Truckers get 30 percent pay hike at ICG
Drivers for Memphis-based Intermodal Cartage Company, part of the IMC Companies, have gotten a pay raise averaging more than 30 percent, the largest pay raise in the company’s history.
The company says the proactive increase by the nation’s largest, marine drayage firm is in response to a national driver shortage. Currently 90,000 drivers are needed nationwide and, according to the American Trucking Association, hundreds of thousands of new drivers will be needed to meet the rising demand over the next decade. IMC Companies is also involved with ATA and supports legislation to expand interstate trucking opportunities to include drivers between the ages of 18 and 21.
“The ATA notes that more than 70 percent of goods consumed in our country are moved by truck, so investing in drivers literally keeps America moving,” says Mark H. George, Chairman of IMC Companies. “Our effort to increase driver pay ensures that we will continue to be able to provide the superior service on which our customers depend.”
The average age of a commercial truck driver is 55 years old and only 6 percent of truck drivers are female, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. “Our goal is to retain seasoned drivers while attracting new talent to our growing industry,” George says.
We want our SFRs
Single-family rentals (SFR) have jumped 41 percent in Memphis, the 11th most significant increase in the country. Memphis is one of 22 of the nation’s 30 largest cities to witness its SFR stock expand faster than its multifamily inventory. The increase translated into 17,400 new SFRs, bringing the number to 60,000, while the 11 percent increase in the number of MFRs means that 8,500 new apartments have come on the market. 
The study by RENTCafe [] tracks the trend that SFRs have become “Plan B” for people who want to get out of their apartments, and can’t buy a house yet, or have lost their homes to foreclosure, short sale, or financial setbacks. A little over half of the total number of single-family home rentals on the U.S. market are occupied by families: married couples and parents with minor children. 
The findings show that over the past 10 years, SFRs have expanded twice as much as multifamily rentals. While SFRs grew by 31 percent, the multi-family sector (MFRs) went up by just 14 percent. In net gain, this growth translates into 3.6 million units vs. 3.2 million units added. With a 41 percent increase in SFRs, Memphis has the 11th fastest growing single-family rental market in the US. This increase means 17,400 homes turned into rentals here over the past 10 years.
At the metro level, the Memphis area reached a total of 95,600 single-family units, while the available stock of multi-family units is only slightly higher: 109,100.
Beefing up pest control
901 Pest Control Services has acquired Horn Lake, Miss.-based Bug Doctor Pest Control, which it sees as an opportunity to strengthen its business in West Tennessee and “expand our business to a growing North Mississippi market,” said Richard Hill, president and CEO of Hill Capital Partners, the owner of 901 Pest Control. 
The family-owned and operated business is planning growth by bringing in a higher mix of commercial pest and termite customers. Bug Doctor will continue to provide its services under its current name to its existing customers.
The acquisition of Bug Doctor makes the third pest company acquired made by Hill Capital Partners in the last two years. 901 Pest Control provides termite, pest, bed bug, rodent and mosquito services to more than 1,500 customers in the greater Memphis area. 
Opioid prescriptions down
Tennesseans are getting fewer opioids according to a new report. There were 6,709,154 opioid prescriptions filled at retail pharmacies in Tennessee in 2017, a nearly 9 percent decrease from the previous year and a 21.3 percent drop from 2013. The report, published by the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science (“Medicine Use and Spending in the U.S.,” April 2018) indicates that Tennessee outperformed most of its contiguous states and is on par with the national average for year-over-year improvements and five-year trends.
The Tennessee Medical Association, the state’s largest professional organization for doctors, points to the data as validation of the medical community’s ongoing efforts to self-regulate prescribing and reduce initial opioid dosage and supply. “This report shows that Tennessee’s medical community is driving real change in the initial supply of opioids in our state, despite the fact that clear data to help us identify who is writing excessive amounts for patients is available only to government regulators,” said Nita W. Shumaker, MD, TMA’s president. “Physicians for decades were told these medications were completely safe and faced potential litigation if we did not treat pain aggressively. As a result, patients developed unrealistic expectations about pain management. Once we recognized the addictive dangers of these medications we worked hard to change the culture and improve supervision. The report confirms that we are making progress.”
National trends show 22.2 percent fewer opioid prescriptions were filled in 2017 than had been filled in 2013.
Power Player
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 current issue has the complete list. 

S. Eugene Mathis

We also publish individual categories in other issues throughout the year, and we feature individual Power Players in our weekly Tip Sheet.
Today’s Power Player is S. Eugene Mathis, CEO, Mathis & Company dba Mathis, Tibbets &
 Massey, Inc. Surety bonding, contractors’ insurance, workers compensation, general liability, employee benefits, inland marine coverages. Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter, Associate in Risk Management. Adjunct professor, U of M. Former president, Memphis Chapter, Society of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters, Builders Exchange of Memphis. Sponsor, Fire Museum of Memphis.
Innovators of the Year
Business is pushed forward by change and evolution, and it is those in the forefront of that evolution — the tinkerers, the questioners, the visionaries — who keep the machine of commerce oiled.
But who are these people? We want to know. Send us your best and brightest nominations for our sixth annual Inside Memphis Business Innovation Awards issue coming in October. Please include any pertinent biographical or business information, and why the person, business, or organization should be recognized as a leader among innovators.
Email your nomination to [email protected]com. Deadline for nominations is July 1, 2018.