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VOL. 9 | NO. 12 | Saturday, March 19, 2016

Daily Digest

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Southern Growth Studio Expands Staff

Southern Growth Studio, the growth strategy and innovation consulting firm in Midtown, has three new hires.

The firm said extended or expanded engagements with several key clients are driving the need for more staff.

Chris Schmied brings an interactive marketing background to her digital marketing and design specialist position. She’ll focus primarily on facilitating the interactive strategy for Bindertek, one of Southern Growth Studio’s primary clients.

Sarah Donovan, meanwhile, joins the company as an applied anthropologist, reinforcing the organization’s already strong commitment to ethnography. Donovan will apply to the firm’s entire client roster her experience collecting and analyzing qualitative data in useful, creative ways.

Evan Katz is an experienced entrepreneur and copywriter who will lead the firm’s projects and support the execution of select marketing engagements.

– Andy Meek

Oliver North to Speak at Salvation Army Dinner

The Salvation Army’s 2016 Hardin Annual Dinner on May 17 will include a special guest appearance by Lt. Col. Oliver North as part of the program’s “An Evening with Heroes” theme.

The event will recognize the community’s servicemen and women, first responders and Salvation Army participants.

North is the author of 12 New York Times bestsellers, host of “War Stories” on the Fox News Channel, and a 22-year Marine with four combat decorations – the silver star, bronze star and two purple hearts.

North will share inspiring stories of everyday heroes. The program will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd. Individual tickets start at $125 with $85 going directly to the Salvation Army.

Visit salvationarmymemphis.org for more information.

– Don Wade

Grizzlies Waive Chalmers, Could Re-Sign Him Later

After learning that backup point guard Mario Chalmers had indeed ruptured his Achilles tendon the Memphis Grizzlies waived him to create another roster spot; they are signing D-League guard Briante Weber to a 10-day contract and have interest in finding another point guard (Mike Conley remains sidelined with a sore foot).

As for Chalmers, he was to be a free agent at season’s end. So releasing him now really didn’t change anything, given that he’s done for the season because of the injury. He still gets this year’s salary and the team can try and sign him in the offseason. Conley is also a free agent at the end of the season.

Chalmers was averaging 10.3 points, 3.6 assists and 2.8 rebounds this season after being acquired in a trade with the Miami Heat. He suffered the injury on Wednesday, March 9, in Boston.

– Don Wade

Greenline Work to Affect Germantown Pkwy. Traffic

On the first day of spring, Sunday, March 20, construction will begin on the Shelby Farms Greenline crossing of Germantown Parkway.

Work crews will begin northbound and southbound lane shifts, which are necessary to build the median shelter that will allow those using the greenline to cross the busy parkway with a wait in the middle.

The temporary lane closures in both directions begin at 7 a.m. Sunday morning and will remain in place for about a month.

The greenline is being extended from its current terminus on Mullins Station Road near the Shelby County Corrections Center eastward to the old Cordova Train Station, which is east of the Germantown Parkway crossing.

– Bill Dries

First Tennessee Earns 16 Business-Banking Awards

First Tennessee Bank has received multiple awards for outstanding service for business customers from Greenwich Associates as part of the group’s 2015 Greenwich Excellence Awards.

First Tennessee also earned high grades from customers in the annual Phoenix-Hecht Treasury Management Quality Index for middle market banking.

In evaluating more than 600 banks, Greenwich Associates identified a select group of banks that performed at differentiated levels compared to peer institutions. National winners were determined by region, and First Tennessee won 16 national awards and six regional awards.

In the Excellence in Middle Market Banking category, First Tennessee received five national awards – Overall Satisfaction, Advice to Help My Business Grow, Likelihood to Recommend, Relationship Manager Performance and Cash Management Overall Satisfaction. First Tennessee also received three regional awards for Advice to Help my Business Grow, Likelihood to Recommend and Relationship Manager Performance.

In the Excellence in Small Business Banking category, First Tennessee received 11 national awards – Overall Satisfaction, Likelihood to Recommend, Branch Satisfaction, Industry Expertise, Relationship Manager Performance, Cash Management Overall Satisfaction, Accuracy of Operations, Customer Service, Product Capabilities, Digital Functionality and Ease of Product Implementation. First Tennessee received three regional awards for Overall Satisfaction, Likelihood to Recommend and Cash Management Overall Satisfaction.

First Tennessee also received top grades in the Phoenix-Hecht 2016 Treasury Management Quality Index for Middle Market Banking, which includes businesses with revenues between $20 million and $500 million.

In addition, 100 percent of customers surveyed indicated that they would recommend First Tennessee to a treasury colleague.

The Phoenix-Hecht 2016 Quality Index is based on individual bank quality evaluations gathered in the 2016 Treasury Management Monitor survey.

– Andy Meek

Shelby County Sees Slide in Unemployment Rate

Shelby County’s unemployment rate in January was down a full 2 percentage points from a year ago at 5.5 percent, according to the latest data from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The county’s unemployment rate declined 0.6 percent month over month, sliding from 6.1 percent in December 2015.

The 5.5 percent rate compares to the state unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in January and national rate of 4.9 percent.

Healthy gains also were seen in neighboring Fayette and Tipton counties in West Tennessee.

Tipton County’s unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in January, down from 8.5 percent in January a year ago and 6.9 percent a month earlier in December 2015.

Fayette County’s rate came in lower than Shelby at 5.3 percent, a decline of 2.2 percent from January 2015 when it was 7.5 percent. In December 2015, Fayette’s unemployment rate was 6.3 percent.

The state’s lowest unemployment rate in January was in Williamson County (3.2 percent) in Middle Tennessee; the highest was Houston County and Lake County, tied at 8.9 percent.

The rates in other state counties with the large cities broke down this way in January: Davidson County (Nashville), 3.6 percent; Knox County (Knoxville), 3.9 percent; Hamilton County (Chattanooga), 4.6 percent; Montgomery County (Clarksville), 5.0 percent; and Madison County (Jackson), 5.3 percent.

– Terry Hollahan

Visible Music College Developing Whalum Center

Visible Music College is developing a new academic center on the fifth floor of its Downtown Memphis campus named in honor of Grammy-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum and his family.

The new Whalum Center for Music will include the college library and student center. Central to its literary and audio collection will be jazz and gospel influences and emerging genres curated and developed by the Whalum family and by Whalum himself. All music styles will be represented through themed rooms designed for instrument and voice practice, audio listening and media.

The center will also serve as the home of the Gospel Music Archive of Memphis, which includes black gospel, gospel quartet, contemporary Christian, choir, gospel jazz, rock and Christian music in all its forms. And throughout the academic year, the center will host concerts, master classes and special events.

The college is looking to raise $400,000 for the center’s development. Leading the charge for Visible on the project is Sheila Whalum. The Whalum family wants to invest in Memphis, she said, “and specifically in music education in Memphis.”

The tentative opening date for The Whalum Center is spring 2018, and the community will have the first opportunity to check out the space at an open house in early June.

– Andy Meek

Girl 24 Initiative Launches Online Business Magazine

GIRL Twentyfour, a teen initiative that launched last year to teach Memphis girls business and entrepreneurship skills, has launched an online business magazine.

Hey GIRL! Online, which went live Tuesday, March 15, includes a range of editorial features on topics such as: Being a Girl, Living Healthy (Dr. Talk), Building Your Brand, Being a Great Leader, Philanthropy/Shaping the World, teen profiles and more.

The magazine serves as a supplement to the GIRL 24 initiative, which strives to be a community of women business leaders providing time, opportunity, advice and resources to girls desiring to become good entrepreneurs and businesswomen.

“We are delighted to partner with great local thriving companies, such as Frost Bake Shop and Pyros Fire Grilled Pizza, whom the owners/managers were thrilled to host our teens with a behind-the-brand experience,” said GIRL 24 founder Erika Cain in a statement.

Sponsors and partners of the venture include Erika Cain & Co., Hutchison School, cocoabeens communications, Meeman901 Strategies (University of Memphis grad students), Frost Bake Shop and The Tee Shirt Lab.

For more information on the initiative, visit girl24movement.com.

– Kate Simone

Overton Conservancy Raises Money for Playground

The Overton Park Conservancy is raising money through the crowdfunding platform ioby to make some repairs to the park’s East Parkway playground.

The goal is to raise $3,125 for new surfacing of the playground and the conservancy has already raised $800 toward the goal.

The ioby donations are part of a Green Up Memphis campaign, with the platform matching donations dollar for dollar up to $150 per gift on projects in parks and neighborhoods in Memphis.

Through ioby donations, the conservancy replaced trail markers in the Old Forest in 2015. The markers are to be installed in the next few weeks.

Read more about ioby’s Green Up initiative in the Daily News’ Wednesday, March 16, edition.

– Bill Dries

Registration Open for Fairway 5K on April 9

The road to the 2016 FedEx St. Jude Classic starts here, with the fourth annual Fairway 5K at 8 a.m. at TPC Southwind.

The race, held in conjunction with the city’s annual PGA Tour stop in June, will include a free one-day ticket for Fairway 5K participants. Post-race, there will be plenty of food, drink and music.

All finishers receive a Fairway 5K medal. And individual “Run Y’all” paddles will be given to the top three finishers in each age division.

Visit fairway5k.racesonline.com for more details on registration and race packet pickup instructions.

– Don Wade

AutoZone Liberty Bowl to Honor Archie Manning

Archie Manning, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and an alumnus of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, will be the guest of honor at the kickoff event of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Golf Classic on June 19.

The event benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Manning will be recognized with the bowl game’s Distinguished Citizen Award.

In 1968, Manning led Old Miss to a 34-17 win over Virginia Tech in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl as he passed for 141 yards and two touchdowns. He went on to play in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints and played in two Pro Bowls.

The June 19 dinner at the Hilton Memphis Hotel. A cocktail reception will be held at 5:30 p.m., followed by a 6:30 p.m. dinner and the program. The Golf Classic will be held on Monday, June 20, at Ridgeway Country Club.

Individual seats for the dinner are $75 or a table of 10 can be purchased for $750. To make reservations, call the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at 901-795-7700.

– Don Wade

Kellogg: Investigation of Graphic Video Underway

A criminal investigation is underway after a video surfaced online showing a man urinating on a Kellogg factory assembly line, the company said.

The company says it learned of the video Friday and immediately alerted law enforcement authorities and regulators. A criminal investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigation, the company said.

A representative for the FDA did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

The graphic video shows a man urinating on an assembly line, then panning to a sign with the Kellogg logo. Kellogg said its investigation determined the video was recorded at its Memphis factory in 2014.

“It is important to note that any products that could be potentially impacted would be very limited and past their expiration dates,” the company said. It says the products that were potentially impacted include Rice Krispies Treats, granola clusters used in some products and puffed rice treats that it no longer makes.

“We are outraged by this completely unacceptable situation, and we will work closely with authorities to prosecute to the full extent of the law,” the company said.

Kellogg said it is still working to identify the individual in the video.

– The Associated Press

Wolfchase Adds White Barn Inside Bath & Body Works

Bath & Body Works is moving to a new home at Wolfchase Galleria and bringing on White Barn as a sister tenant.

This will be the first Mid-South location for White Barn, a candle company.

Bath & Body Works will relocate and expand its store to 4,637 square feet. The new location will have a Bath & Body Works storefront with a White Barn boutique in the middle.

“Everything is still the same price as it was before, but you feel like you’re buying something more expensive because of the atmosphere of the store itself. It makes shopping a unique and pleasurable experience,” said Arianne Cousin, director of marketing and business development for Simon Property Group, which owns Wolfchase Galleria.

Wolfchase Galleria, located at Interstate 40 and Germantown Parkway, features four major anchor stores with more than 120 retail stores and several dining options.

– Madeline Faber

Step Ahead Scholarship to Award $100,000 to Girls

A pair of Memphis-area nonprofits and a local bank are preparing to award $100,000 in scholarships to girls and young women who plan to continue their studies beyond high school.

Applications for the Step Ahead Scholarship – a collaborative effort of A Step Ahead Foundation and Girls Inc. of Memphis – are being accepted through April 15.

BankTennessee manages the program, which is now in its third year.

The scholarship program – available to any female Shelby County resident aged 17 to 30 with plans to attend an accredited university, community college, licensed career college or technical school – has awarded $200,000 in the last two years. Out of 40 applications the first year, 14 girls received awards. In year two there were nearly 90 applicants and 21 recipients.

Awards will be based on strength of application and estimated financial need. Each award is a one-time, annual scholarship, but recipients are encouraged to maintain good academic status and reapply each year.

Preference will be given to applicants who intend to use their education to help the community, and who express a desire to lower rates of teen and unplanned pregnancy in the greater Memphis area.

Scholarship information can be found at astepaheadfoundation.org or girlsincmemphis.org.

– Kate Simone

Avison Young Grows Memphis Office

Commercial real estate firm Avison Young continues to grow its Memphis office with the hire of Michael Donahoe as vice president.

Toronto, Canada-based Avison Young opened its Memphis branch in December, marking its third office in Tennessee and its 50th nationally. Avison Young first opened in Nashville and Knoxville in September, with 82 members joining the company from Cushman & Wakefield/Cornerstone.

Donahoe will cover office representation for landlords and tenants and joins principals Shane Soefker and Jacob Biddle.

Most recently, Donahoe was senior adviser at Sperry Van Ness/Investec Realty Services.

– Madeline Faber

Wunderlich Names Head of Institutional Equity Sales

The Wunderlich investment firm has added Ed Apple Jr. to its Equity Capital Markets division as managing director and head of the institutional equity sales effort.

With more than 10 years of institutional sales experience, Apple will oversee the firm’s institutional sales teams located in Memphis, Boston, New York, Baltimore, Denver and Newport Beach.

From 1999 until 2012, Apple was a managing director of institutional equity sales with Morgan Keegan & Co. He then joined Pacific Global Investment Management as a managing director and was responsible for institutional sales to the registered investment adviser, consultant and adviser community at the privately held investment management firm.

Wunderlich’s Equity Capital Markets division provides investment banking, equity research and sales and trading support for institutional and corporate clients.

– Andy Meek

Rollin’ Grizzlies to Host Wheelchair Hoops Tourney

In the midst of March Madness, The Arc Mid-South and Memphis Rollin’ Grizzlies are hosting an event to celebrate another March occasion: National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.

The nationally ranked Rollin’ Grizzlies will take on corporate teams in the annual “Hoops From the Heart” wheelchair-basketball tournament March 26. Companies such as Sam’s Club, Hershey’s, Johnson and Johnson Health Care Systems and BeU Clothing will be competing at the annual games, to be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Raymond Skinner Center, 712 Tanglewood St. Admission is $5.

The Arc Mid-South, a nonprofit United Way agency, helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities achieve greater independence and reach their full potential by providing family support services, career development and job placement.

Founded in 2003, the Rollin’ Grizzlies are a nationally ranked, wheelchair-basketball team that competes in Division III of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.

For information about corporate sponsorships or to register an eight-person team, please contact Ruth Kirby at 901-507-8569 or wcbb@thearcmidsouth.org Team registration also is available at thearcmidsouth.org.

– Kate Simone

International Paper Buys Madrid Newsprint Mill

Memphis-based International Paper has bought a newsprint mill in Madrid, Spain, with plans to convert the plant to produce recycled containerboard.

The binding agreement with Holmen Paper was announced Wednesday, March 16. Under the terms of the deal, International Paper would purchase the mill, as well as associated recycling operations and a 50 percent ownership interest in a cogeneration facility.

IP expects its investment, including the purchase price and conversion costs, to total $167.5 million (150 million euros), the company said Wednesday.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to regulatory approvals. The mill would then be converted during the second half of 2017 for a capacity of 380,000 metric tons.

– Bill Dries

West Cancer Center Taps New COO

West Cancer Center has named Candace Wilder as chief operating officer.

As COO, she’s responsible for leading strategic planning for clinical operations throughout the region, customer service initiatives, breast center operations and outreach, and the surgical oncology teams for the system. Wilder previously served as vice president of operations for West Cancer Center.

Wilder joined West Cancer Center in 2012 as director of West Clinic’s Comprehensive Breast Center, where she managed staffing and operations for the two breast center locations.

– Andy Meek

Council Approves Hotels, Columbarium Permit

The Memphis City Council approved a special permit March 15 for a memorial garden with mausoleums, crypts and a columbarium at the Serenity Columbarium and Memorial Garden at 1622 Sycamore View Road northwest of Shelby Oaks Drive.

The council also approved a pair of hotels on Union Avenue’s south side on the block between Hernando and Fourth streets by developer Nitinkumar Patel.

One is a 115-room Holiday Inn Express at 235 Union Ave., and the other is a 143-room Hilton Garden Inn at 195 Union.

– Bill Dries

Le Bonheur Earns Rare Magnet Designation

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital has received the Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, putting it among only 7 percent of hospitals in the country to have earned the distinction.

The ANCC Magnet Recognition Program designates health care organizations that demonstrate excellence in nursing practice, adherence to national standards for improving patient care, leadership and sensitivity to cultural and ethnic diversity. Hospitals undergo an evaluation that includes a document submission and an on-site evaluation of patient care and outcomes. Magnet hospitals must also provide an annual status report on their progress and must undergo re-evaluation every four years to retain the designation.

– Andy Meek

Community Mortgage Corp. Opens New Oxford Branch

Community Mortgage Corp. has opened a new branch location in Oxford, Miss.

The new branch is located just off the Oxford downtown square, at 400 S. Lamar Blvd.

The office is a full-service mortgage lender, providing traditional home mortgages, loans for condominiums and second homes, mortgages for investor-owned properties, as well as loans for new and existing construction projects. Additionally, all FHA, VA and USDA loan products will be offered alongside Mississippi Housing and first-time buyer loan programs.

Community Mortgage has been a Memphis-based lender for 28 years and has served clients for 25 years in the North Mississippi and Chattanooga markets.

– Andy Meek

Memphis Youth Symphony Hires New Conductor

After a year-long search for a candidate, the Memphis Youth Symphony Program has hired S.C. Toe as youth symphony conductor.

Toe will take the podium in September when MYSP’s 2016-2017 season begins.

Originally from Canton, Ohio, Toe moved to Memphis in 2014 to serve as director of music ministries at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Through his emerging conducting career, Toe has led concerts nationally and in Europe.

As MYSP conducter, Toe will be responsible for the artistic development of a diverse orchestra while encouraging young musicians to reach their individual potential.

Toe will make a MYSP guest appearance conducting Tchaikovsky’s “Italian Capriccio” at the Youth Symphony’s annual Side-By-Side Concert with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

The concert will be held April 24 at the West Memphis Performing Arts Center, beginning at 6 p.m.

– Madeline Faber

Gasol to be Honored by Tenn. Sports Hall of Fame

The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame has announced that Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol will be honored as one of its Male Professional Athletes of the Year.

The awards will be presented at the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame’s 50th Anniversary Induction Banquet on June 18 in Nashville.

Gasol, who will miss the remained of this season with a broken foot, has played his entire eight-year NBA career (2008-16) with the Grizzlies, accumulating numerous accolades and franchise firsts. He is the first player in club history to be named to multiple All-NBA Teams (2014-15 First Team; 2012-13 Second Team) and the first to be selected First or Second Team All-NBA.

He captured NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2012-13. The two-time NBA All-Star (2012, 2015) became the first player in franchise history to be named an All-Star starter in 2015 and together with his brother, Pau Gasol, became the first siblings to start an NBA All-Star Game as they met for the opening tipoff.

After moving to Memphis with his family in 2001, while Pau was a member of the Grizzlies, Gasol played two seasons for Lausanne Collegiate School before graduating, playing professionally in his native country of Spain and returning to play for the Grizzlies in 2008.

In addition, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame announced NFL Comeback Player of the Year, Kansas City Chiefs safety and former University of Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry as an honoree for the Male Professional Athletes of the Year Awards.

– Don Wade

Overton Park Conservancy, Agricenter Turn to Ioby

Agricenter International is raising money on ioby to replace a gate on a bike trail that runs parallel to Walnut Grove Road from Farm Road to the Farmers Market.

The gate would be replaced by a set of bollards – posts that allow for easier bicycle access while preventing vehicles from entering the trail.

Agricenter has raised $2,980 for the goal and is seeking another $600.

Every donation to ioby up to $150 will be matched by ioby and Livable Memphis.

Agricenter is seeking grant funding in 2017 or 2018 to pave the trail and connect it from the Farmers Market to the Greenline.

Meanwhile, the Overton Park Conservancy is raising money through ioby to make some repairs to the park’s East Parkway playground.

The goal is to raise $3,125 for new surfacing of the playground and the conservancy has already raised $800 toward the goal.

The ioby donations are part of a Green Up Memphis campaign, with the platform matching donations dollar for dollar up to $150 per gift on projects in parks and neighborhoods in Memphis.

Through ioby donations, the conservancy replaced trail markers in the Old Forest in 2015. The markers are to be installed in the next few weeks.

Read more about ioby’s Green Up initiative on page 10.

– Bill Dries

Memphis Habitat Receives Statewide Grant Funds

Memphis Habitat has received a $13,500 grant from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency through Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee to support the construction of a new home in Uptown.

The funds were part of a $500,000 grant Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee received from the THDA Housing Trust Fund to distribute among the 50 Habitat affiliates across Tennessee to aid in the construction of 20 homes statewide.

To date, Memphis Habitat has built 33 new homes in Uptown; completed critical repairs on more than 85 commercial, historic and single-family properties; led beautification efforts on 13 homes; demolished one vacant property; and managed facade improvements and mural installation on three neighborhood businesses.

– Kate Simone

Peabody Announces 2016 Rooftop Party Lineup

The Peabody Hotel’s 2016 Rooftop Party Season launches on April 14 with ’80s cover band The Molly Ringwalds and a special performance by rock singer-songwriter David Cook.

Peabody Rooftop Parties will take place every Thursday night, April 14 through Aug. 18, from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Weekly admission is $10-$15, and the first 200 ladies get in free.

The parties are hosted by Q107.5 FM and Peabody house DJ Mark Anderson. Each week features a themed snack buffet and drink specials from beverage sponsors.

The Peabody has released the first half of the 2016 Rooftop Party lineup:

April 14: The Molly Ringwalds, with special guest David Cook

April 21: Hollywood

April 28: Cruisin’ Heavy

May 5: Frankie Hollie and the Noise

May 12: The M-80s

May 19: Twin Soul

May 26: Fifth Kind, with special guest Shawn Hook

June 2: The Dantones

June 9: Swingin Leroys

June 16: Seeing Red

Entertainment for the July 23-Aug. 18 parties will be announced later.

– Andy Meek

PROPERTY SALES 51 180 16,377
MORTGAGES 21 57 10,144
BUILDING PERMITS 103 665 39,209
BANKRUPTCIES 31 107 7,704