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VOL. 10 | NO. 6 | Saturday, February 4, 2017

Daily Digest

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Pauline Vernon Named Interim Director of GMACW

Pauline Vernon, the vice president of workforce system alignment for the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce, has become interim executive director of GMACW, the organization announced Thursday, Feb. 2.

Vernon fills the job as GMACW president Glen Fenter leaves to become superintendent of the Marion public school system in Arkansas.

Fenter has been leader of the alliance since it was started in 2015. He will continue to serve in an advisory position at GMACW through June.

The alliance board has begun a search for a president.

– Bill Dries

Dean to Replace McGee As CEO of Nonprofit Alliance

Nancy McGee, who has given 25 years of service to the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence, is retiring as CEO of the organization, but will remain with the alliance as CEO emeritus through April.

Kevin Dean, former executive director of Literacy Mid-South, has been named interim CEO.

“Nancy has been essential in building the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence into the vibrant organization it is today,” said Carrie Burke, chairwoman of the alliance’s board of directors. “We are fortunate that Nancy is leaving us with a strong foundation and vision for the future, and that the timing allowed for Kevin Dean, a talented, proven leader with ample nonprofit experience, to assume the role as interim CEO.”

McGee led the organization as it grew from a small grant-writing center to a holistic nonprofit support organization that offers management services to more than 200 members. Today, the alliance provides educational opportunities and support to local nonprofit organizations in areas of financial sustainability, human capital, impact and advocacy.

Additionally, McGee spearheaded a statewide study of the economic impact of nonprofits across the state of Tennessee showing that nonprofits are the state’s sixth-largest industry and generate more than 10 percent of our gross state product.

One of her most-recognized accomplishments is the establishment of the Nonprofit Advisory Council in 2016, a group of nonprofit leaders that provides counsel to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and his cabinet on issues impacting the community, including health and human services, housing, youth development, community development and crime prevention.

Under McGee’s leadership, the alliance brought more than $265 million in national grant funding to Memphis nonprofits. McGee will continue to serve as the coordinator of the council in her CEO emeritus role.

“It’s been a privilege to serve Memphis’ nonprofit community and see firsthand the on-the-ground work that is being done by nonprofit leaders who are passionate and committed to making this community a better place to live,” McGee said. “I’m leaving the organization in good hands; Kevin and I have known each other for many years, and he possesses the leadership skills and ambition needed to continue the implementation of our strategic plan.”

During his time as executive director of Literacy Mid-South, Dean brought attention to the organization by streamlining organization operations, developing engaging programming and aggressively fundraising – ultimately tripling the organization’s liquid assets. In recent months, Dean has served local nonprofits as a consultant through his own consulting firm, Kevin Dean Consulting.

Dean and the board of directors will evaluate the alliance’s progress toward goals laid out in its three-year strategic plan from 2015, making necessary adjustments to further the organization’s initiatives.

"I am honored to take on the interim CEO role for the organization," Dean said, "and it will be my goal to further enhance what Nancy built in her tenure with the organization both for current and future nonprofit members and so we can best impact the community for the long term.”

– Don Wade

U of M to Enhance Student and Employer Relations

The University of Memphis is now offering a one-stop center for students and employees to connect. The U of M has centralized its academic and not-for-credit internship program and established a network of career development specialists to support better communication and tracking of opportunities. This effort will provide sustainable results for both employers and students. “Tiger Talent,” as it is called, is the community’s source for high-touch, concierge-type service for employers.

“We have had employers tell us they weren’t sure how to connect with the talent they were seeking,” said Lendon Ellis, director of corporate partnerships and economic development at the university. “In our effort to be responsive to employers, we developed many entry points, and that was sometimes confusing, especially to employers seeking a new relationship with the university.”

Newly established “Talent Communities” will help employers connect with the students they seek to employ. Two key goals of this initiative are to provide a one-stop service center to both employers and student talent seeking to connect and engage in internships and employment, and allow all U of M students to receive early counseling pertaining to career planning and professional development. The university is considering making this a requirement for all students.

Talent Communities highlight existing academic areas, but also unite similar studies from different departments that would typically be sought after by a common employer.

The new career services model will be fully implemented this summer, but a pilot and marketing campaign are already underway.

A kickoff event for employers will be held this spring. Contact Tiger Talent at 901-678-2239, careerservices@memphis.edu or www.memphis.edu/TigerTalent for more information.

– Don Wade

Methodist University Wins Distinction for Stroke Care

Methodist University Hospital has earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers.

The Gold Seal of Approval and the Heart-Check mark represent symbols of quality from their respective organizations.

With this certification, Methodist University Hospital joins a group of health care organizations focused on highly specialized stroke care. To be eligible, hospitals must demonstrate compliance with stroke-related standards as a Primary Stroke Center and meet additional requirements, including those related to advanced imaging capabilities, 24/7 availability of specialized treatments, and providing staff with the unique education and competencies to care for complex stroke patients.

– Andy Meek

Archer Malmo Wins 32 NAMA Awards

Memphis-based Archer Malmo was recognized by the Mid-South Chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association at its 2016 Best of NAMA Awards ceremony, receiving 22 awards from the chapter as well as 10 from other NAMA regions.

The Best of NAMA program honors the best work in agricultural communications. Archer Malmo won its awards on behalf of its ag-industry clients, including The Cotton Board, Valent U.S.A. Corp. and Dulaney Seed.

“Farmers and growers are bombarded with messages and our challenge is to reach this audience with authentic messages that reflect our clients,” Mike Butler, senior vice president and group account director for Archer Malmo, said in a statement. “We are proud that our work communicates with audiences in ways that are relevant, memorable and actionable without getting lost through insights and memorable creative.”

The Mid-South Chapter Best of NAMA Awards included 10 companies and seven agencies. The chapter competes in Region V, which includes entries from the Carolinas/Virginia, Florida, Mid-South and Southeastern NAMA chapters.

Outside of the Mid-South Chapter awards, Archer Malmo won a Regional First Award in the Western/Pacific NAMA region and nine awards in the Cornhusker, Gateway, Great Plains, Missouri-Kansas, Rocky Mountain and Southwest region.

NAMA regional finalists go on to compete in the National NAMA Best of Competition in Dallas in April.

– Daily News staff

State: Planned Parenthood Condom Funding Required

The Tennessee Department of Health says Shelby County government is required to fund a grant to Planned Parenthood for the distribution of free condoms as part of larger effort to combat the spread of the HIV virus.

The Jan. 27 letter from state health department’s HIV prevention director, Melissa Morrison, surfaced Wednesday, Feb. 1, during Shelby County Commission committee sessions.

The commission delayed a vote on a $115,000 grant last year after commissioner David Reaves was incorrectly listed as a sponsor of the measure. Reaves is opposed to the funding.

But commissioner Walter Bailey was expected to try to add the grant to the Feb. 6 commission agenda. And the state’s position will be a factor in what is expected to be a protracted debate over the funding.

The commission has approved other grants to other agencies for condom distribution, which is a pass-through of state funding. But some commissioners object to any funding for Planned Parenthood because of the abortion services it provides.

The grant at issue does not involve abortions.

Morrison’s letter to the county’s administrator of HIV prevention services, known as the Memphis Ryan White Program, says Planned Parenthood Greater Memphis Region was among the local agencies who applied in November for the program and their proposal was among those accepted in December by the county’s Division of Community Services.

“This failure to act is in direct violation of the obligation … of your grant contract, which provides that the grantee shall execute contracts with successful proposers at approved award amounts,” Morrison wrote. “Not only does this failure to complete the execution of a contract violate your contractual obligations to TDH (Tennessee Department of Health), we have reason to believe it may be motivated by matters unrelated to the ability of the proposed subgrantee to meet its obligations under the subgrant.”

Morrison also cited a federal court order that “expressly prohibits such extraneous considerations in conjunction with the provision of these services.”

Local Planned Parenthood director Ashley Coffield said the agency has had a contract for the condom distribution since 2013 and has continued doing so even though the commission has not approved the latest grant contract.

Coffield said if the contract isn’t approved, Planned Parenthood will file a federal lawsuit over the commission’s refusal.

– Bill Dries

US Attorney Stanton Announces Resignation

Edward L. Stanton III has announced his resignation as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, effective Feb. 28.

Stanton, who has served as U.S. attorney since August 2010, called the job “the professional honor of a lifetime.”

“To be able to serve the district where I was born, raised and educated, and for which I have tremendous love and respect, was a remarkable experience,” he said in a statement. “I am tremendously grateful to President Obama, Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker and Congressman Steve Cohen for placing their trust in me.”

In 2011, Stanton created a dedicated Civil Rights Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The unit, which has earned national acclaim, is responsible for prosecuting individuals who commit federal civil rights crimes, such as human trafficking, law enforcement corruption, excessive force, official misconduct, hate crimes, predatory lending, unfair housing and Americans with Disabilities Act violations.

“I am proud of the work we have accomplished in and out of the courtroom, including building meaningful bonds of trust with the community we serve,” Stanton said. “As I step away from this esteemed post, I remain committed to being actively engaged in serving our great community.”

– Daily News staff

East Memphis Office Sells for $5.7 Million

Nashville-based Priam Capital has expanded its Memphis portfolio with the purchase of a 45,000-square-foot office building along the Poplar corridor.

Priam, acting as 5400 Poplar LLC, purchased the office building at 5400 Poplar Ave. from HBAM Member Services for $5.7 million, according to a Jan. 31 warranty deed filed with the Shelby County Register of Deeds.

James Reid, acting as president of HBAM, signed the warranty deed on behalf of the seller.

The 45,058-square-foot Class B office building was built in 1984 and sits on 2.1 acres at the northeast corner of Poplar and Valleybrook Drive, according to the Shelby County Assessor of Property. It was appraised at $4.2 million in 2016.

In conjunction with the purchase, 5400 Poplar LLC and Priam Capital filed a $4.3 million mortgage with Paragon Bank, the property’s anchor tenant. The loan will mature July 27, 2022.

In July, Priam paid $8.6 million for the Grove Park Building at 4515 Poplar, located in front of Oak Court Mall. Priam’s first venture into the Memphis market, Grove Park had an occupancy rate of 96 percent at the time of the deal.

Michael Donahoe, vice president of Avison Young, brokered the sale of 5400 Poplar. Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors will manage the building.

– Patrick Lantrip

December Unemployment Rates Rise in Tenn. Counties

The unemployment rate in all 95 Tennessee counties rose during the month of December, according to the Tennessee Department Labor and Workforce Development.

Williamson County had the lowest overall unemployment rate at 3.5, while Lake County posted the highest at 10.2 percent.

As for the four large metro areas in Tennessee, Davidson County had the lowest rate at 3.6 percent, which increased from 3.5 percent in November, and Shelby County had the highest rate at 5.5 percent, which increased from last’s month’s 5.3 percent mark.

– Patrick Lantrip

First Horizon Raises Dividend 29 Percent

First Horizon National Corp. has decided to hike its quarterly cash dividend on common stock by 29 percent.

The company’s board approved payment of a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of 9 cents per share payable April 3 to common shareholders of record on March 10.

The per-share quarterly cash dividend in 2016 was 7 cents a share. The 29 percent increase also raises the regular annual common dividend rate from 28 cents per share to 36 cents per share.

Memphis-based First Horizon is the parent company of First Tennessee Bank.

– Andy Meek

RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 98 172 17,556
MORTGAGES 101 194 20,229
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 2 11 2,656
BUILDING PERMITS 223 349 36,295
BANKRUPTCIES 52 115 11,279
BUSINESS LICENSES 26 58 5,767
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 27 27 6,741
MARRIAGE LICENSES 17 68 3,984