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 Summer 2015
 Southern Business & Development


Winter 2012

Top ten quotes

We don't always publish this Ten Top 10, but there were enough great quotes in the last four editions of Southern Business & Development to do it this year.

By Lee Burlett

 "Hey, Mercedes, time to move to a more welcoming state. We are the Show-Me State, not the Show-Me your papers state."

-- From the Fall 2011 issue of SB&D. The quote was from the St. Louis Dispatch editorial board after police in Tuscaloosa, Ala., arrested Detlev Hager, a 46-year-old Mercedes executive. He was arrested shortly after Alabama passed its strict immigration law. Mercedes-Benz operates its only U.S. assembly plant in Tuscaloosa. 

North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco. "It appears to me that everyone is trying to cover their tail."

-- That's what North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco had to say in SB&D's Fall 2011 edition about the political backlash seen in North Carolina after losing out to Sumter, S.C., for a $500 million, 1-million-square-foot, 1,700-job Continental Tire plant.

"But there is one thing that makes Florida Gov. Rick Scott totally unique. What enables him to plow new ground, whether that ground sprouts new jobs or not, is his lack of obligations to special interests. He apparently doesn't owe anything to anybody. Name a recent governor in the South who can claim that."

-- Mike Randle, editor and publisher of SB&D in his Winter 2011 cover story titled, "Will Rick Scott Save or Sink Florida?"

"Well, it's about time. After four or five grueling years, business and industrial projects are back in a big way in the American South. There were 594 projects that had announced job totals of 200 or more jobs and/or $30 million or more in announced investment in the region in calendar year 2010. That total is not only the largest since 1998; it is the second-largest in the history of the SB&D 100 ranking, which was first published in 1994."

-- Mike Randle, editor and publisher of SB&D in the annual SB&D 100 that was published in the Spring 2011 issue. Last year's data comes out this June.

"For example, if the SB&D 100 counted robots each year like we count jobs, we could go out on a limb and write that there has probably been a 10,000 percent increase in robot employment in the South since we first published the SB&D 100 in 1994. In fact, robot unemployment in Southern factories is – we're just guessing here – less than one percent and would be zero if not for a few on disability until a part arrives."

-- Mike Randle in the same story.

"What if I was to tell you that there's a good chance as many as 3 million jobs could be re-shored to the U.S. and Mexico over the next eight years? And what if I told you that the vast majority of the jobs re-shored to the U.S. will land right here in the American South? Don't believe it? Well, it is happening right this very minute and SB&D has hard data on it."

-- Mike Randle in his story, "A Defining Moment: How the American South is beating China at its own game."

 "'Mike, you might be right. Interestingly enough, this project was approved for Asia"' but after doing due diligence, Bridgestone chose Aiken instead.

-- South Carolina-based site consultant Mark Williams in the story "A Defining Moment: How the American South is beating China at its own game" after Randle explained his theory to Williams that the rising manufacturing project totals seen in the South each year since 2007 could be the result of companies choosing the South instead of China.

"A manufacturing beachhead is being formed in the American South and Mexico."

-- Mike Randle on CNBC in 2008. The study done last year by the Boston Consulting Group titled "Made in America, Again," verified the source of that beachhead. They are projects that used to go to Asia but are now being re-shored to the South and Mexico. And SB&D also believes that a good portion of those projects are being "outsourced" to the South and Mexico by foreign-based companies that used to do that in China. 

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear"We believe it doesn't matter to Steve Beshear to which political party he is a member. From what we know of him, Steve Beshear finds inspiration wherever he can find it." 

-- This quote can be found in this issue's cover story titled Finding inspiration wherever he can," where we named Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear SB&D's 2012 "Person of the Year."

"Peeking in was Frank Newman, a project manager at Commerce for ages. Frank said to the interim director, 'Well, I'm gone.' I said to Frank, who I had known for quite some time, 'Where you going Frank, out to lunch? I will go with you, we are nearly done here.' Frank said, 'No, Mike. I am gone,' as in leaving Commerce."

-- This quote can be found in this issue's South Carolina section that you can find under features on the main page of

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