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quality care." Dr. Jonathan Edwards Internal Medicine

Presbyterian Healthcare Associates - Un iversity

"At my practice, compassionate care is our top priority. That's why we're part of the Presbyterian family because they hold the same beliefs about quality care as we do. "Managed care is here to stay. And so is our commitment to providing our patients with the level of quality medical care that people associate with Presbyterian Healthcare. "So when it comes time to choose a health plan, select one that offers access to the Presbyterian family. Not only are you choosing a plan, you're also selecting a doctor who cares about you ."

Know your health plan. Call 384-CARE. • Alliance PPO, Inc. (MAMSI) • BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina • CCN • CIGNA HealthCare of North Carolina • Coventry Healthcare of the Carolinas • HealthCare Solutions • HUMANA-ChoiceCare Network • Kanawha • N.C. Teachers and State Employees

• NorthEast Health • One Health Plan of North Car::·lina • Optimum Choice ofthe Caroliras (t'-"A ~o,tS I :• • PARTNERS National Health F'lc..rG of North Carolina • Primary Physician Care • Private Healthcare Systems, Inc. (PHCS) • SC State Health Plan • TriAtlantic Healthcare • United HealthCare Insurance C:mpany


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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • •

e

f

a

22

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

cover story

Bill Little likes to stir things up. 1/11en it comes to design in& build ngs, I hough, t1is architectural style, he says, "W~ctever makes you 3ruf 'wo111.' is

-:;;;;;;, -~

to do business with companies located in the area and 28 percentfJr conventions or other meetings . Here's what local hotels are doing to cater to t - ese travelers.

17

real estate biz

bringing history to life Pappas Properties, in partnership with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic

• •

Cotton Mills in downtown Charlotte.

the hauntrepreneur Philip Morris is expanding his Halloween empire with a state-of-the-art, theater· quality haunted labyrinth that will shock even the most jaded haunted house goer. And you're invited ...

..

.

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6

biz digest

9

regional biz:

13

Chances are the couch you sit o-. to

t

,.i~

...

(·~. ·::·. · .... '.

--

46

mr. hospitality

• • •

, ·.. r1 ;· - ~· -;J t. . .. ~ - - ~"~• . -' · -- ,---

from fu r nitu re -:o c abl e : GJ.tawl::a county

30

• •

watch 1V and ti-e :able th 3l delivers the programs ;cu waldl v.ere both manufactured in Cat<TWba County.

60

commur ity biz waving goodbye t ·:> v olence

WAVE is a sati: s: hool leadership initiative for the youth •Jf AmeLica Ll.at's getting some help fro 11 a locJI corn pan:;.

Greg Panos is one force helping to carve out the shape of Charlotte. In addition to his eight existing hotels, the presi·

• • •

dent of Panos Hotel Group has four hotels under construction and has plans for two office and retail developments.

52

leveling the playing field

~ -~ · . ,~ i;. •.• ,.

The majority of visitors to Mecklenburg County come for busiress; 53 percent

and renovating the 1880 Charlotte

... . ·."'. ·=·:

rrv style .''

... •· .. ·· ...... IIIII' ,.,;:, 38 -=~:.:---m . ••-.!! ...,;! ·-·~· ·"'·~ destination: charlotte

Landmarks Commission, is purchasing

• • •

s

self-appointed "master of madress" for Little & A!Scciates is all busin f.;s. As fo · his

• •

• • • • •

e

r

the master of madness

• •

• •

u

t

on the o:c•ver: This month's cover [ean.1. re~ Bill Little of Little 51 Associates. He was phO"o;;rr. phui by Wayn e Mcnis, and the image was con posi ~ed with a digita. c ty;ca{'e !Jy Sllyscnper Dif ital.

Lane Ostrow, presiden t of iReadyWorld, is targeting small businesses with a new approach to business applications: all the hardware, high-speed Internet access and lead ing business software you need without ever having to buy a thing.

greater charlotte biz

clfafotte iz o::tober 2000

5


cliaflotte

WI

Volume I â&#x20AC;˘ Issue 9 Publisher John Paul Galles jgalles@greatercharlottebiz.cnm

Associate Publisher Maryl A Lane m3ryl.a.lane@greatercharlotteb z.can

Editor Timothy J. Parol ini : parolini@greatercharlottebiz corr

Vice President/Director of Sa es Talbert Gray tgray@greatercharlottebiz.cJm

Account Executive Kathryn Moseley kmoseley@greatercharlottebi:o:.con

Contributing Writers Casey Jacobus Kathy Mend ieta Bea Quirk Nethea Fortney Rhinehardt

C o ntributing Photographer Wayne Morris

G¡eater Charlotte Biz is publish:d I ::!. times per year by: Galles Communications Group, Inc. 804 Clanton Road, Suite E. Charlotte, NC 28217-135 3 www.greatercharlottebiz.ecom For editorial or advertising iro::j uiries, c:.ll 704.676.5850. Pease fax subscription inquires to 704.676.5853 or e-mail them to info@greatercharlottebiz.com A I contents Š 2000, Galles Commonicacior s Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permis: ion .s prohibited. Products named in these pag=s aoe trade names or trademarks of ltleir rESpective companies.The opinions e:pressed herein are not necessarity d-ose of Greater Charlotte Biz or Gailes

6

october 2000

st]

IZ

October 2000

C::>mmunications Group, Inc.

[publisher's

is north carolina losing the race? Whenever an economy slows, businesses are more aggressive about pursuing avenues for reducing their costs. We all know that that Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve have been boosting interest rates to raise the costs of borrowing money in an attempt to slow down our surging economy. Evidence from labor statistics, purchasing man-

John Paul Gc;l/es

agers and key economic indexes suggest that the economy is Publisher beginning to slow. Bank of America, First Union, Wachovia, Centura and other area banks have announced layoffs of thousands of workers

throughout their operating footprints. Recent stories from the The Charlotte Observer and The Business journal report that Celanese Acetate and United Stationers, Inc. are considering moving a global headquarters and a major distribution center from Mecklenburg County, NC to York County, SC. These moves of approximately 400 people and investments totaling $40 millior across the state line are substantial reminders that different state tax structures and incentives are important factors in the location and relocation of corporate entities. While Microsoft decided to keep its regional support ce nter in Charlotte, York County has in the last few years attracted headquarters for United American Video near Fort Mill, Willamette Industries in Kingsley Park and Muzak at Lakemont Park. Ironically, Celanese Corp.'s first location in Charlotte was the original South Park structure, built across from a dairy farm in what was then rural Mecklenburg County. It helped launch the development boom in southeast Charlotte in the 1950s that continues even today. In the past year, I have heard increasingly irritated comments about North Carolina (NC) taxes and more active interest in relocating to South Carolina (SC) . Adding insult to injury, paying higher taxes in NC doesn't seem to deliver new and improved highways and railways quickly enough to keep up with the expanding population. Having lived in Indiana and Michigan for many years, I watched those two states bicker over business costs including income, property and sales taxes, as well as unemployment and worker's compensation costs. Michigan had generally higher taxe s and so lost businesses relocating to save money across the Indiana border. I have flown along the border and the visual impact of development along the state line confirms that people and businesses chose to live and operate in Indiana with firms and homes built right up to the state line. There was a noticeable absence of homes and firms o n the Michigan side of the state line . In response to Indiana advertisements attracting Michigan businesses, Michigan touted its schools and higher quality of life as a result of its "investment" in Michigan citizens and businesses . I suspect that some of the same comparisons could be made between NC and SC. Per capita tax rate in SC was $1482 versus $1837 in NC, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis in the US Department of Commerce for 1996. It is quite apparent that SC is making a substantial investment to attract businesses to its side of the state line. All you need to do is drive south on 1-77 and see the widened road surfaces to accommodate increased traffic toward SC and away from Charlotte. Convenient access to the Charlotte Douglas airport and quick access to 1-85 make York County an attractive location with lower business costs. Government officials and residents of NC will have to work harder to promote the quality of life and the benefits of living in NC and to make these more evident. While it is unfortunate for NC that businesses will selectively move across t he state line for lower taxes and incentives, it is also quite smart of SC to pursue C businesses at this time . The good news is that while SC will grow and expand its tax base, there is greater motivation for NC to expand its commitment to infrastructure and provide a higher return to NC taxpayers for their "investments" in quality of life. Businesses are making the adjustments that they must make to operate successfully for their investors and stockholders. It is important that NC work to meet the needs of its taxpayers just as aggressively.

greater charlotte biz


Monday November 6th II :30 Lunch/Pract ice Jor !.be Boue of!.be 9ame

12:30 Shotgun Tees Start

Pull up your socks and grab your knickers. We have a good One tO play. T his is one of the top courses in the area and yo u w ill be p eased. Join us for a day of golf, lunch and a little game. We will have a $1 0 grass and net game, winners take all! Bring your regular group, or we'll help you network w ith new folks. (:Ne try to match like-handicaps.) Just $55 overs everything but your wagers. No speakers, no fund raising, and not much fuss. Just a day of fun and golf.

Call 704.676.5850 to register. Directions and additional infor mation will follow. brought to yo u by:

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[bizdigest]

.

..

. . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Breakfast Club Kicks Off The second annual Hood Hargett Breakfast Club

every month from September 2000- May 2001.

series presented former Oakland Raider

They will feat ure speakers from the NFL, PGA,

Quarterback Ken Stabler at its kick-off event on

NASCAR and MLB.

September 15 at the Charlotte Marriott. Over 200 business executives attended the breakfast at the

2000 - 200 I Speaker Schedule

invitation of event sponsors.

September 15, 2000

Ken Stabler, Former Oakland Raider Great

October 20, 2000

Brooks Robinson, Baltimore Oriole Legend

A huge success last year with speakers like Gale Sayers and Larry Csonka, the breakfast club concept has been carried forward for a second year and expanded to nine

November 17,2000 John Schuerholz, Atlanta Braves General Manager

months. Adopted and promoted by Scott Crites, president of 1st

December 15, 2000 NASCAR I Golf

and 10 Marketing, a sports and education event marketing company, Crites remarks that "this

January 19, 2001 NASCAR I Golf

breakfast series features outstanding speakers for entertain-

February 16, 2001 John Kasay, Carolina Panth ers Pro Bowl Kicker

ment and provides a great opportunity for business owners and managers to meet and network

March 16, 2001 Ron Jaworski, Former Philadelphia Eagles QB I ESPN Analyst

with customers and clients in an informal business setting." Title sponsor, Hood Hargett & Associates, has been provid-

ing individuals and businesses

"This breakfast series features out-

with personalized insurance

standing speakers for entertainment

counseling on property and

and provides a great opportunity for

casualty insurance for nearly 26

business owners and managers to meet

years. President of Hood Hargett

& Associates, Chuck Hood notes that "he is pleased to be the title

and network with customers and clients in an informal business setting." -

Scott Crites, I st and I 0 Marketing

sponsor of this breakfast series

April 20, 2001 Paul Maguire, Former San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills Punter I ESPN Analyst May 18,2001 Lesley Visser, Network Football Sports Reporter (Pending) Event and scholarship sponsors include Adelphia

and especially proud to deliver a $1,000 scholarship

Business Solutions, ALLTEL, Atlantic Beer & Ice,

to a student athlete each month at the breakfast." In

Carolina Ind ustrial Trucks, Charlotte Copy Data,

June, one ofthe student athletes will receive $5,000

Charlotte Marriott Executive Park, Fox 18 News,

as athlete of the year.

lnfoVision, lnsty Prints, march FIRST, Media

The Hood Hargett Breakfast Club is a private

Power, Mitchell Distributing, Pfeiffer University,

event exclusively for Hood Hargett Breakfast Club

Regent Park Golf Course, Road Runner, Sandler

sponsors and their customers . The breakfast will

Sales Institute, US Airways and U.S. Postal

be available for 200 clients, sponsors and speak-

Service. Greeter Charlotte Biz is pleased to be

ers and is a great opportunity for clients to meet

the print sponsor for this breakfast series. For

and network. There will be nine Hood Hargett

information regarding this series, call Scott Crites

Breakfast Club events held on the third Friday of

of 1st and 10 Marketing.

Schaffner to Speak at firstround.org Mark Schaffner of the Ben Craig Center will speak about business incubators at firstround.org's November 28th meeting. The group meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6:00p.m. atThe Paladian, 127 N. Church St. Ste. 8 in downtown Charlotte. For more information, visit their Web site at www.firstround.org. ~

rea t

=- cr c.--[.: tt e

b iz

october

2000

9


more

[bizdigest] irfo rrr .::t.ion {'"orr. Lo.:a/B.usiness.com, a national daily online business news site with c X}C&11 fous or.

~ e ':a ru!irc~

new high-tech netwcrkjng groups form Two nevr net11c· r~in.5 gr:>Ur:s are evolving in Charlotte in the wake of local dot-com group firstro und.orf'.; success. Ale>.anc:E- Cruz, soLthe.ast alliance development manager for Applied Theory, which has ofio:es n Ch.,.-lot:e, Raleigh, and throughout the Southeast, says he will be launchi~

a Charlot:e chapt:!r cf The Internet Society <www.ISOC.org>.

The lnten et Scdety is a professional membership group with 150 organization3l and 5.00) individucl members in more than 100 countries. It is the orgaliza· ion 1rat provides a home for groups that define Internet infrastructure standards, such ;a=: t h:: Internet engineering Task Force and the Internet Architecture Board. More in lormaliJl is availaJle at <www.egroups.comjgroupfiSOCCharlotte>. Charlott:! Conv:!rgence, formed by Scott Mehler, a strategic alliances and investments assoc ate al J3nkofa-netica.com, held its first meeting in September. Mehler dEscribes tre g·oup as a gathering of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, angel investors and ~ervice providers. In a statement announcing the group, he said, "The concep- is to ulite the3e grea: minds in an informal setting and watch the gray matter fly." More ilfomatiol is avcilatle by sending e-mail to Charlottecon;ergen : e@~ahoo.com

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octc

be ~

2COO

[biz digest ]

gr=::.ter crarlc路tte ci:o:


[regional iz]

by bea q u irk

from furniture to cable

b1zinfo FiOOirg :\Ia

lab~

p ::ces of la1d

- ~an

i'": :!gral par: cf · he econom i' d:!v?lJp-

catawba county plays to its strengths Furniture and cable may not seem to

m~nt :;t~te5y

o

have much in common at first glance.

bc h CatiiWJ3

CJ~ty

But chances are the couch you sit on

EE a1d :hE in:ivid-

u;;l mun

: ip3.liti~s

N::"Vtcn'= ccmm.Jrity a11d ecor Jnic devel· S:Je"T'/ - WlClSe

pcsiti•Jn "'\Ia; crec:!Ed in )JI'fl c;9s;- i; d£Welop i1g 3 data biise of orrner::ial and irdL ;:r al p·oJ· er: es th =t ae a>:< ilable fo -relc>Cil·

ticns am: e>parlsbns. "l1e maj t>r pr: blem s indi1g VY13t's oLt here, ·• s!Je

say~.

need to

"Feo:lle vnat

cr(WI

in Catawba County. With 60 percent of the nation's furniture produced within a 200-mile radius of Hickory, the county's largest city, the area is still touted as the "Furniture Capital of the World." But Catawba County has diversified its manufacturing base, and today is also gaining worldwide notice as

ne ::atav;ba

(Brookford, Catawba, Claremont, Conover, Hickory, Long View, Maiden and Newton, the county seat) are

optic cable manufac·

focusing their eco-

tured here, that label

nomic development

is more than just hype.

efforts. Going after

Coaxial cable compa·

new companies is

nies are moving to

important, but so is

Catawba, and some

making cable

pla:e.''

Those announcements demonstrate the way Catawba County and its eight municipalities

of the world's fiber-

w13t 11tilil:ies

t1em ir

largest telephone equipment company, announced nearly $8 million worth of capital investment.

With some 40 percent

are employed i n

~t

sion, and Alcatel, the world's largest manufacturer of telecommunications cable products and second

"TeleCom Valley."

10,000 people

ha•1:e, an!l v.l'c:t twill

announced $145 million in projects- building a new plant in Newton and expanding two existing

VY13t thezo1ing;is.,

c: =t to

world's leaaing manufacturer of coaxial cable,

ones. Corning announced a $40 million expan-

parcels 2·e 3Jai .a ble, th ~y

new and expanded businesses, three times what its previous best year had been. CommScope, the

the programs were both manufactured

ildrr inis rater

01=11e~t

Arn

to watch TV and the cable that delivers

development year in 1999 with $325 million in

taking care of the ones already there. "We're high on existing indus-

(or supporting

tries, and I have one

its manufacture) for such companies as Corning Cable,

person on my staff who

Count'/ El>C is creat-

CommScope and Alcatel. Corning and CommScope

does nothing but solve headaches for them," Millar

ing a Qu =lit·• SiE>

are the county's two largest employers.

notes. "If we take their headaches away, they're

ProgrEm hct wi l

"That's roughly equivalent to the number

int ude, in c lxi11klet

employed in the textile and hosiery fields com·

"Veil a::. 01 a CD

bined," observes Scott Millar, president of the

a~

RC '1\, 3 I ;t • ; rr ~!-.:!·

Catawba County Economic Development

dia:el" a... ai~tle

Corporation (EDC). "Cable is a niche employer

qoolfiec sit?s ft>r

that very few people can claim, and we hope to

in::lustrii' a1d cerr-

encourage clustering and further development."

me ·cia I u;e~. It -vi I

For example, the public school systems, as well

more likely to stay and grow here. Says j.R. Steigerwald, economic development coordinator for the City of Hickory, "We all make a concerted effort to visit with our existing industries so we know what they need ahead of time . With our low une11ployment rate, we're going to get most of our industrial growth out of existing indus· tries, people who are already committed to the

in: ude irfo ·mari-Jn

higher educational institutions such as Catawba

on =ngirJeer ng

Valley Community College and Lenoir·Rhyne College,

area and know the cost of doing business here.

wc k, en ... ircnrrenlal

all offer programs to train workers for this industry.

We need these industries to make intensive

a~:;essment5,

The fiber-optic and coaxial cable industry- a

sc il

sc 1pling. -....at=r nd

$5 .5-billion global endeavor- was a major reason

s:: A"er ad z:mir.g.

why Catawba enjoyed such a banner economic

g r e3 te ~-

c h a - l otte b i z

capital investments here." Catawba, with a population of about 134,000 and located 50 miles from Charlotte, has an

october 2000

>13


economy th at is inte nsely based on manufacturing. With more than 550 industries, the county ranks third in the state in number of manufacture rs. Some 43 percent of its workforce is emp loyed in the manufacturing sector, compared to the national average of about 16 percent. Furniture remains the top industry, employing about 16,000 people at such companies as Hickory Chair, The Lane Company, Broyhill Furniture, Century Furniture and Sherrill Furniture. The workforce is an extraordinarily good one, with a manufacturing productivity rate of 32 percent, compared to the state rate of 18 percent and the national rate of 20 percent. Industry Week magazine ranked

the Hickory-Morganton- Lenoir area eighth among its listing of world-class communities, based , in part, on coopera tion among industry, government and educational institutions. Even with an unemployment rate that has hovered at between two to three percent over the last three years, only about 12 percent of Catawba's workforce works outside the county. The average commute takes 17 minutes. "Ou r roads and highways have been built befo re the congestion arrives," Steigerwald observes.

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The area' s newest highway - US 321 - is bringing many changes that will have an impact on residents for years to come. Completed early last year a: a cost of $45 millio n, US 32 1 makes the area much more accessible to Charlotte, especially its airport, now just 35-40 minutes away. " I can get to the airport faster than some people who actually live in Cha rlotte," Millar says. The highway was a factor in Getrag Gears' $80-million expansion announce-

Building Partnerships and So iJtions "Just-in-Time ' 1o- a Fast-Paced Wor1d .

www.bcsmis.com

ment last year. But that was just a start. There are three interchanges in Catawba, one each in Maiden, Newton and Hickory. The three municipalities are in the process of adding infrastructure, such as water, sewer and electricity, in preparation for the expected industrial sites to

B siness Control Systems, L.P.

follow. In Mai den a 90-acre busin ess

4C2 VIest Trade Street, Suite 102 Charlotte, r C 28202

park, Cansler Crossing, is being privately developed . In Newton, at Highway 10,

1~800-945-2931

400 acres are being prepared for a business park. And the City of Hickory is creating a master

14

octobe r 2COC

>-

grea t er ch arlo tte b iz


plan for nearly 200 acres at Exit 42 that

~r Oients Can Express Our Value Best

it will develop into River Road Business Park. "It's like growing grapes - you don't get wine the first year," Steigerwald says. " It'll take three to five years for us

uThe Transition Team has been a great addition to OtJr

HR Staff

at Waukesha Electric

Systems ...

I have cf=ai:. v-ith outplacement teams before, but rwne 1ave the prof:=ssional ability and compe-texe that's been 6splayed by Bill Crigger ... Their ap~•rou:r, counseling. and follow thru with each r)(ivicucl has been ~rst class. In some insta'lces, !1ey hm·e gore beyond the call of dut'; tc help some-one, months after the initial conttac: 'A<'S over. They ~ Jke a personal stake in ecrch siua!ion. I wou d 'lOt 1esitate to re: ommend them to arry cor11:>any needing these services." Bill Goad, Sr. lllaaag~t Human Resouo ces Waukesha E.'ec r'c Sr;tems Goldsboro, NC a..d 1-iltitas, 0

to truly feel the impact" As the largest city in the area and home to the 1-million-square foot Furniture Mart, Hickory gets a lot of tourism traffic. Tourism is about a $300 million industry in the county and employs well over 2,000 people. In 1997, the 70,000-square-foot Hickory Metro Trade Center openec and is developing a healthy convention trade. The Shriners will hold their annual state convention here in November, and the Kiwanis' Caro li nas Conference will come to town in 2002 . Hickory is also developing another

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connections. Synthetic Industries is building a 100,000-sqaure-foot fc. cility there with plans for future expansion, and Hickory Park Associates, already with 77,000 square feet in the Fu rn iture Mart, is adding a 100,000-sqaure-foot warehouse in the park. While Catawba is enjoying growth, so far it has been able to keep pace with it Reader's Digest recently ranked the area as the10th best place in the U.S. to raise a family, citing its low crime rate, good public schools, quality health care, clean environment, strong economic growth, access to colleges, activities for youth and affordable cost of living. The median wage is increasing, leadi ng to more interest in the area by retailers. Housing starts are increasing, too . A new development, Wind Song, located on Catawba Valley Boulevard, recently sold 29 lots in four weeks. Prices range from $100,000 to $135,000. There is also a lot of cooperation among the agencies looking to foster Catawba's growth. "We have separate jobs, but they are so related ," says Ann Sperry, Newton's community and economic development administrator. "The county is lucky because we all work together and cooperate as much as we can so we can do the best for everybody."

Bea Quirk is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

6

o:::tob e ~ 2000

greater charlo : te biz


[realestatebiz] - ....................................................... b)路 bea quirk

bizinfo The single most po.verf.JI historic p; eser..-ation tool un:ler North Carolina Law is the le~l ertity known as a Historic Landmarks Comm ssion. It e:< sts to recommend tfle designatbn of individually significant historic p路oper: ies as historic landmarks and to secl. re the p路 eservation of same. The CharlotteMecklelburg Hi;toric Landmarks Comm ssion was e;tablished by joint action of the Charlotte City Council and the Board of Commissioners of Mecklenburg County in 1973. The essential test c:J whether property qual fies for histo路ic landmark desi&nation is whether it Jossesses individual historic signific::nce. There is no sJecific age requirement. It could have been built last year if it has individual historic significance. nere is no legal n:quirement that the OV\oner has to agree to have a pr.>perty designated as a historic landmark, but the commission by policy ekes not process pr.>perties for historic landmark designation unless t1 e O'M'ler requests S.Jt:h designation.

bringing history to life partnership to renovate charlotte cotton mills You know a project is something special when Lloyd

window on our past," says Dan Morrill of the

Scher, arguably the most liberal member of the

Historic Landnarks Commission . "We have saved

Mecklenburg County Commission, makes a motion

the most historic building in uptown Charlotte."

to support it, and Bill James, undoubtedly its most conservative member, seconds the motion. But that's just what happened this summer

"This is a significant project for us," says Fred Bolt, sen ior vice president of Pappas Properties . "We're adaptively re-using an important

when the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks

building and providing residential housing where,

Commission <www.cmhpf.org> sought approval

only a few years ago, no one thought people

from the County Commission to purchase and

would want to live. It's an excellent example of a

renovate, as a partner with Pappas Properties, the

joint public-private venture."

1880 Charlotte Cotton Mills in downtown Charlotte. The vote that followed was unanimous.

Today, the site of Charlotte's first cotton mill doesn't look l'ke much. The original red brick has

An artist's rendering shows what the new Charlotte Cotton Mills will look like when completely renovated. Work begins this fall on the two-acre-plus project at Graham and Fifth streets, called -

been painted green, and the arched windows fronting Fifth Street are boarded up. The side facing

appropriately enough -the Charlotte Cotton Mills.

Graham Street features a mural of a double knit

When comp leted, it will feature 60,000 square

weave, created by Gaines Brown in the early 1970s.

feet of owner-occupied loft office space in two

That part will go in the process of renovation Morril

existing buildings (a third one will be razed), 185

says, to reveal "a compelling fenestration pattern

loft-style apartments in three new mid-sized towers,

and phenomenal detailing in the brick work."

a parking deck for the offices and apartments,

"This will be a great place," Morrill adds, "one

and a separate parking facility for the new home

that will add texture to uptown and let people see a

for Land Design, located adjacent to the mill

sense of continuity between our past and future."

property in another historic building. "This building [Charlotte Cotton Mills] could

The site is certainly a reflection of the city's history. Charlotte Cotton Mills was founded by

have been torn down very easi ly, and people would

Charlottean R.M . Oates and his three nephews

have forgotten about it, and we would have lost a

and began operating in December 1880 as part

g re a te r c h ar lotte b iz

october 2000

>17


and business were an integral part of

What the Charlotte Cotton Mills building looks like today.

of the post-Civil War industrialization that transformed the old Confederacy into the "New South ." (The plural "mills" was used because its operations included both spinning and weaving.) After the war, textile manufacturers began moving to the South to be closer to the cotton fields. Morrill says that what makes Charlotte Cotton Mills so significant is not only that it was the first mill in Mecklenburg, but that it was started by

formed company, Pappas Properties,

quent owners and tenants reflected that:

entered negotiations. After about a year, the

Charlotte Leather Belting Company,

deal was struck. The commission is putting

Southern Dairies, the Model Steam Laundry

up $4 million to buy one of the two mill

Company and the ].B. lvey Company, which

buildings and to hire Pappas Properties for

had a warehouse on the site.

renovating it at cost. Changes to the site will

In the 1940s, Morris Speizman Speizman Industries, to the site. The firm,

because of the level of endangerment

largest refurbishers of sock manufactur-

the mill was in, the economic viability

ing equipment, operated there until

of the project, and the site's historical

about two years ago.

significance . We were driven by history." Pappas is buying the other building,

"We are re-creating a great place that will be as important to the future

local businessmen . "This set the tone for

to its past_"

Charlotte, and by 1895, the city and the region had become a major textile center. This, in turn , laid the foundation for Charlotte's emergence as a business and transportation hub some 100 years later. By March 1881, Charlotte Cotton Mills

"This is a big commitment on our part," Morrill says. "But we went ahead

which grew to become one of the world's

the city and sent a message that it had a he comments. It drew many more mills to

be approved by the commission .

brought his textile machinery company,

of Charlotte as it was

climate of opportunity for industrialists,"

got out to Peter Pappas, and his newly-

Charlotte's economy, and the site's subse-

at a slightly higher cost, and is assembling the land for the rest of the project. The firm will complete the renovation and market the two buildings as office lofts, and the commission will sell its share soon after completion. Bolt says work will begin early next year after the sale

-

Fred Bolt, Pappa Properties

The site sat vacant as the Speizmans tried to sell it. The building had been designated an historic landmark in 1985, and the family approached the Historic Landmarks Commission about buying it.

is formally closed in November and should take about four to six morths to complete. "We'll market these office lofts aggressively so we can get the property back on the tax rolls," he says. "We're also hoping to find a restaurant for the first floor."

had 5,800 spindles. By 1895, the number

Last November, Mecklenburg County voters

of spindles had increased to 9,000, and it

approved $7.5 million in bonds for a revolv-

Charlotte Cotton Mills continues to reflect

also had a large weaving operation with

ing fund so the commission could buy and

the city's history. Downtown Charlotte is

208 looms. As the industry grew, the mill

sell endangered historic structures.

couldn't keep up with its larger competitors,

But even with those resources,

Even in its new incarnation,

not only enjoying a business revitaliza tion, but people are returning to the

and so shut its doors in 1910. But that

purchase of Charlotte Cotton Mills was

center city to live . The site's adaptive

wasn't the end of its story- manufacturing

beyond the commission's means. Word

re-use respon ds to that trend.

>

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Research Co ., which tracks commercial real estate trends in the area. Warren notes that as of February, there were only about 600 apartments in the center city. None were added between 1991 and about 1998, when First Ward Place opened, and 60 percent of those units are dedicated to low-income housing. However, there are now 1,148 apartment units proposed for the area. Bolt calls the apartments at Charlotte Cotton Mills the city's "first true all residential loft-style development." Apartments will range from 450 to 1,200

Believe

square feet in size and rent for about

lll

$1.40 per square foot. Post Gateway Place, wh ich features a public park, is across Fifth Street, and an urban park may be added behind the new complex. One tower will be 10 stories, another four stories will sit on a four-story parking deck, and the third tower will be eight stories. "The apartments will have high ceilings and will offer tremendous views of uptown," Bolt says. Construction should be completed in about 18-24 months. This is a very different kind of project for Pappas Properties, which Pappas formed in February 1999 after many years with Johnny Harris and Lincoln Harris

At Ro bi nso n, Brads haw & Hinson, we deve lop innovative

Properties. "This is our first community to

so lu tions for our cl ients' lega l needs. We understand th e

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chal lenges facing both emerging and established com pa nies in today's complex business environ ment. O ur approach is ta ilored to each cl ient's unique situation so that we provide the most effective advice and the most effective solutions to meet our cl ients' goa ls.

"But we see a clear trend toward in fill, mixed-use developments." It's the same kind of development Pappas is planning for Mancheste r, located on South Boulevard on the former Duke Power land on the outer reaches of South End . If the conditional zoni ng is

Ro binson, Bra dshaw & H inson -a tr adi tion of exce ll ence.

approved by Charlotte City Council, the project will feature 400 residential units, as well as 70,000 square feet of retail

Robinson

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home for the Charlotte Trolley Barn . But now the work begins at Charlotte Cotton Mills. Says Bolt, "We are re-creating a great place that will be as important to the future of Charlotte as it was to its past."

www.rbh.com

Bea Quirk is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

'

20

octo:::>er 2000

greater charlotte biz


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Bill Little conjures buildings. As a self-appointed "Master of Madness", he exercises a management style emphasizing madness over method. And, whether by fortuitous circumstances or dogged determination, he has performed magic for Little & Associates Architects. VI Q)

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summers cutting grass, trimming mops on an assembly line, and most m emorably, performing various jobs at the Loray-Firestone Mi ll where his parents were employed. One of those jobs was to dean the humidifiers on the ceiling of the workrooms without electrocuting himself on the electrical parts; another was to get down on the oiled floor and mop solvent from underside of th e textile machines without getting the mop caught in the open motor. In those days before air conditioners, this was hot and sticky work, but Little considered him self lucky to get a job and his family needed the money. Little acknowledges, "I was young then ... It'd kill me now! " He worked hard and played hard, especially in varsity football at old Gastonia Central High School. AJthough he was small and played on the B-team, he was a ferocious competitor, never willing to give up. Littl e recounts a particular play when he was completely open, running for a touchdown. He tripped over his own t et. "The coach came runnin ' out there, pulled up this chunk of grass and said 'T knew somebody was goin' to get hurt on that! ' He said I had the damnedest pair of legs he'd ever seen- I was bowlegged and on top of that I ran funny -and Twas 'Crazy Legs' after that. " Little was a fair student but worked hard. His first year at the University of North Carolina, he intended to major in business. But after taking an aptitude test that indicated strengths in math and art, a counselor suggested he pursue architecture at NC State. It was known to be an especially difficult program, but Little was accepted and persevered . Upon graduation, he had several job offers based on his reputation as an artist and designer. Not wanting to get trapped in a narrow corner of the architectural world, he accepted a position with Richard Gi ll espie Architects, a small firm in 1958 "on the theory that I needed to understand how to do

greater charlotte biz


everything about the architectural business, not just draw pretty pictures," recounts Little. "I wanted to learn the whole thing. He (Richard! did houses and small commercial buildings with only two people in the office, so I got to do everything." After four years with Gillespie, Little wanted to work on bigger projects and so he sought out his next position. He received four offers. Again, they wanted him for his artistic talent, but he still wanted to learn more so he took a job that actually paid the least. That job was with Cameron & Associates, Inc. Headed by AI Cameron, the eight-person firm was working on big projects. Little was soon invited to become a partner and the company became Cameron, Little & Associates in 1964.

Known as the Prince of Architecture in orth Carolina, Al Cameron built major projects including the American Building in downtown Charlotte. Little respectfully describes Cameron as goodlooking and articulate, very talented with a forceful personality. In contrast, Little asserts that he himself was quite the "nerd." He says he had a flattop haircut and horned-rim glasses, and wore polyester shirts all week long and carried his bag lunch to work. Little thought Cameron was a great designer, but knew there was a huge difference between their styles. Quite unexpectedly in 1967, Cameron suffered a massive heart attack "It was my fear factor at the young age of 42 said that you should and died . design for the Suddenly,

customer. We got more business from those customers because we listened to them. That was the turning point in my life."

the nerd was in charge of the firm . "The first thing I did was toquestion whether I wanted to take charge - Bill Little of the firm. I didn't know if I wanted to be an administrator. To have your own office was OK, but it wasn't me," he recalls. "I was prepared to go get a job. What made me

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Leading the charge for Little & Associate ~ a -e (left tx:> right}: 3ill Little, ·=""'<<irman; John Kom isin, president of the Charlotte ;:,fice; Phil Kuttne r, president i!lld CEO: and Ed McMahan, vice chairman.

happy was just doing the work. And now I was faced with a different job. T1e: future of the firm was in my hands, and I had never made a presentation or called on a client on my own. And I CETtainly didn't know the first thing abou: running a business." At the time, the firm had about si= months' worth of work. "We had fo ur customers. I went around to assure thm that their projects would be completec to their satisfaction. We were going to listen better," says Little. "Cameron's philosophy had been the old school of designing for awards. It was my fear factor said that you should design for the customer. We got more business

from those customeJ3 beca-.1se wE li ste-Jed to tLem . That '"'a~ th e turn ing pc•int in n-y life. " Little recalls hiE fir:.t JXesentation to a poten: ial client ..,·In was the sch s~erinterxlent and the school board in Gastonia. "I had r ev~r presented t•: ar,rbody. I went out :md got me a book It sa id that you had t.o get their a:tention. And I though·. 'VI'e are a ccmpan : of ideas. I (ail ed thE office and had a 5uy male up a mttal halo with a li&h t bulb on top w red dcwn to my pocket so could tlill :ton ·Nhen I nklde my presentati.::n. "It came my tu-n and I ' tood up ar::l saw p ~op le 's fao:es- :hey di:in't >

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sc.o:: million in school construction ::>ur thc.t time. '·J k:new hat I was notAl Cameron. ~r~ j::lb requ. red networking, selling, knocking "0 IVY on doors,

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want bEttt~ han we do. So '1/Je ~ister to then te I s what they wan-: then we desig [t .. '"neet their reeds wrthin a bLdget they've set, and ::•_ mplete the jo ahe.ac of '>Chedule." tne~;

being rejected. I wasn't prepared for this job. So I needed a

salesperson and the first person I hired actually hired ;JI I iff himself. H.: ! - o...,ed u for work before I offered ..:1 thE job. He told me he had already

·=JLit .is other job. He worked real hard,

out knocking on doors. He never sold a thing, but he had an idea.

First Union and Ed came up with a plan

"His idea was that instead of just working for developers and receiving three percent for designing the property, why not find the property, design the

we built and sold sho pping centers, paid our taxes and paid the entire sum, principal and interest, back." That was over

property and be the developer. It sounded like a good idea to me." For the next

partners ever since. Little describes Mdv'.ahan as wellgrounded, outgoing, a joiner, socially active, and a consummate consensus builder. "A perfect co mplement." McMahan describes imself as an inside-the-lines thinker and institutional finance man . By contrast, he describes Little as "an outside-the-box creative

six years the firm thrived, fueled by the real estate boom of the early '70s. Little admits, "I had no idea at the time of the risk involved. We had an economic downturn in 1974, people moved out of the apartments and we owed more cash to lenders than we had payroll. " Overextended and about two weeks before bankruptcy, Little turned to a young assistant who had joined the firm the previous year, Ed McMahan, then 29. Ed had a background in commercial lending and real estate investment, and more importantly an idea to help him get out of his dilemma. "I told Ed that he was my last hope. I told him that if he could help me, I would give him 50 percent of everything I made from that point on. We owed about $1 million to

to pay everything back. Over seven years

20 years ago and the two men have been

force known for his bright although sometimes wild ideas. He is a risk-taker, visionary, never-sit-still leader. " He quotes Little as saying, "If you' re stationary, you make an easy target." Little is confident that the two opposing personalities work out well for the firm's management. For example, when Little was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome some years ago, "I just wanted to quit and sell the company to our division heads. Ed convinced me to

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give up just 49 percent and keep conuol of the remainder. "I can't tell you the number of times he's saved me from doing something stupid." Little credits much of his success to his continuing philosophy of putting the client first- acknowledging that, "Our clients know what they want better than we do. So we listen to them tell us what they want, then we design it to meet their needs within a budget they've set, and complete the job ahead of schedu le. " In the mid-1980s, Little restructured the firm to focus o n the different types of buildings. There are currently fifteen divisions specializing in twelve different building types including financial faci lities, offices, schools, commercial retail, food service, rollout retail, civic, government and correctional facilities, manufacturing facilities and college and university buildings, each division autonomous and led by partners of the firm. The divisions are supported by a core of shared services - administration, finance, engineering, facilities management, and 30 rendering and >

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27


a- i:;nation. He says, "The beauty of thE suncture is th at it lets our people focu~ OC1 designing, serving the client with t.J-.e sJ:ÂŤialist they need. The centralized corr:orc.~e core takes care of the drudge work." At first, the restructuring, which h~d co::me to him after reading Tom Peters' b:o::>k In Search of Excellence, didn't work so well. Little recalls, "In the beginning I 'Ac still a dictator. The new structure

o::::.ldn't work. Then a funny thing ha(:(T-Iled - I was diagnosed with chronic fc.~ gue syndrome. It took my getting sU:k ro oosen my grip on the organization a-:d to find out that other people could sk:> up and do the job - as it turned o_: . much better than I could." Today, Little and Associates is the lc:~gest architectural and engineering firm in the Carolinas and 22nd largest in ~e nation. The firm delivers a divese se ~ ction of related services including s tegic facilities consulting, computera ded facilities management, technology comulting, digital modeling and ani!lBti=¡â&#x20AC;˘ . and land planning. It employs over s:: people in eight locations and has

annual billings over $50 million. Little's strongest desire is to sell more of the company's stock to the new generation of leaders over the next few years, at least doubling the number of partners. His real passion is to develop leadership. He enjoys throwing employees into the fire and letting them do the job hands-on. Although it sometimes results in momentary anarchy, and unnerves more than a few employees, Little has found that it encourages creativity and flexibility. His design of the Parachute Room - an eight-sided creativity room with brightly colored furniture and toys and a ceiling draped io parachute material, is exemplary of his attempts to "deprogram and reprogram employees to view work as fun and disruption as good." When asked to describe his architectural style, Little responds, "Whatever makes you say 'Wow! ' is my style. I'll ask a client, What do yo u like in a building? What do you want in a building? What will you do in that building and how will it be used?' I'll show you many

different styles and designs, and when I see your response, your reaction, I'll know when I have produced something that makes you say 'Wow!'." Little doesn't believe in retirement. He claims to be one of the lucky people. He enjoys his work. He would like to do more design work, but h e marvels in the work of his employees and younger designers who are so talented. He recalls AI Cameron who died at age 42 and is proud that he is so involved with his family, consisting of five children and seven grandchildren all living nearby. Little's great joy in life is serving his customers and making them happy. He also works hard to stimulate his employees to be creative and to target business goals that he hopes will take Littl e&. Associates to new levels of architectural activity and design . His management style that fosters freethinking and a bit of anarchy may not be for everyone, but his success cannot be argued with. As Shakespeare put it, "Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. " biZI

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october 2000

greater charlotte biz


We've been through turbulent times before. Regardless of today's market climate, the includes the distinct possibility of uncertainty volatility. Not surprisingly, many investors fe1 adrift, unsure where to turn for advice. Shoul you invest more in bonds or equ ities? More in small caps or blue chips? Or keep more cash on hand? While nobody can promise you a ll the right answers, U.S . Trust can promise you something invaluable : expertise based on experience. For over 145 years, through periods of extreme uncertainty, we've been a bedrock of for our clients, providing them with sound advice that has helped preserve and enhance their wealth. In the process, we've become one of America 's premi er investment advisory and wealth management firms. To learn how to weather the market's volatility, please contact Sue W. Cole, President, U.S. Trust Company of North Carolina at 1-800-733-1355 or visit www.ustrust.com.

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by nethea fortner rhinehardt

.t# agican, circus ringmaster, and now costumer

M

P~-dip

Morris .::Jaims to have been buned alive,

curied alive, aod driven cars blindfolded to amuse

an

adorin~

pcblic in his 50+ year career. His alter ego, Dr.

Evil. enthralled and horrified local audiences in theaters and on late night television from the 1950s through the 1970s. 3ut he has anotr.er ace up his sleeve for these who just can't get enough of :-Ialloween. Morris has :cr:structed a statf-of-the-art, theater-quality haun:ed labyrinth that vvill sbod: even the most jade::i IB.unted house gcer. Located at the rear of his 4,800 squ.are foot mstume shop, d1is extensive haunted maze feat..rres 3-D special effect~.â&#x20AC;˘ laS<:rs, :trrimated garg::>yles, aliens, psychopaths, and corpses, wails that era'"' , floors that figb~ ::>~ck, and black holes.- all in a lengt_1y studio set whEre you become the st:Jr in an me:artive hocor movie >

30

oc:::>b-=r 2000


1

~C:l.nologi.GI:t a::lvanced :_-,.Ju bi~

t-bcis EDfased Leonard Pickel, Editor :>f J-lc.w11£d Aotracticn magazine

CJdes a lib:an, gc.Jler:" a ti::, a :l's rcom, g.;-der., gn.ve;nc ~.Cdities rrx._~~uiT,

<WW'!UtilllnU-da:traction.corn>, to bring chi I i:ng Yi ~ict1 to life. Pickel has ~ c;igr ,.d sp e ck~ difPiays for over twenty ~e :m, indud r1g haunted houses for

as·,r{uD.

hi~

dungeo!l and ever a bb·Jrato:ryfcr :J:Evil. Mcsris. has cluErly 3ddd

~irjs ter­

themed ooths fo· n otf-colorEod c:c.mi-

Uuive:l"3af StLdim. "The lighting [in the

valatm : sp here. llallJWEen jurl:...es -.._-:._:

r. cu~e] i~

revEl in '1<1orr:s' quir·r sEnse of 'Un. :•ut

:;hue~

this sorbisticated h.: .mtcd hc-uSI': jSll 't

3ir sy~o th ·otq:;hoJt the building to

an r1 f.orn in itself," Pickel

··.ve h::xe inftalled a pneumatic

just few 1rills. "Altho_&J"l ..he h::>l.l3eis

3Trimzloe lhe T ops.

ope1 to -:he public cu.ing Oc10tu, r a ;:tu-

:rre s

ally buik it for my

di~ts;'

sc.:-s l _omo

f' ickel

-....OiL I

stor~ dc ~s

ro ~mc.lwear,

Halfowc: ~ n

tunli's, props, and special effects to the motion picture anj amLse~nt

park

industri= s supplyi.rg over lO .XO retail stores, ragic and novelty

Morris has f"OM dS ar

cos-

it:; the .:dults we have wo-ry 1boJt.'

: aurt=:::l Louse e:<perts. He is the author

the growth in the

Sing4)Qre ned up -o

haunted house

exper ence the haLnted

remarkably lucra-

house. He C'XplainsJ "Thedisplay to help mer

Cosrurn=s Catalog i3

showcCISt' nevv products

tricks ar j props tht

ny customers. J

more, M.::nis bas eli ens f.:Hu

as far av.;;oy as Singa rE Iined JP

10 ~j­

ence the .1aunted ho.Ee. l e e:q:•lain:o. 'T.- e hou~.e is :o~ permane-u d_sp.ay t:: h.-_F 1 ::: shovJcaS..:' new prod _rn and te ·hn ::bgies tome~

expanded nation-

holiday in the United States second only to Christmas,"

tial to t..l:lz industry Jvorrs rote~ · 1- s ever av<c Jable in fLi rr: >11..:-dio lib raies.

to my ~tomers. "

tive trade that has

is the second

end t-:a·:hnologieas fo

~t's

now a

largest commercial

pub ication of costum:-s, masks, magir has J econH' essen-

industry -

wide and beyond. "Today, Halloween

aroLnd lhe world. The Mo1 is a di ctiox:ary-sized

s a master among

d bo c•~s on 'Tia.~c end related subjects, including How to clients Operate a Financially Successful Haunted away -:1s House. He anticipated

house is a permanent

~ops

lo: of 10 year olds

\r •)[US : im:;~ lf

rent it ~- only a siUITI pc.rt ot t...1.::·c~: busines1 He is on ~ of the vorl d's larg~3~

'.~.

~:n e ~s, ~·::>

dan :ew:::a:, and Kc. rao<e macbi.re:. fo -

distribtL:::m of

rrcoiT. mend the house

:a:J gc tr.Lousf'l - whh no problem.

ac~sscrie:; . Vl -:.i E Ll.i::

include

dc~sn · t

x :m;:,.--·lcrlg

t-o

surr:rise;;i to find n::-e than ~r lb. ~-.J its and Gri:n Reaper

electrical effects

":>r o .d:en un ~ er Lle age of 10, he

<¥lww.rnorr_Ec06tumes C1..·lll>

on !Aor -ce Road. El1 m::>st

~he

lroers and three to

::Jur fc ~: ightn rrg-bolts. " Although

M<Jny Charlott:ZLns ue fc. r . ia: w::: Monis' ~ore, Mor-is Cofturres 6. Tuxedo~.

~t o.cul :JL -

o·r::r ~years, -Jur C-J-

Jig has grown t:• induce w~ r:.E:r

Morris reveals. He

admits, "We started in th e l•U!ines3 ;: t th ~ righ: time. The 1--allo\..P-1:': 1 bn -. in ~ss was just taking off. _ Ht'; i

-nport:ant to any entrepreneur-

g ~ ttin§ : r .o a ·.:k..eloping market on the g·L··Jnrl fl.Jor. •·

':'lt3t dev::l o:: in§ market has tapped

t..torri _' t· ene> in un=xpected ways, bdu::L I§ that cf inventor. While distrib-

Bro ers. 2 0th CentJJ~, Fa>. Paramor...nt

t:t:ng cos::um ::- ac.:esfories, Morris found :::I iems..;e _rchi:Jg :orca theatrical makeup

touring mOVIS, rock t::U"'S, 1nd W ."".l mai:Jr park in tb~ U.S .. Sc·u.l:J America. Eur pe, aT.d ,\sta.

Ga W7 J . j go en qt&ckly, dry instantly, ;;.1d wa.;h oF.witb scap and water. After aud1 :::<periiY.:- tin§, Morris created a

amuserr ~nt

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nt> k·vely fellow vwill is among the. cast :~ characters" at Morris' haunted

hous~

.._-_r::-.ing product that iE appliec irgE::J-

bwly through an airbr.Jsh. "No onE b.ac ?ver before dEveloped a makeup tha-: would go through 3n airbrush," he says p ::-oudly. "You can ~ven paint heir..,

Tbt airbrush makeup iEnow a >ta:;:>le c:: ~::IS) concerts, NFL g::a.mes, Disney \'x:4"lcl major film stud os, amLSe:nent parlG and fairs. Brian l--:>ok, head :nakE-

up artist for Star Trek C.eep Space Nine. recently won an Emmyfor his airbrusr. designs using Morris' p:-oduct. Morris also markets Stretchy ·' pider mat~ri

I tb:.l simulates the real -_hing. "It's grEat !x::r oovie sets," he says. "You put jt .1p. il orr.es down easily, and you can use it c.ga:in. This stuff is absdutely a:nazir1g and jt retails for a:>oUL3 dollar." Morris has developed additionc.l prccucts, includir.g iliLSions aod C:O•Jlmously large prop> priced up leo 30,000. Even :he rock band k_ctal.ica has purchased two el ?ctric ch;:.irs from MorrL:;. ~ 'f';cn, an inexpensive filrous

g ~ eater

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Look like a geniL~s in front of your emplo . ;ees. Even Einstein co uld appreciate the irte ligence o f joi ning Charlotte Metro Cred it Union Yo ur er1r: o-;.~c:s get great fi nancia l benefits like lower loa n rates. high i n" e~..:: 1ert rates and fee-free checking with direa deposit. What the·y do1't ge: are all the exorbitant fees associated with banks. And yo ur o rgar ~aton can join without Fee- free Checking w / Direct Deposit CheckCard Loans- Auto. Ho me. Personal Brokerage Services

ext. 4 to enro I. It's a business

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m ove that's

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Morris' horror roo1s d<:.te bao:k to .>is early fa>cinatior \o\-r" magic. At c.ge .:1 h2 was pecormi=-s t-11: C\"ll magic c.ct .n his hc·metown o." Kl[::.ouoo, 1v i ~ h . rmder th.e &h•Jrtened sra;Ee- name ::>f .-hilip Mor~i ~ . (1-fu U r..ame is Phi lip l\iorris S11ith ... :~E~ he say> his parmt~ nc::se th ~ r:ame after he::.riLg a dgaret.te o mmercial on th " :adi.o 1-l:ortly afta: his birth ) As a yoJn_~~~o::~. he woJld oftEn visit th ~ neruty tc"'n ·:Jf Colon_ ":he Magic Capital•1 f -.he -v\'orld' and the headquarters of th£ ·..v-ell-kn0'-Vl1 magiciar. of the 19 ~ 0s. Hc.r::y S. B.lackstone, Sc. Btrlsto:-te, know:~ :or u6 signature illusions as The Buzz _.;nv IDu >ion, Tl-.e Float ing L.~h Bulb and the Dancin5 Han :.bcl:.~~ took 3.n mtrrest in and enc:1ragcd :1is m:J t a-dent fan, b ~comi ~.g .r=eb::g fri~n s "ith young Morris By age 12, Moris J: :=.rlayed his a ready i11pressiV£ ~;ngt: p~Ese n ce i:Jt : • 3. S1turday morning ra.dio show called fun or Junction on me c'.B:::: netv.-::>rk. But with aco lescmce.. :1? gravitated

greater charlo.te tiz


toward a .-te-e ~litl:: .03P- pafcom.nce called Ghost St J'"-'S. TEse: tocrir!;

p~::-­

formancef roa::kago:d 9ar.dad r.agic shows into a m :n;::

~ ....

hteBcti.ro::

,.,i:::: ;; lecklrc on :he spirit wor , :oi.Jow-ed I:., ;; - S'-po.: ed TI-e~. b q~ n

format

magical rc urine with !lEcabre il!E i rs. The grand iioalE wa~ a 'Jl3ck ing which

trx

•)U£'

:lur-

1~ ts ~.vcr~ • ~po nd y

shut off, a ~owi~.spillo - s' minds :o wander win -.he h eb a :~ glc--v- in-

c:

the-dark e -fe-:is trQrr

tr-?: >:<l.ge. "I: was a

rojeut Manager

~

We provide consulting reseurces with pnjecl management expertise and industry enerience. Specializing in banking/[nance, government and textile bdustri~s. 212 .Iouth Tryon Street, Suite 1680 · Olarlotte, ~C 2828: (704) 332-66 J I

::nagic sho"' 1at mad UJ: hei1g ~ seance in • !E th; ater." -~-Ds rerr~m­ bers. "WhEn Ihe: lig}Is

~re

: ume:::.

out, the aLdi..3lc wc>Ul:: sc:.e gLost3 and spirits flyi og ovcr tho ~c.ili." \ t=rri headlined J-i; fi ~t gl:tX- skowat :1ge 15.

In 1952.shortl} aftrrgrack.lc.: ng high schocl,

l.£.ue came to

La~ 1

Kalamazoo. Aftcr seci~ tl- ew:-t ip-wielding

C•:J\'.b~ -nc"'i ~ 3t:.(s

ftap·

show, Morris 3ppJiOacl1::d ~aRLe, .-be hired him irr 11cd.Iacly £ 5 a pcblir:ist and a van=2 m c.1 Ft::> r :..~e <ext yea Morris

to~d

v. .Ll

I.3u I2Rllf

t.:lE

Western SI-.o-a., Ill cki-lg e:1cugh JllC•ney to proposE !c· and ~m.rr; r.s h~h ~dnol sweetheart A.my Strc-n§- C:~alotte: happened 1·::> be J-e - 3~ - .:.tcp 01 L-le tour before Lash ~s :l.Je ::>ac..-<" n H ::~ll-,.,....oeod for filming. t.-'or:i..; nd - iE neV" v..-e were planr q when a

tc ~o :a.Io - g to Calil:>rnia

thEcaL~cc....

1ge:nt : tiered hin a

booking aE a mc.s.cic.n . Th ~ bo::>ki:Elg was for about t".-Jo wz.ei<s' ve-rb of "'ad<. and Morris hac p .3ru:.cd :c ~:dl up •,\::-Ll Lash after tht: ~L~;tgt:m~t. but ~-E never made it to ti-E

V'~.>t

CoFt.

Using Cbar .J::-te a3

1- ::omt. b;0e,

Morris suo:ee.cfuJ:- lc..un:h.:ci. h s c··-vn traveling tr:xpe, :;:ro ju::ID!;. e nd a·:.ing in Ghost Sx...,s -_md.or

r hesrag~

nBTIE:Eis,

Dr. Evil in "T-. .Eoil's.TEIIo~ ofth=

Unknown.' 1-'ori:; v---as

-<JJJ','ITI

forming varic·.JS

- d.Jding being

burnec aJi...-e,

;UJIIS

·:nu-i~d <~li.<c,

fer pe:--

:!riving )_in:!-

folded and gP;in;5 aY\.3y .:-eOK! b•)CifS. "Ghost Sho·,.,-;;; weE oe -;-:>ro:rJrme- of commercial rlU!J~d h c·~ scs,"J\loais reflects.

'Th~ bu3.neE:> ~

cid v-as

unbelievabL .Ne·c tum lll••LS(l(lillof people awc-y eve::.~ d e-~·:·

,._

greater- =l-3.r ot::e biz

october 2000

35


uring his nomadic Ghost Show runs, Morris even joined the circus. "''ve been associated with the major circuses in the United States even Ringling Brothers," he says. But Morris toured for several years with the Royal Hanover Circus-the second largest indoor circus in the world. His wife, Amy, and children, Scott and Terri, joined him on the road until the children were school aged. Ghost Shows eventually died out, but Morris was already conquering a new frontier-television. In the mid-1960's, television executives found success using Ghost Shows to inuoduce movies that no one would otherwise watch. The well-established character, Dr. Evil, made Morris' transition to television even easier, and it was not long before he was a star. Morris even produced the award winning television. show, 'Dr. Evil's Horror Theater'. Late Friday nights, the ghost host Dr. Evil. wou ld introduce the evening's feature

D

film, and proviC.e eerie segments during coomercial breaks. "ThE -~n~ were unb ~ lieva - e." Morris reca· ls "We ouuc..ted de Tonight Show wih Jack Parr, and VP- were just a locall! produced show.' Jnter_stingl·;, it was the need ior costumes in his television.

appeara.acE~

that led to Morris' involvement i::l - he costumins business. Frustrated ar rot being

ab l ~

to bLy a gorilla suit, ivkrris

made his own in his basement. Soon, Morris at.'<i his \o'ife were

fteldi~

requests t::1 borow costum~s. They began. renting co;;tumes and related products out o: their bsement anc Morrf> Costum & T e.:os was born Morris left the lV st~ti c • in 1967 md he .and his wi:'"e op~ r:.:d their fi rst store. "We went f-om the baseme:rt · o a retail sore. TJ-en, about ten yea:= later [in

1976~

we rr:)ved to the 20,0X-

square-foot bui:ding at 31(8 Moll.Je Road, which hcuses our offices

zoo i ~

a distribL"tion V\.arehouse i::1 additbn to

lntroducin

COLLECTION OF LIGHTWEIGHT DISPLAYS 20% off your first purchase- for a lmited time o lyl Don't wait! Call today! 1.800.6"38.0629 Dept. 205

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cctJber 2000

C H A R LO T T :C

H I CECRr'

great e r c h a r I:: :.-. e

:J

iz


th~

ones in Chicago and California. And

th~n

about ten years after that [ 1S88 J,

we built this new 20,000-square-bot facility at 4300 Monroe Road for our retail store, some warehousing anj, as o f this year, our new Haunted Hoose." The horror business is definite y a family affair. Wife, Amy, oversees

~

retail store. Son, Scott is general m<Ilager; daughter, Terri, manages the office. At si>:ty-five, Morris is surprisingly yc路uthful and is already exploring new products and props for next year. "My gran::isons keep asking me when they can come

to

work for me," he quips. But the haunted house is Morris' baby. "The house," he says, "is go ng to hElp us further understand the industry. W?. could not possibly recoup the money and labor we've put into it by charging the public. But it gives us some i!l5ight into the retail market, which has al路Nays been part of our success." biz ::-..er .vitl:JUt t .e isflti~ efect5, 'tnis' h;wnt:d hoc~~ -e;icem ::xr~ to ~~:>-rat.

Nethea Fortney Rhinehardt is a Char/atebased freelance writer.

octobe r

:;_coo

37


[biz feature]

by casey jacobus

> > > > > > >

â&#x20AC;˘

> > > > > > > Travel and tourism is a $2.3 billion business in Charlotte. The majority of visitors are business travelers, and local hotels bend over backwards to cater to them. But why is Charlotte's taxi system so lousy and what is being done to fix it? The good, the bad and the ugly of traveling to Charlotte on business.

W

hen people think of travel destinations, Charlotte doesn't exactly top the list.

ut you may be surprised to know that the travel industry is actually quite good to Charlotte. According to the arlotte Convention & Visitors Bureau <www.charlottecvb.org>, visitors to the Charlotte area not only spend $2.3 billion annually, they help support the 36,000 jobs that are directly related to travel and tourism here. Business travelers are the reason. The majority of the visitors to Mecklenburg County come for business; 53 percent to do business with companies located in the area and 28 percent for conventions or other meetings. The Hospitality Alliance <www.hosptitalityonline.com> estimates that business travelers account for 60 percent of the nights spent in Charlotte's 18,000room hotel market. They also estimate that each delegate to a convention stays an average of 4 days and spends an average of $819 . "The business traveler is critical to our business," says Harold Bassler, manager of the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel <www.sheraton.com>. It's not surprising then that Charlotte hotels, especially downtown, cater to the business traveler. They offer amenities ranging from limousine service, 24-hour laundry and dry cleaning to afternoon hors d'oeuvres, and extended hours for room service in order to lure the business traveler. They also offer the latest technological advances and frequent guest programs to encourage the repeat customer. "We zero in on the type of thing the corporate traveler wants," says Bill Spencer, executive vice president with the Panos Hotel Group <www.panoshotels.com>. With eight hotels open in the Charlotte area and four more under construction, Panos is betting on Charlotte as a solid market for future business travel. >

38

october 2000

greater cha r lotte bi z


g··eater cur o-::te :•iz

o :to be- 2000

39


40

:::>ct ob e r 20 0 C

"Charlotte is doing a lot of thi::lgs ri:51t, " says Spencer. "There's a lot cf C.c.ss A office space coming to tO'IND US Airways <www.usairways.com> provides a good hub for gettng c.rcund trE continental U.S. Bu;inesses like to locate .heJe because of all thE positive things lhct are going on. " Bassler, who just ret11med to Charlotte after fClJ years in Dallas, says the city has an excellent re;:utation nationally. "Charlotte is the talk of the k·~pi­ taliy industry as a hot market," he ny~ . "I :'3 a great place to do busir:ess, a g:-eat pla:e to live, and it's got grEat we:ath :>r.'

::::113rlo:te Convention Center We~tin Hctel, ·..v::1ich is set to open in thE summer ::>f 2002. (See sidebar on page 43.) "Th ~ market has gotten mu:h more : ompetbve in the past four years, " Bassler says. 'You really have to offer something special to comr:ete."

A matter of conne:ti'Jity

Chlilo:te and Tower also offers in-room

Bassler says he is amazed at _l.O"orl nu.:ch Charlotte has grown .-bring b s :m j Jurn in Texas and at hoV' marry h.otel rocms have been added. Si.J.: ~l.undred nev hotel rooms are currently ur:du ::cr:struction in the center cit:; alc·r.e, ?.r that does not include the 700-:r=oo

high SJ:e ~ d Internet access for a ~ mall fee. In acdition, it has a full service busi-

For hotels that : ater to the business traveler this means keeping up with the l:l.lest technological ad\ar:ces. When Hilton

<www.h:lton.corn> took over the old 'Nestin J-;otel uptown, for examr:·le, they eq[jpped all rooms with two phone li1es and two data pons for dial-up connections. The new tLlton

ness cen- er with computer

wo ~k~tations,

and fax, : opying and secretarial ;ervices. "The majority of our business is the buEiness traveler," acknowledges !viarshall Hilliard, director of ~ ab and

grea t er c har lott e biz


marketing at the Hilton Charlotte and Tower. "People stay in the uptown area because of its proximity to so many offices and restaurants." At Panos' new Hampton Inn and Suites uptown, developers are putting in a high-tech training room whose amenities include video-conferencing, high-speed Internet access and wireless technology. Spencer estimates that Panos is making a $40,000 investment in the room, which will seat approximately 40 people. Sixty-percent of business at the Marriott City Center <www.marriott.com> comes from business travelers, so all of the 434 rooms at the hotel have been special ly equipped for their comfort. "We call it the 'room that works;" says manager Jim Diehl. "We know people who travel on business or to conventions are doing a lot more communicating with their home offices from their rooms. " Each Marriott room now has a functional desk that easily converts for working, eating or watching 'IV. Chairs are ergonomical ly designed so guests can be comfortable while working. The hotel has also recently provided high speed Internet connections to all rooms. Even the smaller 60-room Dunhill Hotel <www.dunhiUhotel.com> realizes business guests want technology as well as personal service. General manager Jim Farah says th e hotel keeps extra adapters, connectors and batteries on hand for guests to borrow if their laptop computer dies. All of its rooms also have two phone lines and Internet access. The Sheraton Airport targets the business traveler through two floors dedicated specifically for their comfort. The rooms on these floors are equipped with Mobilestar, a wireless high speed Internet access system. "It's very business-friendly," says Bassler. "People don't have to o·awl around behind the bed trying to plug their laptops into the lamp or something." Bassler says the hotel researched what business travelers want by using focus groups and surveys. As a result, its dub rooms are equipped with oversized work desks and ergonomic chairs. The hotel also lures business travelers with upgraded amenities, including a )>greater charlotte biz

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lounge where travelers can do business, as well as get breakfast in the morning and hors d'oeuvres in the afternoon. "The cl ub lounge is used all the time," says Bassler. "It's very co nvenient if you need to meet with som eo ne and don't want to rent a meeting room or entertain them in yo ur bedroom." At the Dunhill, Farah tries to keep the focus on personal service for the business traveler, even while he moves the hotel into the technological age. "We make sure they find the kind of service they expect, " says Farah . "The Dunhill is a unique European-style hotel. It's very intimate. We depend on attention to detail to attract customers." Farah says that includes providing for early check-ins and late check-outs and providing 24-hour dry cleaning, a nightly shoe shine, and a limousine with a chauffeur. It also means paying dose attention to the individual needs of the traveler. "One business traveler forgot his tie, " says Farah. "I offered to lend him mine or to send someone out to buy

him one. Our challenge is to have a 100 percent satisfaction record. " The Hilton has two keyed-off floors that offer the business traveler added privacy, plus access to a private lounge with continental breakfast and afternoon hors d'oeuvres, bathrobes, upgraded bath amenities, and use of the YMCA next door.

"Charlotte is the talk of the hospitalitY. industry as a hat mark t:â&#x20AC;˘ - Harold Bassler Sheraton Airport Hotel Taking a page from the airlines' frequent flier programs, many hotels now have a program that allows guests to earn points through repeat visits. These programs are aimed especially at the business traveler who travels often and frequently returns to Charlotte. The Dunhill started a repeat-guest program last year that rewards guests every

time they stay in the hotel. Frequent visitors can earn everything from boxes of Godiva chocolates to a gift certificate for two for dinner in the adjoining Monticello Restaurant to free rooms. Guests at The Sheraton chain earn two Starpoints for every dollar spent. Starpoints can be redeemed for free nights at any Sheraton Hotel across the globe, or for free flights, room pgrades or gift certificates. The Hilton enrolls guests in the Hhonors Program in which travelers accumulate points toward free stays. "The point is to encourage loyalty, " says Hilliard. "We want the business traveler to stay with us every time he makes a trip to Charlotte." In addition to the Holiday Inn Priority Club program in which members collect points towards free t1ights and rooms, Judith Hanlon, manager of the Holiday Inn Woodlawn

<www.ho liday-inn.com/ clt -south>, has recently added an in-house preferred guest program which rewards the guest who stays two or three times a month ~

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wi th free d .nners, room upgrades, and a newspc.per delivered to the room. "T.1 e 1-:otel market is so tough right now," Han on says, "Everybody is trying to find a gimmick wh ich makes them more attractive." Almost all of th e hotels which

gc: ps, the C arl·) • E: 1-1cr·:±larxl ~E t-1art or tbE =hc.rlotte Col s ~uo 'irE: als::J C\.ailable.

Gett 'ng around )mt c.s Cha-·Ol.te win> high

m1 ~ k3

foc :ts hotels and m _ctin .~ :ilci l tizE.. its at-:x>rt .abo ITcei JE:S 1= r<: i M~.

cater to the business traveler also pro-

travelers who fly in don't rent a car. Their first impression of Charlotte is getting into a cab, and that may not be a positive experience."

613 rooms are mostly filled with conventior:-goers and large groups. The Sheratcn Four Points Uptown has a total of 10,•)00 square feet of meeting space on a >ingle floor, including a

Passengers have comp lain ed for years about th e dilapidated condition of many of Charl otte's cabs and the

6,000 S{! Ua ~e-foot ballroom and a 3,300 square foot ballroom. The Marriott City

number of foreign drivers who don't - J m flia~ll J1arriatt Ci y Cntar

square feet of meeting space, as well.

<www.chartotteconventionctr.com> is the rrajor destination (see sidebar on page 40). For smaller or more intimate

Once the business traveler is on the

"Charlotte's taxi system is not its sh ining star," says Diehl. "Most business

Adam's Mark <www.adamsmark.com>, has enougr. meeting space that its

Hc·we\.er, when it comes to large conven:ions and the really big meetings, the Ch - rloue Convention Center

terms of total operations and the 39th worldwide in total passengers. About 10.7 million enplanements in 1999. ground, however, he or she may have a problem getting around.

vide flexible meeting spaces. Crarlctte's largest hotel, The

Center, the Hilton Charlotte & Tower, and thE Omni all have over 10,000

more than 160 cities. It averages 500 daily flights on eight major airlines. It is the 24th largest airport in the nation in

"I think Cha.-cl:t2 :J.)uglas I er:nti·:o:tl <.vww.charbttetirpoc:.con> xwes &.~ busine·s traveLrw 1,"' ;;ays Spenm-. '"::'::Ere ere so mao-; 10t:.-no fligh-:E.'' In :act, Charette Cauglas pro n d es n : n -stcp or singLe piCIJ ~ service> to

speak English well enough to communicate. The standards required by the city are very minimal: cabs have to have four doors, seat belts, pass safety inspections and have no broken windshield . However, the 900 or so cabs and shuttle buses that operate on ly at the airport have not had to meet even those minimal standards. "The group that operates just at the airport was not subject to th e terms of the old ordinance," says Captain Mike Falkenberry, an inspector with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department. The city passed a new ordinance in May that wi ll bring the airport cabs into comp li ance with its standards. The new ordi nance also mandates response times and provide for comprehensive licensing for all "for-hire" veh icles. It requires training courses for drivers and provides for a vehicle inspection program . "The new ordinance is an attempt to upgrade the professionalism of the taxi industry," says Falkenberry. "It also addresses concerns about the age and co nditi ons of the vehicles." However, the new ordinance wi ll not go into effect until July 1, 2001 and no one is sure who will enforce it. "Inspection may or may not remain with the police department," says Falkenberry. "We're looking at the possibility of privatizing the inspection process. "

44

october 2000

grea ter charlotte biz


"Meanwhil e, the taxi situatio n is 'h o rrendo us,' says Hanl o n o f th e Holiday Inn Woodl awn. "We rea ll y need to have so me co mpetitive pri cing. We're o nl y six mil es fro m the ai rpo rt; but taxis are cha rging $16 to $18 fo r tha t trip ." Farah says hotels can't wa it fo r the new o rdinance to take effect. "It's a very big probl em," he says. "There are two co mpani es we deal with on a regul ar basis. We selected them because their cabs are nea t and clean a nd th eir drivers are dressed profess io na lly." At th e Marrio tt, Diehl all ows o nl y o ne cab co mpany to park and wait fo r fares. O th er compani es can pi ck up guests who ca ll o r drop them off. "! o nl y limit the cabs who can park here," says Diehl. "G uests a re free to deal w ith a nyo ne they choose." At the Hilto n Charl o tte and Tower, Hilli ard says he bypasses taxis altogether by co ntractin g with a car service to provide transpo rtati o n fo r guests and using Metrocar fo r airpo rt service.

Value given and received The majority of business travelers to Charl o tte give it high ra tings of satisfacti o n a nd value-for-th e-mo ney. According to the Co nventio n and Visitor's Bureau, fi fry- two percent of them rated it in th e "Excell ent Satisfactio n " category in a 1998 survey. Charl o tte co nsistently ranks well amo ng the citi es it is most often co mpared with : Cincinnati, Indianapo lis, Pittsburgh, Phil adelphi a a nd Ba ltimo re. The Charl otte area benefits greatly

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"Cha rl o tte needs to meet th e ch all enge o f ma intaining o ur im age as a go od pl ace to com e to d o business," says Diehl. "We need to keep trying to do better to acco mm odate the business traveler. "

i~

Casey jacobus is a Charlotte-area freelance writer.

greater char lo tt e biz

EOO Clanton Road. Suite W Charlotte , .C. ::!8217 (704) 525-8-=::JC 105 S. Cencer St.ro:ct Statesville, N.C :!&>77 (704 ) 873-~

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.. ... .......


Greg Panos never intended to become a hotel magnate. Even with a background in finance, he had to be goaded into it. In an industry with so many designations, he never expected to succeed.

Y~.panoshotels.com>

\ . l ,d Entrep<enem of the Ye>< in I 997 by the Ch•dotte Ch•mbe< of Commme, the p<e;ident of P•no' Hotcl Gmup must have done something right. He has developed, owns and operates eight hotels in the

Charlotte area and has four more under construction. Future plans include two office and retail developments. All of this development has taken place at breakneck speed - the first four hotels opened within three years. ·;: "' L..

0

E QJ

<:

~

....0

0 c..

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He says the first time anyone asked him how he got where he is, it stopped him dead in his tracks. "Well, I just did," Panos laughs. "You go through life and never really stop to think about what you're doing until somebody asks you. It's like driving from this point to that point.

greater charlotte biz

You make a right turn and then a left turn and then you're there. ''I'm a risk taker. I don't have any children so my thrill in life- since I'm such a lousy golfer- is this business. I like putting deals together. " ~

o ct o be r 2000

47


anos says he was fortunate to move here and become involved with real estate lending. But, he credits one man for the push into the hotel business. "I guess I have to thank a gentleman named Charlie johnson who really bounced my ears one day. I was in the finance business and was talking about getting into the hotel business. He said, 'Either get the heck in or get the heck out. Nobody can do anything they're not committed to : " That remark was like releasing the break on an idling locomotive. "I built the Comfort Inn in Monroe in 1986 along with two partners. It was a $1.5 million deal. One partner put in $42,000 cash . Then I helped him get financing and develop a Comfort Inn in Matthews. By the time it was opening, I had a piece of property in Kannapolis under contract. I obtained full interest in the hotel in Matthews. Then we acquired the Lake Norman property for that Comfort Inn . "The timing was incredible. We were acquiring cheap property going on the Atlanta theory that everything would grow out to you. We built four hotels in '86, '87 and '88. We were working about 80-100 hours a week just flat out. "I'd never run a hotel in my life. The experts have all these designations in the hotel business and they'll give you a mountain of reasons why you

shouldn't have been able to do what I did. I just wasn't smart enough to know I couldn't do it," he jokes. "These hotels were exterior corridor, 60-90 room hotels so they were going to come under stiff competition. We sold them ul came to

for $12.25 million. Our Atlanta in 1977, kicking and for other people you interest was worth screaming. Now I see it was are viewed as unsuc$3.25 million." cessful. I was conthe greatest thing that stantly being asked A large trust out of why I didn 't own Chicago bought them ever happened to me/, in january 1995 as part my own business. I -Greg Panos of an 18-hotel package. guess it took coming "It was like a Wall Street movie with of age in my 40s before I could focus in on what I wanted to do. " those long tables where everyone sits around putting merger deals together. Destination: Charlotte There were lawyers, legal assistants, title "I came to Charlotte from Atlanta people... there were 40 people in this in 1977, kicking and screaming. Back room and they were really cooking. then the town only had a semi-pro This lawyer was signing and distributing checks. In the midst of all the chaos, he stops dead in his tracks and says, 'What in the world is this check for $42,000 doing here?' "Our attorney Smithy Curry, a great Southern gentleman drawls, 'Well, that's the original capital that went into this: "There was this dead silence. Then he said, 'You mean to tell me this whole thing was built on $42,000 cash?' "Well, we were cash flow starved from the day we started," Panos chuckles. "We like kind exchanged most of our profits into the Hampton Inn in Matthews in '95 and in Concord in '96

the job Honey! nk God they didn't k background!

48

o ct ob e r 20 00

and the Hampton Inn and Suites in Pineville in '97. Now we had more competitive hotels with interior corridors. " Panos says he sees his heritage laying the groundwork for what he does now. "In a Greek Charlotte from family, if you work

football team and they'd just gotten liquor by the drink. Now I see it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I had the experience of watching Atlanta grow from a kind of small town. Now I saw Charlotte duplicating that growth and I had some insight as to what was going to happen here. "I ended up working in commercial lending, making loans for hotels and restaurants in the early 80's - great preparation . I needed to understand money - how to borrow it, how to prepare loan packages, how to talk to lenders.

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People brought me their dreams and laid them on the table every day and l saw the good way to do it and the bad way to do it. I was in Charlotte when it exploded. Back then Atlanta banks could only operate in five counties. Charlotte banks were statewide so they had a lot of clout and leverage. BINGO!" Panos now owns one Hampton Inn and is a partner in two Hampton Inn and Suites, including one at Phillips Place in South Park. He owns two Hilton Garden Inns, and one Comfort Suites in Gastonia. Under construction, are the Hilton Garden In n and the Hampton Inn downtown, a Hilton Garden Inn in Rock Hill and a Comfort Suites at Harris Blvd. and 1-77. Each has a story. "I got this call in 1996 from Lee Curry, a CPA in Gastonia, who had property he wanted me to look at for a hotel. I said, 'Look, I don't have any more money, I'm tapped out: But he said not to worry about it. Three weeks

ong the properties developed by Panos is the Hampton Inn and Suites in SolP· illips Place. rnon~y

for a feasibility study? What's

said, 'Obviously you don't urdEI3tc. nd

tbi.s m : r_ey for points?' Well, I said, if

because we're going to need

y::u h<lVE a loan you have to have a fea~ i :: ility study and pay points. C.W. said

lion to do this hotel : He says 'I understand and I want you to get s-ar:cd in

~\?

60 days. We shook hands on the dEal

dich:'t need any of that because he

~·35

~- 5 . 3

IT.il-

b .: i l~ "ti-E

gamg to finance the whole hotel."

and never looked back and

.?Dos laughs incredulously. "I

Comfort Suites in Gastonia. "

·~

later I met with him. "He said, 'I've checked up on you. I know who you are. You're a nice businessman: He whips out this folder with clipped articles on us for

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invented the process of rebuilding transmissions for car companies. Lee asked me to put together a package on this property for C.W. I want you to build it because you guys know what you're doing, he said . "I put the package together and saw it was going to take about 25 percent capital, with the land worth about $600,000. But it would probably take another $500,000 in capital to put this thing together. I worried about the numbers. "I go out there and here's C.W. on a tractor in his overalls smoking a huge cigar, grading this piece of property. I'm in my suit getting my shoes dirty. "I make the presentation in a conference room and C.W. asks, 'What's this

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e Steam That 1i rns the Wheels Panos i.::lent fiE s th r~ e J. ey :o hi ' s·Jccess: fC.:th in hioself, conmiL-nent ar:.d 1-.one~r "A lot cf peoploe don't lt.3v' ::::-~:mgh fai1h in the:oselvoes 10 tackl E thir25." he says. 'Tv~ bought pr<VellY ar_.::: ne<er had a:1y idza in th ~ \"l) rld ho-v I was g:.>ing to do tie d . :li. l'• e ba:::ely had e1oug:J !:) get the eaiTErt m01ey up bJt I'v~ ~t :ogetl:e:r CE..li afur deal afur deal . "The :essoo is commitner.t.' he hit ~ an emphatic note. " ccnm:-: mysdf to do somelhing ar.d I'm gc,ing ·:: ;pend evey waki05 m i nu~e fig:~rir.g C>t:-: J-.oK" In the face c f dis a ppoi nt~s h perseverEs. O n c ne proj EL"l l-_E ·.._;as tuoed dow1 3 7 tines for a ~ o a:r ·y~fcxe in~edients

a bank in Wes t \' irginia finally l e n~ hi:n the m::ney. "Evoery ti:ne I've had a disappointmer:! J'w l ~ rn :::.j something tl-.at bcrcme invaluable down the road." The hone>., that was built into his ea:l~ busir:es rd.ationship has paid off. W.:1en he

to ~g:1 :

a site downtown and

had no id ee: whe:re the capital for developmEn t ..,cu ld come fro m . S:nith stepped in t u:r_erous other developers vie:d

forth ~

•=P:D rtunity they vorere

grar::ed ac f tri ~i::>s Place. "If yon re honest, you develoj: relauonstip "'i_h The Harris Group or C W. S:n th ~hat go down the read witt you. "::'1at doesn't mean W don't mak~ mista±<es. '11/e make mistakes every day but a:e c n ~st about them and havE erxngh fait:"_ to recover from them."

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The Track Ahead

Riding the Rails

''I'm exhausted. This last round has "We soared 2,600 hotel rooms in gone on since '97. The market is getting Charlotte last year. Occupancy spikes up overbuilt here and we need to stop. " and spikes down . But we have six milPanos says he looks to his wife, lion square feet of office space under Barbara, to help him slow down. construction: four million in the sub"She's the perfect fit for me. She's urbs, two million downtown. That alone lowkey and happy-go-lucky. She settles is the emphasis to support development. me. We travel to places like California or We just need to slow down some of the Miami Beach and just cool it. We do building of hotels. I think that will take what we want to do when we want to place over the next 18 months. Let the do it. We eat at nice restaurants, go to market absorb this number of hotels the beach, play some golf." and then we'll move on. Some of his ideas for community "Charlotte's economy is going to however, are just gathering steam. be strong over the next five years. We're Along with his business interests, he having trouble slowing it down. That's is deeply involved in the Charlotte the problem. The real estate business is Chamber, serving on the Advisory taking the brunt of all the exuberance Board as well as the Convention on Wall Street because the only way to slow it down is to &. Visitors Bureau, ~'We just need to slow raise interest rates." the Hospitality Panos says

down some of the building

Tourism Alliance

there's a difference

of hotels. I think that will

and Destination

between now and the

Charlotte. Panos longs to months. Let the market that makes the busimake lasting contriness cycle stronger. absorb this number of hotels butions and his group has searched "All the deals and then we'll move on." for ways to use their have real equity in hotels to significant-Greg Panos them now. That has ly benefit people. changed the dynamics of the They finally found it with Presbyterian business, too. Before, people built Hospital's Hemby Children's Hospital. for tax benefits and didn't care "We learned we have families who if they lost money. This time around, come in from out of town when their you have to be an experienced operator. children need medical help and may not You're also required to put replacement have the resources to spend days or reserves in escrow so every real estate weeks here. Their children fall between deal will have money to refurbish, programs and the parents' stay isn't covinsuring fewer rundown hotels in ered by insurance. Our downtown facilithe marketplace. ty is only going to be one mile away from Presbyterian Hospital. "Automation allows you to run "The project is a perfect marriage. hotel operations with a lot fewer people. Their needs and our needs fit perfectly We have 250 employees. We only added giving all of us a sense of putting two people when we increased to eight something back. hotels from five. When we can bring on 1970s to mid '80s

take place over the next 18

exponentially fewer people and more hotels, everything gets more profitable. "I no longer have to wait 45 days to figure out how we did in June. Running eight hotels requires constant information so I can make changes in rates, changes in schedules, in all different categories instantaneously."

g re ate r c h ar lo tte b iz

"I feel like this [business] thing is put together for a purpose. Maybe I don't know what it is, but I feel it will be beneficial down the road . I feel everything we've done over the years, we've been led to, so it'll find its way. " bi Kathy Mendieta is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

octo b er 2)00

5


[ebizprofile]

by nethea fortney rhinehardt

leveling the playing field iReadyWorld's technology service is helping small to mid-sized businesses compete with industry leaders

D

r. Adi Khindaria, Ph.D., met

structure that needs to be robust, yet

executives and managers- only to find

Lane Ostrow on the soccer

flexi ble enough support new and chang-

that others, too, were clamoring for enter-

field. But their competitive

ing company needs.

prise-wide technology at the small busi-

Ostrow hired Khindaria to fashion

ness level. Out of that consulting project,

Khinda ria was a highly respected

a technology plan for Plej's. He wanted

a new company was born in March 2000

technology consultant. Ostrow was

freedom from technology maintenance

- iReadyWorld <ireadyworld.com>.

spirit wasn't limited to just sports .

president of Plej's

Today Khindaria

-an $80 million

and Ostrow are CEO

bath/linen company

and president,

with 44 retail

respectively, of

stores throughout

iReadyWorld, an

the So utheast.

infrastructure service

As Plej's presi-

provider to the small

dent, Ostrow knew

to mid-sized market.

firsthand the tech-

As a full-service,

nology concerns

single source for

facing sma ll to

technology needs,

mid-sized compa-

iReadyWorld pro-

nies today. "The

vides the foundation

biggest problem is

for business applica-

keeping up [with

tions, inclu di ng the

competitors]," he

hardware compo-

says. "Technology

nents, networks,

yields enormous

servers, sec rity, and

efficiencies and

office solutions like

cost savings, but

e-mail and high-

upfront capital outlays , attracting

speed Internet Lane Ostrow (left) and Dr.Adi Khindaria (right) are the brainchilds behind iReadyWorld.

access, and leading

high-level technology talent, and pre par-

and upgrades, and the ability to share

business software. Best of all, the cus-

ing for future needs are huge challenges ."

information and improve business prac-

tomer doesn't actually buy anything.

He adds, "These things really have to be

tices. After careful research, Khindaria

in place to help your business grow."

proposed an innovative solution. There

Khindaria agrees, "Technology

iReadyWorld purchases the machinery, PCs, software and hardware mecha-

was only one problem- he couldn't

nisms, with installation and support for

changes rapidly and it's tough to keep

deliver it. The solution just didn't exist for

as low as $179 per user per month. That's not too bad considering that

pace. It's not just a matter of PCs [personal

the company's size. Khindaria explains,

computers], it's the total infrastructure.

"We decided to take what larger compa-

GIGA Group, a national information

Unless you have a strong foundation, you

nies do well - that is, leverage technology

technology research company es: imates

can't have the best business applications

- and bring it down to a smaller,

the total cost of PC ownership alone to

mid-sized company in an affordable, yet

be $350- $500 per user per month.

to run your company." A business application could be a general ledger system, a human resource system, a manufacturing system, a rela-

customized way." Ostrow felt they were on to something big. "I couldn't be the only one who

(GIG A figures do not include lost productivity for downtime or repair costs, which can be significant.) From the customer's

tionship management system and more.

needed this kind of help," he says. So he

perspective, the services offered are

These critical tools reside on an infra-

and Khindaria surveyed their contacts-

seamless and simple.

52

october 2000

greater charlctte biz


But in re3lity, infBstr..o::tu ·e comp lexities can over.vhelm e·,en t1e 5awiest

111id-sized companies have

1Xl pay someone $125-$150

business owre r. iReacyWo ·ld' $ affordable

an hour to solve problems.

framework consists of~oui€e - different

Consultants come in, insta ll,

layers, includ ng a serure cata center,

and then walk away. There

networking (1.W ring, drLrns 3ld machinery),

i:; no accountability, no

data storage, Jperatin§ syg=m:., and a

responsibility when things

dizzying array of office 3p p i: ati:ms.

don't work or go wrong."

How does an infr•stru·: ture provider

"\file enatXe aJstamers to use tecmology from a competithe stancpoint. You

don't want dle large bark figh ·ng with strategy and the smal bank flhtilg with technology. Sa outsourcing that

So they expanded the

contribute to 3 compa1y'~ .Jot om line?

nelp desk concept into a

Ostrow point ~ out, "W= erc:blE customers

~4

piece albws the smaller compa~ to

focus ...tlere it counts most.

hour-a-day, 7 days a

to use technology frora a com f: etitive

week support system for

standpoint. Yeu don'LvartthE large bank

their growing list of clients.

fighting with ~trategy •nd t1e ~mall bank

~:hindaria

fighting with lechnology. So OLtsourcing

appliance that we deploy is

-lam. <>-trow

p..Ud~nt,

iJ.eadfWorid

explains, "Every T

Jn t :• r::d

Tl- ,:

comparv·~.

ser\ice a5ree'12rt:

that piece allows the ~m a l=r ompany

proactively 24 hours a day, 7 d 3~· s a

ccver th;:~,: ,ears, with ·q lac ellen·

to focus vJhe'!! it count; mo ~ t. fer e><ample,

week. If something is about t: ;p ~o~.mng,

ar :l upg r<:~des 3S neede·i

on interest rat:!s. You dJn'tna k= any

we know about it, and we can re11 ::di i·_

money spendilg 25 pe·certof·,.our time

That's what large enterprises d·J :od c:s. ~

m ~ arin?

distracted wi t• technolcgy Yob ems.

Ostrow clarifies, "For the most :•art, 112

cranges in s ~ a =fing, soft..,c:re. t'ad "lg

Infrastructure tself doesn't nale you

don't have to send anybody Of' site

money but allows you b ma ~e noney."

customer's business]. We can morit::rc.n:

ab:>Ut arry' ~ ri a b l e n a OTip;ally's

~ olve

gowth :-tc e. One d t hei' at=g off:: ri15S

Khindari :l and Osl:ro..- xJid1't just stop there. M. a former co'lSul·ant,

tc a

most problems remotely."

iReadyWorld guarantees • 15-rr ilLte

iRe<:~<f\"~"I<Xld

solJtions

c..?

scala l::le,

t · ey •:an ea ; ill 3:ccrrmod3t:E

pe:rtners, a: dil iona l:lca:iJns- jL>:

is cuttir§'·e-: sE teleJbcn~ 5er>i:e . '"Our

Khindaria wa:. well aW3re ~the

response time, routine servi :e : 1ed.s,

vc ·ce

drawbacks of IT consl.itin~ . "S11all to

optimization adjustments and Jpgra :l es.

in -nultiple s:a:es toget1e rfor tree

~~Ride

t ~ept-orry sy~em 1 · ~

<s J=fice=

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-oon,AlV nll'(r:tb-.:leno•OijOfe nderl6, n<iollio!>-.Jid • le 1SO'tf> """'· f0<'50tty d 'f ng iobrnoi'Ol,lil£ our ceole101 :on'rris:· l.£1}. 42·:7 •'· .lVscon b huoco 'tc :pel(:-<. lor y;tJI clety olw Yl"'''~~ ' tellll, fJ rot>:icl. <otedive rolling :. J11.,., ,.. pmrg E.

octo:oe r :::.'.JO:::


intra-o mr:any calls," shares Ostrow.

Internet infrastrLcture

"Multi Jle locations in multiple states are

services, includi1g

co nne·:ted by the same data system and

voice-over-1 nterret

with t~lephony, voice travels along the

Protocol telephooy.

same net\"'ork." Khindaria adds, "In

"We built an ent:= r-

most companies, voicemail, fax mail,

prise to look jus· like

and e;nai are on three separate sys-

any large company,"

tems. Tele J hony gives you one in -box-

Khindaria says. •Most

voicemail, e-mail, and even faxes come

large companies are

to the sarre place."

nothing more th an

How does a young start-up offer such

-wE uilt an enterprise to look just rka any large comptny, MPst large

. . .. small

small units glued

broad , cu~omized, pay-as-you-use offer-

together under cne

ings? iRea:lyWorld has partnered with

parent name. So they

three lead := rs in technology infrastructure :

have 200 users here,

Cisco Syst:= ms <www.cisco.com>,

50 users there a1d all of that is O:flltral y

Compaq <Www.compaq.com>, and

monitored. We do the exact same t hi ng

Genui y <www.genuity.com>. All

but for individual separate com~ a es.

iRead\World networks are Cisco Powered

We are the cent1:1l monitor." One of iRea:lyWorld's sLcce.s:; stories is Pumps Parts & SeJ'\Iice. oc. a

Networks, with all the benefits of end-toend netwc rking: simplified, cost-efficient netwo rk management; higher network availaJilit~;

more reliable, scalable, and

securE- services; and faster deployment. Compaq SJpplies iReadyWorld servers and wrpo ·ate quality desktop PCs that can bE ma1 aged remotely. Genuity offers a com prehens ive suite of managed

Charlotte-based industrial and eno/ir:Jrlmental pumps d"stributor. Contr·JIE r GT?; Tilley is also tecllnology coordinat,:;,-, ·Mti very specific neEds for his 45-emr:I·Jye := firm . Tilley turne:l to iReadyWortd fe r advice. "We hav ~ some indu:;try--_ ri ~u= software packag=s that are oot g o:r d 3ra and [iReadyWorl:l] worke a

v. ith

J3 :o

design the LAN, not just a pre-made solution . They helped us design a system and worked with us on the standard software configurations, and we didn't have to buy any equipment. Other IT companies just couldn't do that." Khindaria and Ostrow's ba ckgrounds could ward off any would-be co mpetitors . Khindaria completed a Ph.D. in computational biochemistry at Utah State. As a graduate student he worked on supercomputers and helped several West Coast companies launch their networks and Internet products. First Union <www.firstunion.com> tapped his expertise to develop the ir cyber-banking product in 1997. As chairman & CEO of iReadyWorld, Khindaria plots strategy and product development for iReadyWorld . Ostrow grew up in Charlotte and received degrees from Duke University. He also holds a law degree and received a master's in tax law from Emory University. At iReadyWorld, Ostrow oversees day-to-day operations, sales and marketing. The company has an astonishing lack of direct competitors in its market niche. "We are the only ones enploying a subscription-based model- :Jer user, per month," Ostrow comments. "We are the only ones employing a subscription based model- per user, per month ." Twenty-four employees strong and growing, iReadyWorld hopes its plan will work in new markets. Khindaria stresses the ir business concept isn 't exactly new. "We've taken a large enterprise model, repackaged it, and made it available and cost-effective for small to mid-sized busi-

54

nesses- a market segment that couldn 't

Mei•chaiulishtg

afford it earlier. It's all about execution ."

Solutions

Nethea Fortney Rhinehardt is a Charlottebased freelance writer.

oc:ober 2000

i

greater charlotte biz


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57


WAVE, continued from page 60 program through research, analysis, and student-led initiatives such as S.A.V.E. (Students Against Violence Everywhere)

<www.nCill.edufcpsufsave.hbnl>. They will also review the statistical information obtained through the WAVE tip li'1e and

churrOiiC!lria r~tlizfo , or Bra:iian

provide North Carolina schools with trend

Ste:~khc·use. a r:d be sure to brir:~

analysis and safe school recomrrendations

your appe-::iie. ~:1i-.e:s circh the

S.A.V.E. was founded in 1989 by a

ffll-_Eiz~ir:g :keWErs ::of o--a 20 Ln:ls of fr~1ly ~JLJ rr eat and

It is an alarming statistic that one in four students continues to be a victim of a violent act that occurs in or around school.

roo

:arw t~"JZD di~c:ly c:n.tc> :,rour p_ak. Gnj :Jy Jur kot tar, 'A-ith c.ek cta~k

§c..::lic .hr:::np in l..13te our cc~d b:1r -.ith trofi.::al

item- s.:ch as 3au cEo cmd

fru ih= and oth E.r deicac~-- ::1: experie:~ce yoc 'W"Jn't

WE::1i:

E

4:.o•3 E.ls: l ncepen~oce !I veL

.C

School after the death of student Alex

-=- ::i.e= !

Brazas Bra:ilian C ill Garlcr:::e,

group of students at West Charlotte High

c.. -:: :1st?

2~0j

s66-toog

Orange. Alex was shot while breaking up

Open br Oinnu Only- T~ ~ugil Satunlay and klr W.ch and DUmer on Scm~ F:ese::-v:oti()(IS ReDmmE.~J

a fight. On the Monday morning following his death, students wore orange arm bands and vowed to form an organization against violence in memory of Alex. Schools around the world have opened over 500 S.A.V.E. chapters, exceeding 60,000 members, for teens who want to support nonviolence. The Center for the Prevention of School Violence serves as

.....~

the S.A.V.E. clearinghouse. "Every school ought to be a safe one

lNC(}lAJillJITE The

TI~e

ive!Sity r>fNoct Caroira al CJarl•Jttc

Offke C• Cc n!inni g Ednc::.tiJn

SUCCESSFUL M~NAGEMENT A Le::ldership

Devdoprr.et"~

Savs jJr Managm Jnd Supmisorr

and WAVE America will help get every kid involved. This program is more t han just a tip line. It teaches students and parent~ to look for the early signs of violent behavior and to resolve conflicts constructively," stated Hunt at the February WAVE America kick-off press conference and rally. "A safe school environment is fun-

Pick ar..d C h cose :tio:-n 1£ ::iffe:en t ?rogr.1ms.

damental to helping North Carolina's stu-

Selies legi'fs MtJich 2101

public schools 'First In America' by 2010."

Call

7()4-687-2 24 for a

dents succeed in school, and to making our

b rochure.

In addition to the tip line, WAVE also includes a public awareness campaign that encourages students to express their concerns about violence to a trusted adult. The awareness brochures are designed to be a catalyst for discussing the early warning signs of violence. Through brochures and other collateral material the WAVE program encourages teens to speak to a trusted adu lt before utilizing the WAVE tip line. "WAVE stresses the importance of

ocot:er

-;.o •:::o

greater charlotte

bi~


teens understanding that their actions today affect their employment in the future. At the same time, corporations can play a vital role in making schools safer, and they are certain to benefit from their investment in the long run," states Powell. He points out that stud e n :~ are now making decisions and are developing patterns in areas such as conflict resolution, integrity and perso nc. l responsibility that will carry over into the business world . PSG is just one example of how corporations are using their expertise to assist schools . Local businesses can support the efforts of WAVE America in many different ways, ranging from spa r sorships to ongoing initiatives, such as offering WAVE cardholders discounts anj sponsoring Web links. For the past three decades, PSG ha.o shown a commitment to integrity in thE

"WAVE will go a long way toward reinforcing ethical responsibility, teaching the

We ex.ist tc serve you, our cliEnt. W! ilemonstrate this cOOJmitm ~ t thro ugh timelin : ss. acOTacy. cu stomized serv and inno· vative r::tie~ solu tions. Fo - e ver 4 0 years, we ' ve g uiderl ::ompanies like yc ur~ to 111ai ntain a s uccessful reto: ment program . J ur ap ::>·oach is a total ra u e mer sol ution th ~ t ad 1pt s where many otbe r:s fai l Timely, iaform at rve

=

IIUllagement rq: oEts will k >:!! p y ou abreast af <e ll yo u need to kn ow. l r' > me ind of service thai '; n:ade us th e largest Ac t>:rr::al fi rm based in the Caro.li.. as. If you are n ot tmall y sa t isfie d w it h yo ur ret ire ment pl:ar aJ mini stration, :)[ease call us. All too often th~ secret to succe.s is si mply kno wing who w :o a sk 1

W. E. Stanley & Company, Inc. Since 1954 300 E. WE'! dover Ave n~ • Gr-ensboro, i\'C 274·]1 • (336) 2?3-9492 :uww.westan ley.com

early warning signs of threatening behavior, and opening channels of communication that foster positive action." -

N.C. Governor Jim Hunt

workplace by offering clients employee selection solutions such as background verification, assessments and drug screening. Now, through the WAVE America program, PSG is expanding its commitment to working against violence everywhere, including in the schools. "WAVE will go a long way toward reinforcing ethical responsibility, teach' o-g the early warning signs of threatening behavior, and opening channels of com · munication that foster positive

action,~

says Hunt, "and it is the right thing to do. We must act now to put this publicprivate initiative in place across North Carolina and then serve as a model for similar programs across our country." If you would like information regard · ing this program, contact WAVE Public

If you• travel !.pending is more than the cost of six to eight first class tickets per month; you a,, afford a quartEr share of a used ~ mall business jet or tl.lrbo prop.

••e or more partners needed br Ci:ation l F=.rtnership. :._oN -:i-ne airplane, rece-nt engine overhau . 2,00C-bour senior ?ri•)t. Flyacccrding to yourschedLie. ~) peratt from smallt.r less bu>y 3irports, where) ) J spenc valuabl : ompany tim= flyi•g n•>t wait ng to fly. All aircraft art- inv:>stment·<pdicr 13se:s -at keep over OO%or thei r \i!lue and al:crt£ deprec ar on expense.

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Contact La renee M. Raymer, Gen. Mgr. at 704-892-6126

80(-767-1181

e-mail: lray mer@freeww~,e b.com o> xt our web site: httr:i /sites.ret5cape.net/jr-togolavll"Cnce/homepagt

125 30 Ma}-5 R:l, H..mtersvJie, NC 28078-51 25

Relations at 800-527-1428.

g r ea t e r char lo t te bi z

octobe r 2000


[communitybiz]

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . waving goodbye to violence over I 00,000 reasons t o prevent school violence in charlotte

of the 100,000-plus stude,ts ._,ho earned into Charlotte-Mecldenbu g s ools this year is a reason to get mvolved in preventing school v·)tercefor their sake today and for our business community's sake tomorrow. Fortunately, a new program has swept across

tis 3n alarming statistic that, even though schcol vi::J lence is being addressed , one in four studerts continues to be a victim of a violent act thc:t occ t. rs in or around school, according to the

MEtropolitan Life Survey or the American Teacher, 199} : V.alence in America's Public Schools- Five Yea~

La!"?r, Metropolitan Life, 1999.

Resp onding to the public's school violence

North Carolina schools to help stem school Jiole1 ce

concen~ ilnd to the recomnendations from

called WAVE (Working Against Violer ce EverywhEre:•

thE Go·1emor's Task Force 01 Youth Violence and

<www.waveamerica.com>. WAVE is a ~ afe

Schc ol S= fety <WWW.nccriDlecontrolorgftaskforce>,

~ chocl

leadership initiative

Governor Jim Hunt

for the youth of

unveiled the PSG

America. The pro-

and CPSV collabora-

gram combines a

tion: the WAVE

public awareness

America program .

and educational

"By developing

campaign with a

and implementing

toll-free student tip

WAVE Ameri ca in

line and an exten-

the school sys-

sive Web site

tems, we continue

designed to support

to expand our serv-

student-led initia-

ices by helping to

tives. WAVE is cen-

develop an ethical,

tered on the leader-

responsible and

ship principles of Resolve, Respect and

North Carolina G::vemer Jim Ht.nt helped Iaure North Carolina's WAVE prograrr in Feblllary.

Responsibility. Its aim is to give stuaents, tEacher~.

considerate future workforce for our

cliEnts," ; ays James M. PoNell, Ill, senior vice presi-

paren t s and other members of commu r ities across

dent J ~ F nkerton Services Group. "This is of para-

America valuable tools to make their s: oools ~fer

moc.nt irportance, especially for our clients who

while promoting a positive message of pHson3 l and

ha\·e s rr lar ethics and co11pliance programs in

ethical responsibility.

pla : e. Wo-k place violence i~ one of the chief risks that

The WAVE Program is a collaborati11e effort of thE

we h =lp oJr clients address proactively through our

Center for the Prevention of School Vioteoce (CPSV)

Alei ine ::nmmunications service." Alertline provides

<WWW.ncsu.edufc:psv> and Charlotte-bc sed Rnkertoo

compa1ies with an anonym Jus, third-party source for

Services Group (PSG)

<WWW.psg-pink_rt:m.com>,

rep:>rting : oncerns on ethics, compliance, loss preven-

with input from the North Carolina depa 1-nenes of

tior. s c;fEiy, human resources, workplace violence,

Public Instruction and Crime Control and Publi : Safety.

anc othe- critical workplace issues.

The CPSV is nationally recognized fo r trackir,g schoo l vio lence trends anc developing :;choJl

W.'!..\'=. America uses it; Web site to encourage stujen s :o proactively help make their schools

violen ce prevention strategies. PinkErt>: n Services

safer a1d to th ink about their future. WAVE also

Group is a subsidiary of Pi nkerton' s, Inc., ar d has

encoor3 &=S student-led organizations to play a

more than 20 years' experience in prod ding simi.a r

vitc:l roe n implementing the WAVE program.

proactive programs for business and in :Justry t hrough its Alertline® Communicati o 1s 3erv·ces .

60

october 2000

The CPSV provides su pport to the WAVE

WAVE continues on page 59 grea : er char lotte biz


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Greater Charlotte Biz 2000.10  

Greater Charlotte Biz

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