by Doug Carpenter
My desk at DCA overlooks South Main Street, directly across the street from the National Civil Rights Museum and the revitalized district that surrounds it. Every morning I sit in this space and I feel the pulse of Downtown development.
The momentum and energy and volume of activity Downtown increases almost on a daily basis, not just through tourism, but through activation of our own residents who flock here for sporting events, trolley nights, farmers markets, festivals, and more.
Downtowns nationwide are collectively experiencing a renaissance. Their relatively small, walkable areas concentrate commercial, cultural, and civic assets. Downtowns are the intersections of business, tourism, and cultural exchanges, creating a vibrant identity for the greater city.
Downtown development is about reimagining. It’s about a new perspective and asking questions. Who are we? How do we tell our story?
People often talk about the brand of Memphis. Famed marketer David Ogilvy defines a brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.”
I believe Memphis’ brand is defined daily in Downtown. Our spaces are evolving from a historically iconic Peabody and Rendezvous to a
newly reimagined Tom Lee Park and visionary adaptation of Central Station.
The Chisca and the Tennessee Brewery, both left to waste away on the Bluff, are reactivating into top-tier urban residential and commercial developments, injecting life and momentum and density into the South Main landscape. The daunting Pyramid’s empty center is now converted into a national destination.
Downtown areas generally sit central in a city’s landscape, but Memphis’ Downtown has a limited geographic footprint. Its position on the Mississippi poses interesting barriers but provides great opportunities. You can’t develop west because of a river … or can you? Thanks to a focused and driven public-private partnership, an inactive old wagonway on the Harahan Bridge will now draw millions of tourists and residents to the Big River Crossing to witness the power of the Mississippi and the ever-evolving skyline of Downtown Memphis.
And the efforts continue: Mud Island, the Medical District, and St. Jude’s expansion are following suit on the drawing board. I am confident they, too, will yield creativity, ingenuity, and collaboration. The combination of new perspectives and focused innovators will continue to write new chapters.
All of these pieces are our packaging, our history, and reputation. We don’t need to redefine our brand. We simply need to continue to reimagine its elements. Memphis will always have a rich history, but our identity is about our present and our future.
I look forward to continuing to watch the story unfold from my seat in the middle of it all. What’s next can only be imagined by people with a commitment to the city. Are you one of them?
Doug Carpenter is principal of DCA, creative communications consulting firm.
by Craig Wright
Alongside daily operations, business owners are tasked with asset protection, including their property, information, employees, and customers. But even if your physical entryways are protected, hackers can break into your business through an unsecured network. Your network houses your company’s information, which may be worth as much or more than a business’ physical assets. Apple has demonstrated the importance of data security by being unwilling to cooperate with an FBI investigation. The tech company refused to create a “backdoor” into the iPhone operating system because doing so would jeopardize the cybersecurity of all iOS users.
Fortunately, advancements in technology have helped prevent business losses of all kinds, including physical assets, information, and productivity at very affordable costs. Unfortunately, tragedies in public spaces and cases of leaked intelligence continue to put pressure on business owners to invest in more advanced preventative safety measures.
It is crucial for businesses to operate under a network that is secure, but creating such a network can be expensive. However, the cost of handling the fallout after a data breech far outweighs the cost of preventing one. Gartner Inc., a Connecticut-based information technology research and advisory company, estimates that every $5.62 a company spends after a breech could have been prevented with a $1 investment in data encryption and network security.
State Systems Inc. has seen more interest from business owners seeking security solutions in the last nine months than in the entire year prior, and physical security remains a top priority.
A common misconception is that video surveillance is too expensive to implement, but it is actually much more affordable than most business owners realize. Many existing surveillance systems can be retrofitted using cameras with exponentially better resolution and updated features like cloud compatibility.
While security cameras are great for recording activity and deterring crime, the devices become more beneficial when paired with a controlled-access system. For many businesses like daycares, schools, medical facilities, and financial institutions, it is important to manage the access of those allowed on the premises, and controlled-access systems offer an easy and affective option to screen individuals before they enter a facility.
Data isn’t only transmitted digitally; it is also passed verbally from employee to employee. As open-air offices become more prevalent, companies are seeking out ways to maintain employee productivity and protect private conversations. Rightfully so, as global market research company Ipsos found that employees can lose as much as 86 minutes per day because of noise distractions. Noise canceling devices serve as a popular solution for businesses with open office spaces and can help mask conversations.
Security technology can seem costly and intimidating, but there are options for every business size and situation. It is important to choose a partner vendor that understands your security needs and can provide the products and services you need. When debating whether to invest in a security technology, make sure to ask yourself if your business could afford to lose life or property as a result of not having it. That conclusion should be your answer.
Craig Wright is the general manager of the Technology Division at State Systems Inc., a local leader in personal property protection.
by Frank Murtaugh
The FedEx St. Jude Classic returns to Memphis (June 6-12), again bringing the PGA Tour’s best to the Bluff City. This will be the first tournament under the direction of 33-year-old Darrell Smith, who assumed his new duties when longtime director Phil Cannon moved into an advisory role last fall.
What has been your biggest adjustment since taking over as tournament director?
I’ve been fortunate. Phil Cannon gave me my start here in 2005 [as an intern], and I’ve been able to be involved with a lot in the production of a PGA Tour event. The biggest adjustment has been the reality that, hey, I’m the tournament director now. It’s just assuming that role. I feel like I’m prepared for a lot of what I’m doing, and I’m sure I’ll learn more as we get closer to the tournament. We’re trying to recruit the best players in the world to come play Memphis. I’ve been more involved in player relations than I have in the past.
You left to work for a tournament in Dallas briefly (2010), only to return to Memphis. What brought you back?
Memphis is home for me and my wife. We enjoyed our time in Texas; it was during a time of transition for the [FESJC]. We were going to make ourselves better professionally and personally. There was an opportunity in Texas, so we took it. But when Phil and Jack Sammons called me and said they had good news to share, that FedEx was coming back as a title sponsor, it was a no-brainer for us. I had been on the operations side of things until then. The opportunity in Memphis was more on the sales side, revenue-generating. It was the next step in my professional development.
Memphis has hosted a PGA tournament almost 50 years (since 1958). What must the FESJC do to get even better?
We want to become one of the Mid-South’s biggest events. In the past, it’s been a golf event. But we’ve decided this is more than just golf. It’s the largest outdoor festival in the city of Memphis, and that means music. It means food. There’s fun for everybody. It can be a family, a corporate customer, or a single ticket-holder. We want to provide an environment where there are a lot of things to do besides watching golf.
Do you play golf? What’s your dream foursome?
I am a golfer. My dream foursome would include my father, Tiger Woods, and my uncle, who introduced me to the game of golf.
What’s the best hole for a fan to watch at the FESJC?
I think the 11th hole will be the place to be at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. That’s the island green. It’s the signature hole at TPC Southwind, a par 3, lots of action. We’ve constructed a new venue called the Island Club that should create a lot of excitement. Hopefully we’ll see some holes-in-one. A lot of fans like to see every shot on a hole, and at 11 they can see all three. We’re looking forward to building some momentum there.
Frank Murtaugh is managing editor of inside memphis business and memphis, and a lifelong sports fan.
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