In the guest chair:

This morning, Dana had the pleasure of hosting three very successful guests. Dr. Gez Agolli of Progressive Medical Center and a regular contributor to the show, stopped by to talk about how to loose weight in 2016 and gave his professional opinion on sports safety.

Josh Bickford & Dana Barrett

Josh Bickford & Dana Barrett

Josh Bickford of Cornerstone Mortgage Group stopped by to dish on the importance of networking, as well as to give some helpful hacks for lowering your credit score. Cornerstone is a boutique mortgage shop in Sandy Springs. In 2015 they closed over 700 transactions for roughly $225,000,000 in volume. They have a team of 18, of which 9 currently are originators.

Business author, speaker, and consultant, Joe Calloway, phoned in to give his advice on how to attract business and why having a quality business is important. Joe Calloway helps great companies get even better. He helps organizations and top-performing individuals focus on what is truly important, inspires constant improvement, and motivates people to immediate action. Joe is the Executive In Residence at Belmont University’s Center For Entrepreneurship, and he is an Advisor on Business Development with Gilson Boards, an American artisan snowboard company.

In the national headlines:

  • U.S. stocks are off to their worst start on record: The Dow is down 5.2% this year, which is the worst four-day start to a year on record. This comes after the stock market just wrapped up its weakest year since the 2008 financial crisis.
  • Trader Joe’s is being accused in court of under-filling cans of tuna after tests revealed that most of their 5-ounce cans actually contained less than 3 ounces of tuna, as first reported by the New York Post. Yikes.
  • Panasonic showed off some pretty cool tech for airlines at CES this week: In economy class, they are building ultra-thin 13-inch HD touchscreen displays that pretty much span the entire back of the seat in front of you.The screens in coach don’t only show videos provided by the airline, they also connect with and charge your phone. You can adjust the brightness of your reading light and even set mood lighting for your seat. And the top of the screen will flash different colors when you want to call a flight attendant or if you want to be left alone when they come around with the drink cart.  And best of all, the electronics for the new entertainment systems fit into the chair legs — no more giant boxes that prevent you from stowing your carry-on bag all the way under the seat in front of you.  The new seatback screens are already in the economy class sections of Emirates Airlines, and the company says more customers have shown interest in putting them on their planes this year too.   They’ve got a ridonkulously awesome business class seat in the works too – but you gotta see the pictures of that to get it’s awesomeness.  We’ll post a link.
  • Apple has purchased Emotient Inc., a startup that uses artificial-intelligence technology to read people’s emotions by analyzing facial expressions.  Not clear what they’re going to do with it.

In the local headlines:

  • Fifth Group Restaurants has announced plans to open a third location of Ecco, its Euro-style restaurant with two current locations in Midtown and at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  The newest Ecco is set to open near Phipps Plaza in Buckhead in mid-2017. Fifth Group’s second concept in the area, South City Kitchen Buckhead, is expected to open in spring 2017, marking another step forward in what the company is calling its “five-year growth plan.”
  • So yesterday we told you that the CEO of Invest Atlanta would be stepping down on January 18th for some undisclosed reasons… well later in the day yesterday Atlanta business reporter Maria Saporta posted on pretty scathing article on the topic on her site, The Saporta Report.  When reading the article it sounds like Maria is saying the Mayor didn’t like a hiring decision CEO Craig Richard made without his input basically for personal reasons and so not only reversed the decision on the CFO brought in by Richard but also got rid of Richard.  Ouch.  We don’t know the players and don’t have the inside skinny… but ouch!
  • MARTA General Manager and CEO Keith Parker announced that they are forming a new task force to develop a plan for sprucing up the transit system’s rail stations with works of art.
  • While we’re talking transit, the city is planning to sell advertising on the new streetcar line, both inside the streetcars for riders to view and at the stations.

Other stuff:

Join us Monday, January 11th for the next meeting of The Dana Barrett Show Business Book Club! This month’s selection is THE ROAD TO CHARACTER by David Brooks. We’ll talk leadership and the line between the “Big Me” and our own inner, personal values. We will meet at American Food and Beverage in Buckhead. Get all the details and sign up to attend here:

For other events and appearances, check out Dana’s event calendar:

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