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WASH INGTO , D.C. ()200 1



)J ~ VER


\\'HY SHOL'LD YOUR MONEY? \"It ar- h.ce. y.; th a \ VJcho\ia S'l:ee-J:accourt :or sna l 1:-usiness. lt :ilo·,-,s >)Uf noney to work as hard for yo u a.i ?OU -..oc:l: fo i . You set the min.i.r:nm 3l1L ant nee~ : to co""C: pP<i:.les, .:r1d ell excess cash is automatically s;vept i to '1 m•.•ncy furd Ll:lt ea-ns 3. ::om-:'etiti"e rato:- <•f iutec'St. - t ul~s the guesswork out of cash,,oncr t so you -: m bcLs cu

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cover story

Ace of Diamonds Boaz Ramon, owner and president of Diamonds Direct USA Inc., upended the southern jewelers' code of gentlemanly conduct in 1996 when he opened a fourth floor diamond showroom on downscale Independence Boulevard and began hawking prices he claimed couldn't be beat His flashy marketing strategy now has him running nngs around traditional jewelers.


de artments

Showing Their Age They may be 1n the bus1ness to help people look younger. but Charlotte Plastic Surgery partners are proud to tell you

publisher's post


biz digest


they are tumng fifty, and have the w1sdom


cornrnunity biz

that comes only w1th age.




19 Growing Big by Working Small Started as just a sketch on a napkin in

1994. lnfoV1sion, Inc. has become an award-

North Carolina Business Hall of Fame

Dining Biz joey D'Atttore's Old

44 eighborhood Italian


auto biz 2002 Nissan Maxima

winning technology company with revenues proJected at $4.5 million this year.


biz resource guide


biz interview


jerry Orr, Chief Executive of Charlotte/Douglas International Airport

For the Love o f the Game Taylor Richards & Conger. a men's speoality clothing business founded by four North Carolina natives, is fueled by the fun they have

on the cover:

doing it and the des1re for men to appreciate and "get" the concept of dressing with style.

38 'New Urbanism' 'New urbamsm'


Thi s month s cove r f eatures Boaz Ramon inside his shop on Independence Boulevard. Photo by Way ne Ma nis.

the latest buzzword

among developers in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County and is coming to life in Afton Village on the outsk1rts of Concord in Cabarrus County.

g re a t er c h ar lo tt e b iz

cliaflotte iz se ptem b er 200 I 3



st l



September 200 I Vo lume 2 â&#x20AC;˘ Iss ue 9 Publisher John Paul Galles

Associate Publisher/Editor Maryl A Lane maryl

Creative Director/Asst. Editor Brandon Jordan bj ordan@greate m

Vice President/Director of Sale s Talbert Gray tgray@greate

A City in Search of an Identity Within the last six months, several overtures have been put forward to make Cha rlotte a "destination city." Queen's College president, Dr. Billy Wire man suggested that the city put togethe r a blue-ribbon leadersh ip group to come up with "one big hairy idea" that would estab lish Charlotte as a recognized city with special qualities. The fa iled referendum proposal in May that included a new basketball arena, a baseball stadium and a collection of add-on cu ltural and civic projects was supposedly a

john Paul Galles, Publisher

"blue print for uptown development" over the next ten years. just last month, Charlotte's Mayor McCrory spoke of a new proposal for another collection of projects called a 4 in 1 faci lity to renovate arts and culture includ ing the Mint Museum, Discovery Place and Afro-American Cultural Center, along with a state-of-the-art technology-motor sports museum. Even more recently, Larry Li ppi of Lippi and Associates put fort h a proposal at a meeting at the Cha rlotte Chamber of Commerce to pro mote Charlotte as th e city with an abu ndance of " live" music. Each of these ideas had or has me rit, but none of them is go ing to make Charlotte a destin ation city without co llective agreement and determination, as well as the hard work

Account Executives Kath r yn Moseley

Contributing Write r s Nan Bauroth Karen Doyl e Kathy Mendieta Bea Qu irk Lynda A. Stadler Ron Vinson

and participation of local citizens, comm itted leadership and a substantial investment of dollars over time. Looking to do what Denver has done, or Indianapo lis, Austin, Orlando or San Antonio, may inspire ideas for building Charlotte's identity, but to be successful, the people of Charlotte need to reach a consensus as to (i) a bona fide strength to enhance or (ii) an attribute that can be developed over time with the necessary dedication. The most likely place to sta rt is Charlotte's history and evolution. Cha rlotte has expe ri enced exp losive growth re lative to other citi es, la rge ly because of its temperate cl imate and pe rceived opportun it ies. This influx of fam ilies from New York, New jersey, Georgia , West Virginia, Pennsylvania and the Midwest, makes it harder for th is commu-

Contribut ing Photograph er W ayn e Morris

nity to gather its focus and bu ild its futu re. With limited resources, we cannot be all things to all people. Yet, with the concerted effort of Charlotte area residents, we can do more than many would imagine.

Greater Charlotte Biz is published 12 times per year by: Galles Communicati ons Group, Inc. 804 Clanton Road, Suite B Ch arlotte, NC 28217- 1355 704.676.5850 Phone 704.676.5853 Fax Press rel eases and oth er news-related infor mation, pl ease fax to th e atte ntion of " Editor" or e-mail: Editorial or advertising inquir ies, pl ease call or fax at the numbers above or e-mail:

Nashville has grown up around country music and the Grand Ole Opry. New Orleans has been built on the levees and jazz. Denver has developed as a stepping stone to the west. At the foot of the Rockies, it grew fro m its stockyards and its substantial investment in an internationa l airpo rt to become a destination fo r tourists and businesses al ike. Ind ianapolis once cal led itsel f t he "cross roads to America ." Besides t he intersection of seven interstate highways and the Ind ianapo lis Speedway, the ci ty used its location to attract headquarters for sporti ng and Olympic train ing organizations and become a "destination centered in the Midwest." Each of these cities provides an examp le of the way in which a city like Charlotte can establish an identity. Charlotte already has some obvious clues. Civic support and contributions to the Arts and Science Co uncil demonstrate citizen commitment to cu ltural enrichment. Regional involveme nt and support of NASCAR has grown over time from red-necked hillbillies running moonsh ine to high-tech engines wit h elite techno savvy d ri vers and crew members that attract mo re fans t han any ot he r Ame rican sport. Charlotte's history as the cotton capita l is be ing lost as more mills shut down or move th eir operations to locations with less expensive labor, but

Subscr ipti on inquiries or ch ange of address, pl ease call or fax at th e numbers above or visit ou r W eb site:

it is neve rt heless an impo rtant part of t his community 's heritage and some effort is be ing made to prese rve its histo ri c remains. Cha rl otte's attachment to music is less obvious, but if the re really is more live music here tha n in Austin or New Orleans or Nashville, then we certainly ought to bui ld on it and be known for it.

All contents Š 200 I , Galles Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in who le or in part without permission is prohibited. Products named in these pages are trade names or trademarks of their respective companies. T he opinions

expressed herein are not necessarily those of Greater Charlotte Biz or Galles Communications Group. Inc.


s eptemb er 200 I

Rega rdless of what Charlotte becomes "known fo r," it is quite healthy and productive to have so ma ny people trying to identify our strengths and build upon them. It is an exercise that draws people together, whethe r reac hing a consensus or creating a debate. It is a process that helps us learn rnore about each other an d how we can continue to improve the quality of life that has attracted so many new people in recent years. It is not a concept for civic leaders to decide ind ependently. It is a dialogue th at civic leaders can invite, provoke and sti mulate.


greater ch ar lo t te bi z

3l9 Colville Road, Charlotte, NC

For ticket information and reservations, call704-333-9500 or visir

Preview Party Gala Celebration


Friday, September 14

The QXiflure Of This House Is Legendary. The Events, However, Will Only Last AShort Time.

Afternoon Tea & Preview Tour THE ART OF TEA

Saturday, September 15

Run Of Show

Sunday, September 16- Sunday, October 7 % t the enchanting 2001 Showhouse during the spectacular events planned for this fall , and support a thirty-year history of music programs created for the

Thursdays After Dark GOURMET DINNERS



youth of our region. Proceeds allow The Symphony Guild to support its enrichment projects, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and

Thursday. September 20, September 27 & October 4

yourh music education. Come be a parr of the legacy this home will leave. "Your Home Is Your Castle" COCKTA IL BUFFET WITH LORD WEJ)GWOOD AND CHRISTOF PERICK

30th Annual Symphony Guild ASID Showhouse Contributors Tide Sponsor Bambridge Crew

Friday, September 28

Partners Adams Outdoor Advernsmg · K~td>enA ,d · Luqwre George Andrews· Media Power Advcrnsmg · South Park Luxury L1vmg Benefactors South Park· 89.9 WDAV · 90.7 WFAE Guarantors Besr Impressions Catenng · B. V Vineyards Principals A Bnghrcr Day· CarliSle Col lccnon · Cemral Carolmas Bank· Charlotte Symphony Orchestra · Greater Charlotte B1z Lc1gh Portraiture · Royal & SunAll1ance · The Palm · Traditional Home

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interesting news and useful information

Different Paths Toward Business Success

Tech Biz

Survey shows men and women entrepreneurs styles vary

Decision Support Inc. selected by leading Japanese enterprise integration services provider

Women business owners are less likely than

Matthews-based Decision Support Inc., the

their men counterparts to have a mentor

leading provider of reporting and decision support software to the Unisys market and parent

their men counterparts. Further, the fast-growth women owners

before opening a business, but more likely to

surveyed also do not bring as much past

consult outside sources on business manage-

experience with business ownership as their

ment and growth issues, according to a

men counterparts do. Thirty percent (30%) of

national survey conducted by the National

women owners who have achieved fast growth

database integraoon innovator, announced that

Foundation for Women Business Owners

for their firms had past experience owning

it has signed a reseller agreement with NIWS


Co., Ltd., the pioneer of massively parallel pro-

w as sponsored by a collaboration of non-

cessing technology in japan and the leading

profit foundations, the Edward Lowe

provider of hardware, software, and systems

Foundation and the Kauffman Center for

noted that most business owners don't have

Entrepreneurial Leadership, in conjunction

an exit strategy. Less than one-third of growth·

company of Metagon Technologies LLC, the

engineering services to financial institutions in japan. NIWS, based in Tokyo, will market DQbroker database integration technology and

<>.The study

other businesses, compared to 45% of the men owners who have achieved fast growth. Kate Hodel, of the Kaufman Foundation, also

with FleetBoston Financial.

oriented women business owners (26%), other

When owners of fast-growth firms were

women business owners (27%), and men busi·

starting or acquiring their firms , less than half

ness owners not oriented toward growth

of the women had a mentor or role model.

(30%) , say that they have an exit strategy.

vide secure access to enterprise data stored on

However, women may compensate for the

Although growth-oriented men business

numerous, disparate platforms, and to develop

lack of mentors by consulting more with out·

owners are the most likely to say that they

executive reporting solutions.The technology

side sources while they grow their businesses.

enhances NIWS's ability to provide comprehen-

When asked who they consult with on busi-

have an exit strategy, only 37% do in fact. "The overwhelming majority of business

sive systems services and maximize the value of

ness issues, women owners of fast-growing

owners are fully engaged in the operation of

their clients' IT investment.

businesses are the most likely to say they con-

their businesses, regardless of their outlook

sult with accountants, family members and

toward growth, and often ignore the impor-

Xpedian Acquires Tax and Financial Advisory Service

fellow business owners. " Gaining new per-

tance of an exit strategy as part of their busi-

spectives from outside sources on business

ness growth plan," said Lange. "This survey

Charlotte-based online financial services portal

management and growth issues is an impor-

reinforces the importance of Edward Lowe's

Xpedian, Inc. has acquired the

tant ingredient in expanding a business,''

strategies for providing business owners,

DQvista browser-based reporting tools to pro-


and financial

service firm , Mel jackson Tax Services, Inc. Mel

noted Mark Lange, executive director of the

both women and men, with the outside infor-

Jackson has prov ded tens of thousands of

Edward Lowe Foundation. "Sixty percent

mation and perspectives to focus on key

consumers in the southeast with over half a

(60%) of the fast-growth women owners

century of taX ard financial guidance from

consult with accountants compared to 44%

issues of growth and business success." The survey, " Entrepreneurial Vision in

offices in numerous cities throughout Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. By deploying a comprehensive set of web-based financial and estate planning tools for professionals and their clients using proprietary technology, Mel jackson expects


gain a significant edge over

its competitors. With the aid of computerized



tion technology t::> be made available through Xpedian, Mel jackson will have a "Next Generation" state-of-the-art. web-based, proprietary software platform that can perform a wide variety of applications to be rolled out in 2002.Through a comprehensive marketing and agency style franchise plan, Xpedian will estab· lish a nationwide network of corporate and independendy owned and operated full-service taX

preparation branches.

g r eate r c h ar lotte biz

of men owners of fast-growing firms .

Action: Exploring Growth Among Women-

Furthermore, women owners of fast-growing

and Men-Owned Firms" was conducted in

firms are the most likely to discuss business

mid-2000 among I, 194 business owners •

issues with their family and fellow business

602 women and 592 men.

owners." While 49% of these fastgrowth women discuss business management with their family, only 36% of fast-growth men do. Thirty-one percent (3 I%) of fast-growth women confer with fellow business owners compared to 26% of fast-growth men . The survey also shows that women entrepreneurs who have achieved fast growth for their firms have taken a more varied path to business ownership than did

Fast-Growth Women Owners Most Likely to Seek Outside Advice 70.-------------------------------, 60 ~-------------------------------4

so --- - -


30 20 10

O Accountants

Family Members






Fast-Growth Women Owners • Other Women Owners

L Fast-Growth Men Owners L Other Men Owners

Source: National Foundation for Women Business Owners, Edward Lowe Foundation, and Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, © 200 I NFWBO

september 200 I 7

Research Shows Lag in Internet Responsiveness Charlotte businesses not meeting customer expectations According to research recently comp leted by

companies researched could not be reached for

Charlotte-based Customer Service Solutions,

general inquiries through their Web site or

Inc ., more than half of Charlotte area business-

their site was inaccessible .

es researched failed to meet minimum cus tomer expectations for the t im eliness of responses to Internet inquiries. Many Charlotte-area businesses risk losing

Greg Ward , executive vice president at CSS , queries , "Can you imagine calling a com-

sage 13% of the time? Worse yet. can you

inquiries in a specific and timely fash ion over the

imagine being a potential customer, leaving a

Internet. "The Internet is fast becoming a pre-

message requesting information on a compa-

ferred method of communication for both busi-

ny's products and services, and having 26% of

ness and consumer customers," says Ed Gagnon,

companies fai li ng to call you back? That per-

president of CSS. "People expect to receive the

formance level wou ld be considered abysmal

same personal attention via a Web site as they do

for phone responsiveness . It should not be

on the phone or in person.Any business unable or

held to a lower standard for the Web. " T he results demonstrate that there is

responsiveness electronically risks alienating a sig-

tremendous room for improvement by

nificant number of customers."

Charlotte-area businesses in enabling Web-

National surveys suggest that Web site

- Only five companies (3.3%) tried to manage customer expectations by stating an expected response time.

pany and having the phone just ring with nobody answering and no way to leave a mes-

customers because of their inability to respond to

unwilling to provide that level of service or

Other Findings

- Only Local Government (90.9%) and Healthcare (81.0%) res ponded t o inquiries over 80% of the time. - Only Healthcare (4.47 hours) and Banks/ Credit Unions (5.31 hours) responded in les; time than the national standard of 6 hours.

The following were the average times of first responses by industry: - Health care 38.1 % - Banks/C redit Unions 35.7%

based communications. Customers are

-Golf 33.3% - Retail 31 .3%

visitors submitting inquiries expect to receive

realizing the advantages of the Internet for

a response in about six hours . Depending on

information gathering and comparison shop-

the in dustry, 53 % to 77% of companies failed

ping before they take to the road to spend

to meet that standard , with 26% of all compa-

their money. " Until businesses realize that

nies failing to respond at all! More than 13% of the

their Web site and e-mail capabilities need to,

- Telecommunications 30.0%

The following were the slowest individual response times by industry:

at a minimum, match the reliability and effectiveness of their other lines of communication, they will continue to lose customers everyday

- Healthcare 22.4 hours (0.9 day) - Banks/Credit Unions 26.2 hours ( 1.1 days)

without ever having the opportunity to meet them;路 said Gagnon . Researchers from CSS, Inc. originally

- Manufacturing/Publishing 50.0 hours (2.1 days) - Local Government 50.2 hours (2. 1 days)

se lected 2 18 Charlotte-area businesses for the study; 174 sites were actua lly accessed in an attempt to request information , and 151

- Golf 99.2 hours (4. 1 days) - Retail I 02.9 hours (4.3 days)

inquiries were able to be sent over a 21-day period on weekdays (Tues. , Wed ., Thurs .) and during business hours (9:00 am - I :00 p.m .). A listing of the companies involved and more information on the study can be found at

- Corporate Lending/VCs 120.4 hours (5.0 days) -Telecommunications 378.7 hours ( 15 .8 days) -Technology Firms and Dot Coms 385.4 hours ( 16. 1 days). .

Duke Energy Recognized by Global Finance Magazine Charlotte-based Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) was selected by Global Finance magazine as the "Best Company" in North America in the energy services and electricity >ector. The award , which recognizes growth in revenue, profitability and market capitalization, is the third rrajor magazine honor this year for Duke Energy after top mentions in Fortune magazine's "America's Mos: Admired Companies" list and Business Week 50 -an annual collection of the best-performing companie; in the Standard & Poor's 500. "We are very honored to be recognized by Global Finance as the best performer in a sector that includes many strong competitors," said Richard B. Prior:-. chairman , president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy. "We've delivered strong resu lts and believe our integrated network of energy assets and expertise will continue to produce value for customers ;or.d continued growth for shareholders." Last month, Duke Energy announced second-quarter earnings that included 76 percent year-todate revenue growth and 29 percent year-to-date growth in earnings before interest and taxes .


Duke Energy. a diversified multinational energy com::.any, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets an:J experti se .


september 200 I

greater charlotte biz

moreTechBiz Adhesion Technologies Acquires EttaLJE Adhesion Technologies, a global provider of on-premises and hosted aggregation ted-nology based in the South Park area of Charlotte, announced its acquisition of Ettache, an account aggregation provider. - - E combination of Adhesion Technologies and Ettache creates a leading worldwide onpremises account aggregation firm, offerini clients access to all of their financial accoult!; from a single location. Adhesion's strategic focus has been itÂŁ flagship aggregation product, EA' (Enhanced AccountAggregatio,), which integrates aggregated data collected from third parties with wealth management tools such as financial planning and


relying on third


for the collection of aggregated data. The acquisition of


provides Adhesion's EA'

with a proprietary, technically superior data collection engine that will deliver higher qtd:( data enabling the full aggregation value chair .

BB&T Again Ranked Nation's No. I Small Business-Friendly Bank

or visit our website at 2359 Perimeter Point Parkway, Suite 125

tiTo ~

For the second (ear in a row and third

Charlotte, NC 28208

in the past four years, BB& T Corporatior (NYSE: BBT) has been ranked the No. I "small business-friendly" financial holding company in the coJntry, according to a report recently released by the U.S. Smar Business Administration. The SBA's 3ank Holding Company Study for 2000 ranks the 59 largest finan::h companies (more than $10 billion in asseto:

The Best Sales Presentation You Will Ever Give, The Prospect Will Never See.

from which small businesses were most successful in obtaining loans. "Our community banking structure and strong credit culture provides our lenders with the empowerment and kno-. 1edge necessary :o help our small busineS<> clients achieve their financial goals," said Lynn Harton, BB&-'s Small Business Banking manager. The criteria used to rank banks on their small business lending are: the ratio c f small business loans to total assets; the ratio of small busir.ess loans to total business loans; the t::>tal dollar amount of sm J.l business loans (as of June 2000); and the

Jim Dunn , President of Dunn Enterprises, has a series of rules for sales success. This one tells us to refute the belief that if sa lespeople can provide a logical, sequentia l, convincing sales presentation, people will buy. But the truth is people buy for their own reasons, not sales people's. Dunn, through his affiliation with the Sand ler Selling System can help your sales force get at those reasons.

And if they do, they may very well close the deal before even making a presentation. Dunn emp loys a unique four-step process that stresses continual professional and perso nal development, and encourages successful goal achievement. So if you need to see a dramatic improvement in your bottom line, ca ll him at 704-536-3277. Beca use when it's all said, it's Dunn.

total number of small business loans (as of June 2000). The SBA defines small business loars as commercial and industrial loans and commercial mortgages made for less thaâ&#x20AC;˘ $1 million. More information about the study available at <>.

grea t er charlotte biz


NN When it's all said, it's Dunn. 6425 Idlewild Road, Suite 2210, Charlotte, NC 28212 â&#x20AC;˘ 704-536-3277

september 200 I 9

[communitybiz] by r::m vlflson

North Carolina Business Hall of Fan1e Recognizirg Corcributions to ndustry and :=.(onon1y as Vve I as Cor 1\'cS a 1erc. /> c: n <')',51'!' a'liatc- lfo't ·J wa:ed

Thirteen yecr.; ag::; junior Ac.:ievement <www.jacaro6na~..Jrg> e5ta~ished the


through the I cl<er-1ap? fi led at

Carolina Bu.;nes:; Hall of,""ame to recogn.ze

adorins crov.d~

those individJals h Norf.i Carolina who !:evE

queror of the /.dar tic Ocnn. He 'A'cS a

made outstal"dire;; contri'but'Jns to our ecmorr.-

risk taker anc

ic developrr>B?t. t.nior Amietem~nt hosts the

1\'c S ar experie1ce -:hal v.c·uld stc'/ 'fli~h Fe ix h·s entire i f=.

annual dinr.e- e-r=1t at .,.rich the Business Hull of Fame lau:Eilte:;, select=d /Jy th~ North Carolina


fCC"r Busiress and Industry


~ he

~- on~r cf a


Seven-ye.:r -o c Fe x HarvEy ~-ed cat the motorcadE n ~"Vide-eyed v.Jncer. t I'. as d~

Sudden y, 13-yec.r-o!d


was the

m:m lf the h::>use.

h= w~ co-r

new fr:mtier. It


The factthat Felix ~Lrncunte: nune r· :>LS :ilalleng-=s in the ensu n, yec.:, is evi:lEnc.;,d by his inductior sc-edule·: for th ·s !o.ove11ber into th2 Nort1 C3ro linc. Bus ness !-all cot Fame. He shares t1c.t 1onc- with lh ·ee other Tarheel business :itars:::rarlntte's E:J Cn..tchf eld, fo~mer chairman 3J' ::l

his first trip tl l·eu 't'orlc City that ILrle in 1927. He


leaders will i:JI!! inTJded 1o11to 'he .Vorth C(J{i)li,?a

togeth=r 01


business He/. of Feme att'1eAda,71S Mark Ho~ef

about ~he srec:t cr.btiol conte.:;tnon-stop f·om .;M;:ric::. tc· =>aris. A1lerici-5

le.-.ti l.;, industry; a1d Madis:r's Dc.tton L.

had helped to ....,in j- e Gr-:!3t War, 3nd n0'.>.'

"':t"n5 Today, Feli>: Harvey is chain-an of

(posthumol-2y). T.?ey joh 5c other laureares

had flcwn th= /Jrtlan:ic. t S€emed to:• F=ii:x

1-arvey EnteDrises in <i'lstJr, a collection

who have bel!'n irducted into the Hall of Fame;

that aryth ing 'f'\'93

in Charlotte. C. f~ ix Hartey. Ed Crutchfield, W. Duke Kim lnelr rmd Da l o• L IWicMichaet,

the }A exhib.'t at [J;covery Pl.:;ce rouses a ~id2o


r3= ·o :x: progrE5S ·eport::




BJt tr en :;a me ~h:: hcmrr er Great De pre~,; cr

on each oft17em.

fc."11er hac

ITO ofF rst Lnior;


(NCCBO <wvrV"'>, are inri'xted. Or! November 1~ 2CC'1, fouyol-rstanding business

:>re of the mJst influential m.=n ir

J · 1?29. The fa 11i ly'~

in:;, fa rm ma·:hinery, I qJ d giiS and fertilizer trucking and other industries, 35 we .! a5

Felix HarvE)C Taking Risks

l~ngston bu~

f:..~r dation.

That Come Witt Change

died ir 1931.

Inductees into t .. o: 2001



sep:erber 2CO I


Jf :Jiv=rse businesses ir agricultL e, b3nk· JICM.~. -1e

or=sident of ~ he C: lobal Trans=>ark

To Fe! J< Ha..,..ey, amo- gst others, he

~ he

\,l·: M' :hael, f:Jrmer chairnc:n .of N,;tyo

patrian:h rec.chguJ t-.e.rbu['feor ng n!!'s::e,; - Fel'x's ~ran :J"at--.;!r~.-d . us:mo

W. Duke

Ki11brell, chairman of Parkda e Mi Is and

yea·s l3ter, il

:933, Felix's C\"'n f:rtht:- d ed at a \'~I'Y E.aiy

Carolir:: Business 1-t.ll of Fame are (L~I E.:! C-ucdiiEid Cc.l:cn

.=.s Felix Harvey sees it, American t u,; 'lE5~men

11cMich~l. "'1.

learned two lesso15 dur 1g the

Duke Kimbrell z.nd Felix H.;;:rvet.

grea ter chHktte t


20th century: "First, things are never a3

Wharton School of Finance, University of

America) and First Union expansions had

Jad as they seem, but in good times, they


fueled the growth of Charlotte.

3re never as good as they seem either. Second, business is always going throLgh revolution; yot.. have to stay at the forelrort

First Union was a one-state bank with a few thousand employees. The bank had started as the Union

As First Union grew into a national financial services operation in banking, capi: al markets and other services,

Jf sweeping changes. That is the key- tak-

1-Jational Bank in 1908 in Charlotte, merging

Crutchfield's accolades and criticisms

ing the risks that come with change, ta~ i ng

with First National Bank & Trust of Asheville

waxed and waned. But there is no doubt

3dvantage of new frontiers." These business executives were thkers, driven to find a better way. Wheti"H in textiles, banking. manufacturing, trans portation or agri-business, they were fi -~t and foremost entrepreneurs. Five hundre::l of the state's top bu ;iness executives will gather in Charlotte a: the Adams Mark Hotel on Tuesday,

in 1958 to form First Union National Bank.

that he significantly changed the model for

Between 1958 and 1972, the bank acquired

banking on both the state, regional and

26 otner financial institutions.

national level.

By 1984, Crutchfield was named CEO

"He wanted to build a bank where half

of First Union. By 1985, he added the chair-

the income came from capital markets,"

man :itle and by 1986, The Wall Street

Tony Plath of UNCC told reporters on

Journal had named him the best chief exec-

Crutchfield's retirement announcement.

utive of any regional U.S. bank.

"That means that at First Union they are not

During his tenure, First Union grew

85 percent dependent on spread income from loans for their profits like at most

November 13, 2001, for the annual blcd.-

from a North Carolina-only bank with $17

tie dinner to reccgnize these four lead us

billio1 in assets to the nation's sixth-largest

banks. That is his gift to this company, and

being inducted into the North Carolina

bank-holding company with $253 billion in

that is what he will be remembered for."

Business Hall of Fame, sponsored by jL-, or

assets when he retired in 2000. There were

In 1999, Crutchfield and First Union

Achievement c.nd North Carolina Citize15

:38 acquisitions under Crutchfield's leader-

rece·ved former President Bush's Point of

for Business a"ld Industry.

ship at the bank.

Light Award for its Education First program,

On june 19, 1995, when First Union

And it's a big year for the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame, which

acqu·red First Fidelity, Charlotte passed

which supported employees volunteering in schools to promote educational excellence.

launching its VJorld wide web site-

San Francisco to become the nation's sec- The Hall also"" l1

ond largest financial center only behind

numerous civic, educational and charitable

find a permanent home in downtown

\Jew York City. NationsBank (Bank of

activities, such as chairing capital ~

Crutchfield is also instrumental in

Charlotte that will open in the spring o: 2002, as part of a new junior Achieve me1t complex that i1cludes Enterprise City,


new real-life town simulatio1 of businesses, government and comm "li ty services. junior Achievement in Charlotte e.;lablished the North Carolina Business

Ha l cf

Fame in 1988. The Hall of Fame recogri~~5 the state's exemplary business leader~. Laureates must have significantly contributed to build' ng their industry and - h i ~ state's economy, as well as providing oJ:standing leader5hip in community and statewide service. Inductees into the 1-c:ll of Fame must be retired from their organzation or be at least 70 years of age. B-i ef profiles of three additional winners folk:w:

Ed Crutchfield: Changing the Model When Ed Crutchfield was named president of First U1ion National Bank of Nc·rt• Carolina in 1973, he became the youn~ president of a major bank in the United States. He had joined First Union only :: ig t years earlier, after receiving his under§r3cuate degree from Davidson College an j a Masters in Business Administration frcro

greater charlotte biz

september 200 I I

campaigns for Johnson C. Smith University and The Salvation Army.

Dalton L. McMichael: Outstanding Benefactor Dalton McMichael Sr. called govelnor.;

Duke Kimbrell: Innovating for lmprovE!11e-nt Running the world's largest spul yarn manufacturer in Parkdale Mills,

Fuzzy's Bar-B-Que. Founder of Macfield

which is headquartered in Gastonia,

Texturing and Mayo Yarns in western

W. Duke Kimbrell started as a trainee

Rockingham County, McMichael died j Jst

in the textile business in 1949. In 1S61,

recently at the age of 87.

he became president of a $7 million -a-

Wentworth in 1914 as the youngest of

1916. During the intervening years,

seven boys. Upon graduating from the

Kimbrell has built Parkdale Mills intc a

University of North Carolina with a B.S. in

nearly $1 billion-a-year operation wi· h

commerce in 1938, he began a 50-year

29 mills.

career in North Carolina's textile indus· ry


an accountant for Burlington lndustrie~.

done an excellent job in moving thei ·

There he met William Armfield Ill and, ilfte ·

operations into a stronger technical

working together for several years, the two

base," noted Bill King, a textile profEs~ Jr

men and Charles Sutherland founded

"If you put the new technology togetler

Madison Throwing Co. in 1946 to man•fac-

with certain other factors, you'll find that

ture textured nylon.

there are still parts of the textile indusf-y

The senior Armfield died in 1956. His

in the U.S. that are among the most

son joined the company in 1959 as a

competitive in the world." He wasta king

trainee and became vice president of r ar-

about Parkdale Mills. "We are constantly seeking ways

keting in 1963. In 1970, McMichael so.d Madison Throwing to Burlington lndus.- · e~

to improve efficiency in the supply ana

and started a new company with the

production process," Duke Kimbrell tcid

younger Armfield, Macfield Texturing, v-hicn

reporters when his firm explored the

produced stretch nylon and textured, ~ted

electronic cotton marketplace. "They ere


people who are really willing to make

Armfield said one of the reasons

the industry change, to do what it neejs

McMichael wanted to start another conpa·

to compete," one industry observer sad

ny after the 1970 sale was to give forrn:r

about Parkdale Mills. "They have rea II..

employees at Madison Throwing some

invested to stay ahead." In 1997, Text le::

equity in a new business. "As a result Ctf

International awarded Parkdale its inn:JV3-

the success of Macfield there were ma

tion award for its "constant pursuit of

families who created substantial net


worth," Armfield said. "He very much

Kimbrell has served as presiden: c = the American Yarn Spinners Associ at on,


enjoyed seeing other people profit." In 1991, Macfield had become Ole

and was recognized by Textile World 3S

of the world's largest and nost diversi-

the second most influential leader in

fied yarn manufacturers; it was listed <JS

the 20th century for the textile indus: ry.

the fourth highest-grossing private com-

He also played a key role in establist- ing

pany in the state, below only Burlingt:Jn

North Carolina State's College ofTextiles .

Industries, Cone Mills Corp. and the

He received the Watauga medal for

Dillard Paper Co. At that time, it merged

service to his alma mater, NC State,

with Unifi Inc.

in 1995- the highest non-academic award bestowed by the university. Kimbrell is known for his support of and service for numerous colleges thrcugh-

se:· t =n c:·er 2 0 ) I

Dalton McMichael was born in

year, one-mill firm that had started in

"Many American companies ha1·e


his friends, earned millions of dollars evert year, and ate breakfast every morning 3t

In 1993, Vintage Yarn, another company McMichael had founded in 198; , also merged with Unifi Inc. McMichael was chairrr an of the

out the state, as well as civic and charia JIE

board at Mayo Yarns in Madison until c.

organizations in Gastonia and the greeter

year ago, when the company merged ..,·ith

Charlotte area . In 1990, he was namec tre

Frontier Spinning Mills of Sanford.

Gaston Gazette's Person of the Year.

Frontier Spinning's two Madison mills

greater charlotte biz

: JrrtilUE kJ ::>pe ate; 'V eM

:ha.;:[ '~ ~on .

J3l:or Jr., >0\'\'lEr :i Mcfl1ich:tei Will!:,


··vhich is s::J1 i 1 or:e:ltior.

w.:: N. crae Jll i.amhrc J ~


a: c proli ' c

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"1\.:f/lioa ~[

31so s.ppx·aJ he Lniversity : fl-.o·tt=a Dlina-:::rc.:el Hi. "'ith

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rew e:onony. -rc•5E e) eCJt ·:-es n.a'/ig3: i""¥ the C•X 31<Jntll'

changin& business eth 'i:Jrrr 2r: have teen c. nd will coni i n_~ tJ JE re :og·


i1 tre Noih Ca rclilc Eu; n3s -1 311 of Fame . It ·; a t~tamerrt o the ir Jersonal sorie~

oftaki · g ·is <:: a1c f3ci ng

c on : tan~

change. T1e ·-= ·~

a ::Dmr10n tteme to th=::e

tusrnES5 succe;se5.


)ul:.o: I< mbrell

cbsep;ed: "I've cho:Jngej a-.c c em g.: ::; 2nd cl-anged . ' bi:z


: ailed V1c ,· i:::fl c. =I o· o=t · =1 :• sreates : nd Jst ria; ·r the statE' s h is.:ory.

The Busirli!SS t'R)f,vc utior rs ea5 y ~o 1-av:: go~Je n caugh LP in t ·e l'tt:e for

~1-= "n E- w -::ro no 11 ~"

::>ast 5eve

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Far .'nforroUon or. rese ;'\li~s; a table cr b?wming c spars::. :vr.tJ;;:t }Jr.,ar f chl€l'€r.Jer.t at 7C'4·5~·96 66 -:J; by wrd-

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704-541-7344 september 200 I


by kathy mendieta

"That's one of the real joys of practicing in a group - the ability to share ideas. I must say if you're practicing alone and have a patient with a significant problem, it can get pretty lonely." -Dr. William Mullis

The light of new technologies and techniques was just beginning to mount the horizon for plastic surgery when Dr. W lliam Mullis joined Charlotte Plastic Surgery (CPS) in 1976. He would be the fourth surgeon in a group practicing in town since 1951. Even at that time they were internationally esteemed. Dr. W.T. Berkeley, their founder aoo the first plastic surgeon in Charlotte, was world-renowned fer his cleft lip and palate work. Group practice was not common in those days. .1ost plastic surgeons were solo or had one partner. CPS, now a group cf eleven physicians, holds the unique distinction o- being :he larsest private practice plastic surgery group in the couttry In a nation t.lut has witnessed the rise and fall of physician mega groups, they are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary with a histor,r of being a remarkably stable group of partners. Included in their notable contributions to :he communi:y are the Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic at Carolinas Mecical Cente:- in th ~ 70's and the Cranial Banding Clinic treating positional encephalopathy on infants in the 90's. ~ Seated (L-R) arc Miclwel E. Beasley, M.D.; Paul A

lfTaltcrson, M.D.; Peter f. Capizzi, M.D.; and William E. Jacobs, 1\f.D. Stamting {L-R) arc Jay fl. Luca~, .M.D.. D.D.S.: Dm路id C. .Mattfwws, M.D., Stepfwn f. Finical, M.D.; Fcfmcollt r:_ Eavas, 1\rf.D.; William F. Mullis, M.D.; Stan/a!/ B. Getz, Jr., 1\f.D.: and Kevin L. Smith, M.D.

greater crarlotte biz

They were first in Charlotte to offer muscle flap surgery in 1977, microvascular tissue transfer in 1979, liposuction in 1982 and thE TRAM flap procedure in breast reconstruction in 1983. Their staff consists of a world-renowned craniofacial plastic surgeon and another specializing in endoscopic plastic surgery who rewrote the first text book for endoscopic plastic surgery. Their surgeons have been elected to "Best Doctors in America", and serve as associate professors at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, as chiefs of staff at community hospitals, on board and as volunteers for Physicians for Peace, as wel as take part in other medical mission work. They have won humanitarian awards and hold leadership positions with foundations and with the American Society of Plastic Surgery. But in those days when Dr. Mullis was deciding where to set up his practice, craniofacial surgery for children born with severe facial abnormalities was in its infancy. So was microsurgery, the technique of taking skin and muscle along with the artery and vein from one location and hooking them up to another artery or vein in another location during difficult reconstruction procedures. Face lifts were basically a skin tightening procedure with somewhat limited techniques. Liposuction had not made the scene yet. "Those were the days when techniques were limited and the reconstruction procedures took a long period of time because they required multiple operations," remembers Dr. Mullis. The more he learned about the situation with CPS the more he saw it as an ideal place to practice. "There was a wealth of plastic surgery problems here. Charlotte was and still is a great medical community. And [the group] had an academic bent to it, something 1 was very interested in, in that they had residents and medical students rotating on our service. They had a reputation as having an excellent internship and residency program- one of the best for a nonUniversity-affiliated training program."

Attracting Tremendous Talent Dr. Mullis hadn't been with the group long when the volume of work made clear they needed another surgeon. Dr. William jacobs, also academically minded, matched their vision and addec. his skills to the group. "Suddenly in the late '80's there were all these areas of expertise in plastic surgery that were sort of exploding," continue~ Dr. Mullis. "That made it tough to stay current in everything and to get all the work done. Our philosophy is and always has been that we are going to provide the full breadth of plastic surgery discipline to the community with as much talent as we can muster. We hire for expertise. That's not to say that one person only does one thing. There are a lot of areas that overlap but therE. are particular areas of expertise as well." Dr. David Matthews joined the group with a specialty in > september 200 I l:i

craniofacial and microsurgery. He had trained with Dr. Paul Tessier, the leading craniofacial surgeon in the world. "CPS provides the care for children needing craniofacial surgery throughout the southeast. Dr. Matthews has carried this mantle admirably," states Dr. Mullis. Shortly after that all the techniques of breast reconstruction after mastectomies were coming down the pike. Dr. Michael Beasley, Dr. Kevin Smith and Dr. Paul Watterson brought their expertise to bear in that area. To fill the need to provide trauma service, they sought out Dr. Stanley Getz who had been trained in a military hospital environment with the Navy His personal love for his work, as well as his knowledge and skill, has helped many patients adjust psychosocially after an accident. Most doctors had a year or two of a fellowship or had been in practice. Dr. Felmont Eaves had been on faculty at Emory University as well as in practice. He brought an expertise in endoscopic and minimally invasive plastic surgery "Dr. Peter Capizzi spent a year in our fellowship doing aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery. He was very impressive and he stayed on with us," says Dr. Mullis. Dr. Stephan Finical recently joined the group after practicing at the Mayo Clinic for five years, bringing his subspecialty, microsurgery. "Dr. jay Lucus, who most recently joined us, has spent an extra year of training in craniofacial surgery and maxillofacial surgery His background is in oral surgery. He went back and did a general surgery and a plastic surgery residency. His expertise is certainly craniofacial and maxillofacial surgery," says Dr. Mullis. The Respect Factor "There is a great deal of intellectual integrity here," observes Dr. Mullis. "The great thing about practicing in a group is the ability to share ideas, to share problems, to share your triumphs and your low moments with someone who understands what you are doing." "Theres not a day that goes by that we don't have a difficult problem that


september 200 I

comes to the office. One of us oftentimes gets one or more of the other members of the group to come over and take a look and can immediately have two or three experts look at a problem rather than just one person looking at it. That's one of the real joys of practicing in a group - the ability to share ideas. I must say if you're practicing alone and have a patient with a significant problem, it can get pretty lonely." "Here we work in concert. We have to leave our egos at the door. There is an equal sharing of ideas and that's important. Ideas are bounced around in a group forum," says Dr. David Matthews who specializes in craniofacial and microsurgery. This practice is exponentially encouraged by the fact that none of the doctors are driven by economic reasons. After five years of practice, each doctor becomes a senior physician. All are members of and the only members of the board of directors. All basically earn the same amount. Money is distributed equally, unique in any type of professional group. "If I happen to be on call on the weekend and have a severe facial fracture that doesn't have to be operated on immediately and I know there are one or two people in our group that have particular expertise in that area, there's no financial incentive for me to hold onto that patient and do that case," explains Dr. Mullis. "l am free to do what is truly best for that patient." Ties That Bind Dr. Matthews says he was drawn to the group by the opportunities to use his talents and hone his skills in the area of surgery on children with cleft lips and palates and significant facial birth defects. "l feel no one else is doing what I do here in the community. l feel proud to serve the community and a large number of patients who might never receive a response otherwise. I feel I try to help out that way," Dr. Matthews explains. During his partnership with CPS , Dr. Matthews has cultivated a reputation

as the fourth leading craniofacial surgeon in the world. He has had plenty of offers to take his talent and reputation and go elsewhere but has turned them all down. "The grass is different in other places. It's not greener, just different," he explains. "Here we work in concert. We have to leave our egos at the door. There is an equal sharing of ideas and that's important. Ideas are bounced around in a group forum. If they have a lot of onesidedness to them, we try to hash them out and come up with something everyone is happy with. It's not always smooth, but the basic goal everyone holds to is 'do what's best for the patient."' Full Circle From the beginning, Dr. Berkeley established a practice that would be generous in time and talent locally and globally. Many of the people who require the kinds of services CPS provides are not able to afford them. So he gave much of his time and talent away. He worked at Charlotte Memorial Hospital on Blythe Boulevard, the old facility established for the indigent population. CPS continues the practice. "The situation with insurance and managed care has caused a lot of young plastic surgeons to decide they want to do just cosmetic surgery and I think they're shortchanging themselves and the place they work by limiting themselves," says Dr. Mullis. "We do a lot of cosmetic surgery as well and that provides us the opportunity to look after a lot of the poor paying or non-paying problems that we see coming through Carolina's Medical Center (CMC)- the ones who really need it. We don't send anything out to other hospitals. We take everything that comes our way. " The group also works with the residency program from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill having physicians rotate through CMC, working with patients coming in through the emergency room. The Berkeley Foundation, an outgrowth of CPS funded by individuals in the community, other physicians and those involved in medical education , affords the

greater charlotte biz

opportunity to provide a continual process of teaching and training physicians to greater levels of skill and care. In addition to all this, CPS has its own fellowship program that draws from across the U.S. and internationally. The fellowship allows doctors to spend up to two years training at CPS. Those returning to lesser developed countries are able to teach and better serve their own community. Physicians from jordan, Canada, Egypt, Turkey, Syria and Greece have come LO train over the past decade. "Sometioes they come all at once and that makes things interesting," observes Dr. Matthews. "We're big enough to be flexible and they can choose any of us to spend the day with. Each of us trains slightly differently and approaches problems differently." Many of CPS's physicians are involved witt organizations like medical missions and/or Physicians for Peace through which they travel to poorly served areas of the globe and teach new techniques to those already providing medical service. "The becefit goes both ways," comments Dr. Matthews. "We'll see cases we won't see much of in the United States such as craniofacial problems. Many times [those local physicians] ask us to take care of those cases. It's a chance to get better at what we do and still teach while helping them take care of patients who would never get taken care of otherwise. When we leave , we know we have left trained physicians capable of dealing with any problem that may arise." These physicians see the idea of giving back as going full circle. "![you think about it, all medical schools are supported to a certain extent by the government and charities of various sorts," reasons Dr. Mullis. "We've all benefited by others' generosity. These are ways we can use our talent and provide a significant 5ervice. It's easy to give your money but it's a lot more fun to give your time and effort. " biz Kathy Mendieta is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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I 17

Startelll as just a sketch on a napki1 in 1994, lnfoVision, Inc. has becnme an aWilrd-winnmg tecl~noiiiJ

compa1y with revem1es projectE!d at $4.5 million this year.


g r: ate r c l a r I :J t~ e ) i z

by karen doyle

Growi g

by Working

Small f.::>Vision, Inc. 1s seeing big results by focusing their effo1:s on serving small businesses.

When the Mint Museum of Art took a long , hard look at the

steppe up to the challenge, showing Mint officials how.

hard·Nare ard software it was using to keep track of its col-

with cnl:- ~I·;Jh : changes, they could upgrade to become

lect ons nearly five years ago, it realized that its technology

a r1o : em s,tsem while still using the hardware- some

waE ubout as dated es an Old Masters original.

40 w o:·rk3ta :ions -already in place. As a result , the Mint

·we had a really old network." recalls Mike Smith, ceputy

dicn '1 hEve 10 "einvest in new computers; the existing

cire:ior and vice president of finance and admindration for the

wcrk ~tajors were connected to a network that provided

mu~eum. "It needed a lot of work, a lot of upgracing. "


As a nonprofit organization. the Mint did no: have a lot of


e cEntralized data retrieval system tracking of

thou:3n:ls •Jf pieces of art. In addition , lnfoVision installed

mon':!y for system refurbishment. Board members sou;~ht

and inpenented the Great Plains accounting package as

r:rop:::>sals from three companies that proffered informEtion

their nc.ncial management software. When the Mint opened

tednology answers. but only one, Smith says. providEd an

the ~:ureLm cf Craft + Design subsequently in 1999.

infc : 3ch solution that was a work of art.

lnfo\'Eic•n con-1ected an additional 20 computers in

~harlotte-based lnfoVision, Inc.

gre:oter charlotte b iz


the U:Jtcwn bL.ilding to the same network. sep t ember 200 I


.. Info 1sion by far did the most homework on what we have, and where we wanted to be," S--nith SJy:O. "No o1e ~lse took the time to u:1derst:md how nLoeums work, and what oJr nee:lsare." =\~L ;mce, lnfoVision has b~en th~ t.lint's sD-l•) source for hardware, software and info~ct advice. According- J n ·aVision president Greg Aker, Lrnt.o exacly th~ type of customer service- "ld custorn~r response- that has caused :nkJVisicns I?v·enues to surge from a first-yem total Jf $ 56,000 in 1994 to last year's of $:=. 9 n:i lion. Projected revenues fc,L ~001 are cpwards of $4.5 million. lnfo\TGion nas cl;o achieved a correspondirg measue ci recognition in the IT indusu;o and cc--nnnr.ity-at-large. For the fourth }Ea;- in a ro-N_ ·he company has been mmed JOe of :m J:- ::::arohna's "Technolog; F:~st 50" CJmpanics, a~ongside such tech leavyw~ .g•ts as lee Hat, Cree Research, S!\S lnsjLte ar :l -::-r meris. ln April, the compary was a fintii.>t for the Charlotte Ethics in &tsinc:;s A-,.ards, bestowed by the Charlotte chapcr- of the Society of Fmancia· .:ervice f'reo~ssi onals to recognize OLarlotte-area busil13ses that exemplify and prorvte et1.iol conduct for the benefit o - the \\ DI .-<placc, -_h ~ marketplace, the envirmrncnt ard thr community The company b.s also received the


. ~







Jan V/iliarr::; (L) and Karen Neubauer (R) of lnfcVi~i:>n's staff. Info Vision's focus many be on small businesses, but there is nothing small about the vend:>~ with whom they contract.

Great r·ams P nnacle Award for Excc:llenc<: ·n Customer Service , c.s well as a Grea_ Fl<rins Award for the Best Use of Tedmclcg? for their innovative use of a pJr · :ula- product, in the last year. A-<e:r liiG~If, as president of the com.pan;•, \V3.S ~ecently named to the "Top 40 n:lc "10" list (seventh annual) compiled by -:1 c Dllsiness journal, identifying 40 reot=lc the age of 40 who are making ll:ICjJr ;trides in their career and

Info Vision f:· cuse~ on rot just configuring networks, but training and ass sting customers. Employee business ca-ds re""i!al ro formal titles because prE:Edent Gre6 Aker sc.y~. simply, "We are all cu~tomer service peq>le."


200 I

communities. Asked if he's getting used to all the recognition, Aker shakes his head. "Not 'geLLing used to' it- humbled by it, is more like it." He adds that the credit goes to all of the InfoVision team members, who live by the company motto 'Leading Technology Lasting Partnership.' "That's what Info Vision is all about."

The Birth of a Business Info Vision started quite literally as ~1 sketch of an idea on a restaurant napkin. Aker, then the infotech director of AAA of the Carolinas, was conversing with his. friend Ken Juneau, whose background was in personal computing. "We were convinced that there was a tremendous need for an information technology provider that focused on small to medium-sized businesses," Aker says, defining such companies as those with 100 or fewer computer workstations. "Those businesses might not have a need for a full-time lT department, but they still need someone to plan and design their systems and perform training Providing those services to those businesses would be our niche." ln 1994, Aker and Juneau contributed $5,000 each, starting lnfoVisio1 from the basemem of Aker's Cotswold home. The two spent the next 15 mont "lo "knocking on doors," Aker says, re-

greater charlotte ti:c

acquainting t emseh·es with longtime contacts in the lT industry. A loan through the Small Business Administration in the autumn of 1995 enabled Aker and juneau to leave the basement (and its resident cat) behind, an d move in:o an orrice near the intersection of Sharon Amity and Providence Roads. They hired four more employees, strengthening their focus on computer cabling and hardware, training, and business development through technology.

"We didn't go after small business because that was all we could get; it was all we wanted to do." -Greg Aker, president ince then, the company has expanded three times ir the same building, gobbling up adjacent cffices totaling 5,000 square feet. Thirty-two employees now work for lnfoVision, in roles ranging from softwa re development to sales and marketing to the company's l nfoCare department, which serves as a "help desk" to troubleshoot customer net·..vorks. Employee business cards reveal no formal titles because , Aker says simply, "We're all customer service people. " The Vision of lnfoVision just inside the company's front door, there's a motivational poster bearin g a quote from poet Carl Sandburg defining vision: " othing Happens Un less First a Dream. " One of the more recently hired lnfoVision execs, Dean Carter, explains that lnfoVision's dedication to small businesses was a primary motivator for him to accept the sales job of new business development. "Many lT companies go after bigger clients because they're going after a bigger payoff," Carter explains. "But Ken and Greg shared a dream to provide smalle r businesses with business solutions to help them grow themselves. And we're going to grow with them. " There's nothing small-time, however, about the products lnfoVision offers and the vendors with which the company contracts. Microsoft, Great Plains, Cisco greater charlotte biz

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it started," says Tommy Lawing, Jr., president of T. R. Lawing Realty. '"I knew Greg and Ken at their previous employers, and I followed them." Aker adds in agreement, "We didn't go after small business because that was all we could get; it was all we wanted to do. " The name InfoVision, Aker says , is short for "INFOrmation technology with business VISIO ," reminding clients that InfoVision is there to provide strategic IT direction for small business owners. The company's client list now tops 200, several of whom have stayed with Info Vision for five years or more. "''ve been with the company ever since it started," says Tommy Lawing, Jr. , president ofT. R. Lawing Realty. "I knew Greg and Ken at their previous employers, and I followed them. " Lawing's company utilizes 25 computers , three servers and six printers, all networked and configured by InfoVision. The firm had been working off a minicomputer when Lawing realized the time had come to migrate to a PC workstation environment. He called on InfoVision for computer counseling and advice. "Talk about return on investment," Lawing says. "We've added memory, firewalls and backup [to existing computers], and increased our capacity. We've never had to throw anything out ."

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"InfoVision has never given me bad advice," he continues, hardly pausing for breath, "and I keep coming back to them for that. When I ask for the best solution, they give it to me. It might not be the least expensive solution, but it's the best." Lawing adds that his company purchases new equipment every two or three months and seeks InfoVision's input about once a month. "I used to call them daily," laughs the Mint Museuo's Smith. Now, he says, the Mint's current IT manager calls for help only as problems arise. Still, InfoVision keeps in touch, Smith says. "They may set up an appointment, or maybe we'll go to lunch, and work on plans for the future." Staying Strong in a Soft Economy

During tie recent economic slowdown, infotech companies themselves have been busy retooling plans for the here and now - never mind the future trying to stay afloat. InfoVision, on the other hand, is staying the course, even benefiting from the soft economy that's triggering IT competitors to scale back. Aker notes that some of Info Vision's competitors have laid off workers. Two competitors went out of business this summer. Most of those companies are or were - dependent on new product sales, he says. InfoVision's new product sales also are down, but the bread and butter of its revenue - upgrades for existing customers - remains strong and may even increase in a slowing economy. Aker likens his business to that of a CPA firm: "In good times , customers might do some extra investing or their estate planning. But in slow times, they still have to do their taxes. " Williams adds that InfoVision has taken on several clients that were "orphaned" when their previous IT firms folded. "Some of them learned that they bought low-end products up front, and they're realizing that they got what they paid for," he says. "We've ended up turning unhappy customers into happy customers. And those are some of our best customers." InfoVision's IT professionals are hard

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at work, researching the ways in which computers will be changing in the years ahead. They're planning to help customers who want to segue to digital business-to-business commerce, which likely will become more affordable. With the rise of "anytime , anywhere" computing, due to hand-held PDAs and mobile phones that link users to the Internet, they're investigating new portable devices to give small businesses greater computing flexibility. Meanwhile, largely because of their

increasingly high profile in the industry, InfoVision is being sought out by skilled technical workers who wanL to be part of their success. 'The 'Fast 50' award raised the bar, big time , in terms of the quality of applications we receive," Williams says. "When the business economy turns around," Aker says with a smile, "we'll be ready to really take off. " biz

Karen Doyle is a Charlotte-based freelance writer:


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s e p t e m b e r 2 0 0 I 23

owner and ~eside1t d Dia110nds Direct USA Inc., upended th southern jeweters~

code of gootlemCilly com11e1

in 1996 whe1 he opened a foortil diamorul sllowro001 011 do'NRSC3Ie lndelltndence Bouletard and began hawkirlg prices he claimed cooldn'f



by nan bauroth

Boaz Ramon's marketing strategy may be even more brilliant than the diamonds he sells, but it is engaging more than happy couples

Fourteen grand in ten minutes. Any jeweler would covet that kind of sale. But for Boaz Ramon, owner and president of Diamonds Direct USA Inc., a loving husband's breakneck binge on a 15th anniversary diamond is just another transaction. This year the innovative diamond marketer is on track to ring up $10 million worth of a girl's best friend, severely cutting into his competitors' share of the market he contends. "I don't think anybody has perfected this business as much as us," Ramon asserts, quickly adding, "We still have a lot to perfect." You'd think that putting the engagement ring on 1200 fingers in a city the size of Charlotte would satisfy the bottom line appetite of this Israeli-born entrepreneur. But Ramon has plans next year to introduce jewelers in another Tarheel metropolis to the joys of competing against his marketing concept. ...

greater char lotte biz

se p t e m b er 2 0 0 I 25

/J cla;sic re:ail revolutionary,


Ramen upe1ded the southern jewe ers' cede of gentlemanly c::mdJct in 1996 when he opened a fourth flc or diamond showroom on downscale Independence Boulevar and began hawking price; he claimed couldn't be beat. Old line Charlotte jewelers c ;ed fou ~ut customers picked up ttle m~ssage and quickly S':lre<:d w:>rd about the Piedmont's "Why bu• r3tail?" diamond outl-~t.

on s:tk:); r.ot commission. To ogender trust. the: Di311DID

-:rate L:te surface of the Diamords Direct sue~ story and you see only rock-bottom rices and a king-size invemory. banine Ramon:S strategy u..1 dera locp Jewelry jargon for a lens that rr.a.gnifi~ lOX), and you discover a multi-faceted marketing concept thar sparke.> like the Hope Diamond. Cnlike: hl5 competitors, this cann~ retailer gra5p5. the psychological profile of rr.en b.tyin~ a rock for the girl of their cL-eams. A lli:.rnond ring constitutes a h_ghl purchase decision fnugt. wiLl For testosterone types, blo g a bt£dle on something they know no~ about cans up feelings of insecuri . Rlrnor ~ercomes this male ego barrier by crti.ting a no stress, no pressure envinrm:ent. Breaking tradition,


Dire·:::: ~

abon and




fitch begi:::ts W1tb

wor k


bur C3 (colo:.-, c.ari..J', cut

:<~C~:) . N ~xt

: omes the 53 es taclic

that .::crrrpctitms really hate - re\·eatng the Ra::= ~crt Repon, t1e c:oscly 3UUded who- ~~ prt:ing shec of -:le di:c.mond ind~_>:


absol tely duele5." admits Micl-.aec. 3cy-dnhar, a twent} -g]]IL-"thing HaS

Raleif;h. prc·kssional h:> dr~d figur=:s :n a..1 engagement rii:.g ac Diaao:xcls Di eeL "I dc·n't blow anything about .:r..nonds, but <.: lea:;t f.:>r a day I had SoJDo: UC3 o[ thin~ I '0/as supposed to lo:Jk :)::or."

.::J---=r a man undcstand3 w he can ge i:•r his in·•es~::tt, tl:.e saJe is closai ih:rocgb retail hitheno reseT\.=ftl fo oundane :tetii5 .i.<e :.-ires or machines - free: c~rtification liom au md ependent dEuncnd laboraory, free a:?£1Clisal for insucmce., hlet:me: up~ and a 30-day· mo1ey-back pric pt.Jlecti•Jn guarar:tee.

Getl_,!J Answers Be ore Thev -:oop the Question J,:: an.!' giver: day, krve-31IUcl: men stlliil::k into the Diammds Jirect showroom lCIO~-:ing like stags caught n e head ·i~ t~ . · ithii:. seco::::~ds, 'l motl:..erly

"a- t of oaz F.aTon 's un ique marketing plan i! the loca:ion ol , .:. Diamonds Direa >totoe. He : pt~ for f-,urt:h floor lccation on downscale l n d epe'l ~ ence Boulevarc, r=lher :han a traditi:::>Oal .JS:S<:ale re-.ail


o ~atJ on


sep-:e11ber 200 I

saleswoman takes the prospective groom in hand, offers him a soda and chocolates, then walks him down the aisle to purchase. Beth Phillips, who joined Diamonds Direct in January after ll years managing a Zales jewelry store, reports that young men arrive at the counter and announce, "l need one of those round ones." After giving him a shon course in the 4Cs, she shows him how to use the Rap sheet so he can see the wholesale price for the object of his desire.

"They can afford Tiffany or Harry Winston, but want a Harry Winston product at Diamond Direct prices," says Boaz Ramon, president, of his clientele. Phillips then pulls out several diamonds of varying clarity and asks if he can see the difference. "I tell him if he can't, why spend the money? We don't work off commission, so I don't have to push a customer into a diamond he can't afford or doesn't need." In many ways, that old saying about "Men don't shop, they buy" is true. About 30% go for it on the spot. onetheless, Phillips always suggests a customer investigate the open market first, because she knows he will return. And why do most come back? "l think its personal attention. They know we tell them the truth. We don't make commissions, so we are not making the decision - they make the decision."

Value Investing for Men in Love Ramons bargain basement prices are a big selling factor for men, who don't pan easily with their assets. In his opinion, traclitional jewelers have clung to the errant notion that where men in love are concerned, money is no object. "l cater to intelligent men who want to be sure they are getting the most for their money - value, value, value, value!" Ramon says men who buy from him have ample assets, but spend it sman. "They can afford TLffany or Harry Wmston, but want a Harry Wmston product at Diamond Direct prices. The difference between successful business people and more successful business people,ft be insists with characteristic

greater char lotte biz

h1.:.bri!S, "is that we have money to spend,

"Charlotte is a very conservative

bet â&#x20AC;˘â&#x20AC;˘e spend it wiser. Other jewelers .da1t understand that. "

place, and the decision makers in

Ramon cites one regular customer,

who :-ecently complained that his

this market are men, not ladies. Women may come here and see tell their husband, but he makes

or rroney," F.amon retorted , prompting

the decision."

For some men, the Rap sheet is the "'Wben a customer knows he is bLyL<g diamonds marked up two and th:-eE. times, he is not going to buy," says Philips. "Men want to pay as little as

tley can." Carl Persson, president of One W:>r~d Capilal, has purchased repeatedly from Ramon. "Diamonds Direct is very efficient, and of course, pricing is key to llli success. With Boaz, whatever you want you get."

' Nhere diamonds and men are ccna:rned, :noney definitely talks. As Sq <Lhar ol::serves, "The ring is like an ~ension

of your love based on what

ycu :an provide in terms of income, or ycur hard work. You spend a percentage

Diamonds Direct, including McKay. "Once you do, it's very addictive!" she confesses. "You realize its a new world ,

something, then go home and

me "''as spending a lot of money at Diuamds Direct. "I am saving you a lot

tle oan to laugh.

That being said , women are gradually getting into the buying act at

and are empowered to go out and make these decisions for yourself and not be embarrassed ."

of that just to go toward a diamond. How

Cutting the Jewelry Middleman

jewelers get us to buy into that l don't know," he adds with some amusement.

Ramons targeted the Queen City by

With so many women of independent means today, it seems surprising that diamond customers remain so dominantly male. But in Ramons experience, "Charlotte is a very conservative place, and the decision makers in this market are men, not ladies. Women may come here and see something, then go home and tell th.eir husband; but he makes the decision." Barbara McKay, a leading Charlotte media personality who does testimonial ads for Diamonds Direct, says Ramon is

design. He'd been wholesaling diamonds to southern jewelers, and thought Charlotte the bastion of predatory pricing. Around 1995, he saw a retail showroom concept in LA and Chicago, and the idea hit him. "1 told myself this is the time to do Charlotte. It needs a place like that. Charlotte doesn't have to be the most expensive city for diamonds and diamond jewelry 1 wanted to bring the

right on target. "Its a southern thing. We've been bred to believe those kinds of

truth out. Jewelers had hidden a lot of information from consumers." To hear Ramon talk, traditional

gifts should come as a surprise from our male admirers."

retailers have only themselves to blame. He once consigned three $10,000 >-

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diamonds to a jeweler on Friday to show a customer, only to have the jeweler return them Monday Ramon claims the jeweler explained the customer would only pay $17,000, not the $20,000 asking price. To Ramon, demanding a 100% markup was madness. "You are a business owner, and have a $10 ,000 diamond on consignment and somebody is willing to pay $17,000, but you still think that is not enough markup? $7000 profit on something you didn't put a nickel into?" "I would not be his spokesperson if I were not sure of his integrity, because that's my name and face out there! I did more investigating and more time interacting with him than your average customer. I've done hundreds of commercials, and I've never had more respect for anybody than I have in doing these for him." -Barbara McKay

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Ramon decided to move in for the kill, and taking the rifle shot approach, aimed at affluent men who listened to WBT and WFNZ. From the first air second, he went manoa mano with his former customers, boasting that he sold diamonds at the same price they were paying. "Boaz had a great idea for a business, and people were waiting for someone to tell them about it," observes Rick Jackson, vice president and general manager of WBT. ''When you tell the right people with the right medium, which he chose radio with an adult 25 to 54-year old male audience who qualitatively line up great with his product- it works. Boazs success is an affirming message for me. For him, its a marriage made in heaven." Marketing history is littered with competitive advertising campaigns. Some work. Some don't. Only time will tell if Diamonds Direct is forever. Meantime, his competitors continue to file complaints with regulatory bodies to no avail. Phillips says competitors are attempting to retaliate by hurling accusations. "Ramon is selling at prices they're

greater c h ar lotte biz

buying diarr_onds at, so they cannot possibly compete with his price of stones. That makes them angry. " McKay takes exception to criticism of Ramon. "l would not be his spokesperson if l were not sure of his integrity, because that's my name and face out there! l did more investigating and more time interacting with him than your average customer. I've done hundreds of commercials, and I've never had more respect for anybody than I have in him." From a strategic perspective, Ramon's competitors don't seem to realize that complaints will not solve their problem. Retailing times have changed, and jewelers may be one of the last segments not invaded by category killers. If not Ramon, someone else, right? "Absolutely," Ramon agrees. "The modern consumer is trying to cut the middleman. This is what :he Internet is all about. We all want to come direct to the source and buy the best we can." Ramon is the first to admit his marketing heist here would not have been possible without family connections. He claims his uncles and cousins are among the elite 120 customers of De Beers. He also buys in volume , carrying a hefty $5 million in inventory. But even he has been staggered by his rapid growth. "I don't know any other merchant in five and half years who has done over ten million dollars a year sales in this country. " But Ramon believes his success is more than a function of volume . "We changed the way you do business." Devoted to his wife and three children, Ramon just finished building his first home and is grateful for achieving the American Dream. "l love this business. l see happy people, and get excited because my concept is working. But I'll be honest, l am very competitive," he can·t resist adding with an impish smile. "When l take business from competitors, it makes me feel like I'm fa lling in love again. " biz Nan Bauroth is a Charlotte-based

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f reelance writer.

greater charlotte biz

september 200 I 29

by lynda a. stadler

Taylor Richards & Conger Develop the Art of Dressing with Style If Glen Taylor had it his way, he'd give all his merchandise away if it would help men better appreciare a:1d "get'' the concept of dressing with style. It's all part of the passion that he and his partners - Richard Pattison, L•c Conger, an Scott Morgan- hold for their men's specialty clothing business, Taylor Richards & Conger, locateC. in Ecuth Pa:k's exclusive Specialty Shops On the Park. "There is a real beauty to ot::.r business and a sense of art ir stye



textiles and everything related to it," says Taylor. "Our business is geared toward men who apprecic.te s:) le and ::JUalitv in all aspects of their lives, including clothing." The business the four North Carolina natives have built together is fue~ed by the 'love of the game' and the :·.n they hcve doil.g iL Financial success has always been a secondary motivator, yet an inevitable result of their spirited attitudes. Since 1936. Tay:<Jr Ric::1ar:l; & Conger has offered a varied collection of American and European clothing for men, providing Charlotte w __h a .:c•ntempc·rary C:erui of current sties from designers such as Giorgio Armani , Zegna, Kiton, Canali, among others. They also offer an asortment of shc~s, accessories and their own private label men's skin products and fragrances. Helping individuals develop and maintain their own sense of style is what forms the basis of their highly prr~:1alized : lient relationships. >

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s ept~mber

20C I _

":Jm team of c.sscciares i:: e;::p~ ri­ ':n:ed, enthusiastk :mel knowledgeab~e,­ :::::ys Taylor. "We d~elo::> very in ~toa~ rehtions:1ips with c.ieru: so (:-_at 'I"?. f.1ll:/ u:-~derstand who t:h::y ;n and what look ::1-.e:y preier. We ne\.·er :Ell a cl~n: ·,:;;h' t l::J where, rather we :·::er him gc·xl ==?tion~ tc ·Nhat approach ·.voul:l 3Uit hirr. best. ··If we ever sent a clier.t out w~ ar:ng :o:>=nething inappn::r~ni::.~ for him. it IVCruld reflect very :;·ocrl:' on •:·ur busin~:.s. We strive to n ::~I .et it har:pen'' b~ ad:is. Ca-ving a Niche "We have a re:tl. n.:~ busine::~ " says Scott Mcrgan, who beca..~ a pntner in tt.e business in 199·=·· "vle serv~ a C. ve::se grcup of clients- ·:orpJ:"3.te exec.u:ives . FCofessionals, phystda::ts:, lav.y=rs, Dter12::beG and other c::aLv::;' l eacle.r~. "We consider t~'le o.:sto:r..~r :c be 'king,' and cater t: eacr. :•ne's ne :ds l::y p~·Jviding the hig::-.est ::p.lC.lity at several di[erent p::ice poin:s," he. sa•:s. 'An extensi\·e cv·c·mi:::ed msde-tc-


9neos. ~nc•Jcrage : tc :::ewrr-=: proc..::.:..\:e ·.:-~ t:al<r.g cbaices 3.bo_L tl-e ces .g:::. :•f thei: do::hes " ~ 3dd: P.drrri.t:ecl~- the p-i·:.:f. -:x- the me:rchandtse is iig. - s:: .:.Lmes ~ :"<mb­ tar:t- ::-.: tis a= '>ia)'S in lir:e -,fith ~]:--~ lev=l o: :ng"it:: it prr:ser.t: .3ays tvk>r~ar.. ·•;;..r,_ c.sp· ~e :o be toc best men's spedJ.t:- ::t:Jr~ :n this pa: d the r::.!ioc~' s:::;.;:. l:~T =·Jrrge1:. ··we o Ter ~ali ty :md in~:y .n o.1r ~.o:rc::an::iis::: and carr: ite::lJS the.:: ·;oo ~=-~- t L:-tc _n ::ther stores." Ir.d::-e:l, Dick P:U:i.sor. adn:~::=: that Ls rr:e:roan:lise :s ::tO{ v.ha: me:t ne~::i. bu: -.•'::- a the·; .,<IJL "1vr.:':1 :::1--.oose t:J pucha~ firu: cl.c·rh:n,g :r.~ same. wa:; tr.c:" o::ho:J3~ a o.eck and oJ.:?rnsivo: -:-.~ cc.r- l:e.:c.Lse i : nul~s the:n fe::~ g·xx. aboo: :hc:ms:el·GS ::.nd it perf•Jrrr.s at c. h:~:_llt r e-P.:J t:lu:G cth.::rs. ' I-.~ says ~.V?.. str_·;e -.: c study ~ r.:: stay a~a::::. of :::-.e :ru.ds 3C ·;;;e. :ar_:Jrep.;.r:. c:c cus:-:J::ners fo:- \o:ix..: \Pill ·=·E f=: shi::mc.·:J~~ in tl-.E se~s:: ::-. aJ:-...:::3-:1 " sa~s -::-3·)· ·:•r, wio sue-

T<yor Richards & Cocget c fers a ~ar ec ccllecti :•n :::>f Am=ri-::om ar-od :1J:"C;p::an •::olh r>g ":>r rren prcvid ng Charlotte '"" th =. : o nternpo rar ( ble vl af OJrrent :s::-le: ..




s::;le .._,·:t:. the~an's bcus on ·.1tilit;r or.d :Ir.c.icoc....i · wh.::-n deselopin6 the rr~rc .mdis~ :O C3trg:r He b::lieves t~'le t e--e.r;one h3s .r~ r •::V.Tl s~, so:net.mes they jLst lp .:1 dis:c· it. "::tyE .s *·=•Jt :::-.e inc:·.idual," le Eo."'f ~ains. "CJo:;a d t:J fas::-Jon, c. ~cnse d s:yle is 3 :irr.e~ ::; n:•tion tlli: dCRsr.t go c->1a1 :rli:e:::- a y:c..,_ or a seasoc. ltE a m :::tlenoos:: rnc.k=:s _:::pL nod:::e ;omwr:e, noJt f= e -:Jc.::::..::·J.a:- o: tl:ctr l:Jk bm fc·r LL::: :::Yer3ll efr'e.:tivme~s ." tJ\r the p5t L5 years, Taylor P.~ch3.I:'.~ & Cx,gds busi::-..:ss hc.s §;rov.rr. t.::• e .:e::c 1-3 rral:on :n sc.~fs and ~ trip._ed it:; ~to=-: :;:iz;:_ -=-he ·=·.Isin::ss hilS e:<:--rienced arnual s~les &m"-th ~vera?; 5 c. 10 to :.. 2 &m"-th ra:e rro::t ye3rs. R.e·:ent~y iJ. h3s bo:: e :::ha..lmg;d d·Je :o a :.Ump in retail s8e:;. a.3 ·oveJ a~ t e. 5\ving from business Fo :·ess~cc.c.l t:l ncsim:ss c <. ~al dres~. ccd3. ·•;.;e'·Je r::a:::hoo a r.Lurai p..c.teau this y~.r;' say:; Patti.o::·n, "bot v.e've bcec<..s:e:l .m ic:Ea3C for 3:Jring L.002." i~e :of o..:.- bu::be;s is to h3.\'::: ~rra tn--oco::y at the end o: a S:~:OC•:J. and ffi.•-e •.:: mark COWn n:~r­ c.hc.::::J .se :o c .,;t ft thrm.:!';h," he o :pl.=.i::Is.. ".::o v. ~ uy to av:::id this s:tJ ::.kt::~g eno·-{: rr.e.rchar.dise to :·.n Ge sh:::Les. b.t. ::dd bac"k a few :lollars s:::: \\o <: cc. 1. re:JC :::1::scr int: each s ~ c.son . ·•

In 1998, Taylor, Richards & Conger expanded by opening a second location at Lake Norman in Cornelius, N.C. and is working on plans for a third location in Raleigh, N.C. The staff has grown to 15 people including two direct mobile sales associates. Making the Partnership Work All four men agree that they are united through a common vision and rely on each other's individual strengths and commitment to serve the collective whole. Although their management team is "hands-on" and involved in all aspects of the business, they each gravitate toward indiv:.dual responsibilities which help drive th<: business. "We've never fought over who does what, we've just naturally fallen into taking care of responsibilities best suited to our skills" says Conger. "Over the years, as the business has grown from the original three partners, we have had to take time to refocus our energies into areas that are most productive and delegate other duties to our staff. Its been difficult ~

Taylor Richards !lc •::C ,5e · is located ir th::! Lpscale Specialty Shops oo lfle Park in the South P1rk ecrs.

For the cranially endowed. 41 "of fron headroom.

Drvers wanted~

Carolina Volkswagen (Nothing could be fz.rr..-er) 7800 E. lnde::Jenc~nce B vd. a1 Krefeld Dr. CI-.J rlo11e, NC 282'L 7 704-537-2.3.3c • 1-E00--4 .::8-2336 www.corolina~N.ntl

greater charlotte biz




kswogen. 1-SOODRIVEVWe><VW.CC>-.1

september 200 I 3:

"Parmenh:.p; work w~n yDu choose p~c·rle who yc·• trust completel~pe:l;Jle tha:


know will. ti<e care of the bus:ness as ~1 as ycu


yourself, :L he eve1t 1ha-: you mu:at ~ awa~/'says Richard :::=·a::ison, p:trtner.

at times, ::> ~..Ct: ~ ~ lli~.j to c cing everythirg wh~1 ±cre~ en\ 3 fc"' of yon buildir_g -_ie b ; ire;-: _'

k tl-£ p±r ;;~ mcha::rloer, Gkn Taylor _erls thr: ::tie:tio:J. Jf t:e m~JChan­ dise mix . ·.dille: ?3irun oamg::.s L~ marketir-.s; and a::lvcrt:sing, =-rrl C~r and Mo=9ID :rnJ.ct-_ ~ _e d"-;-to-ct.? operatL13 mc silis ~-TC:lC>t:= "Pan:.-=r:>h?s ''\"<Jrk \\·h~l :.ou. ctoose people wE:.o ~c.:... tr~t c:cp-eefy- ?cople that ycu --::nC·"~~" -,il_ taj e ca~e :;::.:: tb: busine;; 3~ wcl" as: :.IOU y,·o-Jl:i yo:rs.elf,

"'1Cc ll

In tod~ tl3bess woud, ) Jf <I:J:lUies are CJnstantlv Bited ~ LQ prE1Jarei f~· ccl~ogin~ !itl:llO:l~- require:; a evel of ~·?idg;:lia~ ; Y = } . gOES -Jeyord tl-e J 2ii:s. It Ul-:ES S<ill 10d insi&IJt to think of~ scL:jclli. ..d -t•JO . o: & .mEs. At th~ ~~ cU:l[ &boo! ol. BlliJlE&:., :mr MBA a..ld executiv:: >:<luc~r:.c•n •)ooeJS.(oliEs•" e>arJo-:. programs [•f a 1C•re than : la;;:{)(.ro .e.~ture;. Yoor professo:!' will C'illE Le :un. learr_ing ~ kEt:brrs :o he9 yo• EX]md your aJilities a:ld .J(Jild JJ)Uf ::onfitena:, s:· ::oJ can 1:12 tte cl-allenge~ thc.t come.._,_:::_ ~ve r.liaL Ple~e gi~-e u: :: ca:I if )':•J '7/llt to _earn and !mow mere




in the event that you must be away," notes Pattison. Taylor and Pattison have learned the hard way from previous business ventures together, that the wrong partners can hinder success , no matter how great the potential. "If you go with the wrong people you're always looking over your shoulder with a slight doubt in your mind. It just doesn't work well" he says. Success, they say, is measured not only by sales and profits, but also by their ability to satisfy customers. "We view success as a continuous growth process ," says Pattison. "We want to create something new each season for our customers so we define our success, in large part, by what is left on the shelves at the end of each season. It all depends on if we've provided the right merchandise to our customers and how satisfied they are with our service." Fulfilling a Customer Service Agenda "Customers are our assets," says Lyn Conger. "We do everything we can to build strong relationships with our clients, fulfill all their needs, and to create a comfortable place to shop. It is not unusual for everyone in the store to know every customer by name." Both store locations are open six days a week with extended hours into the evenings. They also accommodate customers with after-hour and Sunday appointments. "We will open the store to a client if he is unable to come in during normal hours," says Conger. There are also the "little" things that make a difference to people, he says. "For example, we like to press dress shirts for customers so that they can wear them right away and they don't have that 'out of the package' look," he says . "We also deliver purchases to people and take orders over the phone and ship the merchandise." There are also situations in which they believe in going the extra mile to preserve client loyalty and demonstrate their customer commitment. "During the holidays we provide free gift-wrapping services," recalls Morgan. "And one day a woman picked up her packages and accidentally wound up with one of another client's boxes. When we realized

greater charlotte biz

what had happened on Christmas eve, we had someone drive down to her home in South Carolina and bring her the right package, and then delivered the other one to the correct owner," he says. Another example he recalls was when a customer came in on a Sunday and needed a tuxedo for a formal event the following Friday in Los Angeles. And, he was leaving for the trip the following day. "We didn't even have a tuxedo in his size in stock at the time," says Pattison. "So we took a suit off the rack, measured him and marked it up. Then we ordered a tuxedo and had it shipped rush delivery to us by T esday. We transferred the marks to the tuxedo, had it altered, picked a shirt, tie and other accessories, and had it all shipped out to him in LA on Friday morning." When the customer called during the day on Friday, Pattison recalls how his heart sank in anticipation of a problem. "Usually i.f a client calls that quickly, it's not a good sign," he laughs. "In this case, however, he just wanted to tell us that he received our package and that everything fit him perfectly. He just wanted to thank us." For the busiest of customers, Taylor Richards & Conger's direct sales associates take the store on the road, meeting clients in their offices, homes or country clubs. "We understand that our customers work during the day, travel extensively, and have limited time, so we make ourselves available to them on their terms," says Watt Long, a mobile sales associate who serves clients throughout the Carolinas. Clients benefit from Long's service because they are able to obtain all elements of their wardrobe, he says. "We ave the ability to offer clients a total wardrobe experience -everything a full line store offers. And we bring it to him wherever he wants, at any time it is convenient, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Also, if he just wants to order specific items, like dress shirts or slacks, he can call me anytime. I'll pull the items from the store and ship it directly to him," says Long. >

g re a te r c h ar lotte biz

The University of North Carolir a at Charl:Jr

The Office of Continuing Education COMPUTER TRAINING UPTOWN \t.t'e are pleased to offer continuing edocati::m prc-grarlli,'l.d to >erve the needs ofUptown businesse anc org:miz~t:ic nc All classes taught at UNC Charlotte U}Xown 220 N. Tryon Street, Soite 300 Classes start October 2, 2001 See class schedules and register onlinr at contednc/ For complete details, contact Marty K.ind:il by pho11e (704~:P-4452路, or e- mail (mskindal@em3il.uncc.ew).

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Dan -=aylo:-, an



frcrr_ Chatbtte ias 5hopped at -=:-aylor Richards ~ Co:15er f::>r ne.:.rh- 1: years. '1 :ravel all over the ·N::>rld ar:d I believe


~tore -~

the sngl~ beot rr~n'5 store

in tl-_.:: wod.:i." 'A;hen t:-av.::lin.?,, 1aylor

t:l.j oys seeking :palit:; cbth:ng stores c.::d repon: whal he fi:lds to his friends c. Ic.ylor P...: charcs Gr. Conger. 'I stc. ~~ed stor:r:;ing here bex:ause

Fall Fashion 2JO _


IN CHARLOITE Voted Charlotte's Best For The Past Four Years

_.~ tl\.

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Our Busi ess is Go f

704 .547 .0023 • 803.547.1300 • 800.671.5550 35

septem::er 2:::J

gre ater :h ;: rlotte biz

I knew Lyn Conger, but I remained a customer all these years because of the top end quality merchandise and the incredibk service I receive. And the fact is that I like to shop here, it's a destination. We've developed a great relationship. I don't have to reintroduce myself every time I come in, there's no pressure to buy, and they show me how the clothes can work for me ." Taylor also likes that fact that when he shops he knows that his limited time is be:ng used productively. And if he ever gets into a bind or needs help in a rush, they will be responsive to him . "The people here know that I don't have a lot of time to shop, so I get maximize attention when I'm here. Also, if 1 ever find myself in Los Angeles or another location and 1 have forgotten an item of clothing, 1 know 1 can call Lyn or Glen and they'll find what 1 need and have it shipped to me over night. " Supporting Fellow Entrepreneurs The partners at Taylor Richards &: Conger ha•;e been supportive of South Park Mall's expansion plans and feel that the addition of new department stores will bring more people to the area and cha[enge them to do better in their business. "We believe that competition breeds profit," says Morgan. "The expansion will only make us work harder and strive to do a better job. We get a lot cf overflow traffic from the mall, especially during the holidays, so our close proximity to it is an advantage to us. " They also operate under the philosophy that being supportive of local community businesses will eventually come full circle. "First of all, if we want local people to do business with us, we need to support their businesses," explains Conger. "Secondly, there are potential customers out there working in the businesses that we come in contact with eveq day, such as our bankers or attorneys. 'Ne can eventually invite them into the store to see what we have to offer. It's a win-win for everyone." biz Lynda A. Stadler is a Charlotte- based freelance writer.

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1610 East Mcrehead St. =>.0 . Bc:x 33 7 89 Charlotte, NC 28233 phone : 7C4.275.8000 "ax: 704 . 334 . 65~

' The lr · s )..Z.Z-.\ • • ·d r n.



< harlott


nr 1 :lc·. t opm_n 1as



170-a. r~ d vel.•pmr>nl

he L-w





~ .1n \:

' \' ·


th.:: cut . . Jt · of C )[1_( d

' el\ urbanis111' is tile lat=st bLZINDrd among dl!'r"!topers in

Clartotie •d lecUenbJrg Co nty ood is used to desaibe c ompact, pedestrian-orie"lted, ni(e&-Ube development!> wi

iJest}les l'"!!m'niscent of small ~

na-.ional trend, the



of1he past. But, a ltho..~;,:rh

hasa •ts,read much to Charlctte's

s.Jrreun II ir g uunties. Wrlh ooe exceptioo:

on \illag~e <

~.Afton\Tillage. com>.

~ 171}-ac~ commun· 'J ~i n:: ~ lkpe on fhe outsUts of Coocord

W1 Caba rr-.s Co•nty, lcca1Pd 11ft J-S5 a1 Peplar Ten Roa d. Bid J'llU I

n:eur see or hear be .om '•raism' 111ertionoo in


.t its promotiooal nr sal:es mabrials.

g ·· e=.ter ch:HI::t'=! biz

september 200 I )g

'People here asso:::ia e t:: -ba-. '\ith J./an1anan, vvhen it's reaJy m).1" lL<e Dilworth," says Da,·e Ma?field, ">Jton creat:.:>r an::l devdor~~- -\ -nLd


b··tt e- word i5 trad tio_•al ne~s•=·nhcod d~sign.'

ln fact, Mayfie~d , a Ciar:.:Xte .:uti·.>e, adm::s :le wa~ insp:red b)- the cu:.·s h~ toric neighborhoods of Diwc:th, Myers ?ark :~rrl East·)Ver when j:lann:r.gP.fto:J \l"tlla6e.


:=.:~stover, ~y


I <»rr.ted

bicycle, but wren my kids


a \'ati~y of multifamily or::_~ings , as well ~ 3~o . o= o oqua-e fee of ~etai.. a:::-. d insti utiorn1 u ses , ir.clLd.n g a 63 , 0 ~10-square - to::>t YM:::::I.



:ng up .n a new neighbornood . l~:" were captr,es," say5 May:Jeld, 2. ' I a.5•J brrnerl aboc C)mmrmity c.t tl:-.e reigbbo::hood g::ocery store my famil:; rrn ir. Cibxmh"

whi·:h viL inc ude both ~esidemial an:l rctaJ The 7, , th:_estcory- Fc•rm:lry Wll open later this yec.r. TI:e gr•JUrd Oc•or Nill a coffeeh · u~:: a-d a ~ c.le ; omce lor Aftc·n Village Lar:d

com~e ~cic.l

Ccmpcny, .-.vl:Le :he top : wo Ooors v.L each two ccLdomiri-..Ims. The firrn

t! ...,-_n b:-e~< groun:l ne~ S?ri:Jg. Seven !:-. orne 1::-_ilders are n ::w b.1ilding

v.illlat:Er b·Jilc a hrg::r s ructure 'With 2J concorrini'Jrr.~ and seven retail ba·;~ . "AI cur leasing ·will f:t 'With the

at AftJn ·n .age , and 3ome 6C• famih ::s al:reoc~ lr'~

I was gro\"ing up in

I could go

who CC•mr::etec, Aft:::n V.llage will :ea:u~e 600 to 7CO res·dercial un:ts , ir:clLd.n g j.)t r. sngle fami~ hcmes ;:.nd

ti::re. A 60-aru: perk bEects tl-.e wmcuni :y a::1d J=rovicks a maj JT recreati::>r:al aoen ity ·or rer.idents. Th~ result :s ;t : ocmunit) v.ith :l-.e cha ~acter and ::JcCJ •)f 1 ~mall South~m toWIL 11oy-:.eld:; b,_ilding ar::::t l-.a3 sta~L d work on the f.~st :::orrunerml -::>uildings,

ALcn 'li.llage 1= hilosophy of creating a comrrunity," Mayfield explains. "lt's why VP- dJnated bnd for :heY. The C)Ieel:ouse wJl ?rOvide .a gathering place f::r tl:e CJmilunity The retail o{le~in£5


\Vlll LOt compe e 'With places t-1.ilb and V"ill cater to


day-to-da:' ser.rice needs.- like restat:rants, ins1 rar.ce agencies, accoumama.torne;s. c. dry cl=aners and a shoe VVe're talki:lg to a family practi: e. a::>:nt a medical o -fice. The vitality of Af:cn ~ tiat it 'Will have a daytime life . a; well 3S an e..reTLng and weekend li:e.

"When I was growing up in Eastover,

I co _jd go wherever I wanted on 111J bicycle, but \\.her my kids were

gro~ i n g

up in a new 1eighberhood, they were ca!Hives," sars developer Davill Mayf eld. Th.:! residentill offerings 'Will also

t-e "·a riff! Ma} fiel:l, \iitcl-.ell Hartsell Cc•r.StrL.ction c.nd 'Traditi:mal Builders a ~e: ·Juil:lhs condJrniniL-rr. projects. Ma}iie d ~nd 11itCheJ Har:sell are also develo;ir~ si~le family r .omes, as are (-.A. F::rd 3uilder3, Wighcnan Homes. ]o:·m E :;,<>tnscn nd Lifestyle Custom Hone5 . fill the hcmes are being custo:r. bu-ilt, g:o r:c· tv.<> '"-ill be c.tke. Mayfiek. i5. :~}so LL he CeS~pl Stag_ of a retiremen : bt:ildin_s that vi.L includ ~ 60-80 units Vvbil ~ there vi.ll be a great deal o:: V3. :i ~ ty n t:le hoU3ing stock, there v.ili a_5o be :::ommon cesign _h~mes and c:Ja rac:~r::;jcs tha: draw 0::1 tradition~ Southern arch tec·ure. Houses 'Will ha·.;e deep fran : pcr::h,.- , high ceilings, tall win:io-;.s nd :las;ic architectural detaJ ing. De,;igr: co:ies requir _ that at least 7C pe~a of ·he ::1.omes have a usable :evelopers envision, wvhe1 ca mpl::e, Heet ng 5~ -~ will be z gad-,ering pla: e fo · all in -me ccmrru1 ty to m ~ et and relax over a cu,: of : c:ffee, or ; np y ~ >J th: dai > ponr tefore wCYk.

s eptember 2JO

fror.t r:orcr. a: lea5-:t eight feet deep and l2 feet wk.e. -=:-he front po:-ches must

.:; reater cha r lott e 1:; z

also be set ba.:k and be highet than the adjacent sidewalk to give :he por:hes an appropriate level of privaq.

"We pride ourselves in creating a neighborhood that's aut Ec-ntic -


part of that is having people of all agei.• "We have set design stacdard~ call them guidelines or p~rb::mance criteria - that the builders can interpret in their own way," Mayfield say~. "-o y::n;: get consistency with diversit).: You'll se:: single-family homes next to, next to townhomes. And th~v'll aJ be of the same c_uality." An unusual design featu ~e of Afton Village homes i; the rear loc~ion cf all residential garages, the majority d whi:h. are served by an alley system A perfec: location for unsightly garage~, utili:y transformers garbage collection :md gu~st parking, the service alley presencs the streetscape for porches, sidewalk~, street trees and people. A particular housing prcxiu: t that has become _uite popular at Afto1 Village is a carnage house, a smaL detached home (about 1,20:• fet( Nith a private garage and living spact above it. "We'll be integrating thes~ in small lots throughout the Village,' \1ayfield says. Afton V:llage builders are c.lsc offering specialized custo:n hJme-c•ffices for those who want to utiliz~ a heme office as their primary work place.. This mixture is creating he ambi-


Developers plan for tree-lined streets, parks and an on-: itt Yl"D t c en : ourage neighborhood interaction.

ence Mayfield is striving for. "We have beer_ successful in attracting people of all ages at different periods of their lives," he says . "We pride ourselves in creating a neighborhood that's authentic - and part of that is having people of all ages." Because a:· the wide range of housing options being offered at Afton Village, Afton Village Land Company is handling all sales. "We want to have a consistent


vfayfield says. "Because we ta·•e !OO r-'.rrj housing types, it requires a bit cf ~.:.:;. ?eople in real estate general[; ..>pe:i=.L."'t! in one type." Mayfield's wife f.nre , -}il-_: has her own consulting firm, dc~lo?ed much of the developoent'o TI:o-rketing strategies. Dc::.c 1.1=..yfield admits that even \:lith::n : :::e term 'new urbanism,' some cnn9..L~I .t..ducation was necessary. So the f E t l ) were built on spec in >


S-tyl..e. It begins w ith our food.

Steak C" 'E:Jm~toe:

Joey D' AttOfC'S

JpJ.ghet-z e-



Szrvins LL¥l~h -od Dinner - In the ~oncCresl S!1opplns Ctr. • Ba llant~·nc • 7c4.75£S]o; greater crarlotte biz

s eptember 200 I 41

1998. "The ccncepts were fc•reign, and we


felt we needed to show people how it worked," he explains. "We fel: :hey had

-::m poses of the front porches -.J povide people with a

notes One of the major

to actually see it -- not just c; pi:nre. Once

-::·lace to 3it and watch -

people saw it, there was no : esi.sBnce." But it's a style that isn't for everyon::. "We are not a1l things to all pe::>ple.' Mayfield observes. "If you war:t to Lve in the country, this isn't it. If yc•J want to

·=r ta:k to - neighbors :>talking by Although Mayfield is -.ow doi..<g development -Jll-time, h:s first love is

hit go1f balls _n your backy3.rd :;ou can': do that here. We are about co::nmunity,

:rrchitecture. That is, after all, train:ng. After earning

being a pedestrian-friendly plac, and

-tis E.S. in architecture from

being compact, while still giving resdents a sense of privacy an:i sccurit,r"

~~o rth C3.rolina State _)niversi:y, ie earned a mas-

The emphasis on pedestllios i~ a basic part of Afton Village'o maoter :::>lan Tree-lined streets and a netwo:k of ·.vide

:::rs in architecture from the

sidewalks will create a stro::1g pedes.:rian connection b ::tween residential and corr_mercial areas and the park. For a ploce to be pedes:ric.::1-frie::1dly,

Stringent architectural guidelines based on historical Southern designs have been established to protect the integrity of Afton Village.

~Aas5achuse tts Institute of Technology and :: masteG in landscape architecture from

:-Iarvard Both graduate degrees are with ::: concentration in urban design, and he .vorked :n that area for several years before :etumin5 to his native state in 1988.

to explore and execute urban design ideas I never could as an architect. "I'm not a spreadsheet developer," Mayfield adds. "I go in with concepts and find a way to make them financially possible." At Afton Village, the approach is

Mayfdd expl3.ins, you need wide sidewalks that are pleasant and 3afe to walk

"I'm now taking the concepts I ben 1.:.sing in cities for so long and

on; destinatioos that people car. ·.valk to; and not too sreep a grade. "'Ne move::!

::.pplying them in a greenfield from ::cratch ,' Mayfield says. "Developing

Bea Quirk is a Charlotte-based

lots of dirt to get the grade dov;r: to 5-7% ,"

Mto::l VJlage is giving me an opportunity

freelance writer.

paying off. biz


Join four stars at the state's premiere business event - the 2001 North Carolina Business Hall of Fame dinner on Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Charlotte. For reservations or information, call 704-536-9668 or e-mail We will recognize four new inductees (clockwise ftom top /.eft)Edward E. Crutchfield, former chairman & ceo, First Union; C Felix Harvey, chairman, Harvey Enterprises; W. Duke Kimbrell, chairman & ceo, Parkdale Mills; and Dalton McMichael, former chairman, Mayo Yarns. Cosponsored by Junior Achievement and NCCBI, the Business Hall of Fame Annual Dinner benefits Junior Achievement (]A) - the only organization reaching public and private school students, from kindergarten to high school, with classroom instruction programs that result in better comprehension scores and improved critical thinking skills by simulating everyday business experiences.

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s ept 2 mber 200 I

greater charlotte biz

an executive guide: to dining out in g

joey D'Attores Welcome to the New York Italian Neighborhood of the 1940s "My grandfather ran a bakery in Bound

prise of long-time Charlotte restaurateur

Brook, NJ, supp lying all the bread to two

Dennis Thompso n.

Italian restau 路ants that my father owned

There are 100,000 people living

Joey D's is primarily a casual-dress . comfortable upscale establishment with lots of families, often joined by business

and operated in Northern New Jersey,"

with n five miles of the restaurant with

executives in sports coats and suits. Th=

recalls Gerald Pulsinelli, general manager

average house1old incomes of $75,000.

dining room serves up to 200 people in

for Joey D'Attore's restaurant in South

"Der nis was attracted to the lifestyle-type

two sections separated by a waist-high

Charlotte. "I 5rew up in the Italian restau-

cent-=r with upscale retail stores," notes

wall. This cordoned-off, but open area

rant business in the New York City area,

Tyler Fray, directo路 of marketing and pub-

is used for receptions and dinners by

serving a knowledgeable clientele."

lic rElations for Red Mountain

businesses and various organizations,

Located n a stand-alone building in the StoneCrest shopping center in

Man3gement. "And he saw an opportunity to beat

ranging from nearby corporations to such groups as the Italian-American Club of

Ballantyne, Jcey D's and a neighboring

the competitio1 in an underserved area.

Charlotte. This reception area can hand e

stand-alone r=staurant, Firebirds Rocky

He believed that Charlotte didn't have a

parties from 6 to 40 people, with dinner

Mountain Grille, are both owned by Red

gooc Italian neighborhood restaurant,

service capacity of about 25 people.

Mountain Ma 1agement, another enter-

where you can co e dressed as you are."

There's also an outdoor courtyard


located in a stand-alone building in the StoneCrest shopping center in Ballantyne, Joey D's is owned by Red Mountain Management, an enterprise of long-time Charlotte restaurateur De-nnis Thompson. greater crarlotte b i z


200 I 43

Fast- io ni 11g A LJ:gend g

_e ~en j

1as i: that Joey D'Attore an d

his bro-h=rTo -y grew up in Brocklyn an d sp ~r: hour.; in the l:.itch en c·f th e r nc e ~a ·:ato : D'Att ore as he cJoked

l4J r ea :J i1g plates of pa3ta. The sme . of garli: -- llzd he air. Tt- e sound of

s3uce :»r. .t·bli ng on the : tove wa mec the ·o•XLa.o we.l as their hearts. " U ~ S a l fed trem family stories - · abo _: :i rardna Grace and Papa Jo.o - · and ;~.I : he ·r brothers 3nd sisters, au rrts :m : uncl es, niece.; and nephev.s. "Tr ~·

liv: d ... where the warm cli -

mat e h ~bs tonatoes fl ourisr. That's why so .rth~ rn tt:a lian cooking lends itsetf tc bnato-based sauces burstirg with fl2; o ·. T e bou ntif l coast border· ing t he region also plays a vital role i n

Joey Ys offers a -,aried :alia1 win= sElection spanning from Cavit Pinot Grigio to one of the most sou~ t afte · Tuscan r~~ - A.n: inori Tignane llo- with costs ranging from $23 to S95 a bo:tle.

shapin 5 : :1 e area's distil ct coo~j ng

c.ea =,x dinin5 •Jt receJ:tions t1at hc.ndles

(with peas and prosciutto ham), as well


30 1= eJJ: le, a~

as spaghetti, man icotti and other pasta

"G -a-od ma Grace anu Papa Joe

'I'IE l

a3 the bar . oun~ .

.And par<.ing i~ no prob .e11, plus there' :.

dishes. The entrees are priced reasonably

were k• :wn t hnughouttheir small

ftee valEt SEMce =.fter 4:00pm from

ranging from $6.25 to $11.95 at lunch

town a~ f he b E~ t cooks 3round . . an c


to $7 .25 to $16.95 for dinne r.

the ugh: Sunc~. Liv= entErt3il·

the·, fi ercelr gu arded th =ir re cipes ...

ment s proJided n : hE ourtyard 01 Fr dav

the · se c =t in&redients 3nd spe·:ial

,.,d Saturday e•;e1irgs,


The fox re : re~ent5 rec i pes

" Un :ie Sall.:arned al.l he could frC•11 Era 1d a S·a·: e and Pa~a Joe, th en passec a Jng t1eir passi Jn for cookin g to Joe~ lr :l Tc· ~ Uncle ~al also taugh t them tta: me31t mes are abo ut more tha n p

d boc; they're about fanily,

friends c: •j con.,ersatiotl." - from Joey D's

The wine cellar is 60 percent Califo rn ia and 40 percent Ita li an wines, which range

c= t

from pi not grigios to ch ianti classicos to

migratej fnn Jario us r::gions of :aly

baro los to barbarescos to asti spumantes.

to b= re inverrtedin Nev-. York's old et ni c

The Italian wine selection spans Cavit Pi not

neig hborhooj s. -he resulting I ali3n·

Grigio to one of the most sought after

.Amerkc= n ruisi1 o:: incluc =s Veal P cca::a,

Tuscan reds - Antinori Tignanello - with

Fesce Spada d: O: ampa ~ na (gri ll ed

costs ranging from $23 to $95 a bottle .

~ordish), EggJ: art Farmesan, ~hrrr p

Most wines at Joey D's are in the $23 to

~cam Ji

$45 a bottle price category.

Alfredc·, inguir and Clarr s,

l:J bs: er Ravic·li a1d Fe:Lccine AI . oey

Building a restaurant Pu lsinelli left his family' s restaurant business and went to Widener University, majoring in hotel and restaurant management. He joined Stouffer's Restaurant Company, serving in all three divisions - fine dining, upscale seafood and casual - in restaurants scattered from Chicago to New York to Connecticut. He joined Morton's restaurant group, originally in the steak division, but the company made him an area manager to open and supervise their new Italian restaurant operations Be rtollini's. He opened restaurants in Philadelphia, California, Las Vegas and Cha rl otte. Joe/ D's o:r e:~tes m Ita li an theme v;ith r'la l Jgany-linej "Va l s, nostalgi c !llack-and -Nh :e photcs a- c brLs 1ed, stain less stee l ac·:ent s. ThE restaurant 1asover~i~d booth =., a wi1dilg 1 arble b3r and c. floor-to-cei li ng wall of ·Nire.



200 I

Recruited by Red Mountain 's management team, Pulsi nelli joined Joey D's as construction began. The key challenge greater char l otte b i z

was bringing to life the brand image of

13777 Ballantyne Co1rporate Phzce Suite 305 Charlotte NC 28277-3419 Phone 704.540.5800 www.ineteng.con;

an old neighborhood Italian restaurant. He remarks, "We did extensive research into the little t1ings, like the china, silverware. What is the right look?"

"We want you to feel a part of our family, our neighborhood, which is the essence of joey's,'' says Gerald Pulsinelli, general manager. " In our first year, we're concentrating on operations and providing firstclass service and food," Pulsine ll i says. Business at the restaurant has been brisk, often at capacity. "We've strongly exceeded projections for this summer and are very encouraged by sales," he reports when questioned about any



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lined walls, nostalgic black-and-white photos and brushed, stainless steel accents, joey D's carries out the overall theme down to the captain uniforms of the wait staff and the old-styled New York Collins glasses. The re staurant has oversized booths, a winding marble bar and a floor-to-ceiling wall of wine ." Pulsinelli worked with other Red Mountain executives to find just the right china and silverware to evoke the time period. "All the way down to the cheese caddy that's on your table," he says. "Branding is crucial to success in the restaurant business," observes Tyler Fray, director of marketing and public relations. "We want you to feel a part of our family, our neighborhood, which is the essence of joey's." "You should feel that you belong here as soon as you walk in the door," Pulsinelli says. A recent .A.rthur Andersen survey of hospitality trend s reported that, "Themed restaurants are also popular among

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"We built this place on a memory," Thompson says, "and we imagine that as you pass through our doors, you'll create some wonderful new ones for yourself." Future Plans Before the upcoming holiday season, Pulsinelli plans to introduce a catering-togo service. In addition to Joey D'Attore's, Red Mountain Management owns and operates the following Charlotte restaurants: Firebirds Rocky Mountain Grille, Baxter's Blue Marlin in Dilworth, and Uncle Sal's Old-Neighborhood Italian near the UNCC Campus. "The Red Mountain Management group is evaluating three to five restaurant concepts every year and we hope to build 20 units within the next four to five years," Fray says. One of the concepts under consideration for expansion is Joey D's. Buona Appetito!


Ron Vinson is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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luxury vehicles for the successful executive reviewed by John DiPietro,

2002 Nissan Maxima Taking it to the Max For the past l 7 years, the Nissan Maxima has been a

which gives a three-dimensional impression of viewing the route

favorite choice of those who wanted a V6 sedan that offered a

as if you were flying over it, as opposed to the flat, map-like view-

lot of bang for the buck in terms of standard features, perform-

point of other nav systems. More supportive seat design, a micron

ance and reliability. In fact, according to Nissan, 32 percent of

air filter and a trip computer with steering wheel controls round

Maxima's sales last year were repeat buyers.

out the significant upgrades inside the Maxima.

But after recently attending Nissan's unveiling of the 2002

Offered in three trim levels- base GXE, sporting SE and lux-

versions of its Maxima, Altima, Sentra SE-R, Xterra and Frontier,

ury GLE- the 2002 Maxima can be anything from a nicely

we couldn't help wondering about the fate of Nissan's flagship

equipped family car to an affordable sport sedan. GXE models

sedan. The handsome (and larger than last year's model) new

now come with last year's optional "Comfort and Convenience"

Altima will be available with a storm in' 240 horsepower 3.5-liter

package as standard, which includes 16-inch alloy wheels, an

V6, manual or automatic transmission and 17-inch wheels. With

eight-way power driver seat, six-speaker premium audio system

the Altima going so far

with steering wheel controls,

uptown, the question

auto-dimming rearview mirror and

that loomed large was

a Homelink universal transmitter.

"Why would anybody

Stepping up to the GLE increases

want to buy a Maxima?"

the luxury and looks with 17-inch

Nissan representatives

alloy wheels, foglights, a 200-

claimed that they con-

watt Bose stereo with an in-dash

sidered this potential

six-disc CD changer, automatic cli -

quandary seriously. They

mate control, power passenger

are confident that the

seat and leather seating. The

improvements to the

sport sedan enthusiast's choice

Maxima for '02 as well

would be the SE, with its six-

as cutting back on

speed manual gearbox, firmer

Maxima production

suspension calibrations, high-per-

should allow the models to coexist happily. Scrutinizing the

The 2002 Nissan Maxima features high intensity discharge (HID) xenon headlights, interior titanium accents and an optional navigation system that includes "Birdview," a three-dimensional view of routes.

formance 225/50VR17 rubber mounted on alloy wheels and the obligatory rear spoiler. If you want

2002 Maxima, subtle changes are evident, such as the front end

to know which 2002 Maxima you're looking at, check the

and taillight styling tweaks. The grille now wears a bigger Nissan

wheels: Five spokes denote the GXE, six spokes are indicative

symbol and the lower fascia has a larger air intake. New for this

of theSE and seven spokes signify the GLE.

year, and standard on every Maxima, are high intensity dis-

With 260 horsepower and 246 pound-feet of torque, the

charge (HID) xenon headlights. Yep, the same type of serious

Maxima's standard 3.5-liter V6 packs 33 more horsepower and

illumination that certain high-end carmakers make you pay a lot

29 lb-ft more than last year's 3.0 V6. It also makes 35 more

extra for. Out back, the taillights sport the clear lens treatment

horses than a BMW 330i or Acura 3.2TL, and the same amount

that is so en vogue today.

as the 3.2TL Type-S. And those other cars all compete in a more

Jumping into the cockpit and scanning the gauges and interior decor, we noted that simulated titanium accents are found on

expensive segment. Speaking of segments, we consider the Maxima to be a "'tweener," a car that exists between two popu-

the console and door panels. Seems that titanium is the flavor of

lar categories: the midsize family sedans (such as the Toyota

the month, as everything from bicycles, sunglass frames, tennis

Camry) and the entry-level luxury class (which includes the 330i

racquets and even golf ball centers are made with this metal.

and 3.2TL). Dress up the Maxima with a formal grille and more

Nissan is using this metallic finish in several of its new vehicles,

upscale interior, however, and it lands squarely in that latter

and in the Maxima SE, even the gauge faces are titanium in color.

market niche, badged as the lnfiniti 135.

A navigation system is now optional and features "Birdview,"


se ptembe r 200 I

In addition to the stronger engine, other mechanical refine-

greater charlotte biz

ments include a

tested- a 20th anniversary SE five -speed. Braking was swift

"drive by wire"

and progressive, two endearing traits when you 've this much

throttle control

power to rein in.

(that uses electronic control

lncJuj=r:: in I' c.>.n~·~ s..Jbtle c~anges, arE dea lens gh:~. so Er vogu= today.

The Maxima 's chassis is unchanged - why mess with a good thing? Responsive steering, flat cornering and neutral

instead of the

behavior when unraveling a twisty road make one realize that a

traditional throt-

ripping sport sedan needn't cost $40,000. Although we didn't

tle cable setup).

have pricing as of press time, we don't expect any big increases

a beefed-up automatic tran~-

over the 2001 Maxima lineup. As far as handling the predicted impact the new Altima would

missio 1 :s~a1 d atc 01 G><E and G_E) anc la ·ger front disc brakes.

make on the Maxima, Nissan plans to roll back Maxima produc-

The st a(l :a-d c: n-- cck txakes alsJ fe r u -e brake force distribu-

tion from nearly 130,000 units to 80,000. The biggest cut will be

ron :w~ ioc h give ~ t re mJst Yaking p:>oN-= r ~ : he wheels with th e

on the GXE model, which will only account for 5 percent of 2002

test §TiJ) a1d br=ke assist (whic1 s _pp ie:: f Jll braking power

Maxima production, down from nearly 20 percent in 2001. The

when tte b:J

e pedal is applied suooenly, sJch

as in a panic

logic here is that most folks will go for a loaded V6 Altima versus c:

I'v e 1/:C:tec nc ti11e graJJing th e l:e;s 1o an SE fitted with

features than the Altima will offer, the Maxima GLE and SE model5

stop ~i bJ c: ti :· r) .

base Maxima. But should one want more luxury or performance

the ::i:-:-:. pEed me: l La tra nrry, and WE 'Nere thilled with its eager

will be ready to cater to that customer. Most other carmakers

and =or : e=u. cha~ to red line as we ·oV'.Iedthough the gears.

would be overjoyed to have a "problem" like this.

Once 3f a n Ni ~ SCil h3s turned OJt a crEarry smooth and powe rful V6 I a! s2e-nerJ t J e1joy runn i ng I 3d


-nuch as we loved, Inc. was founded in 1966 to publish new and used vehicle

drivin.s - ~ h :: t vta.., -h= gEar spadng J =tle :;i.<-speed gearbox,

gu1des. In 1995, Edmunds became the first company to establish a site on the

both r JPE tf: 3l 1J 3nd in tens of lever have I, was ideal. Even

Web on wh1ch consumers could obtain veh1cle Information at no cost. and 1n

when d1ivi~ 3E;§r2ss·vely, V>Je didn't to-ch o1e up- or downshift

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while b3sth§" ~ r:IU g1 the gears. Th e =e:= l c f : he shifter was

users of wireless Web-enabled dev1ces. cont1nues to prov1de

imp DolEd o·, 2f the rLbb := ry =eel o the la:;t n c: nual Maxima we

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s eptember 200 I 49

Airport, continued f rom page 52 What have been the pros and cons of Charlotte being so dependent on one airline?

for a new runway. We should have 88

are the front door, the first impression

gates- up from 69- by early next year.

visitors get of Charlotte. It's importan:

All this is costing about $280 million.

for the entire community that we presert

Our noise compatibility plan is

ourselves as best we can . The problem

I don't think we are dependent on one

funded 80% by the FAA. Since 1990,

at the airport is that occasionally we run

airline. While it is true that 93 percent

we have spent about $65 million in

out of cabs, and sometimes we have

of our total passengers fly US Airways,

neighborhoods surrounding the airport

too many. A driver may sit and wait three

three-quarters of them are transfers

to address environmental consequences

or four hours for a fare- and he can't

flying through here. But of those whose

of airport noise. We bought homes from

make a living that way.

trips begin or end here, US Airways services

400 people, insulated 1,000 homes, as

65 percent. That's the number to be

well as schools and churches . It's an

a contract basis, and when the system

ongoing process, and we'll be going to

was established, there were five compa -

Council shortly to initiate updates to

nies. Before the ordinance, there were

focusing on .

What's the current status of airport land use plans and future growth? Are there plans to purchase any more homes?

We deal with cab companies on

that program. That could include buying

17, which were too many for us to deal

additional homes.

with effectively, and it created a lot o ~ problems. Under the new ordinance,

There's a lot of uncertainty among cab drivers and owners about the impact of the new Passenger Vehicle for Hire ordinance, especially as to how the airport will implement it in its contracts. How do you see this issue being resolved? What are the airport's concerns about the current cab service?

We've had master plans for the airport since 1961. The most recent was approved by Charlotte City Council in 1997. We are now implementing that blueprint, with the recent expansion of the international and commuter concourses and additional gates in Concourse A for Continental, Northwest and Delta. We're in the design stage for

We want to provide our passengers with

a new parking deck and getting permits

the best cabs and the best drivers. We

a company must have at least 30 cabs to be certified. Even so, there are still 17 certified cab companies- so that has not changed. So we need to back up and re-think the issue. We are continuing to work with others, and we are open to any system that meets our goals.


Casey jacobus is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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lanVergent, llC 704.527 .5100 180 0 .475.3869

First Citizens www.firstcitizens .com 888.32 3.4732

financial services

Sedona Staffing Services 704.537.3100


McColl School of Business at Queens College www.mccollsch ool.ed u 704.33 7.2234



publishing RHI Consulting 704.342 .7982

Scott jaguar 704.527.7000 displays



legal services Poyner & Spruill, l.l.P. www.poynerspruil 704.342 .5304 Womble Carlyle 704 .331.4900 office equipmerrt IKON Office Soluti ons www. iko 800.729.1268 ex.t. 3077 office furniture Techline pacesJecia list 704.334.6823

iReadyWorld www.ireadyworld .co m 877 .473.2 3991 704.943.3600

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cliaflotte september 200 I 51

[biz· terview· ________________ ___ ___ ty Ccsey jaobus

Jerr;TOrr Cl-- · ef e:<:ecuti'·;e of Ch:irlotte/:)ouglas hte natio r al Airport De~riJ(

the airport's e:::cooric impact on : harbtte and the rcg~on.

We : ontractEd vo..ith the U'JCC U1ban

Cha lotte. is I be c1ief executive of Cha rk>tte f Douglas l1ternational Airport,

niche player. We have little or no cortrol O\ er an·t

Ins! tut:! ·a do an e: on o Tic impa ct stucy

of that. But we can con :rol t-ow we •)perate

for JS. hey captured ti n a n.Jtsh ell- the

our airport. Our goal is simJ:Ie- to be t 1e

air~ort genEra:es

highest quality provide- at t e lov.est possi-

71,XO jobs in the region

anc ha.o i.1 £"coromic irr:pa:t of 54 billion

ble cost. As long as we can de that- fcl' pas-

ann.Jal y• .;bJut 17,0X ;::eople ~Jork at the

sengers and for tenants - v'ewill be atle to

air~·:Jrt it ~. el ·,

T. J. ' j e !T'{ Or, 60. and a native of

profitable, and they are too tig t: be a

indudirg :ol11ost S,.OOO wi: h

be competitive in the markEtpace. oNe have

US .-.irwa r:;. 'N='re on = Jfthe rna. or em~ loy-

built a hub here that is as e 1cient =nd effec-

mert cert=rs i 1 : he c :r.

tive as any hub airport n the courrtry.

If tbeJu.ojcr Dep:nt:mznt had appro-ved the US f .rmys-L nil:t d me~er, wkt \'1cuk. it "la•Je m~J.r.t fo::Ch:: rlott::?

If US Airways breaks up o- shuts down, do you think other carrie:-s would pick up their gatc.s~

We "Voulc h3Ve becom E- as op :~ osed

are welt-positioned to beco-ne a h _b far

to He lar5):s: huo cf a carrier- an

another airline. If US Airways "Vithe·s on the

impJrte:n: h_b for cne d ~ he wOfij's major

vine, it is more problematicaL For if it shriv-

airli1es.. 1: v.ould have : e=n a si ~ nificant raisilg ::>fth ':' ba· fer

us. :-s 3 hub for a

glotal ca ·riEr, we woulc - a\·e bewme

If US Airways breaks up or s:h1ts d·: wn, vve

els over a number of years, closin§; o1e •Jr two gates at a time, that's not the 'IJEY another carrier would v1ant :o bui d a h Jb.

eligi:lie fc· ro -e inlem c.tixa se-vice. the nat i!) n'~ 10th busiest ai rpo ·t and th ire m!) st fuortte.. according tJ nationw ide pass~• g-er .su r'lleys. As the aviation dir&:ot'. lle is resp o1sible tor all

mert or E<luca:ion, it's b.:osed on trade.

If more airlines com~ in. vvill it make fares more e>mperitive?

Gairing im:reased acccs:;.te t1e global

If more airlines came r ere, tt-ere I"'Ould be


no impact on the fares.. Currer1tly. al. s-::ven

Our€ccn :xrry here ·s 1ct Jased : n govem-

as a main 1_b of tt-e

cou1try's ~rgest carrier I'.<J . Id h::ve had a prcfound impa:t

I run the airport for tre peoole,

aspects of t e a- port's operatbn. ~

1962 gr;.duate of North. Carolina

Sta ~ Colle~ Orr ~ ceived

a 8.5. in civil

eng in ee; , g and is a North Carclina

of the major carriers opera~e 1ere. as interpolated by elected official.;.

Wlut cl:::at:er.ges dee:: L'S Airways face no\"'? Hov1 o yiJL lhmk they

My job is to keep the hub aiive 3 nd

will be r:.soh·ed? H•Y~' could this affe:t lh :: airpc·rt"'

Unfortunately for me, in txay'~ bJsi-

Life s-oes :n . US Airways 6 net about

to do . Low-fare carriers gen'2 rally do r 't

healthy and to bring n ioN-fare :arr . ness environment, ttlat's dJfiCJ it

Regi:;;t:ere-d Fl:rfe.sganal Engine~ r and

to fall off : 1e e:l§'e of :1 e pl c.neL 3ut

operate in a hub envi ronm ent; i1's too

Land Surveyll _ Fron 1962 to 1975, he

it is 3n ai rline wi h co .ots t1c.t =•1eryone

crowded. So there are bu It-in ma rke :-

says: are t:o i5l-. It i~ d'icul: c be

place problems. I think Ch arlotte ca1 be

oper;rt ed -i s famil!f·owned land survey-

the highs mst provid er nan industry

a viable place for low-fare carri e·s tc•

ing busi

ess. I 197"5, he joined th e

and survi~ i1 3 -nark:et:.3c? =.cooomy.

operate. We just need to

The 3irl n=. is rated fair!·~ ..-el in

and we need to convince it t o




City D Cll a.rl..a tte's Aviation Oep:utment

:usbm=rservi ce sur..e~~ - l t s rc1 a matter

operate here. However, o1 e pro olerr

as a st aff engi neer. And in 1989 he

of not knowtng hovo.. to -_- <11 ailline. They

with low-fare carriers is tr a· the~·

1av to get their costs i1 in=. Pr:blem is,

don't serve every city in t E na ~ Jn.

bec ame a·1iaion di rector.

: hey·can'lsh·ink to beorne more

See Airport, continued on p2ge 50


sE:t=:m::Jer 200 I

greater ch3rlctte tiz

Arts & Science Council Bank of America Beazer/ Squire Homes Belk, Inc. Bisseii/Bolontyne Resorts Business North Carolina Codwoloder, Wickersham & Taft Carriage Club CB Richard Ellis Charlotte Biz Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Charlotte Country Day Charlotte Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throat Charlotte Latin School Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools Charlotte Motor Speedway Charlotte Post Concord Mills Cottingham-Chalk & Associates, Inc. Cresent Resources/ The Pointe CT Communications Donald Haack Diamonds DP Connections, Inc. EDS Forms & Supply, Inc. FOX 18 Goodrich Corporation Hampton Inn & Suites ot Phillips Place Hearst Corporation Hilton Charlotte University Place Homewood Suites/ Yorkmont John Deere Keane, Inc.

Lake Norman Realty Lake Properties Lance, Inc. Lowes Motor Speedway Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools Mecklenburg Co. Parks & Recreation Microsoft Corporation Mint Museum of Art Montreat College Nationa l Welders Supply Company Northwest Mutual Nucor Omni Hotel Paramount's Carowinds Theme Park Pinkerton Providence Day School Prudential Carolinas Realty Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County Siemens Westinghouse Stabilus Transamerica Reinsurance TrizecHahn Office Properties Tryon Center of Visual Arts UNC Charlotte U.S. LEC, Corp. Verbatim W .B. Moore Company of Charlotte, Inc . WBTV WCNC WLYT & Affiliates WPEG-WBAV (Infinity Broadcasting) WSOC-TV (ABC Affiliate) YMCA of Greater Charlotte

~--------~A~reyou? T HESE








organi z atiOn!>








(7<>4) 370-.2929-





'N he r plan n in ;J comput ing strategie: , sma l l to m id-sized c:•11=an es fa c. e 11any diffic ult and c~ : ., d-3cisions reg arding in fr ast ·ucture rrai ntenanc e, and Lpgrc des. Ur,U/ now. i R eac ~orlll a is one- expect source th :rt de li vers fully-ma naged enter pn se te crn o logy solu t ions for _us t cne low, month ly f .(e:J f ee. Now r oJ get t he computing Jo vver and securi t y of a For tL 1 e 500 oo11p:my w itt-o ut the up=ro nt investm ent. A s a r-= sul1, 1ou 're n:Jw aJie to locus on ,... h:: t'~ reall y import ant: G•ol'.·.·r.Q _vo u · 'Ja.> ;nes s.

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Greater Charlotte Biz 2001.09  

Greater Charlotte Biz

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