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Donald Haack Diamonds • BEFCOR • Boyle Consulting Engineers • CPCC Institute for Entrepreneurship

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Philanthropic Facilitator Foundation Connects Contributors With Community Causes

Michael Marsicano, President and CEO Laura Meyer, Executive Vice President Foundation For The Carolinas

Address Service Requested

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“Outstanding Patient Experience� First J.D. Power and Associates Distinguished Hospital for Excellence in Maternity Services in North Carolina.

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“I’d rather manage employee expectations than worry about an unreliable Internet connection.” “Are we off on Arbor Day?”

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Products and services not available in all areas. Some restrictions apply. ©2007 Time Warner Cable. All rights reserved. *Based on Time Warner Cable Business Class standard maximum download speed of up to 8.0 Mbps versus the standard DSL business package maximum download speed of up to 7.1 Mbps. Actual speeds may vary.


in this issue

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cover story

Foundation For The Carolinas Foundation For The Carolinas helps individuals, families, nonprofits and corporations impact their communities through philanthropy. With low administrative costs, it manages, invests and distributes the income from these donations, as directed by the givers, through The Center for Personal and Family Philanthropy; the Center for Nonprofits; and the Center for Corporate Philanthropy.

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Donald Haack Diamonds

departments

Julie Haack Kral has watched her parents grow their business from the mines up and is ready to carry on Donald Haack Diamonds’ tradition of offering only the very best jewelry they can find at sensible prices.

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bizXperts Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions

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Boyle Consulting Engineers Chuck Boyle founded Boyle Consulting Engineers with a focus on bringing a new mindset to the business of land development and construction. By including aerial photographs in his reports, he is able to provide an enhanced service to his clients.

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CPCC Institute for Entrepreneurship By providing materials, training and counseling to prospective and existing small business owners, CPCC’s Institute for Entrepreneurship fosters and supports the growth of the entrepreneurial community in the Charlotte area.

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employersbiz Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers

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biznetwork

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ontop

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executive homes Luxury Homes above $350,000

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on the cover:

Michael Marsicano President and CEO; Laura Meyer Executive Vice President Foundation For The Carolinas

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BEFCOR When a small business needs extra capital or wants to expand, the financing alternatives can often seem complex and difficult. However, with the assistance of BEFCOR, funding is more readily available and the process of obtaining it as streamlined and painless as possible.

Photography by Wayne Morris.

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SouthPark is located on the corner of Sharon & Fairview Roads in Charlotte. Shopping Line速 704.364.4411.


[publisher’spost] Git ‘er done! Well, Caldwell County got it done. They succeeded in attracting Google to locate a new server farm near Lenoir. Now that is an economic development victory. Or, is it? Landing a Google server farm in Caldwell County is likely to end up costing the city of Lenoir, Caldwell County and the state of North Carolina nearly $260 million over 30 years. Google claims that they will eventually hire around 200 individuals to run and operate their new facility. Now that the deal is done, the cries of outrage are being heard from politicians all across the state. They argue that offering incentives to companies that promise to come is inherently unfair to companies that already exist and struggle to continue to operate and provide jobs. In 2005, Dell Computers received similar incentives totaling over $300 million to locate a new facility in Forsyth County. We also heard concerns when that deal was announced. It is an economic development fact of life that incentives are essential to attracting businesses that might expand or relocate to our communities. Incentives alone will not make a good deal, but they can make a good deal even more attractive after all other factors have been considered. If you want to participate in the economic development game, you must be prepared to offer incentives that sweeten or even cement the deal. So many factors affect corporate decisions to relocate or expand into a community or region. Among them are location, transportation, access to capital, access to materials and resources, available buildings, workforce availability, workforce education, workforce training, schools, health care, hospitals, water, waste treatment and a multitude of quality of life indicators. Each corporation wants to find the best mix of attributes that will benefit their company in a new location. Before any incentives are even discussed, every corporation has gone through a lengthy checklist to measure the opportunities of each site. When they have narrowed their search to a few sites, they begin to consider one site against another. That is when local economic incentives are offered, incentives that are likely to tip the balance in favor of one site over another. It is good business for any corporation to learn about the incentives, the environment and the cooperative spirit that can be beneficial to its operation. Somewhat frustrating is the fact that most businesses considering relocating or expanding into new regions or communities will only consider their opportunities in private. Any leaks of information from any parties with information regarding a corporate location can spoil or squelch any further consideration of that site. And so, negotiations are usually undertaken by public servants or elected officials who must work in secret to see that questions are answered and that incentives are in place within the law to successfully attract a new business to an area. Those officials must weigh the value of the incentives to value of the business being attracted. Are they in balance or out of balance? It would be good if the calculation were that simple; it is often not that simple. We have all watched companies close their doors or move their operations overseas leaving thousands of workers jobless. Elected officials are left speechless when they can do nothing to save those companies from global competition. It is no wonder that they stretch so far to attract new businesses. They believe they must secure a future for their constituency and their families. All we can ask is that officials are good stewards of our limited resources. If we are unhappy with them, we will have to change leadership. If we choose to limit the money for incentives, then we limit their ability to negotiate and deliver new companies to our region. biz

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March 2007 Volume 8 • Issue 3 Publisher John Paul Galles jgalles@greatercharlottebiz.com

Associate Publisher/Editor Maryl A. Lane maryl.a.lane@greatercharlottebiz.com

Creative Director Michele E.Warren mwarren@greatercharlottebiz.com

Editorial & Sales Assistant Janet Kropinak jkropinak@greatercharlottebiz.com

Business Development Sandy Rosenfeld srosenfeld@greatercharlottebiz.com

Account Executive Mimi Zelman mzelman@greatercharlottebiz.com

Contributing Editor Susanne Deitzel Contributing Writers Ellison Clary Susanne Deitzel Lisa Hoffmann Casey Jacobus Janet Kropinak 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 www.greatercharlottebiz.com • Press releases and other news-related information, please fax to the attention of “Editor” or e-mail: editor@greatercharlottebiz.com. • Editorial or advertising inquiries, please call or fax at the numbers above or e-mail: info@greatercharlottebiz.com. • Subscription inquiries or change of address, please call or fax at the numbers above or visit our Web site: www.greatercharlottebiz.com. © Copyright 2007 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. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Greater Charlotte Biz, 5601 77 Center Dr., Ste. 250, Charlotte, NC 28217-0736.

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R E S O U R C E S T O S TA R T O R G R O W YO U R B U S I N E S S Visit the CPCC Institute for Entrepreneurship Resource Center today to start off right and to plan your growth for a successful venture. • • • • • •

Find dozens of “how-to” materials and templates Use work stations for online research Use conference rooms onsite Get referral information to subject matter experts Request free, confidential one-on-one counseling Sign up for courses, events and free seminars

Find out more by visiting www.cpcc.edu/e-institute or come see us on Central Campus at 124 East Independence Blvd., Suite 214. Open House April 25! Look for more information on the website or call 704.330.6658.

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Entrepreneurship


[bizXperts] Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions

five focus areas when selling All too often, salespeople focus on the wrong elements in their attempt to increase sales. They turn their attention to the features, benefits, and valueadded aspects of their product or service in an attempt to differentiate it from the competition and ultimately convince prospects to buy. While these elements may eventually play a part in the presentation (more on that later), it is not the place to start. Salespeople need to first focus on the prospect. Here are five elements to pay close attention to: Motive: Prospects buy for their reasons…not necessarily the salesperson’s reasons. This is the “Golden Rule” of sales. Salespeople must determine not only what aspects of their product or service the prospect is interested in, but WHY he or she is interested. What are their motives for wanting, needing, or desiring the product or service? The salesperson must determine exactly what the prospects are trying to accomplish. What problems are they trying to solve or avoid? Is their concern short-term or long-term? Is it an immediate need or a future need? If, for instance, the prospect is concerned with the increased productivity aspects of a product or service and the salesperson is emphasizing the cost-savings aspects, the salesperson may as well be speaking a different language. Money: Regardless of how technically advanced, innovative, or revolutionary the salesperson’s product or service…regardless of the responsiveness, reliability, or reputation of the company….if the prospect is not willing or able to make the necessary investment to obtain the product or service, the end result is the same—no sale; wasted time, effort, and energy; and the salesperson’s disappointment and frustration. Salespeople must learn to deal with money issues early in the selling process. Without this information, it is unlikely that the salesperson can present best-fit solutions. More likely, stalls and objections that revolve around price issues will develop during or after a presentation. At that point, the salesperson has two options—walk away (which may be the appropriate decision, but is emotionally difficult to make after investing all the time) or armwrestle over price (which usually means cutting the price and consequently the margin). Dealing with money issues early in the process will help salespeople avoid these unpleasant scenarios. Process: Prospects have a process by which they make buying decisions. It is important that salespeople uncover this process before scheduling a presentation. Most salespeople make an effort to ensure they are talking to a decision maker. But, they don’t always find out who else plays a part in the decision process, what the exact approach is, how the decision is ultimately made, and the time frame for making it…until after they’ve made their presentation or submitted their proposal. Without this knowledge in advance, the

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salesperson risks making a presentation of the wrong information to the wrong person, at the wrong time, and/or in a manner inconsistent with the prospect’s decision making process. Commitment: Even if the salesperson is aware of the prospect’s decision process, there is no guarantee that he or she will obtain a decision after making the presentation unless there is an agreement with the prospect that a decision will be made. Unfortunately, too few salespeople have this agreement (or perhaps, know how to develop this agreement) with prospects prior to a presentation. The result? More times than not, the salesperson finds themselves in chase mode, chasing the prospect for a decision after being told, “I’ll get back to you,” or “We need to think this over.” Presentation: There should be one objective for a formal presentation—secure a buying decision. If the salesperson effectively qualified the opportunity—discovered what the prospect wants, why he or she wants it, the budget issues, and the decision process—the only thing left to do is close the sale and conduct the post-sell. How does he or she begin? By demonstrating to the prospect how specific features of the product or service address the specific issues (and only those issues) uncovered earlier in the selling process. The presentation is not the place to introduce other features or benefits of the product or service that were not previously discussed or don’t specifically address the needs and wants of the prospect. Unfortunately, too many salespeople do just that, bring up additional features and benefits, perhaps in an attempt to demonstrate “added value.” What they actually do is introduce “added obstacles” which leads to a think-it-over, no decision and no sale! Salespeople must learn to sell today and educate tomorrow. After the prospect becomes a client, the salesperson can educate the customer on other aspects of the products and services being offered. By focusing on these five elements, the salesperson has criteria with which to more quickly qualify or disqualify an opportunity. The salesperson will be able to determine exactly what it will take to close the sale, and increase the chance of doing so. Bob Henricks is president of Henricks Corporate Training and Development, a company dedicated to helping business owners, sales managers and salespeople succeed. Contact him at 704-5447383 or visit www.henrickscorp.sandler.com.

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Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions

[bizXperts]

getting the “wrong” people off the bus the “right” way Jim Collins states in Good to Great that getting the “right people” on the bus is one of the first steps toward building a great enterprise. The corollary is that it is just as important to get the “wrong people” off the bus. Having the “wrong people” in your business can often cost you (and them) more time, money and heartache than it would to terminate their employment. So, if you must fire someone, you should know that there are good and bad ways to go about it. Terminating employees the wrong way, even if you do so for the right reasons, can cost you (and them) even more time, money and heartache. Following the guidelines below will help you deal with termination issues in an ethical and legal manner. Avoid Hiring the Wrong People. It may seem almost too simple, but it needs to be said. A good hiring process helps employers avoid many problems and terminations in the future. Regardless of the size of your business, a strong hiring process usually includes the following: a. An application process that legally requests all the appropriate information and background checks suitable to your business needs; b. Interviewers trained to ask the right questions and trained NOT to ask illegal questions; c. A review process that allows input from all persons that should have a say in hiring decisions; and d. Clear expectations of performance and conduct provided to the applicant. Let Your People Know the Rules. It is much easier for employees and managers to prevent problems when they know what is expected of them. A well-managed business will: a. Establish appropriate employee policies, including performance criteria, evaluation procedures and standards of conduct; b. Publicize the policies to employees through handbooks, posters, meetings and training; and c. Regularly review its policies and make changes required by law or business needs. Follow Your Own Rules. One of the most difficult guidelines for many businesses is to actually follow all the rules they create. However, making sure you follow your rules consistently is one of the best things you can do to avoid employee termination problems. You should always: a. Ensure that employee personnel files are kept up to date; b. Give ACCURATE and REGULAR written performance appraisals;

greater charlotte biz

c. Quickly and thoroughly investigate and DOCUMENT employment issues; d. Take action when required by your rules or otherwise needed; and e. Treat all employees EQUALLY and CONSISTENTLY. Be Prepared and Respectful. When you do have to actually terminate someone’s employment, it is very important to make sure that the termination is legally appropriate and handled in a respectful manner. You should make sure that your managers: a. Ensure that all necessary documentation is in the personnel file, especially if the employee is being terminated for poor performance or misconduct; b. Ensure that the grounds for termination do not violate company policies or applicable laws; c. Determine if a severance package or termination agreement of any kind is appropriate; d. When informing the employee: i. Meet with the employee away from other employees; ii. Focus on the facts, not the personalities; iii. Be concise and stay on point; iv. Do not argue or get emotional; v. Be empathetic to the employee regarding the event of termination, but not necessarily with any violations that led to it; vi. Have a witness in the meeting and document the termination; and vii. If necessary, have security measures in place to protect the business assets and the other employees; e. Follow up on all post-termination issues, such as payment of wages owed, COBRA compliance, exit interviews or necessary document filing. As always, there is a lot more to dealing with employees and employment terminations than I can address here. This article is only intended to assist you in identifying issues and is not a substitute for the advice of legal counsel. I recommend that you seek a qualified attorney to help you create all of your main employment policies and assist you in updating them. There are simply so many minefields in the employment law arena that only a trained professional can help you avoid. Such assistance can help greatly reduce the risks of costly claims for discrimination, harassment, wrongful terminations and even some unemployment claims. Establishing and following good employment policies will increase the productivity and morale of your employees and you, as well as the value of your business. Robert Norris is managing partner of Wishart, Norris, Henninger & Pittman, P.A., a law firm which focuses on helping business owners define and achieve their business and personal objectives. Contact him at 704-364-0010 or www.wnhplaw.com.

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[bizXperts] Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions

how’s your economic outlook? Several of our clients whose businesses enjoyed rapid growth for the past several years are seeing demand for their products and services moderate in 2007. Reasons vary. Some are facing new competition. Others serve customers in mature industries that are struggling to reduce costs. Still others feel the impact of high gasoline costs or interest rates on their own costs and their customers’ disposable income. All of these clients are reacting to slower growth by asking, “What do we need to change to meet our profit targets anyway?” No matter what the government statistics say, these business owners would tell you that the economy has softened versus last year. That’s because, for their businesses, it has. Three to five percent sales growth feels like a screeching halt when you’ve become accustomed to twenty-percent-plus annual increases. However, we have seen some businesses thrive in even the worst economy and others fail in boom times. Both up and down economic environments create new opportunities and pose new risks. The key is in how effectively an enterprise can respond to the changing climate. Regardless of where we are in the business cycle, the law of economics always applies. Success comes from creating the most value (sales) while consuming the fewest possible resources (cost), thus

producing enough profit to keep the enterprise strong and to fund new opportunities. Some leaders expect a healthy profit in down markets and seek improvements even when business is booming. They are the ones whose businesses produce higher than industry-average profits. Instead of asking whether the business is doing well, they ask, “Is it doing as well as it can?” For them, that quest to increase value to customers and to improve operational efficiency never ends. Their ever-rising expectations fuel continuous economic improvement. In a way, these leaders create their own economic outlook. You can do it, too. Instead of asking whether your business is outperforming the industry or the economy, ask, “Is there anything at all that we can imagine doing better?” With the right answers and initiatives, you may make 2007 (and many years to come) your best year ever. Mary H. Bruce of Kaleidoscope Business Options, Inc. specializes in advising business owners on improving performance and building the value of their enterprise. Contact her at 704-375-1970 or www.kboptions.com.

WIIFM - what’s in it for me? I led a company retreat a few years ago and suggested that this was the question on the minds of employees: “What’s in it for me?” A few of the managers were shocked and indignant that I would even suggest such a thing. “I wouldn’t want employees working for me who thought that way,” one of them said. While I admit that the question does have a selfish ring to it, I can’t help but believe that it is the question employees ask on a regular basis. As business owners, we ask “What’s in it for me?” and answer with profits, flexibility, control, and so on. As customers, we ask “What’s in it for me?” and answer with features, service, availability, delivery and such. As vendors, we ask “What’s in it for me?” and answer with sales revenue, customer loyalty, etc. Why not employees? When your employees decided to come to work with your company, it was because they liked the answer to this very question. They looked at salary, benefits, working hours, and opportunities for growth and felt that it was good for them. Why do we think they would stop asking the question once they became an employee? If we, as business owners and managers, will understand that this is the ongoing question, we’ll work harder to answer it

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effectively. We’ll help employees understand how they can increase their value to the company, thereby increasing their own income and value. We’ll explain how “extra projects” can mean new skills and abilities that can translate into promotions. We won’t just expect employees to “pay their dues” for a benefit somewhere in the years to come. Our businesses will benefit from our willingness to practice these behaviors. As employees better understand the cause/effect relationships, they can work smarter. If they do, our companies will improve. It’s a win/win. Think about your own employees. What’s in it for them? Each could have a different answer—money, time off, recognition, growth, or stability. Make a clear connection between what you need them to do and what’s in it for them! WIIFM is the 2007 topic of the Business Success Institute. Denise Altman is president of Altman Initiative Group, Inc. She provides training, meeting facilitation, and executive coaching to help companies and managers reach their goals. Contact her at 704-708-6700 or daltman@altmaninitiave.com.

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2007 3.0 S-Type $

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march 2007

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iness Career In

Sports?

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Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers [employersbiz] Workers not afraid to change jobs “Workers clearly are not afraid of changing jobs and, in Employers need to be fact, do so for the primary reason of achieving growth and aware that workers are not afraid to change jobs in order earnings potential,” Heins says, “The idea that the best to find the time and flexibility way to grow financially and otherwise is to stay with one employer has been eroding to the point of extinction.” they seek for a work-life balYounger workers and those earning less than $15,000 ance, a new survey finds. were most likely to switch jobs. According to the Center About 21 percent of U.S. for Workforce Learning, the cost of turnover ranges from workers made a voluntary job change in the past year, up slightly $7,000 per hourly worker to $30,000 for a mid-level, salaried employee, and up to $80,000 per technical or from the 20 percent who did so in senior management employee. (Benefit News) 2005, and 37 percent of workers intended to look for a new job in 2006, according to new data The top reasons why U.S. workers changed jobs in the past year were: from Spherion. “More and more work30% Growth & earnings potential ers are demanding the 23% Time & flexibility ability to balance their 22% Financial compensation work and personal respon22% Culture & work environment sibilities,” observes John Heins, Spherion’s senior vice president and chief human resources officer. The findings indicate dramatic changes in the mindset of today’s worker.

12%

Benefits Supervisor relationship

10%

Training & development

9%

Management climate

9% Data courtesy Benefit News

Place Your Bets! With the NCAA basketball tournament approaching, many companies will be facing a dilemma—how do you handle the betting pool that is circulating around your facility? You probably have an explicit policy or practice that prohibits gambling on the premises, but many companies seem to overlook this rule during this time of year. While most companies would take drastic action against a group of employees who were playing cards or rolling dice in the employee break room or restroom, it is common for managers to turn their heads towards “white collar” gambling such as basketball or Super Bowl pools. Additionally, your company probably has a rule against solicitation during working hours. However, most of the betting pools are formed during work hours and take away from productivity. Be careful, courts would probably look at dice in the restroom and a basketball pool in the front office as sim-

greater charlotte biz

ilar forms of gambling. It would be difficult to defend yourself if you took disciplinary action against an employee—or group of employees—for dice or cards, and you subsequently permitted a basketball pool to float around the office or plant. Also, you would never let a union come onto your premises and solicit your employees, but you have possibly set a precedent by allowing your employees to solicit for a betting pool. These pools generally are great conversation pieces for your employees, and they create a lot of excitement in the workplace, but they could be detrimental in the long run. biz The Employers Association is a nonprofit Charlotte organization providing comprehensive human resources and training ser vices. Founded in 1958, the Association maintains a broad-based membership of 815 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 704522-8011 or visit the Web site at www.employersassoc.com.

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by lisa hoffmann

[bizprofile]

Julie Haack Kral set to take the helm at Donald Haack Diamonds

A

About 50 years ago, Donald Haack left suburban Wisconsin with his new wife Janet and headed for the wilds of British Guiana (now Guyana) in South America. He became a bush pilot, a dangerous occupation involving flying in remote regions and relying on your own resourcefulness for your very survival. In Donald’s book Bush Pilot in Diamond Country, and Janet’s companion book A Light on the Runway, the Haacks describe in great detail the years they spent on this adventure, during which Donald became a diamond mining company president involved with diamond cutters around the world. The government in British Guiana became increasingly unstable in the mid-’60s and the nation’s economy rapidly declined.Thus ended the adventurous lifestyle of the bush pilot diamond hunter and began the legacy of a man who had come to know the diamond industry from the inside out.The Haacks committed themselves to use that knowledge to encourage an appreciation of the unparalleled beauty of a high quality finely cut diamond. For a while, the Haacks dealt in the wholesale diamond market, bartering with brokers and dealing only in the business of diamonds.Working from First Union Plaza and later on the 25th floor of the Charlotte Plaza uptown, they supplied jewelers in the Southeast and regularly dealt with customers across the globe. Although it wasn’t as exciting as the bush pilot days, the business was doing well. Donald Haack remembers: “Eventually it just became

greater charlotte biz

a banking business.The cut and clarity of the stones was not as important to the jewelers as it was to us. They were only interested in price.That went against our basic philosophy.” The Haacks moved the store to the mezzanine of One First Union Center and began a business shift to the retail market.All was going well but for one basic problem: parking. Customers told the Haacks they didn’t want to come uptown, fight the traffic and try to figure out where to park.The Haacks tried reserving parking for their customers and even dabbled in valet parking but nothing could overcome the obstacle that uptown parking presented. So they began scouting new locales. The Haacks settled on the current location on Sharon Road across from SouthPark mall 12 years ago, basing the decision on the local demographics and a traffic study revealing that 35,000 cars were going by the building every day. As expected, the convenience of this location increased revenues. “We could have easily doubled our size if we’d lowered our standards.That’s just not part of our business philosophy.” Julie Haack Kral has watched her parents grow their business from the mines up. Having been recently named company president, she is anxious to carry on Donald Haack Diamonds’ well-established tradition of offering only the very best jewelry at sensible prices. She takes that responsibility very seriously. ®

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Passing the Torch Haack Kral is no stranger to the jewelry business having spent many years greeting customers and selling wedding bands here and there. She’s a very social being, she says, and enjoys spending time with customers and witnessing their joy at finding beautiful jewelry to mark the most important milestones in their lives. She eventually became a company vice president and focused on sales, design and buying. Haack Kral has a degree in naturopathic medicine from Clayton College in Birmingham, Ala. About five years ago, Donald and Janet Haack asked Julie over a casual dinner if

back (l to r) Donald Haack, Co-founder; Janet Haack, Co-founder; front Julie Haack Kral, President Donald Haack Diamonds, Inc.

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she’d consider becoming the company president. “I said ‘sure!’ right away. But later that evening I thought, ‘What in the world have I done?’” Haack Kral says. “I knew that I just wasn’t cut out for pushing people into buying and the staff into selling. But then I realized that’s not what’s happening here.” The guiding philosophy at Donald Haack Diamonds, to offer expert service and superior jewelry at sensible prices, means that there is no high-pressure selling going on. In fact, one of the biggest challenges the Haacks faced years ago when transitioning from wholesale to retail was building and maintaining a knowledgeable sales staff. “Building a staff we can really trust and be confident in is difficult,” explains Janet Haack. “We don’t want to just hire a salesperson who doesn’t understand the business. That wouldn’t serve our cus-

tomers the way we want to.” Finding someone who has the character and personality of a salesperson who is also knowledgeable about diamonds, colored gems and/or pearls is a wonderful discovery, Haack Kral says. “Those are the people we work to hold on to.” Most of the sales people working at the store hold some sort of certification in gemology, and Haack Kral is working toward her gemology degree. Donald himself has a degree in economics and finance; however, it is his years of experience mining diamonds, working with diamond cutters, brokering diamonds and selling diamonds that more than qualifies him as an expert. Indeed, he discovered just how much of an expert he was when he found a five carat pink diamond at an international show in Las Vegas a few years back. “When I saw it I just gulped,” he says. “It was spectacular. So I asked the price. And then I gulped again.” He suspected the seller, who didn’t know much about colored diamonds, had greatly undervalued the diamond. After much deliberation, he bought it. It was a risk to the business, and he admits it put a kink in their cash flow. Wife Janet, who keeps a close eye on company finances, was not particularly pleased with his decision to purchase the diamond. “We were getting ready to leave for Australia and I couldn’t believe he’d bought it,” she says. “I told him he had to sell it before we left.” Donald Haack made 95 calls to prospective clients. The second person who came in to see it bought it. After having it appraised he realized he’d gotten an incredible deal. “That was a happy customer,” Donald Haack says with a chuckle. “And he probably saved my marriage.” Getting the Message Out As Haack Kral considers her strategy for guiding Donald Haack Diamonds into the future, she faces a particular challenge: peoples’ perception of the store as limited only to wealthy customers. Sure, it offers the $100,000-plus pieces. But its price points start at under $100. The company has done such a good job of

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advertising its high-end items that many people with limited budgets shy away. Haack Kral’s concern lies not just in the future of the company, but in the customers’ investment returns. “Many men mistake low cost for best value,” she explains. “They don’t realize that the precision of cut and the type of certification have everything to do with the price. We take the care to answer all the customer’s concerns before they are even voiced.” In that same vein, Donald Haack Diamonds very carefully selects the pieces of designer brand jewelry they carry. ”Branded items often cost us as much as we would typically charge a customer. “In the case of pearls, for instance,” Haack Kral says, “I try to make people understand that the oyster works just as hard making the pearl for us as it does for any famous designer.” “We often tell people we are the experts. Our level of education and knowledge surpasses that of many stores across the nation. One of my main purposes is to keep the standards of the jewelry industry ethical and high. We are not the store with the lowest price, but we are the store with the best price and the finest value.” At Donald Haack Diamonds, most of the diamonds, gems and pearls are loose. This allows the customer to judge the stone’s quality and offers more design

Donald Haack Diamonds, Inc. 4611 Sharon Rd. Charlotte, N.C. 28211 Phone: 704-365-4400 Principals: Julie Haack Kral, President; Donald Haack, Co-founder; Janet Haack, Co-founder Employees: 15 Established: 1981 Business: Gem specialists and brokers of diamonds, fine colored gems and pearls, loose and set in jewelry, offering exceptional quality at sensible prices. www.donaldhaack.com

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flexibility. Most people don’t realize that imperfections can be hidden behind ring settings, and clarity and color are most discernable in a loose stone. The staff is happy to make setting and design suggestions. It’s all about educating the customer and making them happy. In an effort to make the store appear less intimidating, Haack Kral started planning jewelry parties there, complete with mimosas in the morning or wine and hors d’oeuvres in the evening. They held about seven parties last year. Invariably, guests leave the parties saying, “I never knew you were so much fun!” Haack Kral estimates that 70 percent of the store’s customers are repeat buyers and that the majority of new customers are referrals. “Once someone purchases a piece here, they start leading their friends and relatives in by the hand,” she says. The key to customers’ enthusiasm, Haack Kral suspects, is that she takes the time to get to know them. She observes their style and asks questions about their lifestyles before suggesting jewelry items. Many women don’t understand what looks good on them or don’t know what kind of style they like. Haack Kral helps them makes those discoveries, which leads to very successful purchases. In the short time that Haack Kral has been the major strategic planner for the company, she has introduced a larger number of unique and eclectic pieces to the collection. So far, they’ve been well-received. She is also in the habit of keeping an eye out for pieces she knows a particular client will love. When she called one client with a jewelry suggestion, she was surprised to hear the women reply that she already had as much jewelry as she could ever want or need. That got Haack Kral thinking. She’d seen amazing work done by Lawrence Stoller, a renowned gem artist, at several shows she’s attended. That epiphany led her to start offering unique gem art to customers, which she has dubbed “jewelry for the home.” Several stunning examples, including an amethyst-encrusted cut geode, stand majestically in her office. “Crystals are just so magnificent and carry so much energy!” she exclaims with infectious enthusiasm. Haack Kral plans to continue to offer

Bush-Pilot in Diamond Country describes how in 1952, Don Haack left the normality of a Wisconsin suburb with his new bride, Janet and together they headed for the uncharted jungles of British Guiana. His 14-year quest for diamonds became a fascinating journey yielding tears and treasure. A Light on the Runway is a companion book to Bush-Pilot in Diamond Country. It tells the story of the Haacks' early adventures from "the woman's point of view" through vignettes of daily life such as boa constrictors in the bathroom, washing clothes on rocks at the river, carrying a small child on one hip and a pistol on the other. This spring, Donald’s second book, Diamond Safari will be available in book stores. Diamond Safari covers the five years of adventures that followed Bush-Pilot in Diamond Country.

a more expansive line of jewelry and gem art in the same way she sells everything at Donald Haack Diamonds—with the customers’ needs and wants foremost in her mind. As she steers the company into the future, she follows the teachings of her father. “For so many jewelry stores the only god they know is ‘make the sale,’” he says. “Our tenet has always been to make the customer happy and give him the best we have to offer.” Haack Kral adds: “It’s our goal to be more of a personal buyer or adviser of sorts, so that we can continue to offer superior quality and personalized service. That’s what our customers like and that’s what makes us feel good.” biz Lisa Hoffmann is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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Above

Chuck Boyle Managing Principal and Owner Boyle Consulting Engineers

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by casey jacobus

[bizprofile]

and Beyond Boyle Consulting Merges Leading-Edge Technology with Experience

E

Established in 1995, Boyle Consulting Engineers was founded with a focus on bringing a new mindset to the business of land development and construction. Chuck Boyle wanted his new company to play a proactive role in advising clients on everything from choosing a site on which to build, to monitoring the construction process, to finding the right solution for any problems that developed. For 11 years, Boyle has striven to be the first and best choice for comprehensive geotechnical, environmental and construction materials testing and site monitoring services in the Carolinas. “Whether it is a residential development, shopping center, office building or warehouse, our job is to keep the project moving greater charlotte biz

on schedule,” says Boyle. “Our goal is to help the developer or owner realize an investment that is focused on tangible profits rather than funding corrections.” Judged by any standard, Boyle has succeeded. What started as a two-man firm over a decade ago has evolved into a 27-employee operation today. Boyle has realized double-digit sales growth and earned the loyalty of clients like Ric Killian of RDK Homes, L.L.C. “Whenever I look for professional services, I turn to Boyle,” says Killian. “I’ve known him for 10 years and I trust him. I am always confident that I can rely on his work and his advice to steer me in the right direction.” ® march 2007

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While developers have used aerial photography for years as a means of showing properties from a marketing perspective, we use it to analyze what’s going on at the site from pre-construction throughout development. There are impacts you can only visualize and understand when looking at them from the air. ~Chuck Boyle, Managing Principal

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Down to Earth Chuck Boyle is more than an engineer and more than a business owner. He is a true entrepreneur. Unmotivated by making money alone, he felt compelled to begin his own business by the need to create something new. He saw a way to improve the “dirt business” and he went for it. “Fear keeps many people from making a change or doing something that totally exposes them,” says Boyle. “My tolerance for risk is more than most.” Perhaps Boyle’s background encouraged his aptitude for taking risks. One of nine children, Boyle grew up in a military family. As an “army brat,” he adjusted to moving frequently and making friends at every new base. He graduated from West Point in 1983 and served six years on active duty in Korea, flying reconnaissance missions over the DMZ and training new recruits to operate aircraft surveillance equipment. He left the Army in 1989 and went to work at a Dupont chemical plant in New Jersey. In 1992, he moved his young family to North Carolina to work for Law Engineering. Three years later, Boyle was ready to strike out on his own. The same day Boyle tendered his resignation at Law, his wife told him she was pregnant with their third child. “‘We can do this,’ I told her,” Boyle laughs. “The first year was all about survival. The second year was better and we went from there.” Boyle saw the opportunity to take a traditional business and improve it through innovation. By meshing new technology with experienced leadership, he believed he could make consulting engineering a different business than it had been. For example, he implemented a GPS system to keep track of people in the field. At an investment of $8.00 per month a handset, the device increased both scheduling efficiency and accountability. A much more expensive innovation came in 2004 when Boyle got the idea for combining his passion for flying and photography with the task of providing indepth environmental and geotechnical testing and analysis of properties. By including aerial photographs in his reports and drawing on the unique analy-

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sis capability he had gained during his military service, he could provide an enhanced service to his clients. Boyle purchased its first airplane, a Cessna 172 SkyHawk, in 2004. Since then the company has traded the SkyHawk for a Cessna Centurion C-210. Its equipment arsenal includes vertical and oblique digital photography, professional grade optics, and a GPS locating device to allow quick targeting of the sites for efficient and well-planned, accurate image collection of the highest resolution quality necessary for analysis. Combining the aerial photography capability, military reconnaissance background and experience in construction monitoring. Boyle is able to offer a highly specialized and one-of-a-kind enhancement to its capabilities that has proven to be something that developers and stakeholders in projects are interested in contracting. In fact aerial photography and its analysis has become integral to Boyle’s way of doing business. “While developers have used aerial photography for years as a means of showing properties from a marketing perspective,” states Boyle, “We use it to analyze what’s going on at the site from pre-

Boyle Consulting Engineers, PLLC 4340-H Taggart Creek Road Charlotte, N.C. 28208 Phone: 704-676-0778 Principals: Chuck Boyle, Managing Principal and Owner Founded: 1995 Employees: 27 Mission: “Bring Real-World BottomLine Value to Each Development We Touch.” Awards: Finalist for the 2006 Charlotte Ethics in Business Award of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, Charlotte Chapter. Business: Environmental, geotechnical, construction monitoring and testing.

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construction throughout development. There are impacts you can only visualize and understand when looking at them from the air.” Boyle flies each project once a month, taking 400 or so photos each flight. Company engineers analyze each photo as part of the client’s debriefing process to reveal all the aspects that affect a development’s progress. “Everyone gets the same big picture view of a project at the same time,” says Boyle. “It’s hard to attach a dollar amount to this, but cumulatively it has

to be in the millions. It helps a client keep the project on track and to head off costly mistakes.” Aerial reconnaissance also creates a unique niche for Boyle. In researching possible competitors, Boyle found no other engineering testing and construction-monitoring firm in the country that offers this highly specialized service. “This new service puts Boyle in a class by himself in the industry,” says Sherre DeMao, president and chief marketeer of SLD Marketing/PR Inc. “It takes him to the next level strategically.” DeMao has been working with Boyle since early 2005. She says he is a “fabulous client who has embraced the opportunity to position himself” within a competitive industry.

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After talking with many of Boyle’s clients, DeMao encouraged Boyle to apply for the Charlotte Ethics in Business Award given by the Charlotte Chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals. She was not at all surprised that the company was one of eight finalists. “Boyle runs a top-notch all around operation,” says DeMao. “Being a finalist for this award speaks to everything about the company, from its fiscal operations to its marketing strategy. His clients all respect him and appreciate his honest and straight-forward approach.”

One of those clients is Childress Klein, one of the largest real estate developers in the Southeast. Boyle has done environmental testing and geotechnical engineering on various Childress Klein projects, including the Park Avenue Building. Boyle is currently working with the developer on a shopping center on Highway 160 in Fort Mill. “We have an outstanding relationship

with Boyle and his company,” says Partner Chris Thomas. “We appreciate both the excellent quality of his work and his responsiveness to our needs.” While Thomas says Childress Klein has not yet made use of Boyle’s aerial reconnaissance capabilities, he finds it an attractive addition to the company’s services. “I’m sure we will use it in the future,” says Thomas. “It will help our retailers see the location of a potential site in relation to other sites, such as the airport or downtown Charlotte. Many of our retailers are requiring this information in order to receive corporate approval for new projects.” Down to Business Chuck Boyle is not all there is to Boyle Consulting Engineers. Boyle has built a diverse and experienced leadership team that shares his values and objectives. Among the key players on the team is Shipping Yang, chief engineer at Boyle, whose addition to the staff a year ago has relieved Boyle of some of the technical responsibilities at the firm. Yang, who studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and has a Ph.D. from Iowa State University, is responsible for the technical review and overall quality control of all aspects of Geotechnical Engineering and the construction materials science. Todd Spanish is Boyle’s Environmental Services Manager and also oversees Boyle’s Geospatial Services. Todd Tamasy is Operations Manager and responsible for coordination between Boyle’s Laboratory, Geotechnical and Construction Materials Testing departments. As Operations Manager, Tamasy is also responsible for informing a client of potential site issues that may arise during development and construction. In addition to these three key staffers, Boyle also depends heavily on Tracie Schoenwald, who has run the accounting and human resources office for the past six years.

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“This is the core leadership group that makes things happen,” says Boyle. “They all have different roles, but I depend on them to work together as a team.” As the company has grown Boyle finds his own role in it has changed. He can no longer do everything himself. “I’ve had to adapt,” says Boyle. “ I’ve had to learn to direct others and provide systems to manage them. I’ve become less of an entrepreneur and more of a leader. If we continue to grow, I risk becoming less of a leader and more of a manager.” Consequently, Boyle is uncertain what path the company he has built from the ground up will take in the future. At its current level of 27 employees, he believes the company has reached a crossroads. “I don’t know that I could control or lead a firm much larger,” he says. “ I could leverage what we have into something bigger. I could mentor and grow more department heads into leaders who would be capable of stepping up to the plate. But then I would be a facilitator, a business owner, and no longer a ‘hands on’ innovator.”

greater charlotte biz

Whether it is a residential development, shopping center, office building or warehouse, our job is to keep the project moving on schedule. Our goal is to help the developer or owner realize an investment that is focused on tangible profits rather than funding corrections. ~Chuck Boyle, Managing Principal Boyle and his staff like the size of the company as it is, with a culture that encourages a team orientation. Dee Langley, who joined the company six months ago as aerial and marketing administrator, says, “It’s a great place to work. It’s a vibrant group of mostly young people who all get along. There are no politics here.” Still, one hears the entrepreneurial spirit speaking when Boyle says, “I hope one day to retire or go do something else. A change would be for my own gratification, not necessarily for the company at large.”

Boyle knows that if and when the time comes that he is driven to create something new, the staff he is mentoring now will be capable of running Boyle with the same high standards he has established for the company. Meanwhile, Boyle says he finds satisfaction in providing an opportunity for his employees to do something personally rewarding. And for him, “As long as I can look back and say I wouldn’t do anything differently, I feel successful.” biz Casey Jacobus is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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photo: Wayne Morris

Michael Marsicano, President and CEO Laura Meyer, Executive Vice President Foundation For The Carolinas

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by ellison clary

[bizprofile]

Philanthropic Facilitator Foundation Connects Contributors with Community Causes Two issues John Crosland Jr. is passionate about are affordable housing and learning disabilities. The chairman of the diversified real estate company that bears his name wants to help people find adequate living quarters and to teach those with learning disorders, both now as well as long after he passes away. He found a way to do that at Foundation For The Carolinas. The Foundation helped Crosland form a board to administer funds he has donated for dealing with both problems. With some members appointed by Crosland and others named by the Foundation, the board works on training and education—and more. It is starting to make grants to worthy initiatives. “It’s a perfect example of why an individual of means chooses Foundation For The Carolinas rather than setting up his own private founda-

greater charlotte biz

tion,” says Michael Marsicano, president and chief executive of Foundation For The Carolinas. “We are the administrative unit that could bring all these experts to the table. If John were just on his own, he couldn’t have accomplished as much for his board.” Crosland agrees. “They have taken a lot of the burden off the individual who gives money,” he says. “They sort through issues and make recommendations. They are extremely helpful. They have the know-how to do it right.” From its offices on South Tryon Street, Foundation For The Carolinas is a nonprofit corporation that helps individuals, families, nonprofits and corporations impact their communities through philanthropy. It operates in 13 counties in the Greater Charlotte region, in both North Carolina and South Carolina. ®

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As a public charity, the Foundation enjoys favorable tax treatment for gifts. With low administrative costs, it manages, invests and distributes the income from

Marsicano boils down the mission of the Foundation to one sentence: “Our job is to help donors accomplish the philanthropic interests that they have in the community,” he says simply. Grants from the Foundation cover a wide range, including the arts, the environment, historic preservation, education, health and human services, religion, civic

Foundation then, it became Foundation For The Carolinas in 1984. Those 2006 results put the Foundation among the top performing foundations in the country, ahead of similar entities in places such as Atlanta, Phoenix, Boston, San Francisco and Chicago. A foundation based in Los Angeles brought in more than $400 mil-

I really think the Foundation is at the center of civic life in Charlotte. Grants from the Foundation are really reaching the core of community problems and helping to solve them. ~ Laura Meyer, Executive Vice President

these donations, as directed by the givers. It does this through three centers for giving: The Center for Personal and Family Philanthropy, the Center for Nonprofits, and the Center for Corporate Philanthropy.

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

engagement, social capital, and services to youth and the elderly. For 2006, the Foundation enjoyed record results. It brought in $211 million in donations, pushing total assets to $601. Not bad for an entity that started in 1958 with $3,000 from the United Way. Known as the United Community

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lion, but that included a single bequest for half that total. Just as important, the banner year helped Foundation For The Carolinas distribute $72 million in grants to worthy causes. That money came from the approximately 1,600 charitable funds the Foundation holds. Fast Growth Nothing New Fast growth isn’t new to Marsicano. He took the helm of Charlotte’s Arts & Science Council (ASC) when he moved here from Durham, where he was executive director of the Durham Arts Council and Royal Arts Center. When he started in 1989, the ASC’s most recent fund drive had collected about $2 million. When he left, the campaign brought in about $8 million and the budget was up to $13 million. Arts endowments on his watch grew from $30,000 to $52,000,000. He took the ASC position, Marsicano says, because he saw that greater Charlotte had the financial resources and the civic energy to place arts at the forefront of the community agenda. “I’d like to think that’s what we helped accomplish,” he adds in his soft but firm voice. After a decade at the ASC, Marsicano developed an itch to do something else. When the board of the Foundation sounded him out, he saw its leadership role as a welcome challenge that allowed him to keep his family in Charlotte. He signed on in 1999 and, right away,

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noticed similarities to his ASC work. But he saw some important differences, too. “Many of the donors are the same,” Marsicano says, “with the exception that the Foundation’s spectrum of donor interest is much greater because it’s not just arts supporters. We tend to assist patrons who have significant financial resources for multiple philanthropic pursuits.” Unlike the ASC, which convinces people to contribute to its plan for supporting the arts, the Foundation works with donors to execute their plans. Riley Fields, director of community relations for the Carolina Panthers, praises the Foundation’s willingness and ability to handle special requests. “A good example is our Weekend Warrior Flag Football Tournament which raises funds that ultimately benefit the Levine Children’s Hospital,” Fields says. The tourney receives a multitude of individual team registration payments. “The Foundation’s ability to accommodate us making multiple deposits into our fund without even blinking an eye has been really appreciated,” he says.

The Foundation can and does do that for a variety of donors, Marsicano says, adding that he likes the diversity. “We work with public education one day, we work with the arts one day, we work on greenways and environmental issues the next day,” Marsicano says. “My passion for one subject—the arts—has been replaced with a great interest in multiple subjects. I really enjoy the breadth of disciplines.” Another plus for Marsicano is getting to know interesting people. “For people to either inherit or to have made their wealth, they are fascinating people who have done fascinating things that led to the accumulation of wealth,” he says with a shake of his head. Bringing Business Acumen To Bear Much as he likes leading the Foundation, Marsicano realized early on that he needed advice on business management. When Laura Meyer came calling about writing a business plan for the Foundation, Marsicano asked her to think about becoming a full-time execu-

tive. Meyer never got to compose that plan but, a year later, in September 2002, the former Bank of America marketing manager signed on as executive vice president. Marsicano says he sees her as a co-leader. Though both are from New York and earned degrees at Duke University, Marsicano and Meyer are very different. Marsicano holds a bachelor’s, a master’s of education and a doctor of philosophy, all from Duke. Meyer got a bachelor’s of Russian-French at Duke, then earned a master’s of business administration in night classes at Fordham University while working for CitiGroup in New York City. She joined Bank of America in Charlotte in 1995. She was running her own consulting company when Marsicano approached her. “What we paired is my non-profit experience, donor relations and fund-raising abilities with Laura’s business acumen, people management, understanding of marketing, and her understanding of investments,” Marsicano says. The Foundation, he adds, could be

Foundation For The Carolinas 217 South Tryon Street Charlotte, N.C. 28202 Phone: 704-973-4555; 800-973-7244 Principals: Michael Marsicano, President and Chief Executive Officer; Laura Meyer, Executive Vice President Established: 1958 Centers for giving: Center for Personal and Family Philanthropy, Center for Nonprofits, Center for Corporate Philanthropy Assets managed: $601 million Charitable funds held: Approx. 1,600 Operation area: 13 counties of Greater Charlotte, in both North Carolina and South Carolina Business: Foundation For The Carolinas inspires philanthropy and strengthens the Greater Charlotte region through innovative community initiatives and quality services to donors and constituents. www.fftc.org

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called a bank of sorts, and Meyer picks up on that thread. “Our banking relationships are very important to us and we look to collaborative relationships with trust departments to shore up the philanthropic distribution side,” she says. Foundation board member Sally Robinson, a long-time Charlotte civic leader, praises the Marsicano-Meyer team. “They’ve got to be the best one-two punch in the foundation world,” Robinson raves. “I really think the Foundation is at the

center of civic life in Charlotte,” she says. Grants from the Foundation, she adds, “are really reaching the core of community problems and helping to solve them.” Robinson cites the Foundation’s work through an affiliate, which partnered with

Our job is to help donors accomplish the philanthropic interests that they have in the community ~Michael Marsicano, President and CEO grass roots groups such as neighborhood associations and social clubs.

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the Community Building Initiative to improve Charlotte’s social capital. This effort to bridge barriers of race, age, ethnicity, gender, economic status and religion is called “Front Porch Grants: People Building Bridges.” It awards money to

The Role Of Neutral Convener The Foundation also was the neutral convener of the Citizens’ Task Force on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Endorsed by business leaders and elected officials, that group released 21 recommendations for CMS management and governance to improve the school system’s ability to meet the challenges of today and the future. Robinson sees more initiatives of that type emanating from the Foundation, which more and more could act as a convener of proper parties to address major community issues. Marsicano and Meyer agree. Meyer and her team are developing what she calls “full customer relationship management” to allow donors to use the Foundation as they wish and, in turn, help the Foundation better understand the philanthropic needs of both donors and the community. Marsicano plans to increase the Foundation’s development director staff enough to provide a full-time development professional for geographical units of three counties each. He sees this and Meyer’s CRM efforts taking the Foundation toward the model Robinson envisions, and he believes that is part of a national trend. “Because there is such political gridlock, because there are such polarized opinions in society today,” Marsicano says, “community foundations seem to be growing in part because they enable a community to grapple with a subject

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Ellison Clary is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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area in a safe place where all opinions are valued. That sounds lofty, but I think it’s a large part of why we’re growing as quickly as we are.” He points out that the Foundation works diligently to strengthen its financial muscle so it is better able to take on big issues and make a difference. “Making sure the size of our funds grow is a major part of what we do, with thoughtful investments,” Marsicano says. “But we are not only growing the funds by prudent management and investments, we are also encouraging people to continually capitalize the funds with greater amounts of giving.” Marsicano believes more people are gaining an awareness of what the Foundation can do and is capable of doing. “If you are a donor, you know the Foundation because we provide services for your account,” he explains. “If you are an agency that has endowments here, you know us because we manage, invest and distribute the income off the endowment. If you are a beneficiary of our grant making, you know us because we have helped your cause. If you are a professional advisor, you know us because you work with our team to help your client.” Remember, he smiles, the Foundation distributed $72 million in grants for 2006. To illustrate what the Foundation can become, Robinson uses an example from one of Crosland’s hot buttons, affordable housing. “Everybody knows there’s not enough affordable housing,” she says. Acting as a convener, the Foundation “would bring together the groups in the city that need to talk about this issue and begin a dialogue to see where that would take us,” she says. “We can bring leadership and connections,” Marsicano says. “You’re going to see a significant growth in that role of the Foundation in the next few years.” biz

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Turning Institute for Entrepreneurship

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Small business is where it’s at. At least there are a lot of people saying so, and it makes sense. For example, consider two scenarios. One: Charlotte loses one of its large corporations—perhaps a major bank—to another city. As if counting the net loss of banking jobs wouldn’t be depressing enough, after factoring in the economic tsunami to the industries whose products and services supported the bank (e.g. couriers, printers, supply companies, lawyers), the impact would be devastating. On the other hand, consider a second scenario—trying to attract a major company to relocate to Charlotte and its incumbent costs. Calculate the obvious costs of marketing and recruiting to court the interest of major corporations who have cast a passing glance at our city. Add to that tax breaks and/or other incentives necessary to clinch the deal. Gaining a major corporation can be impressively costly. That is why more and more economic development experts are looking to the small entrepreneur with a renewed gleam in their eyes. The numbers are stacking up in a way where bets are favoring David rather than Goliath. This is good news for Lori Day, the executive director of CPCC’s Institute for Entrepreneurship. The Institute keeps its radar tuned to what is needed to foster the growth of the entrepreneurial community and provide resources in terms of materials, training and counseling. Seeing the Light Lori Day’s office is on the second floor of a new building on the corner of Elizabeth and East Independence

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by susanne deitzel

[bizprofile]

Ideas Into Reality helps small business owners achieve their dreams core activities including a full-time director, center for small Boulevard, right in the heart of the CPCC Central Campus. business, free small business seminars, free counseling and With the Institute’s current activities and co-located partnerresource libraries. ships, the eventual plan is to transform it into a vital nerve The Institute for Entrepreneurship takes it a step further, center for people seeking small business assistance. explains Day. “Because CPCC serves a large metropolitan area, Day is typically awash in statistics and support materials, shuffling through carefully piled stacks of papers. In our con- we want to be sure that we have the ability to meet all the needs of the community, so we work in partnership with versation, she recaps a study she recently read that explains resources from many organizations to extend our reach. We the interest in small business. also provide self-supporting classes, and in doing so have been “They call it ‘economic gardening,’” she explains. “Our able to offer a more breadth and depth in our course content.” charge is to encourage new businesses and groom existing entrepreneurs to create a solid base of economic activity, as opposed to chasing down larger companies from other We have an overarching mission to serve the small business comareas.” (The latter tack is fittingly called munity, and we are marshalling all the resources we have in a ‘economic hunting.’) According to another report Day package that will be the most comprehensive and efficient for shares, nationwide small firms account everyone involved. While the process requires some special orgafor one half of the nation’s gross domestic product, employ half the American nizational considerations from time to time, the bottom line is work force and generate most of our that we have a wealth of information and an abundance of country’s net new jobs. The same publisher suggests in a separate report determination to serve the small business community. “…that a state’s ability to increase the number of small firm establishments is ~Lori Day, Executive Director the most important thing it can do to influence economic growth.” The Institute for Entrepreneurship became the working CPCC is certainly doing its part to make that happen. It is name of CPCC’s Small Business Center two years ago when it one of the 58 community colleges across North Carolina that comprise the Small Business Center Network (SBCN), a state- became clear that the center could work in conjunction with other business programs. Explains Day, “At the Institute we wide initiative dedicated to fostering support for small busiwork with curriculum programs, and offer non-credit certifiness. As members of the North Carolina Community College cate programs, counseling, seminars and other resources. ® Network, SBCN members receive funding for many of their

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We coined the name to make clear that we are more than just a course-content area. We want to be sure that people realize that starting their own business is an option and that this is the place that can help them get there.” Bright Offerings According to a U.S. Small Business Administration report, North Carolina has a pretty solid platform to fuel small business growth. For example, in North Carolina in 2005, for every 1,000 workers in the state economy, roughly six new small businesses were formed, ranking it 23rd in the nation. North Carolina ranked eighth in percentage increase in small business startups, rising roughly 11 percent between 2004 and 2005. Entrepreneur Magazine also gave North Carolina a small business ‘atta-boy,’ ranking it sixth in the nation in its “Hot Cities for Entrepreneurs” survey. In a press release from the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Commerce Secretary Jim Fain was glad to concur with the results. “We are well-positioned for entrepreneurship, innovation and

Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) Institute for Entrepreneurship Professional Development Building, Suite 214 124 East Independence Blvd. Charlotte, N.C. 28204 Phone: 704-330-6776 Principal: Lori Day, Executive Director Established: 2005 Business: The CPCC Institute for Entrepreneurship is aimed at fostering and supporting entrepreneurship, small business training and economic development in the Charlotte area.The objective is to increase the success of small business in Mecklenburg County by providing high quality, readily accessible assistance to prospective and existing small business owners and their employees. www.cpcctraining.org/e-institute

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Our charge is to encourage new businesses and groom existing entrepreneurs to create a solid base of economic activity, as opposed to chasing down larger companies from other areas. ~Lori Day, Executive Director small business success…these growing businesses provide well paying, sustainable jobs that benefit the economic well being of everyone in North Carolina.” This positive climate helps Day take her charge even more seriously. “We are in a constant state of assessing our offerings in terms of services and course content and gauging that against the demands of the population. We take rigorous measures to assure we are delivering the best product available.” In terms of ‘product,’ the Institute for Entrepreneurship in 2005-2006 offered 43 courses with 562 participants, 34 seminars with 522 participants, and 92 indepth counseling sessions. The courses are what Day calls ‘selfsupported.’ In other words, courses are offered for a nominal charge that covers the instructor fees and any materials to support the class. Like CPCC’s other continuing education courses, the class does not count for credit toward a degree, but confers the necessary knowledge, resources and accompanying confidence to take the next steps toward the big leap. For example, in Spring 2007, the hot ticket is the “New Ventures for Entrepreneurship Program,” developed by the internationally renowned Kauffman Foundation. For $259 the course provides an assessment of the student’s entrepreneurial capabilities, a concept evaluation, start-up plan, oneon-one counseling sessions, and business and marketing plan development. Other courses cover how to start a small business, business plan writing, business finances, accounting, growth and development and marketing, Internet business, and funding a new business. Says Day, “While we expect to eventually offer more content about growing a busi-

ness—for example, how to hire people and grow to the next level—I believe we will always primarily cater to early stage business development.” She adds, “This way we are continuing to empower people with the capacity to create their own jobs.” The Institute also provides state-funded seminars that are offered free of charge that cover special topics, like ‘Doing Business with the City of Charlotte,’ which helps local business owners to become vendors to the city and locate contract opportunities. ‘Defining Your Customer Niche’ and ‘Market Research Tools’ are other popular samplings from the course calendar. In addition to the educational courses and seminars, the Institute offers an onsite business resource library of books, tapes, videos and research materials, counselors, computer ‘touchdown stations,’ and even conference rooms in which participants can hold meetings if they do not yet have an office of their own. Says Day, “I will do anything I can to help people be successful with their small business design. That is my vision personally, and the purpose of the Institute as a whole.” Light Bulbs Going On The Institute for Entrepreneurship shares a hallway with BizHub Network, a nascent organization dedicated to helping small business owners find needed regional resources across a wider 16county area. As part of her CPCC duties, Day also works on a contract basis as director for BizHub Network, which for now is logical considering the compatibility of the positions. BizHub Network is a non-profit organization created with funding by partners including CPCC, the Charlotte

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Chamber of Commerce, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Its design is to provide entry-level or referral counseling, a Web site to answer small business questions and take online inquiries, as well as provide and maintain a regional online calendar of small business seminars, workshops and events, a telephone ‘answer hotline,’ and a business provider database. Beginning mid-February, BizHub’s Web site will also offer an online search function called the ‘Resource Navigator.’ The tool will match entrepreneurs and small business owners with questions to the most appropriate resources in the Charlotte region, including area community colleges. The annual budget for BizHub is about $175,000 as provided by program sponsors, and all information to users is provided free of charge. CPCC President and local champion of small business development, Tony Zeiss, sees BizHub Network as “bringing greater synergy” to providers of services as well as giving CPCC “the opportunity to leverage our programs by reaching more clients and partnering with other high quality service providers in the region.” Day says that CPCC’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and BizHub Network, as well as her work with other community college small business center directors on a regional biotech business assistance project, aim toward a common goal. “We have an overarching mission to serve the small business community, and we are marshalling all the resources we have in a package that will be the most comprehensive and efficient for everyone involved. While the process requires some special organizational considerations from time to time, the bottom line is that we have a wealth of information and an abundance of determination to serve the small business community.” Interestingly, these pursuits also generate their own special brand of competition. Explains Day, “Many of the people who have attended our courses and seminars set out in professional services that cater to small business as well. Many of the speakers and consultants set out with their special vision and offer their own brand of client education.”

greater charlotte biz

But Day says the more the merrier. “At the end of the day we are all partners; we post their events on the BizHub Web site for the community to see. When we have clusters of successful businesses, we have a successful economy. So our clients’ success is a testament to the success of our model.” There are several other intersections that bring considerable promise to the mission of creating and sustaining small business development: North Carolina’s increasing visibility on the forefront of biotechnology will generate the need for innovation and support services, the wealth of universities with increasing research and development dollars will initiate new projects, and a healthy real estate and development climate will continue to support finding spaces for these new businesses to thrive. So it would appear that light bulbs are going on everywhere. As technology quickens the heartbeat of innovation, more and more people seek to implement what they see as the next great idea. Baby boomers are looking for ways to live fulfilling, productive and lucrative

lives post-retirement, and thanks to endeavors like CPCC’s Institute for Entrepreneurship, initiatives like BizHub Network, and its vast network of government and non-profit agencies, working for oneself is no longer just ‘pie in the sky’ daydreaming. In fact, the evolution of ‘becoming your own boss’ could be the reality upon which our regional economic stability will ultimately hinge. biz Susanne Deitzel is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Lori Day Executive Director CPCC Institute for Entrepreneurship

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Packaging BEFCOR uses 504 loan program to spark economic development

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America’s small businesses create two out of every three new jobs and account for nearly half of America’s overall employment.They play a vital role in helping our economy, adding more than 5.1 million new jobs since August 2003 and helping reduce America’s unemployment rate to 4.7 percent, below the average rate over the last 50 years. Because of their integral role, it is essential to foster their growth and expansion, which will in turn create more job opportunities through economic development. For small businesses that need extra capital or want to expand, the financing alternatives can be complex and difficult. However, with the assistance of the Business Expansion Funding Corporation (BEFCOR) and its Executive Director Richard Bargoil, funding is much more readily available and the process of obtaining it as streamlined and painless as possible. Bargoil has a unique perspective on small business owners and understands how intimidating the loan process can be. At the helm of BEFCOR, he uses this insight to pair business own32

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ers and lenders, essentially packaging economic growth by facilitating loans through the Small Business Administration’s 504 Loan Program. “Rewirement” Richard Bargoil spent nearly 30 years working as business development manager for the city of Charlotte’s economic development office. He was responsible for managing and underwriting small business loans.Working with innovative leaders and directors who gave him both guidance and flexibility in creating loan programs and tools to foster Charlotte’s growth, under his leadership over 200 businesses were assisted and over 500 new jobs created. Bargoil has a great understanding and appreciation for small businesses: “Outside of my family, my passion has been to help small businesses access resources that enable them to grow and achieve their dream of business ownership while expanding our economy.” He has devoted much of his career to finding ways to help fuel their growth. ® w w w. g r e a t e r c h a r l o t t e b i z . c o m


by janet kropinak

[bizprofile]

Growth

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Coinciding with his retirement from the city, Bargoil found himself restless and ready for a new challenge. He accepted the position with BEFCOR. Bargoil asserts that the term “rewirement” might be more accurate assessment than retirement: “I feel that this organization is very well poised to support business development and business growth. It is an organization that understands the importance and role of the small business owner.” BEFCOR is already a strong organization, and Bargoil says he has bigger goals than merely acting as its new caretaker. “BEFCOR’s excellent staff, strong loan portfolio and continued growth in assisting businesses and lenders across North

504 Loan Package • Federal financing for fixed assets • 20-year lifespan

• Low, fixed interest rate • 10 percent down

The 504 loan allows a small business to obtain fixed assets—such as land, building, machinery and equipment—at a very low 20-year fixed interest rate, requiring as little as 10 percent down. BEFCOR works in partnership with a bank which lends 50 percent of the project amount and acquires a first lien position.The 504 loan provides up to 40 percent of the project financing, taking a second lien position.The business contributes the remaining amount to complete the project. Loans

2004

2005 $ 10,729,983

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2007 $ 6,814,000

$ 10,729,989

Smallest

$ 66,000

$ 90,000

$ 63,000

$ 1,264,000

Largest

$ 1,101,000

$ 1,246,000

$ 1,735,000

$ 1,264,000

Average

$ 397,407

$ 466,521

$ 493,521

$ 851,750

Carolina allows me the opportunity to help position our organization to be a key economic development partner in this region and the state,” Bargoil affirms. “A large part of why I took this job was because I knew the board was very excited and interested in growing the organization and understanding how to become a strong economic development partner. I hope to help position us to continue to bring value to our customers.” Bargoil feels confident in his abilities largely because of the experience he gained with the city. He comments, “My experience in helping the city develop innovative loan programs that work in partnership with local lenders and my knowledge of resources serving small businesses have prepared me well for this next life phase.”

Richard Bargoil Executive Director Business Expansion Funding Corporation

2006 $ 18,743,994

Total

On a Mission In 1982 the city of Charlotte incorporated the Charlotte Certified Development Corporation (CCDC) to “further the economic development and social welfare of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County by promoting business growth and development with a

principal objective to increase employment opportunities and business expansion.” In 2004, fueled by changes by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to promote improved delivery of the SBA 504 Loan Program, the CCDC changed its name to the Business Expansion Funding Corporation. The new name also better reflected BEFCOR’s market area and objectives to service businesses across the state. One of the first items on Bargoil’s agenda is to help create a strategic plan and to help examine the organization’s mission: “What is our mission? Today, we don’t have an adopted mission statement but our working mission is to support business growth and development by helping business owners and lenders utilize innovative loan programs such as the SBA’s 504 Loan.” Since its inception, one of the attributes of the organization has been its willingness to tackle the more difficult loans, the projects that some lenders might be a little hesitant to take on by themselves. Companies such as BEFCOR that are working to support small businesses are playing a more active role in our economic growth than is immediately evident. Nearly 85 percent of the businesses in Mecklenburg County and the state are small businesses, though Bargoil is quick to clarify that this doesn’t in any way take away from the important role the larger corporations play in providing a

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strong foundation for growth. BEFCOR works closely with these small businesses, pairing them with banks, to obtain needed capital. As Bargoil notes, “Small business in general is the economic engine of the state and the nation, so companies that are working to fund these businesses are really a step ahead of the game. The SBA 504 Loan Program and companies like BEFCOR really are one of the best kept secrets in North Carolina.” BEFCOR’s success stories are very impressive. The company has assisted over 274 businesses in obtaining $94 million in SBA 504 loans. This represents approximately $235 million in new business developments and 5,800 new jobs created or retained primarily in the Mecklenburg county region. Bargoil points out, “The 504 loan is really an economic engine within itself in growing businesses across the country.”

Business Expansion Funding Corporation 5970 Fairview Rd., Ste. 218 Charlotte, N.C. 28210 Phone: 704-442-8145 Principal: Richard Bargoil, Executive Director In Business: 25 Years Businesses Assisted: 274 to date Loans Arranged: $94 million Jobs Created: 5,800 Business: Non-profit corporation originally chartered by the Charlotte City Council to act as a conduit for the Small Business Administration’s 504 Loan Program and now assisting businesses statewide.The primary goal of the 504 Loan Program is the creation of job opportunities by providing up to 40 percent of project financing for fixed assets such as land, buildings and equipment for businesses. www.charlottecdc.com

greater charlotte biz

BEFCOR helped me cross the T’s and dot the I’s. It really was a win-win situation. ~ Jinny Hargrave, Carolina Clay Connection

By providing up to 40 percent of a project’s financing, the 504 loan appeals to both lenders and real estate brokers. And, because a bank provides only 50 percent of the financing, the risk is reduced on projects that it might not otherwise accept. The 504 portion of the loan offers long-term fixed-rate financing, improving the borrower’s cash flow and ability to invest savings back into growing the business. It is important to Bargoil that organizations know that BEFCOR and the 504 loan program are aimed to assist more than just larger businesses: “We believe very strongly that we have a program that can reach the whole range of small business owners.” However, despite the flexibility the 504 loan offers, he admits it isn’t for everyone. “Not everyone comes through the door ready for a 504 loan. But we know how to connect them to the resources they need to be able to do that, and when they are ready, we hope they will come back to us for help because of that established relationship.” Investing in the Future Right now, BEFCOR is entering a partnership with the city of Charlotte’s economic development office and will begin to help them in underwriting and supporting their existing loan portfolio. BEFCOR hopes to be able to expand this service to help other organizations and governments across the state. With its experience and working knowledge of the requirements to underwrite loans and the necessary steps business owners must take, BEFCOR is a valuable resource to others going through this process. “We don’t see this as an organization that just provides one loan program, but instead as an organization that is truly an economic partner—an organization that

can bring strong value to local governments and to lenders in understanding how to utilize loan programs like the SBA 504,” Bargoil says. Bargoil has high hopes for BEFCOR. He says the 504 loans will continue to be their core business and the economic driver for their organization. This year they will begin to approach other organizations in other cities and offer their services and expertise. Bargoil is looking at the opportunity to support existing portfolios in other smaller cities across the state and build strategic relationships with them. “We believe we have a system that allows us to come to the table and make this process as smooth as possible for both the lenders and the business owners,” says Bargoil. “Being a strong investment partner in this 16-county region and across the state, we can’t be everywhere, but we will continue to look for the places where we can be the most effective in helping organizations serving business owners to connect to resources within their respective counties.” Because Charlotte and the surrounding counties are continuing to experience strong economic growth, there is an abundance of businesses that could benefit from the services BEFCOR has to offer. Bargoil explains, “We want to make sure that people are aware of this organization and position ourselves to provide a broad range of services so we can help companies find the working capital they need; we are looking to become a full service provider.” As evidenced by their successful completion of 38 loans last year, 27 of which were in Mecklenburg County, BEFCOR is indeed a valuable economic development partner to the city of Charlotte, the region and the state of North Carolina. biz Janet Kropinak is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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HOOD HARGETT BREAKFAST CLUB

Charlotte

T

hroughout the year, the Hood Hargett BCA hosts a series of business-to-business development events, business entertainment events and business training events exclusively for its members and their employees and customers. These are membership events, not available to the general public. You must join or be invited as a guest of a breakfast club member.

2007 Speakers:

April 13, 2007 March 9, 2007 Ron Insana CNBC Senior Analyst and Financial Expert

May 4, 2007 Jim Nantz Broadcaster CBS Sports

Q

Quality speakers. Quality leaders. Quality leads.

November 9, 2007

HOOD HARGETT Breakfast Club America gives “Wake up and smell the coffee” full-bodied meaning!

Homeless to Harvard A Remarkable Journey

September 14, 2007

October 12, 2007 Michael Powell Former Chairman FCC

Liz Murray Inspiration for

Rich Karlgaard Publisher Forbes Magazine

Lloyd Trotter Vice Chairman, GE President & CEO, GE Industrial

To attend or learn more or to find out about membership,call JenniferSnyder at 704-602-9529 • jenn@hoodhargett.com

w w w.c har lotteb c a.c om ©2007 Galles Communications Group, Inc.


[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. 44, IBC

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TOPIC 2007: What’s In It For Me April - Help me do the right thing! We depend on employees to help us achieve our desired goals. Yet, sometimes, we fail to provide enough information and training to help them work effectively. How can they make good decisions if they’re working in the dark? We’ll work on translating our goals into meaningful direction for employees. We’ll discuss how to help them understand their role, their contribution and what’s in it for them if they succeed.

2007 Schedule of Meetings April - Help me do the right thing! June - I need to know how I’m doing! August - Money makes the world go ‘round October - Would I buy this business from me?

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 www.business-success-institute.com or call Denise Altman at (704) 708-6700.

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[ontop] Awards & Achievements Site Solutions President Derek C. Williams has been presented with the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at North Carolina State Derek Williams University.

Century 21 Commercial Hecht Realty Excellence Experience Dedication... and a touch of

Office

Gold

Land

Retail

704.892.8252

Hans Pluer Broker

Industrial

Advertising & Media WCNC, a Belo Corporation media property, has promoted Steve Kiser to director of technology and Paul Krabath to assistant director of technology. Carolina Public Relations/Marketing has hired Jennifer Ricketts as account manager and Nichole DePaulo as administrative coordinator, and has also promoted Amanda Kirkpatrick to account coordinator. Burke Communications Inc. has hired Ashley Moore as account coordinator. Marketing firm Gotham Images Inc. has added Richard Averitte as a marketing consultant. Lynn Thornton has joined Welcomemat Services as account manager. Based on the strength of its creative product, staff integrity and strong financial position, Walker Marketing, Inc. has been elected for membership in the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Fewer than 7 percent of agencies nationwide are elected to partnership and currently only three other agencies headquartered in the Charlotte area can claim membership in the 4As; of the approximately 13,800 ad agencies in the United States, only 7 percent are accepted into AAAA membership. Business & Professional Business North Carolina magazine has recognized the attorneys of several Charlotte firms among its Legal Elite including: Poyner & Spruill LLP (10 attorneys), Nexsen Pruet Adams Kleemeier’s (7 attorneys), and Rosen Law Firm (1) attorney. Law firm Kennedy Covington has

Each office independently owned and operated.

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[ontop] announced that 48 of its attorneys have been named to the 2007 North Carolina Super Lawyers list and that partner J. Norfleet Pruden III has been recognized among the top ten; the firm has also added eight new partners. Helms Mulliss & Wicker PLLC has elected six new lawyers as members: Greg Kilpatrick, Andrew Konia, Kevin McGinnis, Aaron Spencer, Brett Weber, and Ramsey White. Kathy Beetham, CEO of Fluent Language Solutions, has been reappointed to the North Carolina Interpreter and Transliterator Licensing Kathy Beetham Board, and Emily Jones has joined the company as an American Sign Language interpreter in the Charlotte office. Gary Childers, a senior Emily Jones sales representative and 31year veteran of Beck Imports of the Carolinas, a Mercedes-Benz dealership, has been ranked number one sales representative in the Carolinas, second in regional sales for the Jacksonville region, and 27th in national sales for all Mercedes-Benz dealerships in 2006. Attorney Christopher S. Shumate has joined Crumley & Associates PC. Steve Luquire, co-founder and president of Luquire George Andrews Inc., a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations agency, has begun a oneyear term as chairman of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, a nonprofit public/private economic development organization that markets the 16-county Charlotte USA region as a superior business location offering a unique balance of business strength, accessibility and quality of life; Luquire succeeds outgoing chairman Marshall Larsen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Goodrich Corp. Construction & Design The Home Builders Association has

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waynemorrisphotography wayne@wmphoto.biz www.wmphoto.biz

704.545.7001

Architectural Interiors & Exteriors Advertising Industrial Corporate

HR ADVICE HOTLINE The Employers Association provides advice daily on these and other questions as an exclusive benefit for members.

Q: An employee just gave me a new W-4 and NC-4 for payroll claiming on both forms that they are exempt from tax. I told them I was going to have to send a copy to the IRS. They told me that I didn’t have to send in copies of the withholding exemption forms anymore if an employee claims they are exempt entirely or if they claim more than 10 exemptions. The employee is: A) Right B) Wrong C) Right and Wrong D) I Should Call the Employers Association E) All the Above

The correct answer is E - All of the above

The

EMPLOYERS A S S O C I A T I O N

For more information on The Employers Association please visit us at www.employersassoc.com or call 704-522-8011.

YOUR TRUSTED RESOURCE SINCE 1958 WITH 815 LOCAL MEMBER COMPANIES march 2007

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[ontop] trust+strategy+integrity+planning+insight+experience

it all adds up!

We're not your typical CPA firm. Instead, we go beyond traditional accounting services, adding valuable insight and guidance to your growth process. Think of us as the business development partner you always wished you had - a Champion for your business! Our Philosophy We believe we are rewarded only to the extent that we add value to those we are privileged to serve. At Daniel, Ratliff & Company, we are here to serve you, to help your business achieve its goals. We do so by learning your business and the challenges you face, then working with you to guide you toward success.

“Daniel, Ratliff & Company has been more than an accountant to us,

installed Elliot Mann as president. Schreiner Custom Homes has won the 2006 Lake Norman Home Builders Association Best of the Lake Design Competition in the Custom New Schreiner Custom Homes Homes 4,001-5,000 Square Feet category. Cliff Laxer and Rodney Seiwert have joined The Bainbridge Crew as remodeling consultants.

they have been a true business partner in helping us get the right information to manage our business.” ~ Ron Herbert Co-owner, Red Rock’s Restaurant, Providence Rd., Charlotte & Birkdale Village, Huntersville

At the lake:

Daniel, Ratliff & Company 107 Kilson Dr., Ste. 205, Mooresville, NC 28117

704.663.0193

Uptown office: Daniel, Ratliff & Company 301 S. McDowell St., Ste. 502, Charlotte, NC 28204

704.371.5000

www.danielratliff.com

Education & Staffing Douglas B. Bacon has joined the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute as associate director for community outreach. North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Douglas Bacon Chancellor Lloyd V. Hackley has appointed Vijay K. Verma as interim vice chancellor for information technology and telecommunications and Vijay Verma chief information officer. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC) has announced the opening of the R3 Center, an adult career development center in Kannapolis, as well as the receipt a $61,109 grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. Central Piedmont Community College’s Cato Campus has opened a 45,000-square-foot addition and a new 1,700-square-foot addition to the campus’s Horticulture Center. Carol Oliff has joined executive staffing firm CEO Inc. as an account executive. Engineering The North Carolina chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects has presented Site Solutions with the Award of Merit for achievements in design of the Appalachian State University Central Library Complex Plaza.

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[ontop] Charles Bruton of Mulkey Engineers & Consultants has been appointed to serve a threeyear term on the board of Charles Bruton directors at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute. The Charlotte office of architectural/engineering firm CLARKNEXSEN has announced that Misti M. Craver passed the LEED Certification exam, Marcus B. Whitaker joined the company as a structural designer, and Greg E. Chesson has earned the licensure of Professional Engineer. Financial & Insurance Lorraine Eason has been elected senior vice president and Phil Hains has been promoted to regional business executive at First Citizens Bank Lorraine Eason in Charlotte. Accounting firm Dixon Hughes has merged with West Virginia firm Simpson & Osborne; the merged firm will operate across its service territory as Dixon Phil Hains Hughes; the company has named Elizabeth (Liz) Murphy and Wes Sutherland as members in the firm’s Charlotte office. Greater Charlotte Biz announces a new addition to its staff; Zoë Lane has been appointed as financial recovery specialist for delinquent accounts. Zoë Lane Arun Kaushal and Melissa Mitchell have joined Hinrichs Flanagan Financial, a general agency of MassMutual, as financial services professionals. Arun Kaushal Aquesta Bank has promoted Cathy O’Nan to senior vice president/director of retail banking.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE BISSELL COMPANIES ON THE PUBLICATION OF

THE FIRST 10 YEARS OF BALLANTYNE CORPORATE PARK 1996-2006

A BIOGRAPHY OF PLACE

GALLES COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, INC. CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY OF

Networking Services “No business is too small”

If you are looking for a company that gives a personal touch and honestly cares about their clients, then give us a call! Local & Wide Area Networks Wiring Routers Switches Servers Wireless Workstations We are an innovative, high tech company, specializing in local and wide area networking to the small and medium business market. We provide complete turnkey solutions from concept to reality. For more information call: Walt Fields at 704-560-4897 or Dwayne Stone at 704-560-4900 FieldStone Networking Services • 16041-G Johnston Rd. #161• Charlotte, NC 28277

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[ontop] Government & Non-Profit The Make-A-Wish Foundation has celebrated its 4th Anniversary of Hope in celebration of Hope Stout, the 12-year old Charlotte girl who defined bravery and altruism in her fight against cancer. The American Cancer Society has selected The Hall Group and Audi of Charlotte as presenters of the 2007 Swordsman’s Ball with Allen Tate of Allen Tate Realtors as the evening’s honorary chair. Children’s Theater of Charlotte and Davidson Community Players have received the 2007 Stanford Financial Excellence in Culture Award. Health Care Matthew Gullickson has joined OrthoCarolina as a sports medicine specialist.

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For information call: 704-849-2500 • compasscareer.com 8509 Crown Crescent Court • Charlotte, NC 28227

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Real Estate Commercial/Residential Eric Larson has joined the development division of The Keith Corporation as project manager. Cogdell Spencer Inc., a real estate investment trust, has appointed Jason Bates as assistant vice president of finance. Trinity Partners, a comJason Bates mercial real estate development firm, has appointed Tiffany Slayden as director of investment sales; the firm has also promoted Jay Coombs as director of operations and Tom Adair as director of Fire and Life Safety. Percival McGuire Commercial Real Estate has welcomed Charlotte broker Rush Dunaway to its team. CENTURY 21 Russ Hollins Realtors has hired Amy Lowder as marketing director. Brian Curin has joined The Windsor Realty Group as managing partner. Retail & Sports & Entertainment Jared Bartie, NBA vice president of marketing and team business operations, has been named chief administrative officer and general counsel for Bobcats Sports &

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[ontop] Entertainment. JHE Production Group Inc. has been awarded two prestigious Gala Awards for Most Outstanding Spectacle for the NASCAR NEXTEL Pit Crew Challenge and the Food Lion Speed Street for Best Fair/Festival. The new AIFA indoor football team, Carolina Speed, has hosted its first game at the Cabarrus Arena & Events Center. Jill Schuman has joined Total Nutrition Technology Inc. as area director for the company’s University and Lake Norman locations. Technology ATCOM Business Telecom Solutions has formed an agreement with the Charlotte School of Law and Johnson C. Smith University to provide the schools with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems. Greater Charlotte Biz announces a new addition to its staff; Shiloh Galles has been appointed as cord destruction specialist for its Shiloh Galles IT department. Sanford Brill has joined Decision Support Inc. as chief technology officer. Tourism The groundbreaking of NASCAR Plaza, the 9-story class-A office tower to be connected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame and integrated with the Charlotte Convention Center, has been celebrated in a ceremony attended by Richard Petty Robert Lauth, Chairman of Lauth Property Group, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, NASCAR President Mike Helton, and racing legend Richard Petty. biz To be considered for inclusion, please send your news releases and announcements in the body of an e-mail (only photos attached) to editor@greatercharlottebiz.com, or fax them to 704-676-5853, or post them to our business address—at least 30 days prior to our publication date.

ITS REAL NAME SHOULD BE COPIER, PRINTER, SCANNER, FAX MACHINE, E-MAILER, COLLATOR, HOLE PUNCHER, AND STAPLER.

It’s amazing how much one piece of equipment can do to improve productivity, increase office efficiency and save money. But that’s exactly what our color copier/printer does. Because it’s networked with all your office computers, it eliminates the need for fax machines, scanners and personal printers. And its cost per printed page is less than you pay with personal printers. At Charlotte Copy Data, the largest independent office equipment dealer around, we have a full line of color copier/printers with names like Canon, Sharp, and Konica Minolta. They’re available for sale, or through a very low cost-per-print program called POP. And our Color Division specialists can help you determine the equipment that’s right for you. 4404-A Stuart Andrew Boulevard, 704.523.3333 FAX 704.525.1506 So give us a call, and find out more about the single piece of www.charlottecopydata.com equipment that does it all. THE AREA’S LARGEST INDEPENDENT DEALER OF COMPLETE OFFICE SOLUTIONS

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Featuring Executive Homes in the Charlotte Region YOUR SMART HOUSE Charlotte, North Carolina Old World charm combined with high-tech structured wiring and state-of-the-art security creates your new “Smart House.� Gated enclave of 3 homes ensures privacy. Custom, hands-on builder provides the attention to detail and flexibility you deserve. The SouthPark location makes it perfect. 7BRs/6.1BAs MLS# 506018 - $1,150,000 Property Address: 3620 Sharon View Rd.

Jeannie Lytton - 704-553-1745 www.idreamofjeannielytton.com

WESLEY CHAPEL ESTATE Indian Trail, North Carolina Beautiful oak trees and fabulous landscaping flourish in this gated four-acre estate in Wesley Chapel. The interior features a lovely sunroom off the open great room and a walkout basement with a patio. The exterior offers large decks and a wonderful in-ground pool, spa and pool house. 5BRs/3.1BAs MLS# 645293 - $759,900 Property Address: 6309 Hawfield Road

Russell Wing - 704-291-8908 www.thewingteam.com

CUSTOM MASTERPIECE Salisbury, North Carolina Situated on more than an acre lot within a golf course community, is this Crescent Grande masterpiece. It offers a very open plan with custom features throughout, including hardwood floors and granite. Enjoy one of two romantic master suites, complete with sitting room, fireplace and luxurious bath. 4BRs/3.1BAs MLS# 611269 - $699,900 Property Address: 520 Riviera Drive

Shawna Hartman - 704-226-2543

www.allentate.com/shawnahartman

SPECTACULAR RENOVATION IN MYERS PARK Charlotte, North Carolina This exquisite renovation is set on almost half an acre. It is a rare find with old-fashioned charm, including arched doorways and original hardwood floors, yet has every modern amenity, including granite counters and stainless steel appliances. New electric, HVAC and 4.0-rated windows have also been installed. 3BRs/3BAs MLS# 602812 - $629,000 Property Address: 3145 Selwyn Avenue

Nancie Woods - 704-608-0964 www.allentate.com/nanciewoods

SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT SECTION


Featuring Executive Homes in the Charlotte Region LAKEFRONT LIVING Belmont, North Carolina This Lake Wylie home has multiple water views and stunning touches throughout. A gourmet kitchen with walk-in pantry, spalike master bath and basement with second kitchen, living area and bedroom, along with powered boat lift, slips and covered dock with sitting area make up this beautiful property. 5BRs/6.1BAs YMLS# 1037965 - CMLS# 646390 - $1,850,000 Property Address: 8202 Catawba Cove Drive

Roz Bailey - 704-913-4754 www.rozbailey.com

WATERFRONT ESTATE Lake Wylie, South Carolina Tucked away on 1.4 acres is this spectacular waterfront estate. It offers 185+ feet of water frontage, sandy beach, dock and pier. The property is located in The Landings and includes a home, art studio and additional 900 heated square feet in the detached garage. 4BRs/3.1BAs YMLS# - 1037754 - CMLS# 646925 - $950,000 Property Address: 2136 Peninsula Drive

Jennifer Douse - 803 -526-1101 www.jenniferdouserealtor.com

230 SOUTH TRYON Charlotte, North Carolina This premier address offers 24-hour concierge service, fitness center, club room, cyber cafÊ, pool and Ruth’s Chris delivery. Live in a luxurious condo complete with hardwood floors, ninefoot ceilings, granite and stainless steel. Take in lovely views of the city through floor-to-ceiling windows or from the balcony. 2BRs/2BAs MLS# 64710 - $519,900 Property Address: 230 South Tryon

Dawn Krieg - 704-331-2126 www.centercityallentate.com

MASONS CROSSING Lake Wylie, South Carolina This exceptional home was built for entertaining. The open plan features a family sunroom/gathering room with fireplace, adjacent kitchen and main-level master suite, plus a great bonus room with a wet bar upstairs. Enjoy the screened porch overlooking the fabulous one-acre lot with an irrigation system. 4BRs/3BAs YMLS# 1031750 - CMLS# 593077 - $509,900 Property Address: 5356 Masons Ferry Road

Mary Beth Shealy - 800-936-8501 www.marybethshealy.com

SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT SECTION


S omewhere between starting a business and growing one, you’re going to need a bank. We’d like to be it. The small business advisors of RBC Centura. With more proactive advice, proven ideas and dedicated service than you’d expect from a bank. For a banking center near you, call 1 800 CENTURA or visit us at rbccentura.com. Member FDIC. ©2007 RBC Centura Bank. www.rbccentura.com ® Registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. RBC Centura is a trade name used by RBC Centura Bank. SM “Let’s do something giant.” is a service mark of RBC Centura Banks, Inc.

Greater Charlotte biz 2007.03  

Greater Charlotte Biz

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