by Richard J. Alley
Ten years ago this magazine was founded as Memphis Business Quarterly. Twitter was launched. George W. Bush was president and Willie Herenton was mayor. Memphis was still a Delta hub. The housing bubble was on the cusp of bursting, taking with it the homes and hopes of many Americans. And my daughter was born. The last of our four children, my wife and I foolishly believed we had everything under control. Genevieve proved to be . . . “spirited” in the whitewashed parlance of the day. She would go on to turn our world upside down.
Business is that way, isn’t it? You have a plan, you’ve put numbers on paper and crunched those numbers to within a decimal point of their lives, and you’ve planned for every contingency. And then the bubble you didn’t see goes “pop” and takes the largest financial institutions along with it.
In this issue, we look at three Memphis companies also celebrating their decade anniversary, and get a hint at their secrets to success, and just how they coped with the unexpected obstacle of recession.
Back in 2006, Andy Cates headed up the Value Acquisition Fund, a real estate investment firm. He’d spearheaded the formation of the Soulsville Foundation and its components — the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Stax Music Academy, and the Soulsville Charter School — and it seemed that the world was his to take. To top off all of that success, he was our first cover story (and cover model!). For our anniversary, we once again asked Andy to sit with us and share his thoughts on Soulsville, Mud Island redevelopment, and the state of Memphis business.
A lot has changed in the past decade, but the one constant for us has been our advertisers who believe in what it is we’re doing and in the stability of the city’s reputation, its industries, and those industries’ leaders. Without them there never would have been an MBQ; there would be no IMB. We are eternally grateful for their confidence in and support of us.
My daughter turned 10 this year and we got her a bicycle. When she’s on it, she soars as if there is no limit to where she might go. It’s the same feeling we get when we look at the past decade of business in Memphis and as we put this magazine together six times a year. The feeling is there when I read it as well, and I hope you feel the same.
Thank you for an amazing 10 years. Here’s to an even better future.
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