TSD Memphis



New chair of Automobile Dealers Assoc. blazes trails

Jenell R Ross-400Combine the name Jenell Ross with the Mercedes-Benz label and Ross' ethnicity and you have an unfolding African-American history story.

The American International Automobile Dealers Association recently announced that Ross – a Centerville, Ohio, dealer – is its 2013 chairwoman. She took over the position during AIADA's 43rd Annual Meeting and Luncheon earlier this month in Orlando, Fla.

Ross is the president of Bob Ross Automotive, which operates Buick, GMC, Fiat, and Mercedes-Benz franchises in the Dayton, Ohio, area. She inherited the role from her father and mother, who founded the dealership group in 1974. Mercedes-Benz of Centerville was the first Mercedes-Benz dealership to be owned by an African American and is currently the only one owned by an African-American woman.


Entrepreneurship Expo creates buzz at U of M’s FedEx Institute

IMAG0131-600The Entrepreneurship Expo hosted by the University of Memphis' Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation was the place to be for those with an incubating idea.

The session Tuesday at the FedEx Institute of Technology drew 300-plus attendees. Throughout the day there was a steady flow of entrepreneur-minded individuals, including a mix of successful startups, emerging businesses, inventions ready to be patented, and some undeveloped business ideas and concepts. The Entrepreneur Village featured 23 of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation's (CEI) start-up clients.

Project manager Kelly Penwell came to Memphis in 2011 to manage the division. She hit the ground running and has assisted over 200 clients with their start-up efforts. Thirty-two businesses have been launched since CEI's opening in September 2011.


Colleges find a new way to get grads hired

CollegeGrads-600NEW YORK – A handful of colleges think they've found the secret to closing the gap between the types of graduates they're turning out and the types of workers employers are looking for: spiders.

Not the hairy, creepy kind, but rather artificial-intelligence spiders that crawl through search engines and read thousands of online "help wanted" ads to check on the job market in real time – instead of two years after the fact, which is how long the federal government can take to report on labor trends.

The technology is helping colleges and universities quickly add and update academic programs so their graduates can land real-world jobs. And, at the same time, eliminate programs that leave students in debt with skills employers don't want.


‘The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires’

Millionaires-300What's the key to becoming a millionaire for an African-American? That's the basic question posed by Dr. Dennis Kimbro to a thousand of the most affluent blacks in the United States in a study conducted over the last seven years. The results are reflect in 'The Wealth Choice Success Secrets of Black Millionaires.'

Among the icons graciously participating in the survey were entertainment industry tycoon Tyler Perry, Godfather's Pizza CEO-turned-presidential hopeful Herman "9-9-9" Cain, FUBU fashion line creator/Shark Tank co-host Daymond John, BET founder Bob Johnson, Renaissance man Steve Harvey, televangelist Bishop T.D. Jakes, TV-One CEO Cathy Hughes, film director Spike Lee, motivational speaker Les Brown, mutual fund manager John Rogers and entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who became a self-made millionaire by the age of fourteen.


Dressed to impress

R French-250The look of a sharp-dressed gentleman means he is about business. Couple that polished appearance with knowledge, opportunity and execution and you have success.

Reginald French, Stephon Coleman and Thomas Nolan – local businessmen and fraternity brothers – consistently present that dressed-to-impress look.

French is a technology firm owner, recipient of the 2012 Kappa Man of the Year award, and a philanthropist who has worked diligently with Kappa Alpha Psi and St. Jude on Sunday of Hope. Coleman is an executive with FedEx. Nolan is an artist, firefighter, and most notably a culinary artist.


Where the rich people live

whererichpeoplelive-600Despite all the talk of urban revitalization, suburbs still have a denser concentration of rich people than cities.

In America's suburbs, just over 6 percent of the households have incomes that put them in the top sliver of American earners, according to a study released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau. In city centers, less than 5 percent of households made the cut.

Not surprisingly, the study found that rich people tend to live near major population centers.


Need for prom dress yields business solution

Belle2-600The world of consignment has many faces and one of the newer ones is bringing something a little bit special to the table.

Belle of the Ball Prom Dress Consignment, LLC is an entry point into the Mid-South for beautiful and inexpensive prom dresses. I spoke with the owner, Rashida Patterson, to trace the idea of Prom Consignment to its roots.

Patterson took me back to 2010 and the search for a dress for her daughter's pageant. Mother and daughter kept running into problems. The main one was that they couldn't find "The Dress" that stayed within "The Price." Like most parents who pay for a daughter's dress, Patterson didn't want to spend an extreme amount of money on something that might only be worn once.


Look of success? Swagger, polish in; matchy-matchy out

Russell-Simmons-2-400Despite the success of moguls who have made casual dress cool and trendy, the first impression is still a lasting impression whether you are in corporate America or in business for yourself.

Russell Simmons, Master P, Richard Branson and Steve Jobs proved that a suit is not a requirement to earn serious wealth. While brilliance, genius and creativity are associated with each, they share another commonality – they dressed appropriately for the business models they created.


Why 4G may lead to bigger smartphone bills

smartphone-600NEW YORK – Thinking about upgrading to a 4G phone? Prepare to pay more. Before you know it, those 2-gigabyte data caps your carrier put in place just aren't going to cut it.

The average American will use 6.2 GB of data on their mobile devices each month in 2017, according to the latest annual Visual Networking Index released by Cisco. To put that into context, Americans used just 752 MB Americans on average last year.


Add ‘RIP’ to your business strategy

DSC 0046-600What many of the participants were looking for were the right ingredients to start their own business.

What they left with was a complete recipe to launch, sustain and capitalize a business, with a little advice from the featured speaker, Carolyn Hardy, president and CEO of Chism Hardy Enterprises, LLC.

The setting (Jan. 26) was the second of a three-part business symposium entitled "Controlling How The Cookie Crumbles: Educating and Empowering Entrepreneurs." Hardy, the keynote speaker, followed a panel of successful business owners and entrepreneurs who provided plenty of business tips, strategies and technical support to more than 70 aspiring business owners and entrepreneurs at Bloomfield Full Gospel Baptist Church.


Miami Mike, the manager

MIAMI MIKE-600In the entertainment industry, the manager is primarily responsible for providing advice and guidance as to the career and development of an artist. It takes a person with the patience of a saint to deal with the creative brains of talent.

When it comes to creativity and accomplishment in the industry, few can argue that DeAndre Cortez Way, better known as Soulja Boy, doesn't fit in the category. But it takes a village to make sure that Soulja Boy – the rapper, record producer, actor and entrepreneur – remains relevant and on top. Part of that village is Michael J. Sykes, who is better known as Miami Mike, the manager of Soulja Boy.


Twitter moves to hide porn on Vine app

30vineapp-600Amid concerns over adult content popping up on its new Vine video app, Twitter appeared Tuesday to have restricted how users can share sexually explicit clips.

As with Twitter, Vine users can create and search hashtags (#CNN, #news, #tech, for instance) to share posts with a wider audience or find lots of content about the same subject.


Your credit score and how to look beyond

CharlesSimsJr-160The ability to manage personal credit apparently is one of those things that gets better with age. A consumer reporting agency study indicated that people aged 66 and older had the highest average credit scores, followed by those aged 47 to 65.

Your credit score can affect your ability to obtain credit and the interest rate you pay. So having a high score could be helpful to your overall financial strategy. But a good credit rating doesn't always mean you are in a strong financial position. Consider these other factors for each age group.