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A common-sense fundamental of business. Common sense may not be so common anymore, but it's central to everything we do at First Citizens Bank. We strive to be what a bank should be: A straightforward, rock solid financial resource our customers can have confidence in and depend on in every stage of their lives. To experience our common-sense approach to banking, talk to a First Citizens banker, visit us online at or call us toll-free at 1-888-FC DIRECT.

-===FIRST CITIZENS BANK Do somet hing am azin g., Member FDIC

What is BUisirE-ss :::1ass Perforrrance?











cover story

Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) Tober sums up why he came to Charlotte: "I wanted to build something that was tied closely to the city's land use strategy.The city was committed to change the way it was growing and (leaders) saw public transportation not as an end in itself but as a means to the end of changing the development pattern."

LandDesign , Inc . Brad Dav1s started what is now a multimillion-dollar des1gn and plann1ng bus1ness pnding Itself on excellence 1n design. On rts silver anniversary this year. LandDes1gn counts 140 associates 1n

publisher's post




SIX crt1es. Including Be111ng. Ch1na.

Overflow Printing Incorporated

Legislative and regulatory highlights

Mic Alexander returned to the most

area employers.


employers biz fo~

fourteen years ago to help her parents turn their new commeroal - -- - - - - ' - - - - - - ' print1ng bus1ness 1nto a success.

biz digest


biz resource guide


on top


5 Off 5 On Tom Deloach, M1ke Dryman and jeff Hammond. principals in 5 Off 5 On. a prt crew tra1n1ng operation

on the cover:

that works w1th some of the best

Ronald]. Tobn; CEO, Clwrlolle Area Transit System. CATS will asswne management of the city's troll ey system in /llarch 200-f.

teams 1n NASCAR rac1ng, agree that you have to be crazy to enJOY play1ng 1n traffic.

Photography by /ll ichael LoBiondo. The Home Bu1lders Association of Charlotte represents a local Industry that employs more than bank1ng, wrth

I .034 members represent1ng more than 40,000 workers.


march 2004

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Robbing Peter to Pay Paul! The debates being waged between the Democratic presidential candidates and President Bush over the war




March 2004 Volume 5 • Issue 3

in Iraq, our economic circumstances and the federal budgPublisher

et deficit will be in high gear as we near Election Day. Staying attentive to the details within these debates will

John Paul Galles

be important to making informed decisions about the


future of our nation, our quality of life and the extent

Associate Publisher/Editor Mary\ A. Lane

to which we burden our younger ge nerations with our

maryl .a.lane@

obligation s. For as long as we can remember, each generation of a family has been able to enjoy a better quality of life than the prior generation. And, for a large part of the past, getting a good education and / or being willing to work hard gave many people the chance to break through barriers and buy homes, educate children, maintain health and set aside savings for retirement. Our older generation is able to retire and enjoy years of life beyond work, and to do so independently of living with their children . Growth in the U.S. economy and the advent of government entitlement programs have made these improvements in the quality of life possible and may inadvertently have engendered an expectation

Creative Director/ Asst_ Editor Tara Miller tmiller@

Account Executive s Crystal W Chappell cwchappell@ Belinda Kendall Emily G . Lundell

that they will continue . Sept.11 will, I think, prove to be a watershed for quality of life expectations, not just because of the tragedy of the twin towers itself, but for the series of events set

elundell @ greatercharlotteb John Patterson

in motion since that date that have substantially in creased fede ral government expenditures beyond revenues, expenditures that are not likely to diminish. While it is true that the federal government has run budget deficits on a yearly basis for roughly the last thirty-five years (with the exception of the surplus years from 1998 to 2001) , and historically, in fact, has run 70 deficits over the last century, predictions are that the projected deficit at its current rate of increase could req uire the doubling of our ta xes or the halving of spending! While there is some evidence that spending decisions for national security have stimulated job growth and an economic upturn, and the war in Iraq is slowing, there is not yet confidence that increased growth will make up and keep up with our increased expenditures. Some economists think we can grow ou rselves out of this debt; others are increasingly skeptical about our ability to raise revenues beyond spending. At the time they were made, spending decisions for national security and tax cuts to stimulate our economy seemed to be more of necessity and not of choice. Two years later, we must now consider whether to continue along the same lines . As a further complication, our aging baby-boomer popu lation is reaching ever closer to retirement age. Soon our social security surplus will turn into a social security deficit unless certain reforms are put into place . During the last century, we grew our way out of deficits . In this century, that may not be possible. As a result, future generations may not enjoy a better quality of life. The decline of American manufacturing jobs and the outsourcing of technology and service sector jobs do not bode well for economic growth . We may not be capable of borrowing from future generations to pay for the needs of t his generation much longer without greater discipline and planning that confronts our economic dilemmas before they overwhelm us. Robbing Peter to pay Paul seemed like the right thing to do while we were being threatened and our lives were immediately at risk. I am not sure those factors have gone away, but I am increasingly concerned about the future we are leaving to the next generation . I suspect they are concerned, too .


march 2004


Contributing Writers Ellison Clary Casey Jacobus Chris Jensen Lynn Mooney

Contributing Photographer Michael LoBiondo Greater Charlotte Biz is published monthly by the Galles Communications Group, Inc . • 560 I 77 Center Drive , Suite 250 • Charlotte, NC 28217-0735 704.676.5850 Phone • 704.676.S853 Fax • Press releases and other news-related information, please fax to the attention of "Editor" or e-mail: Editorial or advertising inquiries, please call or fax at the numbers above or e-mail: Subscription inquiries or change of address, please call or fax at the numbers above or visit our Web site: © Copyright 2004

by Galles Communications Group, Inc .

All rights reserved . T he information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. H owever, Gall es Communications Group. Inc . makes no warranty to the accuracy or reliability of this information .

Products named in these pages are trade names or trade· marks of their respective companies . Views expressed herein are not necessarily those of Greater Charlotr.e &z or G alles Communica(ions Group, Inc . No pan of chis pu blicacion may be reproduced or cransmicced in any form or by any means wichouc w riccen permission from che publishe r. For repri ncs call 704· 676·5850 x l 02.

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Panthers' ascent to Super Bowl matched by Charlotte region's evolution into corporate power


many ways, the rise of the





Caro lina Panthers to the

Over th e past three yea rs alone,

Charlotte is the nation 's No. 2 financial

NFL:s e lite in less than a

companies invested $6.6 billion and

center, with more than $1 trillion in

decade mirrors the booming region the

brought more than 38,000 new jobs

assets and the headquarters of two of

team ca ll s home. During the Panthers'


Charlotte USA.

brief existence, an incredible $20 billion

America's largest banking compan ies, Bank of America and Wachovia.

in investm ent and more than 200,000


new jobs have been created in th e 16-

While it ranks 21st in America in

county Charlotte region by compa nies

terms of population, Charlotte itself

moving or expand ing their operations

is home


more Fortune 500 companies

NUMBER 7 General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products Inc. is moving its

here. Why the success? Well , s in ce

than all but fi ve U.S. citi es. Charl otte's

headquarters and li ght -manufactu rin g

David Letterma n trashed the Caro linas

eight Fortune 500 headquarte rs include

operations to Cha rlotte from Burlington,

by sugges tin g the Panthers ha ve no true

two in the top 100 - Bank of Ame ri ca

Vt., this year, crea tin g m ore than 400

fans, let's borrow from Dave wit h ou r

and Wachovia- and soon will include

jobs and investing $30 million. New

own Top l 0 reasons w hy Charlotte

a third , when Lowe's moves its corpo-

York-based financial services giant

USA (wwwCha rl has

rat e headquarters to the region . Alto-

T!AA-CREF (No. 89 on the Fortune

become one o f the nation's most attrac-

gether, more than 300 of the Fortune

100) moved its Southern Services

tive regions for corporate relocation

500 compan ies have operations in the

Center to Charlotte in 2001 , and now

and expansion.


employs more than 1 ,000 of its 6,500 wor kers here; Goodrich, one of the wo rld 's largest "pure play" aerospace compan ies, has comp leted the move of its corpo rate headquarte rs to Charlotte; Toyota Motor Corp.'s Cata ler North America opened its $60 million No rth American headquarters in the region in 2002; and johnson and Wales University w ill bring thousands of students to uptown Charlotte's Gateway Village this year as the renowned cu lin ary school undertakes the unusual task of moving its C harleston, S.C., and Norfo lk, Va., camp uses to th e Queen Cit y.

Among Charlotte's national and international recognition , Money magazine rated the region No. 2 on its li st of "Best Places to Li ve in America" in 2002; the high ly respected Business Fa cilities


march 2004

greater charlotte biz

'Nhile it ranks 2l:::t in America in terms of population: Charlotte itself is home to more Fo .' tune 500 companies than all but five U.S. cities. o agazine ranked Charlotte No. 3 en s ~00 3 list of "Best Cities for Co rpoGtc Headquarters"; and Plants, Sites & :>a~s: n~gaz in e placed the Charlotte reg~ x. l'~u. 3 in its 2004 ra nkings o f top area=; Lnder con sideration for corporate -ekca· ion s or ex pansions. NUMBER 5 Cl- arlotte USA o ffe rs more commerc i;:. fli ghts per capita than any U S. region q:~ nin g a wo rld o f opportunity to coop a.:1ies located in the area.

NUMBER 4 Charlotte USA is qui ckly becoming a hu b for international companies. Mo re than 600 foreign-owned companies operate in the Charlotte region , which represe nts roughly one- third of the 1,800 total international co mpanies in both No rth Caro lina and South Carolina. These co mpanies rep rese n t more than 34 n ations and are ac tive in more th an 100 industries. ln both states , foreign subsidi aries employ more than 350 ,00 0 peopl e. NUMBER 3 Th e Charlotte region h as become a TV and movie production hotbed , gen erating more than $122. 7 million in revenue in 2002 alone and making North Carolina second only to California. Recent Charlotte USA productions h ave included Hollywood hits su ch as "The Patriot" and "Shallow Hal ," and television sh ows su ch as "As the World Turns. "

R.Ed more ab•.::t.t ~ can o ni c de-vd c prr:e :c ir. the C:-.aL::>tte resiO:l in : h ~ 2•)()4 Choose ::::harlotteU5.fl. : Ch:a::-lotte. Regl on:al C: cono-nic Doclopment Gl.:ide:, cl- oc-<:-fuL cf f<e ts an d igur : :; su pp orrin ~ : c r po ra~ :lc:isieons to e;;:p:n d or r ~ l o : ate basec ::>n b t.:.oiness stre~g th , acces~ ibili : y an :! 5IC>'I'. tL lndivi-::.u al cop ies 1re 5 12.95. Multiple : opy :._scow1ts are 1vaila le. :::::: ntact Great .. Cia r'ottc Brz magoz1r.e :tt 7C•4-575-5E50 :or m o:-e ::r:fc rmanc n

NUMBER 2 Ch arlotte USA's quality of li fe is second to none, with a temperate climate, four distinct seasons, and easy access to the mountains and beaches. Charlotte also leads the nation in fundraisin g for the arts, solidifying Charlotte USA as a region offering a wid e variety of high quality entertainment , cultural and recrea ti onal offerings. AND THE NUMBER I REASON THE CHARLOTTE REGION IS NUMBER I ...

We're now an eco nomic and fo otball powerhou se. j.z

g reater charlo tt e biz

m c. r ::h 280 4


Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employees 2003 Benefits Survey

Survey . With ove r 400 questions, thi s is the most comprehensive rep ort on local benefits practices The survey includes data by company type, company size, and type of employee. The survey represents the inte rests of ove r 150 local area companies by reporting on practices in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors. When compared with the 2001 Benefits Survey, the results of this

Em ployee benefits have beco me a hot topic ove r the pas t several yea rs, es peciall y in the area of health ca re. Employers want to kn ow what benefits to o ffer in orde r to attrac t and retain their employees The Employe rs Association , a nonprofit Charl otte-based organization that provides comprehensive human resource se rvices, has JUSt publi shed its latest bienni al Benefi ts

60% 50%







c 0




u Ol


(PPO) remain the most predominant choice for healthcare plans, acco rding to both the 2001 and 2003 su rveys. Ap proximate ly 73 % of res ponding co mpa nies o ffered a

c 0


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Less t ha n 6 months

6 mos < 1 yr

1 yr < 2 yrs

2 yrs < 5 yrs

5 yrs or more

Time In Job

Employer Sponsored Health Care Plans 73%

80% /




40% 30%




Q. Vl Q)

60% 50%





/ / / / / /




/LJ Traditional Indemnity


_I/ Preferred Provider

march 2 0 04



I U Point of Service


Type of Plan 8



10% / ~l


empl oyees. That number has increased to 26% in 200 3. • Cost Per Employee Rises : 4 1% of

• PPO Remains Preferred Pla n Design : Preferred Provid er O rga nizations


c 0 a.

• PTO Gains Popularity In 200 1, 17% of res ponding co mpanies had a formal Paid Time O ff (PTO) p rogram for

yea r fo r hea lthcare expenses, compared with 3 2% of res ponding co mpanies in 200 l.


Vl Q)

of the highlights from the u pda ted Benefits Sw·vey:

res ponding compani es in 2003 paid $3, 500 or more pe r employee per

Minimum Length of Service for Two Weeks Paid Vacation


sur vey indicate so me interesti ng trends in empl oyee benefits, particularl y in the area of health ca re. Here are a few


Health Maintenance



PPO to their emp loyees in both 200 1 and 2003. • Office Co-Pays Increase : In the 2003 survey, 41 % of respond ing companies with a PPO plan req uire employees to pay between $20 00 to $2-+.99 fo r a medica l office \'isit co-pay. In 2001, on ly 16% of co m pa nies charged be twee n $20.00 to $24 99 for a medical office visit copay in a PPO p lan. • Drug Co-Pays Increase : For ge neric prescription drug plans (re tail) , 38% of respondi ng co mpan ies requi red employees to pay less than $10.00 for their generic d ru g co-pay in 200 1. In 2003, o nl y 2l 0/t, of co mpanies had a gene ric d ru g co- pay of less than $10.00. • Emp loyer Paid Dental Benefits Decrease When lookin g at de nta l ca re programs, 25% of respondents in 2003 paid fo r 100% of empl oyee pre miums, compared to 30% in 2001.

greate r c h arlotte b iz

Total Annual Health Benefit Expenses for Previous Year



14% v c g_ 12% v E 10% v 7% u 8% v= c V'l (J)






v v







a. V'l &:~<:

Under $1,500



9% -








3% ~


LU-~=~ $1,500 $1,999


8% F= Fi r-8%



13% ~%






= r-


$3,500 $3,999












r- r--r- r--r- .__ r--- -



$5,000 or Unable to more determine

Employer Cost Per Employee

FSAs, HRAs, HSAs ... What Do They All Mean?? Are you confused about some of th e employee benefit ac ronyms being used nowadays? lf so, you're not alone. FSAs (F lexible Spendin g Accounts), HRAs (Health Reimbursement Acco unts) and now HSAs (Hea lth Savings Accounts) . th ey all begin to run togeth er after aw hile. Eac h of these pl ans, however, presents a unique alternati ve for compan ies that want to offer their employees an opportunity to save tax dollars on health-related expenses . Flexible Sp ending Accounts (FSAs) h ave been around for man y yea rs, but have become more po pular with the introducti on of the debit card approach to expense reimburse ment . A medica l FSA program allows an employe r to establish an acco unt that is credited with a certain level of contributions to reimburse a participant for eligible medical expenses. The acco unt can be employer fund ed , emp loyee funded or a combinati on of both . lt is generally an unfunded book acco unt of the emplo ye r. Contributions to the a co unt are made by the employee on

g reater c harlotte bi z

a before-tax basis, resulting in a lower tax base. The employer also avo ids the tax liability for th e amount contributed by the employee and , if they make a contributi on , on their portion of the funding . Parti cipants cannot ca rry over any unused amounts from yea r to yea r. Health Re imbursem ent Acco unts (HRAs) have become more popular in recent yea rs with the introduction of high-deductible and consumer-driven health plans. These plans have many of the sam e charac teristics as FSAs. Contributi ons are "held " in an unfunded acco unt and claim s paid out of co mpany asse ts. However, they do not allow employees to contribute; contributions must be 100% emp loyer funded . Funds not used by the emp loyee can be carri ed over to the next yea r, potentially offsetting medical expenses in subsequent plan years. Beginning in 2004 , ta xpaye rs who are not entitled to Medicare benefits can create Health Savin gs Acco unts (HSAs) to save and spend pre-tax dollars for hea lthcare expenses. A number of restri ctions apply to this type of acco unt ,

including the requirement that it be established in conjun cti on with a hi ghdeductible health pl an (HDHP) th at has a minimum deductible level ($ 1 ,000) and a maximum out-o f-po cket limit ($5,000). Maximum contribution levels ($ 2,600 for indi vidual and $5 ,1 50 for families) also apply. Unlike HRAs or FSAs, Health Savin gs Accounts are portable, one of the most differentiating features of the plan . They ca n be fund ed with pre-tax sa lary deferrals th ro ugh a ca feteri a plan. Howeve r, fund s are held in a trust or custodi al account and interest ea rned is taxdeferred. Unlike th e other types of acco unts, an individual can withdraw fund s for non-medi cal expenses with certain ta x and penalty ramifi cati ons, similar to those experienced when making a withdrawal fro m a 40 l(k) Savings Plan pri or to retirement. The portability and immediate ves ting rules surroundin g HSAs may make them less attracti ve to employe rs. Those same rules, though , in addition to the taxfree earnings and the ability to withdraw funds for non-medi ca l expenses may draw the attenti on of individual participants currently enrolled in company FSA accounts. Each of the plans menti oned a b ov~ has strengths and wea knesses. lt will be up to the employe r, and sometimes the indi vidual, to determine which pl an fits best. biz

The Employers Association is a nonprofit Charlotte organization providing comprehensi1E human resources and training services. Founded tn 1958, the AssociatJOn maintatns a broadbased membershtp of over 700 companies from all industries in the greater Charlotte region. The above excerpts were taken from The Management Report, the Association's monthly newsletter. For more information, please call Laura Hampton at 704-522-80 I I or vtsit the Web site at

march 2004


by ellison clary

Attaining Excellence in Design, La dDes1gn's Vision is Transforming

Bra.. : Da 'is



(;.r_: _ plannirg :;:路roject~

e~ gn


:::am \\"'Y le hdped b-_j]d

his -:::rc.s-_::- es:::: F :-cm sc.:-a t:卤_, w=.ti an eye for excell: n -e . >--



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march 2004


The president and co-founder of Charlotte's LandDesign , Inc. started what is now a multi-million-dollar design and planning business with a college buddy in january 1979. In its silver anniversary yea r, LandDesign counts 140 associates in six cities, including Beijing, China. Fifty of them , including Davis , occupy two-thirds of a 32,000-square- foot building that dates to the early 20th centuty. It's at the corner of North Graham and West Sixth streets, in the shadow of Charlotte's skyline. LandDesign moved into the structure that once housed a Coca-Cola bottler's offices in 2000. But before vacating long-time quarters in four houses near Freedom Park, Davis and his associates had to figure how to save two walls of the dil apidated two-story structure , widen its footprint and add two floors. Along the way, they restored a giant painting of a full Coke bottle on the wall facing Sixth Street. "We grew up on East Boulevard," Davis says of the location that ultimately caused clients to sprint back and forth across the busy artery. The situation made Davis nervous enough to see k center city space. "We always felt like downtown was ultimately where we wanted to be," he says as he takes in the tall buildings framed by the expansive window in his fourth floor conference room. Land Design is part of what is called the Cotton Mills development by Peter Pappas of Pappas Properties that includes the renovated historic Speizman warehouse and the newly constructed Charlotte Cotton Mills apartments. The digs weren't always so plush for LandDesign. Davis and North Carolina State University classmate Larry Best didn't have much more than a love for design when they opened shop in the old Morrison family farmh ouse in SouthPark. But they did know they'd found their niche in urban design , landscape architecture , land planning and civil engineering. "Larry and l said a long time ago ," Davis grins, "that if anybody would pay you to draw, what a wonderful thing that is ." The ink was barely dry on the N.C.


muc 1 2CD4

Larry and I said a long time ago, that if anybody would pay you to draw, what a wonderful thing that is. - Brad Davis, President and Partner LandDesign, Inc.

State master's degrees Davis and Best had earned , but they started sketching for clients who wanted something more th an a standard plan that would win them a building permit. The firm 's four specialties "all deal with planning and development of the land," Davis says. He explains them this way: Urban design creates livable space for high density populations while landscape architecture finds land uses that harmonize development with the environment. Land planning plots how larger acreages should develop over time. Civil engineering designs infrastructure such as streets and water systems to best support intended land use. Partner Dale Stewart brought civil engineering to the company when he joined in 1987, giving the firm true full-service design capabilities "Fundamentally, it comes back to excellence in design ," Davis says. "This is the reason for our success. Our clients recognize that this is what our focus is.

greater charlotte biz

1 believe in their m inds we add the value of really good design . We help create a more memorable place as well as a fina ncially successful ventu re."

Starting From Scratch Starting from scratch, LandDesign generated the master plan for developments such as Phillips Place near their fi rst office in SouthPark, and Birkdale Village in Northern Mecklenburg County. Both are mixed-use, commercial residential projects lauded for their adherence to an overall master plan. Working with the Harris Grou p, LandDesign put toge ther a fu ndamental layout for Phillips Place, then designed its infrastructure and streetscape. Completed in 1996, Phillips Place is recognized as one of the first Carolinas examples of using urban design principles to fashion a new suburban mixed-use project. The national recognition of Phillips Place brought Davis and his associates other opportunities, including Birkdale, which encompassed about 700 acres. Again starting with nothing more than rolling Piedmont fields, they worked with Pappas Properties and the Crosland Group to fashion a master plan for the retail-office-residential project completed in 1998. A new challenge for LandDesign is its work with the city of Charlotte to master plan areas within a half-mile of seven transit stations contemplated along the light rail line between center city and Pineville. Starting at the New Bern Street station and working south , LandDesign will devise infrastructure with a dual purpose , Davis says . Bike lanes, sidewalks, water lines and the like must make the stations themselves attractive and simultaneously create redevelopment opportunities for residential, commercial and office uses. A regional project brought Davis and his associates face- to-face with legendary tycoon Rupert Murdock in the mid-1980s. Murdock contracted with LandDesign to create a verdant, pedestrian-friendly main street in Kannapolis near what was known as Cannon Mills, a textile giant the international business wizard had bought.

gr e a te r ch ar lo tte b iz

P.-;J; ,: ; Place has received national recognition for the urban design principles used in fashio ,Wog a ;l o.rban mixed-use project. :=o-J Haldeman of Wa tergate in famy \ W'l - c: Dp Murdock lieutenant , Davis tEc:lls but it was the tyrannical demeanor o- :.Judock himself that made a lasting in ~~ion . Davis experienced it as he ~c on the part of LandDesign's con._ra.:t that included planning and o;c::eang construction of a 7,000squre-foot Murdock mansion on ~ -b;. Lake Kannapolis.

"(Murdock) had crews working 24 hou rs, including nights unde r big ligh _s," Davis remembers. "He was as tough <-:5= they come. We were running as fast as we could to keep up with his demand.o, which were just extraordinary." In an apparent effort to motivate them, Murdock boasted to Davis and associates, "''m going to put you boys on the map. " >-

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"Ce/ebri.ling 20 years/"


march 20 ) 4

"I was shocked by his manner," says the soft-spoken Davis. "Most of our clients are a good deal more genteel. " Continuing A Dual Search

Today, LandDesign continues its dual search for projects in both center city Charlotte and surrounding counties. And it continues to strike a balance between public and private projects . Davis is proud of the firm's plan for Mecklenburg County on a 15-mile Little Sugar Creek Greenway. The company is beginning work on a section near Kings Drive. He believes LandDesign's vision will transform that area of midtown with retail and higher density residential and create a promenade that's "almost Parisian." Still, he and his associates pay regular visits to officials in Union and Gaston counties, pursuing regional projects, again both public and private. The firm's designers and planners wouldn't have it any other way, Davis believes. "The types of folks we attract are trained in such a way that their interests and skills have a lot of breadth. I don't thi nk our folks would be satisfied if we focused on one or the other (urban or suburban, public or private)," he says. Davis points to the quality of LandDesign hires as a big reason for its financial success that includes never suffering a money-losing year and growing to $15 million in annual revenue. Along the way, it added offices in Washington, Tampa and Nashville as well as Asheville and Pinehurst in North Carolina. With 50 employees, Charlotte is still home to LandDesign's largest presence. "We look for a special personality type," Davis says of the company's efforts to recruit recent architecture graduates. "We try to attract the very best professional. We go nationwide and have a number of programs to help us get our exposure and make graduates aware of who we are and what we do. " Indeed, the Beijing office is run by a former LandDesign intern who decided to return to his native country, then got permission to start an Asian outpost. His operation is the reason Davis' Charlotte conference room displays a plan for an

urban , lakefront development in Wuxi, Jiang Su, China . College chum Best retired in 2002, but often works in the Pinehurst office. Davis says the firm has continued to bring associates into partnership positions. Today there are 12 pHtners, including Davis, 55. Besides professional success, Davis found domestic bliss in Charlotte. He is married to Queen City native Margaret Pierce, whom he calls "probably the most independent-minded person I've ever met ," is in its 20th year. Their 15-yearold son Peter attends Myers Park High School. A geographer, Pierce travels the world working on refugee resettlement and health services for minority populations. Davis and his son sometimes take skiing trips. A favorite destination for the whole family is their just-finished mountain retreat near Burnsville, N.C. "It's a halfmile to the nearest neighbor in beautiful country," says Davis of the 2,500-square-

Land LandDesign, Inc. 223 North Graham Street Charlotte, NC 28202

Phone: 704-333-0325 Principal: Bradley W. Davis, president and partner; LandDesign is privately held by 12 partners. Number of Employees: 140 Main office: Charlotte, 50 employees Other offices: Washington, D.C.;Tampa, FL; Nashville,TN;Asheville, NC; Pinehurst, NC; Beijing, China In business: 25 years Business: LandDesign practices urban des ign, land planning, civil engineering and landscape architecture. he firm produced the master plan for Second Ward redevelopment for the City of Charlotte, des igned the master plan and infrastructure for the Northern Mecklenburg mixed-use project Birkdale Village for Pappas Properties and the Crosland Company, and the master plan for mixed-use development Philips Place for the Harris Group.

greater charlotte biz

foot getaway he designed . "It's surrounded on three sides by Pisgah Forest and four miles from Mount Mitchell as the crow Oies."

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The Spark Is Still There But it's onl y a retreat. Davis is having too much fun to retire. "I always wanted to be a planner," he says. "I grew up in Arlington (Va.) and I'd ride the bus to visit my grandmother who lived in the District (of Columbia)," he recalls. "She'd put a pad in front of me and l'd start drawing." Mentally, he's drawing a five-year plan for LandDesign. He wants to build the design breadth of the Charlotte office in the firm 's other locations. While the company continues to explore opportunities in China, it just might open an office in a larger U.S. city Davis realizes Charlotte will continue growing, as well. His vision for Charlotte goes like this: "l think the center city (in lO years) has filled out to the extent that Second Ward and Third Ward are well on the way to infill and development. We've got the arts and entertainment district. We've got the (Triple A) baseball stadium. The light rail and other transit facilities are well along the path for implementation." He also predicts a more vibrant region. With completion of Charlotte's outer be lt, he sees burgeoning deve lopment along it and in municipalities within a 20-to-30- mile radius. He'd like LandDesign to be pivotal in a regional urban space plan that would win allegiance of the counties surrounding Mecklenburg. Davis acknowledges there$ more competition in LandDesign's plan ning functions these days than 15 years ago . Then citing Charlotte's rapid growth, he quickly adds, "The opportuniti es are greater, as well ." And LandDesign itself is "a little more complicated," he concedes. "But it still is an invigorati ng and exciting place to be. After 25 years, I still look forward to coming in to work." i

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Ellison Clary is a Charlotte-based freelance wnter.

greater charlotte biz

m3.rch 2004 IS

by casey jacobus



to in ~--~- )c --4Returning to the roost to help "Terflow overflow with success


n 1991, Mic Alexander was a young selfsuffic_nt thirty-something living in Atlanta and participating in her first real business

venture when her parents actually asked her to come borne . Elmore and Marie Alexander

were three months into a new printing business an ' los:ng money fast. > march 2004


"They had no customers and we re losing all their retirement money," reca lls Alexande r. "l thought it wou ld take six months to help them recoup and to close the business." Fourteen yea rs later Overll.ow Priming In corporated is a successful printing business wi th a customer list that includes BB&T, the Carolina Pamhers and the Charl ouc Bobcats. Alexander, now the CEO, has even won the Charloue Chamber of Commerce Small Business Councils Entrep reneur of the Yew路 awa rd in 200 1 and was nominated as Woman

Business Owner of the Year last yea r by the Charloue d ivision of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Mic Alexander reviews a press proof with press operator Jimmy Looper.

Business is people W hat did it Lake for Alexander to turn the fl oundering business imo a money-maker7 lt certainly wasn't her knowledge of the printing industry. Alth ough her father had almost 40 years of printing experience when he started Overflow Printing in the fall of 1990, Alexander had

paid liLLie allemion to her dads business

wo uld drive aro und and look

while growing up in Buffalo, New Yo rk. ''I'm not imo printing presses," she asserts. "l don't like getting ink unde r my nails."

and businesses in Buffalo. She 1:-leard her parents talk about the kind of business they would like to own. She learned to

But Alexander had learn ed some important lessons from her parents. Every Friday evening her parents would take her and her brother out to eat and then they



be a risk taker and d reamed of owning her own business someday. Years later, while working as a budget coo~din alo r for AT&T, she also sold custom jewelry and imported clothes. "1 was always looking for ways to make some extra money," Alexander says,

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"but l never th ought of it as having a business." When Alexander arrived ir. Charlotte, she put her energy into developing a strong employee team and marketing the company Overfl ow's first major contract was with the City of Charloue, printing bus schedules. That was a three-year contract, so it gave Alexander breathing room and time to concentrate on employee development. "l love giving peo ple a chance to learn a skill ," she says. "l am pleased that we have been able to hire people who we re unemployed or lacked a high school dip loma. My clad kn ows so much and he's a great teacher." While Ove rflow is tru ly a family business, with father Elmore overseeing the printing operations, mother Marie, retired from Intern ational Business Ma:hines Corporation, serving as chief financial offi cer and Alexander running the organization, the Alexander family works hard to create a sense of camaraderie among their employees as well . "We're a family

greate r c harl o tt e bi z

L tsiness and everyone here is a part of c-1r family," states Alexander. "You are gc·ing to be profitable if the customer is !- '"-PPY That starts at home. If you hav=! saong employees, you'll have happy a.stomers. Business is people , not just r.Jmbers. "

Rnding a niche The business comrr.unity in Charlotte i-:-. the early '90s was open and welcoming. Cverflow Printing got support from r.Jmerous individuals and companies. "Every time we got close to closing, -.:...e would get a contract," Alexander says ~dte r about seven years, we decided that '~ weren't going to close and started C'J erating from a differe:J.t perspective.,. One contract came from the Panthers c·-ganization , wh:ch took a chance on the ~all company after Alexander showed em how to save money on their printing reeds. The comp ny prints the team's E:terhead , envelopes, business cards, JDte pads, etc. , and also prints postcads b r the cheerleadmg tea:n. But Overflo·.v's real shot in the arm came in 1996 when &B&T hired them . Today Overflow ~

Overflow Printing, Inc.

Now A a·la e! .:rom Ga lles CarmJ u:-i~ 1 io m f :>u II· Inc.

THE 200 CHARLOTTE REGIOrJAL ECO or C DEVELOPMEt T G 1 E Se!'vilg the en:i e 1£-.:a J , -eg en. i i> j - i :l= is chock-full of fact!, fi 911E! :nil ! tal i:sti:~ ~Lg~ortirq .corporate expar !iln • • :l ·e otcti:: n i1 2!10'-.

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Principal: Mic Alexander, CEO Number of Employees: I I In Business: 13 years Awards: Mic Alexander won the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council's Entrepren-eu r of the Year Award in 200 I and was nominated as Woma n Business Owner of the Year in 2003 by the Charlotte division of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Business: Overflow Printing is a successful printing business whose clients include BB&T, the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Bobcats.

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g~ eater

c h a rl o tte b iz

nr:1 2CO-t 19

prints over l 0 :r_illion letterhead and envelopes every year for the bank, as well thE su.p;>ort of their large clients, like BB&T,

as assists witr. their matketing and ether projects . '·BB&T took us frorr. a mom-anc' -

the Panttars and, more recently, the Bobcats,

PO? Dperatic·n to the ::1er.:t 1=hase of b ~ing a full-!ledged printing operatior.,' ;a;s

Overflo·N Pri::-1ting began to redefine itself. It found i~s

Alexander. The relationship wim EB&T all()O.IveC..

niche by ~ argeting small to mid-sized customers,

o ::er~ng

Over!low Prin:ing to upgrade its tech.o:::Jgy and to purchase new state of the a : equipment and software ' It is really a par:nership betwen a

~h at

a small business start-up package

ent.Jles business owners to correspond with

]:ro5peetlv& customers and vendors while their

big cusiness and a srr.allcompany," s:lS Alexander. '·BB&T acts as a mentor,

company identity is still being developed.

prov-.ding technical and financial SUHJOrl, and we in turn became their customcG. Both of us are really :?lec:sed with the relationship. As they grow, we grew with them," continues Alexander With the support of their large c ienG like BB&T, :he Pmthers and, more rccen :ly, .he Bobcats, Over!lov. Printing be;;cn co recefine itself. lt foun:l i.s r.iche by totr:;e:ing small to md-sized customers, ::>f~rin_s a Stull busine;s start-ur: package th~ enab les bus:ness owners to co r~spon d with prospective custo~rs and vencars while their company ide:ltity is sdll::eing deve~oped. Over[ow :Jegan looking ct the total package froo desig' to print , becoming more like a consultant than a printer. "In five to ten years, l expect we'J b ~


:...:.11 Je~e:i


fr:n as well as a

? t:nt co:r:.pc.ny,' oays Al.E;.aLder. "We can

:Jfu ec:or.omi.: ilierr.atr•.os to a company's :n=.rketb~

s::rategy: ' th.s g•Jal, •.J·.~r!low Printing :e::.e::tly }ired J~ firs: rr.;u:lc.ting director, ::::-_e:-)"1 Co:~ Cox has .w:ro<:::l on a con-




Over!low Printing took an even larger step toward the goal of becommg a full!ledged marketing firm as well as a print shop when it renovated and moved to a


larger facility last year. For thirteen years,

l:: c:~,

the company had operated out of a 5,000-square-foot building in the North Davidson area. While it was functional,

:o:- :he h5t

:: i~_h t


:iuelc>pirg o;?,os anc C.Of?Cate identity ?c:::ka5es Ic- C\er[o.., Pr:r...ings clients. -~:-~ vorlG th the co::-.1p:ty's graphic de;~gr.e r ; ta impl~ment as::rategy that will -::Jco3i.::on 0\'::rllow to ol:c1 i.:s clients a ccnple:e p;::JdJCL frcrr. c·:·n ept and de;~gr t::> p:iming


i3rightly colored Australian (Inches ir the b bty -f Over;JG'IV Prirting cni'}J loudly as they vie for space Jn the swing :>Uffeo:uJg t.- e lVU'Jg, ;~ib rant cJr.iP'f1' with creative em ployees ju:;t down th e 1a//. The bvi/.:::'ing in::tudes a,c:: center and a media center available fo r ~ mc,lf b us i '1€:s~ to .-em f.Jr trciri'1g ~inars or meetings.

Alexander says it wasn't a welcoming place to bring clients. "I always wanted something better," she says. "I wanted a building :hat would showcase how different we are from most printing companies." Renovating the new 10,000-squarefoot facility on Enterprise D1ive off North Tyron Street was another learning experience for Alexander. The building cost almost $100,000 more than projected because the first contractor walked off the job "It was very scary," says Alexander. "I had never bought a commercial faci lity before and l paid $90,000 for :ny education. We were blessed to find another contractor to come in and pick up the pieces However, the extra expense involved meant Overflow couldn't afford a space engineer to design the interior of the new building. So Alexander and her father did it themselves. Alexander chose the furniture and picked the colors, including a bright red wall in the lobby. In the process, Alexander gained confidence and learned another valuable lesson.

"If you believe you can do something,


march L.004

greater charlotte biz

you probably can," she says. "You need to follow your own mind and heart, even if you're out there alone for a bit." The finished building helps to communicate Alexander's vision for her company. There is a cage of Australian finches in the lobby to welcome visitors. These brightly colored birds, chirping loudly as they vie for space on the swing, suggest there is a young, vibrant company with creative employees just down the hall. The building itself includes conference rooms and a media center which small businesses may rent for training seminars, board meetings or presentations. The space will hold about 40 people and Overflow will even cater an event. Moving forward At 42 , Mic Alexander has a sense of

accomplishment. Instead of closing a company, she has turned it around and created a healthy, growing business. While it hasn't always met its revenue goals, Overflow Printing has made money every single year. But its pool-playing, motorcycle-riding owner also has the heart and soul of an entrepreneur. Although she isn't sure exactly what's next on life's agenda, Alexander is looking forward. She may go into public speaking or write a book incorporating her experience and giving advice to other small business owners. As someone who started with zero and built it into an opportunity, Alexander would like to encourage others to do the same. But she also offers a word of caution. "Get your personal life in order, both physically and spiritually," she urges. "You have to be emotionally and physically fit to play the game. Otherwise, it's like going out on the football field without pads and a helmet. You won't last long. " Alexander's biggest challenge has been learning to prioritize in order to manage the stress level of running a business. "I have a great team, but there are certain things only I can do," she says. "And, yet, everything seems to be important. All I can do is do my best everyday." biz

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'J is t ou r We':J site to ea rn

m:ve 3bout \'11a: w-e o-ie r Yo Tr Js1 ~c ~s:JL -ce wi:h - OCl _ClQI 1'1' anl:er. Com p·ellen;:i-.e knun Resol.Wce; ~oo raiN g ~er.iJes 3021 tll.lest ._..:>~•o:l Foac • (r arl otte, I'IC 2S2> 3 )(4-5:22-801 1 •

,., v.w .emp l ayers~ ssoc.:om

Casey jacobus is a Lake Norman-based freelance writer.

greater charlotte biz


:2C04 21


cr arlotte


by ellison clary

[biz profile I



>march 2004 23


ANEW FOUNDATION Even wit h a rich legacy as one of the Southeast's l e ading provid e r s of construction serv ic es, FN Thompson unde rst a nds th a t su c ce ss is rooted in cha nge. We 've


and expanded

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FN Thompson Gene r al Contractors Construction Managers

Ph: 704<523-0515 Charlotte Asheville Raleigh Richmond


march 2004

"This was an opportunity to build a transit system from scratch," he says with shining eyes in his office on the ninth-floor of the city-county government building. During his 35-year transportation career, he explains, he's worked in a variety of locations and situations, some good and some not. "1 spent a lot of time trying to change the culture of organizations," he says. " 1 dealt with infrastructure problems sometimes almost intractable in their nature." Tober gazes at his window's skyline view In the foreground loom the Charlotte Transportation Center and rail lines that promise to support both light rail passenger service and Charlotte's historic trolley "1 wanted to build something (in Charlotte) that was tied closely to the city's land use strategy," Tober continues. "The city \\路as committed to try to change the way it was growing and (leaders) saw public trans portation not as an end in itself but as a means to the end o f changing the development pauern. " "So this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Tober smiles. Luring Tober was a coup for Charlotte, says Dennis Rash, former senior vice president for Corporate Real Estate at Bank of America and currently visiting professor of Transportation Policy Studies at UNC Charlotte. While Rash was a member of the .C. Department of Transportation board, he spent three days with Tober as he ran the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA). "I was impressed wi th (Tober's) demeanor, I was impressed with the way he negotiated , I was particu larly impressed wi th his capacity to execute," says Rash. "And I think he has an attribute that not all transportation professionals have. He really appreciates the importance of the land use issues along the corridors. " Tober's fascination with rail started early as he was growing up on Cleveland's west side and often rode a train downtown. At 56, he sti ll enjoys electric train sets in his south Charlotte

home and toy locomotives decorate his office. At Cornel l University and later while earning a master's at Case 'vVestern Reserve University, he de ve loped a strong interest in urban problems and saw that public transportation was instrumental in their solutions. He spent l2 years as general manager of GCRTA. Before that , he had been transit director for Seaule. He had also held transit posts in Miami and th e Boston area.

Long-Range Transit Plan A Big lnfl e e ln the Queen City, Tober created the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) from about two dozen workers in the Charloue Departmem of Transporta-tion CATS had 2003 operating revenue of $92 million and about 140 employees. Ridership for the fleet 's 400 vehicles has grown to about 15.5 million a year. Tober figures the transit system has

Charlotte Area Transit System ~(CATS) ~~~--600 E. 4th Street Charlotte, NC 28202-2858 Phone: 704-336-7902 CEO: Ronald J.Tobe r Number of Employees: 140 Number/Types of Vehicles: 400 veh icles, includ ing 40-foot buses, ove r-the- road buses, shuttle buses, t rolley buses, parat rans it shu ttles and vans and van pool vans. In Business: 3 years; created fro m the Transpo rtat ion Department of the City of Charlotte. Business: Managed by th e Public Transit Department of the City of Charlotte, NC; provides publ ic transpo rtation services thro ughout Mecklenburg an d surrou nding cou nties. Departments/CATS

greater charlotte b iz

doubled its size since 1998, when Mecklenburg County voters approved a half-cent sales tax to fund public transportation improvements outlined in the 2025 Integrated Transit/Land Use Plan for Charlotte-Mecklenburg. That plan's existence heavily influenced his decision to move to Charlotte, he says. A pleasant surprise, he adds, was neighborhood support for public transportation. "We have folks clamoring for it and we can't get it to them fast enough to make them happy." Tober has thrown himself into building the elements of the 2025 transit plan that includes light rail, commuter rail , streetcars, bus rapid transit and traditional bus service. It outlines five major transportation corridors between center city and the suburbs that will get either rail , busways , streetcar or a mixture . This year, crews will begin building a light rail line between uptown Charlotte and lnterstate-485 near Pineville. Called the South Corridor, that 10-mile stretch will feature 15 stations, half with parking lots to accommodate commuters' vehicles. Residential and retail developments are envisioned nearby. Tober and wife Theresa think they might live near the line when it is complete in 2006. With proJected daily ridership of 17 ,9 00, the line's cost is pegged at $3 71 million. The half-cent sa les tax will pay a fourth, as will the state of North Caro lina. President Bush's 2005 draft budget includes $30 million for the project, bringing the total federal amount pledged to about one-third of its total funding of $185 million. Reacting to the President's budget, Tober says the Federal Transit Administration has assured CATS that if the project continues moving forward, "there is nothing to preclude us from receiving a Full Funding Grant Agreement in fiscal year 2005 when we have completed the required steps in the FTA's project development process Tober can get that done, says Tim

greater charlotte biz

Newman, president of Charlotte Center City Partners. Besides technical knowhow, Newman says, Tober has the necessary political relationships. Newman praises Tober's performance at a December Transit Summit sponsored by the Charlotte Chamber. After the session, Federal -=-ransportation Administra-tion chief Jennifer Dorn called Charlotte's plan for the South Corridor one of the nation's best. She said she was impressed with $400 million in private development along

the South Corridor tracks , years before daily service begins.

Charlotte Can Become Example For The Nation That corridor development is a major part of the 2025 plan that Tober is excited about implementing. "Frankly, if we're successful with it - and I'm going to do everything in my power to make us successful - 15 years from now people will look at Charlotte as a prime example of how urban >

Clienn, Employee~, family, or friend~ ...

6ive the Experience of alifetime.

march 2004


areas should grow," Tober says. The object of Charlotte's transportation corridors and planned development along them, Tober says , is to reduce the growth rate for traffic and pollution. Ever-improving engine technology can curb pollution, he explains , if personal vehicle miles cease their rapid rise. Given an attractive choice, he believes commuters will opt for public transportation and ma y even decide to live near the lines. That effort impresses Peter Pappas, chairman of the Charlotte Chamber, who praises Tober for seeing how public transportation and growth planning go hand-in-hand. Pappas, who is president and managing partner of Pappas Properties, also credits Tober with having the business sense to build the CATS revenue stream. Short-term, Tober is trying to make riding CATS buses more socia lly acceptable. Sometime back, he banished buses draped in advertisements , including one for lunch meat.

Five Year Milestones Since Dedicated Tax Approved

Put•loC lYO!'.'t'<H..,,IIOUt'wf'!op

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J une 1998

}'()25 ln!rq<nh>rt TranSJI/Lrmd-U<;.., Pia"

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{ lntntoca• A{:lreemeot <>>g'led

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"It was a baloney bus, " Tober remembers. "It just looked awful. We were getting a very small amount of revenue from that and (eliminating ads) was well worth it in terms of changing the appearance of the transit system. " Tober is also working on dependability and ease of use , adding service during rush hours, installing bus stop signs that include route numbers and erecting bus shelters and benches. The fleet is becoming more diverse. "We're buying new and different types of equipment , small buses, big buses, different types of buses tailored to different types of markets ," he says. The Charlotte Transportation Center near The Square is another impressive amenity, Tober points out. It serves 32 ,000 people a day, but it's nearly a decade old and he says CATS has outgrown it. "We're getting ready to build a second downtown transportation center," he says. "That'll be done on West Trade Street where the Greyhound station is, in partnership with the state." That "multi-modal center" will service inner city buses and trains. It will be the terminus for commuter rail service for northern Mecklenburg communities and Mooresville. Modern streetcars will connect the West Trade station with the Transportation Center on East Trade.

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b c While discussing streetcars , Tober acknowledges headaches in returning the historic Charlotte trolley to service with a refurbished vintage vehicle and replicas CATS wasn't scheduled to assume trolley operations until 2006, but Tober says operating and financial concerns suggested CATS should step in sooner. In doing so , CATS inherited design bugs in the Charlotte Convention Center and construction blunders in the Westin Charlotte hotel, both of which must accommodate trolley tracks. With the postponements these have forced, Tober now anticipates trolley runs between East Ninth Street and

CATS Ridership


FY '99


FY '01

FY '02 FY'03

Annual Passengers

South End by spring. Developer Tony Pressley gives Tober high marks, but criticizes trolley delays A founder of the Historic South End Development Association , Pressley wishes the trolley had been brought along faster, even if on a piecemeal basis. "I don't think (Tober) and others have understood how important (trolley service) is to the economic health of that South End district ," says Pressley, president and chief executive of MECA Real Estate Services, LLC. "There have been a lot of people who have invested a lot of money, " he says, citing the retail and residential development along the tracks. Gerald johnson, publisher of The Charlotte Post with offices next to the tracks , says the trolley's progress is as rapid as can be expected, given its hurdles. johnson, whose newspaper calls itself "The Voice of the Black Community, " says he hears from people who criticize the transit service planned for their corridor as inappropriate. "It will all get cleared up in the future ," he says, "but right now it's probably a big mess. " Tober acknowledges that some people want rail instead of bus service. "There are different types of voices and it's a fairly diverse community," he says. Louder critics call Charlotte's transportation plan an enormously expensive boondoggle that will never attract

greater charlotte biz

riders in large numbers. They claim it will divert money from more essential road building. To counter that, Tober and his staff have held more than 300 public meetings in the last four yea rs. "By and large ," Tober says, "the maj ori ty of people are pre tty supportive of what we're trying to d o." They should be, he adds. "We go through a tremendous gauntlet of requirements in te rms of ridership estimates, risk analyses, costs and environmenta l hurdles that rea lly are not presented to highway projects, " he says. "And when a transit project comes th rough that process, it's in

speak for itself," Newm an adds, "and I do n't think that any of the decisionmakers are affected by th ese critics because they know the facts." Pressley thinks Tober should do more than ho ld pu blic hea rings. "IL's one thing when you go to a neighborhood meeting and 20 people show u p," he says. "It's somethi ng else when yo u wa lk in fro nt of a Rotary club with 200 business leaders. " Still , Pressley says, "I like (Tober's) style. l trust him because he's straightforwa rd . I feel stro ngly he's the right pe rson at the right time to get the job done. " The entire 2025 plan wi ll cost almost $2.9 billion over three decades , with the half-cent sales tax raising $2.7 billion . With federal and state help, $600 million of sales tax revenue will go to construction , Tobe r says. The res t will finance operations. Determinatio n rings in Tober's voice as he talks of making the Charlotte project much more than his last tra nsit j ob. "We're going to build this co mmunity a world class transit system . We' ll show th e rest of the country that we did it right ," he says. "Then I'll be able to retire and say that l managed to acco mplish so mething very significant in my li fe. " j

good shape, probab ly much better shape than most of the roadway projects." Still , Tober realizes CATS is an easy target for critics on talk radio and in the wee kly press. "They're catering to a lac k of tolerance. They're going to grind away on us. " W hat can he do about it7 "Make what those folks are saying about public transportation be false," he says. "We have to deliver better than what we've promised ." Tober is smart to be sensitive, Newman says. "''ve suggested to Ron that he be more proactive . I agree that, over the long term , performance will

Ellison Clary is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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by lynn mooney

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SCAR I rews

It's called going "overthe-wall" when those guys in the stalls on pit road armed with a jack, lug nut guns, 75 to 80 pound tires, and fuel , attack a racecar. Or, you might call it off-the-wall, given that they jump in front of speeding racecars. "You've got to be a little crazy to want to play in traffic, " says Mike Dryman, one of three principals in 5 Off 5 On, a pit crew training operation that works with some of the best teams in

In May, the company will open its new 24,000-square-foot facility, also located in Mooresville, on 5.5 acres next to Robert Yates Racing. Students attending Pit Crew U, as well as motorsport!i clients and athletes seeking elite training, will use the facility, which will also include a 98-seat auditorium, catering kitchen and meeting spaces for corporate entertainment events.

NASCAR racing. >

greater charlotte biz

march 2004 29

jeff Hammond, a racing a na lyst a nd

joined forces with Dryman, Deloach

broadcaster for Fox Sports, as we ll as

and Hammond in 2003. In May, the

a former pit crew chief and a second

comp an y wi ll open its n ew 24,000-

Over the Wall

principal in 5 Off 5 On, agrees saying,

squa re- foot facility, also located in

"It's a specia l breed that enjoys dancing

Mooresville, on 5.5 ac res next to

with danger" Working with form er

Robert Yates Raci n g. Stud e nts alle ndin g

Mobi l Co rp oratio n marketing VP and

Pit Crew U, the compan y's teac hin g

CFO Tom Deloach, and Breon Klopp,

arm , as well as motors ports clients and

founder of the company and now

at hletes seeking e li te training, will be

senior director of Motorsports

ab le to use a state-of-t he-art physical

Development , the four men have

conditioning and rehabilitation room,

created a unique compan y - a team -

a therapy room, steam room, and a

that trains, grooms and produces the

motor sports training s hop. Race fans

position, " says Hammond. "The re are

top pit crew team members for

ca n learn to pit crew in a "reality

so many races that you can review,

NASCAR racing

adventure" program. The facility w ill

and listen to the broadcasters say,

include a 98-seat auditorium, a mer-

'The race was wo n on pit road; they

An Elite Athletic Training Facility

cha ndise sho p , locker rooms, catering

gave him track position and he held

kitchen, classrooms and offices.

it on the track , but the race was won

5 Off 5 On is currently and appropriately located on Gasoline Alley in Mooresvi ll e , a city which bills itself

Outside, race fans can gather on

Racing term referring to the pit crew and the services and repairs made to a team 's car during race day. Seven crewmembers are allowed 'over the wall ' at any given time during a pit stop. Competitive pit stops range from I 3 to 14 seconds.

it's then up to the crew to keep him in

on pit road. "'

a second-story observation deck over-

as Race City USA; 90 percent of a ll

looking a quarter-mile track, and the

NASCAR teams are located in the area.

important pit road with six stalls where

The Accidental Partnership Mike Dryman, founder and CEO

Klopp , who has worked in sport medi-

outdoor pit training wi ll take p lace.

of IMPACTSports, might never have

cine and fitness for more than 15 years,

The campus will also include an eight-

entered motorspons if his spouse

saw the need for top-notch training

lane running track, a ha lf-mile fitness

in professiona l stock car racing. He

trail, a regula tion vo lleyba ll court, and

started h is company in July 2000 and

a natura l turf multi-sport training area. Fifteen garage sta ll s are being built to store and maintain racing vehicles and

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equ ip ment. Why the fuss over the pit crew? Today, the act ion in the pit is

Phone: 704-799-3869, 866-563-3566

began his racing ca reer in 1974 as a

Principals: Thomas C. Deloach, Michael D. Dryman,Jeff L. Hammond

tire changer. By 1982, he was a crew chief for team owner "junior" Johnson and driver Darrell Walt ri p. This winning combination wou ld go on to capture two Winston Cup Champion-



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in motorsports for four decades. He

wins as c rew chief, a record-breaking


5 Off 5 On Race Team Performance

critical says Hammond, who has been

ship titles. Hammond would see 4 3


PIT Instruction and Training, LLC d/b/a

In his tenure, he's seen pit stop times drop from the 28 second range to

today's l3


14 seconds. Elite pit

crews get their drivers in and ou t in 12.8 to 13.5 seco nd s. Hammond explains that new

ASCAR rules

regarding car manufacturing have leveled the playing field. The biggest

Number of Employees: 9 In Business: 3 years Business: 5 Off 5 On Race Team Performance, a pit crew consulting, coaching and placement division of PIT Instruction and Training LLC, specializes in the training of motorsports pit crew personnel. Students train at the company's facility enhancing technical skills, physical condition, mental preparation and safety; training is available for all series and levels of race teams.The company also offers "pit crew experiences" to develop team-building skills for individuals, groups and businesses.

differences between race teams are th e driver and the pit c rew. "Once the driver does his JOb a nd ge ts up there,


march 2004

greater charlotte biz

Top Athletes Head For Pit Road

5 Off 5 On takes its name from the five lug nuts that must come off and be placed back on when changing tires during a race.

hadn't decided to work for Roush Racing. Dryman had spent his career training high-level athletes. He served as a tennis director for two the most successful U.S. tennis teams ; he is certified in sports - physiology, psychology, medicine, biomechanics, nutrition, and motor learning. He also founded his own company to provide high-level athletes with sports performance training services. When word got out at Roush of Dryman's expertise, he began to work with pit crewmembers to improve their performance. "''d help them get a little quicker and more explosive," says Dryman. And that's how Dryman met Hammond . The two talked , and soon realized they agreed on the need for true athletic training for pit crew team members. Meanwhile, Klopp, a former member of the North Carolina State University sports medicine department, had decided to use his experience in health and fitness start is own company, 5 Off 5 On, which would provide formal athletic training- physical, mental and technical - for pit crew

"The main reason I wanted to do this was because I knew there was a need in our business ," says Hammond . He knows first hand of the discipline, athleticism and commitment it takes to be part of a pit crew. In fact, Hammond is actively recruiting former top athletes who might be excellent on pit road. "Having mechanical knowledge is not that important; we can teach that, "says Hammond. "They don't have to worry about knowing how to take a rear end apart, or build a transmission. Instead, they need commitment, dedication, athletic ability >

teams and students trying to enter the field. And that's how Klopp met Dryman and Hammond. Hammond knew just the person who might really like the idea of investing in a company offering a new service - Tom Deloach, former marketing VP and CFO of the Mobil Corporation, and the man responsible for of Visit 5 Off 5 On's training center on any given day, and you are most the company's diversilikely to see Breon Klopp, senior director of Motorsports Developmen~ and Lance Munksgard, licensed athletic trainer. fied interests including Mobil 1 Racing. By this time, Deloach was retired from Mobil, but as a consultant for Penske Racing South, he was still actively involved with motorsports. The trio knew of Klopp's business, 5 Off 5 On, liked what Klopp was doing, and made him an offer. Less than a year ago, they acquired the company and asked him to stay on.

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people are work ing out , but they don't kn ow how to train ," says Drym an . "There are people who have natural skills, but once they are thrown into a true training process, they start to see they can be even better, and they're already pre tty good. This is perform an ce -based trainin g. Helping our cl ients ac hieve and maintain their peak perfo rmance is ou r endeavor. " But if it is an as piring pit crewmem ber, Dryman knows JUSt what he's looking for. "They've go t to be a cross betwee n Mikhail Barishnokov and a middle linebac ker, or may be Rambo ," explains Drym an . "Th ey have to ha ve the agility and grace of a dancer, and the intensity and desire of an athlete. The wo rk of a pit crew is a choreographed dance. It's really beauti ful to watch . And the danger makes what we do all the m ore important. " Klopp is well awa re of th e need to train pi t crewmembers. Motorsports remains one of the fastest growing sports in the nation , and qualified pit

Keeping Track... 5 Off 5 On - pl acement, coaching and consulting

Pit Crew U - educati on program Performance Training & Research Institute - phys ical co nd ition ing and inju ry rehabilitation

an d di scipline, and the desire to compete." Hammo nd adds th at fearlessness is a welcome q uality, too. Dryman wan:s the company to be a premie re national an d internati onal athletic performan ce facility - not just for pit crews, but also for all athletes desiring intense consultation . "A lot of

crew membe rs are in hi gh demand . Klo pp takes his students through Pit Crew U, an intense eight-wee k course in which they stud y and train for eac h pos ition o n a crew. Classroom time is interspe rsed with plent y of time on the simulated pit road ru nning d rills. The sto pwatc h is always runni ng, as are video cameras , to ca pt ure each drill so that stude nts can review. Ex isti ng teams also train at 5 Off 5 On to main tain and improve their skills and frequentl y call Kl opp loo ki ng for qualified candid ates to sign. A Business Plan for Corporate America and the Fans Del oach's partners call him "the visionary" of th e group and he's proved that by being able to see that the compe titive sp irit and teamwo rk ac hieve d at 5 Off 5 On cou ld come in hand y if one felt the need for more speed when

p roducin g, say, a box o f W heati es or a bottle of Coke. CEOs and members of upper m an agem ent - men and women - leave the b oardroom behind for a couple of days and go ove r-the-wall in a team-building program tailored for each group , one that employs the same

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Central Piedmont Community College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution .

greater charlotte biz

" Pull off the interstate during rush hour, get out of your car, get down on your knees and look at the tires of your car while people go by you at 60 mph. How many people would do that?" -Jeff Hammond, princi pal, Fox Motor sports broadcaste r and fo r mer champion ship-winning crew chief

techniques for building successful teams that are applied each day on pit road. "We actually train old corporate guys like me to be pit crew, " says DeLoach. "It's a unique experience and when they go home , they take those team-building skills back to their corporation." And it's fun , he adds, describing the experience as an innovative way for companies to achieve efficiency. Currently, Hammond, DeLoach and Dryman take their show on the road to corporate retreats. With the opening of its new facilities , DeLoach sees the training rooms , the pit stalls and the rest of the new 5 Off 5 On facility fi lled with business people who may not even be that familiar with NASCAR, but who are believers in the power of effective team-building and motor sports fans by the time they leave. The already die-hard NASCAR fans, who also make their way to Race City, regularly come by 5 Off 5 On to take a tour. They receive a warm welcome and leave feeling as though they had "touched" racing with their close view of the pit crews in training. "For everyone , it's a fan experience ," says DeLoach. "They can learn more about the sport, and experience it from the inside. " And with the opening of the new facility, even more fans will be able to go "over-the-wall. " "We consider ourselves a destination, "

greater charlotte biz

says DeLoach. "If dad is the race. fan, he can go through pit crew trai::Lng; mom can come and work out ir. the training facilities, and enjoy the :;a una. Or maybe it's the other way aro路_lld. And the kids from ages ll to 15 can attend pit crew camp and pract:.ce on Allison Legacy cars, which are ::. '4 scale. They will learn the mechnics and the physical side , and we t~1ch them about teamwork. They mu be our future pit crewmembers. " All four principals say they

offering a special experience, at a oneof-a-kind destination To sweeten the deal , 5 Off 5 On is workt:J.g with area hotels and vendors to cre:tte packaged trips , so that no matter who wants to be pit crew for a day, all their entertainment needs are met, as if jumping out in front of a 3,400 pound race car wou ldn't be enough exci:ement for one day. biz Lynn Mooney


a Charlotte-tased freelance






march 2004


Ra, .\. Kill ia, k . â&#x20AC;˘:CII\1 :Ll (Simn ni Btilders. Inc.), 201M Presi:ient; Ma k S. Bai:Jwin. BIAE (R) ExEcutirle Vice Preside11t; Hone E.uilders Association of ::ha lotte 34

mar:l 20(!4


by chris jensen


What is the American Dream? Different things to different people, no doubt. But most will agree that homeownership is an integral part of "the dream. " Along with the new homeowner's property taxes comes a fundamental change in attitude. Social scientists have long observed that owning a home correlates with increased involvement in the community and a greater sense of responsibility >greater charlotte biz

march 2004


Dreaming at record levels

Builde r Magaz in e.

fees . Sales of existing hom es, which fu els

New constru cti o n in the U.S. last

The trade organi za ti on tha t ad vocates

yea r saw its best year in 25 years, acco rd -

new h ome con stru cti on , also hit a hi gh

for this thrivin g local inclustr)' is the

ing to an Associated Press story published in j anuary. Based o n nati onal fi g-

in 2003. The Associated Press repo rted

Home Builders Associati o n of Charl otte

that existin g- home sales in creased 9.6

(HBAC). With 1,034 me mbers repre-

ures fo r Ja nua ry through Nove m be r 2003,

perce nt ove r 2002. In the South , th e

seming mo re than 40,000 wo rkers,

new constructi on was clea rl y the shining

increase fo r th e same time pe ri od was

HBAC members hip is open to those

star in last yea r's econom y, due in large

10.6 perce nt. In Charlotte the 26,370

directly invo lved in new home con strue-

pa rt to record-low mo rtgage rates. (The

existing-ho me sales in 2003 represented

li on , re modeling, land deve lopment, new

ave rage fi xed -rate m o rtgage fo r all of

an eight percent increase over th e

home sales, sales of bu ilding p roducts,

2003 was 5.83 percent). Expe rts predict

previo us yea r.

subcontracting and othe r aspects of real

ln addition to the existing home

that the ho using ma rket will rem ain

estate and fin a ncing. All m eobers of

strong th rou gh 2004 , pe rh aps slowing

sales and new home constructi on , the

HBAC also are me m be rs of the NAHB

sligh tl y as mo rtgage rates in ch upwa rd

rem ode ling industry also experi enced

as we ll as the No rth Caroli na Home

by yea r's end .

a reco rd-settin g year, acco rdin g to a

Builders Associati o n (NC HBA)

Janu ary 2004 news release from NA HB.

Gro un d was broken on more th an

The trip le-tiered trade association

1.85 million ho using units in the first ll

Increases were ac ross the board , in

mo nths of last year. That's eve n mo re im-

every region of the U.S., and represe nt-

pati on . In fact , abo ut 80 percent of new

pressive in li ght of th e Na ti o nal Associa-

ing both majo r and mino r rem odeli ng

ho mes across th e U.S. a re built by NAHB

ti on of H ome Builders' (NA HB) estimate

p rojects.

attracts widespread suppo rt a nd pa rti ci-

th at con structi on o f j ust l ,000 single-

The dream team

famil y ho mes generates 2,448 jobs in contri es; app roximately $79.4 mi llio n in

raked l Oth in single-family permits

wages; and more than $42 .5 milli on in

and llth in multi-family pe rm its,

Home Builders HomeBuilders Association of ~~a.8i Charlotte, Inc. AsscdationOfCharlotte

federal, state and local tax reve nues and

acco rding to the Jun e 2003 issue of

a 50 I(c)6 trade association

Nati o nally, th e Charlotte Region

struc ti o n and con structi on -related in d us-

1850 East Third Street, Suite 345 Charlotte, NC 20204 Phone: 704-376-8524


Business Success Institute February

meeting gave business owners some great ideas for increasing sales in a tough

2004 President: Ray A Killian, Jr., CCIM Executive Vice President: Mark S. Baldwin, BIAE

economy. If you weren't there, you really

Number of Employees: 5

missed it!

Member companies: I ,034 representing more than 40,000 workers in the industry

Join now...

f Business Success Institute '-. Charlotte Call Denise Altman at (704) 708-6700 for more information

Established:January IS , 1945 Established: HBAC advocates housing that is environmentally responsible, affordable, of highest possible value, and built with standards of quality. The Association is a: • resource to public officials in establishing policies relating to housing • provider to its membership of educational, social and political services and other business benefi ts • catalyst to create volunteer opportunities to serve the community • partner for cooperative action with those who share its goals • channel for constructive dialogue with those offering differing views

or visit www.busi ness-success-i . 36

m arc h 2 004

grea t e r c h a- Jott e bi z

members. In -v1eckler :u~ ::::ount:r r]--_;:; t figure is cbser to 90


<:;:: -·ercent.

The local o rga niz~icr i; led by. Ma rk Bd d-Nin_ execu t~ -·:e pres~d en t, and Ray K llia11, Jr., L ~ ycrs HBA:::: presiderL. Ba lcwn wc rl<-=d ·;;tUh homebuilders asoci.3 tion s. arouU::: the co _n :ry fo r m ore than 20 yea~ 1n i _oined the Charlotte orga:J.izatic n n

=:.::~· l .

aif: an honor t bein the industry; it is n honJr to serve the industry" - fa; K]Ji ial, 200-t F-resident, HBAC

A "J:ast

boa rd rre mbero f the n<.Lic·--'d execnnve officers .:ounci , he cur~;-__ • serves i!S vice pre:;icl:nt J f the t- :::HI~ ex::cu:ive o fficers w unci . Balcwin hc.s n ot h~- s l::r _ praise [Jr C ha rlot~, Nhich he :lc;;:::i::~s as so"J-l isticated ard cari r_g. "Bu::::dc~ ere wo ~ well will §Ove-nme ct~ in a ::table p J itical enviro rrmeu." he a±ls Killi.3n wl-o recen.:iy- ksa n his t ern as HBAC presiJe nt , is =•J-·: •-n er of Simonini &lilocrs, one of -2 larges: luxury custJrr hoLJe buiLers _n the ca-nt:y, constructirg between C:O ar.::i 90 homes each year it Charlotte, c_n::l ::::harles o, S.C. A~rd e cl _he Nat -r:;i :-lousiq;

QJ<' li :y .,!_-..-arc m 2QJ:._ -H P-o:J{e;;ional BLil /e;- _\-l c~n ne, the c:::•nom:1 J..SO w<-3 m a-e.__4 :~eric:s 3~ t &! t.rr ir 2 002 b•' the \J:t:on ll l _sso:iaj.:;-r :; - H orre Bui l:icr5 :c_d E:;_ i/ fi:: t M:tJ··.::ff-c _elected b ~ r·rcfcso..:nal Bu .d:::r !..tug~re in 200:2 ard 2JO:: c__s CJJe : f Lh.:' op ~C O -Juildcrs to '>-otk i:r in lle ru.LJOll _::._mon.._ni BLiUcr" a SJ re:::ent}:-r ·..-.JI the Ethics i:-1 BLsm;:s; t_'"'a d fr·:c tl-.: ::::h,ulc ~ C h :~p t~ : :::> ~ t h E. )ocie~y cl F:.r.a:1.c::a l Pr::cssi::m.ds. Rdle·=.:-tg. on :1t:: l·n~ ,..-_d H.ry ~ ucces.s hJ •.:a ru: r, Killim .;;eys. "lts an hctur to bo:: ir ~he i chctr:' i_ ~ :m he n..Jr to g::-ve ~he,_"

Interpreting the dream Killian and Ba ldwin find that the general public often doesn't understand the co llecti ve econo mic impac t of the home build ing industry - an industry that encompasses a multitude of smaller, inde pendent co mpanies. "It's a giant food chain ," Killian says, "and a large r employer in Charlotte than banking." He is q uick to acknowledge, however, that banking provides tremendous stability to the local economy. The two industries are inter-connecteel , of course. Ba ldwi n asks, "Wo uld the banks be here if there weren't a good stock of housing here, quality ~

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products at affordable prices?" What, then , is the collective economic impact of the local home-bui lding industry?

"Culture is your #l Priority."

Acco rding to the Mecklenburg County Building Standards Department, from january to November 2003, a total of 7,802 permits were issued for housing

- Herb Kelleher, Chairman, SW Airlines

units. Of these, 6,8-+9 we re single-family home pem1its, 3 1 we re d uplex permits, and 922 we re town- home permits. The constructi on value of those permits totaled more than $ 1.1 bill ion , and that is exclusive of land prices, homebuilder profit, other permi ts and fees. And that's just Mecklenburg County. The U.S. Census in 2000 reco rded 22,385 housing

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starts - nearly triple that number - in the Charl otte-Gastonia-Roc k Hill MSA. That's even more impressive considerin g the fact that new homebuyers spend an average of $6,475 on homerelated purchases during the year immediately followin g the purchase of a home, according to NA HB . In Mecklenburg County alone, for j anuary throu gh November 2003, this translates to more than $50 million spent on home-related purchases by new homebuye rs. (This figure represents less than one yea r and doesn't even include the entire MSA.) And finally, what does the industry pump in the local economy in the form of wages? The US Dept. of Labor in 200 1 repo rted that in the CharlotteGastonia-Rock Hill MSA, 44 ,000 people were employed in the construction industry at an average hourly wage of $14.5 7. Do the math and this totals well over $1 billion .

Sharing the dream HBAC makes it a priority to share the American Dream through a variety of community service projects and special events. For example, the "Home Buil ders Care" Council - JUSt one of eight different councils of HBAC - has acti vely participated in Habitat for Humanity proj ects; repaired the parkin g lot and painted at the Uptown Men's Shelter; and helped Class room Central by finding a suitable location and then painting and repairing plumbing at the building

g re a ter c h ar lot t e bi z

These are just a few of the ways in which HBAC members make a genuine effort to give back to the community that provides their livelihood. Many more in the region are familiar with HBAC's two major annual events: HomeArama and the Parade of Homes. Later this spring, HomeArama will feature five fully decorated homes in Heydon Hall, which is in the South Park area of Charlotte. All five homes are valued at more than $1 million . Scott Teel, marketing coordinator for Simonini Builders, is chairing this year's HomeArama, which is scheduled to run for 23 days , from May 15 through june 6. Drawing anywhere from 40 ,000 to 60,000 people, proceeds benefit the association and the Children's Miracle Network . "This is the most spectacular housing showcase event in the Southeast," Killian says. "People come to get ideas, to plan , to dream, to learn about the latest industry trends and products. Many even bring their cameras, which is fine." Then for three weekends in the fall, HBAC sponsors the Parade of Homes. This event gives the general public an opportunity to tour 135 new homes, both furnished and unfurnished models, that range in price anywhere from $100,000 to more than $1 million. Guiding the dream-makers in 2004

This year marks the final year of a four-year strategic plan developed by HBAC in 2000. Killian explains that the plan has five main initiatives, two of which (membership and operations) are internally focused. The other three public image, regulatory issues and regional issues - are of greater interest to the public at large. The "Image" initiative includes efforts to broaden HBAC's community service efforts, promote home building as a profession, and educate the public about the home-building industry The "Regulatory Issues" initiative involves not only increasing awareness of and responding effectively to regulatory issues, but also intervening to prevent adoption of unnecessary

greater char lotte biz

regulation . The "Regional Issues" initiative reflects the overall trend in both public and private sectors to adopt a more regional, interdependent approach, where appropriate. Right now HBAC represents only Mecklenburg County; surrounding counties and/or cities have their own local associations. In their day-to-day work lives, however, home builders routinely work across county and city boundaries. Likewise, housingrelated issues such as air quality, water quality, conservation and transportation, increasingly are being examined from a regional perspective. So HBAC is looking for ways to collaborate and cooperate with other like-minded local associations. When asked about things like "sprawl" or the NIMBY/BANANA mentality ( ot In My Back Yard I Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything), Baldwin says, "Home builders don't build homes where people don't want to live. Builders don't drive growth patterns; people do ." He adds that home building is a highly regulated industry that incorporates lots of checks and balances.

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Keeping the dream alive

There is another aspect of the American Dream that most will acknowledge, and that is the idea that in this country, a person who starts out with very little can improve his or her station in life through education and hard work. Baldwin and Killian are quick to point out that there are lots of job opportunities for skilled laborers and professionals of all kinds in the home building industry. Both praise the building trade classes offered by Central Piedmont Community College and emphasize the need to gu ide yo ung people toward the trades. In fact, they say the sky is the limit. Killian sums up: "There are many people in this industry who started out with a nothing more than a hammer, who went on to become very, very successful. " biz Chris Jensen is a Gastonia-based freelance writer.

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[bizdigest] Business News and Announcements US LEC Co r p . , a super-regional telecommunications carrier providing

company, has signed a deal with Charlotte-based ClickCom to provide

book, Boomtown USA : The Seven-and-a-

integrated voice, data and Internet services to businesses , has announced that its customer base passed 15,000 in

the company with a dedicated cage that supports more than I 00 servers . The three-year deal represents nearly

authored by Jack Schulz and produced by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties . Schulz lists Mooresville as one of 397 sm all

December 2003 as the result of strong sales, high customer retention and consistent organic growth . The carrier also noted that with the Fastnet acquisition , its customer base has grown to more than 17,000 medium and large business

$200,000 in revenue for Springboard. C ri cket Co mm unications, a Charlotte-based provider of unlimited local wireless communications services,

Half Keys to Big Success in Small Towns,

towns that found a way to beat the odds and flourish . Using Mooresville as a case study, the book identifies several characteristics that set the

has donated $4,000 to the Chamber's

town apart from other stagnant

customers throughout the Eastern United States. MedCath Corporation , a national provider of ca rdiovascular care, has

Teacher Recruitment Subcommittee to help fund Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' teacher recruitment initiatives. Bojangles' Restau r ants Inc .,

communities . Maintaining vision a ry leadership, having a can-do attitude , leveraging strengths and resources

announced the successful opening of its twelfth facility, the $60 million, acute-care accredited Texsan Heart Hospital outside San Antonio, Texas.

operator and franchisor of Bojangles' Famous Chicken 'n Biscuits庐 for more Springb oard Ma n a g e d Hosting, a data center and managed hosting

and building a town brand a re essential, according to Schulz.

than a quarter century, announced that it has signed Carolina Panthers quarterback and Super Bowl hero Jake Delhomme to a product endorsement and brand promotion agreement.

dBusinessNews .com

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NASA has awarded Goodr ich Corp. a contract to provide a high-

Toke advantage o{ these produc!S and ser vrces {tom

temperature, lightweigh t control system for a reusable test vehicle; the contract

Chorfotle 's feadrng busmess路to-busmess supplrer s. Altman Initiative Group

pg. 36

Blair, Bohle & Whitsitt PLLC

pg. 13

Carolina Foot Associates Carolina Traffic Devices

pg. 4 1

Carolina Volkswagen


C.A. Short Company

pg. 39


pg. 33

Charlotte Steeplechase

pg. 5

Choose Charl otteUSA 2004

pg. 19

College Fun d of North Carolina

pg. 3

Compass Career Management Solutions

pg. 38

pg. 27


pg. 18, 32

Diamond Springs


Dunhill Hotel

pg. 12

Employers Association

pg. 21

End II End

pg. 30

5 Off 5 On

pg. 15

First Citizens


FN Tho mpson

pg. 24

Hood Ha rgett

pg. 44

Liquid Design

pg. 21

Meeting House

pg. 15

Office Environments

pg. 37

Regent Park


Road Run ner Business Class

pg. 1

Scott Jaguar

pg. 43

Southern Tree & Landscape

pg. 4 2

Staton Financial Advisors

pg. 14

Tathwell Pri nt ing

pg. 44

Total Informat ion Source

pg. 31

United Mailing Service

pg. 14

Verizon Am phitheater

pg. 25

Whitehead Associ ates

pg. 38


march 2004

is expe cted to generate $1.4 million in revenue for Goodrich over the next two years. Polan d's Ministry of National Defense (M ND ) has se lected Good r ich Corporation 's D B-I I 0 air borne reconnaissance system fo r use on F-16 fighters it is acqu ir ing under the Peace Sky Foreign Military Sale program. When negotiate d through Foreign Mil itary Sales with the U.S. Air Force, the contract is expecte d to generate significant revenue for G ood r ich by 2008. Curtiss-Wright Controls, Inc ., the motion control business segment of Curtiss-W right C orporation, has acquire d Dy 4 Systems, Inc. for approximately $1 I 0 million from Solectron. Mooresville , North Carolina, ranks as o ne of the top small communities in Am erica ac cordin g to a new


Innovation &Growth COUNCI

The Metrolin a Entrepreneurial Counci l (MEC ) , has unvei led its new name and logo. The MEC w ill now be known as the Bus iness Innova tion & Growth Counc il (BIG ) . "We wanted a new name that reflected the new spirit, new leadership, and a more clearly defined purpose for this organization," says president and CEO Terry Thorson . "Our goal is to help entrepreneu rs and businesses find innovative new ways to grow and prosper." Since 1985, the nonprofit organization has encouraged innovation and collaboration among entrepreneurs, and serves as the focal point of entrepreneurial development activities in the greater Charlotte area.

greater charlotte biz

Homebuyer Trends Based on interaction with more than 800 home- and homesite buyers and some of the most prestigious home builders in the nation, Crescent Communities has compiled its second annual "top I 0 list" of what buyers wa nt in a new home : I. Spread out. Large r lots are still on everyone's wish list. 2. "I bought the house for the kitchen." Buyers want the latest in appliances and all the " bells and whistles ," such as warming drawers. Granite countertops are still tops, and nickel fixtures have become the most requested . 3. Home office times two. Buyers have begun asking for separate home office space for husband and wife . 4. Stand apart from the crowd. No one wants to live in a cookie cutter house . 5. Why go out? With high -tech entertainment equipment (DVD players , flat-screen TVs, etc .) becoming more affordable , more people are demanding a room just for entertainment gadgets.

West, South Gain in Popularity 6.

Storage for th flamily fleet. Three-car garages continue to be in high demand . Even families that don 't have three cars want extra space for storage. 7. I'll light the fire ... Fireplaces become the focal point of any room . Some builders have been including two-sided fireplaces , which buyers have loved . 8. It's a wrap! Wrap-around porches have become popular again, as more new home buyers look for ways to entertain al fresco . 9. Down on the farm. Buyers seem to crave a return to simplic ity (as long as they can keep the high-tech gadgets they've grown used to!) Homes built in the Craftsman, farm-house style have been big, especially with young families . I 0. Meanwhile, back at the ranch ... Single-story living is becoming more and more popular. It works equally well for empty nesters who don 't want to climb stairs and for couples with young children , who want to eliminate the possibility of falling down the stairs .

Wal-Mart Portrait Studios Photo Cards Designed Locally The next time your open your mail to find a picture of your adorable nephew on a photo card, chances are good that the card was designed right here in Charlotte . Wai-Mart customers purchase approximately 4.5 million photo cards each year. All are created locally by advertising agency Incite Communications. Each year since 2000, Incite Communications has designed the greeting card graphics for Wai-Mart Portrait Studios, the trade name for a division of Matthewsbased PCA International , Inc. greater charlotte biz

"Each year, we are challenged to assist in increasing the sales over the year before ," says Kent Panther, Incite Communications' account director. "With PCA, we review consumer trends, theme trends, and even take into account the degree of change needed from the previous year based on its success . Sometimes it is just tweaking a graphic, other times it is a complete overhaul." The process seems to be working. Overall sales of photo cards have increased each year since 2000.

The year 2003 saw many people moving west, while the east coast saw a mix of inbound and outbound migration . Many northeast states , including New York and Massachusetts , experienced an increase in outbound migration , while many southern states , including North and South Carolina, showed an inbound migration increase . The results are measured by the business trends of United Van lines, the nation 's largest household goods mover. In addition to the west seeing an inbound migration influx, the southeastern states also were a top migration spot. North Carolina (61 .3%) and South Carolina (61 .3%) saw their highestever inbound percentages. Georgia (5 1.8%) continued its 21-year pattern of inbound migration, while Florida (59 .6%) saw its highest inbound percentage in 12 years.

CAROLINA FOOT ASSOCIATES Committed to the hea lth of vour feet

Great news for those with chronic heel pain We are ve ry excited ro introd uce a new no ninvasive treannent for those with heel spurs and plantar fasciit is. This new treatment is called ESWT, ex[racorporeal shock wave therapy. • ESWT uses shock waves created by sound energy to redu ce the infla mm ation

and alleviate the pain . • Performed in the office wi th no h ospital stay • ESWT h elps those who have had heel pa in for at least six months and fa iled to respond to other conservat ive treatments.

Dr. Thomas Hampton, DPM Board Certified 2200 Randol ph Rd . Ch arlotte, NC 28207

704 .. 3 76 .. 394 7 Plt>a'c c~\11 for mformatlon


an appomtment.

march 2004


[ontop] Queens University of Charlotte, in partnership with Wachovia Bank, N.A., has announced the five outstanding finalists for the 2003 Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year Award : Jennifer Appleby , president and chief creative officer of Wray Ward Laseter; Lori Collins , senior vice president- product and account manager of LendingTree; Gay Dillashaw, vice president operations of Allen Tate Co.; Peyton Howell , president of the Lash Group; Dana Rader, director of the

Dana Rader Golf School. Congratulations to Autobell Car Wash's Charity Car Wash Program , which increased its contribution to local charities by 60% in 2003 by helping raise $284,000 for North Carolina charities, schools and other non-profits. The Charlotte-based company's program is in its sixth year and has raised $984,000 to date. Mann Travel & Cruises has been awarded the "Best of the Best" Award by Travel Impressions for the eighth consecutive year. Mountain Air Country Club has won the National Sales and Marketing Council's Gold Award for signage at the 60th annual

NAH B Convention for a sign system designed by the Charlotte based design firm Design/joe Sonderman .

Pete Browning, dean of the McColl Graduate School of Business , has

announced two new fellowship programs, the Entrepreneurial Fellowship and the Wireman Fellowship , that will be funded by the Entrepreneurial Leadership Circle. Stan Perry , sales associate at Helen Adams Realty, has received the Helen Adams "2003 Founders Cup " award for being the overall

company sales leader for 2003. Perry has also received a " $1 0 million and Above Sales Leader for 2003 " award . Helen Adams sales

associates Ann Wood and Scot Williams have also received "$1 0 mil-



lion and Above Sales Leader for 2003" awards. Helen Adams sales associates Elizabeth


Grillo, Lexie Longstreet and Lori and Kenny Fuqua have received "$1 0 -7 million Producer for 20 0 3" awards.

Roy Fielding , director of aquatics at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has been named one of I 00 outstanding aquatic leaders in the country by a U.S. Water Fitness Association panel. Joe Epley , founder and chairman of Epley Associates , has been honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his contributions to the state of North Carolina. The firm recently established The Joe S. Epley Scholarship Foundation for Public Relations to award exceptional students preparing for a career in public relations. Poyner & Spruill LLP has announced that six of its attorneys have been ranked among Business North Carolina magazine's "Legal Elite." They are: Judy D. Thompson , H. Glenn Dunn , Terri L. Gardner, Susanna K. Gibbons, john L. Shaw , and MichaelS. Colo . David Warren , district manager for

Autobell Car Wash, has been named to

Professional Carwashing & Detailing Magazine's 2004 "Dream Team," representing the best and brightest people in automatic car washing operations nationwide. jim Appleby , senior vice president of Lee Hecht Harrison , recently received the 2003 Mary Elizabeth Francis Award from Elon Homes for Children Foundation , Inc., for his many

years' contribution to the foundation board and as former board chairman. Rick Judson , CEO of Evergreen Homebuilders, has been installed as the 2004 President for the North Carolina Home Builders Association . Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice , PLLC has announced that 12 of its attorneys

have become members of the firm. They are: David Bradin , jennifer Collins, Sarah Day , Christina Douglas , Doug Hanna, Sara Lincoln , Alonzo Llorens , John Morrow, Joel Pieper, Laura Seidel , Tric ia Snyder and Todd Sullivan . ~~-â&#x20AC;˘~~~a"H Dave Purcell , the current executive

director for operations at YMCA Camp Thunderbird in Lake Wylie , S.C. , has increased his responsibilities to serve as marketing director for Camp Harrison at Herring Ridge , the new YMCA resident camp opening in the summer of 2004 in Wilkesboro, N.C. Crosland has announced the promotion of Ryan Preston to director of leasing in the retail division in Charlotte. Bill Aldridge has been named business development manager for Hendrick Lexus in Charlotte . Andy Widen house has been promoted to senior project manager at Colejenest & Stone, P_A . Trinity Partners has promoted David H . Dillard to director of

office property management. Noll W . Kretsch mann , P.E. , electrical designer at Clark-Nexsen , has obtained his license as a Professional Engineer in the State of New York. WFAE's board of directors, University Radio Foundation Inc. , has elected new executive officers and four new directors to its governing board . They are: Ross Annable , Chair; Pam


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704-375-7555 42

march 2004

greater char lotte biz

West,Vice-Chair, Bank of America; MarDee Baker, Secretary, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Katie Tyler, Treasurer, Tyler II Construction, and Roger Sarow, President, WFAE. Governing board directors include: Brenda Anderson , The Galilee Agency; Olin Broadway, Executive

in Residence at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; Michael Dugan, Henredon Furniture Industries in Hickory; and Chrisanne Mitchell, Trust for Public Land in Hickory. Other directors include: Garza Baldwin, Ill , Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice PLLC; J.J. Qack) Carmola, Goodrich Corporation; Astrid Chirinos, Diverso Global Strategies; Lawrence Kimbrough , First Charter; Reid Leggett, Edgeview Partners LLC; Tom Martz, UNC-Charlotte; Nancy Ring, The Communication Partnership, Ltd.; and Angela Simmons, Everett Harris Co. in Hickory. Juba Aluminum Products has recently begun work on the new 469,000 s.f. Mecklenburg County Courthouse in Charlotte. The nine-story project includes 75 ,000 s.f. of high security and sophisticated design , high-performance curtainwall systems. Greer & Walker has become a member of PKF North American Network, an association of independent accounting firms. StrataForce has hired E. Carl Phelps as general manager. Premier Resources has hired Sarah Cook as personnel manager.

greater charlotte biz

New World Mortgage, Inc. has hired Brad Smith as vice president of sales. johnson & Wales University has announ::ed the appointment of jim Palermo, recentl;- retired Bank of America executive vice presider~:, as the new executive in residence br its c~ arlotte campus. Tivoli Partners, Inc. has announced the addition of John Iafrate as a graphic/web designer. The following "' :l' sales associates have joined Helen Adams Realty: Kim •••~ ., ~ Walton , Trip Griffin , Amy Grybush , Brenn3. Morgan , Julie Tache and Pam Farson. Poyner & Spruill LLP has announced the addition of Edwin Marion Speas, Jr., former chief

deputy attorney general of the '\Jorth Carolina Department of Justice, to : he firn Heather Kolisnyk has joined Carolina Buyer's Agent as an exclusive buyer's agent. Mulkey Engineers & Consultants 1as naa1ed Julie A. Law as Branch

Administrator in the firm 's Charlotte office. Chris justice has been named as the newest anchor person on WCNC/6 News' evening anchor team . Mann Travel & Cruises has announced the addition of Monique Matevie as a:count manager and Linda Malkemus as a leisure travel agent. Doug Wynne has joined Coldwell Banker Commercial as a brokerage associate . Jason Hughes has joined the public relations division of Lyerly Agency, Inc. , a locally-based advertising, marketing, public relations and interactive firm . Time Warner Cable has named Nancy Sykora vice president of customer operations; Sykora will work with customer call centers in Charlotte and Kannapolis, and coordinate TWC's payment centers and collections department. First Trust Bank has annot.nced that Chris Sharpe has joined the bank as vice president/commercial banking. Bank of America has named Christiane Mandell head of the company's Global Foreign Exchange group. Wilmar Leasing has announced the addition of Paige Seigler as new busin ess coordinator. bi

march 2004


• -1!1 Dai y Fe e Golf Fac mt. In Ch arlo1te • Voted G ar lotte's Best for the Past F·Jur Years • 26 Acre Ug hted Practice Co mplex • PG;.. anoj LP0:3A P rofe~. ~cnal:; cfer pe rso:tr\8. and ;:,oup in~~ ' uctioo f::>r go f~rs c" al skil eves • New covereo te-eing arEas • Pra:::1ic3 ne-n:·-=-rships avai a:le • Tur key Tot..~ r nam e nt Ad j nist .atioo

Our New Management Tf*lm is Dedicated ro Making Regent Park a Truly Extraordjnary Golf Experience.

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Greater Charlotte Biz 2004.03  

Greater Charlotte Biz

Greater Charlotte Biz 2004.03  

Greater Charlotte Biz