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VOL. 132 | NO. 146 | Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Daily Digest

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Accounting Firms Merge, Will Locate HQ in Memphis

Memphis-based certified public accounting firm Brundige Payne & Co. PC is set to merge with Chattanooga-based Henderson Hutcherson & McCullough, effective Aug. 1. The combined company, to be called HHM Memphis, will move to a centrally located headquarters at Memphis’ Kirby Centre, 1755 Kirby Parkway, in October.

Brundige Payne & Co. partners and employees are continuing in their current roles, and client service will be seamless as the transition to HHM Memphis is completed.

According to the companies, the combination of resources will provide a greater depth of expertise and wider array of services.

HHM Memphis will offer traditional and customized services to help move businesses forward with strategic planning and wealth retention. HHM’s affiliate companies – HHM Wealth Advisors and Southside Creative Group – will offer the Memphis area additional services of wealth management, retirement planning, branding, marketing, public relations and graphic design.

“We knew HHM would allow us to provide a broader range of services and deepen our capabilities to give our clients results-driven solutions,” Brundige Payne & Co. managing partner Bob Payne said in a written statement. “We look forward to serving more industries with our same exceptional personalized service for which we’ve become recognized.”

HHM managing partner Donnie Hutcherson said his company is pleased to partner with Brundige Payne.

“The partners there have established a legacy in Memphis, and we look forward to working with their clients to continue the level of service to which they are accustomed,” Hutcherson said.

– Daily News staff

‘Fed Up’ Campaign Warns Of Tougher Gun Penalties

The Memphis Shelby Crime Commission and the city of Memphis have launched a marketing campaign to warn would-be offenders about tougher state penalties and possible federal prosecution for violent criminals possessing a gun.

The “Fed Up” campaign raises awareness a new state law, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and passed this spring, that increases the penalty for a convicted felon with a firearm if the prior conviction is for a violent crime or drug trafficking. The law was a focal point of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s lobbying efforts as part of his long-term crime reduction strategy.

“We’re fed up. The citizens of Memphis are fed up with the type of senseless violent crime that claims lives and puts everyone’s quality of life at risk,” Strickland said in a statement. “This campaign will put violent criminals on notice – you’ll get a minimum of eight years in state prison for just having a gun, and when possible we’ll seek justice through our federal courts.”

With the new law in place, District Attorney General Amy Weirich and Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee Lawrence J. Laurenzi have reaffirmed their commitment to prosecute violent criminals in possession of a gun at the federal level.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office, along with our partners, will use every lawful tool we have to take violent offenders off our streets,” Laurenzi said. “We are coming after you. If you choose to illegally possess a firearm, you could be facing up to life in federal prison.”

Weirich said cases of felons in possession of guns will now be subject to the district attorney’s office’s no-plea-bargaining policy, .

The “Fed Up” campaign was based on a recommendation from the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission’s Operation Safe Community 3 plan. The recommendation stemmed from research conducted by the University of Memphis’ Center for Community Criminology and Research that showed that a previous campaign, “Gun Crime is Jail Time,” was successful in helping to drive down violent crime.

Trust Marketing, the same firm that developed “Gun Crime is Jail Time,” developed the “Fed Up” campaign.

– Daily News staff

John Madison Exum Towers Wraps Up $10M Renovation

John Madison Exum Towers, Memphis’ sixth-largest independent senior living facility, has completed a $10 million overhaul of Towers I and II, located at 3155 Sharpe Ave., and will unveil the renovations to the public Friday, July 28, at 10 a.m.

The renovations provide modern touches to the 240-unit high-rise facility, which was built in 1980, with the goal of meeting the needs of the aging baby boomer population.

The renovation project began in late 2015 through the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church’s partnership with Bluegreen Preservation & Development Co.; Charles E. Carpenter; Self + Tucker Architects; Patton & Taylor Construction; TESCO Properties; the Health, Educational and Housing Facility Board of the city of Memphis; and the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

– Patrick Lantrip

Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence Adds 4 to Board

The Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence has added four members to its board of directors.

The new members are Olliette Murry-Drobot, executive director of the Family Safety Center; Kiesha Davis, director of grant-making and capacity building at Memphis Music Initiative; Bonnie Hollabaugh, director of development for Christ Community Health Services; and Pat Mitchell Worley, owner of FanfareCR.

“Our board of directors has historically been a strong group of individuals who provided great direction for the alliance, but they haven’t been demographically representative of our city or the organizations we serve,” said Kevin Dean, interim CEO of the alliance. “We are making strides to change this by adding highly qualified members who represent a broader variety of nonprofit focus areas, yet share a common vision for better serving our community.”

The alliance also has taken steps toward leadership diversification – its board has a female chairperson for the first time in the organization’s 25-year history. Recently, the organization finished a research phase, revealing areas for growth.

– Don Wade

Radial Adding 3,000 Seasonal Workers

Omni-channel commerce technology and operations company Radial is adding 3,000 seasonal workers at its Memphis fulfillment center.

Radial is looking to beef up its fulfillment capabilities in advance of the holiday shopping season, the busiest time of the year in retail and ecommerce.

The company said its seasonal workers will have access to competitive hourly wages, overtime and holiday pay, flexible work schedules, employee discounts, and a referral bonus program, in addition to longer-term opportunities.

Visit radial.com/jobs for more information on the local seasonal job openings.

– Patrick Lantrip

U of M Professor Chairs International Conferences

University of Memphis professor Xiangen Hu recently served as the local arrangement chair for the 18th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Education (AIED) and the conference chair for the 10th International Educational Data Mining conferences, both held in Wuhan, China.

Hu is a professor in the University of Memphis’ departments of psychology, computer science, and electrical and computer engineering; the U of M’s Institute for Intelligent Systems; and at Central China Normal University.

According to the U of M, the artificial-intelligence conference provided opportunities to discuss approaches, techniques and ideas from the many fields that comprise AIED, including computer science, cognitive and learning sciences, education, game design, psychology, sociology and linguistics, as well as many domain-specific areas.

Two of Hu’s students, Jun Xie and Keith Shubeck, won the best poster award at the AIED meeting for their entry “Learning from Errors: Identifying Strategies in a Math Tutoring System.”

The EDM conference is the leading international forum for high-quality research that leverages educational data, learning analytics and machine learning to answer research questions that shed light on the learning processes.

This year’s conference received more than 120 submissions.

Hu, Robby Robson and Avron Barr presented a tutorial titled “Why Data Standards are Critical for EDM and AIED” that included discussions of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Total Learning Architecture and its efforts to incorporate standards.

– Don Wade

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