HELLO 2019

The Inside Memphis Business Tip Sheet is taking a brief vacation and will return early in the new year. In anticipation of 2019, we offer you a couple of nuggets to help you batten down the hatches:

– The combined effects of 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), current monetary policy, and a widening trade war will reduce the pace of nation’s economic growth in 2019, says a new report from Ball State University. “While we expect the pace of U.S. GDP growth to be at or near 3 percent in 2018, we anticipate it slowing to 2.3 percent in 2019,” says Michael Hicks, director of Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research and an economics professor.

He also says the national economy is in its ninth year of expansion, with labor markets performing strongly, the unemployment rate is now beneath all common estimates of full employment, and wages have growth over the year of nearly 1.0 percent above the traditional consumer measures. GDP growth in 2018 was stronger than in 2017, but not historically unusual, even for this relatively slow recovery. Promoting growth in 2018 was the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which motivated higher consumer spending, Hicks said. The TCJA lacked a large investment stimulus and resulted in much larger budget deficits, which causally increased the trade deficit through 2018, he says.

– Meanwhile, global trend forecaster Gerald Celente‘s newly released Top 10 MegaTrends for 2019 also peers into the crystal ball. Let’s hope he’s wrong about many of these.

  • Economic 9/11

Economic 9/11” is poised to strike and cause equity and market meltdowns worldwide, as many economies already in recession or headed for recession, crash. Can it be stopped?

  • Human Waves

The Great Migration trend accelerates across the globe in 2019. So, too, do populist movements that will begin to dismantle entrenched governments and push nationalism.

  • America Puritan 2.0:

Welcome to Puritan America. Watch what you say, how you say it, where you say it, when you say it and who you say it to. America and other countries will increasingly impose Puritan standards across all aspects of life – business, entertainment, education, etc.

  • Censorship 2019

Governments across the globe, regardless of what political doctrine they profess, in collusion with social media giants, will accelerate the Censorship 2019 trend. But opportunity exists to circumvent the government/media monopolies by creating alternatives.

  • Ready To Explode

The effects of America’s and other nations’ obesity will continue to take its toll and bear a heavy price tag. But opportunities exist for “OnTrendpreneurs” (a Celente enterprise) to address this epidemic.

  • Bye, Bye Boomers

The world is not prepared for the impact the Bye, Bye Boomers trend is about to unleash. The golden years for millions of seniors in 2019 will be marked more by how to survive rather than how to thrive, but opportunities to meet these needs will emerge.

  • Get High, Get Healthy:

The cannabis industry breaks through, making the transition from a strong entrepreneurial and small business playing field to big industry. Medical marijuana is especially ripe for explosive growth.

  • Blessed Are The Geeks:

The King James Bible got it wrong. The Geeks, not the “Meek,” have inherited the Earth. Here are some of the consequences.

  • Gen Z = Gen Zero:

It’s the 21st century Generation Z and much of their future will resemble very little of the past. What will define this generation is its over-reliance on digital communication, missing opportunities for self-expression, creative thinking and collaborative endeavors.

  • Dying Brands:

As more iconic brands die, new and old brands that create products and a marketing message that reflect uniqueness and relevance to specific audiences who are not satisfied by the product offerings of traditional brands will succeed.


– As part of a companywide rebranding initiative, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Memphis is changing its name to Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital. The 95,000-square-foot hospital is an 80-bed in-patient rehabilitation hospital whose mission is to provide full-scale rehab services to get patients back to leading active and healthy lives. A joint venture with Methodist Healthcare, the hospital provides treatment for orthopedic, cardiac, pulmonary, medical-surgical patients, and other specialized programs for stroke, spinal cord injury, and brain injury patients. The hospital also provides therapists to help with the transition back to the home after a lengthy rehabilitation campaign.

Stephanie Bridges, CEO of Encompass Health Memphis, says the name change is a step forward for the organization. “Our new Encompass Health brand reinforces our commitment to working together to continuously improve the care we provide our patients. With a focus on clinical collaboration and strengthening relationships, we will continue to play an important role in making a difference in the lives of our patients.”

The rebrand comes as part of a company-wide shift from Birmingham, Alabama-based parent company Encompass Health. The Memphis location will join Encompass’ other 129 in-patient rehabilitation hospitals and 273 home health and hospice locations in changing names.

— By Samuel X. Cicci

– In 2013, when Volunteer Odyssey was founded, Memphis was ranked 45 out of 51 in citywide volunteerism according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Since then, Volunteer Odyssey has partnered with more than fifty nonprofits in the Greater Memphis Area and matched more than 7,000 volunteers with volunteer opportunities. In the past year and a half, Volunteer Odyssey has tracked 97,893 volunteer hours which equals an economic impact of $2,207,480. The Corporation for National and Community Service released new data showing that Memphis has moved from 45 to a ranking of 24 in the nation.

– Leadership Memphis, whose mission is to prepare and mobilize leaders to work for the good of the whole community, is accepting applications and nominations for its Spring 2019 FastTrack class, which begins in February 2019. Applications and nominations can be submitted online through the Leadership Memphis website at leadershipmemphis.org/fasttrack.


– Although FedEx recently trimmed some jobs, the outlook is for long-term growth. Read Wayne Risher’s story in the Daily Memphian here.

– The Downtown Sheraton hotel is battling the development of a Loews hotel near the Memphis Cook Convention Center. Read Desiree Stennet’s story in The Commercial Appeal.

– Is Memphis Made Brewing eyeing the Edge District? The Memphis Business Journal has the details here.


Who’s getting promoted? Who’s closing big deals? Who’s getting awards? Inside Memphis Business magazine’s Hot Sheet has the latest on milestones in Memphis.

– Dunavant expanded its global leadership team with three new hires: Mike Williams(executive vice president of Dunavant Global Logistics Group), Clayton Fahey (senior vice president of operations), and Chelsea Cravens (vice president of global operations).

– Lehman-Roberts Co. and Memphis Stone & Gravel Co. have partnered to host a job fair on January 26th at the Whispering Woods Hotel & Conference Center in Olive Branch.

– Inferno expanded its team with the additions of Kelly Wade (account executive) and Sarah Yanakopulos (production artist).

– The Seam added Kristi Lofton as software engineer.

– BTI Consulting Group named Stites & Harbison, PLLC as a client service leader in the BTI Client Service A-Team 2019: The Survey of Law Firm Client Service Performance.

– Rachel M. Rice joined Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP as an associate. Her focus will be on the firm’s corporate and securities service team.

– Tioga Environmental Consultants hired Jordan Bolin as project coordinator.

– Plans for The Ravine, a public greenspace between Madison Ave. and Union Ave. in the Edge District, have been greenlit, and will be led by real estate development firm DSG.

– Five attorneys from Black McLaren Jones Ryland & Griffee, P.C. were included in The Best Lawyers in America 2019: Stevan BlackMike McLarenMark GriffeeWill Cochran, and Jana Lamanna.

– Helena Parfenova, PhD (pictured), professor of Physiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, received a $2.1 million grant to study mechanisms behind newborn seizures and potential new therapeutics.


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 Reid Dulburger:

President and CEO, Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) for Memphis and Shelby County. M.S., Carnegie Mellon; M.A., Georgetown University. Organizational responsibilities include business financing programs and tax incentive programs such as Foreign Trade Zone-77, PILOTs, TIFs; along with Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce and the International Port of Memphis. Chief economic development officer, Memphis and Shelby County. Former vice president, MemphisED Administration, Greater Memphis Chamber. Certified Economic Developer and Economic Development Finance Professional.

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