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Pike Nurseries Becomes an Employee-owned Company

Pike Nurseries management is pleased to announce the company has combined with Armstrong Garden Centers, its sister corporation in California, to operate under an established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The plan transfers ownership to Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers employees through a defined contribution benefit program. 

 

“The ESOP program allows us to reward our employees for their hard work and longevity with the company,” said Mike Kunce, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers. “This structure not only enables management continuity, but also ensures the employees who have built and sustained Pike Nurseries and Armstrong Garden Centers play an integral part in the future success of the business.”

 

71 Ga. UPS drivers added to Circle of Honor

71 Ga. UPS drivers added to Circle of Honor

(WXIA) -- More than 1,400 UPS drivers worldwide were recently inducted into the Circle of Honor, an organization for employees who have achieved at least 25 years of accident-free driving.

Seventy-one of the inductees live in Georgia.

"My thanks go to all of them for their dedication and focus, and for the countless lives they've saved," Dwayne Meeks, president of UPS South Atlantic District, said in a statement.

Georgia's senior safe driver is Guy Haynes of Tifton, who can boast 43 accident-free years. The most seasoned Circle of Honor driver is Thomas Camp of Livonia, Mich., who has been driving for UPS for 52 years without an accident.

The latest Circle of Honor members from Georgia, by UPS work location, include:

Acworth (Center)
Robert Crumbley, Marietta

Albany (Center)
Tyrone Campbell, Albany
Robert Hammond Jr., Leesburg

Bakery employs adults with special 'kneads'

Bakery employs adults with special 'kneads'

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- A bakery in downtown Lawrenceville has gained a cult following in the six months it's been open.

"The cupcakes are just fantastic. They're divine," one customer said.

But the little bakery is also getting noticed for what it's doing that is unlike any other similar business -- and a hint can be found in the name. Most of the employees at Special Kneads & Treats have special needs.

Owners Tempa and Mike Kohler opened the bakery for their son Bradley, who had aged out of the system and couldn't find anyone else to give him a chance to work.

Special Kneads is a non-profit. Tempa and Mike said their employees are not charity cases, but are a critical part of why the bakery is in the black only half a year after opening.

Graham Roberts named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

Graham Roberts named to Barron’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors

ATLANTA -- Morgan Stanley announced that Graham Roberts, Executive Director, Financial Advisor, in the Firm’s Atlanta Wealth Management office, has been named to Barron’s list of America’s Top 1,200 Advisors: 2014 State-by-State.

The “Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors” is a select group of individuals who are screened on a number of criteria. Among factors the survey takes into consideration are assets under management, revenue produced for the Firm and quality of service provided to clients.

“I am extremely proud that Graham Roberts is representing Morgan Stanley Wealth Management on this list,” commented Michael Outlaw, Branch Manager of Morgan Stanley’s Atlanta office. “This listing recognizes an elite group of financial professionals who are dedicated to providing clients with exceptional wealth management services.”

RadioShack to close 1,100 stores

(USA TODAY) -- After reporting dismal fourth-quarter earnings, RadioShack said Tuesday that it would close about 1,100 poorly performing stores, roughly 20% of the electronic retailer's locations.

The store closings will leave about 4,000 locations in the U.S. The company has been struggling to revamp its stores for the past year.

Total net sales and operating revenues were $935.4 million in the fourth quarter, vs. $1,171.4 million last year, a 20% decline. Comparable store sales were down 19%, which the company blames on poor performance in its mobile phone business.

RadioShack stock was down more than 20% in premarket trading.

"Even in this environment, we're continuing to make progress on the five pillars of our turnaround plan: repositioning the brand, revamping the product assortment, reinvigorating the stores, operational efficiency and financial flexibility," CEO Joseph C. Magnacca said in a statement.

Best Buy to cut hundreds of jobs

(BUSINESS JOURNAL) -- Best Buy Co. Inc. plans to cut hundreds of jobs throughout its U.S. store operations, according to a report in the New York Post.

The article, citing anonymous insiders, says the "layoffs could affect upwards of 2,000 managers," though the exact scope isn't known. The retailer does not plan to close any of its 1,055 U.S. stores at this time.

Best Buy, which reports its fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, declined to comment. The chain has 19 stores in metro Atlanta.

Late last month, Best Buy announced it was laying off roughly 950 full-time employees at its Best Buy and Future Shop stores in Canada as part of a store-restructuring initiative. The company said it will consolidate sales departments and reduce management layers in an effort to "streamline its store operating model as part of the company's long-term growth strategy in Canada."

Bill would unplug Georgia's $5K electric vehicle tax credit

ATLANTA -- Georgia ranked fourth in the U.S. in electric vehicle registrations last year - an impressive showing for a state notched squarely in the middle of the country's "truck belt."

Now, a bill introduced by state representative and former Alpharetta Mayor Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta), threatens to suck the air out of electric vehicle adoption in the Peach State.

The bill would eliminate an up to $5,000 tax credit available to buyers of new zero-emission vehicles, no later than April 1. The tax credit - among the richest in the country - coupled with a $7,500 federal tax credit, has fueled electric vehicle adoption in the state. 

Electric vehicle advocates argue eliminating the tax will slam the brakes on sales of electric vehicles, which they say reduce emissions and dependence of foreign oil.