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Editorial Results (free)

1. Push for Broader Minority Business Participation Grows -

A larger share of business for minority- and women-owned local businesses should begin with an inventory that matches existing businesses with existing opportunities.

And three leaders of the recently revived effort to build that share of business say from there the local Memphis economy overall can grow.

2. Gestalt Schools Signs Lease in Hickory Hill -

A charter school operator has inked a lease for space on Winchester Road in Hickory Hill.

Gestalt Community Schools has leased 57,000 square feet of space at 5360 Winchester Road inside the Mendenhall Square shopping center.

3. Coalition Vows Push for Minority Business Gains -

For decades, goals and percentages have been set for minority business participation in city and county governments.

Both governments have compliance offices. Elected officials look at percentages and ask questions about participation on particular projects.

4. New Memphis Institute Unveils Exec. Committee -

The New Memphis Institute has announced Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. CEO Jason Little as its board of trustees chair for 2014.

5. New Memphis Institute Unveils Executive Committee -

The New Memphis Institute has announced Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. CEO Jason Little as its board of trustees chair for 2014.

6. Rock’n Dough Pizza Opening in Jackson -

The little Memphis pizzeria that could will soon be opening a new location in Jackson, Tenn.

The Rock’n Dough Pizza Co., owned by Jeremy and Amanda Denno, is slated to open a new restaurant and microbrewery at the Jackson Walk development in Jackson in October. The Dennos will team up with veteran local brewer Ben Pugh to create signature suds at the 4,100-square-foot restaurant.

7. Daniels Takes on New Role at Greater Memphis Chamber -

The Greater Memphis Chamber has promoted Amy Daniels to the newly created position of senior vice president, membership and communications. Daniels, who has worked at the chamber for 17 years, will now oversee the membership department while continuing in her prior role, leading the communications and programming department.

8. Masson Named Senior Director at Caissa -

Rick Masson has joined Caissa Public Strategy as senior director. Masson, former chief administrative office for the city of Memphis, was also recently named special master to oversee the city-county schools merger. (For details, see the Monday, March 11, edition of The Daily News.) In his new role at Caissa, Masson will provide consultation and leadership on business development and project management.

9. Creative Space -

By the time Crosstown Arts occupies space in the 1.5 million-square-foot Sears Crosstown building, it will have completed a solid test run of promoting arts-based community and economic development in Midtown.

10. Atlantic Track Grows Local Operations -

Bloomfield, N.J.-based Atlantic Track & Turnout Co. is expanding its Memphis operations with a 12,900-square-foot pre-engineered metal building addition with a bridge crane at 363 E. Bodley Ave.

11. Rekindling Crosstown -

Video artist Chris Miner says one way to explain the redevelopment of the Sears Crosstown building is likening it to the process of creating art.

“You get into it with a general idea of what you want to do, but then you kind of let it take you wherever you are going to go or wherever the piece wants to go,” he said.

12. Crosstown Stakeholder Pleased With Development’s Direction -

Todd Richardson gave some schemes – albeit changing ones – of the redeveloped Sears Crosstown building in Midtown Friday, Oct. 5, at Universal Commercial Real Estate’s Regional Minority Business Entrepreneur Power Breakfast.

13. Additional Board Members Named at LaunchYourCity -

LaunchYourCity Inc. has announced new board members.

They are Kevin Adams, CEO, CB Richard Ellis Memphis; Darrell Cobbins, CEO, Universal Commercial; and social entrepreneur Chris Williams.

14. MULYP Awards Honor ‘Agents of Change’ -

Memphis Urban League Young Professionals celebrates its second annual Agents of Change Awards Saturday, Dec. 3, honoring individuals and organizations that have made contributions to the community.

15. Universal Commercial Built On Deep Family Legacy -

For some people, the prospect of working with one’s brother, wife and mother on a daily basis would be a less than enticing proposition.

But as far as Darrell Cobbins, the owner, president and CEO of Memphis-based Universal Commercial LLC, is concerned, there’s no other way he’d rather do business.

16. Small Firms Find Footing In Competitive CRE Market -

Darrell Cobbins got started in commercial real estate in June 2001, three months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks wreaked havoc on the economy.

17. CRE Sales Up, Outlook Still Dour -

February’s mixed bag of commercial real estate sales serve as evidence of the sluggish speculative market, which doesn’t appear to be staging a comeback in the foreseeable future.

Shelby County saw 48 CRE sales last month, a 41 percent increase from 34 sales in February 2010, but also a 16 percent decrease from 57 in January, according to the latest information from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

18. Electrolux Officials Sign Downtown Office Lease -

Before it builds a new manufacturing plant at Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park, Electrolux will set up shop in Memphis with a Downtown office.

The Swedish appliance maker has signed a 14,000-square-foot lease at One Commerce Square, 40 S. Main St., where it will occupy the building’s entire 24th floor.

19. Memphis Closer to Electric Vehicle Technology -

Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division should have 10 locations up and running by September for public charging stations for electric vehicles.

And Tennesseans who buy a Nissan Leaf, the all-electric vehicle coming to the market in 2012, will get a free home charging station as part of federal government incentives in six states and Washington as well as state government incentives in Tennessee.

20. ULI Conference to Tackle Emerging Trends -

As real estate professionals gather this week to take a look at the latest numbers and trends, they will also get a broader economic view of the recession’s effect on the industry.

They will get a glimpse into the current market Wednesday when the Urban Land Institute (ULI) District Council Memphis holds its annual Real Estate Outlook for the Mid-South.

21. Consolidation Opponents Present Sides -

A week before early voting in advance of the Nov. 2 Election Day starts, both sides in the consolidation debate are seeing a lot of each other.

Forums across Shelby County are offering voters very different views of the same document, the proposed metro charter that would consolidate the city of Memphis and Shelby County governments.

22. MLGW to Consider E-mail Upgrade -

The Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division board is scheduled to take action on a resolution at Thursday’s meeting awarding a $156,034 contract to Venture Technologies for an e-mail system upgrade.

The board also is scheduled to consider a resolution authorizing the utility company to extend an interdivisional cooperative agreement with the city of Memphis to buy unleaded and low sulfur diesel fuel.

23. School Consolidation Nixed in Charter Talks -

Consolidating the Memphis and Shelby County public school systems is off the table as far as the Metro Charter Commission is concerned.

In its first vote on a charter issue since forming in October, the body voted unanimously last week to exclude the school systems from the charter or any charter discussions. The exclusion does not apply to the charter commission’s coming talks about how both school systems would be funded by one local government.

24. City Mayoral Transition Yields Crowded To-Do List -  

Memphis Mayor-elect A C Wharton Jr. will be appointing a new city attorney once he takes office next week.

Elbert Jefferson, the city attorney Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery tried to fire just minutes after taking the oath of office on July 31, Friday sent a second resignation letter to Lowery. The two met for an hour Sunday evening at City Hall and Lowery accepted Jefferson’s resignation.

Jefferson’s attorney, Ted Hansom, and city Chief Administrative Officer Jack Sammons were also present. Jefferson turned in his key card, the keys to his city car and his laptop.

“The drama is over,” Lowery said Monday. “For my part, I wish it had never happened.”

Dramatis personae

In a resignation letter last week to Wharton, Jefferson had expressed hope that he would be hired for some position in the new administration. Over the weekend, he used the same text in the new letter but addressed it to Lowery instead. He requested the city pay his legal fees as well.

The resignation letter to Lowery made moot an ouster suit filed by Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons. Criminal Court Judge James Lammey, who was to hear the case, reset a final report to Oct. 27, citing Jefferson’s departure.

“A hearing on the issue of suspension would be an inefficient use of judicial resources, of the state of Tennessee and of the resources of the city of Memphis, and considering (Jefferson’s) current health status, would be an unnecessary tax on (Jefferson’s) well-being and a possible threat to his health,” Lammey wrote in the court order.

Jefferson was scheduled to return to City Hall from sick leave Monday. He apparently believed the new mayor would be in office by the time he returned.

An audit of city financial affairs is standard procedure in a change of administrations. Wharton is naming team members to review the offices of the city attorney, human resources and finance and administration. He was also to name members of his transition team Monday.

Time-, battle-tested

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter and Methodist Healthcare executive Cato Johnson will head the team.

The other members are:

- Herman Morris, attorney and 2007 candidate for Memphis Mayor.

- Tomeka Hart, Memphis Urban League CEO and Memphis school board member.

- Jim Strickland, attorney and Memphis City Council member.

- Rev. Dwight Montgomery, Southern Christian Leadership Conference Memphis chapter President.

- Jose Velasquez, Latino Memphis former executive director.

- Nisha Powers, Powers Hill Design Inc. President.

- Paul Morris, attorney and former chairman Center City Commission.

- Douglas Scarboro, The Leadership Academy vice president.

- Steve Reynolds, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. CEO.

- Diane Rudner, Plough Foundation chairman.

- Darrell Cobbins, Universal Commercial CEO.

Johnson has more experience serving on such task forces and ad hoc committees than any other leader in the city’s corporate community. Most recently, Johnson was one of two business leaders on the ad hoc committee exploring single-source local funding for education. He also served as a leader of the Mid-South Fairgrounds renovation committee and has been involved in similar capacities with every major construction project for a civic use in the past 15 years.

Carpenter’s appointment is certain to fuel speculation that he might be tapped for some role in the new administration. However, Carpenter has already been holding fundraisers in anticipation of a bid for re-election to his commission seat in the 2010 county elections.

Wharton is tentatively scheduled to take the oath of office Oct. 26.

The Shelby County Commission also meets that same day and could receive Wharton’s resignation and declare a vacancy in the county mayor’s office with a vote to appoint Wharton’s successor-to-come in November. Until that vote, County Commission Chairwoman Joyce Avery will serve as interim mayor.

“It will be a day in which I come to work at one place and leave work from another place,” Wharton told The Daily News.

But the Shelby County Election Commission will meet earlier than expected -- Thursday afternoon -- to certify the Oct. 15 election results. Once the results are certified, Wharton is free to resign as Shelby County mayor and take the oath as Memphis mayor.

Cooperative efforts

Meanwhile, Wharton has asked City Council Chairman Harold Collins to consider delaying a council vote today on the five appointees the city mayor is to make to a metro charter commission. The council set today’s vote with the intention of having whomever won the Oct. 15 special election appoint members of the panel.

“I won’t be there on the 20th. … I’m seeing if they are in a position to put it off until I’m actually over there,” Wharton told The Daily News, as he has had attorneys researching if a council vote in November would meet timelines for such an effort set out in state law.

“I believe that they may be able to meet on Nov. 3,” Wharton said.

Wharton has already named the 10 appointees to be made by the Shelby County mayor to the panel. The County Commission approved all 10 earlier this month.

While it appears he will make the other five, Wharton said he will ask the council, through Collins, to effectively pick the five nominees, whom Wharton would then send to the council as his appointees.

“I chose all 10 over here, which I had to do by law. If I could find some way around it that passed legal muster, then I would do that,” he said. “But we’ve researched it and I know of no way in which the city mayor can say … ‘I’m not going to do that.’ You can’t transfer it.”

Wharton and Lowery were to discuss the matter at a meeting Monday afternoon. Lowery told The Daily News he had received no suggested appointees from council members, but would be willing to submit names the council wants on the charter commission.

...

25. Update: Wharton Names Transition Team -  

Memphis Mayor-elect A C Wharton Jr. has named eleven more people to his transition team.

Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter and Methodist Healthcare executive Cato Johnson will chair the group. The others include:

- Herman Morris, attorney, former president of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division and 2007 Memphis mayoral candidate;

- The Rev. Dwight Montgomery, president of the Memphis chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference;

- Nisha Powers, president of Powers Hill Design Inc.;

- Tomeka Hart, Memphis school board member and Memphis Urban League president and CEO;

- Darrell Cobbins, Universal Commercial President and CEO;

- Jim Strickland, attorney and Memphis City Councilmember;

- Jose Velasquez, Latino Memphis’ former executive director.

- Paul Morris, attorney and former chairman Center City Commission.

- Diane Rudner, Poplar Foundation chairman.

- Steve Reynolds, Baptist Memorial Health Care President & CEO.

- Douglas Scarboro, The Leadership Academy vice president.

In other transition developments, the Shelby County Election Commission will meet Thursday afternoon to certify the results of the Oct. 15 special mayoral election.

The meeting is earlier than Wharton had expected. Once the results are certified, Wharton can resign his post as Shelby County mayor at any point and take the oath of office at City Hall. The Shelby County Commission will then declare a vacancy in the county mayor’s office and commission chairwoman Joyce Avery will become acting mayor until the commission appoints someone to serve the year remaining in Wharton’s county term of office.

...

26. Former FedEx Employee Starts Logistics Business -

Like it was for hundreds of other Memphians, April 3 proved to be a watershed date for Terica Lamb. She lost her job at FedEx Express that day when the company laid off 1,000 salaried managers and professionals, half of whom came from the Memphis area.

27. City Program Seeks Minority Developers -

Creating more minority developers means getting them to see blight differently.

That’s what the director of a two-year old effort by the city of Memphis to build diversity in the development community said last week about the effort.

28. MLGW Seeks To Require Rentals To Be Energy-Efficient -

Low-income customers of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division eventually could see some relief in the form of lower utility bills if an ordinance the Memphis City Council will discuss Tuesday is approved.

29. Commercial Real Estate Sales Bleak in October -

Commercial real estate’s downward spiral continued in October, with sales falling by a third compared to the same month a year ago.

Just 64 commercial deals occurred in Shelby County last month, a 33.3 percent decline from 96 in October 2007, according to the latest data from real estate information company Chandler Reports, www.chandlerreports.com.

30. New Binghampton Senior Facility Planned -

Two generations ago, Darrell Cobbins’ grandfather developed one of Memphis’ first black middle-income communities called Lakeview Gardens.

Over the next couple of years, Cobbins, a commercial real estate developer and broker, will bring a 133-unit senior housing facility to Binghampton, and he’ll pay homage to his real estate lineage by calling it Lakeview Estates.

31. June Commercial Sales Down 31 Percent -

New month, same story for Shelby County’s commercial real estate market.

Following a recent trend, June’s sales total was salvaged by a high-profile, high-dollar multifamily transaction that kept the commercial numbers afloat while other property types foundered.

32. Cobbins TappedTo Fill Spot on MLGW Board -      Darrell T. Cobbins, co-founder of the local political group New Path, is Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton's choice to replace Dr. Phillip Bowden on the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division board. Bowden resigned abruptly f

33. Jones Receives Welcome Home Memphis Designation -

Crye-Leike affiliate broker C. Lauren Jones was the first Realtor in the Memphis market to receive the Welcome Home Memphis designation when she recently earned the honor.

The designation recently was created by the Memphis Area Association of Realtors and is designed to increase affordable housing expertise.

34. Dr. Lendel Joins Memphis Heart Clinic -

Dr. Vasili Lendel has joined Memphis Heart Clinic. Lendel is board certified in internal medicine and cardiology. A native of Siberia, Lendel received the Russian Government Award for Academic Excellence. He did his cardiology fellowship at Penn State's medical center in Hershey, Penn., where he received the Chief Cardiology Fellow award.

35. Commercial Real Estate Hangs Tight -

The nation's residential housing market may be sinking, but commercial real estate in Memphis has remained afloat.

The city's office sector received a positive checkup for the second quarter of the year as outlined in "2Q 2007 Memphis Office MarketView Report," released this month by the local office of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).

36. Opening of Universal Commercial LLC Fulfills Professional Dream for Cobbins -

Two months ago, Darrell Cobbins opened the doors to Universal Commercial LLC, marking the realization of a longtime professional dream.

"It's always been my ultimate goal to have my own real-estate company," said Cobbins, 34.

37. Memphis Businessman TappedFor Study of Black Leaders -      Memphis businessman Darrell Cobbins has been selected to participate in a national study of black leaders by a group of public policy experts from the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at Harvard University's

38. Bethel Named New VP Of COMEC Board -

Greg Bethel has been named vice president of the board of directors of the Commission on Missing & Exploited Children (COMEC). Bethel is the director of human resources for the Jackson-Madison County School System in Jackson, Tenn. He's been on the board of directors for two years.

39. Remember the Main -

In the midst of guiding the development partnership he helped assemble to create what could become the largest African-American-led project ever in Downtown Memphis, Darrell Cobbins heard from an old friend recently.

40. Archived Article: Mpact (lead) - Mpact Helps Memphis Reach Potential

Mpact Helps Memphis Reach Potential

Group helps recruit new professionals, retain area grads

ANNE MANNING

The Daily News

Mpact Memphis is definitely living up to its name. The organization is making...