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VOL. 131 | NO. 35 | Thursday, February 18, 2016

Daily Digest

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Guest House at Graceland Names Managing Director

The company managing the Guest House at Graceland has named a 30-year veteran of the hotel and resort business to run the $90-million, 450-room Whitehaven hotel-resort that opens in October.

Keith Hess comes to the Memphis post from being vice president of operations for Pyramid Hotel Group. Hess’s new position is vice president and managing director of the hotel.

Pyramid Hotel Group is managing the hotel for Elvis Presley Enterprises.

Hess has been general manager of Hilton Worldwide as well as general manager of the Hilton Chicago O’Hare.

The hotel-resort opens Oct. 27 with three days of grand opening events.

– Bill Dries

SCS Names Natalia Powers New Communications Chief

Natalia Powers is the new communications and community relations chief of Shelby County Schools.

Powers comes to the SCS post from the Palm Beach County, Fla., school system where she held several positions over 13 years including communications and community engagement director.

The SCS post has been open since the 2012 merger of city and county schools.

Powers will oversee internal and external communications for the school system and media relations as well as social media and community outreach.

– Bill Dries

David Lusk Gallery Opening New Facility This Month

David Lusk Gallery is opening its new facility at 97 Tillman St. later this month.

The opening celebration Feb. 26 starts at 6 p.m. with artwork that shows the history of the building. That new space is located on Tillman between Walnut Grove Road and Poplar Avenue.

After almost 20 years at its previous location in Laurelwood, the gallery began renovation plans for the Tillman building in June of last year. Eight months later, after a complete gutting of all interior walls and services, the new 97 Tillman St. location is now ready to showcase the gallery’s nationally recognized art program.

97 Tillman, built in 1966, originally housed the Oates Gallery, a dealer of modern European artwork

– Andy Meek

‘Mojo of Midtown’ Honorees Announced

The Midtown Memphis Development Corp. is set to honor seven individuals and organizations for their “mojo” in promoting and preserving the Midtown area.

The 2016 Mojo of Midtown Awards honorees, as announced by the MMDC this week, are Ekundayo Bandele of Hattiloo Theatre; June West of Memphis Heritage Inc.; Dr. Scott Morris of the Church Health Center; Ardent Studios; Wiles-Smith Drug Store; Indie Memphis; and the Broad Avenue Arts District.

The awards will be presented at the Mojo of Midtown Bash on March 30 at 7 p.m. at Circuit Playhouse, 51 S. Cooper St. Visit facebook.com/MidtownMemphis.MMDC for ticket information.

The MMDC was established in 2007 as a not-for-profit with the goal of encouraging the growth, stability and vitality of Midtown Memphis. This marks the second year of the awards.

– Kate Simone

Fogelman Management Group Adds 2,200 Apartment Units

Fogelman Management Group, a Memphis-based property management and investment group, has added 2,200 apartment units across eight properties to its portfolio.

The newly managed buildings in Florida, Texas and Georgia bring Fogelman Management Group’s portfolio to 21,000 units valued at $2 billion. Those properties are located in 25 cities in the Southeast, Southwest and Midwest.

As part of the expansion, the company added a new regional office in the Orlando, Fla., area.

“Each of these new properties represents the expansion of long-term relationships we have had with these clients and joint venture partners, who are continuing to call on Fogelman Management Group for property acquisition and management services,” said FMG CEO Mark Fogelman.

– Madeline Faber

Refinancing Approved for James Lee House

At its Feb. 17 meeting, the Center City Development Corp. approved refinancing of the James Lee House, lowering the operators’ monthly payments by $8,000.

The $1.7 million loan from Iberiabank will help pay off loans from Triumph Bank, the CCDC and Loeb Properties. Because the CCDC has around $130,000 in loans tied to the James Lee House, it had to approve the refinancing.

The operators’ total debt increased around $29,000 while monthly payments dropped from $19,630 to $11,559.

The historic home in Victorian Village, at 690 Adams Ave., reopened as a bed and breakfast in 2014.

– Madeline Faber

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