To: Macon’s distinguished Mayor Robert Reichert and the illustrious Bibb County Commission Chairman Samuel Hart
Re: Christmas in Korea
After conferring with a trusted international travel advisor and economic development expert, I think you’ll both find the following tips helpful in your upcoming business trip to South Korea.
At my urging, the two of you should take Industrial Authority Chairman Cliffard Whitby’s advice. Please have your administrative assistants make reservations quickly for a jaunt to meet officials with Kumho Tire Co.
Both the travel agent and I recommend you fly economy. The cost of a ticket to fly from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport will most likely start at more than $1,000.
This excursion is important enough to let the taxpayers pick up the tab, but we don’t want anyone thinking you’ll take any special perks, like first class seating on this 14-hour flight.
Warning: Make sure you do not accidentally use any Macon police department-confiscated funds for travel expenses. We can’t give the appearance that you received any hint of preferential treatment associated with such a high-level operation.
If you are like me and do not sleep well on planes, be sure to pack a good book. May I suggest Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal?”
This 372-page volume is apropos as you prepare for conversations with the tire manufacturing executives. To quote Mr. Trump from this book, “Our long-term interests require that we cut better deals with our world trading partners.”
In addition, take an iPod and make sure you have someone download plenty of music choices. If I may suggest a few songs to include on the playlist; Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” Santana’s “Winning” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.” These tunes will help set the mood for a positive attitude in your impending discussions.
Forecasters indicate that the month of December is when the hard winter season really kicks in and you’ll be wise to pack your down jacket, warm walking shoes and an umbrella.
If by chance you find you do not have the proper attire once you arrive in Seoul, it is common knowledge that you can sharpen you bargaining skills at one of the behemoth wholesale markets. You’ll need the negotiating practice for the Kumho conference room.
It goes without saying, you’ll want to bring along acopy of the original 2008 memo of understanding that was signed by Kumho representative Kim Hyun Ho and Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority Chairman (at the time) Robby Fountain.
On the MOU, highlighted in yellow, will be the paragraph detailing the $333,000 that is due if 70 percent of the Sofkee plant location is not completed by Dec. 31, 2013.
In your delivered remarks, please stress on behalf of your fellow residents we wish the South Koreans well and we’re most desirous to advance the tire plant that promises 450 high-paying, high-quality jobs. (Mr. Reichert should deliver this line.)
Be prepared to pull your brilliant “trump” card (no pun intended). Utilize the above quote from business master Donald Trump and then ask what we can do to help secure the 450 jobs and speed this project without further delays. After listening, smiling and sharing a glass of soju, tell your hosts Bibb County voters have just approved $5.6 million for such economic development hardships. The citizens are ready to infuse the needed monies into this project and it is going to be deployed through a special purpose local option sales tax.
As far as your accompanying delegation, I suggest you choose wisely. However, it may be in our best interest to leave Frank Amerson off the list.
Kenny Burgamy serves as a marketing consultant and is co-host of the Kenny B. Charles E. program.