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VOL. TMN-8 | NO. 6 | Saturday, January 31, 2015
Weekly Issue

Lasting Legacies

Memphis’ multigenerational businesses share plenty of struggles – and lessons learned along the way

A FedEx commercial that never made it past the storyboard stage portrayed company founder, chairman and CEO Fred Smith as a child filling out an order form in the back of a comic book for a batch of Sea-Monkeys, sending it off and waiting for the delivery.

Editorial: Family Businesses Essential to Memphis' Destiny

Locally owned businesses that endure over generations are a way of building the wealth that can transform Memphis.


This week in Memphis history: January 30 – February 5

2014: Wright Medical Group Inc. closed on its deal to buy Solana Surgical LLC of Memphis and announced a definitive agreement to buy OrthoPro LLC of Salt Lake City. Solana was a $90 million deal and OrthoPro was a $36 million transaction.

Both Sides Dig In For Insure Tennessee Special Session

Battle lines have been drawn for a Feb. 2 special session of the state Legislature to determine the fate of Gov. Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal, which would use federal funds to catch some 200,000 working people falling through a health insurance coverage gap.

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On Location: Memphis will host screenings of Oscar-nominated animated short films Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. and Oscar-nominated live-action short films Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. at Malco Studio on the Square, 2105 Court Ave. Tickets are $10 per night and are available at onlocationmemphis.org.

more events »

Wharton Defends, Touts Record at State of the City

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. defended and touted Thursday, Jan. 29, his administration’s pursuit of the economic development projects that his challengers in the October city elections will likely use to make their case.

Cheesecake Factory Eyeing Wolfchase

The Cheesecake Factory, a wildly popular restaurant chain, is eyeing the Wolfchase Galleria in Cordova for its first Memphis-area location, according to sources with knowledge of the plans.

Jobless Rates for Memphis, Shelby County Drop

The unemployment rates for Shelby County and the city of Memphis both fell by about a percentage point in December, according to new figures out today from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

100 North Main Seeks Historic Designation

An effort to redevelop a Downtown skyscraper may have received a boost this week. A state board is recommending that the tower at 100 N. Main St. be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a move that could allow the owner to seek tax credits and grants to redevelop the building.

Wharton Administration No Show At Fairgrounds Forum

No one from the administration of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. showed up Wednesday, Jan. 28, for a public forum on Wharton’s still-developing plan for the redevelopment of the Mid-South Fairgrounds.

Appointment Viewing

Crye-Leike improves home showing process

In 2014 Crye-Leike Realtors totaled 183,000 scheduled appointments for house showings, a logistical feat considering all the moving parts involved.

Settlement Could Fund I-Zone Schools

With federal money about to run out for the Shelby County Schools Innovation Zone schools, the $8 million in cash due from the city of Memphis next month is most likely to land in the bank account for that effort.

Woodstock High School Plans Change

Last year when Shelby County Schools leaders began planning to change attendance zones to reconfigure student assignments to take into account the demerger of public education in Shelby County, the plan for a new Woodstock High School drew cheers from parents in the northwest Shelby County area.

Invest Early

A better start for children means a better journey toward adulthood

It would be true if you were talking about stock in Apple Inc., Google Inc. or Netflix Inc. And it is true when talking about children.

Tax Breaks for Ikea Prompt Calls for Changes

When the board of the Economic Development Growth Engine approved a $9.5 million, 11-year tax abatement incentive last week for the new Ikea furniture store planned for Cordova, the decision set in motion the next wave in an already robust political discussion about such incentives.

Commission Approves Center Point Terminal Lease

Shelby County Commissioners approved Monday, Jan. 26, a new five-year lease between Center Point Terminal Co. LLC and the Memphis and Shelby County Port Commission for a dock, wharf and other facilities on Presidents Island in the barge business.

Shelby Farms Applies for Permits Totaling $7.2 Million

The Shelby Farms Park Conservancy has applied for two building permits totaling $7.2 million for the creation of a new visitors center and new restaurant and retreat center.

High-Tech Teacher

Rhodes professor researching how to improve virtual reality technology

With the advent of video game systems like the Kinect for Microsoft’s Xbox as well as the Oculus Rift head-mounted display system that Facebook bought last year, it’s clear virtual reality technology has increasingly become mainstream.

Fairgrounds Plan Draws Different Opinions

The first renderings of a recast Mid-South Fairgrounds offered years ago are just one misstep early on that continues to plague the project still in search of specific private partners.

Foreclosure Sales Drop 26 Percent in Shelby County

Fueled by a steep drop in foreclosure sales, fewer homes were sold in Shelby County in 2014 when compared to 2013.

Multiple Factors Create Strong Fourth-Quarter Home Sales

Shelby County recorded a jump in homes sales in the fourth quarter when compared to the same period in 2013.

December Home Sales Increase Sharply

Shelby County home sales jumped significantly in December when compared to December 2013.

Shelby Farms Campaign Closes In on Last $100,000

The Shelby Farms Park Conservancy hopes to close out its $70 million capital fundraising campaign by Sunday, Feb. 1, for the “Heart of the Park” improvements already underway.


Sports Betting 'Socially Acceptable' on Super Bowl Sunday

The statement seems self-evident. Whether you just fill out an NCAA Tournament bracket in the office pool every year, make a bet on the Super Bowl, or buy the occasional scratch-off lottery ticket.

Grizz Atop Southwest Division Despite Challenges

Playing without starting point guard Mike Conley (left wrist sprain) and swingman Tony Allen (left ankle sprain), the Grizzlies pounded the Mavericks 109-90 Tuesday night, Jan. 27, in Dallas and perhaps delivered a message to the rest of the Western Conference:

Gasol An All-Star Starter; Conley, Z-Bo Just As Valuable

Center Marc Gasol has broken through the glass ceiling that forever has hung above Memphis and the Grizzlies.

Sports Illustrated: Fuente is Football’s 'Next Hot Coach'

The University of Memphis men’s basketball team needed a shot from sophomore forward Austin Nichols in the game’s final seconds to escape with a 57-55 victory at Tulane last Saturday.

Campbell’s Gamble Finally Pays With Scholarship

KNOXVILLE – Galen Campbell might get to play a minute here or there as the University of Tennessee men’s basketball team pursues its surprising run toward bubble status for the NCAA tournament.


Randy Odom Named CEO of Memphis Athletic Ministries

Randy Odom has been named president and chief executive officer of Memphis Athletic Ministries. Odom joined MAM in 2006 as a neighborhood center director and became chief operating officer in 2012. In his new role, he oversees all operations and programming for 10 neighborhood youth centers that serve more than 900 underserved youth after school each day.


$42 Million Permit Filed For Target Fulfillment Center

5461 Davidson Road, Memphis, TN 38118, Permit Amount: $42 million -
A third-party vendor has applied for a $42 million building permit to build out Target’s planned Memphis online fulfillment center.


Germantown’s Trainers Studio Aims to Keep Clients Close

Susan Ritter had been a Marine and a competitive athlete. Mike Farah had been a successful corporate executive who almost worked himself into an early grave, lost 50 pounds, retired, and began competing in body building competitions.


Tribute to Good and Decent

DRAWING A CROWD. The line started at one end of the big room and wound its way out into the hall.

Become the Complainer, Become the Problem

Have you ever experienced a problem at your job where you were truly in the right? A co-worker or boss did something to you that was either against the law or just ethically wrong. Maybe your boss has a temper, or perhaps you’re being discriminated against in some way.

IRA Rollover Changes for 2015

Ray’s Take: Recently, new regulations went into effect that affect your IRAs and rollovers. Prior to 2015, the rule in effect allowed you to do a rollover each year, in which you received a check made out to you, rather than to another IRA custodian, on each IRA you own.

Different From?

I’m fortunate to count Lee Martin, assistant director of Vanderbilt University’s English Language Center, as a weekly reader. Most recently, he writes about my having written, in a recent column, “No different than watching reruns on regular TV, right?

Super Bowl Ad Preview

Regardless of what happens on the field, history will be made at this year’s Super Bowl of advertising – starting with a record price tag of $4.5 million for a 30-second spot, a significant spike from the $4 million advertisers forked over last year.

Why the Market has Fallen in 2015

The stock market overreached in 2013, expecting big things from 2014. Earnings estimates for 2014 were for growth of 10 percent-plU.S. . High expectations boosted valuations above long-term averages.

How To Determine Nonprofit Software Costs

Part two of a two-part series. Software is at the heart of so many nonprofit functions. You can’t afford down time. And you don’t want to find out your new system won’t talk to an existing one after it is up and running. What’s a nonprofit leader to do? In search of guidance we talked with Janna Finch of Software Advice, an online firm that reviews nonprofit technology.

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Technology Use

New Year’s resolutions, often tied to productivity, can involve getting healthier, better organized, more financially savvy, and rid of old habits.

When Vacation Rentals Make More Sense

With just one child, my wife and I don’t find ourselves stressing out about the need for a large hotel room suite or adjoining rooms so our family has enough room to spread around. 

Keys for Compelling Storytelling

Most innovations fail because they are too good, too smart and too unfamiliar to the existing business to risk launching.

Nashville Edition

Drowning in Student Loan Debt

$1.2 trillion owed creates problems for U.S. auto industry, home sales

Three-and-a-half years after graduating from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Yasameen Hoffman is still trying to land the kind of full-time job that will help her start paying off her student loan.

Student Debt, Rising Rents Take Bite Out of Real Estate Market

Hefty student loans are a major stumbling block for young Americans as they try to buy their first home, a National Association of Realtors’ annual survey shows.

Cohen Pushes for Student Loan Bankruptcy Protection

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen sponsored legislation in the Tennessee Senate that led to creation of the HOPE Scholarship, which provides four-year college students with $4,000 a year for their studies.

Nashville Antiques & Garden Show is a Hands-On Experience

Don’t just look; touch. Come in. Sit down. Marvel at the off-seasonal flora and run your hands along the mossy bench. Please, do.

Sewing Seeds of Success at Sunflower Café

Dreams, cancer, tofu, death, love, loyalty and the quest for good gut bacteria are parts of the story of the hidden little gem that is the Sunflower Café.

Pay Down That Debt by Investing in Real Estate

My father was born (1928) and raised in Franklin, when it was a sleepy little standalone hamlet unrelated to Nashville. In the mid-90s, I met him for lunch at the Shoney’s near I-65 off of Highway 96.

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