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VOL. 131 | NO. 109 | Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Daily Digest

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MSCAA Reorganizes, Makes Staff Promotion

The Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority has promoted Angela Washington to director of properties.

Washington has been with the airport authority for 28 years and most recently worked as manager of properties. Her promotion is part of a reorganization at Memphis International Airport that moves the properties department to the finance and administration division.

Washington is responsible for negotiating and preparing tenant leases and rental fees as well as overseeing the day-to-day operations of MSCAA’s properties department, which manages areas such as concessions, ground transportation, public and employee parking, telephone systems and general aviation airports.

Washington will be taking over some of the responsibilities previously managed by Richard White, who resigned from his position of vice president of properties and business diversity development in March. MSCAA is seeking a director of business diversity development.

White’s resignation came at the same time George Mabon left MSCAA as vice president of human resources. In May, Mabon filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the airport authority, claiming he was wrongfully terminated because of race. Four days later, Mabon died in Baton Rouge, La., following a car crash.

Glen Thomas, public information officer for the MSCAA, said Mabon’s contract was not renewed after June 30. He declined to comment on the reason for the vacated positions, citing confidentiality of personnel issues.

“The vice president positions for properties and human resources were eliminated and director positions reinstated,” Thomas said. “These changes actually restore the previous organization structure the airport authority maintained in these areas several years ago, before the director positions were elevated to the VP level.”

With the changes, the business diversity development department will be led by a director under general counsel. The human resource department will remain directly under the president and CEO and will be led by a director.

Scott Brockman, president and CEO of MSCAA, said that as the airport reinvents itself, it was natural for the authority to study its organizational structure and business processes.

"The new organization structure is more streamlined, less costly, and more effective from an internal management, collaboration and communication standpoint," Brockman said. 

– Madeline Faber

Clark Tower Undergoing $1.2M Lobby Renovation

Clark Tower’s lobby is getting a facelift.

Dan Walker Associates Inc. recently filed a $1.2 million building permit for “existing first floor lobby renovation” at the East Memphis tower.

Last summer, property owner In-Rel Properties Inc. announced that it planned $6 million in capital improvements for Clark Tower, including a lobby redesign, new elevator cabs and improvements to the attached secured parking garage.

Clark Tower, at 5100 Poplar Ave., is one piece of a redevelopment strategy leveraged by In-Rel and carried out by management group Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors.

In-Rel owns both Clark Tower and the adjacent I-Bank Tower at 5050 Poplar Ave.

The Florida-based real estate group plans to unite the 16-acre office campus with increased connections to the surrounding restaurants and retail.

In-Rel plans to transform the area into a walkable campus and improve the two Class B properties to bring them up to Class A status.

– Madeline Faber

CFPB Chief to Visit Memphis for Town Hall

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, will be in Memphis next week for a town hall conversation at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

The CFPB is the agency created by the Dodd-Frank Act that Congress passed in 2010 as a response to the Great Recession.

The June 10 event, which is open to the public, begins at 11 a.m. at the law school, 1 N. Front St.

It will be hosted by Bill Bynum, CEO of HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corp. and Hope Credit Union) and Paheadra Bratton Robinson, executive director of the Coalition for a Prosperous Mississippi.

– Andy Meek

College Initiative Presents $14,000 in Scholarships

The Memphis nonprofit The College Initiative is presenting $14,000 in scholarships Thursday, June 2, to 16 Memphis-area high school seniors it has worked with.

The 16 graduating seniors are given training and counseling for more than 80 hours during the school year specifically on preparation for college including advice on what to major in, what colleges are best for a particular major and how to negotiate the paperwork for scholarships and student assistance.

The scholarships awarded Thursday are provided by The College Initiative, which works in 17 schools in the Mid-South, including Shelby County Schools.

– Bill Dries

Tigers Baseball Ends Season With AAC Tourney Loss

The University of Memphis baseball team’s season ended with a 5-0 loss in the semifinals of the American Athletic Conference Tournament last weekend in Clearwater, Fla.

The Tigers won three straight games for the second time this season after opening the tournament with a loss. They finished the season with 22-39 record.

Darien Tubbs led the Tigers in hitting with a .304 batting average, while Chris Carrier led the team in home runs (6) and runs batted in (38). Among starting pitchers, Colton Hathcock’s 3.94 earned run average led the team. Relief pitcher Nolan Blackwood registered seven saves.

Six seniors finished their Tiger careers at the tournament: Corey Chafin, Damo DeMatteo, Matt Ferguson, Jake Little, Trey McNickle and Jake Overbey.

– Don Wade

Medtronic Earnings Top Expectations

Medtronic reported better-than-expected financial results in the most recent quarter, as sales for its pacemakers, stents and other medical products rose.

Medtronic, whose spinal business is based in Memphis, said it also got a revenue boost from its $50 billion acquisition of surgical equipment maker Covidien. That deal closed last year.

Sales at its minimally invasive therapies group, which includes Covidien’s business, rose 3 percent in the quarter from a year ago. Sales at its cardiac and vascular business rose 5 percent.

On Tuesday, May 31, Medtronic reported fourth-quarter net income of $1.1 billion, after reporting a loss of $1 million in the same period a year earlier.

The Dublin-based company said its net income amounted to 78 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for amortization costs and to extinguish debt, came to $1.27 per share. The adjusted results topped Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 21 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.26 per share.

Revenue rose 3.6 percent to $7.57 billion in the period, which also topped Street forecasts. Twenty-one analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $7.48 billion.

For the year, the company reported profit of $3.54 billion, or $2.48 per share. Revenue was reported as $28.83 billion.

Medtronic expects full-year earnings in the range of $4.60 to $4.70 per share. Analysts expected earnings of $4.70 per share, according to FactSet.

– The Associated Press

US Consumer Confidence Slips for Second Month

U.S. consumer confidence fell for a second month in May to the lowest level since November.

The Conference Board said Tuesday, May 31, that its index of consumer confidence slipped to 92.6 from 94.7 in April. The May reading matched the level in November. Both months were the lowest since last July.

Conference Board economists say that consumers remain cautious about the outlook for business and job market conditions, and anticipate little change in the months ahead.

The reading from the Conference Board stands in contrast to the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment gauge, which rose in May to its highest reading in nearly a year.

Analysts said that the Michigan measure tends to be more volatile than the Conference Board survey. It is more influenced by changes in the stock market, while the Conference Board index has a greater link to job market conditions.

The Michigan survey may be giving a better read on consumers’ mood at the moment, especially in light of the fact that a separate report Tuesday showed consumers felt good enough in April to boost their spending by the largest amount in more than six years, analysts said.

“The confidence data suggest that consumers remain cautious, but if job growth keeps up and wage growth heads higher, we should see personal spending continuing to provide the muscle behind the U.S. economy,” said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

– The Associated Press

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 84 122 20,754
MORTGAGES 113 158 23,903
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 7 31 3,078
BUILDING PERMITS 128 315 42,909
BANKRUPTCIES 53 110 13,290
BUSINESS LICENSES 12 35 6,657
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 22 52 7,841
MARRIAGE LICENSES 18 45 4,688