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Economic Cloud Has a Silver Lining

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Economist Roger Tutterow, Ph.D. Professor of Economics at Kennesaw State University, speaking at Tandem Bank 2022 Economic Forum

In the early days of Tandem Bank’s existence, Chairman, CEO and Founder Charles DeWitt pointed out how it differentiates itself from many other banks.

In an interview with Atlanta Business Chronicle, he said there would be an increased focus on technology. Three years later, there is a main bank, but customers are encouraged to do more banking with their cell phones and utilize other technology.

The other difference is in the name. DeWitt said “Tandem” refers to the tandem bicycle, and it means that whether the client is an entrepreneur, a real estate professional or business operator, it will stay alongside them, providing capital or safeguarding their money but always keeping the spotlight on the customer.

In keeping with the philosophy of remaining beside clients, Tandem hosted its first Economic Forum on Thursday, September 22. The event featured Roger Tutterow, professor of economics at Kennesaw State University (KSU). He also serves as director of the Econometric Center, a research center housed in KSU’s Coles College of Business.

Economic insights shared

Tutterow shared his insights on the current economic situation and explained where metro Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the United States stand in global finance. His take was entertaining as well as informative as he covered critically important issues, such as:

  • Persistently high inflation and rising interest rates,
  • Labor challenges and supply chain woes,
  • Downward trending consumer sentiment, and
  • Likelihood and possible depth of a recession.

“We went through an incredible economic period from July 28, 2009 until February 2020,” said Tutterow. “The economy grew for 128 consecutive months, the longest economic expansion of the post-World War II era. And then the pandemic came. And we went from an economy that was growing at 2¼% to one that started contracting overnight.”

Although that was no surprise, the repercussions and recovery have many confused about whether we’re headed back to prosperity. “Today, the question on many people’s minds is ‘Are we currently in a recession? Or is one the likely outcome in the near term?’” he said.

With that as background, Tutterow showed some fundamental data to help find an answer. He first explained that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) will determine an answer through analysis. On the other hand, it’s not inconceivable that the economy may actually start growing again.

“It may well be several more quarters before we get a final ruling,” Tutterow said.

There’s a misconception that two negative quarters of GDP growth indicate a recession is imminent. The NBER says a period of diminished activity in production, trade, income and employment of sufficient depth and breadth are proof of a recession. So, with payrolls still growing and industrial production still rising, it actually doesn’t appear the economy has been in recession in the first half of 2022.

Although the economy plunged during the pandemic, once things started reopening, consumer confidence came back up, said Tutterow. “And then we got into 2021. And the summer of 2021, fall 2021, confidence started falling.” he said.

Some media sources tend to blame the economic issues on gas prices. “The consumer psyche is overly sensitive to gas prices,” Tutterow said. “Gasoline prices exert more effect upon the perceptions of inflation than the actual percentage of the expenditures.

“Let’s be honest, gas prices matter. …So when the price of gas goes up by $2 per gallon, that’s $2,000 of after-tax, disposable income that goes from you into the gas tank [if you average about 1,000 gallons a year.]”

At the end of the day, the economy isn’t doing so bad, Tutterow stressed. Even though interest rates have climbed a little, buying a house at 7% interest sure beats the 18% average people were paying in 1981. Historically, access to capital is still cheap.

In the early days of Tandem Bank’s existence, Chairman, CEO and Founder Charles DeWitt pointed out how it differentiates itself from many other banks.

In an interview with Atlanta Business Chronicle, he said there would be an increased focus on technology. Three years later, there is a main bank, but customers are encouraged to do more banking with their cell phones and utilize other technology.

The other difference is in the name. DeWitt said “Tandem” refers to the tandem bicycle, and it means that whether the client is an entrepreneur, a real estate professional or business operator, it will stay alongside them, providing capital or safeguarding their money but always keeping the spotlight on the customer.

In keeping with the philosophy of remaining beside clients, Tandem hosted its first Economic Forum on Thursday, September 22. The event featured Roger Tutterow, professor of economics at Kennesaw State University (KSU). He also serves as director of the Econometric Center, a research center housed in KSU’s Coles College of Business.

Tandem Bank’s Chairman and CEO Charles DeWitt (right) with Tutterow

Economic insights shared

Tutterow shared his insights on the current economic situation and explained where metro Atlanta, the state of Georgia and the United States stand in global finance. His take was entertaining as well as informative as he covered critically important issues, such as:

  • Persistently high inflation and rising interest rates,
  • Labor challenges and supply chain woes,
  • Downward trending consumer sentiment, and
  • Likelihood and possible depth of a recession.

“We went through an incredible economic period from July 28, 2009 until February 2020,” said Tutterow. “The economy grew for 128 consecutive months, the longest economic expansion of the post-World War II era. And then the pandemic came. And we went from an economy that was growing at 2¼% to one that started contracting overnight.”

Tandem Bank 2022 Economic Forum held at Stone Ridge Event Center, Stone Mountain, GA

Although that was no surprise, the repercussions and recovery have many confused about whether we’re headed back to prosperity. “Today, the question on many people’s minds is ‘Are we currently in a recession? Or is one the likely outcome in the near term?’” he said.

With that as background, Tutterow showed some fundamental data to help find an answer. He first explained that the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) will determine an answer through analysis. On the other hand, it’s not inconceivable that the economy may actually start growing again.

“It may well be several more quarters before we get a final ruling,” Tutterow said.

There’s a misconception that two negative quarters of GDP growth indicate a recession is imminent. The NBER says a period of diminished activity in production, trade, income and employment of sufficient depth and breadth are proof of a recession. So, with payrolls still growing and industrial production still rising, it actually doesn’t appear the economy has been in recession in the first half of 2022.

Although the economy plunged during the pandemic, once things started reopening, consumer confidence came back up, said Tutterow. “And then we got into 2021. And the summer of 2021, fall 2021, confidence started falling.” he said.

Some media sources tend to blame the economic issues on gas prices. “The consumer psyche is overly sensitive to gas prices,” Tutterow said. “Gasoline prices exert more effect upon the perceptions of inflation than the actual percentage of the expenditures.

“Let’s be honest, gas prices matter. …So when the price of gas goes up by $2 per gallon, that’s $2,000 of after-tax, disposable income that goes from you into the gas tank [if you average about 1,000 gallons a year.]”

At the end of the day, the economy isn’t doing so bad, Tutterow stressed. Even though interest rates have climbed a little, buying a house at 7% interest sure beats the 18% average people were paying in 1981. Historically, access to capital is still cheap.

Left: Weare Gratwick
Sr. VP/Gwinnett Market President
470-482-1818 Office

Right: Wendy Willis
Business Development
470-482-1819 Office
www.tandem.bank

Arlinda Smith Broady is part of the Boomerang Generation of Blacks that moved back to the South after their ancestors moved North. With approximately three decades of journalism experience (she doesn't look it), she's worked in tiny, minority-based newsrooms to major metropolitans. At every endeavor she brings professionalism, passion, pluck, and the desire to spread the news to the people.

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Insight Sourcing Group Commits to 100% Renewable Energy by 2030

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Insight Sourcing Group

Sustainability initiative aligns with the same environmental standards it helps clients attain.

Insight Sourcing Group (ISG), a consulting firm located in Peachtree Corners, is focused on strategic sourcing and procurement-related services. Following a comprehensive analysis by Insight Energy, a subsidiary of Insight Sourcing Group that recently expanded, ISG set a 100% renewable energy goal for 2030.

The goal includes a commitment to sourcing its electricity from renewable sources at its Peachtree Corners headquarters beginning in 2022.

“Not only do we apply the same standards to ourselves that we help our clients achieve, but we also sought to pull back the curtain on this process and bring some transparency to this increasingly important service offering,” said Brent Eiland, President of Insight Sourcing Group. “I commend the work of ISG’s Internal Sustainability Committee led by Brandon Owens, Vice President of Sustainability at Insight Energy.”

Brent Eiland

As part of the initiative, ISG conducted a measurement of its Scope 1, Scope 2 and selected Scope 3 emissions categories. Based on the findings, ISG developed a roadmap to achieve 100% renewable energy and established a plan to measure and reduce Scope 3 emissions, which are indirect emissions like business travel.

The Sustainability Committee also identified opportunities to reduce emissions from employee commuting via hybrid work models and a carpooling incentive program. Waste identification and reduction posed another opportunity to improve sustainability; internal audits revealed an opportunity to reduce the use of single-use paper cups.

Furthermore, ISG’s procurement of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) will certify the generation and consumption of renewable energy via wind or solar power.

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Digital Technology Innovators Join Forces to Launch New Virtual Production Studio

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Reveal XR and Music Matters Productions

Everyone wants to have a taste of virtual reality. It can take you to far-away realms as you sit comfortably within your own room. Reveal XR, one of America’s top virtual industries, provides this technology in its virtual production studios.

The company brought together Atlanta-based Music Matters Production and 3D animation and immersive content studio TRICK 3D to launch the newest Extended Reality (XR) studio in the state, Reveal XR — Atlanta, located at Eagle Rock Studios in Norcross, Ga

There has been a need for Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in the area, so Chad Shockley, Aaron Soriero and Chad Eickhoff joined forces to meet the growing XR production demands.

Reveal XR and Music Matters Productions

The three tech entrepreneurs opened Reveal XR — Atlanta, a highly accessible and multifaceted virtual production studio in Eagle Rock Studios.

Eickhoff said, “Today’s brands need to connect with a digital-first generation of customers and, as such, the demands for creativity in content production is huge.”

Some additional Facts and Specifications of the Studio:

As of the announcement, Reveal XR Atlanta is available for booking for brand, commercial, TV, film, and music productions.

Technical Specifications
● 35’ x 75’ sound stage at Eagle Rock Studios – full acoustic treatment and air conditioned
● 33’ wide, 13’ tall main LED wall, 25’ wide, 13’ tall wing LED wall, optional 3rd LED
wall up to 13’ tall and 18’ wide
● Absen PL 2.9mm pitch main walls – 90 degree configuration, next-generation Novastar
MX40 processing
● 18’ x 20’ LED ceiling, Absen X5 5.2mm pitch – high-bright, height adjustable
● Available ROE BM4 4.4mm Matte LED floor, 18’ deep, 24’ wide, high weight capacity
● Stype RedSpy Camera tracking system
● Disguise VX4+ for 4k 60fps compositing, RXII render nodes, uncompressed 10 bit video
workflow
● Available RED Komodo and RED Raptor camera packages
● Available Supertechno Technodolly automated telescoping crane
● Flexible staging and lighting options within the studio
● Full height truck docks and plentiful gear handling spaces
● Dedicated green spaces storage areas.

Names and Titles:
▪ Chad Shockley, owner Reveal XR
▪ Aaron Soriero, owner of Music Matters Productions
▪ Chad Eikhoff, owner of TRICK 3D

Location of Reveal XR Atlanta:
▪ At Eagle Rock Studios –
6269 Best Friend Rd, Norcross, GA 30071
Gate 4, E8

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Cradlepoint, Bosch and T-Mobile Collaborate to Deliver IoT Solutions

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Cradlepoint Technology

Advanced IoT Connectivity with 5G Wireless WAN Technology

Cradlepoint, the global leader in cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions, recently announced a collaboration with T-Mobile and the Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners to enable advanced IoT connectivity solutions, such as autonomous vehicles, robotics and AR/VR, using 5G Wireless WAN technology. The solution, developed by Bosch and Cradlepoint, leverages the high performance of T-Mobile’s industry leading 5G network — America’s largest, fastest and most reliable 5G network — with Cradlepoint’s purpose-built wideband adapters and routers to facilitate near real-time parking and safety monitoring at Peachtree Corners, Georgia, one of the nation’s first smart cities.

Companies and public sector entities are well positioned on the value of 5G cellular IoT connectivity, particularly when it comes to securing, managing and enhancing smart cities. Unlike traditional fiber connections that take months to deploy, cost thousands of dollars and have long-term commitment contracts, Cradlepoint’s 5G Wireless WAN solutions enable an entire ecosystem of IoT partners to immediately deploy solutions with the security and remote management capabilities needed to support IoT deployments at scale.

“Real-world deployments of IoT are challenging the status quo of existing solutions. Couple that with the trend of businesses leveraging 5G technology to transform, and you’ll see how this advanced connectivity is remodeling the enterprise,” said Todd Krautkremer, Chief Marketing Officer, Cradlepoint. “Cradlepoint, T-Mobile and Bosch are at the forefront of this evolution, furthering IoT and 5G deployments for projects of all sizes.”

“Improving safety, efficiencies and anticipating the needs of customers is what best-in-class smart cities can accomplish when powered by 5G and with innovators like Cradlepoint,” said Chris Melus, Vice President of Product Management with T-Mobile for Business. “It’s rewarding to see concepts from the Curiosity Lab, leveraging our 5G Advanced Network Solutions suite prove true value in the real world.”

The solution uses near real-time IoT technology developed by Bosch in conjunction with T-Mobile’s Ultra Capacity 5G network and Cradlepoint 5G hardware to assist Peachtree Corners shoppers and visitors in finding open parking as well as available charging stations for electric vehicles.

“In collaboration with T-Mobile and Cradlepoint, and our continued joint effort with the Curiosity Lab in the City of Peachtree Corners, we are demonstrating a scalable, affordable, adroit AIoT solution to serve the community,” said Lewis Stallworth, Business Development, Bosch Security Systems, LLC. “The flexibility of this solution was only possible with this technology-forward collaboration and is changing the conversation of what is possible when there is a need for parking management, retail management, community safety and true community operational analytics.”

In addition to improving the Peachtree Corners visitor experience, the technology also enables city planners to make real-time informed decisions on parking capacity, infrastructure planning, traffic management and security safeguards based on data around events happening throughout the city.

“Through our work with Cradlepoint, Bosch and T-Mobile, we are now able to better manage our public spaces. Cradlepoint devices having high-speed connectivity through T-Mobile’s 5G is key – these devices now allow us to use smart parking applications through the Bosch cameras in our Town Center, while also providing a safety and security layer for our police department.” said Brandon Branham, CTO and Asst. City Manager, Peachtree Corners. “The analytics these devices provide help us to better communicate with our residents about parking and safety in our downtown area.”

To learn more about Cradlepoint’s work with T-Mobile, Bosch and the Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners, please visit: https://resources.cradlepoint.com/success-stories/smart-city-uses-5G-for-connected-intersections-and-innovative-parking.

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