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Business Buzzzzzzzz

Aug 8 – Savannah Business Buzzzzzzzz - Paula's Hawking Beds, Memorial is Wired and Local Embezzeler Alleged

Category: Business Buzzzzzzzz

Aug 8, 2011 – Savannah Area Business Buzzzzzzzz

Local business owners should take heed from a police arrest last week, another alleged embezzlement at a small company. On Thurs. Aug. 4, the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Financial Crimes Unit detectives arrested Donald Wayne Gardner, 45, of Savannah and charged him with stealing more than $47,500 from his employer, Auto Intensive Care on Waters Ave. Police allege that the theft occurred between 2008 and 2011. He has been charged with theft by taking and financial transaction card fraud, both felonies.

Cpl. R.J. Woodberry, with the Financial Crimes Unit, said an owner of the business discovered checks to companies he did not do business with and quizzed Gardner, the bookkeeper. Gardner told the owners of the business he had written checks to pay for his personal gasoline and cell phone, according to police. They also allege that he had opened an unauthorized credit card account in the business name and had been charging personal items to it, paying the bills with company checks. The total loss was placed at $47,532, it is alleged.

Embezzlement is so easy to do, particularly of smaller amounts over an extended period of time....a drip, drip, drip of company profits out the door.

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Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC) has been named one of the nation’s ‘Most Wired’ hospitals for the 12th consecutive year by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the journal of the American Hospital Association. The annual survey examined 1,388 of the nation’s hospitals on their use of Internet technologies in four focus areas: business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, care continuum (ambulatory/physician/community), and infrastructure. Memorial is one of only four hospitals in Georgia to receive the Most Wired designation this year. The others are Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, VA Southeast Network –VISN in Duluth, and WellStar Health System in Marietta.

Financial performance continues to improve at Memorial since Margaret (Maggie) Gill was named president and CEO in March, though the hospital system is still running at a loss year-to-date.

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Paula Dean’s been busy, hawking her furniture line, a la Martha Stewart! The Smithe brothers from Walter E. Smithe, Chicago's premier furniture retailer, are literally "getting in bed" with their newest business partner, celebrity chef and furniture designer Paula Deen, in a new tongue-in-cheek ad campaign that debuted last week on all major local networks in Chicago. Deen's "Down Home" furniture collection, known for its comfortable elegance and inviting design, will be exclusively available in Chicago at the 11 Walter E. Smithe's Chicago-area locations beginning this month.


According toTim Smithe, chief marketing officer for the company, “We absolutely love Paula and are thrilled to be 'in bed' with her in this new partnership." We love her in Savannah, too!

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Former Savannahian Chris McMillan's debut memoir, “Backwards Off the Curb,” hit local book stores last week, published by Continental Shelf Publishing, Inc. Chris is now a resident of Asheville, NC. Her first book tells the story of how, at 54, she decided to take a chance of a lifetime and head out on a cross-country pilgrimage of self-discovery. She had spent several years traveling with her husband during his Air Force career, followed by 20 years as his partner in retail shops. As time passed, however, McMillan found herself unable to move forward, so she packed up her van and “embarked on a 10,000-mile journey to find her sanity.”

“Backwards Off the Curb” is available at E Shaver Booksellers and The Book Lady Bookstore in Savannah.

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Published by Savannah Business Journal® and online at® All Copyrights Reserved ©2011.

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