VOL. 9 | NO. 29 | Saturday, July 16, 2016
Metropolitan Bank Starts Capital Advisory Unit
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
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
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 shorter 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
Local Company, Job Seekers Victims of China Domain
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 of the callers are asking for payment for work they've done for the fake company.
“We’re not hiring freight forwarders,” Bond told BBB, “and that is not our website.”
Randy Hutchinson, president of BBB of the Mid-South, said crooks often hijack a legitimate company’s name, using its reputation as a trustworthy façade to operate their scam.
“Unfortunately, most of the time, the business doesn’t find out until after the fact, when angry people who’ve been duped by the fraudsters call up demanding explanations or reimbursements,” Hutchinson said. “In this case, they also hijacked the BBB logo.”
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.
The agency 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.
The Better Business Bureau can also help spread the word. The agency can be reached at 901-759-1300 or 800-222-8754, or at email@example.com.
– Daily News staff
St. Jude Files $3.8 Million Permit for Warehouse Work
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
Rookies Davis, Harrison Sign With Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies have announced that rookie forward/center Deyonta Davis and rookie guard Andrew Harrison each signed a multi-year contract with terms, per team policy, not disclosed.
Davis (6-11, 237) was selected by the Boston Celtics in the second round (31st overall) of the 2016 NBA Draft after his freshman season at Michigan State University. At MSU, Davis competed in 35 games (16 starts) and averaged 7.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.83 blocks in 18.6 minutes while shooting 59.8 percent from the field and 60.5 percent from the free throw line. His draft rights were traded by Boston to Memphis with the draft rights to Rade Zagorac (35th overall in 2016) on draft night for a future protected first-round draft pick.
Last season, the 19-year-old Davis set a Spartans freshman record for total blocks (64), which is the second-most in a single season in program history.
Harrison (6-6, 213) spent last season playing for the Grizzlies’ NBA Development League affiliate, the Iowa Energy, where he appeared in 46 games (42 starts) and averaged 18.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 1.46 steals in 35.3 minutes while shooting 43.7 percent from the field, 36.5 percent from three-point range and 78.3 percent from the free throw line.
Harrison was drafted by the Phoenix Suns in the second round (44th overall) of the 2015 NBA Draft. Phoenix traded his draft rights to Memphis on draft night for Jon Leuer.
A foot injury has prevented Davis from playing for the Grizzlies’ Las Vega Summer League team this month. Harrison was averaging 13.7 points and 4.3 assists through the team’s first three games.
– Don Wade
UTHSC Professors Land $418,000 Research Grant
A new $418,000 grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, will allow Drs. Anton Reiner and Tayebeh Pourmotabbed of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to research a possible new gene therapy treatment approach for Huntington’s disease.
Huntington’s disease is a hereditary degenerative brain disease that ultimately results in the destruction of the primary thinking and planning part of the brain called the cerebral cortex, and the destruction of a major motor control region of the brain known as the basal ganglia.
Reiner and Pourmotabbed’s research will be conducted through a grant titled, “Development of DNAzyme Gene Therapy for Huntington's Disease.”
They will both serve as principal investigators on this award, and the funds will be distributed over two years.
The researchers will develop and test a novel gene therapy, which will be evaluated for its effectiveness in mice that have been genetically engineered to have the disease. The gene therapy employs molecules called DNAzymes that have been designed to selectively prevent the formation of the mutant protein huntingtin, which causes Huntington’s disease.
The immediate goal of this study is to determine how long this benefit lasts, how much DNAzyme must be administered to achieve it, and whether there are any toxic side effects.
– Andy Meek
Conrad Named Top Industrial Broker
Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors has named Memphis broker Kemp Conrad as one of the top performing real estate professionals in the country. The designation is given each year to the top 20 C&W/CA brokers based on their industrial real estate production.
The award places Conrad in the top 3 percent of more than 800 C&W/CA industrial brokers. He was the only recipient named in the Southeast region.
Conrad currently serves as principal of C&W/CA and is president and a principal of C&W/CA Asset Services. He also serves on the C&W/CA industrial and supply chain executive committee.
– Madeline Faber
American, United Airlines Add Larger Planes at MEM
American Airlines and United Airlines are upgrading their aircraft at Memphis International Airport to take on more passengers for flights to Dallas, Denver and Washington, D.C.
Beginning Aug. 23, American will upgrade to a 160-seat Boeing 737 for its two daily flights to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. American will continue to use dual-class regional jets for two of its seven Dallas/Fort Worth frequencies.
Beginning Oct. 6, American will add a weekday frequency to Ronald Reagan National Airport bringing its total number of daily weekday flights to Washington, D.C. to four.
On Oct. 31, United will switch to a 166-seat Boeing 737 for one of its two daily flights to Denver International Airport.
United has increased its capacity by 11 percent compared to the fourth quarter 2015, while American has increased capacity by 17 percent in the same period.
– Madeline Faber
Collierville Center Named for Late Mayor
The College Street Recreation Center in Collierville is being named in honor of the late Collierville Mayor Linda Kerley.
The Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the naming last month with Alderman Maureen Fraser making the motion on the recommendation by interim parks director Greg Clark.
Kerley was the first woman elected to the board of aldermen and the first woman to serve as mayor of Collierville.
– Bill Dries
Saint Francis Starts Program For Heart Age Screening
Saint Francis Healthcare has announced a new Heart Age Screening program.
Provided free to the public, the screenings will help individuals determine their risk for heart disease. Screenings will be held monthly, with the location alternating between the campuses of Saint Francis Hospital-Memphis and Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett.
The first screening will take place Wednesday, July 20, at the Memphis hospital. Heart age is a simplified measure of risk for cardiac disease and is based on blood pressure, BMI, blood sugar, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides.
The in-depth screenings will measure all of those factors, and participants will then be able to meet with an on-site cardiologist to review their results.
– Andy Meek
Common Table Names New CEO, Board Chairman
The executive committee of the Common Table Health Alliance (CTHA) board of directors has announced that Dr. Barry-Lewis Harris will serve as the organization’s new chief executive officer. Reggie Crenshaw is now serving as board chairman.
Harris is a physician with a variety of clinical and administrative experience in hospital and primary-care settings. He currently has a consulting practice and previously was the chief medical officer and medical director for Memphis Health Center Inc. He has participated in many professional and community activities with local, state and national organizations. Harris is a past co-chair of the CTHA Advisory Committee, participating in strategic planning and program development.
Harris succeeds Reneé S. Frazier, who had served as the organization’s first CEO since 2009.
In addition to Crenshaw, CTHA’s newly installed executive committee consists of Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp. executive vice president Zach Chandler as vice-chair; Bank of America senior vice president Sherrie Hollis, secretary; and Cigna director of contracting and provider services Chuck Utterback, treasurer.
– Daily News staff
Olympus to Begin Building New National Service Center
Olympus Surgical Technologies is soon to break ground on a $12 million East Coast National Service Center in Bartlett.
The 110,000-square foot facility, to be built by Chris Woods Construction Co., is set to be completed April 2017. The service center will bring more than 280 jobs.
A groundbreaking for the site at 2925 Appling Road was held Thursday, July 14.
-– Madeline Faber
PILOT Moves Target Green Projects, Distressed Areas
The Downtown Memphis Commission has approved changes to its payment-in-lieu-of-taxes program. The new policy builds in sustainability and green-energy benchmarks that were previously not required of developers seeking a freeze on their property taxes.
Under the new PILOT program approved on July 12, the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. requires that developers include energy-efficient heating systems in apartment and mixed-use projects.
Other changes to the program include:
• Limit PILOT term to eight years (except for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit projects) for developments outside of the Central Business Improvement District. The CCRFC also stripped the “high impact” qualification for projects outside of the CBID, which could open the way for more DMC-backed projects across the city.
• Add two years to the PILOT term if the project is in an economically distressed census tract.
• Add three years to the PILOT term if the project is in the South City Impact Area and four years if the project is within the Pinch District. The CCRFC has withheld granting PILOTs in the Pinch District as part of Memphis City Council’s moratorium on new building permits allowed in the area.
• Add four years to the PILOT term if the project meets LEED standards, four years if it meets Net Zero Energy Building certification and one year if it meets Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division’s Energy Advance certification.
– Madeline Faber
Boyle Expanding Schilling Farms Development
Construction is nearing completion on several new projects at Schilling Farms on an 11-acre site at the corner of Schilling and Winchester boulevards.
A new 50,000-square-foot Class A office building opens at 255 Schilling Blvd. Half of the space is pre-leased to Helena Chemical Co. and the other 25,000 square feet of ground-floor space is available for office or retail uses.
“Every day, Collierville is making strides of becoming a place where world-class businesses bring their dreams and build their businesses,” Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner said in a statement. “This new office complex development brings a level of national prestige and recognition that the Collierville business community will welcome and embrace. It is great to see one of our existing companies prosper and expand into this space. Helena has held a strong presence in our community for many years, and we look forward to continuing to watch them grow and prosper.”
Helena Chemical’s expansion adds another piece to Boyle’s upscale, mixed-use development.
“The expansion site completes the southern village core, which we think is one of the best locations in Collierville for state-of-the-art, Class A office space,” said Mark Halperin, executive vice president and COO of Boyle Investment Co.
Construction also is underway on an adjacent 9,000-square-foot retail center, which will be ready for occupancy in October 2016.
The Carrington at Schilling Farms, an upscale multi-family community, opened in the summer of 2014 and demand has prompted construction on a second phase of the project, according to Boyle.
Carrington West at Schilling Farms is a 125-unit community of boutique apartments and townhomes which will be available for occupancy in fall 2016.
Schilling Farms is a 443-acre joint venture between Boyle Investment Co. and Harry Smith.
– Daily News staff
Physician Assistant Studies At UTHSC Gets New Chair
The Department of Physician Assistant Studies at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center has a new leader and a new home.
Dr. Stephanie Storgion has been named the new chair the department, as it moves from the College of Health Professions, where it started two years ago, to the College of Medicine.
She’ll report to Dr. David Stern, the Robert Kaplan Executive Dean for the College of Medicine.
Storgion joined UTHSC in 1987 as an instructor in pediatrics, becoming an assistant professor in 1988 and a professor in 2004. She currently is medical director of the Intermediate Care Unit at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and co-medical director of Pediatric Neuro Intensive Care there, as well as coordinator of faculty mentoring in the Department of Pediatrics at UTHSC.
Storgion’s first priority is to lead the program from the provisional accreditation it currently enjoys to permanent accreditation. The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, the accrediting body for PA programs, will visit UTHSC this fall.
The PA program is also looking for a new program director, which will be a distinct position from the department chair.
– Andy Meek
Kroger Expands ClickList Service to Southaven
Kroger has expanded its ClickList online ordering service to Southaven.
The store at 3095 Goodman Road now lets shoppers there use the ClickList service to digitally “fill” up their basket and then set a time to arrive at the store to collect and pay for their purchases.
That store is Kroger’s first in Mississippi to get the company’s new online shopping experience. DeSoto County Kroger shoppers can now visit www.Kroger.com/onlineshopping to place their grocery orders for pick up.
Other area Krogers with the ClickList capability are at 7735 Farmington Blvd. in Germantown; Kroger Trinity Commons, at 676 N. Germantown Parkway; and Kroger Bartlett, at 5995 Stage Road. ClickList will be coming soon to the Kroger Marketplace in Jonesboro, at 1725 S. Caraway Road.
– Andy Meek
GameStop Collects More Than $760,000 for St. Jude
Video game retailer GameStop has collected more than $760,000 in donations as part of its fourth annual in-store donation campaign benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
During June, GameStop – along with its ThinkGeek, Kongregate and Game Informer brands – invited customers and associates to donate to the cause through an in-store and online donation campaign.
Since first partnering with St. Jude in 2013, the company has helped raise more than $5 million thanks to the donations and support of its customers and associates. To continue its support of the children of St. Jude, ThinkGeek is extending the sale, at www.thinkgeek.com, of the exclusive St. Jude superhero T-shirt.
From now until the end of July, geek fans of all ages can help St. Jude fight childhood cancer by buying the limited-edition T-shirt, which is available in adult and children sizes and sells for $19.99. ThinkGeek will donate $12 to St. Jude for every T-shirt purchased.
– Andy Meek
IMC Cos. Acquires California Logistics Firm
Memphis-based IMC Cos. has acquired California-based Progressive Transportation Services for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition completes IMC’s national footprint, allowing the company to handle freight in any major rail or port facility in the U.S.
PTS is the largest container drayage company headquartered in Long Beach, Calif. The company also provides container transloading and warehousing services and has locations in Los Angeles, Oakland and Stockton, Calif.
The acquisition brings the number of brands under the IMC umbrella to nine.
“A desire to expand our geographic footprint led us to do an extensive search over the past two years to find the right company to give us an established presence in California,” IMC Cos. chairman Mark H. George said in a statement. “We vetted more than 25 companies and chose PTS above all based on their stellar performance record, service offerings and core values that are aligned with those of our organization.”
With the addition of PTS’ 250 team members, IMC now has more than 2,000 employees nationwide.
– Daily News staff