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Every year, Inside Memphis Business magazine honors four CEOs who have proven to be exemplary in their fields, leading their companies to success on local, regional, national, and international stages.

Today is the final day for nominations for the 2019 CEO of the Year awards. Memphis is graced with tremendously talented, inspiring executives in charge of their companies and organizations, and we want to hear from you about the best in the business. Email your nomination to [email protected]com and include the CEO’s resume and a description of why he or she should get the award: vision, achievements, business philosophy, employee relations, management style, special qualities.

We give out four awards in categories according to the number of employees in the companies: 1-50, 50-200, 200-1,000, and 1,000 and up, so include that information as well. The deadline for CEO of the Year is next Friday, November 16. When the nominations are in, an impartial panel will consider the nominees and pick one for each category. Each will be notified and interviewed for the February/March 2019 issue of IMB — and each will appear on the cover of the magazine. A breakfast in late January will honor the four CEOs.


– In a recent study, financial technology company SmartAsset measured how much people donate as a percentage of their net income, and the proportion of people in a given county who made charitable donations. Shelby County ranked as the third most charitable in Tennessee.

Here are the top three counties showing contributions as a percentage of income index, contributions as a percentage of population index, and most charitable counties index:

  • Williamson, 34.4, 78.8, 66.3
  • Fayette, 38.3, 53.3, 53.6
  • Shelby, 41.9, 48.2, 52.8

Speaking of generosity, check out the next issue of Inside Memphis Business, our annual look at local philanthropy, chock full of info on the state of giving in Memphis. Coming in December.

– An interactive “Tennessee Work Learn Earn” website has made its debut to raise awareness of career and education opportunities in Tennessee. The site, by the nonprofit Complete Tennessee, was developed in partnership with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development. It has information, tips and resources to help connect students and career-seekers with relevant education and job opportunities in Tennessee. Check it out here.

– With the average holiday spending in 2018 expected to reach over $1,000, an increase of 4.1 percent since 2017, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its 2018 Holiday Budgets by City report. Your results may differ, but the figures show that Memphis’ Average Holiday Budget for 2018 is $459. (No. 1 in the nation is Flower Mound, Texas, at $2,761).

Here’s the average consumer’s profile for our fair city:

  • Monthly Income: $3,278
  • Monthly Expenses: $2,854
  • Savings: $4,256
  • Age: 33.6
  • Debt-to-Income: 43.6%
  • Monthly Income-to-Monthly Expenses Ratio: 1.15
  • Savings-to-Monthly Expenses Ratio: 1.49

For more, go here.

Now go and spend wisely.

– Memphis-based Fogelman Properties has acquired Reserve Bartram Springs, a 268-unit garden-style community in Jacksonville, Fla. Fogelman’s Jacksonville portfolio is now more than 1,900 units.


– The Commercial Appeal reports on PILOTs awarded to three very different Downtown Memphis developments involving apartments. Read Max Garland’s story here.

– Is Amazon a threat to FedEx? Meagan Nichols at the Memphis Business Journal digs into the details here.

– The nearly $1 billion Union Row project recently announced has gotten people’s attention. Read Tom Bailey’s reporting in the Daily Memphian here.

– As Smart City Memphis puts it: “… the honest debate of recent months brought the workings of the ‘system’ to where they could be seen and evaluated.  For too long, they have been kept below the radar …” Read the commentary here.


Inside Memphis Business magazine has long been running the Hot Sheet feature of promotions and achievements in local business. We’re now running it in our weekly Tip Sheet email blast to keep the info more current.

– Santosh Kumar, PhD, (pictured) associate professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at UTHSC, received a $1.71 million grant to research smoking and HIV progression. The study looks at the detrimental effect smoking has on HIV-1 patients.

– Mollie K. Wildmann joined FordHarrison, LLP, as an associate.

– The Olympic Training Career Institute received official state certification to provide Commercial Driver’s License Training, and began teaching classes in August.

– Agape Child & Family Services held its annual HeartLight event and raised over $400,000 to support local children and families.

– Raye Otieno (pictured) joined Hope House as toddler teacher.

– Lehman-Roberts Co. hired Christopher Cook as maintenance planner and scheduler.


Inside Memphis Business magazine publishes a list of local Power Players every year. These are the movers and shakers in more than 30 categories who get things done in their respective fields. IMB’s April issue has the complete list. We also publish individual categories in other issues throughout the year, and we feature individual Power Players in our weekly Tip Sheet.

This week’s Power Player is Leslie Lynn Smith, president and CEO of Epicenter, a regional entrepreneurship hub. Drives strategy and measures impact among a partner network, connects entrepreneurs to resources to create an inclusive, growing economy. National entrepreneurial ecosystem thought leader. Board member, Center for American Entrepreneurship, InBIA, Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis, New Memphis. Former CEO, TechTown Detroit, a business accelerator and incubator.

For the complete list of Inside Memphis Business Power Players, go here.