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VOL. 131 | NO. 48 | Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Daily Digest

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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

Airport-Area Industrial Sells for $1.2 Million

A local investor has purchased four industrial buildings near Memphis International Airport. Gregory Realty bought 1525 Three Place and 3365-3378 One Place, totaling 85,631 square feet, from One Place Associates for $1.2 million.

The properties are 90 percent occupied with PPG Paint and Auto Glass as the majority tenant and Georgia Construction as the secondary.

Gregory Realty owns over 700,000 square feet of flex, office and retail properties in the Mid-South.

Brian Califf of NAI Saig Co. represented the buyer, and Andrew Phillips and Andy Cates at Colliers International represented the seller.

– 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.

Muhammad Ali Enterprises is currently operated as a subsidiary of Authentic Brands Group LLC. Elvis Presley Enterprises is a client of Authentic Brands marketing services.

– Bill Dries

U of M South Campus To Get New Parking Lot

The University of Memphis is adding a new parking lot on the south side of the railroad tracks.

The Tennessee Board of Regents applied in recent days for a $1.9 building permit for property at 643 Echles St. The description on the application lists “new surface parking lots for University of Memphis.”

The parking lot will be built on the northwest corner of Echles Street and Spottswood Avenue on the site of the university’s outdoor tennis, basketball and volleyball courts.

– Madeline Faber

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

Clinics Offered in Advance Of 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

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.

Hearn made University of Memphis history in 2015-16 when she became the only basketball player – male or female – to have 1,900 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists in a career.

– Don Wade

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