German Condiment Maker Coming to West Tennessee

A leading European manufacturer of mustards, dressings and sauces has chosen West Tennessee for its first North American production facility.

Develey Mustard & Condiments Corp. will locate the 100,000-square-foot facility in Dyersburg, Tenn., state and local leaders along with Develey executives announced Thursday, March 10. The plant will service the North American retail and food-service markets with local-branded and private-label products.

The company, headquartered in Unterhaching, Germany, expects to employ 150 people over five years at the Dyersburg location and will invest $20 million to prepare for operations.

Renovations on the plant at 2630 Ford Hudson Road are scheduled to begin in April with the plant opening by the end of the year.

Develey is the exclusive distributor of Tabasco, Kikkoman, Patak’s, Del Monte and Gatorade in several countries.

Develey chairman Michael Durach said the company searched sites in four states for more than a year before choosing the Dyersburg site.

– Bill Dries

American Airlines Begins MEM-PHX Flights

Nearly four months after announcing a new route between Memphis and Phoenix, American Airlines has begun the daily nonstop flights.

The service between Memphis International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) launched Thursday, March 3, with the first departure from Memphis on Friday.

American on Thursday also began a third frequency between Memphis and New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The third frequency will run on weekdays, with two flights a day between MEM and LGA scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays.

“Adding another daily nonstop flight to the West and increasing one-stop options for passengers makes this one of our more significant recent service additions,” said Scott Brockman, president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, in a statement. “We are equally excited about American Airlines providing our passengers with a third frequency to LGA.”

American is using 76-seat Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft on the Memphis-Phoenix route. Flights leave Memphis at 7:30 a.m. and arrive in Phoenix at 9:09 a.m.; return flights leave Phoenix at 6:50 p.m. and arrive in Memphis at 11:42 p.m.

For the added New York flight, the airline will use a two-class 76-seat Embraer E175 aircraft.

– Kate Simone

Tennessee Unemployment Dips to 5.4 Percent

Tennessee’s unemployment rate notched a slight decrease in January, state Labor & Workforce Development commissioner Burns Phillips has announced.

Preliminary figures show the state’s unemployment rate at 5.4 percent for the month, two-tenths of a percentage point lower than the December revised rate of 5.6 percent.

Nationwide, the preliminary rate was 4.9 percent in January, down from 5.0 percent in December.

Total nonfarm employment increased 13,100 jobs from December to January, with the largest increases in retail trade, mining/logging/construction, and professional/business services.

Over the past year, total nonfarm employment added 96,000 jobs; the largest increases were in trade/transportation/utilities, professional/business services, and education/health services.

While the number of Tennesseans out of work is down from the previous month, there are still thousands of people across the state searching for employment, the Department of Labor & Workforce Development said, adding that Tennessee employers have more than 100,000 open positions available to qualified applicants among the state’s 95 counties.

– Kate Simone

Shelby Farms Conservancy Makes 2 Executive Hires

Jen Andrews, the longtime development and communications director of the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy is the new executive director of the conservancy.

Andrews succeeds Laura Morris, who announced her retirement from the position last October.

Andrews becomes executive director March 21, the board of the conservancy announced Monday, March 7, after a search process.

Andrews was the first employee hired for the organization in 2006 when it was the Shelby Farms Park Alliance.

“This is my heart’s work,” she said in a written statement. “It’s a project I’ve been committed to for a long time, and to be selected after an exhaustive national search process is a great honor.”

The conservancy also has hired Traci Franzone as its new sales and business development director.

The position is a new one for the conservancy, which is preparing to open several facilities – including a gift shop, pavilions and an event stage – as a part of the Heart of the Park improvements.

Franzone comes to the conservancy from nine years at Caesar’s Entertainment, where her positions included regional director of sales and regional director of meeting operations.

– Bill Dries

Southern Airways Express Acquires Commuter Airline

Southern Airways Express has acquired Fort Lauderdale-based Sun Air Express, a commuter airline with hubs at Pittsburgh International Airport and Washington-Dulles International Airport.

This is the second acquisition for Southern Airways, which has been based out of the private Signature terminal of the Memphis International Airport since 2014. In that same year, Southern Airways acquired Chicago-based Executive Express Aviation and shares aircraft with the flight group.

Sun Air serves eight cities in the Mid-Atlantic region, but Southern Airways will wait until the fall to make any new route decisions.

Stan Little, chairman and CEO of Southern Airways, said that Memphis to Destin, Fla., frequency will be expanded; a second daily flight to Atlanta is likely; and shuttle service to Nashville, Knoxville and St. Louis is being considered.

As a result of the acquisition, Southern Airways will consolidate and relocate most of Sun Air’s corporate presence in Fort Lauderdale to Memphis.

Sun Air will retire most of its Piper Chieftain aircraft in favor of Southern’s flagship Caravan 208 planes.

– Madeline Faber

Graceland to Hold Muhammad Ali Auction

Graceland Auctions is planning an auction of items and other memorabilia from Muhammad Ali Enterprises this fall.

The event is a first effort outside of recent auctions of Elvis Presley memorabilia for the auction division of Graceland Holdings LLC, the holding company that is the majority owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises.

No date has been announced for the Ali auction.

But the Monday, March 7, announcement comes days after the opening of the Muhammad Ali exhibition at The O2 in London. A year ago, the O2 hosted an Elvis exhibition.

Graceland Auctions authenticates the items through Graceland Authenticated LLC and holds the auction, which will take place somewhere in the U.S.

As is the case with the auctioned Elvis Presley items, the Ali items will come from private collectors.

Elvis Presley Enterprises and Muhammad Ali Enterprises were once both owned by CKx, the entertainment company that became majority owner of EPE in 2005. CKx was bought in 2011 by Apollo Global Management LLC. Apollo’s acquisition of CKx included the Presley and Ali entities.

– Bill Dries

Baptist Names Hammeran New Hospital Administrator

Baptist Memorial Hospital for Women and the adjacent Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital have a new CEO and administrator.

Kevin Hammeran, who most recently served as senior vice president and chief operating officer at New York Presbyterian and in that role was the chief administrative officer of the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and the Sloane Hospital for Women, got the job.

Anita Vaughn, a 43-year veteran of the Baptist system, had served as administrator and CEO of both Baptist hospitals and will work as a part-time consultant with the Baptist Memorial Health Care Foundation on projects related to fundraising for the Spence and Becky Wilson Baptist Children’s Hospital and the continuing development of the Universal Parenting Place housed within Baptist Women’s Hospital.

In his new role, Hammeran will take the lead in facilitating Baptist Children’s Hospital’s relationship with the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Monroe Carell has provided the Children's Hospital's pediatric clinical staff with additional opportunities for education, skills and training focused on pediatric care.

– Andy Meek

Campbell Clinic Surgeon Receives Lifetime Award

Dr. Terry Canale, who has practiced orthopaedic surgery at Campbell Clinic for the past four decades, has received a prestigious award from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

The William W. Tipton Jr. MD Leadership Award is among the highest recognitions awarded by any national health care academy.

Canale garnered the lifetime achievement honor due to his numerous teaching, research and mentoring roles in Memphis and his service as past presidents of both AAOS and the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.

As a specialty society leader, he instituted the Orthopaedic Learning Center to allow surgeons to safely learn and adopt new surgical skills. As president of AAOS, he designed and implemented the patient communications program, a skills education program for orthopaedic surgeons.

– Madeline Faber

Huey’s Original Midtown Location Gets Renovations

Huey’s Midtown closed last week for renovations.

With the help of Traditional Construction and about 15 Huey’s employees, the Midtown location received a new vent-a-hood system, a fresh coat of paint inside and outside, and repairs to the sidewalks along Madison Avenue. The biggest feature noticeable to guests will be the installation of two large windows on the east graffiti wall, overlooking the patio.

Huey’s Midtown general manager Ashley Hooppaw-Ranson said the new windows will provide more light into the dining room and a better view to diners sitting along the wall.

– Andy Meek

UTHSC Dentistry Alumni Honor Two

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Dentistry Alumni Association has given its 2016 Outstanding Alumnus Awards, the association’s highest honor, to a longtime Memphis periodontist who helped found the association and to the CEO of Tennessee’s largest dental insurance company.

Lifelong Memphian Dr. Justin D. Towner III and Brentwood resident Dr. Philip Wenk, president and CEO of Nashville-based Delta Dental of Tennessee, received the prestigious honors at the Awards and Reunion Luncheon during the William F. Slagle Dental Meeting, which ran through March 6 in Memphis.

Tim Lanier, assistant vice chancellor for alumni affairs, called both men “true ambassadors” for the college, adding, “Their impact on the college and the dental profession as a whole is hard to measure. We are fortunate to be able to call them our own.”

– Andy Meek

Valerie Smith Appointed Circuit Court Judge

Memphis attorney Valerie L. Smith is the newest Shelby County Circuit Court judge.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Smith’s appointment Tuesday, March 8, to fill the vacancy created by the death last year of Judge D’Army Bailey.

She was one of three finalists recommended to Haslam by a judicial nominating commission.

Smith is an attorney at Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz. Before that she was an assistant district attorney. She also clerked for Circuit Court Judge James Russell.

Smith earned her law degree from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law.

She serves through the August elections. The position is on the Aug. 4 ballot to fill the remainder of Bailey’s eight-year term, which runs through 2022. Smith has pulled a qualifying petition for that race.

– Bill Dries

Michael Brown’s Attorney Keynotes NAACP Luncheon

The attorney for the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown is the featured speaker at the Memphis Branch NAACP’s annual Freedom Fund Luncheon.

Benjamin J. Crump, who also serves as the president of the National Bar Association, will speak at the March 29 event, to be held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, 255 N. Main St.

Crump’s law firm, Parks Crump Attorneys at Law LLC, represents the family of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed in 2014 by police in Ferguson, Mo. He also represented the family of Trayvon Martin, a teenager shot and killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla.

“Issues of police brutality, justice and the oppression of minorities are finally getting deserved attention,” said Madeleine Taylor, executive director of the Memphis Branch NAACP, who described Crump as being “at the forefront of these issues.”

– Bill Dries

Jernigan Capital Reports 2015 Results

Memphis-based Jernigan Capital, a company that acts as a source of capital for self-storage entrepreneurs, closed $175.7 million of investment transactions between March and the end of 2015.

That’s according to the company’s 2015 earnings results, released late Monday, March 7. Among other highlights, the company built up a more than $600 million pipeline as of the beginning of this week and obtained up to $110 million of additional private capital.

The latter came through a joint venture with funds managed by Heitman Capital Management LLC. That joint venture agreement was executed on March 7.

“I am very pleased that in nine months from a standing start we were able to consummate $175.7 million of high quality investment transactions that will provide impressive returns to our shareholders as these investments mature, as well as develop a robust pipeline for future value creation,” said the firm’s namesake, chairman and CEO Dean Jernigan, in a statement about the results.

– Andy Meek

Commission Approves Millington TIF Amendments

The Shelby County Commission approved Monday, March 7, a resolution that increases the amount of tax increment financing for the Shoppes of Millington Farms project on U.S. 51.

The total property tax increment going to the project increases from $3.3 million to $3.8 million. The funding is used for public infrastructure including water and sewer lines and public parking.

The amount was upped because of what Millington Industrial Development Board executive director Charles Gulotta said were additional labor costs and issues with rent due from tenants.

Gil Ryan, developer of the project, told commissioners in committee session last week that a local lender is “on board,” with the deal expected to close in mid-April to early May. Ryan also said leases are out for signatures, with the first tenant expected in August.

The commission also approved 21 grants to local nonprofits Monday for a total of $204,500. The grants come from a fund of $1.3 million for the current fiscal year that is allocated equally among the 13 commissioners at $100,000 each.

Several commissioners usually contribute amounts from their individual allocations to a single agency.

With the 21 grants approved Monday, the commission has donated just over $1 million to 58 nonprofits, leaving a balance of $285,500.

And commissioners got their first look at a legal opinion from Shelby County Attorney Ross Dyer that says county government has no duty to fund increased staff, technology and other items needed by the Shelby County District Attorney’s office related to body cameras for the Memphis Police Department.

“While authority exists to indicate that some existing funding for the District Attorney General must be maintained, we find no statutory authority requiring that Shelby County government fund new increases for the office,” the opinion reads.

The opinion is issued as District Attorney General Amy Weirich prepares to go to the commission for extra funding in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

– Bill Dries

Chamber to Offer Training, Loans for ISO Certification

The Greater Memphis Chamber is giving local minority- and-women owned businesses the tools to compete at an international level.

Through the Chamber, MWBEs can receive forgivable loans so their companies can be certified and trained through the International Organization for Standardization, an internationally recognized stamp of quality, safety and efficiency across nearly every business industry.

The training can cost an individual company as much as $35,000. By bringing together six companies to go through the training as a group, the chamber will reduce costs and establish a $15,000 forgivable loan for eligible companies.

“Companies who are ISO certified can compete and receive more lucrative contracts from government agencies and many of the larger companies that require their vendors to be ISO certified,” said Phil Trenary, president & CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber. “The ISO certification also gives companies the opportunity to open new markets and compete globally.”

The chamber is accepting applications at through March 30. Six companies will be chosen to go through the program, which kicks off April 25.

– Madeline Faber

Brewery Developer Inks $19M Construction Loan

Tennessee Brewery momentum continues with a $19 million construction mortgage. In a construction deed of trust signed March 4, developer Billy Orgel signed two loans with Pinnacle Bank, with Brewery Master Tenant listed as borrower.

The loans include $16.7 million with a March 4, 2019, maturity date and a $2.5 million “garage note” set to mature March 4, 2018.

The greater Brewery District planned development includes renovating the historic Tennessee Brewery into bottom-floor retail and 58 apartment units and 90 units in the to-be-constructed Wash House, immediately to the east of the brewery. Across Tennessee Street will be the 358-space parking garage, which connects to the 167-unit Bottle Shop apartment building.

– Madeline Faber

Memphis Average Rent Up 9 Pct. February to March

Memphis ranked No. 6 among the top 10 cities in terms of rent increases. According to a study from multifamily research group ABODO, average rents in Memphis increased 9 percent between this past February and March. In February, average rents came in at $654 and jumped to $716 the following month, based on a pool of more 1,000 Memphis properties.

“The rent increase in Memphis could result from a number of issues. Some industry experts have suggested that landlords are feeling pressured because of increased demand for units while inventory is low,” said Michael Taus, vice president of growth with ABODO. “With homeownership rates falling, it makes sense for landlords to continue to raise pricing on their rental units, especially in markets with tighter inventory.”

– Madeline Faber

Life Church of Memphis Moves on $15M Project

The Life Church is improving its Collierville campus. A $15 million building permit application recently filed with the city-county Office of Construction Code Enforcement lists a new sanctuary facility with associated site work and paving for 650 Houston Hill Road.

The church’s property is near the southwest corner of Houston Hill and South Houston Levee roads, north of the Wolf River.

The application lists Brasfield & Gorrie LLC as the contractor and Adam Bartlett, associate pastor of The Life Church, as the property owner.

The Life Church has three other locations: 1800 N. Germantown Parkway and 255 N. Highland St. in Memphis, and 780 Bolivar Highway in Jackson, Tenn.

– Madeline Faber

Healthy Tennessee Fair Slated for Saturday

The nonprofit Healthy Tennessee is holding its first health fair in Memphis Saturday, March 12, from 11 2 p.m. at Raleigh Assembly of God, 3683 Austin Peay Highway.

The statewide group focused on health training and preventive care is providing medical tests and screenings as well as broader medical advice aimed to keeping chronic conditions under control, said Dr. Manny Sethi, the founder of the four-year-old organization and a Nashville surgeon.

All of the screenings are done by physicians and nurses.

The health fair is a partnership with UnitedHealthcare, Methodist University Hospital and the Mid-South Food Bank.

“Some of the problems that you really see are diabetes and obesity,” Sethi said. “Most people don’t understand that for their entire life this is going to be a big challenge. Once you reach that person and you explain and they understand … they change behavior. It’s not something necessarily that will cost money for them to change. It’s educating our population about the need for this.”

– Bill Dries

Elvis Presley Estate Sues Las Vegas Casino

The Elvis Presley estate has filed a lawsuit against a Las Vegas casino-hotel, as the King's artifacts are being held as part of an ugly leasing dispute.

Elvis Presley Enterprises is trying to get back hundreds of items it loaned to the much-hyped "Graceland Presents Elvis" attraction at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino.

The off-Strip property took hold of the items in February when it shut down the attraction after the third-party operator, Exhibit A Circle, said it was quitting.

Westgate confirmed the lawsuit but declined to discuss the case.

Elvis Presley Enterprises didn't immediately provide comment but had previously said that Westgate aggressively seized the valuables without a legitimate legal basis.

The company runs the Graceland attraction in Memphis, Tennessee, and manages many of the official business deals.

– The Associated Press

Tigers Goodwin, Lawson Receive AAC Honors

University of Memphis senior Shaq Goodwin has been named to the All-American Athletic Conference First Team, while freshman Dedric Lawson was named to the Second Team and to the All-Rookie Team.

In AAC games, Goodwin led the conference in scoring at 17.2 points per game, and ranked second during the same span in blocked shots per game at 1.8.

Over the course of the 31-game regular season, Goodwin ranked seventh in the AAC in scoring, seventh in rebounding and second in blocked shots.

The Atlanta native averages 15.2 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, while blocking 59 shots and adding 31 steals. He has scored in double figures 21 times this season, including a career-high 35 points against UCF on Jan. 26. He set an American Athletic Conference record in the game with 15 made field goals.

Lawson, in addition to being named to the All-Conference Second Team, was a unanimous pick to the All-Rookie Team. Lawson leads Memphis in scoring, averaging 15.4 points per game, while he leads the Tigers and the American Athletic Conference in rebounding at 9.2 boards per game. He stands third in the league in blocked shots (53), and ninth in steals. Lawson also leads the conference in double-doubles with 15, second-most by a freshman in team history, and fourth-most among freshmen in NCAA Division I.

– Don Wade

Tigers’ Ariel Hearn Selected to AAC Second Team

University of Memphis senior guard Ariel Hearn has been named to the 2015-16 American Athletic Conference Second Team in a vote of the league’s coaches.

This marks the third straight season Hearn has earned American Athletic Conference recognition. She was a first-team selection in 2013-14 and a second-team pick in 2014-15.

In addition to making program history with her three all-league honors, Hearn made University of Memphis history in 2015-16. She became the only basketball player – male or female – to have 1,900 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists in a career. This season, she led the Tigers in scoring (14.3 ppg), assists (114 total; 3.9 apg) and steals (63 total; 2.2 spg). She ranks among the American Athletic Conference statistical leaders in scoring (No. 7), free throw percentage (No. 14), assists (No. 5), steals (No. 4) and assist/turnover ratio (No. 7).

– Don Wade

Inaugural Grizzlies 5K to be Held April 9

The inaugural Memphis Grizzlies 5K benefiting the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation is now available for registration.

Grit, grind and run with the Grizz in the first Grizzlies 5K, which tips off at 9 a.m. in front of FedExForum the morning before the Grizzlies face Steph Curry and the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Race packet purchasers will have their choice of a terrace-level ticket to either that night’s game vs. the Warriors or to the Grizzlies’ first home game of the 2016 NBA Playoffs.

Race packages range from $45 to $55 and include a bib number, game ticket and commemorative Memphis Grizzlies 5K T-shirt. MVP Season Ticket Holders and race-only participants can register for $35. Race packages can be purchased Walkers are welcomed.

For more details on the route, pre- and post-race details, rules and results tracking, visit or contact Paris Perret at 901-205-1463 or

– Don Wade

Liberty Bowl to Recognize Archie Manning With Award

The Liberty Bowl will present Archie Manning its Distinguished Citizen Award, an honor the organization considers its most prestigious recognition.

Liberty Bowl officials announced Friday that Manning would be the guest of honor June 19 in Memphis at the kickoff event of the Liberty Bowl Golf Classic, which benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Manning will receive the Distinguished Citizen Award at a dinner June 19 at the Hilton Memphis Hotel. A live and silent auction will be part of the evening as well, with all proceeds benefiting St. Jude. The Golf Classic will be June 20 at Ridgeway Country Club.

Manning will be the first former Liberty Bowl player to receive this award. Manning, a College Football Hall of Famer, quarterbacked Mississippi to a 34-17 victory over Virginia Tech in the 1968 Liberty Bowl. The All-American at Ole Miss also had his number retired at the university.

“Archie joins a long list of great Americans who have distinguished themselves and reached the pinnacle of their chosen field,” Steve Ehrhart, executive director of the Liberty Bowl, said in a statement. “We are proud to include Archie among the luminaries who have been honored by the AutoZone Liberty Bowl during our long history.”

He has received numerous awards for community service both during his playing career and since his retirement.

– Terry Hollahan

World Series of Drag Racing Moves to Memphis

IRG Sports & Entertainment and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau have announced that the World Series of Drag Racing will make its debut at the Memphis International Raceway on Aug. 26-27.

The WSOD brings out top names in drag racing for exhibition, match racing and competitive eliminator action.

Notable participants include Zach Barklage, Scott Ray, 'Big Daddy' Don Garlits, Shirley Muldowney, Arnie Beswick, Animal Jim, T.J. Zizzo, Cruz Pedregon, Tony Pedregon, Tim Wilkerson, Bruce Litton, Del Worsham, Melanie Troxel, Chris “The Greek” Karamesines, Warren Johnson, Larry Morgan, Dom Lagana, and hometown racer, Clay Millican.

After holding the event in Cordova, Ill., for the past 57 years, IRGSE made the decision to move it to Memphis because of the growth potential. The Memphis International Raceway is the largest facility of its kind in the region and is the only one with a quarter-mile championship drag strip.

– Don Wade

Clinics Offered Before Memphis in May Triathlon

Swim, bike and run clinics are being offered to prepare for the 34th annual Memphis in May Triathlon Sports Festival at Edmund Orgill Park in Millington on May 20-22.

The clinics will be led by local certified coaches to give athletes an opportunity to learn about their sport or improve their performance in advance of the events.

Three swim clinics will be held at the pool in the Memphis Jewish Community Center, 6560 Poplar Ave., on March 15, March 29 and April 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. These clinics are geared for swimmers who can already swim and are interested in becoming faster and more efficient in races.

A transition and swim clinic at St. George’s Independent School, 1880 Wolf River Blvd. in Collierville, on March 19 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. And a bike skills and maintenance clinic will be hosted by The Peddler Bike Shop on April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the store’s Southaven location, 3075 E. Goodman Road.

Other events include a May 18 timed open-water swim course and a May 20 clinic and practice swim-the-course at the triathlon race site in Orgill Park.

The Memphis in May Triathlon Weekend kicks off with the Sports Expo on Friday and Saturday, May 20-21. The MIM Sprint Triathlon – which includes a 1/3-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride and three-mile run – is Saturday at 8 a.m., and the Memphis in May Olympic Triathlon is Sunday, May 22 at 7 a.m.

– Don Wade

CycleBar Germantown Set to Open May 5

Indoor cycling facility CycleBar Germantown is gearing up for its May 5 opening. To be located at 7685 Farmington Boulevard, the studio combines stationary bike workouts in a dynamic environment. CycleBar Germantown is leasing 3,800 total feet but plans an initial buildout of 2,900 square feet.

The Memphis-area franchise is one of 100 CycleBar studios set to open in 2016.

CycleBar Germantown will host a pop-up class at the Memphis Farmers Market on April 23, starting at 10 a.m.

– Madeline Faber