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VOL. 43 | NO. 5 | Friday, February 1, 2019

Dalton commits $12.75M to Vanderbilt Law School

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A new $12.75 million gift to Vanderbilt Law School will provide support for its Law and Business Program, which prepares students to enter legal practice with a solid understanding of business law, corporate management, accounting and finance.

The commitment from alumnus and former Vanderbilt Board of Trust chairman Mark Dalton, JD’75, and his family includes a bequest that will endow the program in perpetuity. The gift also continues the Dalton’s leadership support for the Annual Fund, giving the law school the flexibility and means to innovate and adapt so that Vanderbilt law students are prepared for an evolving legal marketplace.

Dalton is co-chairman of Tudor Investment Corp.

The Law and Business Program offers a certificate to upper-level law students who complete an interdisciplinary curriculum that includes five required courses and nine elective credit hours.

Students also can pursue Vanderbilt’s unique J.D./M.S.F. joint degree program, allowing them to earn a master of science in finance from the Owen Graduate School of Management and a law degree in only three years. Or they can choose the four-year joint J.D./M.B.A. path.

LBMC study shows manufacturers optimistic

LBMC, an accounting and business consulting firm based in Brentwood, has released findings of the third annual LBMC/LEA 2019 National Manufacturing Survey Report.

The study found manufacturers expressed significant optimism for overcoming hurdles, while focusing priorities on growing sales, improving profitability and addressing workforce shortages.

More than 350 manufacturing executives participated in the survey, which includes respondents who produce industrial/machining, transportation/automotive; construction; food and beverage; and other products.

“Looking ahead, manufacturers expect raw materials, labor costs, lack of available talent, and competition to be significant hurdles in 2019,” says John Mark McDougal, LBMC manufacturing industry leader.

“The tariffs implemented by President Trump provide productivity challenges; however, an increase in spending on big data and business intelligence yield innovative technology for minimizing productivity concerns,” he adds. “The challenge of gaining a competitive advantage remains critically important.

“We believe the resilience and success our manufacturing clients have created for themselves will help alleviate the major concerns for 2019.”

Highlights from 2019 Survey results include:

• 81 percent of manufacturers believe their revenue will increase in 2019, with 50 percent eyeing organic growth in the U.S. as their primary opportunity to increase sales.

• Manufacturers are more optimistic about the regional and national economy than the global economy, yet notably the optimism rating for all three has increased by more than 12 points over the last two years.

• Manufacturers’ top three priorities are growing sales, improving profitability, and addressing workforce shortage.

• More than 60 percent of manufacturers expect their sector to expand in 2019. Optimism is highest among manufacturers within the energy sector, with 88 percent being optimistic.

Lipscomb, Sewanee make ‘Hidden Gems’ list

OnlineSchoolsCenter.com, based in Nashville, has released its list of the Hidden Gems of the Southeast, a survey of some of the best colleges and universities in the United States that receive less recognition, yet have the same prestige, as more popular and well-known schools.

While some students may prefer to go to a school that has hundreds of students in each classroom, students at these schools enjoy the pleasure of a learning environment that gives them a stance that is respected and listened to. Students at these hidden gems have outstanding educations, notable diplomas, and beautiful spaces in which to grow as a student.

Sewanee: The University of the South and Lipscomb University are on the list.

According to lead researcher and writer, Rowan Jones, “These schools represent twenty-five of the best schools in the country. Applicants to and students of any one of these colleges or universities can be exceedingly proud of their school, and rest assured that they are receiving a fabulous education.”

Pivot Point announces new partnership

Pivot Point consulting, a healthcare IT company based in Brentwood, is joining a partnership to provide U.S.-based solutions for managed services.

The combined team will be based at the Managed Services Center of Excellence in Madison, Wisconsin

“Our comprehensive suite of services, delivered by a tightly integrated team, provides healthcare organizations with the best quality managed services without compromising physician and patient quality,’’ says Rachel Marano, managing partner and co-founder of Pivot Point. “Our certified professionals free up health systems to focus on business transformation, system enhancement and optimization at a time where operational effectiveness really matters.”

Adds Greo Fliearman, principal consultant PDS, “This partnership enables us to provide solutions that integrate trusted EHR specialists from both an application and advisory perspective into the patient experience toolkit – extending the value of investments organizations have made already and delivering even more.”

We Are Nations unveils expansion plans

We Are Nations of Nashville recently acquired Sector Six Apparel and plans to expand the brand to Europe in 2019.

Sector Six is an esports apparel brand specializing in jerseys and custom team wear.

We Are Nations CEO Patrick Mahoney says, “As Nations expands into working with global multi-channel projects, we wanted to make sure we stayed very good at supplying basic quality products to everyone at a good price and with ease of use and scale.”

Sector Six Apparel Brand Director Josh Whatley adds, “We are excited to be joining the We Are Nations family. With this acquisition we will be given the appropriate resources to begin our global expansion with an initial focus of Europe as well as continue our push in the collegiate market.

“We had an incredible 2018 and look to carry the momentum into 2019 with We Are Nations.”

Record number of students retake ACT

The Tennessee Department of Education has announced that 76.1 percent of the state’s public high school class of 2019, 53,478 students, participated in the department’s third ACT Senior Retake opportunity, the state’s highest participation rate on record

Interim Commissioner Dr. Lyle Ailshie says of those seniors who retook the ACT in 2018, more than 50 percent increased their composite score from their junior year score, a 10.2 percent point increase from 2017.

“Today is a proud day for Tennessee as thousands more public school students are eligible to receive HOPE scholarship funds, while more students can also enroll directly into credit-bearing postsecondary coursework,” Ailshie adds.

Also, the average ACT composite score increased by 0.5 points for students who took the ACT during their junior year and through the ACT Senior Retake in 2018.

Additionally, 3,825 seniors raised their composite score to a 21 or higher, allowing them to access more than $61 million in HOPE Scholarship funds that provide each student up to $16,000 to help pay for college in Tennessee. This number is up from 2,333 students in 2017.

The 2018 ACT retake also resulted in more students hitting the ACT college-readiness benchmarks across-the-board in each of the four tested subject areas: math, English, science, and reading.

Nashville to host restaurant conference

The Restaurant Loss Prevention & Security Association will host its 2019 “Amped-Up,’’ conference August 4-7 in Nashville at the Renaissance Downtown Nashville.

Legendary coach and motivator, Lou Holtz, is the keynote speaker.

RLPSA’s annual conference is the premier conference for food service and restaurant loss prevention, safety, and risk professionals solely focused on restaurant challenges, solutions, and building a professional network of resources.

Restaurants attending include Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Little Caesar’s, Cheesecake Factory, Texas Roadhouse, Domino’s, Waffle House, YUM! and more.

Holtz will discuss overcoming seemingly impossible challenges by setting own goals and working to achieve them.

Employers urged to sign up for PAID

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development has announced a new program for the state’s employers, Payment Audit Independent Determination program or PAID.

The United States Department of Labor initiative gives employers the opportunity to avoid costly fines for wage and overtime violations.

PAID is a new nationwide program that allows employers to self-audit their compensation practices and, if they discover overtime or minimum wage violations, to self-report those violations,

If an employer discovers issues during an audit, they can then work in good faith with USDOL’s Wage and Hour Division to correct their mistakes and to quickly provide 100 percent of the back wages due to their affected employees.

“The PAID program provides Tennessee employers the opportunity to fix these issues before they become major problems,” says Kim Jefferson, assistant commissioner for the TDLWD Workplace Regulations and Compliance Division.

“PAID allows employees to receive wages owed to them in a timely manner and it can save employers from paying costly fines.”

To be eligible to participate in PAID an employer must be covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Employees included in the self-audit cannot be subject to prevailing wage requirements.

DevDigital adds Bahamas as client

DevDigital, a software and web development company based in Nashville, has launched operations in the Bahamas, to be headquartered in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island.

Offices in both Nassau and Freeport will service both U.S.-based and regional clients.

DevDigital Bahamas will bring its software solutions to the Caribbean and has already signed clients, including Global Sun Integration and CaribNation.

Company officials say the experience, and the group’s commitment to The Bahamas, is expected to create opportunities for the employment of Bahamians and the potential for new and exciting local partnerships.

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