StrongGIRL Fest

StrongGIRL Fest

Stronggirl fest

By Emily Grace Cater

This article is brought to you by The Wendy Thompson Lending Team. More Than A Mortgage!

StrongGIRL Fest, what a wonderful way to support girls and women from all over. Girls are sometimes not able to do and be what they want to be, which this fest goes against all those negative thoughts. With fun activities, girls were able to be themselves while showing their strong attributes.

The activity that I helped run was with public speaking. Public speaking, though it is nerve racking, it shows that you have a voice. You get to speak your mind on a certain matter and show a different point of view that some people would have not seen before. I wanted to lead in this activity because I have seen when girls thought that they did not have a voice. When their opinion does not matter. This activity supports girls and their ideas on whatever they are talking about. When Hutchison and the Girl Scouts teamed up to create this fun day, they created a spark in the girls that came. When ever I would say what we would being doing in our room, I saw doubt that they would not be able to speak in front of everyone. Then I was surprised. The girls that looked like they were unable to speak in front of people, got up and spoke. 

You could tell by how they woke up when they were challenged by something. They stood up front of the class and told us what they would do if they were president and what makes a strong girl. Though some girls did not know what to say, in my mind I thought that they got up and spoke, that is what makes them strong.

Moments like this show how we will react to something that we are uncomfortable with. It shows that we can do something we thought we could never do. It paves the way for what girls might overcome in the future. Nevertheless, when you see the different people walking through the door you feel as though our future as strong women is secure.

The different places and faces show that we a strong in so many ways. In so many different people, with different backgrounds. It is so diverse but still connected over a broad subject, what makes a girl strong? Girls, they are supported and there is nothing anybody can do about it. This fest is just one example of our numbers, of our supporters, of our future.

It is a great feeling to know that I am supported as much as you are. Whether you are introverted, extroverted, girl, boy, different, you a supported even when you do not feel like it. Memphis supports you, your friends, you family they support you. The strong girl fest is a great way to show how wonderful you are.

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Studying abroad in London

Studying abroad in London

Studying abroad in London

By Ashley Bingham

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LIVING IN LONDON

Hey everyone! First off, thanks for stopping by! I’m super excited to be sharing what I’m passionate about and my experiences with you all here on this blog.

So this semester, I actually have the opportunity to be studying abroad with about twenty students from my university in London, which is such a blessing and I am so excited to be here!

We flew over here at the end of August, so we’re a couple weeks into our three month trip. I can already tell you that I am absolutely in love with the city and am looking forward to diving into the culture here, as well as getting to travel to surrounding countries later in the semester.

It has been quite an experience learning to adapt to the way of living here. Typically back in Nashville, we’re pretty much all used to driving everywhere (and sitting in traffic), but here, that’s not really the case. The people here rely on mainly public transportation, walking and biking wherever they go. It has been very strange trying to adapt to traveling everywhere like that, but I’m honestly loving it. Our group usually relies on taking the “tubes,” which is basically the subway, and taking London’s famous red double-decker buses (which are personally my favorite). Oh, and a lot of walking!

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Another thing we’ve had to adapt to is how people speak here. We all know that people here call french fries “chips” and chips “crisps,” but we have run into several confusing encounters that I never saw coming. There have been several times where we go to ask for something, but the language barrier, even though we all speak English, has been a bit of a struggle at times. Adapting to the language used here has been quite a challenge, but also very interesting.

Our group so far has done several things within London, such as riding the London Eye, several walking tours of different parts of the city, a biking tour of the city, saw Les Miserables in show, and so much more. I will be sure to post about the big events we do as a group, so be sure to look forward to that!

I am so beyond excited that I have the opportunity to be living in London this semester, and I’m also grateful that I get the opportunity to share these experiences with you all. Please feel free to ask me any questions about this trip or anything I post about.

Also, if anyone would like to see more about what I’m doing while I’m here, I am posting some short vlogs to my Facebook page, so please feel free to check those out as well.

Thanks for reading!

ashley bingham

Guest Blogger // InTheLifeOfAsh.wordpress.com

Ashley grew up in good ol’ Huntsville, Alabama, and is now currently attending school at Lipscomb University in Nashville where she is studying Journalism and New Media. Ashley’s goal when she graduates is to do something in either videography or writing, or any way that she can use her creativity to inspire and reach out to others. She enjoys writing about just about anything–from what she’s doing in life to tips or even just about things she finds interesting.

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Overcoming Barriers To Homeownership

Overcoming Barriers To Homeownership

Overcoming Barriers to homeownership

By KW – Alden Zuck

While some of the barriers to homeownership are out of one’s control or can take years to overcome, there are three barriers homeowners can blast through right now to get closer to having the keys in their hands.

Buying a home is not like buying a car: people benefit from bringing in an experienced partner to help them

Make a Mindset Shift

Our mind believes what we feed it, so we ought to feed it well. Many people have limiting beliefs that they will never own a home – and they are wrong. By simply shifting their mindset from “I can’t” to “I can,” they will put the wheels in motion to overcome the other barriers. Start today with writing down the goal of owning a home. Hang it up and tell yourself every day that this dream will be a reality. Then, focus on what you need to do to make it happen. Best of all, you don’t have to do it all on your own!

Partner with a Real Estate Agent.

Buying a home is not like buying a car: people benefit when they bring in an experienced partner to help them. Here are just a few of the many reasons why partnering with a real estate agent will bring you one step closer to becoming a homeowner:

– They have industry experience dealing with everything from inspections to selecting a lending option, which can save you time and money.

– They can guide you with your negotiations and save you money and headaches during the transaction.

– It’s like having a personal assistant search for homes that meet your criteria and delivering you the best options in your price point. They even have access to homes not yet listed on the internet.

– You don’t have to pay a real estate agent any money unless and until you purchase your home.

– And, if you work with a Keller Williams agent, you benefit from their exclusive tools and training unmatched by any other real estate company in the world!

More Families Are Putting Their Trust In Keller Williams Agents

One word for that fear … investment! Owning a home is an investment.

Make Decisions Based on Hope, Not Fear

The third thing you can do today to bring you closer to owning a home tomorrow is letting go of any fears or negative views about homeownership. Experts agree that even almost 10 years after the mortgage crisis and national recession, many people still have a fear of owning a home. Others worry that owning a home restricts their ability to move until they sell their home. One word for that fear … investment! Owning a home is an investment. True that all investments come with some risks; however, they can be minimized. Also, just because you bought the home doesn’t mean that only you can live there. If you decide one day you want to move, you can sell your home or use it as a rental investment property. This is another reason partnering with a real estate agent is a good idea. They can help you sell or rent your home when you are ready.

Now that you have three things you can work on today, let’s take a look at six other barriers to homeownership and what you can do to overcome them:

1. Saving for a Down Payment. Even though it is possible to put down as little as 3 percent on a home purchase, would-be home buyers still claim that the main barrier to owning a home is not having a down payment. Set a goal, even if it is a small amount, and save for your dream. Cut overhead expenses where you can – it will add up, and before you know it, you will have a down payment.

2. Having Poor Credit. Like saving for the down payment, repairing credit takes time. But your past credit doesn’t have to define your future goals. The best part about poor credit is that you can fix it. Consider working with a credit counselor to guide you with the activities you can do to expedite increasing your credit score.

3. Limited Lending Options. Even once you have the down payment saved, you still need to be approved for the home mortgage. Lending restrictions may put a damper on what type of loan you may qualify for, which will ultimately limit which homes you can afford to purchase. Make a list of your “must-haves” and your “wants” so that you can determine your home price range. Then, work with a real estate agent to find homes in that range and start conversations with various lenders to qualify for a loan that at least covers a home with your must-haves. Your wants can come later!

your past credit doesn’t have to define your future goals. The best part about poor credit is that you can fix it.

 

4. Job Uncertainty. Many people fear buying a home because they don’t feel that they have job security, or their job is one that may require them to relocate on short notice. Statistically, however, a home mortgage is generally less than rent. Selecting a home in a reasonable price range that fits your current financial status or is even slightly below is a good first step to overcoming this barrier.

5. Student Loan Debt. Many people want to pay off all their debt, including student loan debt, before they save for or purchase a home. Additionally, some student loan repayments might be so high that they leave little money available to cover a mortgage payment. If you feel that your student loan debt is holding you back from owning a home, talk to lenders to find out their professional recommendations. You are not alone with this and there are answers available!

6. Inventory Shortages. As the housing market shifts, so does inventory. Currently, the market is hot and there are more buyers than homes to be bought. This is another reason why hiring a real estate agent to help with the process will be a huge benefit.

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Who’s That Girl: Meet Rebekah Hedges

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  County Edge Task Force: getting real By Joe Kent This article is being brought to you by HomeTown Home Services, Is it time for a Home Improvement? The County EDGE Task Force continued their local reform work with a productive open discussion of challenging and...

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9 Year Old Writer/Director Will Premier His Movie

9 Year Old Writer/Director Will Premier His Movie

9 year old writer/director will

premiere his movie

in Houston for Bully prevention month

By I AM HOUSTON MEDIA

Michael Myles Hayes, the 9-year-old director from Houston, Texas will Premiere his short film ‘Beast Factor’ in Hollywood during National Bully Prevention Month!

Beast Factor a movie selected by Reel Black Men Movie Festival brought to by Black Hollywood will premiere at the Raleigh Studios in Hollywood on October13th, 2018 at 7:00pm.

I AM HOUSTON MEDIA is pleased to announce the release of its new short film ‘Beast Factor’ during National Bully Prevention Month, starring Braden Balazik, Jean R. Shaw, Jaylen Christopher, So ‘Cara Milan Anaye. The film is written and directed by Michael Myles Hayes, and produced by Chukwuemeka Uchegbu.

Beast Factor tells a story of a 6 year old Connor MCFarmland. At just two years old CONNOR MCFARLAND goes in for a flu shot with his parents, but the doctor’s poor hygiene causes the standard shot to morph into a strange serum that causes little boys to grow beast-like tendencies when taunted or angered. Six years later, Connor is now is third grade and known to be the quietest in the 30-student classroom. After arriving late to class, he’s subjected to relentless bullying from his peers, including name-calling, taunting, paper balls being thrown, just to name a few.

 Although their teacher MS. GARRETSON tries to stop the bullying, it always happens when her back faces the class. But soon, Connor reaches full rage, screams, and dives for the corner, where he plugs his ears and curls into himself. Although the biggest bully, JASON, suspects Connor is faking his anger to get attention, everyone else believes there’s something more going on. Ms. Garretson attempts to console Connor, but they’re forced to bring his big sister CASEY MCFARLAND in to help settle him down. She explains the truth about Connor’s past and reveals that the only way for his full rage to disappear is to offer him some kind words. Immediately, the students compliment Connor on all his positive attributes. Even the nastiest bullies speak kindly to Conner as he slowly returns to normal. Ms. Garretson ends the day by asking the students about the valuable lesson they have learned, as they stop treating Connor differently for simply being different. 

‘Beast Factor’ is making a huge debut throughout the country during October which is National Bully Prevention Month.  ‘Beast Factor’ will premiere at Galveston Island Film Festival & Conference on October 6th, 2018 in Galveston, Texas. Also, the epic movie will get to premier at the 2018 MPAC Film Fest Event happening in Houston, Texas on October 11-13.

 “I am hoping that everyone will come out and see my movie and after seeing it they become more aware of the serious consequences of bullying and realize NO ONE IS BORN A BULLY!” said Michael Myles Hayes director of ‘Beast Factor.’

About the Director

Michael Myles Hayes is known to be an actor, musician and business owner. At 9, he wrote and directed his first film ‘Beast Factor’. The Texas born actor has featured in the popular TV mini-series The Long Road Home (2017), Queen Sugar and Undercover Boss. Michael has played prominent roles in films such as The Beach (2018), Monkey Up (2016) and Caeli Auxilium (2015). He’s mission is to work hard and expand his horizons and become the greatest actor ever to be known in Hollywood.

To add to watchlist click https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7807024/ 

Duncan Williams Presents:

It's Happening in Memphis

Benefiting the memphis botanic gardens

2018 
Live at the gardens lineup

  • May 26th - SUMMER SYMPHONY AT THE LIVE GARDEN
  • June 1st - RASCAL FLATTS
  • June 20th - MIDLAND with Trent Harmon
  • June 29th - TRAIN
  • July 12th - BOY GEORGE & CULTURE CLUB with the B52'S
  • July 28th - GLADYS KNIGHT
  • Sept 7th - BIG & RICH

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community powered what's your story? Sponsor Spotlight The Blues Foundation Our Mission is to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of the uniquely American art form. Through...

Who’s That Girl: Meet Rebekah Hedges

  community powered what's your story?   Event spotlight Meat Me in Memphis Gala Meat Me in Memphis is our sole fundraising event for the Monogram Loves Kids Foundation. Our annual Meat Me in Memphis is held at one of Memphis’ iconic gala venues, The Columns at One...

Edge Task Force: Getting Real

  County Edge Task Force: getting real By Joe Kent This article is being brought to you by HomeTown Home Services, Is it time for a Home Improvement? The County EDGE Task Force continued their local reform work with a productive open discussion of challenging and...

Twisted Time Creations

twisted time creations art that speaks memphis This article is brought to you by Krewe of DeJavu Check out their menu!Introducing myself, we can start with my name being Conner. It is my mom’s maiden name. I’m 42, and I was born and raised in Memphis. For the last 18...

Time to #BeAmazing

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A Simple Conversation Can Change the World

A Simple Conversation Can Change the World

Never underestimate how
A simple convertsation
Can change the world

By Melanie Schild

This article is brought to you by The Wendy Thompson Lending Team. More Than A Mortgage!
One of my favorite times of the day was the drive to school with my girls. In a world of constant hustle and bustle, I loved the uninterrupted conversation the commute provided with my two daughters.

 

One day, the conversation centered around an upcoming seventh-grade student government election.   I was excited my daughter had taken an interest in student government. She had worked hard developing her platform, creating campaign materials, and speaking with her peers. Seeing this commitment made this parent very proud.
With a natural interest in girl leadership, I inquired how she thought the election would go. My daughter’s expression changed to resignation. “I won’t get it.”

 

“Hmmm,” I thought, “What about Sarah?”—another very active and bright girl in her grade. “No, she won’t get it either,” replied my daughter. Then I asked about another girl who was running, and the answer was still no.  Finally, I asked, “Well, who do you think will win then?”
My daughter mentioned a boy in her classroom who I hadn’t heard her talk about before. “He will win,” she said, “because none of the girls will vote for each other. No one would want the other one to win.”
Wow!  That innocent conversation really pointed out that as women we start at an early age being fearful of the success of other girls and women.  As I began telling the story to friends and co-workers, I knew we were on to something.  I heard first hand how many women and girls had been affected by comparison and competition, the fear of other females being better than oneself.   The competition might have started on the playground, but it was still alive and well in the workplace or the PTA.
Out of a normal mother-daughter conversation, the Stand Beside Her Movement was born.
As women, we all been affected by the constant comparison and competition among each other.  And not the healthy I am going to try my best and you try your best, but the kind that tears down our self-esteem, that makes us question if we are good enough or if we are lacking the right skills, looks or abilities to be our best.  The competition and comparison start as early as kindergarten when girls notice certain attributes that other girls have who are getting the teacher’s attention, the one who gets to say the pledge or is called on.  Girls start developing social circles and having a need to belong around that same time, that is why organizations like Girl Scouts is so important for a girl’s development and sense of I can do anything.
National Stand Beside Her Movement
but continues into adulthood. In the media, television shows and advertisements display women in conflict and turn it into entertainment. In the workplace, women find themselves being pit against each other instead of opening the door for more women at the table. Moms shame other moms. Daughters hear and bear witness to the competition—and the cycle of negativity continues.
Our Girl Scout council knew we were onto something – an idea that could change the way women interact with each other from now into the future. That idea was the National Stand Beside Her Movement.  The National Stand Beside Her Movement encourages girls and women to connect and support each other; to value ourselves and have the confidence to celebrate our own unique gifts and applaud the successes of others. We commit to change our current culture of negative comparison and competition and learn to celebrate and lift up each woman and girl so that together, we can change the world.
The National Stand Beside Her Movement has reached girls and women from Hawaii to Maine.  With the support of corporations like FedEx.  Corporations like FedEx and ServiceMaster are utilizing their women’s initiative groups to support the movement and challenge other corporations to Stand Beside Her.
The best part of this movement is that girls are engaged, really engaged… they are putting positive posters in their schools, inviting new friends to sit at the table at lunch, and finding ways to talk about hard issues like mental health in teens or girls not being supportive of each other.  Girl Scouts across the country are challenging each other to Stand Beside Her by participating in a troop video challenge.  All Girl Scout troops are encouraged to take a stand against female aggression and comparison, to show support for each other and celebrate the gift of each girl being her unique self.    The mission of the Stand Beside Her movement resonates with girls and women.
At 9 years old, a girl’s self-esteem peaks—and then takes a nose dive. 39 percent of girls have been put down or discouraged when trying to lead. As a concerned citizen and mother raising two girls, I dream of a world where women Stand Beside Her—a world where girls are supported to fulfill their dreams and reach their full potential. It’s time to stop the cycle of constant comparison and competition, where we wonder if we are good enough.
The facts affecting women are already unbearable. Only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOS are women and the year it is estimated that women will reach parity with men in leadership roles in our country is 2085. We can’t fill that gap alone. The National Stand Beside Her Movement is a call to action that encourages girls and women to connect and support each other; to value ourselves and have the confidence to celebrate our own unique gifts and applaud the successes of others. We commit to change our current culture of negative comparison and competition and learn to celebrate and lift up each woman and girl so that together, we can change the world.
Become a part of the movement—for the next generation of women leaders and the girl you once were. Take a stand with us—now, during Stand Beside Her Week (October 28th – November 3rd), and every week. Want to join? Visit www.standbesideher.org
Melanie Schild became CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of the South in 2014. Since coming to Girl Scouts, she started along with Girls the National Stand Beside Her movement as well as  numerous leadership programs, including the Kaleidoscope National Leadership Conference, the She Leads Leadership program and the We Lead Institute.  Her most recent project has been helping girls create National Working Mother’s Day which was celebrated for the first-time last year.  Previously, she served as the Executive Director of Kappa Delta Sorority and Kappa Delta Foundation, Inc., and served on numerous boards including serving as President of the Association of Fraternity Executives, President of National Panhellenic Conference Executives and a national trainer for the Association of Junior Leagues International.
Stand Beside her
Guest Blogger // www.StandBesideHer.org
Created by Girl Scouts Heart of the South, headquartered in Memphis, TN, the National Stand Beside Her Movement is a call to action initiative to mentor, support and develop women and girls; to end comparison and competition and create more collaboration and support for one another. The Stand Beside Her Movement culminates each year during the last week of October with National Side Beside Her Week to encourage people to commit to supporting girls and women in their lives, their home, their office and in their community. Stand Beside Her also hosts Stand Beside Her Memphis – a group of women and girl serving organizations in the Greater Memphis Area working together to carry out the Stand Beside Her mission on a local level.

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justmy features

Otis Rush, 1934 – 2018

community powered what's your story? Sponsor Spotlight The Blues Foundation Our Mission is to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of the uniquely American art form. Through...

Who’s That Girl: Meet Rebekah Hedges

  community powered what's your story?   Event spotlight Meat Me in Memphis Gala Meat Me in Memphis is our sole fundraising event for the Monogram Loves Kids Foundation. Our annual Meat Me in Memphis is held at one of Memphis’ iconic gala venues, The Columns at One...

Edge Task Force: Getting Real

  County Edge Task Force: getting real By Joe Kent This article is being brought to you by HomeTown Home Services, Is it time for a Home Improvement? The County EDGE Task Force continued their local reform work with a productive open discussion of challenging and...

Twisted Time Creations

twisted time creations art that speaks memphis This article is brought to you by Krewe of DeJavu Check out their menu!Introducing myself, we can start with my name being Conner. It is my mom’s maiden name. I’m 42, and I was born and raised in Memphis. For the last 18...

Time to #BeAmazing

Share Your Story Today!

We believe there is an amazing story just waiting to be told inside everyone.  Stories that inspire change, ideas, and action.  Some stories are painful, some are fun, and others are life changing.  BeAmazing and share your story today on JustMy!
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EDGE Task Force – Pulling It All Together

EDGE Task Force – Pulling It All Together

EDGE Task force
pulling it all together
By Joe Kent – Guest Blogger

This article is being brought to you by HomeTown Home Services, Is it time for a Home Improvement?

EDGE TASK FORCE: PULLING TOGETHER
New local Legislative oversight is resulting in significant community benefits by publicly revealing opportunities for economic development improvement. This occurs after the fifth County EDGE Task Force meeting as Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) Task Force work begins to finalize in both City and County chambers.
Most revealing are gaps in economic development work that comes from a hyper-focus on excessive locally focused corporate / real estate tax incentives as the economic drivers of workforce development, public transit, small business and corporate site development are substantively ignored. It is clear lacking are a coherent economic development plan and a more comprehensive approach to economic development as documented in the Community Lift study entitled – “Searching for Economic Development Equity”. A plan would of course include a measurable definition for economic development. 
Local economic development surveys, on the record public testimony and task force deliberation can be leveraged to drive the expeditious development of a coherent plan. The Greater Memphis Chamber has been  established as the lead on economic development efforts while task force work leans toward optimizing the current Memphis/Shelby County EDGE organization in administering public resource programs to support economic development. 
Eric Miller, Greater Memphis Chamber Senior Vice President for Economic Development, in recent testimony focused on simplicity while referencing the Amazon Road Map community / economic development approach. And Dexter Muller, a local economic development expert, laid out an organizing plan framework that includes: sites, target industry sectors, workforce development and marketing.
A potential economic development definition emerged from Miller’s task force testimony as the business of bringing jobs to Memphis and Shelby County to help people improve their lives. This corresponds with the definition of the only known public survey on economic development conducted by the social media group and economic development thought leader Memphis Raise Your Expectations (MRYE) of economic development being about improving the social well being of people. 
Meeting Recap – EDGE Task Force 5
Harold Byrd, representing the Shelby County Chamber Alliance, led in testimony with a powerful video showcasing Shelby County as an economic development destination. Byrd championed improvement on education and legislative oversight while advocating for statewide Medicaid expansion. When asked about ways to improve economic development efforts, Byrd simply said “communicate like you are doing now” which goes to the benefits of current legislative oversight under the leadership of Commissioner Willie Brooks. 
To synergize efforts across Shelby County, Byrd referenced current work to formally involve the Shelby County Chamber Alliance in the Greater Memphis Chamber One Stop Shop for economic development recruitment which involves a range of local stakeholders. Similar to Eric Miller, Byrd advised against the creation of a  separate Memphis Industrial Development Board while preferring the current Memphis/Shelby EDGE structure. And, upon questioning from Commissioner Michael Whaley on a connected Shelby County wide approach to education/workforce development, Byrd did not answer although Byrd’s Bartlett Chamber did successfully lead the creation of the Greater Memphis Medical Device Council (GMMDC). GMMDC connects education and workforce development efforts with the thriving Bartlett area medical device industry. 
John Zennah, Director of Memphis/Shelby Planning and Development presented the Memphis 3.0 plan thus far which stresses investments in community planning, education, small business and infrastructure to support local economic development. One attention grabbing data point cited from Zennah’s presentation shows a 50% decrease in major corporate expansions and relocations from 2000-2012 while 72% of national job growth comes from small to mid-size firm expansions from 2009-2014.  
Zennah’s data seems to confirm concerns by Leslie Smith of the local entrepreneurial engine Epicenter Memphis. Questioning EDGE performance from 2013 in the City EDGE Task Force, Smith remarked “what is the focus of this group?” It would appear the focus is misinformed corporate / real estate tax incentives potentially based on the counsel of EDGE’s birthing organization in the highly deficient Memphis Tomorrow CEO organization. 
Taskforce members present included: task force Chairman Willie Brooks, Commissioner Reginald Milton, Les Binkley, Calvin Anderson, Al Bright, Carolyn Hardy and Ron Belz. Absent were Cary Vaughn, Eric Roberston and Jack Sammons. Commissioner Michael Whaley and Commission Chairman Van Turner attended and participated in questioning.
Pulling It Together
Using the above definitions of economic development, task force testimony and Dexter Muller’s plan framework, opportunities to improve local economic development efforts while using a connected countywide approach as championed by county task force member Cary Vaughn can be articulated as follows:
Sites – A centralized database of available sites would be developed specifically for economic development with public funding support provided for manufacturing site development while prioritizing road projects to support target areas for industrial development.
Target Industry Sectors – Support for local small business would be prioritized while responsible smart incentives for targeted industry recruitment would be determined by the Mass Economics study currently underway. The small business focus would align with Community Lift and Memphis 3.0 research. And corporate recruit prospects would be protected with confidentiality while being charged affordable fees if any at all given the competitive landscape. ( I will camp out waiting for the Mass Economics study as if for Led Zeppelin tickets)
 Workforce Development – A think BIG nation leading career education initiative should be considered given Shelby County’s youthful population advantage confirmed in testimony while developing the existing workforce, talent pipeline for the future and local community assets to attract talent. Workforce was stressed as the top priority throughout task force work which was also validated by Bradley Jackson, President of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, in a recent Memphis presentation.
Roles should be clearly defined for the Workforce. Investment Network (WIN) and The Greater Memphis Alliance for Competitive Workforce (GMACW) that are understood by all. Ideally, WIN would focus its workforce development efforts on out of school audiences and GMACW on in school audiences. The local education and economic development system needs an opportunity intervention in the implementation of a connected education to employment system to leverage Shelby County’s youth population advantage in support of economic development efforts. Stifled local small business solutions have been available for some time to solve the problem but lack of support for local small business has been culturally nomed in Memphis in this case at the expense of 60,000 learners.
Additionally, community leadership organizations such as the Greater Memphis Chamber need to advocate for a specific dedicated funding source to support adequate public transit that supports a more reliable workforce while improving community assets to decrease transportation costs and improve quality of life while attracting  talent to the area.
Marketing – Along with Memphis 3.0 and from Eric Miller’s testimony, the Amazon Road Map community/economic development policy pronouncement of the University of Memphis should be leveraged in developing the Memphis/Shelby County economic development product. Miller’s Amazon Road map testimony coincides with recommendations made to the City Council and County Commission by MRYE. 
The Amazon Road Map consists of the following community/economic development categories: 1) prepared career ready workforce 2) public transit 3) quality university, 4) quality of life, 5) efficient air travel and 6) responsible economic development tax incentives. 
And finally, funding support should be provided to the  Greater Memphis Chamber by the City and County in support of marketing and industry recruitment efforts. 
The lack of a comprehensive measurable definition and plan for economic development along with informed legislative oversight and communication seemed to emerge as the chief challenges of current economic development efforts. A coherent plan combined with legislative oversight and improved communication will drastically improve local economic development efforts. 
Oversight, Communication, and Measurement
Given the benefits of this new legislative economic development oversight, quarterly City and County legislative oversight should continue while involving The Greater Memphis Chamber and EDGE. The Chamber One Stop Shop along with the  Shelby County Joint Economic Development Commission should be vigorously engaged to improve communication and connect economic development efforts throughout Memphis and Shelby County. 
As for primary measurement, Memphis Corporate Community Leadership (MCCL) Measured would propose net tax proceeds to align with the economic development definition of improving the lives and social well-being of people. Net tax proceeds would result from a calculation that would measure tax proceeds resulting from above/below Shelby County average percentage peer total wage growth less job-related tax incentives. 

The data for total Shelby County wage and average peer wage growth would be collected from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics program of Quarterly Census of Employment Wages. Shelby County peer counties would be identified using the peers as identified by The Memphis Economy of The University of Memphis. MCCL Measured is the first ever and only locally available measurement tool for the MCCL complex regarding taxpayer funded initiatives.

Governance and EDGE Board
While local concerns regarding EDGE seemed to start with governance, that concern waned as task force work progressed. However, instead of the current dual mayoral reporting structure, it would seem EDGE Board  management over the EDGE CEO would be more in alignment with traditional management structures. Perhaps both City and County Mayors could be added as ex-officio EDGE Board members which would give them votes on an EDGE Board with management authority over the EDGE CEO. 
Regarding the EDGE Board, without going into previously covered performance issues, it’s past time for the following EDGE Board members to be replaced: Al Bright, Tom Dyer,  Natasha Donerson, Jack Moore, Mark Halperin, Johnny Moore and Larry Jackson. 
These board members have served on the tax abating EDGE Board for well over four years without term limits. Their departure is needed as a fundamental system check while replacing the corporate / real estate heavy EDGE Board with a more professionally diverse board. Representatives for a new more balanced board would represent professional interest from education, workforce development, public transit and small business in addition to corporate/real estate interests. 
Conclusion – Good News!

 

Local economic development efforts can only improve with informed legislative oversight, a coherent plan supported with a measurable definition of economic development and improved communication across Shelby County. This will allow connected economic development efforts to pull in the same direction for the benefit of all in Memphis and Shelby County. Let’s get started !

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