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VOL. 131 | NO. 141 | Friday, July 15, 2016

Daily Digest

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Metropolitan Bank Launches Metropolitan Capital Advisors

Metropolitan Bank has launched a new business advisory platform.

The 9-year-old bank is expanding on its traditional service offerings with a new unit, Metropolitan Capital Advisors. Longtime Memphis real estate finance professional Rob Threlkeld will head up the unit as senior managing director.

He has more than 25 years of combined experience in commercial real estate finance and advisory, including commercial bank and institutional lending.

Metropolitan Capital Advisors plans to provide a new tier of specialized advisory services to bank and non-bank clients. The initial focus will mostly be permanent debt placement, where Metropolitan will advise on and facilitate the placement of construction and project financing in the permanent market.

Metropolitan Capital Advisors will serve Metropolitan clients, developers and owners of commercial real estate projects across the Southeast, family offices, registered investment advisors and others involved in the field of capital advisory.

– Andy Meek

State Moves TCAP, Shortens Testing Parts

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen said Thursday, July 14, public schools across the state will have achievement tests for students in one assessment window at the end of the school year. And the tests for four subjects will be divided into shorter subparts.

McQueen made the announcement in Nashville as state government finalized a two-year contract with Questar as the new state test vendor for the 2016-2017 school year.

Questar will develop and help administer the new achievement tests for students in grades 3-8 as well as the end-of-course exams for high school students students.

The state uses both tests under the banner of the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program – or TCAP – to track student achievement and growth, as well as a factor in how well teachers, schools and school systems are performing.

The changes in the length of the subparts and moving the testing to the end of the school year should reduce overall testing time by nearly a third, McQueen estimated. The grades 3-8 testing should be at least three hours shorter for those students compared to the previous school year.

For high school students, the estimated time for end-of-course exams will vary from 40 minutes to two hours shorter.

The state cancelled its contract with Measurement Inc. earlier this year after problems in accessing a server for the online only testing. The state went to pen and paper testing, but Measurement Inc. was unable to deliver the paper version of the tests.

Questar will phase-in online testing over three school years, with the state having the option to retain pen and paper testing for third-graders. School districts also have some flexibility in the three-year timeframe for making the transition to online testing.

– Bill Dries

Three-Day Wine Festival Comes to Memphis in 2017

Memphis is getting another food event.

Vintage901 is a three-day wine festival coming to Memphis March 10-12 next year for wine lovers, foodies and music aficionados from around the region.

The festival will include tastings, tapas, salsa, soul and jazz in a celebration of wine, food and music.

Vintage901 will feature artisanal wines, an array of local flavors with a nod to global sensibilities, and music that blends the classic and the eclectic.

Each of the three days will also represent a unique wine experience.

Friday’s “Grand Tasting” celebration will feature an opening toast, salsa and afro-Cuban music, wine and food demonstrations, food trucks, and themed giveaways. On Saturday, “Perfect Pairings” will provide a three-course dinner with intermezzo and wine pairings, plus a local opening band and national headlining band for entertainment.

And Sunday’s “Sparkling Brunch” will host a four-course brunch with wine pairings, live local jazz performances and additional themed giveaways.

Keep up with festival news as it draws closer on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/Vintage901, and on Twitter and Instagram – @Vintage901Fest.

– Andy Meek

Archer Malmo Adds Senior VP to Austin Office

Archer Malmo has added Simon Hjorth as senior vice president, director of client services, for the Memphis-based agency’s Austin, Texas office.

Hjorth, who will also be a member of the agency’s strategic marketing committee and Austin’s management team, is charged with growing the office client base, headcount, and elevating the Archer Malmo brand in the Austin market. He was previously senior vice president of business development and marketing at Wunderman.

Archer Malmo CEO Russ Williams called Hjorth an “invaluable addition,” noting that he has a track record of “driving growth, nurturing talent and bringing great value to clients.”

– Andy Meek

Local Company, Job Seekers Victims of China Domain Host

High Speed Delivery, a Memphis courier service, has reported being the victim of business identity theft, according to the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.

The company recently became aware that emails using its name are being sent to job seekers who have posted their resumes on job search sites online. The scammers are emailing the job seekers saying they’ve seen the posted resume and want to offer the person a position in their company, according to a release.

High Speed Delivery, which is a BBB-accredited company, didn’t send those emails. The phony emails tell a person to click on a link that goes to a website where you can complete an application for a position as a freight forwarder. That website is fraudulent, the BBB said, and does not belong to High Speed Delivery.

The phony site bears the company’s name, the owner’s name and the business address – all used without the permission of the legitimate company. A BBB investigation of the website found that it was recently created through a domain host in China. Even the registration of the fake url uses the identity of the company and its owner, Denise Bond.

Bond told BBB she first learned of the scam when they were contacted by a victim who had responded to one of the bogus emails offering her a job. Since then, the company has fielded hundreds of calls from others inquiring about jobs they applied for. Some are asking for payment for work they’ve done for the fake company.

Victims say the position involves receiving packages for the company, opening and inspecting those packages for damage, then repackaging and forwarding the items on to someone else. The fake company asks employees to pay for reshipping and then sends a check or money order to cover their salary and reimbursement of shipping expenses. Those checks are fakes.

If you suspect your company’s name is attached to phony emails floating around the web, BBB recommends you contact the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at ic3.gov. It also encourages duped companies to let the public know fraudsters are posing as your business, either on the company’s real website or Facebook page.

For more information, call 901-759-1300 or 800-222-8754, or email info@bbbmidsouth.org.

– Daily News staff

St. Jude Files $3.8 Million Building Permit

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has filed a $3.8 million building permit to renovate an existing warehouse near its campus on Danny Thomas Boulevard. St. Jude is listed as the owner and tenant for the permit at 689 N. Parkway Blvd.

In 2003, ALSAC, St. Jude’s fundraising and awareness organization, purchased the warehouse in for $2 million from the Memphis Housing Authority.

According to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, the warehouse was built in 1975 and bears 88,520 square feet. It was most recently appraised at $1.1 million.

– Madeline Faber

The Village Getting $1.8 Million Renovation

The Village at Germantown, an assisted living center off of South Germantown Road, is getting an upgrade. The center’s operators recently filed a $1.8 million building permit for the campus at 7820 Walking Horse Circle. The permit lists “addition and renovation in five parts to existing building” as the relevant work.

The complex’s most recent addition is a three-story independent living wing bearing the address of 7820 Walking Horse Circle.

According to the Shelby County Assessor of Property, The Village at Germantown includes 50,000 square feet across 27 acres. The retirement center was built in 2005.

– Madeline Faber

PROPERTY SALES 91 158 16,219
MORTGAGES 98 179 18,735
BUILDING PERMITS 136 349 33,738
BANKRUPTCIES 63 115 10,429