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Editorial Results (free)

1. International Paper Sells Carolina Brand -

Memphis-based International Paper Co. is selling its Carolina brand printing paper business to MeadWestvaco Corp. as it converts the Riegelwood, N.C., mill that makes the Carolina products.

2. International Paper Sells Carolina Brand -

Memphis-based International Paper Co. is selling its Carolina brand printing paper business to MeadWestvaco Corp. as it converts the Riegelwood, N.C., mill that makes the Carolina products.

3. Fogelman Company Launching Retail Center in East Memphis -

6544 Poplar Ave.
Memphis, TN 38118

Permit Amount: $3.2 million

Permit Application Date: February, 2015

4. Fogelman Moves Forward with Poplar Retail Center -

A company affiliated with Robert F. Fogelman II is moving forward with plans to build a new retail center on a key piece of land in the heart of East Memphis.

Crown Centre LLC has applied for a $3.2 million building permit to build the “shell” of a 29,000-square-foot, single-story retail building on the site of the old Cozymel’s Mexican Grill site at 6544 Poplar Ave., near International Paper’s campus in East Memphis.

5. Fogelman Moves Forward With Poplar Retail Center -

A company affiliated with Robert F. Fogelman II is moving forward with plans to build a new retail center on a key piece of land in the heart of East Memphis.

Crown Centre LLC has applied for a $3.2 million building permit to build the “shell” of a 29,000-square-foot, single-story retail building on the site of the old Cozymel’s Mexican Grill site at 6544 Poplar Ave., near International Paper’s campus in East Memphis.

6. Plans for Retail Center on Former Cozymel's Site Move Ahead -

A company affiliated with Robert F. Fogelman II is moving forward with plans to build a new retail center on a key piece of land in the heart of East Memphis.

Crown Centre LLC has applied for a $3.2 million building permit to build the “shell” of a 29,000-square-foot, single-story retail building on the site of the old Cozymel’s Mexican Grill site at 6544 Poplar Ave., near International Paper’s campus in East Memphis.

7. Fogelman Moving Forward With East Memphis Retail Center -

A company affiliated with Robert F. Fogelman II is moving forward with plans to build a new retail center on a key piece of land in the heart of East Memphis.

Crown Centre LLC has applied for a $3.2 million building permit to build the “shell” of a 29,000-square-foot, single-story retail building on the site of the old Cozymel’s Mexican Grill site at 6544 Poplar Ave., near International Paper’s campus in East Memphis.

8. Events -

Mid-South Area Business Travel Association will meet Thursday, Feb. 5, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Courtyard Memphis-Collierville, 4640 Merchants Park Circle. Phil Hammer, director of travel services for Runzheimer International, will present “Key Trends in Business Travel Costs.” Tickets are $25 for members and $40 for nonmembers. Visit msabta.org.

9. Events -

Memphis Library Foundation will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the teen learning lab Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 11 a.m. at its future site in the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar Ave. The name for the lab will be announced at the ceremony. Visit memphislibraryfoundation.org.

10. Events -

National Black MBA Association, Memphis chapter will host its 2015 kickoff meeting, “Reaching Your Financial Goals: How Fit is Your Plan?” Thursday, Jan. 22, from 6 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. at International Paper headquarters, Tower 3, 6400 Poplar Ave. The guest speaker is Roland Cole, financial adviser with Duncan-Williams’ Private Client Group. Visit nbmbaamemphis.org.

11. Events -

The Association for Women Attorneys will host its 35th annual banquet and silent auction Thursday, Jan. 29, at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave. Cost is $60 for AWA members, $70 for nonmembers and $40 for law students. RSVP to Keating Lowery at keatingl@lawrencerussell.com or 901-844-4438 by Wednesday, Jan. 21.

12. Walter Awarded AAF Silver Medal -

Ronald A. Walter, president and general manager of WREG-TV, has been chosen to receive AAF Memphis’ 2015 Silver Medal, the highest form of individual recognition given by local chapters of the American Advertising Federation. The annual award, which honors an exceptional leader for a career of outstanding accomplishment and contribution in the industry, will be presented at AAF Memphis’ luncheon Jan. 29 at 11:30 a.m. at Memphis Botanic Garden.

13. Commission Approves New County Fire Trucks -

The Shelby County Commission voted Monday, Jan. 12, to approve $2 million in funding to buy three custom fire engine pumpers and a rescue truck from Ferrara Fire Apparatus Inc. for the Shelby County Fire Department.

14. County Commission Endorses Haslam's Medicaid Expansion Plan -

Shelby County Commissioners, including some vocal Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act in general, are calling on the Tennessee Legislature to approve Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee Medicaid expansion plan.

15. Strings Come With Fairgrounds Zone -

Shelby County Commissioners could take up an endorsement Monday, Jan. 12, of the city’s proposed Tourism Development Zone for redevelopment of the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

But at this point, the backing has a lot of strings attached. And those strings involve two issues related to local schools funding.

16. Batts Joins HealthChoice as Complex Care Manager -

Kenneth Batts has joined HealthChoice’s new Population Health team as complex care manager. In his new role, Batts will reach out to patients identified with complex medical needs to schedule home visits, where he’ll provide customized intervention and condition education, including goal setting, care coordination, and long-term support with the goal to achieve improvements in their health.

17. Final Mothballing Underway at Verso Mill in Maine -

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A handful of employees at the shuttered Bucksport paper mill will likely remain as caretakers until a metal recycling company takes over the property, the owners said.

18. Memphis Brand Enjoys Banner 2014 -

That thing that might best be described as the Memphis brand has enjoyed something of a banner year in 2014.

Businesses and entrepreneurs like Paper & Clay, Muddy’s Bake Shop and chocolatier Phillip Ashley Rix found themselves in the spotlight at various times in the past 12 months thanks to national media attention. The National Association of Food Journalists held its annual conference in Memphis. The city won plaudits for its bike lanes and its affordability.

19. Fogelman Affiliate Files Loan on Former Cozymel’s Site -

6450 Poplar Ave.
Memphis, TN 38119
Loan Amount: $6.1 million

Loan Date: Dec. 17, 2014
Maturity Date: Jan. 1, 2023
Borrower: Crown Centre LLC
Lender: Financial Federal Bank
Details: A company affiliated with Robert F. Fogelman II has filed a loan on a key piece of East Memphis land.

20. Owner Files $6.1M Loan on Former Cozymel’s Site -

A company affiliated with Robert F. Fogelman II has filed a loan on a key piece of East Memphis property.

Crown Centre LLC filed a $6.1 million loan with Financial Federal Bank for the old Cozymel’s Mexican Grill location at 6450 Poplar Ave. near International Paper’s campus in East Memphis, according to a Dec. 17 deed of trust.

21. Owner Files $6.1 Million Loan on Former Cozymel's Site -

A company affiliated with Robert F. Fogelman II has filed a loan on a key piece of East Memphis property.

Crown Centre LLC filed a $6.1 million loan with Financial Federal Bank for the old Cozymel’s Mexican Grill location at 6450 Poplar Ave. near International Paper’s campus in East Memphis, according to a Dec. 17 deed of trust.

22. Counterpart Experiences Big 2014 -

2014 was a particularly consequential year for Counterpart Communication Design. The marketing communications firm with offices in Memphis and Dallas grew its staff by almost 40 percent this year, for example, in addition to reimagining its creative department and adding a Web analysis team to meet constantly evolving digital needs.

23. Wharton Defends Local Tax Incentives, Searches for New Methods to Compete -

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. is pursuing a new economic development strategy that would allow those parts of Tennessee bordering other states to mirror or match the incentives on the other side of the state line.

24. City Council Approves Pension Changes -

Memphis City Council members put to rest Tuesday, Dec. 16, at least the City Hall portion of the debate about city employee benefits and the liability of those benefits by approving changes to the city’s pension plan.

25. IP Honored for Effort to Fight Multiple Sclerosis -

Memphis-based International Paper was recently inducted as a Circle of Distinction member at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Leadership Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

The company was recognized for the impact it has made as part of the MS movement, having cumulatively raised $1 million or more to help create an MS-free world.

26. Obama Promotes Trade, Tax Fix, Innovation -

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama on Thursday declared himself "much more optimistic" than he was last year about completing a major trade deal with Pacific Rim countries.

At the same time, the president acknowledged to executives on his advisory export council that a tough sales job will be necessary on a commerce issue certain to put him at odds with fellow Democrats during the last two years of his presidency.

27. International Paper Honored for Effort to Fight Multiple Sclerosis -

Memphis-based International Paper was recently inducted as a Circle of Distinction member at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Leadership Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

The company was recognized for the impact it has made as part of the MS movement, having cumulatively raised $1 million or more to help create an MS-free world.

28. MassMutual Sponsors New JA BizTown Shop -

Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Inc. has announced MassMutual Life Insurance Co. as its newest shop sponsor for JA BizTown.

29. Deck the Halls -

It was early Tuesday, a little more than 48 hours before Overton Square was set to throw a major holiday celebration complete with a tree-lighting ceremony, school choirs and dozens of participating tenants.

30. MassMutual Sponsors New JA BizTown Shop -

Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Inc. has announced MassMutual Life Insurance Co. as its newest shop sponsor for JA BizTown.

31. Hillwood to Launch Two Spec Buildings in DeSoto County -

A Texas-based development firm will start turning dirt soon on a massive new business park in DeSoto County.

Hillwood Investment Properties is expected to begin site work in around 30 days on Legacy Park, a 266-acre distribution and business park on the south side of Goodman Road, just east of Hacks Cross Road near Polk Lane.

32. Southaven Rises on Memphis’ Tide -

While our country's economy seems to be making a turn in the right direction, cost of living remains one of the top reasons that individuals and families choose to live where they do.

Recently, data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center and other resources, pulled from the first quarter in 2014, showed that the Mid-South ranked as the most affordable place to live, with Mississippi at No. 1 and Tennessee at No. 2.

33. Entrepreneur Spirit Drives Owners of The Attic -

She was young and had a nice corporate career going straight out of school. So a lot of people would have traded places with Alexandra Nicole, who spent six years as a sales rep at International Paper.

34. International Paper Posts Third-Quarter Profit -

Memphis-based International Paper reported third-quarter net earnings of $355 million, $27 million less than the quarter a year ago but $194 million more than the second quarter of 2014.

In the Tuesday, Nov. 4, earnings report, International Paper executives also reported net sales for the quarter of $6.1 billion compared to $6 billion a year ago and $5.9 billion in the previous quarter.

35. International Paper Posts Third-Quarter Profit -

Memphis-based International Paper reported third-quarter net earnings of $355 million, $27 million less than the quarter a year ago but $194 million more than the second quarter of 2014.

In the Tuesday, Nov. 4, earnings report, International Paper executives also reported net sales for the quarter of $6.1 billion compared to $6 billion a year ago and $5.9 billion in the previous quarter.

36. RISE Foundation Adds New Board Members -

The RISE Foundation, a nonprofit that uses financial literacy to help improve the lives of low-income Memphis residents, has added five new members to its board of directors.

The new members are Crystal Oliver, managing director in human resources at FedEx; Jerry Corless, managing partner at MidSouth Financial Group/MassMutual; Brian Woods, finance director at Nike; Paul Blanchard, vice president, supply chain, industrial packaging at International Paper; and Teresa Morris, Memphis district manager at Wells Fargo Bank.

37. Counterpart Wins 3 Design Awards -

Memphis-based Counterpart Communication Design has won three American Graphic Design Awards for 2014.

The honors are presented by the publication “Graphic Design USA.” This year marks Counterpart’s ninth year for winning the awards, with a total of 40 in all.

38. Counterpart Wins Three Design Awards -

Memphis-based Counterpart Communication Design has won three American Graphic Design Awards for 2014.

The honors are presented by the publication “Graphic Design USA.” This year marks Counterpart’s ninth year for winning the awards, with a total of 40 in all.

39. RISE Foundation Adds New Board Members -

The RISE Foundation, a nonprofit that uses financial literacy to help improve the lives of low-income Memphis residents, has added five new members to its board of directors.

The new members are Crystal Oliver, managing director in human resources at FedEx; Jerry Corless, managing partner at MidSouth Financial Group/MassMutual; Brian Woods, finance director at Nike; Paul Blanchard, vice president, supply chain, industrial packaging at International Paper; and Teresa Morris, Memphis district manager at Wells Fargo Bank.

40. VIA Productions Expands in Memphis -

A month after announcing one acquisition, Memphis-based video production company VIA Productions is still pursuing an “aggressive growth strategy,” including staff additions and more acquisitions.

41. Women’s Foundation Names Officers, Board Members -

The board of directors of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis has announced its 2014-15 executive committee, new officers and incoming board members. The following women were elected and will serve in their respective capacities for a three-year term.

42. Women’s Foundation Names Officers, Board Members -

The board of directors of the Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis has announced its 2014-15 executive committee, new officers and incoming board members. The following women were elected and will serve in their respective capacities for a three-year term.

43. Olive Branch Business Park Closer to Development -

A Texas-based development firm could start turning dirt soon on a massive new business park in Olive Branch.

Hillwood Investment Properties is expected to close on a land purchase next week that will clear the way for Legacy Park, a 265-acre distribution and business park on the south side of Goodman Road, just east of Hacks Cross Road near Polk Lane.

44. Stonebridge Crossing Sells for $29.8 Million -

9135 Morning Ridge Road
Memphis, TN 38016
Sale Amount: $29.8 million

Sale Date: Sept. 11, 2014
Buyer: IRT Stonebridge Crossing Apartments Owner LLC
Seller: AB Merion Stonebridge LLC
Details: The 500-unit Stonebridge Crossing apartment complex in Cordova has traded hands.

45. International Paper Seeks Permit for Crosswalk -

International Paper is preparing to move forward with an exterior crosswalk connecting its new office tower to the company’s existing campus.

International Paper applied Monday, Sept. 22 for a $2.75 million building permit through the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the crosswalk that would span International Drive and connect the new office building at 1760 International Dr. to the Memphis-based company’s East Memphis world headquarters, which is located on Poplar Avenue just east of West Massey Road.

46. International Paper Seeks Permit for Crosswalk -

International Paper is preparing to move forward with an exterior crosswalk connecting its new office tower to the company’s existing campus.

International Paper applied Monday, Sept. 22 for a $2.75 million building permit through the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement for the crosswalk that would span International Drive and connect the new office building at 1760 International Dr. to the Memphis-based company’s East Memphis world headquarters, which is located on Poplar Avenue just east of West Massey Road.

47. Meritan’s Branch Named Among Top Nurses -

Cindy Branch, Meritan’s associate vice president for health services, has been selected to represent Tennessee as one of the nation’s top 50 home care and hospice nurses by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and the Home Healthcare Nurses Association. Branch, a registered nurse, has oversight of Meritan’s nursing programs, including home health, private duty nursing and medical residential homes. She will be recognized at NACH’s annual meeting in October.

48. Plans for Site of Closing International Paper Mill are Uncertain -

COURTLAND, Ala. (AP) – A year after International Paper announced that it would close a north Alabama mill because of declining demand, there's much uncertainty about the site's future.

49. IP Names Mark Sutton Chairman and CEO -

Mark Sutton is the new chief executive officer and chairman of International Paper Co., named this week as the board of the Memphis-based company prepares for the retirement of current CEO and chairman John Faraci.

50. International Paper Names Mark Sutton Chairman and CEO -

Mark Sutton is the new chief executive officer and chairman of International Paper Co., named this week as the board of the Memphis-based company prepares for the retirement of current CEO and chairman John Faraci.

51. International Paper Names Mark Sutton Chairman and CEO -

Mark Sutton is the new chief executive officer and chairman of International Paper Co., named this week as the board of the Memphis-based company prepares for the retirement of current CEO and chairman John Faraci.

52. Fuchs Joins Vaco Logistics as Recruiter -

Eddie Fuchs has joined Vaco Memphis as an executive recruiter for Vaco Logistics, where he’ll consult with distribution, transportation and manufacturing companies to help identify candidates for leadership and specialized skill positions. Fuchs, who previously worked in the business development department of Intermodal Cartage Co., was recently named to the Greater Memphis Chamber’s 2014 Young Memphians list.

53. Hard to Swallow? Burger King May Move to Canada -

NEW YORK (AP) – Some Burger King customers are finding it hard to swallow that the home of the Whopper could move to Canada.

Investors seemed to welcome the announcement by Burger King late Sunday that it was in talks to buy Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons and create the world's third-largest fast-food restaurant company. The news pushed shares of both companies up more than 20 percent.

54. Old International Paper Equipment Up for Sale -

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) – Some of the last infrastructure left over from International Paper's days of operations will soon be up for bid.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors authorized this week for County Administrator Joe Murray to declare some of the old IP equipment to be excess equipment and advertise it for sale.

55. Developer Tries Again for Highland McDonald’s -

The developer behind a proposed McDonald’s on Highland Avenue near the University of Memphis is making another attempt at the project.

According to the most current site plan, the 5,353-square-foot restaurant building is situated along the sidewalk on Highland and a looping drive-thru proposed earlier has been replaced with one that runs along the eastern side of the building.

56. S&P: Wealth Gap is Slowing US Economic Growth -

WASHINGTON (AP) – Economists have long argued that a rising wealth gap has complicated the U.S. rebound from the Great Recession.

Now, an analysis by the rating agency Standard & Poor's lends its weight to the argument: The widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else has made the economy more prone to boom-bust cycles and slowed the 5-year-old recovery from the recession.

57. International Paper Profits Fall 38 Percent -

International Paper reported second quarter earnings of $161 million Tuesday, July 29, a $98 million drop from the second quarter a year ago when IP reported net earnings of $259 million.

The drop in profits came as the Memphis-based company took restructuring charges including a new pre-tax loss of $324 million. Most of that, $262 million before taxes, was for debt extinguishment.

58. International Paper Profits Fall 38 Pct. -

International Paper reported second quarter earnings of $161 million Tuesday, July 29, a $98 million drop from the second quarter a year ago when IP reported net earnings of $259 million.

The drop in profits came as the Memphis-based company took restructuring charges including a new pre-tax loss of $324 million. Most of that, $262 million before taxes, was for debt extinguishment.

59. Rising Up -

Adrienne Johnson remembers being stalked. It was actually a good thing. “I grew up in a single-parent home,” said Johnson, 35, today a financial analyst at International Paper and one of IP’s mentors in the RISE Foundation Goal Card program. “I was the first in my family to go to college. It was unrealistic (to attend college), not something I envisioned at all.”

60. ServiceMaster Sponsoring New BizTown Shop -

Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Inc. has announced the newest shop in JA BizTown will be sponsored by ServiceMaster.

61. From Despair to Belief -

A July weekday afternoon, about 2:45. It’s the perfect time for just about anyone to be nodding off in class.

But in the basement of Midtown Church of Christ, where HopeWorks Inc. is housed, class is in session and a dozen men and their teacher are having a lively discussion.

62. ServiceMaster Sponsoring New BizTown Shop -

Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South Inc. has announced the newest shop in JA BizTown will be sponsored by ServiceMaster.

63. US Students in Middle of Pack on Financial Knowhow -

WASHINGTON (AP) – In an increasingly global economy, just 1 in 10 teenagers around the world is able to make some key – but complex – financial decisions, including choosing among various loans or analyzing invoices and pay slips.

64. Oil Company Approved for Former International Paper Site -

A portion of the former International Paper property in Natchez, Miss., is now under option to a company involved in the extraction of oil from the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale.

Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ told The Natchez Democrat the transaction comes with the promise of 20 jobs. Russ said local officials are under a confidentiality agreement.

65. International Paper CEO Set to Retire in March -

International Paper Co. CEO John Faraci will retire effective March 1, the Memphis-based company announced last week.

66. International Paper Names Sutton President and COO -

Mark S. Sutton, the senior vice president of industrial packaging for International Paper Co., is the company’s new president and chief operating officer.

67. International Paper Names Sutton President and COO -

Mark S. Sutton, the senior vice president of industrial packaging for International Paper Co., is the company’s new president and chief operating officer.

68. International Paper CEO to Retire in March -

International Paper Co. CEO John Faraci will retire effective March 1, the Memphis-based company announced last week.

69. Events -

The Circuit Playhouse will present the dark comedy “The Lyons” Friday, May 30, through June 22, at the theater, 51 S. Cooper St. Buy tickets at playhouseonthesquare.org.

70. FedEx, International Paper Join Buyback Trend -

Recent stock repurchases by major U.S. corporations since the recession are a financial fact of life and the city’s best known publicly-held companies are no exception to the practice that can have multiple motives as well as multiple effects.

71. Change on Tap for Many Local Public Companies -

Here’s a snapshot of recent news and developments at some of the publicly traded companies based in Memphis, reflecting the influence these companies have and the shadows they cast both in Memphis and beyond, in industries that range from bioscience to banking.

72. Events -

The Circuit Playhouse will present the dark comedy “The Lyons” Friday, May 30, through June 22, at the theater, 51 S. Cooper St. Buy tickets at playhouseonthesquare.org.

73. Towering Progress -

The shell of the newest addition to the East Memphis office skyline is complete, setting the stage for exterior work on International Paper’s new building to begin.

“The structure has been built and now they’re starting from the ground up putting the skin on the building,” said Matthew Marzolf, director of development for Highwoods Properties Inc. in Memphis.

74. Kyocera Inks ProLogis Park Lease Renewal -

ProLogis has landed a major renewal at one of its industrial parks.

Kyocera Document Solutions America Inc., which manufactures and markets network-ready digital copiers and printers, laser printers, color copiers and printers, digital laser facsimiles and multifunctional, wide-format imaging products, has renewed its lease for 300,000 square feet at 5510 Getwell Road in Memphis.

75. Tracy Named IMC Chief Information Officer -

Joel Tracy has been named the first chief information officer at IMC Cos., a national logistics company focused on international shipments. In his new role, Tracy will be responsible for delivering a broad range of IT initiatives in support of IMC’s logistics business.

76. Mind Over Data Captures Imagination With Touch Screens -

Mind Over Data is one of those Memphis companies that tends to fly under the radar, even though its high-tech handiwork can be found across the country and easily touches the imagination of people who encounter it.

77. Slowing Chinese Economy Likely to Pinch US, Too -

WASHINGTON (AP) – After watching China narrow the U.S. lead as the world's largest economy, Americans might be tempted to cheer signs that the Chinese economy might be stumbling.

Any schadenfreude would be short-sighted.

78. Sullivan Branding Makes Quartet of New Hires -

Businesses that whacked their advertising and marketing budgets a few years ago have started to spend again, which is good news for firms like Brian Sullivan’s.

79. International Paper Posts $95 Million First-Quarter Loss -

Memphis-based International Paper Co. showed a net loss of $95 million for the first quarter of 2014, the company reported Wednesday, April 30.

80. South Memphis Fence Grows Through Founder’s Experience -

Warren Price started South Memphis Fence Co. Inc. in the mid-1970s “out of need” – personal need.

He and his wife had just moved into their first home in 1974 and wanted to replace the 4-foot chain link fence with a wooden privacy fence. But they didn’t like the $2,700 to $3,000 price estimates they received. So Price and some friends got a good price on some lumber in Jackson, Tenn., rented a table saw from Dixie Rents and put up a wooden fence that came in at $800 to $900.

81. Aghabeg Joins Gateway Group as Controller -

Angela Aghabeg has joined temporary staffing and executive search firm Gateway Group Personnel as controller. In her new role, Aghabeg is responsible for the maintenance and accuracy of the general ledger and compliance with governmental reporting requirements and tax filings. She also is accountable for compiling historical and current data and financial records and preparing monthly financial statements for analysis and projections.

82. I Choose Memphis: Micah Brafford -

“I Choose Memphis” spotlights Memphians who are passionate about calling this community home. New Memphis Institute provides the profiles.

Name: Micah Brafford

Job Title and Company: Vice President of Commercial Banking, Independent Bank

83. Buzz Around Spec Office Space Starts to Swirl -

International Paper Co.’s new office tower in East Memphis is under construction now, but it’s been four years since the last speculative office building opened its doors in Memphis.

84. WhatsApp: A $19 Billion Bet for Facebook -

NEW YORK (AP) – Facebook is placing a $19 billion bet on reaching its next billion mobile users with the acquisition of WhatsApp, a popular messaging service that lets people send texts, photos and videos on their smartphones.

85. Events -

The National Hispanic Professional Organization, Memphis chapter will meet Thursday, Feb. 13, at noon at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Rafael Durand, director of human resources at International Paper, will speak. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. Cost is free for members and $20 for nonmembers. Email nhpomemphis.us.

86. PILOT Reform -

Nike is in the midst of a $301 million expansion of its Northridge plant in Frayser, a project that means the Beaverton, Ore.-based company will create 250 new jobs and retain 1,600 existing local jobs.

87. Literacy Mid-South Gears Up for Busy March -

Literacy Mid-South is gearing up for a whirlwind of activity next month.

The national Read Across America event happens in March, and Literacy Mid-South will have special events, book giveaways, author visits and more throughout the month. The literacy organization also will be hosting a month-long “virtual book club” on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

88. International Paper Fourth-Quarter Earnings Nearly Double -

Memphis-based International Paper posted lower-than-expected profits in fourth quarter 2013, in part from a write-down on the value of its xpedx distribution business.

But even with the $400 million write-down as xpedx merges with Unisource Worldwide Inc. this year and is spun off as a publicly traded company, IP’s earnings almost doubled.

89. Buckman Sees Leadership Changes -

Kathy Buckman Gibson is changing her role in the Buckman family business, Buckman International.

Buckman Gibson became president and chief operating officer of the global specialty chemical company with a company announcement Thursday, Jan. 30. She had been chairman of the Buckman board since 2000.

90. IP Merges Xpedx With Unisource -

Memphis-based International Paper Co. has reached an agreement to merge its xpedx distribution business with Unisource Worldwide Inc. of Atlanta.

91. Events -

The Marston Group Certified Public Accountants & Advisors will hold an open house Thursday, Jan. 23, at its new location, 1661 International Drive, suite 250. Breakfast will be held 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and evening events from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Email anne@themarstongroup.com or call 761-3003.

92. Events -

Cannon Wright Blount will hold two QuickBooks introduction sessions Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the firm’s office, 756 Ridge Lake Blvd., suite 1000. The sessions are geared to new business owners and business owners who are new to QuickBooks. Cost is free. Visit cannonwrightblount.com/resources to register.

93. Gold Strike Promotes Slade to PR Manager -

Elizabeth Slade has been promoted to public relations manager at Gold Strike Casino Resort. In her new role at the MGM Resorts International property, Slade will lead in developing and executing integrated marketing communication plans with components such as media relations, social media strategy, community partnerships and brand management.

94. Banner Year for East Memphis Office Space -

The Memphis office real estate market began showing signs of life in 2013, with the market for Class A office space in the East Memphis submarket fueling the resurgence.

While the city’s overall office market numbers may not appear very strong, the city’s most desired office submarket – East Memphis around Poplar Avenue and Interstate 240 – began showing strong signs of improvement in the second half of the year.

95. Council Opens Unfunded Liability Plan Talks With Questions -

Memphis City Council members again rejected Tuesday, Dec. 17, an increase in the city’s monthly solid waste fee and affirmed a 2.1 percent hike in the Memphis Light Gas and Water Division water rate hike.

96. Hot-Button Issue -

When the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis and Shelby County was formed in 2011, president and CEO Reid Dulberger knew it would take the organization a little time to gain its footing.

At first, EDGE did not have its own staff or its own office, and it lacked financial and operational control of several key component parts, such as the Port of Memphis and Shelby County and the Depot Area Development Corp.

97. Lake to Put Logistics Savvy to Use for Memphis World Trade Club -

Don Lake, vice president of international operations for Dunavant Logistics Group, will add another accomplishment to an already impressive and diverse logistics resume.

98. International Paper CEO to Speak at Citi Conference -

International Paper Co. chairman and CEO John Faraci will speak at the Citi Basic Materials Conference Wednesday, Dec. 4, in New York City.

99. Multiple Sclerosis Society Adds Trustees -

The Mid-South Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has added 10 people from the Memphis area to its board of trustees.

They are Andrew Forsdick, owner of Addison Capital Advisors; Kerry Hayes, director of public relations for Doug Carpenter & Associates LLC; Terry Lawrence, project manager at AutoZone Inc.; Ginger Leeke, esthetician with Eden Spa; Alan Lindgren, owner of Speed of Sound LLC; Karen Malogroski, owner of Bikes Plus; Tracy Pearson, vice president and general manager, food service, International Paper Co.; Michelle Rappaport-Moore, psychotherapist with The Experiential Healing Center; Dr. N. Shah, pediatric neurologist with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital; and Suzanne Williamson, vice president of market, Boscos Corp./Roma Pomodori Inc.

100. Multiple Sclerosis Society Adds Trustees -

The Mid-South Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has added 10 people from the Memphis area to its board of trustees.

They are Andrew Forsdick, owner of Addison Capital Advisors; Kerry Hayes, director of public relations for Doug Carpenter & Associates LLC; Terry Lawrence, project manager at AutoZone Inc.; Ginger Leeke, esthetician with Eden Spa; Alan Lindgren, owner of Speed of Sound LLC; Karen Malogroski, owner of Bikes Plus; Tracy Pearson, vice president and general manager, food service, International Paper Co.; Michelle Rappaport-Moore, psychotherapist with The Experiential Healing Center; Dr. N. Shah, pediatric neurologist with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital; and Suzanne Williamson, vice president of market, Boscos Corp./Roma Pomodori Inc.