On Wednesday morning at the corner of N. Main and Exchange, seven months into the $200 million Memphis Convention Center project, Memphis Travel president and CEO Kevin Kane pointed behind him at the recently-erected skybridge spanning the street. The connector between the Convention Center and the Sheraton Hotel, just one of many quality-of-life upgrades, is expected to be completed in December. The main lobby, which is being completely reconstructed, will be open and available to the public by December 1st. The street and Trolley Line are expected to reopen by July 14th.

Since the original structure is from the 1970’s, Yates Construction and the subcontractors were prepared for any unexpected surprises during the project. So far, everything has gone according to plan. “I’m pleased to announce we’re on time and we’re on budget,” said Kane. “Things could not be going any more smoothly.”

The goal, when all is said done, is to make the new Convention Center completely unrecognizable from the iteration that came before. “People who have worked in this building for 25 years, we could blindfold them and put them in certain parts of the building and they’d have no idea where they are,” said Kane. “That’s how major this transformation is.”

The entire West side of the building is set to be floor-to-ceiling glass with a 25-foot concourse overlooking the bridge, the Bass Pro Pyramid, and the riverfront towards Mississippi. In terms of logistics, four new major truck docks will allow four 18-wheelers to park side by side for load-in and load-out. Meeting space will increase from around 30 areas to 50 spacious rooms.

“This is going to be a very beautiful, very 21st-century hotel-quality feel with the amenities people expect from a high-quality hotel.”

With the project funded by tourism development zone fees and hotel and motel lodging taxes, the improved Convention Center will be constructed without touching the general tax fund of the city and Shelby County.

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The nominations have started coming in and we have some good ones. But we want more, so we’re extending the deadline for nominations for the seventh annual Inside Memphis Business Innovation Awards to Friday, July 12IMB has been recognizing the top thinkers and doers in the city for several years. Our seventh annual Innovation Awards issue is coming in September and we want your nominations for these people and organizations that are at the forefront of evolution — tinkerers, questioners, visionaries — who keep the machine of commerce oiled. Last year’s winners covered a range of areas, from medicine to music, education to civics. When you send us your nominations of the best and brightest candidates, 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]


– Memphis Goodwill Industries will pay $150,000 to the federal government to resolve allegations that it falsely claimed compliance with a federal contract standard for employing disabled workers. Read Toby Sells’ story in the Memphis Flyer here.

– Memphis-based biopharmaceutical company Hapten Sciences and the University of Mississippi have partnered on a compound something like a vaccine that may diminish poison ivy’s effects. Read Jason Bolton’s story in the Memphis Business Journalhere.

– A soul-music nightclub planned for Beale Street may be back in action after nearly a year-and-a-half delay. Read Tom Bailey’s story in the Daily Memphian here.

– African-American communities in North and South Memphis experienced more than 130 recent foreclosures as a result of reverse mortgage loans. Read Max Garland’s story in The Commercial Appeal here.


– 2019 Memphis Flyer Burger Week: In 2018, there were 24 participating Memphis Flyer Burger Week restaurants serving thousands of $5.99 special Burger Week burgers. Get ready for this year’s round coming July 10-16, 2019.

– The 4th annual Bacon & Bourbon Festival hosted by the Memphis Flyer will have creative bacon-inspired dishes of all kinds from some of Memphis’ best restaurants, plus an array of distilled spirits to tempt your tastebuds. The music, merriment, and entertainment will be Saturday August 24th 2019 at Beale Street Landing downtown. A portion of proceeds go to the Memphis Farmers Market.


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.

– Garrison Barnes joined Tioga Environmental Consultants as an environmental scientist.

Baker Donelson named two attorneys to leadership roles in the firm’s financial services department: Kristine L. Roberts (chair, financial services department) and Lori H. Patterson (chair, financial services litigation & compliance group). In addition, the firm was certified as a Gold Standard Firm for the fifth year running by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum.

– The College of Dentistry at UTHSC received a $225,000 donation from Delta Dental to help fund equipment needs.

– State Systems, Inc., expanded with the acquisition of Huntsville, AL-based Systems Technology Co.

– Inferno recently promoted several employees across several departments: Liza Routh (account supervisor), Caitlin Berry (senior PR account executive), and Beverly Hendrichovsky (office manager). The agency also hired Bri Kraus (pictured) as PR content producer.


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 Johnny Moore, President and CEO, SunTrust Bank, Memphis. B.B.A., Accounting, Rhodes College. Board member, Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, Memphis & Shelby County Port Commission, Greater Memphis Chamber, Memphis Tomorrow and the National Civil Rights Museum.

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



“Fraud on the AbilityOne program harms inclusion of workers in the program as well as law-abiding AbilityOne contractors.”

– Thomas Lehrich, Inspector General of the U.S. AbilityOne Commission, on the fine given to Goodwill IndustriesRead Toby Sells’ story in the Memphis Flyer here.


One of Memphis magazine’s most popular issues comes out in August. The City Guide is a keeper with invaluable listings of places to go and stories covering what you need to know about Memphis, whether you’re a newcomer or long-timer. Features include “Who’s Who in Memphis,” a roster of movers and shakers in town. You’ll also find top restaurants, places to go, guides to theater and arts, music, and nightlife, and what you need to know about education and healthcare. Advertisers: contact Margie Neal, [email protected], 901-606-7986 or your Memphis magazine account executive.