The best of the best
It’s a considerable achievement when the Society of Entrepreneurs puts the spotlight on one of its own. To be admitted to the Society, someone must exhibit “personal business achievement, creativity, determination, integrity, leadership, self-direction and the ability to transform a vision into a dynamic business accomplishment.”
Once in the organization, a member may be singled out as a Master Entrepreneur if they exemplify those characteristics and serve as an inspiration to all. This year, the SOE’s Master Entrepreneur Award will be conferred on Dr. William H. West, chairman emeritus of the West Cancer Center and member of the SOE since 2005.
The award will be presented April 14 at the Society’s 26th Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet.
West, an entrepreneur and a physician, opened a two-room oncology clinic in downtown Memphis in 1979. In a decade when he led the clinic, he was director of the nation’s largest stem cell treatment network with affiliates in more than 50 cities. Standards set by that network still guide bone marrow transplant procedures for more than 20,000 Americans each year.
While he no longer actively practices at the Center, it continues to bear his name. It now has more than 800 staff members, 15 locations, and more than 150 physicians and researchers.
West the doctor and West the entrepreneur were always of one mind. Although he was clear on what needed to be done, there wasn’t an instruction manual on how to pull it off. “Yes, we took risks,” he says, “because risk always meant better care and that’s what we were all about.”
Recently, he’s been applying his single-minded devotion to other projects. His LLC, The Prevention Group, acquired Lifesigns, now a full-service employer-focused primary care provider. The group also bought HealthyHere, which provides preventive care services at the worksite for employees.
West is Chair of Philanthropy for The University of Tennessee West Institute for Cancer Research, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to raising funds for adult cancer research, education and patient care.
The Grove Grill reimagined
There’s an inaugural event this afternoon at Grove Grill where the East Memphis restaurant serves up its first Third Thursday tasting. The event begins at 5 p.m. with an open house featuring seasonal small plates paired with hand-crafted cocktails, premium beers and artisanal wines.
For those who savor the offerings, membership of the Third Thursday Tasting Club is available, recipients of which will get half off any bottle of wine, a free happy hour appetizer, and 10 percent off any future special dinner.
The event signals how Grove Grill owner Jeff Dunham is revamping the restaurant. It’s been in the Laurelwood Center for two decades and is transforming along with the shopping center.  There are new selections from the spring menu and the restaurant has modernized its décor with work by local artists: tree trunk tables by Ben Holmoka and abstract paintings by Judy Vandergrift.
New manager Amanda Dunham is handling dining experiences while her husband, chef Chip Dunham, serves southern cuisine made with locally sourced vegetables and quality meats. For more about Third Thursday or private dining at The Grove Grill, go here.
Giving a boost to CDCs
Community LIFT has announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2018 CDC Capacity Building Fund.
Its 2015 State of the Memphis CDC Industry report showed that the local CDC sector is severely underfunded and operating with limited capacity. The organization says the fund was developed to help address Memphis’s broken cycle of community reinvestment. With more investment, CDCs can have a larger impact on the communities and people they serve.
The fund’s vision is to establish a network of CDCs capable of “serving as quarterback agencies for scaled revitalization efforts that significantly enhance the quality of life in Memphis’ distressed neighborhoods, thus serving as catalysts for equitable economic growth and advancement.”
For the purpose of this grant, the term capacity building refers to the development of core skills, management practices, strategies, and systems to enhance an organization’s effectiveness, sustainability, and ability to fulfill its mission. The CDC Capacity Building Fund is exclusively for CDCs.
Anyone interested in applying must have completed Building Memphis’s (BLDG Memphis) Capacity Assessment Tool (CAT) within the last three years. For more info, go here.
Be kind to your freelancer
The FreshBooks 2018 Tax Report says freelancers spend 183 million hours filing taxes each year. That doesn’t mean much without some context, right? Well here ya go: FreshBooks surveyed 2,700 full time workers (including traditional employees, freelancers, and small business owners) on their tax filing experience.
Because of the difficulty of gathering information like profit and loss reports and payment reports, the average freelancer spends 10 hours on taxes (20 percent say they spend more than that). In contrast, 80 percent of traditional employees say they spend less than 5 hours filing taxes.
Those with traditional W2’s can simply “fill in the blanks” when filing. But there is no simple, consistent filing process for the self-employed, so freelancers have to work harder to get the returns owed to them.
Freelancers were asked what they’d rather do than file taxes. What they said was:
1: Draw the middle seat on a long plane ride (30 percent)
2: Get stuck in line at the DMV (31 percent)
3: Shave their heads (16 percent)
4: Have major dental work (15 percent)
5: Contract the flu (15 percent)

Power Players
Inside Memphis Business 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 next issue in April will have the complete list. We also publish individual categories in other issues throughout the year, and now we’re featuring individual Power Players in our Tip Sheet.

Today’s Power Player is from a new category this year: Insiders. These are the Power Players who other Power Players go to: advisers and consultants who typically know the intricacies of how things work in the public and private sectors, from policy to politics, and who it is that makes those things work.
Today’s Insider is: Roshun Austin
President/CEO, The Works, Inc. M.A., Urban Anthropology, U of M. B.A., Sociology-Anthropology, Middlebury College. Specializes in affordable housing development and community development finance. Board member, Neighborhood Preservation, Inc; vice-chair, Blight Authority of Memphis; Explore Bike Share; Methodist Healthcare Foundation; Christian Community Foundation; ULI Memphis, Management Committee; BLDG Memphis. Former board member, Slingshot Memphis; Health, Educational and Housing Facilities, City of Memphis; Community Redevelopment Agency;
Memphis Landmarks Commission.