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As a small business owner, the health insurance premiums that I pay are always one of the largest chunks of money that come out of

the bottom line.11

~Blue Cross has an incredible reputation in our community. And as we analyzed the coverage that we got with Blue Cross with the amount of money that we had to spend in our premiums, we realized that it was the best decision that we could make. As we were dealing with all of the trauma of Tate's accident, Blue Cross did what they said they would do."


Jonathan Gilbert Son, Tate, survived sledding accident Raleigh , NC Member 4 years










cover story

Presbyterian Healthcare


Presi dent and CEO Carl Armato has been promulgati ng his vision - putting health care back into the hands of physicians. His approach to runn ing Presbyterian is more a revolution than a sales pitch. 'Nhile many systems drive pat ient care from the adm inistration down, Armato has crc.fted a network of physicians who he says help make t he im portant decisions.

16 FairPoint Communicatio ns Constant change has marked the evolution of th1s Charlotte-based telephone company now 1n the country's

Top 20. Gene

Johnson. chairman and CEO. prom1ses more change ahead. Having gone public,

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the company is focus1ng on internal growth to produce profitability and to pay healthy. dependable div1dends.

publisher's post


employers biz



Legislative and Regulawry Highlights for Area Employers

Exervio Management Consulting

on top

How do you survive with a dot-com after

workforce biz

the dot-com debacle? According to TJ

NCIST New Wave in Training and job Placement for Displaced, Incumbent and Emerging Workers

Felice, the key is placing innovation at the helm; he framed Exervio on the ribs of a shipwrecked dot-com, and has navigated profitably t hus far. building market share 1n an increasingly competitive 1ndustry.


8 14

biz resource guide


biz outlook


Business Planning Changes with the Economic Cycle

CEO Inc. When Debby Millhouse env1sioned her future, she wasn't think1ng of Charlotte, and she wasn't dream1ng of running her own employment agency But those were only two surprises life had in store for her. Her quest to improve qual1ty of life for herself, her family, and her community has

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led her to many unexpected adventures.

38 RAGGS LLC Original ly a mall market1ng st rategy to increase customer loyalty t his multi-

Photograph] by Wayne Mcnis

faceted children's entertainment concept, based on a character named RAGGS, has grown int o mall loyalty programs nationally. award -winning mus1c videos, COs and DVDs, tours. merchandising and now a major int ernational broadcast opportunity.


on the cover : Carl Armalo President and CEO Presbytelian Health.:are

cliaflotte iz ww w grea tercha r lott e b iz .conr

Rodney Pitts (standing), Southern Elevator and Mike Monk, Scott Insurance

"I've never heard of creative service this strong for a mid~ market company like ours. Scott Insurance is truly unique." -Rodney Pitts, Chairman, Southern Elevator

"Mike Monk spent over a year getting to know Southern Elevator and we didn't even have a formal business contract. Mike was aware of our history of efficient risk management, yet he was still able to execute innovative ideas for our loss prevention and claims management programs. Now Mike and Scott Insurance handle our entire insurance program and that's never happened before with other agencies. I'm very impressed with them!" Whatever your risk management needs, count on Scott Insurance to deliver new and effective ideas for you. Call Mike Monk in Charlotte at (704) 556-1341.

Employ ee Own e d I





[publisher's ostj Our Best Efforts for the NASCAR Hall of Fame




June 2005 Think about the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Now, NASCAR offi · cials are choosing a location for a NASCAR Hall of Fame. How could it be th at the NASCAR Hall of Fame would be placed any· where other than Charlotte, North Carolina? How can NASCAR

Volume 6 • Issue 6 Publisher John Paul Galles

even thin k of putting it anyplace else? It see ms only natural, given the history of the sport and the cultu re th at has been built up around it, that Charlotte would have the inside track with its bid for the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Rick Hendri ck, Luther Cochrane, Felix Sebates, and Cathy Bessant are among the leaders of the campaign to bring the NASCAR Hall of Fame to Charlotte for those and other reasons . This group has done an excellent job of amassing expertise in both the construction an d the marketing/public relations of this project. Renowned architect I.M. Pei of Pei, Cobb & Freed Partners (Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.; John F.

Associate Publisher/ Editor

Kennedy Library in Boston; expansion ofThe Louvre in Paris) has most recently been praised for its highly interactive work for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, a quality important to NASCAR and its fans. lnterpublic Group (BofA; 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Chevrolet, Microsoft, Nike) is well known for its high-powered marketing ca mpaigns for mega corporations. These firms should be able to arouse fan support from even the most latent with the excitement of the design and the creativity of the

Account Executives

message. Despite th e natural heritage of NASCAR and these grand efforts, however, it might be what we don't know that could cause NASCAR officials to select a site other than Charlotte: • While most agree that NASCAR will continue to be one of the fastest-growing sports for some time, it is not as easy to speculate where the "center of the NASCAR universe" will be in terms of merchandising, viewing, accessibility, or other revenue-determining factors. We do know that NASCAR is expanding its network of racetracks to encompass more of the national audience. We do know that NASCAR is even testing its expandabili· ty into international markets like Mexico City and is looking to other sites in Central and South America and Europe. And we do know that NASCAR leadership has plans to reduce the number of races in the Carolinas and has made significant comments about relocating the Nextel All·Star event! • We do not know what the selection committee wants for NASCAR. What will they expect in return for the Hall of Fame besides an investment of at least $100 million and the prospects for a long-term return on investment? • Nor do we know how the sport of NASCAR itself will change. We do know that the sport has become highly technical and technological. We do know that NASCAR is working on a new prototype for new cars starting in 2006. In anticipation of these unknowns, our region has made great strides investing in the future of NASCAR. Our resident drivers and their teams have created state-of-the-a rt facilities for NASCAR racing in Concord, Huntersville and Mooresville . UNC Charlotte has built a research program specifically around the technology of NASCAR racing. Our state is committing substantial dollars to maintain our base of racing teams and the surrounding industries. We have a world-class international airport that provides immediate access both nationally and internationally. And certainly, our community has also demon stra ted its des ire, ambition and commitment to support and maintain what is naturally part of this co mmunity's heritage and culture. We deserve to be awarded the NASCAR Hall of Fame for all of the right reasons. At the same time, we should expect some changes in the way things have been, including that the Nextel All-Star events may be taken and circulated to other tracks much like professional sports rotate their all-star events . We will have to wait and see how our efforts are i received. Nevertheless, we can be proud of the best efforts we have extended.


june 2005

Maryl A. Lane

Contributing Editor Susanne Deitzel

Creative Director/ Asst. Editor Sean Farrow

Gary Biernacki Bill Lee Amy Jo Robinson

Contributing Writers Ellison C lary Susanne Deitzel Heather Head

Contributing Photographers Sean Farrow Wayne Morris Galles Communications Group, Inc. 560 I 77 Center Drive • Suite 250 Charlotte, NC 28217-0736 704-676-5850 Phone • 704-676-5853 Fax • Press releases and othe r 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 2005

by Galles Communications Group, Inc.

All righcs reserved. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. H owever, Galles Commu ni cations Group, Inc. makes no warranty to the accuracy or reliability of this information. Produces named in these pages are trade names or trademarks of their respective companies. Views expressed herein are not necessarily those of Greater Charlotte Biz or Galles Communications Group, Inc . No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. For reprincs call 704-676-5850 x l 02.

Greater Charlotte Biz (ISSN I554-6551) is published monthly by Galles Communications Group, Inc .. 5601 77 Ce nter Dr.. Ste . 250, Charlotte. NC 28217-0736 . Telephone: 704-676-5850. Fax: 704-676-5853 . Subsmption rate is $2"1 for one year. Periodicals postage pending at Charlotte, N.C., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Greater Charlotte Biz, 560 1 77 Center Dr., Ste. 250, Charlotte, NC 28217-0736.

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• ''Works well with others" tops the list.

~J u frol:ab:ly have tru!ted advisors, like your attorney and your C

'A , who hdp you manage your financial

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c .::- peciali!sts offe1·s expe rience in eve•-y financial d :scipli::co . And since we're locally based, we can be

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Uncomm on Wi sdom


Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers

Costs of FMLA- Staggering! According to a recent survey published by the Employment Policy Foundation (EPF), a business funded "think tank" based in Washington D.C., Family Medical Leave Act (FMI..A) Compliance cost employers $21 Bl LUON in 2004. (Yes, that's with a 'B', not an 'M'!) The direct labor costs included net labor replacement costs, continuation of group health benefits and lost productivity The survey found that 14.5 percent of employees took leave in 2004. or those, 35 percent wok it more than once during the yea~. Employees in the healthcare, manufacturing, utilities and telecommunications industries were more likely to have employees take FMLA than those in other industries. "Multiple episodes" of FMLA leave appear to be growing rapidly In 2004, the percentage of employees taking more than one leave was almost 50 percent higher than in 2000. According to EPF's chief economist, it is the intermittent leave provisions of the act that are so !lexible as to make FMLA subject to abuse by a small - but costly- group of employees. Intenniuent leave actually makes up a sizeable minority of all FMLA leave. Thirty percent of all FMLA leave is less than 5 days in length and 20 percent was for one day or less. However, intermittent leave under the FMLA presents challenges in coping with potentially frequent unscheduled absences and in tracking the leave taken. Leave for cases involving an employees own serious health condition or that of an immediate family member must be granted on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule - if the employee provides certification that a chronic condition exists and generally meets the definition of a serious health condition. Individual episodes of the condition are not subject to certification (such as providing a doctors note), leaving employers to contend that some employees regularly abuse chronic conditions to take job-protected time off. Another challenge for employers is that prior notice of the need for leave is often not provided. The survey shows that nearly 50 percent of all FMLA leave takers do not provide notice before the day the leave is taken. In over 30 percent of the cases, employees provided notice after the leave had started and in another 11 percent of cases, employees provided notice at the time the leave began or immediately after. The lack of notice makes is difficult for employers to adjust their employees' work schedules to accommodate the leave-takers schedule. The FMLA provides an important benefit to help employees deal with the need to take leave for an illness or to care for a family member. However, the prevalence of FMLA leave taken for chronic conditions does appear to lead to abuse of intermittent leave. The Department of Labor is currently reviewing the FMU. regulations and is expected to publish proposed revisions this year. Employer comments will be vital to helping overhaul the rules. lt is also critical that members of CJngress understand why this issue is important to employers and why they should support the reform. There are several organizations that are spearheading the effort to overhaul this law - specifically the Society for Human Resource Management 6

june 2005

(SHRM) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). NAM has provided a sample letter that can be sent to a congressman along with examples of your company$ experiences with FMLA at:!FMLArefom1. Insufficient FMLA Notice Before Firing Closes the Book

Under Labor Department regulations, employees must give notice of their need for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at least 30 days in advance of a foreseeable need for leave or, when the need is not foreseeable, "as soon as practicable under the facts and circumstances of the particular case". Failing to do so, the employee may be considered absent without leave and subject to discipline, even discharge. An employee of a manufacturer recently learned this the hard way after he left a voicemail message with the plant nurse of his employer about needing FMLA leave to care for his wife who was about lOgo into labor at any time. His employer sent him FMLA application fom15 on which he simply checked the block indicating that his wife had "a serious medical condition" without giving any details. It turned out that his wife had gone into false labor and did not give birth for another l3 days, all of which he took off. Acting under its very strict attendance policy, his employer denied the FMLA leave request and fired him for absenteeism. Only after that did he provide the employer with a doctor's note stating that his wife encountered complications with her pregnancy which required that he take all that time off. But, was that enough to save him from termination? According to the federal appeals court in Chicago, it was not. As part of "the quid pro quo for the employers partial surrender of control over his workforce," the FMLA conditions receipt of its leave benefits on employees "giving the required notice to [their] employer", the court explained. What the employee tells the employer about her or his need for time off must at least be enough "to place the employer on notice of a probable basis for FMLA leave." In this case, all the employee had to do was provide the employer with enough information to alert the employer of the potential need for FMLA leave. Unfortunately, he did not do this. "He just said he wanted to stay home with his wife until she gave birth," which, "while understandable, is not the same thing as wanting to stay home to care for a spouse who has a serious health condition" that would entitle him to FMLA leave, the court concluded. Having not given the employer any indication of his wifes pregnancy complications until after he was fired, the employee essentially did nothing more than just demand leave under the FMLA, which is simply not enough to invoke its benefits and protections. As for the belated doctors note, the court would not allow it to save the day for the employee because "employees should not be encouraged to mousetrap their employers by requesting FMLA leave on patently insufficient grounds and then after the leave is denied obtaining a doctors note that indicates that sufficient grounds existed, though they were never communicated to the employer."

www.greate rc harl otte biz. com

Accidents at Company Events "Q:

With warm weather approaching, many companies will be sponsoring activities such as an employee picnic or a company softball team. Employers should be ready to address any potential injuries. Two questions arise: is the accident compensable under workers' compensation and is it recordable on the OSHA 300 log7 lt is advisable for companies to check with their workers' compensation carrier to answer the compensability issue. From a recordability standpoint, these accidents are generally not recordable on the OSHA log. Here is language taken directly from the Department of Labor's OSHA recordkeeping guidelines:

the work environment that falls under one of the following exceptions is not work-related, and therefore is not recordable. 1904.5 (b) (2) You are not required to record injuries and illnesses if. .. The injury or illness results solely from voluntary participation in a wellness program or in a medical, fitness, or recreational activity such as blood donation, physical

Large Employers Satisfied with HR Outsourcing

Can Employees Collect Unemployment During Shutdowns?

According to a recent survey conducted by outsourcing firm, Hewitt Associates, 89 percent of large employers indicate that they are satisfied with their HR outsourcing arrangements. Functions that are commonly outsourced include outplacement services (91 percent), employee assistance programs (89 percent), 401(k) plans (83 percent) , and COBRA administration (77 percent) Of the 129 companies surveyed , 94 percent outsource at least one function. Hewitt reports that companies plan to expand HR outsourcing to include leave management , learning and development, recruiting and health and welfare functions over the next several years. Cost savings, new capabilities and services for employees, and more time for HR to focus on strategic work are listed as reasons for the growth in outsourcing.

Member companies that require a mandatory temporary shutdown week may wonder whether or not employees would be eligible to collect unemployment during this time. Many organizations in textiles and related industries have made it a regular practice to shut down their operation the weeks of July 4th and December 25th. The North Carolina Employment Security Act permits employers to designate up to two weeks per calendar year as vacation shutdown weeks. The Employment Security Commission does not consider employees as "available for work" during these periods. Thus the employees are not eligible to collect unemployment, even if the vacation period is without pay. Employers must give employees reasonable notice and specify the shutdowns as vacation weeks. South Carolina employers should be aware that vacation shutdowns may be treated differently by the South Carolina

greater charlotte biz

Are there situations where an injury or illness occurs in the work environment and is not considered work-related?

A: Yes, an injury or illness occurring in

examination, flu shot, exercise class, racquetball, or baseball." The more a company can do to separate itself from the activity or sports team, the better it can reduce its liability for accidents. For example, activities should be away from the premises, preferably outside normal business hours, no attendance record kept, no pressure to participate , and as little financial support as possible. Companies would be wise to consider having employees sign a waiver to participate on a sports team to reduce the company's liability

Employment Security Commission. ln South Carolina, if an employee is not working and is not receiving pay, he I she is eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. Whether or not the employee will qualify for benefits is determined on a case-by-case basis. If an employee has accrued vacation benefits and receives vacation pay equivalent to a full week's pay during the vacation shutdown period, he I she is not eligible for unemployment & benefits. Employers that schedule shutdowns should clearly communicate their policy to employees in writing. ( biz

The Employers Association is a nonprofit Charlotte organization providing comprehensive human resources and training services. Founded in 1958, the Association maintains a broodbased membership of over 700 companies from all industries in the greater Charlotte region. The above excerpts were token from The Management Report, the Association's monthly newsletter. For more information, please call Lauro Hampton at 704-522-80 II or visit the Web site at june 2005


HEY, SALES MANAGER, ARE YOU AS AS YOU COULD BE?? D o yo u wish you co uld transfo rm the sam e skills you m astered in th e fi eld in co lea rnin g how co m anage sales peo ple co do wh at you want them co do ? A re yo u ce rtain if yo ur co mpensati o n and in centive plans are reall y dri vin g the ri ght behavi o r? Are yo u exh austed fro m tryin g co co nstand y drive yo ur sal es peo ple co behave co nsisten dy and reach their qu o tas? Are yo u t ired of hi ring the w ro ng people and disappointed when th ey do n't work o u t? (Ever wonder how much they're even costing you??) Yo ur sales people are coo co mfo rtable "cherry-picking" existing cusco mers and do n't open up as much new business as yo u wou ld like?

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More Knowledge More Experience Means less risk. Shield Engineering, Inc. is a common sense provider of Environmental, Engineering Design, Emergency Spill Management, and Geotechnical Engineering services.

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Awards & Achievements The Charlotte Chamber has announced the finalists for the 22nd Annual Entre preneur Awards: In the categ01y of 1-10 employees: Occasions Catering, Moonlight Design Group , Pea Organizing Services ; 11-35 employees: The Elevator Cha nnel, Exen io Consulting, Morehead Associates; 36-150 employees: All American Roofing; Ameritmst Mo rtgage ; Metal Recycling Services. NAWBO has honored several women

ceremony, among them were: Woman Business Owner of the Year, j ane Boston , Motivations, Inc. ; Risi ng Star of the Year, Betsey Macholz , Bashets of Yarn ; Community Service Awa rd Winner, j oan Zimmerman, So uthern Shows, Inc. ; Bridge Builder Award, Hilary Coman, The Coma n Company; Unsu ng Hero Awa rd, Cat hy Critz, So lutions FYS, Inc.; Pioneer Awa rd, Sandra Feldman, Costa Rica To urs, Ltd. ; Team Builder Awa rd, Nan0 Jane Boston Haines, Stand Up Stuff; Roohic of the }ear Awa rd, Nancy Ridenhour, Computer Applications Consultant. The SBA has honored Mary Elizabeth Murphy with its 2005 Women in Business Champion Awara. The SBA has also announced j eremy Rozsah, William A. Simmons lll,]o5hua Rozah and jason Lee Horner as the winners of its 2005 NC Young Entrepreneur C!J the Year Award as well as the SBA 2005 National Young Entrepreuncur of the Year Award. Advertising & Media Epley AssoCiates, lnc. has announced the add !lion c路f Catherine L. Williams, APR , to its Char.otte office to serw as director of client setYices. WCNC-TV has announced the promotion of Mary Alvarez to executive news directo r.


ju n e 2005

www.g r eate rc h ar l o tte bi z . c o m

Selective Marketing Communications, Inc. has received gold and silver ProAd awards for Dcaler!DisLiibLitor

Matcfials from the Business Marhcting Association Carolinas Chapter for launch kits created for !RWI "' Industrial Tool Company

jennifer Wilson has joined the public


relations team at Luquire George Andrews as an account manager.

Business a nd Professional Services Womble Carlyle has announced the addition of five lawyers- jeff Hay, Bob Donlon, Tom Price, Brit Young and Brandy

Beny- to the firms Corporate and ecunties Practice Group in its Charlotte office; all five attorneys come to Womble Carlyle from the Atlanta-based law firm of Manis, Manning&: Martin , L.L.P

]ian Wang has joined the Charlotte office of Cadwalader, Wickersham &: Taft,LLP as an associate in the capital markets department. RSM McGladrey has added john


Sudol, ASA , and Dan Hawn, CPAIABV, ASA , as business valuation d irectors.

treating you like a dog?

Shumaker, Loop&: Kendrick, LLP,

FETCH your slippers it's after hours so you're out

has announced the addition of 5. Freclerich

of luck.

(Rick) Winiker 1Il as an associate in its

SPEAK to a phone tree and hope for a call back.

Charlotte office.

ROLL OVER in bed-your appointment isn't for three days. SIT forever in a crowded waiting room. STAY an hour in a cold room for a few minutes with a doctor. BEG a specialist to get you in this month.

CEO and founder of The Steritech Group, lnc.,jol111 Whitley , has announced his retirement this month and appointed current Food Safety Division President

Maybe, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Mark Jarvis as his successor.

Construction & Design House Raising, Inc. has announced the selection of Daniel]. Robinson as its

Un lea!:h the ad·Hntages of . . .

C NCIERGE MEDICINE • • • • • • •

nati onal director of architecture and vice president of House RaisingUSA. The MAME (Major Achievement in Marketing Excellence) Award for best amenity package has been awarded to

Skybrooh - A Bryan Properties Com munity ESD Architecture has hired Darrell Watts as director of design services, Bene flanison as director of interior design services and Tamara Haney as director of


Access to doctors 24/7 Same day appointments No waiting room time Over 30 years experience In-office lab and x-ray Wellness planning Urgent care

704-554-8787 6115 Park 3.::uth Drive , Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28210

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june 2 005


Take a break. We'll supply the drinks. You have enough on your

H. Bemice Cutler has

plate without having to

been promoted to an assoctate in the architecture firm •)(

keep your people hydrated or your break room stocked. l!enoic< CLtler

Let that be our job .

Namour Wright Associate· and Emma Ford has joinec. as an architectural intern. D.R. Horton, Inc. , has added jeff Kidd and Teresa Tuten as builder represenwtives to its team of

We provide bottled water in a full range of sizes, from 16 -ounce to s-gallon, water


filtration, coffee service and

Charles Van Dam has been named senior project manager at Tyler 2 Construction.

more - th e best delivery in th e bu siness.

LandDesign, Inc, an




named two new partners, Richard Petersheim and

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Call 704-393-3900 today.

Kevin Vogel, to its Charlou..t


Proud supporter of the Make-A-W ish Fo undation

urban planning, civil engineering and landscape architecture company, has

CtErles 'ftn



Linda Ward has joined

P ~ ;a :Jrga:-~iz:ing i_:- t~

Services, Inc. as a certified ·or c.c:signer & professional.

Chine e Proverb:


A fall into the ditch makes you wiser.

The Lesson?

It's amazing how wise a fall into the business ditch can make you ... and the wisest among us learn from the mistakes of others and stay out of the ditch altogether.

ancy Gutienez has

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lmerstare Tower 12 1 Wesr Trade Srreer, Suire 2650 C harlorre, NC 28 202

Because meaning turns on a word 10

june 2005

been named dean of the College of Arts and Science.:; at The University of North Carolina at Charlone. h-:::: GJtienez Beth Nonvood Fischer b.:;; j Jined The University of North Crdina at Charlotte as director of develorfc•r t 1c Belk College of Business. Ikth Mnvood Fischer has joined The Ll< ~rsit., of orth Carolina at Charlotte a; :..i-ectm of development for the Belk Col of Business. -,c Center ror Digital Education and DZ"lf

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E.ducatic n/Staffing -he bc·a ·d of governors of the Universi.y cf -,~ Jrth Carolina have elected Pl1ilip DuBo!s d:u - cellor of The University of North un.·lina .lt Charlotte. Q ueer.s University of Charlolle has oor l unceJ that Terry Broderick has been r -d ir~erim dean of the McColl GraduaL~ x ::ol of Business.

the .A meril:an Association of Community

?,re ate rc h a r I otte biz. c c n

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Colleges have named York Technical College m Rock Hill t:J.e most-advanced school for 1se of infotlTBtion technology among large and urban ccmmunity colleges in the United States as detnnined by its Digital Community Colleges survey The Office of Technology at The University o- orth Carolina at Charlotte ~1as announct:d two winners of its the fifth annual Five \rmtures ~ competition: The Ometric Co rporation, a research organization 路:Jased in ColLmbia, S.C., and ROl Executive Consulting, a Charlotte-based business consulting grour::-

KnauffInsurance is proud to be the first Insurance Brokerage to win the esteemed Carolinas AGC Pinnacle Award

Engineerin: PSI, an irdependent engineering testing and consultir g firm, has hired Michael Fiora as a staff engi1eer in its Charlotte office.


Financial & Insurance Business Loan Express, LLC , a non:Jank small b-Jsiness lender, has been recognized b: the SBA and South Carolina l Chamber of Commerce as one of the largest 7(a) lenders in dollar volume for the fiscal year 2004 in Business Loan Express South Carolina; the 3-ward was ptesented to Everett Wa lker, a vice presiden.. at Business Loan hrpress here in Charlotte. Randall E Riggins, one of First Financial Resources f01mding principals, has earned membership in the 2005 Million Dollar Round Tablt:'s Top of the Table and the Premier Ass.Jciation of Financial Professional3. Preferred Financial Strategies has announced the addition of Mary Moose, CSA as principal partner. Britm Lindler has been promoted to financial services manager with First Citizens Bar:k in Charlotte.

Best Supplier or Service Company in honor of their ongoing commitment to customer service excellence.

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Government/Non-Profit Three intf:mational companies have won philanthropy awards at the Mayor's

greater char lotte biz

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704. 37 2.1450

Carolinas AGC

j une 2005


International Community Awards Luncheon :

Compass Group, BASF Corporation, and Stork Prints America, lnc. I]. ''jerry" Orr, aviation di rector for the Charlotte Douglas Intemational Airport, was the recipient of the 2005 Richard Vinroot International

.. .and so


business 1n charlotte .

Achievemen t Award . The Charlotte a!Hl.iate o:· the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer

Join us at our June meetings to d iscuss "Hot topics to help you grow! " Pa rticipate further by emailing us at info @business-success-institute .com with a hot topic or burning question that's on your mind .

Foundation has hired Gloria Scienski as executive director.


Mecklenburg County Mooresville/Lake Norman Chapter meetmg

Deadline to RSVP and/or submit a question is June 15.

Manager Harry L.]ones Sr. Harry Jones

has accepted the presidency of

the National Forum for Black Public

Information on membership /IJIT· Cr. Denise Altman at 704-708-6700

Administrators, a 2,500 member organization. The Rotary Club of Charlotte North has

Matthews Chapter



f~usiness Success Institute

announced that the recipient of the 2004-05

Distinguished Rotmian Award is Michae/J.]etie, a financial consultant with Carroll Financial Charlotte Chapter meeting

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For J_e tb-d time this season, Bobcats forward Emeka (lkafor has earned the NBA5 Eastern Conference got Milk? Rookie of the Month award _ The Cha-Lme Chapter of the Society or Financial Service Probsionals has presented its ZJ05 Ethics in Business Award for mid-sizec businesses to Autobell Car Wash. Inc. Morton's ~teakhouse has promoted Tajah Bray to sales and marketing manager for its location in uptown Charlotte. Calle' Siena Tratloria e Barra has announced that M ic!Glel Blais Chef Michael Blais , formerly of Bistro 100. s the restaurants new executive chef. Donald Haack Diamonds has hired master Ru ;sell Beverly McKenzie Malin craftsman, Russell McKenzie, n· l associate, Beverly Malin.

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Solgenia SoJA , a business software developer rooted in Spobo, Italy, has opened the companys newes. 3ubsidiary, Solgenia USA, which has its nuin J Tice in Fort Mill, S.C. Nom-Eel'- Technology Part11ers has announc:d c: new office opening in Richmond, Va., nd " J:SO announced several new additions to the (•rsanization including: Mike Kelly as mamgingCJnsultant, Lindsay Vinson as a!IC.lyst and Steven Wilson and MaLLhe~' Mclry as managing consultants. Debbie 0\erby has joined Team Technology, Inc. as MBS consultant. Greg Go~a n has joined A.T. Distributi.or:., lnc. as business technology consultant; Kevit1 johnson has joined ATD as an accocn1 execuive. biz To be co•;idered for inclusion, please send you' n;;ws releases and announcements m the body :J-an e-mail (only color photos attached) tc, or fa,< them tJ 704-676-5853, or post them to oLr busirl2>S address - at least 30 days pnor to :urp.iblicatlon date.

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NCIST New Wave in Training and job Placement for Displaced, Incumbent and Emerging Workers


he loss of jobs in America over the last decade has been widely broadcast , as well as its pervasive and devastating consequences. The resulting changes in the job base, however, and the way in which companies and communities are responding, is an equally compelling story of how business , education and community are partnering to address this problem- and that partnership is taking place right here in Charlotte! In March of this year, the N.C. Department of Labor, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board , Duke Power and the Corporate Training division of Central Piedmont Community College held an event to showcase a va riety of outlets for local and regional manu facturers seeking training programs and grant dollars. The event, Resources for Training & Development, focused on how companies can receive federal and state fund ing to train and re-train displaced and incumbent workers . One of the presentations highlighted the $250,000 donation from Duke Power as part of the Community College Grant Program. The money, to be made available to community colleges on a quarterly basis, is part of the $1 million dollar overall budget for Charlotte's Center of Excell ence in Integrated Systems Technology. The Center, which hopes to be offering courses and programs in the fall of this yea r, is a strategic answer to a continuing issue for business and industry- finding skilled employees to fill available jobs According to the Ame rican Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition's Web site, orth Carolina has lost nearly 160,000 manufacturing jobs, 21 percent of the state's total number of manufacturing jobs, through foreign trade deals since 2001. Not all of the "lost" manufacturingj obs are due to outsourcing abroad; some are due to a lack of skilled workers who can handle the complex operations needed in jobs for those businesses to remain

competitive. The National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing (NCAM) has described it thusly: "Traditional perceptions of manufacturing are being transformed by the increasing use of advanced technologies in the manufacturing process, as well as the rise of new technologyintensive industries like semiconductors and pharmaceu ticals. The dangerous, dirty, labor-intensive assembly lines of the 1950s are gone, replaced by robotics and intelligent systems requiring high-tech skills. " Whereas, traditionally, most manufacturing workers have focused their training to meet career options in a particular manufacturing arena, necessarily predefining their area of obsolescence, American manufacturers' dependency on hightech equipment to produce goods is increasingly requiring that workers understand multiple, complex and integrated systems. While the bad news is that these workers are in short supply, the good news is that it has been found that skilled workers with this knowledge of advanced manufacturing systems have the ability to maneuver easily between electrical, electronic and mechanical systems. Several yea rs ago it was becoming apparent to industry leaders that more sophisticated skills were needed to work on their shop floors . Caterpillar, manufacturer of construction equipment, engines and turbines, took a particularly proactive approach. During five to eight year projection planning, CAT management realized that the workers with the most


june 2005

varied set of useful skills were retiring and that there we re no replacements to fill their positions. Caterpillar began addressing their problem with an initial outlay of $1 million upfront to analyze their labor needs, identify tasks critical to production and competition, and create a curriculum around those tasks. It was during this time of research and discovery that they found other manufacturers facing this same type of imminent problem. Caterpillar's $1 million was supplemented soon after with $14 million more from other manufacturers devoted to designi ng curriculum and supporting it with the necessary hardware needed to make training viable. This group of forward-thinking manufa turers, includi ng Ford, IBM , Motorola , Honda and Siemens, had the beginnings of a soluti on when they went to enlist the help of federal allies. Calling on the Department of Labor, the group's members rolled out their findings and plans to address the inevitable shortages, demonstrating their progress and initiative. Manufacturers' talks with the Department of Labor led to a greater understanding of the economic issues related to the shifts in manufacturing and workforce development. Not all manufacturing jobs were going overseas. Many current and future vacancies were being linked to a lack of interest in manufacturing jobs from a younger, emerging market and a rapid shift in the technical skills necessary to obtain and thrive in those jobs, not to mention the imminent shortage of new workers relative to retiring workers in the coming decades. In early 2003 , President Bush launched

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his High Growth job Train-ing Initiative, and, along with Advanced Manufacturing, this initiative targeted eleven other industries including automotive, biotechnical and geospatial. Through the High Growth Job Training Initiative , the Department of Labor began to address the needs of manufacturers by providing $9.2 million in grant money aimed at re-training displaced workers in the Midwest with skills in operating, troubleshooting and maintaining highly complex integrated technologies. A result of this grant was the formation of the National Center for Integrated Systems Technology (NCIST), housed at Illinois State University and run by Executive Director Toni McCarty. As part of the NCIST, programs in Advanced Manufacturing and Integrated Systems Technology (AM/1ST) were to be created and housed at local community colleges. The mission of the NCIST is to help meet the demands of manufacturers by providing training and job placement services to displaced , incumbent and emerging workers seeking sophisticated careers in advanced manufacturing. Immediately, eight community colleges in Illinois and Ohio implemented shortterm and highly technical programs for displaced workers in that region . Although the emphasis was initially on workers who had lost jobs through outsourcing, the organization has evolved to also include incumbent workers who need enhanced training. According to McCarty, those incumbent workers were an important addition: "Incumbent workers are often overlooked because of the more urgent needs of the displaced , but providing training to them leads to a better understanding of future training needs and even refinement of the curricula to meet business demands."

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Due in large part to the success of the Midwestern programs, U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced that $5.8 million in grant money would go to expanding programs like the one in Illinois nationwide. Four new community college programs in AM/1ST will soon arrive in Pennsylvania , Texas, Wyoming and right here in Charlotte, making North Carolina one of only four regional Centers of Excellence. During her announcement of the expansion in january of this year, Chao stated that, "As the use of technology steadily increases in production of equipment and other advanced manufacturing processes, training is urgently needed to meet employer demand for skilled workers. The expansion of the Integrated Systems Technology program will help workers across four more states compete and succeed in todays competitive workforce ." What does this mean for local manufacturers? According to McCarty, the opening of Charlottes Center of Excellence at Central Piedmont Community College "represents a true employer-driven initiative. " What makes this program in particular unique , she says, "is the capacity it has to span a full career ladder for both displaced and incumbent workers in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area." CPCC's Center of Excellence can not only provide apprenticeships and career pathways to those who seek AAS degrees, it can also customize curriculum to meet the needs of specific industries through its Corporate Training division in Corporate & Continuing Education. "Business & Industry Training Services works with local business and industry to provide the needed skills training such as blueprint reading and basic shop math . They also offer process-related training through the implementation of LEAN manufacturing, Six Sigma and Business Process Improvement which helps floor employees understand how their roles affect the companys or industry's viability," cites Cheryl Richards of CPCC's Corporate & Continuing Education division. McCarty describes the outcomes of the last several years of work by the NCIST as two-fold: "Both private and public

business and industry must look deep within their organizations and industries when anticipating the changing needs of their business, markets and resources. And they must do this well in advance, considering both the internal need for highly skilled employees and how those resources may intersect with technology. " The public sector's battle against bureaucracy is all the more reason to start earlier and look further out. Even more critical, McCarty claims , is the need for companies to maintain and strengthen communication with state and federal legislators and agencies that have an interest in their particular field . Bill Heitman , director of Training Services at CPCC states it this way: "The Center of Excellence is proof that when federal, state and local agencies collaborate, positive outcomes occur. The manufacturing segment has undergone dramatic changes in the United States and the skill sets required of our workforce have changed as well. The partnership between the Department of Labor, the N.C. Commerce Commission, Duke Power and CPCC has served to focus the resources of each of these agencies on providing the training solutions necessary to improve the climate for successful manufacturing in North Carolina." ~

This section is intended to highlight workforce training and development programs and initiatives delivered by community colleges within the Charlotte reg1on. Community colleges are invited to submit substantive content ideas to june 2005



r e c_ t '3 rc., c: - I o t -:: e b i z com

a In FairPoint Communications Connects Up Concentrating On Core Business onstant change has marked the evolution of this Charlotte-based telephone company now big enough to make the country's Top 20. Gene Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of FairPoint Communications, Inc., promises more change ahead, and in

pre, ident, ;;nd Peter -,J:.xon, du:- O]Xl;~.ting officer. to UJld profitability 01. ~ ba


exemplary :ustomer ~crvice arl inrL "ltivc services. Nixon joined FaitPoint v.1c it ~·l.lire :l Chautauq ..ta and Eric

Telepho~.e Co-orati:•1

in lew Ycrk in 1997. With Ti ·ear5 com, Nixon

~ mphasi=es


bcn~fi: from the size. s:::ale ard ~op .:

additional ways.


Fair'J·-•::Ilts ~=iity t.:

network it has fashiooed, an:l


A the

aue ion to

community Jevelopment. The com pan~ that went public in

"In this informati·-n age

?rimary objecive for :he company that lost

e: ~·-om J'

'Ve a--o

Februry of this yeJr is adding LO iLS acquisi-

£23.-; million for -lscal year 2004. The loss

tion strategy a concentration on internal

·.~>asn t

gn:wth LO poduce profitability, according to

? airPoint didr_'t concentrate on net income

on us to ensure that

johng)n, and to pay healthy, dependable div-

J.-hile :t was p:ivate and puLLing together

nesses in o.Jr

idends. lnde;::d, ·or the quarter ended March

.>.·hat has become a string of 27 small tele-


31 2005 , FairPoint reponed net income of $ ~ l nillion, compJr;::d to a loss of $4.6 mil-

? companies in 17 states. Now trading on the New York Stock

parts." Marks, a 23-year telecorr~-rn..cicc- ons vot-

lion for the similar period of 2004. Cash

Exchnge, FairPoint is in a different world.

eran , who jcined FairPoint i:l ·-J: tol:c 20(·-{,

avaLable for dividends was apr;roxirr.ately

'We're focused on grcwing the company

came from Sockeye 1-letworJ,_ ~

$ ~2

_ntemally and through acquisitions," Johnson

Massachusetts wherE. she wa;

unusual, Johnson says, because

the proviC.ers of the 5Upportht 1etvr: -ks in rural America ," Nixo:::t says. '1:::: ncu - ben:




resicie--s ard Jusi -

have c.f"::.-dab .. accc:S

same service a= their u:·ct.• cc


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8 million fo: the 2005 quarter, wmpared LOa negative $3.1 million for the first

says. "We intend to use a substantial portion

chief execuuve office:. She h1:= : een :.. exem-

qm.rter 200"-.

:>f om excess cash to pay dividends. "

tive with ;ndustry icons

Cash ava !able for dividends is new the

g r eater chc.r lotte biz

Johnson is depenc:ing on Valeri Marks,

suer ~ ,


Bell Commt:nications and A.:n::t:ite

jure 20::.5

> 17

"We consijerDaniel, Ratliff & Company to be trLâ&#x201A;Ź business partners. They have a:;s sted in refining our financial systern:, planning our cash flow,


with our bankers,

and reviewing our tax strategies. We could not Je 11ore satisfied with the serv1ces they provide."

As president of FairPoint, Marks oversees sales, marketing and customer service. She spends a majority of her working hours on the road, visiting with the 850 FairPoint employees in its individual ompanies from Virginia to Washington state. A typical market visit lasts two or three days. "I talk to the front sales people, go on sales calls and on customer service calls," she says, describing her routine. "I talk with the techs about what they're seeing and how we're delivering. " Her goal, she and johnson agree, is to fashion a new FairPoint with standard operating procedures to enhance customer service. Emphasis will be on combining best practices from each of those 27 companies. But that means more change, she says. "You make people comfortable with change through consistent messaging about opportunities ahead," she continues with a smile. "Gene does Web casts and newsletters, and hes open to questions when hes visiting in person Johnson does this, he says, "Because you as an employee want to really trust the guy whos running the company You want to know he has a good solid vision." The vision that johnson, Nixon and Marks share includes making each FairPoint company a one-stop-shop for telecommunications needs. The customers who use more than 276,000 access line equivalents want their company to deliver everything from basics such as long distance calling to faster Internet service and video over broadband. "Although we're in rural markets," Nixon says, "its real exciting the way our customers embrace technology and innovation." More innovation is just ahead, he vows, with FairPoint working on ways to offer more efficient integration between voice data and video and faster Internet Protocol. Connected to Charlotte

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it all Adds up. 18

june 200:

But how did this patchwork quilt of telephone companies come to be, and to be based in Charlotte? Thats a story of pure entrepreneurship, says j ohnson, who was essential in building it. The story begins long before there was an entity called FairPoint Communications. johnson was running a boutique investment banking firm, johnson Crowley & Associates, when he was approached by a

lawyer and a corporate recruiter, both based in New York City Dan Bergstein, now a partner in Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker on Manhattans Park Avenue, and Meyer Haberman, a headhunter for top executives, wanted to fashion a string of independent telephone companies. They approached johnson for help because of his solid record as an investment banker for cable television and radio companies. "They wanted me because I knew how to make deals," says johnson, a Norfolk, Va., native who arrived in Charlotte in 1969 as a U.S. Am1y captain assigned to the Queen Citys induction station. He finished his tour and stayed in Charlotte to earn a business degree in accounting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Johnson and wife Vickie, also from Norfolk, fell in love with Charlotte. By the time FairPoint was an entity that needed a headquarters, Johnson says there was no doubt where that would be. "Charlotte is a great place," he says. "''m active in the life of UNC Charlotte and I'm going on its board of trustees in july We've been here a long time and know a lot of people." Back in 1988, when johnson, Bergstein and Haberman started looking for acquisition prospects, there were about 1,200 small, mostly rural, telephone companies throughout the United States. These were cooperatives or mom-and-pop operations that had grown up in places where settlements were so sparse the Bell companies and AT&T had no interest in them. Early on, they realized they needed a partner who understood the business, so they brought in jack Thomas, a veteran of Sprint United who was helping to build a rural telephone company near Wilkes Barre, Pa. He has since left the company Owners of small telephone companies were selling because they didn't have a family member interested in the business or they lacked a competent younger generation of executive talent. But they also were chummy, johnson learned, and they didn't take kindly to buyers from outside the industry johnson and his partners spent four years bidding unsuccessfully on telephone companies. "We chased deals, we chased deals and we chased deals," johnson grins grimly "''d

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be the highest bidder on a deal and I'd lose. " Connecting Up in Kansas Finally, in the summer of 1992 , a telephone firm in western Kansas and eastern Colorado came up for sale. Sunflower Telephone Company was owned by an Employee Stock Ownership Plan and lawyers for the ESOP trustees told them they had to sell to the highest bidder. "We were exactly five percent higher than the next highest bidder," Johnson recalls. "I got a call from the president of the company. He said, 'Congratulations. You've come from being a bridesmaid to a bride."' johnson and his partners signed a contract on Monday after Labor Day and, after negotiating through government approvals and raising the $25 million purchase price, they became the proud owners of Sunflower in May 1993. The partners started working on more deals, and their success was much more )--

FairPoint Communications, Fal'ib.nt Inc. â&#x20AC;˘ FairPoint Communications, Inc. 521 East Morehead St., Ste. 250 Charlotte, N.C. 28202 Phone: 704-344-3629 Principals: Eugene B. (Gene) Johnson, Chairman and CEO; Peter G. Nixon, COO;Valeri Marks, President NYSE: FRP Established: 1991 Employees: 850 plus

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ra?id. Along the way, johnson disbanded hi.; in·;estment banking firm and the fo r ~n tre­ pP-neurs operated under various narres. In 1991, they founded MjD Communications, now FairPoint Communications. From FairPoints headqt:arters on Charlottes East Morehead Street, they strung together a chain of telephone companies that reached 30 before the; sold four. To the customers of these compa::ties frorr. Florida to Vermont, FairPoint brings oore pofessional management, more seal~ 3.nd m•Jre scope,Johnson says. "The customer doesn't see any chnge in se:vice quality, thats still very high," j:Jhnson sa:;s. "What you see is a broader range of poducts and services we sell the custcmer Bu we're still a local company and tha's a hLge advantage. If our customer sees a truck, he can flag it down and get se:vice." Being a strong local player in each ::>f its communities has always been a vital p rt ::>f FairPoints mission. "As our communities go, so go we ,~ Nixon says. "Its important for us to work

hard in each rural market to make our communities strong. We are a major presence in most of them ." CLECs Don't Click

FairPoint was performing well enough in the late 1990s that j ohnson and his partners decided to branch out. They created a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier to operate on the edges of their local telephone companies service areas and compete with industry behemoths such as Verizon and BellSouth. 'The goal was to really grow the company rapidly through the CLEC," j ohnson explains. "We did a recapitalization and brought in some investors. One of them was Carousel Capital in Charlotte. It was a successful investment for them." elson Schwab, co-founder and managing partner of Carousel Capital, praises johnson and his partners. "We have a high impression of Gene and the whole team there," Schwab says. 'They know the business. They run a very professional operation." Carousel Capital sold its investment in

the company in 2000 and FairPoint found other financing. Shortly after, the business plan that had become a telecommunications fad proved difficult to work. "Billions of dollars were lost building CLECs nationwide," j ohnson says. "The board gave me the job of extricating ourselves from that business. We took a $300 million write-off in 2001 and 2002. We did an amazing job of getting out of the CLEC business. 'Three years later, we took the company public, which is really amazing," johnson adds. FairPoint intends to pay shareholder dividends that are 70 to 80 percent of its free cash flow,Johnson says, adding, 'The kind of returns we are talking about make a pretty interesting stock for a portfolio." FairPoint went public for several reasons, he says. The company's debt was far too high and the partners yearned for a stronger balance sheet to reduce fixed costs of interest payments. Being public also provides greater acquisition flexibility because FairPoint can offer stock-based transactions. "From the standpoint of making acquisi-

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tion.s, assimilating them and operating the we do that as well as anybody in the industry," johnson says assuredly "With our CLEC, we got away from our core business and it got us in trouble. " johnson, 57, likes what he and his partners have built. "We started with a little over $I million," he says. "Now we have a public company worth over $1 billion." FairPoint plans to continue acquiring firms and, in fact, announced in its first quarter financial results that it acquired Berkshire Telephone Corporation in Eastern New York State on May 2. It also said it has a signed agreement to acquire Bentleyville Communications in Pennsylvania. johnson expects FairPoint to grow dramatically It will continue to concentrate on rural areas, but will make its member companies much more sales and marketing oriented. 'We are all aligned very well , the employees to the shareholders," johnson says proudly "In five years, we'll be even more focused on the customer than we are todc:y" biz bus~ness,

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VVe're ta/ki.1g Armageddon here. The nc.ticxul debate •)n J.ealth


terce pr::mlinence _n p::>li!ical eire


hc.s rez.:::he:d a


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-complain :.1.3:


more :hc.n our Euc-pean counterp .u~s for b.s care, anc fo-~cast glo:=n c.nd do:Jm br th~ impending :J.ood of ba.Jy b oncrs rha: ''•ill 3Jon need However, it appea::s Presbyteri3n

c. c re fo: what ails ~rea.

.er :ha •Ia tt~ b1z


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The Prescription

President and CEO Carl Armato of Presbyterian Healthcare, a rather young executive at a mere 40 years old, has been at the helm for somewhat over a year now promulgating his vision -putting health care back into the hands of physicians. ow, if this sounds a little too much like a jingle, don't be fooled. Armatos approach to running Presbyterian is more a revolution than a sales pitch. While many systems drive patient care from the administration down , Armato has crafted a network of physicians who he says help make the important decisions. Explains Annato, "When you have physicians at the table, it really keeps everything focused on what is best for patients and what \vill provide the best care. From how we can help support their practice, to planning strategic growth and smarter operations, physicians have the inside line; they provide vital information that helps us to get better and better. " Armato has created two key groups: 'The Group of Eight,' a tightly knit assembly of physicians whom he consults every Tuesday

morning at 7:00 a.m., and a physicians executive committee. He describes the physicians in the groups as key leaders that connect the hospital with practices in the Presbyterian network. "It is not about their specialties. These doctors are very highly respected for their work, their commitment, relationships with other physicians and employees in the system, and are powerful patient advocates. By working with them, the hospital is able to coordinate growth , ease of access, and delight our patients." And delight is not a word Armato takes lightly Actually, the way he uses the word , it should be capital D- Delight. With competing hospital systems clamoring for space in key geographic areas, and patients expecting a lot for the high price of their health care, he explains that it is the hospitals job to make sure every step of the experience is the best possible. "A lot of health care systems are missing the boat by focusing on processes, procedures, dividends, etcetera. How often do they talk about delight? By staying connected with the experts - our physicians, we hear loud and clear what the patients want, and

what the patients need. Our model of open communication facilitates a level of customer service that has really raised the bar," beams Armato. One example of the service ethos is a 'tum down' service that occurs between 5:30 and 8:30 every evening. Specially trained attendants stop by rooms to offer water or ice, check patient comfort or answer questions. Remarks Armato, "It is just our way of demonstrating to the patients that we have time for them, and we are committed to their care. " Another offering of Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville is 'Dining On Call' option, which allows patients and visito rs to eat what and when they desire. A computerized system guides choices according to nutritional guidelines so the patient is getting proper care, the visitor does not have to leave the patient to go to the cafeteria, and the system eliminates the waste of uneaten food. These services reflect how the patient experience has changed since Armato became CEO; however, collaboration with physicians in the network has also created a new model for determining how capital is

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spent, what technology is brought into the hospital, and how new facilities are designed. Comments Armato, "Physicians go into medicine to care for people. They are also the experts. By listening to them, we are able to facilitate better care and partner in a perfect experience for our patients." Not surprisingly, Armato's approach has been very well received by physicians. Since Armato came on board (first as chief operating officer of Presbyterian) in August 2003 , he has attracted 140 new physicians, and the ones who were present during the transition are enthusiastic. Dr. David Cook of Lakeside Family Physicians in the Presbyterian network says that Armato is a highly effective administrator as well as a very positive force in the system. "Since 1993 there has been a huge amount of change in medical care. The environment had eroded from being patient-focused to being about buildings, systems and insurers. Carl has been a breath of fresh air." Cook explains, "Carl's approach has helped Presbyterian to augment the doctorpatient relationship. In addition, his energy, enthusiasm and total dedication to honesty and transparency has had a profound effect on everyone, from doctors to employees, and most importantly, the patients." Lest anyone get the idea that Armatos model is a bit too warm and fuzzy, there is a considerable payoff for a large group of happy physicians. When it comes to hospital networks, bigger is better. More physicians mean more leveraging power with insurers. That power translates to better contracts with cost savings and higher reimbursement schedules. Dr. Hayes Woollen of Cotswold Medical Clinic who serves on Armatos Group of Eight and physician executive board says that Armato's strategic planning has made a huge difference for the system. "I think Carl has a great solution for the problems we are seeing in health care, and physicians are starting to take notice. His strategic design as well as the atmosphere of trust that he has fostered has gone a long way " Referring to the Group of Eight that he chairs, Dr. A.]. Patefield of Presbyterian Pulmonary & Critical Care said, 'There has not been a panel like this in any healthcare facility that I've been affiliated with previously Carl has been successful in bringing

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this grcur: into t:-e mainstream of Presbyerian3 decision-making pro:eS>. V e are abl<:: to limit cur parochial intees~ ad collabo-at~ on stDtegic and operatum! issues t·1at preseue and advance o•r c: biLy to provde outstnding patient care." Dr. ::>atefidd .rlded, "In a more ::lierarchical stru:tue. the.:e discussions wo•ld ocrur one-on-cne and that ignores the fao:t tut patie::1.t ::::are is oft~n more complexthc:.n a single s:Jecialty o~ administrative p·oci1ct line. :)ur decisicus are of a much bgrer quality b~:::a use of the collaborative naur:. of

the group ar_d repre~er.t the l:cadth d t;,.e med·cal staff in policies affecti:.g pJtie:1t care." Bad Medicine?

f\-ot everyone is c:.s happ} .aJout wltat has hap1=ened during Ac:nato's :e2:ure. -=-h ~ oompetit:on has been brstling Jt Presbyterians expc.n3ion effc;-_,. Snce the 1-.ospita_ opened :::5 a 2J-bed facili..y on NJrth Our:::h Str.::--c in 190, it has grovm. to a five-hosfital nel:\...0-k emp oying over 6,000 people. From its ll:gsh1p l·xation uptONI1 Charlotte, it has rea~d into ~

SorU!a:vcle.Save. jun.,-: 200.:


time, the implications vary depending on whom you ask. While some speculate on the withdrawal of the CON or even closing Presbyterian Hospital Humersville:S doors, spokesperson Kati Everett says, "Huntersville is open.


going to stay open. The judge agreed that to close the hospital was not in the best interest of the community He also said that Presbyterian acted in good faith. lt is an issue the state will contend with, and we will continue caring for our patients." Despite the noise generated by the competition, Armato contends that it ultimately benefits the community to have so many hospitals interested in expanding to their areas. He explains, "Our eA.'Pansion into Huntersville enabled us to start with a fresh team of employees who were individually screened, selected and trained with an Dr. Hayes Woollen M.D. is among many -es pected physic i"l-lS in ;~ network t1at neets wi:h Armato o n a weekly basis to disc uss effecti~P- strategies to p rovi d~ t ile bes: t:a r~ fo r patients .

emphasis on customer service. In so doing

Matthews and Huntersville, and added an

community Additionally, we have forced

The Euddy Kemp Caring Hous::, a cancc

we have raised the standard of care in that

orthopedic and children's hospital.

support fcdlity :•Jusdirg pa·ie nt~ as well a->

competitors to take a look at the fees they

Presbyterian is now eyeing up the Ft. Mill,

families md youngchili ren, is an ~xample - f

charge, which also inevitably benefits the

S.C., region for a new !::>cation.

a prograrr sene-ace thrct:gh rein\-eStment.


The hospbl:S OTL!opedic ~pbcerr?.nt :acilt::: is a futuree:xanpec·f rei:lvesting b the corr.r

there is healthy competition, it is also a

One for-profit facility, Piedmont Med:cal Center, currently operates out of northern York County and is obviously rankled O\'er

He ad ds, "I do want to say that while

mu:1ity, a5 7Vas 5c·k·non -bu=e. a Huntersvile-based ptier: res:·ure and

friendly competition. We all have shared

the fact that Presbyterim has filed a Certificate of Need (CON) in the regioL

assistance centc, a:1•j sev.::-31 othet init:atives.

handle on health care costs. There are several

objectives: treating patients and keeping a

"Our 'i:atus rmhs us 3-Jle t::> ickntify a

programs like Physicians Reach Out, which

ample opportunity for Presbyterian to address the community:S health care ne~ds . Says Armato, "As a :1on-profit, we are

need :hen <.sk, ·=91': :hat ::- e right thing to do'· Then "'e do it;' says ~=to. Anothe~ corn.ILbus ccounter was bor:-~

works to get doctors into needy communities, and a joint blood donor program that we work on together."

happily obliged to treat patients ~egardless oE

when Pre~hyterian lied a COK for the HuntersvLe loca- icr.. AnT ier for- :xofit


Presbyterian, a non-profit organization, sees

their ability to pay In a::ldition tc that, W?. feel we are obligated to deliver delightful care t::J

institutior , Lak:

our patients regardless of their fmancial status. We want to deliver affordable, accessil::le

Ceuer, ~oper<tte:l off c:=-77 exi 33 smc.;o 1999. The :ww-cpen Pre>byterian

and delightful care to as many communi:ies as we can address."

HuntersvLe locricr is SE:.'ted just ten miles

healthcare system. Presbyterian looks to

down the i:J.ters:cte c.nd cfbs a beq of fane:: new serv_ces and sh.iny n~ amenties, not c::

address that with several ongoing preventative care programs, community outreach and

While some have sugsested that non-

~ ·J~an ~egonal


As baby boomers age and the cultural diversity of the area continues to evolve,

there will be additional demands on the

profit and for-profit entices are similar in

mention :=urbt:cks Coffee.

education, and strategic planning to make

nature, Armato disagrees. "Presbyterian is

\\i'hile t:1e CCN was gmted ard Presbytelli.1 Hos:Ji z] HlLYe r~-:lle ·.vas built_

sure that facilities will be able to accommo-

tempers c•ntim.:e w .flare ::1 e3rly 'Aay, judges rul=j tllil: t!-e stc.te: .lCtEd udawfully

care. It has also instituted several quality-ofcare indicators to assure patients are

governed by a community board that o·versees our planning process and OYersees our budget and our fees. Our commitment i5 tc

date the volume of boomers checking in for

the community Rather than paying diviC.ends

by not allo'Ving c::nr~etitJ~s to appeal a set-

receiving timely, seamless treatment, and

to Wall Street, our proLt5 are reinvested into

tlerne:~t a~emeu :;rruck betveen

programs, facilities, technology and talented

Presbyterin an::! ti-e statE that was ime5ral :=· the CON -J~ing .r:.van:led. T1e o·Jtome of

these performance metrics are consistently checked.

doctors. " He adds, "Our patients are m:.r shareholders. "


june 2005

this legal v..Tang:b§ is yet o and could




yens lr1 thE. mean-

Presbyterian performs very well according to several reports. It is in the top echelon of hospitals in the nation, competes shoulder to

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shoulder with Carolinas Medical Center and other facilities, and recently won The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization's 'Ernest A. Cadman Award,' which recognizes 'excellence in the use of outcomes measurement to achieve improvements in the quality and safety of health care.' Armato jokingly refers to this as the "Superbowl" for hospitals.

Presbyterian Healthcare ANon-profit ~ Corporation Presbyterian ) HEALTHCARE Affiliated with Novant Health, Inc. Flagship Facility: The Presbyterian Hospital 200 Hawthorne Lane Charlotte, N.C. 28204 Phone: 704-384-4000 Other Facilities: Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville, Presbyterian Hospital Matthews, Presbyterian Orthopaedic Hospital, Same Day Surgery Center, Belk Heart Center, Presbyterian Hemby Children's Hospital,The Family Maternity & Women's Center, Presbyterian Regional Health care

Presbyterian pulled another major coup with high profile spc.-rs partnerships in Charlotte. The Charbtte Bobcats, the Charlotte Checkers, lnd the Charlotte Sting are official partners \"ith Presbyterian Healthcare that allo~s for joint support of the sports organizations as well as the orthopedic hospital c.nd the children's hospital. The enthusiasm the partnerships have created is infectious. Signed jerseys and posters outfit "Cente- Court," a hospital dining area dedicated to sports enthusiasts, and Armato says his team looks forward to

forging new opportunities with the sports teams. By all counts, Presbyterian with Armato at the helm appears to be not only sailing smoothly, but also conquering new waters. Flanked by appreciative physicians, outfitted in capital support by the AA-rated Novant Healthcare network, and looking to supplant all standards of care to this point, Armato's vision just might be what patients have been waiting for. biz

Susanne Deitzel is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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Founded: 1903 as a 20-bed hospital; Charlotte's oldest hospital Operating Revenues: $1.53 billion Vital Statistics: Physicians: I,400; Employees: over 6,000; Licensed Beds: 839 Business: A non-profit hospital system serving 14 counties and population of 2,200,000. Presbyterian Hospital is a private, non-profit regional medical center, one of the largest health care institutions in the Carolinas. It is the flagship hospital of Presbyterian Healthcare. Novant Health: Novant Health is a notfor-profit health system in North Carolina. Formed in 1997 by a merger of Carolina Medicorp, Presbyterian Healthcare System, and Thomasville Medical Center, Novant serves nearly 4 million people in more than 30 counties across North and South Carolina and Virginia. The system includes six hospitals (with about 2,000 beds), three philanthropic foundations, three senior residential facilities, physician clinics, a women's health center, long-term-care facilities, rehabilitation and community outreach programs, and surgical and diagnostic outpatient offices.

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nd Felice should know- he framed Exervio on tl:-_e ribs of a shipwrecked dot -com, navigated profitably lhroug:1 the choppy waters of the post-dot-coo bust economy, and continues to build market share in an increasingly competitive industry In 2001, Felice was rurL!ing tl:-_e Charloue office of MarchFirst, Inc., a busine.:;s strategy and software developmem compJny serving Global 1000 companies. Althoug~ Fel:ce's branch was operati:1g profitably, it was amcng the very few o~ MarchFirst's 72 offices that were. As tl-_e parent compar_y faltered , Felice made an offer to buy the Charloue office. He was at the bark preparing to see:lthe deal when the news came through that tvlarch:=:irot was filing for bankruptcy Immediately, Felice offered tJ bail out the Charlot:e office by collecting on receivables for March First in exchange for the opportunity to start an:w wi th his own company. The new company, Exer,'io Mnagcmem Consulting, inherited much of the mJnagement team Felice had put together for MarchFi rst, as well as all of the client relatim1S':lips he had built. As a result, it operated profitably from day one and has ne\-er required external funJing, despite its birth in the midst of stormy financial times. The expertise that brought Felice's MarchFirst branch to the forefront and keeps Exervio thridng is L<e s:::me expertise Fehce cffers his clients.


Directing Innovation

"An organization's ability to succeed," claims Feli:e, "is directly tied to their ability to innovate 路路 Simple concept; complex application. According to Felice, innovation can be broken down into tlree steps- idea generation selection and governance. and implementatiJn. General ly, clients come to with a specific business problem, and sometimes require ass:sta:-tce 路.vith only one of the three steps. For

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instance, a local exchange carrier off_ring local voice and long distance asked Exervio to help them add additional sef\rice offetings to their suite. Exervio began with idea generation. "We approached them with the idea of ex"j)anding their services to include Web hosting. They agreed to hear our pitch," recalls Felice. "We worked collaboratively 'Nith their ke:; executives to identify the barriers to entry, document the one-time and recurring costs, and develop a detailed cash flow. At the end of the exercise, the client had all of the information required to assess the Lsk versus reward of pursuing this specific initiative." ln the selection and governance stage, Exervio can help organizations establish the governance structures required to guide companies through the confusing array of ideas and pos&ibilities and help them choose "the right idea. " Once a particular idea is seized upon , Exef\rio can facilitate the third stage of the process, ensuring that the "right thing is clone well." Other times, clients seek Exef\'io's guidance in two or three of the steps. For instance, a financial sef\rices client came to Excrvio as they were embarking upon a multi-year program to consolidate their extensive system of back office operatiors They were seeking guidance in developing a plan of attack that would yield the greatest returns in a given Lime frame. Exemo developed an evaluation tool that was used to model a variety of consolidation approaches, ultinately producing a recommendation based on the client's risk versus rewacl criteria. "We spent twelve weeks charting the course for this multi-million dollar program," says Felice. "Then we designed and implemmed the governance structure required to organize, manage and mobilize the various projects required to achieve results. " Th idea sounds simple, and yet to structure the process well , the client needed )june 2005


the significant time and expertise investment offered by Exervio. "Organizations typically know where they are in their respective markets, and most companies have a sense for where they want LO be," explains Felice. "The challenge is navigating that journey, charting the course to get from one point to the other. " And thats the value Exervio adds to the process. One thing Exervio does not do: they don't hang around indefinitely after project completion. "The clients business is their business," explains Felice. "We're there to provide niche expertise; to come up with new ideas, or improve their ability to select and implement ideas. Once thats done, we're off and running." Setting the Sights Felice sums up the innovation that

brought Exervio out of the wreckage of MarchFirst with one word: Focus. "We did not deviate and try to be all things to all people," he explains. "We knew what we could do, and we held true to our vision of how we could add value to clients." In order to do that, Exervio has by design remained privately held. Felice contends that tying a professional services company to the public markets anchors it to unrealistic and essentially harmful expectations. Exervios business is "about relationships, and its about solving business problems," says Felice. "And when you work with clients in that capacity, there are natural ebbs and flows. You may not have a smooth, consistent growth curve that looks the way investors want it to look." But the companys ownership structure is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to innovation. For instance, when Felice talks about charting a course for the company, hes not talking about literal travel. Unlike many of the big consultancies, Exervio employs a "geo-centric" business model which, in landlubbers terms, means they don't travel. "We're committed to partnering with local clients," explains Felice, "to provide our employees with a tremendous work-life balance, and also offer our clients a powerful local asset. " The quality of life benefits for the Exervio team are obvious, especially to Felice himself who moved to Charlotte in 1998 to escape the extensive travel requirements of his nine-


j une 2 005

year career at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). But the benefits to clients are equally substantial. "Our local resources translate into a onetime learning curve for our clients," explains Felice. "We can come in and out of an organization seamlessly. If they need us again, we can be there within a matter of minutes or hours'' The Exervio team doesn't have to fly to Charlotte from London or New York, but that doesn't mean the company offers less than world-class expertise. The management team boasts multiple decades of experience with big-name firms like Accenture, Mercer Consulting, IBM, and McKinsey, and an impressive track record for results in a wide array of industries. Charting Difficult Terrain Along with the benefits, though, business innovation brings its own set of challenges.

Exervio is not one of the well-known strategy houses typically associated with "big ideas," nor is it a huge global systems integration firm. "We sit squarely between them," says Felice. Exervios focus on innovation for local GloballOOO clients, combined with its expertise in executing the projects required to achieve results, provides a unique benefit to companies that have invested heavily in information technology, but that have not seen a strong correlation between that and their business strategy. "Market penetration is one of the biggest challenges for us," admits Felice. 'Today, we do not enjoy the benefits of an established brand. Most of our new business comes from relationships, client recommendations and word of mouth." But Felice feels up to the challenge. Staying focused, doing "phenomenal work," and building name recognition in Charlotte and Atlanta form the core of their strategy. In fact, despite the challenges, Exervio continues to thrive and grow They have already hired over ten new employees in 2005, with plans to hire at least that many during the remainder of the year. They officially opened their second branch in Atlanta, and within two years expect to open a third branch, though they have not specified a market. "We're going to grow organically," predicts

Felice. "We run the business profitably, and plan to fund all our growth from our operations. " Weighing Anchor Exervios geo-centric model represents

only a portion of the companys commitment to anchor itself in the Charlotte region. "We have four core values in our organization ," explains Felice. "One of those is the triple bottom line: ensuring we improve our clients, our company, and our community." Exervio's consultants are reviewed in part on their contributions to the community. 'They're clearly incented," states Felice. "They understand the personal and professional benefits of participating, of making a difference in our community." Felice is vice chairman for the United

Exervio Consulting, Inc. d/b/a

Exervio Management Consulting


40 I N.Tryon St.,

Management Consulting



lOth Fl. Charlotte, N.C. 28202 Phone: 704-759-0964 Principals: Anthony ("TJ") Felice, Founder and President; Edward "Pe-pper" Pounds, Vice President, Business Development; Jon Nance,Vice President, Information Technology Consulting; Mark Heisig,Vice President, Management Consulting; Reggie Hammond,Yice President,Atlanta Employees: Approximately SO in total Locations: Headquartered in Charlotte;

Atlanta Busine ss: Management consulting, focusing on business strategy, process excellence and program management; and information technology consulting, focusing on information technology strategy, implementation services and customer relationship management. Deploys small, senior-level consulti ng teams to manufacturing, retail, financial, government and other industries to define business strategies, improve operational effectiveness and execute the projects required to achieve results for Global 1000 companies. Awards: Named a finalist by the

Charlotte Chamber of Commerce for its 2005 Entrepreneur Award ( 11-35 employ-

ees) to be named in September 2005.

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Way Young Leaders, an organization that encourages young people to get involved as volunteeris for the community Exervio is involved in more organizations than Felice can list- among them, Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-A-School, Rotary, Brain Tumor Fund For The Carolinas, YMCA of Greater Charlotte, junior League, and a new foundation called SEED Charlotte that provides both funding and consultation to growing companies for workforce development. "This is one of the things you can't do when you're traveling all the time," Felice reflects. "We're committed to establishing deep roots, and I think most of our employees recognize that establishing roots means getting involved and making a difference." A Winning Crew

Among the employees at Exervio who take advantage of the opportunities to serve the community are four in particular who have been with Felice for most of the company$ histoty, and who each have ownership interest in the company. Edward "Pepper" Pounds has been working with Felice since 1999 and has been instrumental in helping Felice build Exervio from the ground up. He manages all of Exervios anchor accounts in Charlotte. Mark Heisig and jon Nance also started with Felice in 1999. Heisig handles Exervios management consulting practice, and Nance runs Exervios technology consulting practice. Amanda Wrigley joined Felice in 2000 and has helped Exervio build and maintain its human capital. Felice attributes Exervio's high success in sourcing great candidates and high employee retention to Wrigley Felice holds the managing ownership interest in the firm, although the company offers all employees the opportunity to earn equity Thanks to his teams commitment and expertise, Felice rarely works directly on client projects any more, but his focus remains firm: "What really gets me excited is providing services to clients that result in driving significant benefits for them. I like to hear, 'Hey, your team did a great job -we could not have done this without you.'" biz Heather Head is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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june 2005

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heath er head

CAP TALIZING hen the young Debby Millhouse


envisioned her future, she wasn't thinking of


Charlotte, and she wasn't dreaming of running an employment agency. But those were only two

Millhouse was working as a builder in her native California when her husband, Brian

surprises life had in store for her.

Millhouse, was offered two lucrative technical

Her quest to improve quality of

and one in Charlotte.

life for herself, her family, and

seems rather vague. She says at the time she

positions- one in the San Francisco Bay area Asked why she chose Charlotte, Millhouse wasn't even completely sure where it was

her community has led her to

located, but that, "We felt like God wanted us in Charlotte."

many unexpected adventures.

It was a big adjustment. The


market was not very receptive to the idea of a female builder, she r::members, and the fact that their house back west did not sell for two years after their move made matters uncomfortable financially. With debt accruing, Millhouse sought out work at a placement agency. But her new career held another unpleasant surprise- unethical practices. "It's not always true that recrui~ers always tell the truth about a candidate's capabilities or about a job's desc:::iption," explains Millhouse. A frien

orne to her at that time and suggested she look at an opportunity

with CEO :nc. Her flfSt question: "Well, is it ethically sound?" )o-

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june 2005


The company was losing money and barely afloat, but Millhouse determined that the owner, Dan Shively, practiced good ethics. So, although pregnant with her daughter, Millhouse took a chance and signed on with the struggling company in 1996. Challenges and Success

"l know how to build businesses," says Millhouse, and thats exactly what she set about doing. Within one year, she had taken the company from red to profitable. "You always have to look at the books and the cash flow and see where the problems are," she explains. "You don't Live if you don't have cash flow. " That same year, in the midst of the rebuilding process, Millhouse gave birth to a daughter. When she returned to work, she was greeted with another surprise - Shively announced that he was looking for an exit strategy and asked if she'd Like to own the company "I didn't expect to buy a company a few months after I delivered a child ," laughs Millhouse. Hesitantly, incredulously, she said, "Okay" The ownership transfer was structured to phase in over five years, with Millhouse purchasing an additional 20 percent ownership each year, although they accelerated the schedule and transferred complete ownership in 2000. "I tell you, 2000 wasn't the best year to take 100 percent ownership," admits Millhouse. lt was a rough year as the econ-

amy began to spiral downward and out of control into 2001 and 2002. With hiring at a near standstill and temp placements almost non-existent, many similar companies simply closed their doors and packed up. "But it wasn't that there weren't positions to fill , and it wasn't that there weren't firms paying fees," says Millhouse. "We always have had several large clients, and they always have needs in certain areas." So, they did some internal training to better equip the staff to work in the new market, they worked hard, and they migrated most of their business into markets that were less hard hit. But Millhouse admits she doesn't know why they survived when others didn't. "Do I think we worked smart7 Yes. Dol think we did the right thing7 Yes. Do I think we have great people7 Absolutely But we had good competitors that didn't make it through. What made the difference7I don't know, except that I'm a believer and I think that this is the Lords business and he wanted us to be here." Quality Assurance

Besides the home that wouldn't sell in California, and the challenges of turning around a struggling company, the Millhouse family faced typical quality of life issues at home. Typical issues, with a not-so-typical solution. A few months after her daughter was born, the Millhouses had a life-changing conversation. "We had tons of money and no

quality of life, and so in frustration l said, 'Why don't you just stay homer> remembers Millhouse. Her husband didn't even blink Millhouse laughs when she remembers his response: "Okay, I'm going shopping- you want milk, bread , what else7" A couple weeks later, Brian came back to the conversation in all seriousness and suggested that they really do it. So, he with all his credentials left his upwardly soaring management career, to begin a new challenge - managing things at home. Millhouse says they've never been happier. They had an opportunity to revisit the decision some time later when Brian received, among many other offers from companies he had worked with, one that would have paid well enough to allow Debby to stay home. Debby said, "Well, l bought the company and they're counting on me. l can't just walk in and say, 'Okay, well, I'm done with this hobby"' And Brian said, "Well, I'm glad because I really do like staying home with the kids." Millhouses company has taken an equal interest in building quality of life for its people and the people they work for and with. "Our company builds other companies, but it also builds people," says Millhouse. "We sit down and talk with our people and find out what their goals are. I don't believe they work here just because I'm a great person. They work here because we help them accomplish their goals. " >

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Besides the people who work for her in-

- - - - ---------- - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - -

non-confrontational," explains Millhouse.

centage of successful placements and satis-

"Some are patient; some are urgent, st ruc-

fied clients. Millhouse's staff develops

house (which, she admits, is the cream of the

tured, Oexible, logical, intuitive." These are

relationships with clients to ensure they tntly

crop), Millhouse helps her clients find the

the qualities that profiling can identify and

understand th e requirements of positions

right peo ple for the right jobs through an

interpret to ensu re individuals are matched

they fill , and they conduct extensive assess-

entire battery of testing and assessing that

appropriately with employers. CEO Inc. pro-

ments to ensure the people they place are

ensures each person is matched with the

vides clients with over 1,000 assessment tools

right for those positions. In addi tion,

right company and the right position fo r

that can be cusLOmized for each clients spe-

Millhouse app lies her expe1ience and intu-

their goals and desires.

cific needs.

ition for a personal touch

That is the core va lue that CEO Inc. pro-

Another thing that sets CEO Inc. above

In addition, they provide clients vvith an opportun ity LO fill all their human capital

vides their clients. Millhouse ci tes a recent

the competition is their commitment LO the

study from Michigan University that demon-

client even after placement. Through assess-

needs in one location. Unlike many organiza-

strates the importance of the hiring process.

ments and other techniques, CEO Inc. helps

tions that focus exclusively on administrative

According to Millhouse, relying on an inter-

employers and employees understand each

staff, accounting, or executive placement,

view only, with no testing or assessment

others' temperaments and how to interact LO

CEO Inc. serves a broad range of needs,

LOols, results in a success rate of lower th an

achieve greatest productivity and job satisfac-

forming essentially a one-stop-shop for all a

15 percent.


clients human capital needs.

The study showed that employe rs that

But CEO Inc. begins working long before

use employment agencies that combine inter-

a candidate is identified to fill a position "I

views with reference checks and profile

know how to build companies," states

assessments increase the odds of success to

Millhouse. "This is not the first time I've done

over 75 percent.

it." And she uses that experience to help com-

famil y and those of the people she works

panies solve their human capital problems.

with . Her ethi cs and beliefs spill over into her

Profile assessments involve matching an employees temperament and behavioral style wi th the work environment and job require-

Early discus ions with climts begin with the questions, "What will your company look

Marching Forward

When Mi llhouse talks about a better quality of life, she doesn't just mean for her

companys co mmitment to the co mmunity The company contributes lO percent of net

ments. "Some people are very direct in their

like a year from now LO feel like you've

profits to local charities. In add ition, the

co mmunication style, whi le others are more

achieved success7" "What will this position

company contributes manpower and expert-

look like a year from now7"

ise to many charities supporting children's

Then they help the company develop a

Principal: Deborah

J. Millhouse, O wner

With th e economy back in full swing,

doesn 't always mean placing a person in that

CEO Inc. has enjoyed an upsurge in all sec-

position. "It doesn't always work out for me

tors of their business. They have opened a

financiall y," shm gs Millhouse, but shes com-

new business segment that provides staffing

mitted to always doing the right thing by her clients.

become its own company under Millhouses

and President Truth and Consequences

Employees: IS in the office, ISO+ with clients on a temporary or contract basis

Millhouse, people don't always do the right

Locations: Headquartered in Charlotte;


Business: Permanent placement, tempo-

rary staffing, executive search, technical and human resources consulting services that meet a broad spectrum of employment needs in a wide variety of industries. Currently listed as the 16th Largest Area Staffing Service, the 8th Largest Area Contingency Executive Search Firm, and the I Ith Largest Area Woman-Owned Company according to the Charlotte Business journal.

to the healthcare industry, and which vvill

leadership by the end of the year.

Founded: 1994

additional locations planned for Ballantyne, North Charlotte/Huntersville and either Redlands or Yucaipa, California

causes, homelessness, and much other work.

strategy to answer those questions, even if it

The tntth is, in her industry, says

"People lie. They lie about whether they graduated from college, they lie about whether they actually worked somewhere,

Additionally, they are considering opening additional branches in the Ballantyne area and in the North Charlotte/Huntersville area within the next five years, and possibly another in Southern California. While Millhouse holds exclusive ownership at this time, she has several key

they lie about why they're not going LO

personnel who may take on incremental

show up for work, and they lie about how

ownership of additional branches and seg-

much they made. " Businesses sometimes lie

ments, as incentive and insurance that they

about the requirements, opportunities and

will take good care of their responsibilities

the responsibilities of a position. And, unfor-

When asked if incremental ownership is

tunately, recntiters often facilitate those

pan of an exit plan for Millhouse, apparently

mutual lies.

shes already found what she needs for top

Millhouse refuses to participate. "We oper-

quality of li fe: "I love what I. do. l'll probably

ate on the 'You lie, you fryl' policy" And that

work until I'm a hundred. Thats the game

app lies to her employees, job candidates, and

plan. " biz

clients ali ke. As a result, CEO Inc. enj oys a high per-


june 2005

Heather Head is a Charlotte-based freelance


www.greate rc har Iotte biz. com

As a result of your vote of co nfidence, we have been awarded the 2004 Consumer Choice # I Award fro-n ll-.c National Research Corporation for the seven th year in a rcw. We humbly thank you for your co nfidence in our J.bilir:, to provide the fin est healthcare in the region. Our thanks also to the hundreds of specialists, phys c ia<;,

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The show, which appears to be the largest production (in number of episodes) of a chiidrens entertainment program currently in the world, begins shootmg later this summer. When asked about what she considers to be the biggest factors in the success of a children's show, Steedman replies, "Obviously, ti-e first requirement is that it is a high quality shtm. But, in today';, business world, to be trul) successful, the concept has to work globally. Everything from the scripts, to the characters, to the music has to resonate with kids around the \\orld. We had an unusual opportunity to test market RACGS in his mall-marketmg appearances, and we saw th<t. he appealed to all different ages, genders, and nationalities of children." Some of the music


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1930 Camden Rd., Ste. 1001 Charlotte, N.C. 28203

~ 1J d-'Jrl•_ ion ~'

Origination: In 1997, founded as a mall marketing strategy - a customer loyalty program based on a stylized dog character named RAGGS developed for Eastland Mall in Charlotte.

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- ht ~- :::-"-~~ f:icb v. :: J high :; ·eg:rded and t \JXW!L:f ...~kb: l mrdi C.~ITj)U1}- Soutl-ern :. : zrlnt.e~ h 5:r:1-e~', ~ ia (merna·icr ~ ::is J iCutor- r ,- .arm { mj '.'/kl::.bc~ 2 TJd produ:c rslclist-:i1· otcrs o · sn·c-a . J 5. - .1.: T<-lLd 1_;" 1i c ,'\'--'lim is SC2ll l·n T~ an..! ->i-c:: L"'- Kid:.) -:'f l.J.-r. - :tcrc.m:n .::Jund Lef"~lf a a rJC•.Iic..~ ,I -1 Ladm.~ - tCIT< t omal .xpert5 to pla1 th: '~ _ ...._ -. 1C sr:"". '\\'c ~-c~ csserttdly [od·r·(_ d o·A- I ~1 ~ ::rL.:rC'llC ')Oil 1)\'eriOOklf.)' ..:1c :;,-o.h .t:, ha +•.• lo ten dzys. Des1rte mnc-t r: . ~- ."ts c·nc t~c T::rro.h xt:h of J•ro-


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t·T~.::l ~~·~- :.. I'I<•.>''S .\h <..h nc .Jdcs !'TOe LLCT!f. : O•j lr'.'· 12 <l - J 1t <U'l If Judzy. -..i_~r ·g_k..-1'' r2f .. J-ht•.lt-,th:u ntr<cl C.· c::-c.-J: :.i ~.[(. • -.In~ f .~1-.:~ L-:j'CC!.al!OIIS

Phone: 704-372-7400 Principal: Antoinette (Toni) K. Steedman, Founder and President

Business: Multi-faceted entertainment concept for children four to seven years old including The RAGGS Kids Club program at 30 regional malls around the country, award-winning music videos, CDs and DVDs, tours, merchandising, and international television opportunities. The RAGGS Kids Club Band (trademarked): Five characters playing 'safe rock and roll' for children; stylized dog character RAGGS (acronym for Retail Associates Giving the Gift of Service) is the loyal. friendly heart of the group; Trilby is fashionable and athletic; Razzles is the confident, brainy manager; Pido is the 'cool guy' who can do right but still be cool; and B-Max is a positive songwriter who - while confined to a wheelchair - teaches the value of ability - not disability. Awards: RAGGS Kids Club Band Pawsuuup! Tour Concert DVD has received several awards from major national organizations that review the best in children's entertainment The National Parenting Center's Seal of Approval, the iParenting Media Award, the Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence and Best New Group and Song of the Year from Music Web Awards. It has also been honored with two Emmy nominations, one in the Children's Entertainment Category and the other for Music Composer/Arranger.

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ard -naU actl\1tL:s Ll\'1: , bee.1 r<.rslat:xl mto Spani~h. St~edman sa~s t-.e Tinsic ~ p;on:.ctdad~ in cgraJ tO the SLCCCSS :•f l::te c:Ort:ep:. S~

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p..-tn ered with ~Jng time pat~. F-.::·:' :n .:. Rebecca Story o~ Conczrt:i.x 'v!..Eic and

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Scund Design, be. . of C 1ar~c•tte. withe. r nusical impreo.zrio. M tcbaol ·.ic· ~; LLn ·~S3. The relatiJnship \\ as c.pp;~ertly ash eC. as t.l-e rest o: the R:\GGS erd~a•or. ::::orumcns

r:f :J.l'> L1tO ::.J 1L"GI:l3. CO))'f'~hts. in..dl:=t..:.c:1 pr::-pe:tT> 'it-h.:s 1nd op~-atj,_ r.>al •X iiD i- c c:' 1:•-e .. Th_: conpa1; -~ anue: "'· th 3 5tJb.<: c ~ o-al anc fir.;~-n...:: l:u ye-o; ::-L J bLsin..;,s C•)f 3LLta'lls de\·c Lc. -_, kc r [~· IE CTlpc...a:-' ~ CCUT3~ an c. The F:x:::;._:: Kd; !k.n l :nee tir ~ its hig'lt> polei:'...Jc _ R.;n n.::"'·· i- :ocopc:<rs · he: ski> t!-e lh t. A -er 1. c:•)'TJ in i.n~L-:ala, ;evc:ral US. c :np:m:e:;;: c : J(r g -~ \..:-{-;:, ir lrt. e ci35-~Z t -::Jog o::~tiiJ ud 1.. S. del:: ut to e.;pect.-:d i:- :att D•li :n t-wc r_eauine. The ~.GG: K.. ds :J ..t fr.IC ..., I Jt: CJ~aring ruti<n;J[: ir ·:a- J..:;. ~·-·.!- as tile. ~Je-N iork Sta c b.i.:-. Chc ':CJe FJ-. C:.c: l•)na :3tr.te Fair. -::-co'1t '~ E S:.Jt:: Fat -. JaC t re N.C. Sia .C r;; d i3 ::":8' <.~ "'cl . A•.0d1g lO ~lCCCT.1an, <I•s ~ 1 j =·-""'Bar:: S' lir.~ <:S fl5t as Loc~'< b ~ in ;; ::xt i:: .;,il.h -Ju:: 81 -;o impnrt<Ttt nerch:mdi,_., k , tuffd .oy, and t-shirs ;.oer. _o f<l .o .= ft.- 1-r.: s: eagp- for a of wh 1t:S to Co)m~ 5<:\ c:::o.. -i.e ex. ~cal~ ha•r:: bc:en ~ya:h­ Cl.ted n-m. :x- rt'"V:)tk:a. ··~e·i Vvh :~ :m: R,A GC S ' fiht~d or na lon in Wa9lingt..•n. [. =- .s :1 p;o .::-ot c - l ::rp being de2S~ 1·1-= roont:l. -a ( - -S.n:;:.; ;::ecial "H J iday _-aT" .,.,; I I ~-r::L ~o d On:i: ~ n;:.;; .1nd the tla s.ohi~ ·r de·- ~':Jv:;Ju 1pJ" i.= J;.) ~t l•) air in the falL ·,;rnil : ::-Ec:d=un -~ oui:m;ly p·1tti1g !='r· od..c:s :n s·"E ·•es ur tilt he bond is wrr.J=ie L } ::ui.t. [ '/D : aiJ c.:J:, c:a 1 te fCLnd at so::!£: 3crc_r:r:; <Ld 'vv':J w .. 21.3. ~:.::r s-.-:-i3rgb, cr:it ..:a ace birr ha< 1:1tc - eo_ r.:._...,,:;c;s· ~ c t= Jlr -ecepioo . The ~el­ .':VlSit.•-: ;.p::-:n.s a- d DDs ha1"2 been r~c~ld!::). -r.<._ o1 r:at:cual orgari.zLC•rt:' . 11: ~ -.;c.,.-1~ bc:s: m C1il,Jrcns erw:e-tai-1· n~"l. ;1- -.d ."-'· b:. r ronhatc_ fo r : ·A.• ) f.C,£;1< 1J Em::-1 }' z-.~r-:...s Tvo ( f the sn. §:S Lie :U:o :.J -.: -:_:: in t r l•. r IC < zds L•n tTu 1•. <J:r d c i!, t.l d•·r r cats He r ere a~ ~~~

Seed mar.., "Free , B::dy, Mikr anJ h •i r telm at Concen..Ti;' ·Jnd!:'T.:tood h ~ :Z.4G~. ITll.l5iC concept COll tre ~tart -~ a..J bElieved that kids' mu; ic did no hl.V•' t-c be 'c:U::~bd down' tc wo-k _/u1d. Co:-crr·r ·: sl pped right int.::l -he .;;re ave md Ius bo:c.-, h<.rmeri'1g out hils e·:er smce. rey are brilliantl" She adds, "Vo/ocn I :nsenec. t:- a In;!: lic.ensing agenc~. in Ytl:J.l 3tt<Tt t w; a:;.d 'SJ. wh•J arounc. l-ee :•r in Lei. d.C. ycu ·_se tc ge: that sauna 7' l :o:>k g~ea p- d ~ i1 te:..Lng them it Clme ou· d (ha-L: ~-' CJncentrix nov. ho _d ~. a-1 ~xc:Iu, i\.c. ootn:ct fa all cf .he rr..ttSi•: :w.xi.Jcec fo- -::-1e R\G::;s Kids 0Jb Ba::1.d nd tebri..;_c n 3rw and Becky Star:. h.s l::ee:1. a?<;ointtd r ..SIC d1ector for the ;e--ies.


l...l!ader of the Pack

i'.eec:Less to sa·,, Steed171ai3 "'o-k is ::-o1 OJt for her. TI-.e h..Jge or:ler f:-on -~' t.rn a n:.cved up deacJir e;, :mJ th<. i:-cr...s §e:J.e.ra~od by L1e deal i5 keEp :1er p:1ene rbgi- 5 nd appointment calcncc.~ fLit , ~. o t) -:- e--

ti..Jn her suitcas<:s packed fe r fre:p..l:r1. t:-r:el ll• Australia. Ye:, used :c w01kir g mc.rL- :x1 h..n rs, Steedrr.w s st:rpi.singly ..LLdwn.c:.d by the :a;k at harx:l 'oJne of the t ~ a: lu.; b.::~- 1 re:J btessin,?; is the suppon cf thE ccd.caled ...JJ:ie who have I- ~ lp~ d us no~ ~o mi"-Sq:. v/e've mlnaged tO St3)' th:: CJUISC dur:r~ the stan-up ~hast. N Jw, : ~.r ::huge is tc :;<.·; focmed , stay tr:1e to o-r o:i.gino.' visi::n, md to contir.ue paS5io'1ad} bel evilg irr •.vh v-e have to oficr. ~he h.:rediJ!e :e.11 \''" J-a·,•e assembled m:1kes i: po~silli o ~- ,-v~ f•)[ward in a vq• respons1bl · rr arL" 0'' Steedman a::l.cls, "C ~.r dUKLE gl a! i: ~) crea:e a classic h1: \>\-i.l be njt),-ed C) 1<-ris <TtJ appreciated by tl-ci- p<J.cnE -or ti-c :lllg

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LQ£05 -rade Shov- Exhobrts Newsletters Ad\ ertis1ng SpE-cialty A:lv,.rtoSIIlg

• • • • •

• ProoentatiC1 Materials


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Allen Tate Realtors ATCOM Ballantyne Center for Dentistry Blue Cross Blue Shield Breakfast Club America Builder Services, Inc. Business Success Institute Carolinas HealthCare Charlotte Copy Data Choice Translating CPCC Corp Training Daniel Ratliff Diamond Springs Dilworth Hair Co. Dunn Marketing Employers Association Employers Association-Benefits Interact Knauff Insurance LandAmerica MacThrift Office Furniture Mecklenburg County Recycling NouvEON PR Store Poyner & Spruill REO-Clean Scholz & Associates Scott Insurance Scott Jaguar Shield Engineering Signature Healthcare Tathwell Printing TimeWarner Business Wachovia Bank-Wealth Wachovia Bank-Retail Wishart Norris

IBC pg. 9 pg. 31 pg. 1 pg. 21 pg. 43 pg. 12 pg. 37 pg. 19 pg. 10 BC pg. 18 pg. 10 pg. 11 pg. 8 pg. 21 pg. 13 pg. 13 pg . 11 pg . 42 pg . 34 pg. 25 pg. 12 pg. 41 pg. 27 pg . 20 pg. 19 pg. 3 pg. 24 pg. 8 pg. 9 pg . 42 IFC pg. 5 pg. 35 pg. 20

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Business Planning Changes with the Economic Cycle Commentary provided by John E. Silvia, Ph.D., Chief Economist, Wachovia Corporation n recent months there has been a

try mix that favors

growing recognition that the nature of

growth sec tors

th e eco n o mi c cyc le is c han gin g.

s u ch as profes -

Business leaders therefore are faced with the chal-

sional services,


CPI vs ISM Manufacturing Index



Year-over-Yea r

le nge to modify th e ir bu d get a nd revenue

th e pattern o f a

planning to fit the new phase of the cycle. Slower

national economic

economic and profit growth , accompanied by ris-

s lowdo wn



ing inflation and interest rates, provide the

been imprinted

fundamental backdrop that define the new phase.

on the regional

This phase of the cycle is challenging but there is

economy. Such a

also recognition that this phase is also actuall y

s lowdown is a





Perce nt Cha nge,


left X



~ca l e


Manuf.:Hturi ng Compo~it(â&#x20AC;˘

lndf'x, right .,r,t\1'

typical for this stage of the business cycle (remem-

central pattern of any business cycle. However,

ber 1994-19957) so the tough times are not so

business leaders remain unsure given of the

trend in jobless claims, factmy orders and build-

unusual. What are the changtng economic fu nda-

degree of the slowdown. Over the last six months

ing permits. For example, jobless claims that

mentals and how will this impac t strategic

employment has averaged a gain of 189,000 per

range from 330,000 to 350,000 on average over

business planning7

month. This is consistent with trend growth in

a four-week period are consistent with trend

In the last few months we have seen evidence

Lion and uncenainty7 For growth we mon itor the

the economy but still leaves many businessmen

growth. These claims are reponed each week by

unsure about the pace of top line sales.

the federal governmen t. Factory orders are

tion (measured by the Co nsumer Price Index

Increasing Costs Impact

local building pe1mits. These indicators are all

(CPI)). Yet business leaders are challenged since

the Bottom Line

of slower growth (measu red by the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) index) and rising infla-

reported once a month , as are national, state and

we do not yet have enough evidence to judge the

Rising inflation is also a feature of the typical

size or magnitude of these moves in growth and

business cycle. ln recent months we have wit-

reported in the local press and can easily be followed by any business leader seriously interested in effectively managing economic risks.

inflation. Will slower growth lead to recession7

nessed a steady rise in both labor and non-labor

Our outlook is that trend growth and rising

What is the peak for inflation and therefore for the

costs. Labor costs are 1ising as evidenced by the

inflation growth suggest conti nued increases in

Fed's move in interest rates:> Slower economic

latest federal employment data that illustrated a

the Fed funds rate and benchmark Treasury/cor-

growth and rising unit labor costs are difficult

1ise in average hou rly earnings of 2.7 percent

porate bond rates as well. This suggests

hurdles for profit growth. But with slower profit

year-over-year. Meanwhile benefit costs have

business-borrowing rates such as UBOR, the

growth and rising interest rates then equity valu-

been rising over six percent as reported by the

prime or mortgage rates are likely to rise in the

ations are increasingly difficult LO justify How

federal government. Non-labor costs are up for

year ahead. Slower economic and rising unit labor

much more difficult will business financing deci-

energy and many other commodities such as

costs also suggest slower profit growth for private

sions become in a period of higher interest rates

steel, cement and copper. Locally, there appears

business and therefore more modest gains in

and mediocre equity financing conditions7

to be an increase in local property taxes and user

equity markets. As for uncertainty, the panerns

fees in store for businesses.

of growth and inflation suggest a modest eco-

Growth and Inflation Fundamentals: Slower Top Line Revenue Growth

Given slower growth and1ising inflation then

business leaders the price of leadership is the

Slower economic growth is typical of this

have risen sharply in recent months. Therefore

careful monitoring of economic data to ensure financial success.

phase of the business cycle as recovery gives

economic decision-makers don't have a good

way to trend economic growth . ln recent quarters

handle on the size or sustainabilit y of either the

we have seen growth slow from 4.0 percent in

economic slowdown or the rise in inflation.

2004 to 3. 1 percent in the first quarter if this

Rising risk premiums compound the decision

year. Consumer spending, especially on durable

process and are another hurdle to the proper val-

goods such as uucks, has moderated. Business

uation of financial assets and the profitability of

investment spe nd ing on equipment has also

new investments.

slowed. Housing starts appear to have peaked. Although the Charlou e region benefits from immigration, population growth and an indus-


nomic slowdown but no near term recession. For

it is not surprising that uncertainty premiums

june 2005

Divining the Future

How do we gauge the path of growth, infla-


Dr john Silvio is chief economist for Wochovio Corporation. His experience includes work. on Cop1tol Hill as senior economist for the Senate joint Economic Committee and chief economist for the Senate Bonking, Housing and Urban Development Affairs Committee, and 1n the private sector as chief economist of Kemper Funds and managing director of Scudder Kemper Investments, Inc.

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Greater Charlotte Biz 2005.06  
Greater Charlotte Biz 2005.06  

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