The parade of mannequins, a new feature to highlight the season’s fashions at the new Ann Taylor concept stores.

Welcome to the January 16 top secret, always confidential Monday Business Briefing, finally back for 2102 after a long holiday vacation.

But since the MBB spend much of the year in St. Barts, we’re glad to have him back, if only till the next tropical interlude.

As always, these are biz tips Insider Louisville has collected during the past few days, tips that are NOT double-verified like Insider Louisville’s daily reporting.

That said, these are items MBB has collected from sources with direct knowledge of the deals with the idea that you can use our business-intelligence networks to broaden your network:

Norton Healthcare has had some impressive coups lately including stealing away the Kentucky Cancer Institute from Jewish Hospital last month before Jewish was absorbed by Catholic Health Initiatives. But when MBB heard that Norton and the University of Louisville are teaming up to recruit a pediatric heart transplant doctor (who would work at Kosair) we were skeptical. Until someone sent us the recruitment documents:

The Departments of Pediatrics at the University of Louisville School of Medicine and Kosair Children’s Hospital are recruiting a highly motivated and talented pediatric cardiologist with expertise in pediatric heart failure and transplantation to the leadership role of medical director of heart failure and cardiac transplantation of the CongenitalHeartCenter at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Ky.

The primary responsibilities for this position focus on directing and expanding our current clinical programs in pediatric heart failure and transplantation. There is substantial administrative, financial, nursing and research support for these programs. In addition, we collaborate closely with the very successful clinical programs in adult heart failure, mechanical assist devices and transplantation. The Kosair Charities Pediatric Heart Research Program in the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute and a broad array of basic science research programs in the University of Louisville provide outstanding research infrastructure and collaborative opportunities, with active programs in basic science and translational research involving tissue engineering, stem cells and ventricular assist devices.

We also hear U of L is recruiting pediatric dialysis specialists, our sources say to create the only pediatric dialysis center in Kentucky.

• MBB got this tantalizing tidbit from his sources at the Courier-Journal. Boxcar PR is the new hot PR firm in Louisville, representing largish clients such as Jonathan Blue’s Blue Equity,Dr. Bizer’s VisionWorld, John-Kenyon Eye Institute and the Louisville Marriott Downtown among others. The fascinating angle is, Boxcar split off from Louisville-based PR giant Peritus Public Relations, which has (had?) top echelon clients.

Oddly, Peritus (and Boxcar, for that matter) forgot to send out a press release about what looks to us like a big story, considering who runs Peritus – Tim Mulloy and Mark Murphy – their big-time political operatives such as former Bush Administration official Scott Jennings and their many clients including the University of Louisville and Ford.

This one is definitely worth a follow-up as MBB learns more covertly before going to Peritus.

• An update on Ann Taylor – the executive women’s apparel retailer is opening new concept stores across the United States, and Louisville has one of them. We hear the others are in Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C. Atlanta, New York City and Boston, so maybe some one in the world of retail is starting to see the value of the Louisville retail market. Local Ann Taylor execs told MBB they were shocked that Louisville was chosen as one of the concept locations, with a new store at the Summit redesigned last fall. The new stores are designed in partnership with S. Russell Groves architects, which like Ann Inc. is headquartered in New York City. In place of the old mallish stories, think Fifth Avenue. The new boutiques are designed to make customer shopping experiences more intimate by creating look of “a stylish modern contemporary home,” according to Ann Taylor materials on the web.

• In a related story, Target execs announced last week they were planning to put Apple Computer mini-stores in 25 Targets.  Target also announced it would start featuring products from small specialty shop for six week rotations. Those retailers include The Candy Store in San Francisco, The Privet House home accessories; The Webster  a hip clothing store in Miami; Polka Dog Bakery in Boston; and The Cos Bar, an Aspen cosmetics shop. Weird. No word yet whether they’ll be as farsighted as Ann Taylor management and include Louisville in the experiment.

The Oswald Group has merged into Wells Fargo Insurance Services. We don’t know all the details, but our real estate insiders tell MBB all the employees of Cleveland-based Oswald Group have left the Fenley buildings on Brownsboro Road and moved to San Francisco-based Wells Fargo’s building on Breckenridge Lane. More when we connect with former Oswald, former Marsh executive Todd Lanham, one of Louisville’s best connected people. During the last few years, Wells Fargo has upped its Louisville presence, adding a commercial loan operation run by Thomas Crockett, the brother of  Frost Brown Todd managing partner John Crockett , to its insurance brokerage and other operations. A lot of changes going on in business insurance after the surprising sale last year of Louisville-based brokerage Neace Lukens to Assured Partners Inc. Now we hear John Neace is buying his own island in the Caribbean.

• You know about the success of Signature Healthcare and other long-term care/senior care companies. But our sources say one of the fastest growing Louisville firms is PCA Pharmacy. Our real estate insiders tell us PCA Pharmacy is moving from its headquarters building outside Jeffersontown off Blankenbaker Parkway to either buy or build a new building for its growing 250-person workforce. PCA Pharmacy is in the lucrative niche of running the pharmacy operations of nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities and high-level care hospitals.
• Our sources tell us ASAP Automation in Blue Grass Industrial Park is very much in the growth mode. ASAP Automation is one of the quiet companies based in Louisville. But it supplies warehouse management and automation equipment to retailers around the world, with satellite offices in Indianapolis, Los Angeles, South Carolina and India.
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