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VOL. TMN-7 | NO. 5 | Saturday, January 25, 2014
Weekly Issue

That’s Entertainment

Grizzlies game ops crew takes fan experience to new heights

It was late in Game 6 of the Grizzlies’ 2013 playoff series with the Los Angeles Clippers. Already, FedExForum was abuzz with anticipation. The hated Clippers were about to go down. Grizz, the team’s chest-thumping mascot, scaled a ladder inside the arena and unfurled a banner:

Editorial: Don’t Rush Setting New District Lines

The Shelby County Commission is working on district lines for the Shelby County Schools board again.

EMPHASIS Distribution & Logistics

Full Steam Ahead

A burgeoning distribution and logistics market for the Mid-South is taking root in the rich Delta soil in Marshall County, Miss., and Fayette County, Tenn.

Brockman Takes Reins of Airport Authority

Scott Brockman assumed the position of president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority on Jan. 3.

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Industrial Park Expansions Are Gaining Momentum

Economic development officials should know the final scope of a planned expansion of Presidents Island within the next 30 days while the proposed growth of nearby Frank C. Pidgeon Industrial Park is moving forward.


January 24-30: This week in Memphis history

1985: Prince played two of three sold-out shows that winter at the Mid-South Coliseum on the Purple Rain tour. He returned in February for the third show.

Jobs Explosion

Conduit Global call center to create 1,000 jobs

Conduit Global will hire 1,000 people over the next three to five years to staff a large call center in Shelby County, the company announced Wednesday, Jan. 22.

Belz Launches Hotel Management Venture

The night before Conduit Global announced this week it will hire 1,000 people to staff a large call center in Shelby County, representatives of the company stayed at The Peabody hotel.

Call Center ‘Gratifying’ for Local Office Sector

Conduit Global’s announcement this week that it is locating a call center in Shelby County that will employ 1,000 people was a breath of fresh air for local office real estate professionals.

School Closings Discussion on Different Tracks

You couldn’t call it a debate.

‘Boots on Street’ Approach Re-Examined

When most of the members of the Memphis City Council were elected in 2007 in the largest turnover of seats in the history of the council, some of the new members made their first priority increasing the ranks of the Memphis Police Department.

Start Co. Forms New Investment Partnership

Andre Mouton, director of investment at the Singapore-based boutique investment firm Angaros Group, traveled to Memphis last year to participate in the “Investor Day” for Seed Hatchery, the startup accelerator whose programming culminates with participating startups to make funding pitches to investors.

Great Expectations

Convention & Visitors Bureau projecting strong 2014

The Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau forecasts 2014 to be a banner year, thanks to increased consumer confidence with leisure travelers and a booking pace for conventions, meetings and sporting events that is easily outpacing last year.

Judicial Campaign Season Emerges With Different Rules

Fundraisers and other campaign events for judicial candidates are difficult.

Fittes Opens Commission Campaign

Retired Memphis Police Major Ron Fittes opened his campaign for Shelby County Commission Tuesday, Jan. 21, by telling a group of more than 80 supporters in Germantown that the commission will be his full-time job if elected.

New Housing Option Comes to Victorian Village

Florence Hervery had been thinking about the next phase of her life for some time.

Business Leaders Optimistic About Local Economy

As they have for a few quarters now, Memphis-area business leaders continue to acknowledge an incremental sense of optimism about specific aspects of their companies and the economy, according to the results of the third Memphis Economic Indicator.

'Wicked' Return

Hit Broadway show comes back to Memphis this month

The Broadway smash “Wicked” has packed the house at the Orpheum Theatre Memphis each time the musical has enjoyed a run here, with fans of the whimsical story about the witches from Oz ensuring the production is well attended.

Luttrell Says Timing Key to Schools Funding

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell refers to the start two years ago of the reformation of local public education as “chaos and confusion.”

Redbirds Ownership Transition Underway

The transition of the Memphis Redbirds to their new owners, the St. Louis Cardinals, is underway.

First Horizon Reports Profitable Quarter

The first earnings presentation by the Memphis-based parent company of First Tennessee Bank in 2014 – its 150th anniversary – offered a recap of the fourth quarter, in which the company reported lower revenue but higher profit than during the year-ago period.

I Choose Memphis: Tread Thompson

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


Grizzlies Fighting Odds to Make Playoffs

It was only fitting that for the Grizzlies to finally crawl back over .500 at 20-19 on Jan. 17, they had to rally from a seven-point deficit in the last 4:01 of the fourth quarter at FedExForum to beat the Sacramento Kings 91-90.

Sherman Breath of Fresh Air for Sportswriters

I have waited for San Antonio point guard Tony Parker to take a shower, dress, whip a winter scarf around his neck and then say something so boring that my tape recorder yawned.


Espitia Joins Michael Hatcher as Chief Financial Officer

Ed Espitia has joined Michael Hatcher & Associates Inc. as chief financial officer. Espitia comes to the Memphis-based landscape services firm after serving since 2010 as finance manager for Schulz Xtruded Products, a Germany-based pipe maker with operations in North Mississippi.


Belz Sells Shelby Oaks EnSafe Center for $910,000

5710-5730 Summer Trees Drive, Memphis, TN 38134, Sale Amount: $910,000 -
An affiliate of Belz Enterprises has sold the five-building Shelby Oaks EnSafe Center office complex on Summer Trees Drive in Northeast Memphis for $910,000.


Merger Expands CS3’s Customer Base

Mike Gross, president of long-time contracting company Sibley Solutions LLC, was approaching retirement age and the future of his small business’ loyal employees and customers began to weigh heavily on his mind.


Driving While Stupid

DRIVING US CRAZY. I write about things Memphis, and there’s nothing more Memphis than the idiots on our roads. Our driving is like our unpredictable, even dangerous creativity, our shtick of doing old things in new ways and scaring people to death while we’re at it.

Your Calling Card

These days, the way in which you present yourself has become more complicated. It’s no longer just about being well groomed with a firm handshake. Your Facebook page, LinkedIn account, email address, business cards and phone number all say something about you. They are all pieces of your personal brand.

You Can Save Too Much for Retirement

Ray’s Take Around half of all workers older than 55 have less than $50,000 saved for retirement. We hear this message over and over along with warnings that many Americans may never be able to afford to quit working. Some respond by effectively giving up hope. Others keep saving, but live in constant anxiety that it probably won’t be enough. They may be fine and not even know it!

Damn This Traffic Jam!

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”

Fairgrounds TDZ Should be Rejected

The proposed Fairgrounds Tourism Development Zone (TDZ) needs to be rejected. While most of the recent debate has been confined to the impact on education funding, there are several more serious issues with the TDZ.

Persuading CEOs to Buy

CEO-level sales calls are to salespeople like marathons are to runners. Neither is for the faint of heart, but with risk comes reward.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

S&P 500 corporate earnings in 2013 likely grew about 6 percent. The S&P 500 price index, however, grew 29.6 percent. The difference between the growth in earnings and the growth in the price index amounts to P/E expansion.

If It Can Be Imagined, It Can Be Made

The industrial revolution brought efficiency but led to the decline of human creation by hand. We stopped tinkering and started operating machines, becoming inherently less ingenious.

Invest Your Time for Fundraising Returns

Engaged and effective nonprofit board members are the dream of board chairs and executives.

A Whisper or a Shout?

This month as I watched the U.S. National Figure Skating Championships, I thought of someone who has true personal power – TV sports commentator and winner of multiple Olympic gold medals, Scott Hamilton.

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PROPERTY SALES 68 321 13,763
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BUILDING PERMITS 265 765 28,522
BANKRUPTCIES 49 227 8,877

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The Memphis News: Business, politics, and the public interest.