Regional Report Western January 2014
Jobs hang in the balance in Asheville
Tim Lampkin is proud to promote a great place to hang out — or hang a hammock. “It’s cool to see friends from all over the country bragging about their ENOs on social media,” says the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s director of retention and expansion services. ENOs are Eagles Nest Outfitters Inc.’s lightweight, packable hammocks. Though the Asheville-based company won’t release sales, a spokeswoman for Valle Crucis-based Mast General Stores Inc. reports that ENOs are flying off the shelves of its eight stores. “Right now, through eight months of the fiscal year, we’re already at last year’s number,” Sheri Moretz says. Like Lampkin says, that’s great. But he and Ben Teague, executive director of Asheville-Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition, seek more support — in the form of jobs — than Eagles Nest Outfitters now offers.
ASHEVILLE — President and CEO Shaw Canale resigned from Mountain BizWorks two weeks before the company’s announcement that it will restructure, reducing its staff by about half to seven employees. The nonprofit will narrow its focus to lending and consulting for small businesses and will eliminate its popular business-planning classes, phasing them out by midyear.
MORGANTON — Jim Burnett will retire as president of Western Piedmont Community College July 31. An alumnus of the school, he joined its staff as coordinator of veterans affairs in 1973 and has been president since 2006.
ASHEVILLE — HomeTrust Bancshares Inc., holding company of HomeTrust Bank, named Dana L. Stonestreet CEO and chairman. He succeeds F. Edward Broadwell Jr., who retired. Stonestreet was co-chief executive officer and has been a member of the board since 2007.
ASHEVILLE — McKibbon Hotel Group and Tower Associates formed MHG-Tower LLC, which bought the downtown BB&T Building for an undisclosed amount. Its renovation plans include an upscale hotel.