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INSIDE — Beetle Baffle give bees a fighting chance against the small hive beetle

November 15, 2013 • Vol. 35, No. 46 • $1 • 24 pages

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Keeping our eye on...

Kristi Hall Hall’s company specializes in wetlands, GIS analysis, threatened and endangered species surveys and National Environmental Policy Act documents.

Aiming High

More newsmakers, P 20

Around town {P 4} » BIG GRANT — Funding could bring back jobs Inside {P 9} » Bay St. Louis’s harbor and pier headed for Spring completion List {P 18} » State Registered Investment Advisors

» TALON shooting for top of tactical firearms market

» Page 8

Talon Ordnance will begin making a premium grade rifle in the M4-AR15 platform in early 2014.


Strike two for Farish Street development Inside Biz {P 9} » Drilling opponents to get their day in court

» Two developers at odds on what unfolded but agree success can be achieved By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER Both John Elkington and David Watkins

took stabs at transforming a downtown portion of Jackson’s historic Farish Street into an entertainment district. Each of the developers hit dead ends, Elkington in 2008 and Watkins earlier this fall. Neither has lost faith that the street can become the entertainment and cultural draw they set out to make it. Any success that does come, the two developers say, will hinge on a new effort


Weighing in on reverse mortgages Page 16

that has genuine cooperation from the mayor and Jackson Redevelopment Authority — something both say they lacked during their years of trying to transform the rows of abandoned buildings into an entertainment destination. Their room for agreement runs out right about there. See

FARISH, Page 10

2 I Mississippi Business Journal I November 15, 2013 ENVIRONMENT

Beetle Baffle give bees a fighting chance against a major threat, the small hive beetle By BECKY GILLETTE I CONTRIBUTOR


There is worldwide concern about the decline in populations of honeybees that not only provide honey but pollination for many crops. Insects are responsible for pollinating about a third of the world’s crops, and honeybees do about 80 percent of that. One major problem with the decline in bees is Colony Collapse Disorder, which has been linked to the pesticide neonicotinoid, leading to that class of pesticides being banned in the European Union. Another serious problem is predation by the small hive beetle (SHB). The SHB larvae eat bee eggs, larval bees, pollen and honey, said Haynes Haselmaier, who has 12 beehives and about 500,000 bees on his property in Pearl River County. The SHB eventually despoil the hive so badly that the bee colony flees the hive to seek a new home. “The beetles remain and continue to breed and lay eggs until there is nothing in

the abandoned hive that represents a food source,” Haselmaier said. “The damage frequently includes the loss of a viable bee colony as well as ruined frames and foundation on which the bees build wax comb. The comb cells are the chambers used to store pollen, honey and new bees until they complete pupation. Beetles lay their eggs in many places inside the hive. Sometimes some beetles join the leaving bees, so there is almost no escape from the SHB pestilence.” Fewer bees means fewer plants will be pollinated and less honey produced. The cost of a package of replacement bees (a new queen and about three pounds of workers) has grown to nearly $100/package.


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“The cost of domestic honey will increase as supply decreases,” Haselmaier said. “Many beekeepers have already chosen to do something else with their time and resources because they have lost too many hives to the beetles. In only a few years after the SHB was discovered in this country in 1996, some commercial beek e e p e r s reported losing thousands of hives and much equipment. Many beekeepers are no longer beekeepers chiefly due to the SHB problem. “Devastating perfectly describes the consequences of SHBs becoming established in a hive. They have a huge reproductive capacity and the bees cannot kill them. Even the strongest hives, without effective intervention from the beekeeper, are likely to fail eventually. Some hives have gone from highly productive to zero bee population in as little as two or three weeks. Devastating also accurately describes the financial impact of beetle infestation on the beekeeper, both small and large. Those who have not yet had misfortune due to the SHBs eventually, almost certainly, will.” After having lost several hives to beetle infestation and trying many of the commercially available mitigation approaches without much success, Haselmaier decided to observe beetle behavior in his hives on his own and with an open mind. He recalls looking at one of his queen excluders, a type of selective barrier that keeps the queen in the brood chamber (nursery) and out of the honey supers where honey is produced and stored. His idea was that if a selective barrier could do this, why couldn’t a different type of selective barrier allow a much larger bee to go where it needs to, but effectively block access to a very much smaller SHB? “The theory was simple,” said Haselmaier, who has been a beekeeper for 30 years and comes from a family that has been in beekeeping for about 100 years. “Install a barrier in the hive below the area where beetles can do damage that does not represent a problem for the bees. I took a few measurements of bees and beetles, as well as a comparison of their anatomy and made some prototypes that have performed far beyond my original expectations.” The result is his invention, the Beetle Baffle, the only selective barrier for the

SHB. He said it is not a trap but functions 24/7 to thwart movement of the SHBs within a hive. “It is important because it allows bees to move to move in and out of the hive as they please, but beetles can only cross it in a downward direction. Once below the barrier, they are unable to return to the sensitive parts of the hives where they do great damage. Simply put, the Beetle Baffle gives bees a fighting chance against the SHB. Even heavily infested hives can frequently be saved by adding our selective barrier system.” To manufacture his invention, he selected a company in California that specializes in metal fabrication, precision manufacturing, has a flexible manufacturing schedule, and a large production capacity. He would prefer to have it manufactured in South Mississippi, but has been unable to find a company that can do the same type of manufacturing for the same price. The parts are then shipped to him where they are inspected again and packaged into sets with the instructions and optional cypress spacer strips made in Star, Mississippi or Moultrie, Georgia. The Beetle Baffle, which was featured in the October issue of Bee Culture magazine, begins to work immediately and Haselmaier said simple field trials have established that the barrier does not harm the bee colony and that it does reduce the numbers of SHBs in the hive significantly. “The good news is that our product uses a very common sense approach that works very well,” he said. “One does not even have to understand it or operate it a certain way for it to do its job. We are not aware of any case where the Beetle Baffle has not done what it is designed to do.” They have sold about 600 Beetle Baffles to the two distributors they use, and another 200 sets from their e-store ( or at various shows they have attended. Haselmaier’s marketing focus is on getting the product in the face of the beekeeping community in a venue where they can touch and feel the product, ask questions about it’s design and function, and how to install it on their particular hive equipment. “Because our system is the only one of its kind, there is nothing in the mind of the potential customer to compare it to,” he said. “That makes conventional ads in publications at this time pretty ineffective. As the product becomes more familiar to more beekeepers, conventional advertising will be very beneficial. Until then, we will take every opportunity we can find to go, show and share information about our barrier. We find that each time we are able to share directly with beekeepers in that way our product is well received and sales reflect that. We are seeing evidence that this approach is working thus far as traffic on our website and Internet sales are increasing. Word of mouth among beekeepers is clearly vital to our growth at this time.”

November 15, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal





Gingrich to deliver address at Governor’s Energy Summit Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and 2012 presidential candidate, will deliver the keynote address at the Gov. Phil Bryant’s Energy Summit Dec. 5 at the Jackson Convention Center. The summit is presented by the Mississippi Energy Institute, a non-profit policy group that seeks to diversify and expand Mississippi’s economic energy base. Gingrich, now a co-host of the CNN Crossfire television program, will deliver his keynote address during the luncheon and speak on “Smart Energy Today for Strength, Security and Sustainability Tomorrow.” “Newt Gingrich is one of the premier thought leaders concerning energy development in our country, and we are honored that he Gingrich would address our summit,” said Patrick Sullivan, president of the Mississippi Energy Institute. “His $2.50 a gallon energy plan during the 2012 Presidential campaign set off a nationwide discussion about the use of America’s energy resources, and that conversation continues today.” The Mississippi Energy Institute last year hosted the inaugural Governor’s Energy Summit, with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani headlining the event. Seating will be limited and the registration deadline is Nov. 22. The summit’s program will start at 9 a.m. on Dec. 5 and will conclude with Gingrich’s luncheon remarks. Scheduled speakers include: » Gov. Phil Bryant: Energy – The Road Ahead for Mississippi » Dr. David Dismukes, Acadian Consulting Group: Leveraging Energy for Industrial Development » Dr. Frank Clemente, Penn State University: Coal’s Role in Meeting Global Energy Needs » Dan DiMicco, Executive Chairman, Nucor Corp: Energy’s Role in U.S. Manufacturing A panel discussion with the leaders of the state’s four research universities: Dr. Rodney Bennett (USM), Dr. Dan Jones (Ole Miss), Dr. Mark Keenum (MSU) and Dr. Carolyn Meyers (JSU). The topic: Energy as Fuel for University Growth. Dr. Hank Bounds, Mississippi Commissioner of Higher Education, will moderate. “Mississippi Energy Institute received great response to our speakers and panelists at our summit last year, and we believe this year’s agenda will produce diverse, entertaining and thought provoking dialogue,” said Sullivan. “The discussion will cover a wide range of topics, all extremely important to our state’s future.” To register for this year’s summit, please visit the MEI website. There is no cost to attend the event, but space is limited.

— from staff reports

Commitment to a ‘Noble Profession’ » Raymond James Elwyn has always had his eye on the target BY ALAN TURNER I PUBLISHER


ne might say that Tash Elwyn, president of the Private Client Group at Raymond James & Associates, was born of parents with a clear literary inclination. “I was named after Tashtego, one of the harponeers in the American classic novel Moby Dick,” he told us in a recent meeting. If the harpooneer’s primary mission is to take aim and hit the mark, Tash has achieved that objective. Having grown up in the Atlanta area, he graduated from Emory University and joined Raymond James soon after. “I never looked back,” he said. “I’m privileged to work for a great company which is committed to serving the needs of its clients first and foremost.” He sees the mission of the company as “a noble profession.” “Physicians are dedicated to taking care of the body; pastors are concerned with spiritual well-being. Likewise, we’re committed to helping people take good care of their money, and make good decisions throughout their lives. That’s a tremendous responsibility, one we take very seriously indeed” Raymond James has certainly succeeded in building a solid business along those lines. Founded in 1962 by Robert James, in its most recent fiscal year the company reported revenues of more than $4.5 billion. The company has 5300 offices. Raymond James has moved strongly into Mississippi as a result of its acquisition of Morgan Keegan, completed in 2012. “Our clients in Mississippi have total assets of more than $5 billion,” he explained. “We’re very pleased to serve these folks.” The company has over 160 employees in Mississippi, and sees a bright future ahead. “We love Mississippians,” Tash said. “There is a real sense of community in this state.” Asked what he sees as the key issues facing businesses in the next five years, he suggested that the ongoing “demographic shift” can have a significant impact on business. “As the baby boomers retire in large numbers, it’s going the change the dynamic of the country.


Tash Elwyn, president of the Private Client Group at Raymond James & Associates, says the company has over 160 employees in Mississippi, and he sees a bright future ahead. The workforce and skill sets, how we do business — lots of changes ahead. This is a time for the Gen X’ers and Millenials to establish a solid financial foundation.” He also suggested that following the financial meltdown of 2008-09, the “pendulum has swung too far toward government regulation. Many businesses are feeling the pressure of complying with all the new regs, and that will naturally have an impact on how they do business, the risks they take, and so on.” Could there be another financial crisis on the horizon? “Given the growth in the federal deficit and longterm debt obligations, anything can happen,” he said. “Obviously, we need to get our fiscal house in order as a nation.” What can the average investor do to safeguard their financial position? “We believe that businesses and investors must have a long term, conservative approach that will carry them through any difficult times. For instance, I can tell you that Raymond James did not seek or seek any TARP money. We weathered the storm, and we’re pleased with that record.” Tash summed up the company’s position about making the right financial decisions. “We look both ways before we look both ways,” he said.

Defining himself as “bullish on America and American business,” he sees a key need to provide effective educational opportunities. To him, this doesn’t just mean a focus on university education. “We need to pay attention to developing a skilled workforce, through technical education,” he said. From his point of view, there will by many opportunities and needs for skilled workers, such as shipfitters, plumbers, electricians, and the like. “And, a lot of those folks will make competitive money with people who have bachelor’s degrees,” he pointed out. Asked whether he sees the Affordable Care Act as a positive or negative for business, he suggested that in the long term, it may be more of a negative from a business perspective. “It seems inevitable that this will produce higher regulatory burden, and consequently, higher costs, on business. It may be a good example of the law of unintended consequences.” He’s not all glum on the government, though. “After all,” he said, “every two or four years, we get to elect new people, and if we’re lucky, we’ll put some good people in office.” That comment probably hits the mark with the impact of a harpoon.

Defense contractor, Raytheon, adds jobs, expands in Forrest FOREST — Defense contractor Raytheon Co. has announced an expansion in Forest that will bring 150 new jobs to the area. Company officials and Gov. Phil Bryant made the announcement Monday in Forest. Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems president Rick Yuse said in a news release that the expansion reflects an anticipated growth in airborne radar and electronic warfare markets. The Mississippi Development Authority is giving

the company $6 million to pay for renovation and infrastructure, as well as for the construction of the 20,000-square-foot addition. A company spokesman would not say how much the company is investing. Raytheon will increase capacity at what is already one of the largest defense manufacturing plants in Mississippi. The new workers are expected to be hired over time. This year, the Forest plant ramped up its fighter

jet radar production rates 10-fold, achieving a 2012 on-time delivery rate of 100 percent. It also celebrated an industry-first milestone with the delivery of more than 500 Active Electronically Scanned Array aircraft radars. Raytheon was selected earlier this year to upgrade South Korean F-16 fighters using those radars, as part of a sale of military technology to South Korea. Raytheon wouldn't say if the South Korean deal is why it's expanding in Forest.

4 I Mississippi Business Journal I November 15, 2013 MANUFACTURING

Big grant — big goal » Funding looks to bring back manufacturing jobs

Clay Walden CAVS Extension director


The state is looking to recoup manufacturing jobs, and got good news lately with the announcement of the landing of a nearly $2 million federal grant. The U.S. Department of Labor awarded the grant to Mississippi State University and partners to fund projects to accelerate job creation and encourage reshoring of advanced manufacturing jobs that have moved overseas. MSU’s $1,931,935 award is part of the “Make it in America Challenge” made possible through the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, the U.S. Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration and the Delta Regional Authority. Additionally, Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership plans to

“The strength of our proposal was the strength of our partnerships.”

make awards in early fiscal year 2014. In addition to reshoring advanced manufacturing jobs, the programs are also designed to recruit foreign concerns to produce goods here. Led by the university’s Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems Extension Center in Canton, the multi-partner MSU proposal outlines a “Make it in Mississippi” program to become one of the leading answers to the economic development challenge. David Shaw, MSU vice president for research and economic development, said the three-year effort will focus strongly on both returning jobs to the U.S. and keeping advanced manufacturing jobs in the state.

“The U.S. as a whole and Mississippi in some of our industry sectors have lost a number of jobs that have moved overseas. When considering the cost of transportation, the cost of logistics and the quality of the workforce, it’s very easy to justify bringing those jobs back to Mississippi and back to the U.S.,” Shaw said. The leader of the program is the Franklin Furniture Institute housed at Mississipi State. Clay Walden, CAVS Extension director and principal investigator of the grant, said the program consists of key stakeholders working in partnership to fulfill distinct yet complementary scopes of work. In addition to the state’s primary land grant university, program participants include selected community colleges, workforce investment boards, Innovate Mississippi and the Mississippi Development Authority. “The strength of our proposal was the strength of our partnerships,” Walden said. Specifically, Itawamba Community College, East Mississippi Community College, Holmes Community College, Mississippi Delta Community College, Three Rivers Planning and Development District, and South Delta Planning and Development District are playing critical workforce development roles. This program will target the development of advanced manufacturing technicians in high demand by industry. James Williams, vice president of economic and community services at Itawamba Community College, said the program will expand a highly successful internship program and will accelerate the development of critical manufacturing skills across the region. The Reshoring Initiative is the only nonMississippi entity involved, Walden said. He said Harry Moser of the Reshoring Initiative is the nation’s leading expert on reshoring jobs to the U.S. and is an endorser and participant in MSU’s program. “Part of MSU’s culture is collaboration,” Shaw said. “We do very well with our ability to pull a team together and work together effectively. In today’s world, problems are not one-dimensional issues that can be solved by one discipline. We reach out as far as we need to in order to have the kind of team that’s necessary to be successful.” Walden said the program places substantial emphasis on creating sourcing opportunities for small and medium size manufacturing enterprises within regional supply chains including a “top down” and “bottom up” strategy. Innovate Mississippi

will play an important role in helping to link these small manufacturers into the supply chains of larger manufacturers. Listening sessions will engage more than 100 advanced manufacturers to prioritize reshoring and other related supply chain opportunities. Manufacturing companies also will have opportunities to learn about doing business with original equipment manufacturers. National and regional best practices will be shared in three annual reshoring summits. The program also will conduct more than 30 technical assistance projects to connect small and medium size manufacturing enterprises with competitive technologies not commonly available. Projects will be selected and prioritized based on their potential for economic growth, such as private and foreign investment and job creation and retention. “This will increase competitiveness of the state’s advanced manufacturing enterprises, which in turn, makes these companies a more attractive sourcing solution,” Walden said. Employment Training Administration funding will enable the community college partners to establish a six-week internship program with cooperating advanced manufacturers. Walden explained that this program will fund 276 internships with a targeted 85 percent placement rate. MSU’s National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, known as nSPARC, will also play a key role in the program in tracking not only positive economic impact, but also the career advancement of individuals who go through the advanced manufacturing internships under the guidance of community colleges. Walden said about half of the program’s financing will be directed to developing Mississippi’s workforce capacity in high skill, high demand job areas. MSU also will conduct a series of intensive certificate based workshops designed to develop lean, Six Sigma and management skills. In addition to MSU, other entities receiving awards include the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority in Maine; The Curators of the University in Missouri, the N.E.O. Foundation and the Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District in Ohio, the MidWillamette Valley Council of Governments in Pennsylvania, Clemson University in South Carolina, and The Innovate Washington Foundation in Washington state.


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MBJPERSPECTIVE November 15, 2013 • • Page 6


One more reason why Common Core is good for Mississippi


very two years, the National Assessment of Educational Progress compares Mississippi students to those in other states and the national average. Every two years, the story is the same. In reading and math, students in this state lag far behind most of their peers elsewhere. The national test of fourth- and eighth-

graders shows again that Mississippi is often misled by state assessments and their low bar. On the national test, the best the state did this year was in fourth-grade math, where just 26 percent of students scored at a proficient level or better. The state test claimed 69 percent were proficient or better in that subject. Such differences emphasize why adopting Common Core standards is a good

» Mississippi needs to compare student performance constantly against the rest of the nation. It’s not enough to get a reality check every other year. » RICKY NOBILE


The demise of civic understanding

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TACY RAYBURN Production Manager • 364-1019 CHARINA RHODES Circulation Manager • 364-1045 MARCIA THOMPSON-KELLY Business Assistant • 364-1044 SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES (601) 364-1000 Mississippi Business Journal (USPS 000-222) is published weekly with one annual issue by MSBJ 200 N. Congress St., Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201. Periodicals postage paid at Jackson, MS. Subscription rates: 1 year $109; 2 years $168; and 3 years $214. To place orders, temporarily stop service, change your address or inquire about billing: Phone: (601) 364-1000, Fax: (601) 364-1035, Email:, Mail: MS Business Journal Subscription Services, 200 N.Congress Street, Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mississippi Business Journal, Circulation Manager, 200 North Congress Street, Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201 To submit subscription payments: Mail: MS Business Journal Subscriptions Services, 200 North Congress Street, Suite 400, Jackson, MS 39201. No material in this publication may be reproduced in any form without the written consent. Editorial and advertising material contained in this publication is derived from sources considered to be reliable, but the publication cannot guarantee their accuracy. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities. It is the policy of this newspaper to employ people on the basis of their qualifications and with assurance of equal opportunity and treatment regardless of race, color, creed, sex, age, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or handicap. The Mississippi Business Journal, is an affiliate of Journal Publishing Company (JPC), Inc.: Clay Foster, president and chief executive officer. Entire contents copyrighted © 2013 by Journal Inc. All rights reserved.

idea for Mississippi. It will put Mississippi on the same educational plane as 44 other states in terms of what is taught and what is tested. It should force this state to look more honestly at student performance, rather than be lulled by low expectations. Mississippi needs to compare student performance constantly against the rest of the nation. It’s not enough to get a reality check every other year.

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

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

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

t is that time in the school year when one who has spent the better part of three decades teaching government takes stock of the enthusiasm students have for that topic. There is cause for concern and that concern seems to deepen noticeably with each passing year. Time was that a topic casually introduced to a roomful of 120 mostly freshmen in American Government 101 would invariably shut the class down for the remainder of the period. The instructor only need close his/her notebook and referee. Throw out such typically incendiary topics as abortion, gun control, the war of the moment or virtually any environmental issue and the debate was likely to commence in Marty Wiseman earnest. A few things were usually quite apparent when these heated discussions broke out. First, many of the students held strong opinions about these respective issues. Secondly, they had given thought to and had indeed articulated their feelings about these issues in prior discussions and thirdly, these students were able to verbalize in detail what the role of government should or should not be with regard to solutions to issues about which they were so passionate. The thrill for the professor, other than being able to revel in an impromptu, lively debate that he helped to instigate, was the ability to watch these frisky 18-yearold political novices separate themselves at the gut level into conservative and liberal camps and then defend those positions. Oh, for the good old days! By now the reader has probably grown accustomed to the startling findings of research projects related to the See WISEMAN, Page 7


November 15, 2013 I Mississippi Business Journal




Has your company considered dropping employee health benefits?


n recent weeks, we’ve talked with a number of policy experts, health care providers and financial professionals about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Mississippi businesses. There appears to be a solid consensus among these sources that the cost of providing employee health care benefits is going to increase — some think it will increase a LOT. We’ve heard suggestions that the mandate for companies with more than 50 employees to provide health care was delayed primarily because those in power in Washington were fearful about the impact on business and on the health care act itself. One thing seems certain at this point. The launch of the exchanges has been a non-starter, and as one Democratic senator put it this week, “it’s a crisis in confidence.” Apparently, millions of people have had their existing


Continued from Page 6

level of understanding of civics in the United States. In the past, knowledge of our unique form of government and our civic responsibility was basic to any education beginning as early as kindergarten. Many tests have demonstrated that such knowledge basic to American citizenship has fairly dramatically declined in importance in recent years. We may suggest a number of reasons why we have reached the crisis point in civic education that we have. And no, don’t make the usual customary leap on to the backs of hard working school teachers. There is, however, a role or even some blame that can be attributed to the education establishment in general. Our necessary increase in emphasis on science and math education has, to a significant extent, crowded out a great deal of the consideration that might have otherwise been accorded civic education. Some have even been heard to express the notion that science and math are for the smart kids and social studies are for everyone else. As a related matter, the premium being placed on national test scores gleaned from mechanically gradable multiple choice tests is apparently a recently emerging negative factor in students’ abilities to verbalize the importance of civic knowledge and involvement. It is quite clear in the college classroom in recent years that the ability to think through and explain matters related to the role of government has suffered from neglect. A new and developing phenomenon has to do with a pronounced disdain for government in general. There was a time when students would arrive on campus clamoring for the chance to be involved with government, to work in political campaigns, and to intern for starvation wages in Washington, D.C. The numbers who fit this category seem to be declining. It is clear from

policies cancelled, despite assurances that “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” Many of these people are discovering that their health care costs are going to increase. In some states, we read that not a single person has managed to enroll. And of course, the huge central question is whether or not enough healthy people will sign up for coverage to offset the cost of the millions of poor and sick people who will enroll. The entire system appears to turn on that single question. From a business point of view, we have heard from a number of small business owners and managers (those with less than 50 employees), that even though they currently provide employee health benefits, they are considering dropping those benefits in the next year. That would also put new stress on the system, and on all of the individuals who might lose their employer-provided

discussions with these students that they have a decidedly negative view of government in general. From their comments it is evident that many of these negative opinions were formed around the dinner table at home. Finally, the display of animosity between the two entrenched political parties occupying the governing environment is obviously taking its toll. Indeed the ability to teach government as the way that a representative form of democratic government compromises to serve the people is being impeded. Students and budding young political enthusiasts are becoming less familiar with a calling to make government work and are instead being fed a steady diet of the evils of compromise and of an overly stated failure of government to accomplish anything of value. With those being elected to make policy being unwilling to compromise, American government loses the value of the constantly negotiated tension between conservative and liberal governing ideologies. Several of the studies on the condition of our civic education and awareness have speculated that current conditions will lead to a drop in participation and a dramatic decline in the faith that all of us invest in our “one of a kind” Democracy. Thus, it would seem to be imperative that we make certain that those who are headed toward adulthood never doubt the institution of American government and that they feel free to vigorously debate its policies. Furthermore, the ability to negotiate, compromise, and make policies that work for the people most be restored to prominence as qualities prized by those whom we elect. Then perhaps government may avail itself of its share of our best and brightest young people once again. 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

Alan Turner

health benefits. We’d like to hear from owners and managers of both small businesses and larger firms. Have you considered dropping your employee health benefits? Is that on your agenda for next year? If you do drop it, will you provide any financial assistance to your employees who will have to arrange for their own coverage on the exchanges? Please share your thoughts with us. We won’t publish your name unless you want us to do so. This is a vital topic for business professionals not only in our state, but throughout our nation. What do you think? E-mail us and let us know. Contact Mississippi Business Journal publisher Alan Turner at or (601) 364-1018


Help typhoon victims if you can It is difficult to look at the scenes of utter devastation in the Philippines and not recall a landscape of great similarity that we all saw when Katrina swept away the Mississippi Coast on that late August day of fury. The memories are painful as we recall the loss of loved ones, and precious possessions that were forever gone when the storm had passed by. The Mississippi Coast and the Philippines will be forever connected by the two named storms -- one a hurricane, the other a typhoon, that are now recorded as the most intense ever. Hurricane Camille, the previous killer storm that struck our coast in 1969, and Typhoon Haiyan both recorded winds of nearly 200 mph, and the storm surge in each wrought great destruction across a wide territory. It appears that Haiyan may have been even more intense than Camille, and it resulted in unthinkable carnage, with many thousands believed dead. While we watch the images of survivors in

videos and photographs and feel the incredible empathy that results from our shared experience in the wake of such a massive natural disaster, there is something that we all can do right now. That involves writing checks to help. All of us in South Mississippi are forever indebted to those who helped us in our hour of greatest need, and so we now have an opportunity to help those in the Philippines who are experiencing their hour of greatest need. If you have a favorite charity that is responding to the disaster, we hope you will support them. The American Red Cross is a reliable charity that provided much aid to us after both Camille and Katrina, but there are many, many more to whom we owe so much, and if you wish to make a payment on our debt to any of these, we sincerely hope that you will. The need is now and it is overwhelming, so please do what you can to help.

— The (Biloxi) Sun Herald

8 I Mississippi Business Journal I November 15, 2013 GUNS

Aiming High: TALON shooting for very top of tactical firearms market The company plans to keep production levels low, say, around 10 rifles a day, at the start and ramp up from there once logistics and production issues smooth out. A workforce of around 50 people is expected when full production begins. TALON intends to use the TM4-A1 as a springboard for production of a premium tactical shotgun and a handgun made in Colt Manufacturing’s famed 1911 style. But everything first hinges on TALON’s TM4-A1 living up to its billing.

» Ridgeland start-up promising to usher in ‘a new day in tactical weaponry’ By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER

TALON Ordnance CEO Clay Baldwin can relish the stillness and quiet of his office at Ridgeland’s Highland Colony Business Park, but he knows that all changes soon after New Years. If the logistics he and his partners have mapped out come off as planned, shipments of dozens of parts for TALON Ordnance’s state-of-the-art tactical rifle will arrive at a rapid-fire pace and go

Special to the MBJ

Talon Ordnance CEO Clay Baldwin straight into the hands of assemblers in a warehouse area at the rear of TALON’s suite of offices.

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That’s Baldwin’s best-case scenario for the production start-up of TALON’s TM4-A1 weapon system, a premium AR15-style semi-automatic sporting rifle whose $2,695 retail price is three times the amount a buyer would pay for a garden variety AR-15. Baldwin and partners Rick Webster and Paul McPhail, PE, plan to market a fully automatic-fire version of the TM4-A1 to law enforcement and military buyers around the world, a segment they expect to account for 20 percent of TALON’s market. Webster is CEO of Key Constructors LLC in Madison and McPhail is CFO. Baldwin makes some bold claims in a multi-page presentation on company website titled “Why TALON?” The former Army intelligence officer and attorney-turned-gun-maker promises TALON “is taking tactical weapons where they have never gone before.” Through the pages of “Why TALON?”, Baldwin outlines in great detail the machining, metals and coatings that are going into producing a weapon he proclaims the “Cadillac of tactical firearms.” Time and again, Baldwin emphasizes that the craftsmanship, materials and parts that go into the TM4-A1 easily surpass standards the U.S. military sets for its M4 and M16 weapon systems. It’s all overkill but it is intentional overkill, he says. Distilled to its simplest terms, he adds, the TALON product pledges two traits: Reliability and durability. “Law enforcement will gravitate to this in droves,” Baldwin says. “We’ll quadruple the service life because it is going to be so much more durable.” The buyer – whether a civilian, a law enforcement officer or a special operations warrior – “is going to be that person who is going to bear down on this hard,” Baldwin adds. And in those instances, “You’re going to want the best,” he says.

Leaving the Law After 20 years in the military as an active duty and National Guard and reserve member, Baldwin completed law school at Mississippi College. From there, he settled in at Jackson’s Baker Donelson for a career in commercial law. Last spring a group of investors hired him to do the legal work required for establishing a firearms manufacturing company in Mississippi. At a final meeting last April, the investors told Baldwin they wanted to move forward with the manufacturing plans. They also told Baldwin they wanted him to run the operation. “I was very excited to receive” the offer, he says. “How many times do you get a chance to head up a multi-milliondollar operation?” And in a field you love, he adds. The first question the start-up company addressed was the market. “One group wanted to build AR-15s for the commercial market… the same one being built by some hundred other companies out there,” he says. At the time, AR-15s were flying off the shelves of retailers around the country and backorders were growing lengthy as the White House pledged new firearms restrictions. Baldwin correctly figured the buying frenzy would pass, just as had happened in cycles over the last couple decades. The TM4-A1 would be built, TALON’s leaders decided. What lay ahead for Baldwin was a summer of persuading metal suppliers, engineers, machinists and others to provide the quality materials and work the weapon would require. “Nobody wanted to do anything different, especially the metal folks,” Baldwin says. Finally he found the right people, he says, mostly “a bunch of old military guys.” For quality control purposes, he says, See

TALON, Page 17

November 15, 2013



Mississippi Business Journal




Work on Bay harbor, pier heading for spring completion By LISA MONTI I CONTRIBUTOR

Drilling opponents to get their day in court By LISA MONTI I CONTRIBUTOR

A recent ruling by a Hinds County’s Chancery Court judge will give opponents of oil and gas drilling in the Mississippi Sound their day in court to appeal the Mississippi Development Authority’s proposed drilling rules. Robert Wiygul, attorney for the Sierra Club and the Gulf Restoration Network, said,“We filed an appeal back in the spring. MDA said we didn’t have the right to challenge what they did and that had to get resolved and now we’re finally getting down to the business of getting the case in front of the court.” The court date is Jan. 6 in Jackson. The MDA declined to comment “given this is still pending litigation.” Opponents of the proposed drilling say MDA’s projections for economic impact are “woefully inadequate.” They also believe the proposed rules for oil and gas exploration, drilling and production will create a “greater risk for accidents like the BP oil disaster.” At the upcoming hearing, Wiygul said he will argue that MDA’s decision to issue rules that allow oil and gas leasing in the Sound don’t take in account the impact on the tourism industry and natural resources. “What MDA is saying here is we don’t really need to worry about what the impacts are going to be on tourism and on recreation and all those things. We are just going to go ahead and do our leasing regulations and do our leasing and we will worry about those later. We don’t think that’s what the law is and we don’t think that’s a sensible way to proceed, whether you’re a government body or a business or an individual.”

Work on the $22-million harbor and pier project in downtown Bay St. Louis is in its final stages, headed for completion in May. Boaters already are asking about slip rentals, said Mayor Les Fillingame, who expects the harbor to “create that destination by the sea that has never existed in Bay St. Louis.” Buz Olsen, the city’s community development director, said, “At this point the harbor is about 70 percent complete.” The weather, even hurricane season, has not been a factor. “It’s really moving along. They work six days a week and they’re doing a good job keeping on schedule,” he said. Olsen said the breakwater which frames the harbor on three sides, should be finished by the end of the month, if not before. The protective wall is 12 feet wide and runs about 1,200 feet out into the Sound and 700 feet parallel to the sand beach. Olsen said much of the work in the last six months has been done with the an eye on potential damage that hurricane season could bring. That included concrete piling work on the piers. Also with weather in mind, the harbor will have a portable comfort station that can be hauled out if a storm threatens. “It’s on wheels so you can hook it to a truck and haul it out,” Olsen said. The station will include an office, a shower and bathrooms plus small

East harbor aerial view by Ryan Audibert of Gill's Crane & Dozer Service, the General Contractor.

amenities such as an ice machine and a fuel station. A permanent comfort station might come later, Olsen said. Gill’s Crane & Dozer Service of Slidell, the general contractor, started construction on the harbor in October 2012. Funding for the project comes from CDBG, FEMA, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and Tidelands funds. The harbor will have 165 wet slips to accommodate boats ranging from 25 feet to 60 feet. Each slip will have electrical and water service connections. The Rutherford Pier replaces the one washed away by Katrina. It will serve as the northern boundary of the harbor basin. Olsen said the seven members of the harbor commission have been crafting an operating ordinance since the group was appointed last month. They’re using rules

and regulations for harbor operations in Pass Christian, Long Beach, Biloxi and Gulfport as examples, he said. “It’s a good, well rounded group of people,” Olsen said. “They all bring something to the table.” Fillingame said the downtown business community’s anticipation of the harbor’s impact is “overwhelming.” “The new traffic expected to be generated is very much on the agenda of people already in business and those who anticipate going into business. There’s a lot of buzz everywhere about what’s going on in downtown,” he said. “The harbor is another asset in place in Bay St. Louis’s resurrection.” Fillingame likes to point out that the harbor is the only one on the Mississippi Coast that offers a direct connection to downtown. “Because of the uniqueness of the harbor, we are going to be able to create that destination by the sea that has never existed in Bay St. Louis,” he said. He predicts the harbor will be “an extremely popular destination for the boating community, mainly from the Pontchartrain Basin and from Mobile.” Vessels will range from party barges to “all types of craft that will bring people from far and wide.” Fillingame expects most harbor policies to be in place by the end of the year and marketing the destination will begin ahead of the opening. “People want to go ahead and book right now,” he said.

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10 I Mississippi Business Journal I November 15, 2013


Continued from Page 1

Watkins, a Jackson lawyer turned re-developer of historic buildings such as the King Edward Hotel and Standard Life mixed-use building, will tell you Elkington left him “a bankrupt development with $1.5 million in debt” and seven or eight Farish Elkington Street buildings with “less than $250,000” of value. The Mississippi Development Authority appeared to be on the verge of foreclosing on the project after lending Elkington’s Performa Mississippi $1 million, according to Watkins. “That led Leland Speed, Ben Allen and Watkins Frank Melton to come to me and say, ‘Watkins, you’ve got to take this over,’” said Watkins, referring to the former head of the MDA, Leland Speed; Downtown Jackson Partners President Ben Allen; and the late Jackson mayor Frank Melton. Elkington, the developer behind Memphis’ four-block Beale Street entertainment district, will say it is Watkins who owes him money from the hand-off of the Farish Street project and he has sued Watkins to get it. “He made several payments and then just stopped,” Elkington said. The two give different accounts of the leases in place when Watkins took over in 2008. Watkins said the leases were unenforceable. Elkington said Watkins “ran off all of our leases.” Watkins characterizes Elkington’s effort as one doomed by a misguided focus on bringing Beale Street to Farish Street. Jackson, said Watkins’ son and project consultant David Watkins Jr., is “not just another stop between Memphis and New Orleans. It’s the stop.” Elkington countered Farish Street success has “got nothing to do with being more like Mississippi.” On the other hand, it’s got plenty to do with having a well capitalized developer with experience creating entertainment districts, said Elkington, a former lawyer whose Performa Entertainment Real Estate has 400,000 square-feet of entertainment space under lease and is now working on other projects. “I don’t fault him,” Elkington said of Watkins. “He just had no experience. He was just a lost ball in tall grass.”

Obstacles of their own The Farish Street history shared by Elkington and Watkins includes distinct barriers each had to confront. For Elkington, it was a delay of a year-plus caused by then-MDA Executive Director Leland Speed’s insistence that Farish Street improvements include residential apartments. “We had worked out an arrangement

for the MDA to fund 70 percent. Soon after the administration [of the MDA] changed, Leland Speed put in a requirement to build apartments. That was never part of the plan,” Elkington said. “It took us forever to get the land to build the apartments.” Next came a snag Elkington never dreamed an entertainment district would encounter: A ban on alcohol sales. The problem came with the targeted Farish Street block’s proximity to the downtown campus of the Mississippi College School of Law. “After they agreed we did not need to build the apartments, they said we couldn’t sell alcohol within 100 feet of a school.” The irony there for Elkington was that he had been counting on the law school to supply a steady stream of customers to the entertainment district clubs. Watkins’ first involvement with the project came with his recruitment to lobby state legislators for entertainment district legis-

ness at Amite and Farish streets which was to house the B.B. King Club lacked a foundation, a problem estimated to cost between $1.4 million and $1.7 million to fix. The unanticipated expenses forced Watkins to seek a co-developer or even a developer to take over entirely. Watkins said he was close to a deal with Yates Construction to buy out his share of the project and hire his company to run the district after its opening. That died when the JRA and minority members of the Watkins partnership group approached Yates about a deal of their own. Yates has since washed its hands of the whole affair, Watkins said. Not long after the JRA’s behind-thescenes move to enlist a new developer, the agency terminated its 45-year lease with the Farish Street Group LLC of which Watkins is managing partner. Elkington had his share of twists and turns in the several years he had the Farish project, but he is not entirely sympathetic to

“Nobody has ever written ‘How to Build an Entertainment District for Dummies.’” David Watkins Developer

lation that would lift the booze ban. “That’s how David was brought in,” Elkington said. Elkington said his communications with the Jackson Redevelopment Authority – the entity responsible for reviving the city’s urban redevelopment zones — sustained a setback in the project’s early days with the death of Jackson lawyer Frank Stimley, who had been a liaison between Elkington and the JRA. The next loss of momentum, Elkington said, came with the JRA board’s firing of Willie Mott as executive director. “That was a huge problem,” he said. In between was the succession of mayors – first Harvey Johnson, then Frank Melton and then Johnson once again. “They just kept losing continuity,” Elkington said. Watkins acknowledges he experienced a learning curve after taking over the project at the insistence of Leland Speed, Ben Allen and the Frank Melton, the late mayor. “Nobody has ever written ‘How to Build an Entertainment District for Dummies,’” Watkins said. Today, Watkins calculates his firm, Watkins Development, put in $4.5 million into the project, much of it, he said, spent redoing faulty water and sewer hookups on the first block and stabilizing buildings along the block. A major despair set in, he said, with the discovery that the former dry cleaning busi-

Watkins’ laments over the unexpected spending to stabilize the structure of the B.B. King Club. Whatever problems were there, Watkins would have known about at the outset, Elkington said. “All those buildings were tested. He knew exactly what the situation was. I think David couldn’t put it together and started making excuses,” he said. For his part, Watkins said he relied on the structural reports that attested to the soundness of the B.B. King building. He insisted he knew nothing of the structural deficiency until its discovery in June 2012. The repercussions of the structural flaw went beyond the cost to fix it, according to Watkins’ lawyer Lance Stevens. The months of delay the problem caused contributed greatly to Watkins missing a “window of opportunity” to close on a $5 million New Market Tax Credit allocation, Stevens said.

Divergent visions Along with a mix of entertainment and culture rooted in the heritage of Jackson in general and Farish Street in particular, Watkins developed an operational plan that included consolidated food preparation and entertainment booking for the clubs. Watkins’ son, D Watkins, developed much of the operational plan through a separate business entity he created that included a

host of Jackson restauranteurs and chefs. “We’re going to have an essentially unified back-of-the house,” he said in an interview. Coordinated entertainment programing, he said, would ensure “you are not having four acts that are doing the same thing. Those things are staggered so you are making sure you are hitting all of the demographics.” He likened his concept to that of Disney and emphasized it provides a way to ensure the visitor “has a consistent experience.” Elkington said he is not impressed. “It’s not Disneyland,” he said, and added you can’t centrally control how a tenant is going to operate. “We have 38 businesses on Beale Street,” Elkington said. “Eighty percent of them gross over $1 million a year. We don’t control who they put in their clubs.” Every business, he said, “needs to be itself.”

Fiscal issues Watkins insists Watkins Development has spent $4.5 million on Farish Street, and combined with the $5.4 million from the MDA, the Farish Street Group has a nearly $10 million basis that will be essential to any future effort to secure federal and state historic tax credits for the redevelopment project. Without the basis, any new partner must start from a zero basis, Watkins said, which would put the project financially out of reach. Watkins said his firm’s spending in the project has been verified through at least three audits. Elkington said he is skeptical, nonetheless. “There is no way they have spent $10 million,” said Elkington, calculating redevelopment costs at $150 a square foot for the 20,000 square-feet of buildings on the first block. He said his $150 a square-foot calculation includes the expense of meeting stringent requirements for obtaining state and federal historic tax credits. If not returned to the project, Watkins expects to be compensated for his expenses. Not going to happen, Elkington said. “Nobody is going to pay David to do anything.” While the two former lawyers turned developers have plenty to disagree about, they do agree Farish Street can be transformed into an entertainment destination. Both reject Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba’s idea of having several developers tackle the project. “The reason Beale Street was a success is that you had one guy in charge,” Elkington said, noting he was that “one guy.” Banks and their willingness to lend will be central to any revival of the project, he said. They need to be gathered up and told Jackson “needs your help to get this project going,” he added. The Jackson Redevelopment Authority must commit as well, Elkington said. “They’ve never had someone at the JRA who said, ‘We are going to get this done.’” Ultimately, the project “needs a mayor who will say, ‘OK, I am taking over this project and bringing it forward.’”

November 15, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




Small-town firm, big-time success » Belinda Stewart Architects earns more honors BY WALLY NORTHWAY I STAFF WRITER

Earlier this year, Belinda Stewart, FAIA, became the first female architect from Mississippi to be made a Fellow by the American Institute of Architects. Of the 80,000-plus AIA members, approximately 3,000 hold the Fellow designation, and Stewart was one of only 122 members inducted this year. The principle of the firm Belinda Stewart Architects, P.A., which has a 13-person staff of whom 10 are women, Stewart was also the first woman to serve as president of the Mississippi chapter of the AIA. But Stewart says it has never been her primary mission to champion women in the field of architecture. “I consider myself an architect first, a woman second,” Stewart said. “I don’t have the figures but there was a number of other women at the (Fellowship) investiture ceremony. “Mississippi has been home to very good female architects. I am following in their footsteps.”

It’s an interesting statement from an entrepreneur/architect who has forged a career by going somewhat off the path, building a firm largely by focusing on rural or smalltown projects and adapting — “moving sideways,” she calls it — to meet clients’ needs. Born and raised in rural Webster County, Stewart’s interest in the building process was sparked by her contractor-grandfather. She began riding with him to his worksites, eventually working for him. Her career path was firmly set, though, when a Mississippi State University architecture dean spoke to her high school class. “It sounded great. It was everything I liked,” Stewart remembered. After graduating from MSU, Stewart didn’t return home, but instead found work in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. She fondly recalled her five years there working on great projects in a vibrant city. But… “It wasn’t home,” Stewart said, who admitted that she wanted to get far away from Mississippi after graduation. “I realized all communities have problems, they just look different from place to place.”


In 1990 Stewart returned to Webster County and put out her shingle in Eupora. Belinda Stewart Architects has since racked up numerous awards from AIA-Mississippi, including its two newest this year for the Bolivar County Courthouse Stabilization project in Rosedale and Collins Depot Renovation. The firm has also been recognized by the Mississippi Main Street Association, Mississippi Heritage Trust, Bay St. Louis Historic Preservation Commission, Mississippi Historical Society, Port Gibson Main Street and Mississippi Downtown Development Association as well as gar-

nering a 2004 Governor’s Cup Award for Economic Development. Stewart, a member of the 2006 50 Leading Businesswomen class and 1995 MSU Alumnus of the Year, pointed to “moving sideways” as a key to success. To serve rural/small-town markets, Stewart had to adapt. An example is grant-writing. “You’ve got a small town with a $100,000 budget and they want to renovate their courthouse, which will cost $2 million,” she explained. For years she wrote the grants, but it grew to the point Stewart brought on a grant-writer. All of that has increased the payroll. Today, Belinda Stewart Architects houses three project managers, two project architects and a senior drafter as well as three architect interns in addition to a grant-writer/office administrator, office manager and business manager. Stewart says the firm does have “dreams” of future growth. Still in the development stage, the firm is mulling an entry into the construction arena, focusing on historic preservation projects. Right now, however, Stewart said the goal is to get better and continue serving rural markets. Perhaps the firm’s website ( says it best: “What links us together is that we had a choice and we chose life in small town Mississippi.”


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Security Ballew keeping up with changing economic environment By LYNN LOFTON I CONTRIBUTOR

Special to The Mississippi Business Journal

Brooks Mosley is one of the original staff members at Security Bellew Wealth Management, and today he serves as the firm’s president.

For 25 years Security Ballew Wealth Management has provided a wide range of services to corporate, individual and retirement plan clients. The company was founded by Matt Ballew in 1988 and has grown from approximately $25 million assets managed to currently more than half a million dollars. “Our primary goals were to provide the highest quality third party administration, record keeping and wealth management services delivered with integrity and with a focus on the clients,” said Security Ballew president Brooks Mosley. “Those remain central values for us today.” Mosley is one of four of the six original employees still with the company and has been serving as president since 2005. The firm grew from six employees to a current work force of 33 with 22 of those having been with the company ten years or more. “The continuity of our team is something we are very proud of as a firm,”

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Mosley said. Security Ballew was established with trust as a guiding factor, a principle they pride themselves on maintaining. “Trust is developed and maintained by our relationships with our clients. It may take a year or two before a prospect makes the decision to hire us; it’s like a strong marriage,”

“The continuity of our team is something we are very proud of as a firm.” Brooks Mosley President, Security Bellew Wealth Management

Mosley said. “You need to be well acquainted and like the other person before you make that long-term commitment. Ongoing communication is critical, and we have been blessed with having many client relationships that have spanned our firm’s entire existence.” From a wealth management perspective, Security Ballew provides investment advice, financial planning and/or retirement planning. Its third-party administration company, Independent Pension Solutions, provides retirement plan record keeping and administrative services to clients of Security Ballew as well as other independent See

BALLEW, Page 15


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

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

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14 I Mississippi Business Journal I November 15, 2013 REAL ESTATE

‘Sound of normalcy’ » Metro real estate market sees better days By LISA MONTI I CONTRIBUTOR

Things in the Jackson metro real estate market are humming along these days. The MLS of Jackson web site put it this way: ”Hummmm. That’s the delightful sound of normalcy. Buyers are buying, sellers are selling, lenders are lending and builders are building.” By and large, MLS said, “things are returning to normal.” Normalcy does wonders for consumer confidence, Realtors say, and signs of an economic recovery boost that national good mood even higher. Add a recordshattering stock market performance and you’ve got a winning hand. Ann Prewitt, broker/owner of Prudential Ann Prewitt in Ridgeland, Hattiesburg and Ocean Springs said 2013 is her company’s best ever. “We have had our best year in real estate as a company this year. Home sales have been really good for us.”

Prewitt said the high-end market has been especially good but, she said, “It’s just been good across the board, in all price ranges. We’ve seen really strong sales, and we’re still seeing investors buying homes for their portfolios. It’s a great investor market and a great traditional sales market as well.” Mark Warren, broker/owner of ERA Real Estate Professionals in Ridgeland, also sees good things. “No question that sales are up in metro area year to date versus year to date last year,” he said. Home sales in Rankin County recently were up almost 12 percent. Madison County sales jumped around 17 percent and Hinds was just shy of 2 percent, according to the Jackson Multiple Listing Service, he said. “The market certainly is not like it used to be years ago but it’s certainly much better than it has been in the last two or three years,” Warren said. Warren said a few high-end priced homes in the million-dollar range have moved this month, and so have homes below $500,000. “The gap is in the FILE / The Mississippi Business Journal


METRO, Page 15

While it has been a long road to recovery, the residential market in the Metro Jackson area appears to be on a solid rebound.

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Continued from Page 14

$650,000 to $950,000 range,” he said. The $160,000 to $250,000 homes have sold well, especially in Rankin and Madison counties, he said. “Madison has a lot of fairly new subdivisions up there where homes have moved as well as anywhere in the tri-county area,” he said. Warren said new home prices are starting to rise. “Builders are seeing price increases in their materials. That’s pulling some existing homes with it.”


Continued from Page 13

financial advisors. A partnership for accredited investors was established that uses an absolute return strategy, meaning it seeks to achieve a long-term total return from investments. “Since the partnership has a very broad investment mandate, it is able to employ a wide range of strategies and to invest in a broad spectrum of bond and equity securities, as well as derivatives, in pursuing the objective,” Mosley said. Keeping up with the constantly changing market climate is important. “We are fortunate to have very qualified individuals – certified public accountants, tax attorneys, certified financial planners and qualified 401 k administrators – with access to a myriad of information to keep up with changes,” Mosley said. “We also use Bloomberg and several other services to stay on top of the ever changing economic environment.” Mosley, a Mississippi State University accounting graduate, has worked with Matt Ballew nearly 30 years and says there’s never been a dull day. He thinks the firm’s involvement in the Mississippi Council on Economic Education – involvement started by Matt Ballew – is a worthy endeavor. “MCEE is where most of our charitable contributions go, and we volunteer time to assist with MCEE programs,” Mosley said. “Students coming out of school with the basic financial tools make better citizens and as a result are better employees, customers and investors.” He lists the basic financial tools as balancing a checkbook and understanding compound interest, the rule of 72, how to calculate interest, savings and credit. Security Ballew employees are also involved with other community organizations, including Boy and Girl Scouts, soccer teams and Mistletoe Marketplace to name a few. “We allow each employee an extra day off in addition to their normal vacation, holidays and personal time to work on projects that give something back to the community,” Mosley said.

“There are not as many good deals out there compared to a year ago and inventory seems to stay in check right now.” Warren saw a small drop in business because of the government shutdown and some lingering uncertainly about the economy. “When things start getting uncertain people just stop until they can see little bit further out. It’s the same thing with new construction. It slowed down a little bit, and I contribute that to what’s been going on in Washington.” The government shutdown derailed some home sales but the uncertainty about

November 15, 2013

flood insurance premium hikes is even greater, Prewitt said. Still, “there’s been enough pent up demand to compensate for that,” she said. Prewitt said she expects to see the national economy recovering next year and interest rates to remain relatively low. “They’ll be inching up a bit like they have but not anything significant. I don’t see it hitting double digits.” Warren said the next couple of years are looking positive but he’s worried about how the Affordable Health Care Act will affect the overall housing market.


Mississippi Business Journal



“Overall I feel good about the economy as far as housing is concerned over next year or two. That being said, I am concerned with the health care situation because its kind of putting everybody again in that uncertainty. It’s going to make everybody stand still for a while and kind of watch.” Still, he said, “Overall there is a positive mood out there so we still feel good about that.”

16 I Mississippi Business Journal I November 15, 2013



Weighing in on reverse mortgages


ore and more we see on TV or read in the paper about reverse mortgages and the opportunities available for homeowners to “unlock” the equity in their home. I thought it might be helpful to discuss this unique type of home equity loan and the resulting implications they offer to homeowners, particularly those who are retired and elderly. Created in the late 1980s, there were just 7,000 originated in the year 2000. As a comparison, by 2007, more than 100,000 reverse mortgages were originated representing more than a 40 percent from the previous year! So obviously, it’s an area that’s growing in interest. But reverse mortgages can also require careful review. A reverse mortgage is a loan secured by home equity that makes payments to the homeowner — as opposed to requiring payments from the homeowner. As such, a reverse mortgage loan can be an important source of income for a cash-strapped homeowner. The requirements to a reverse mortgage are:

“With these facts being laid out, there are advantages and disadvantages to reverse mortgages that require careful consideration.” » The home must be the homeowner’s primary residence » The homeowner must be age 62 or older » The homeowner must either own the home outright or have a small enough existing mortgage that the reverse mortgage can pay off sufficiently. » The home must be in good enough condition to pass a mandatory inspection. If a homeowner qualifies for a reverse mortgage, he or she can receive money in the form of a lump sum, access to a line of

credit, a monthly payment that can continue as long as the homeowner remains in the home or a combination of three. The homeowner retains the title and control of the home and there is no risk of foreclosure as long as the homeowner makes property tax and homeowner insurance payments. The loan does not become payable until the last homeowner dies, permanently moves out or sells the home. If, at the time of death of the homeowner, the value of the home exceeds the loan balance,

the homeowner’s heirs can receive that additional value. With these facts being laid out, there are advantages and disadvantages to reverse mortgages that require careful consideration: As far as disadvantages; reverse mortgages have come under scrutiny for various real and perceived abuses. Many consumer protection organizations caution against entering into a reverse mortgage if there is not a clear understanding of the terms or if one does not properly consider alternatives. Another point is; reverse mortgages can potentially limit a homeowner’s choices later in life. That being, they will be spending money that could have been saved for other contingencies or otherwise could be available for heirs. Additionally, the costs and fees association with a reverse mortgage loan can be quite significant. Many consumer advocates point this out as being critically important. On the other hand, a reverse mortgage can be a valuable financial tool for seniors whose major financial asset is their home. See

REVERSE, Page 17

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November 15, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




Hancock locating corporate center in Alabama; adding 100 jobs Hancock Bank is building a corporate hub in east Montgomery, Alabama, meaning the relocation at least 100 bank workers and the hiring at least 100 more. The bank announced Tuesday that after an “intense” search for the home of a new corporate center, it settled on the six-story Capitol Commerce Center office building near Atlanta Highway and Interstate 85. It’s already occupying two floors in the cen-


Continued from Page 16

The classic situation of this is where a senior needs cash, has a lot of home equity available and strongly desires to remain in his or her home. Additionally, the money that a homeowner receives from the reverse mortgage is normally received tax-free and does not alter eligiIke Trotter bility for Social Security retirement or Medicare health insurance benefits although eligibility for other government assistance programs can be affected. Reverse mortgages can be financed in a number of ways but, in most situations, it is recommended by consumer advocates to seek financing through an insured FHA loan. It is also recommended to contact your local financial advisor, tax preparer for guidance as well as talk with an attorney who specializes in real estate law for further information. With times being as they are, reverse mortgages are probably here to stay. Statistics show reverse mortgages with a market penetration of less than 5 percent of homeowners 62 and older. Certainly with celebrities like Robert Wagner, former Senator Fred Thompson and even the “Fonz”, Henry Winkler, pitching them daily in television advertisements, they are sure to raise increased interest in the public eye. However, I would make sure that I fully understand the facts before signing up. When all is said and done, there’s no better peace of mind than knowing that the home you live in is yours — free and clear. Ike S. Trotter, CLU, ChFC, is a financial advisor in Greenville. Securities and investment advisory services provided through Woodbury Financial Services Inc., Member: FINRA, SIPC and Registered Investment Advisor, P.O. Box 64284, St. Paul, MN 55164. Tel: 800.800-2638. IKE TROTTER AGENCY, LLC, and Woodbury Financial Services are not affiliated entities. Information and opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Woodbury Financial Services Inc.

ter, a total of about 40,000 square feet of space. Hancock’s chief information officer, Ron Milliet, said central Alabama beat out Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., and other sites for a range of reasons, from quality of life to Hancock market presence. “It was important that the site we selected be in-market,” Milliet said. “We didn’t necessarily want to go to Dallas or go to

Atlanta and get way outside of market.” The bank serves Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, and its sister institution Whitney Bank serves Louisiana and Texas. The new center will serve all five states. The operations were in Gulfport, Miss., when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. “It was real, and it was present, and it was painful,” Milliet said. “The tower received significant damage.”

He said that led to a decision to move “off the beach” and started the search process that brought them to Montgomery, where a $500,000 investment was made. It also means more than 100 new banking industry jobs for the Capital City. “Hancock is already recruiting locally for those important deposit and lending positions,” Milliet said. — from staff and MBJ wire services

18 I Mississippi Business Journal I November 15, 2013 Business










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20 I Mississippi Business Journal I November 15, 2013 Profiles of growing young professionals in Mississippi

Age: 35 Owner, Ecological Restoration Services

Keeping our eye on... KRISTI HALL Vicksburg native Kristi Hall combines her dual passion for wetlands and geographic information systems (GIS) every day with her work as an ecologist and environmental consultant. Hall’s company specializes in wetlands, GIS analysis, threatened and endangered species surveys and National Environmental Policy Act documents. “We work with a network of small businesses throughout the Southeast to tackle any project, finding compromises between environmental regulations and development,” Hall says. “I like being able to take my piece of the project and see it fit into the larger puzzle, and I really enjoy helping others.” Hall earned a bachelors in biochemistry from Virginia Tech and a masters in fishery and wildlife biology from Colorado State University. Her previous work experience includes stints as an environmental sci-

entist with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Mississippi Department of Transportation and private engineering firms. “Be patient,” Hall advises young professionals entering any industry. “I work in the field of environmental regulations. I see my industry only becoming more complex over time and yet more essential to find good compromises. Finding a balance between development and environmental regulations will become more and more important.” Hall enjoys running, swimming and biking and is an active volunteer at South Park Elementary, the Bulldog Challenge, U8 Vicksburg Soccer Organization and Church of the Holy Trinity.

— By Stephen McDill

Best thing about Mississippi: “It’s small! Traffic

anywhere in Mississippi on a bad day is better than traffic anywhere else on a good day.” Best Mississippi event: Over the River Run in Vicksburg Favorite Mississippi food: Catfish and Nosser’s Dressing from Rowdy’s Family Restaurant in Vicksburg First job ever: Kennel cleaner for veterinarian Favorite TV show: “The Big Bang Theory” Favorite movie: “Dumb & Dumber” Favorite music: Bluegrass

Tyler leading operations

Brady earns award

Rentfro named interim CEO King appointed president/CEO

HUB International Gulf South has named Brent Tyler director of operations for the Mississippi Region. Licensed in property and casualty insurance and life, health and accident insurance, Tyler is a construction risk and insurance specialist and a certified workers’ compensation underwriter. He has worked as a commercial insurance and surety bond broker in the construction practice of a regional Tyler agency since 2003, where his experience included managing contractors’ bond and risk management programs, property and casualty insurance and workers’ compensation. Tyler holds a bachelor of business administration in risk management and insurance from Mississippi State University and serves on the School of Business Young Alumni Advisory Board and Insurance Day Advisory Board. He is active in a number of professional organizations and trade groups, including the International Risk Management Institute Inc., National Association of Surety Bond Producers, Mississippi Associated Builders and Contractors, Associated General Contractors of Mississippi and the Mississippi Road Builders’ Association.

Brad Brady, civil engineer with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District, was recently presented the Commander's Special Emphasis Award for his selfless service, dedication and exceptional achievement in the performance of assigned duties in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Brady recently returned from a three-month deployment in support of Overseas Contingency Operations in Kabul, Afghanistan. He was based at Camp Phoenix where he worked for the Kabul Area Office's Northern District as a project engineer for construction of the 88-acre Ministry of Interior Complex. For his service, Brady was previously awarded the NATO Medal, the Commander's Award for Civilian Service Medal, and the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism. As a civil engineer in the construction services branch of the Engineering and Construction Division, he is heavily involved in numerous construction contract administration activities for projects throughout the District. Prior to deployment to Afghanistan, he served as a project engineer on the Lower Mississippi Riverfront Museum and Interpretive Center in Vicksburg. Brady is a native of Hattiesburg and earned his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Mississippi State University. He is married to the former Christy Swindle of McComb and they are the parents of four children.

Donny Rentfro has been named interim CEO at Natchez Regional Medical Center. Rentfro, the hospital's chief administrative officer, will be stepping in temporarily to fill the position vacated by CEO Bill Heburn, whose three-year contract expired. Prior to working at NRMC, Rentfro was the CEO of both Riverland Medical Center in Ferriday, La., and Natchez Community Hospital.

Rockstad takes honor Trevor B. Rockstad, an attorney in the Gulfport law firm of Davis & Crump, recently received the “Rising Star” award from the Mississippi Association for Justice (formerly Mississippi Trial Lawyers Association). The award is presented annually to a young attorney who has shown skill in courtroom advocacy and leadership in the legal profession. In addition to being admitted to practice in Mississippi, Rockstad Rockstad recently passed the California Bar exam and was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for the “Skechers ShapeUps” product liability litigation pending in Los Angeles.

Clinic adds Richie Heather L. Richie, MD, recently joined Hattiesburg Clinic’s Hospital Care Service. Richie received her medical degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., where she also served an internal medicine internship and residency. Her professional affiliations include the American College of Physicians, Metro Medical Association and the So- Richie ciety of Hospital Medicine.

Planters announces staff moves Planters Bank has made several staffing moves. Brandon Baldwin was recently named a loan representative for Planters Bank’s Cleveland office. Baldwin is a native of Cleveland. He received his B.A. from Delta State University. Baldwin is a member of the Cleveland Noon Lion’s Club and Alumni Chair for Delta State’s Ducks Unlimited and Covenant Presbyterian Church. Planters Bank has promoted Baldwin Grant Phillips to loan representative for the Indianola office. Phillips was hired in May and recently completed the management training program. He is a native of Olive Branch and a recent graduate of Mississippi College. While at Mississippi College, he was involved in the Civitan Men’s Club where he McPherson served as secretary as well as held various positions in the school’s Student Government Association. Greenville’s office recently hired Chase McPherson as a loan representative. McPherson is a native of Greenville and received his B.A. from Mississippi State University. At Mississippi State, he was involved with the Phillips Catch-A-Dream Foundation, Fisher House and Charity Bowl. McPherson was previously with Republic Finance where he was an assistant manager.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi has named Penney L. King, MSW, as its new president and CEO. King has worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs for 16 years across several states, including positions as a program specialist, program director, unit director, director of operations, director of teen services with the corporate office and the project director of the Georgia State Alliance. King King is an active member in the Boys and Girls Clubs Professional Association, SOOAP and a national training associate for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. She holds a masters degree in social work concentrating in community development from Norfolk State University.

DSU inducts Russell GodwinGroup president Jeff Russell was recently inducted into the Delta State University's 2013 National Alumni Association Hall of Fame, the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by the Delta State Alumni Association. Russell, a 1980 graduate of Delta State University, began his advertising career as a staff artist at a small agency in Mississippi, but seeking to build his understanding of advertising and marketing, he returned to Delta State University where he received an MBA with an emphasis in marketing. He became a stockholder in 1990 and assumed responsibility for the agency's brand management staff in 1992. For the last two decades, Russell has worked as a strategic marketing planner for a variety of accounts focusing on bringing creative solutions to marketing problems primarily in the fields of economic development, health care and banking.

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

November 15, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal



» MISSISSIPPI LEADERS by Martin Willoughby

Continuing education Miller finds success through learning


ne of the key characteristics of leaders I have studied is a strong desire to learn. They continually seek ways to better themselves and those around them. Best-selling author Brian Tracy said, “Those people who develop the ability to continuously acquire new and better forms of knowledge that they can apply to their work and to their lives will be the movers and shakers in our society for the indefinite future.” These leaders realize that continuous personal development is one of the best investments you can make. I like management guru Peter Drucker’s pointed statement, “If you think training is expensive, try ignorance.” Danny Miller, clerk of court for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, certainly believes in investing in becoming a more knowledgeable leader. Miller grew up in Brandon and earned a BBA in accounting from Ole Miss. After graduation, he went to work for several years in public accounting before serving as principal analyst/CPA for the Mississippi’s Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER). He went on to serve in leadership roles with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Health before taking his current role as clerk of court. In his current role, Miller serves as the court unit executive (i.e. chief operating of-

Up Close With ... Danny Miller Title: Clerk of court, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi Favorite Books: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg; inGenius by Tina Seelig; Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson; all of John Grisham’s books. First Job: ”When I was about 10, I worked for my Uncle Charlie, who was a brick mason.” Proudest Moment as a Leader: ”When my son, now 26 and a Marine combat veteran, told me that he really did listen to the advice I gave him when he was a teenager even though he didn’t act like it at the time. The most important leadership role in a person’s life is that of a parent. Nothing is more rewarding than confirmation from your children that you had a positive influence on their lives.” Hobbies/Interests: ”Law school; hanging out with my family”

ficer) where he oversees 31 employees in two division offices that serve 45 counties. During his career, Miller has been a continuous learner. While working at the DOT, he went back to school and earned his MBA at Mississippi College, and now he is enrolled at Mississippi College School of Law in their Executive Program pursuing a law degree as well. Miller shared, “I firmly believe that young people should invest in their skills, both academically and through experience.” Miller noted that very few of us are

“born leaders” who command the attention of others by simply speaking. He believes that we need to develop the skills, knowledge, and experience that provide a source of leadership power. He advises young leaders to “never stop learning.” He said, “The world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and as a leader, we are expected to keep one eye on our organization and one eye on the horizon.” Raised by a single mom, Miller reflected on the lessons he learned from his hard working mother who raised three kids on

“The world is changing at an unprecedented pace...” Danny Miller Clerk of court, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi

her own. He shared, “Like many in her generation, she valued her job (even on those days when she didn’t like it), respected those she worked for (even when there was good reason not to), Martin Willoughby and worked extremely hard (motivated only by an intrinsic obligation to do her best).” Miller also pointed out the lessons he learned from John Turcotte, former director of the Legislative PEER Committee. Miller said, “John probably had the most influence on my career. He is the one of the most innovative and talented government leaders that I have ever encountered. John constantly pursued innovation and excellence in the provision of government services and encouraged us to think creatively.” Miller candidly noted that many in the private sector consider innovation and government to be an oxymoron; however, he emphasized that John Turcotte was the ultimate exception. Miller shared, “While I have never presumed to have reached John’s level of talent, his leadership influenced my ability to face and successfully tackle many difficult challenges in my career as a government administrator.” I am encouraged by Miller’s dedication and commitment to personal development. His passion for improvement and innovation is just the kind of attitude we need in business and government. I appreciate his efforts in making Mississippi a better place. 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@

Someone is out to get this Southern Marilyn look-alike


» Lowcountry Bombshell By Susan M. Boyer Published by Henery Press $15.95 soft back

e all know eccentric Southern characters. They live in our towns; they may even be related to us. And certainly they populate our Southern literature. When asked why Southern writers so often used these types of characters in books, Carson McCullers replied that it’s because we can still recognize them. Well, Calista McQueen, the heroine of Lowcountry Bombshell certainly fills the bill of eccentric Southern character. McQueen, looking like a picture-perfect likeness of Marilyn Monroe, is a recent transplant to Stella Maris, a fictional island near Charleston, S.C. She was born the day the late actress died and now fears that anniversary date may be her

last birthday. For that reason she seeks the help of private detective Liz Talbot. Accustomed to odd clients, Talbot is nonetheless intrigued by McQueen and a little skeptical of her alleged similarities with Monroe from the names of her client’s former husbands to her celebrity-obsessed family. However, there may really be someone out to get McQueen as she is a very rich woman. Tal-

bot is on the case. This book is not great literature; it’s a light mystery that keeps the plot moving along and has humor that anyone who’s lived in a small Southern town will understand. There’s a diner called the Cracked Pot where people gather as much for the gossip as the down home cooking. The town is not real, but Charleston is nearby and a few real Charleston places — the historic Blind Tiger Pub and critically acclaimed Anson – are thrown in to give the story authentic flavor. This is Susan M. Boyer’s second Liz Talbot detective book. The first, Lowcountry Boil, earned her the Agatha and Daphne du Maurier awards. She’s a resident of Greenville, S.C., and has published short stories in several local and regional magazines.

— Lynn Lofton,

“This book is not great literature; it’s a light mystery...”

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Member FDIC

November 15, 2013


Mississippi Business Journal




Integra Realty Services aims to replace guesswork with hard data Âť IRR is the first national appraisal and commercial real estate counseling company to open in Mississippi By TED CARTER I STAFF WRITER

National real estate services provider Integra Realty Resources has set up shop in Jackson to help provide more thorough market assessments to commercial real estate investors, lenders and deal makers. The New York City-based Integra says its arrival in Jackson is a response to the increasingly complex and high-dollar value of commercial real estate transactions in Mississippi and caps a three-city Southern strategy of opening offices in Jacksonville, Fla., and Birmingham. The firm, which carries a North America-wide reach into Canada and the Caribbean, has 66 offices. Jackson marks its 25th office in the Southeast. Integra has been doing behind-the-scenes valuation and consulting work in Mississippi for several years, assisting clients from cities such as Orlando and Atlanta, according to J. Walter Allen, IRRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s senior managing di-


rector who will join with urban-markets specialist Michelle Alexander to oversee the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Memphis and Jackson offices. By coming to Jackson, Allen said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We could be in the Mississippi and Louisiana markets and have access to the Gulf Praytor coast areas.â&#x20AC;? He expects Mississippi, Louisiana and the coast to quickly provide reams of market information. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s geometric â&#x20AC;&#x201C; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about how fast the data grows,â&#x20AC;? Allen said. Longtime Jackson real estate appraiser John Praytor will lead the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sevenmember office at 200 Trace Colony Park Drive, Suite B, in Ridgeland. Praytor, who also is a real estate broker, previously owned Praytor Appraisal Services. The new full service office will serve a customer base of commercial banks, attor-

Continued from Page 8

neys, government and private developers and investors, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We do market studies and highestand-best-use studies that the typical appraiser in a small town would not have the means to do.â&#x20AC;? A key, Praytor added, is the massive data Integra has relating to markets across the country. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having that exposure to national markets really gives us a leg up on the type of expertise we can bring to the client,â&#x20AC;? he said. Such data, Praytor said, gives him a close look at market activity, sale prices, commercial and industrial occupancies down to some of the smallest market categories. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This allows me to have an overview of a county, an MSA and even states to see how Walgreens are doing or Dollar Generals are doing.â&#x20AC;? The Ridgeland office will have four full time appraisers and three staff members. Personnel expansions, including new appraisers, are planned over the next few months, Praytor said. To this point, IRR has been doing a lot of hotel, warehouse, mini-storage and golf course projects in Mississippi, according to Allen.

under consideration. TALON is leasing the 12,000 square feet of office and warehouse space at Highland Colony Business Park. Its permanent home will be elsewhere, however. Baldwin says the company envisions a campus-like setting on anywhere from 30 to 100 acres where all of the machining and assembly will occur and potential buyers, both commercial and institutional, will test fire and train on various firing ranges. So far, a suitably isolated site has not been found. Baldwin says his hope is that he can locate one somewhere in Central Mississippi.

each part will be made in the United States. These â&#x20AC;&#x153;right peopleâ&#x20AC;? are scattered around the country producing the various parts that will go into the TM4-A1. After the holidays theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be sending their work to Ridgeland where a crew of about 10 assemblers will put everything together, multi-tasking as they rotate through work stations until assembly is completed. A fortified trailer will be set up behind the warehouse to serve as a test-fire range. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to take every single weapon and put it through a 10-round firing phase,â&#x20AC;? Baldwin says. 1779+/- BEAUTIFUL ACRES SELLING IN 16 TRACTS Though the TM4-A1â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s buying

             segment will be narrow, marketing of the rifle will cover medi          ums from print to Internet to television, according to Baldwin, who says he expects to get write-ups in the various s  LAKES AND PONDS WITH #UFFAWA #REEK CROSSING THE PROPERTY firearms magazines and is in s &ULLY FURNISHED  "EDROOM 0LANTATION 3TYLE %STATE ON !CRE 4RACT WITH #ARETAKERS (OME #ABIN AND "ARNS s -ILES OF PAVED ROAD AND PERIMETER FENCING MAKING IT IDEAL talks for sponsorships on cableâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s s    ACRES OF TILLABLE CROP LAND WITH MERCHANTABLE TIMBER FOR A HORSE OR CATTLE FARM outdoors channels. s %XCELLENT COTTON WHEAT AND GRAIN SORGHUM BASES AND s ! LONG HISTORY OF HOSTING BIRD DOG lELD TRIALS #20 LAND s %XCELLENT QUAIL TURKEY AND DEER POPULATIONS Yet to be decided is whether the TM4-A1 will be sold through a network of distributors or direct to retailers, Baldwin says, and adds a manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rep is also



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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Going forward, we want to have the ability to handle large investment real estate, large shopping center and office projects and big development tracts,â&#x20AC;? Allen said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can provide analysis of the market for office properties, fair-market rent studies. We can determine what might be a competitive set of choices.â&#x20AC;? Integra also wants to develop its litigation support areas, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We work extensively with attorneys on eminent domain cases, property estates, contract disputes.â&#x20AC;? Much of the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s government work involves land-use studies for schools and university campus expansions, he added. For anyone interested in Jackson data, Integra Realty Resources will have a page devoted to Jackson in its â&#x20AC;&#x153;Viewpoint 2014,â&#x20AC;? a rundown of national and local real estate markets that includes capital markets, investment criteria, capitalization rates, discount rates, reversion rates, market rent change rates, expense growth rates and tenant finish allowances. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Viewpointâ&#x20AC;? also covers sectors such as office, retail, industrial, apartments, lodging, self storage, senior housing and gaming. Also detailed are commercial real estate activities in Japan, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Viewpoint 2014â&#x20AC;? is scheduled to be posted for download in the week between Christmas and New Years at The home page will also post quarterly updates on commercial real estate activities in Jackson and IRRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s other markets.

Meanwhile, he answers without hesitation the question CEOs frequently get: Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s keeps you up at night? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Are you kidding? Start-ups are always high-riskâ&#x20AC;Ś. This is where you have to plan everything under the sun.â&#x20AC;?

Title: Extension Agent General Description: Provide leadership of a comprehensive Community Resource Development education program. Serve as a member of a county team to determine effective programming priorities and delivery methods for the total county Extension educational effort. Location: There are four positions open, one position at each of the following locations: Yalobusha County, Sunflower County, Lincoln County, and Pearl River County. If applying, please indicate for which area you are interested in applying. Major Duties: Agent will maintain a positive relationship with community leaders, public officials, representatives of intended audiences, and the county Extension Executive Board to analyze data, identify needs, deliver educational programs, assess identified needs, and develop measurable goals. Agent focus area will be on Enterprise and Community Resource Development. Minimum Qualifications: Applicants must have an earned bachelor's degree in Public Policy and Administration, Business, Agribusiness, Economics, Agricultural Economics, or a field of study determined by the Extension Service to be closely related from an accredited institution of higher learning. A minimum 2.75 GPA on upper-division college coursework on a 4.0 scale is required. Applicant must also agree to complete a master's degree in a related field within five (5) academic years of employment. Complete job description and additional information is available at Search for PARF number 7479. To apply, complete the online application at Extension Service Mission The Mississippi State University Extension Service provides research-based information, educational programs, and technology transfer focused on issues and needs of the people of Mississippi, enabling them to make informed decisions about their economic, social, and cultural well-being. Discrimination based upon race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or veteranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s status is a violation of federal and state law and MSU policy and will not be tolerated. Discrimination based upon sexual orientation or group affiliation is a violation of MSU policy and will not be tolerated. Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all federal and Mississippi state laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action.

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MBJ Nov15 2013  

Mississippi Business Journal, MBJ, MBJ Focus Banking & Finance