Business (188) has released a new report about restaurant worker pay. Below is information about that report and a link to the state-by-state analysis. Release

The restaurant industry—and its workers—have faced severe challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak. With added safety precautions, inconsistent work, and unemployment—restaurant workers struggle to find stability. With over 8.1 million restaurant workers across the US and talks of raising the minimum wage, my team at wanted to know which states pay restaurant staff the most.

We found that in every state, restaurant workers earn less than the average salary for all other occupations.

Oklahoma ranks #37 for restaurant worker pay.

  • In Oklahoma restaurant workers make an average salary of $20,406
  • This is 55% less than the average salary of all other occupation ($45,620) in Oklahoma

Check out our state-by-state analysis here:

Best Paying States for Restaurant Staffmap

Here are a few stats from the report.

  • Nationally, restaurant workers earn an average salary of $24,861—that’s 54% less than all occupations across the country.
  • Hawaii ranks #1 for restaurant staff pay, with an average salary of $41,502—but that still falls 24% below Hawaii’s average salary for all occupations.
  • The next best-paying states are Vermont and Arizona, which both pay restaurant workers about 40% less than the average pay for all occupations.
  • Virginia has the worst pay for restaurant workers, with an average salary of $22,894 (60% less than all other occupations).
  • The other lowest-paying states for restaurant staff include Rhode Island, Georgia, and Maryland, which all paid nearly 60% less than all occupations.

Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. commercial gaming revenue totaled $30.0 billion in 2020, down more than 31 percent year-over-year, according to the American Gaming Association’s (AGA) Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker. 2020 marked the first market contraction for the U.S. gaming industry since 2014 and the lowest gaming revenue total since 2003.

The year ended with some positive momentum in the fourth quarter, with a 1.7 percent increase in revenue over Q3 2020. The nearly $9.2 billion in revenue still represented a 17 percent year-over-year decrease.    

“COVID-19 devastated our business and the employees and communities across the country that rely on casino gaming’s success,” said AGA President and CEO Bill Miller. “We have persevered by leading responsible reopening efforts, supporting our employees, and extending a hand to our communities. Still, these numbers show the economic realities of COVID-19 and underscore the importance of targeted federal relief and ramped-up vaccine distribution to accelerate gaming’s recovery in 2021.”

Commercial casinos lost 27 percent of normal operating days throughout 2020 because of mandated COVID-19 closures and, to a lesser degree, disruptions caused by hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. Commercial casinos were open (with capacity restrictions) for an estimated 124,882 days in 2020 instead of 170,484 days had the industry not been shuttered.

The impact of COVID-19 on the casino industry extends beyond gaming revenue. Live entertainment, tourism, and meetings and conventions — which make up more than half of casino resort revenue in tourist destinations like the Las Vegas Strip — all came to a standstill in 2020 and are only now starting to reopen.

“Hospitality and travel have been among the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. I am encouraged by recent bipartisan momentum on Capitol Hill to support these industries, which are crucial to our nation’s full economic recovery,” added Miller.

Since the reopening of casino properties in mid-2020, the industry has consistently demonstrated its ability to safely return to business, with 911 out of 998 U.S. casinos open today. AGA research shows about one-in-three American adults plan to visit a casino in 2021 — near the highest rate since the AGA began tracking last March. About 80 percent of future casino visitors agree the industry has done a good job at safely reopening.

Gaming’s performance in 2020 was buoyed by the growth of new gaming options, with legal sports betting garnering an all-time high of $1.5 billion in revenue, up 69 percent year-over-year, and iGaming revenue nearly tripling to almost $1.6 billion.


  • 30 commercial gaming markets were operational in 2020, while seven jurisdictions launched legal sports betting markets and West Virginia launched a new iGaming market.
  • AGA’s Casinos & Communities: COVID-19 Response report details how gaming companies have supported their employees, communities, and frontline workers throughout the pandemic.  
  • The AGA’s COVID-19 casino tracker lists the reopening status of every U.S. casino.

About the Report

AGA’s Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker provides state-by-state and cumulative insight into the U.S. commercial gaming industry’s financial performance based on state revenue reports. This issue highlights fourth quarter results, ending December 31, 2020, and end-of-year comparisons.

About the AGA 
The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers, and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.

DOD Press Release

Lynas Rare Earths Ltd, the largest rare earth element mining and processing company outside of China, has been awarded a Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III technology investment agreement to establish domestic processing capabilities for light rare earth elements (LREE).  LREEs are critical to numerous defense and commercial applications, including petroleum refining, glass additives, and magnets used in electric vehicle drivetrain motors and precision-guided munitions.  Upon completion of this project, if successful, Lynas will produce approximately 25 perfect of the worlds’ supply of rare earth element oxides. 

Through its wholly-owned subsidiary Lynas USA LLC, Lynas will establish LREE separation capacity in Hondo, Texas. Under the technology investment agreement, the Department of Defense is contributing $30.4 million to the project. The Hondo, Texas facility will complement Lynas’ existing Australian and Malaysian operations and is expected to be co-located with the proposed Heavy Rare Earths separation facility. 

This award aligns with the U.S. government’s strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals under Executive Order 13817 and follows a series of rare earth element actions the Department of Defense has taken in recent years to ensure supply and strengthen defense supply chains. Specific actions include stockpiling, implementing Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS) rules to transition defense supply chains to non-Chinese sources of rare earth element magnets, launching engineering studies with the Industrial Base Analysis and Sustainment program focused on re-establishing domestic heavy rare earth element processing, partnering with industry to re-establish domestic neodymium-iron-boron magnet production, and leveraging Small Business Innovation and Research and Rapid Innovation Funds to accelerate the development of new rare earth element processing technologies.  The award to Lynas follows three previous DPA Title III awards to rare earth element producers announced in November of 2020.

Press Release

Pine Bluff, AR – Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ: SFNC) (the “Company” or “Simmons”), parent company of Simmons Bank, today announced net income of $254.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $237.8 million for 2019, an increase of $17.0 million, or 7.2%. Diluted earnings per share were $2.31 for 2020, a decrease of $0.10 or 4.2%, compared to the prior year. Included in the 2020 results were $9.4 million in net after-tax merger-related, early retirement program and net branch right-sizing costs and the gains on the sales of branches in Texas and Colorado. Excluding the impact of these items, core earnings were $264.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to $269.6 million for 2019, a decrease of $5.3 million, or 2.0%. Core diluted earnings per share were $2.40, a decrease of $0.33 or 12.1%, from 2019.

Fourth quarter 2020 net income was $53.0 million compared to $52.7 million for the same period in 2019.  Diluted earnings per share were $0.49 for the fourth quarters of both 2020 and 2019. Excluding $9.0 million in net after-tax merger-related, early retirement program and net branch right-sizing costs, fourth quarter 2020 core earnings were $62.0 million, a decrease of $9.1 million, or 12.8%, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Core diluted earnings per share were $0.57, a decrease of $0.09, or 13.6%, from the same period in 2019.

“As we look back on a very challenging year, we are very proud of the teamwork and results we achieved,” said George A. Makris, Jr., chairman and CEO of Simmons First National Corporation. “We mobilized over 1,500 associates to work from home at times during the year while maintaining our ability to serve our customers.  We provided over 8,000 PPP loans totaling almost $1 billion to businesses that faced extraordinary uncertainty and helped support over 100,000 jobs. We integrated Landmark Bank into Simmons Bank, not without some obstacles due to COVID-19 restrictions, but our associates persevered to get the job done. We contributed $3 million to the Simmons First Foundation to support conservation projects throughout our service area. We enhanced our digital banking offerings, and our customers have benefitted from their ability to conduct their business when they want, where they want. We worked diligently to position ourselves with less risk and with the capacity to help the economy recover from the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. We increased our dividend to our shareholders, and our profitability was excellent, especially under the circumstances. Also during 2020, we successfully completed our regulatory exam cycle, including our first CFPB exam. I, personally, could not be prouder of our team.”

 Selected Highlights:

FY 2020

FY 2019

4th Qtr 2020

4th Qtr 2019

Net income

$254.9 million

$237.8 million

$53.0 million

$52.7 million

Diluted earnings per share





Return on avg assets





Return on avg common equity





Return on tangible common equity (1)






Core earnings (2)

$264.3 million

$269.6 million

$62.0 million

$71.1 million

Core diluted earnings per share (2)





Core return on avg assets (2)





Core return on avg common equity (2)





Core return on tangible common equity (1)(2)





Efficiency ratio (3)





Adjusted pre-tax, pre-provision earnings (2)

$352.7 million

$375.0 million

$83.1 million

$95.1 million


(1)     Return on tangible common equity excludes goodwill and other intangible assets and is a non-GAAP measurement. Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.

(2)     Core figures exclude non-core items and are non-GAAP measurements. Adjusted pre-tax, pre-provision earnings excludes provision for income taxes, provisions for credit losses and unfunded commitments, gains on sales of securities, and other pre-tax, non-core items, and is also a non-GAAP measurement. Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.

(3)     Efficiency ratio is core non-interest expense before foreclosed property expense and amortization of intangibles, as a percent of net interest income (fully taxable equivalent) and non-interest revenues, excluding gains and losses from securities transactions and non-core items, and is a non-GAAP measurement. Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.


 ($ in billions)

4th Qtr 2020

3rd Qtr 2020

4th Qtr 2019

Total loans





 Total loans were $12.9 billion at December 31, 2020, a decrease of $1.5 billion, or 10.6%, compared to December 31, 2019. On a linked-quarter basis (December 31, 2020 compared to September 30, 2020), total loans decreased $1.1 billion, or 8.0%. “The decline in the loan balance reflects the tepid loan demand during 2020. Approximately $375 million of the decrease was due to the sale of loans associated with branch sales in South Texas and Colorado during the year. Our total loan pipeline consisting of all loan opportunities, which was a robust $1.7 billion at December 31, 2019 fell to $374 million at September 30, 2020. The pipeline is starting to rebuild and ended 2020 at $674 million, including $177 million in loans approved and ready to close. On a positive note, our concentration levels in commercial real estate are now well below regulatory guidelines and we have substantial capacity to make additional loans, help borrowers in our markets and help the economy recover,” said Makris.

Through December 31, 2020, the Company originated approximately 8,200 loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, with an average balance of $119,000 per loan. Approximately 93% of the PPP loans had a balance less than $350,000 as of December 31, 2020.

PPP Loans

Balance as of December 31, 2020

# of



Original Balance

($ in millions)



December 31, 2020

($ in millions)


Less than $50,000







$50,000 to $350,000







More than $350,000 to less than $2 million







$2 million to $10 million
















($ in billions)

4th Qtr 2020

3rd Qtr 2020

4th Qtr 2019

Total deposits




Non-interest bearing deposits




Interest bearing deposits




Time deposits




Total deposits were $17.0 billion at December 31, 2020, an increase of $878.1 million, or 5.5%, since December 31, 2019. On a linked-quarter basis, total deposits increased $740.4 million, or 4.6%, primarily due to increases in interest bearing accounts. Both consumer and commercial deposit balances have grown since the economic stimulus legislation, including legislation that established the PPP program, was implemented in mid-2020.  Trends affected by the increasing cash balances are paydowns on loans, reduced credit card balances and fewer overdraft activities.

Net Interest Income


4th Qtr

3rd Qtr

2nd Qtr

1st Qtr

4th Qtr

Loan yield (1)






Core loan yield (1) (2)






Security yield (1)






Cost of interest bearing deposits






Cost of deposits (3)






Cost of borrowed funds






Net interest margin (1)






Core net interest margin (1) (2)







(1)     Fully tax equivalent using an effective tax rate of 26.135%.

(2)     Core loan yield and core net interest margin exclude accretion and are non-GAAP measurements. Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.

(3)     Includes non-interest bearing deposits.


The Company’s net interest income for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $155.0 million, a decrease of $12.1 million, or 7.3%, from the same period in 2019. The decrease in net interest income was primarily due to the decline in the loan yield of 69 basis points and the lower average loan balance during the period. Included in interest income was the yield accretion recognized on loans acquired of $9.0 million and $15.1 million for the fourth quarters of 2020 and 2019, respectively.

The loan yield was 4.74% for the quarter ended December 31, 2020, a 20 basis point increase from the third quarter of 2020. The core loan yield, which excludes the accretion, was 4.47% for the same period. The PPP loan yield was approximately 2.42% during the fourth quarter of 2020 (including accretion of net fees), which decreased the Company’s overall loan yield by approximately 13 basis points.

Net interest margin (FTE) was 3.22% for the quarter ended December 31, 2020, while the core net interest margin, which excludes the accretion, was 3.04% for the same period. The net interest margin during the fourth quarter of 2020 was affected by additional liquidity and the lower yielding PPP loans originated during the second and third quarters of 2020, which decreased the net interest margin by approximately 38 basis points.


Non-Interest Income

 Non-interest income for 2020 was $248.5 million, an increase of $43.5 million compared to the previous year. The increase was primarily due to a $19.5 million increase in mortgage lending income and a $41.5 million increase in gains on sale of securities recognized on the rebalancing of the investment portfolio during 2020. These increases were partially offset by the one-time gain on sale of the Visa Inc. class B common stock of $42.9 million that was completed during the third quarter of 2019.

Non-interest income for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $44.1 million, a decrease of $1.6 million compared to the same period in the previous year.

Selected Non-Interest Income Items

($ in millions)


FY 2020


FY 2019


4th Qtr 2020


4th Qtr 2019

Service charges on deposit accounts





Mortgage lending income





SBA lending income





Debit and credit card fees





Gain on sale of securities





Other income






Core other income (1)(2)






(1)     Core figures exclude non-core items and are non-GAAP measurements. Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.

(2)     Core other income includes the gain on sale of Visa Inc. class B common stock in 2019.


Non-Interest Expense

Non-interest expense for 2020 was $493.5 million, an increase of $32.4 million compared to the previous year. Included in 2020 were $21.5 million of pre-tax non-core items, which mostly consisted of branch right sizing costs. Excluding these expenses, core non-interest expense for 2020 was $472.0 million, an increase of $53.8 million compared to 2019 core non-interest expense. The increase was primarily due to the incremental costs associated with the 2019 mergers and the Next Generation Banking (“NGB”) technology initiative. The Company recognized an additional $14.8 million in software and technology expense related to its NGB initiative in 2020.

Non-interest expense for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $128.1 million, a decrease of $14.0 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Included in this quarter were $12.5 million of pre-tax non-core items for merger-related, early retirement program and branch right-sizing costs. Excluding these expenses, core non-interest expense was $115.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2020, a decrease of $1.6 million compared to the same period in 2019.

Also included during the fourth quarter of 2020 was a $3 million contribution to the Simmons First Foundation for grants to support conservation projects throughout the Simmons Bank footprint.

The efficiency ratio for 2020 was 54.66% while the efficiency ratio for the fourth quarter of 2020 was 55.27%.

Selected Non-Interest Expense Items

($ in millions)


FY 2020


FY 2019


4th Qtr 2020


4th Qtr 2019

Salaries and employee benefits





Merger related costs





Other operating expenses






Core salaries and employee benefits (1)





Core merger related costs (1)





Core other operating expenses (1)






(1)     Core figures exclude non-core items and are non-GAAP measurements. Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.


Early in 2020, the Company offered qualifying associates an early retirement option resulting in $2.9 million of non-core expense during 2020. The Company expects ongoing net annualized savings of approximately $2.9 million.


Management continuously evaluates the Company’s branch network as part of its analysis of the profitability of the Company’s operations and the efficiency with which it delivers banking services to its markets. As a result of this ongoing evaluation, the Company closed 11 branch locations during the second quarter of 2020, with estimated net annual cost savings of approximately $2.4 million related to these locations. The Company closed 23 branch locations on October 9, 2020, with an expected net annual cost savings of approximately $6.7 million. Also during 2020, nine branches were sold in South Texas and Colorado.


Asset Quality



4th Qtr

3rd Qtr

2nd Qtr

1st Qtr

4th Qtr

Allowance for credit losses on loans to total loans






Allowance for credit losses on loans to non-performing loans






Non-performing loans to total loans






Net charge-off ratio (annualized)






Net charge-off ratio YTD (annualized)






At December 31, 2020, the allowance for credit losses on loans was $238.1 million. Included in total loans was $904.7 million of government guaranteed PPP loans. Non-performing loans decreased $45.2 million during the fourth quarter of 2020, which contributed to the decrease in provision for credit losses for the quarter when compared to the third quarter of 2020.

Provision for credit losses for 2020 was $75.0 million, an increase of $31.7 million from 2019. Provision for credit losses for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $6.9 million, an increase of $2.0 million when compared to the same period of 2019. Makris stated, “Due to the uncertainty in the economy during 2020, we were quick to offer loan modifications to our customers to help them through the uncertain times. The majority of modified loans are projected to return to regular payments prior to the end of the third quarter of 2021. We feel we have made adequate provision for potential risk in our credit portfolio and have reviewed and adjusted the risk rating of all modified loans.” Makris continued, “The hospitality industry, particularly hotels, continues to struggle with a return to normal.”

Foreclosed Assets and Other Real Estate Owned

At December 31, 2020, foreclosed assets and other real estate owned were $18.4 million, a decrease of $728,000, or 3.8%, compared to the same period in 2019. The composition of these assets is divided into three types:            


($ in millions)

4th Qtr

3rd Qtr

2nd Qtr

1st Qtr

4th Qtr

Closed bank branches and branch sites






Foreclosed assets – acquired






Foreclosed assets – legacy










4th Qtr

3rd Qtr

2nd Qtr

1st Qtr

4th Qtr

Stockholders’ equity to total assets






Tangible common equity to tangible assets (1)






Regulatory common equity tier 1 ratio






Regulatory tier 1 leverage ratio






Regulatory tier 1 risk-based capital ratio






Regulatory total risk-based capital ratio






(1)     Tangible common equity to tangible assets is a non-GAAP measurement. Please see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” and “Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below.

At December 31, 2020, common stockholders' equity was $3.0 billion. Book value per share was $27.53 and tangible book value per share was $16.56 at December 31, 2020. The ratio of stockholders’ equity to total assets was 13.3% at December 31, 2020, while the ratio of tangible common equity to tangible assets was 8.5%. As of December 31, 2020, PPP loans totaled $904.7 million, which are 100% federally guaranteed and have a zero percent risk-weight for regulatory capital ratios. Excluding PPP loans from total assets, equity to total assets was 13.9%, tangible common equity to tangible assets was 8.8% and the regulatory tier 1 leverage ratio was 9.5%.

Simmons First National Corporation

Simmons First National Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, with total consolidated assets of approximately $22.4 billion as of December 31, 2020. The Company, through its subsidiaries, conducts financial operations in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas and offers comprehensive financial solutions delivered with a client-centric approach. The Company’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SFNC.”


Conference Call

Management will conduct a live conference call to review this information beginning at 9:00 a.m. CST today, Tuesday, January 26, 2021. Interested persons can listen to this call by dialing toll-free 1-866-298-7926 (United States and Canada only) and asking for the Simmons First National Corporation conference call, conference ID 3994603. In addition, the call will be available live or in recorded version on the Company’s website at for at least 60 days.


Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release contains financial information determined by methods other than in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). The Company’s management uses these non-GAAP financial measures in their analysis of the Company’s performance. These measures adjust GAAP performance measures to, among other things, include the tax benefit associated with revenue items that are tax-exempt, as well as exclude from income available to common shareholders, non-interest income, and non-interest expense certain income and expenses related to significant non-core activities, including merger-related expenses, gain on sale of branches, early retirement program expenses and net branch right-sizing expenses. In addition, the Company also presents certain figures based on tangible common stockholders’ equity, tangible assets and tangible book value, which exclude goodwill and other intangible assets. The Company further presents certain figures that are exclusive of the impact of PPP loans. The Company’s management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures are useful to investors because they, among other things, present the results of the Company’s ongoing operations without the effect of mergers or other items not central to the Company’s ongoing business, as well as normalize for tax effects. Management, therefore, believes presentations of these non-GAAP financial measures provide useful supplemental information that is essential to a proper understanding of the operating results of the Company’s core businesses. These non-GAAP disclosures should not be viewed as a substitute for operating results determined in accordance with GAAP, nor are they necessarily comparable to non-GAAP performance measures that may be presented by other companies. Where non-GAAP financial measures are used, the comparable GAAP financial measure, as well as the reconciliation to the comparable GAAP financial measure, can be found in the tables of this release.



Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements in this news release may not be based on historical facts and should be considered “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements made in Mr. Makris’s quotes, may be identified by reference to future periods or by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as “believe,” “budget,” “expect,” “foresee,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “indicate,” “target,” “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “continue,” “contemplate,” “positions,” “prospects,” “predict,” or “potential,” by future conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “might” or “may,” or by variations of such words or by similar expressions. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements relating to Simmons’ future growth, revenue, assets, asset quality, profitability, net interest margin, non-interest revenue, share repurchase program, acquisition strategy, NGB and other digital banking initiatives, the Company’s ability to recruit and retain key employees, the benefits associated with the Company’s early retirement program, branch closures and branch sales, the adequacy of the allowance for credit losses, the ability of the Company to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, expectations and projections regarding the Company’s COVID-19 loan modification program, and the impacts of the Company’s and its customers participation in the PPP. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this news release, and Simmons undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this news release. By nature, forward-looking statements are based on various assumptions and involve inherent risk and uncertainties. Various factors, including, but not limited to, changes in economic conditions, credit quality, interest rates, loan demand, deposit flows, real estate values, the assumptions used in making the forward-looking statements, the securities markets generally or the price of Simmons common stock specifically, and information technology affecting the financial industry; the effect of steps the Company takes and has taken in response to COVID-19; the severity and duration of the pandemic, including the effectiveness of vaccination efforts; the pace of recovery when the pandemic subsides and the heightened impact it has on many of the risks described herein; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on, among other things, the Company’s operations, liquidity, and credit quality; general economic and market conditions; unemployment; claims, damages, and fines related to litigation or government actions, including litigation or actions arising from the Company’s participation in and administration of programs related to the COVID-19 pandemic (including, among other things, the PPP loan program authorized by the CARES Act); changes in accounting principles relating to loan loss recognition (current expected credit losses, or CECL); the Company’s ability to manage and successfully integrate its mergers and acquisitions; cyber threats, attacks or events; reliance on third parties for key services; government legislation; and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements. Additional information on factors that might affect the Company’s financial results is included in the Company’s Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2020, which have been filed with, and are available from, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Press Release

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla., January 15, 2021 — The Annual Stars of the Industry Awards was held at the Renaissance Waterford Hotel on January 14, 2021. This program, presented by the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association, is designed to honor Oklahoma's outstanding hospitality professionals for their service and commitment to the guest service and hospitality industry. Our partners in support of this lodging award program include Auto-Chlor System, Clearwater Enterprises, Cox Business Services, HDSupply, Heartland Payment Systems, McGregor Insurance Group, Mold & Virus Control LLC and US Foods.

This year, submissions resulted in 29 nominees from properties of all sizes among the nine categories – proof of Oklahoma’s outstanding employees and properties. Honorees were each nominated by the owners, General Managers or Human Resource departments of the recipient's property.

The Stars of the Industry Award recipients are as follows:

Heart of Hospitality

-        Enoch Toby New, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel, Oklahoma City


-        Celena George Riverwind Hotel, Norman

-        Maria Sosa, Aloft OKC Downtown-Bricktown, Oklahoma City

Outstanding Food & Beverage Employee of the Year   

-        Clemeyia Davis, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel, Oklahoma City


-        Robert Therrien, Renaissance Waterford Hotel, Oklahoma City

-        James Watson, Aloft OKC Downtown-Bricktown, Oklahoma City

Outstanding General Manager of the Year 

-        Chase Rollins, Renaissance Waterford Hotel, Oklahoma City


-        James Cunningham, Hyatt Regency Tulsa Downtown, Tulsa

-        Skip Harless, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel, Oklahoma City

Outstanding Room Keeper of the Year   

-        Maria Sosa, Aloft OKC Downtown-Bricktown, Oklahoma City


-        Novilyn Booker, Riverwind Hotel, Norman

-        Sharronda Griffin, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel, Oklahoma City

-        Maria Llames, Renaissance Waterford Hotel, Oklahoma City

Outstanding Front Desk Employee of the Year   

-        Mike Qubain, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel, Oklahoma City


-        Michael Bullock, Renaissance Waterford Hotel, Oklahoma City

Outstanding Lodging Employee of Year   

-        Michael Pearne, Embassy OKC Medical, Oklahoma City


-        Linda Farries, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel, Oklahoma City

-        Johnnie Reed, Renaissance Waterford Hotel, Oklahoma City

Outstanding Front of House Manager/Supervisor of the Year

-        Matthew Kirtman, Riverwind Hotel, Norman


-        Samantha Harvey, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Lawton

-        Lorna Hughes, Aloft OKC Downtown-Bricktown, Oklahoma City

-        Nicole Keath, Renaissance Waterford Hotel, Oklahoma City

-        Edward (Eddie) Peacock, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel, Oklahoma City

Outstanding Back of House Manager/Supervisor of the Year

-        Chris Barton, The Skirvin Hotel Hilton, Oklahoma City


-        Sergio Moncada, Winstar World Resort and Casino, Thackerville

-        Velvet Ward, Riverwind Hotel, Norman

-        Paul White, Renaissance Waterford Hotel, Oklahoma City

Oklahoma's Women in Lodging (OKWIL) Leader of the Year

-        Tanna Vu, Best Western Plus, Weatherford


-        Mackenzie Plank, The Skirvin Hilton Hotel, Oklahoma City

Oklahoma award recipients will be submitted to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) to compete in the national Stars of the Industry Awards competition. National winners will be honored during the AHLA Summit to be announced later this year.

Incorporated in 1974, the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association is Oklahoma's trade association for the hotel and lodging industry. The OHLA actively provides advocacy, education and resources for operators and professionals in all types of lodging businesses throughout the state of Oklahoma. The OHLA is a state partner of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and represents $12 billion in business sales, more than $6 billion in guest spending and $2 billion in hotel industry wages and salaries.


The Poteau Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce ProClean as new members of the Poteau Chamber.

ProClean is a family owned and operated business. Founded in 2005 by PJ and Tylinda Milstead, they have grown their business by offering the best service at fair and reasonable prices.

Today, they are joined in running the business by their children Trey and Victoria.

Though ProClean has grown from a small business to a thriving company, their commitment to excellence and customer service lives on in every staff member.
Services they offer are:

24 Hour Emergency Service
Making Your Carpet Look Like New
Cleaning Up What Nature Leaves Behind.
Sewage Cleanup
Water Extraction
Water Cleanup
Ozone Purification
Upholstery Cleaning
Berber Carpet Specialists
Odor Abatement
Structural Drying
Thermal/HVLP Fogging
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Their Mission
ProClean’s mission is to provide its customers with the highest quality services by certified technicians at affordable prices. As advisors and consultants to our customer, we are committed to treating them with the same honesty, respect, and commitment we would expect from any company. We are committed to providing our clients with the best service available.

ProClean is based out of Fayetteville Arkansas, if you are in NW Arkansas or NE Oklahoma please call 479-575-0482.

ProClean is located
643 Hwy 45
Fayetteville, AR 72703

Press Release

Home Depot to Improve Public Health Protections during Home Renovations

WASHINGTON (December 17, 2020) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice today announced a proposed nationwide settlement with Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. resolving alleged violations of the EPA’s Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) Rule at home renovations performed by Home Depot’s contractors across the country. The States of Utah, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, which have EPA-authorized RRP programs, are joining the United States in this action.

The settlement, in a consent decree lodged with the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, requires Home Depot to implement a comprehensive, corporate-wide program to ensure that the firms and contractors it hires to perform work are certified and trained to use lead-safe work practices to avoid spreading lead dust and paint chips during home renovation activities. Home Depot will also pay a $20.75 million penalty, the highest civil penalty obtained to date for a settlement under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Of the $20.75 million penalty, $750,000 will be paid to Utah, $732,000 to Massachusetts, and $50,000 to Rhode Island.

“Today’s settlement will significantly reduce children’s exposure to lead paint hazards,” said Susan Bodine, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Home Depot will implement system-wide changes to ensure that contractors who perform work in homes constructed before 1978 are EPA-certified and follow lead-safe practices. EPA expects all renovation companies to ensure their contractors follow these critical laws that protect public health.”

“These were serious violations. The stiff penalty Home Depot will pay reflects the importance of using certified firms and contractors in older home renovations,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jonathan D. Brightbill of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Contractors hired for most work in homes built prior to 1978, when lead based paint was in widespread use, must be certified. These contractors have the training to recognize and prevent the hazards that can be created when lead paint is disturbed.”

EPA discovered the alleged violations when investigating five customer complaints about Home Depot renovations (in Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin), which showed Home Depot subcontracted work to firms that in some cases did not use lead-safe work practices, perform required post-renovation cleaning, provide the EPA-required lead-based paint pamphlets to occupants, or maintain records of compliance with the law.  

EPA then conducted a comprehensive review of Home Depot’s records of renovations performed throughout the United States and identified hundreds of instances in which Home Depot sent uncertified firms to perform renovations that required certified and trained firms. In addition, EPA identified instances in which Home Depot failed to establish, retain, or provide compliance documentation showing that specific contractors had been certified by EPA, had been properly trained, and had used lead-safe work practices in projects performed in homes.

For the most serious violations addressed by the settlement, Home Depot offered its customers inspections using certified professionals and, if dust lead hazards were found, it performed specialized cleaning and verification.

Under the settlement, Home Depot will implement a company-wide program to ensure that the contractors it hires to perform work for its customers comply with the RRP Rule during renovations of homes built before 1978. To do this, Home Depot is implementing an electronic compliance system to verify that the contractors it hires are properly certified. Home Depot will also require its contractors to use a detailed checklist to document compliance and provide the completed checklist to the customer. The checklist will lead the contactors through the steps required for RRP Rule compliance. Home Depot will also conduct thousands of on-site inspections of work performed by its contractors to ensure they comply with lead-safe work practices. Home Depot must also investigate and respond to customer complaints. In instances where the contractor did not comply with Lead Safe Work practices Home Depot will perform an inspection for dust lead hazards and, if they are found, provide a specialized cleaning. EPA will monitor Home Depot’s responses to customer complaints.

In addition to the requirements related to its renovations, Home Depot will provide important information about following lead-safe work practices to its professional and do-it-yourself customers in its stores, on its website, on YouTube, and in workshops. The RRP Rule does not apply to do-it-yourself projects in your own home.  However, the EPA recommends using the Rule’s lead-safe work practices in your own home projects, so this important information will help families learn how to safely perform home improvement projects to protect themselves, and their children.

Residential lead-based paint use was banned in 1978 but still remains in many older homes and apartments across the country. Lead dust hazards can occur when lead paint deteriorates or is disrupted during home renovation and remodeling activities. Lead exposure can cause a range of health problems, from behavioral disorders and learning disabilities to seizures and death, putting young children at the greatest risk because their nervous systems are still developing.  A blood lead test is the only way to determine if a child has a high lead level. Parents who think their child has been in contact with lead dust should contact their child's health care provider.

The consent decree is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. To view a copy of the consent decree and for information on how to submit a comment, visit

Further information about the settlement is available on EPA’s website at: 

To make a complaint about lead safe work practice violations, see EPA’s website link at:

Celebrating 50 years of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, founded December 2, 1970. For more on EPA’s 50th Anniversary and how the agency is protecting America’s waters, land and air, visit:, or follow the agency on social media using #EPAat50.​

Sunday, 06 December 2020 20:25

Ribbon Cutting for Personali-Tees

The Poteau Chamber of Commerce welcomed new member business Personali-Tees and ChataPreneur, Julia Haney with a ribbon cutting Friday afternoon at the Jingle Bell Market held at Pirate Nutrition in north Poteau. In attendance were several family and Chamber members as well as the Senior Business Advisor at Choctaw Nation Small Business Development Senior Business Advisor, Kreg Haney.

Personali-Tees owner, Julia Haney, said, “Personali-Tees & More is a customization company that specializes in vinyl, sublimated, and screen- printed designs. The name Personali-Tees came from our mission. Our mission statement is to provide customers with quality clothing that expresses their personality. We aim to provide the highest quality at the lowest possible prices.”

Personali-Tees currently has two booth locations for customers to shop, accept orders via our Facebook Business Page and Facebook Group, and complete custom orders.

In 2021 we plan to begin accepting wholesale orders for boutiques.”

Booth locations are inside All Emacity at 2409 N Broadway and inside Pirate Nutrition at 2912 N Broadway.

Visit Personali-Tees Facebook Page:

Join Personali-Tees Facebook Group:




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Personali-Tees Owner, Julia Haney, (below) invites everyone to stop by and browse her items or contact her for special orders.

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Written by TV analyst and financial advisor Nicola Smith Jackson

Atlanta, GA, September 15, 2020 — The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll across the nation, but for young adults the impact has been particularly devastating. According to a new survey by the Pew Research Center, for the first time ever, a majority of young adults between the ages of 18 to 34 now live at home with their parents.

As of July, 52 percent of millennials were living in their parents’ homes, up from 47 percent in February, according to the Pew analysis of Census Bureau data, surpassing the previous high hit in 1940, when 48 percent of young adults lived with their parents. The study also found the number and share of young adults living with their parents jumped across the board for men and women, all racial and ethnic groups, and in every geographical region.

Nicola Smith Jackson, bestselling author, financial advisor and TV analyst says, “Undergraduates at unprecedented levels are forced to make drastic changes, moving back home and studying remotely. Many are also forced to take a gap year because of the times. College graduates are also facing the worst job market, and student debt is at an all-time high — also putting a severe strain on their finances. More than seven in 10 graduates are in the red, owing more than $30,000 in student loans, and those already in the workforce are more likely to lose their jobs or take a severe pay cut.”

In less than six months, the share of 16- to 24-year-olds who are neither enrolled in school nor employed more than doubled due to the economic downturn that followed, according to the study. Even before the pandemic, young adults were increasingly dependent on their parents. About six in 10 parents with children between the ages of 18 and 29 said they have given their kids at least some financial help in the past year — primarily for recurring expenses such as tuition, rent, groceries or bills, Pew reported.

“Supporting grown children adds additional stress to parents when their own financial security is at risk, from medical coverage to auto insurance, groceries and internet, there are hidden costs to having children come back home, and it doesn’t look like it will be getting better any time soon,” says Jackson. Jackson offers these tips to help young earners become more stable:

  1. Avoid bad debt
  2. Save to invest
  3. Borrow only what you need
  4. Generate passive income
  5. Budget

Dr. Nicola Jackson has over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience. She currently leads a multimillion-dollar team of agents consisting of tens of thousands in the financial service industry. She has also led over 450,000 sales representatives in more than 30 countries. As a wife and mother of four, including one child disabled, she turned her pains into passion after burying three children by the age of 23. She holds true to her Christian faith and uses Kingdom values and principles to deliver a sound message to thousands of people around the nation on how to manage a household, maintain a strong marriage and create a multimillion-dollar empire. Dr. Jackson was also an Executive Producer and star on the BET Centric hit reality series, Amateur Millionaires Club; has been featured in several national publications; and is a highly sought after speaker. She has shared the stage with the likes of Dr. Myles Munroe, Dr. Maya Angelou, Ambassador Andrew Young, Bishop Paul Morton, Steve Harvey, Tommy Dortch, Magic Johnson, Dr. Bernice King and many other world-renowned speakers. She is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, “Power Start Your Day.” She is also the author of Inside the Millionaire’s Vault and her upcoming books, Power Moves Journal for the Unstoppable Entrepreneur and Cash The Check, Time-tested Wealth Principles You Can Take to the Bank.

She founded the Pink Millionaire Club where she mentors women on how to “Connect the dots between the haves and the have nots” through Prayer, Impact, Nurturing and Knowledge. Currently, Dr. Jackson travels the world speaking to thousands on the topics, “Live and Die Rich” and “How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur While Being Spiritually Grounded.” She has dedicated her life to empowering others with opportunities and financial literacy to build wealth and legacies for families around the globe.

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