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VOL. TMN-8 | NO. 26 | Saturday, June 20, 2015
Weekly Issue

Keeping the Beat

With a new CEO at the helm, Memphis’ Ardent Studios is writing a new verse

Jody Stephens may best be known as a rock 'n' roll timekeeper, the guy whose drum kit kept the beat and provided the rhythmic foundation for the pioneering power pop group Big Star.

Man Pleads Guilty in FedEx Fraud Case

The founder of a Pittsburgh-based shipping company that created fake businesses to open FedEx shipping accounts pleaded guilty Friday, June 19, to a mail fraud charge in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.

Tennessee Board of Regents Approves Statewide Tuition Hikes

Students at Memphis’ higher education institutions can expect to pay more this fall.

EMPHASIS Architects & Engineers

Self-Tucker Designs Green Center at T.O. Fuller

T.O. Fuller State Park in Southwest Memphis was the first state park opened for African Americans east of the Mississippi River and just the second park of its type across the country.

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Speltz’s Design Flair Transforms Downtown Memphis

Christopher Speltz’s work as an architectural designer for Renaissance Group hinges on transformation. As an illustrator for multifamily spaces 266 Memphis Lofts, Printer's Alley and the Annex Lofts, he's bringing much-needed flair to a stretch of South Front Street.

Passion for Architecture Fuels Looney Ricks Kiss' Norcross

Rob Norcross, a principal at Memphis architecture, planning and design firm Looney Ricks Kiss, has increasingly enmeshed himself into public service, holding positions on several key boards or committees.

Editorial: Music Comes First at Ardent

Few industries can match the music business for uncertainty, volatility and instability.


This week in Memphis history: June 19-25

1985: The Center City Revenue Finance Corp. takes the first step toward financing a residential development to be called South of Beale, bounded by Fourth and Third streets and Lt. George W. Lee and Linden avenues – the block where FedExForum is now.

Garibaldi's Temptations Club Celebrates its 1980s Run

Mike Garibaldi is known for his Memphis restaurant chain, Garibaldi's Pizza.

Wright, Tornier Shareholders Approve Merger Proposals

Wright Medical Group Inc.’s planned merger with Tornier N.V. is one step closer to completion.

Tennessee Unemployment Rate Drops in May for Fourth Straight Month

The Tennessee unemployment rate inched in the right direction in May but remained slightly above the national unemployment rate, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Memphis Airport Authority OKs Incentives Program, Lyft Ride-Sharing Operations

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has reached an operating agreement with a popular ride-sharing service and retooled an incentive program designed to attract new air service.

Canoes, Kayaks Line Up for Outdoors Inc.'s Memphis Race

Mike Herbert, a Pan American Games gold medalist in kayak racing, will be the first to say that you just don’t know who you might meet on the water. All kinds of people step into a canoe or a kayak and get hooked.

Dayco Wins Tax Break For Distribution Operations

Michigan-based manufacturer Dayco Products Ltd. will consolidate its distribution operations in the Memphis area, but exactly where remains undecided.

Celtic Crossing Updates Look, Goes Smoke-Free

It’s been a decade since the sign above the front doors at Celtic Crossing – which reads “Cead mile failte,” a Gaellic phrase that means “a hundred thousand welcomes” – greeted the first visitors to the Irish pub in Midtown.

FedEx Earnings Miss Wall Street Expectations

FedEx Corp., hit by unfavorable currency exchange rates, lower fuel surcharges and special charges, reported lower-than-expected revenue and profits for the fiscal fourth quarter.

Memphis Restaurants ‘Love Their Patios’

The warm weather means it's that time of year again for Memphis diners.

Memphis City Council’s Distrust of Wharton Boils to Surface

If it wasn’t obvious in five previous budget seasons, Memphis City Council members made the point clearer Tuesday, June 16, just before they delayed final city budget votes for another week.

Tennessee State Employees Slighted by 'Voluntary' Buyout

More and more, Tennessee’s state employees are feeling the same harsh realities of those working – or formerly working – in corporate America.

Sam’s Hamburgers in 100 N. Main Could Be Forced to Close

Amjad “AJ” Odeh moved to Memphis in 1996 to partner with Osama Eltaych at the old Sam’s Hamburgers & More that was operating at 16 S. Front St.

Senior Stature

Collierville seeks burgeoning senior population

Sprawling across 37 acres of Collierville land, posh retirement community The Farms at Bailey Station will serve more than 500 senior residents when the final phase of construction is completed in 2016.

Memphis Economic Indicator Taking Third-Quarter Responses

Investors in some of Memphis’ largest publicly traded companies are likely to feel somewhat encouraged about the current state of the economy – at least, when looking at their portfolios.

Panel Alters Wharton’s Plan for Memphis Fairgrounds

The Mid-South Coliseum becomes a pavilion with a grove next to a multi-purpose sports center. A 10-acre water park fronts on Central Avenue where a high school gym now stands.

Blight Fight

Teams surveying Downtown properties in search of neglect

Somer Smith and three colleagues were busy Thursday, June 11, cruising around the South End portion of Downtown on the lookout for neglected properties.

New Memphis Institute's Annual Summer Experience Connecting Young Professionals

Hundreds of interns working at Memphis companies this summer are getting a taste of what the Bluff City has to offer them, should they choose to put down roots here.

LeMoyne-Owen Change Latest for Memphis Higher Ed

Andrea Miller is the latest of three new higher education leaders in Memphis in just more than a year.


Grizzlies' Jeff Green Exercises Player Option for 2015-16

Forward Jeff Green, whom the Grizzlies acquired from the Boston Celtics in the middle of last season, will return to the team for the 2015-16 season after exercising a $9.2 million player option.

Every Year’s Different, and 2015 Belongs to Golden State Warriors

It went six games, Golden State winning 105-97 in Cleveland to give the Warriors their first NBA championship in 40 years, Andre Iguodala winning the series MVP, and LeBron James saying he didn’t know if this loss hurt more than his three others in the NBA Finals.

Mickelson Rallies, But Fabian Gomez Wins Memphis Golf Tournament

Billy Horschel wore FedEx colors – purple and orange – on Sunday for the last round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic. It seemed to work for him as he shot a 5-under 65 to finish at 7 under and in tie for 8th place.

Memphis Tigers Pole Vault Athlete Kimi Jennings Seeks Sports Career

When moderators at the NCAA Basketball Tournament refer to the legions of one-and-done players that come into the interview room as “student-athletes,” it always elicits some eye-rolling and maybe an under-the-breath chuckle or two.

Taking Their Hacks? FBI Investigates Cardinals in Breach of Astros’ Database

One funny man posted a picture of former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Luther Hackman, deeming him a “person of interest.”

Lofton Faces Yet Another Basketball Career Crossroad

Chris Lofton is on the comeback trail again. The former Tennessee All-American guard is on the mend from a turf-toe injury that ended his 2014-15 season with Besiktas in Istanbul, the top level of Turkish pro basketball.


Chism Opens Capital Advisors/Bellwether Enterprise's Memphis Office

Jeremy Chism has joined Capital Advisors/Bellwether Enterprise as vice president to open the company’s Memphis commercial real estate loan production office. The firm provides financing solutions through a vast network of insurance companies, CMBS lenders and commercial lenders for commercial real estate.


Hillwood Pays $17.7 Million for FedEx SupplyChain Facility

5050 E. Holmes Road and 0 Lamar Ave., Memphis, TN 38118, Sale Amount: $17.7 million -
Hillwood Investment Properties, a Dallas-based commercial real estate investment company, has purchased the Summit Distribution Center Building II for $17.7 million, according to a June 1 special warranty deed.


Tioga Environmental Consultants Stays Agile During Economic Change

When someone is preparing a house for sale, they might look into painting the kitchen or refurbishing the basement. But many homeowners and management groups first turn to groups such as Tioga Environmental Consultants to investigate for coatings of lead-based paint or asbestos in the house.


The Irish in Us

BOOM. HERE’S TO THE IRISH. Recently, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. Ireland. Stereotypically, a country where conservative is a matter of degree not choice, where killing each other over religion isn’t current news but DNA, where progress is measured in pints.

The Invisible Safety Net

This week, the Internet is buzzing about the struggles of Gap Inc. and Lucky Magazine. Gap announced it will lay off 250 workers and close 175 stores. From the outside, Lucky appears to be going out of business or reducing operations considerably. At Lucky, there are rumors claiming many people were laid off without any severance. I received an email from a reader about just this issue, and what workers can do to prepare.

Managing an Inherited IRA

Ray’s take: I remember when the original law went into effect creating IRAs. It was a short read. Now it’s a monster with more options, opportunities, and risks than anyone ever imagined. Here are a few of the most common mistakes made with inherited IRAs:

Farewell Again, Charlie

This column originally ran March 3, 2000, following Charles Schulz's death Feb. 12, 2000. We’ve been saying goodbye to the creator of “Peanuts.” Others, especially columnists and cartoonists, have likewise been saying farewell.

Predicting Sales & Marketing Plan Returns

Far too many companies look to past growth as the single best predictor of future growth in setting annual revenue targets with little analysis of the factors driving that past progress, anticipated market shifts over the coming year, and the predictability of the sales and marketing strategies built into their annual plan. It is a goal-setting process with a high likelihood for failure caused by either unrealistically high goals or those which aren’t nearly aggressive enough.

Investors, Mind Your Footing

Bonds Can Lose Money After All. Heightened Fed concerns mixed with rising inflation indices in the U.S. and Europe have continued to press interest rates higher across the curve.

Excuses: The Scourge of Fundraising

How do we stop using excuses as a conversation starter, or icebreaker when starting a meeting?

Talent-Supporting Structures

A fallacy about organizational management prevents many firms from getting the best out of their best people: the notion that everyone who excels in their jobs will eventually become managers, directors, etc. True, some may have a talent for management, while others flourish in active roles that have nothing to do with managing.

Swimming, Snow Cones and Entrepreneurship

A neighbor started giving swim lessons several days a week during the summer. Obviously, she is good at what she does. Her lessons bring daily traffic to a quiet side street that usually experiences mild traffic only twice a day – in the morning and evening.

Nashville Edition

Building Green in a Red-Hot Market

What’s good for business doesn’t have to hurt the environment

Counting cranes has become a Nashville pastime, and the perks of all that development are clear – a robust economy, vibrant real estate market and more jobs.

Climate Change as Faith Issue a Tough Sell

It’s been a tough few years for Tennessee Interfaith Power and Light. The state affiliate of a national network of faith communities, the organization offers its members a spiritual way to respond to climate change issues and challenges from political and other sources.

Sales Volume Raises Risk of Closing Snafus

The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors’ May sales data show sales continuing to rise.

Knoxville Edition

‘If It’s on His Mind, You’re Going to Know It’

Bishop Stika guides fast-growing Knoxville diocese with pragmatic flair

The state legislature’s vote this year to make the Bible the official book of Tennessee raised eyebrows among believers and nonbelievers statewide.

Bishop Hears Stronger Call After ‘Fighting God’

The reason Richard Stika entered the seminary was to get thoughts of being a priest out of his system

Fast Growth for Knoxville Diocese

For the smallest Catholic diocese in the U.S., the Knoxville diocese knows how to draw a crowd of movers and shakers.

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Blog News, Training & Events
PROPERTY SALES 106 106 10,157
MORTGAGES 95 95 11,906
BUILDING PERMITS 166 166 21,532
BANKRUPTCIES 53 53 6,753

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