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VOL. 10 | NO. 32 | Saturday, August 5, 2017

Daily Digest

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Wright Medical Grows Net Sales 5 Percent in Q2

Medical device company Wright Medical Group N.V. saw net sales of $179.7 million during the second quarter, the company reported Wednesday, Aug. 2, a 5 percent improvement over the year-ago quarter.

The company's U.S. headquarters is located on Cherry Road just south of Park Avenue in Memphis.

Wright Medical’s president and CEO Robert Palmisano said that 5 percent global net sales growth should improve, as the company plans to “accelerate our business momentum” in the latter half of the year. The company also narrowed its net loss during the quarter, shrinking that to $21 million from more than $42 million during the same quarter in 2016.

Other highlights for the quarter included 16 percent sales growth in the company’s U.S. shoulders segment.

In the U.S. lower extremities and biologics business, Wright saw 32 percent growth in “the most technologically advanced portions of our portfolio,” which includes its Augment Bone Graft, Salvation Limb Salvage and Total Ankle Replacement systems.

The company also launched its Invision Total Ankle Revision System in July.

Growth in the core U.S. lower extremities business was slower, but Wright said it hired about 100 sales representatives during the quarter, and it expects those additions to boost results in that business in the third and fourth quarters.

Palmisano said the company is on track with key revenue growth drivers for 2017 and is sticking to its full-year revenue guidance of $755 million to $765 million. That would be 9 percent to 11 percent growth over 2016.

– Andy Meek

Grizzlies, Redbirds Team Up Aug. 30 at AutoZone Park

The Memphis Redbirds and Memphis Grizzlies will come together for “Grit Grind Night” at AutoZone Park on Wednesday, Aug. 30, as the Redbirds host the Iowa Cubs.

Grizzlies offseason free agent additions Tyreke Evans, who played college basketball at the University of Memphis, and Mario Chalmers are scheduled to be in attendance to sign autographs and throw out ceremonial first pitches. They are slated to be joined by Grizz, as well as Grizzlies entertainment groups Grizz Girls, Grizzline, Grannies & Grandpas, and Claw Crew.

In addition, the Redbirds will be wearing new Grizzlies-themed jerseys, which will be auctioned during the game with proceeds benefiting both the Redbirds Community Fund and the Memphis Grizzlies Foundation. Fans winning a jersey in the auction will go on to the field after the game to meet the Redbirds player or coach and have the jersey autographed.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., and gates will open at 5:30.

Tickets can be purchased at www.memphisredbirds.com/tickets, by phone at 901-721-6000, or at the AutoZone Park Box Office. Fans can use the online promo code “GritGrind” for field box, dugout, or club level tickets that include a hot dog/soda voucher.

– Don Wade

CBIZ MHM Adds Team Of Audit, Tax Professionals

The Memphis office of CBIZ MHM LLC has hired several new professionals from accounting firm Elliott Davis Decosimo.

Frank Lamanna, Stephanie Chittom, Stacy Black, Aleesha White, Michael Stewart and George Douglas are all part of audit and tax teams that recently transitioned to CBIZ, and they will continue to serve their clients in their new roles at the CBIZ Memphis office.

Lamanna, an accounting veteran of the Memphis market for over 20 years, is joining CBIZ as a managing director. Chittom and Black are joining him as senior managers, White as manager, Stewart as senior associate and Douglas as an associate.

The move comes as Greenville, South Carolina-based Elliott Davis Decosimo confirmed that it will close its Memphis office by the end of 2017. Decosimo’s local presence dates back to 2003 when Chattanooga-based Joseph Decosimo and Co. merged with Memphis firm Bean & Ison CPAs & Consultants.

– Andy Meek

Rhodes College Makes List Of Princeton Review’s ‘Best’

Rhodes College ranked high among the country’s top colleges and universities, according to the results of an annual survey by The Princeton Review. The education services company features Rhodes College in the newly released 2018 edition of its guide, The Best 382 Colleges.

About 137,000 college students also rated their schools in The Princeton Review survey and Rhodes, the Memphis-based liberal arts and sciences college, ranked in the top 20 in several categories:

• No. 3 Most Engaged in Community Service

• No. 6 Most Accessible Professors

• No. 8 Most Beautiful Campus

• No. 14 Professors Get High Marks

Rhodes’ Gothic campus sits on a 110-acre, wooded site in Midtown Memphis. The college has 224 faculty members, 95 percent of whom hold the highest degree within their field. More than 80 percent of its 2,000-plus students participate in community service.

“Our Princeton Review ranking is a reflection of Rhodes College’s continuing commitment to the liberal arts, to Memphis, to service, and to the core values embodied in its Honor Code,” Dr. Marjorie Hass, president of Rhodes College, said in a release. “The professors at Rhodes are scholars by example, and they believe the academic experience should be an intellectual journey for everyone involved.”

The 382 “best” colleges were chosen for outstanding academics, according to Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s editor-in-chief, but 62 ranking lists were also created to help prospective students narrow their college search.

“They (ranking lists) are based entirely on data we gather beyond academics that gives insight into what the schools’ enrolled students say about their professors, administrators, school services, campus culture, and student life,” Franek said. “In the end, it’s all about the fit.”

In The Best 382 Colleges, Rhodes is listed as a “Best Southeastern College.”

– Daily News staff

Terry Named Exec. Director Of Memphis Branch NAACP

The Memphis Branch NAACP has hired Vickie Terry as its new executive director.

Terry is former fund development and gift manager for United Way of the Mid-South.

Her position is to run the day-to-day affairs of the city’s oldest civil rights organization, which recently marked its centennial. Terry’s work will focus on fund development, membership, advocacy and programs.

She began the new role last week.

Memphis branch president Deidre Malone said Terry was the choice because of her understanding of nonprofit organizations and her experience at United Way.

“I look forward to leveraging my longstanding relationships in the community to educate people on the work we are doing today and cultivating new partnerships to grow our programs that are so needed in this community,” Terry said in a written statement.

– Bill Dries

Gannett Moving Design Of Tenn. Papers Out of State

The parent company of The Commercial Appeal is continuing to shake up its operation behind the scenes, with its plan to soon start sending design work for the company’s Tennessee papers out of state.

Design work for Gannett’s Tennessee papers, including the CA, had been handled at Gannett’s Nashville Design Studio. The chain has now decided, however, to fold that office and shift the work out of state to similar operations in Iowa, Kentucky and Arizona.

Gannett said the closure will affect up to 88 jobs once the move is complete on Oct. 1.

– Andy Meek

Plaque Honoring Franklin Placed at Former Home

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has dedicated a plaque marking the childhood home of soul singer Aretha Franklin.

Strickland unveiled the plaque at the small wooden home on Wednesday, Aug. 2.

Franklin, known as the “Queen of Soul,” was born in the house in 1942. Her family moved away from Memphis about two years later.

The dilapidated house has been vacant for years, and there has been no historical marker indicating its significance until now.

Lawyers, community leaders and Shelby County Environmental Court Judge Larry Potter have been trying to find ways to preserve the house, which sits empty with its windows boarded up.

Potter had ordered the house demolished, but he put that order on hold last year after volunteers stabilized the crumbling structure.

– The Associated Press

Kroger Continues ClickList Expansion

Kroger will soon have 29 locations in the area offering its ClickList service, which lets customers pre-order their groceries and schedule a time to drive to a participating Kroger to pick them up.

Kroger added the ClickList service to its Collierville store at 240 New Byhalia Road on Thursday, Aug. 3. The program will roll out at its Lakeland store, 9025 U.S. 64, on Aug. 10 and its Poplar Plaza store, 3444 Plaza Ave., on Aug. 24.

In related news, ClickList customers can now pay online for their orders, with the car-side payment option going away. Customers can enter their card information before submitting their order, just like any other online service, and they can store up to four different cards for convenience.

– Andy Meek

Dean Named CEO Of Nonprofit Alliance

The board of directors of The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence has unanimously voted to name Kevin Dean as permanent CEO. Dean has served as the alliance’s interim CEO since February. More than 100 qualified professionals from across the country applied and were considered.

During his time as interim CEO, Dean has worked quickly to analyze organizational operations and prepare the alliance for continued success, according to the organization. He also worked closely with the board to determine how the alliance’s current programming serves its members, a process that included studying similar local and national organizations, as well as gathering feedback from key leaders, alliance members and others in the local nonprofit community.

“Kevin is well-known in our community for his ability to implement innovative strategies in the nonprofit sector and serve as a knowledgeable, resourceful connector among Memphis organizations,” said Carrie Burke, chairwoman of the alliance’s board of directors, in a statement.

Before joining the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, Dean was the executive director of Literacy Mid-South. The alliance’s board said his experience there was a key factor in the decision to name him CEO.

“Accepting this position and serving the alliance is a logical next step for me,” Dean said. “Leading the organization allows me to follow a passion at the very heart of who I am – connecting with and serving nonprofits that make an enormous impact in Memphis and the Mid-South.”

– Don Wade

St. Jude Continuing With Expansion Plans

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has filed for a $2.6 million building permit application for interior renovations on its 545 Danny Thomas Blvd. facility.

Rusty Foster of Evans Taylor Foster Childress Architects and Rodney Hubbard with MEDFAC Engineering were tapped to handle the design work.

In July, the hospital also filed a $1.1 million building permit application to install a new nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR, laboratory.

Belz Construction Services was listed as the contractor on that application.

– Patrick Lantrip

RE/MAX On Point Opens East Memphis Office

Jason and Laura Wallace, two Memphis-area real estate veterans, are the new broker/owners of RE/MAX On Point–East Memphis.

RE/MAX On Point, which is located at 5350 Poplar Ave., suite 700, has a staff of four brokers and 12 residential real estate professionals who work in all areas of real estate, including foreclosures, corporate/military relocations, first-time homebuyers, luxury home sales and commercial.

Their new 3,500-square-foot office space will have 11 private office suites, a conference room and a collaborative area.

“The Shelby County year-to-date average sales price has increased by 3.8 percent,” Laura Wallace said in a release. “It’s a great time to be in the business and an excellent way to serve members of our community.”

– Patrick Lantrip

U of M Commencement To Be Held Aug. 6

The University of Memphis will award degrees to 706 students, including 48 doctoral degrees, at its summer commencement Sunday, Aug. 6, at noon at FedExForum.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Abby Parrill-Baker, recipient of the 2017 Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award.

Parrill, a professor of chemistry, has distinguished herself as a research scientist with more than $5.3 million in shared external research funding, co-authorship or co-editorship of 100 publications, co-inventor on six patents, and contributions to more than 200 scientific presentations. Parrill’s research has focused on the characterization of three-dimensional structures and the application of such structures in the drug discovery process.

Parrill also has received teaching awards from all three academic institutions at which she has served – the University of Arizona, Michigan State University and the U of M. She has made important administrative contributions to the University of Memphis, first as chair of the chemistry department from 2010 to 2014 and now as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences.

– Don Wade

EdR Sees Drop In Q2 Net Income

Memphis-based collegiate housing management and development specialists EdR posted second-quarter net income of $6.1 million, or 7 cents per diluted share, the company announced Monday, July 31.

While this figure is much lower than the $17.7 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, from the second quarter of last year, the company attributed the decline to a $12.1 million gain from the sale of collegiate housing properties during the year-ago period.

Additionally, operating income fell to $8.6 million, a $0.9 million decrease, while a 13.7 percent increase in revenue was offset by a 17.5 percent increase in operating expenses.

EdR received the right to negotiate two new on-campus developments in the second quarter, including a 425-bed development at Lehigh University and a 650-bed development at Mississippi State University that has the potential for an additional 950 beds in the future.

“With the newly announced awards at Lehigh and Mississippi State and the previously announced awards at Cornell, Thomas More and the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, we have been awarded a total of five on-campus developments so far in 2017,” EdR CEO Randy Churchey said in a release. “The two new awards will be nice additions to our current, fully funded, development pipeline, which represents embedded growth of 47 percent over year-end 2016.”

Among other highlights for the second quarter, EdR sold The Reserve on Stinson, a 612-bed community serving the University of Oklahoma, for $18.2 million. It also postponed the delivery of Avid Square, a $33 million development at Oklahoma State, from 2017 to 2018.

– Patrick Lantrip

Burger Fest Announces 2017 Festival Lineup

Best Memphis Burger Fest has announced its 2017 festival lineup for Oct. 7 at Tiger Lane.

The festival, now in its sixth year, will feature cooking competitions, live music and an inaugural bobbing-for-burger competition, along with other things. It’s a daylong event where more than 40 teams compete in four categories: Bloody Mary, Veggie Burger, Anything Goes Specialty Burger, and Best Memphis Burger – a Classic Cheeseburger Competition.

Burgers are graded on three criteria: appearance, taste and execution. And while teams throughout the day are cooking for the highest score in each category and the ultimate title of Grand Champion of Best Memphis Burger Fest, they’re also encouraged to offer samples to festival attendees in exchange for a $1 donation.

Proceeds from Best Memphis Burger Fest benefit Memphis Paws Inc., a nonprofit that promotes responsible pet ownership and generates support for animal care and rescue organizations around Memphis. Thanks to Burger Fest, Memphis Paws has donated over $45,000 to local rescue groups and pet organizations across the Mid-South since 2012.

In addition to cooking competitions, new to Burger Fest this year is the burger-bobbing contest to complement the event’s signature burger-eating contest.

Burger Fest also will feature live music by Star & Micey, a catered VIP area, an official corn hole tournament, the Jack Pirtle’s Chicken Kids’ Zone area, food trucks, a vendor merchandise area and pet adoption area.

The festival will be open from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Admission is $10, and children under 12 get in free.

VIP passes are available for $50, which includes access to a tent with catered Jack Pirtle’s food from noon to 3 p.m., sponsored High Cotton Brew and other drink samples, two all-day Kids’ Zone passes and a Burger Fest souvenir cup.

More information on tickets, team registrations, judging and volunteer opportunities can be found at bestmemphisburgerfest.com.

– Andy Meek

Firehouse Subs Holding ‘H2O for Heroes’ Drive

Firehouse Subs hopes guests will help local first responders beat the heat when it hosts its annual H2O for Heroes bottled water collection drive Saturday, Aug. 5, at all Memphis Firehouse Subs locations.

Each guest will receive a medium sub when they donate an unopened, 24-pack of bottled water.

The donated water will be distributed to local fire departments, first responder agencies and community centers – helping children, the elderly and those in need of water during the scorching summer months when temperatures get dangerously high.

The initiative was started by a Phoenix, Arizona, franchisee in 2012. This is the second year the program has gone nationwide. Last year, more than 528,000 bottles of water were donated to first responders and citizens in need.

The initiative excludes Firehouse Subs in airports, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

– Daily News staff

Bartlett Shopping Center Sells for $1.4 Million

A Bartlett retail center has switched hands in a multimillion-dollar deal.

Robinwood Commercial Center, located at 6722 U.S. 70 in Bartlett, was purchased by California-based Kirama Investment Group for $1.4 million, according to paperwork filed with the Shelby County Register.

Gino Silvestri, acting as manager, signed the deed on behalf of the property’s previous owner, GSA Investments.

In conjunction with the purchase, Assefa Gebremichael with Kirama Investments took out a $740,000 mortgage with Bank of Holly Springs.

The 9,500-square-foot property, which is home to a Hollywood Feed and We Sell Tools, was appraised for just under $1 million by the Shelby County Assessor in 2017.

– Patrick Lantrip

St. Jude Signs Agreement To Commercialize Vaccine

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Serum Institute of India have signed a licensing agreement to complete the development and commercialization of a St. Jude vaccine against the respiratory syncytial virus, a virus that causes serious lower respiratory infections.

The agreement gives Serum Institute of India the right to design and conduct clinical trials of the patented St. Jude vaccine, known as SeVRSV. Infants are at particularly high risk for the infection and there are currently no approved vaccines.

RSV is the most common cause of lower respiratory infections in infants, and researchers have estimated that worldwide, in a single year, as many as 34 million children younger than 5 years old may experience an acute lower respiratory infection caused by RSV. What’s more, about 10 percent of those children may require hospitalization.

– Andy Meek

C'ville-Arlington Bridge Repairs Uncover Surprises

When the Tennessee Department of Transportation decided the time had come to replace 12 concrete slabs on the Collierville-Arlington Wolf River Bridge in July, they encountered some surprises.

The dozen concrete slabs were noted during a previous TDOT inspection of the top surface of the 85-foot-long bridge built in 1959 to create an overflow area for the Wolf River.

But once work crews in TDOT’s Bridge Repair Division removed those slabs they found more slabs that had to be replaced during what was to be a five-day closure of the bridge to all traffic approved by the town of Collierville and Shelby County government.

Forty of the 45 slabs on the bridge deck were replaced and other repairs were made including replacing the bridge rail and guardrail. The bridge was closed from July 10-17.

Meanwhile, TDOT has started long-term development of a replacement for the overflow area and the bridge.

– Bill Dries

MAA Earnings Stable In Second Quarter

Memphis-based MAA posted net income of $47.7 million for the second quarter ended June 30, up from $45.1 million a year ago.

MAA chairman and CEO Eric Bolton attributed the results to the company’s diversified portfolio of properties balanced across different submarkets.

The results for this quarter also included $4.2 million of merger and integration costs related to the Post Properties merger.

MAA completed an expansion development project located in Raleigh, North Carolina, and a new apartment community development located in Houston, Texas, during the second quarter. It has six development projects underway, including an expansion project in Charleston, South Carolina, that broke ground in Q2.

– Patrick Lantrip

Orpheum Adds Four New Board Members

The Orpheum Theatre Group, the nonprofit organization that operates the historic Orpheum Theatre and the Halloran Centre for Performing Arts & Education, has announced the addition of four new members to its board of directors: Dr. Noelle Chaddock, associate dean of academic affairs for diversity and inclusivity at Rhodes College; Terri Lee Freeman, president of the National Civil Rights Museum; Dr. Andrea Lewis Miller, president of LeMoyne-Owen College; and Brian Sullivan, principal/CEO of Sullivan Branding.

Robert Cox, shareholder at Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox PC began his term as chairman of the board in July. Current officers besides Cox include treasurer Bill Stegbauer and secretary Robert DelPriore.

Orpheum Theatre Group board members serve two-year terms and are eligible to serve three consecutive terms.

– Don Wade

Community LIFT Offering New Empowerment Grants

Community LIFT is now taking applications for its latest grant opportunity, an empowerment fund designed to provide financial assistance to residents and grassroots organizations involved in community improvement work.

The fund's purpose is to establish a network of resident leaders who are engaged and feel empowered to advocate for neighborhood revitalization that improves quality of life in Memphis’ under-resourced neighborhoods.

Residents, property or business owners, neighborhood associations, and grassroots, place-based groups are eligible to apply. Applicants must show evidence of resident/community support and attend a pre-application information session. The awards will be announced on Aug. 31.

To learn more, visit communitylift.org.

– Don Wade

BancorpSouth Shifts Corporate Structure

BancorpSouth Inc. is pursuing a corporate entity restructuring, whereby it will be merged with and into its wholly owned bank subsidiary, BancorpSouth Bank.

The bank will continue as the surviving entity following the reorganization, which essentially ends the bank holding entity within the corporation.

BancorpSouth chairman and CEO Dan Rollins said the board and management team believe a holding company structure “is no longer needed to support our business activities.”

The decision, Rollins continued, reflects the bank’s commitment to improve the efficiency of operations and said the reorganization will “eliminate redundant corporate infrastructure and activities and will help alleviate the burden of duplicative regulatory oversight.”

As a Mississippi state-chartered bank that is not a member of the Federal Reserve System, the bank will continue to be regulated and supervised by the FDIC and the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance.

The restructuring will have no impact on the board or executive officers.

– Andy Meek

FedEx Backs Away From Holiday Surcharges

FedEx will skip special charges for most packages shipped during the holiday season this year as it seeks to undercut rival UPS in a fight for a larger share of the millions of items bought online.

Memphis-based FedEx Corp. said Thursday that it won't charge extra for peak-season residential deliveries unless the package requires extra handling, such as for very large items.

On an average day, FedEx delivers more than 12 million packages to businesses and homes, but that can jump to 25 million on peak days in December.

Residential shipments represent a much smaller share of the company's revenue, but they are growing faster because of the rise of online shopping. Residential deliveries are relatively inefficient because homes are so spread out and a driver might take one package to a house instead of several to a business – that raises costs for FedEx.

The shipper said that from Nov. 20 through Dec. 24 it will add surcharges of $3 for packages needing special handling, $25 for oversized items, and $300 for unauthorized shipments.

– The Associated Press

PROPERTY SALES 36 154 6,546
MORTGAGES 34 94 4,129
BUILDING PERMITS 201 554 15,915
BANKRUPTCIES 43 126 3,396