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Wilmington Chamber forms Supply Chain, Logistics Council


A new council from the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce will put a spotlight on supply chain and logistics firms in the Cape Fear region. The Supply Chain and Logistics Council, which aims to bring together various industry stakeholders for “cross-sectoral dialogue and cooperation,” will be headed up by four co-chairs.

Chapel Hill Town Council weighs bond referendum in 2024 or 2025


The Town of Chapel Hill is weighing the possibility of another bond referendum to borrow more money for a variety of projects. The town council recently came away split on whether its members would prefer to pick get a bond vote on the ballot this fall or to wait until the 2025 local cycle.

Charlotte-based Maya Hotels executes succession plan

Hilton Garden Inn in Gastonia is one of 10 hotels owned by Maya Hotels.

Veteran hoteliers and brothers-in-law Baldev Thakor and J.D. Deva have transitioned leadership duties of Maya Hotels to the “next generation.” Parimal Thakor, the son of Baldev Thakor, will be president, and Krishna Deva, the daughter of J.D. Deva, will be CEO of the Charlotte-based hotel development, investment and management company. Maya Hotels counts 10 properties and more than 1,000 guest rooms in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Thakor and Deva both were hoteliers who joined forces in 1995 to create Maya Hotels, which has Hilton, IHG and Marriott as leading brand affiliations. Thakor and Deva will shift to the title of “founders,” and retain a “strategic and advisory” role with the company, according to a release.

Krishna Deva

This leadership transition embodies the seamless continuation of the rich legacy established by the company’s founders, Baldev Thakor and J.D. Deva,” according to a release.

Parimal Thakor joined Maya Hotels in 2008 and Krishna Deva came on board in 2019. The two will oversee planning and investment activity for the company. Parimal Thakor, a graduate of the School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, will focus on the company’s ground-up development and direct capital projects. Krishna Deva, who holds a hotel administration degree from Cornell University and MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, will oversee operations and finances.

“Parimal and Krishna have been instrumental in the company’s evolution during their time at Maya Hotels,” says Baldev Thakor in a release. J.D. Deva says the pair’s “deep-rooted understanding of our business, combined with their forward-thinking spirits, ensure a harmonious transition that honors our past while embracing the future.” 

Parimal Thakor

Before joining Maya, Parimal Thakor worked as a consultant in the lodging and gaming industries. Prior to that, he held hotel operations roles at multiple properties, including W and Sheraton hotels in New York and Chicago. He had been a vice president at Maya Hotels since 2008.

Krishna Deva joined Maya as a vice president in 2019, and had previously worked as a management consultant with Boston Consulting Group. She had also worked in corporate finance with Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, a publicly traded company, where she helped coordinate $1.2 billion in capital markets activity.

Here are Maya Hotels properties:

  • Holiday Inn Express, 108 Airport Commons Drive, Charlotte
  • Hampton Inn & Suites, 9110 Southern Pine Blvd., Charlotte
  • Holiday Inn Express, 250 Beatty Drive, Belmont
  • Hilton Garden Inn, 444 Cox Road, Gastonia
  • Candlewood Suites, 3247 Charlotte Highway, Mooresville
  • Tru by Hilton, 117 Alcove Road, Mooresville
  • Aloft, 109 Alcove Road, Mooresville
  • Avid Hotel, 154 Springfield Farm Road, Fort Mill
  • Hampton Inn, 1551 Barbara Drive, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Candlewood Suites, 921 Atlas Road, Columbia, South Carolina

Fujifilm laying off 67 in Research Triangle

Artist rendering of FUJIFILM project in Holly Springs. The $3.2 billion project is expected to create more than 1,400 jobs.

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies, which last week announced a major expansion of its North Carolina operations, is laying off 67 workers at its Research Triangle Park operation as part of a restructuring of one of its business units.

The company said it was reorganizing its Small Scale Business Unit, and that up to 240 employees will be leaving the company. This affects employees at its Teesside sites in the UK, and sites in College Station, Texas and Watertown, Massachusetts, in the U.S. in addition to its Wake County operation.

The company said the unit has been affected by a decline in venture capital investment in early-stage research projects, particularly in the cell and gene therapies market.

The restructuring is a “strategic direction and intended to strengthen its Small Scale Business and elevate its operational and financial performance,” the company said in a statement. “It lays the groundwork for a solid foundation from which to build and unlock opportunity in the market.”

A week ago, the company announced it would expand its biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Wake County, adding 680 jobs and investing $1.2 billion in Holly Springs. State and local officials are promising about $80 million in incentives.

In 2021, Fujifilm announced it would construct one of North America’s largest end-to-end biopharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in Holly Springs, creating 725 jobs and investing $2 billion.

The expanded project brings the total Fujifilm investment to $3.2 billion and about 1,400 jobs by 2031, according to reports.

The company’s North Carolina site has been in operation since 1996. The campus has expanded to include three buildings that house the company’s Process Development and Analytical Laboratories, cGMP Manufacturing Facility, and Administration. It works with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to produce biologics, vaccines and other advanced therapies.

The site had more than 600 employees in 2021.

North Carolina sees slight surplus this year, $1B more next year


North Carolina’s government should collect higher revenues during this fiscal year and next than what is projected in the current two-year state budget, according to a new forecast released Wednesday. General Assembly economists and Gov. Roy Cooper’s state budget office now predict collections will exceed revenue budgeted for the year ending June 30 by $413 million.

CEO departing from Charlotte regional business group


Janet LaBar is leaving as CEO of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, the economic development group said. An interim CEO will be announced as the board seeks a full-time successor. LaBar, who joined the group in 2019, is married to James LaBar, senior vice president of economic development at Charlotte Center City Partners.

Campbell President Creed to retire next year


Campbell University President J. Bradley Creed announced plans to retire next year, ending a 10-year run at the helm of the private university. Only the fifth president in Campbell’s 137-year history, Creed oversaw the university’s most successful capital campaign, raising $105 million. Campbell’s board of trustees will start a national search for his successor.

Charlotte prepares to rescind controversial triplex rules


Charlotte has followed the lead of Minneapolis, which became the first major U.S. city four years ago to scrap a zoning category that only allowed for single-family homes. The City Council in 2022 approved the 2040 Plan by a single vote, 6-5 in one of the most contentious issues council members have debated.

Raleigh sustainable food startup develops cultivated sea bass


Raleigh sustainable food startup Atlantic Fish Co has developed and tested a cultivated black sea bass prototype, the company’s latest milestone in the production of sustainable seafood made from harvested fish cells. Atlantic Fish produces seafood by harvesting fish cells, feeding them nutrients and giving them a structure to grow on.

N.C. hospitality leader warns Buncombe against using tourism tax for affordable housing


When Buncombe County’s Tourism Development Authority decides which projects to fund using visitors’ dollars next week, a powerful organization will be watching closely. The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association warned in a letter last week to the Charlotte City Council that spending occupancy tax dollars on affordable housing could lead to a legal challenge.