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Carolina Legal Staffing • Ross & Witmer • Crescent Resources’ The Sanctuary • Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems

may 2006

Ellen T. Ruff President Duke Energy Carolinas

A Surge of New Energy Duke Powers Up Its Future




in this issue



may 2006









cover story

Duke Energy Carolinas

With over a hundred years behind them, Duke Energy Carolinas is poised to push for an even brighter future with Ellen Ruff as its new president. She’s ready to help position the venerable utility to serve a new generation of Carolinians with the power necessary for continued economic vitality. “In the end,” she says, “it’s being able to make a difference – for the community and for the future.”

14 Carolina Legal Staffing John Lassiter’s transition from litigation and regulator y law to corporate law to legal recruiting is a rare occurrence these days. By today’s standards, the ability of a lawyer to make drastic shifts in career focus is untenable, precisely because of the advances in recruiting that businesses like Lassiter’s helped forge.

20 Ross & Witmer Ross & Witmer is now a 3rd generation-owned company whose principals are doing business with other 3rd-generationers. Like their fathers, these guys grew up doing odd jobs in the business. They’re not a lot of hype, not a flash-inthe pan, just a good solid family-owned company doing quality work and striving for customer satisfaction.

34 Crescent Resources’ The Sanctuary

Crescent Resources’ land along Lake Wylie that is now adjacent to Thomas M.Winget Park probably looks the same as it did a century ago when Lake Wylie was created: rolling hills, mature hardwood forests and untouched shoreline. Although new development is underway,The Sanctuary is working hard to ensure that it stays that way.

departments publisher’s post


employers biz


Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers

on top


workforce biz


CPCC’s Real Estate Program Addresses Changes in Licensing Law



Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions





Quail Hollow Club - Official Site of the Wachovia Championship

executive homes


Luxury Homes above $500,000 on the cover: Ellen T. Ruff President Duke Energy Carolinas

42 Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems

Ty Boyd was always a favorite; during his 17 years as a broadcaster, he had always felt a responsibility to meet as many of his listeners and viewers as he could. With his breadth of speaking experience, it was understandable how he, with the help of his family, developed a course to teach executives just that.

Photography by Wayne Morris.

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[publisher’spost] Battle for Reform of Health Care is Being Waged! In April of this year, Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to require that all of its citizens have some form of health insurance. Hailed as a model for national healthcare reform, this legislation promises that citizens of Massachusetts who are already insured will see a modest drop in premiums; low-income residents will be offered new plans, more affordable plans and subsidies to help them pay for coverage; and those who can afford insurance but refuse to buy it on their own will face penalties until they obtain coverage. This bill was no small accomplishment; it passed the Massachusetts House by 154-2 votes and the Massachusetts Senate by 37-0 and was signed into law. The incentive to act quickly was a federal carrot of $385 million that would have been withheld if it did not show significant progress in reducing the number of uninsured in Massachusetts by July 1. [Massachusetts is under a Section 1115 waiver, allowing it to conduct certain experimental, pilot or demonstration projects to assist in promoting the objectives of Medicaid, and therefore entitling it to special Medicaid grants.] Massachusetts estimated that about 500,000 residents or about 7 percent of their 6,349,097 citizens are uninsured. What is especially important about the Massachusetts reform is the individual mandate which requires every person to purchase coverage or pay increasing tax penalties. Under this individual mandate those who are deemed able but unwilling to purchase coverage could face fines of more than $1,000 per year. An important entity is created under the bill, the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector, to be overseen by a board of private and public members. Health insurers will propose their low-cost plans to the Connector, which will decide if they meet quality and affordability standards. The individual mandate to buy health insurance only applies if the Connector determines the proposed plans are affordable. Over the next year, this group will define what levels of premiums are affordable for the uninsured. Plans that are approved will be offered to all individuals or businesses purchasing coverage through the Connector. State law discourages large deductibles and caps on services. Anyone with income below about $9,800 per year will receive free health care with no deductibles or premiums. Those individuals who make more than $9,800 and less than $28,000 per year will gain access to plans with no deductibles and sliding-scale premiums. A family of three with income less that $48,000 will also get coverage on a sliding scale premium with no deductibles. When Governor Mitt Romney proposed a universal health insurance plan a year ago, a key element was providing low-cost, basic coverage for about $200 a month; but lawmakers and insurance executives have speculated that the average premiums will be about $325 a month for individuals and as much as twice that for families. Compared to Massachusetts, North Carolina faces a much bigger problem. Out of over 8 million citizens, nearly 17 percent or 1.4 million residents do not have healthcare coverage. Imposing an individual mandate on residents to purchase or buy into a state-sponsored health plan is not so easy. How will North Carolina respond to the increasing demands for healthcare reform? You can be confident that every state in the nation will be watching to see how Massachusetts formulates and implements their new healthcare plan. If they show significant progress in covering the uninsured, you can expect that other states will follow suit with their own package of reforms similarly constructed. States are acting because the federal government is not, policy experts say. Massachusetts is but one example of a handful of states dramatically engaged in the battle to reform health care. It is only the beginning, but we should be paying close attention! biz


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May 2006 Volume 7 • Issue 5 Publisher John Paul Galles

Associate Publisher/Editor Maryl A. Lane

Creative Director Rebecca G. Fairchild

Business Development E.Ward Norris

Account Executives Michelle Killi

Mimi Zelman

Contributing Editor Susanne Deitzel Contributing Writers Ellison Clary Andrea Cooper Susanne Deitzel Lisa Hoffman Casey Jacobus Contributing Photographer Wayne Morris Galles Communications Group, Inc. 5601 77 Center Drive • Suite 250 Charlotte, NC 28217-0736 704-676-5850 Phone • 704-676-5853 Fax • Press releases and other news-related information, please fax to the attention of “Editor” or e-mail: • Editorial or advertising inquiries, please call or fax at the numbers above or e-mail: • Subscription inquiries or change of address, please call or fax at the numbers above or visit our Web site: © Copyright 2006 by Galles Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved.The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, Galles Communications Group, Inc. makes no warranty to the accuracy or reliability of this information. Products 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 reprints call 704-676-5850 x102. Greater Charlotte Biz (ISSN 1554-6551) is published monthly by Galles Communications Group, Inc., 5601 77 Center Dr., Ste. 250, Charlotte, NC 28217-0736. Telephone: 704-676-5850. Fax: 704-676-5853. Subscription rate is $24 for one year. Periodicals postage pending at Charlotte, N.C., and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Greater Charlotte Biz, 5601 77 Center Dr., Ste. 250, Charlotte, NC 28217-0736.

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Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers

False Perceptions About Pay Do you have any employees who are complaining that their pay is too low? Any employees who may be seeking another job because they feel they are not being adequately compensated? If so, your employees may be typical of others in today’s workforce. According to a recent survey that was conducted by, 65 percent of 13,500 survey participants said they would be seeking a new position in the coming months, with the majority looking around because they feel they are being underpaid by their employer. In actuality, the survey says only 19 percent of the participants are underpaid – 17 percent are overpaid, 34 percent are adequately compensated, and 30 percent probably have an inflated job title and are not underpaid. So, why do many employees think they are underpaid? There are several reasons: • Since 2001, the typical pay increase has averaged between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent – with many companies not giving raises at all during this recessionary time. This is a far cry from the mid-1990s when the average raise was upwards of 5 percent per year. A small pay increase leads many people to believe

they are being underpaid, when in actuality, they may be on par with local and/or national averages. Rising health insurance premiums have not helped the perception that pay increases are low. • Inflated job titles often encourage employees to think they are underpaid, because they are not comparing themselves to appropriate positions. We have all heard the old joke about the trash collector being called a sanitation engineer, but it is job titles like this that make employees feel they should receive more compensation. Employers should be careful to make sure that titles match the actual job the employee is performing. • There is an old adage that says, “You can always make more money somewhere else.” In a tight labor market, companies will often pay a premium to attract talent to their organization. If an employee gets an attractive offer to leave his present employer, his peers will certainly think they are underpaid and believe their company is paying below market rates. So what can a company do about the perception that its employees are underpaid? It is

imperative that companies use quality local, regional, and national wage surveys, as appropriate, to benchmark their pay practices. A good survey will have thorough job descriptions; each job should be broken down into smaller components such as base pay, variable pay, industry type, company size, and geographic location. An employer should also communicate the “total compensation philosophy” to employees – including base pay, bonuses, and the benefits package. The philosophy should include perks such as flex-time, variable work schedules, and the work atmosphere. Share local market surveys with employees to show them competitive information. Be upfront with your employees – and you will be less likely to lose them. The Employers Association’s Wage & Salary Survey is one of the area’s best sources for local compensation data. It contains compensation information on over 300 job titles. Survey information is broken out by industry type, company size, and company location.

Employer Can Sue Employee for Computer File Destruction In many cases when an employer is preparing to terminate an employee, concerns arise over that employee’s access to the business’ computer files, and possible damage that the employee could do once notified of the termination decision. In addition to the usual preventive measures, a recent decision from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals adds a new measure for seeking compensation from an employee who engages in electronic vandalism. The case was filed by a commercial real estate company against a former employee who was provided with a companyowned laptop computer. The employee quit to start a competing venture, and prior to returning the computer, deleted vital company information. He installed a secure-erasure program designed to prevent the company from recovering the deleted information. The employer sued the former employee


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under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). CFAA was intended to punish computer virus creators by prohibiting the transmission of any program or code that causes damage without authorization to a protected computer. The defendant claimed that he had never “transmitted” any file to the laptop computer. The Seventh Circuit reversed a lower court decision for the defendant, holding that loading of the secure-erasure program onto the computer constituted transmission under CFAA. CFAA will not apply in all cases where an employee or former employee engages in electronic misconduct. If the employee had used the computer’s existing programs to attempt to delete the information, there would not have been a CFAA transmission. Also, much of the court’s determination regarding the defendant’s authorization to load programs onto the computer was based on his legal duty of loyalty to the employer.

In states such as North Carolina that do not recognize a duty of loyalty to employers, CFAA claims may be more difficult to prove in the absence of clear rules regarding computer use. CFAA contains strong criminal as well as civil penalties. In addition to using this statute, employers concerned with employee access to computer data should take serious measures to protect this information. The steps can include locking problem employees from sensitive data, use of strong confidentiality provisions in handbooks and in individual agreements with employees provided access to sensitive data, and clear rules governing the use of company-owned electronic equipment. Given the potential for harm unauthorized destruction or misappropriation of electronic information can cause, good risk management practices require attention to these issues before a crisis arises. (Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP)

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Cancer and Pregnancy Complications Lead Disability Claims Cancer continues to be the leading cause of long-term disability (LTD), constituting 12 percent of LTD claims, according to disability insurance provider UnumProvident. The other leading causes of long-term disability are pregnancy complications, joint/muscle/connective tissue diseases, back injuries and cardiovascular disease. The leading causes of short-term disability are normal pregnancy, injuries that don’t affect the back, digestive/intestinal diseases, pregnancy with complications and reproductive/urinary system diseases.

The National Institutes of Health found overall cancer costs totaled about $209.9 billion last year, including $17.5 billion for lost productivity due to illness and $118.4 billion for lost productivity because of premature death. “The prevalence of cancer highlights the fact that we as a society still have work to do in encouraging prevention, promoting early detection and generating treatment options,” says Dr. Constantine Gean, UnumProvident’s

chief medical officer. “Frankly, employers can have a big impact on these factors.” Disability’s financial impact on employers, in terms of direct medical costs and lost productivity, has many companies exploring ways to control costs through prevention. For instance, employers are requiring additional health premium payments from smokers, providing healthy food and snack selections at the workplace, and sponsoring weight-loss and nutrition classes. (

Permissible HIPAA Disclosures on Beneficiary’s Behalf The Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Civil Rights has recently provided guidance concerning the conditions under which health plans may disclose protected health information to a person who calls the plan on the beneficiary’s behalf. In general, the HIPAA Privacy Rule permits a health plan (or other covered entity) to disclose to a family member, relative, or close personal friend of the individual (plan participant), the protected health information (PHI) directly relevant to that person’s involvement with the individual’s care or payment for care. A health plan also may make these disclosures to persons who are not family members, relatives, or close personal friends of the individual, provided the health plan has reasonable assurance that the person has been identified by the individual as being involved in his or her care or payment. Of course, a health plan may make these disclosures as directed under a HIPAA-compliant authorization completed by the individual. A covered health plan or other covered entity may only disclose the relevant PHI to these persons if the individual does not object or the covered entity can reasonably infer from the circumstances that the individual does not object to the disclosure; however, when the individual is not present or is incapacitated, the covered entity

greater charlotte biz

can make the disclosure if, in the exercise of professional judgment, it believes the disclosure is in the best interests of the individual. The Department of Health and Human Services provides the following examples: • A health plan may disclose relevant PHI to a beneficiary’s daughter who has called to assist her hospitalized, elderly mother in resolving a claims or other payment issue. • A health plan may disclose relevant PHI to a human resources representative who has called the plan with the beneficiary also on the line, or who could turn the phone over to the beneficiary, who could then confirm for the plan that the representative calling is assisting the beneficiary. • A health plan may disclose relevant PHI to a Congressional office or staffer that has faxed to the plan a letter or e-mail it received from the beneficiary requesting intervention with respect to a health care claim, which assures the plan that the beneficiary has requested the Congressional office’s assistance. • A Medicare Part D plan may disclose relevant PHI to a staff person with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) who contacts the plan to assist an individual regarding the Part D benefit, if the information offered by the CMS staff person about the individual

and the individual’s concerns is sufficient to reasonably satisfy the plan that the individual has requested the CMS staff person’s assistance. In response to this guidance, covered health plans and other covered entities should review their current policies and procedures to determine what practice works best for them. After such a review, the preferred practice may be to require authorizations in these situations. Additionally, even if a disclosure would be permitted under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, many insurance companies and third party administrators have taken a more stringent view of the regulations, apparently in the abundance of caution; e.g., requiring an authorization where it is not otherwise required. (; biz The Employers Association is a nonprofit Charlotte organization providing comprehensive human resources and training services. Founded in 1958, the Association maintains a broadbased membership of over 700 companies from all industries in the greater Charlotte region. The above excerpts were taken from The Management Report, the Association’s monthly newsletter. For more information, please call Laura Hampton at 704-522-8011 or visit the Web site at

may 2006



Carolyn McKinnis Business Development E-mail:

Hunter Meacham N.C. State Manager E-mail:

Awards & Achievements Skipper Beck, owner of Beck Imports of the Carolinas, has been honored with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Hope Award, the highest community service award the MS Society offers nationwide. Patricia O’Herron Norman has been selected as the 2005 Charlotte Woman of the Year for leading the capital campaign to raise more than $4 million to complete Patricia O’Herron ImaginOn: The Joe and Norman Joan Martin Center. Sherré DeMao, president and CEO of SLD Unlimited Marketing/PR, Inc., has been named the 2006 North Carolina Women in Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Advertising & Media WCNC-TV photographers have won several awards at the NPPA Region 6 awards for Fourth Quarter 2005, recognizing individual photographers Dan Robbins, Ken Corn and Andy Benton. The Charlotte office of HMH has been honored with four 2006 ADDY Awards, one gold and three silver awards. Bruce Hensley, president of HensleyFontana Public Relations & Marketing agency, has been appointed to the Ethics Committee for the Society of American Travel Writers. Sterrett Dymond Advertising has hired Tami Frey as media director. Adam Communications, a creative advertising and marketing-communications agency, has hired Peter Germano as graphic designer. Community Service Book has promoted Abby Cameron to director of community partners. Business & Professional Kennedy Covington, a Carolinas law firm, has been named one of the most active private equity and venture capital law firms in the country in the February 2006 issue of Private Equity Analyst.


may 2006

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[ontop] Hedrick Eatman Gardner & Kincheloe, L.L.P. has hired William Kirk as an attorney in the Charlotte office. Rebecca L. Thomas has joined Crumley & Associates William Kirk as a social security attorney. Poyner & Spruill has named Cynthia L. Caldwell as business development manager for its Charlotte office. Cynthia Caldwell Jefferson Wells, a global provider of accounting and finance-related services, has promoted Nancy McNelis to managing director of the firm’s Carolinas practice. Nancy McNelis Craig Dedrick, assistant vice president at Carpenter, Cammack & Associates, Inc., has earned a Registered Workers’ Compensation Specialist designation. Bill Murphy has been hired Craig Dedrick by Project Managers, Inc. as a senior project manager, and Ann McCluer has also joined the company as a quality assurance senior analyst. Construction & Design Bill Ducharme has joined Lindsay Daniel Architecture as director of production. Rhyne Cannon, president of UBuildIt – Matthews, has Bill Ducharme been elected to the board of directors of the Independent Association of UBuildIt Franchisees. Education & Staffing Wake Forest University ranks in the top tier of national colleges and universities for entrepreneurship in the fourth annual ranking by TechKnowledge Point Corp. UNC Charlotte Africana Studies Professor Tanure Ojaide has been selected as the 2006 recipient of the First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal, UNC Charlotte’s highest honor for faculty scholarship and intellectual inquiry. Jeremiah Nelson has joined the staff of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte as associate director of the Belk College of

greater charlotte biz

Change = Opportunity Our Clients will tell you…

“Compass Career services were essential in keeping our employees focused during the period…kept them looking forward, good spirits …production actually increased during the close down.” Operations Manager “I could not have made it through everything – job loss, money, divorce – without your help.” Candidate

“…a great burden was taken off all our shoulders by Compass Career” Director, HR THE WINDS OF CHANGE BRING OPPORTUNITY

“Real people helping VP, HR Real people.”

The winds of change bring opportunity.

704-849-2500 8509 Crown Crescent Court Charlotte, NC 28227 may 2006



Jeremiah Nelson

Business Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program. Central Piedmont Community College has received a $125,000 grant

from Duke Power to support a job retention and training program with Solectron, one of Mecklenburg County’s largest manufacturing employers. The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has awarded a grant to Pfeiffer University among 11 grant recipients to receive part of the $300,554 distributed by the N.C. Biotech Center. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte has named its first-ever female police chief, Marlene Hall. Resources Employment Services, Inc. has appointed Susan Crossley as staffing manager. Engineering Mulkey Engineers & Consultants has promoted Charles V. Bruton to vice president of environmental services and J. David Lee II to vice president and North Carolina survey services manager. David Charters has been named a senior engineering manager in the Morrisville office of Parsons Brinckerhoff, and international engineering, planning, program and construction management organization. Financial & Insurance First Colony Capital, LLC, a real estate investment firm, has named William S. Transou to senior vice president of investWilliam Transou ment services, and has hired Ann B. Johnson as an investment analyst. Commercial banking executive Phil Jurney has been promoted to executive vice president at First Charter Information Systems; analyst Maryjo Prestridge has been promoted to vice president, First Charter Commercial; and credit manager, Jeff Cramer, has been promoted to vice president. Wachovia Trust has named Lisa A.


may 2006

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[ontop] Crisp managing executive of fiduciary risk and administration. Bradley Turner Jr., a financial professional with the Charlotte branch of AXA Advisors, LLC, has attained membership in the industry’s Million Dollar Round Bradley Turner, Jr. Table for 2005. Wachovia Wealth Management has promoted Robert C. Maund to head of the National Wealth Team. Government & Non-Profit Ward Pritchett, managing director of CIB Risk Management at Wachovia, has been named Chairman of the YMCA of Greater Charlotte Metropolitan Board of Directors. The YMCA of Greater Charlotte has also elected six new board members including: Ronnie Bryant, Debra Campbell, Kevin Collins, Hilda Gurdian, Mike Minter, and Norman Walters. Three long-time YMCA volunteers have been sworn in as trustees: Frank Dowd, IV, Ken Thompson, and Velva Woollen. The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas has recognized the YMCA of Greater Charlotte as its Community Sponsor of the Year for its contribution to the community through blood donation. Charlotte Center City Partners has appointed James Mathis as its new Historic South End director. James Mathis Managing partner of the Carolinas practice of Grant Thornton, J. Michael McGuire, has been named chairperson of the 13th annual America’s Walk for Diabetes to benefit the American Diabetes Association. The Arts & Science Council Campaign Cabinet has announced that the 2006 Annual Fund Drive raised $11,354,982, exceeding a goal of $11.1 million. The Charlotte affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has awarded $675,000 to fund 21 breast cancer programs in its nine-county service area. Sherri Glenn has joined the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas as sponsorship Sherri Glenn

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• Audit & Accounting Services • Retirement Plan Compliance & Design • Real Estate Development Strategies • Merger and Acquisition Planning

• Tax Compliance & Planning • Comprehensive Tax Review • Multi-State Tax Structuring • Company Formation Strategies

Accountants First, Advisors Foremost Located in Providence Park at I-485 and Providence Road 10700 Sikes Place, Suite 100 • 704-841-9800 • Fax 704-841-9802

may 2006


[ontop] development specialist. The Charlotte Enterprise Community has announced a partnership with the Wachovia Corporation to deliver the eCommunitiesfirst financial literacy curriculum to educate families in the Charlotte community concerning computer technology. Health Care Novant Health, the not-for-profit health system that includes Presbyterian Hospital and its affiliates, has ranked eighth among the Top 100 integrated healthcare networks nationally according to research firm Verispan as announced in the national publication Modern Healthcare. Additionally, John R. Belk has been appointed to vice chairman of the Novant Board of Trustees. Presbyterian Hospital’s Cancer Center has received the distinguished 2005 Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons. Several physicians within Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants have been recognized with significant leadership positions in their field: Richard L. Gilbert, Joseph P. Coyle, H. Arthur McCulloch, Richard J. Pollard, and Mark Romanoff. Manufacturing Piedmont Fiberglass, Inc. of Mooresville, NC has won the 2005 Excellence and Innovation award presented by Composites Manufacturing Magazine. Real Estate Commercial/Residential Tyler Judd, Robert Valkovschi, Danielle Vaughn and Abby Welde have been named Mortgage Consultants for HomeBanc Mortgage Corp.’s Charlotte store. Retail & Sports & Entertainment Bobcats Sports & Entertainment has named Ed Tapscott as president and chief executive officer and Peter Smul as chief operating officer. Liza Beth has been selected as the new marketing and public relations associate at the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. MilliCare, a provider of commercial carpet and textile care, has presented six awards of


may 2006

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[ontop] excellence to Commercial Flooring Solutions of Charlotte, and ten awards to Mike Crippen, owner of eight MilliCare franchise locations. Staffing The Charlotte office of Lee Hecht Harrison, a global human capital consulting company, with the aid of Paulette Ashlin, Jim Appleby, senior vice president, and Lori Stepanek, Charlotte office manager, has won the company’s 2005 President’s Award for Consistent Office Performance, Exceptional Service for Quality, and Exceptional Team Performance. The company has also announced the promotion of Sarah Dollander as vice president, market and account services. Ed Price has been hired as a senior consultant for Mercer Health & Benefit’s Charlotte office, an international benefits, compensation and human resources consulting organization. Gregg Taylor of Administaff has earned membership into the Million Dollar Club, a significant award for client Gregg Taylor retention and satisfaction. Technology Bill Onisick has joined NouvEON Technology Partners as director and general manager of the Charlotte region. e-Future Solutions, Inc. has added Willie Lamb to head its computer maintenance unit. James E. Dinkler, P.E., of Pease Associates, Inc., has been certified as a Registered Communications Distribution Designer. Tourism & Travel Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden has hired Jim Hoffman to direct its marketing efforts. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has celebrated its 54th Annual Convention at the Charlotte Westin Hotel. biz To be considered for inclusion, please send your news releases and announcements in the body of an e-mail (only photos attached) to, or fax them to 704-676-5853, or post them to our business address – at least 30 days prior to our publication date.

greater charlotte biz

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pictured (l to r) Ashley Howerton Smith Recruiting Director John W. Lassiter President Greta S. Hord Recruiting Director Carolina Legal Staffing


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by susanne deitzel


Legal Scout Carolina Legal Measures Talent to Needs In 1983, John Lassiter left his position as Assistant Attorney General for the North Carolina Department of Justice to embark on a career in-house as legal counsel for Belk Department stores. After rising through the ranks and becoming senior vice president of human resources, Lassiter climbed out on a limb to begin a business recruiting legal staff for private law firms and corporate legal departments under the banner of Carolina Legal Staffing. What is interesting about this transition from litigation and regulatory law to corporate law, is that it is such a rare occurrence these days. By today’s standards, the ability of a lawyer to make drastic shifts in career focus is untenable, precisely because of the advances in recruiting that businesses like Lassiter’s helped forge. These days, wide-eyed students of law flood the gates of law schools enticed by the glamour of prime-time legal shows and the optimism of making a difference. 

greater charlotte biz

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What many don’t realize is that the path taken through their education, credentialing, and job experience can set the stage for their entire career. Explains Lassiter, “As a whole, the legal market is migrating from a profession, to a business. It is not unusual to see private practices managed by former controllers, military leaders, and logistics experts that are known for implementing sound business structures in terms of billing, management and marketing. Firms are making decisions based upon business experience and profitability.” In the same vein, in-house corporate legal departments have become consistently more sophisticated, and subsequently more demanding in terms of what they expect from their legal recruits. Explains Lassiter, “There is a higher degree of specialization, experience and performance expected by the marketplace.” In short, Lassiter’s Carolina Legal Staffing is a giant filter, parsing large volumes of candidate qualifications to meet the very specific demands of its clients. Its focus on finding cultural and character matches between the two parties makes it not unlike a dating service, for Lassiter’s goal is finding the best relationship for everyone involved. DISCOVERY Lassiter left the N.C. Department of Justice for two reasons. First, traditionally, in-house lawyers generally work more family-friendly hours and that accommodated his marriage and desire to start a family. Second, he wanted to leave the bureaucratic environment of government law. (This is entertaining on both counts. Since Lassiter made the move, hours worked of in-house lawyers have risen to the same playing field of those involved in private practice. Also, Lassiter has since served over 10 years on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, and is a member of Charlotte City Council – both of which regularly take him ‘back to the courthouse.’) Lassiter made his career move in 1983 when the North Carolina in-house law


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community was relatively small and most lawyers were affiliated with private law

“... wide-eyed students of law... don’t realize is that the path taken through their education, credentialing, and job experience can set the stage for their entire career.” ~ John W. Lassiter, President

firms. But through diligent networking he made the jump to the legal department of Belk Department Stores and found himself in a gratifying, secure atmosphere in which he could grow. As Lassiter’s curriculum vitae grew, so did the sophistication of the legal community, and it became clear that there was an opportunity to pair his experience in human resources and his considerable contacts in the business and legal community for an entirely new undertaking. Lassiter recalls, “I was approached by investors looking to start a company focused on providing contract attorneys and project paralegals for large-scale document reviews, projects and transactions. This made sense because it offered the benefit of project employees that didn’t have to be carried on a permanent payroll.” At first Lassiter declined. He says, “I was happy where I was. But then I started to think about what a unique opportunity this was to take advantage of my law and recruiting knowledge, and serve the people I had come to know through my job and the relationships I had developed locally and statewide. It became clear that if I was ever going to make a change, the time was now.” Somewhat reluctantly, Lassiter left his safety net for a desk with a phone and a Rolodex. But it worked. Within 35 days he had made placements for his first group of candidates, and the company had positive operational cash flow within six months.

Momentum strong, Lassiter and newly hired recruiters began receiving requests to retain the temporary talent they had placed. Then, clients began requesting information for permanent placements for attorneys, shortly followed by requests for legal support staff such as legal secretaries, runners and paralegals. Enter the learning curve. Demand was coming at the company faster than expected, and Lassiter had to determine a fee schedule for the new requests, operate the business, and find additional staff to accommodate the firm’s quick growth. Fortunately, by 1999, Lassiter was in a position to redeem his partners’ interests and navigate Carolina Legal Staffing on a course of his own vision. “I wanted to expand the depth and breadth of our offerings. In 2002, we added an office in Raleigh, in 2004 we added the Columbia office, and in March of this year we added our newest office in Greenville.” Lassiter adds, “There are arguably more markets we could move into, if and when the time and circumstances call for it.” BURDEN OF PROOF Lassiter says that the paradigm for finding legal counsel has shifted considerably. “The days of the ‘old boy 

Carolina Legal Staffing, LLC 201 South College St., Ste. 1690 Charlotte, N.C. 28244 Phone: 704-343.4822 Principal: John W. Lassiter, President Other Locations: Raleigh, N.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Greenville, S.C. Employees: 10 Established: 1997 Business: Legal staffing and placement company; permanent and temporary, as well as temp-to-perm, for attorneys and legal support staff.

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network’ where common interests would connect a lawyer with someone looking for a jack-of-all-trades is a thing of the past. In-house legal departments have grown exponentially, and corporations across the region are now looking for particular skill sets that they want available to them all the time. Demand for specialties, like merger and acquisition experience, IT/software licensing, litigation management and labor/employment law, are now the status quo.” Many companies benefit from this evolution. Rather than hiring a lawyer on a case-by-case basis, an in-house lawyer is retained with a strong salary, but is often less expensive than hiring a private firm. Plus, a full-time, in-house attorney can be handpicked for the needs of the department and groomed to know the nuances of the company itself. “An in-house attorney will be educated and integrated into the company’s structure, mission, sales environment and management. The company avoids the need to get an individual lawyer


may 2006

‘up-to-speed’ on its practices or culture. This leads to more refined advice,” explains Lassiter. Private law firms also avail themselves of legal recruiting agencies. In fact, Lassiter says that 65 percent of his business is finding lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants for local and regional law firms. “Our reach and our expertise make it much more efficient for a firm to come to us to do the leg work. Our advertising, which aside from payroll is the largest expense we have, gives us the ability to get in front of candidates much more effectively than intermittent employment ads. Plus, as our clients grow regionally, we have the ability to help them find talent in markets in which they currently don’t have a presence.” Carolina Legal Staffing has a decidedly impressive presence on the Internet, advertises in industry publications, and has large contracts with local newspapers in which the company rotates ad copy. From these leads, in addition to the considerable valuable

referrals and the online application format, Lassiter has accrued an impressive database of candidates. Carolina Legal Staffing’s database can be parsed into job type, education, credentials, experience, market, specialty and subspecialties. But Lassiter says his recruiters’ commitment extends far beyond developing leads. “Our experience in the market, our knowledge of the legal environment, and our relationships are our greatest strength. We invest a lot of time and consideration on behalf of our clients, we meet and qualify our candidates before submitting them, and are very high-touch.” It is clear that Lassiter prides himself on not just matching paper-to-paper qualifications, but rather determining a best fit in terms of client culture. He also professes to have the inside scoop on candidates. “I spent a lot of time as a labor employment lawyer who trained managers to never give away anything other than a neutral reference on an employee. Most people in large companies

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are trained this way now. Our company has an advantage because we have consistently demonstrated a level of confidence and integrity that allows us to get the subjective information that is very delicate and very valuable in recruiting.” He adds, “We have to keep a lot of secrets. But as a result, we can acquire candidate information that traditional employment agencies are not privy to. The confidence level is simply not the same.” FIDUCIARY DUTY With top-qualified candidates entering law firms at a starting salary of $115,000, you can bet that employers want to be sure they are getting the bang for their buck. Generally, the candidates who command these rates graduate in the top 10 percent of their class at one of the top 20 national law schools and have demonstrated a level of commitment and service that makes them highly desirable. But of course, not everyone fits into these parameters. The good news is that many of the prospects who do not are

greater charlotte biz

still highly qualified, motivated, performance-driven candidates who can be secured at a lower price. Explains Lassiter, “Our mission is to find the best fit for the client in terms of qualifications, personality, character and culture, but compensation is nearly always an issue. Fortunately, there is a wide range of candidates eager to perform, and a host of clients with places for them.” Concedes Lassiter, “There are some admittedly less-than-sexy jobs that lawyers have to perform. Sometimes you have to shed your suit for a T-shirt and rummage through warehouse files. Sometimes you must sift though e-mails and electronic communications for document review. It can be a mind-numbing process, but one that requires expertise all the same. While you might not find an upper echelon lawyer interested in doing this kind of work, we can find match that will get it done to the satisfaction of everyone involved.” Satisfying relationships is clearly Lassiter’s mantra, whether he is sitting in the office, at a council meeting, meeting

with a client or interviewing a candidate. He made his career choices based on living a satisfying, balanced life and desires the same for the people he represents and employs. “I believe that to enjoy work, you must lead a balanced life. We try to be the kind of company that our clients respect. Our staff has a very flexible working environment with a high-tech backbone that keeps them connected. We believe it is important to engage in the community. Whether that means teaching a Sunday school class, being on an arts committee, leading a boy scout meeting, or waiting in the car pool line, there is value and a common thread running through it all.” Lassiter concludes, “As members of both the legal and business community, we feel we have an obligation to leave things just a little better than we found it. By embracing the philosophies of many of our clients and adding value through what we do, I believe that the relationships we create do exactly that.” biz Susanne Deitzel is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

may 2006


pictured (l to r) Danny W. Phillips CEO Clay C. Phillips President Ross & Witmer, Inc.


may 2006

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by casey jacobus


Ross & Witmer’s not a lot of hype, not a flash-in-the-pan Air conditioning probably began when the first man moved inside a cool, dark cave to escape the summer heat. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans hung wet mats over the doors to their dwellings. When the wind blew through the mats, the evaporation of the water cooled the air. In India, the raja used this same method to cool their royal palaces. Leonardo de Vinci, the great Italian artist and scientist, built the first mechanical fan in 1500. The English developed a rotary fan to ventilate the coal mines in 1553.

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In the mid-1800s, John Gorrie, an American, invented a cold-air machine to cool hospital rooms. Through the years, man has continued to search for ways to stay cool in the summer. However, the history of modern air conditioning belongs to the 20th century. In 1902, Willis Carrier, a research engineer who many consider the father of air conditioning, designed the first scientific system to clean, circulate and control the temperature and humidity of the air. Carrier patented his device, “An apparatus for Treating Air,� in 1906. 

may 2006


Southern textile Turning up the mills were among the heat first users of Carrier’s Ralph Phillips, new system and Stuart Danny’s father, went W. Cramer, a textile to work with Ross engineer from & Witmer early on. Charlotte, was the first Ralph became the to coin the term “air second largest stock conditioning.” owner and, when Factories were the first Witmer died without focus of air conditionany heirs, the corpoing, followed by office ration passed into buildings and schools. his hands. Danny In 1915, Carrier and grew up in and six friends scraped around the business. together $32,600 and The family lived formed Carrier close enough for Engineering Company. him to ride his bike In 1922, the company to the office. When developed and began he was 12 or 13, Ross & Witmer opened its first office in the 500 block of South Tryon street. manufacturing a refrighe earned money by eration machine, or downtown Charlotte. Originally, the sweeping and cleaning up the warecentrifugal chiller, which was one of the company was both a Carrier heating/air house. Throughout high school and colfirst practical methods of air conditioning conditioning distributor and a mechanlege, he worked at the family business large spaces. ical contractor. Ross and Witmer during summers and holidays. “Comfort cooling” as the Carrier shared the same goal: to expertly install After graduating from UNCC in 1969 Company called it, made its debut in 1924 high quality products made by a leadand doing a stint in the army, Danny at the J.L. Hudson Department Store in ing manufacturer. joined Ralph full-time at Ross & Detroit, Michigan. Shoppers at the store’s Witmer. The residential market for airbasement bargain sales were fainting from conditioning was really speeding up and Southern textile the heat so three Carrier centrifugal chillers builders were putting central air in new mills were among were installed. Sales boomed. The interest homes. in cooling air spread from the department At the time Danny joined the busithe first users of stores to the movie theaters, where sumness, Sears and Roebuck was Ross & Carrier’s new system mer customers went to escape the heat for Witmer’s largest competitor in the resia few hours. dential market. The big national compaand Stuart W. Cramer, Carrier developed the first residential air ny was able to offer credit, while Ross a textile engineer conditioner in 1928, but the idea didn’t & Witmer was a cash-only company. catch on until after World War II, when from Charlotte, Ross & Witner also survived the oil resources were no longer required for the crisis of the early ’70s when the induswas the first war effort. In 1945, Charlotte businessman trial market was hit hard. “For a time, I F.H. Ross, Sr. and C.N. Witmer, an engineer to coin the term thought we might go from selling furwith the Carrier Corporation, formed one naces to wood stoves,” says Phillips. “air conditioning.” of Charlotte’s first heating and air condiA flood in 1972 damaged the compationing companies, Ross & Witmer, Inc. ny’s offices on Morehead Street. The “The story goes that they met on a golf Ross & Witmer, Inc. maintains that company lost a lot of vehicles and course,” says Danny Phillips, now CEO of founding business concept today. The inventory. Phillips says it was uncertain Ross & Witmer. “Frank Ross saw a need in company now has over 70 employees whether the company would survive. Charlotte for a heating and air conditioning and a sizable truck fleet; it also has a However, Ross & Witmer rebuilt company. Witmer was working for Carrier well-earned reputation for in-depth and moved to its current location on in Atlanta, but Ross talked him into movindustry knowledge. “We are commitRozzells Ferry Road. Over the years ing to Charlotte. Witmer was to run the ted to being the most efficient, best since then, the company has grown business while Ross put up the money.” quality provider of heating, ventilatto meet the needs of the Charlotte The new company opened its office on ing, and air conditioning products and market. At the same time, it has the 500 block of South Tryon Street in service in our industry,” says Phillips. never lost sight of its original goal to 


may 2006

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deliver high quality products and services in a timely and courteous manner. Today, while many other companies specialize in commercial or residential installation or service, Ross & Witmer does it all. Its heating, cooling, ventilation and humidification installations service everything from tenant remodel/upfits to offices, retail stores, warehouses, manufacturing plants, churches and educational facilities. Several general contractors rely on the firm’s expertise as a mechanical contractor to assist in the construction of their projects. On the residential side, Ross & Witmer has installed systems in everything from historic homes to new houses. Not only is the company up-to-date with the latest digital, automated control technology, it is one of the few contractors in the area who service and install hot water and steam home heating systems. Ross & Witmer has been involved with some unique projects in the Charlotte area. The company was responsible for the temperature and humidity controls for the current Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit at Discovery Place. It has worked on many homes listed on the National Historic Register, including the old Cameron Morrison mansion. It has done work on the traffic control center for the city and on the airport control tower at the airport. The firm is also certified as a LEED contractor to

Ross & Witmer, Inc. 4620 Rozzells Ferry Road Charlotte, N.C. 28216 Phone: 704-392-6188 Principals: Danny W. Phillips, CEO; Clay C. Phillips, President Founded: 1945 Employees: 70 Business: Full service residential and commercial heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor. Awards: Recognized by Carrier as Dealer of the Year 2005


may 2006

work on environmentally friendly or “green” projects, like the Sanctuary at Lake Wylie. In addition to installing and servicing industrial, commercial, and residential heating, ventilating and air conditioning products, Ross & Witmer fabricates and installs its own sheet metal air distribution, exhaust and ventilation systems. By doing so, it is able to guarantee that its custom design work can be implemented precisely to the client’s specifications. Providing in-house fabrication and erection crews is the foundation for on-time, within budget, quality-controlled project completion. Ross & Witmer is now a third generation-owned company. Like his father, Clay Phillips grew up doing odd jobs around the office. He, too, worked summers during his high school and college years. As soon as he graduated from Mars Hill in 1995, he came to work full-time at the family firm. Cooling the competition According to Danny Phillips, the heating and air conditioning industry has changed more in the past 10 years than anytime previously in its history. This is because of the federal regulations regarding the reclaiming of refrigeration that came along in the early ’90s as well as the energy codes, which require more energy efficiency. Technology has also greatly changed the equipment itself, which has become more aesthetically pleasing as well as more advanced. Competition has also increased. However, Ross & Witmer occupies a secure berth in the Charlotte market. It has built up a solid reputation over the years for customer friendly and trustworthy service. It withstood a period five or six years ago when the industry went through a big consolidation movement. Since then many of Ross &Witmer’s competitors faded away, but Ross & Witmer grew stronger. Its growing customer base is solid and includes many clients who return again and again. Both Danny and Clay are committed, as were their father and grandfather, to the highest ethical business standards.

Bill Crawford, of Wilmar Leasing, has been doing business with Ross & Witmer for over 30 years. Just as Crawford first did business with Ralph Phillips, his son David is now doing business with Clay Phillips. “Because our business is so leveraged, character is a huge part of who we do business with,” says Bill Crawford, “and you couldn’t ask for a family with more integrity.” The biggest challenge Ross & Witmer faces today is finding qualified technicians. “Not many young people want to go into a business where they’re working on hot roofs or crawling around in attics with bugs and spiders,” says Phillips. “Nonetheless, it is a wonderful opportunity for people looking for security.” Ross & Witmer meets the challenge by hiring people with mechanical aptitude and then reimbursing them for taking community college courses related to the industry. It also provides in-house training. The company aspires to have every employee achieve NATE, or North American Technical Excellence, certification. In addition to providing competitive wages and benefits, Ross & Witmer encourages its employees to stick with the company. It has a policy of “promoting from within,” providing opportunities for employees to move up. The Phillips also encourage a low-key, family-style work environment. Both Danny and Clay are involved with their employees’ lives, sending birthday cards and flowers for special occasions. As a result, they have a number of fathers, sons and brothers who work for Ross & Witmer. One recently retired technician had worked for the firm his entire working life. As for the future of Ross & Witmer, Phillips doesn’t foresee any changes down the road. “We’ll continue to do the same kinds of work with the same quality and customer satisfaction and we’ll continue to be a viable business in the Charlotte market,” he asserts. “Not a lot of hype, not a flash-in-the pan, just a good solid family-owned company.” biz Casey Jacobus is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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photo: Wayne Morris

Ellen T. Ruff President Duke Energy Carolinas


may 2006

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by ellison clary


A Surge of New Energy Duke Powers Up Its Future With over a hundred years behind

tion and 5.5 million retail customers.

The financial situation began to

them, Duke Energy Carolinas is poised

Headquartered in Charlotte, its com-

brighten shortly after former president

to push for an even brighter future with

bined assets of $70 billion place it

and chief operating officer Paul

Ellen Ruff as its new president.

among the biggest two or three power

Anderson returned from retirement to

firms in the United States.

become chairman and chief executive.

Ruff was part of a strong leadership team that pulled Charlotte’s Duke

That position of strength is extra

He shed unprofitable ventures and insti-

Energy out of a dark spot early in this

sweet for Duke. The long-time bastion

tuted money-saving initiatives. The

decade. Now she’s determined to help

of integrity was accused of holding

company reported 2005 earnings per

position the venerable utility to serve

back electric power during California’s

share of $1.94 on net income of $1.82

a new generation of Carolinians with

rolling blackouts and of underreport-

billion, up from 2004’s $1.59 per share

the power necessary for continued

ing profits in the Carolinas, both for

and $1.49 billion net income.

economic vitality.

financial gain. Ruff is quick to point

Forged by an April 3 merger with

Duke stock, which dipped below

out that the company was exonerated

$20 a share in 2002, now trades near

Cincinnati-based Cinergy, Duke

on both counts, but it did suffer fiscal

$30. Along the way, Duke won the 2005

Energy is an energy company with

reverses that halved its stock value in

Charlotte Ethics in Business Award from

about $36 billion in market capitaliza-

about 24 months.

the Society of Financial Professionals. 

greater charlotte biz

may 2006





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At the new Duke Energy, Anderson is chairman of the board and Cinergy’s James Rogers is president and chief executive officer. Then comes Ruff at Duke Energy Carolinas, co-equal with the presidents of the company’s other units, all known as Duke Energy now, but formerly PSI Energy in Indiana, Cincinnati Gas & Electric in Ohio and Union Light, Heat and Power in Kentucky. Duke Energy Carolinas is the entity that started in 1904 and became Duke Power Company, named for James Buchanan Duke, who founded it along with Dr. W. Gill Wylie and William States Lee. Its first name was the Catawba Power Company. With Duke since joining the legal department in 1978, Ruff has enjoyed the good times and endured the bad. She’s gratified to look forward to a brighter future. “There was a sense and a feeling that we were tarnished and lost some of our glow,� Ruff admits in her Charlotte office. “You felt like you were in a ditch.� But she looks you in the eye and adds: “We have our reputation back. We’ve worked hard to reengage with the customer and to remind ourselves that our customers and our employees

We’ve worked hard to reengage with the customer and to remind ourselves that our

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customers and our employees are most important to our success.�


~Ellen T. Ruff, President

Strategic Partners for your Benefits Needs For more info: 704-522-8011


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are most important to our success.� Ruff, 57, was born in Hartford, Conn., and received her law degree from the University of North Carolina after earning a bachelor’s in business at

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Simmons College. At Duke, she rose through the ranks, often getting advice from mentor and general counsel Steve Griffith, now retired. Along with her extremely supportive parents, Ruff praises Griffith. “I don’t think there was anything he didn’t think I could do,” she says. “He gave me task after task that was new.” Ruff became senior vice president and general counsel in 2001. Two years later, she was named senior vice president of Power Policy and Planning, then became group vice president in that capacity. In 2005, her title changed to group vice president for Planning and External Resources. “In the legal department, I worked in every area and the lawyers were part 


Duke Energy Carolinas 526 South Church Street Charlotte, N.C. 28201 Phone: 704-594-6200 Principal: Ellen T. Ruff, President Parent: Duke Energy Corporation Principals, Parent: Paul Anderson, Chairman; James Rogers, President and CEO NYSE: DUK Established: 1904, as Catawba Power Company Business: Duke Energy Carolinas is a unit of Duke Energy, a diversified, Fortune 500 energy company with a portfolio of natural gas and electric businesses, both regulated and unregulated, and an affiliated real estate company. Duke Energy Carolinas provides electricity and valueadded products and services to more than two million customers in North Carolina and South Carolina. It operates three nuclear generating stations, eight coal-fired stations, 31 hydroelectric stations and numerous combustion turbine units.Total system generating capability is approximately 19,900 megawatts.

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Ruff worked trust + strategy + integrity planning + insight + experience

to craft a program that returns 50 percent of Duke’s profits from off-system electricity sale to the communities it serves... the effort includes lower rates for industrial customers, grants for community colleges and manufacturers, support for economic development, and increased aid to special assistance

“I think Daniel, Ratliff & Company has a real genuine interest in the success of our business.

programs such as Share the Warmth, fan relief and cooling assistance.

We have 15 different business entities, and we could not have managed them without Daniel, Ratliff & Company’s help.”

– Wayne Kirby K & M Tire Company 301 S. McDowell Street Suite 502 Charlotte, NC 28204 704.371.5000

125 E Plaza Drive Suite 101 Mooresville, NC 28115 704.663.0193

it all Adds up. 30

may 2006

of the business team,” Ruff explains. “I became very familiar with the operations of the plants, very familiar with the regulations.” Restoring Customer Confidence As a leader in Duke’s Power Policy and Planning area, Ruff worked closely with Ruth Shaw, the company’s former Carolinas president who now is group executive for Public Policy and president of Duke Nuclear. They concentrated on restoring customer confidence. Ruff worked to craft a program that returns 50 percent of Duke’s profits from off-system electricity sales to the communities it serves. Although slight-

ly different in both states, the effort includes lower rates for industrial customers, grants for community colleges and manufacturers, support for economic development, and increased aid to special assistance programs such as Share the Warmth, fan relief and cooling assistance. The initiative continues in North Carolina through 2007 and through 2010 in South Carolina. The utility tried harder to understand customer needs. Most industrial customers acknowledged that Duke’s power rates were among the nation’s lowest, but they wanted the utility to provide cost forecasts. Duke had shied from that, fearing inaccurate projections. Finally, the company gave its customers projections based on a range of likely fuel cost increases, which are about a third of electricity bills. “It made an unbelievable difference, even if we couldn’t be absolutely sure,” Ruff said. “They at least had something to base their budgets on and that was the important thing to them.” Reliability is another Ruff hot button, even though the company ranked highest among the South’s 52 utilities in a business customer satisfaction survey report released by J.D. Power and Associates in March. “We always think of continuous improvement,” Ruff says, and points to a fairly localized ice storm in upstate South Carolina in late 2005. “We had some glitches,” she admits, “with our capability to manage customer phone calls.” Again, she feels communication can help improve Duke’s performance. Until recently the utility has been reluctant to give customers an estimated time for when their electricity will be restored. It worried about being inaccurate. But customers want that best guess, so Duke now gives it to them. Listening and responding often leads to developing new products and services, which Ruff wants to expand. “Over the years, we’ve developed things like flexible payment plans and equal payment plans that were directly in response to customers,” she says.

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Reliability is another Ruff hot button, even though the company ranked highest among the South’s 52 utilities in a business customer satisfaction survey report released by J.D. Power and Associates in March. “We always think of continuous improvement” ~Ellen T. Ruff, President

Carolinas Economic Growth a High Priority For Duke, continued economic growth in the Carolinas is a high priority. And there again, Ruff seeks more customers to Duke Energy’s Belews Creek Steam Station listen to, as well. “We are going to attract more business and industry and keep the ones “Over the years, we have,” she states simply. To lead we’ve developed that effort, she has Winston Kelley, fresh from the successful drive to win things like the NASCAR Hall of Fame for Charlotte. Tony Almeida will transiflexible payment tion gradually from economic developplans and equal ment to customer relations. As a board member for the payment plans that Charlotte Regional Partnership, Ruff expects to help mediate development were directly in battles between North Carolina and response to customers” South Carolina that recently have resulted in some employers moving from Mecklenburg County to the ~Ellen T. Ruff, President 


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may 2006


In 1899, James Buchanan Duke (1856-1925) organized the American Development Company to acquire land and water rights on Catawba River in Chester, Lancaster and Fairfield counties. Shortly after the turn of the century, workers installed power lines to energize the Charlotte region.

In 1904, Catawba Power Company’s Catawba Hydro Station began operation with 3,300 kilowatts. This was the first generating station on the Duke system, and this date is considered to be the birth of Duke Power Company.


may 2006

Palmetto counties of York and Lancaster. To replace a largely eroded textile base, Ruff will concentrate on businesses that are less likely to move offshore. She cites the success of the automotive industry in upstate South Carolina and she likes pharmaceuticals and plastics, too. Duke recently led a study to identify large tracts of land that could serve potential new industrial customers and provided that information to the commerce departments in both states. Ruff sees it as part of showing customers and prospects that Duke has a plan for the future. Another essential element in planning, she believes, is demonstrating “that you will be there with the power when customers need it and will provide it at a price that will support their success.” Duke’s Carolinas service area adds between 40,000 and 60,000 electricity customers a year. To serve them, she says, the company will need new “base load” generating units designed to operate 24/7. Duke looks ahead 10 years and longer to make power-need projections. It will take until 2011 to build and operate a new coal-fired plant and until 2016 for a nuclear unit, she explains. “I think we’ll have to build a nuclear plant,” she states matter-of-factly. Nuclear is important for fuel diversity, she adds, a big reason Duke’s rates are among the lowest in the southeast. Although no final decisions have been made, Duke has picked a site in Cherokee County, S.C. – where it started but never finished a nuclear plant in the 1970s – for a new generating unit that will most likely be nuclear. The company has selected a spot in Rutherford County, N.C., where it almost assuredly will build a coal-fired plant. “When we look at generation going forward,” Ruff says, “it will not only include nuclear, it will also have to include coal. We will look harder at renewables, something non-fossil like wind or peat moss, solar, methane or ocean waves.” Protecting Environment Is Important Protecting the environment is important

to Ruff, who has worked in both North Carolina and South Carolina on measures to reduce pollutants from Duke’s coalfired plants. Duke is investing $1.5 billion to reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions at its seven coal-fired plants in North Carolina. That promises to bring it into compliance with “Clean Smokestacks” legislation that Ruff helped champion in 2002. JoAnne Sanford, chair of the N.C. Utilities Commission, praises Ruff for her work on “Clean Smokestacks” and for her general competence. “Ellen speaks with tremendous authority on all pertinent issues,” Sanford says. “She is the right person for the job at the right time.” Sanford adds that she, too, feels Duke’s reputation is on the upswing.

“When we look at generation going forward,” Ruff says, “it will not only include nuclear, it will also have to include coal. We will look harder at renewables, something non-fossil like wind or peat moss, solar, methane or ocean waves.” ~Ellen T. Ruff, President

That’s music to Ruff’s ears, because with expensive capital projects on the horizon, she’ll be asked to help Duke gain the assurance of a broader cost recovery mechanism before plant construction begins, rather than waiting until the unit is finished. “We have very good regulation,” Ruff says. “No, we don’t always agree, but the regulators understand the importance of strong utilities being able to build generation and transmission lines to provide the level of service customers want.” Bill Johnson, president and chief operating officer of Progress Energy, based in Raleigh, has known Ruff for 22 years and believes she will produce impressive

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results, internally and externally. “I think she will make clear to everybody what she is trying to do at Duke,” Johnson says. He praises her “persistence” and “crisp execution.” Ruff smiles. “If I have an issue that I think needs to be advanced,” she says, “I don’t let it go easily. I do believe in educating on the issues.” Going forward, Ruff sees more consolidation of utilities but vows Duke will remain among the nation’s largest. She forecasts more cooperation on electricity transmission issues, with utilities working together on regional power needs. Though she admits that some mornings she wakes up and is surprised she’s running Duke Energy Carolinas, the mother of three says she enjoys her new job. “I really like to feel that I make a difference,” she says. “I thought in this role I could make one.” Winding down is hard for her. She

walks her dogs and reads, often books related to cooking, which she always finds time for. She likes entertaining and that brings her back to what she likes about her job – the people she works with and meets.

She enjoys their intellectual stimulation. “But in the end,” she says, “it’s being able to make a difference – for the community and for the future.” biz Ellison Clary is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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may 2006


pictured (l to r) James F. Martin Senior Project Manager A. Michael Burnett Senior Vice President Crescent Resources, LLC


may 2006

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by lisa hoffman


Refuge in theMidst Convenience and Luxury Get Friendly With the Environment

Duke Energy was still in its infancy when it created Lake Wylie in 1904 by opening a dam on the Catawba River near Fort Mill, S.C. The section along Lake Wylie that is now adjacent to Thomas M. Winget Park probably looked then much as it does today: rolling hills, mature hardwood forests and untouched shoreline. Although new development is underway on that land, the folks at The Sanctuary, a Crescent community, are working hard to ensure that it stays that way – much to the delight and benefit of its clients. 

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may 2006


In Harmony with Nature Duke Energy has acquired many acres of “legacy land” as it has expanded over the years and it created Crescent Resources in 1969 to manage and develop the land responsibly. Today, the land management company extends over nine states overseeing commercial, residential and multi-family real estate projects. In the 1950s, Duke Energy acquired 1,850 acres of land along Lake Wylie, Scenic stop on trail overlooking Lake Wylie at The Sanctuary provides a restful moment. land that wasn’t considered for development charged land planner, Art Oldham, of Sanctuary. Crescent Resources agreed until the early 1990s, when it was Oldham Planning and Design to divide the land into only 187 home zoned for 3,600 lots, two golf courses, a Associates, Inc. in Charlotte, in to sites, which the company has dubbed commercial section and a hotel. reexamine the property. “private preserves,” averaging 5.4 acres “After going in and seeing the lay of “He came up with a plan that each. With the exception of The Camp, the land, we decided to reconsider that included the larger homesites, greater the neighborhood’s 17-acre waterfront plan,” says James Martin, senior projprivacy and more common open space amenity area, all other development of ect manager for The Sanctuary. “It that marketing surveys were showing parcel A was scrapped. In stark conseemed like there had to be a better us our potential clients wanted,” trast to the “raze the trees and raise the way to approach the project in order Martin says. houses” strategy employed by most to respect the area’s natural beauty.” The 1,850-acre site was divided up developers, Crescent Resources plans It wasn’t until the early 2000s when into three parcels. Parcel A, at 1,300 to leave more than 80 percent of the Crescent Resources sent Duke Energy’s acres, was slated to become The land completely untouched.

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“Although it may seem strange to some people, this is a trend that’s been developing over the past few years,� Craig Martin, sales manager, says. “Much of our clientele has a kind of ‘been there, done that’ attitude about golf course communities. They want more land and more privacy, a place to get away from it all.� In a testament to the idea’s validity, sales have outpaced all projections. “We started selling in August of 2004 and we’ve already sold 120 of the 137 preserves we’ve developed so far,� says Martin. If You Build – and Market It – They Will Come Driving along Shopton Road toward The Sanctuary, it’s easy to believe you made a wrong turn. Nothing but forest surrounds you; surely there’s no luxury community tucked away in there. But just around a curve, only a few miles away from Interstate 485, is the entrance to The Sanctuary’s elegantly rustic sales office, a home that’s already been purchased and is being leased back from the owner until Crescent Resources vacates the office. “We knew we had a beautiful piece of land with great access to the airport, uptown and major roadways,� James Martin says. “People are definitely buying into the concept.� Targeting the market presented a bit of a challenge. The marketing team began by placing ads in New York publications such as The Wall Street Journal and other big-city tomes as


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well as Southern Living and similar shelter publications, Craig Martin says. They also contacted high-end real estate agents. “The preserves start at $200,000 and the homes at about $1 million so we looked at zip codes with families that would be likely to fall into that income bracket,” Craig Martin says. “We started out targeting the masses and began drawing prospects from all over the country. Now that we’ve got the ball rolling, we review our marketing strategy on a quarterly basis. We’ve been very pleased with the response.” The Sanctuary’s prospective clients are treated to site walks that are a little different than most. Since the private preserves range from 2 to 13 acres and are heavily wooded, sales representatives take potential homebuyers on tours aided by a global positioning system (GPS). “With GPS, they can show the client where the house will be positioned, how it will sit on the land and which way it will face,” James Martin says. “Without it, it’s just a nice walk in the woods.” Once clients settle on a preserve, they can request a tour by Sarah Anderson, The Sanctuary’s full-time natural resource manager and Audubon International employee. “Sarah helps our homeowners discover all the natural qualities of their preserve,” James Martin explains. “She also offers advice on ways folks can create a butterfly garden or attract more birds to their yard. She’s an excellent resource.” A unique feature of The Sanctuary is that there is no time limit to how long a site owner may wait to build. Several clients nearing retirement age have opted to purchase land with the intention of building their retirement home at the secluded retreat five or ten years later. Another popular option is adding a guesthouse to the site, whether for guests or to accommodate an aging family member or household employee. Others are opting to create 

family compounds, where several members of the same family build homes on the same or adjoining preserves. “The freedom to build at your own pace is a big draw for some folks,” James Martin says. “But everyone has to follow our stringent environmental protection guidelines, even if they opt to build several structures on the same preserve.” Wildlife Sanctuary The Sanctuary is meant as a refuge not only for the people who live there, but for their furry friends too. Crescent Resources is working hard to ensure that the flora and fauna that appeared on the site before development thrives for decades to come. The community has partnered with

The Sanctuary at Lake Wylie, LLC 11235 Wildlife Road Charlotte, N.C. 28278 Phone: 877-295-0950 Principals: A. Michael Burnett, Senior Vice President, Crescent Resources, LLC; James F. Martin, Senior Project Manager, Crescent Resources, LLC; Craig Martin, Sales Manager Parent Company: Crescent Resources, LLC Employees: Approximately 20 Established: June 2003 Awards: Chosen by as “Where We want to Live to Raise a Family” in its “Where We want to Live in 2006” issue published in January 2006. Showcasing six homes valued at $2-$3.5 million as host of HomeArama 2006, to be held in Charlotte May 20-June 11, 2006. Business: A 1,300-acre exclusive luxury lake community offering private wooded and waterfront home preserves averaging 5.4 acres. Committed to environmental sensitivity, it has partnered with Audubon International and encourages residents and builders to utilize green building practices to create their homes.


may 2006

Audubon International, a not-for-profit environmental education organization that strives for sustainable development, where land, water, wildlife and natural resources are depleted as little as possible. Audubon International awarded The Sanctuary its highest level of certification for wildlife and water quality preservation. The Sanctuary has established selfimposed environmental protection guidelines, James Martin explains. Where the county allows builders to construct impervious surfaces over up to 20 percent of a home site before permanent storm water control devices are required, The Sanctuary limits it to seven percent. An impervious surface is one that prevents rainwater from infiltrating soil. Too much impervious area causes storm water to run off directly into rivers, lakes and streams, causing erosion and water pollution. Homeowners may choose from a builder’s guild of 22 builders, all of whom are subject to scrutiny by an architectural control committee and a landscape review board before they begin construction. Builders are limited to clearing only up to 15 percent of a site and are required to maintain a 200-foot lake buffer, four times the county regulation. Lake buffers act as a filtering system for storm water. “You’d think the residents wouldn’t want that, but most of the folks that are interested in the lakefront properties grasp the privacy benefit,” James Martin says. The Sanctuary developed a Green Leaf Certification Program in conjunction with Audubon International to encourage green building practices. Homes are reviewed to determine what percentage of recommended green building practices were employed in their construction. Builders can earn one to three leaves based on that assessment. “We wanted the sales center to be a showcase of green building ideas, so people can see that green building can be beautiful as well as functional and environmentally friendly.” James

Martin says. “We’re hoping it will inspire folks to use some of these ideas in their own homes.”

“We wanted the sales center to be a showcase of green building ideas, so people can see that green building can be beautiful as well as functional and environmentally friendly.” ~James Martin Guests walk along a pervious concrete driveway to the front entrance of the sales center. Pervious concrete allows water to percolate through to the underlying soil. They also pass an attractive bioretention pond, which looks like a bowl-shaped garden. This specialized garden acts as a water filter for runoff. Tess, The Sanctuary’s resident gray cat, often greets guests with a friendly “meow” as they enter the house. The sales center is replete with small display signs pointing out the use of reclaimed and/or recycled wood products; certified forest products; carpet manufactured out of fibers made from recycled soda bottles; and highefficiency appliances. “Far from being a foreign idea to our clients, green building is another growing trend,” Craig Martin says. “This environmentally friendly approach has drawn interest from people far and wide.” Attractive Additions In addition to enjoying The Sanctuary’s unique environmental qualities, residents will have access to a range of recreational options at The Camp, The Sanctuary’s waterfront activity center. The John James Audubon Lodge, a community center modeled after a rustic vacation lodge, is at the heart of The Camp. Exposed beams, bucolic furniture and woodsy

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accents carry the theme and commissioned reproductions of Audubon’s life-sized depictions of North American birds adorn the walls. “We want this to be a place where residents can come and play cards, have a birthday party or just relax,” James Martin explains. “Our buyers have certain expectations for the level of our amenities and we kept that in mind throughout the design process.” In keeping with that, Martin pointed out six tennis courts, an Olympic-sized pool, zero-entry kids’ splash pool, jetted pool, fitness room, picnic area and amphitheater. A full-time activities director is already on the job, planning for a mid-June opening date. Twenty miles of walking and biking trails leading to meditation areas and wilderness parks are being interwoven into the common areas throughout the community. Looking Ahead Plans are underway for the development adjacent to The Sanctuary, a 200acre section of the original property. It will be a gated community with lots averaging one-third of an acre. Crescent Resources plans to stay true to its commitment to sustaining the environment. “We designed the community around ‘green streams,’ landscaped swells that act as bioretention devices,” James Martin explained. “Just because we’re looking at developing a more traditional community doesn’t mean our environmental ideals go out the window.” Home prices at the adjacent development will range from about $650,000-$900,000. The Sanctuary has seen its first resident family settle in, with several more scheduled to arrive soon. Construction of speculative and purchased homes is underway throughout the community and new private preserves are scheduled for groundbreaking any day now. Chances are, their neighbors will never know it. The familiar sights and sounds of construction will be acres away. biz




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may 2006


pictured (l to r) David Rinehart, Executive Faculty; Anne Boyd, Executive Vice President; Pat Boyd, President; Ty Boyd, Chairman; not pictured Molly Boyd Hunt, Executive Faculty Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems


may 2006

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by andrea cooper


Frankly Speaking, It’s a Family Affair But the Boyds are spreading the word globally Many Charlotteans knew Anne Boyd in autumn 1999 by the mere sound of her voice, because they woke up with it every morning. Boyd had been news director for years on radio station Lite 102.9 WLYT, and in news prior to that on public radio station WFAE. Her resonant on-air sound during drive-time was nearly as distinctive as that of her father, Ty Boyd, the legendary radio announcer heard for years on WBT and WBTV. But Anne’s calm and controlled voice belied the many challenges she faced in her day-to-day life. She was a single parent of two daughters. Her job required her to get up at 3:30 a.m. so she could be at the studio by 5:00 a.m., and on the air soon after. Her sister Molly, a marathon runner and psychology graduate from Queens University, lived with her to make sure the girls got safely to school. Every night, Anne went to bed about 9:00 p.m. to make the grueling schedule possible. She knew it couldn’t last. About the same time, her parents’ company, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, was growing and expanding. The company provides presentation skills and public speaking training primarily to executives from Fortune 1000 companies including Georgia Pacific, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson. They conduct individual coaching as well as three-day Excellence in Speaking Institute (ESI) courses for small groups of executives to dramatically improve their communication skills. Not only did the company need more faculty to teach in the United States, it was also getting interest from potential clients overseas. Anne’s parents, Ty and Pat, invited Anne to work with them full-time. It was the opportunity Anne didn’t even know she had been waiting for. She felt overjoyed and apprehensive. “I admit, there was a little fear about joining a family business,” she says.

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She would also lose the heady satisfaction of being on the radio every morning. But she determined, “If I didn’t at least give it a go, I might be missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Though she continued doing a public affairs program for the radio station, she resigned her position as news director. Anne had previously taught an occasional ESI course with her parents, but now she had to learn how to lead them on her own. Two years later, Molly joined the company, too. Together, parents and children had to discover how to avoid all the pitfalls of a family business, from respecting each others’ turf to not letting the company take over their family life. And the sisters had to figure out a way to make their name in a business where their father was already famous. 

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Try these tips from Excellence in Speaking Institute coaches Anne Boyd and Molly Boyd Hunt to make your next presentation shine. Give it all your energy. If you are genuinely energetic (but not manic), your audience will be, too. A strong voice, eye contact, and powerful gestures all demonstrate energy and passion. Make your eye contact count. Effective eye contact isn’t the same as scanning your audience or looking up from your notes every once in a while. Choose one member of the audience and speak directly to that person for 30 seconds. Let your gaze linger. Then choose another and do the same. Your audience will find you personable and authoritative. Use vocal variety. Nothing is worse than a speech given in a monotone. Shout and whisper. Go high and low. Practice beforehand by reading a book or newspaper out loud, injecting as much vocal color as you can. Reach out. Step out from behind the podium whenever you can, or don’t use one at all. Know your audience. The typical member of your audience is worrying about the pile of e-mails back at the office, the unanswered calls, and the report due next week. He walks into your presentation wondering, “What’s in this for me?” You are much more likely to engage his interest by researching and understanding his needs before your presentation. Make sure your content really addresses your audience’s concerns and helps listeners solve their challenges. Be authentic. Some people are tempted to put on a phony facade when they speak, thinking it will give them more power. But that tactic never succeeds. You will be your most powerful when you are real. Bring the passion of your life to your task. Practice more than you think you need to. When Bill Schultz, president of the European Consumer Products business for Georgia Pacific, gave a presentation to his board, he created a one-page prompt sheet for himself but hoped to use it as little as possible. Ideally, he would not use


may 2006

a podium or even a microphone. To achieve that, Schultz handwrites his notes, then types them, then practices them numerous times. The process helps him remember exactly what he wants to say and be far more effective than reading a speech.

Develop confidence through practice. Real confidence comes when we have solid preparation and content in our speeches, remember good experiences in the past and build on those, and realize audience members don’t see our nerves. Remember, this presentation isn’t about you. It’s about your audience. End with vigor. It’s common for highlevel managers to end their presentations with a question-and-answer session. A masterful presentation can end with a whimper, even off-topic, because of Q&A. We recommend doing the Q&A if required, then conclude with formal remarks that bring your presentation back to your critical themes. Use a coach. Find a colleague in your company or a non-competing industry who can be your coach. Look for someone you can rehearse with and have honest, helpful exchanges. Get trained. Even natural speakers can benefit from training, particularly training that includes videotaping. You might realize you need to make wardrobe updates, or be more aware of your posture, or make more vigorous gestures. Don’t be perfect. Trying to be perfect is an irrational objective. It will paralyze you and make you fail every time. So strive to be better than your last presentation. Be your best.

Working for the Master of Influence During his 17 years as a radio and television broadcaster, Ty Boyd had always felt a responsibility to meet as many of his listeners and viewers as he could. Typically he made about 150 speaking engagements a year throughout the region and also served as a master of ceremonies for national conferences and other events. With his breadth of speaking experience, it was understandable why executives from Apple Computer and Aetna Insurance asked him in 1980 to teach speaking skills to their employees. At first, Ty wasn’t crazy about the idea. Ty recounts, “But I had time in my schedule, so I figured, ‘Why not?’” He was more than a little gratified as he watched the people in his classes walk away feeling more capable and powerful because they were learning how to communicate better with others and not just talk at them. It was his wife, Patricia Boyd, who realized that these engagements could be made into a business. Pat had succeeded in her own communication challenge – raising six children – and developing her own company, Charlotte Visitours, that gave tours of her hometown Charlotte to spouses of corporate executives. After running it for five years, she decided to devote herself full-time to ESI. She brought a unique perspective on being a speaker. As a young woman, Pat Boyd had been named Maid of Cotton. In the South, the national Maid of Cotton pageant was second only to the Miss America competition in prestige. Speaking about the cotton industry was a major part of the responsibility that came with winning. “But I had nothing of substance to share about the cotton industry, and I knew it,” Pat says. “I learned under fire how to overcome that feeling of inadequacy.” Speaking as often as five times a day, she learned how to connect with her audience no matter how terrified she was. She learned how to research her field and practice enough to speak with authority, to smile and look people in the eye. “I didn’t know it at the time, but I was learning the secrets of powerful communication,” she says. “This is absolutely the best place for me,” she

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says. “I’m here to help executives – and all kinds of business people – fine-tune their innate skills.” As Ty and Pat began their new venture, Ty continued giving speeches and accruing awards. He is one of the few speakers worldwide to receive the speaking industry’s three highest honors, including the Oscar of the National Speakers Association, The Cavett. Last year, the association named Ty a Master of Influence. Others who have won that prestigious designation include Ken Blanchard, Zig Ziglar, and Art Linkletter. The award is presented to those who have made a positive global impact through the spoken word, significantly influencing generations of speakers, and whose distinguished careers have brought honor and recognition to the speaking profession. Ty and Pat had set the bar high for their daughters. Developing their own styles With her years of radio experience along with occasional TV appearances, Anne could draw upon her innate sense of what makes a strong communicator for her role as an ESI trainer. She enjoyed teaching executives who were moving up in their industries and required a little more speaking polish. Eventually she began taking more daunting assignments, from a CEO who needed media training before rolling out a global product launch, to a NASCAR driver who wanted to enhance his speaking skills. Anne, herself an avid runner, is “much like a coach for a professional athlete,” says Cory Honold with Pfizer Animal Health in Columbus, Nebraska. “Even though these people have the skills, they’re always looking to become a little better at what they do and gain an edge. Anne does a great job of focusing on teaching how to make your presentations come alive.” Anne saw talents in herself come alive that set her apart from her relatives. Clients such as Bank of America and Fox Network began approaching her to train employees on etiquette, image and communication skills. She had a knack for working with younger people as well, 

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may 2006


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coaching high school students interviewing for college and college grads interviewing for their first professional jobs. Molly Boyd Hunt, who joined the company in 2001 and the executive faculty in 2003, showed herself to be a challenging but supportive trainer in ESI classes. She combined encouragement, optimism, and joie de vivre, a mix particularly beneficial for executives who get uneasy at even the thought of speaking in front of a crowd. “On the first day, some people don’t want to be here because they’re intimidated,” Molly says. “By the last day, they don’t want to leave.”


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Background: Ty Boyd is one of the few speakers worldwide to receive the speaking industry’s three highest honors, including the Oscar of the National Speakers Association – The Cavett Award.Ty Boyd has been inducted into both the Broadcast Hall of Fame and Speakers Hall of Fame. He is also a member of Speakers Roundtable, considered the top 20 speakers in the country.Ty Boyd is the author of such books as Visions: From the Leaders of Today for the Leaders of Tomorrow and The Million Dollar Toolbox: A Blueprint for Transforming Your Life & Career With Powerful Communications Skills. Business: Provides presentation skills and public speaking training, primarily to executives from Fortune 1000 companies; executives in more than 40 countries use their Excellence in Speaking Institute (ESI) course, coaching, books, and tapes to dramatically improve their communication skills.

Molly also began working one-on-one with clients, sometimes helping them rehearse at the site of their presentations. “Molly’s coaching was a turning point for me,” says Mark Peres, editor of Charlotte ViewPoint. “It made a dramatic difference in my ability to have a conversation in front of large groups with confidence and authenticity.” Like Anne, Molly has had to work at keeping business and family roles separate. “Oftentimes, they blend,” Molly admits. “It’s a good thing we love each other as much as we do.” She has worked to create her own vision of the job, balancing her parents’ expectations with her sense of how things should be done. The Boyds have lived the message they preach: In any business, good communication is essential. As much as the company is a family affair, it wouldn’t have reached its twenty-fifth anniversary last year without help from outsiders. Key among those is ESI faculty member Dave Reinhardt, who specializes in teaching executives to use the tools of an actor to make their presentations more energetic and persuasive. He has experience with the most challenging of audiences: he has acted and taught at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and played a fifteenth-century peasant at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Today, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems teaches executives from more than 40 countries. Anne and Molly recently completed coaching assignments in Toronto and Paris, leading the company’s work abroad. Though Ty and Pat are nowhere near ready to retire, they feel they have the staff and product in place should they ever wish to do so. Peyton Howell, president of The Lash Group in Charlotte, is one of those who has seen the Boyds’ results. She has sent more than 100 of her group managers and other employees to the Excellence in Speaking Institute. “I’ve had several of our associates contact me after they completed training,” she says, “and tell me that it was truly a life-changing experience. Some say they found their voice through ESI.” biz Andrea Cooper is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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Workforce Training and Development


CPCC’s Real Estate Program Addresses Changes in Licensing Law Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) offers pre-licensing, post-licensing and continuing education courses in real estate on all six of the college’s campuses. Its instructors are approved by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and the college boasts some of the highest passing rates for first-time test takers on the state exam among both public and private real estate schools. In fact, CPCC was one of only twelve real estate schools in North Carolina to achieve a pass rate above 80 percent on the state exam for all firsttime test takers. The highly successful Real Estate Sales program at CPCC provides quality instruction and prepares students for the state exam upon successful completion of the college’s pre-licensure course. Recent changes in the North Carolina Real Estate Commission License Law will have a tremendous impact on current and future brokers. On April 1, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission discontinued issuing salesperson licenses and is only accepting applications for broker licenses. So what does that mean for current professionals and those interested in going into the field? Some of the highlights of the new license law changes are as follows: • Persons applying for a broker license on or after April 1, 2006, will be required to complete a 75-hour broker pre-licensing course and pass the state license examination. • Each newly licensed broker will be classified as a “provisional broker.” The provisional broker must, within three years of initial licensure, complete an additional 90-hour post-licensing education program in order to retain his or

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her broker license and terminate the “provisional” license status. • Until a licensee has completed the 90-hour post-licensing education program, these provisional brokers will have to be supervised by a broker-incharge whenever they engage in real estate brokerage activities and cannot be designated as a broker-in-charge of a real estate office.

In order to comply with the new commission law changes, CPCC is now offering the new 75-hour broker prelicensing course, which will replace the prior Fundamentals of Real Estate – Salesperson Course. CPCC is also offering the 24-hour Broker Transitional Course for salespersons who were licensed before October 1, 2005, but only need the transition course to have the provisional tag removed from the brokers license issued after April 1, 2006. This course will be available with the start of CPCC’s Summer Schedule in May 2006. For all salespersons who received their license after October 1, 2005, CPCC will offer the 90-hour broker post-licensing education program, consisting of three 30-hour courses. These courses will also be required for anyone receiving their “provisional” broker

license after April 1, 2006. CPCC also offers NCREC Mandatory Updates as well as several approved electives to assist currently licensed agents with meeting their annual continuing education requirements. “The changes issued by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission License Law will have a direct impact on current and new brokers and the training that’s provided in the state,” explains Terrell Blackmon, director of Corporate and Continuing Education Insurance, Real Estate and Banking at CPCC. “CPCC has geared up to provide the courses the real estate community needs. Our goal is to offer quality instruction and help new brokers become successful. The fact that we were one of only 12 schools in North Carolina to achieve an 80 percent pass rate on the state exam for first-time test takers is a testimony to what we’ve been able to accomplish in this program.” The real estate industry offers many different opportunities for careers. CPCC delivers pre-licensing, required continuing education classes, and professional development opportunities in Real Property Appraisal, and Mortgage Banking, in addition to Real Estate Sales. For more information, check out our website at: real_estate/realestatehome.asp or call (704) 330-4223. biz This section is intended to highlight workforce training and development programs and initiatives delivered by community colleges within the Charlotte region. Community colleges are invited to submit substantive content ideas to

may 2006


bizXperts: Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions


value: it’s your choice!

Public shareholders and private company owners have one important goal in common: getting a return on the asset they own. However, only owners have the flexibility to shape that return and create the type of value they want. Every day owners make business decisions about staffing, growth and ownership. Since these decisions impact the value owners will realize from their enterprise, each one is really a value choice. What do these choices look like? Mike and John have been business partners for 25 years. As the company grew in profitability, they chose to reward themselves with lavish salaries and perks, rather than hire other professionals to supplement their efforts. So, Mike and Jim wear many hats – from lead salesmen to operations chiefs to lead human resource managers. This lack of management infrastructure is limiting further growth and constraining their ability to leverage a unique talent, product development. Unfortunately, Mike and John’s value choice makes them less attractive to a potential buyer and will depress their return upon the sale of the business. But until then, the cash is flowing. For other owners flexibility means more than cash. Jim started his own business after a grueling corporate career. Leaving a frustrating commute and long office hours behind, Jim set out to create the ideal work environment: a home-based business with a few key employees.

Because of his talents, Jim’s enterprise became profitable and soon had expansion potential. However, Jim chose to keep the business small. He felt that he had struck the perfect balance – a successful business and a great work life. Jim created value exactly the way he wanted, in the currency most meaningful to him. Finally, some owners build value by actualizing the vision of their company: they are driven to grow and take risks. Sheila was one such owner; unfortunately, she was not the sole owner. Although her shareholders admired Sheila’s desire to expand, they were not comfortable with the risks the company would need to undertake to get there. Realizing these partners valued conservative growth, Sheila invested more of her own capital and increased company debt to buy them out. She chose taking more risk to get a potentially greater return. For Sheila, future value was the goal. All of these owners received a return on their investment but not in the same way. Is your enterprise providing the value you want? If not, it may be time to rethink your value choices. Mary H. Bruce of Kaleidoscope Business Options, Inc. specializes in advising business owners on building the value of their enterprise. Contact her at 704-375-1970 or

your body language speaks volumes! Communication is about words, right? Wrong. Studies show us that only seven percent of what we communicate actually comes from the words we speak. Thirty-eight percent comes from our tone of voice, and a whopping 55 percent of our message comes through body language. Think about it. We can say “great job,” and communicate entirely different messages based on our body language and tone. We can communicate jealousy, sarcasm, distaste, and dissatisfaction all with the same two basically positive words. Even when we mean to say them positively, our body language and tone may be confusing to our audience. How much attention do you pay to your body language and tone? Most of us operate on a sub-conscious level in those areas. We do what comes naturally. Unfortunately, our natural way may cause us to mis-communicate. I worked with one man who had a very aggressive natural style. He was what some would call a “go-getter.” That’s great, except that he intimidated his subordinates without meaning to. They were hesitant to share information with him or suggest new ideas, even when he thought he was asking nicely. He didn’t seem approachable, and most of that message was coming from his body language and tone.


may 2006

Another client I worked with had the opposite problem. He was, by nature, fairly laid back and quiet. Other people read his body language as detached and unconcerned. He had a hard time gaining the respect of his group. His words were saying the right things, but his tone and body language were sending another message entirely. The fact is, you communicate through your body language and tone whether you mean to or not. If 93 percent of your message is being relayed through unintentional means, you’ve got a problem. So what can you do about it? Behavioral tools such as DISC can help you become more conscious of your own body language and how it is perceived by others. There are also books and training sessions on body language and tone and how to use them more effectively. Finally, working with a coach can help you learn new ways to project your message more clearly, taking full advantage of the body language and tonal signals you choose to send. Whether you’re talking to your co-workers, your boss, or your loved ones, it pays to make sure your message is consistent – in tone, in body language, and in words. Denise Altman is a Certified Professional Behavior Analyst and works with business clients to improve their communication skills. Contact her at 704-708-6700 or

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maximizing the value of your business step 1: lowering the “risk” In last month’s article we discussed some basic principles of business valuation. John, a business owner, wanted to be able to retire within ten years with a pretax income of $200,000 per year. To do that, he was faced with the task of increasing the selling price of his business by $2.8 million before he could retire. We discussed that if John could find a way to increase his business’ annual “cash flow” (or Return) from $350,000 to $700,000, and decrease the “required return on investment” (or Risk) that a Buyer would pay for his business from 25 percent (a multiple of 4) to 16.66 percent (a multiple of 6), the selling price of his business would increase by $2.8 million ($4.2 million $1.4 million). Doubling his Return without lowering his Risk only doubles the value from $1.4 million to $2.8 million. If he is also successful in lowering the Risk and increasing the valuation multiple from 4 times cash flow to 6 times cash flow, he would triple the value to $4.2 million (6 x $700,000). (Please see last month’s article for more detail.) What are the specific areas in John’s business that John needs to address which would lower the business’ Risk in the eyes of a Buyer and increase the cash flow multiple upon sale? Our firm utilizes a “Risk Assessment” process whereby we work with the business owner and his other advisors (accountant, consultant, insurance agent, etc.) to identify risks which, if lowered, would significantly increase the business’ value to a buyer and to you, the owner. What types of “Risk” are we talking about? Examples of the “Risks” include: Structural Risks 1. Can your business run without you? Do you have successors in place who can do your job? 2. Have you limited your personal liability for your business’ operations? Have you limited your business’ liability from other businesses you may have? 3. Is there more than one owner in your business? Do you need to address restrictions on ownership and expectations with regard to transfers of ownership and how any “buy/sell” may be funded? 4. Have you properly estimated and anticipated your business’ insurance needs? How do you know? 5. Is your will and estate plan current? Have you properly considered how the “value” of your business to the IRS affects your estate? Does your family know what your will says about your business? Who would have voting control if you suddenly died? Do you know how your estate taxes will be paid without liquidating your business? Management, Finance and Taxes 1. How many customers do you have? Are there any you cannot afford to lose? How can you diversify your customer base? 2. It’s 10:00 p.m., do you know where your dollars are? You need systems to monitor and provide up to date financial information about your business and you need outside accountants to verify and double

greater charlotte biz

check your systems. 3. Do you know what your expected tax liabilities are, have you paid your estimated taxes, and do you understand how sales taxes may or may not impact your business? 4. Can you enforce your contracts with employees, customers and suppliers? Do you have contracts? 5. Can you protect your business’ intangible assets (your goodwill, know how, trade secrets and other proprietary assets)? 6. Do you know what can cause your business to fail and how you will deal with it when it happens? Employment 1. Have you appropriately addressed overtime and other wage and hour issues for your business? 2. Is your employee manual current? Do you need to address sexual harassment and hostile work environment issues as well as the myriad of federal and state employment laws which require your business to take certain actions each year? 3. What are your incentives to attract and retain your key employees? Have you used non-competition and confidentiality obligations appropriately? Have you made staying with your business more economically and psychologically beneficial than leaving? 4. Are your independent contractors and employees correctly classified for tax withholding and worker’s compensation purposes? Have you and your advisors focused on your business and identified every area where steps could be taken to lower “Risk”? Are there issues in your business that need to be addressed which keep you up at night, and which “if cleaned up” could actually cause your business to significantly increase in value by lowering the “Risk” and increasing the cash flow multiple upon sale? Our 30 years’ of experience in representing closely held businesses tells us that only a very few business owners have carefully analyzed and addressed all their areas of “Risk.” The owners that do, benefit greatly by not only sleeping more soundly but also by increasing the value of their businesses. Next month we will talk about the second way to maximize the value of your business, i.e. increasing your “Return.” Robert Norris is managing partner of Wishart Norris Henninger & Pittman, N.A., a full-service law firm advising closely held businesses, limited liability companies, limited and general partnerships, to define and achieve their objectives. Contact him at 704-364-0010 or If you are interested in contributing to bizXperts, contact John Galles at 704-676-5850, ext. 102, or

may 2006


Want to get your business in front of over 100,000 potential customers, at their office, every month, and tell them about your product or service? Greater Charlotte Biz is mailed directly to business owners, managers and executives at their desks at nearly every business location with more than seven employees in the 16-county region. Greater Charlotte Biz helps you learn about other business decision-makers and their enterprises, and about the abundance of business resources in this region, so you can be more productive and profitable! To learn more about advertising your products and services, call John Galles at 704-676-5850 x102 or e-mail

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may 2006

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[biznetwork] Thank you to our advertisers who make this publication and its distribution to over 100,000 readers possible! Enjoy their products and services as Charlotte’s leading business-to-business suppliers. IBC 46 12 09 45 03 11 33 51

Breakfast • Lunch Catering • Tak e-Home Meals ake-Home Santo & JJosie osie Gour met Sicilian P asta Sauces Gourmet Pasta Delicious soups, sandwiches, salads, and homemade entrées Take-home meals ready to serve for your entertaining convenience (24-48 hour notice for take-home meals) 2550 W. Tyvola Road, Suite 180 at Three Coliseum Centre (Office building next door to the Coliseum) Monday–Friday, 7a.m.–2 p.m., 704.423.0240

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Business Owners – Don’t miss it! June meeting – Charting the Course! Is your business moving in the right direction? Do you have a clear plan of action that will move your business where you want it to go? How will you know when you are making progress or if you are simply spinning your wheels? We must know where we want to go and a plan to get there. That will be our focus at our June meeting. Come and join us!

Join y! a d o T

Our 2006 Schedule of Meetings June – August – October –

“Charting the Course” “All Systems ‘Go’” “All Hands on Deck”

Our meetings are packed with practical information you can use to improve your business and reach your goals. Join today and become part of this exciting and worthwhile group. For specific dates, times, locations and membership information visit or call Denise Altman at (704) 708-6700.

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greater charlotte biz

Allen Tate Realtors Allen Tate - Ellen Watkins ATCOM Atlantic Software Alliance Ballantyne Center for Dentistry Bank of America Blair, Bohlé & Whitsitt Breakfast Club America Business Success Institute Carpenter Cammack & Associates Century 21 Hecht Realty - Commercial Charlotte Copy Data Choice Translating ClickCom Coffee Boss, The Compass Career Management Solutions CPCC Corporate Training Daniel, Ratliff & Company Diamond Springs Employers Association Employers Association - Benefits Exervio Consulting Hear Direct Integraphx Knauff Insurance LandAmerica Larner’s Office Furniture Outlet Mecklenburg County Recycling New Way Media Peninsula Yacht Club Radisson Columbia Randolph & Sons Builders RBC Centura Santo & Josie Café Scott Insurance Scott Jaguar Simon Malls - SouthPark Sloan Financial Group Studio Displays/Nimlock Charlotte Tathwell Printing TimeWarner Cable - Business Class UNCC Belk College

may 2006



Quail Hollow Club - Official Site of the Wachovia Championship

Aerial, Architectural and Stock Photography Larry Harwell 704-334-7874


may 2006

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Featuring Executive Homes in the Charlotte Region BUILT TO ENTERTAIN Davidson, North Carolina This beautiful home is situated on the golf course with a view of the pond. It was designed for entertaining and features private guest quarters, a main-level master bedroom and three bedrooms and two baths on upper level. Large deck, screened porch and covered patio open to the landscaped yard, the upper deck has a hot tub. MLS# 576386 – $749,900 Property Address: 18925 River Falls Drive

Sue Kemper – 704-235-2411

TREASURE INSIDE Charlotte, North Carolina A circular driveway gives entry to this estate offering an impressive 4,959 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Built in 1940, and moved in 1980 to one+ acre lot. Refurbished in 2000 to include upper-level bath. Sunroom overlooks pool, pool house and spa, enclosed in wrought iron fencing. Three-car garage has bonus/5th bedroom and bath above. MLS# 550939 – $1,150,000 Property Address: 2114 Sharon Lane

Sandy Crosby – 704-996-5809

BUILDER’S PERSONAL HOME Charlotte, North Carolina Incredible, custom ranch features 15-foot ceilings and eight-foot doors. Three bedrooms and three full baths on main level, plus bonus upstairs. Elegant formals and a study. Gorgeous kitchen features Viking commercial appliances and wet bar with wine cooler. Absolutely stunning at night by the heated pool and hot tub with laminar jets.Three-car garage. MLS# 578359 – $899,000 Property Address: 3031 Sharon Road

Kathy Humbert – 704-502-7080

DILWORTH DELIGHT Charlotte, North Carolina This sophisticated and very well-designed home offers three bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths. Fantastic custom millwork can be seen throughout. Spacious and light-filled rooms work well for entertaining, as well as day-to-day living. A wonderful kitchen and fabulous owner’s suite will tempt any buyer. MLS# 579983 – $839,000 Property Address: 523 Dilworth Mews Court

Catherine Metze – 704-367-7290




REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS... ...THEY’RE HERE! The new 24-hour Broker Transitional Course and 30-hour Broker Post-Licensing courses are available beginning May 17, 2006 at CPCC. ......Last Chance for Mandatory Update and CCE •

Mandatory Real Estate Update (CE-NCREC) 4 hour course begins May 23

Buyer Representation in Real Estate (CE-MCREC) 4 hour course begins May 23

For more information or to register: 704.330.4223

real estate

An equal opportunity institution.


Greater Charlotte Biz 2006.05  

Greater Charlotte Biz

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