feedback from existing and potential customers can reduce

this bias. Reducing product bias will lead a startup to make better choices and decisions as it iterates through the validation process. Entrepreneur Sam Altman once said, “No growth hack, brilliant Matthew McLaughlin marketing idea, or sales team can save you long-term if you don’t have a sufficiently good product.” Value is always held in the eyes of the consumer or customer, so the only way to truly know whether a startup has a sufficiently good product is through a constant customer or user feedback loop. Startups and early stage companies are, in part, tasked with decision making. It permeates every aspect of the organization’s operations. Devoting thoughtfulness to gathering as much information as possible from a diverse set of resources will mitigate the risk of making a detrimental choice or decision that can negatively impact the path of the organization.

Matthew P. McLaughlin is an attorney with McLaughlin, PC in Jackson, Mississippi, and serves as the executive director of the Mississippi Brewers Guild. Matthew’s passion is working with creative and entrepreneurial-minded people and organizations, having worked with and advised hundreds of entrepreneurs, startups, and social innovators throughout the Southeastern United States. He may be contacted at or 601-487-4550, or you may visit for more information.

8 Q Mississippi Business Journal Q May 18, 2018 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Full-service grocery slated for downtown Jackson By JACK WEATHERLY A key piece of the puzzle for revitalizing downtown Jackson is ready to be put in place. A grocery will be installed in the 366,000-square-foot Landmark Center on Capitol St. at Lamar St., according to Dyke Nelson, chief operating officer of WN Management of Baton Rouge, which manages and directs the redevelopment of the building. Hattiesburg-based Roberts Co., will add its eighth Corner Market in Mississippi, a 17,500-square-foot space that will offer a full-service store with a deli and indoor seating. David Roberts, vice president of the Roberts Co., described the stores as “urban market” with more emphasis on the deli, which won’t be self-serve, but full-service. He said the grocery would open when the conversion of the building into apartments and other retail are complete The Landmark Center has bounced from one potential future to another in recent years.

AT&T moved out of the seven-story, curvilinear building in 2012 and the University of Mississippi Medical Center withdrew from a plan to use the building two years later. The state Department of Revenue chose a site in Clinton. Then the idea of a mixed-use conversion gained traction. WN Management announced in 2016 a plan to put 200 apartments into the building, a plan reiterated last year. Downtown is gaining residents — with the King Edward Apartments, the Standard Life Flats, the Capitol Art Lofts, and, under construction are apartments in the Lamar Life Building, as well as in the former Edison Walthall hotel, and other plans are on the drawing board. Nelson said the Landmark plan still calls for 200 apartments. “This is first of what we hope to be a number of announcements in the project,” Nelson said. He said conversion should be complete by the end of next year. He said the company has already done a project like the Landmark, the 440 on Third in Baton Rouge. Ben Allen, president of Downtown


Jackson Partners, a business improvement district, said that the 10-year lease with the Roberts Co. is a good indicator that the developer is committed to finishing the project.

Allen said the Corner Market stores are “laid out like a Fresh Market. It’s got real pretty produce, real good beef.”

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Jury is out on whether tax cuts have resulted in Americans investing more By BECKY GILLETTE

The recent GOP tax cuts have put more money in the pockets of some workers who are now having less federal tax deducted from their paychecks. And some taxpayers such as those with Subchapter S corporations might end up with a windfall because of changes in the tax law. It has been estimated that three quarters of Americans will receive a tax cut. But are the tax cuts causing more people to invest in the stock market or other investments? “That is an important question,” said Ashby Foote Foote III. “Many people are still trying to sort out the details of the tax reform and working with tax professionals on how to best position their businesses and investments for the years ahead.” The April 15 deadline to pay taxes has only Wall recently passed, and since the tax reform doesn’t apply until the 2018 tax year, there are still uncertainties. There could be consequences that could benefit states with lower tax rates. “One thing for sure is we can expect some out-migration for high tax states like New York, New Jersey and California where federal tax liabilities have benefitted from the deductions of state and city taxes,” Foote said. “We can expect those folks migrate to low tax states like Texas, Florida and Tennessee.” Mississippi also has less onerous tax rates than some of the northern states, and this perhaps could encourage people to move to Mississippi if they are looking for a lighter tax burden. It might particularly be an attractive move for retirees because Mississippi doesn’t tax retirement income. It might attract retirees facing higher taxes because of changes in the tax law. “We’ll know more in the months ahead as some of these issues are sorted out,”

Foote said. Stacey Wall, CEO of Pinnacle Trust, said they haven’t really seen an increase in people investing money as a result of the tax cuts. Rather than investing more, he said most people seem to be servicing debt or spending more — which is good for the economy. Some people are wary of the stock mar-

ket because it is been on a roller coaster ride this year. But Wall said the perception that the market is too volatile is a result from not really having any volatility at all for the 18 or so months before this year. “As far as bargains, our Investment Management Unit believes strongly that having the proper investment mix is far more important than security selection,”

Wall said. Ten-year Treasury notes have gone up to 3 percent, and higher interest rates are good for investors needing income. But Wall said they have been focused on shorter durations that stand up better in a rising interest rate environment. “That has really paid off for our clients,” he said. A rising interest rate environment along with a flat yield curve doesn’t bode well for bonds, said Renasant Investment Officer Jake Heyer. “With this, we haven’t seen many investors entering the fixed income markets,” Heyer said, “The recent tax cuts have provided many individual investors with additional disposable income. These investors are now faced with the challenge of what to do with this disposable income. Every client’s situation is different, but we have seen many individuals increase their contribution rates to their company-sponsored retirement plans. Also, the volatility of the stock market has given investors the opportunity to put some cash to work at good valuations.”

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10 Q Mississippi Business Journal Q May 18, 2018

Time to look ahead at 2019 tax year By CALLIE DANIELS BRYANT

Pencils down. Papers filed. Tense shoulders can now relax – we’re a month past the 2018 tax deadline, unless your tax return was smaller than hoped, or worse, you owe IRS. It’s never too early to plan ahead on how you can have a better tax season by 2019’s deadline, so we spoke to accountants and financial planners in Mississippi. “I think the biggest ‘mistake’ people make is not having a tax adviser they trust walking them through the filing. The biggest risk is missed opportunities because they simply don’t know what questions to ask themselves to trigger important information for their tax return. An adviser knows the right questions to ask and where the opportunities lie,” said Marsha Diekman, CFA, the partner-in-charge at Horne, LLP, with her office based in Ridgeland. Diekman said that keeping track of important documents throughout the year avoids missed information at deadline such as understating income or missed deductions. “That’s why our firm offers an online organizer for our clients to organize and store their documents during the year. Plus there are automated retrieval capa-

bilities for 1098s, 1099s, W-2s and more. Clients can snap pictures of documents and upload from their smartphone in the middle of transactions or when the info is fresh on their minds,’ she said. Adding to the topic of common mistakes people can avoid for 2019 tax season, Ted Edwards, CPA for Haddox Reid Eubank Betts PLLC, said, “Tax laws are complex. Because of this, it is easy for those not trained and skilled in the area of tax preparation to make mistakes. Reporting more, or less, than the appropriate amount of income, gains, etc. is a common mistake, and likewise for deductible expenses. Probably at the top of the list is missing legitimate allowable deductions.” Like Diekman, Edwards added that a simple way to make tax filing easier for 2019 is to accumulate all necessary tax filing documents in an organized manner and then provide them to their accountant as early as possible in the tax filing season. With common sense advice in mind, there is more preparation yet to face the effects of new and changed tax legislations. “There are many changes from the 2017 tax legislature that takes effect for the 2018 tax year,” Edwards said. “A few that will potentially result in a tax reduction for many taxpayers include lower tax rates and widening tax brackets, increased

Financial Planners

standard deduction (essentially twice as much as before), increased child tax credit that will be available to many more taxpayers, and the ability to use 529 plans to pay for K-12 tuition (previously limited to college expenses). Also, the new 20 percent deduction available to certain business ventures could prove to result in significant reductions in Federal income tax liability.” He continues: “Awareness of changes made by the 2017 tax legislation that may not result in reduced taxes, such as the elimination of the deduction of personal exemptions, the repeal of the alimony deduction for divorce agreements entered into after December, 31, 2018, the $10,000 cap on the deduction for state and local real property taxes, personal property taxes and income or sales taxes, and the change to the mortgage interest deduction limiting the deduction to interest on acquisition indebtedness of $750,000 (previously one million) and the disallowance of the deduction for home equity indebtedness (that does not qualify as acquisition indebtedness).” While there are a lot of changes to keep track of, there are just as many opportunities to net benefits. Author, co-host of MPB’s “Money Talks” radio program, and investment advisor with New Perspectives, Inc., Ryder Taff (CFA, CPIM), said that across the board it looks like people will save about fifteen percent on their taxes for the next few years. “It’s a perfect time to take advantage of a Roth IRA for extra savings,” Taff said. As he explained in a blog on New Perspectives, Inc. website, (hyperlink: https:// the taxpayers are temporarily in a lower tax bracket which would make it a good time to create a Roth IRA to contribute larger

savings towards before being moved back to higher tax brackets for the same level of income. Roth IRAs are tax free accounts where growth and even withdrawals in keeping with a few rules are tax free. They are ideal for investors who have time and a steady income to grow for their retirement accounts 30 years down the road. Taff added, “A lot of people, particularly self-employed people are looking at different ways to incorporate in order to take advantage of the new law but that is a very complicated area. It may make sense to separate passive businesses from active businesses in order to qualify for the 20 percent deduction, but that is a matter for their CPA.” Diekman also pointed out that while tax deductions may be lost, the brackets are expanded and rates are lowered. With all these opportunities she advises that it would be good to meet with an adviser sooner than later in order to maximize on results. “Taxes are just one piece of your financial picture,” Diekman said. “A coordinated approach with a team helping you with your overall wealth plan is the best thing you can do as you look to 2019. Tax reform brought us opportunity and now is the time to explore the possibilities with the right folks in the room. There are current tax implications and long-term tax implications (wealth and estate planning) that should be vetted by an experienced team of tax and wealth advisors working together.” There are many changes, some possibly temporary, to understanding and filing taxes, but the overall consensus is that yes, go ahead and start planning for next year even a month after the 2018 tax filing. Future may be uncertain, but preparation is always wise.

Your Dream. Our Mission. When your bank shares your goals, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. After over 100 years sharing the same commitment to the Gulf South’s people, culture and communities, Hancock and Whitney Bank are becoming Hancock Whitney on May 25. With this change, there’s nothing you need to do. Just enjoy our legendary 5-star service. On May 25, 2018 Whitney Bank will become Hancock Whitney Bank. Until then, “Hancock Whitney” refers to Whitney Bank and thereafter it refers to Hancock Whitney Bank. Whitney Bank, Member FDIC.

Financial Planners

12 Q Mississippi Business Journal Q May 18, 2018









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Financial Planners

14 Q Mississippi Business Journal Q May 18, 2018


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Mississippi Business Journal



Sorrells joins Hattiesburg Clinic Dialysis

Griffin promoted to first vice president

HOPE named WSJ Financial Concord Capital announces Inclusion Challenge finalist purchase of 600 Concourse

Sharon “Sheri” D. Sorrells, CNP, recently joined Hattiesburg Clinic Dialysis. Sorrells provides care for patients with stage 5 kidney disease at the department’s various satellite units throughout the region. Sorrells received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Arkansas Sorrells State University in Jonesboro, Ark., and a Master of Science in Nursing from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Miss. She is board certified as a family nurse practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and holds a professional membership with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Sorrells said her goal is to help patients understand their condition and to help them properly manage it. “Renal failure and the need for dialysis treatment is devastating to most patients. It takes time and ongoing education to help patients understand how to care for themselves properly,” said Sorrells. “A team approach is needed to address the physical and emotional patient issues. Our goal is to improve their quality of life and allow them to view dialysis as a positive part of their lives.”

Renasant Bank’s Loan Review Department has promoted Justin Griffin to First Vice President and Loan Review Officer. Griffin will continue his role in Loan Review, including, coordination with Audit Committee, monitoring internal loan risk, collecting action plans, and Griffin maintaining the department’s scheduling process. Griffin is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a graduate of the Paul W. Barret, Jr. Graduate School of Banking. Griffin contributes to his community through organizations such as the United Way and Eight Days of Hope. He and his wife, Christie, have three children, Preston, Brooks, and Rachel. They are members of First Baptist Church in Tupelo and live in Tupelo.

HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation/Hope Credit Union) has been named a finalist in The Wall Street Journal Financial Inclusion Challenge for its work to bring opportunity to small towns in the Mississippi Delta. HOPE is one of three finalists from more than 120 entries in the first U.S. iteration of the Journal’s Financial Inclusion Challenge. A winner will be selected in New York City on May 9. “Over the coming weeks, the WSJ will shine a light on the importance of financial inclusion in America. We are proud to be part of this effort,” said HOPE CEO Bill Bynum. After acquiring donated bank branches, HOPE opened locations, from 2014 to 2015, in Drew, Itta Bena, Moorhead and Shaw – all severely distressed Mississippi towns with populations of approximately 2,000 people. All four communities are located in counties where the poverty rate has eclipsed 20 percent for more than three decades. In three of the four towns, HOPE is the only financial institution. Within a short period, HOPE has dramatically expanded the range of financial products and services available to area residents, and now serves more than 50 percent of the population, far exceeding the former bank’s market penetration. “These communities have long been neglected. The entire region is on the wrong side of all indicators of well-being. We are committed to bringing opportunity to where it is needed most,” Bynum said. Nearly 25 years ago, the Enterprise Corporation of the Delta began pursuing its mission of strengthening communities, building assets and improving lives in 55 Delta counties. Today, HOPE serves distressed people and places throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee - a region that is home to more than one-third of the most impoverished counties in the nation. “While we have changed our name, broadened our services, and expanded our territory, our mission remains the same,” Bynum said. “So does our commitment to the Delta.” HOPE serves more than 44,000 member-owners across its five-state Deep South region. Of those members, 69 percent were previously unbanked or underbanked. Nearly half of HOPE’s locations are in persistent poverty counties, where the poverty rate has exceeded 20 percent for more than three decades.

Kirby Latham joins Neel-Schaffer

Kirby Latham, PE, has joined Neel-Schaffer, Inc., as a Senior Project Manager in the Mobile office. Latham has more than 20 years of experience as a transportation design engineer and project manager. He has experience in the design of roadways, bridges, and utilities, Latham as well as bridge inspections, and construction engineering. Latham is a Registered Professional Engineer in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. He holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from the University of South Alabama.

Mary Ann Moon, appointed Dean of Oklahoma EDI

The University of Oklahoma College of Professional and Continuing Studies with the Center for Community, Energy and Economic Development has appointed Mary Ann Moon CEcD, FM, HLM as Dean of the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute. Moon served as Assistant Dean from 2016-2017 and began her tenure as Dean in January. The University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute (OU EDI) is a premier economic development training program in the nation. Moon is the Vice President of Economic Development and Marketing for Tice Engineering Inc. in Wiggins and Ridgeland. She is responsible for developing new business opportunities for TEI, Inc. and promoting the company’s specialized engineering and surveying services. She is also a business and economic development Advocate for AECOM, the world’s largest engineering firm, and is an instructor at OU EDI She will serve through December of 2019.

Ramey named Reunion’s Food & Beverage Director Robert Ramey was recently appointed Food and Beverage Director at Reunion Golf and Country Club. Ramey has developed 5-Star properties in his more than 35 years of managing golf clubs, resorts, hotels and real estate properties. Ramey Ramey will be on the management committee searching for an Executive Chef to lead the culinary team in Reunion’s clubhouse scheduled to open in a few months.

Bostick named as market president in Corinth Renasant Bank is pleased to announce Reid Bostick has been promoted to Market President in Corinth. Bostick will be responsible for managing daily operations and loan portfolios for Renasant’s Corinth and Iuka markets. Bostick joined Renasant in 2011, having previously served Bostick as Banking Officer. Bostick is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Masters of Public Policy and Finance. He is also a graduate of The University of Mississippi School of Banking. Bostick contributes to his community through organizations such as the Kiwanis Club, the Corinth Museum Board, the Treasurer of Oasis Medical Center, Corinth Business Networking International chapter, and the Past Chair of Alliance’s Community Development Council. He and his wife, Hayli have one son, Bennett. The Bostick’s are members of Oakland Baptist Church where Reid serves as Deacon. They currently reside in Guys, TN.

MacKenzie achieves Circle of Success recognition Robert S. MacKenzie, CFP, CRPC, Private Wealth Advisor/ Certified Financial Planner professional with MacKenzie & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Kosciusko has qualified for the company’s Circle of Success annual recogniMacKenzie tion program and will be honored for this achievement in 2018. To earn this achievement, MacKenzie established himself as one of the company’s top advisors. Only a few advisors earn this distinction.

Concord Capital, LLC announced the purchase of the 600 Concourse Building in Ridgeland, establishing the company as the second largest office landlord along Highland Colony Parkway. Concord Capital is the acquisition and development company of industry veterans Ted Duckworth, Breck Hines and John Michael Holtmann. Concord and their affiliates also own 200 and 400 Concourse, and this acquisition brings their total square footage owned in the Highland Colony submarket to 163,000 square feet. Constructed in 2007, 600 Concourse is the home office for the law firm Copeland Cook Taylor and Bush, P.A. Additional tenants include Feild Cooperative Association, First Commercial Bank and Carroll Bufkin Law Firm. Property management and leasing for 600 Concourse will be provided by Duckworth Realty, Inc. Duckworth Realty is focused on commercial leasing, brokerage and management of office and retail properties throughout the Southeast, and is operated by Concord Capital principals: Duckworth, Hines and Holtmann. Concord Capital is currently marketing the third floor to prospective users. Spaces from 4,500 square feet to 24,000 square feet are available, and more information can be provided by calling Breck Hines at 601.914.0800. The 73,000 square foot, Class A office building is located at 1076 Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland. Financing for the acquisition was provided by Leigh Pace at Origin Bank. Robert Hutchison of ButlerSnow LLP advised the purchasers, and Copeland Cook Taylor and Bush advised the sellers.

Tsai named Gold Strike president & COO David Tsai has been named President & COO of Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica, Mississippi. In this new role, Tsai will lead daily operations and provide strategic direction and leadership for the property. Most recently, Tsai served as Senior Vice President & Chief Tsai Financial Officer for Monte Carlo in Las Vegas. He also led the $550 million transformation of Monte Carlo to the new luxury hotels Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas. He joined the Company in 2007 and has served multiple leadership roles during his tenure such as SVP of Corporate Strategy & Analytics for MGM Resorts, VP of Strategic Development at ARIA, and Executive Director of Strategy & Development for CityCenter Group. Tsai is from Miami, Florida. He has a master’s degree in Management Science and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University. He also earned his Master of Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business.


16 Q Mississippi Business Journal Q May 18, 2018

Dyanne Ray joins Butler Snow in Ridgeland Butler Snow is pleased to announce that Dyanne Ray has joined the firm in Ridgeland, Miss. Ray will serve as a banking and compliance advisor in the banking and bank regulatory area within the finance, real estate and restructuring practice group. “We look forward to utilizing Ray Dyanne’s expertise in working with our financial institution clients,” said Donald Clark, Jr., chairman, Butler Snow. “Her banking, regulatory compliance, IT and problem solving experience will be a great asset to the firm. We are excited to have her working on our team.” Ray has been a successful quality assurance analyst in the financial services industry, and has vast experience in loan, deposit and compliance software and systems, including integrating with IT and business areas to streamline and maximize efficiencies. Her banking background includes consumer, commercial and mortgage lending. While working as a loan operations manager at Deposit Guaranty National Bank, Ray managed consumer and commercial loan operations for several states and collaborated with senior management to advance more efficient processes. Ray earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mississippi State University.

Chief Judge Lee announces retirement in December Chief Judge L. Joseph Lee of the Court of Appeals of the State of Mississippi announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of his term in December 2018. Judge Lee earlier this year filed qualifying papers to seek reelection. On Tuesday, he Lee withdrew his candidacy. “At the end of this term, I will have served 20 years on the Court. It is time I step aside and permit qualified candidates who otherwise would not run against me the opportunity to seek the office. I will continue to serve out the remainder of my term,” Judge Lee said. Judge Lee, 72, of Jackson, was first elected to the Court of Appeals in November 1998 and took office in January 1999. Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. appointed Judge Lee as administrative head of the Court of Appeals March 3, 2011. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court selects the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals from the judges of that court. Judge Lee previously served for seven years as a presiding judge. Judge Lee was born in Poplarville and grew up in Lamar County. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi and the former William Carey College, now William Carey University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from William Carey and a law degree from the former Jackson School of Law, now Mississippi College School of Law. Judge Lee was honored as Mississippi College School of Law’s 2004 Lawyer of the Year. The Mississippi House of Representatives in 2004 passed

a resolution honoring him for his judicial service and for teaching and mentoring students. The University of Southern Mississippi honored him with its Juris Sodalitas Distinguished Public Servant Award in 2007. William Carey University named him to the Alumni Hall of Fame in 2014. Mississippi College School of Law presented an Honorary Master of Laws to Judge Lee in 2009, and honored him with the Outstanding Judicial Service Award in 2015. Judge Lee is married to Renee Simon Lee. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Airbus Helicopters UH-72A Lakota Fleet surpasses 500,000 Flight Hours

Who’s Who Legal recognizes 10 Butler Snow attorneys Butler Snow is pleased to announce that 10 of its attorneys have been recognized by Who’s Who Legal. Christy D. Jones has also been named to Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders 2018, ranking third in the Americas by the publication in the categories of life sciences and product liability. Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders 2018 brings together the insight, expertise and wisdom of some of the world’s foremost lawyers and experts in a single book. Who’s Who Legal: Thought Leaders 2018 includes individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. The Butler Snow attorneys named to Who’s Who Legal include: James C. Barton, Jr. – Product Liability, Birmingham, Ala. William M. Gage – Product Liability Defence, Ridgeland, Miss. Christy D. Jones – Litigation: Lawyers, Legal Life Sciences: Product Liability, Ridgeland, Miss. Michael E. McWilliams – Product Liability Defence, Ridgeland, Miss. Robert A. Miller – Product Liability Defence, Ridgeland, Miss. Meade W. Mitchell – Product Liability Defence, Ridgeland, Miss. Kurt G. Rademacher – Private Client: Lawyers, Singapore Orlando R. Richmond, Sr. – Product Liability Defence, Ridgeland, Miss. Martin A. Sosland – Legal Restructuring & Insolvency, Lawyers, Dallas, Tex. Brad F. Westerfield – Private Client: Lawyers, London Since 1996 Who’s Who Legal has identified the foremost legal practitioners in multiple areas of business law. In total, Who’s Who Legal features more than 24,000 of the world’s leading private practice lawyers and 2,500 consulting experts from more than 150 national jurisdictions. Who’s Who Legal prides itself on the integrity and authority of its findings. According to Who’s Who Legal, It is impossible to buy entry into the publication. “We are proud of each of our attorneys recognized in this year’s Who’s Who Legal,” said Donald Clark, Jr., chairman, Butler Snow. “This group illustrates how accomplished our attorneys are in their respective specialties. Who’s Who Legal is published by Law Business Research Limited. It is an independent London-based publishing group, which provides research, analysis and reports on the international legal services marketplace. Subscribers include leading international corporations, government agencies, law firms and individual private practitioners.

Courtesy of xxx

Milestone marks a significant level of maturity for the program, maintaining the Lakota’s position as one of the most successful acquisition programs in Department of Defense history. The Airbus Helicopters UH-72A Lakota fleet recently exceeded 500,000 flight hours, operating in a multitude of military missions and tasks around the globe. Airbus has delivered more than 420 Lakotas since the UH-72A was competitively selected in 2005. “It’s essential that we continue our unbroken record of delivering every aircraft on time and on cost, so our customers can accomplish their challenging missions safely and efficiently. Their positive customer experience is our charter, and we are always striving to enhance the Lakota fleet,” Emerson said. Available in multiple configurations with the lowest cost to buy, own and operate of any U.S. military helicopter in production, the UH-72A is a key component of the Army’s Aviation Restructuring Initiative (ARI) and the primary rotary-wing trainer for the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker, Ala. Lakotas have been employed extensively in support of Customs and Border Control operations along the U.S. Southwest border and in response to wildfires in California, and Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Most recently, West Virginia National Guard Lakota helicopters were used for reconnaissance missions in coordination with local police, providing eyes in the sky during execution of drug-interdiction search warrants, highlighting the unique versatility of this aircraft and its ability to perform in joint governmental and non-governmental agency operations. The UH-72A Lakota final assembly is completed at Airbus Helicopters Inc. production center in Columbus, Miss.

Jenkins honor graduate at Cannon Financial Institute

Leslie Todd Joins The Pediatric Clinic

Ryan Jenkins, Internal Audit Manager with Renasant Bank, was among 36 professionals who attended the Trust Audit, Compliance and Risk Management (TACRM) School offered by Cannon Financial Institute. TACRM School is a three-year program consisting of 38 hours Jenkins of classroom instruction each year, and diplomas are awarded upon completion of the program. Additionally, Jenkins successfully completed the program with the “Honor Graduate” designation, Cannon’s highest academic distinction. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Accounting. He is active with the American Cancer Society and the United Way. He and his wife Susan have one child, Reagan. They are members of Old Field Methodist Church in Calhoun County, and they live in Oxford.

Leslie M. Todd, CNP, recently joined The Pediatric Clinic, a service of Hattiesburg Clinic. Todd received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Southern Mississippi, where she also obtained her Master of Science in Nursing. She is board certified as a family nurse practitioner by the Todd American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and has a special practice interest in pediatrics. She is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.

Newsmakers The First promotes Mit Cole Rural Lending Co-op Mit Cole has been promoted hires Melanie Lien to Senior Vice President in Private Banking for The First, A National Banking Association in Hattiesburg. He is the former President of the Jones County Market for The First in Laurel. Cole, his wife Amber Taylor Cole, and their 15-month old Cole daughter Vivian Ruth live in Ellisville and are members of First United Methodist Church. He is a graduate of Louisiana State University where he was a four-year letterman in football and a member of the 2007-2008 National Championship Team. He is a board member for The Greater Pine Belt Community Foundation in Hattiesburg. Cole was active with the boards of The United Way of the Pine belt, The Laurel Kiwanis Club, American Heart walk – Jones County Chapter and the AEE. Cole enjoys hunting and operating his small cattle farm in his spare time.

MSU alum Russell joins Nashville firm Argent Trust Company recently announced that David Russell has joined its Nashville office as vice president and trust officer. Russell, who earned a bachelor’s in banking and finance at Mississippi State University, has more than 34 years in the wealth management industry. Russell is a planned giving specialist, certified financial planner and certified senior advisor. Before joining Argent, Russell served for several years as a senior relationship manager for a Mississippi trust company. He is a member of the Mississippi Estate Planning Council and past president of the Mississippi Chapter Financial Planning Association.

Payne Earns Prestigious CCIM Designation Tommy Payne, Broker Associate with Payne Realty of Madison has been awarded the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation by CCIM Institute. The designation was awarded during a pinning ceremony on April 11 during CCIM Institute’s Midyear Governance Payne Meetings at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa, Florida. The CCIM designation signifies expertise in the commercial real estate profession. Payne received his Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Management of Construction and Land Development and also in Risk Management, Insurance and Financial Planning from Mississippi State University. He is currently serving as President of Mississippi Commercial Association of Realtors and is a member of the 2018 Class of Leadership Mississippi Association of Realtors.

Southern AgCredit, ACA, a rural lending cooperative, recently hired Melanie Lien as a credit analyst in its Ridgeland administrative office. Lien joins Southern AgCredit with one year’s experience in the finance department of the Madison County School District. Previously, she worked for five years in credit/underwriting at a bank. Lien holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Mississippi College. Originally from Forest, she now resides in Ridgeland with her husband, Adam.

May 18, 2018


Mississippi Business Journal



Parker honored by association

Mitchener Joins BankFirst Financial Services BankFirst Financial Services recently announced the addition of Grady W. Mitchener as Senior Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager for the Golden Triangle area. Grady, a Columbus native, has 34 years of banking and lending experience. Mitchener earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from Mississippi State University. He is also a graduate of the Mississippi School of Banking and the Southeastern School of Commercial Lending in Nashville. Grady and his wife, Cathy, have two sons and currently reside in Starkville.

Inductees for 2018 Doctors’ Hall of Fame aanounced The Forrest General Healthcare Foundation has chosen four for induction into the Doctors’ Hall of Fame, which honors physicians who have contributed to the improvement of health care in Hattiesburg and at Forrest General Hospital. This year’s inductees: Nagen Bellare, M.D., who Bellare died in March 2017, began medical school at Bangalore Medical College in Bangalore, India, at age 16. He came to America in 1967 and began his internship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. In 1988, he founded Hospice in Tulare County, Calif. At Forrest General, Bellare was president, Forrest General Stonnington Medical Staff; chairman, Medical Quality Improvement Committee; chairman, Department of Medicine; co-chairman, Cancer Care Committee; medical director, Cancer Center; member of the Cancer, Transfusion and Quality Improvement committees; and a member of Board of Managers Healthcare Alliance. Bellare was Murphey also a member of the American Society of Executive Physicians, American Society of Clinical Oncology, Fellow of the American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Mississippi State Medical Association, and South Mississippi Medical Society. At Hattiesburg Clinic, he served on the Board of Directors and as secretary and treasurer of the Executive Committee. Michael J. Stonnington, M.D., graduated from

Courtesy of PRCC Public Relations

The American Association for Women in Community Colleges selected Dr. Amanda Parker to receive its Women Under 40 award. She is shown above with PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood and Dr. Jana Causey, PRCC vice president for Forrest County Operations. Parker is assistant vice president for Pearl River Community College’s Forrest County Operations. The award recognizes “movers and shakers” who are making a difference at the college where they serve. She was nominated by Dr. Jana Causey, who wrote in her nomination letter. “As her direct supervisor, I have witnessed an individual who is passionate and dedicated to her students as well as a great leader to our institution. Her student evaluations tout glowing remarks about her effective teaching and support to students.” Parker holds degrees in biological sciences and biochemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi where she taught for a year in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Since coming to PRCC 10 years ago, she has been a science instructor and chair of the Health and Sciences Department at the Forrest County Center. As an instructor, she provided her students with many YouTube videos about anatomy and physiology, microbiology and biochemistry. In her role as assistant vice president, she supervises department chairs and student services operations. In addition to her administrative duties, she teaches workout classes for students, faculty and staff, organizes and leads Zumbathons to raise money for student scholarships and volunteers as an advisor to Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Parker is a graduate of the Mississippi Community College Leadership Academy and the PRCC Leadership Class. As part of the Leadership Pinebelt Class of 2016, she organized a Special Needs Expo to connect area individuals with special needs and their caregivers to local and state organizations for help in achieving their maximum potential and attaining a rich quality of life. Parker and her husband, Adam, have a daughter, Kara. the University of Virginia in 1988 and attended medical school at Duke University, where he graduated in 1992. In his 17 years at Forrest General, Stonnington has been a founding co-director of Orthopedic Trauma Services; chair, Department of Surgery; vice Strong president of the Medical Staff, and is currently president of the Medical Staff; member of the Medical Executive Committee, Accreditation Committee, Bylaws Committee, Disaster Planning Committee, Infection Prevention Committee, Trauma Committee, Trauma Council, Allied Health Committee, Quality Management Committee, Surgery Q.I. Committee, Credentials Committee, and he is a past president of Southern Bone and Joint Specialists, P.A. He is also a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and a leader in Orthopedic Traumatology. In addition, he is an adjunct clinical professor at William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine. A Lieutenant Colonel, he served in the U.S. Air Force for five years. Steven M. Murphey, M.D., graduated from Mississippi State University in 1980 with his master’s degree in Engineering. He then attended medical school at the University of Mississippi, where he grad-

uated in 1984. Murphey completed his internship and Radiology residency at Ochsner Foundation Hospital in New Orleans. During his 28 years at Forrest General, Murphey has served on the Radiology Quality Assurance Committee, Credentials Committee, Medical Records Committee, chairman of the Department of Imaging, QCIC Committee (Radiation Safety), and as an officer of Hattiesburg Clinic. He is a member of the Mississippi State Medical Association, American College of Radiology, Radiology Society of North America, the American Roentgen Ray Society, and the Mississippi Radiological Society. William B. Strong, Jr., M.D., received his bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College in 1972 and his medical degree from the University of Mississippi in 1976. Dr. Strong completed his Pediatric internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and received additional medical training in Anatomic Pathology from the University of Tennessee Memphis, as well as Anesthesiology training from the University of Texas, Medical Branch Galveston in 1980. During his 37 years at Forrest General, Strong has served in various roles, including secretary, Medical Staff; chairman, Anesthesiology Department Committees; a member of the Quality Committee and Credentials Committee; and represented the Anesthesia Department on the Medical Executive Committee.

May 18, 2018


Mississippi Business Journal




Pew survey: The Internet is good for society


mericans tend to view the impact of the Internet and other digital technologies on their own lives in largely positive ways, Pew Research Center surveys have shown through the years. A survey of U.S. adults conducted in January 2018 finds continuing evidence of this trend, with the vast majority of Internet users (88 percent) saying the web has, on balance, been a mostly good thing for them personally. But even as they view the internet’s personal impact in a positive light, Americans have grown somewhat more ambivalent about the impact of digital connectivity on society as a whole. A sizable majority of online adults (70 percent) continue to believe the Internet has been a good thing for society. Yet the share of online adults saying this has declined by a modest but still significant 6 percentage points since early 2014, when the Center first asked the question. This is balanced by a corresponding increase (from 8 percent to 14 percent) in the share of online adults who say the internet’s societal impact is a mix of good and bad. Meanwhile, the share saying the Internet has been a mostly bad thing for society is largely unchanged over that time: 15 percent said this in 2014, and 14 percent say so today. This shift in opinion regarding the ultimate social impact of the Internet is particularly stark among older Americans, despite the fact that older adults have been especially rapid adopters of consumer technologies such as social media and smartphones in recent years. Today 64 percent of online adults ages 65 and older say the Internet has been a mostly good thing for society. That represents a 14-point decline from the 78 percent who said this in 2014. The attitudes of younger adults have remained more consistent over that time: 74 percent of Internet users ages 18 to 29 say the Internet has been mostly good for society, comparable to the 79 percent who said so in 2014.

to traditional broadband service at home, similar to the 67 percent who said this in July 2015. As has consistently been true in past surveys conducted by the center, those who rely on their smartphones for home Internet service are disproportionately less likely to have attended college compared with those with traditional broadband service. nearly double the rate among those earning less than $30,000 per year (45 percent of whom have broadband service at home).

there have been no meaningful differences between Republicans’ and Democrats’ use of Facebook in 2011 and 2018. Women (61 percent) are more likely than men (51 percent) to report having a Facebook page; Gallup found a similar difference in 2011.

Older Americans use of Facebook up Facebook has consistently been most popular with younger adults aged 18 to 29, but the percentage of this group who use it -- currently 72 percent – has not changed significantly since Gallup last measured it in 2011. Meanwhile, each older age group has shown significant growth in Facebook use since that time. The greatest increase from 2011 to 2018 has been among adults aged 50 to 64. This group’s rate of use has grown from about a third in 2011 to more than half today. Retirement-age adults have nearly doubled their rate of use. Use of the social media platform has increased less among adults aged 30 to 49, by nine percentage points, to the current 65 percent. Young adults are still the age group most likely to be on Facebook, but the gaps have narrowed considerably since 2011, with 30to 49-year-olds reporting nearly as much use as those under age 30. This data is from an April 2-8 Gallup poll, which found that Facebook users’ concerns about invasion of their privacy had increased among all age groups since 2011, and was near the top of a list of user concerns. CEO Mark Zuckerberg was recently questioned about Facebook’s perceived anti-conservative bias at a congressional hearing, and Zuckerberg responded that the company operated under no political biases. Despite some conservative claims about the site’s politically motivated censorship,

PC Mic | Boy Scouts drop the ‘Boy’ That thud you heard was the Golden Mic falling off its pedestal. There have been a lot of politically correct moves by companies and brands to meet the needs of our changing society over the years. But really, the Boy Scouts dropping the “Boy” from its name? That’s kind of like a ship without a rudder. A big, Titanic-sized ship. Headed towards the Bermuda Triangle. Or perhaps a spineless skeleton! As an Eagle Scout and now dad of an Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts of America has always had a special place in my heart, and in my soul – and it always will. It’s one of the proudest institutions in our land, building leaders who have made the world better! For 108 years, the BSA’s flagship program has been known simply as the Boy Scouts. With girls soon entering the ranks, the group says that iconic name must change. So now we have Scouts BSA. The change will take effect next February. Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said many possibilities were considered during lengthy deliberations before the new name was chosen. “We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward,” he said. “We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women.” The parent organization will remain the Boy Scouts of America, and the Cub Scouts – its program serving children from kindergarten through fifth grade – will keep

1 in 5 Americans are ‘Smartphone Only’ t home These attitudinal changes are occurring in a broader landscape in which the access options available to ordinary Americans are shifting dramatically. Most notably, fully one-in-five Americans (20 COURT ORDERED ONLINE REAL ESTATE AUCTION percent) are now “smart2.52± Acre Commercial Development Site phone only” Internet users 2660 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, MS 39531 at home – that is, they own a Bidding Opens Tues., June 12th at 10 AM ET smartphone but do not sub• CB – Community Business Zoning with potential for hotel / motel, RV park, office or retail scribe to traditional broad• Adjacent to Walmart, Edgewater Mall band service where they live. • Includes 50’ easement for access to Beach Boulevard • Prime location minutes to I-110, I-10 and Gulf Coast – This represents a 7-point Biloxi International Airport increase compared with data Also at Auction: from 2015, when 13 percent • Prime 1.53± Acre Oceanfront Development Site in Atlantic Beach, SC • Three (3) Residential Development Parcels in Cape Coral, FL of Americans were smart• 12.57± Acre Dev. Site with .48± Acre Waterfront Lot in Lake Placid, FL phone-only users. Roughly 800.331.6620 two-thirds of Americans (65 Tim Carlson | 228.547.0707 2% Broker Participation | AUCTION SUBJECT TO TERMS OF SALE percent) say they subscribe

Todd Smith

its title, as well. But the Boy Scouts – the program for 11- to 17-year-olds – will now be Scouts BSA. The organization already has started admitting girls into the Cub Scouts, and Scouts BSA begins accepting girls next year. From a branding perspective, the new name certainly doesn’t advance an easily perceived message. When we help companies rebrand, we strive for a clear voice, a strong identity, a brand promise that resonates with your target audiences. The program for the older boys and girls will largely be divided along gender-lines, with single-sex units pursuing the same types of activities, earning the same array of merit badges and potentially having the same pathway to the coveted Eagle Scout award. Surbaugh said that having separate units for boys and girls should alleviate concerns that girls joining the BSA for the first time might be at a disadvantage in seeking leadership opportunities. So far, more than 3,000 girls have joined roughly 170 Cub Scout packs participating in the first phase of the new policy, and the pace will intensify this summer under a nationwide multimedia recruitment campaign titled “Scout Me In.” On social media, there was widespread criticism of the name change, generally suggesting it’s a misguided display of political correctness that undercuts the Boy Scouts’ legacy. But many other people dismissed such criticism as an overreaction. There is no doubt that both camps have merit. So now we have Scouts BSA, but no more Boy Scouts? What on earth is BSA? As one of the biggest believers in the scouting institution – and as a champion of strong brands – this is a real challenging hike. Maybe what they really need is a branding merit badge, or perhaps a new compass all together! . Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at, and follow him @ spinsurgeon.


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Mississippi Business Journal, MBJ, Focus, Financial Plannings


Mississippi Business Journal, MBJ, Focus, Financial Plannings