Business & Economy
Long-awaited opening of new Hilltop business November 15 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Scott Tunnicliff   
Monday, 17 November 2014 12:18

The building at 1329 Harrison Street stood neglected and vacant for many years, like too many of the buildings in the Hilltop Campus Village. Then, thanks to the vision and hard work of new owners, it was cleaned up and painted, brightening the Harrison corridor and making everyone who walked or drove by wonder

“What’s gonna go in there?” Now it can be told.

D’Allen Salon Suites and Bass Blessed Boutique will have an Open House on Saturday, November 15 from 1pm to 4pm. The owners, Martha and Alan Spears have been working on the interior spaces, separating the L-shaped building into distinct units that separates the clothing boutique from the D’Allen Salon Suites.

Martha Spears says “D’Allen Salon Suites represents the latest concept in Booth Rental Salons that provides licensed beauty professionals with the freedom and flexibility of their own private studio.” It will provide an upscale environment without the upscale price, featuring fully-equipped private studios with on-site management.

The Bass Blessed Boutique will carry the latest in fashion for men and women.“We have known for a while now what Martha and Alan were planning, and got ot see some of the interior as it was going up,.” Said Hilltop Campus Director Scott Tunnicliff. “This block has been the latest extension of the commercial corridor re-development, with improvements and expansions also made by Hilltop Grocery, Spears Resale (Brenda and Curtis, no relation to Martha and Alan) and the Hilltop Law Offices.”

The Open House will be an opportunity for everyone to have their curiosity satisfied. Join Martha and Alan on Saturday November 15.

Additional questions of the owner can be directed to Martha Spears, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 309-631-3891.

Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors to Tour Davenport Projects PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ashley Jared   
Monday, 17 November 2014 12:13

DAVENPORT - On Tuesday, November 18 the Iowa Finance Authority Board of Directors and City officials will be touring Davenport projects and highlighting local developments.


TIME: 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Bus Tour of local housing, water quality and community development initiatives

The bus will depart from the Hotel Blackhawk, (200 E 3rd St.) at 12:00 p.m. and will return at 2:00 p.m.

There will be media availability before and after the tour at the Hotel Blackhawk.

Planned tour highlights:

  • Warehouse District, 500 Iowa St.
  • 5th & Brady Lofts, 501 W. 5th St.
  • Taylor Renaissance, 901 W. 15th St.
  • Jackson Renaissance, 1420 W. 16th St.
  • West Side Diversion Tunnel, 3040 N. Division St.
  • Fairmount Pines Phase I/II/III, 4205 N. Fairmount St.
  • Dover Court Project, 2905 Dover Court
  • Harrison Lofts, 1402 Harrison St

5 Tactics to Defy the Impossible in Business PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 17 November 2014 11:11
Research Shows Women CEOs Falter at the $1 Million Threshold

In terms of growth in business ownership, women have been soaring past men, averaging increases 1.5 times the national average, according to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report by American Express Open.

There are nearly 9.1 million women-owned businesses providing jobs for nearly 7.9 million people and generating more than $1.4 trillion, according to the report.

Leading the skyrocketing growth are women of color, who now own one of every three female-owned businesses – up from one in six in 1997. Black women alone generate $49.5 billion a year in revenue.

“What’s interesting is that these businesses match or exceed their peers in terms of numbers, employment and revenue – until they hit the $1 million mark,” says Dr. Venus Opal Reese, CEO of Defy Impossible, Inc. (, a coaching business that helps black women -- and men and women of all ethnicities -- break the seven-figure ceiling.

“At $1 million, they start lagging behind. Despite their bigger-than-average numbers, women’s businesses are still smaller than average.”

Reese says female CEOs black and white tend to unconsciously start sabotaging their success just as they’re growing into greatness. Why?

“From the time we’re babies, society – often our own families, too -- measure our worth based on how we measure up to their expectations. So we end up measuring our value on those same expectations, not the values that come from our true, authentic self. That sets up some real conflicts as we build successful businesses,” Reese says.

How to overcome that? To “defy impossible”?

Reese, who went from living on the streets as a teen in Baltimore to earning her Ph.D. from Stanford, shares these tips:

•  Know your worth in dollars and cents.
Most women tend to accept the unspoken expectation that people will notice and reward us. That’s a mistake. If you over-give or over-work, you actually train your environment to expect you to give without compensation. Start calculating the time, money and resources you bring (or save) your clients or company. Write it down. When you are ready to up your rates or ask for a raise, you will not be depending on good will. You will have hard data to back up your hard work.

•  Trust that you are more than enough.
Too often we look outside of ourselves for validation. Sometimes we think a degree or a title will give us the “right” to be paid top dollar. You are brilliant. Start noticing that when you show up, things get better, they get done, and people soar. When you trust that you are enough, you stop backing down and you start standing for yourself — no credential needed.

•  Heal your heart.
Money is a heart condition. Think of money as energy. Energy needs a conduit. Most women lead with our hearts. Whenever you are harboring resentment, regret, anger, resignation or fear, you are blocking yourself from your seven-figure future. When our hearts are congested with negative energy, we block our wealth.

•  Invest in yourself.
As her business grew, there came a point when Reese realized she – and it – had outgrown many of the support staff that had been perfectly suitable when she was just starting out. To get the people she needed, she doubled and, in some cases, quadrupled salaries.

“I believe in putting money in me instead of on me,” she says. “When I hire proven professionals, I am investing in my peace of mind and quality time with my loved ones. When you ‘hire up,’ you say to yourself and the Universe, ‘I trust you and I trust me to produce a return on this investment tenfold.’

“Now that I have a top-tier team, I have the mental space, creativity, and peace of mind to focus on high-level joint ventures.”

•  Learn how to monetize.
Until you can reliably bring in new money, you will be a slave. The best investment Reese says she ever made in herself was learning how to package, position, and price her expertise.

“When you learn how to monetize, you get freedom. You don’t have to depend on a man, or a job, or the government for security. And when you learn how to close sales with confidence, your money skyrockets!”

About Dr. Venus Opal Reese

Dr. Venus Opal Reese, CEO of Defy Impossible, Inc. (, is an acclaimed international speaker; CEO Mindset, Messaging and Marketing Mentor; and entrepreneur coach. She holds two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, and worked as a university professor before investing in herself by testing her entrepreneurial skills. Her business, Defy Impossible, grossed $1.2 million less than three years after launching.

Mixing Religion and Financial Planning PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 17 November 2014 11:06

Spreading the ‘Good News’ of Sound Financial Planning
Money Management Has Common Cause with Theological Guidance, Says Money Minister

These days, if you want the kind of prosperity, peace and hope in your life for which the Bible is a guide, you need sound financial advice, says “Money Minister” C. Ernie Nivens, (, author of “Baker’s Dozen: 13 Insights from Highly Successful Financial Advisors.”

“I can’t tell you how many clients have had a look of fear and dread in their eyes when I first sat down with them. They were frantic with worry about running out of money in their retirement years,” says Nivens, a 20-year United Methodist minister and global church growth consultant who has focused his passion for learning on financial issues since 1990.

“As my career as a financial planner grew, I was struck by how similar spiritual advising is to financial advising. A retiree who is running out of money and is facing the uncertainty of relying on Social Security and Medicare faces quite a crisis. Essentially, they’re wondering if they can afford to live.”

For Christians, the “good news” refers to Jesus’ message of hope. Nivens says he’d like to spread his financial gospel, which includes strategies for protecting and successfully using one’s own money.

Nivens cites scripture and connects it with what Americans can do to better afford their lives and financially support others.

•  1-Timothy 5:3 – “Take care of widows who are destitute.” Many senior widows face not only destitution, but also the need for long-term care. With the flood of baby boomers currently retiring, and the fact that women live longer men, scripture remains relevant to today’s most important issues, which includes long-term medical care for the elderly. About 70 percent of people over age 65 can expect to need long-term care services at some point in their lives. That varies in cost depending on circumstances, even with the help of Medicare. Consulting a financial planner about implementing wealth preservation strategies long before you or a loved one needs long-term care is a prudent precaution.

•  Proverbs 23:10 – “Don't stealthily move back the boundary lines or cheat orphans out of their property ….” The Bible is filled with ethical guidelines regarding cheating people out of what is rightfully theirs. But modern estate management is rife with moving boundary lines as tax legislation changes the rules. That makes it difficult for many people to ensure they – and their heirs – keep what is theirs. To afford life in retirement and leave a legacy for one’s family, the three most important areas to understand are how estate taxes work, critical documents and management tactics. If you’re a wealthy individual, for example, umbrella liability insurance adds an extra layer of protection between your assets and a potential lawsuit.

•  Acts 20:35 – “In everything I've done, I have demonstrated to you how necessary it is to work on behalf of the weak and not exploit them. You'll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You're far happier giving than getting.’ ” Americans are a generous people, giving an estimated $300 billion a year to charity. From veterans’ issues to ALS to children with cancer to homelessness, giving is in the DNA of those who have prospered from a solid work ethic. When giving, know how your money will be spent – ask questions. And, consider giving to organizations that need it; many universities and hospitals are flush with money. Finally, consider giving your time as well – volunteering is rewarded with great satisfaction.

About C. Ernie Nivens

C. Ernie Nivens, (, entered the United Methodist Church ministry while working his way through college. After completing his bachelor’s degree in English from Francis Marion University, he earned his Master’s of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. He retired from the ministry in 1990 and began his career as a financial professional. Nivens completed his master’s in Financial Services, MSFS, with an AEP (Accredited Estate Planner), in 2002. A popular speaker in the industry, he is also the author of three books: “Bakers Dozen,” “A Light in the Darkness: Insights of a Southern Christian Gentleman,” and “Southern Fried Hope,” a mystery.

Job Training Services Available for Older Veterans PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Susan Jackson   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 13:40
Muskogee, Okla. – This year’s commemoration of Veteran’s Day is a reminder that many U.S. veterans are still unemployed. Experience Works is providing the tools older veterans need to succeed.

“It’s about making sure older workers have the skills and confidence to compete in today’s workforce. Retirement just isn’t an option for the people we serve.” says Experience Works CEO Sarah Biggers.

Experience Works used the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) to put Vietnam veteran Harvey Borchardt on a path to a new career. He started with a paid community service assignment as an archivist and grant writer at the USS Batfish Submarine and Military Museum.

Then, acting on a job lead from Experience Works’ staff, he was hired as a veteran customer representative for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Muskogee, Okla.

‘Enrolling in the program opened doors to opportunities that I never knew existed,” says the 67-year-old Borchardt. Still working in this position, he has not only topped minimum wage, but is earning more than the median income for the area.

SCSEP is funded through the U.S. Department of Labor and targets low-income people age 55 and older who have difficulty finding jobs. Participants earn minimum wage while updating their skills in community service assignments at local public and nonprofit organizations. Other benefits include access to computer and customized training, jobs clubs, and job search assistance.

Borchardt, like so many others, dropped out of the workforce to care for aging parents. A few years later, it was a different economy and he struggled to find work. In the interim, he hoped to increase his employability by earning a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from Northeastern State University. That still didn’t help. After sending out more than 200 resumes with no responses, he reached out to Experience Works for help.

Experience Works is a national nonprofit operating in 30 states and Puerto Rico. For more information, or to find out if services are available in your community call toll free 866-EXP-WRKS or visit


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