Dr. Paul Lopez and Dana

Dr. Paul Lopez & Dana Barrett

In the guest chair:

On Monday, November 30th Dana had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Paul Lopez, Charter Member of TiE Atlanta. Dr. Lopez is a Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Element Funding, a residential mortgage lender with branches across Georgia, Florida and North Carolina (www.elementfunding.com) that has served over 18,000 families with $3 billion in mortgage financing since opening as a startup business in the summer of 2007.

Nicole Reyhle, the official spokesperson of Small Business Saturday, and a small business owner, phoned in this morning as well. She is a regular contributor to Forbes.com and also an Author to the book Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business.

David Lusk, Senior Manager of Global Operations Control for FedEx, phoned in to give us the scoop on cyber Monday, and what really goes into delivering the packages we order during the holidays. David, who has been with FedEx since 1989, is in charge of command and control / flight dispatch of FedEx U.S. operations, Global Operations Control crisis contingency planning, response and event management for FedEx Express and the FedEx Enterprise.

In the headlines:

  • While you were shopping Friday, another company experienced a data breach… This hack was at VTech and the new twist, the data stolen belongs to your kids. The company’s “Learning Lodge”, an online digital store for kids, was hacked – and the company says no credit card data was compromised, but names, email addresses and mailing addresses were stolen.
  • According to Billboard, Adele’s first-week sales numbers for her third album “25″ totaled 3.38 million copies sold from Nov. 20 through Nov. 26. That number marks the first time an artist sold over 3 million albums in one week and is the highest total for an artist since Nielsen Music started tracking sales in 1991. (She did not make the album available on streaming services, FYI).
  • A high-stakes appeal of the government’s net neutrality rule will take place Friday December 4th  in the The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  The telecomm companies who want the new(ish)FCC rules overturned are hopeful that they will prevail as the same judge who shot down two previous versions of the rule will help decide the latest challenge. On the other hand the FCC says they crafted the current rules based on feedback from that very same judge and believe the rules will hold and not be overturned.
  • U.S. retailers pushed customers to seek holiday bargains even earlier this year, offering discounts online and in stores well before the traditional Black Friday shopping day, (including the jerks who were open on Thanksgiving).  As a result, throngs on Friday at malls and shopping districts across the country were noticeably thinner than in previous years.
  • Buckhead traffic may be reaching a tipping point as a proposed Buckhead real estate project is magnifying  frustrations about traffic in the area.  The project, planned by Atlanta developer Regent Partners LLC, would include approximately 614,000 sq ft of office space and more than 300 apartment and condo units. It would be located next to the Buckhead MARTA station and pedestrian bridge on one of the last remaining undeveloped offices sites in the district.
  • Dana thinks Sandy Springs is on the right path with a futuristic proposal they are discussing. The head of that city’s Planning Commission Lee Duncan says a monorail system like the one used at Walt Disney theme parks is the solution for Sandy Springs’ traffic woes and would be cheaper than MARTA. Dana likes it. (Except she thinks it needs to be part of MARTA).
  • And speaking of new building projects going up and general purpose traffic – A new Courtyard by Marriott hotel is being planned for Vinings – yet another part of the metro area not serviced by public transit where traffic is already bad.
  • Atlanta born rapper 2 Chainz has rolled out a line of ugly Christmas sweaters. Power to him for capitalizing on a ridiculous tradition that has bubbled up… but seriously – can we end this tradition this year? Why do people think this is fun?

Other stuff:

For other events and appearances, check out Dana’s event calendar: http://danabarrett.com/events/.

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