Business North Carolina December 2022

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Price: $3.95 businessnc.com DECEMBER 2022 THE RICES’ TOYOTA DEAL | PEER RATINGS OF THE STATE’S TOP DOCS BOB GRECZYN RACES ON | HUSTLING FOR CAMP LEJEUNE DAMAGES | BOOZY ELECTION Starting with 50 crab pots, Nathan King and colleagues net a spot on our Small Businesses of the Year roster. Sea Sweet

4 UP FRONT

6 PILLARS OF N.C.

Bob Greczyn has been a force in state health care, from a rural clinic to the biggest insurer.

1 2 NC TREND

Law firms pour it on to rep Camp LeJeune plaintiffs; Mike DeLapp lodges a new hotel plan; Silver Queen corn’s sad demise; What you missed from the N.C. Tribune.

80 GREEN SHOOTS

The new owners of a brewpubentertainment venue want to keep the good times rolling.

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10 N.C. PORTRAITS: DOWNTOWNS

Greensboro’s center city is rocking with arts, entertainment and business additions.

26 ROUND TABLE: TRAVEL & TOURISM

Top state tourism leaders discuss labor shortages, waterfalls, golf’s rebound and other industry issues.

73 COMMUNITY CLOSE UP: N.C. GLOBAL TRANSPARK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

REGION

Greene, Lenoir, Wayne Counties and the Global TransPark are showing uncommon cooperation in building a 21st century powerhouse.

COVER STORY SMALL BUSINESSES OF THE YEAR

Our 2022 winners are an injection-molding specialist, distributors of seafood and beef and a small-town purveyor of coffee and news.

RICE CHECKS

Third-generation dealer Debbie Rice powers her family business as Toyota approaches.

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

A veteran Charlotte physician bucks the trend toward consolidated medical practices.

December 2022, Vol. 42, No. 12 (ISSN 0279-4276). Business North Carolina is published monthly by Business North Carolina at 1230 West Morehead Street, Suite 308, Charlotte, NC 28208. Phone: 704-523-6987. Fax: 704-523-4211. All contents copyright © by Old North State Magazines LLC. Subscription rate: 1 year, $30. For change of address, send mailing label and allow six to eight weeks. Periodicals postage paid at Charlotte, NC, and additional offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA, 1230 West Morehead Street, Suite 308, Charlotte, NC 28208 or email circulation@businessnc.com.

TOP DOCTORS

A report on the state’s most respected doctors in 62 specialties as selected by their peers.

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COVER PHOTO BY ANDREW SHERMAN
DEPARTMENTS
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ASSOCIATE

Interacting with inspiring folks is the best part of every job I’ve had. at remains truer than ever at Business North Carolina, where a group of talented folks are defying some challenging trends facing print journalism.

Unlike some industry peers, our enterprise isn’t relying on grants from the government or nonpro ts. Our owners have picked the more traditional path of developing relationships with readers and advertisers to sponsor the work, for which we are grateful.

In addition to expertise in writing, editing, designing, selling and distributing, my colleagues impress me with stunning knowledge about movies. So in the spirit of the season, I asked them to share their favorite holiday lms.

Creative Director Peggy Knaack wouldn’t be pinned down to one selection. She cites childhood favorites, “It's a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street,” while her family favorites as a mom are “Elf” and “Polar Express.”

S cott Leonard, who oversees sales from Winston-Salem and Charlotte to the Tennessee border, favors “Elf.” He likes that both kids and adults enjoy the ick.

Columnist Dan Barkin is a movie bu , as his reports in our Daily Digest newsletter show. He picked “A Christmas Story” because as a kid in the 1960s, he listened to Jean Shepherd, a humorist who told tales on New York’s WOR radio station that heavily in uenced the movie.

For help on movie trivia, Publisher Ben Kinney is your man. His favorite holiday movie is “It’s a Wonderful Life” because of the great characters, terri c story and a wonderful quote: “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.”

Associate Editor Cathy Martin favors “Love Actually,” which she says de nitely

IS a holiday movie with funny, endearing scenes. (Her family doesn’t agree, she adds.)

My colleague Ebony Morman loves “Polar Express,” which she says she forces her husband to watch on Christmas Eve while enjoying hot chocolate and homemade cookies. She notes the movie has a phenomenal hot chocolate scene. e big winner in our crowd is “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

It’s the favorite of Melanie Weaver Lynch, our salesperson based in Raleigh; veteran writer Ed Martin; and Colin Campbell, who leads our N.C. Tribune newsletter.

Melanie says Clark Griswold shares some similarities with her husband. Ed has made the movie a family Christmas tradition since 1989. He recalls how the CEO boss sends Clark a subscription to the Jelly of the Month club rather than a bonus.

Colin notes one’s struggles seem pretty lame compared with Clark's.

My wife, Janet, is the movie pro in our house, so I handed o my pick. She loves “ e Holiday,” in which Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet switch homes and fall in love with Jude Law and Jack Black, respectively.

We hope everyone has a great holiday.

SENIOR

e November edition gave incorrect information on two Building North Carolina projects:

• C JMW Architecture and Perkins +Will were designers of the Nido and Mariana Qubein Arena, Conference Center and Hotel at High Point University.

• Jenkins Peer Architects was the sole designer of the UNC Pembroke West Hall Renovation.

4 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA UP FRONT
David Mildenberg
PUBLISHER Ben Kinney bkinney@businessnc.com EDITOR David Mildenberg dmildenberg@businessnc.com
EDITORS
Ebony Morman emorman@businessnc.com Colin Campbell ccampbell@businessnc.com Cathy Martin cmartin@businessnc.com
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
PROJECTS EDITOR
WRITERS
Jim Hughes, Vanessa Infanzon, Tucker Mitchell, Michael Solender CREATIVE DIRECTOR Peggy
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ty Gentry CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Andrew Sherman, Bert Vanderveen MARKETING COORDINATOR Jennifer Ware
ADVERTISING SALES ACCOUNT DIRECTOR Melanie Weaver Lynch, eastern N.C. 919-855-9380 mweaver@businessnc.com ACCOUNT MANAGER AND AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST Scott Leonard, western
704-996-6426 sleonard@businessnc.com CIRCULATION:
EDITORIAL:
REPRINTS: circulation@businessnc.com OWNERS Jack Andrews, Frank Daniels III, Lee Dirks, David Woronoff, in memoriam Frank Daniels Jr. PUBLISHED BY Old North State Magazines LLC PRESIDENT David Woronoff BUSINESSNC.COM VOLUME 42, NO. 12
GEMS
Edward Martin emartin@businessnc.com SPECIAL
Katherine Snow Smith CONTRIBUTING
Anne Blythe,
Knaack pknaack@businessnc.com
jware@businessnc.com
N.C.
818-286-3106
704-523-6987
SCREEN
Contact David Mildenberg at dmildenberg@businessnc.com.

BOB GRECZYN

After leading an HMO’s rapid growth, the East Carolina University grad helped expand Blue Cross’ dominance in N.C. health insurance.

Few people have had a bigger impact on North Carolina’s health insurance industry in recent decades than Robert Greczyn (pronounced Grech-en). He helped start companies, served as CEO of the state’s biggest insurer and is a longtime director at the largest hospital system in eastern North Carolina. Born and raised in Hightstown, New Jersey, Greczyn moved to Greenville in 1969 to pursue a psychology degree at East Carolina University. He earned a graduate degree in public health from UNC Chapel Hill in 1981, which he says was a way to honor his mother’s legacy as a nurse. She died while he was in college.

In 1979, a community health group in Anson County hired Greczyn to start a medical clinic and recruit doctors and dentists to the rural area. In 1984, he became associate director of an HMO startup based in Cary. A larger HMO, Principal Health Care, then recruited him to lead its business in Delaware, where he spent four years.

By 1990, he came back to the Triangle as CEO of Carolina Physicians Health Plan. During his tenure, the physician-owned company grew from 30,000 members to nearly 300,000. Revenue increased from $30 million to $360 million, attracting a buyout in 1996 from larger insurer Healthsource, which was then acquired a year later by Cigna.

In 1998, he joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, where he became president in 1999 and CEO in 2000. e company had lost a combined $180 million in the previous ve years. Over the next decade, annual revenue more than tripled to $5.2 billion and membership nearly doubled to 3.7 million.

A er retiring in 2010, he partnered with his oldest son, Will Greczyn, to purchase six Mellow Mushroom restaurants in North Carolina. He also owns a stake in Fortnight Brewing, which has pubs in Cary and Wake Forest.

Greczyn, 71, is vice chair of the ECU Health Board, which was created this year through a combination of the former Vidant Health and East Carolina’s medical school.

Greczyn and his wife, Kristen, have been married for 27 years and live in Cary. He ies single-engine planes, races sports cars and enjoys their home on Smith Mountain Lake in Bedford County, Virginia.

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA.

Comments are edited for length and clarity.

My favorite job was Blue Cross. I was given the opportunity to change it, to make it better, to work with an incredible group of leaders and colleagues — to create something special. You don’t get many opportunities in your life to do something truly special.

When I got to Blue Cross, the company was not particularly healthy. A er losing money on operations a er a number of years and not, in my view, doing everything they could to be as customer friendly as an insurance company could be, we set about changing that. During my tenure, we became the fastest-growing Blue Cross in the U.S. We competed hard and we tried to take good care of our members and communities. I think today, they are doing exactly that.

We set up a program for our employees, called Blue University. We set up classrooms in one of our buildings and professors came to us from schools. We paid for our employees to go to college. About 13% to 14% of the company was in school, on their time, and when they graduated, we gave them a sabbatical for the hard work. I’m pretty proud of that.

In 2001, BCBS bought Partners National Health Plans, which was owned by [Winston-Salem-based Novant Health.] It was the largest HMO in the state. I don’t think anyone expected Blue Cross to make that acquisition, but I absolutely wanted to make that acquisition. It has paid o well not from just a member

size standpoint, but one of the things that Partners was really good at was the early stages of Medicare managed-care. We built a lot of our expertise in Medicare managed-care based on that acquisition, which was a very positive thing.

Obamacare passed within two months of me retiring. While it gets a lot of mixed reviews, I personally think it was a good thing and a good step. I think the more di cult thing about Obamacare was that it was never intended to be a nished product. It was always intended to be something that kept developing and changing and getting better over the years. Because of the political environment and Congress changing, a lot of the things that should have happened never did. It’s still very valuable, but it’s not what it could have been.

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina grew rapidly during Greczyn’s CEO tenure. He’s shown with former board chair Dr. Jeff Houpt, left, and the insurer’s former management team. center.

My biggest disappointment, and I hope it gets resolved this year, is approving Medicaid expansion in this state. We’ve not done that for years. at has le a lot of people on the sidelines that could have been helped. e quotes I’ve seen say half a million people in North Carolina would bene t from Medicaid expansion. And every rural hospital would bene t from Medicaid expansion. My hope is that the current legislature will approve Medicaid expansion in the near future.

In eastern North Carolina, the payer mix is very heavily skewed to Medicare and Medicaid, with a much smaller percentage that is commercial insurance, which tells you the potential of Medicaid expansion.

Hospital consolidation can work. I think in eastern North Carolina with ECU Health, my view of the world is that it has worked. It’s because we don’t do what some others do, which is essentially, do an a liation agreement with a hospital. But they’re not really all in. ey’re not putting capital dollars there.

All of the ECU Health facilities are part of the system. Part of that means we have a nancial obligation to help make them successful. We have to make capital improvements because we are all in.

When I had the opportunity to join ECU Health (formerly Vidant) in 2012, I’d never had any opportunities to be involved on that side of the health care system. I started out early in my career building a community health center in rural North Carolina. But I’ve never been involved with a hospital.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed seeing the world from the other side of the coin. I bring my skill set to the table. e involvement is not just with the medical center in Greenville, although that is the largest. ere are eight additional hospitals in a 29-county area that are part of ECU Health.

My favorite book, which I’ve carried around with me forever, is “Change Is Good, You Go First.” Everyone says they love change; nobody loves change. Change is a constant. You can stand in the way; you will get run over.

I race cars and y planes because I think it helps keep your mind sharp. I think it’s really important to maintain your health and keep your re exes as sharp as they can be. ■

8 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
Greczyn’s post-corporate career mixes charity work, including assisting on volunteer building programs, and racing sports cars.

THE SHOW GOES ON IN GREENSBORO

Downtown Greensboro is bustling with residents and out-of-towners alike. The new Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts has brought more than 450,000 folks to its events in the past year. Since opening in 2021, Broadway season ticket sales have surpassed 14,000, according to Downtown Greensboro President Zack Matheny.

“It’s going beyond expectations,” he says.

The $94 million center has hosted over 200 broadway shows, comedic acts and musicians in the past year. Audience members have traveled from across the state, as well as from across state lines to attend shows. One family even made the trip from Green Bay, Wisconsin.

While the Tanger Center is a major driver in getting people downtown, plenty other draws are at play. LeBauer and Center City Parks, located right next to the performing arts center, attract more than 300,000 visitors each year.

downtowngreensboro.org

And then there’s downtown’s booming restaurant scene. From MACHETE, a James Beard nominated restaurant that’s pleasing palates, to the popular Bourbon Bowl restaurant-and-bowling-alley combined, there’s a taste for everyone.

As downtown boasts more activity, it’s also attracting further development. One new professional spot is 400 Bellemeade. The nine-story, 120,000-square-foot office building next to the Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball stadium is experiencing high occupancy since its completion in November 2020. “Businesses and employees are

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excited to work (and play) in downtown Greensboro,” Matheny says. “As the remote and hybrid work models stay strong, it’s good to see a workplace that entices employees to come to the o ce again,” he adds.

More projects are underway. “Nearly $500 million in development is on the horizon,” Matheny says. ey include a dozen restaurants opening in the downtown area over the next year. Two new hotels, an AC Hotel and Westin, are also underway. And construction has also begun on an additional 1,200 downtown residential units. Residents will be able to work, play and live all in one place.

“ e excitement and the interest is tremendous,” Matheny says. “I’ve dedicated my life to this city because this city and people are warm and friendly. We’re authentic. You can’t create that. It’s just natural.”

DISASTER RELIEF

Carolina’s famed Marine base.

Jerry Ensminger was in his kitchen in Elizabethtown in June when he heard the rst ad from lawyers soliciting potential victims of the toxic water disaster that owed from Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune taps and pipes for 34 years.

e former drill master was intrigued. “I said, ‘What is this?’” Ensminger recalls. en he started noticing more ads with similar messages. “ ey’re crazy,” Ensminger says. “ ere was one with a woman promising wheelbarrows full of cash.”

at’s just a taste of the ad frenzy related to Camp Lejeune’s toxic water that has created a eld day for lawyers, TV stations and digital media outlets.

From March through mid-October, about $65 million was spent nationally on 97,000 television ads soliciting Camp Lejeune claims, according to X Ante, a Washington, D.C., company that tracks tort litigation. It’s about 20% of the 513,000 mass tort TV ads that aired in 2021.

In North Carolina, $338,460 was spent in ve TV markets from June 27 to Sept. 30, X Ante reports. Nearly two-thirds went to the Raleigh and Wilmington areas.

e ads have a common pitch: If you lived at Camp Lejeune

between 1953 and 1987 and su ered from cancers, a miscarriage, Parkinson’s disease, kidney problems and more, you might be eligible for signi cant nancial compensation. Estimates of potential claimants range from 800,000 to as many as 1 million.

NO IDEA

Ensminger, a former drill master at the Onslow County base, has spent the past 25 years testifying numerous times before Congress and speaking to the media about personal tragedies that he attributes to contaminated water. He’s become the face for government accountability at Lejeune, where Benzene and other chemicals used in a dry cleaning solvent and degreasers stewed in base waters.

e Bladen County resident, 70, saw his daughter Janey battle leukemia for nearly two and a half years as a child before dying at age 9 in September 1985. Janey was the only one of Ensminger’s four children conceived, carried and born while the family lived on the base about 60 miles northeast of Wilmington. ey had no idea of the noxious chemicals owing through contaminated water treatment plants into their home. He didn’t nd out until 1997, when he was eating a plate of spaghetti in

12 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA 12 Legal 16 Hospitality 18 Agriculture 20 N.C. Tribune 22 Statewide NC TREND ››› Legal
The legal race is on to aid those harmed by toxic exposure at North

his living room while watching the evening news. A segment described a link between Lejeune water and childhood cancer, based on an assessment by the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

“ e Navy and the United States Marine Corps did their very best to conceal the truth,” he told Congress in 2015. “But eventually that genie escaped its bottle.”

e escape did not bring swi accountability, though. While Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act in 1972, the Federal Register didn’t publish the noxious chemicals found at Lejeune on its list until 1987. Contaminants had been exposed in 1982 a er the water was tested per Environmental Protection Agency standards.

e government closed two of Lejeune’s eight water plants from 1985 to 1987.

Another 12 years passed before the Marine Corps began notifying former base residents of the health risks to which they were exposed.

Veterans started pushing for VA bene ts. In 2009, the wife of a Marine veteran with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma led the rst lawsuit and some 800 others soon followed, leading to a court consolidation of all the claims in multidistrict litigation that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

e high court rejected the claims, saying they were led too long a er the triggering contamination. at prompted Congress to adopt the PACT Act, or Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins, which President Joe Biden signed in August. e legislation removes the statute of repose obstacle, making it easier for Marines and their family members who were on base for at least 30 days during the de ned 34-year period to le lawsuits. Contractors at the base are also eligible.

RUSH IS ON

e estimated cost of the PACT Act is $280 billion, which extends beyond the Lejeune situation to include other areas where service members faced toxic exposure.

e law rm ads accelerated a er the law passed, then slowed during October to avoid being overwhelmed by political advertising tied to the November elections. A new spurt is likely over the next few months to appeal to potential plainti s.

Ensminger and Mike Partain, a breast cancer survivor who was born at Lejeune, initially chose a South Carolina lawyer as their representative. Earlier this year, they switched to Mikal Watts of San Antonio, a nationally known plainti ’s lawyer.

Ensminger was impressed when Watts jumped on a plane shortly a er their rst phone conversation and met him in Bladen County. Not long a er that, Watts asked for a tour of Lejeune. “ at was the only attorney who did that,” Ensminger says.

DECEMBER 2022
Jerry Ensminger PHOTO BY RACHEL LIBERT COURTESY OF JERRY ENSMINGER

This fall, Ensminger, Partain and environmental justice advocate Erin Brokovich hopscotched across North Carolina and South Carolina holding town halls to discuss potential litigation with former Lejeune residents. Watts Guerra law firm sponsored the meetings.

Claimants have until Aug. 10, 2024, to file with the U.S. Department of the Navy. If the Judge Advocate General’s office denies the claim or doesn’t act within six months, individual lawsuits can be initiated in federal court in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Four district judges will take on cases that must involve attorneys admitted to practice in the 44-county region, including courthouses in Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh and Wilmington.

Law firms are trying different approaches to land clients who will file claims. As is common in personal injury cases, many attorneys agree to do the work in return for a percentage of the awards. The fee is typically 20% to 40%.

A common worry among many lawyers is that a crush of lawsuits from attorneys making unrealistic promises could bog down courts and slow the process for everyone.

Earlier this year, Salisbury’s Wallace & Graham hired Larry Hall, a former secretary of the N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, to aid the firm with a wave of expected Lejeune lawsuits. Hall was at the base for three years of active duty and in the reserve force for 12 years.

Though Hall is not filing a lawsuit, the former state lawmaker from Durham says his familiarity with base and military legal proceedings will help his clients. He agrees that many solicitation ads are misleading, with unfounded promises of big money for the masses.

Hall and other Wallace & Graham lawyers have held seminars with peers across the country to try to streamline the process for filing claims. This goal is to avoid gumming up the system.

Many larger firms are dedicating teams to the lawsuits. Paralegals will become familiar with obtaining information from Veterans Affairs health records offices. Though each case is filed individually — these are not class-action claims — the attorneys will learn what works over time.

Gary Jackson, a partner with the James Scott Farrin firm in Durham, is one of 20 lawyers and paralegals assigned to Lejeune cases. The firm has contributed to the advertising blitz, including the most widely aired ad, a 30-second spot that was broadcast about 2,700 times through late September, according to X Ante.

Eric Sanchez, who describes himself as a Marine veteran, tells people to “listen up,” then directs them to the Durham firm.

While James Scott Farrin is known for its heavy marketing spend, Jackson criticizes other firms’ ads. He cites some that make

uncertain claims that people won’t have to go to court or that they could receive $230,000 right off the bat.

“The ads drive me crazy,” Jackson says. “A lot of them misrepresent important features.”

Ward and Smith, a longtime power among eastern North Carolina law firms, touts its experience and familiarity with military life in a blog targeting potential Lejeune litigants. The firm, which has five N.C. offices, is dedicating 10 professionals to the cases.

Ward and Smith’s website tackles common questions related to the litigation, including whether filing a lawsuit means that a veteran will lose other benefits. Answers from the firm’s Isabelle Chammas and Lynwood Evans are negative — the Navy has clarified that claims filed under the Camp Lejeune Justice Act don’t impact benefits or other VA programs.

Eventually, many attorneys say they expect the government to settle with the litigants, but no one knows for sure.

Ensminger is looking for a resolution in which the Marine Corps and Department of the Navy adhere to a motto he tried to instill in his trainees.

“We take care of our own,” he says. “The government made their mistake right up front. They lied.” ■

14 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA NC TREND ›››
Legal

SHORT STOP

Not every road-warrior corporate exec or gig worker facing a short-term, remote assignment in a distant city wants to snag an Airbnb. at’s an underlying reason that veteran lodging-industry executive Gary DeLapp sees big potential for his Matthews-based startup, stayAPT Suites.

With backing from New York private-equity group Lindsay Goldberg, stayAPT is targeting 100 corporate-owned and 250 franchisee-owned properties within ve years. irteen hotels were open as of October, including properties in Raleigh and Goldsboro, where the rst stayAPT opened in October 2020. A few dozen more units are in the permitting and construction stages, mostly in the Southeast and Texas.

DeLapp says stayAPT is aiming at the higher end of the extended-stay market with a room design that sets the brand apart from entrenched rivals including SpringHill Suites, Homewood Suites and Extended Stay America, one of his former employers. StayAPT’s units average about 500 square feet and include three distinct areas: a kitchen, a living room with a 55-inch television, and a bedroom connected to a full bathroom. It doesn’t plan to convert existing hotels into the new brand.

“Our product is unique and a market disruptor with a distinct

residential feel,” he says. e units also open to a garden-style courtyard that is “a critical piece for us to generate the residential feel found in upscale apartment living.”

Lindsay Goldberg tapped DeLapp to launch stayAPT in early 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic shook up the hospitality landscape. At the same time, the investment group also acquired an existing extended-stay business, Myrtle Beach, South Carolinabased A ordable Suites, which now has 20 units and is operated separately from the newer concept.

e pandemic slowed stayAPT and other building projects, to be sure. In mid-2021, DeLapp told the Hotel Management industry publication it would have 25 hotels open by early 2023.

Still, an increase in the gig economy, exible work space and greater mobility of the workforce prompts industry followers to forecast spiking demand for extended-stay lodging. Annual revenue in the overall extended-stay sector is expected to increase about 170% over the next decade to $132 billion, according to a report in Travel Daily News, a trade publication.

DeLapp is a graduate of Florida State University with lots of industry experience. A er working for a Houston-based hotel company, he joined the Homestead Village brand in 1996, when extended-stay hotels started popping up everywhere. He was

16 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA NC TREND ›››
Hospitality
Gary DeLapp is a pioneer in the extended-stay sector. Now he’s building a new brand.
COURTESY OF STAYAPTSUITES
PHOTO

named CEO five years later when the Blackstone private-equity group bought the business. He also became the top executive at Extended Stay America, which Blackstone acquired in 2004 and developed into an industry leader with more than 650 hotels.

Charlotte-based Extended Stay, which was a public company between 2013 and 2021, is now owned by a partnership of Blackstone and Starwood Capital Group.

“By the time I left [in 2011], I’d gone through four different ownership changes, and it was time to take on a new challenge,” DeLapp says.

He later moved to Invitation Homes, a home-leasing business with 60,000 rentals, where he was president between 2013 and 2015. A seat on the board of directors at WoodSpring Hotels led to the top job there from 2016-18, during which the business expanded from 179 to more than 250 locations.

Lindsay Goldberg, which owned WoodSpring from 2012 to 2017, sold it to Choice Hotels for $231 million in 2018. The private-equity firm is also a lead investor in Mount Airy-based Pike Corp., an energy industry contractor that is one of North Carolina’s largest private companies.

Now DeLapp is focused on building the brand and selling the vision to franchisees, who will pay the operator a royalty of 5% of gross revenue and 2% for marketing expenses. StayAPT offers hotels in four formats, ranging from 59 to 103 rooms. They

indicate the average stay across their network is about 18 nights.

According to a spokesperson, the hotels require an investment of $9 million to $15 million depending on their size.

Target customers tend to be employees on long-term assignments, consultants, military personnel, traveling nurses and university workers, says Jennifer Kearney, the chief marketing officer. Having a national footprint will help make the company more attractive to organizations with multiple locations, she adds.

Room rates average about $90 a night with price breaks for longer rentals. Occupancy rates have been about 86% in recent months, Kearney says. That is the high end of what DeLapp calls the industry’s “midscale category.”

StayAPT employs 30 people at its suburban Charlotte office where real estate, franchise development, sales, finance, and administrative staff comprise most of the team. A separate manage-ment company employs hotel operations, maintenance, security, and housekeeping staff to support the individual properties.

“It’s a business with tremendous potential,” says DeLapp, noting as a startup there are ample new markets for the brand with no worry of existing overlap. “I feel so strongly about our future, I personally have invested in the business. I believe in it that much.” ■

17 DECEMBER 2022
Gary DeLapp

LAST STAND

A tasty treat loses its luster.

Silver Queen appears doomed. Once the most popular sweet corn in Eastern North Carolina, Silver Queen might be making its last stand.

A host of newer sweet corn varieties have emerged to challenge the longtime market king. Names like Ambrosia, Obsession and Devotion come with superior genetic profiles that make them hard for farmers to resist.

“Our farmers are definitely growing less Silver Queen than they used to,” says Tommy Batts, a commercial horticulture specialist in the Wilson office of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service. “You can still find it, but you have to know where to look.”

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services keeps track of almost every agricultural statistic under the sun but nothing on Silver Queen or its rivals. While the state is an ag powerhouse, corn production is minimal compared with the Midwest states. For example, Iowa farmers planed nearly 13 million acres of corn in 2021, versus about 950,000 acres in North Carolina, federal data shows.

Still, Tar Heels have long loved their Silver Queen. So what’s behind its decline? “Basically, it’s an old technology,”

Batts notes. “It was developed in the early 1960s and still has the same limitations it had when it was new.”

Silver Queen’s two main drawbacks are its short shelf life and long growing time, says Jonathan Schultheis, a professor at N.C. State University and a leading sweet corn expert.

“We all know the best time to serve Silver Queen is the day it’s picked,” he says. “Wait a day or two longer and it quickly loses its distinctive taste.”

There’s some science involved. “Sugars in Silver Queen convert to starch much faster than the newer varieties,” he says. “It gets too starchy. That’s why these days you can only find it in home gardens or for local sales.”

Also, Silver Queen takes at least 90 days to mature, compared with 75 or 80 days for newer varieties. “You’re losing money every day it sits in the field,” Schultheis adds.

The longer corn sits, the more attractive it gets for deer, raccoons, crows and armies of rapacious insects.

Newer varieties are bred to offer greater protection to pests, produce higher yields and last longer on the grocery shelves, Batts says.

“For farmers, it’s basically a business decision,” he adds.

18 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA NC TREND ››› Agriculture

“They can make more money with the newer varieties, with a lot fewer headaches. Unless the market starts demanding it by name, Silver Queen has probably had its day in the sun.”

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CHEERS! ALCOHOL WINS BIG IN ELECTION

In at least eight rural communities, voters in November approved a referendum on expanding alcohol sales. Most involved allowing the sale of cocktails at restaurants and bars in an attempt to attract more dining and nightlife options.

In the Nash County town of Bailey, 60% of voters (or 103 people) said yes to cocktails. e change was requested by two local restaurants, e Leaning Tree Italian Restaurant and El Paso Mexican Restaurant. “Please go out and vote in November, so we can enjoy some delicious tasteful margaritas and more!” El Paso posted on its Facebook page.

Cocktails also passed in unincorporated areas of Anson County, Princeville (Edgecombe County), Rural Hall (Forsyth County), King (Stokes County) and Pink Hill (Lenoir County) by margins of 58% or higher. e strongest vote for cocktails was in Rockwell (Rowan County), where 69% of voters said yes.

e town of King, where residents have had to drive to nearby Winston-Salem to buy liquor, also voted to allow an ABC store in town limits. And Bladen County voted to allow beer and wine sales at stores in unincorporated areas. at campaign was led by the owners of a small grocery store in the unincorporated Ammon community, the Border Belt Independent reported.

CUNNINGHAM, TILLIS TALK BIPARTISAN FRIENDSHIPS

You’d think spending millions of dollars to attack each other on TV would ruin a friendship. But U.S. Sen. om Tillis and his 2020 Democratic challenger, Cal Cunningham, are still buddies who meet for lunch occasionally.

e two shared a stage at UNC Chapel Hill in November to talk about building friendships across the political divide — a timely topic as politicians nurse their wounds and resentments from this year’s campaign.

Both men joked about the Cunningham campaign’s infamous tweet that made it appear that the Lexington native didn’t know the di erence between barbecue and grilling. “Bless my out-of-state sta ,” Cunningham said.

THE LEGISLATURE'S NEW POWER DYNAMIC

It’s safe to say North Carolina saw the expected “Red Wave” in last month’s election. It was the sort of wave that’s strong enough to knock someone down, but not quite strong enough to drag them completely underwater.

e N.C. House and Senate results will shi the balance of power further toward the GOP in next year’s long session, but not quite as much as Republicans hoped.

Senate Republicans won the exact number of seats needed for a veto-proof majority: 30 of 50. But House Republicans fell one vote short, winning 71 seats when they needed 72 for a supermajority.

It’s a change from the GOP’s current 69 House seats and 28 Senate seats. And it means Gov. Roy Cooper won’t automatically see his vetoes overridden — but we can expect high drama and close votes next year.

I anticipate Republican House leaders will do everything in their power to persuade a Democrat to cross party lines when there’s an override. And if that doesn’t work, we could see a return of the “veto garage,” where the speaker waits to call an override vote until some Democrats are absent.

ey say they managed to keep it cordial even during the campaign, joking around during breaks from their televised debate. Tillis said the kind of friendship he has with Cunningham is common among U.S. senators from opposing parties.

“Some of my most enjoyable conversations are with senators from the other side of the aisle,” he said.

How do you create more bipartisan relationships? Tillis suggested that issue-focused bipartisan caucus groups should be more active. e North Carolina legislature has a few of these as well, such as the early childhood caucus.

He warned also that people in politics are “so quick to make judgments,” particularly online.

“Before you press send on a tweet or a Snap(chat post), would you sit in a room like this and say the same thing with the same tone?” Tillis said.

20 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA NC TREND ››› Public affairs
21 DECEMBER 2022

MICROSOFT’S CATAWBA ADVENTURE

Microso is coming in hot to North Carolina’s data center world, albeit more than a decade a er its giant tech peers Apple, Google and Facebook.

Over the next 10 years, the Redmond, Washington-based company plans to develop four centers in Catawba County, spread through Conover, Hickory and Maiden. e investment will entail at least $1 billion of investment, split fairly evenly among the three communities that are less than an hour west of Charlotte. At least 50 new permanent jobs are likely.

e cities and Catawba County agreed on incentives that will enable Microso to avoid paying half of its real property tax and 85% of personal property taxes over 10 years. It has to spend at least $1 billion to get the full deal, which has an option to extend for another decade.

Data centers are a big deal in the region. Catawba County is home to a $1 billion Apple center in Maiden that started in 2008 and is in the midst of a $450 million expansion.

Google picked Lenoir in adjacent Caldwell County for one of its rst big server farms in 2007. Facebook announced its data center campus in Forest City in Rutherford County in 2010. Each site received signi cant local incentives. Each has grown signi cantly.

Data centers require vast amounts of water, which is plentiful in the region because of the Catawba River and infrastructure developed for the textile and furniture industries. When many manufacturers moved production overseas in the ‘80s and ‘90s, local utilities had signi cant capacity available.

A er seeing North Carolina’s success attracting the three tech titans, Virginia got aggressive with tax incentives that have lured many major projects. In 2010, Microso chose Boydton, Virginia over Cleveland County in North Carolina for a site that has become one of the world’s largest cloud-computing campuses with more than 1 million square feet of data center space, according to the Data Center Frontier news website.

e Conover project is planned on 219 acres north of Highway 16. e two sites in Hickory will total 176 acres, including 160 acres west of U.S. 321. e Maiden site will be on 292 acres. Microso is still buying the land and seeking permits, so actual construction may be two or three years o , a company o cial told the Charlotte Business Journal

Microso , which operates more than 200 data centers globally, plans to have workforce and IT training programs for potential employees. ■

22 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA NC TREND ››› Statewide
Microsoft’s headquarters, Redmond, Washington

CHARLOTTE

HUNTERSVILLE

Cornelius-based NorthState Development broke ground on Huntersville Town Center, a $60 million mixed-use project of 134 apartments, 41 townhomes and 11 single-family homes.

CHARLOTTE

Ridgemont Equity Partners raised $2.35 billion in its fourth fund. The middle-market private equity firm has assets under management of more than $8.5 billion.

Alicia Bertone will succeed Joan Lorden as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNC Charlotte. Bertone has been a longtime administrator at Ohio State University. Lorden has held the post for 19 years.

RXO, based here, started trading on the New York Stock Exchange at an initial price of $20.25. The freight transportation services business received a $100 million loan to aid its spinoff from XPO Logistics of Greenwich, Connecticut.

The Charlotte Hornets ’ value increased 8% to $1.7 billion, according to a Forbes report.

SALISBURY

Fort Mill, S.C.-based Broad River Retail will add a combined Ashley and Ashley Outlet store that is slated to open in spring 2023.

STATESVILLE

Sherwin-Williams is making a $324 million expansion that will add more than 180 jobs, expand manufacturing space and add an 800,000-square-foot distribution center.

FAYETTEVILLE

Pinnacle Medical Products is among 15 N.C. startups to receive a portion of NC IDEA’s $150,000 grant. It’s the ninth grant cycle by the nonprofit, which has awarded $1.5 million to 148 companies since 2018.

HAMLET

American Woodmark, the largest U.S. cabinetmaker, will create 131 jobs with its Richmond County expansion. Plans in clude adding 500,000 square feet of space.

Bank of America and Wells Fargo are among six megabanks subpoenaed by 19 Republican state attorneys general who contend the institutions’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies are hurting U.S. fossil fuel companies.

Google Fiber will relocate from downtown to Camp North End. It is leasing about 6,000 square feet for 10 years.

FAYETTEVILLE

A global filtration company, Mann+Hummel , will close a distribution center that employs 114 workers, starting in late December. It’s part of a larger plant that employs about 1,000 people.

23 DECEMBER 2022
EAST
PHOTO CREDITS: MANN+HUMMEL; AMERICAN WOODMARK

LELAND

Developer Nathan Sanders’ Ploof Road Business Park signed four tenants. The project of 19 separate 5,000-square-foot buildings is expected to be finished in late 2023.

TRIAD

WILMINGTON

Wilmington-based GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, which makes parts for nuclear power plants and fuel, will add 485 jobs over five years and invest $85 million in operations here.

ARCHDALE

Lancaster, a luxury upholstery company, will relocate and expand to a new building after receiving a $5 million investment. As many as 27 new employees will be added over five years with an average salary of $46,000.

Mack Trucks, which is part of locally based Volvo Group North Carolina, is partnering with gas-station operator Pilot Company to find the best locations for electric-vehicle charging stations. Knoxville, Tenn.-based Pilot has more than 750 Pilot and Flying J sites.HIGH PO

GREENSBORO

IQE is purchasing new equipment and adding about 31 technicians and engineers, with an average salary of $66,000. The company produces items for the semicon ductor industry.GREENSBORO

HIGH POINT

Tammy Nagem will succeed Tom Conley as president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority. She has worked for the furniture market company for nearly 21 years, most recently as chief operating officer.

Future Foam is adding 65,000 square feet of space, new equipment and 25 new staffers. The Iowa-based foam manufac turer plans to invest $8.5 million in the expansion.

WINSTON-SALEM

Clinical research company Javara plans to expand and double its payroll to 400 employees after garnering $47 million earlier this year from New York private equity group General Atlantic. Jennifer Bryne, Amanda Wright and Linda McCarty formed the company in 2018.

GREENSBORO

Jet It, a jet rental business, raised $16 million in debt and equity from five investors. The company is led by co-founders Glenn Gonzales and Vishal Hiremath.

24 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA NC TREND ››› Statewide
PHOTO CREDITS: PLOOF ROAD BUSINESS PARK,; GE HITACHI; JET IT; LANCASTER; VOLVO GROUP; INNOVATION QUARTER

TRIANGLE

DURHAM

Duke University Provost Sally Kornbluth, who served in the role since 2014, was named president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, effective in January. Separately, Duke University Health System CEO Dr. A. Eugene Washington will step down in June. He’s been Duke’s chancellor for health affairs for seven years.

ASHEVILLE

Ingles Markets, which is based here, paid $2 million for a 12-acre site in Johnson City, Tennessee for a potential new store, TV station WYCB reported. The grocer has three stores in the Johnson City-Kingsport area.

RALEIGH

Pendo’s Todd Olson was named CEO of the Year by the NC Technology Association. Separately, venture capitalist Dan Roselli of Charlotte’s CFV Ventures won the group’s Beacon Award.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis is shifting its gene therapy production here as it closes a Libertyville, Illinois plant. The company is licensed to make its Zolgensma product to treat spinal muscular atrophy.

Dr. Marcus Wallace was named chief medical officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of N.C. He has been a regional vice president at Indianapolis-based Elevance Health.

MORRISVILLE

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse, which has a technology center here, will settle tax fraud charges by paying $234 million. In the settlement, the bank didn’t admit criminal liability.

Valentine Commons, a student housing development, was acquired by The Preiss Company. The firm, which is based here, paid $102.6 million and plans to invest another $10 million in the property.

SANFORD

GKN Driveline North America plans to close its facility here, impacting about 47 employees. The auto-parts company also operates in Roxboro and Mebane.

BOONE

WEST

Appalachian State University raised $36 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, its best fundraising year in more than a decade. More than 10,000 donors made contributions, including a record $31 million in cash gifts. App State has a $150 million endowment.

HENDERSONVILLE

Third Street Sports, owned by Kyle Aldridge, Doug Roper III and Brad Morrison, bought the Hendersonville Honeycrisps summer baseball team. The childhood friends, who work in government, finance and tech nology, are also baseball players. AT ROC

FLAT ROCK

Plastic fabricators Elkamet is making its fourth expansion in a $4.6 million project, creating five new jobs paying an average salary of $53,100. FLETCHER

25 DECEMBER 2022
CREDITS: SRINI SOMANCHI FOR UNSPLASH; INGLES; VALENTINE COMMONS
PHOTO

CHASING WATERFALLS

With its long-touted “mountains to the coast,” slogan, North Carolina is one of the five mostvisited states in the country. Attracting all segments of tourism takes new approaches. This is true more than ever as the state’s hospitality industry struggles with immense labor shortages. Business North Carolina recently gathered top travel and tourism experts to discuss what’s happening across the state. From Serena Williams’s retirement announcement and the global resurgence of golf, to increased interest from foodies and new waterfall photo shoots, many components for drawing visitors are at play from mountains to coast.

Explore Asheville, Greenville-Pitt County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Pinehurst Resort, Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area, VisitNC and Visit Winston-Salem sponsored the discussion. It was moderated by Business North Carolina Publisher Ben Kinney and edited for brevity and clarity.

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ROUND TABLE TRAVEL & TOURISM

AN OVERVIEW OF HOW TOURISM IS FARING?

TUTTELL: The pandemic was fascinating for North Carolina, because we have everything people wanted during that time. We saw people flock to the mountains and to the coast. Leisure travel wasn’t so good for some of the urban destinations, and meeting and business travel just dried up. So we had a really interesting situation in the state since we had some people barely able to contain the business they were getting yet others weren’t getting the business they were accustomed to. I think that’s leveling

out now, but it’s not completely leveled out yet. Business travel hasn’t come back as far as we would like, meetings and events are coming, but international travel hasn’t come back yet. What’s really fascinating is the way different areas have adjusted to it. The mountains and the coast are adjusting to staffing shortages. Some of the urban areas are adjusting so they now have leisure travel, instead of business travel being a prominent way of people visiting there.

WERZ: We’re seeing a boost. Even with COVID, there was a huge boost for our destination, just because we can socially distance and golf enjoyed a global resurgence. Now

with the USGA coming into town (building a second headquarters and sprawling campus) that accounts for what the N.C. Department of Commerce has predicted will be a $2 billion economic impact on the state through 2047. So there’s a great future ahead for the destination, we’re just dealing with some growing pains and how that’s going to work out over the next five to 10 years.

MINGES: I hate to be the Debbie Downer in the room, but I hear a lot of challenges from business owners and they run the gamut. But first of all, I think it’s important to know that during COVID, our industry took on significant losses. Many

PANELISTS

27 DECEMBER 2022
Marla Tambellini senior vice president of marketing Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau Lynn Minges president and CEO N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association Marcheta Cole Keefer director of marketing and communications Visit Winston-Salem Wit Tuttell executive director Visit NC Phil Werz president and CEO Convention & Visitors Bureau for the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area
CAN YOU GIVE US

businesses are still struggling, still underwater. And if you look at the rest of North Carolina’s economy, it’s up considerably. Individual business owners (of hotels and restaurants) have taken on a whole lot of debt. And now they’re finding that those loans are coming due. Profit margins are slim and they face significant supply chain disruptions and labor shortages. We’re seeing a number of closings in recent months that we didn’t even see during COVID. While sales may be up, the cost of labor, the cost of food, and the cost of supplies are so high it’s impacting profits. There’s pressure to not increase menu prices. Hotel rates seem to be increasing and the demand (for rooms) is strong. The biggest concern that we are experiencing right now is the worker shortage. Some restaurants across the state are closing two or three days a week and they used to be closed just one day a week. We have many hotels in the state that have had to take rooms out of inventory, because they don’t have workers to service those rooms. I know of a particular hotel that has 100 rooms out of inventory today.

They’re profitable without those 100 rooms. But what if they could operate at full capacity? It’s a very interesting conundrum. But, we’re positive. We’re growing. But we’re not back to where we could be. We’re not actualizing our real potential. One of the things that we pride ourselves in is this amazing southern hospitality and outstanding service that people have enjoyed in our state. And when you don’t have the people to service in the way that you’re accustomed to, it’s a challenge and a concern.

TUTTELL: We see the labor shortage as well, especially in the restaurant industry. Everyone is working hard on programs to get people back to work. When restaurants are closed, it’s hard for the visitor. They come to town to find this place is closed today, but they were here two months ago, and it was open on this day. So it makes it a little bit difficult from a scheduling standpoint, and when you’re promoting and marketing a destination. We’re trying to build our destination as one of the best foodie and golf destinations in the country. Across the state we increased

employment in what we consider tourism jobs by 10% this year. That’s still down 18% from where we were in 2019. So even though tourism and travel are coming back, employment just hasn’t been back.

TAMBELLINI: We’re seeing workforce challenges as well … community restaurants and hotels are still struggling a little bit. Even in our offices, the struggle to get employees is real. It’s one of the big issues we’re all dealing with right now. We have seen visitors come back in droves. And, as Lynn indicated, there are places they want to go to that they haven’t been able to, because they’re closed. It’s been very challenging to accommodate everyone who wants to eat out or enjoy specific activities. Even some of our attractions continue to have to limit the number of people who are walking through the door each day. Fortunately, we have other assets, mostly that are free and easy to get to in the great outdoors. And so that continues to be a really big drawing card. People are taking advantage of that. That is what helped us through COVID. People were using the short term rentals, the Airbnb the VRBO, then being able to complement that with an outdoor excursion or experience. We’re starting to see a little bit of leveling off in terms of the demand. It’s up for the year, but it’s flattened in the last couple of months. Our concern right now is dispersal. We’re really working on longer length of stay so that we can get people out into the entire county, not just all downtown at the same time. We’re seeing a lot of development along the river corridor in the River Arts District. West Asheville is also really coming into its own right now and is a gem spot in the community.

KEEFER: We did not do well during the pandemic. We were down about 58% from a monetary standpoint,

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Upper Catawba Falls, a 50-feet waterfall that leads to another amazing lower waterfall, is located in Old Fort.

but I’m very happy to say it’s a very different story than we were sharing with you this time last year. We’re coming back in a big and bold way. We were very dependent on meetings and conventions to drive our hotel occupancy pre-pandemic. Obviously then, the mass gatherings were off limits. But we started seeing when people felt comfortable to come back to travel, they just needed to get away but they didn’t want to go too far away. Our market traditionally is Raleigh, Charlotte and in the five-hour-concentriccircle range. So the good thing our research shows is once someone comes to Winston-Salem and has the vacation getaway experience, they have a high repeat visitation. A silver lining is the diversification of our base of business, and that’s really going to help us in the long run. Corporate is not back. But meetings and conventions are starting to come back in a little different pattern. We’re starting to actually see higher levels of hotel occupancy and higher rates. Our inventory has pretty much stayed about the same.

HOW IS THE MEETING AND CONVENTION BUSINESS CHANGING?

KEEFER: We’re almost back to where we were in 2019, which was our best year.

TAMBELLINI: I’m gonna say this with the caveat that we’re primarily a leisure destination. Within the framework of our meetings and group business we hit our goal at the end of June for the last fiscal year by the skin of our teeth, but we hit the room night goal. We’re starting to see that business coming back and I don’t see that dissipating.

WERZ: In Pinehurst at the end of September through September, we recorded 19 straight months of record occupancy tax and increased customer inquiries and collections. So coming out of the pandemic, we’re seeing increasing occupancy or ADR (average daily rate). It’s doubled in the last year. So it was 55% business and 45% leisure basically before the pandemic. It’s about 60% to 65%

leisure now. Maybe we’ve missed this all along. … The leisure demand is huge. So it creates an interesting dilemma because when you have so many groups who want to come and get a negotiated rate, but (the hospitality businesses) can get a full rate for hotel, for golf, for spa and for everything with leisure travel. So right now they’re just riding the wave and the destination is riding the wave because a rising tide floats all boats. Short term rentals have doubled in the last year. We have over 600 in Moore County, and over 400 of those in Pinehurst alone.

TUTTELL: I think that’s fascinating for meetings. So many things have changed since COVID. These destinations now have leisure travelers so the discounts they need (to lure meetings) isn’t as strong.

MINGES: I think in the travel segment, the piece that is hurting most nationwide is transient business travel. It used to be that a sales rep would cal land want to meet, have lunch, visit my office and meet with

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SMART COMEBACK

Leading the promotion of Greenville-Pitt County’s tourism, and meeting the needs of the varied professionals within the industry became an even more important and complex job under pandemic conditions. Andrew Schmidt, president and CEO of Visit Greenville, NC, has led the market in a comeback and is navigating ongoing challenges. With 25 years in travel and tourism and almost 20 teaching at the university level, he is also president of the N.C. Travel Industry Association.

WHAT IS THE STATE OF THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM INDUSTRY TODAY IN GREENVILLEPITT COUNTY?

Travel and tourism in Greenville-Pitt County has rebounded quite well since the height of the pandemic. In fiscal year 2021-2022, our sports commission set a record by booking 64 tournaments generating an estimated economic impact of $22.1 million dollars. Our conventions and meetings business is back to pre-pandemic levels and Greenville is consistently adding hospitality amenities increasing our leisure travel within the arts, entertainment and outdoor adventure markets. The CVB is also increasing its focus on DEI, diversity, equity and inclusion.

WHAT ARE THE LINGERING EFFECTS FROM THE PANDEMIC?

As in most cities across the United States, the corporate travel market in Greenville-Pitt County has not fully rebounded from the pandemic. With many still opting to use one of the many available virtual meeting platforms, our corporate travel is currently about 50% of what we saw in 2019.

WHAT NEW METHODS ARE YOU USING TO ATTRACT INSTATE AND OUTOFSTATE VISITORS?

For the first time, our CVB has created a 30-second commercial spot to generate interest from both in-state and out-of-state travelers. The spot ran 126 times on ESPN during the 2022 Little League Softball World Series in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. In addition, we are utilizing audio streaming via Spotify and TV Streaming/OTT (over-the-top content from the internet) to increase our reach and engage new audiences.

the team. Now we schedule a Zoom. And so that means they’re fewer people coming into a market to stay overnight. And that’s happening nationwide. I think, as we look at North Carolina, leisure travel is strong, but transient and business travel is projected to be down double digits in 2022. The good part of that for North Carolina is that we’re not nearly as dependent as other states on business travel. Leisure travel accounts for over 90% of all travel statewide. That’s huge. So while other destinations around the country are going to really experience that lack of business travel, I think we’re going to fare a lot better overall.

DO YOU SEE THE DOWNTURN IN TRANSIENT TRAVEL (INDIVIDUAL, MIDWEEK, SHORT TERM STAYS) AS LONG TERM? AND HOW IS REMOTE OR HYBRID WORK AFFECTING THE TRAVEL AND TOURISM?

MINGES: If we look at urban areas like downtown Raleigh, uptown Charlotte, Winston-Salem or Greensboro there’s less foot traffic downtown. People aren’t coming into offices the way they were before. Restaurants are missing that traffic for breakfast, lunch, dinner and entertainment. We’re seeing restaurants in particular expanding in suburbia. So it’s kind of the reverse of what we had before when everybody was flocking downtown to open new restaurants. Now we see these incredible chefs and retail business owners scaling back in the urban areas and building out in the suburbs.

KEEFER: Winston-Salem just peaked with about 4,000 rental properties downtown. So it’s a little different. That’s helping the downtown restaurants and retail to a great extent. I think that’s proof that the $2 billion that’s been invested over the last 20 years in the downtown area has really started to pay off.

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IT SOUNDS LIKE THERE ARE LOTS OF OPPORTUNITIES DEPENDING ON THE CITY?

TAMBELLINI: Yes, I was out to dinner with a friend the other night. It was last minute. It was a Wednesday night and we couldn’t find (an available table) anywhere.

MINGES: But there’s another issue. There’s a shrinkage. The reality is, a year ago, they probably had a seat for you. Now, they’re not taking as many customers. “We’re full” doesn’t mean “We’re full to capacity.” “We’re full” means “We can’t service any more people.” That is an everyday issue I’m

hearing from all around. The N.C. Department of Commerce just came out with a study on the shortage of restaurant employment. It shows that we really need about 40,000 to 50,000 more hospitality industry employees based on the projections for growth, and the opening of new restaurants and hotels.

KEEFER: We are trying to elevate the level of the careers in tourism and hospitality and the perception of that kind of work and opportunities for advancement within our local academies and public schools … through our community colleges and some private organizations that are doing training.

HOW IS MARKETING CHANGING GIVEN ALL OF THESE IMPACTS?

TUTTELL: We found in the pandemic that everybody wanted to get away, but a lot of people went to the same place and it became where everybody was. Visit NC created a whole new program called “Outdoor NC” where we focused on “leave no trace” principles to help destinations deal with overcrowding. We’re trying to get people spread out all across the state and to vary the times when they come to certain places. It’s not just private businesses that have these issues. State parks and federal parks have these issues. So we’ve gotten into more of that managing, as well as marketing to try and get people to come at the right time and do the right thing.

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SPONSORED ROUND TRAVEL & TOURISM

TAMBELLINI: In the last year or so we’ve completely stepped back from how we were doing things and reevaluated how we could be more responsive to the community while still being mindful of the legislative mandates that we have to generate visitation. We’ve got specific imperatives: balancing sustainable growth, safe and responsible tourism, engaging more diverse audiences, and then supporting our creative efforts. Everything we’re doing, falls within those areas. We’re really putting mandates for ourselves in terms of generating those longer stays that I mentioned previously, and then dispersing people throughout the county. We may be doing bigger content partnerships, we’re able to tell a larger story, put people in different spots in the community and start to inspire people to go to places that are a little bit further out. We’ve looked at our marketing around the diversity sector. We pledged that we would spend $1 million dollars with Blackowned publishers and creators.

WERZ: Going over to Pinehurst Resort and practicing there on weekends, I would deliberately walk through the parking lot and I would see no less than 12 to 15 license plates from other states early on in the pandemic. But we still focused our marketing early on, on just the Carolinas, the primary markets here in the state, and maybe down into

the Columbia area. But then Atlanta and D.C. were kind of a sweet spots for us. … We don’t have a whole lot of podcast sources so we started our own. We just recorded one with Ben Owen, from Seagrove and Elizabeth Hudson, from Our State magazine. Of course social media has been a big focus with video content. So being able to do a ton of content and get a lot of views on our YouTube channel is important. We are being innovative and creative and marketing the destination aside from just golf. In fact, one of our hashtags is “more than just golf.” We’ve done videos on how local chefs work with our local farmers, and how you can get the freshest products right here in Moore County. Being part of the visit NC farms app, which focuses on that agritourism aspect of the county has been a big boost to the farmers in northern Moore County.

KEEFER: We started communicating to our industry partners on a weekly basis as opposed to monthly just to gauge how they were doing, what product offerings they may have, and what we could then promote. … We just had a new photo shoot at our state parks. At Hanging Rock State Park, it looks like you’re in Asheville, but you’re really just 20 minutes from downtown Winston-Salem. … We’re using a lot of radio broadcasting, especially with our National Public Radio affiliates.

MARLA, TELL US ABOUT ASHEVILLE’S U.S. OPEN TENNIS MARKETING.

TAMBELLINI: Yes, that also goes into those bigger content partnerships. That was an opportunity for us. Winston-Salem had already hosted the Billie Jean King Cup, so this was an opportunity to continue and strengthen our ties with USTA, and the hopes that other tournaments may come down the road. And it was an opportunity to go back to New York and meet with media and meeting planners. It was a compelling invitation. We may not have had those people to sit down with us otherwise. … We were fortunate that Serena Williams announced her retirement because that created a huge amount of exposure. … Our logo appeared in newspaper articles and imagery. We’ve already had interest from a couple of groups from meeting planners.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO MENTION AS WE WRAP UP?

WERZ: I’d say that we’re very fortunate to be in a state that is in the top five most visited in the United States. I tell my board regularly what we do with the budget we have compared to neighboring states that have significantly more funding and resources is a miracle. We all talk about the mountains to the coast, and everything in between. North Carolina has everything for everybody, and that’s why we’re so fortunate to be in this state. … And (the various tourism promoting arms) aren’t not competitors. We want everybody to succeed and we want all these destinations to do well. ■

SPONSORED SECTION ROUND TABLE TRAVEL & TOURISM

CAROLINA CORE

Selecting BNC’s Small Businesses of the Year winners is an exciting annual task that culminated this year with these companies:

• Core Technology Molding, a Greensboro plastic-injection molding company.

• Firsthand Foods, a Durham distributor for local farmers and meat processors.

• Speckled Paw Coffee, a collection of coffee shops in four small N.C. towns.

• Seaview Crab, a Wilmington distributor of seafood at retail markets and restaurants.

The quartet was chosen from more than 75 applicants. The judges were Byron Hicks, who is state director of the Small Business and Technology Development Center; Anna Lynch, CEO of Raleigh-based Lynch Mykins Structural Engineers and one of the Small Businesses of the Year winners in 2021; and Business North Carolina Publisher Ben Kinney.

The judges considered creativity, community impact, persistence and other factors in making the selection. The businesses had to be in operation for at least five years.

"Every year, I am amazed at the quality of our winners,” Hicks says. “They are a true testament to what makes our state's economy so awesome. Hard work, dedication and the ability to adapt to changes and challenges are what make these businesses special."

It’s the 27th year that Business North Carolina has published the Small Businesses of the Year award, which is sponsored this year by Duke Energy. The goal is to honor smaller enterprises that form an often overlooked core of the state’s economy.

The state had about 155,000 companies with between two and 19 employees in 2021, along with about 21,200 with 20 to 499 workers, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. There were also about 790,000 sole proprietorships.

38 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
39 DECEMBER 2022

CORE TECHNOLOGY MOLDING CORPORATION

BREAKING THE MOLD

While working in the early 2000s at electrical connector manufacturer AMP (now TE Connectivity), Geo Foster helped develop a patented seal used in tens of millions of new connectors that wound up in Ford cars and trucks. He received a $99 plaque, a nice gesture that also convinced him it was time to start his own injection-molding business.

Sixteen years later, Foster has built a North Carolina entrepreneurial success story. Core Technology reported revenue growth of nearly 300% in 2021, and even faster pro t gains, aided by sales of millions of plunger rods used to deliver COVID-19 vaccines. e company projects sales of more than 100 million rods in 2023. Previously, most revenue had stemmed from supplying vehicle manufacturers.

Much of the company’s growth has occurred since its move in 2018 into Gateway Research Park, a partnership of Foster’s alma mater, N.C. A&T State University, and UNC Greensboro.

Foster, 55, gives much credit for his success to N.C. A&T, which attracted him from New Jersey in the mid-1980s. He’s taught classes at the school for 17 years and started hiring its graduates in 2008. He also has an MBA from Wake Forest University.

Retaining sta is crucial for the company’s success, Foster says, which is why he sponsors annual employee appreciation trips. Previous locations have included Cancun, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

Comments are edited for length and clarity.

IS THE LABOR SHORTAGE MODERATING? HOW HAVE YOU ADAPTED?

e labor shortage has improved, but we have also raised our standards signi cantly due to the higher quality expectations of our customers. We now send employees to blueprint reading courses, partnering with Guilford Technical Community College. Entry-level operators are able to hit the ground running and not just put parts in a box. We have also been supported by N.C. State University’s Industry Expansion Services group with training for medical devices, internal auditing and other requirements to meet various industry standards.

IS GREENSBORO’S GATEWAY RESEARCH PARK A GOOD LOCATION FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

e park has been a great partner. ey have supported our exponential growth when Core Tech doubled our capacity during COVID-19. Gateway also submitted a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, while the local city government matched with an additional $750,000. Our plans are to break ground in the rst quarter of 2023 with the next phase of our expansion.

HOW HAVE YOU FUNDED YOUR GROWTH?

Initially, we worked with banking institutions and took out Small Business Administration and capital equipment loans. We are now funding the projects internally and do not require bank loans.

WILL TOYOTA EXPANSION NEAR GREENSBORO BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS?

We have been in meetings and panel discussions with Toyota and believe we can add immediate value as a supplier as we produce about 1 million parts annually for BMW for their hybrid vehicles. Our location logistically makes sense with regards to the ecosystem and having Tier I supplier experience. Since 2015 we have been shipping to Germany, China, Russia and South Africa for BMW. Having a Tier I automotive supplier within 30 minutes of the Toyota battery facility would help reduce shipping costs.

IS YOUR STRATEGY TO PURSUE RAPID GROWTH OR MORE SLOW, SUSTAINED ADVANCES?

I expect controlled growth in biopharma, while the mobility space with automotive sustainable materials will be rapid. Our customers are looking for our innovation with sustainable materials like hemp, allowing us to supply parts that are lighter in weight and stronger. is is already being done in Europe, and we want to bring this to North America through our work with BrightMa Farms in Charleston, South Carolina. ree universities are supporting us with research and development: N.C. A&T, Clemson and South Carolina State.

40 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BERT VANDERVEEN

WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE ECONOMY?

Economic experts are predicting a recession, but we are diverse and grew from 5% biological pharmaceuticals to 60% since COVID-19. Our growth is with the biopharma companies including Merck, P zer and Eli Lilly, and the heavy truck industry with Volvo and Mack Trucks and Volvo Cars. With our diverse portfolio, we have grown at an exponential rate over the last few years. Snap-on Tool recently became a new customer.

WHO HAVE BEEN YOUR KEY CAREER MENTORS?

Dr. Harold Martin Sr., chancellor at North Carolina A&T State University, and Willie Deese, former vice president of Global Manufacturing at Merck.

WHAT IS THE MOST FUN PART OF YOUR WORK?

Bringing aboard new employees who do not have a background in plastic injection-molding or advanced manufacturing, and "molding" them into valuable employees and watching the light come on. Also, we started "Molding Kids for Success" last year, which is a registered 501(c)(3) that o ers a free camp targeting middle-school children from disadvantaged backgrounds. We have worked with the Greensboro Housing Authority to identify children who have STEM interest and might not be able to attend a STEM camp. One of my strongest graduates from North Carolina A&T during my 18 years as an adjunct professor is Brandon Frederick. He is a project engineer at Core Technology and program administrator for "Molding Kids for Success." Brandon understands the mission of exposing these children to STEM and being a role model. Brandon is obtaining his MBA from N.C. State University and applying what he is learning to get traction for this e ort throughout North Carolina.

WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST CHALLENGING?

ose who do not dream, have goals and want to reach for the stars. is is a quote from former Morehouse College President and civil rights leader Benjamin Mays: "It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. e tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unful lled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal, but it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture. It is not a disgrace not to reach for the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is a sin.”

HOW IS THE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING WITH YOUR WIFE, TONYA, AT THE BUSINESS?

My wife came aboard full-time four years ago. Working hard together and staying in our own lanes has helped us work successfully together. We are both good at di erent things and respect each other's strengths and weaknesses. We are intentional about leaving work at work at the end of the day and do not bring it home and talk about work at the house.

DO YOU HAVE OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS IN THE BUSINESS?

Our son, Jeremiah Foster, is in business development and joined the company in June a er graduating from N.C. A&T in 2021 and later completing his last baseball season. He has helped grow relationships with our existing customers and build new ones with customers that have come on board in the last year. While obtaining his MBA from UNC Greensboro, he is able to apply what he is learning in real time. ■

SECRET TO SUCCESS

OWNERS
LOCATION
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 45 YEAR FOUNDED 2006
Tonya and Geoff Foster
Greensboro
“Mediocrity has its place, but it is not at Core Technology Molding. We never sign up for average.”

FIRSTHAND FOODS

THE MIDDLE WOMEN

Restaurants and grocery stores are eager to o er meats from local farms these days, but getting a steady supply into the coolers and on customers’ plates is easier said than done.

Individual farms o en aren’t large enough to supply restaurants’ menus year-round. And chefs and grocers don’t have time to develop a larger network of farmers to meet their meat needs.

Jennifer Curtis and Tina Prevatte Levy saw the problem and wanted to help. Curtis was working with farmers while managing NC Choices, a project of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems that assists pasture-based livestock producers. Levy was nishing her MBA at UNC Chapel Hill.

Armed with $150,000 in grant funding, they launched Firsthand Foods to connect farmers and meat processors with grocery stores, restaurants and institutional food service companies. e company now works with more than 35 farms, four meat processors and 200 retailers and food service businesses.

During the pandemic – as many restaurants scaled back or shut down temporarily – Firsthand Foods created its own COVID relief program by raising money to donate meat from its partner farmers to food banks, helping keep the farms and meat processors a oat during a challenging time.

Comments are edited for length and clarity.

WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN SELLING PASTURERAISED MEATS?

As co-founders, Tina and I were looking for ways we could use our passion and skills to support North Carolina's family farmers, preserve our state’s natural beauty and rural communities, and use business as a tool for creating social and environmental good. In a world of commerce dominated by global supply chain arrangements, small-scale farmers are o en denied access to market opportunities. We set out to change that by building a robust market for local, pasture-raised meats that consumers can trust were raised humanely in a spirit of fairness and stewardship.

HOW DO YOU SELECT THE FARMERS AND PROCESSORS?

We select farmers based on a set of strict production protocols that requires them to raise their animals outdoors on pasture, humanely, without the use of antibiotics or added hormones using all vegetarian feed. We work with beef cattle, hog and sheep producers who farm in North Carolina. Our processors are selected based on their humane handling, their proximity to our farmers, and the quality of their butchery services.

42 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
OWNERS Jennifer Curtis and Tina Prevatte Levy LOCATION Durham NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 8 YEAR FOUNDED 2010

WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY DOING TO ADDRESS RISING FOOD COSTS?

We strive to be a consistent and reliable purveyor and only increase our prices when it is necessary to fairly pay our farmers and processors. Rising fuel, feed and fertilizer costs are a real challenge in the food industry right now. More than 75% of our revenues are directed back to the farmers and processors in our network and thus recirculated into rural communities in North Carolina. We purchase whole animals from our network of 30plus farmers and work diligently to utilize all pieces and parts to minimize waste and optimize pro ts. We partner for distribution with other values-aligned local businesses and thus maintain a lean team.

HAVE YOU FACED CHALLENGES AS A WOMANOWNED BUSINESS IN THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY?

Yes. Probably the biggest challenge was building trust. It took us a long time — ve years — to develop the network of livestock producers that we enjoy today. Whether that was entirely due to the fact that we were women is unlikely. We also had no track record as business owners and neither of us came from a farming background. So, skepticism was a natural response. But building trust takes a little longer when you’re not the gender most folks expect to see walking in the door or, in our case, walking across a

pasture. We will always be indebted to the farmers and others who believed in us from the get-go.

Sexism doesn’t happen o en, but when it does, it can be frustrating. ere are many examples where men assume that we are “front of the house” administrators rather than actual owners and decision-makers.

But being women-owned has also a orded us many advantages. We share a strong orientation toward collaboration. It’s a core value within our business that allows us to focus on our strengths and partner for the rest. Another advantage of being women-owned is that we value exibility and have established business development goals and weekly rhythms that enable us and our team to have lives outside of work. We also are helping to pave the way for other female entrepreneurs, especially those helping to transform the male-dominated meat industry.

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPANSION PLANS?

Within the year, we plan to expand our o ce, dry storage and, most signi cantly, our cold storage space (freezer and walk-in cooler). We've secured loan funding and space at our current location, but can't get started on the build-out for another six months. We're excited as this will allow us to expand our distribution footprint and potentially build out a direct-toconsumer line. ■

SECRET TO SUCCESS

“We identified a problem that truly needed to be solved.”

SEAVIEW CRAB COMPANY

OWNERS

LOCATION Wilmington

FISH TRICKS

Joe and Sam Roman and Nathan King are three childhood friends who have built a diversi ed seafood business in the Wilmington area. King has a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech, while the Romanos gained their degrees at UNC Wilmington. In 2005, they started a business with 50 crab pots, a pickup truck and a hand-painted sign. Now the annual payroll tops $2 million as more than 50 regional restaurants rely on their products and the company operates seven local retail markets.

e pandemic knocked out the wholesale business when restaurants shut down but retail demand increased immensely, King says. In early 2020, Seaview opened a deli to sell fresh prepared seafood at their midtown Wilmington market. e period “reinforced how essential the retail food business is and more speci cally, how important our local food supply chain is.” Noting that all stakeholders are important, King emphasizes that “we put our team rst. If our team is taken care of well, our customers, vendors and the community will follow in the same path. e sh market allows for o en-timid youngsters to interact with all types of people. While the work can be challenging, it is certainly rewarding.

Comments are edited for length and clarity.

HOW DID YOU MEET?

We grew up in the same neighborhood in Virginia Beach. Sam and I have been friends since elementary school. His brother, Joe, is four years older. We grew up teaming up on odd jobs like yard work, so we developed a good working relationship before leaving for college.

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 72 YEAR FOUNDED 2005

WAS THE BUSINESS PROFITABLE DURING ITS FIRST THREE YEARS, BEFORE BUYING A FISH MARKET?

We were in our 20s, we shared a residence, got a small allowance and put all pro ts into growing the business. We did not put anything in our pockets but the company was able to move forward. It was more like a hustle at that time.

WHEN DID YOU REALIZE IT COULD BE A MUCH BIGGER COMPANY?

At the very beginning, we were solely selling our crabs to local markets and restaurants. A er a year or two of wrestling with selling at a wholesale level, we set up a 10’ by 10’ tent and a "Blue Crab" sign on the side of Carolina Beach Road. is allowed us to connect directly with the end customer and sell our catch for retail prices. We only had crabs to sell but it allowed us to see and feel the healthy demand for locally sourced seafood. Once we added shrimp to the roadside pop-up market, the opportunity and vision came together.

WHAT IS THE MOST FUN PART OF THE WORK FOR YOU?

I enjoy seeing a thought or idea manifest itself into something real. With seafood, the work involved can be challenging and fatiguing. A er it is all said and done, and we have something to show, it's very rewarding. I enjoy the camaraderie with our team.

WHAT IS MOST CHALLENGING?

Training. Seafood has so many nuances and small idiosyncrasies, it's hard to t everything into a traditional training manual. Experience is the best teacher.

44 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
Nathan King, Joe Romano and Sam Romano PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANDREW SHERMAN

YOU FIGURED OUT DIGITAL MARKETING EARLY ON — HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

When we were on the side of the road, we received a healthy tip to start collecting email addresses from our customers. It led us to starting our weekly seafood update that we publish every Friday. It became part of our pitch and way to keep in touch with our clients, highlighting our o erings and telling a seafood story of the week. We have been consistent with the Weekly Seafood Update since 2008. Facebook, Instagram and Shopify have slowly and organically been worked into the mix.

HOW SEASONAL IS THE BUSINESS?

Very seasonal. e summer is obviously the most busy. e holidays are very busy, as well. We slim down a er the new year. We start building the team back up in April and May. During the slower months, we try to keep our willing team members working with growth projects and facility maintenance and improvements. Many team members enjoy doing something other than regular seafood operations.

AFTER STRONG GROWTH IN 2021, HOW IS 2022 PROGRESSING?

We certainly feel the economy slowing down. ere is always a ne line to walk with growing and keeping good standards and consistency. At this point we are more interested in e ciency, organization and structure as opposed to adding other revenue streams. We have some exciting growth plans for the Spout Springs Market near Fort Bragg. Also, we have just purchased a food trailer and are excited to put that to work.

DOES THE COMPANY STILL SOURCE SEAFOOD ON ITS OWN?

We produce crabs, clams and oysters with our own boats and licenses but the great majority of what we sell is from other

shermen, dockside sh houses and dealers. Sam leads up our production side. We have approximately 200 crab pots in the Masonboro Sound and leases in the Stump Sound area that allow us to cultivate shell sh.

DO YOU WHOLESALE FISH OUTSIDE OF N.C. WATERS?

We look to ll as much demand with North Carolina products as possible. For those that North Carolina does not produce, such as scallops, lobsters, crab legs and salmon, we rely on supply from other areas.

WHY DID YOU WANT TO ENTER THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS?

It is where the seafood can come to life. In the seafood industry, research shows that about two-thirds of all seafood consumed is prepared for diners. e other third is cooked at home. e concept of having a kitchen adjacent to the fresh market was very appealing. It also allows for our team to try seafood that they are selling without them having to cook it themselves. e smell of freshly fried shrimp and seasoned steamed crabs certainly helps with the o en stronger smell of raw seafood. e commercial kitchen also allows us to create dips and spreads, seafood cakes, soups and more to sell at our other locations or other businesses.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BEST BUSINESS DECISION?

Our reinvestment of capital year a er year.

WHAT DECISION DO YOU MOST REGRET?

Most poor choices have come back around as valuable lessons. Starting small and growing into things has always helped hedge our bets and reduce the risk. Perhaps this approach has held us back at times but growing too quickly can be dangerous in its own light. ■

SECRET TO SUCCESS

“Our core leaders started from the bottom as dock blasters and fishmongers. They now manage human resources, buying, maintenance, logistics and sales. They — and a host of others — deserve as much or more recognition than Sam, Joe and I.”

SPECKLED PAW COFFEE

MORE THAN COFFEE

What started as one mom-and-pop co ee shop in Mount Gilead has evolved into four spaces in di erent cities where visitors can experience custom co ee, baked goods and community conversation. Veteran journalist Kyle Poplin, 63, and his wife Myra, 60, founded Speckled Paw Co ee to create a sense of community in the Montgomery County town a er moving from Michigan to take care of an aging parent.

Now, their community-driven company has added co ee shops in Polkton, Rockingham and Wadesboro. Each shop looks di erent because of a business model that hinges on partnership with local organizations. For example, the Polkton site is a collaboration with South Piedmont Community College.

e downtown Rockingham location is part of the IncSpace business incubator.

One aspect remains the same: Speckled Paw is a place where patrons visit for not only co ee, but news and information about the places they call home.

At the onset of COVID-19 in early 2020, the Poplins’ focus shi ed to becoming the local go-to source of information through weekly email newsletters. Kyle’s editorial experience and knack for community journalism became an asset. e newsletters set the business apart, showing the owners’ a nity for their communities and dedication to actively promoting them in a creative way, he says.

Comments are edited for length and clarity.

WHAT MAKES SPECKLED PAW COFFEE UNIQUE?

We publish two weekly newsletters in communities that have been largely abandoned by traditional media — Mount Gilead and Anson County. ese hyperlocal newsletters, with a combined weekly circulation of about 2,400, promote basic democratic engagement which is lost when the traditional media leaves a community. We tell people things like where to vote, where they can volunteer and which festivals are upcoming. We tell them about fellow community members who are making a di erence.

Our business model is to open shops in places that corporate co ee shops consider too small to be pro table and collaborate with others to keep our overhead as low as possible. Our partners in Wadesboro are the Anson County Chamber of Commerce, Anson Economic Development Partnership and uptown Wadesboro. We’re in the common area of their building. Our partners like the cachet a co ee shop can bring to their organization, and our company bene ts by sharing overhead expenses, social media and outreach e orts with

our collaborators. Basically, we seek out and pro t from mutually bene cial relationships.

Lastly, we’re so small that we can o er custom co ee. Our baristas ask each customer how their drink tastes and how we might improve it.

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR BUSINESS MODEL?

Kyle was a newspaper editor for more than 25 years. Together with a partner, we owned and operated a monthly news magazine in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for several years prior to opening our rst co ee shop. rough those experiences, we learned a lot about community pride and sense of place. We learned in the magazine business that collaboration is not only possible, it’s required for survival. We found a photographer who took photos for the magazine because it helped promote his studio, and a tech rm that digitized the magazine as a way to learn more about that business and expand to other small publications. We learned that trading goods and services can be just as good as cash and working from home can be more practical than renting o ce space. Most importantly, we learned how to cut our highest expenses — printing and distribution — by piggybacking with others. Our magazine was a monthly insert in the

46 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
OWNERS Myra and Kyle Poplin LOCATION Mount Gilead NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES 15 YEAR FOUNDED 2018

local version of the New York Times and in the local newspaper. From there, it’s a very small leap to owning co ee shops in shared spaces.

WHAT’S THE KEY BENEFIT OF COLLABORATION?

Cost cutting, plus the multiplier e ect. At our shops, it’s not just us who want to see more foot tra c, our partners do, too. at means we have a common interest in promoting events in our buildings and in our communities, reaching more people. Collaborations help us expand our footprint with minimal e ort.

WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF YOUR NEWSLETTER DISTRIBUTION?

We’re able to mix in details about the co ee shop themselves, such as upcoming specials and karaoke nights. We love introducing people to our baristas and bragging about their accomplishments such as awards they’ve won at school as a way to personalize and localize our e orts. If you’re authentic and you can capture that authenticity in weekly newsletters, then they feel di erent from typical marketing e orts. We sell ads in our Mount Gilead newsletter, which provides a much-needed revenue stream of up to $1,000 a month in our smallest market.

HOW MUCH CAPITAL DID IT TAKE TO START?

Very little, relatively speaking. Our co ee supplier, Cactus Creek Co ee in Aberdeen, has been great about nding and selling us used, high-quality equipment to start our shops. ey understand what we’re trying to do and how that might ultimately help them sell more co ee. We keep our overhead, including rent, low because of our collaborations with the owners of the physical spaces.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE COFFEE BUSINESS?

e co ee business chose us. We moved to Mount Gilead from Ann Arbor because Myra's ailing mother lived there and we wanted to be nearby. We quickly saw that Mount Gilead didn’t really have a gathering space. We realized that a comfortable co ee shop could ll

that need — just as co ee shops have done in larger towns — and started thinking about a model that would work in a small town.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST POPULAR COFFEE AND

TREAT?

Our most popular co ee is a avored latte. It’s the drink of the day on our menu board. Our customers seem to like trying new things. As for treats, people love cinnamon buns. In Mount Gilead, ice cream is always the favorite, even in the winter months.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN 2022?

Reestablishing habits. Our area was hit hard by COVID and people got out of the habit of coming to our shops. We’re starting to come back, but it’s been a gradual process. In ation hasn't been a picnic either; the cost of inventory has caused us to rethink our menus and how much to charge in communities with limited spendable income. Payroll has risen, too. We’re making a conscious e ort to pay our baristas what they’re worth. ey proved they were essential during the pandemic and we don’t want to shortchange the lifeblood of our business.

HOW DID YOUR REVENUE DOUBLE FROM AUGUST 2021 TO AUGUST 2022?

We opened a shop in Rockingham, and COVID eased a bit during that time period. But those were still very challenging months.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY WHEN NOT WORKING?

We close our shop at lunchtime daily and take a walk with our dog, Julia, who has speckled paws and is the inspiration for our company name and logo. e highlight is when we walk by the elementary school and kids on the playground yell ‘Julia!’

WHAT ARE SOME FUTURE PLANS FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

As long as co ee-shopping remains fun, we plan to keep doing what we’re doing. ■

SECRET TO SUCCESS

people you respect and would like to collaborate with. Find win-win solutions.”
“Find

Toyota Motor’s plan to produce electric batteries near Greensboro isn’t the rst time that the Gate City has played an important role in the Japanese automaker’s history. e Rice family, which had a pioneering hand in popularizing the company’s Corolla sedans in the Southeast in the 1960s, is poised to bene t from ripple e ects of Toyota’s Tar Heel expansion.

Mary Rice, the third-generation member of her family to run Rice Toyota, is planning to double the dealership’s physical plant in the next few years. A key reason is the $3.8 billion campus under construction near Liberty in northeastern Randolph County, just 20 minutes from Rice Toyota’s Battleground Avenue site in Greensboro.

Toyota’s generous employee purchase bene ts will create an

in ux of new Toyota drivers a er the plant opens in 2025, she says. “ at’s 5,000 potential new customers. It’s a phenomenon all the time around Toyota plants.”

While there are four Toyota dealerships within a similar distance of the pending factory, Rice says hers is the closest. e 2,000-plus employees and their families — which is how she gets to 5,000 new customers — are likely to live across the region.

Rice, 43, has been at Rice Toyota for a decade now, including two years as dealer principal, industry jargon for the boss. It remains one of the highest-volume Toyota dealers in the Southeast with annual revenue of $150 million, comparable to prepandemic days. e business employs about 170 people.

She’s likely to be there a while. Rice says she is smitten with the car business, even as it faces an increasingly turbulent automotive

48 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
A third-generation dealer powers her family business as Toyota presses the pedal to the metal in North Carolina.
PHOTO

sales environment. e dealership industry has faced chaos in recent years thanks to a global pandemic, the rise of electric vehicles, unprecedented supply chain problems that have curbed production, and a new generation of buyers who rely on cellphones to make purchases. For now, many dealers are bene ting from record prices for cars and trucks and greater pro t from servicing cars as owners hold on to their vehicles for longer periods. But that near-term windfall could be swallowed up by the industry upheaval that has some auto dealers shaking. Rice sounds unfazed.

“I’m so ready for all this,” she says. “ is is such an exciting time and this is such an interesting business, what with all the changes. It just makes me want to get up and get started in the morning.”

Rice is always in the minority when auto dealers gather because she’s female; a small fraction of the 16,700 U.S. auto dealerships, including about 570 in North Carolina, are believed to be owned by women. Even fewer hold bachelor’s degrees in marine biology. “ ere aren’t many of us,” Rice con rms.

Her interest in studying sea creatures led to a brief, sweaty job at the North Carolina coast, followed by a successful career in real estate before she headed back to the Piedmont to help sell more Camrys, Tundras and other models.

Rice’s grandfather, Garson Rice Sr., founded the dealership in 1965 by signing on with a newfangled Japanese automaker just two decades a er he’d fought their countrymen on Guadalcanal. Toyota didn’t have dealerships in the Southeast at the time, according to a 1990 Greensboro News & Record story. By the mid-1970s, Toyota had beat out Volkswagen as the best-selling import brand in the U.S. e elder Rice grew up in Kannapolis and was a wheelerdealer who introduced the 24/7 “sale-a-thon” to Greensboro. He once paid a ne to the state a er the N.C. Attorney General’s O ce determined he was advertising vehicles that weren’t always available. In the late 1970s, Rice boasted of selling as many as 1,089 new cars in a month, which he called a record at that time for Toyota dealerships.

49 DECEMBER 2022
Car dealer Garson Rice Sr. saw Toyota's potential long before many peers.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF RICE TOYOTA

The pugnacious businessman wasn’t afraid to go to court to assert his rights, even against his own business partners and distributor. In 1986, he filed a $40 million lawsuit against Southeast Toyota Distributors, a Jacksonville, Florida-based company franchised by the car manufacturer to deliver cars throughout the region. Rice alleged that Southeast was allocating new vehicles in an unfair manner that disadvantaged him. The lawsuit was settled out of court two years later. Decades later, the Rices remain in Toyota’s good graces.

The business was a second home to Mary Rice, whose dad inherited his own father’s workaholic genes. It was routine for Mary to take dinner to the dealership, often at 5 p.m., when Garson Rice Jr. had a half hour to spare before the craziness picked up again at 5:30.

Rice’s father, who took over from his late father in 1997, still spends several days a week at the dealership. He shrugs at the lifestyle he’s passing on to his daughter.

“This business just becomes part of you, just grows on you,” he says. “You either want it or you don’t. All the hours, all the time you put in, that just becomes kind of normal.”

Garson Rice Jr.’s three children worked part time at the dealership while growing up but didn’t show an inclination to stick with the business. Mary had her heart set on being a scientist, enrolling in marine biology at N.C. State University. A summer internship with an environmental consultancy based in Wilmington led to hot, sticky work that included days squatting amid mosquitoes in a swamp. During that stint, she had lunch with a real estate agent who explained her work.

“It was all so interesting. I just couldn’t believe it,” says Rice. She started taking real estate courses while finishing her college

degree, then headed after graduation to Wilmington to work as a rep for a tract builder selling homes in three local counties. “I just killed it,” she says. “Then I did some commercial projects with builders, and a few other things here and there. Sold a few homes on Wrightsville Beach, at Figure Eight Island. I made money. I met a lot of interesting people. It was great.”

Then one day, her dad called. There was this thing called the internet and something else termed social media. The Rice Toyota website was a mess.

“Dad, I can help you with that,” she said. The project turned into an unofficial full-time job and residency at her parents' Greensboro home. It soon dawned on Mary that her destiny didn’t lie in coastal real estate.

In a Hallmark movie, perhaps, she would have immediately become general manager of the dealership. That’s what people think happens, she says. “They figure it was just handed to me. But really, this is a huge business. Can you imagine what a catastrophe that would be, if they just let the kids (of dealers), or anyone the dealer wanted, in to run the business?”

In the real world, Rice went to the national dealer association’s “Dealer Academy,” joined a mentoring group, spent years working in various departments at Rice Toyota, and was subjected to Toyota’s evaluation program for prospective dealership executives.

She passed.

In 2012, Rice Toyota’s veteran general manager became ill and her father asked her to step into the role.

50 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
Garson Rice Jr. and his father, center, secured Toyotas from a Florida company formed by Jim Moran, right. PHOTO COURTESY OF RICE TOYOTA

Eight years later, having gotten the hang of things, she purchased a share of the dealership. Her husband, Andy Slaughter, whom she met at the business, is now the general manager.

The succession plan was unplanned, Garson Rice Jr. says. “It couldn’t have worked out better. Having your daughter follow you in the business … that’s the best thing that can happen to you professionally.”

“It’s amazing to me the way things worked out. I’m very fortunate," says Mary Rice.

Because of that strategy, Rice says her dealership was often the only store around that could perform certain work. It allowed Rice to maintain staffing levels when many other dealerships furloughed workers.

Now she’s preparing for a future in which most dealerships operate with fewer new vehicles on site. Buyers will essentially order cars online, or in the showroom, aided by tablet-bearing salespeople who advise customers on choices and financing. There’s likely to be much less “let me take that offer to my manager” salesmanship, she says.

“The red ink all over the offer sheet and all that. … We’re done with that,” she says.

Staying ahead of the curve won’t be easy, Rice acknowledges. A long list of potential disruptions lurk. Carvana and other online services are influencing used-car sales. Large conglomerates are scooping up family-owned dealerships. Electric vehicles may not require the same level of service as gasoline models, which may reduce the profits at dealership shops.

Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model has also caused other manufacturers to seek ways around dealers. But that’s an uphill battle in North Carolina. The powerful dealership lobby — Charlotte’s Hendrick Automotive and Sonic Auto are two of the largest U.S. industry players — has prompted the N.C. General Assembly to pass laws to protect franchisees.

Rice is confident that local dealers have a bright future, including single-store operators like herself. It helps that Toyota has treated the Rice family like royalty for many years — Garson Rice Sr. once received an heirloom kimono from Toyota’s CEO — and has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to local dealers.

While she fields periodic inquiries from prospective buyers of the dealership, Rice says it’s far more likely she will be an acquirer. She is a member of the General Motors Dealer Development National Candidate Pool, which identifies opportunities for potential dealership acquisitions by women and minority owners.

With auto sales changing, Rice Toyota is trying to keep pace. Its service area includes a cozy “water vapor” fireplace, a Toyota “merch” shop is under construction, and Freeman Kennett Architects of High Point is designing the expanded showroom.

Rice is eyeing the future in the context of a fast-changing industry. She hired a contractor that also builds Chick-fil-A’s drive-thru awning systems to erect one for her service department. Service reps greet customers in the new space, which keeps customers dry but doesn’t expose them to exhaust fumes and the grit of the old service entry.

When the supply chain seized up during the pandemic, she launched an aggressive parts-buying operation. Rice told her managers to get their hands on every part they could, until they had at least a four-month supply of anything that might be needed. She’d find the money to make it happen.

She turned the top floor of Rice’s body shop — it’s located in northeast Guilford County, about 15 miles from the dealership — into a warehouse that serves as a distribution center.

In a digital age, Rice emphasizes the importance of human contact.

“The biggest complaint we hear from our customers — people who always bought a hybrid but went and bought a Tesla because it was new, and we get at least one of those a week who come in to trade — is that they just can’t get to a person,” says Rice. “They had to take it to a service center in Raleigh three times, but they can’t get it fixed.

“That’s just not right. When it gets to that point with a customer, I don’t care who you are, or who owns the company, at that point you have to be a person. You’ve got to own it. You get it fixed, once and for all, or you trade it and get the customer in another car. That’s what’s important in this business. It always has been and it always will.” ■

51 DECEMBER 2022
Mary Rice oversees about 170 employees at Rice Toyota.
PHOTO BY LINDLEY BATTLE

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

Why, he gently chides her, did you wait so long to come in? e woman gazes sternly at the young Charlotte doctor. “To be honest,” the patient says, “I don’t want to see you, but since I’m here, I guess

I’ll go ahead.”

rough the birth of her two children and death of her rst husband, the doctor’s predecessor had been like family. But that doctor had retired, and she’d let her blood-pressure medicine lapse.

It was the 1980s and her new doctor had recently earned an internal medicine degree from East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine. His emphasis was on primary care, the front lines of health care and preventive medicine such as controlling hypertension.

Dr. John Sensenbrenner grew up in Union County and earned a bachelor’s degree at Lenoir-Rhyne University. He has the persona of a pastor -- understandable, considering his Lutheran conviction that medicine is a religious calling. His given names, John and William, were also those of his family doctor, only one of two in the county at the time, who had delivered him and cared for him until he entered college.

e doctor’s patient, Carolyn Dunn, is 82 now. She still drives nearly 30 miles through Charlotte tra c as she has done for years, past scores of other physicians' o ces, to see Sensenbrenner. “Friends ask me why,” she says. “Well, he’s like family.”

52 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
A veteran Charlotte doctor bucks the trend toward corporate medical practices.

In the airy waiting room, the receptionist greeted her by her rst name. During an exam, she playfully patted her stomach and asked the doctor, “Is this fat?”

More than 35 years a er they rst met, Sensenbrenner, 65, looked up from her chart. With characteristic candor he turned up his mustache at the corners in a smile. “Yes,” he nods. “I got the message,” says Dunn, who wouldn’t have medicine any other way.

Sensenbrenner and his primary care clinic are outliers in today’s health care. In 2004, he rebelled, dismayed at what he says was the shi ing focus of the hospital-owned clinic where he was employed “from quality care to the bottom line.”

He chose to practice medicine alone, in the shadow of giants. Eighty percent of his patients followed, and his independent business now counts 5,000 people on the rolls.

In 2021, the American Medical Association says more doctors were employed by large health care organizations, including private-equity rms, than practiced independently. e AMA says the split is 51% vs 48%, though some experts say corporate ownership is actually much higher.

“It’s been 10 years at least since solo or partner practices became the minority, and I expect that’s a much smaller minority now,” says Tom Ricketts III, a professor and senior researcher at UNC Chapel Hill’s Cecil Sheps Center for Health Services.

An estimated 17,000 doctors work for hospitals in North Carolina. Large health systems insist the arrangement frees doctors to practice medicine rather than manage a business. Corporate ownership backs doctors with capital, better technology, legions of specialists and data mines containing best-medicine protocols.

Independent doctors like Sensenbrenner scoff. They say their approach leads to better treatment outcomes and lower burnout rates because there is less pressure to shorten the 30-minute visits to which Carolyn Dunn says she’s accustomed. National studies show employed doctors average less than 10 minutes per patient.

Sensenbrenner sees about 10 patients a day, many of whom belong to MDVIP, an $1,800-per year subscription program that focuses on wellness and prevention, says Tristan Samson, who manages the clinic. It operates in a two-story red-brick building that Sensenbrenner has owned in southeast Charlotte since 1984.

the business of medical practices.

Doctors in primary-care practices such as Sensenbrenner’s averaged about $305,400 in compensation in 2021, versus about $283,500 for those who do not have an ownership stake, the group reported. e independent doctors had an average of 240 paid hours o compared with 226, and averaged 200 vacation hours, 40 more than employed counterparts.

SPLITTING OFF

Cardiologist Dale Owen was among 88 doctors who quit Charlotte-based Atrium Health in 2018 to form Tryon Medical Partners. He’s now CEO at Tryon, which has grown to 11 clinics, 105 doctors and 185,000 patients.

Owen recalls when he rst told patients he was going independent. “I went out in the waiting room and shook everybody’s hands and told them,” he says. “ ey all stood up and clapped and cheered. Patients wanted to feel like they were important again.”

About 3,600 N.C. doctors are a liated with the Raleighbased Community Care Physician Network, which assists independent practices in delivering e ective care and taking part in various health insurance programs.

As for compensation, independent doctors make more than their peers working for health care systems and private groups, according to the 60,000-member Medical Group Management Association. e Colorado-based trade association focuses on Dr. John Sensenbrenner runs his own primary-care practice in Charlotte.

53 DECEMBER 2022

By comparison, UNC Healthcare employs 7,000 physicians, while Novant Health has about 1,800. Atrium Health will employ 7,600 physicians in the Carolinas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Georgia and Alabama pending completion of its merger with Wisconsin-based Advocate Aurora Health, a spokesperson says. e combined systems report about $27 billion in annual revenue.

Owen says signi cant pressure for physicians to see more patients prompted his move to help start an independent group. “You felt rushed all the time. If the patient has multiple issues to deal with, the physician doesn’t have time, so he winds up sending out a lot of referrals.” e referrals were to specialists who were also in practices owned by the hospital system.

“Referrals then create a lot more testing and more testing drives up the cost of care,” Owen says. “ is country has the highest health care costs in the world by a factor of two and yet we are just barely in — or even just outside — the top 30 in outcomes. In what other business would somebody with the highest cost and nowhere near the highest quality survive?”

Sensenbrenner Primary Care has two doctors, two physician assistants, four nurses and about eight nonclinical sta ers. John’s son Eric, 30, joined in August a er earning a degree at the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

It’s been 11 years since President Barack Obama signed the A ordable Care Act into law. Like many Tar Heel doctors, Sensenbrenner was strongly opposed and feared that the ACA would give government o cials too much power over health care decisions.

At the time, Sensenbrenner recalls hoping Eric would enter the medical eld but was solemn about the industry’s future. “I’d like for my son to be like that, but in his mind, I know he’s saying, ‘Will I be able to follow in my dad’s footsteps, or will I just become another government doctor?’” (His elder son, Adam, manages professional musical groups.)

More than a decade later, fears over the negative impact of Obamacare have eased for Sensenbrenner, Owen and, according to CEO Chip Baggett of the N.C. Medical Society, many other doctors.

“Ten years ago, the A ordable Care Act was a brand-new thing,” Baggett says. “ e federal government had never really jumped into the middle of health insurance except for Medicare, and none of us were certain what was going to happen.”

Obamacare mandated virtually everyone hold some form of insurance. Now, more than 25 million additional Americans are insured. Young people can remain on their parents' insurance plans until age 26 and insurers can no longer cancel a policy if it’s found the holder’s illness existed before he or she was insured.

An August federal report concluded that about 8% of the nation’s population remains uninsured, less than half the percentage in 2010. It credited Obamacare, the Medicaid expansion, subsidies for insurance in the open market and the preexisting-condition provision, which prohibits insurers from denying coverage in many instances.

“We all know insurance is the ticket to good care earlier, when physicians can intervene instead of waiting until someone is at a more advanced stage,” Baggett says. “So that has worked out well.”

On a recent a ernoon, Sensenbrenner weighed the decade since the birth of Obamacare. Rapid advances in diagnostic procedures such as MRIs and genetic testing enable doctors to replace faulty heart valves without openheart surgery and diagnose tumors even before a patient has symptoms.

Carolyn Dunn was treated successfully for breast cancer in 2016. “It was very small, and [Sensenbrenner] caught it very early,” she says. “I’d been a good girl and had

54 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
FAMILY DOCS The American Academy of Family Physicians is the largest U.S. medical society devoted to primary care with about 128,000 members. This survey was recorded in December 2020. PRIMARY EMPLOYER Hospital/health system • 53% Physician group • 16% Government • 15% University • 10% Managed-care/insurance • 2% Other • 4% OWNERSHIP STAKE No ownership • 73% Partial owners/shareholders • 14% Sole owners • 10% Not applicable • 3%

mammograms like I was supposed to.” Even after referring her to an oncologist, he followed her treatment step by step. “He went above and beyond what most doctors would do.”

Doctors still complain that the Affordable Care Act has heaped more administrative burdens on their practices. Mandates for electronic medical records can burden small practices and sometimes trigger merger and acquisition activity.

The requirement that all be covered by some form of insurance and the steady consolidation of hospital groups are also concerning.

“You now have a national law that requires people to purchase something, in this case, insurance,” Sensenbrenner says. “This gives immense power to the health insurance industry, which is doing more and more to try to direct physicians on how they care for their patients.”

Unfortunately, a decade of ACA hasn’t slowed the pace of health care spending. North Carolina's decision to block expansion of the program to include residents covered by Medicaid means the state has more uninsured adults between 19 and 64 than all but six states, according to The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit that tracks health care issues. The state ranks 37th in health care access and affordability, according to this year's study.

A provision in the ACA, the medical-loss ratio, requires insurers to pay at least 85 cents of each dollar of premium collected. It was expected to slow health care cost inflation. Instead, it prompted some providers to raise charges in order to maintain profit margins. “In order for that 15% to get bigger, the 85% needs to get bigger as well,” says Chris Meekins, a health policy analyst for Raymond James Financial Services.

Mandy Cohen, perhaps the state’s best-known health care expert, shares many concerns of the independent primary-care doctors. She trained in internal medicine, then served in public

health roles, including as the secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

After gaining recognition for leading the state’s fight against COVID-19, in January she became executive vice president of Bethesda, Maryland-based Aledade, which partners with medical practices to improve services and patient care and boost revenue. She is based in Durham, and the company works with about 250 practices in North Carolina.

“Instead of thinking that the only way in primary care to earn more is to do more, we focus on activities that are going to keep folks healthier and out of the hospital,” she says. Aledade compiles databases on best medical practices that rival corporate hospital systems.

“The proof is in the pudding — physician-led practices are more successful at keeping folks healthy, so they show savings overall,” Cohen says. “Practicing in a value-based context allows you to get off the fee-for-service hamster wheel that rewards you for doing more and instead, rewards you for your patients doing better.”

Amid perhaps the most tumultuous period in modern medicine, John Sensenbrenner ponders the changes he’s seen over his career. His clinic closed briefly at the start of the pandemic but quickly reopened when it became apparent that many patients weren’t prepared for telemedicine visits.

“When someone calls and needs me, I’ll see them,” he says. “If God needs me, he can surely find me. It’s my job to minister to my flock.”

Sensenbrenner is proud that Eric, after flirting with a specialty in orthopedics, is now focused on primary care, treating adults with complaints from hiccups to end-of-life illnesses.

“I think he realizes nobody practices much like we do anymore.” ■

55 DECEMBER 2022

NORTH CAROLINA’S

North Carolina’s most respected doctors in 62 specialties are presented in this annual report. Those cited were selected by their peers with a goal of saluting the state’s leading medical practitioners.

Methodology and disclaimer: This report was produced by DataJoe Research, a software and research company specializing in data collection and verification. The Lakewood, Colo.-based company conducts various nominations across the United States on behalf of publishers. To create the “top doctors” list, DataJoe Research facilitated an online peervoting process, also referencing government sources. DataJoe then tallied the votes per category for each doctor to isolate the top nominees in each category. After collecting nominations and additional information, DataJoe checked and confirmed that each published winner had a current, active license status with the state regulatory board. If we were not able to find evidence of a doctor’s current, active registration with the state regulatory board, that doctor was excluded from the list. In addition, any doctor who has been disciplined, up to the time-frame of our review process for an infraction by the state regulatory board, was excluded from the list. Finally, DataJoe presented the tallied result to the magazine for its final review and adjustments.

We recognize that there are many good doctors who are not

shown in this representative list. This is only a sampling of the huge array of talented professionals within the region. Inclusion in the list is based on the opinions of responding doctors in the region and the results of our research campaign. We take time and energy to ensure fair voting, although we understand that the results of this survey nomination are not an objective metric. We certainly do not discount the fact that many, many good and effective doctors may not appear on the list.

DataJoe uses best practices and exercises great care in assembling content for this list. DataJoe does not warrant that the data contained within the list are complete or accurate. DataJoe does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. All rights reserved. No commercial use of the information in this list may be made without written permission from DataJoe.

For research/methodology questions, contact the research team at surveys@datajoe.com.

56 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA

ADDICTION MEDICINE

Robyn Jordan UNC Department of Psychiatry Chapel Hill

Stephanie Newby Atrium Health Behavioral Health Charlotte

ALLERGY IMMUNOLOGY

Peter Bressler Peter B Bressler MD Durham

Leslie Cristiano Allergy Asthma and Immunology Services Clemmons

Charles Ebert Jr UNC Ear, Nose and Throat Chapel Hill

Heather Gutekunst Allergy Partners of Raleigh Raleigh

Caroline Hobbs Atrium Health Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Charlotte

Edwin Kim UNC Hospitals Children's Specialty Clinic Chapel Hill

Mildred Kwan UNC Allergy & Immunology Clinic Chapel Hill

Shannon Chadha Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center PA Charlotte

Mildred Kwan UNC Allergy & Immunology Clinic Chapel Hill

Diane Laber Allergy Partners of Pinehurst Pinehurst

Patricia Lugar Duke Asthma, Allergy, and Airway Center Durham

John Norris Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center Charlotte

Maeve O’Connor Allergy Asthma & Immunology Relief of Charlotte Charlotte

Vandana Patel Carolina Asthma & Allergy Gastonia

Ekta Shah Atrium Health Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Charlotte

Sofija Volertas UNC Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology Chapel Hill

ANESTHESIOLOGY

Anil Adusumalli Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital Ahoskie

James Balfanz UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

John Berry FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Inc. Pinehurst

Dale Buchanan Novant Health Charlotte

Matthew Buck Duke Birthing Center Durham

David Chiu Salem Anesthesia Advance

Ashraf Habib Duke Birthing Center Durham

Robert Isaak Chatham Hospital Siler City

Ben Judd FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Inc. Pinehurst

Lavinia Kolarczyk UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Daniel LaValley East Carolina Anesthesia Associates Greenville

Katherine McNiff

Nicholas CaroMont Health Gastonia

Bryant Murphy UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Kimberley Nichols UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Anthony Passannante UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Jay ReVille Providence Anesthesia Associates Pinehurst

Farrukh Sair Novant Health Charlotte

Joshua Schwartz East Carolina Anesthesia Associates Greenville

Thomas Slaughter Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Winston-Salem

Kathleen Smith UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Emily Teeter Pinehurst Anesthesia Associates Pinehurst

Brian Thwaites Providence Anesthesiology Associates PA Charlotte

Chuanyao Tong Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Department of Anesthesiology Winston-Salem

Nancy Wilkes UNC Department of Anesthesiology Chapel Hill

James Winkley Pinehurst Anesthesia Associates Pinehurst

David Zvara UNC Department of Anesthesiology Chapel Hill

CARDIOLOGY

Benjamin Atkeson North Carolina Heart & Vascular Smithfield

Matthew Baker UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Elijah Beaty Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Winston-Salem

Michael Blazing Duke Cardiology Clinic Durham

Ker Boyce Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

Matthew Cavender UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Anthony Christiano Vidant Heart & Vascular Care Greenville

George (Craig) Clinard

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

David Cowherd Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

Cody Deen UNC Hospitals Hillsborough Campus Hillsborough

Michael Elliott Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Joseph Falsone North Carolina Heart & Vascular Raleigh

David Framm Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

David Frazier ECU Health Medical Center Greenville

Anil Gehi UNC Department of Medicine Chapel Hill

Christian Gring North Carolina Heart & Vascular Clayton

Joseph Hakas Jr Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

John Holshouser Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Brett Izo Asheville Cardiology Associates Asheville

Eric Janis North Carolina Heart & Vascular Smithfield

Geoffrey Jao

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Cardiology Winston-Salem

Charles Jones Vidant Heart & Vascular Care Greenville

Frederic Kahl Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Cardiology Winston-Salem

Dalane Kitzman Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Cardiology Winston-Salem

Jeffrey Klein UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Igor Klem Duke University Medical Center Durham

Daniel Koehler Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Lincolnton

Richard Krasuski Duke Cardiology Arringdon Morrisville

Jack Kuritzky Chapel Hill Internal Medicine Chapel Hill

Jan Levene Fryecare Cardiology - Boone Boone

David Mayer UNC Department of Anesthesiology Chapel Hill

Angelo Milazzo Jr Duke Children’s Cardiology Creekstone Durham

Joseph Mishkin

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Chelsea Ngongang WakeMed Brier Creek Healthplex Raleigh Agodichi Nwosu Carolina Heart Physicians PC Fayetteville

Kenneth Owen Jr Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Chetan Patel Duke University Durham

Jan Pattanayak Asheville Cardiology Associates Asheville

Dermot Phelan

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Brian Powell Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Geoffrey Rose Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Joseph Rossi UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Cheryl Russo Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Hari Saini Carolina Heart & Leg Center Fayetteville

57 DECEMBER 2022

George Stouffer UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

John Symanski

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

John Vavalle UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Andrew Wang Duke Cardiology Clinic Durham

Cary Ward Duke University Medical Center Durham

Thelsa Weickert UNC Department of Medicine Chapel Hill

Brandon Williams Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

David Zhao Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Cardiology Winston-Salem

CARDIOTHORACIC SURGERY

Bret Borchelt Novant Cardiothoracic Surgeons Winston-Salem

Stephen Davies FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Thoracic, Reid Heart Center Pinehurst

John Frederick Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Jeffrey Gaca Duke University Medical Center Durham

Donald Glower Jr Duke Heart Transplant Clinic Durham

Mark Groh Asheville Heart Asheville

Edward Kincaid Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Cardiothoracic Surgery Winston-Salem

Neal Kon Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Cardiothoracic Surgery Winston-Salem

Adrian Lata Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Cardiothoracic Surgery Winston-Salem

Joseph Jorizzo Wake Forest Baptist Health Dermatology Winston-Salem

L. Nifong East Carolina Heart Institute Greenville

Jacob Schroder Duke University Medical Center Durham

Eric Skipper Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Medhat Takla Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Concord

John Williams East Carolina Heart Institute Greenville

Judson Williams WakeMed Raleigh Campus Raleigh

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

Herman Cheek Congdon Heart and Vascular Center High Point

Scott Denardo FirstHealth Cardiology Laurinburg

Peter Ellman FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Thoracic Center Pinehurst

John Fedor

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Terry Fortin Duke University Medical Center Durham

J. Harrison Duke Cardiology Morrisville

Jason Katz Duke Heart Transplant Clinic Durham

Mark Landers FirstHealth Cardiology Pinehurst

Neha Pagidipati Duke University Hospital Durham

Geoffrey Rose Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Cheryl Russo

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

H. Strunk Jr FirstHealth Cardiology Pinehurst

John Symanski

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

James Tcheng Duke University Medical Center Durham

Kellie Tolin Wake Psychiatry PLLC Raleigh

B. Wilson Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

COLON AND RECTAL SURGERY

Laura Altom North Carolina Surgery Holly Springs

Patrick Brillant Physicians East Greenville

Bradley Davis CMC Surgery Charlotte

Jennifer Holl Surgical Specialists of Charlotte PA Charlotte

Kevin Kasten

Atrium Health General & Complex Abdominal Surgery A Facility of Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

Christopher Mantyh Duke University Medical Center Durham

John Migaly Davis Ambulatory Surgical Center Durham

Joseph Payne NHRMC Physician Specialists Wilmington

Reza Rahbar North Carolina Surgery Raleigh

Julie Thacker Duke University Medical Center Durham Reid Vegeler Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst

COSMETIC SURGERY

Joseph. Clark II UNC Ear, Nose and Throat Chapel Hill

Brenda Draper Draper Plastic Surgery Asheville

J. Garrison Greenville Plastic Surgery Greenville

Charles Kays Wilmington Plastic Surgery Specialist Wilmington Jefferson Kilpatrick Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst

John Robinson Atrium Health Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Charlotte

Andrew Schneider Forsyth Plastic Surgery Associates Winston-Salem

CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE

Mashael Al-Hegelan Duke University Hospital Durham

Christina Barkauskas Duke University Medical Center Durham

Shannon Carson UNC Department of Medicine Chapel Hill

Lydia Chang UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Stephen Cochran Pulmonary Critical Care Consultants Charlotte

Elizabeth Dreesen UNC Hospitals Multispecialty Surgery Clinic Chapel Hill

Daniel Gilstrap Duke University Hospitals Durham

Douglas Haden Pulmonary Critical Care Consultants Charlotte

Michael Haley Pulmonary Critical Care Consultants Charlotte

Alan Heffner Pulmonary Critical Care Consultants Charlotte

Allison Johnson Haywood Surgical Associates Clyde Lisa Lindauer FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Pinehurst

Casey Olm-Shipman UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Thomas Przybysz II Pulmonary Critical Care Consultants Charlotte Craig Rackley Duke University Medical Center Durham

John Wynne Pulmonary Critical Care Consultants Charlotte Christopher Young Levine Children’s Hospital Charlotte

DERMATOLOGY

James Appel Wilmington Health PLLC Wilmington

Elias Ayli Wake Skin Cancer Center Wake Forest April Boswell Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Claude Burton III Duke University Medical Center Durham

Marc Carruth Carolina Skin Surgery Center Charlotte

Elvira Chiritescu New Age Dermatology Apex

Robert Clark Cary Skin Center PA Cary

Donna Culton UNC Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center Chapel Hill

Logan D’Souza Forest Dermatology and Medical Spa Asheville

Alyssa Daniel Novant Health Dermatology Charlotte

Meredith Dasher Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

58 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA

Audrey Echt Anne Arundel Dermatology Raleigh

Hazem El-Gamal Charlotte Dermatology PA Charlotte

Sarah Fox NHRMC Physician Specialists Wilmington

Jennifer Helton Steele Creek Dermatology Charlotte

Erin Hodges Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Mark Hutchin Dermatology of North Asheville Asheville

Brooke Jackson Skin Wellness Dermatology Associates Durham

Martie Jewell Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Daniel Jones Greensboro Dermatology Associates PA Greensboro

Joseph Jorizzo

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Dermatology Winston-Salem

David Lane Dermatologic Surgery of the Carolinas Charlotte

Aida Lugo-Somolinos UNC Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center Pinehurst

Lisa May Biltmore Dermatology Asheville

Amy McMichael

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Dermatology Winston-Salem

John Murray Duke Dermatology Clinic Durham

Sarah Myers Duke University Medical Center Durham

Patricia Roddey Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Christopher Sayed UNC Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center Chapel Hill

Lindsay Strowd Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Dermatology Winston-Salem

Michael Sullivan Carolina Dermatology & Skin Cancer Surgery PA Wilmington

Nancy Thomas UNC Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center Chapel Hill

Carol Trakimas Forefront Dermatology Goldsboro

Sarah Vieta Vieta Dermatology PLLC Pinehurst

Phil Williford

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Dermatology Winston-Salem

DIAGNOSTIC RADIOLOGY

Deborah Agisim Charlotte Radiology PA Charlotte

John Alley Jr. Raleigh Radiology Raleigh

Ersan Altun UNC Department of Radiology Chapel Hill

Mustafa Bashir Duke University Medical Center Durham

Lauren Burke UNC Department of Radiology Chapel Hill

Tracy Jaffe Duke University Durham

Allen Joseph Pinehurst Radiology Pinehurst

Lynne Koweek Duke University Medical Center Durham

Brian Kuszyk Eastern Radiologists INC Greenville

Michael Lavelle Charlotte Radiology PA Charlotte

Carolyn Maynor Pinehurst Radiology Pinehurst

John Roberson Pinehurst Radiology Pinehurst

Amy Sobel Charlotte Radiology PA Charlotte

Anthony Thaxton Eastern Radiologists Greenville

Glen Toomayan Pinehurst Radiology Pinehurst

Michael Tripp Eastern Radiologists Greenville

EMERGENCY MEDICINE

Anthony Allen

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Emergency Medicine Winston-Salem

Bradley Anglemyer Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates PA Charlotte

Don Bahner Jr. Sandhills Emergency Physicians Pinehurst

Kevin Biese UNC Emergency Medicine Chapel Hill

Jane Brice UNC Hospitals Emergency Department Chapel Hill

John Bridgman Sandhills Emergency Physicians Pinehurst

Frank Christopher Sandhills Emergency Physicians Pinehurst

Chad Eller

Charles Gerardo Duke University Medical Center Durham

Joseph Grover UNC Department of Emergency Medicine Chapel Hill

Matthew Harmody Sandhills Emergency Physicians Pinehurst

Michael Harrigan UNC Hospitals Emergency Department Chapel Hill

Laura Hester Chatham Hospital Siler City

Amanda Korzep FirstHealth of the Carolinas Inc. Pinehurst

James Lewis Sandhills Emergency Physicians Pinehurst

Chad Listrom FirstHealth of the Carolinas Inc. Pinehurst

Emily MacNeill Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

Arun Manikumar UNC Rex Hospital Raleigh

David Manthey

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Emergency Medicine Winston-Salem

Daniel Martinie Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates PA Charlotte

Abhishek Mehrotra UNC Department of Emergency Medicine Chapel Hill

Jason Mutch

Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates PA Charlotte

Christina Shenvi UNC Emergency Medicine Chapel Hill

Erin Smith

Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates PA Charlotte

Linda Taylor High Point Medical Center Emergency Department High Point Julie Verchick Sandhills Emergency Physicians Pinehurst Matthew Vreeland Sandhills Emergency Physicians Pinehurst

ENDOCRINOLOGY DIABETES AND METABOLISM

Francisco Bautista Vitiello Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte Denis. Becker Raleigh Endocrine Associates Raleigh

D. Brantley Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Cynthia Burns

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Winston-Salem

John Buse UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Donald Caraccio UNC Department of Medicine Durham

David D’Alessio Duke University Medical Center Durham

Kelli Dunn Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

Adva Eisenberg Novant Health Endocrinology Charlotte

Josh Evron UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Cristina Gherghe LeBauer HealthCare - Endocrinology Greensboro Tahereh Ghorbani UNC Department of Medicine Chapel Hill

Kristen Hairston

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Winston-Salem

Elizabeth Harris UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Morgan Jones UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Tripuraneni Kirk UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Brooks Mays Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

Diana McNeill Duke University Medical Center Durham

K. Ober

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Winston-Salem

Gary Rolband Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

E. Story Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Maya Styner UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Charles Upchurch Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Mark Warren Physicians East Greenville

Julia Warren-Ulanch Creedmoor Centre Endocrinology Raleigh

Thomas Weber Duke University Medical Center Durham

Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates PA Charlotte

Herbert Garrison ECU Physicians Greenville

59 DECEMBER 2022

FAMILY MEDICINE

Mohsin Arshad Novant Health Inpatient Care Specialists Winston-Salem

Angela Bacigalupo Burlington Family Practice Burlington

John Baker J Scott Baker MD Highlands

Amir Barzin UNC Family Medicine Center at Chapel Hill Siler City

Lateef Cannon Pardee UNC Health Care Hendersonville

Jenny Chen Atrium Health Mint Hill Primary Care Mint Hill

Clark Denniston UNC Department of Family Medicine Chapel Hill

Crystal Dorsey Novant Health Maplewood Family Medicine Winston-Salem

Andrew Drabick Family Medical Associates of Raleigh Raleigh

Sandra Farland Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Family Medicine Winston-Salem

Jorge Franco Carolina Family Practice Centre Fayetteville

Garett Franklin Cary Medical Group Cary Elizabeth Fry Physicians East Greenville

Steven Gilchrist Blakeney Family Physicians Charlotte

Mark Gwynne Chatham Hospital Siler City

Michael Harris Carolina Family Practice & Sports Medicine Raleigh

Margaret Helton UNC Department of Family Medicine Chapel Hill

Milton Hester Crown Point Family Physicians Charlotte

Laura House Chatham Hospital Siler City

Amy Howerton Howerton Family Medicine Roseboro

Lauren Hull Atrium Health Primary Care Family Medicine Charlotte

Megan Johnson Crissman Family Practice Graham

Melissa Jones Melissa Jones Do Primary Care Charlotte

Gregory Knapp East Carolina University Physicians Greenville

Bo Kopynec FirstHealth Family Medicine Ellerbe Kourtney Krohn Physicians East Greenville

Brian Lanier Promina Health Wilmington

Brenda LathamSadler Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Family Medicine Winston-Salem

Andrew LePorte FirstHealth Primary Care Raeford

James Liffrig FirstHealth Convenient Care Asheboro

David Locklear Gaston Medical Partners Gastonia

Michael McCartney Gaston Medical Partners PLLC Gastonia

Marshall McMillan Crown Point Family Physicians Charlotte

Mimi Miles Chatham Hospital Chapel Hill

Benjamin Missick Novant Health Blakeney Family Physicians Charlotte

Mary Moree FirstHealth Family Medicine Rockingham

Andrew Morris Hendersonville Family Health Center Hendersonville

Dana Neutze Chatham Hospital Siler City

Justin Parker Asheville Family Medicine Asheville

Augustus Parker Novant Health Blakeney Family Physicians Charlotte

Jason Parker Novant Health Inpatient Care Specialists Charlotte

Brent Penhall Novant Health Lakeside Family Physicians Mooresville

Ginger Poulton Mahec Family Health Center Asheville

James Powell East Carolina University Greenville

Alicia Reams Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

John Redding II White Oak Family Physicians Asheboro

Derek Reed Gaston Medical Partners Gastonia

Ann Marie Richards FirstHealth Family Medicine Pinehurst

Benjamin Simmons III Atrium Health Primary Care Mint Hill Commons Family Medicine Monroe

Karen Smith Karen L Smith MD PA Raeford

Caroline Stephens Gaston Medical Partners Gastonia

Dominick Trapani WakeMed Primary Care Raleigh

Jessica Triche Vidant Family Medicine-Chocowinity Raleigh

Donna Tuccero Avance Health System Inc Raleigh

Carolyn Vaught UNC Department of Family Medicine Chapel Hill

Christopher John Vieau Atrium Health Union Family Practice Monroe

Craig White Davidson Family Medicine Davidson

Geoffrey Wrinkle Atrium Health Primary Care Family Medicine Charlotte

Brian Wysong Gaston Medical Partners Belmont

GASTROENTEROLOGY

Amit Aravapalli Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Todd Baron UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Eugene Bozymski Duke Department of Medicine Durham

M. Branch Duke Endoscopy Clinic Durham

Oscar Brann Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Rebecca Burbridge Duke University Medical Center Durham

John Clements Lake Norman Medical Group Mooresville

Justin Crocker Duke Gastroenterology Raleigh

Evan Dellon UNC Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease Chapel Hill

Spencer Dorn UNC Hospitals Endoscopy Center at Meadowmont (Gastrointestinal Medicine) Chapel Hill

Darin Dufault Duke University Medical Center Durham

Christopher Ferris Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Eric Frizzell Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

John Gilliam III Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Gastroenterology Winston-Salem

Ian Grimm UNC Hospitals GI Procedures Chapel Hill

Hans Herfarth UNC Hospitals Endoscopy Center at Meadowmont Chapel Hill

Eric Hilgenfeldt Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Kent Holtzmuller Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Christopher Jue Digestive Health Specialists PA Winston-Salem

Jason Lewis Atrium Health Gastroenterology and Hepatology Charlotte

Millie Long UNC Hospitals Endoscopy Center at Meadowmont (Gastrointestinal Medicine) Chapel Hill

Jyothi Mann Guilford Medical Center PA Greensboro

David Martin

Jeffrey Medoff

Girish Mishra

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Gastroenterology Winston-Salem

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Gastroenterology Greensboro

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Gastroenterology Winston-Salem

John Moore III Charlotte Gastroenterology & Hepatology Huntersville

Murtaza Parekh REX Digestive Healthcare Raleigh

Preston Purdum III Carolina Digestive Health Associates PA Charlotte

James Rholl Digestive Health Partners Hendersonville

Martin Scobey Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

Nicholas Shaheen UNC Hospitals Endoscopy Center at Meadowmont Chapel Hill

David Smith Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Thomas Swantkowski Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

Melissa Teitelman Duke University Hospitals Durham

Kerry Whitt RMG Gastroenterology Raleigh

60 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA

GENERAL SURGERY

Elizabeth Acquista New Hanover Regional Medical Center Wilmington

Matthew Alleman WakeMed Raleigh Campus Raleigh

Aaron Bergsman Surgical Specialists of Charlotte PA Huntersville

Dan Blazer III

Duke University Medical Center Durham

Bryan Blitstein Surgical Specialists of Charlotte PA Huntersville

Brian Burlingame Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst

Anthony Charles UNC Hospitals Multispecialty Surgery Clinic Chapel Hill

Ashley Christmas Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

H. Chu Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst

Carolyn Day North Carolina Surgery Raleigh

Chirag Desai UNC Hospitals Jason Ray Transplant Clinic Chapel Hill

David Grantham Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst

B. Heniford

Kent Kercher

Atrium Health General & Complex Abdominal Surgery, A Facility of Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

Atrium Health General & Complex Abdominal Surgery, A Facility of Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

Cynthia Lauer Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

Kenneth MacDonald Physicians East Greenville

Matthew Martin Central Carolina Surgery PA Greensboro

J. Meredith

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist General Surgery Lexington

Anthony Meyer UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill

Natalie Nowak Surgical Specialists of Charlotte PA Matthews

David Overby UNC General Surgery Clinic Hillsborough

Lee Pederson Surgical Specialists of Charlotte PA Charlotte

Arielle Perez UNC Hospitals Multispecialty Surgery Clinic Chapel Hill

Kolandaivelu

Ramaswamy Mission Surgery Asheville

Jonathan Routh Duke University Medical Center Durham

Lynnette Schiffern Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

Courtney Sommer Mission Trauma Services Asheville

Kristin Wagner Surgical Specialists of Charlotte PA Charlotte

Matthew Wakefield Central Carolina Surgery PA Greensboro

Eric Wallace Surgical Specialists of Charlotte PA Matthews

Raymond Washington Jr Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst

Christopher Watters Duke General Surgery Raleigh

Leslie Webster III Surgical Specialists of Charlotte PA Charlotte

Carl Westcott

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist General Surgery Winston-Salem

Richard Williams Jr. ECU Brody School of Medicine Greenville

GERIATRIC MEDICINE

Hal Atkinson

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Geratric Medicine Winston-Salem

Lee Berkowitz UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Maureen Dale UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Laura Hanson UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Jeff Williamson

Mia Yang

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Geratric Medicine Bermuda Run

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Geratric Medicine Winston-Salem

GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY

Victoria Bae-Jump UNC Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Chapel Hill

John Boggess UNC Hospitals Gynecologic Oncology Clinic Chapel Hill

Jubilee Brown Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Ashley Case Hope Women’s Cancer Centers Asheville

Leslie Clark UNC Hospitals Gynecologic Oncology Clinic Chapel Hill

Erin Crane Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte Brittany Davidson Duke Cancer Center Durham

Janelle Fauci Novant Health Gynecologic Oncology Associates Charlotte

Blair Harkness Hope Women’s Cancer Centers Asheville

Angeles Secord Duke Cancer Center Durham

Diane Semer Physicians East Greenville

Elizabeth Skinner Novant Health Cancer Institute Greensboro

John Soper UNC Hospitals Gynecologic Oncology Clinic Chapel Hill

Erin Stone Novant Health Mintview Ob/Gyn Charlotte

Michael Sundborg FirstHealth Gynecologic Oncology Pinehurst

Linda Van Le UNC Hospitals Gynecologic Oncology Clinic Chapel Hill

HAND SURGERY

Mark Brenner Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst Erika Gantt OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Glenn Gaston OrthoCarolina Charlotte John Gaul III OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Christopher Johnson Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst

L. Koman Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hand Surgery Winston-Salem

Gary Kuzma The Hand Center of Greensboro Greensboro

Kevin Kuzma The Hand Center of Greensboro Greensboro

Christopher Lechner Carolina Hand and Sports Medicine Asheville

Bruce Minkin Carolina Hand and Sports Medicine Asheville Lois Osier OrthoCarolina Charlotte

James Post Raleigh Hand to Shoulder Center Raleigh Ryan Tarr Orthopaedic Specialists of NC Raleigh Lacy Thornburg Carolina Hand and Sports Medicine Asheville Harrison Tuttle Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic Cary

Ethan Wiesler

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hand Surgery Winston-Salem Julie Woodside OrthoCarolina Gastonia

HEMATOLOGY

Darla Liles ECU Brody School of Medicine Greenville

Alice Ma

UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

David Mack Maria Parham Cancer Center Henderson

Stephan Moll UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Ifeyinwa Osunkwo Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte Robert Pohlmeyer FirstHealth Outpatient Cancer Center Pinehurst Misbah Qadir Kinston Medical Specialists Kinston Hendrik Van Deventer UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill

61 DECEMBER 2022

HEPATOLOGY

Alfred Barritt IV UNC Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease Chapel Hill

Carl Berg Duke University Durham

Jama Darling UNC Department of Hepatology Chapel Hill

Andrew Delemos Transplant and Liver Center Charlotte

David Friedlander UNC Department of Urology Chapel Hill

Matthew Kappus Duke Gastroenterology Durham

Lindsay King Duke University Medical Center Durham

Mark Russo Transplant and Liver Center Charlotte

Neil Shah UNC Department of Gastroenterology Chapel Hill

Steven Zacks Atrium Health Liver Care & Transplant Pineville

HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE CARE

John Barkley Carolinas HealthCare System Charlotte

Joshua Baru Messino Cancer Centers Asheville

Anthony Galanos Duke Regional Hospital Durham

Aaron Gavett FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care West End

Julie Jones FirstHealth Physicians Group West End

Jason Lowe Cape Fear Orthopaedics Fayetteville

Gina OMorrill IPC Monroe

Emily Sawyer Four Seasons Compassion for Life Flat Rock

Beth Susi Atrium Health Supportive Oncology Clinic Charlotte

Ellen Willard FirstHealth Hospice & Palliative Care West End

INFECTIOUS DISEASE

Gretchen Arnoczy FirstHealth Infectious Diseases Pinehurst

Luther Bartelt UNC Division of Infectious Diseases Chapel Hill

Myron Cohen UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Joseph Eron Jr. UNC Department of Medicine Chapel Hill

Claire Farel UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

T. Gallaher Physicians East Kinston

Cynthia Gay UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Bruce Israel Mission Infectious Disease Associates Asheville

Jaspaul Jawanda FirstHealth Infectious Diseases Pinehurst

Kristine Johnson Mission Infectious Disease Associates Asheville

Anne Lachiewicz UNC Hospitals Jason Ray Transplant Clinic Chapel Hill

Joseph Lang ID Consultants PA Charlotte

Michael Leonard Atrium Health Infectious Disease Charlotte

Lewis McCurdy Atrium Health Infectious Disease Charlotte

Heather Michael Novant Health Infectious Disease Specialists Charlotte

Christopher Ohl

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Infectious Diseases Winston-Salem

Christopher Parsons Pardee Center for Infectious Diseases Hendersonville

Catherine Passaretti Atrium Health Infectious Disease Charlotte

David Priest Novant Health Infectious Disease Specialists Winston-Salem

Mindy Sampson

John Sanders III

Atrium Health Infectious Disease Charlotte

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Infectious Diseases Winston-Salem

Nicholas Turner Duke University Hospitals Durham

David Weinrib Atrium Health Infectious Disease Charlotte

David Wohl UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

INTERNAL MEDICINE

Megan Alexander

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Internal Medicine Winston-Salem

Daniel Aquino Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Lorri Ayers

Perspective Health & Wellness Charlotte

Hendren Bajillan Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Internal Medicine High Point

Anne Barnard Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Erika Bono

Atrium Health Primary Care Charlotte Medical Clinic Charlotte

Kerry Briones Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Jenifir Bruno FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Pinehurst

Eric Byrd Carolina Mountain Internal Medicine Hendersonville

Aubrey Calhoun Lake Norman Medical GroupInternal Medicine Mooresville

Faye Campbell Novant Health Ballantyne Medical Group Charlotte

Jason Carnes Tryon Medical Partners Huntersville

Iris Cheng Atrium Health Primary Care Charlotte Internal Medicine Charlotte

Alice Cole Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Russell Coletti II UNC Department of Medicine Chapel Hill

Cristin Colford UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Gregory Collins Atrium Health Primary Care Randolph Internal Medicine Charlotte

Peter Copsis Tryon Medical Partners Matthews

Christopher Cosgrove Intracoastal Internal Medicine Wilmington

Michael Daley Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

Darren DeWalt UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Laura Diefendorf Duke Primary Care Henderson Henderson

Charles Ferree Tryon Medical Partners Pineville

Benjamin Fischer Fischer Clinic Raleigh

Kelly Forb Carolinas Hospitalist Group Charlotte

Michelle Foster Novant Health Southern Piedmont Primary Care Monroe

Michael Friedland Atrium Health Primary Care Charlotte Medical Clinic Charlotte

Kym Furney Tryon Medical Partners Pineville

Lawal Garba Cone Health Greensboro

Jane Harrell H3 Healthcare Charlotte

Jessica Heestand Wake Internal Medicine Raleigh

Charles Howarth FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Pinehurst

Lane Jacobs Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

Peter Justis Charlotte Medical Clinic Charlotte

Christina Kennelly Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Eric Landis Tryon Medical Partners Pineville

Andre Leonard Intracoastal Internal Medicine Wilmington

Adam Ligler Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Bobby Maynor Jr. Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

Andrea McGrath Tryon Medical Partners Pineville

Leigh Medaris Atrium Health Infectious Disease Charlotte

Justin Miller Tryon Medical Partners Matthews

Daniel Mollin Jr. Wake Internal Medicine Raleigh

Walter Morris III Walter S. Morris III, MD, FACP Southern Pines

Francis O’Brien Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Internal Medicine Winston-Salem

Mark Perini Guilford Medical Associates PA Greensboro

Elizabeth Perry Signature Healthcare PLLC Charlotte

62 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA

Shana Ratner

UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Douglas Schultz Randolph Health Internal Medicine Asheboro

John Sensenbrenner John W. Sensenbrenner, MD Charlotte

Kevin Shah Duke University and Duke University Health System Durham

Amy Shaheen UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Gary Shelton Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Joshua Shoemake H3 Healthcare Charlotte

Michael Soboeiro WakeMed Primary Care Garner

Michol Stanzione Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

John Tenini Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Lisena Verka Duke Primary Care South Durham Durham

Kathleen Waite Duke Signature Care Durham

Hala Webster Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Julianne Weidner Tryon Medical Partners Charlotte

Amy Weil UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Mary Weitzel FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Pinehurst

Caroline Wilds Tryon Medical Partners Matthews

INTERVENTIONAL CARDIOLOGY

Peter Belford

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Kurt Daniel Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Cardiology High Point

Keith Davis Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

William Harris FirstHealth Cardiology Pinehurst

William Jones Duke University Medical Center Durham

Sun Kim FirstHealth of the Carolinas Inc. Pinehurst

Glen Kowalchuk

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

James Mills Duke University Medical Center Raleigh

Mohit Pasi North Carolina Heart & Vascular Raleigh

Michael Rinaldi

Jonathan Schwartz

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Michael Sketch Jr. Duke University Medical Center Durham

Archie Tyson Jr. Novant Health Heart & Vascular Institute High Point

B. Hadley Wilson Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

MATERNAL AND FETAL MEDICINE

John Allbert Novant Health Maternal-Fetal Medicine Cornelius

Carol Coulson MAHEC OB/GYN Specialists Asheville

Elizabeth Coviello UNC Maternal-Fetal Medicine Raleigh

Chad Grotegut

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Maternal & Fetal Medicine Winston-Salem

Brenna Hughes Duke Birthing Center Durham

Thomas Ivester UNC Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology Chapel Hill

Julie Johnson FirstHealth of the Carolinas Inc. Pinehurst

M. Menard UNC Maternal-Fetal Medicine Chapel Hill

Alison Stuebe UNC Maternal-Fetal Medicine Raleigh

Geeta Swamy Duke Perinatal Durham

Lorene Temming Atrium Health CMC Women’s Institute Charlotte

MEDICAL ONCOLOGY AND HEMATOLOGY

Asim Amin Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Navin Anthony Hendersonville Hematology and Oncology Hendersonville

Jennifer Atlas Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Ethan Basch UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill

Jeremiah Boles REX Hematology Oncology Associates Raleigh

Kathryn Brownlee Novant Health Cancer Institute Charlotte

Edward Copelan Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Julie Fisher Atrium Health Levine Center Institute Charlotte

Gary Frenette Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Daniel Haggstrom Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Bei Hu Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

David Hurd

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Oncology & HematologyComprehensive Cancer Center Winston-Salem

Ai Jing Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Kunal Kadakia Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Greg Knight Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Mary Ann Knovich Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte Alan Kritz REX Hematology Oncology Associates Raleigh

Glenn Lesser

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Oncology & HematologyComprehensive Cancer Center Winston-Salem

Charles Kuzma Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

Kathryn Mileham Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Matthew Milowsky UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill

Charles Packman Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Bayard Powell

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Oncology & HematologyComprehensive Cancer Center Winston-Salem

Brittany Ragon Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte Brandi Reeves Nc Cancer Hospital Chapel Hill

Tracy Rose Carolina Eye Associates Chapel Hill

George Sanders

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist High Point Medical Center Oncology and Hematology - Hayworth Cancer Center High Point

Jonathan Serody UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Chapel Hill

Gary Sherrill Cone Health Cancer Center Greensboro

Amanda Sherrod REX Hematology Oncology Associates Cary

Sascha Tuchman UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Chapel Hill

Hope Uronis Duke Cancer Center Durham

Peter Voorhees Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute

NEPHROLOGY

Paul Blake Metrolina Nephrology Associates PA Charlotte

Randal Detwiler UNC Hospitals Kidney Specialty and Transplant Clinic Chapel Hill

Kathleen Doman Nephrology & Hypertension Consultants PA Charlotte

Ronald Falk UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Maxwell Fisher ECU Health Medical Center Greenville

Jennifer Flythe UNC Department of Medicine Chapel Hill

Chris Fotiadis Metrolina Nephrology Associates Charlotte

Nancy Gritter Metrolina Nephrology Associates Charlotte

Gerald Hladik UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Edward Hoehn-Saric Pinehurst Nephrology Associates PC Pinehurst

Heather Jones Eastern Nephrology Associates Greenville

John Middleton Duke Nephrology Clinic Durham

Shahriar Moossavi Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Nephrology Winston-Salem

Amy Mottl UNC Department of Medicine Chapel Hill

63 DECEMBER 2022

Michael Rocco

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Nephrology Winston-Salem

Prabir RoyChaudhury UNC Department of Medicine Chapel Hill

Matthew Sparks Duke University Medical Center Durham

Jennifer Stoddard Pinehurst Nephrology Associates PC Pinehurst

Hanna Von Hardenberg Pinehurst Nephrology Associates PC Pinehurst

Kimberly Yates Metrolina Nephrology Associates Mooresville

NEUROLOGICAL SURGERY

Anthony Asher Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Charlotte

Charles Branch Jr. Spine Center Clemmons

E. Dyer Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Charlotte

Allan Friedman The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center Durham

Lars Gardner Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic Raleigh

Martin Henegar Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Charlotte

Laith Khoury Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic Raleigh

Erin Kiehna Novant Health Brain & Spine Surgery Charlotte

Adrian Laxton Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Neurosurgery Winston-Salem

Deanna SasakiAdams UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Joseph Stern Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Greensboro

Stephen Tatter Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Neurosurgery Winston-Salem

James Walker FirstHealth UNC Neurosurgery & Spine Pinehurst

John Wilson Jr. Neurosurgery Winston-Salem

NEUROLOGY

Antonia Ahern Guilford Neurologic Associates Greensboro

Richard Bedlack Jr. Duke Nephrology Clinic Durham

Liya Beyderman Charlotte Neurological Services Charlotte

Melanie Blacker FirstHealth Hospitalist Service Pinehurst

Joel Callahan Jr. Pardee Neurology Associates Arden

James Caress Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Neurology Winston-Salem

Michael Cartwright Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Neurology Winston-Salem

Jill Conway Cmc Neuroscience & Spine Institute Charlotte

Jeffrey Cooney Duke Nephrology Clinic Durham

Andrea Diedrich Atrium Health Neurology Charlotte

Danielle Englert Atrium Health Neurology Charlotte

Ana Felix UNC Faculty Physicians Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Michael Forbes UNC Hospitals Neurology Clinic Chapel Hill

Karissa Gable Duke Neurological Disorders Clinic Durham

Gwenn Garden UNC Department of Neurology Chapel Hill

Jerome Gardner Centre Ob/Gyn Raleigh

Ajmal Gilani UNC Neurology Clayton

Lisa Hobson-Webb Duke University Medical Center Durham

Keith Hull Raleigh Neurology Associates PA Raleigh

Vern Juel Duke Electromyography Laboratory Durham

Kaiwen Lin Atrium Health Neurology Charlotte

Sneha Mantri Duke Neurology Morreene Road Durham

Kyle Mitchell Duke Neurology Morreene Road Durham

Kathryn Moore Duke Neurology Morreene Road Durham

Joel Morgenlander Duke Neurological Disorders Clinic Durham

Cormac O’Donovan

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Neurology Winston-Salem

Jonathan Richman Pinehurst Neurology Pinehurst

Aarti Sarwal

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Neurology Winston-Salem

John Scagnelli Raleigh Neurology Associates Raleigh

Alexander Schneider Mission Neurology Asheville

Mustafa Siddiqui

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Neurology Winston-Salem

Rajdeep Singh Atrium Health Neurology Charlotte

Mark Skeen Duke University Medical Center Durham

Angela Wabulya UNC Hospitals Neurology Clinic Chapel Hill

Leanne Willis Regional Physicians Neuroscience Center Thomasville

NUCLEAR MEDICINE

Shawn Quillin Mecklenburg Radiology Associates PA Charlotte

OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY

Allison Bell

Atrium Health Women’s Care Charlotte OB/GYN Charlotte

Carlos Bendfeldt UNC Women’s Health Clayton

Mark Bland Novant Health Rankin OB/GYN Charlotte

Kim Boggess UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Breanna Bolivar MAHEC OB/GYN Specialists Asheville

Bari Byrd Kamm Mckenzie OB/GYN Raleigh

John Byron Southern Pines Women’s Health Center Southern Pines

Grant Campbell

Atrium Health Women’s Care Eastover University OB/GYN Charlotte

Lisa Chitour Biltmore Ob-Gyn Pa Asheville

Alice Chuang UNC Ob/Gyn Chapel Hill

Ginger Dickerson

Atrium Health Women’s Care Eastover University OB/GYN Charlotte

Andrea Dickerson A Woman’s Place Fayetteville

Michael Evers Chatham Hospital Siler City

Walter Fasolak Southern Pines Womens Health Southern Pines Amy Fletcher Thrive Carolinas Charlotte

Ann Ford Duke Ambulatory Surgery Center Durham

Beverly Gray Duke Birthing Center Durham

Leslie HansenLindner Atrium Health Women’s Care Charlotte OB/GYN Charlotte

Angela Haskins Physicians East Greenville

Jennie Hauschka Mintview Ob/Gyn Charlotte

Laura Havrilesky Duke Cancer Center Durham

Michelle Homeister Wilkerson OBGYN Raleigh

Jennifer Howell Duke University Hospital Durham

Kathryn Hull Novant Health Providence Ob/Gyn Charlotte

Emily Hutcheson

Atrium Health Women’s Care Eastover OB/GYN Charlotte

Mohamed Ibrahim FirstHealth Ob/Gyn Rockingham

Lisa Jackson-Moore UNC Ob/Gyn Chapel Hill

Astrid Jain Atrium Health Women’s Care Eastover OB/GYN Charlotte

Delores Johnson Neurology Mount Airy

Jennifer Kalich Atrium Health Women’s Care Eastover OB/GYN Charlotte

Caroline Lewis UNC Women’s Health Clayton

Diana McCarthy WakeMed Obstetrics & Gynecology Cary

Maria Munoz UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

64 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA

Jennifer Mury UNC Women’s Health Smithfield

George Nowacek UNC OB/GYN Chapel Hill

Latoya Patterson Duke Ambulatory Surgery Center Durham

Laura Pekman

Christie Secrest

Atrium Health Women’s Care Charlotte OB/GYN Charlotte

Atrium Health Women’s Care Charlotte OB/GYN Charlotte

Kiran Sigmon MAHEC OB/GYN Specialists Asheville

Aviva Stein

Charles Termin

Atrium Health Women’s Care Charlotte OB/GYN Charlotte

Atrium Health Women’s Care Charlotte OB/GYN Charlotte

Kori Whitley Physicians East Greenville

M. Kathryn Whitten Atrium Health Women’s Care Eastover OB/GYN Charlotte

Robert Wicker Jr.

Atrium Health Women’s Care Charlotte OB/GYN Charlotte

John Yoon Kamm Mckenzie OB/GYN Raleigh

Kendall Zmiewsky Southern Pines Women’s Health Center Southern Pines

OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE

Kristen Said Duke Employee Occupational Health and Wellness Clinic Durham

ONCOLOGY

Carey Anders Duke Cancer Center Durham

Chasse Bailey-Dorton Atrium Health Supportive Oncology Clinic Charlotte

Bernard Chinnasami Hayworth Cancer Center High Point

Mark Graham Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Cary

Juneko Grilley-Olson Duke Cancer Center Durham

Arielle Heeke Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Shiaowen Hsu Duke University Medical Center Durham

David Hurd

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Oncology and HematologyComprehensive Cancer Center Winston-Salem

Carrie Lee UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill Jessica-Lyn Masterson Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Stergios Moschos UNC Division of Oncology Chapel Hill

Hanna Sanoff UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill

Antoinette Tan Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte Kelly Westbrook Duke University Dept of Medicine Durham

OPHTHALMOLOGY

Arghavan Almony Carolina Eye Associates Southern Pines

Andrew Antoszyk Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates PA Charlotte

Leah Bonaparte Cape Fear Eye Associates Fayetteville

Donald Budenz UNC Kittner Eye Center Chapel Hill

Christina Choe Carolina Ophthalmology Pa Hendersonville

Anna Fakadej Carolina Eye Associates Southern Pines

John French Carolina Eye Associates Southern Pines

Matthew Giegengack

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Eye Center Winston-Salem

Galen Grayson Atrium Health Ophthalmology Charlotte

Herb Greenman Greenman Eye Associates Charlotte

David Greenman Greenman Eye Associates Charlotte

Craig Greven

Margaret Greven

K. Mathys

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associ ates P.A. Charlotte

Vandana Minnal Horizon Eye Care Charlotte

Isaac Porter Porter Ophthalmology Raleigh

Nehali Saraiya

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates P.A. Charlotte

Jan Niklas Ulrich UNC Kittner Eye Center Chapel Hill

Keith Walter Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Eye Center Winston-Salem

Jeffrey White Carolina Eye Associates Southern Pines

ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGERY

Brian Farrell

Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery Charlotte

John Nale Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery Charlotte

Adam Serlo Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates Chapel Hill

ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY

Michael Bolognesi Duke Orthopaedics Morrisville

Eben Carroll

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Orthopeddic Surgery Winston-Salem

Bruce Cohen OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Neil Conti Pinehurst Surgical Clinic Pinehurst

R. Creighton UNC Orthopaedics Chapel Hill

Cynthia Emory Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Orthopeddic Surgery Winston-Salem

Adam Kaufman Mission Orthopedic Trauma Services Asheville

Andrew Kersten Emergeortho Hendersonville

Maxwell Langfitt Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Orthopeddic Surgery Bermuda Run

Alexander Lemons Pinehurst Surgical Clinic Pinehurst

Greig McAvoy UNC Orthopedics Rocky Mount

Christopher Olcott UNC Orthopaedics Chapel Hill

Christopher Parks Emergeortho Wilmington

Gary Poehling

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Orthopeddic Surgery Winston-Salem

David Pollock Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Orthopeddic Surgery Bermuda Run

Daniel Rose Emergeortho Wilmington

Marc Stevens Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital Elkin

Mark Suprock OrthoCarolina Huntersville

Clifford Wheeless III Orthopaedic Specialists of NC Raleigh

ORTHOPEDICS

Frank Aluisio Emergeortho Greensboro

Christopher Barsanti Orthopaedics East & Sports Medicine Center Greenville

Michael Bates OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Christopher Brown Duke Orthopedics of Raleigh Raleigh

David Casey Pinehurst Surgical Clinic Pinehurst

Milan DiGiulio Performance Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Cary

Michael Dockery OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Reid Draeger UNC Orthopaedics Chapel Hill

Josiah Duke Orthopaedics East & Sports Medicine Center Greenville

Christopher Elder Asheville Orthopaedic Associates Asheville

Harold Frisch Mission Orthopedic Trauma Services Asheville

Nady Hamid OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Eye Center Winston-Salem

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Eye Center Winston-Salem

Kerry Hunt Raleigh Eye Center Raleigh

Joseph Krug Jr. Horizon Eye Care Charlotte

Christopher Hasty Orthopaedics East & Sports Medicine Center Greenville

Scott Kelley Duke Regional Hospital Durham

Bryan Loeffler OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Kevin Logel Raleigh Orthopaedic Clinic Cary

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James McDonald OrthoCarolina Mooresville

Patricia McHale OrthoCarolina Gastonia

Claude Moorman III OrthoCarolina Charlotte

David Ruch Duke Ambulatory Surgery Center Durham

James Sanders UNC Orthopaedics Chapel Hill

Aaron Scott

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Orthopaedics Winston-Salem

Stephen Sims Atrium Health Orthopaedic Surgery Charlotte

Bryan Springer OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Kevin Stanley OrthoCarolina Mooresville

Gregory Tayrose UNC Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clayton

Christopher Tuohy Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Orthopaedics Bermuda Run

Kurt Wohlrab Pinehurst Surgical Clinic Pinehurst

OTALARYNGOLOGY EAR NOSE THROAT

Marcus Albernaz Eastern Carolina Ent Greenville

John Blumer

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates PA Charlotte

J. Browne Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Otolaryngology Winston-Salem

Nathan Calloway WakeMed ENT Garner

Brian Downs Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Otolaryngology Winston-Salem

Michael Ferguson WakeMed Raleigh Campus Raleigh

John Garside REX Ear Nose and Throat Specialists Cary

Willard Harrill Carolina Ent/Hnsc Pa Hickory

Steven Heavner Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates PA Charlotte

Hunter Hoover Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates PA Charlotte

Kenneth Johnson UNC Ear Nose and Throat Hendersonville

Eric Lindbeck Eastern Carolina Ent Greenville

Justin Miller Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst

Brendan O’Connell Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates PA Charlotte Jeevan

Ramakrishnan Raleigh Capitol Ear Nose & Throat PA Raleigh

Brent Senior UNC Ear Nose and Throat Chapel Hill

David Shoemaker Greensboro Ear Nose & Throat Associates Greensboro

Michael Sicard

Christopher Sullivan

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates PA Matthews

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Otolaryngology Winston-Salem

Brian Thorp UNC Ear Nose and Throat Chapel Hill

Mark Weigel

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates PA Huntersville

PAIN MANAGEMENT

Puneet Aggarwal Carolinas Rehabilitation Charlotte

Hsiupei Chen

American Anesthesiology of North Carolina PLLC Raleigh

Kevin Costello Southeast Pain and Spine Care Charlotte

James Hancock Jr. Atrium Health Pain Management Concord Jon-David Hoppenfeld Southeast Pain and Spine Care Charlotte

Jennifer Oliver

Jason Ravanbakht

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Pain Management Winston-Salem

Atrium Health Pain Management Concord

Richard Sater Guilford Neurologic Associates Greensboro

Binit Shah Carolinas Pain Center Huntersville

Mohammad Shahsahebi Duke University Durham

Landirs Williams

Atrium Health Pain Management Concord

Joanna WroblewskaShah Carolinas Pain Center Huntersville

PATHOLOGY

Kiran Adlakha Carolinas Pathology Group Pa Charlotte

Jared Block Carolinas Pathology Group Pa Charlotte

Arthur Cohen Presbyterian Hospital Pathology Charlotte

Megan DiFurio Pinehurst Pathology Center Pinehurst

Edward Lipford Carolinas Pathology Group Pa Charlotte

Chad McCall Duke University Medical Center Durham

Charles Schirmer Pinehurst Pathology Center Pinehurst

Elton Smith Jr. Carolinas Pathology Group Pa Charlotte

Kyle Strickland Duke University Medical Center Durham

Carol Weida Carolinas Pathology Group Pa Charlotte

Herbert Whinna UNC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Chapel Hill

PEDIATRIC ALLERGY IMMUNOLOGY

Michelle Hernandez UNC Allergy & Immunology Clinic Durham

PEDIATRIC CARDIOLOGY

Michael Camitta Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center Durham

Gregory Fleming Duke University Medical Center Durham

Joseph Paolillo Jr. Atrium Health Levine Children’s Congenital Heart Center Charlotte

Matthew Schwartz Atrium Health Levine Children’s Congenital Heart Center Charlotte

Gonzalo Wallis Atrium Health Levine Children’s Congenital Heart Center Charlotte

PEDIATRIC DERMATOLOGY

Diana McShane UNC Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center Chapel Hill

Dean Morrell UNC Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center Chapel Hill

PEDIATRIC ENDOCRINOLOGY

Ali Calikoglu

UNC Hospitals Children’s Specialty Services Raleigh

Lisa Houchin Pediatric Endocrinology & Diabetes Specialists Charlotte

Amy Levenson UNC Hospitals Children’s Specialty Clinics Chapel Hill

Nancie MacIver Duke University Medical Center Durham Jakub Mieszczak Pediatric Endocrinology & Diabetes Specialists Charlotte

Diane Miller UNC Emergency Medicine Chapel Hill

PEDIATRIC GASTROENTEROLOGY

Virginia Casey OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Jason Dranove Atrium Health Levine Children’s Gastro enterology Charlotte

Michael Kappelman UNC Hospitals Children’s Specialty Clinics Chapel Hill

PEDIATRIC ORTHOPEDICS ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY

Christian Clark OrthoCarolina Charlotte

John Frino WFU Health Sciences Winston-Salem

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PEDIATRIC OTALARYNGOLOGY ENT

Amelia Drake UNC Ear Nose and Throat Chapel Hill

Jonathan Moss Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates PA Matthews

Sajeev Puri

Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates PA Charlotte

Austin Rose UNC Ear Nose and Throat Chapel Hill

Carlton Zdanski UNC Ear Nose and Throat Chapel Hill

PEDIATRIC SURGERY

Daniel Bambini Pediatric Surgical Associates Charlotte

Katherine Chan UNC Specialty Care at Sanford Sanford

Andrea JordanHayes UNC Department of Surgery Chapel Hill

John Petty

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Brenner Children’s Pediatric Surgery Winston-Salem

Duncan Phillips WakeMed Health & Hospitals Raleigh

PEDIATRICS GENERAL

Amina Ahmed

Atrium Health Levine Children’s Infectious Disease & Immunolgy Charlotte

Jeffrey Baker Duke Children’s South Durham Durham

Brian Bowman Cary Pediatric Center Apex

Jonathan Brownlee Atrium Health Levine Children’s Shelby Children’s Clinic Shelby

Christoph Diasio Sandhills Pediatrics Southern Pines

Lubna Elahi

Atrium Health Levine Children’s University Pediatrics Charlotte

Marisa Flores Kernodle Clinic Elon Elon

Natalee French Sandhills Pediatrics Southern Pines

Lillian Harris Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine Raleigh

Charles Hayek Twin City Pediatrics Winston Salem Winston-Salem

Lawrence Hurst

Atrium Health Levine Children’s Gastonia Children’s Clinic Gastonia

Jon Hutchinson Piedmont Healthcare PA Statesville

Alison Kavanaugh UNC Pediatrics Durham

Amanda Lanier

Atrium Health Levine Children’s Perspective Pediatrics Charlotte

Anitha Leonard Atrium Health Levine Children’s Arboretum Pediatrics Charlotte

George Manousos

Gabriela Maradiaga

Atrium Health Levine Children’s Charlotte Pediatrics Matthews

Panayotti Duke Children’s Primary Care Durham

Ansley Miller Mission Children’s Specialists Asheville

Michael Minozzi Chapel Hill Children & Adolescents’ Clinic Chapel Hill

Beatriz Morris Duke Childrens Primary Care Durham

Jasna Nogo Kernodle Clinic Elon

Jodie Prosser

Atrium Health Levine Children’s Charlotte Pediatrics Matthews

Laurie Pulver Abc Pediatrics of Asheville PA Asheville

Amy Ryan Eastover Pediatrics Charlotte

Kasey Scannell Novant Health Pediatrics Charlotte

Andrea Scholer Triad Adult & Pediatric Medicine Greensboro

Hope Seidel Cary Pediatric Center Cary

Andrew Shulstad Novant Health Pediatrics Symphony Park Charlotte

May Slowik Duke Pediatrics South Durham Durham

John Templeton French Broad Pediatric Associates PLLC Asheville

Mike Villareal Cary Pediatric Center Cary

Laura Windham Chapel Hill Children & Adolescents’ Clinic Chapel Hill

PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION

John Baratta UNC Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Chapel Hill

William Bockenek Carolinas Rehabilitation Charlotte

Kevin Carneiro UNC Spine Center Chapel Hill

Alexander Chasnis OrthoCarolina Huntersville

Walter Davis

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Winston-Salem

Kristopher Karvelas UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Daniel Moore East Carolina University Greenville

Derek Watson Orthopaedic Specialists of NC Raleigh

John Welshofer Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Charlotte

PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY

Matthew Blanton Specialists in Plastic Surgery PA Raleigh

Leslie Branch Forsyth Plastic Surgery Associates Winston-Salem

Parag Butala Piedmont Plastic Surgery and Dermatology Gastonia

Peter Capizzi Capizzi MD Charlotte

Lynn Damitz UNC Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Chapel Hill

Lisa David

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Winston-Salem

Anthony DeFranzo Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Winston-Salem

Detlev Erdmann Duke University Medical Center Durham

Eric Halvorson Halvorson Plastic Surgery Asheville

Enam Haque Queen City Plastic Surgery Charlotte

Joseph Hunstad H/K/B Cosmetic Surgery Huntersville

Thomas Liszka Ballantyne Plastic Surgery Charlotte

Joseph Molnar Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Winston-Salem

Christopher Runyan Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Winston-Salem

Michael Zenn Zenn Plastic Surgery Raleigh

Richard Zeri ECU Plastic Surgery Center Greenville

PSYCHIATRY

Hasan Baloch Johnston Health Smithfield

Anthony DiNome Atrium Health Behavioral Health Charlotte

David Freeman Mission Health Psychiatric Services Asheville

Gary Gala UNC Adult Psychiatry Clinic Chapel Hill

Karen Green

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Psychiatry Winston-Salem

Jason Jerry FirstHealth Behavioral Services Pinehurst

David Litchford Jr. Atrium Health Behavioral Health Charlotte

Scott Lurie Scott N Lurie MD Charlotte

Erin Malloy UNC Hospitals Chapel Hill

Mary Mandell FirstHealth Behavioral Services Pinehurst

Kevin Marra HopeWay Charlotte

Mark Mason Mission Medical Associates Asheville

Jonathan McKinsey Atrium Health Behavioral Health Concord Jean Melvin Allen Melvin MD PA Charlotte

Albert Naftel Jr.

UNC Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic Chapel Hill

Kateland Napier UNC Department of Psychiatry Chapel Hill

Jason Peck HopeWay Charlotte

Kenan Penaskovic UNC Adult Psychiatry Clinic Chapel Hill

Alicia Romeo Atrium Health Behavioral Health Charlotte

Donald Rosenstein UNC Adult Psychiatry Clinic Chapel Hill

David Rubinow UNC Adult Psychiatry Clinic Chapel Hill

Meredith Stanton FirstHealth Behavioral Services Pinehurst

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Amy Ursano

UNC Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic Chapel Hill

James Wallace Eastover Psych & Psychiatric Charlotte

PULMONARY MEDICINE

James Donohue UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Michael Drummond UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Azeem Elahi Atrium Health Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine Concord

Daniel Files

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Pulmonary Medicine Winston-Salem

John Fogarty Physicians East Greenville

Ashley Henderson UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Daniel Howard Atrium Pulmonary Care Charlotte

Scott Lindblom

Jan & Ed Brown Center for Pulmonary Medicine Charlotte

Leonard Lobo UNC Hospitals Jason Ray Transplant Clinic Chapel Hill

Drew MacGregor

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Pulmonary Medicine WinstonSalem

Wendy Moore Wake Forest Baptist Health Pulmonary and Critical Care Winston-Salem

Jill Ohar

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Pulmonary Medicine Winston-Salem

Michael Pritchett Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

Jaspal Singh Jan & Ed Brown Center for Pulmonary Medicine Charlotte

James Snapper Duke Asthma Allergy & Airway Center Durham

Justin Swartz Jan & Ed Brown Center for Pulmonary Medicine Charlotte

David Thornton Pinehurst Medical Clinic Pinehurst

Christine Vigeland UNC Hospitals Outpatient Center at Eastowne Chapel Hill

Momen Wahidi Duke University Medical Center Durham

RADIATION ONCOLOGY

Jeffrey Acker Pinehurst Radiation Oncology Pinehurst

William Bobo Southeast Radiation Oncology Charlotte

Courtney Bui UNC Hospitals Radiation Oncology Raleigh

Catherine Chang Duke Medical Center Raleigh

Carolina Fasola Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Ellen Jones UNC Hospitals Radiation Oncology Chapel Hill

Andrew Ju Leo W Jenkins Cancer Center Greenville

Eric Kuehn Mountain Radiation Oncology & Mission Asheville

Hadley Sharp Atrium Health Levine Center Institute Charlotte

Matthew Ward Atrium Health Levine Center Institute Charlotte

Ashley Weiner UNC Hospitals Radiation Oncology Chapel Hill

RADIOLOGY

Nicole Abinanti

Mecklenburg Radiology Associates PA Charlotte

Emmanuel Botzolakis Mecklenburg Radiology Associates PA Charlotte

Charles Burke UNC Department of Radiology Chapel Hill

Eithne Burke Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Radiology Raleigh

Chien-Chung Chang Charlotte Radiology PA Charlotte

Karli Chiang Eastern Radiologists Inc Greenville

Clayton Commander UNC Department of Radiology Chapel Hill

Laurie Demmer Carolinas Medical Center Charlotte

Andrew Demmert Mecklenburg Radiology Associates PA Charlotte

Michael Fisher Delaney Radiology Wilmington

William Hartley Charlotte Radiology Charlotte

Valerie Jewells UNC Department of Radiology Chapel Hill

Sheryl Jordan UNC Department of Radiology Chapel Hill

Maureen Kohi UNC Department of Radiology Chapel Hill

Matthew Mauro UNC Department of Radiology Chapel Hill

David Mauro UNC Department of Radiology Chapel Hill

James O’Brien Mecklenburg Radiology Associates PA Charlotte

Jorge Oldan UNC Department of Radiology Chapel Hill

Kirk Peterson Raleigh Radiology Raleigh

Daniel Scanga Mecklenburg Radiology Associates PA Charlotte

Paul Tobben Mecklenburg Radiology Associates PA Charlotte

Danielle Wellman Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Radiology Raleigh

SPINE SURGERY

Adedayo Ashana Orthopaedic Specialists of NC Raleigh

Deb Bhowmick UNC Hospitals Spine Center and Neurosurgery Clinic Chapel Hill

John Birkedal Spine Center Clemmons

Byron Branch Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Concord

Henry Elsner Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates Greensboro

Eldad Hadar UNC Hospitals Spine Center and Neurosurgery Clinic Chapel Hill

John Hicks Emergeortho Hendersonville

James Hoski Carolina Spine & Neurosurgery Center Asheville

Hilal Kanaan Vidant Neurosurgery Greenville

Moe Lim UNC Spine Center Chapel Hill

Keith Maxwell Southeastern Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Asheville

SPORTS MEDICINE

David Berkoff UNC Orthopaedics Chapel Hill

Joshua Berkowitz UNC Orthopaedics Chapel Hill

James Blount Carolina Family Practice & Sports Medicine Cary

Mario Ciocca Jr. UNC Campus Health Chapel Hill

Megan Ferderber East Carolina University Greenville

Karl Fields Cone Health Sports Medicine Center Greensboro

Brent Fisher Asheville Orthopaedic Arden

Brett Foreman Carolina Family Practice & Sports Medicine - Raleigh Raleigh

Mark Galland Orthopaedic Specialists of NC Raleigh

Aaron Leininger UNC Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Clayton

John Neidecker Orthopaedic Specialists of NC Raleigh

Patrick O’Connell Sentinel Primary Care Raleigh

Matthew Ohl OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Augustus Parker Novant Health Blakeney Family Physicians Charlotte

Dana Price Pardee Surgical Associates Hendersonville

Catherine Rainbow Atrium Health Musculoskeletal Institute Sports Medicine Charlotte

Bryan Saltzman OrthoCarolina Charlotte

Brian Waterman Brian R Waterman, MD Winston-Salem

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SURGICAL ONCOLOGY

Mark Arredondo

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist High Point Medical Center, Surgical Specialists High Point High Point

Ilan Avin Novant Health Carolina Surgical Charlotte

Erin Baker Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Anthony DiNome Atrium Health Behavioral Health Charlotte Charlotte

Maggie Dinome Duke Women’s Cancer Care Raleigh Raleigh

David Eddleman North Carolina Surgery Raleigh

Michelle Fillion NHRMC Zimmer Cancer Center Wilmington

Meghan Forster Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Kristalyn Gallagher UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill

David Gerber UNC Hospitals Jason Ray Transplant Clinic Chapel Hill

Lejla Hadzikadic-Gusic Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute (Breast & Surgical Oncology) Charlotte

Joshua Hill Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Marissa Howard-McNatt

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Surgical Oncology - Comprehensive Cancer Center Clemmons

David Iannitti Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Hong Kim UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill

Jeffrey Kneisl Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Edward Levine Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Surgical Oncology - Comprehensive Cancer Center Winston-Salem

John Martinie Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Michael Meyers UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill

David Ollila UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill

Randall Scheri Duke Ambulatory Surgery Center Durham

Perry Shen

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Surgical Oncology - Comprehensive Cancer Center Winston-Salem

Karen Stitzenberg UNC Hospitals Oncology Hillsborough Campus Chapel Hill

Peter Turk Novant Health Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic Charlotte

Gregory Waters

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Colorectal Surgery-Medical Plaza North Elm Greensboro

Mark Weissler UNC Ear, Nose and Throat Chapel Hill

Richard White Jr. Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte Emmanuel Zervos ECU Physicians Greenville

THORACIC SURGERY

Jeffrey Hagen

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

Benjamin Haithcock UNC Hospitals Jason Ray Transplant Clinic Chapel Hill

John Ikonomidis UNC Hospitals Jason Ray Transplant Clinic Chapel Hill

William Kitchens FirstHealth Cardiovascular & Thoracic Center Pinehurst

Jason Long UNC Thoracic Surgery Clinic Chapel Hill

UROLOGY

Joseph Allen North Carolina Urology Clayton Clayton

Marc Benevides Associated Urologists of North Carolina PA Cary

Marc Bjurlin UNC Urology Medical Center Chapel Hill

Kristy Borawski UNC Hospitals Urology Clinic Chapel Hill

Robert Chamberlain Jr. Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst

Peter Clark Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute Charlotte

Matthew Collins ECU Health Greenville

Manish Damani Urology Specialists of The Carolinas PLLC Charlotte

Jacques Ganem Urology Specialists of The Carolinas PLLC Charlotte

Manlio Goetzl Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Southern Pines

Chad Gridley Duke Raleigh Hospital Raleigh

Greg Griewe Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst Pinehurst

Jonathan Hamilton Vidant Urology Greenville

Brant Inman Duke University Medical Center Durham

Mark Jalkut Associated Urologists of North Carolina PA Raleigh

Carmin Kalorin WakeMed Raleigh Medical Park Raleigh

Michael Kennelly Carolinas Rehabilitation Charlotte

Michael Lipkin Duke Urology Clinic Durham

Catherine Matthews Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Urology Winston-Salem

Matthew Nielsen UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill Andrew Peterson Duke University Medical Center Durham Glenn Preminger Duke Surgery Durham

Mathew Raynor UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill Angela Schang McKay Urology Charlotte

Angela Smith UNC Hospitals Urology Clinic Chapel Hill Hung-Jui Tan UNC Hospitals Urology Clinic Chapel Hill Jonathan Taylor Physicians East Greenville

Davis Viprakasit UNC Specialty Care Pittsboro Eric Wallen UNC Hospitals Adult Oncology Clinics Chapel Hill John Wiener Duke University Medical Center Durham

VASCULAR SURGERY

Frank Arko III

Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte Clinton Atkinson Jr. Pinehurst Surgical Clinic PA Pinehurst Daniel Barzana Wilmington Health PLLC Wilmington

Matthew Edwards Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Winston-Salem Mark Farber UNC Hospitals Vascular Interventional Radiology Clinic Chapel Hill

Peter Ford Vascular Solutions Charlotte H. Hobson Atrium Health General Surgery Shelby John Hobson Jr. Vascular Surgery at Pardee Hendersonville

Lemuel Kirby Carolina Vascular Asheville

Katharine McGinigle UNC Hospitals Heart and Vascular Center at Meadowmont Chapel Hill

Erin Murphy Atrium Health Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute Charlotte

UNC Hospitals Heart and Vascular Center at Meadowmont Chapel Hill David Weatherford Coastal Vascular Institute Wilmington

Luigi Pascarella

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TRANSPARK TRANSFORMATION

Rural communities unite around new and legacy industries.

Throughout most of his career, Richard McGaughy drove from his home in Snow Hill to jobs in Kinston. The 25-minute commute each way added time and expense to his workday. Today, however, it takes the lifelong Snow Hill native just five minutes to get to his new job as a mechanical assembler at Precision Graphics, Inc. The New Jersey-based contract manufacturer that arrived in the tiny Greene County town in late 2021.

“I love it,” says McGaughy of his current position. “You have no idea how much stress came with having to commute.”

Precision Graphics, a family firm founded more than 50 years ago, provides advanced electronics systems to buyers in the U.S., Asia

and Europe. When the company outgrew existing space at its longtime location in Somerville, New Jersey, the owners considered an expansion there. But sky-high cost estimates were discouraging. They began exploring potential locations in South Carolina and Texas when a vacant 55,000-square-foot industrial building in Greene County drew their attention.

Tim Dubuque, the company’s chief financial officer, says the building matched the company’s search criteria. “It’s close to I-95 and I-40, which gives us good access both north and south, as well as west,” he says. An analysis of the region’s labor market showed available workers in the area had the skills the company needed. “The labor force

was a good fit,” says Dubuque. The warm welcome company representatives received from state and local leaders convinced them Snow Hill was the ideal choice for their $5.1 million facility.

The move brings 70 new jobs over the span of five years. McGaughy is one of 11 local hires the company had made by October, says Dubuque, who personally relocated from New Jersey to ramp up Precision’s Greene County operations.

Precision Graphics is one of several companies to relocate or expand in Greene County during the last two years, providing employment opportunities for local residents weary of the daily commute to Greenville, Wilson and other eastern North Carolina cities. Two years ago,

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE NC GLOBAL TRANSPARK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT REGION

the sparsely populated county joined forces with neighboring Lenoir and Wayne counties to form the North Carolina Global TransPark Economic Development Region in order to pool resources, create scale and pursue common opportunities.

“Instead of a handful of communities operating in relative isolation, we’re now talking about a micro-region with a total population of more than 200,000 and over 120 manufacturers,” explains Mark Pope, executive vice president of the new partnership, which is based in Kinston and includes the North Carolina Department of Transportation. “We’re now talking about proactive local governments working together,” Pope continues. “We’re talking about private sector leaders coming together. We’re talking about closer collaboration with North Carolina’s Southeast, N.C. Commerce and the

Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. We’re talking about real results that people here can see,” says Pope, an economic development leader in eastern North Carolina for the better part of two decades.

Since its establishment in late 2020, Pope’s organization has helped land 18 economic development wins for the region, along with more than $302 million in announced capital investment and 2,160 new jobs.

At the heart of the Global TransPark region is its namesake transportation asset. Conceived in the early 1990s and operated by the N.C. Department of Transportation, the 2,400-acre Global TransPark was conceptualized as a futuristic center for just-in-time global commerce. Park planners undertook exhaustive environmental impact assessments and with state and federal funding,

completed an 11,500-foot runway capable of accommodating the largest cargo planes. Ground transportation challenges, however, impeded the TransPark’s development. Lacking interstate-grade highways, the vision fell out of favor and was soon the subject of scorching criticism from politicians and media pundits.

“From a personal standpoint, I think some of the criticism was fair and some of it was not,” says Jim Segrave, a Kinston entrepreneur and CEO of flyExclusive, now one of largest private jet operators in North America. Early TransPark advocates may have oversold the property’s potential, Segrave believes. Nor did economic convulsions after the 9/11 terror attacks and the Great Recession in 2008-09 help matters. “There were some pretty massive headwinds that weren’t their fault,” he says.

Today, however, with much

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flyExclusive creates customized private jet experiences.
73 DECEMBER 2022 SPONSORED SECTION COMMUNITY CLOSE UP NC GLOBAL TRANSPARK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT REGION

improved highway accessibility, the Global TransPark is getting a lift — led largely by aviation and aerospace companies like flyExclusive, which is currently undertaking significant growth at its operations there. Ground transportation improvements include nearby I-795 and a limited-access highway that now connect the site to N.C. Highway 11 and U.S. 70. A 22-mile segment of U.S. 70 in Wayne and Lenoir counties, in fact, now meets U.S. interstate standards and is designated with I-42 shields.

“It’s coming alive now,” says Segrave, “and we’re proud to be part of it.” In October, flyExclusive cut the ribbon on an immaculate new hangar that will enable the company to continue adding jobs to its 800-person workforce and new aircraft to its growing fleet. With plans for an initial public offering in midDecember, the 7-year-old company is poised to bring additional attention to Kinston from global investors, corporate clients and business media.

Segrave was born in Kinston and his family has deep roots there. But flyExclusive operates out of the Global TransPark because it makes smart business sense. “For us, a big part of it is geographic location,” he says. About 70 % of the company’s departures are within a two-hour radius of Kinston — from Canada to Cuba and even destinations west of the Mississippi River. “We’re dead center,” Segrave says of his Kinston base. There is also ample real estate at affordable costs. “We need lots of hangars and shop space,” he explains. “That kind of space in a place like New York or south Florida is extremely expensive.”

Kinston’s recent rise as a destination for foodies and craft beer aficionados, along with its convenience to both Triangle metro amenities and Crystal Coast beaches, ease the way for flyExclusive to attract employees to its TransPark operations. “We haven’t had any trouble recruiting or bringing people

into Kinston,” Segrave says. Close working relationships with state and local leaders also make him confident in his plans. “Our relationship with the Global TransPark could not be stronger,” Segrave says. “They’re incredibly pro-business.”

Other aviation and aerospace enterprises are also thriving at the Global TransPark. Across the runway from flyExclusive, Draken International personnel fire up Douglas A-4 Skyhawks for simulated air combat exercises with active-duty U.S. military pilots. The companyowned fighter jets are flown by retired combat veterans who muster out of nearby Seymour Johnson Air Force base and other North Carolina defense installations to take on the role of “enemy” pilots.

Draken also has operations in Nevada, Texas, the United Kingdom and its headquarters in Lakeland, Florida. The firm arrived at the Global TransPark in 2020 to take advantage of proximity to air bases and has

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Mother Earth Brewing in Kinston is a green-conscious craft brewery with a solar-powered taproom. It was founded in 2008 by Stephen Hill and Trent Mooring, both from Kinston.
78 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA
Aerospace and aviation, advanced manufacturing, logistics and distribution, military and defense and agribusiness are key industries in the region.

benefited from the region’s military friendliness.

“It’s nice to have that support,” says Charles “Chief” Smith, field operations training manager for Draken, whose workforce there now totals 76. “I’ve met many people in the community, and I’ve yet to have any negative reactions from anyone.”

At a hangar not far from Draken’s, workers busily repair UH-1 Huey military helicopters. The 90-person team is part of Fleet Readiness Center East (FRC East), the U.S. Navy’s aircraft maintenance center in Havelock, N.C., just 58 miles away. As space constraints hinder FRC’s ability to expand, Pentagon officials are turning to the Global TransPark, with its abundance of space and

technical talent, to accommodate overflow work.

Additional military-related operations may also be in the works at the TransPark. Officials there are promoting a plan that would bring more hangars, as well as storage facilities, administrative offices and shop space.

“As the needs of the U.S. military change, we believe the GTP is in a unique position to attract more defense operations, workers and dollars,” Mark Pope says. He is working with legislative allies in Raleigh and Washington to highlight the property’s strategic advantages. “Because of our location and multimodal infrastructure, we’re also an asset for civilian government

operations such as FEMA, which can access communities across the mid-Atlantic U.S. from here,” Pope says. “We expect those needs will also grow.”

Aerospace manufacturers have also found their way to the TransPark. The 2008 decision by Spirit AeroSystems Inc. [NYSE: SPR] to build 500,000 square feet of production space there changed the game for the region’s economy. The Kansasbased maker of jetliner components ships finished products to its European buyer via air and through deepwater port facilities in Morehead City and Wilmington. While the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the global aviation industry, Spirit’s 375-person workforce is again busy filling orders.

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“Spirit is the centerpiece of our region’s advanced manufacturing, and we anticipate more growth there as well,” Pope says. “The innovative workforce partnerships we set up to provide them with talent is a model that we can easily replicate for other companies and industries.”

Other advanced manufacturers also are growing in the region.

West Pharmaceutical Services [NYSE: WST], a leading provider of high-quality injectable solutions and services, is currently adding production space and upgrading equipment in order to meet surging demand for its packaging and drug-delivery components. The Pennsylvania-based company has been among Lenoir County’s largest employers since arriving in 1975.

“We are grateful for our longterm partnership with the Kinston community, and specifically with

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A map of eastern North Carolina detailing upgraded surface transportation plans.

the Global TransPark Economic Development Region,” says Tom Gribbin, vice president for global operations at West. “They have been a valuable partner, and we are thankful for their support of West and the overall manufacturing industry within the Kinston region.”

Still more companies are putting a 21st century touch on eastern North Carolina’s legacy industries. Since its founding in the 1920s by local farm families, Mt. Olive Pickle Company has set the standard when it comes to not just pickles, but also peppers and relishes from its operations in the Wayne County town of Mt. Olive. During the pandemic, as competing brands struggled to keep products on supermarket shelves, Mt. Olive Pickle grew its sales.

“We were able to supply folks that others couldn’t,” says Lynn Williams, the company’s public relations manager. “In the pandemic, people couldn’t find their brand on the shelf, so they tried ours — and they kept coming back.”

An expanded customer base, plus the introduction of new product lines and private-label brands, have created a need for new production space for Mt. Olive Pickle, whose current workforce totals 1,200. While the company feared it might have to secure space outside Wayne County, or even beyond the borders of North Carolina, a vacant building not far away in Goldsboro met the needs of the privately held firm.

“Our story is unique and intricately entwined with our hometown,” Williams says. Its new $35 million facility is set to open in May 2023, employing 167 people. She cites support from state and local economic development leaders in keeping the expansion local. “There were a lot of pieces to the puzzle that came together. We appreciate the support we received.”

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Mt. Olive facility workers meet the demand as the company expands with new products.

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

The readying of new industrial sites and buildings is a high priority for the region.

“We’ve done a lot of work with shell buildings and pad-ready sites,” says Neal Benton, Goldsboro-based market president for Truist Bank, who also chairs the board of the Wayne County Development Alliance. The arrival of numerous new businesses means leaders have to be proactive in restocking their inventory of quality properties, which can take several years to bring to market.

“It’s important that we have that for them ahead of time,” he says. “Success in rural economic development is all about three things: product, product, product.” ■

—Lawrence Bivins, based in Raleigh, writes about business and the economy.

83 DECEMBER 2022 SPONSORED SECTION COMMUNITY CLOSE UP NC GLOBAL TRANSPARK ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT REGION
Historic downtown Goldsboro is home to shops, entertainment and restaurants.

TAPPED IN

When former owners Marc and Merri Fretwell expanded their Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery in Chimney Rock to a second location about 45 miles north in 2019, the plan was anything but ordinary. ey transformed the defunct Mars eatre in Mars Hill into a destination for local cra beer, bar food, movies and community events.

Now the brewery’s new owners plan to double down on the theme of community and creating a space for people of all ages to enjoy live entertainment, such as open mic nights and comedy shows.

“Our initial move is we’re going to provide more entertainment than just movies,” says Scott Spruill, who joined his siblings Rick Spruill and Susan Echarte to buy the business from the Fretwells in October. Spruill previously owned dry cleaners and mailing and printing companies in New York and New Jersey.

“We’re going to completely open it up to the community and make it more of an option of a variety of things to do other than just go and have a cra beer and watch a movie.”

e new location made it possible to brew Hickory Nut’s beer at Mars Hill, add more varieties and distribute ale worldwide. Huge brewing tanks line the walls, lounge seating exists upstairs and several rows of theater seats are on the rst level.

Hickory Nut is known for its English-style beer and Spruill plans to keep it on the menu.

“ ere will be some more American cra beer in uence, but we’re not going to x what’s not broken,” he says.

in going

“So much of the English-style beers we currently brew people love so we’re going to handle that with care.”

e brewery’s arrival helped enliven the downtown, which will soon add a Mexican restaurant, says O’Neal Shelton, president of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce. “It created an avenue for a certain group of people to enjoy the brewery,” says Shelton, who grew up watching movies at the 75-year-old theater. “We don’t have another venue like that.”

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Rick, who will oversee the Chimney Rock location, has lived in Lake Lure for about two decades. Over the years, the area became a special place where the men created the tradition of traveling there for father-son trips. Spruill’s 20-yearold son, who passed away last year, was fond of their visits. is, along with the brothers being cra beer enthusiasts, led to the purchase.

e original Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery opened in Chimney Rock in a cozy 1,000-square foot space in 2015. e expansion followed four years later in Mars Hill, a Madison County town of about 2,000 residents that is 20 miles north of Asheville.

Other plans include making some changes to the outside of the brewery with the addition of a mural and new branding, adding chandeliers to brighten up the inside and adding plaques to showcase the theater’s history, hopefully making it a tourist attraction for people passing through the area.

Spruill is looking forward to relocating to the area from the Northeast and contributing to the growth of the area while still getting inspiration from his son.

“I know he would be so happy I’m doing this,” he says. “Everything’s from the heart, we’re not in it to become millionaires, we’re in it to just enjoy life and have fun.” ■

84 BUSINESS NORTH CAROLINA GREEN SHOOTS Revitalizing rural N.C.
New owners of Mars Hill’s theater-brewpub want to keep the good times rolling. PHOTO COURTESY OF HICKORYNUTBREWERY.COM/MARS-HILL