ECU chancellor denies that he’s resigned, heads to Orlando meeting

East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton will leave his post on Jan. 1, the Raleigh-based Carolina Journal online website reported today, citing anonymous sources. In response, ECU spokesman Tom Eppes said via e-mail, “Chancellor Staton is currently en route to Florida, where he will be representing ECU at the [American Athletic Conference] Board of Directors […]

5 questions for Brian Bednar

Brian Bednar is founder and president of Charlotte-based Birdseye Renewable Energy. The Queen City native graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with degree in business administration and earned an MBA at the University of Virginia. Brian has worked in in agribusiness, real-estate brokerage, development and property management. In 2009, Brian stepped back from the day-to-day operations […]

Treasure hunt key to reviving Fresh Market’s fortunes

Amazon.com’s expansion in groceries may be a frightful prospect for rivals, but Larry Appel says he’s confident Greensboro-based The Fresh Market can find its niche by offering lots of ready-to-cook meals and high-quality foods. It’s been two-and-a-half years since giant private-equity firm Apollo Global Management paid $1.36 billion for Fresh Market’s 176 stores. It’s likely […]

An econ prof’s view of Hurricane Florence

We asked Adam Jones, an economics professor at UNC Wilmington’s Cameron School of Business, to discuss the impact of Hurricane Florence on the regional economy, the university and his own life. Jones, who has a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, was an economic-development official in Covington, Ga., before entering academia. He has worked at […]

Website’s survey pans N.C. community colleges based on sketchy metrics

North Carolina is known for having an outstanding community college system, so a national personal finance website’s report card was surprising. WalletHub ranked the state’s colleges very low in a recent survey that was based on three factors: cost and financing, education outcomes, and career outcomes. Of 715 U.S. community colleges evaluated, Pamlico Community College […]

Leadership of major economic development group has a Tar Heel flavor

Raul Peralta, a senior vice president for business development with Chantilly, Va.-based Engineering Consulting Services Limited, or ECS, will be the 2019 president of the Southern Economic Development Council. The association’s members are mainly business recruiters working in a region stretching from Washington, D.C., to Texas. In January, he will succeed the 2018 president, Sam […]

5 questions for David Herring

David Herring is the East Region channel manager for the partner program at Spectrum Enterprise (formerly Time Warner). He helps Spectrum’s partners with training and marketing to sell voice and data solutions. Herring has been in the communications industry since 1996 with BTI and now, Spectrum. I’ve known David for 20 years, and he is […]

Reality check

Imagine strapping on a pair of high-tech goggles and entering a new world in the blink of an eye. Alicia Hetrick and Alex Markello are offering gamers just that, with a taste of virtual reality at their downtown Durham arcade, Augmentality Labs. The veterans opened the first Triangle area VR arcade in July 2017. Augmentality […]

5 questions for Kent Smith

As president and managing partner of Cliffs Land Partners, Kent Smith oversees all real estate held by The Cliffs companies, including existing properties for sale, creation of new products and directional decisions regarding all undeveloped holdings. A veteran in the luxury real estate and master-planned community industries, He previously was a consultant to clients including […]

N.C. exec overseeing $1 billion liquor trade departs, raising eyebrows

Agnes Stevens, interim administrator of the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, is a veteran PR professional who may need to use crisis-communications skills in her new post. Stevens was promoted to replace Robert Hamilton, who abruptly left his $102,000 post about 10 days ago. A commission spokeswoman declined comment on Hamilton’s departure, citing state personnel […]

5 questions for Sumit Vohra

Sumit Vohra, founder, CEO and chief drinking officer of Raleigh’s Lonerider Brewing, opened the company in January 2009 with a beer and a dream. Today, Lonerider is one of North Carolina’s biggest-volume breweries, annually producing more than 20,000 barrels, with distribution in nine states and in Europe. Lonerider brews have won medals at the Great […]

Dick Spangler, a Harvard man with a passion for business, clocks and public education

My main memories of Dick Spangler Jr. involve ‘cue. Back in the day, my journalist friends would grab a $5 lunch at Charlotte’s Rogers Barbecue or Art’s Barbecue and often, a bespectacled, uber-serious-looking businessman would be sitting alone, reading a newspaper while chowing down on North Carolina’s most famous food. “Did you know that guy […]

Civil defense bar honors Raleigh’s Sammy Thompson

For decades, many North Carolina insurers and hospitals have relied on Samuel “Sammy” Thompson to defend their interests in court. In recognition of his success, the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys recently named Thompson, a partner at Raleigh law firm Smith Anderson, as its first recipient of the Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy. […]

Five questions for Rob Harrington

Rob Harrington spends most of his time as a corporate litigation lawyer at Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson PA of Charlotte, and a prominent one, at that. Harrington chairs the company’s litigation department, and has represented clients for nearly 30 years. He’s previously served as president of the Mecklenburg County Bar, chair of the board of […]

Business North Carolina wins big at Alliance of Area Business Publishers conference

On June 23, The Alliance of Area Business Publishers presented 115 Editorial Excellence awards to newspaper and magazine business periodicals at its annual summer conference in Washington, DC. With 484 entries from 37 publications in the U.S., Canada and Australia, the competitive field was both impressive and diverse. Business North Carolina brought home a total of six awards […]

BB&T’s CEO on the Triad and the “world’s best leadership program”

BB&T CEO Kelly King and about 150 bank and community officials celebrated the opening of the bank’s Leadership Institute in Greensboro last week. The tree-shrouded campus near Piedmont Triad International Airport will train leaders at BB&T and other companies and offer programs geared toward public-school principals. After a speech discussing man’s search for meaning, the […]

State Auditor says N.C. DOT handled Charlotte toll-project effectively

The Interstate 77 toll-road project changed the course of state history, with anger among north Mecklenburg County residents contributing to Gov. Pat McCrory’s 10,000-vote loss to Roy Cooper in 2016. Cooper blamed the former Charlotte mayor for supporting the project, which would be costly and hurt businesses. The issue siphoned Charlotte-area votes away from McCrory, […]

Charlotte PE group Summit Park sells a business after 17 months in portfolio

Charlotte PE group Summit Park sold a portfolio holding, records management company Arkive, to Access CIG of Livermore, Calif. Atlanta-based Arkive “built significant value in 17 months” of ownership by the private equity company, according to Summit Park’s release. Further details weren’t disclosed. Veteran PE industry bankers Bob Calton and Jim Johnson founded Summit Park […]

Atrium steps up the pace

After months of skirmishes with doctors and politicians, Atrium Health is back on the offensive. The health care system, which is the Charlotte area’s biggest employer, unveiled the bare basics of a seven-year plan to spend $1 billion to improve and expand its hospitals in downtown Charlotte, Pineville and elsewhere. Introduced at the system’s quarterly […]

MOFU, mo food, mo fun

From starting their own food truck to starring on a national television show, MOFU Shoppe owners Sophia Woo and Sunny Lin have quite the origin story. The childhood friends opened Pho Nomenal Dumpling Truck in Raleigh in 2014. Within a year of kicking off the business, they were invited to compete on season 6 of […]

N.C. lawmakers favor living wage for state workers, but not private-sector staff

For years, the term “living wage” has been a hot-button topic pitting business interests against unions and labor organizers advocating for a higher minimum salary. This week, the Republican-led N.C. General Assembly concluded that a living wage is worthwhile for state employees. As part of the revised state budget, the lowest-paid government workers — about […]

Best Business Card Winner

The judging is over and the winner of the best business card contest has been named. Many thanks to our judges. Our first judge was Laurie Smithwick, a Grammy-nominated designer, the founder of LEAP Design, a partner in the Alt Summit design conference, and a TEDx speaker. Our other judge was Winn Maddrey, vice president […]

5 questions for Ed Stack

Stack is vice president of administration and development for Beaufort-based Jarrett Bay Boatworks. He joined the Jarrett Bay team in June of 2014 after 16 years at the N.C. State Wolfpack Club, where he was associate executive director responsible for the day-to-day operations of the athletic fundraising organization. At the Wolfpack Club, he was in […]

North Carolina’s new miracle half-mile

A walk down Stonewall Street in downtown Charlotte made me realize how much I take for granted in terms of Charlotte’s rapid growth. Fact is, the seven-block stretch along Stonewall Street between Bank of America Stadium and a dowdy county office building near McDowell Street probably contains the greatest amount of money invested simultaneously in […]

You oughta know: Hope Williams

  For many years, experts have predicted the demise of many small private colleges, contending negative economic and demographic trends suggest a difficult future. It hasn’t happened in the 25 years that Hope Williams has led the N.C. Independent Colleges and Universities. The Raleigh-based group has 36 members, one fewer than when she became president […]

5 questions for Margaret Collins

Margaret Collins is the founding executive director of the Center for Creative Economy  based in Winston-Salem. The center serves as a hub providing programs and resources for creative entrepreneurs and business owners. CCE is the southeastern host for the national Creative Startups Accelerator. This eight-week program offers training in business skill development for creative entrepreneurs. […]

Bad-axe business

Axe-throwing is no longer a sport exclusive to summer Renaissance festivals, lumberjacks or high-caliber athletes. In fact, axe-throwing venues are now popping up all over the U.S.: The National Axe Throwing Federation, an organization specializing in regulating the industry, formed in 2016 and now has over 3,000 league members in more than 50 cities and […]

Atrium CEO advises staff to ignore “noise in the media”

Atrium CEO Gene Woods sent a memo to employees Thursday suggesting that the system’s recent decisions involving two doctors’ groups have been “publicly misrepresented.” North Carolina’s biggest health care system is facing off in court with the owners of Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants, a Charlotte group of physicians whose contract is being replaced by another group. […]

5 questions for Charlie Eadie

Charlie Eadie is vice president of business development for Claris Construction, a design-build general contractor in Charlotte. Charlie enlisted in the Army as a Combat Engineer and served in the 25th ID before gaining admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He won the Truman Scholarship and the Marshall Scholarship and completed […]

Bye-bye beer belly

Many of the 258 breweries that have started in North Carolina over the last decade (according to the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild) have also become fitness hubs for folks wanting to burn off that beer gut. A website business started in Charlotte by Penn State grads Melanie Fox and Alicia Thomas in December 2016 […]

5 questions for Dr. Nady Hamid

Dr. Nady Hamid specializes in treating disorders of the shoulder and elbow. He completed his fellowship training in shoulder and elbow surgery at the esteemed Shoulder and Elbow Center at Washington University in St. Louis. Hamid traveled to Nice, France for further training in advanced arthroscopic shoulder surgery and complex shoulder reconstruction. He has published […]

Spellings sets new pacts with UNC chancellors

UNC System President Margaret Spellings is raising the bar for the state’s campus leaders. In a State of the University speech at UNC Charlotte attended by several lawmakers and members of the Board of Governors, Spellings said the 17 chancellors have signed “customized performance agreements … all of them embracing measurable outcomes as a route […]

5 questions for Evan Stone

You oughta know Evan Stone is vice president of economic development at the Cary Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he was a business recruitment manager with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, where he led our state’s efforts in recruiting Triangle Tyre to Edgecombe County. Prior to his role at EDPNC, Evan specialized in recruiting […]

Camping in style

Camping doesn’t typically conjure up images of air conditioning, running water or electricity. But Joanna Cahill, 34, has managed to marry the ideas of luxury and the great outdoors with her business, Asheville Glamping. Cahill started the company in 2012 with a single yurt, which are tents built on collapsable frameworks. Now, she rents out […]

Duke Energy CEO Good gets paid

Lynn Good, who became CEO of Duke Energy in July 2013, has had a lucrative run. Over the last four years, Good’s compensation has totaled $54.3 million, including $21.4 million last year, according to a proxy released last week. The latest payout includes $7 million in stock that hinges on Duke earning a return on equity […]

Search firm returns fees collected in ECU chancellor’s hiring

An executive search firm paid to recruit East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton in 2016 has returned its $110,000 fee after UNC System officials criticized the consultants’ work over disputed past salary data. System President Margaret Spellings notified the UNC Board of Governors of the transaction involving Oak Brook, Ill.-based Witt/Kieffer in a Feb. 28 […]

Carolina on my mind

For those who don’t yet know me, I’m Taylor Wanbaugh, the new assistant editor at Business North Carolina. Although I’m a newbie to the magazine, I’m certainly no rookie when it comes to North Carolina. Prior to moving to Charlotte last week, I worked at the National Society of Professional Engineers in Alexandria, Va. It […]

5 questions for Taylor Wanbaugh

You oughta know Taylor Wanbaugh is the new assistant editor of Business North Carolina. She previously worked as a staff writer at the National Society of Professional Engineers in Alexandria, Va. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. While in school, Wanbaugh interned at a variety of publications including Raleigh’s […]

5 questions for Thad Walton

You oughta know Thad Walton is senior vice president of commercial middle-market banking for Regions Bank in North Carolina. He joined Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions in 2011 and has worked in commercial banking for 14 years. A native of Rowan County, Thad attended UNC Chapel Hill, where he earned his undergraduate business degree and was on […]

5 questions for John Beatty

John Beatty joined Raleigh-based Summit Hospitality Group as general manager of The Dunhill Hotel in August 2013. John is responsible for providing strategic leadership while guiding a team of 80 as they provide legendary service for guests of 60-room historic Charlotte hotel and its restaurant, The Asbury. Under his leadership, The Dunhill was recognized as […]

A Capital idea with a Carolina twist

It wasn’t the greatest week to launch a new investment product given the stock market’s volatility, but Capital Investment Cos. persevered with its new Carolinas Leaders Index. It’s a unit-investment trust made up of 71 Carolinas-based companies, each equally weighted. That means Bank of America, with a market cap of $321 billion, makes up the […]