Early Briefing: Rah-Rah! The Gaylord Pep Rally

Would your company do this? At the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, Vice President Emily Ellis, center, leads the parade of hotel Stars. (Courtesy Of Gaylord)

* Have you chest-bumped your boss today? "Dennis Miller once said, 'If you're 35 years old and you're wearing a plastic tag with your name on it, you've made a serious mistake.' Well, he didn't work for us." This comes from Emily Ellis, one of the architects of the upbeat culture at Gaylord Entertainment. Gaylord is hiring for its National Harbor complex in Prince George's County and bringing with it a culture focused on making both employees and customers enthusiastic about the brand. See story

*Greater Southeast Community Hospital has been under new ownership for 86 days, and administrators said yesterday that its turnaround is well underway. See story.

*Sallie Mae of Reston was sued by an investor who claimed that the student-loan company concealed the fact that it lacked adequate reserves for uncollectible loans. Investor Robert Burch is seeking unspecified damages from the government-chartered firm and several of its senior executives. The proposed class-action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

*Emanuel J. Friedman, former chairman of investment bank Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group raised $13.7 million from 20 investors to buy distressed assets. EJF Distressed Fund was incorporated in December, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Neal Wilson, chief operating officer of EJF Capital in Arlington, declined to comment.

*Capital One Financial's board increased the bank's quarterly dividend to 37.5 cents a share from 2.7 cents. The McLean bank also agreed to repurchase as much as $2 billion worth of stock. The dividend is payable Feb. 20 to shareholders of record on Feb. 11.

*SAC Capital Advisors, the hedge-fund company founded by billionaire Steven Cohen, said it purchased 5.1 percent of Richmond chemical company Albemarle.

*Old Republic International, a Chicago insurer, disclosed a stake of 795,200 shares of title insurer LandAmerica Financial Group of Glen Allen. That is a 5.1 percent stake.

*Hanger Orthopedic Group, which operates orthotic and prosthetic patient care centers, said chief executive Ivan R. Sabel will step down March 1. Thomas Kirk, president and chief operating officer, is to replace him. Sabel will remain chairman. Bethesda-based Hanger also affirmed its 2007 profit guidance at the high end of its estimated range of 59 cents to 61 cents per share.

*AOL will support Netscape, the Web browser once used in 80 percent of all Internet sessions, for one more month, Netscape Director Tom Drapeau wrote on his blog. Dulles-based AOL is working with the Mozilla Foundation and Flock to allow Netscape users to use the Firefox and Flock alternatives and will end support for Netscape on March 1, Drapeau said.

By Terri Rupar  |  February 1, 2008; 5:00 AM ET  | Category:  Morning Brief
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