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in this issue











cover story

Wray Ward

While Wray Ward celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007, the energetic owners of the venerable Charlotte advertising agency want the next 30 years to shine even brighter. Arguably the largest shop in Charlotte, co-owners Jennifer Appleby and Greg Campana say Wray Ward is on the cusp of becoming a regional leader.


Belk College Global Programs Belk Associate Dean Dr. Alan Shao is directing working professionals in four intensive study graduate degree programs as they grapple with the need to look beyond their ethnocentric views toward a more global perspective.


Heartwood Tree Service Patrick George and the Heartwood team live and work by the mantra: “Hurt tree, hurt me.” They are conscientious objectors for all things non-tree-friendly and unstoppable champions of proper tree care and preservation.


Carmel Contractors A friendly approach coupled with determination to add value to building projects characterizes the way Carmel Contractors, Inc. serves clients in the Carolinas and around the Southeast, according to its principals Nathan McLamb and Scott Tuttle.

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32 bizlife

departments publisher’spost


bizXperts Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions


employersbiz Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers




bizlife Pursuing a Balance of Business and Life






executive homes Luxury Homes above $500,000


on the cover:

Jennifer Appleby President and Chief Creative Officer Wray Ward, LLC

Hall Marine Group Built over a generation, this family business that began with one marina and two employees has grown into a company with seven locations and 115, becoming one of Sea Ray’s top five dealers worldwide with annual sales in the $50 million range.

Photography by Wayne Morris

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[publisher’spost] It’s good to know the neighbors... Dear Mr. Galles: We saw an ad in your magazine in late 2005 for Larner’s Office Furniture. We contacted them to supply the furniture for our new offices in Charlotte—which they installed in early 2006. Two and a half years later, we have used them for not only that new Charlotte office, but our current 2008 new office expansion, and for the offices in four new clubhouses in our newest living centers. I suspect that the Larner’s ad spending with you has paid off handsomely for them. Feel free to use my letter with any advertisers of yours which wonder if advertising with you is effective. Yours truly, Donald O. Thompson, Jr., President Senior Living Communities, LLC Thank you, Mr. Thompson. And thank you for reading Greater Charlotte Biz magazine! We are so pleased that you are pleased with Larner’s Office Furniture. We are honored to work with Larner’s and all of our advertisers. We are especially pleased that they provide quality products and serve their customers so well. We are proud to be the vehicle chosen by our advertisers to reach out to our more than 100,000 readers each month. In this increasingly cookie-cutter out-sourced world, we are proud to be able to offer a locally produced and locally printed publication about local businesses and for the benefit of the local business community. We work hard to provide good stories that business people want to read. We are committed to producing a publication worthy of your time and attention. We strive it to make each issue attractive, colorful and stimulating. We want you to learn about the talented business people “in your neighborhood” so that you can be even more successful in your business. We also want you to connect with our advertisers and learn how they can be helpful to you. We encourage you to support local businesses whenever possible. Another advertiser wrote: “After advertising for two years in Greater Charlotte Biz, we have had the pleasure of seeing and hearing its impact on our customers, prospects and friends…this advertising is priceless in establishing our image and our message in the Charlotte region.” Charlotte may be growing rapidly, but I think we’d still like to think of ourselves as friendly neighbors to each other. And especially with the exponential growth we are experiencing, it certainly is good to know your neighbors. Give us a call. We would like to help you build your brand and expand your identity in our local marketplace. We’re in the neighborhood. Let’s find a way to work together for even greater success and profit. biz


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April 2008 Volume 9 • Issue 4 Publisher John Paul Galles

Associate Publisher/Editor Maryl A. Lane

Creative Director Trevor Adams

Editorial & Sales Assistant Janet Kropinak

Account Executive Joe Gleason

Contributing Writers Ellison Clary Carol Gifford Casey Jacobus Janet Kropinak Contributing Photographers Wayne Morris Janet Kropinak Galles Communications Group, Inc. 5601 77 Center Drive • Suite 250 Charlotte, NC 28217-0737 704-676-5850 Phone • 704-676-5853 Fax • Press releases and other news-related information, please fax to the attention of “Editor” or e-mail: • Editorial or advertising inquiries, please call or fax at the numbers above or e-mail: • Subscription inquiries or change of address, please call or fax at the numbers above or visit our Web site: © Copyright 2008 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 704676-5850 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: 704676-5850. 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

having trouble collecting your receivables? part II Last month we discussed the first four steps of a “system” to help business owners maximize the collection of their receivables. The remaining steps of such a “system” are set forth below: Step Five—Establish a Collection System You are the best judge to know when an account has become troublesome or some action towards collection is warranted. If you take prompt steps to collect the debt as soon as it becomes overdue, you lessen the odds of having to file a lawsuit. We recommend the following steps: 1) Establish a tickler system for all accounts which are not paid in 30 days. Unless there is a reason not to, place calls to these overdue accounts inquiring as to the status of payment. Also inquire as to the reason payment is delayed. This may help determine early whether the customer has a problem with the service or your work. It is better to find this out early rather than after filing suit. Furthermore, if the customer informs you there is no problem early on, it is less likely the customer will come up with some reason later. 2) If the account is not paid in 45 to 60 days, a letter should be sent to the customer demanding payment. Again, you should inquire as to the status of the payment and the reason for delay in payment. Thought should be given to working toward perfecting a lien at this time if you are a contractor or subcontractor on a project involving improvement to land or supplying materials to such a project. 3) If the account is not paid in 90 days, then an attorney should be contacted to send a stronger letter demanding payment. It is at this point that the language should be inserted in the letter stating that if the outstanding balance is paid in full in five days, then the attorney’s fee provision in the contract will not be enforced. If the work involves improvement to land make sure that you are within the time period for filing a lien (which, in North Carolina, needs to be filed within 120 days from the last day worked on the improved property). Step Six—Secure Payment If the customer wants to delay payment or pay over time according to a payment schedule, take steps to assure payment and make the likelihood of payment stronger and the cost less if litigation becomes necessary. 1) Have the debtor execute individual guaranties of the debt by the principals of a corporation or by the spouse of an individual debtor. 2) Have the debtor execute a promissory note, with individual guaranties if appropriate, which provides for interest, recovery of attorney fees and other remedies not earlier provided for. An additional advantage of the promissory note is to eliminate any defenses which the other party may claim, such as defective merchandise or work.


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3) Require the debtor to pledge some property as security for the otherwise unsecured account. Of course, a search of the records must be conducted to establish what liens already exist against the property. 4) Another option that can be used when a cusRobert Norris tomer wants to make payments over time is a confession of judgment. In a confession of judgment, the debtor admits to the debt and promises to pay the debt according to the schedule set forth in the document. If the debtor defaults, the creditor can file the confession of judgment with the court and it acts just like any other judgment against the debtor. The judgment is for the principal amount due less payments made by the debtor. The form of the confession of judgment must adhere to the rules of civil procedure and the filing requires an affidavit and has to be filed in the appropriate county. Step Seven— Consider Small Claims Court If the outstanding balance owed is $5,000 or less, you can file an action to collect the debt in small claims court without the need for an attorney. A small claims action must be filed in the county in which the defendant resides or has an office. Caution: There are a number of collection actions which are prohibited under federal law and under state law in the collection of consumer debts and could subject you to civil penalties if you violate them. Prohibited acts by debt collectors are spelled out in N.C.G.S. §§ 75 to 50 through 75 to 56 which list specific unfair acts such as threats and coercion, harassment, unreasonable publication and deceptive representation, and unconscionable means. One important thing to remember is that if the debtor has retained an attorney you must deal with the attorney and you cannot contact the debtor any further. Companies have a right to take steps to collect debts that are owed to them and reviewing with your employees the specific prohibited acts listed in the statutes and using common sense when dealing with consumers should keep you out of trouble. There is no substitute for always obtaining the advice of a qualified “collections attorney” pertaining to your particular situation. This article is not intended to give legal advice and should not be relied upon for such purpose. 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

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Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions


i wish i’d known… In my coaching over the last few weeks, I’ve heard many people say “I wish I’d known more about career choices before I chose the one I’m in.” How sad. Being in the wrong career can make life difficult. How can we know when we’re 18 and graduating from high school or 22 and graduating from college what we want to do with our lives? We don’t know much about ourselves, much less career choices. First, people need to do some self-study. They need to get a handle on what “type” of person they are. It’s generally true that we can do most things we set our minds to, but it isn’t true that everyone is equally happy and suited to every job. A DISC assessment is a good tool for gaining insight into our behavior style or at least some tendencies that we should consider in choosing our field of study and life’s work. Second, people need to do some exploring. They need an opportunity to learn about various careers and jobs from people who are doing them. One-onone conversations can help them learn and hone interpersonal skills while learning about a career option—an important side benefit to the process.

Hearing someone talk about what they like and what they don’t like in their field, as well as what it took to get into the field, can be important in the decision process. So, here’s the real purpose of this article: To get you to think about young people in your life who Denise Altman could benefit from a DISC assessment and debrief (makes a GREAT graduation present), and to think about being a resource to people who are exploring their career choices. I meet with dozens of students who need such resources, and I’d like to expand my network of business people who are willing to talk with them honestly about their careers. If you want to be added to my list of career contacts, e-mail me. Together, we can help young people make better career choices early. The benefit to us? We can help populate the business world with people who enjoy what they do and look forward to doing it rather than coping with people who are just trying to make the best of the career they unwisely chose so many years ago. Denise Altman is president of Altman Initiative Group, Inc. She provides DISC assessments and coaching to companies and individuals. Contact her at 704-315-9090 or visit

how many reasons do you need to be bullish? I see many reasons to be very bullish now despite all the “negative” news. Here’s why: 1. Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) (foreign investment pools) are thought to hold at least $2 trillion of cash and other investable assets. They see bargains on our shores that many of us living here refuse to see. 2. Next to years ending in 5, years ending in 8 are the finest for stocks. Of the past dozen years ending in 8, only two were down at -2 percent and -3 percent. The gain of the 10 that were up was about 20 percent. 3. Election years are generally up, particularly the last seven to eight months. 4. In the history of the Standard & Poor’s 500 dating back to the end of 1925, there have been just three negative fourth years of a president’s term—1932 in the Great Depression (in 1933 stocks rose 100 percent, the best year ever), 1940 as WW II gathered momentum, and the last time in 2000 as NASDAQ began to disintegrate. 5. The first half of January was one of the most dismal stock performances in history. That’s the bad news. The great news is that in five similar instances (1939, 1960, 1970, 1978 and 1990), the market was on average 12.3 percent higher after one year and 26.0 percent after two. If you take out 1939 (eve of WW II as an exception), the numbers become 14.7 percent and 34.6 percent respectively.

pursuing a balance of business and life

6. Every one of the 23 times since 1987 when the ratio of bears to bulls in the weekly American Association of Individual Investors poll was two or higher, the market was up 21 percent on average within the following 12 months. Bill Staton 7. There’s a Wall Street axiom that tells us, “Don’t fight the Fed.” The Fed is lowering interest rates rapidly, and that’s almost always excellent for stocks, with rare exception. In cycles similar to the current one, stocks were up 13.95 percent after one year and 17.6 percent after 18 months. 8. Corporate insiders continue to buy shares of their own companies at a torrid pace. 9. The difference between the earnings yield (inverse of the price/earnings ratio) for the S&P 500 and the 10-year Treasury note is the highest in several decades. The wider the gap, the more bullish for stocks. 10. U.S. corporations are sitting on top of more than $3 trillion in cash, by far the largest number ever. 11. The depressed dollar is a boon for U.S. exports. So there you have it, my Top 11 Reasons to Be Very Bullish!! 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

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[bizXperts] Smart Salvos, Select Strategies and Succinct Solutions

intentional leadership 102: pitfalls of experience Experience is undeniably one of the most desired qualities in the marketplace. But used incorrectly, it can deaden the skills of a leader and his/her organization. Personal experience offers valuable data to assess situations and opportunities. But a self-aware leader will realize that this is the limit of experience. The self-aware leader also realizes that the moment he thinks he has all the answers, the organization is in trouble. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first is the rapidly evolving business world. The second is that the pressure of being a leader in a rapid-fire business climate creates pressure to ‘know it all’ to stay on top. Whether it is fueled by adrenaline or fear of failure, a leader can become sidetracked by his impulses. He begins to control employees rather than inspire contribution from them. He tells people what to do and stops asking questions. He has unwittingly become a one-man-show. What happens to an organization when a leader becomes consumed with knowing it all? Its conference rooms are suddenly full of people shaking their heads in complete agreement with the boss, 100 percent of the time. Conversely, its break rooms become full of people complaining their job is unfulfilling, and personal griping dominates conversation. Despite all the concentrated efforts of their

leader, performance figures sink, his most valued employees leave the company, and things go south quickly from there. An intentional leader comes to the organization with a blank slate every day. Not without experience, but without his perception being controlled by his Mike Whitehead experience. With this ‘unknowingness’ he is able to best utilize the diverse talents, insights and ideas of the team. Unknowingness allows a space to generate true agreement, alignment and innovation. Sometimes this means sitting with the discomfort of disagreement, because it is the divergence of opinion that provides the greatest potential for growth. That is why intentional leaders encourage, and even reward disagreement—it is the seed of new opportunity. Leaders that rely only on what they know, limit themselves and the organization to the level and type of results they have already accomplished. Greater results require a different combination, this means getting out of the executive attic and back into the huddle. 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

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Legislative and Regulatory Highlights for Area Employers

Help managers give winning performance evaluations ••••• •••• Performance reviews. These two words are enough to cause even the hardiest of managers to go missing-in-action, often for months at a time. But this doesn’t have to be the case, says Michael Butler, an attorney for Epstein, Becker & Green, P.C. Butler offers practical advice on how HR can help managers stop procrastinating and forge ahead with employee performance evaluations. First and foremost, managers need to make sure the performance review isn’t full of surprises for the employee. One of the purposes of the review should be to confirm the daily feedback that the manager has given employees, says Butler. “No employee should ever be surprised by a bad review.” Managers also need to perform reviews on time. Butler noted that while employers are not obligated to perform reviews in a timely manner, failure to provide feedback on a regular and consistent basis when promised will guarantee low employee morale, an increase in problem employees and possible productivity issues over the long haul. The DOs It is important that the manager hold the meeting in a manner that is most respectful of the employee. Butler suggests providing managers with these tips on what to “do” before and during the performance review meeting. DO: • Personally set up the meeting time with the employee. Don’t have your administrative assistant do it. • When setting the time for the meeting, allow adequate time for getting through goals, supervisory feedback, employee feedback and questions. Allow at least 1 to 1.5 hours for the interview.

• Offer suggestions to the employee about how he or she can prepare for the meeting. • Always conduct the review during business hours. • Review past performance evaluations on the employee. • If you have the employee do a self-evaluation prior to the meeting, use it to discuss points of agreement and disagreement. Make a record of disparities should the review be challenged at a later date. • Explain the assessment tool in positive terms, such as the enhancement of professional growth, the improvement of skills and the potential for increase in company productivity. • End the review meeting on a positive note. Emphasize goals, expectations and plans for the future development of the employee. The DO NOTs There are also a few “do nots” which, if properly avoided, will enhance the experience for the manager and the employee. During performance management meetings, DON’T: • Forgo the personal review in favor of a memorandum. • Hold the review when you are upset. • Keep the employee waiting. • Allow others to interrupt the review meeting. • Downplay the importance of the review. • Begin the review meeting without a plan. • Interrupt the employee when he or she is speaking. • Spend too much time debating with the employee. • Bid for the employee’s agreement with the evaluation. • Leave the review open for revision. (CCH)

Accidents more costly than congestion ••••• •••• Automobile accidents frequently result in a large bill for the offending party. But according to the AAA, it doesn’t stop there. AAA has released the results of a study indicating that vehicle wreckage costs the average American more each year than traffic congestion. The research was conducted by Cambridge Systematics, which drew the $1,051 yearly cost per person total from a combination of medical expenses, emergency and police 10

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services, property damage, and lost productivity. Compared to the annual congestion report issued by the Texas Transportation Institute, the price is nearly 2.5 times the $430 yearly expense one incurs due to clogged roadways. AAA’s aim with the report is to direct more focus on increasing vehicle safety. (AAA) Some of the above content was provided by The Employers Association, a nonprofit organization providing comprehensive human resources and training services to a membership of over 800 companies in the greater Charlotte region. For more information, please call Laura Hampton at 704-522-8011 or visit

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••• Couples Need•• •••• $225,000 to Cover

Health in Retirement A couple retiring this year will need about $225,000 in savings to cover medical costs in retirement, according to a study released by Boston-based Fidelity Investment. The figure, calculated for a couple age 65, is up 4.7% from the company’s $215,000 estimate for 2007. The study assumes workers do not have employer-sponsored retiree health care coverage. It includes expenses associated with Medicare premium payments as well as co-payments and deductibles, plus out-ofpocket prescription drug costs. Fidelity’s first study, in 2002, found that a couple needed $160,000 in savings to fund medical costs in retirement; that total has risen an average of 5.8% a year. The study blamed the rising health care costs on higher costs for services such as doctors’ visits, rising expenses associated with new technologies, and increased incidence of some chronic conditions, like diabetes. A separate study released last month by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College estimated that an individual needs to go into retirement with some $102,000 earmarked just for health care coverage, while a couple needs about $206,000. According to the Center, given current levels of retirement savings, six in 10 older workers are “at risk” of being unable to maintain their standard of living in retirement. “With health care costs continuing to outpace wage increases and companies trimming retiree health benefits, financing health care has to be central to retirement planning,” says Brad Kimler, executive vice president of Fidelity’s benefits consulting group. (Fidelity Investments; Center for Retirement Research)

pursuing a balance of business and life

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CPCC’s Corporate & Continuing Education offers more than 30 professional and industry recognized certifications that can help you land the position you’ve always dreamed of, or earn you more credibility for the things you already know! Bank Teller Bookkeeper Business Manager Catering Consulting Professional Entrepreneurship Event Planning Global Business Professional Human Resources (SPHR) Lean Enterprise Lean Leadership

Looking for a new


Logistics & Supply Chain Management & Leadership Mortgage Banking Notary (& Electronic Notary) Payroll Specialist Personal Trainer (National) Project Management Six Sigma (Green Belt, Black Belt) Travel Professional

For more information or to register, call 704.330.4223 or visit

Work Force Training and Development


Taking It to the Next Level


n today’s competitive business environment, having the right credentials may be the difference between a simple paycheck and your dream job or a new career field. Many individuals think they have the right skills to move up the career ladder, but find that they need certain credentials to earn a promotion or change professions. For that reason, career-minded professionals are looking to certificates as one way to advance their career in a relatively short period of time. Central Piedmont Community College’s (CPCC) Corporate and Continuing Education Certificates broaden the career-path horizon by providing opportunities for individuals to expand existing credentials and master new career-related skills. These programs have literally changed the lives of many students… Karen Cobb, an independent human resources consultant, wanted to pursue all aspects of employee relations. She completed the human resource certificate at CPCC and following that, the professional human resource exam-prep class. She says her experience at CPCC was beneficial in every way: “At CPCC you get treated with respect and the college really helps you reach your goals in continuing education. They walk you through the process of how to maximize your potential.” “The education at CPCC has actually given me confidence in my own knowledge, and also the confidence to go out and fulfill my goals,” Cobb says. Having the PHR initials on her resume has made all the difference to her integration into her chosen field. “The certificate opened doors wide. It gave me credibility—the credibility of knowledge,” she explains. “I saw the impact of my education almost immediately.”

Jan Daubener, a recruiter at Presbyterian Hospital Huntersville successfully passed the RHR exam as a result of taking the PHR/ SPHR preparation review class at CPCC. “I took the class for personal achievement and professional growth,” says

Daubener, “The course covered topics from recruitment and hiring to legal issues.” Discussions about unions and collective bargaining were especially helpful to Daubener as he hadn’t worked in a union environment before. “This class created the ‘aha!’ moment for me. Now I understand the foundation of employment law, where and why these laws were created, and issues that impact both employees and employers,” he explains. Daubener recommends the class for all HR professionals: “Even if they decide to forgo the exam, the exposure to HR concepts is invaluable.” “I would also recommend the class for managers, to heighten awareness of job analysis, job descriptions, interviewing, candidate selection, orientation and employee performance evaluations. These are topics from which managers can always draw additional knowledge and skill,” adds Daubener. Charles Rutherford completed the Six Sigma Green Belt Certification at CPCC as a requisite for a position as Mecklenburg County IT Staff Engineer. The certification changed his life not merely professionally but personally. Says

pursuing a balance of business and life

Rutherford, “It was a great opportunity to expand my knowledge and skills.” “The program was extremely helpful in my career and especially useful in a practical real-life way. Not only did we learn theoretical requirements, but we had to complete projects. I used real-case scenarios from my job for my project which made the program highly applicable to me in the workplace,” Rutherford explains. “I can’t say enough about how beneficial this is for anyone interested in problem solving and using this model of problem solving to manage job-related projects. When customers approach us to improve their processes— whatever they may be, this is the knowledge I apply,” Rutherford affirms. John Muncie, SGCI- Muncie Manufacturing Manager, said that the impact on his career has been significant. “I’ve been in manufacturing for 20 years. This class helped me update and refresh my skills and I’m now applying these methods to reducing waste and variability in a complex manufacturing process,” Muncie said. For more than 40 years, CPCC has offered associates degrees and certificates, but many students may not be aware of the breadth of their non-credit certificates and career advancement programs for individuals with or without a college education. For information about Continuing Education courses and certificates, call 704-330-4223 or visit 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

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Copenhagen, Denmark is the top-ranked one of its kind in the country, its popularity stemming from the prestige of the UNC Charlotte name and the fact that the College sends it own faculty to teach the program, says Shao. “We’ve worked hard to establish our brand name in each of our markets and we’re really starting to see the fruits of our labor,” says Shao. “We have multiple partners in each region—that shows we’re doing it the right way and we’re extending our brand globally.” So far the programs have graduated more than 120 students, and present enrollments of about 90 students in Mexico, 60 students

“We can’t be a business school without being a global business school. Less than five percent of the world’s population resides in the U.S. With 95 percent of the world’s population located outside our borders, how can we be teaching exclusively in this country?” Dr. Alan T. Shao

in Taiwan, and 40 students in Hong Kong, says Shao. Many students attend the programs taking 12 credits a semester while working full-time. Classes are taught by tenure-track UNC Charlotte Belk College business professors who travel to the site to


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Taipei, Taiwan offer compressed, full-time classes at night and on weekends. He explains that a faculty member might leave on a Wednesday to arrive Thursday night in Taiwan or Hong Kong (Asia is 13 hours ahead of Charlotte time), take Friday off to adjust to the time change, and then teach 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. After taking off Monday through Thursday, the faculty member would then teach from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and, again, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, returning to Charlotte the next day. One course is offered per month. Students are often assigned much homework in between the class times. “It’s very intense, but the model works for both faculty and students,” says Shao. “For example, accounting and finance teachings are very application-oriented so a student might learn about them in class and be able to immediately start using them in business. “One student who had his own business told me he had increased his revenue by $1 million in just one year by using the principles he had learned in the M.B.A. program in Taiwan,” says Shao. Faculty members are also aided by the experience, says Shao, and in addition to teaching, might use the time for research or to attend conferences. “These same faculty members are teaching both abroad in the M.B.A. programs and classes on campus at UNC Charlotte,” says Shao. “When they come back, they bring with them cultural enrichment and experiences that they can then share with their classes here in Charlotte.” A well-seasoned traveler, Shao speaks from experience. The son of a Chinese

business professor who emigrated to the U.S. and an American mother, he grew up in Virginia with three brothers, and all of whom followed in their father’s footsteps and received Ph.D.s in business. He attended school for a year in Taiwan while he was in college at Old Dominion University and he was later awarded a Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Alabama. He spent much time traveling throughout Asia and developing “guan xi,” or relationships, there and in Mexico. He plans to expand the global programs into China, Panama, France and Switzerland. Julian Cheek, a student in the Hong Kong M.B.A. program who works for Wachovia Bank, says he entered the program because of its reputation there. “I moved from Charlotte to Hong Kong about a year and a half ago so I was very familiar with UNC Charlotte’s M.B.A. program and knew it produced high-quality candidates with well-rounded business acumen,” says Cheek, an IT storage engineer and team leader with a degree from Johnson C. Smith University. “It also is helping me network with professionals in the Asia Pacific region.” Cheek says the class format works well for him and he likes having professors from UNC Charlotte because it eliminates any potential language barriers. “I enjoy the compressed format of the classes because it forces both the professor and the student to focus primarily on understanding the key business concepts and how they are used in real business situations,” says Cheek. “It’s sometimes difficult to read and prepare for classes while working full-time. If things are extremely busy at work, I sometimes find myself not being able to complete

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Monterrey, Mexico

Hong Kong

all my readings before class. But with proper time management and a few sacrifices to my social life, I’m able to keep up with the demanding workload.”

“Global education is one of the Belk College of Business’ priorities and we are one of the frontrunners in offering successful and growing programs in Mexico, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Denmark.” Dr. Alan T. Shao

He adds that the program is helping him better understand the complex business requirements of the IT systems that he designs and supports to store Wachovia’s financial data, and that his new knowledge helps him better manage the daily activities of his team and more confidently interact with various levels of management in the bank. In the Mexico program, students earn dual M.B.A. degrees, one from UNC Charlotte and the other from the Graduate School of Business Administration and Leadership (EGADE) at Tecnologico de Monterrey. EGADE is ranked the top business school in Latin America and one of the top in the world, says Shao, and the joint program is already at capacity. The program shares faculty from UNC Charlotte and EGADE, and offers the

program to full-time students over a four trimester and one summer session, one year in each location. Chaojun “Jack” Wang is a student in the program who decided to attend the school after meeting and interviewing with Shao in Shenzhen, China. With a background in IT and a degree in computer software from Tsinghua University in Beijing, the top ranked university in China, he decided to enter the program to gain a global business perspective. “I enjoy the classes very much and I was able to experience both Charlotte and Monterrey for one academic year each,” says Wang. “The students are talented ones, mainly from Mexico, the U.S., other Latin American countries and some from Europe. Both students and the professors experience great opportunities to interact and better understand global business in economic, cultural and social points of view.” Wang plans to graduate in May and with his knowledge of China and fluency in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, he hopes to find a job in the U.S. Shao says Belk College will also offer international opportunities for other students including short-term study tours for M.B.A. and graduate students, summer and semester abroad programs. In addition, courses will be offered by teleconference in which UNC Charlotte students collaborate with students and faculty from international universities. “The Belk College Global Business Programs are a fantastic success story that Charlotte businesses and organizations need to know about,” said Shao. “We’re not just sitting idly on the I-485 loop; we’re offering this education so that Charlotte can see

pursuing a balance of business and life

business through global eyes, because you just can’t ignore the role that international business plays in our economy.” biz Carol Gifford is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Belk College of Business Global Business Programs University of North Carolina at Charlotte 9201 University City Boulevard 147 Friday Building Charlotte, N.C. 28223 Phone: 704-687-7596 Faculty and Staff: Dr. Alan T. Shao, Associate Dean for Professional and Global Business Programs; Cindy Fox, Director of Global Business Programs; Lee Vang, Coordinator of Global Business Programs Cost: Tuition costs vary, depending on program location and length of study, beginning at $20,000 for a 12-month program in Asia to a $40,000 program in Mexico. Employers often pay for some or all of the Executive MBA programs. Established: 2005 Business: Provides international business graduate degree programs including: MBA in Global Business & Strategy in Monterrey, Mexico with Tecnologico de Monterrey/EGADE, Executive MBA in Taipei, Taiwan, MBA in Hong Kong, and DualDegree Economics Program in Copenhagen, Denmark with Copenhagen Business School. Future graduate programs are planned for Lyon, France with the University of Lyon, Panana City, Panama, with Tecnologico de Monterrey/EGADE, Geneva, Switzerland with the European University and a dual-degree program in Beijing, China, with Beijing Normal University.

april 2008



by janet kropinak

Patrick George Owner and Founder Heartwood Tree Service, LLC


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Men in Trees

Heartwood nurtures a greener Charlotte Patrick George is the picture of a lumberjack. Donned in utility boots, arborwear pants, weathered jacket and woolen cap, his burly appearance and athletic build give him an intimidating stature. His rough exterior belies the soft spoken guru who takes a holistic approach to tree care, speaking esoterically about the intricacies of the tree service industry and the importance of stewarding the environment. Notably, the only attribute missing from the persona are the tree spikes on his boots. George rejects the use of spikes to maneuver trees, not for obvious reasons like the potential for transmission of diseases, but in advocacy of tree health generally. Living the mantra: “Hurt tree, hurt me”, he is a conscientious objector for all things non-tree-friendly and an

unstoppable champion of proper tree care and preservation. Which is to say, George might be in the tree removal business, but he isn’t always willing to remove your tree. He believes that trees can be more important than line items on a budget and has grown his business one tree at a time, which may sound clichéd, but is true—he still remembers every tree he has ever been involved with. Budding Business Plan At the age of 24, Patrick George combined his love of trees, his passionate spirit and his sense of moral responsibility and founded Heartwood Tree Service. A self proclaimed kid at heart, George, like many children, grew up climbing trees, but unlike many, never outgrew his passion for it.

pursuing a balance of business and life

In the midst of pursuing a degree in forestry at N.C. State, George grew impatient and decided to take his education and experience and enter the business world. He firmly believed there was a major void in the tree services industry: “No one was thinking about the trees themselves; the industry saw them merely as a means of making money,” he says shaking his head. “I was looking to bring a higher cause to the industry and help elevate the status of tree preservation,” he says. “I saw it as my responsibility to educate people on the importance of their trees and the best ways to care for them.” So in 1979, George decided that he could best serve these principles by making it his business to promote a passionate commitment to trees, and thus Heartwood Tree ➤

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Living the mantra:

“Hurt tree, hurt me,”

Patrick George is a consientious objector for all things non-treefriendly and an unstoppable champion of proper tree care preservation.


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Service was sown. The “heartwood” is the center of the tree, the part that provides the strength allowing it to grow above all other life. George’s mission: “I wanted to help lead our industry into a higher level of social respect and professionalism.” It was George’s intimate working knowledge of trees that helped him carve out a niche in the market early on. George says his hometown Charlotte served as a great launching pad for the company because of the appreciation and awareness its residents have for their trees: “Charlotte is defined by its trees; they are the ultimate accessory to the city and that was and still is a real boost for business.” In the beginning, Heartwood was a two-man shop consisting of George and his partner Lance Muse. George describes the dynamic of their relationship by saying, “Lance handled the business and I was the talent.” When, after only a few months, Muse left Heartwood to pursue other opportunities, George had to quickly adapt to being a businessman, which he admits “took some getting used to.” As his knowledge of the industry evolved, so did his understanding of being a business owner. “I had to learn how to better communicate with people and forced myself to go and start knocking on doors, because that is what needed to be done to make the business work,” he recalls. “It was my love of trees that helped me embrace mankind,” he laughs. “I knew that if this business were going to succeed, I needed to find new and innovative ways to educate people on the importance of tree care and maintenance, which has remained a top priority for us over the years.” In 1982, after a rugby injury sidelined George from tree climbing, he totally dedicated himself to running the business, assembling a team of experts who could take on responsibility in the field. Using his rugby team as a recruiting tool, the Heartwood family began to grow. “Rugby players demand the same physical energy necessary for tree work,” says George. “They find hard work appealing and have a certain lust for life that has benefited the Heartwood team.” First and foremost, George says he looks for people with a positive attitude and good

work ethic. “This type of work is mentally challenging and physically demanding and is not for the faint of heart,” George comments. “We are looking for people who can add to the team dynamic already in place and who are able to be contributors.” As the years progressed, growth continued for Heartwood, and as word spread of their service and dependability, their clientele list expanded along with it. Looking back, starting a business at 24 could have been a risky decision, but George says that for him, it was the only decision. That is not to say that it was easy: George keenly felt the difficulty of being that young with that amount of responsibility. “It is scary to be out there doing this on your own, but it is also very liberating,” he recalls. “I had to learn to believe in myself and communicate that confidence to others.” Over the past 29 years, George has become a businessman and dedicated leader who values his team and their contribution to the organization. The Heartwood family, which now consists of 27 highly trained individuals, has built a successful enterprise with a reputation for knowledgeable service and expertise. Branching Out Heartwood, which began essentially as a pruning business, has blossomed into a full-service company which also offers consultations and evaluations, removals, stump grinding, fertilization, tree swings, and lightning protection for both residential and commercial projects. Though their offerings have expanded, pruning still represents a large portion of their business and George feels strongly about its benefits. “Pruning helps manage the risks associated with daily interactions. It helps keep our homes safe, the neighbors jealous, and the value of our homes increasing,” he comments. The Heartwood team performs pruning services as part of routine maintenance as well as for safety and structural reasons and aesthetic appeal. Tree removal is another facet of the pruning services. A Heartwood arborist always conducts an evaluation prior to removal to make sure there are no alternatives to preserve the tree. And when tree

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removal is deemed necessary, they make sure it is done safely and efficiently. Because there are so many contributing factors involved in tree work, a consultation is conducted before any course of action is taken. “Maintenance requirements and economic contribution can vary dramatically by condition, size, location and species of tree,” George explains. On the business end, an important facet of George’s job is finding out a customer’s objectives and tailoring his approach to fit their needs. “Some people come to us because they are looking to increase the monetary value of their home or its aesthetic appeal, or because they have an emotional attachment to their backyard tree,” says George. “Understanding this and working with it has been essential to our success.” “We work hard to help people realize the importance of their trees and the value they add to their home and to the city as a whole,” he continues. One significant problem for Charlotte trees are the semiannual attacks by cankerworms, which break out in both spring and fall. Cankerworms are seen as such a problem in the area that the city council has agreed to spend $2.5 million on an aerial spray this spring. The city’s decision was in response to pleadings from the “Cankerworm Coalition” of which George was a member. In addition to the cankerworm plague, Charlotte area trees had an especially tough year in 2007. “Between last year’s Easter freeze, the extremely hot summer, and the prolonged drought we’ve had, tree care is more important than ever,” explains George. “We are likely going to spend much of this year preserving the trees from the damage that has been done.” George notes that the abundance of construction around Charlotte is also accelerating the need to take tree care seriously. What can you do to help your trees at home? George says that mulch is one easy step homeowners can take to help their trees. This enables the soil to maintain a cooler temperature in the summer months and helps retain moisture. Another good idea are soaker hoses, which enable moisture to penetrate the soil down to a deeper level where the tree roots are, beyond where the turf roots exist.

Staying Safe and Keeping Green George admits that the tree care industry carries with it many risks, but he takes this seriously and works hard to keep his staff educated and informed about necessary precautions and up to date on all safety regulations including CPR/first aid certifications. Every Friday morning, mandatory safety seminars are led by Jeff Fabian, a certified tree care safety professional. Heartwood’s commitment to safety was recognized in 2005, when they were awarded the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) Safety Award. Heartwood also holds the distinction of being North Carolina’s first TCIA-accredited tree service company. Liability insurance and workers compensation are one of the more costly aspects of the job but George stresses its importance and sees it as a nonnegotiable necessity. “Because of the inherent risks this job brings, we take every precaution to ensure our guys stay safe,” comments George. “It’s about minimizing the risks.” George is not a believer in accidents, but instead views them as mistakes. “When you make a mistake out there, somebody gets hurt or worse, so we do everything in our power to prevent that from happening.” Heartwood’s strong team camaraderie is another incentive to stay safe. “We are a family, so we do our best to watch out for one another up there. Besides, you realize that someone else’s mistake is just as likely to hurt you as someone else,” he comments. Going the extra mile doesn’t only apply to safety, but also in staying ahead of the curve on certifications. Heartwood has 13 ISA-certified arborists on staff, 7 certified tree workers, 2 certified tree safety professionals and North Carolina’s only certified tree crane operator. Certification is required for someone looking to become a consulting arborist, crew leader or manager but encouraged for everyone. According to the International Society of Arboriculture, these certifications are awarded to individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through at least three years of experience and have passed a comprehensive exam. Heartwood’s commitment to safety is only rivaled by their commitment to the community. They stay involved by participating in

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such activities as the Charlotte Arborist Association’s Annual Tree Climbing Championship, where they will serve as a sponsor later this month. They also sponsor the annual Tree Shaker mountain bike race in Rock Hill, S.C. They have been involved in pro-bono work with such preservation groups as the Friends of Freedom Park, where theyfought the removal of the cherry trees and have undertaken the responsibility for their care and well being for the last three years. Although global warming is rarely seen as a positive thing, George admits that it has prompted people to think more about tree care and educate themselves on things they can do to prevent larger problems down the road. This coincides nicely with Heartwood’s focus on increasing the public’s awareness and understanding of the importance of trees. Similar to the heartwood of the tree, Heartwood’s strength comes from its core. This group of tree lovers have devoted themselves to the science of tree care and to their craft, which has secured them their spot as Charlotte’s premier tree service professionals. biz Janet Kropinak is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Heartwood Tree Service, LLC 4920 Old Pineville Rd. Charlotte, N.C. 28217 Phone: 704-525-3066 Principal: J. Patrick George, Owner and Founder Established: 1979 Employees: 27 (including 13 ISA-certified arborists, 7 ISA-certified tree workers; 2 TCIA-certified tree safety professionals; and North Carolina’s only certified tree crane operator) Awards: Tree Care Industry Association Safety Award, 2005 Business: Full-service tree care and removal firm with an emphasis on conservation, helping residential and commercial clients care for and appreciate Charlotte area trees. Services include consultations and evaluations, pruning, banding, tree and stump removal, lightning protection, stump grinding, fertilization, and tree swings.

april 2008


photo: Wayne Morris

(l to r) Greg Campana, Executive Vice President and Director of Client Services; Jennifer Appleby, President and Chief Creative Officer Wray Ward, LLC

hile Wray Ward celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007, the energetic owners of the venerable Charlotte advertising agency want the next 30 years to shine even brighter. Arguably the largest shop in Charlotte, Wray Ward is on the cusp of becoming a regional leader, say co-owners Jennifer Appleby and Greg Campana. “Nobody,” is Appleby’s rifle-shot answer to what area agency is like Wray Ward.

management, public relations, interactive and Web services, direct marketing, creative and production, and media planning and buying. While traditional advertising represents about 65 percent of the business, Appleby expects interactive will grow much larger than its current 12 percent share and that public relations will continue expanding. “More than 15 years ago we recognized that the communications world was changing in fundamental

Let’s never stop thinking Since its founding in 1977, Wray Ward has evolved and grown, adding integrated services to its core of traditional advertising. Today, the firm offers many of the marketing communications disciplines essential to building brands, including strategic planning, account 22

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ways, which led to a strategic decision to offer a comprehensive approach that included public relations, interactive and direct.” she said. “We have built strong teams at Wray Ward in all of these disciplines, guided by a commitment to strategic planning.” 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


creative visionaries wray ward is thinking BIG Breaking Through A breakthrough event happened about six years ago when the home textiles leader, Springs Industries, now Springs Global, awarded its business to Wray Ward.

“Winning the Springs business was a tipping point for us,” she adds. “We were then able to go out and win other significant business.” The annual Charlotte Business Journal ranking of ad agencies reported that Wray

possible,” Campana says, “and I hope we can.” Then he adds a significant caveat, one that Appleby also holds dear. “We want to grow with the understanding that maintaining our corporate culture is very important,” Campana says. “As long as we’re able to maintain a culture of creativity, integrity, collaboration and client-focused service, then busting the glass ceiling as the region’s marquee agency will be terrific.” Campana and Appleby are firm believers in the importance of a shared corporate culture. “Great ideas come from close collaboration,” Appleby says, “Teamwork is firmly rooted in our DNA.” ➤

Let’s start something “We were given a huge opportunity to compete for the business against a number of agencies including the incumbent Ogilvy & Mather in New York,” Appleby said. “We worked hard to win Springs’ trust and have built a great relationship with them. They were looking for a local, hands-on resource with national-level creative and great service.”

Ward’s capitalized billings for 2007 were $72 million, up 44 percent from 2005. Wray Ward employs 70 in total, a 40 percent increase in the same two-year span. Over the past several years, it has ranked consistently as among the top three agencies in Charlotte. Will Wray Ward break out and become the region’s leader? “It’s very

pursuing a balance of business and life

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Let’s never stop thinking

“As a leader you have to Teamwork begins with be prepared for anything the senior leadership cadre, and everything,” Appleby she says during a conversasays, obviously still tion in her corner office. It touched by memories of faces the Charlotte skyline the lost colleague. “The from Baxter Street on the shock and pain of her sudfringe of Midtown. den death was the most difShe’s flanked by offices ficult thing I’ve ever had to for Campana and deal with.” veteran Charlie “Watching our staff pull Elberson, vice together, and give each other president of Wray Wardʼs recently constructed headquartes at 900 Baxter Street support, was nothing short of brand developon the fringe of Midtown. inspirational. We became a ment. Other leadWoods, Hunter Douglas window fashions, tighter family through the experience.” ers are Kent Panther, Sue VELUX skylights and WIX filters. Anyone visiting Wray Ward’s new Tatge, Mark Brock and John offices is immediately aware of the firm’s Roberts, vice presidents of respect for its employees. A giant mural strategic planning, media, lines a wall of the reception area, created public relations and creative, “We want to grow with by Charlotte artist Paul Rousso who took respectively. Patricia Propst the understanding that more than 4,500 photos during the mural heads finance and operations maintaining our corporate creation process. and Judy Allison is controller. Near the center of the color montage culture is very important. are black and white pictures of the firm’s Learning Your Business As long as we’re able to founders, Charlie Wray and Bob Ward, Wray Ward’s culture of cremaintain a culture of who were veterans of Cargill Wilson & ative excellence and close creativity, integrity, collab- Acree when they started Wray Ward in client collaboration have led to long-term relationships includoration and client-focused 1977. Later, Jim Laseter signed on and the firm became Wray Ward Laseter. ing the Sunbrella brand of perservice, then busting the brought in Appleby as senior formance fabrics, a client for glass ceiling as the region’s art Laseter director in 1993. She’d followed her more than 30 years. marquee agency will father Roger Owens of IBM to Charlotte “What sets Wray Ward be terrific.” after finishing Penn State with a degree in apart from a lot of other comgraphic design. She has worked for sevpanies is they take time to Greg Campana, eral local firms including The Thompson learn about your business,” Executive Vice President Agency and Reimler Agency. says Steve Ellington, general Campana joined the firm in 1999 as manager of Glen Raven Cusdirector of account management. A native tom Fabrics—Global, which is of Cleveland, Ohio, with a mass commuheadquartered in Glen Raven, Wray Ward clients benefit from an nications degree from Purdue, he’d been N.C., and manufactures Sunenvironment at the agency in which with McKinney & Silver in Raleigh and brella fabrics. employees not only respect each others’ Ogilvy & Mather in Atlanta and then Ellington credits the agency talents, but also enjoy spending time Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., as for playing an essential role in building Sunbrella into a leading global brand. “The collaboration together, whether in the office or on the account director in advertising. between Glen Raven and Wray firm’s softball team. This close connection Laseter made Appleby and Campana Ward has withstood the test of between Wray Ward staff members was minority partners in 2001. Then, in time. It speaks to shared values most evident when Jennifer Bunich, an 2005, he sold the company to the pair from the cultures of both companies.” account supervisor and a 36-year-old and retired. Appleby owns 51 percent, Other easily recognizable Wray Ward mother, passed away unexpectedly from Campana 49. Last year, they changed the clients include AAA, Crescent Resources, lung cancer in February. name back to Wray Ward. Gerber Childrenswear, Huber Engineered


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Let’s build something

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Appleby, 45, and Campana, 46, put in long hours and are fortunate to have stayat-home spouses. Campana’s wife Susan has suspended her advertising career to concentrate on daughter Lindsay, 15, and

new business program. “Greg and I want Wray Ward to be big enough to attract clients who appreciate great creative work and who want to form long-term relationships,” she says. “We

son Jackson, 14. Appleby’s husband Wayne left his financial services and logistics work to keep an eye on daughters Camille, 10, and Chloe, 7. “He’s the only reason I’m not in a padded cell,” laughs Appleby.

also want to be big enough to attract great talent. The growth of Charlotte is helping us do that.” Yet it can be frustrating to operate in the home of big banks and stock car racing. Wray Ward gets just a taste of NASCAR through work with WIX Filters, but behemoths Bank of America and Wachovia are hard to crack. “It absolutely drives me crazy,” Appleby says, “that some of the area’s biggest companies send their brand work out of the Charlotte market. “I want to change that,” she says determinedly. “We obviously could not handle Bank of America tomorrow, but we could certainly handle project work. We’ve got to better communicate that we’re here, we’re highly creative, and we share a commitment to our community.” Appleby is a strong proponent of civic work. “We enjoy making our creative talents accessible to the nonprofit community,” she explains. “This community has been very good to Wray Ward for more than 30 years and we are proud to give back.” Wray Ward’s pro bono client list is long and growing—Arts & Science Council, United Way, Goodwill Industries, Junior Achievement and many others. “Jennifer Appleby is a fantastic leader and volunteer,” says Michael Smith, president of Charlotte Center City Partners, where Appleby serves on the executive committee and is

helping with a North Tryon Vision Task Force. Smith mentions creativity and energy as he praises “her exceptional willingness to dig in and plug in places where she can really create value.”

Thinking Big Appleby takes pride in her position at the helm of Wray Ward. “The fact that I come from a creative background and that I am a woman is unique in the advertising business,” she says. “Any time I’m given accolades for being a businesswoman, that’s extremely meaningful for me. I feel as if I am setting a precedent that will help other young professional women in the future.”

“The fact that I come from a creative background and that I am a woman is unique in the advertising business. Any time I’m given accolades for being a businesswoman, that’s extremely meaningful for me. I feel as if I am setting a precedent that will help other young professional women in the future.” Jennifer Appleby, President

Those who know Appleby well characterize her as an energetic leader who combines bravado with humility. While she has a natural ability to connect and nurture, she is also highly competitive, which is reflected in the firm’s aggressive

pursuing a balance of business and life

Let’s start something

Let’s stand for something

“Greg and I want Wray Ward to be big enough to attract clients who appreciate great creative work and who want to form long-term relationships. We also want to be big enough to attract great talent. The growth of Charlotte is helping us do that.” Jennifer Appleby, President

Creativity, energy and the ability to dig into a difficult task were essential during Wray Ward’s move late in 2007 from cramped quarters on Morehead Street to its current 20,000-square-foot inspirational new offices on Baxter Street. Skylights, high ceilings, wide expanses of glass and a variety of building materials have resulted in a space that clients enjoy visiting so much they often schedule staff retreats at Wray Ward headquarters. During tours, agency staff members are quick to point out how client products have been integrated throughout the building, from fabrics and door hardware to skylights and roller shades. Core Consistency Appleby credits her creative work force for memorable campaigns she enjoys showing prospective clients, such as those for the Charlotte Bobcats, including “Okafor in 04” and “Get Closer” featuring Raymond Felton, Sean May and Emeka Okafor. Many people also know of the firm’s North Carolina ➤

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Education Lottery television ads. “One way to go after new business is by targeting industries in which you have experience,” Appleby says. “For example, we’ve built a strong expertise in home and building products.” She mentions

We’ve got to better communicate that we’re here, we’re highly creative, and we share a commitment to our community.” Jennifer Appleby, President

clients VELUX, Springs Global, Sunbrella and Huber. Wray Ward is also experienced in automotive, health care, retail and financial services, and is continually expanding into new industry segments based on its strategic communications approach. In five years, Appleby envisions even


april 2008

more national brands on the firm’s client list. In her view of the future, these brands will have been attracted to Wray Ward because of its ability to develop creative marketing communications programs based on the strategic integration of advertising, public relations, interactive and direct. And she’d like to place even more awards into already-prodigious trophy cases. A Clio, given in worldwide competition for advertising, design and interactive work, would be a nice addition, she thinks. Most of all she and Campana want Wray Ward to retain its unique culture that focuses on creativity and client service. “What I want people to understand is that it’s so rare in our industry to see an agency reach a 30-year milestone,” Campana says. “We have retained the best elements of our heritage, while evolving with the times. Our roots are here in Charlotte. The brand name and reputation of Wray Ward continue to live on.” biz

Wray Ward, LLC 900 Baxter Street Charlotte, N.C. 28204 Phone: 704-332-9071 Principals: Jennifer Appleby, President and Chief Creative Officer; Greg Campana, Executive Vice President and Director of Client Services Established: 1977 Employees: 70 Capitalized Billings: $72 million (2007) Awards: 2008 Best of Show, Charlotte Addy Awards; 2 Gold Awards, Graphics 2007 Poster Anuual Sampling of Clients: AAA, AmWinns Group, Inc., Cheerwine, Crescent Communities, Gerber, GreenFiber, Hanson, Human Society of Charlotte, Charlotte Bobcats, Rack Room Shoes, Strayer University and WFAE. Business: Full-service marketing communications firm focusing on the disciplines essential to building brands, including strategic planning, account management, public relations, interactive and Web services, direct marketing, creative and production, and media planning and buying.

Ellison Clary is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

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(l to r) Scott B. Tuttle, President; Nathan H. McLamb, Chairman Carmel Contractors, Inc.


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by ellison clary




Carmel contractors


25 years A friendly approach coupled with determination to add value characterizes the way Carmel Contractors, Inc. serves clients when building projects in the Carolinas and around the Southeast, according to its principals Nathan McLamb and Scott Tuttle. McLamb and company president Tuttle use dogged determination to get their foot in the door of a prospective client. When they win an audience with the right person, they show him or her how Carmel Contractors can add value as a general contractor. “For every dollar we spend on a project, our customers have come to know we will strive to get the most out of it,” affirms Tuttle. As the Charlotte firm celebrates is 25th anniversary, the construction veterans credit their steady growth to pleasing project owners, winning multiple jobs from them. And they are convinced it is because they bring value for clients on the projects they do.

“We’ve always said there’s no better business than repeat business,” says chairman McLamb, who started the company in 1983. A good example of that is the company’s current project for Lowe’s—the Home Improvement Center under construction in South End, site of the 175,000-square-foot home and garden center that will open soon as part of a mixed use development on South Boulevard. The $30 million Lowe’s project is one of about four dozen stores Carmel Contractors has built across the Carolinas for the Mooresville-based home improvement giant. Its repeat business results from a bond of trust that Carmel Contractors has built with Lowe’s executives who rely on McLamb and Tuttle’s firm to perform to its high standards and rigorous schedule. Two executives of Lowe’s who say they like doing business with Carmel Contractors credit them as “one of the quickest and most cost effective contractors we work with.” According to both Mike Harless, vice-president of engineering and construction, and Tony Cook, director of engineering and construction, South Region, “We have very few issues that come up when we work with Carmel Contractors.” “Lowe’s operates in a fiercely competitive environment and they expect us to help them build economical stores, with a quality finish and timely completion. Our team is committed to this and we will do whatever it takes to accomplish this,” says Tuttle. Carmel Contractors has a similar relationship with Pep Boys Auto. Some years back, McLamb heard the auto parts retailer was planning new stores in the Charlotte region, so he traveled to Philadelphia to

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speak in person with the Pep Boys headquarters executives. As a result, Carmel Contractors was given the opportunity to build the Pep Boys facility on North Tryon Street. Construction honchos at Pep Boys soon came to appreciate McLamb’s ability to negotiate the maze of municipal bureaucracy. He got proper city approvals and smoothed potential regulatory snags. “We’re going to hang in there like a bulldog and do whatever we’ve got to do,” McLamb says. “They appreciated that.” That project on North Tryon led to others for Pep Boys in Charlotte, followed by others in Columbia, Gastonia and Fayetteville. Building Determination “Once we do the first building for a client, it’s a very high probability that we’re going to do two or three or more,” McLamb notes. Believing that a contractor should be able to understand a client’s objective, and then form a team that includes architects and subcontractors to work efficiently through the construction cycle, is McLamb’s way to bring value to the client. Carmel Contractors is bringing value to the Lowe’s on South Boulevard by working through unusual constraints, explains Tuttle. Because condo units wrap the Lowe’s building, space is tight and coordination is critical. The Lowe’s rooftop parking deck brings its own set of challenges. Usually, Tuttle says, Carmel Contractors thinks about a project from the ground up but, for the South End store, the team must take a bird’s eye view. “Waterproofing and structural loads, the roofing system and the concrete deck are paramount on this project,” he says. ➤

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Needing to think like the owner plays to a strength of Carmel Contractors. Its size keeps it nimble and readily adaptable to any unusual situation, Tuttle explains, as does its disregard for titles and hierarchy. “These owners have project managers and people who look out for the development,” he says. “We try to make it so those people have to work a lot less, because they’ve got Carmel on their team. They know we’re going to look out for them.” It’s all part of delivering quality projects on-time and within budget, Tuttle and

made his living in,” Gennett adds. A renovation for the AGC building on Euclid Avenue presented a special challenge for Carmel Contractors. “It was a real messy retrofit,” McLamb remembers. Besides major upgrades, Carmel Contractors constructed about 35 percent more space in a two-story addition. And the work went on while the AGC continued to operate on the premises. Gennett remembers the company’s willingness to do whatever was necessary to make the project work, sometimes adding

with commercial construction. By the end of the 1980s, McLamb had bought out both Tate and Hendrix and Carmel Contractors was finding success in condo developments. McLamb worked with Dennis Rash, who was leading the community development arm of what became Bank of America, to build various condo projects in Third Ward. “Nathan and I got along well,”

McLamb agree. It’s all part of bringing an owner value. A big reason Carmel Contractors can do this is its dedication to training employees. McLamb says the firm has been active with the Carolinas Associated General Contractors (AGC) since they incorporated in 1983. He and Tuttle encourage employees to take advantage of seminars and other educational opportunities offered at the Charlotte office. “We’re constantly challenging ourselves,” Tuttle says. “You can always do something better. That’s why we send our employees to education and training seminars. If you can come away with at least one idea or improvement it will help you and your performance. It’ll help us. We’ll be better.” Stephen Gennett, president and chief executive of the Carolinas AGC, confirms that Carmel Contractors personnel attend a wide variety of sessions that deal with topics such as supervisory training, safety, legal decisions and green building precepts. “An association director’s dream” is how Gennett describes McLamb, who has served on his board. “He’s unselfishly committed to the cause of the industry he’s

a needed, detailed touch. McLamb and Tuttle give much credit for their AGC success to Tim Demmitt of Charlotte’s Overcash Demmitt Architects, designers of the makeover. “We always enjoy working with Carmel Contractors,” Demmitt says. “They make our lives easier, which we always look for in a general contractor. They help eliminate problems.” Demmitt also designed the building at 8030 England Street where Carmel Contractors maintains its office. In 2007, the two firms collaborated on restructuring for Archdale Marketplace, an aging shopping center on South Boulevard that needed reconfigured, smaller tenant spaces.

Rash recalls. “He was open to suggestions. He provided good construction quality and got things done on time. He was a very honorable person to deal with.”

Building a Company Today, Tuttle says, 75 percent of Carmel Contractors business is retail and most of the rest is office and medical upfit, renovations and additions. But that wasn’t always the case. The company has evolved over the years. McLamb started Carmel Contractors to complement a residential building firm owned by Allen Tate and Walt Hendrix

When the multi-family market went south in 1989, Carmel Contractors branched into office buildings, medical offices, church facilities, shopping centers and retail construction. Tuttle joined Carmel Contractors the same year. Shortly thereafter, Carmel Contractors forged its relationship with Lowe’s. That has lasted, McLamb and Tuttle believe, because they take the trust of Lowe’s and


april 2008

“…The bottom line is our clients are entrusting us to spend their money wisely. And they trust us to make sure the building works when we’re finished…” Nathan H. McLamb, Chairman

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their other clients seriously. “We’re service oriented,” McLamb explains. “We call ourselves contractors and we are. But the bottom line is our clients are entrusting us to spend their money wisely. And they trust us to make sure the building works when we’re finished, that it’s watertight and the air conditioning works.” McLamb has a near-encyclopedic memory for past Carmel Contractors projects. As he strolls company hallways lined with color photos of them, he names each one

13,000-square-foot warehouse from the ’50s into a modern television and recording facility to serve advertising and entertainment clients from around the globe. Owens’s goal was to build a studio facility that was functional yet fun and inviting to clients; he saw the project as an important investment in the company. However, being a small business owner, he had to be very careful not to over-extend finances while attempting to create an environment that would leave a lasting impression.

work, he is cautiously optimistic. “We are not averse to growth,” Tuttle says. “You’ve got to grow to keep your people happy. We want to be the best midsized construction company in this market. We will keep on offering full service and a can-do attitude.” What will Carmel Contractors look like in five years? Tuttle hopes the company will still be in its current offices but will have expanded into more of the 4,000 square feet that’s leased to other tenants. And he sees

and relates detailed tidbits. The majority of the company’s work is in or near Charlotte, a full 90 percent of its work being in North and South Carolina, but it also serves clients in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida. Tuttle, 47, has run the firm for the last three years as McLamb, 68, gradually assumes more of an advisory role, albeit an active one. McLamb says he likes the 15 to 20 percent growth in volume he’s seen on Tuttle’s watch. Then he adds a caveat: He doesn’t buy into the construction industry’s fascination with volume of business. When rival companies have experienced remarkable growth streaks, he says, he’s admired them but never envied them. “Construction is a high-risk business,” he says. “You can do the right thing for many years and you can get one bad job and—boom—you’re gone.” He’d rather turn in a solid performance on a job and—besides make money—have the owner truly like the end result. Like in the case of ParadoxFilms, Inc., where commercial film maker Stuart Owens hired Carmel Contractors to transform an old worn and torn

“With the help of the team at Carmel Contractors, I was able to achieve exactly what I set out to accomplish,” says Owens. “First-time visitors to our studios almost always say they had no idea a place like this could be found in Charlotte. With the help of Carmel Contractors, that’s the reaction I had hoped for and achieved.” “I want us to be the first contractor an owner thinks about when he’s getting ready to do something different,” McLamb says, hewing to the line of repeat business where relationships are tight. Despite rumors of construction slowdowns, Carmel Contractors remains busy. One of their more recent client additions is TJX Companies, Inc., parent of retailers T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods. Of their more recent construction projects: they just finished a Lowe’s near North Lake Mall last November and soon will start another in Waxhaw. A shopping center near I-485 on Providence Road is also in the works as is a 30,000-square-foot neighborhood center in Fort Mill, near Baxter Village. Recession concerns cloud Tuttle’s vision of 2009, but given the current backlog of

some modest employee additions. As Tuttle and McLamb noodle on how to celebrate the Carmel Contractors silver anniversary that officially occurs in May, Tuttle adds, “We look forward to the next 25 years. Not only Charlotte but the two Carolinas will see fantastic opportunities for business expansion and growth. We’ll be right there with our customers every step of the way.” biz

pursuing a balance of business and life

Ellison Clary is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Carmel Contractors, Inc. 8030 England Street Charlotte, N.C. 28273 Phone: 704-552-2338 Principals: Nathan H. McLamb, Chairman; Scott B. Tuttle, President Established: 1983 Employees: 14 Business: Well-established builder in the Carolinas providing responsive, on-schedule performance in every phase of construction for commercial, institutional, health care and multi-family projects.

april 2008




Rod Hall, a Rock Hill native, was an engineer with Duke Power Company when he first started building docks parttime on Lake Wylie. But it was in 1974, when he was offered the opportunity to build a marina in a new lakeside residential community, resulting in the successful launch of Tega Cay Marina in June 1975, that put Hall and his wife Fran at the helm of the nascent Hall Marine Group. Tega Cay Marina proved a successful test ground for Hall’s business philosophy of personal service and commitment to a fair deal for every customer. “My parents taught me right from wrong,” says Hall. “We aim to do right by every customer, every time.” In 1976, Hall purchased another small marina on Lake Wylie. He expanded the facility into what has become the Hall Marine Group’s flagship location, Lake Wylie Marina. At first Hall handled a wide range of boat lines, including Winner, Chris Craft, Glassmaster, Galaxy, Cruisers, Inc, Terry, Boston Whaler and Stingray, but, by 1984, Lake Wylie Marina became an exclusive dealer for what many consider the strongest brand of boat in the industry, Sea Ray. The combination of Sea Ray products and the Hall family approach to sales and service created an alliance that became one of the most important and successful in the American marine industry.


april 2008

A Strong Current While building a strong relationship with Sea Ray, Rod Hall also built Lake Wylie Marina into an unmatched facility for boaters. Shortly after purchasing the marina, Hall added a 200-rack dry storage facility and a showroom/office. An additional 300-rack dry facility was added in 1984. Later the wet slips were replaced and the showroom was expanded. In 1995, an auxiliary showroom was added to accommodate the display of larger boats. With Lake Wylie Marina building a strong reputation, the Hall Marine Group began looking for other markets which could benefit from Hall’s unique approach to boating. Tega Cay Marina was sold to make way for expansion into South Carolina, and Hall Marine Group opened Sea Ray of Charleston in 1987 and Sea Ray of Columbia in 1988. The growing community of Lake Norman, to the northwest of Charlotte, was the next logical site for a new Sea Ray dealership, so, in 1997, the Halls built Sea Ray of Lake Norman, a state-of-theart sales and service facility in Cornelius. Now recognized as a leader in the boating industry, Hall Marine Group began expanding to the Savannah area, building the Sea Ray of Savannah sales and service facility and then purchasing the Savannah Bend Marina on the Inter-

coastal Waterway in Thunderbolt, Ga. The company continued to expand in upstate South Carolina, adding Sea Ray of Greenville in 1999. In 2000, with the rapid growth in the Lake Norman area, Hall Marine Group expanded again, opening Sea Ray of Lake Norman-Northlake. In 2004, Rod Hall retired and handed off Hall Marine Group to his sons, Rick and Jeff, who had grown up working in all areas of the family business. Jeff recalls, “We sold gas on the docks, repaired boats, drove forklifts, sold boats, did whatever was necessary. We’ll still get out there and wash a boat, do whatever it takes. We’re very hands on.” Today, Hall Marine Group’s corporate office is located at the Lake Wylie

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by casey jacobus

Marina, where Jeff, as president, oversees all the corporate policies, procedures and administration. Rick works out of Sea Ray of Charleston and focuses on sales and delivery of the larger boats, the coastal markets, as well as staffing national shows and events. Rick Neal is vice president of operations and corporate sales manager, traveling extensively among the stores. Riding the Waves Built over a generation, the family business that began with one marina and two employees has grown into a

company with seven locations and 115 employees. Over the past thirty years, Hall Marine Group has sold more than 10,000 boats. Today, it is one of Sea Ray’s top five dealers worldwide with annual sales in the $50 million range. Jeff Hall says the key to the company’s growth has been its desire to deliver a great boating experience to each customer combined with a staff that is dedicated to delivering this. “We know boats; we grew up with them,” he explains. “We understand that people who buy boats want to

pursuing a balance of business and life


bond with their families and create memories. We want to do right by each and every customer.” Jeff attributes much of the company’s success to its relationship with Sea Ray. Founded in 1959, Sea Ray was one of the first boat builders to use fiberglass and other high tech composite materials in the construction of pleasure boats. Today, it produces more than 40 models, ranging from 18 to 68 feet. The four families of Sea Ray products include Sports Boats, Sport ➤

april 2008


Cruisers, Sport Yachts and Yachts, and Hall Marine Group stocks all of these product categories. “In a world where there are 3,000 different brands of boats and anybody with a shed and a little know-how can put one together, we are very fortunate in our relationship with Sea Ray,” says Hall. “They are the most recognized and sought after brand of boat in the industry.” Hall Marine Group is one of the largest

Master Dealer Program. Established eleven years ago, the Master Dealer Program was the first standards-based program in the boating industry. To qualify, the dealerships have to meet more than 110 stringent customer-care and operational standards, as well as yearly on-site evaluations by an independent consultant. Recently Sea Ray took its commitment to customer satisfaction a step further by initiating its Ambassador Dealership

have achieved the Sea Ray Ambassador Master Dealer Status for the past three years. In addition, last year the group was chosen number seven best dealer in the county by Boating Industry Magazine’s Top 100, which recognizes dealers for their overall business operations, customer service, marketing and professionalism.

Hall Marine Group was selected from almost 400 applications submitted by over 3,000 nominees.

Program. Ambassador Dealers must not only meet all the demanding Master Dealers requirements, but also fulfill special criterion related to overall performance

independently owned Sea Ray dealership organizations in the world. Although it operates two marinas, it is primarily a retail boat dealership. With its seven locations in North and South Carolina and Georgia, it has expanded to the boundaries of the territory it holds exclusively from Sea Ray. “We don’t compete nationally because we don’t want to sell boats to customers we can’t service,” Hall says. “The key to our growth is our desire to deliver a great boating experience to every customer. Our customers are why we’re here.” Hall Marine Group was one of the first dealerships to participate in the Sea Ray


april 2008

“The key to our growth is our desire to deliver a great boating experience to every customer. Our customers are why we’re here.” Jeff Hall, President

quality, outstanding customer satisfaction and delivering a superior customer experience. All of the Hall Marine Group locations

Unsinkable While the sales and servicing of Sea Ray boats accounts for 90 percent of the Hall Marine Group’s business, the company also sells Boston Whaler, which is the leading manufacturer of family fishing boats 11 to 35 feet. Boston Whaler is known around the world as “The Unsinkable Legend.” In the early ’50s, Richard T. Fisher, a Harvard graduate and co-owner of an electrical manufacturing company, had the idea of building a boat that wouldn’t sink. He started tinkering in his garage and the resulting 13-foot outboard was introduced at the 1958 New York Boat Show. It became an immediate sensation and a plant just outside of Boston in Braintree, Mass., began production. Fisher delighted in demonstrating the boat’s special characteristics through a variety of torture tests. He drove it up rocky rapids. He filled it up to the gunnels with water and people to show not only its unsinkability, but also its uniquely level

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floatation. And perhaps his greatest publicity stunt of all was in 1961 for the cameras of Life magazine, as he sat in the stern while a diver below cut the boat in half with a crosscut saw. Both halves continued to float and Fisher calmly drove away in the half with the motor.

“We know boats; we grew up with them. We understand that people who buy boats want to bond with their families and create memories. We want to do right by each and every customer.”

been the Whaler’s patented Unibond construction, a process in which dense structural foam is introduced between two fiberglass hull walls; the foam extends up the sides of the boat, creating a virtual life ring for its occupants, even if swamped in a storm. “Boston Whaler is one of the most recognized brands in the industry,” says Jeff Hall, “its product has no equal.” For 2007, Hall Marine Group was the largest independent Boston Whaler dealer in the country.

Powering ahead The Hall Marine Group has grown over the past 35 years, partly because Charlotte has been a growing market and partly because it has expanded to new locations in North and South Carolina and Georgia. The diversity of their markets has been a strength that has allowed Hall Marine Group to succeed and grow even during the recent drought, which has affected boating on Lake Norman and Lake Wylie. In the next five to 10 years, the company will need to focus on improving business ➤

Jeff Hall, President

Stories of Whaler’s survival have built the legend over the years: a boater taking an accidental plunge down Niagara Falls and the boat emerges with only scratches; a 30-mile trip back to shore with a threefoot hole in the hull; being blasted by a thousand rounds of machine gun fire and continuing to float; and many more. The secret from the beginning has

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april 2008


internally in order to continue to grow. “The key is to identify areas you can improve,” says Jeff Hall. “We have to look at how we can be more effective and efficient in delivering a better boating experience to our customers.” Another challenge is to continue to retain, develop and recruit a staff of qualified personnel. Since 60 percent or more of the Hall Marine Group’s business is from repeat customers, the company is aware they need to keep their sales and service staff motivated.

“We have a great product to work with and try to create a positive and rewarding atmosphere in which to work,” says Hall. Each store has a location general manager and they are a key force behind the success of their store. The company recruits technicians from several training schools and all employees attend additional training programs every year. All of the company technicians are either certified by Mercury Marine or working towards certification. Every employee has an annual performance appraisal and


“I’m an Angela fan. She’ll always have my business. Plus, it is rewarding to walk through the door and everyone knows you.” – I’m Sarah McAulay, community leader, and my banker is Angela Lovelace.

“We have a great product to work with and try to create a positive and rewarding atmosphere in which to work.” Jeff Hall, President

goals are established for every service and sales person. The staff also participates financially in the achievement of the group’s overall goals. But, above all else, the Hall Marine Group values its customers and is committed to customer service. All of its locations consistently rank in the top levels of customer service satisfaction scores, a clear indication of a dedicated team. “It’s all about establishing a personal relationship,” says Jeff Hall. “We offer our customers fun events and great service. It’s never just, ‘Here are the keys. Thank you very much.” biz Casey Jacobus is a Charlotte-based freelance writer.

Lake Wylie Marina, Inc. dba Hall Marine Group

Member FDIC

310 Blucher Circle Lake Wylie, S.C. 29710

Cornelius/Lake Norman 704.987.9990 Matthews 704.814.1200 SouthPark 704.442.5900 Uptown Charlotte 704.945.6565


april 2008

Phone: 803-831-2101 Principal: Jeffrey L. Hall, President; Rick Neal, Vice President of Operations and Corporate Sales Manager Founded: 1975 Locations: Lake Wylie, S.C.; Charleston, S.C.; Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; Columbia, S.C.; Greenville, S.C.; Lake Norman, N.C.; and Savannah, Ga. Employees: 115 in seven locations Annual Sales: $50 million range Awards: Ranked 4th in the Top 100 Dealers in the Boating Industry in 2006; 7th in 2007. Business: Retail boat dealership selling and servicing pleasure boats from 18 to 68 feet in length.

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pursuing a balance of business and life

april 2008


[ontop] Awards & Achievements After a nationwide search, the United States Olympic Committee has selected artwork submitted Olympic Medallion (Jamie Franki) by UNC Charlotte Associate Professor Jamie Franki to grace the front of the newly created Order of Ikkos medallion. Franki coordinates the Illustration Program in the Department of Art and Art History and is a former Master Designer in the United States Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program, having designed the 2005 American Bison Nickel reverse and the face of the Jefferson 1800 Nickel in 2006. Autobell Car Wash Inc. has received the Above and Beyond Award from the North Carolina Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, an agency of the Department of Defense. Advertising & Media Wray Ward has won the top honor Best of Show at the 2008 Charlotte ADDY Awards and garnered more than 30 awards recognizing the agency’s work across nine categories for client and pro-bono work. Barnhardt, Day & Hines has hired Darrel Darrel Myers Myers as creative director and Mike Scardino as chief creative officer. HMH has added Gene Brady as general manager, Robert Suchonic and Mike Scardino Shannon Boggess as senior production managers, and Shawn Kelley as senior art director. Trevor Adams has been appointed creative director at Greater Charlotte Biz Trevor Adams magazine and has received a Diamond Award for his previous work at The Charlotte Observer. Joe Gleason has joined the marketing staff of Greater Charlotte Biz. Joe Gleason


april 2008

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[ontop] Environments’ DREAM Team, and Nancy Everhart to serve on the new Green Task Force. Pease Associates has hired Roger Bush as an architectural designer, Dana Brooks in the mechanical engineering department, and Tim Hatmaker in the marketing department. Tyler 2 Construction has hired Matt Ventimiglia as a project manager and Randi Kolubinskyj as accounts payable administrator. Crosland LLC, one of the Southeast’s leading real estate companies, has earned finalist honors in three categories for the 2008 Pillars of the Industry Awards: Best Adaptive Reuse; Best Affordable Apartment Community, and Most Creative Financing of an Affordable Apartment Community.

TOPIC 2008:

VALUE BUILDERS… VALUE BUSTERS! You know you need to spend time working “ON” your business, not just “IN” it. You may have wondered how you could find the time with all you have to juggle. Business Success Institute is the answer. Our five meetings a year can make a real difference in your business. We address practical business concerns, share insights and advice, and give you a chance to network with other business owners who are facing the same challenges and opportunities you are. Learn how to increase the value of your business by developing a good management team, improving your sales and marketing, using technology wisely and practicing sound financial management.


2008 Meetings April 22 June 24 August 26 October 28


For times, locations and membership information visit or call Denise Altman at 704-315-9090.


april 2008

Education & Staffing UNC Charlotte professor Thomas Holt, who specializes in research on computer hackers, has been awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Former Agents of the FBI Foundation’s J. Edgar Hoover Memorial Scholarship Program. Arthur R. Jackson, UNC Charlotte vice chancellor for student affairs, has been awarded the Pillar of the Profession Award by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. The UNC School of Law has honored Christopher C. Lam, an associate in Kennedy Covington’s litigation practice, with its inaugural Alumni Pro Bono Attorney of the Year award. Robert Fish, COO of Integra Staffing & Search, has been named the vice chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board executive community. Carol Burns has been named vice president for campus planning and services at Queens University of Charlotte. Carol Burns Sabrina McCracken has been hired as the community education coordinator for The Arc of Mecklenburg County.

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[ontop] Engineering Windshear, Inc. has hired Randy Graves as operations supervisor; Phillip deMontigny and Kevin Haynes as lead test technicians for its 180-mph rolling-road wind tunnel; and Bryon Randolph and Peter Schneider as specialized technicians. Finance & Insurance Public Accounting Report’s 26th annual survey of accounting professors has named Grant Thornton LLP at the top of the list of national accounting firms as the best for work-life balance. The firm has also been awarded the North Carolina Above and Beyond Award recognizing select employers who have gone above and beyond legal requirements for supporting National Guardsmen and Reservists. Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, L.L.P has added Jeffrey R. Watkins as a partner in the firm and director of the financial institutions group. RSM McGladrey has acquired Alan Atwell as a Jeffrey Watkins managing director of the tax services division for the Carolinas and David Winslow as a director in its Charlotte location. Robert Palmer and Alan Atwell Associates has appointed Tiffany Burke as senior tax accountant. James C. Allison III, Joshua Watson, Patrick Moore, Brad Redden and Dean Carter have joined Hinrichs Flanagan Financial as financial services professionals.

Exercise all your senses Expressive design and distinctive personality offering just the right amenities to accommodate both business and leisure guests. Let your sense of adventure come out and play.

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Government & Non Profit National MS Society has awarded Herman Stone, CEO of Consolidated Theatres and the Stone Group, its highest designation, the HOPE Award. Carolinas HealthCare System and the City of Charlotte have been honored with Spirit of North Carolina Awards for Campaign Excellence for their Herman Stone

pursuing a balance of business and life

april 2008


[ontop] outstanding commitment and support to communities through local United Way involvement. Planned Parenthood Health Systems, Inc. has received a $55,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation to increase access to reproductive health care and education for Latinos in Mecklenburg County. The Wachovia Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to The Housing Partnership, continuing its support of creating affordable, well-maintained housing and stable neighborhoods in the Charlotte region. United Way of Central Carolinas has announced a $15,000 donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support an asset building strategy to help low- and moderate-income individuals achieve financial stability. YWCA Central Carolinas has received a $5,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation Grant to support the YWCA’s Youth Development Program which serves 350 at-risk youth.


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!”

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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


704.371.5000 april 2008

Health Care C. Labron Chambers Jr., M.D. has joined the physicians of Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants and will Dr. Chambers provide pediatric anesthesia for patients at Levine Children’s Hospital at Carolinas Medical Center. Charlotte resident Dale Dale Read Read has been named the new president and treasurer of the Specialty Sleep Association. Real Estate Commercial/Residential Lake Norman Realty President Abigail Jennings has been named the 2007 MSI Chamber Business Person of the Year. Reed Griffith has been named a partner with Brackett Company, a commercial real estate firm.

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[ontop] Crosland LLC has added Tracey L. Whitson as vice president of operations for the company’s residential division. WEICHERT, REALTORS-Amity Partners has honored the following as various Multi-Million Dollar Producers and Top Producers: Jamie Morrison, Deanna Williams, Jan Woodside, Tammy Kennedy, Joe Nicks, and Tommy Williams; and has named Alyssa Martin 2007 Rookie of the Year. Allen Tate has named Sandy Warren branch manager and broker-in-charge for the Concord/Cannon office and Diane Wolfe as broker/sales manager for its Ballantyne office. Koll Development Company has hired Melanie June as project manager for the company’s Southeast division. Retail & Sports & Entertainment Phillips Seafood, operated by HMSHost at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, has been honored as Best New Food & Beverage Concept by Airport Revenue News in the industry trade publication’s 2008 Best Concessions Poll. Andi McJunkin has joined Autobell Car Wash Inc. as the company’s community relations representative/recruiter. Blake Leggett Marler has Andi McJunkin joined McIntosh’s Steaks & Seafood as the restaurant’s first public relations and marketing director.


Technology Waypoint Solutions Group, with expertise in active directory, messaging, systems management and Web solutions to companies worldwide, has been named in MSPmentor’s 100 List. biz To be considered for inclusion, please send your news releases and announcements in the body of an e-mail (only photos attached) to, or fax them to 704-676-5853, or post them to our business address—at least 30 days prior to our publication date.

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april 2008


Featuring Executive Homes in the Charlotte Region WATERFRONT IN RIVERPOINTE Charlotte, North Carolina Waterfront home on main channel of lake in RiverPointe. Master and guest suites on main level. Morning room, sunroom. 2tier decks for entertaining. Boat dock, lift and slip. Great neighborhood amenities. Every sunrise, every sunset, every day! Amazing views of Lake Wylie. 4BRs/4.5BAs MLS# 747498 - $1,094,900 Property Address: 15910 RiverPointe Drive Michelle Gray - 704-619-2424

PROVIDENCE COUNTRY CLUB Charlotte, North Carolina Lovely home with a magnificent lake view on the 6th green. Twostory great room with large windows offers expansive views of the lake. Updated kitchen with granite, stainless steel appliances and bay window in the breakfast nook make this the perfect spot for gathering. 4BRs/3.5BAs MLS# 752716 - $705,000 Property Address: 10808 Congressional Club Dr. Lynn Burnett - 704-650-3472



400 Tyvola Road • 704-527-7000

Now accepting orders at

Featuring Executive Homes in the Charlotte Region MAGNIFICENT FRENCH COUNTRY HOME Belmont, North Carolina Grand French Country waterfront home has approximately 327 feet of shoreline. Grand salon with 2-story windows overlooks balcony, landscaped grounds and water. Cathedral ceilings in foyer and salon, elaborate trim work and chandeliers. Master chef kitchen featuring breakfast area and den with fireplace. 5BRs/5.3BAs MLS# 741638 - $2,399,000 Property Address: 7054 Lakeside Point Drive William Howe - 704-747-3444

MYERS PARK Charlotte, North Carolina Renovated 2-story bungalow! Maintenance-free duplex in Myers Park. Kitchen includes granite counters, stainless steel appliances and hardwoods. Master offers walk-in closet and balcony. Master bath includes marble vanity and tiled walk-in-shower. Second bath includes whirlpool tub. 11’ ceilings and crown molding. 3BRs/2.1BAs

MLS# 750777 - $599,000 Property Address: 1796 Jameston Street Nancie Woods - 704-608-0964

THE RATCLIFFE Charlotte, North Carolina Moonlight and brilliant sunsets are yours at The Ratcliffe. Panoramic city views from the 24’ windows. Upgrades in the gourmet kitchen offer granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and dual temperature wine cooler. Includes private balcony, rooftop terrace and 2 parking spaces in secure garage. 2BRs/2.1BAs MLS# 750607 - $1,199,000 Property Address: 435 S. Tryon Street, Unit 902 Sandy Kindbom - 704-331-2124

OLD WORLD EUROPEAN DESIGN Rock Hill, South Carolina Brick and stone 7,000-square-foot home. Two lots, wrap Lanai porch with outdoor fireplace, garage and portico for 6 cars. Formal dining room, open kitchen and “grand” room, fabulous master suite and bath. Hardwoods, 10-ft. ceilings, 8-ft. doors, circular stairway, lower level with media room, 2nd kitchen and gameroom. 6BRs/5.1BAs MLS# 735253 - YMLS# 1047337 - $1,490,000 Property Address: 611 Forest Lane Linda G. Snipes - 803-417-9600


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

Greater Charlotte Biz 2008.04  

Greater Charlotte Biz

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