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Business briefcase: Dec. 6, 2013

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By The Staff

CUB’s holding company appoints 3 to new roles

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Citizens Union Bancorp of Shelbyville, the parent company for Citizen Union Bank and First Farmers Bank of Owenton, announced three appointments to its executive management.

The new titles, which became effective on Sunday, are:

  • David Bowling was named  chief executive officer of Citizens Union Bank.
  • Darryl Traylor, chair and chief executive officer of First Farmers Bank and president of Citizens Union Bank.
  • David Lyons, president of First Farmers Bank.

“The changes were made to better align the roles of the individuals with their duties and responsibilities as the company and its affiliate banks move forward into to 2014,” Citizens Union Bancorp Chair Steve Barker said in a release announcing the appointments.

He said Bowling and Traylor would continue to be responsible for working with the bank’s board of directors to set the strategic direction of CUB and to oversee the day-to-day operations of the bank. Traylor and Lyons will serve in similar roles with First Farmers Bank.

“We believe this realignment will enable us to clarify the leadership positions of our affiliate banks and position us with strong leadership for the future,” Barker said.

Said CUB Chair Steve Solomon: “We have every confidence in David and Darryl’s leadership ability.  They work well as a team and have very complimentary skills.”

CUB, based in Shelbyville, operates 15 branches throughout Shelby, Jefferson, Spencer, Bullitt, Oldham, LaRue and Hardin counties. FFB has four banks in Owen and Gallatin counties.

WMS teacher gets McDonald’s grant

Stephanie Walker, a teacher at West Middle School, was presented with a $500 grant from McDonald’s Restaurants of Kentuckiana during a surprise classroom visit on Tuesday.  

MAC Grants help teachers “Make Activities Count” in the classroom by sponsoring meaningful, hands-on activities to enhance the learning process for students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. With the grant, students will see fractions come to life as they mix self-created recipes. The end product will include recipe books and the creation of their recipe.

Ballard students support Woodstock

Students from Ballard High School in Jefferson County are raising money to support The Woodstock Foundation’s presence at Metzger's Country Store in Simpsonville.

Members of Ballard’s Animal Relief Club are sponsoring a Christmas wreath project in which a $15 donation to Woodstock gives the donor a selection of Christmas wreaths designed by the students. The wreaths are available at Metzger’s.

Amazon center stays busy

Amazon.com’s fulfillment center in Hebron on Monday was on pace to break a record of 306 items sold nationwide per second. Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer, offered a new deal every 10 minutes on items from big-screen TVs to video games to cookware and apparel.
About half of all clothing Amazon sells in North America is shipped out of the distribution center in Hebron, which stocks 3 million products, enough to fill Madison Square Garden to the roof.

“Amazon is expecting a good holiday season with fourth-quarter growth expected to be 10 to 25 percent higher than the same quarter last year,” Leslie Letts, spokesperson for Amazon.com in Hebron, told The Kentucky Enquirer.
The facility is 500,000 square feet and operates 24/7. It has more than 2 miles of conveyor belts and employs 1,600.

Business climate: Down

The mood of Kentucky’s independent retailers regarding the financial condition of their businesses continues to be somber. According to the Kentucky Retail Federation’s latest fall economic survey results, nearly 72 percent of respondents believe their businesses are in either the same or worse financial shape than at the same time in 2012. Only 24 percent responded that their business was in better shape financially. 

“Going into this year’s holiday shopping season with many retailers cautious about the long term profitability and viability of their businesses is concerning to say the least,” Tod Griffin, president of the federation, said in a release. “We’re still not seeing much movement in the economy that would indicate a full recovery in the independent retail sector anytime soon.”

When compared to the Federation’s spring economic survey, year-to-date sales projections haven’t improved. Forty percent of respondents projected this spring that their year-to-date sales would decrease compared to 51 percent of respondents this fall who report an actual decrease in sales.

Health-care costs continue to be the No. 1 factor hindering retail business growth. Tax policies and government regulations were also top concerns on retailers’ ability to grow their business. Consumer confidence was still also mentioned by many.

Bulletin board

  • The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce will have a Morning Mixer at Commonwealth Bank & Trust, 422 Main St. in Shelbyville, from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Dec. 19.

Bits & bytes

  • The State Journal in Frankfort last week closed its presses and now is printing at Gannett’s production facility in Louisville. Publisher Ann Dix Maenza said two recent equipment breakdowns that temporarily moved printing to Gannett would be permanent. She cited $1 million as the cost to upgrade the 50-year-old printing facility.
  • The first Crossroads IGA store in the Louisville area opened Wednesday at the Beckley Station area in eastern Jefferson County. The store is a smaller grocery that features a fuel station.
  • Average retail gasoline prices in Louisville have fallen 8.6 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.31 per gallon as of Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 644 gas outlets in Louisville. This compares with the national average that has fallen 1.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.25. Including these recent changes prices were 10.9 cents lower than the same day one year ago and are 6.9 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has decreased 1.3 cents per gallon during the past month and stands 14.2 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

 

Briefcase is compiled from press releases and other information submitted to The Sentinel-News. The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report. Information and photos may be E-mailed to sharonw@SentinelNews.com. The deadline is noon Wednesday.