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Altman Initiative Group • Junior Achievement • Hudson Legal • Crawford & Crawford Composites

october 2007

Building New Networks AT&T Chief Connects With More Than Community Cynthia Marshall President AT&T, Inc. North Carolina


Daniel P. McMahon, MD. Specializing in pediatric oncology.

And aerial maneuvers. When a child has cancer, there is nothing more important than fighting it. That’s why, at Levine Children’s Hospital, we bring our region’s families stateof-the-art diagnostic capabilities and therapies for children with cancer and blood disorders. It’s why we’re involved with more than 50 clinical trials. It’s why we offer the region’s only long-term follow-up clinic. At Levine Children’s Hospital, we have more than 30 pediatric specialties. Every one of them is focused on helping kids overcome challenges, so they can focus on being kids.

www.levinechildrenshospital.org


in this issue

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cover story

AT&T North Carolina Cynthia Marshall not only holds the reins of AT&T’s North Carolina operations she also participated in the transformation of a telephone company into a multimedia communications provider. Events seem to run full-circle for Marshall, in her career as well as her life. Perhaps it’s because of her drive to excel and her passion to help others.

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Crawford & Crawford Composites Max and Jan Crawford, daughters Trudie Capece and Catherine Wallace, and an extended family of employees pour their collective efforts into making Crawford & Crawford Composites a business that’s unique in more ways than one.

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Altman Initiative Group Denise Altman has spent most of her adult life observing people, both in and out of the business environment, and has molded her own business around the idea that people need to be given the “tools” of good communication and taught how to use them.

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publisher’spost

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bizXperts Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions

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employersbiz Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers

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workforcebiz Work Force Training and Development

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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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Junior Achievement Philip Volponi has made a career out of Junior Achievement and as the Charlotte chapter celebrates its 50th anniversary this academic year, the veteran president is confident it is accomplishing its goal of teaching students financial literacy.

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Hudson Legal Bringing to Charlotte over 20 years of experience and a combination of legal expertise and a personal, boutique approach, Hudson Legal supplies a variety of solutions for their clients to meet long- and short-term litigation needs.

on the cover:

Altman Initiative Group • Junior Achievement • Hudson Legal • Crawford & Crawford Composites october 2007

Cynthia Marshall President AT&T, Inc. North Carolina

Building New Networks AT&T Chief Connects With More Than Community Cynthia Marshall President AT&T, Inc. North Carolina

Photography by Wayne Morris.

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[publisher’spost] Adapting to Continuing Economic Change Growing up in South Bend, Indiana, not far from the shadow of Notre Dame’s golden dome, it was disconcerting to watch the economic downturn caused by the demise of the Studebaker automobile company in the ’60s. Purchased by Packard in 1954, the cultures of the two companies never really worked. At first, they consolidated production in South Bend, but climbing costs forced the company to move its production facility to Canada in 1964. When the South Bend operation shut down, many of my friends’ parents lost their John Paul Galles jobs and neighborhoods and businesses diminished and died. Around the same time, my father worked at a missile plant in nearby Mishawaka while my mother taught school. When that plant lost substantial government contracts, my father also lost his job. He was out of work for nine months before he decided to go back to college and finish his degree. For two years, he left home and lived on campus at Indiana University in Bloomington until he finished with a degree in mathematics. After graduation, he eventually found employment with Bethlehem Steel at a new plant being built in Burns Harbor on Lake Michigan. He retired from Bethlehem Steel 28 years ago. He found his way to survive economic change. In those days, manufacturing was the heart and soul of nearly every major city. Watching those companies fade and eventually close has been heartbreaking but clearly evidences the change in the basis of our economy. This trend away from manufacturing has continued for many years; fortunately, technology and the computer chip have provided new ways to compete and be successful. With the growth of China, India and other low-cost nations as well as the oil producing nations, there is an even greater redirection of resources worldwide. How are we coping with all these changes and still growing our economy? Rich Karlgaard, editor of Forbes, recently visited Charlotte and spoke about this, describing a new demographic trend among Americans to more actively determine where they can be happy. In his book Life 2.0, he speaks about the 70 million baby-boomers in the United States and how their aging is affecting our economic lives. One of the most significant trends he identifies is a population shift away from larger urban centers to smaller cities – “to the heartland.” Facing retirement and a reduced income, people are shedding their assets in high-cost urban areas and moving to places like Charlotte with a lower cost of living and a higher quality of life. Nearly 80,000 new residents moved to Charlotte last year, mostly from larger populations in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. This movement to smaller cities and towns away from larger urban areas is also occurring in other states, primarily in the Southeast and West. On average, these states’ populations have grown by 24 percent over the 1990s while the rest of the nation grew by 13 percent. Thanks to increasing technology, broadband and search tools, people are finding that they can be as productive in smaller towns as they have been in large urban areas. They don’t need to reside in or near big cities; they can be successful without the high cost of living in larger urban areas. With people living longer and many people working longer as well, they will need to live where they can afford to live, be productive and still enjoy their lives. It is estimated that this phenomenon will continue over the next 20 years. Economic restructuring can be painful. Learning about change and how it will likely occur gives many a fighting chance to adapt and benefit from these developments. We are fortunate to be in Charlotte facing growth when many other communities are fading and failing. Adjusting to economic changes around the world will continue until some equilibrium is reached. In the meantime, we need to apply our brainpower to continue our own growth and prosperity. biz

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October 2007 Volume 8 • Issue 10 Publisher John Paul Galles jgalles@greatercharlottebiz.com

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

Creative Director Joanna L. Davis jdavis@greatercharlottebiz.com

Editorial & Sales Assistant Janet Kropinak jkropinak@greatercharlottebiz.com

Business Development Sandy Rosenfeld srosenfeld@greatercharlottebiz.com

Account Executive Kim Nees kim.nees@greatercharlottebiz.com

Mimi Zelman mzelman@greatercharlottebiz.com

Contributing Writers Ellison Clary Heather Head Janet Kropinak Thomas Monigan Contributing Photographer Wayne Morris Galles Communications Group, Inc. 5601 77 Center Drive • Suite 250 Charlotte, NC 28217-0737 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 28217-0737. 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 28217-0737.

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[bizXperts] Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions

business owner estate planning: a “holistic” approach Bob, age 58, owns a business which generates yearly cash flow of $600,000 (after owner “add backs”) with an estimated fair market value of $3.5 million. His other assets consist of (1) a house worth $500,000 (net of mortgage), (2) 401K account of $500,000, and (3) stocks and bonds worth $500,000. His wife, Mary, age 45, is a homemaker. They have two children together, ages 10 and 15. Bob also has a daughter, June, age 33 from his first wife. June has worked in the business since college and is now Bob’s chosen successor. Bob’s estate planning objectives are to: (1) make certain Mary and their minor children are adequately provided for; (2) treat all of his children “equally”; and (3) minimize death taxes upon his and his wife’s death. He currently receives $400,000 per year between salary and “S” distributions. He firmly believes the business will continue to produce equivalent or greater earnings regardless of his disability or death and desires for the business ownership to remain in the family. Bob is currently uninsurable. His current estate plan is a “simple will” which leaves everything to his wife, if she survives him, and if not, in equal shares to his three children. Given these facts, what are some of the issues which should be addressed in order for Bob to reach his objectives in the event of his death or disability? Issue (1): Who does Bob want to control the business? Mary? No. June? Yes. How can this be done while meeting his other objectives? One solution may be to separate voting control from value of the business by recapitalizing the company and converting 1,000 shares of common voting stock he currently has to 10 shares of Class A voting stock and 990 shares of Class B non-voting stock. Control of the business after the recapitalization would be vested solely in voting shares which represent only about one percent of the value of the company. Bob could put his 10 Class A voting shares in a revocable trust for the benefit of his three children with him as trustee until his incapacity or death. Upon his incapacity or death, June would be his successor trustee. By doing this, Bob is able to place control of the company with June while using the non-voting shares to equalize the value ultimately given to his three children upon Mary’s death. Issue (2): If June assumes control of the company at Bob’s disability or death, how do we ensure that Mary and the minor children have adequate income? Bob has taken his $400,000 per year out of the business in the form of salary and “S” distributions. Mary would neither be an employee nor would she be able to vote the voting shares to declare an “S” distribution.

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Therefore, assuming that Bob leaves his assets in a family trust and marital trust, with Mary as trustee—even if the trusts require the distribution of “all the net income” to Mary as the surviving spouse—would Mary have plenty of income? No, not unless June votes the voting shares as trustee Robert Norris of the separate trust to make “S” distributions— which she may not feel comfortable doing until the business demonstrates its ability to continue successfully without Bob. How does this issue get resolved? There are at least two possibilities: One is for Bob to purchase life insurance on his life to be owned by an ILIT to create additional income producing assets for his wife and minor children at his death. Due to Bob’s health, this is not an option. A second option is for Bob to cause the company to adopt a deferred compensation plan for Bob, payable annually to Bob upon his retirement and, more importantly, continue for the rest of Mary’s lifetime. Issue (3): Assuming Bob’s other objectives are addressed, how does he minimize estate taxes upon his and his wife’s death? One of the most effective estate tax minimization strategies for business owners is to structure the ownership of the stock to ensure that Mary’s estate (as surviving spouse) qualifies for “minority” interest, lack of marketability, and lack of control discounts. Such discounts can often reduce the value of the stock for tax purposes by 20 percent to 40 percent—a huge tax savings. However, the steps necessary to ensure the availability of these valuation discounts must normally be taken before the first spouse dies. This case illustrates that a “holistic” approach requiring the estate planner to also understand corporate law, life insurance, and employee benefits is necessary to optimally help Bob meet his objectives. Of course, these strategies, as well as all other strategies to minimize estate taxes, should only be pursued with the guidance and counsel of a qualified attorney. 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 visit w w w.wnhplaw.com.

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Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions

[bizXperts]

old fashioned prospecting…a high-speed way to increase sales ALERT! ALERT! – FOR ALL COMPANIES WITH SLOWING SALES When the economy was more robust, prospects were eager to invest in many things for fear of being left behind in the hightech/high-speed/technology-will-solve-everything revolution. Quietly, and with little notice (while we heard rumors of it in other parts of the country and throughout the world), sales professionals across the country stopped making calls and spent more time on proposals and presentations, because their pipeline was always full. After all, prospects had already decided they were going to buy something. As a result of selling in this climate of growth, expansion and record sales, many sales professionals have lost the skills, or never had to learn how, to generate interest with tough buyers. Effective prospecting is built on a foundation of three elements. The first is the prospecting plan. The plan describes the attributes of the target customer. This includes all their physical characteristics and “pains” needed to be a good fit for your products or services. Plans describe the methods used to find and contact your prospects. A common error is to design a plan heavily loaded with marketing (mail, e-mail, fax) or indirect contacts like networking and strategic alliances. These methods have a place in your plan, but make sure you address ways to find prospects now, today. Challenge yourself with direct contact methods like phone calls to prospects that have just received some marketing materials, and even try stopping in for a brief face-to-face introduction. It could lead to a scheduled appointment in the not-to-distant future. Complete the plan by determining the frequency of activity (number of calls per day/week) and expected outcomes (number of conversations and new appointments set). As results are tracked, it will be easy to see what the most effective plan will be. The second element consists of the strategies and tactics for each of the prospecting methods listed in your plan. Do you really know how to be effective at generating interest when making calls? To have a chance at success, you must first set the stage for an open conversation. Although there are additional tactics to move the sale forward, a salesperson must master generating interest or any additional time spent on the prospect will be wasted. To avoid the quick put-off, it is important to establish

greater charlotte biz

that you are not like other salespeople. The hard part is that you just can’t say you are different. You have to b e different. There are many way to do this. One example: if you want to send a message of honesty, say “I want to be up front with you (Jim), Bob Henricks this is a sales call; should I stop now?” This example includes a second concept for making the prospect feel comfortable: let the prospect feel in control. Most calls don’t go very far because the prospect “feels or hears” the salesperson pushing the conversation forward. All prospects fear that if they allow the salesperson to be in control, they will eventually find themselves trapped. Trigger that fear and they get rid of salespeople with false interest like, “Please send me literature,” or redirection such as, “My assistant makes those decisions.” There is much more to the call than just this concept, but begin here and the rest can come quite easily. The third and final element of prospecting is attitude. A salesperson possesses many beliefs, feelings, and opinions. These attitudes control what a salesperson believes he or she can/can’t or should/shouldn’t do when making calls. For example: a belief that you are “bothering” a CEO, results in calling on someone too low in the organization. The sales process becomes protracted, with no sale at the end. Let’s be a bit more optimistic about this salesperson. Maybe he/she learned that calling too low in an organization often results in failure and the need to make a sales bonus forces him/her to try calling higher. Effort meets good fortune—a CEO is willing to talk. Now the “bothering” rule comes into play. The CEO hears a little hesitation, a slightly strained tonality. Although the CEO can’t describe the problem, he/she says to him/herself, “I’m interested in this product/service but I don’t want to continue this conversation.” After a little interplay, it turns into the redirection, “Talk to my VP.” In making calls, the rule, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it,” is at the heart of the success. Role-play scenarios like “If you believed a CEO would welcome a conversation with you, how would you talk to that CEO?” Repeated practice will go a long way to honing the skills necessary for successful prospecting. Many salespeople would like marketing to refill their pipelines for them. Professional salespeople understand that when it’s time to “turn things around,” the shortest path to new sales is picking up that phone directly. Bob Henricks is president of Henricks Corporate Training and Development, a company dedicated to helping business owners, managers and salespeople succeed. Contact him at 704-544-7383 or visit www.henrickscorp.sandler.com.

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[bizXperts] Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions

going green with technology Can we use Voice Over IP (VoIP) technology to protect our environment? Yes, mobility solutions allow people to work from home and can have an enormous impact on an organization, its employees and society as a whole. If you consider that the national average one-way commute is 40 minutes, this adds up to about eight full work weeks of commuting time in a single year. Combine that with the fact that the average one-way commute distance in miles is almost 13 miles, we can significantly reduce gas emissions by allowing employees to work from home. Meanwhile, many individual employees would get the equivalent of a significant pay raise, since letting them telecommute two days a week would reduce their commuting fuel consumption by 40 percent and save on wear and tear upon their vehicles. VoIP Technology can allow an office phone extension in the home to have the exact accountability as an extension in the office. Features such as call detail reporting and monitoring can allow supervisors management tools for managing the at home worker. IP phones can be on the same digital network as e-mail and other data communications. They link your phone with your computer, your voice mail with your e-mail, and provide you with new ways of sorting, mixing and managing all your information and communications. IP networking enables employees to work where they can be most effective, while maintaining robust

communication with customers, associates, supervisors, and business leadership. Organizations also benefit knowing that their employees can continue working in the face of any workplace disruption. When workers are unable to drive due to inclement weather, sick kids or being Rhonda Morgan under the weather themselves, the bottom line benefits can be a cost-savings. In addition, fears about global warming have brought environmental protection to the top of the public agenda and many businesses are eager to respond to this concern. Unified communications and mobility solutions can provide every organization with an opportunity to meet this challenge in a way that also contributes to the global economy and the corporate bottom line. It has also been shown that organizations can cut their costs by having employees work from home. Add to this the impact of telecommuting on the global environment and you can see how unified communications contribute to the kind of win-win solution that makes for a truly sustainable economy. Rhonda Morgan is vice president and general manager of ATCOM Business Telecom Solutions. Contact her at 704-602-2902 or visit www.atcombts.com.

fear and panic are quickly replacing logic and common sense Bank on it: “The marketwide selloff has led insiders to buy en masse, sending the most bullish signal to investors since the fall of 2002 [the market bottomed October 10 of that year], according to Market Profile Theorems.” -The Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2007 Financial columnist Keith Fitz-Gerald wrote, “History shows time and again that investors with the ‘intestinal fortitude’ (i.e. ‘guts’) to wade in and buy when all hope appears lost are almost always the biggest winners when the sun is shining brightly again. If you buy on panic, you’re likely getting bargain-basement prices, and that can only magnify your gains when the markets inevitably rebound.” There’s more than enough bad news to go around and no doubt there’ll be even more, accompanied by further economic and corporate “surprises” over the next few weeks and months. Pundits will keep on guessing just how much damage an already-substantial decline in housing and considerable shrinkage in the mortgage market will do. More and more people are flocking into the “safe” havens of money markets, CDs and bonds, leaving even high-quality, big-dividend-paying equities like Pfizer in the dust. Why? Because in all likelihood their stock portfolios are down this year, and we all know that being down is not comfortable. The pain of even a temporary loss is always far greater than

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the excitement of big gains even as close as a year or two down the road. Dalbar Inc. is a firm that has studied investor behavior intensely for many years. Although they used equity-mutual funds instead of individual stocks (because measurement is far easier), Dalbar discovBill Staton ered that while the funds earned more than 13 percent per year over the two decades studied, the typical stock investors earned only about one third of that—less than 4 percent annually. Why? Because the emotions of greed and fear, not common sense and logic, ran their investment strategy. The father of modern-day securities analysis and Warren Buffett’s professor when Buffett attended Columbia, Benjamin Graham, said many years ago, “Mr. Market is a voting machine in the short term and a weighing machine in the long term.” Master advisor Nick Murray puts it another way, “You see too much news and not enough truth.” We are keeping our investment heads on to take advantage of a growing array of stock opportunities. You should too!! Bill Staton, M.B.A., CFA, is chairman of Staton Financial Advisors LLC, a money management firm. Contact him at 704-365-2122 or visit www.statonfinancial.com.

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Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions

[bizXperts]

the leader’s toolkit: developmental versus “fixmental” leadership For every job there is the worker, and the tools they need to get the job done. A master carpenter has an impressive selection of finely tuned instruments to assure straight lines and corners with the proper angles. You will not see a master carpenter hammering a nail with a screwdriver. The most important tools a leader has to execute his or her job are the strengths and skills of the people they select for their organization. You will not see an effective leader using the wrong person to execute strategy—(at least not for very long!) A capable leader seeks out individuals with traits that are aligned with the core values of the organization, and strengths that will benefit it. Like the carpenter who can see the artwork in a piece of wood, a strong leader can identify rough talent and enjoys the process of shaping it to its fullest potential. This is a developmental approach to leadership. Yet all too often, executive leaders find themselves in a position where they are trying to “fix” an employee. This “fixmental” approach is counterproductive to creating and refining the culture of an organization, and is very time consuming. It’s like the carpenter taking a few weeks off to create a brand new tool from several broken ones, or gluing wood shavings into a corner that has been misshapen. It just doesn’t fit

greater charlotte biz

the profile of a talented carpenter. If a leader is spending too much time reprimanding, disciplining, or trying to remedy by incentivizing, it’s pretty safe to assume that the approach to this employee is “fixmental,” and counterproductive to their goals. Either the employee’s core values or strengths— Mike Whitehead or both—are not compatible with the company, and it is the leader’s job to recognize this and do everyone a favor by supporting that employee in finding another position. People don’t want to spend the majority of their waking hours in a job where they are constantly being treated as though they are broken. Their natural and reasonable desire is to spend that time in a position that is compatible with their strengths and where they feel valued for their contribution. There is plenty of work for both hammers and screwdrivers. It’s the leader’s job to make sure their tool kit contains the proper instruments to get the vision accomplished. Mike Whitehead is president of Whitehead Associates, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in leadership and culture development. Contact him at 704-366-5335 or visit www.whiteheadassociates.com.

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CENTRAL PIEDMONT COMMUNITY COLLEGE


Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers

[employersbiz]

BLOGGING IS THE TRENDIEST RISK

Ogling Google:Top benefit practices

Not that long ago, employers and HR were rushing to create Internet use policies that would protect the organization from various risks posed by employee Internet use. Today, a similar scramble is on as employers and HR are rushing to create blogging policies. The risks associated with blogging are both practical and legal. As a practical matter, blogging can easily result in decreased productivity. Legally, however, the consequences of blogging can be much more significant including the risk that an organization could be sued for libelous statements or disclosure of private or embarrassing facts, a blogger could release confidential information on the Web, and/or trade secrets could be placed at risk by an employee’s unintentional disclosure. To best protect against the practical and legal ramifications of blogging, organizations should implement a blogging policy. Such a policy should include the following: • A statement defining the organization’s stance on blogging during working hours and on company-owned equipment; • A disclaimer (e.g., “all views expressed are those of the blogger and not the organization”); and • A requirement that all blogs, respect the confidentiality of company information and trade secrets, be based upon facts and not speculation, not contain material which is of critical importance to competitors, coworkers, or customers, and and not contain material which might create a hostile work environment. Supervise employee blogging practices. Although it is unlikely that employees could successfully claim that their First Amendment rights were violated by a nongovernmental employer that prohibits blogging in the workplace during working hours, employers could face potentially successful claims brought by coworkers of bloggers who allege invasion of privacy or defamation. Even in light of a potential lawsuit against an organization, employers should still supervise the blogging activities of employees. Employers have a right to prohibit and/or supervise blogging activities of employees on company-owned systems in the workplace. Using blogging to the corporate advantage. Many companies, particularly those in information technology, encourage their employees to utilize blogging as a means of communicating, learning, and developing new ideas. Many such companies, such as Sun Microsystems, for example, have implemented a policy and code of ethics that permit blogging subject only to some basic rules such as: don’t tell secrets, be interesting, write what you know, avoid financial disclosure, and think about consequences. Blogging is here to stay. There were over 53 million hosted blogs by year-end 2005 according to a survey conducted by Perseus. Although other data suggest that the number of persons blogging is far less than the number reading the blogs, at the very least, whether reading or writing, those who are blogging cannot at the same time be working and, as a result, business responsibilities are neglected. (CCH Online)

Google is just eight years old but it snagged the No. 1 spot on Fortune’s 2007 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. Reason: Its’ benefits are to die for. Among Google’s perks: tuition reimbursement up to $8,000 a year; on-site medical and dental clinics; 27 days of paid leave after one year’ paid leave to attend school; unlimited sick leave; conveniences like bike repairs, valet parking and free meals. These perks may be out of reach for your organization, but you can learn from the other 99 best companies. Winning characteristics include flexibility in work time and place, a diverse work force, employee-learning opportunities, supporting employees’ families, and encouraging communication with executives. Some of the more unique perks • Goldman Sachs offers employees who get married are given an extra week of vacation. • Methodist Hospital system gave every employee a $250 gas card in 2006. • Arnold & Porter pays $15,000 to any employee who recommends a successful new hire. • Microsoft offers free grocery delivery and will match employee charitable contributions up to $12,000. (HR Specialist)

greater charlotte biz

Rewriting retiree benefits to retain talent To attract and keep experienced workers, more employers plan to expand their retiree benefit offerings according to the 5th annual MetLife Study of Employee Benefits Trends. About 40 percent of employers provide retiree benefits, which includes medical, dental and life insurance. Among that group, 63 percent expect to improve those offerings over the next five years. More than two-thirds of small businesses plan to do the same. Furthermore, researchers believe another societal trend pushing large and small employers to reconsider their retirement benefit package is that more Americans are feeling insecure about being able to afford health care during retirement. Consider, for example, that 35 percent of employees ages 51 and older admitted to living paycheck to paycheck, with 58 percent worried about having enough money to pay bills and living expenses.Therefore, it’s no surprise that 42 percent of workers said benefits were a key reason for remaining with their employer, MetLife notes. (Employee Benefit News) The Employers Association is a nonprofit Charlotte organization providing comprehensive human resources and training services. Founded in 1958, the Association maintains a broad-based membership of over 800 companies from all industries in the greater Charlotte region. The above excerpts were taken from The Management Report, the Association’s monthly newsletter. For more information, please call Laura Hampton at 704-522-8011 or visit their Web site at www.employersassoc.com.

october 2007

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HOOD HARGETT BREAKFAST CLUB

You and Your Company Are Invited to become an exclusive sponsor of the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club in 2008

H

ood Hargett Breakfast Club: The Premier Business Development Organization for Success-Minded Charlotte Business Owners.

The Hood Hargett Breakfast Club is a ‘category exclusive’ business development organization that develops and hosts some 36 events throughout the year for its members and guests. The goal of these events: to provide success-minded business owners with first-class venues to entertain their clients and prospects. HHBC takes great pride in creating a pro-active, professional-yet-casual environment that gives members and guests the chance to meet and learn more about each other and their respective companies. These opportunities to develop new business relationships and enhance existing ones are key to the on-going success of HHBC. Call Jennifer Snyder at 704-602-9529.

NEW 2007-2008 SPEAKER LINE-UP November 9, 2007 Lloyd Trotter Vice Chairman, GE President and CEO, GE Industrial

March 14, 2008

January 11, 2008

April 18, 2008

October 10, 2008

Chief Richard Picciotto Highest-Ranking Firefighter to Survive WTC Collapse

Doug Lipp Former Head of Training at Walt Disney University

May 2, 2008

November 14, 2008

Kirk Herbsteit ESPN Sports Analyst and Former Star Quarterback

February 8, 2008 Ari Fleischer Former Whitehouse Press Secretary

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

Pat Croce Entepreneur and Motivational Speaker

Jim Nantz Broadcaster CBS Sports

September 12, 2008

Lee Woodruff Public Relations Executive and Freelance Writer

Dick Hoyt Team Hoyt Motivational Speaker

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

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Work Force Training and Development

[workforcebiz]

Raising the Bar: State-of-the-Art Paralegal Program

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ccording to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Occupational Outlook Quarterly, the paralegal profession is solidly ranked as the second fastestgrowing or most secure occupations. The latest employment trends published by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that employment in the paralegal sector is expected to grow much faster than average in the coming years, as employers try to reduce costs by hiring paralegals to perform tasks formerly carried out by lawyers. As a result, Central Piedmont Community College’s paralegal program has been expanding over the years. CPCC’s Paralegal Technology program is the only paralegal program in western North Carolina approved by both the American Bar Association and the North Carolina State Bar. The state bar recognition provides an additional benefit to students; it qualifies them to sit for the

Such dedicated library space is a rarity outside of large, four-year research universities. But to Nina Neal, program chair for CPCC’s Paralegal Technology program, the library is just an example of CPCC’s commitment to providing its students with a topquality educational experience. “Our goal is to provide a quality education for our students, and to ensure that they are work force ready,” states Neal. Students entering the program may choose from two offerings: the Associate in Applied Science degree in Paralegal Technology (2-year program); or the Post-baccalaureate diploma in Paralegal Technology (1-year program). The curricula in either program prepare individuals to work under the supervision of attorneys by performing routine legal tasks and assisting with substantive legal work. A paralegal/legal assistant may not practice law, give legal advice, or represent clients in a court of law. Course work includes substantive and

examination to become certificated as a North Carolina certified paralegal. CPCC’s Paralegal Technology program began with a handful of students in 1976. Today, there are over 400 students enrolled in its programs of study at any one time. This fall, CPCC Paralegal Technology students converging on the college’s Cato campus will notice a new addition; a 2,500 square foot space dedicated to the college’s 9,000-volume legal law library. In addition to its up-to-date legal holdings, the library contains research and study space, as well as its own librarian.

procedural legal knowledge in the areas of civil litigation, legal research and writing, real estate, family law, wills, estates, trusts, and commercial law. Required courses also include subjects such as English, mathematics, and computer utilization. Graduates are trained to assist attorneys in probate work, drafting and filing legal documents, research, and office management. Tuition and fees for a typical North Carolina resident taking a full load of paralegal technology courses are approximately $850 per semester. Graduates may anticipate employment

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within private law firms, governmental agencies, banks, insurance agencies, and other business organizations. Typical job titles include paralegal, legal assistant, or judicial assistant. The most recent salary information published by the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the current median annual earnings for full-time paralegals and legal assistants, including bonuses, at $39,130. The middle 50 percent earn between $31,040 and $49,950, while the top 10 percent earn more than $61,390. Quality faculty is the cornerstone of CPCC’s paralegal program. All full- and part-time instructors are credentialed lawyers and members of the State Bar of North Carolina. Each has extensive work experience in private industry, and maintains ties to Charlotte’s legal community. According to Neal, this connection to the legal community provides numerous opportunities for paralegal students to serve cooperative education internships at various local law offices. According to Jenna Watson, a recent CPCC Paralegal Technology graduate and legal assistant in the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office, the CPCC Paralegal Technology program offered the training she needed for her chosen career path. “Shortly after receiving my degree, I was hired by the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s office as a victim/witness legal assistant, which allows me to use the skills and knowledge I acquired through my training,” explains Watson. Individuals interested in possibly pursing a paralegal career may learn more by visiting the CPCC Paralegal Technology program Web site at www.cpcc.edu/paralegal, or by calling 704-330-4883 or 704-330-4810. biz This section is intended to highlight work force training and development programs and initiatives delivered by community colleges within the Charlotte region. Community colleges are invited to submit substantive content ideas to editor@greatercharlottebiz.com.

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Tony Stewartâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s debut in sports car racing was in this open cockpit, carbon fiber chassis, Crawford SSC2k at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2002.Tony later drove the car with sports car legend, Elliott Forbes-Robinson of Denver, N.C. at the Paul Revere 250, a companion race to NASCARâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s July Daytona venue.

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Advan (back, l-r) Maxwell C. Crawford, Founder and President; Andrew J. Scriven, Chief Designer; Toby D.McCall, Composite Production Manager (front) Janice G. Crawford, Managing Director Crawford & Crawford Composites, Inc.

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by thomas monigan

[bizprofile]

cing

utomotive Aerodynamics Crawford Composites Has Wings

Always since his youth, when he was growing up in New Zealand, Max Crawford wanted to build racecars.And he’s spent his life doing just that, but not quite as he imagined it as a youngster.Today you can find Crawford still working with his sweetheart and pursuing the passion of those early days. Max and Jan Crawford, alongside daughters Trudie Capece and Catherine Wallace, and an extended family of employees, pour their collective efforts into making Crawford & Crawford Composites, Inc. a business that’s unique in more ways than one. Crawford Composites’ primary focus is the utilization of aerospace technology and materials to manufacture components for the auto racing industry.The operation is located just off N.C. 16 in Denver, in the heart of the rapidly developing northeast corner of Lincoln County. Road racing is where the Crawfords got started and they’re still involved with cars that run in 24-hour events at Daytona and Le Mans. But in recent years, they’ve been positioning themselves for more involvement with NASCAR, the dominant form of racing in this region. “NASCAR is the epitome of stability,” says Jan Crawford. “They’ve built a tremendous machine, and encompassed the whole series on a business relationship. Everybody associated with it can carry out the business plan. That signals stability, longevity. The bottom line is there has to be a return on investment. Some of the other series do not have that stability.” In the mid- and late 1990s, the Crawfords handled wind tunnel model construction of Ford’s Thunderbird and Taurus. Most recently they’ve designed and created the carbon fiber wing for the rear deck of NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow in the NEXTEL Cup series, plus the end plates for those wings. All along the way, the Crawfords have kept the family involved. Each family member contributes something to their projects that bears a personal trademark. Revving Up Max Crawford’s career in the auto industry began in 1966 in his homeland of New Zealand as an apprenticed mechanic. During the five year apprenticeship and his subsequent business with his wife Janice, Max built and raced a variety of cars in the New Zealand Open Saloon Car Association racing series. Late in 1979 Max accepted an offer to join Dick Barbour Racing, a San Franciscobased team competing with Porsche 935s in the American International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) series and the Group C World Endurance Championship. Despite clinching the 1980 IMSA championship, Dick Barbour Racing was disbanded and Max accepted a position as crew chief with John Fitzpatrick Racing in San Diego. From 1981 until 1985, John Fitzpatrick Racing successfully campaigned a Porsche multiple car team in IMSA in America, and the worldwide Group C, gaining multiple victories and top five finishes. During these years Max was given the opportunity to construct the Porsche K-4, which had an outstanding record in 1982 and 1983, including back to back victories at Riverside. With the advent and purchase of the factory-built Porsche 962s, Max began the development and application of carbon fiber and composite technology to gain a necessary advantage. By combining this technology and aerodynamic packaging, 

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significant gains brought the first Porsche Can-am victory in 10 years at Elkhart Lake, Group C victory at Brands Hatch, and third place at Le Mans in 1984. With the closing of John Fitzpatrick Racing, Max moved to North Carolina in 1987 as team manager of Bruce Jenner Racing and brought Porsche their first Trans-am win. At the close of the season Max elected to pursue his development of the composite technology and his interest in aerodynamics beginning a sole proprietorship which developed into the incorporation of Crawford & Crawford Composites, Inc., in 1996. In the last 11 years Max has been actively involved in wind tunnel model development projects, among the more recent the Ford Taurus Winston Cup program. In 1989, he developed the composite bodywork for the GTO Mazda and in 1990, constructed the first American-made fully composite car for Mazda of America, the RX7-92P GTP car. Crawford Composites has continued the construction of autoclaved composite chassis, lately completing eight chassis for the Riley & Scott IRL program in 1998. The company supplies parts and services to competitors in NASCAR (Winston Cup, Busch, and Craftsman Truck Series), CART, IRL, Formula Atlantic, USRRC, Professional Sports Car (WSC, GT1, GT2, GT3), NHRA, Champ Car and SCCA. Max resumed an active association with sports car racing in 1995 when he returned as crew chief for selected races, this time for long time customer, Dyson Racing Team. Max has enjoyed several victories with the team, the highlights being the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona winner in 1997 and 1999. The Car of Tomorrow The Crawfords will tell you that Max “runs the shop” and Jan “keeps the books straight,” but it’s really more sophisticated than that. They estimate they’ve spent in excess of $15 million in assembling the technology that allows them to bring their products from the drawing board to the racetrack in weeks instead of months. Take, for example, the case of the wings on NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow, which is one of the Crawford projects. The raw carbon composite comes in rolls. It’s stored in a large freezer, just below zero. Once a Crawford designer comes up with an outline, a giant

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digitized and computerized cutting table comes into play. “It cuts in just 60 seconds what took us forever,” Max comments with pride. “We can do in seven days what in the old days would take us two months.” Then the material is heated and pressurized onto a molded form, which is in turn ground, finished and completed. “We’re a little different, a little harsh here,” Max Crawford says. “So many of these young designers set up their computer and they’re ready to design the world. With us they have to design and make their own part. And, they have to put it in the scrap bin if they don’t get it right, and until they get it right.” Head designer Andy Scriven is an Englishman who’s been in America 12 years. He started as chief designer with the Crawfords in 1999. “I had to learn to run the milling machine, and I didn’t even know how to turn it on,” he said, remembering. “The good thing is, when you have to go out and make the part yourself, you consider the way you approach the job; you want to make it easier on yourself while still doing the things you want to do from a design standpoint. It also makes you aware of the cost of the item,” he adds. “You can design a $10,000 bracket that’s unfortunately supposed to cost $10. Racing is very selective. At the end of the day people will buy the car that’s winning. If it doesn’t win, people won’t buy it. It’s hard

to design a car to be fastest, but on a budget. That’s the trick. If it were easy, we’d all be doing it,” smiles Scriven with hardearned experience. The Car of Tomorrow might appear to be simple, Scriven says, but don’t be fooled. Even the endplates are more complicated than you’d imagine. “We had to devise a way to A, make them; B, make lots of them; and C, make them at a price for NASCAR,” Scriven explains. “It took quite a bit of work to satisfy those requirements. “Each job gets the same amount of care and attention. Sometimes you get as much satisfaction out of a small part that’s well designed and well manufactured as you do out of a whole car,” Scriven points out. Testing for many of Crawford Composite’s parts is done in wind tunnels like the one belonging to Penske Technology Group in Mooresville and General Motors in Detroit. Testing on the track frequently means Virginia International Speedway in Danville, Va. As for the wings on the Car of Tomorrow, Jan Crawford says the practice wings are supplied directly to the various NASCAR teams that run the NEXTEL Cup series, and those teams test individually. Family Work Ethic Even the most advanced technology cannot take the place of some old-fashioned work ethic. The Crawfords family’s North

The rear of Crawford DP03 is designed to accommodate different engine installations according to customer preference.To date engine configurations packaged are Porsche, Pontiac,Toyota and Ford.

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Carolina experience started with 5,400 square feet in nearby Grassy Creek. The house and the shop were all one structure. “We worked 80-plus, sometimes 100 hours a week,” Jan and Max recall. “When we started out it was not uncommon to work right through 12, 14, 16, 18 hours,” Max says. With this type of leadership, Crawford Composite’s 40 employees know what to expect when it comes time to make an all-out push to meet a production deadline. Most of the core group that started out in Grassy Creek is still part of the team in Denver. Composite production manager Toby McCall began his training at the Grassy Creek facility 17 years ago. Due in large part to his early training in an apprenticeship, Max has developed a company apprenticeship program in which a high school student can learn and earn his or her way to full-time employment. J.C. Stephens from Fred T. Foard was the first graduate of their program and is currently working part-time while pursuing an engineering degree at N.C. State. Kory Jarrett is another of that group and is working as a fabricator. Nick Beaver from Catawba County graduated from Bandys High School and is studying for a two-year associate degree in industrial engineering at Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory. Beaver says he wants to own his own business someday. “I’ve got my foot in the door, and I’ve got a leg up on the competition, I’ll say that,” he says. “Not many colleges can educate people as well as this program does. It’s been an eyeopener as far as how challenging some of the jobs can be, and how the racing industry works and what all goes on behind the scenes,” Beaver continues. A Family That Works Together… Daughters Trudie Capece and Catherine Wallace grew up in the business, and each plays a role in what goes on at the complex. Trudie Capece, 31, is the general manager of Howard Motorsports LLC, a car racing entity of the Crawford Group. Howard Motorsports competes in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series in their Pontiac Crawford DP03 cars. Husband Peter Capece, a Denver attorney, is a fly-in race crew member for the Howard Team.

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The cockpit of the Crawford Daytona Prototype is complete with computerized carbon fiber steering wheel manufactured by Crawford Composites.

Catherine Wallace, 29, is an aerodynamicist and test engineer for Crawford Race Cars, a division that builds racing machines for the likes of the 24-hour events at Le Mans and Daytona. She’s married to sports car driver, Andy Wallace, an Englishman. Having business and family life intertwined doesn’t appear to bother this group. “We have lots of meetings,” Max says with a little smile. “It’s not an issue for us. We all have very, very strong personalities.” While both daughters were in college, there were some informal reviews done at the end of the summer, and these provided what Jan Crawford described as some of the most learning and telling moments. Mom and Dad, of course, came from an era when input from the children wasn’t sought and backtalk wasn’t tolerated. But this “review dialogue” meant everyone was able to participate without fear of reprisal. “If it’s your family, you can’t just say, ‘Oh, the hell with it,’” Trudie says. “You have to work it out. We have a very supportive environment.” Just like what happens out on the race track, working in the motorsports industry has alternating episodes of triumph and frustration, with no guarantees as to the final outcome. “Persistence is the key,” says Trudie. “You can’t give up. You have to keep pushing forward. In this business it can be feast or famine. So what you have to do is have the foresight to take in projects that get you through the famine. That way, when the feast comes, you can pursue your dreams.” Even though Jan and Max Crawford are closer to 60 than to 50, even though they’ll celebrate a 35th wedding anniversary next year, it appears they aren’t about

to even flirt with retirement. “Obviously we’re not done growing,” Max says. “We’ve got some plans of what we’d like to do in the future.” Just what those might be, he’s not quite ready to lay out on the drawing board. “I don’t see Max ever stopping,” says Jan. “On his list of things to do, as fast as he crosses one off, he sticks one on the bottom of the list. He’s just never stopped.” biz Thomas Monigan is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Crawford & Crawford Composites, Inc. 3501 Denver Drive Denver, N.C. 28037 Phone: 704-483-4175 Principals: Maxwell C. Crawford, Founder and President; Janice G. Crawford Managing Director; Andrew J. Scriven, Chief Designer;Toby D. McCall, Composite Production Manager Established: 1996 2006 Revenues: $7 million Employees: 40 Business: Design, manufacture and distribution of structural and non structural composite technology based products primarily for use in the automotive racing industry nationwide and overseas. Official Supplier to NASCAR Car of Tomorrow wings, official supplier to GrandAm Rolex Series of specified wings and safety crush structures. Approved Constructor for the GrandAm Daytona Prototype Crawford DP03 race car. Mechanical and aerodynamic engineering research and development services. www.crawfordcomposites.com

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Denise Altman President Altman Initiative Group, Inc.

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by janet kropinak

[bizprofile]

Fine-tuning the Fit Altman Initiative Helps Companies Work Better

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t is a common misconception that some people are born good communicators and others are simply not. Studies of human behavior and assessment tools indicate that these are not always traits some are lucky enough to possess and others not, but learned behaviors that can be taught. Few people know this better than Denise Altman, who has spent most of her adult life observing people both in and out of the business environment, and has molded her own business,Altman Initiative Group, Inc., around the idea that people need to be given the appropriate “tools” and taught how to use them. Since launching her own business in 2001, she has helped countless companies and their employees become more effective in the workplace, and in turn, increase their profitability.Working on the theory that virtually every company can benefit from this kind of servicing in one form or another, there is certainly enough work available to keep Altman Initiative Group busy and growing. Defining Moment Denise Altman began her professional career with accounting firm Dellinger and Deese, where she worked as the marketing director and head of the consulting department, eventually becoming a partner. She traces her defining moment back nearly 20 years when she read the comments of one of her employees on an upward evaluation. “I was called ‘abusive’ by one of the employees. I tried very hard to find a way I could put a positive spin on this but I wasn’t able to. So instead, I set out on a mission to understand why this person saw me this way and find a way to correct this perception,” she remembers. Her search and her discoveries soon led her down a road that changed both her life and the career path she was on. Shortly after her review, she was introduced to the DISC Profile, an assessment that examines the behavior of individuals in their environment or within a specific situation. “I took the test and, as I studied my report, it became clear to me how this person had seen me as abusive,” she comments. She was fascinated by the information exposed and spent a considerable amount of time studying DISC, realizing that there were things that she could change about herself that would help improve the way others perceived her and inevitably help her to function more effectively. “This was learned behavior and I had to teach myself to adapt to people in their environment and in a way that was comfortable for them. I needed to learn how to speak in their language and to tone down my ‘High D’ personality and mirror the personalities of those around me,” Altman explains. She began to understand what it meant to be ‘High D’; that along with being very active in dealing with problems and challenges, they are often also seen as demanding and aggressive. While these traits may have helped her become a successful business woman in her own right, it was important to adapt to others and to help them feel connected to her. 

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A couple years later, after significant experience with the “tools” of good communication and learning how to effectively use them, Altman was rated on a subsequent evaluation: “I went from being ‘abusive’ to being defined by my peers as someone who listens to them, cares about them and helps them reach their goals.” This experience not only helped her become a better communicator but also emphasized the growing demand for these types of services, even within the accounting firm. “We billed ourselves as a full service firm, and that meant offering more than just accounting services,” she notes. So, with that in mind, she developed a business plan to help companies address some of the problems she had come across in her studies. In 2001, Dellinger and Deese was bought by a national firm, and instead of making the move with them, Altman decided it was time to go into business for herself. The Business Plan Altman was fortunate to have prepared a business plan and have an established customer base she had acquired during her time at Dellinger and Deese. Because Altman had both the concrete training in numbers and knowledge of the soft skills, she already had an edge over much of her competition. Business owners appreciated that she could look at problem situations from both perspectives. “I understood that there has to be profitability in it for a company to be willing to spend the time and money for this type of training,” she notes. Lisa Corder of LYF-TYM Building Products echoes this sentiment: “Denise knows us as a customer and really understands our needs extremely well, so she is able to provide the appropriate product and services to us. Additionally, she knows our company culture which strengthens her ability to really meet our needs. She doesn’t beat around the bush and isn’t afraid to tell you something you may not want to hear. As a business owner, I really appreciate that quality in her!”

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Altman Initiative Group began to evolve, helping companies discover the tools and techniques needed to better hire, integrate, fine-tune and grow employees. To help Altman handle her growing clientele, she developed an alliance of contractors, each trained in different areas of expertise. She needed to feel comfortable referring clients to specialists if necessary, and was in an excellent position to determine the resources needed. Although about 75 percent of Altman Initiative Group’s clients are based in North Carolina, 25 percent are located across the country, and some are even headquartered internationally.

The need for her services being so widespread, Altman makes an effort to work with the companies that she is best suited to help. “Any company that has people needs what I do, making the market huge! If I am not the best person for the job, if I’m not what they are looking for, I will happily refer them elsewhere. There is plenty of work and I don’t want to spend my time on a job that I’m not the right person for,” she says. Altman Initiative Group would ultimately like to become a resource for all businesses looking to take the steps to help their employees succeed, whether that

means she works with them, or if she simply helps them identify their problems and outline the best solutions. Metso Power HR manager, Debbie Winkelman, comments, “Denise has been a great resource for us. If I need something and I don’t know where to go, she is who I turn to. And if she isn’t what I’m looking for, she helps me find what I need.” Lean and Mean In the spirit of only taking the jobs that are right for her company, Altman prides herself in keeping her business plan “lean and mean.” The DISC profile is the backbone of most of what Altman Initiative Group does. They break down their services into four key categories, the first being “Meeting Facilitation.” “Essentially, we are there to make something happen,” she smiles. Altman and her group help to make sure people stay on task and remain focused. “A lot of people have meetings, but not very many people are having good meetings, and time and agendas are valuable commodities,” she comments. The second area they focus on is “Non-Technical Training.” Here they are teaching both owners and their employees the soft skills: communication, time management, stress management, and even creativity. Even more targeted training classes are available in a range of topics such as supervision and management, and asking the question, “Would I work for me?” She says that her class, “Help, these people are driving me crazy,” which focuses on understanding the DISC profile, is her most popular training class. Another focus of the Group is on “Hiring Processes.” Altman comments, “It is simple. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you are never going to know when you find it.” Daniel, Ratliff & Company has used Altman’s hiring processes, training seminars and has even invited Altman to speak at their annual meetings. “Denise has added so much value to our firm. She has been instrumental

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in helping us recruit some good talent and increasing the productivity of the people we have with her presentations. And she has been a great sounding board for the leaders of our firm on a variety of leadership issues over the years,” says John Ratliff. Altman Initiative Group uses a behavioral-based methodology and can help a company in one of two ways. Either they take the reins and do the hiring for them, everything from posting the position to interviews to new employee training, or they put a process in place so that companies can learn to hire more effectively. LYF-TYM has also benefited from the hiring processes of Altman Initiative Group. “The tools that Denise and Altman Initiative provide have given us much better success matching a person’s characteristics to the characteristics the particular job demands. Before we utilized her services, our success rate in hiring the right people for our key positions in management was not as good.” “Coaching” is the final focus area for Altman and her group. “This is where we help people to apply the training they have gone through,” she says. The coaching programs are either by telephone or face-to-face. “What we are doing is helping people learn how to maximize their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, and people are receptive to this once they understand the impact it can have on their lives,” she comments. That impact she has seen on her clients is what keeps Altman going and excited about her work. “This training isn’t just training someone to do their job better, but also how to live their life better. It really does have a profound impact on people,” she comments. “I love seeing and being part of businesses thriving; and that only happens when their people are thriving.” Adapting to Change Altman is very matter of fact in describing the types of services her group offers as a necessity rather than a luxury: “First, you have to get the right people in the right jobs, and we oftentimes fail at this. Second, we need to do a better job of giving these people the right tools to do their jobs better, aside from the technical skills that they come to us with. And finally, we have to make the work

greater charlotte biz

environment one that people want to work in and be able to thrive in.” A recent Monster.com survey indicates that interesting and challenging work,

“She has a charisma that really grabs your attention. I can’t imagine a company that wouldn’t gain from her value. ” ~ John Ratliff, Daniel, Ratliff & Company being “in” on things around the office, and full appreciation of their work are some of the most important things to employees. Altman Initiative Group is working to change the behavior of only addressing things when they are wrong. Altman says affirmatively, “When employers take the time and resources to provide their employees with this type of training, it is sending a message that they truly care and are investing in their future, and people respond to this.” Altman’s very practical approach and sense of humor make her very popular. Debbie Winkelman, who has used Altman Initiative Group for training, coaching and employee development, describes Altman’s approach by saying, “She’s a dynamic person. She captivates her audience and is very participative; it is her interactive approach that gets people involved and keeps them interested.” Altman Initiative Group recently began offering “On-Boarding” services, which helps new employees adapt to their new environment. They offer instruction and feedback, teach them connectedness, and in the end, move them closer to establishing a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship for both the company and the employee. “It would be nice if employees came to us trained when we hire them, but they don’t. So we need to work to correct this within our own companies,” explains Altman. John Ratliff subscribes to Altman’s teachings and urges companies to take advantage of her services. “She has a charisma that really grabs your attention. I can’t imagine a company that wouldn’t gain

from her value. There is such an array of talent and offerings out there, but she does it in a way that is different than most. Anyone can use what she does.” Altman uses the analogy that you wouldn’t buy expensive office equipment without servicing and maintaining it, and encourages companies to use the same thought process when they address the needs of their employees. As she puts it, “We believe if business owners and managers realized that there was a better way, they would use it. That’s the mission of Altman Initiative Group, Inc.—to help companies discover tools and techniques to better hire, integrate, care for and grow employees. The result-more profits.” She takes great pride in opening doors to greater achievement, and a significant number of alumni can attest to her success. biz Janet Kropinak is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Altman Initiative Group, Inc. 1877 Cabot Cove Court Denver, N.C. 28037 Phone: 704-315-9090

Principal: Denise Altman, President Established: 2001 Education/Certification: CPBA (Certified Professional Behavior Analyst) 2002; CPA (North Carolina, 1998); M.B.A., UNC Charlotte, 1989; B.B.A., Georgia Southern Summa Cum Laude, 1983 Author: 22 Reasons Employees HATE their Jobs; Help, these people are driving me crazy! (CD) Awards: 2006 Gold Crown Award (for book); 1998 Charlotte Business Journal Top 25 Women in Business; 1994 Charlotte Business Journal 40 Under 40; 1994 Woman of the Year (N.C. Leukemia Society) Business: Consults with companies to determine tools and techniques to better hire, integrate, fine-tune and grow employees. Representative Clients: Shaw Group; Metso Power, Inc.; University of North Carolina at Charlotte; North Carolina Association of CPAs; CPAmerica International; Institute of Management Accountants; Duke Energy; First Trust Bank; Matrix Wealth Advisors; Cherry, Bekeart & Holland, CPAs; Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat Associates; LYF-TYM Building Products; Daniel, Ratliff & Company; Byrd’s Group www.altmaninitiative.com

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Switchboards like the one pictured were used by the Bell System to provide long distance operator services beginning in the mid 1930s. This particular unit was placed into service in the Charlotte Toll Center in 1955. It was later transferred to the Wilmington Toll Office, before being removed from service in April 1977. These were usually referred to as cord boards due to the cords tethering the plugs which operators used to make the connections.

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photo: Wayne Morris

Cynthia Marshall President AT&T, Inc. North Carolina

AT&T and Apple have entered into a multi-year partnership to provide the multifunctional wireless device with Wi-Fi, Visual Voice Mail and other innovative capabilities.


by ellison clary

[bizprofile]

Building New Networks AT&T Chief Connects With More Than Community

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he climbed from the projects to the president’s office. Along the way, she participated in the transformation of a telephone company into a multimedia communications provider. As an infant, her family moved her from the Deep South to the West Coast to pursue a better education. Now that she’s left California to be president of AT&T North Carolina, Cynthia Marshall is impressed with the public schools her children attend in this southern state. Events seem to run full-circle for Marshall, in her career as well as her life. Perhaps it’s because of her drive to excel and her passion to help others. As her guide, Marshall paraphrases a passage from the Gospel of Luke: “To whom much is given, much is required.” Marshall’s been given the reins of AT&T’s Tar Heel operations. AT&T North Carolina resulted from the 2006 acquisition of BellSouth by AT&T. Marshall took over as North Carolina president on January 5 of this year, with a main office in Raleigh. “Our company likes our state presidents to be in the capital,” she says simply. Still, she allots 40 to 50 percent of her time for her center city Charlotte office. “My goodness,” she exclaims. “If you spend a week in Charlotte, you just know this place is hopping.” So she and husband Ken Marshall are looking for a home in Charlotte to compliment their residence in the Raleigh suburb of Cary. But make no mistake, Marshall says, she’s serious about being president of AT&T throughout North 

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Carolina, and regularly visits cities such as Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Wilmington and Asheville. She has assembled what amounts to a chamber of commerce report on North Carolina and uses it within AT&T to attract more resources to her new state. “My friends tease me,” smiles the executive who left a senior vice president position on the West Coast. “They’re so used to me advocating for California. Now they hear me say, ‘We need this in North Carolina.’”

Connecting in Carolina Marshall often gets what she asks for. AT&T announced this summer that it will invest $350 million in North Carolina to begin building an infrastructure for video service from the phone company. On top of that, AT&T plans to spend $78 million on new and upgraded wireless communication towers around the state. Drawing on her affinity for cooperating with both elected and appointed government officials, Marshall characterizes those initiatives as the direct result of progressive

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legislation from the N.C. General Assembly and enlightened policies from the N.C. Utilities Commission. Marshall also believes strongly in bolstering the AT&T record for community involvement. Through July, she could count more than $250,000 in AT&T philanthropic gifts to North Carolina for 2007. Beneficiaries included the Wake Education Partnership and the Mecklenburg Citizens for Public Education. Bob Morgan, president of the Charlotte Chamber, praises the civic leadership that AT&T and Marshall have provided for Charlotte. “She has stepped up quietly and proactively,” he says. As for her Raleigh main office, Morgan says, “Few have noticed it, and it hasn’t mattered.” On a personal note, he adds, “I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her.” Other recent AT&T contributions in Charlotte have gone to the Latin American Chamber and the Charlotte Urban League. Marshall was the event’s honorary chair recently when The Charlotte Post Foundation honored former Charlotte mayor Harvey Gantt with its Luminary–Lifetime Achievement award. The proceeds from that banquet support and encourage African Americans in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to excel academically and to continue their education in college. “Cynthia Marshall is energetic and spontaneous,” says Gerald Johnson, publisher of The Charlotte Post, which created The Charlotte Post Foundation. “The impact of AT&T and Cynthia in this community will be huge because of the resources the company can allocate. We will all benefit from those resources.” Aiming High Though she was born in Birmingham, Ala., her parents moved Marshall, her two sisters and brother to the bay area suburb of Richmond, Calif., when she was three months old. They wanted to get their children out of the Deep South of 1960 and its racial chasms. They hoped to find better schools on the West Coast. Their train trip ended in a housing project where a younger sister and brother came along. In the summer before her junior year

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in high school, when her older siblings were already on their own, Marshall came home to find her father had moved out, leaving nothing for her mother, her younger sister, her younger brother and herself except one mattress. “I got on a mission,” Marshall remembers. “I said, ‘I’m going to be the president of something one day.’” Marshall graduated as the top student in her school district and, from five scholarship offers, she chose the University of California at Berkeley, mainly because it was just 20 miles from home. Though the 30,000 enrollment was only 1 percent AfricanAmerican, Marshall got along famously, becoming the school’s first black cheerleader. Because of her high school concentration in math, Marshall started college as an engineering major. Soon she decided she wanted to be a businesswoman and switched to

“Cynthia Marshall is energetic and spontaneous. The impact of AT&T and Cynthia in this community will be huge because of the resources the company can allocate. We will all benefit from those resources.” ~ Gerald Johnson, Publisher of The Charlotte Post business administration. She also enjoyed classes relating to organizational behavior and industrial relations, so she wrote her own second major in human relations. When she graduated in 1981, Marshall picked Pacific Telephone & Telegraph from 13 job offers. “It gave me the opportunity to be a manager walking in the door, at 21 years old,” she says. “And it offered the most money.” She supervised mostly older women in operator services with a shift of 2 p.m. until 10 p.m. “Those ladies taught me how to be a manager,” she remembers. “It was one of the best experiences of my life.” Soon Marshall married, and that matrimonial union with Ken Marshall of Fresno,

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Calif., also completed a circle. The former Cynthia Smith had met Ken Marshall at a convention of Distributive Education Clubs of America while in high school. He decided to attend San Francisco State University to be close to her at Cal, but she told him she had to concentrate on her studies and didn’t want a boyfriend. She added that she’d call him on the day she finished college, but when she kept that promise and invited him to her graduation party, he had a hard time remembering her. Here’s how she recalls it: “He said, ‘I’m

engaged.’ I said, ‘Didn’t I tell you I was going to call you the day I graduate? The party’s at 6.’ I hung up.” She and Ken Marshall married in April 1983. Going Up the Line Meanwhile, Cynthia Marshall’s career was progressing. Offered a promotion in the operators section, she turned it down for a lateral move into Network Engineering and Planning. “Someone told me the best thing you 

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“I started with a company that covered two states–California and Nevada. We were pretty much focused on dial tone. We had a few million customers and we probably had 20,000 to 30,000 employees. Fast forward 26 years and we have 301,000 employees. We obviously do more than dial tone–voice, data, advanced services, we’re getting into the entertainment business, into wireless, you name it.” ~ Cynthia Marshall, President

can do in your first five or six years with the company is learn the business,” she explains matter-of-factly. Marshall won promotions in engineering but then was tapped to be part of a “rainbow recruiting team” that targeted bright college students. “There was an Asian woman, a white male, a Hispanic female and me,” she smiles. “I ended up doing all this hiring for the Operations Department. I thought, ‘I want to go there.’” So she wangled a switch from human resources into operations and remained

there for 10 years before the company recruited her for its Regulatory/External Affairs section. She was working with California lawmakers in 1997 when SBC Communications, the successor to Southwestern Bell, acquired her company, which had become Pacific Bell. SBC executive Bill Blase identified Marshall as the person he wanted at his right hand during the integration of the two companies. She helped Blase, now senior executive vice president for human resources at AT&T, meld California into the

new, larger SBC, and earned a series of promotions. Meanwhile, the communications industry evolved through new technologies and multiple mergers. SBC and BellSouth created Cingular from their wireless operations. SBC acquired AT&T, transforming itself into the new AT&T which, in 2006, acquired both BellSouth and the remainder of Cingular. Marshall was senior vice president for Regulatory and Constituency Relations for AT&T in California when she got the call to lead AT&T in North Carolina, one of nine former BellSouth states. Retrospect in Perspective Along the way, the Marshalls had ended unsuccessful efforts at building a family of their own and decided to adopt. Son Anthony, now 15, had been abandoned in a rundown hotel and they took him in before he turned 3. Later, they found his older brother, who chose not to be adopted by the Marshalls but to visit with the family often. One evening, Anthony and dad Ken were watching television news when they saw a story about an abandoned girl not yet 3 years old. Anthony convinced the Marshalls the girl needed a big brother. Soon that girl, now 12, was adopted and became Shirley Marshall. This fall, Anthony started 10th grade and Shirley began 7th, both in Cary. Ken Marshall has become a stay-at-home dad. He gave up his sales and technical support career to spend more time with the kids when the couple concluded that one of them needed to do that. All of this leads Marshall to muse periodically about her hurly-burly ride. “I started with a company that covered two states–California and Nevada,” she says.

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“We were pretty much focused on dial tone. We had a few million customers and we probably had 20,000 to 30,000 employees. “Fast forward 26 years and we have 301,000 employees.” She shakes her head. “We obviously do more than dial tone–voice, data, advanced services, we’re getting into the entertainment business, into wireless, you name it. “We’re a global company,” she continues. “We have millions of customers. Who would have envisioned our partnership in the launch of the iPhone?” AT&T is the exclusive carrier for the iPhone, the much awaited and tremendously popular gadget Apple introduced this year which combines an innovative touchscreen Internet interface with the mediaplaying capabilities of the iPod and the communication features of a cell phone. AT&T and Apple have entered into a multi-year partnership to provide the multifunctional wireless device with Wi-Fi, Visual Voice Mail

and other innovative capabilities. Her challenge, Marshall says, is multipronged. Revenue growth, strong service and attention to community building initiatives are important. So is working with the N.C. Utilities Commission for more flexible pricing and updated service quality measurements, she adds, and says don’t forget preparations for video services. The future is in providing full-service communications, she believes, and only a few companies will make it. “I can’t predict which companies will be out there,” she

says. “I can only tell you that we will be one of them.” As for Marshall’s future, she says she’d be happy if both her children graduated from North Carolina high schools before leaving the roost. And this may or may not be a prediction, but Marshall offers it as fact: “I asked my son what he wanted for his 15th birthday in June,” she says, “and he said, ‘I want to move to Charlotte.’” biz Ellison Clary is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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A

Philip A.Volponi President and CEO Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas

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9-year-old who can discuss business profits and commiserate about the pressures of meeting a payrollâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;does that sound strange? Not to parents of 12,000 Charlotte area fourth graders, those who participated during the 2006-07 school year in the JA BizTown program of Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas.The mission of Junior Achievement, the national organization, and Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas (JA), the regional organization, is to teach young people about the free market system and make them financially literate. As Junior Achievement celebrates its 50th anniversary in Charlotte this academic year, its veteran president is confident it is accomplishing its goal. 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 ellison clary

[bizprofile]

ECONOMICS

OF LIFE

Junior Achievement Teaches Students Financial Literacy “We teach kids about business, but we also show them how math and science and reading all have some practical outcome in their lives,” says Phil Volponi, who has been president of Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas since 1986. What else does Junior Achievement teach? Volponi ticks off three concepts. “One,” he says, “they see the American dream is about finding something you love doing.” That might mean owning a business or growing a bank into a financial powerhouse. “Second is the concept of dignity of all work,” Volponi continues. “Everyone needs to be participating in a productive endeavor. “Third is the concept that we are participating in a global economic situation, and it’s something that will never stop,” he concludes. “If we start early and often teaching free enterprise to children at age 9, which is fourth and fifth grade, and they carry that forward with other experiences, then we will have done good work.” Real Life Business Concepts For an example, Volponi draws on the experience of his Rotary buddy Carlos Sanchez, regional director of external affairs for AT&T North Carolina. Sanchez’ son Felipe participated in JA BizTown during 2006-2007. In the JA BizTown program, elementary students get classroom instruction in free enterprise for several weeks. Then they spend a day in a simulated town at Junior Achievement headquarters, playing roles in various businesses and government entities. They can be bankers or retailers, medical professionals or real estate people—and

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there are other options, including the town’s mayor. Sanchez tracked down Volponi to tell him what a difference the Junior Achievement experience made in his son who now is a fifth grader at Collinswood Elementary in the CharlotteMecklenburg School System. “They taught Felipe how a bank account works, deposits and withdrawals, how to keep a balance,” Sanchez says. “They taught him about payroll and deductions in your paycheck. They taught him when you sell something you have to send an invoice and there’s tax to pay. Those are business concepts and they are just wonderful for him to use at his age.” For his day in JA’s simulated community of JA BizTown, Felipe Sanchez worked for the newspaper selling advertising. But what he learned didn’t come exclusively from that one day, as Sanchez points out. 

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“Different aspects of the program they taught in school,” Sanchez says. “They spent a long time gearing toward that one day where they actually take on different roles.” Often, a dialogue opens between kids and parents. “These are conversations about real life issues that their parents are experiencing all the time and now their children are experiencing in a controlled environment,” Volponi explains. “I’m excited,” says Sanchez, “that I can talk to my son about real estate and what a mortgage is.” The JA concept was the brainchild of a trio of business people in Springfield, Mass., in 1919: Horace Moses, chairman of Strathmore Paper Company; U.S. Sen. Murray Crane of Massachusetts; and Theodore Vail, chairman of the fledgling AT&T. They wanted to create a program for city youngsters that mirrored the 4-H clubs for farm youths. Junior Achievement expanded dramatically in the 1940s, championed by

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JA pioneer Joe Francomano and funded by Charles R. Hook, a steel company chairman who also led the National Association of Manufacturers. The Charlotte chapter was the first in the Carolinas when it started in June 1958 with leadership from executives such as William McNeary of McNeary Insurance Consulting, O.J. Miller of Duke Power, Charles Crutchfield of WBTV and Rush Dickson from the forerunner of the Ruddick Corporation. That fall, 219 students met at Myers Park High School to kick off the local program. That program has gradually changed from after-school sessions for high school students to become part of the curriculum in the middle grades and, later, to classes for elementary school students. JA as a Career Volponi, 53, is a life-long Junior Achievement executive who started his career directing a JA program in Jackson, Mich., in 1976. He joined the Junior Achievement administration in his native Pittsburgh in 1980 and by 1986 was executive vice president and second in command of that program, which was the eighth largest in the nation.

A group of Charlotteans led by the late Bill Disher of Lance Corporation recruited Volponi and he signed on in the Queen City. He inherited a Charlotte JA program that was 98th largest in America, serving 3,800 students a year with a budget of $273,611.83—yes, he knows it down to the penny. Some colleagues wondered why Volponi would leave Pittsburgh for Charlotte, but he was hooked. “One of the things that was incredibly invigorating was the sense of energy around trying to build something here,” he explains. “This was a community that was proud of its history, its tradition. The community leaders said, ‘We like where we’re at; however, we have rather ambitious plans.’” Over the years, Volponi has methodically added board members, contributors, volunteers, staff and programs. Today, in 12,300 square feet in the basement of South Tryon Square in Center City, Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas operates with more than 4,000 volunteers and 19 full-time staffers. It impacts about 44,000 Charlotte students a year. Volponi’s organization has satellite operations in Asheville and Wilmington, N.C., and Rock Hill, S.C. So the total number of students it served last year was 66,140. With a budget of almost $2.4 million, it is now the country’s 15th largest JA. Volponi’s operation now has programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, including JA Titan in which high school students compete in business via Internet with students in places such as Uzbekistan, Jordan, South Africa and the People’s Republic of China. Ninety percent of Volponi’s JA participants are in the public schools, but this program is among the few that also operates in some private and charter schools. Volponi is perhaps proudest of the JA BizTown program, which made such an impression on Felipe Sanchez. It serves fourth graders in Mecklenburg County and fifth graders in York County, S.C.; it can adjust to wherever it fits best in the state curriculum. Weeks of classroom instruction from JA volunteers culminate in a visit to the simulated community at JA Central where students can choose careers in 15 different

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population swells. Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization and Volponi pursues funding from individuals, foundations and schools as well as from businesses. He’s enlarged the JA board to 52 and made a conscious effort to include members from a larger segment of the economy. Represen“We teach kids about business, but we tatives of the big banks and Duke Energy also show them how math and science remain, but they’ve been and reading all have some practical joined by members from outcome in their lives.” medium-sized and small ~ Phil Volponi, President and CEO businesses in sectors from manufacturing to services. areas. From about 8 a.m. until around 2:30 “We have a way to bring businesses and p.m. that day, the students play the role of parents back into the public schools and executives or elected officials. They turn a help with the curriculum to keep kids profit or suffer a loss; they sell and buy prodexcited about education,” he says. “Junior ucts and services; and they get a paycheck. Achievement plays an incredibly vital role, more so today as the global community has Teaching Financial Literacy become so much more vibrant. It really “We’re teaching financial literacy,” engages our kids so they understand the Volponi says simply. He remembers the value of an education.” fourth grader from Winterfield Elementary Volponi enjoys relating the story of a who had a ready answer when asked what Mecklenburg County girl in fourth-grade he’d learned in his JA BizTown visit: “It’s who shied from accepting an accountant hard to work with other people,” he sighed. position at JA BizTown because she thought The numerical equation for this area’s she wasn’t good at math. But she accepted 50th anniversary celebration, Volponi says, the challenge and excelled. Now she is 50 plus five equals 860,000. It’s not new wants to major in mathematics when she math, he smiles. The 50 represents total attends college. number of years JA has had operations here; “That’s what recharges the batteries,” says the five is the years JA BizTown has been in Volponi, whose two teenage stepsons make place; and the 860,000 is how many stuJA summer camp an annual ritual. dents this JA has served since its inception. Volponi professes he’s happy with his Volponi is striving to install more new Charlotte-based program. “I don’t wake up programs. There’s something called the thinking about other opportunities,” he Capstone Experience for middle graders says. “It’s like we tell young people—focus and there’s JA Finance Park for eighth and on the position and responsibilities you ninth graders. He’d like to open a JA operahave. Grow each day. Continue to learn. tion in Winston-Salem. He’s considering a “Any time I have a rough day, I have 110 portable free-market exhibit that would roll nine- and ten-year-olds on the other side of from city to city. the wall,” he says as he points in the genThe hardest part of his job, Volponi says, eral direction of JA BizTown. “They have a is dealing with budget constraints that preglint in their eyes and a boundless amount vent him from serving 100 percent of the of energy.” biz area’s students. In Charlotte, JA touches one in every three students, a ratio that’s remained steady for a dozen years as the Ellison Clary is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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Junior Achievement of the Carolinas, Inc. dba Junior Achievement of the Central Carolinas 201 S.Tryon Street, Suite LL100 Charlotte, N.C. 28202 Phone: 704-536-9668 Principal: Philip A.Volponi, President and CEO Board Chair: Michael Baker, Deloitte & Touche, LLP Established: 1919 (national organization) in Springfield, Mass.; 1958 in Charlotte Ranking: 15th largest nationally Students Served: Approximately 66,140 all operations this year; 44,000 in Charlotte this year; 860,160 all operations to date Regional Operations: Asheville, N.C.; Wilmington, N.C.; Rock Hill, S.C. Current Budget: Approximately $2.4 million Staffers: 19 full-time; 4,000 volunteers Business: Provides hands-on experiences to help young people understand the economics of life; in partnership with business and educators, Junior Achievement brings the real world to students, opening their minds to their potential. www.jacarolinas.org

Hall Of Fame Honors Tar Heel Titans Of Business Charlotte Junior Achievement leader Phil Volponi started the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame in 1988 to honor Tar Heels who are business role models. This fall, when the Hall inducts Ed and Charlie Shelton, who built the Shelco construction company and now operate Shelton Vineyards, along with former Gov. Jim Hunt, the number of inductees will swell to 71. There was really no vehicle to honor these folks, says Volponi, who partnered with the North Carolina Chamber on the hall. We have inducted people like Thomas Henry Davis, the founder of Piedmont Airlines. Kids, and their parents, too, need to know about success stories like that. The hall includes such well-known Charlotteans as banking pioneers Cliff Cameron and Tom Storrs, retailers Tom and John Belk and racing and automotive dealership magnate Bruton Smith.

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Derek Hilst Director of Staffing for Charlotte Jessica Brasington Director of Staffing Operations Hudson Legal

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by heather head

[bizprofile]

How Many Lawyers Does it Take...? Hudson Legal Has You Covered

When Jessica Brasington, director of staffing operations for the Charlotte branch of Hudson Legal, asks the question, you know itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just another lawyer joke. Offering a combination of legal expertise and a personal, boutique approach, Hudson supplies a variety of solutions for their clients, including lateral and permanent placement of attorneys and paralegals, contract and permanent legal staff recruitment, and space and support to meet long- and short-term litigation needs.Their suite of services has earned them the distinction of being the largest legal staffing company in North America. 

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In the last year, new federal legislation has been enacted adding a whole new dimension to the “How Many Lawyers” question. The new rules codified developing case law requiring companies to keep records of electronic communications and documents for the purpose of legal review. Consequently, the requirements for handling electronic data have enormously increased the amount of legal staff required to prepare documents for mergers, acquisitions, and litigation. The field of law has always been heavy on documentation, requiring legal staff to spend significant amounts of time reading, interpreting, sorting, organizing, and creating documents for the courts. However, prior to the 1990s, the scope of documentation was necessarily limited by the fact that it was created and stored manually. When a legal team was called in to respond to a litigation issue, the amount of documentation they would sort included only what was stored in the filing cabinets of their client. But with the advent of e-mail, Internet, and the widespread use of computers for document creation, the scope and volume of documentation has exploded. Instead of a room or two full of filing cabinets, a litigation team may now be faced with terabytes of information to sort through. Those papers include not only every document ever created, every invoice ever sent, and every memo ever filed, but also every e-mail ever written, forwarded, or in reply. When you consider that the same email may be replied to, copied, and forwarded dozens of times, that adds up to a lot of material to evaluate. The process of reviewing, condensing, and organizing all that data is generally referred to now as “ediscovery,” and it’s a process that Hudson excels in facilitating—in fact, they’ve become North America’s number one provider of attorneys to do document review in the e-discovery world. A New Solution Law firms, as well as most large corporations, maintain significant legal staff to meet their general needs. But when faced with a merger, acquisition, or pending litigation, a company’s needs grow exponentially. Now, suddenly, every piece of documentation

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“Hudson’s marketing tag line is ‘From great people to great performance,’ and I have to say after being in this industry as long as I have that it is not just a marketing line, it is the absolute gospel truth.” ~ Jessica Brasington, Director of Staffing Operations must be combed over to determine whether it is pertinent to the investigation, whether it can be withheld or must be shared, and whether it is duplicated elsewhere. The information must be gathered together, sorted, condensed, and organized so that it can then be shared with the courts or other involved parties. And often, this must be done in the course of a few weeks. When the task is impossible or the costs too high for the staff on hand, the obvious answer is to hire lower-cost, temporary legal staff to fill in. Hudson has been providing staffing solutions to the legal community for over two decades. But with the emergence of the electronic document, Hudson has gone far outside their traditional staffing role to offer more innovative solutions to clients. For instance, Hudson pioneered the concept of the “production facility,” widely accepted in cities such as New York and Washington, D.C., and now being brought to Charlotte. Presently, when most people think of attorneys, courts, and the practice of law, the term “production facility” doesn’t really come into play; but Hudson is hoping that will change soon. They will be unveiling their new 6,000-square-foot production facility at the corner of Trade and Tryon this month, to serve the needs of Charlotte’s legal community and house the dozens of contract attorneys they suddenly need for weeks or months at a time. Hudson’s new production facility will provide space for more than 50 attorneys, including equipment and connectivity, available to clients on an as-needed basis. It

can be divided into separate sections so that more than one client can use part of the space while still maintaining confidentiality. And clients can bring their own counsel in to oversee the production process, or they can rely on Hudson’s project management and discovery specialist to complete the entire project. In Charlotte, Hudson has hired local attorney Derek Hilst to head up the project management and recruiting for complete outsourced projects. Setting Up Shop Although Hudson Legal became its own entity in 2003, the company has been operating in the legal staffing industry for over 20 years. Originally Gregory & Gregory, the company was acquired by TMP—the company responsible for Monster.com—in the late 1990s, and was spun off into its own company in 2003 under its original leadership, Troy Gregory. As the largest legal staffing firm in North America, Hudson is well entrenched in large markets such as New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and others. In 2006, the acquisition of a major contract with one of Charlotte’s big financial companies opened the door for entry into the Charlotte market. Although Hudson already had hub offices across the United States, Charlotte offered a unique opportunity to serve as a central location to open the entire Carolinas to Hudson’s business. “Charlotte has a booming financial community, a wealth of corporate clients, and is geographically perfectly situated for our servicing of the Carolinas legal community,” says Christopher Jensen, Esq., senior vice president in charge of Hudson national Legal offices, himself a Wake Forest alum and South Carolina native. But there is another reason Charlotte is a great market for Hudson: compared to many other large markets, the cost of both space and staff are extraordinarily low. And this is one of the prime reasons for opening the new production facility downtown. Jensen explains: Many industries have increasingly begun to rely on outsourcing to India and other countries for significant financial savings in labor. The legal profession, however, has been slow to do so. Although talented attorneys are available in

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other countries, many legal clients are cautious about sending their confidential documents and projects overseas where the legal system may be different. “But,” says Jensen, “I saw that in Charlotte, the commercial real estate is roughly half of the cost compared to Washington, D.C., and New York, contract attorney labor is half to two thirds the cost, and yet Charlotte is a major city with an international airport, and a two hour drive from six law schools, so you’ve got that attorney talent and is easily accessible.” Jensen calls this novel concept “onshoring” as opposed to “off-shoring.” Now a Washington, D.C., or New York client with a major, cost-prohibitive legal project can choose to “on-shore” the project to Charlotte’s production facility where U.S.-trained and U.S.-licensed legal staff can complete the project for a third to half the cost of completing the project in D.C. or New York. Good People, Good Focus In 2003, when Hudson’s first major client in Charlotte opened the doors to the region, Jensen saw it was time to find someone to head up the Charlotte office. As a former attorney who works with attorneys, he typically looks for someone with “classic legal training.” Brasington had no legal experience. But he knew before the interview was over that she was the one for the job. “We got halfway through the interview when she stopped me and said, ‘I want this job. I’m your girl.’ I hired Jessica because of her enthusiasm, and her willingness to tackle a new area and become an expert in it. This e-discovery business is new territory even for attorneys, and Jessica educated herself with such enthusiasm, that she’s become an expert. She’s blown me away,” remarks Jensen. And it’s not like Brasington had no pertinent experience—in fact, she has 20 years in the staffing business, and, she points out, “Regardless of what industry you’re in, the business is what it is. And when you understand the business, you can drive it better.” But she loves being able to focus on a single industry, and says it is one of the things that sets Hudson apart from the competition. “Hudson’s marketing tag line is ‘From great people to great performance,’” says

greater charlotte biz

Brasington. “And I have to say, after being in this industry as long as I have, that it is not just a marketing line, it is the absolute gospel truth.” She says it all starts at the top: she is treated so well by the company that she can’t help but want to treat her clients and prospects equally well. “One hundred percent absolute dignity and respect” is how she describes it, and how she treats both the people she places and the companies they are placed with. And that translates to clients who are as happy as she is with Hudson. But it doesn’t stop with a warm, fuzzy feeling. Hudson goes the extra mile by providing an extensive screening process that ensures that each position is filled with exactly the right person. And when they do make mistakes—”We are human, after all,” Brasington admits—they are able to fix them quickly and effectively. The tight industry focus helps Hudson stand out from the crowd as well. Brasington never has to switch gears in mid-stride or struggle to remember the salient points for a new or different industry over the course of a day. Because she works exclusively with legal staff, she has a depth of understanding for the needs of the legal community that exceeds that of most placement agencies. The tight focus on a single industry is true elsewhere in the larger company of Hudson, which also handles other types of

placements on a national basis. The Charlotte Hudson office also offers financial staffing placement, but a separate unit handles those placements, freeing the legal unit to focus only on legal. Both Brasington and agree that the concept of hiring a temporary staff to handle e-discovery, though established in many other markets, is new to Charlotte and involves a certain amount of education. Until recently, most legal matters—including major considerations such as mergers and litigation—could be handled by the larger companies simply by utilizing their existing senior and junior staff. But with the advent of e-discovery, most large corporations are finding times when that is simply impossible, not to mention financially overwhelming, to their legal budgets. Most companies in Charlotte are just now just facing these situations, so Brasington finds that her clients are skeptical. “Sometimes I feel like I’m walking around like Chicken Little, saying, ‘The sky is falling, the sky is falling!’” she laughs. But the fact is, that the time really will come for most large companies and firms when they will need what Brasington and Hudson are offering. And then, no matter how many lawyers it takes, they’ll know just where to go. biz Heather Head is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Hudson Highland Group, Inc. dba

Hudson Legal

401 N.Tryon Street, 10th Floor Charlotte, N.C. 28202 Phone: 704-972-2444 Principals: Christopher Jensen, Senior Vice President; Jessica Brasington, Director of Staffing Operations Headquarters: New York, N.Y. Charlotte Office: January 2006 Business: Provides a variety of litigation solutions from lateral and personal placement of attorneys and paralegals, contract and permanent legal staff, as well as space and support to meet longand short-term litigation needs. www.hudson.com

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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.

“I have used them both professionally and personally for over 20 years. Their advice and counsel have played an integral part in the success of our business!”

©2007 Galles Communications Group, Inc.

~ Verl Purdy CEO, Agdata,LP, a data management company

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At the lake:

Uptown office:

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

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

704.663.0193

704.371.5000

www.danielratliff.com

october 2007

Awards & Achievements Entrepreneur Magazine has ranked GMI (formerly Global Medical Imaging) No. 148 on its Hot 500 List of fastest growing companies in America and Inc. magazine has ranked it in its top 5000 list of top growing companies. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of South Carolina Moore School No. 1 in undergraduate international business and the 2008 America’s Best Colleges guide has ranked it No. 41 in the nation. Advertising & Media Gail Williams, director of sales for Skirt magazine in Charlotte, has been honored by the American Advertising Federation with the Legion of Excellence Gail Williams Award for her work with the National Student Advertising Competition. HMH has hired Sandra Draheim as account director; Adam Avant as account executive; Eric Layne as senior studio artist; Becca Bernstein as senior copywriter; and Betsy Grant as administrative assistant and receptionist. The Lyerly Agency has added Alexandra Hall as account coordinator. Burke Communications has added Jonathan Crocker in charge of media production services and Elizabeth Proia as traffic coordinator. David Pollack has been named division director of Chapter47 Ghostwriting Services, a ghostwriting, editing and composition coaching division of My David Pollack Team of Experts, Inc. Eric Mower and Associates, a marketing communications agency, has promoted Jason Laws to account supervisor. Customer Connect Associates has hired Matt Wittemann as a customer relationship management Matt Wittemann consultant.

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[ontop] Business & Professional Woodard/White, Inc. has named 62 Kennedy Covington attorneys among the Best Lawyers in America. Poyner & Spruill LLP attorney Michelle C. Hunt has been appointed chair of the Legislation, State and Local Government Committee for the American Bar Michelle Hunt Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Section of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Larry Tutas has joined the Charlotte office of labor law firm Fisher & Phillips Larry Tutas LLP as office manager. SouthWood Corporation has been named one of the North Carolina FamilyFriendly 40 Companies by Carolina Parenting Inc. and Charlotte Parent magazine. Brad and Jay Offerdahl, founders of VR Mergers and Acquisitions of Charlotte, have received the Double Diamond Award from VRâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s corporate headquarters. Fluent Language Solutions, Inc. has been named Small Business of the Month by the Asheville Area ChamFluent Language Solutions, Inc. ber of Commerce. Sam Wazan has joined the management team of Decision Support as president of the business intelligence and reporting line of business. OmniVue Business Solutions has hired Robert Katz as senior Microsoft Dynamics GP consultant and Tracie Thweatt as Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management client care manager. TrainingFolks has hired Julien McNulty as bilingual training specialist and Marco Donato as manager of instructional technologies. Peter Lass has joined CEO Inc. as an account executive. Site Solutions has hired Shaun Phillips as a civil designer and Powell Pietrafesa Peter Lass as a landscape designer.

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[ontop] Construction & Design Dan Fields, principal at architectural design firm BJAC, has been named to the board for Creative Industries Council. SFL + a Architects has acquired Don Hanks, AIA, as a project manager, Minta Jane Dodd as intern architect, and Danielle Waldrop as interior designer. Shelley Hughes has been promoted to project manager for Lindsay Daniel Architecture. Tyler 2 Construction has promoted David Shelley Hughes Unsworth to superintendent. LandDesign has promoted Pat Darrow and hired Jason Boyles as CAD technicians. Concorde Construction has acquired Ken Burns as pre-construction manager and Susanna Sway as senior accountant.

©2007 Galles Communications Group, Inc.

TOPIC 2007: Would I buy this business from me? “What’s in it for me” is a question future owners of your business will certainly ask. Your business represents many things to you. It’s your passion, your life’s work, your means of making a living. It’s also an asset. How valuable would your asset be to someone else if you decided to sell it? Understanding “what’s in it for me” from their perspective is the only way to answer that question.

You are invited to our

Upcoming Meeting OCTOBER 2007 “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 704-315-9090.

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october 2007

Education & Staffing Dr. Patricia Skinner, Gaston College president, was recently elected to a one-year term as the president of the North Carolina Dr. Patricia Skinner Association of Community College Presidents. For the third consecutive year, North Carolina Agricultural and State University has been ranked 3rd in sponsored research funding in the University of North Carolina system. Patty Norman has been honored by the American Library Trustees and Advocates (ALTA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), Patty Norman as the 2007 Trustee Citation award winner. The Art Institute of Charlotte has appointed Pamela Notemyer Rogers, director of admissions; Darchele Smith, director of career services; Susan E. Cameron, academic director; and Joan R. Faison, academic director, interior design.

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[ontop] Engineering Mulkey Engineers & Consultants, a multi-discipline civil engineering, has received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council Southeast. Finance & Insurance Daniel, Ratliff & Company, a full service CPA firm, has promoted Amy Amy Johnson Rebecca Vandevander Johnson to client service manager and Rebecca Vandevander to senior client service provider. Charlotte business leader Larry W. Carroll, CFP, CMFC, has been recognized as one the nation’s top 100 independent financial advisors by Barron’s, The Dow Jones Business and Financial Weekly. Larry Carroll Government & Non-Profit Bank of America’s Ruth Jacks, a senior vice president in the quality and productivity group, has been recognized by United Way of Central Carolinas for her efforts in helping the nonprofit restructure its strategic plan and improve its processes. Theresa Anzelone, development director for the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas, a nonprofit independent blood center, has been elected to Theresa Anzelone the 2007-2009 Charlotte Chamber Ballantyne Chapter Board of Directors. Health Care Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS) has been ranked among the top 100 most wired hospitals and health systems by Hospitals and Health Networks magazine for the fourth year in a row. Charlotte Radiology’s Arl Van Moore Jr., M.D., FACR, has been ranked by RT Image Magazine as radiology’s 4th most powerful person in radiology and recognized as Radiology’s Frontman.

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

Office

Gold

Land

Brian Wilson Broker

Industrial

Retail

©2007 Galles Communications Group, Inc.

704.892.8252 Each office independently owned and operated.

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] Dr. Wayne A. Cline, Jr., a urologist with Salisbury Urological Clinic, and Dr. Dr.Wayne Cline Dr. Dennis Hill Dennis L. Hill, a neurologist and sleep medicine specialist with Central Carolina Neurology and Sleep Medicine Center, have been named to the list of top physicians in North Carolina by Business North Carolina magazine. Jonathan R. Gottlieb, M.D., and Paul “Brad” Segebarth, M.D., have joined the Johnathan R. Paul Segebarth, M.D. OrthoCarolina Gottlieb, M.D. Spine Center for a yearlong medical fellowship in spine surgery. Manufacturing Katherine Harper of the Harper Corporation has been named Charlotte’s Woman of Spirit by the American Red Cross and Morton’s Steakhouse because of her generosity and commitment to community service Katherine Harper and philanthropy. Real Estate Commercial/Residential CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. has been named the 33rd fastest-growing company in the United States by Fortune magazine. The Charlotte Regional Realtor Association has been recognized by the National Association of Realtors for its New or Veteran Agent training program. James C. Smith has joined developer Flaherty & Collins as vice president of development. CENTURY 21 Hecht Realty has named Steve Marsh broker-in-charge of its commercial division. Steve Byrne, Maggie Redmond and Bobbi Magee Steve Marsh have joined Allen Tate at Ballantyne as sales associates.

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[ontop] CENTURY 21 Russ Hollins Realtors has added Teresa Browning and Tori Williamson as broker associates. Abby Pope, Maria Gray, Michael Jennings, Jr., Felicia Pridgeon, Donna Printzlau, and John Baker, III, have joined Coldwell Banker United as real estate agents. Susan Harwood Dulin of Dulin Real Estate has earned her e-Pro designation, an Internet certification Susan Dulin program. Retail & Sports & Entertainment Maddi’s Gallery has been honored by NICHE magazine at the 2007 Top Retailer Awards for Top Retailer and Best Advertising Campaign. Case Handyman and Remodeling of Charlotte has been ranked 8th in sales volume among all locations nationwide. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden has acquired Mike Monterusso as horticultural manager. Artisan Shutter has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the country. Technology Inc. magazine has named Exervio Management Consulting No. 17 on its list of fastest growing private companies in Charlotte, No. 36 in North Carolina, No. 70 in the consulting industry and No. 1,746 overall. The company has also hired Jim Trautwein as director of IT and risk advisory solutions. CNP Technologies has been recognized as ShoreTel’s No. 1 reseller worldwide and has received ShoreTel’s Circle of Excellence Award for the 5th consecutive year. Internet marketing agency WebsiteBiz has been ranked No. 560 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. 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.

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Featuring Executive Homes in the Charlotte Region PRIME IN-TOWN ACREAGE Hickory, North Carolina Over 126 acres of beautiful land, prime for the equestrian, the outdoorsman or the developer! Three stocked ponds, natural trails. Great for hunting or recreational activities. Secure fencing. 4,800 square foot fabulous, Amish-built barn.Near shopping,interstates and overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains.Come realize your dream! MLS# 704623 - $3,199,000 Property Address: 432 SE Catawba Valley Blvd Helen Beleos - 704-533-6677 www.cottonwoods.com

NEW HOME ON 12.95 ACRES Monroe, North Carolina This fabulous new home,situated on 12.95 acres,is a secluded paradise. The homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interior features a spacious floor plan, beautiful red oak flooring, granite countertops, tiled baths and plenty of storage space. Other amenities to enjoy include a screened porch with stamped concrete and an irrigation system.4BRs/3.1BAs MLS# 691413 - $895,000 Property Address: 6730 Hwy 601 Russell Wing - 704-291-8908 www.thewingteam.com

QUIET DEEP WATER COVE Charlotte, North Carolina Enjoy this enchanting lakeside home, situated on a quiet, wooded cove. It features a master bedroom on the first level, three fireplaces, a game room and den. Exterior construction features a hard-coat stucco along with other extras including a large outdoor deck, dock and boat lift. 4BRs/3.1BAs MLS# 679283 - $897,500 Property Address: 16135 Whitesail Drive Kay Westmoreland - 704-913-6547 www.allentate.com/kaywestmoreland

WATERFRONT MINUTES FROM CHARLOTTE Charlotte, North Carolina This exquisite waterfront home features an open floor plan with a formal dining room and the master bedroom on the first level. The beautiful outdoor patio overlooks the lake, along with a covered boat slip and dock. Home is located outside a fantastic community with all amenities available.4BRs/2.2BAs MLS# 702703 - $789,000 Property Address: 17811 New Mark Avenue Kay Westmoreland - 704-913-6547 www.allentate.com/kaywestmoreland

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Featuring Executive Homes in the Charlotte Region THE RATCLIFFE IN CENTER CITY Charlotte, North Carolina Fabulous penthouse.Floor to ceiling glass,Brazilian cherry flooring,gas fireplace, custom built-ins.Gourmet kitchen with granite counters,two prep sinks,stainless steel appliances,wet bar with wine cooler.Heated floors,marble counters, steam frameless shower,whirlpool tub in master bathroom.Central audio/video system,outdoor terrace.Extraordinary views.2BRs/2.1BAs

MLS# 707519 - $1,350,000 Property Address: 435 S. Tryon Street, Unit 906 Nancie Woods - 704-331-2122 www.allentate.com/nanciewoods

CHAPEL WATCH Charlotte, North Carolina Wall of windows offers spectacular city skyline and private courtyard views. Two gas fireplaces,lighted tray ceilings,London Ashe wide plank hardwood floors,custom closets.Gourmet kitchen features black granite counters and island,Birdseye maple cabinets,pendant lighting.Luxurious master bathroom. Walk to theater,restaurants, sports events.3BRs/2.1BAs

MLS# 692736 - $998,000 Property Address: 534 North Church Street Dawn Krieg - 704-331-2126 www.allentate.com/dawnkrieg

THE RATCLIFFE IN CENTER CITY Charlotte, North Carolina This beautiful upper-floor condo connects to the Overstreet Mall and features a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances and a 5-burner gas stove. It includes excellent storage with a butlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pantry and extensive California Closets and a private tile patio with gas grill and fabulous views of Southend. 2BRs/2BAs MLS# 688303 - $725,000 Property Address: 435 S. Tryon Street, Unit 502 Sandy Kindbom - 704-331-2122 www.allentate.com/sandykindbom

THE HAMPTONS AT PARK SOUTH Charlotte, North Carolina Sophisticated in-town living at The Hamptons â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 13 exquisite townhomes located on an island of gracious living.Features including brick and stone exteriors,covered porches and indoor/outdoor parking add comfort,convenience and style.All homes have solid red-oak flooring, granite kitchens and powder room with console furniture.4 BRs/3.1BAs

Priced from the mid $600s Property Address: Northhampton Dr. Meba Thompson 704-661-0699; Jackie Kiser 704-533-4360

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4521 Sharon Road, Charlotte NC 28211 (Located across from SouthPark Mall) Call 704.532.9041 or 888.400.4447 Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00-7:00, Saturday 10:00-5:00 by appointment Offering 100% satisfaction guarantee & 90-day price protection. w w w. d i a m o n d s d i r e c t s o u t h p a r k . c o m


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