A trip down memory lane with the torchbearers of
business who have traveled with us over the years.
by Richard J. Alley
When you open your mailbox every other month, this is the cover you see. In fact, this is the very first cover of the then newly renamed and redesigned Inside Memphis Business (February/March 2015). But for eight years prior you were reading MBQ: Memphis Business Quarterly, and on the following pages we celebrate our 10th anniversary by taking a look at 10 of our favorite covers from those early years, and revisiting what our cover models had to say.
The magazine — by any name — has become a centerpiece of Memphis business culture, and we thank you for your decade of support.
Sports agent with Creative Artists Agency; ranked #17 by Forbes in the “Most Powerful Sports Agents 2015” with contracts totaling $742.5 million.
“I got into it [sports agent business] because of relationships I had in college. I was able to take a personal friendship and turn it into a business relationship, which is not easy to do. I was too young and aggressive at the time to know that is hard to do.”
Award-winning songwriter, record producer, and entrepreneur; founder and president of Consortium MMT, a nonprofit working to develop a viable music industry in Memphis.
“I think during our era you could see opportunity. You were motivated to work hard because you knew there would be a shot if you were good enough.”
Founding principal of Looney Ricks Kiss architects; named to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) College of Fellows; recent high-profile project is the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s master design for the Pinch District.
“Addressing how we build neighborhoods is our best chance at making Memphis a competitive city. I don’t think it’s vertical, it’s what’s on the ground. One of the most important things we could do as a city is complete and adopt the uniform development code that is under way.”
Co-founder, co-chairman, and president of Independent Bank with 10 branches and more than 200 employees, and assets totaling $987 million ($600 million in 2006).
“I have a chance to participate in the economic health of the entire community. You do not necessarily need an MBA. You have to love what you do, learn how to listen to and support your customers, and be aware of what is going on around you in the larger world and the community. You have to take the hard jobs that may involve learning something that you previously knew nothing about.”
President and CEO of Duncan-Williams, Inc.; chairman of Duncan Williams Asset Management; philanthropist
“I’m a guy who sees the glass as three-quarters full all the time. But I’m worried about where we are as a country. It’s a scary time. We’re not over this thing yet. Find me one person who in the last three months has not had a friend laid off. Until you find that person who has three friends getting hired instead, then we’re not over it. Until companies show growth by hiring and spending money instead of by cutting expenses, then we’re not over it.”
CEO of Youth Villages with a staff of 2,700 in 72 locations nationwide; Master Entrepreneur, Society of Entrepreneurs.
“Memphis will always be a priority for us, but to have an impact at the national level we have to have a larger footprint. We want to do the best job we can taking care of children and families, but we also want to help transform the child welfare system in America.”
Special Advisor to the Global Crop Diversity Trust; former executive director of the Trust; visiting scholar at Stanford University.
“I grew up in turbulent times in Memphis. In those days in some parts of the country, idealism came cheap. In the South, it was going to be tested. You had to learn how to get along with people, and you had to learn how to fashion pragmatic solutions. You learned the value of the individual, family ties, the importance of integrity — these are [all] lessons that are good on the international stage.”
Dean of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics and the holder of the Sales and Marketing Chair of Excellence at the University of Memphis.
“If I’m given a chance, this place is going to be nothing like what it was five years ago and nothing like what it is now. My students are going to be so confident and so pleasant to work with because they will roll up their sleeves and do a yeoman’s task as compared to some person who might have gone to Yale and thinks that they cannot do this thing ever.”
President of Loeb Properties, Inc.; current projects include the Overton Square Theater District, Broad Avenue Arts District, and the University District revitalization.
“It [Overton Square] has a special place in the hearts of Memphians of a large age group. Unfortunately, it has suffered over the last several years as the former owners pushed out local merchants in hopes of bringing in nationals and having a more dense, infill development. We have invited a wide swath of the community to give us input. Marketing 101 is to give people what they want.”
President and CEO of Chism Hardy Investments, LLC; chairman of the board for the Greater Memphis Chamber; accountant and entrepreneur.
“In quality, you’ve got to make a decision about product right away. You can take all day with a financial report. I had to learn about the perfect balance between analysis and action, between spending money and not spending money. For an accountant, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Well, in operations you’ve got to go into the bush. You’ve got to spend money to make money.”