Monday, August 26, 2013

Social Security information – now online!

Last year Social Security went online, allowing individuals to perform a myriad of Social Security related functions.  On the site you can do the following:

  • Review your earnings record (and report corrections if necessary)
  • Review your estimated benefits (retirement, disability, and other)
  • Print / save your full statement
  • ...and even more, if you are receiving benefits

To get started, head over to and click on my Social Security to create your account. After answering some questions and creating a login and password you are ready to go.

Matt Sellers, CPA - Supervisor

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fish or Cut Bait?: The Answer Will Surprise You

For decades, people have used the expression “Fish or cut bait” to communicate that the time has come to either take action (fish) or get out of the way (cut bait).   The expression has recently taken on new meaning for us here in Columbus.

On Memorial Day weekend of this year, whitewater rafting officially opened on a two and a half mile stretch of the Chattahoochee beginning just south of the North Highland Dam, which was built in 1899-1902 by the Bibb Manufacturing Company to supply hydroelectric power to operate its textile mill in what became known as Bibb City, and ending just behind the Columbus Iron Works Convention and Trade Center in the shadow of the Dillingham Street Bridge.
With its opening, this stretch of the Chattahoochee River has become the longest urban whitewater course in the world!  The economic power of the river has been transformed from that of hydroelectric power generation, supplying power to textile mills and other manufacturing sites, to the generation of opportunities for recreation and enjoyment of the river which has served the city of Columbus for its nearly two hundred years of existence.

The addition of whitewater in Uptown Columbus has added energy and momentum to an area that has already been energized by the addition of a portion of the Columbus State University campus, along with students of art, music and theater who now call Uptown Columbus home. Although it took many people to make the whitewater course possible, John Turner was the driving force behind the project which will not only provide recreational opportunities, but will also help restore the river to a more natural state and help restore species of plants and fish that disappeared from the river because of its industrial use.

The signature rapid on the whitewater course is called “Cut Bait Rapid”, a class IV+ rapid.  The rapid ends rafters’ run with a bang, offering a thrill ride for the rafters, just before sending them into the river, while family, friends, and other onlookers watch from the rocks.  Cut Bait is for those who are more adventurous, and who want to fully experience whitewater rafting in Columbus.

So now for us here in Columbus, the expression “Fish or Cut Bait” has taken on its new meaning.  If someone challenges you to either fish or cut bait, tell them you’ll “Cut Bait!”

David Payne, Accounting Manager

Monday, August 12, 2013

Restoring and maintaining trust

The National Association of Corporate Directors published an article some months ago offering suggestions as to how board members can contribute to the dialogue of restoring trust in capitalism and the system that has made the United States the dominant player in the economic world.  Recognizing that capitalism has lifted millions out of poverty and spurred incredible innovation it also has had its challenges.  Restoring and maintaining trust in our leadership in our companies, our non-profit organizations and our government is crucial.  Five straightforward suggestions were offered and I have listed them below with some editorial modification.

  1. Be the best we can be in the boardroom – Lead by example.  Bring every ounce of our experience, wisdom, objectivity and courage to the table every time.
  2. Stress the tone at the top – Develop and demand a culture that is ethical and that rewards integrity.  As the old saying goes, “You look for three qualities in any team member.  Intelligence, energy and integrity.  If they have the first two but not the last look out for real trouble.”
  3. Build a strong team that values openness and candor – We must trust and respect each other and we must be willing to speak our minds and have no agenda other than the well-being of our enterprise.  Your individual perspective could make the difference.
  4. Stay current and attuned – The political, regulatory and social environment are constantly changing.  We must be well-read and informed to make wise and useful decisions.
  5. Build a strategy that includes giving back to the community – Recognize our good fortune and pay it forward in our strategy.  Be a part of the community solution and not just a beneficiary.

These five simple strategies for restoring and maintaining trust can offer a foundation to any organization’s plan to build a lasting and important culture.  I hope they are of help to you.

S. Scott Voynich, Managing Partner