Archive for August, 2010

Cutting your nose off …

August 31st, 2010 Comments off

I’m sure, by now, you’ve seen the news on our website of Baptist Hospital’s layoffs as well as the announcement of job cuts at the University of Southern Mississippi.

That’s more bad news in two areas — health care and education — that hardly need more bad news in this state.

The ironic part about the cuts at Southern Miss is the administration feeling the need to cut positions out of the business department. Certainly every department has reasons why jobs shouldn’t be eliminated, but it seems to me that in an economic downtown, the one thing you wouldn’t want to do is to scale back on training our future business leaders.

But, hey, that’s just me.

You know someone who should be on this list

August 24th, 2010 Comments off

Every single one of you knows someone you think should be nominated for the 2011 MBJ Top 40 Under 40. In fact, I will bet you could name three or four or five people that should be nominated who have never been. … Nominate someone you know to be included in this year’s top 40 business people under the age of 40. … Don’t be caught saying to yourself, “I can’t believe John or Jane Doe didn’t make the list. They are better than any of these other folks.” … You may think someone else has already nominated them, but you just don’t know. A lot of times, people want to be nominated but simply don’t know or remember when to take care of the nomination process, which is really easy… Nominate someone now to avoid all of that.

Below is the list of the 2010 MBJ Top 40 Under 40:

Sidney Allen Jr. — Comcast, State Government Affairs Director

Michele Dawn Baker — Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service, Communications and Training Director

David Barber — North Mississippi Medical Clinics, President

Heather Allen Brown — Magnolia State Bank, Marketing Director

Gary D. Butler — Camgian Microsystems Corporation, President and CEO

Neely C. Carlton — Mississippi State Medical Association, Deputy Director

Keri Cole — Hinds Community College, Dean of eLearning

Frank Corder — Pascagoula city councilman, radio/television host, minister, entrepreneur

Susanne S. Cunningham, O.D. — Curtis Optometry Clinic and Dispensary/Mississippi Optometric Association, Optometrist/President

Arthur Reggie Dampier Jr. — Ridgeland Eyecare Center and Family Eyecare Center, President

Lance Davis — BKD, LLD, South Region Financial Services Tax Leader

Jason Dean — Mississippi Economic Council, Vice President for Economic Policy

Burton Doss — Malaco Records (CAI), Director of Information Technology

Kim Gallaspy — Mississippi Technology Alliance/CIT, Director of External Affairs

Jennifer Gholson — Information & Quality Healthcare, Chief Medical Officer

Walter Henry Gibbes — Gibbes Valuation Consulting

Kourtney Hollingsworth — Mississippi Legal Services, Fair Housing Test Coordinator

Nathan Husman — Neel-Schaffer Engineers & Planners Inc. and U.S. Armed Service: United States Military – Naval Reserve

Jonathan Jones — The Jones Companies, Owner, Vice President

Caroline Kelly — Jones County Junior College, Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Adam Kilgore — Mississippi Bar Association, General Counsel

Vicki Lowery — Mississippi College School of Law, Director of Law Advocacy Program

Brad Maley — BancorpSouth, First Vice President and Hinds County Manager

Shannon McLaughlin — River Oaks Hospital and Woman’s Hospital, Assistant Director of Marketing

Tony Meyers — Office Depot, Territory Development Manager

Samuel Prentiss Morris, II — Comcast Spotlight, Account Executive

Joel Neely — Trustmark Bank in Ridgeland, Vice President

Riley Nelson — May & Company, CPA and Partner

Sarah Newton — Albert & Associates Architects, Senior Associate

Steven Palazzo — Palazzo & Company — Owner

Brandon Pratt — Community Bank in Meridian, Assistant Vice President

Dominick Riley — U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Jackson, Postal Inspector

Brian David Robinson — Robinson Electric Inc., President

Chadwick W. Russell — Southern Farm Bureau Life Insurance Company, Senior Associate Counsel

Jennifer Callahan Sinclair — St. Dominic Hospital, CPA, Vice President of Finance and CFO

Leigh Ann Underwood — Southern Bone & Joint Specialists , Business Development Director

Paula Rainey Weaver — Entergy Services Inc., Senior Environmental Analyst

Kris White — Mitchell, McNutt & Sams

Kenny Williamson — BankPlus in Madison, First Vice President

Harrison L. Young — Cardinal Ventures Inc., Vice President of Real Estate

A ghost story at the end?

August 23rd, 2010 Comments off

MBJ-TV producer Stephen McDill does a great job in his exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Mississippi State University’s Riley Center, a historic theater and performing arts complex in Meridian.

There are great stories, wonderful views and something everyone should look at.


Barbour says he won’t; now says he will

August 20th, 2010 Comments off

Gov. Barbour first said he wasn’t going to take any stimulus money for education, because it was going to cause Mississippi to completely re-write its budget. … Then he asked someone about it. Turns out that’s not the case.

So now he says he will take the money — but “I would have voted against this legislation were I in Congress.

He also made the point that the stimulus money is going to be really bad for Mississippi in the long run, saying, “FY 12 is poised to be the most difficult budgetary year our state has had in recent memory.”

You think he’s just saying that?

Maybe he will check into it, ask someone who really knows and change his mind later.

Barbour is really into changing his mind lately. Like with the BP oil spill.

First, it was “just a nuisance”, then it was a danger to the Coast we must attack. Most recently, though, the governor has come out on the side of the oil was never as bad as the media made it out to be.

Maybe, he should just ask Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Palin run for White House likely will need Barbour’s approval

August 17th, 2010 Comments off

If you haven’t watched the latest interview on MBJ-TV, you are missing out.

Marty Wiseman, the director of the John C. Stennis Institute of Government talks extensively on Haley Barbour’s possible future in the White House.

The subject is fascinating, but listening to Wiseman for any length of time is amazingly entertaining.

The interview is the third in a series of four with Wiseman that covers the political landscape about as thoroughly as possible, regardless of what side of the fence you sit.

Watch the entire series, but here is the link to Part 3 which is on right now at

After you have seen these, you can consider yourself informed.

Madison hospital decison is short-sighted

August 10th, 2010 Comments off

Sometimes, you wonder if decision makers are looking at the same information you are when rulings or recommendations are handed down.
That’s the quandary I am in pertaining to St. Dominic Hospital’s wish to build a hospital in Madison County.
We reported a story last week that an administrative hearing officer is recommending St. Dominic Hospital not be allowed to build a $121 million hospital in Madison County, to which it would transfer 71 of its existing beds.
The recommendation from administrative law judge Cassandra B. Walter says St. Dominic’s hasn’t justified its case for a certificate of need from the state Department of Health.
Are you kidding me?
Madison County is expected to grow by (the technical term of) leaps and bounds over the next 20 years, and some judge thinks there’s not enough people to warrant more hospitals.
The Health Management Associates-owned Madison County Medical Center opposed St. Dominic’s plans and welcomed the recommendation. HMA broke ground in September 2009 on a new $42 million hospital for its 67 beds off Nissan Parkway in Canton which will be called Madison River Oaks  next summer.
HMA does not want more competition in the area for fear that a new St. Dominic’s facility would take away its private-pay patients, leaving it with more patients insured by Medicaid, which offers lower reimbursements and is damaging to a hospital’s bottom line.
If I were part of the HMA brain trust, I would have opposed the St. Dominic plan too. On the face of it, keeping a hospital out of Madison makes good business sense.
For years, the options for the people in Madison and Ridgeland and most of Madison County have been to drive to Jackson or to drive to the old hospital in Canton.
So, a fancy, new hospital in Canton should mean all those Madison and Ridgeland folks will stay in county for health care.
But a new hospital in Canton isn’t going to change a thing.
Without the new St. Dominic Hospital, people who live in Madison and Ridgeland have the same choices they always have.
Go to Jackson or go to Canton.
My guess is 95 percent of the people who have always gone to Jackson will continue to go to Jackson.
The new Canton hospital will serve Canton and north Madison County as well as some in Yazoo, Holmes Attala and Leake counties. It will also get people from the anticipated growth in Gluckstadt.
Madison and Ridgeland will remain underserved with the exact same choices they have had for the last 60 years.
For Judge Walter to say St. Dominic hasn’t justified its case for a certificate of need is short-sighted and disturbing.
Perhaps Walter has some secret information about predicted metro-area population over the next 30 years. Lacking that, she should realize that the lack of a hospital in the Madison-Ridgeland communities endangers the lives of tens of thousands of people.
St. Dominic and HMA both recognize the future growth of Madison County and want in on the action.
Motive is not the question.
But in talking about money and economics, failing to provide convenient health care will damage the area’s quality-of-life image for those who might have been contemplating a family or business move to here.
Therefore, Walter either doesn’t recognize all of the geographical and economic realities or is blatantly placing the business interests of one group ahead of the other.
In the end, this shouldn’t be about choosing St. Dominic over HMA or the Canton facility. It should be about providing adequate health care facilities for one of the few burgeoning areas of the state.
Walter is wrong, should admit it and reverse her decision.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at or (601) 364-1018.

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What would John Bryan say?

August 9th, 2010 Comments off

The news has come down that Sara Lee CEO Brenda Barnes will step down permanently from her position as chairman and chief executive officer.

Barnes had been on temporary medical leave since May 14 after suffering a stroke. The company says the 56-year-old is leaving the post to continue focusing on improving her health.

Barnes is the second CEO of Sara Lee since Mississippi native John Bryan retired in 2001.

While economic conditions haven’t been the best in the last couple of years, it is worth noting the Sara Lee stock has dropped nearly 30 percent in the decade since it was announced that Bryan was going to retire

Barnes is leaving her position on Sara Lee Corp.’s board of directors. Marcel Smits, who has been handling the CEO duties in her place will continue to do so until a new CEO is named.